Transformed Worship

The temple services were designed for maximum sensory impact because they were typical of deeper realities to which attention needed to be drawn. The rituals demanded and received the full attention of all who were present. It was impossible to ignore them. But with the death of Christ, the temple veil was torn in two from top to bottom (Matt. 27:51) and all the hustle and bustle came to an abrupt end. The sacrifices which could never take away sins (Heb. 10:8-11) have been replaced by the sacrifice of praise to God (Heb. 13:15). The priesthood has become the body of Christ, and believers have become spiritual stones in a spiritual temple offering up “spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter. 2:5, 9) (Michael Bushell, Songs of Zion, 157).

Orthodoxy > Churchmanship

But the chief contention with us is not a rubric, or a series of canons, or even the parochial episcopacy which we know to be scriptural, but the scriptural doctrines of the gospel. We aim at a careful discrimination between the essential and the non-essential. We propose orthodoxy of faith as the object of supreme regard, and relegate to the rear a punctilious churchmanship. . . . Honest investigation is the honorable way to exchange party for party, and sect for sect. I want all restless Presbyterians to examine first, and venture upon no change without study and prayer. And let them be firmly resolved to serve God for life in a Christian association which they conscientiously regard as the most faithful to the word of God (J. A. Waddell, Letters to a Young Presbyterian, 102).

Faith

The psychology of faith has been studied, from the theological standpoint not always felicitously, because the Biblical data have not been carefully ascertained. It may be useful to know something about the psychology of faith, but it is of far greater importance to understands its religious function in redemption, and unless the latter is apprehended, the psychology is apt to turn out, from the Biblical point of view, sheer foolishness (Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology, 83).

Study Habits


In May 1964 the faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and those of us who were the graduating students (thirty or so men) met for a banquet, students and professors sitting informally together in an atmosphere of affection and thankfulness. One by one, the professors got up and said a few words of exhortation and encouragement. When John Murray got up he suggested that we should not slip out of the habit of studying, but rather we should seek to make our own some area in which we would read as fully and exhaustively as we could over the next years. Mr. Murray said, “There might arise an issue in the church in twenty years’ time which is directly related to what you have studied, and then you could make a valuable contribution, guiding and enlightening the church.”

From Preface, Geoffrey Thomas, The Holy Spirit, ix

Man of God

The Bible makes no attempt to minimize the extent to which David fell into great sin. At a minimum, he was guilty of adultery and murder in the episode with Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11). But the measure of a man of God is not in his sin but in his repentance. Psalm 51 is a beautiful testimony to how deeply David was grieved at the depth of his own sin (Psa. 51:1; 2 Sam. 11:26) (Michael Bushell, Songs of Zion, 87).

Simple Worship

[T]he apostles, in organizing churches, abandoned the usages of the Jewish temple, and followed the more simple worship of the synagogue. On this point Presbyterianism remains a steadfast defender of the Bible against Anglican objections to its simple style of worship (J. A. Waddell, Letters to a Young Presbyterian, 96-97).

The Blessing of Abraham

The God who called Abraham was “the God of heaven and the God of the earth” (Gen. xxiv. 3). It was the Creator of the heaven and the earth (Gen. i. 1), who chose the seed of Abraham to be to Him a peculiar people, that through them all nations might be blessed. The Blessing of Abraham assures us that the particularism of the Old Testament religion is not to be explained by the evolutionist’s theory of a gradual development of the god-idea in Israel through animism, polytheism, henotheism to the ethical monotheism of the Prophets and Apostles, but that the universalism of Isaiah and of Paul was clearly present in it from the beginning, not as a mere “surmise,” but as a sure promise which the eternal and unchanging God had made unto Abraham His friend, and which He fulfilled in the gift of His Son to be Savior of the World (Oswald T. Allis, “The Blessing of Abraham” in The Princeton Theological Review, Vol. 25, No. 2 (1927), 298).

Lost Boys

An overly sexualized media combined with an overly violent entertainment culture has left generations of boys growing up with only TV shows to guide them. Fathers have been largely neglected and are often only celebrated when denouncing masculinity and embracing feminism.

While the progressive scoffs at this line of reasoning and has for a very long time, the truth is everything they lecture us about proper male behavior today, they aggressively shamed out of society a generation ago. This is simply what happens when the father’s authority in family life is denounced, shamed, and cut out altogether. . . .

Boys are not lost because of toxic masculinity; they are lost because their fathers have been taken away from them and they cannot figure out how to fill that void with anything but rage and shame. The social change Gillette and progressive activists want, it turns out, is a return to the moral and social values the conservative movement has been shouting from the rooftops for decades.

Gene Veith – How the Left Gave Us “Toxic Masculinity”

Danger and Confusion

The trouble is that [Anglicanism] found a ceremonial system already in operation in Romish worship, and desired to retain it in part, independently of the written word. This desire led them to argue that the New Testament furnishes very little light upon the subject, and that the mode of worship under the apostolic regime was only provisional, leaving the whole matter to the discretion and progressive experience of the church. This view is obviously fraught with the utmost danger and confusion (J. A. Waddell, Letters to a Young Presbyterian, 95).