The College of Bishops of the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) released a pastoral statement on human sexuality and identity in mid-January. At the time, I thought about assessing it here, like I did with the Nashville Statement, the PCA’s report on human sexuality, and the CRC’s report on human sexuality. But the ACNA statement seemed so benign that there was not much that I thought I could say. The statement held that there is no guarantee, though there is the possibility, that Christians experiencing same-sex attraction will see an end to that attraction in this life. No comment is made on whether same-sex attraction or orientation is itself sinful or needs to be something repented. The statement even-handily evaluated the ways in which “same-sex Christian” or “gay Christian” are used, but then said, “We do not believe it wise nor commendable to adopt categorically the language of ‘gay Christian,’ or ‘same-sex attracted Christian’ as the default description for those who experience same-sex attraction…
From Lisa Deam in Christianity Today, “One of my pet peeves is receiving an email during the latter part of Lent with the sign-off ‘Happy Easter!’ or ‘Jesus is risen!’ I have to fight the temptation to reply, ‘Not just yet!’ Such proclamations, although well meaning, rush me to a destination I’m not ready to reach. Before I experience the joy of Easter morning, a lengthy journey awaits.”
Not just yet? Christ is risen. Let’s not pretend otherwise.
This is a list of my top (i.e. favorite) posts from the past year. This list is most helpful for me to look back later to see what captured my attention during 2020. This past year also represented a shift in my writing, namely that I had a number of articles published elsewhere. I include links to all of those as well.
- A Personal Journey on Intinction. In this post I reflect on the issues involved in the practice of intinction through lens of my personal experience.
- I summarized what I believe are the distinctive characteristics of Reformed faith and practice here.
- I wrote several articles on human sexuality (two of which are included on the article section below), with two additional posts on the subject, including an assessment of transgender pronouns and Christian speech and a review of the Christian Reformed Church’s report on human sexuality.
- A subject to which I regularly return is the EPC’s version of the Westminster Confession of Faith. This year I wrote on why the additions of chapters 34 and 35 should be rejected.
- I was frustrated by the lack of good American Presbyterian family trees, so I made my own. I’m not a graphic designer, so it will need to be polished in the future, but I like it.
- Mere Orthodoxy
- World Reformed Fellowship
I started a tradition in 2018 of selecting a theologian and reading all (or at least most of) his works over the course of the subsequent year. My hope is that this allows me to not only to become familiar with important figures and texts, but to also get into his theological mind over a large body of work. This year I picked to a group of theologians: the Cappadocian Fathers.
The Cappadocian Fathers are three hugely influential, 4th-century theologians and churchmen who wrote and ministered in Cappadocia, what is now central Turkey. They are Basil the Great (330-379), the bishop of Caesarea; his younger brother, Gregory of Nyssa (~335-395), who was bishop of his namesake; and their friend, Gregory of Nazianzus (or Gregory Nazianzen; 329-389), who was briefly bishop of Nazianzus before becoming bishop of Constantinople…
I have an article up at Reformation 21 on the identity of those who do the work of gospel ministry: pastors. Here’s an excerpt,
God’s gracious, redemptive covenant has been administered in different ways to his people throughout history. All of these ways in the Old Testament, circumcision, the Paschal meal, the Mosaic sacrifices, prefigured Christ, and were shadows anticipating him who is the substance of God’s grace. This is what Paul means in 2 Corinthians 3:7-11 and Colossians 2:17, and what is taught in Hebrews 8 when the Mosaic sacrifices, described as copies and shadows of Christ, are contrasted with the better leitourgia (ministry) obtained by Christ in the new covenant. Jesus is the leitergous (liturgist!), the administrator or server, of the new covenant (Hebrews 8:2) of which he is the substance. In other words, in the new covenant, gospel ministry is Jesus serving himself to his people.
This article is the probably the best biblical summary of my theology of my ministry.