Posts with the tag “reformed-faith”
Thoughts on Racism
by Maggie Breckenridge on June 14th, 2022
Introduction Racism is a scourge upon the human race and a prominent theme in today’s social conversation. Racism is a hate-sin and a hate-crime. Its history is as old as the human race andas intractable as evil itself. Its prominence in American history, from slavery to de jure segregation in the South to de facto segregation in the North is a blight upon ournational record. Its eradication is an...
Class Course Work
by Josh Espinosa on December 19th, 2019
These articles are a part of the class course work.The Church As It Was Meant to BeAn Evangelical and Reformed FaithThe Five Points of CalvinismObserving the SabbathThe Lord’s Supper...
Is Reformed Worship Eurocentric?
by Maggie Breckenridge on May 6th, 2019
The immediate roots of Reformed worship clearly are anchored in Europe, even Northern Europe. Does this mean that Reformed worship is “Eurocentric” in some kind of limiting way?Some critics argue that Reformed worship is what it is because of culturally relative distinctions that can be discarded in favor of other culturally relative distinctions of non-European cultures. They seem to have in mind...
The Zwinglian Option
by Maggie Breckenridge on June 21st, 2018
You will have heard of the "Benedict Option" for coping with the culture wars. I would like to propose to Reformed Protestants the "Zwinglian Option" for ending the worship wars: eliminate all music from our public services. Zwingli, the outstanding musician among the Reformers, removed all music from the church in Zurich. We wring our hands over our worship divisions. The two ends of liturgical s...
Martin Bucer and the Reform of Worship
by Maggie Breckenridge on February 8th, 2018
If Martin Bucer (1477-1548) is not an unsung hero of the Reformation, he is certainly an undersung hero. This particularly is the case when it comes to public worship. Bucer's fingerprints are all over Calvin's Form of Church Prayers (1542) as well as the Book of Common Prayer (1552, 1559, 1662). Calvin acknowledges that most of his Form was borrowed from Bucer, while Bucer's 50-page response to K...
The Quest for Biblical Worship - Part 2
by Maggie Breckenridge on September 18th, 2017
Reformed churches not only have the regulative principle worship (RPW) to guide them regarding elements and forms, but they also, throughout their history, have had liturgies and directories. The liturgies were the more restrictive (e.g. Strasburg, Geneva, Amsterdam), the directories (Westminster Directory of Public Worship and the family of directories it spawned) less so, allowing more freedom, ...
The Quest for Biblical Worship - Part 1
by Maggie Breckenridge on July 27th, 2017
Which is more likely today, liturgical sameness or liturgical strangeness? Which is more damaging to the integrity of Protestant denominations? Are we suffocating from liturgical uniformity--encountering the same old predictable things in the Reformed churches we attend? Or, are we unsettled by the unusual liturgical activity that we encounter in our sister churches and regional assemblies? Have w...
A Troubling Turn: PCA General Assembly 2016
by Maggie Breckenridge on June 29th, 2016
By and large I have stayed out of the politics of the General Assembly (GA) for the past 34 years. Because I pastor at an independent Presbyterian church, I have not been motivated to educate myself--in a significant way--about the nuances of the BCO (Book of Church Order). If I'm honest, I have to admit that there is much that I do not understand about the RAO (Rules of Assembly Operation). Addit...
Just Me and My Bible?
by Maggie Breckenridge on February 25th, 2015
Roman Catholic theology is noted for the emphasis it puts on tradition, which is placed alongside Scripture as an equally authoritative stream of revelation. The Reformers rightly rejected this view and emphasized sola Scriptura as the church's only infallible authority. But is there a place for tradition in the Reformed faith? John Murray, the former professor of systematic theology at Westminste...
Revisiting the Grace Boys
by Maggie Breckenridge on October 17th, 2013
Two years ago I wrote a Messenger article entitled “The Grace Boys.” It immediately was posted at a popular blog site. The reaction, inside and outside of the church, was swift. Strong appreciation arrived by e-mail from leading ministers within the PCA. Others were not so pleased. The theme was simple. Too many ministries were preaching a truncated gospel: justification without sanctification, fa...
Adiaphora and Intinction: A Novelty Motivated by Pragmatism
by Maggie Breckenridge on October 29th, 2012
The failure of the majority side to provide grounds for its committee recommendation was telling. The overture marshaled an impressive list of arguments: biblical (Jesus’ Eucharistic words), theological (the sacrificial meaning of the separation of the body and blood), historical (two Western church councils and the uniform practice of Reformed Protestantism), and constitutional (the language of t...
by Maggie Breckenridge on November 14th, 2009
It is “cruel,” said J. I. Packer. The teaching that says the Christian life is easy, that it can be lived without stress, that if one would only trust God for sanctification as one has trusted Him for justification, then all would be well, is just that: cruel. It gives rise to unreasonable and unachievable expectations among the people of God. This theology has been known by several names: the hig...
The Gain of Godliness
by Maggie Breckenridge on August 8th, 2009
Rich people are materialistic. We all know it. All they care about is their money and things. Or so I thought. My background consists of a blue-collar neighborhood and an inner-city high school in Southern California. My quick judgment of wealthy people, when first I encountered them, was that they were superficial, worldly, and materialistic. They were caught up in things and appearances. They la...
Our Order of Service
by Josh Espinosa on January 1st, 2000
This is a classic worship service in the tradition of Reformed (or Presbyterian) Protestantism and has been used at the historic Independent Presbyterian Church of Savannah, GA. Given the diversity of styles of worship today, what we do is unfamiliar to many of our visitors. We offer the following booklet as an aid in understanding the meaning of each part of the service....