Resource Focus

The Orthodox Presbyterian Church: Against Racism by Shane Anderson

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In 1974 the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) received the report of its Committee On Problems Of Race.

This report, the Bible (which is the OPC’s official primary standard), and the Westminster Confessions and Catechisms (the OPC’s secondary standards) all reject the sins commonly referred to under the term “racism.” Additionally, both the good news of Christ which is for all people and nations and the law of God, given in creation and again summarized plainly in the Ten Commandments, call all Christians to love our neighbors as we love ourselves and to live in such a way that the world can vividly see the love of Christ by the way we treat people.

Studying the people, doctrines, and practices of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, one will see that the overarching question for this small communion of Christians has been, by God’s grace, “how can we be faithful to God according to His Word and so bring Christ glory?” This impulse fueled the work of the 1974 Committee On Problems Of Race, and the General Assembly’s concern that the churches live out this mission of faithfulness in matters of race relations:

Although there are marked distinctions and even divisions among men, including those of race, mankind, according to the teaching of the Bible, has a single origin. Later distinctions and divisions are indeed significant and may not simply be pushed aside; nevertheless, the Bible clearly teaches that the gospel is universal in its offer and its call. All those who are in Christ are united together with Him as their Head in a new humanity, in which the distinctions and divisions that otherwise separate men are transcended in a new unity. This is also true of the divisions occasioned by race. True, the distinctions mentioned in the Bible as having been overcome in Christ are not primarily those of race, nor does the Bible think along lines that correspond with the distinctions of race as we understand them today; nevertheless, racial distinctions and divisions as we know and understand them today certainly fall under those things that have been transcended in Christ. How, then, is the new unity in Christ to be expressed in the communion of the saints today as it bears on the question of race?

In a world marked by violence, bigotries, self-centeredness, injustice, anger, and all manner of sins surrounding matters of race, the Bible presents an ethic of love for God and neighbor according to his law. This law has never been followed perfectly in Christ’s church, and it sometimes has been directly contradicted by what Christians (including Presbyterians) have taught or done. But, let it be clear to the fair observer, the Orthodox Presbyterian church is no refuge for those who want racial strife, but it has been a refuge for those who want to live lives pleasing to God and good for our neighbors.

Also See: Mark Robinson’s article in the OPC New Horizons magazine “Four Theses for Reforming Race Relationships”

 “A Public Statement on the Shooting at the Chabad Synagogue” by the Orthodox Presbyterian Church

Free Resource Focus: “Free Daily Bible Study” by Shane Anderson

Resource: “Free Daily Bible Study” 

Where:https://freedailybiblestudy.com/

What: An easy to used daily Bible Study and podcast that goes through the Bible one chapter at a time, following the M’Cheyen reading plan. It is simple in expression but theologically sound. You can subscribe via email or follow along on the blog, reading one chapter of the Bible at a time, or the whole M’Cheyen plan.

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Mark Jones on Justification and Sanctification: Updated 10/2017 by Shane Anderson

Updated October 19, 2017: This is an index of some of Mark Jones’ excellent posts on justification, sanctification, good works, merit, and future judgment. These posts address aspects of these doctrines in light of current controversies, past wisdom, and confessional standards.

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Introducing ReformedDeacon.com by Tim Hopper

Those who have served in diaconal ministry know well the prescience of the apostles in requiring deacons to be "full of the Spirit and of wisdom." Serving others in mercy ministry requires wisdom at every turn: to provide money or not, to offer counsel or hold your tongue, to consult with elders for help or handle a matter within a diaconate. Growing in wisdom should be a daily pursuit of the Christian deacon; as with all Christians, a deacon is to be transformed by the renewing of his mind and ask God "who gives generously to all without reproach" (James 1:5) to give him wisdom in a time of need.

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"Augustine on the Christian Life" by Gerald Bray by Shane Anderson

Through February 19th 2016, Crossway is giving away a free eBook, "Augustine on the Christian Life" by Gerald Bray, from their Theologians of the Christian Life series. In a guest post for Crossway, Bray offered 8 ideas from Augustine that demonstrate his importance for Christians today:

  1. The Importance of Real Relationship with God
  2. The Necessity of the Church
  3. The Helplessness of Humanity
  4. The Supreme Authority of the Bible
  5. The Trinity of Love
  6. The Purpose of the Universe
  7. The Christian Life as a Journey of Faith
  8. The Christian Life as Mission

Augustine died in the knowledge that a few days later the barbarians would enter Hippo—which they were besieging at the time—and he must have feared that his life’s work would go up in flames. Things did not turn out quite as badly as that, but there was to be no lasting legacy of his labors in Hippo. No great basilica with his name carved into it. No academic chair dedicated to his memory. Not even a park bench with a plaque saying that his estate had paid for it.

To the naked eye, there was nothing. Yet as we know, what must have appeared then as a fairly insignificant ministry in a provincial town became the backdrop for the most productive life any theologian in the Western world has ever lived. Generations of Christians who would never go anywhere near Hippo would read what Augustine wrote in the hot and dusty chambers that were his earthly dwelling place, and would marvel at his gifts and intellect.

More than that, they would be moved—as we still are—by his passion for Christ, and would go away from his writings more determined than ever to walk in the way mapped out for them by God.

Read the whole article here: 8 Things We Can Learn from Augustine