In his report to commissioners given at the beginning of the 213th General Assembly, outgoing Moderator Syngman Rhee fervently called for "a more excellent way," a way based on love and mutual forbearance as set forth by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians.
What has been going around seems this year to be coming around -- and with a vengeance. Given the so-called "Confessing Church Movement," a plethora of overtures and more deeply drawn lines of controversy, it is clear that the General Assembly will once again be faced with the question of homosexual ordination.
Nobody really knows exactly what the Native American word "Neshaminy" means. It was the name of a creek in Bucks County, Pa., after which William Tennent named a Presbyterian church in 1726. The congregation, now Neshaminy-Warwick, celebrates its 275th anniversary during this calendar year.
Two overtures before this year's General Assembly callfor the appointment of a theological commission assigned with charting a new path beyond the present impasse regarding homosexuality. The intense feelings and widely divergent perspectives on this issue demonstrate both the need for such a new path and the challenges standing in its way.
In the previous article, we traced our Reformed theological roots concerning the future. In understanding what we believe, it is often helpful to contrast our beliefs with those of a differing view. One such view is called dispensational premillenarianism.
It is no wonder that few Presbyterians know exactly what our church believes about the end of the world. The issue is complicated and there is no clear consensus within our denomination. It has also been 20 years since our denomination has spoken about these matters.
My friends -- both of them -- have just read Evelyn Waugh's weird little short story, "The Man Who Liked Dickens" with the hope of understanding my latter day enthusiasm.Although I have absolutely no desire to become any kind of expert on Dickens' 14 great novels, I find, to my surprise, that I enjoy immensely an hour a day in his company.
I don't tell many people I quarterbacked my high school football team because I do not like the incredulous look that appears on their faces just before they laugh out loud.However, there are a few living witnesses, albeit with fading memories, who could testify to the fact that I never received the athletic glory I so richly deserved.
Through the years, I have said it before Presbyterian churches and governing bodies, I have written it in Presbyterian publications and I continue to believe that the ordained Presbyterian pastor is the front line, the cutting edge of our Presbyterian witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In the May 14 OutlookWilliam Stacy Johnson presents a very helpful and learned reminder that the situation facing today's PC(USA) is very different from that which confronted the German church in the 1930's. Precisely because of those differences I would argue that any reasonable assessment of the contemporary confessing movement ought to have its primary focus on events taking place in 2001 rather than in 1934.