All in the Family

"Resolutions acknowledging the Catholic Church as part of the body of Christ, and calling for continuing study of those practices which first divided us were approved, as was a resolution of invitation to invite the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to join in studies leading to possible future affirmation of one another's baptisms."
-- 213th General Assembly News (June 13, 2001)

Getting Serious About Jesus Christ

It's time to get serious. The intramural debates preoccupying the PC(USA) look rather trivial and self-defeating when compared to the all-too-real challenges now facing the world in the aftermath of Sept. 11. With commercial jetliners having been turned into weapons of mass destruction; with biological weapons having been directed, however crudely, at news agencies and government leaders;

Reclaiming Our Confessional Heritage

The 213th General Assembly (2001) directed the Office of Theology and Worship to develop materials to "help the church better understand the theological richness of the Lordship of Jesus Christ."

Back to Basics

Everything changed on Sept. 11, including world mission. Our staff in Worldwide Ministries in Louisville did a good job of immediately contacting all of our mission workers around the world.

Stay Together

We shared the joy and privilege of serving as co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Presbyterian Union, from 1969 to 1983. Like many of your regular readers we rejoiced in the breakdown of barriers which had stood for 122 years, and the creation of a newly reconciled church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

The Wired Presbytery

A connectional presbytery in this Internet culture is a wired presbytery. An underlying theological premise driving this concept is the realization that God has providentially placed us in a technologically advanced period. Not to use the communication media available to us for advancing the gospel would be like the Apostle Paul deciding not to write letters.

My Shameful Secret

My mother's twin sister married a Methodist minister which, in those days, was not considered a serious disgrace.  His first pastorate was in Calico Rock, Arkansas, and after a series of calls (or raises) to larger churches he was elected a bishop.  Soon after this elevation, I told my uncle the only thing he could now aspire to become was any kind of Presbyterian.

Inside Our Judicial System

Six years ago the General Assembly elected me to a new class of the Assembly's Permanent Judicial Commission. Elections occur every two years. They create, if you will, three two-year sessions for each commissioner. Every two years this transition brings an interesting change of style and personality as the new class arrives. Each new class constitutes at least a third of the membership.

The Broad and Easy Way to Destruction

Amendment A is the latest attempt to permit the ordination of practicing. homosexuals. Having failed to reinterpret the clear and consistent words of Scripture, and having failed to overthrow the church's traditional teaching on sexual behavior and marriage, proponents of homosexual ordination now turn to polity.

The Will to Wage War

Commenting on the precarious state of relations between the Unionists and the IRA in Northern Ireland, commentator Andrew Sullivan of The New Republic recently stated in his weekly TRB column:

"You cannot negotiate peace with people [the Irish Republican Party] whose power is entirely dependent on the will to wage war.