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Presbyterian Men: No Longer and Endangered Species

Following World War II, men flocked back to churches, bringing their families with them. In the 1950s and early '60s, 40 percent of Sunday congregations were male, and 3,000-5,000 men attended national gatherings at the Palmer House in Chicago. As late as 1991, 1,000 men attended a gathering in Louisville.

The Memory of Hope

So they took branches of palm trees
and went out to meet him,
crying, "Hosanna!"

-- John 12:13

"You academicians need to draw in religious leaders," stated the strong Muslim politician Naledi Pandor as she addressed the International Academy of Practical Theology in Stellenbosch, South Africa, on April 6.

James Madison’s Presbyterian connection

The Library of Congress and Montpelier, Va., are holding 250th birthday celebrations this year for James Madison, fourth President of the United States. Although not as well-known as more deistic celebrities Washington and Jefferson, the Virginian deserves attention as the chief architect of the Constitution and Bill of Rights of the new United States of America.

Readers ought to take note of this occasion because of Madison's Presbyterian connections as pointed out in G. W. Sheldon's recent brief but suggestive book, The Political Philosophy of James Madison (Baltimore, Johns Hopkins, 2001).

Although short physically, Madison stood tall intellectually with a lifelong appetite for knowledge and wisdom. He was nurtured by his Anglican family and Presbyterian ministers Donald Robertson and John Witherspoon, Scottish Presbyterian transplants to the New World.

In 1763 at the age of 12, Madison began five years of study at Robertson's Virginia boarding school. His teacher introduced him to languages, the Bible, with a Calvinist twist probably from the Westminster Confession, Greek and Roman historians and philosophers, and more contemporary greats such as Locke and Montesquieu.

This Vote – A More Difficult Way

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.

Reading the Bible and the Confessions: The Presbyterian Way

By Jack Rogers
Geneva. 1999. 151 pp. Pb. $10.95. ISBN 0-664-50046

Reviewed by Theodore J. Wardlaw
Atlanta

 

In every Presbyterian ordination service for elders, deacons or ministers of the Word and Sacrament, a series of huge, life-sized questions are asked. One of them, which trips off the tongue with deceptive ease, is: "Will you fulfill your office in obedience to Jesus Christ, under the authority of Scripture, and be continually guided by our confessions?"

World Without End: Mainstream American Protestant Vision of the Last Things, 1880-1925

By James H. Moorhead.
Indiana University Press. 1999. 26 pp. $29.95. ISBN 0-253-33580-9

Reviewed by George Laird Hunt
Lakeland, Fla.

 

From the latter part of the 19th century through the first quarter of the 20th, mainstream Protestantism's post-millennial stance (that Christ will return after a "thousand years of earthly bliss," p. xi) led to strenuous efforts toward bringing in the kingdom of God and the evangelization of the world "in this generation." It was a period of social reform, social progress, which, at a later date, led to movements toward social justice.

The Truth About God: The Ten Commandments in Christian Life

By Stanley M. Hauerwas and William H. Willimon.
Abingdon. 1999. 144 pp. Pb. $10. ISBN 0-687-08202-1

Reviewed by Nathaniel S. Murrell Wilmington, N.C.

 

What should one expect of a book titled The Ten Commandments in Christian Life, published in 1999 when hysteria pervaded the media over a "Bible Belt" idea of posting the Ten Commandments on the walls of an Alabama courtroom?

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