The end of July saw the first anniversary of my ordination here at Hall Gate. As I write this letter the rain is lashing against my window and I’m comfortable in a jumper. It’s a very different day from that sweltering Saturday in July 2008. Continue reading
Martin Dowes, whose blog can be found here, has published a new book called Risking the Truth: Handling Error in the Church. It’s a collection of interviews with pastors and teachers. You can read a chapter by Carl Trueman here.
It’s really good stuff. I like the section on blogging by young pastors – very convicting for me.
Highlights for me:
I am impressed by the seventeenth-century practice of catechizing during house-to-house visitation as a means of reinforcing what is preached from the pulpit and monitoring the penetration of the preaching into the hearts and minds of individual believers. Now, I am not sure that going from door to door, hammering on about the Shorter Catechism is necessarily the right way to go (though there are many worse things that could be done); but it seems to me that, if this particular practice is now not appropriate, the need of the hour is to ﬁnd the modern-day equivalent in order to make sure that the great gospel truths and duties contained in the Word of God are clearly grasped by every believer.
And with particular relevance to the URC:
The long-term impact of abandoning the historic confessions and catechisms is wide-ranging. You stand to lose much historical identity and sense of continuity with the past. With no catechisms and confessions of any depth, you have few resources left in the face of a rising tide of theological illiteracy which leaves the way open for all manner of weird and wonderful stuﬀ to ﬁll the resulting vacuum. You can end up simply replacing them with doctrinal statements which, through their very minimal nature are inherently unstable. And you might ﬁnd you have a theology which is unsatisfying and ultimately of little use in providing a base from which to address many of the great issues of life.
Have a read. It’s good stuff.