DRC is transitioning to its new format and will be announcing some exciting new participants.
Bear with us.. it will be worth the wait.
DRC is transitioning to its new format and will be announcing some exciting new participants.
Bear with us.. it will be worth the wait.
2008 has been a depressing political year. But hope has come.
I am absolutely ecstatic about Sarah Palin’s place on the McCain ticket. She, Bobby Jindal, Mark Sanford… these are the faces of political conservatism’s future.
Suddenly, the future is now (or at least it is visible).
I am finally excited about the Presidential election!
American Reformed Christians have weathered a number of challenges in recent years, from Federal Vision to Ancient Near Eastern literature. Underneath the responses to those difficulties simmers a deeper question about how Reformed someone needs to be in order to be Reformed. Some refuse cooperation (at least ecclesiastically) with non-Reformed, others are willing to work around ecclesial restrictions to find common ground with evangelicals and other conservative Protestants (except Lutherans, of course).
My sense is that these dispositions among conservative Reformed Christians go to a deeper tension, one that John Frame seems to notice in his recent book on Christian ethics. He observes that Reformed Christianity has developed a reputation as a smoker’s movement. “Some understand a discussion among Reformed theologians,” he writes, “to be incomplete without cigars, pipes and cigarettes.” Frame cautions against this kind of Reformed identity with the heavy hand of mortality. “Some of the men I’ve know who have been most insistent on their freedom to smoke have died of emphysema and lung cancer.”
What Frame has failed to notice is that within another sector Reformed Christianity has become synonymous with classic rock ‘n roll of the 1970s. In those circles the discussion of Reformed theology seems to be incomplete without references to The Who or The Boss. And where the Reformed smokers tend to be unwilling to cooperate with non-Reformed, Reformed rockers have shown greater willingness to work with evangelicals. Could it be that a person’s attachment to certain forms of leisure activity affects his understanding of the Reformed faith?
The answer is unclear, but to paraphrase Garrison Keillor on non-smokers living longer but living dumber, Reformed smokers may not live as long as Reformed rockers, but at least smokers can hear.
The DRC blog was originally established to be a sounding board for discussions of my series on Christ’s Mediatorial Kingship in the RP Witness. It has served its purpose well.
Therefore, while the site remains in its original form, I thought I might take the opportunity to point out what I have learned from the discussion. I want to thank or contributors, especially Darryl and Caleb, for their insightful contributions. Both men have challenged me. They have demand that I think and rethink along the way. I am grateful.
So what have I learned?
1. That Christ is truly King of the Nations (the bible says so) but that his reign is complex and difficult to define.
2. Because Christ’s kingship over the nations is difficult to define, it is best to stand upon the treasury of wisdom borrowed from the last 2000 years of Western Christendom. Speculative theories and ideologies are never helpful in the political realm. America represents a beautiful union between the Western Tradition of Christendom, the prescriptive rights of Englishman, the influence of Reformed theology, and the best of the Scottish Enlightenment. I would rather defend our blessings than criticize our imperfections. The best defender of Christ’s Kingship is not the speculative do-good reformer but the conservative defender of the Western tradition.
3. Theocracy is for ancient Israel and the church. One of the blessings of Christendom is that it gave room for the development of a secular sphere- not divorced from Christ but under Him– in which the politics of this age serve a less than ultimate purpose. Truly God judges nations for their sins. His hand of providence governs the nations. Yet, for Christianity politics is not the realm of faithfulness to revelation. Secular breathing space is important. It provides the possibility of compromise, a possibility unimaginable with fundamentalist Islam. At the end of the day, the most important contribution of Christ’s Kingship over the nations may be the existence of the secular sphere.
More thoughts to come…
You may have noted that things have been rather quite around the DRC lately.
We apologize to our readers for the slow pace but are excited to announce that we have reached an agreement with the Board of Education and Publication that will remove the De Regno Christi from denominational oversight. We have had a long and successful relationship with the RPCNA and would like to thank the Board and especially Drew Gordon, Josh, and Sam for all their hard work.
What will the future bring? Change to be sure. In good conservative fashion change will be tempered by continuity. You can continue to look forward to the contributions of Pastor Brown, Barrister (DA) Stegall, and our hero the esteemed Dr. Darryl G. Hart. I will be back in action as well.
Stay tuned and look forward to the next chapter in the life of the DRC.
On the 4th of July. Made of the same stuff as founders John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, Senator Jesse Helms ended his pilgrimage on the 4th of July.
His name will live on as long as men continue to love their country and its tradition.
He has found a better country. Jesse Helms, Requiescate In Pace.
It is Independence Day, the 4th of July, and my family will be doing all thing patriotic. We already caught the Sodus Bay fireworks late last night. Today we will be going over to the Genessee Country Museum for the festivities- including a traditional parade followed by a reading the Declaration of Independence. We will raise a toast to the Continental Congress, the fathers, and good fight fought to preserve our liberties.
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
— John Hancock
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
I think we were having a fruitful discussion of the relationship between forms, tradition, community, ect. before the conversation degenerated.
I think these are fruitful areas for continued discussion. If it is impolitic to discuss these matters concretely on the basis of the Psalm revisions let us look at the matter more abstractly. Drew raised a good point about Bible translations. Has the explosion of modern language translations been an unmitigated good? I for one think not.
What delicious irony … traditionalists squelched by clerical heavy-handedness in favor of modernizing language … where’s the priesthood of all believers when you need it? The wheels on the bus go round and round …
I say we go back to Latin scriptures AND priesthood of all believers rather than gutter English and the priesthood of clerics.
Set the bar high and let anyone in who can reach it! This is the only answer for mass democritized institutions which can no longer negotiate the tensions between the pressures of order and the pressures of truth.
I have been asked by my ecclesiastical betters to stop making or allowing posts about the Psalm Revision committee’s work. This is an ecclesiastically controlled blog and now do my duty- no more on Psalm Revision.
Rather, I have been told to make sure comments- positive and negative- go to the Psalm Revision Committee. The committee is chaired by Pastor Brian Coombs Messiah’s Church in North Syracuse.