f The Wittenberg Door: April 2008

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Conference: The Word of God and the Way of the Godly

If you’re within striking distance of San Antonio this weekend, come join me at Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Church for its summer conference. (As an added attraction, if you stay for lunch on Saturday, you can sample my chili—the best in Texas. Of course, being that it’s the best in Texas means that it’s the best in the world!)

Grace OPC will host a theology conference April 18-20, 2008 with guest speaker Dr. Hywel R. Jones. Dr. Jones will speak on Psalm 119 in a series entitled "The Word of God and the Way of the Godly."

What is the place of God's Word in the life of the Christian?

Samuel Chadwick wrote, "There is no book like the Bible. It is a miracle of literature, a perennial spring of wisdom, ... a revelation of mystery, an infallible guide of conduct, an unspeakable source of comfort." In every generation, those who have most treasured God's Word in Scripture have been most powerfully used by God. Those who have been most devoted to God's Word have also been the most happy of all people. God made us to love Him, and in doing so we find our greatest fulfillment. Yet no one can love God without loving His Word. The more fully one grows to love the Word, the more deeply he will grow to know and love the Lord. And the better equipped he will be to serve the Lord. Join us for The Word of God and the Way of the Godly, a conference with Dr. Hywel Jones. Dr. Jones will lead us in the study of what has been called, "the rich and precious jewel of the Word," Psalm one hundred and nineteen.


Friday, April 18th:
  • 7:00-8:00 p.m.
    Walking in accord with the Word

  • 8:00-8:20 p.m.

Saturday, April 19th:

  • 9:00-9:30 a.m.
  • 9:30-10:30 a.m.
    Wisdom - Psalm 119:97-104
  • 10:30-10:45 a.m.
  • 10:45-11:45 a.m.
    Worship - Psalm 119:105-112
  • 11:45-12:30 p.m.
    Lunch is provided (The Catechizer's great chili!)

  • 12:30-1:30 p.m.
    Witness - Psalm 119:113-120

Sunday, April 20th:

  • 9:40 a.m.
    God working in accord with his Word - Psalm 119:121-128

  • 11:00 a.m.
    Sunday Worship

About Dr. Jones

Dr. Hywel R. Jones is Professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Seminary in Escondido, California. B.A., University of Wales; M.A., University of Cambridge; Ph.D., Greenwich University School of Theology (UK). Dr. Jones was ordained in the Presbyterian Church of Wales in 1963 and ministered in several pastorates in Wales and England over the next 25 years. During that time he was a member of the executive of the British Evangelical Council of Churches, editor of its theological journal and chairman of its study conference.

In addition he was co-chairman of the Westminster Fellowship of Ministers in succession to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The London Theological Seminary commenced in 1977 and Dr. Jones became its first principal in 1985, lecturing in Hebrew and biblical studies, hermeneutics, and homiletics. During that time he also taught in Romania, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, and Italy. In 1995 he was Scholar in Residence at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS. and since 1998 has been a member of the Adjunct Faculty at Puritan and Reformed Theological Seminary in Michigan. Before coming to Westminster Seminary California in 2000, he served for four years as Editorial Director of the Banner of Truth Trust.

Dr. Jones has written commentaries on Exodus, Philippians, and most recently Let's Study Hebrews. He has also written Gospel and Church, Unity in Truth, and Only One Way. He and his wife Nansi have been married for more than 45 years. They are blessed with three children and five granddaughters. Their son-in-law studied at Westminster Seminary California and is now a pastor in England.

Click here for directions.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Jeremiah Wright and the Pulpit

One of the things I love about the Reformed church is the symbolism, especially the symbolism involving the pulpit. The pulpit comprises a lectern standing upon a raised platform. Being the most important piece of “furniture” in the church, it is positioned in front of the congregation, with all pews facing it. Its symbolic importance can be summarized as follows:

  • It’s central—The pulpit’s central placement is important because it is from there that God addresses His people via the preached word. Therefore, it commands the most prominent place in the church.

  • It’s raised—The pulpit is elevated because it is upon the lectern that the minister’s bible rests, symbolizing the word of God being over the people.

  • It’s solid—The lectern is made of solid wood, symbolizing the sure foundation upon which God’s word stands. Moreover, it’s large enough to obscure most of the minister’s body, thus keeping the focus on the word. For this reason, Reformed ministers stay behind the lectern, so as to stay behind the word of God.

Overall, the pulpit represents what the church service is to be primarily about—God’s people coming together to worship Him, and, as mentioned, God addressing His people through the preached word.

Abusing the Pulpit

One aspect of the Jeremiah Wright scandal that has yet to be explored is his deplorable use of the pulpit. Because of what the pulpit represents, and because of what is supposed to be happening there, Mr. Wright’s disgusting words are overshadowed by something far worse—the blaspheming of our holy God by abusing the pulpit. It is this abuse that deserves our greatest outrage.