RCA Vision 2020 Report: Generous Separation, Part 3: The Rules and Regulations Themselves

The Final final (maybe…?) report of the Vision 2020 Task Force was released. You can read it here. This series of posts will look deeper at the recommendations not just from a pragmatic lens, but also through a theological lens. While many have given up on the reality that the church order is theological, I … More RCA Vision 2020 Report: Generous Separation, Part 3: The Rules and Regulations Themselves

Notes on the General Synod by David D. Demarest

I have not written much here lately. In part because the demands of pastoral ministry have been high, in part because my doctoral research is demanding, and in part because I recently finished work on a book discussing the foundational principles of Reformed church polity, I will announce more about that when there is more … More Notes on the General Synod by David D. Demarest

Reformed Church General Synod 2017: Overtures on Declarative Authority

This is part of a series of posts about the items and topics before the General Synod 2017.  Other posts in this series: Commissioned Pastors, Part 1: Foundations Commissioned Pastors, Part 2: Recommendations before General Synod *** An addition to the General Synod Workbook was recently released containing overtures from the regional synods. There are … More Reformed Church General Synod 2017: Overtures on Declarative Authority

Declarative Authority and the General Synod

The Book of Church Order, in its Preamble, notes three types of authority that Christ has given to the church: ministerial, declarative, and spiritual. Ministerial authority is the right to act as Christ’s servants. Declarative authority is the right to speak in his name within the limits set by Scripture. The church shall declare what is … More Declarative Authority and the General Synod

Governance by Assembly and the Problem of Representation (Part I)

Few concepts cause more difficulty than the principle of representation and what this means in the church. This is particularly the case with those of us who are used to a representative democracy because similar terms are often used to address very different concepts. The Representative Principle. The power which Jesus Christ bestows upon his church … More Governance by Assembly and the Problem of Representation (Part I)

The Reformed Church and the Problem of Hierarchy

From time to time, more frequently as of late, there have been calls for the General Synod to make authoritative scriptural interpretations and insist that everyone act in accordance with statements of the General Synod (well, a select few statements). The reasoning is that if the General Synod is the highest assembly, the rest of … More The Reformed Church and the Problem of Hierarchy