Archive for the ‘PCA’ Category

Are you available to serve Christ’s church online from home?

I received the following email recently, and wanted to pass it along to anyone who might be interested…

Greetings from MNA SecondCareer!

As you may know, the purpose of our ministry is to match PCA church plants, churches, and other PCA ministries that have limited resources with adult PCA volunteers of all ages.  A year ago we sent an email to PCA churches across the country to recruit skilled volunteers who could serve via the Internet.  Many volunteers responded, but more are needed.  Would you please consider putting the following special announcement in your church newsletter or bulletin?  Or you could forward this email to someone in your congregation you think may be interested in serving.  Thank you.


Skilled Volunteers Needed to Serve PCA Ministries Via the Internet

Do you have a heart to serve and a specific skill that could be helpful to a PCA church planter, church, or other PCA ministry? Mission to North America’s SecondCareer Ministry is seeking adult volunteers of all ages to serve via the Internet.  The following are types of assistance frequently requested:

Admin assistance                                             Publicity/Marketing

Accounting                                                         Architect

Graphic Design                                                  Demographic Site Profiling

Website Development                                  Social Media


If you are interested in more information about serving with your skills via the Internet, please contact Barbara Campbell, MNA SecondCareer Facilitator,, 804-339-5005.




The Five Stages of Denominational Development

William O. Brackett, Jr., in two articles in the Journal of the Presbyterian Historical Society entitled “The Rise and Development of the New School in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. to the Reunion of 1869” (Vol. 13, No. 3 (September, 1928), pp. 117-140; and Vol. 13, No. 4 (December 1928), pp. 145-174), argues that denominations often pass through five stages/phases of development: 1) revival; 2) increased membership and demand for ministers; 3) disagreement as to the education of ministers and the standards of doctrine and church polity; 4) division; and, finally, 5) reunion in the face of common spiritual need, followed by renewed spiritual interest and revival. He illustrates this process with the schism between the New Side and Old Side of the pre-Revolutionary Presbyterian Church in 1741, as well as the Old School-New School split in the Presbyterian Church in 1837.

If the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) follows a similar trend, then it seems we have been in the third stage for some time now, and we shouldn’t be surprised if some sort of division happens in the next decade or so. There have been individual teaching elders and churches that have left the PCA over the years, to the right and to the left, but to this point we’ve been able to stave off any large scale separation over issues such as women’s ordination, views of creation, subscription to the Westminster Standards, or discipline (or the lack thereof). At some point, however, the center will possibly not be able to hold, and churches will be forced to decide to which side/school they belong. By God’s grace this will not happen, but if history and the depravity of man is any guide, we shouldn’t be caught unawares by the processes of division that might occur (and indeed are already occurring). If we do divide, let us not lose heart, but take comfort in the fact that the last stage of denomination development is reunion!

Dr. David Coffin’s Thoughts on the Upcoming Overtures to the PCA GA in Houston, TX

Each year, Dr. David Coffin writes out his reflections on the upcoming overtures to the General Assembly of the PCA. They are always thoughtful, provocative, enlightening, and give a good sense of how he is going to be arguing on the floor of either the Overtures Committee or the Assembly. For a heads up on what’s coming in two weeks, I’ve posted his notes here. He asks that it be posted with the following explanatory statement:

“For the sake of conscience, a word of explanation about this review: I prepare these materials for myself, as a discipline to help me reflect on the business of the Assembly beforehand, and also, so that in the press of Assembly business on the floor, I can quickly reorient myself to the issues. In no sense is this material prepared for the purpose of encouraging a party spirit, or a pre-committed voting block. Although these views reflect my current convictions, I am not even sure that I will vote as specified, because I am committed to listening to the debate, and if compelling arguments are set forth contrary to my views, to change my position in light of our deliberations. I hope that all can agree that such a stance is essential to the functioning of the deliberative Assembly that biblical Presbyterianism sets forth, as liable to direction both through reasoned, biblical argument and by the immediate work of the Holy
Spirit. The only reason I distribute this material is because it has proven helpful to others to stimulate their prayerful reflections in preparation for the debate. You are free to distribute my summary as you will, but only with the above disclaimer attached. I should note: the intelligibility of my terse comments depends upon one having read carefully the overture in question! Find the full text of the overtures at:”


2014 PCA General Assembly Overtures List

Around 10 elders in the Presbytery of Mississippi Valley met today to discuss the overtures at the upcoming General Assembly in Houston, TX. I put together this digest of the 52 overtures that hopefully will be helpful both for those elders who will be commissioners and those in PCA churches and outside the PCA who might be interested in seeing what we’ll be discussing in a couple weeks. You’ll have to visit the Overtures page to get the details on each overture.

My Installation Service; Sermon, by Dr. J. Ligon Duncan, III

My installation service is online at the Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church website. You can find the installation proceedings here (charges by Bebo Elkin and Rob Hill, installation prayer by my father in law Ken Smith, installation questions propounded Dr. John Kwasny). The Scripture reading by Scott Phillips and the sermon by Dr. Ligon Duncan (he preaches on I Tim. 1:3-5) is here. It was a glorious event. One of these days I’d love to transcribe this…

Tim Keller, “The Original PCA Contract” (August 1999 paper)

In doing some work in the Minutes of the PCA General Assembly last night, I came across a reference to a 1999 paper by Dr. Tim Keller entitled “The Original PCA Contract.” A little Google searching turned up the paper on the Puritan Board. I didn’t realize this paper existed (I suppose it’s an earlier version of Keller’s later “What’s So Great About the PCA”), but it is a fascinating read from the standpoint of the history of the PCA – both our early history, and our history going back to 1999. It gives (to those of us who weren’t a part of the PCA in 1999) some helpful context for our current debates. The divisions within the PCA are not a new thing.

(If the version of the paper I have posted is inaccurate, please let me know.)

Dr. Roy Taylor’s Report on the 40th PCA General Assembly

Can by found here.