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Providence Christian College Board Calls Dr. Steven B. Kortenhoeven As President

Promoting the importance of Reformed, Christian education has been a life-long passion of Dr. Kortenhoeven. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Dordt University and his doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from Azusa Pacific University. He has served schools and colleges for 33 years in Florida, California, and Colorado, with the last 20 years being in leadership roles at both the high school and college levels.

The Providence Christian College Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Committee have announced the appointment of Dr. Steven B. Kortenhoeven as the 4th president of Providence, located in Pasadena, California.
Dr. Kortenhoeven, a founding staff member of Providence, was the college’s first Dean of Student Life and Assistant Professor of Education. Since those early years at Providence, his passion for the mission of Providence and service to the college has remained constant, serving on college committees and on the Board of Trustees.
Promoting the importance of Reformed, Christian education has been a life-long passion of Dr. Kortenhoeven. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Dordt University and his doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from Azusa Pacific University. He has served schools and colleges for 33 years in Florida, California, and Colorado, with the last 20 years being in leadership roles at both the high school and college levels.
Over three decades of leading in Christian education has earned Dr. Kortenhoeven the respect of his colleagues and the communities in which he served. He is known for wisdom and stability, providing a strong foundation for schools to grow and students to flourish under his leadership. The board of trustees unanimously believe that Dr. Kortenhoeven’s leadership is exactly what the college needs now as we embark into a season of growth and financial stability.
John Jansen, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, said the following:
“I am delighted that after several years of searching Steve recognized God’s leading. His capabilities, experience as a life-long educator, along with his love for Christian higher education makes him a great fit as Providence’s next President. The fact that Steve also has maintained a strong relationship with Providence over the years made it obvious to the Committee that Dr. Kortenhoeven was the right man for the job.”
Steve and his wife, Donna, live in Denver, Colorado and have five grown children and one daughter-in-aw. Education has always been an important part of the family ethos, and each of the children are either currently working in education or enrolled in higher education.
Steve and Donna enjoy discovering new hikes, reading, traveling to see their children, playing pickleball, and golfing. They are eager to return to the West Coast to embrace the work God has placed in front of them.
The Board of Trustees would like to thank the Presidential Search Committee for their committed work, prayers, and wisdom through the process of this national search.
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Top 50 Stories on The Aquila Report for 2023: 1-10

In keeping with the journalistic tradition of looking back at the recent past, we present the top 50 stories of the year that were read on The Aquila Report site based on the number of hits. We will present the 50 stories in groups of 10 to run on five lists on consecutive days. Here are numbers 1-10.

In 2023 The Aquila Report (TAR) posted over 3,000 stories. At the end of each year we feature the top 50 stories that were read.
TAR posts 8 new stories each day, on a variety of subjects – all of which we trust are of interest to our readers. As a web magazine TAR is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will inform the church of current trends and movements within the church and culture.
In keeping with the journalistic tradition of looking back at the recent past, we present the top 50 stories of the year that were read on The Aquila Report site based on the number of hits. We will present the 50 stories in groups of 10 to run on five lists on consecutive days. Here are numbers 1-10:

Russell Moore Loses His Religion

It is important to remember that three months before his departure, a Southern Baptist task force determined that Moore’s organization was “a source of significant distraction from the Great Commission work of Southern Baptists.” The report cited things like participating in the partially Soros-funded Evangelical Immigration Table, filing an amicus brief to support a mosque, failing to support the religious liberty of California churches during Covid-19, and a general tone of condescension and unresponsiveness. Moore’s opposition to President Trump was only factor in determining mission drift. [2] This lack of self-awareness on Moore’s part can almost be considered the theme of his book.

A Philosopher’s Guide to the Overtures Presented to the PCA General Assembly

In what follows, I take a different approach. I give my frank assessment of the overtures in the hopes that, even if you disagree with me, you can better formulate reasons for why you do so. I also, at times, offer an analysis of different issues surrounding the overtures. This approach will, I hope, be helpful to anyone interested in current issues facing Christians everywhere.
8 PCA GA 50: Summary of 20 Key Events & Highlights
Overture 29: Passed Presbyteries 79-1. An Officer’s view of Indwelling Sin, Actual Sin, and Sanctification matter. This is the language that was approved to BCO 16.4: “Officers in the Presbyterian Church in America must be above reproach in their walk and Christlike in their character. While office bearers will see spiritual perfection only in glory, they will continue in this life to confess and to mortify remaining sins in light of God’s work of progressive sanctification. Therefore, to be qualified for office, they must affirm the sinfulness of fallen desires, the reality and hope of progressive sanctification, and be committed to the pursuit of Spirit-empowered victory over their sinful temptations, inclinations, and actions.”

Final Tally From PCA Presbyteries on Overture 15

O15 was one of three overtures presbyteries considered in 2022-23 on the topic of sexuality. Overture 29 (O29) and Overture 31 (O31) passed in a supermajority of presbyteries and will come to the floor of GA this summer, where a simple majority vote of commissioners will amend the BCO with their language. Two sexuality overtures—Overture 23 (O23) and Overture 37 (O37)—failed to reach the two-thirds threshold in 2021-22.

Tell the PCA’s Magazine to Issue a Retraction

As fallible humans we all sometimes succumb to haste, emotion, and the influence of others, especially the media, whose sole occupation lies in seeking to get us to believe its narratives and to think and act along its preferred lines. Add in the rigors and tedium of pastoral and publishing work and mistakes are apt to happen sometimes, even large ones. In such cases a little public or private contradiction that seeks to set one right is justified, provided it is moved by charity and expressed courteously.

My Complicated Feelings about Tim Keller

It was his focus on the eternal issues of life—of issues of meaning—that really hooked me. Nowhere else was anybody I knew talking about these things in the way that Tim was. He illustrated his points through philosophy, art, pop culture and yes, the Bible. But it was a Bible I had never been introduced to, despite attending church and Sunday school every weekend of my childhood. He brought it alive and showed how it was actually relevant to my life.

4. The PCA’s Denominational Magazine Goes Political: A Rejoinder to David Cassidy’s “Prayer and Work in the Face of Violence” at By Faith Online

This is the social justice gospel exposing itself openly, without modesty and without regard to how repulsive it is to the many other PCA members who believe in the spirituality of the church (Col. 3:1-3), the prudence of minding one’s own affairs rather than those of other communities (Prov. 26:17), and the propriety of an armed citizenry (Neh. 4:7-23). It has nothing to do with the duties of Cassidy’s office, not anything to do with our denomination or its faith: it is contemporary urban political preference presented as edifying Christian teaching, a coercion to agree masquerading as earnest Christian appeal.

Scott Sauls, Author and Nashville Pastor, Placed on Indefinite Leave of Absence

Sauls’ standing as a pastor will also be reviewed at an upcoming meeting of the Nashville Presbytery. According to the denomination’s rules, he is considered a “teaching elder” whose status as a minister is overseen by that local presbytery. That presbytery will have the final say over the length and conditions of Sauls’ leave. 

Actions of the 50th PCA General Assembly

In the report of the Review of Presbytery Records, the Assembly approved the recommendation that Metropolitan New York Presbytery appear before the Standing Judicial Commission to adjudicate several matters pertaining to proceedings on the Lord’s Day. The Assembly also approved the recommendation that Northwest Georgia Presbytery appear before the Standing Judicial Commission to adjudicate a matter pertaining to the approval of calls and installation of three candidates.
And the number one story on The Aquila Report for 2023:

COVID-19 Reflection

Actions of massive significance call for significant accountability. Self-reflection is a good spiritual discipline, also for church leaders. Did we engage in spiritual abuse when we turned away faithful worshipers? Were we condescending toward mask-wearers seeking to protect vulnerable family members? Did we demand submission to civil government on matters better left to individual conscience? I for one am still bothered by the restrictions we did place on our own congregation. Couldn’t we have simply let sincere Christians make up their own minds on timing and masks and everything else? Did we lord it over the flock? Did we succumb to fear?
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Top 50 Stories on The Aquila Report for 2023: 11-20

In keeping with the journalistic tradition of looking back at the recent past, we present the top 50 stories of the year that were read on The Aquila Report site based on the number of hits. We will present the 50 stories in groups of 10 to run on five lists on consecutive days. Here are numbers 11-20.

In 2023 The Aquila Report (TAR) posted over 3,000 stories. At the end of each year we feature the top 50 stories that were read.
TAR posts 8 new stories each day, on a variety of subjects – all of which we trust are of interest to our readers. As a web magazine TAR is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will inform the church of current trends and movements within the church and culture.
In keeping with the journalistic tradition of looking back at the recent past, we present the top 50 stories of the year that were read on The Aquila Report site based on the number of hits. We will present the 50 stories in groups of 10 to run on five lists on consecutive days. Here are numbers 11-20:

A Response to: “Music at the GA and the PCA”

What all those times of worship at our General Assemblies have had in common every year was enthusiastic congregational singing, from metrical psalms to classical hymns to contemporary songs.  All of that made the recent article, that was so critical of the singing at the Assembly, to be so very disappointing.

Are Evangelicals Selling Their Souls for Israel?

With this in mind, it’s hard to believe the numbers are exaggerated. In fact, the situation could be much more dire. The question Evangelicals must answer is this, “Can Christians continue to support Israel’s wholesale slaughter of civilians without losing their soul?” The question should be answered with all haste because a genocide is taking place right before our evangelical eyes. Evangelicals need to come to terms with the reality that the modern nation state of Israel in not biblical Israel. Zionist Israel is a secular political entity unrelated to biblical Judaism.

The Train is Leaving the Station

Stanley dismissed Biblical texts against homosexual behavior as “clobber” verses and said, “If your theology gets in the way of ministry—like if there’s somebody you can’t minister to because of your theology—you have the wrong theology.” This is not a misunderstanding. This is a trajectory that points to the Unconditional Conference and two speakers married to other men on the platform. This is a clear and tragic departure from Biblical Christianity. The conference has not been held yet. No doubt there will be a good deal of conversation once it has been held.

The Two-Kingdoms Theology and Christians Today

First, the kingdom of God and the institutional church are wrongly equated by 2K advocates.  There is a rough consensus among New Testament scholars that the kingdom of God is a much more comprehensive reality than the institutional church, and this misidentification of the church and the kingdom has all sorts of unfortunate results, such as confusion over the nature of “kingdom work” and the silencing of Christians from speaking to societal issues.

Danger from Within: A Warning from the Book of Jude

We need to be aware of what the main things and the plain things are so that we can set theological alarms in our hearts and minds. Because these false teachers creep into our churches, our ministries, and our Christian schools, we need pay attention and measure everything we hear by the standard of God’s Word.

Shannon Harris Kissed Truth Goodbye

Shannon seemed to be an eager and vivacious woman trying her best to live up to manmade commands without experiencing a life built on Biblical Truth.  As with so many young men and women who have shared this experience, Shannon has chosen to identify as a victim seeking truth and wisdom from within herself. She sees God, if there is one, is a complete killjoy who wants to squash your dreams and thwart your liberty.  Shannon, now free from this bondage, has begun her crusade to liberate everyone else.

A Biologist Explains Why Sex Is Binary

When biologists claim that sex is binary, we mean something straightforward: There are only two sexes. This is true throughout the plant and animal kingdoms. An organism’s sex is defined by the type of gamete (sperm or ova) it has the function of producing. Males have the function of producing sperm, or small gametes; females, ova, or large ones. Because there is no third gamete type, there are only two sexes. Sex is binary.

PCA Minister, Rev. Harry Reeder, Briarwood Senior Pastor, Killed in Car Accident

Briarwood Executive Pastor Bruce Stallings released this statement to AL.com: “It is with a deeply heavy heart that I communicate to you that our Lord has called Pastor Reeder home through a car accident. Please pray for Cindy, Jennifer, Ike, Abby and their entire family as well as our staff and church family as we all grieve this tremendous loss together. But we do not grieve without hope because we know our pastor is with His Savior and has been received by grace with – ‘Well done My good and faithful servant.’’’
12 Rick Warren Knows Exactly What He Is Doing
Rick Warren and Saddleback have done us the service of showing their hand. They want to persuade us to abandon what the Bible teaches and follow them in another direction. How will we respond in New Orleans?

An Overview of “Embracing the Journey”: A Ministry For Parents of LGBTQ Children

In early 2020, Saddleback pastor Chris Clark and his wife, Elisa, co-founded a Saddleback chapter of Embracing the Journey, a ministry for parents of LGBTQ children, with long-time Saddleback members, Doug and Shauna Habel. By the end of 2021, an ETJ newsletter revealed that Saddleback was hosting four ongoing ETJ support groups and one small group.
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Top 50 Stories on The Aquila Report for 2023: 21-30

In keeping with the journalistic tradition of looking back at the recent past, we present the top 50 stories of the year that were read on The Aquila Report site based on the number of hits. We will present the 50 stories in groups of 10 to run on five lists on consecutive days.  Here are numbers 21-30.

In 2023 The Aquila Report (TAR) posted over 3,000 stories. At the end of each year we feature the top 50 stories that were read.
TAR posts 8 new stories each day, on a variety of subjects – all of which we trust are of interest to our readers. As a web magazine TAR is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will inform the church of current trends and movements within the church and culture.
In keeping with the journalistic tradition of looking back at the recent past, we present the top 50 stories of the year that were read on The Aquila Report site based on the number of hits. We will present the 50 stories in groups of 10 to run on five lists on consecutive days. Here are numbers 21-30:

Parents And the Apostasy of Covenant Children

Among what these principles teach is that when a parent loves his family first and foremost, he neither loves God nor his family aright. One loves his children above God by pursuing their happiness rather than their Godliness, their respectability rather than their need for righteousness in Christ. Even to seek equally both happiness and Godliness is to deny God. It is to deny the primacy of a biblical pursuit of God, and that all blessings beyond knowing Christ are incidental to seeking first the kingdom of God. It’s to pursue God’s favor apart from thirsting after Christ. What can be more subtly idolatrous for the Christian?

Blasphemy in the Presbyterian Church in America: A Reflection before the General Assembly

Does he believe sexual immorality is shameful (Eph. 5:12) and corrosive (1 Cor. 6:18) and ought not to be discussed, or does he believe that being a ‘[insert sin here] Christian’ is just another form of Christian experience? Does he believe that it is blasphemy to associate Christ’s holy name with enduring sin and to make that sin central to one’s identity, experience, personhood, or ‘authentic self,’ or does he think it is needless alarmism and decidedly unwinsome to object strenuously to such obviously worldly notions?

Big Eva Says Out with Complementarianism, In with Anti-Fundamentalism

Moore is a former Southern Baptist leader and Gospel Coalition council member who is now the editor of Christianity Today magazine. The mere fact that he’s now the editor there shows something is afoot, given that Moore was historically strongly complementarian and Christianity Today has long been egalitarian. As I noted in a previous post, Moore wrote a column in March of this year saying that evangelicals needed to rethink their gender wars. Though obviously in a Moore style rather than a Keller one, it is an almost perfect instantiation of Keller’s framework and strategy. 

Movie Review: Nefarious

There is so much to appreciate about this film, and not just because it’s a good movie. Nefarious is a theologically orthodox explanation about God, the Devil, and the cosmic battle which occurs every day for a person’s soul.

2023 Orthodox Presbyterian Church General Assembly Report – UPDATED

For the election of a new moderator the following were nominated: Rev. Bruce Prentice (Mandon, ND), Elder Bruce Stahl (Wentzville, MO) and Rev. John Shaw (general secretary of OPC Home Missions). After a vote Mr. Shaw was declared elected. Rev. Danny Olinger (general secretary of OPC Christian Education), who had nominated Mr. Shaw, led in prayer for the newly elected moderator.

Schools in the Presbyterian Church in America

With respect to membership, PCA churches with schools are significantly larger. The average PCA church has 230 members on its rolls on average. Churches with schools average 630 members, while those without average 190. They have both more communicant members (500 vs. 148) and non-communicant members (131 vs. 41).

The Rise and Fall of Dispensationalism

As fate—or perhaps providence—would have it, Darby’s premillennial eschatology and the stark intensity of his heaven-earth dualism caught on not just in Southern England, but in America. Reshaped in the hands of other ministers, theologians, and popularizers, his ideas and those of his Plymouth Brethren colleagues would in due time change the trajectory of American evangelicalism and the nation’s culture. The ideas presidents kicked around in the Oval Office can be traced back to his work.

Turning Worship into a Clown Show

Our God, our New Testament God, is a consuming fire and to be approached with awe and reverence, as the book of Hebrews teaches. And those incapable of acting in accordance with that have no place in the pastoral ministry. And the SBC is certainly not poorer for their departure.

Avoiding a Second Civil War

Two competing religions are struggling in a battle against each other for control of our nation’s numerous institutions such as the civil government, the military, education, and even the church. Whatever labels you use for the two sides of the conflict, either wokeism versus traditionalism, or Cultural Marxism versus Christianity, the clash between the two factions is heated and intense.  We call them culture wars, but we need to be reminded that culture is downstream from religion.

How To Kill A Denomination In One Easy Move

If you want to kill your denomination in one easy move that move is to neglect General Assembly.   Those who helped bring in the very things that caused you to send your ruling elders to GA in the first place (Revoice/Side-B, CRT, female line- authority, etc.) are themselves going to be at General Assembly and they are waiting to reengage at the very first indication that our denomination has again attained a false sense of security.
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Top 50 Stories on The Aquila Report for 2023: 31-40

In keeping with the journalistic tradition of looking back at the recent past, we present the top 50 stories of the year that were read on The Aquila Report site based on the number of hits. We will present the 50 stories in groups of 10 to run on five lists on consecutive days. Here are numbers 31-40.

In 2023 The Aquila Report (TAR) posted over 3,000 stories. At the end of each year we feature the top 50 stories that were read.
TAR posts 8 new stories each day, on a variety of subjects – all of which we trust are of interest to our readers. As a web magazine TAR is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will inform the church of current trends and movements within the church and culture.
In keeping with the journalistic tradition of looking back at the recent past, we present the top 50 stories of the year that were read on The Aquila Report site based on the number of hits. We will present the 50 stories in groups of 10 to run on five lists on consecutive days. Here are numbers 31-40:

Queering Jesus: How It’s Going Mainstream at Progressive Churches and Top Divinity Schools

Queer theology is a mature, established theological subject of scholarship now in its third decade and armed with well-honed arguments that queerness is grounded in biblical texts and classic commentaries. Most newly minted ministers coming out of mainline divinity schools today have some exposure to queer theology, either through taking a queer course, reading queer authors in other courses, or through conversations with queer students and queer professors.

Actions of the PCA General Assembly

The AC continues to make progress with foreign language (Spanish and Portuguese) translations of our Book of Church Order (BCO) to help our church minister to all peoples and generations. The AC facilitates and supports the Standing Judicial Commission, which issues decisions according to how sworn testimony aligns with our Standards. The SJC is not separately funded. 

It Doesn’t Work: Presbyterian Church USA

Since the change of the definition of marriage, the PCUSA seems to have lost all counterbalance to contemporary progressive ideologies. Having lost its conservative contingent, the PCUSA appears to be in theological and moral freefall with few voices seeking to preserve any historic biblical understandings. On the first day of the 2016 General Assembly, the opening prayer was by a Muslim imam offered to Allah.

The Rise and Fall of the Evangelical Elite

It is obvious now, looking back at the post-9/11 and pre-Obergefell era, that the leftward drift of this movement was inevitable. The end of Renn’s “neutral world” and the beginning of a negative world hostile to Christianity began soon after the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision in 2015  and accelerated rapidly with Trump’s 2016 victory. Changed circumstances undermined the attractive witness model as previously practiced. The neutral-world ethos could not hold in the negative world; the era of open debate was gone.

Tim Keller Called Home to Glory

Some in Christendom resented Keller’s stumbled-upon celebrity. Others hailed him as the C.S. Lewis for a new generation. As for Keller, he stayed focused—there was a gospel to preach, cities to reach, souls to save. Even when he was diagnosed with cancer in June, 2020, he scarcely slowed, continuing to work, write, lead, and think—even amidst the chemo, right to the very end.

Deaconesses in the Presbyterian Church in America

We really don’t have generalizable data on how widespread (or not) the practice [of unordained women serving as deaconesses] is in the PCA. How many churches have deaconesses? How many deaconesses are there in the PCA? The purpose of this project is not to pick a fight, but to shed light, in the hopes that it will lead to more productive debate at PCA General Assembly.

Are There Trustworthy Protestant Universities?

Schools that aim for prestige and “excellence” as the current American regime defines it are most likely to accommodate our culture’s presuppositions. Fewer “prestige” schools embrace a conservative Protestant social teaching that emphasizes marriage, recommends different roles for men and women, and shuns same-sex sex and same-sex marriage. Students interested in becoming doctors or lawyers might choose Baylor, SMU, or Wheaton. On the other hand, schools without signs of American decadence are less descript, their chief virtue being that they fail to promote vice.

Lessons from “The Jonesboro Decision”

What God did in the midst of great suffering was remarkable. God used this situation to knit together a church family, to teach them to wait upon Him, and to show them His goodness even in the midst of great loss and strain. As I talked with one of the “Jonesboro 7” he testified to how God vindicated His word that those who suffer for the sake of righteousness are indeed blessed. The men and their families learned of the sufficiency and kindness of God even in affliction.

How Should We Then Repent? A Response to “COVID-19 Reflection”

One of the most obvious perversions of this ecclesiastical overreach was the “administration of virtual communion” by some sessions! In their rejection of first principles, they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and issued declarations that bordered on idolatry. They tried to convince their flock that “virtual worship” was a viable substitute for corporate worship, and many have drunk the “Kool-Aid.”

5 Warning Signs That a Pastor has Not Been Truly Called by God

The greatest evidence of whether your pastor is called by God will be witnessed in his convictions about the doctrine of the church. Does he care enough to discipline wayward members? Is he more concerned about what the church looks like than its holiness and catholicity (the church universal)? Is he more concerned about being relational rather than theological, subjective rather than objective?
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Top 50 Stories on The Aquila Report for 2023: 41-50

In keeping with the journalistic tradition of looking back at the recent past, we present the top 50 stories of the year that were read on The Aquila Report site based on the number of hits. We will present the 50 stories in groups of 10 to run on five lists on consecutive days. Here are numbers 41-50.

In 2023 The Aquila Report (TAR) posted over 3,000 stories. At the end of each year we feature the top 50 stories that were read.
TAR posts 8 new stories each day, on a variety of subjects – all of which we trust are of interest to our readers. As a web magazine TAR is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will inform the church of current trends and movements within the church and culture.
In keeping with the journalistic tradition of looking back at the recent past, we present the top 50 stories of the year that were read on The Aquila Report site based on the number of hits. We will present the 50 stories in groups of 10 to run on five lists on consecutive days. Here are numbers 41-50:

Targeting Transgenderism: Two Overtures to the PCA 50th GA

In my opinion, the BCO is not the main issue. The issue is not simply women in the pulpit, nor the sexual mutilation of children, nor even the legitimacy of homosexuality (in some form or another).  The issue is transgenderism.  The issue is men and women giving in to sinful impulses that cross the lines that God drew in creation when he created male and female and assigned them their roles in the world he created.

Why Some Evangelicals Are Embracing Racism

Sin is sin, on the right or the left. Kinism is just as evil as critical race theory. So Kinists are not our allies. They’re just as opposed to Biblical views on race as critical race theorists.

A Confession Rejected and a Denomination Undone

For Southern Baptists, adopting a revised and expanded version of the New Hampshire Confession of Faith was not an act of division but a means of ensuring unity. As Mullins explained, he believed it would “clarify the atmosphere and remove the causes of misunderstanding, friction, and apprehension.” The differences between Northern and Southern Baptist Conventions over the past 100 years can be explained many ways—but they cannot be explained apart from the question of confessionalism and the need for doctrinal fidelity.

Officials Charge Retired CRC Pastor In 1975 Cold Case Murder Of Delco 8-Year-Old

Gretchen Harrington, 8-years-old, disappeared on Aug. 15, 1975, while on a walk from her Marple Township home to a Bible school less than a mile away. Stollsteimer said that, at that time, Zandstra served as a reverend at Trinity Christian Reformed Church, one of two churches that Harrington regularly attended. As she walked to Bible camp alone, Zandstra pulled alongside her in a vehicle and offered her a ride, Stollsteimer said.

We Are Already Defeated

Young seminarians are being steeped—in seminary—in an expressive individualism that is contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ and that will, if it’s not nipped right in the bud, lead actual people into hell.

Why The Gospel Centered Movement Failed

Fast forward to 2020; there’s no need to recap everything but you’ve got Covid, BLM, mask and vaccine mandates, etc – you remember, you were there. Anyway, here we have a key moment in time when the practical instructions of the Bible, God’s laws, become absolutely essential to how the church should respond. Startled and harassed bodies of believers across the world, under pressure to conform on all sides, actually needed to know what to do. They needed to know this in detail, with clarity and with conviction. And because of the lack of attention paid to God’s law, this gospel-centered movement didn’t have a great answer.

Covenant Presbytery Denies Appeal of Jonesboro 7 Finding No Errors in Session Trial

It is a most remarkable providence; if one reads the protest against Presbytery’s action to preserve the church plant, the signers represent the elders from Covenant Presbytery’s wealthiest and most influential churches and committees. Yet the speech of a largely unknown, retired former Arkansas church planter was powerfully used by God to change the course of the debate, save the little church plant from dissolution, and preserve a witness for Himself in Jonesboro.

3 Wrong Reasons to Leave Your Local Church — and 5 Right Reasons to Stay

It’s been commonly said that we don’t choose the people who sit next to us in the pew, but God does. Love requires, in response to the gospel, that we invest in the lives of those who are often most difficult and unattractive to us. It’s one of the saddest things to witness someone throw away their entire local church family for selfish reasons. Is our love sincere and absent of hypocrisy? This is an important question when it comes to church membership.

Retraction Refused: The PCA’s Magazine Stands By Its Claims in David Cassidy’s “Prayer and Work in the Face of Violence”

If this were an isolated occurrence it would be one thing; regrettably, this does not seem to be the case. If one were to summarize the crisis of evangelicalism in America today, he could probably do so best by saying that its internal struggles arise because its institutions do not represent the vast majority of its people, and that their actions do not put into practice the beliefs or preferred actions of those people.

A Political View of the PCA Jubilee General Assembly

Another critical issue was related to the use of the term “pastor” as being reserved for ordained teaching elders.  It seems that the modern evangelical church tends to label everyone contributing service to the Lord’s work as pastor.  From nonordained youth “pastors” to nonordained music “pastors,” it has become a very generic term.  This has contributed to much confusion in the wider church.
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Contributions Sought for the ‘Mark and Priscilla Lowrey Relief Fund’

You may or may not be aware that Mark suffered medical difficulties for over a year now. He encountered great difficulty, suffering the neurological loss of his limbs and bearing up under physical pain. Despite being treated by some of the best doctors, this was all compounded by tremendous difficulty in diagnosing the problem. Recently, the disease was found to be cancer. Significant expenditures not covered by health insurance were incurred through this trying time.

Dear friends and fellow laborers in Christ Jesus,
As you have heard, Mark Lowrey was recently called home to glory. This is to let you know of an opportunity to aid and assist Priscilla Lowrey with Mark’s medical and end-of-life expenses by contributing to a fund set up through the PCA Foundation.
Many of us who have labored in the gospel together with Mark Lowrey are aware of his significant and unusual contribution to the cause of Christ Jesus, especially through the work of Great Commission Publications and Reformed University Fellowship (RUF). In the former, he came into a calling at a time when his education, experience, vision, and leadership served to advance a ministry already in process. In the latter, he was the dreamer and visionary who with several others launched the campus ministry which had the distinction of utilizing ordained ministers trained and equipped in healthy evangelical and Reformed theology and directly connected to the Church.
You may or may not be aware that Mark suffered medical difficulties for over a year now. He encountered great difficulty, suffering the neurological loss of his limbs and bearing up under physical pain. Despite being treated by some of the best doctors, this was all compounded by tremendous difficulty in diagnosing the problem. Recently, the disease was found to be cancer. Significant expenditures not covered by health insurance were incurred through this trying time.
Many of our PCA constituents have been greatly concerned, not only about his health but also this unusual set of expenditures. Friends of Mark and Priscilla discussing these concerns came from a number of ministries: Geneva Benefits, RUF, the PCA Foundation, Great Commission Publications, and the PCA Administrative Committee, among others. We approached the PCA Foundation to see what could be done, and to our great gladness, learned from President Tim Townsend that the executive committee of the board of directors of the PCA Foundation approved the establishment of the Mark and Priscilla Lowrey Relief Fund.
We want to encourage you to join with us in giving to this fund. The uninsured expenses are expected to exceed $300,000. You may give:

By sending a check payable to the:PCA FoundationMark and Priscilla Lowrey Relief Fund1700 N Brown Road, Ste 103Lawrenceville GA 30043
Give Online:Mark and Priscilla Lowrey Relief FundFund Number: CP-1003: https://pcafoundation.com/online-giving/lowrey-relief-fund/
Please help as you are able.
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PCA Minister George C. Miladin, 88, Called Home to Glory

He gave dozens of “Pianistic Pilgrim’s Progress” and “Listen to Love” concerts, weaving his musical journey into his Christian testimony. He played piano weekly at New Life until his final Sunday in worship, desiring to bring glory to God who had been so gracious to him. George always wanted to live to see 88 years, as that was the number of keys on a piano, and the Lord honored that hope. He even took him home on the Lord’s Day, George’s favorite day of every week.

George Chistopher Miladin, born January 19, 1935, in Long Beach, CA, went to be with the Lord on July 2, 2023, in his home in La Mesa, CA, after a short illness from a malignant brain tumor.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Londa, son Christopher (Cheryl) Miladin, daughter Jennifer (Bob) Cordell, five grandchildren and four great- grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his brother, Jimmy.
The testimony of George’s life is God’s sovereign grace which transformed a self-seeking nightclub piano player into a grateful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.
His piano career started at age 5 when his mother discovered he had perfect pitch. By age 12, he was playing the heavy classics but changed to playing the trumpet in high school. From 12 to 20 were years spent in rebellion – no more piano, no more Sunday School, and no more thinking about God. He excelled at trumpet, playing a brief stint with the Lawrence Welk band at the Aragon Ballroom and spending most of a summer at the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan, where he became ill with pneumonia.
Unable to practice trumpet, he lost his embouchure, which brought him back to the piano. George shifted gears to popular music, practicing two hours every day. By night, he performed in night clubs and piano bars in Hollywood and Beverly Hills and, by day, attended UCLA. When George was 19, he met Johnny Grant, a local Hollywood disc jockey, who invited him to join his band to travel overseas and entertain U.S. troops. This opportunity took him to Japan, Korea, and Europe as Musical Director of Grant’s overseas shows.
After returning to Los Angeles, he continued at UCLA, majoring in music and minoring in history. During these years, God used two events in his life to draw George to himself. When a young starlet George accompanied attempted suicide, he was affected deeply and began to think of the reality of eternity. God then use a young Christian to invite George to study the Gospel of John and attend University Bible Church. After several months, George bowed the knee to Jesus as his Savior. He began playing piano for the worship services. It was at UBC that George met Londa, and they married in 1958. George taught 8th grade music and Boys’ Chorus for two years, while they lived in Santa Monica. Following that, they moved to St. Louis, MO, where he taught Music Theory at Covenant College.
In 1965, Londa convinced George that, even with two small children, they could handle his attending seminary. George enrolled at Covenant Seminary and, upon graduating, was ordained and called to be the church planter of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Woodland Hills, CA.
The Miladins moved east when George accepted the call as pastor of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Lookout Mountain, GA, located across the road from Covenant College. In 1977, he accepted the call of the Point Loma Orthodox Presbyterian Church (now New Life PCA) in La Mesa, CA. The story is that George was enticed to accept the call with a large manila envelope full of menus from Mexican restaurants around San Diego.
The Miladin family arrived in San Diego on January 1, 1978, and George immediately set his sights toward outreach and evangelism. No one would describe George as an extrovert, but he was with the gospel. God used him mightily to spread the Good News: knocking on doors, planning outreach events, playing concerts, etc. He loved to tell the story of his Savior and regularly turned casual conversation to the Lord. He faithfully pastored his flock at New Life for over 27 years, until his retirement in October 2005.
In the years following, after a brief call as a church planter in the mountains east of San Diego, he grew into his role as “Pastor to All.” He particularly enjoyed teaching and preaching on the Gospel of John and the books of Hebrews and Romans. Over the years, he pastored, baptized, married, and taught hundreds of people who remained near and dear to him. He authored several books on Reformed faith and life, one of which has been translated to Spanish. Thousands of copies have been used to train Spanish-speaking Reformed ministers.
George became known as “the piano playing pastor” and combined his progressive jazz style of piano playing with sacred hymns and arranged and recorded four albums (to listen to some of his playing go here, here, here, here, and here).
He also developed an instructional piano course called “See and Hear Piano Series” which has taught hundreds of pianists to play professional sounding arrangements of pop ballads and Christian hymns. One highlight was being sought out by RC Sproul at a conference to help RC with his piano playing. He gave dozens of “Pianistic Pilgrim’s Progress” and “Listen to Love” concerts, weaving his musical journey into his Christian testimony. He played piano weekly at New Life until his final Sunday in worship, desiring to bring glory to God who had been so gracious to him. George always wanted to live to see 88 years, as that was the number of keys on a piano, and the Lord honored that hope. He even took him home on the Lord’s Day, George’s favorite day of every week.
Miladin wrote several books that were extensions of his pastoral teaching:
Is This Really the End? A Reformed Analysis of The Late Great Planet Earth (1972).
The Reformed Faith for the World Today and Tomorrow (1974); (translated into Spanish as Le Fe Reformada)
Getting It Together in the Home: A How to Do It Manual on Family Devotions (1975).
Revolution, Martyrdom, Flight and Reconstruction: A Timely Study of Today’s Christians and Their Relationship to the “Powers that Be” (1976).
Knowing and Growing: A 5-Part Study Manual for New (and Old) Believers Personal Evangelism Made Less Difficult (1995).
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Summary Report of the Christian Reformed Church Synod 2023

Synod 2023 upheld Synod 2022’s interpretation that “unchastity” in the Heidelberg Catechism includes “homosexual sex” and upheld the “confessional status” of that interpretation. Synod was responding to overtures (formal requests) from six classes and five congregations to change the definition of “unchastity,” and change the decision around its “confessional status.”

Synod 2023 Rejects Neland Avenue CRC’s Appeal
Synod 2023 of the Christian Reformed Church in North America rejected an appeal by the council of Neland Avenue CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich., of a Synod 2022 order that called for the congregation to rescind its decision to ordain a deacon who is in a same-sex marriage.
The appeal was defeated by a vote of 124 to 47 with six delegates abstaining.
Synod 2023’s decision followed a review of the situation by an in loco committee that had been mandated to act on behalf of Synod 2022, as well as deliberation by a Synod 2023 advisory committee and passionate debate from delegates for and against the Neland council’s action.
“This has been heavy, heavy for everyone, including our committee. … I spent lots of nights weeping. Last night, I spent time weeping with a close friend. This has been hard,” said Jason Ruis of Classis Wisconsin, who chaired the advisory committee.
“There’s no desire to cause pain. Part of the heaviness of our committee is recognizing that no matter what decision we made, there would be grief and pain.”
In May 2020, the Neland Avenue council elected a person who was in a same-sex marriage to the office of deacon. Several church councils and classes (regional bodies of churches) sent communications to the Neland council, with most calling on the council to remove the deacon. Officebearers are meant to uphold the confessions and teachings of the church. Since its explicit articulation in 1973, the Christian Reformed Church has held the position that homosexual sex is contrary to the will of God as revealed in scripture.
In its appeal, Neland asserted that Church Order (articles 3 and 4) leaves “the final judgment as to who is qualified to serve” to the local council alone and that synod (in 1980) has previously identified “the local council or consistory as the appropriate body for decision making in complex pastoral situations.” Regardless, committee reporter Todd Kuperus said that neither CRC Church Order nor the Acts of Synod 1980 provided necessary grounds for Neland’s appeal.
“The church order clearly stipulates that only those who meet the biblical requirements are eligible to serve as officebearers in the Christian Reformed Church,” Kuperus said. “Thus, while local congregations have the responsibility to elect their own officebearers, they do not have the right to elect anyone who does not meet biblical requirements. … Synod has the authority to declare the biblical requirements for officebearers.”
Michael Van Denend, a delegate from Classis Grand Rapids East and an elder at Neland Avenue, defended the congregation’s position as well as the deacon, who has since completed her term and is no longer on the church council.
“You know one thing about our deacon. You know one thing,” Van Denend said. “You don’t know her. How could you? She’s a member of our congregation, our church, and it has always been the council and the congregation that makes these decisions. How can you know this person? We do, and every single fruit of the Spirit is evident (in her). … Everybody in our congregation knows this. That’s why our deacon was elected.”  (Read More)
Synod 2023 ‘Urges’ Churches to Show Love, Inclusion
In a mood of sadness over divisions in the room, Synod 2023 took several steps intended to increase inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in the church.
Synod urged congregations to “be places of belonging for LGBTQ+ members seeking to follow Christ” and instructed churches “to show love to all people groups including our LGBTQ+ members and neighbors by condemning hateful or demeaning speech and violent or demeaning actions.”
“Somebody asked … how do we do this?” said Clair VanderNeut, Classis Yellowstone. “My wife’s and my answer is (to) ask somebody over to your house for a meal. Nothing tells a person more that you’re interested and you care. It’s not hard, folks.”
“I don’t know more than a handful of churches that have even tried to do those things well,” said Brandon Haan, Classis Grandville. “It costs me nothing to uphold the position of 1973. It costs many of us nothing to uphold the biblical position. But it should cost us. To open our homes and our lives and our families and our relationships to people with whom we differ. Do not go home and just stay at home. Do not think we can embody the posture of 1973 (the CRC’s first report on pastoral care to homosexual people) simply by having a list of resources. We have to actually do what we said. It’s been half a century. The time is now.” (Read More)
Synod 2023’s Discussion of ‘Confessional Difficulties’ Cut Short; Delegates Protest; Matter Pushed to Synod 2024
What began as a conversation to discuss gravamina (formal expressions of difficulty with a part of a Christian Reformed confession) in the final hour of Synod 2023, ended in delegates walking out in protest of the truncated conversation and a decision made to push the discussion to Synod 2024.
On Thursday afternoon, with just over an hour left of Synod 2023, a majority report and minority report were presented to Synod 2023 to discuss the “concept of (a) confessional difficulty gravamen.” According to the majority report, a confessional-difficulty gravamen is intended “to allow officebearers to honestly question doctrinal matters contained in our confessions, giving them space to wrestle with the biblical accuracy of these doctrines, while also ensuring that there would be a season of pastoral care provided for the officebearer in his/her struggle and search for clarification.”
The committee presented their reports. Todd Kuperus, Classis Northern Michigan and reporter for the majority report, said, “We need to have guardrails in place, and those guardrails are already in place by the confessions.” (Read More)
Synod 2023 Asks Regional Groups to ‘Guide Into Compliance’ Erring Officebearers
Synod 2023, acting without much discussion near the end of its deliberations, adopted two statements in response to an overture (formal request) from the council of Trinity Christian Reformed Church in Fremont, Mich., and an overture from Classis Minnkota, a regional group of churches. The Trinity council had called for 11 named congregations “to repent of and rescind their public affirmations of same-sex relationships.” Minnkota asked synod to instruct six named classes to begin the process of church discipline “upon its constituent churches that publicly and proudly proclaim their acceptance of blatant heterodoxy and their willingness to appoint officers (pastors, elders, and deacons) who do not meet the biblical requirements articulated in Church Order Articles 3 and 5.” (Read More)
Synod Upholds ‘Confessional Status’ on Interpretation of Unchastity
Synod 2023 upheld Synod 2022’s interpretation that “unchastity” in the Heidelberg Catechism includes “homosexual sex” and upheld the “confessional status” of that interpretation. Synod was responding to overtures (formal requests) from six classes and five congregations to change the definition of “unchastity,” and change the decision around its “confessional status.”
The committee members presented recommendations in two separate reports, with a minority opinion proposing a change from “confessional status” to a “settled and binding” decision of synod. Despite two requests from the floor during discussion to take up that minority report, only the majority report—upholding the confessional stance—was debated. And while there were two reports, Willem Delleman, Classis B.C. North-West, chair for the minority report and chair of the full committee, told delegates, “The Holy Spirit brought unity in the room (during the advisory meetings) and allowed us to listen to each other.” He said the experience of working with this group of brothers and sisters was one of the best in his life. (Read More)
Synod Says ‘No’ to Delaying Action on Human Sexuality Report
Synod 2023 turned down requests from several Christian Reformed churches and classes to delay implementation of the conclusions of the human sexuality report (HSR), which last year’s synod approved for church use.
Two regional groups of churches—Classis Alberta North and Classis Eastern Canada—sent overtures (formal requests) asking synod for a delay. Two individual congregations (Monroe Community Church, Grand Rapids, Mich., and Jubilee Fellowship CRC, St. Catherines, Ont.) also sent overtures requesting the delay, as did one individual.
The overtures argue that Synod 2022 changed the category of the CRC’s position of prohibition on homosexual sex from pastoral advice to confessional status. Because that is a dramatic change, the overtures claim, churches need three years or more (depending on the overture) to decide what actions to take and to assess the harm that LGBTQ+ people feel.
The statement adopted by Synod 2023, however, argues that the urgency of pastoral care for LGBTQ+ people is a reason not to delay implementing the recommendations in the HSR. The statement claims to be made “in a spirit of lament for failing in our pastoral care to … the LGBTQ+ community.” (Read More)
‘Assisted Suicide’ Will Be Addressed with a Task Force and a Position Statement
Synod 2023 agreed that the Christian Reformed Church needs a statement on assisted suicide. It has tasked the general secretary to “promptly create” an interim statement, realizing he could not speak for synod. It also appointed a task force to make a comprehensive report.
Almost all the delegates were in agreement with that action.
Mark Quist, Classis Rocky Mountain, said, “I would love to have something official and clearer from the church,” especially as his state has already approved assisted suicide. “I need guidance,” Quist said.
“As a Canadian, this is our lived experience,” said Victor Laarman, Classis Huron. “It’s absolutely diabolical and we need a statement about it.” (Read More)
Synod ‘Strongly Advises’ Against Weddings Without Civil Sanction
Synod 2023 strongly advised pastors in the Christian Reformed Church not to officiate marriages that will not be licensed by the civil government. Synod also instructed the Office of the General Secretary to send its report on “ecclesiastical marriage” to the churches for guidance.
In an ecclesiastical marriage, a couple is married “in the eyes of the church but not in the eyes of the state,” said the statement adopted by synod. CRC pastors should not solemnize such marriages, synod decided, for three reasons: 1) The Bible teaches submission to governing authorities. 2) Reformed churches have historically acknowledged civil marriage. 3) Solemnizing such marriages could create legal problems for pastors and participants.
However, synod encouraged churches to “respect and honor the marriages of Indigenous peoples and immigrants who did not obtain a civil marriage … and counsel them in the understanding of Christian marriage and its relationship to civil authority in (Canada or the U.S.).” (Read More)
Synod Will No Longer Read Aloud ‘Repetitious Notes’ From Complementarian* Classes
Complementarian* classes and delegates—people who theologically view women and men as having different, complementary roles—who record their protest against the seating of women delegates on the grounds that it is contrary to their reading of Scripture, will no longer hear those protests aloud on the floor of synod.
Since the seating of women delegates at synod in 2007, delegates who object to the ordination of women to the offices of the church are permitted to register their protest according to Article 45 of the Church Order.
Synod is the annual general assembly of the Christian Reformed Church.
Every year, Classis Minnkota attaches a note to its delegates’ synod credentials that is read aloud at synod. It reads, “They wish to make clear that their protest is not against women or against using the gifts of women, but they wish to uphold their understanding of Scripture’s teaching regarding the roles of women and men.” At Synod 2023 two such communications were read, one from Minnkota and one from a delegate from Zeeland classis. (Read More)
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Fred Greco Elected Moderator of the 50th PCA General Assembly

A native of Niagara Falls, New York, Greco received his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1996 and worked as a corporate attorney in the Cleveland area. In 1998 he was ordained as a ruling elder at Grace Presbyterian Church in Hudson, Ohio. It was while a member of Grace that he sensed a call to prepare for vocational ministry.

Fred Greco, pastor of Christ Church in Katy, Texas, was elected moderator of the 50th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).
He was nominated by David Strain, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi, They have a friendship that goes back 17 years when Strain was still a member of the Free Church of Scotland and would meet with PCA friends when visiting the US.
Also nominated for moderator was the Rev. Randy Pope, founding pastor of Perimeter Church in Atlanta, Ga.
A native of Niagara Falls, New York, Greco received his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1996 and worked as a corporate attorney in the Cleveland area. In 1998 he was ordained as a ruling elder at Grace Presbyterian Church in Hudson, Ohio. It was while a member of Grace that he sensed a call to prepare for vocational ministry. He moved his family to Jackson, Miss., and enrolled in Reformed Seminary.
Greco has served the PCA in numerous ways. Not only is he a pastor of a growing church, but has chaired the Candidates and Credentials Committee for Houston Metro Presbytery and has chaired the General Assembly Overtures Committee several times. He has also served on the Standing Judicial Commission for many years as chairman and other positions.
Greco and his wife Deb have been married for 26 years and have four adult children.
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