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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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?