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Articles by Vanguard Presbyterian Church

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving in the US is one of the best and purest of holidays. It has long been my opinion that it is a truly Christian holiday even if it is not specifically sanctioned by Scripture. It is a Christian holiday because the emphasis is on giving thanks to God for all His bountiful care. Yet,…

Samuel Davies, Champion of Liberty, Part Two

The Revolutionary War (1776-1783) There were two other events that happened after the death of Samuel Davies (February 4, 1761) in which he played an indirect, but very close part. The first of those events was the Revolutionary War. That war has been called the ‘Presbyterian Rebellion’ because most of the leading voices in it…

Samuel Davies, Champion of Liberty

With this week’s article, I am sending out the gist of a message I gave In Richmond, Virginia last Friday evening on the 300th anniversary of the birth of Samuel Davies. Half of the message is in this week’s email and the other half will be next week. There were about 120 people who gathered last Friday…

The Curse of Cowardice

On May 8, 1758, Samuel Davies preached to the militia being mustered in Hanover county, Virginia as a result of the French and Indian War (1755-163). He had three years earlier preached a similar recruiting sermon at the raising of an independent militia for CPT Overton, the first such militia raised in response to the…

Update

Vanguard Presbytery held its semi-annual presbytery meeting in Hanover, Pennsylvania on October 20, 2023. I was expecting Hanover to be a very small community, but it was larger than I realized. It is still a small city, but there are many souls there that need to hear the gospel. Those who were arrived early enough…

Aquinas’ Views of the Sacraments and Scripture

Last week, I wrote a few words about the theological system of Thomas Aquinas. I received a number of very good responses from both ministers and laymen. One respondent, in particular, Dr. Henry Krabbendam, sent a paper he wrote on Aquinas that was very enlightening. I have not yet had a chance to read it…

Aquinas Is No Safe Guide For Protestants

            From time to time, I come across articles by Reformed authors wherein they encourage the reading of the Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas. Their rationale is that Aquinas is an excellent guide for making fine distinctions on theological points. Au contraire. As one who spent several weeks at a nearby university library reading through the unabridged three…

He Has Lost His Senses”

Following the calling of His twelve disciples, Jesus returned to His home—Capernaum—where “the crowd gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal” (Mark 3:20). They were at the door and probably even in the house (Cf. also Mark 1:33; 2:2). The kinsmen of Jesus heard these reports of all…

The Missionary Nature of the Church

Several years ago, I stumbled into a world missions’ luncheon by mistake at General Assembly. I had intended to attend a meeting of alma mater seminary. By the time I discovered my mistake, it was too late to leave. After sitting through the whole presentation, I wish I had left anyway. Following the meal, there…

The Problem with Presbyterianism is… Presbytery

Dear friends,             This week’s article is a rerun on an article I wrote a couple of years ago since I am supposed to be on “vacation” this week. In the past week, I have been contacted by three ministers in two different denominations (one in the PCUSA and the…

Ecclesia Reformata, Semper Reformanda 

Jodocus van Lodenstein first penned the phrase, ‘Ecclesia Reformata, Semper Reformanda’, while writing a devotional book in 1674. That phrase means, ‘the church reformed, always reforming.’ Van Lodenstein. a Dutch minister in the Reformed Church of the United Provinces, pastored a congregation in Ultrecht, Holland from 1653 until his death in 1677. It was not…

Are Heresies Necessary

In Christianity and Liberalism, a magisterial defense of evangelicalism and destruction of liberalism, J. Gresham Machen wrote: In the sphere of religion, the things about which men are agreed are apt to be the things that are least worth holding; the really important things are the things about which men will fight.[1] Machen’s words seem at…

Daniel Rowland and the Preaching for Divine Impression, Part One

 The following article was written by Al Baker, a fellow minister in Vanguard Presbytery, and is included with this week’s email for those who may not be receiving his weekly email devotion, Forget None of His Benefits. This article ties in very well with my two most recent articles on the office of the evangelist. I…

None Dare Call Them Evangelists

One of the matters that causes me the greatest amount of confusion is why there is such a pushback even by conservative reformed pastors and theologians concerning the office of evangelist. It was not always that way. It was around 1980 that the great change towards evangelism and evangelists began in the US. Before then…

James Henley Thornwell on Evangelists

In this week’s article, I am quoting several pages from James Henley Thornwell’s fourth volume of his collected works that deals with ecclesiastical matters. I am a Thornwellian in my ecclesiastical positions and Vanguard Presbytery was self-consciously begun as a Thornwellian denomination with respect to church government. We developed our Book of Church Order to reflect those…

American Presbyterianism

            In this week’s email, I am using an article written by a Vanguard Presbytery minister, Rev. Ryan Denton. Ryan writes about the dating of the beginning of Presbyterianism in this country and focuses on the labors of Richard Denton, his ancestor, whose ministry predated that of Francis Makemie. Makemie…

When You are Angrily Rebuked

            In his sermons on the Book of Job, John Calvin rightly stated that “Job having to  defend a good case, has poorly conducted it.”[1] Job never stated that he was without sin, as his three friends alleged. In fact, he often expressed that he was a poor sinner. Yet, Job knew that his punishment was far more than…

Hodge vs. Thornwell on Polity

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (Old School) met at Rochester, New York in 1860. It is famous for a floor debate between the two leaders of the Northern and Southern branches of the denomination—Dr. Charles Hodge of Princeton Theological Seminary and Dr. James Henley Thornwell of Columbia Theological Seminary (which then resided in…

“Perversion and Post-Christian Kids” by Al Baker

I am using with permission this week an article written by my friend and fellow Vanguard Presbytery pastor, Al Baker. It deals with a subject, LGBTQ+, that was one of the primary issues that led to the formation of this new denomination. I am sure that each of you will appreciate it also. You can…

Update on the Work of the Presbytery

In John 4:35, Jesus said to His disciples: “Behold I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.” He made a very similar statement in Matthew 9:37b-38—“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send workers…

Synthetic Christianity

Georg William Frederick Hegel (1770-1831) was a German philosopher whose dialectical method has become the dominant thought pattern for most people in the world today—including so-called evangelical pastors and theologians in the United States. His methodology is non-evangelical to the core and it is a dangerous inconsistency for any Christian to hold to it. It…

Rise Up and Evangelize!

Perhaps the greatest book ever written on the Christian ministry was Charles Bridges’ The Christian Ministry. Bridges (1794-1869) was a Church of England minister and one of the leaders in the Evangelical party that witnessed a revival of sound ministers in that denomination during the nineteenth century. When the godly Robert M. McCheyne went to Israel…

None Dare Call It Heresy? 

After writing last week’s article about the friendship that is developing between Doug Wilson and some Reformed Baptist pastors, I received thanks from many corners and rebukes from a few corners. I was accused by one person of slandering a “dear brother”, Doug Wilson, by one person. Anyone who has read either one of my…

 Can Denomination X Be Saved?

One of my best friends, a member of Denomination X, visited with my wife and me in Destin a few weeks ago. He was on his way to a gathering of college students. The next morning we went to breakfast before he had to head on his way. During our conversation he asked me this…


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