Author Archives: David de Bruyn

Elders in a Baptist Church: Plural, Yea; Lay, Nay (3)

Elders in a Baptist Church: Plural, Yea; Lay, Nay (3)

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Elders in a Baptist Church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In considering the question of lay elders, we have seen that the New Testament describes but never prescribes a plurality of elders in a New Testament church. It does, however, prescribe the remuneration of elders that rule well. In part 2, we saw that ruling well is likely best understood as equivalent to laboring in the… Continue Reading

Elders in a Baptist Church: Plural, Yea; Lay, Nay (2)

Elders in a Baptist Church: Plural, Yea; Lay, Nay (2)

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Elders in a Baptist Church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In some cases, “lay” elders are introduced into Baptist churches because those doing so believe that a plurality of elders is an explicit or implicit requirement of the New Testament. Many believe a church with only one pastor has a sub-standard or sub-biblical ecclesiology, and the pragmatic solution to achieving this supposed requirement of multiple… Continue Reading

Elders in a Baptist Church: Plural, Yea; Lay, Nay (1)

Elders in a Baptist Church: Plural, Yea; Lay, Nay (1)

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Elders in a Baptist Church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I’ll sometimes hear the claim from some men that a plurality of elders, made up of “staff elders” and “lay elders” in a local church, represents orthodox, biblical ecclesiology and that any church (such as mine) with only one paid elder, several deacons and no lay elders represents a deviation from biblical church polity, or… Continue Reading

Equality and Distinctions

Equality and Distinctions

This entry is part of 37 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Those who believe in cosmic justice are actually at war with nature. If you desire to have all people have absolutely equal opportunities (as in our sprint race example) by manipulating all kinds of variables, you are actually fighting against the created order. You are fighting biology, genetics, and indeed, providence. If you’re a Cosmic… Continue Reading

Undiscerning Discernment

Undiscerning Discernment

One of the ways you make your mark in the online discernment ministry world is by “outing” a popular and generally reliable pastor or Bible teacher. This promotes you in the eyes of discernment devotees, because you are supposedly spotting error in a teacher that “everyone else unquestioningly follows”, and are willing to be the… Continue Reading

Spurgeon Uncut and Unpasted

Spurgeon Uncut and Unpasted

Reading Spurgeon is a sheer delight to the heart. At the same time, it is often faintly discouraging to the preacher. How could a preacher manage such eloquence? His sentences are positively dripping with imagery, his prose saturated with trope and metaphor. It seems impossible for such poetic gold to have flowed from a preacher… Continue Reading

The Many Meanings of “Reformed”

The Many Meanings of “Reformed”

I find it quite amusing these days to be classified by some as “Reformed”, when I’d barely heard the term for most of my Christian life. I grew up in Baptist circles that didn’t use the term “Reformed”. In fact, the first time I heard it used of my church was when a student attending… Continue Reading

Two Views on Christ’s Invitation

Two Views on Christ’s Invitation

Below are two works of Christian imagination. Both attempt to depict what it means for Christ to invite sinners to Himself, and how sinners should understand themselves. On closer examination, however, they are nearly opposite in meaning. We do not see the same Christ, the same Gospel and the same dilemma of the sinner in… Continue Reading

Ten Mangled Words – “Equality”

Ten Mangled Words – “Equality”

This entry is part 1 of 37 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Equality is one of those ideas whose basic meaning is understood, but whose presence is demanded where it cannot possibly be expected. After all, equality is a fairly simply concept: when two amounts are equal, neither is greater or lesser than the other. But while equality in mathematics is a simple matter, equality in human… Continue Reading

Unicultural Uniformity

Unicultural Uniformity

This entry is part 36 of 37 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Of the little pilot-fish words that swim alongside the more commonly mangled word, culture, two of the more frequently heard are multicultural and diversity. In fact, these have become unquestioned, and probably unassailable holy-words in modern culture. A competitive company will have somewhere on its Vision and Mission statement, “Our core-values include a commitment to… Continue Reading

Pagan Culture and Apostate Culture

Pagan Culture and Apostate Culture

This entry is part 35 of 37 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In discussions of evangelizing the post-modern West, something is often forgotten. Those cultures which were formed by Christianity and have since abandoned it are not reverting to paganism. They are not pagan cultures. They are apostate cultures, and an apostate culture is a much scarier animal than a pagan one. C.S. Lewis wrote on how… Continue Reading

Missionaries and Culture

Missionaries and Culture

This entry is part 34 of 37 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Missionaries do their work in a perilous environment. Such has been the rise of ideas such as “multi-culturalism”, that many missionaries now go by a different title: aid–workers, social-workers, educators, or even consultants. Opting for different titles is understandable. In the popular imagination, missionary is increasingly synonymous with colonialist, imperialist, or patronizing religious types “forcing” their… Continue Reading

We Don’t Want Your White Man’s Religion

We Don’t Want Your White Man’s Religion

This entry is part 33 of 37 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In Africa, particularly where black nationalist sentiments arise, it is not uncommon to hear the title of this post thrown around in conversation. Similarly, half-formed sentiments are uttered about missionaries who replaced the harmonious earth-religion of the peaceful indigenous people with their foreign religion, so as to steal their land and subjugate them. The saddest… Continue Reading

Christian Culture in Church History

Christian Culture in Church History

This entry is part 32 of 37 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

A common error in the study of church history is to seek to find a version of one’s present branch of Christianity in the past. Since Christian doctrine and practice develop over the centuries, trying to find oneself in church history is like trying to find out how people in Shakespeare’s era texted one another,… Continue Reading

Two Exams, and Two Questions

Two Exams, and Two Questions

I present my children with two written tests. They open the envelope of the first, and see the heading, “Dad Orthodoxy”. A series of questions about me follows, which they find delightfully easy. “What is your father’s first name?” “What color are your father’s eyes?” “What is your father’s favorite meal?” “Where did your father… Continue Reading

Culture, Not Race

Culture, Not Race

This entry is part 31 of 37 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Scripture does not define the word culture, but it certainly describes the phenomenon of culture-making. Humans are meaning-making creatures, who fashion their world after their values, religions, and world-views. The Bible also describes the behavior or way of life that comes from a certain culture. The Greek word anastrophe is translated conduct, or way of… Continue Reading

Culture – More Than Creation

Culture – More Than Creation

This entry is part 30 of 37 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

If the word culture is to be useful, it must define something. It must name and describe a discrete phenomenon in the world. A useful definition must limit its subject, so that we could easily say what is not culture. The problem with many definitions found in Evangelical literature is that they seem to include… Continue Reading