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Theology in the Life of the Church

Doctrine is not optional for the body of Christ. Yet, neither is it to be pursued in abstraction. Christians must speak the truth in love, applying that truth in the changing circumstances of daily life.

Using the biblical metaphors of a shepherd and a pilgrim, Jeff Waddington and Camden Bucey comment on a variety of challenges in the ministry and the importance of presenting every person mature in Christ (Col. 1:28).


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Christ the Center focuses on Reformed Christian theology. In each episode a group of informed panelists discusses important issues in order to encourage critical thinking and a better understanding of Reformed doctrine with a view toward godly living. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.

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John Zylstra

2 weeks ago

Jesus simply called his disciples, the twelve, and then told the eleven, as well as all his disciples, to go into all the world, Matt. 28, and preach the gospel, teaching them to obey, and baptizing them. Didn’t establish all kinds of rules for who could preach or not… but interesting that there were guidelines for elders and deacons, but minister (servant) guidelines were not mentioned, except perhaps incidentally, or by implication. The irony is when you have ruling elders who are somehow restricted from preaching, or ordaining/installing others, or restricted from leading the sacraments. These elders are the ones who hire/call the pastor/minister. But scripture mentions not anywhere that there should be one pastor per church, but rather that the pastors are those who are pastoral, who act as pastors, who shepherd and lead and feed, needing no specific ceremonial approval to do so. I cor. 14 talks about orderly worship, not mentioning at all some type of sermon, or formal sacraments, or preaching, but rather that when the church gets together, two or three may speak (not one), and that prophets are subject to the approval of prophets. Much more leading of the spirit, and trusting in God, than we tend to do in the more formal, legalistic church environments. Also interesting that the Lord’s supper is a sacrament, when at the meal in which it was begun, Jesus spent more time washing the feet of his disciples, and taught that this also could/should be a sacrament in the sense of a teaching sacrament, which demonstrates the body of Christ, and which is the first task of any minister, to wash the feet of those he is leading. So many churches fall short in not emphasizing this as a teaching or a practice to demonstrate the teaching, and thus not teaching people to obey everything that Jesus has commanded. Any elder who cannot give at least one sermon, probably is unqualified, according to scriptural principles, to be an elder.

Ray Call

1 week ago

Thanks for the conversation. May the sheep thirst for doctrine which nourishes us and proves so useful in the Christian life.

I might point out that like Assistant Pastors in the PCA, it is also common for missionaries who are ministers (or elders) to sit on a session or presbytery without having a vote. This, however, is to aid in the development of a national Church body which is already or will be independent from national church body or bodies in the sending country.

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