Author: Bobby Griffith

You Can’t Beat the Market

“If we start spending time with them, we’ll eventually be able to gain some influence and have a say.”– Said Every Presbyterian Wanting to Be Liked By the Cool Kids Ever Remember when the PCA used that oft-repeated claim “fastest growing denomination in the United States?” I am not sure if that applies any longer, but I still see it on many websites. I wish I’d never seen that phrase but I did use it to justify to concerned friends and family that I was not joining a cult when I left my Baptist roots to join with the “baby sprinklers.” There is something about the PCA when it comes to its relationship to American Evangelicalism, though. Our denomination seems to really crave the acceptance of Evangelicals. But, no matter how hard we try, we never seem to gain full admission. A few not-meant-to-be-comprehensive examples: Dr. David Nicholas, of Spanish River PCA, was the co-founder of Acts29. Any idea what PCA pastor is on the executive leadership of America’s sexiest church planting network? No one. I remember when the Gospel Coalition began while I was in seminary. I thought to myself, “Finally people will see how right we Presbies are and we’ll attract more people into the PCA!” Then, the GC launches its New City Catechism and its ecclesiology is so weak that Baptists and Presby-lites can both agree...

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Outraged by a Lack of Outrage

[TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ABUSE] The 41st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America ended last Friday. As usual, it was a week of close votes, parliamentary procedure, worship services, committee meetings, old friends reconnected, new friendships formed, positive results, negative results and lots of commentary in the post-GA wrap up. While our denomination talks a good game at the institutional level about cultural influence, I believe we missed the most important vote that would have made us a leader denomination and, most likely, united us as an Assembly. When I was about six or seven, I really wanted...

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History of Christianity and Race in North America

A few weeks ago, I (Bobby) was privileged to participate in a conversation on racial issues at Mt. Helm Baptist Church in Jackson, MS for the Bradley-Rhodes Conversation. Among those who spoke were Rev. CJ Rhodes, Dr. Anthony Bradley, Dr. Ligon Duncan and Phillip Holmes of the Reformed African-American Network. Mr. Holmes led a panel of white and black seminary and college students who discussed their views of race in the Church. I was asked to give an address that provided a history of the theological justification for racism, slavery and segregation in the US Church with a focus...

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Making Sense of the Mess: Infertility

Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.” – CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain January 2007 was pretty terrible. Just eight or nine weeks before, we found out that my wife was pregnant. This was something two years in the making and we were utterly elated. We felt it was safe to tell close family at Christmas. Then, two weeks later,...

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The PCA and Intinction: Perhaps a Different Conversation is in Order

So last week, by a margin of fourteen votes, the 40th General Assembly voted to send a proposed amendment to BCO 58 to the Presbyteries that will effectively ban the practice of intinction. The church plant I serve does not practice intinction, but I am not opposed to it. I do believe the practice should be allowed because I believe it to be adiaphora. I realize there are differing opinions and fears but I think a bigger conversation is to be had that addresses other widespread practices rather than targeting twenty or thirty churches, affecting our military chaplains and senior ministries. I am not writing this to change “hearts and minds,” but to offer a few thoughts from last week’s debate. First, I appreciate that both sides used Scripture. So often we weigh our debates down in policy and BCO articles to the neglect of the Scriptures. This was great to see. Second, I was disturbed by a couple of things. One pastor made a comment about “liturgical anarchy” and said the Directory of Worship should have full constitutional force. Essentially, the argument was for conformity, not unity. Odd to hear something like that stated in an allegedly grassroots denomination and extremely neglectful about the historical realities of multi-culturalism. I think it is arrogant to think that one slice of the history of redemption worshipped to near biblical perfection...

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About Vintage 73

Vintage73 is a collaborative blog focusing on the culture and values of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). The site was born out of a desire for honest and charitable discussion within and about the PCA.

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