Author: Sam DeSocio

Don’t Call it a Come Back, Please

I have recently heard a small rumbling in certain corners of the PCA which seem to be suggesting that the environment in the PCA today is very similar to the environment in the PCUS which made a split necessary, but is that really a fair comparison? To get our bearings let’s consider a few questions about the state of the PCA: Has any presbytery in the PCA received a man as a minister who denied the virgin birth of Christ, his bodily resurrection and his second coming? Have they ever received someone who denied even one of those items? Has any presbytery ordained a person who clearly taught universalism? Has Byfaith ever promoted the use of illegal drugs? Have we recently seen them publish articles encouraging teens to experiment sexually? Has any church in the PCA even invited its members to grab some food from the fridge and partake of communion while watching on their TV or computer? Has any professor from Covenant College or Seminary recently declared “God is dead, but don’t worry the Virgin is pregnant again?” Has Mission to North America recently set aside $50,000 for Abortions? Has any recent assembly encouraged abortion for any reason? The answer to all of these questions is “no.” Yet this was the state of things in the PCUS during the 60’s and 70’s. To those who might think that...

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The PCA Isn’t Using What God Has Given Her

In Matthew 25 Christ tells the story of how a master gave his servants resources. Some used them well, while other were fearful and did nothing. His warning was that in the end the one who sits on his hands will be in trouble. I love being part of the PCA, but when it comes to using the technological resources God has given us we are doing poorly.  While there are some churches using tech well, our denomination could do a much better job of using all the resources God has given us. It only takes looking at our denominational website  to see how behind we are as a denomination. The current site came online in June of 2000! We need to ask ourselves how can we be stewards of the technology God has made available to us? Technological stewardship doesn’t mean putting tech budgets over the needs of the peoples. It’s not about constantly buying news gadgets, and getting rid of existing system just for the sake of being new. It means using what technology is at your disposal, to better accomplish your goals. The church has not always been so behind when it comes to leveraging technology—the apostolic church was very good at leveraging new technologies for the sake of discipleship. While most people in the PCA would agree that God expanded his church, “in the fullness...

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The Importance of Discussing Alternative Credentialing Paths

This post is part of a series of discussions on Vintage73 focusing on the PCA’s proposed strategic plan. We’ll provide both pro and con positions on different aspects of the plan. To benefit most from these posts we suggest you read the plan itself first. We’re thankful to the Cooperative Ministries Committee (CMC) for their hard work in creating this proposal and pray that our efforts here will help sharpen their work as iron sharpens iron. While Tim and I haven’t yet met in person, I’ve enjoyed our correspondences, and I am glad that he is one of the contributors for Vintage 73. As Tim mentioned in his preface–this is our first attempt at a back and forth dialogue. I hope that as we examine different issues faith, truth and charity will be kept as central components. Before we discuss the details of the Strategic Plan, we need to understand that it is an advisory document. Dr. Chapell isn’t pretending that he brought it down from the mountaintop. The SP is more like a pitching coach for the PCA.  A pitching coach might advise a pitcher to work on a certain pitch or to strengthen certain muscles to avoid strain.  He will point out areas where the pitcher could be stronger.  He might even suggest throwing certain pitches in particular situations, but the pitching coach is an advisor—he doesn’t take...

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Is Diversity In The PCA A Bad Thing?

The answer to that questions depends of a few things. We might start by asking: is the PCA getting more diverse?  Well, the answer depends of the type of diversity you are asking about. In terms of theological diversity—no.  Today the PCA is more theologically precise than it was at its founding. Sometimes people forget that many of the founders of the PCA received theological educations from seminaries that were far less committed to teaching from a Biblically Reformed perspective. Over time, as better seminaries were established and used this began to change. Dr. Roy Taylor suggests that this change has made the PCA more “Consciously and consistently Reformed today” than it was at its founding. While the PCA could not be seen as more theologically diverse today, we can clearly see that the PCA has begun to diversify along cultural and stylistic lines. In some sections of the Church this is a problem because it removes the cultural consistency that churches in the PCA once shared. Some might say ‘how can we recommend a church that uses different songs, or liturgical patterns, or one which uses different instrumentation?’  The hazzard with this kind of thinking is that it assumes that people are only in our churches because of a certain style, and that they are too weak to transition into another style of worship. This concern seems to...

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Presbyterian on Paper

Recently I had the privilege of preaching at one of the oldest and largest churches in our presbytery. After the service I was speaking with the Senior pastor of the church, and we were discussing the fact that the Presbyterian style of leadership in the church makes it possible for guys in our age bracket (he is 31 and I’m 27) to serve as pastors in the church. Without the support and wisdom that comes from having other elders with more life and ministry experience than us, it would be almost impossible to imagine having any level of success...

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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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