Author: Tim Taylor

Of TRs and Liberals

I’m not sure when the term “TR” was first coined (35 years ago? More?), but it seems I’ve been hearing it all my life. Sometimes it’s directed at me. Sometimes I must admit it’s used by me in reference to others. But what does it mean and to whom is it referring?The abbreviation “TR” means “truly reformed” or “thoroughly reformed.” If TRs had an official motto it might be: “If ya ain’t Reformed you’re deformed.” TRs are on the theological right. They’re the conservatives of conservatives. Often there’s a certain arrogance and smugness associated with them. They can be...

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The 2010 Strategic Plan: Answering an Objection

As the PCA’s General Assembly met this year, the item that consumed most of its energy was the Strategic Plan presented by the Cooperative Ministries Committee (CMC). The primary objection raised against the SP from the floor was its lack of scriptural analysis. It was argued that commissioners were voting on a document replete with sociological analysis but deficient in scriptural warrant. Some were so upset by this that they entered an official protest signed by 128 commissioners. But was the SP truly lacking in scriptural warrant? And is proof-texting even necessary? From the beginning, the SP has explicitly assumed both the innerancy of scripture and the wisdom of our confessional standards. With those issues settled, the CMC tackled the question, “How do we give hands and feet to our theology in the 21st century?” So while it is true that the SP did not include proof texts for its various assertions, it is also true that it did not need to. Do elders in the church need to be constantly and explicitly reminded that there is scriptural warrant for missions?  Or that the Bible calls us to engage the culture? I suppose the CMC could have referenced Matthew 28 and Acts 17. Would that truly have made those uncomfortable with the SP suddenly excited about it? Moreover, does our tradition have a history of including proof-texts for all...

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The 2010 Strategic Plan: Dispelling a Voting Myth

The Twittersphere was abuzz as General Assembly convened last week in Nashville, and the tweets weren’t coming only from commissioners. I’d say that people who get so excited about watching GA on their computer screens probably need some counseling or at least a new hobby, but I was one of them! I started attending GA when I was just a kid, accompanying my dad around the country as he and other denominational leaders met to do the important work of churchmen. I love the PCA, and so watching her leaders sharpen each other as iron sharpens iron is something I want to experience every year. Of course, the big topic this year was the vote on the Strategic Plan the Cooperative Ministries Committee (CMC) put together and which was presented to the assembly by the Administrative Committee (AC). After much debate and parliamentary maneuvering, all but one item of the plan was approved. But does that tell the whole story? Was a significant portion of the assembly in favor of this plan or did it pass only by slim margins? The Myth of the Close Vote It didn’t take long after the SP passed for doom and gloom predictions to disseminate across the blogosphere. Much of the restlessness came from those who claimed that the plan passed by only slim margins. “How could we move forward with such an...

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Alternative Credentialing: Do We Need New Avenues to Ordination?

This post marks the first in a new 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. The proposed PCA strategic plan has rightly identified a major problem in the denomination: too many people look like me. I’m an educated, white Southerner who grew up in the suburbs and is married with 2.5 kids (no, really – I have two kids and one more baking in the oven). As the face of America is changing, no longer requiring SPF 50, so should the Presbyterian Church in America. The sticking point is how to effect such change. Our seminaries aren’t exactly overrun with minority students passionate about bringing the Reformed faith to their ethnic communities. Why not? And what can we do to encourage more ordained minority leaders in the PCA? What’s the Real Problem? The first step in solving a problem is identifying its cause. As a Calvinist resurgence sweeps across the nation it’s not just Anglos who are discovering/re-discovering the Reformed faith. Many seeking biblical Christianity are...

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What Does The PCA Need To Hear This Year?

A few years ago John Piper was invited to preach at the PCA’s General Assembly. I’ve wondered what I would preach if given just one chance to address the denomination. Apparently, Piper believed what we needed to hear most that year was the importance of doctrine. Really, Piper? Doctrine? Don’t get me wrong, it was an excellent sermon, but if addressing the importance of doctrine at the PCA General Assembly isn’t preaching to the choir, I don’t know what is. I was surprised that Piper picked such a safe topic, especially considering how he’s known as one who’s not afraid to ruffle feathers. As I’ve watched the responses on the blogosphere to the proposed PCA strategic plan, it seems to me the one thing that we need to be reminded of most this year is the importance of loving our neighbor. Some of what passes as commentary on the strategic plan is little more than thinly-veiled libel and malice. Instead of judging the document on its own merit and putting the arguments and motives of its authors in the best light possible as the judgment of charity requires, some are imputing the worst motives possible. Shortly after the PCA was formed, Francis Schaeffer published a warning to us regarding this very danger: The failure of those who separated from the Presbyterian Church USA during the 1930’s extended beyond the...

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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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