Outward OPC, A29

Discussion in 'Evangelism, Missions and the Persecuted Church' started by A.Joseph, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. A.Joseph

    A.Joseph Puritan Board Freshman

    does anybody else find this a little troubling? Specially, the reference and accolades to Chandler and A29 ‘who are reaching people better’

    Then there is this....


    yikes!
    https://www.outwardopc.com/2018/06/19/10-things-intro/
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
  2. Bill Duncan

    Bill Duncan Puritan Board Freshman

    Yes! It seems everyone is infected with certain enclaves of Missional Theology.
     
  3. Johnathan Lee Allen

    Johnathan Lee Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    Ouch. This is bad.

    “Outward OPC is a work of the OPC Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension.” ... so this is official OPC?
     
  4. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    Yes.
     
  5. Hamalas

    Hamalas whippersnapper

    He's simply describing the different groups that people in our circles will run into. He's not saying that the Acts29 model or "Reformed-lite Ross approach" are the way to go. Actually, he explicitly says the opposite: "There are a number of areas I believe they could profit from time with us—our ecclesiology and our sense of liturgy and worship would be at the top of the list. But they are working out their own understanding of things and we are working out ours. If I could do one thing in this life right now, it would be to bring the strengths of the two together. I’m not sure that’s realistic, so I’m just going to go ahead and work it out on a small scale here and some other venues and let you work through it with me."

    The whole point of his article is to argue that there are certain things we can learn from some of these other groups but that we can't, and shouldn't, try to copy everything they do. It's an intentionally eclectic and nuanced approach. I'm not sure I see the problem.
     
  6. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    There is nothing wrong with critically engaging other denominations to find helpful advice, so long as it is consistent with your confessional principles. Even Reformed denominations can develop blind spots, and interacting with others can help you see them, and even better understand your own historic tradition. It seems to me that it's way too early for red flags. You need to see what he actually says in the following articles where he goes into more detail about what he finds instructional or worthy of imitation in these other groups.
     
  7. A.Joseph

    A.Joseph Puritan Board Freshman

    Has the writer read this? Are we truly lacking? And how are any of these other churches and denominations a worthy model? I think we are fine exactly the way we are.... Church growth may come.... it may not....

    https://www.challies.com/book-reviews/with-reverence-and-awe/
     
  8. Alan D. Strange

    Alan D. Strange Puritan Board Junior

    I don't believe anyone in the church militant can ever say this, brother. There is plenty of room for growth and betterment in the OPC. Plenty.

    You always have to be careful about what you mean by "official OPC." The doctrine of the church is expressed in the Westminster Standards, the polity in its Church Order.

    Any denominational publication, like New Horizons in the OPC, expresses views about which confessionalists may differ. This blog does the same. I've seen nothing here that violates the standards of the OPC.

    It's better to listen to the substance of such a conversation and to differ, if you do, with substance, rather than to shut the conversation down. We are always talking about strengths and weaknesses and how we can do what we do better. And we should always do so until Jesus returns.

    This is what it means always to be Reformed according to the Word of God. Is this a threat to orthodoxy and sound doctrine? We should always have recourse to the Word and Standards so that we might stay vibrant in our faith, maintaining orthodoxy and staving off orthodusty.

    Peace,
    Alan
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
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  9. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    Here's the deal: the article is dead-on right about welcoming people. It says many OPC churches (and those similar, I presume) could learn from some of the less fully Reformed but Reformed-learning tribes that know how to genuinely welcome outsiders and take proactive steps to do so. In my experience, this is absolutely true.

    I could give a few examples, but one case in point is my son who went off to college this year. The boy knows and appreciates right theology and ecclesiology. But he also knows you don't show up where you aren't welcome. So when he arrived on campus at his Christian university, he checked out the annual church fair (where churches come to campus and set up information booths) and the church bulletin board. Every Acts 29 church in that city was represented, and a few of the PCAs as well. But the OPC congregation, despite being fairly sizeable in that city, was not to be found.

    I urged him to visit the OPC church anyway, told him he might find it was a great church. But despite his frustrations so far with the churches he has visited, he won't try the OPC. "I don't think they really want students," he tells me. What he means is that he's scared to walk into a place that hasn't first shown him he's welcome by giving some indication of a proactive reaching-out. With today's generation, it isn't enough to put a sign in the yard, an ad in the Yellow Pages, and a greeter inside the front door. My boy attends the largest Christian university in that city. The university president is a Presbyterian and the OPC church is just a few miles away. And he figures if that church hasn't even bothered to come to that campus and tack a flyer up on the bulletin board, they don't really want someone like him to come to their church.

    Now, maybe this particular OPC congregation actually is trying to be proactive and just happened to miss my kid in a city full of people. And surely there are other stalwart Reformed congregations that also try to be proactive in welcoming outsiders. And I have extremely high regard overall for the OPC. But the idea that there's nothing good some of those churches might be able to learn from others is just wrong.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
  10. EcclesiaDiscens.

    EcclesiaDiscens. Puritan Board Freshman

    I would agree. I would say this could be a fruitful venture. Some Confessionally Reformed churches I've visited were less than welcoming.
     
  11. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Or perhaps your son is right - they really don't want university students. Unless one is spoiling for a fight, there isn't much point in going where one isn't welcome.
     
  12. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    The "frozen chosen," and all that. The attitude seems to be: "if you find us, welcome! But we're going to go out looking for you."
     
  13. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    I've long wished they'd change the name of the magazine. "New Horizons" sounds like a travel magazine for oldsters. The way the culture is going, a name like "Presbyterian Guardian" is becoming relevant again.
     
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  14. A.Joseph

    A.Joseph Puritan Board Freshman

    Ok, I had written a response that probably only aided in further shutting down the conversation. So I deleted it. I will pray for the denomination and the good men seeking to further the kingdom of God for Jesus’ sake!
     
  15. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    When I used to work wildfires, I'd take any opportunity to attend a worship service. To be a woman who stomps into church in boots and what looks like green cargo pants is to find out how welcoming a congregation will be. The worst was a large methodist church where someone noted my name tag "in case she causes trouble."

    I don't think generalizations about whole denominations are particularly helpful. We do what we can locally. Each Sunday and every encounter can be a new opportunity.
     

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