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What happened to the Presbyterian Church USA?

This week the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), the largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States, approved an ammendment to their constitution to redefine marriage as "a unique commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a women, to love and support each other for the rest of their lives." The church had voted to adopt this change at last years General ...

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A Reformed Church

Redeemer is a "Reformed" church. What does that mean exactly? ...

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Christianity for Sale?

In last week's sermon, we discussed the negative influence of consumerism when it is applied to the Christian faith. We made the point that a "consumer Christian" is not a disciple, and that Christ call to follow him is a call to be a disciple, not a consumer. Unfortunately, the consumer mentality has not just affected Christians as individuals, but as churches (and in som...

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A 21st century plea for Catechizing our youth, part 1

This is the first in a series of posts about the critical importance of catechesis in the home and church today. My hope is to convince that catechism is a discipline and privilege that Christian parents should engage in and churches encourage and support. While this has always been true historically, I believe it is especially critical in light of our current cultural sit...

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How to write a worship song in five minutes (OR Why we sing hymns)

First, watch thisvideo... This video is funny. It's also rather sad. While certainly exaggerating, it expresses quite pointedly how empty many contemporary worship songs really are. In only a few years as a minister, it has become obvious to me that many people are turned away from reformed and presbyterian churches because they find the minimal instrumentation and singin...

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What should I do Sunday afternoon, part 2

What should we do Sunday afternoon? In the first post on this topic, we finished by suggesting that to answer this question we must consider the purpose of the Lord's Day. As we consider what Sunday is for, it will help us determine what we should do. Purpose # 1: Sunday is intended to bring us refreshment, both physically and spiritually. This aspect of refreshment is a...

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What should I do on Sunday afternoon?

What should I do on Sunday afternoon? I acknowledge that even asking this question identifies me as one of those weird Christians who still believes that Sunday is a special day. I admit it is true. I still believe that the 4th commandment applies, that Sunday is the Lord's Day, and thus it is to be different from the other days of our week. This is the position of our de...

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Why have a liturgy?

At Redeemer we have what some would describe as a "liturgical" service. What most people mean by this term is that our service has a very clear order to it, including the use of various printed prayers, confessions, and other congregational recitations within the service. From week to week, the way we worship changes very little. Certainly, such a highly structured servic...

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Dear Christian, Are You Ready to be 'Weird?'

I was confronted with an unsettling truth recently while reading a book by an English Christian by the name of Francis Spufford. In the preface to his book, Unapologetic: How Despite Everything Christianity still makes Surprising Emotional Sense, he describes what it is like to be a Christian in England in the 21st century: My daughter just turned six. some time over th...

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Why So much Singing in a Worship Service?

Unless you are one of the gifted few among us, chances are you don't do much out-loud singing during your week (not counting the car and shower). For many of us, the very idea of publicly singing with around others can be intimidating. For others, particularly men, singing in church is something we "tolerate" as a necessary inconvenience in order to get to the sermon. Bibl...

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