Ever wonder how the various Reformed and Presbyterian denominations in North America are related? Attached is a Presbyterian and Reformed family tree designed to help answer your questions! It builds on similar charts that have been made in the past. It especially seeks to mark the history and relationships of member churches of NAPARC (North American Presbyterian And Reformed Council). More detailed charts of either Reformed or Presbyterian bodies may be found elsewhere, but this document contains them all on one page.
Are we to be congratulated for being a “post” society? The word “post” has come to take on a subtle, special significance when used as a prefix in the world of sociology, philosophy and therefore theology.
The term is used in a general way to indicate “afterward.” In history, the phrase “post-Reformation Europe” calls to mind a particular set of years and the ideas which have driven and defined it. But in our culture, the term “post” means not merely a chunk of history and the ideas which animate it. We use “post” as both a description of how things are and a prescription of how things should be. It is a comment on the movement of society, but also a self-congratulatory compliment on the particular direction in which we’re heading.
In a few weeks I’ll begin preaching on Ezekiel 34, God’s disputation against the false and selfish shepherds of Israel. He includes fiery accusations like these:
Should not shepherds feed the sheep?
You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with wool…but you do not feed the sheep.
The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed…
So [my people] were scattered because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts. (from v. 2-6)
Frightening and sobering stuff. But for the time being, I’m in the middle of our annual elders’ planning retreat.