Patronizing Pastors - or: Capitalism meets Catechism
It’s Synod week for the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America. For the second time in recent years, these two assemblies are meeting concurrently and on the same site (this time, Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA). The collaboration and fellowship are wonderful, and they combine to create opportunities which are profitable in every way.
One of the best parts of any Synod meeting is the plethora of book tables available to peruse and from which to purchase unwise amounts of printed wisdom. (“I might need this someday!” is a favorite excuse among us pastor-types). Christian publishing companies, even the non-profits, know the time is right to capitalize on the weak wills of the undershepherds who flock to their tables. Other church leaders and seminary students also abandon all inhibition to purchase mass quantities of Puritan books which extol self control and other virtues temporarily suspended in the greedy pursuit of deep discounts. And this Synod, publishers can cash in on the goldmine combination of two ready-to-rationalize, book-devouring denominations meeting in one place. I love it. And here's my personal participation in the process as both willing victim and enabler.
One of the books I’m happiest to see for sale here is a new edition of an old and priceless work of confessional Christian theology: The Westminster Larger Catechism. The new edition from Crown and Covenant publishers is user-friendly in size and especially in the clarity and spacing of the text/font and layout. But of course, it’s the content of this venerable volume that perennially begs for its republication and the refinement of its presentation. Toward that end, my friend and fellow GenRef blogger Nathan Eshelman has written an introduction which reminds would-be readers of the essential nature and value of this time tested, biblically faithful tome; its survey of the Catechism's historical context and original intent helps us to more fully appreciate one of church history’s most solid, sustained expressions of Christian faith.
Despite its theological and historical significance, Nathan notes that this treasure remains "overwhelmingly underappreciated." This neglect hurts the body of Christ. Our grasp of biblical truth is strengthened as we dive deeply into well-considered, historically consequential expressions of it, and so our Christian experience is weaker if we walk in ignorance of such work in our shared heritage as Christians. My hope is that this new edition of the Westminster Larger Catechism will help mitigate that malady.
If you’re in the area, stop by for the Synod discount, and either way, here’s the product page from the publisher. This will be a purchase well worth your patronage. And remember, even if you don't read it right away, you might need it someday!