June–July 2024 Ordained Servant

A Journal for Church Officers

E-ISSN 1931-7115

End-of-Life Care

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From the Editor. While working on a commentary on Ecclesiastes, I have been reading Ecclesiastes over and over again each day. In doing so I have become intensely aware of one of its major themes—death (Eccl. 1:4; 2:14–23; 3:1–2, 19–21; 5:18; 6:12; 7:1–2; 9:2–3, 10; 12:1–8). Ecclesiastes 12:1–8 forms the grand prelude to the framer’s closing exhortation to fear God in 12:9–12. No one is exempt unless they are alive at the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus. Retired hospital chaplain pastor Gordon Cook gives church officers an abundance of important information and advice for ministering to the dying in “Hospice and Palliative Care at the End of Life.”

Chapter 15 of The Voice of the Good Shepherd is a companion to the previous chapter, expanding more specifically in three areas of general preparation for preaching: “Develop Your Whole Person in Three Areas.” I explore the value of good fiction, the oral power of poetry, and a word on the value of classical music.

Richard Gamble reviews The Case for Christian Nationalism by Stephen Wolfe in his review article, “Christianity and Nationalism.” He digs deeply into Wolfe’s sources, uncovering an author supporting the nineteenth-century social gospel and another supporting Mao and the People’s Republic of China. Worse is his appeal to French intellectual Ernest Renan, the author of The Life of Jesus, the notorious 1863 account of Jesus as a purely human great man. He concludes: “Christianity and Christian nationalism are separating as two theologies engaged in heated competition in our world a century after Machen. The stakes may be as high today as they were then.”

Stephen Migotsky reviews Calls to Worship, Invocations, and Benedictions by Ryan Kelly, recommending it as an orthodox and useful source book for ministers of the Word.

Danny Olinger reviews Flannery O’Connor’s Why Do the Heathen Rage? by Jessica Hooten Wilson in his review article, “Flannery O’Connor Revisited.” He finds that Wilson’s piecing together of O’Connor’s unfinished novel is unsatisfying to readers who know O’Connor’s oeuvre. O’Connor wrestled mightily with her work, constantly revising, so it is doubtful that she would appreciate its being published in unfinished form. Olinger’s knowledge of O’Connor will whet the appetites of those who are unfamiliar with her work. She was a master at depicting the dark side of human nature, leaving the reader hungry for Jesus, writing as she did from the Christ-haunted South.

Our poem this month is by a poet I have just discovered, Mary E. Coleridge (1861–1907). She was the great grand-niece of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Her poem about death was published posthumously—Poems (London: Elkin Mathews, 1908). Unlike some of her Romantic forebears, like William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878) in Thanatopsis, she sees death as an enemy of humanity and pleads with her gracious God for mercy.

The cover photo is from The Pine Hill Cemetery in Washington, New Hampshire. On one nearby stone this gospel inscription was engraved: “No prayer, no tears, his flight could stay / ’Twas Jesus called the soul away.”

Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds


Ordained Servant exists to help encourage, inform, and equip church officers for faithful, effective, and God-glorifying ministry in the visible church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Its primary audience is ministers, elders, and deacons of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, as well as interested officers from other Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Through high-quality editorials, articles, and book reviews, we will endeavor to stimulate clear thinking and the consistent practice of historic, confessional Presbyterianism.

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Contact the Editor: Gregory Edward Reynolds

Editorial address: Dr. Gregory Edward Reynolds,
827 Chestnut St.
Manchester, NH 03104-2522
Telephone: 603-668-3069

Electronic mail: reynolds.1@opc.org

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