Introduction: The Church's One Foundation

The last edition of the Founders Journal gave exposition to paragraphs 1-6, 10 and 14, 15 of chapter 26, “Of the Church,” of the Second London Confession. This edition will complete our commentary on that chapter. Also, it will include commentary on chapters 27-30 on the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

The editor has given attention to paragraphs 7-9 and 11-13 of Chapter 26 to bring to an end our exposition of that lengthy chapter. The two-fold provision of officers for the church designated by Christ, elders and deacons, are discussed. Also, he has discussed the issues of baptism and the Lord’s Supper as presented in chapters 28 – 30. These articles complete the confession’s statement on the distinctive ecclesiological marks of Baptist theology.

Scott Callaham has written an excellent piece on chapter 27, “On the Communion of Saints.” This is a strikingly thorough discussion, a virtual biblical theology, of that rich biblical idea. He brings to bear a comprehensive grasp of the distinctives as well as the unity of the Old and New Testaments, an excellent competency in the biblical languages, and a love for doctrine that arises from careful exegesis. This is an encouraging and spiritually edifying look at the blessing that God has given in our fellowship and union in the gospel.

Complementing these studies, Jeff Robinson provides a book review of Pastors and Their Critics: A Guide to Coping with Criticism in the Ministry (P&R, 2020) by Joel R. Beeke and Nick Thompson. Jeff brings together several qualifications in evaluating this book on pastoral ministry. He has been and is a pastor,  experiencing week by week some of the very issues dealt with in this book. He is a reader on this subject and has brought to bear his broad knowledge of this genre of pastoral theology in making his evaluations. He is a writer—I mean, more than an occasional article or book idea, but a day-by-day producer of usable material for a wide range of readers. He does this as a job, but more importantly, as a conscientious steward of the written word, a theological commitment to the perpetuity of truth through the written word.

The Lord Jesus built his church on the Father-determined, Spirit-wrought confession that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God. On this confession the gates of hell which enclose the whole world will be made to tremble as God’s power will bring to naught its ability to keep incarcerated even one of God’s elect. Christ himself is the church’s one foundation, its cornerstone, and his redemptive work provides its confession of truth. Christ died for his church and will bring it to himself as a bride—unspoiled, unspotted, unwrinkled, unblemished—on that day when sinless eternity begins in the presence of the one true God. We pray that this Founders Journal will help grow biblically-founded conviction of the importance of maintaining faithfulness to the purpose of Christ set forth when the Father “put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all’ (Ephesians 1: 22,  23).