I have now been out in Prince Edward Island for almost 10 months with my wife and my daughter. It is not a long period of time and a lot has happened since the beginning of October 2019.
For those who are tuning in from the States or somewhere else in the world. What is PEI? PEI is a small island province off of the East Coast of Canada. The province has a diversity of industry including farming, fishing, and tourism, and then of course, the infrastructure to support that. In 2019, stats Canada put its population at about 157,000 people. PEI is where the confederation of Canada was founded on July 1, 1867. If you drive into Charlottetown, you will find the confederation building, the confederation Mall, and if you drive off the Island, you will drive across the Confederation Bridge. It is an enjoyable place to live.
I am a Christian, a follower of Christ. I would summarize many of my teachings as Reformed. This means that I am part of a body of congregations that has carried down the teachings of the Belgic Confession, Canons of Dort, and Heidelberg Catechism. I have subscribed to these confessions, because in them I see straightforward, Biblical teaching. They hold pastors accountable to the Word and they refute error. That being said, I would find a lot of unity with those who agree with the 39 Articles (Anglican), the Westminster Confessions (Presbyterian), the Book of Concord (Lutheran), the London Baptist Confession (confessional Baptist). I am Reformed because I believe that in this Reformed teaching we find the most principled way to maintain the four marks of the church that we also find at various points in Scripture: its catholicity, its purity, its unity, its apostolicity.
What is my vision?
- Biblical worship. Worship is to be regulated and guided by the Word of God. The Holy Spirit also works through the Church to consider history, confessions, and pastoral needs as we work with the principles and apply them in the context of the local church.
- Biblical evangelism. Evangelism was done throughout the New Testament by teaching and preaching the Word and through Christians sharing the Word. The Church has been given a commission to bring the gospel to all nations and so the United Reformed Church of PEI is also commissioned to bring that gospel to PEI and to the ends of the earth.
- Biblical fellowship. The New Testament Church was a fellow-shipping church and caring church. The Church is not simply a place for intellectuals or a certain economic class, but a place for mutual care and concern for all those who call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and also a place to show care and concern too our communities.
- Biblical teaching. Whether it is teaching about God, the Church or Christian living, the Word of God is the standard. Whether it is on the topic of the Church, sacraments, ethics, I have to preach the Word. This is done for the whole of the baptized church and to the whole world.
- Biblical ecumenicity. The Reformers taught that the Church is born of the Word of God. Even if there is no structural unity, Christians of various backgrounds should be encouraged to study their Bibles together and do everything to combat the divisions that the Apostle Paul fought against in Corinth. The Apostle Paul puts the cross at the center, and places a high importance on Trinitarian baptism. God’s Word is the authority for all of life, including church unity.
One of the most central confessions of the Church is that Jesus is the Christ, that He is the Savior of the world. Everything else flows from that confession in the ordering of the church and the ordering of Christian life in this world. That confession makes this ordering possible. I pray and preach, firmly believing that Christ will build His church on the firm bedrock of this confession and that the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.