Shared OPC-PCA Ordination, part 1

March 29, 2010

On March 17, Westminster enjoyed a historic moment with the first joint ordination of the PCA and OPC, when Dr. Jue, assoc. prof. of church history, and Dr. Tipton were received.

"I believe it is important for me to be ordained as a Minister of the Word, because training men for pastoral ministry is Westminster's primary (but not exclusive) focus. I also believe it is critical that professors at theological seminaries come under the authority of the church, so that they are accountable to the church for what they teach in the classroom.

"What particularly encouraged me about my licensure and ordination exams in theology was the opportunity to confess and elaborate before the Presbytery of Philadelphia the Christ-centered theology of the Westminster Standards, particularly the centrality of union with Christ in the application of redemption.

"Following the clear teaching of Scripture (I Cor. 1:30, 15:45; Eph. 1:3, 2:1-10; Gal. 2:17; Col. 3:1-4; Ro. 6:1-11, 8:14-24), the Westminster Larger Catechism, Q&A 69, teaches that the benefits of redemption (i.e., justification, adoption and sanctification) "manifest" the believer's union with Christ.

Dr. Gaffin giving Drs. Jue and Tipton their charge"Rather than the Gospel being located exclusively or primarily in some forensic or renovative benefit, such as justification or sanctification, the Gospel is located first and foremost in the Benefactor of redemption, Jesus Christ Himself (Ro. 1:1-4; I Cor. 15:1-4). Union with Christ therefore becomes centrally significant for the application of redemption in the theology of the Westminster Standards.

"This Christ-centered focus of the Gospel is wonderfully robust and lends itself ideally to preaching, teaching and ministering to those united to Christ by faith. Expressing these truths before the presbytery, where they were so warmly embraced, brought me great comfort and encouragement."

- Rev. Dr. Lane G. Tipton, associate professor of systematic theology