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The Work At Zion: A Reckoning Phillip A. Ross

The Work At Zion: A Reckoning

Phillip A. Ross

Published
ISBN : 9780788006975
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 About the Book 

Back CoverThe Work at Zion is a journal of a spiritual conversion that turned a ministry upside down. This collection of sermons details a preachers rediscovery of classic, historical, Protestant Christianity in the midst of of apathy and apostasy.MoreBack CoverThe Work at Zion is a journal of a spiritual conversion that turned a ministry upside down. This collection of sermons details a preachers rediscovery of classic, historical, Protestant Christianity in the midst of of apathy and apostasy. The logical conclusion of modern Christianity is brought to a head and set in stark contrast to Gods Word.What is discovered, along with the delusions of political correctness and other forms of deconstructed madness, is that the modern church is on a collision course with the Lord of Glory. Spurned by man, the doctrinal heart of the Protestant Reformation can no longer be ignored.The future can best be discerned by looking to the past. The history of Gods faithful people, inasmuch as that history represents Gods eternal truth, provides the only real hope for the future. Come Lord Jesus!PrefaceThe personal growth that has blessed me at Zion took root in my previous pastorate at Zoar United Church of Christ in Evansville, Indiana. There the Lord brought me into a deep repentance that has resulted in my conversion to classic, biblical Christianity. It might seem an odd thing that a pastor has been converted while in the pastorate. We usually think of pastors as having settled the fundamental theological issues. But with seminaries requiring less and less traditional study, graduates emerge with less and less traditional conviction.Conversion describes movement from one position to another. Claiming a conversion to classic, biblical, Evangelical Christianity, you may wonder what I have been converted from. Suffice it to say that my conversion has been from philosophy and liberal Christianity — thought from a classic perspective it would be difficult to call it Christianity at all. In addition, my experience has ranged far from Christianity by any definition.This conversion experience has been unfolding for decades, but here you will find a record of sorts of my theological growth in what I call classic, Evangelical Christianity. It is a preaching record that may be helpful to others who are called by the Holy Spirit but caught in the web of modernity. I pray that the Lord may use this record to free others. The full account of my checkered faith journey must await another volume.Here you will find an account of a developing faith perspective preached in a wayward church by a wayward pastor. My hope in sharing these pages is to share some insights gained in the face of faith coming out of modernity — not coming out in the sense of producing modern faith, but in the sense of classic faith distinguishing itself from modernity. As best as I can discern at this point in time, the future of the faithful Evangelical Church lies in her history. The deconstructionism of the present age has revealed the dead end of modernity.This volume records the conversion of my theological perspective as it is being reformed by the power of the Holy Spirit through many voices from the Old School, delineated by the Puritans, Charles Hodge, etc., and more recently by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Ian Murray, etc. Regard is also due to John Calvin, whos teaching is so tenacious only because it is so radically biblical, and who inspired these men, and who continues to be a great inspiration today. I discovered these authors during my pastorate at Zion, so you will see my perspective in the process of coming to grips with their biblical fidelity.There are many other saints from the past and the present whom I have yet to meet. But the thing I want to communicate to those interested in these exploits is that there is a body of literature — a communion of saints — waiting to guide those who seek to honor the faith once given to the saints. Too few Christians today realize that there is an intellectually viable faith alternative to modern liberalism, universalism, Pentecostalism, Arminianism, Catholicism, and hyper-Calvinism. Faithful Evangelicalism is not just another faith perspective, it is nothing more than historic, biblical faith.Here is offered a glimpse into the calamitous religious ethos of the 1990s. My work is neither great literature nor great preaching. I offer only a simple historical record of one mans growth. It is recorded much like a farmer would record weather patterns to better plan his future crops and aid his children. Consequently, this record may be of special interest to church historians for two reasons: 1) because it demonstrates the tenacity of Calvins legacy, and 2) this edition is free from editorial advice that might round its rough edges to make it more marketable.The church at Zion was founded in 1845 as Zion Reformed Church, and joined the Evangelical & Reformed Synod of America in 1939, and the United Church of Christ in 1957. In 1968 the three churches of Zion, Pennsylvania— Zion United Church of Christ, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and Zion Evangelical United Brethren Church — united to become Zion United Church of Christ. The merger brought Calvinism, Lutheranism, and Arminianism under the same roof. The price of merger has been theological confusion. The confession of these pages is the failure of ecumenicism and the need to return to the old path.My journey toward the Reformed faith from the United Church of Christ fascinates me because I never suspected to grow in such a direction — even though my roots are in the United Church of Christ. What I have discovered is that the traditional Reformed perspective has been blurred beyond recognition by the United Church of Christ (as have the Evangelical and Congregational Christian perspectives). The merger mania of the ecumenical movement has produced a bastard religion that mimics the barest likeness of it progenitors. Lord have mercy.My sincere thanks are extended to the people of the Zion United Church of Christ for their patience as I have grown in their midst. I ask forgiveness for my errors, faults, and offenses taken against me. I pray earnestly for the movement of the Holy Spirit in their midst, who alone can heal and provide the unity in Christ that they seek.My love and appreciation for my wife, Stephanie, could not be greater. In may respects she alone knows and shares my burden for the Lord and His people. My ministry would not be but for her help and support.My prayer is that the following pages may be used by the Lord for the purposes of Christ. May God grant you the grace of faith in Jesus Christ — alone.1996Zion, Pennsylvania