Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ruling Elders and their Influence

I am preparing my syllabus and notes for an Adult Sunday School class I will be teaching next year at Communion Presbyterian. I will be teaching through the Confession, with the goal of better familiarizing the congregation with the great doctrines taught therein. One source I am using is A. A. Hodge's The Confession of Faith (Banner of Truth, 1964). In the preface, Hodge retells what was his inspiration for writing his commentary on the Confession:

During the sessions of the General Assembly of 1868 in Albany, the author was honoured with an invitation from the Rev. G. C. Heckman, D.D., pastor of the State Street Church in that city, to visit a large and intelligent class held every Sunday afternoon in the body of the church, and instructed in the Confession of Faith by the admirable elder and fellow-labourer in the gospel, E. P. Durant, Esq. In both design and success this exercise appeared worthy of universal emulation...At that time the design of this "Commentary" on the Confession of Faith was conceived.
(The Confession of Faith, xv).

Edward P. Durant was a Ruling Elder (thanks to R. Andrew Meyers for helping me with that!). His class is what gave A. A. Hodge the idea of writing his great commentary on the Confession. Ruling Elders can have a great influence on their local congregations, but also on the whole church for generations to come! That is a very humbling idea for me to keep in mind as I prepare my notes for next year's Sunday School class on the Confession of Faith!


  1. Amen, brother! May God bless your preparation and class.

  2. Sounds good! great idea. My friendly encouragement wld be to have the Pastor ask everyone to attend, don't you think?

  3. Seth, so does that mean we can expect an "S.A. Stark Commentary on the Westminster Confession of Faith" in the near future?

  4. Van: I wouldn't hold my breath, if I were you. But, perhaps I can inspire some visiting professor of theology to write a commentary!