Word and Sacrament: Making Disciples of All Nations
July/August 2011

What is the secret key for growth in the Christian life? It is the gospel of the died and risen Savior that gives life, delivered by means of the preached Word, and then signed, sealed, and confirmed by “visible word” in the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Teaching and discipline come to bear immediately in a well-ordered church that is growing and maturing. In this issue in our continuing series on “The Great Commission,” we want to help realign the church’s mission to these specific means that Christ ordained for the expansion of his kingdom. Toward this end, Editor-in-Chief Michael Horton sets out our need for catechesis in discipleship-a theme running throughout this issue. Lutheran pastor John Bombaro argues against a “Facebook” Christianity, showing that discipleship necessarily involves a communal setting, including personal representation as being of the essence of Christian disciple-making; and Rick Ritchie helps us think about our choices of media in the church. Pastor Andrea Ferrari and Professor Alex Chediak also discuss churches and children who are coming of age in a Facebook age, while Pastor Nam-Joon Kim relates the extensive discipleship and teaching ministry at Yullin Presbyterian Church in Korea. An interview with J. I. Packer and Gary Parrett further reiterates the importance of catechism, and Presbyterian minister and seminary professor J. V. Fesko persuades us that baptism is a strong link to a lifetime of discipleship.

In the book of Acts, the Great Commission unfolds as the church was born by Word and Spirit and then “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). Word and Sacrament ministry, in other words, is the full mission of the church. This is how God directs our hearts and minds to Christ. It is his rescue mission for the nations. Join us in this July/August timely and vital issue of Modern Reformation!

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