Great Article by Sean Lucas on the “Church Calendar”

Sean Lucas of Covenant Theological Seminary has posted an excellent article on his blog on the essential incompatibility of Sola Scriptura and the Regulative Principle with the practice of observing invented Holy Days in the worship of church.

Lucas notes in his article, “While I am aware that some would make a biblical argument for using the church calendar based on the OT development of sacrifical feast days (an argument that is not convincing to me), I would suggest that what we have for our place in the redemptive, biblical drama is actually a rhythym of 52 feasts days a year–the Lord’s Day in which Word, Sacraments, and prayer constitute the heart of the church’s “calendar.” “

His comment regarding the specious argument that the commanded Old Testament holy days provide the pretext for the invention of New Testament Holy Days reminded me of the comments of several Puritan divines, such as Thomas Watson, who dealt with the same argument as it was advanced by Roman Catholics and Anglicans in their own day. Watson answered:

“The ceremonies of the law, which God himself ordained, are now abrogated, and out of date. Christ the substance being come, the shadows fly away; and therefore the apostle calls the legal ceremonies carnal rites. Heb 9: 10. If we may not use those Jewish ceremonies which God once appointed, then not those which he never appointed.”


About Andrew Webb

Andrew James Webb, Pastor Providence PCA, Fayetteville NC. Born: July 29, 1969 Rochford, Essex England Education: MA Modern History, St. Andrews University, Fife, Scotland, 1991 M.Div., Westminster Theological Seminary, Glenside, PA, 2001 Personal Details: Husband of Joy Webb, Father of Margaret (6), Victor (5), Graham (3) and Isabel (10 Mos.) Secular Work History: Upon graduation from University, I returned to the United States and worked for two Madison Ave Advertising Firms in copy writing and advertising space sales. After moving to Northern Virginia, I went into computing. I worked as a Systems Administrator in Washington D.C. for both the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) (a legal publishing firm,) and the International Republican Institute. Experience: Licensed by Potomac Presbytery, May 1997 and Philadelphia Presbytery in 1999. From 1998 to 2001 I did a three year apprentice/internship under Dr. Mark Herzer while working with the Christ Covenant church plant in Hatboro, PA. Ordained as an RE at Christ Covenant PCA in 2000 and as a TE by Central Carolina in 2001 when I was called to be the Organizing Pastor for Providence PCA Mission, Cross Creek PCA's church plant in Fayetteville, NC (home to Ft. Bragg and Pope Airforce Base). In 2005 when the Providence PCA Particularized I was blessed to be called by the congregation to be their Pastor. Presbytery Committees: Assistance and Membership (Philadelphia), Candidates (Central Carolina), Nominations (Central Carolina) GA Committees: Bills and Overtures, Covenant Theological Seminary Other: I have had a number of my essays on theological topics published including What is the Reformed Doctrine of Divorce? and Five Reasons Not To Go See The Passion of the Christ Why I Don't Have an English Accent: I don't have an English accent because my parents moved to New Jersey when I was six!
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3 Responses to Great Article by Sean Lucas on the “Church Calendar”

  1. Interesting. I was thinking that whatever one’s thoughts were on using the calendar that this article was extremely weak and convoluted. His next day follow-up seemed to be necessary but did not clarify anything.

  2. Andrew Webb says:

    Hi Brian,

    In reading Lucas’ article, we have to face certain facts. Sean is a highly visible representative of our denominational seminary, and the vast majority of our churches (80%+) do in fact observe holy days, so there is only so much he can say. The fact that he said it all, and took the OSP position against the modern practice was fairly bold and I can understand his use of language that was far more cautious than I would use. You’ll note that in no time at all the FV men, Anglo-Catholics, and high church liturgists in the PCA were jumping all over him for what he did say in the first place.

    Also, I appreciated it for what it was, a simple blog article that hit most of the essentials – not a highly polished theological essay. In that sense, I thought it was great. Would that the majority of profs at CTS agreed with him about the implications of Sola Scriptura and the RPW for our faith and practice.

  3. Thank you Andrew. I have much respect for Sean’s boldness in speaking on this subject. Honestly, I am not sure where most of the men at CTS stand on these subjects. I have seen posts recently by students at CTS advocating some form of Ash Wednesday observance, whichs seems ill advised to me, and I wonder where they are getting their inspiration.

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