Are You Looking for a Reformed Church in Vancouver?

We invite you to visit us and learn more about what it means to be Christians holding to the Reformed creeds and confessions which have been studied, refined, and passed down through the generations. 

What does it mean to be Reformed? Are you just learning about the Reformed tradition? We'd love to explain this to you in person but over the next while I (Pastor Norm) will be posting more thoughts on what it means to be a Reformed Church in Vancouver, BC and what the implications are for us when we declare publicly that we are a self-consciously Reformed church. We are laying claim to a tradition that is longstanding and robustly biblical in our doctrine and practice of personal piety. 

Dr. R. Scott Clark helpfully explains, 

“What makes us Reformed is how we understand Scripture, and this understanding is summarized in our confession. If we thought that our confession was not biblical, we would not use it, and if anyone can show that our confession is unbiblical, the church ought to revise it to bring it into conformity with Scripture.” 
― R. Scott ClarkRecovering the Reformed Confession: Our Theology, Piety, and Practice

Are You Looking for a Psalm Singing Church in Vancouver?

We are excited to introduce our guests and visitors to what it means to be part of a Reformed church. Inevitably, the question comes up, "What does it mean to be Reformed?"

Well, there are many aspects to this question but an important source of Reformed theology and piety is the 150 Psalms found in the Old Testament. This incredible collection of sacred scripture is a crucially important, and frequently overlooked, part of the Christian faith. 

In the Psalms we are shown how to worship the LORD God through a wide array of individual psalms that describe the holiness, righteousness, power, love, mercy, and steadfastness of our Holy God. 

In the Psalms we are shown how to respond to the circumstances of our lives, whether in the form of heart-wrenching lament, humble petition, exuberant thanksgiving, righteous confidence, holy zeal, or existential angst. 

In the Psalms, we come again and again to see the character and personal attributes of the 'Blessed One' of Psalm 1, the 'Forsaken One' of Psalm 22, the 'Compassionate One' of Psalm 23, the 'Victorious One' of Psalm 24, the 'Royal One' of Psalm 110, the 'Praiseworthy One' of Psalm 148. Who is this One who is foretold and anticipated in so many ways in the Psalms? From Jesus' own testimony in Luke 24:27, we know that these stanzas and descriptions referred to our Lord Jesus Christ! 

So should we sing the psalms? Yes. 

Should we frequently sing the psalms? Yes!

Perhaps you have neglected the psalms in public worship and would like to recover this aspect of Christian piety in your own life.

We invite you to join us as we sing the psalms together every Lord's Day as part of our worship in Spirit and in truth! Sing words inspired by the Holy Spirit. Sing words that are true in every sense of the Word.

A Comprehensive Portrait of a Christian Disciple

“The beatitudes [in Matthew 5:1-12] paint a comprehensive portrait of a Christian disciple.

We see him first alone on his knees before God, acknowledging his spiritual poverty and mourning over it. This makes him meek or gentle in all his relationships, since honesty compels him to allow others to think of him what before God he confesses himself to be. Yet he is far from acquiescing in his sinfulness, for he hungers and thirsts after righteousness, longing to grow in grace and in goodness.

We see him next with others, out in the human community. His relationship with God does not cause him to withdraw from society, nor is he insulated from the world’s pain. On the contrary, he is in the thick of it, showing mercy to those battered by adversity and sin. He is transparently sincere in all his dealings and seeks to play a constructive role as a peacemaker.

Yet he is not thanked for his efforts, but rather opposed, slandered, insulted, and persecuted on account of the righteousness for which he stands and the Christ with whom he is identified.” (John Stott, "The Message of the Sermon on the Mount", p. 54)

New Book on the Psalms of Ascents

This past Lord's Day, we read from Psalm 123 and Pastor Norm preached a sermon on this text entitled "The Soundtrack of the Sermon on the Mount." Well, one day later an email arrived from the Banner of Truth publications crew with details of a forthcoming book about the Psalms of Ascents. 

If such a book interests you, read on to learn more about this work by Rhett Dodson: 

The Psalms of Ascents (Psalms 120-134) were sung by Israelites as they made their way to Jerusalem for the annual feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. As pilgrim songs, they provide a way for believers to express their fears, needs, and aspirations as they journey through this life.

These psalms are also the songs of Jesus. In Marching to Zion you will discover how these ancient songs of Israel affect our faith today, point us to the future, and help keep our eyes on Christ every step of the way.
— Marching to Zion: Ancient Psalms for Modern Pilgrims

Don't Forget: Remember What Is Important!

"The means God appointed to help the children of Israel were to remember what was important. In his dealings with Moses, God had established a set of repetitive processes by which the Israelites would be constantly reminded of all that God had done for them. Thus, for example, in Exodus 12, God establishes the Passover Feast, the performance of which is designed in part to provoke later generations to ask the question of why this is done. This will then require parents to tell their children about God’s great act of saving grace in bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt even as this was by means of an awesome and terrifying judgment against the Egyptians.

The Passover is just one example of many rituals outlined in the Torah which functioned on one level as reminders of who God was, who the Israelites were, and how they related to each other. Thus, when we come in to the Promised Land and we find the Israelites suffering persistent recurrences of amnesia, it does not take a genius to assume that part of the immediate cause of this was their abject neglect of the means which God had established for keeping his name and his acts fresh in their minds.

What this kind of amnesia tells us is that we need constant reminders of who God is and what he has done if we are to stay on the straight and narrow; and that these are provided by the routines and rituals which God specifies in Scripture. For the Christian, under the terms of the NT age, these are the Word of God, read and preached and heard, and the sacraments, or, if you are a Baptist, the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. These things are given to remind us of who God is; and the neglect of them will only help to accelerate any proclivities towards forgetfulness that our instinctive rebellion of God encourages."

(Carl Trueman, "Lest We Forget" in Themelios 34.3 Nov 2009:


Book Recommendation: Learning from Lord Mackay

Learning from Lord Mackay: Life and Work in Two Kingdoms

Cameron Fraser, a pastor and writer from Lethbridge, Alberta, has written a book about Lord James Mackay of Scotland. For our congregation, there is a special connection with Lord Mackay as he is a member of one of our sister congregations in the Associated Presbyterian Churches. 

The book is available on and the foreword was written by Dr. Sinclair Ferguson. 

Still need convincing to pick up your copy? Then read a little overview for yourself: 

James Mackay served as Lord Advocate of Scotland (1979-84) and Lord Chancellor of Great Britain (1987-97). He is, in the words of a past President of the Law Society of Scotland, “not only an outstanding man in his profession, but one of the most brilliant Scottish scholars of all time.” He is also a humble Christian who has served his Lord in church and state. This book seeks to introduce him to a wider Christian audience, while pointing out lessons that may be learned by others in political office and seeking to locate him in terms of the contemporary (largely American) “two kingdoms” controversy. “There is no Scotsman, indeed no British person in public life whom I admire more.”
— Dr. Sinclair Ferguson

Available in Paperback and Kindle versions

On the Psalms and Ephesians 5

From 150 Questions about the Psalter by Bradley Johnston:

Q13. Why does the Apostle Paul use the words 'psalms and hymns and songs' to teach the churches about singing?

A. The Apostle Paul uses the three words 'psalms and hymns and songs' to teach the churches about singing because they were featured in the Greek Old Testament (LXX) used by his original readers. The inscriptions of the Greek Psalter use 'psalm' 67 times, 'hymn' 6 times, and 'song' 36 times. All three words are used repeatedly in the text of the Psalter itself.

For a more in depth treatment of this subject, consider reading the RPCNA Report on Psalmody in the Church (accessible here)

Photo by Matt Briney on Unsplash

The Impact of God's Covenant with King David

What are we to make of the Davidic covenant found in 2 Samuel 7 and described again in 1 Chronicles 17?

First, we should be clear what we mean by 'covenant'. In the memorable words of the Children's Shorter Catechism, a covenant is a "relationship that God establishes with us and guarantees by His Word." Thus, when God made a covenant with King David, the LORD was telling David and his descendants what he could expect in the generations to come. 

The LORD looked upon the shepherd king of Israel and established an everlasting covenant – a binding and constant arrangement between God and David and his offspring. The Davidic covenant established an expectation of a greater Son of David who would come to bring us into an everlasting kingdom! And if we want to summarize the significance of the Davidic covenant in a single sentence, we might say: 

Because God keeps His Word, His promise of an everlasting house (or dynasty) and Kingdom to David gave confidence to all who anticipated the fulfillment of this promise.