A Paean to Bruce Reyes-Chow

Bruce Reyes-Chow, outgoing moderator of the PC(USA)

I’m currently in Sewanee, Tennessee, speaking at the School of Theology here at the “University of the South” (confident, aren’t they?).  But back at home, several of my friends are gathered with their fellow Presbyterians at the 219th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA).  For the two years preceding this meeting, Bruce Reyes-Chow has been the moderator of that denomination, and his tenure ended earlier this week in Minneapolis.

Now, I’m no proponent of denominationalism.  As I’ve written, I think they served their purpose, and now they should go away — or at least be dramatically reformed (and by this I mean on the order of what Wesley did to Anglicanism or what the Mennonites did to the Reformers).  In fact, I think that denominations, as they now stand, are bad for the gospel, and that’s because I think that bureaucracy is bad for the gospel.

However, if someone is going to take a denomination like the PC(USA) into the future, its going to be Bruce (and others like him).  I watched his tenure begin two years ago (while I was on the Church Basement Roadshow!), and I’ve gotten to share the dais with him a couple times over these two years.  And I’ve been nothing but impressed with the honesty and candor with which his has spoken to his Presbyterian compatriots.

So, from this outsider, I say: Huzzah, Bruce, on a job well done!  May all denominational leaders follow your example in the years to come…

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  • I’m grateful for Bruce’s term as moderator as well. I’m especially grateful that thousands of traditional mainliners got to hear Bruce speak about our changing world and the church’s need to change as well. Because we are connected by our denomination Bruce was able to speak about these important things to countless people who would never read a blog or pick up any book that even hints of being emerging.

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