Robert P. Mills
Luther, Calvin, and the Recovery of Congregational Singing Is the Reformers’ Legacy at Risk? by Robert P. Mills
From the earliest days of the church, Christians who gathered for corporate worship spent at least some of their time together singing “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” (Col. 3:16). However, in Roman Catholic churches at the outset of the Protestant Reformation, “priests chanted in Latin, and choirs of professional singers predominantly sang polyphonic choral music in Latin.” As Paul S. Jones writes, “there was neither congregational song nor any church music in the common tongue.” Summer 2018, Theology Matters, P. 9
"What, Who, Where, How: Reformed Perspectives on Baptism" by Rev. Robert P. Mills
Mills discusses practical questions surrounding baptism: Who should be baptized? How? What do different traditions understand about baptism? Sep/Oct 2013 Theology Matters p. 7
Centers and Boundaries by Rev. Robert P. Mills
Some people assume that if the church talks about the center of our faith while ignoring the boundaries of our faith, there might be great unity and less contention in the church. Mills shows that the center and boundaries are linked. Therefore when the boundaries are not protected, the center soon fragments. To demonstrate his point, Mills quotes Frederick Buechner, "The power of sin is centrifugal. When at work in a human life, it tends to push everything out toward the periphery. Bits and pieces go flying off until only the core is left. Eventually bits and pieces of the core itself go flying off until in the end nothing at all is left." Jan/Feb 2013 Theology Matters, p. 7
The Priority of Authority: Holy Scripture and Human Sexuality, by Robert P. Mills. Mills is a PCUSA pastor and is currently teaching at Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA.
Author Robert Mills begins his article by quoting the common mantra of liberals explaining why there has been such division in the church over sexuality, “We all agree on the authority of Scripture. We just disagree about interpretation.” Mills then exposes the fallacy of this mantra saying, “It is the first half of their statement, ‘We all agree on the authority of Scripture,” that is so obviously absurd. For the chasm dividing evangelicals and liberals in their understanding of the authority of Scripture is, if anything, greater than that separating their interpretation of specific passages.”
Mills explains the church’s historic meaning of revelation and its relationship to Scripture, “Theologians use the term ‘revelation’ to describe God’s communication of divine truth to his human creation. A good, short definition of revelation is ‘the significant self-disclosure of God to man.’”
Enlightenment thinkers attacked the church’s doctrine of revelation because they rejected “supernatural revelation.” Mills writes, “Enlightenment philosophy is the source and substance of liberal theology. Rejecting as “unenlightened’ the very possibility of divine revelation, mainline liberals have followed Enlightenment philosophers in degrading the Bible from God’s self-revelation to a mere collection of human reflections on the religious experiences of certain groups of individuals. For such liberals, the Bible is not, nor does it contain, the Word of God. Therefore, it has no more authority than a novel or a magazine article.”
Historically, orthodox Christians sought to understand the original author’s meaning of the text becuase the text is the revelation of God, and then they applied that meaning to their situation. Liberals reject the text’s authority given by the Author. Instead, for liberals, the reader’s meaning, not the original author’s meaning, is authoritative. Whatever insight the reader gleans is authoritative for him/her, regardless of whether it agrees with what the text says. The shift is from the meaning of the text as a revelation of God given through human authors, to the reader’s meaning of the text even if that meaning is in direct opposition to the words of the text. The reader’s meaning is now authoritative.
Mills explains the result of this erroneous liberal thinking, “I once heard an Old Testament professor acknowledge that there is no question that the plain meaning of the Old Testament Hebrew is that homosexual behavior is sinful in God’s eyes. However he concluded, ‘The Bible is simply wrong at that point.’” Nov/Dec 2011 Theology Matters p. 1
Beauty, the Beholder, and the Believer by Robert P. Mills, PCUSA minister and Assistant professor of Humanities and Music Theory at Liberty University, VA, and Director of Music at Northminster Presbyterian Church, Madison Heights, VA. The notion that beauty is in the eye of the beholder seems so intuitively obvious that there is little discussion today to challenge its accuracy. But, beauty has not always been subjective. Until the Enlightenment, beauty was understood as an objective quality. Then slowly a shift began to take place and beauty became a relative quality assigned by the observer. Once beauty became subjective, Truth and Goodness soon followed. Mills draws application to the church and its ministry form the relativizing of Beauty, Truth and Goodness. Nov/Dec 2009 Theology Matters, p. 1