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Welcome to the Covenant Life Renewal Association!

The Covenant Life Renewal Association (CLRA for short and pronounced like the lady’s name Clara) is here to bring pastors and churches together in voluntary association for the purpose of renewing our faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and reforming our ministry practices to conform fully to the Scriptures.  Our sincere hope and prayer is that this site will be used of God to serve that end. You'll find below our blog where we encourage you to engage and join the conversation. Also be sure to explore the links at the top of the page and sidebar.

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Do Evangelicals Worship The Bible?

Mon. Sep. 05, 2016By: Paul Carter

We’ve all heard the joke: “Evangelicals worship God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Bible”.  The joke is meant to caution us against a ‘too high’ view of Scripture; I think in its best iterations the joke is meant to remind us that we read the Bible not as an end unto itself but rather as a way of seeing and savouring Christ.  After all, it is possible to read the Bible reverently and yet to miss the point entirely.  Jesus rebuked the Pharisees in his day...Read More

Deborah And The Defeater Verses

Fri. Aug. 12, 2016By: Paul Carter

Every so often when discussing Scripture with a friend you find yourself dealing with a defeater verse. A defeater verse is a verse that is granted almost mythical authority by the person wielding it.  “If this verse means what I think it means then nothing you say can move me from my position”.  The most famous defeater verse of this sort would be some version of Deuteronomy 22:11:  "You shall not wear cloth of wool and linen mixed together." (Deuteronomy 22:11...Read More

The era of “Big Tent Evangelicalism” is over.    Like the super-continent Pangaea, evangelicalism has begun to fracture and to drift apart into smaller groupings that are travelling in very different directions.  David Gushee at RNS identifies two groups, the progressives and the conservatives.  Trevin Wax at The Gospel Coalition identifies three groups, the evangelicals, the moderates and the revisionists. While I am not entirely sold on Wax’s terminology I think he...Read More

ESP Evangelism

Fri. Jul. 15, 2016By: Adam Hall

In birdwatching there is a golden rule: if you find a rare bird, you share the news. I remember when I was bird watching over a decade ago, there was an extremely rare bird that someone found and they never told anyone. Needless to say, the other birdwatchers really wanted to see this bird and they could not because they were never told. When they found out later about the bird they were livid! But when you think about the eternal consequences of people's sin, how much more livid do you think...Read More

7 Rules Of Civility For An Age Of Internet Extremism

Wed. Jul. 13, 2016By: Paul Carter

The internet is the new public square.  It allows people to exchange ideas, interact with important issues and express their own personal convictions.  However, given the largely impersonal nature of the new public square, combined with the urgency of today's social issues, the quality of public discourse seems presently at an all time low.  Christians in particular need to think carefully before entering the fray.  We are called upon to be salt and light.  We...Read More

Why Is Gay Marriage The Evangelical Rubicon?

Tue. Jul. 12, 2016By: Paul Carter

In a stunning development, the CBC has just announced that the Anglican Church of Canada has reversed its decision from yesterday and it will in fact redefine the Christian doctrine of marriage. Citing "voting irregularities" the General Secretary announced that upon review the necessary 2/3 majority has been achieved and the change will become effective across the Anglican communion. What will this mean for the thousands of Evangelical pastors and lay people within the...Read More

Faith: A Word In Urgent Need Of Definition

Thu. Jul. 07, 2016By: Paul Carter

Every real Christian would gladly affirm that we are saved by grace, through faith, because of Christ.  While Protestants would want to add an all caps “ALONE” after each of those three words and Pentecostals might want to add “AMEN – HALLELUJAH” we all agree that each of those words is terribly important.  One of those words however, is awfully hard to define.  What is saving faith?  Part of the problem is that the English language does not have an exact equivalent to...Read More

Redeeming Facebook? Pastoral Ministry and Social Media

Tue. Jul. 05, 2016By: Marc Bertrand

At a recent meeting of the Covenant Life Renewal Association (CLRA), a renewal movement within the Canadian Baptist denomination, one of the pastors urged those who did not have a Facebook account to establish one, as it was one of the simplest ways to communicate and share information between churches separated by hundreds of kilometres.  There were a number in the group that see Facebook as primarily a time waster, and indeed, wrongly applied, it can be that.  However I have found...Read More

The other day my wife handed me her phone and asked, do you remember these people?  On it was a picture of two ladies we attended Bible College with.  As I looked at the picture, my wife informed me that they were now married and had a child ‘together.’ Then she informed me that a friend who stood up for me at my wedding had attended their wedding as well.  He and his wife were now the child’s godparents.  About a week later, my wife informed me that another acquaintance...Read More

Autonomy Reconsidered

Sun. Jul. 03, 2016By: Marc Bertrand

Is autonomy the value to end all values or is there a point at which autonomy must be balanced against other legitimate concerns?  Is there a point at which a church ceases to actually be a Baptist Church, or a Church of Jesus Christ at all?  Is there a point where the other churches in fellowship decide that one in their midst has become ‘subversive to the gospel’ and puts them out of fellowship?  What would that point be?  Would we drop a pastor that participated in a...Read More

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