Robert J. "Bob" Bernhardt

Since I plan to offer my opinions about a variety of important topics it is right that you should expect that I would at least identify myself and acknowledge something about my background and associations.

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My life has largely been defined by my participation in the Christian Church and so that it where I will begin. I am an ordained minister, now officially retired, in the Presbyterian Church in Canada. That fact does not give my comments any more authority than they deserve - it simply acknowledges the context within which I have lived and worked. I was ordained in 1965 at the age of 25 (you have to do the math for yourself). Between ordination and retirement I served only two congregations - St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Biggar, Saskatchewan (1965-1971) and Chalmers Presbyterian Church in Hamilton, Ontario (1971-2004). Since retiring I have associated myself with Chedoke Presbyterian Church, Hamilton, where I am a Minister-in-Association and Alberton Presbyterian Church where I am currently serving as Stated Supply (2008-2010). For non-Presbyterians, Stated Supply is a designation often used for those providing regular part time ministry in a congregation. Most of my time and energy during the course of my life has been directed towards a congregational and community focus rather than a denominational one.

As for my personal and academic life, I was born in the United States - a child of Canadian parents who were temporarily located in the US because of my father's employment. The family returned to Canada before I began elementary school and I received all my public and secondary school education in a small Anglophone town in south-western Quebec. I went on to receive a B.A. from Sir George William's University (now part of Concordia University) in Montreal and a Master of Divinity degree from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Later in life (1996) I earned a Doctor of Ministry degree also from Westminster Seminary. My wife and I are the parents of three grown daughters and grandparents to four grandchildren. Since 1971 we have made our home in Hamilton, Ontario.

Theologically I am in conscious connection with the ancient creeds of the Church (Apostles' Creed, Nicene Creed, etc.). From the Reformation era I would acknowledge my links with the Heidelberg Catechism, the Scots Confession, the Westminster Confession and those statements of faith derived from that tradition. In terms of individual theologians I would identify with the line represented by Augustine, and Calvin and in my own generation by people such as Herman Dooyeweerd, Cornelius Van Til, James I. Packer, C.S. Lewis, and Harry Blamires.

My non-ministerial activities in life have included some free lance radio broadcasting, photography, the producing and hosting of a community cable TV program, regular columnist duties for a Christian periodical for ten years, service for many years on the board of a community agency that provided residential and community programs for troubled youth and young offenders, and the usual sorts of commitments that most clergy fulfill in the Christian and cultural associations of their community. Early in the era of personal home computers I found myself drawn to issues related to the role of computers in the church and the potential offered by the Internet that was blossoming so rapidly. I have designed numerous websites and currently maintain about ten rather varied websites.

Since its creation in 1999 I have served as a Trustee, and Secretary, to the Priscilla and Stanford Reid Trust which is committed to the support of Reformed and Presbyterian theological education in Canada. This connection brings me into contact with some of the more interesting and innovative people and projects being initiated in Reformed theological educational circles in Canada today.

I offer this information not to establish my credentials but merely to introduce the personality behind this website.