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Renewing the Covenant VII: Making Enemies into Partners

In recent weeks, there has been ongoing discussion in this space in support of a conscious effort by Presbyterians to renew the covenant of grace which has been given in the blood of Jesus Christ, which is the foundation for the church to which we belong, and through which Christ's witness to the world is made. If there is no such effort, the future looks pretty bleak.

Renewing the Covenant V: Resourcing Our Congregation

In recent weeks we have been discussing the renewal of our covenant with God and with another, that is, God's covenant of grace, in which God promises to be our God and we promise to be God's faithful people — and are enabled to be such solely by the grace of God.

Renewing the Covenant IV: Living Together Faithfully in our Congregations

The congregation of God's people is the heart of Christ's church on Earth. If the Presbyterian Church is to be to renewed by God's grace in the "time between the times," then the members of each congregation need to renew their covenant, individually and corporately, with the Lord, and to reframe life together in ways that exhibit the body of Christ in all of its fullness.

Renewing the Covenant III: Confessing Our Faith

If the Presbyterian Church is to be reshaped and reconstituted for God's purposes in our time, our covenant with God, based on God's grace, must be remembered, sought and renewed.

Faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is at the heart of the Christian life and the life of the church. However, a faith that is devoid of serious content or that is not robust, that cannot be communicated in the language and thought patterns of the people who hear the gospel preached, will not be a faith that endures

Renewing the Covenant II: Faith

We are saved by grace through faith, not by works of the law, according to the Apostle. Faith, the trusting relationship with God our Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, is at the heart of the Christian life, and must be the starting point for the renewal of its covenant with God by the Presbyterian Church.

Renewing the Covenant I

If we Presbyterians are to live faithfully and to the glory of God in the "time between the times," as discussed recently in this space, then some intentional framework will be necessary for the church as a whole. It will be necessary to reclaim its heritage and to go forward in mission to the ends of the Earth.

The Time Between the Times IV

In recent weeks, the current crisis in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been addressed — the precipitous decline in membership over the last four decades, the dissolution of a strong confessional/theological base resulting from the corrosive effects of a rapidly secularizing culture which increasingly exercises dominance over the mind of the church, and the terrible polarization over human sexuality that brought the PC(USA) to the brink of division.

The Time Between the Times III

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is entering a critical period in its history: life-and-death decisions must be made. The future shape and form of our denomination, its very existence, is in the balance. The PC(USA) will not cease to exist altogether. We know that because there is enough strength for some remnant to last indefinitely, as witnessed by smaller Presbyterian bodies that continue to endure with limited numbers.

The Time Between the Times II

Last week in this space we began the New Year with a reflection on the biblical and theological concept of the time between the times, that is, between the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and his second coming, as promised in Scripture. The question raised was whether there will be a Presbyterian Church as we know it 30, 40, 50 years from now, and in connection with that question, what God's will for this church in terms of its life and mission might be.