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What Presbyterians Believe about the future, Part 1: Our Theological Tradition

Have you ever wondered what the Presbyterian Church believes about the future? It seems that so many people today have clear-cut views about the specifics of the future. One bumper sticker declares confidently, "In case of rapture, this car will be uninhabited." The approach of the millennium will be the occasion of increasing discussion about the future of the world. Do Presbyterians have anything to say?

What Will the New Denomination Look Like?

If we as the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are to become what God wants us to be, then we will have to alter radically our way of thinking about ourselves as a denomination and the way we conduct our business.

First, we will focus on our own particular congregation, and pour tremendous energy into its mission and, even more important, the mission of each member in the world.

Great Scot

For those with a lot of Scotch in their bloodstream January 25, the birthday of Caledonia's poet -- Robert Burns -- is the highest of holy days.  All over the globe the wandered Scots gather for a rare evening of amity devoted to St. Andrew, St. Haggis, and St. Robert.  At least once in a lifetime every Presbyterian should elect (Presbyterian elect -- get it?) to attend a Burns Supper.

How Connected Must a Presbyterian Church Be?

Two things define us as Presbyterians, beyond the fact that we are a church governed by elders, gathered in an ascending series of governing bodies: we are a confessional (or at least aspire to be!) church and a connectional church.

Two weeks ago this column was devoted to discussing the perplexities of being a confessional church in a time of widespread biblical and theological illiteracy.

Reformed Confessions and Confessing Church – An Outlook Interview with Milan Opocensky


Milan Opocensky, professor emeritus of Christian social ethics at Charles University in Prague, is the MacKay Professor of World Christianity at Princeton Seminary for the 2000-2001 academic year. From 1989 to 2000 he served as general secretary of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC), which represents 215 Reformed, Presbyterian, Congregational and United churches and links 75 million Christians in 106 countries.

Regaining Perspective

Jerry Andrews, co-moderator of the Presbyterian Coalition, has made it clear that "the Coalition itself is not committed to the confessing church movement." This is so because the PC(USA) "is a confessing movement -- it has not watered down its confession."

Confessional Witness and Its Challenge

A self-proclaimed "confessing church movement" has been endorsed recently in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) by dozens of sessions and several interest groups that are deeply disappointed over the demise of Amendment O and the Dirk Ficca affair.

How Much Theological Cohesion Do We Need?

Following up last week’s editorial suggesting that forces in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) that have devoted themselves in the last quarter-century to either holding on to or taking over control of the denomination need to move toward demobilization, the first question that must be asked is: How much theological cohesion does a Presbyterian body need to hold together?

From Warfare to Witness

Demobilization, the reduction in armed forces following a war, is a model that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) may find useful.

We’ve been involved in a war about human sexuality for the past 25 years that seems to be over; while discussion will continue, the terms of engagement have changed. It’s fairly inconceivable that the church will entertain a constitutional change of any magnitude in ordination standards in the foreseeable future.

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