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On Being Presbyterian: Our Beliefs, Practices, and Stories Paperback – March 27, 2006
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Lucas does a good job of laying out what he calls "vanilla Presbyterianism" and does so by looking at basic Presbyterian theology, some practices (especially church practices) that differentiate evangelical Presbyterians from other evangelicals, and lastly some history - both of the reformation and reformed churches in America.
I think Lucas believed he was writing a book for anyone coming to a Presbyterian church that doesn't come from a Presbyterian background. The book works very well for someone who may be moving from a fundamentalist background to the PCA (like Lucas did). But in my context, this is not the normal means by which someone comes into the PCA. Far more common in my city is someone coming to the PCA via the parachurch (choosing an evangelical church for the first time), or someone leaving a non-denominational or vineyard church longing for more historical emphases in the worship service, or exegetical teaching from the pulpit. Given those groups of people, I'm not sure this is the first book I would hand them. Rather than being rah-rah Presbyterian, I'm much more inclined to linger over the basics of the gospel, evangelical Christian orthodoxy, and finally Reformed theology in broad strokes. I could see using this book for officer training, or even more for candidates boning up for ordination exams, but not so much for people seeking membership in my church.
I suppose there is room for a similar book with these other groups of people in mind. Maybe I'll get around to writing one someday.
The sections of the book devoted to Presbyterian theology and worship aren’t new or enlightening, but that’s probably due to the fact that there are so many other books that dive a little deeper into Reformed Theology specifically. With that said, if you want it all in one book, then this is a great read. From our beliefs, to our worship practices to our history this is a very complete portrait of what it means to be a conservative Presbyterian.