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On Being Presbyterian: Our Beliefs, Practices, and Stories Paperback – May 18, 2006
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From the Publisher
Pastor and seminary professor Sean Michael Lucas suggests that being Presbyterian means embracing distinctive beliefs, practices, and stories as one's own. As new members, church officers, and potential Presbyterians read about beliefs, practices, and stories, they will understand and move to embrace this way of being Christian.
Written in a nontechnical style, On Being Presbyterian is a unique resource for equipping believers and introducing them to Presbyterian church practice.
Dr. Sean Lucas is a first rate scholar who writes with depth, breadth and passion for his topic. On Being Presbyterian is highly recommended for anyone who wants to explore Presbyterian traditions down to their roots.--Peter A. Lillback, President, Westminster Theological Seminary
Increasing numbers of Christians are seeking to transcend the spirituality of private preference and enter into meaningful community with other believers: past, present, and future. For conservative Presbyterians, Lucas provides a most helpful, inspiring account of both the what and the why of our church identity.--Richard D. Phillips, Senior Minister, Second Presbyterian Church, Greenville, South Carolina; Chairman, Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology
May prove to be one of the most important Presbyterian books in our generation. . . . useful in training young and old, new Christian and old warrior, lay person and theologian, broad evangelical and lifetime Presbyterian.--George W. Robertson, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Augusta, GA
The people who fill Bible-believing Presbyterian churches increasingly have little Presbyterian background. Lucas provides a terrific resource to get everyone up to speed . . . highly readable.--Bryan Chapell, President, Covenant Theological Seminary
About the Author
- Publisher : P & R Publishing (May 18, 2006)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 271 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1596380195
- ISBN-13 : 978-1596380196
- Item Weight : 13.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.02 x 0.61 x 9.09 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #198,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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If there are things you need more explanation on, there are a lot of references to assist (it is usually with reformed doctrine that people have an issue... if you are familiar with that kind of doctrine, then this book will be a perfect assist to understand the intricacies that make the PCA unique. If you are not familiar, it gives a great basic explanation of ideas and why they are the building blocks for the faith.)
It doesn't use too many anecdotes, which is great (I like to read, but get bored quickly with too many drawn-out examples). I felt for the size, it actually contained a LOT of actual, useful information.
I will say, it almost convinced me on some points with which I am inclined not to practice (such as child baptism), and it does a great job with explaining where in Scripture they draw their information and why they choose to use it.
It also has a "story" section where it shares who a lot of the reformers (and others) were and why they were important to our faith (because if you are a part of the PCA, you will hear their names frequently and it helps to know who they are lol).
Anyone interested in the PCA should definitely get this book. I couldn't recommend a more concise, yet thorough, book!
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.
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.