By Josh Harp | June 5, 2023 Please note that the Editorial Board of Presbyterian Polity does not necessarily endorse all views expressed on the blog of this site, but the editors are pleased to present well-crafted position papers on issues facing Presbyterian churches and denominations. What follows is one such paper for our readers’ … More The Author’s Rationale for Overture 9
By Ryan Speck | May 5, 2023 In Matthew 18:20, Jesus promises that “where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (cf. 1 Cor. 5:4). Does this mean that two Christians gathering at a restaurant for lunch have achieved a Temple experience? Put another way, … More The Discipline of Worship
by Zachary Groff | April 24, 2023 Whenever people gather as a group to accomplish certain tasks and to achieve shared goals, they must operate according to rules held in common. The more formal the group, the more formal the expression of said rules must be. However formal or informal, these rules direct the group … More What Can the BCO Teach Us?
by Zachary Groff | April 14, 2023 Every conscientious presbyter serving in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) should have a chunky blue binder containing the Book of Church Order (BCO) within easy reach of his desk or workspace. Like all good binders, this one includes pockets on the insides of the front and back … More A Newly Published Resource for Presbyters
By Jacob Gerber | March 13, 2023 Who Is Responsible for Church Discipline? Church discipline is painful and messy. Even the very lowest levels of church discipline are agonizing, when we admonish someone we notice to be sinning. The pain of church discipline only ratchets up, though, as we approach the ultimate censure of the … More Who Is Responsible for Church Discipline?
By Ryan Biese | December 5, 2022 I was reared Lutheran (ELCA). In my experience growing up and attending several different Lutheran congregations, the worship was fundamentally the same. Regardless of whether we attended a relatively conservative or relatively liberal congregation, the order of worship essentially did not change. It did not even matter whether … More Beware the Latitude of the Pharisees
By Jared Nelson | October 13, 2022 “Grassroots Presbyterianism” has become a common description of the polity of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). The term generally communicates the understanding that the PCA has been a bottom-up denomination that was formed with a conscious effort to give more power to the Presbyteries rather than the … More Grassroots Presbyterianism & Amending BCO 34-1
by Zachary Groff | September 6, 2022 What makes this church over here Presbyterian and that church over there Episcopalian or Lutheran or Congregational or Baptist or Pentecostal or Anglican or Independent? In other words, what’s in a name? From where do we derive the nomenclature which we have adopted to describe various expressions of … More Presbyterianism & the Regional Church
By Matt Fender | July 19, 2022 During the proceedings of the 49th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), we saw two examples of historical precedent being invoked to support a decision of the moderator that appeared to be contrary to the plain language of the Book of Church Order (“BCO”) or … More Deliberating by the Book
By Jacob Gerber | May 9, 2022 As a fundamental principle of church government in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), our Book of Church Order limits church power and authority to be only ministerial and declarative: All church power, whether exercised by the body in general, or by representation, is only ministerial and declarative since the Holy Scriptures … More All Church Power Is Only Ministerial & Declarative