In the last post, I talked about the main distinctive of Presbyterianism--its form of church government. This post will fill out the other distinctives of the Presbyterian tradition.
(1) Covenant Theology and Infant Baptism
Covenant Theology sees fundamental continuity between the Old and the New Testaments, as opposed to Dispensationalism which sees discontinuity. It’s a way of reading Scripture, so that Genesis through Revelation is a single narrative arc: God rescuing his people in Christ. Closely related to Covenant Theology is the practice of Infant Baptism. Presbyterians baptize the children of believers for the same reason Israelites circumcised their children. There is a fundamental continuity between the covenants.
How do we determine between true and false doctrine? Rather than each individual believer determining for themselves what Scripture teaches, we listen to what Christians have historically believed throughout the centuries. These classic doctrines are preserved for us in the historic creeds and confessions of the church. This is called Confessionalism. The confessional documents of the PCA are the Westminster Confession of Faith and Larger and Shorter Catechisms. We also subscribe to the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds from the ancient church.
(3) Doctrine of Predestination
Predestination teaches that God is the author of our salvation. As Jesus said in John 6:44 – “no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”
There are other minor distinctives, but these are the big four: Ecclesiology, Covenant Theology, Confessionalism and Reformed Soteriology.
Finally, it’s important to emphasize that one doesn’t need to agree with all the tenets of Presbyterianism to be part of Indelible Grace Church. In fact, most IGC members are not necessarily Presbyterian by conviction. What unites us as a church community is the gospel of Christ. If you believe in Jesus as savior, you are welcomed to be a member of IGC. I hope this three-part series has been informative and encouraging.