Drinking Deeply

Wednesday, July 04, 2007 at 11:27 PM

Book Review: On Being Presbyterian

Sean Michael Lucas wrote a book On Being Presbyterian to introduce Presbyterian beliefs to common Christians. He goes through distinctive beliefs, practices, and stories that Presbyterians hold. The book is well written and very readable, though the discussion of metanarratives and Presbyterian stories was a bit confusing at first, as I am unfamiliar with the ideas, though someone suggested to me that he was writing with a post-modern audience in mind. But apart from that it was informative and readable.

He began with introducing the distinctive beliefs of the PCA church, differing emphasis like the sovereignty of God (wahoo!), the emphasis of amazing grace in all of Christian life, the covenant (which actually is an important distinctive, though rarely talked about), the sacraments and what they mean (not just a remembrance!).

Then he transitioned to the distinctive practices how the beliefs fit in with them. Things like the worship structure, the necessity of piety and not just spirituality. The regulative principle (which honestly I still don't quite understand, but am working on), and other Presbyterian beliefs.

Finally, and this was the part I enjoyed the most, Sean Lucas talked about the distinctive stories of Presbyterianism, how it started with John Calvin and John Knox, then into the history of the PCUSA, the OPC, and other Presbyterian denominations, finally ending with PCA. I loved this part because it talked about skeletons as well as bright spots in the Presbyterian denominations. and it taught me a bit of history, history that I had not been familiar with.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to be acquainted with Presbyterian beliefs, practices, and stories.

My recommendation, borrow it or buy it.

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