What term is used to describe those Protestants who returned to England from their exile under the protection of Elizabeth between 1558 and 1603? They were known for their hope to finish the reformation in England by making worship, doctrine, and ecclesiology more pure?
What Assembly convened in London on July 1, 1643?
The Westminster Assembly of Divines
What document was signed by the Assembly on the insistence of Scotland?
The Solemn League and Covenant
What did the Solemn League and Covenant accomplish?
This was a treaty between England and Scotland for the preservation of the reformed religion in Scotland, the reformation of religion in England and Ireland "according to the word of God and the example of the best reformed churches," In short it established a form of church government in England like the one in Scotland. In 1661 the English Parliament passed the Treason Act declaring the Solemn League and Covenant to be unlawful.
What document from that Assembly is still relevant for the PCA today?
The Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechism
Among the many migrating Presbyterians and Calvinist coming to America, who constituted the largest group?
The Scots-Irish from Northern Ireland.
What Irish Clergyman established the first American Presbyterian community in 1683 in Snow Hill, Maryland?
Who is considered the father of American Presbyterianism due to organizing the first Presbytery?
What is the Adopting Act of 1729?
The Adopting Act was a compromise agreement between the Scots-Irish who favored strict subscription to the Confession of Faith and the English who were opposed to strict subscription. The resulting wording stated that ministers were required to subscribe to the standards as "being in all the essential and necessary articles, good forms of sound words and systems of Christian doctrine."
What were the differences between the Old Side and New Side views during the Great Awakening?
The Old Side opposed revivalism because of emotionalism and disorder. The New Side associated revivalism with genuine conversion and a movement of the Holy Spirit. As a result of westward expansion, the revival fed the expansion of the church and a question of pastoral education emerged due to a lack of supply of trained ministers. The Old Side felt proper education was vital to the purity of the church. The New Side felt this was too slow of a process and began a separate education track to move ministers more quickly to the field. The "Log College" built by William Tennant was one such school. This issue eventually led to the split of the Presbyterian church in America although a compromise agreement would bring them back together in 1758.
In 1806 the Presbytery of Cumberland was dissolved due to their ordination of men not qualified for the office of minister of the Gospel. Those members formed themselves into a separate body and in 1810 they became the Cumberland Church which is a strange amalgamation of Calvinism and Arminianism.
When and where was the first General Assembly in America?
Philadelphia, May 1789 (over 400 churches and 20,000 communicants with 177 ordained ministers)
What was the "Plan of Union" of 1801?
An agreement between Congregationalist and Presbyterian churches for mutual support and joint effort in the establishment of new congregations. It was important because it directly led to the Old School/New School controversy.
What was the "Old School/New School" controversy and the result?
Occurred from 1837 to 1870, Due to the Plan of Union, the Presbyterian Church agreed to work with Congregationalist missionaries in western New York and the Northwest Territory. This resulted in new churches being formed with either Congregational or Presbyterian forms of government, or a mixture of the two, supported by older established churches with a different form of government. It also resulted in a difference in doctrinal commitment and views among churches in close fellowship, leading to suspicion and controversy. In the General Assembly, representatives from several of the synods were refused their seats leading to the creation of a separate Synod. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania would decide in favor of the Old School General Assembly that they were the voice of Presbyterianism in America and that the decisions of that Assembly were controlling for the Presbyterian Church. The Old School advocated a strict adherence to the Westminster Confession of Faith and a tight control of missions by the church. The New School advocated theological latitude and interdenominational missionary work. In 1837, the General Assembly voted that the Plan of Union was unconstitutional to begin with and everything that followed was to be considered null and voided. This action split the church between the North and South with the Northern churches being mainly New School and the southern churches being mainly Old School. In 1857 the New School Assembly passed resolutions supporting the condemnation of slavery causing the southern minority of the New School churches to split and form yet another faction of the Presbyterian Church called, "The United Synod of the South."
When was the PCA formed?
What is the difference between the Presbyterian Church OF America and the Presbyterian Church IN America?
In 1935, 9 men including Dr. J. Gresham Machen were suspended from office by the Philadelphia Presbytery for their formation of the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions. On June 11, 1936, 34 ministers, 17 ruling elders and 79 laymen met in Philadelphia to form the PCof A. Machen was elected the first moderator. After his death in 1937, controversies caused a split forming the Bible Presbyterian Church. A threatened law suit by the PCUSA over the name prompted the PCofA to change their name in 1939 to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC). The PCA on the other hand, formed out of the southern Presbyterian (PCUS) church initially took the name, The National Presbyterian Church but a local congregation in Washington DC had the same name. At the second General Assembly the name was changed to the PCA.
In General, what were the issues that led to the formation of the PCA?
A weakened view of the Scriptures and the Confession of Faith.
1. Compromise of the Spiritual Mission of the Church
2. Union with Non-Reformed Churches
3. Violations of the Church's Constitution
4. Failure to Exercise Discipline
5. Theological Heresy: Higher Criticism & Existentialism led to the ordination of men holding almost anything they wanted to call "Christian."
For Extra Credit:
1959 revisions to the Westminster Confession of Faith regarding marriage were unbiblical but received by the General Assembly of the PCUS.
1961, The Assembly refuses to change chapter 3 treating predestination and election only because of the historicity of the language.
1968, Assembly adopts a report stating that evolution and the Bible are in agreement.
1964, The Assembly voted to begin ordaining women
1966, The Assembly voted to condemn capital punishment
1970, Abortion is condoned and approved dependant on the "socio-economic conditions of the family"
What was the purpose of the Southern Presbyterian Journal?
Dr. L. Nelson Bell, a medical missionary forced out of China by Japan, formed this magazine to call Southern Presbyterians back to their original position loyal to the Scriptures and Standards of the church.
Who were the "Concerned Presbyterians?"
Ruling Elders, led by Kenneth Keyes, organized to confront the wave of liberalism that was engulfing the church. They wanted to regain control of the church to restore the church to the primary mission of leading the unsaved to Christ and of keeping faithful to the Scriptures and the Confession of Faith.
What was the Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship?
Bill Hill founded the PEF in 1964 to promote evangelism in the southern Church. This was due to the diminishing level of denominational commitment to world missions because liberal theologians didn't believe in the necessity of regeneration and conversion for salvation.
What was the group, "Presbyterian Churchmen United?"
Ministers in the Ministers' Prayer Fellowship met to organize by composing a Declaration of commitment and vowing to strive to preserve a confessional Church, thoroughly Reformed and Presbyterian. At their first formal gathering, D.James Kennedy spoke making "it plain and simple that the Continuing church movement was about faithfulness to the Scriptures, to evangelism, and to world missions".
As Churches identifying themselves as a part of the Continuing Presbyterian Church pulled out of the PCUS, what Presbytery was formed that became the precursor to the PCA?
Vanguard Presbytery, September 7, 1972
Where was the first General Assembly of the PCA held?
Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, AL
Who was the first stated clerk of the PCA General Assembly?
Dr. Morton Smith
Who was the first Moderator of the PCA General Assembly?
R.E. Jack Williamson
Where was the second PCA General Assembly held?
First Presbyterian Church, Macon, GA
It was at this General Assembly that the name was changed from National Presbyterian Church to PCA
What is meant by the term, "Joining and Receiving?"
Uniting with other bodies not by means of negotiation but on the basis of a common commitment to the Westminster Confession of Faith and the PCA Book of church Order.
What church body was received by Joining and Receiving on June 14, 1982?
RPCES (Reformed Presbyterian Church Evangelical Synod)