“Hear O Israel; the Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
The second is this:
Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.
Mark 12: 29-31
This month our Presbyterian (and other Protestant churches) will celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. We will be talking about the blessings that have come with the Reformed Theology that our PCUSA church holds to and we will be talking about some of the historical events that happened in history that brought about that Reform.
There are some basic points in the Reformed Tradition (our Presbyterian church) that are important to understand and identify. I will mention the main thoughts and we will be discussing and mentioning them throughout this month of October, as we remember and celebrate the 500th year of our branch of the Christian Church.
Overview of ‘Being Reformed … Faith Seeking Understanding’ by Don McKim*
The church has called Scripture “Word of God” because it is our source of knowing God’s will and purpose. We know what God wants because of what God had communicated.(pp.7)
- The Bible is considered the ‘revelation of God’ because it is through Scripture that God is known. Through Scripture God communicated God’s self to human beings. (8)
- We believe “Word” and “Spirit” are inextricably bound up together. The Spirit inspired the Word. The Spirit illuminates our hearts to recognize Scripture as God’s Word. (10)
- The church doctrine of the Trinity confessed belief in one God in three persons. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all fully, and equally God. (13)
- God’s ‘greatness’ is not sheet power. God’s love overcomes that which seeks to separate the creation from its creator. (14)
- Our Presbyterian tradition has emphasized God’s providential involvement with creation, history, and human lives. (15)
- Presbyterians, like early Christians, want to confess the fullness of Jesus Christ so that salvation can be accomplished. (19) The cross is central because by Christ’s death, ‘atonement’ has occurred; and salvation has come!
- The church’s gospel message of peace is vital for our time; it is found only in Jesus Christ. (21)
- There are times when we are more aware of the presence of God’s Spirit than at other times. However, the Spirit is always there. (26) Presbyterians recognize the amazing activities of the Holy Spirit in more ways than we can say! The Holy Spirit is at work in the church and in the world. (27)
- What joins all Christians in all churches is that we are united with Jesus Christ by faith. Faith is the gift of God. It is expressed in Christian baptism. It is nourished and strengthened in the Lord’s Supper. (32)
*[these main points of Reformed Theology have been taken from Don McKim’s curriculum ‘Being Reformed Faith Seeking Understanding’ Congregational Ministries Publishing PCUSA, Louisville, Kentucky 2010] please see me if you would like to borrow/or get a copy of this booklet.