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“While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.” —Luke 24:51

Theological Reflections

From time to time, the Office of Theology and Worship will post reflections, papers, essays and other items of theological interest.

Sanctify Them in the Truth

Some rejoice, others lament. There has been widespread reaction the passage of Amendment 10A which changes the language of our ordination standards in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  The office of Theology and Worship has produced an interpretive piece that considers the theological and ecclesial issues raised by this new constitutional language, on the gifts and requirements for ordained service.

Read the paper.


The Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace

“The Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace,” written by the Office of Theology and Worship, addresses issues resulting from some critical assessments of the faith, order and mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). 

Specifically, while many critics of the PC(USA) applaud the church’s official theological and moral standards, they assert that these positions are inconsequential if persons can depart from them with impunity. 

The issue is identity: what makes us who we are?  “The Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace” acknowledges that as a finite, limited creature of God, the church must exhibit a coherence marked by the presence of boundaries — an ability to recognize what is part of it and what is not.

“The Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace” addresses directly the matter of “ecclesiastical discipline uprightly ministered," explores the painful reality of congregations that choose to leave the PC(USA) and presents the Scripture’s call to maintain God’s gift of unity, granted through Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.


presbyTerians and Mormons

Presbyterians and Mormons: A Study in Contrasts is a 1990 study paper of the Theology and Worship Ministry Unit of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The paper includes a brief history of Mormonism, information on Mormon practices and beliefs, and a section on pastoral concerns, as well as a lexicon, a bibliography, and a study guide. Hard copies are also available for purchase.


Another resource that may be of interest is Presbyterians and Latter-Day Saints, a pamphlet from the Office of Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations.

The Trinity: God's Love Overflowing

This paper is the result of the work of a Trinity Working Group that has labored the last three years. The 217th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved a recommendation to receive and commend to the church for study the paper.


An introduction to the Trinity paper by Daniel Migliore of Princeton Seminary


Frequently Asked Questions


Study Guide — Updated study guide that originally appeared in Ideas! Magazine

An article written for Orthodox Church in America by the Very Rev. John Breck: "Trinity by any other name (?)"

For a helpful analysis of the promise of the "The Trinity: God's Love Overflowing," which also points out weaknesses, we recommend reading this editorial in the Christian Century.

A four-part DVD that features well-known pastors and scholars is available that provides an excellent general introduction to the Trinity and introductions to the three parts of the paper. The DVD can also be used as a stand-alone media piece for confirmation classes, new member classes, and other venues as an introduction to the doctrine of the Trinity. PDS #21162-07-002D $25.95

Theology's Passive Voice 


Ordinary and Extraordinary Discipline 


The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit with Special Reference to "The Baptism of the Holy Spirit"


A Theological Understanding between Christians and Jews


Hope in the Lord Jesus Christ


Between Millennia 


Eschatology: The Doctrine of Last Things


Undivided and Plural Ministry


"The Trinity of Theology and Worship"

"The Crucified One Is Lord" 

Esperanza en el Señor Jesucristo

Ministry in a Postmodern World

Confessions, Principles and Diversity

Evolution Statement

Indiscriminate Baptism and Baptismal Integrity


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