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“Beloved, we are God’s children now.” —1 John 3:2

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What Presbyterians Believe                  

This ongoing series of articles on "What Presbyterians Believe" explores the Biblical and theological foundations of our faith.

The authors have given permission for these articles to be reproduced. We hope this series will be useful for adult church school classes and discussion groups, new member classes and individual enrichment.

What do Presbyterians believe about ... ?


How to Speak Presbyterian                   

It has been estimated that 58 percent of the members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) did not grow up in the denomination. For readers in that category, here is a short rundown of the lingo you are likely to hear in a Presbyterian church that you may not have heard in another church.

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What do Presbyterians believe about ... ?

Angels
Art
The Ascension
The Atonement
Baptism
Infant Baptism (2006 version)
Infant Baptism (1985 version)
(Don't) Believe
The Bible
Biblical Justice
Church and State
Communion
Confessions
Connectional Church
Deacons
Ecclesia Reformata ...
Education

Elders
End of life issues
The End of the World
Eschatology
Evangelism
Evil
Faith and Patriotism
Forgiveness
Grace
Hell

 

Heresy
How Presbyterians Make Decisions

The Holy Spirit
Interfaith relations
Jesus
Life After Death
Lord of the Conscience
Mary
Miracles
Mission
Ordination
Predestination
Predestination II
Priesthood of Believers
Purity
The Resurrection of Jesus
Sacraments
Stewardship
The Trinity
Trinity (Reclaiming the)
Vocation
Wealth
Work
Worship

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Comments

  • My daughter currently in Atlanta, GA " Aumiece Dibrell" of Phoenix, AZ. Keep us in hand and pray. Just found out our background is Presbyterian origin instead of Pentacostal. I am happy and inspired to learn more. All praises John1: 1-3. by Donna Dibrell on 04/17/2015 at 1:09 p.m.

  • Ashley, there are many things Presbyterians and Baptists hold in common and differ on. And of course there are different types of Baptists and Presbyterians. We don't want to over-generalize; there are some important differences, for instance, between American Baptists and Southern Baptists. But mainly, the differences come down to baptism and how we make decisions. Baptists generally believe that only people with the capacity to affirm their faith should be baptized; Presbyterians believe those people should be baptized as well, but also believe that, because the primary agent is God's grace, not our actions, it is right also to baptize infants whom worshiping communities covenant to nurture in the faith. Theologically, Presbyterians tend to put more weight on God's action; Baptists, on our individual faith and action. Both are important to both; emphases are just different. Baptists also are generally congregationalist, meaning individual congregations can determine their own policies. Presbyterians have elected leaders that serve regionally and nationally, voting to make decisions. There's still a lot of autonomy and governance at the local level, but not as much as there is among Baptists. Hope that helps! This is a simplistic explanation that glosses over a variety of nuances but hopefully it hits the major points. by Patrick Heery PC(USA) Staff on 03/09/2015 at 10:56 a.m.

  • I was raised as a Baptist. My question is, What is the difference between Baptist and Presbyterian? by ashley on 03/09/2015 at 1:25 a.m.

  • What do you guys think of the Baptist faith? by cucumber on 12/15/2014 at 3:03 p.m.

  • I am very proud to be a Presbyterian what inspires me is their hymns I love them by sabina on 10/26/2014 at 3:00 a.m.

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