Turning Points in American Presbyterian History
Part 11: The Confession of 1967

In 1958, the United Presbyterian Church of North America ended one hundred years of denominational life when it merged with the northern mainline Presbyterian church (PCUSA) to form the United Presbyterian Church in the USA (UPCUSA). For the PCUSA, the union marked the partial success of its ecumenical ambitions. What began as three-way discussions was reduced when the Southern Presbyterians pulled out. North-South reunion would have to wait another quarter century. For the former United Presbyterians, this was an astonishingly quick assimilation from their Covenanter past into the American Presbyterian mainstream. Among the terms of the union was an agreement to write a new confessional standard in order to offer contemporary advice for American Presbyterians. Although the United Presbyterians were generally considered to be the more conservative party in the union, they were eager to craft a new confession. In that denomination's history, the Testimony of 1858 and the Confession Statement of 1925 ... Read more

Helps for Worship #4: Preparing for Worship (Part 1)

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." (Ex. 20:8) Why does the Lord tell us to remember the Sabbath day? The Larger Catechism (Q. 121) answers that this is "partly, because we are very ready to forget it." Knowing our weakness, the Lord tells us, as part of his moral law, to make special efforts to keep the day for rest, worship, and works of necessity and mercy, separated unto him. ( Holy means "separated unto God.") It is sobering to realize that failure to keep the Sabbath day separated unto the Lord is on a par with idolatry, blasphemy, murder, adultery, stealing, and lying. That alone should be a powerful rebuke to us when we regard the Sabbath day as our day rather than the Lord's, and when we seek our own pleasure rather than his (see Isa. 58:13). If we think of the Lord's Day for anything beyond what God has ordained it to be, we are guilty of a serious form of idolatry of self. As a major part of your preparing for Lord's Day worship, plan ahead—that is, "remember"—to keep ... Read more


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