The Talks on Presbyterianism focus on Presbyterian identity - the particular beliefs, practices, and history that set up apart from other Christian denominations. In our co-called postmodern age, with competting naratives vying for our attention and allegiance. It can be quite easy for Pesbyerians to experience an identity crisis and question our own practices, whether we are too rigid or too loose. The talks will also consider the meaning of the 16 century Prostestant Reformation motto - Reformed, yet "Always Reforming" (semper reformanda) and how this can be applied today.
Christians across denominations and throughout church history widely believe in the sovereignty and grace of God. However we disagree on what these concepts mean in the Bible. This talk focuses on how Reformed people view the priority of these doctrines, as a matters of first importance, according to biblical teaching. How Christians view the sovereignty and grace of God will determine, to a greater extent, how we understand the way in which God rules over every aspect of creation, salvation, providence and human freewill. The talk concludes with a discussion on the implications of these doctrines for Christian living.
Corporate worship takes a central and formative place in Presbyterian Churches. Thus, how Presbyterians view and practice worship is a matter of great importance to our identity as God's people. This talk addresses the distinguishing elements of Presbyterian worship, the nature of acceptable worship to God, and the practice of worship, both in positive and negative terms. The talk will also review the meaning of each segment of ORPC's order of worship, including song selection, so that worshippers can come to a greater appreciation of our worship experience.
If you have ever wondered why Presbyterians use the Burning Bush and the Cross of Christ as the defining emblems of the denomination, then this talk is for you. The talk seeks to expalin Covenant Theology as opposed to non-covenantal views. The idea of covenant is crucial not only for the proper understanding of how God interacts with his people throughout history, the establishment of his kingdom, but how it impacts the way we interpret the Bible. The talk concludes with discussion on how our thinking about God's kingdom impacts one's Christian life.
What is the church? Is it merely a building or place where Christians assemble on Sunday? What are the defining marks of the church according to the Bible? How did Protestant Reformers, like Martin Luther and John Calvin, distinguish the true from the false church, when they broke away from the Roman Catholic Church and established Lutheran and Reformed congregations in Europe? This talk will answer these important questions, and address the practical consideration of how the church is governed according to Presbyterian polity.
How do Presbyterians view baptism and the Lord's Supper in contract to Baptists, Lutherans, or Roman Catholics? How do sacraments work in the life of Presbyterian believers? What is the difference between a sacrament and an ordinance? At a time when Christians routinely transfer in and out of denominations, it is very important for them to understand the biblical, theological, and historical bases that gave rise to these doctrinal and ecclesiastical differences. Most importantly, the talk will explain wy Christians should participate in the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper.