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1. Presbyterian Questions, Presbyterian
2. The Presbyterian Hymnal (Pew Edition):Â
3. Being Presbyterian in the Bible
4. Presbyterian Beliefs: A Brief
5. On Being Presbyterian: Our Beliefs,
6. Book of Common Worship
7. The Presbyterian Deacon: An Essential
8. Presbyterian Creeds: A Guide to
9. Presbyterian Worship - Its Spirit,
10. To Be a Presbyterian
11. Presbyterian Polity for Church
12. Why Are These Presbyterian Churches
13. The Baptism of Your Child: A Book
14. The Book of Church Order of the
15. Better Together: The Future of
16. Presbyterians: Their History and
17. Presbyterian Hymnal Companion
18. How to Survive Being a Presbyterian!:
19. Proclaiming the Great Ends of
20. Faithful Witnesses: A Course in

1. Presbyterian Questions, Presbyterian Answers:Â Exploring Christian Faith
by Donald K. McKim
Paperback: 120 Pages (2004-01-31)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$6.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0664502504
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Resource for General Info
We provided this short book for use in our new member's classes.Good resource. Easy to use. Quick read. Good information. Well worth the purchase. We'll use it again.

5-0 out of 5 stars good primer for presbyterians
excellent easy to read book about the basics of presbyterianim.got this for my dad who read it in about two days.Easy to understand and thorough.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for a newbie!
I have enjoyed skimming through this when I have a chance.My family and I have recently switched from attending our local Catholic Church to our local Presbyterian church and the book has been great for getting some ideas on how the churches differ and how they are set up.I have even started taking it along to our adult Sunday school that we attend while the kids are in class....

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Intro to being Presbyterian and Reformed
Donald McKim's book is a marvelous introductory work for inquirers and many who have been Presbyterian for a long time.The questions are those that are REALLY asked by people, and the answers are cogent and short.(Something we pastors might learn!)This book can be used in New Members Classes or Inquirers classes, as well as being read privately by other interested people.Young people and young adults will value this, also.Keep a few copies on hand....they'll come in handy!

4-0 out of 5 stars Prebyterian Lite
If you want short question and answers to a wide range of doctrinal questions from a Presbyterian perspective this is an excellent little book.I enjoyed it.If you long for deep explanatory information going through Scripture verse by verse its not here.Its just the basics but still worth the time and money. ... Read more

2. The Presbyterian Hymnal (Pew Edition):Â Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Songs
by No Author
Hardcover: 716 Pages (1992-01-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$15.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 066410097X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars presb. songbook
this songbook is, of course, according to what I expected, but it's less suitable for use as a songbook for piano or organ playing. It's hardbound and doesn't stay open when playing and that is very annoying.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not as impressed as I'd hoped
The hymnal is a decent resource, but isn't extremely useful in determining the original reading of various hymns.The older texts have been altered to reflect contemporary concerns of feminist theology, even in removing certain references to God being Father (for one example, see "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," #276, footnote).The hymns are not mangled as a general rule, but I see the irritating "alt." designation next to more older texts than not.The type is clear and the musical settings are sound, so if egalitarian/feminist theology doesn't bother you, this is a fine hymnal.

4-0 out of 5 stars Presbyterian Hymnal CD and Vista Compatibility
This CD is a great way to copy and paste the songs of the Presbyterian Hymnal into Word documents, Powerpoint, etc. We also use it to import hymns into Mediashout for projection. One thing - to get it to work with Vista requires that two files be manually copied - dirdib.drv and macromix.dll into your c:\windows folder. Otherwise, you'll get error messages saying that the files can not be copied because the disk is full. What's happening is that the new Vista security features are preventing the files from being copied.

So where do you get these two files? Install and run the hymnal CD on a Windows XP computer. The files are only available while the program is running. They are removed when the program is closed. So - while the program is running, copy them to a floppy disk, flash drive or whatever and then manually copy them into the c:\windows folder on your Vista computer. You'll need administrator priveleges to do so.

After that, the CD runs as well on a Vista computer as on our XP computer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Every Presbyterian Church Should Have This.

We understand that the Presbyterian Church is at the start of making a new hymnal (due to debut in 2014) to replace this one.Their theory is that every generation needs a new hymnal and if you look at the preceding hymnals (the blue or green hymnal of 1933, the maroon hymnal of 1955 and the ill-fated Worshipbook of the 70s), you see their point.

Even so, this one gets most things right and will be hard to beat.

The second half of the 20th century experienced what has been called the Hymn Explosion, and many of the best hymns of that time are represented in this book which is still called the "new" hymnal in most Presbyterian churches. There are some works that were hard to introduce to congregations that are now among their most beloved hymns represented: Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ, Here I Am Lord, etc.Fred Pratt Green, Timothy Dudley-Smith, Jane Parker Huber and Hal Hopson are all represented here, as well they ought to be.

There are also some under-utilized gems in it as well, songs like "Come O Spirit" (for Pentecost) and "God Bless Your Church" (for an anniversary) that have also found their way into other denominational hymnals.

All in all it is a great hymnal for expanding the congregations "Favorites" repertoire without being too jarring.

LindaJo McKim and company did yeoman's work in creating it.The layout is according to the liturgical year.The indexes are thorough and easy to use.The print is clear; the size is comfortable to hold while singing.There is a non-denominational version of this hymnal available too, from the publisher, for non-Presbyterian congregations who find it to their liking.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ethnic and Cultural DIversityin Christian Hymnology
If you could have only one hymnal in your piano bench, this would be the one.The traditional Christian hymns in lush arrangements in the British style, with a great diversity of Christian hymn and praise songe from other non-European cultures.Some hymns have lyrics in various world langauges.A fitting tribute to the universality of the Christian tradition and the union of spirits in praise of the Divine. ... Read more

3. Being Presbyterian in the Bible Belt: A Theological Survival Guide for Youth, Parents, and Other Confused Presbyterians
by Ted V. Foote, P. Alex Thornburg
Paperback: 91 Pages (2000-05)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$5.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0664501095
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (16)

1-0 out of 5 stars A misleading title
This is a controversial book - and not in a good way.A better title might be "Being an Ultra-liberal Presbyterian in the Bible Belt."

One example on page 23: "the belief in Satan is just another excuse not to take responsibility for our own actions in the world."There is no acknowledgement of what the Bible says on the subject.

Another on page 29: "When Matthew says that Peter called Jesus 'the Christ' before his resurrection, this is likely a reading back into the story of Jesus' life a view of him that developed later. . . 'If they didn't call Jesus "Christ,"' Matthew seems to be saying, 'they could have.And if they'd thought about it, they would have.'"

That, of course, misses the whole point of the episode.Once authors publish nonsense like that, there's really no need to take anything else they say very seriously.

The Presbyterian Church contains a rich and broad range of theological opinion.What's disturbing to me is that the writers present their simplistic views as the norm for the entire denomination.Even more disturbing is the fact that they gear their book to young people.

If I were not a life-long member, but only considering the Presbyterian Church, this book would probably convince me to choose some other denomination.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent treatment of mainline Presbyterianism
The authors hit the key issues involved in affirming a mainline Presbyterian faith in a cultural setting dominated by fundamentalism.

Scripture, salvation, baptism, personal and cosmic eschatology, atonement and other topics are addressed in an accessible way for the layperson - youth or adult.

I've used this in confirmation and elder training and it is always well received.

5-0 out of 5 stars For once, a book that makes Christianity accessable.
I must read too much W.E.B.Griffin, because like him I feel the best measure of another person's intelligence is the degree to which he agrees with you. That being said, I find the authors of Being Presbyterian in the Bible Belt very intelligent beings indeed. My wife and I recently Joined a Presbyterian church after visiting several times and feeling very at-home. We both come from other Protestant denominations and I for one wanted to know more about the beliefs of the Presbyterian flavor. This book both validated our personal beliefs and our decision to join this denomination. As a life-long Christian and scientist I have spent nearly sixty years being either appalled or downright angry that most Christian denominations expect me to check my God-given intellect at the door of the church, while at the same time dealing with scientists who consider religion irrational for a person seeking logical scientific answers to life's mysteries. As a scientist I very much believe that nothing speaks to the existence of God more than the elegance and orderliness of nature along with the fact that science does not and cannot explain everything. But I cannot and will not surrender to ignorance and outright stupidity for the comfort of Bible-thumping Neanderthals who don't understand the larger words in the texts they have memorized. It seems to me to be in God's nature to be inclusive all the while it is in man's nature to be exclusive. This book reinforces my belief that we are where we are because that's where God wants us to be at that moment, and He speaks to us all (and not just to the self-appointed elect) if we just will listen. "He leadeth me, oh blessed thought...".

1-0 out of 5 stars Great topic, weak book
Much of what these authors identify as "Presbyterian" would not be recognizable to any of the earlier generations who owned that label. A low view of Biblical authority, a loose cafeteria view of confessions, a man-centered theology -- that used to be called "Unitarian" not Presbyterian!

More or less a waste.

4-0 out of 5 stars Tolerance With Love. . .
This is a delightful little volume that will remind many of us why we belong to the Presbyterian Church.It has always been more 'comfortable' to belong to a more militaristic style of church, where, regardless of what is stated, the members are expected to fall in line with church doctrine.I believe this freedom, this lack of forcing, has cost the Presbyterian Church many members--those who migrate to fundamentalist churches.The question, then, is whether this has necessarily been a bad thing.Like other reviewers, I particularly liked the chapter on 'whether one is saved' or not.

I believe in the basic inerrancy of the original autographs of the Bible, and certainly believe that a number of modern translations are distorting the word.A parallel Bible will illustrate it.Again, as a Presbyterian, I believe each individual should decide.This book perhaps strays somewhat on the 'liberal' side of that debate for me.

Don't dismiss it out of hand, however.There is valuable information here, regardless of what the Minister reviewer states.Again, our freedom to differ is what does make us special! ... Read more

4. Presbyterian Beliefs: A Brief Introduction
by Donald K. McKim
Paperback: 126 Pages (2003-05)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$7.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0664502539
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Christian Beliefs - from a Reformed perspective
This book is well-written and easily understood. The book was introduced to a men's Bible study group that I am part of and we dedicated our study time to discussing the book, one chapter a week.

The book is really an introduction to Christian Beliefs from a Reformed perspective. Our group found the book helpful and biblical. Where Presbyterians disagree over issues, McKim was faithful to present a breadth of views.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great overview in plain terms
I attend another faith services with a preference towards Presbyterianism. Since I am relatively new to this faith, I wanted a succinct background of the Presbyterian beliefs. This paperback has that, and it is well written in laymen's terms. There are also in-depth explanations of the church's positions on key issues of the faith. A feature which I especially like is the discussion question list at the end of each chapter. They can be used for group discussion or self-indulgence. At the end of the book there is a list of titles for further detail on any of the aforementioned subject matter. I believe that you will enjoy this book. I do. ... Read more

5. On Being Presbyterian: Our Beliefs, Practices, And Stories
by Sean Michael Lucas
Paperback: 271 Pages (2006-06)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$9.04
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1596380195
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars So close, so close...
This book was extremely close to convincing me of the Biblical accuracy of Presbyterianism. Excellent book.

The author lays out the theology, church structure and history of the Presbyterian Church (PCA). For anyone interested or those that want to know more this book is great.

The format is stylish and easy to read. The reading is thorough but not too scholarly. At the end of the each chapter the author lists other books for further study on the topic of that chapter.

For other texts similar to this on other denominations see:
The Baptist Way: Distinctives of a Baptist Church
Why I Am a Lutheran: Jesus at the Center
Welcome to the Episcopal Church: An Introduction to Its History, Faith, and Worship

4-0 out of 5 stars Presbyterianism simplified
This book is well written using theological terms but explaining them in layman's understanding. It is w ritten for the non-Presbyterian to see what they believe without getting to technical.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction to Presbyterianism
One of my favorite truisms after my years as a minister is "no one grew up Presbyterian". What I mean by that is that in most of our churches, there are very few people for whom the whole idea of being "Presbyterian" is a new thing.Combine this with the fact that, as I'm also fond of saying, "you don't have to be a Presbyterian to join a PCA church", means that a lot of us don't completely understand or buy in to all that a Presbyterian church believes.Sean Michael Lucas, a church history professor at Covenant Seminary, understands this dynamic.He did not grow up Presbyterian either!And to help teach a new members class at his former church, Lucas began writing what became, On Being Presbyterian.On Lucas' blog page, he describes his goal for the book as follows:

"I meant this book to be a lay-oriented introduction to Presbyterianism. As I wrote, I imagined that I was sitting across the table from someone at a Starbucks, trying to explain Presbyterian beliefs, practices, and stories to them. My hope was that the book would represent "vanilla Presbyterianism" in a winsome and warm way." [...]

The book is helpful in many ways.It is divided, as the subtitle suggests, into three parts, 1.Presbyterian Beliefs, 2. Presbyterian Practices, and 3. Presbyterian Stories.The book deals with many of the common struggles people have with Presbyterian beliefs such as infant baptism, predestination, the Five points of Calvinism and rule by elders.It also does a great job of describing Presbyterian views and practices on worship and church discipline.Each chapter also has helpful study questions at the end, along with suggestions for further reading.Lucas generally writes very clearly and helpfully, as you would expect given his stated goal above:

"What Presbyterians (and other Reformed believers) have always understood is that the Christian life is a way of life that is based on doctrine; or, to put it another way, our practices are based squarely on our beliefs." (pp. 100).

"Any progress that we make in the Christian life is due solely to the sovereign work of God's Spirit, motivated by God's amazing grace and rooted in God's glorious gospel.And the practices of piety that we have considered take our focus away from ourselves and our striving for God and plant us firmly in the Gospel itself." (pp. 110).

One brief caution, I love history-but if you don't share that love, than the third section of the book can be a little tough.He basically covers the history of Presbyterianism and the PCA in three chapters.But history lover or not, the first two sections are worth the price of the book.Wondering about infant baptism?Trying to figure out this predestination thing?Can't figure out what a Session is?Lucas' book will be a great help to you.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Introduction To Presbyterianism
Despite being Baptist, I love and admire Presbyterianism. My parents are Presbyterians and raised me in that environment. Though I may not necessarily believe in them, I am at least sympathetic to many of the tenets of Presbyterianism, such as covenant theology, infant baptism and the Presbyterian system of church government. It was with some interest, then, that I began to read On Being Presbyterian by Sean Michael Lucas. This book, recently published by P&R Publishing, is intended to serve as a primer on all things Presbyterian. Lucas wants to show "how a particular type of identity is formed, as the confluence of beliefs, practices and stories." He seeks to introduce the beliefs, practices and stories that have converged to create Presbyterianism as it exists today.

These three divisions form the structure for the book. In the section dealing with beliefs, Lucas looks at God's sovereignty, the priority of grace, covenant and kingdom, the nature and purpose of the church and the signs and seals of God's grace. When dealing with practices, he examines piety, worship and church government. The final section looks at the genesis of Presbyterianism through the leadership of Calvin and Knox, and then turns to an examination of Presbyterianism in America. The book wraps up with an epilogue entitled "On Becoming Presbyterian" where he suggests what would be expected of a person who wished to adopt this system of beliefs and how a person might set about finding such a church body.

This book often recalled memories from my youth, many of which were very good memories. It helped me realize that in many ways I continue to be Presbyterian at heart, for it was necessity rather than desire that drove us out of these churches (there are far more solid Baptist churches in Canada than Presbyterian ones). While I do love Baptist churches, there is a part of me that will probably always be Presbyterian.

Ultimately, as a Baptist, I suppose that my view of this book only counts for so much. Eventually we'll need to ask other Presbyterians for their views on the book. They are, after all, more qualified to pass judgment on it. So let's look at some of the men who have endorsed this book. Ligon Duncan endorsed it saying it is a "popular introduction to Presbyterianism that I can put in the hands of Bible-believing, gospel-loved Presbyterians and other evangelicals interested in this part of the Christian family." Bryan Chapell, President of Covenant Seminary, says "The people who fill Bible-believing Presbyterian churches increasingly have little Presbyterian background. Lucas provides a terrific resource to get everyone up speed." John Muether of Reformed Theological Seminary says it is "A compelling and coherent account of the distinctive features of Presbyterian identity that draws the vital connection between Reformed faith and practice. Pastors, elders, and Presbyterian laypeople will want to study this book and pass it on to their children."

I enjoyed On Being Presbyterian and would recommend it either to those who are interested in learning about the distinctives of Presbyterianism, or those who are Presbyterian and would like to learn and understand more about their beliefs, practices and history. It is well-written and quite easy to understand and absorb. ... Read more

6. Book of Common Worship
by Theology and Worship Ministry Unit for the Presbyterian Church
Hardcover: 1107 Pages (1993-05-01)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$25.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0664219918
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Because of the centrality of worship in the church's life, the continuing reform of worship is of primary importance in maintaining the integrity of the people of God. In an age dominated by individualism and secularism, it is particularly important to embrace forms of worship that are firmly roooted in the faith and foster a strong communal sense of being united with God, with the Community of faith in every time and place, and with a broken world in need of God's healing touch. In orther words, the concern for the reform of worship is above everything else, a concern for the renewal of the church. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Resource
I am an ordained minister in the Wesleyan theological background and we do not have a resource like this.I bought this and was skeptical but after I received it and used it, it is a must have for all minister's libraries.It already has helped my daily walk with the Lord in the daily prayer.And has awesome services for many different situations.

5-0 out of 5 stars Discover (and Use!) the Presbyterian Liturgy in the Fulness of Its Splendour!
Prebyterians have among the most splendid and solemnly beautiful officially sanctioned liturgies in all of Western Christendom. It is galling how little resort to it there is in Presbyterian parishes. This prompted me to write some comments elsewhere, directed towards Roman Catholics, about this matter, which I adapt here for Amazon's entry for the Book of Common Worship on its WWW site. Here goes!

The "now you see it, now you don't" kind of worship practice of putative "liturgical Protestantism" is maddening! Taking the Reformed denomination known as the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as example, one knows that few churches in Christendom have liturgy as fine, balanced, full, and lovely as what is contained in the best options for worship in these Presbyterians' current service book (giving, retired librarian that I am, a fairly full ISBD citation of it):

Book of Common Worship / prepared by the Theology and Worship Ministry Unit, for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. -- Louisville, Ky. : Westminster-John Knox Press, 1993. -- viii, 1107 p. -- ISBN: 0-664-21991-8.

So much fine thought, liturgical scholarship, and labour went into the production of this splendid liturgical book, yet so little is it in use in all of its beauty and gracefulness in Presbyterian congregations. Many Roman Catholics would yearn to have such full and essentially traditionalist liturgy as that Book of Common Worship, whether in the 1993 form of it, or in the lovely and more compact, earlier editions (especially that of 1946), rather than the stripped-down, banal "Novus Ordo" liturgies inflicted on Roman Catholics since 1970, where reason and tradition do not prevail (as they seldom do) in using the 1962 "Missale Romanum" (which, by the way, is the true "liturgy of Vatican II")!

Most Presbyterian congregations choose to use their magnificent liturgy only in "dribs and drabs", a little bit of authorised liturgy here, mixed with lots of "do-it-yourself" low-brow improvisation elsewhere. The only P.C.U.S.A. parish at which I experienced this Presbyterian liturgy in all of its splendour was at a parish in Kansas City, Mo., when I was visiting that exciting metropolis for a conference.

Even Anglicans and Lutherans are departing more and more from the liturgical norms of their denominations. Granted, modernist liturgies have supplanted, in many parishes, the traditional "Book of Common Prayer" (Anglican, 1662 U.K., 1928 U.S., or 1962 Canada) and "Common Worship Service" (Lutheran, having been incorporated in various Lutheran serivce books and hymnal worship sections), both of which use Abp. Cranmer's extraordinarily beautiful liturgical English of the 16th century. The modernist liturgies do not compel the loyalty to them that the traditional Anglican and Lutheran liturgies in English did, but even the newer services are better than the free-for-all worship styles for which many Anglican and Lutheran parishes supplant far better official liturgies, modernist and traditional alike! The Presbyterians, at least, have gone from strength to strenth in their official liturgical revisions, unlike most Proestants, and what a shame it is that the published results are too little in worship use in their local churches!

Oh, well, there is no accounting for taste, and the increasingly faithless attitude of "liturgical Protestants" towards worship norms, dumping them for sectarian happy-clappy free-form "informality", is part-and-parcel of the tyrranous reign of trendiness, willful individualism, and lack of respect for tradition, (even for their own traditions!) of Protestantism. More and more, one often cannot discern a truly Protestant church (Anglican, Lutheran, Reformed/Presbyterian) from mere sects (Baptists, Pentecostals, Methodists, Campbellites, et alia), at least so far as how they carry out their worship and collective life!

Anyway, for a real contrast to what tends, alas, to prevail in North American Protestant worship, obtain the Presbyterians' "Book of Common Worship"! Even many Canadian Presbyterian churches use it, at least in part, in preference to their own rather inferior current edition of the "Book of Common Worship". The official American Presbyterian liturgies' provisions, be it noted, are very edifying for use in one's personal devotions (as I have so used them at times), quite apart from their superiority in public worship!

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent worship resource
I bought this book for a Theology class I took during college, but have used it since as a guide for daily devotions.Its prayers take on a natural rhythm throughout the year, and I feel connected to a larger tradition knowing that others use this same book to guide their own daily worship.For professional worship wonks and lay persons alike, this volume should have a prized position in any library. ... Read more

7. The Presbyterian Deacon: An Essential Guide
by Earl S. Johnson
Paperback: 85 Pages (2002-11)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$6.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0664502377
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars good little book
My husband was interested in this book. He is an ordained Presbyterian elder and wished to be refreshed on the duties of an Elder. Good information here. Well written.

4-0 out of 5 stars the Presbyterian Deacon
I found this book helpful in learning about what it means to be a Deacon.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great resource book for any Deacon.
We got this book when we were brand new Presbyterian Deacons and found it very worthwhile. Lots of info, all the Book of Order, Ordination info too. Recommend it for any Deacon, new or returning. Came quickly, packed well too. ... Read more

8. Presbyterian Creeds: A Guide to the Book of Confessions
by Jack Bartlett Rogers
Paperback: 292 Pages (1985-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$18.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0664254969
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars Not Worth Buying
I first read this book because I was told that Jack Rogers was an inspiring writer who broke from his conservative background to forward progressive causes for alternative communities.What I found was that he didn't have much to say.Reading the book of Confessions is intersting enough (or not, depending on who you ask), and it can't and doesn't really need to be made more clear.

3-0 out of 5 stars Weak in Explaining Presbyterian Doctrine
This book is useful to a good understanding of how a large portion of the clergy in the PCUSA today view the confessional standards of the PCUSA.However, as many of these clergy do not have an understanding, nor do they teach, the doctrines that our pious fathers in the Presbyterian Church once taught from the same pulpit, this book also is very weak as a tool for the Christian who aspires to become an elder or other church officer.

The author has a weak understanding of reformed theology.What he feels to be the essential tenets of the reformed faith are ten tenets listed in the Book of Order (not the Book of Confessions) which he belives summarize the reformed faith.A much better understanding is required of church officers.Church officers must be sound in the faith, and this book lacks the guidance to help church officers.It does not properly give an understanding of reformed faith, and it does not serve as an effective tool to understanding reformed faith and doctrine.

The whole argument of essential tenets has been especially fierce in the last 100 years (more so in the early 1900's).The author of this book comes down on one side of the essential tenet argument.He is biased, and he is biased against subscription.He does not say that he is biased, and therefore will not explain or defend his position.Indeed, the whole issue of subscription is avoided.Thus, an accurate history on the subject of subscription to the Confession is not offered in this book.Presbyterian ministers and elders historically subscribed to the Confession of Faith as their own confession - to be what they believe scripture teaches.This they continued until the 1900's.Also, the use of the word "tenets" is a rather new invention.Our Presbyterian fathers used the word "articles", as the Confession was made up of articles (Each chapter of the confession consists of several articles).The word "tenets", which is now used, does not refer to the articles, but to a set of beliefs.So we now have the "essential tenets" of the reformed faith and confessions.This was not the talk of Presbyterians before.

The author of this book quotes a part of a sentence from the Adopting Act of 1729.He subverts the meaning of the Adopting Act by drawing a wrong conclusion about it based on this one part of a sentence from it.His conclusion is what he wants you to accept without going into an analysis of the Act itself or explaining that there are those that disagree with him.For if it is explained that there is disagreement, then an explanation would be required to establish why he believes as he does.This however takes time and work.So it is avoided.Many clergy in the PCUSA take his side on this point.But you are not getting the whole story from this book.You need more knowledge to understand the issue.Thus the meaning of the ministers that wrote the Adopting Act is not explained, and you will not understand it unless you exert yourself to learn more.This book will not help you.And thus, the whole argument of what is required of those who aspire to be church officers is misreprented by many, including this author.This issue of essential articles was actually decided by the 1729 Synod.And of course, they did not use the word - "tenets".

The author of this book gives his biased argument for his position.However, he does not present the other position.He doesn't even acknowledge that there are those that disagree with him.There are whole denominations that disagree with him on these points, including the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church in America.Seminaries disagree with him, including Reformed Theological Seminary and Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary (viz. disagreement about the issue of subscribing to the confessions and what is essential in reformed faith).There are resources available that present the arguments that are lacking in this book.These other resources can give you a better understanding of Presbyterianism and help you to understand the reformed faith and therefore understand more about our faith in God and what it means to be Christ's disciple.

Again, this book is useful as tool to understand the author's side on the issues he presents.He does not work to establish his position as he does not acknowledge any other position.This book helps you to know how many of the clergy look at the confessions of the church and how arrogant they are about telling you how you should believe.

5-0 out of 5 stars Presbyterian Creeds by Jack Rogers
Dr. Rogers' classic historical and theological explication of the creeds making up the PC(USA) Book of Confessions is profound, exciting, and enlightening.He shows us how to use the confessions intelligently and wisely to understand who we are as Christians and as Presbyterians and to see how "the church reformed, always being reformed" has grown and deepened in relationship with the living God.This book is illuminates a part of where we come from and who we are. ... Read more

9. Presbyterian Worship - Its Spirit, Method and History
by Robert Johnston
Paperback: 64 Pages (2010-07-06)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
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Asin: B003YMNKQC
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This title has fewer than 24 printed text pages. The Hand is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by Gerald Allan Sohl is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of Gerald Allan Sohl then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more

10. To Be a Presbyterian
by Louis B. Weeks
Paperback: 120 Pages (2010-01-25)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$7.34
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Asin: 0664503012
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Noted author and Presbyterian Louis B. Weeks offers a timely update to his primer on the life, history, tradition, and beliefs of the Presbyterian Church. Offering more than just a brief overview, Weeks ties explanations of Presbyterianism to actual congregational situations and examines major themes in Reformed life. New sections address spiritual practices, "hot-button" issues among Presbyterians, changes in hymnody, and respect for God's creation. The adoption of a Presbyterian Brief Statement of Faith, the growth of newer Reformed churches worldwide and their influence on Christian worship and work in the U.S.A., and the growing importance of other world religions also receive Weeks'sauthoritative attention. ... Read more

11. Presbyterian Polity for Church Officers
by Joan S. Gray, Joyce C. Tucker
Paperback: 204 Pages (1999-05)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$6.96
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Asin: 0664500188
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This is a comprehensive interpretation of the "Book of Order". It explains the system of Presbyterian government, from sessions to presbyteries to synods to the General Assembly itself. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Polity book review
A great book. Every Presbyterian church officer should read it. I recommend it to every Presbyterian to help understand the organizational rules, history and civility of the system at Presbyterian churches in the U.S. ... Read more

12. Why Are These Presbyterian Churches Growing?:The Story of Fifteen Thriving Presbyterian Churches
by Foster H. Shannon
Perfect Paperback: 112 Pages (2009-07-27)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$15.00
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Asin: 0938462059
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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While most Presbyterian churches have suffered major losses in membership, a small chunk of churches in California and Hawaii have proven the exception to the norm with substantial growth for the five year period, 2002-2007. These fifteen unique churches are explored in Why Are These Presbyterian Churches Growing? to reveal common principles and how to challenge the decline in more than 10,000 congregations.Even though there are obvious similarities, each story is different in challenging and dramatic presentations of classic Christianity. Author, Foster H. Shannon, clearly transcends the information beyond the wall of each church with highly dynamic descriptions and inspiring discourse. Each chapter is dedicated to a different profile equipped with an array of tables, summaries, service details, and three full color photos depicting the buildings and activities of each church.Clearly written and straight to the point, Why Are These Presbyterian Churches Growing? provides an abundance of information without weighing down the reader with excessive particulars. Dr. Shannon thoroughly covers the topics in a manner that is easily accessible to the interested follower. The exciting stories challenge and encourage all of us, while their unique examples offer inspiring models for Presbyterian and other churches across the country. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars This book is a hopeful starting point
This short book is a hopeful starting point.It is an overview of fifteen Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations in California that are growing.It does present a hint as to why these churches are doing well, but good be developed more in-depth.I do wonder if author Shannon did more research that just was not included in this book?If so, it would have been worthwhile to include it here.Otherwise, his research seems to have consisted of worshipping with the congregation, checking out the physical plant, looking at the website, and visiting briefly with some of the staff.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not what I had hoped
As a fellow Presbyterian pastor, I was excited to discover and order this book. That said, I was disappointed in the reading. The bulk of the (rather short) book is a record of the author's visits to Sunday worship at each church, with occasional evidence that he spoke with a pastor or some other leader (or, in one case, at least skimmed through a booklet written about the church by one of its pastors).

1. Summaries of Sunday worship structure. While I was disappointed in the lack of analysis (see below), it was interesting to read a basic summary of what Sunday morning looks like in 15 growing churches.
2. Reports of how these pastors see their congregations, and how they articulate what God is doing among them now. While not included in every chapter, these reports are the most instructive part of the book.
3. On page 96-97, he notes some common church practices that are justified in the name of outreach, but can actually make newcomers feel overly visible and uncomfortable (I'm guessing few if any of these churches used them). As an interim pastor, I can easily imagine photocopying these two pages and using them as a discussion starter with a worship team/committee and/or session (but see #5, below).

Some particular negative issues:
1. A lack of analysis. With no in-depth research in evidence beyond describing Sunday worship, transcribing parts of the bulletin, vision statements, and some membership data (available at (...), and the above-mentioned (brief?) conversations with church leadership, there wasn't much for Mr. Shannon to use -- as is amply demonstrated in his reluctance even in his concluding chapter to offer much in the way of helpful insight.
2. A fixation on membership over worship attendance. One of his "growing churches" actually showed no increase in worship attendance when comparing 2002 with 2007; all of its growth was simply in its membership rolls. Now, there might have been some explanation for that (a group was commissioned to plant another church? a group left for some other reason? or, more likely in this case, attendance dropped back somewhat as the senior pastor readied for his departure and an interim arrived) which justified its inclusion in this book. But he gives no such explanation.
3. No word on why these 15 churches were chosen out of the "less than 30" he mentions as having grown over his five-year study period.
4. Honestly, although he is a pastor, he shows signs of not exactly having kept up with his field. In his introduction he implies that only while doing this research did he realize that the "traditional style of chancels" in Presbyterian churches stemmed from 16th and 17th century models. And when one pastor mentions his missional approach (in this case, genuinely so), Shannon writes as if the term is brand new rather than 15+ years old.
5. A minor quibble: I think he rather misses the boat in his (brief) rant against communion by intinction. I haven't found it to be a barrier with non-believers in attendance; in fact, I think the participatory nature makes it a rather more attractive approach than tray-passing. And his insistence that communion is inherently personal and individualistic (hence, passing trays is preferable) completely misses the power of demonstrated community and interrelationship that is not just attractive to the culture around us, but goes to the heart of what Jesus does for us: offers us adoption into the Father's family!

Worth reading, but not great.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good News
A well written and well researched little book. Amid the overall decline of mainline churches, there are what the Heath brothers call "bright spots". These 15 churches, all in different contexts (urban, rural, suburban) have all been growing. Lots to ponder and reflect on here. But overall an encouragement for those who are still loyal to Christ in mainline churches. ... Read more

13. The Baptism of Your Child: A Book for Presbyterian Families
by Carol A. Wehrheim
Paperback: 54 Pages (2006-02-02)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$5.69
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Asin: 0664502857
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This one-of-a-kind resource is the perfect giftbook for Presbyterian pastors and Christian educators to give to parents whose children are about to be or who have recently been baptized. The giftbook includes a baptismal certificate; questions and answers about baptism that reflect a Presbyterian and Reformed understanding of the sacrament; available space for families to store mementos of the child’s baptism; and a host of suggestions for parents, families, and churches to celebrate baptism as a significant early step in the faith journey of children. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource for Parents
"The Baptism of Your Child" is an excellent resource for Presbyterian families preparing to baptize their infant or child.The booklet explains the importance of the Sacrament, and the reasons why Presbyterians baptize children. In addition, the book offers space for notes as the child progresses in their faith journey. As a pastor, I provide a copy to each family when I meet with them to discuss their child's baptism.Excellent price through Amazon.com.

5-0 out of 5 stars great little book
Explanation of baptism in Presbyterian Church
I've ordered several copies of this by now, for my husband to give to young couples new to the Presbyterian church, with new babies, and who want to have a pretty church ceremony but don't know quite what, or what is symbolized. The format is charming and sweet and it looks to me like something new parents would want to complete with their own information and treasure as a keepsake. ... Read more

14. The Book of Church Order of the Presbyterian Church in the United States
by Presbyterian Church in the U.s
Paperback: 138 Pages (2010-01-13)
list price: US$22.63 -- used & new: US$22.63
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Asin: 1153304864
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Publisher: St. Louis: Presbyterian Publishing Co. Richmond, Va.: Presbyterian Committee of PublicationPublication date: 1881Subjects: Presbyterian Church in the U.SPresbyterian Church in the U.SNotes: This is an OCR reprint. There may be numerous typos or missing text. There are no illustrations or indexes.When you buy the General Books edition of this book you get free trial access to Million-Books.com where you can select from more than a million books for free. You can also preview the book there. ... Read more

15. Better Together: The Future of Presbyterian Mission
by Sherron Kay George
Paperback: 120 Pages (2010-03-19)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$9.90
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Asin: 0664503063
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In 1910 Protestant missionaries from around the world gathered to explore the role of Christian missions in the twentieth century. In this collection, leading missiologists use the one hundred year anniversary of the Edinburgh conference as an occasion to reflect on the practice of Christian mission in today's context: a context marked by globalization, migration, ecological crisis, and religiously motivated violence. The contributors explore the meaning of Christian mission, the contemporary context for mission work, and new forms in which the church has engaged--and should engage--in its missionary task. From these essays, a vision of twenty first-century mission begins to emerge--one that is aware of issues of race, gender, border spaces, migration, and ecology. This renewed vision gives strength to the future of shared Christian ministry across nations and traditions. ... Read more

16. Presbyterians: Their History and Beliefs
by Walter Lee Lingle, John W. Kuykendall
Paperback: 112 Pages (1988-01-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$12.00
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Asin: 0804209855
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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4-0 out of 5 stars Very concise, factual
This is a short (110 pgs.) and simple book that outlines the history of the Presbyterian Church throughout the world.I found a lot of interesting facts and information in this book concerning the beginnings of not justthe Presbyterian Church but others such as the Catholic and Anglicanchurches.I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to gain a littlemore insight into the history of not just the Presbyterian church but ofChristianity as well. ... Read more

17. Presbyterian Hymnal Companion
by McKim
Paperback: 428 Pages (2004-07-14)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$22.40
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Asin: 0664251803
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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This helpful resource provides extensive information about each hymn in The Presbyterian Hymnal (1990)--background detail about hymn origins, publication history, authors, translators, composers, and arrangers. Stories about some of the hymns are also included. An excellent handbook that supplies information useful for a variety of purposes. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Presbyterian Hymnal Companion
I am a Presbyterian and already had the hymnal(s).I have found the history of the music setting and the words to be to the point and most helpful. We use this information on occasion to help people appreciate the music that they are singing!It is true that we have other resources with some of the same and in some cases more information.For a quick reference, though, this has been a useful tool.

3-0 out of 5 stars Presbyterian Hymnal Companion
This book gave some history of the hymn but i was disappointed in that there were no words or music. of the hymn I was researching.

1-0 out of 5 stars UNHAPPY
This is not a review but a complaint!I never received the Presbyterian Hymnal Companion!The vender is veeerry slow to respond!I am most unhappy!
DAVID G. CASSIE ... Read more

18. How to Survive Being a Presbyterian!: A Merry Manual Celebrating the Funny Foibles of the Frozen Chosen
by Bob Reed
Paperback: 210 Pages (2001-01-16)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$11.50
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Asin: 0595152252
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A hilarious, tongue-in-cheek celebration of the foibles of the Frozen Chosen!

This Presby 101 handbook uses an advice format to describe Presbyterians by ostensibly addressing new members of the church. But it is a funny primer and survival manual for ALL members of the denomination! How to Survive Being a Presbyterian gently skewers the history, worship habits, and the endless committee meetings. And it covers clothing, potluck dinners, and yes, sex—as well as raising kids—all from the Presbyterian viewpoint. It's the self-help book with a difference.

You'll want to regale your friends with the little quips of the 300-year-oldPercy T. Presby, who declares:

"Presbyterianism is a series of meetings occasionally interrupted by a worship service."

"The national drink of Presbyterian women is decaf coffee."

"Some Presbyterians believe that a jazz band is the Boston Pops."

... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

1-0 out of 5 stars There's a reason why it was self-published
Filled with witty, insider observations like noting that Presbyterian women prefer to drink decaf coffee (what a whacky group those Presbyterians are), if this book is a representative example of Presbyterian humor, then we have one clue that helps explain the decline of mainline Protestantism. Valuable as a gift to give a PCUSA minister that you don't know very well for Christmas, I guess, though he or she will likely stick it on a pile of other unread copies.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Joys of Being Presbyterian
If you want a lighthearted look at the joys and idiosyncrasies of being a Presbyterian, this book is for you.Bob Reed takes our "Presbyterian Culture" and talks about it in ways that will have most long time Presbyterians giggling and nodding our heads.

His subtitle of the book is "A Merry Manual Celebrating the Funny Foibles of the Frozen Chosen."If you "take exception" to that nickname, well, so do I; but moving beyond it you will read and reflect upon all sorts of things that make us Presbyterian that do not appear in, say, the Book of Order or the creeds and confessions of our denomination.

The cover has two sidebars that say "Secrets Revealed!" and "Now it can be told!"-All in good fun, Bob Reed tells us the distinctive and sometimes hilarious things that make Presbyterians Presbyterian.From Reed's take on the Presbyterian dress code to "A Presbyterian's Idea of Hell on Earth" there is much that will give you a chance to think about what matters to us, and wonder just why in the world it does!

Author Reed has a vivid imagination and he has invented a little imaginary Presbyterian friend, called Percy T. Presby.Dressed in clothing you might expect to see in Colonial Williamsburg, from the three-corner hat down to the buckles on his shoes, Percy takes us all on a journey of discovery of Presbyterianism.Percy is very much like a Presbyterian version of Ben Franklin's "Poor Richard" (as in Poor Richard's Almanac), with all kinds of short memorable, one-liners.

These pithy quotations would be great discussion starters round the table or in a meeting...Here is an example:"Percy T. Presby's Thoughts About Meetings: `When it is apparent that the vote on an issue will me unanimous, there will usually be one negative vote, because many Presbyterians think unanimity on anything is probably against God's will.'" (page 46).

Whether you are brand new to the wonderful world of the Presbyterian Church or have been a part of it from the cradle roll on, you will find much to ponder and enjoy.Also included is "the Presbyterian National Anthem"-no I will not have our choir sing it for you-but it is also worth a chuckle.

If you find this review helpful you might want to read some of my other reviews, including those on subjects ranging from biography to architecture, as well as religion and fiction

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT PRESBYTERIAN HUMOR!
This is one funny book! The author takes on Presbyterians from an "inside the church" angle. It's a warm and gentle spoof of our denomination that imparts some real information about the founders and basic beliefs of our church.

I discovered it from an article in the Tampa paper that talked about its "insightful witticisms." It has that. This is not a serious tome but rather a good and humorous look at everything Presbyterian.

I have given it to my pastor and some church friends. It makes a good gift. I recommend it to all Presbyterians who want a good laugh.

Kay Gordon, Orlando

2-0 out of 5 stars Committe Jokes OK
I got this book expecting humerous explanations of Presbyterian philosophy.It has a lot of cute jokes, but has very little food for thought in terms of Christian or philisophical content.I reccomend this for the Presbyterian committee member with a sense of humor.It's also a mildly good joke gift for a church leader.I wouldn't particularly reccomend buying it for your Sunday school class, though.

A broadly satirical but earnest and warm-hearted look at the peculiarities of Presbyterianism, "How To Survive Being a Presbyterian!" is a delightful little book that will amuse and inform everyone who opens its cover.Author Bob Reed covers a wide range of topics, from the beginning of the Reformed tradition to modern worship practices, including deft (albeit exaggerated) illustrations of typical churchmembers' personalities down to what color car Presbyterians should drive.Reed's text is highlighted by clever observations of the fictional Percy T. Presby, a 300-year old parson with a keen eye and a sharp tongue who has something to say about creation, prayers, confession, women, and just about everything else.A clever and informative book that should please any Presbyterian, or anyone who ever wondered what the Reformed Church is all about.Definitely recommended. ... Read more

19. Proclaiming the Great Ends of the Church: Mission and Ministry for Presbyterians
Paperback: 160 Pages (2010-04-02)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$10.03
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Asin: 0664503071
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Prominent Presbyterian pastors and leaders address each of the Great Ends of the Church in sermons that both challenge and uplift readers.

For decades the Great Ends of the Church, a historic listing of ways Presbyterians have understood the role of the church, has helped to establish church directions in mission and ministry. The Great Ends of the Church are (1) the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind; (2) the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God; (3) the maintenance of divine worship; (4) the preservation of the truth; (5) the promotion of social righteousness; and (6) the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world.

These sermons focus the church's understandings of its purpose and inspire us to dedicate ourselves to the church's work in the world. This is a book that every Presbyterian should know and is ideal for study by church groups and sessions. ... Read more

20. Faithful Witnesses: A Course in Evangelism for Presbyterian Laity (Leaders' Guide)
by Richard Stoll Armstrong
Paperback: 105 Pages (1987-11)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$16.97
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Asin: 0664240763
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