Congregational vs. Presbyterian

Discussion in 'Ecclesiology' started by edwardian289, Aug 12, 2005.

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  1. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    I thought all propositions were based on presuppositions? such as presbyerianism being based on the presupp the bible is the word of God.
  2. WrittenFromUtopia

    WrittenFromUtopia Puritan Board Graduate

    I would logically assume that Scott is saying the Presbyterian form of Church government is not based on presuppositions being brought to the text about how Church government should be done, but letting God's Word speak for itself and be the only, final authority.
  3. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior


    [Edited on 8-15-2005 by Peter]
  4. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks Chris,

    The article said what I wanted to say by addressing George Gillespie, one of the four. I hold the four in high esteem. My youngest boys name is Samuel Rutherford.
    The article was also illuminating about the Divines and how they had problems. Some things were ramrodded I think. It's assembly wasn't driven by pure motive as some like to romantically think. God uses Donkeys. The document isn't perfect as God's word is. It is pretty good though. You must admit.
    Thanks, Randy

    Can you cut me a deal on the Jus book. I am a poor man who loves hardbacks. Need a hardback because I am hard on books and I also want my kids to inheret what God wants them to have. Good Books.

    [Edited on 8-15-2005 by puritancovenanter]
  5. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks Fred.
  6. cupotea

    cupotea Puritan Board Junior

    Good question! You could actually make a new thread of that.

    I'm not sure how I feel about it. By "church", I understand "Christian Church", the body of Christ, across the world in its numerous forms.

    The automatic answer one might have is, Yup, it is more splintered.

    But then again, when you think about the early church, you might change your mind. In my New Testament class we learned about some of the early sects before the Council of Nicaea. The Gnostics alone had various sects.

    Christianity in the past may have always only had one name, but it certain wasn't very united. It was splintered enough for Irenaeus to write "Against Heresies"!

    So, I'm not sure!
  7. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for the comments. Dropping you a U2U; maybe we can work something out. The HB of Jus Divinum is approaching out of print status.
  8. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor


    Randy previously said:
    My reply was: Presbyterianism is not based upon presuppositions.

    In light of what Randy said, one would assume that I meant:

    I would have to agree with Gabriel; everyone knows what I meant in light of what we are talking about here; this mocking is no more than a Red Herring. Presbyterianism is not based upon previous baggage one drags into the system; if it were true, I would still be credo.

    On one hand, we tell people to be gracious or else, and then on the other, we are guilty of the same judgment we earlier leveled against them.

    Mocking someone, especially in light of a conviction based upon Gods word is sinful. The last thing I want to see is one of my mods or admins doing this.

    ~Back to your scheduled program

    [Edited on 8-15-2005 by Scott Bushey]
  9. pastorway

    pastorway Puritan Board Senior

    I was not mocking anyone.......I would hope you all know me better than that.

    I just struck me as a funny thought that one would claim that a denominations view of church government was not based any presuppositions. Because in fact to say that Presbyterianism is "letting God's Word speak for itself" is in fact a presupposition about what Acts 15 and other texts present to us.

    You are presupposing what the Word of God teaches your view, and I presuppose that it does not!

    No mocking. That is why I only posted laughing smiley faces.

  10. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    In light of my previous posts to Randy, one might ascertain what Gabriel did. Did you read the thread prior to your response? There is no way one could come away from what I had previously said with the result you responded with. In fact, it would as well make no sense in what Randy had stated...............
  11. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Here's an answer I once gave someone else describing what I thought on the issue we are discussing:
  12. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks Chris. You are a blessing.
  13. WrittenFromUtopia

    WrittenFromUtopia Puritan Board Graduate

    It just isn't very nice to respond to someone's serious post (taken out of context, perhaps) with laughing, even in jest (which it wasn't really obvious if it was or not), that's all.

    I wouldn't want anyone to laugh at me if I said that the Bible teaches presbyterian government any more than my roommates would want me laughing in their face when they say "Believers baptism is Biblical." Common courtesy. Debate is fine, but just laughing? It is hard to tell someone's attitude over the internet, so we have to be extra careful, so as to not come across as mocking or rude.

    This is something all of us, including myself, must keep in mind while posting on the internet. We are God's people, let us treat each other as such.

    [Edited on 8-16-2005 by WrittenFromUtopia]
  14. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    I must admit I smiled and thought of Paul Manta when I read the Presup posts.

    I was implying that someone must presuppose modern day reformational Presbyterianism upon the text of Acts 15 to come away with its teaching. I don't see Presbyterianism being thought out nor acted upon so completely until Geneva and Calvin. When the WFC divines met most of those invited and who attended were very much indoctrinated with Calvin's thought.

    I don't believe the structure of Presbyterianism was set up in the early church as some presuppose. Acts 15 was not a general calling together. Had the church in Antioch not had an issue with the teaching coming from Judea the confrontation or assembly would not have been. Had the false teaching come from Galatia Paul would have confronted the false teaching as he did at there congregation.

    I disagree with this part of Bruce's article. It was not the widest possible gathering of church representatives. It was still localized to Judea and Paul's circle. The Apostles didn't have modern day Presbyterianism in mind. They assembled themselves in a manner based upon a situation, and not because of a biblical mandate of a General Assembly or Presbyterianism. The problem was confronted and a statement issued and published for the benefit of those who may have to deal with such a false doctrine. I am still looking for the General Assemblies afterward if Acts 15 was in fact the beginning of a biblical mandate to organize as Presbyterians.

    At the same time I think the Principles of reformational Presbyterianism are good and needful. I believe we can find these principles in the scripture. The Church does have the need for a more homogeneous union. I believe God in his providence has done what he has done. Presbyterianism is from God.

    For Christ's Crown and Covenant, Randy

    I agree with this. It is good.

    [Edited on 8-16-2005 by puritancovenanter]
  15. pastorway

    pastorway Puritan Board Senior

    okay guys LIGHTEN UP....and give me a break.

    the way Scott phrased that one line - "Presbyterianism is not based upon presuppositions" hit me as FUNNY. So I posted a few smiley faces.

    No mocking. No jesting. No condescention. No reference at all to what was posted in the rest of the thread. Just a LAUGH. A GIGGLE. At ONE LINE. And there is no SIN in seeing something in a funny light.

    It was not my intention to demean, to derail the thread, or to cause offense. Have none of you ever read a line potsed on this forum and found it funny the way it is worded? With all our debates, with all our own presups, with all our disagreements, to say that "Presbyterianism is not based upon presuppositions" is FUNNY.

    Get a sense of humor guys, otherwise you might have a heart attack.


    [Edited on 8-16-05 by pastorway]
  16. Puritanhead

    Puritanhead Puritan Board Professor

    Ahhh.... nothing like a stimulating feud over what church polity is the best!!

    Robert Reymond's arguments in his systematic theology are quite amusing-- he espouses that Congregationalists embrace "anarchy" , and episcopalians embrace "tyranny!" Yippie, I am a congregationalist anarchist! If only we had the sobriety of "republican" Presbyterians.

    Other than that, and eschatological differences-- I kind of like his systematic...
  17. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Although I am a Credo I have some preferences for Presbyterianism. I have seen some stupid stuff done in Congregational Churches. I have seen congregations destroyed because they were congregational. The checks and balances that Presbyterianism offers are beneficial for the whole body. It seems to protect everyone involved. For an Historical example look at what happened to Jonathan Edwards. Here say destroyed his ministry near the end of His life. I would also say that it was in God's providence also.
    The worse examples of independency I have seen are particularly in Baptist Churches that don't have a plurality of Elders. I have personally seen larger churches destroyed because of perception and unaccountablily. They have a Senior Pastor, maybe an Associate Pastor, and a line of Deacons who are voted on yearly. Sometimes it is a popularity contest. The ordination of the deacon is only effectual for a short period of time based upon the need and loyalty of the congregation to the individual. There truly is a major discipline problem since the ordinations are temporal. I think you get my point. Here say and politics have a more rampant run in these circles because of the lack of discipline and order.

    I must admit that I do see a balance in congregationalism that holds to a plurality of Elders as the Presbyterian model. The one thing lacking in these churches is the 'Unity abroad issue', as I will call it. Christianity is spread out so much that it needs something to keep it unified. Larger issues do need settled on a bigger scale. Local congregations can't see the whole picture alone. That is why I believe we need to have what Calvin discovered in the scriptures.

    [Edited on 8-16-2005 by puritancovenanter]
  18. Jeff_Bartel

    Jeff_Bartel Puritan Board Graduate

    See this thread
  19. Puritanhead

    Puritanhead Puritan Board Professor

    Well, how about starting the first Reformed Presbyterian Baptist Church
  20. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    My church resembles that remark! ;)

    We are an independent Baptist church. Make no mistake about it. We do not apologize for what we are. We are indepedent in that we are not governed by an outside party. While we are independent in that regard, we are in accord with the London and Baptist confessions. We do have a standard. But even these great confessions bow at the feet of scripture.

    [Edited on 9-18-2005 by BaptistInCrisis]
  21. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member


    I would expect that from south of the Mason-Dixon line. ;)
  22. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    It would be cool. It would confuse the heck out of them paedo's.

    And I was born and raised North of the Mason Dixon. Still live there. Probably always will.
  23. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Well your avatar had me thinking your were General Longstreet.
  24. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Martin - btw...I have to drive to St. Louis on Thursday for business. I'll be taking 70 all the way from Maryland. It will be dinner time when I hit Indianapolis. Know any good places right off of 70? If not, no problem. I'll have my car pretty well loaded with mobile goodies.
  25. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Well how about my house?
    I aint but a couple of miles North off of 70. Maybe I can make you some dinner. E-mail me.
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