Book Suggestions About Presbyterian Church Government

Status
Not open for further replies.

pslagle2012

Puritan Board Freshman
I hope this is the right thread for a question of this nature.

I am a Reformed Baptist in a theololgical journey toward Presbyterianism. I am strongly questioning my Reformed Baptist views of Church Government and Baptism. I've read the book Who Runs the Church? Four Views on Church Government, but I would like to read a book arguing for Presbyterian church government rather than something from the Perspectives series (i.e. that presents several viewpoints in one book). Can anyone recommend a good book about church government from a Reformed Presbyterian viewpoint?
 

zsmcd

Puritan Board Freshman
Are you wanting a 'laity' level introduction to the topic or a more comprehensive work?
 
Last edited:

Logan

Puritan Board Junior
If I were reading on the topic, I think I might start with The Divine Right of Church Government (Jus Divinum), it's free on Project Gutenberg and Naphtali Press republished it a while back. Bannerman's "Church of Christ" might also be a good work to look at.
 

Beezer

Puritan Board Freshman
Patrick,

I traveled the same road as you.

I would recommend Charles Hodge's book titled "Church Polity" available here.
 

Branson

Puritan Board Freshman
"The Apostolic Church Which Is It?" by Thomas Witherow

I found it to be highly beneficial.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Just curious , what particular Baptist Branch are you part of now?

Does you Church practice Elder rule then or congregational?
 

pslagle2012

Puritan Board Freshman
Are you wanting a 'laity' level introduction to the topic or a more comprehensive work?
I'm particularly interested in a work that, as comprehensively as possible, submit's the argument for Presbyterianism's aspects that a Congregationalist might object to (like the hierarchal structure of the presbyteries and general assembly, or the stronger emphasis on elder rule than a plural elder Congregationalist might be comfortable with).
 

pslagle2012

Puritan Board Freshman
Just curious , what particular Baptist Branch are you part of now?

Does you Church practice Elder rule then or congregational?
They practice plural elder congregationalism. The main things I'm interested in considering are the arguments for the hierarchal structure of church government in Prebyterianism, i.e. I already agree with the plural elder system, but have always been taught that congregationalism and independence was a big part of the government of the church and I am rethinking that.
 

Gforce9

Puritan Board Junior
Just curious , what particular Baptist Branch are you part of now?

Does you Church practice Elder rule then or congregational?
They practice plural elder congregationalism. The main things I'm interested in considering are the arguments for the hierarchal structure of church government in Prebyterianism, i.e. I already agree with the plural elder system, but have always been taught that congregationalism and independence was a big part of the government of the church and I am rethinking that.
Patrick,
A point of clarity: Presbyterian government is not heirarchical. Heirarchical would be like Rome (Pope above Bishop; Bishop above Cardinal). We are rather, broad. Ministers and elders of a local congregation= Session. Multiple sessions in a geographical area= presbytery. The presbytery's gather once a year (ordinarily) at the General Assembly. Each officer has an equal voice. The beauty of presbyterianism over against heirarchical forms is this: the farther along an issue goes (ie. can't be settled by the Session, so it goes to presbytery), the more men hear and ajudicate a case, not less. In Rome, the farther a matter goes, the less people hear a case. This protects the minister as well as the elders and laity.......
 
Last edited:

pslagle2012

Puritan Board Freshman
Just curious , what particular Baptist Branch are you part of now?

Does you Church practice Elder rule then or congregational?
They practice plural elder congregationalism. The main things I'm interested in considering are the arguments for the hierarchal structure of church government in Prebyterianism, i.e. I already agree with the plural elder system, but have always been taught that congregationalism and independence was a big part of the government of the church and I am rethinking that.
Patrick,
A point of clarity: Presbyterian government is not heirarchical. Heirarchical would be like Rome (Pope above Bishop; Bishop above Cardinal). We are rather, broad. Ministers and elders of a local congregation= Session. Multiple sessions in a geographical area= presbytery. The presbytery's gather once a year (ordinarily) at the General Assembly. Each officer has an equal voice. The beauty of presbyterianism over against heirarchical forms is this: the farther along an issue goes (ie. can't be settled by the Session, so it goes to presbytery), the more men hear and ajudicate a case, not less. In Rome, the farther a matter goes, the less people hear a case. This protects the minister as well as the elders and laity.......
Thank you for the clarification. I've been taught very little about forms of government other than congregationalism. My intent by heirarchal is non-independent church government, in which churches are dependent on one another (not just by association).
 

Pilgrim

Puritan Board Doctor
Just curious , what particular Baptist Branch are you part of now?

Does you Church practice Elder rule then or congregational?
They practice plural elder congregationalism. The main things I'm interested in considering are the arguments for the hierarchal structure of church government in Prebyterianism, i.e. I already agree with the plural elder system, but have always been taught that congregationalism and independence was a big part of the government of the church and I am rethinking that.
Patrick,
A point of clarity: Presbyterian government is not heirarchical. Heirarchical would be like Rome (Pope above Bishop; Bishop above Cardinal). We are rather, broad. Ministers and elders of a local congregation= Session. Multiple sessions in a geographical area= presbytery. The presbytery's gather once a year (ordinarily) at the General Assembly. Each officer has an equal voice. The beauty of presbyterianism over against heirarchical forms is this: the farther along an issue goes (ie. can't be settled by the Session, so it goes to presbytery), the more men hear and ajudicate a case, not less. In Rome, the farther a matter goes, the less people hear a case. This protects the minister as well as the elders and laity.......
Thank you for the clarification. I've been taught very little about forms of government other than congregationalism. My intent by heirarchal is non-independent church government, in which churches are dependent on one another (not just by association).
Then I think a more appropriate term would be connectional as opposed to independent. Presbytery=hierarchy is is a common misconception that many Baptists have of Presbyterianism. But then again, the Presbyterianism the older brethren generally know of is that found in the PCUSA, where the congregation does not own its property, etc. Newer conservative Presbyterian denominations such as the OPC and PCA have some features that look like congregationalism to our Scottish Presbyterian friends.

Have you also read the most thorough defenses of independency and elder-led congregationalism? As someone who has changed views several times through the years, I can tell you from experience that you want to read the best to be had for the various positions and not just assume that a particular church or ministry you are familiar with is the last word on the subject. Had I done that from the beginning, I would have saved myself a lot of trouble.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top