by D. G. Hart and John R. Muether
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 sanctioned the idea of writing contemporary statements in order to guard the church against the perception of creedal obsolescence. Read more
by William Shishko
"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.") Read more