Segments in this Video

History of Presbyterian Church (01:55)


The Presbyterian tradition evolved from Protestant roots going back to Switzerland in the 16th century. Leaders John Calvin and Ulrich Zwingli eventually brought their teachings to America. Three denominations have a total of 2.6 million members.

Reformist John Calvin and Presbyterian Beliefs (02:16)

John Calvin disassociated himself from the Roman Catholic Church and settled in Geneva, from which many of his ideas spread throughout Europe. Presbyterian beliefs overlap most other Christian beliefs except in a few areas.

Governing Bodies of the Presbyterian Church (02:55)

The Presbyterian Church is a self-affirming, representational democracy. It has a suspicion of hierarchical authority, and thus eliminated the office of bishop. Each church has its own board or "session" of 24 men and woman that makes decisions.

What Books Should Constitute the Bible? (02:33)

Early on in the Christian church, church authorities made decisions about which books to include in the Bible. Pastor Lindvall describes how these decisions were made.

What Do People Know About Jesus? (01:54)

If Jesus had been just a purveyor of religious wisdom, he would not have had the impact he had. Bible readers encounter Jesus through what he teaches, through the miracles he performed, and through encounters he has with people.

Meaning of the Triune God (02:38)

Presbyterians, like most Christians, are Trinitarians, i.e., they believe in a triune god. The word "trinity" does not appear in the Bible, the concept having come from early church fathers. Pastor Lindvall explains that the Holy Spirit is "the present tense of God."

Structures Within the Church (04:07)

Senior Pastor Michael L. Lindvall explains how the early reformists took the Church out of its mediating role and put people and the Church on the same level. He also explains the role of the clergy today.

History of a Church and the Order of Worship (01:57)

Ellsworth G. Stanton III, clerk of session, provides the history of The Brick Presbyterian Church that was dedicated in 1938. He describes the order of worship.

Role of the Church in Community (02:35)

The Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City, is a church where faith and reason are both welcome. The church is dedicated to community service.

Diversity in the Church (01:57)

Though the Presbyterian tradition is deeply rooted in tradition, most congregations are diverse in ethnicity, language, heritage, religious backgrounds, and more. This tradition welcomes people of all kinds and persuasions.

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The Presbyterian Church

Part of the Series : I BELIEVE-with Dennis Wholey
DVD Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



In this program, Dennis Wholey has a conversation about Presbyterianism with Senior Pastor Michael L. Lindvall of The Brick Presbyterian Church, in New York City. Topics of discussion include the influence of John Calvin; the nonhierarchical nature of the Presbyterian Church; core Presbyterian beliefs; the Holy Spirit as “the present tense of God”; and the litmus test generally used in the Western Christian tradition to establish which gospels should rightfully be a part of the Bible. In addition, the history of The Brick Presbyterian Church and the order of worship as it is conducted there are outlined by Ellsworth G. Stanton III, clerk of session. (27 minutes)

Length: 28 minutes

Item#: BVL39044

ISBN: 978-1-4213-9655-2

Copyright date: ©2007

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.