Presbyterian theology emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures, and the necessity of grace through faith in Christ. The Presbyterian denominations hold to the theology of John Calvin and his successors. Local congregations being governed by sessions made up of representatives of the congregation. Presbyterians use a "book of order" to regulate common practice and order.
|The Burning Bush emblem above the entrance of the Church of|
Scotland offices; photograph courtesy of Wikipedia
When the Scottish Church first broke with Rome in 1560, only psalms from the Bible could be sung a cappella; any other type of singing had to be done outside of church. Musical instruments, starting with the organ, made their appearance during the 1800s; and, eventually, the church adopted the singing of hymns in worship services in 1861.
Our ancestors generally believed there were only two sacraments:
- Baptism by Aspersion (sprinkling) or Affusion (pouring) as opposed to Immersion
- Communion, symbolizing Christ's presence in the bread and wine through the Holy Spirit rather than being locally present