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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Presbyterian Church may be said to be catholic, evangelical, and Reformed. It is catholic in its continuity with the early ecumenical councils and their formulation of basic doctrine, as well as in its acceptance of the traditional marks of the church as one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. It is also part of the shared “evangelical” revolt of the sixteenth century, with its affirmations of sola scriptura, sola gratia, and sola fide and its conviction that the true church exists wherever the word is rightly preached and the sacraments are rightly administered. As Reformed, the church understands and articulates all the forgoing in distinctive ways and adds particular Reformed emphases on the sovereignty of God, election for service and salvation, the church as reformed and always being reformed, and the distinction between visible and invisible church.

Keywords: catholic, evangelical, Reformed, sola scriptura, sola gratia, sola fide, sovereignty of God, election, “ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda”

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