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date: 10 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter outlines Reformed positions on the church, church-state relations, and the sacraments. The first section introduces perspectives in relation to predestination and covenant theology, and in contrast to the Church of Rome; considers the definition of the church and the relationship between a congregation and the church catholic; illustrates how the visible church was identified; shows how church authority was understood; examines the ministerial order, and then depicts the rationale for presbyterial polity. The church-state relations portion highlights the contrast between some who stood for a distinct, autonomous spiritual jurisdiction alongside the civil sphere and others who surrendered responsibility to the state; issues of obedience, disobedience, and active resistance to tyrannical rule are also indicated. The section on the sacraments deals with them generally and then in relation to baptism and the Eucharist. It is demonstrated that on many matters there was no seamless homogeneity within the Reformed world.

Keywords: The church, ministry, governance, church-state relations, resistance theory, baptism, the Lord’s Supper

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