Reformed Tradition


The Presbyterian Church has descended from the Reformation, especially the thought and theology of John Calvin (1509-1564).  The word Presbyterian comes from the Greek word “presbuteros”, which means “elder”.   Although the pastor is an important person in the life of the church the active elders sit on the Session and make decisions on behalf of the congregation (the pastor is moderator of the Session).  Elders are elected by the congregation and represent the broad spectrum of the membership.  So, FPC is a representational government, yet members vote annually on minister compensation and in electing  elders and deacons.  

Theologically, the Presbyterian Church falls into the theological category labeled Reformed.  So, we are Presbyterian in our governance and Reformed in our theology.  The theology, again, started with the writings of John Calvin, but there are others that have helped lead various understandings of what it means to be reformed such as Heinrich Bullinger, John Knox, and Will Farel.  In more modern times Karl Barth is heralded as a major contributor.  Presently, there is a broad spectrum of thought under the reformed banner.  Reformed theology is a worldwide movement and finds various interpretations as people adapt to their life setting. 

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