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Presbyterians for Renewal reminded: believers result from history, tradition

‘We need to be apprenticed to those whom Calvin himself was apprenticed’

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Participants join in song at the Presbyterians for Renewal breakfast. —Photo by Danny Bolin.


Professor of Reformed Theology at Pittsburgh Seminary, the Rev. Dr. Andrew Purves, spoke to the Presbyterians for Renewal (PFR) breakfast Wednesday morning about Christians’ need for and inability to escape from church history and tradition. 

“No one reads the Bible or worships God from a neutral position. We are all tradition-ed …”  Purves reminded the group that contemporary believers are formed by those who have come before. “We are apprenticed to John Calvin and his successors, but also we need to be apprenticed to those whom Calvin himself was apprenticed.”

Purves concluded by asking the audience, “Do you believe Jesus is in the room?” People responded with a resounding, “Yes!” Then, returning to the question on everyone’s minds these days, Purves challenged, “If he is, what is he up to?”

The mission of PFR is to “mobilize the leaders of the congregations within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to be biblically faithful and missionally minded in their service to Jesus Christ.”