This is a helpful description of Presbyterianism that I find myself most identifying with. I’m happy to see the Allkirk crew posting things like this because they say it so much better than I would.
In 2010, Tim Keller wrote an essay titled, “What’s So Great about the PCA,” in which he identifies three branches of the PCA.1 These branches—which share a common DNA in the Reformed tradition—don’t have to be mutually exclusive, and often they differ more in emphasis than in substance. However, I think they are appropriate categorizations for understanding the current landscape of our denomination, and anyone seeking ministry in the PCA should be familiar with them.
In brief, they are the doctrinalists, the pietists, and the culturalists.2 Doctrinalists—also known as TRs (truly/totally Reformed), confessionalists, or strict subscriptionists—are most concerned with preserving our distinctive Reformed heritage, as expressed in the Westminster Standards and the Three Forms of Unity. Pietists are known for their concern with individual spirituality and revival (this probably comprises the majority camp in the PCA). By contrast, culturalists—also known as transformationalists or…
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