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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

 

Chapter 47 : The Principles and Elements of Public Worship

Paragraph 1 :

47-1. Since the Holy Scriptures are the only infallible rule of faith and practice, the principles of public worship must be derived from the Bible, and from no other source.
The Scriptures forbid the worshipping of God by images, or in any other way not appointed in His Word, and requires the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath appointed in His Word (WSC 51, 50).

[DIGEST: What we have now as chapter 47 was not part of either the Proposed Book of Church Order (1973) or the Book of Church Order as adopted by the first General Assembly later that same year. Rather, this chapter, with its nine paragraphs, dates to 1975 when this text was presented by the Constitutional Documents Committee, as part of its proposed revision of the Directory. [M3GA, 3-15, pp. 55-56] This chapter, originally numbered as chapter 48, presents entirely new text not previously part of any prior Presbyterian Book of Church Order. The chapter was renumbered as chapter 47 when the original chapters 8 and 9 were merged in 1980. No changes to paragraph 47-1 have been made since adoption in 1975, other than the editorial addition of the parenthetical Shorter Catechism reference at the end of the verse.

ANTECEDENT TEXTS:
1975, 48-1, [M14GA, p. 339]

Since the Holy Scriptures are the only infallible rule of faith and practice, the principles of public worship must be derived from the Bible, and from no other source. The Scriptures forbid the worshipping of God by images, or in any other way not appointed in His Word, and require the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire all such religious worship and ordinances as God has appointed in His Word (WSC 50, 51).

No comparable text in any of the following editions:

1. PCA 1973, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, Proposed text
3. PCUS 1933
4. PCUS 1925
5. PCUS 1894



©PCA Historical Center, 12330 Conway Road, St. Louis, MO, 2007. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter Index [links to Par. 1 of each chapter]:
FoG..
1
2
3.
4
5.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
I. King & Head of Church
.§1.
§4
§5
RoD
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
II. Preliminary Principles
§1
§2
§3
§4
§5
§6
§7
§8
DfW
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]