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Flashcards in Dan's Oral Exam Deck (23):

5. How may the parts of the Constitution of the PCA be amended?

Confession & Chapter 26 of BCO: A ¾ vote in General assembly sends the proposed amendment to the presbyteries, where ¾ must give their consent. The following GA must then enact the amendment by another ¾ vote.
BCO: Majority of GA, 2/3 of presbyteries, majority of GA


9. What are the three areas of jurisdiction belonging to a court of the church?

Doctrine and precepts of Christ; Order of the church; Exercise of Discipline


20. In what cases may the General Assembly assume original jurisdiction?

In the case of a minister: in matters of doctrine or public scandal, if a presbytery fails to act, two presbyteries may petition GA to assume original jurisdiction.


22. Who may appeal?

Only the one against whom a judgment has been rendered, and only one who has gone through a regular trial may appeal.


Shepherd of Hermas -

content claims to have been communicated by angel. Shows early beliefs and practices of church. Speculative and mystical. Portions once considered canonical.


Didache -

Earliest church order document. Approximately AD 100. Unknown authorship.


D.L. Moody -

shoe salesman turned revivalist who focused on urban and cross-cultural evangelism


Billy Sunday -

baseball player turned revival preacher, anti-intellectual, promoted prohibition


James Cone -

AME pastor, wrote Black Liberation and Black Theology


Henry Emerson Fosdick -

Early 20th century liberal Baptist preacher, famous sermon was “Shall the Fundamentalist Win?”


Lewis S. Chafer -

-Theologian and proponent of classical dispensationalism. Founder and long time president of Dallas Theological Seminary.


How many presbyteries at founding of PCA? –

16 presbyteries



– 1 Cor 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. iOtherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.


10. image of God –

Humans are made male and female in the image of God, with the responsibility to govern his creation on his behalf and act as his representatives on earth (Gen 1:27-28)

God made us like him (Gen 5:1) in true knowledge (Col 3:10), righteousness, and holiness (Eph 4:24).


16. propitiation

– The shedding of blood to cleanse from sin, without which forgiveness is not possible (Heb 9:22).
What I describe above is expiation – removal or cleansing of sin. Propitiation means an appeasement or removal of divine wrath. God put Jesus forward (Rom 3:25) as a sacrifice to satisfy his wrath against the sins of his people (Heb 2:17).


Short Answers

9. Describe the biblical teaching regarding predestination for a layperson.

Before creation, God decided to rescue some people from the death they would bring on themselves through sin. These people he chose in Christ, and put a plan in place to redeem them by the sacrificial death of his Son. (Eph 1:3-12). God also promised his Holy Spirit to them, and when they believe in Christ, they are sealed with the Holy Spirit, who guarantees the inheritance of life prepared for them from the beginning (Eph 1:13-14). This is to the praise of his glory.
He also chose to pass some people by, allowing them to receive his wrath and destruction for their sins. We do not fully understand why he chose some and not others, but Rom 9:23 says that this too displays his glory.


35. Are New Testament believers obligated to keep the law of God? Discuss Matthew 5:17ff and the New Testament teaching that believers are “not under the law, but under grace.”

New Testament believers are not bound to keep the law of God as a covenant of works – this has been done on their behalf by Christ. The controlling principle defining their existence is not the condemnation of the law of God, but the grace he offers in Christ. Christ has fulfilled the law on their behalf, as Matthew 5:17 says. We are, however, bound by the love of Christ to keep his commands – John 14:15 – and the law of God remains for us a rule of life, showing us what is pleasing to God.

I believe that Christians are still obligated to keep God’s law, as he continues to require perfect obedience from all humanity. What I meant by the first sentence is that Christ has met the requirements of the law for believers, who do not fear the threatenings of the law (which have fallen on him) and who receive in him the life promised for perfect obedience – so they do not keep the law as a means of obtaining what has already been won for them by Christ.


37. Distinguish the proper functions of the Family, the State, and the Church from Scripture. Also highlight (briefly!) in your answer the respective rights and duties of each institution as they relate to: 1) education, 2) non-profit incorporation, 3) political involvement, 4) the Means of Grace, and 5) the Keys of the Kingdom.

Fathers, as the covenant head of the family, are told to bring their children up in the training and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4). This is the proper function of the family. The State is to restrain evil, which is why they have the power of the sword (Rom 13:1-7). Its role is to provide order and government for society. The Church is given authority over the kingdom of God, with the power to bind and loose on earth (Matt 16:19). The means of grace – preaching the word, administering the sacraments, exercising church discipline – are the means by which the church exercises her authority, and she has the right to exercise those means without interference from the state, who has only been given the power of the sword, not of the keys. The State has a right to demand taxes – Rom 13:6 – and therefore they have the right to determine who should pay them taxes and who should not. It is not right for the church as a body to involve itself in political affairs, as that would be taking the state’s role onto itself. In terms of education, as stated above the family has ultimate responsibility for training and instructing their children in the Lord, but the State also has an interest in an educated population, so a family may use the State’s education system as part of their overall work to teach their children about God and his world.
Jesus made a clear distinction between the obligation to give to the State what belongs to it and to God what belongs to him (Matt 22:21) – therefore the State may tax its citizens and corporations as it sees fit, but it does not have the right to also take money from the church, donations to which belong to God, not the State. Non-profit incorporation is a means of protecting this separation.


42. What is the “gift of tongues”? Does it exist today?

The gift of tongues, as Paul says in 1 Cor 14:22, is a sign for unbelievers. Previously in that chapter, he had described tongues as speaking to God (v2) in a language unknown to the speaker - his mind is unfruitful (v14) - and also that is unknown to the hearers apart from an interpreter (v16). But the key in terms of its existence today is that he calls it a sign to unbelievers. This is one of the signs summed up in Heb 2:4 by which God bears witness to his saving work in Christ and its proclamation. With the completion of the cannon of scripture all that needs to be revealed to us concerning Salvation in Christ has been revealed, and we have all the witness to Christ’s work that we need, so this gift is no longer needed and does not exist in the church.

Also need to mention Acts 2 - where a language known to others is spoken by those who do not know it.


44. What are your views on divorce and remarriage? Cite biblical grounds for each.

God hates divorce (Mal 2:16). It is a breaking of the marriage covenant, the severing of the two that he has made one (v14-15). Jesus says that the only reason to allow divorce is in the case of sexual immorality (Matt 5:32). To this Paul adds that if one who is an unbeliever abandons their believing spouse, then they may be divorced. In both cases, the divorce is not something God is happy about, but rather it is an acknowledgement that the marriage bond has already been severed and allows for an orderly separating of the two who became one and then were torn into two again. Paul allows that the abandoned one is not bound by their previous obligations, and by extension this would seem to also apply to divorce in the case of sexual immorality, with the innocent party in both cases being free from their obligations and allowed to remarry.

Forgot to cite 1 Cor 7:10ff as the grounds for divorce in case of abandonment and also as grounds for remarriage.


45. What is the purpose of the Church? When did the Church begin?

The purpose of the church is the gathering and perfecting of the saints (Matt 28:19-20: where making disciples equates to gathering and teaching them to obey to perfecting). In one sense the church began on the day of Pentecost, when followers of Jesus were gathered in Jerusalem, waiting for the promised gift of the Holy Spirit who would empower them to be God’s witnesses to the ends of the earth (Acts 2). But in reality that church was simply a new administration of the people of God, who had always existed on earth as his church, since the gospel was first proclaimed to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15. All who looked to God in faith were members of his church.

Acts 7:38 uses same word - ekklesia - to refer to the congregation of God's people that Moses was over at Mt. Sinai


50. What is church discipline? How and why is it to be exercised?

Church discipline is the use of the keys to the kingdom given to the church in Matthew 16:19. It is the authority, on behalf of Jesus, to bind evil and set captives free. This takes place through the preaching of the word (2 Tim 4:2), through the right administration of the sacraments (1 Cor 11:27) and through the process outlined in Matthew 18:15ff for confronting sin. Paul’s instructions in 1 Cor 5 indicate that discipline is exercised both for the sake of the purity of the church (v13 ‘Expel the wicked person from among you.’) and for the sake of the one being disciplined (v5 ‘so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.’).

Failed to mention 2 Cor 2:5-8 where the one disciplined is to be forgiven & comforted and their love for him reaffirmed - in a word: restored


34. Can a Christian have an assurance of salvation? Why or why not?

It is possible, through ordinary means to receive assurance of salvation. The Holy Spirit testifies with our Spirit that we are God’s children (Rom 8:16). Our faith is evidenced by what we do (James 2:18), as the Spirit bears fruit in us (Gal 5:22), proving our faith to be genuine.

1 John 5:13 - I write these things that you who believe might know that you have eternal life - John's writings were intended to bring assurance - reading of scripture can bring assurance.