American Presbyterianism and the Religious Observance of Christmas

The Confessional Presbyterian 11 (2015), American Presbyterianism and the Religious Observance of Christmas, by Chris Coldwell and Andrew J. Webb. Download PDF (49pp.) 6858KB. Copyright (c) 2017 The Confessional Presbyterian.

I. Historical Background: Presbyterian Standards and ‘Holy Days’
The Directory’s Appendix Against ‘Holy’ Days and Places
Preaching on Christmas in 1640s London
The Westminster Confession of Faith
Recurring Fast Days and Days of Thanksgiving
Fast and Thanksgiving Days Versus ‘Holy Days’
II. ‘Holy Days’ and American Presbyterianism
American Presbyterian View of ‘Holy Days’ Before 1788
—Constitutional Status of the Directory
—Pardovan’s Collections: An Early Book of Order and Secondary Standard
—The Practical Handling of Christmas and ‘Holy Days’ in 18th Century American Presbyterianism
—Samuel Davies
American Presbyterian View of ‘Holy Days’ After 1788
—The Changing Tide of Opinion
—The Liturgical Movement in American Presbyterianism
III. Continuing Witness and Objections to Current Practices
Modern Presbyterian ‘holy day’ Sermons
Presbyterian Reformation Principles: Church Power and Presbyterian Worship
— God’s Prerogative to Order His Own Worship vs. Commemorating Specific Acts of Redemption
—A Cyclical versus a Linear View of History
—Circumstances of Worship and Things Indifferent
—The Obligation to Purge Monuments of Idolatry from Worship
Arguments for ‘Holy Day’ Themed Sermons
—Patterning Worship after Monuments of Idolatry
—Idol Monuments are Enticements to Return to Idolatry
—Of Indifference and Idolatry
Conclusion