"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
In this lay-friendly introduction to what it means to be a Presbyterian, Louis B. Weeks explains the life, history, tradition, and beliefs of the Presbyterian Church. More than providing just a brief overview, Weeks ties his explanations to actual congregational situations. Each chapter begins with an anecdote and then examines the theme in the following pages. It is ideal for new-member classes and for those who seek a refresher course on Presbyterianism.
Originally publishing this volume in 1983, Weeks has updated many of the original anecdotes and added material to reflect decades of change in the PC(USA). New materials address the following concepts, among others: growth in spiritual practices and changes in hymnody; ecotheology; the adoption of A Brief Statement of Faith; the growth of Reformed churches overseas and their influence on the Reformed world; and the growing emphasis on interfaith issues. The last two chapters address recent conflict in the church.