The Presbyterian Pendulum is a study in mainline Protestant social ethics with a focus on the Presbyterian Church (USA). This book is written for the church with the hope that it will provide theological foundation and spiritual encouragement for our efforts to find unity despite the diversity of convictions and perspectives in our midst. This is a historical study of the significant social and political issues to which the church responded throughout the twentieth century. With a foundation in solid historical research, this book offers the compelling thesis that the Presbyterian Church is at its best when the wild diversity of worldviews, theological perspectives, and convictions are encouraged. Even more, the book offers the spiritually rich thesis that it is in this wild diversity, not despite of it, that the providence of God is seen and known. What is unique and compelling about this study is the guiding metaphor of the pendulum swinging. The vast difference of opinion in the church around social issues has historically always been true, is necessary today, and itself points to a deeper truth about God's sustaining providence. The church must discern and hold onto that deeper truth. We must let the pendulum swing. It is my hope that this book will be an encouragement for the church even as we continue to be mired in deep conflict. ""The metaphor of Foucault's pendulum is used to fine effect here as Englund-Krieger brings perspectives on key controversies in the Presbyterian church. Rather than seeing these as devastatingly divisive and wholly negative, he urges us to find a providential pattern in the ways discussions take shape. This points to the life and vitality of a church in motion, led by the Spirit of God. Here is an interesting and helpful perception which should energize us and give confidence that God's purposes of grace can be at work in the midst of it all. This book is a welcomed gift to Presbyterians and all those who care about American Protestantism."" --Donald K. McKim Author of Presbyterian Beliefs: A Brief Introduction and Presbyterian Questions, Presbyterian Answers ""Rather than lament the church's debates over sexuality, Mark Englund-Krieger helpfully sets these divisions within a larger narrative, which is at once historical and theological. In doing so, he reminds us just how much we have to learn from the church's recent history. Most importantly he challenges us to ask if God might not be working providentially in and through our fiercest arguments to bring us to a new, more faithful way of being church."" --David True Department Chair and Associate Professor of Religious Studies Wilson College The Rev. Mark J. Englund-Krieger is the Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Carlisle in central Pennsylvania. The Presbytery of Carlisle, which includes fifty-two congregations, is a middle governing body in the Presbyterian Church (USA).