Roland Lowther
Roland Lowther

Project Title: A Reformed Praxis of Living by the Spirit: A practical pneumatology for 21st century Queensland Presbyterians

Principal Advisor: Rev. Dr Raymond Reddicliffe

Project Abstract: Is there a more effective way for Queensland Presbyterians to think, discern and live as Christians in the 21st Century? Queensland Presbyterians formally subscribe to a theological ideology outlined in the Westminster Confession (1647). Historically, The Confession and associated documents such as the Larger Catechism — which emphasises the authority of the Christian Scriptures (especially Old Testament Law) — have been promoted as a guide to Christian thinking and living for those within the Presbyterian tradition. However, St Paul, in concluding his critique of his Jewish opponents’ law-orientated views on living wrote, “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (Gal 5:15 NIV) In contrast to a wrong emphasis on Mosaic Law-keeping (as a mode of Christian living), Paul seems to put great value on the Spirit-guided life. To what degree is the Reformed theology of the Westminster Confession compatible with Paul’s practical pneumatology? What did Paul actually mean by ‘living by the Spirit’? What would ‘living by the Spirit’ look like for a contemporary Queensland Presbyterian? The aim in the proposed thesis is to develop a practical pneumatology for Queensland Presbyterians.

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