I belong to Associate Reformed Presbyterian church and would like to know if they believe in replacement theology . Do they believe in the prophecy and the thousand year reign of Christ on the earth??

  • Hello, and welcome to Christianity Stack Exchange. You may like to check out our tour information page and find out about what "tags" are and how to use them. Your question does not have anything to do with Israel, so please allow me to change that for you in order to attract relevant answers: christianity.stackexchange.com/tour
    – Lesley
    Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 16:27
  • My mistake - of course this subject has to do with Israel! Tag returned.
    – Lesley
    Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 16:44

1 Answer 1


The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARPC) holds to a somewhat modified version of the Westminster Confession of Faith. It can be found here: http://arpchurch.org/documents/confession-of-faith/

They also hold to the Westminster Shorter and Larger Catechisms, as evidenced here: http://arpchurch.org/documents/standards/

Replacement theology is a term usually used by those who hold to the eschatological position known as dispensational premillenialism. It is defined as the teaching that the Church has replaced Israel, hence, "replacement" theology. However, it is usually used as a mischaracterisation of covenant theology.

Covenant theology, in the context of the ARPC, is the teaching that God has dealt with humanity through two overarching covenants: the Covenant of Works, and the Covenant of Grace. The Biblical covenants (e.g. Adamic, Noahic, Mosaic, Davidic, New) fall within the categories of the Covenant of Works or the Covenant of Grace. The ARPC subscribes to covenant theology, as defined in their doctrinal statements found in the Westminster Standards. For example, in the Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 7 describes God's covenants with man.

Covenant theology teaches that the church is the new Israel, and that all of the elect throughout history are members of the church. This means that the believers during the Old (Mosaic) Covenant, who were citizens of the nation of Israel, are members of the church. As such, there is not a strong distinction between Israel and the church in covenant theology.

Dispensational premillenials typically miscategorise this as replacement theology, but covenant theology doesn't teach that the church replaced Israel, but that the church is Israel. This is supported by passages such as Romans 4:16-17, and Romans 9:6-7. This does depend on Israel being understood not as a physical nation primarily, but rather as a spiritual nation, comprised of the spiritual children of Abraham by faith, namely, the church.

So the ARPC does not subscribe to replacement theology, but many dispensational premillenials will say that it does based on their understanding of ARPC theology.

Your other two questions should probably be in another question, and I can answer them if you ask them as new questions.

  • "Covenant theology doesn't teach that the church replaced Israel, but that the church is Israel." This is semantic gymnastics and nothing more than parsing words. At the end of the day - the issue comes down to "Is the nation of Israel distinct and separate from the Church"? The answer is categorically YES.. Israel became a nation in 1948, & fulfilled prophecy. If the church is Israel, then how did it ceast to exist for centuries? If the church is Israel, how can all Israel be saved as stated by Paul. If the church is Israel - then how is the church raptured but Israel is not???
    – Tennman7
    Commented Jan 9, 2021 at 3:40
  • @Tennman7 I think you're working from a set of assumptions and definitions that those who hold to covenant theology don't use.
    – Birdie
    Commented Feb 4, 2021 at 8:04
  • @Tennman7 For example, covenant theologians don't consider the modern nation of Israel to be the same Israel as the one that David and Jesus lived in. When the true Israel turned into the church, the physical nation-state was destroyed by God. So Israel never ceased to exist, because since then the church has existed, which is Israel.
    – Birdie
    Commented Feb 4, 2021 at 8:07
  • @Tennman7 if you want to learn more, I commend to you Pastor Ligon Duncan's series on covenant theology. subsplash.com/reformtheosem/lb/ms/+635a671
    – Birdie
    Commented Feb 4, 2021 at 8:09
  • you said it yourself- "covenant theology doesn't teach that the church replaced Israel, but that the church is Israel." And "Israel being understood not as a physical nation primarily, but rather as a spiritual nation". Ok. This exactly like insisting that ice cream is not Vanilla, it's French vanilla, or insisting that a chicken egg is NOT WHITE, - it's antique white. The fact of the matter is that if we're being honest, if asked if the nation of Israel has a unique role in end times prophecy events, at least 90% of all calvinists [reformed theology adherents] would say "No".
    – Tennman7
    Commented Feb 4, 2021 at 17:52

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