Interaction with URCNA Report on FV (10): Things I Liked about the Report

A friend suggested that my critique of the report might be more palatable if I expressed in these posts some things about the report I appreciated. That's of course sound advice from a wise friend, and I think my failure to begin on a positive note was a tactical misstep. So here are some things I appreciated about the Committee's work.

1. I think that the study Committee wisely judged early on that any URCNA evaluation of the FV must be based on Scripture and the Three Forms of Unity ("not the Westminster Standards," p.6). This is not because the WS are so evil, but because they are not among the doctrinal standards of the URCNA. I'm disappointed, however, that the Committee was unable to abide by this judgment, given the numerous appeals to WS language and formulations.

2. The Committee also rightly understood that it was not "a judicial committee," but an investigative committee. If it were a judicial committee it would have been obligated to cross-examine each of the FV proponents under suspicion. In my understanding, it would have been a healthy expression of Christian charity to interact with FV men, though I'm not convinced it was absolutely necessary. I do think the Committee could have saved itself a lot of time by running its assessments of FV teaching by its proponents.

3. The Committee correctly understood that FV proponents differ among themselves and that it would "violate biblical standards of conduct to proceed on the assumption" that they are unified on everything. This is a great statement, though I doubt it was always respected.

4. The Committee also judged that the conclusions of their report should be received not as a supplement to the Confessions, but as an application of the Confessions. I'll have more to say about this later, but for the time I respect that the committee was deliberate in viewing their conclusions as intra-confessional, rather than extra-confessional recommendations.

Popular Posts