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Oct 10, 2006


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Dana Ames

What was the doctrinal statement before 1967?


Denis Hancock

The Westminster Confession of Faith was authoritative confession of faith prior to 1867.

Michael Kruse

"...prior to 1867."

Prior to 1967 too. :)

Dana Ames

Well, it's a good thing I'm a Presbyterian now rather than before 1967. I'm a bit allergic to creeds/confessions that begin with a statement about the bible. It's not that I don't agree with the statement; usually I do. It's that I think the first thing we say needs to be about the Trinity. Which is why I like the ancient creeds and the Brief Statement of Faith the best. My $.02 for the day.


Michael Kruse

Beau Weston's analyis in his books (with which I agree) was that prior to the controversies of the 1920s the Westminster Confession was the "Statement of Faith" that the church followed. The way things played out it left the Confession in as almost a non-binding standard. When the denom decided to write a confession (Confession of 1967) and then add several others in to a book of Confessions, it really diluted the authoritative status of our confessional structure. The Book of Order then became the place to find or add binding standards. Now those can be scrupled and there is nothing officially defined as essential although we all supposed to be evaluating officers according to the essentials. That is the short history as I see it.

Dana Ames

Thanks, your explanation is clearer. The denom's is about as clear as mud...


Michael Kruse

"The denom's is about as clear as mud..."

I would consider that a generous characterization. :)

Denis Hancock

Thank-you, Dana, for alerting me to a weakness in my original posting. I had actually intended to put in a link for the Beau Weston reference, but didn't get around to it. I have corrected that now.

Personally, I feel that a little common sense is needed. Instead we argue over words and their meanings and, I fear, many ordination examinations are done with a wink and a nudge.

Mike -- do you ever wonder why the conspiracy theorists have never seized upon the fact that "denom" and "demon" are anagrams? [grin]

Michael Kruse


Yeah. It is sort of like the dyslexic jihadist who tried to kill Santa because his mullah had posted a sign that said "Death to the Great Satan."

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