Councils of the church have decided recently that the church's historic confessions of faith are merely museum pieces, relics of what the church used to believe. The point of this has been to deny that the confessions have anything binding or even remotely useful to say about the faith and life of the church today.
But the confessions themselves have long anticipated this and warned against it.
For instance, the Westminster Confession of Faith declares: "All synods or councils since the apostles' times, whether general or particular, may err, and many have erred; therefore they are not to be made the rule of faith or practice, but to be used as a help in both" (Chapter XXXIII, paragraph 3, BOC 6.175).
Today's councils fulfill this precisely by insisting erroneously that the confessions are old, musty, outdated, and irrelevant. Thus it proves to have been for good reason that the confessions have warned us for centuries against trusting any council, particularly in regard to faith and practice, since councils can and do err.
So, is the church well served by the passions and sheer majority vote of the party in ascendancy? That is to ask, is it appropriate for a single council to decide one afternoon by a margin of only 133 votes to set aside centuries of Christian faith and teaching? Or, instead, is the church better served by the historic faith of the church, particularly as articulated in the confessions of the church?
The Foundation for Reformed Theology is committed to the study, recovery, and application of the historic faith and theology of the church for building up the church of Jesus Christ today. Thank you for helping us to do this.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. James C. Goodloe IV, Executive
Foundation for Reformed Theology
4103 Monument Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23230
Better Preaching, Teaching, and Pastoral Care