Bible Presbyterian and Orthodox Presbyterian

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Pilgrim

Puritan Board Doctor
Praise be to God for granting the OPC & BPC brethren charity towards each other despite doctrinal differences.

Are the Bible Presbyterians making any progress towards reuniting the various Bible Presbyterian bodies? I know that in North America one Presbytery broke away a few years ago. In Singapore and Thailand the Bible Presbyterian congregations, that we have contact with are divided; and were not in fellowship with any of the BPC bodies in North America
The Presbytery that broke away a few years ago did so precisely because they opposed the move toward closer relations with the OPC. Eschatology, etc. notwithstanding, you can't practice secondary separation and be in communion with a church (the OPC) that is essentially in communion with neo-evangelicals like the PCA that are in the NAE.

It is my understanding that with the exception of the 2 or 3 APC churches, most of the other former BPC congregations are currently in the PCA as a result of the Joining and Receiving of the RPCES in the early 80s.

In Singapore, it is my understanding that a broader evangelical group broke away from the fundamentalists, who as has been stated are KJVO, etc. From what I've gathered, the fundy BPCs in Singapore are teaching something called Verbal Plenary Preservation (i.e. the KJV) in addition to Verbal Plenary Inspiration.
 

Pilgrim

Puritan Board Doctor
For those in the know, are there still pre-tribulationists in the BPC?

I know that there are some in the Atlantic Synod (or whatever the name is of the group that broke away about 10 years ago over the BPC's moves toward reconciliation with the OPC.) For example, Collingswood BPC (Mcintire's old church which is among those who left the BPC at that time) has that position prominently stated on their website. They uphold the unity of the covenant of grace so would probably deny that they are Dispensationalists.

This was the eschatological view of men like Francis Schaeffer and James Montgomery Boice, among others. (Schaeffer and Boice were both pre-trib and not post-trib as is often erroneously assumed.) Buswell was mid-trib, which some would also say is inconsistent with historic premil. Allan Macrae, one of the original faculty members of WTS who left in 1937 (over Vantillianism, strong opposition to premil at WTS and in the new denomination, alcohol, etc.) was also pre-trib. One of the leaders in the BPC in Singapore has referred to this as a covenantal ecclesiology and a dispensational eschatology. However weird or inconsistent we may think that is, I guess if you have to boil it down in a sentence, that's not a bad way to put it.

Based on what I've seen, it appears that there is more diversity on eschatology in the BPC than there used to be. I've come across BPC ministers on Sermon Audio who appear to be partial preterist postmils or amils.

John Battle of Western Reformed Seminary is a post-trib premil. I read a journal article of his several years ago in which he said that when he was appointed head of that seminary several decades ago, it was controversial due to his not being pre-trib. He said that pre-trib was practically an article of faith in the BPC by the early 80s. I have it saved somewhere, but I'm not sure where. It was on the seminary's website. Dr. Battle also favorably reviewed Barry Horner's "Future Israel" which is almost a companion piece to MacArthur's "Why Self-respecting Calvinists Should Be Premillennial" although Horner does not emphasize rapture views, and as noted, Dr. Battle is post-trib. (Dr. Waldron confessed that as he was reading that book, he wanted to throw it across the room due to Dr. Horners invective against "replacement theology," anti-semitism, etc.)

I can't imagine any OPC Presbytery ordaining or agreeing to a transfer of a man who would favorably endorse such a book since many would consider it tantamount to dispensationalism regardless of what one's views on the unity of the covenant of grace are. This alone would prevent a full merger, I would think.

As I understand it, this was one reason why the RPCES (which included many former BPC churches that had moved away from separatist fundamentalism although often not from things like premil, teetotalism, rejection of the RPW, rejection of the spirituality of the church, etc.) ultimately voted down the proposed merger with the OPC in 1975. The theological issues of the 30s and 40s remained unresolved in 1975. And unless the BPC has largely abandoned all of those distinctives, they remain unresolved. From time to time we see it stated here and elsewhere that any form of premil is unconfessional and that premils should not be ordained, etc. (I don't know how prevalent that view is in the OPC today.)

It does appear that what is left of the BPC has abandoned secondary separation, or this move toward full communion with the OPC never would have happened.
 
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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
For those in the know, are there still pre-tribulationists in the BPC?

I know that there are some in the Atlantic Synod (or whatever the name is of the group that broke away about 10 years ago over the BPC's moves toward reconciliation with the OPC.) For example, Collingswood BPC (Mcintire's old church which is among those who left the BPC at that time) has that position prominently stated on their website. They uphold the unity of the covenant of grace so would probably deny that they are Dispensationalists.

This was the eschatological view of men like Francis Schaeffer and James Montgomery Boice, among others. (Schaeffer and Boice were both pre-trib and not post-trib as is often erroneously assumed.) Buswell was mid-trib, which some would also say is inconsistent with historic premil. Allan Macrae, one of the original faculty members of WTS who left in 1937 (over Vantillianism, strong opposition to premil at WTS and in the new denomination, alcohol, etc.) was also pre-trib. One of the leaders in the BPC in Singapore has referred to this as a covenantal ecclesiology and a dispensational eschatology. However weird or inconsistent we may think that is, I guess if you have to boil it down in a sentence, that's not a bad way to put it.

Based on what I've seen, it appears that there is more diversity on eschatology in the BPC than there used to be. I've come across BPC ministers on Sermon Audio who appear to be partial preterist postmils or amils.

John Battle of Western Reformed Seminary is a post-trib premil. I read a journal article of his several years ago in which he said that when he was appointed head of that seminary several decades ago, it was controversial due to his not being pre-trib. He said that pre-trib was practically an article of faith in the BPC by the early 80s. I have it saved somewhere, but I'm not sure where. It was on the seminary's website. Dr. Battle also favorably reviewed Barry Horner's "Future Israel" which is almost a companion piece to MacArthur's "Why Self-respecting Calvinists Should Be Premillennial" although Horner does not emphasize rapture views, and as noted, Dr. Battle is post-trib. (Dr. Waldron confessed that as he was reading that book, he wanted to throw it across the room due to Dr. Horners invective against "replacement theology," anti-semitism, etc.)

I can't imagine any OPC Presbytery ordaining or agreeing to a transfer of a man who would favorably endorse such a book since many would consider it tantamount to dispensationalism regardless of what one's views on the unity of the covenant of grace are. This alone would prevent a full merger, I would think.

As I understand it, this was one reason why the RPCES (which included many former BPC churches that had moved away from separatist fundamentalism although often not from things like premil, teetotalism, rejection of the RPW, rejection of the spirituality of the church, etc.) ultimately voted down the proposed merger with the OPC in 1975. The theological issues of the 30s and 40s remained unresolved in 1975. And unless the BPC has largely abandoned all of those distinctives, they remain unresolved. From time to time we see it stated here and elsewhere that any form of premil is unconfessional and that premils should not be ordained, etc. (I don't know how prevalent that view is in the OPC today.)

It does appear that what is left of the BPC has abandoned secondary separation, or this move toward full communion with the OPC never would have happened.
Interesting, as their group would seem to be pretty much the same in their eschatology as the standard Dispensational Christian would be.
 
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