Covenant Responds to Revoice

Discussion in 'Seminaries, Colleges & Education' started by Hamalas, Mar 8, 2019.

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  1. Hamalas

    Hamalas whippersnapper

    I'm glad to see this:

  2. SeanPatrickCornell

    SeanPatrickCornell Puritan Board Freshman

    Can you give a brief summary? (Not able to watch a 5 min video quite yet).
  3. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Covenant Seminary is an innocent victim and we should quit sinning against them. Other than that, it seemed to me to be carefully worded orthodoxy.

    I'd have a bit more sympathy if they had posted this 7 months ago. It shouldn't have taken them this long to figure out what should be said.

    Maybe other folks will be more open to them playing the victim card at this point.

    Edited to add:

    And no one from the Seminary will be speaking at the conference in 2019.
  4. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

  5. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    Mark Dalby clarifies that Covenant had no official role in the conference, tells us that as a result of what happened at the conference they will not have any faculty speaking at the next one, and gently also calls out those who have been jumping to conclusions about their role in the conference; I might add, rightfully so.
  6. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    I'm glad they posted it; I think it's helpful.
  7. Bill Duncan

    Bill Duncan Puritan Board Freshman

  8. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    u mean like the FV problem they fixed?
  9. Bill Duncan

    Bill Duncan Puritan Board Freshman

    No, simply the need to condemn nor defend an agency of the denomination. It makes whatever is coming out of Covenant, good or bad, a nonissue for the members in the PCA. The PCA did not learn from Princeton. Regardless of what you think of Kuyper he was spot on this issue.
  10. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Highly unlikely. This is probably designed to head that off. And that effort doesn't appear to be going anywhere - only one Presbytery has sent it up at this point. The only question is whether the committees will substitute something watered down, or whether they'll send it to defeat.

    On the other hand, four presbyteries think money needs to be spent on a study as to whether domestic abuse should be condemned. I would expect a feminist statement to come out of that effort, even if some of the proponents are well intentioned . And there are also three or four presbyteries supporting the efforts to put women into leadership.
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  11. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    Condemning domestic abuse requires a study?
  12. Bill Duncan

    Bill Duncan Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks for this information. Personally, I've done all I can do to from the position I am currently in, by asking my Elders to work from the narrow court upward, but to no avail. I'm pretty much toast. I must now rely on my Ebenezer.

    There are faithful men who see the issues in the PCA as small things, compared to what they dealt with 50 years ago. They are satisfied to wait it out. I covet their resolve.
  13. Bill Duncan

    Bill Duncan Puritan Board Freshman

    If you want an interesting comparison look at what the study committees of the various NAPARC denominations are focused on and you see a vivid picture of their respective views of the nature of the church.
  14. Johnathan Lee Allen

    Johnathan Lee Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    How so?
  15. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    They can't see that these are the exact issues they dealt with 50 years ago?
  16. Bill Duncan

    Bill Duncan Puritan Board Freshman

    I won't try to speak for them as some of them are very wise and I trust their judgment, especially those who were founding members of the PCA, and I could not do them justice. I strongly recommend anyone interested to listen to Dr. Joseph Pipa, one who I would categorize this way, in this GPTS Podcast. I know everyone doesn't have a stake in this controversy, and trust me I have made this my mission over the last two years so I do. If you want a well done and fair treatment, take the time here.
  17. Bill Duncan

    Bill Duncan Puritan Board Freshman

    I suppose this is a bit of a rabbit trail, but for instance, OPC is studying whether to update language in the WCF, RPCNA is studying to clarify matters of divorce and offerings as a regulative principle of worship. These things seem to be more practical and with tangible results. There is absolutely nothing tangible about the PCA Racial and Ethnic Reconciliation study. Kind of like the US Senate hearings that only cause tempers to flare and have no helpful outcome.
  18. A.Joseph

    A.Joseph Puritan Board Freshman

    He seemed a little defensive.... like he begrudgingly had to do this cause of all the outside pressure....
  19. Bill Duncan

    Bill Duncan Puritan Board Freshman

    Do you mean how he referred to his position at GPTS as it relates to the PCA?
  20. A.Joseph

    A.Joseph Puritan Board Freshman

    I didn’t watch the whole thing yet but he was talking about slanderous attacks.... but most of the outspoken are the concerned.... the true militant.... we see outside sources at work and/or working their way in
  21. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    I think that's probably true.

    But the whole point was who we are bringing those concerns to (first). If I believe my brother sins against me, I probably shouldn't go blogging about it before I have a sit down with the man himself. Though the former is much easier.

    It's easier to gossip or slander an organization than a person. It's also easy to start spreading stuff you hear without fact checking. Concerns should be dealt with in the proper and biblical way. Right? I'm glad someone wrote up something about CTS to take to GA. If there are concerns, that's the proper way to do it.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
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  22. A.Joseph

    A.Joseph Puritan Board Freshman

    Sure, of course..... I don’t disagree with what you are saying. I hope all concerns are legit and delt with accordingly and appropriately..... with no secret or personal agendas at play....

    But if these surveys are a true indicator somebody is dropping the ball somewhere along the lines....
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
  23. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    So you are saying that he should have made clear whether he had gone first privately to those against whom he is making his accusations?
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  24. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    A very off-putting video.

    The guy stays silent on the conference for months prior and refuses to condemn it, and then condemns his critics afterward.

    They send a speaker there from the seminary to participate in the conference. Often participation implies endorsement. Participation by a seminary faculty often means legitimacy for the conference.

    I am glad the speaker sent from Covenant defended traditional sexual ethics. But sometimes participation in a conference means endorsement, unless the institution is clear about the purpose for their participation. But we see that Dr. Dalbey refused to criticize it at all beforehand.

    Dr Dalby spends more time on the video lecturing and rebuking those that had qualms, instead of condemning homosexuality.

    The guy comes off as a jerk in the video and I sure wouldn't want to send anyone to his seminary.

    And didn't Rejoice take place at a PCA church? And isn't Covenant Seminary the official seminary of the PCA? If so...why no loud condemnations of this church by Covenant Seminary beforehand, or even now?...the only thing we get is annoying nagging rebukes about those of us troubled by Covenant's silence.

    For months and months prior to the conference, Covenant’s president, "Mark Dalby, said publicly that the criticisms of Revoice were baseless because Revoice hadn’t been held yet."

    That is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. What the conference was about, what the speakers believed, and the topics to be covered and the opinions held were largely known beforehand.

    Does Dr Dalby lack enough discernment to know the general tenor of what this conference would be about? Surely he is not that dumb.

    The video states that Covenant will no longer send speakers to the next Revoice Conference. Is this an admission that their participation was unwise at the last one? If this an admission of guilt? And if so, why the lecturing of us for saying the same thing? If they had not sent a speaker this year, they would not have gotten much of the criticism that they received.

    All that time leading up to the conference...and yet Covenant refused to condemn the conference....yet here this guy now in the video...criticizing people who were troubled by his silence.

    Here is a good summary of discussions as the Revoice Conference neared:

    "Dr. Dalbey lamented over the conference being judged before it was held and the content was known. This defense reminds me of Nancy Pelosi’s infamous statement that the Affordable Care Act had to be passed in order to know what was in it. Revoice has published extensive descriptions of many of their presentations; the main speakers’ views are extensively published and known internationally; and the pastor of the host church gave a lengthy explanation and defense of the conference.

    It takes very little discernment to get a clear impression of what the thrust of the Revoice devoicing will be.

    [Dalbey's words]
    "...I am deeply troubled with the attacks and judgments that have been made against Covenant Seminary around the Revoice conference. Much of what is being said is untrue about us, unfair toward us, and very unloving toward us."

    As I said to the CTS staff member who told me I was not demonstrating the love of Christ in my warnings and tone regarding the Revoice conference, it is necessary work for pastors to be watchmen (read Ezekiel 33). To refuse to sound the alarm when wolves are attempting to attack the sheep is to be both negligent and unloving. To remain silent or ambivalent, or to say “let’s just wait and see,” is to give a more honored place to collegiality than love for the sheep and faithfulness to God."

    Did I miss it somewhere? Was there ever any clear denunciation of this Revoice Conference by Covenant Seminary? If only Dr. Dalbey had rebuked Revoice even half as much as he does his critics in the video above.

    I have officially lost respect. I don't trust this guy. I like my preachers to speak plainly, and this guy does not speak plainly.

    Dr Dalby further says the following and NEEDS TO REPENT FROM IT: "The temptation toward homosexual sin is not sin. Attraction to the same sex must be mortified by the means of grace and the support of the people of God, so it does not as James say, “conceive and give birth to sin.”

    Again, he says that same-sex attraction is not sin and that it must be mortified so as not to lead to sin. Dr Dalby is unfit to teach on this topic.

    Every unnatural desire is sin. An unnatural tempation is a sin. People are pushing to excuse a same-sex attraction as not being sinful, but we'd never say the same thing about having an attraction to children. Nobody says a pedophiliac-attraction or a beastiality-attraction is not sin. It is a sign of a disordered desire, a result of a sinful disposition. But the homosexual lobby is pretty strong and so many churches are trying to throw as many scraps to them as they can and to meet them halfway.

    "Revoice attempts to remove homosexual desires from the realm of sin and Dr. Dalbey is careful to allow this. This is the space the gay Christian movement is seeking to claim and it will lead many to live as effeminate men and butch women, renouncing their God-given sex. Dr. Dalbey continues:

    We affirm brothers and sisters who are walking in this way, whose struggle is same-sex temptation. As well as those whose temptation is heterosexual, and nonsexual temptations, including the stirring up of discord in the Body of Christ."

    Notice that clever manuever. Same-sex attraction is only as bad as stirring up discord. And then he accues many of doing this same thing in his pedantic little video. An unnatural desire is thus equated with making a beef about Covenant's participation in a pro-homo conference.

    He then says, "What people choose to call themselves who struggle with same sex attraction I think is a matter of significant wisdom in figuring out, but not necessarily something for condemnation if their commitment is no behavior, no lust, and mortifying the desire to not be tempted."

    But aren't words important? Should we really be okay with people calling themselves gay Christians? The sloppy language being used opens up an opportunity for people to preserve a homosexual identity. Another phrase being used that Dr Dalbey did not object to was that some people consisted of beign a "sexual minority" - which puts homosexuals into the same category as a civil rights issue.

    Again, Dr Dalby is unfit for leadership on this issue and needs to repent.

    His position is to bend over backwards so as not to offend the homosexuals and to throw conservative Christians troubled by his wishy-washyness under the bus.

    More troubling news from faculty associated with Covenant:

    I would urge all faithful believers to avoid Covenant and to pressure them to walk back their progress towards the Cultural Left.
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  25. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    Matthew 18 is talking about sins that are of a private and personal nature, not the public conduct of seminaries or ecclesiastical bodies. I have noticed that clericalists like to erroneously appeal to Matthew 18 so that their public conduct cannot be publicly scrutinised. No, if they do something in public that scandalises the gospel and brings true religion into disrepute, then they may expect the rest of us to call them out on it.
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  26. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    Need to give this more thought; chewing on it.
  27. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I thought I had posted something on this here on PB regarding this same controversy but maybe it was just Facebook. Year ago on FB I posted:
    The view that Matthew 18:15ff concerns private offenses, and not public notorious offenses, is not just the view of a few though notable Presbyterians, but is clearly the understanding of whole national churches i.e. the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, as is clear from Walter Stewart's Collections, which functioned as a sort of BOCO from 1709 in both Scotland and the colonies.

    The section noted is, for those familiar with it, very much drawing on James Durham's Concerning Scandal, one of the most influential works on the subject in Presbyterian literature.

    Durham: "When an offense is to be accounted public

    An offense then that is to be accounted public, that is, which is so in respect of its notoriety or publicness and such as is not the object of private admonition, but whereof a church judicatory is immediately to take notice, may be considered in respect of its first instant, or in respect of some following circumstance; for what is required in the nature of the sin itself, has been spoken to already. (1) It is public in the first respect, [1] when it is done before so many as probably cannot be satisfied with private admonition, so that thereby there is a hazard to many to be scandalized.

    [2] It is public when it seems to be done with contempt and an high hand, as if a person were owning the same. Thus a scandal that has fewer witnesses, may be accounted public, when another, it may be, actually known to as many, is not to be accounted such, because in this case there is no access to private admonition, the person being like a swine, ready to turn on the admonisher. Thus suppose Absalom’s incest had not been actually known to many, yet the very circumstances of his doing it openly, and purposely that it might be known, made it of a public nature. Thus sometimes it is more necessary to take notice of an offense committed in a public place, though it may be few know the same, than of a thing done more privately, because as to them it might have been public to many, and it shows an humor and corruption that is beyond private admonition, when a thing is so circumstantiated.

    [3] Sometimes offenses will have an horror, and an indignation wakened against them, even in respect of such circumstances as to be drunk, lascivious, and such like, are offenses, but to be so in a market place or in public streets, even supposing it to be in a day when few do actually see it, wakens an indignation in the hearts of sober men, as being an affront to religion and order, and inconsistent with Christianity and civility, much more than if it had been in a private place, or privately; for that is before the Sun to do so, as Zimrie’s act was, which provoked Phinehas’s zeal.

    [4] An offense is public when it is generally accounted to be a certain truth and not a suspicion only, as being a thing in its evidence known to so many (beside what is reported to others) that it cannot be supposed that an ingenuous mind can have access to deny or shift the same, without some indignation in the hearts of those that know it.

    [5] Sometimes an offense is to be accounted public when though it may be many are not witnesses thereof, yet when many are in hazard to be infected thereby; as suppose those witnesses to be such as cannot rest quiet in a private satisfaction, but they have either spread it, or are in hazard to spread it, and it may be long afterwards they make it a ground of reproach. In this case it becomes a scandal not only to the first witnesses, but also to those to whom it is reported. So that although it was not at first public, yet it becomes so by the rumor thereof. This infectiousness may also proceed from the time wherein it is committed, the person who committed it, the nature of the fact that is committed (which may more readily ensnare others than facts of some other nature), from those also before whom it was committed. Therefore in such cases it is necessary that public notice be taken thereof.

    (2) Therefore, in the second place, we said that some offenses not very public in respect of the fact, yet may by some concurring circumstances be such as the bringing of them in public may be necessary for the edifying of the church at such a time, then that way is to be taken. As suppose [1], that such a sin is in some places scarcely counted a sin; or [2], if it be secretly and frequently in use among others; or [3], if the person found guilty is generally suspected of loose and untender walking in such things, although particulars are not public; or [4], if they be, under false pretexts of tenderness, ready to seduce others to something sinful, or in the like cases. In which, though the fact is not so public, yet the scandal, or hazard, and the benefit of a rebuke are public, and therefore that way is to be followed, because they are necessary for the edifying of the church, which is the end wherefore public rebukes are appointed.

    See James Durham, Concerning Scandal (Naphtali Press, 1990), 93-95.

    One can also show from the Minutes of the Westminster Assembly and from their debate papers over church polity (The Grand Debate) that the assembly believed Matthew 18 concerned private offenses that would possibly proceed to public censor. Gillespie answering the Erastian argument, “Christ would not have sent his disciples for private injuryes to civill court….” Van Dixhoorn, Minutes, II.525. The assembly as a whole answering the congregationalist minority can be inferred to say so in their reproving an inadequate method of argument from Matthew 18 concerning subordination of assemblies. "Our brethren should have shown what method, terms, bounds, or subordinations of proceedings, Christ had prescribed to the church when offenses are public and openly scandalous, as well as when private and known but to a single brother.” The Westminster Assembly’s Grand Debate (Naphtali Press, 2014), 231.
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  28. A.Joseph

    A.Joseph Puritan Board Freshman

    I agree with you about Dr. D,I just didn’t want to go too far with my criticism ...but I also think he comes off as a little effeminate..if he is a mild and meek person that is ok, but I’m always concerned about hidden agendas... so I am not trying to slander the man nor imply anything, it’s just a bit of a vibe
  29. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Was it perhaps posted in connection with the situation at Christ the King in Houston? I know there was some private scandal/public scandal discussion with regard to the now-former Elder.
  30. A.Joseph

    A.Joseph Puritan Board Freshman

    This guy is a bad egg all the way around.....

    “Although significant time was given to discussing Revoice in the Committee of Commissioners for Covenant Seminary at this year’s assembly, there was limited time for discussion of this policy change. President Dalbey justified the change by a simplistic explanation that all female professors would be exercising their authority under the authority of the Board of Trustees—all of whom were elders in the church—and that was the end of it. Teaching Elder Dr. Andrew Dionne had his hand in the air wanting to ask how Dalbey, Sklar, and their trustees squared this change with God’s prohibition of women teaching and exercising authority over men, but he didn’t get the chance to speak.”
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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