Covenant Responds to Revoice

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

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  1. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    We should remember that Presbyterian polity acts slowly, by design. We wish for everything to be done decently and in order, and order takes time. Also, especially where public correction of others who claim the name of Christ might be in order, the ninth commandment requires great care in what we say and how we say it. This cannot be rushed. Fairness to all takes careful research, not broad-brush statements, and is one reason for our typically long reports prepared by committees over the course of a year or (very often) more. The process can be frustrating, but there are good reasons for it.

    Adding to this, the sad experiences of the past century have caused faithful Presbyterian institutions to be wary of top-down pronouncements. In both our denominations and our seminaries, we don't want the guy at the top making the rules or setting policies on his own, which is one way liberalism advanced so quickly. Rather, we want congregations, presbyteries, faculties, ruling elders, etc. to be our voice. The structure is such that denominational officials must be careful in how they speak until GA has spoken, and seminary officials must be careful in how they speak until the faculty has spoken. This grassroots consensus takes time, even where there may be broad agreement at the start, especially in an academic setting where concerns for academic freedom must be balanced with concerns for conformity. Remember that forced conformity has been used against faithful men at least as much as it has been used by them, so there are reasons to be careful and not rush to demand conformity.

    So, I'm not sure we should conclude that men ought to ignore Presbyterian polity and instead quickly issue their own condemnations via social media, or that the absence of such outbursts means the denomination or seminary is clearly headed in a bad direction. It might just mean we're being good Presbyterians.
  2. Grant Jones

    Grant Jones Puritan Board Junior


    I do not question your resolve or loving concern for the PCA dear brother. Rather, I took issue with finding a correlation between silence on PB (an online forum) and "if it's not affecting the local church, no one cares" as being too blanketed. Further I was reminding that lack of prayer, fasting, faithful preaching, and Church discipline on this issue are FAR more concerning than lack of participation on forums and blog wars. Actions are slowly but surely being taken. As a former Baptist, I have found I want things to move faster, but have learned that Presbyterianism often moves at a different rate (which I am thankful for). Online forum participation is not a valid proof for any side of this argument (thankfully you and I are on the same side). I do not feel you have violated Matthew 18 and I hope my responses have not implied such.:detective:
  3. SolamVeritatem

    SolamVeritatem Puritan Board Freshman


    Honest question, meant to be sincere in every respect.

    In reading the overture, I don't necessarily see it presented as a "problem" that is in need of correcting. Instead, there is much mention about questions of whether specialized oversight is "deserved" by seminaries, boards, CTS being capable of meeting it's operating expenses, academic freedom, and the seminary maturing to the "point where they do not wish to be excusively under oversight by ordained officers" and so on.

    If the intent was to construct an overture outlining significant problems with the denominational seminary and the desire for it to be released from PCA oversight for such reasons, why not mention that?

    If the overall intent of this overture was to alert the assembly of the need for correction, rebuke (and possibly charges to be addressed/adjudicated in the courts of the church?) with regard to CTS, it certainly isn't clear to the average reader from what is written.

    Grace and Peace,

  4. Bill Duncan

    Bill Duncan Puritan Board Freshman

    Silence on PB was not intended to be a knock at the concern of PCA men as a whole. Understand that I have surveyed folks in other churches than mine and many just see this as someone else's problem. Presbyterianism is a ground up system. Men must be vocal to their local Session. I would like someone to tell me what they are doing, besides reading blogs and waiting on the results of GA to fallout. Its too late at that point. We are not in the study committee, sit on our hands, kick the can down the road phase. Two churches in our neighboring Presbytery have left the PCA this year. We are not down to years but rather months to act. If the Judicial committee does not discipline the culprits on Revoice several churches I know are walking.

    Blog wars and forums are the periodicals and journals of yesteryear. The writers are agents and second causes of God's decretive will. The Ninety-five Theses were publicly posted, to the Glory of God. Read what was written by Thornwell Breceknridge in the journals of the time and what I have said is child's play.
    As to lack of use of the means of Grace, why are we to do them if none know what they do them for. There are congregations in the PCA that have been purposely kept in the dark by Sessions not willing to take a stand. Put wheels on your prayers, don't let go and let God.

    I think we need to hire Pergamum as a consultant!
  5. Bill Duncan

    Bill Duncan Puritan Board Freshman

    Yes, I think it was some reverse psychology there. Catch more flies with honey.. I guess. that's why I would be a bad overture author.:banghead:
  6. TheOldCourse

    TheOldCourse Puritan Board Sophomore

    I suppose that depends on your view of the teaching office. I would argue that the training of ministers in an inherently ecclesiastic action and as such ought to be under the oversight of the church. Cutting Covenant loose may be excising a tumor now, but it got to this point because the church failed in its duty to guard the institution and its students from false teachers. But then again, I'm a four-office guy so I believe that the Lord did make allowances for such institutions. Union went from Dabney to liberals in about a generation and it was independent so independency doesn't prevent decline, but I guess it's easier as a church to wash your hands of it when it does happen.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  7. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    I think another appropriate example of dealing with public concerns relating to an institution is Joshua 22, where the 2 1/2 tribes build the alter. The 9 1/2 tribes still bring their concerns directly to those they saw as obviously guilty. In fact, they're so convinced the 2 1/2 tribes had sinned that the purpose of the delegation isn't to "fact check" at all, it's just to give them a chance to repent. But as they meet with them face to face, they realize it was a misunderstanding. I believe it's a wonderful study. They stood for truth. Yes, Amen. But they did it in the right way.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  8. Grant Jones

    Grant Jones Puritan Board Junior

    So Bill ( on a lighter note), are you saying you feel many are doing this:

    And they should be doing this:

    P.S. This is my youngest, her name is Snoozilla.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  9. Bill Duncan

    Bill Duncan Puritan Board Freshman

    You got me. 20 years PCA. First Picture is me first ten years. Second is me second ten years. Cute kids.
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  10. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Junior

    Interesting choice of name. She might have trouble when she goes to school.

    Anyway, she takes after her father (minus the pipe).
  11. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    You kill the most flies with a nuclear bomb!
  12. Silas22

    Silas22 Puritan Board Freshman

    Covenant responds to MLK event.
  13. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    I see he's using the 'victim card' there, as well.

    So we are to go to him, ask, and listen. (around the 4:25 mark). Nothing about anyone at the seminary going, and asking, and listening to the concerns that have been raised.

    I'm thinking about drafting up an email to him in my usual diplomatic style.
  14. Bill Duncan

    Bill Duncan Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm curios, as we are both PCA men, what has your Session done on this and other issues. Is it a topic of conversation in and with the Church?
  15. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    Snail mail would probably be more effective.
  16. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Given the two expressions posted from Youtube on this thread, I doubt anything would be effective. It seemed clear from the second video that he's willing to teach, but not willing to dialogue.
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