Urcna

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Calvinbeza

Puritan Board Freshman
The United Reformed Churches was formed out of the Christian Reformed Church in America. Why would not joined another existing denominations, or Presbyterian churches OPC or PCA.
A year earlier the RCA churches joined PCA. Why would these conservatives within CRC formed new denomination?
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
Someone with direct knowledge of that particular decision could be of more help, but I can see why a new Reformed denomination would simply be easier.

The are enough differences between the continental (mostly Dutch) Reformed way of doing things and the Presbyterian way that joining a large number of continental Reformed churches to a Presbyterian body is not an easy task, nor one that either group would undertake without some concerns. Were the CRC folks ready to give up their heritage and confessions? Did a group like the OPC want to be suddenly flooded with a hundred churches in which the pastors are used to preaching evening sermons from the Heidelberg Catechism and may be uncomfortable with the way the Westminster Standards state certain doctrines?

The URC should not be thought of as fostering disunity. If anything, its creation was a unifying effort, since there were several fledging attempts at creating conservative offshoots of both the CRC and the RCA in the years leading up to the URC, and the URC helped bring those movements together into one. The URC also joined NAPARC, giving it a measure of unity with denominations like the OPC and the PCA. I suspect most sides are happier this way, and relations seem peaceful, which is fitting for the people of God. The Scottish and Dutch churches have remained friendly but organizationally separate for centuries, and it actually works pretty well.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Mr. K again nails it. We probably have some folks who would be URCNA if one was available, but with that denomination not represented in Texas (or indeed, with only 3 exceptions, anywhere in the Confederacy) they go with what is available in NAPARC. But I certainly wouldn't fault someone brought up in the Dutch tradition with wanting to stay with that rather than merge into the Scottish tradition if they had a viable option.

A few more conservative in the PCA would not be unwelcome, however.
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
I think the URC also served as a kind of body of union with other Reformed who had broken away, like the OCRC.

I do wonder why there couldn't be a merger with other Dutch Reformed bodies like the Canadian and American Reformed Churches.
 

Unoriginalname

Puritan Board Junior
The break in the CRC was very ugly and the CRC used its bureaucracy to put the screws to churches that were leaving. This left a very big impact on the formation of the URCNA which functionally is significantly more independent than most other NAPARC churches probably because of that. A quick look at the a map would also show you that the URCNA is very Dutch, its clustered in the Dutch areas of Michigan, Ontario, Iowa and in other dutch pockets. Really the Eastern Classis is the only major break from its Dutchness, so it would be very odd for it to join with the evangelical heavy PCA. There has been movement to join with the CanRef but that has been complicated by the R2K contingent of the URCNA
 

Calvinbeza

Puritan Board Freshman
I do wonder why there couldn't be a merger with other Dutch Reformed bodies like the Canadian and American Reformed Churches

I agree with Jake.

And the other part of the question, why would have joined these RCA churches the PCA rather than URCNA? URCNA is Dutch origin, PCA is Southern Presbyterian origin. Why these churches felt that the PCA would be better option? They hade to adopt WCF besides TFU.
 

TheOldCourse

Puritan Board Sophomore
The break in the CRC was very ugly and the CRC used its bureaucracy to put the screws to churches that were leaving. This left a very big impact on the formation of the URCNA which functionally is significantly more independent than most other NAPARC churches probably because of that. A quick look at the a map would also show you that the URCNA is very Dutch, its clustered in the Dutch areas of Michigan, Ontario, Iowa and in other dutch pockets. Really the Eastern Classis is the only major break from its Dutchness, so it would be very odd for it to join with the evangelical heavy PCA. There has been movement to join with the CanRef but that has been complicated by the R2K contingent of the URCNA

I would say the complications run much deeper than the R2K contingent of the URCNA. Continued Schilderian (CanRC) animus against Kuyperianism (URCNA) is more fundamental to the problem. In some ways the URC doubled down on Kuyper after the CRC split (especially with respect to local autonomy) and many in the CanRC still remember how Schilder was treated by the Kuyperians in both the CRC and the PRC. Beyond the historical/emotional divide, Schilderian theology has made the CanRC receptive to Federal Vision heresies which has been a huge sticking point, obviously. Schilderianism is not the same as FV, but there are similarities and those similarities has led to much sympathy for it. My wife's previous CanRC pastor was one whose bookshelves were littered with Doug Wilson and James Jordan and saw no reason for concern in them. Other CanRC pastors and elders openly questioned and denied the URC Synod's statements on Federal Vision. I think things may have improved somewhat in the last few years, but it seems to me that the CanRC still has some things to work out there. R2K may be an issue too in that it's more compatible with the Kuyperianism of the URC than the Schilderianism of the CanRC, but from my view that was a much smaller point of contention. If "Crocodile" Wes Bredenhof is still around perhaps he could add.
 
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Unoriginalname

Puritan Board Junior
I would say the complications run much deeper than the R2K contingent of the URCNA. Continued Schilderian (CanRC) animus against Kuyperianism (URCNA) is more fundamental to the problem. In some ways the URC doubled down on Kuyper after the CRC split (especially with respect to local autonomy) and many in the CanRC still remember how Schilder was treated by the Kuyperians in both the CRC and the PRC. Beyond the historical/emotional divide, Schilderian theology has made the CanRC receptive to Federal Vision heresies which has been a huge sticking point, obviously. Schilderianism is not the same as FV, but there are similarities and those similarities has led to much sympathy for it. My wife's previous CanRC pastor was one whose bookshelves were littered with Doug Wilson and James Jordan and saw no reason for concern in them. Other CanRC pastors and elders openly questioned and denied the URC Synod's statements on Federal Vision. I think things may have improved somewhat in the last few years, but it seems to me that the CanRC still has some things to work out there. R2K may be an issue too in that it's more compatible with the Kuyperianism of the URC than the Schilderianism of the CanRC, but from my view that was a much smaller point of contention. If "Crocodile" Wes Bredenhof is still around perhaps he could add.

You are probably more well versed on this than I am. I know there is a good bit on contention over Schilder on the URC side (I cannot comment on the Canref on this)especially since a good chunk of his work remains untranslated. I know from where I am in the URC there is the opinion that the R2K guys overshoot on the idea that the Canref is a FV haven. From where I am it seems that the westcoast URC is a fairly different animal than the Midwest, Canadian and Eastcoast URCs and I have seen more affiliation with Canref guys where I am at. I am also an outsider to all the Dutchy squabbles that take place an are even harder to explain.


And the other part of the question, why would have joined these RCA churches the PCA rather than URCNA? URCNA is Dutch origin, PCA is Southern Presbyterian origin. Why these churches felt that the PCA would be better option? They hade to adopt WCF besides TFU.

Again weird Dutchness, from what I understand the RCA and CRC were very different in the practical expressions of their theology to the point that the conservative RCAs were much closer to the more american PCA than the somewhat ethnically cloistered URCs
 

Calvinbeza

Puritan Board Freshman
Again weird Dutchness, from what I understand the RCA and CRC were very different in the practical expressions of their theology to the point that the conservative RCAs were much closer to the more american PCA than the somewhat ethnically cloistered URCs

Weird that you point that conservative RCA and conservative URC are different.

Some say that RCA and CRC tend to unite in the near future. Could be possible?
Some RCA churches dissatisfield with the RCA recent theological trend want to affiliate with PCA. Is that true?
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Some say that RCA and CRC tend to unite in the near future. Could be possible?

Here's an almost 5 year old item discussing some of the CRC / RCA differences.

http://theaquilareport.com/crc-and-rca-the-fundamental-differences/

One of the bigger barriers to unification is that the RCA seems to be 'going gay' at a much more rapid pace than the CRC. RCA is also in the politically left wing WCC and NCC, while CRC isn't. RCA would probably be a better match with the PCUSA and the ECUSA at this point than with the CRC.
 

Calvinbeza

Puritan Board Freshman
I read somewhere that the RCA composed of 2 fractions. In the East(NJ, NY,) and in California RCA churches are liberals, ordain women to the ministry since an early date. In Michigan and Iowa RCA churches are that conservative than CRC.
How could these fractions remain the same denomination?
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Inertia, tradition, and property issues are usually the reasons a congregation remains in a denomination which would otherwise seem a poor fit.
 

TheOldCourse

Puritan Board Sophomore
I would say the complications run much deeper than the R2K contingent of the URCNA. Continued Schilderian (CanRC) animus against Kuyperianism (URCNA) is more fundamental to the problem. In some ways the URC doubled down on Kuyper after the CRC split (especially with respect to local autonomy) and many in the CanRC still remember how Schilder was treated by the Kuyperians in both the CRC and the PRC. Beyond the historical/emotional divide, Schilderian theology has made the CanRC receptive to Federal Vision heresies which has been a huge sticking point, obviously. Schilderianism is not the same as FV, but there are similarities and those similarities has led to much sympathy for it. My wife's previous CanRC pastor was one whose bookshelves were littered with Doug Wilson and James Jordan and saw no reason for concern in them. Other CanRC pastors and elders openly questioned and denied the URC Synod's statements on Federal Vision. I think things may have improved somewhat in the last few years, but it seems to me that the CanRC still has some things to work out there. R2K may be an issue too in that it's more compatible with the Kuyperianism of the URC than the Schilderianism of the CanRC, but from my view that was a much smaller point of contention. If "Crocodile" Wes Bredenhof is still around perhaps he could add.

You are probably more well versed on this than I am. I know there is a good bit on contention over Schilder on the URC side (I cannot comment on the Canref on this)especially since a good chunk of his work remains untranslated. I know from where I am in the URC there is the opinion that the R2K guys overshoot on the idea that the Canref is a FV haven. From where I am it seems that the westcoast URC is a fairly different animal than the Midwest, Canadian and Eastcoast URCs and I have seen more affiliation with Canref guys where I am at. I am also an outsider to all the Dutchy squabbles that take place an are even harder to explain.


And the other part of the question, why would have joined these RCA churches the PCA rather than URCNA? URCNA is Dutch origin, PCA is Southern Presbyterian origin. Why these churches felt that the PCA would be better option? They hade to adopt WCF besides TFU.

Again weird Dutchness, from what I understand the RCA and CRC were very different in the practical expressions of their theology to the point that the conservative RCAs were much closer to the more american PCA than the somewhat ethnically cloistered URCs

I think "FV haven" is definitely going overboard, but it seems fair to say that a large portion of the CanRC don't really see what all the hubbub about the FV is and were scratching their heads when so many in the NAPARC condemned it.

I doubt many CanRC folks could actually be considered Federal Visionists, but there is a lot of fuzziness on covenant, baptism, and the finer points of justification which has caused them to read FV in basically Schilderian terms. As I said, some CanRC elders were outspoken critics of the URC Synod for its FV findings because they saw in it a criticism of their own theology--especially with respect to the internal/external distinction of covenant relationships which Schilderians, like FV'ers, generally deny. This scared off many URC'ers who were still in the crucible of dealing with FV issues.

Hoeksema back in the day claimed that Schilder's view of the covenant was essentially Arminian in much the same way the FV is. Rev. Bredenhof has convinced me that this characterization isn't entirely accurate and Schilder may have been more orthodox that he sometimes sounds, but the fact that it's possible to read him in that manner has created a situation in the CanRC that was primed for friction with the URC given all of the problems errors in covenant theology have caused in NAPARC churches the last few decades.
 

Unoriginalname

Puritan Board Junior
I think "FV haven" is definitely going overboard, but it seems fair to say that a large portion of the CanRC don't really see what all the hubbub about the FV is and were scratching their heads when so many in the NAPARC condemned it.

I am only using language I have seen more flippantly used on other less careful message boards. I was not trying to accuse the Canref of anything
 

Unoriginalname

Puritan Board Junior
The PCA rejected Federal Vision Theology.

On paper. I also fail to see how this plays directly into this issue. At the end of the day if you spent a Sunday in a PCA church then a Sunday in a URCNA church you would see they have very different practical expressions of their theology and could begin to get why they would never be the same denomination. I say this as someone who has been a member of churches in both.
 

Calvinbeza

Puritan Board Freshman
On paper. I also fail to see how this plays directly into this issue. At the end of the day if you spent a Sunday in a PCA church then a Sunday in a URCNA church you would see they have very different practical expressions of their theology and could begin to get why they would never be the same denomination. I say this as someone who has been a member of churches in both.

Not just in paper. Several Federal Visionist lik eWilkins was removed
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Again .Do you know Riverside RCA in Bloomington MN have already joined PCA?

They show up on the RCA website and don't show up on the PCA website. Nothing about it on the church website. (They do show an opening for a pastor).

You could call and ask if you really want to know: 952-888-4988.
 

TheOldCourse

Puritan Board Sophomore
I think "FV haven" is definitely going overboard, but it seems fair to say that a large portion of the CanRC don't really see what all the hubbub about the FV is and were scratching their heads when so many in the NAPARC condemned it.

I am only using language I have seen more flippantly used on other less careful message boards. I was not trying to accuse the Canref of anything

Oh I know, I wasn't suggesting you yourself were referring to them that way, but I'm sure there are those that have and was responding to their characterization with my comment.
 

Unoriginalname

Puritan Board Junior
Oh I know, I wasn't suggesting you yourself were referring to them that way, but I'm sure there are those that have and was responding to their characterization with my comment.
That is good. I have always appreciated the careful approach and tone that folks on the PB use.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
In the PCA there are lot of Dutch people

In areas where there isn't a viable Dutch option. There appear to be 20 CRC churches in Texas; when you look for one in Jackson, MS, you get a choice of Nashville, TN or a couple in Texas and one in suburban Atlanta as your closest options.

RCA showed 2 churches in Texas, one of which is Hispanic. For Jackson, MS, the closest is the Hispanic church in Texas, followed by 4 in suburban Atlanta.

So if you are in the deep south outside of one of the 'international' cities, PCA may well be the best bet.
 
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