The Acts are now updated till Day 9 (Friday May 21).
Highlights from Thursday May 20:
- A decision was made with regards to Theological Education vis a vis the unity process. The Synod decided that the compromise model proposed by the committee was unacceptable. The committee was sent back to the drawing board and encouraged to engage the URC committee once again on the biblical, historical and practical reasons for a federational seminary.
- The Committee for Bible Translation was mandated to keep an eye on developments with the NIV. They were also mandated to investigate producing an ecclesiastical translation of Scripture. Finally! That idea was first floated past a CanRC Synod in 1995, but then it was judged to be unrealistic. Now that the Bible translation business has been revealed to be a business, the idea seems to have more merit.
- The Synod decided not to enter into ecclesiastical fellowship with the RPCNA. The major sticking point appears to be the ordination of women as deacons.
Highlights from Friday May 21:
- The Synod decided to continue ecclesiastical fellowship (EF) with the Free Church of Scotland and rescind the decision of the previous synod regarding fellowship with the Free Church Continuing. This means that we again have fellowship with two Free Churches in the UK — and also two sets of Free Churches here in North America.
- With regards to the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, we will continue in EF with them. However, a special temporary sub-committee of our Committee for Relations with Churches Abroad has been established to manage this difficult relationship. In particular, this committee is mandated to express concerns about developments at the Theological University in Kampen (Harinck & Paas), in the area of biblical hermeneutics, and some other areas. The key words in this decision are “concerns” and “grave concerns.” I think that goes a wee bit further than the Free Reformed Churches of Australia did at their synod last year.
- Despite having made no progress, both the Common Songbook Committee and the Liturgical Forms and Confessions Committee were reappointed to make another go of it with their URCNA counterparts. I question the wisdom of these decisions. They are predicated on the belief that the URCNA Synod in July is going to get fully on board with the merger process (again?). Yes, these decisions are made in good faith, but one can’t help but wonder if there is some naivete here too. I would have preferred to see a decision that would make these appointments conditional on the URCNA reassuring us of their wholehearted commitment to federative unity.