Last week, Matthew Kingsbury, pastor of an OPC church in Denver, CO, wrote about the PCA’s vote not to make an in thesi statement regarding the origins of Adam and Eve. His opinion was that the “grown-ups” had prevailed:
The Westminster Standards cover a great deal of doctrinal ground, and I (for one) think it unlikely a committee-penned statement on, say, justification will be any more clear than the Confession, Larger Catechism, and Shorter Catechism.
Thus, the cockles of my curmudgeonly heart (if, in fact, a curmudgeon can be said to have a heart) were warmed when the 40th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in American rejected an overture that it make an in thesi declaration against theistic evolution on the ground that Scripture and the Westminster Standards do so with sufficient clarity.
This is important for two reasons: first, the Assembly has taken the very grown-up position that presbyterians need not restate what they’ve already stated, no matter how many people insist it is VERY IMPORTANT that they do so. Let the Baptists issue statements; we’ve subscribed to a confession.
Pastor Kingsbury believes that a declaration like the Rocky Mountain Presbytery overture would not help preserve orthodoxy:
The practical impotence of in thesi declarations is why I think them corrosive to the Church’s well-being. Church officers are free to agree or disagree with them with whatever degree of openness they prefer; disagreement brings with it no automatic sanctions. This creates the impression that the Church’s highest judicatory has spoken in a final way on a matter, and can be freely ignored by any and all of the Church’s members; this simply cannot be healthy for any ecclesiastical body.
Far better, I think, to read our confessional standards and be content with the very grown-up statements they provide.
I guess I’m not much of a grown-up, because I couldn’t disagree more. (Tomorrow, I’ll post a response written by a pastor in the ARP.)