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Thread: Posing Problems in the Westminster Confession of Faith

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    Posing Problems in the Westminster Confession of Faith

    According to Wiki the Westminster confession is the standard confession of faith for the Anglican Church, which has been adopted and modified by other denominations.

    The Westminster Confession of Faith is a Reformed confession of faith. Drawn up by the 1646 Westminster Assembly as part of the Westminster Standards to be a confession of the Church of England, it became and remains the "subordinate standard" of doctrine in the Church of Scotland and has been influential within Presbyterian churches worldwide.

    In 1643, the English Parliament called upon "learned, godly and judicious Divines", to meet at Westminster Abbey in order to provide advice on issues of worship, doctrine, government and discipline of the Church of England. Their meetings, over a period of five years, produced the confession of faith, as well as a Larger Catechism and a Shorter Catechism. For more than three hundred years, various churches around the world have adopted the confession and the catechisms as their standards of doctrine, subordinate to the Bible.
    If problems presented below with the confession of faith are unresolvable, the Anglican faith is in error.

    The Westminster Confession of Faith

    Chapter I
    Of the Holy Scripture
    I. Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men unexcusable;[1] yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of His will, which is necessary unto salvation.[2]Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal Himself, and to declare that His will unto His Church;[3]and afterwards for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing;[4] which makes the Holy Scripture to be most necessary;[5] those former ways of God's revealing His will unto His people being now ceased.[6]

    [3] HEB 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.
    Problem – Heb 1:1 does not restrict divine revelation to scripture alone, but merely states God has spoken through the prophets. How then does one know what was and was not spoken through the prophets if there is no instruction in the scriptures that says what the prophets say is only in scripture?

    Problem – According to point 9 below, the infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself. And according to point 10, the supreme judge of all controversies is the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture. So if we assume points 9 and 10 are true, where does the Holy Spirit tell men in scripture that what the prophets said are all recorded, only in the scriptures?

    and afterwards for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing;[4] which makes the Holy Scripture to be most necessary;[5] those former ways of God's revealing His will unto His people being now ceased.[6]
    Problem – the will of God is said to be committed wholly to writing, yet the NT states traditions of the apostles are binding on the faithful. How does one know that the will of God is only found in the scriptures when the scriptures as shown below state tradition is binding?

    1 Corinthians 11:2 (RSV) . . . maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you. (NRSV, NEB, REB, NKJV, NASB all use “tradition[s]”).

    2 Thessalonians 2:15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.

    2 Thessalonians 3:6: Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.
    Problem – The NT states the gospel was delivered orally by the apostles. How then does the example of the apostles square with the Westminster confessions claim that the oral gospel has ceased?

    1 Corinthians 15:1-3 Now I would remind you, brethren, in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand, [2] by which you are saved, if you hold it fast — unless you believed in vain. [3] For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures,

    1 Thessalonians 2:13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

    Jude 3 . . . contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
    (cf. Lk 1:1-2; Rom 6:17; 1 Cor 11:23; Gal 1:9, 12; 2 Pet 2:21)
    Problem – If oral traditions have ceased and are no longer binding, why does the NT equate the word of God with traditions that have been delivered and received?

    Bible equates tradition with the gospel and other terms such as “word of God,” “doctrine,” “holy commandment,” “faith,” and “things believed among us.” All are “delivered” and “received”:

    1) Traditions “delivered” (1 Cor 11:2), “taught . . . by word of mouth or by letter” (2 Thes 2:15), and “received” (2 Thes 3:6).
    2) The Gospel “preached” and “received” (1 Cor 15:1-2; Gal 1:9, 12; 1 Thes 2:9).
    3) Word of God “heard” and “received” (Acts 8:14; 1 Thes 2:13).
    4) Doctrine “delivered” (Rom 6:17; cf. Acts 2:42).
    5) Holy Commandment “delivered” (2 Pet 2:21; cf. Mt 15:3-9; Mk 7:8-13).
    6) The Faith “delivered” (Jude 3).
    7) “. . . things which have been accomplished among us” were “delivered” (Lk 1:1-2).
    Problem – If oral traditions have ceased and are no longer binding, why doesn’t the NT actually say such?

    Problem – If the NT does not actually state or imply that oral traditions have ceased and are no longer binding, doesn’t that mean the Westminster confession is in error on this matter of doctrine?

    Problem – St Peter says the oral word of God endures forever? If St Peter is correct, how does his statement square with the Westminster confession that the oral gospel has stopped and does not endure forever?

    but the word of the lord endures forever.”
    And this is the word which was preached to you.
    Problem – St Paul says tradition is binding and is to be passed on to other men. Was St Paul wrong to make such instruction, when the Westminster confession says oral tradition is no longer binding?

    2 Timothy 1:13-14 Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus;

    [14] guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.
    2 Timothy 2:2 and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
    On the canon of scripture -

    II. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testament, which are these: Of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings, I Chronicles, II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. Of the New Testament: The Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, The Acts of the Apostles, Paul's Epistles to the Romans, Corinthians I, Corinthians II, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians I , Thessalonians II , To Timothy I , To Timothy II, To Titus, To Philemon, The Epistle to the Hebrews, The Epistle of James, The first and second Epistles of Peter, The first, second, and third Epistles of John, The Epistle of Jude, The Revelation of John. All which are given by inspiration of God to be the rule of faith and life.[7]
    Problem – The above canon implies the Holy Spirit authored these texts. How does one come to know which books were written by God, when divine authorship of any text is super natural and therefore beyond the ability of men to know?

    Problem – According to statement 9, the infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself. Therefore, the canon of scripture as indicated by the books above, itself must be determined by the scripture itself. Such requires that the determination of the canon is self referencing, and therefore illogical.

    Problem – If the canon of scripture is not known infallibly, then the canon is a fallible collection of infallible books. Yet such means we do not know any book is infallible, hence the authorship of any book is not known with the certitude required to conclude that God wrote any text in the canon.

    Problem – Historically the canon was determined by the Catholic Church. The Anglican church came into existence when Henry VIII made himself head of the Church in England. As the Anglican church repudiates any authority of the Catholic Church, what is the authority the Anglican Church uses to determine the canon of scripture?

    Problem – If there is no God given authority outside the text, there is not means to determine the extent of the canon with any God given authority. How does the Anglican church determine the extent of the text without such authority?

    Problem – If the problems with the canon of scripture are unresolvable why then believe anything within the text, apart from some attachment to human wisdom expressed within the text?


    III. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the Scripture, and therefore are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings.[8]
    Problem – How does the Anglican communion know the Apocrypha is not inspired when the same communion is unhistorical, and does not have the means to determine what text is inspired?

    Problem – The Westminster Confession is a confession of faith. When does scripture teach that God has revealed that the Apocrypha is not inspired?

    Problem - The Westminster Confession is a confession of faith. Why confess that some texts are not inspired as part of a confession of faith? Very odd thing to do. Its like saying I believe God did not reveal something and that’s what I believe God wants me to believe. How do I know, when there is no evidence for this non belief within the scriptures?

    Problem – The above three problems expose the real agenda behind the Westminster confession of faith, as an expression of Anglicanism in opposition to the Catholic Church, who does embrace the so called Apocryphal books as scripture. The statement III exposes the hidden intent of the Anglican divines, who were only interested in promoting a false form of English Christianity apart from the Church of Rome.

    IV. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.[9]

    1 TH 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
    Problem - Inspiration requires that God is the principle cause and men are secondary, free instrumental causes of the text. The text is written by both God and men, hence must be identified by an authority other than by God alone. For what is authored by man is recognised by man. Hence the scriptures as authored by men must be recognised by a body of men. Yet only that body which has an authority from God to recognise the text as authored by God can truly claim to have any sufficient reason to know the extent of the canon. The Anglican claim in point iv above is in error.

    Problem - Point IV says the authority of the Holy Scripture does not depend upon the testimony of any man. Yet the OT states the OT canon was from Moses, and the prophets, who were all men. And the chair of Moses (Matt 23:2) was an authority outside the scriptures that had an authority from God apart from the scriptures.

    Problem - Point IV says the authority of the Holy Scripture does not depend upon the testimony of any man. Yet Point IV is a testimony of man, so the authority of scripture does not depend upon the testimony of point IV. Hence the authority of scripture does not depend upon any content of point IV. Hence the confession contains a self defeating statement.

    Problem - Point IV says the authority of the Holy Scripture does not depend upon the testimony of any man. Yet the scriptures do not state the authority of the Holy Scripture does not depend upon the testimony of any man. Hence the confession contains a statement that is inconsistent with its own assertion that all contrversies in matters of religion are determined by the Holy Spirit who has spoken in the scriptures. Hence the confession is in error.

    Problem - Point IV says the authority of the Holy Scripture does not depend upon the testimony of any man. But testimony must be given to establish the authority of scripture. If testimony is not given by any men, where does the testimony come from? If it comes only from God, how do we know, if not from the scriptures themselves? If so, such testimony is from God in the scriptues, but not known that the text is authored by God. The denial of any human testimony of the scriptures is very problematic within the confession.

    Problem - Point IV says the authority of the Holy Scripture does not depend upon the testimony of any man. So how do men know what was written by God? Did the text fall from heaven? If not, where, when and how in Church history was the canon determiend?

    Problem - Point IV says the authority of the Holy Scripture does not depend upon the testimony of any man. Yet this statement is contrary to church history that gives witness to church councils that did determine the extent of the canon. Hence the confession contains a statement that is unhistorical. But what is unhistorical is not from God, who is the Lord of history. Hence point IV is contrary to what God has done in history and therefore contrary to Christ as the Lord of history.

    Problem - 1 TH 2:13 equates the word of God with oral tradition, but the confession equates the word of God with the scriptures. The confession requires a faith in a proof text that says oral tradition is no longer in existence and hence no longer the word of God. So the confession requires one to believe the inspired word of God is known just as the oral word of God was known, but is now not binding. Hence the word of God in the scriptures is known based upon inconsistent evidence.

    Problem – Point IV says “the authority of scripture . . . depends not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself)”, and gives examples from the scriptures of men accepting the word of God. The examples assume the acceptance of the word of God by men in the apostolic age is a testimony of the existence of the word of God. Hence the canon of scripture is dependent upon the testimony of men in the examples given, contrary to the claim in Point IV. Hence the confession is inconsistent with regard to its claims.

    Problem - Point IV says “the authority of scripture . . . depends not upon the testimony of any man, or Church”, yet the examples given (1 TH 2:13) show the apostles, who were pillars of the Church and preached the word of God, did give testimony of the word of God as the Church. So the Church in the apostolic age gave witness to the authority of scripture, in an age when the NT was not written. Hence the claim that the authority of scripture is not dependent upon the Church is an error.

    JM

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMartin View Post
    According to Wiki the Westminster confession is the standard confession of faith for the Anglican Church, which has been adopted and modified by other denominations.
    No it's not. It's primarily a Presbyterian confession. It was written for the Church of England but it is by no means the standard confession for the Anglican Church. The standards for the Anglican Church are the Nicene, Apostles, and Athanasian Creeds. The Book of Common Prayer is followed in liturgy and prayer life. And the 39 Articles are received as expressions of the Anglican response to certain doctrinal issues (though they are interpreted quite differently between types of churches; my own Anglo-Catholic/Orthodox Church approaches them very differently than an Evangelical Presbyterian-oriented church would).

    ETA: If you had read the wiki just a little bit further, you would have seen that it was adopted primarily by Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Baptists, all non-conformists, i.e. those who were fundamentally un-Anglican.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thewriteranon View Post
    No it's not. It's primarily a Presbyterian confession. It was written for the Church of England but it is by no means the standard confession for the Anglican Church. The standards for the Anglican Church are the Nicene, Apostles, and Athanasian Creeds. The Book of Common Prayer is followed in liturgy and prayer life. And the 39 Articles are received as expressions of the Anglican response to certain doctrinal issues (though they are interpreted quite differently between types of churches; my own Anglo-Catholic/Orthodox Church approaches them very differently than an Evangelical Presbyterian-oriented church would).

    ETA: If you had read the wiki just a little bit further, you would have seen that it was adopted primarily by Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Baptists, all non-conformists, i.e. those who were fundamentally un-Anglican.
    The wiki page says the Westminster confession is a confession of the Church of England as part of the Westminster Standards.

    Here are some problems to consider in the 39 Articles -

    XI. Of the Justification of Man.
    WE are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore that we are justified by faith only is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort; as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification.
    Problem - if faith is an act done by man, why is faith not a work that causes justification? Afer all faith is a work is it not?

    2We always thank God for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers 3and continually recalling before our God and Father your work of faith, your labor of love, and your enduring hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Problem - if faith is not an act done by man, why is faith required to cause justification?

    Problem - if faith is a work informed by charity, why does only faith justify, when faith without love is worthless (1 Cor 13:2)?

    Problem - if faith alone justifies, why does faith justify and love does not justify, when love is greater than faith (1 Cor 13:13)?

    Problem - if faith alone justifies, is faith an instrument whereby Christs righteousness is imputed to one's account?

    Westminster Larger Catechism

    Question 70: What is justification?
    Answer: Justification is an act of God's free grace unto sinners, in which he pardons all their sins, accepts and accounts their persons righteous in his sight; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but only for the perfect obedience and full satisfaction of Christ, by God imputed to them, and received by faith alone.
    Question 71: How is justification an act of God's free grace?

    Answer: Although Christ, by his obedience and death, did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God's justice in the behalf of them that are justified; yet inasmuch as God accepts the satisfaction from a surety, which he might have demanded of them, and did provide this surety, his own only Son, imputing his righteousness to them, and requiring nothing of them for their justification but faith, which also is his gift, their justification is to them of free grace.
    Problem - if faith that justifies is a grace and faith is an instrument that causes Christ’s righteousness to be imputed to the believer, why doesn't hope or love do the same? After all hope and love are also graces from Christ, and grace is grace. Therefore hope and love should also be instruments of justification. Why then restrict justification to faith alone as a grace, when there is NT evidence for hope and love as graces as well?

    Question 72: What is justifying faith?
    Answer: Justifying faith is a saving grace, wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spirit and Word of God, whereby he, being convinced of his sin and misery, and of the disability in himself and all other creatures to recover him out of his lost condition, not only assents to the truth of the promise of the gospel, but receives and rests upon Christ and his righteousness, therein held forth, for pardon of sin, and for the accepting and accounting of his person righteous in the sight of God for salvation.
    Problem - if the pardon of sin is achieved by faith alone, what is the role of repentance as a grace from Christ?

    Problem - if Christs righteousness is imputed to one's account, why is the man justified and not only his account?

    Problem - if justification is by faith alone, then justification can only be lost when one sin's against faith and does not believe. Yet St Paul clearly teaches that other sins exclude one from the kingdom (heaven) and thereby cause damnation. How does the Anglican teaching on justification by faith alone square with St Paul's teaching on salvation?

    Gal 5:20 idolatry and sorcery; hatred, discord, jealousy, and rage; rivalries, divisions, factions, 21and envy; drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,…

    1 Cor 6:8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, even against your own brothers! 9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who submit to nor perform homosexual acts, 10nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.…
    Problem - According to the longer catechism, justification is by faith alone, where faith in an instrument which causes the imputation of Christ's righteousness to the believer. What evidence is there from scripture that faith is an instrument?

    Question 73: How does faith justify a sinner in the sight of God?
    Answer: Faith justifies a sinner in the sight of God, not because of those other graces which do always accompany it, or of good works that are the fruits of it, nor as if the grace of faith, or any act thereof, were imputed to him for his justification; but only as it is an instrument by which he receives and applies Christ and his righteousness.
    Problem - if there is no explicit evidence for faith as an instrument, what assurance does one have that faith actually does what Anglicanism says it does? After all if faith as an instrument is merely a conclusion found by interpreting a text, it is merely the opinion of men, is it not?

    Problem - if the Holy Spirit dwells within Christians to help them live new life and die to sin, why doesn't the indwelling action of the Holy Spirit cause justification, rather than faith alone?

    Question 75: What is sanctification?
    Answer: Sanctification is a work of God's grace, whereby they whom God has, before the foundation of the world, chosen to be holy, are in time, through the powerful operation of his Spirit applying the death and resurrection of Christ unto them, renewed in their whole man after the image of God; having the seeds of repentance unto life, and all other saving graces, put into their hearts, and those graces so stirred up, increased, and strengthened, as that they more and more die unto sin, and rise unto newness of life.
    Problem - if the Holy Spirit is the creator, why does the new creation not cause justification but rather, only faith?

    Problem - if faith alone theology is problematic, doesn't this mean the Anglican faith is therefore eclectic and in error?

    Problem - if Christ acts a priest on the cross as a sacrifice, and as an intercession to the Father in heaven, why is the perfect work of Christ on the cross require Christ's priestly intercession in heaven?

    Question 44: How does Christ execute the office of a priest?
    Answer: Christ executes the office of a priest, in his once offering himself a sacrifice without spot to God, to be a reconciliation for the sins of his people; and in making continual intercession for them.
    Problem - if Christ's has priestly intercession in heaven what is the relationship to the work of the cross?

    Problem - if justification occurs by faith alone, then justification occurs when faith is had. Yet St Paul teaches sanctification and justification occur together in baptism.

    1 Cor 6:11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
    St Paul’s union of sanctification and justification occur together in baptism in 1 Cor 6 seems to contradict the Anglican separation of sanctification and justification. For according to Anglicanism justification occurs at faith and sanctification occurs when the spirit acts within the believer. Such needs to be explained.

    Question 77: Wherein do justification and sanctification differ?
    Answer: Although sanctification be inseparably joined with justification, yet they differ, in that God in justification imputes the righteousness of Christ; in sanctification his Spirit infuses grace, and enables to the exercise thereof; in the former, sin is pardoned; in the other, it is subdued: the one does equally free all believers from the revenging wrath of God, and that perfectly in this life, that they never fall into condemnation; the other is neither equal in all, nor in this life perfect in any, but growing up to perfection.
    Problem - if justification is the imputation of Christ's righteousness to the believer, why wouldn't the imputation of Christ's righteousness rather be an imputation that ontologically follows upon sanctification, whereby the Christian is set free from sin and made holy as an intrinsic cause of Christ's righteousness? In other words, imputation should really mean grace has been infused, making the Christian holy, rather than imputation follows upon faith alone, regardless of holiness. If the latter, then it seems God is involved in a blasphemous lie of calling a sinner righteous when the sinner is not made holy by the Spirit. The confusion created by the Anglican articles requires clarification.

    Problem - if baptism washes away sins, why doesn't baptism cause justification, but only faith causes justification?

    Question 165: What is Baptism?
    Answer: Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, wherein Christ has ordained the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, to be a sign and seal of ingrafting into himself, of remission of sins by his blood, and regeneration by his Spirit; of adoption, and resurrection unto everlasting life; and whereby the parties baptized are solemnly admitted into the visible church, and enter into an open and professed engagement to be wholly and only the Lord's.
    JM
    Last edited by JohnMartin; 11-12-2016 at 03:50 AM.

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    IX. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.[23]
    Problem – If the infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself, how does the scripture interpret itself when scripture is only a text? Doesn’t the statement the infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself require that the scripture be a person with intellect and will to actually do the interpreting of the text by itself without the need for any human agency?

    Problem – If the infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself, where does this doctrine come from when scripture does not say this?

    Problem - If the infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself, where does this doctrine come from when the scriptures does not teach men need go only to the scriptures to find doctrine?

    Problem - If the infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself, why then must the scriptures be searched? Are the scriptures searching themselves, or are they being searched by another thing?

    Problem – If the infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself, what then is the role of biblical exegesis and the methods used? Are such methods also required to be infallible or not?

    Problem – If biblical exegesis is required to understand the text, then such is fallible and open to error. Doesn’t that mean the scriptures are open to error through false exegesis? If so, how does that square with the statement that the scriptures interpret the scriptures?

    Problem – “other places that speak more clearly” is a subjective statement, which infers the scriptures are known subjectively by the reader. Yet the principle that the “interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself” excludes subjectivity, for the scriptures as authored by God are always objective.

    Problem - “other places that speak more clearly” infers some ambiguity or lack of clarity in some texts. If there is some lack of clarity in some texts, how does one know such texts were written by God when God always acts perfectly? Doesn’t a lack of clarity infer imperfection and mitigate against the inspiration of the text?

    X. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.[24]
    Problem – If the supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined is the scriptures, how does the scripture judge the extent of its own content before the content is determined? It cannot, hence point 10 is in error.

    Problem – If the supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined is the scriptures, what judgement is to be made about controversies concerning matters not contained within the scriptures, such as IVF, cloning, transgender issues, environmental issues, etc?

    Problem - If the supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined is the scriptures, what value is the Westminster confession? Is it binding or not? If not then is point 10 binding or not?

    Problem – The Anglican Church teaches the human head of the Anglican Church is the head of state. Where is that office taught in scripture? Nowhere. So we have an example of the Anglican Church run by a person that holds an office within the Church that is not taught in scripture.

    Problem – The scriptures and church history give witness to the Eucharist as a sacrifice. Yet low church Anglicanism denies this doctrine.

    Problem - The scriptures and church history give witness to the Eucharist as a sacrifice. Yet low church Anglicanism denies this doctrine, contrary to the teaching of high church Anglicanism.

    JM

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMartin View Post
    The wiki page says the Westminster confession is a confession of the Church of England as part of the Westminster Standards.
    I think I know what the confessions of my own church are, thanks.. The Westminster Standards were formed during the Puritan takeover of the government in the mid-seventeenth century. The Church of Scotland may fall in line with the Westminster Confession, but the Church of Scotland is not entirely equal to Anglicanism. Here is the actual quote from the wiki:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    The Westminster Confession of Faith is a Reformed confession of faith. Drawn up by the 1646 Westminster Assembly as part of the Westminster Standards to be a confession of the Church of England, it became and remains the "subordinate standard" of doctrine in the Church of Scotland and has been influential within Presbyterian churches worldwide.
    Oh, look at that. It was drawn in 1646 during the Puritan takeover and it is something like a standard in the Church of Scotland and Presbyterianism at large. Anglicanism is not Presbyterianism.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral
    As inherent parts of this sacred deposit, and therefore as essential to the restoration of unity among the
    divided branches of Christendom, we account the following, to wit: ...4. The Historic Episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs
    of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of His Church.
    Just in case you had forgotten, episcopal structure and presbyterian structure are not the same thing.

    Let's revisit what Wiki says again:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    The Westminster Confession of Faith is a Reformed confession of faith. Drawn up by the 1646 Westminster Assembly as part of the Westminster Standards to be a confession of the Church of England,
    That does not say it became the standard. It says that the intention was for it to be the standard. In fact Wikipedia then goes on in the other half of the sentence that you seem to be ignoring to say that it became influential in Scotland and in Presbyterianism. Not Anglicanism proper. The article at large speaks of its influence in shaping Presbyterianism and the Church of England drops out. Why? Because the Puritan experiment failed in England after Cromwell's death and the monarchy and the episcopacy were restored. If you are going to critique the Westminster Confession, you need to at least realize which denomination you are criticizing. Anglicanism and Presbyterianism may be brothers, but they are certainly not identical.

    "Fire is catching. If we burn, you burn with us!"
    "I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to stay here and cause all kinds of trouble."
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    Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast.


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    tWebber thewriteranon's Avatar
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    I hope you are not addressing me with quotes from the Westminster Catechism. The Anglican Church in North America does not subscribe to or use the Westminster Catechism. I have no interest in defending it.

    "Fire is catching. If we burn, you burn with us!"
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    Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast.


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    Quote Originally Posted by thewriteranon View Post
    I hope you are not addressing me with quotes from the Westminster Catechism. The Anglican Church in North America does not subscribe to or use the Westminster Catechism. I have no interest in defending it.
    He has no interest in conversation except on his own terms

  9. Amen rogue06, Cerebrum123 amen'd this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thewriteranon View Post
    I hope you are not addressing me with quotes from the Westminster Catechism. The Anglican Church in North America does not subscribe to or use the Westminster Catechism. I have no interest in defending it.
    Would you be interested in defending the catechism you hold to? What are the official documents of North American Anglicanism? To Be a Christian: An Anglican Catechism seems like a place to start if you wish.

    I do not beleive the Westminster confession or catechism can be successfully defended.

    JM

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    Good grief. All organizations have policy statements etc. To reflect their vision, mission, and procedures. How is that forbidden?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMartin View Post
    Would you be interested in defending the catechism you hold to? What are the official documents of North American Anglicanism? To Be a Christian: An Anglican Catechism seems like a place to start if you wish.
    Nope. I'd just prefer not to be confused with a Presbyterian. I have grad school, work, volunteer commitments, and a whole lot of other things going on in my life. I don't have time for shenanigans.

    "Fire is catching. If we burn, you burn with us!"
    "I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to stay here and cause all kinds of trouble."
    Katniss Everdeen


    Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast.


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