Faith and Christianity, Westminster Larger Catechism Study

Denominations & Division

Yes it is a good article. 

Btw. I’ve been working through Pastor Dilday’s 23 sermons on Church Unity. He makes interesting points, Sermon #18 has a particular church description I find useful. The second half of the sermon gives good perspective on the Scottish church.

His previous sermons, clarified the terms, Invisible, Visible and Particular when used to describe The Church. And he often refers to old the Westminster Standards. He repeatedly emphasizes the idea that Unity must form around both Truth (in Biblical doctrine), and Love. And he deals with the idea of Essential and Secondary issues often.

He also frames addresses question of the denominational model, vs. what he sees as a Biblical regional model of particular churches.

It’s a little tedious to work through his sermons as he is often repetitive, and quite detail I usually do it while driving or on long walks….rather than listening to Podcasts or Talk Radio!

Our own church MVPC is part of the EPC denomination, they have an extensive Essential Tenets Statement, which is pretty good, and if you read it you see it begins with the Bible and closes with the Westminster.  

All Scripture is self-attesting and being Truth, requires our unreserved submission in all areas of life. The infallible Word of God, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is a complete and unified witness to God’s redemptive acts culminating in the incarnation of the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible, uniquely and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the supreme and final authority on all matters on which it speaks. On this sure foundation we affirm these Essentials:……..

These Essentials are set forth in greater detail in the Westminster Confession of Faith.

Later it says:

The Westminster Confession of Faith and the “Essentials of Our Faith” are important documents in the EPC. They are not alternative statements of truth, nor are they competitive statements of truth. They both serve important and harmonious purposes within the EPC. The Westminster Confession of Faith preserves our commitment to the historic orthodoxy of the Reformed Faith, while the “Essentials of Our Faith” preserves our commitment to historic evangelicalism.

Unfortunately, it also makes the statement:

In Essentials … Unity

In Non-Essentials … Liberty

In All Things … Charity

Of which the first and third are true, but the 2nd leaves the door open to expanding or redefining Non-Essentials, although I would contend that even the explicit connection tying detail essentials to the Westminster Confession is not well understood, or not adequately taught, enhancing this confusion.

Anyway, back to Pastor Dilday’s discussion.

If a Particular Church is going to be united, two questions must be asked and answered. What is our Particular Church? What are its attainments?

This link should work….

Play Audio!| 71:00 min.

Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary. He is also the translator of Matthew Poole’s Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

Btw he is another good discussion of division in the church.

Rick Warren Has Done the SBC a Great Service

March 14, 2023

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