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Dear Editor in Chief,

In your editorial in the Standard Bearer, Feb. 15, 1977, page 222, you wrote that it was your conviction that the synod of 1975 misled our study committee when it referred them first to take into account the Biblical doctrine, particularly the New Testament passages. You mention that this has never been the Reformed method, that it must be kept in mind that we already have an interpretation of Scripture in our confessions, both those of a major order and those of a minor order. To these we should turn first in the consideration of any question of this kind.

This may all be true, but we do not believe that our synod of 1975 misled our study committee when it referred them first to take into account the Biblical doctrine, particularly the New Testament passages. We believe that the Word of God is always first, and we believe that the whole of the New Testament and especially the Acts of the Apostles is a commentary in regard to mission work. It is indeed a lamp unto our feet. Synod of 1975 did not mislead our study committee when it referred them first to take into account the Biblical doctrine particularly the New Testament passages.

Synod could have included to also take into account our confessions, although our confessions are never of equal value with the Divine Scriptures, Art. 7 Belgic Confession.

This statement in your editorial ought to be rejected.

Yours in Christ,

Thys Feenstra

 

Reply

1.I’ll go you one better, and include the Old Testament in that commentary, too.

2. Nevertheless, good Reformed methodology turns first to the confessions. There you find the Biblical doctrine. In our churches, if it is not Reformed according to the confessions, neither is it Scriptural. Proof? Consult the Formula of Subscription.

3. For me, the only exception to this rule is matters which are “extra confessional,” that is, not spoken of in the confessions.

The statement, therefore, ought to stand.

HCH