Why CRCNA does not subscribe Westminster Confession of Faith?

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We are currently studying the possibility of joining CRCNA, and would like to know why CRCNA has not adopeted the Westminster Confession as aN OFFICIAL creed/faith in it's constitution.

Thank you for your brief response to my e-mail addr., a_goe@msn.com.

Arthur Goe

 

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Participant

Hello Arthur.  I do not know why your question has gone unanswered for so long, but for me I just saw it for the first time late-yesterday and I would like to try to give you an answer.  I hope you have become part of the CRCNA despite your question not getting an answer.

I am not aware that the Westminster Confession (WC) was ever rejected in any way by the CRCNA, but the Heidelberg Catechism (HC) was written in 1563 in Heidelberg, Germany a full 83 years before the WC (1646) was written, and it became widely used and loved there and in nearby Holland and other parts of Europe.;The Presbyterian Church in the U.S. inherited the WC from their Scottish ancestors (who got it from the the Church of England) and adopted it first in 1729, and the PCUSA formed and adopted it in 1788.  The CRCNA was started by Dutch Calvinist immigrants in 1857, and those folks had known and loved the HC those ~200 years since the WC was written and the prior 83 years!  The Dutch Reformed folks had a split in Holland but both sides still loved the HC deeply and basically, as Richard Mouw said in his 2004 book Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport "three documents that have long defined doctrinal orthodoxy in the Dutch Reformed tradition: The Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Cannons of Dort." p.21  

Obviously, I hope, the CRCNA has become very diverse since it's origins, but that doctrinal orthodoxy has stuck firmly and has served us well now over 150 years.  Mouw made other interesting comments comparing the HC and WC on pp. 98-99 an de 104-105 you might find interesting and helpful, quoting Hendrikus Berkhof, "they differ greatly in their tone.  This is obvious... in the way each of them begins."  He noted the WC starts by making a theological point... but the HC... begins in very personal terms.  I don't believe Mouw or Berkhof meant any criticism of WC but were just comparing some differences.

I hope this helps and I hope and pray it's not too late.  I would be glad to answer any follow up questions you might have or any comments on the subject.  Blessings to you and yours.  Pastor Tom

Rev. Tom Van Engen, Senior Pastor, Faith Presbyterian CRC, Ordot Chalan Pago, Guam  pastortve@gmail.com

Participant

Hello Arthur.  I do not know why your question has gone unanswered for so long, but for me I just saw it for the first time late-yesterday and I would like to try to give you an answer.  I hope you have become part of the CRCNA despite your question not getting an answer.

I am not aware that the Westminster Confession (WC) was ever rejected in any way by the CRCNA or of any attempts to get it accepted.  The Heidelberg Catechism (HC) was written in 1563 in Heidelberg, Germany a full 83 years before the WC (1646) was written, and it became widely used and loved there and in nearby Holland and other parts of Europe.  The Presbyterian Church in the U.S. inherited the WC from their Scottish ancestors (who got it from the the Church of England) and adopted it first in 1729, and the PCUSA formed and adopted it in 1788.  The CRCNA was started by Dutch Calvinist immigrants in 1857, and those folks had known and loved the HC those ~200 years since the WC was written and the prior 83 years!  The Dutch Reformed folks had a split in Holland but both sides still loved the HC deeply and basically, as Richard Mouw said in his 2004 book Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport "three documents that have long defined doctrinal orthodoxy in the Dutch Reformed tradition: The Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Cannons of Dort." p.21  

Obviously the CRCNA has become very diverse since it's origins, but that doctrinal orthodoxy has stuck firmly and has served us well now over 150 years.  Mouw made other interesting comments comparing the HC and WC on pp. 98-99 and 104-105 you might find interesting and helpful, quoting Hendrikus Berkhof, "they differ greatly in their tone.  This is obvious... in the way each of them begins."  He noted the WC starts by making a theological point... but the HC... begins in very personal terms.  I don't believe Mouw or Berkhof meant any criticism of WC but were just comparing some differences.

I hope this helps and I hope and pray it's not too late.  I would be glad to answer any follow up questions you might have or any comments on the subject.  Blessings to you and yours.  Pastor Tom

Rev. Tom Van Engen, Senior Pastor, Faith Presbyterian CRC, Ordot Chalan Pago, Guam  pastortve@gmail.com

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