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Recently a group of CRC pastors has called for a Third Way in the CRC under the banner of “Better Together.” This is a serious call that is worthy of serious reflection. This post is the seventh and final in a series of reflections on that call (read the first postsecond postthird postfourth postfifth post and the sixth post). 

I started my series of reflections on the call to a Third Way with agreement, because that is where my heart is. I long for a broad sense of commonality in life and ministry within the CRC. I rejoice where we agree, and I long to see the CRC exist in unity and harmony. But I cannot support a call to a form of unity that is superficial. I have tried to be fair in reading the proponents of a Third Way and considering their call. No doubt there are nuances and caveats that I have perhaps glossed over. If and when I have misrepresented, I am glad to be challenged and corrected. 

As I have reflected on the idea of a Third Way, I cannot escape the conclusions I have reached in the preceding posts. This is not a time for the CRC to essentially punt. This is a moment of decision. This is a definitional moment. God’s church is being built, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. We desire the CRC to be part of that church triumphant, but our ultimate loyalties do not hew to the institution. We cannot idolize the CRC such that we would defer God’s commands in order to preserve the institution. I end with a hymn:


God of Grace and God of Glory

God of grace and God of glory,

On Thy people pour Thy power;

Now fulfill Thy church's story,

Bring her bud to glorious flower.

Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,

For the facing of this hour.

Lo, the hosts of evil round us

Scorn Thy Christ, assail His ways;

From the fears that long have bound us

Free our hearts to faith and praise.

Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,

For the facing of this hour.

Cure Thy children's warring madness,

Bend our pride to Thy control;

Shame our wanton, selfish gladness

Rich in goods and poor in soul.

Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,

Lest we miss Thy kingdom's goal

Set our feet on lofty places,

Gird our lives that they may be

Armored with all Christ like graces

In the fight to set all free.

Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,

That we fail not man nor Thee.

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