The PCA 2001 statement on creation is a somewhat awkward attempt to compromise between the efforts of those who tried to examine the issues and those who tried to uncritically promote standard young-earth errors. Thus, one can appeal to it against the efforts to require a young-earth position, and in fact I’ve served as a deacon in two places.
I think @Kathryn_Applegate goes to a PCA church.
I do! I grew up in a Southern Baptist church, and attended Methodist and Orthodox Presbyterian Churches for a few years, but I’ve been part of the PCA since about 2005. While I’ve encountered people who felt uncomfortable with my views in the PCA, for the most part I’ve felt at home in the denomination. It helps though that I’m a woman and therefore not eligible for elder or deacon, or more questions would be raised. Great to connect with you on this front, @Kendel and @Paraleptopecten! I know of some others, too. @Kendel, I’m in Grand Rapids. Where are you?
Lovely to meet you, @Kathryn_Applegate. @Christy, thanks for the introduction. I’m rural, straight North of East Lansing. Sometimes in GR for church librarian events at Baker Bookhouse. Although I am now without a church library.
I understand what you mean about the indirect advantages of being female. As theologically careful as Prebys can be, my impression from listening to White Horse Inn and reading Modern Reformation for years is that they are intellectually broader and less fundamentalist than the environment I have left. A refreshing valuing of female intellect within a traditional church structure is a real help. Although most of what I am pushing against right now has seemed to be geographic. However, I can tell that the evangelical landscape has shifted elsewhere…caught up with rural mi actually.
Thsnks for the encouragement. I have been needing it more lately.
Women are definitely valued in the PCA for more than baking casseroles and having children, as wonderful and God-glorifying as those things are. (I’m a fan of both.) I enjoy White Horse Inn and MR too. When we lived in San Diego I interacted with Michael Horton and other WTS-California professors. I PM’d you. Let’s get together when you’re in the neighborhood!
I am now aware of two other women, I’ve actually communicated with, who read/listen to MR and WHI. Actually, I don’t know if I know of ANY men who do…
(I won’t fault my husband, though; he more than compensates with other valuable reading.)
It’s interesting you say that. This PCA has has at least 7 families from our former church, all having left independently of each other. (Independence bred in the bones, I guess. Maybe that’s part of our problem.) I am aware of other families who have gone elsewhere.
I think if you interviewed us all, (or examined our “exit letters”) you would get very different answers about why. I would be very interested in knowing, but having had some conversations, it’s not always entirely clear. And sometimes I think people are likely to frame similar concerns differently, so it might be clearer to someone entirely outside the situation, where the overlaps are.
The other week we were talking with one of the men from this group, and he said he felt his theology had changed over the years. I told him, I felt like the church’s had changed. I bet there is real overlap in those statements, but we can’t get to it superficially. It’s also hard, because no one wants to gossip, and having discussions that involve decisions of other people (like pastors and elders), feels like gossip, even if it’s not.
David, thanks for this information. I had found something on the PCA’s website, a table of reports from committees I think, and I’m not finding it again at the moment, but I will later. In spite of the conclusions that are not what I wish, I greatly appreciate that creation was even addressed and by a large, denominational committee.
At the local congregational level, the church is dependent on leadership that all reflects the same local culture and cultural/political/social/theological views. And living in an extremely homogeneous area (the least diverse I’ve ever lived) allows people here to maintain the impression that “this is how all Christians think.” While there have been qualified, godly, excellent and intelligent men in the Baptist church here, many of them have never been nominated as elders. They don’t fit the widely-held mold and may be seen as “liberal” (which is nonsense). The church has been encouraging in their participation in local, secular leadership positions, but subtly not in the church itself.
I’ll try not to get too carried away, but it’s almost intoxicating to see that the PCA has at least HAD this discussion regarding creation, and continues to investigate things over the years. I appreciate (at least as a newbie) that they are not willing to follow every wind of change, but are willing to carefully examine what information is available. It sounds like the 2001 statement is actually a careful shift from one I found from earlier.
I like Liam’s quote by John Frame:
I can live with that. I have been.
I think even reformed church members need not to be YECs if they are willing to learn more and open minded about things. Tim Keller who is a reformed christian himself has different view from YEC. He said interesting things about his view.
Keller continues his explanation: “The fact is the one that most people consider the most conservative, which is the young-Earth, six-day creation, has all kinds of problems with the text, as we know… I think therefore you’ve got a problem with how long are the days before the sun shows up in the fourth day. You have problems really reading the Bible in a straightforward way with a young-Earth, six 24-hour day theory. You’ve got some problems with the theistic evolution, because then you have to ask yourself, ‘Was there no Adam and Eve? Was there no Fall?’ So here’s what I like—the messy approach, which is I think there was an Adam and Eve. I think there was a real Fall. I think that happened. I also think that there also was a very long process probably, you know, that the earth probably is very old, and there was some kind of process of natural selection that God guided and used, and maybe intervened in. And that’s just the messy part. I’m not a scientist. I’m not going to go beyond that.”
He admitted that it was a messy approach.
This topic was automatically closed 6 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.