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Bummer.

May 16, 2007

From a letter I received this morning from the EFCA Board of Directors: 

The BOD is now prepared to move a document from the “consideration and discussion” stage to a proposal which will be submitted to the Conference as a new EFCA Statement of Faith that would amend Article III of our Articles of Incorporation. This motion comes to the Conference with the unanimous vote of the Board of Directors. Based on the results of the “SOF Research Project,” you will see three major changes we made in this Proposal as compared to the Third Draft Revision of the SOF. You will also note a few minor changes that reflect the additional input received.

The first major change is the addition of “premillennial” into article #9. This change had implications regarding the gospel framework which resulted in two other changes. The reference to the gospel in the preamble is removed and the preamble is shortened. This also meant that the gospel headings which flowed from the preamble are also removed and shortened to include theological titles for each article.

The BOD decision to make these major changes from the Third Draft was based on the results of the research project. It revealed that a strong minority had concerns with the Third Draft, which are being addressed in the Proposed Revision. Though the majority of pastors surveyed did not raise those concerns, we are committed to the ongoing spiritual health and vitality of the EFCA. As a result, in the interest of unity within our movement – a strong biblical value we desire to maintain – we have made those key changes.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2007 11:17 am

    Wow. That is a bummer. In the interest of unity, we’re making the statement less unifying, and de-emphasizing the gospel. Do you happen to have the revised SOF, as it appears with these changes?

  2. May 16, 2007 12:13 pm

    Thanks. I still like it better than our current statement of faith, but I really miss the original language that emphasized centrality of the gospel, “God’s gospel”. I’m a lot less excited about this version, and it’s sad to see the unifying theme of “God’s gospel” go down in flames to the secondary issue of eschatology.

  3. May 16, 2007 4:49 pm

    I agree. The question now is do we vote this down because it’s not good enough and ask them to try again? If we vote No, maybe they’ll get it changed in another 5-10 years. If we vote yes, we’re probably stuck with it for 50. I say vote No, but it seems our leadership sees this as a step in the right direction, and I want to respect that. I’m going to try to get the leaders I know alone and ask them about this.

  4. May 16, 2007 7:06 pm

    bummer. thanks for bringing it to our attention.

    By the way – if your campaign for doctrinal coolness requires anyone to wear a sandwich board sign in Minneapolis, I’m your man. ;)

  5. May 16, 2007 8:15 pm

    That is a bummer. Unified in premillenialism? Sorry for the “step back” this represents rather than permitting other evangelical options in eschatology.

  6. May 16, 2007 9:08 pm

    Wow. So we remain stuck. This is good for unity within the EFCA but not good for unity within evangelicalism. Maybe we can try again in another 10 or 20 years?

  7. May 25, 2007 3:22 pm

    I spoke to one of the guys who worked on the draft revisions. He was as disappointed as I am (probably more so) that premillennial made it back into the final proposal. He thinks that we should vote it in anyway in 2008 because this makes the statement that the SOF is revisable and he sees it as incremental change.
    Another tantalizing possibility is that someone could call for an amendment in 2008 and say “Let’s go back to the third draft” If that amendment were passed, we could vote it in in 2009.

  8. Bryan J. Lair permalink
    June 13, 2007 2:35 pm

    I too am disheartened by the drastic change between the third draft and the proposed draft. I’ve shared these concerns on my own blog: http://oneresolve.wordpress.com/2007/06/14/efca-statement-revision-a-plea-to-return-to-being-gospel-centered/

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