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Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: Continuing

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  • Jasper
    Whit, Thank you for your kind reply. Your explanation is helpful to me in understanding. The question is: which of the Presbyterian denominations is indeed
    Message 1 of 13 , Dec 6, 2004
      Whit,
       
      Thank you for your kind reply.  Your explanation is helpful to me in understanding.
       
      "The question is:  which of the Presbyterian denominations is indeed a faithful church relative to the (covenanted) Church of Scotland in the 1600's?" 
      Interesting perspective and emphasis.  Do I understand correctly that covenantors believe the covenanted Church of Scotland sometime during the 1600's was THE MOST FAITHFUL church ever?
       
      Again, a sincere thank you.
       
      Jasper

      covie1646 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

      "Continuing" says that although a denomination is founded or
      constituted in modern times (1970's in the PCA's case), the church
      claims its lineage back to a "root" church in history and also claims
      that it is just as faithful to Christ as the root.  In the context of
      the various denominations that profess to be Presbyterian, the
      denominations would claim that their church "continues" back to the
      Church of Scotland (the Covenanted church, NOT the Resolutioner
      church) and is just as faithful to Christ as the (covenanted) Church
      of Scotland.  "Continuing" does not say that the particular
      denomination existed all the way back to the root regarding
      constitution.  The EPC, OPC, RPCNA, RPNA, PCUSA, CRC, PRC, FPC, and
      other professedly Presbyterian denominations, although constituted in
      the 1800's or later, would claim to be "continuing" to show they are
      just as faithful now as the Church of Scotland in the 1600's and hold
      to the same distinctives and doctrine.  The PCA says: "The concept of
      the "continuing church" dates back to the Scottish Presbyterian
      churches of the 17th century and reflects the effort to maintain a
      faithful, Bible-believing Church, true to the Lordship of Christ."

      The question is:  which of the Presbyterian denominations is indeed a
      faithful church relative to the (covenanted) Church of Scotland in
      the 1600's?  Their claims are mere claims unless the denominations
      doctrine, life, and theology in fact demonstrates the same degree of
      faithfulness as the Kirk in the 1600's.  One would only have to do a
      comparison of each Presbyterian denomination with the Kirk.  In my
      study of the Covenanted Kirk and the 2nd Reformation and the claims
      of the present-day aforementioned Presbyterian denominations, the
      only Presbyterian church that I have concluded to be
      truly "continuing" is the RPNA, which is undoubtedly just as faithful
      to Christ as the Covenanted Kirk.  Sadly, the other denominations
      (PCA, OPC, RPCNA, PRC, FPC, CRC, &c.) have not remained faithful to
      Christ as the Covenanted Kirk.  

      Whit

      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Jasper
      <jasperh98@y...> wrote:
      > Hello All,

      > Would someone please provide an overview of what it means for a
      church or denomination to be "continuing"?   With not having a
      presbyterian background, I am unfamiliar with the significance of
      the "continuing" designation and what it means or does not mean. 
      Thanks.

      > Jasper
      >
      > __________________________________________________
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    • Whit
      Jasper, I ll leave the question to be answered by a full Covenanter. However, I do know that Covenanters view the covenanted Kirk to have made the highest
      Message 2 of 13 , Dec 6, 2004
        Jasper,

        I'll leave the question to be answered by a full Covenanter.
        However, I do know that Covenanters view the covenanted Kirk to have
        made the highest attainments in the Reformation.

        Whit

        --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Jasper
        <jasperh98@y...> wrote:
        > Whit,
        >
        > Thank you for your kind reply. Your explanation is helpful to me
        in understanding.
        >
        > "The question is: which of the Presbyterian denominations is
        indeed a faithful church relative to the (covenanted) Church of
        Scotland in the 1600's?"
        >
        > Interesting perspective and emphasis. Do I understand correctly
        that covenantors believe the covenanted Church of Scotland sometime
        during the 1600's was THE MOST FAITHFUL church ever?
        >
        > Again, a sincere thank you.
        >
        > Jasper
        >
        > covie1646 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
        >
        > "Continuing" says that although a denomination is founded or
        > constituted in modern times (1970's in the PCA's case), the church
        > claims its lineage back to a "root" church in history and also
        claims
        > that it is just as faithful to Christ as the root. In the context
        of
        > the various denominations that profess to be Presbyterian, the
        > denominations would claim that their church "continues" back to the
        > Church of Scotland (the Covenanted church, NOT the Resolutioner
        > church) and is just as faithful to Christ as the (covenanted)
        Church
        > of Scotland. "Continuing" does not say that the particular
        > denomination existed all the way back to the root regarding
        > constitution. The EPC, OPC, RPCNA, RPNA, PCUSA, CRC, PRC, FPC, and
        > other professedly Presbyterian denominations, although constituted
        in
        > the 1800's or later, would claim to be "continuing" to show they
        are
        > just as faithful now as the Church of Scotland in the 1600's and
        hold
        > to the same distinctives and doctrine. The PCA says: "The concept
        of
        > the "continuing church" dates back to the Scottish Presbyterian
        > churches of the 17th century and reflects the effort to maintain a
        > faithful, Bible-believing Church, true to the Lordship of Christ."
        >
        > The question is: which of the Presbyterian denominations is indeed
        a
        > faithful church relative to the (covenanted) Church of Scotland in
        > the 1600's? Their claims are mere claims unless the denominations
        > doctrine, life, and theology in fact demonstrates the same degree
        of
        > faithfulness as the Kirk in the 1600's. One would only have to do
        a
        > comparison of each Presbyterian denomination with the Kirk. In my
        > study of the Covenanted Kirk and the 2nd Reformation and the claims
        > of the present-day aforementioned Presbyterian denominations, the
        > only Presbyterian church that I have concluded to be
        > truly "continuing" is the RPNA, which is undoubtedly just as
        faithful
        > to Christ as the Covenanted Kirk. Sadly, the other denominations
        > (PCA, OPC, RPCNA, PRC, FPC, CRC, &c.) have not remained faithful to
        > Christ as the Covenanted Kirk.
        >
        > Whit
        >
        > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Jasper
        > <jasperh98@y...> wrote:
        > > Hello All,
        > >
        > > Would someone please provide an overview of what it means for a
        > church or denomination to be "continuing"? With not having a
        > presbyterian background, I am unfamiliar with the significance of
        > the "continuing" designation and what it means or does not mean.
        > Thanks.
        > >
        > > Jasper
        > >
        > > __________________________________________________
        > > Do You Yahoo!?
        > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
        > > http://mail.yahoo.com
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      • gmw
        And I think that s a better way of putting it than the most faithful church ever. gmw.
        Message 3 of 13 , Dec 6, 2004
          And I think that's a better way of putting it than "the most faithful
          church ever."

          gmw.

          Whit wrote:

          >
          > Jasper,
          >
          > I'll leave the question to be answered by a full Covenanter.
          > However, I do know that Covenanters view the covenanted Kirk to have
          > made the highest attainments in the Reformation.
          >
          > Whit
          >
          > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Jasper
          > <jasperh98@y...> wrote:
          > > Whit,
          > >
          > > Thank you for your kind reply. Your explanation is helpful to me
          > in understanding.
          > >
          > > "The question is: which of the Presbyterian denominations is
          > indeed a faithful church relative to the (covenanted) Church of
          > Scotland in the 1600's?"
          > >
          > > Interesting perspective and emphasis. Do I understand correctly
          > that covenantors believe the covenanted Church of Scotland sometime
          > during the 1600's was THE MOST FAITHFUL church ever?
          > >
          > > Again, a sincere thank you.
          > >
          > > Jasper
          > >
          > > covie1646 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
          > >
          > > "Continuing" says that although a denomination is founded or
          > > constituted in modern times (1970's in the PCA's case), the church
          > > claims its lineage back to a "root" church in history and also
          > claims
          > > that it is just as faithful to Christ as the root. In the context
          > of
          > > the various denominations that profess to be Presbyterian, the
          > > denominations would claim that their church "continues" back to the
          > > Church of Scotland (the Covenanted church, NOT the Resolutioner
          > > church) and is just as faithful to Christ as the (covenanted)
          > Church
          > > of Scotland. "Continuing" does not say that the particular
          > > denomination existed all the way back to the root regarding
          > > constitution. The EPC, OPC, RPCNA, RPNA, PCUSA, CRC, PRC, FPC, and
          > > other professedly Presbyterian denominations, although constituted
          > in
          > > the 1800's or later, would claim to be "continuing" to show they
          > are
          > > just as faithful now as the Church of Scotland in the 1600's and
          > hold
          > > to the same distinctives and doctrine. The PCA says: "The concept
          > of
          > > the "continuing church" dates back to the Scottish Presbyterian
          > > churches of the 17th century and reflects the effort to maintain a
          > > faithful, Bible-believing Church, true to the Lordship of Christ."
          > >
          > > The question is: which of the Presbyterian denominations is indeed
          > a
          > > faithful church relative to the (covenanted) Church of Scotland in
          > > the 1600's? Their claims are mere claims unless the denominations
          > > doctrine, life, and theology in fact demonstrates the same degree
          > of
          > > faithfulness as the Kirk in the 1600's. One would only have to do
          > a
          > > comparison of each Presbyterian denomination with the Kirk. In my
          > > study of the Covenanted Kirk and the 2nd Reformation and the claims
          > > of the present-day aforementioned Presbyterian denominations, the
          > > only Presbyterian church that I have concluded to be
          > > truly "continuing" is the RPNA, which is undoubtedly just as
          > faithful
          > > to Christ as the Covenanted Kirk. Sadly, the other denominations
          > > (PCA, OPC, RPCNA, PRC, FPC, CRC, &c.) have not remained faithful to
          > > Christ as the Covenanted Kirk.
          > >
          > > Whit
          > >
          > > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Jasper
          > > <jasperh98@y...> wrote:
          > > > Hello All,
          > > >
          > > > Would someone please provide an overview of what it means for a
          > > church or denomination to be "continuing"? With not having a
          > > presbyterian background, I am unfamiliar with the significance of
          > > the "continuing" designation and what it means or does not mean.
          > > Thanks.
          > > >
          > > > Jasper
          > > >
          > > > __________________________________________________
          > > > Do You Yahoo!?
          > > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
          > > > http://mail.yahoo.com
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
          > >
          > >
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          > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/covenantedreformationclub/
          > >
          > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > > covenantedreformationclub-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          > >
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        • Jasper
          Thank you to both Whit and GMW, and for the better wording, the highest attainments in the Reformation . How is the (covenanted) Church of Scotland in the
          Message 4 of 13 , Dec 7, 2004
            Thank you to both Whit and GMW, and for the better wording, "the highest attainments in the Reformation".
             
            How is the "(covenanted) Church of Scotland in the 1600's" viewed in regard to the first century church  -  was one more faithful than the other?   Or is the "highest attainment" designation viewed only in regard to "the Reformation" and not in regard to faithfulness to God?
             
            I should add that these are honest questions on my part and are not meant to be troublesome.
             
            Jasper

            gmw <raging.calvinist@...> wrote:

            And I think that's a better way of putting it than "the most faithful
            church ever."

            gmw.

            Whit wrote:

            >
            > Jasper,
            >
            > I'll leave the question to be answered by a full Covenanter.
            > However, I do know that Covenanters view the covenanted Kirk to have
            > made the highest attainments in the Reformation.
            >
            > Whit
            >
            > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Jasper
            > wrote:
            > > Whit,
            > >
            > > Thank you for your kind reply. Your explanation is helpful to me
            > in understanding.
            > >
            > > "The question is: which of the Presbyterian denominations is
            > indeed a faithful church relative to the (covenanted) Church of
            > Scotland in the 1600's?"
            > >
            > > Interesting perspective and emphasis. Do I understand correctly
            > that covenantors believe the covenanted Church of Scotland sometime
            > during the 1600's was THE MOST FAITHFUL church ever?
            > >
            > > Again, a sincere thank you.
            > >
            > > Jasper
            > >
            > > covie1646 wrote:
            > >
            > > "Continuing" says that although a denomination is founded or
            > > constituted in modern times (1970's in the PCA's case), the church
            > > claims its lineage back to a "root" church in history and also
            > claims
            > > that it is just as faithful to Christ as the root. In the context
            > of
            > > the various denominations that profess to be Presbyterian, the
            > > denominations would claim that their church "continues" back to the
            > > Church of Scotland (the Covenanted church, NOT the Resolutioner
            > > church) and is just as faithful to Christ as the (covenanted)
            > Church
            > > of Scotland. "Continuing" does not say that the particular
            > > denomination existed all the way back to the root regarding
            > > constitution. The EPC, OPC, RPCNA, RPNA, PCUSA, CRC, PRC, FPC, and
            > > other professedly Presbyterian denominations, although constituted
            > in
            > > the 1800's or later, would claim to be "continuing" to show they
            > are
            > > just as faithful now as the Church of Scotland in the 1600's and
            > hold
            > > to the same distinctives and doctrine. The PCA says: "The concept
            > of
            > > the "continuing church" dates back to the Scottish Presbyterian
            > > churches of the 17th century and reflects the effort to maintain a
            > > faithful, Bible-believing Church, true to the Lordship of Christ."
            > >
            > > The question is: which of the Presbyterian denominations is indeed
            > a
            > > faithful church relative to the (covenanted) Church of Scotland in
            > > the 1600's? Their claims are mere claims unless the denominations
            > > doctrine, life, and theology in fact demonstrates the same degree
            > of
            > > faithfulness as the Kirk in the 1600's. One would only have to do
            > a
            > > comparison of each Presbyterian denomination with the Kirk. In my
            > > study of the Covenanted Kirk and the 2nd Reformation and the claims
            > > of the present-day aforementioned Presbyterian denominations, the
            > > only Presbyterian church that I have concluded to be
            > > truly "continuing" is the RPNA, which is undoubtedly just as
            > faithful
            > > to Christ as the Covenanted Kirk. Sadly, the other denominations
            > > (PCA, OPC, RPCNA, PRC, FPC, CRC, &c.) have not remained faithful to
            > > Christ as the Covenanted Kirk.
            > >
            > > Whit
            > >
            > > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Jasper
            > > wrote:
            > > > Hello All,
            > > >
            > > > Would someone please provide an overview of what it means for a
            > > church or denomination to be "continuing"? With not having a
            > > presbyterian background, I am unfamiliar with the significance of
            > > the "continuing" designation and what it means or does not mean.
            > > Thanks.
            > > >
            > > > Jasper
            > > >
            > > > __________________________________________________
            > > > Do You Yahoo!?
            > > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
            > > > http://mail.yahoo.com
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
            > >
            > >
            > > ---------------------------------
            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            > > To visit your group on the web, go to:
            > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/covenantedreformationclub/
            > >
            > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            > > covenantedreformationclub-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            > >
            > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
            > Service.
            > >
            > >
            > >
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            >
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          • Whit
            Here s my 2-cent understanding of church history. Christ established the church in the NT dispensation, and the church had its greatest purity/faithfulness
            Message 5 of 13 , Dec 7, 2004
              Here's my 2-cent understanding of church history. Christ established
              the church in the NT dispensation, and the church had its greatest
              purity/faithfulness then. Over the next 1400 years, error and heresy
              especially Catholicism infiltrated the church, and the church
              declined in purity and faithfulness. God raised Luther and Calvin
              (and few others) in the First Reformation to start reforming the
              Church back to its original purity and faithfulness. The Reformation
              reached its height in the Second Reformation, and the Church (&
              State) reached its highest level of purity and faithfulness since the
              start of the Reformation. Relative to the 1st century church, the
              Covenanted Kirk was at or close to the faithfulness of the 1st
              century church. I am still learning about the Covenanters and how
              their live compared to the 1st century church or most importantly, to
              God's Word. I have yet to find a Covenanter teaching or doctrine
              contrary to Scripture, the alone infallible rule of faith which is
              the main gage of faithfulness.

              Whit

              --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Jasper
              <jasperh98@y...> wrote:
              > Thank you to both Whit and GMW, and for the better wording, "the
              highest attainments in the Reformation".
              >
              > How is the "(covenanted) Church of Scotland in the 1600's" viewed
              in regard to the first century church - was one more faithful than
              the other? Or is the "highest attainment" designation viewed only
              in regard to "the Reformation" and not in regard to faithfulness to
              God?
              >
              > I should add that these are honest questions on my part and are not
              meant to be troublesome.
              >
              > Jasper
              >
              > gmw <raging.calvinist@v...> wrote:
              >
              > And I think that's a better way of putting it than "the most
              faithful
              > church ever."
              >
              > gmw.
              >
              > Whit wrote:
              >
              > >
              > > Jasper,
              > >
              > > I'll leave the question to be answered by a full Covenanter.
              > > However, I do know that Covenanters view the covenanted Kirk to
              have
              > > made the highest attainments in the Reformation.
              > >
              > > Whit
              > >
              > > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Jasper
              > > wrote:
              > > > Whit,
              > > >
              > > > Thank you for your kind reply. Your explanation is helpful to me
              > > in understanding.
              > > >
              > > > "The question is: which of the Presbyterian denominations is
              > > indeed a faithful church relative to the (covenanted) Church of
              > > Scotland in the 1600's?"
              > > >
              > > > Interesting perspective and emphasis. Do I understand correctly
              > > that covenantors believe the covenanted Church of Scotland
              sometime
              > > during the 1600's was THE MOST FAITHFUL church ever?
              > > >
              > > > Again, a sincere thank you.
              > > >
              > > > Jasper
              > > >
              > > > covie1646 wrote:
              > > >
              > > > "Continuing" says that although a denomination is founded or
              > > > constituted in modern times (1970's in the PCA's case), the
              church
              > > > claims its lineage back to a "root" church in history and also
              > > claims
              > > > that it is just as faithful to Christ as the root. In the
              context
              > > of
              > > > the various denominations that profess to be Presbyterian, the
              > > > denominations would claim that their church "continues" back to
              the
              > > > Church of Scotland (the Covenanted church, NOT the Resolutioner
              > > > church) and is just as faithful to Christ as the (covenanted)
              > > Church
              > > > of Scotland. "Continuing" does not say that the particular
              > > > denomination existed all the way back to the root regarding
              > > > constitution. The EPC, OPC, RPCNA, RPNA, PCUSA, CRC, PRC, FPC,
              and
              > > > other professedly Presbyterian denominations, although
              constituted
              > > in
              > > > the 1800's or later, would claim to be "continuing" to show they
              > > are
              > > > just as faithful now as the Church of Scotland in the 1600's and
              > > hold
              > > > to the same distinctives and doctrine. The PCA says: "The
              concept
              > > of
              > > > the "continuing church" dates back to the Scottish Presbyterian
              > > > churches of the 17th century and reflects the effort to
              maintain a
              > > > faithful, Bible-believing Church, true to the Lordship of
              Christ."
              > > >
              > > > The question is: which of the Presbyterian denominations is
              indeed
              > > a
              > > > faithful church relative to the (covenanted) Church of Scotland
              in
              > > > the 1600's? Their claims are mere claims unless the
              denominations
              > > > doctrine, life, and theology in fact demonstrates the same
              degree
              > > of
              > > > faithfulness as the Kirk in the 1600's. One would only have to
              do
              > > a
              > > > comparison of each Presbyterian denomination with the Kirk. In
              my
              > > > study of the Covenanted Kirk and the 2nd Reformation and the
              claims
              > > > of the present-day aforementioned Presbyterian denominations,
              the
              > > > only Presbyterian church that I have concluded to be
              > > > truly "continuing" is the RPNA, which is undoubtedly just as
              > > faithful
              > > > to Christ as the Covenanted Kirk. Sadly, the other denominations
              > > > (PCA, OPC, RPCNA, PRC, FPC, CRC, &c.) have not remained
              faithful to
              > > > Christ as the Covenanted Kirk.
              > > >
              > > > Whit
              > > >
              > > > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Jasper
              > > > wrote:
              > > > > Hello All,
              > > > >
              > > > > Would someone please provide an overview of what it means for
              a
              > > > church or denomination to be "continuing"? With not having a
              > > > presbyterian background, I am unfamiliar with the significance
              of
              > > > the "continuing" designation and what it means or does not mean.
              > > > Thanks.
              > > > >
              > > > > Jasper
              > > > >
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            • Shawn Anderson
              How is the (covenanted) Church of Scotland in the 1600 s viewed in regard to the first century church - was one more faithful than the other? Or is the
              Message 6 of 13 , Dec 8, 2004
                "How is the "(covenanted) Church of Scotland in the 1600's" viewed
                in regard to the first century church - was one more faithful than
                the other? Or is the "highest attainment" designation viewed only
                in regard to "the Reformation" and not in regard to faithfulness to
                God?" - Jasper

                Phil 3:16ff "Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us
                walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing."

                Eph 4:11-16 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and
                some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the
                perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the
                edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the
                faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man,
                unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we
                [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried
                about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and]
                cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But
                speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things,
                which is the head, [even] Christ: From whom the whole body fitly
                joined together and compacted by that which every joint
                supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of
                every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself
                in love."

                "Highest Attainments" might not be as helpful a term as "Faithful
                Attainments". The "faithful attainment" designation is viewed in
                regard to faithful obedience of the Church in response to the
                progression of revelation of the Covenant of Grace. This does not
                only consider a select time in the Churches' history, but includes
                the whole life of the Church as ONE Bride, ONE Body or ONE Moral
                Person, primarily in Her relationship to Christ, and secondarily with
                those in that ONE Body.

                The Reformers would not have considered themselves MORE faithful
                than the Apostles, but rather maintaining the same faithfulness
                found in the Apostolic Doctrine taught by the Apostles, and upheld
                in the Church of Christ. As we see the progression of revelation
                from infant Church, Israel to young Church and then having Gentiles
                grafted into Her, we see her attainments progress, and grow. To
                properly understand "progressive revelation" we must define this
                not as a delivery of NEW doctrine, but rather an unveiling of the
                Covenant of Grace, or a blossoming of such.

                The Apostles only had a glimpse of "denominationalism" and really
                in their day, you were in the Church of Christ, or you weren't. So
                the unity they saw in their day was relative to the separation
                manifested in their day. Though the Apostles envisioned a
                Covenanted Reformation, they did not attain to such in their day.
                The Reformers did, and so as God shed more light on the glorious
                Kingdom of Christ advancing to the ends of the Earth, our
                Reformation forefathers (especially those of the Covenanted
                Scottish Church) understood a greater degree of unity. Considering
                the separation and independency they witnessed, as well as that
                Man of Sin being revealed in their age, all the more magnificent
                was the Covenanted Unity and Uniformity of Religion.

                Of course, the Church's Testimony (Rev 12:11) will continue to
                expand as she continues to MARK those who have followed after the
                Apostolic "tradition" (Phil 3:17 – the faithful testimony) and those
                who cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which
                she has learned (Rom 16:17 – the unfaithful testimony) until she
                become mature or perfect. So the attainments are to help the
                Christians know who they should avoid, and who they should be in
                communion with. So Attainments can also be called Terms of
                Communion. And since it is maturity that is our full attainment,
                which shall be reached, as Paul says, when Christ "shall change our
                vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body,
                according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all
                things unto himself," (Phil 3:21) then we shall see a continual
                progression of clarity and precision in our Terms of Communion
                according to this "attainment principle".

                I guess the more appropriate question as to our contemporary
                context is…

                How is the Covenanted Church of Scotland's Terms of Communion
                viewed in regard to:

                1) Other Church's Terms of Communion? (in relation to the
                opportunity to be united in Truth)

                2) The Terms of Communion of those Churches that claim to be the
                posterity of that Covenanted Church of Scotland? (in relation to
                who is really maintaining the ancient landmarks)

                There are other things to consider, and I do not pretend to have
                even formulated the right questions, let alone having answers. It
                would not be edifying to bring them up unless some of these other
                issues have been dealt with first.

                I doubt that this will aid in the understanding of "faithful
                attainments", because I am typing this off the top of my head, but
                potentially this could be picked apart, and bring out further clarity
                of our position? *smiles

                May God help us in our endeavor to be united in His Truth,
                -Shawn Anderson
                Albany, NY
              • thebishopsdoom
                ... That was a good post, I would only add a word or two, also off the top of my head. We all regard creeds and other constitutional documents of the church to
                Message 7 of 13 , Dec 9, 2004
                  --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Shawn Anderson"
                  <christ_saves_sinners@y...> wrote:
                  >> I doubt that this will aid in the understanding of "faithful
                  > attainments", because I am typing this off the top of my head

                  That was a good post, I would only add a word or two, also off the
                  top of my head.
                  We all regard creeds and other constitutional documents of the church
                  to mark out the boundaries of the church - not necessarily the
                  boundaries of the invisible church, but they mark of what a
                  particular body of the church believe to be the correct
                  interpretation of Scriptural doctrine.
                  When we pass from the apostles's own days into the early subapostolic
                  age, we find that while supernatural revelation granted to the
                  inspired apostles was perfectly suited by God to apply to a variety
                  of situations, controversies, and issues that would come up through
                  the history of the church, many of these issues had not as yet in
                  fact come up. As a result, the church was left with a guide for the
                  further understanding of the truth in various areas that were not
                  immediately at the fore in the 1st century. The same may be said with
                  respect to the OT. I don't think we need understand that the 1st
                  century church knew and perfectly understood everything that we would
                  find in any one of the reformed creeds, and that their progeny simply
                  decided to ignore these truths and forge their own way. There were
                  issues that had not yet come up, ways of thinking about certain
                  things which were not yet considered, which the Scripture is adequate
                  to address - such as the relationship between the covenant of grace
                  and of redemption, which I don't think anyone in the 1st century
                  church was really asking, and so the church made no official
                  pronouncements therein, nor gave much consideration to exactly how
                  systematically to work such things together. So while the church was
                  founded perfectly upon the Holy Writ, we today have "Bible churches"
                  who say "no creed but the Bible" and find that amongst them there can
                  continue to exist a wide variety of opinion on how it is to be
                  interpreted. Though the 1st century church did have the apostles to
                  declare and explain to them, surely the apostles did not explain in
                  exhaustive detail every possible nuance of everything that was
                  written and how it would apply to every possible theological
                  question, including those that noone was yet asking in their day. It
                  would also be a mistake if one were to assume the 1st century
                  churches themselves always fully understood every word delivered by
                  the apostles. We find the varied conditions of the churches of
                  Asia in the Apocalypse, and we see in Corinth apparent evidence of
                  questions still floating about whether the dead were raised!
                  In fact, when we look into the 2nd and 3rd century patristic authors
                  that we have reasonable access to, we find that the extent of creed
                  that was passed onto them was overall quite minimal. You can find it
                  occasionally laid down in their writings, and it amounts to little
                  more than the apostles' creed. As a result, there were in fact
                  errours that early crept. Various, sometimes new questions led down a
                  certain paths in attempt as to how to explain it all, not all of
                  which, of course, we hold to be consistent with the Scriptures. Now
                  we may argue that the Scriptures have the answer, but they may not
                  have fully understood it. Further, some of the churches at least
                  early on probably did not have a full NT in their possession to draw
                  from in evaluating different explanations. And I have heard more than
                  once that by the 4th century, much had arisen in thought and
                  practice, but there had been little previous attempt to
                  systematically compare everything going on with Scripture and
                  philosophy to explain the church's beliefs and practice for some
                  time. By the 4th century, there was push more to justify everything
                  somehow, than try to prune things. After all, they thought, this is
                  what we have recieved. There were some necessary corrections, as when
                  Augustine got the Western church to collectively recognize the
                  doctrine of original sin in some more official manner, and while in
                  his defense he was able to show that hints of the doctrine were not
                  entirely unheard of in previous generations. There had to be some
                  understanding that some of the earlier fathers had in not fully
                  comprehending the matter erred in some of their thoughts and
                  statements when they seemed to deny the concept of original sin by
                  some of their statements.
                  Augustine of course had his detractors as well, being labelled an
                  innovator on the point. But even among his detractors, Vincent of
                  Lerins had to admit that there must be some legitimate sense in which
                  the church could progress at least in some manner to better
                  understand some matters than had been understood before, tho he
                  denied that there could be any alteration, only further progressive
                  understanding or the like. In the progression of history in fact some
                  things did get better, other things got worse. Furthermore, there
                  were a lot of issues to which even the default position taken into
                  and thru the medieval era were not themselves necessarily "official"
                  positions. Debates continued, sometimes at a national level, over the
                  relationship between church and state, the limits of ecclesiastical
                  power, predestination, and a number of other issues. Some other
                  issues we should like to have seen debated were taken for granted.
                  The few centuries prior to the reformation, things were quite bad.
                  The push for a reform in fact had gone on for some time. But Trent's
                  answer by and large was not the answer given by the protestants.
                  The protestant reformation may be seen as correcting a number of
                  errours which had crept into the church in eras when some
                  of these matters were not so well understood, as well as new errours
                  that developed either out of pure corruption or based upon the
                  unfolding of earlier erroneous pathways that had been followed. Now
                  of course, I don't want to in stating it that way belittle the
                  serious magnitude of what those errours in fact were, and how
                  necessary the reformation was. The protestant reformers also loosed
                  themselves from the bonds of the man of sin, as well as those
                  abusesthat may have benefitted the ecclesiastics in the hierarchy,
                  but were false means of profiting the souls of those seeking refuge
                  in those paths.
                  In dealing with various matters, the reformed churches were able to
                  give their own sense, both correcting errour and finetuning the
                  limits of what they held as a church to be the true understanding of
                  the Biblical religion.
                  They were able to draw from the Scriptures, as well as the study
                  therein of men gone by, as well as having the opportunity to see
                  where some previous mistaken answers had led, to the better see why
                  this or that answer that had been pressed before by this or that
                  party had been wrong. At times, they were able to draw from the
                  reasoning of others where they had also been correct. As an end
                  product, you will note that their creeds were more detailed than what
                  they called the "rule of faith" in the early patristic era. In this,
                  they attained to a greater precision and broader
                  scope of what they held forth to the world to be the teachings of the
                  Holy Scriptures. In addition, they were able to take the testimony of
                  the unfolding of history, and identify the man of sin, as well as
                  testify against various things, giving their official sense as a
                  church as to why it was wrong. As errours arose, and cmae to be
                  recognized by the church as such, there was a need to finetune the
                  creed and attain to a more detailed understanding and explanation of
                  what is the faith of the church.
                  Anyway, you can disagree with me, this is just a thought off the top
                  of my head anyway, for whatever it's worth.
                  -doom
                • thebishopsdoom
                  ... I. The unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, ought to be the endeavour of all that are members of the one body of Christ, partakers of his one Spirit,
                  Message 8 of 13 , Dec 9, 2004
                    --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Shawn Anderson"
                    <christ_saves_sinners@y...> wrote:

                    > How is the Covenanted Church of Scotland's Terms of Communion
                    > viewed in regard to:
                    >
                    > 1) Other Church's Terms of Communion? (in relation to the
                    > opportunity to be united in Truth)
                    >
                    > 2) The Terms of Communion of those Churches that claim to be the
                    > posterity of that Covenanted Church of Scotland? (in relation to
                    > who is really maintaining the ancient landmarks)

                    "I. The unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, ought to be the
                    endeavour of all that are members of the one body of Christ,
                    partakers of his one Spirit, called in one hope, professing one Lord,
                    confessing one faith, sealed with one baptism, Eph. 4:3, etc. And for
                    brethren to dwell together in unity, is good and pleasant, and like
                    the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon Aaron's
                    beard, Psal. 133:1,2. A fragrant ointment indeed, if it be composed
                    aright of gospel simples, according to divine art, and the wisdom
                    that is from above, which is pure, and then peaceable: and not made
                    up of adulterate politics: that union that hath the spirit for its
                    author; the scripture for its rule, peace for its bond and beauty,
                    love for its cement, faith for its foment, Christ for its foundation,
                    and truth and holiness for its constant companions, cannot but be
                    intensely desired, enixly endeavoured, and fervently followed by all
                    the professors of the gospel of peace, and subjects of the prince of
                    peace: which makes division and schism not only a great misery, but a
                    grand sin. But it must be in the way of truth and duty, and
                    consistent with holiness and the honour of Christ, otherwise if it be
                    in the way of apostasy and defection, it is but a confederacy and
                    conspiracy against the Lord. And true union can neither be attained,
                    nor retained, nor recovered, except the sinful cause of division,
                    defection; and the holy overruling cause, the anger of the Lord be
                    removed in turning to and following him.
                    II. Though there be not perfect union, but diversity both of
                    judgments and practices, in several cases there may be communion with
                    a church in its ordinances and ministry. As,
                    1. We may have a catholic communion with all christian ministers and
                    members of the catholic church, considered as such; holding the head
                    Christ, and the fountain sure. And so we may meet for worship with
                    all devout men in every nation under heaven, whether they be
                    Parthians, or Medes, or Elamites, or French or Dutch, etc. though
                    differing in controversies of lesser moment, not overturning that; if
                    they hold the universal testimony of the gospel, against the common
                    enemies thereof, Jews, Turks, or Pagans: for there is neither Greek
                    nor Jew, if he be a christian, Christ is all and in all, Col. 3:11.
                    But if they be heretics, we can have no communion with them.
                    2. We may have a more special communion with all Protestant ministers
                    and members of the Reformed church, considered as such, more
                    strictly, and upon stricter conditions: providing they hold, not only
                    the universal of Christians, but the general testimony of
                    Protestants, against the greater and lesser Antichrists; though
                    differing from us in some circumstantial points, not Reformed, and
                    not contradictory unto the Protestant testimony against Popery, and
                    all heresy; nor declining from their own reformation, by defection or
                    schism. And consequently, it is lawful to own communion with the
                    churches of the United Provinces, and take ordination from them,
                    though they have some forms not allowable, from which they were never
                    Reformed, because they are sound in the Protestant testimony. But
                    with the Sectarians, or Schismatics, or Apostates among them, we
                    cannot own that special communion.
                    3. We may have a more particular communion upon yet stricter
                    conditions with all our Covenanted brethren, ministers and members of
                    the churches of Britain and Ireland, considered as such: providing
                    they hold, not only the universal; not only the more special,
                    Protestant testimony against the greater and lesser Antichrists, but
                    the Covenanted testimony for the reformation in doctrine, worship,
                    discipline, and government, against popery, Prelacy, superstition,
                    heresy, schism, and profaneness, according to the Covenant; though
                    differing from us in those controversial points, never Reformed, and
                    which were never the word of Christ's patience, and do not overturn
                    the covenanted testimony. But with those that contradict and
                    counteract that, we cannot own that particular communion.
                    4. We may have yet a nearer organical communion, upon stricter
                    conditions still with all the ministers and members of the national
                    church of Scotland constitute and confederate under one Reformed
                    government, according to the rule of Christ: providing they hold, not
                    only all the former testimonies under the foresaid considerations,
                    but the Presbyterian testimony as stated in the ecclesiastical
                    constitution, and sworn to in the national covenants and engagements
                    of that church, founded upon the word of God, against popery,
                    Prelacy, Erastianism, sectarianism, toleration, schism and defection;
                    though differing in some things from us, never Reformed, never
                    considered in ecclesiastical judicatories, never engaged against in
                    our covenants, never stated as the word of patience and matter of
                    testimony. But with these that oppose, suppress, reproach, and
                    abandon this testimony, we cannot own this organical communion, in
                    this broken state of the church. We may have yet a stricter
                    congregational communion, upon stricter conditions, and with the
                    ordinary or extraordinary meetings or societies of the Lord's people
                    for gospel ordinances, with any minister or ministers, duly and truly
                    admitted to that function according to Christ's appointment, and the
                    call of the people, whether in a fixed or unfixed relation; providing
                    he holds the testimony of Christ, under all the considerations, and
                    owns and adheres unto the true received principles of the church of
                    Scotland, in doctrine, worship, discipline and government, founded
                    upon the written word of God, and whatsoever declarations or
                    testimonies, former or latter, particular or more general, are
                    agreeable thereunto; though differing from us in some of the integral
                    and not essential parts of our testimony against the enemies of our
                    covenanted reformation. But with such as deny or decline from it, by
                    schism or defection, or compliance with the enemies thereof, we
                    cannot own this congregational communion, in this broken state of the
                    church."
                    -Alexander Shields (A Hind Let Loose. 1797 edition. pp 262ff.)
                  • thebishopsdoom
                    ... And just off the top of my head indeed. Sorry for all the poor grammar in that post. I trust it s at least somewhat readable. -thegrammariansdoom
                    Message 9 of 13 , Dec 9, 2004
                      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, thebishopsdoom
                      <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                      > just a thought off the top
                      > of my head anyway, for whatever it's worth.
                      And just off the top of my head indeed. Sorry for all the poor
                      grammar in that post. I trust it's at least somewhat readable.
                      -thegrammariansdoom
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