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Confession of 1967: Wikis


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The Confession of 1967 is a confessional standard or guide of the Presbyterian Church (USA). It was written in 1967 as a modern statement of the faith of the then-main national Presbyterian body, the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, to supplement the Westminster Confession and the other statements of faith in its Book of Confessions.

The Confession of 1967 is considered heavily influenced by the neo-orthodox views of Karl Barth, the Niebuhr brothers, and other theologians of the age, reflecting the view of Scripture espoused by the corresponding "biblical theology" movement prominent in mainline Protestant theological schools of that time. During the time that its adoption was being considered by the presbyteries, conservatives, desiring the continuance of strict subscription to only Westminster and the Catechisms, campaigned against its inclusion, as a part of their larger protest against the denomination's increasingly progressive theological and ethical orientation. In one of the first major instances of pressure-group activity within a traditional Protestant denomination, the forerunner of the current-day Presbyterian Layman released several ads which opposed its passage.

Despite the opposition, however, it passed the presbyteries by a nearly 90% margin and remains heavily studied in PC(USA) seminaries, although its extent of its use in the parish Christian education context is probably considerably less, due to the endurance of catechismal or biblicist customs in conservative congregations and general disinterest in serious theological study on the part of moderate-to-liberal ones.

From the Preface:
In every age the church has expressed its witness in words and deeds as the need of the time required. The earliest examples of confession are found within the Scriptures. Confessional statements have taken such varied forms as hymns, liturgical formulas, doctrinal definitions, catechisms, theological systems in summary, and declarations of purpose against threatening evil.

Confessions and declarations are subordinate standards in the church, subject to the authority of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, as the Scriptures bear witness to him. No one type of confession is exclusively valid, no one statement is irreformable. Obedience to Jesus Christ alone identifies the one universal church and supplies the continuity of its tradition. This obedience is the ground of the church's duty and freedom to reform itself in life and doctrine as new occasions, in God's providence, may demand.


The Confession of 1967 as found in the PCUSA's Book of Confessions (PDF)



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