A Brief Response to Lee Irons

Lee Irons has here critiqued my statement about the Confession and the Scriptures. His point is that the Confessions are not exhaustive of the Scripture, nor is confession equal to Scripture. According to Lee, my position entails the relinquishment of any possibility of amending the Confession according to the Scriptures once one takes the vow.

I am not going to make a big long post about this. My position is this: the WS are always amendable. There is a procedure in place for doing so, according to the BCO. We follow that procedure when we want to amend it (as the American Presbyterian Church has done with regard to the pope as the Antichrist). It is and should be difficult to amend the constitution of the church. I don’t believe that my position implies that we cannot do that. Scripture is always the primary, infallible, un-normed norming norm, whereas the Confession is the normed norm. All I am saying here is that the Confessions summarize Scripture. Just as we regard a sermon that is in accord with Scripture as the Word of God in some sense (not in every sense), so also the Confession, inasmuch as it is in accord with Scriptural teaching, summarizes the Word of God. The parallel is not exact. However, it is still helpful for us. My point was that in studying the Confession, we are studying the Scripture’s teaching, however indirectly. I am saying we cannot drive a wedge between the Confession and the Scriptures, just as we cannot drive a wedge between systematic theology and biblical theology. With the proper qualifications (the Confession is not infallible, and is subject to the final arbiter, Scripture), we can then say that the Confession is what we believe the Bible to be saying on these matters (primarily the doctrine of salvation). I never actually made the equation Scripture equals Confession.