Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Is Westminster a Garment or a Straightjacket?

According to Tim Keller, nearly all Presbyterian Church in America presbyters subscribe to The Westminster Confession of Faith 'with only the most minor exceptions (the only common one being with regard to the Sabbath).' If, however, such an exception amounts to a wholesale rejection of the confessions's approach to the Sabbath, its authors might have judged Keller a master of understatement. Were the Westminster Confession a garment, you would not want to pull this 'minor' thread, unless you wanted to be altogether defrocked. And perhaps the reason that some people pull at this thread is because they regard the confession as more of straightjacket than a garment. Unbuckle the Sabbath, and you are well on your way to mastering theological escapology.

Phillip Ross, From the Finger of God: The Biblical and Theological Basis for the Threefold Division of the Law


  1. Keller's claim is false. In 2002, during the PPLN days, he and Bryan Chappel released a list of "Historic Exceptions" taken to the WCF. They include everything from allowing graven images and ecumenicism toward Roman Catholics to saying God has passions. Keller thinks they are minor, because he has own agenda.

  2. And if history is our teacher, then it has definitely gotten worse in the last nine years. They'll bust out of that "straight-jacket" before we know it.

  3. Adam, do you like the book? I just ordered it

  4. It is a very good book, Brandon. A much needed read. I hope it becomes something that every Reformed person spends time in.


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