A document called "Presbyterians & Presbyterians Together: A Call to Charitable Theological Discourse” has just appeared online today. I have happily endorsed this statement which is now available online at http://presbyterianstogether.org

The drafters and sponsors of "Presbyterians & Presbyterians Together" constitute an inter-denominational grass-roots movement among Reformed pastors and leaders that desires to heal and move beyond the various rifts that seem to perennially surface in our tradition. While each of us acknowledges that important and substantive issues need to be considered and worked-through, we also want to do so in the bonds of peace, not in a context of mistrust, suspicion, and sectarianism (cited from the document).

This effort has been undertaken for the sake of Christ’s Gospel and our Triune God’s mission to a lost and broken world.  God calls us in Christ, empowered by his Spirit, and guided by his Word, to proclaim and be a sign of his reign before the eyes of a watching world.  Living as people shaped by that calling, the signers remain committed to truth and pursuing truth in love. 

Feel free to blog about or otherwise publicize this document.  You may also wish to sign it, if that is appropriate to your confessional identity and calling.  You may sign the document via the website.

The drafters of this document conclude:

We would only ask that, if you

[sign this document], you continue to uphold the ideals that "Presbyterians and Presbyterians Together" expresses, which should characterize all who claim the name "Christian."

These ideals apply as much to our conduct on the Internet and in conversation online as they do in other spheres of our lives.  While some may, for whatever reasons, react negatively to the document, if you sign you are committing yourself live the Gospel and to respond to any criticism (if you respond at all) with patience, a desire to listen to and understand the concerns and perspectives of others, to empathize with their legitimate worries, and to speak truth in love.

I quit signing public documents some years ago but I felt the timeliness and spirit of this new statement was important enough to make an exception. I encourage you to read it and to follow the Christian spirit appropriately expressed in this fine document. 

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  1. Chuck Huckaby May 20, 2006 at 1:20 pm

    My question John – as I wait for dial up to reveal this document – is how this can be a statement of “reformed ecumenicity” when it is from a website called “presbyterians together” as if presbyterianism was the sum of the reformed world when, arguably, it might be called the precocious child of the reformation but to my mind having departed in serious ways from the substance of the reformation.
    Now that dial up has produced the text, I see immediately that the call to “reformed catholicism” will likely bog the entire work down in the unofficial fourth mark of the presbyterian church – unending litigation.
    I like what I read though and pray it will have a bright future. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
    Your old contact from Randolph Street…

  2. Anthony Stiff May 25, 2006 at 8:47 am

    I was wondering what your thoughts are concerning some of the counter-movement against the docuement. Some of the concerns that have been raised are: that it seeks to overtake the PCA court systems duty of moderating doctrine in the church; and that the emphasis on diversity over boundaries may do more harm than good.
    I’ve signed the document, but sympathetically I do see some problem with the way interpretation of the confession is done in a ‘contour’ and ‘trajectory’ kind of fashion along with a ‘boundary’ way. This may need to be retooled by the ‘divines’ of the docuement. It seems to say something about the nature of doctrine in a PM friendly way. Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m PM friendly but I know many in the PCA are not. What are your thoughts?
    In Christ, Anthony

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