The antinomy of the CREC

The CREC allows both paedobaptists and credobaptists (and paedocommunionists).   How can their be true church unity on any level beyond that of the local congregation?   The Presbytery (which word is kind of cheating, since it reads non-Baptist presuppositions into the debate) apparently simultaneously affirms the following propositions (presumably said between any group of elders), “We disagree on the essence of church membership but we agree to have union on the church level.”   I suppose, to be fair, it is not a strict, logical contradiction, nor is this the biggest issue with the CREC.  Still, it does present a tension which eventually snaps normal minds.

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9 comments on “The antinomy of the CREC

  1. Andrew says:

    The Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster (and the North American denomination) permit paedobaptism and credobaptism within the same local congregation. As far as I can tell the tension here resolves itself through functional credobaptism ably assisted by a conversionist account of the gospel.

    • I think I remember hearing that. Paisley, while I love his sermons on eschatology, isn’t really a model Presbyterian.

      • Andrew says:

        I’d say that’s right in several respects. And the denomination has largely been shaped by his own theology.

        I actually left the FPC over this issue (amongst other things). I understand the spirit of open policies on baptism but I can’t see how they can co-exist without causing confusion. It’s better to go one way or the other.

  2. The “Free Presbyterians” are really a catch-all revivalist fundamentalist denomination; the American branch is better than that in Ulster, which is very far from being a Reformed church.

  3. LOL … Or the “Free From Presbyterian Church” is one I have heard! As it so happens, I am currently finishing of a thesis on the main orthodox opponent of their beloved 1859 revival. If it is ever published, at least they will buy a few copies to burn!!!

  4. Andrew says:

    Hah! They’ll be on fire for the Lord…

    That’s an interesting thesis topic, though. There’s too little critical awareness amongst proponents of the 59 revival. And there isn’t much literature that takes the critics’ part. So it would be good to see something published along those lines.

  5. I was largely converted (or revived) listening to Iain Paisley’s sermons (especially “60 Minutes to Go”), but yeah he isn’t exactly the place to go to understand Presbyterianism.

  6. Evan says:

    The CREC’s unity is based on being fans of Doug Wilson and supporting whatever cause or controversy he supports this week. It doesn’t matter what you believe, so long as you subscribe to the personality cult.

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