The ETS annual meeting starts tomorrow. If you don’t know by now that the ETS doctrinal statement may undergo revision at this years meeting, you should go to the ETS Amendment website, which is specifically designed to promote the amendment and clarify its purpose to help garner such support. The website tells about how Dr. Ray Van Neste and Denny Burk proposed the amendment in 2007, links you to an article written for its support in a journal, offers the amendment itself with a little explanation, responses to critics, supporters, a place to sign for support, and a blog. Clever way to garner support if you ask me.
The names of those who support the amendment that I recognized include Justin Taylor, Tom Ascol, Russel Fuller, Richard Gaffin, George W. Knight III, Eugene Merrill, Tom Schreiner, Steve Wellum. It appears that most of the supporters are Baptist (no surprise there).
Will the amendment pass? We will find out soon. What now proceeds is some words from one of the co-sponsers of the amendment, and the doctrinal amendment itself.
In 2001, the Society deliberated about what might be the appropriate doctrinal “boundaries” for the ETS. Many papers were presented on this theme, some of which were subsequently published in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (45.1 and 45:2). In light of the open theism controversy, it was a timely conversation. But the Society took no action or had any serious discussions to bolster its evangelical identity by revisiting its doctrinal basis. In short, nothing changed.
So Ray and I are trying to get this issue back on the agenda again for serious discussion. That is going to happen at this meeting.
ARTICLE III. DOCTRINAL BASIS
1. The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs. This written word of God consists of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments and is the supreme authority in all matters of belief and behavior.
2. God is a Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each an uncreated person, one in essence, equal in power and glory.
3. God is sovereign in creation, revelation, redemption and final judgment.
4. Since the fall, the whole of humankind is sinful and guilty, so that everyone is subject to God’s wrath and condemnation.
5. The Lord Jesus Christ, God’s incarnate Son, is fully God; he was born of a virgin; his humanity is real and sinless; he died on the cross, was raised bodily from death and is now reigning over heaven and earth.
6. Sinful human beings are redeemed from the guilt, penalty and power of sin only through the sacrificial death once and for all time of their representative and substitute, Jesus Christ, the only mediator between them and God.
7. Those who believe in Christ are pardoned all their sins and accepted in God’s sight only because of the righteousness of Christ credited to them; this justification is God’s act of undeserved mercy, received solely by trust in him and not by their own efforts.
8. The Holy Spirit alone makes the work of Christ effective to individual sinners, enabling them to turn to God from their sin and to trust in Jesus Christ.
9. The Holy Spirit lives in all those he has regenerated. He makes them increasingly Christ-like in character and behavior and gives them power for their witness in the world.
10. The one holy universal church is the Body of Christ, to which all true believers belong.
11. The Lord Jesus Christ will return in person, to judge everyone, to execute God’s just condemnation on those who have not repented and to receive the redeemed to eternal glory.