A few days ago I put up a post pointing to the Fellowship of Confessing Churches web petition. Rosemary helpfully pointed to a couple of posts from Carl Trueman on the Reformation 21 website where he was critical of the evangelicals in the Church of Scotland and that he is not going to sign their petition.
Since then there have been additional contributions on the Ref21 blog from Phil Ryken, Rick Phillips and Iain D Campbell. Here is a quick summary…
Phil Ryken disagrees with Carl Trueman and believes his contribution is unhelpful. He sees the homosexual issue as a watershed for any church and appeals to Romans 1:26-28 as evidence. The effect of the CoS falling on this issue would have repercussions worldwide. (I guess he is thinking of some kind of domino effect in mainline denominations.)
Trueman responds by affirming the character of the men leading the FoCC but gives more historical background to the role evangelicals have played in the CoS over the last few decades. It is not pretty. Crucial doctrinal battles have been lost or simply not fought which have left them in the position they now find themselves. What Trueman is calling for is full-blown Presbyterianism amongst the evangelicals where they are willing to stand for truth not only in their pulpits but in the presbyteries and committees. (I think this historical analysis is very helpful, but it would be useful to hear from someone who has actually been in the CoS during this period to see how they have viewed it.)
Rick Phillips explains. He supports the petition and reflects on how easy it is to critcise the timing of particular stands that have been taken in the history of the church. Divisions that occur because of differences over the wisdom of timing have hurt the church in the past.
Iain D Campbell has also signed the petition and believes it is a useful way of expressing support for men who are in the fight. However, he wants to make sure that the right perspective is kept. The gospel is continuing to go out in Scotland in places where the fight is local and pressing.