Synod 2010 said churches need more time to consider revisions of our three Reformed confessions—the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dort. It also discussed the use of gender-inclusive language for humans and God.
The revisions are proposed for inclusion in a worship songbook being developed by Faith Alive Christian Resources for use in congregations of both the CRC and the Reformed Church in America.
The two denominations use different versions of the creeds, so the revisions are intended to bring the two versions together. But Synod 2010 decided the changes were too extensive to have been reviewed in time for this synod.
Synod 2010 asked that the task force handling the revisions post a final draft of the three confessions online by Nov. 1, and that it be printed in the Agenda for Synod 2011 for consideration and adoption.
Rev. Kevin Jordan, Classis Alberta South, said the new timeline is still insufficient—“a rather short time to look at three confessions.”
Rev. Paul De Vries, Classis Thornapple Valley, disagreed, noting that draft versions of the revised confessions are already available.
“It’s a process that allows due time for response and feedback,” De Vries said. “We want to keep moving along.”
Delegates also debated the use of gender-inclusive terms in references to humans and reducing the number of male pronouns for God when doing so could be done “with felicity.”
Rev. Dan Mouw, Classis Grandville and a member of the advisory committee presenting the confessions revision, defended the use of inclusive language, saying it is consistent with what Faith Alive has been doing for many years.