Wednesday, April 13, 2005

A Wonderful Time Was Had By All

I spent a few days in the Muskokas and had a blast. The weather, with a a brief interlude of rain, was magnificent. The fellowship was awesome, and I learned a great deal about what it means to be part of the Mennonite Brethren family.

The MBs are a very theologically secure bunch. They believe what they believe and feel free to say so to anyone without apology or insult to anyone. The Confession of Faith, is, to my mind, a wonder. It eschews theological language, preferring to stick with biblical language. Tyat makes the document in many ways more inclusive; I as a more Reformed person feel free to agree to it while knowing that the authors are basically Arminian.

Some might see this as watering down the gospel of grace. If this were an ecumenical document such as once was produced by the World Council of Vhurches I might agree. But the various WCC documents (most notably for me the document dealing with Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry) don't hold a candle to the MB Confession of Faith.

The WCC documents retained the theological language, but were written in a way that invited people to read them equivocally. That is, words that had specific theological meanings were used, but in ways that invited people to understand them however they wanted. Amibguity was invited to interpret words that had specific meaning.

The MB Confession however uses Biblical langage without effort to interpret it. The vagueness, if you will, the inexactitude of the laguage as it exists in the original context of scripture, is retained. This means that when one reads the dfescription of God for example in the MB Confession, one is not called to recall entries in a theological dictionary but rather chapters and verses of Scripture. The ambiguities inherent to the biblical text thus are allowed to stand.

Somehow this is staisfying to me. I am comfortable accepting the Confession, even though there are areas which are problematic. Those occur only where the authors seemingly felt compelled to be more theologically precise than the Bible allows. On the whole though the Confession is a wonderful read, one I recommend. It isn't often I can say that studyng a confession is uplifting, but this is one such time.

All in all then a great time was had. I met some new people, played some euchre, some ping pong, spent some good time with my wife. I wish I could do it more often.

1 comment:

Juner said...

Do what more often? Play ping pong?