Audio: Guy Waters on Church Membership

One aspect of Reformed theology, piety, and practice that distnguishes confessional Protestantism from broad evangelicalism is a high view of the visible, institutional church. Calvin spent most of book 4 of the Institutes on the visible church. The Belgic Confession spends two articles on the visible church. Guy’s interview with the CTC guys explains the biblical basis for our view.

You can read more on this here.

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  1. Dr.Clark, what do you make of Dr.Waters’ serious charge that you and your church are unbiblical in your upholding the Reformed doctrine and practice of confessional membership?

    He claims that Presbyterian and Reformed churches that believe/d and practice/d this are rejecting the Lord’s own standard for admittance to the Supper, and that these churches are essentially denying the catholicity of the church and faith, and “holding the bar too high” by confusing standards for special office for those of a believer’s admittance to the Supper.

    Granted, other things Dr.Waters’ said were agreeable, but his charges were 1) unsubstantiated, and 2) accusations of sin !
    That would seem to call for some thorough reproof. Don’t you think?

      • It sounds like you’re putting “American Presbyterianism” above Scripture…I’m assuming I misunderstood what you said?

        • I suspect Dr.Clark doesn’t want to address this topic, so if he doesn’t mind I’ll try to clarify.

          What Dr.Clark is calling the “American Presby” view is Dr.Waters’ view of “credible profession of gospel” admittance to the Supper, over against the old school Presby&Reformed view of “confessional membership.”

          Ironically, the micro denomination called “The American Presbyterian Church” (it several doctrinal errors aside) actually affirms confessional membership since many American Presbyterians and their churches, such as the United Presbyterians (up til about 1890) held the old school view. See here:

          I’m not sure why Dr.Clark does not seem to want to highlight the error of fellow NAPARC congregations concerning confessional membership, but the disagreement concerns a different interpretations of Scripture.

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