Proposed Resource Paper on Scripture Now Available

Post a Comment » Written on April 24th, 2008     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (April 24, 2008) – Delegates to the 123rd Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) will experience a “first” as they consider a proposed Covenant Resource Paper, “The Evangelical Covenant Church and the Bible.”

The paper is the first to be developed as part of a process approved by delegates to the 2006 Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Delegates at that same meeting commissioned the first paper to address how the Covenant reads scripture.

A Covenant Resource Paper is a teaching document designed to provide context and clarity for Covenant churches on critical issues of concern in matters of faith, doctrine and conduct, states an explanatory document distributed last year. According to that declaration, resource papers:
•    Seek to apply biblical teaching to critical issues in the context of the historical character and ongoing missional identity of the Evangelical Covenant Church.
•    Exist to inform discipleship and practice in the life of Covenant people without rising to the level of creed, confession, or binding doctrine.
•    Provide a uniform way for the church as a whole to provide communal discernment to those issues that are most critical in our journey as people who follow Jesus Christ.

To learn more about the purpose of the papers as explained when the process was introduced last year, please read Covenant Resource Paper – Description.

“The Covenant Resource Paper allows us as a body of churches, ministries and institutions to define the center of our common life in critical areas of life, doctrine and conduct,” says ECC Executive Vice President Donn Engebretson, who facilitated the development process for this first paper. “It is a very important opportunity for communal discernment that will help guide our common life and give energy and momentum for our mission.”

A portion of the introductory passage in the newly proposed resource paper helps explain why the matter of how the Covenant reads scripture was selected as the theme: “We are people of the book. That book is the Bible. Central to the life of the Evangelical Covenant Church, the Bible reveals God and God’s intent for us and our world. By it we discover our identity and mission as individuals and as a church. By it we are brought to new life in Jesus Christ, life in God’s kingdom.”

Engebretson believes the resource paper on scripture “will help strengthen our common identity as a biblical people” as well as “strengthen our missional momentum as we affirm that God’s word is always at the heart of and motivator for effective mission in our world.”

Noting the significant change within the Covenant in terms of growth, Engebretson says it is important to help new believers being welcomed into Covenant fellowship to have a clear understanding of the Covenant Church and its relationship with God’s word. “It establishes the foundations of a ‘Covenant hermeneutic’ that will be essential in keeping us alive in God’s word for decades to come,” he adds. “This paper does not represent a shift in the Covenant’s understanding of scripture. It is rather a clear and concise statement of the strong position that has been a long-standing center of our common life.”

To read the proposed paper in its entirety, please select the Covenant Resource Paper link to be found on the 2008 Annual Meeting website home page where one will find other new material recently added, including two proposed resolutions from the Christian Action Commission and an agenda for this year’s Annual Meeting.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

Leave a Reply

Report This Blog