From Scott Hoezee
Perhaps not all readers of "The Twelve" will be aware of it but in some circles within the Christian Reformed Church these past ten days there's been some serious dust-ups surrounding "The Form of Subscription." The Form is the document CRCNA pastors, elders, deacons, and also Calvin College and Seminary professors sign to indicate their ascent to the version of the Reformed faith that gets taught in the Confessions: The Heidelberg Catechism, The Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dort. The most immediate conversations were sparked by an editorial in the Banner by editor Bob DeMoor to which former "The Twelve" blogger Jamie Smith fired off a very impassioned response. Since then the Facebook page for Christian Reformed pastors has been lit up with multiple posts--usually very long posts (including my own, I confess!)--as pastors from all over North America have shared thoughts. Curiously, although this by no means counts as scientific evidence, my own observation on this conversation has confirmed Smith's contention that it's mostly Baby Boomers with a 1960's hangover who chafe under the allegedly constricting nature of signing on to 400-year old Confessions whereas the younger set of Gen-X and Millennials are far more willing (even happy) to embrace a confessional position. Indeed, just about every former student who graduated from my seminary since 2005 and with whom I am friends on Facebook has embraced Smith's position over against DeMoor's editorial.
Interesting. But as I have been caught up in these conversations, I've been struck by the number of people who tend to refer to signing the Form and having these guiding Confessions as being mostly all about a distasteful matter of coercive force.