Last night, our proposal to amend the doctrinal basis of the ETS was formally presented to the Society to be voted on at next year’s gathering in Providence, Rhode Island. Here’s what happened.
At 5:30pm, members of the Society gathered for the second business meeting of the conference. After dispensing with several items of business, Dr. Hassell Bullock introduced Dr. James Borland with a new item for business. Dr. Borland informed the Society that an amendment to the doctrinal basis had been received by the Executive Committee, and that it would be read at this year’s meeting and voted on at next year’s meeting. Dr. Borland then read our amendment aloud.
After Borland finished reading the 11 points of the amendment, Dr. Bullock informed the Society that no discussion would be allowed concerning the amendment, but that the debate would be held at next year’s meeting. He then called Dr. Craig Blaising to the podium to report how the Executive Committee responded to our proposal after they considered it last summer.
Dr. Blaising noted that the Evangelical Theological Society from its founding in 1949 to the present has chosen to work from a doctrinal basis rather than from a doctrinal statement. The Executive Committee considers any change to be a departure from this original intent of the Society. Therefore, before the question of creating a doctrinal statement should be considered, the membership should have ample opportunity to discuss this basic issue: ‘Should the ETS replace its doctrinal basis with a statement of faith?’ Consequently, the Executive Committee proposed a special session at the ETS 2008 Annual Meeting to discuss and consider this issue.
There was very little discussion that followed. One member suggested tabling the motion for a year, but the EC declined to entertain a motion to that effect.
After the meeting was adjourned, Ray and I did interviews with reporters from Christianity Today and the Associated Baptist Press. Both of those reports are now online (see below).
I’ll have more to say about the happenings at last night’s meeting. There is much to discuss. For now, I just wanted to let you know how things played out in the business meeting.
The Amendment is on the table.
“Inerrancy, Trinitarianism, . . . ?” â€“ by Ted Olsen (Christianity Today)
“Evangelical scholars discuss justification by faith, may change doctrinal statement” â€“ by Hannah Elliott (Associated Baptist Press)
How does Dr. Blaising and the executive commitee go from “…any change to be a departure…” to you are recommending a statement of faith?
I don’t understand the leap. Both you and Ray have been pretty clear that this is not a statement of faith but an amendment to clarify the doctrinal basis.
I would be curious to know your thoughts on the reasoning for the jump in logic (doctrinal basis + amdendment of clarity= statement of faith)