14 Jun GS 1983 art 171
GS 1983 ARTICLE 171 – Canons of Dort
Committee Ill presents the final report on the Revision of the Canons of Dort. The Canons and Refutation of Errors are adopted as amended. This decision replaces the decision recorded in Acts, Article 71.
A. MATERIAL – Agenda D.1-9
- 1. Report from the Committee on the Canons of Dort
- 2. Letter from the Church at Abbotsford re Canons of Dort
- 3. Letter from the Church at Abbotsford re not to accept this new translation (see also C, 3)
- 4. Letter from the Church at Burlington (Ebenezer)
- 5. Letter from the Church at Burlington-South (see also B, 9)
- 6. Letter from the Church at Carman
- 7. Letter from the Church at Chilliwack
- 8. Letter from the Church at Cloverdale (see C. 8)
- 9. Letter from the Church at Langley
- 1. The Committee on Translation and Revision of the Confessional and Liturgical Forms received the following mandate from Smithville 1980:
- a. “To pass on the remarks of the Advisory Committee regarding the newly translated text of the Chapters I-V to the Committee for consideration or incorporation into the final draft.
- b. To charge the Committee to complete the revision of the Rejection of Errors and to present the whole, corrected by a subcommittee of linguistic experts, to the Churches nine months prior to the next General Synod for final adoption for use in the Churches.” (Acts, Smithville 1980, Art. 123, 11, D, 2,3)
- 2. The Committee reports:
- a That it did not receive the remarks of the Advisory Committee of Synod Smithville 1980 regarding the newly translated text of the Canons. They were not passed on to the Committee as adopted by Synod according to Article 123 II, D, 2 of the Acts. These remarks could for that reason not be considered by the Committee.
- b. That the brothers Rev. R. Aasman, W. Horsman and N. VanDooren were appointed as a language subcommittee with the mandate to examine the Creeds with regard to vocabulary, style, punctuation and readability.
- c. That due to the time limitation the Refutation was not submitted to the language subcommittee.
- d. That it received “a request of the deputies Church Book of the Free Reformed Churches in Australia to remain informed as to the progress of the work of the Committee. This request was granted by passing on the completed material.”
- 3. The Committee recommends :
- To appoint Dr. W. Helder of Hamilton as language scrutineer of the Refutation of Errors. added to the Canons of Dort.
- 4. The Churches at Abbotsford, Burlington-East, Burlington-South. Carman, Chilliwack, Cloverdale and Langley have provided Synod with a long list of linguistic emendations and/or objections to the proposed version on doctrinal grounds.
- 5. The Church at Abbotsford recommends not to adopt the new translation of the Canons of Dort in its present form because :
- 1. The Committee on Translation and Revision of the Confessional and Liturgical Forms did not complete its mandate in time (see Acts General Synod 1980 Art. 123, I, D, 2b re Belgic Confession; Art. 123, II, D. 3 re Canons of Dort).
- 2. Partly as a result of the above mentioned ground the material for General Synod 1983, received by the consistories in the last six months, was Just too much to be dealt with justly.
- 3. Some of the proposed revisions and translations showed that we still suffer from lack of expertise in the English language.
- 1. a. The Committee could complete its mandate given to it by Synod 1980, except for submitting the Refutation of Errors to the language subcommittee because of lack of time.
- b. The Committee states that it could not deal with the remarks of the Advisory Committee of Synod Smithville 1980, since these are not available.
- c. It appears from the official documents submitted to Synod that the various remarks passed on by Churches have been dealt with by the Committee for the Revision of the Canons of Dort and also that various letters from Churches have been received by Synod 1983 making it possible to arrive at a provisional draft
- 2. Although the Refutation of Errors has not been submitted to the language subcommittee, this need not deter Synod from provisionally adopting the Canons and the Refutation of Errors. since all the material for the Book of Praise will yet be scrutinized linguistically by the Standing Committee for the Book of Praise.
- 3. Although ii appears that the final draft of the revision of the Canons has not been sent to the Churches, while the Refutation of Errors was. this need not deter Synod from provisionally adopting the Canons since the final revision is restricted to remarks previously made by the Churches and passed on by the Synod 1980.
- 4. The following suggestions from the Churches should be considered
- FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE
- Art. 6 amend last sentence to read “Although perverse, impure, and unstable men twist this decree to their own destruction, it provides unspeakable comfort for holy and God-fearing souls…”
- Art. 10 amend first sentence to read “The cause of this gracious election is solely the good pleasure of God…”
- Art. 14 amend second sentence to read “Therefore also today this doctrine should be taught in the Church of God…”
- Art. 16 amend sixth sentence to read “They should be even less terrified by the doctrine of reprobation…”
- THIRD AND FOURTH HEAD OF DOCTRINE
- Art. 1 amend first sentence to read “In the beginning man was created in the image of God.”
- amend third sentence to read “But. rebelling against God through the instigation of the devil. “
- Art. 2 amend first sentence
- Art. 3 amend first sentence to read “incapable of any saving good.”
- Art. 4 amend second sentence to read “But he is so far from arriving at the saving knowledge of God.”
- Art. 5 amend first sentence to read “nor gives him power to rise out of this misery.”
- change “Decalogue” to “Ten Commandments.”
- Art. 16 amend second sentence to read “pleasantly and at the same time powerfully bends it.”
- Art. 17 amend second last sentence to read “His works proceed.”
- FIFTH HEAD OF DOCTRINE
- Art. 1 amend first sentence to read “Those whom God according to His purpose calls.”
- the Advisory Committee would like to respond to the suggestion of the Church at Burlington -South which intimates that the new rendering of the Committee to change “from the infirmities of the flesh” to “from the flesh” might be “plainly heretical.” Since the Latin text reads “a carne,” it is obvious that this Church is plainly mistaken.
- Art. 7 amend second sentence to read “As a result they grieve from the heart with a godly sorrow for the sins they have committed.”
- Art. 13 amend second sentence to read “… God should again turn away His face from them.”
- REJECTION OF ERRORS
- Chapter I
- Paragraph 1 – Refutation (R) amend first sentence to read “This error is deceptive and clearly contradicts Scripture, which declares not only…”
- Paragraph 3 – Error (E) amend first sentence to read “but that He out of all possible conditions………..”
- Paragraph 4 – (R) amend second sentence to read “This smacks of the teaching of Pelagius.”
- Paragraph 5 – (R) amend first sentence to read “This error militates against all of Scripture which constantly impresses upon us.”
- Chapter II
- Heading – amend to read “And the redemption of man by this death.”
- Paragraph 1 – (R) amend last sentence to read “Finally, this error contradicts the article of faith concerning the Church.”
- Paragraph 3 – (E) amend the last sentence to read “that either no one or all men”
- Paragraph 6 – (R) amend the last sentence to read “the pernicious poison of Pelagianism.”
- Paragraph 7 – (E) amend first sentence to read “Christ could not die. did not need to die and did not die
- Chapter Il l-IV, V none of the comments received make emendation necessary.
- Chapter I
- FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE
- 1 to thank the Committee on Translation and Revision of the Canons of Dort for presenting to Synod a revised draft of the Canons, including the Rejection of Errors;
- 2. to adopt provisionally the revised Canons of Dort as amended by Synod (see Consideration 4) and to have the entire text subjected to linguistic scrutinization before publication in the Book of Praise (see mandate of the Standing Committee of the Book of Praise Acts 1983, Art. 123, Recommendation 13).