GS 1989 art 154

GS 1989 ARTICLE 154

In closed session Committee II presents:

Agenda VIII, D, 19


Appeal br. L. VanZandwijk against Regional Synod East 1988 in the matter mentioned in Article 71 of Acts Synod 1986.


  • A proposal to amend the Advisory Committee proposal is made and duly seconded. It reads as follows
  • To amend A. Material of the Advisory Committee’s proposal to read:
    • Appeal br. L. VanZandwijk against Regional Synod East 1988 in the matter mentioned in Article 71 of Acts Synod 1986.



  • 1. Br. VanZandwijk requests Synod “to unequivocally reject the subordinationist elements contained in the statement of Dr. J. Faber that ‘not the Christ is in the center but God’ and in the formula of Classis Ontario South (March 1988) that ‘Christ is subject to God’ as false doctrine on the ground of the clear teaching of Scripture that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is ‘equal to the God in all things’ (Art. 10 B.C.) and on other grounds provided from Scripture, Creeds and Confessions in the above appeal.”
  • 2. Classis Ontario South (March 9, 1988) considers under 4, “That from the articles of Dr. F. it is clear that by ‘theocentric’ he means ‘trinitarian’; the Church of God is the Church of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (See Clarion vol.34, no.5, p.105 3rd column top; p.106 middle column before point 3). Christ, true God and true man, is the Mediator between God and men. In His mediatorial work Christ is subject to the will of God (Ps.40:8; John 4:34; 1Cor.3:21-23; 1Cor.15:28). In Dr. F.’s articles ‘theocentric’ does not exclude ‘christocentric’, but ‘christocentric’ is subject to ‘theocentric’ compare Clarion, vol.34, no.5, p.106, middle column:
    • Returning to the New Testament, we should see that the Lord Jesus Christ is certainly mentioned. In the list of the above quoted Scripture passages, we read the expression in 1 Thess. 2:14, ‘the churches of God in Christ Jesus.’ The Lord Jesus Christ is the Mediator between God and men. God acts in Christ, and therefore the churches of God in Judea are called churches in Christ.
  • 3. Regional Synod observes that, “Br. L.V.Z. retains his charges against Dr. Faber, but does not bring in any new evidence which proves that Dr. Faber indirectly denied the divinity of Jesus Christ, (Cf. Appeal to Classis Ont. South, p.3),”and considers that, “Br. L.V.Z. is still attempting to sustain the charge that Dr. J. Faber is ‘indirectly denying the divinity of Jesus Christ.” (Appeal, Classis Ont. South, p.3) and judges that, “Br. L.V.Z. has not proven that Classis Ontario South of March 9, 1988 was incorrect in its judgment that his charges against Dr. Faber are based on a misinterpretation of Dr. Faber’s article.”
  • 4. Br. VanZandwijk considers that
    • a. Classis did not address the issue at stake. Classis raised a side issue stating that Christ ‘is’ (please note the present tense) ‘subject to God’.
    • However, the issue at stake was whether the Christ is ‘in the center’, yes or no;
    • b. the error of Dr. Faber is to be called an example of ‘subordinationism;’
    • c. ‘subordinationism’ was a teaching about the Godhead which regards the Son as subordinate to the Father.


  • 1. a. Neither Dr. Faber nor Classis Ontario South have ever said that the Son in His Person is subordinate to the Father.
    • b. Classis already considered that “in Dr. F’s articles ‘theocentric’ does not exclude ‘christocentric’, but christocentric is subject to ‘theocentric’.” With respect to His Person, Christ is equal to His Father and with respect to His work He is subject to His Father. (See Art. 33 of the Athanasian Creed). Therefore, Dr. Faber is not incorrect in his preference to speak about the Church not in terms of ‘christocentric’ but to speak about the Church in a christological way, expressing that Christ as Mediator was appointed Head of the Church to bring all things in subjection to God (1Cor.15:28).
    • c. The above explanation is not in conflict with art.10 B.C., because there we confess the divinity of Christ in the defense against those denying this divine nature. But as stated before, the divinity has never been denied by Dr. J. Faber nor by Classis Ontario South.


Synod judge

  • not to accede to the request of br. L. VanZandwijk re subordinationist elements contained in Dr. Faber’s writing.

The Committee Report as amended is