GS 2016 – Article 123
3.1 Burlington-Rehoboth is correct in pointing out that GS 2013 decided to change the wording of CO 59 to line it up with the wording of HC LD 27 Q&A 74 and supported its decision with a reference to GS 2007 Art. 172.
3.2 There is one baptism (Ephesians 4:5). Our confessions do not distinguish between the meaning of baptism as it is applied to infant children of believers or to adults who have come to faith in Christ.
3.3 There is very little difference between the meanings of the words “engrafted” and “incorporated.” These words are so close in meaning as to be interchangeable.
That Synod decide:
4.1 To deny the appeal of the Burlington-Rehoboth CanRC.
GS 2013 – Article 125
That Synod decide:
4.1. Heidelberg Catechism
4.1.1. To adopt the recommendation of the SCBP to change the relevant sentence in the Preface/Introduction to read: “The National Synods of the sixteenth century adopted it as one of the doctrinal standards of the Reformed Churches…”
4.1.2. To not approve the proposal of the SCBP to change the wording of Answer 115;
4.1.3. To not approve the proposal of the church at Carman-West to include the full text reference “Matthew 22.37-40” in Answer 4;
4.1.4. To adopt the recommendation of Carman-West to change the word “displeased” to “angry” in Answer 10;
4.1.5. To not approve the recommendation of Carman-West to change the wording of the Apostles’ Creed in Answer 23 of the Catechism and in the ecumenical creeds section of the Book of Praise;
4.1.6. To not approve the recommendation of Carman-West to change the word “death” in Answer 43;
4.1.7. To not approve the recommendation of Carman-West to add the words “and broken” in Answer 75;
4.1.8. To adopt the recommendation of Carman-West to change the words “everlasting life” to “eternal life” in Answer 75;
4.1.9. To mandate the SCBP to increase the font size of the Heidelberg Catechism to make it the same as the other confessions;
4.2. Belgic Confession
4.2.1. To adopt the recommendation of the SCBP to remove the word “symbolical” from the Preface/Introduction;
4.2.2. To approve the correction of the historical inaccuracy in the Preface/Introduction as the SCBP proposes;
4.2.3. To adopt the recommendation of the SCBP to change the word “impulse” to “will” in Article 3 of the Belgic Confession;
4.3. Canons of Dort
4.3.1. To approve the SCBP’s correction of the introductory words to the Rejection of Errors after Chapter 1, to read “election and reprobation” instead of “the perseverance of the saints”;
4.4. Church Order Article 59
4.4.1. To adopt the recommendation of the SCBP to change “engrafted” to “incorporated” (Article 59 CO);
4.5. Mandate Clarification
4.5.1. To decide that all requests concerning factual errors, grammatical, typographical or other minor stylistic matters throughout the Book of Praise may be addressed by individuals or churches to the SCBP for their consideration and possible suggestion for change to a future synod. All requests concerning other changes to the contents of the Book of Praise (e.g. translation of confessions, changes to metrical psalms, rewording and rhyming of psalms and hymns, changes to liturgical forms) need to arise out of the churches in the ecclesiastical way, namely from consistory to classis to regional synod and general synod.
GS 2010 – Article 160
3.1 While it is true that the original Greek text makes frequent use of the conjunction “and,” proper English usage does not always require its translation.
3.2 It is hard to see that the absence of this one instance of a conjunction in the Lord’s Prayer leads to an incorrect interpretation.
3.3 The request to change the English text of the NIV when it comes to the Lord’s Prayer would set a precedent and may well lead to more requests to depart from this recommended translation for what some would consider questionable reasons.
3.4 To change the text of the Lord’s Prayer in Lord’s Day 45 of the Heidelberg Catechism, which is taken from the NIV, would represent an overreaction on our part.
3.5 It is clear from Ancaster’s letter that an elaborate interpretation is connected to this one instance of a missing conjunction and that not all biblical scholars would agree with this interpretation.
3.6 It should be noted that Ancaster’s letter is in regard to the text of the Heidelberg Catechism as found on the Canadian Reformed website and not the text in the 2006 edition of the Book of Praise. The future editions will follow the NIV text.
That Synod decide not to grant the request of the Church of Ancaster.
GS 2007 – Article 172
2.2 Lord’s Day 27, Answer 74, “… adults. Therefore, by baptism… they must be grafted into the Christian church.”
2.2.1 The committee notes that here the image of “grafting” is used, which probably has been taken from John 15. This gives the impression that a foreign element is included. The original German text is slightly different: “they, by baptism, as the sign of the covenant, also must be incorporated in the Christian church and from the children of unbelievers distinguished.” Here the difference is made between “belonging” to the covenant, and being “incorporated” in the covenant. The word “belonging” indicates the status, while the words “being incorporated” refers to the action that makes the status official. Children of believers are from the beginning in God’s covenant. However, through baptism they are officially included in the covenant and registered as such.
2.2.2 The committee therefore proposes to use the word “incorporated” rather than “grafted,” reflecting the original text.
2.2.3 The committee notes that if the above proposal is adopted, then the phrase “by baptism ingrafted into” in the form for the excommunication of communicant members (2nd line of the first announcement and 3rd line of the second announcement) should then be changed to “by baptism incorporated into.”
2.3 Proposed phrasing of Lord’s Day 37, A. 102 (13.2 of report):
2.3.1 The committee opines that the current phrasing “calling upon God” is linguistically problematic. This phrasing was compared with the original German while also proper language flow in English was considered. A literal translation does not work in this instance. In addition, the committee is of the opinion that the last line also requires changing. As it stands, “creature” receives the emphasis while the intention is to emphasize “honour.” The committee recommends that synod adopt the reworded Answer 102: “No, for a legitimate oath is an appeal to God, who alone knows the heart, to testify to the truth, and to punish me if I swear falsely. This honour does not belong to any creature.”
2.3.2 London is not convinced of the argument of the committee. The confessions, whose language and content is on the hearts and lips of the members of the churches, should only be changed when there is good and convincing reason to do so.
2.3.3 Fergus Maranatha opines that our current formulation is adequate and need not be changed. In fact “calling upon God” is preferred over “an appeal to God” and is more in line with the previous question and answer.
2.3.4 Orangeville is not in favour of the committee’s proposal to change the last line of the answer to “This honour does not belong to any creature” since this proposal removes the emphasis from the fact that no creature is worthy of such honour.
3.1 re 2.2 – The committee’s suggestion is convincing.
3.2 re 2.3 –
3.2.1 the wording “a calling upon God” treats the verb “to call” as a noun. As such, though not wrong, it is linguistically awkward. The “calling upon God” is more in line with the previous Lord’s Day which is also about the third commandment. London is correct in stating that the wording of the confessions should not easily be changed.
3.2.2 The committee’s suggestion that “honour” should receive the emphasis in the last line of A. 102 is not convincing. The answer as a whole highlights the vast difference between God and creatures, and thus our current formulation is adequate.
4.1 To adopt the proposal as found in observation 2.2.2 and 2.2.3.
4.2 To not adopt the proposals of the committee in observation 2.3.1.