BNC Text F85

[Church of Scotland: Report on Baptism]. Sample containing about 10511 words speech recorded in public context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C40

PS1NA X m (Hugh, age unknown, moderator) unspecified
PS1NB X m (Dr Stuart, age unknown) unspecified
PS1NC X m (Ian, age unknown) unspecified
F85PS000 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
F85PS001 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
F85PS002 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
F85PS003 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
F85PS004 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
F85PS005 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
F85PSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
F85PSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 079902 recorded on unknown date. LocationUnknown ( church of scotland meeting ) Activity: baptism

Undivided text

Hugh (PS1NA) [1] I call for the report on the panel on doctrine on page one hundred and eighty five to be presented by Dr Stuart .
[2] Dr ...
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [3] Moderator I have the honour to present this report on behalf of the panel.
[4] Our report this year covers four matters though to the first there's really only passing reference.
[5] The working party on the theology of marriage is finding its task stimulating but arduous and it will surprise no one that it's taking a long time.
[6] We hope however to report to next year's general assembly.
[7] The second matter covered in the report is eligibility for infant baptism.
[8] Commissioners will recall that the story here begins with the presbytery of Hamilton's dissatisfaction with the act currently governing eligibility for infant baptism.
[9] This is act seventeen, nineteen sixty three which basically requires that parents, one or both, of a child to be baptised be or be prepared to become full communicant members of the church.
[10] Hamilton tried to convince the assembly that this act was bad and was being disregarded by many.
[11] They also held that where it was observed it was unduly restrictive.
[12] The presbytery of Hamilton's proposed solution was a repeal of the nineteen sixty three act and a reversion to the nineteen thirty three act which required from parents only a profession of faith.
[13] ... The assembly of nineteen ninety could not agree on an immediate response to the presbytery of Hamilton's overture and remitted the matter to the panel [...] .
[14] The panel brought to last year's assembly a modest am amendment of the nineteen sixty three act which it believed was theologically sound ... pastorally sensitive and which would provide a degree of flexibility.
[15] Our report on this matter was sent to the presbyteries under the [...] act, but it failed to win acceptance.
[16] ... In the comments that came from some sixteen of the presbyteries who were against the amendment, two things are significant ... as our report points out.
[17] The first is the lack of any uniformity in the reactions to our report.
[18] This suggests to us that there's probably no advantage to be gained from further tinkering with the law.
[19] The second significant thing in the comments is the absence of any desire to follow Hamilton's advice ... and revert to the nineteen thirty three act.
[20] The panel recognizes however that there was substance in the presbytery of Hamilton's claim that the nineteen sixty three law can cause pastoral problems.
[21] Ministers can experience difficulty when they find themselves in a situation where refusing the baptism is their only option and parents can take grave offence.
[22] We therefore ask the assembly today to authorize the panel to prepare a leaflet explaining the church's position to parents who are not communicant members and who are not willing to become such but who neverth s still which baptism for their child.
[23] We have permission to incur the cost of such a leaflet if the assembly approves.
[24] ... The third matter on which we er report is the place and purpose of confirmation.
[25] Last year's assembly remitted to us the task of working out the consequences for the service known as confirmation if children are admitted to the sacrament of the lord's supper.
[26] After all the title of the service in the book of common order is ... confirmation held ... admission to the lord's supper.
[27] To be fair to the youth education committee, they had already gone some way in answering the questions raised.
[28] For example, they distinguished between a response of faith from a child seeking admission to the lord's supper and a profession of faith.
[29] The first, the response of faith from a child, would be identified in ... private consultation involving minister, parents and child.
[30] The second, profession of faith, would, as now, be public and preceded by a course of instruction.
[31] The panel has however endeavoured to ref to fulfil its remit by analyzing the whole confirmation service in the book of common order ... and we come to the conclusion that really the admission of children to the sacrament of the lord's supper would necessitate only minor adjustments to the service as we now know it.
[32] That's because admission to the sacrament of the lord's supper is ... one element only ... in the service.
[33] There are three other elements which have as we say their own very considerable spiritual and liturgical validity, purpose and usefulness.
[34] These other ele elements are ... profession, public profession of faith ... after instruction in a class ... prayer for strengthening and commitment to service.
[35] Instruction in the faith given in late teens or early twenties is essential, essential for young people, both those who've received communion in earlier years and those who have not.
[36] ... Prayer for strength is appropriate at any stage of our lives and might well be made daily ... but that does not invalidate the usefulness of marking one day in our life when someone prays over us in public and asks that out of the treasures of his glory, God may grant you strength and power through his spirit in your inner being that through faith cast may dwell in your hearts in love.
[37] Commitment ... offering oneself to the lord in the service of the church and the world is the third and quite prominent element in the service of confirmation as we have it, and as we say ... in a day when emphasis is being laid on the ministry of the whole people of God ... there is surely value in a definite act of commitment on a definite day.
[38] An a an act of commitment and commissioning to that ministry.
[39] All in all therefore, the service would not be noticeably impoverished were the element of admission to the lord's supper to be removed from it, or were adjustments to be necessary to cover, cover some in a class who had communicated in earlier years.
[40] ... Finally this year we report on the statement of Christian faith.
[41] ... In our report tribute is paid to Dr Sheila for her work in collating the results of discussion in forty presbyteries, and four hundred and sixty four kirk sessions.
[42] And that tribute is well justified and well deserved.
[43] ... The assembly will note that we propose to drop the commentary which did not prove as useful as we had hoped it might.
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [laugh]
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [44] [laughing] Happily, happily [] the statement of faith does seem to have commended itself to a much larger number of presbyteries and kirk sessions and many ... indeed hundreds ... hundreds took the trouble to offer amendments and improvements to it.
[45] Note has been taken of these and some of them appear in the panel's revision.
[46] The interest shown in the chur by the church in the statement of faith emboldens us to ask the assembly to authorize publication of the reworded statement for use in worship and teaching ... in confirmation classes, study groups and so on.
[47] What is envisaged is a simple card and the possibility of inclusion in the new book of common order.
[48] Again permission has been given to the panel to incur the expense if the assembly approves the relevant deliverance.
[49] ... It has been gratifying to learn that the panel's work stimulated so much discussion and presbyteries and sessions have been generous in their acknowledgement of this.
[50] The panel hopes now that this statement of faith can be seen as ... a useful and fairly accessible indicator to outsiders as to what the faith is all about, and at the same time ... as a ring of words which at least the majority of us within the church can happily affirm.
[51] Moderator I present the report, and must ask the clerk to move the deliverance as I am the corresponding member.
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [52] [...] the deliverance.
Hugh (PS1NA) [53] Is it seconded?
[54] ... Thank you.
[55] ... Questions to the convenor. ...
Ian (PS1NC) [56] Ian number three two six eh ... question relating to eh a mention in the report eh in connection with the statement of faith, the panel say in the report on page one eight nine that they recognize the statement does not fully satisfy the concern for a modern confession of faith which was the background to the remit given by the assembly of nineteen eighty six.
[57] Eh my question is three parts, does the panel propose to bring er a future er report to an assembly with a ... relating to this er matter.
[58] If so does it actually propose to bring a confession of faith er in modern terms ... and if so, can the panel give any idea what form that might take. ...
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [59] [...] Dr ... .
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [60] Moderator that's a helpful question I, I'm sure.
[61] But I must er be cagey in my answer to it.
[62] I, I think we will see how things go.
[63] See how this, if the statement is approved today erm ... er if the publication of it is, is approved, we'll see how it er is received in the church as a whole, how it ... used in practice ... er and we'll have to s see when the time is right to bring forward any confession of faith.
[64] As you know there have been ... the history of it is, is well known to most commissioners I'm sure, there have been ... m there has been more than one attempt in the recent, in the last decade ... to bring something to the assembly er along these lines.
[65] And there is no doubt that a confession of faith perhaps is, is needed sometimes.
[66] We're extraordinarily elusive about what exactly we believe in the Church of Scotland, we say, you know recognizing liberty of opinion always, and such things as do not enter into the substance of the faith, and then we don't say what the substance of the faith is.
[67] Er ... so we are elusive and maybe the time will be, will come when we really must put it all down.
[68] But I think we must be given freedom to choose the time and not commit ourselves to any timetable.
[69] The statement ... just as a ... as a useful instrument will er ... I hope it will be a useful instrument ... er is a step in probably the right direction and we just ... wait and see. ...
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [70] Any other questions?
(F85PS004) [71] [...] Are you accepting questions on the statement of faith at this point?
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [72] We're taking questions on any aspect of the report from the panel on doctrine.
(F85PS004) [73] I accept almost entirely the ... oh two six two.
[74] ... I accept almost entirely the statement of faith except for one phrase ... accepting that God is love ... I have difficulty in reconciling he who created the universe, who is love, with the tempest, the earthquake ... the great white shark and the crocodile.
[75] Could the convenor of the panel on doctrine help me with this one.
[76] Thank you Moderator.
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [laugh] ...
Hugh (PS1NA) [77] I'm glad I'm Moderator now and no longer a convenor. [laugh]
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [laugh] ...
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [78] The panel on doctrine is the fountain of all wisdom of course.
[79] [clears throat] The problem of evil I ... who am I to er start ... embark on an explanation of the problem of evil and el elements of chaos in the universe?
[80] All I can say is that the yes of God's love is stronger than the no of his judgment and that I do believe that despite all the shadows and elements of chaos in the world, in the universe and in life, God's love is stronger and he is a God of love.
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [applause]
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [81] Any other questions?
[82] ... Sorry?
[83] ... Come [...] moment, thank you. ...
(F85PS005) [84] Er four hundred and ninety.
[85] Erm would the convenor say erm [clears throat] ... what he understands from the statement of faith and the statement of faith alone ... erm to be the teaching on the atonement that is,wh what are we taught ... about the atonement ... from the statement of faith? ...
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [86] Moderator the beauty of the statement of faith ... er the beauty of, of a statement of faith that wins support or, or can be accepted as useful in many quarters is that it doesn't ... er try to be too specific perhaps.
[87] And er this has always been the, the marvel of liturgical words, that they ... they pointed to the truth without being too definitive about the truth.
[88] And therefore ... people with different nuances of opinion could er unite in affirming these words which point to the truth.
[89] And so I wouldn't want to be er asked to interpret any one line of this in particular, or to put any particular nuance on it because then you would say aha ... but that's not what we believe.
[90] Er if, if there is a sufficient ... er indication in these words ... an indication, a pointer as I say, if there's a transparency in these words which enables us to see through to the truth ... then our formulation of it doesn't matter all that much.
[91] And then as you know, no statement ... our, our Christian truth can never be encapsulated in any one statement.
[92] Another way of putting that is you'll never please everybody but ... [...]
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [laugh]
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [93] but less superficially it is a fact that Christian truth is not to be equated with our formulations of it ... and we must always satisfy ourselves with pointers to it.
[94] And I think what the questioner was asking for is, is probably adequately covered in the Christological section where we talk of giving hope and declaring forgiveness of sin.
[95] And I would not want to be pushed further. ...
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [96] Thank you.
[97] Question from the young lady.
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [98] Moderator one five eight.
[99] Moderator between the eligibility of infant bap fo infant baptism and the confirmation service I find myself unclear, what do we do with children who are unbaptised say between the ages of three and twelve, whose parents are not ba themselves church members and who are not prepared to take the promises for them?
[100] I myself [...] my previous [...] have had this case er where an eight year old wanted baptise and in the event the parent was prepared, though not herself a member of the church, to take the promises.
[101] Who takes the promises of a, a child of ... immature years and yet erm articulate?
[102] I, I find I don't know what to do in this situation between the two.
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [...] ...
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [103] Er Moderator I'm sorry I, I've not quite caught the, the question there.
[104] Could I be er helped ... could the, the s speaker just repeat the question?
Hugh (PS1NA) [105] Mrs
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [106] Thank you.
[107] Sorry.
[108] Case given, you have a child who ... to ask for baptism, him or herself.
[109] The parents are not church members, the child is not baptised but wants baptised, who makes the promises?
[110] ... And that I have personally already found a problem.
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [111] If there's a legal question here I'll happily field it to the
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [laugh] [applause] ...
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [112] I if i , if it's a pastoral problem I, I think probably the child er should take er such ... vows as they can.
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [applause]
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [113] But I, I place great er importance on the job of the elder.
[114] ... The job of the elder to stand by that child and, and see to its Christian nurture thereafter.
[115] And I think we these ... er [...]
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [116] Can I ask which promises?
[117] Is it the promises merely for baptism or the promises for confirmation in that the child is articulate and intelligent enough to answer?
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [118] It must surely be the promises for baptism
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [119] Just for baptism.
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [120] As far as
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [121] Which
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [122] you know as far as they're [...]
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [123] now admits to the sacrament?
[124] ... Yes.
[125] Thank you. ...
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [...] ...
Hugh (PS1NA) [126] Moderator nine hundred and ten, a question concerning the statement of faith.
[127] And again perhaps to follow up a previous question ... and the question is this, that in the first draft of the statement of faith which was presented two years ago, there was a very clear statement which said that Christ died for our sin ... in connection with the cross ... and I was wondering what the reasoning was which took away that very specific meaning of the death of the Christ into a much more general and ambiguous one in the statement before us today. ...
Hugh (PS1NA) [128] Doctor? ...
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [129] Er again that's a very specific question to which I can't give a specific answer.
[130] You know we have had, as you saw, hundreds and hundreds of amendments and the thing has gone through an enormous process of ... of er consideration.
[131] Erm so I don't honestly remember at what point the line that er Mr Bruce refers to er was removed or was transformed into what we have here.
[132] Er ... it became ... by his death on the cross and [...] has triumphed over evil.
[133] ... It's a question of ... [laugh] we were told always to be brief, it has to be brief, you can't say everything.
[134] Erm and again we must rest our case that we've done our best with it.
[135] Er the ... Christ died for our sins, triumphed over evil, is er i is our effort at covering v many aspects of that great event. ...
Hugh (PS1NA) [136] Moderator, can I ask a second question?
Hugh (PS1NA) [137] If it's in a different subject from what you've asked already.
Hugh (PS1NA) [138] Er no it isn't. ...
Hugh (PS1NA) [...]
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [laugh] ...
Hugh (PS1NA) [139] Any other questions?
Hugh (PS1NA) [140] Moderator one six nine.
[141] I, I have a quandary here cos I'm not quite sure whether I should be asking a question or proposing something against the deliverance but I have attended and er listened to a number of debates arising out of this matter of er the baptism of children ... and time and again it's struck me that it starts off about baptism but it turns out to be a discussion about the parents.
[142] ... Now I don't detect in the work of the er panel on doctrine up to the present time anything which tackles
Hugh (PS1NA) [143] I'm sorry but I, I want to be ... fair to everybody, yeah and I also want to be fair to the debate that's still to come later this afternoon, but I've called for questions and I'd like everybody to start their statement with the question which they're going to put to the convenor.
[144] It gives him
Hugh (PS1NA) [145] Well
Hugh (PS1NA) [146] it gives him, in fairness, time to think out the answer rather than hearing the question at the very end.
[147] And therefore I'd like everybody to
Hugh (PS1NA) [148] well the
Hugh (PS1NA) [149] preface their statement with a question.
[150] There's ample opportunity in the debate to make contributions.
[151] [...] just questions.
Hugh (PS1NA) [152] The question is this Moderator
Hugh (PS1NA) [153] Thank you.
Hugh (PS1NA) [154] erm ... has the panel on doctrine really tackled the question per se what is the theological position of children from their birth onwards, and put that in a concrete, orderly statement, or are they intending to do so? ...
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [155] We, we believe Moderator that the statement in last year's blue book did really cover that pretty adequately, that's our response to Mr . ...
Hugh (PS1NA) [156] Any other questions?
[157] ... [...] I then move to the deliverances on page one hundred and eighty five.
[158] ... Number one ... approved.
[159] ... Of course, certainly.
[160] ... Bishop of Newcastle. ...
(F85PS000) [161] Moderator I, one two eight six , I wondered whether a word from south of the border might be in order because in recent years in the Church of England we've been busy discussing the theological foundations and the practical discipline in respect of several matters which fall under the general heading of Christian initiation and indeed we have been experimenting a bit here and there.
[162] Erm
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [laugh]
(F85PS000) [163] and these matters relate to sections two and three of the panel's report and indeed to yesterday's debate.
[164] There are three points which I should wish to make.
[165] ... First with regard to infant baptism and its general availability.
[166] Our general synod has been reminded of two thorough reports produced by the Church of Scotland on the subject of baptism in I think nineteen fifty five and nineteen sixty two ... with their clear emphasis are that the person of Christ and the work of Christ are central to the understanding of baptism.
[167] Indeed the covenant is important ... but it is Christ who holds the key to the understanding of baptism and I thought that you would like to hear how your work has helped us to see our way in this respect.
[168] ... And then second ... er the meaning and practice of confirmation has been much debated among us.
[169] There's an ecumenical consensus nowadays surely that it is by faith and baptism that one is made a Christian or becomes a Christian ... and we've also inherited, many of us, another rite, with its origins in the New Testament, valuable in the making of a christian ... and the three strands in confirmation set out in the report before us would certainly be owned by all of us.
[170] But our house of bishops has decided that we should adhere to the order traditional for us, of baptism, of confirmation, first communion, and our general synod has endorsed this decision.
[171] We treasure confirmation and we fear that any alteration in the pattern might lead to confirmation ceasing to be observed.
[172] And we also had a fear that, with different disciplines and different dioceses and parishes, that could be a recipe for chaos and confusion.
[173] There will therefore be no further experimental schemes in dioceses and parishes whereby children are admitted to communion before confirmation.
[174] The bishops will be prepared to confirm children at a rather younger age so that they may be admitted earlier to the communicant life.
[175] As a consequence, the note of lifelong commitment will be less prominent in the confirmation of these candidates.
[176] And this leads to the third point, namely that we have asked for various new rites to be prepared.
[177] Rites which can be offered and used when occasion demands.
[178] For instance a rite of lifelong commitment for adults or of young people on the verge of adult life who have been confirmed at an earlier age.
[179] ... A rite of reaffirming vows made at baptism and at confirmation, a rite particularly intended for those who have subsequently experienced some sort of dramatic renewal of their Christian life which makes their previous experience of it seem as nothing.
[180] And then a rite of reconciliation for those who've lapsed from church membership, or from the practice of their religion, and want to start again in a purposeful manner.
[181] I mention this variety of rites, which are in process of preparation, because the main route whereby people are introduced to and grow in the light of the church, baptism as infants, confirmation in early teens, leading to faithful communicant life, that route is no longer followed by quite a number in our fellowship.
[182] The scene is much more complex than it was say a generation or two ago ... and Moderator we in the Church of England should be much interested to learn in due course whether you too will feel a need to make liturgical revision for these various paths to faith. ...
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [applause]
Hugh (PS1NA) [183] Number one approved.
[184] ... Number two
(F85PS001) [185] Moderator ... four five nine ... Moderator I ... welcome the number two in the deliverance but I would make a plea to the ... er panel that this leaflet be a very simple leaflet and it not be brief, but in fact be quite lengthy.
[186] My reasons for ... eh urging the eh panel to do this are that ... many areas of our church are in deprived areas.
[187] Many er areas of our church are in areas where the education, educational standards are not as high in other areas, and a lot of the leaflets that we bring out are quite er unable to be understood by many people in these areas.
[188] So I am pleading that the panel really take a great deal of effort in this leaflet so that it is going to be easily understood by even the ... people who are less well educated than some of us.
[189] For instance most of this debate would not have been understood by many people in my parish.
[190] And I would urge the panel to send out their proposed leaflet to the ministers in various areas where the educational standards are not very high that they may look at them and put forward suggestions so that the leaflet that eventually comes out will be understood by the whole of our people and not just by the most educated.
[191] Thank you Moderator.
Hugh (PS1NA) [192] Mr ...
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [193] Moderator two seven eight.
[194] Moderator I have a counter motion to deliverance two ... in the following terms.
[195] Instruct the panel on doctrine and the board of practice and procedure to hold area conferences with presbyteries to see if there is a need for new legislation on eligibility for infant baptism.
[196] ... Moderator I am not convinced that in rejecting the legislation that went down under the Barrier Act, presbyteries were merely endorsing the status quo.
[197] I suspect from what I heard in conversation from others in other presbyteries is that many of them were in favour of change, but simply did not feel that what was proposed was an improvement to what we have already.
[198] And I fear therefore that we're in precisely the same position as we were when the presbytery of Hamilton brought their overture to us.
[199] And because I fear that that is the position, I cannot help but feel that before long we will have yet another attempt to amend Act seventeen, nineteen sixty three ... and that we will go round the circuit, the same circuit once again with I fear the same result.
[200] My hope ... and at this stage it can only be a hope, is that if consultations are held with presbyteries, a consensus will emerge as to the nature of the changes to Act seventeen that are required and that that consensus will enable the Act to be successfully amended.
[201] Moderator I would simply cite as an example of what I have in mind the conferences organized by the assembly council which successfully resolved the problem of necessary buildings.
[202] Moderator I move.
Hugh (PS1NA) [203] Mr before we can ask for a seconder on it I'd ask the clerk to make a de definition about expenditure that has not necessarily been costed beforehand.
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [204] Yes Moderator I think it was Mr who drew my attention yesterday
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [laugh] [applause]
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [205] to standing or order nineteen fifty four about new or additional expenditure which says that any proposal which involves new or additional expenditure etcetera must be in the hands of commissioners and printed in proper form.
[206] Now the Board of Practice and Procedure has a budget and w which we have already negotiated, and we're hoping to be able to hold our presbytery clerks conference but there is nothing in the budget that could possibly cope with these additional conferences and these would therefore be new and additional expenditure, and this motion cannot therefore be treated as competent. ...
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [207] Hoist with one's own petard.
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [laugh] ...
Hugh (PS1NA) [208] You may make a comment Dr .
[209] Yes, number two is still before the assembly. ...
(F85PS002) [210] Moderator it is said that ... a passion for consistency is the mark of a small mind ... which probably explains why I have a passion for consistency.
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [laugh]
(F85PS002) [211] It seems to me that we are inclining to be very inconsistent in regard to two matters which have recently been very much before us.
[212] In the, when we dealt with the matter of children and communion, we based the whole case upon the doctrine that nothing must be allowed to stand in the way of the grace of God being available for all and sundry.
[213] Nothing must be allowed to stand in the way of that.
[214] Children, if they mu must be ... allowed to come forward and ... share in that grace at the lord's table and so on.
[215] When we come to deal with infant baptism ... we take the view that the failure of parents to measure up to certain standards is to be allowed to stand in the way of the grace of God being available for their children.
[216] ... This is particularly difficult in view of the fact that it is just their children who are probably far more in need of that grace of God just because of the attitude of their parents, than those of parents who measure up to all the standards that we impose.
[217] Now I'm aware that many parents bring their children for baptism from reasons of superstition or custom or anything you like ... I'm reminded of a certain tax gatherer who, inspired by sheer idle curiosity, climbed a tree ... curiosity maybe took him up the tree but it was the grace of God that brought him down.
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [laugh] ...
(F85PS002) [218] And I care not what may be the motive of the parents who bring their children and want them offered to Christ in the sacrament of baptism ... it is the grace of God that is available for them there and I think we should be very thoughtful about these matters and try to take up either one position or the other.
[219] Either ... the grace should be available to all or there should be a right to impose restrictions.
[220] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [applause]
Hugh (PS1NA) [221] [...] this gentleman, thank you.
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [222] one six ... one six seven.
[223] Erm ... it's with a view to in fact er Dr 's point that I want to speak.
[224] Erm this whole problem does give ministers erm a great deal of tension and heart searching erm and er we're in the throws of, of, of looking for a leaflet that's gonna help ministers faced with er parents who come and have to be turned away because we feel embarrassed, we feel erm the weight of our, our turning away people and our inability to minister the grace of God to them, although I'd of thought [...] gravity of [...] but er anyway erm er but we have this problem and erm it seems to me that one way out of it is to pick up on what our brother from the Church of England said and look at new rites, and new ways in which we can open our arms to a public out there which is desperately in need of rites of passage.
[225] And the only erm body with any integrity and any standing in the eyes of the people of Scotland is the Church of Scotland.
[226] We have the rites of passage and the public out there, whether they are pagan, agnostic, unbelieving or Christian, want rites of passage.
[227] Unfortunately our rites of passage are specifically designated for Christians and that is quite clear.
[228] And you look at the er the preamble in the, in the order er the book of common order for baptism and it is designated for Christian people, that particular rite of passage.
[229] The rite of passage of marriage is not, interestingly enough, if one looks at it carefully but baptism certainly is.
[230] Erm and er what I would like to see, and I've long wanted to see this coming out of the church, is a rite of passage that I with integrity can offer to any parents who come to me with a, a, a lovely little baby in their arms saying to me parish minister can you give us something that would satisfy us, and they're not saying it like this, but they want a rite of passage.
[231] I would erm love to be able to offer them something that had the sanction of the whole church and the weight of the church behind it erm which could satisfy the longing for me to do this.
[232] Erm and I would see that in terms of a service of thanksgiving, some kind of service of thanksgiving where I could pray with them, we could pray for the child in their arms in the face of the congregation and ask God's blessing on the life of that child and see that as a celebration of thanksgiving and a, a prayer of blessing for, for that child.
[233] And we would not be asking the parents to say things they didn't believe or make promises that they had no intention of fulfilling.
[234] Erm and we could offer this to the whole er er t to anyone who came to us and therefore be seen to be a church which was very accepting and outward going and missionary minded because all too often we hear ministers talking about erm using bapti baptism as an evangelical tool er c talk which I greatly resent and resist.
[235] So erm the point of my remarks is to, to add to number two the following er the following words ... erm and urge the panel to bring forward suggestions for a rite celebrating the gift of new birth.
[236] ... And I so move.
Hugh (PS1NA) [237] Is that
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [applause]
Hugh (PS1NA) [238] is that seconded?
[239] ... Thank you.
[240] Any discussion on this new er on this amendment?
[241] On this addendum? ...
(F85PS003) [242] Moderator I tell you what the convenor would say [...] six four O ... is it for the panel to bring forward a rite ... or is it for the ... er committee on ... worship to bring forward rites?
[243] Erm I think we're asking the panel on doctrine to do something that is not really within their remit at the moment. ...
Hugh (PS1NA) [244] This is not your summing up, this is only answering Mr 's point Dr
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [245] Er I think Mr is probably right [laughing] correct [] er that rites [laugh]
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [laugh]
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [246] er this is probably a job for the panel on worship.
[247] Nevertheless, in case I seem to be just er avoiding the question, er I would have to say that this has been asked for before and we have resisted time and again, that's the history of the matter, on the grounds that what these parents are really asking for is baptism and it's our opportunity to ... to er, to speak in these terms er and ... it's a gold golden opportunity if they actually come to us. ...
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [248] one O six five.
[249] I would resist that addition to the ... er ... paragraph in the deliverance.
[250] It seems to me that the New Testament says very clearly that many people came to Jesus asking for a sign and he pointed to himself.
[251] We are a Christian church and we should be speaking of things of Christ. ...
Hugh (PS1NA) [252] [...] thank you. ...
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [253] seven one seven.
[254] Moderator [clears throat] I too would want to resist th th the addendum that has been proposed for number two because it seems to me that we're concerned as a church with the issue of baptism and initiation and we want to keep our mind and our ideas firmly fixed on that however unpleasant and uncomfortable it is.
[255] It seems to me that however attractive this addendum is, it's taking us away from the real issue which is about the baptism one which the bishop er also kind of brought up er and which we've been exercising ourselves over.
[256] Sadly Mr 's proposal fell on a technicality, but I think he put his finger on something which I felt the assembly was, was responding to, that we are not finished with this issue ... and although it fell on a technicality about money, perhaps without making any addendums and motions we might er refuse this addendum ... and keep our minds on the baptism issue and hope that the Board of Practice and Procedure and the panel on doctrine will pick up the substance and the, the essence of what Mr was asking for and pursue this matter until as a church we can get it sorted out to the satisfaction of all the groups within the church.
[257] Let's not go go down a side road however, as it were, appealing it may be, let's stick to the main difficult one and keep chewing it until we can get an answer.
[258] I hope that, that the assembly will not take this addendum and then I hope the two boards concerned will take on the issue as Mr suggested. ...
Hugh (PS1NA) [259] Thank you. [...]
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [260] Er one two three five.
[261] I feel that not a enough emphasis has been put on the vows that er parents take and the responsibility the minister has in administering those vows ... and therefore I support er the new amendment because of this, that it offers er ... a form of evangelism without the risk of having the parents taking vows that they do not ... er ... that they cannot keep. ...
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [262] Moderator might I ask a question?
Hugh (PS1NA) [263] I'm sorry but that that lady ...
Ian (PS1NC) [264] J A one six one.
[265] Erm I would like to formally second Mr because I followed a situation where the previous minister had baptised anyone ... and when I arrived I discussed with the session what our policy on baptism was and we concurred that we should follow the nineteen sixty three law but apply it ... under grace and ... with the spirit of God in mind ... and we had some very difficult situations when people said to me no I have no time for God in my life but I want you to baptise my baby.
[266] ... And they could not understand why I refused ... to baptise their baby.
[267] We need something else that we can give people that still shows them the love of God.
[268] Sh that th the people were willing to make promises that they did not wish to keep ... that they would not keep ... and I in all sincerity could not let them do that, and they went away extremely hurt and that particular situation unfortunately became extremely tragic later on.
[269] I don't wish that to happen again.
Hugh (PS1NA) [270] Thank you.
[271] Mr
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [272] Moderator might I ask a question ... er perhaps a supplementary?
[273] ... Is there any reason why the conference ... which is budgeted for ... might not be used to reflect the mind of presbyteries on the proposal that Mr was putting forward?
[274] And in the event of that answer being yes, will it be done? ...
Hugh (PS1NA) [275] [...] I think Mr you've anticipated a, a, a ... a statement that was going to be given shortly by ... Mr
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [...]
Hugh (PS1NA) [276] Yes I think so.
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [277] Er Moderator er there isn't any reason in principle why this sh shouldn't happen that er this subject couldn't come up at the presbytery clerks conference.
[278] It has to be said however that the presbytery, presbytery clerks ... er write their own agenda for these meetings er for these conferences and er it would be up to presbyteries to instruct their clerks that that had to go on their agenda. ...
Hugh (PS1NA) [279] [...] Mr Mr is a presbytery clerk so I think your point will be well answered. [laugh]
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [...]
(F85PS004) [280] four four seven.
[281] Unless I have missed it earlier in this debate, I think there may be a point of clarification which may need to be made er with the result of yesterday's decision, and that is that section two, which we're now discussing, speaks of the position of parents who are not communicant members.
[282] Do I take it now to mean that that means parents who have not been baptised?
[283] Because it is the ... grace of baptism administered to an infant which allows them to receive the grace of communion and therefore they are in essential, as well as being universal members of the church, they're membe they're communicant members of the church.
[284] And therefore the requirement is simply for a parent asking for baptism for their child to have been baptised.
[285] Is that [...] ? ...
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [286] [...] Moderator ... the erm overture which we passed into an act er in the last sentence of section three says the names of such children, that's those children who have been admitted to ... erm communion as children, shall be admitted to the communion roll of the congregation when they have made public profession of their faith ... that is, when they reach the point at which they make that normal statement and the ... my understanding would be people whose names are on the communion roll.
Hugh (PS1NA) [287] Would it be the, the will of the general assembly that we take a vote on the amendment that has been, the addendum that has been made to number two at this stage? ...
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [...]
Hugh (PS1NA) [288] Are you withdrawing your addendum then?
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [289] Moderator er listening er three double three, listening to Mr 's point er about bringing this in in conjunction with the, the section on baptism erm ... I think we're in agreement that it would be more appropriate to raise this as a new section. ...
Hugh (PS1NA) [290] Mr you're withdrawing your addendum then to number two?
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [...]
Hugh (PS1NA) [291] I'm sorry, I'm asking for an answer really, yes or no.
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [292] Yes, yes [...]
Hugh (PS1NA) [293] And er you can't, I I'm not asking er I can't allow you to [...] again
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [294] Well I think I, I think I'll stick I'll stick, stick by the issue then ... yes.
Hugh (PS1NA) [295] You're staying, you're s
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [296] I, I'll stay with it.
[297] Aha
Hugh (PS1NA) [298] You're staying with your addendum.
[299] That's fine.
[300] Could I
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [301] Moderator ... c could I ask, is this really in order?
[302] I, I mean should it not belong on the panel on worship?
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [303] Well this is
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [304] It, it might, I was going to suggest Moderator that if, if the thing were amended to, to delete the word rite er and, and ... and perhaps have, you know, the whole issue rather than th the rite it could perhaps go to the, the panel on doctrine and be perfectly in order. ...
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [305] Yes Mo Moderator the precise words are ask the panel to bring forward suggestions for a rite celebrating the gift of new birth.
[306] Er it is not asking the panel to n you know to draft a rite that would [...] used and I, I would interpret this to mean that it's asking the panel to look up the theological propriety if you like of such a rite ... and bring forward suggestions which would then be passed for implementation, if so decided, to the panel on worship.
Hugh (PS1NA) [307] I if that is understood and that is accepted that would meet Mr 's point in that it is, it is in fact in order ... and, and is not interfering with another panel's responsibilities.
[308] Therefore I ask the assembly now to vote o sorry, yes Dr you have the right to reply, of course you have.
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [309] Moderator I, I feel I'd still want to resist this and hope the assembly would not accept it.
[310] I think it's significant that on page one eight six of our, of the blue book, we report four sentenc for er lines from the top ... two presbyteries expressed a desire for the whole practice of infant baptism to be re-examined, only two presbyteries.
[311] Er ... I I I I th I doubt if really we, we need to go into all this matter again.
[312] We have really answered these questions in the course of our work and er I think any rite, any consideration of a rite of passage such as was, was er asked for, is in a sense detracting from the significance of holy baptism and I doubt if there's any future in this.
Hugh (PS1NA) [313] Could I then ask the clerk to read the words that have been proposed to be added to number two as it stands on page one eight five.
[314] And we are only voting on whether we will accept to add these words or not, we're not voting at this stage on deliverance number two. ...
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [315] Moderator to add at the end of er that deliverance these words ... [reading] urge the panel to bring forward suggestions for a rite celebrating the gift of new birth [] .
Hugh (PS1NA) [316] Those who wish to vote for the addition of these words to deliverance number two would you please stand.
[317] ... Thank you.
[318] Those wishing to vote against please stand.
[319] I declare it's been carried against and so we come back to deliverance number two as it is in the print.
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [320] Moderator
Hugh (PS1NA) [321] Yes.
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [322] [...] ... one one eight nine.
[323] ... Moderator the convenor in his introduction and in the deliverance ... says that the church's position is that it offers baptism to parents who are not er who, who ... is seeking to explain the church's position to parents who are not communicant members or intending members of the church.
[324] I think I, I should say that the current law of the church offers baptism to those who are communicant members or intending members of the church or who are adherents.
[325] ... And an adherent of the church is understood in the highland region, the largest single ... local government area in the European Community ... to be someone who attends worship regularly.
[326] There are a great number of adherents in the highlands.
[327] There are also a large number of adherents er to my knowledge in Edinburgh, people who have moved from the highlands for work.
[328] I think of a lady who, now seventy, has attended her parish church in Edinburgh ... regularly year by year for forty years.
[329] She is not a communicant member because she doesn't find herself worthy to come to the lord's table.
[330] This is a traditional and most unfortunate highland practice ... but nevertheless it is something that is currently accepted by the church ... and I would hope that the convenor in drawing up, or the panel in drawing up the leaflet, would take account of this.
[331] Otherwise I would wish to move that the word o adherents or intending members be added to the deliverance. ...
Hugh (PS1NA) [332] Dr could you give clarification or confirmation please.
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [333] Yes certainly confirmation.
[334] We undoubtedly respect the position of the ... of the adherents as you describe them, undoubtedly.
[335] This was really just shorthand I suppose, but we undoubtedly er respect [...]
Hugh (PS1NA) [336] [...] Could I now put number, deliverance number two to the general assembly.
[337] Is it approved?
[338] ... Thank you.
[339] Deliverance number three.
[340] Approved?
[341] Sorry, you wish to ...
Hugh (PS1NA) [...]
Hugh (PS1NA) [342] you wish to make a comment to it?
[343] Yes please come.
[344] Thank you. ... [...]
Hugh (PS1NA) [345] Moderator two hundred and fifty five.
[346] I found this section, number three, of particular interest because surely it's dealing with the very kernel of our relationship to what we call in language that ought to be so real and ... preserved from romanticism, the body of Christ ... membership ... limbhood ... branchship, whatever you want to call it, if whether you take your figure from John fifteen or from the Apostle.
[347] It seems to me that this is something on which er not en passant but within the flow of his report Dr Stuart mentioned something of great importance and I was jotting down for myself, by way of aide memoire, membership, Madagascar, ministry of the whole people of God, three Ms as it were .
[348] The reason is that erm the question of membership seems to me to relate essentially to the ministry of the whole people of God.
[349] And therefore I, I would like to tell you an experience I had in Madagascar because it's one of the things that will be in my memory on my deathbed.
[350] I visited a college there in, in that offshore island in the Indian Ocean and met the principal of that theological college and I said to him, I asked him how the college was going and he gave the same blandness to his answer as to my question and then he said ... of his theological college ... we are still training an aristocracy for the church and ensuring the inertia of the people of God.
[351] And I had to say, inside myself, that's awful like the kirk.
[352] Cos in a very profound sense this is true, and I was so glad that it was ... I think a very serious part of the flow of Dr Stuart 's report that he mentioned ... that the er s sense of the ... ministry of the whole people of God as being much more than a distant objective for us, but something of absolutely essential, vital importance to the whole life and service and outreach of the church.
[353] And what worries me, if I may say so in this matter is that, that I find ... er in my retirement, a sensitivity among some of my fellow ministers about something that one of them described as a threat to status ... a feeling that there must be a protection of prerogatives.
[354] And it seems to me that this is so profoundly tragic because surely if we talk about the body of Christ there is not only a relationship of every limb and member to the head, but of every limb and member to every other limb and member.
[355] And my plea would be that we ... do everything we possibly can and that's why I found the quotation from scripture in this section so apposite, that we do everything we possibly can in grace and love and truth to help people to enter into a commitment to the ministry of the whole people of God.
[356] And not to that kind of limp ... posture that was summed up by the princ principal of the theological college er with the word inertia.
[357] There is a profound inertia and part of that in many places surely with it there is a profound inertia on another matter ... Dr Stuart referred to, in an answering a question he said I would see this as the, the role of the elder.
[358] Can we not do more even than we're doing at the moment to restore to the centre of the life of the church the glorious concept of a team of pastoral care and a high command of power strategy in which dominance by ministers will be reduced to the minimum in order that together we may be ready to let the lifeblood of Christ flow through us in such a way that we will be better able to welcome the twenty first century in his name.
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [applause]
Hugh (PS1NA) [359] May I bring the assembly back to deliverance number three.
[360] Is that approved?
[361] Number three ... before we come to number four ... the business convenor please? ...
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [362] I simply wanted just to intervene at this point Moderator er there, before we get into a debate on section four, just to remind the assembly that we have a heavy volume of business still ahead of us this afternoon.
[363] We do hope to take the board of social responsibility report this afternoon as well and that people might just keep that in mind er because we have still three notices of motion on the panel on doctrine before we reach that.
[364] Thank you.
Hugh (PS1NA) [365] When we come to number four I notice a notice of motion in the light blue papers this morning on page sixty five there is an addendum to this in the name of Mr .
[366] Would it be the mind of the assembly we hear Mr now and we deal with this addendum?
[367] ... Mr ...
(F85PS000) [368] Moderator ... one six two.
[369] The panel on doctrine are to be congratulated on their wise handling of the response of presbyteries and kirk sessions to the proposed new statement of faith.
[370] ... However I would like to commen comment in my name in terms of my amendment on page sixty five of the blue paper ... to deliverance four ... on what seems to me their very seriously limited expression of the work of the holy spirit as guiding us only in our understanding of the bible.
[371] ... While one takes into account the concern of Calvin and the reformers for the balance between the light of scripture and the inner light and direction given to individuals ... an experience vouchsafe for ... countless times in both the Old and New Testaments ... also remembering our lord's own use of silence in prayer and I believe the increasing use of silence in modern worship ... and may I also say how very impressed I was by Dr 's prayer at the opening of this assembly in which he asked for the guidance of God and indeed your own equally eloquent prayer on Sunday evening Moderator ... open to the prompting and leading and guiding of God's spirit.
[372] And my comment would be that the spirit guides us in our understanding of the bible, needs to be augmented by the words ... and in our daily lives ... before the words renews us in the sacraments and calls us to serve God in the world.
[373] And I would move accordingly.
[374] I haven't arranged for a secondary.
Hugh (PS1NA) [375] Thank you Mr , is this seconded?
[376] ... Thank you.
[377] Any comments or discussion on this amendment ... or this addendum?
[378] ... Could I then ask the convenor to respond to it please. ...
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [379] Moderator it may seem a little strange to resist this er addendum but I do so really because er it's never a good idea to er to be amending what is in a sense a liturgical piece of work on the floor of the house.
[380] Also more particularly because this particular bit of work has had such thorough examination by the presbyteries that it doesn't seem to er justify further tinkering with it at this stage.
[381] Er I don't think there's any limitation set in our statement on the work of the holy spirit.
[382] He unites us to Christ, he gives life, he renews us, he calls us to serve ... I think these are all variations on the theme that Mr has in mind, and so I would resist this and hope the assembly will.
Hugh (PS1NA) [383] Thank you.
[384] We come now to vote on this addendum to deliverance ... n number four and, since it is in print, we don't need to ask the clerk to read it out for us, so therefore as, ask those who wish to vote for this addendum would you please stand.
[385] The addendum to deliverance four.
[386] ... Thank you.
[387] Those who wish to vote against this addendum would you please stand.
[388] ... Thank you very much.
[389] We now come back to deliverance four as in print.
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [...]
Hugh (PS1NA) [390] Yes certainly. ...
(F85PS001) [391] four eight two.
[392] Moderator I should like to move that a full stop be placed after the word commentary ... and that the remainder of the words in the deliverance be deleted.
[393] ... Moderator when the general assembly of nineteen ninety sent down the draft statement of faith, I and others were unhappy with it on a number of counts.
[394] It did not teach that men and women are made in the image of God.
[395] It excluded any mention of the virgin birth.
[396] It did not say anything about the fall.
[397] It did not unambiguously affirm the uniqueness of Christ.
[398] It did not do justice to the biblical doctrine of atonement.
[399] There was no clear teaching on faith and repentance.
[400] It did not define the authority of the bible in relation to the life of the church.
[401] It was weak in its doctrine of the holy spirit ... and perhaps heretical in arguing that sanctification was by means of sacraments.
[402] It did not properly highlight the nature of the church or the church's mission to the world.
[403] On the doctrine of the last things it seemed to imply universalism.
[404] After two years of debate in the church, during which and many other points such as these have been raised, I confess to being deeply disappointed with the statement before us today.
[405] The statement before us is defective in almost exactly the same points as the draft statement, with only marginal improvements in these areas.
[406] Indeed I think we can say that it is worse than the draft statement because some of the good points in the original have been removed.
[407] For example reference to God's creation by his eternal word and spirit ... removed.
[408] The idea that God directs the universe ... removed.
[409] The notion that the incarnation was to fulfil the promise to Israel and to reconcile the world with God ... removed.
[410] The fact that Jesus was obedient to the father's will ... removed.
[411] The fact that Jesus bore the sin of the world, removed.
[412] The teaching that Jesus triumphed over all the powers of evil ... removed.
[413] ... The ascension and mediation of Christ ... removed.
[414] The reference to justification, removed.
[415] The reference to the inspiration of scripture, removed.
[416] The promise that Jesus will return in power and glory, removed.
[417] ... As we stood to say the apostle's creed during the communion service yesterday ... a statement of faith which we share with every part of the Christian church throughout the world ... I concluded that this statement was unnecessary.
[418] Not only do we already have such a statement in the apostle's creed, but theological it's in a different realm.
[419] Not only so, but I believe this statement to be deeply theologically inadequate and that various points to be at variance both with scripture and with the Westminster confession of faith ... the standard and the principle subordinate standard of this church.
[420] Moderator we are in a day of theological confusion and disagreement.
[421] That surely has been testified to today when the very convenor of the panel on doctrine admits that he doesn't want the statements to be too clear so that they can be understood and used by people of radically different persuasions.
[422] If we do not know what we believe and cannot agree on what we believe, then is it not better to wait until we can and do.
[423] I urge the assembly to accept this amendment ... to depart from this statement, to commend to our churches the use of the apostle's creed and to wait for a day of broad theological agreement which in the providence of God and by the work of the holy spirit will surely come ... and then agree upon a statement of faith which we shall all agree and be able to commend enthusiastically to the church but until then ... to depart from this one.
[424] Thank you Moderator.
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [applause]
Hugh (PS1NA) [425] Is ... is that seconded?
[426] ... Seconded.
[427] Now ... Mr you called what you have just s spoken to ... an amendment.
[428] ... I have had my own opinion confirmed with the advice from the business convenor and the vice convenor, and that is that we determine that this is in fact a counter motion that you have spoken to because it is against the spirit of the deliverance.
[429] And since it is a counter motion, I will take it at the very end with any other counter motions, and therefore I am not asking the convenor to reply to it because if we had a vote on it at this stage, we'd either be ... we, we would therefore be sealing completely this deliverance number four as it stands.
[430] And so therefore if anybody has amendments that they wish to make to the deliverance as it is, we will take them if necessary one by one and vote for them as they are presented to us, and then we'll come to any other counter motions that may be on hand.
[431] And you've been very kindly waiting there, come forward.
[432] ... Amendments or addendums to number four.
Hugh (PS1NA) [433] Thank you Moderator.
[434] nine hundred and ten.
[435] I have ... I think it's an addendum ... erm ... to rewrite a particular phrase in the statement to become ... he died on the cross for the sins of the world ... and by his resurrection ... as already in print.
[436] ... I'd like to ... I'd like to thank the panel for the work which they have done on this very difficult issue and, although the convenor has said that it is ... perhaps a difficult thing to alter the text of such a document on the floor of the house, I think we also have to point out that this is our only opportunity to comment upon this particular draft ... which will become a definitive draft if passed by the general assembly today.
[437] One which is going to be published and placed in the hands of people at large for their help in understanding the faith.
[438] And therefore it is only because I believe this particular phrase is quite literally to do with the very crux, the very cross, of our Christian understanding that I bring it before the general assembly.
[439] In the communion service we state quite clearly that Jesus died for the sins of the world.
[440] Not just because of not just because certain men at a certain place were sinful and crucified him unjustly ... not just because of sin ... but he died for the sin of the world, taking our sin in our place.
[441] A significant change has taken place in the wording of the statement, on this particular issue, from the original nineteen ninety draft ... of which was produced by the working party of which I was convenor.
[442] In nineteen ninety, as indeed Mr has pointed out, there was a clear statement ... a sta a clear phrase which said that Christ died for our sin.
[443] In the version here in nineteen ninety two, the death of Christ is coupled with the resurrection, and all that is said in this connection is that he overcame evil.
[444] Now this to my mind is just not clear enough on the very central feature of our faith.
[445] Is this referring to a moral triumph over injustice?
[446] Is it referring just to a triumphalistic idea of atonement ... in which everything is just alright in the end?
[447] What we have to see is that Christ died not just as a self sacrifice ... not just because of injustice ... but he died as the atonement, to pay the price, for our sin.
[448] The statement does have a phrase in it in which it says that Jesus declared the forgiveness of sins ... but there is an immense difference between declaring forgiveness and making forgiveness.
[449] An immense difference indeed.
[450] It was not just enough for God to declare forgiveness ... but God had to do something in Christ for that forgiveness to come to be.
[451] If I could illustrate from two medieval theologians, the two traditions following them ... in the Tomas tradition ... righteousness and the moral law of God is seeing ... is seen as being part of the very being of God himself.
[452] In the Scottish tradition, following upon our Scottish theologian Dun Scottas although not representing him properly, it says that righteousness and moral items are just to do with the will of God.
[453] God just decides that such and such is correct or such and such is wrong.
[454] And on the Scottish understanding, it is very easy for somebody to come along and say well jo God just now declares that we are forgiven.
[455] But we have a much deeper understanding than that.
[456] God had to do something on the cross, in Christ, in order that his love which he has for us as sinners might become forgiveness for us in reality.
[457] Paul in second Corinthians said that Christ became sin for us, a glorious exchange took place, something happened on the cross which was necessary.
[458] And this is the real reason why I feel that we must include a specific connection between the death on the cross and the sins of the world.
[459] I remember once the late professor G S Stuart reminding us that, in relation to the death of Jesus on the cross, we do not know how deep were the waters crossed, or how dark was the night that the lord passed through ere he found the sheep that was lost.
[460] We do not have any neat theory of the atonement, but we know this ... that on the cross Christ died for our sins and for the atonement of the world. ...
Unknown speaker (F85PSUNK) [applause]
Hugh (PS1NA) [461] Mr that's, Mr 's addendum is seconded?
[462] ... Thank you.
[463] Any discussion on this particular ... addendum?
[464] ... Can I ask the convenor then to reply please.
Dr Stuart (PS1NB) [465] Moderator I I ... as before I'm resisting this.
[466] I think the statement should really just be judged on its merits today as it stands.
[467] It's been through the presbyteries, it's been discussed and we report on what the balance of opinion is.
[468] Er I I would prefer not to be involved in elaborate discussion of the theology of involved.
[469] Er remember the emphasi it is a statement ... a statement.
[470] A reform church should constantly be producing statements.
[471] It's not in any way in competition with ... ni with er apostle's creed or anything else, it's a quite different er er er er animal.
[472] It's er the, the apostle's creed ha has erm ... er er is erm ... out of a different background and [...]