Thursday, July 20, 2006

New Wineskins Conference

If the first report is any indication I am very disturbed by the focus of the New Wineskins Conference. It seems to me that the leaders of this group have no real belief in Presbyterianism or the Reformed faith. Their words are very focused on emotion-driven Christianity without any real desire to seek anything substantive or foundational. Evangelical Big-Box at heart this quote from the story on Layman Online is especially disturbing:

Dean Weaver, pastor of Community Park Presbyterian Church and co-moderator of the New Wineskins Initiative, as part of an "action plan" that also calls for the evangelical group to become formally organized as the New Wineskins Association of Churches. Although first organized as a parallel evangelical movement within the Presbyterian Church (USA), the New Wineskins Initiative has made almost no reference to being denominational or Presbyterian. Weaver emphasized that distinction during his presentation of the action plan, although it did include a reference to a connectionalism "as understood by the historic Reformed tradition."

So here we have a “Presbyterian renewal group” that is neither Presbyterian in any fashion nor is it in the least bit interested in reforming the church. It seems that this conference is an insult to anyone who really desires to reform the church. I was never really impressed by the NWI nor the Constitutional Presbyterians and the beginnings of this conference has definitely not changed my understandings of this Renewal Group. Hopefully the Layman is printing an incorrect translation of what is really going on in Tulsa.


Moderator said...


Check out the 2005 interview of the co-moderator of New Wineskins by Presbyweb.

Moderator said...
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Moderator said...

Seems like a lot of double-speak to me, particularly in answer to the question of whether they're schismatic or not. Basically, the answer (back in 2005, even before the 2006 GA and PUP report) was that they're going to leave unless the entire PC(USA) reworks itself according to their image. Given that the movement and organization has only been around for about 5 years, that's rather ambitious! Actually, I question whether they ever intended to remain in the denomination even if some of their proposed reforms were adopted. Perhaps this is old-fashioned "sheep-stealing," plain and simple? Instead of "schism," he calls it "wisdom." But to me, his "wisdom" is simply "schism" in a new wineskin.

Anonymous said...

Schism is already a reality and the revisionists are to blame, not the NWI or any other group.

I totally, 100% agree with your analysis, Backwoods!

What is an 'association'??

Sounds like some sort of Emergent Conversation with Leonard Sweet and Brian McLaren's doing, not Calvin or Machen.

Very sad and disappointing for those of us who were hoping for a Reformed statment of belief in a crumbling denomination.

We'll keep looking and waiting:

"Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength..."

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