The Days Of Creation And Confession Subscription In The OPC -- By: J. V. Fesko

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 63:2 (Fall 2001)
Article: The Days Of Creation And Confession Subscription In The OPC
Author: J. V. Fesko


The Days Of Creation
And Confession Subscription In The OPC

J. V. Feskoa

I. Introduction

Within recent years the debate over the so-called “days of creation” has been raging. A flurry of books and articles has surfaced, attempting to define the nature of the debate, exegete relevant passages of Scripture, and examine historical sources to establish the orthodox position on the subject.1 The variety of the recent publications certainly shows not only the diversity of opinion on the issue but also the various angles from which it can be approached. As the title of this paper suggests, this paper will approach the disputed subject from the vantage point of subscription to the Westminster Standards. Why is this the case? Frankly, there is no need to try to explain or defend the various views on the days of creation. Others have expounded, critiqued, and defended the various views elsewhere and there is therefore no need to revisit this thoroughly trodden ground. Moreover, despite the difference of opinion on this issue, there are few on either side of the debate who question the commitment to the authority of Scripture of any of the advocates of the various views. This is certainly borne out by the positive comments made by Joseph Pipa and David Hall in their recent contribution to the debate when they write: “Fortunately, this conference had a wide and strong commitment to the inerrancy of Scripture and the reformed faith.”2

Therefore, for the purposes of this paper, the crux of this issue lies in whether anything but a twenty-four-hour view can be accepted within the OPC. If a minister holds to anything other than a literal six-day view, does this mean that he must take an exception to the Confession? To answer this question we must first establish two issues: (1) the best method of determining the import of what

the Westminster Confession states on this issue; and (2) in what way the Confession has been adopted in the OPC. Once we establish these two issues, we can then answer whether or not a minister would be required to take an exception.

II. Methodology Considered: Hall and Original Intent

The first thing we must do is establish the best method of determining the import of what the Confession states on the issue of the days of creation. The debate centers on how the Confession is to be interpreted when it says that

it pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal...

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