The Old Orchard Confession

Ok here is an idea.

Over the years, I have always thought that there needs to be a new confession of faith. In particular, one that spoke to the modern situation. This is not to say that current confessions like Westminster are inadequate, they are not. It is to say, that there is always room to reword, reorganize, rethink things afresh.

But maybe this time around things could be accomplished in a different manner. Enter (no, no website yet exists). A wiki that is set up offer collaborative accomplishment of the task. Instead of hundreds of pastors crowding church halls, what about mutiple lay people from around the world, all with some level of access to the wiki? Or maybe just from our own midwestern region? A regional confession could definitely be of value.

Such confession would provide the answers of Christianity to modern questions. Plus, using the wiki format it is not a document that has to be finished “now”. It could take years (decades?) to complete, and that would be ok. And maybe it would address more than the usual topics. Maybe it would address marriage, children, family, work, play, etc.

I realize it is a proposal that would take a lot of work. In particular, a lot of organization at first.

Maybe confession is the wrong word for what I propose. Anyway, it is just a thought.

Who’s interested?


  1. keener said,

    August 18, 2005 @ 2:35 pm

    This post has been removed by the author.

  2. keener said,

    August 18, 2005 @ 2:37 pm

    I think that the history of the church bears out the need for new confessions and creedal statements. This isn’t because the corpus of truth changes, it’s that the culture and attacks on that trutch are constantly shifting. Christians need to be a presence that is critical of our culture, and is thetical in terms of developing it.

    One good source and example of a Reformed church body that did a superb job on a confession is Our World Belongs to God published in the late 80s by the Christian Reformed Church. It’s confident, it’s appropriately suspicious, it’s clear, and it’s well written and easily understood.

    That last part is, in my opinion, one of the drawbacks of the Westminster Confession of Faith. It’s not written such that it can be used in worship. We need more confessions that can be used by everyone in worship that lay out a Christ centered response to the challenges of our world.

  3. Paul S. said,

    August 19, 2005 @ 11:32 am

    Wow. They did do a great job. It is actually refreshing to read!

    I haven’t read the whole thing yet, bu t I am impressed. I like how it is truly written in stanzas and is poetic in many ways.

    Your point about a confession being able to be used in worship is an excellent one. This one by the CRC could be used in worship in many many ways. Great stuff thanks for sharing it.

  4. Pip said,

    August 19, 2005 @ 12:07 pm

    I like the idea, Paul. Using technology like Wiki could be very good. You envision the start as an OOC thing, PCA thing or simply any-Christian thing?

  5. keener said,

    August 19, 2005 @ 12:13 pm

    On the whole “could be used in worship” thing, we could probably begin by referencing much of what’s in the back of the praise book. There’s some really wonderful stuff there.

  6. Paul S. said,

    August 23, 2005 @ 4:54 pm


    I hadn’t thought about it that far. It was just an idea in the back of my mind. I guess subconciously by calling it the Old Orchard Confession, I was thinking it would at least start here. Only a PCA Thing? I’m not sure. An any Christian thing? That is appealing, but there would be definite “stopping” points along the way.

    Off the top of my head I imagine a core group of editors. These editors would have the right to write/change/approve everything. Changes/Approval would be by vote I suppose. Around that group of editors would be a large group of contributors. They could submit potential changes/idea/etc that the core group of editors would change/use/approve.

    How large would each group be? I guess that goes back to whether it remained an OOC thing, a PCA thing, or an any Christian thing. I do at least imagine it being much broader than just OOC. However, the core influence would be OOC-type of people.

    Maybe the core group of editors would be anywhere from 10-25. Though I’m thinking anything above 5 would be too many. But then I think, well 5 is awfully exclusive.

    I can imagine contributors ranging up to and most likely beyond 100.

    My initial thought was a confession created by lay people. There are advantages and disadvantages to that of course. A mix is probably the best.

    I wouldn’t want it to be denominationally endorsed. It would be a service from a small group of Christians to the larger family of Christians. It would remain on the net for all to read. Hopefully it would be something that people could use in their churches no matter their denomination. Though it would remain at its core influenced by Reformed, Schaeferrian, Old Orchard kind of thinking/spiritual expression.

  7. Paul S. said,

    August 23, 2005 @ 5:03 pm

    Ok another thought as I take five minutes to think about it more.

    A core editorial group from the OOC family (meaning those whose thinking is similar to that of OCC etc) this would be 5-10 people.

    Around this core is another 15-20 people who have editorial rights as well. All changes etc would be voted on etc by that total editorial group. However, the core editors would have the responsibility of maintaining balance, thoughtfulness, spirit of love, fairness, cultural relevance, theological integrity, and have the right to overrule even the collective editorial body.

    The third group would again be the contributors.

    After the core editorial group was formed, decisions would have to be made as to how to add additional peripheral editors and contributors ie set some criteria, application, etc.

    I orginally thought a good title would be The Peoples COnfession. But that sounded too, well, Marxist. Naming a confession after its place of origination is common and does not provoke any immediate kind of ideological emotions.

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