Give Me Liberty: Liberty of Opinion in the Presbyterian Church of Australia

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Jared Hood

Abstract

The Presbyterian Church of Australia adopted the Westminster Confession as its subordinate standard, but the Confession 'read in the light of the following declaratory statement'. This grants some degree of latitude to PCA leaders, who have to subscribe to the Confession. However, what is the extent of this freedom? This has caused considerable discussion and disagreement. Studies to date have focused on the clause's historical context. There is more that can be said on that - indeed, a fresh perspective will be offered. However, rather than just reading an interpretation of history into the clause, the clause itself needs to be read in its own right. Its own voice needs to be heard, particularly since it is the words themselves that are the law of the Church, not the historical context. Its semantics and syntax need to be analysed. An exegetical study is required.

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