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A few years ago, I was given a booklet called 'Affirmation 2010' in which several signatories, standing as 'Reformed', added their names to a list of doctrinal elements which sought to 're-affirm' certain stances of doctrine.

The website for Affirmation 2010 can be read here.

I wondered if the document was generally accepted, or not, amongst those to whom it was, generally, addressed.

  • I wonder if you are thinking of Affirmation 2010? Or are these two different Affirmations? – davidlol Jun 28 '18 at 4:27
  • @davidlol Thank you. I miss quoted the title of the booklet. Edited now. – Nigel J Jun 28 '18 at 11:16
  • After reading the Affirmation 2010, I can confidently say that it would be rejected by the vast majority of reformed churches. In fact I think it goes against the Westminster Confession - for example, the first article of Affirmation 2010 goes against WCF 1.8. – curiousdannii Jun 28 '18 at 12:04
  • @curiousdannii Due to the activities of one of the signatories I wondered if the reason that any mention of the rule of Law as the believer's way of life was omitted was because overtures were being made to the Gospel Standard Strict Baptists about some form of unity, so mentions of the Law as the believer's rule of life had to be avoided. – Nigel J Jun 28 '18 at 12:11
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No, it has not been widely adopted by Reformed churches, mostly because in many ways it requires beliefs that are seen as matters of liberty of conscience in the older confessions. Ironically, it is also more "ecumenical" than the Reformed confessions in a few areas.

After a cursory review, here are a few significant points of difference with older Reformed standards:

  • Article 1 speaks to the superiority of the KJV over other English translations of the Bible
  • Article 4 requires belief in literal six-day creation, whereas views like Old Earth Creationism and Framework Theory are often accepted in conservative Reformed circles
  • Article 9, on the Sabbath, describes requirements similar to those in the Westminster Standards – more strict than those found in the Three Forms of Unity
  • Article 11 eliminates the use of contemporary music in worship services, as well as the recitation of creeds, which are both common (though not ubiquitous) in Reformed circles
  • Article 11 does not require infant baptism, as the Westminster Standards do, and does not forbid it, like the London Baptist Confession does.
  • Article 12 implies a superiority of pastors over ruling elders, which would break with the "one office" principle.
  • Article 13 requires separation from those who don't also separate from the world. So it implies breaking off fellowship with Calvinists who "fraternize" with those who "question" the Bible.
  • Article 15 can be read as rejecting partial preterism.

There are relatively few people in conservative Reformed circles who could subscribe to all these statements. And even among those that could, many would see them as matters of liberty of conscience, and thus would not prioritize finding fellowships where these points were affirmed.

Another indicator of the lack of widespread acceptance is the small number of signatories, and perhaps the relatively high percentage of independents and baptists listed also indicates that this document is tailored for a specific subset of Reformed believers. It is certainly not broadly representative of the views of those holding to Reformed theology.

  • Article 4 also, oddly, seems to prohibit modern AiG style scientific explanations of the scriptures anywhere where conventional science doesn't disagree. This would include the relativity based theories of distant starlight. Maybe that's not what it was intended to mean though. It's not all that well written. – curiousdannii Jun 28 '18 at 15:02
  • Re. your point about Article 1, Nathaniel: Given that the Westminster Assembly met between 1643-1649 when the AV was established as the Bible of choice for Protestants and there was no plethora of translations as today, is not the Affirmation 2010 statement about AV superiority a logical expression of necessary agreement with the Westminster Confession in these days? – Anne Jun 29 '18 at 8:02
  • @Anne It's likely that if you asked the various members of the Westminster Assembly which Bible version they preferred, at least most would have said the AV. But there's a big step between that and actually codifying the AV in the confession as the best translation. They were quite careful to only include things in the confession that they felt were important, and given their knowledge of the history of English Bible translation, it's a stretch to assume that they "implicitly" meant to say that future translations couldn't improve on the AV. – Nathaniel Jun 29 '18 at 12:11
  • @Nathaniel, you are right to point out the Westminster Confession of Faith's care to stick to what the scriptures actually say. They stuck to saying the holy scripture is "most necessary" - 1.1 , consists of 66 books - 2.1, that the autographs in Hebrew and Greek were inspired of God and "therefore authentical" with need "to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation" - 1.8, yet remains silent on particular translations. The storm of 'the Critical Text' would not appear on the spiritual horizon for another 200 years. – Anne Jun 29 '18 at 15:13

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