The Bible and Belhar
October 24, 2013
The General Assembly Special Committee on the Confession of Belhar has made available The Bible and Belhar, a new resource co-authored by Stephen Hayner and Mark Labberton which addresses the biblical basis of the confession. The 220th General Assembly (2012) voted to begin the process of amending The Book of Confessions to include the Confession of Belhar, and Moderator Neal D. Presa appointed the special committee to study the confession and provide education throughout the church.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
It is with great joy that we, on behalf of the General Assembly Special Committee on the Confession of Belhar, share with you this essay, The Bible and Belhar. This is a welcome resource for all of us in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), as we seek to discern the will of God for the PC(USA) relative to adding the Confession of Belhar to the Book of Confessions, where it can serve as one of the subordinate standards that articulate for our church “what it is, what it believes, and what it resolves to do” (Book of Order, F-2.01).
We are particularly grateful to two Presbyterian seminary presidents, Stephen Hayner at Columbia and Mark Labberton at Fuller, for being co-authors of this important essay. We are in full agreement with them that “the biblical basis of this confession is clear” and are grateful for the lucid way in which they give substance to that assertion in The Bible and Belhar. We were deeply enriched by reading this text and hope the same will be true for you. In addition to The Bible and Belhar, you will find in this booklet the Confession of Belhar (with scriptural citations), its accompanying letter, and a series of questions you may wish to use in studying this document and the Confession of Belhar.
In addition to this booklet, a wide variety of articles, workshop designs, PowerPoint presentations, and other resources can be accessed at the Special Committee’s website, www.pcusa.org/belhar. The Confession of Belhar calls us to unity, reconciliation, and justice as the cornerstone of our commitment to one another in the body of Christ. May those blessings be with you and your congregation as you seek to follow Christ.