Earlier this year, Synod 2010 of the Canadian Reformed Churches addressed a letter to the Synod of the United Reformed Churches. You can find a copy of that letter here. The URCNA Synod did not have time to draft a response during their assembly. However, the officers of that synod were appointed to later write a letter. That letter has now been made public.
The letter speaks of a “continuing commitment to eventual church unity with the Canadian Reformed Churches,” however, more foundational work is necessary in local contexts. That’s encouraging to read. The matter of the status of the Nine Points is addressed: “Although the matter of defining the nature of synodical pastoral advice was referred to a synodical committee for further work, by implication, it appears that such statements by our synod are not confessionally binding.” And this is what the letter says about Point 6:
You also ask if Point 6 of the Nine Points of Schererville was directed at the Canadian Reformed Churches and the view of the covenant upheld by the Liberation of 1944 in the Netherlands. No, it was not directed at the Canadian Reformed Churches or their view of the covenant. Synod Schererville addressed an error associated with Federal Vision which contends that in baptism a person is granted every spiritual gift, including a true and saving faith, the grace of conversion and justification. The Nine Points were made to uphold the doctrine that a man is justified through faith alone, and that God will never reverse His gracious declaration of justification concerning the believing sinner. Point 6 of the Nine Points of Schererville does not deny that all baptized persons are in the covenant of grace. What Point 6 denies is that all baptized persons are in the covenant in precisely the same way such that no distinction is made between those who have the promises by covenant and those who receive by faith what is promised. It should be read in the context of Point 5 which rejects the error that a person can be historically, conditionally elect, regenerated, savingly united to Christ, justified, and adopted by virtue of participation in the outward administration of the covenant of grace but may lose these benefits through lack of covenantal faithfulness (underline added). We gratefully take note of the fact that when addressing our synod on behalf of your churches, Dr. G. H. Visscher expressed agreement with this understanding of Point 6 and our concern.
This seems to support what I have written previously on this topic. Theologically, the Canadian Reformed have nothing to fear from the Nine Points. They’re not directed at us, unless, of course, some of us happen to be Federal Vision sympathizers or adherents. May it not be.
Finally, I would also take note of this statement:
We are not merely good friends; we are brothers and sisters in Christ, joined together in the bond of the Spirit, evidenced by a common confession of the faith and with you, committed to expressing our unity in concrete and discernable ways.
It’s going to take a lot of work, a lot of prayer, and a lot of time, but perhaps the day will yet come on this earth, in this age, when we will all be under one ecclesiastical roof.