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Fundamental Principles of Faith and Church Polity.

Theses prepared by C. Porterfield Krauth,* read to representatives of various Luth. syns. at Reading, Pennsylvania, and adopted December 12–14, 1866. The 1st part, of Faith, contained 9 theses. These theses taught that the true unity of a particular ch. is unity in faith and confession. The unity of the ch. is witnessed to the world by a formal confession subscribed to in its original sense. The unity of the Luth. Ch., as a part of the holy Christian ch., depends on its adherence to the confession to which it owes its name, its distinctiveness, its political recognition, and its history, namely the UAC The doctrines of this confession are acknowledged as being throughout in harmony with the Word of God. Subscription to the UAC indicates acknowledgment of the other Luth. confessions (Ap, SC, LC, SA, and FC) as true, Scriptural, and in complete agreement with the UAC The 2d part, of Ch. Power and Polity, contained 11 theses. It held that all power in the ch. belongs to Christ and is transferred to no person or group. The ch., as servant of Christ, exercises power in accord with the Word of God. The primary bodies through which this power is normally exercised are congs. The normal cong. is neither pastor without people nor people without pastor. The cong. has the right to exercise its power not only through the pastor but also through representatives elected by it from its midst to act under constitutional limits approved by the cong. Representatives thus elected to meet in a gen. council or syn. are congs. themselves in representative form. The syn. is, representatively, the ch. of the congs. represented. There is a higher moral probability that decisions of syns. are true and right than decisions in conflict with them made by single congs. or persons. Among the purposes of a syn. the document lists the preservation of pure doctrine. See also General Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America, 2.

Verhandlungen der Kirchenversammlung bestehend aus Delegaten verschiedener Evangelisch Lutherischen Synoden in den Vereinigten Staaten und Canada, welche sich zur Ungeänderten Augsburgischen Confession bekennen. Gehalten in Reading, Pennsylvania, vom 12. bis 14. December 1866 (Allentown, Pennsylvania, 1867); Proceedings of the Convention Held by Representatives from Various Evangelical Lutheran Synods in the United States and Canada accepting the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, at Reading, Pennsylvania, December 12, 13 and 14, A. D. 1866 (Pittsburgh, 1867). EL

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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