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Pittsburgh Agreement

(Articles of Agreement). Agreement adopted 1940 by the ALC and the ULC; “I. That all persons affiliated with any of the societies or organizations designated in the Washington Declaration of the ULC(A) as 'organizations injurious to the Christian faith' should sever their connections with such society or organization and shall be so admonished; and members of our churches not now affiliated with such organizations shall be warned against such affiliation. Especially shall the shepherds of the flocks be admonished to refuse adherence and support to such organizations. II. That pastors and congregations shall not practice indiscriminate pulpit and altar fellowship with pastors and churches of other denominations, whereby doctrinal differences are ignored or virtually made matters of indifference. Especially shall no religious fellowship whatsoever be practiced with such individuals and groups as are not basically evangelical. III. 1. The Bible (that is, the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments) is primarily not a code of doctrines, still less a code of morals, but the history of God's revelation, for the salvation of mankind, and of man's reaction to it. It preserves for all generations and presents, ever anew, this revelation of God. which culminated and centers in Christ, the Crucified and Risen One. It is itself the Word of God, His permanent revelation, aside from which, until Christ's return in glory, no other is to be expected. 2. The Bible consists of a number of separate books, written at various times, on various occasions, and for various purposes. Their authors were living, thinking personalities, each endowed by the Creator with an individuality of his own and each having his peculiar style, his own manner of presentation, even at times using such sources of information as were at hand. Nevertheless, by virtue of the unique operation of the Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21), by which He supplied to the holy writers content and fitting word (2 Peter 1:21; 1 Cor. 2:12, 13), the separate books of the Bible are related to one another and, taken together, constitute a complete, errorless, unbreakable whole, of which Christ is the Center (John 10:35). They are rightly called the Word of God. This unique operation of the Holy Spirit upon the writers is named inspiration. We do not venture to define its mode, or manner, but accept it as a fact. 3. Believing, therefore, that the Bible came into existence by this unique co-operation of the Holy Spirit and the human writers, we accept it (as a whole and in all its parts) as the permanent divine revelation, as the Word of God, the only source, rule, and norm for faith and life, and as the ever fresh and inexhaustible fountain of all comfort, strength, wisdom, and guidance for mankind.” Both ALC and ULC had serious misgivings regarding the Pittsburgh Agreement. See also American Lutheran Church, V 1.

Documents of Lutheran Unity in America, ed. R. C. Wolf (Philadelphia, 1966), pp. 378–379; The Lutheran Church Quarterly, XIII (1940), 346–347; Doctrinal Declarations (St. Louis, 1957), pp. 69–70.

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

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