On December 9, a five member panel of the Presbyterian Church in America’s (PCA) highest court, the Standing Judicial Commission (SJC), approved a proposed decision on a complaint arising out of Pacific Northwest Presbytery regarding its handling of the views of TE Peter Leithart on Federal Vision. This proposed decision will be discussed and finalized by the full Commission at its stated meeting March 4-5, 2010.
If the full Commission approves the panel’s proposed decision, the case will be retuned to Pacific Northwest Presbytery (PNW) with instructions to “institute process and appoint a prosecutor to prepare an indictment of TE Peter Leithart and to conduct the case.”
The case, the third Federal Vision-related case in the past few years, stems from charges by some PNW members who believe that Mr. Leithart’s views are out of accord with the PCA’s Declarations on Federal Vision adopted by the 2007 PCA General Assembly.
That General Assembly approved the recommendations of a study committee, which included adopting nine Declarations concerning the so-call Federal Vision issue. Dr. Leithart voluntarily wrote a response regarding the nine Declarations to his Presbytery stating his theological views.
The Pacific Northwest Presbytery went through several steps of examination of Dr. Leithart’s views, resulting in a decision that his views were not out of accord with the PCA Standards. After following a series of required procedures, a number of PNW members complained against the Presbytery’s decision to the SJC.
A five-man panel was assigned to hear the case. The members included ruling elders Sam Duncan and Jeff Owen, and teaching elders Fred Greco, Bill Lyle, and Dewey Roberts (Chairman). The full text of the proposed decision can be found here.
Until the final decision of the Commission, and any subsequent actions of PNW in conducting the formal judicial case, Mr. Leithart remains a minister in good standing in the PCA.
Read comments from one of the complainants in this case here.
[Editor’s note: Some of the original URLs (links) referenced in this article are no longer valid, so the links have been removed.]
Don Clements, a former member of the Standing Judicial Commission.