By Paul Kim, Jr. Neelsville Presbyterian Church, Germantown, MD: Now to him who...
The ECO Book of Confessions is a very special collection of documents that give witness to the system of doctrine embraced by countless reformed and Presbyterian believers over many centuries. Each document has played an important part in our history as a church and continues to guide us through the present and into our future together. Upon the formation of ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians it was decided that all of the current confessions of the PC(USA) would be kept as our founding documents. Therefore the ECO Book of Confessions stands as it was at the moment in time that ECO came into existence. This was a wise and faithful decision as the vast majority of incoming members had taken vows in support of this Book of Confessions. There was also a commitment made that there would be further study and reflection upon this decision after the denomination was established.
Now that ECO is well established we have the responsibility to assess our collection of documents and to clarify and consider their meaning for us going forward. We also have the responsibility to determine which creeds, catechisms, confessions, and statements we would like to see included in our future confessional standards. We trust that our Lord Jesus Christ will guide us as we prayerfully consider the best way forward for the future health and growth of our family of churches. We are proud of our confessional heritage and affirm the secondary authority of the Book of Confessions as a faithful exposition of the Word of God. We also trust that the study and examination of each of these documents in light of the Word of God will bring a harvest of righteousness for those who are willing to be trained by the Holy Spirit and stand upon the shoulders of those who have believed before us.
Members of ECO’s National Theological Task Force have prepared new introductions for each of the confessions in this ECO Book of Confessions. The introductions themselves, while broadly applicable, are nevertheless the authorship of particular individuals and should not be understood as an official position of our denomination. The introductions are intended to be helpful and stimulating documents that will not only introduce the confession to the reader but will also assist us in our project of discerning the content and understanding of any possible ECO Book of Confessions going forward. The individual introductions are listed below along with their author or authors.