Effectual Means of Salvation

“Now a central part of the FV critique of the broader Reformed world is that we have accommodated ourselves too much with the American baptistic tradition, and this has affected how we read our confessional standards (which do not represent such an accommodation). For example, a number of our critics think they have put distance between themselves and the baptists (as they have, some) by saying that the sacraments are means of grace. But they hasten to add that this is always sanctifying grace. The language of salvation is inappropriate here. The problem with this is that the Westminster Catechisms both ask how is it that the two sacraments are effectual means of salvation. And so I say in this title [“Reformed” Is Not Enough] that you are not necessarily in the confessional tradition just because you call yourself ‘Reformed.’ That is what it meant.”

The Auburn Avenue Chronicles, p. 377

Yeah. Don’t Get It.

“How am I put right with God? By grace through faith. How do I earn money to feed my family? By grace through faith. How do I keep the weeds down on my three acres? By grace through faith. How do I see answered prayers? By grace through faith. There is nothing whatever that any obedient creature can ever do, in this world or in any other, in this generation or any other, in this covenant or any other, that is not done by efficacious grace appropriated by living faith. Ever. Period. For this doctrine of mine, I am sometimes accused of trying to undermine the doctrine of sola fide, which I don’t quite understand either.”

The Auburn Avenue Chronicles, pp. 370-371

Hagar’s Sons

“There is the Abrahamic and the Sinaitic, clearly but what ws the form of the covenant here? Was it the covenant at Sinai as God actually made it, or was it the covenant of Sinai as construed by those who desired to be under the law (Gal. :21). The Judaizers, by their self-righteousness, transformed an historic manifestation of the covenant of grace into a contemporary covenant of works. This is why they were condemned. Elsewhere, Gordon tells us his rule of thumb for identifying Auburnites—anyone who speaks generally of ‘the covenant’ . . . The problem is that this would include the Westminster Confession, which plainly identifies the Synaptic covenant as a manifestation of the covenant of grace.”

The Auburn Avenue Chronicles, pp. 364-365

The Genesis of the Affair

“This overlooks the little matter of a ‘may God have mercy on their souls’ judicial statement by the RPCUS, unimpeded by any discussion with the men concerned, which was then heaved by John Robbins, via the Internet, into the middle of the Reformed world, in much the same manner that a couple twelve-year-old boys might heave a dead cat over the fence into the middle of a ladies afternoon luncheon.”

The Auburn Avenue Chronicles, p. 362

Only God Sees the Visible Church

“Doesn’t this reveal that according to this definition the visible church is just as invisible as the invisible church is? When we use a descriptive adjective like visible, it naturally raises the questions, ‘Visible to whom? From what vantage? When is it visible? Who can see it?’ If the answer is that only God can see the visible church, and this is what we have set up by definition, wouldn’t it be good to find a phrase that points to the same group of people, but does not mislead in this way? . . . Let’s call them the historical church.”

The Auburn Avenue Chronicles, p. 357

Rage Against the Machinery

[A gratuitous assertion] “that when any FVish positions, anywhere in the world, ‘are given their due comeuppance,’ my response is that of flying ‘into a rage.” Whereas that is pretty much the only thing I haven’t tried. I have argued, debated, conceded points, reasoned, made distinctions, offered to debate publicly, made jokes, and hired three necromancers to cast a spell on the Mississippi Valley Presbytery. Actually, that last one is just an example of the next to last one.”

The Auburn Avenue Chronicles, p. 351

What Abraham Saw

“And this is why Abraham when he saw the day of Christ, rejoiced to see it and was glad. He did not look forward to the first coming of Christ as the final fulfillment of the promise, but rather as the groundbreaking for the fulfillment of the promise. The cornerstone was laid, and this indicated that the construction on the city had commenced.”

The Auburn Avenue Chronicles, p. 348

Refusing to Take That Test Is Passing It

“If our justification were to be lost if we scored less than 100 percent on the justification test (administered by St. Peter at the Pearlies), every last one of us, yours truly included, would be headed for the bad place. We don’t take the justification test for our justification. Jesus took that test. And no, this should not make us want to sin that grace may abound.”

The Auburn Avenue Chronicles, p. 347