Straight Outta Calvin

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It is only natural that there are some federal vision questions. Of course there are.

I have been asked a number of times what the response has been to my Federal Vision No Mas post. As best as I am able to gauge, there have been three visible responses. The first has been relief and gratitude. “Thanks much. I think this is a good move.” This comes, I think, from friends of our ministry who are grateful that they don’t have to start explaining an esoteric doctrine to their friends if they happen to commend something else we have said or are doing. Say that a student in their classical Christian school decides to come to New St. Andrews, and some concerned folks in the church start wondering aloud whether that is entirely wise, because they heard that they teach something out there called “federal vision,” and while they do not know what it is exactly, it sounds dubious. Our friend can now, without getting into the weeds, simply say no, that’s not true. This is not evasion because the concerns were pretty nebulous to begin with, and the answer addresses it at that same level. What do they teach there? We are Reformed evangelicals in the historic Westminster tradition.

The second response has been something like, “I’m a Baptist, and all that stuff is kind of ‘inside baseball’ to me. Glad you guys worked it out.” To which I say, thanks. Appreciate it.

The third response has been to raise specific questions. These come from folks who have followed the controversy and who, not unreasonably, have informed questions. Here is how I hope to approach that. I have said that the Federal Vision Statement was a consensus document, and was laboring to bridge two positions that I have now decided can’t really be bridged in that way, at least not successfully.

One of the things I hope to get to in the near future is the production of a statement of faith that runs parallel to the original Federal Vision statement (topic by topic) so that I can lay out my non-consensus-ified positions with as much clarity as I can. Depending on the time demands, I may do this piece by piece, paragraph by paragraph, and publish it here as I go.

As I do this, the two places that will require the most careful examination are the places that will deal with, respectively, paedocommunion and the objectivity of the covenant. Everything else will be pretty standard issue Reformed and evangelical. And even in those places that do need to be examined carefully, I will be seeking to locate what I believe within the historic Reformed continuum. And I am sure that there will be many out there who wish me the best of luck. Right, Lane?

One other thing should be noted. There are other aspects of our ministry that can seem “radical” to outsiders but this is not because we are departing from the total world and life view of the Reformers, but rather because we are in the process of recovering that view. If Calvin were Compton, that stuff is straight outta Calvin.

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Aaron Zasadny
Aaron Zasadny
4 years ago

Many of us are looking forward to these clarifications! When I read Leithart and Jordan and Co., they usually make a ton of sense. But still something seems off. Thin. Stretched.

Like theological butter scraped over too much typological bread.

Gabe Wetmore
Gabe Wetmore
4 years ago

A fourth category of people just wish you’d stop blogging about this.

Gabe Wetmore
Gabe Wetmore
4 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

All of us know that you disagree with people like James Jordan and Peter Leithart, and others, on this issue. That’s fine, but you’re the only one that seems to want to accentuate that disagreement and make a big deal over it. What’s the end game? Can’t we just acknowledge the difference and move along?

Gabe Wetmore
Gabe Wetmore
4 years ago
Reply to  Gabe Wetmore

To explain this more, please permit me to make an analogy which, while I admit might not be flattering, will hopefully convey what I mean better. Have you ever been to some party/conference/function of some sort and there’s somebody who just won’t let an issue go? Maybe they disagree with something you said, or maybe it’s just a pet issue for them, but for whatever reason they just keep insisting that it’s what people need to be talking about, even though nobody else wants to talk about it anymore. Everyone knows that there’s a disagreement, and they just want to… Read more »

katecho
katecho
4 years ago
Reply to  Gabe Wetmore

The issues of apostasy, assurance of salvation, and the identity of covenant children are central to the FV debate, and are as important as ever for legitimate discussion and reformation. (Note that I’m discounting the H-bombing sectarians who think Federal Vision had something to do with justification by works, ex opere operato baptismal regeneration, or New Perspective on Paul).

There may be CREC folks on all sides of these issues, even coming from a baptistic perspective on the covenant, but that doesn’t mean that we cease to reform. It means we continue to do so, lovingly and charitably and patiently.

Nicholas Barnes
Nicholas Barnes
4 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Actually some Federal Visionists hold to justification by works (in regards to Shepherdism and/or NPP), in that they believe you are “in” by faith or presupposed faith by “baptism” initially, but your works must be part of what actually justifies you on the last day. Instead of them (works/faithfulness) being vindictive/demonstrative of justification, they are actually a basis for justification on the last day. Some of the F.V. have something to do with baptismal regeneration (or, by virtue of the covenant, being regenerated at baptism) which leaves you with the same result as baptismal regeneration. I believe paedocommunion is linked… Read more »

Nicholas Barnes
Nicholas Barnes
4 years ago

I meant to say Vindicatory… instead of vindictive, talk about unsound words…

mkt
mkt
4 years ago

You’re confusing justification by works with a Biblical view of apostasy (a view pushed by Paul, Peter and James, among others, long before Shepherd).

Nicholas Barnes
Nicholas Barnes
4 years ago
Reply to  mkt

None of those who are united to Christ shall fall away, Christ cannot deny Himself. It is the NPP/Shepherdism that confuses justification and sanctification. To say otherwise is to rejection the Reformed Confessions and I would say “Good Day!”, go join a non-Reformed church but stop saying you are not out of bounds with the confessions… that is so very similar to the pleas of the Remonstrants just as their views were rightly condemned at Dort. Good Day Sir!

katecho
katecho
4 years ago

Barnes wrote: None of those who are united to Christ shall fall away, Christ cannot deny Himself. Certainly none who are ordained to eternal life will fall away. That decretal number is fixed, and God is sovereign. However, there are many who were baptized into covenant union with Christ who have fallen away. Just as there were many who were circumcised into union with Christ who fell away in the Old Covenant. (This explains why Paul uses Old Covenant apostasy as an example and warning to New Covenant believers. See 1Cor 10.) What Barnes needs to realize is that covenantal… Read more »

mkt
mkt
4 years ago

I’m not arguing within the Reformed community, though it’s a lot larger than you suppose. As I said earlier, basing everything on debates from 2 or 3 centuries is silly when we have the Bible and over 2,000 years of church history.

ashv
ashv
4 years ago

Did King Saul truly have the Holy Spirit, or not?

katecho
katecho
4 years ago

Barnes wrote: Actually some Federal Visionists hold to justification by works (in regards to Shepherdism and/or NPP), in that they believe you are “in” by faith or presupposed faith by “baptism” initially, but your works must be part of what actually justifies you on the last day. No, these are false accusations. Barnes doesn’t get to define Federal Vision however he wishes. There is a Federal Vision Joint Statement that is very clear on each of these matters, and it does not support Barnes’s assertions. If some particular person wants to go outside that statement, Barnes doesn’t get to just… Read more »

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  katecho

“No, these are false accusations”

I don’t think so. That is clearly one of the conflicts so many of us have with Federal Vision. The very heart and soul of the original conflict was over, “a fundamental denial of the essence of the Christian Gospel in the denial of justification by faith alone.” That argument continues to this day.

katecho
katecho
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

ME wrote:

That argument continues to this day.

It continues because people continue to make false accusations. Notice that neither ME nor Barnes quoted anything from the FV Joint Statement to support their accusation. It’s a serious thing to accuse an entire group of suggesting salvation grounded upon works. These accusers are simply assuming what they need to show, in spite of very clear affirmations that works do not contribute to our salvation.

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Well, I am hardly making a formal “accusation.” Also, the quote I provided really is simply what triggered the original debate, one that continues to this day. I suppose we could look into subsection C of paragraph 17 of the rules and bylaws of the sacred oath of Federal Vision and perhaps prove me wrong, but that really wasn’t my point hence the use of the words “heart and soul” meaning the essence of the argument, it’s cause and effect,and how it has impacted culture, perception,and faith.

Nicholas Barnes
Nicholas Barnes
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

I don’t have time to go through all the quotes, etc. They can be accessed in their books, lectures, sermons, conferences, joint statements. Also they are quoted by Reformed Church Reports/Position/Studies on the NPP/Shepherdism/Federal Vision (I think there are at least 7 within NAPARC). Not to mention I was in the CREC and was an intern and member at Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church. I just picked this out of a paper I had done relating Federal Vision sacramentology and the ethics of the Decalogue: Pastor Steve Wilkins of the Federal Vision, states that, “Covenant, therefore, is a gracious relationship, not… Read more »

mkt
mkt
4 years ago

“I don’t have time to go through all the quotes, etc.” I’ll give a few: 2 Peter 2:20-22, Heb 6:4-8, Heb 10:26-29, the parable of the sower, I Tim 4:1-3, II Peter 3:17, John 6:66, I Cor 9:27 and others deal with apostasy and falling away. Heb. 3:14 tells us “For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.” Paul gives many warnings in his letters, such as the admonition not to “make a shipwreck” of your faith. Yes, Jesus knows who… Read more »

Nicholas Barnes
Nicholas Barnes
4 years ago
Reply to  mkt

These texts are being abused by you,as well as your theological “heretical” predecessors; I say this as a Confessional Protestant. God is not a God of confusion, he shall lose none of those who trust in Him, not one shall be lost, as we have all the spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ, which includes perseverance. Your hermeneutics, as the way you are presenting your argument(s), seem to be unbiblical and are a rejection of the Confessional understanding of how to interpret Scripture (This could take a long time to show you). Again your views are condemned by… Read more »

mkt
mkt
4 years ago

The only thing being “abused” here are your slogans and hermeneutics. Have a good one.

mkt
mkt
4 years ago
Reply to  mkt

I’ll have to close with the irony in all of this. This is the same crowd who attack Catholics and Orthodox for “just believing the Pope or their church’s teachings instead of the Bible.” Yet they go Thomas Jefferson on their own Bibles, dismissing large parts of it, or interpreting through the lens of “it can’t mean what it clearly says…it must mean the opposite according to my Confessional decoder ring.”

Nicholas Barnes
Nicholas Barnes
4 years ago
Reply to  mkt

I am Confessionally Reformed because I think the Reformed Confessions best reflect the teaching of Scripture. An honest look at how they were crafted show that they care more for the integrity of Scripture than the word of man or tradition (although they approved of tradition where it accurately reflected Scripture, the church fathers were pretty diverse on certain subjects). I am confessional because I believe God’s Word necessitates it and warrants it. These confessions were utilized in combating heresy, to keep unsound men and false teachers out of the church. Arminanism and Papism teach the word and tradition of… Read more »

katecho
katecho
4 years ago

If Barnes is serious about embracing the clarity of Scripture, he needs to explain Christ’s statement in John 15: “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. … If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. Notice, first, that I am no Arminian.… Read more »

Nicholas Barnes
Nicholas Barnes
4 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Again theology based upon a metaphor… Not a good place to build one’s theology. The people of God are pictured as a vine, they fell into unbelief (history of Israel) and were pruned off (coming of Jesus and his judgment in 70AD, and in application we can apply this to 2nd coming). This does not have to do with vital union with Christ, but rather regards the people of the covenant… nor does it necessarily mean covenantal union with Christ (taking the metaphor too far). The type of exegesis that comes through the Federal Vision interpretation of John 15, does… Read more »

katecho
katecho
4 years ago

Barnes wrote: The people of God are pictured as a vine … Nice try, but in this teaching, Jesus clearly identifies Himself as the Vine (remember He said that part about, “I am the Vine”). Barnes is not licensed to rearrange Jesus’s metaphor here. If Barnes must reassign the identity of the Vine, in this context, in order to salvage his theology, then his claim to be following Scripture is out the window. He needs to try again, this time correctly identifying Jesus as the Vine. Barnes wrote: This does not have to do with vital union with Christ, but… Read more »

Nicholas Barnes
Nicholas Barnes
4 years ago
Reply to  katecho

When I refer to vine as the people of God I was including the branches…. That is my fault I wasn’t very clear there. They are cut off and thrown into judgment because of their characterization as fruitless. I do not consider this a formal debate, nor do I have the resources all readily at hand for that, which is where I would have to go to find my notes about the interpretation of John 15. This is a metaphor, thus we must be careful not to read in more than this passages calls for. He is telling them that… Read more »

katecho
katecho
4 years ago

I appreciate Barnes engaging these questions, even without the benefit of his notes. Barnes wrote: The branches that are thrown away may have been in the Vine, like Esau was circumcised, like Ishmael was circumcised, but were never known by God “I never knew you”. Welcome to the FV position. I’m glad to see that Barnes acknowledges that these branches really were in the Vine (which is Christ). Being attached to Christ is otherwise known as covenant union with Christ (from which we get the concept of marriage covenant, pertaining to … union), which is not the same as a… Read more »

katecho
katecho
4 years ago

Barnes wrote:

Again theology based upon a metaphor…Not a good place to build one’s theology.

Barnes will have to take this up with Jesus, if he thinks he is wiser than our Lord.

Jesus seemed to think that teaching this particular theology through a metaphor was a good place to build our theology.

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  katecho

“Jesus seemed to think that teaching this particular theology through a metaphor was a good place to build our theology.”

I’m not so sure about that. It seems to me you have it precisely backwards. Jesus does not build theology upon metaphor and parable, He uses metaphor and parable to teach us theology. Theology is not something to be “built,” our understanding and practical application of it is to be built.

mkt
mkt
4 years ago

Yeah, metaphors, parables and all that flowery stuff. It’s too bad Jesus didn’t have a good systematic theology book for guidance!

AeroBob
AeroBob
4 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Sorry to butt in here Katecho, but I have a question that would help me better understand your position. Speaking of the branches that were broken off in John 15, did the Holy Spirit ever change the disposition of their heart (or will)? Thanks

Antecho
Antecho
4 years ago
Reply to  AeroBob

To add some precision to your question to katecho, do you mean change the disposition of their heart/will to “believe”/trust “for a while” and then “fall away” (Lk 8:13); or, do you mean change the disposition of their heart/will to believe/trust from a “good” heart that “holds fast” the word with “perseverance” (Lk 8:15)?

katecho
katecho
4 years ago
Reply to  AeroBob

AeroBob wrote: Speaking of the branches that were broken off in John 15, did the Holy Spirit ever change the disposition of their heart (or will)? This is a very good question. I think this may be precisely where Wilson may wish to differentiate himself from some who were involved in the original FV. We will see. I don’t believe the FV Joint Statement explicitly takes a position. Here’s a handy quote from that statement: The “Federal Vision” is not a monolithic movement. It has been variously described as a conversation, a broad school of thought, a series of similar… Read more »

katecho
katecho
4 years ago

Barnes wrote: God is not a God of confusion, he shall lose none of those who trust in Him, not one shall be lost, as we have all the spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ, which includes perseverance. If it includes perseverance, why are there so many warnings in Scripture to abide and to persevere and not fall away? Wouldn’t it make more sense to affirm, like the Reformed confessions do, that those who are ordained to eternal life will persevere? Barnes wrote: This false doctrine of the regenerate and justified believers falling away was condemned over and… Read more »

Nicholas Barnes
Nicholas Barnes
4 years ago
Reply to  katecho

The Confessions make clear that none of those who truly embrace Christ are lost, none of those who once having been justified are lost, but all other saving graces accompany saving faith, effectual calling (which includes “perseverance therein to the end”. That’s why the Confessions condemn your views, you search the Scriptures in vain and wrongly put Scripture against Scripture. Semper Reformanda does not mean embracing heresy that it already condemned over and over again. Your views are not novel or new. They are more of the old heresy. That is why you ought not (if you are) and may… Read more »

katecho
katecho
4 years ago

Barnes flung a bunch of unsupported assertions and wrote: That’s why the Confessions condemn your views … I disagree that they do. Barnes certainly hasn’t made the case. But even if it were the case, Barnes should be ashamed of himself if he has to resort to using a Confession to condemn me. Does he not know his Bible well enough to do it? Jesus isn’t going to condemn me using the WCF, is He? Barnes increasingly resembles a Roman Catholic in regard to his appeal to traditions, councils and confessions. I would have expected that he would have a… Read more »

katecho
katecho
4 years ago

Notice how Barnes was unable to quote anything from the Federal Vision Joint Statement that says or implies that we are justified through our works. So that false charge falls to the ground. Barnes wrote: They wrongly teach, in regards to this covenantal-baptismal regeneration, “that water baptism is a sacramental means to be united with Christ.” Water baptism is a sacrament of covenant entry. Water baptism is baptism into Christ’s death. It is unification and union with Christ. We are buried with Christ in baptism. This is straightforward biblical language, broadly affirmed throughout the history of the Reformation. Not even… Read more »

Nicholas Barnes
Nicholas Barnes
4 years ago
Reply to  katecho

So the proceeding of the PCA against Louisiana Presbytery in regards to TE Steve Wilkins, and other NAPARC denomination reports are all unsupported and conjecture? The sections in the Reformed Confessions that reject confusing the sign and the thing signified are all conjecture to be replaced by utilizing Papist arguments for “sacramental efficacy”? The continued lack of clarity of terms and equivocation of terms in the Federal Vision movement, is the classic move of heretics. The Joint Statement is just another piece of writing that at best creates a straw-man (ill-informed conjecture) of the classic Reformed understanding of regeneration and… Read more »

katecho
katecho
4 years ago

Apparently Barnes has come here to merely beg the question, and is not actually prepared or able to make his own case any better than the authorities he cites. I do find it a bit puzzling that he has been confronted by Scripture, and yet chooses to hide behind councils and confessions. That was what Roman Catholics did when they were challenged by early reformers. I would have thought Barnes would know better than to fall into that trap.

Nicholas Barnes
Nicholas Barnes
4 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Creeds are useful and biblically warranted to keep out heretics, and it is only when they are according to God’s Word. The Confessions were so steeped in the Word and in accordance to the Word…. that is why I respect their findings and not those of the liberals of the centuries (Arminians, Socinians, New School, Liberal Theology, Neo-Orthodoxy) and those mixing the philosophy of the world (now older philosophy) with that of Christ (Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism). Federal Vision has hands in all 3 streams. I hope they choose the Biblical one. for a mere taste: Psalm 40:11-12, Psalm 125:1-2,… Read more »

katecho
katecho
4 years ago

Barnes wrote: I think it is abundantly clear that it is God who protects his elect (in the sense of believers or those yet to believe), and does not allow them to finally nor totally fall away even when they sin. God certainly protects and preserves those He has ordained to eternal life, which is probably what Barnes means when he says “his elect”. But, in fact, Israel is called God’s elect, and we know that some of them fell away. Now what? We also know that certain epistles are written addressing entire congregations as “elect”, without any distinction over… Read more »

mkt
mkt
4 years ago

“So the proceeding of the PCA against Louisiana Presbytery in regards to TE Steve Wilkins, and other NAPARC denomination reports are all unsupported and conjecture?”

I can’t speak for Katecho and am not part of the PCA, but I never read those proceedings. However, I watched the GA in which FV was brought up. It was somewhere between a circus and an angry mob…and really went downhill during and after R.C. Sproul’s speech.

mkt
mkt
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

The real heart and soul of the conflict are over slogans vs. honestly dealing with the Bible.

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  mkt

I believe in honestly dealing with the bible. However, we people have a tendency to get so in our own heads, to lean so far into our our own understanding, that we miss the whole concept of grace, we have no idea what it means to love anymore,and the entire gospel gets lost somewhere among our prideful declaration of having such a sound and thorough understanding of exegesis and hermeneutics.

J
J
4 years ago

Federal Visionists believe that your works justify you on the last day in the same way James believes that. “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” James 2:24. And he again he says, “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” James 2:26.
Federal Visionists and the Bible teach against the type of faith that costs a man nothing, when the Bible says it costs a man his life.

Nicholas Barnes
Nicholas Barnes
4 years ago
Reply to  J

I encourage you to look into the concept of “future justification” in the writings of Lusk, Shepherd, and Wright. Also I would suggest reading some criticisms in the book edited by Beisner, also read Water’s critique. I do not believe all Federal Visionists teach this concept of justification by works/faithfulness. That is why I say “some Federal Visionists”. I mean “some” not “all”. The Reformed Confessions tell us that the faith that saves is not a dead faith but has fruit. That faith of justification has sanctification as its fruit. The faith that does not work is not true faith.… Read more »

Nicholas Barnes
Nicholas Barnes
4 years ago

Clarification: No more “punitive” wrath… ever

katecho
katecho
4 years ago

Barnes wrote: I do not believe all Federal Visionists teach this concept of justification by works/faithfulness. All? I’m not even sure Barnes knows who they are, let alone what they affirm. I have no idea why he thinks that N T Wright represents the Federal Vision. Shepherd didn’t sign the Federal Vision Joint Statement, so it’s hard to say how much of it he agrees with. Lusk has been in the thick of the Federal Vision, but he did sign the Joint Statement, which expressly denies that justification is earned. It says, “We affirm we are saved by grace alone,… Read more »

Matt
Matt
4 years ago
Reply to  Gabe Wetmore

Gabe. On both sides of *what* issue?

christian
christian
4 years ago
Reply to  Gabe Wetmore

“All of us know”? Who is “us”? I must have missed it and read this blog nearly daily.

Jason Terpsma
Jason Terpsma
4 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

Count me in this category as well. It’s inside baseball so it’s not as much fun to read.

I mean, it’s your blog so write what you want and all, but I’m always a tiny bit disappointed when I come to dougwils.com and read another federal vision post. It’s certainly not that it’s bad or causing damage as you put it, it’s just that it’s not as good as the other stuff.

Having said that what you outline above sounds like something I’d like to read.

mkt
mkt
4 years ago
Reply to  Jason Terpsma

And a fifth category thinks trying to answer all church disputes via a few 16th-17th Century theologians is like only discussing 1970s baseball.

"A" dad
"A" dad
4 years ago
Reply to  mkt

Just to channel Randman here,
Cynically stated;

16th century? This is all about a “Bronze Age” book! ????

(Not that we plutonium age folks could throw any stones!)

Andy Schreiber
4 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

So the 4th category consists of people who hold to the FV teachings/trajectory that you are distancing yourself from, and take offense at that distancing?

katecho
katecho
4 years ago

Wilson wrote: As best as I am able to gauge, there have been three visible responses. My concern was with those who stood by the Federal Vision label and defended it to their own detriment. Some paid a very heavy price within their own church or denomination. I am concerned that Wilson’s distancing himself now, from something that he was so instrumental in defining at the time, may seem to be far too casual, particularly since he implied that he is not backing away from the consensus FV Joint Statement. Wilson wrote: I have said that the Federal Vision Statement… Read more »

firststep
firststep
4 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Unless there now (i.e., since from when Doug wrote Federal Vision No Mas) is a substantial shift from the content of what Doug believed on this topic, it truly seems very important for that student to admit to “those concerned folks” that “out there” “they” still do teach or believe the content of what was formerly indexed/labeled/categorized/called ‘federal vision,’ but that they in this recent “lexical shift” essentially/”substantially” just don’t index/label/categorize/call that content ‘federal vision’ no more/mas since Doug wrote (in Federal Vision No Mas) that: “This statement [/announcement of recent lexical shift] represents a change in what I CALL… Read more »

Brian Marr
Brian Marr
4 years ago

I look forward to future posts, but I wonder if the systematic theology is really where your position is unique. It seems that the Federal Vision was fueled by some pretty massive exegetical changes that then were taken and turned into systematic theology issues. Plus, postmillennialism, though certainly not outside the tradition, does explain some of the complications. It would be nice to see some explanations of how you agree with some of the new exegesis, but disagree with the systematic theology conclusions of Leithart and Wright. Thanks!

Qodesmith
Qodesmith
4 years ago

And by “Lane” do you mean William Lane Craig?

AeroBob
AeroBob
4 years ago
Reply to  Qodesmith

pretty sure he means Lane Keister.

somethingclever
somethingclever
4 years ago
Reply to  AeroBob

Lane Kiffin?

Lane Benton Keister
Lane Benton Keister
4 years ago

Funny you should say that. I have been accidentally confused with Lane Kiffin before.

somethingclever
somethingclever
4 years ago

I’d definitely take his paycheck.

Antecho
Antecho
4 years ago
Reply to  Qodesmith

Lane Keister has thus so far in three blog articles given his take on Doug’s lexical shift away from Federal Vision, which can be found after Googling:
Green Baggins Douglas Wilson: Federal Vision No More?
Green Baggins An Open Letter to Doug Wilson
Green Baggins Straight Out of Calvin?

Denise Dorminy
Denise Dorminy
4 years ago

I would appreciate ANY and ALL further clarification on FV. It’s very helpful as many of my family are “all in” the CREC, and I’m a member in a church that wonders if “that is entirely wise, because they heard that they teach something out there called “federal vision,” and while they do not know what it is exactly, it sounds dubious.” In fact, they are beyond the word “dubious” to “possibly heretical”, with nothing but Mr. Clark’s rhetoric to stir in the google pot. Let’s just say, it could clear up alot for me and my family. I am… Read more »

Occidoxy
4 years ago

Gone are the days of “cash me ousside.”

Noah
Noah
4 years ago

Doug, I think some of us would be greatly helped by a post summarizing what Federal Vision is in the first place. I’m a part-time theology student (and a Baptist) and when folks ask me “What’s Federal Vision?” I have to punt to “Uh… something about covenantal objectivity, disagreement over imputation, and communion for babies. I think?”

Rick Davis
Rick Davis
4 years ago
Reply to  Noah

Noah, this is basically the sort of thing that went down at the beginning of the controversy: Presbyterian 1: I believe that we are saved by grace alone. Presbyterian 2: So do I. Presbyterian 1:But, of course, in addition to meaning “God’s favor toward sinners,” grace can also mean “ease or suppleness of movement,” in which case, we are not saved by that kind of grace. Presbyterian 2: Wait, so you deny salvation by GRACE ALONE?! Presbyterian 1:No, I affirm salvation by grace alone according to one definition, but also affirm that there is another kind of grace possessed by… Read more »

Josh
Josh
4 years ago
Reply to  Rick Davis

Lol, that is actually more accurate to how it went and continues to go then most will want to admit.

Antecho
Antecho
4 years ago
Reply to  Rick Davis

This led me to imagine the desired Judicial Committee huddled around the Boston Creams sipping on coffee in a nearby foyer waiting to be summoned for some new work to get started on. I do hope Doug soon writes about: (1) How to better “bridge” the various propositions/notions in the Federal Vision document; (2) How to refine any propositions/notions (if indeed any) in the Federal Vision document, especially to aid in their successful bridging; (3) What additional distinctives associated with the Federal Vision (Statement) to be on guard against that work against such propositional/notional refinement or improved bridging; and (4)… Read more »

Billtownphysics
Billtownphysics
4 years ago

LOL, I think there are a group of people out there that will be significantly more upset at you about comparing the early reformers to NWA than they will about you trying to defend paedocommunion.

Nicholas Barnes
Nicholas Barnes
4 years ago

I guess the Federal Vision folks are still just so misunderstood. Conversation with them still gets no where because apparently nobody even knows their actual position, even after sitting under their churches for 5 years, studying the movement for 6 years, and attending the Pastoral Conferences, and interning at Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church. Thank God this movement was condemned with all its continued lack of clarity and disturbing the peace of the church (which denominational reports still apparently not hitting the mark). I am confessional, yes, I believe in the Trinity, yes. I believe that Christ is fully man and… Read more »

mkt
mkt
4 years ago

You sure love to drop “H” bombs. I can assure you my beliefs are within the boundaries of the ancient creeds (Nicene, Athanasian, Apostles). There’s nothing the slightest bit heretical about my views of the Trinity or Christ.

You’re totally confusing true creedal orthodoxy with your particular brand of Reformed hyper-sectarianism. I agree that there’s no more point debating this. I hope you’ll grow up a bit and learn that Christendom is larger than your tiny slice. Best, mkt.

ME
ME
4 years ago

Don’t get grumpy,you’ve made some really good points and helped to clarify some things for me. Rather pathetic of me really, but I actually follow some of these theological debates to de-stress and get some comic relief. I’m not trying to be disrespectful of these discussions, it’s just that when our paedocommunion starts throwing a tantrum right next to our objectivity of the covenant, and people start responding, “where’s my wrath of God?” No wrath, no authority! Now all the grace filled people are going to start doing bad things, just because they can! That’s so not fair! Then our… Read more »

katecho
katecho
4 years ago

Apparently Barnes wasn’t able to gather enough of his notes to be able to respond to my direct question to him about John 15. Likewise, Barnes wasn’t ever able to cite any actual quotes from any of the FV Joint Statement signers suggesting justification by our works. I quoted where they have all very plainly denied justification by works in the FV statement. Barnes wasn’t able to deal with these facts, I guess. So instead he tosses a few more grenades before he runs, dragging in everything from the Trinity to Christology to the kitchen sink into the discussion. Did… Read more »

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
4 years ago

Here is a helpful look at a topic very relevant to this discussion.

http://www.ligonier.org/blog/early-symptoms-spiritual-danger/

Here is a taste:

The truth and the power of the gospel were experienced. But “experience” in itself is not regeneration unless gospel grace penetrates into the heart.

katecho
katecho
4 years ago

The word regeneration is only used twice in Scripture. Once it is used with reference to the general bodily resurrection, and another time is used in reference to baptism (“washing of regeneration”). I’m increasingly persuaded that the word regeneration refers, not to spiritual heart conversion, but to the future bodily resurrection, of which Christ is the Firstfruits. I believe that those who are baptized may be referred to as elect, and as regenerate, in the covenantal sense that they are united with Christ, the Elect, and the Regenerate firstfruits, in His death and resurrection. However, those baptized must abide in… Read more »

john k
john k
4 years ago
Reply to  katecho

If the term “regeneration” is used in Scripture to refer to two different things, why should we limit it to only one thing? The biblical-theological concept of regeneration (as “spiritual heart conversion”) is not limited to the one term used in Matthew 19 and Titus 3. In the passage most widely cited as referring to regeneration as a spiritual rebirth–John 3:3-8–Jesus uses the phrase “born again” (or possibly translated “born from above”). His defining it as of water as well as of the Spirit has indeed led the church to associate baptism in some way with Spiritual regeneration, especially in… Read more »

Hugh McCann
Hugh McCann
4 years ago

Why is are there questions? You’ve been absolutely clear:

It does not represent any substantial shift or sea change in the content of what I believe…

This represents no change in my friendships or personal commitments, or denominational relationships…

I would still want [to] affirm everything I signed off on in the Federal Vision statement…

I believe the statement was fine as far as it went…

Sean Gerety
4 years ago
Reply to  Hugh McCann

Spot on Hugh. Doug says “…some concerned folks in the church start wondering aloud whether that is entirely wise, because they heard that they teach something out there called “federal vision,” and while they do not know what it is exactly, it sounds dubious. Our friend can now, without getting into the weeds, simply say no, that’s not true. ” Um, no they can’t say that. Saying you don’t like to be associated with the Federal Vision yet still hold to its theology (whether pale ale or brown stout or whatever other beer or alcohol analogy Doug prefers) doesn’t cut… Read more »