Finishing up Dr. Godfrey’s tape, I realized that it was not until the last couple minutes that I encountered any doctrinal or theological disagreement. Of course, he was wrong about the Federal Vision throughout, but his treatment of Paul and Calvin was admirable. Would that he handled what we have written with the same care.
But there was disagreement on substance right at the end. Dr. Godfrey cited Romans 5, “Therefore we have peace with God . . .” and went on to say that Paul does not say, “We have peace with God, but beware! You might lose it.” The problem with this is that it is simply wrong. That is precisely what Paul spends the 11th chapter of Romans doing. The Jews fell from their position on the olive tree — you Romans, beware! What Dr. Godfrey says here is simply a glaring exegetical error.
And keep in mind that I agreed with everything he said about sola fide. But exegetically, this has to be harmonized with the doctrine of covenantal apostasy, which Paul addresses in Romans 11. This harmonization is right at the center of the federal vision project, and does not depend on any of the medieval scarecrows that were being produced at this Westminster conference. Congruent merit, bah! Arminianism, ptooey! Semi-Pelagianianism, ha! I spit in their general direction.
Romans 11 must not be treated as the invisible chapter in Reformed systematics. It must be incorporated. It is fully consistent with what Dr. Godfrey said about sola fide. But if you speak as though Romans 4-5 and Romans 11 are part of the same apostolic argument, be prepared to be attacked as one who is attacking the gospel.