Robert Godfrey raises a great question concerning objections to Pauline theology. If what we teach is not generating the same objections that Paul’s teaching did, then the chances are good that we are not preaching the same thing he did. If our preaching of grace does not provoke the charge of antinomianism from the legalists, then we are not having the same effect on the legalists that Paul did. I accept the argument, which I think is a very good one, and I also accept the challenge.
Dr. Godfrey says that he cannot see the Federal Vision writings having that effect on anyone. But that is probably because he is not a legalist (and cannot think like one), coupled with the fact that he ought to get out a little more. But as far as quite a few others are concerned, I have gotten the antinomian wind in my sails and do not give two cents for the law of God. And for his opposition to Regulative Principle Dour Party (RPDP) lots of people think that Schlissel is the original antinomian orangutan. But the closest Dr. Godfrey has gotten to the precipice of antinomianism is that he was once tempted to sing a hymn instead of a psalm.
For good measure, doubling the effectiveness of this particular argument, for their part the antinomians think I’m a legalist. And to retrofit an argument of Chesterton’s, this is probably not because I am wicked enough to encompass multiple contradictory sins, but rather that any stick is good enough to beat me with.
Over the course of the last few years, I have been accumlating so many slanderous accusations of evil doing that the local landfill had to start charging the Wilson family extra. If this is to be the test of orthodoxy (and in part, it ought to be), I will glad to be welcomed back into the ranks of the faithful by an official emissary of Westminster West, and will sit by the phone waiting for their call. At last, a test I can pass with ease.
Why, (and you will scarcely believe this), just the other day I was listening in my pick-up to a tape by a gentleman named Dr. Scott Clark, and he said that we Federal Vision types did not believe that Jesus lived a life of perfect, sinless obedience! I was so flummoxed by this that I pulled my truck over to the side of the road, and had to lay myself down on the highway with my feet on the bumper just to get the blood back into my head. Then when the state patrolman asked me what I thought I was doing, I explained it to him, and he couldn’t believe it either. Actually, I made this last little bit up — just a little fib — but that’s okay. We’re all under grace.
I well remember when I first learned this argument that Dr. Godfrey presented — I was standing in front of a local LDS study center handing out literature, and one of the fellows who came out to talk to me said something like this, “If what you are saying is true, then what is to prevent us all from living a life of sin?” That’s when I first heard the echo of Romans 6.
Just curious. When was the last time Westminster West had to fight off charges of rampant antinomianism? Anybody heard recently that the seminarians down there are party commandoes? That they frequent casinos? That the administration winks at such sin?