Federal Vision

I am happy to hear that the PCA General Assembly adopted their proposed paper on the Federal Vision.

At what point do well-meaning people no longer listen to the cries from this camp saying they are misunderstood and misrepresented? When the RCUS, OPC, PCA and others have all accepted reports essentially saying the same things about what the Federal Vision is teaching, and that these teachings are out of accord with Scripture and the Reformed confessions, surely at some point people will have to accept that these studies are accurate, and that the FV is teaching what the critics are saying that it’s teaching. I would think that if I were a proponent of this movement who truly did not believe that I was teaching justification by faith and works, I would accept that I must be an extremely poor communicator for all of these different bodies to misunderstand me in precisely the same way, and therefore retract all of my previous writings and get into a different line of work.

6 thoughts on “Federal Vision

  1. Mrs Butler says:

    I’m not sure how many well meaning people are out there listening, frankly. They are simply taking what is said from their leaders and believing it. That’s not an actual problem, I am pleased that the parishioners feel they can trust their leaders.

    Did you READ the PCA GA discussion on this? It was a disgrace of monumental proportions. I am glad to be quit of that denomination.

  2. Mrs. Butler,
    Yes, I read it, and I was pleased with it. Those who support the Federal Vision will of course say that they did a terrible job. They must say this. And of course there are always flaws in the way we handle these things, since we are all imperfect sinners. But the fact remains that the PCA’s conclusions were substantially the same as the OPC’s and the RCUS’s.

    Your tactic here is what they’ve all done- to say that people either don’t understand the FV, or they have bad motives. I have interacted with the FV at some length, as have many other men that I have a great deal of respect for, men that are neither institutionally biased against them nor weak or ignorant men. I might not automatically trust one or two such men, but literally dozens and dozens have now come out against the FV, representing some of the most conservative and orthodox groups around. I think the case has been sufficiently made. Time will of course show the truth of these things.

  3. Mrs. Butler says:

    Matt, that was kind of rude of you to intimate that I am using some kind of playbook “tactic” or that I am accusing you personally of ignorance. Not very *pastoral* of you (wink wink, that’s a joke…)The PCA is the same denomination that has ruled you can be a subscriptionist to the Westminster Standards and still believe in day-age theories of framework theologies. I was speaking of them and their parishioners.

    Since I no longer believe that justification by a certain definition of faith is the best portrayal of scripture, I can completely understand your being alarmed, upset, or even disgusted. These are HUGE arguments, I don’t deny that. There are a lot of big serious differences, most of them definition and semantics, and since definition carries meaning, the differences are substantive.

    I was disturbed by what I clearly saw to be a badly done, obviously stacked hatchet job on men who are honest and worthy. And the PCA study committee’s definition of “interacting” with FV (which, I am still sore that they made it look as though NPP is the same thing)was to read some literature and decide. It would have helped soothe a lot of bad blood if they had sat down with these men…and THEN declared their beliefs to be in or out of subscription.

  4. Lara,
    You’re right- I was rude. I’m sorry, and I ask your forgiveness.

    You’re a good deal more honest than most of these men. They will not say that their definition of justification has changed from the Reformed definition, all the time saying many things that clearly indicate that they have. This is my major problem with them.

    We didn’t sit down with the FV men either. When a man publishes something, he becomes responsible for it. There is no responsibility to personally sit down with them and interact.

    So on the one hand, when the MARS report comes out and no names are named, the FV men cry foul and say, why won’t they just come out and name names? We all know who they’re talking about. But when other reports come out and name names, then again they cry foul and say that we haven’t sat down with them and talked it through. But there is no responsibility to deal individually with someone when they have published views. If it is not sufficient to interact with their published works, how can they expect anyone to be edified by those published works? The layperson in the pew will not have the opportunity to sit down with these men to “clarify” their views. They will not hear any additional nuance that the FV men might wish to add to their works. Those works have to stand on their own. If their published works misrepresent their views, let them retract those works.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

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