The Federal Vision
18May/150

Can R. Scott Clark Read English?

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5Nov/140

Forward to “Reformed is Not Enough,” by Douglas Wilson

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What we always want in all "controversies of religion" is a plain and honest resort to Scripture primarily. But when we do this, we are still mindful of our confessional riches and we love that heritage. Given this, it is a bit much to be charged with abandoning our inheritance when those taking the charge abandoned the standards long enough ago to give it the color of "a historic position."

No single issue in this collective charge against us is very complicated, but, taken all together, things can become significantly tangled. This is because this was a heresy trial on the cheap–it was a veritable broadside of charges with no apparent need to contact us to get any clarification, no need to document the charges with quotations, no need to distinguish four men with different emphases, and so forth. Simple issues when collectively heaped can still make a big mess.

At the same time, this published response seeks to name this imbroglio appropriately. Apart from the specific charges, exactly is going on here? What worldview are colliding? This might seem like a nonsensical question to some–"what do you mean worldviews?" Both sides of this dispute hold to some variation of postmillennial, Calvinistic, presbyterian, Van Tillian, theonomic, and reformed thought, with additional areas of agreement standing off to the side. I bet none of us voted for Clinton. How could there possibly be enough material left over for a fracas?

The answer is found in a contrast we have used many time–medieval versus modern. We believe ourselves to be in the process of recovering what our fathers taught from the Reformation down to the Enlightenment–that is, a Reformed and medieval mindset. We believe our opponents to be sincere and honest Christians, but men who have erroneously made a bad truce with modernity and who have accommodated their theology to the abstract dictates of the Enlightenment. This is why we have been laid on the Procrustean bed of a particular understanding of systematic theology and have had our heretical feet cut off. The irony in this case is that the standard used to judge us were written with the mindset we are returning to and which are drastically misunderstood by the mindset we are rejecting. There will be more on this in the chapters to come.

So the dispute is not imaginary–there are real and important differences between us. We do not believe the differences to constitute heresy–any of the men who have taken this action against us would be welcome to worship at any of our churches and commune with us in the Lord's Supper there.  Nevertheless, the differences are real and deep, and the parties that differ ought to be properly named. If it were up to me, building on the acronym TR ("Truly Reformed"), I would suggest that this is a debate between the Enlightenment TRs (ETRs) and the historic reformed. But agreement with this naming will have to wait for further proof.

The basic content of this book appeared originally in a series of sermons preached at Christ church in Moscow. One of the chapters appeared originally in The Hammer, a publication of Community Christian Ministries, while another chapter appeared in Table Talk. The rest was written for the occasion.

Douglas Wilson
Christ Church
2002

19Nov/131

Reformed is Not Enough

Do you want to read up on the basics of the Federal Vision?

I recommend Doug Wilson's book "Reformed is Not Enough: Recovering the Objectivity of the Covenant."

18Nov/132

A Romans 11 Olive Branch | In what way are non-elect covenant members united to Christ?

Doug Wilson interacts with a post by Shane Lems from The Aquila Report related to union with Christ and the Federal Vision.

I would be happy for the sake of peace and clarity to never again use “union with Christ” in reference to a non-elect covenant member. But we still need a biblical way to describe them and their relation to Christ, and that description cannot be the opposite of the biblical description. Christ has non-elect branches, and they are _______________ (what?) to Christ.

Read the full post HERE.

16Nov/130

Ask Doug: Perseverance of the Saints and Apostasy

Filed under: Doug Wilson No Comments
8Nov/130

“No Speekee”

A must read post by Doug Wilson, responding to Scott Clark's refusal to meet with him.

An excerpt:

“His views are well known. I can read English.” [Clark]

The blunt answer, which cannot really be softened, is “no, he cannot read English.” Let me take one example that Clark likes to use. He says that FV teaches that baptism puts everyone in a state of grace, which is then maintained by the believer through his own covenantal faithfulness. Is that not a fair summary of what Clark says I teach? Well, here is some English for Clark to read. I think that such a doctrine is bad juju. I believe that it would be what theologians of another era might call a lie from the pit of Hell. I hope that one day I might be privileged to soak this doctrine in lighter fluid and set a match to it. If I ever found this doctrine on a sheet of paper in my office somewhere, I would run it through the shredder. Prior to my weekly dump run, I search my house for any traces of this doctrine so that I might throw it in the back of my pick up truck in order to take it out to the landfill along with all the bottles, empty ice cream cartons, grapefruit rinds, and coffee grounds. So the next time you read Scott Clark saying thatI teach some form of this, you should probably say to yourself, “Hmmm. No speekee.”

Read the full post HERE.

7Nov/130

Follow us on Facebook!

We're now on Facebook! You can "like" The Federal Vision page HERE.

Federal Vision FB page

6Nov/130

A Few Heideljinks

Doug Wilson interacts with R. Scott Clark's recent post, reiterating an invitation to Clark to discuss the FV.

I forget how many times and how many ways I have offered to meet with Scott Clark. But let me reiterate. I will fly down there at my own expense, I will debate with him publicly, I will meet with him privately, and I will even buy a special membership card that will allow me to comment on his blog. If we are drawing historical parallels, the only one being coy here, and refusing to engage in a theological exchange is Clark. So here is the offer put another way. Why doesn’t Scott Clark do for me what he says here what the divines at Dort did for the Arminians, and see what happens?

Read Doug Wilson's full post HERE.

30Sep/130

The Ask Doug: Imputation of Christ’s Righteousness

Question: How would you confront someone who denies the imputation of Christ’s righteousness?

30Jul/130

Ask Doug: Was Adam “good” before the Fall?

Ask Doug: I am trying to understand what is meant by God calling Adam and Eve, His prized creation, "good." Did that mean perfect? Did that mean sinless? If so, did they need Jesus before the fall? If not, what would you say they were?

Download mp3 version HERE.
Trouble with the video? Try the YouTube version HERE