The Federal Vision

Peter Leithart update

People have been inquiring about what happened with the Peter Leithart's trial. The short of it is that it was a closed case until the verdict is given. All those present were asked to not discuss the case until after the verdict is given, which is slated for sometime in October.

Thanks for your prayers, and keep praying.

Sola Deo Gloria


Peter Leithart Trial

On June 3–4, the Pacific Northwest Presbytery (PNW) of the PCA is conducting a trial to determine whether or not Dr. Peter Leithart, pastor of Trinity Reformed Church, in Moscow, Idaho (CREC) has views contrary to the Westminster Standards. Please pray that God would be glorified through these proceedings.

Peter Leithart

Dr. Peter Leithart

Specifically, please pray that:

  1. If there is indeed heresy, the accused would see it clearly, and repent.
  2. If the concerns raised are unfounded, and no heresy is found, that this would come clearly to light, and that all may walk away giving thanks to God.
  3. If it comes to light that false accusations were made, please pray that those men would acknowledge it, repent, and remedy the affects of their false accusations to the best of their abilities.
  4. That all those involved in this trial would honor the authorities over them, allowing for a fair trial, and respecting the outcome, even if in disagreement.

Sola Deo Gloria.


For background on the Federal Vision, read the Joint Federal Vision Profession.



Bayly Blog on the FV

The Bayly Blog published some keen observations on the current state of the Federal Vision. A highly recommended read for all those following the Federal Vision debate in the PCA.


Doug Wilson on NT Wright

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TE Jeff Meyers Cleared by Missouri Presbytery of Allegations Against Him

Jeff Meyers has been cleared of all allegations brought against him by the Missouri Presbytery. Read more about it HERE.

UPDATE: For those who would like to read the full report, it may be found HERE


Why has there been a Federal Vision Controversy?

Doug Wilson weighs in:

Over the last number of years, since the eruption of the FV controversy, we have of course been involved in the public back and forths that such a controversy involves. Much of it has been the doctrinal interaction, and the rest of it has been (mostly unsuccessful) attempts to clarify what we are in fact saying. But for some, these latter attempts are just like rubbing the spot on the wall -- it just won't clarify. Take, for example, Scott Clark's most recent foray into fog. His summary of our position is this: "Get in by grace, stay in by cooperation with grace." Forsooth, and double heh.

But throughout the course of this controversy, I have frequently been asked why the controversy exists, and why it has continued. This question comes from people who hear our qualifications, and note (accurately) that we are within the historic Reformed mainstream, and yet they have good reason to respect and take seriously those voices that are calling for our ouster from the historic Reformed mainstream. And so the question that most naturally occurs to them is why.

I have hesitated to answer the question in a public setting (like this one) because I have not wanted... (Continue Reading)


Doug Wilson on the proper use of the law

Doug Wilson responds to the accusation that his view of Law and Gospel imply a denial of Sola Fide. He includes a great quote from Turretin's Institutes.

So once saving faith comes, with regard to the broad intention and design of God, the believer principally rests in Christ alone, as He is offered in the gospel. But saving faith also understands the parts and relations of law to gospel, and sees God's overarching gracious intent. He sees totus lex. This is why he can now tremble at the threatenings without that trembling being an example of unbelief. This is why he can render obedience to the laws without that obedience being a form of works-righteousness. In order to have the pedagogical use of the law and the didactic use of the law functioning at all, it is necessary that a man be able to transition between them. That transition is called getting saved.

Read full post HERE. Well worth the read!

"Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully" (1 Tim. 1:5-8).


Doug Wilson comments on SJC’s Report on Leithart

Doug Wilson describes his position on the 9 declarations brought before Peter Leithart. Read the full post HERE

The decision relies on the nine declarations adopted by the 35th General Assembly of the PCA, which have been discussed in this space before. The first requires bi-covenantalism, and I am bi-covenantal. The second requires us to hold that someone's "election" cannot be lost and, if we are talking about decretal election, of course not. But if they mean something else by putting "election" in scare quotes, we shall have to inquire further. But decretal election cannot be lost or altered in any way. The third requires the view that Christ is a representative head "whose perfect obedience and satisfaction is imputed to individuals who believe in him," a view which I loudly, consistently, and enthusiastically have affirmed. The fourth requires the language of merit be used when referring to the imputation of Christ's obedience to us, which I am certainly willing to do, especially when singing hymns. The fifth requires us to reject the idea that union with Christ makes the idea of imputation redundant, a rejection that I have argued in favor of for years. The sixth requires that water baptism and covenantal union be rejected as setting up a parallel soteriological system alongside the decretal system of Westminster, a rejection that would have to be affirmed by anyone who understands that a man can't go to Heaven and Hell both. I certainly understand that. The seventh says that effectual union with Christ includes perseverance, to which I say, "amen, and amen." The  eighth says that regeneration and justification necessitate perseverance, which I also teach. And the ninth says that justification in the sight of God cannot be based in any way on our works, which I also affirm.

Read the rest HERE

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Conversation with a (Real) Federal Vision Pastor

Pastor Wes White, a critic of the Federal Vision, recently posted an imaginary conversation with an Federal Vision minister, which he claims represents the Federal Vision. He was challenged on his understanding of what a pastor and advocate of the Federal Vision would say, and therefore put together a series of quotes to back up his claims here. We believe that he does not treat these texts in their proper context. Pastor White appears to be unwilling to admit that he has taken quotes out of context, and he also is unwillling to contact the individuals who wrote them to clarify what they meant.

We felt that the best way to illustrate his faulty understanding was to replace his imaginary Federal Vision Pastor with a real one.

Pastor Douglas Wilson, of Christ Church, in Moscow, Idaho answers these same questions. Pastor Wilson is a proponent of the Federal Vision, and drafted the Joint Federal Vision Profession. Prior to the following recording, he had not read Pastor White's imaginary conversation.

note: I apologize for the typo at the beginning. A new version is being created, but will take a while to upload.

Conversation with a Federal Vision Pastor from Canon Wired on Vimeo.


Federal Vision for the Average Joe

My friend Luke Nieuwsma wrote the following article entitled, "Federal Vision for the Average Joe." I highly recommend it, in particular for those just tuning in, and asking themselves, "What is the Federal Vision?"

Click HERE for the article ( or in PDF).

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