The Federal Vision
2May/113

What is the difference between Federal Vision and Traditional Covenant Theology (Part II)

In this Ask Doug clip from CanonWIRED, Pastor Doug Wilson is asked:

“What are the primary differences between the Federal Vision and traditional covenant theology?” (Part I HERE)

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  1. I liked your explanation that baptism isn’t salvific, but rather that it is a sign of a status that already exists (regardless of whether or not the parents acknowledge it?), however I think that almost goes without saying. Every evangelical baptism I’ve ever witnessed has included some variation of the phrase “these waters don’t save anyone.” I think the more important question is what happens after that?

    That salvation must necessarily be (at some point) based on their OWN faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ, and if that faith fails develop (I’m assuming adulthood, rather than dying as a child) before they die… what happens? At what point are they responsible themselves for their own position before God? Thus, again necessarily, begs the question, can a person lose his salvation? If not, then what basis is there for the salvation of the baptized, whether adult or infant? If so, what is the age of accountability, and what basis is there for the apostasy of adults who were baptized based on their own profession of faith as adults?

    I must also point out that again the question was not answered: “What is the difference between Federal Vision and Traditional Covenant Theology?” Part I sets up for Part II, but I would still like to see a more straightforward comparison.

  2. I must apologize for my comment. Somehow I managed to watch the video that asked when baptized children become members of the covenant, even though the top of this page claims to be the video about what the differences are between Federal Vision and TCT. I’m sure it was a cyberspace fluke. Please let the admin know that my comment should be moved to the appropriate video (about baptism), and that my last paragraph about the question not being answered should be ignored.

  3. He still doesn’t really say the specific differences. If this is all the FV was there would be absolutely no controversy. The differences here are mainly semantics, we all agree with apostasy, whether you call them Christian or just say visible covenant members is irrelevant.
    We all agree covenant children and adults are called members, brother while they are in, and they can depart, they can be branches or vines who do not produce fruit and are cut out of the vine or tree. Same with the Israel, natural branches broken off and restored etc.

    This is no controversy at all. So what is FV driving for. To say they were Christian now they aren’t? To be able to say confusingly baptism saves us?
    Back in early history there was no heresy on the meaning but as heresies arise the church has to be more specific on what it means by the terms. So we are more careful with language to not be misunderstood as baptismal regenerists. So if you want to say bapstim saves go ahead, just clarify that you do not mean by that what some heretics now mean by it.
    Why undo 2000 years of refinement and clarity to go back to sloppy confusing language?

    What is the big deal, purpose importance to trouble Israel and upset the peace and unity.

    He is not telling the whole story here, he is trying to sound Confessional. Maybe he doesnt’ hold to FV certainly not as Shepherd and others.


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