The Federal Vision

Can R. Scott Clark Read English?

“His views are well known. I can read English.” - R. Scott 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 that I teach some form of this, you should probably say to yourself, “Hmmm. No speekee.”

Read full post from Doug Wilson HERE.


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.


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

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?”


Doug Wilson invites R. Scott Clark to debate over the Federal Vision

Someone asked Pastor Doug Wilson if he would be willing to debate the theologian R. Scott Clark, professor of Historical Theology at Westminster Seminary California over the Federal Vision theology. Scott Clark is a critic of the Federal Vision.


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)


Conversation between Wes White and Steve Wilkins on the Federal Vision

I had the privilege of connecting Pastor Wes White and Pastor Steve Wilkins on the phone for a discussion about the Federal Vision.  This conversation was to give Wes White, a theological blogger and critic of the Federal Vision, the opportunity to ask Steve Wilkins directly about some of his positions relating to the Federal Vision.   During the course of this controversy, there has been very little direct communication, and very much talking past each other.  It was a real blessing to hear these brothers in Christ talk about their positions, differences, and concerns to each other directly.

Thank you to Luke Nieuwsma for arranging this call.


Wes White and Steve Wilkins on the Federal Vision (download link)

Edit: Steve Wilkins let me know of a correction to something he said: "I need to correct something I said regarding the number of AAPC members who have left here for the Roman Church. I said one man had done this and actually that's not correct -- the correct response is that no one has left AAPC for the Roman Church. The individual I was thinking about left AAPC to join the Episcopal Church and about a year later joined the Roman Church. Just for the record."

Paschal Blessing from Doug Wilson

From Doug Wilson on Blog and Mablog, Easter Sunday:

"As many who read this blog know, it has a been a season of controversy. But fortunately, it is also the Paschal season. The Lord is risen; He is risen indeed.

We have been brought up from the dead, and our present possession is life, just as our final destination is life. Newness of life now, eternal life now, and life everlasting. This life is sheer unadulterated gift -- we cannot do anything to merit it. Salvation is all of grace.

And this means that it has to delight my soul that God loves those on the other side of our particular theological divides more than I have ever loved anything or anybody. It needs to delight me that we will all spend eternity together, as it does. And so I pray God's blessings on the resurrection celebrations of all God's children, and I pray for a double blessing on the celebrations of my adversaries. This resurrection life is a powerful thing, and gets into everything . . . even our disputes.

Happy Easter, then, and may you all stand in the overflow of God's abundant blessings."

To which I can only add: Amen and amen!


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).


Context and Pretext

Steve Wilkins, Pastor of Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church, explains how his words have been twisted once again:

...I always thought it was sort of a rule required by the 9th commandment that we try to understand one another’s statements in context. Is that so?

I’ve always assumed it was and that is why I had no qualms about writing what I wrote on page 261 of The Auburn Avenue Theology Pros & Cons. I didn’t have any idea anyone would twist my words on page 261 in such a way as to ignore what I said a few lines before on page 260 where I affirm the historic Reformed definition of election and seek to distinguish what I’m talking about in the paper from this historic doctrine (which, by the way, I fully embrace and believe to be totally biblical).

Read the rest of his post HERE.