In Defense of the Report

The Siouxlands Presbytery Report is the result of 2 years of hard labor by Wes and myself, and several years of further research (of a more informal nature) before that on both our parts. We did not feel it incumbent on ourselves to repeat what other people have said, nor to engage in the footnoting sort of scholarship that some people seem to expect. But to claim from the appearance of the report that no or little scholarship was involved is a logical fallacy. Having lots of detailed, careful, meticulous quotations in a work of scholarship is evidence of scholarship. But it does not then follow that lack of detailed footnotes indicates lack of scholarship. So, we can discuss the merits (or lack thereof) of the report itself. Let us not impugn the scholarship of those who drew it up.

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12 Comments

  1. Matt said,

    January 29, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    Yeah, I don’t see any scholarship put into this. Something like this should have footnotes. “After 2 years” and all you did is requote the confession? Pathetic.

  2. Anne said,

    January 29, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    It does seem that after multiple presbyteries have issued reports essentially smacking the FV with a rolled-up newspaper, it becomes redundant to issue yet another 40 page document.

    Y’all’s will also be helpful on a practical level, for when someone asks, “What does this presbytery say about justification/CoW/election/etc.?” the answers are readily available.

  3. greenbaggins said,

    January 29, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    Matt, you don’t even deserve an answer. Thanks, Anne, for your encouragement. It seems that a clear document like this that clearly condemns erroneous opinion (as the BCO puts it) will immediately and often get vilified. You put it well, as always. We didn’t want this to be a rolled-up newspaper, but a slim poniard that strikes a blow for the truth.

  4. John said,

    January 29, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    “We deny that justification has primary reference to membership of the Church; rather, it has primary reference to the acceptance of the individual sinner before God. ”
    Well, I’m glad you did NOT say that justification has NO reference to membership of the church. For Genesis says Abraham received circumsicion as a sign of the “covenant”, which Paul says (Rom.4) that it was a sign of the “righteousness of faith.” Abraham’s “justification”, according to Paul, must include covenant membership along with being declared righteous. To pull these aspects of justification apart, or put them at odds, would not do justice to Paul’s doctrine of justification.
    – John

  5. greenbaggins said,

    January 29, 2007 at 5:49 pm

    Yes, John, we were pretty careful about that. We have no wish to deny that justification has ecclesial ramifications, even important implications. We just deny that the majority of the meaning lies there.

  6. John said,

    January 29, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    Lane,
    Question: Looking at “justification” from a historia salutis perspective, would you then agree that the emphasis should be on its covenantal aspect, because the now “justified ones” are the new covenant people as opposed to old covenant Israel? If not, please explain why the “historia salutis” veiwpoint would still deny justification as primarily covenantal term.
    And of course, from an ordo salutis perspective, I understand that justification happens before that process of sanctification.
    – John

  7. greenbaggins said,

    January 29, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    The connection between historia salutis (which is Jesus’ resurrection) and the ordo salutis (which is how Christ’s resurrection is applied to us) seems to place our justification rather firmly in the ordo side of things. Christ’s resurrection is the historia salutis significance of justification (a la Romans 4). That is applied to us in justification, the ordo salutis category. There is a connection there, certainly. However, the significance of justification lies mostly in the ordo side of things.

  8. Danny said,

    January 30, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    Matt, since Lane won’t speak to your statement, I will. Your statement, in fact, wreaks of ignorance. The form in which the report is present is one that has been used throughout the history of the church, and a form which succinctly sets forth the boundaries of orthodoxy. It is not a book or article laying out one’s views, it is a document which is the result of much study and assumes that those reading it, and approving of it are well versed in the issues at stake. So, perhaps you should be quick to listen and slow to speak before you post something so inflammatory and uninformed.

  9. Todd said,

    January 30, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    Reeks of ignorance. Wreaks havoc.

  10. Danny said,

    January 30, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    Todd…sorry, not getting your point

  11. Danny said,

    January 30, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    ah, now I see….my bad

  12. Todd said,

    January 30, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    It’s a homonym thing.


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