Chapter 6 of RINE, entitled “Individualism” is a very short chapter consisting of 3 pages. The thesis is that corporate and individual aspects of salvation should not be played off against one another. To use his own memorable phrase, “The fact that we believe in a corporate covenant omelette does not mean we disbelieve in eggs” (p. 57). He makes the point that “we go to heaven or hell by ones” (p. 58). Individuals are the counting units (ibid). However, we must take care not to over-emphasize either individualism or corporateness at the expense of the other.
I have a few questions of clarification for Doug: what does he means by saying “A man is not defined by his internal essence” (p. 58)? What is the relationship of such a statement (which presumably is about covenantal relationships) to the statement in Scripture, “As a man thinks in his heart, so he is” (Proverbs 23:7: note that the various translations differ considerably in their renderings). If a man’s internal essence is defined by the Holy Spirit, then doesn’t his essence form at least part of who he is?
Second question: regarding omelettes, are the eggs Christians in the decretal sense? If so, how do they make up a corporate covenant omelette which presumably contains unbelievers? Do believers and hypocrites together make up a truly scrambled mush? I guess I am not quite sure how the analogy is supposed to work. I agree with the basic point that covenantal and individual aspects of salvation are not to be played off against one another. However (and this is not what Wilson is saying, I hope) this does not mean that the omelette is undifferentiated.