Two Opposite Links

Martin Downes interviews Gary Johnson, part 1. Mark Horne judges a book by its cover (I don’t suppose Wilson will jump on Horne for reviewing a book before Horne reads it. That only happens if a Leithart book is commented on off-handedly).

Update: According to Mark Horne, Doug actually did email him about the book, giving him a more positive outlook on the book. Therefore, I retract the jab I made above.

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60 Comments

  1. GLW Johnson said,

    August 30, 2007 at 8:10 am

    Lane
    You might remember that Horne lampooned the book ‘By Faith Alone’ that Waters and I edited based solely on a prepublication notice desribing its contents. However, his nasty remarks about Piper and his new book was to be expected from someone who thought some of his fellow presbyterian ministers were ‘a pen of swine’ for daring to differ with Wright.

  2. Anne said,

    August 30, 2007 at 8:22 am

    Tacky, tacky, tacky.

    I expect it’s a sign that Wright’s fan base is afraid Piper is going to deftly slice the former’s theological theories into neat, bite-sized pieces. IMO they have cause for concern.

    BTW, Piper’s new book may be pre-ordered from Amazon for $10.19. ;-)

  3. Fred Greco said,

    August 30, 2007 at 8:31 am

    Does anybody take Horne seriously any more?

  4. Matt Beatty said,

    August 30, 2007 at 8:54 am

    Lane – does it occur to you (or anyone else?) that you and Horne (Wilson?) are like a married couple who can’t quit arguing over the smallest and trivial “offense?” If it really bothered you that Wilson (and others) took you to task for what were some off-hand comments, why on earth would you repay the favor to someone else? Apart from the merit of the idea that Piper has comprised his theological integrity by stooping to write such a horribly misguided and poorly argued book, Horne’s wave-of-the-hand dismissal of Piper, with that silly video clip, is juvenile and disrespectful to a “father” in the faith who has done and continues to do an unquestionable amount of good. Wouldn’t it have been easier just to commend Gary’ work via the interview and not take a cheap shot at Rev. Horne – a cheap shot that you resent being taken at you?

    The FV/Anti-FV crowd do, in fact, have a lot to discuss, but the likelihood of that happening (from both sides) without accusation and acrimony is almost nil.

  5. greenbaggins said,

    August 30, 2007 at 8:58 am

    Matt, I haven’t even touched Horne for quite a while now. I am pointing out what I perceive to be an hypocrisy in the FV camp. I am glad that we have the same assessment of Horne’s post. I do not put Horne in the same category as Wilson, by the way. Wilson is willing to discuss real theological issues. Horne never has with me.

  6. Jonathan Bonomo said,

    August 30, 2007 at 9:07 am

    No doubt there is much hypocrisy from both ends. Contrary to what some may think or want to assume, I am neither FV nor anti-FV, and I have seen blatant hypocrisy from both ends.

    I agree with Rev. Keister that this type of behavior by Rev. Horne is hypocritical. But I also think that both sides are blind to their own hypocrisy. I haven’t seen much evidence of self-examination or self-critique from either side.

  7. Tim Wilder said,

    August 30, 2007 at 9:11 am

    This is a change for Horne who used to suck up to Piper as hard as he could. After all, Piper is a charismatic, a Baptist, and a hedonist, who for a time took up Daniel’s Fuller’s theology, and yet retained his standing as a leader in the “Reformed” world.

    If it worked for Piper, why couldn’t the FV find the magic formula and use it too? (The magic formula, by the way is have a mega-church, sell lots of books, and be hot stuff on the conference circuit.)

  8. GLW Johnson said,

    August 30, 2007 at 9:16 am

    I just read Doug Wilson’s very positive assessment of Piper’s book over on Justin Taylor’s blog. The ol’good cop,bad cop thing or is Horne no longer part of the inner circle? Tune in next time for the exciting conclusion of ‘As the Federal Vision Turns’.

  9. Anne said,

    August 30, 2007 at 9:21 am

    Wright acts as one of the places where FV’ers will find themselves in fairly stark disagreement, from what I’ve read. Wilson has never been a fan of Wright’s theories about justification, and has lambasted them on a regular basis on his blog.

  10. stewart said,

    August 30, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Now these comments are of Puritan Board quality. Good work, guys.

  11. greenbaggins said,

    August 30, 2007 at 9:27 am

    Why, thank you, stew.

  12. stewart said,

    August 30, 2007 at 9:30 am

    And hey, when can we expect to see a guest post by John Robbins?

  13. GLW Johnson said,

    August 30, 2007 at 9:34 am

    Lane
    Are Stewart’s comments always this insightful?

  14. Matt Beatty said,

    August 30, 2007 at 9:34 am

    Gary,

    You said, “I just read Doug Wilson’s very positive assessment of Piper’s book over on Justin Taylor’s blog. The ol’good cop,bad cop thing or is Horne no longer part of the inner circle? Tune in next time for the exciting conclusion of ‘As the Federal Vision Turns’.”

    I realize that you and Doug have some personal history that goes waaaayyyy back, but I just don’t “get” this comment? Is it possible that two men could disagree (even strongly) on something and yet retain very positive impressions of one another? I don’t know Wilson or Horne personally, nor do I know what each thinks of NTW in detail (have a general idea), but your comment implies that this is sort of a zero-sum game: either you think NTW is profitable (and thus, are part of the FV’s inner sanctum), or you want to tie him to the nearest stake, in which case you’re “against” the FV.

    Lane – I don’t lump Wilson and Horne together. I realize very well that Wilson doesn’t take potshots at you in the way I’ve (unfortunately) seen Mark do. Still, I don’t see why folks who don’t like the receiving end of “barbs” repay the favor – especially pastors. You’ve got real wolves to go after in your parishoners’ lives – go get ‘em! Don’t waste your time with this nonsense… just ignore it.

  15. GLW Johnson said,

    August 30, 2007 at 9:46 am

    Matt B.
    Why do so many of you guys suffer from a total lack of a sense of humor? Wilson does this kind of thing regularly, in fact he has perfected it to an art form. Why the whining over tongue in cheek comments?

  16. greenbaggins said,

    August 30, 2007 at 9:59 am

    Gary, Stew’s comments are always that helpful. ;-)

    Matt, I don’t have a lot of wolves to worry about in rural North Dakota. Coyotes, definitely, but not wolves. The main wolves I worry about regarding our people are televangelists. Mark Horne makes himself hard to ignore. I ignore him for the most part, but this was too wide an opening for counter-attack.

  17. August 30, 2007 at 10:01 am

    Note to Tim re: #7 – I think your comments are very misleading. Piper is most certainly not a big “C” Charismatic, though his personality can certainly be described as charismatic, in a very good sense. And when Piper describes himself as a “Christian hedonist” and his ministry as promoting “Christian hedonism” he is most certainly not promoting pagan orgies and Epicureanism, which a non-contextualized use of the word “hedonism” certainly conveys. Piper’s point is that Christians should cultivate a love of God and take hold of His promises of “future grace” above the temporary and fleeting pleasures of sin. That God wishes to (ultimately) lavish us with pleasures we cannot even begin to fathom, and even blesses us now with great joy if we seek Him rightly now, even in the midst of persecution and hardship. You may be aware of this, but I fear your comments give a woefully misleading impression to the uninformed reader.

  18. Mark T. said,

    August 30, 2007 at 10:05 am

    A few weeks ago Robert K compared Wilson to the front man for CAIR, whose has the responsibility of mainstreaming the terrorist acts of his wicked associates. And Robert nailed it. Let there be no mistake, Wilson will say or do anything to keep himself in the conversation, which oftentimes requires him to gloss the truth here a little and there a little. But his words do not change his agenda or his affection for his fellow terrorists, who intend to disrupt the peace and purity of the church with their false doctrine and their reprehensible behavior. Do not believe a word he says. Like the Gibeonites of old, he “works wilily” (Josh 9:4).

    As for Mark Horne, he acts like one of Pope Doug’s flying monkeys — rash, stupid, and thoughtless — however he insists that the PCA accept him. I honestly don’t understand why the man does not have the courage to admit the obvious: “I am beholden to little man behind the curtain so I shall join his band of fools in the CREC.” However, I suspect it’s because most of Pope Doug’s loyalists are all cowards at heart, who draw their strength from their fearless leader, the bravest man in the world.

    Thank you.

  19. August 30, 2007 at 10:10 am

    Mark T.’s comments are just plain stupid and ignorant. After this comment I will strive to completely ignore him as I am trying to now ignore RobertK (which will be difficult, given that their combined comments take up ~15% of the commenting space on this blog.

    Doug Wilson has long been a leading critic of NT Wright’s worst teachings; this is nothing new or contrived. In fact, Wilson’s taking of NTW to the woodshed over the topic of justification a couple years ago was one of the best articles I have read on the subject from anyone.

  20. Matt Beatty said,

    August 30, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Gary,

    Personally, I have no stomach for Wilson’s tongue-in-cheek humor. Is is funny? Yes, it frequently is. And Wilson has a more gifted pen than just about anyone for that sort of thing. But it always leaves me empty and cold, especially when other brothers’ reputations are on the line. There’s a time and a place for everything, Gary. A little poking/rib-jabbing among brothers is fine. I find sarcasm among those who are NOT in fellowship with one another and are having a difficult time not resenting, being bitter, etc. to be out of place. Call me a sissy, but I do. If Wilson is the false-teacher that folks like Mark believe him to be, then say so.

    Lane – am I to take your comment about “having no wolves” seriously, or was that a joke? Your folks may not have any jihadists, unitarians, same-sex neighbors, etc. beating down their door, but they do have distractions/temptations – not to mention their own indwelling sin in need of mortification – that threaten their joy in Christ, their passion for the lost, their enthusiasm for the Lord’s Day worship, their marriages, their children, etc. There’s no shortage of dangers to pastor your flock away from in today’s world… even in North Dakota!

  21. Mark T. said,

    August 30, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Eric,

    Thank you for that very thoughtful and insightful response to my comment, which you grounded in your perceived notion of Wilson’s long-standing criticism of NT Wright. However, your argument failed to consider the one all-important feature of Pope Doug’s theology, i.e. IT IS A WORK IN PROGRESS.

    Consequently, you should not care what Wilson says about Wright today, because he may change his mind tomorrow. In fact, if you spent a few hours scanning the C/A archives, you could easily find a column by Wilson that repudiates the essentials of FV, the doctrine he now holds firm.

    So you may choose to ignore these facts; I do not. But as long as you do, please stipulate these facts for the record prior to making one your flying-monkey arguments.

    Thank you.

  22. greenbaggins said,

    August 30, 2007 at 10:32 am

    MarkT, Wilson has *consistently* been on record repudiating the NPP. Just because he thinks of himself and his theology as a work in progress (shouldn’t we all: I mean how many of us can say that we have arrived?) doesn’t mean that he is going to flip-flop on the NPP. I consider my theology as a work in progress as well, and I certainly do not intend to flip-flop on it.

  23. Mark T. said,

    August 30, 2007 at 10:47 am

    Green Baggins,

    By describing Wilson’s theology as “a work in progress,” I intended to underscore the fluid nature of his theological foundation. If I am not mistaken, you have your non-negotiables in place, so it’s not a matter of “arriving.” It’s a matter of establishing one’s foundation and maturing from there.

    Wilson, however, has shown no evidence that his foundation is secure and he has demonstrated a willingness to negotiate key foundational points, such as the meaning of words. If anything, it’s shifty at best, and he has shown a chameleon-like ability to change positions at the drop of a hat. For example, he has flipped on baptism 3 times in the last 15 years, which leads me to wonder what will keep him from flipping on NPP two years from now?

    My point about his changes is that he is unstable and unreliable, and therefore cannot be trusted. My other point — that he will say anything to stay in the spotlight — is a matter of deviant character, which I believe is driven by an equally deviant theology.

    Thank you.

  24. August 30, 2007 at 10:59 am

    I don’t recall writing anything about monkeys, but I do know they have a propensity to throw poo on you if you stand too close.

  25. Tony S said,

    August 30, 2007 at 11:02 am

    Mark, how is Wilson’s changing his view on baptism legitimate evidence of deviancy? My own pastor started out his ministry in dispensational baptistic evangelicalism and was convinced by Scripture of the truth of Reformed theology. Is he therefore deviant? If a person’s non-negotiables are something like dispensationalism, or credo-baptism, then can he say that his commitment is to what Scripture teaches? Sola Scriptura ought to be the only non-negotiable, because if it does in fact teach something then we must believe it regardless of whether we like it or not.

  26. Mark T. said,

    August 30, 2007 at 11:12 am

    Point well made, which is one reason I dubbed Pope Doug’s brainless disciples “flying monkeys,” because they clutter the atmosphere with stinky nonsense, such as Mark Horne’s blog post or your thoughtless comment about me.

    And while I traced Horne’s behavior to its source — Wilson — you defended the fearless leader on grounds that he has consistently opposed NT Wright on justification, though you ignored his inconsistent track record.

    Thank you.

  27. August 30, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    Then what is that all over your mirror, Mark T? And why do we all have to look at it most every time you post a comment around these hear parts?

    As to Wilson and NTW and the NPP, Rev. Keister – no FVer he – has pointed out exactly what I have long witnessed: that Wilson has been very consistent in his criticisms of such, and strongly so. To suggest otherwise is thoughtless, and stems either from ignorance or deliberate folly. I don’t presume to guess which it is.

  28. Sam Steinmann said,

    August 30, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    I think the interview captures something important (and maybe, if you live in a different place, easier to miss than it is for me.) That is, that a lot of the reconsideration of how to best explain justification by faith alone is an attempt to avoid the common misunderstanding–common, at least, in the very Baptist area of the country I live–that I call antinomian Calvinism.

    That understanding is something like this: To be “saved”, you assent to some statements–by praying a prayer, walking an aisle, being baptized, or something like that (salvation by faith alone). Once you are “saved”, you cannot be lost (perserverance of the saints). It really doesn’t matter how you live–you are saved.

    That understanding is COMMON.

  29. Sam Steinmann said,

    August 30, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    Sorry–hit submit before I was done.

    That understanding of being a Christian is COMMON, and dangerously wrong. It is hard to imagine any of the Reformers even considering it Christian.

  30. Mark T. said,

    August 30, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    Eric,

    Please show me where I ever suggested or even hinted that your fearless leader has not consistently criticized NT Wright. And when you cannot perform the above-named task, I ask that you please take a deep breath and try to frame a rational argument opposing real words written by real persons instead imaginary words. You inhabitants of DUMB (Doug’s Universe of Make Believe) really should get help.

    Thank you.

    PS: I hate to break the news to you, but the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus don’t exist either.

  31. Mark T. said,

    August 30, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    Tony S,

    If you read my comment carefully, you’ll notice that I distinguished between Wilson’s unstable theology and his deviant personality. I cited his several positions on baptism and his novel use of the English language to illustrate his doctrinal instability (I could list other examples as well); and I referred to his willingness to say anything to keep himself in the limelight as an example of his deviant personality. Therefore, the comparison to your pastor does not stand.

    Thank you.

  32. August 30, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    Mark T.,

    I think you missed the deep end and hit the pavement when you jumped off that diving board of yours. Your argument is that Wilson will switch positions re: NPP (amazing that you know that: you and RobertK pontificate about other’s heart conditions, and now you have added fortune-telling to your repertoire, to boot – amazing!), therefore what he has said up to now doesn’t matter. I think it does matter and have said so, as has Rev. Keister.

    BTW, despite your claims to omniscience, you clearly don’t know a thing about me, either. If Doug Wilson is my “leader,” so is John Piper, Michael Horton, Mark Dever, J.I. Packer, James White and every other living Christian that I have read enough of to be able to spot misrepresentations of their beliefs.

    –Eric

    P.S. I’m curious: do you think your practice of signing off each post with a “thank you” compensates for your lack of respect, cordiality, and Christian charity exhibited beforehand? Seems quite out of place.

  33. August 30, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    All, you may want to know that Mark Horne has posted something more about Piper’s book.

  34. Mark T. said,

    August 30, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    Eric,

    First, as you could not pinpoint the exact location in REALITY where I ever suggested or even hinted that your fearless leader has not consistently criticized NT Wright, you have now shifted your position to assert that my “argument is that Wilson will switch positions re: NPP.” So, as before, I sincerely ask you to demonstrate where I ever said what you have alleged of me, other than in the figment of your imagination, deep in the land of DUMB.

    Second, please show me where I have ever pontificated on the heart conditions of others.

    Third, re my signature line, I have been direct and sincere with each of my comments, and have never sought to be disrespectful or uncharitable to anyone with whom I have interacted — including you. You, however, introduced yourself to me by calling me “just plain stupid and ignorant” based upon words that I never wrote, let alone thought. (Remember, you have thus far been unable to demonstrate that I wrote the things you said I wrote, even though you now allege that I am a “fortune teller.”) So, if it’s alright with you, I am perfectly content not to take lessons in Christian charity from a man such as yourself. Nevertheless, for your apparently kind thought, I wish to thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Marcus T.

  35. greenbaggins said,

    August 30, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    Thanks for the heads-up, DW.

    http://www.hornes.org/mark/2007/08/30/retraction-on-the-piper-book/

    Wonders never cease. This is, I believe, the second retraction Mark has issued. Good for him.

  36. Fred Greco said,

    August 30, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    Actually, it is standard operation: say something completely outrageous about a well known minister or theologian, usually using the words “stupid” “moron” “of the evil one” etc. and then say a little later after being called on it “oh, I guess I should not have said that” usually followed by an attack on those that called him on it.

  37. August 30, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    Re: #34 – I never said that you said that. My “to suggest otherwise” was meant in reference to your claims that we can’t take Wilson’s opposition to NPP at face-value, and your strong insinuation that he would change positions.

    Here’s Mark T. in #21: “Consequently, you should not care what Wilson says about Wright today, because he may change his mind tomorrow….”

    And here’s Mark T. from #23: “…what will keep him [Wilson] from flipping on NPP two years from now?”

    If that wasn’t already self-evident, the answer to the rest certainly is to anyone who has been observant. Your pronouncments of others as “wolves,” for instance.

    Point of fact, I said your comment was stupid and ignorant. I meant stupid as foolish, and wish I had used that word instead. I think you have proved my characterization most correct.

  38. greenbaggins said,

    August 30, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Well, Fred, you could be right. I wouldn’t put it past him. However, for the moment (since he has not attacked me), I am going to choose to believe him. It was a profound waste of time if that was his MO.

  39. Mark T. said,

    August 30, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    Eric,

    Please purchase a dictionary and look up the difference between the meaning of the words “Wilson will switch positions” (which you alleged I wrote) and the meaning of the words Wilson “may may change his mind tomorrow,” which point I underscored by asking the rhetorical question, “what will keep him [Wilson] from flipping on NPP two years from now?”

    I did not assert that he would change his position, I asserted that he has neither the foundation nor the character to keep him from changing. Do you have the mental capacity to understand this?

  40. Tony S said,

    August 30, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    Mark, you’ve offered no evidence in this thread for your assertions regarding Rev. Wilson other than the fact that he’s changed his position on baptism. Furthermore you use the classic sophistry of implying something but never actually writing it and then when called out on it you respond with ‘But where did I write that?’ This is a fundamentally dishonest rhetorical technique.

  41. Matt Beatty said,

    August 30, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    This is a sight to behold, really. Thanks, Lane for amending your “jab” against Mark, although some (Mark T, Fred, etc.) don’t seem to think it was worth the effort. Admittedly, Mark’s follow-up post didn’t strike me as overly apologetic, which, in the absence of any other data, I’m left to conclude that 1) Horne does, in fact, like some of Piper’s work but 2) probably thinks he really blew it on this count, contra his good friend DW.

    So, I guess these are just “retractions” with no repentance offered (or implied) for the “jabs” going both directions and the pile-on that inevitably ensues in the aftermath from those of us watching from the sidelines. My ‘jabs’ at my friends (let alone, enemies) are usually borne out of selfish ambition and pride. But that’s just me.

  42. Mark T. said,

    August 30, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    Tony S,

    I have been very clear from the outset that Douglas Wilson is a deceitful man who cannot be trusted. This thread began when Eric misconstrued both my words and my point, rather than addressing the point that I originally made:

    A few weeks ago Robert K compared Wilson to the front man for CAIR, whose has the responsibility of mainstreaming the terrorist acts of his wicked associates. And Robert nailed it. Let there be no mistake, Wilson will say or do anything to keep himself in the conversation, which oftentimes requires him to gloss the truth here a little and there a little.

    Wilson has just now visited Green Baggins once again as the non-leader of the movement that does not exist, i.e. Federal Vision, to notify us that one of his monkey boys has backed away from his stupid and senseless post. I hold that Wilson’s latest comment constitutes one more piece of evidence that without him leading, the whole operation would disappear in a heartbeat.

    Regarding evidence for Wilson’s shifty foundation, I offered his threefold change on baptism (which should alarm everyone) AND his creative use of the English language, which you ignored though it should alarm you. Furthermore, I said that I could produce other examples if these won’t suffice, which you also ignored.

    Let me close by pointing you to the huge fabrication spun by Wilson last week, right here on Green Baggins, where Sean Gerity and Gary Johnson caught him LYING about a quote from RINE. Wilson said that since he published the book, no one had ever flagged this one particularly outrageous statement that he now claims is a typo. However, Sean and Gary cited time and date when they called this statement to Wilson’s attention and, according to their testimony, Wilson belittled Sean and he ignored Gary, which is consistent with the man’s character. Either way, his original representation was demonstrably false and he committed it right here, though neither you nor Eric went bonkers. And, once again, the point is that Wilson was trying to climatize(?) the general population to the wicked acts/beliefs of him and his associates.

    So please spare me the righteous indignation and interpret my words as I write them. I do not predict the future; I do not read hearts; I do not trust Douglas Wilson, and I write very clearly so that no one should misunderstand me. I can prove each of these facts, and beyond that I will not go, however much you two misconstrue me.

    Thank you.

  43. Mark T. said,

    August 30, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    Gentleman,

    It just occurred to me that Wilson’s misrepresentation from Green Baggins, which I referenced earlier, is a perfect example of

    1. His moral flexibility to change doctrinal positions on foundational points of the faith.
    2. His clever use of the English language.
    3. His willingness to revise history at the drop of a hat.
    4. His contempt for the brethren, even those who once counted him a co-laborer in the ministry.
    5. His deceitful character.

    This is the original quote from RINE:

    Those who obligate themselves under the terms of the covenant law to live by faith but then defiantly refuse to believe are cut away . . . breaking covenant occurs because of unbelief, lack of faith, and because of lack of good works.

    And this is Wilson’s fantastic revision of the quote, which he posted here on Green Baggins:

    Dean B. — I am astonished that (to my knowledge) this is the first time that passage from RINE has come up in this debate. I noticed it a year or so ago when I read through RINE again for some reason. There is a humiliating typo there — “and because of lack of good works” should read “and not because of lack of good works.” My mistake. The way it reads now would present serious problems.

    Here is Sean’s response, and here is Gary’s. This is one more example of the land of DUMB (Doug’s Universe of Make Believe) colliding with REALITY, where normal people live. Wilson did not respond to Sean’s or Gary’s comments because they caught him, red handed, all ten fingers in the cookie jar, and there was nothing he could say (There, I just judged a heart motive; please prove me wrong).

    And the most grievous thing in this whole controversy is that seemingly intelligent people still listen to the man as though he is credible.

    Thank you.

  44. Dave Rockwell said,

    August 30, 2007 at 7:53 pm

    I am curious. What is keeping the PCA FV elders and pastors from jumping ship for the CREC?

  45. Dave Rockwell said,

    August 30, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    Another question – if the PCA FV elders want to convince their congregations to leave the PCA for the CREC, do you think they would have willing followers?

  46. Tony S said,

    August 30, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    I have no reason to believe that Doug Wilson is deceitful and nothing you’ve presented here alarms me.

    A far more charitable interpretation of Wilson’s handling of that RINE quote is that it was in fact a typo. Wilson didn’t catch it and in responding to Gerety’s and Robbin’s criticism, and allowing his assistant to respond to Gary Johnson interpreted himself in an orthodox way since he is in fact orthodox. He later reread it, realized what he originally meant and corrected it. But it’s obvious he considers the typo to not be serious. Additionally it’s possible to interpret good works in that quote in a purely evidential sense as the fruit of saving faith. In which case the lack of good works leading to covenant breaking is a manifestation of the underlying apostasy of an unregenerate heart. I don’t believe Doug Wilson was caught in a lie.

    Your charge that Mark Horne is a minion of Wilson is also baseless. Take for example this quote from Wilson:

    Just for the record, one more time, I affirm the classic, Reformed, confessional, orthodox doctrine of individual justification. Steve is right to point to the place on my blog where I have made that clear in my previous interactions with Wright’s material. Contrary to what sjcamp says, I agree with Piper on justification. That is not to say that I necessarily agree with his criticisms of Wright at every point, but I do agree with the central thrust of his critique. That should have been evident in what I have written about Wright over the last several years or so. I appreciate Wright greatly (as I have also made plain), but I so think he is missing something important on the subject of justification.

    The difference between Piper and many other critics is that he actually listens to what others are trying to say. He did that with Wright (inviting Wright’s response prior to publication). He has also demonstrated that he has listened to the qualifications I have made about various controversial issues. That does not mean that he agrees with me on every issue, obviously, or I with him, but it does mean that the Christian world needs a whole lot more of his way of doing things. I commend his example to others.

    One caveat: I read an early draft of the manuscript, and have not yet read the completed work. The draft I read was good, and I am sure the final is better. I had no problem blurbing the book.

    If Mark Horne were a ‘flying monkey’ for Wilson he wouldn’t have posted his intemperate response to the marketing for Piper’s book. The source for Horne’s behavior is Horne, not Wilson.

  47. August 30, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    I think that we’re getting a bit out of hand here. DW wrote a favorable recommendation for Piper’s upcoming book. I’m no DW apologist by a long stretch, but for crying out loud, why can’t we just accept the recommendation that he wrote at face value? What could he possibly have to gain by writing a favorable recommendation for a book that his FV buddies want to trash? DW certainly showed a lot more class on this occasion that at least one hot-headed FV advocate (and the bobble heads on his blog) already mentioned in the original post above.

    FWIW, I do believe that DW was a baptist at one point in his life. Now he isn’t. Wouldn’t a Reformed individual find that a good thing? Why would making a positive change like that subject one to criticism from others also holding to paedobaptism? I don’t get it.

    Like Freud supposedly once said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. I personally take DW’s endorsement of Piper’s book at face value. It doesn’t mean that DW agrees with everything in the book, just that he thinks it’s worth reading. As most people here know, I have taken strong issue with a number of DW’s positions, but these two aren’t among them. I have no desire to make them issues, either. May I respectfully suggest that we move on to a topic of substance?

  48. Tim Wilder said,

    August 30, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    Re: 42

    “I hold that Wilson’s latest comment constitutes one more piece of evidence that without him leading, the whole operation would disappear in a heartbeat.”

    I don’t find this persuasive. Some of the FV guys are quite apprehensive about Wilson. They don’t like his neo-confederate ideas. The fear he will not accompany them down the path of “diversity”. They don’t trust to commit to his institutional leadership and theological direction. I don’t think this type of Federal Visionary would want to go into the CREC either.

    Wilson can’t allow too great a range of views in the CREC. Look what happened when Andrew Sandlin started approving some forms of post-modernism, and criticizing (but not by name) the Federal Vision. This was at the same time that Wilson was trying to establish himself as the point man in anti-pomo apologetics.

    The movement is headed for a breakup someday, because the people driving the ideas are not going to submit to the institutional leadership if it isn’t them.

  49. tim prussic said,

    August 31, 2007 at 1:34 am

    Eric, you’d have done well to have stuck to your original intent in post #19. The fanatical anti-FVers on this site are IMPOSSIBLE to reason with. Don’t waste your life trying. There are some very thoughtful anti-FV folks here that are worth plenty of time and effort. I say we make an effort to ignore the former and concentrate on the latter. If we do, we all stand to benefit and maybe the poo-slingers’ll go away.

  50. Robert K. said,

    August 31, 2007 at 2:53 am

    Olevianus tells in his A Firm Foundation how Arius confessed that Christ is the true God. Olevianus said that Arius couldn’t have gotten himself an audience if he hadn’t confirmed that. It was what Arius said after the initial affirmation that is what gave the devil his victory in what became the muslim lands.

    Heretics always affirm basic orthodox doctrine. It’s what they say after that. “I affirm justification by faith alone. If faith means ‘faithfulness’, and if we accept that ‘final justification’ requires works. Oh, also, if we understand by ‘faith’ that a faith that is alone is not real faith. It must also contain works. But with those caveats I firmly hold to the doctrine of justification by faith alone…(hee hee hee)…”

    It goes without saying, heresy side, as Calvin wrote in his Insitutes 3.12, this kind of babbling by FVists is just nothing compared to what they are going to face at their heavenly tribunal. God doesn’t play games. FVists can play their language games all day with even serious Christians who see through them, but God doesn’t have to suffer that to any degree at all. It’s a comforting thought…

  51. August 31, 2007 at 8:51 am

    I appreciate your wisdom on this score, Mr. Prussic, borne through hard experience, I know. I will certainly do my best to heed your – and, indeed, my own – advice henceforth.

  52. tim prussic said,

    August 31, 2007 at 10:50 am

    Amen and amen.

  53. August 31, 2007 at 10:55 am

    I am in agreement with Tim and Eric as well.

  54. Tom Albrecht said,

    August 31, 2007 at 11:38 am

    Re #43.

    Actually Wilson’s explanation of the typo makes perfect sense.

    The phrase as written, “breaking covenant occurs because of unbelief, lack of faith, and because of lack of good works,” is grammatically awkward. “Because of x, y, and because of z”? Why didn’t this clever user of the English language just say, “because of x, y, and z” if that’s what y’all think he meant? Or better yet, it could have said, “because of x, lack of a and b”. The phrase “lack of faith and good works” is what you allege he intended, and that construct works much better. But instead we have the original awkward wording which Wilson admits as a typo.

    I think charitable judgment requires we do as well.

  55. Mark T. said,

    August 31, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    There are none so blind as those who refuse to see. So to all those who believe Wilson’s revision, I wonder if you agree with him that the Antebellum South was the most harmonious multiracial society in world history. How would charity judge?

  56. tim prussic said,

    August 31, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    Tom A., when Pastor Wilson’s lips are moving, he’s lying. When he’s typing on his keyboard, he’s writing lies. Mr. T.’s so overcome with hatred for Pastor Wilson, that he writes slanderous and ridiculous things. Making perfect sense ISN’T enough… Wilson MUST be a liar, big jerk, mama’s boy, etc.

  57. Josh said,

    August 31, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    Is it me, or does Stewy have a secret obsession with the Puritan Board? Oh, wait…it’s not secret at all. ;)

  58. stewart said,

    August 31, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    Why does this blog feel like the TMZ.com of reformed theology?

  59. greenbaggins said,

    August 31, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    And I, in turn, will return the favor by ignoring the likes of Stewart and Garrett.

  60. tim prussic said,

    August 31, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    That’s not a bad idea, Pastor.


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