One Last Word

Doug is in England right now. If he does reply to this post, it will probably be a bit. Just a heads up to folks.  His last post in reply to me is located here. I will let him have the last word if he so desires.

First point (corresponding to Doug’s first three paragraphs) regarding imputation. Some FV writers affirm imputation, and others do not. But it does not seem to me that any FV writer, Doug included, views imputation as essential to the Protestant doctrine of justification. Doug thinks that if someone believes in the marriage analogy rather than imputation, that still does not mean that someone is un-Protestant. It is just here that the problem arises. For every single major confession of the Reformed churches (except maybe the Canons of Dordt, which were not addressing the issue of justification) affirms imputation in no uncertain terms. If the confessions define what being Reformed is (as I believe they should), then imputation is a non-negotiable of being Reformed. To use one of Doug’s own funny analogies, it takes at least 7 years of grad school, or of FV environment to think otherwise. So, to be clear, the issue is not whether imputation is inherent or not inherent to the FV position. I agree that some FV writers hold to imputation. The issue is the view as to whether imputation is essential to being Reformed. This is part and parcel of the larger issue concerning the definition of the word “Reformed.” Should not the Reformed church through its confessions define the word “Reformed?” If imputation is not essential, then it is redundant. And, by the way, I hold to the marriage analogy as well. I merely hold to it in a way that emphasizes the importance of imputation rather than being somehow held in tension or contradiction to imputation. The marriage of Christ to the believer prevents imputation from being a legal fiction. But, as I have said before, Christ and the believer remain two distinct people (however closely they are united in marriage) such that the transfer of Christ’s righteousness from Christ to the believer in imputation is still necessary. Christ not only needs to pay the debt of His bride, but also needs to pay her way to her eternal home. Looking at the church’s relationship to the law is where you will find “what the bride got in her bags,” as Doug might put it.

Second point, I reject utterly Doug’s reading of WCF 7. Doug seems to have forgotten that the administration of the covenant of grace is different from OT to NT. It is in this administration of the covenant of grace that the overlay of the covenant of works comes into play with the Adamic repetition of “do this and live.” For more details, and far better argumentation than I could provide, and for full answers to Doug’s points (not explicitly but implicitly), see the new book edited by Fesko, Van Drunen, and Estelle entitled The Law Is Not of Faith. So, if the administration is different, then there is absolutely no warrant for saying that the entire apparatus of the Mosaic economy was of the covenant of grace, as Doug says. If the administration was different than the new covenant (which WCF 7.5 explicitly says: “This covenant was differently administered in the time of the law, and in the time of the gospel: under the law it was administered by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all foresignifying Christ to come”), then, at the very least, the administration of the Mosaic economy was not of the covenant of grace. So, Doug’s reading of this chapter does not comport with the terms of the chapter itself. I would really encourage all readers to take a look at the Fesko/VanDrunen/Estelle book. It is a very timely exposition of all these matters. I should forestall a possible objection here. One might object and say that both differing administrations were part of the covenant of grace. The difficulty with this is that it is the substance which is said to be the covenant of grace (see the last part of section 6), not the administration in the various dispensations. With regard to the differing dispensations (WCF’s word), that is not the substance of the covenant of grace. The contrast then, is between the time of the law (section 5) and the time of the gospel (section 6). For any further points on this, I will simply refer the reader to Fesko/VanDrunen/Estelle on this.

Furthermore, my distinctions regarding the covenant of works and covenant of grace in the Mosaic economy are irrelevant to the question of whether Wilkins actually holds to a distinction between the elect and the non-elect in the church. Saying that I need to have clearer distinctions concerning the Mosaic economy is no answer whatsoever to whether Wilkins has made adequate distinctions regarding a far more central point. The point here is that Wilkins is not willing to say that the difference is between those who are regenerated and those who are not. Now that would be a very clear distinction between the non-elect visible church member and the elect covenant member. It is precisely this that Wilkins does not want to say. Because of his view of baptism, he wants to say that the non-decretally elect members of the visible church are regenerated in some sense. The qualification “in some sense” is always the problem with the FV, because they can never define “in some sense” in a way that allays the fears of the critics that the FV is Arminian with regard to these non-decretally elect (again, the issue of the decretally elect is not on the table here).

I will try one last time to make the point about the living nature of faith and its relation to justification. We both agree that justifying faith is alive. The WCF says this: “is no dead faith” (WCF 11.2). Contrary to the criticisms of FV proponents (especially in the horrible caricatures in the book A Faith That Is Never Alone), I know of NO Reformed scholar who says that we are justified by a dead faith. I know of no Reformed scholar who even hints at this. I know of dozens of Reformed scholars who say the aliveness of faith is not what justifies us. The best way I can put this is to say that the aliveness of faith is a sine qua non, but is not part of the inherent structure of justification. Of course the person who stretches out his arm to catch a ball has to be alive to do that. But his being alive is not an action inherent in stretching out his arm. Maybe I can put it this way: states of being are distinct from actions, just like verbs of being are distinct from verbs of action. We must distinguish then between the state of being alive and the verb of action of what faith does in laying hold of Christ’s righteousness. To put it another way, our aliveness can have no object. It is inherently reflexive. But faith’s action in justification takes a direct object: the righteousness of Christ. I really think this is as clear as I can be. I don’t see any reason why Doug should disagree with this, either.  I suppose I will have to enact a qualification of this, nevertheless, lest people think I am making faith active. When I am referring to “faith’s action” I do not mean that we are doing a work. I mean only that faith is doing something in justification. And this is what it is doing: it is “accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone for justification” (WCF 14.2).

To answer the question about Augustine: to use categories that were developed later in church history to describe earlier church fathers is anachronistic. Therefore, whatever Augustine believed about the losability of regeneration could not be called Arminian, since it is anachronistic and speculative. However, if one wanted to speculate in a different direction, I could answer the question: if Augustine had been alive in the time of the Reformation and the debates at Dordt, which side would he have chosen? Without hesitation, I would answer that he would have chosen the side of the orthodox.

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77 Comments

  1. coramdude said,

    February 6, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Would you consider John Robbins to be a Reformed scholar? Would you disagree with the claim that he not only affirmed bare assent to the propositions regarding our Lord’s life, death and resurrection was sufficient, but that to suggest otherwise was to be guilty of being Romish? Or have I misunderstood the good doctor?

  2. greenbaggins said,

    February 6, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Hmm. Robbins and his crowd seem to me to be in danger of denying that justifying faith is alive, which is what the confession says. Now, they may say that assent is alive.

    Both Robbins and I reject human works as being any part of justifying faith. I think Robbins would unnecessarily exclude many other Reformed authors from being orthodox, because I think he drew the line in the wrong place. He himself was Reformed. I don’t doubt that credential one bit. But he called a lot of people un-Reformed who were in fact Reformed, and he blamed a lot of people for problems that they didn’t cause (Van Til being the obvious one). Furthermore, Robbins didn’t seem to know how to love people very well. Even my father, who is a Gordon Clark fan (was his best friend when they both taught together at Covenant Collete), had run-ins with Robbins.

  3. coramdude said,

    February 6, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Thanks, and fair enough. My question, of course, should not be taken as a challenge to the gist of your thoughts. I am honored to have Nathan Clark George, an outstanding Christian musician as my houseguest at the moment. Perhaps he might have some memory of your father, being Dr. Clark’s grandson. I told him this afternoon that when I was in my first year of seminary, taking a History of Philosophy class, my teacher, who was also my father, announced the class that the text for the class would be Clark’s Thales to Dewey. Then he told me I would also have to read A Christian View of Man and Things. Both great books, from a great man.

  4. February 6, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Personally, I’ve affirmed the doctrine of imputation for as long as I can remember. But at one point in time, I wouldn’t have thought of it as essential element of what it means to be Reformed. This thought was mostly due to my ignorance since I am new to the Reformed faith. Yet, I am now convinced that imputation is a vital doctrine. If it is lost or minimized, then the waters of the gospel will quickly muddy. So, I am thankful for the discussions that have taken place on this blog. I have certainly been sharpened. Thank you.

  5. greenbaggins said,

    February 6, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    I know Nathan somewhat, as he is licensed in my Presbytery, or was. Interestingly, Van Til assigned Clark’s history of philosophy at WTS.

  6. Matt Holst said,

    February 7, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Lane,

    Great series of posts. I’m no fan of the FV (though they have at least re-focused many peoples’ minds on emphases of covenant theology long-forgotten by most presbyterians); had they spent another ten years working out their theology in private, not only might they have understood their own theology a bit better, but they may have been able to present it in amore clear fashion.

    HOWEVER … I want, if I may, take issue with you on your view of the Mosaic administration. Have I understood you correctly in that you belioeve the administration of the Mosaic economy (which is of the cov of grace) is of the covenant of works? That’s what you seem to be saying when you state
    “If the administration was different than the new covenant (which WCF 7.5 explicitly says: “This covenant was differently administered in the time of the law, and in the time of the gospel: under the law it was administered by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all foresignifying Christ to come”), then, at the very least, the administration of the Mosaic economy was not of the covenant of grace.”

    Your definition of “different” seems very baptistic to me – I’m not trying to be rude, believe me. But baptists equate new with wholly different, as you are equating different with something wholly different. The new covenant is a better covenant no doubt – but its “betterness” consists in that is it is represented and mediated through Christ himself. Not through the “promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all foresignifying Christ to come”. Its betterness is in its quality NOT in its substance. Surely the administration has to match that which it is administering?

    Now I think you have a real problem on your hands to say that God administered the covenant of grace in a manner which is antithetical to its substance – the cov of works. If the “do this and live” refers to the covenant of works, then you have an achievement, even typologically, of grace through works. Post fall we know, this is not possible save for Christ.

    So how do I interpret “do this and live” – coming after 17 chapters or so, of gracious sacrificial systems it would HAVE to be a command of the covenant of grace – effectively it says “believe all this and live” – believe in the substance to which the sacrifices point. By enacting (doing) the sacrifices WHICH ALWAYS DEMANDED AND POINTED to the necessity of faith, the OT saints fulfilled that command – believe.

    Now this does not remove the covenant of works from the scene. It was still in effect at Sinai. It was still in effect at the Cross. It is still in effect now. It will always be in effect for some. But after the fall, when grace entered the scene (not getting into debates about grace pre-fall!?) God’s dealings with man, for redemption at least, must be wholly gracious. Being in Adam we are all breakers of the covenant of works and can not re-establish orselves, or be re-established in the covenant of works, save by Christ and his work. Nothing to do with me, or the administration of the old covenant. OT saints had to apprehend Christ in the same way as I do by faith How could that process come about by a works principle?

    I’m pretty sure none of this is new, and you’ve heard it all before. I’m just intrigued as to how we have reached the point that we have.

    Hope my comments help rather than hinder.

    Humbly yours, (and in full assurance that my recent graduation from seminary means I know far less about any of this, than I actually know!).
    Matt

  7. February 7, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Lane, I am happy to let you have the last word here.

  8. Lauren Kuo said,

    February 7, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    A preacher once shared: Christians are not like tadpoles that become frogs, but like frogs that have become princes through the kiss of grace. What he means is that Christians are new creatures.

    This is where I have a real problem with the Federal Vision. Being born again does not seem to be a part of their theology. Can someone show me where it is in their teaching?

    I do not see any Old/New Covenant teaching in the FV. Their way of salvation is no different from OT Judaism. Their theology seems to me to be “tadpoles turned into frogs” – no difference in the actual substance – still frogs just at different stages of maturity. Even in their joint statement, they write not of two covenants – old and new – but of the maturing of one covenant.

    Circumcision gives membership into the covenant; baptism gives membership into the visible church
    Obedience to the law earns blessings; covenant faithfulness to the law earns salvation.
    Disobedience to the law earns curses; covenant unfaithfulness causes one to lose their salvation.
    The temple and synogogue become the visible church.
    The priest; the minister.
    The sacrifices; communion or “covenant renewal”.
    “tadpoles into frogs” theology with no substantive change. Still a covenant of works theology.

    The danger of this theology is that church members, like Israel, will be misled to believe they are God’s chosen people – His elect by virtue of their baptism. And, because they never had the “kiss of grace” – because they never put their faith and trust in Christ, were born again, and made new creatures in Christ, they will die in their sins.

    This “tadpoles to frogs” theology does not teach imputation. Imputation means that Christ fulfills the covenant of works through His perfect obedience to the law. He also bears the guilt and penalty of the covenant of works and becomes the curse by dying on the cross. In order for FV theology to accept the imputation of Christ, they would have to acknowledge the covenant of works; they would have to recognize that a believer is no longer under the curse of the law but only receives the blessing of eternal life; and, they would have to recognize that faith in Christ – not covenant faithfulness – gives us the blessing of salvation. And, because of the imputation of Christ, the believer has full assurance of eternal life. FV theology is based on covenant faithfulness and therefore cannot offer that assurance.

  9. Reed Here said,

    February 7, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    No. 8, Lauren: I have lot’s of sympathy with your observation. On other threads, the comment has been made by many critics that the FV does seem to minimize (at least) the discontinuities between Old and New, and thereby giving greater emphasis/weight to the continuities.

    At the very least, I fail to see how someone sitting under that kind of teaching week in and week out will rightly understand and appreciate how much better the new is, and how much joy we should have that the old is done away with.

    Of course, God is merciful all His children. That does not excuse lack of clarity.

  10. Lauren Kuo said,

    February 8, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Amen, Reed. I can share with you from my personal experience that after our family left and started attending another church and denomination, we felt as if a great dark cloud of oppression had been lifted and that God had truly restored the “joy of our salvation”. We could understand why Paul was so angry with Peter and the Galatians; he understood the terrible bondage that accompanies a distorted gospel. Living in the shadows of the Old Testament when you can live in the light of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ is a sad and tragic thing.

    Our hearts go out especially to the young people who are still trapped in the shadows of the Federal Vision. They can’t leave these churches because their parents are deceived and caught up in the politics of this false teaching. We have met and talked with some of these kids in other settings. They are fearful, hungry, and searching for the truth and for a vital personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They need to experience the love, the faithfulness, the liberty, and the forgiveness of Christ, not the failure, guilt, and condemnation associated with this so-called “covenant faithfulness”. We can have a civil theological discussion here on this blog – thank you, Lane – but the abuse that is taking place in these FV churches is heartbreaking.

  11. Ron Henzel said,

    February 8, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Lauren,

    I think we need to hear more about the actual pastoral consequences of FV theology as it’s experienced by real Christians. Would you mind sharing the name of the FV church you attended?

  12. greenbaggins said,

    February 9, 2009 at 7:36 am

    Ron, in this particular case, I think it would be better if we did not discuss the particulars of Lauren Kuo’s situation. If you want to know why, then call me up sometime.

  13. Lauren Kuo said,

    February 9, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Lane is right. I want to be careful to respect the parameters he has set for his blog.

    The one point I was trying to make was that ideas have actions and actions have consequences. A theology that contains errors that strike at the vitals of the Christian faith leads to corrupt actions. And, corrupt actions on the part of church leadership mislead and hurt people. Jesus makes it very clear that if we mislead or cause any one of His children to stumble that it would be better for a millstone to be tied around our necks and be thrown into the sea. Have you ever seen a millstone? I have – it is huge and massive. Once you see one, you begin to realize how serious a warning Jesus gives to those especially in leadership. Dealing with the errors of the Federal Vision will take courage and conviction, but it is vital and urgent because of the devastating and very real consequences this false doctrine reaps in the lives of God’s people.

  14. Ken Christian, Jr. said,

    February 10, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Could someone please show me a citation where a supposed FV advocate says “covenant faithfulness” earns salvation? And please don’t show me a quote where a writer argues that covenant faithfulness is necessary for salvation. Those two concepts are not the same thing.

  15. Todd said,

    February 10, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Ken,

    No one suggested there were citations where such phrases like “earning salvation” were used by FV advocates. Even good Roman Catholics would never say we earn our salvation. That’s not the point. The opponents of Paul in Galatia were much more subtle than that also. The question is – does the theological system being taught, in essence, whether admitted to or not by its proponents, put God’s people under bondage, forcing them to rely on their law-keeping, ceremonial rites, church membership, etc…to remain right with God? Paul needed to bring out the implications of the theological system of the Judiazers that the people were not seeing; “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal 3:3). The Galatians in essence were working for their salvation under the Judiazers’ system, without the Galatians realizing it or the Judiazers admitting it.

    Todd

  16. Ron Henzel said,

    February 10, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Ken and Todd,

    I would say that, according to the logic presented by Paul in Romans 4:4 (“Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due,” ESV), it is impossible to make the concept of doing something (whether we call is works, covenant faithfulness, or whatever) as a prerequisite for salvation distinct from the concept of earning salvation.

  17. Lauren Kuo said,

    February 10, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Covenant faithfulness is necessary for salvation. The question is whose covenant faithfulness – our own which Isaiah calls “filthy rags” or the perfect obedience or covenant faithfulness of Christ? God demands perfect faithfulness to the law and nothing less. The only one who has been perfectly faithful and obedient is Jesus Christ. All of us fall short of covenant faithfulness (Romans 3:23). And, following up on Ron’s comment, Romans 6:23 states that the wages (what we earn) of sin (covenant unfaithfulness) is death, BUT the FREE GIFT of God is eternal life IN Christ Jesus (His perfect covenant obedience). His righteousness is IMPUTED or credited to us as a free gift that is “necessary for salvation”.

    FV theology teaches justification by faith PLUS baptism PLUS the individual’s “earned” covenant faithfulness. It is a false gospel of works as Todd pointed out in his comment. It is a dangerous theology that in the false name of “peace and unity” is being condoned, tolerated, covered up, promoted, and practiced in many churches.

    For us personally, it is a theology that our family had to part company with. For, we refused to have our three children spend all of their teen years in a church and denomination that either promoted or tolerated a false gospel. But, even more importantly, we could not in good conscience remain in a church and denomination where the precious truth of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is mangled and distorted, leading many of God’s children astray.

  18. tbordow said,

    February 10, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Ron, # 16

    Agreed, but for any theolgical system to be called “Christian,” it must have forgiveness of sins. So whether Church of Christ, RC, classic Arminianism, or FV, there is some belief in free forgiveness of sins. But in these systems, what is granted in the front door is taken away in the back door. They all admit the need for an itinial work of grace and forgiveness. It’s the staying in, the remaining right with God, where the crack that exposes the whole system is seen. I don’t see the Judaizers in Galatia saying that works are a prerequisite to salvation, but their law-keeping as a means of fulfilling the covenant ends up with a works salvation scheme, but it was so subtle that even Paul’s own converts failed to catch it; thus the need for Galatians.

    Todd

  19. Elder Hoss said,

    February 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Lauren Kuo – Your posts suffer from several defects, chief among which is the confounding of justification and salvation. To suggest that faithfulness is not necessary on the part of the believer is to throw by the boards entire classes of Scriptural texts wherein precisely this point is asserted by Paul. For starters, you could consider consulting Cranfield on Romans, and his extensive treatment of Paul’s conception of “the obedience of faith”, along with of course, several instances in the Pauline and Johannine corpus where “obeying the gospel” and “believing the gospel” are used interchangeably [any lexical aids should help you there].

    Then also I would point you [and others here whose sole obsession seems to be that of pinning the tail on the heretic whilst Rome is burning and the Calvinist churches in the USA are experiencing precious little, ZIPPO, in terms of revival and reformation] to Richard Gaffin’s exegesis of Romans 2, particularly the “Gentile doers of the law” referenced by Paul as part of his wider polemic of “who is the true Jew.”

    As to your personal experience escaping the clutches of a FV group, for every defectee from this or that FV church, one can point to probably more refugees who’ve left the shallow, happy clappy world of not a few PCA groups who trifle with the worship of God at their own peril. This subjective emoting on your part proves nothing in either direction.

    Better, it seems to me, to read Beisner’s KNOX COLLOQUY, digesting the helpful critiques [in both directions, we should note] therein. From there, one could also procure the Gaffin/Wright dialogue on Paul for further sharpening.

  20. David Gray said,

    February 10, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Well said “Hoss”.

  21. Stephen Welch said,

    February 10, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Elder Hoss in reference to your comments in # 18 Lauren never stated that faithfulness to the covenant was not necessary. From what she has stated and her own testimony she certainly understands FV. Perhaps some of you need to look at FV more closely and see that it is out of accord with the Scriptures and the confessional standards.

  22. Tom Wenger said,

    February 10, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    Hey, Ken,

    I agree that you won’t find FV proponets saying that justification is “earned” by covenant faithfulness, but you will find them saying that while someone’s justification is received by faith, but that ongoing possession of that justified status is maintained through faithful obedience.

    And as I’m sure you’d agree, few things could be farther from the Reformed stance on the matter.

  23. Lauren Kuo said,

    February 10, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Galatians 2:20-21
    I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life which I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. For I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing.

    How can a crucified dead person be covenantly faithful?
    If Christ lives in the believer, doesn’t that mean that the believer is covenantly faithful – because of Christ’s perfect obedience living in him?
    If the believer attempts or claims to be covenantly faithful in the flesh, is he not setting aside the grace of God?
    And, if it is possible for a believer to be covenantly faithful in the flesh, then why was it necessary for Christ to die for him?

    Perhaps the reason Calvinist churches in the USA experience “zippo” revival or reformation is because false doctrine such as the Federal Vision has replaced a heart relationship with a mere outward religion of works. For true revival comes to those whose hearts have been circumcised by the Spirit and not by the law (Romans 2:29).

    I know I am a “fly in the FV ointment”. I guess I see myself as one of God’s foolish things that He occasionally uses to confound the wise. I have not read up on all the great theologians. Elder Hoss, I have no clue who Cranfield is, but by the wondrous grace of God over the last 27 years, I have come to intimately know and love Jesus my Lord and Savior through the inspired pages of Scripture.

    One book I have read is Jonathan Edwards’ “Religious Affections”. In that book you learn that “subjective emoting” plays an important role in the life of the believer. The grace-filled “subjective emotion” of love and delight for the pure truth and excellence of the Gospel is considered by Edwards and by God to be one of the great “holy affections” that all believers should possess.

  24. February 11, 2009 at 5:44 am

    RE #18 & 19,

    You seem to be forgetting that Lauren was subjected to FV teaching and preaching first hand. Unless you were sitting in the same room at the same time, you don’t know what she heard first-hand.

    That said, “covenant faithfulness” unto “final justification” is indeed a common FV theme. I’ve posted extensive quotes on it in the past, as have others here. Google is your friend.

  25. David Gray said,

    February 11, 2009 at 8:21 am

    >How can a crucified dead person be covenantly faithful?

    How would you square this with Calvin’s writing on apostasy?

    >you learn that “subjective emoting” plays an important role in the life of the believer

    You might find benefit in R.L. Dabney’s “Spurious Religious Excitements”. It is an excellent essay.

  26. David Gray said,

    February 11, 2009 at 8:26 am

    In addition I recommend Dabney’s essay in part because I found it very helpful in my own understanding of the place of subject emotion in genuine faith. Also Ian Murray’s book “Revivals and Revivalism” is quite good.

  27. Todd said,

    February 11, 2009 at 8:37 am

    How can a crucified dead person be covenantly faithful?

    How would you square this with Calvin’s writing on apostasy?

    David,

    You are missing the point of Lauren’s question. Christians have already died with Christ and rose again. Eschatological justification has already occurred for the believer. There is no covenant for us to fulfill, even with the help of the Spirit. Christ already fulfilled all the terms of the covenant for us. It’s over – embrace it, enjoy it.

    Todd

  28. David Gray said,

    February 11, 2009 at 8:47 am

    >Christians have already died with Christ and rose again. Eschatological justification has already occurred for the believer. There is no covenant for us to fulfill, even with the help of the Spirit. Christ already fulfilled all the terms of the covenant for us. It’s over – embrace it, enjoy it.

    Pastor Bordow,

    Maybe I am missing the point. I agree that the justification of the elect is accomplished fact. But the elect are inherently not going to be the apostate which Calvin writes about. The elect will be faithful in a way that the non-elect members of the covenant will not, hence apostasy. So scripture teaches that there will be faithfulness on the part of the elect. This faithfulness does not justify the elect but neither can it be absent over the course of the life of the elect. Nor is it perfect in any way, as Luther teaches us our lives our to lives of daily repentance. But it is faithfulness in a way which is distinct from the apostate.

  29. David Gray said,

    February 11, 2009 at 8:52 am

    >Nor is it perfect in any way, as Luther teaches us our lives our to lives of daily repentance.

    Oops.

    Nor is it perfect in any way, as Luther teaches us our lives are to be lives of daily repentance.

  30. Reed Here said,

    February 11, 2009 at 9:04 am

    All:

    Lauren’s critique is that from her experience of FV theology in action, coventant faithfulness is preached as a believer’s work necessary for, as a vital part essential to accomplishing, one’s (final) justification. That is, it has a contingent necessity, not merely a consequent necessity.

    Elder, your comments as to the (I assume consequent) necessity of obedience (i.e., good works, covenantal faithfulness) are expressly not what Lauren is addressing.

    This is a part of that fuzzy middlin ground. FV proponents will argue that they are merely arguing for a consequent necessity for covenantal faithfulness; it is necessary only as the fruit that proves that what is professed is actually professed, namely Jesus and His perfections.

    FV critics have argued that the FV proponents arguments are at best not that clear, and that it does appear at times that they argue for a contingent necessity, rather than a consequent necessity. This is more true for some, less for others.

    The introduction of Dr. Gaffin here is helpful. While many FV proponents will want to claim they are consistent with Dr. Gaffin’s position, they are not. His is expressly a consequent necessity position (By Faith, Not By Sight is abundantly clear). FV proponents (mostly) follow Dr. Shepherd’s formulations, which in maintaining a final justification that is “in question,” puts forth a contingent necessity position.

    All, we’ve been around and around this ground enough for all of us to admit that at the very least, FV formulations are unclear, at least open to misunderstanding. If you will not admit that, then your only option is to maintain that us FV critics are either simply morons, or worse, willfully misrepresenting.

    As it is, I recommend you slow down and listen to what Lauren is saying a little closer. She is coming to us with experience, not conjecture like many of us here. At least in her experience, she is persuaded that the lack of clarity has given way to express failure; that indeed a contingent covenant faithfulness was taught to her family.

    Respectfully Elder, I think maybe you didn’t read here carefully enough.

    As well, given one’s length of time and the discussion here GB, I would expect each of us not to simply re-hash old arguments, and completely ignore the lines of agreement/disagreement we’ve already reached on such basic subjects.

    Lauren is saying that the FV, as she has seen it applied, falls under the condemnation of Galatians. She is not saying that there is no consequent covenant faithfulness, only that the FV’s claim to be teaching that is not true.

  31. Todd said,

    February 11, 2009 at 9:05 am

    David, # 28

    Agreed, but many FVers’ talk in terms of faithfulness to the covenant, which is different from what you wrote, which is simply faithfulness to the God who has already and completely saved us. “Faithfulness to the covenant,” or “covenant faithfulness” suggests that there are still terms of the covenant we must fulfill (faithful obedience) to be finally saved, which is not Reformed, nor is it Biblical. The devil is always in the details.

    Todd

  32. David Gray said,

    February 11, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Pastor DePace,

    I’ve meant to post this a couple of times but for a variety of reasons haven’t. I think you are close to hitting the nail on the head. I think the biggest problem with the FV, at least in what I’ve read and in my very limited interaction with it, is a lack of clarity and particularly an unnecessary reusing of terms which have commonly understood applications. Words like “elect” and “salvific” certainly can be applied in a variety of ways in English which are technically correct but when used in a theological way have accustomed ways of being understood. Consequently while most often the FVer in question may not actually hold to an incorrect position they are phrasing themselves in a way which promotes misunderstanding and leads to greater dissonance among the Reformed than is necessary. But more seriously in pastoral use such practice can easily lead congregants to doctrinal error as they will not be applying the words with the appropriate footnotes in front of them. This strikes me as the greatest problem because such practice is hostile to sound pastoral practice and can sow genuine error, even if such error isn’t desired to be taught.

  33. Patrick said,

    February 11, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    While Stephen Marshall, a Westminster divine, believed that there was a “rehearsal” of the covenant of works in the first giving of the Ten Commandments to drive sinners to Christ, he had this to say about the Mosaic Covenant itself and how it relates to the New Covenant, which btw was a vital part of his defense of infant baptism:

    “…neither did the Lord promise them [Israel] entrance into, or continuance in that Land, but upon the same conditions upon which hee promiseth eternall life, as true Faith in the Gospel, with the love and feare of God, and obedience of his Commandments: Godliness having then, as it hath now and alwayes, the promise of good things for this life, and the life to come…Now this externall Administration of the Covenant is not the same with us, as it was with them, but the Covenant is the same…the same conditions…the same graces promised…Theirs was dispensed in darker Prophecies, and obscurer Sacrifices, types, and Sacraments, our more gloriously and clearely, and in a greater measure: the cloathes indeed doe differ, but the body is the same in both.” A Sermon of the Baptizing of Infants, pp. 11-12

  34. Ken Christian, Jr. said,

    February 12, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Tom, Todd, Ron, Lauren, Hoss, and all,

    Thanks so much for all of your replies to my original inquiry. Sorry it’s taken me this long to interact with them. (I was supposed to be getting email updates, but they never came…stupid WordPress!). Anyway, I’d imagine the discussion has fizzled out at this point, but I’d still like to add two additional points.

    #1) Though we certainly need to listen to Lauren’s accounts of her experiences in a fair and sympathetic manner, we simply cannot apply her situation to the FV in general. We must be ready to admit that the difficulties she endured took place in one church under the teaching ministry of (probably) one pastor. To conclude anything more than that is neither logical nor fair.

    #2) While we are to certainly maintain that justification is by faith alone (plus nothing!), we cannot stop teaching our people that they must continue to personally strive after holiness, without which no man will see the Lord. If someone has a problem with calling this “striving after covenant faithfulness”, then fine. Call it “practicing ongoing-repentance” instead. But let’s never even hint that it’s somehow wrong or damaging to keep this emphasis before our people, particularly in parts of the country where antinomian, cheap-grace Christianity is rampant.

    Blessings to you all.

  35. Lauren Kuo said,

    February 12, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    34 Ken

    #1) Why should you or anyone be ready to admit or conclude anything about my situation? You don’t even know me. Let me ask a “logical” and “fair” question: What kind of fruit does false teaching produce? The Federal Vision contains nine errors (another report lists 45) relating to justification by faith alone. Can a teaching that contains so many errors that strike at the vitals of the Christian faith produce the fruit of the Spirit? Paul in Galatians 5:19-21 lists 15 bitter fruits that come as a result of false teaching. It is not a pretty picture of the church. To dismiss my personal experience as just an emotional “anecdote” is not logical or fair when there are whole churches and presbyteries who are on the record for embracing these errors. One CAN conclude from Scripture that a church that teaches these errors is a church where the deeds of the flesh are tragically evident.

  36. Elder Hoss said,

    February 24, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    That some (many?) here would apparently be willing to extend far more hermeneutical charity to Lauren’s existential/subjectivist posts than they would to ministers in good standing who are associated with what has come to be deemed here the “Federal Vision Heresy” suggests a number of things, one of which may just be confirmatory of John Murray’s sage counsel and warning with regard to the state of Covenant Theology in the United States, particularly as seen among Presbyterians.

    Murray, we should remember, warned of the grave danger among Presbyterian and Reformed theologians’ inability to subject their understanding of both covenant theology and the confessions to a continual re-examination in the light of Scripture. His parting admonition was that failure to do so would result in heterodoxy in our midst.

    Murray, to whom probably everyone on this forum cannot and will not ever hold a candle, denied the covenant of works, denied the invisble/visible construction, held to a form of presumptive regeneration, and – sin of all sins – urged that Norm Shepherd succeed him at WTS.

    Botton line here is that what Lauren Kuo emotes about is, essentially, antinomianism at its core. One wonders if she dormed with Lee and Misty Irons, listening to what is really just tremendously injudicious and imbalanced pendulum-swinging.

    My prior point was simply that subjective accounts of what one experienced in this or that FV-associated church, or this or that PCA-church, proves nothing one way or the other as to the fidelity of a given Session, Consitory or Minister (oh wait, I just realized that there is no covenant fidelity or faithfulness, only Christ’s, so who cares?).

    It is rather astounding that not a few here can detect this or that FV spec (Leithart) or moat (Wilkins), and yet miss hers. Why not stick to pastoring rather than weighing in on something about which many (and Lauren) appear to have little substantive grasp? Or, are these internecine skirmishes ultimately not merely a sign of what the historian Dawson deemed the “utter decadence” of the Western church?

  37. Ron Henzel said,

    February 24, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Elder Hoss,

    It’s been a couple of weeks since I was following this thread. Could you be specific about what Lauren Kuo wrote that betrays her position as antinomian?

  38. Todd said,

    February 24, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Elder Hoss,

    As Reagan said to Carter “There you go again.” On many, many blogs you criticize and ridicule ministers in good standing who do not hold to your theonomic, anti-public education legalism. But when a woman critiques the FV, from first-hand experience, you are appalled at the lack of respect shown to ministers in good standing. Give me a break.

    And did Murray really deny the visible/invisible church construction?

    “In the strictest sense the church is the company of the regenerate or of the faithful. The facts of regeneration and faith belong, however, to the realm of the invisible and spiritual, and for that reason no man is able infallibly to determine who belong to the church nor to determine what the exact limits of such a body are in any one place or generation. Consequently when we are speaking of the church in this its strictest sense we speak of it as the church invisible. But the church is never wholly invisible to human apprehension. Those who by the facts of regeneration and faith constitute the body of Christ give observable expression to that faith they possess. This they do not only in their individual capacity as members of the body of Christ but also in their collective relations and obligations. In accordance with divine commandment and inward necessity they associate with one another. They organize for purposes of testimony, worship, the administration of the sacraments, mutual edification and encouragement, and for the exercise of discipline. This visible organization or association is not the dictate of human devising but rather of divine institution. So we have also what is known as the visible church.” (John Murray, “Infant Baptism”)

    And as to Murray denying the covenant of works, it depends what you mean. Yes, he (wrongly) failed to label the covenant with Adam as a covenant of works, but the concept he did not deny, as Richard Phillips reminds us below:

    “It is noteworthy that John Murray, though rejecting the terminology covenant of works, treats what he calls the Adamic administration as possessing all the features of a covenant. His discussion is organized around the headings the condition, promise, and threatening, the very features common to biblical covenants. In this, he affirms one of the strongest arguments for calling God’s dealings with Adam a “covenant”, namely that it contains all the features found in all other covenants identified as such in the Bible. This is why Murray’s soteriology was safeguarded from the debilitating effects commonly resulting from a denial of the covenant of works. While objecting semantically, he retains all its important features, thus safeguarding the doctrine of justification in his thinking. Writing of God’s dealings with Adam, Murray lays out the very progression I noted above, saying, “Righteousness, justification, life is an invariable combination in the government and judgment of God. There would be a relation that we may call perfect legal reciprocity.” 37 Therefore, Murray is able to observe that in the covenant of grace God does not set aside his justice, but rather satisfies it through the substitutionary atonement and the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ, offered to us by faith alone.”

    Again, it is one thing to overlook the covenant of works, while retaining justification by faith alone. It is quite another deliberately to reject the covenant of works in order to reject the contrast between faith and works, the gospel and the law. Lutherans do not have, properly speaking, a covenant theology. But when one deliberately jettisons the covenant of works, the only possible result is a gospel different from that which proclaims justification by faith alone.”

  39. February 24, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Elder Hoss,

    The last I check, Murray’s writings, as good and valuable as many are, weren’t inspired. Therefore, it is possible to agree with some and not with others. Like all humans, he was simply wrong about some things. Best to get over it and move on.

    The term “ministers in good standing” describes their status in an ecclesiastical organization, not the orthodoxy of their teachings. One would do well not to mix those up. Existentially, a murder is such from the second he kills his victim (or thinks about it according to our Lord), yet according to criminal law, the title is not applied until conviction by an appropriate court. Yet, he was no less a murderer ontologically before the verdict.

    Just because some don’t write specifics about Lauren’s story doesn’t mean that they couldn’t. You assume too much. Nor did Lauren write a complete Systematic here. You assume too much about her theology from writing that wasn’t intended to present a system. Yet, you defend FVers who do present a systematic view that has been declared erroneous.

    In case you’ve forgotten, Federal Vision has been declared in error by at least 7 orthodox, Reformed denominations, Laura has not. I believe that it is she who deserves the benefit of the doubt here. We should lead the sheep, not slaughter them when they are wounded by wolves.

  40. Ron Henzel said,

    February 25, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Elder Hoss,

    I’ve gone back and re-read Lauren’s comments, but I cannot find the antinomianism you allege to lie at the core of what she emotes. Could it be that the real problem here is that at your core you are Neonomian?

  41. Elder Hoss said,

    February 25, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Todd – Murray warned that heterodoxy would be our lot were we not continually subjecting our confessional interpretations/interpolations through the lens of Scripture [hence also his rather audacious but well-advised counsel that "Covenant Theology must be re-cast"].

    I would suggest that a fair amount of pop Calvinism today, often summoned in support of a debunking of the “Federal Vision Heresy” reflects this heterodoxy, as do some of the stands of emphasis within the FV relative to driving too hard of a wedge between covenant and election, approaching the sacraments from a less than consistently Reformed vantage point etc.

    You are correct that Murray did not pen any of the 66 books of the Canon, but neither did, say, RS Clark or Lauren “I’m a victim, my FV pastor is evil, just believe me at face value” Kuo….

    Tremendous defection from both “catholic” and Reformed thought is occurring across the fruited plain, and yet ostensibly the errors are congealed in Monroe, Idaho, and a few other places where CREC churches are growing due to defections from PCA, OPC, URC, what have you.

    A pedestrian, internecine dispute, while the charismatics are saving the drug addicts, pimps, prostitutes, and suicidal masses with an unadorned message concerning the person and work of Christ.

    Onward fearless Reformed!

    This entire debate is proof positive of the ineffectual nature of Reformed and Presbyterian ministrations in the United States. I’m thankful for a few consecrated Reformed and Presbyterian pastors who categorially avoid being sucked into the cybervortex. I for one, have no interest in playing Sancho Panza to the windmill thrusters and posers who have nothing better to do with their time than continue to botch and misplace the covenantal antithesis.

    My sense is that this stems from a whole host of Reformed and Presbyterian guys being more familiar with Van Halen than Van Til (let alone Van Prinsterer), Grisham’s Pelican Brief than Jaroslav Pelikan, particular “internet aspersions” rather than “Holy Spirit affusions” in intercessory prayer meetings resulting in conversions, daily family worship, establishing covenant schools, impacting the social order, ala Jean Cauvin’s vision (good to say Jeff Cagle making salient remarks here).

    So, no more Sancho Panzo to windmill thrusting and posing, as I’ve said.

    To quote William F Buckley’s refrain to the dinner guests at 1am “Good Night Ladies!”

  42. Ron Henzel said,

    February 25, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Elder Hoss,

    I see the Joe Biden of blog commenters is alive and belching. It’s fascinating how you begin by attacking theology, and then when the objects of your attack defend themselves you simply reiterate your previous attack and then switch to attacking practice (as seen in your reference to charismatics, etc.).

    Todd has already demonstrated that you don’t know Murray as well as you think you do, and now you’ve also embarrassingly demonstrated that you don’t know squat about other things I will refrain from mentioning out of respect (a concept you have yet to grasp) for other commenters here. Even as the hot air keeps blowing from your direction you expect us to believe that you also have a clue about Reformed theology in general while making bizarre statements minimizing the significance of the Federal Vision in tandem with nearly-omniscient-sounding generalizations on the supposed problems of the denominations that have rejected it.

    Face it, Quixote: the FV is your fair damsel in distress, and the Reformed Christians who know how to read the Reformers and the confessions are your windmills. Unfortunately, your damsel is less-than-chaste.

  43. Reed Here said,

    February 25, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    Elder Hoss: bloviating again, huh?!

  44. David Gray said,

    February 25, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    >The last I check, Murray’s writings, as good and valuable as many are, weren’t inspired. Therefore, it is possible to agree with some and not with others.

    Last time I checked Murray was in good standing with more than seven reformed denominations…

  45. Ron Henzel said,

    February 25, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    David Gray,

    You wrote:

    Last time I checked Murray was in good standing with more than seven reformed denominations…

    Newsflash: Murray died in 1975; I believe even his own denomination removed him from their membership rolls at that time. In the meantime, as good as they are, his writings were never added to the canon of Scripture.

  46. David Gray said,

    February 25, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    >In the meantime, as good as they are, his writings were never added to the canon of Scripture.

    Whoa Dude!

    What I meant was Murray is well respected and agreeing wtih Murray ought not to get you tied to a pole with faggots thrown at your feet…

  47. February 25, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    David,

    I don’t think that anyone is being tied to a pole, and I forgot to bring the gasoline in any case. FVers like to bring Murray in as if that ends the discussion. The orthodox Reformed amongst us were just pointing out that: a) Murray doesn’t provide the heavy support to FV that FVers wish; and b) selectively quoting Murray doesn’t clinch the point.

    Hence, Ron is factually right on target: nobody canonized Murray’s writings. OTOH, to say that doesn’t impugn the man, either. Nobody canonized the writings of Calvin or Knox – no slam on them either.

  48. David Gray said,

    February 25, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    >Hence, Ron is factually right on target: nobody canonized Murray’s writings.

    Was anyone arguing with that straw man? It is true and it is meaningless. What is true is that if one takes the same position Murray took he might be wrong but he is not outside the fold of acceptable Reformed opinion.

    >The orthodox Reformed amongst us

    Should keep their powder dry.

  49. GLW Johnson said,

    August 16, 2009 at 7:34 am

    I see that DW is up to his old tricks of claiming that the FV is nothing more than a faithful reading of Calvin. In a very recent post on his blog DW claims that since Calvin acknowledges that ‘many are called but few are chosen’ signifies that the visible Church is composed of wheat and tares ,DW concludes that this is undiluted Feral Vision 101. Naturally, his crowd of faithful devotees chimmed in with their usually acolades. But simply read Calvin-there is NOTHING in the place that DW cites or elsewhere in Calvin’s writings that affirms that there are ‘elect’ tares who were actually justified, had their sins forgiven ,regenerated, and actually were in union with Christ..
    Someone needs to point out to John Piper how so very unqualifed DW is as a expert on Calvin.

  50. David Gray said,

    August 16, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    >undiluted Feral Vision 101

    Not enough sleep last night?

  51. GLW Johnson said,

    August 16, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    DG
    Now that you mention it ‘Feral Vision’ is a very apt description of this bunch of rogues.

  52. David Gray said,

    August 16, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Pastor Johnson,

    Can you remind me what ecclesiastical authority your church answers to?

  53. GLW Johnson said,

    August 17, 2009 at 5:25 am

    DG
    We are confessional Reformed church that is denominationally unaffilated, a member of A.C.E. -all of which has zero bearing on the renegades in the FV-the ‘ Feral Vision’.

  54. GLW Johnson said,

    August 17, 2009 at 6:27 am

    Justin Taylor has posted a link to Lee Irons and his excellent rebuttal of FVer Rich Lusk entitled ‘Countering 10 Arguments Against the Law-Gospel Paradigm’.

  55. David Gray said,

    August 17, 2009 at 6:35 am

    >We are confessional Reformed church that is denominationally unaffilated

    Presumably then, as you reject presbyterial authority over your church, you don’t place much stock in denominational reports approved by general assemblies.

  56. GLW Johnson said,

    August 17, 2009 at 6:40 am

    DG
    As I have come to expect from you and your ongoing defense of the FV, you resort to dragging red herrings around behind you like they are tied to your tail.

  57. David Gray said,

    August 17, 2009 at 9:23 am

    I’m afraid you lack the authority to say that…

  58. GLW Johnson said,

    August 18, 2009 at 6:41 am

    DG
    As one of the Feral Vision herd what authority do even acknowledge?

  59. David Gray said,

    August 18, 2009 at 8:42 am

    >As one of the Feral Vision herd what authority do even acknowledge?

    You assume a lot and know less…

    But the infantile mode of rhetoric doesn’t serve you well.

  60. GLW Johnson said,

    August 18, 2009 at 8:46 am

    DG
    Whatever DG -but your colors are well know.

  61. David Gray said,

    August 18, 2009 at 8:52 am

    >but your colors are well know

    Are my colors “well know”?

    Yes, I’m well known to dislike Tammany Hall style politics and thuggish behaviour…

  62. GLW Johnson said,

    August 18, 2009 at 8:59 am

    DG
    But of course-oh, I saw your picture at the local post office.

  63. David Gray said,

    August 18, 2009 at 9:03 am

    >But of course-oh, I saw your picture at the local post office.

    If your goal is to be the Jack Chick of the anti-FV movement you are making unfortunate progress.

  64. GLW Johnson said,

    August 18, 2009 at 9:34 am

    DG
    This has gone on long enough- why don’t you email me ( I have no way of getting in touch with you) and we can banter back and forth ad nauseam. Besides I would like to find out what church you are part of.

  65. GLW Johnson said,

    August 20, 2009 at 5:13 am

    It has been two days and DG has yet to contact me which makes me wonder if there is a real person named David Gray ?

  66. GLW Johnson said,

    September 28, 2009 at 8:11 am

    I notice Doug Wilson’s magnanimous remarks about how graciously he was treated at the Desiring God conference-an example , he says ,of ‘Evangelical catholicity’. Gee DW, perhaps if you would have displayed this trait in the way you responded to the PCA and OPC study reports as well as the way you went about barking at Guy Waters, Westminster seminary, Mid-American Reformed seminary, et.al. perhaps we could all have displayed Evangelical catholicity.

  67. KBennett77 said,

    September 29, 2009 at 11:51 am

    David Gray,

    Identify thy ecclesiastical affiliation, silly man. And Gary, why are you still responding to him? His points are ad hominem and have nothing to do with the point at issue.

    Him condemning you for not being denominational (yet, hopefully) is pointless unless he points out the “proper” authority which he claims to have.

  68. David Gray said,

    September 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    >Identify thy ecclesiastical affiliation, silly man.

    I already did Chuckles.

    >Gee DW, perhaps if you would have displayed this trait in the way you responded to the PCA and OPC study reports

    Why the high regard when you don’t put your church under such authority?

  69. GLW Johnson said,

    September 30, 2009 at 5:52 am

    DG
    I have come to expect this from you-but then again you have no ministerial standing whatsoever, do you? That said, if my views as set forth in any of the books I have been involved in were subjected to the kind of criticisms that the Feral Vision has come under from the Reformed community at large, I would not dismiss them the way DW and the rest of the Feral Vision has.

  70. David Gray said,

    September 30, 2009 at 5:58 am

    >I have come to expect this from you-but then again you have no ministerial standing whatsoever, do you?

    No, but neither am I someone who rejects placing myself under church authority as you do. Nor do I engage in the childish sort of tactics that you do with your “Feral Vision.” One doesn’t require ministerial standing to reject your sort of puerile approach.

  71. GLW Johnson said,

    September 30, 2009 at 6:22 am

    DG
    Now why do you says things like I ‘ reject placing myself under church authority’ simply because the church I serve is denominationally unaffiliated? We are an confessional Reformed church like many of the ones ‘associated’ with the CREC. In many ways I am just like some of the Independents that were part of the Westminster Assembly, i.e. Thomas Goodwin.There were other Independents such as the great John Owen. I guess you would throw mud on Goodwin and Owen as well.

  72. GLW Johnson said,

    September 30, 2009 at 6:26 am

    oh, I forgot to once again mention the Feral Vision.

  73. David Gray said,

    September 30, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    >In many ways I am just like some of the Independents that were part of the Westminster Assembly

    I doubt they used toddler speak in the manner you do…

  74. GLW Johnson said,

    October 1, 2009 at 5:33 am

    But how esle are you going understand DG?

  75. David Gray said,

    October 1, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    >But how esle are you going understand DG?

    The fact that I’m raising toddlers doesn’t mean I like to hear people who are theoretically ministers speak in such fashion.

  76. GLW Johnson said,

    October 2, 2009 at 7:00 am

    DG
    I asked you to get in touch with me so that we could sort things out- but so far you have made no attempt to do so. I don’t wish to carry on a public food fight with you so drop it.

  77. February 5, 2011 at 8:15 am

    [...] he attacks this same question he ends up sinking deeper in the mire. Consider this from Lane’s most recent blog in response to Wilson: I will try one last time to make the point about the living nature of faith [...]


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