Have You Ever Noticed?

Have you ever noticed that no critic has ever understood any aspect of any FV teaching in the entire 8 year history of this conflict, if you were to believe some FV guys? One would think that the FV guys were artists, given how difficult their work is to understand.

I have occasions where I am misunderstood. Almost inevitably, I am to blame for not being clear in my writing or speaking. I hope I have been honest enough to admit those times when I misspoke or forgot to guard the meaning closely enough to eliminate misunderstanding.

However, eliminating all possible misunderstandings has not usually been the modus operandi of FV guys. Language that is ambiguous, capable of multiple levels of meaning, or similar modes of thought are par for the course for FV writers. Has it ever occurred to FV guys to wonder if maybe, just possibly, most if not all the misunderstanding they are claiming the critics are having might be the fault of the FV authors for not being clear? FV guys quite often claim to be confessional. Then why can’t FV theology be expressed in confessional terms? If it really is as confessional as all that, as deeply steeped in the Reformed fathers as many FV guys claim, then why can’t reasonably intelligent pastors, who are theologically educated, grasp these concepts? Some FV guys will simply call us stupid, or worse, Satanic. According to this mode of reasoning, it’s all the reader’s fault if they don’t understand it. After all, it’s crystal clear to them what they mean. But then, when you dig, you find that there is a different paradigm underlying the FV. And that has been the point of the critics all along: the paradigm is not confessional! Maybe the critics are reading the FV guys better than the FV guys think.

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159 Comments

  1. Tim Wilder said,

    February 9, 2010 at 9:52 am

    But they are artists. “Language that is ambiguous, capable of multiple levels of meaning” is how see the Bible itself. If you don’t work this way, then to them you are a reactionary Scholastic and unbliblical.

    On their side, they don’t really understand Scholastic theology, and misrepresent it. But if someone can think like the classical Reformed theologians, than he is already in a different thought world than even the seminaries today. The ability to bridge these and think both ways may not be within the range of everyone who has to wrestle with the controversy, particularly as no one’s education is going to give them a leg up on this any more.

  2. greenbaggins said,

    February 9, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Hey, Tim!! Long time, no see! Glad to see you are still alive and kicking.

  3. Brad B said,

    February 9, 2010 at 10:24 am

    My difficulty comes from the commitment to be logical when wrestling with the issues. Maybe I’m reading to rigidly? The FV’ers seem to be more willing to look past what are clearly incompatible concepts with Reformed understanding of the scriptures on non-negotiables, like justification.

  4. February 9, 2010 at 10:30 am

    2 Timothy 2, “14Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. 15Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 16But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, 17and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some. 19Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.” “

  5. pduggie said,

    February 9, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Did you ever notice that Leithart says

    ” I would have made my point more clearly if I had written”

    “My use … was infelicitous, and my claim …was also potentially misleading.”

  6. Tim Wilder said,

    February 9, 2010 at 11:34 am

    If fifteen years ago the Federal Vision people had been up front about the fact that they were coming out with a new paradigm, then may you could excuse Leithart. But they tried to fly under the radar as long as they could. So no, they haven’t tried to be clear.

  7. February 9, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Language that is ambiguous, capable of multiple levels of meaning, or similar modes of thought are par for the course for FV writers.

    I know. It’s almost like they’re influenced by Frame’s triperspectivalism or something….

  8. Tim Wilder said,

    February 9, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    The Federal Vision, Frame’s perspectivalism, Emergent Church, and all manner of other manifestations of post-modernism came along and are now all around us. We are going to have to deal all the time with people influenced or molded by that type of culture. Probably trying to teach them the categories of scholastic causality, etc. so they can understand Reformed theology as it was first created is not an approach that is going to work. On the other hand, material written in this century, especially in America, is full of deviations and confusions.

    So what to do?

  9. pduggie said,

    February 9, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    “Probably trying to teach them the categories of scholastic causality, etc. so they can understand Reformed theology as it was first created is not an approach that is going to work.”

    I agree with you there Tim. Probably in 30-40 years “nobody” will believe in an historical Adam, and the Covenant of Works will be a ‘story’ about the human condition.

  10. Towne said,

    February 9, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    It all goes back to Shepherd in most recent history. And if Shepherd could not be understood with clarity by the great minds on the Westminster faculty, then there are only two possible conclusions:
    1. either he was incompetent as a teacher, and should have been let go; (for a teacher must above all else be a communicator of ideas, capable of making the complex understandable)
    2. or he was hiding something, and should have been let go. (for a teacher of orthodoxy must be patently transparent)

    Sadly, he was ultimately dismissed for other reasons, trivial by comparison.

  11. Tim Wilder said,

    February 9, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    They couldn’t figure out Enns either, until long after the man in the pew did.

  12. GLW Johnson said,

    February 9, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    One more thing about the FV-esp DW- I have yet to see ANY admission of error. Period At no point( despite their own ‘disagreements amongst themselves’) has ANY Federal Vision advocate-esp. DW- come out and said “We were wrong, we stand corrected”. No, ALL of the critics are wrong, they distort us, they are underhanded, pawns of the dark side bah,bah, bah and on it goes.

  13. Vern Crisler said,

    February 9, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Hi Tim, The FVists think their objectivist paradigm is superior to the old Reformed paradigm — that it will provide an ecumenical bridge from Reformed theology to all sectors of the church, including Anglican, EO, and RC. They think traditional Reformed theology is reactionary, stale, and going nowhere within the context of the larger church.

    It’s not a question of FVists learning Reformed theology…they want Reformed theology to be unlearned — at least to the extent that it’s not treated in an objectivist manner.

  14. Milton said,

    February 9, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    So have the FV advocates distorted the Gospel?

  15. Brad B said,

    February 9, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Hi Vern, seeing what you’ve written, I guess it’s no wonder the “called to communion” crowd buy into the whole NPP by Wright, FV, Auburn Avenue theology cousins–they see opportunity for unity–but at what cost?

  16. jared said,

    February 9, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    And what about those of us in the middle? Those who see what the FV is doing and what the critics are doing and think they both have some good points (and some bad ones)? I haven’t had any trouble understanding most of the FV but I’ve had much trouble understanding many of its ultra-critics. Moreover, within my own denomination I see that they are officially stretching to put the FV foundationally out of sorts with the WCF (the Study Report was a huge gaff in my estimation). Why would you strive for this? Why would you strive for disunity? I understand that you don’t sacrifice purity for peace, but neither do you sacrifice peace for purity. Some in the FV say the Standards need to be changed and, to a certain extent, I agree that they at least need to be updated (a side project I am currently working on, actually). The FV makes a great point in acknowledging that the Standards are not comprehensive and, thus, should not be limiting theological dialog in the strict way some critics believe it should.

    On the other hand, the critics are right to call for clear distinctions between what is confessional and what is not. When talking/writing about the numerous topics involved there needs to be clear indicators, e.g. this is what the Confession says and we are saying this, this and this in addition to or against or on top of or however else you want to distinguish territory. Even something as simple as “This is what the Confession says and this is how I understand it, etc.” The FV’s greatest failure is blurring the line between their theological expansions/variations/expressions and the [comparatively] rigid categories typically found in the Standards. I don’t want to make that a light failure either, it really is a great failure. But it isn’t enough to push them outside of the broader Reformed community. They clearly are not Romish nor Arminian (despite unfair-minded “critical” assertion to the contrary) and they most certainly do not peddle a false gospel (again, contrary those selfsame critics).

    So, while the original post may be tired of the cries of misunderstanding, how much more tired do you think FV advocates are of cries of heresy (whether they are “friendly” conceptions of heresy or not)? In stead of complaining about it how about doing something other than forming one-sided committees and book evaluations? How about another (or an annual) Knox Colloquium-esque discussion? How about some non-blog in-person debates? I’m tired of both sides grumbling…

  17. Tim Wilder said,

    February 9, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    The FV is a small informal club of amateurs. There are a lot of other people who share a lot of the same tendencies, ideas, styles, etc. Many of the people who will defend the FV will pointing out that the haven’t read the FV themselves or gotten their ideas there, but find things in it they approve of.

    So there is something larger that is part of the whole cultural moment that we are in. After we figure out just whom to stick the FV label on we still have these ideas come at us from all sides because it is the thinking of our generation.

    And, of course, the critics have their agendas, too. Francis Schaeffer liked to warn people that we never get to fight on only one front. Whenever a heresy comes along, the opposite one is waiting for use in the other direction. He compared to to backing away from one fearsome dragon only to fall into the maws of the other one behind you.

    Actually, where an issue arises there come with it opposite errors on that very issue. So, today we have a problem with mixing up the pre- and post-fall situation, which both extremes do. The FV levels the two by denying a real covenant of works before the fall. The opposite, Klinite, error is to introduce the covenant of works post-fall into the mosaic covenant and then drive a wedge between Abraham and Moses.

    So watch out for both dragons.

  18. Vern Crisler said,

    February 9, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Francis Schaeffer sounds a little fatalistic, no? Also, it was St. Paul who drove a wedge between Abraham and Moses….

  19. Ron Jung said,

    February 9, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Do Reformed folk ever read Luther? Almost everything you all harp on and on about the FV has a kinship with Luther. And yet they are accused of being Roman, Arminian and now linked to post-modern? I think Meyers and Liethart have Lutheran backgrounds.

    I like much of Reformed theology, but the one thing that burns me is how little Luther and Lutheranism is understood. I just read Given For You by Mathison and he glosses over Luther’s view of the Lord’s Supper and characterizes it as consubstantiation. And then rips into consubstantiation as if he took on Luther. Please take a look at Luther- he is not Reformed, but I would hope you all would consider him one of the good guys.

  20. jared said,

    February 9, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Paul said, perhaps to his most beloved church, that he desired to know nothing among them except Christ and Him crucified. The FV does not get this wrong, whatever else they may be mistaken about. Also, they aren’t a small informal club of amateurs unless, of course, you are speaking about their surfing skills.

  21. Tim Wilder said,

    February 10, 2010 at 7:42 am

    “Francis Schaeffer sounds a little fatalistic, no? Also, it was St. Paul who drove a wedge between Abraham and Moses…”

    But don’t you hold some unorthodox New Covenant Theology, or am I thinking of someone else?

  22. David Gray said,

    February 10, 2010 at 7:59 am

    >The FV is a small informal club of amateurs.

    Careful, Jeff Hutchinson will come and get you.

  23. Vern Crisler said,

    February 10, 2010 at 9:03 am

    #19
    Yes, Tim, you are thinking of someone else….

  24. Tim Wilder said,

    February 10, 2010 at 9:24 am

    So you subscribe to the covenant system of the Westminster Confession?

  25. Sam Rico said,

    February 10, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Well said Lane! Bravo!

    Language games. Perhaps FV’s affinity for linguistic and rhetorical ambiguity parallels Derrida, Foucault, and deconstructism. My father (Mike Rico) and me have noticed that FV-ers and their sympathizers are apt to tag this safety syntagma, “in some sense,” after every clause and subordinate clause. Maybe this renders them “in some sense” never saying anything.

    Much love,
    Sam Rico

  26. February 10, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    jared,

    Why would you strive for this? Why would you strive for disunity? I understand that you don’t sacrifice purity for peace, but neither do you sacrifice peace for purity.

    Strive for disunity? Are you kidding? Did NAPARC wake up one morning and decide to start a FV movement by combining elements of NPP, Shepherdism, Open Theism, and Roman Catholicism, then attempting to infuse them into Reformed theology and then pretend that it was all copacetic with the Westminster Standards and 3FU so that we could have controversy? Quite the opposite.

    We should never sacrifice purity for peace, but sometimes peace must be disrupted to preserving purity. That’s endemic to the history of the church. Should Luther, Calvin, et al, have said, “Well Mr. Pope, we see that you’re preaching another gospel but that’s OK. We don’t want to be disagreeable. We’ll preach the truth to our congregations and let yours go to hell.”? Did Jesus tell the Pharisees, “I believe that you nice folks are mistaken. But that’s OK, I’ll preach the truth over here and you just carry on as usual.”? Check out Mt 10:24 and Jer 6:14 if you think so.

    Andrew in #4 hits the target dead on. Say clearly what you mean, mean what you say, and take the consequences like a man. Rather than disrupting the peace of the NAPARC denominations, FVers should just move on to the CREC where their friends are and anything goes. I’m well past the point of caring what they believe in the global sense, but my office (along with all those holding ordained offices in the PCA) requires that I care what they believe and teach while they hold PCA credentials. The sooner that NW, Siouxland, Missouri, et al, Presbyteries learn the lesson of LAP, the sooner we’ll have peace and purity.

  27. pduggie said,

    February 10, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    “Did NAPARC wake up one morning and decide to start a FV movement by combining elements of NPP, Shepherdism, Open Theism, and Roman Catholicism ”

    Well, the OPC allowed Shepherd and Murray (ism) to spread far and wide with no effective response for a while, actually. People took exception to the “covenant of works” not uncommonly in the 70s and 80s.

  28. Reed Here said,

    February 10, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    You into proving the point now, Paul?

  29. David Gray said,

    February 10, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    >The sooner that NW, Siouxland, Missouri, et al, Presbyteries learn the lesson of LAP, the sooner we’ll have peace and purity.

    Perhaps they’ll want to pursue Dr. Rayburn’s course of honorable resistance instead?

  30. Vern Crisler said,

    February 10, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    #22

    Not entirely, Tim. I don’t accept the republication idea, inasmuch as the only law Adam knew in the garden was a mere food law — thou shalt not eat — and so I don’t believe the Mosaic covenant was a covenant of works. The conditionalism of the Mosaic covenant was a national conditionalism, not a personal conditionalism, requiring exact and perfect obedience.

    Plus I’m with Cromwell as over against the Scots Presbyterians. ;-)

  31. Tim Wilder said,

    February 10, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    I don’t follow the logic of this, which seems to be presented as an argument.

    “I don’t accept the republication idea, inasmuch as the only law Adam knew in the garden was a mere food law — thou shalt not eat — and so I don’t believe the Mosaic covenant was a covenant of works.”

  32. jared said,

    February 10, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Bob,

    You ask (#24):

    Did NAPARC wake up one morning and decide to start a FV movement by combining elements of NPP, Shepherdism, Open Theism, and Roman Catholicism, then attempting to infuse them into Reformed theology and then pretend that it was all copacetic with the Westminster Standards and 3FU so that we could have controversy?

    No, I don’t think they did. Neither do I think the FV is a combination of all that you say it is. This also misses my point and my questions. You continue,

    We should never sacrifice purity for peace, but sometimes peace must be disrupted to preserving purity. That’s endemic to the history of the church…

    If you can’t understand me even though I have been transparently clear above, it doesn’t surprise me that some FVists are still crying (“whining”) about being misunderstood. Luther did everything within his power to prevent schism, has the PCA? Have all of the NAPARC churches? Again, I get that you don’t sacrifice purity for peace, but neither should we be so quick to dismiss peace in the so-called name of purity. You say,

    Andrew in #4 hits the target dead on. Say clearly what you mean, mean what you say, and take the consequences like a man.

    Yes, I agree that we all (not just the FV) have a responsibilty to write and speak clearly what we mean. And I agre that we should also be willing accept the consequences of that responsibilty. But if you are past the point of caring, in a global sense, about what the FV believes then perhaps you should stay out of the public discussion(s)? Not caring tends to affect one’s ability to meaningfully contribute; just trying to save you the trouble ;-)

  33. Tim Wilder said,

    February 10, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    @ #24
    “Rather than disrupting the peace of the NAPARC denominations, FVers should just move on to the CREC where their friends are and anything goes.”

    What does Good Shepherd in Siouxlands do? The covenant renewal crowd (and even all of them don’t consider themselves FV) pulled out long ago and founded a CREC congregation in the same suburb:

    http://www.christchurchtc.com/CCTC/Welcome.html

    What’s left is the Shepherd & N.T. Wright people, as far as I know. They are more like the Biblical Theology crowd at the seminaries, which is why they have such broad support.

  34. Ron Henzel said,

    February 10, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Vern,

    You wrote:

    [...]the only law Adam knew in the garden was a mere food law — thou shalt not eat —[...]

    So then, you don’t think that what Paul said was true of the Gentiles in Rom. 2:14-15 was also true of Adam?

  35. Vern Crisler said,

    February 10, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Hi Ron,
    Adam did not have a consciousness of sin before the fall. He did not have a knowledge of good and evil. That only came about afterward.

  36. Vern Crisler said,

    February 10, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    #29
    Hi Tim, you’d probably have to get up to speed on the Kerux brouhaha in order to understand it.

  37. Ron Henzel said,

    February 10, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Vern,

    Regarding comment 35: so the moral law of God was not written on Adam’s heart, even though it was later written on the hearts of fallen Gentiles (Rom. 2:15)? In other words, the original image of God in which Adam was created did not include righteousness and holiness (per WLC Q17 and WSC Q10)?

  38. Tim Wilder said,

    February 10, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    @ #36, If by brouhaha you mean the review of The Law is Not of Faith, I have been recommending it to people.

  39. February 10, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    jared, RE #32,

    No, I don’t think they did. Neither do I think the FV is a combination of all that you say it is

    I have a post mulling around in my head on that. I think you just encouraged me to write it this weekend.

    If you can’t understand me even though I have been transparently clear above,

    I understood you just fine. I was simply and partially disagreeing. That’s not lack of understanding. There’s an important difference. Most FVers have the same problem spotting the difference.

    Again, I get that you don’t sacrifice purity for peace, but neither should we be so quick to dismiss peace in the so-called name of purity.

    Nothing quick about it. We talked about it, read about it, studied it, then voted on it. That took over four years. Here three years after that, we’re still dealing with FV. The onus is on those who claim new insights to prove their point, not the other way around.

    But if you are past the point of caring, in a global sense, about what the FV believes then perhaps you should stay out of the public discussion(s)?

    FVers should be so lucky. I meant that I’m happy to live and let live as long as their errors aren’t held or taught in the PCA. We have Standards and will not compromise them. This line of thinking is in agreement with BCO Preliminary Principle 2.

  40. Vern Crisler said,

    February 10, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Hi Ron,

    Adam was created innocent….

    The tems “righteousness” and “holiness” — like “faith” or “grace” are anachronistic terms when applied to Adam before the Fall.

  41. Vern Crisler said,

    February 10, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    #38
    So you are recommending the Kerux view that the Mosaic covenant is not a republication of the covenant of works?

  42. jared said,

    February 10, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Bob,

    Thanks for your response and I look forward to your article this weekend should you get around to putting it down in words.

    I agree that disagreement (partial or otherwise) is not the same thing as misunderstanding. Though, there seems to be a frequent correlation between misunderstanding and the ensuing disagreement based thereon. In other words, it’s possible for two parties to actually be in agreement but one of them has misunderstood the other so there is a perceived disagreement when there need not be. The PCA’s Study Report is a perfect example of this as 90% of the declarations don’t necessarily affect FV theology (something that could have been easily resolved by putting a couple of FV advocates on the committee). I also agree with you that those FVists who do have serious issues with the Standards need to either leave (the PCA) or take the appropriate actions to have the Standards modified.

  43. Tim Wilder said,

    February 10, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    “Republication” is a vague and ambiguous term.

    There is obviously something in common between the covenant of works and other covenants as we can call them covenants. There are terms, “conditions” and commandments. But Abraham received commandments also, which he was unable to meet, so Moses is a republication or not in just the same sense as Abraham. After the Fall there is a messianic element of promise given along with the commandments, which points to the only one who will keep the covenant.

    Some people can’t see parts of this. They read about Abraham, and see only the promise and not the commandment, and then they read about Moses the other way around. Or they will miss the element of messianic promise; for example, Norman Shepherd used to read the Psalms and think that they were about him and his righteousness, and that started him on the path to mixing faith and works in justification.

    So Abraham and Moses were given covenants that they could not keep, but along with a promise of a seed from God who would and could keep the covenants.

    What I think is good about the Kerux review is that they were able to spot and nail down the dangerous Klinite error which is the equal and opposite error to that of the Federal Vision. It does not mean I go along with them on every detail, such as the defense of John Murray.

  44. February 10, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    jared, RE #42,

    I appreciate your comment. I don’t disagree with your general reasoning in the general course of human interactions. Communications difficulties pervade our lives.

    However, I do not believe that’s the case with FV. Leithart himself said that the FV Study Report fairly captured his work on justification. That’s all I’ll say about the report.

    FV proponents have had eight years to bring clarity to the issues at hand. And yet, claims of misunderstanding still abound. As Lane insightfully points out in his post, if FV fits into the Westminster or 3FU framework, then proponents should be able to lay it out clearly in those terms.

  45. Vern Crisler said,

    February 10, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    #43
    I had to reread your post a couple of times Tim. Your ideas on covenantal continuity seem very similar to the FV view.

    If we use the term “conditional” in an ordinary sense, and keeping the same meaning throughout, the Abrahamic covenant is either conditional or not conditional, and the Mosaic covenant is either conditional or not conditional.

    One cannot have it both ways, which is what FVism is trying to do.

    Your view doesn’t appear to me to do justice to the New Testament empasis on the antithesis between Abraham and Moses. The nature of that antithesis is very much a part of the whole FV vs. Reformed debate.

  46. jared said,

    February 11, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Bob,

    I’m not sure you linked the correct article from Leithart. In that article it almost seems as if Beisner and White have inconsequential disagreements about how the FV (or Leithart, at least) understands the pre-fall and post-fall covenants. I tried digging through the Study Report again to find the relevant sections but the section on justification seems conceptually removed from the article you linked (plus reading the report just plain makes me sad). If this was, indeed, the article you intended to link then could you elaborate on the connection I seem to be missing?

  47. Ron Henzel said,

    February 11, 2010 at 5:39 am

    Vern,

    Regarding comment 40: so it seems that, in your view, there was no such thing as original righteousness.

  48. Ron Henzel said,

    February 11, 2010 at 5:44 am

    Tim,

    You wrote:

    “Republication” is a vague and ambiguous term.

    This is patently false. It is clear term with an established history in Reformed theology, and I think I explained it well enough in the last paragraph of my comment here to demonstrate that. I have, on occasion, supplied excerpts from Reformed theologians of generations past who have used that term or equivalents in here in these comboxes, although I don’t have time to search for them right now. There is nothing vague or ambiguous about it.

  49. Tim Wilder said,

    February 11, 2010 at 7:20 am

    The word “republish” simply means to make publicly know again. It is chosen so as to say nothing about the status of what is made public. The expression is designed to be obscure, because anything else is going to be misunderstood outside of whole system which explains it. The whole Kerux discussion shows how messy the topic has become and difficult it is to avoid errors.

    Vern Crisler was trying to set a trap for me by making me agree or disagree to something he would only later define, or else make me enlist in some party in the controversy, whereas in fact they all get something wrong.

    Now Crisler says that my view that the moral obligation of the covenant of works is always asserted, only now with the promise that God will supply the active obedience through a coming Messiah — and this applies always after the fall — no one is saved except by faith through Christ, there are no different dispensations of salvation: he says that this is just like the FV.

  50. David Gray said,

    February 11, 2010 at 8:04 am

    >I’m not sure you linked the correct article from Leithart.

    Ditto.

  51. Ron Henzel said,

    February 11, 2010 at 8:09 am

    Tim,

    Shorthand terms are only ambiguous to those unfamiliar with the context of the discussions in which they tend to be used. They are not ambiguous to those actually using them as shorthand for longer descriptions of concepts, nor are they designed to be obscure; they are designed to save time, as are all jargon and shorthand. I think if you’ll interact with the final paragraph of the comment to which I linked earlier you’ll find a clear, concise explanation of what Reformed proponents of the republication thesis have meant by their use of the term.

    I haven’t had time to read the Kerux review, but if they’re saying that the word “republication” is vague and ambiguous in the context of historic Reformed theology I believe they’re very, very wrong. (And being a fan of Meredith Kline, I am extremely skeptical that they’ve identified any “dangerous Klinite error,” although I’ll be happy to check into it.) Meanwhile, given Vern’s answers to recent questions on this thread about his own positions, I would keep in mind that he has been espousing positions outside of Reformed orthodoxy regarding the Covenant of Works itself, so I would want to closely scrutinize any definition of its republication that he may give before accepting it as consistent with Reformed teaching.

    On the other hand, as I look at the comment from you to which he was responding (43), I have to admit that I have no idea where you’re getting the notion of the Abrahamic Covenant as a conditional covenant that contained commandments that Abraham could not meet. I believe you will find a diametrically opposite approach in Bavinck, for example, and I would agree with Vern that there is an inherrent danger in homogenizing the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenants in the way you appear to be doing it. Even if you don’t intend it, I believe that will ultimately play right into the hands of the FV.

  52. February 11, 2010 at 8:30 am

    jared, RE #46,

    My apologies, that was the wrong link. Too much going on this week. I fixed the link and it goes to the correct article now. I’m very sorry about the error. The first sentence of the correct article is:

    The PCA FV Report includes a brief, and fairly accurate, summary of a paper I wrote on justification.

  53. rfwhite said,

    February 11, 2010 at 8:33 am

    46 Jared and 44 Bob: to give the fuller context of the conversation between Peter Leithart, Cal Beisner, and me regarding Adam, the covenant of works, and the covenant of redemption, Peter was kind enough to post our reply to him on his website here: http://www.leithart.com/archives/002991.php.

  54. Tim Wilder said,

    February 11, 2010 at 8:59 am

    @ #51

    “Shorthand terms are only ambiguous to those unfamiliar with the context of the discussions in which they tend to be used.”

    To be familiar with the discussion is to be familiar with the ambiguity.

    For you, however, your comment under a different topic, is the official definition that everyone must accept. Naturally. How could it be otherwise?

    Note, however, your definition, as it stands, is ambiguous. It could be taken as a denial of original sin, and therefore unorthodox. I don’t suppose that is what you intend, but it is implied under the most plain reading of what you say.

    “Thus it remained (and remains) true that anyone who keeps God’s law perfectly will be saved, even though the existence of the Covenant of Grace ever since the Fall (and thus during Moses’ time) assumes that no one can (other than Christ, that is).”

    “Meanwhile, given Vern’s answers to recent questions on this thread about his own positions, I would keep in mind that he has been espousing positions outside of Reformed orthodoxy regarding the Covenant of Works itself”

    I know that. He has many unusual opinions. That is why I pressed him on this issue. It is an example of how it is possible to be against the FV, and still not be right about everything. He wants to set things up as though there were only two options: the FV and his way, in opposition to what I am saying, namely that there are opposite errors, both to be avoided.

    As for Kline, I think he is a bad as the Federal Vision, in the opposite direction. I know this will offend his disciples, but I am saying it anyway. I think that Walter Kaiser was right, and that what Kline did was to devise a way to bring dispensationalism into the covenant system. It is therefore essentially an un-Reformed theology.

    The FV people characterize those against them as Klinite neo-Lutherans. To them either you are FV or you fall into neo-Lutheranism. Now we will see if Klines followers will want to say that those who are not with them are in the Federal Vision.

    If Abraham and Moses did not have essentially the same covenant, then we have dispensationalism. I think, moreover, that a lot of exegetical violence has been done to Abraham.

  55. todd said,

    February 11, 2010 at 9:17 am

    “If Abraham and Moses did not have essentially the same covenant, then we have dispensationalism. I think, moreover, that a lot of exegetical violence has been done to Abraham.”

    This reminds me of one of my favorite Simpsons lines:

    Homer: Are you sure you don’t want to come? In a civil war re-enactment we need lots of Indians to shoot.
    Apu: I don’t know what part of that sentence to correct first.

  56. Benjamin P. Glaser said,

    February 11, 2010 at 9:17 am

    2 Timothy 2:14-18 often comes to mind in these discussions.

  57. jared said,

    February 11, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Bob,

    Ah yes. I recall reading that, now, shortly after the report was released. Interestingly enough, in the declarations the report doesn’t say anything at all that implies Leithart is mistaken or out of accord on the point of justification. And, of course, the analysis that he is “collapsing” justification and sanctification is demonstrated to be a misunderstanding. So I would say that while the report has fairly represented Leithart (even by his own judging) it has hardly given a fair analysis. This would be one of the many instances in which the report offers a perceived disagreement where none should exist.

    rfwhite,

    Thanks for the link, I’m going to need some time to digest.

  58. Tim Wilder said,

    February 11, 2010 at 9:37 am

    #55

    There is that book The Law is Not of Faith, and there is the 152 page review in Kerux. You can interact with that or, hey, why not just make snide comments?

  59. Steven Carr said,

    February 11, 2010 at 9:41 am

    From Cool Hand Luke:

    “What we have here is…failure to communicate.”

    Lane,

    Don’t you realize that interpretation of the FV requires a fourfold hermeneutic? Perhaps we can’t understand them because we are too tied to the grammatical historical interpretive method, maybe we need to consider their works tropologically, allegorically, and anagogically….maybe.

  60. David Gray said,

    February 11, 2010 at 9:59 am

    >(Mattes) However, I do not believe that’s the case with FV. Leithart himself said that the FV Study Report fairly captured his work on justification.

    >(Leithart) The PCA FV Report includes a brief, and fairly accurate, summary of a paper I wrote on justification.

  61. rfwhite said,

    February 11, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Lane: I want to zero in on one sentence. You say, “And that has been the point of the critics all along: the paradigm is not confessional!” Here’s a bit of historical context and maybe clarification. During the 2003 colloquium with the FV men, their contention was that their paradigm was extra-confessional, but not contra-confessional. By the end of the colloquium, it was that distinction that did not persuade the critics.

  62. Ron Henzel said,

    February 11, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Tim,

    You wrote:

    Note, however, your definition, as it stands, is ambiguous. It could be taken as a denial of original sin, and therefore unorthodox. I don’t suppose that is what you intend, but it is implied under the most plain reading of what you say.

    In my opinion, this is utter nonsense. You then quote what I wrote as if it demonstrates your point:

    “Thus it remained (and remains) true that anyone who keeps God’s law perfectly will be saved, even though the existence of the Covenant of Grace ever since the Fall (and thus during Moses’ time) assumes that no one can (other than Christ, that is).”

    I think I was pretty clear when I stated that “the existence of the Covenant of Grace ever since the Fall (and thus during Moses’ time) assumes that no one can [keep God's law perfectly].” How anyone could construe this as a denial of original sin is beyond me.

  63. Vern Crisler said,

    February 11, 2010 at 10:51 am

    #54
    Tim, I’m not sure what “unusual” opinions of mine you are referring to but here’s a summary of my view:

    a) Adamic covenant was conditional (a personal covenant of works) (Against FV)
    b) Abrahamic covenant was unconditional (the covenant of grace) (Traditional Reformed view.)
    c) the Mosaic covenant was neither a covenant of works nor a covenant of grace. (Slightly different from Reformed tradition.)
    d) the Mosaic covenant was a national covenant, made with a nation, not with individuals. Individuals were still under the Abrahamic covenant. (Traditional Reformed view.)
    e) No republication of Adamic covenant in the Mosaic covenant. Therefore, not need to claim that Mosaic covenant had looser standards. (Keruk’s point.)
    f) The Mosaic covenant was a tertium quid, a unique institution. (I disagree with Kline that it was patterned after Hittite treaties. More likely had Mesopotamian roots — along with divine, of course.)

    How is any of this unusual?

    On the other hand, you’re view is practically indistinguishable from the FV view.

  64. David Gray said,

    February 11, 2010 at 10:53 am

    >On the other hand, you’re view is practically indistinguishable from the FV view.

    Setting aside the grammatical clumsiness does this mean you want to excommunicate him?

  65. orthodoxbritneyspears said,

    February 11, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Vern (and Ron),

    Can you supply some historical footnotes for “d” that would show it is “traditional”. I mean does any confession state “d” as the Reformed view of the covenant?

    One can make arguments from certain authors to this end, but to say it is “the” Reformed view is a stretch.

    The same thing goes for what Ron is proposing. To say republication has a uniform use in Reformed theology is also just not the case. Do many Reformed theologians hold to republication? Sure. Does that mean they all have the same definition of the term and use it univocally when they speak about the Mosaic covenant? Not quite.

    The same thing goes for what Ron is proposing. To say republication has a uniform use in Reformed theology is also just not the case. Do many Reformed theologians hold to republication? Sure. Does that mean they all have the same definition of the term and use it univocally as the speak about the Mosiac covenant. Not quite.

  66. Reed Here said,

    February 11, 2010 at 11:15 am

    David: now, now, let’s not read animosity where it is not necessarily present. ;-)

  67. David Gray said,

    February 11, 2010 at 11:19 am

    >David: now, now, let’s not read animosity where it is not necessarily present. ;-)

    Reed, let me commend you on how well you perform your duties here. It is a credit to you.

    However for Vern, from what I’ve noticed, being indistinguishable from the FV is a very serious matter.

  68. Reed Here said,

    February 11, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Jesse, #65: what kind of screen name is that ?! :-)

    OrthodoxBritneySpears

  69. February 11, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Orthodox Presbyterian…its a long story and I think I can blame Stellman for it if he doesnt see this.

    I forget to log out of my wordpress account that I am on with some friends…and that gets revealed to the world!

  70. Reed Here said,

    February 11, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Hah! Lol!

  71. Tim Wilder said,

    February 11, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    @ #62

    Ron: “Thus it remained (and remains) true that anyone who keeps God’s law perfectly will be saved”

    Reformed: “In Adam’s fall we sinned all”

    So Ron’s statement is not even true as a hypothetical statement.

  72. Reed Here said,

    February 11, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Tim: I don’t follow. Why isn’t the statement even hypothetically true?

  73. Tim Wilder said,

    February 11, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    @ #63

    “b) Abrahamic covenant was unconditional (the covenant of grace) (Traditional Reformed view.)”

    A covenant is by definition a type of promise attached to conditions. “Unconditional covenant” is incoherent. The covenant of grace is made with Christ whereby he fulfills the conditions of the covenant of works (active obedience) and undergoes the punishment for breaking the conditions of the covenant of works (passive obedience), and then his fulfillment of the conditions of the covenant is imputed to us.

    It’s all about conditions. No conditions no salvation. It is Vern and the FV who deny this, and yet he says I am the one who is FV!

  74. Tim Wilder said,

    February 11, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    @ #72.

    OK, lets say, hypothetically that you lived a perfect life. Would you be saved as Ron says? No, not in virtue of living a perfect life, because you still sinned in Adam, and are guilty of covenant breaking.

    Having sinned in Adam you can only be saved by being justified in Christ, and not, not ever, by keeping the law perfectly yourself.

  75. Jeff Cagle said,

    February 11, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Reed (#72):

    The way Ron put it, it sounds like X person needs “saving” (presupposes sin and need for salvation) but then could keep God’s law perfectly (presupposes no sin).

    It may be that he just needs to rephrase it, but on its face it’s … weird. Even Jesus, who obeyed the Law perfectly, wasn’t “saved” by it (but rather brought salvation to others).

  76. Tim Wilder said,

    February 11, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    @ #72

    Another way to put his is that we are condemned in the old Adam and justified in the new Adam. It is about what the covenant heads do, and with whom were are incorporated.

    Self-salvation is not offered as a option, even hypothetically. The idea of a hypothetical chance at self-salvation is one sense in which “republication of the covenant of works” could be taken. If that is what someone means by republication, I don’t believe it.

  77. Reed Here said,

    February 11, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Tim and Jeff:

    Sorry, I was only considering Tim’s one line quote, not the rest of Ron’s comment.

    Speaking purely hypothetically, the CoW is doable. The problem is that the right pre-conditions do not exist.

  78. Tim Wilder said,

    February 11, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    @ # 77
    Reed says: “Speaking purely hypothetically, the CoW is doable. The problem is that the right pre-conditions do not exist.”

    This is a “different paradigm” than the Westminster system of representation by covenant heads.

  79. Reed Here said,

    February 11, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Tim:

    You’re reading into what is a rather simple statement, and something that is not necessarily there. Hypothetical is not actual.

    If you think otherwise, please instruct me (I will listen). Such short comments do not help further understanding. Please desist from this pattern of commenting.

  80. David Gray said,

    February 11, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    >Hypothetical is not actual.

    I sometimes wonder if it is healthy to consider hypotheticals that in this world cannot occur (i.e. someone besides Christ leading a sinless life would be a good example).

  81. Reed Here said,

    February 11, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    David: I tend to agree. This is not a big issue for me. I merely questioned a comment from Tim concerning his denial of what appeared to me to be a hypothetical possibility.

    Is the Covenent of Works hypothetical doable for mankind? Not as ordained by God. That’s off the table.

    Is the Covenant of Works in fact doable for anyone? I think we’ve already established that this is so for Christ, who did indeed keep it.

    All this is much todo about a rather innocent question for clarification. Nothing there folks, move along …

  82. Jeff Cagle said,

    February 11, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    In your defense, it is important to stress that Jesus obeyed the Law as man, not as God only.

  83. Ron Henzel said,

    February 11, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Tim,

    On the surface it may seem like a clever strategy to use one aspect of Reformed theology (the imputation of Adam’s sin) to discredit another (the republication of the Covenant of Works under Moses), but it doesn’t work. Moses, Jesus, and Paul were all clear on this issue. Paul in fact appeals to Moses’ clarity when he writes, “For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them” (Rom. 10:5, ESV). Paul’s context in Rom. 10 is clear: salvation. He identifies Lev. 18:5 as a text that presents eternal life as the outcome of keeping the Law perfectly, and it is obviously hypothetical in both its original OT and later NT contexts.

    The Lord Jesus is even clearer:

    And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “… If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”

    [Matt. 19:16-17, ESV]

    Again, a very clear statement of a hypothetical offer of salvation by works. The fact that it is actually impossible for sinners to accomplish is both the actual point of the Lord’s interaction with the rich young man in Matt. 19:16ff, and beside the point when attempting argue against the fact that such a hypothetical offer.

  84. Tim Wilder said,

    February 11, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    @ #79

    “Tim:

    You’re reading into what is a rather simple statement, and something that is not necessarily there. Hypothetical is not actual..”

    The Westminster paradigm is one of covenant headship. We are in Adam or we are in Christ. The idea that the covenant of works is republished in some “doable” way in an in-between covenant is a denial of the paradigm of two covenant heads. It is an “every man his own Adam” situation.

    The covenant of works is not doable because you are not offered the opportunity to be your own covenant head. The covenant of works is never “republished” in that sense. The idea of a republication of a doable covenant of works is a breaking of the paradigm of two covenant heads, just as the Federal Vision denial of the covenant of works is a breaking of that paradigm. If the Federal Vision is out of bounds because it is a “different paradigm” then so should be the teaching of the republication of a doable covenant of works.

    Saying it another way, the covenant of works is a covenant of federal headship given to the the federal head and imputed to those whom he represents. If you get your own doable covenant of works, then were not in Adam and are not in Christ and have no more hope of salvation than do the fallen angels including Satan himself.

    This is why Klinism is the equal and opposite error to the Federal Vision as a gospel destroying heresy.

  85. Reed Here said,

    February 11, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Tim: you are choosing to argue with me things I never said, or even imagined. Drop it.

    Said better: you’re not a dog, and I’m not shaking any bones in front of you.

  86. Vern Crisler said,

    February 11, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Tim,
    The term “unconditional” means it’s unconditional for us.

  87. Jeff Cagle said,

    February 11, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Dr. White (#53):

    Two followup questions on the exchange between Leithart and yourself:

    (1) To be sure I’m understanding: I am correctly understanding your argument that Heb. hen and Gr. charis are not limited to situations involving demerit, but rather that Eng. “grace” is only proper as a translation of those terms in situations involving demerit?

    And this would be a matter of convention, for the sake of avoiding confusion?

    What then do you make of Leithart’s contention that this convention is “too narrow”, signaling that he doesn’t wish to adopt the convention?

    (2) What do you make of the “strict justice” argument: that Adam’s hypothetical obedience would have been disproportionate to the reward?

  88. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    February 12, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Is it okay to say that I’ve read some non-FV writings by Peter Leithart and Doug Wilson and found them worthwhile, interesting, and edifying?

  89. Ron Henzel said,

    February 12, 2010 at 5:20 am

    Nearly a year ago, in commenting on the post titled “The Relationship of Moses to Adam,” David Rothstein and I supplied quotations from the works of the 19th century Scottish Reformed theologian James Buchanan (1804-1870) in which he taught the republication (or re-exhibition) of the Covenant of Works in the Mosaic Law. Those quotations can be found in comment 19 and comment 23.

  90. Tim Wilder said,

    February 12, 2010 at 7:57 am

    @ #89

    It is interesting that the role James Buchanan gives to his republished covenant of works of teaching the reality and seriousness of sin before the standard of a holy God, is exactly the role the Norman Shepherd gave to the law of Moses in a sermon I heard in preach on the topic, even though he did not believe in the covenant of works.

    I don’t see any doable, hypothetical opportunity to be your own covenant head.

    It just goes to show, doesn’t it, how ambiguous a term “republication” is, and how different people mean different things but it? For some it means preaching the demands of the law, for others, the reactivation of the old covenant.

  91. Ron Henzel said,

    February 12, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Francis Turretin (1623-1687) wrote:

    I. The opinions of theologians vary on this subject. Some maintain that the Sinaitic covenant was a covenant of works; others maintain that it was a mixture of the covenant of works and the covenant of grace; others that it was properly neither a covenant of nature nor of grace, but a third covenant distinct from both in its whole species and was instituted to minister to the covenant of grace (and for this reason properly called “subservient”). Finally others (with whom we agree) say that it was a covenant of grace, but promulgated with the law and lying under it (which was sanctioned in the unusual manner of terror and servitude, in accordance with the state of the Israelite people and the age of the church at that time).

    [...]

    V. However, we recognize only two covenants, mutually distinct in species (to wit, the covenant of works, which promises life to the doer; and the covenant of grace, which promises salvation to believers). Although we confess that the Sinaitic covenant as to mode of dispensation was different from both, still as to substance and species we deny that it constituted a third covenant and hold that it was nothing else than a new economy of the covenant of grace. It was really the same with the covenant made with Abraham, but different as to accidents and circumstances (to wit, clothed as to external dispensation with the form of a covenant of works through the harsh promulgation of the law; not indeed with that design, so that a covenant of works might again be demanded with the sinner [for this was impossible], but that a daily recollection and reproaching of the violated covenant of works might be made; thus the Israelites felt their sin and the curse of God besides hanging over them and acknowledged the impossibility of a legal righteousness; driven away from that hope, they so much the more ardently thirsted for the righteousness of redemption and were led along by the hand to Christ). Hence in it there was a mixture of the law and the gospel: the former to strike terror into sinners and press upon the neck of the stiff-necked (schlērotragēlou) people; the latter to lift up and console the conscience contrite and overpowered by a sense of sin.

    [Institutes of Elenctic Theology, (P&R Publishing, 1997), 3:262-263. Bolding of text is mine.]

  92. rfwhite said,

    February 12, 2010 at 8:31 am

    87 Jeff C: how about I interact with you over at your blog?

  93. GLW Johnson said,

    February 12, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Wes has another example of what the FV is all about – a conversation with a FV pastor. If this stuff does take root in the PCA it won’t take a generation before the gospel is eclipsed and the Reformation forgotten.

  94. Jeff Cagle said,

    February 12, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Dr White (#92): Ready to go.

  95. Tim Wilder said,

    February 12, 2010 at 9:39 am

    @ #91

    I suppose the intention is to say you agree with Turretin.

    The Kerux article says this:

    “Since the Irons trial, debate and discussion over the republication issue has continued from a variety of voices. Perhaps the most noteworthy has been D. Patrick Ramsey’s article in Westminster Theological Journal (66:2 [2004] 373-400) entitled, “In Defense of Moses: A Confessional Critique of Kline and Karlberg.” Ramsey argues that Kline and Karlberg contradict the Westminster Confession in their mature teaching regarding the republication of the covenant of works in the time of Moses. His key historical-theological argument is that Kline and Karlberg articulate a position that is essentially identical to the “subservient covenant” view of John Cameron, Moise Amyraut, and the later “Amyraldians”—a view he maintains was explicitly rejected by the Standards.”

    So their point is that the republication of the covenant of works, as it is now being taught, is equivalent to the subservient covenant view that Turretin is rejecting.

  96. Tim Wilder said,

    February 12, 2010 at 10:21 am

    @ # 91

    And here is part of one of your quotes from Buchanin:

    “In so far as the law given by Moses was a republication of the covenant of works, it had no power to give peace to the sinner’s conscience, and no tendency to liberate him from the bondage of his fears. On the contrary, it was fitted and designed to convince him of his guilt and danger,—to impress him with an awful sense of God’s unchangeable rectitude and justice, and to teach him, that “by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.””

    Compare this with the new republication of the covenant of works doctrine:

    “David VanDrunen also says that in the Mosaic covenant “God did not enforce the works principle strictly, and in fact taught his OT people something about the connection of obedience and blessing by giving them, at times, temporal reward for relative (imperfect) obedience” (301, n. 30).” quote from Kerux, p. 27.

    For Buchanan, the republication of the covenant is the proclamation of the law the precedes the proclamation of the gospel. It is God’s perfect standard, before which man fall short, and is in need of some one who will take his place.

    In the new doctrine of republication the law is a relative standard that they can live up to. It is not the proclamation of the law of pre-evangelism, to show man’s sin and need.

  97. Vern Crisler said,

    February 12, 2010 at 10:32 am

    #95
    No, Kerux is criticising the first option “that the Sinaitic covenant was a covenant of works.”

    I don’t think they discuss the tertium quid view. Their argument is against “the revisionist Kline paradigm, articulated on all the controverted points to define the Mosaic covenant ‘in some sense’ as a covenant of works. But not just a covenant with ‘thou shalt’ and ‘thou shalt not’ works codified; rather a covenant which ‘republishes’ the Adamic covenant of works at Mt. Sinai.” From KERUX essay, p. 4.

    http://www.kerux.com/pdf/Kerux%2024.3%20(Dec%202009).pdf

    As far as I can determine the Kerux group holds to the traditional view that the Mosaic covenant is a species of the covenant of grace. The reductio of this view, of course, is theocratic politics. To be logical anyone who believes that the Mosaic covenant is an administration of the covenant of grace must also be a theonomist.

    It is also easy to see in Turretin’s quote why Lutherans believed the Reformed were confusing law & gospel in their covenant theology. The tertium quid idea holds that the Mosaic covenant was “added” (as Paul says) to the covenant of grace — the Abrahamic covenant. IOW it was not a species, but an addition.

  98. Tim Wilder said,

    February 12, 2010 at 10:42 am

    @ #97

    “I don’t think they discuss the tertium quid view.”

    They go on about for many pages, but you don’t think they discuss it.

  99. Ron Henzel said,

    February 12, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Brenton C. Ferry published a reply to Ramsey titled, “Cross-Examining Moses’ Defense: An Answer To Ramsey’s Critique Of Kline And Karlberg,” in WTJ 67:1 (Spring 2005) 163-168. Unfortunately, I do not have a copy of it yet.

  100. Vern Crisler said,

    February 12, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    #98
    Page #s ?

  101. Vern Crisler said,

    February 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    I see something on pages 80, 97ff. Kerux says the Amyraldian view is that the Mosaic covenant is “distinct in essence from both the covenant of works and the covenant of grace.” The view is summarized to the effect that Israel was under the Abrahamic covenant for salvation and under the Mosaic covenant for land inheritance.

    They quote Turretin as arguing Israel couldn’t be under two different covenants at the same time. If they have quoted Turrettin correctly, it seems that Turretin is claiming the Amyraldians are teaching Israel was under two different covenants in regards to salvation — whereas it seems the Amyraldians were distinguishing salvation from land inheritance.

    If on the other hand if Turretin did not misunderstand the Amyraldian distinction, then he has committed a fallacy. He has not not properly distinguishing between collective and distributive.

    The Abrahamic covenant of grace is made with individuals (distributive), but the Mosaic covenant was made with a nation (collective). So it’s easy to see how one can live under two different covenants — Turretin to the contrary nothwithstanding.

    You appear to think the Amyraldian three-covenant “subservient” view is somehow relevant to Kline, Fesco, et al. view, but I don’t really see it. Thus it is wrong to claim that “their point is that the republication of the covenant of works, as it is now being taught, is equivalent to the subservient covenant view that Turretin is rejecting.”

    Kline, et al. are saying that the Mosaic covenant is in a sense a covenant of works. That is not the tertium quid view, which sees the Mosaic covenant as unique, neither a grace covenant, nor a works covenant (except for Christ).

    I don’t want the tertium quid view to be confused with the Amyraldian or Arminian or Socinian views. Apparently their ideas involved denials that the 10 commandments apply under the New Covenant, or whether the Old Testament saints were saved, etc. I don’t know what they believed, not having spent much time with Amyraldian theologians.

    The tertium quid view is simply that the Mosaic covenant (not the moral law) was a national covenant, being neither a covenant of grace nor a covenant of works. This protects against both theocratic views as well as introverted Christianity (Thornwellism).

  102. David deJong said,

    February 12, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    #97
    “To be logical anyone who believes that the Mosaic covenant is an administration of the covenant of grace must also be a theonomist.”

    ???

  103. Tim Wilder said,

    February 12, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    They start in at about p. 22. Re: Ramsey, “His key historical-theological argument is that Kline and Kalrberg articulate a position that is essentially identical to the “subservient covenant” view of John Cameron, Moise Amyraut, and the later “Amaraldians”” This section concludes on page 25.

    Around page 80 they cover Turretin’s dicussion of the Amyraldian covenant theology.

    Then the topic is taken up again in the section that begins on page: 91, Amyraldian, Lutheran, Or Reformed? and runs through page 101.

  104. Tim Wilder said,

    February 12, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    To bring all this back to the posted that started this: We have first of all John Murray departing from the confessional view in trying recast the covenant of works idea differently. Then Meredith Kline makes a correction and adds worse errors in the opposite direction. Next comes Norman Shepherd, a Murray follower, who goes back the other way, but really goes to extremes. Since then we have the Federal Vision and others developing Shepherd’s errors, and the “hidden dragon” developing Kline’s errors. On top of this comes the flowering of new liberal theologies like the New Perspectives on Paul and a general post-modern cultural trend that give people an affinity for vague and ambiguous alternatives to systems like that of federal theology.

    Meanwhile, back in Grand Rapids, the early part of the century saw much eccentricity, and an objective covenant theology emerging that anticipated some of the Federal Vision ideas with Arminianizing common grace ideas, and in reaction there was the Protestant Reformed theology which denied common grace and along with it the covenant of works that they thought grounded the common grace idea. (They claim to be the first and most genuine opponents of the Federal Vision, while James Jordan would cite Hoeksema in support of his views.)

    Then there was the Dutch invasion, mainly to Canada, by followers of Schilder who in this continent ran wild with his ideas.

    Now add in the broad evangelical squishes, and you have most of the teaching elders in the the PCA, OPC, etc. in one of these factions.

    So why can the Federal Vision be held accountable for deviation from the confessional standards? Well, why them in particular? It is because they put forward a “different paradigm”? Well, why them in particular? I would not say the Murray went so far a a “different paradigm”, but probably all the others have.

  105. GLW Johnson said,

    February 13, 2010 at 6:44 am

    TW
    With all due respect, you don’t have clue what you are talking about when it comes to Kline.

  106. watchblack said,

    February 13, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Does any critic of Kline actually understand Kline? To broaden the scope of this post, has anybody noticed that in debates where orthodoxy is on the line, whether it be Protestant, Evangelical, Reformed or Confessional orthodoxy, the one(s) being criticized always or almost always pulls out the “misrepresentation” card, along with the 9th commandment card? It seems that everyone is within the bounds of what whatever bounds they want to be in because any attempt at saying otherwise is met with “you just don’t understand.”

    Patrick

  107. David Gray said,

    February 13, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    >Does any critic of Kline actually understand Kline?

    Sounds like the FV.

  108. Ron Henzel said,

    February 14, 2010 at 5:03 am

    Patrick,

    I think the more pertinent question is, “Does any critic of Kline actually read Kline?”

  109. David Gray said,

    February 14, 2010 at 7:06 am

    >I think the more pertinent question is, “Does any critic of Kline actually read Kline?”

    Maybe like the FV?

  110. Reed Here said,

    February 14, 2010 at 7:13 am

    Nah, Jordan is devotional reading. ;-)

  111. Reed Here said,

    February 14, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Patrick, #106: as long as the “you don’t understand” is followed by a sincere effort to be understood, its not a problem. To bring it back to Lane’s point, that is one of the things I’ve appreciated about the FV-leaning folks who participate here.

    I’m not too bothered by “nope, you’re not getting it, and sorry I don’t have time right now to help.” Such a response does not hinder me from fulfilling my calling.

    Further, it depends on significance of the subject matter. Some intramural debate topics are less inimical to the truth than others.

    Lane’s point is that this has been a recurrent and consistent theme from the main FV proponents (I would add, ever since the Knoxville Colloquim). It has become, not simply an observable issue to be dealt with (i.e., common to all conversations), but a mainstay argument, often the lead off argument setting the tone for any further exchange.

    It is not very conducive to effective interaction when one party (pro-FV) begins with the assumption that the other (con-FV) just doesn’t get, and probably never will.

  112. GLW Johnson said,

    February 14, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Doug Wilson , in his continuing defense of the FV,chides Roger Nicole for suggesting that the imputation of the active obedience of Christ is part of the classical Reformed tradition. Now Wilson is quick to tell us that he wholeheartedly affirms this doctrine as well,but… to suggest, as Nicole seems to imply, that discarding the doctrine might prove fatal to substance of classical Reformed theology …well this would cast a foul smelling pell-mell on Wilson’s colleagues in the FV who not only ridcule the doctrine but heap distain of the equally important teaching of the Westminster divines ,the doctrine of the Covenant of Works ( which Wilson also claims to believe…sort of ). All of which brings me back to my defense of my late esteemed professor Meredith Kline who rightly argued that the doctrine of the COW goes hand in glove with the doctrine of IAOC -reject one and the other becomes a casuality as well-something the majority of the Westminster divines understood as well, but does not appear to bother DW in the least.

  113. Tom Thistleton said,

    February 14, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Gary,

    We don’t know each other but I have been reading comments by you on various blogs for a long time now. I’m wondering what is it about Doug Wilson that causes you to find a way to get his name into almost every post you make? Words like “obsessed” & “vendetta” come to mind every time I read one of your posts. I’ve read many FV critics and none seem to exhibit this tendency. I might be wrong but I’d say this is evidence of a problem/sin that ought to be addressed for your own good.

    Something to think about …

  114. Ron Henzel said,

    February 14, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Tom,

    Although he’d probably deny it, Doug Wilson is the de facto Grand Poobah of the FV. I fail to see any inappropriateness—let alone sin—in bringing him up in a comment to a post about the FV, and considering the content of Lane’s post here and the direction in which the comment thread has gone, as I review the comments Gary has made regarding His Dougness (as I believe Scott Clark has called him) they all seem quite pertinent to the specific aspects of the FV that have been addressed.

    As one of my favorite latter-day prophets, Steve Brown, has been known to say: very often our business in dealing with the supposed sins of others ends at the tips of our noses.

  115. Tom Thistleton said,

    February 14, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Ron,

    Did you even read my post? I wasn’t just referring to this thread in which it might be quite appropriate to refer to Doug. I was referring to almost everything I’ve read from Gary over the last couple years. There’s an obsession with him that is not characteristic of the many other FV critics I’ve read, including Lane.

    So, nice try but no cigar.

  116. David Gray said,

    February 14, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    >As one of my favorite latter-day prophets, Steve Brown, has been known to say: very often our business in dealing with the supposed sins of others ends at the tips of our noses.

    Indeed.

  117. February 14, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Tom,

    What Gary may or may not do on other discussions doesn’t appear to be relevant to the posted topic. If you have a point relative to the topic, please make it.

  118. GLW Johnson said,

    February 15, 2010 at 5:46 am

    TT
    I know DW. I invited him to contribute to the book I co-edited with Fowler White, ‘Whatever Happened to the Reformation?’ (P&R,2001). I also invited him to speak here in Mesa, Az. back in the late 90’s on Recovering the lost tools of Learning. I wrote to him on three different occasions soon after the Auburn Ave. conference went public urging him to take whatever steps necessary to disassociate himself from it. He refused and dug it (no pun intended). DW never misses an opportunity to take shots at the FV mainstream critics as his on going posts on the TableTalk issue devoted to assessing N.T.Wright will testify.
    DW is the one person who could and should have reigned in the FV-but he continues his dogged defense of this schismatic bunch . He is quick to jump up and blast the FV critics in the PCA but has never once reprimanded in similar fashion any of the advocates of the FV regardless of how far out in left field they might be. As for DG, well, I have come to expect this from him. He is a funny guy.

  119. Jim said,

    February 15, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I have only read bits and pieces of books and articles from the authors within this ongoing debate (i.e. FV and FV critics); therefore, I am not going make any major critical statements concerning anyone’s theology here. I would like to point out to the author of this post, as others have done elsewhere in this debate, that the FV is not monolithic. In your post, you treat the FV proponents this way. In your future critical posts, please point out a specific FV proponent and what part of his theology you take issue with. In addition, has it ever occured to you that part of this debate revolves around the relationship between Biblical and Systematic Theology? This question is just food for thought:-)

  120. Reed Here said,

    February 15, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Jim: yes. A review of the archives here will show you that this angle has been discussed quite fully.

    As to the monolithic perspective, no, we’re not ignorant of the fact that there are variations amongst the FV advocates. Note that Lane is not monolithic. He says “some FV guys.” They are also self-described as a group of thinkers with substantial common convictions. Lane’s description is a fair summary of the history.

    The “you don’t understand” retort is rather common, and often the first one offered by an FV advocate (I’m generalizing, not “monolithizing”). That it continues to be repeated, even after extensive interaction demonstrates that there is a fundamental disconnect on one side, or the other, or both.

  121. Jeff Cagle said,

    February 15, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Dr. White (#92): It may have gotten lost in the thread, but I’m still interested in your thoughts on grace and justice, if you have a moment for it. This link will get you to the discussion area I’ve set up.

    Thanks,
    Jeff Cagle

  122. rfwhite said,

    February 15, 2010 at 10:23 am

    121 Jeff Cagle: thanks; not forgotten; just looking for that moment you mention. :-)

  123. Ron Henzel said,

    February 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Bob,

    Regarding your comment 117: I’m not sure how much you can tell a person who thinks he’s in charge of the cigars.

  124. Tom Thistleton said,

    February 15, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Ron, you’re quite a crack-up!

    Gary, I know that you know Doug. I do as well. It just seems that your FV criticisms always get personal and always involve Doug. Maybe he could’ve and should’ve done more (I’d guess none of us know what he’s done in private) … but most people involved in this discussion/debate would agree that while Doug takes a few positions in this area that some might disagree with, he is generally in the Reformed mainstream, or awfully close to it on these issues. So, please consider leaving the personal animus behind and just dealing with the meat of the issues at hand.

  125. Ron Henzel said,

    February 16, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Tom,

    The meat of the issue at hand, as I read Lane’s post above, is that because Federal Vision theology deviates substantially from the Reformed confessions, its promoters are forced to resort to deliberately ambiguous terminology in order to smuggle it into Reformed churches. In the FV invasion of the PCA, Doug Wilson has provided cover fire so that operatives can sneak across the battle line while he pompously portrays himself as above the fray. By highlighting this deceitful role that Doug Wilson has played in this process, Gary has made a pertinent contribution to this conversation. You, on the other hand, by trying to make this about Gary’s “personal animus” are working to take the heat off Wilson.

    Shame on you!

  126. GLW Johnson said,

    February 16, 2010 at 6:24 am

    TT
    Why is it that my criticisms of DW are the result of ‘personal animus’ but DW snide remarks about Scott Clark, Lig Duncan, Guy Waters or the various PCA presbyteries are not? Please take time to point out any I have said about DW that isn’t factual. Speaking of things to notice, why do FV defenders always resort to playing the “you are being mean and nasty” card when they can’t deal with the meat of the issue at hand?

  127. David Gray said,

    February 16, 2010 at 8:14 am

    >Shame on you!

    Now that’s ironic…

  128. Tom Thistleton said,

    February 16, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Ron, You continue to crack me up.

    Gary, let’s assume you’re right about the “snide remarks”. Two wrongs don’t make a right, right?

    While Doug makes the occassional remark about the people you listed, I don’t think anyone would say that characterizes what he writes on the whole … just go read his blog. He doesn’t come across as a man with a personal axe to grind.

    You, on the other hand, seem to find it difficult to ever post about FV without getting in a dig or two at Doug. That’s the personal element that is troubling. My point is simple, criticize FV all you want, but leave the personal animus behind. It’s not good for your soul.

  129. Towne said,

    February 16, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Mr. Thistleton (#128):

    This recent example of Mr. Wilson’s, from the 29th of last month:

    “some of the gnats-stranglers in the PCA, resolved to make the denomination look like a collection of rubes and cornpones (which it is not), have continued to go after Leithart.”

    and that sort of frothing is not at all infrequent with Mr. Wilson. Note here how the classic “parenthetical retraction” is employed to brilliant effect to get in an extra “shot”.

    And lest you reply, “But that is only one example,” suffice it to say that life is too short to waste one’s time gathering vitriol for display.

  130. GLW Johnson said,

    February 16, 2010 at 9:56 am

    TT
    All right, just how are you related to the good bishop of Moscow?

  131. tim prussic said,

    February 16, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Pr. Lane, there’s truth in your assertion. I think that most FV writers have issues with vagueness. I think that many FV critics have issues with obtuseness. I still consistently read FV critics producing the same Trinity-Review type critiques of the FV. It seems that there prideful unwillingness to communicate on both sides.

    Towne, #129, Pr. Wilson actually paints a better picture of the PCA in that post you reference (and refer to as frothing… very silly on your part) than I personally think the PCA has recently earned. The apparent overthrowing of presbyteries within the PCA via ecclesiastical politics leaves an unhappy stain on the PCA for those of us on the outside. This type of thing would make me think three or four times before joining a PCA body.

  132. greenbaggins said,

    February 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Tim, surely you do not mean my critiques of the FV, which are just about the only ongoing critiques on the internet, recently?

    As to the Presbyteries, there is a built-in review of Presbytery’s actions. They can be overturned. That is built in to the PCA BCO. The court of appeal in the SJC is precisely what this is for. Presbyteries err. I believe they have erred in the case of Steve Wilkins, Peter Leithart, and now also in my own Presbytery. If Presbyteries’ decisions could not be overturned, there would be no recourse for those who believe that the Presbytery erred. What looks to you like ecclesiastical politics looks to me like church discipline. Presbytery is not the be-all and end-all of the process.

  133. ray kikkert said,

    February 16, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Tim writes …”I still consistently read FV critics producing the same Trinity-Review type critiques of the FV. It seems that there prideful unwillingness to communicate on both sides.”

    Communication has been ongoing for some time … thing is … FV adherants will not be satisfied till their heretical views are considered “reformed”. As long as critiques against the FV heresy will not be silenced … we will continue to hear the whining and babbling of the FV advocate that such as we are “prideful” and “unwilling” ….

  134. Tom Thistleton said,

    February 16, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Gary,

    How about just a minute or two of personal reflection? Is there something to what I’m saying? Maybe not, but a little reflection might do some good. I’ve often found that it’s very rare for there not to be some truth in what someone else observes about me and something for me to learn in the process.

    Ray, quit with the “heresy” talk. FV might not be Reformed but it certainly isn’t heretical.

  135. GLW Johnson said,

    February 16, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    TT
    Have ever posted similar pietistic thoughts over at DW’s blog? I would also recommend you visit Wes White’s blog and read his extensive analysis of the FV and Norman Shepherd who is the fountain for the FV.

  136. Ron Henzel said,

    February 16, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Tom,

    You are clearly a partisan in this battle, and you certainly show favoritism for the wrong side in a very boorish, overbearing, and even snide manner. According to Merriam-Webster, your pet word “snide” can mean (1) false, deceptive, or dishonest, (2) unworthy of esteem, or (3) slyly disparaging or insinuating. Despite your insinuations, nothing that Gary has written about Doug Wilson qualifies under any of these definitions. The closest thing an FV apologist such as yourself might quibble with could perhaps be wrung out of his remark about “the Covenant of Works ( which Wilson also claims to believe…sort of )”, but the fact of the matter is that while Wilson claims to believe in two covenants, he signed the “Joint Federal Vision Profession” which explicitly denies the Covenant of Works, and then proceeded to obfuscate by drawing a ludicrously false distinction between works and obedience. You, on the other hand, not content to deal with the issues, have insinuated that Gary’s remarks about Wilson are symptoms of a spiritual problem and nothing more. If these statements crack you up as my previous ones apparently did, it’s obviously because you entered this discussion pre-cracked. For all your self-serving disclaimers (“I’ve often found…” blah blah blah) you certainly haven’t actually displayed the same level of self-reflection you’ve required from Gary.

    Once again a poor, besieged FV leader is being assailed by those who don’t really understand him and are bent on exaggerating his shortcomings. It is difficult to tell what is worse, the pomposity of the Bishop of Idaho or the sycophantic dismay of his cheerleaders. But given all this whining about “irony” and being “troubled,” in this comment thread, at least, it’s been the cheerleaders.

  137. ray kikkert said,

    February 16, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    “Ray, quit with the “heresy” talk. FV might not be Reformed but it certainly isn’t heretical.”

    When the FV recants …full scale… of it’s prostituting of the doctrine of justification … then that will be a real possibility.

    It would also help if Jordan and Leithart would give up of their mythical and fuzzy analogies to describe biblical events so that people do not go looking for salvation via the likes of Frodo … instead of the Son of God.

  138. Tom Thistleton said,

    February 16, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Ron,

    Who introduced the word “snide” into this discussion? Go look through the comments, it wasn’t me.

    BTW, I’m not the one using language like “Bishop of Moscow”. I don’t find that kind of language helpful in these discussions even though I’m sure it feels good to write.

  139. Tom Thistleton said,

    February 16, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Gary,

    I’ve read most of what you refer to. I’m not making a pro or anti FV argument here. I am sympathetic to some of what would be considered FV and I appreciate a number of the arguments made by critics. My point is different and I think you know that.

  140. David Gray said,

    February 16, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    >You are clearly a partisan in this battle, and you certainly show favoritism for the wrong side in a very boorish, overbearing, and even snide manner.

    More irony.

  141. GLW Johnson said,

    February 16, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Fess up Tom, you are the shadow of the bishop of Moscow! By the way, are you familiar with Sean Garity? Boy, would that make for an interesting meeting.

  142. GLW Johnson said,

    February 16, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    It’s Gerety.

  143. Vern Crisler said,

    February 16, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    #131
    “I still consistently read FV critics producing the same Trinity-Review type critiques of the FV. It seems that there prideful unwillingness to communicate on both sides.”

    No, in order to be the same, they’d have to interlard a whole lot of hateful talk against Van Til.

  144. Ron Henzel said,

    February 16, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    David,

    As Inigo Montoya said to Vizzini in The Princess Bride: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  145. David Gray said,

    February 16, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    >As Inigo Montoya said to Vizzini in The Princess Bride: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    Finally a light touch. Well done!

  146. Ron Henzel said,

    February 16, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Gary,

    Have you noticed how Tom focuses on almost anything but the actual topic under consideration? I don’t recall Gerety having that problem.

  147. David Gray said,

    February 16, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    >I don’t recall Gerety having that problem.

    He had different problems.

  148. jared said,

    February 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Can we close this thread yet? It hasn’t been useful for about 50 comments now.

  149. Tom Thistleton said,

    February 16, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Ron,

    The FV discussion has been hashed and re-hashed on this blog and others for a long time. I see very little profit in it at this point.

    While my focus might not be the “topic under consideration”, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth consideration, at least for the person in view.

    Gary,

    No interest in meeting Sean. I believe Lane has banned him from this blog and that’s a good thing – and that judgment has nothing to do with his views on FV.

    On the topic at hand, you can continue to make cracks aimed at me and/or Doug, that’s fine. But, I’d again ask you to step back and see if there might be something to what I’m saying.

  150. Ron Henzel said,

    February 17, 2010 at 4:54 am

    One small erratum: regarding my comment 91, the citation was from volume 2, rather than volume 3 of Turretin.

  151. GLW Johnson said,

    February 17, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Tom
    Are you a Pentecostal? I don’t know how else to describe your claim to be able to discern my emotional hostlity from my comments about DW. You would make a very poor literary editor since sarcaism escapes you.

  152. Jesse Pirschel said,

    February 17, 2010 at 8:21 am

    ” You would make a very poor literary editor since sarcaism escapes you.”

    Whoops!

  153. Tom Thistleton said,

    February 17, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Gary,

    Not claiming to discern your “emotional hostility”, just observing a long established pattern and asking a question.

  154. Ron Henzel said,

    February 17, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Tom,

    I, for one, took your charge of “personal animus” on Gary’s part as being in keeping with Merriam-Webster’s second definition of “animus”: “a usually prejudiced and often spiteful or malevolent ill will.” I don’t see how you can dissociate that from “emotional hostility.” You are not “just observing a long established pattern and asking a question,” you are charging someone with sin.

  155. Tom Thistleton said,

    February 17, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Ron,

    I think that’s fair although charging is a little strong. I would say I originally posted because I was hoping that Gary would consider whether there was sin involved, and if so, that he would deal with it. I don’t know whether there is or not but I would say that the pattern, established over a couple years of posting, would indicate that it’s certainly a possibility.

  156. Jeff Cagle said,

    February 17, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Gary, it would be fair to say that you have a high frustration level with DW, right? And that your frustration is evident?

  157. Reed Here said,

    February 17, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Guys, alright, enough. I appreciate Tom’s concern, and the various efforts to help explain Gary’s behavior. I’ve think we’ve reached a point where we can say Tom asked a sincere question, and Gary gave a sincere “no” in response.

    Whether one agrees or not, Gary intentionally criticizes DW with a “serrated edge,” a use of what is good for the goose being good for the gander (in Gary’s judgment). That Gary does this here at GB regularly is nothing more than a fact that he has an “official” invite from Lane to do so (i.e., Gary has “moderator” status). If DW gave Gary the same privileges at his blog, I fully expect we’d see less of Gary’s comments here, and actually there.

    Enough on this side topic. Please let’s drop it.

  158. February 17, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    [...] 17, 2010 in Books, Covenant Theology, Heresy, Reformed Piety, Reformed Theology Lane Keister has posted a few thoughts here concerning the type of knee-jerk reaction which occurs whenever anyone criticizes their theology and [...]

  159. Joshua W.D. Smith said,

    February 22, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Oddly enough, Leithart does not actually say that “the FV Study Report fairly captured his work on justification,” contrary to Bob’s claim. What Leithart said was that the report contains a fairly accurate summary of ONE PAPER Leithart wrote, which he goes on to say was not even strictly on the “proper” use of justification, and thus not really “his work on justification,” since I assume Bob means only the proper meaning of the term, having rejected the FV’s use of this term for something besides the ordo salutis idea.

    Also, were the contributors to TLINOF intentional when they said that the Mosaic covenant is “in some sense” the CoW? If they state flatly that the Mosaic cov’t is the CoW, they are out of line with the confession. So, “in some sense” works for some but not others?

    What about Kline, when he said that the OT is not canon for the church? In context, he had his own very idiosyncratic definition of canon (corporate life-norms or something like that). Now, if that sentence is not put in context, it can be taken as a direct rejection of chapter 1 of WCF, and all the other Reformed confessions. But should it be?


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