How to React to a “Conversion” to Rome

Jason Stellman has tendered his resignation to his church and to the PCA. I learned about this late last week while at Review of Presbytery Records. I immediately began to email him begging him not to leave. Just today I read his post and the comments that have been posted there. Folks, how can I impress upon you the importance of honey and not vinegar at a time like this? Do you really think you can prevent him from swimming the Tiber by alienating him? PRAY FOR HIM, I beg you. Yes, I have to admit that I feel as though I’ve been kicked in the solar plexus, and am still trying to get air into my lungs. But it is sorrow and love in my heart that feels this way, not spite and anger. Be angry if you wish, readers, but please do not direct that anger towards Jason. It will not help matters one whit. Instead, join me in interceding with our all-powerful God in heaven for his soul, and for his family.

About these ads

173 Comments

  1. Joel S said,

    June 4, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Thank you for this great perspective and reminder. I do hope this will drive us to prayer for him, his family, his presbytery, and his church.

  2. PDuggie said,

    June 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    That is a wise and helpful reaction. Thanks Lane.

  3. Donnie MacLeod said,

    June 4, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Thank you Lane. This news is profoundly sad. May God in his mercy keep all of us from doctrinal error.

  4. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 4, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Lane: “Instead, join me in interceding with our all-powerful God in heaven for his soul, and for his family.”

    What do you think will happen to his soul if should swim the Tiber?

  5. greenbaggins said,

    June 4, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    TUAD, I don’t have the faintest idea what will happen to his soul, and I think it unwise to speculate. All I know is that he is in grave danger.

  6. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    “All I know is that he is in grave danger.”

    Lane, can you elaborate on this grave danger?

  7. Doug Sowers said,

    June 4, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Does this mean that Jason Stellman has admitted he was wrong to persecute Dr Litehart? This is stunning, as just about six months ago, he was the lead prosecutor against Dr Peter Litehart. Wow, I’m shocked and amazed!

  8. greenbaggins said,

    June 4, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    TUAD, I believe that the Roman church has perverted the gospel. Anyone who is saved in the Roman church is saved in spite of their doctrine, not because of it. To be in a communion that has perverted the gospel is dangerous to one’s soul.

    Doug, do you think it is possible that Jason still thinks he was correct to prosecute (not “persecute,” as you have erroneously written) Leithart? Maybe he thought Leithart should have left the PCA, but didn’t. Then, when he came to similar conclusions on justification, he thought he should leave. I can easily see a situation where he thinks he is being consistent.

  9. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 4, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    “Anyone who is saved in the Roman church is saved in spite of their doctrine, not because of it. To be in a communion that has perverted the gospel is dangerous to one’s soul.”

    I.e., In the face of danger, there’s still remains Heaven-bound hope for members of the Roman Catholic Church.

  10. rhology said,

    June 4, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    If people are really engaging in alienating behavior, it would probably be better to name names.

  11. greenbaggins said,

    June 4, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    That would be difficult to do, as some of them were anonymous. Rhology, I don’t allow anonymous comments on my blog, by the way.

  12. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 4, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    “TUAD, I believe that the Roman church has perverted the gospel. Anyone who is saved in the Roman church is saved in spite of their doctrine, not because of it. To be in a communion that has perverted the gospel is dangerous to one’s soul.”

    Lane, I don’t disagree. Or in other words, I agree.

    I’ve been thinking about something that’s an outstanding issue with regards to “perverting the Gospel” and/or “preaching and teaching a False Gospel.” If you, or anyone else, could provide their input it’d be much appreciated. It’s this: There are confessional Lutherans who say that “Baptism is Gospel.” They hold that their Lutheran Confessions teach Baptismal Regeneration. They baptise toddlers and infants, days old or weeks old, even.

    As far as I can discern, to say and teach “Baptism is Gospel” is a perversion of the Gospel, a False Gospel even. Some Protestants even proclaim and explain to Confessional Lutherans that Baptism is adding a work to the Gospel. And Confessional Lutherans deny the charge.

    Now I don’t really see non-Lutheran Protestants pronouncing the Judaizer Heresy anathema upon Confessional Lutherans for holding onto and teaching the perverted and false gospel of “Baptism is Gospel.”

    Are the souls of Confessional Lutherans in spiritual danger of being Hell-bound for their perverted and false gospel? Or are they exempt because they at least hold onto Sola Fide?

    There are many different ways to pervert the Gospel and preach and teach a False Gospel. If Catholics are in danger of Hell-Fire, are Confessional Lutherans in danger of Hell-Fire too?

  13. justsinner99 said,

    June 4, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    I agree with Lane that this is a very sad situation & one that should move us to prayer, not to making sport of it.

    A few of the comments in this thread seem to be leaning much more in the direction of the latter, IMO.

    And do we actually know with certainty where Jason is moving toward? Has he come out & said anything concrete? If not, it isn’t wise to speculate.

  14. michael said,

    June 4, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    I would not conflate the one, that is Stellman prosecuting Leithart and Stellman leaving the PCA. I would hope we would hold each process separately? And I also agree concurring it is unwise to speculate.

    We do have real devils all around. They are allowed to attack us to undo us according to the Wisdom and Grace of God and that for at least two reasons of His Goodness. One, as chastisement according to our sowning and reaping seeing God is not partial; and two, the other buffeting to strengthen the Faith we have graciously received from God Himself holding to it to the saving of our soul.

    Both kinds of attack have great benefit for the soul.

    I also want to amen your wisdom Lane in what you wrote about the soul being saved, whether or not they are in communion with a communion that is as you put it : “…Anyone who is saved in the Roman church is saved in spite of their doctrine, not because of it. To be in a communion that has perverted the gospel is dangerous to one’s soul. …”.

    Salvation is from the Lord and He saves people out of a variety of communions; communions with devils and mute idols; communion with false brethren that seem to be True; and communion with run of the mill rodent level humans such as barbarians and base humans! Our citizenship was secured before the foundation of the world so I hold to these verses from Philippians for myself and all who have the same citizenship:

    Php 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
    Php 3:21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

    I suppose the saying might be apropos here, that is, we, if we find ourselves in Communion with the Lord after we pass out of this life to the next, will be surprised who also is there and who isn’t? In this life people creep in unawares as we read about in Jude.

    God has sealed His anointed with the seal of the Holy Spirit. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. It is, I suppose, going to be found to be true what the Apostle Peter wrote, here, then, with regard to the day of our own salvation, too:

    1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
    1Pe 1:4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
    1Pe 1:5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

  15. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 4, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Salvation is from the Lord and He saves people out of a variety of communions; communions with devils and mute idols; communion with false brethren that seem to be True; and communion with run of the mill rodent level humans such as barbarians and base humans! Our citizenship was secured before the foundation of the world so I hold to these verses from Philippians for myself and all who have the same citizenship:

    Amen! I love the Doctrines of Grace.

  16. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 4, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Justsinner99: “And do we actually know with certainty where Jason is moving toward? Has he come out & said anything concrete? If not, it isn’t wise to speculate.”

    Do you think the title of Lane’s post is unwise:

    How to React to a “Conversion” to Rome

  17. June 4, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Stellman’s letter well sets out his views. He doesn’t say he’s going to Rome; there are one or two other bodies which might fit.

    On the other hand, has he considered the import of Paul’s farewell to the Ephesian elders which is far more than a moving personal incident in the Apostle’s life. Rather, Paul is committing the care of the church to the elders. That will not mean infallibility for them (some will depart from the faith) but it does mean that the apostolic message, the whole will of God, is to be guarded by them. We have that will in Holy Scripture.

  18. June 4, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I am surprised no one has brought up the first chapter of Galatians. Should Stellman repent and return, then God be praised; if not, let him be anathema.

  19. justsinner99 said,

    June 4, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    TUAD, the title may be a bit hasty, yes.

    Would it surprise me if it ended up being accurate? Of course not.

  20. andrew said,

    June 4, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    ???
    This is the same chap who was a big FV critic? How bizarre!

  21. olivianus said,

    June 4, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    What is the evidence that he is going to Rome?

  22. Doug Sowers said,

    June 4, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Nice point, Truth! I consider Jason Stellman a brother in Christ; after all, he hasn’t denied the Lord Jesus. He’s just not seeing Salvation in *our* neat, tight, catechized fashion. He’s like so many, who go to seminary, and think they have Salvation neatly figured out. Then along comes the FV, which challenges Jason’s neatly catechized formulations. (Or the way he “thought” he understood them) Hence the name JV squad, and priesthood of idiots.

    Suddenly Jason realized, *they* (the big bad FV) were making too much sense. He should have humbled himself sitting at Dr Litehart’s feet, learning from the man. But no! He was on the offensive, prosecuting a man far better than he! It’s taken a few months for his humiliation to sink in. But give him some credit, he now realized he was wrong! Unfortunately, he’s denying solo scriptura, making it obvious he never understood the doctrine in the first place.

    He’s a “lightweight” theologian, prosecuting a man far more experienced and knowledgeable about God’s Word, than he. Now, he’s so shook up he’s walking away from “reformed theology”, which is very sad indeed.

    I find this whole situation ironic: here you have the lead prosecutor against Dr Peter Litehart, (many who were accusing Litehart of swimming the Tiber’s) now confessing that it is *he*, not *Litehart*, who is out of step with the Westminster Standards. Could Lane be next? Remember the words of Roger the Curate? It’s looking more and more like the Douglas Wilson was prophetic with the title of his book “Reformed Is Not Enough”.

    Let’s start the debates!

    P.S. BTW Lane, he did apologize to Litehart.

  23. June 4, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Doug,

    Jason wrote a follow-up post about prosecuting Leithart. He did exactly the right thing. Bottom line is that Leithart can believe whatever he wants in the USA, but not as an officer in the PCA. Jason’s integrity in leaving the PCA, though it breaks my heart, set a shining example and direct challenge to the Federal Visionists, egalitarians, evolutionists, etc. in the PCA as I commented on his explanatory post.

  24. locirari said,

    June 4, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Reblogged this on Loci Rari: Uncommon Places and commented:
    Some thought’s on Jason Stellman’s crisis of faith from another PCA pastor. Considering that Jason Stellman struggled with Sola Fide, it’s a shame that many of his colleagues in presbytery also don’t recognize error in justification when they see it.

  25. June 4, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Jason recently had been making posts exalting his Marxist political philosophy. Not surprised, yet heartbroken he took this step.

  26. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 4, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    @ Doug Sowers, #22: “Nice point, Truth!”

    Thanks! Doug, what do you think of the following thesis?

    R2K Acolyte Swims the Tiber

    “I have nothing but sympathy for Mr. Stellman. I do not intend to gloat over the shipwrecking of his faith. However, I do intend to note that “ideas have consequences.”

    Mr. Stellman was a graduate from Westminster West R2K Seminary. Mr. Stellman had drank so deeply from that R2K well that he had even written a book supporting R2K. However what was a trickle in terms of his R2K theology became a Tiberian flood.

    R2K holds that Scripture alone is not the norm that norms all norms in the common realm. No sola Scriptura for the common realm for R2K where most of our living is done. If Scripture is not the norm that norms all norms for the common realm, where we do 99% of our living, how much deeper of a dive is it to find that Scripture alone also is not the norm that norms all norms in the the last 1% of our lives in the Redemptive realm? If Natural Law is the norm that norms all norms in the common realm then why not a Church as a norm that norms all norms in the Redemptive realm?

    Second, Thomistic Natural Law and the Nature vs. Grace divide that are identity markers of R2K have always been the stock and trade for Rome with its two paths to truth motif. Really, in crossing the Tiber, Mr. Stellman is really only returning home, as the philosophical dualism that informs R2K is Mother’s milk for Rome. Why go with the cheap imitation R2K when you can get the real McCoy with Rome?

    Of course the solas of the Reformation stand and fall together. If one gives up sola Scriptura one is sure to give up sola Fide, sola Christus, and Sola Gratia.

    But make no mistake about it. Mr. Stellman’s journey to Rome (or Constantinople) was greased by the Thomistic dualism theology that underlies the R2K project. I should not be surprised to be finding others who have embraced R2K taking the plunge.”

  27. Dean B said,

    June 4, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Doug

    Just so I understand you correctly, do you believe the difference between Stellman and Leithart deals with Sola Scriptura and not sola fide?

    Do you agree with Stellman’s position on sola fide here?
    While this is all accomplished entirely by God’s grace through the merits of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, it is at the same time not something that occurs through the imputation of an external and alien righteousness received through faith alone. Rather, as Paul says, God’s people are justified by a faith that works through love—itself the fruit of the Spirit—and with God’s law inscribed on our hearts and minds we sow to the Spirit and reap everlasting life.

    In your opinion, the difference between Rome and the FV is not on sola fide but merely Sola Scriptura?

  28. justsinner99 said,

    June 4, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    TUAD, would you happen to be an FV’er?

    As a graduate of WSCA, I personally don’t take kindly to the aspersions that you are casting on the entire seminary. 2K is not an official seminary position and it is not held by all (or even most) of the faculty.

    So many criticize 2K as being too “Lutheran”, but you say that it is the road to Rome? Strange.

    And, for the record, I do not hold to 2K.

  29. Zrim said,

    June 4, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    TUAD (channeling Bret), what in thee heck are you two going on about? The nature/grace distinction couldn’t be anymore wide between the Roman and confessional Protestant construal. The former is that grace perfects nature, the latter that grace renews nature. The former works in an ontological-metaphysical set of categories, the latter in moral-legal categories. Don’t you know any of this?

    Have you never heard of the medieval doctrine of the donum superadditum, i.e., that man was created with a certain deficiency in grace which was remedied before the fall with a “superadded gift” of grace? According to most medieval theologians, this “superadded gift” was lost in the fall. In such a scheme, the fall becomes not a primarily a violtion of God’s law but a fall from grace. They held this doctrine because they assumed the existence of a sort of chain of being between God and humanity with God at the top and us at the bottom. They conceived of the fundamental human problem not as a legal problem but as a lack of being or even a lack of divinity. Thomas Aquinas spoke of salvation as “divinization” and the Roman Church today (Catechism, 1994) teaches that God and humans both participate in “being.” The “chain of being” lives on in Roman theology. In the medieval (and Roman) view, human beings, by virtue of being human and finite, are in need of this grace. Hence Aquinas taught the “grace perfects nature.”

    But the Protestant view (Reformed and Lutheran) says that Scripture knows nothing of such a “chain of being” or of the sort of “grace” before the fall. The medieval view makes sin an ontological or metaphysical (i.e., our ‘being’ or creation) problem rather than a moral-legal problem.

  30. Doug Sowers said,

    June 4, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    No Dean, I wouldnt put it that way. And let me say, I’m praying for Jason and his family, as their going through this tough time. Knowing that God will cause even this, for his good.

  31. Doug Sowers said,

    June 4, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Excellent points Truth!

    Keep pressing on to the higher calling found in Christ Jesus!

  32. justsinner99 said,

    June 4, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    TUAD, I don’t know if the blog that you cited is your own or someone else’s. Whatever the case, the quote below is absurd at best or dishonest (or even libel) at worst.

    “R2K holds that Scripture alone is not the norm that norms all norms in the common realm. No sola Scriptura for the common realm for R2K where most of our living is done. If Scripture is not the norm that norms all norms for the common realm, where we do 99% of our living, how much deeper of a dive is it to find that Scripture alone also is not the norm that norms all norms in the the last 1% of our lives in the Redemptive realm? If Natural Law is the norm that norms all norms in the common realm then why not a Church as a norm that norms all norms in the Redemptive realm?”

    So those who hold to R2K do not hold to Scripture alone as being our only rule for faith & practice now? You won’t find a single solitary professor at “Westminster West R2K Seminary” who would say any such thing, nor would their writings support any such nonsense.

  33. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 4, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    “TUAD, would you happen to be an FV’er?”

    No.

    “2K is not an official seminary position and it is not held by all (or even most) of the faculty.”

    Is that so? Thank you for the good news!

  34. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 5, 2012 at 12:00 am

    “TUAD, I don’t know if the blog that you cited is your own or someone else’s.”

    Not mine. Here it is: R2K Acolyte Swims the Tiber.

  35. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 5, 2012 at 3:21 am

    Doug Sowers: “Excellent points Truth!

    Keep pressing on to the higher calling found in Christ Jesus!”

    Thanks Doug! Here’s yet another article that has remarks upon Jason Stellman’s R2K advocacy and his abandonment of Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura:

    (Excerpts) “The recent news of Jason Stellman’s defection from the Reformed faith (and his presumedly Roman destination, being now, it seems, effectually “called to confusion”) is gaining a good deal of attention. The “headline” quality of the story comes from the fact that Mr. Stellman was an ordained minister in the PCA and something of a spokesman for a peculiarly dogmatic brand of “Reformed Confessionalism.” Thus, in many ways, Mr. Stellman will be a trophy for Rome. Added to this, however, is the deep irony that Mr. Stellman had gained notoriety as the lead prosecutor in the heresy trial of Dr. Peter J. Leithart, a trial based on charges that Dr. Leithart fostered latently Roman theology. Such a curious turn of affairs is worth a closer examination.

    As we said, Mr. Stellman was not merely an ordained Presbyterian minister. He was, in fact, a disciple of Westminster Seminary in California and a very public proponent of their brand of ecclesiastical authority. He even has a published work defining and defending their particular understanding of the two kingdoms. While superficially and sometimes quite vocally opposed to Roman Catholicism in all its forms, this theology actually shares many of the primary assumptions of Roman Catholicism, most specifically their identification of the spiritual kingdom of Christ with the visible church and its polity, as well as the opposition they place between nature and grace. Thus the question that deserves our attention is that of ecclesiology, the definition of “the church” in systematic theology.

    Notice the very first reason that Mr. Stellman gives for his change:

    (Read it all at Clericalism or Concord? Why We Need Irenic Ecclesiology.

  36. Richard said,

    June 5, 2012 at 6:30 am

    It seems to me that Jason has recognised that he can no longer subscribe in good conscience to the Westminster Standards and so has resigned, which is entirely honourable. I see no indication that he intends to convert to Roman Catholicism so any comments implying that are simply false. Jason has questions, what is wrong with that? He has doubts over the traditional answers, again what is wrong with that? These must be difficult times for him and his family so I would urge you all not to add to his difficulties by being so utterly vindictive!

  37. johnbugay said,

    June 5, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Olivianus #21: “What is the evidence that he is going to Rome?”

    He cites, practically verbatim, uber-Roman Catholic Michael Liccione’s argument for papal infallibility:

    unless the church’s interpretation of Scripture is divinely protected from error at least under certain conditions, then what we call the “orthodox” understanding of doctrines like the Trinity or the hypostatic union is reduced to mere fallible human opinion.

  38. greenbaggins said,

    June 5, 2012 at 7:53 am

    He has told me that he is probably headed to Rome. It sounded like he was definitely on the way there, but wasn’t yet fully convinced that that was where he needed to be.

  39. GAS said,

    June 5, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Saw this one coming… for some the attraction to the idolatry of formalism is so great they cannot help but finally bowing down to Baal.
    (Nice summary Zrim)

  40. Bryan Cross said,

    June 5, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Zrim, (re: #29)

    In such a scheme, the fall becomes not a primarily a violtion of God’s law but a fall from grace.

    In Catholic theology, it is not an either/or. Adam’s sin was both a violation of God’s law, and a fall from grace.

    They held this doctrine because they assumed the existence of a sort of chain of being between God and humanity with God at the top and us at the bottom.

    No. They held it because they maintained the Creator-creature distinction, and that man’s natural happiness is infinitely below God’s supreme happiness, to which God has graciously invited man.

    They conceived of the fundamental human problem not as a legal problem but as a lack of being or even a lack of divinity.

    No, our “lack of divinity” was not a “problem.” It is just what it means to be a creature, and not the Creator.

    Thomas Aquinas spoke of salvation as “divinization” and the Roman Church today (Catechism, 1994) teaches that God and humans both participate in “being.”

    No, the CCC nowhere says that God “participates” in being. That would reduce God to a creature, who receives his being from some other being that is Being itself.

    In the medieval (and Roman) view, human beings, by virtue of being human and finite, are in need of this grace.

    No, that’s not true. That would make grace not gratuitous.

    Hence Aquinas taught the “grace perfects nature.”

    When you see ‘perfects,’ you immediately assume “fixes what is broken,” but St. Thomas isn’t limited to that sense of ‘perfects;’ because the meaning here is ‘elevates.’ Grace elevates nature, from perfect according to its nature, to a greater perfection by “participation in the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).

    I have treated this in more detail in “Protestant Objections to the Catholic Doctrines of Original Justice and Original Sin.”

    In the peace of Christ,

    - Bryan

  41. Zrim said,

    June 5, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Bryan, thanks. My point was to respond to this ridiculous suggestion by certain opportunitists that two kingdom theology is to blame for this deeply disturbing development in the ranks. Whether you agree or not, two kingdom theology is rooted in a confessionally Protestant tradition that sees a difference between the construals of grace perfecting nature and grace renewing nature, specifically taking the latter view in opposition to the former.

    Whatever is going on in Stellman’s mind, it’s hard seeing how a low view of nature or a metaphysical-ontological taxonomy over against a high view of nature or moral-legal taxonomy (I know, you disagree) is at play when he’s made it clear that it only has ever involved the formal and material principles of the Protestant Reformation. Would that the theonomic opportunists simply engage Stellman’s points instead of finding 2k devils under every doily.

  42. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 5, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    @ 31, Doug Sowers,

    Pressing onward, I have found a third article remarking upon the relationship between Stellman’s abandonment of Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura and his embrace of Radical 2K doctrine. This one is by Professor Carl Trueman, no less, and it’s titled:

    Thoughts on an Impending Conversion Which (Should Have Been) Foretold

    Excerpts: “If high ecclesiology is important, then one might also say that Two Kingdoms theology too has some importance: it is a healthy means of avoiding the excesses of Christian America, Theonomy, and the various social gospels – left and right – out there.

    Having said this, however, there is a breed of Christian out there for whom the doctrine of the church and 2K are all they ever seem to talk about. They are, it appears, the number one priorities for Christians. [Sounds like Darryl G. Hart and some of his disciples and like-minded associates, actually].

    Now, Paul certainly thought ecclesiology was important: it is why he spends so much time talking about it in his Pastoral Epistles. He also had very little to say about arts pastors. He never seems to have identified the Christian mind with being taken seriously by secular academics, intellectuals, and people who throw paint at blank canvases. But he did spend rather a lot of time talking about Christ. Indeed, his primary focus was always on the gospel and – crucially - he never conflated the gospel with the doctrine of the church or with opinions about the Christians relationship to secular society.

    The danger for high churchmen (and I consider myself to be a reasonably high churchman) is that we can forget that. We can end up thinking that the doctrine of the church is more important than the gospel or, worse still, that the doctrine of the church is the gospel. The tendency to make our issues – of which ecclesiology and 2K are just two examples — into the gospel is always a danger.

    When we identify the church with the gospel, it would seem to me that Rome is the natural outcome, since, for Rome, the church is, in effect, the gospel.

    My concern is that, when ecclesiology and 2K are all some people ever seem to talk about, the gospel is eclipsed or – even worse — ecclesiology and 2k ideology become not adjuncts to and inferences of the gospel, but the very gospel itself.

    Given this and given the concerns and emphases of Jason Stellman’s own thinking over the past years as stated on his blog, his move seems not so much a surprise as the logical outcome of a loss of Pauline emphases.

    (Read it all in its entirety. Dr. Trueman makes so many insightful observations.)

  43. Dave said,

    June 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Green Baggins is correct in asking us to pray for Jason Stellman. Please also pray for Michael Metzler. For those who don’t remember, Michael was the anti-FV poster boy who now claims that he is an atheist. Please pray for Michael’s family to be strong in the faith and that Michael would return.

    Reformed Musings @ 23 stating that Stellman’s actions are a shining example is incorrect. Jason’s letter (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3025441.Jason_J_Stellman/blog) shows that he had ample opportunity to remove himself from a position of extreme authority but chose not to. For example: . . .”one cannot simply “get out” of a process when he is mired in the middle of it.” Yes you can and those of us who have been in that situation know it.

    At best Jason’s actions as stated in his letter show mixed integrity and a continued desire to discredit even though he is leaving the PCA.

    So as you pray for Jason, please also pray for Michael and his family.

  44. jedpaschall said,

    June 5, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Lane,

    Thank you for this post, I know you have history with Stellman, as do some in the congregation I belong to, so you may have personal insight into what is going on that some of us simply aren’t privy to. What I find most reprehensible is the piling on, and speculation that is going on amongst some on the internet, it is almost as if some are delighting in what is most certainly a tragedy. Stellman was a pastor, and friend, and most importantly a brother to many in the Reformed community, and the loss is nothing less than heart wrenching.

    The “I told you so’s”, or accusations that this is because “2kers don’t love the gospel enough” (what Trueman asserts here is shameful, implicating anyone of a 2k stripe), or the “I saw this coming a while ago’s” seem to me like nothing less than grandstanding when we should be on our knees praying for Jason and his family, pleading that God would use his Spirit to convince him first, of the truth of his Word, and second, that his faith in Jesus Christ, being a gift from God, alone is able to secure his place before the Judge of all things. We walk on dangerous ground when we loose our confidence in Scripture and begin to place our hope in the words and feeble authority of men, who among many other things are hopelessly prone to err. If I were in danger of falling away, I would hope that my brothers would have the heart to plead with me, rather than kick me when I am in gravest danger – one wonders how Peter would have fared had he denied the Lord in the age of the internet. Yet like Peter, Jason may not yet be beyond recovery. Didn’t Christ pray this on his behalf:

    “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32)

    Stellman may have resigned from the PCA, and this is grave indeed, but he has not yet joined Rome, and we can faithfully pray that this never comes to fruition, that he might “seek the Lord while he may be found.”

  45. Mark Kim said,

    June 5, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    This is sad to hear and quite surprising (considering what Stellman has said on various doctrinal matters in the past).

    Usually news like these make me feel disappointed, but in this case I am saddened for Mr. Stellman because of his departure from the gospel and orthodoxy.

  46. sean said,

    June 5, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Jed,

    That’s an interesting take on the disparagement of 2k by Trueman. I completely glossed over that, I hope it wasn’t intended. He goes on to speak of 2k’s usefulness in avoiding the very error he’s impugning to Jason and he notes 2k’s usefulness as a counter measure to broader evangelicalism’s individualism. Still, your point is taken.

    I appreciate your hopefulness for Jason’s restoration as well. It’s difficult to ward off the cynicism I’m beginning to feel toward the whole bit, and how one man’s journey overshadows what must be the difficulties encountered by those brothers he leaves behind at Exile. Though they continue to speak glowingly of his behavior and comportment through it all, which must speak much more loudly than our/my discontent about the affair.

  47. justsinner99 said,

    June 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Jed, I read Trueman’s article and did not take what he said as a condemnation or criticism of 2K per se, only of those who make 2K the end-all, be-all of their teaching. Some seem (as he points out well) to let 2K practically eclipse (or swallow up) the gospel.

    Those things certainly could not be said of Dr. Horton or Dr. Clark.

    – Andy

  48. jedpaschall said,

    June 5, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Sean,

    Trueman’s analysis of Stellman may have some truth in it, but from what I have read of Jason, his main issues surround the formal and material issues of the Reformation. How he extrapolates Stellman’s struggles to the rest of the 2k crowd, and the vague and casual way in which he threw it out there is what put the burr in my saddle. It implicates anyone who might choose to write on a specific area of emphasis, what do we do with those who blog on the Hebrew Bible, or philosophy/apologetics, or eschatology, or gasp, church history? Surely the conversations on these blogs are going to revolve around those concepts, and that doesn’t mean that the participants are all the sudden in danger of apostasy because of a focus on one theological field of interest. Not everyone who follows eschatology becomes Harold Camping, and so on. Many of us follow our peculiar interests, yet still love the gospel and Scripture.

    Generally, I really enjoy Trueman’s work and I think he is a great asset to the Reformed community. But his analysis seemed hasty, filled with manufactured insight into someone that he doesn’t know personally (at least very well). I realize that Stellman is a public figure in the Reformed community, and as such, when something like this goes down, it is sure to send shockwaves through the community, and public discussion is fair game. However, I don’t think it is in good taste for those of us who do not know Jason personally, or very well, to try to read too much into the matter, as we do not know what his motivations are. Regardless of the fact that he is a public figure, he is also a man in need of a Savior, like the rest of us. Having had many friends and loved one’s turn their back on Christ and the church, I am sensitive to the issue admittedly, but some do come back, and some of the biggest obstacles that they have to overcome are dealing with the parting shots and barbs sent their way by those who should have been moved to prayer before criticism. Even where criticism is in order, it needs to be careful. For that Trueman’s was far more decent than some that I have seen regarding Stellman, but I still think he was careless and flippant in some of his observations.

  49. Zrim said,

    June 5, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    But, Andy, this is what is befuddling. The two kingdoms doctrine is precisely about preserving the unfettered gospel and aligning it with any worldly interests of men. Has Trueman forgotten that Stuart Robinson wrote a book called “The Church of God as an Essential Element of the Gospel”? Is this how Trueman wants to initially respond to a lamentable departure from the formal and magisterial principles of the Reformation, by giving cover to the various opportunistic theonomists and social gospelers and throwing fellow 2kers under the bus? Does he really want to suggest that a high ecclesiology leads to an infallible view? What an odd, odd way to respond to all of this.

  50. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 5, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    @46, JustSinner99: “Some seem (as he points out well) to let 2K practically eclipse (or swallow up) the gospel.”

    A good affirmation of Trueman’s observation.

  51. jedpaschall said,

    June 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Andy,

    With all due respect, if Trueman wants to make accusations like this:

    Having said this, however, there is a breed of Christian out there for whom the doctrine of the church and 2K are all they ever seem to talk about. They are, it appears, the number one priorities for Christians. Such advocates often seem, at least on the surface, to disdain the basic elements of Christian discipleship – fellowship, loving one’s neighbor, protecting and honoring the poor and weak – and spend a disproportionate amount of time talking about their pet ecclesiological and 2K projects.

    He needs to name names, otherwise he opens the door for every Tom, Dick, and Harry that opposes 2k is some fashion to feel vindicated that 2ker’s are somehow guilty of putting the gospel on the periphery. If he is making this assumption of those who blog on 2k matters, he is assuming this against the facts of the matter, as he does not, and cannot reasonably know where 2k bloggers stand with respect to the central elements of the faith simply because they are writing on a specific aspect of theology. Which 2kers actually “disdain the basic elements of Christian discipleship – fellowship, loving one’s neighbor, protecting and honoring the poor and weak”? Couldn’t someone who places inordinate focus on any of these, even discipleship loose sight of the fact that the gospel focuses on the crucified Christ who comes to save his people from their sin through faith in him? This is specifically the vague and sloppy accusations that are easy to write, and hard to produce any who are actually guilty of de-emphasizing these. For those who were close to Stellman’s ministry, or have heard him preach, it seems like these concerns were attended to while he was part of the PCA – so I find Trueman’s analysis sorely lacking here. Less so than other areas of the post, but, I am not sure what value there is in parsing out something when most of us simply do not have enough facts to comment competently – and right now those that have that competence are less given to analysis and more to prayer. There will be plenty of time to parse this out later, but Stellman’s time within the a true Church (Belgic 29) is running dangerously short.

  52. Richard said,

    June 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Trueman’s response, much as I respect him, was unfair to Stellman–to argue because the first topic one sees on his sermon web page is an old series on “Amillennialism and Two Kingdoms,” which indicates an imbalance, is really a silly argument. Yes, it was a hasty analysis.

  53. sean said,

    June 5, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    “He needs to name names, otherwise he opens the door for every Tom, Dick, and Harry that opposes 2k is some fashion to feel vindicated that 2ker’s are somehow guilty of putting the gospel on the periphery.”

    And for proof positive, see TUAD at #49

  54. justsinner99 said,

    June 5, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Zrim & Jed: Good points. I was just trying to point out that Trueman was not trying to paint all (or even most) 2Kers with the same broad brush. He may have opened the door for others to twist his words in that direction. though.

    He certainly did at least imply that there are others, as you point out.
    Perhaps he should clarify that aspect of what he said in order to safeguard the innocent from unnecessary attack.

    Seems like people are already going all over the board with this issue & using it to bad-mouth everything from 2K to WSCA to the entire PCA. (Yes, someone on another well-known forum did exactly that – implied that the PCA does not meet the qualifications of the three marks of the church because of this. ???)

  55. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 5, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Trueman: “Having said this, however, there is a breed of Christian out there for whom the doctrine of the church and 2K are all they ever seem to talk about. They are, it appears, the number one priorities for Christians. Such advocates often seem, at least on the surface, to disdain the basic elements of Christian discipleship – fellowship, loving one’s neighbor, protecting and honoring the poor and weak – and spend a disproportionate amount of time talking about their pet ecclesiological and 2K projects.”

    Simply noting the relevant qualifiers is a helpful aid to comprehension.

  56. justsinner99 said,

    June 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    @ Richard:

    Agreed. That comment probably should have been left on the cutting room floor, so to speak. That did nothing to support his argument.

  57. jedpaschall said,

    June 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    TUAD,

    Without actually putting skin and bones to his accusation here of “some 2kers” Trueman has created a straw man. Where are the concrete examples of 2k advocates disdaining Christian discipleship, charity, or care for the needy? Unless he can provide examples this statement is utterly preposterous, and fuel to implicate 2k as a system of thought as something that may lead one to Rome, which is flatly false, as 2k thought rubs up directly against the Constantinian impulse of Rome. His issues were far deeper than 2k, they were the material issues of the Reformation, basically. That is what makes this such a dire situation, he is contemplating the shackles of Trent, which would anathematize us all – so it is far deeper than the sectarian struggles in the Reformed world. We are talking about Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide here, not questions of Christ and culture. Trueman is drawing lines in the wrong places, seeking to offer explanations that don’t begin to scratch the surface of this story.

    I know you are prone to try to skewer 2k on the blogosphere, which I am frankly fine with, it’s all fair game. But this is a much, much deeper issue, not the time to skirmish over intramural debates, time rather to pray for Jason, his family, the elders at Exile who must oversee a difficult transition, and the congregations, and those who know and love the man.

  58. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Pastor Wes White affirms Dr. Carl Trueman’s article:

    Ecclesiology Must Be Subordinate to the Gospel

    “I think Carl Trueman has captured what is really the essence of the Protestant Reformation. The Gospel is central, and everything else is subordinate to it, including ecclesiology. When I embraced Federal Vision views, I thought very seriously about going into the Episcopal Church. The more I got to know it, the more I realized that the main error was that ecclesiology had trumped the gospel. The centrality of the preaching of Christ and Him crucified had been buried under a heap of traditions, robes, ceremonies, bishops, apostolic successions, and so on. I realized that was wrong by God’s grace, and that’s why I gave up Federal Vision theology and the sacramentalist road that I was on.”

  59. Richard said,

    June 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Jed,
    Give it up on TUAD–he’d rather skewer whatever 2K people are within his reach. He’s more interested in pilling on.

  60. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 5, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Jed Paschall: “I know you are prone to try to skewer 2k on the blogosphere, which I am frankly fine with, it’s all fair game.”

    Not a true statement in a critical respect. I oppose R2K otherwise known as Escondido 2K that Darryl Hart, Zrim, Jason Stellman, yourself, and others fervently push and advocate upon others.

    Your statement lacks nuance and precision.

  61. June 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Hi everyone,

    I obviously can’t interact here at length, but I did want to point out that the many attempts people have made to trace the trajectory from where I was to where I am now have been mostly amusing and somewhat silly (especially Trueman’s, since he doesn’t even know me). Apparently it was either my inculcation with Thomism at WSCA, or the Leithart trial, or my high churchmanship, or my earlier low churchmanship at Calvary Chapel, that are to be blamed for this whole thing.

    I am quite sure that any member of Exile would be surprised to hear that 2K theology was the end-all be-all of my preaching ministry (in fact, the “sermons” that Trueman linked to weren’t even sermons, they were lectures given several years ago).

    Unless they’ve been removed, all the sermons I preached at Exile are all available for public consumption, and anyone who cares to listen will find almost nothing about the two kingdoms anywhere.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to figure out how to change that WordPress avatar….

  62. jedpaschall said,

    June 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    TUAD,

    I am well aware of your opposition, and I loose no sleep over the issue at all, trust me – anonymous figures on the internet do not garner my deepest fears. There will be plenty of conversations in the future to wrangle over questions of 2k, but is this the time? All that I am speaking of, and what Lane has written should be instructive – pray for a brother who is contemplating walking away from the church. It is the decent thing to do.

  63. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 5, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Jason Stellman,

    After you change that WordPress avatar, go and read John Bugay’s post:

    More About My History With Jason Stellman.

    Would you substantively agree with John Bugay’s account?

  64. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Jed Paschall,

    What is your confidence level that Jason J. Stellman is Hell-Bound if he permanently rejects Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura, and for argument’s sake, joins the Roman Catholic Church and dies a devout Roman Catholic?

  65. jedpaschall said,

    June 5, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Jason,

    We have mutual friends through our congregation in Temecula, and I know this hasn’t been an easy journey for you or your family. You owe nothing to me personnally, so I don’t expect an answer from you at all..But do you understand that if you embrace Rome, you are embracing a communion that has anathematized all who knowingly teach the Reformed faith over and against Roman doctrine, namely Trent. Are you ready and willing to grant that those who have taught you, loved you, and nurtured you for ministry have no place in God’s economy?

    My wife and I, and many in our church family are praying for you – without knowing you personnally, all we know to pray is that God would open your eyes to the council of his Word to lead you into truth. I realize that has lead to the mess of Protestantism, but our communions have sought to place God’s word above the opinions of man, even where we may err. Rome, it seems has not done this, and the difficulties of JBFA seem to me to be more of a problem of Rome’s manufacture than the clear thrust of Scripture, Genesis to Revelation. I do appreciate the integrity you have shown in leaving the PCA when you could no longer hold to our Confessional Standards, but please let this be a springboard into further searching for God’s will before making such a drastic move. Whenever you are back in my neighborhood, I’ll be sure to say hello if only to let you know you are in my prayers, along with many other brothers and sisters who have benefited from you ministry and writings.

    Regards,

    Jed Paschall

  66. jedpaschall said,

    June 5, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    TUAD,

    I cannot answer a question that is for God alone to answer, all I know is that outside the church there is no ordinary possibility of salvation, and I don’t think Rome is a true church (Belgic 29). Which is why, instead of trying to parse out what will happen to Jason’s soul if he enters the gates of Rome, I pray that he doesn’t reach that decision, and emerges through a season of tremendous doubt with a strengthened faith. It seems that, on the basis of your questions, you would rather probe the secret things of God, which seems to me to be, above all things supremely foolish, and unbecoming, since no man knows whether he will stand or fall, and we rely on the strength of God to hold us fast to the end. If anything pray that the same doesn’t befall you – unless you believe your faith is utterly unassailable.

  67. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 5, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    (Version 2.0) Jed Paschall,

    What is your confidence level that Jason J. Stellman is Hell-Bound if he permanently rejects Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura, and for argument’s sake, joins the Roman Catholic Church and dies a devout Roman Catholic?

    Low? Medium? High?

  68. Sean Patrick said,

    June 5, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Jed.

    #64, I understand the confusion but it must be said that the notion that anathemas apply to all who teach the Reformed faith and that it means that those that teach it have no place in God’s economy is not a correct representation.

    I suggest this brief article.

    Sean

  69. June 5, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Why would you be surprised. I could have predicted this years ago from some of the posts made by Stellman. Besides, Van Til’s theology of paradox would allow for any theology, right? Logical precision is merely “rationalism”. Or is it?

    Charlie J. Ray

    Reasonable Christian blog

  70. June 5, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Anyone who joins with Rome and never recants that false religion is a reprobate. A person who dies in that state of apostasy is lost forever. Stellman should know this. This is why I think folks like J. I. Packer who promote Evangelicals and Catholics Together are really apostates in disguise, wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    Charlie

  71. Sean Patrick said,

    June 5, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    # 68.

    Now THAT is an anathema!

  72. June 5, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    I do the Reasonable Christian blog. I could have predicted Stellman’s defection several years ago judging from some of the comments he’s made on his blog in the past. In fact, I thought it was a joke when he was selected to serve as a prosecutor in the Peter Leithart trial. If ever there was a soft prosecutor Stellman surely was it. The fact that he’s becoming a papist only serves to prove my suspicions were correct.

  73. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 5, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    How to React to a “Conversion” to Rome

    Charlie J. Ray: “Anyone who joins with Rome and never recants that false religion is a reprobate. A person who dies in that state of apostasy is lost forever. Stellman should know this.”

    Jed Paschall, do you have the same high confidence level that Charlie Ray has that Jason Stellman will be Hell-bound should he become a Roman Catholic and die a Roman Catholic?

  74. David R. said,

    June 5, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    TUAD, Jed answered you in #65.

  75. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    That’s not an answer. Hence the reformulation in Version 2.0.

  76. Richard said,

    June 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    “Not a true statement in a critical respect. I oppose R2K otherwise known as Escondido 2K that Darryl Hart, Zrim, Jason Stellman, yourself, and others fervently push and advocate upon others.

    Your statement lacks nuance and precision.”
    TALK ABOUT THE POT AND THE KETTLE!

  77. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 5, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Jed Paschall and Richard, Please read the following post by TurretinFan:

    Varieties of “Two Kingdoms” Positions

    Both TurretinFan and I, among many others, are opposed to Escondido 2K or more commonly known as Radical 2K, R2K.

    P.S. I, of course, hope that Jason J. Stellman does not reject Sola Fide or Sola Scriptura. And, of course, I do hope that he rejects and repudiates R2K/E2K.

    In passing, if Mr. Stellman does join the RCC, he is de facto rejecting R2K as well.

  78. jedpaschall said,

    June 5, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Sean,

    Thanks for the article, in my conversations with Catholics, the answer to the question of the anathemas of Trent are all over the place. Maybe Rome wishes it hadn’t overstated the case, but with the rise of Papal infallibility, that would create no small amount of backpeddaling if they were to say that they overstated their case. The language of Trent is clear, and until Rome recants the statements therein, all of the backpedaling, and later interpretations that have come forth don’t change what was written. Otherwise, the anathemas basically apply to no-one according to most in Rome, but the clear language sticks out like a sore thumb.

  79. Sean Patrick said,

    June 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Jed.

    I am not privy to conversations you’ve had with other Catholics but the fact is that the doctrines defined at Trent are unchanged and can never be changed. So, there is no ‘backpeddaling’ at all when looking at the doctrinal defintions. However, the anathemas themselves never were intended or defined in such a way as to cut off future people from ‘God’s economy’ so, its a little unfair to say that any backpeddaling is involved.

    Once we allow the Catholic Church to define the terms that she uses, such as anathema, we can better understand what she meant when she used those terms. And what she did not mean is that non-Catholics in the future who do not agree with Catholic doctrine are cut off from God’s economy.

  80. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Let’s all give a Gold-Medal Clap to RubeRad of the Confessional Outhouse for his honest post:

    Is He Talking About Us?

    Excerpts:

    “Carl Trueman stands out as a thoughtful, and even useful voice.

    I think all of us Sitters here in the Outhouse would agree that “the doctrine of the church and 2K are all [we] ever seem to talk about” — and that JJS was a compatriot and even a champion of ours in that discussion. Now the Outhouse is not a church — nor are any of us Sitters ordained — so I think we get a little bit of a pass in terms of not making the gospel specifically the highest priority of discussion; the “business” we are doing here is not specifically “church business” (aka “kingdom work”). We’re just dudes on the internets, talking about what we like to talk about.

    But surely in light of yesterday’s unhappy surprise, we can all stand a reminder of what is the highest priority, and a friendly warning about the consequences of misaligned priorities.”

  81. sean said,

    June 5, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Sean,

    How about cradle catholics who left Rome fully understanding Rome’s teaching on salvation but finding the reformation’s articulation much more biblicaly sound? Am I cut off from God’s economy according to Trent?

  82. TurretinFan said,

    June 5, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    It’s unclear to me whether Mr. Stellman intends to submit to church discipline or not. At least, Mr. Stellman’s letter to his presbytery does not make that clear to me. His letter should prompt his presbytery to initiate disciplinary proceedings. I get the vague sense that he has no plan to submit to their discipline. If that happens, BCO 34-4 should eventually be applied, leaving Mr. Stellman excommunicated and outside the visible church. If that time comes, our attitude toward Mr. Stellman will necessary be different than it is when he simply expresses doubts about important doctrinal issues.

    I’m not willing to assume that my vague sense is correct. I hope Mr. Stellman will receive and heed the godly discipline of his presbytery, and that this will be an instrumental means of his restoration. I also hope that his presbytery will provide the discipline he needs.

    I don’t want to see Mr. Stellman outside the visible church, nor am I happy about the apparent trajectory towards his accepting the foolishness of the immaculate conception of Mary, the idolatry of the veneration of Mary, the use of images in worship, the acceptance of the blasphemy of papal headship, or any of the other heresies of Rome.

    For now, my suggestion is to continue to hold out to Mr. Stellman the means God has provided for restoration of those who are weak in the faith.

    May God have mercy,

    -TurretinFan

  83. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 5, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    TFan: “His letter should prompt his presbytery to initiate disciplinary proceedings.”

    I’m a bit unclear here. Suppose Jason Stellman swims the Tiber. Are you saying that disciplinary proceedings by his presbytery should continue even though Mr. Stellman has joined the RCC?

    To prosecute him in absentia?

  84. GAS said,

    June 5, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    small s sean @89… I think big s Sean would say you have an indelible stain… It’s the hotel catholicfornia… you can check out but you can never leave…

  85. Zrim said,

    June 5, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Jed, as I understand it, since Vatican II we are “separated brethren.” How this squares with Trent is dicey, but at least from the vantage point of the developed doctrine we’ve got nothing to lose over here.

  86. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 5, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    TFan: “I also hope that his presbytery will provide the discipline he needs.”

    Suppose his presbytery does not discipline him, nor do they even initiate disciplinary proceedings.

    What are your thoughts then?

  87. sean said,

    June 5, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Gas,

    Yea that’s my understanding as well. I’ve had a number of the previously protestant now newly christened RC apologists confirm to me that I would one day smell like sulfur for turning my back on the true church

  88. Brandon said,

    June 5, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    @ #55:

    TUAD,
    Trueman’s critique qualifies itself right into meaninglessness.

  89. truthunites said,

    June 5, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Trueman’s qualified critique was meaningful for ruberad of the Confessional Outhouse.

  90. TurretinFan said,

    June 5, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    TU&D: I think the BCO is pretty clear.

  91. Doug Sowers said,

    June 5, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    I still consider Jason Stellman a brother in Christ, even though he no longer understands justification by faith like we do. He hasn’t denied the Christ! He’s walked away from our catechism; important though it may be. So he shouldn’t teach. I didn’t think he should teach before, since I see R2K as a dangerous snare for the body of Christ.

    So I strongly disagree with Stellman, but I would still have him over for dinner. I’ve seen too many people get the label *reprobate*, when we don’t really know. You don’t have to get an A on a theology exam to be saved. You only have to repent, and put your trust in Christ’s completed work, and walk by faith: *regardless* of how you understand it. After all, salvation is a gift.

    I never thought much of him, as a teacher prior to this, “to put it mildly”, but he’s still precious in God’s sight.

  92. michael said,

    June 5, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    TU&D,

    hmmmmm? to you last two questions.

    Either you have “His” Faith, the Faith once delivered to the Saints and your gifts and calling are legitimate holding authority in God or you do not have His Faith?

    The discipline TurretinFan is acknowledging comes from a person who holds the Truth in His Faith and for that the binding and loosing rule applies.

    Just to touch the Scriptural position on two counts let’s consider both Demas, who, in Colossians is greeting the brethren and in Philemon he is grouped with others as one of the “co-workers” yet in 2 Timothy he is leaving the ministry loving this present world so he has deserted the work entrusted to him as a co-worker with the Lord Jesus. Then we have Hymenaeus and Alexander whom Paul turned over to Satan so as to learn not to blaspheme.

    Just because Jason Stellman is doing what he is doing does not stop the Presbytery he is leaving from doing their duty exercising their God given right to discipline him.

    The Church brings discipline within the Body and God judges all men of the world.

    TurretinFan is right to acknowledge what he has and his words are indeed sound wisdom and advice all involved in this matter should hold to, these words:

    “For now, my suggestion is to continue to hold out to Mr. Stellman the means God has provided for restoration of those who are weak in the faith.”

  93. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 5, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    TFan: “His letter should prompt his presbytery to initiate disciplinary proceedings.”

    Operative word: “Should.”

    Suppose his presbytery, for whatever reason, does NOT initiate disciplinary proceedings against Jason Stellman, even given the presumed clarity of BCO. A “should” that becomes a “did not.”

    Then what?

    Does someone from another Presbytery initiate actions and proceedings against Jason Stellman’s presbytery for not continuing “to hold out to Mr. Stellman the means God has provided for restoration of those who are weak in the faith”?

    Is there historical precedent in the PCA for disciplining ministers who reject Sola Fide and then joined the RCC?

    Is there historical precedent in the PCA of presbyteries who failed to discipline ministers for rejecting Sola Fide and who then joined the RCC?

  94. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 5, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Also, there have been a number of comments by commenters saying that they are praying for Jason Stellman’s congregation.

    Would initiating disciplinary proceedings against Jason Stellman increase the distress and hurt that his congregation is said to be feeling and experiencing?

    Suppose the Presbytery takes that into account, and in balancing the issues of the Exile congregation vis-a-vis the issues of Jason Stellman’s discipline, they decide to NOT initiate disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Stellman.

    Then what?

  95. Bob S said,

    June 6, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Mr. Stellman is to be commended for doing the right thing and fessing up to his presbytery. (We are bold to say Mr. Leithart will not follow suit.)

    Yet while it is also commendable that Mr. Stellman desires his announcement to be received with the humility and respect in which it is given, even granted the confines of a letter like his, Mr. Stellman still can’t seriously think that his objections to the Bible being our only infallible authority for faith and life are respectable; that “the doctrine fails its own test”.

    Regardless of his own reading of the New Testament, Christ clearly appeals to Scripture alone when tempted by Satan and when condemning false doctrine and teachers. Are those who minister in his name to do other than that? Much more are those who are called by his name to do other than their master? Mr. Stellman appears to think so.

    Yes, there is genuine authority given to ministers in the church, but there is a priority, much more hierarchy and Scripture is at the top. What else does Paul tell Timothy? All tradition is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works?

    All in all this debacle only reminds us of Winston Churchill’s comment, that it was good for him to be held back in school. He then had to repeat the basics in grammar and got the bones of the language in him. Lately there have been far too many “honor” students like Bryan Cross and Scott Hahn, that while they went on to the higher education of seminary, never had a clue as to how to defend the basics or first principles of the protestant and reformed faith. More’s the pity, they’re proud of it.

    While no one can yet charge Mr. Stellman with that particular moral failure, the church of Jesus Christ which he previously served, at large as well as his own congregation, does expect as promised, a much better explanation of his not too respectable reasons, brief though they may now be, for his deplorable news.

    We are further bold to say that those reasons will easily be shredded. That’s because, contra the biased and self serving Pyrrhonism of Rome, not only is there actually such a thing as the truth, we can really know it, if not that by God’s grace in Christ, the Word become flesh, we already do.

    And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. 1 John 5:20

    IOW this is not that difficult.
    IOW if we really desire to be received with respect and humility, we need to up our game.

    Thank you.

    Bob Suden

  96. Bob S said,

    June 6, 2012 at 12:55 am

    22 Mr. Sowers,
    Obviously you haven’t read Leithart’s book, The Baptized Body and if you have, you don’t understand it.

    Among the rhetorical ploys and question begging that Leithart resorts to, the first would have to be writing a polemical book about the efficacy of baptism all the while failing to define what baptism is.

    At the very least he essentially denies the West. Confession’s definition (as does Wilson in his Reformed Is Not Enough). The rite of baptism really confers what it signifies – instead of the Holy Spirit conferring grace through baptism in God’s time, but not particularly the time of baptizing, to his elect and his elect alone WCF 28:6 – and Simon the magician in Acts 8 really was a Christian because he was baptized. IOW Mr. Leithart is a nominalist. Nominal Christians really really are Christians. . . . Until they are not.

    IOW Mr. Leithart is either extremely naive, deceived or trading on the ignorance of his audience, the last of which includes you. And if Mr. Leithart is not a learned fool, he is but a modern Greek seeking after and never finding wisdom. Mr. Stellman was well within bounds to judicially pursue Mr. Leithart for violating his oath of ordination.

    Just for the record and Mr. Stellman’s not so sterling name at the moment.

  97. markmcculley said,

    June 6, 2012 at 2:33 am

    Romans 6:14–”for sin shall not have the dominion over you, for you are not under the law but under grace.” I read that as saying that sin shall not reign over a justified person, because that person is justified.

    Jason Stillman (Dual Citizens, Reformation Trust, 2009, 143) suggested that such a reading is a non-answer. I quote from p 143: “According to this view, under law means under the condemnation of God’s moral law, and under grace speaks of the deliverance from this condition. Some problems arise from this view…. When Paul spoke to those saints in the churches of Galatia who desired to be under the law, was he talking to people who longed to be under the condemnation of the law?…Furthermore, if under law and under grace are existential categories describing an individual’s condemnation or justification, then Paul’s argument is a non-sequiter. It is not justification but sanctification that frees us from the dominion of the sin.”

    Stillman’s reading of Romans 6 is common to many Reformed people today. They tell us that “freed from sin” in Romans 6:7 cannot mean “justified from sin” because this chapter is about sanctification and not about justification.

    It seems to me that this is simply begging the question, and without some attention to Romans chapter six, I will be guilty of simply begging the question the other way.

    I want to attend to Stillman’s two questions about Romans 6:14. You can read them in context above, but the first asks: “When Paul was warning the Galatians, were the false teachers wanting to be under condemnation?”

    My answer: Paul’s answer is that the false teachers were under the condemnation. If you go their way, Christ will be of no profit to you. The gospel does not tell people that they WANT TO be damned. The gospel says that THEY WILL be damned if their trust in anything else but Christ’s death (and resurrection) for the elect. That death (and resurrection) alone, apart from our works enabled by the Spirit (be those works of Torah or works of new covenant) is the gospel.

    Stillman’s second question—-” when Paul wrote that Jesus was born under the law, did he mean that Christ was born under the
    condemnation of the law?” My answer is yes. Gal 4:4: born of the law to redeem those under the law cannot mean only that Christ was born under the jurisdiction of Moses to get Jews free from that jurisdiction. Of course jewish bondage under the law is in view, but it’s part of the more basic pattern of all humans being condemned by the “curse of the law”.(Gal 3:13) .

    So yes, Christ was born under the condemnation of God and God’s law. To see this, we need to attend to the first part of Romans 6 before we rush to the second part and conclude that it has to be about a sanctification that makes it just for God to justify the ungodly. Romans 6:10 says that “the death He died to sin”.

    Before we jump to the redemptive historical complexity of union and identification with the death (when? Before the ages? Two thousand years ago? At imputation? Before or after faith?), we need to focus on Christ’s death to sin. Does Christ’s death to sin mean that Christ was unregenerate and then positionally cleansed by the Holy Spirit? God forbid.

    Does Christ’s death to sin mean that Christ became corrupt fallen flesh but then later was “infused” with the divine nature? Again, God forbid.

    Does Christ’s death to sin mean that Christ by being in the environment of the world and of the old covenant age needed a deliverance from “the flesh” and from the physical body? Once more, God forbid.

    What does it mean that Christ died to sin? It means that the law of God demanded death for the sins of the elect imputed to Christ. As long as those sins were imputed to Christ, He was under sin, he was under law, He was under death.

    Now death has no more power over Him? Why? Because the sins are no longer imputed to Him, but have been paid for and satisfied. The gospel is not only about God justifying, but also about God being
    justified when God justifies.

    Much is written about imputation these days, a lot of it loose language about an exchange brought about by the sinner’s faith. Less is written about the imputation of Adam’s sin. (Blocher, for example, in his Original Sin book, concludes that Adam’s sin only moved the redemptive historical clock forward (bringing in death) so that individual sins could then be imputed.)

    But even LESS is written about the imputation of sins to Christ. I think at least part of the reason for the silence is that preachers don’t want to talk about either whose sins are imputed or when they are imputed.

    This is not the time to think through the timing. (I myself agree with John Owen’s distinction between accomplished and applied, where sins which have been imputed to Christ are still imputed to the elect until their justification.) If we only say that the sins of BELIEVERS are imputed to Christ, we not only avoid the good news of election but also (by lack of antithesis) contribute to the evangelical consensus that the efficacy of Christ’s death depends on believing. The true gospel tells how the effectual call (hearing and believing the gospel) is the effect of Christ’s work.

    David Van Drunnen writes about Romans 6:14 in his WTJ essay “Israel’s Recapitulation of Adam’s Probation” (p322)
    “How could not being under the Mosaic law have anything to do with one’s justification?….Justification is indeed ultimately not about whether a person is under the Mosaic law as a member of corporate Israel, but about whether a person is under the federal headship of the first Adam or the last Adam. But insofar as one of the chief divine purposes for the Mosaic law was to cause OT Israel to recapitulate Adam’s probation and fall, being under the Mosaic law was a profound illustration of the plight of humanity under the first Adam.”

  98. jedpaschall said,

    June 6, 2012 at 5:15 am

    Sean, (80)

    Once we allow the Catholic Church to define the terms that she uses, such as anathema, we can better understand what she meant when she used those terms. And what she did not mean is that non-Catholics in the future who do not agree with Catholic doctrine are cut off from God’s economy.

    I haven’t the desire to tell a Catholic how they define their terms, however they foist themselves to be the only true, holy catholic church, guardians of the faith handed down from the apostles and claim this:

    CANON IX.-If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.

    CANON X.-If any one saith, that men are just without the justice of Christ, whereby He merited for us to be justified; or that it is by that justice itself that they are formally just; let him be anathema.

    CANON XI.-If any one saith, that men are justified, either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ, or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, and is inherent in them; or even that the grace, whereby we are justified, is only the favour of God; let him be anathema.

    CANON XII.-If any one saith, that justifying faith is nothing else but confidence in the divine mercy which remits sins for Christ’s sake; or, that this confidence alone is that whereby we are justified; let him be anathema.

    These are at the very core of the Reformation, doctrines that all of us who hold to Orthodox Reformed Confessions hold dearer than our own lives. Rome has not rescinded Trent, the same (so-called) church that elevates tradition, and the papacy as co-equal with Scripture. This is the same ecclesiastical body that still has the stain of blood from the Crusades and Inquisition, a church who took up the sword in the name of Christ, and her supreme leader still has the arrogance to name himself infallible on questions of doctrine and practice. He can’t even bring himself to deal with the current scandals besetting his church (such as the epedemic of child molestation) in a way that brings any justice or recompense to the offended. So, fine, Rome can define what she means by her own statements, but I am not inclined in the slightest to believe them.

    This is the group that has enticed one of our own to leave the true church, one whose ministry many of us greatly valued – so forgive me if I have little patience to bandy about with words about how Rome now qualifies a statement that it has not rescinded to mean something far from what a plain reading of Trent asserts. Trent says “if any man saith…” doctrines which every member of a Reformed church must confess before being permitted membership, they are “anathema”. Yet Rome doubles back and says that it only counts for those who have left her walls – it drips with duplicity to any honest Protestant by either de-fanging Trent, or stating that Rome does not mean what it clearly asserts, because every confessional Protestant “saith” these very things and mean them wholeheartedly. Stellman must answer to God for his part in these choices to be certain. However, so will those who deceived themselves, seek to bring others into a church that has forefited her claim’s to speak truly on God’s behalf

    In forefiting his confidence, and confession of the sufficiency of Scripture, Jason has, sadly, placed his confidence in the hands of fallible men to assure him that their reading of Scripture, amongst other sources of authority can carry his soul safely to heaven (with only a few million years of purgatory, mind you). There may be defect with various Protestant readings of Scripture, but this points to the weakness of men, not the veracity or reliability of Scripture. I may have been more inclined to irenic discussion with Catholics on the web, but after recent events, I frankly just don’t have the stomach for it – not when they raid and pilfer our churches with lies exposed long ago. What Rome asserts as infallible seems to me to be nothing less than a lie from the pit of hell itself.

  99. johnbugay said,

    June 6, 2012 at 6:34 am

    JedPaschall #98: Amen to that.

  100. Sean said,

    June 6, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Jed # 98.

    My only point was that it was frankly false to tell Jason that if he were to become Catholic he would have to accept that all Reformed teachers are no part of God’s economy. That was a false statement based on a misunderstanding of what anathema means.

    As I said before, the doctrines affirmed by Trent still stand and can never be revoked. It is absolutely the case that Trent session six on Justification are still to be held by all Catholics. Yes, those obviously stand against various Reformed particulars. But that is not the same thing as saying that all future Reformed persons are not part of God’s economy. If you want to find a statement like that then look no further than the comments in this thread but those ‘anathemas’ weren’t declared by the Catholics.

  101. markmcculley said,

    June 6, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Stillman quotes Vos, “eschatology precedes soteriology” Interesting! I read that as saying: there is a covenant of works before there is sin. And that would fit the Meredith Kline model. Stillman narrates the drama this way— the desire for eternal life is before the desire to be saved from God’s wrath for our sins. Adam on probation still needed (and wanted) eternal life. And I have no big problem with saying it that way. My problem is when eschatology not only precedes soteriology but becomes the soteriology.

    My problem is when we read Romans 6:14 as saying ONLY that nobody is now under the Mosaic law. I agree that nobody is now under the Mosaic law. 1. I don’t think Romans 6:14 is teaching ONLY that. And 2.more importantly, I don’t think that is the gospel.

  102. Ryan D. McConnell said,

    June 6, 2012 at 11:35 am

    TFan (re: #83),
    Given Mr. Stellman’s reasoning for his prosecution of Leithart (i.e. holding a PCA minister accountable to his vows), I don’t sense that we’re going to have an issue with him being contumacious should his presbytery begin the discplinary proceedings (as they definitely should); or at least not perpetual contumacy that would result in BCO 34-4b being applied. Perhaps I’m just being optimistic (or perhaps naive), but I sense that Mr. Stellman will cooperative if his Presbytery or the GA (BCO 34-1) acts.

    That said, though, even though I agree that we should continue to hope for and hold out the means of Mr. Stellman’s restoration, at this point it seems like we all need to brace ourselves for the worst. If Mr. Stellman has been struggling with these issues for four (4) years and has told Mr. Keister that he will probably be heading to Rome then I think that, unless God is merciful, we’re looking at a man who has committed himself to apostacy. A man who has fallen from grace (Gal. 5:4) and a man who is voluntarily placing himself under the anathema of Gal. 1:8-9. A man who will be deliberately sinning without repentance (cf. Heb. 10:26-31) in his joining of a false church (whether the ECO or the RCC) in its idolatrous worship veneration of Mary and the saints. Whatever route Mr. Stellman takes I cannot see him – unless I have misinterpreted his full adherence to the doctrines of the church he finds himself in – accepting anything less than every heresy that his new false church requires him to accept as a full member of its congregation (or blasphemous office of authority for that matter).

    May God have mercy on Mr. Stellman. May God have mercy on us all.

  103. Doug Sowers said,

    June 6, 2012 at 11:36 am

    @Bob S. Since Dr Peter Litehart was exonerated, what does that do to your theory? (Hint, it demolishes it!) Maybe it’s time you humbled yourself a bit Bob, because you sound just like Stellman used to sound. And that’s not good.

  104. Doug Sowers said,

    June 6, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    @Bob S. Another irony you’re probably not aware, is that, Pastor Lane reviewed Wilson’s “Reformed Is Not Enough”, about four years ago, and found it was *not* heretical. He basically gave the book a clean bill of health, with a few quibbles here and there. So go fight “that’ our with Lane, since this is his blog. I think we all need to quit casting dispersions, and let this thing play itself out.

    @ Ryan D. McConnell! You’re not in a position of authority to anathematize Stellman, so stop it!

    @Bob S. I did read Liteharts “The baptized body”. And while I had a some reservations, I thought it was both provocative and useful.

  105. Dozie said,

    June 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    “Anyone who is saved in the Roman church is saved in spite of their doctrine, not because of it”.

    You seem to be suggesting that salvation is different for a Protestant such that any Protestant (non-Catholic Christian) who is saved, is saved because of his/her Protestantism.

  106. Stephen Welch said,

    June 6, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Lane, I wonder if you or anyone else noticed anything in Jason’s blog entry’s or conversations with him that indicated he was starting to deviate from the truth? In the case with Meyers he was stating things years ago that were the basis for him being charged in MO Presbytery. I am not convinced that there was not some indication a year, two years, or three years ago that would have raised a red flag and necessitated a warning or rebuke from another elder of the church.

  107. Ryan D. McConnell said,

    June 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Doug (re: #105),

    I anathematized no one, sir. I stated that Mr. Stellman has voluntarily placed himself under the anathema of Gal. 1:8-9. He has done by explicitly denying what is explicitly affirmed in Gal. 2-3. Unless, of course, you don’t believe that Gal. 2-3 explicitly teaches sola fide and/or you don’t think Gal. 2-3 has any relevance to the anathema of Gal. 1:8-9. You’d need to present your case for that of course, should that be your position.

  108. Stephen Welch said,

    June 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Ryan (re:# 108)

    Amen! The point you have made is missing from this entire discussion. If one denies the gospel as Paul outlines he is already cursed; whether he is a papist, cultist, or one who has been identified with Protestantism.

  109. Reed Here said,

    June 6, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Doug: watch that trigger finger. ;-)

  110. daveglasebrook said,

    June 6, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Reed Here, you would do well to remind Reformed Musings of his trigger finger also.

  111. Reed Here said,

    June 6, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    David: Bob is a poster/moderator here. If you have a problem with something he’s said, as per Lane’s rules, direct it to him. If you need help contacting him, I will be glad to help.

  112. daveglasebrook said,

    June 6, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Reed Here, I have done that and the answer was no answer even after I provided off line information. So my point is that if you are going to get after an individual for a sharp answer than you should get after Bob when he steps over the line.

    Unless of course it is just one toke over the line.

  113. Bob S said,

    June 7, 2012 at 12:30 am

    105 Doug,
    You’re not paying attention. Stellman’s departure does not mean Wilson and Leithart are in the clear. At least GB didn’t bring up either and gloat over their supposed vindication. But somebody else did. Guess who?

    Leithart mistakes the rite of baptism for what it signifies. So he says some provocative things, but in the main, he’s wrong. Which in the main is what people are who read Leithart and think he’s just provocative.

    Yeah, he was exonerated, but let’s just say some of us have had dealings with certain presbyteries before and have been unimpressed (which is one of the reasons we left the PCA), just like John Bugay had correspondence with Stellman before all this hit the fan and has been unimpressed by the lateness of his confession. But hey, minority views – like the FV – are cool, right?

    As for Wilson, OK. I spose in RINE he was just being cute when he said the WCF taught baptismal regeneration (p.103). But if he’s orthodox, he sure doesn’t have any problem hanging out with the more extreme FV like Jordan and acting as the frontman for the CREC, which is a safe haven even for those who have fled PCA jurisdiction over the FV.

    Again, Stellman’s departure vindicates none of this.

  114. Doug Sowers said,

    June 7, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Have you read some of the early reformers, Bob? Many did believe in baptismal regeneration. Anywhere from up to one third at the Westminster assembly believed that way. I don’t hold to that view myself, but many a good Christian man did. And they were not anathematized! So let’s not get to persnickety, when it comes to precision on catechisms. If the men at Westminster wouldn’t anathematize the minority, (who did believe in temporary regeneration) maybe you can learn a lesson from them.

  115. David Gadbois said,

    June 7, 2012 at 1:55 am

    Ironically, those who want to crow about the PNW presbytery exonerating Leithart are making a single judicial decision of a single presbytery of a single denomination into a pope. The acquittal of Leithart was a scandalous moral failing of the presbyters who voted to acquit, plain and simple. There is more to this story yet to come, in terms of judicial proceedings within the PCA’s processes and courts.

    The Bayly brothers have justly asked “does Pacific Northern Presbytery have a father in the faith who can work within the presbytery toward a recovery of Reformation doctrine and practice?” Stellman himself said that Leithart was acquitted by an “overwhelming majority” of the men present. So, subtracting Stellman, how many men voted “guilty”? Perhaps 1, 2, or 3 men? Whatever the number, those men would be the only candidates who would even plausibly qualify as men fit to fill the role the Baylys describe. But that would seem to be long odds, comparable to the very few conservative churches within the PCUSA trying to turn that denomination aside from its liberalism.

    This exercise, incidentally, is not just academic. I have family in the Pacific Northwest that I cannot in good conscience recommend attend PCA churches, even though there are very, VERY few alternatives as far as confessionally reformed and presbyterian churches goes. The region is awash in a cornucopia of rubbish “community” or “Bible” churches, charismatic churches, emergent churches, or hipster-”Reformed” Driscolite churches. It saddens me greatly, because the spiritual need in that region is so desperate and great.

    And a word to those such as Leithart or Doug Sowers regarding sola fide- it is actually an understatement to assert that justification by faith alone is a central plank of the Gospel. It demarcates an entirely different pattern of religion, theology, and piety than a requirement of faith and works as instrumental causes of justification. Believing that one is living their life and pursuing good works to attain right standing before God entails an entirely different motivation, ethic, and faith-orientation than believing that one is living one’s life of good works out of love and gratitude for what Christ has fully accomplished outside of us. What is more, rejection of sola fide is blasphemous:

    ….For it must necessarily follow that either all that is required for our salvation is not in Christ or, if all is in him, then he who has Christ by faith has his salvation entirely.

    Therefore, to say that Christ is not enough but that something else is needed as well is a most enormous blasphemy against God– for it then would follow that Jesus Christ is only half a Savior. And therefore we justly say with Paul that we are justified “by faith alone” or by faith “apart from works….

    -Belgic Confession Article 22

  116. June 7, 2012 at 8:39 am

    daveglasebrook,

    Exactly how did I step over what line? Was it calling PCA officers to integrity for their publicly-expressed and published views? Exactly what did I say that you can prove untrue? The charges against Leithart, who is currently under process in the PCA, are public. I believe those charges to be accurate, the evidence to overwhelming, and I fully support his prosecution.

  117. Doug Sowers said,

    June 7, 2012 at 10:15 am

    @Dave Gadboise: I fully subscribe to sola fida, and I “think” Dr Litehart does as well. So as per usual, your attacking ghosts, not real people. As for Jason Stellman, I feel terrible for him, in his time of confusion, and even though he’s struggling with the concept of sola fida, that doesnt mean he has rejected the Lord! In my very humble opinion. I could be wrong, but I have seen too many good men get the hertical label, around here. And that’s not good.

  118. Doug Sowers said,

    June 7, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Gadboise says: The acquittal of Leithart was a scandalous moral failing of the presbyters who voted to acquit, plain and simple.

    Oh really David? Are you going after the *overwhelming* majority who voted to acquit Litehart? How about Litehart’s defense team? Should they be brought up on charges as well? Will you root them *all* out, as well? Were “they” all denying sola fida?

  119. Tim Prussic said,

    June 7, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Some of my thoughts: http://wp.me/pVf8p-uz

  120. Ryan D. McConnell said,

    June 7, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Doug (re: #118),

    Mr. Stellman is not simply “struggling with the concept of sola fida [sic].” He has explicitly denied it:

    I have become convinced that the teaching that sinners are justified by a once-for-all declaration of acquittal on God’s part, based upon the imputation of Christ’s righteousness received by faith alone, is not reflective of the teaching of the New Testament as a whole… While this is all accomplished entirely by God’s grace through the merits of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, it is at the same time not something that occurs through the imputation of an external and alien righteousness received through faith alone. (from A Heartfelt Farewell to the Presbyterian Church in America

    Unless I’m misinterpreting these statements, those words from Mr. Stellman are a direct affirmation of Canons IX-XII from the Council of Trent (see jed #99 above).

    As for your statements of:

    … that doesnt mean he has rejected the Lord! In my very humble opinion. I could be wrong, but I have seen too many good men get the hertical label, around here.

    Is your position that only those who reject the Lord – whether that be leaving the faith for agnosticism/atheism, converting to a (false) different world religion, a position change to Unitarianism, etc. – can be labeled as heretics?

  121. Doug Sowers said,

    June 7, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    David Gadboise “please” quit misrepresenting me! I believe that we are save by “grace alone” through “faith alone”, but that “faith” is never alone, and will produce good works, not as the ground of our salvation, but the evidence there of. Are works necessary? Yes! A thousand times yes! But not the ground of our justification, but in the playing out of our Salvation, you know, the works He prepared beforehand, that we should walk in?

    Isn’t that standard stuff? By the way, even our “faith” is a gift of God, lest anyone of us should boast! So it’s a *gift* my friend, a gift. And if anyone believes the Apostolic creed, “in true faith”, then they’re saved! They’re in!

    Therefore: I believe it’s possible to not understand our catechisms correctly and still be saved. I believe that I was saved, before I accurately understood the doctrines of grace. And as troubling as Jason’s confusion on the sola’s is, I don’t sense him walking away from the Lord Jesus. He’s just confused, because of the false security he harbored in how he once understood the Westminster standards. He sees that the Confession didn’t “say it all”. Salvation transcends our ability to fully fathom.

    I think we should take heed to Paul’s exclamation in 2 Cor 9:15

    Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

    Paul calls our gift (which is Salvation) *inexpressible*, and then proceeds to express what he just called inexpressible! So even *us* Presbies must admit that God’s Salvation tranceds our ability to fully fathom in it’s fullness.

  122. davejes1979 said,

    June 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Doug, there is a difference between failing to identify a denial of sola fide and denying it oneself. The PNW presbyters are guilty of the former, and while it is a grave failure in their duties I doubt it is a chargeable offense in the PCA. If I were their boss in a business I would hand them pink slips, but church polity doesn’t work that way. And I don’t believe you deny sola fide but, like Leithart, you do not believe that it is essential to the faith, it’s just something we disagree with Rome on.

  123. Doug Sowers said,

    June 7, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    @Ryan: the paragraph you quoted was so convoluted; I didn’t understand what Stellman was getting at. BTW, I am not agreeing with Stellman, and have never agreed with Stellman on a whole host of issues, especially his pessimistic amill and R2K positions. Since he was so tragically *off* on eschatology, it’s not surprising, that he got his systematic theology fouled up as well. But I would “still” consider him a Christian. Maybe five years from today, we will both feel differently?

  124. daveglasebrook said,

    June 7, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Reformed Musings @ 117 this is my second post. Apparently the first one didn’t hit properly.

    You stepped over the line when you denigrated my character on this blog and refused to correct your incorrect statements even after I sent you information that showed just how wrong you were.

    That’s how you stepped over the line.

    [RM: Edited to remove the personal attacks]

  125. Chris Gordon said,

    June 7, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    some of my thoughts on what Jason called a “devastating conclusion”.
    http://www.christopherjgordon.blogspot.com/2012/06/resurrecting-reformed-catholik-on-sola.html

  126. michael said,

    June 7, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Geesh,

    what ever happened to “Eternal Life” and communion with Them?

    Our God is great and He has become one of us and we were made through Him, for Him and by this communion obtained by His Blood, securing our Eternal Redemption we ought to be able to go off to a hiding place and commune with Him in the Name of Jesus Christ for awhile and come back a tender heart, right?

    Once we have the solas down, we ought to go onto maturity, oughten we?

    Sweet fellowship in God’s Holy Presence tenderizes our souls bake hard by sin if we were not fortunate to be born into a Spirit filled parent perfect raising children home!

    Reading some of the comments in here leads me to believe some of you ought to go hide and commune with the Words of Grace and Mercy and Peace, words like these, following verses from Matthew’s Gospel and then come back bearing the fruits of those Words, tenderized, gentle, oft preferring one another as more important than your own understanding of all these things.

    Mat 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
    Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

    I know I know we are suppose to take our thumbs out of our mouths and grow up into maturity in Christ. So be it!

    Still, I write that mindful of this one verse:

    Heb 6:3 And this we will do if God permits.

  127. Doug Sowers said,

    June 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    David Gadboise, it seems you want to boil the Litehart matter down to this: David Gadboise is right, or in this case (J.J. Stellman) was right; and the overwhelming majority was wrong, on the outcome of Dr Peter Litehart’s trial. You even hint they may have been derelict in they’re duty, no? Maybe it’s time for you to humble yourself a tad David. Perhaps you could learn much from Peter Litehart. Maybe you’re the one who’s holding on to our standards in a wooden fashion, much like Stellman. You act so cocksure that the overwhelming majority are a bunch of incompetent dunces; or worse. When many fine Christian men your senior with wa-a-a-a-a-a-y more experience feel exactly the opposite.

  128. Ryan D. McConnell said,

    June 7, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Doug (re: #124),

    My apologies if it seemed convoluted, both of those statements were simply Mr. Stellman’s direct denials of sola fide from his resignation letter. The letter provides the context for them, especially the second statement.

    It also seems like you still believe that Mr. Stellman is simply questioning/confused about/etc. the doctrine of sola fide. It seems rather clear from his words that, after four years of struggling with the doctrine, he is convinced (the word he actually used) that it is a false teaching.

    That said, though, I’m honestly on the fence about whether or not I consider him a Christian. At this point, given that he has not pursued the false churches of the EOC or the RCC yet, I’m optimistic enough to simply consider him a backslider who has, for now, fallen into heresy and placed himself under the anathema of Gal. 1:8-9 in his denial of sola fide. A Christian on the brink of apostasy and in dire need of restoration.

    As for how you and I will feel five years from now, that will be solely dependent on what route Mr. Stellman decides on. Should Mr. Stellman decide to join one of the aforementioned false churches while fully embracing their exclusive, heretical, and utterly blasphemous doctrines then I will see no other choice than to consider him unregenerate. Should he go the route of something like non-Reformed Episcopalianism then, well, I guess I’ll see how I feel when he does so.

  129. Doug Sowers said,

    June 7, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Ryan, I’m open for correction, and you’ve made some good points. This is amazing and frightful stuff.

  130. June 7, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Glasebrook, RE #125,

    I get that you have been obsessed with harassing and attacking me since 2007. I searched this blog on your name and cannot find anywhere where I said anything about you. What you mailed me years ago was barely coherent ramblings, far from proof of anything. I sincerely recommend that you get some help concerning your obsessive behavior. That’s the last I’ll say about the subject.

    You’ve been told before by other mods to knock it off as far back as 2008. This is the last warning, after which I will recommend to Lane that you be banned. So, #125 is the last you’ll ever say on this subject on this blog.

    If you want to discuss the post topic, feel free. Just check your obsessions at the door.

  131. Reed Here said,

    June 7, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    DaveGlasebrook: I find myself affirming Bob’s admonition. You made charges of impropriety from Bob. Take them offline. Comment to the points of the post.

  132. Todd said,

    June 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    When a man leaves justification by faith alone for another system, it is always a heart issue. But most of us have never met the man so we know very little about the situation, his family, personal issues, etc…
    I wonder if we all have bought into the benefits of the modern, immediate, information age without much reflection on its potential weaknesses. Like most Americans, Christians now have an opinion on every issue, whether medicine, politics, theology, and even personal judgments on people they never met, whether they are qualified to speak or not; after all, “I read on the Internet that…”

    Within 24 hours of a pastor publicly resigning his position and stating his theological reasons, the Internet is full of opinions on what theological errors led to his fall, whether he acted with integrity, etc… Even Carl Trueman, usually a voice of reason, could not help himself from opining of the possible causes of the man’s decision within a day of it occurring. Dealing with many church officers over the years that have left the faith, one thing is clear, people commenting on the outside not privy to the situation rarely knew what was really going on.

    Maybe we have lost the ability and humility to simply say; let’s wait for awhile until we know more, or, I don’t have an opinion yet because I don’t really know the man, his family, his church, etc… Maybe we should consider how I Thess 4:11 might even apply to ministers.

    Maybe we should also cast a critical eye on pastor blogs in general, including Pastor Stellman’s. Why do ministers feel the need to publish every theological or political thought they have to the world when the world isn’t even asking? Have we bought into the Facebook culture without discernment? Is publishing my thoughts to the world really part of a minister’s calling to feed and care for the local sheep? I fear the motivations for such a thing are not always noble.

    Anyway, not to take away from the many good comments on situations like this in general, but maybe others can weigh in if my concerns are even valid.

    Todd Bordow
    Pastor – OPC of Rio Rancho, NM

  133. David Gadbois said,

    June 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Doug, now you are just appealing to authority rather than providing a substantive argument, and it is not even a particularly good appeal to authority given that you are referring to the decision of one particular presbytery amidst a vast denomination (one that, incidentally, I am not a member of) amidst an alphabet soup of reformed and presbyterian denominations in North America alone. And, no, I am not overestimating the importance of the doctrine of sola fide (a feature which is hardly unique to Reformed confessional standards, BTW). As I pointed out earlier, the Belgic calls the faith+works idea blasphemous.

    I don’t know why there should be any debate as to whether someone who departs for Rome in conscious opposition to the Gospel of the reformation should be treated as an apostate. It was the historic practice of reformed and presbyterian churches to excommunicate converts to Rome as apostates who were joining themselves to a false church and a false Gospel, and to my knowledge this is still the practice of most (perhaps all?) NAPARC churches. I can only think of one ostensibly reformed group that does not – the CREC. No comment needed on that account, I trust.

  134. Doug Sowers said,

    June 7, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Well David Gadbois, it’s certainly very upsetting even for me, and I’m theonomic as well as post mill, as you very well know. I’m going to sit and watch this thing play itself out, because I’m just not sure.

  135. Bob S said,

    June 8, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    115 The WS teach/allow for baptismal regeneration? Enough said.

    116 David Gadboise,
    That the PNW is awash in a cornucopia of rubbish when it comes to churches, is a sad, but hilarious way of putting it. One has to move closer to the Canadian border to find more “reformed” reformed churches.

    133 Todd
    Maybe we should also cast a critical eye on pastor blogs in general, including Pastor Stellman’s. Why do ministers feel the need to publish every theological or political thought they have to the world when the world isn’t even asking? Have we bought into the Facebook culture without discernment? Is publishing my thoughts to the world really part of a minister’s calling to feed and care for the local sheep? I fear the motivations for such a thing are not always noble.

    Exactly.
    Thank you for saying so.

  136. June 9, 2012 at 3:07 am

    [...] there were some real well-wishers and Lane Keister from Green Baggins was probably the most outspoken in compassion for Stellman. But overall, those who professed [...]

  137. Dan Keefe said,

    June 15, 2012 at 5:42 am

    What in the world is R2K?

  138. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 15, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Ha, I was wondering the same thing. Radical 2 kingdom theology. I had someone at church I think explain its connected to Escondido? Yes, someone help me and Dan out. Who’s the R2k blogger? Bayly?

  139. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 15, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Heres what I found, but can someone explain in simple terms? Its a “spiritual and temporal kingdom” thing, like the spiritual and political realm? The church and the civil government? Gods law and mans law? Totally revealling my ignorance. And call me out for my nettiquette fails, I am a newbie, and wish to stay in good standing, and not annoy.

    http://baylyblog.com/blog-tags/r2k-radical-two-kingdom

    I had someone at church give me Bahnsen to read. Maybe there’s something there too? He mentioned R2k

    In Christ,
    Andrew

  140. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 15, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Nevermind. I will start reading comment 26 and see how far I get. Then,I need to get to work.

  141. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 15, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Ok, read some, but now i am more confused. I do know, reading on wscal website, that Godfrey and others wrote a response to some attacks from John Frame:

    http://wscal.edu/blog/entry/westminster-seminary-california-faculty-response-to-john-frame

    I think Van Drunen is doing some writing? Maybe he’s in the mix too?

    Ordained California OPC deacon over here, yours truly. I hope that doesn’t mean charges are headed my way :-) peace, brothers. -ab

  142. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 15, 2012 at 8:06 am

    I’m gonna post again… but reading this,its helping

    http://www.puritanboard.com/f15/scholarly-critique-r2k-school-69594/

    Enough from me.

  143. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 15, 2012 at 9:13 am

    OK, maybe not completely enough.

    Bringing these comments back to about Catholicism proper, does anyone know of good protestant/Catholic dialogue forums? Look, clearly the sides have their sights set on one another. Guns primed and ready. But is there a way forward? I’ll be the first to admit I’m hardcore reformed, so I won’t budge. But clearly God has a plan for both traditions to move forward in advancing the Gospel? Any help for this newb will help. Many thanks. -ab

  144. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 15, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Ie does the GA moderator ever play golf with the pope? Hopefully that’s not completely tasteless, but shows what I’m getting at…

  145. johnbugay said,

    June 15, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Hi Andrew: Less of a “discussion”, and more of a review of current issues, but this ought to give you a place to start:

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/search/label/John%20Bugay

  146. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 15, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Excellent. Thanks for keeping it serious. I was about to say who I would put my money on. I’ll read that first. Much obliged. -ab

  147. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    And I would ask for everyone to throw out all that R2K stuff that I wrote. I will become disciplined and self controlled. Patience with me, please! ;-)

    I’m listening to this, in regard to two kingdom stuff, from Van Drunen (someone correct me if there’s something better):

    http://wscal.edu/resource-center/resource/living-in-gods-two-kingdoms-a-biblical-vision-for-christianity-and-culture

  148. Reed Here said,

    June 15, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Andrew: as you enter into the investigation, please know that some of us find the “R” in R2k highly offensive. It is nothing more than a pejorative, and does not need to be involved in this discussion.

  149. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Noted. I can see why you would say that. My investigation into these things continues. Thanks Reed. Blessings.

  150. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Ok, so between Outlaw’s and GB’s blogs, I’ve posted enough comments. I’ve been told by my second greatest confidant that it’s not good to have 8 of the last 10 comments on a blog. So when I look here on GB, I see there are “13″ different references to two kingdoms. There’s enough for me to keep reading, looking around, to catch up on these things. Good ettiquite would seem to suggest that we should do our homework before clogging up comments that are already getting pretty weighed down in comments. I probably didn’t really hear or think about two kingdoms until a friend mentioned to me at church this last Sunday. It’s interesting, and I like Van Drunen, he’s got my grey matter moving, I suppose. It is Friday after all. I need to try to get a tee time for tomorrow… Take care, Y’all. Thanks again.

  151. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 15, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    My friends,

    So not on the golf course yet. But seriously…

    What’s clear to me is that i decided to start reading theology blogs, and this one, which is read by many, and covers an important topic here. I feel like I’ve got a bit of a dunce cap on. Or that I need to go sit in time out.

    But as I continue to try to read through comments (starting again at 26, made it to about 41), my thoughts are:

    “Does anyone know why this is generating such a stir?” Stellman, I mean?

    Look, I am getting into the history of it. Catching up from scratch.

    But are we looking for meaning in a decision by a PCA minister, where this is not nearly as much meaning as the people writing about it?

    Without knowing Jason or hardly anyone in these discussions, I am actually kind of shocked this goes on. I mean sure, I can see importance here.

    But what’s going on, more than the fact that someone who preached the Gospel in an American church is now wrestling with the convictions that are required of a man for that office, and so seeking the peace and unity of the church, decides to peacably withdraw?

    To me, that seems to be pretty darn courageous. And If someone doesn’t like the system of doctrine, or whatever, of the office to which they are called, don’t we want them to be able to feel they can say, “I’m leaving” without having to pay the price in all eternity, at least, as eterninty pertains to never ending comments on theological blogs? (I’m a cuplrit here, granted).

    Just thinking I should do what GB says (I think your name is Lane) and pray for the man. If I were in his shoes, I’d probably want that from those reading this, more than anything.

    Regards,
    Andrew

    PS sorry for getting into the R2k stuff. seems there’s other posts in this forum for that talk. I’ve got some thoughts, i’ll look for an appropriate spot.

  152. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    And if I have a point, its just that I started reading blogs a few days ago, and it appears there are places for people to put their ideas, and so why not share with you all. I’m just a guy who takes theology pretty seriously, and love to talk about it with people on the golf course, in church, and yes, I suppose here on the internet. Peace out.

  153. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 15, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Andrew Buckingham, et al,

    Besides the Bayly Brothers Blog, you can also check out Triablogue and TurretinFan’s blog for “R2K” tags.

    You can also try Bret McAtee’s blog, IronInk.

  154. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 15, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Sweet! Thanks to you, the one they call, “TUAD” :-)

  155. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 15, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Andrew Buckingham,

    You’re welcome!

    Note: There are a good number of people who object to the move of R2Kers to linguistically reposition themselves as 2Kers.

    I’ve seen the following terms used interchangeably:

    Radical 2K (R2K)
    Escondido 2K (E2K)
    Westminster West 2K (W2K or WSW2K)
    Natural Law 2K (NL2K)
    Neo-2K

    Anything but generic “2K”!!!

  156. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 15, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    TUAD,

    Alright, thanks, I’ve seen some of those as I’ve been reading, googling, thinking, praying.

    Ok, so I see something by greenbaggins somewhere, he, I think, was kind of saying two kingdom stuff was getting out of hand? Anyway, I’ve got some concerns about sort of the “Rome” and Stellman thing going on in this post. But I’ve gotta be level – I don’t know what’s driving all this 2k stuff, yet. I’m trying. TUAD, I’ll chime in on some blogs, or communicate via e-mail (andrew.d.buckingham@gmail.com) as you feel led. I’m not trying to play police here. But put yourself in my shoes, someone who was asked last Sunday, “well what do you think of 2 kingdom stuff,” to which I replied, “um, what?” to then have my friend kind of explain some things. And now I’ve been reading. I can see somewhat what’s behind it. But in terms of what I’m thinking about theologically, what I perceive as being the issues in 2k are not where I am at, at least right now. So hey, let’s talk more! It’s clearly worth talking about in these forums. And I’m all about these dialogues (if you can’t tell yet, just look at how many posts today alone!)

    Grace and peace,
    Andrew

  157. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 15, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    In other words, I want to hear the things fleshed out, in regard to 2k. In the meantime, you’ve all pointed me in many directions. And I am gathering my bearings. Maybe give me a week, and I’ll be back next friday, book report in hand, on what I really think of 2k. Unless the golf course it too inviting, I suppose. Sorry, but I think I was talking with Eric Castlemen, he’s another golfer. If you actually got on the field with me and saw how bad I am, you’d wonder, “why all the golf stuff in theology blogs?” But that’s the point! I spend too much time with this, and not enough working on my swing.

    Wow, if I haven’t driven you all mad with my nonsense yet… :-)

    Have a great weekend, TUAD, all.

    -AB

  158. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 15, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    R2K is a wicked banana slice or an ugly duck hook out of bounds on the fairway. Stroke + Distance penalty for R2K OB balls.

  159. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 15, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Finally some sense in theology blogs. Let me check the rule books. But noted. :-)

  160. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 15, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    And I might propose a Pope, Stellman, PCA GA moderator, and either one of us, to make the foursome? The wager? If reformed team wins, well, it will settle something, not sure what. But bragging rights if nothing else. Peace.

  161. June 16, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Andrew, except TUAD isn’t reformed, he is an FV proponent, so who would the ‘reformed team’ consist of?

  162. johnbugay said,

    June 16, 2012 at 10:12 am

    TUAD FV? … Hah!

  163. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    June 16, 2012 at 10:35 am

    #162,

    Not true on both counts.

  164. justsinner99 said,

    June 16, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Andrew, be careful – if you spend too much time on golf, you’ll end up in the water hazard (the Tiber).

    That was Trueman’s point, right? j/k ;)

  165. justsinner99 said,

    June 16, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    “Hey, Judge! A thousand bucks you slice into the woods!”

  166. June 16, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    You certainly come across as one in your comments TUAD

  167. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 16, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    OK just so you all know, someone needs to start a reformed golfers blog. If you don’t, I will beat you to it. Don’t worry, I may have a wicked slice, but I’ll clear that Tiber, once around, land somewhere in the Scottish highlands. And I don’t even know if that makes sense. Just we need some light thoughts here. I’ll share my background to interested parties, later, when I have free time. OPC has way too many good things going on for me to even take a second look at the Tiber. Enjoy your Saturday, folks! Peace.

  168. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 16, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Oh, yes, Trueman’s a great writer. I need to read that blog post again. But his clarifications helped me. I won’t say anymore. Just for golfers out there, you’ll want to have a ‘lesson’ on eclesaiology from someone who knows. Go read. :-) And then let’s see who’s got the farther drives. How is the saying, drive for dough, putt for show, right? :-)

  169. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 16, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Just so you know, I’m done posting on this thread. I am the guy with the dunce cap. Golf isn’t gonna fix 500+ years of church struggle (strife? heartburn?). Presbyterian that I am, I will request you to seek out the committee on ecumenism. Sorry readers. I know I am not being pious.

    Until next time,
    Andrew

  170. Hugh McCann said,

    April 16, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Has he a snowball’s chance you-know-where. Jason has proudly figured out which Church Christ founded (and upon whom!).

    I cannot see any hope for him, biblically. Should we be praying for him still. Now that he’s received as a communicant member of antichrist’s fellowship?

    He’s proudly and knowingly rejected
    total depravity for his free will,
    unconditional election for one based on his decision to pope,
    limited atonement assurance for sacerdotal mysticism,
    irresistible grace for sacramental grace,
    perseverance of the saints for prayers thereto as well purgatory of the faithful…

    sola fide for Jason’s erga
    sola gratia for Jason’s erga
    sola scriptura for magisterial madness
    solus christus for the treasury of merit, BVM intercession, etc.
    soli deo gloria for solus Jasonus gloria.

    Heb 6:4-6, 10:26-31; II Peter 2, Titus 3:9-11 all speak of the impossibility of repentance & returning. Jason is knowledgeable & accountable. He’s willfully rejected the God of the Bible, the Christ of sola scriptura, and the salvation of sola gratia.

    There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
    but a certain fearful looking for of
    judgment and fiery indignation,
    which shall devour the adversaries.

  171. April 17, 2013 at 1:00 am

    Not that your fascination with me isn’t flattering, Hugh, but resurrecting a 10 month-old thread just to reiterate my damnation is a bit creepy and obsessive. Speaking of which, (1) what’s that boiling on my stove? , and (2) anyone seen my pet rabbit?

  172. Hugh McCann said,

    April 17, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Funny, Jason. Sorry to creep you out. But You needn’t worry, I don’t want to get ‘Close’ to you, Mr. Douglas. Nor do I request that you play ‘Misty’ for me.

    I *am* interested, though,
    in your decline and fall, (apostasy, not conversion),
    how ostensibly Reformed folk react to such, and
    how sola scripturalists view the apostasy passages.

    I also admit to being not a little sobered by the similarities in our ecclesiastical trajectories.

    I wish I could wish you well, pray for you, and hope for your recovery. But upon biblical reflection, I don’t get these from either Christ or the Apostles.* Maybe Jude 22f…

    Besides, you’ve been prayed-for and admonished by *much* better men much closer to you than I, to no effect.

    I’d rejoice to read that you’ve repented & returned to the Shepherd & Bishop of your soul (not your man in the Vatican!), but I have no biblical warrant for such a hope. Just the opposite, in fact.

    The rest of Jude better describes you. In your poping, you’ve sworn allegiance to the devil, trading the gospel of Jesus Christ for demonic doctrines.

    May God be pleased to prove me wrong and have mercy on your soul.

    * Heb 6:4-6, 10:26-31; II Peter 2, Titus 3:9-11…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 307 other followers

%d bloggers like this: