We have presbytery tomorrow. It is in Lemmon, SD. Hopefully, our study committee will get to have some time to discuss the New Perspective on Paul, the theology of Norman Shepherd, and the theology of Federal Vision. Clarity and humility, it seems to me, is the order of the day.
But one of my greatest pet peeves is that some people will say that someone doesn’t really understand someone else, when in fact, that someone really does. Sometimes this is used as a cloud of subterfuge, in order to cloak heresy with lack of clarity. Sometimes this is not the case. But it drives me bonkers sometimes to see well-respected scholars whine and groan because they think they are not being understood, when it is perfectly obvious that they are being understood. Who do they think they are? ARTISTS? But artists often intentionally cloud over their work with pseudo-intellectual jargon that only obfuscates, whereas theologians are supposed to be clear.
Only slightly tangential to the above was the discussion on the Wrightsaid group that I remember from a while back (when I was still on it), wherein people were constantly telling me that I didn’t understand Wright because I hadn’t read absolutely everything that he had written. These same people had no qualms about misrepresenting just about every traditional Reformed scholar there is or was. It was obvious that they hadn’t read them, or that they hadn’t read them carefully.
But in reference to the Federal Vision theology, I often see proponents of this theology say that their critics do not understand them. Frankly, this statement bothers me, because it is an accusation of lack of intelligence on the part of the critics. I think that Federal Vision advocates ought to give their critics just a little bit more credit here. I find it hard to believe that Rick Phillips, Chris Hutchinson, Morton Smith, Joey Pipa and others don’t know what they are talking about.