Regarding Overture 10 of the 34th GA

If you have your minutes, you will find this overture on p. 227. This overture was grossly misunderstood at last year’s assembly. The language of the overture did not include one single word about adopting the OPC report. The exact wording is this:

That Central Carolina Presbytery overtures the 34th General Assembly to request that the General Assembly respond to all overtures from all presbyteries concerning Federal Vision/New Perspectives on Paul, by including a reference to the OPC study.

This language does NOT mean to adopt the OPC report. When I was defending this on the floor of GA last year, I did not make this as clear as should have been done. But it should be clear that to “include a reference to” is by no means the same as “adopt.” This was, therefore, merely a good faith overture that said to the OPC that we trust them, and that their report should be important to us. Hence, my introduction of an amendment to get at the time problem which constituted the ground upon which the overture was answered in the negative. I believe a very few people saw what I was trying to do. The reason I post about this is that there are still people out there who are woefully confused on this point. Get it right, folks.

Reply to Jeff Meyers, Part 3

With regard to point 5, I have really already dealt with it in this comment. It is the Moderator’s privilege and prerogative to choose the members of the study committee report. Others have also brought up the fact that Gaffin was on the OPC committee, and yet the FV didn’t really like the outcome there either. Of course, that’s because Gaffin is not actually sympathetic to the FV. I think what’s really driving this is that there is no minority report. That is what is really eating away at Jeff and the other FV guys. But, as the comment linked to above says, there is absolutely no way that the FV can provide solid evidence that the deck was stacked. When the stance of 5 out of 7 members of the committee is unknown, one cannot claim that the deck was stacked. It is a desparately weak argument.

Point 6 is also desparately weak. Contact has been made before during the Knox colloquium with the FV men, for one thing. For another, since understanding equals agreement in the minds of every FV advocate, it isn’t really all that helpful to contact the members of the FV, because then one gets into a shouting match of “Yes, I did,” “No, you didn’t,” etc. This is demonstrated to have happened in the blogosphere before. In the minds of the committee, contact would have not have been productive.

Regarding point 7, anyone who really wants to read the report before the time that it is on the docket at 2 PM Wed. will read it. Since it is on the docket, people will be aware that a report exists. Then they will ask someone they know who has internet to print it up. Furthermore, the paper is not mammoth. It is only 1/3 the size of the OPC report. I read it in an hour. To say that one could not read the report between Tuesday when arriving and Wednesday at 2 PM is ludicrous. That assumes that there is no free time whatsoever between those two times. Again, if I, in the boondockiest place in the PCA, can still get hold of the report, then so can anyone else. The report is available.

Point 8 seems to have forgotten the committee’s mandate, which was to determine the level of compatibility of the FV with the Westminster Standards. There is absolutely nowhere in the report where the committee members say that the WS have replaced Scripture. In fact, they don’t imply that, either. I’m sure that that is the reason why Jeff has to resort to the word “appears.” This is therefore an impression, nothing more. There is certainly no evidence whatsoever that the committee has substituted the WS for Scripture. What this betrays is Jeff’s pitting the Scripture against the Westminster Standards. Now, Jeff knows what the original mandate was. What Jeff fails to appreciate, then, is that the controversy is doctrinal. Therefore, Jeff is also pitting biblical theology against systematic theology. The committee did deal with the FV’s exegesis. The logic goes like this: p1 exegesis leads to doctrine; p2 the committee rejects the FV’s doctrine; therefore c1 the committee rejects the FV’s exegesis. Standard modus tollens argument. Are we to believe that the committee did not consider the exegesis jsut because there is no direct evidence of it? I have it on good authority that every committee member read just about everything there was to read. To argue about the doctrinal points is to argue about the exegesis. Therefore, this is a specious argument. The report does not proceed on the basis of saying that the WS are exhaustive of Scripture. The report proceeds on the basis that further formulation should not contradict what is there in the WS. And that is the point of the committee’s report: the FV contradicts the WS, and is not simply “further expansion” of the WS. Jeff makes the point that different terminology is not antithetical but symphonic. It’s a good rhetorical allusion to Poythress. However, the committee is well aware of this distinction. It’s position is that the FV’s terminology is cacaphonous.