I note that Mark Horne has started blogging about my responses. I will pay some attention to them when I get back from vacation (next week). Right now, I only have time enough to finish my critique of Meyers’s 30 points. Point 27 is about definitive sanctification and the question of justification. The problem with Meyers here is that he commits a sort of reverse fallacy. By saying that a passage can be talking about more than one thing, that is not the same thing as saying that justification itself has more than one thing involved with it. Ferguson’s quotation from The Christian Life cannot be made to say such a thing, either. Ferguson is talking about the passage, not about justification per se. About being set free from sin, that happens in sanctification, not justification. Meyers is conflating two categories, as is Leithart. Sanctification, as Calvin has told us, happens concurrently with justification, but is distinct from it. Distinct, but inseparable. I am really quite at a loss to know why Meyers and Leithart have to play loci musical chairs by putting deliverance from the power of sin under the category of justification. This happens in sanctification. Furthermore, Meyers misinterprets the WCF. He interprets “acceptance” to mean moral renovation. This is not the proper interpretation that phrase. The proper interpretation of the phrase is that we have a right to eternal life based on the imputed righteousness of Christ. That is what the WCF means by “acceptance.”
On point 28, this is really about the same points that have been brought up before about the level of authority this report will have. It has moral authority. It does not have confessional authority. It provides guidance to presbyteries, and it will provide guidance to the SJC as they make their deliberations.
Point 29 is simply rubbish. First of all, it is not a judicial sentence. It has the same kind of weight that the women in the military report has, or any other report. Secondly, the SJC is already dealing with Steve Wilkins. They were dealing with the issue before the study committee was even formed. And they are the final court of appeal, not any presbytery. If the SJC cannot trump a presbytery’s decision, then we have lost one of the three marks of the church on the national level. If the SJC cannot deal with someone who is outside the bounds of the WS, and rule on that, then there is no church discipline in the denomination as a whole. Why do all FV guys seem to think that presbyteries are the final court of appeal? That is simply not the way our courts are set up.
Point 30 also seems to forget that considerable amounts of dialogue have already taken place. Secondly, if something is not in accord with the Standards, then it needs to be firmly escorted off the grounds, not allowed to split the church in the future. This is why the critics are keen on passing this report: the critics see the FV as outside the bounds of the WS. Therefore, they need to go elsewhere.