Posted by Bob Mattes
There’s an excellent discussion of the NW Presbytery action (or lack thereof) on TE Peter Leithart over at Ordinary Means (HT: Heidelblog). Dr. Scott Clark has some great background links at the Heidelblog link as well. You can catch my summary post on the situation here. For convenience, here are links to the presbytery’s majority report and the excellent minority report. The podcast is about an hour long but provides excellent insights from Jason Stellman into the meeting at NW Presbytery that cannot be directly gleaned from the reports.
I spent some time last night going over the two NW Presbytery reports in some detail. I had said in this post that I would be writing a series of critiques of the majority report, but have changed my mind. It has already been done. The minority report thoroughly covers anything that I would have said. Together with the podcast, the minority report captures all of Leithart’s key errors that place him outside the Westminster Standards and strike at the vitals. In addition, Lane has an index of his posts engaging Leithart’s views on justification here. I have engaged Leithart’s position on final justification here, here, and here; and touched on baptismal efficacy here. In those posts, I draw on early Reformed writers to show the historical errors in both Leithart and, as it turns out, Rayburn’s argumentation.
I’m very disappointed in Rob Rayburn’s excuses for Leithart in particular and Federal Vision in general. His argumentation in the majority report comes right off of the Federal Visionist blogs, and is directly contradicted by the PCA’s Study Report on the Federal Vision and the PCA Standing Judicial Commission’s actions concerning Louisiana Presbytery and Steve Wilkins (SJC Cases 2006-7, 2007-8, and 2007-14), as well as the well-constructed minority report. TE Stellman’s coming appeal to the General Assembly looks very good at this point. NW Presbytery would do well to repent at its next meeting to avoid the embarrassment that Louisiana Presbytery drew on itself, as it is making the same arguments that were rejected in those cases.
As I’ve said before, I respect TE Peter Leithart’s openness, although I certainly disagree with his Federal Visionist theology. He took the initiative to provide his views to his presbytery, and then to follow up by asking, together with TE Jason Stellman, for a committee to study those views in light of the Westminster Standards. Short of simply transferring to the CREC (where he currently works anyway), he’s done all that one can ask, short of simply transferring to the CREC where he would obviously be happier.
Posted by Bob Mattes