Stellman has opined on the relationship of his struggles with the Leithart case. There have been many who have attacked Stellman for being a less-than-enthusiastic prosecutor of Leithart. Others think that he has been entirely hypocritical. I don’t see any reason to think this at all. For one thing, it is entirely possible (I would argue probable) that he was merely struggling with the issues during the Leithart case. He wasn’t sure what his position was. If that were the case, it would hardly be worthwhile chucking everything out the window. And it is quite conceivable that he could simultaneously be struggling with Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide while believing that someone else who denied Sola Fide should not be in the PCA. Given that he came to that conclusion about himself (that he should not be in the PCA), it seems actually more than consistent. So, I don’t see why people seem to be saying that the Federal Vision has been vindicated. If anything, it has become less stable in its claim to be in line with the standards.
Take Leithart’s post as an example. He believes that confessionalists have elevated their paper pope of the confession to a similar level as the Pope. Leithart would classify himself as more of a biblicist. But (leaving aside the erroneous rhetoric about the paper pope) doesn’t this prove the point: Leithart is NOT operating from a confessional paradigm? He admits that he is not!
Doug Wilson’s post is a bit harder to parse. The problem I have with it is this: I don’t think Jason limited himself to ultra-confessionalists as his dialogue partners. He has loads of commenters on his blog who disagree with parts and/or with the majority of his theology. I think he was fairly well aware of the “broadness” of the Reformed faith. Of course, he was a confessionalist himself, no question. However, the fact that he listened to Romanists for quite a while seems to indicate to me that he is not, and was not naive. I am not defending his decision. That should be clear enough from the last post I wrote on the subject. I just don’t think exposure to the supposed “broadness” of the Reformed tradition would have helped Jason much, primarily because I think he already had that exposure.
I have emailed Jason concerning the actual reasons why he has taken this route, and what triggered it. I have not yet received a response (hardly surprising, given the absolute avalanche I am sure that his inbox is currently experiencing). I assume that explanations will be forthcoming. In the meantime, I encourage people not to speculate.