Straight Out of Calvin?

Douglas Wilson is going to (eventually) produce a statement of his faith that will be a non-consensus document vis-a-vis the Federal Vision Joint Statement. In this he hopes to clarify where he is now doctrinally, specifically with regard to paedocommunion and the objectivity of the covenant. It will follow the same topical order as the Joint Statement, but will be all Wilson, no consensus. He hopes that people will wish him luck, and then lightheartedly mentions me. I did laugh, by the way, Doug. And I certainly hope for the best and wish you the best in this endeavor.

One of the biggest concerns in my mind, at least, will be the definitions of terms. One of the reasons that the FV theology is so hard to describe is that it tends to use normal Reformed words like “election, regeneration, baptism, justification,” etc., and infuse them (pun intended) with new meaning. This has made communication nearly impossible from the get-go. Many critics have tried (and I am certainly one of them) to understand how the FV uses terms differently. We have been told rather consistently that we just don’t understand. So, one of my hopes is that in this proposed document, Wilson will include lots of very precise definitions of words so that we can see how he is using them. This will make it much easier to compare with the Westminster Standards, to which standard Wilson claims a close affinity.

What will also be helpful will be specific statements of what is repudiated from the Joint Statement. Mere parallelism of document will not convince any critic that Wilson has left errors behind. Wilson was the main editor of the Joint Statement, and the Statement has many significant errors in it. In order for us to believe that he is coming around to a truly Westminsterian viewpoint, some significant repudiation will be required. There is also the consideration that Jim Cassidy wrote about here. I am sure that there are other things which critics will want to see, which we can clarify as Wilson goes forward.

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6 Comments

  1. Ron said,

    January 26, 2017 at 4:57 am

    Even if he gets things right this time, one of two things must true. He just became Reformed or else he was Reformed before and has finally learned to articulate the faith. If the former, then he’s clearly a novice. He should be welcomed to the faith and sit quietly before his teachers in Sunday school. If the latter, then he needs more time to prove he’s apt to teach. Either way, he ought to be facing the pulpit on Sundays rather than the congregation.

  2. Bob S said,

    January 26, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    1. Amen
    2. Not going to happen.

    OK God can do wonders, but as the presiding minister of the CRC and somebody who said the FV was going to make his career we got a lot of ‘splaining to do.

    One of the reasons that the FV theology is so hard to describe is that it tends to use normal Reformed words like “election, regeneration, baptism, justification,” etc., and infuse them (pun intended) with new meaning. This has made communication nearly impossible from the get-go.

    This is the reason from the get go that categorically rules the FV out. They aren’t ready for prime time even if they really do have something substantial/profound/penetrating to say.

    IOW the FV is a Fraudulent Version of the Reformed Faith.

  3. Bob S said,

    January 26, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    (In reply to Ron’s)

  4. Rev. Dawson said,

    January 29, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Good post, but it should be “Westmonistarian.”

    Reverend Martin L. Dawson, Sr.

    Stratford Presbyterian Church

    Stratford, New Jersey

  5. Rev. Dawson said,

    February 3, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    Sorry, I misspelled that. My diploma reads “Westmonasteriensis.” So the correct spelling in question should be, “Westmonasterian,” not “Westministerian.” I know it sounds strange for a Protestant, but that’s history and language.

    WTS Class of 1979

    Reverend Martin L. Dawson, Sr.

    Stratford Presbyterian Church

    Stratford, New Jersey

    From: Rev. Dawson [mailto:m-dawson@comcast.net] Sent: Sunday, January 29, 2017 2:53 PM To: ‘Green Baggins’ Subject: RE: [New post] Straight Out of Calvin?

    Good post, but it should be “Westmonistarian.”

    Reverend Martin L. Dawson, Sr.

    Stratford Presbyterian Church

    Stratford, New Jersey

  6. Adam Kane said,

    February 6, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    Bob S., you are always an inspiration to me. I watch from the shadows, but let it be known your comments and home blog are a tool in the Master’s hand. Thanks.


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