Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In The PCA, It's an Issue of Identity

The fellows at Baylyblog have some interesting things to say with regards to the PCA's treatment of FVers vs. Missionals. In essence, the Baylys think that TRs in the PCA church are straining at a gnat (Federal Vision being the gnat in this scenario) and ingesting a camel (the camel here being the Tim Keller-ish missionals with a penchant for N.T. Wright's views of heaven and transformationalism and such). By the Baylys' reasoning, the bigger threat to the PCA is not the Federal Vision but rather a broadened (and admittedly unhealthy) evangelicalism:
On the other hand, a denomination that rejects the orthodoxy of Doug Wilson out of hand while embracing Tim Keller unquestioningly is a denomination which has lost sight of what Reformed theology is all about. No one bears greater responsibility for this sad state of affairs than the conservative TRs of the PCA who have made a virtue of turning a blind eye to the wealthy and powerful even as they attack the marginal and disenfranchised with a vehemence bordering on fanaticism.
Whether the Baylys are right about this or not, I don't necessarily want to comment on. What I do want to share was a very insightful comment made by a friend of mine from church named Ben Franks. Here is what he had to say about the PCA:
To me the other overarching issue that's at stake is the question of identity. We are able to clearly deal with the FV issue because we can attain a certain unanimity and agreement about things like justification and imputation. But the (in some ways deeper) divides that we face as a denomination are far harder to deal with because we don't have a clear or uniform understanding of what exactly the PCA is about. The tent is undoubtedly broad, but we can't even agree on whether or not that's a good thing, much less on how to deal with everything underneath the tent. I think the reason that we can't deal as quickly or decisively with Keller etc.. is because it requires a degree of soul searching that the FV doesn't demand.
We can come together over something like Justification because we know that we need to. How strongly do people feel, however, about the misc. seemingly smaller issues surrounding Redeemer PCA? I like what TurretinFan had to say, however:
I think there is work already in progress to deal with the Tim Keller situation. One reason for prioritizing the FV as something to be addressed first would seem to be the allegation that the FV is denying justification by faith alone. Whether or not that accusation is true, such a denial would seem to be a more central error than the errors associated with Tim Keller by his detractors.


  1. Thanks for catching my typo! I've updated the post to correct it.

  2. I have updated to reflect your correction. In other words, "What typo?"


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