Saturday, October 8, 2011

This Just In: No Such Thing as Federal Vision

That's right, folks. False alarm. Do you remember that report which the GA of the PCA overwhelmingly adopted back in 2007 which roundly condemned the theological positions of the Federal Vision? Well we do, and as it turns out, nobody actually is Federal Vision.

Funny story... Turns out it was all just a big hoax. We apparently imagined/invented bogeymen who reject the bi-covenantal nature of the Westminster standards. We apparently imagined that there are people teaching that one is "elect" by virtue of being a member of the church. We apparently imagined that there are men out there teaching that union with Christ makes imputation redundant. The GA apparently made up a group of people who teach that baptism effects a "covenantal union" with Christ and that one can be united with Christ while not receiving all of the benefits which belong to Christ.

Given the fact that in the last few months, three teaching elders whose teachings fit well within the range of what the 2007 report defined as Federal Vision have all been exonerated, we can, I think, safely assume that this was an imagined threat, on par with those snipes that the older boy scouts made me chase in the dark when I was 12.


  1. What it does demonstrate, Adam, is that those who object to the terminology of "covenant of works" and the construct of prelapsarian "merit" don't necessarily reject the bi-covenantal theology (I think you mistakenly wrote 'nature') of the Westminster Standards.
    What is demonstrates, secondly, is that "elect" has multiple referents in Scripture (something even Calvin acknowledged) and that those associated with FV do certainly believe that there is a select and unchanging number who are predestined to final salvation.
    What it demonstrates, thirdly, is that you can embrace the substance of "imputation" --namely, that the righteousness by which we are justified is an alien righteousness, the righteousness of Christ -- without concluding that "imputation" is the best word or construct for denoting how we receive that righteousness (Relatedly Paul did not use "logizomai" in Rom.4 to refer to an impersonal transaction or tranfer).
    It does demonstrate, fourthly, that baptism effects a formal union with the body of Christ which is sociological in nature, that in this body the Spirit is operative and to this body salvation is pledged, and that one can be in the body of Christ and, through unbelief, still not be finally saved.
    No need to be sarcastic about this decision; it strikes me as maturity.
    Wishing you every good thing in Christ

  2. Doug Wilson isn't the only one in this debate who gets to use humor/sarcasm. Besides, irony and sarcasm are God's favorite forms of humor.


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