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Friday, December 01, 2006

Federal Vision Smackdown!

Preface: The fans of our blog (which I could probably count on one hand) have probably noticed that us Horde folks haven't blogged since August. You see, my co-bloggers, Jeremy and Garet, have been preoccupied, busying themselves on their quests to attain matrimonial bliss. Since this more blessed estate is not on the horizon for me, I guess it is up to me to keep up the blogospheric edification.

If I am to continue live as I am, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be married, for that is far better. But to remain as I am is more necessary on your account.

Some of our more astute readers will have noticed that I'm not a fan of the Federal Vision (FV). That's why recent events have given me warm, fuzzy feelings as I have considered the ramifications of the recent ecclesiastical smackdowns of FV. You see, presbyterian government smackdowns are sorta like what you see during WWE Smackdowns, only presbyterian smackdowns are way more boring.

First smackdown came from the OPC this past June in their report, critical of FV, which the General Assembly adopted. Read it here.

At around the same time, the PCA's General Assembly approved the formation of a study committee, presumably critical of FV, to provide a report for adoption in next year's GA. [As an aside, note that the PCA folks have a really slick website. They even webcast their GA's. If their website is like a Ferrari, our website is more like a mule-drawn cart on the information superhighway)]

A few weeks ago, Steve Wilkins' presbytery got handed a smackdown from the PCA's Standing Judicial Commission, which basically told Louisiana Presbytery that they needed to re-examine Wilkins, in spite of that Presbytery's recent examination and report, mostly exhonerating him, and told that Presbytery to report back to the Commission (also see this thread). Basically saying "you should probably come up with a different answer next time." This is sorta like when you used to hand in your homework to your teacher, as a kid, and the paper came back with with "redo" or "rewrite" scrawled on it in red ink. The criticisms advanced by the Central Carolina Presbytery's Memorial (see the link above) are essentially the same as have already been advanced by Calvin Beisner et al. here. I have yet to receive any straightforward defense of these blatant, indefensible departures from Reformed theology from any FV advocate.

But, by far, the best (and most entertaining) FV smackdown in the blogosphere of late is coming from Green Baggins, a PCA minister who is way smarter than me. Catch all the action here and Part 2 is here (be sure to read the comment boxes). Also, be sure to read all of his FV material here.

And then there is my own church family, the United Reformed Church. No, no recent smackdowns here. As a matter of fact, we don't need no stinkin' study commission on FV. Aside from R. Scott Clark already being a walking study commission unto himself, most folks have seen the MENE MENE TEKEL UPHARSIN handwriting on the wall for FV in our circles. Theo Hoekstra and John Barach have both already left our federation.

I think that FV has collided with the ecclesiastical iceburg at this point, and I doubt that all the internet rhetoric in the world can save it. Telling, considering that FV ostensibly holds to such a high church view of church governing authority.

As I commented on another website (that just doesn't 'get' it):

I don’t think it is a just a coincidence or product of mean, knuckle-dragging “TR”s that many elements of FV are taking heat in confessional churches (Wilkins) or else jumping ship (Barach switched out of our URC federation to the CREC [which doesn't even have a true presbyterian form of government]; Shepherd went from OPC to CRC; Lusk from PCA to CREC), are independent (Schlissel and apparently [?] Jordan), or are in the CREC (where there is no will and, apparently, any mechanism for discipline on the matter). Does this not tell you something?

Incidentally - I’m not CREC bashing here. I think the world needs something like the CREC, and I know many good CREC folks. I think it’d be a shame and a waste for them to end up as the land of FV exile.

Indeed, I consider myself most blessed by a good many of the FV promoters through their past written works. Jeremy and I were particularly edified during this summer's Trinity Fest by the lectures of both Doug Wilson and Steve Wilkins. I think it'd be a shame and a waste of these men's ministries if they are going to choose to tie their FV hobby horses around their necks and jump into the sea of biblical church discipline.

Category: Theoblogia


  • Thanks for the link to my blog, and your kind words. Feel free to join the discussion, as I am going to have limited ability in the next few weeks (going on vacation), and would love to have someone take up the torch, as it were. I have linked to your blog on my blog. Would you like to return the favor?

    By Blogger Mr. Baggins, at 8:43 AM  

  • Thanks for dropping by, Mr. Baggins.

    I'll see if I can jump into the discussion on your blog tomorrow. I must rest up for the Lord's Day and get to bed right now.

    I'll also be sure to update my blog and link to you. Cheers!

    By Blogger David Gadbois, at 12:36 AM  

  • Hey, I've never seen this site before, and don't know if we are friends or foes, but I like this post. Well done. We have some of our own ways of analyzing this interesting "smack down" at

    And no, the things you hear about me are not true. Well....unless they say I'm ok lookin'

    Michael Metzler

    By Blogger Michael Metzler, at 6:56 PM  

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