PCA Report Aftermath and Fallout
Well, judging by the reaction in the Federal Vision blogosphere, I'd say that FV folks aren't taking yesterday's events too well. Of all things, I'd say that FV reminds me most of Paris Hilton. No matter how much misfortune, indignity, and dishonor befalls it, FV has an uncanny way of maintaining an invincible, smug self-confidence amidst it all. There seems to be no averting FV's high self-estimation. But at least we can say that FV is not just famous for being famous.
If my bizarre illustration doesn't resonate with you, please consider, then, the more serious words of Jim Cassidy:
I've read some of the responses already by FVers. And quite frankly, I am surprised. They are disappointed, but there is no sign among them that perhaps they might be wrong. Brothers, the vast majority of the Reformed church in America has said that the FV is out of accord with the Westminster Standards. Does that not at least give you some pause? I mean, if my brothers spoke so loudly and in such unison to me about my views on a given issue, I would be trembling. Maybe I am weak in my nerves, but when the corporate body of Christ speaks with such unison, I am humbled.
Look, none of us FV critics are throwing a catered party over this matter (OK, maybe I was tempted to) because we don't take these matters lightly, but it would be nice to see the FV do something besides shrug off this development and immediately begin planning their next ecclesiastical survival tactic.
If things continue the way they have, FV will be exiled from the NAPARC churches, at which point it will be hard for FV to have any Reformed street cred. If so, FV will more aptly resemble the Black Knight from Monty Python's Holy Grail, exclaiming "it's just a flesh wound!" after all of its limbs have been chopped off. At this point, Paris Hilton's self-image will seem rather reasonable in contrast.
Another voice whom FV sympathizers should have listened to with some care and heeded as a bright, dazzling red flag is that loveable Romanist apostate who taught us all how to laugh, how to cry, and how to swim the Tiber with the help of FV theology:
The PCA has essentially told the Federal Vision adherents that they are not welcome in the PCA denomination and that their beliefs are contrary to the denomination's theological commitments. If the Federal Visionists seriously trusted their ecclesiology and believed that the PCA was a valid Church, they would submit to the ruling. I doubt they will. I predict a split, a new denomination, or a defection to Douglas Wilson's homegrown denomination.
He had previously remarked:
younger Presbyterians will gravitate toward what the Federal Vision offers. Many will sink their teeth into it and many will find it wanting. Many will discover that the Catholic Church is their true home, and many will discover her in a great moment of joy. This Federal Vision is really only a peek into the keyhole of the Catholic Church. The Federal Visionist has a vision of the beautiful things inside, but they have not yet appreciated the warmth of a true home.
HT: Dr. Scott Clark
Peter Leithart registers his disagreements and quibbles with the Report's declarations here. It is hard for honest people to think that the Report was "slandering" FV and didn't hit its mark when we see reactions like this. Clearly these reports are striking some real, not imaginary nerves. To this I would add the vociferous objections of James Jordan against the recently-published Mid-America Reformed Seminary Report (claiming it incorporates "pagan thought").
Dr. Clark has a worthy discussion concerning FVs future in my denomination, the United Reformed Church.
To say that my classis (Classis Southwest) has been zealous against Federal Vision-related errors is an understatement, but I do wonder if our orthodoxy is as prevelant and unanimous in other classis' (or is it classes?) in the URC federation. Our Synod is coming up in just a few more weeks, and I'll have more to say about it in the days to come.