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Thursday, June 14, 2007

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.

Category: Theoblogia


  • "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."

    I know its a cheeky insult, but I am surprisingly flattered.

    Well written article. I'll continue to check in to your blog.

    God's blessings.

    By Blogger Taylor Marshall, at 6:26 PM  

  • LOL!!!

    Hey, so long as they're talking about and linking to you, right? ;^)


    By Blogger The Clinging Vine, at 8:56 PM  

  • Kudos to the PCA for properly dealing with the FV infection. That doctrinal aberration contradicts not only the Westminster Standards, but also the Three Forms of Unity, the Articles of Religion, the Irish Articles of 1615, and the Lutheran Book of Concord.

    It is to be prayed that the URC will show equal resolve in "going to the mat" against this error. As surely as semi-Pelagians steal the comfort of Divine election from Christians, so the FV, in emptying justification of its meaning, does the same thing. Charles

    By Blogger CB in Ca, at 8:41 AM  

  • Dave: Taylor Marshall was an Episcopal Priest at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Ft. Worth, an evangelical congregation that has a Reformed Rector.

    As I posted above, he knew not the historic theology of his own church.
    Now he lights candles to statues...sigh!" CB

    By Blogger CB in Ca, at 9:15 AM  

  • Get out of town! Seriously? That's where my sister and her husband and children belong....St. Andrews' Episcopal in downtown Fort Worth. She's always waxing eloquent about her terrific Reformed pastor (she's still a bit squirmy about 'priest') and urging me to try her church.

    Bill Dixon, the rector, got a two-year NT Greek class up and running, which she's doggedly working on.

    It is a small world, and no mistake.

    By Blogger The Clinging Vine, at 12:09 AM  

  • The word "priest" comes from the Greek "presbuteros", in English "presbyter shortened to "priest." The meaning is "elder", not one who offers sacrifices.

    Cranmer reformed the ordinal of the Church of England in a more biblical direction. Charles

    By Blogger CB in Ca, at 5:50 PM  

  • Y'know. I once heard some good advice for couples trying to work out a conflict. Each side tries repeat what the other has said back to them in order to make sure they understand where the conflict actually it before responding to it. In all the interchanges I've seen between FV and anti-FV folks, I've never seen an anti-FV person take the time to try and do some honest clarification. They've decided what the other is really saying before they hear them. That is no way of resolving a dispute peacefully and frankly, I'm not sure the PCA was ever interested in resolving this dispute peacefully. I hope y'alls family lives don't reflect this same pettyness and eagerness to jump to conclusions.

    By Blogger David, at 12:08 PM  

  • David, folks have tried to "resolve" this peacefully. The FV have done nothing but circle the wagons and dig their feet in (please especially see Wilkins' latest presbytery examination). The proper way to "resolve" things now "peacefully" is for FV to repent of their teachings. There has now been about 5 years of further discussion and of FV explaining themselves, and they still haven't managed to explain themselves into an orthodox position.

    Underlying some of this is the idea that words simply have no meaning until the FV proponents "explain" their meaning. I'm sorry, but words do have meaning, and they are absolutely responsible for it.

    By Blogger David Gadbois, at 1:42 PM  

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