Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Federal Vision/New Perspectives' started by greenbaggins, Mar 30, 2010.
On the Aquila Report.
Jason Stellman asks some interesting questions about this report here:
Creed Code Cult: Concerning Concern....
I've given a response to Jason's question here:
Johannes Weslianus: Why Covenant Seminary Hasn't Done Anything about Jeffrey Meyers
I don't see why there is any surprise unless Jason is being sarcastic. Isn't this the Presbytery where Mark Horne is from? I had a few buddies who graduated from Covenant. I discipled one of them. The Seminary wasn't pro or con on the FV issue a few years ago. Have they ever changed their middle of the road ground?
When I moderated the Reformation Super Highway I use to see Mark say stuff like this...
Or the basic old response by those who defended the Federal Vision....
Anyways,,,,I am not surprised.
BTW, I just broke one of my rules.... I usually don't take quotes from other places and place them here or take things from here and place them somewhere else. But this comes from a dead (discussion forum) board that is still in the public arena.
Gentlemen, these are secondary sources. Has anything been done within Presbytery? And is slamming an entire presbytery appropriate? ("Isn't this the Presbytery where Mark Horne is from?")
Jeff Myers is our brother in Christ, and this is a church with real people who are trying to serve Christ, not some abstract theological detail or question. We must subordinate ourselves to charity in Christ and to the processes afforded within Presbyterianism.
I was a member of this church in its infancy. The organizing pastor was rock-solid and mentored Mr. Myers closely; it was a blessing that Mr. Myers was available when the organizing pastor was taken home at a young age.
Yes, federal vision is a cancer that is eating its way into many reformed circles. If that is the case at Providence Reformed, then I pray that God in his mercy would guide the session and presbytery in its duties. Indeed, I would pray for all of our denominations as they struggle with the error that the fall regularly visits upon us.
Forgive me if I am out of line here, because I recognize that PB leaders are involved in this thread. I submit this in the hope that we can deal with one another in love, and grieve for the church when it is indeed diminished.
A statement from the church's website:
I don't think anyone is slamming an entire Presbytery. In fact, if you look at the links you will notice that quite a few men from other Presbytery's have filed the complaint. My quotes were not secondary. They were composed by Mark Horne. I was involved in those discussions. In fact, It was my interaction with Pastor Horne that I learned much about the Covenant of Works being considered a gracious covenant in the eyes of those who do not see it in a confessional nor biblical light.
I am sorry that this is true. But it has been common knowledge to me about the direction that Providence has been going in for some time. We are not slamming a whole presbytery. And no one is saying that Jeff Myers is not a brother in Christ. A request has been made to investigate Myers. That is not an unloving thing. It is very loving to protect the body of Christ from teaching that is harmful to the body of Christ. It is a matter of discipline. It would be unloving to do or say nothing.
Martin, that is exactly what I am hoping for: that if indeed there is error here, that the courts of the church would deal with it appropriately. I write keeping in mind a verse from a great hymn:
It seems the letter is a call to investigate the statements/beliefs of Jeff Meyers. The polity of the PCA, if memory serves, requires that charges against a TE be brought before Presbytery, and so it is appropriate that this be at the level of presbytery. The link by Lane seems very complete in it giving a copy of the actual letter, which seems to have quotes that are by Meyers, and the reference sections of the WCF which such statements appear to be in conflict. The letter is signed by more than two or three (meeting the requirements of bringing a charge against an elder).
I am not a lawyer of the church, but it appears that the letter ought be dealt with in a serious manner. As it is a request for investigation, and not charges (though it meet the standards of charges) appears to be giving TE Meyers some room for clarifying his statements if those statements are being misread and taken in a way he does not intend (though his statements do, at face value, appear to place him outside the standards). I would call that gracious, and would expect presbytery to act quickly and with all due diligence to ferret out the truth lest, if the alleged positions be true, those not fully grounded in the faith be lead astray by a false teacher who has abandoned his vows.
In this matter I am and would hope we all do, lest the glory of the church, the bride of Christ, be tarnished by slow action and corruption, or that questions regarding someone that has poorly expressed themselves be left uncorrected.
I don't believe Covenant ever employed Jeff Meyers as a teacher, at least they didn't when I was there 95-98. In that light, I'm not exactly sure what people expect them to do about what Jeff Meyers teaches in his church. That would be a presbytery matter entirely.
As for Dr. Collins, having had him for quite a few classes in Seminary, albeit just before all the FV lingo started to become known, he certainly didn't promote FV type teaching or thinking while I had him. I sent him the link to your article. Maybe he'll respond at some point? I'm guessing he will. I think it's lame to imply Covenant is somehow weak on the FV issue because one professor makes a statement that is complimentary of N.T. Wright. Let's ask him what he means and refrain from corporate conclusions.
I'm all for confronting ministers on what they hold to and teach- we should do that, especially on issue that concerns a clear teaching of justification by faith alone. I just don't like the witch hunt feel this whole thing smacks of. Missouri Presbytery has some very strong, traditionally Reformed churches. It's a large Presbytery. I am confident they will handle this letter of concern equitably.
Are you referring to Wes White's post and not the OP (Aquila Report)? Just clarifying.
Sorry. Yes, I am referring to Wes's above linked post.
Looking at the list of names that signed the Letter of Concern, I wouldn't say that these Godly me were witchhunters nor are they on a witch hunt. They are very concerned men who love the body of Christ and His Kingship. So I think that both you and I should probably be a bit more careful. I for one have had some interaction with Horne and his views. He has either removed or just moved some of his stuff I use to reference concerning his views on the Covenant of Works. Thanks for reminding me that Myers hasn't been charged. The gentlemen are asking for an investigation into the matter. I believe they are right for doing such a thing.
Your point is well taken. I didn't mean to imply the signers of the letter of concern were witch-hunting. My apologies to those brothers for not being clearer.
The letter is very reasonable and well-worded. Kudos for that.
I was more reacting to the implication in Wes White's linked blog post that because Dr. Collins (a CTS Prof) may be favorable to something of N.T. Wright, Covenant Seminary may be weak on FV matters and that's why they don't "deal with" Jeff Meyers.
Okay, I see now. Thanks for helping us out here Pastor. I really appreciate it.
Jeff Meyers issues an initial response to the letter-
Without commenting on the facts of this particular situation, I think it is interesting the wisdom of our forefathers in the faith providing process such as this, referenced in the Book of Church Order.
It allows intervention by outside presbyteries, in accord with the agreement of at least two witnesses (presbyteries) in cases where a presbytery refuses to act to protect the church from doctrine or scandalous moral harm.
Scott, et al.:
In the interest of perfecting what I have posted on the PCAHC site, here is some commentary on BCO 34-1. I'm always open to constructive comments:
Great historical summary there, Wayne.
I was generally aware there was a particular church in Knoxville where it was alleged the session was allowing women to expound and preach and that their presbytery was not acting to protect the church. This provision was used to try and bring the case before General Assembly. And there was some debate about what constituted a Presbyteries "failure to act" and the Assembly overruled its Judicial Commission ruling, etc.
In the end, it looks like there is a provision to intervene into a presbyteries actions but the actual basis for doing so has been interpreted in a way that prevents bringing it into the court of General Assembly if a presbytery has done anything at all.
Are you aware, is there a historical record of all Overtures proposed, their vote, status, etc.
Do you mean a database or a running list on someone's computer or on the web?
I'm not sure. Otherwise, just access to the printed Minutes, though that's not all that convenient.
I wasn't sure if there is an official historical list of all overtures presented to General Assemblies, with their outcome. Sounds like there may not be.
If this is inappropriate comment on a pending case, moderators please feel free to delete this post.
I am not familiar with the specific circumstances of this individual or this case.
Looking at the gentleman's response, above, an "exception" that he was granted (above) seems to me hard to believe that it was granted.
The covenant of works is so foundational to covenant theology and reformed theology and the Westminster Standards it's hard to understand how one could view it "misleading at best" and be able to receive the Standards.
Christ came as the "second Adam" and did what Adam failed to do (obey God) and therefore He, Christ satisfied God's standard of righteousness. Faith in that alone, under a covenant of grace now, saves us.
To even imply this was not necessary unravels many doctrines, all based on justification by faith in Christ's righteousness alone.
I, too, am amazed to hear that presbyteries approved such an exception to WCF 7, if true. Without the Covenant of Works, the entire redemptive chain unravels. Romans 5 becomes incomprehensible at best, moot at worst. If Christ didn't have to fulfill the CoW (Mt 5:17) by living the perfect, sinless life, then why couldn't he just have become incarnate on Thursday night, have dinner with some of his closest buddies, go to the cross on Friday, then rise and return to heaven on Sunday? He still wouldn't have sinned, but he wouldn't have fulfilled the CoW through his perfect obedience for us as Romans 5:19 (et al) tells us was necessary. As Calvin says on this verse:
That was one thing that caught my eye also Wayne. Very disturbing since it has such ramifications upon the distinctions of faith and law. They have faith and law so confused it isn't funny.
Excellent historical overview of 34-1. If the PCA were to make the hurdle too high, it would become like the CREC where the burden is so great on those bringing charges that there would be no accountability from a practical standpoint. That would negate one of the marks of a true church.
Scott et al,
This exception on the Covenant of Works was also granted in my presbytery. To TE Greg Lawrence. TE Lawrence was an intern in Jeff Meyers' church.
So was TE Joshua Moon. His exceptions were much more complicated (and numerous. Five pages of them, if memory serves.)
Wow, and we see how that's working out. What are these presbyteries thinking? In ours, we carefully filter for all these errors as we are duty bound to do. We're not perfect, but at least we try very hard.
Scott, my understanding is that this is not a rare exception. If you read closely the exception is primarily focused on incorrect interpretations, not on the substance of the doctrine.
I really don't know if this is a rare granted exception among the 77 Presbyteries of the PCA, whether it has been declined or accepted in only a couple or few Presbyteries.
All I do know is that this kind of difference, a broadside difference to the covenant of works and an assertion that "the Westminster Standards are not always consistent in using the same language," would seem likely to disqualify the candidate from our system.