Why Some Are Attracted to the Federal Vision?

Discussion in 'Federal Vision/New Perspectives' started by NaphtaliPress, Jan 10, 2007.

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  1. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

    One who experiences "forgiveness" is more than a hearer of the Word, he is a partaker of what the Word promises to the children of God. Wilkins states that forgiveness can be lost. You know this, which is evident from the fact that in your previous post you tried to include forgiveness in kingdom blessings to the non elect.

    Concerning 1 Cor. 10, yes, they partook of Christ SACRAMENTALLY. But sacramental participation is only effectual with respect to the elect. Hence sacramental participation in Christ does not necessarily mean that they were REALLY in Christ. Only on the basis of the FV understanding of "sacramental efficacy" could one leap from SACRAMENTAL to REAL participation in Christ. Such a view destroys the sacramental union between the sign and the thing signified by confusing them.
  2. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    You really are frustrating to interact with because you don't take the time to read people for what they said:

    You said that you wanted Dr. Clark to back you up on the use of the terms historical and eschatological Church, I merely replied that Dr. Clark had said he had never heard him use those terms. I do not agree, at all, that MH uses the words with even remotely the same substance as the FV does. It is one thing to say that the non-elect participate externally by partaking of the sacraments, it is quite another to say that they do so just like the elect but only a difference in degrees perhaps.

    Let's just make this really simple: the forgiveness of sins. The FV use passages where Paul addresses a congregation and use words that apply to the elect. The FV says: "Well Paul is addressing this congregation, he knows some are likely reprobate, so forgiveness of sins applies to them in some sense too."

    That is NOT what Michael Horton would ever say so the terms have real difference in substance and they're NOT saying what Rev. Winzer just said either.

    They are saying that, while in the Church, because they're in Christ (in some sense), they have forgiveness of sins in some sense. We say there is NO sense in which their sins are forgiven even temporally. Yes they participate in the hearing of the Word and in the Sacraments but they never have faith that rests in Christ, which, alone, is the instrument of their justification and unites them to Christ and gives them a benefit like forgiveness of sins.

    Let me ask you a simple question: Have you read the thread that I just referred to you or not? If you haven't then please read it before you post in this thread again. If you forgot where the link is, here it is again: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php?t=18377
  3. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Thiis is the crucial point. If they follow the Westminster formulation, forgiveness of sins belongs to the justified state. As I noted earlier, that little chapter on adoption -- so few words, so great matter -- teaches explicitly "ALL those that are justified" are "NEVER cast off." It is true that castaways might give a temporal *appearance* of being in a justified state and of having their sins forgiven. Westminster theology allows fully for the presence of phenomenological believers. But it does not allow for the apostasy of any who are *real* partakers in spiritual blessings.
  4. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Let's not forget . . .

    "For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God."
  5. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Without question.

    Answer (WLC 31)

    With whom was the covenant of grace made?

    The covenant of grace was made with Christ as the second Adam, and in him with all the elect as his seed.

    Further evidence is found in Genesis when we're taught that the covenant was with Isaac, not Ishmael, even if Ishmael received some temporal blessings and protections:

    And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.

    FV pastors are not competent to rightly divide God's word and their minds are darkened. in my opinion this is something the average pew sitter can easily understand. A is A even if some want to play the "analogy" game.
  6. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    If one pauses long enough to read this string of catechism questions and answers below they will be left scratching their head at the hub-bub or shall I say brouhaha that has been generated. Pretty much most of the topics are addressed confessionally here and should have been subscribed to by all parties of the debate. Sorry to play copy-n-paste the confession but the visible/invisible, who's in who's out, the benefits, justification basically are all spelled out with scripture proofs no less.

    Pertinent passages:

    WLC 61 Are all they saved who hear the gospel, and live in the church? A. All that hear the gospel, and live in the visible church, are not saved; but they only who are true members of the church invisible.(1)
    (1) John 12:38-40; Rom. 9:6; Matt. 22:14; Matt. 7:21; Rom. 11:7

    WLC 62 What is the visible church? A. The visible church is a society made up of all such as in all ages and places of the world do profess the true religion,(1) and of their children.(2)
    (1) 1 Cor. 1:2; 1 Cor. 12:13; Rom. 15:9-12; Rev. 7:9; Ps. 2:8; Ps. 22:27-31; Ps. 45:17; Matt. 28:19,20; Isa. 59:21
    (2) 1 Cor. 7:14; Acts 2:39; Rom. 11:16; Gen. 17:7

    WLC 63 What are the special privileges of the visible church? A. The visible church hath the privilege of being under God's special care and government;(1) of being protected and preserved in all ages, notwithstanding the opposition of all enemies,(2) and of enjoying the communion of saints, the ordinary means of salvation,(3) and offers of grace by Christ to all the members of it in the ministry of the gospel, testifying, that whosoever believes in him shall be saved,(4) and excluding none that will come unto him.(5)
    (1) Isa. 4:5,6; 1 Tim. 4:10
    (2) Ps. 115:1,2,9; Isa. 31:4,5; Zech. 12:2,3,4,8,9
    (3) Acts 2:39,42
    (4) Ps. 147:19,20; Rom. 9:4; Eph. 4:11,12; Mark 16:15,16
    (5) John 6:37

    WLC 64 What is the invisible church? A. The invisible church is the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one under Christ the head.(1)
    (1) Eph. 1:10,22,23; John 10:16; John 11:52

    WLC 65 What special benefits do the members of the invisible church enjoy by Christ? A. The members of the invisible church by Christ enjoy union and communion with him in grace and glory.(1)
    (1) John 17:21; Eph. 2:5,6; John 17:24

    WLC 66 What is that union which the elect have with Christ? A. The union which the elect have with Christ is the work of God's grace,(1) whereby they are spiritually and mystically, yet really and inseparably, joined to Christ as their head and husband;(2) which is done in their effectual calling.(3)
    (1) Eph. 1:22; Eph. 2:6-8
    (2) 1 Cor. 6:17; John 10:28; Eph. 5:23,30
    (3) 1 Pet. 5:10; 1 Cor. 1:9

    WLC 67 What is effectual calling? A. Effectual calling is the work of God's almighty power and grace,(1) whereby (out of his free and special love to his elect, and from nothing in them moving him thereunto(2) ) he doth, in his accepted time, invite and draw them to Jesus Christ, by his word and Spirit;(3) savingly enlightening their minds,(4) renewing and powerfully determining their wills,(5) so as they (although in themselves dead in sin) are hereby made willing and able freely to answer his call, and to accept and embrace the grace offered and conveyed therein.(6)
    (1) John 5:25; Eph. 1:18-20; 2 Tim. 1:8,9
    (2) Tit. 3:4,5; Eph. 2:4,5,7,8,9; Rom. 9:11
    (3) 2 Cor. 5:20 compared with 2 Cor. 6:1,2; John 6:44; 2 Thess. 2:13,14
    (4) Acts 26:18; 1 Cor. 2:10,12
    (5) Ezek. 11:19; Ezek. 36:26,27; John 6:45
    (6) Eph. 2:5; Phil. 2:13; Deut. 30:6

    WLC 68 Are the elect only effectually called? A. All the elect, and they only, are effectually called;(1) although others may be, and often are, outwardly called by the ministry of the word,(2) and have some common operations of the Spirit;(3) who, for their wilful neglect and contempt of the grace offered to them, being justly left in their unbelief, do never truly come to Jesus Christ.(4)
    (1) Acts 13:48
    (2) Matt. 22:14
    (3) Matt. 7:22; Matt. 13:20,21; Heb. 6:4-6
    (4) John 12:38-40; Acts 28:25-27; John 6:64,65; Ps. 81:11,12

    WLC 69 What is the communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ? A. The communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ, is their partaking of the virtue of his mediation, in their justification,(1) adoption,(2) sanctification, and whatever else, in this life, manifests their union with him.(3)
    (1) Rom. 8:30
    (2) Eph. 1:5
    (3) 1 Cor. 1:30

    WLC 70 What is justification? A. Justification is an act of God's free grace unto sinners,(1) in which he pardoneth all their sins, accepteth and accounteth their persons righteous in his sight;(2) not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them,(3) but only for the perfect obedience and full satisfaction of Christ, by God imputed to them,(4) and received by faith alone.(5)
    (1) Rom. 3:22,24,25; Rom. 4:5
    (2) 2 Cor. 5:19,21; Rom. 3:22,24,25,27,28
    (3) Tit. 3:5,7; Eph. 1:7
    (4) Rom. 5:17-19; Rom. 4:6-8
    (5) Acts 10:43; Gal. 2:16; Phil. 3:9

    WLC 71 How is justification an act of God's free grace? A. Although Christ, by his obedience and death, did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God's justice in the behalf of them that are justified,(1) yet in as much as God accepteth the satisfaction from a surety, which he might have demanded of them and did provide this surety, his own only Son,(2) imputing his righteousness to them,(3) and requiring nothing of them for their justification but faith,(4) which also is his gift,(5) their justification is to them of free grace.(6)
    (1) Rom. 5:8-10,19
    (2) 1 Tim. 2:5,6; Heb. 10:10; Matt. 20:28; Dan. 9:24,26; Isa. 53:4,5,6,10,11,12; Heb. 7:22; Rom. 8:32; 1 Pet. 1:18,19
    (3) 2 Cor. 5:21
    (4) Rom. 3:24,25
    (5) Eph. 2:8
    (6) Eph. 1:7

    WLC 72 What is justifying faith? A. Justifying faith is a saving grace,(1) wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spirit(2) and word of God,(3) whereby he, being convinced of his sin and misery, and of the disability in himself and all other creatures to recover him out of his lost condition,(4) not only assenteth to the truth of the promise of the gospel,(5) but receiveth and resteth upon Christ and his righteousness, therein held forth, for pardon of sin,(6) and for the accepting and accounting of his person righteous in the sight of God for salvation.(7)
    (1) Heb. 10:39
    (2) 2 Cor. 4:13; Eph. 1:17-19
    (3) Rom. 10:14,17
    (4) Acts 2:37; Acts 16:30; John 16:8,9; Rom. 5:6; Eph. 2:1; Acts 4:12
    (5) Eph. 1:13
    (6) John 1:12; Acts 16:31; Acts 10:43
    (7) Phil. 3:9; Acts 15:11

    WLC 73 How doth faith justify a sinner in the sight of God? A. Faith justifies a sinner in the sight of God, not because of those other graces which do always accompany it, or of good works that are the fruits of it,(1) not as if the grace of faith, or any act thereof, were imputed to him for his justification;(2) but only as it is an instrument by which he receiveth and applieth Christ and his righteousness.(3)
    (1) Gal. 3:11; Rom. 3:28
    (2) Rom. 4:5; Rom. 10:10
    (3) John 1:12; Phil. 3:9; Gal. 2:16
  7. re4med

    re4med Puritan Board Freshman

    Todd (and others),

    My position is not dogmatic, Todd, and you know that as we have privately discussed it numerous times.:mad: Do I think there is some value in some of the aspects that the suppossed FV people are bringing to light? Yes. Do I agree with everything entirely. No.

    As far as the Wilkins interview is concerned, there was a great deal of concern that we be very careful on the issue of Baptism given the pending reexamination of Steve. Of course, if there were questions that you think we missed (and I am sure we did. I have never pretended to be a good interviewer -- I am just doing the best I can and learning as I go) you had every opportunity to offer questions relating to the topic in the Covenant Radio fourm. I will ask any question that is presented on the forum to my guests regardles of my personal bias. If you have questions, ask them. If you want to flesh out something than do so on the forum and we will be glad to present them. Also, in the interview with Schlissel I was more than willing to take the "devil's advocate" side of the issue and present questions from that side, and I did. My co-host even thought I was arguing with Schlissel at one point in the interview (which I wasn't). All this being considered anyone who has questions can certainly ask them on the forum. That is why it is there and plenty of notice is given of who will be coming on the show. There is also a "post-interview" thread for each guest we have on air as to allow people to respond to comments and offer more questions, etc.
  8. re4med

    re4med Puritan Board Freshman

    To be fair we have asked a number of anti-FV individuals to come on the program and discuss the issue. All I can do is ask them to come on and talk about it. I certainly cannot make them come on the show. Honestly, I wish they would. Perhaps some of you might encourage a few of the "experts" to accept the invites I have sent them so that we can do so.

    However, I can answer the question in a simple way: I would treat them with respect and dignity as a gentlemen. I do not see the anti-FV individuals as enemies (they are my brothers) nor do I see the FV proponents as some here on this forum (and elsewhere) as heretics necessarily, or enemies of the truth. Certainly some here will dispute that position and disagree and that is fine. Opinions are certainly plenty in this area. All I am saying is that I strive to treat all of our guests with fairness and dignity and as a Christian ought to treat them regardless of my point of view. Do I offer my points of view during the programs? Yes. Am I willing to disagree on air? Yes. Am I willing to ask hard questions? Sure.

    Keep in mind that just because I agree with some aspects of what our guests may be saying does not mean I am now a "disciple" of that guest.

    Anyhow, and for the record, we are interested in having anyone on the show regardless of current thinking on the FV matter.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2007
  9. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    That would require that all FV advocates like Wilkins actually held to the Confession as containing the system of doctrine that is taught in Scripture. Wilkins claims to, but does not. Hence the hub-bub. But you do point out that in spite of some attempts to float every word in their defense into the rarified ethers of analogy and paradox, the heresies of Neo-legalism are easy to identify and we have a ready tool, complete with proofs from Scripture, by which to do it. Nice post.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2007
  10. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    A number? Which ones?
  11. Theoretical

    Theoretical Puritan Board Professor

    First, sorry I didn't notice the remaining presence of he/she in my discussion. I was originally posting a portion speaking of believers in general, then changed it to only officers and teachers, forgetting to alter that. I assure you I have absolutely no desire to see women in mixed gender teaching roles for adults, and especially not as pastors within the church. My church growing up had numerous women ministers - a calamity. The original post will be corrected and so noted.

    Second, my confidence in a teacher/elder/pastor's adherence to a doctrine like justification is called into question when very related issues are raised that seem to be saying something quite different. One of the greatest benefits of confessions is that they are a great opportunity for branches of the Church to express very difficult doctrines clearly, precisely, and directly. After all, how much poorer and weaker would we be on an continually difficult doctrine like the Trinity were it not for the arduous and intolerant (to alternative formulations) language of the Athanasian Creed? Yes doctine is complex and should be encouraged to be nuanced, precise, and highly descriptive, particularly within church standards.

    Basically, I as a student of both politics, religion, and history have a very deep fear of when the meanings of words start getting muddled. Particularly with the greatest weakness of the English language also being its greatest strength; namely, its tendency to have a host of meanings for any given word, with a new meaning being propogated over the course of say ten years. Because of this flexibility, statements on secondary matters that appear to be changes of the meaning of the word (justification in this case) must be taken seriously. One only has to look at the statements of faith of lots of evangelical churches and the doctrine preached from the pulpit that platitutes can be easily stated, with no (or a radically different) meaning behind them.
  12. re4med

    re4med Puritan Board Freshman

    well, exactly, there have been three:

    John Otis
    Guy Waters
    Calvin Beisner (who has never responded)
  13. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thanks. So three. For those who did respond, what was the reason(s) they declined?
  14. re4med

    re4med Puritan Board Freshman

    The reasons don't really matter do they? They declined (and not because they think I am FV and they are not). The specifics are between me and them.

    BTW, it should be noted that I am not FV but in todays climate it does seem that you have to be either FV or non-FV. As I stated before, there are definitely aspects of the FV paradigm that I think is helpful and needful in today's church. There are other matters that I am still wrestling with. So, contrary to my opponents, this is my poistion. Now it can dobuted and it can be denied but not without questioning my integrity.
  15. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Fair enough.

    That's exactly right. There is no middle ground. I'm glad you're finally realizing that William.

    "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"
  16. re4med

    re4med Puritan Board Freshman

    I would not consider them to be unbelievers. Apparently you do. You are certainly entitled to your opinion. However, I must say that it is truly sad that you hold it.
  17. WrittenFromUtopia

    WrittenFromUtopia Puritan Board Graduate

  18. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Why is that sad? Justification is by belief alone. Covenetal obedience and even our perseverance play no role. Read Everlasting Righteousness by Bonar. Perhaps then you wouldn't be so easily fooled.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2007
  19. Apologia

    Apologia Puritan Board Freshman

    Sorry so late in responding.

    Yes, it is good for Reformed churches. There are plenty of Reformed Preterists out there. There is an entire book from the Reformed camp against Preterism (When Shall These Things Be).

    It is an issue in the Reformed camp, it is an issue that people have questions on, so we deal with it.

    Coming up soon, we have a Reformed Partial-Preterist debating a Preterist. Again, so people can know the differences in the view.
  20. Apologia

    Apologia Puritan Board Freshman

    OK, thanks for the love and accusations. But now, let's put some money where the mouth is:

    We're having Doug Wilson on tomorrow night...some of you big hitters supply me with some good hardballs. Since every board I read says no one is asking the right questions, and you think we are not on our show, give me some of these "right questions" to ask of Mr. Wilson. About 3-5 would be adequate for our show length. I don't want to ask "soft balls" so give me some hard balls to ask. We've invited everyone to ask in our forum, but since you won't come to us, I come to you.

    Thanks in advance for your help,
  21. Apologia

    Apologia Puritan Board Freshman

    Not sure if this has been asked or addressed, being new to the board and not having time to read all of the posts so far, but I did think of something upon reading this. (regardless of what people say about me on this board, I still am studying and have questions....and yes Scott, even your book is on it's way to me as we speak...actually ordered a week ago).

    The day before Judas "went out," what was his standing in the church (congregation of followers)? How did his "pastor" treat him? Was he considered in or out of union with Christ by those serving around him? Would his fellow believers have consider him in or out of the Covenant? By what guideline was his standing considered? How/why did the Spirit work through him and why did Christ serve him communion, knowing he was never really in?

    These are some of the questions I ponder. By what standard do we judge people next to us in the pew, to determine if they are in or out? How does my pastor know who to include and exclude in his declarations of faithfulness and pardon of sin? How does he address our congregation....Hello saints...and those hypocrites just faking it...welcome!?

    If Judas was never IN anything, what was he, and what was he considered that day before he fell, and what did he fall from if he was never part of anything to fall out of (I think someone did ask this similar question, so sorry if a repeat)?

  22. tewilder

    tewilder Puritan Board Freshman

    In your denomination (PCA) the Federal Vision is being address on two tracks.

    1) A study committee has been set up. The committee will report to the General Assembly, but this will have no normative status. Still the report, as something commissioned by the General Assembly, could be viewed given a general sense of how the PCA sees things.

    2) There is a judicial process in progress about the views of one particular FV writer.
  23. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Here are some hardball questions:

    1. The Reformed camp has always recognized that we treat people like Judas with the "judgment of charity". We don't know who the Elect are so we disciple all presuming they are Christians. For instance, Jesus knew Judas was apostate but He still discipled Him from the beginning as an Apostle - reproving them all equally and not giving special treatment to Judas. Yet the Scriptures say that Judas was never a believer from the beginning. In the eyes of God, was Judas ever forgiven his sins on the basis of Christ's righteousness?

    2. More generally, the Federal Vision teaches a temporary or historical union with Christ to be distinguished from a full or final union with Christ when the true believers are vindicated at the judgment. The basis of this teaching are passages in Ephesians 1 and elsewhere where Paul addresses the entire Church Body and speaks of forgiveness of sins, being united to Christ, etc. The Federal Vision argues that, because Paul is addressing a wide audience, that Paul's language refers both to those both predestined to glory and those elected to reprobation. They further argue, then, that instances of this language demonstrate that the reprobate have some of the benefits that the Reformed Confessions have always confined to the Elect. One of them being forgiveness of sins as the above. The questions are, without equivocation:

    Is there ever a time, historically or finally, when God looks at a person who is ultimately reprobate (never regenerated) and sees that person as forgiven, covered by the Blood of Christ and having Christ's righteousness applied to that person? Is there ever a time that the person temporarily possesses those gifts and then loses them.

    If the basis for the forgiveness of sins is Covenantal union with Christ and you say yes to the above (even equivocating on language) then does that not repudiate the historic Reformed position that the instrument of our justification is a faith that rests upon the finished work of Christ? How does a reprobate person ever possess that faith that rests upon Christ?

    3. If you and the others in the FV camp are all orthodox and merely misunderstood by the majority in the Reformed camp then what right do you have to be disrupting the unity of the Church in haggling over words? It would seem you've tried far too long to get people to accept new language if we're all really singing the same tune in substance. If there is something different about what you teach then why don't you offer a critique of the defects of historic Reformed theology? Why don't you explain why you believe it has been necessary to tear apart Churches and Presbyteries? What is this core doctrine that the Reformed Churches have been missing, that you discovered, that requires ths upheaval?

    It has been answered. As noted, Judas was treated as if he was a believer. It's not a question of peering into the hidden counsel of God and the Church doing the job of dividing the sheep from the goats in day to day ministry. But Christ always knew His own and He says so about Judas. The question I have for you that I posed to Doug Wilson (if you ask it): Were Judas' sins ever covered in Christ's blood? Was the obedience of Christ ever imputed to Judas on his behalf in the eyes of God? Did Judas ever have a faith that completed rested on the work of Christ? That is the core issue of union with Christ.

    He doesn't know and so he exhorts and reproves as if he does. What he must not do is then go the extra mile and say: "Well if I'm supposed to treat them all the same, then God must be doing the same thing...." Look at the passage in Acts regarding the shipwreck in Malta and how Paul warns all the men not to abandon ship or their lives would be lost. This was after he had special revelation that everybody would be spared.

    Judas was an Apostle. He was in the Covenant. He was blessed to see, up front and personal, the works of God. He was called to repentance. He was blessed in every way. He was commanded to repent and rest on Christ's work. He never did. His sins were never forgiven Him on the basis of the finished work of Christ which requires that we believe and not just participate in.
  24. Apologia

    Apologia Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks for the questions, we will use them.

    If anyone has more, you can post to our forum direct so we'll see them before the interview:


    Questions though on your comments:

    But wait, I think it does come down to a peering into the hidden counsel of God, that seems to be the main issue that started this whole controversy. The 2002 Pastor's Conference was a conference for pastor's on how to deal with the day to day issues of the physical church they were over. It was all about how to deal with life on Earth in the church.

    The WCF is dealing with theology from God's point...theological accuracy and systematic views of God's working behind the scenes. but it appears to me that he conference was from a ground up approach for pastor's on how to deal with assurance and issues in the congregations. If a congregation member, like Judas, came to his pastor and said "what evidence can I have that I am in?" and the pastor said look to your baptism and put your faith in Christ and his promises from that, and stay faithful to Christ, how is that wrong, and what should be said. That seems to be one of the issues that stemmed from the original 2002 conference, right? I don't recall them ever addressing the behind the scenes working of God, but the visible, external workings in the congregations, ad the objectivity of the covenant process.

    Maybe I am still missing something.

    Again, I am confused some, as this language you use is what I recall hearing said at the 2002 Conference in dealing with the church body. Paul referred to all of the members of a church in his letters as Saints, yet exhorted them to remain faithful, as if they had something they could lose. The conference speakers commented to respond just like this, and they have been taken to task.

    This is why there is such a confusion in this FV situation. I hear people say "they teach such-and-such which is heresy" ...then I find other Reformers saying the same thing, and even Scripture examples.

    Maybe I missed something again, cause I don't recall the speakers saying God treats the the same way behind the scenes. Actually, I find very little of God telling us how his working behind the scenes are perceptible enough to us to make clear cut judgments like this.

    So Judas was IN Covenant? He had the Spiritual gifts of the Apostles, he was blessed, enjoyed communion with Christ, and in every way acted like a believer and received the blessing of that union. So he was In Covenant, but not really IN Covenant? I am still a bit confused...up until the day he left, how would anyone have known he wasn't really in? As long as he remained obedient, he was considered in, until such time as he fell (fell from the Covenant) and became disobedient? Isn't that FV teaching, that we treat people as believers, and assure them of their status as long as they remain faithful, until such time as they prove other wise? And if so, then while they were faithful, they had all of the blessings and gifts of being in the Covenant until they left it?

    In other words, up until the day before Judas left, what was he missing spiritually that could be seen, known, or determined by him to be missing? What part of Covenant union did he not participate in up till then? Did he know all along that he had not put real faith in Christ, or had real repentance? Did he know he was going to fall from his position, and was just faking it? Did anyone around him see it coming? Why did everyone else thing it could be them that would betray Jesus...did they not have real, genuine assurance? What visible evidence could they look to as a sign they were a distinct, call out people?

    Sorry so many questions, I am just getting a bit more confused now. have you listened carefully to the 2002 lectures to see how you are saying similar things to them?
  25. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    I have an additional question for your show, Apologia.

    WCF 15 teaches that *none* may expect pardon without repentance, which is defined as evangelical repentance, a saving faith. This excludes any kind of "less-than-final" temporary forgiveness of sins. How can Wilkins, for one, assert that there is a non-permanent forgiveness of sins in the face of WCF 15?
  26. Apologia

    Apologia Puritan Board Freshman

    Can you be more specific where Wilkins makes this comment so that the full quote can be used when discussing it with Wilson...
  27. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Pp. 59-61 of Federal Vision. The blessings for apostate members of the covenant include justification (of which forgiveness of sins is an inseparable part); Christ sacrificed for them, died for their sins. Then, on pg. 61, Wilkins says that they had been "cleansed from former sins" (a la a misinterpretation of 2 Peter 1:9).
  28. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member


    Do you want to argue with the questions or ask them?

    First, you come here and you say: "Well I haven't read anything of what you've written on this thread and others so forgive me if this has been covered."

    I ask very specific questions, qualifying exactly what people believe are the consequences of their writings and then you start qualifying and saying: "Are you sure that's what they're saying?"



    ***END BREAK***

    What is so scary about asking those questions?

    If you don't want to ask the question then fine but those questions, among others, go to the heart of the issue.

    Do you really think this issue began and ended at a 2002 Pastor's Conference? Seriously?

    There haven't been any questions? No articles? No trials? Just complete silence? The 2002 Pastor's conference was the last word on this?

    When challenged on these points these are the kinds of questions that keep coming up.

    Look, I'm sorry if I seem impatient but I don't know why you, a person trying to be responsible here, wouldn't just take the time to read through this entire thread and get the sense for where people are. While you're at it I would read (from start to finish) these two threads:

    If you're still confused after those two threads as to "What I mean by my questions" then please ask them again here. Otherwise, I believe it is disingenuous of you to express genuine interest in finding out why the confessionally Reformed are having problems with this theology. The answers to all your questions are contained therein.

    Frankly, that you do not even know why we are asking them at this point is quite shocking given that you've been interacting on this subject for a while. For my part, when I interacted with the FV folk on this they believed that thread on Conditional Election was very respectful and bore in to the heart of the matter.
  29. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    The other thing I notice Jeff is that you didn't answer a single one of my questions concerning Judas. You cannot answer a question with a question. If you want to answer the question and qualify your answer then answer it. I was very clear in how I expressed Judas' participation in the Covenant.

    Let me ask you again: Were Judas' sins ever covered by Christ's sacrifice?

    It's one question. Surely that is not a confusing question is it?
  30. Apologia

    Apologia Puritan Board Freshman

    I believe you need to go back and re-read my comments, you misunderstood me obviously. I was not questioning your questions at all, I thanked you for the questions, told you we would ask them, and then went beyond the questions to ask questions about your comments to my previous comments, which you addressed later in your post, after you gave the questions. My comments were about your second set of comments, not your questions..

    I don't recall you asking me any questions, you made comments about my previous comments to someone else, and I was carrying on the dialog you started in responding to my previous posts.

    Again, I said the questions were fine, I have no problem asking, i said I would ask, and as a matter of fact a copy of the questions were sent to Mr. Wilson within 10 minutes of you asking them. So again, I think you misunderstood and therefore speak in error.

    well, are you saying the controversy did NOT start because of the 2002 Pastor's Conference? Is that not the conference that started it all, the one that Morecraft made a war cry over? Is that not the one that prompted the Pros and Cons book by Beisner and company? Is that not the one that provoked the 2003 FV Examined Conference, which allowed respondents to the issues? if someone is to jump into this controversy and start throwing words around like heretic and the like, would it not be important to go back to the origin and see what started this ball rolling?

    Come on, be reasonable....have you stepped back to take a look at the size of this board? The sheer number of threads alone would be impossible to weed through or follow. To even entertain the idea of me doing so is absurd. Plus, i was responding today during my small breaks at work. My responses were mainly due to false accusations and mistaken remarks about me, so I initiated questions in response to my attacks. I stated I am not sure if this issue has been dealt with because it would be hard to pinpoint if it had.

    Plus, I have a deadline for these questions I asked for. I need to accumulate them today to be ready to ask them tomorrow evening after work.

    well mind you, I have been a member of this board for about ten hours. I have interacted on the FV issue in little spurts over the past four years since it started...little spurts. Every time I here the FV respond to the critics, the responses seem ligitimate, logical, biblical, etc. Just when you think it has been dealt with adequately, then someone else yells "they're not being asked the right questions," "they may say such-and-such, but we know they don't really mean such-and-such," and the complaints go on and on. So no, it is a bit hard to tell what the real issues are some times.

    I have heard they deny the visible/invisible church, yet in all I have read of them, they do not. But no matter how many times I here them explain they do not, I keep hearing people say they do.

    I have never heard them say anything even close to anything that would make your questions about Judas' sins being covered seem connected, so obviously I have missed something. So I am still studying it, and I am curious to the answer of that myself. :banghead:
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