Tuesday, May 1

Federal Vision Report

The 34th PCA General Assembly appointed an ad interim committee to study the soteriology of the Federal Vision, New Perspective, and Auburn Avenue theologies. The committee was asked to determine whether these viewpoints "are in conformity with the system of doctrine taught in the Westminster Standards, whether they are hostile to or strike at the vitals of religion, and to present a declaration or statement regarding the issues raised by these viewpoints in light of our Confessional Standards." During the last year, the committee has done a great deal of work and has at long last produced a massive 31-page report at By Faith Magazine Online detailing its conclusions.

This is the sort of report that will prove rather arcane to many Christians but is of vital import to those of us in the PCA. For someone like me, who has dear friends on all sides and in all camps, this is a particularly important matter. I have only skimmed the report thus far, but I intend to study line-by-line, proposition-by-proposition, and footnote-by-footnote once I have come to the end of the current academic year and can give it the careful attention it deserves.

3 comments:

John Harley said...

As an elder in the PCA for the past 24 years, and one who has attended many presbytery meetings and General Assemblies, I can firmly say that I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the study committee was set up with the particular membership to bring about a desired conclusion. Historically, when a study committee has been set up, both proponents and opponents formed part of the committee. See the study committees on Creation, Women in the Military, Paedocommunion, to name a few. Look at results of study committees and note that there were both majority and minority reports. What does that tell you? Not everybody was in agreement. They knew that would be the case going into their study but the desire was to see two sides work together to try and reach a consensus through honest theological interaction, not just with writings and blog shoutings but with real people who could put forth cogent answerable thoughts and questions. This was not done here. One has to ask why? When I mentioned to one of the members of the church where I serve as a ruling elder that a committee had been formed by the PCA to “study” Federal Vision and NPP etc. and that they had finished their work, his first question to me seem reasonable. He asked who made up the committee and if there were those who were “for” and “against” so as to adequately study and discuss the matters at hand. When I told him that only opponents were on the committee (and I might add some of those proponents had already made their opinions quite well known in published writings and internet dialog) his gut response was “then the study committee was a sham. How can you have divergent theological views being espoused in a denomination, set up a study committee to actually study and dialog and only have one side represented?” My question indeed. I must admit that I am a presuppositionalist, but this kind of presupposition concerning my mother church I did not want to hold. At least a little window dressing to include a “token” FV proponent might have given more credibility to the committee. Certainly this committee’s report will do nothing to dissuade FV proponents that this is more a matter of a “witchhunt” with a forgone conclusion then a serious attempt to deal with the issues. Four presbyteries have already dealt with FV proponents and while they agree that they have disagreements with some of the FV musings, all have clearly made it known that the men under question are within the bounds of orthodoxy and Westminster. In all sincerity, why not have proponents on the committee? There are certainly men who are articulate, members in good standing in their respective presbyteries who could have adequately represented the position. The notable absence of such men was a great disservice to both the committee and the assembly at large. Are we viewed as men with such a lack of ability to follow theological arguments that we must be spoon fed the “appropriate” line and no more? This type of action demonstrates a great lack of trust and confidence the elders’ ability to actually do the work of “Bereans”. It is also a lack of faith in the Holy Spirit’s ability to rightly persuade men. We have been treated like children whose “parents” must do the thinking for them.

srhoyle said...

http://www.prpc-stl.org/auto_images/117880518730ReasonsFinal.pdf

Jeff Meyers views...very good!

Jeff Meyers said...

I have posted a thorough evaluation of this report here:

30 Reasons

Or you can find it at the Reformed News.