Posted by: reformedmusings | October 1, 2007

The Gospel According to Federal Vision

The Federal Vision meltdown continues as the underlying Federal Vision theology floats to the top over at De Regno Christi. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. Those who criticized Dr. R.C. Sproul for his saying that the gospel of sola fide itself was at stake in the Federal Vision debate should write him a letter of apology. Jim Jordan posted the following as the Federal Vision gospel:

What is the gospel? In the Bible the gospel is the theocratic message that whereas in the old time only one nation was baptized and discipled under the loving teaching of Yahweh, now all nations are to be baptized and discipled under the enthroned Incarnate Yahweh. That’s clear in Matthew and Acts and everywhere else. Ordo salutis is not the gospel; it’s been around since Genesis 3. The gospel is the message that history has changed, that Satan has been defeated, that now all nations, every single one, is destined for transformation. Not just white nations. All nations. That’s the new good news. Sometimes the gospel is called postmillennialism. They are synonyms.

I guess that this somehow ties into Jordan’s “covenantal universalism.” Now, I’ve been around a few years, but have to admit that this definition of the gospel doesn’t sound like anything Jesus Christ preached or what any Scripture author wrote. When I think of the gospel, passages like Rom 5:8-19; Acts 2:22-36, 26:22-23; and verses like John 3:16, 36; 6:29; Rom 6:23 and 2 Cor 5:21 come to mind amongst many others. Jesus’ upper room discourse in John 14-17 provides a very authoritative gospel overview. There and elsewhere the gospel isn’t tied to any eschatology save the general eschatology of Christ’s promised return.

Jordan’s nonsense isn’t inherent to postmillennial thinking, either. Every postmil whom I know, including Dr. Sproul, would wholly reject Jordan’s substitute gospel. Probably one of the most respected and long-standing postmil theologians was Lorraine Boettner. He wrote a short piece called What is the Gospel? that defines and defends the historic gospel. Boettner’s first sentence reads:

The Gospel is the good news about the great salvation purchased by Jesus Christ, by which He reconciled sinful men to a holy God.

I dare not excerpt further as the document in its entirety must be read to be appreciated.

I wouldn’t have even brought this up if it was only Jordan because he isn’t PCA (or any other denomination). However, as before, other FVers have been quick to come to his defense, supporting an indefensible substitute gospel of extreme theonomic postmillennialism.

So, when people say that the gospel of Jesus Christ as abbreviated by sola fide, sola gratia, solo Christo, and soli Deo gloria based on sola Scriptura isn’t at stake in the Federal Vision controversy, just point them to Jim Jordan’s and his defenders’ Federal Vision gospel. That should wake them up. One would hope, anyway.

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