29 elders from around the PCA, including this humble blogger, signed a letter asking Missouri Presbytery to investigate Federal Vision advocate TE Jeff Meyers’ views as to their conformance with the Westminster Standards. You can read the complete letter on the Aquila Report. TE Meyers wrote an almost immediate rebuttal which you can read on Greenbaggins.
The ball is now in Missouri Presbytery’s court. Many have waited patiently since the PCA’s almost unanimous acceptance of its Ad Interim Study Committee on Federal Vision, New Perspective, and Auburn Avenue Theology’s report (linked on the right side bar) in 2007. In almost three years, Missouri Presbytery has taken no visible action against one of the most vocal Federal Vision spokespersons and its most diligent recruiter.
Watch now the subtle transformations from careful wordings in questions to even more careful words chosen to obfuscate the answer. For example, we’ve already seen that though Meyers has openly denied the imputation of the active obedience of Christ to the elect “because he can”, yet he claims that “I affirm the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to believers. I have always affirmed this Reformation truth.”
How can this be? Easy, if one carefully limits Christ’s righteousness to his passive obedience on the cross in the expiation of our sins. That’s not what the Westminster Confession of Faith says in 11.1 and 11.3, where it refers to “imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ”. That refers to the two aspects of Christ’s righteousness in his human nature – the positive, perfect active obedience to the law (obedience); and his passive obedience as the perfect sacrifice on the cross (satisfaction). That’s been the orthodox Reformed position and remains so in the WCF. Is that what Meyers means? Perhaps we’ll find out.
Another good example is baptism. Meyers wrote:
Although baptism confers many covenantal benefits, I deny that baptism “effects a saving” union with Christ for everyone baptized. The baptized must believe the Gospel and respond to the grace given and offered to them in baptism.
But that’s never been the issue. The issue is that Federal Visionists provide some saving benefits to the baptized reprobates in the visible church, who even FVers agree aren’t saved in the end. As Steve Wilkins wrote of these baptized reprobates:
They may enjoy for a season the blessings of the covenant, including the forgiveness of sins, adoption, possession of the kingdom, sanctification, etc., and yet apostatize and fall short of the grace of God.
This stands totally contrary to WLC Question and Answer #63. when compared to Q&A #65 and 66. Note that Meyers’ response is still consistent with Wilkins statement because both would say that the so-gifted reprobates are not saved, they just get some saving benefits for a time but they don’t persevere in “covenant faithfulness.” Could this be what Meyers means by “baptism confers many covenantal benefits…” Maybe we’ll finally find that out, amongst other things.
You get the general idea. Watch carefully the intricately parsed answers and try to match them against the essence of the asked questions. FVers are masters at obfuscating their views when pressed. By God’s grace, it didn’t work for Wilkins, and I pray that it won’t fly for others.
Now that the letter has become public, I’ve noticed that many of the FV websites have been purged of incriminating articles by Meyers and others. For example, Barlow’s site had an article which had been linked in the controversy. Yesterday, the page was taken down with a comment that he had purged the site of controversial material but missed this one until its hit rate went way up. Meyers himself stopped blogging on Federal Vision issues shortly after the PCA’s FV report won almost unanimous acceptance. If Meyers and other Federal Visionists insist on their conformance with the Westminster Standards, then why purge “controversial” posts? Perhaps the “shredding” of evidence says more than all the defensive FV Internet posts put together.
We report, you decide, all pray for peace and purity in the church.