Puritan Board Freshman
Hi there. I am not a fan of FV nor do I hate it. I don't understand it. Would somebody give just a basic rundown of what it is so I at least know that?
Thanks! I have a sig now. Sorry about that.Jeremy,
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It's hard to briefly describe the FV problems. The report by Lynnie is very good at outlining many of the problems. One has to have a certain level of apprehension of the Reformed system of doctrine to detect the nuances of the overarching problem.
I think the main problems with FV theology is not maintaining the appropriate distinction between the invisible and visible Church. There are evangelical graces that belong to the sovereign operation of the Holy Spirit. The Church's work is ministerial in declaring the Gospel and the Promises of God for believers and administering the Sacraments, which also hold forth Christ and His benefits to those who believe. Union with Christ is not something that is conferred by the Church and her ministry. The ministry of the Church is to hold forth those things upon which men and women can believe upon but we leave it to the operation of the Spirit to bring men from death to life.
Federal Vision theology tends to downplay this distinction and sees in the membership of the local body a type of union with Christ. Union with Christ is a kind of Covenantal participation. As far as men and women and boys and girls have not visibly rebelled against the visible Covenant they are in the New Covenant and are in union with Christ as the mediator of that Covenant. They maintain union with Christ by their faithfulness to the Covenant. Baptism and the Lord's Supper really do confer evangelical graces by the administration of those sacraments as opposed to the Reformed understanding that they are sacramentally related but that the evangelical graces only "belong" to the elect as the Holy Spirit confers those graces.
I personally think that a lot of FV theology can also be boiled down to the idea that good parenting is a kind of sacrament in their theology. Good parenting yields good, faithful children and the reason for apostasy is fundamentally traced to the faithfulness of parents to either parent according to faithful means or to fail to do so. While I certainly do not want to downplay the importance of good parenting as a means that God uses in the salvation of people, the FV thends to hyper-intensify that relationship such that the family is seen as federally under the male head and evangelical graces flowing from the fidelity of the father to his husbanding and parenting.
Lane,The Federal Vision is Roman Catholicism with a (thin) veneer of Reformed terms (redefined) laid over the top of it. They are Calvinistic with regard to the elect, and Arminian with regard to the non-elect. In the FV, baptism unites a person to Christ, which person then has all the benefits of salvation except perseverance, but all of these benefits are enjoyed in a non-decretally elect way by the non-elect, and in a persevering way by the elect. Some are willing to posit a qualitative difference between the elect and the non-elect (Doug Wilson). Others seriously fudge or erase that distinction (Peter Leithart). I believe the basic error of the FV is the desire to have their faith in something that they can see: baptism. It is a baby-driven theology. What is confusing about the FV is that they use a lot of the terms we use, but fill them with different meaning. As Rich points out, they do indeed erase the distinction between the visible and the invisible church, but I wouldn't put that as the basic error. Their theology of baptism is the basic error, stemming from the quest for illegitimate religious certainty that Scott Clark talks about. Most of the FV are paedo-communion, but not all PC advocates are FV, although they tend to be very soft on FV theologians.
It's also important to keep FV separate from the New Perspective on Paul. They overlap at points but the NPP developed earlier than and independent of FV. And we don't have evidence from Jim Jordan's earlier writings (Sociology of Reconstruction that he is reading Wright, Dunn, and Sanders.
Maybe I've missed that you've posted this in the past but that was a great summary.Whenever this question comes up, I like to point to the very suggestive analyses provided years ago by T.E. Wilder. I wouldn't back everything to the hilt (he's more of a lumper, I think, where I'm more of a splitter), but some of his propositions can be rather illuminating when it comes to figuring out why this particular congeries of positions are held together.
What is at the heart of FV?
Why do the FV claim to be confessional?
How deep do the problems run?
Where does the family emphasis fit in?
Why was FV popular?
How does liturgy fit in?
(Also don't miss the concise remark by Matthew Winzer: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/21106-Covenant-Renewal-Worship?p=265229#post265229)
What are its sources?
What is the goal?
What's the solution?
Yeah, me too. tewilder, DTK, JohnV, Civbert, Theroretical, just to name a few.
Yes, I think for instance that some of the historical details could probably be disputed, but I found his analysis a stimulatingly different critique of the FV. It's always interesting to me to see how different filters can fit the same data. Of course, I should also have linked to the epic post where he pointed out that James Jordan's theology was eerily parallel to another Jordan's Wheel of Time....It was interesting to read some of those old threads after 8 years of more theological study and some of the points that tewilder made were much more understandable. I didn't agree with everything he wrote but he did make some very keen observations about where we are in Reformed theology. I found, especially, his notion about postmodern approaches to the Confessions to be very insightful as it has been a special concern of mine for a few years now.
I would dispute that. I thought of writing a Philosophy in the Wheel of Time book. For all of his faults, James Jordan holds to a linear view of time with an eye towards eschatological maturation. Robert Jordan is very against that (at least in the books). Every book begins by denying there is the beginning and the end, but only a beginning.. Of course, I should also have linked to the epic post where he pointed out that James Jordan's theology was eerily parallel to another Jordan's Wheel of Time....
You can pin that on a wall to describe the way the Confessions are handled at times.While the Confessions are dehistoricized from the Reformation and Protestant Scholastic contexts in which they arose, it seems people will be able to say they subscribe because of ad hoc agreement with the words, even when they are at odds with its tenor and scope.
Hi Jeremy,Hi there. I am not a fan of FV nor do I hate it. I don't understand it. Would somebody give just a basic rundown of what it is so I at least know that?
I don't think I totally agree with this. While Wilson is the popular FV guy for folks outside of the FV camp, inside of the camp they pretty much take their cues from James Jordan. Of course, no one will say that--he doesn't hold a special office or anything. But it is indisputable that he is the Godfather of the Federal Vision.You cannot separate Doug Wilson from FV. I know he has softened his take but at the end of the day, he is the FV and he is the CREC.
The origins of the FV are more complicated than James Jordan, as important as he is. You have to throw in there Klaas Schilder, Norman Shepherd (who was scheduled to speak at the 2002 Auburn Avenue Conference), and Peter Leithart. Those four together form the origin of the FV.I don't think I totally agree with this. While Wilson is the popular FV guy for folks outside of the FV camp, inside of the camp they pretty much take their cues from James Jordan. Of course, no one will say that--he doesn't hold a special office or anything. But it is indisputable that he is the Godfather of the Federal Vision.You cannot separate Doug Wilson from FV. I know he has softened his take but at the end of the day, he is the FV and he is the CREC.