Doug Wilson argues that the imputed Grace of Justification is based upon an "infused grace" in Regeneration

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Does he do this simply for attention, enjoys stirring up the Reformed anthill, or does he really simply not know any better? Zach Dotson, a PB alum, reviews Doug Wilson's recent blog where he continues to muddle the doctrine of Justification. From his public FB post.
Doug Wilson is at it again; by that, I mean he is leaving the door open to Auburn Avenue and Federal Vision Theology. This blog was posted on July 28th, 2023 (Link below, but here are a few thoughts).
1. The Blog is an extract from Wilson's "The Auburn Avenue Chronicles" book. The "Auburn Avenue Chronicles" comes from the Auburn Avenue Theology, which Doug Wilson was a part of promoting and in substantial agreement with. Another name for the "Auburn Avenue Theology" is 'Federal Vision". The book is from is a compilation of all of Wilson's blogs and other papers regarding the Auburn Avenue Theology/ Controversy. IF Wilson indeed had disavowed the Auburn Avenue/ Federal Vision theology, then probably he would not be:
a. Blogging excerpts of the book for discussion.
b. Continuing to sell the book- which he is.
2. The content of the quote given "for discussion" is also deeply troubling. Wilson argues that the imputed Grace of Justification is based upon an "infused grace" in Regeneration. This is a subtle but dangerous error! Wilson is confusing categories. (more to that in the next point) Westminster Larger Catechism Question and Answer 77 speaks of righteousness in Justification being imputed and Sanctification grace being infused. To suggest that Justification is imputed on the basis of Grace infused in "regeneration" is to subvert the precious distinction between Justification and Sanctification. And does it incredibly subtly at that.
3. Wilson's subtle suggestion that perhaps Justification is based on "infused grace" in Regeneration is confused. Reformed Theology does not speak of Regeneration as "infused" or "imputed" Grace. Instead, it is typically spoken of as a mighty of God whereby the heart is changed, and all the benefits of salvation follow. (See Westminster Larger Catechism Q&A 67-68 and WCF chapter 10) There can only be a couple of reasons Wilson is making these "rookie' mistakes:
a. He doesn't understand historic Reformed Theology and the context in which these doctrines were discussed.
b. He is trying to pervert historic theological categories for his project, leaving people utterly confused in his wake.
4. The Federal Vision frequently likes to subvert what is of Grace and make it of works. They do this subtly by rhetorical flushes such as "At the end of the day, this means . . . infused righteousness as the instrument of imputed righteousness." The statement just quoted allows for Regeneration to become something that happens by the Means of Grace and covenant membership, which is over time infused, and this is the basis for the imputation of Justification. Do you see the danger here? Works are underlying Justification, just as with Rome.
5. As already remarked but needs to be further enlarged, Wilson posted this as "Discuss Among Yourselves". Others have made the allegations I have made about this post. The reactions have been of course, varied. Some accused Wilson of outright heresy, others trying to defend him as if there was some way the statements could be taken as orthodox. Frankly, the fact that Wilson wants to leave some of his conclusions and arguments from the "Auburn Avenue" years open for discussion shows he has not repudiated the teaching and has not distanced himself from it. The matter of how a soul is saved has eternal import- it is frankly appalling that Doug Wilson will not be open and honest and continues to operate in the shadows with plausible deniability by, for example, "encouraging discussion" while not endorsing a position. A position that seems dangerous to souls and not based on the Word of God.
What Wilson does by leaving things open for discussion and not identifying his position nor what is Biblical is in violation of the plain teaching of the Scriptures:
a. When Jesus says, "Let your yea be yea" and vice versa in Matthew 5:37, Wilson has never been clear in his ministry in terms of what he believes.
b. When Paul instructed Timothy to "take heed to his doctrine" (1 Timothy 4:16) and to "Hold fast to the form of sound words" (2 Timothy 1:13). Wilson does not take heed to his doctrine and teach it clearly nor does he seem to heed the historic creeds and confessions of the church as a form of sound words to keep the church within the bounds of orthodoxy.
6. In conclusion, Wilson should be seen as no safe guide, unhelpful, and one that endangers souls with sloppy doctrine. And perhaps even he willfully does it because he is a wolf. HE IS TO BE AVOIDED.
https://web.archive.org/web/2023080...g-the-culture/ordo-order.html?mibextid=Zxz2cZ
 
Yes, but he identifies as Reformed, so we must treat him as Reformed.
Sadly, this is true for many of his friends. Criticize those playing with Aquinas endlessly but say absolutely nothing about Federal Vision or the mounds of other huge issues in the Wilson camp (and I say this as someone who appreciates most of Dr. White's work).
 
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Yep. Since he is allegedly in the foxhole with us on cultural issues. But, I would say he has waaay more issues even on that front. I treat him and his ilk as a third belligerent in that war.

I think Wilson has gotten a pass (in part) because he's designed a widely-received homeschool curriculum. In some circles your homeschool stance is the end-all, and it shouldn't be. Church wars start over this matter, since homeschooling's advocates largely see it as a pathway out of indoctrinating institutions. Who would object to that? But your enemy's enemy is not by default your friend, as proven here.

I've seen one documentary on womanhood put out by someone in his circles (his daughter maybe?). I can see why it appeals. Everything about the movement looks like conservative Christian values.
 
I don't think there is anything wrong with acknowledging and appreciating that DW's stance on some important cultural issues is correct and even refreshing. (Ditto the Roman Catholic church...) Nor do I think DW's advocacy on those types of issues is part of some overall wolfish strategy on his part. Credit can be given where credit is due. The problem lies in letting the several issues DW is boldly correct on obfuscate or even excuse those he is badly confused or deceived on, which some seem to do.
 
I don't think there is anything wrong with acknowledging and appreciating that DW's stance on some important cultural issues is correct and even refreshing. (Ditto the Roman Catholic church...) Nor do I think DW's advocacy on those types of issues is part of some overall wolfish strategy on his part. Credit can be given where credit is due. The problem lies in letting the several issues DW is boldly correct on obfuscate or even excuse those he is badly confused or deceived on, which some seem to do.
I agree with this. That was my point. Can't speak for others.
 
Another Wilson thread... :popcorn:

Should we get a line going on how many posts in the first hour, two hours, six hours, twenty-four and forty-eight? Who wants to hold the money? :moneywings:
 
I was truly hoping that the point of him dredging up old material was to engage it in such a way to repudiate his old errors and obfuscations and become a force for good in historic reformed presbyterianism, and not just the culture wars.
 
Sadly, this is true for many of his friends. Criticize those playing with Aquinas endlessly but say absolutely nothing about Federal Vision or the mounds of other huge issues in the Wilson camp (and I say this as someone who appreciates most of Dr. White's work).
White and Wilson have some of the same issues, which is why they make such good bedfellows. Social trinitarianism is a big one. As well as a denial of the distinction between internal and external covenant membership (as is commonly the case both for baptists and federal visionists).
 
White and Wilson have some of the same issues, which is why they make such good bedfellows. Social trinitarianism is a big one. As well as a denial of the distinction between internal and external covenant membership (as is commonly the case both for baptists and federal visionists).
That is interesting. I either saw or read Wilson say (this was years ago) that his views are an attempt to deal with internal and external covenant membership.

I don't have a dog in the fight and know barely anything on the topic. I just remember this statement and thought it was interesting.
 
That is interesting. I either saw or read Wilson say (this was years ago) that his views are an attempt to deal with internal and external covenant membership.

When Reformed is Not Enough came out, he dealt with the distinction by getting rid of it. His disciples have told me that he has since affirmed the distinction, but take that for what it's worth. I have my suspicions.
 
When Reformed is Not Enough came out, he dealt with the distinction by getting rid of it. His disciples have told me that he has since affirmed the distinction, but take that for what it's worth. I have my suspicions.
I don't have suspicions. I have ignorance. LOL.
 
White and Wilson have some of the same issues, which is why they make such good bedfellows. Social trinitarianism is a big one. As well as a denial of the distinction between internal and external covenant membership (as is commonly the case both for baptists and federal visionists).

Can you explain social Trinitarianism?
 
Can you explain social Trinitarianism?
The three persons have three divine minds, wills, etc. They are seen as three different beings. To be fair, Wilson knows that he must affirm one divine mind and will, but he also knows that doesn't square with his patriarchal trinitarianism, so he punts the issue.
 
The three persons have three divine minds, wills, etc. They are seen as three different beings. To be fair, Wilson knows that he must affirm one divine mind and will, but he also knows that doesn't square with his patriarchal trinitarianism, so he punts the issue.

Sounds like tritheism. The persons are just somehow converged into one deity?

And what's patriarchal trinitarianism? Whatever it is, sounds like a playground for subordinationism.
 
I don't know about Wilson because I don't follow him closely, but from reading White's book I don't think he holds to social trinitarianism. I could see though how the way he words things sometimes people might hear that from him.
 
Sounds like tritheism. The persons are just somehow converged into one deity?

And what's patriarchal trinitarianism? Whatever it is, sounds like a playground for subordinationism.

It is tritheism. Patriarchal Trinitarianism means rewriting the Trinity so you can see subordination in the Godhead. In other words, as the wife is eternally subordinate in the kitchen, so the Son is eternally subordinate to the Father.
 
I don't know about Wilson because I don't follow him closely, but from reading White's book I don't think he holds to social trinitarianism. I could see though how the way he words things sometimes people might hear that from him.

He doesn't hold to ESS, to his credit. In some early statements around 2007 he made comments suggesting more than one will in the Trinity. I think he has corrected that.
 
Sounds like tritheism. The persons are just somehow converged into one deity?

And what's patriarchal trinitarianism? Whatever it is, sounds like a playground for subordinationism.

Oftentimes Perichoresis, the mutual indwelling of the Father, Son, and Spirit, is used as a crutch to maintain the Oneness of God when their formulation of the Trinity inherently sounds like tritheism.

‘Of course it’s One God! The persons mutually indwell each other so they must have the same divine essence!’

The causality is actually reversed, however. They mutually indwelling one another because they have the same divine essence. We can be sure they have the same divine essence because of eternal relations of origin (Paternity, Filiation, Spiration).

I have found that social trinitarianism is close at hand when Perichoresis is used as a crutch in this way, because they often have no another valid reason to maintain the oneness of God.

Just my :2cents:
 
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When Reformed is Not Enough came out, he dealt with the distinction by getting rid of it. His disciples have told me that he has since affirmed the distinction, but take that for what it's worth. I have my suspicions.
So do I, he's quite a word magician at times. I've known enough con artists in my life to know how they talk. Thats how I felt after reading the book you mentioned, like I was being sold a junk car way overpriced. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, the "Joint Declaration of Federal Vision" rejected the internal/external distinction but he's never rejected that document?
 
So do I, he's quite a word magician at times. I've known enough con artists in my life to know how they talk. Thats how I felt after reading the book you mentioned, like I was being sold a junk car way overpriced. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, the "Joint Declaration of Federal Vision" rejected the internal/external distinction but he's never rejected that document?
He is wordsmithy, but not syntaxy. That distinction is important. Wordsmithy just means you are clever at juggling words. Syntaxy means you can communicate in clear sentences.
 
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