Heidelcast: The State of the FV Controversy and the Story of the Meyers Case

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R. Scott Clark

Puritan Board Senior
The self-described and so-called Federal Visionmovement has been troubling the confessional (NAPARC) Reformed and Presbyterian denominations since before it had a cool name. It presents itself as Reformed theology but is only Reformed in the way that Arminius was Reformed. He was a Reformed minister. He was never convicted of error yet his theology was soundly rejected by the Reformed Churches at the Synod of Dort. The FV has been rejected by most of the NAPARC denominations in assemblies and in study reports. Nevertheless, that rejection has not always translated into successful prosecutions on the ground…read more


Puritan Board Freshman
For those who don't have time to listen:

Rev. M. Jay Bennett, pastor of Neon Reformed Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Neon, KY. Went to Dallas Theological Seminary but moved to become Presbyterian, and embrace Covenant Theology. (6:30) Intern at Park City in 2007, when FV report came out. Read Dr. Clark's Covenant, Justification, and Pastoral Ministry book & Guy Water's Federal Vision and Covenant Theology: A Comparative Analysis book.

(8:40) Clark: Federal Vision (from their joint FV Statement) defined: Every baptized person is temporarily, historically and conditionally united to Christ and made a recipient of the benefits of Christ. They are said to be elect, adopted, justified and they receive all the benefits by virtue of their baptism. But these benefits are not eternal. You get in by baptism and you stay in by co-operating with grace.

(10:00) Bennett: FV is the denial of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the prosecution of PCA pastor Jeffrey Meyers, he denies justification by faith alone. This is equivalent to what Rome did at the Council of Trent. Dr. Godfrey wrote in Covenant, Justification, and Pastoral Ministry a chapter called "Faith Formed By Love or By Faith Alone. It is a joining of justification with sanctification. If one says, "I am justified by faith and love", this is another way of saying "by faith and works."

(13:00) Clark reads WCF definition of justification, "Faith rests in Christ's finished work. It receives His righteousness that is credited to us. That will produce love but it is not our obedience that makes faith what it is." (14:40) Movement back to the medieval doctrine saying, "It is sanctity that make faith effective." (15:30) One of the fathers of FV said, "We are justified by faith THROUGH works." (6:12) Per our confession (WCF), we believe we ought to be faithful as a CONSEQUENCE of having been justified, not IN ORDER TO be justified.

(17:20) Bennett: The Current Justification Controversy by O. Palmer Robertson really helped me to understand the Federal Vision.

(17:40) Clark: WCF 11:1 says, "Those God called, he freely justified... not for anything wrought in them or done by them." The legal basis which we stand before God is not anything in us. When it comes to justification, the ground and thing to which we appeal is what was accomplished for us by Christ (not our works). FV downplays this, confuses this.

(20:10) Clark: You were a student at Dallas Theological Seminary, famous for the Lordship Controversy. Both sides of the Lordship Controversy had roots at Dallas Theological Seminary. Are you influenced by Zane Hodges.

Bennett: No, Hodges was long gone by then. Hodges would separate justification and sanctification, claiming someone could be justified and never sanctified. This is an unbiblical separation of the two. I would say that is false. New Perspectives of Paul, Federal Vision, and historic Arminianism conflates the two, mixing justification and sanctification.

(25:20) Bennett: March 2010, Missouri Presbytery received a letter from 29 elders from the PCA requesting the presbytery investigate the doctrinal views of Jeff Meyers. The investigative committee determined there was insufficient evidence to charge Meyers. About 10 men complained against the action of the presbytery to the next level, the highest court in the PCA (the SJC). That 5-man panel ruled in favor of our complaint. The Presbytery decided to go to trial without any order fro the SJC.

........ (end of show)
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