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Discussion in 'Federal Vision/New Perspectives' started by Hamalas, Nov 8, 2013.
This article has my blood boiling: The End of Protestantism | First Things
So Protestantism is a "negative theology." Interesting. He seems to conveniently forget that the infamous Council of Trent - in which Rome's opposition to the Gospel was made official - was almost entirely negative. That is, they went down a list of everything Protestants were positively asserting and declared themselves against it all. "Whatever Protestants are, we ain't." How's that for negative theology, ole' boy Pete?
There is so much bad history, and particularly bad historical theology, in this article it blows my mind that any educated minister could write it. One of the commenters in the sections said, "Dr. Leithart, you are not far from Rome. I've often been blessed by your writings, and I was surprised to learn a few months ago that you are not a Roman Catholic."
Yep, big surprise.
Good thing I am a Baptist and not a Protestant
It sounds like some Baptists were.
Is it me or has been Peter Leithart been drinking some of the water from the Tiber?
Haven't most of the recent high profile apostate converts to Rome been from the Federal Vision camp?
One of them, Stellman, was a prosecutor of Leithart! I actually came through to Reformed theology via the FV from RCism.
The most recent high profile convert to Rome came out of Norman Geisler's seminary in Charlotte.
Leithart is only following the natural course of his theology, backstroking in a meandering path across the Tiber with a giggle, seeing how high he can spout its waters before he finally makes landfall. A 'Reformational Catholic' in cassock, stole and speedo indeed, treading water for the moment, but gazing in fawning admiration at the magisterium...
R. Scott Clark responds well here: Contra Leithart: No, The Reformation Isn’t Over | The Heidelblog
The following were my thoughts when a friend posted this on fb:
The trouble with this article is that Leithart equates low-churchmanship with low ecclesiology. But that's not all: Leithart goes to the opposite extreme by downplaying the word, insinuating that the reformers didn't know their church fathers, and advocating ritualism. Now I'm decently fine with ritual, but I will fight tooth and nail against ritualism.
More disturbing is his implication that the church is the means of salvation. Last I checked, the means of salvation in the Gospel is the finished work of the incarnate, crucified, and resurrected Christ, received by grace alone through faith alone. The church merely recognizes and confirms that this has happened in the life of an individual. Leithart has too high an ecclesiology which results in a low view of soteriology.
The whole thing is a quagmire of sloppy thinking and guilt by association, and the only question left at the end of it is why Leithart hasn't gone to Canterbury.
At the end of the day what constitutes "low eccleisiology?" I still think the litmus test for these FV guys is what is the nature of the Gospel? Eight to ten years ago, when I was still RC, I remember reading plenty of long meandering articles and blog posts by Peter Leithart, Paul Owen, Kevin Johnson and a few others. I thought they were men trying to avoid becoming RC but were ashamed of a perceived smallness and lack of grandeur of the Reformed world. I thought they were Scott Hahns who had not converted to RCism officially yet. I think James White has it right when he explains the mentality of trying to take Rome's teachings and stretching them to the breaking point in a Protestant direction while doing the same to the Reformation....all in the hopes that the gap is small enough to jump over. Honest men on both sides know that it is not. Whatever real or perceived aesthetic shortcomings the Reformation has, the Council of Trent cannot be squared with the Reformation doctrine of sin and justification.
I gave my few cents worth here. Testing the Waters of the Tiber? Peter Leithart | RPCNA Covenanter It appears to me Leithart has forgotten even what Protestantism is and was or he is purposefully obfuscating and making it something it isn't. Either way, Leithart's aberrations have not been taken seriously by the leaders in the PCA and they are going to have to at least acknowledge some more problems with this kind of thinking now. I honestly believe that Leithart has been rather open and honest. It is a mystery to me why the PCA has done so much work on this and have refused to deal with his aberrational thoughts. Maybe he would do well to read J. C. Ryle's 'Light from Old Times' which Moscow republished so that he could regain the understanding of what the C of E people held to and what the ones I know today still hold to.
Light From Old Times (Complete Works of J.C. Ryle): John Charles Ryle, J. C. Liverpool, Douglas Wilson: 9780967760308: Amazon.com: Books
RC Sproul Jr. tweeted,
"Still a Protestant, still protesting."
Count me in! Rome is Harlot, the papacy is antichrist and they preach a false Gospel.
Had to laugh at this one:
"Whatever Catholics say or do, the Protestant does and says as close to the opposite as he can." Leithart
Sounds like solid advice.
I share your concern, Randy, though I do wonder whether he's treading water in the Tiber or just the Thames.
Well, if it is the Thames he has been reminded of the Protestantism of the 39 articles by Mr. Veitch.
Perhaps he'll land on the Anglo-Catholic part of the Thames. (I pray that God would grant him repentance. Time will tell.)
I have never heard of a Reformational Catholic. When did this come about?
In a sense he's right. All of us are catholics who have reformed and have been protesting the usurpations of the papacy and other unscriptural accretions to the Word of God. The trouble is that some now want to add them back in.
I have high hopes that many of the recent( cir 1985+) high-profile and normal nomads to RCism will be converted or be back in the fold in the coming generation. JPII was ambiguous on many points but conservative Catholicism could claim enough of him to flourish "legitimately." I was RC during this period. B16 was probably marked the zenith of the movement. The recent pope will probably dash a lot of hopes in the end. Giving lip service on sexual ethics and life issues while flying around the world beating the "social justice" drum is easy this day and age. It involves no sacrifice and will earn no criticism from the world.
I believe the principle reason for this love affair with Rome is because To strongly hold to Protestant teaching is to, in the wider cultures eyes, condemn oneself to being regarded as an ignorant fundamentalist. Sadly I Believe elements in the Reformed world itself have done much to perpetuate this. I constantly run across examples of Protestant fawning over Romanist Cultural and Theological icons. How many times on reformed websites or podcast that devote a lot of space to social or cultural issues do you hear references to G. K. Chesterton, Tolkien, Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, (raised a liberal Presbyterian.) and Richard Neuhaus?
An example, I was at one time I was a frequent listener to Mars Hill Audio, (admittedly the primary reason was because I could borrow them from a friend for free, Scottish blood vincit Omnia!) One of the things that concerned me deeply was that they seemed to think that the only intellectuals were Catholics. For aProtestant concern they seemed to have an adoration for Rome.
Ministers, I believe are perfect objects for this. Presbyterian and Reformed Clergy are University training. While this is a blessing it can also be a trap. Those who are educated want to be seen as educated. They tire of the popular cultures portrayal of conservative Protestants as blinkered fundamentalists. I think this is why so many in the Clergy are drawn to compromises on subjects like evolution and inerrancy. So many are so scared of being called "fundamentalists", they will forsake essential doctrines or even embrace Rome to be taken seriously. This is in my mind a hopeless quest.
sorry if I got carried away!
PCA Montgomery AL
I don't know that this is necessarily the problem. How many Presbyterian literary figures do you know? Having read quite a bit of all of these writers (except Neuhaus, who's the odd man out in such august company, as he himself would admit) there is much that is commendable and admirable. I can disagree with them on Protestant distinctives and still appreciate them from a literary and cultural standpoint.