Wilkins' Presbytery exam examined by Rick Phillips

Discussion in 'Federal Vision/New Perspectives' started by NaphtaliPress, Jan 5, 2007.

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  1. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

    I raised it because there is a tendency to regard the term itself as erroneous, rather than the way the term is being used by the FV. The term has biblical and historical basis and needs to be properly explained. Condemning the term only muddies the water with a different kind of mud.

    The FV is a reaction to American Presbyterianism's failure to take the administration of the covenant seriously. I have observed that most opponents of the FV are only giving them more fuel for their fire by not properly explaining the historic position so far as the visible church is concerned.
  2. ChristianTrader

    ChristianTrader Puritan Board Graduate

    Here Here.

    The worst possible thing when combating error is an incompetent critique.
  3. Archlute

    Archlute Puritan Board Senior

    Just a point, I have never in all of my courses here at WSC (systematic or otherwise) heard a discussion of temporal election. My professors are quite learned, and it would seem to me that if this term were a matter of great import for the Reformed we would have discussed it in our studies. It is, indeed, not found in the confessions as far as I can tell, and in light of the fact that the FV controversy is being waged as a confessional debate, it seems wisest to stick with the terms given therein. While it is true that both John 6:70 and Ephesians 1:4 use the verb 'eklego', it is equally true that the emphases of these passages are profoundly different. I understand Owen, but indeed, he is not the one who sets the language of our confession. It seems that since this is exactly where the battle lies (confessional definitions) it would be wise to stick with the understanding of election as a soteriological reality.
  4. wsw201

    wsw201 Puritan Board Senior

  5. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Well no one I've read on these boards, Gabe and William Hill perhaps excepted, were objecting to the term per se rather the meaning Wilkins attaches to it. Further, Wilkins claims various senses of the word "elect," as well as a number of other key words and phrases, yet uses these interchangeably and equivocally as it suits his purpose. It's not that he is unclear, he appears to know full well what he's doing is to mislead. That way no matter what his critics say he can change the sense of the words he uses like a dealer in a game of Three Card Monty. Every word has a "broader historic and biblical meaning," therefore he refuses to be forced to defend his own peculiar usage and can make himself appear different ways to different people as circumstances warrant. Gabe's and other's willingness to give the man -- even at this late stage -- the "benefit of the doubt" is case in point.

    OTOH, Owen was very clear what he meant, defined his term and then stuck with that definition throughout his argument and didn't attempt to surreptitiously change meanings midstream. As I've said, what Owen was saying and what Wilkins is now saying are apples and oranges.

    Which is besides the point. The point is how Wilkins uses these terms and what he means and it is the meanings he attaches to these terms which places him squarely outside of the Reformed faith and Christianity in general. The man is a false teacher and he should be prosecuted as such and sooner rather than later. Discussions of how various phrases and words have been used in history are frankly immaterial with how they are being used now by men who are recognized as enemies of the gospel.

    These men continually wrap themselves in "Presbyterian Tradition" and the Confession all the while denying both. I just don't think providing them one more tool to further their deception is helpful, if for no other reason than your need to "properly explain" has added to the confusion of at least one brother here. That said, I fully expect your citation of Owen to be cited in their defense in the near future with those qualifications where you "explicitly state their departure from the historic reformed position" summarily forgotten. I don't think the PB boards have the reach and influence some might think.

    I disagree. FV is a reaction of those who once pretended belief in the Gospel of Christ who are now being exposed as false brothers. I think what we have here is a another example of what Paul observed in Gal 2:4; "But it was because of the false brethren who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage." Therefore, and unless God grants him repentance (and so far I only seeing him growing more entrenched), you might say Wilkins and others were "temporarily elected" in the Owensian sense. ;)

    Which opponents of FV? Rick Phillips? Me? Who? The historic position that needs to be recognized and observed -- in this case -- is the one expressly taught in the WCF concerning the visible/invisible church, a distinction denied and confused by Neolegalists like Wilkins. It seems to me that the fuel on the fire is coming from those who want to continually discuss how words or terms have been used historically in an attempt to obfuscate or excuse how words and terms are being used now. See the links above to Barlow's reply to Phillips for a relevant example. I understand that was not your intent or purpose so I apologize if I am coming off too strongly, but I can't help thinking you've unwittingly helped fill their gas cans.

    I don't want to :deadhorse: so please have the last word.
  6. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

  7. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member


    Now that was funny!
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