I’m trying to explain some of the differences and why the Federal Vision’s redefinitions undercut the Reformed faith. Or rather, let the reader draw such conclusions. I doubt I can do all of that in one blog post.
In their statement there is not a single word about “signs and seals” or the “covenant of grace.” In fact, when I was in seminary I mentioned to a militant FV supporter (who has since abandoned the FV) that circumcision was a “sign and seal” of the faith Abraham already had. He said that was “crazy.” Of course, I was just quoting Romans 4.
Surprisingly clear, which is something no one ever accuses Wilsonites of. Wrong. Very much, so, but clear.
Union with Christ
It looks like they are affirming imputation of active obedience, but if so, that rules out Rich Lusk and Jim Jordan. Lusk told me in person in 2005 that imputation is a legal fiction–so what gives?
But in the second paragraph they take away any gains they just made. After coming close to active obedience, they then say, “Yeah, but that’s not active obedience.”
Law and Gospel
This seems more of a thrust at Lutheranism by denying L/G as a hermeneutic. Okay, fine. But some questions:
- Is the Law “do this and live”?
- If we fail in one aspect, do we break all of it?
- Doesn’t (1)-(2) sound like the Covenant of Works?
All who are baptized into the triune Name are united with Christ in His covenantal life, and so those who fall from that position of grace are indeed falling from grace.
This seems like it is Arminianism 101, unless they allow themselves an escape clause in “covenantal life.”
The branches that are cut away from Christ are genuinely cut away from someone, cut out of a living covenant body. The connection that an apostate had to Christ was not merely external.
And here is where they reject both Scripture and the Reformed Faith. We speak, with the Apostle Paul (Rom. 2 and 9), of an internal and external Israelite.