Heresy Never Dies: The Audio

Martin Downes spoke at the recent Twin Lakes Fellowship. Here’s the audio.

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  1. Dr. Clark,

    Where would one go to find a definition of heresy (as opposed to heavy, medium, or light error) within 1) Scripture and 2) Reformed confessions.

    For example, if the WCF states that it is a great sin (not merely unwise) to neglect baptism, what kind of error is this? And how might we know?

    Matt Beatty

    • Hi Matt,

      I don’t know of any definitive source for a definition. The biblical usage refers to factions, groups, within a congregation. It is usually used to refer to heresy against the catholic faith, i.e., a denial of the doctrines of the catholic creeds. Thus, to deny the Trinity or 2 natures of Christ etc is heresy. It is an error to deny the Reformed doctrines confessed in the confessions. Sometimes the word “heresy” is used more broadly and less carefully but I think that’s probably not helpful. I’m impressed with Ames’ distinction that Arminianism is an error tending to heresy.

      If one denied baptism altogether, it might rise to the level of heresy since it is a creedal doctrine and not merely a confessional doctrine. Now, if the sin of contemning baptism actually refers to infant baptism, that would be a gross sin but not heresy since Baptists still practice a form of Christian baptism.

  2. Dr. Clark,

    Would you consider the Federal Vision serious error or heresy?

    Since the gospel is at stake wouldn’t Arminianism, the FV, and the social gospel [which we hear from most Pulpits or stages today] be heresy according to Paul?

    Galatians 1:8-9 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

    God Bless

    • Hi Joe,

      I regard the FV the same way Ames regarded the Remonstrants. That said, I’m mindful that the Synod said that the Arminians ” summon back from hell the Pelagian error.” (2nd head of doctrine, RE 3). They also speak of the “deadly poison of Pelagius.” (2nd head, RE 6). 3/4.10 calls it a heresy.

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