M. Jay Bennett is Reading CJPM

It’s become clear in recent months that the FV/NPP controversies in the broader evangelical and Reformed worlds haven’t gone away. A leading congregation in the Gospel Coalition has implicitly endorsed N T Wright by having him speak to a church-sponsored gathering. There are FV-related church-court cases in two PCA presbyteries and the beginnings of a process in a third. These processes have revealed that there are theological termites under the ecclesiastical wainscoting. A congregation in my own federation has recently published a critique of the synodical committee (long after the Synodical committee report appeared) complaining, in typical FV fashion, that the orthodox still do not understand the FV movement and I’m told that Reformed college ministry leaders are becoming enamored of NT Wright. Apparently it doesn’t matter that the several NAPARC denominations have considered and rejected both the NPP and FV movements. So it’s encouraging to see that some are reading CJPM and benefitting from it.

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  1. Shouldn’t the FV Study Committee Report be subject to criticism, comment and discussion prior to its presentment at Synod? I thought one of the reasons it was released so early was to allow for this very kind of interaction. Are you suggesting that URC Nampa consistory’s identification of alleged weaknesses in the Report is unwelcome or inappropriate, or worse, reason to suspect the consistory supports FV?

    • Steve,

      Fair, careful criticisms are useful. Re-stating the same, tedious responses (e.g., “they don’t understand us”) criticisms are not helpful and seem sponsored by the FV movement.

      The committee does understand the FV. That’s the problem (for the FV movement). God bless them for their faithful work.

      • Then the Nampa critique is useful, since it cannot be called anything other than fair and careful.

        I believe you misspoke and should edit your remarks, Scott. Because to characterize that critique as something “sponsored by the FV movement” would be to caricature it in a way that is either blind or slanderous. And I’m hopeful that neither of those was your intent.

        Scott, brother, we have two choices here: we can carefully and with mutual love discuss the matters before us at synod, that we might be drawn together in the trust that’s based on God’s Word and Spirit; OR we can cast aspersions, impute motives, and silence careful criticism with ad hominem accusations. If we choose the latter route, we are CERTAIN to destroy the federation God has allowed us to build. Because unity rooted in a fear-based silence is no unity at all, and it will not last.

        We need to be able to discuss study committee reports and the potential actions of our federation without office-bearers fearing that they will be labeled FV if they voice their concerns. I’m urging you, as a fellow office-bearer, to studiously avoid ad hominem accusations and to allow for honest discussion.

  2. Thanks for editing this book Dr. Clark. It has been very helpful for me in understanding more clearly the issues at stake regarding the NPP/FV challenge to Reformed orthodoxy.

  3. ”I’m urging you, as a fellow office-bearer, to studiously avoid ad hominem accusations and to allow for honest discussion.”

    Only for the other side to again and again come up with the tiresome excuse that they’ve been misunderstood. So, who’s avoiding honest discussion?

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