Leithart: Apostasy Happens

Dr Peter Leithart is a minister, a teaching elder in the PCA, who labors “out of bounds” (with permission of his presbytery) in a CREC congregation in the Moscow, ID area. He’s an explicit advocate of the Federal Vision doctrines and has facing charges in the Pacific NW Presbytery for teaching the FV. Wes White is surveying one of his books. Leithart writes:

I’ve argued that the New Testament . . . attributes virtually unbelievable powers to baptism. These wonders of baptism all arise from the fundamental fact that baptism initiates the baptized into the visible or historical church, which I have argued is the body of the Son of God, the Bride of Christ, and (one might add), the temple of the Spirit. Baptism is the water-crossing between membership in Adam and membership in Christ. Baptism grants the baptized a share in the great circumcision that occurred on the Cross, stripping away fleshly loyalties and habits and making us members of a new community. Membership in the corporate body never occurs without a personal connection with the Lord of that body. You can’t be part of the Bride without being married to the divine Husband. Coming into the body through baptism means entering into a personal relationship with the Triune God, a relationship in which we are favored, accepted, given access to the Father and the table of His Son. (Ibid., 83)


Resources on the Federal Vision

Baptism and the Benefits of Christ

Baptism, Election, and the Covenant of Grace

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  • R. Scott Clark
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    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

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