Heidelcast 222: A Question & Answer Cornucopia

In this episode Dr Clark answers Heidelcalls, texts, and mails with questions, questions, and more questions from 1) Aaron about “covenant renewal worship” (is this a “federal vision” thing or may orthodox Reformed Christians talk this way?); 2) Ritchie (from Ireland) about admitting those with intellectual disabilities to the Lord’s Table; 3) Sean about the doctrine of the so-called “eternal subordination of the Son” and whether it is neo-Socinianism; 4) Anon about a catechism for toddlers; 5) Victor asks about “vision casting;” 6) L about finding Indy Reformed!; 7) Josiah about The Vindication Against Tyrants and Protestant Resistance Theory; 8) Rob about the regulative principle of worship; 9) Daniel about the illumination of the Scriptures by the Spirit and the diversity of interpretations of Scripture; 10) Anon about how it is that Jesus did not know certain things; 11) Rob about the history of worship; 12) P about whether  Pelagius taught the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Be sure to check out the show notes below for more resources in answer to these questions. Stay tuned for episode 223 when we begin the series on the Canons of Dort.

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Show Notes

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  1. The Federal Vision have what they consider to be a new and improved paradigm of the covenant. Because they do not distinguish between the covenant of works, which is conditional and based on obedience to the Law and the covenant of grace, which is based on grace because Christ has perfectly obeyed the Law in our place, the FV understands covenant renewal not only as a renewal of our understanding and gratitude of undeserved Grace from God, but also as renewal of covenant obligations to do our part to maintain our place in the covenant. At a Bible study conducted by John Barach, on the Lord’s Supper as Covenant Renewal, which I attended, he presented this idea. He very graphically presented the idea that while we eat the body and blood of Christ for remission of sin, God also “eats us”! By this he meant that God evaluates our faithfulness to the covenant and we renew covenant by pledging to maintain our obligation of covenant faithfulness. He based this on Romans 12. In this way, he presented a different way of understanding covenant renewal, in keeping with the FV idea that covenant always has obligations and curses for failure to maintain covenant faithfulness. So our reception of the Lord’s Supper is not only a renewal of our salvation in Christ alone, which is what I understand is it’s meaning in traditional Reformed theology, but a renewal of our obligations to do our part to maintain our place. It seems to me another way the FV change the meanings of words. It confuses the traditional Reformed understanding of covenant renewal.

  2. Hi Dr. Clark,

    Thanks for answering my question about John 16:13 and the Spirit’s illumination. My comments about Sola Scriptura may have been poorly worded. I didn’t mean to downplay its importance. All I meant to say was just because someone affirms it doesn’t mean their theology is sound. At the end of the day, it seems like interpretation is everything.

  3. Dr Clark, thanks for your response to my question about admission to the Lord’s table for those with intellectual disabilities.
    Not sure if the quality of the line is the fault of my phone or yours! If you could get WhatsApp on your phone it would be much easier to send voice messages.

    FYI the catechism question I quoted was indeed Larger Catechism 171

    Q. 171. How are they that receive the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper to prepare themselves before they come unto it?
    A. They that receive the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, are, before they come, to prepare themselves thereunto, by examining themselves of their being in Christ; of their sins and wants; of the truth and measure of their knowledge, faith, repentance, love to God and the brethren, charity to all men, forgiving those that have done them wrong; of their desires after Christ, and of their new obedience; and by renewing the exercise of these graces, by serious meditation, and fervent prayer.

    The part I was referring to was the section on ‘examining themselves…’

    I think your answer hits the nail on the head, we can admit them in so far as they explain commensurate with the level of ability they have.

    • Hi Richie,

      I don’t remember if you used the Heidelcast phone line or if you sent in voicemail to the Heidelcast email address. The latter works very well and keeps me from adding yet another social media account to my devices!

      Thanks for listening/calling!

      Always good to hear from County Cork!

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