Wolfish Benefits

I finished The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill last week (I know, I’m behind on the times, please bear with me), and the reformed world is currently re-embroiled in staving off Federal Vision for a second time, as Doug Wilson is experiencing a resurgen…no, that’s too on the nose. A renaissance…that’s it, as Doug Wilson is experiencing a renaissance. So I have found myself wondering recently: why do we keep doing this—why does the church keep listening to wolves? What is it that we believe the wolf has to offer that faithful shepherding does not? Let us consider that very notion under the following 5 reasons why the church keeps turning to un-Christlike examples to lead us:

  1. Wolves fight back, hard. And they play offense. Like literal wolves, the proverbial ones in the church are ferocious. They come at the church’s cultural opponents with a vengeance. They fight fire with fire. The world may play dirty and unfair—“but so what?” the thought would go, “at least my wolf comes back swinging and is leveling some serious damage against Christ’s opponents.” What we are given, then, is a macho version of Jesus, not weak and pacifist Jesus, but a Jesus who wins my battles in a way I can relate to. (We needn’t worry that this is not how Christ tells us to “fight”, or that these are not our particular weapons — cf. 2 Cor. 6:7, 2 Cor 8:10)
  2. Wolves are entertaining. They are bold, brash, and often edgy. There is something alluring and attractive about these big personalities. They grip our attention, they are larger than life, and they aren’t afraid to show it, nor are they ashamed to let you know it. They are far more often than not, quite gifted in their style and presentation, and as a result, they are popular, well-known, and well-respected. (It needn’t matter that such personalities and showmanship are more like the super apostles than Paul or Jesus (2 Cor. 11:5). Paul, after all is no-show and all Christ— cf. 1 Cor. 2:1,2, Isaiah 42:2)
  3. Wolves offer us hope, eschatological hope, and they offer it in the here and now. We are presented with an over-realized eschatology, where things that will only be the case in the consummation are promised here on earth. It is alleged that we can have cultural and societal dominance if only we will follow the wolf or emulate his tact. In such cases, we get to see with eyes of sight, not with eyes of faith, which is far more palatable to our fleshly instincts and desires. (Never mind that Christ’s pattern is a deferred hope, a patient spirit, and a delayed gratification of seeing a better country with eyes of faith—cf. Ecc. 7:8, Heb. 11:16)
  4. Wolves get results. Who wants to patiently plod along with the foolishness of preaching, going through books of the Bible at a snail’s pace, when there is work to be done—real work we could be doing. Who cares that it may not be the Lord’s work, the Lord’s way. It’s work, and we see the results. With faithful gospel preaching, what are we accomplishing anyway—those are basic truths we’ve already mastered—we have to do more! (It needn’t worry us that Christ has ordained a different path to transform the world—cf. 1 Cor. 1:20-21, Gal. 3:5)
  5. Wolves are persuasive. They come to us with human cunning and good sounding speech. They are articulate and their eloquence appeals to our fleshly instincts. This skill of speech is often used for nefarious and duplicitous purposes, because when needed, they can verbally walk themselves out of nearly every corner—making firm denials and nice-sounding apologies. (Disregard the fact that Peter and Paul explicitly denounce coming to the flock of God with cleverly devised speech or human cunning—cf. 2 Pet. 1:6, 1 Cor. 1:17)

I was speaking to a young man recently who is a fan of Doug Wilson. He asked me “besides Wilson’s heresy, what issues do you have with him?” I hadn’t said anything about “heresy.” This young man freely offered that Wilson holds to heresy. He said this, not me. And yet the fact that the likable wolf holds to damnable distortions of the Gospel is not enough, there must be more to discount and disqualify him. It is at this point that one realizes how impossible it is to dissuade someone from following wolves. If recognition that someone gets the one true Gospel wrong is insufficient reason to avoid the person’s teaching, what more could be said? Sure, you could highlight the wolf’s character, or his consciously aiding and abetting abusers, his trajectory, his playing fast and loose with the truth, and his un-emulatable presentation so that it could not rightly be said of him: “follow me as I follow Christ.” But if a denial of the Gospel is not enough—what else could possibly rise to a higher height than this one point?

That is to say, the wolf brings this young man, and many others like him, benefit. And that benefit justifies the means—even if those means are a denial of the one true Gospel.

Aesop told one of his many famous stories about how a wolf infiltrated a flock of sheep. The wolf ingratiated himself to the shepherd-boy by protecting the sheep from other predators. He aided the shepherd-boy so often, that the boy began to let his guard down and be thankful for the wolf. One day when the boy needed to run an errand, he left his flock with the wolf, thinking him to be a protector and a helper. Upon returning, he discovered just how foolish he was to ever trust a wolf.

So, friends, why do we keep following wolves? Because look at all the good that the wolf is accomplishing! And sadly, that can be used to excuse literally anything—even denying the very Gospel itself.

Keith Evans | “Wolfish Benefits” | August 23, 2022
Reprinted by permission of Gentle Reformation. We encourage you to subscribe to Gentle Reformation.

© Keith Evans. All Rights Reserved.


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  1. Helpful lupinology (the study of wolves). As one who once was very attracted to Doug Wilson, I now know my primary weaknesses were twofold—
    1) not being firmly grounded in justification.
    2) not understanding the sacred and the secular, nature and grace.

    Full-strength, repeated immersion in Reformed preaching by my pastor, Rev David Inks (Covenant URC Fresno) and his exceptional catechismal instruction, and the clear teaching of the same on the Heidelblog/Heidelcast have remedied those issues. Looking back, I am astonished at how much repetition and emphasis it has required to help me rightly divide law and gospel, and latch on to a full-orbed understanding of justification. I’m convinced it is a life-long affair for me, as my flesh is always tempted to doubt the truth of what Christ has accomplished. The gospel rightly preached seems too good to be true. Additionally, Pastor Inks has focused on the common twists and turns presented by Federal Vision, Roman Catholicism, and Eastern Orthodoxy. I now understand why we must continually fight for and guard the gospel. The church’s greatest battle at the moment is not the culture—it is for justification by grace alone, by faith alone.

  2. Because this wolf is fighting battles for us. What have you done?

    That at least is the motivation that I have and probably what the other young man has.

    I suspect that his ability to put feet on the applications of postmillennialism has more draw than anything else. 2k theology tends to social quietism. It’s not attractive to folks who want to ‘do’ something about society.

    I realise such a commentary will have the readers of HB tearing their hair out but it is what it is.

    • John,

      You’re making the author’s case for him. What you don’t seem to realize is that, eventually, the wolf will come for you too. For all that, what has the wolf actually done, in real life? How different is Moscow, ID now than it was 20 years ago? If he can’t transform Moscow, why should we expect him to transform America? I can tell you what he’s done:

      1. 3x plagiarism — that’s not winning the culture war
      2. Mishandled a rapist — according to his own federation
      3. According to his own federation, he mishandled a pedophile and married him off to a daughter of the congregation, with whom he had a child, to whom the pedeo has confessed (in court) a sexual attraction
      4. Threatened to publish the diary of a rape victim

      What kind of culture will we have if he wins his “fight”? Pretty sure I don’t want any part of that.

  3. The lone wolves like Doug Wilson et al are easily recognizable. It is the “pack wolves” that I consider more dangerous. I am speaking specifically about the members of the National Partnership in the PCA. They are mostly anonymous but in large measure have been responsible for the majority of what is wrong with the PCA today.

    • Bob,

      Apparently lone wolves are not so easy to recognize. The one in question has never been so popular and this despite the abundance of evidence. People turn to wolves to protect them from the bad men out there without realizing that, eventually, the wolf will come for them too.

  4. What I cannot understand is a willingness, in the Reformed community, to excuse the denial of the core doctrine of Reformed teaching on justification, which the Reformers called the hinge on which the church stand or falls, and instead of calling it heresy, say that it is just a little confusing. That is the problem, as I see it, and why the wolf continues be an influence.

  5. I don’t get it. Why are guys like Dr James White, a proficient proclaimer and defender of the Gospel, partaking in fellowship with both NAR proponents like Michael Brown and Federal Visionist heretics like Doug Wilson?

    • You can add John Piper and a few others to your list. I chalk it up to the failures of the Young, Restless and Restless movement, or rather, since it’s leaders are anything but young, the Old, Never Reformed, and Still Restless. HB resources has some good articles on the short comings of that movement.

  6. Time to pray to God and trust in Him. I know that there are wolves out there, particularly in the PCA these days. But there have been wolves (or serpents, if you will) around ever since Genesis 3. And the Lord has been faithful to preserve His church.

    Use our weapons! Pray! Look to God to do things exceedingly abundantly above all that we can think or imagine (Eph. 3:20.)

  7. Wilson and Driscoll aren’t even really fighting any battles. If they were what battles have they fought? What were the attainable objectives? Were those attained?

    I am not sure those kinds of questions can actually be answered. On the other hand, Wilson and Driscoll DO sell scripts of adulthood to their fans. They may use “just” as much Christian doctrine as needed to rush to the “application” of the social and cultural scripts men and women are expected to follow to be manly men and womanly women, but the main thing is they sell clear scripts to their audiences about how to be an adult and find a social niche within which to participate. They are also good at selling “legacy” in this-worldly terms.

    Ironically one of my more progressive Christian correspondents over the years said that guys like Mark Driscoll are all about a Social Gospel but they seem to think they’re not because they don’t stump for a blue-state Social Gospel. But then if you look at the metrics and measures of success they keep looking to and celebrating, it’s pretty much Social Gospel all the way down.

  8. Wilson has his book Get the Girl: How to Be the Kind of Man the Kind of Woman You Want to Marry Would Want to Marry and it features letters to “Dawson”. There’s a “girls” version of the same gimmick with “Darla” under way. The Screwtape Letters influence isn’t hard to see, and that “Dawson” is a composite literary figure rather than any actual person lets Wilson ramble with his bromides and generalizations. What I’ve read of the “Dawson” correspondence this year and last … that’s not theology so much as it’s self-help literature.

    I’ve read Fidelity and Heaven Misplaced and a couple of other of his books. Seeing the Get the Girl path he’s taken up lately, it is probably actually fair to say that Doug Wilson writes self-help books. Heaven Misplaced isn’t really ultimately a book about postmil eschatology, it’s a “what if we acted as if … ?” What of it? Did Johann Sebastian Bach need postmillennialism to motivate him to write church music? If the man almost universally acknowledged in the history of Western Christendom to have been the greatest composer of the last four centuries didn’t need postmillennialism why should I take Doug Wilson’s “what if …. ?” to be anything other than a kind of eschatologically fueled daydream?

  9. Amen! I shepherded a church filled with Wilsonites. Such damage was done, they sopped up every morsel he wrote as if it was the gospel, and they would defend him with a vehemence. Always beware a preacher never trained in properly dividing the word of God…These postmils have tentacles that reach to Bahnson and North and the Theonomist heresy. Your words are spot on!

  10. Perfect description. I was led into Federal Vision before it was Federal Vision, by the likes of Wilson, James Jordan, Peter Leithart, et al, through the homeschool movement. Messing around with some Postmillennial, homesteading, and patriotic types almost derailed me and left lasting impressions on my family (Mea Culpa). Thanks to an OPC Ruling Elder joining my PCA church and openly calling out the errors of this ilk, I was reoriented. Wilson and others scratched the itch I then had, but those wolfish claws left scars that will not heal. The only good part was raising chickens.

  11. I read below that “comments are welcome but must observe the moral law.” Does that include the law against slander, about having 2-3 witnesses for charges? Or does that not apply on the interwebs? Could someone please link to a cogent argument on Doug Wilson as a heretic, especially on the charge that he does not adhere to orthodox views on justification? Otherwise, I think the thread is repeatedly violating that particular moral law. On the article itself, one could replace “wolf” with “good teacher,” so I’m not sure its argument is polemically useful. And lastly, for those who wish to continue to engage: which is more a danger to the church – relativism, or Doug Wilson?

    • Jed,

      That’s been done. Have you not seen the several ecclesiastical reports documenting his deviation from the Reformed confession on justification? They are all gathered here for your convenience:

      Resources On The Federal Vision Theology

      There’s an entire section devoted to the various ecclesiastical reports. The RCUS report is the most thorough on Wilson. See also the many essays linked on the resource page devoted to analyzing Wilson’s errors on justification.

      As to your choices, I reject both Wilson and relativism. BTW, does relativism include plagiarism, pastoral abuse, vile language (e.g., the n-word, and the c-word)?

      Here’s a summary (see the resources) of the case against Wilson:

      We Need To Open Our Eyes and Pay Attention To The Facts

      You’re welcome.

      • Wow – he gets under your skin. But to the point: I asked for a link about Wilson being a heretic as regards justification. That’s a lot of links, and I’m seeing a lot of editorializing about a lot of topics (not surprising, given his writing output), but not any straightforward claim of heresy. By the way, this is an honest question – I’m really wondering what exactly he teaches that places him outside the pale of Christian orthodoxy.

    • Douglas Wilson’s heresies are well demonstrated by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon in his essay, “Reformed is Definitely Enough” on apuritansmind.com, which is a chapter by chapter critique of Wilson’s book, “Reformed is not Enough.”

    • Jed,
      I find Wilson to be confusing not so much on Justification in the NPP sence, as he does hold to a punctiliar justification. Its more the two election, covenantal and decretal, stuff. This leads to the question of what union with Christ really is to him.

      In his lecture at the Auburn Ave conference, he makes statements like, “God is kind to those who continue, and severe with those who fall.” What he means is falling away from the Church. Which he terms apostasy, breaking covenant or vow breaking. He defines apostasy as Gal. 5:4. Wilson explains that the man in that passage, “has been enlightened (an early Church expression for Baptism), he has tasted of the heavenly gift, he has been made a partaker of the Holy Spirit, and so on. There is a certain kind of reality to this experience that is assumed. The cut-away branch has no fruit (which is why it was cut away)—but it has had sap (which is why it has to be cut away).”

      The FV idea to Wilson is that the man was covenantally elect but not decretively elect. He was a branch of the tree, but a fruitless one. Wilson elsewhere says, “Branches can lose their position on the tree. You can be on the tree, someone can be on the tree right next to you, and he is as much on the tree as you are, he’s as much a partaker of Christ as you are, he is as much a member of Christ as you are, and he is cut away and you stand by faith.” Which Wilson would say faith is proven by faithfulness. And I might add differs from Piper. (I won’t digress)

      In “Reformed is Not Enough” Wilson quotes another FV guy saying, “There is a sense in which those who persevere were specially (or individually) elect and those who were elect for a time were only covenantally elect.” He says this is Calvins position. I see his point and agree with his reasoning. He is certainly making a good case for those of us who see the Covenant of Grace as variously administered all throughout scripture. But why does he have to confuse the matter? Why must we use terms that have never been used except in rare instances? Are they heretical? Not for me to decide, but I can tell you from experience, they are not helpful.

    • Jed, this may be helpful, speaking as someone who for many years bought the argument that Wilson (and Shepherd), while quite possibly outside the bounds of what’s acceptable in the Westminster Standards, even if they are theologically wrong, are within the boundaries of the Three Forms of Unity.

      The simple fact is that Klaas Schilder and several other Dutch Reformed theologians advocated views that Shepherd and Wilson claim are similar to theirs. I’m well aware that a number of Canadian Reformed people will say, “Whoa! He’s not one of ours!” And that is certainly true ecclesiastically and may be true theologically. Just because somebody says, “My views are close to X” doesn’t mean that person is right.

      However, there used to be a lot more tolerance for Wilson’s views because of the perception that his views were a form of Schilder’s views without the “one true church” hard-edged ecclesiology. A well-known OPC minister told me back in the 1990s that many in the OPC loved the parts of Schilder’s soteriology that later became known as the “Federal Vision,” while finding his “true church” ecclesiology abhorrent. I could name a number of people who were conservative Christian Reformed leaders back in the 1990s, and some who became early URC leaders during that same period, who held similar views and told me that repeatedly. At least one important PCA conservative told me in the late 1990s that the Federal Visionists in the PCA were actually Dutch Reformed, not Presbyterian, and should quietly transfer their allegience to a Three Forms denomination. I think he was hoping I would help them do that; I politely told him I didn’t have the ability to make that happen.

      The problem is that of these men, nearly all are now dead and can’t defend themselves or clarify their views.

      What has changed?

      Every major conservative Reformed and Presbyterian denomination that has examined the Federal Vision theology in detail has determined it to be aberrant. Dr. Clark has linked to many of those synodical and general assembly decisions.

      From a Reformed perspective, we’re not supposed to be lone rangers. We need to listen to the counsel of the church. If it were one or two denominations saying the Federal Vision is wrong, especially if those denominations were all ones that held to the Westminster Standards, a case could be made that the Federal Vision is among the areas of doctrine that isn’t clearly addressed by the Three Forms of Unity, but is ruled out by the Westminster Standards.

      But the URCNA, which is the largest confessionally Reformed body in North America that subscribes to the Three Forms of Unity, and the one that is theologically and historically the closest outside the Canadian Reformed to those who support Schilder, has clearly decided, with very detailed confessional explanations, that the Federal Vision is outside the bounds of the confessions. That decision wasn’t made quickly. It was made after many years of discussions and included specific test cases of preaching by problematic preachers.

      Multiple denominations spent well over a decade — depending on how we count the timeline, at least two decades and probably close to three decades if not longer — debating the Federal Vision and its predecessor doctrines. The consensus we see today wasn’t there in the 1980s, or even the 1990s.

      It is there now.

      For a person to say in the 1990s that what we now call the Federal Vision is problematic but not outside the bounds of the Three Forms of Unity is one thing. To say that today is something very different.

      I have a great deal of sympathy toward Doug Wilson’s desire to see a Christian resurgence in culture and government. I’m used to cooperating with Baptists, Charismatics, Roman Catholics, and all sorts of others in the pro-life movement, as well as other forms of Christian endeavor in the secular realm. While often sharing the same political goals — let’s not forget that it was Roman Catholic members of the Supreme Court who pushed for years to overturn Roe v Wade — I will politely find somewhere else to pray when a group of my Roman Catholic friends are praying the Rosary and seeking Mary’s aid for something.

      The problem is that the Federal Vision isn’t something in the secular realm. It’s in the ecclesiastical realm. We just can’t be cooperating with that theology in the ecclesiastical realm, any more than we would accept rosary beads in a Reformed worship service. The synods and geneal assemblies have spoken, they’ve spoken pretty uniformly over an extended period of time, and Reformed people need to recognize this theology is not within the bounds of our confessions.

  12. Douglas Wilson denies that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone. That is heresy because it denies the core doctrine of Reformed teaching, which the Reformers called the hinge on which the church stands or falls. Wilson teaches a covenantal union with Christ through baptism, which saves, IF recipient demonstrates faithFULNESS to the covenant community he is baptized into. That makes the unconditional covenant of grace, which is a gracious covenant, because Christ has fulfilled all the requirements of the covenant of works, for us when we trust in Him, into a covenant of works. The RPUS report on FV, available in resources on the Heidelblog, explains this in detail. Also see the URC’s nine points against the FV, also available on the Heidelblog along with Dr. Clark’s lectures on the nine points. Wilson’s teaching is heretical because he denies justification by grace alone, through faith alone.

    • What is wrong with what he says here? Not arguing, but I don’t think justification, like may FV folk is his bugaboo.

    • The problem is that he is confusing sanctification and justification. We are not justified by our works of sanctification. Yes, a living faith will be demonstrated by a life of striving to please God, but that does not justify us before God. The Reformed Confessions all make this clear. Heidelberg Q and A 62 for example.

    • Sorry, to be so dense but where does he confuse justification and sanctification in that piece. I know some do but I just don’t see it here.

    • He is adding allegiance, a synonym for his usual faithfulness instead of faith alone. He is making obedience, or works part of the instrument of salvation.

    • I think you need to read it again. Here is what he says, ” Performance allegiance (sanctification) is a fruit of justification, not a root of it. Performance allegiance is nothing other than the perseverance of the saints in holiness. Again, there is nothing new here.”

      What is wrong with that?

    • When you confuse sanctification with justification, you are turning the covenant of grace into a covenant of works. I’d say that is the crux of the problem with Wilson and all his other errors work toward that.

    • If allegiance or obedience the thing we look to for assurance. If that is the case, how can you ever be assured that you have enough allegiance or obedience to be sure you are right with God? The assurance of a Christian is that Christ has obeyed perfectly in his place, Christ has provided the perfect allegiance he needs to satisfy the perfect demands of God. If he looks to his own allegiance, he is making his own allegiance a part of his salvation, and Christ is then only a partial Saviour.

    • Angela,
      He said the same thing you just did. “Qualitative allegiance is one thing, and performance allegiance is quite another.”

    • Actually what Wilson is doing is equivocating. First he agrees we are saved by faith alone, but then he essentially contradicts this by saying this faith must have certain qualities, it “certainly involves loyalty and allegiance”. He concludes that perseverance in faith is therefore due, not to what Christ is done, but to our having the necessary loyalty and allegiance. He is redefining faith alone to be faith and works.

      • I must beg your patience with me again, but can you provide from this piece where he says that “perseverance in faith is therefore due, not to what Christ has done, but to our having the necessary loyalty and allegiance.” Every time I read this it seems you and he are saying the same thing.

        • Bill,

          Your condition, “from this piece” is a problem. I’m not aware of any single piece that Wilson has published in which he pulls all the pieces together of his version of FV theology. The judgments that have been made, most importantly by the Reformed churches, and by individuals are synthetic. Like the Remonstrants Wilson uses orthodox words and can be made to sound orthodox here and there. Thus, as in the case of the Remonstrants, defenders say, “but what about …?” Like the Remonstrants, however, Wilson is a dialectical writer. He also says heterodox things or contradictory things. All those have to be drawn together (synthesized).

          Have you ever wondered why the Synod of Dort published “Third and Fourth Head of Doctrine”? It’s because the language of the Remoonstrant Third Head sounds orthodox and must be read together with the Fourth. So it is with Wilson. One must always ask, “Yes, but what does he mean by this word?” One may never assume that he means what the rest of us mean because, he doesn’t.

          When, as several of the committees and others have done, synthesizes Reformed Is Not Enough with his pro-FV writings (don’t forget the Joint FV Profession) the picture comes out like this:

          1) two stages of justification/salvation (the distinction doesn’t matter here): initial by grace alone, through faith alone on the basis of the imputation of Christ’s active obedience which seems very orthodox; final, through perseverance and good works. What he giveth with the right hand, he takes away with the left hence the judgment that he is a dialectical writer.

          2) two kinds of election: “covenantal” (temporary, condition); and decretal. How do they relate? The latter serves the former. BTW, here is another way the FV follows the Remonstrants, who also had multiple types of election. Did you know that the Synod condemned the doctrine of multiple types of election?

          3) a denial of the internal/external distinction (two ways of being in the one covenant of grace)

          4) all the benefits of Christ are conditionally conferred in baptism

          5) hence paedocommunion (to serve the sacerdotal sacramental project)

          It’s all been documented extensively here.

          That’s the purpose of the resource pages, to locate all the research/writing on a particular topic in one place for ease of use. Please take a look at the RCUS report but see also the dozens of essays on Wilson alone (by multiple writers). Lane Keister did very good and patient work sorting through Wilson’s stuff.

          • Dr. Clark,

            I’m a “believer” here. As I said in my original comment on this thread. I fell for the FV scheme before Auburn Avenue or FV was a thing. I was reading Wilson in ’99. Along with other Theo-Recons. I walked right into the Mercersburg/Shepherdism stuff like a kid in a candy store. So having been there I know all the good, bad, and the ugly. My point to Angela is that if you are going after Wilson, don’t lump him in with NPP guys. Find his other issues and bust him on those. Justification is not the issue. It was at the AAPCPC, but he has obviously moderated. That’s why I posted the link to that blog post. You can’t pin him down on it now. It makes you look like you are putting words in his mouth that he is not saying now. He is a self-admitted FV Amber Ale where Leithart is, by Wilson’s description, an FV Stout. The Decretal and Covenant Election stuff yes. Justification by faithfulness no. Guy Waters does the best Job of side by side analysis and he does find inconsistences in Wilson back in 2006. Wilson has since become very consistent on Justification. Sorry to be such a wet noodle here. Not trying to defend Wilson, just trying to help make better arguments for warning folks about the dangers of Moscow.

            • Bill,

              I’ve not seen any evidence that Wilson’s doctrine of justification has “obviously moderated.” What I’ve seen is rhetorical shifts. He has publicly affirmed his FV theology repeatedly. Nothing of substance has changed.

              Justification is still very much an issue.

              You’re assuming that it was ever possible to “pin him down” at one time. It’s never been possible because he’s always been dialectical. Failure to recognize this fact is a principal reason people don’t understand him correctly. As a dialectical writer he gets to say A and -A. At any one moment one may find him saying A. At that moment, the untrained reader says, “Look, he’s moved/moderated.” He hasn’t. He’s just articulating one side of the dialectic.

              The whole “Amber Ale” analysis is self-serving nonsense.

              In by baptismal grace, stay in by cooperation with grace is the devilish nonsense it has always been, whether expressed plainly by Leithart or dialectically by Wilson.

              Your analysis simply does not explain the facts of the matter.

              Years ago I gave the FVists a way to articulate their repentance.

              • Ok. Thanks. I ascent to that confession of repentance. So much so, that it makes me a pain in the Keister or kiester. Probably both, when I had on social media. I think Lane had to moderate some of my Southern Presbyterian rants.

  13. I wanted to say thanks for those of you who provided direct links on the claim that Wilson is a “heretic”, as regards justification. I will do my best to read them, if patience permits. However, I observe that his plain comments in the About section of his website seem to differ from what is claimed about his beliefs here. And my initial sniff-test about the claim of heresy (again with the caveat that I will read what’s been provided) is that this is like those times when you’re reading Calvin’s commentaries, and depending on the passage he’s exegeting, you sometimes say to yourself, “He sure sounds like a four-point Calvinist here.” Which of course wouldn’t make it so, but if you WANTED that to be so, that would feed that desire. I will assume everyone in this thread is a Christian, and therefore suggest caution – it seems to me that “discernment bloggers” often become the very thing they are projecting their target person to be. In order to prove that Wilson is a “heretic”, you may be at the same time severely and uncharitably (“heretically”?) reducing the circle of those you will spend eternity with. Cordially, in Christ, Jed

    • For Christians there is nothing more important than the gospel of justification by grace alone through faith alone. It is spiritually fatal to add our own righteousness as necessary for justification because only the perfect righteousness of Christ is acceptable before God. That is their only eternal hope. No heaven without it. That is why Wilson’s formulations of faithFULNESS must be adamantly condemned.

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