Heidelminicast: Federal Vision Refresher

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  1. It’s sad how some appear to desire to revive Federal Vision in a positive light. I recall a “Reformed” Baptist (forgot his name) who tried to dispel notions of FV being heresy. How did he attempt to do this? By bringing in Doug Wilson and Rich Lusk(? I think it was him rather than Leithart) to exonerate their position. That strikes me as trying to dispel concerns about the Mafia by speaking to Tony Soprano or John Gotti.

  2. The two most common responses from CREC folk are:
    1. The PCA can’t keep sexual pervs out of its own pulpits, so NAPARC criticisms of the CREC don’t mean anything.
    2. Meyers and Leithart were exonerated in PCA courts, so the issue is settled and Federal Vision teaching of the CREC is fine.

    These are fallacious, but they don’t fail to persuade those in thrall of the CREC, unfortunately.

    • Not only Meyers and Liethart were exonerated in the PCA, but Norman Shepherd was defended fiercely in the OPC and allowed to pass on to the CRC in good standing, when outside criticism of their failure to discipline him became overwhelming. Notwithstanding their nine points against the federal Vision, the URC never actually disciplined John Barach or Theo Hoekstra, two URC pastors from northern Alberta, who were teaching FV doctrines for years, and finally joined the CREC. When a complaint had been made against Hoekstra by one of his parishioners, synod simply called it confusing that a Hoekstra had taught that Daniel’s “innocence could not be reduced to the sacrifice and imputed righteousness of Christ” but that that “he was still found innocent on the basis of what he had done.” This is such a clear denial of justification by grace, through faith alone, the hinge on which the Reformers said the church stands or falls, yet it was just called, “confusing” by the synod, and they asked him to be less confusing. And so no disciplinary action was taken against him or Barach.

      • Angela,

        Yes, synod it did call his sermon confusing but they did more than that.

        At that Synod the churches declared that we embrace the doctrine that Jesus obeyed the law not to qualify himself to be a Savior, and that he does not accept us for anything wrought in us or by us, but that in our place and that all his life he suffered and obeyed for us and that all his suffering obedience is reckoned to all who believe, as if one had performed the very same obedience. This benefit is received through trusting, resting, receiving Christ and his righteousness alone.

        They also instructed both Classis and Consistory to correct Hoekstra, did they not?

        • Actually, synod simply stated “Synod advise the consistory of AAA to work pastorally Rev. BBB to bring ANY divergent view that he MAY HAVE on this issue into conformity with what the synod affirms (Article 66.3). Clearly, synod nowhere declares that Hoekstra spoke contrary to the reformed standards, or the doctrine of Justification by faith alone. No disciplinary action was taken.

          • Thank you for the clarification.

            I agree that Synod was too polite but my recollection is that it was understood to be a rebuke by synod, polite though it was.

            I think that the consensus on these issues is stronger now than it was.


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