Federal Vision motivation

by Douglas Wilson

The reason we talk this way [Federal Vision-y] is because some among the Reformed have set up the Confessions as a Procrustean bed for Bible verses. Verses are stretched or lopped off in order to fit their idea of the system. This is a denial of a central tenet of the Reformed system, which is sola Scriptura. A sterling example of this...

"Contra the statements above, the Standards (and scripture) do not teach that the non-elect are ever united to Christ or saved in any sense because the only way we can be united to Christ is via FAITH and faith is the result of Effectual Calling and Regeneration."....

Here is what Andy has said. No reprobate was ever united to Christ. No reprobate is ever saved in any sense.

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away . . . If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned" (John 15: 1-2, 6).

"And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off" (Rom. 11:17-22).

Who is the Vine? Who is the Root? Who is part of the Vine here? Who is part of the Root here? Is there any sense in which these branches were ever united to Christ? To ask the question is to answer it, provided you are asking questions of the text, and not of the system.

"For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe" (1 Tim. 4:10).

Now is this statement true in any sense? At any level?

1 comment:

  1. Commenting on my own post, here.

    Someone wrote thinking this line of reasoning denies the perseverance of the saints.

    I believe the Bible teaches the perseverance of the saints. John 10:29 or so, etc.

    1. All are called outwardly to Christ.
    2. The decretally elect are effectually called to salvation.
    3. There is a third group which Scripture often addresses: those called outwardly, who are "on the vine", or counted among God's people, who say "Lord, Lord," who "tasted of the heavenly gift," who fall away. They were never eternally saved, but they were reckoned among God's people, as tares in the field. Woe to you Corazin and Capernaum, etc

    I think union with Christ can be temporary and non-salvific, a la John 15:1-6. Are there some Scriptures that are clearer that teach the opposite?

    FV sees little personal assurance in our being decretally elect, given the above Scriptures. God doesn't want us relying on our election, but upon His Son, and the signs He gives us to aid us in that faith: Word and sacraments.