Federal Vision - a brief conversation

What exactly is "Federal Vision"? The way I see it, "Federal Vision" basically emphasizes God's covenantal promises as well as our covenantal responsibilities.

Yes, that's part of it.

"Federal Vision" also seems to say that sacraments are not merely symbols, but a means of grace.

Yes, but all Reformed Presbyterians following Calvin hold to this, as he did. FV people are concerned with how many Reformed folks are losing this view for a more baptist (merely symbols) understanding of sacraments.

"Federal Vision" also seems to say that we are saved by grace through faith and not by works, but faith without works is dead and therefore such "faith" is not of the saving kind. Does that about sum it up?

Yes, that's part of it, too. Also...
Paedocommunion is a big part of it. That the covenant is objective, and our children are included. Rituals like baptism convey meaning and grace to the elect, and should be esteemed like wedding ceremonies are, not denigrated by thinking of infant baptism as nothing more than a wet dedication. God is doing something to us and for us in the sacraments. We readily believe this for the bad, for judgment, in the case of communion, but don't have an equally strong belief that He works for our /good/ in the sacraments. We trust God that we and our children are elect, based on His covenant promises to us. Looking at the sacraments, the church, and our children with covenantal (federal) eyes, instead of trying to filter all that through God's eternal and invisible decrees. Deut 29:29 - “The secret things [decrees] belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed [covenant] belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law."

There is more, but that's a rough answer.

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