An assessment of the past many years culminating in the Federal Vision and Klinianism discussions.

Coming from a dispensational background is hard for some. The tearing asunder of Grace and Law in an unbiblical way is par for that course. It causes a person to interpret the Bible the same way. They pit God’s law against God’s grace. In their view grace can not abound without sin. Reverend Winzer put it this way.

One begins to see a metaphysical reworking of the categories of grace and justice in relation to the “covenant of nature.” Instead of a providential dispensation (see Shorter Catechism question 12), the covenant of works is turned into a creational entity which characterises the natural relationship between God and man. Human morality is, in its very essence, made a covenant of works. Grace is only operative where sin abounds.

On the other front the Federal Vision was blurring Law and Grace.  It is not a monolithic group necessarily but there were characteristics that overly blurred the distinctions of Law and Grace making them more like one issue. The Federal Vision believed in an Adamic Covenant. But it was not a Covenant of Works as defined by our Confessional beliefs. It was a Covenant of Grace that was given to Adam and proceeded to become the New Covenant. That is why it is considered to be Monocovenantalism. It is one overarching Covenant including Adam. The Reformed Confessions are Bi-Covenantal believing that there was a Covenant of Works where Adam died and that Covenant was finished. God in his providence ordained that there would be a mediator of a better unfolding covenant with Jesus Christ as the head as Adam was the head of the First failed Covenant.  Jesus Christ is the second Adam who fulfilled the the requirements of the first Covenant and paid a ransom for His chosen people.

Dr. R. Scott Clark and his companions wanted to protect the Church from a false gospel that is no gospel at all. They attacked the Federal Vision group rightly but were a pendulum swing too far away from the truth and opposite direction from the FV to be completely effective. Their attack became their cash cow so to speak. It became their pet project to correct everyone’s view of what the gospel is but they themselves were a bit off kilter. They had a Gospel that overemphasized justification by faith alone and divorced the fact that the Gospel was to reconcile man to God both inwardly and outwardly.  The Gospel and Union with Christ is has a twofold Grace in Justification and Sanctification.

Their views affected a lot of other teachings also. They affected the doctrines of Christ (views of his Kingship and Kingdom), Soteriology (doctrines concerning salvation) and our Union with Christ.

While I dislike dissention and seeing things torn apart there was a creeping in that is always at our doorstep. Auburn Avenue was only a place in time where things culminated into a merging of various things.  Some people think it started with Norman Shepherd and merged with N. T. Wright’s New Paul Perspective. Meredith Kline was a pendulum swing in the opposite direction in reaction to him. Both are fringes that produced problems that took a lot of time away and there are damages on both sides. The one thing that has arisen from the ashes to me is that the Standards have proven to be a place that has produced a reliable guide in truth.

Both sides of the extreme pendulum swings proved to have problems that have been destructive to the souls they heavily influenced. But the strengthening of the Standard’s position has been obvious to many. And I am not Machen’s Warrior Child. I have grown to love the Standards because of this process though. I know many people who have. I actually believe there has been a strengthening that has happened since the disease that both sides have has been exposed. I also believe we are going to need that strengthening because I believe we are headed for harder times.

I hope I am not presuming upon the reader here but the following link is my journey which may help understand what I am saying more clearly. Clark and I went around the table a few times. I openly charged him with his being unconfessional. He evidently didn’t choose to reply to my comment. The OPC Report revealed I was correct in my estimation..

https://rpcnacovenanter.wordpress.com/…/why-i-was…/

I was encouraged concerning the sting of death

A Sinful Woman Forgiven
Luk 7:36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table.
Luk 7:37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment,
Luk 7:38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.
Luk 7:39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”
Luk 7:40 And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”
Luk 7:41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
Luk 7:42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Luk 7:43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.”
Luk 7:44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
Luk 7:45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet.
Luk 7:46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.
Luk 7:47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
Luk 7:48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Luk 7:49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?”
Luk 7:50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

One of my father figures has cancer through his body. I went to visit with him yesterday. Before we departed we embraced and he told me he is looking forward to wiping the Lord’s feet with his tears when he sees Him. He has no desire to depart from his family but he does know how much more beautiful things are going to become for him.

I was feeling death nip at my arse this year as my heart valve had basically failed. I wasn’t prepared for this hard providence as Steve seems to be. He has done me a great service and helped me grow up a little more. He is teaching me how to approach something I am not looking forward to. I love my boys so much. But someday I have to cross that great river of death. Steve has given me a clear sight of what I want to do. He has also helped take some of the sting of death out of my heart. He has helped me see things a bit more clearer and with less fear. I want to behold the true beauty of God and kiss those beautiful feet and eternally thank Him for His great mercy, grace, love, and for all the good things I have experienced and will experience.

The first author of Scripture quotes Job saying,
Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
Job 19:26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
Job 19:27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

Jesus Christ said,
Joh 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

St. Paul wrote,
2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
2Co 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

I am so grateful I got to learn that the just live by faith and that Christ suffered for our sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. Romans 1:171 Peter 3:18