Archive for February 2008

Bishop Wilkins – Romeward Bound

February 27, 2008

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In case anyone missed it, and I imagine many have, Steve Wilkins has offered yet another denial of sola fide. So, if anyone was tempted to think that Steve Wilkins and the rest of his loyal followers at Auburn Avenue fled the PCA because they didn’t think he’d get a fair trial in the PCA (as the FV propagandists would have us believe), the following should disabuse even the most ardent fence sitter of that notion. Wilkins left the PCA for the CREC because he really does deny the Reformed and biblical doctrine of sola fide and shares the Roman Catholic belief that the faith that saves, is the faith that works. For Wilkins, it is the crucial addition of works, specifically works of obedience done by faith, that makes mere belief alone salvific. This is what Wilkins calls “the faith of the Church.”

In a recent blog Wilkins favorably quotes French Jesuit priest, Henri de Lubac. The fact that he’s favorably quoting a Jesuit priest should be enough to raise a couple of flags even in our day of ecumenical relativism and theological correctness. But, to really get you in that ecumenical mood, de Lubac’s writings contributed heavily to the Second Vatican Council. The Oxford Dictionary of the Catholic Church states: “De Lubac was one of the thinkers who created the intellectual climate that made possible the Second Vatican Council, largely by opening up the vast spiritual resources of the Catholic tradition which had been cramped by post-Tridentine ‘baroque’ theology.”

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Mapping the Federal Vision

February 24, 2008

There is no question that the Federal Division is in many respects a farce and while holding these false teachers up for ridicule and scorn is of some value, nothing diminishes the deadliness of their heretical system of doctrine or that its teachers and fellow travelers are determined schismatics. As one of Wilson’s followers said recently; “I am heartened to know that the Auburn Avenue church may soon be part of a growing, thriving and vibrant denomination like the CREC.” He’s right. The FV is a growth industry for Wilson’s FV denomination, the CREC. And, with pressure building against the FV men, especially since Steve Wilkins has jumped ship for the CREC rather than face trial in the PCA, now is the time for Wilson and his CREC to reap their illicit profits.

Of course, even at this late date, there are still many who are still unaware as to the exact nature of the soul destroying message these men are teaching, but the FV men have been developing their false doctrines for decades and one of the few men who saw the trajectory which has lead to our current situation is John Robbins.

While observing the warfare going lately and inspired by the pontifical self-righteous salvoes launched by James Jordan, I had the opportunity to revisit a piece Robbins wrote back in 1992, The Reconstructionist Road to Rome. In the piece Robbins reviews Jordan’s 1986 book, The Sociology of the Church: Essays in Reconstruction. Virtually all of the central elements of the FV/NPP are there in nascent form including the denial of the biblical doctrine of justification. Robbins observes:

Jordan apparently believes in salvation by works. He writes: “Paul goes on to speak [in Romans 2] of Gentiles who did not have the law, but who did the things contained in the law. The plain implication here is that such Gentiles were saved (by their faithful obedience)” (107).

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The Comedy Stylings of the Federal Division

February 23, 2008

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A little over a week ago, things were flying fast and furious over at the Greenbaggins blog comment box as the schismatics of the Federal Division were busy grandstanding and stamping their feet. Needless to say their fancy footwork was effective and the number of comments from both sides of the Federal Divide topped 700. That may be a new record for any FD related blog.

The interesting and predictable thing about the fallout from Steve Wilkins hightailing it out of the PCA, is that now all the Federal Divisionists are in full spin mode trying their best to blame Wilkins’ yellow tail on the PCA’s SJC — what the FD men call “the PCA’s Star Chamber.” It’s been almost comical at times with some of the biggest laughs coming from James “Shecky” Jordan, the man other FD men call the godfather of FD soul (which says more about the FD soul than its supporters and defenders even imagine).

Here is just a small sample of his stand-up routine:

FV teaching is totally orthodox and in keeping with the WCF and the Protestant Reformers. Nobody in the FV world has divided the Church over these issues. 100% of the conflict has come from the anti-FV people.

“Shecky” Jordan may not be ready for that gig in the Catskills, but his material is still “killer.” The joke here is that when virtually every P&R denomination along with a handful of P&R seminaries have issued formal papers exposing and denouncing the FD as being contrary to both the Confession and the Scriptures, that the FD men are really innocent victims who have done precisely nothing to disrupt the peace and purity of the church. Play laugh track here.

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Clark Quick Quote

February 21, 2008

clark01.jpg This work of the Holy Spirit does not occur without preaching and argument. Though belief is caused by the Holy Spirit alone, the content of the belief is presented by human messengers. Abstractly God might have used some other method of propagating the Gospel; to say this is the way it is done is not to limit God’s power — it merely describes his method.

~ Gordon H. Clark’s Reply to George Mavordes 

McHillary and Conservative Folly

February 8, 2008

mchillary.jpg Riding to work while listening to talk radio this morning, I was once again struck by how stupid Conservatives have become now that they’ve been bought and sold and incorporated into the Republican establishment thanks to men like King George and Carl Rove. I listened as a number of Republicans, all claiming to be good Reagan Conservatives, were calling in urging Republicans voters in open primary states to vote for Obama this coming Tuesday in order to stop Hillary from becoming the Democrat’s nominee.

ARE THEY NUTS! Conservatives should not only hope and pray Hillary is the nominee, but that she cleans McCain’s clock in November.

The rationale given by these callers is that they hate Hillary so much that the thought of her becoming president is simply intolerable. Underlying this ill advised and irrational strategy built on emotion, is the belief that in all likelihood the Democrats will win the White House. Well, they’re right. The Democrats will win the White House in November. However, the argument given is that Obama is somehow less offensive than Hillary.

But, that is exactly why we need Hillary.

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One More Bronx Cheer For The PCA

February 1, 2008

wilkins-thumb-nose.jpg As the news spreads of Steve Wilkins’ departure from the PCA and her jurisdiction, along with the session and congregation of the Auburn Avenue church, Wilkins has issued a statement explaining his sudden departure as he heads for the favorable FV climes of the CREC. You can read Wilkins’ “Dear John” letter left on the PCA’s kitchen table in the dead of night here.

Wilkins explains the reason for the break up is because his session and congregation begged him not to stay and fight for the doctrines he believes in. Wilkins explains

. . .the elders unanimously recommended that I not seek to continue my involvement in this dispute. This judgment was affirmed by the congregation which stood unanimously in opposition to me continuing to seek to defend myself against what we viewed as unwarranted charges.

You see, Wilkins wanted to stay and defend his Federal Vision and demonstrate in the courts of the PCA that he is a Reformed Christian man and pastor in conformity with the standards of the church, but his church wouldn’t let him. Who is Wilkins to stand against the “unanimous” position of his own church and elders? Wilkins is really just a humble man acting in submission to the will of his session and the concern of his congregants. Wilkins reports:

Some of the members of the Presbytery informed us that they had already decided to file a complaint against the decision of the Presbytery to the SJC if a trial by the Presbytery exonerated me — regardless of what the trial evidence showed. They also acknowledged that the SJC would reverse any decision which exonerated me.

Wilkins’ argument is that he can’t get a fair trial in the PCA in any place other than his own Presbytery, the same Presbytery that twice found Wilkins’ FV doctrines to be in accord with the Westminister Confession of Faith. Of course, some 95% of the PCA disagreed and voted in favor of a Committee report that found Wilkins’ FV doctrines to be out of accord with that same WCF. Clearly someone is wrong, just not Steve Wilkins.

On a side note, one procedural mistake the anti-FV men made at the General Assembly (i.e., the Christians who actually hold to the WCF) was that nobody thought to move for a roll call vote. A roll call vote only needs a simply majority and the motion could be made come before or after the vote on the final motion (Roberts Rules, Art. 8.46). That way we could know which percentage of which Presbytery voted for the report and which did not. Perhaps Wilkins’ support in the Louisiana Presbytery was weakening even prior to the charges being leveled against the LAP by the SJC for failure to correctly deal with Wilkins when it twice exonerated him? Perhaps the writing was on the wall and that even the LAP might have finally found him guilty of deadly heresy? Either way, Wilkins had a safe little haven in the LAP for many years which may well have disappeared and most assuredly is nonexistent had Wilkins tried to defend his views beyond the enclave of his former Presbytery.  Not that I think Wilkins would have won his case, but I certainly would have liked to seem him try.

Notwithstanding, notice how Wilkins again thumbs his nose at the courts of the PCA. He says that regardless of what the evidence might demonstrate his innocence should he have faced trial in his own Presbytery, “the SJC would reverse any decision” which might have exonerated him. Lot of “mights” here, but I guess we’ll never know. Of course, that didn’t stop Doug Wilson from trying to make the same argument in Wilkins’ defense over in the Greenbaggins combox where he complained that the trial he had previously called for in Wilkins’ case, which he asserts would have again exonerated him only this time as a matter of church precedent, was not supposed to be “a field trip to Australia to watch some of those bouncy animals.”

Even more self-serving and nauseating, Wilkins continues to harden his heart against the collective judgment of the church. In addition to slandering the PCA as a kangaroo court, he gives one more Bronx cheer to the men on the PCA Study Committee, who he claims

. . .had judged me to be out of accord with our confessional standards without asking for any clarification or for a response on my part (and without any constitutional authority for effectively trying me in this manner) . . . .

Again, here is a man who has spoken at length and repeatedly at his annual FV pastor’s conferences that his church hosts, he has given sermons, testified twice concerning his views to his Presbytery, and has written both articles and other published pieces expressing, as clearly as anything can be expressed, his views and beliefs, yet all he can do is complain that no one called him.

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