Jeffrey Meyers – The “Full Corpus” of His Theology

For those who have been slogging their way through the wave of Jeffrey Meyers’ Wrightsaid posts, here is a quick summary of the “full corpus” of his theology:

“The key is to understand what “righteous” means. It does not refer to moral purity or conformity to a legal standard (the “Lutheran” mistake). “Righteousness” in the Bible means covenant faithfulness. A person is righteous when he does what the covenant requires of him.”
Watching Car Crashes

“[James] Jordan’s works have been foundational in my own thinking and ministry.”
Covenant Theology Bibliography

“Baptized children are Christians. They are disciples. They belong to Jesus. They are members of his body, of his Church. They don’t grow up and “become” Christians in high school or college when they have a particularly powerful experience of God’s love or grace. They can and should have these experiences as they mature. But for baptized Christian children these experiences are not “conversion.” Baptism seals to our children all the promises of God in Christ. They are forgiven, justified, adopted, etc. by means of their baptism into the church.”
Justified by Means of Their Baptism

“The WCF and the bi-polar Cov of Works/Grace scheme needs to be subjected to some careful scrutiny by men who do not worship at the idol of Westminster. Maybe [N.T.] Wright is just the one to do that, not being a part of our tradition.”
Defense of What Saint Paul Really Said

“Baptism makes one a disciple and disciples are called Christians. One may be a faithful disciple or an unfaithful disciple. But one is a disciple and Christian when one is baptized . . . Personally, I would like to see us out from under the straightjacket of the Westminster standards.”
The Problem With RUF Guys

“Read Richard Hays wonderful commentary on Galatians side by side with Luther’s and be amazed at the difference.  Once you understand the *historia salutis* issues in Galatians, it’s hard to go back and appreciate a commentary that is driven by an alien and abstract law-gospel dichotomy.”
On the Alien and Abstract Law/Gospel Dichotomy

“Israel, the bride, is to cling to Yahweh, her Husband and Lord, in faithfulness. What is this but salvation by faith? How is that wrong? . . . NT Wright’s point is that these [Reformed] confessions could be (and probably are) wrong. His argument is that the Lutheran law-gospel dichotomy is not particularly helpful in exegeting passages in Paul (to put it mildly).”
Faith is Faithfulness

“The rectification of the [Tax Collector] follows upon his being faithful to the covenant . . . There’s nothing in the parable to indicate that something was imputed to him. He was rectified because he did what was right. He was declared by God to be in the right.  He was judged to be faithful (=righteous) to the real terms of the covenant.”
The Parable of the Pharisee & Publican, Part Deux

“Furthermore, how can we read Paul’s opposition of “faith” and “works” as an abstract dichotomy between “passive trust” and “active working” when he describes what the Galatians are being deflected from (by the Judaizers) as “OBEYING the truth” (Gal. 4:7)?”
Faith Works

“The W. standards are 17th century documents composed by committees.  They were never designed to function as a once-for-all formulation of the faith.  We must confess our faith afresh to our own generation.  The Westminster Standards don’t do that every well anymore . . . We must stop living in the past . . . I do think the latest scholarly work in biblical theology demands that we go back and redo a great deal of the Westminster standards . . .  The whole bi-polar covenant of works/grace schema has got to go. And if that goes, the whole “system” must be reworked.”
Latest Scholarship Demands Westminster Revision

“After Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus, Pastor Ananias says to him, “Arise, be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”  It’s pretty certain that the reason baptism was offered immediately is because the forgiveness of sins is attached to the action.  When were Paul’s sins forgiven?  When was he “converted”?  On the road to Damascus or in Damascus when Ananias poured water over his head in the name of the triune God?  The text is pretty clear.”
Baptism and the Forgiveness of Sin

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12 Comments on “Jeffrey Meyers – The “Full Corpus” of His Theology”

  1. theoldadam Says:

    “The key is to understand what “righteous” means. It does not refer to moral purity or conformity to a legal standard (the “Lutheran” mistake).

    I’m a Lutheran. I have never believed that.

    There may be Lutherans who do believe that…but I neve met any of them.

  2. Hugh McCann Says:

    Steve,

    Well then, what is righteousness? What does “righteous” mean?

    Meyers is wrong in calling the definition a “Lutheran mistake.”

    Of course righteousness refers to moral purity or comformity to a legal standard! One need only read Exodus 20 or Matthew 5-7 to get this.

    Meyers misunderstands Lutheranism b/c he misunderstands Christianity.

    Sadly, I question whether you don’t as well…

    As one said to you in a another thread, I hope you prove me wrong!

  3. Hugh McCann Says:

    BTW, Sean: Nice title and photo for this one!

  4. Hugh McCann Says:

    Risking redundancy, Meyers invites mocking:

    “The W. standards are 17th century documents composed by committees. They were never designed to function as a once-for-all formulation of the faith. We must confess our faith afresh to our own generation. The Westminster Standards don’t do that every well anymore . . . We must stop living in the past . . . I do think the latest scholarly work in biblical theology demands that we go back and redo a great deal of the Westminster standards . . . The whole bi-polar covenant of works/grace schema has got to go. And if that goes, the whole ‘system’ must be reworked.”

    Again, a snippet of puritanical satire from John Witherspoon’s ‘Ecclesiastical Characteristics’:

    MAXIM III

    “It is a necessary part of the character of a moderate man, never to speak of the Confession of Faith but with a sneer; to give sly hints, that he does not thoroughly believe it; and to make the word orthodoxy a term of contempt and reproach.

    “The Confession of Faith, which we are now all laid under a disagreeable necessity to subscribe, was framed in times of hot religious zeal; and therefore it can hardly be supposed to contain any thing agreeable to our sentiments in these cool and refreshing days of moderation. So true is this, that I do not remember to have heard any moderate man speak well of it, or recommend it, in a sermon, or private discourse, in my time, And, indeed, nothing can be more ridiculous, than to make a fixed standard for opinions, which change just as the fashions of clothes and dress. No complete system can be settled for all ages, except the maxims I am now compiling and illustrating, and their great perfection lies in their being ambulatory, so that they may be applied differently, with the change of times.

    “…There is one very strong particular reason why moderate men cannot love the Confession of Faith; moderation evidently implies a large share of charity, and consequently a good and favorable opinion of those that differ from our church; but a rigid adherence to the Confession of Faith, and high esteem of it, nearly borders upon, or gives great suspicion of harsh opinions of those that differ from us: and does not experience rise up and ratify this observation? Who are the narrow-minded, bigotted, uncharitable persons among us? Who are the severe censurers of those that differ in judgment? Who are the damners of the adorable Heathens, Socrates, Plato, Marcus Antonius, &c.? In fine, who are the persecutors of the inimitable heretics among ourselves? Who but the admirers of this antiquated composition, who pin their faith to other men’s sleeves, and will not endure one jot less or different belief from what their fathers had before them! It is therefore plain, that the moderate man, who desires to inclose all intelligent beings in one benevolent embrace, must have an utter abhorrence at that vile hedge of distinction, the Confession of Faith…”

    http://www.trinityfoundation.org/PDF/056a-SecretsofChurchPolity.pdf

  5. theoldadam Says:

    Steve,

    Well then, what is righteousness? What does “righteous” mean?

    Righteousness is being made right with God. Acceptable, justified. Worthy to enter Heaven.

    We are made right with God because of Christ…and Christ alone. Not by anything that we do, say, feel, or think.

  6. Hugh McCann Says:

    Luther had it (mostly) right:

    ‘Two Kinds of Righteousness’
    By Martin Luther
    http://www.mcm.edu/~eppleyd/luther.html

    Brethren, “have this mind among yourselves, which you have in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of god, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped” [Phil. 2:5-6]

    [1] There are two kinds of Christian righteousness, just as man’s sin is of two kinds. The first is alien righteousness, that is the righteousness of another, instilled from without. This is the righteousness of Christ by which he justifies though faith, as it is written in I Cor. 1:30: “whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption.”

    …This righteousness, then, is given to men in baptism {{Oops~ maybe Meyers has more in common w/ Luther than he thinks!}} and whenever they are truly repentant. Therefore a man can with confidence boast in Christ and say: “Mine are Christ’s living, doing, and speaking, his suffering and dying, mine as much as if I had lived, done, spoken, suffered, and died as he did.”…

    [2] This inexpressible grace and blessing was long ago promised to Abraham in Gen. 12:3; “And in thy seed (that is in Christ) shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” Isaiah 9:6 says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.” “To us,” it says, because he is entirely ours with all his benefits if we believe in him, as we read in Rom. 8:32, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?” Therefore everything which Christ has is ours, graciously bestowed on us unworthy men out of God’s sheer mercy, although we have rather deserved wrath and condemnation, and hell also…

    [3] Through faith in Christ, therefore, Christ’s righteousness becomes our righteousness and all that he has becomes ours; rather, he himself becomes ours. Therefore the Apostle calls it “the righteousness of God” in Rom. 1:17… This is an infinite righteousness, and one that swallows up all sins in a moment, for it is impossible that sin should exist in Christ. On the contrary, he who trusts in Christ exists in Christ; he is one with Christ, having the same righteousness as he. It is therefore impossible that sin should remain in him. This righteousness is primary; it is the basis, the cause, the source of all our own actual righteousness. For this is the righteousness given in place of the original righteousness lost in Adam. It accomplishes the same as that original righteousness would have accomplished; rather, it accomplishes more.

    [4] It is in this sense that we are to understand the prayer in Psalm 30: “in thee, O Lord, do I seek refuge; let me never be put to shame; in thy righteousness deliver me!” It does not say “in my” but “in thy righteousness,” that is, in the righteousness of Christ my God which becomes ours through faith and by the grace and mercy of god. …The Apostle therefore dares to say in Gal. 2:20, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”…

    [5] Therefore this alien righteousness, instilled in us without our works by grace alone—while the Father, to be sure, inwardly draws us to Christ—is set opposite original sin, likewise alien, which we acquire without our works by birth alone. Christ daily drives out the old Adam more and more in accordance with the extent to which faith and knowledge of Christ grow. For alien righteousness is not instilled all at once, but it begins, makes progress, and is finally perfected at the end through death.

    [6] The second kind of righteousness is our proper righteousness, not because we alone work it, but because we work with that first and alien righteousness. This is that manner of life spent profitably in good works, in the first place, in slaying the flesh and crucifying the desires with respect to the self, of which we read in Gal. 5:24, “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” In the second place, this righteousness consists in love to one’s neighbor, and in the third place, in meekness and fear towards God…

    [7] This righteousness is the product of the righteousness of the first type, actually its fruit and consequence, for we read in Gal. 5:22, “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” For because the works mentioned are works of men, it is obvious that in this passage a spiritual man is called “spirit.” …

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  7. Hugh McCann Says:

    You’re most welcome!

  8. Gus gianello Says:

    How anybody can believe this and call himself a Protestant or Presbyterian is beyond me. Someone needs to point out to MISTER Meyer that the Roman Catholic church is literally just around the corner. They have been espousing “wright” theology for over one thousand years. I have met much more honest atheists, Muslims and Hindus than professing Christians–especially putatively Reformed clergy. Thank God for sincere laypeople.

    Gus

  9. Steve M Says:

    I am vacationing in Italy this week and I can’t explain it but all this stuff is beginning to make perfect sense to me. Not really, but the weather is beautiful in Venice. This is as close as I intend to get to Rome.

  10. LJ Says:

    Steve M:

    Don’t forget to kiss the ring!

    Cheers,
    LJ

  11. Monty L. Collier Says:

    Good post, Sean!


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