Coffin Nails

StellmanLeithartOne man’s coffin nail could be the hinge pin keeping the PCA from going over the abyss.

Jason Stellman’s flirtation with the Roman church-state right in the middle of his halfhearted prosecution of fellow closeted Roman Catholic, Peter Leithart, could be the means by which the PCA reverses its decision affirming Leithart’s gross heresy as being within the bounds of the Westminster Confession, even his rejection of justification by faith alone and imputation.

Three PCA presbyteries that still believe that the Gospel is worth fighting for have “approved an overture requesting the General Assembly to assume original jurisdiction over TE Peter Leithart, a teaching elder member of Pacific Northwest Presbytery.”  This means that the PCA’s GA could retry the Leitheart case on the basis that there was a “conflict of interest” given the fact that Jason Stellman was a virtual Romanist while he was prosecuting another virtual Romanist.  No kidding.

Now, I have little hope that the PCA will come to its senses, reverse itself, and turn things around.  After all, the OPC’s GA made a similar error declaring Shepherdite and Federal Vision heretic John Kinnaird to be within the bounds of Westminster orthodoxy and refused to reverse itself despite similar protests.  The funny thing is that those in the OPC view themselves, even to this day, as stalwarts of the Reformed faith.  The blemish of the Kinnaird decision is simply ignored as OPC TEs tell themselves, and anyone dumb enough to listen, that they did the right thing given the “circumstances.”   Hogwash.  That might be enough for a small, even micro, Presbyterian denomination like the OPC, but the PCA has a bigger tent to protect.

My guess it is that overtures such as these calling on the PCA’s GA  to reverse the miscarriage of justice when it exonerated Leithart are nothing more than spitting in the wind.   But, sometime what sounds like death rattles are actually gasps for breath.  Besides, I have to think that Peter Leithart, assuming he has even a remote sense of decency and is not as amoral as he is heretical, would simply leave the PCA for his current home in the proto-papist CREC where he labors.  I have to think being such a despised man by those he wants to pretend are his “brothers” has to be, at the very least, uncomfortable.  Let’s hope he comes to his senses first and leaves the PCA as the PCA GA has already proven itself incapable of correctly identifying a man that is not even a Christian.

You can read the complete overture here, but if you’re content just with the meaty stuff here it is:

Whereas, the chief prosecutor in the Pacific Northwest case, former TE Jason Stellman, has subsequently tendered his resignation from PCA ministry and has joined the communion of the Roman Catholic church;

Whereas, the chief prosecutor admits publically, that “in the midst of this process,” (referring to the prosecution of Mr. Leithart and the appeal to the SJC) he started considering the claims of “the gospel and justification and the covenant from the perspective of Catholics…and this was the nail in the coffin that slew me.”

Whereas, the charges brought against Mr. Leithart by the chief prosecutor specifically deal with gospel and justification from the perspective of the Westminster Standards (which teach that sola fide is the material principle of the Protestant Reformation);

Whereas, the chief prosecutor’s shift toward the very doctrines that he attempts to prosecute TE Leithart for holding creates an astounding conflict of interest, despite his best efforts at objectivity;

Therefore, be it resolved that Calvary, Gulf Coast and Mississippi Presbyteries overture the 41st General Assembly to:

Assume original jurisdiction and direct the Standing Judicial Commission to hear “Pacific Northwest Presbytery vs. Peter Leithart,” because PNWP has “refused to act,” per the provision found in BCO 34-1, by not declaring a mistrial in this case because of its chief prosecutor’s conflict of interest, stemming from his transition into membership of the Roman Catholic church.  SJC not fail to take into consideration the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms in hearing the case.

Explore posts in the same categories: Heresies, Peter Leithart

15 Comments on “Coffin Nails”

  1. Hugh McCann Says:

    Nice, this: “a virtual Romanist.” Hear, hear.

    JJS’s analogy is loony: A nail in a coffin slew him?

    More like he caught a bullet playing spiritual Russian roulette.

    Or, caught a terminal case of maddening syphilis, sleeping with the Harlot.

  2. Justin Says:

    Hugh, you nailed it with the syphillis comment.

    Is it just me, or does Leithart look just like Michael Card?

  3. LJ Says:

    This from the Covenant Media Foundation intro on its webpage for Frame’s book:

    “Recent controversy over the doctrine of the covenant (to which the present volume testifies and will no doubt contribute) is not, therefore, so much a new debate as it is a revival and perpetuation of very old debates. These debates are vital if we (and not only the Reformed) are to arrive at a more accurate understanding of divine truth as it relates to God’s dealings with His people and the world. The Bible is unchanged and unchanging (1 Pet. 1:23-25); but doctrine, which is flawed human reflection on the Bible, is dynamic and developing.”

    Repeat, “… doctrine, which is flawed human reflection on the Bible, is dynamic and developing.”

    My question: is all doctrine inherently flawed? Developing? Is it possible to correctly formulate doctrine? Or, since there is no point at which God’s mind and the mind of man share knowledge in common, shouldn’t we just chuck doctrine in toto? I mean, REALLY, why teach something that is inherently flawed?


  4. Sean Gerety Says:

    Andy Sandlin and John Frame are both good reasons why most in the PCA think questions like the ones raised in the link are difficult to answer. Questions like; “Is covenant faithfulness necessary if one is to expect justification on the Final Day?”

  5. Steve M Says:

    Question; “Is covenant faithfulness necessary if one is to expect justification on the Final Day?”

    Van Tilian answer: Both yes and no. “Christians should never appeal to the law of contradiction as something that determines what can or cannot be true.”

  6. Hugh McCann Says:

    Steve M – Ka-ching!

    Got ’em!

  7. Hugh McCann Says:

    Had I the time and intellect and interest,
    I’d get the nearly 75%-off Sandlin/ Frame gem
    and compare it to these:

    …Scott Hahn shows how covenant, as an overarching theme, makes possible a coherent reading of the diverse traditions found within the canonical scriptures…divine covenants form and shape a father-son bond between God and the chosen people…With meticulous attention to detail, the author demonstrates how divine sonship represents a covenant relationship with God…

    And the Horton-endorsed*:

    * “Even when one disagrees with some of his conclusions, Benedict’s insights, as well as his engagement with critical scholarship, offer a wealth of reflection. In this remarkable book, Hahn has drawn out the central themes of Benedict’s teaching in a highly readable summary. An eminently useful guide for introducing the thought of an important theologian of our time.” ~ MSH ~

  8. Hugh McCann Says:


    Spiritual syphilis is an epidemic in the Pretty Confused Assembly.

  9. Justin Says:


    “Christians should never appeal to the law of contradiction as something that determines what can or cannot be true.”

    Anything that contradicts Scripture cannot be true.

    Is this statement of mine an appeal to Scripture or an appeal to the law of non-contradiction?

    What would you say? What would a van Tilian say?

  10. Lauren Says:

    It is going to take the same heart conviction that Paul had to change the denomination’s direction.

  11. Steve M Says:

    Justin; “Anything that contradicts Scripture cannot be true.

    Is this statement of mine an appeal to Scripture or an appeal to the law of non-contradiction?”

    Christ, when praying to the Father for those that the Father gave him, declared “Your word is truth”. Scripture is truth. The law of contradiction tells us that two contradictory propositions cannot both be true. It also tells us that one of them must be true. I think the question you ask hits the nail on the head. If a proposition of Scripture such as “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth” is true can we conclude that the proposition “It is not true that in the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth”.is false? I believe we can. Am I appealing to the law of contradiction? I think I am.

    As to what a Van Tilian would say, I don’t know. I do know it would be confused. I believe that Van Tilians prefer confusion to accepting certain implications of the sovereignty of God

  12. Lauren Kuo Says:

    What kind of coffin nails will it take to rid the denomination of this false gospel? It’s not so much the nails but what kind of men are doing the nailing: Check out my new blog post from Galatians 1:10
    The PCA: Courting the Favor of Men

  13. Lauren Kuo Says:

    What would happen if the PCA leadership had to evaluate the Federal Vision according to Scripture instead of how it measured up to the Westminster Confession of Faith? It seems to me when you apply the higher authority of Scripture, you would come up with a different conclusion that would hold a lot more weight.

  14. Lauren Says:

    Ultimately, the question has to be asked and the answer settled: Is the Federal Vision contrary to the revealed Word of God or just another interpretation of the Westminster Standards?

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