Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

Federal Vision Ruminations

As the big pot known as the Federal Vision debate continues to swirl and bubble, it has become increasingly difficult to separate the real issues at hand from the rhetoric. So I have decided to begin a series of posts in order to try to work through some of the Federal Vision issues. For anyone reading this keep in mind that I haven’t read all of the FV material out there. I’ve read a couple of articles in the FV book, I read Doug Wilson’s Reformed is Not Enough, I’ve heard Steve Wilkins presbytery exam, and I’ve seen enough in the world of blogging to get a feel for the tenor of the conversation. So in short, this is just one guy thinking through some of the FV issues, and is not any sort of exhaustive guide to this (actually quite small in the Church catholic) tempest in a teapot.

Over the next few weeks (months?) I want to try to answer these four questions which I think, if not the center of the controversy, hit somewhere near the bulls-eye.

I. Was the Mosaic Covenant a continuation of the covenant with Abraham, or was it a recapitulation of the covenant with Adam? (Despite the rhetoric, both sides of the debate agree that the covenant with Adam was of a different sort than the covenant with Abraham.)

II. Speaking of which, was the covenant of Adam gracious? (Once again we must qualify. Both sides of the debate agree that the fact of God making a covenant is always gracious. The issue here is whether the terms of the covenant are gracious.)

III. Do words like justification, sanctification, election, salvation and faith have one fixed meaning in the Biblical texts or are they used with differing definitions or shades of meaning? (And corollary to this, if the Bible does use these words in multiple contexts, should we limit ourselves to only using these words in a very limited, systematic way, or should we be free to use them as broadly as the Bible [while avoiding the danger of equivocation]?)

IV. What is the relationship between faith and obedience? (A frighteningly large topic, I realize.)


Richard said…
I'm looking forward to your thoughts.

My only suggestion is to add another question relating to sacramental efficacy.
Anonymous said…
Faith is the root of obedience. Obedience without authentic faith or only intellectual faith is Phariseeism.

Faith without obedience is dead faith.

Why make it more complex than that?

Virgil said…
I am glad that someone is finally going to figure this thing out. First I've got it, then I don't.

The fact that you are working through it and have not already made a decision as to which side you will land on makes me quite dubious of your plan. Are you tricking us? For the sake of your readers and my personal committment to righteousness, no matter what the fallout, I suggest you are probably one of those latent FV sorts, who is just trying to lead us all along to get us at the end. Go ahead, do your magic, hocus pocus act, but I'VE got my eye on you. ;
virgil said…
oops, thought it was April 1.
Anonymous said…
See Rick! Even your Episkopos is coming after you! Bwahahahaha!