2.11.2010

TABLETALK: RC Sproul Jr on the FEDERAL VISION

In the recent edition of Tabletalk, CREC minister RC Sproul Jr. had this to say about the Federal Vision:

"I have been charged in the past with Wright's errors, and though I do not not now, nor have I ever embraced Federal Vision theology, I have been charged with its errors too...I have highlighted this same problem and in turn noted a long series of other problem areas within the movement. These include its sanguine approach toward Rome and Orthodoxy and the efficacy of the sacraments; Federal Vision's often muddled language on the relationship between our works, perseverance, and future justification; and, of course, their often rancorous rhetoric."

He also states, "As one of those four, I took the opportunity to argue that Federal Vision's view of apostasy was, as far as I could tell, a denial, however unintentional, of the biblical doctrine of perseverance of the saints. That is a rather serious problem. One cannot deny perseverance, or affirm a system of thought that leaves little room for perseverance, and still claim to be Reformed or confessional. "


Notice his recognition that any "system of thought" that denies these things cannot claim to be Reformed or confessional, and is "toward" Rome. These charges are quite serious, hopefully RC Sproul Jr., will be a beacon of light in the CREC.

13 comments:

  1. Christopher, thanks so much for pointing this out. I didn't realize he was in the CREC. I am very thankful to hear him say these things, though.

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  2. Hi Wes,

    Yes, this is quite positive, but it's also quite odd. I just wonder what the CREC will think of this? Thanks for all your work! Chris

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  3. I never understood why Sproul Jr. joined CREC and frankly when I heard that this was the group he and his church chose to join after the circumstances surrounding their departure from the RPCGA, I doubted whether he was, in fact, orthodox anymore. These words serve, I suppose, to alleviate some of my concerns over his teaching, but the fact that he chose to join the CREC still leaves me wondering, "What in the WORLD was he thinking?!" The CREC has a very tenuous hold on the title "legitimate denomination" (I almost said 'has no right at all to the title') and given its full-blown FV advocacy in most of its churches, I just can't see how an orthodox Reformed church could have anything to do with membership in it...

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  4. Hi Todd,
    Thanks for the interaction. As I see it, this is a real blow to the CREC. He must be feeling pressure from his father and others who have clearly spoken against these views. The inconsistency here is in his own application to what he has openly called not Reformed or confessional. It will be interesting to see how this will play out; I would think these statements will cause quite a stir in the CREC. Have a good Lord's Day. CJG

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  5. I'm in the CRE. Yes, it was a real blow to us. We have canceled worship indefinitely. We are completely undone. Watch for a fire sale on our hymnals.

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  6. I am sorry, you are correct, there is another side to this, such comments may only harden FV proponents in their "rancorous" rhetoric.

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  7. Todd, "departure" is defined as "the act of leaving." RC Sproul Jr didn't depart the RPCGA. He was shown to the door -- given the boot -- defrocked from the ministry. Though Sproul is defrocked he's "considered ordained" by the CREC.

    It's good to see Sproul finally start to sort through some of the major bugaboos with Federal Vision and conflicts with reformed doctrine. It's taken him too long to make a serious effort. That's just added to suspicions he's a closet FVer himself. "Ignorance is no excuse," but he's tried to hide too long behind excuses like "I haven't even read N.T. Wright, so how could I agree with him?" That doesn't sound like just ignorance. It sounds like willful ignorance.

    Perseverance of the saints is just the start of how Federal Vision conflicts with reformed theology. An even bigger problem is how similar Sproul's views on justification are like Federal Vision.

    I'll remember to pray for Sproul that God will use him in the CREC, but there's not much practical reason to have hope. He'll have to be extremely cautious in what he says about Federal Vison because if he gets too uppity and the CREC gives him the boot he'll have absolutely no place left to go. Practically speaking he may now be as compromised as a politician on the take.

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  8. Hi Bradly, thanks for the comments. You write, "He'll have to be extremely cautious in what he says about Federal Vison." These comments in Tabletalk are hardly cautious. That is exactly why everyone is so puzzled. If the CREC is going to address this, I don't think they need anything else. But we shall see.

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  9. Bradley, you raised a good point -- one that got me thinking. See my thoughts on this in my comment at http://breusswane.blogspot.com/2010/02/hear-here-sproul-jr-one-can-no-more.html

    There I mention how RCJR's "ordination" thing in the CREC is a liability to him. It's more of a liability now than ever that he's moved to Orlando and joined Ligonier Ministries. It could be that he might actually be provoking the CREC to "boot" him (as you say). That could get him in tight with the TRs.

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  10. I've never heard Sproul Jr. purposely. He seems to operate more from a few pet issues, such as paedo-communion which feeds into and compliments his family theology, and his eschatology leanings. His embrace of these peripheral issues which often accompany FV have perhaps given him an appearance of guilt by association.

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  11. ***Correction:
    "I've never heard Sproul Jr. purposely endorse or preach FV."
    Chalk it up to typing with a kid on my lap.

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  12. Be careful about trusting all the rumors regarding R.C. Sproul Jr. Much of these were spread by a white nationalist out in Branson, MO named Peter Kershaw, who later masqueraded under various aliases, most notably "Frank Vance", in a joint effort between Harry Seabrook, Jennifer and Mark Epstein, and other shock-bloggers (as I call them).

    His site seems legit enough to the casual reader, but there's a lot more to the story that you'll never read about. Namely, Kershaw's blackmail of Sproul Jr. as a result of his "services" to Saint Peter as a "paralegal". What you also won't hear is the personal reasons for Peter's motivation to spend so many countless hours attacking the Sproul on various websites ("Drinking With R.C. Sproul Jr., "Ministry Watchman", etc.). It goes back to the fact that Peter was looking at serious church discipline for his spousal abuse, some thing he once told Bruce Murch of Full Quiver Mission that he was suicidal about.

    If you start tracking this guy down, you'll find he was an associate of everyone from Michael Bray (famous arsonist) to Richard Kelly Hoskins (Phineas Priesthood).

    This is the same guy with the Hushmoney website...

    ...he's now going to a Purpose-Driven Church in Branson, bizarrely enough. There are a lot of crazies in the Patriot Movement, but I can tell you R.C. Sproul Jr. (for all his faults) is not one of them.

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  13. I appreciate some of your comments here on this R.C Sproul Jr. guy. As a non believer, it truly shines light on the true hearts of Christianity. Eating yourselves alive in public forum is quite entertaining and stands to be a testimony to you and your children as you eat yourselves alive?

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