What Hath Dort To Do With Moscow?--There We Bid the FEDERAL VISION Good Night! (Conclusion)

See INTRO, Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V --and the Duel.
Dort January 15, 1618 Stylo Novo Jo Hales

The Praesis' Determination:

Upon Friday last when you seemed to disclaim all unlimited liberty, and gave hope of some conformity, they dealt with the Synod in favor of you, but today understanding you abuse the Synod, and fly back again to your former claim, they all with one consent think you idignos... One among them there is who has taken the pains to map out your behavior since your first footing in the Synod. Pretend what you will, the true cause of your indignation is this, that you take the Synod for the adverse part, and account yourselves in equal place with them, this conceit has manifested itself in all your actions. Thesis upon the question in controversy you gave up, but so confused, so nothing to the purpose that no use can be made of them. The decrees of the Synod you have openly contemned. The interrogatories put you, you have refused to answer. Your citatory letters notwithstanding the sense of them was expounded by those who gave them, and therefore best knew it, you have interpreted as you wish, and profess that you will proceed according to your own judgment, and not according to the judgment of the Synod.

At length on Friday last you seemed to lay your claim of unlimited liberty and give some hope of some conformity; but all this in your writing now exhibited you have retracted. The Synod has dealt mildly, gently, and favorably with you...I will dismiss you with no other elogy than one of the foreigners gave you...with a lie you made your entrance into the Synod, with a lie you take your leave of it, in denying lately that you ever protested yourselves provided to give answer on the articles, or to have had any such writing ready, which all Synod knows to be false.

Your actions all have been full of fraud, equivocations and deceit. That therefore the Synod may at length piously and peacefully proceed to the perfecting of that business for which it has come together, you are dismissed. But assure you the Synod shall make known your pertinacy to all the Christian world....

So with much muttering the Remonstrants went out, and Episcopious going away said, Dominus Deus judicabit de fraudibus & mendacius: Sapma, Exeo ex ecclesia malignantium: and so the Synod broke up.

Dort, this 5/15 of January, 1618

Your Chaplain and Bounden in All Duty, Jo Hales


Nothing compares stronger to our current controversy than the conclusions that were drawn at Dort and the response that followed by the Remonstrants. With amazement, I substitute to the appropriate controversy.

A Most Worthy Determination:
We had hoped there would be some conformity among us, but since, dear Federal Visionists, you abuse our determinations, and fly back to your former deviant teachings, you are represented among us as crafty. Pains have been taken to map out your behavior among us since this controversy began. One of your own characterized your actions as rancorous. Pretend what you will, say what you will, the true cause of your indignation is this, that you judge us to be the adverse party and account yourselves as equal to render judgments on this matter. And in becoming your own judges, you have been filled with conceit in all of your actions. Your joint statement has availed nothing, and we can make nothing of it. You have openly condemned our judgments stating that you will proceed according to your own standards. We have spent over ten years interacting with your teachings, taking utmost care to understand them.

Therefore, dear Federal Visionists, we can do nothing else, or give you no other eulogy, than to dismiss you with the lie you made among us when you first introduced your strange doctrines. Your actions have been full of fraud, equivocations, and deceit. That we may move forward in our churches with the proclamation of the gospel, we dismiss your teachings once and for all. But know this, we shall make your pertinacity known to all the Christian world.

And with much muttering, the Federal Visionists went out from among us. Doug Wilson, ranting forth, then began to utter a limerick and said...



REGENERATION---Abounding Grace Radio

Billy Graham once wrote a book, "How to be Born Again?" Anything wrong with this title? Just what is Jesus teaching Nicodemus in John 3? All this and more on this edition of Abounding Grace Radio.

Monday July 19 2010
Tuesday July 20, 2010
Wednesday July 21, 2010
Thursday July 22, 2010
Friday July 23, 2010
Westminster Weekend


Dr. Mark Beach Responds to Nampa Critique of URCNA FV STUDY REPORT (PART II)

See Wes White's Blog
Comments on the Paper of the Consistory of the United Reformed Church of Nampa, Idaho

“Interaction with the ‘Report of the Synodical Study Committee on the Federal Vision and Justification’ ”

by J. Mark Beach


In part one of my comments on the paper of the Consistory of the United Reformed Church of Nampa, Idaho, which interacts with the “Report of the Synodical Study Committee on the Federal Vision and Justification,” I examined some of Nampa’s concerns with the Study Committee Report. Specifically, I noted that the Nampa paper does not believe the Study Committee has fairly represented FV views at important points. Nampa in turn presents materials that it believes demonstrate this oversight and misrepresentation. Nampa enumerates five areas where the Study Report has not represented FV positions fairly or accurately: (1) the doctrine of the covenant: covenant, election, and salvation; (2) the doctrine of the church and sacraments: visible and invisible church; (3) the doctrine of church and sacraments: the efficacy of the sacraments (baptism); (4) the doctrine of church and sacraments: assurance, perseverance, and apostasy; and (5) the doctrine of justification.

In part one of my comments, I addressed the first item on this list of topics. Now, in part two, I will address the others. I will first consider topics 2−4 together; then I will briefly take up justification. Finally, I will offer some closing observations.

Disputed Topics Continued

2. Church and Sacraments
In the course of discussing how some FV proponents treat the topic of the church’s visibility and invisibility, Nampa believes the Study Report falsely represents what the FV teaches regarding baptism and union with Christ. The Report says, “Contrary to the implications of the distinction between the visible and invisible church, FV authors argue that we should affirm that all members of the covenant community are truly and savingly in Christ.” Nampa offers this reply: “If ‘truly and savingly’ (a phrase nowhere found in the FV quotes supplied by the Report) means the way in which union with Christ is enjoyed by the elect, then the FV men repeatedly and emphatically deny that this is what they are saying.” This sentence, as it stands, says that the elect do not enjoy true and saving union with Christ. What, I think, Nampa means to say is this: “If ‘truly and savingly’ (a phrase nowhere found in the FV quotes supplied by the Report) means the way in which non-eternally elect covenant members enjoy union with Christ, then the FV men repeatedly and emphatically deny that this is what they are saying.” Or perhaps Nampa means something else. Let it be observed, however, that if one holds to the Canons of Dort, a true and saving union with Christ applies to (or is enjoyed by) the elect alone—yes, the eternally and only-ever-saved elect. It is non-sense to suggest that the non-elect can (for a time) be “truly and savingly in Christ.” There is no such way for non-elect persons (even in the covenant) to be united to Christ truly and savingly.



Dort This 7/27 December, 1618 Stylo Novo JO HALES

On Thursday 17/27 of the present, the deputies being met in the morning the Remonstrants were called in, and willed to give up their considerations upon the Catechism, according to the injunction laid on them on Friday last…Then did the Praeses require them Coram Deo to answer directly and truly…

Here Scultetus stood up, and in the name of the Palatine churches, required a copy of these considerations upon the Catechism. We have, saith he, a command from our Prince to see that nothing be done in prejudice in our churches. The Catechism is ours known by the name of the Palatine Catechism, and from us you received it. The Observations therefore upon it concern us, we require therefore a draft of them, which purpose to answer them, and submit our answer to the judgment of the Synod. This request of the Palatines was thought very reasonable.

These Considerations (I speak of those on the Confession; for those others I saw not) are nothing else but queries upon some passages of the confession, of little or no moment, for that it seems a wonder unto many, how these men, which for so many years past, in so many of their books, have threatened Churches with such wonderful discoveries of falsehood and error in their confession and catechism, should at last produce such poor impertinent stuff. There is not, I persuade myself, any writing in the world, against which wits disposed to wrangle cannot take abundance of such exceptions.

After this did the Praeses put the Remonstrants in mind of the judgment of the Synod past upon the manner of propounding their theses on the articles. Two things there were misliked. First, their propounding of so many negatives. Secondly, their urging so much to handle the point of reprobation, and that in the first place, whereas the Synod required they should deliver themselves as much as was possible in affirmatives, and being first from election, and from thence come to the point of reprobation in its due place. He required them therefore to signify whether they would follow the judgment of the Synod of their own. They answered that they had given up their reason to justify their proceeding, and otherwise to proceed their consciences would not permit them…But when this would not content them, the Praeses proposes unto them whether they were resolved so to proceed, or else relinquish all farther disputation. They replied, they resolved to break off all farther treaty if that matter [reprobation] might not be handled. It was told them that it should be treated in its due place…For when the Praeses told them again, that is was the pleasure of he Synod, first to handle of election, and then of reprobation as much as should seem necessary, and for the churches good, and withal charged them to answer roundly and categorically, whether they would proceed according to this order, they answered, No.

Then did the Praeses require them to withdraw, and give the Synod leave to advise of this. The sum of that which past in the mean time was this: That their pretence of conscience was in vain, since it was not of anything which concerned faith and good manners, but only of order and method and disputing, which could not at all concern conscience; that the disputation must begin from election. First, because the order of nature so required, to deal of the affirmative before the negative; and again, because that all divines, who ever handled this question did hold the same order; and the Holy Ghost in Scripture had taken the same course…that whatsoever they pretended, yet the true end of their so hotly urging question of reprobation, was only to exaggerate the counter-Remonstrant’s doctrine, and to make way for their own doctrine of election…

On the previous Friday, the Remonstrants were called to give their views on the Confession of Faith, and the Heidelberg Catechism. At this point, the Remonstrants began to use whatever means possible to evade giving clear, direct answers to the Synod concerning their positions on the confessional documents the Reformed churches had agreed to live by. Their first reply was a plea to ignorance, “we didn’t expect the Synod to ask for this.”

The Praeses reminded the Remonstrants of their many public attacks in their books against the received teachings of the confessions, and that the judgment of the Synod would be much more thorough when it “learned of their opinion as a whole.” The Remonstrants required that they meet and decide on the matter. Upon returning, they refused to answer the Synod regarding their position on the Confession and Catechism until the Five Articles were discussed. The Praeses reminded them that such teachings essentially run together, and that no harm is intended in proceeding in this manner.

At this point, Martinus Gregorii motioned to the Remontrants to remain silent, and not to answer any further, stating that all their opinions on the Confession and Catechism were in the Dutch language. The Synod then required the right to translate the documents. and the seculars, seeing the Remonstrant refusal to be open, made a decree requiring the Remonstrants to state their opinions on the Confessions. Requiring more time, Hales records, “first there was given them two days, then three, then four…”

On Thursday, the Remonstrants were again called in and asked to give an account of their interpretations of the confessions, the Praeses reminding them of their responsibility to answer “directly and truly”. It seems that a draft of their positions on the Confession of Faith was then submitted to the synodical delegates.

At this point Hales makes an interesting observation about the Remonstants considerations on the Confession.



Dispensationalists claim the Jersusalem temple will be rebuit at some time in the future. Is this what the Bible teaches? Should we be looking for a newly built Jerusalem temple with the reinstitution of sacrifice and offerring? Just what did Jesus mean when he said, "Destroy this temple and I will raise it in three days." All this and more on Abounding Grace Radio July 5-9.

P.S. If you are a member of the LURC, listen next week, as you will hear all this in Sunday's Sermon. :)

Monday July 5 2010
The Rebuilding of the Temple
Tuesday July 6, 2010
The Rebuilding of the Temple
Wednesday July 7, 2010
The Rebuilding of the Temple
Thursday July 8, 2010
The Rebuilding of the Temple
Friday July 9, 2010
Westminster Weekend 15


Edward Leigh on the Mortification of Sin

There are many wonderful things Edward Leigh says in his Body of Divinity about mortification of sin, but this profoundly simple statement is something never to forget:

Meditating on the death of Christ is the purest and most effectual way of mortifying sin, 1 Pet. 4:1.  Look upon Christ's death not only as a pattern of mortification but cause of mortification, John 3:14; Heb. 12:2. 
  1. Look upon sin as the cause of Christ's sufferings, Zech. 12:10; Acts 2:37.
  2. Consider the greatness and dreadfulness of his sufferings, Rom. 8:32.
  3. The fruit of his sufferings, Col. 2:15.
  4. Reason must argue from the end of Christ's sufferings which was mortification as well as comfort and pardon, 1 John 3:6; Ephes. 5:27.

What Hath Dort to do With Moscow? LET'S HAVE A DUEL!

Dort, 15 January, 1618 Stylo Novo

Gomarus owes the Synod a shrewd turn...as soon as Martinius has spoken, [Gomarus] starts up and tells the Synod...and therewithal casts his glove, and challenges Martinius...and requires the Synod to grant them a DUEL, adding that he knew Martinius could say nothing in refutation to his doctrine...

Zeal and Devotion had not so well allayed Gomarus his choler, but immediately after prayers he renewed his challenge and required combat with Martinius again, but they parted for that night without blows."

Your Honours Chaplain and Bounden In All Duty, Jo Hales.
I had to take a break and put this in.   Gomarus wanted hand-to-hand combat with Martinius. On the floor of Synod, Gomarus challenged Martinius to combat via a Duel! What do you say to this?  The crazy thing is, Martinius was not a Remonstrant--he was on Gomarus' side.  Well, these controversies certainly bring out the worst in us.  Any similarities? 

How many FV proponents, and other divisive persons (who make little sense and cannot refute our arguments) would I like to Duel!  Well, not really, but I would at least like to take them out on the basketball court for some one-on-one and settle it.  At least I would be a bit more civilized than challenging to a Duel.  If we learn anything from this, we see how easily our tempers flare and our sin so easily ensnares us.