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...



  1. Chris, this is a fantastic post! There can be no doubt where the URCNA stands concerning the pure gospel. We stand with it. The Federal Vision stands against it. There is zero room for their false doctrine in our churches!

    What an honor it was to be at Synod and cast my vote to receive the Study Committee Report on Justification against these so called Federal Visionists.

    I also rejoice that the 9 Points Shererville were retained as well.

    The Gospel of Justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone was doubly affirmed.

    It was a blessing to be a part of the advisory committee at Synod that handled overture #1 and the Justification Report. God has gifted his church with some amazing men and I am grateful for this! The discussions were handled with great care and theological acumen.

    And, of course, the Study Committee that wrote the report itself are to be commended more than all!

    Praise the LORD!

  2. An answer to prayer, rejoice! Praise God.

  3. Thanks Brad, yes, it is wonderful to be a part of this federation of churches.

  4. Catechist, appreciate your prayers, yes, praise to our risen LORD!!!

  5. Not too surprising that Doug Wilson would rant by writing a limerick. He is just following his limerick forefather, Edward Lear. I’m sure his link will continue in the same vain.

    The limerick form was popularized by Edward Lear in his first Book of Nonsense (1845) and a later work (1872) on the same theme. Lear wrote 212 limericks, mostly nonsense verse

  6. Very clever - great post, Chris!

  7. Did the FV delegates leave the Synod will you sang: "Time to say Goodbye" ? ;-)

  8. We used to do that at college basketball games, but, it didn't quite feel right at a Synod--:)

  9. Hi Chris,

    Thanks so much for your excellent blog posts on Dort and Moscow.

    My question is what do Episcopious' words mean:

    Dominus Deus judicabit de fraudibus & mendacius: Sapma, Exeo ex ecclesia malignantium

    Ryan Kron

  10. Hey Ryan, great question, should have provided a translation. It's close to the following: The Lord God be judge concerning fraud and deception: We depart because of the assembly’s malicious bias.

  11. just a comment, if i may, regarding what brad lenzner said above. i would echo what he said; but i also think there's an important word of clarification that's needed.

    fwiw, here it goes...

    while i appreciate the fact that synod 2010 did not sustain the appeal from the hills, mn consistory regarding the 9 points of schererville '07, it also needs to be remembered that the hills appeal was based on procedural grounds and not theological grounds.

    [on an anecdotal note, i know for a fact, personally, that rev. doug barnes agrees with the theology of the 9 points.]

    the fact of the matter is that synod 2010 did not answer the hills appeal by saying, in effect, "we re-affirm the theology of the 9 points" - for that was not the issue of the appeal; rather, synod 2010 answered the hills appeal by saying, in effect, "synod is able to make 'x' kinds of statements in response to the overtures it receives, even if 'x' kinds of statements corresponds to the overture in a somewhat roundabout way.

    in light of this, then, it doesn't seem that it's best to say that synod "doubly affirmed" the doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone on account of Christ alone, if such a statement is intended to include synod 2010's denial of the hills appeal *AND* the justification report along with all the items related to it, etc...

    only the latter had to do with the doctrine of justification by faith alone, the former was a matter of synodical procedure and/or ecclesiastical polity.

    having said all that, i'm very glad - and thankful to the Lord - for the decisions of synod 2010 on both accounts, as i don't think the hills appeal should have been upheld and i do think that our federation needed to speak clearly on the matter of justification by faith alone.

    blessings to you, brad!

  12. Thanks for the good comments, Dan. It's also important to note that there is precedent with the way the Nine Points were received, (i.e. Synod 2001--Creation; Synod 2004--Justification reaffirmed; Synod 2007--the invitation to the OCRCs to federate--which, as a side note, did not originate with any consistory.) So...it would have been suspect to now go after the Nine Points and strike the null and void when we have not had the same energy for former decisions. At the end of the day, the body was correct in seeing that the Nine Points did originate as a response to an overture made from a consistory concerned with the Federal Vision Movement. Thanks for the interaction.