Here is Frank's 3rd and final statement.
Well, sadly, this is my closing statement for this exchange – Daniel, as is the custom here, gets the final word and I am pleased to give it to him. My closing thoughts, in no particular order:
- The really exciting parts of this exchange were that I am an adherent to the Federal Vision – when in fact all of the confessional documents I have referred to and endorsed were the confessions of the reformation (in spite of the fact that Daniel disqualified the LBCF as truly confessional and reformational – because they are filthy Baptists, of course); that the Reformed position (in spite of the statements in the actual confessions) is that men can see and must discern the invisible church (even though it is invisible, you see); the somehow it’s my view that church body life trumps orthodoxy even though I explicitly said someone anathematized should leave, and that it is a proper mark of the church to exercise church discipline. It’s exciting to see people who have such a damaged view of proper theology that they will read bankrupt defectiveness in anyone who points them to their own confessions and says, “well, it’s clear that this is not what your confession says – maybe you should repent of that and rethink your problem.”
- Daniel thinks that the reformed placed the full force of their confessions on making the church a place for believers only. The problem, for anyone with one good eye, is that it is the reformed confessions which demand that the sign and seal of Christ’s convenant [sic]with his people – baptism – is for all believers and their children! It is in fact the credobaptist demand that the church be full of only believers. And I assume that Daniel is not one of those – he’s a reformed guy after all.
- I like it that Daniel is certain he has been arguing for separation from churches which teach false doctrine, but that his one and only example of post-reformation heretical churches to be separated from is Doug Wilson – a man never anathematized and never even tried by any Presbytery session. But because John Robbins has written a book about Doug, well, who are we to argue? That’s as good as the Council of Orange in Daniel’s book.
- With regard to the confessions, I did explicitly from the documents themselves indicate the explicit intent of the authors who write them. That Daniel rejects these statements in favor of his own opinion again speaks volumes – this time, in reference to whether he is really all about how “churches” use the doctrine of separation and how he think people using their own judgment should use it.
- I also like that because my list of three uses for the 3 marks of the church didn’t include, for example, disfellowshipping the adulterer or shunning the liar, Daniel thinks that I’m in favor of unity at all costs. Even the most remotely-fair reading on my answer to his question would find that I think the three marks govern almost all of what a church should do or seek to achieve. That he cannot see that ought to inform the reader of his agenda.
- One of the two participants here strictly cited and referred to the confession and made his points based on them; the other didn’t. The reader can decide for himself which of those two actually holds the confessions in high regard and which is simply a parrot of one view of confessional life.
- Last, I enjoy it that I actually cited Scripture and pointed to the problems of Daniel’s view from the Scripture, while he has merely declared me false with no textual evidence.
No sense in belaboring this: Daniel has an open word count to issue his final statement. I thank the readers of this exchange for their time and patience.