Wednesday, 4 March 2009

More on Federal Vision and Ecclesia Reformanda

I have now had a communication from one of the founders of Ecclesia Reformanda disputing David Anderson's take on things. He writes, "I can assure you that our stated aim is, in fact, our aim: to promote Reformed theology, and to respect the diversity that exists within the historic Reformed Tradition. We are emphatically NOT a "Federal Vision" journal."

He further adds, "It's worth noting that two of the authors in issue one are unsympathetic to the 'Federal Vision'," and concludes, "I'm not sure why David thinks he knows us better than we know ourselves. I'm also not sure what evidence he has for accusing us of lying about our intentions. But it's a bit irritating, and as you'll appreciate, for at least two of our contributors rather embarrasing, as he's associating them with something they'd explicitly repudiate."

Meanwhile, I am rapidly 'getting up to speed' on this issue, but am still baffled as to why it is all suddenly such a big deal (at least, here in the UK and, apparently, amongst Anglicans).

John Richardson

Updated 5 minutes later
I've just discovered (from a paper on this I've been sent) that, "The English word ‘covenant’ translates the Latin foedus, from which the English ‘federal’ is derived," hence the expression 'Federal Vision'. Or as we might say more plainly, 'Covenant Vision'. Does that make everything clearer?

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  1. Interestingly, David Anderson has now published a retraction of some of his initial reaction to Ecclesia Reformanda. But stuff continues to roll in on this one.

  2. Yes, "Federal Vision" means "Covenantal Vision." And furthermore, it was the name of an Pastors Conference in 2002. It wasn't meant to be a "theology" or a "movement." That's part of why it is hard to pin down exactly what they believe. They don't have a perfectly common belief. They simply have in common that they want to restore a more robust covenantal "vision" or worldview. Sure, that's somewhat of an oversimplification, but I think it might clear things up a lot, especially if you didn't know that. If you already knew all this, I apologize for the repetition.

    Daniel Foucachon, Moscow, ID
    (I am the son of a PCA pastor who served in France with MTW for many years. We moved to Moscow to go to college).