I write this post as an earnest plea to those who accept the tenets of the Federal Vision (also abbreviated in this post as FV), those attending a CREC church or church with Federal Vision tendencies or sympathies, the official network of churches for the Federal Vision Movement, or those who are trying to consider the issue involved with this crucial topic that relates to the essential Christian Doctrine of the distinction of the Law and Gospel among related issues.
This post is intended to gather as much resources as possible in 1 place on the Federal Vision, so that you can evaluate the sources yourself and see some of the main responses and resources available. Some of these resources are from reformed Presbyterians, while others are from reformed baptists.
Reformed baptists are not immune to the aberrant doctrines of the FV, as a former member of a FIRE church there were some of the elders who openly promoted FV advocates such as Douglas Wilson and James Jordan as orthodox and biblical authors and pastors, recommending their books and resources to the congregation. So within contexts of those holding to a limited view of subscription to a Reformed Confession, it can open the door to threats such as the FV or the New Perspective on Paul.
R. Scott Clark made a historical comment about loose subscription by Scottish Presbyterians, that also serves as an important warning today since loose subscription and system subscription leave a lot of loopholes open that can potentially become serious problems such as the FV,
“In 1900, foreshadowing developments to come in North America, the Kirk of Scotland required only that ministers subscribe with the understanding that the WCF was the confession of the Church of Scotland and that by signing it they were declaring that they “believe the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith contained therein.” Obviously , one could drive a truck through such verbal holes, and that has been done for a century” (R. Scott Clark, Recovering the Reformed Confession: Our Theology, Piety, and Practice, 166-167).
FV Joint Statement of Faith 2011 (Notice how they redefine sola fide just like Richard Baxter to attempt to sound orthodox, but they end up redefining and denying sola fide):
For those unfamiliar with the Federal Vision Movement R. Scott Clark gives a useful overview on his podcast, episodes 55-57, of their basic theological presuppositions:
R.Scott Clark also gives a useful overview of the FV movement on this podcast episode of Echo Zoe:
If you haven’t read my posts on Richard Baxter on Justification, then you should read those first before proceeding with the other resources on this post since they provide important historical background as a precursor to the modern FV movement:
This interview between Michael Horton and Douglas Wilson shows how Douglas Wilson tends to redefine terms to appear orthodox, to make it more difficult to identify his FV views i.e. he denies that the Adamic Covenant was a covenant of works in the interview and tries to make it also a gracious covenant, playing the same semantic games as Richard Baxter did with his responses to orthodox divines in the 17th century:
Here are 2 committee responses by Presbyterian denominations, the URCNA and OPC responding to the Federal Vision. The OPC document is longer since it also has a section responding to the New Perspective on Paul under the same committee study, and it also systematically addresses how the FV and NPP (New Perspective on Paul) not only modify the doctrine of justification, but all of the key areas of theology such as the doctrine of God and Ecclesiology. Although I hold to a 1689 federalism view of covenant theology these two committee reports are still profitable for understanding the FV and providing a biblical response to it.
URCNA (United Reformed Churches in North America) Response to the FV:
OPC Committee response to the NPP & FV:
Here are some additional resources for studying the FV movement from a reformed baptist perspective to provide a biblical response to the aberrant views that it propagates by mixing the law and Gospel: