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#24540 Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:58 AM
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Should there be concerns, that Dr Peter Lillback named as the incoming President at WTS-E (Philadelphia) has leanings toward Auburn,FV theology?


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
John_C #24541 Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:28 PM
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What is Auburn, FV theology?


gil
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John_C said:
Should there be concerns, that Dr Peter Lillback named as the incoming President at WTS-E (Philadelphia) has leanings toward Auburn,FV theology?

Yes.


Peter

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
gnarley #24543 Sat Apr 30, 2005 7:42 AM
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Gil: For a quick overview of this movement(?) Go here

Notice, especially, at the bottom of the paper the outline of the 17 deviations\concerns regarding the “faith once delivered”.

Dave

Last edited by DaveVan3; Sat Apr 30, 2005 7:47 AM.
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Annie Oakley
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Peter Lillback is an outstanding theologian and a Calvin scholar par excellence. Some (Cornelis Venema) have found fault with Lillback's book The Binding of God - on Calvin's influence on the development of covenant theology. Others (Herman Selderhuis - Theological University of Appledoorn) believe Lillback's book is an outstanding portrayal of Calvin's soteriology. I personally side with Selderhuis.

Lillback has been vilified by some for having testified for the defense in John Kinnaird's heresy trial. Kinnaird was brought to trial for supporting Norman Shepherd's theology.

I personally have the highest regard for Lillback because of his scholarship. I believe he is correct on Calvin's understanding of the covenant. That has led Lillback to support some aspects of Shepherd's theology - namely Shepherd's view of justification (not his view of imputation however). What is Shepherd's view of justification? - that faith alone justifies. But the faith that justifies is never alone but is always accompanied by other gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit. This is the position of the Westminster Confession of Faith, John calvin and English Puritanism - that only a living faith justifies.

The accusers of Lillback, Shepherd on justification and the Federal Vision men on justification appear to be unaware of Calvin's participation in the Colloquy of Regensberg (1541). Calvin was most enthusiastic about the statement on justification which came out of that Colloquy. The statement provided for a double justification. It was formulated by Bucer and by certain Catholics who supported justification by faith alone.

The Reformed tradition following the Swiss reformers took a different turn from the Lutheran Reformation. The former put justification and sanctification in very close relationship. The Lutheran reformation separated them.

The Swiss reformers were very deeply influenced by Erasmus. The universities in Vienna and Basel were deeply humanist and Erasmian. Erasmus’s Handbook of the Militant Christian (Enchiridion) and other writings profoundly colored their view of justification so that there was a deeply moral element in it. So Zwingli & Bullinger (Zurich), Oecolampadius (Basel), Bucer (Strasbourg), Farel (Geneva), Viret (Lausanne & other cities), Vadian (St. Gall), Peter Martyr Vermigli (Strasbourg & Oxford), Wolgang Musculus (Augsburg & Berne) shared a similar approach to the relation between the two graces of justification and sanctification. Some historians see a profound similarity among all these reformers and are willing to speak of a “Rhenish exegetical tradition” - referring to the cities on the Rhine in South Germany and Switzerland. The covenant, predestiantion and the twofold graces of justification and sanctification form the basis for this unified exegesis. It differs from Wittenberg with its strong Law/Gospel dichotomy.

Calvin’s Institutes of 1536 were deeply influenced by Luther. Calvin regarded Luther as his spiritual father. But as Calvin matured in his theology other influences came to bear on his thought - the covenantal thought that had its origin in Zurich, and the predestinarian thought which he derived from Bucer during his stay in Strasbourg. Calvin’s view of justification and sanctification was also influenced by Bucer. Bucer actually developed a doctrine of double justification. This was presented at the Regensberg Colloquy of 1541 (Ratisbon). The fifth article of the Colloquy was on justification and surprisingly the Protestants and Catholics came to an agreement. Cardinal Contarini and Gropper signed the agreements as did Bucer, Melanchthon and Pistorius on the Protestant side. Calvin was ecstatic about this agreement and could scarcely contain himself. He wrote with great enthusiasm to Farel about Regensberg article 5. This article set forth justification and sanctification as two parallel graces both of which are given by God to the elect. Notice the date - 1541. This was 4 years before the Council of Trent issued its article on justification. There was no pressure on Calvin to concede anything to the Catholics in 1541. He was living in the free city of Strasbourg at the time and pastoring the French congregation there. Later in his life he engaged in polemical disputes with Pighius, Bolsec, two Lutherans on the Lord’s Supper and with Osiander. These literary debates further matured Calvin’s thought as did his continual expositions of the Bible. The Osiander debate was especially fruitful for Calvin’s doctrine of justification. The debate sharpened Calvin’s thought immensely and the fruit is seen in his 1559 edition of the Institutes. But Calvin did not stop there. He continued to think about justification. In his commentary on Ezekiel 18:17 in 1564, the year of his death, Calvin reflected very concisely and precisely on the relationship between justification and sanctification.

Calvin wrote,

“...although this needs prudence and sound interpretation.  For this proposition that faith without works justifies is true, yet false ... true,  yet false... according to the different senses which it bears.  The proposition that faith without works justifies by itself is false.  Because faith without works is void.  But if the clause, "without works," is joined with the word, "justifies," the proposition will be true.  Therefore faith cannot justify when it is without works because it is dead and a mere fiction.  Thus faith can be no more separated from works than the sun from it's heat.  Yet faith justifies without works because works form no reason for our justification.  But faith alone reconciles us to God and causes him to love us, not in ourselves,  but in his only begotten Son.”

Notice that Calvin tells us point blank that “The proposition that faith without works justifies by itself is false.  Because faith without works is void.” Clearly, Calvin is reflecting on James 2 and draws the conclusion that only a certain type of faith justifies - a faith that produces works. He goes on to state that it is inconceivable that saving faith can be separated from works. His analogy is the sun and its heat. Notice that another Genevan, a century later, follows the same pattern of reasoning as Calvin. Francis Turretin wrote in his Institutio Thelogiae Elencticae,

“The question is not whether solitary faith (fides solitaria), that is, separated from the other virtues, justifies, which we grant could not easily be the case since it is not even true and living faith; but whether it alone concurs to the act of justification, which we assert: as the eye alone sees, but not when torn out of the body. Thus the particle alone does not modify the subject but the predicate, that is, faith alone does not justify, but only faith justifies; the coexistence of love with faith in him who is justified is not denied, but its coefficiency or co-operation in justification.”

Turretin’s Institutio was used as the theology textbook at Princeton by Charles Hodge and at Richmond by Robert Dabney. This was not an obscure post-Reformed theologian, but one whose Reformed orthodoxy was universally acknowledged. In fact, Turretin’s statement is simply an elaboration of Calvin’s comment (Ezekiel 18:17).

Some have charged that Theodore Beza altered Calvin’s theology. This charge has been thoroughly refuted by none other than Richard Muller, the world’s greatest scholar on Calvin’s theology. Muller points out that Beza’s famous chart on predestination and reprobation was written under Calvin’s supervision and received Calvin’s imprimatur. Beza introduced some scholastic elements to Calvin’s thought. But that was the tendency in later Lutheranism and Calvinism due to the apologetic character of the theology of the late 16th century. The liberals have attempted to put a wedge between Calvin and the Calvinists primarily because they don’t like the doctrine of inspiration emanating from the later Reformation period. Basil Hall followed by many others charged 35 years ago that the later Calvinists departed from Calvin’s pristine views and muddied the stream of Reformed theology. This charge has been refuted by the life work of the late Heiko Oberman and now of Richard Muller and his students. The post reformation theologians were deeply conscious of Calvin and to a man they attempted to preserve the legacy of the Genevan theology.

The English Reformation started of course with Luther in the 1520’s. But very soon English theology picked up William Tyndale’s thought. Tyndale had absorbed Luther’s theology, then added highly ethical element when Tyndale became a covenant theologian. Later, English Protestants settled on Martin Bucer and Heinrich Bullinger as the great theologians who ought to be consulted and followed. They consciously turned away from Wittenberg and toward the more Erasmian Swiss Reformation. Calvin’s work entered England in 1558 with the return of the Genevan exiles and with the Geneva Bible.

Martyr’s view of justification, like Calvin’s, was different from the Lutheran conception. When strictly considered, justification referred to the remission of sins and to the imputation of Christ’s righteousness. But Martyr, like Calvin, placed justification in close proximity to sanctification. The two graces were distinct but inseparable. For Calvin and Martyr the disaster of original sin was addressed by God through justification (guilt) and sanctification (moral corruption). Hence these theologians referred to the threefold cord designed by God - regeneration, justification and sanctification. All three strands of this cord pull us out of the abyss of original sin. No one strand can do it alone. Thus justification must be aligned with sanctification as a parallel and not as a subsequent grace.

This is the theology of the Westminster Confession which aligns justification with sanctification.

WCF XI.2 reads, "Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification: yet it is not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love." The proof texts for the last part of this statement are James 2:17,22,26 and Galatians 5:6. The answer to Larger Catechism #73 reads in part, "Faith justifies a sinner in the sight of God, not because of those other graces which do always accompany it, or of good works, that are the fruits of it . . ." The Westminster Divines were most conscious of the necessity of obedience as evidence of justification. Their language describing the concomitant graces of love and obedience is emphatic: "ever accompanied with all other saving graces," "which do always accompany it."

Here is Swiss theology expressed in 17th century England. It is Calvin’s theology and that of his colleagues in Zurich and Strasbourg.

it is also the doctrine which Norman Shephard has defended for 30 years and been vilified for it because men have forgotten the doctrine of John Calvin and have tried to read the Confession of Faith with Lutheran glasses.

Brian


The Chestnut Mare
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
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chestnutmare #24545 Sat Apr 30, 2005 9:54 AM
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Thanks for the post. Hopefully, others will flesh this out.

I'm a little confused, are you Patrice or Brian?


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
John_C #24546 Sat Apr 30, 2005 9:59 AM
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Sorry, as I PMd Wes, we have had an ongoing discussion regarding these matters. I posted his response to me with his full knowledge and permission. Sorry I didn't make that more clear in my post. Hopefully this helps.


Last edited by chestnutmare; Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:46 AM.

The Chestnut Mare
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
- - - -JRR Tolkien "Lord of the Rings"
chestnutmare #24547 Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:26 AM
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Patrice,

After reading your brother Brian's views re: Kinnaird and Shepherd, I was saddened but not surprised. This heresy is making ground everywhere; yes even my old alma mater WTS (East). Your brother definitely needs prayer and I hope that he will some day soon, see the profundity of error which these men are promoting and which evidently he too has embraced. I have absolutely no doubt that if the Apostle Paul were here today, he would say to them all, "let them be anathema . . . I would that they that unsettle you would even go beyond circumcision [Grk: castrate themselves]. (Gal 1:8, 9; 5:12)

Have some shown strong opposition to these men and their teachings? Doubtless, this is true and they should be thanked for their opposition to such that teach heresy of this magnitude. Of course, it isn't Politically/Ecclesiastically Correct to speak against someone and/or their heretical teachings. We are to be nicely behaved post-modern little boys and girls and just let everyone have their say and be open to all things since there is no absolute truth or if there is, we surely can't be positive we know it. rolleyes2

In His Grace,


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Pilgrim #24548 Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:48 AM
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Annie Oakley
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What? Are we talking about circumcision? I didn't notice or see the connection.

Pilgrim's quote "let them be anathema . . . I would that they that unsettle you would even go beyond circumcision [Grk: castrate themselves]. (Gal 1:8, 9; 5:12) [close quote]

I thought that the discussion was about the new president of WTS who is being slandered and vilified for defending someone who is twice removed from anything to do with Norm Shephard. Are we understanding each other correctly?


The Chestnut Mare
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
- - - -JRR Tolkien "Lord of the Rings"
chestnutmare #24549 Sat Apr 30, 2005 12:03 PM
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chestnutmare said:
What? Are we talking about circumcision? I didn't notice or see the connection.

I thought that the discussion was about the new president of WTS who is being slandered and vilified for defending someone who is twice removed from anything to do with Norm Shephard. Are we understanding each other correctly?
Yes, I do believe I understand what is being discussed here, i.e., whether or not there should be some concern with a man named Dr. Peter Lillback who apparently has some leanings toward the heresy promoted by such men as Kinnaird, Shepherd and the Auburnites. If in fact he does, which evidently your brother Brian finds little or no fault with and seeks to defend Lillback from those who would oppose him and his views on justification, then my quote from Galatians in regard to this is spot on... i.e., this is a fundamental matter of the doctrine of justification which I would hold strongly, that Sanders, Wright, Shepherd, &co., have perverted from the biblical teaching and should have the pronouncement of "Anathema" put on them.

Now, if I have totally misunderstood either what this thread's discussion is about and/or the position your brother Brian has taken, then I offer my apology and simply point out that it must be the aging process has accelerated beyond that which I would have hoped it would have in my case. [Linked Image]

In His Grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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Pilgrim

I am wondering if Brian has misrepresented Calvin's view of this matter. If so can you show me where he has done so with proof?

Tom

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Tom said:
Pilgrim

I am wondering if Brian has misrepresented Calvin's view of this matter. If so can you show me where he has done so with proof?
Sorry Tom, but you can do your own research on this matter, for I have no need to do so, nor does the majority of those who hold that justification by faith without the works of the law (if they be contributory to justification) is the biblical doctrine. IMHO, this would be nothing but falling for the old "wild goose chase". The REAL issue here is that these heretics want to convince everyone that what they are teaching is in accord and not contradictory to that which Calvin taught. The ploy is, of course, if Calvin is a reliable source and the fountain from which Calvinism flows, and if their view is in harmony with his, then it is expedient that those who hold to the historic view of Sola Fide recant their position and embrace theirs (aka: Calvin's actual view), thus becoming "real Calvinists". In this they are dead wrong, for Calvin taught no such doctrine which they are espousing.

Secondly, it is imperative that one not be beguiled by this deceit and the twisting of facts of which the sole purpose is to have their heresy gain acceptance in the theological theater. It is not John Calvin who is the bastian of truth but the Holy Scriptures themselves; Sola Scriptura. And should by some outside possibility that it be shown that Calvin actually did teach what these men claim he did, i.e., "their" view, then Calvin was likewise dead wrong and must be deemed a heretic along with all those who teach this doctrine of a synergistic soteriology.

Thus the onus is upon these men to show from Scripture that their view, which is decidedly contrary to the historic view of Sola Fide is in fact the truth, apart from any claim that John Calvin's understanding of Sola Fide is allegedly that which they hold.

In His Grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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