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The PCA on the Federal Vision: 9 Points

For those in PCA circles who have been in the sanctification, law, Gospel discussions lately this is a helpful reminder of the declarations by the study committee of the PCA on the Federal Vision. R. Scott Clark had posted the points as adopted by the URCNA on his blog here recently and I thought it would be helpful to see the points adopted by the PCA as well. //

In light of the controversy surrounding the NPP and FV, and after many months of careful study, the committee unanimously makes the following declarations:

  1. The view that rejects the bi-covenantal structure of Scripture as represented in the Westminster Standards (i.e., views which do not merely take issue with the terminology, but the essence of the first/second covenant framework) is contrary to those Standards.
  2. The view that an individual is “elect” by virtue of his membership in the visible church; and that this “election” includes justification, adoption and sanctification; but that this individual could lose his “election” if he forsakes the visible church, is contrary to the Westminster Standards.
  3. The view that Christ does not stand as a representative head whose perfect obedience and satisfaction is imputed to individuals who believe in him is contrary to the Westminster Standards.
  4. The view that strikes the language of “merit” from our theological vocabulary so that the claim is made that Christ’s merits are not imputed to his people is contrary to the Westminster Standards.
  5. The view that “union with Christ” renders imputation redundant because it subsumes all of Christ’s benefits (including justification) under this doctrinal heading is contrary to the Westminster Standards.
  6. The view that water baptism effects a “covenantal union” with Christ through which each baptized person receives the saving benefits of Christ’s mediation, including regeneration, justification, and sanctification, thus creating a parallel soteriological system to the decretal system of the Westminster Standards, is contrary to the Westminster Standards.
  7. The view that one can be “united to Christ” and not receive all the benefits of Christ’s mediation, including perseverance, in that effectual union is contrary to the Westminster Standards.
  8. The view that some can receive saving benefits of Christ’s mediation, such as regeneration and justification, and yet not persevere in those benefits is contrary to the Westminster Standards.
  9. The view that justification is in any way based on our works, or that the so-called “final verdict of justification” is based on anything other than the perfect obedience and satisfaction of Christ received through faith alone, is contrary to the Westminster Standards.

The entire report from the study committee can be found in PDF form here.


3 Comments

  1. Katherine says:

    Please define the term Federal Vision for us lay people. How did it originate and what is it attempting to do? How long has the PCA been researching this before making a declaration that it is against the principals listed? I concur with the PCA’s rendering as it denies the sufficiency and work of Christ on his people’s behalf.

    • Trey Jasso says:

      Katherine

      I updated the article to include the entire committee report. It’s an interesting read. The Federal Vision theology is a wide system with some views on the spectrum being further away from the WCF than others.

      But the 9 declarations that are at the conclusion of the committee report document are pretty much rejected by all those who hold to the Federal Vision.

  2. Justin says:

    Interesting how similar the FV is to orthodox Lutheranism in these regards.

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