Response to Guy Waters…

Note: Since this paper has caused so many comments and since it has been quoted in other sites, I’d like to point out that Senior Seminar was a class where we reviewed certain important issues in the Reformed world. This semester, we dealt with the New Perspective on Paul and Federal Vision. Since most of us in the class are soon planning to be ordained, Dr. Kidd found it helpful to review these issues before ordination. As such, we read six books Pro and Con and divided them into different sections for presentations. Since my interest is in the Federal Vision, I chose this topic. The presentations were to be 500-700 a word summaries of our reading of a particular chapter or a broader issue relating to the topics discussed. I chose to deal with the broader issue of Presbyterian identity and personalities in this presentation, though I deal briefly with Waters. This is was one of eighty presentations in the class. Though I favor the general thrust of FV proponents, the vast majority were either skeptical or negative towards Federal Vision ideas.

Here is my presentation for Senior Seminar in word format entitled: Waters, Presbyterian Identity, and Big Personalities

Link: second-presentation-for-senior-seminar.doc

  1. I took some liberty and went beyond the word imit  (back)
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23 thoughts on “Response to Guy Waters…”

  1. Uri,

    Thanks for your faithul labor in preparing this piece. I’ve only read a few pages and its great.

    A quick caveat. When Waters argues about Sivlanus that:

    “Silvanus is a faithful brother
    This is how Paul regards him.
    Therefore, Paul receives Silvanus according to the life that accompanies and adorns that profession, not on the basis of someone being a part of the covenant community,”

    I would respond by saying that Waters has a strange dichotomy here. Does he not see that being a part of the covenant community entails “a life that accompanies and adorns that profession”? Provided that pastoral care and discipline are being faithfully discharged, can there be such thing as a member of the covenant community (one in good standing) who is not “adorning” his profession?

    Good work, brother.

  2. Hey Barb, glad you enjoyed it. I got the class to laugh quite a bit as well, and note that I am not a naturally funny guy. 🙂
    But laughing is a sign of the absurdity of it all. Isn’t it?

  3. Hello, Uri. I just thought I’d drop you a line, since you quote me in your paper (I am Green Baggins). It is an honor to be quoted in a paper, and you are the first to do so (ever!) in a written document. If you would like my real name, it is Lane Keister. Cheers

  4. LOL. Lane, you may know I have disagreements with you, but you are a good writer and so, honor to whom honor is due. Peace be with you.

  5. I thought Senior Seminar papers were supposed to be academic. I guess not. Can you show me a quote where R. Scott Clark says FVers are not Christians?
    Thank you,

  6. Well, if you look at the 30 quotes you will realize that it was well cited. As for Clark, go to the Puritan Board and they will all be able to direct you to the infamous quote.
    P.S. By the way, Senior Seminar is intended to give different analysis on different readings. A seminar is just a review, not dissertations.

  7. Such an “infamous quote” ought to be cited. I have no clue how to find it. But he’s a friend of mine, so I’ll just ask him.

  8. Mark,

    While you’re at it, ask him why he leaves his comments off on his blog. Seemed that once some FV guys began to defend themselves on his blog, the comments were mysteriously turned off.


  9. Joshua,

    He gave a reason. It started taking up too much of his time. Nothing ‘mysterious’ about that. I really don’t think “he felt the heat” if that is what you are getting at. There were plenty of defenders on his side as well!


  10. Mark,

    Thanks. I was not aware that he gave a reason. My fault for overlooking it.

    I must say though, not just to be provocative, that it’s difficult to believe that answwer for two reaons. 1) He apparently still has plenty of time to post in the Puritan Boards, where one cannot get a username if he is FV. 2). The comments were turned off at a time when Wilson began posting responses on his site.

    He might be able to take the heat, but what he is not willing do to is debate the issue in public/print.

  11. Josh,

    Would you not agree that his edited book, “Covenant, Justification and Pastoral Ministry” is defending his position in print? WRT the Puritan boards, he can dip in and out at his choice. I think his own blog places more demands on him. And he did interact with Wilson quite a bit. He didn’t just turn off when Wilson showed up.

    From what Wilson is saying these days, I suspect Clark and him agree on a whole lot more than many think.


  12. PS – Historically and confessionally, FV critics definitly have the upper hand on most issues. However, semper reformanda! Perhaps there needs to be more dialogue on exegetical issues? Not that I would want to divorce exegesis from historical theology of course!

    James Jordan has some interesting insights, but his historical theology can be a little biased to put it politely.


  13. Mark,

    You’re right that responding to blog comments takes mor time that dipping in at the Puritan Boards. You’re also right that he and Wilson probably have more in common than many think. And you are right that CJ&PM is a defense of his position in print. I’m concerned with “debating” the issue in public or print, as my comment stated.

    But then there is tht FV pros and cons book which was a good start. We need more of that, I think. Credenca Agenda has a debate section (or used to) where guys can exchange paragraphs. I’ve seen some good ones between Jones and Irons, Horton and Wilson. That’s the kind of stuff which is admirably Catholic. Horton had Wilson on the WHI some time ago. That too was admirable.

    Perhaps my speculation about Clark’s blog was hasty. Thanks for your information. I sure hope, however, that Uri’s statement about Clark’s claim that “FVers are not Chrisian” just aint so. If it is, that would legitimately explain why Clark would have no interest in debating. Thanks again for your feedback, Mark.


  14. Jordan is as intersting duck. I agree with many of his conclusions but find his method for arriving at those conclusions strange. His hermeneutics and biblical theology can be even more, well, biased!

  15. Uri, you might also want to mention the fact that Wilson and I are in fact debating, although it is something of slow motion. I am reviewing RINE on my blog. So far, I have done up through chapter 5.

  16. Let’s not get too soft on Dr. Clark just yet. He has said that the CREC isn’t a Church, so if there are Christians in FV circles, they are likely “invisible.”

  17. LOL. Hey Stevo. Glad to hear from you. How are you? Man, I miss you already. Who am I going to smoke with and cherish postmillenial thoughts? Keep in touch.
    As for Dr. Clark, I can’t afford to waste my time.

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