Thursday, June 14, 2007

Mr. Schwaller had a very bad day


Many of you might not know that for the last five years, Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church, Moscow, has led a theological movement called “Federal Vision,” or “FV” (aka “Auburn Avenue Theology” because it publicly debuted at Steve Wilkins’ church). A summary of FV would require too much, but in short it holds that the Church has misunderstood the gospel for the last 400 years and that the “Federal Vision” now makes it clear. Suffice to say that since 2002 it has caused tremendous problems in churches across the nation.

I call this to your attention because yesterday the 34th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) adopted a report condemning “Federal Vision” as not in conformity with the Westminster Standards, which is the standard of the Reformed church. The vote was overwhelming. One witness reported that only 30–50 commissioners voted “No” out of 1400.

The significance of this vote cannot be overstated. The PCA is the largest Presbyterian & Reformed denomination in the world, so this vote signals the beginning of the end for any of Pastor Wilson’s claims to orthodoxy. For years he has hailed “the voice of the Church” as the final authority. Indeed, he functionally excommunicated his own brother by citing the “the voice of the Church.” Yesterday, however, the Church spoke. The PCA’s report named Douglas Wilson eight (8) times.

Locally, this vote represents a huge step toward isolating Moscow as a center for anti-Christian doctrine, at least to the extent that Pastor Wilson spearheads the Federal Vision. It also legitimizes those who have called Christ Church a “cult” in recent years, at least to the extent that false doctrine is the centerpiece of a cult.

But if anything else is true, you can be sure of these two things. Yesterday the PCA repudiated the teaching of Douglas Wilson. And yesterday Mr. Schwaller had a very bad day.


PS: You can download the PCA report here.