Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ties to the Federal Vision: Open Letter to Michael Horton Pyromaniacs

Someone over at the Puritan Board pointed me to this comment by R. Scott Clark:

MacArthur's view, as articulated in the Lordship Controversy and reflected in The Gospel According to Jesus and the like isn't much different from Norman Shepherd's. This is the problem with the whole controversy. Confessional Reformed people should say: a pox on both your houses. The Zane Hodges ("easy believism"; walk the aisle, pray the prayer, ex opere operato view) is antinomian because it denies the moral necessity of the third use of the law, the moral necessity of fruit as evidence, the moral necessity of sanctity in the justified. MacArthur, however, because he isn't a confessional Protestant (and he will tell you so) but a biblicist, didn't have the categories by which evaluate the Zane Hodges view properly. He reacted by doing as many have been wont to do, by trying to make sanctity essential to justification. Since that time, I'm told, he has said more orthodox things but he has never, to my knowledge substantially revised what he published in the Gospel According to Jesus.

The confessional Reformed view, taught in the Three Forms and in the Westminster Standards is that justification is by trusting in the finished work of Christ alone AND that those who believe and are united by the Spirit to Christ, will produce fruit as evidence of their justification. Those who are united to Christ must seek to conform their lives to the moral law of God, not as a condition of acceptance with God but as a consequence of having been freely accepted by God for Christ's sake.

Everyone should read the two essays by Paul Schaefer in Christ the Lord. They are the single best treatments of the controversy.

Tragically, there has been something of a confluence between the Shepherdites (justification through faithfulness) and MacArthurites, such as Frank Turk, via Doug Wilson. The latter is quite the Wilsonite and I've heard more than a few Shepherdites pledge allegiance to MacArthur, as if we had a side in the Lordship Controversy.

R. Scott Clark is a professor of historical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, California. I happen to agree with his assessment and am actually shocked to see that Dr. Clark has publicly stated his opinion on this. Good for him! You'll have to click on this link and then scroll down to see Dr. Clark's remarks: Open Letter to Michael Horton Pyromaniacs

Sincerely in Christ,



Joshua Parker said...

Wow, I missed this on Puritanboard. Thanks for the heads up.

Charlie J. Ray said...

You are welcome, Joshua!

In Christ,


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