How We Know Sola Fide is So Important

It seems that at some point we’ll have to have some discussion here in the ‘house of the most recent Frame job. Horton, in his response, captures very well a thought I’ve had before:

This is ironic…that someone who is so adamant against anything that smacks of similarity to a “Lutheran” scheme is so sympathetic to a movement that embraces baptismal regeneration and the possibility of losing one’s justification/regeneration.

This is how we know that sola fide and the Law/Gospel distinction is of principal importance. Those Federal Visionistas, they love them some Baptismal Regeneration and covenantal nomism (get in sola fide, stay in sola fidelity). So why are they not flocking to LCMS and WELS churches, but to Rome and the East? Because FV agrees with us that a church’s position on Law/Gospel trumps any lesser considerations. The neonomians absolutely can’t abide a Law/Gospel distinction, and we absolutely can’t do without it.

This entry was posted in Books, Church relations, Compare and Confess, Confessionalism, Confessions, Federal Vision, Horton, John Frame, Justification, Law/Gospel Distinction, Lutheranism, Mike Horton, Protestant slogans, Quotes, Sanctification, The gospel, The Protestant Reformation, Two-kingdoms, W2K, Westminster Seminary. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to How We Know Sola Fide is So Important

  1. justsinner99 says:

    Great post.

    One observation: the use of “they” in the last paragraph *could* be a little confusing for some. The first time the referent is the the FVers, while the second time it was used of Lutherans.

  2. Zrim says:

    And for those of us who love irony and have all their albums and tee shirts:

    First, given the fact that John has been critical of the traditional Reformed application of God’s Word to worship in the “regulative principle,” this is an odd charge. Not even the regular preaching of the Word is an essential element in the public service, John argues in this book (and elsewhere). It would surely be odd if one thought the Bible sufficient for politics, but not for the worship and government of the church.

  3. dr p says:

    Thanks for a belated answer to my question as to why this site appears to have little time for Dr Frame.

  4. RubeRad says:

    Thanks; I’ll try to clarify the wording. Although you might have missed my point; I’m saying that FV agrees with us that a particular position on Law/Gospel is of highest importance. The FV’s denial of Law/Gospel distinction is so important to them, that is what is keeping them away from Lutheran churches.

  5. Tony says:

    Hey Rube,
    Just to clarify… Are you implying that Lutherans believe that one “stays in” by way of “sola fidelity” / covenant nomism (or something like it)? I think apostasy for Lutherans is the decisive, unbelieving rejection of CHRIST as the only Savior – not the failure to be “faithful” in good works per se. Their view of apostasy is, I think, consistent with their view of conversion. “Whoever is saved (and preserved in that salvation), God and His grace alone is the cause; whoever is lost (or falls away), man and his unbelief alone is to blame.” They would say reason cannot resolve the obvious tension. In other words, I think this is yet another reason why FVers would not flock to Wittenberg, along with their rejection of the Law / Gospel distinction.

  6. Tony says:

    Maybe Lily will weigh in to clarify, and confirm whether or not I have that right!

  7. justsinner99 says:

    Thanks, RR. I understood your point (not that I don’t still have a lot to learn about FV).

  8. RubeRad says:

    No, I am only attributing covenantal nomism to FV. As to the Lutheran notion that true salvation can be lost, I can’t understand it at all. I agree that the tension is obvious, and that reason cannot resolve it (because it is quite unreasonable). But that’s a good point, that probably the Lutheran doctrine of losing salvation is not sufficiently like covenantal nomism to be attractive to FV.

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