Federal Vision debate post…Part 1

I will be posting on my reading of the debate currently taking place at De Regno Christi. My posts will begin on the discussion that followed on September 17th1 Beginning with Part 8, I will begin to focus on September 18th.

Doug Wilson begins the debate by stating some of the underlying assumptions of the Federal Vision and why it rejects what he calls: “Leaning against the creeping gnosticism.”

Wilson writes:

…our emphasis on liturgical worship reminds Reformed folks that they have bodies, and that they are to worship God with them. Our embrace of postmillennialism means that the kingdom is going to take shape here, on this earth, in concrete and three dimensional ways. Our insistence that baptism incorporates one into a visible church (that is truly the Church of Jesus Christ) is a similar kind of emphasis. Our rejection of “merit” as a spiritual bookkeeping category exhibits the same kind of bias. We grant there are invisible aspects to faithful Christian living, obviously, but wherever possible we want all those invisible aspects to take on a body.

In D.G. Hart’s reply, he seems to strongly oppose Wilson’s point on creeping gnosticism by stating that Wilson’s post-millenarianism is inconsistent with the New Testament version of dualism. What Wilson affirmed was that the harsh distinction between flesh and spirit hardens Presbyterianism to embrace a more robust liturgy. Hart’s strong commitment to Amillenialism and the Regulative principle as he understands it, makes it impossible for him to grasp Wilson’s commitment to bring together our bodies and our spirits into the church. This is evident in Hart’s comments concerning the temporary nature of the flesh and the eternal nature of the spirit. Hence, according to Hart, the fleshiness of this world is not worth liturgical investment.2 What Hart seems to forget is that body and spirit is the ultimate eschatological goal of this humanity, hence to pray that God’s kingdom on earth be as it is in heaven is to call upon this holy merger of body and spirit in all human endeavor, including the worship of the triune God.


  1. The debate officially began on the 17th [ back]
  2. Hart does claim liturgy, after all, liturgy is an inescapable concept, however, Hart claims a different liturgy than Wilson and others claim. [ back]

About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
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