Thursday, 20 July 2017

"Federal Vision" theology and practice

A few people have asked me lately what "Federal Vision" theology (FV) is and is not. 

Below are some links that I hope are helpful.  FV is not monolithic.  There are probably as many variations of this form of Reformed and Covenantal theology as there are people within it.  It also ought to be noted that the critics of so-called FV theology do not themselves agree with each other on their own positions (what they consider to be confessional orthodoxy) or always on the aspects of FV that they agree or disagree with.  And it also should be noted that many of these debates (like the nature of the covenant, the nature of the sacraments, etc.) have been going on for a very long time - some since the Reformation and some since way before that.  FV proponents are, in my estimation, Evangelical and Reformed people who are engaged in and learning from the historic and present conversations of  the broader universal Christian church. 

Here is a joint statement on the major tenets of FV theology.
Here is some helpful context on the broader motivations of FV theological conversation.
And here is wikipedia's entry.

Note:  FV is not the same as the New Perspective on Paul (NPP) though there would be some within the FV perspective that would agree with some aspects of the NPP.  Anyone who continues to say these two things are necessarily linked does not understand either one of them.  Most proponents of NPP have never heard of the Federal Vision since the NPP is primarily an academic conversation among New Testament scholars on 2nd Temple Judaism's understanding of Torah and God's covenant relationship with Israel (among other things).  Incidentally, the NPP is also widely variant and should probably be called instead the New Perspectives (plural) on Paul. 

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