Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Federal Vision and Union and Imputation

The Statement of the Federal Visionists says concerning "Union With Christ and Imputation":

"We affirm not only that Christ is our full obedience, but also that through our union with Him we partake of the benefits of His death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and enthronement at the right hand of God the Father. We deny that faithfulness to the gospel message requires any particular doctrinal formulation of the 'imputation of the active obedience of Christ.' What matters is that we confess that our salvation is all of Christ, and not from us."
A few thoughts:

This paragraph (not quoted in full here) is not too bad, as far as it goes. But I do think that "what matters" is more than "confessing that our salvation is all of Christ, and not from us" (a confession any Mormon would happily, albeit erroneously, make).

But I am curious as to what our FV friends fear about the language of active obedience. Does not the Westminster Confession repeatedly speak of "the full obedience and satisfaction of Christ" being imputed to us by faith (and not, by the way, "through our union with him")?

Does not the Heidelberg Catechism Q/A 60 teach us that "God... grants and imputes to me, the perfect satisfaction, righteousness and holiness of Christ; even so, as if I... had fully accomplished all that obedience which Christ has accomplished for me; inasmuch as I embrace such benefit with a believing heart"?

(Please note that the righteousness of Christ is something granted, not just reckoned, to us.)

And finally, if the union according to which the Joint Statament says we receive the blessings listed is not the "real and inseparable" union of the Westminster Standards (you know, the one that is a "special benefit" for "true believers" who are "elect members of the invisible church"), but is rather a covenantal union that may turn out to be temporary and fleeting, then what is true of the union becomes true of the assurance we are supposed to derive from it:

It becomes just as temporary, and just as fleeting.