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The Federal Vision And Covenant Theology: A Comparative Analysis

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A comparative and critical study of "Federal Vision" contrasted with traditional covenant theology. A comparative and critical study of "Federal Vision" contrasted with traditional covenant theology.


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A comparative and critical study of "Federal Vision" contrasted with traditional covenant theology. A comparative and critical study of "Federal Vision" contrasted with traditional covenant theology.

48 review for The Federal Vision And Covenant Theology: A Comparative Analysis

  1. 4 out of 5

    Zack

    A devastating but fair critique. Nothing else really needs to be said about the Federal Vision theological movement. Waters covers all of the bases.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Megan Miller

    Um hey, so this book took me... three months to read. But I finished it! I read this on recommendation of my pastor (one of my favorite humans ever). I asked him if he could give me a quick explanation of Federal Vision, and he was like, "Here, go read this 300 page book." So I did. No regrets, honestly. I learned a ton. Waters writes really well, though not always in normal people words. Haha It seemed really fair to all sides, and just kind of laid things out for examination. I still wouldn't say Um hey, so this book took me... three months to read. But I finished it! I read this on recommendation of my pastor (one of my favorite humans ever). I asked him if he could give me a quick explanation of Federal Vision, and he was like, "Here, go read this 300 page book." So I did. No regrets, honestly. I learned a ton. Waters writes really well, though not always in normal people words. Haha It seemed really fair to all sides, and just kind of laid things out for examination. I still wouldn't say I'm able to give a clear explanation of what FV is, but I understand more than I did. Which was the goal. I think I'll take a break from thick theology books for a bit.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Wilson

    Atrocious.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    Those presbys are messed up. Glad we baptists don't have any such controversies within our ranks. Those presbys are messed up. Glad we baptists don't have any such controversies within our ranks.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Aitken

    I read this book 3 years ago. In fact, Dr Waters signed my copy. At the time of the FV controversy, I stood on the fence. I had problems both with the critics and proponents. I waited a long time to review the book. I wanted to make sure I hadn't changed on the issues. Here's my thoughts: 1) Dr Waters is correct to note that the Federal Vision diverges from the Reformed tradition on many points; however, simply quoting where they disagree with the confession is not enough. This is what the critic I read this book 3 years ago. In fact, Dr Waters signed my copy. At the time of the FV controversy, I stood on the fence. I had problems both with the critics and proponents. I waited a long time to review the book. I wanted to make sure I hadn't changed on the issues. Here's my thoughts: 1) Dr Waters is correct to note that the Federal Vision diverges from the Reformed tradition on many points; however, simply quoting where they disagree with the confession is not enough. This is what the critics of FV fail to note: to really destroy a position in debate, you have to stand within that position and show the internal tensions in it. Merely arguing across systems, as Wittengstein taught us, fails miserably. 2) While it might be true that Leithart dismisses Aristotelian causality in his work, Waters fails to note that Leithart is working with the most rigorous understanding (and sometimes critique of) philosophy, ancient and modern. Where he does dismiss Aristotle, it is where Aristotle himself is weak. How about we critique Leithart's use of Ziziolous, Heiddeger, Marion, etc? 3) I've never believed that Wilson truly abandoned the Reformed tradition, and given Wilson's recent attacks on NT Wright, I am correct. 4) Waters is to be commended for separating the theonomic controversy from the Federal Vision controversy. It's staggering how many critics fail at this elementary distinction. (That doesn't stop one from getting tenure at Reformed seminaries, though.) 5) Apropos of (1) Waters could have scored huge points by showing how difficult for Calvinism is Leithart's view of apostasy and Leithart's critique of the invisible/visible church distinction as Nestorian. He let this slide (or didn't know the seriousness of the issues). However, had he addressed this issue, he would have been forced to answer it on grounds independent of the Confession--a move no critic of FV has yet to make. 6) Be very careful of charging your opponents as closet-Catholics. For if you assign to them the nomenclature of "Roman Catholic," and note that their theology is very similar to the Patrum Consenus, then you have just vindicated both FV and Rome as being historically normative. Conclusions: This book has received heavy criticism, and rightfully so. However, there are a number of issue FV guys need to address: mainly, if the invisible/visible church distinction is Nestorian, and Leithart is correct on apostasy, how can you legitimately stay Protestant? For once you admit the Nestorian charge and posit something like "historical/eschatological church," you are already on the EO and RCC terms of debate? Waters did ask the right questions, he simply failed to give an internal critique.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    I thought this book was a very good treatment of the various claims those who identify themselves as part of "The Federal Vision" have made in the context of the current controversy. Waters does a very good job setting forth the Reformed creedal understanding of many of these hot-bed issues (justification, sanctification, baptism, the nature of the church, perseverance, etc.,) as opposed to the contra-creedal claims of the Federal Vision. I thought his discussion on perseverance and apostasy was I thought this book was a very good treatment of the various claims those who identify themselves as part of "The Federal Vision" have made in the context of the current controversy. Waters does a very good job setting forth the Reformed creedal understanding of many of these hot-bed issues (justification, sanctification, baptism, the nature of the church, perseverance, etc.,) as opposed to the contra-creedal claims of the Federal Vision. I thought his discussion on perseverance and apostasy was priceless. Waters was also helpful in his defense of the traditional distinction of the visible/invisible church, as well as internal/external union with Christ. There are some slight flaws, and the desire to pinpoint "the cause" of the Federal Vision seems to have become the opportunity for everyone to name their favorite whipping-boy for the errant ways of the Federal Vision. These points are easily overlooked. If you want to see a good Reformed response to the Federal Vision, Waters definitely makes the cut.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kent

    Reading this on a dare, or something like that. I have mostly skimmed so far, so this is hardly a thoughtful opinion...but so far, with quotes like the following, it's scarcely impressive: "The Standards are careful to say that the sacraments are 'effectual means of salvation,' but this is a far cry from saying that [quoting Wilson] 'worthy receivers...are effectually saved by these sacramental means.'" (p. 201.) Is it just me, or would that go something like "The Standards are careful to affirm 'A Reading this on a dare, or something like that. I have mostly skimmed so far, so this is hardly a thoughtful opinion...but so far, with quotes like the following, it's scarcely impressive: "The Standards are careful to say that the sacraments are 'effectual means of salvation,' but this is a far cry from saying that [quoting Wilson] 'worthy receivers...are effectually saved by these sacramental means.'" (p. 201.) Is it just me, or would that go something like "The Standards are careful to affirm 'A', but this is a far cry from affirming 'A'". (Nope, context doesn't resolve this.)

  8. 5 out of 5

    John Dekker

    Read the review: Who, if anyone, is really Reformed? Read the review: Who, if anyone, is really Reformed?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jason Rivera

    A great book to counter the satanic Roman Catholic filth of the federal vision.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    Waters misses the mark. But still a worthwhile read for anyone serious about this topic, just make sure you balance it out with books from his opponents.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Greg Hoadley

  12. 4 out of 5

    Logan Almy

  13. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Williamson

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jordan B Cooper

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jon Marq

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gerald Koerkenmeier

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gabriel Davis

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ben Duncan

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joe Holland

  20. 5 out of 5

    Vaughn

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chris Comis

  22. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Hayes

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sam

  24. 4 out of 5

    Adam Ross

  25. 4 out of 5

    Russ

  26. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

  27. 4 out of 5

    Darren Duke

  28. 5 out of 5

    Megan Meisberger

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chris Dunn

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tom

  31. 4 out of 5

    Andre

  32. 5 out of 5

    John

  33. 5 out of 5

    Peter Krol

  34. 5 out of 5

    William

  35. 4 out of 5

    Jeff McCormack

  36. 4 out of 5

    Brett McNeill

  37. 5 out of 5

    Scott Moonen

  38. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

  39. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

  40. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Aitken

  41. 5 out of 5

    John Larson

  42. 5 out of 5

    Kyle LaPorte

  43. 4 out of 5

    Joel Stanton

  44. 5 out of 5

    Albert Kona

  45. 4 out of 5

    Grady Dickinson

  46. 4 out of 5

    Mick Hyam

  47. 4 out of 5

    Brian Dempsey

  48. 5 out of 5

    John

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