By Faith Alone

By Faith Alone, by Gary L.W. Johnson, and Guy P. Waters ★★
I did not completely read this book and skimmed many sections. It is edited texts of a number of talks given by Presbyterian Reformed people, mostly addressing issues of the new thinking on Paul, as now promoted by N.T. Wright, and on the Auburn Theology. The new thinking sections have been more clearly and better handled by others, such as DA Carson, and so little new is offered. The Auburn Theology issue is the creation of a straw man, attacking it as the view as a Romish deviation of theology, as first suggested by John Murray from Westminster Theological Seminary. Their complaint is the tendency of Auburn Theology, that is, Federal Vision, to speak of a single Covenant, rather than multiple covenants that God has given to man. They offer no clarification as to exactly what they are contesting except for perhaps the different terminology being used, and I am left bewildered as to exactly where they view the problem with Federal Vision to be. Essentially, they resemble a group of academic Presbyterians with a severe case of constipation. Unfortunately, such name-calling has led to potential divisions within the PCA denomination, and we are none the better for the sloppy theology that this book provides. They offer more name-calling rather than arguments to defend or contest the statements of the Federal Theologians. Please understand, while I do not support the theological orientation of federal theology, it is mostly because I am having such a hard time defining what it exactly is, and how it is so seriously deviant from covenantal reformed theology to lead to such rancor and discussion. My advice is to not waste your time with this book.