Friday, October 19, 2007

Federal Flashback

A couple of years ago R.C. Sproul made the mistake of inviting Douglas Wilson to speak at the Ligonier big jamboree. Of course this was less than a year after the RPCUS unanimously adopted its resolution, not “charges,” declaring the Monroe Four heretics (whatever else is true, the RPCUS got the ball rolling and essentially every Reformed denomination has followed in their footsteps to one degree or other).

After the conference ended, Wilson sent the following email to the Christ Church membership, to assure them that his Reformed bona fides were still intact and that he “got along famously” with all the major players. Please note, however, that whenever there’s bad news for Wilson in the Reformed world, such as this summer’s PCA General Assembly disaster, the master of PR never notifies the congregation (most of whom are too busy or ignorant to follow these events closely). Regardless, I wonder how many of these names Wilson could drop today as men who share his convictions.

From: Christ Church
Date: Monday, March 17, 2003, 9:03 AM
Subject: Conference

Dear kirkers,

Thank you for praying for the trip to Orlando, and thanks to the many people at church yesterday who asked about the conference there — with particular reference to the implications for the heresy charges of the RPCUS. The trip was greatly blessed in a number of ways, but I just wanted itemize some of the answers to prayer with regard to this issue.
  1. The conference was a great conference in its own right. The other speakers — RC Sr. & Jr. John MacArthur, Sinclair Ferguson, Al Mohler — gave outstanding talks. I believe there were about 4,000 people there. It was hard to tell.

  2. In my talk I had the opportunity to make a passing reference to the controversy, in order to affirm my commitment to sola fide, and to urge some Presbyterians to do what the pagan magazines such as the Atlantic Monthly and the New Yorker do (in their employment of fact-checkers to review articles) before they go into print.

  3. This caused the subject to come up in the Q & A, and I was able to summarize how off base the charges had been. One gentleman from Ligonier told us that they had gotten quite a number of emails about my appearance there, and they would now be able to simply say, “Get the tape.”

  4. Behind the scenes, there was no tension or weirdness from the other speakers. We all got along famously.

  5. Some time ago I had been asked to contribute to a festschrift for RC Sproul Sr. The book was a surprise to him, and was presented to him at the conference. The book is entitled After Darkness Light, and is subtitled Distinctives of Reformed Thought. The book is structure around the five solas of the Reformation and the five points of Calvinism. I contributed the chapter on Irresistible Grace. Other contributors included Michael Horton, Robert Godfrey, Jay Adams, Keith Mathison, Sinclair Ferguson, John MacArthur, O. Palmer Robertson, et al. Given the nature and subject of the book, and even with the differences between the contributors (which are not insignificant), it is now going to be very difficult to charge us here at Christ Church with being outside the Reformed pale.

  6. The end result of all this, it appears to me, is that the charges of the RPCUS, marginal from the beginning, are now way out on the periphery. This does not mean controversy will disappear — it looks to be taking other forms in other places — but I do think it means that the attempt to settle the issues by means of a papal fiat from a tiny denomination in the South is an attempt that has failed.
We still have a lot of work to do, but it is work from within the Reformed world.

Thanks again for your prayers,

Cordially in Christ,

Douglas Wilson

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Chris LaMoreaux, Administrative Secretary
Christ Church - Anselm House
205 East 5th Street P.O. Box 8741
Moscow, ID 83843
Voice: (208) 882-2034 Fax: (208) 892-8724
Credenda/Agenda: (208) 882-7963

Thank you.


Anonymous said...


There is no need to call the members of Christ Church (Moscow) stupid. Ignorant perhaps but I think that was an insult not a valid criticism.

Mark T. said...


I debated in my mind between “stupid’ and “ignorant” and “stupid” won because of its nuance: kirkers are in an ignorant stupor, hence, “stupid.” But I have changed it on your account to remove offence.

That said, in the latest exchange between Lane and Wilson, Beelzeblog wrote, “The reprobate believe lies because they want to do so. When the day of judgment arrives, no one who has been deceived, to the destruction of his own soul, will be able to say that his state of deception was honestly come by.”

These words will haunt many if not most kirkers when they appear at the Great White Throne. They really are in a stupor.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for your graciousness to the members of Christ Church. Always remember love, even in rebuke.