Saturday, October 6, 2007

“Humiliating Typo”

Here is the quote, taken in its entire context, where Douglas Wilson claims the omission of the word “not” was a “humiliating typo”:

Nonelect covenant members who look to themselves for their salvation receive great condemnation. They receive this condemnation because they are covenant breakers. But breaking covenant occurs because of unbelief, lack of faith, and because of lack of good works. One problem in our contemporary debate is caused by those who assume that if we say the new covenant can even have covenant breakers, then these covenant breakers must have failed through lack of works. But when Paul tells the Roman Christians that they could fall away just like the Jews, he also tells them why that would happen. They fell because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Of course, when there is a lack of faith there is also a lack of works. And when a living faith is present, so are the good works which God prepared beforehand for us to do (Eph. 2:10). (Douglas Wilson, “Reformed” Is Not Enough [Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2003] page 134, emphasis original)

From a literary point of view, this paragraph makes perfect sense just as the author wrote it because the last two sentences affirm the direct connection between faith and works in salvation. But then again, I can see how leaving it as the author wrote it would create some theological issues.

I suggest that the author spend a little more time proofreading. In fact, maybe he could concentrate on furnishing some good works as well.


Sean Gerety said...

Thanks for posting the entire paragraph from where that supposed "typo" was taken. The entire paragraph is evidently an extended typo along with the rest of RHINE,that is, if Wilson really wants anyone to believe he wasn't teaching works righteousness.

What's really shameful and contemptible is how stupid he thinks his critics are.

Mark T. said...


If you put a pistol to my head and ask me which version fits better with the rest of the context — the original or the revised (“not”)? I would have to land with the original and as you noted, the rest of the book repeatedly pounds this point. I don’t see how he thinks a last-minute revision four years later could get him off the hook. I’m continually surprised at how both his critics and his sycophants give him a pass without blinking an eye.