Friday, December 28, 2007


I posted this on Green Bagginses earlier today and am thankful it made the cut:

Regarding the whole “sap” issue, Dr. Beisner wrote this on page xxii of his Introduction to Auburn Ave. Theology: Pros and Cons:

There is no better justification for an appeal to “sap” as a sign that the fruitless branches had a “vital” union with Christ than there would be for an appeal to “bark” as a sign that all the branches enjoyed the immunity to disease and pests provided by bark and therefore none could apostatize. The parable mentions neither sap — much less “gracious sap” — nor bark. It is dangerous enough to draw doctrines from parables; it is more dangerous to draw doctrines from details within parables; it is exegetically fatal to draw doctrines from details that are not even there!

Dr. Beisner’s argument should have ended this particular thread of the so-called Federal Vision “conversation,” because to my knowledge no one has refuted it. Nevertheless, I believe that Pastor Stellman may be on to something when he suggested that the “FV’ists simply coin some new term to denote membership in the visible church.” After all, these men have spawned a great deal of confusion as they have replaced the precise language of Reformed theology with all sorts of sappy words, such as “non-decretal,” “Bapteryian,” “Federal Vision,” etc., which probably fall into Churchill’s category of “terminological inexactitude.”

Therefore, to help the conversation along, I have coined the term “saptistic” to denote the “functional union [from baptism] between Christ and the fruitless branch,” to use the lead FVist’s words. Obviously this word joins the unbiblical word “sap” with the biblical word “baptism,” and answers that vexing question raised by the non-existent “sap” of Holy Scripture. The Federal Visionists are “Saptists.”

Thank you.