"Preferring light to heat, Professor Waters has done an admirable job of allowing his interlocutors to speak for themselves, offering clear-headed, exegetically grounded responses to the Federal Vision theology. Although it probably won't be the last word, this is the best word so far on an important and unfortunate debate without our circles."
Guy Prentiss Waters is assistant professor of biblical studies at Belhaven College. He received his Ph.D. from Duke University. He is the author of Justification and the New Perspectives on Paul.
A comparative and critical study of Federal Vision that contrasts it with the concept of covenant theology.
Guy Prentiss Waters (BA, University of Pennsylvania; MDiv, Westminster Theological Seminary; PhD, Duke University) is Professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. At Duke, he studied under Richard B. Hays and E. P. Sanders, two leading expositors of the New Perspectives on Paul. Dr. Waters is the author of Justification and the New Perspective on Paul: A Review and Response. He is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church in America. He is also a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the Institute of Biblical Research.
It is clear from reading The Federal Vision and Covenant Theology that the new Federal Vision theologians truly desire to be biblical in their understanding and presentation of the Christian (and Reformed) faith. This goal all of us gladly share. What we most earnestly want is not victory in theological debate but unity in biblical understanding. We are indebted to Waters for advancing the discussion along biblical lines in the bond of peace.
There are strange winds blowing across the Church today, and a real danger that Christians will be tossed about on the waves. While the provocative language of the "Federal Vision" appeals to many who sense a need for change, its recasting of Reformed theology serves to undo the Reformation rather than move it forward.
Guy Waters' book provides a helpful and wide-ranging cataloging of the distinctive features within the so-called Federal Vision theology. More importantly, he provides pithy and insightful critiques of these distinctives which should help further brotherly dialog while aiding Reformed churches to detect and avoid the errors within the movement.
There is among the confessional Reformed and Presbyterian churches a loosely organized but vocal group of writers who are intent on revising the core confessional doctrines of election, covenant, sacraments, and justification. In this superb volume, Guy Prentiss Waters has done the Reformed community a great service by providing a detailed and well documented survey and a penetrating analysis of the so-called Federal Vision. Hereafter no study of this phenomenon can be considered adequate that has not paid close attention to this volume.
Preferring light to heat, Professor Waters has done an admirable job of allowing his interlocutors to speak for themselves, offering clear-headed, exegetically grounded responses to the Federal Vision theology. Although it probably wont be the last word, this is the best word so far on an important and unfortunate debate without our circles.
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