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  • « The Beginning of the End of the PCUSA? | Main | Quotes to Ponder »

    PCA General Assembly Overture on FV, NPP Theology Adopted

    The following may be of great interest to any persons in the PCA or anyone following the Federal Vision, Auburn Avenue controversy.

    At the recent PCA General Assembly an overture concerning Federal Vision, New Perspective on Paul, Shepherdism and Auburn Avenue Theology was raised. Some of these viewpoints have brought confusion on theological definitions and concepts that appear to strike at the heart of the gospel and the vitals of religion...

    Therefore, be it resolved that the Rocky Mountain Presbytery overtures the 34th PCA General Assembly to erect an ad interim committee (RAO 8-1) to study the above named viewpoints and their formulations, and other similar viewpoints which are deemed by the committee to pertain to the above named viewpoints. Further, to determine whether these viewpoints and formulations are in conformity with the system of doctrine taught in the Westminster Standards, whether they are hostile to or strike at the vitals of religion, and to present a declaration or statement regarding the issues raised by these viewpoints in light of our Confessional Standards.

    This Overture was brought to the committee. Bills and Overtures committee issued a majority report recommending we not form the study committee. There was a minority report in place of the B&O committee recommending we do form the study committee. The minority report prevailed in the assembly, so there will be a report at the next General Assembly on this matter. The GA voted on it and decided that a commission be established. It may take quite a white before there are any results. in other words ... this overture THAT A COMMISSION BE ESTABLISHED was adopted.

    Read the entire document which includes much more...

    PCA General Assembly to appoint formation of a study committee to study the matter and report back at a future General Assembly." OVERTURE 2 from Rocky Mountain Presbytery

    This is another related overture: Declare Auburn Avenue Session Heterodox; Appoint Commission to Discipline Auburn Avenue Session; Appoint Commission to Discipline TE Steve Wilkins" (pdf)

    Here is an official PCA GA page with a listing of overtures for this assembly listed: It is #2

    Posted by John on June 24, 2006 09:19 PM


    Just a quick the Rev Steve Wilkins mentioned in connection with the Auburn Ave heresy the same Steve Wilkins who was the author of the American history course, America, the First 350 Years?


    SueS -

    Yes, it is the same Steve Wilkins.

    I have actually been to Auburn Avenue Presbyterian several times. There are many great reformed people there. However, their leaders hold doctrines that I, of course, don't agree with - the "Auburn Avenue Theology".

    Here is one explanation of Auburn Avenue theology, and why it is wrong. If you are interested:

    Critique of the Teachings of Barach, Schlissel, Wilkins, and Wilson

    I have actually seen this action coming for a while now. I am saddened that it all must finally end in disciplinary action. We do need to pray for these men, that they will see their theological errors.

    God bless,

    A. Shepherd
    The Aspiring Theologian

    With all due respect, I think you have misinterpreted the action that was taken. The overture referred to (Overture 22) has been referred to the Standing Judicial Commission of the PCA, and otherwise has not been acted on. It certainly has not been adopted.

    This Overture #2 was brought to the committee. The majority on the committee voted there should be no action. The minority position was that there should be action. The GA voted on it and overwhelmingly decided that a commission be established to study FV And NPP. It may take quite a white before there are any results.

    This one was adopted.

    Thanks, AT. We used America, the First 350 Years as part of our hs curriculum and enjoyed it immensely. Of course, it was recorded about 20 years ago. It saddens me to see Christian leaders across the spectrum (not only Reformed) who are crashing and burning because of deviant theology.

    Thanks also for the link - I'm currently fighting a nasty stomach bug but I'll read it ASAP when things settle down. I've been working through "Aubern Avenue Theology", by Brian M. Schwertley as well as Michael Horton's book on covenant theology. This whole thing is personally worrisome since I'm hoping to eventually make the transition from a non-denominational/charismatic/Arminian church to one that's Reformed and don't want to jump from the frying pan into the fire, so to speak.



    The vast majority of Reformed churches would reject Auburn outright. It isn't as if this is a widespread problem. However, it may seem so since the reconstructionists and AA folk are prolific writers. So the only frying pan you would jump into is if you landed in one that actually taught this view...

    Thanks for the reassurance, JW. The problem for me is that in this part of Ohio there is only one PCA church within an easy distance and it has a woman's group that is studying PDL!!! There is a PCA, a RPCNA, and an OPC chuch - all in Penna and between 35 and 43 miles from us - NOT a good selection and because of our present situation, if we make a move I want to do it right!



    Perhaps you were out of the room at the time. The minority report prevailed overwhelmingly in the assembly and this overture THAT A COMMITTEE BE ESTABLISHED for overture #2 was adopted. Correct -- Overture #22 has not

    Dear Brothers,
    In the interest of accuracy, I wish to address this matter.

    The SUNCOAST overture was NOT addressed by the Assembly. This is a simple fact that a look at the record will show. I was present as a commissioner. I know what was addressed. The MINORITY report that was adopted was offered in place of a B&O committee MAJORITY recomendation of rejection of OVERTURE #2, from ROCKY MOUNTAIN Presbytery, which desired a study committee. The MINORITY report was ADOPTED overwhelmingly by the Assembly over the B&O recommendation.

    A minor PCA GA Commisioner (who likes to peruse


    There is nothing consistent about FV and covenant theology. FV rejects outright the covenant of works ... they reject outright the visible and invisible church paradigm. Like NCT they reject outright the imputation of the active righteousness of Christ to sinners. Without these CT would not be CT at all. FV also believes that a person must maintain covenant faithfulness to maintain justificaiton ... exactly contrary to CT. Federal Vision is monocovenantal, NOT bi-covenantal as all historic CT has been.

    If FV rejects the covenant of works how is this consitent with CT?

    "FV not consistent with CT",

    From what I have seen in the comments, no one has stated that the Federal Vision and Covenant Theology are consistent.

    If you are referring to SueS comment, she was not, I think, intending to reply that FV and CT go hand-in-hand, but that she was reading up on both sides of the issue.

    I heartily agree with you, though. FV and CT are at odds against each other for sure. I also agree that it is important to investigate the issue thoroughly.

    God be with you,

    A. Shepherd
    The Aspiring Theologian

    Thanks anonymous - that explains why there is nothing on the PCAGA website addressing overture 22.

    AT was right - I'm still quite new to Reformed Theology and am ready to move past the Doctrines of Grace to such things as CT of which I know very little. Reading both books may seem a bit odd, but they arrived the same day and I have a big problem with letting a new book sit by itself while reading another one - LOL!!!

    No, I was not out of the room. We are talking about two different overtures. The minority report concerning a study committee was adopted; the overture that I was responding to, and that was originally referred to on this website as having been adopted, was NOT adopted; it was referred to the SJC and no action has been taken on it. That was the only point I was trying to make.

    Off topic to SueS. We are a small RPCGA church just north of Warren. If you would like more info, please e-mail me.

    [email protected]

    Jim - thanks so very much for the suggestion but we're located between E Liverpool and Steubenville and Warren is way too far to drive. We have been attending a mini-course at the RPTS study center in Gibsonia, Pa for the past several weeks (Dr Bruce Bickel - fantastic speaker!!!) and that really pushes the envelope at 78 miles one way. We just happen to be in a corner of Ohio that is almost a vaccuum where it comes to Reformed theology, associate pastor up at RPTS expressed an interest in a church plant in this area - it could be an interesting prospect if anything came of it!

    I believe RPCGA has declared FV heretical, is that correct? In that case, Sue S. you would be quite safe there. Godspeed!

    Overture 22 from Suncoast Florida Presbytery was the only overture with any teeth, which probably explains why it never hit the floor. Instead we get a study committee, which, depending on who ends up being on this committee, could prove to be just more talk and no bite. Presbyteries need to start taking decisive actions against the men that are teaching this false gospel and stop this cancer from spreading, if it’s not already too late. Of course that would be the biblical thing to do.

    Regardless, let us pray that this study committee does a better job with the doctrine of justification than it did with creation.


    Overture 22 from Suncoast Florida Presbytery may have sounded like it had more teeth, but if you read it, it also simply recommends to formation of a study committee. This is at least a good start and prayerfully truth will prevail and people wil not shrink back from the upholding whole counsel of God, especially on an issue as important as this.

    FYI, the GA cannot simply cast people out without a thourough hearing. Study committe is necessary even though some may be impatient to get it overwith now. It cannot be any other way.

    I want to point out some things that are mentioned in the above posts that need clarifying:

    First, There is a difference between a commission (a delegated authority of the assembly) and a committee (not a delegated authority).

    Second, concerning overture 2, the Minority Report that was approved by the Assembly was a committee, NOT a commission. Comment: Since overture 22 (JW – read the overture again - it called for a commission NOT a committee), did not make it to the floor, many commissioners thought that the only voice that the assembly had on the matter was to vote in favor of the Minority Report. As one commissioner pointed out to the moderator: "You've put us in a hard place. You've taken this matter of our hands so that we can’t get to it" (paraphrase). Some were against a study committee since they felt the appropriate action was to deal with the matter, per overture 22.

    Personally, I thought it was sad and pathetic to hear one man (with the majority) say that FV was too big and wide of an issue to tackle. I couldn't believe what I heard. If the Church, to whom God has given pastors and teachers...cannot study a matter and be decisive, then who is left to do it? Brethren, we ought not to be in dereliction of our duties given to us by Christ. Stand up and fill the gap!

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