Thursday, August 14, 2008

So Similar and So Different

You may observe, dear reader, a link on the right hand side of this page to a certain blog, Corrigenda Denuo, by Jeffery Meyers. Those who know me well may be a tad surprised at this because of our theological differences regarding the Federal Vision. Why the link, why this post?

I have never met nor corresponded with Rev. Meyers. I am sure he is a fine fellow, well-liked and well respected by his friends and colleagues. He has served his presbytery as moderator, so he is clearly considered capable and level-headed by his peers. My purpose is not to criticize him or to engage him in any controversy. I merely want to describe my perplexity that two men who have so much in common can have such different ideas. (Lane Keister has interacted with Rev. Meyers at his blog with more wisdom and prudence than I could muster.)

I am perplexed because we do have so much in common. We both love photography and listen to the same photography podcasts. We're both Mac-heads. Apparently he reads German, I wonder if he likes German poetry as much as I do? We read the same books, and not just theological books-- apparently we both read the same science fiction! Of course we are both officers in conservative Presbyterian denominations, Rev. Meyers in the PCA, me in the OPC. It would seem that we think alike in many ways.

Yet the Federal Vision issue shows that we think quite differently in other ways. He is for it, am against it. The relationship between ecclesiology and soteriology, the efficacy of the sacraments, views on the liturgy, are serious differences. I would argue that he is not conforming to the Westminster Standards. Rev. Meyers might say that I am misunderstanding him, the Standards, or both. Why the differences? Is it our background and outlook? No, I think it's clear our background and outlook is similar. (Both of our General Assemblies have addressed the question of the Federal Vision guys and the Standards PCA OPC.)

It has been said that we magnify the differences of those most like us. Perhaps it's because of our common investment in Reformed theology, and our hopes for the success of conservative Presbyterianism, we feel the differences most acutely. We both don't want the other to eat our lunch. Or to speak more precisely, we see the other undercutting the strengths of our movement. We would disagree as to what those strengths are, I would suspect.

I wish I had an answer. Alas, I don't. All we can do is hope for the Holy Spirit to illumine our minds from the Bible and lead us into all truth. I'm sure a little humility will go a long way in this regard.

Rev. Meyers is a great photographer, with a great eye for color and composition. The gift of seeing the final picture through the viewfinder is a precious thing. From time to time he mentions his Nikon gear, but that's superfluous. He would be a great photographer with a Brownie. To make a joke: if the ministry doesn't work out, Rev. Meyers has a great second career ahead of him.

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