Monday, February 1, 2010

Siouxlands Presbytery - Update on Federal Vision

Last week saw a number of posts related to the ongoing debate over Federal Vision theology in Siouxlands Presbytery of the PCA.  Allow me to summarize what has transpired since I last posted on this topic.  

TE Wes White posted some additional information on his blog that drew a lot of attention.  One post included the actual paper that TE Josh Moon used to defend TE Greg Lawrence who was the subject of two presbytery investigations (both found a strong presumption of guilt that he teaches Federal Vision theology).  By Friday it was reported that TE Moon contacted TE White requesting that the paper be removed since it was 'copyrighted' material.  TE White complied but the paper is still available elsewhere.  

It is worth noting that TE Moon's paper was dissected by another presbyter, TE Lane Keister, in his protest against Siouxland's dismissing the first investigative committee without action.  That analysis is available here.  It should be noted that TE Moon dismissed this analysis out-of-hand but it garnered the praise of none other but R. Scott Clark of Westminster Seminary in California available here.  TE Moon's request to remove his paper from the web is suspicious.  Seems to me that if it is good enough to distribute on the floor of presbytery and to be disseminated to individual congregations then it ought to be good enough for wider circulation.  Could it be that it is attracting too much attention?

Finally, now that the second investigative committee has been dismissed a complaint has been filed and it will be heard at a called meeting later this month.  Will there be a third committee formed?  Will charges be forthcoming?  We'll see.


Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

One correction. The two committees came back with a finding of "a strong presumption of guilt" which is the language of the BCO. I'm sure there's some historical significance to that language, but I wish a more useful, less alarming phrase was used. Something like "evidence sufficient to warrant a trial." For that is what "strong presumption of guilt means." TE Lawrence has not been found guilty of anything yet because he hasn't had his "day in court." The next step should have been for the presbytery to lay charge and proceed to trial where TE Lawrence's views could be accurately judged.

Of coure, the reason TE Lawrence hasn't had his "day in court" is another story altogether.

TE Brian Carpenter
The Happy (Anti-Federal Vision) TR.

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

Oh yeah, one other thing worth mentioning. TE Moon's session sent an overture asking for a judicial investigation of me for alleged violations of the Ninth Commandment. Part of their rationale was that I was not accurately quoting him and/or making misleading statements or drawing misleading conclusions from his own words.

So we published his defense of TE Lawrence so that his words would stand on their own and in their entirety.

Then he asserts copyrights and demands that his words be taken down.

Kinda silly, huh?

Dave Sarafolean said...


I will correct my post with regard to 'guilt'. You are right - he has not had his day in court.

I agree that the Session of Good Shepherd and TE Moon are acting erratically, even spitefully. I fail to see their claim that you've somehow damaged his reputation by quoting what he said.

His paper ought to be investigated by Siouxlands. If that's what TE Moon believes then...

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...


That's what I asked them to do, twice.

The first time he got to make a 5 or 10 minute statement on the floor of presbytery. In this statement he affirmed his fidelity to the Standards and agreed with the 9 points of the FV report (as did Steve Wilkins.) He did not retract anything he had said before, and the question was called when an RE got up and asked him further questions about his previous statements, thus all debate was cut off. The presbytery deemed this sufficient to fulfill the requirements of BCO 31-2.

I did not, so I complained to the presbytery at the last meeting. The substance of my complaint was twofold:

1. What the presbytery did was nowhere near sufficient to be a BCO 31-2 investigation.

2. Even the investigation you did ought to have resulted in a strong presumption of guilt and a trial, just based on his written words defending TE Lawrence. There were other areas of concern for me as well, and I pointed them out in my complaint.

My complaint was denied.

TE White, TE Sartorius and myself have complained to the SJC. The record of the case is being assembled and we are awaiting the date of our panel hearing.

Dave Sarafolean said...


That's probably why he wanted the paper pulled from Wes' blog. Too late! As I said above, if he was willing to publish it in a presbytery meeting and send it home with all the presbyters to discuss in their churches, then it ought to be fit for distribution to the wider church. Keep up the good work!

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

I have confidence in the good men of the SJC that they will do right. I cheerfully await the opportunity to lay our case before them and receive their instruction on the matter.

Anonymous said...

Dave, Are you a "Pungera?"

Dave Sarafolean said...


No. I've never heard of "Pungera"