Monday, September 29, 2014

A Bigger Tent than God: Douglas Wilson, "Doctrinal Works," and the Salvation of Roman Catholics

A pastor often responds to whether he thinks so and so is saved, sometimes even biblical characters, such as Saul, or in another specific way, if Peter was saved by this certain point in his life.  And then a corollary, have such and such historic or modern figure been saved:  Luther, Wesley, Billy Graham, Mark Driscoll, etc?   In the below video you see Douglas Wilson posed with Tolkien and Chesterton, prolific Roman Catholic, British authors, both faves of his.

Tolkien and Chesterton make it into Wilson's salvation tent, because he says their entrance does not depend on "doctrinal works."  All the best trying to understand the tortured logic.

Everyone is saved by faith.  That is the message of Jesus to Nicodemus in John 3:13-21.  Was Nicodemus saved in John 3?  No (John 3:11-12).  When Tolkien and Chesterton don't trust in Christ alone for salvation, because they're working for it, they are not saved.  Their doctrine of works condemns them.

You (Y) apply Wilson's logic to a Jehovah's Witness (JW).

Y:  You believe Jesus is God?
JW:   No.
Y:  That's OK, because salvation doesn't come through having right doctrine.  It comes through believing.
JW:  But I don't believe Jesus is God.
Y:  That's OK, because you are not saved through an accurate doctrinal statement, and that's a good thing, because your statement about Jesus is wrong.  Good news, however. You can have your doctrine wrong and still be saved, since the doctrine is a work and we're not saved by works.
JW:  Even the doctrine of salvation?
Y:  Yes.  You can have the wrong doctrine of salvation and still be saved since doctrine is a work and you can't be saved by works.


I gather that the written works of Tolkien and Chesterton so smack of God's grace that they were saved by grace even if they didn't believe.  Their doctrine doesn't smack of God's grace, but their writing does.  More and more join the evangelical fantasy salvation league.  Fewer and fewer actually saved.


Anonymous said...

Intellects brain storming is death by a 1000 paper cuts.

James 1:22-25 "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."

Gary Webb said...

I would say that Wilson's most & maybe ONLY accurate statement was the one at the start: "If Tolkein & Chesterton are not saved, then I am in trouble."

d4v34x said...

It's weird to hear Wilson emphasize that kind of faith alone. I thought his federal vision theology was more a faith and works hand in hand package.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Anonymous, True.

Bro Webb, So true, in the opposite way he meant it, yes.

D4, Again, true -- you would think that -- but this says maybe he's just messed up. Yet, he is given great, great respect among evangelicals, like the Pyros, Piper, etc., it seems, without criticism.

d4v34x said...

Well his pal Leithart was tried for heresy (due to FV theology) in the PCA and was aquitted, so maybe I'm the one who doesn't understand it.

Ironically, I find myself regarding Wilson in the same way he regards Chesterton, et al. I, at times, admire him as a thinker, and I can't say he isn't a convert who is just messed up.