Doug Wilson finds a huge citation mistake

No, I haven’t gotten that much further in the report.  But along the lines of the citation error I mentioned, Doug found another case where a statement is footnoted with evidence that proves the opposite of what the report asserts.  The whole post is worth reading, but I’ll reproduce this one part:

Doug Wilson writes:

Here is a more striking example. The report says:

“Doug Wilson has implied that all baptized covenant members are participants in Christ in the same ‘strong sense,’ writing that ‘the person who did not persevere was not given less of Christ.’

I read that and thought something like, “Huh, that doesn’t sound like me.” So I went to the footnote and found a thread on this blog cited, a thread called “Life in the Regeneration.” Here is the section they footnoted.

“In order to take all baptized covenant members as participants in Christ in the “strong sense,” we would have to distinguish what is objectively given in Christ, and not what is subjectively done with those objective benefits. Perseverance would, on this reading, be what was subjectively done with what God has objectively given. In this view, the person who did not persevere was not given less of Christ. But this necessarily means that persevering grace is not an objective gift or grace. God’s willingness to continue “the wrestling” would depend upon what kind of fight we put up, or cooperation we provide, and because no one’s fundamental nature has been changed, those natures remain at ‘enmity with God.’ In this view, whatever total depravity means, it is not ontologically changed, just knocked down and sat upon. The Spirit pins one snarling dog, but not another. But this in turn leads to another thought—eventually at some time in the process we stop snarling and start cooperating (if we are bound to heaven), and what do we call this change or transformation. The historic name for this change has been regeneration, and I see no reason to change it.”

In this section, I am arguing for the traditional use of the word regeneration, I am arguing against a particular view (“on this reading,” “in this view”), and the PCA report here represented me as arguing 180 degrees from what I was in fact arguing. This is upside down and backwards. If they read that entire thread of posts, they would know that I believe it is incoherent to say that anyone receives “all of Christ” in the strong sense without receiving perseverance. This was simply sloppy.

2 thoughts on “Doug Wilson finds a huge citation mistake

  1. Matt

    I would differ with your language, Mark. A “citation error” is when someone attributes something to someone, and the footnote references the wrong page, or wrong book.

    This is misreading. It is a problem with interpreting the sources, not with citing them.


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