If you are one of those who thought that the self-glorifying work of the Trinity, the Father, Son, and Spirit, in redeeming a people to the praise of His glorious grace through the gospel, was part of the truth of God that He has promised to safe-guard to His people throughout the pilgrimage of the church on earth, you have been deceived. Yes, if you had been fooled into believing in the coherence of the Triune work of God in the gospel, so that the promise of 2 John 2 that the truth would abide in us forever includes the truth of the gospel itself, you can now abandon that ecumenically-stultifying concept, embrace all the various models of justification out there (just make sure you don’t claim any particular one is actually true), and embrace as your brothers in the Lord anyone who has experienced a trinitarian baptism no matter what they believe about the gospel itself. This soul-freeing revelation (which will result in a tremendous renewal of ecumenical activity and the writing of books and seminars and social gatherings and the printing of t-shirts with quotes from folks like Chesterton and de Sales) came about just today as l0g0s informed us:
The truth is not an idea about how we are justified, the truth here in 2nd John is the “the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning”. The truth is all-encompassing. It is the person of Christ, his abiding in us and remaining with us forever–it is the commandment to love and to obey just as we have always been taught. Not anything new. Not anything about the imputed righteousness of Christ as defined by Luther and others some fifteen hundred years later. Only the work of God in Christ through His Holy Spirit to recognize who Christ is, what He has done, and how he continues to work in our lives. That is expressed in living a life of loving one another, not in properly confessing our belief in the doctrines of sola this and that. The gospel includes doctrine but it is not only doctrine and the “teaching” of 2 John referenced here is quite clearly the teaching about who Christ is, not something like forensic justification.
So there you have it, folks. The truth that abides in the church by the Spirit can be sliced and diced, cut up into various parts; if it is Christological or Trinitarian truth, well, that’s clear, perspicuous, and unquestionable. But, if it is soteriological truth, even regarding the very heart of the gospel itself, it is not included in that truth protected by the Spirit of God in the church. Those generations of people who believed God would protect the truth of the gospel were simply benighted souls who were living in a fantasy: and if they had just embraced the objectivity of the covenant and trinitarian baptism, they would have understood this.
Just for clarity, anyone reading my comments below (which prompted the above citation) knows I was simply stating the promise of God that His truth would abide in the Church, no matter how often controversies rack her and call us to the defense of the once-for-all-delivered-to-the-saints-faith. I did not suggest that John was addressing forensic justification: I did, and do, suggest that the truth that is safeguarded by the Spirit in the church did, does, and always will, include that truth, however, for it is a biblical truth, and without it, you are left with nothing but man’s religion stapled to a bad caricature of the Christian faith. And for those wondering why there is so much discussion of the “Federal Vision” or “New Perspectivism,” here you have an excellent example, for our author is deeply influenced by both.