[*] The trick question

Somebody asked me in the past 2 weeks why Pastor Doug Wilson is "for reference only", and I said that he has rejected Baptist conformity for Auburn Avenue conformity (which, no offense to anyone, is a kind of presbyterian conformity), and in that he's ready to accept Roman Catholics as christians based on their baptism. That's enough, I think, to keep him where he is in the blogroll categories for the time being.

The other thing that keeps me from promoting this man -- who is, no doubt, a lot more influetial than I am and has a lot more savvy than I do -- on the blogroll is posts like this one, in which he begins with a fairly-lucid point about the nature of grace and ends up saying (in words to this effect), "I don't deny the reality of hell for those outside of Grace -- I just don't believe there will be that many of them."

And look: if his eschatology requires that he reads verses like Rev 7:9 to mean a literal infinity and not a figurative extraordinary number, I'm not going to beat him up for that. But what I am going to beat him up for is taking for granted that the number who are going to be cast into the lake of fire do not have obvious and prior ways of knowing they are not the ones who will be saved. His point that grace is, well, gracious, is a great one -- but grace is not sloppy, and grace is not arbitrary, and grace is not somehow furtive. Grace is manifest in the sacrifice of Christ and is then manifest in the lives of His disciples. In this particular case, Pastor Wilson has overplayed his hand regarding the distinction between "believeing that I am saved by grace" and "believing that the knowledge of saving grace is necessary for salvation".

I posted a question to him regarding his blog entry at his blog, and it will be interesting to see if he has anything to say about it.

UPDATED: Sometimes I think fatser than I type, and then I hit 'post'. The "trick question" is not my question to Pastor Wilson. The trick question is actually the one Wilson implicitly asks in his post, and I'd like to see if any of our astute readers can nome up with the question itself and why it is a trick. I'll be checking over the weekend, and we'll post the answer to this puzzler on Monday.