2K Cherries 2Hot 2Handle

The allegedly controversial character of 2k theology has prompted Lane Keister over at Greenbaggins to cease his review of John Frame’s recent book. He has also decided not to allow any more discussions of 2k at his blog. I understand Lane’s decision. I also concede that my sarcasm has contributed to his decision. For some reason, mocking someone’s objections does not bring out the best in those who object.

At the same time, some objections do no deserve a reasonable response. In fact, some who object to 2k have so made up their minds about the idea and its proponents that they will hear nothing in defense of the doctrine; they won’t even read the books written on 2k.

From the perspective of this 2k advocate who also doubles as a historian, two undeniable historical developments exist that 2k critics won’t accept — sort of like denying that the North defeated the South in 1865; you may not like it, but how do you deny what happened at Appomattox?

The first fact is that the critics of 2k do not advocate the execution of adulterers or heretics. This is pertinent because 2k critics fault 2kers for departing from Calvin and his holy Geneva. The problem is that the Baylys, Rabbi Bret, Nelson Kloosterman (and his favorite disciple, Mark Van Der Molen), Doug Wilson, and anonymous respondents at Greenbaggins don’t advocate the laws in Calvin’s Protestant Jerusalem. To the credit of theonomists, they sometimes do advocate the execution of adulterers and even recalcitrant adolescents. But 2k critics do not have the stomach for all of Calvin’s policies and laws. In which case, they have no more claim to Calvin as a standard for religion and politics than 2kers do. Yet, here’s the key. 2kers are honest. They actually admit that they disagree with Calvin. They actually acknowledge the deficiencies of those who try to follow the Old Testament for post-resurrection civil governments.

The second fact of cherry-picking proportions is that all of the Reformed churches that belong to the North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council have rejected the teaching of both the Westminster Confession and the Belgic Confession on the civil magistrate. Not only have the mainline churches revised these confessions, but so have the conservative churches. (Ironically, Frame thinks I am unaware of the American revision of WCF in his review of A Secular Faith. This is ironic because if Frame were as aware of the revision as he thinks he is, he would see that 2k is not outside the confession that Presbyterians profess.) These revisions do not necessarily mean that every officer and member of these churches is an advocate of 2k. It does mean that the modern Reformed and Presbyterian churches have come to terms with modern governments and the disestablishment of Christianity in ways inconceivable to Reformed Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. And this means that the critics of 2k are either unaware of how little standing the original WCF chapter 23 or Belgic Art. 36 has in conservative Reformed churches. Or if they know of confessional revision and use the original documents to denounce 2kers, they are dishonest.

Or perhaps they are simply foolish (and impolitely so). One of the additional points I made about the importance of the Reformed churches’ teaching on the magistrate was this:

I have said it before and will say again, even before the Covenanters revised their Constitution and rejected the language of WCF 23.1 which Tfan affirms, even before this, the RPCNA explored a merger with the OPC which had already adopted the American revisions to the WCF. In other words, the RPCNA had a very different view of the civil magistrate than the OPC did and did not let that difference keep them from fraternal relations with the OPC. I do not see that same generosity or acknowledgement of orthodoxy for 2kers from 2k’s critics.

The fanatic of Turretin’s response was this: “Again, this is total ad hominem. Try to focus on your defense of E2k, not at criticizing your critics.”

How this is ad hominem I do not know, though my Latin is rusty. But even if in some fifth or sixth definition of ad hominem my comment qualifies, I do not see how this point is beside the point. 2k critics treat 2k not only as if it is entirely outside the bounds of confessional orthodoxy, but they also react to 2k as if it is a threat to the gospel. They believe it is antinomian, destroys Christian schools, and abandons society to relativism. But the RPCNA, even when they still affirmed the original WCF 23, did not consider teaching on the civil magistrate a deal breaker. Critics of 2k, like John Frame, do.

And some people like Lane Keister wonder why 2kers like me become sarcastically indignant. But for those wanting to keep the debate going, they are welcome here.

This entry was posted in Adventures in Church History, spirituality of the church and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

164 Comments

  1. Posted March 26, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Paul,

    For the sake of argument, let’s grant your argument here, the church has made a political pronouncement on the magistrate and his duty to protect the church’s freedoms, etc. What power does the church have to enforce this clause upon the magistrate? The sticking point is here as I see it. We could point to the nebulous “extraordinary” clause here, that the church could speak to the issue where the magistrate fails to offer this protection, but beyond this what? So on a restricted set of *extraordinary* issues the church *may* speak to political issues, and I certainly am in favor of doing so in the case of freedom of worship and assembly, but even in speaking to these *extraordinary* issues, the church has no power to enforce political issues. Additionally, these are not in the *ordinary* course of church life, where the church is envisaged in the WCF as inserting itself into political issues. I realize that the *extraordinary* clause has endlessly been debated, but let’s at least grant that it is not *ordinary* for the the church to speak to political issues. It seems that the way some construe the *extraordinary* clause in WCF 31, the church would be speaking to nearly any political issue it, or certain members/officers in it take any umbrage with whatsoever. Surely this wasn’t in the purview of what the Westminster framers had envisioned.

  2. Paul
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Jed, I never made any claim about the church’s power to enforce the pronouncement. I’m not sure what ‘extraordinary’ means; for in certain countries, those issues are quite ordinary. Moreover, I gave an example, on of many. I can do similar things with abortion, etc. In any event, the context of dialogue is this:

    Darryl has claimed that there are NO cases where the church may pronounce on a political or social issue of the day.

    I intended only to argue against this claim.

    Logically, then, all I need to do is show ONE such pronouncement.

    It appears you admit I have done so. Hence it appears you must judge that Darryl has lost the argument.

  3. Posted March 26, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Paul,

    Understood, this is why I granted the argument in the first place. I am not here to argue what you have provided. What I am trying to argue is that even when an *extraordinary* case is in force, the church can do nothing but petition the magistrate. Moreover, the church speaking to political issues is *extraordinary* and not a commonplace feature of the ministry or calling of the church. On abortion in particular, which we are both opposed to, and you and I believe members of Reformed churches should be held accountable for their stances in light of the general equity of the 6th command. I am simply not sure what an official pronouncment to the magistrate would accomplish on the issue of abortion. Calling it a sin is one thing, but critiquing the policy? Will it have any real effect on said policy. Besides, it shouldn’t be a mystery to the US gov’t where a conservative Reformed denomination stands on the issue. Surely there are more effective non-ecclesiastical ways of addressing the issue, say through ethical and legal reasoning in the public sphere.

    Mind you, I am probably closer to you on the issue of the church and abortion than I am to my friend Zrim, nonetheless, the jury is still out as to whether or not I would employ WCF 31 to this particular issue. Maybe this has more to do with the ambiguity of WCF 31, as I can’t cite any sources that would preclude others from viewing abortion as one of these *extraordinary* issues, but without some sort of criteria this becomes a circular conversation/

  4. Paul
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Jed, there’s some (small) things you bring up which I don’t think are correct, but what you bring up doesn’t have anything to do with Darryl’s claims. Since I never argued for (or against) the things you’re bringing up, and nothing you bring up entails that any point I made was in error (which I think you agree), I will hold off discussing your points—at least here. We can, of course, discuss the matter via email, if you’d like. But if I continue in this thread, I’ll only get frustrated as Hart and/or Zrim will continue to either misunderstand, ignore, or side step the points and arguments raised. They’ll then call me stupid and tell me to get back on my meds. And they wonder why 2K has a PR problem.

  5. sean
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Paul, the only people i’ve encountered and interacted with who have a problem with 2k are theonomist’s and reconstructionists. Guess it depends which side of the fence you’re on if you regard that as an unfortunate development or not, much less a PR problem. As far as I’m concerned, it just means 2k is being articulated in it’s full measure or something proximate to it. That a confessional development that was codified back in 1788, is in dispute in 2012 is a “PR” problem says less about 2k and more about those who have a problem with it.

  6. Posted March 26, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Paul,

    I wasn’t attempting to address the issues discussed earlier, I only browsed those comments to begin with. I had only meant to interact with what I had found interesting in the logical argument. I’d be happy to hear your thoughts on this here or by e-mail. Anyway, good to see you back in the mix, it’s never boring to say the least.

  7. Posted March 26, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Paul, congratulations. You now have figured out a way for Machen to say the direct opposite of what he said. You philosophers sure are clever (but undermedicated).

  8. Paul
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Sean, I have no idea what the doctrinal content of ’2K’ is. If we follow Horton and define 2K thus: “If you affirm a distinction between saving and common grace, you’re already a ‘two kingdoms’ advocate,” then it appears even theonomists and reconstructionists are 2K! Indeed, since Horton’s big tent fits many people inside, and given Hart and Zrim’s claims that “2kers are allowed to disagree amongst themselves while still holding hands and singing kumbaya (e.g., like when Stellman disagrees with them about civil disobedience), one wonders why they won’t hold hands with their fellow 2K theonomists and make s’mores. Or, I guess they could condemn Horton’s big tent definition.

    Now, certainly, some 2Kers (e.g., Hart, Zrim, &co.) have claimed much more for 2K than can be claimed for it. Certainly, they have got ahead of themselves and a little too enthusiastic with 2K fervor/fever, and acted as if some of their more extreme or idiosymcratic views are *entailed* by 2K dogma. Since they’ve pretended their objectionable views are simply an entailment of 2K, no wonder some have raised their hand. I suspect it is some of these more radical claims that have got people all riled up. When 2K is stated minimalistically and soberly, I have not found many who disagree with it.

    So, if you must know, I consider *myself* 2K; but, I don’t take myself as disagreeing with any 2K dogma just in case I disagree with Hart and Zrim &co. on some topic whatever. It’s that that I take issue with. So, this is the PR problem. You have guys making what I take to be false, and sometimes obviously false claims, and then pretending that to disagree with them is to disagree with 2K in all its permutations. That’s a problem because if they are right, then since whatever implies a falsehood is itself false, they’ve sown the seeds for the defeat of 2K. If 2K *per se* is false, that’s a PR problem, wouldn’t you agree?

    If you love 2K, then, you’ll reign in Hart, Zrim, &co. when they get eager and overzealous for their various causes. You’ll tell them to make sure they don’t claim more for 2K than 2K will allow. If they state their odd, strange, idiosyncratic, and sometimes radical views with the disclaimer that “the view X expressed here is my own view and is in no way an entailment or implied by any 2K dogma,” then they will protect 2K from defeat by reductio.

    So, I’m just trying to help. In fact, since I’m 2K, and am trying to save it from Hart and Zrim &co., then I guess, per you, any who disagree with me and my project are theonomists and reconstructionists. ;-)

  9. Posted March 26, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Paul, the only way you win is in defining the terms so narrowly that only a precocious, chess-loving, philosophy geek can follow the rules or understand the contest.

    Anyway, your debate is not with me. It’s with Machen. I report, he decides.

  10. Paul
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Darryl, I only have made Machen say that there should be no official pronouncement, but he was silent on mere pronouncements. You then defined a ‘pronouncement’ as a robust, detailed, fine-grained, elaborate 2,000 political treatise or bill or law that contains several hundred debatable empirical or conceptual claims. So, yeah, you got me, I was wrong. The church shouldn’t make those kinds of pronouncements. Good on ya, stud.

  11. Paul
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Darryl, per your March 26, 2012 at 5:02 pm post.

    Gottcha. I will make vague, ambiguous, sloppy, slippery, and careless use of the terms I employ. That way, rather than just the philosophers being able to follow, I’ll ensure NO ONE can follow! C’mon, you can tell us, that’s what you do, right?

  12. Posted March 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Paul, as for PR problems, here’s a golden-oldie from your powers as an interlocutor:

    My problem with “Confessionalists” is the rampent anti-intellectualism I have seen from almost all of them who bother posting on the internet. Their anti-apologetics and anti-philosophy comments are troubling too. For example, When Dr. Hart was pushing for a 24/7 instruction in the Confessions, I asked him about training his members in apologetics. Regurgitating the Confession won’t do you diddly when (a) atheists challenge your faith and ask for the *reason* for the hope, (b) when other religions criticize your faith, and (c), when Christians take issue with statements of faith. It is utterly embarrassing to watch these “Confessioanlists” handle other theological positions within Christianity. I have been red faced and embarrassed when I have seen Zrim mention and try to critique Arminianism. I was slack-jawed to watch R.S. Clark’s total butchering of Molinism. It was so bad that some Reformed philosophers had to email prominent molinists and tell them not to judge all Reformed by Clark’s performance.

  13. Posted March 26, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Woo hoo! Hear that, Jed? I (all about me) win!

  14. sean
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Paul says;

    “Sean, I have no idea what the doctrinal content of ’2K’ is. If we follow Horton and define 2K thus: “If you affirm a distinction between saving and common grace, you’re already a ‘two kingdoms’ advocate,” then it appears even theonomists and reconstructionists are 2K! ”

    Talk about not following the parameters of an assertion, much less an argument, I reference the 1788 revision removing civil magistrate oversight from the WCF and you pull Horton commenting on the distinction between saving and common grace out of your hat. Hey, not that I mind much, the fact that you’re willing to be conversational and trade on other aspects of the discussion beats the heck out of reducing dialogue to one baited syllogism after another. So kudos to you. But, Since when did theonomist’s start marshalling Horton’s assertions to their defense?! It’s a brave new world this internet thing. Saving 2k from Hart and Zrim, huh? Well, I guess you’ll just have to pigeonhole me with those who fail to see a monolith of 2k application and rather see the nuancing and difference of particular application as an affirmation of the liberty of conscience and bounding of ecclesial authority that 2k seeks to promote. I’m good with the company I’m keeping.

  15. Paul
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Darryl, I forgot to add to the above your claim that “2+2 is not necessarily 4. It depends on what base you’re in.”

    http://oldlife.org/2010/11/i-believe-the-bible-requires-me-to-avoid-movies-and-if-you-go-see-a-movie-you-don’t-believe-the-bible-–-huh/comment-page-4/#comment-16393

    LOL.

    With math skills like that, if you win, then I win—three cheers for me!

  16. Paul
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Sean,

    You mentioned “2K” and those who “disagree with 2K.” I then claimed that I don’t know what you mean by “2K,” and cited Horton’s big tent definition, which allows theonomists and reconstructionists into the tent. My response had to do with your use of the multiply-ambiguous term ’2K’, which caused me to not know what, exactly, you were referring to. Not only that, you made no argument for me to follow.

    In any event, you clearly don’t want to have a dialogue and you have not rebutted one single point I’ve made in this thread. I am 2K and I am defending 2K. You are criticizing me, which makes you a theonomist or a reconstructionist.

  17. Paul
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Jed, see why I wanted to get out ASAP. Gooste-stepping Hartzi 2Kers are their own worst enemy.

  18. sean
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Paul,

    I mentioned 2k within the particular context of the American revision. That that context isn’t particularly conducive to the point/s you wish to emphasize is your dilemma, not mine.

  19. Posted March 26, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    From Christianity and Liberalism -
    “There are congregations, even in the present age of conflict, that are really gathered around the table of the crucified Lord; there are pastors that are pastors indeed. But such congregations, in many cities, are difficult to find. Weary with the conflicts of the world, one goes into the Church to seek refreshment for the soul… And what does one find? Alas, too often, one finds only the turmoil of the world. The preacher comes forward, not out of a secret place of meditation and power, not with the authority of God’s Word permeating his message, not with human wisdom pushed far into the background by the glory of the Cross, but with human opinions about the social problems of the hour…
    “Is there no refuge from strife? Is there no place of refreshing where a man can prepare for the battle of life? Is there no place where two or three can gather in Jesus’ name, to forget for the moment all those things that divide nation from nation and race from race, to forget human pride, to forget the passions of war, to forget the puzzling problems of industrial strife, and to unite in overflowing gratitude at the foot of the Cross? If there be such a place, then that is the house of God and that the gate of heaven. And from under the threshold of that house will go forth a river that will revive the weary world.” – J.Gresham Machen

  20. Posted March 26, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Paul, but would three cheers be the same in a base five system of math?

  21. Tony
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Great quote, Jack. Thanks for sharing it.

  22. Posted March 26, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Sean or Jed, could one of you ask Paul for me what are these “eager, overzealous, idiosyncratic, radical, extreme, false” claims some of us 2kers make that are cause for so much derision and hyperventilating? I asked him once today in another venue if it was the claim that 2k wants to be sure that false religionists are free to practice their idolatry without fear of civil punishment. No, he said, it wasn’t that. I asked again if he could then supply examples of these rrrradical claims. But he rebuffed me as not worth his precious time. Could you ask him if it’s the claim that there is a difference between personal behavior and political views? I think it’s that one that gets him so berserk. It could be the stuff about civil disobedience not seeming to have any biblical affirmation, or how perfectly lawful public behavior also has to be weighed by wisdom and not all lawful public behavior is very becoming those who are to live dignified lives. But I think it’s the personal/political thing. I realize some of us see these things differently for principled reasons, but could you ask him why he chooses to characterize as rrrrradical those who zig when he zags?

  23. Alexander
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    dgh- Thanks for your answers. Clears pretty much everything up for me. Much appreciated.

    Zrim- I understand that giving particular situations where the church might speak in civil affairs can be a slippery slope. However, the Confession does give those exceptions when the church might do just that so we should have an idea of when those exceptions might apply. We can’t claim to be confessionalists, and then say “Well, it might just be better if we don’t follow this part.” Otherwise theonomists and transformationists are quite justified in saying we don’t follow our own confessions.

  24. Zrim
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Alexander, I suppose I don’t worry much about theos and neos being justified in sticking to confessionalists as I do about what wisdom might have to say. I understand what the Confession says and I understand your point. But my point is that even where it may give us room to answer certain questions by way of advice, I do wonder if doing so is always prudent. I agree that we should have an idea of when those exceptions might apply, and my idea is where a question may have bearing on the conscience of the church it applies. My own sense is that some want to expand the criteria to include matters that don’t have bearing on the conscience of the church. And that seems to be a formula for intermeddling–you know, what the Confession warns against.

  25. Alexander
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Zrim- completely agree. 2k truly is so simple and straightforward.

  26. TUAD
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Paul: “So, I’m just trying to help. In fact, since I’m 2K, and am trying to save it from Hart and Zrim &co., then I guess, per you, any who disagree with me and my project are theonomists and reconstructionists.”

    Paul, you’re not a goose-stepping Hartzi then?

    Here’s something from the OldLife archives:

    http://oldlife.org/2010/06/hard-or-soft-the-anti-2k-position-displays-the-judaic-folly/

    From the above linked post by Darryl Hart:

    “Well I’d rather describe it a bit more graphically. Both the agressive and passive methods end in cultural rape. The liberal is an agressive rapist. The passive R2Kers on the other hand, like Hart and his ilk, strip naked, lay on their backs and say “take me”.

    IMO, this analogy isn’t quite right.

    As far as I can discern, the R2Kers are the ones who are tying and holding back the hands of those Christian Pastors and Churches who want to stop the rapist. They will observe that the on-going rape is a state matter and that the church is not to “meddle” with state affairs. Or they will say that the rape is a political act or a cultural act or a social act. And the R2Kers will argue that if the Reformed Pastor or Church were to speak out against the Rape, then the Gospel is compromised because the Church should only be preaching and teaching Word and Sacrament, and not stopping rapes. Natural law teaches that the State will stop and punish rapes. R2K’ers don’t seem to stop and ponder when and whether the State becomes a rapist. And from what Zrim has written Christians should obey the Civil Magistrate even when the Civil Magistrate himself is the rapist.

  27. Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Woo hoo! Hear that, Jed? I (all about me) win!

    Which is what keeps us coming back for more.

  28. Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Truthdivides, well finally you peep more than simply linking to what other people say.

    I have to caution you against using such a loaded term. You sound like a feminist who needs to raise the stakes and gain attention by throwing around a word that creates fear. Now, I think your use of the word is apt because it strikes me that critics of 2k can’t tell the difference between societies that limp along and those that are bad. Your standard appears to be one that no society can reach — not even when run by the elect, like Israel.

    So I’ll give you a chance to back away from your analogy.

    But if you want to stick by it, you will need to consider what Christ and the apostles did when confronted with a society that made life much harder for Christians than our current state does. Did Christ and the apostle speak out against the persecution of believers either by Jewish or Roman authorities? If not, were they holding back the hands of pastors?

    You really do need to consider that 2kers are closer in following Christ and the apostles than 2k’s critics are. Remember, Christ told Peter to put the sword away.

  29. Zrim
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    TUaD, and what anti-2kers never seem to consider is that Jesus’ and Paul’s magistrates were likely the sort that would be construed by moderns as tyrants. Yet nary a word about stopping the overreaching. Why do you think they were so amazed in Mark 12? Because the command was to pay your bills? Sorry, not very amazing. Maybe it was because they expected anyone who called himself the salvation of the Jews would give room to intermeddle and stop those who trampled the Jews. But only a command to obey. Gasp. Not good for inspiring 2012 Americanism against certain goings on in 1930 Germany.

  30. Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Jed, Maybe. But it sure took you a while to return. Sheesh. Where’s the eagerness?

  31. Posted March 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    DGH,

    Apologies, I should stop allowing my life outside of OldLife from getting in the way. I’ll just tell my wife and kids I have some truly important things to tend to. It’s not as if my wife doesn’t roll her eyes often enough when I am on the blogosphere to begin with.

  32. Posted March 27, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    In the past week (or so) RS said we get a new soul and now TUAD brings out the ever-irenic rape analogy to describe 2k’s. DGH, is anyone compiling these, and someday can you do a “worst of” post to give such comments proper acknowledgement?

  33. sean
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Yea Jed. That’s kinda lame. The whole I have a life and wife and kids bit. This is the internet man, this is where life is lived in the new millenium. Plus you’re an OEC cat anyway, you can’t afford to be missing out on how you’re wrong and how you don’t have a scripture for your OEC stand. The reformed are biblicists don’t ya know.

  34. TUAD
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    For what it’s worth, TurretinFan has a post addressing this post titled:

    Picking Low Hanging Cherries.

    Opening excerpt:

    “Darryl Hart has posted an article (2K Cherries 2Hot 2Handle) responding to my friend Lane Keister’s decision to stop discussing two kingdoms theology on his blog. Unfortunately, the article serves as an illustration of the problem that led my friend to stop discussing the topic.

    Hart seems to have a fundamental problem distinguishing argument from personality. Read his post. You’ll find that after the first paragraph it’s all about attacking his critics – not for their views – but attacking their integrity. Here are some examples:”

    (Read the rest).

  35. Posted March 28, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Truthdivides, thanks for more of your tale tattling. But I’m still mystified why citing the historical change between 1646 and 1789 for instance, when it comes to the Westminster Confession and Catechisms in their revisions, would be an ad hominem point. That may explain why 2k critics can’t distinguish between a point and a person.

  36. TUAD
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Darryl Hart,

    Simply providing a more fully orbed discussion with the benefit that no one can complain that this thread is an echo chamber for R2K group think.

    With regards to you being mystified, go ask TurretinFan to relieve you of your condition.

  37. Posted March 28, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Truthdivides, sure you can find a link somewhere that will explain how a historical claim an adhominem.

  38. Jed Paschall
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    TUAD,

    Surely 2k isn’t the only camp guilty of group think. Don’t underestimate the value of the contributions that DGH makes in the 2k camp. His ability to provoke salient conversations should not be lost on anyone in the discussion. Your presence in this conversation only proves that fact. It is not as if he has advocated anything out of bounds of his denomination, the PCA, or the URC.

    There are plenty of blogs were theonomists ans transformationalists gather to pat themselves on the back. What is wrong with a little 2k high fiving here?

  39. Posted March 28, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Btw, Truthdivides, I forgot to thank you for the link to Tfan’s post. Although he disagrees with my interpretation of confessional revision among contemporary conservative Reformed communions — rejection vs. toleration — I’m glad to see that he admits that meat-and-potatoes 2k is fully within the bounds of these churches’ confessional standards. That’s a serious concession:

    The second of the alleged “undeniable historical developments” is “that all of the Reformed churches that belong to the North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council have rejected the teaching of both the Westminster Confession and the Belgic Confession on the civil magistrate.” In order to check this claim, I carefully studied the standards of the hundreds, dozens, twelve denominations in NAPARC. Hart’s assessment is wrong. The OPC and PCA both have not rejected the teachings of the WCF on the civil magistrate, they have broader standards, so that one is not required to hold those views (as already demonstrated here), although their standards do rule out 2Ek (as explained here). The ERQ subscribes to the original WCF, but permits liberty of conscience on several sections, including the sections that E2k finds most objectionable. The FRCNA states that they fully subscribe to the original three forms of unity (including the Belgic Confession). Should I go on? At best, the RPCNA could be said to have “rejected” them, based on the ambiguous wording of their “testimony” that serves as an interpretive guide to the standards. (Of course, not all conservative Presbyterian and Reformed churches in North America are in NAPARC, but even with Hart’s cherry-picking …).

    And just for the record, the RPCNA, the communion most committed to the Lordship of Christ as expressed in the old Scottish covenants, the one reaffirmed by the Westminster Assembly that drafted the Confession of Faith in the form of the Solemn League and Covenant, the church that insisted on an amendment to the U.S. Constitution regarding Christ’s Lordship — that RPCNA does use the word “reject” when it comes to the teaching of WCF 23.3 and the powers of the magistrate to enforce religion and oversee the church. If that RPCNA uses the language of rejection, I’m having a hard time thinking the OPC, PCA, or URC is equivocating on their confessional revisions.

  40. JJF
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    Paul (Anonymous), why don’t you show everyone your embarrassed,red face? With impeccable logic and scholarship like yours you have nothing to hide. You would find winning more enjoyable, too! Last time I calculated – that’s math that just doesn’t add up.

  41. TUAD
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Darryl Hart: “But if you want to stick by it, you will need to consider what Christ and the apostles did when confronted with a society that made life much harder for Christians than our current state does.”

    Zrim: “TUaD, and what anti-2kers never seem to consider is that Jesus’ and Paul’s magistrates were likely the sort that would be construed by moderns as tyrants. Yet nary a word about stopping the overreaching.”

    Darryl Hart and Zrim, take a look at this news article from earlier this year: Hawaiian Churches Denied Request to Block Same-Sex Civil Unions.

    Now suppose there’s an R2K senior pastor in a WCF Reform church in Hawaii. And suppose there was a traditional one-man, one-woman marriage recently conducted by the R2K senior pastor in his church. He is now approached by two gays to have their same-sex civil union ceremony conducted in the Reform church. The R2K pastor tells them he’ll get back to them in a day or two after he consults with some people.

    The R2K pastor calls Darryl Hart. He says: “Dr. Hart, I’m a huge fan and admirer of yours. I’ve read many of your books and articles. A Secular Faith had a big impact on me and makes a lot of sense. State law says that our church has to allow for same-sex civil union ceremonies, otherwise our church will be disobeying state law and subject to penalties. Our church will do whatever you and Steve Zrimec recommend. What’s your recommendation, Dr. Darryl Hart? Should we allow the same-sex civil union ceremony in our church? Or should we practice civil disobedience? I want to apply the 2K doctrine that you teach.”

    Darryl Hart, what is your recommendation to this R2K pastor in Hawaii?

    The R2K pastor also calls Zrim. He says: “Steve Zrimec, I’m a huge fan and admirer of yours. I’ve read many of your comments and I follow your blog. “Confessional Outhouse” has a big impact on me and makes a lot of sense. State law says that our church has to allow for same-sex civil union ceremonies, otherwise our church will be disobeying state law and subject to penalties. Our church will do whatever you and Dr. Darryl Hart recommend. What’s your recommendation, Steve Zrimec? Should we allow the same-sex civil union ceremony in our church? Or should we practice civil disobedience? I want to apply the 2K doctrine that you teach.”

    Zrim, what is your recommendation to this R2K pastor in Hawaii?

  42. Posted March 29, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Truthdivides, I’d tell the pastor not to go to you for implications of Hawaii’s laws. The story doesn’t say that pastors have to perform gay marriages.

  43. TUAD
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Darryl Hart: “Truthdivides, I’d tell the pastor not to go to you for implications of Hawaii’s laws. The story doesn’t say that pastors have to perform gay marriages.”

    The R2K pastor knows that he doesn’t have to perform the same-sex civil union ceremony. Hence, the precise nature of his question:

    “State law says that our church has to allow for same-sex civil union ceremonies, otherwise our church will be disobeying state law and subject to penalties. Our church will do whatever you and Steve Zrimec recommend. What’s your recommendation, Dr. Darryl Hart? Should we allow the same-sex civil union ceremony in our church? Or should we practice civil disobedience? I want to apply the 2K doctrine that you teach.”

    Darryl Hart, what is your recommendation to this R2K pastor in Hawaii regarding the WCF Reform Church hosting a same-sex civil union ceremony?

  44. Posted March 29, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Truthdivides, I would tell the pastor to follow the teaching of Paul and Peter and do everything possible to submit to the authorities God has ordained. If the pastor in consultation with his session, presbytery, and Assembly, believes that he cannot obey the law, then he needs to make a humble petition his state representative asking for exemption from the law.

  45. TUAD
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Darryl Hart: “Truthdivides, I would tell the pastor to follow the teaching of Paul and Peter and do everything possible to submit to the authorities God has ordained. If the pastor in consultation with his session, presbytery, and Assembly, believes that he cannot obey the law, then he needs to make a humble petition his state representative asking for exemption from the law.”

    WCF Reform Pastor to Darryl Hart: “Thanks Dr. Hart for your answer and for your time. I did consult with my session, presbytery, and Assembly, and they all said to give heaviest weight and consideration to your wise counsel. Given that it is possible for our church “to submit to the authorities God has ordained”, as you put it, and in this case the state civil authorities, we will have the same-sex civil union ceremony conducted in our Reform church in Hawaii. Thanks again for your time. I really appreciate your advice.”

  46. sean
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Hey TUaD,

    Would you stone them before or after the ceremony? The homosexual couple that is.

  47. TUAD
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Sean,

    I’d watch the same-sex civil union ceremony conducted inside the Reform Church on a YouTube video made by jubilant GLBT’ers.

  48. sean
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    TUaD,

    How very voyeuristic of you. No really, shouldn’t you be pushing for capital punishment against such acts?

  49. TUAD
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Sean, do you celebrate Darryl Hart’s counsel to the pastor:

    “I would tell the pastor to follow the teaching of Paul and Peter and do everything possible to submit to the authorities God has ordained.”

  50. sean
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Come on TUaD,

    Do you want them killed before or after. Have you written your representatives yet asking for and encouraging them toward enacting the death penalty for those found engaging in such activity, much less publicly celebrating their union.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>