The Pietist Pope

I was at first dismissive of the lead singer of Jason and the Callers’ invocation of categories I developed in Lost Soul of American Protestantism to explain the current statements from Pope Francis. Not to say I wasn’t flattered or surprised that an arch-Roman Catholic would lean on Protestant categories to defend an institution and person who is so superior to Protestantism. But after reading Francis’ interview, I believe Jason is more astute than he realizes (but not so much here). (He should also realize that he belongs to a flock of interpreters, the members of which seem to have forgotten that it was the papacy itself that was supposed to end the Protestant craze of various interpretations.)

Several commentators have been concerned about the mainstream media’s highlighting the pope’s apparently lackadaisical views about homosexuality and abortion, such as:

In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this. During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.

A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy. When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing.

A confessionalist, that is, a churchly Christian who values ecclesial forms and ordinances (preaching, sacraments, prayer) as the means by which the Spirit works, as opposed to a pietist who generally disregards forms and elevates the Spirit over all religious externals or man-made doctrines or liturgies, might have responded to the predicament of homosexuality or abortion by pointing a person struggling with these matters to the regular ministry of the church. For someone like Francis — “is the Pope ecclesial?” could be a new taunt — you would expect him to uphold Rome’s sacramental system of Baptism, the Eucharist, and Penance. Say what you will about the flaws in those teaching and practices from a Reformed Protestant perspective, Rome’s ministry as outlined, for instance, in Trent’s Catechism is as thorough a way of addressing the plight of sinners as someone could imagine.

But instead of upholding the gracious character of the sacramental system, or the mercy that Rome shows in recommending that a person wrestling with sin seek forgiveness and repentance through the ministry of her priests, Francis went in a pietistic direction. That is, he spoke of ways to make the church seem more responsive and charitable.

How are we treating the people of God? I dream of a church that is a mother and shepherdess. The church’s ministers must be merciful, take responsibility for the people and accompany them like the good Samaritan, who washes, cleans and raises up his neighbour. This is pure Gospel. God is greater than sin. The structural and organisational reforms are secondary­ – that is, they come afterward. The first reform must be the attitude. The ministers of the Gospel must be people who can warm the hearts of the people, who walk through the dark night with them, who know how to dialogue and to descend themselves into their people’s night, into the darkness, but without getting lost. The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials. The bishops, particularly, must be able to support the movements of God among their people with patience, so that no one is left behind. But they must also be able to accompany the flock that has a flair for finding new paths.

“Instead of being just a church that welcomes and receives by keeping the doors open, let us try also to be a church that finds new roads, that is able to step outside itself and go to those who do not attend Mass, to those who have quit or are indifferent. The ones who quit sometimes do it for reasons that, if properly understood and assessed, can lead to a return. But that takes audacity and courage.”

I mention to Pope Francis that there are Christians who live in situations that are irregular for the church or in complex situations that represent open wounds. I mention the divorced and remarried, same-sex couples and other difficult situations. What kind of pastoral work can we do in these cases? What kinds of tools can we use?

“We need to proclaim the Gospel on every street corner,” the pope says, “preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing, even with our preaching, every kind of disease and wound. In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this. During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.

To be sure, Francis does mention briefly the role of the confessor in the life of a woman who has had an abortion:

This is also the great benefit of confession as a sacrament: evaluating case by case and discerning what is the best thing to do for a person who seeks God and grace. The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which the Lord’s mercy motivates us to do better. I also consider the situation of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life. What is the confessor to do?

But the pope’s presentation of the issue is open ended. What should the confessor do? No answer. A woman with a guilty conscience? She needs to work it out with a confessor, but not in a way that would involve the pain of repentance or the acts of contrition, confession, and satisfaction. What happened to the words of Trent which defined contrition as “a sorrow and detestation for sin committed, with a purpose of sinning no more . . . joined with a confidence in the mercy of God and an earnest desire of performing whatever is necessary to the proper reception of the Sacrament”?

In other words, Francis appears to be confused like many pietists, who mistake experience for authenticity. He apparently wants to offer forgiveness to a broken world but does not value highly the very means that his own communion has (and has had for six hundred years) for reaching out to a broken world. It is as if he had read too much Gilbert Tennent and believed that new circumstances required new ministry measures. It is a Roman Catholic instance of pietism’s promotion of feelings and experience at the expense of the outward and ordinary means of grace.

By the way, it is also breathtaking since it is supposed to be either the low church Protestants or the Roman Catholic mystics who are so indifferent to sacraments and ordinances.

Postscript: in a related story, the Vatican press reported on Francis’ efforts to avoid taking a hard line with couples who are cohabiting:

The Pope told priests they should welcome couples that live together and championed the courageous and creative choices involved in going out to the “existential peripheries”, RomaSette says in its article. But the truth factor is crucial here. “The truth must always be told,” not just in the dogmatic sense of the world but in the sense of “love and God’s fullness”. The priest must “accompany” people.

Francis referred to some experience he had in Buenos Aires as examples of creativity. For example, when some churches were kept open around the clock, with confessors or “personal courses” available for couples who want to marry but can’t attend a prenuptial course because they work till late. The “existential peripheries” are the priority. These also refer to the kinds of family contexts Benedict XVI often talked about, for example second marriages. Our task is to “find another way, the just way,” Francis said. . . .

“The problem cannot be reduced to whether” these couples “are allowed to take communion or not because whoever thinks of the problem in these terms doesn’t understand the real issue at hand,” Francis said. “This is a serious problem regarding the Church’s responsibility towards families that are in this situation.” Francis reiterated what he said on the return flight from Rio to Rome after World Youth Day, saying he will be discussing the issue with the group of eight cardinals who will be meeting in the Vatican in early October. Francis added that the issue will also be discussed at the next Synod of Bishops on the Gospel’s anthropological relationship with individual people and the family, so that the whole Synod can look into this problem. “This,” Francis said “is a real existential periphery”.

Share/Bookmark
This entry was posted in Adventures in Church History, Are the CTCers Paying Attention?, Roman Catholicism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

330 Comments

  1. Chortles Weakly
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Forgive me for (commenting) on a few of Br’er Stellman’s recent effusions:

    “For my part, I can identify with the holy father (elitist title, due to be changed — how about Most Righteous Dude?) in very concrete ways. You see, I also am (or have been for about five minutes) an orthodox Catholic who believes all (every damn bit!) that the Church teaches, but at the same time I have many gay, agnostic, and anti-Catholic friends, and I have found that displaying even a modicum of empathy and love goes a long way, even if you won’t budge on your (firm, universally agreed, clear, concise) doctrinal positions….And as the early stages of Francis’s pontificate show and my own (vast) experience confirms, the Left doesn’t hate the Catholic Church primarily for its dogma (cross is no offense?). In fact, much (!) of that hatred can be quenched by a compassionate and humble posture, even if the (firm, universally agreed, clear, concise) dogma stays the same.”

  2. Bob S
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Wait, this just in. The roman church bends the rules a bit in order not to be seen as legalistic, judgmental, obsessive or Pharisaical.
    Hmm.
    I think they used to call it syncretism back when the CtC cadre was in diapers.

    But if you are emergent, o’ happy day, all things are new.
    (Rob Bell skinny glasses – check, shaved head – check, soul patch – OK, we’re out of compliance here, we’ll get on it right away. )

    But as is all things twitter (which oddly enough caters to and for twits, theological or otherwise) this from somebody who has demonstrated their ignorance to the answers of Luther, Calvin, Perkins and Cartwright (who dat?) to the Roman legerdemain.

    But they still want to “dialogue” like grownups do.
    I think it’s called “playing church”, but what do I know other than what I can opine about my own boorish self serving prod opinion performative magisterium, otherwise known as reason in light of Scripture and history.

    Of course, we are at the same time, looking forward to an in depth and substantive review of Mr. Stellman’s old nemesis DT King (and Webster’s) 3 volumes on Scripture, the patristics and the Reformation.

    But as long as you sprinkle plenty of holy water on it, Jase, it should all be good.
    Just don’t inhale.

  3. Justin J.
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    DG,

    Help me out here. Are you criticizing:
    A) Pope Francis’ various responses in the interview;
    B) The way in which it seems that he’s changed the Catholic response to things, and thus questioning CTC’s overall paradigm of unchanging-but-only-developing authority;
    C) Both
    D) Neither; it’s just fun to watch them squirm with their paradigmatic certitude.
    E) All of the above.

    ***I’m going with E.

    By the way, I really like Papa Francis. He really is my kind of Pope–stickin’ it to the man.

    J

  4. Posted September 24, 2013 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    The good shepherd leaves the ninety-and-nine to rescue the erring sheep.

    Just google “Act of Contrition” and read the prayer. Penitents must make this act for the absolution to be valid. In addition to any prescribed penance the act must be fully assented to for forgiveness to be obtained.

    The current practice of the Church is to allow freedom to the Spirit to convict consciences without exerting public pressure on individuals–even individuals in notorious sin–to obedience. And, a principal tenet of the Church requires that all Catholics go to confession at least once a year.

    IMO (and I think it’s the Church’s position), it is primarily the state’s role to enforce standards of behavior through tangible rewards and punishments.

  5. Posted September 24, 2013 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    Are we bound to obey the Church? We are bound to obey the Church, because Christ has said to the pastors of the Church,‘He that heareth you heareth Me, and he that despiseth you despiseth Me’. (Luke 10:16) He that heareth you, etc. Every one whoattends to what the bishops and priests of the Church say, and follows their teaching, pleases God. He that despiseth you, etc. Those persons who have a contempt for their pastors, or think little of their teaching, displease God.

    What are the chief Commandments of the Church? The chief Commandments of the Church are:

    1. Mass and resting from servile works.

    The chief Commandments. The six principal ones given in the Catechism. There are many other precepts of the Church besides. These Commandments may be altered to suit different circumstances or different places, as the Head of the Church may think fit.

    2. To keep the days of fasting and abstinence appointed by the Church.
    3. To go to confession at least once a year.
    4. To receive the Blessed Sacrament at least once a year, and that at Easter or thereabouts.
    5. To contribute to the support of our pastors.
    6. Not to marry within certain degrees of kindred, nor to solemnize marriage at the forbidden times.

  6. Posted September 24, 2013 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Andrew: in reiterating “the Precepts of the Church”, you’ve given words to The Sacramental Treadmill.

    Rome does not care that you feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc. Those kinds of “good works” — those prescribed by Christ — are secondary to Rome’s priorities, as you’ve stated them.

  7. Posted September 24, 2013 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    “Rome’s Divided Mind”, from David Wells, “Revolution in Rome”, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, ©1972, pgs 27-36.

  8. Posted September 24, 2013 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Justin, I think Francis would make a good evangelical, and he is much more winsome than Jim Wallis. But if I were a conservative Roman Catholic for whom the magisterium and sacraments were the defining elements of the church, I’d be annoyed. If pointing this out annoys Jason and the Callers, great. If it doesn’t, then the science of logic is a vanity signifying nothing.

  9. Robert
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    What I don’t get is this apologetic drive among Roman converts. If Rome is so much more perspicuous than Geneva and has a “principled method” for defining the truth, why in the world do these Roman apologists feel the need to twist themselves into contortions to say, “hey, the pope really is orthodox and Roman Catholic.” Why does “Christ’s church” need their help??

  10. Posted September 24, 2013 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Robert: What I don’t get is this apologetic drive among Roman converts.

    At some level, I think it stems from a kind of buyer’s remorse. At first, it’s something they want to talk about because it’s so alien — such a novelty (depending on where they come from). But it’s not too long that the alien nature of the thing becomes pressing, and there is self-consciousness, and a desire to sell oneself back into it. I distinctively went through that process. I’m a cradle Catholic who went out, then in, then out of RCCism. And going back in, there was a kind of hubris — “fullness of the faith” — and it wasn’t until I started looking more closely at what Roman Catholicism teaches that I began to sense a yuck factor, and that was one of the motivating forces to get back out.

  11. sean
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    It’s a tough spot for the prot-catholic who is first doctrinally(thomism) oriented and then sacramentally motivated, to have a pope go; “those aren’t really what it’s about, those are givens but not what I’m doing or we should be doing”. Francis’ training is religious service undergirded by liberation theology. When he says ‘that he doesn’t really know Rome and a lot of this is new to him, and he isn’t very comfortable with the trappings and he doesn’t like a lot of the trappings and he can’t reconcile to a lot of the trappings, and you’re a convert for whom the latin-rite is the cat’s pajamas and is all about the ornamentation and trappings and ethereal profundity and tradition and transcendence and then the pope caps off his stream of consciousness spirituality by proclaiming the church can’t be restorationist and live in the past, Vat II happened and I’m glad it did,……………you’re gonna have some heartburn.

  12. Bob S
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    But Andrew, what happens when the “Church” so blatantly contradicts what Christ says in Scripture (all of which is written by inspiration of His Spirit, regardless of the jesuitical canard that Jesus didn’t leave us any books, just a church and a tradition)?

    That’s the disconnect; the fallacy of the missing middle term that puts the CtC apologetic into the endless loop and mindless yammering mode, not to mention those of us who have been on that side of the fence and are even more unimpressed with the real thing, as opposed to the hypothetical pristine version being proffered by the newb converts.

  13. D. Sanger
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    This pope is very in touch with the zeitgeist of the age. I’m guessing he’ll be a candidate for best pope ever.

  14. Robert
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    C’mon Bob, haven’t you been reading the paradigm princes? All that matters is that somewhere, someway, and someday in the Roman Church there can be a settling of disagreements. As long as somehow this is possible it doesn’t matter if it is ever done or if the settlement somehow can never manage to render RC unanimous on anything except that it’s a good idea to go to mass every now and again. Somehow, somewhere, someday it’s gonna happen!

  15. Chortles Weakly
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, what sort of transatlantic mongrel are you? Prot-Catholic, Anglican, FedVisionite, High Church Tranfo? Where — if anywhere — are you coming from?

  16. Bob S
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Robt.
    Huh? But I always thought in Rome there were never any disagreements at all.
    Maybe a few competing paradigms, but what are those among fellow idolaters? Mere performative quibbling, light airy nothings.

    Chort,
    Be nice. Andrew is a true believer, old style. Vat2/Leo hasn’t sunk in yet.
    True, it’ll be a hard landing on that day, but don’t be rude and distract him.
    Or give him a target upon which to project his sublimated frustrations.

  17. Posted September 24, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    The pietist Pope… and today, the liberal-Kuyperian Pope? Spoken during today’s Mass –

    “We don´t want this globalized economic system which does us so much harm. Men and women have to be at the centre as God wants, not money. . … The world has become an idolator of this god called money … It is not only a problem of Italy and Europe.. it is a consequence of a world choice, of an economic system that brings about tragedy, an economic system that has at its centre an idol which is called money”.

    http://nsnbc.me/2013/09/24/global-economy-based-god-called-money-said-pope-francis/?utm_medium=twitter

  18. Robert
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Here’s the problem for the hardline “Rome-has-all-the-answers-Protestant-doesn’t” types:

    The head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, put aside a prepared speech and improvised for 20 minutes

  19. Christopher Lake
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink
  20. Robert
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Christopher,

    Good on the pope for the excommunication, though one wonders why a reason for it really wasn’t given.

    He really should hold back on the extemporaneous comments, however, lest he be accused of talking out of both sides of his mouth. And it’s really bad form if one of a person’s reasons for going to Rome is that she is more perspicuous than Scripture.

  21. sean
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Chris, I don’t see how any of that is any more than a circumstance of governance. Spiritually speaking he’s still imbibing the training of his religious order, which like most religious orders tends toward the pietist, activist and spiritual disciplines. This is his faith language. He’s not a German academician/systematician. He’s also got a decent ‘left’ of liberation theology to boot, straight down to bemoaning the excess of capitalism and the bourgeoisie and expressing empathy and sympathy with the proletariat. Welcome to your Latin American Jesuit pope.

  22. Chortles Weakly
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    “Ah, it’s disappointing, but maybe this Third World pope is what we need. Maybe we’re just too Western, too Northern Europe…” thinks a caller as he waits in line to buy the latest iPhone.

  23. Posted September 24, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    For the record, my second comment yesterday was a quick copy-and-paste job to inform the readers here about the chief precepts of the Church. I didn’t write it.

  24. Posted September 24, 2013 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    John: Yeah, the flow chart looks pretty accurate.

    You wrote:
    “Rome does not care that you feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc. Those kinds of “good works” — those prescribed by Christ — are secondary to Rome’s priorities, as you’ve stated them.”

    The traditional enumeration of the corporal works of mercy is as follows:

    •To feed the hungry;
    •To give drink to the thirsty;
    •To clothe the naked;
    •To harbour the harbourless;
    •To visit the sick;
    •To ransom the captive;
    •To bury the dead.

    The Archdiocese of New York is home to over 100 charitable organizations, run by many different religious orders, as well as by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese. The following (Wikipedia) list is being added to and is incomplete:

    Homes/Nurseries for Children

    *Astor Home for Children (Rhinebeck) – Opened in 1953 and staffed by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul until 2002. Sponsorship turned over to the archdiocese in 2002.
    *Cardinal Hayes Home for Children (Millbrook) – Opened in 1941; sponsored by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.
    *Cardinal McCloskey School & Home for Children (White Plains) – Opened in 1948.
    *Hayden House (Ossining) – Opened in 1980 as a home for maltreated children and run by Cardinal McCloskey School & Home for Children.
    *Lincoln Hall (Somers) – Opened in 1938 to replace the Bronx Protectorate; formerly staffed by the Lasallian Christian Brothers.
    *Nazareth Day Nursery (Manhattan) – Opened in 1902 at 214 W. 15th Street; staffed by Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities.
    *The New York Foundling (Manhattan) – Established in 1869 by the Sisters of Charity of New York.
    *Queen’s Daughters’ Day Nursery (Yonkers) – Assumed in 1948 by the Missionary Canonesses of St. Augustine (now the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary).
    *St. Agatha Home for Children (Nanuet) – Opened in 1885 and staffed by the Sisters of Charity. Has now merged with the New York Foundling.
    *St. Cabrini Home (West Park) – Opened in 1890 and formerly known as the Sacred Heart Orphan Asylum. Staffed by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
    *St. Dominic Home (Blauvelt) – Opened in 1890 as St. Dominic Orphan Asylum and staffed by the Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt.
    *St. Ignatius Day Nursery (Manhattan) – Established in 1910; formerly staffed by the Sisters of Bon Secours (1913-17), Sisters of Charity and Sisters of St. Dominic.

    Homes for the Aged

    *Carmel Richmond Nursing Home (Staten Island) – Sponsored by the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm.
    *Ferncliff Nursing Home (Rhinebeck) – Opened in 1973; sponsored by the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm.
    *Francis Schervier Home and Hospital (The Bronx) – Opened and operated by the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, transferred to the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart.
    *Jeanne Jugan Residence (The Bronx) – Sponsored by the Little Sisters of the Poor, built to replace their Home for Aged which was last located on 183rd Street in the Bronx.
    *Kateri Residence (Manhattan) – Sponsored by the Archdiocese.
    *Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home (Manhattan) – Opened in 1952; sponsored by the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm.
    *Providence Rest Nursing Home (The Bronx) – Opened in 1921; founded and staffed by the Sisters of St. John the Baptist.
    *Rosary Hill Home (Hawthorne) – Opened in 1901; sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne.
    *St. Cabrini Nursing Home (Dobbs Ferry) – Sponsored by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart.
    *St. Elizabeth Ann Rehabilitation Center (Staten Island) – Opened in 1993; sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of New York.
    *St. Joseph’s Hospital Nursing Home (Yonkers) – Opened in 1976, operated by St. Joseph’s Medical Center. sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of New York.
    *St. Patrick Home for the Aged (The Bronx) – Sponsored by the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm.
    *St. Teresa Nursing & Rehabilitation Center (Middletown) – Opened in 1971; sponsored by the Archdiocese.
    *St. Vincent de Paul Residence (The Bronx) – Opened in 1992; sponsored by the Archdiocese.

    Hospitals

    Most hospitals in the archdiocese are sponsored by different religious orders, not the archdiocese itself:

    *Benedictine Hospital (Kingston) – Established in 1901 by the Benedictine Sisters of Elizabeth, N.J.; formerly known as Our Lady of Victory Hospital.
    *Bon Secours Community Hospital (Port Jervis) – Founded by the Sisters of Bon Secours of Maryland, now sponsored by the Bon Secours Charity Health System.
    *Calvary Hospital (The Bronx) – Opened in 1899 as a hospice facility; sponsored by the Archdiocese.
    *Good Samaritan Hospital (Suffern) – Sponsored by the Bon Secours Charity Health System.
    *St. Anthony Community Hospital (Warwick) – Founded by the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, now sponsored by the Bon Secours Charity Health System (BSCHS).
    *St. Francis Hospital (Poughkeepsie) – Established by the Sisters of St. Francis of Hastings-on-Hudson. Branch location in Beacon.
    *St. Joseph’s Medical Center (Yonkers) – Established in 1888 by the Sisters of Charity of New York.
    *St. Vincent’s Hospital Westchester (Harrison) – Established by the Sisters of Charity of New York as a suburban branch of their primary hospital founded in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan which was founded in 1850; when the Manhattan site was closed in 2010, this facility was transferred to St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers, New York, currently provides mental health treatment services and addiction recovery programs.
    *Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center (Manhattan) – Established in 1890 as the Flower Free Surgical Hospital; merged in 1938 with Fifth Avenue Hospital. Known as Flower Fifth Avenue Hospital from 1938 to 1984, the facility was bought by the Archdiocese of New York in 1984 and opened as a nursing home.

    Etc.

  25. Posted September 24, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Bob: What are you talking about? You don’t even accept all the books that are in the canon.

  26. Posted September 24, 2013 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Chortles: I am Catholic. Was received into the Church a little over a year ago, through the Anglican Ordinariate. But, who cares? Probably won’t be commenting around here much.

  27. Bob S
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    Andrew,
    Where does Christ command us to accept books that the Jews of his day – whom he did not reprove – didn’t accept?
    FTM where does Christ command us to resacrifice him in the mass, or pray to Mary and the saints or any number of extraneous things that are not found in the NT?
    IOW you get your act together on the books we do agree on and then we’ll start talking about the others.

  28. Posted September 25, 2013 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    “Whom he did not reprove.”

    Nice qualification, Bob.

    Your questions presume Sola Scriptura which is an unbiblical doctrine:

    “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”

    -2 Thessalonians 2:15

    When you start to obey the Bible and display a little respect toward the Church and her teachings then maybe we’ll be able to have any sort of conversation.

  29. Posted September 25, 2013 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Andrew — the “corporal works of mercy” occupy a lower rung on the ladder than the “precepts of the Church”. That is, any Roman Catholic can get away with not doing “corporal works of mercy”; however, the woe to the Roman Catholic who fails to DO the precepts!

  30. Chortles Weakly
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Sorry, Alexander. Your blog is a melange of orthodoxy (both kinds), heterodoxy, reformed aberrants, monarchism, political oddity, and Anglo-Romanism. Who could tell? Many of us wonder where you — like Stellman — will be in five years.

  31. Posted September 25, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    John, you are correct. But, the day to day practice of the Church demonstrates a deep and abiding commitment to fulfill the second great commandment.

  32. Bob S
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Sorry Andrew, what I’m hearing is the same old same old.
    The main clause refers to traditions,
    the modifying refers to oral or written.
    IOW there is no conflict between the two, i.e. there is a complete overlap. “However you came to know them, hold onto them”.
    In conjunction with 2 Tim. 3:17 and Scripture being sufficient for every – nothing left out – good work, what traditions and teachings Paul and the rest of the apostles delivered orally, is put in writing as the apostles wind down their ministry and prepare to depart in death.

    If that’s not the case, where is the infallible canonical list of those traditions, never mind the infallible index of the pope’s infallible utterances, you under pain of disobedience are required to believe?
    Oh, implicit faith, no big?
    Right.

  33. Posted September 25, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Chortles,

    Still believe in predestination and the priority of grace. Still a monarchist. Still think the American Revolution was a stage in the great western apostasy. Still an admirer of Orthodoxy, Norman Shepherd, and the Federal Visionists. Still think there’s something to Jordan’s biblical approach & theonomic position. Still think Stellman, Hart, and the W2K crew are crazy to reject Christendom in total. When push comes to shove W2K will be busily undermining resistance to the forces of social chaos and institutionalized evil. W2K natural law has no substance.

    Yet, I recognize that what I desire for this world may not be God’s plan prior to our Lord’s return. The stewardship of order in temporal society is entrusted to earthly powers. What can I do if the earthly powers refuse to acknowledge the rule of Christ? The Church’s primary mission is and always has been the salvation souls.

    When your one drug-addicted transgendered grandchild visits you in the government care facility to feed you your last soy-food dinner before your scheduled euthanization, I’m sure his expressions of love and concern for your comfort will be of some consolation. “Granddad, you’re going to a better place, I just know it. I love you so much. You’ll always be in my heart.”

  34. Chortles Weakly
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, you’re a real Renaissance man or a post-modern up-masher.

  35. Posted September 25, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Chortles, I’m just a sinful idiot who detects a clear historical pattern & doesn’t like it:

    1. Political goal of the Reformation: Eliminate spiritual authority of the Church over the temporal. On the continent, renegade princes usurp the royal priesthood by means of heretic proxies. In England, the king sets himself over the religious cult.

    2. Political goal of Puritanism/ Enlightenment-Republicanism/ Communism: Regicide.

    3. Political goal of Modernism: Replace authority of revelation with authority of reason.

    4. Political goal of Feminism/ Sexual Revolution: Eliminate authority of fathers & break up the traditional family.

    5. Ultimate goal of Scientific/ Bureaucratic Technicism: Deface, defile, & destroy the image of God in body & soul of as many human beings as possible.

    The dots are easy to connect if you’re not blinded by prior commitments to temporal arrangements that presently persist.

  36. mikelmann
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, you’re no idiot if you can see inside the minds of thousands or millions or people past and present and know what their goals are/were. You’re real close to omniscient if you can do that. But there’s a bit of a conspiratorial edge there that may give a degree of certainty when proof is hard to come by.

  37. Posted September 25, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Andrew: John, you are correct. But, the day to day practice of the Church demonstrates a deep and abiding commitment to fulfill the second great commandment.

    My point was not about individual Catholics doing good works (nurseries, homes, hospitals, etc.). My point was about the official Roman church’s priorities — putting its own rules ahead of Christ’s commandment.

  38. Chortles Weakly
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Andrew – re: your self description — I admire you the way Cleggie admires Foggy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9qfihuVH6g

  39. stuart
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    “The dots are easy to connect if you’re not blinded by prior commitments to temporal arrangements that presently persist.”

    When I connected the dots it turned out to be a picture of Scooby Doo.

  40. stuart
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    No, wait! Sorry, make that a calendar . . . one where I can write down those prior commitments to temporal arrangements that presently persist.

    I’m glad I took those time management courses!

  41. Bob S
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    Yo Andrew, we’re just a simple dupe who detects a clear pattern and doesn’t like it.

    The pope as vicar of Christ exalts himself over Christ and his word and claims not only infallibility, but also supremacy, civil and ecclesiastical.
    OK, only the last these days, but maybe that will change, eh?

    Neither do we speak for John, but maybe the issue is the good works Rome requires to be saved is attending mass on the five holydays, and taking communion and going to confession once a year.
    As contra those who are to live by faith Rom. 1:17.
    But when it comes to something like obeying the Second commandment forbidding idolatry, ah . .. not so much. Rome picks and chooses when it comes to the ten commandments.

    And how much money are those Roman charities/hopsitals/orphanages getting from the civil magistrate?
    Could it be compassionate fascism?
    Nah, the Roman bride of Christ is impeccably spotless.

    There’s a reason for the skepticism.
    Rome’s reputation, not to mention the reality, as preceded you.

  42. Posted September 26, 2013 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Andrew M., and just imagine how pleasant the world would be if the Vatican had not sought the power of the Caliphate. Just because other usurpers of authority got it wrong, doesn’t make the papacy right.

    BTW, long before the Reformation, kings and emperors were kicking the papacy’s bloated conception of itself. Have you heard of Magna Carta?

  43. Posted September 26, 2013 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    M&M, such omniscience seems to come to those who cross the Tiber. And here I thought it was the papacy that had all that charism. It reminds me of Protestants who think they know God’s mind because they have a Bible verse.

  44. Robert
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    C’mon, Dr. Hart—everybody knows that former Protestants who swim the Tiber share in the gift of infallibility. The papal paradigm is generous that way, having helped them make the principled distinction and all. Whatever makes you feel better and all.

  45. Brandon
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Robert,

    You bigoted anti-Catholic, you. They don’t necessarily share in the gift of infallibility. They share in the gift of a principled distinction. Never mind that the principled distinction is built upon straw (some anachronistic, ahistorical conception of Christ “establishing” the Roman Church) and does not actually work in the world (see all of the incredibly varied opinions of bishops, popes (!), & laity).

    If there is disagreement, it’s because the principled distinction hasn’t been used yet; but don’t worry, it could be. If there appears to be historical discontinuity in the Magisterium’s teaching on doctrine or morals the principled distinction really comes in handy. The Magisterium can cut through the facts varied interpretations and provide you with an infallible pronouncement. The apologists themselves don’t possess infallibility, they just possess the “principled” means.

  46. sean
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Robert isn’t bigoted, just too carnal to get it. It’s supernaturally appraised after all.

  47. Posted September 26, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Mikelmann: Omniscience? Hardly. All that’s needed is to be aware of the recorded intentions of movement leaders, to observe their actions, and the results that follow. It’s also instructive to note what their present-day followers are willing to condone or excuse.

    But let me give an example: In previous times, Luther’s protest would have easily been dealt with. It just so happened that a theory of absolutism (involving among other things civil government’s independence from spiritual authority from the ecclesiastical hierarchy) had also arisen at the time. Luther’s 2K doctrine provided theological justification for the state to take over the Church’s internal government, with the result that various independent national churches were founded.

    Luther’s doctrines found a sympathetic ear among princes who were then able to use his popular influence to obtain support for their nation building projects.

    Darryl promotes 2K for his own purpose of preserving ecclesiastical purity, but he suppresses the fact that 2K was devised for the subordination of ecclesiastical to state control. Read the boys over at the Calvinist International. They know what’s up.

  48. Posted September 26, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    John:

    My point was not about individual Catholics…

    Stop your lying mouth right there. In this thread I already posted a list of almost 40 charitable organizations, run by many different religious orders, as well as by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. All this in New York alone.

    The Catholic Church’s charitable mission, directly and through her various apostolates, is unparalleled by any other organization.

    My point was about the official Roman church’s priorities — putting its own rules ahead of Christ’s commandment.

    More falsehood. The precepts of the Church are just that, commands issued by ecclesiastical authorities. They belong to canon law, which is subordinate to Divine Law and natural law.

  49. sean
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    ……… “Read the boys over at the Calvinist International. They know what’s up.”

    Ah yes, the bridge between FV and Rome. It’s a common thread.

  50. Posted September 26, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Darryl,

    Obviously, since you are able to extrapolate an (possible) earlier step in the progression I outlined, you understand the logic. You are quite capable of tracking how the mystery of iniquity has progressed.

    When are you going to convert to the Orthodox Church, the one church founded by Christ, then? The church you presently identify with was neither instituted, nor were its original ministers sent, by the Lord. Your ministers possess no divine authorization to proclaim anything to anyone outside the membership of your strictly voluntary & purely natural society.

    I, myself, chose Catholicism over Orthodoxy primarily because I clearly see how a particular principle of natural law complements orthodox Trinitarian dogma, i.e., the monarchia of the father & the single will of the Godhead. The principle is known to some as the “conservation of sovereignty.” In any ordered society the executive function devolves to a single will. Some individual somewhere must make the final decision. The buck has to stop somewhere.

    Responsibility cannot be shared. It can only be delegated by someone to someone else. Separation of powers is either subterfuge or controlled chaos.

    Since the Church is a society with a government it must possess something like the Petrine office.

    It’s time to accept the fact that Christ founded a Kingdom, and that his Church is constituted accordingly. Hierarchy. Succession. Order.

    Either this, or continue to embrace the apostasy.

    Allow me to close with the following quotation from Thomas Carlyle’s last great reactionary pamphlet, Shooting Niagara: And After? (1867):

    “All the Millenniums I ever heard of heretofore were to be preceded by a “chaining of the Devil for a thousand years,” — laying him up, tied neck and heels, and put beyond stirring, as the preliminary. You too have been taking preliminary steps, with more and more ardour, for a thirty years back; but they seem to be all in the opposite direction: a cutting asunder of straps and ties, wherever you might find them; pretty indiscriminate of choice in the matter: a general repeal of old regulations, fetters, and restrictions (restrictions on the Devil originally, I believe, for the most part, but now fallen slack and ineffectual), which had become unpleasant to many of you, — with loud shouting from the multitude, as strap after strap was cut, “Glory, glory, another strap is gone!” — this, I think, has mainly been the sublime legislative industry of Parliament since it became “Reform Parliament;” victoriously successful, and thought sublime and beneficent by some. So that now hardly any limb of the Devil has a thrum, or tatter of rope or leather left upon it: — there needs almost superhuman heroism in you to “whip” a garotter; no Fenian taken with the reddest hand is to be meddled with, under penalties; hardly a murderer, never so detestable and hideous, but you find him “insane,” and board him at the public expense, a very peculiar British Prytaneum of these days! And in fact, the Devil (he, verily, if you will consider the sense of words) is likewise become an Emancipated Gentleman; lithe of limb, as in Adam and Eve’s time, and scarcely a toe or finger of him tied any more. And you, my astonishing friends, you are certainly getting into a millennium, such as never was before, — hardly even in the dreams of Bedlam. Better luck to you by the way, my poor friends; — a little less of buzzing, humming, swarming (i.e. tumbling in infinite noise and darkness), that you might try to look a little, each for himself, what kind of “way” it is!”

  51. Robert
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Andrew,

    Luther’s protest would have easily been dealt with.

    Ah yes, the good old days of the papacy enforcing conformity by the sword. Did wonders for the world and the reputation of Christ.

  52. Posted September 26, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Sean: Escalante & Wedgeworth know what they’re talking about when they discuss 2K. I’m no disciple of theirs. Never have been.

  53. sean
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, that’s fine. It’s a long discussion, but in short-form, building out one’s w-w or understanding of covenant from a monocovenantal perspective leads to certain predictable conclusions about the state and the church and now has a heritage in contemporary american presbyterian (thank you CREC-Wilson/Leithart/Jordan) stretching from patriarchalism to constantinianism to finally, a latin-rite/Vat I type of embrace of RC. I have over a handful of personal anecdotal stories, and more by the year it seems.

  54. Posted September 26, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Robert,

    In every age, including our own, the civil rulers enforce communal orthodoxy by means of rewards & penalties, ultimately guaranteed by the threat of force.

    Christian nations have the right to defend themselves against their enemies, foreign and domestic.

    Your embrace of a divided Church and a destroyed Christendom practically guarantee the apostasy of the west & that less souls will be saved.

    All people like you can do is accuse the Church and your Christian ancestors, never acknowledging the good that was accomplished under the conditions they were laboring under.

    You’re a disloyal son and a mouthpiece for your father below.

  55. Posted September 26, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    No Sean. Bi-covenantalists can believe in the continuation of the cultural mandate after the Fall. It can easily be argued the mandate preceded & is distinct from the CoW. People leave your school of thought because they were never on board with your defeatist program.

  56. sean
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, tell me your going to cite/pray imprecatory psalms against us, and I will feel strangely warmed.

  57. sean
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    A bi-covenantalism that fails to recognize the severing of cult from culture as constituted before the fall, fails to account for the nature of the fall. And just as you now do, embraces a wounded nature in need of supernatural grace to proceed on with ontological renovation but now extending to social institutions ending ultimately in some form of individual divination and social transformation/conquering constantinianism.

  58. Chortles Weakly
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Sean, you are either a disloyal son OR a mouthpiece for your father below, I should think. Probably not both. Andrew may not have been able to see his screen well, given all the snot, saliva, and foam he seems to have slung upon it. Dougie, voice of moderation, wherefore art thou?

  59. Posted September 26, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Sean, you already have what you want & have already received bodily the due penalty of your error. The problem is, I have to live in this dystopia as well. Just look in the mirror and repeat over to yourself, We have the power now.

  60. sean
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, I am me. Which among other things, means I have no need of self-affirmation(i.e. I CLEPed out of all my self-esteem evaluations). That you live in my world in search of a nut is par.

  61. Posted September 26, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    A bi-covenantalism that fails to recognize the continuity that exists between cult and culture at all times, fails to account for abiding responsibility of man to acknowledge his Creator. And just as you now do, embraces a world-system immune to supernatural grace [in order] to proceed on with social destruction but now extending to individuals ending ultimately in some form of purely nominal salvation and value transvaluation/advancing progressivism.

    Face it, Sean, you’re just a liberal-progressive in sheep’s clothing.

  62. Posted September 26, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Sean, embrace the apostasy.

  63. Posted September 26, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Chortles, Cain was both Adam’s natural son and the serpent’s seed.

  64. Chortles Weakly
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Andy, embrace trolldom…unnecessary, you already have.

  65. sean
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, fortunately for me, your failure or mine, to self-consciously account for our abiding responsibility neither terminates our responsibility nor renders us helpless in those concerns outside the cult. Rom 2 NL. So, by either account, our depravity doesn’t necessarily reflect in temporal concerns just as our supernatural renovation doesn’t guarantee temporal improvement-abiding sin. What has been severed is the identity of the cult necessarily with the imago dei. Cult is privileged status not assumed(Israel-the church). So while God is sovereign over cult and culture he does not rule them in the same way-as example, see apostolic instruction in 1 cor. 5:9-12. Or even how your own communion practices the cult particularly since Vat II, separated brethren-invincible ignorance, elevation and sanctity of conscience to light given. Rome embraced modernity your cultic fealty to RC demands the same.

  66. Posted September 26, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Chortles, that’s all you ever were. I now return domination of this thread to its native inhabitants.

  67. Chortles Weakly
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Permalink
  68. sean
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    C-Dubs, I don’t know about you, but I think our ecumenical spirit is boss and deserves textbook status in Redeemer’s franchisee………..errr……. church planting materials for the city.

  69. Posted September 26, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, if it weren’t for the state, Protestants would have been dead (think Hus and Wycliffe). But if it weren’t for the state, the papacy wouldn’t have held onto its “temporal” lands for as long as it did (think Habsburgs and later Austria). No one is pure on this one (except for apologists).

  70. Posted September 26, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, I am a member of the church Christ founded (by his Spirit). What’s the problem?

  71. Posted September 26, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Sean, but when you’re using a Greek view of human nature, it’s easy (at least for RCs, not sure how FVs get there) to get around the legal constraints of the fall.

  72. Posted September 26, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    …your own communion practices the cult particularly since Vat II, separated brethren-invincible ignorance, elevation and sanctity of conscience to light given. Rome embraced modernity your cultic fealty to RC demands the same.

    Okay, one last comment since this was the point of Darryl’s original post. I see ways to accept all the aspects of VII you mentioned, rightly construed, that is, not contradicting the Church’s continuing practice & past pronouncements. This is presently being worked out.

    I know the score. The old Christendom is gone. The new one, should God grant it ever to come to pass, will necessarily incorporate those aspects to better assure the unconverted live unmolested by avaricious rulers who attempt to benefit materially under the guise of religion.

    I’ve spoken some pretty harsh words today, no doubt colored by my own vanity and sin. My primary intent was to sharpen the antithesis, what is at stake, to challenge complacent attachment to an atheistic system. A system which your false theology endorses:

    What has been severed is the identity of the cult necessarily with the imago dei.

    Contrary to this, the imago dei still retains the teleological imperative to acknowledge its prototype, the divine Logos.

  73. sean
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, I agree it retains the imperative, but the RIGHT to cultic status has been removed. That’s the idea of a chosen people or an elect people. It’s not our prerogative to assume it as fallen imago dei, but to be transferred to status of ‘kingdom people’ by way of the choice of God the Sovereign and the work of His Spirit because of His Son.

  74. Posted September 26, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    I never assumed the right. I assume the obligation and have been very clear about that. Kline’s anthropology is presented in such a way to undermine the Church’s commission to faithfully & publicly proclaim that all human beings everywhere are commanded to repent, confess, be baptized, and obey the laws of our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of all kings.

    Also, this is where your uni-dimensional predestinarianism goes awry. The gifts & calling of God are without revocation. It still remains proper to fatherhood for the father to function as the cultic head of his household.

  75. Posted September 26, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Darryl, The Spirit is invisible, the Church never was. You were baptized into the Church, now you must follow through and be perfected in your communion with her.

  76. Posted September 26, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Darryl,

    The Gospel is preached & Holy Scripture was written to be wielded by “men of God”, that is, men lawfully endowed with spiritual authority. Spiritual authority does not arise spontaneously out of the blue at random historical intervals. It descends horizontally (through time & space) and vertically (hierarchically) through the transmission of offices established by divine appointment.

    Apostleship is not a feature of any natural society. The Protestant ministry possesses—at best—a spiritual authority proper to consensual alliances of civil rulers or fathers. At best, it is participation in the natural priesthood of Adam. You yourself must confess that your rites effect no supernatural grace, therefore no apostleship conveyed through the laying on of hands.

    An office established by human arrangement is constitutionally incompetent to define dogma beyond the local level or even to deliver the Word of God to outsiders.

    That salvation is possible by means of imperfect ministries, I do not deny. The Spirit goes where he wills. Individual ministries are occasionally sustained/ enhanced by individual spiritual gifts. The type of spiritual power exerted is conditioned by personal factors, including personal performance. Scope is always local. Vitality inevitably declines as memory of fatherhood & kingship is eroded within the community.

    I finally tired of putting trust in princes, ad hoc leadership & human alliances. Tired of cursing the approaching darkness. So, I accepted the Catholic claims. I accepted that the Catholic Church as the visible yet supernatural society founded by Jesus Christ.

    For informed Christians, such as yourself, who understand ecclesiological issues, there are only a few live possibilities available.

  77. Chortles Weakly
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Seanity, I’m so full of ecumenical spirits that I often find them soaking through the hinder parts of my Genevan gown.

  78. Robert
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Whoa, Andrew,

    I freely acknowledge the good that Christendom has done. I have issues with 2K. But I also have issues with theonomy.

    The question is, will you freely acknowledge the evil done in the name of Christ by your church?

    Given the pedophilia scandal, I’m quite sure that I don’t want men with absolute spiritual authority holding absolute temporal authority as well.

  79. Posted September 26, 2013 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Robert,

    Good. But an absolutely essential point needs to be emphasized: Temporal rulers who govern societies based on Christianity have every right to keep persons or groups of competing religions/ ideologies/ heresies away from the levers of power. The king is the minister of God to reward good and punish evil, and evil includes–at the very least–public sacrilege & on-going efforts to turn the people away from the true worship of God.

    Not only can I admit wrongs individual Catholics or groups of Catholics have done, such as the rape of Constantinople, I can admit that at times various popes overstepped their spiritual authority to pressure temporal rulers to do specific things they liked. But if you want me to totally condemn the Crusades, Inquisition, or witch trials, no way.

    Given the pedophilia scandal…

    Yes, Catholic clerics committed pedophilia and there were institutional efforts to cover up/ do damage control. However, none of these occurrences have anything to do with official Church teachings or celibacy except that 81% of the victims were male.

    …I’m quite sure that I don’t want men with absolute spiritual authority holding absolute temporal authority as well.

    That’s Caesaropapism, not Catholicism.

  80. Posted September 27, 2013 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    Jason –

    Jason Stellman – September 23, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    To me, Francis is sort of the embodiment of the spirit of Vatican 2 which, whether one likes it or not, sought to alter the posture of the Church toward the outside world. The Church recognized that we’re in a kind of denominational, free-market religious context now, and we can’t just keep being arrogant pricks and expect to scare people into our ranks.

    It’s not about changing dogma, it’s about making love of God and neighbor our selling point, rather than mere pedigree or precision.

    Erik – Did he just say that Pre-Vatican II Catholics were “arrogant pricks”?

  81. Posted September 27, 2013 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    D.G. – It is as if he had read too much Gilbert Tennent and believed that new circumstances required new ministry measures.

    Erik – Nice.

  82. Posted September 27, 2013 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    We have a new Pope Francis update theme song:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KaWSOlASWc

  83. Bob S
    Posted September 27, 2013 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    I accepted that the Catholic Church as the visible yet supernatural society founded by Jesus Christ.

    No Andrew, you accepted the Roman version of the catholic church. Big diff there.

    Kings? Bible?

    1 Samuel 12:12  And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the LORD your God was your king.

    IOW the monarchy was not God’s first choice for Israel. Hmmm.

    Or how about An Assertion of the Government of the Church of Scotland, by George Gillespie.

    CHAPTER III.
    The first argument for ruling elders, taken from the Jewish church.
    That we ought to follow the Jewish church in such things as they had not for any special reason proper to them, but as they were an ecclesiastic republic.

    Not a hierarchy or a monarchy. Double hmmm.

    OK, that was the Old.
    In the New, Christ says,

     And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. . .
     But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. Luke 22:24,26

    Last but not least the doctrine of original sin, in that “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
    So Lord Acton, a Romanist who opposed the infallibility of the pope, in correspondence with Mandell Creighton after Acton had reviewed Creighton’s History of the Papacy in 1887.

    The rest of the story is that the context was that of how we ought to judge kings, popes and their respective crimes. (Yes, Virginia, we said “crimes”.) Acton essentially acknowledges that political and ecclesiastical tyranny accompany each other, the divine right of kings being analogous to the infallibility and ecclesiastical supremacy of the pope, never mind the temporal, the power of both doctrines having been broken, if not crushed and ground to powder, at the Reformation upon that stone of the infallible inspiration and authority of Scripture.

    Further if Paul states that the civil magistrate in Rom. 13 upholds the good and the magistrate was pagan pretty much across the board in his day, where does that leave us vis a vis 2K?

  84. Posted September 27, 2013 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    Andrew, [Citing me] My point was not about individual Catholics…

    You: Stop your lying mouth right there.

    Andrew, [Citing me] My point was about the official Roman church’s priorities — putting its own rules ahead of Christ’s commandment.

    You: More falsehood. The precepts of the Church are just that, commands issued by ecclesiastical authorities. They belong to canon law, which is subordinate to Divine Law and natural law.

    First of all, I was not lying in any way, and your accusation is … what do they say over there an ad hom?

    But that aside (since I am a forgiving soul, and I don’t hold up discussions over things like perceived logical fallacies), going back to our brief discussion about the “precepts of the church”, you fail to understand a distinction I am making:

    While “the corporal works of mercy” are things for which “God blesses” people (CCC 2443), these things are not required by the Roman Catholic Church. They are merely described and delineated.

    You may say that “canon law” is subordinate to divine law and natural law – perhaps in the source of their origins, but not in its practical effect.

    On the other hand, the “Precepts of the Church” (which, though they appear in Canon Law), are required of “the faithful” by the Church– and the failure to do, to accomplish these things is a grave (mortal) sin. A failure to do the “corporal works of mercy” is not a grave sin.

    This will give you some idea of the relative worth that Rome gives to its own authority and laws, as compared with the authority and laws it attributes to God and Christ. So yes, while, as you say “the day to day practice of the Church demonstrates a deep and abiding commitment to fulfill the second great commandment” – I’m not denying that these are good things and that Roman Catholics do them – post all the lists of “corporal works of mercy” that you want – officially, according to the “infallible Magisterium”, the “principled distinction” of knowing what’s been divinely revealed vs what’s merely human opinion, the “precepts of the church” have been promulgated by a council (Lateran IV 1215) and sanctioned by a pope (Innocent the Great).

    You, as a Roman Catholic, are officially bound in your behavior to do one, but not the other.

    You may, as a Roman Catholic, never once in your life perform a corporal work of mercy, and this does not count as a mortal sin to you. No confession needed. However, break one of the (admittedly changing) precepts, and you’ve got to scurry off to confession to confess a mortal sin.

    Now, with all the “new emphasis” on “new emphasis”, you may find yourself with an official “out”. But to my knowledge, that hasn’t happened yet.

  85. Posted September 27, 2013 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Andrew, have you heard of deceased saints and angels? Are they not part of the church? You’re not seeing with the eyes of faith, oh Corinthian, you.

  86. Posted September 27, 2013 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Andrew, just because your holy father held on to temporal power and networked with Europe’s political elites doesn’t make it right. Christ said his kingdom was not of this world. You don’t follow Christ.

  87. Posted September 27, 2013 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Erik, “we can’t just keep being arrogant pricks” sounds to me like a shot at Benedict, the audacious pope when Jason converted. So it’s not really about the papacy, it’s about what the papacy means to Jason.

  88. Posted September 27, 2013 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Richard Smith leaves, Tom Van Dyke arrives. Tom Van Dyke leaves, Andrew Matthews arrives…

  89. Posted September 27, 2013 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    I’m considering establishing some kind of Hall-of-Fame for the Extremely Annoying. I won’t charge people to get into the exhibition hall, but I’ll require them to pay to get out. I’ll make a fortune.

  90. sean
    Posted September 27, 2013 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Andrew, moral culpability doesn’t equal capacity. Our conflicting views of the fall, grace, merit and depravity means we now are just talking past each other.

  91. Robert
    Posted September 27, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Andrew,

    Your infallible church once thought Caesaropapism was the bomb. Funny how they changed their tune once they realized no one was buying into its temporal claims anymore. But that’s not a change. NO…..

    Whatever makes you feel better. Tell people their church is infallible in doctrine and it’s a whole lot easier to get them to cover up abuse and all sorts of other problems. After all, we wouldn’t want the faithful thinking the church isn’t infallible, now would we?

    When you guys start owning up to where the doctrine of infallibility actually leads, maybe some of us will take you more seriously. But if it makes you feel better, keep living in your dream world.

  92. Posted September 27, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Bob: God’s first best for Israel was to rule directly as king. In absence of theocracy, sacred monarchy is by far the best thing.

    Also, Acton tends to corrupt and an overemphasis on the dangers of power corrupts absolutely. Sovereign power is given by God, and is a good gift from Heaven.

    The problem of government is not how to restrict power; it is what order and methods are best.

  93. Posted September 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    John: You persist in speaking of individual Catholics when it is already demonstrated that whole departments, missions, and agents of the Church are dedicated to corporal works of mercy. The faithful are definitely encouraged to participate.

    The Church’s record speak for itself when it comes to the practical effects of the Precepts.

    When it comes to theory, your hostility to Rome causes you to misrepresent how the Church understands the hierarchical relationship between different kinds of law. Both Divine Law and natural law are superior to canon law, and the faithful are required to obey it. A neglect of any one of the corporal works may be a sin of omission, and sins of omission may be mortal.

    The Church doesn’t police the lives of the faithful in their daily lives. The faithful are commanded to participate in worship and accept her teaching on faith and morals. It is left to the individual to examine his conscience in light of the commandments before going to confession.

  94. Posted September 27, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Darryl, The Lord also said to Pilate, “Thou sayest that I am a king,” and “Thou hast no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.”

    So Pilate confessed that Christ was a king and even had the inscription posted on the cross. Therefore, earthly powers are capable of acknowledging Jesus’s lordship.

    The Kingdom of Christ is “not of this world” because it is above it, not because cultic fealty isn’t demanded from the temporal powers. Quite the contrary.

    Even now, you won’t acknowledge that all human beings everywhere are commanded to repent, confess, be baptized, and obey the laws of our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of all kings.

    Rather, you suppress and deny it.

    This is because your allegiance is to the present atheistic world-system.

  95. Muddy Gravel
    Posted September 27, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    AM has the charm of MVDM and the logic of DS. His brand of obnoxious seems more Protestant than RC. He could fit right in with the premills trying to pre-empt 666 tatoos.

  96. Posted September 27, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Sean: We perfectly understand one another. I agree with you in general about moral culpability and capacity, but even demons can confess that Jesus is Lord.

    When you deny that the “capacity” for cultic status remains, and mean something other than moral capacity, then you are saying the Fall fundamentally changed the chief end of man, i.e., the end for which he was created.

    You have embraced a novel and heretical anthropology because you prefer secularism over faith for life.

  97. Posted September 27, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Muddy, I went Reformed from Dispensationalism because I thought they believed in the lordship of Christ now. The rhetoric didn’t match reality. Just as the “priesthood of all believers” doesn’t. What I found out later is nearly all Reformed are hostile to formal arrangements of any kind of power. They are opposed to kingship and priesthood per se, therefore oppose the reign of Christ, therefore oppose Christ.

  98. Posted September 27, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    What MM thinks is *obnoxious* is music to my ears. But then I can say like King David, “Oh how I love your law! It’s my meditation both day and night”. M&M cannot.

  99. Muddy Gravel
    Posted September 27, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    AM & DS, you two should get together and complain about stuff. And conquer stuff, too.

  100. Muddy Gravel
    Posted September 27, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Doug, what do you think of Andrew saying “What I found out later is nearly all Reformed are hostile to formal arrangements of any kind of power. They are opposed to kingship and priesthood per se, therefore oppose the reign of Christ, therefore oppose Christ.” Haven’t you said this before?

  101. Posted September 27, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Andrew says: “I never assumed the right. I assume the obligation and have been very clear about that. Kline’s anthropology is presented in such a way to undermine the Church’s commission to faithfully & publicly proclaim that all human beings everywhere are commanded to repent, confess, be baptized, and obey the laws of our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of all kings.”

    Me: So well put! I can’t tell you how many times Old lifers cringe when I remind them that in days past God winked at sin, but now has commanded all men everywhere to repent. Old lifers get angry when I quote that Scripture, because it cuts across their R2K grain. It makes their brand of 2K look ridiculous. Which it is.

    Erik, thought I just made it up that verse not too long ago! Chortles the clown, actually looked it up and said “Doug is right” it’s in Acts 17:30

    To all at Old life, since that verse IS in the Bible, why not admit your folly to all, and quit this nonsense. Let’s quit making fun of people who take the great commission seriously.

    It’s obvious that no Old lifer has even thought about that verse, let alone comprehended it. Or else he would cease to be DG 2K follower.

  102. Posted September 27, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    M&M asks: “Doug, what do you think of Andrew saying “What I found out later is nearly all Reformed are hostile to formal arrangements of any kind of power. They are opposed to kingship and priesthood per se, therefore oppose the reign of Christ, therefore oppose Christ.” Haven’t you said this before?”

    Me: I would say “most” reformed men I met are hostile to to Christ’s kingdom transforming the world. In fact, most Old lifers mock the notion of transformation. I have yet to find ONE R2K man explain what the kingdom parables teach us about transformation. They act like those verses aren’t in the bible.

  103. Chortles Weakly
    Posted September 27, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    As if on cue, Dougzilla returneth. What were the chances that he would turn up in the buffet papist’s amen corner?

  104. sean
    Posted September 27, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, I mean capacity as regards ability. Dead in trespasses means just that, dead. I ain’t just wounded in need of assistance. God’s spirit blows where it wills and gives hearts of flesh for stone, but according to His choosing and His acting. The fall was worse than you imagine, while still retaining culpability for lack of conformity including cultic conformity. But, it’s not as though the dead have no regard for God, thus displaying imago dei imprimatur, they in fact hate Him and fear Him. They, in fact, act toward God but as enemies, unless God chooses for them to be otherwise.

    Furthermore, the picture given for those so chosen for the cult is one of a pilgrim existence, strangers in the land, sheep for the slaughter. There is coming a day, however, and may it come quickly.

    C-Dubs, as foretold, it was 100%. People gonna do what they do, it’s almost pavlovian.

  105. Posted September 27, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    CW – As if on cue, Dougzilla returneth. What were the chances that he would turn up in the buffet papist’s amen corner?

    Erik – Doug’s instincts and first impressions are, um, well, not great.

  106. Posted September 27, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Andrew — your suggestion that “the Church thinks corporal works of mercy are ok; therefore, lots of peopel engage in them”, is pretty lame, and has nothing to do with the point I am making.

    The Church’s record speak for itself when it comes to the practical effects of the Precepts.

    Quite naturally, Rome wants credit. That’s the way Rome is.

    When it comes to theory, your hostility to Rome causes you to misrepresent how the Church understands the hierarchical relationship between different kinds of law. Both Divine Law and natural law are superior to canon law,

    It’s not “My hostility” — I see with my own eyes. I never incorporated the “spiritual exercises”.

    So in theory, maybe Rome says “Divine Law and natural law are superior to canon law”. But that’s not the way it works in real life. Rome says lots of pretty things, but what it gives with one fork of its tongue, it takes away with the other. Its Jesuitical, and they’re quite good at it.

    The Church doesn’t police the lives of the faithful in their daily lives.

    Except for the priests asking you in the confessional if you use artificial contraception. Well, that’s the most direct policing, and probably the most recent. You being a noob, and what with the “new emphasis” on “new emphasis” and all, you probably never got your knuckles whacked by a nun with a ruler. In fact, you’ve probably never read any canons of any of the pre-Vatican II councils, so you’ve never really had to incorporate that sort of thing into your thinking. Rome is all about flower children now, peace and love and all that. “We are the world, we are the children…”

    A tribute to how effectively Rome has untethered itself from its own past.

    The only thing about Rome now is “Nothing else matters except that we say that we’re in charge, and you gotta obey us in that”.

    The faithful are commanded to participate in worship and accept her teaching on faith and morals.

    Right — the “Precepts” have a greater force in the lives of individual RCs than does God’s law. That’s what I’ve been saying.

  107. Posted September 27, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Sean, then maybe you can explain *why* God has commanded all men to repent and bend the knee to Jesus as Lord?

    You act like God’s saving election, either negates or contradicts his command that all men should repent.

  108. Robert
    Posted September 27, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Doug,

    Where have these guys said Christ doesn’t command people to repent? I see them not wanting to make the church a department of the state, but I don’t see them denying the need of people for the gospel.

  109. Zrim
    Posted September 27, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Doug, who’s making fun of taking the GC seriously? It’s when you confuse it (gospel) with the cultural mandate (law) that you’re brought in for critique. But maybe when Andrew’s theocratic dream of reviving monarchies comes true you can be the court jester.

  110. Posted September 27, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Doug, I’ve observed your interactions with these men in the past and appreciate your fine efforts. I’ve been registering objections with DGH off-and-on since 2006.

    The problem is, few of them actually know the Bible. My dear mother taught all the Bible stories to me from when I was little & I had to memorize Bible verses all through my youth.

    I may be Catholic, but the family is the domestic Church by virtue of baptism and competent to nurture children in the faith. It is competent to handle special revelation & transmit knowledge of it.

  111. Posted September 27, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, interesting to see your friendliness with Doug. So you’re the Roman Catholic theonomist?

    Where have I ever said that all men are not called upon to repent and believe? Sure they are. Kings and popes, though, get in the way of that call.

  112. Posted September 27, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Sean, there you have it. Andrew, channeling Pius XII, has spoken. The problem is that Andrew does not seem to be following his holy father.

  113. Posted September 27, 2013 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Muddy, AM and DS should also keep pressing on.

  114. Posted September 27, 2013 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Sean,

    I mean capacity as regards ability. Dead in trespasses means just that, dead…

    Okay, so that’s the same thing as moral capacity. We are agreed that prior to the Spirit’s quickening activity (Jn. 6:63) fallen man is unable to respond. Catholics call this prior work of the Spirit prevenient grace.

    …The fall was worse than you imagine, while still retaining culpability for lack of conformity including cultic conformity.

    Yes, good.

    But, it’s not as though the dead have no regard for God, thus displaying imago dei imprimatur, they in fact hate Him and fear Him.

    So the imago dei remains only in the sense that fallen man hates God? That seems a bit of a stretch.

    They, in fact, act toward God but as enemies, unless God chooses for them to be otherwise.

    Right. The difficulty here is knowing where anyone, professing Christians or not, actually are in the process of salvation.

    Furthermore, the picture given for those so chosen for the cult is one of a pilgrim existence, strangers in the land, sheep for the slaughter.

    You’re a long, long way from proving that it no longer remains proper to the office of father, king, or other ruler to protect & promote the true religion.

  115. Posted September 27, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Okay, John. Nothing Rome says or does matters (in our favor). Got it.

  116. Posted September 27, 2013 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Zrim, you mock the notion that Christ’s kingdom will cover the earth with the knowledge of God, That Christ wants all nations to serve him, in all areas. And you detest many of God’s penal sanctions found in his law, as though they were barbaric.

    You see, to say, “the unbeliever doesn’t believe the Bible, therefore I will not remind him of God’s written standards.”

    Just because the unbeliever doesn’t believe today, doesn’t mean we set God’s word aside, Zrim! We continue to plant seed, God does the growing! We speak God’s truth, God makes it come to life. You and DGH are naysayers, who need to read the Bible.

  117. Posted September 27, 2013 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Andrew observes: “The problem is, few of them actually know the Bible. My dear mother taught all the Bible stories to me from when I was little & I had to memorize Bible verses all through my youth.”

    Me: That is the plain sad truth! The longer I interact with Zrim and DG the more obvious it becomes, they simply don’t know the bible. Very sad, very sad…..

  118. Posted September 28, 2013 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Robert asks: “Where have these guys said Christ doesn’t command people to repent? I see them not wanting to make the church a department of the state, but I don’t see them denying the need of people for the gospel.”

    Me: Robert, many here at old life *think* that telling people that God has commanded all men to repent, is rude. They feel, “well if they can’t respond unless God first regenerates, why say God has commanded them to do what they cannot do”?

    It’s this twisted fallen logic that keeps getting them in trouble, much like a cat chasing it’s tail. They are acting as if God’s commands are Bible thumping, or just plain rude.

    That is push back I keep getting when I point out the *command* aspect of the gospel to the incredulous shrieks of protest here at old life.

    Here is the other biggie; if God has commanded all men to repent, then we *should* be praying for all men to repent, but old lifers chafe at that by saying to themselves, “God will save all for whom he shed his blood for, therefore I need not pray for the salvation of mankind”.

    That is a very un-Godly attitude imho……..Paul who taught us about saving election poured his heart out for his Countrymen the Jews, wishing that he could be damned, for the sake of Israel.

    The very opposite of how men at old life think and act.

  119. Posted September 28, 2013 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    Andrew says: “Doug, I’ve observed your interactions with these men in the past and appreciate your fine efforts. I’ve been registering objections with DGH off-and-on since 2006.”

    Me: Thank you very much brother! I know many people read these posts who never write a thing. I just hope to challenge enough Joshua’s and Caleb’s in the blogasphere who are willing to say, “If God is for us, who can stand against us?”

    No one at old life seems to understand that we are in a war, or what the war is all about.

    Pssssst, world conquest by the rightful king of kings!

    “Let all the nations serve him”

    “Let his enemies lick the dust”

    Onward Christian soldiers!

  120. Posted September 28, 2013 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    Robert asks,

    Where have these guys said Christ doesn’t command people to repent?

    To answer you and Darryl on this question, you have excised from the Gospel that all rulers and communities (not just individuals in their private capacities) to submit to the lordship of his Son. Therefore, you shall be accounted least in the Kingdom of Heaven (cf. Matt. 5:19).

    I see them not wanting to make the church a department of the state…

    Before the Crucifixion, the Church on earth was national Israel. The cult was a “department” of the state. At his Ascension, Jesus the son of Judah was raised above (i.e., to rule over) all authority and rule. What was once a natural society was transformed into a supernatural society potentially inclusive of all nations and families of the earth, not just national Israel.

    The historical progress of corporate election is thus:

    Seth (family)==>(Abraham (clan) ==>Jacob/Israel (ethnicity or people) ==>Moses (nation)==>David (kingdom)==>Jesus (church).

    Except for churches, all the types of human societies listed above can be founded by unregenerate men. A church is a higher association than any of its antecedents, and membership in it is only possible through Trinitarian baptism. Also, the Church has rites & offices quite unlike the offices possessed by natural societies: bishops, presbyters, & deacons.

    So, there’s another option beside turning the church into a “department of the state.” It’s to understand that the Church has spiritual supremacy (including responsibility to rule) over all the natural societies of the earth.

    “And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come, and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.”
    (Eph. 1:19)

    “To me [St. Paul]…this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles…and to make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery…that through the Church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.”
    (Eph. 3:8-10)

    “Know you not, that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? But if any man violate the temple of God, him shall God destroy. For the temple of God is holy, which you are…for all things are yours, whether it be Paul, or Apollo, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; for all are yours; and you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.”
    (1 Cor. 3:16-17, 22-23)

  121. Posted September 28, 2013 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    Andrew – Doug, I’ve observed your interactions with these men in the past and appreciate your fine efforts.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnkefjCES-4

  122. Posted September 28, 2013 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    Good word Andrew!

    It’s kind of funny to see a Catholic boy put old lifers to shame with your comprehension of God’s Word. At least you’ve read the Bible, and understand the plain meaning of those awesome verses you just quoted. Keep posting Scripture and you will be called a “Catholic Biblicist” LOL! LOL! LOL!

    God bless you, and keep pressing on!

  123. Posted September 28, 2013 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    Come on Erik, you can do better than that, no?

    Please shower us with your Biblical insights and show how Andrew read those verses amiss? How does name calling advance the discussion?

  124. Posted September 28, 2013 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    Erik, were you not so emotionally caught up in this R2K theology, you might recognize that I occasionally make a good points, based on sound Biblical exegesis. Try to be nice to me, God will bless you abundantly if you do, because I’m one of His.

    I’m here for you, if you have a question bro…………….

  125. Posted September 28, 2013 at 4:06 am | Permalink

    Andrew: Nothing Rome says or does matters (in our favor). Got it.

    Rome is quite bad. Even thought the Devil promised many good things, but there was quite the sinister element in it. Frankly, it seems to me as if you’ve bought into all of it.

    Here’s some further reading for you:

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/search?q=aggrandizing+rome

  126. Posted September 28, 2013 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Doug, you do know that Andrew is Roman Catholic, right?

    Andrew Matthews is Californian by birth. He was raised Plymouth Brethren, then moved to Anglicanism by way of the Reformed Christian community. Andrew is Roman Catholic and attends Blessed John Henry Newman Catholic Church, a parish organized under the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. He earned a B.A. in history from Cal State Long Beach and works as a health and safety professional in the roadway traffic control field. Andrew is not married and he owns no dogs.

    So what do you have in common other than being Californians with a manichean w-w?

  127. Chortles Weakly
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Cathlick Schmathlick – w-w and Xian America trumps doctrine for the odd couple.

  128. Robert
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Andrew,

    Except for churches, all the types of human societies listed above can be founded by unregenerate men. A church is a higher association than any of its antecedents, and membership in it is only possible through Trinitarian baptism. Also, the Church has rites & offices quite unlike the offices possessed by natural societies: bishops, presbyters, & deacons.

    Well, I’d say that bishops and presbyters are the same office in Scripture and that it is possible to be a member of the church invisible before one is baptized, but otherwise, okay.

    So, there’s another option beside turning the church into a “department of the state.” It’s to understand that the Church has spiritual supremacy (including responsibility to rule) over all the natural societies of the earth.

    Wait, I thought you didn’t like Caesaropapism?

    I’m not 2K to the extent of many commenters here, nor am I a theonomist. But the 2Kers are right that there are some responsibilites given to the church and some given to the state. Reading you it seems as if you want to give the sword to the church. Should heretics be executed at the behest of the church?

    Every time church and state have become intertwined, it hasn’t been good for the state or the church. The church starts thinking it has a divine sanction whenever it acts and the church has resulted to worldly means to accomplish its vocation. Widespread nominalism results and people whose theological views don’t toe the line in all respects to whoever happens to be on the throne become enemies of the state.

    It’s a naive view of sin that leads to people thinking intertwining church and state the way you seem to want to do is a good thing.

  129. Posted September 28, 2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    “a parish organized under the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.”

    Wow, cramped quarters.

  130. Posted September 28, 2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    If they are naming churches after Newman how long until they are naming them after Stellman? I could also see “The Church of the Holy (Bryan) Cross”.

  131. mikelmann
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    AM your ultimate commitment is to a conquering program. Not sure you are on the same page as Pope Francis. Have you tried Bahnsen?

  132. sean
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Andrew, just for ease, prevenient grace isn’t irresistible grace and still doesn’t function along lines of election. So again, dead is dead and not merely wounded or even just missing supernatural ability to enable cooperation.

    But when we talk cultic antithesis, we mean just that. Scripture doesn’t allow for ‘kinda loving God’ or ‘He’s aight’ kind of fealty. You’re either in the kingdom of God or the kingdom of Satan as regards cultic fealty(Augustine). It’s in the realm of a common fallen world that God, in His goodness, has seen fit to maintain, and then reaffirmed in the Noahic cov., that we need to exercise care in distinguishing between God’s goodness(rain falls on the just and unjust alike) and God’s favor unto salvation(elect in Christ). Furthermore, NL argues for remaining Imago Dei primatur, amongst ALL Imago Dei creation such that, as regards issues temporal NOT eternal(cult), even unregenerate Imago Dei creation is adequate to the task.

    Scripture talks to us of a pilgrim church not a conquering one, so while I’d rather prop myself up on thoughts of temporal triumph, scripture, sin and circumstance keep me humble and remind me to be sober. Again, however, there is a day coming. And Jesus will set all things aright. Until that day, patience, faith, hope and love are preeminent.

  133. Zrim
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Doug, not only Roman Catholic, but Andrew is also employed as a health and safety professional in the roadway traffic control field. You should let him know what goes on at truck stops so that through his vocation he might bring a better and better dominion. But, please, not here, since despite what you seem to think, old lifers are a little more old-fashioned and don’t care much for the graphic language that easily rolls off your theonomic tongue (hi, Alexander).

    ps you’re a model of what happens when the revivalist virtues of enthusiasm, passion, and sentiment are allowed to go unchecked and esteemed over confessionalist virtues of restraint and sobriety.

  134. Posted September 28, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Sean quips: “Scripture talks to us of a pilgrim church not a conquering one,”

    Me: Once again, Sean, have you ever read, more than one verse of Scripture? Try reading the kingdom parables, and quit writing such rubbish. Christ’s kingdom starts out small, like the smallest seed. But does it end there? Of course not! His kingdom shall have dominion! And not only in the eternal state, but in the here now and now. SLOWLY like leaven.

    Jesus is Lord, now! Jesus is king of kings, NOW! Get with the program!

    Sean, you are worse than a boot rookie, you SHOULD know better, but you don’t. You’re living proof that no parent in there right mind should their child to Westminster West Cemetery.

  135. Posted September 28, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Darryl, my world view allows me to recognize where lines are drawn in the conflict between God and the Devil for the world. By ceding the entire culture to the secularists you imagine you’ll be able to preserve cultic purity for your Christian community. Unfortunately, bargains with the Devil usually end with him owning your soul.

  136. stuart
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    “Unfortunately, bargains with the Devil usually end with him owning your soul.”

    Yeah, but you get the ability to really rip and shred on a guitar.

  137. Posted September 28, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Robert,

    You say

    Wait, I thought you didn’t like Caesaropapism?

    I don’t. I’m saying the Church exercises a spiritual supremacy. She promulgates teaching on faith and morals, but it is up to the civil power to apply these teachings in the particular.

    I’m not 2K to the extent of many commenters here, nor am I a theonomist. But the 2Kers are right that there are some responsibilites given to the church and some given to the state.

    And I agree with this also.

    Reading you it seems as if you want to give the sword to the church.

    My understanding is the Gelasian “two-swords” view. But the Lord said to Peter, “Put up thy sword.” Therefore, the Church is to allow the king to exercise the sword, and may not take up arms against him, even in self defense.

    Should heretics be executed at the behest of the church?

    Not at the behest of the Church. But if the king deems it necessary for the stability of the realm, I don’t have a problem with it.

    Every time church and state have become intertwined, it hasn’t been good for the state or the church. The church starts thinking it has a divine sanction whenever it acts and the church has resulted to worldly means to accomplish its vocation. Widespread nominalism results and people whose theological views don’t toe the line in all respects to whoever happens to be on the throne become enemies of the state.

    Your objection is well stated. And I intend to address it more fully tonight. But, for now I respond that our present-day rulers are acting as if they have divine sanction for their policies (sodomitical marriage, freedom of choice, anti global warming initiatives): “science”. They have killed millions of human beings in this pursuit.

  138. mikelmann
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, the devil offered a deal with Christ, but the offer was a worldly kingdom in the here and now. He turned it down. Now you want a do-over?

  139. stuart
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    “Rome is quite bad.”

    Andrew, I think that’s about as close to a complimentary statement about RC’s as you are going to get from folks ’round here.

  140. sean
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Stuart, that’s probably true. I do have a story about New Orleans and an oblate priest and parishioner that’s a humdinger though.

    Doug, remember the protocol, even if you’re feeling well and particularly if you’re feeling euphoric, you still have to take them. You’re starting to slur and conflate.

  141. stuart
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Doug,

    In an effort to meet you half way, I’ll grant you some of the kingdom parables do speak of expansion if you’ll grant me this . . .

    Mark 4:26-27

    And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how.”

    The seed of the Word is scattered and growth happens but we don’t know exactly how. Doesn’t sound like political action and man-made schemes expand the kingdom, huh?

  142. kent
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    He’s the self-appointed Nag of the board

    and you all know how much you enjoy nags in your life

  143. stuart
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I don’t know. The formula for every good sitcom involves at least one naggy type (sometimes more than one). Humor can be better when set beside nagging self-importance don’t you think?

  144. kent
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Nags are better appreciated on days off when I’m sipping a coffee (sometimes laced with Sambuca) and recharging the batteries.

  145. Posted September 28, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Doug – You’re living proof that no parent in there right mind should their child to Westminster West Cemetery.

    Erik – This may very well be the worst spelling and sentence structure I’ve ever seen.

  146. kent
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Could have stated: “you’re living proof that know parent in they’re write mined…”

  147. Posted September 28, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Doug is right up there on the annoying meter with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character in “Havoc”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5nCf-RAHZE

    Maybe the most annoying movie character I have ever seen.

  148. stuart
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Even worse . . . Yore liveng pruff dat know pairent en there wrote mined shuhd there chaild too Westminister Sementary.

  149. stuart
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    As for the annoying character contest . . . Jar Jar Binks, hands down.

  150. Posted September 28, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    I think the theme for the remainder of my life is going to be avoiding annoying people. I’ve taken to working alone so 8 hours of the day are good unless I annoy myself. When I am sleeping the other 6-8 hours I’m good. That leaves the other 8-10 hours that I’m awake and potentially in the presence of other human beings, some of whom are annoying. Right now I’m coaching 1st & 2nd grade flag football and a couple of the moms have proven to be annoyers par-excellence so I’ve got to solve that problem. Then there’s the fringe members and hangers-on that gather around Presbyterian and Reformed churches. World-class annoying. It’s an ongoing quest…

  151. Posted September 28, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Stuart,

    Funny that you mention that:

    http://literatecomments.com/?s=jar+jar+binks&submit=Search

  152. stuart
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    As long as you hang around Presbyies, I fear your annoyance levels will stay higher than normal. :-)

  153. Posted September 28, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Christmas & Easter Evangelicalism is looking better and better all the time.

  154. Posted September 28, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    My sins as a flag football coach include letting one boy on our team score four touchdowns (on four carries) and not realizing I was offering a daycare/babysitting service. How dare I.

  155. Posted September 28, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    I offered to step down and let any other parent on the team coach, creating an egalitarian utopia if they wish. Crickets. A few days later the complaints continue, however. Next game I’m not going to be happy unless he scores five touchdowns.

    Now I’m requiring a parent to accompany their kids to all practices and games, just to make sure there is no illusion that I am doing anything other than coaching x’s and o’s. They are responsible for caring for their own kid — I have four of my own to care for. Crickets again when I sprang that on them.

  156. Posted September 28, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Where do I buy one of the bubbles that people who believe that life should always be equal and fair live in? I guess Obama has tried to insert that bubble over the whole country for the last 5 years, so maybe it’s not their fault. How about working hard and earning things and living with the fact that some people will work harder, be more talented, and earn more than you? I don’t think we can start teaching our kids that too young. My dad never let me win games when I played him, and I am thankful for that.

  157. sean
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Erik, do what you want with coaching but no quitting or going back to evanjellyfish. It’s a long term hold.

    http://heidelblog.net/2013/08/reformed-is-enough-or-why-i-wrote-rrc/

  158. Posted September 28, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Sean,

    I won’t. Been there, done that. I just need to tune out our own head-cases.

    On coaching, moms are mainly the problem. Some women shouldn’t be let within a mile of a football field.

  159. Posted September 28, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    As long as I’m complaining, another thing that’s been bugging me as we’ve had these debates here is the mindset of those who want to point to external things like “Are your kids in Christian School?” or “Are you in favor of transformation?” as marks of being a good Reformed Christian. How about just looking at a person’s character?. Once a movement devolves to the point that people are checking off boxes to prove their own righteousness we have a problem. Kids can go to Christian school and then be smoking pot and getting drunk when no one is looking. Go to Dordt college and I imagine you’ll find a lot of this — probably unbeknownst to the parents who are just proud they have paid for their kids to be in Christian school for K-College. This stuff absolutely sucks and is a huge turnoff to me.

  160. sean
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Erik, whenever possible we set up the bench on the side of the field opposite the bleachers. Other than that, like you, we were always willing to hand off the responsibility. We didn’t get many complaints though. As an aside, what I remember most from coaching was the effect divorce/fathers had on their son’s performance. Boys who spent all season just taking up space, suddenly became world beaters the one game of the season their dad would show. Pretty telling.

  161. Posted September 28, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    This is why the Patrick Edouard scandal is so important for the URC to fully grasp and come to terms with. In Pella, Iowa, in one of the largest URC churches in the whole country, where everything appeared to be in good order, some of the most heinous sin that one can imagine took place. If we’re relying on external appearances and checking boxes to judge godliness, beware.

  162. Posted September 28, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Sean,

    If it weren’t for the boys there is no way I would be doing it. The parents are the problem. In Little League I had great parents, though, so it just depends.

  163. Posted September 28, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Our Confessions aren’t the problem — they’re the solution. Not much in the Confessions about Christian schooling, transformationalism, or a Christian Nation. That’s why we fight here.

  164. Todd
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Doug – You’re living proof that no parent in there right mind should their child to Westminster West Cemetery.

    Erik – This may very well be the worst spelling and sentence structure I’ve ever seen.

    Doug is reminding me of Homer:

    Apu: Welcome, steady customer. I see you are ready for the civil war re-enactment.

    Homer: I need some supplies. I keg of beer, and a six pack to hold me till I tap the keg.

    Apu: Here you go.

    Homer: Thanks. Are you sure you don’t want to come? In a civil war re-enactment we need lots of Indians to shoot.

    Apu: I don’t know what part of that sentence to correct first, but I cannot come.

  165. Posted September 28, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    These two discussions converge in pointing out how ridiculous the notion of transformationalism in this life is. The normal state of things that we experience is FUBAR because of the reality of abiding human sin. Every now and then we get a glimpse of heaven when people behave well or things work out as we plan. This is not the norm, though, and won’t be the norm this side of heaven. Mature people understand this. We have a lot of immature people in Presbyterian and Reformed churches, however.

  166. Posted September 28, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Todd,

    Fabulous as usual.

  167. stuart
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    “We have a lot of immature people in Presbyterian and Reformed churches, however.”

    I agree . . . mainly because I’m one of them.

  168. Bruce Settergren
    Posted September 28, 2013 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Hey Doug, which of the two kingdoms do you believe those (unreferenced) parables of the kingdom refer to?

  169. Posted September 29, 2013 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    I’m getting the distinct impression that some of the commenters here are trying to bury strong & weighty objections against W2K that have been leveled in this thread.

  170. Posted September 29, 2013 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    Sean, you write:

    Every time church and state have become intertwined, it hasn’t been good for the state or the church. The church starts thinking it has a divine sanction whenever it acts and the church has resulted to worldly means to accomplish its vocation. Widespread nominalism results and people whose theological views don’t toe the line in all respects to whoever happens to be on the throne become enemies of the state.

    This admirably encapsulates W2K’s objection to theonomy.

    The fact is though, the Church does have divine sanction for it’s actions, including to disciple nations not just individuals (Cf. Matt. 28:19). The difficulty is distinguishing what actions are sanctioned and what actions aren’t. It’s simply not the case that just because worldly methods have been resorted to that the goal was bad. Good ends can be pursued using improper means.

    It’s also a fact that the king has divine sanction for his responsibilities. According to St. Paul, he is a minister of God to reward good and punish evil. So, people who do evil, including corrupting the morals of the populace through propaganda campaigns, can be justly be punished when they transgress laws that prohibit such campaigns.

    The weightiest objection appears to be that nominalism results when government favors religion. Sure, this can happen. It is doubtful whether it is as widespread as imagined, however. The reason why any religion would be integrated into a legal code, though, is because it already has the support of the general public.

    Finally, for those who care what the Bible says, Israel kept falling into idolatry either because their kings practiced it or because they failed to suppress pagan cults:

    1 Kings 3:3: And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the precepts of David his father, only he sacrificed in the high places: and burnt incense.

    1 Kings 12:32: And he appointed a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, after the manner of the feast that was celebrated in Juda. And going up to the altar, he did in like manner in Bethel, to sacrifice to the calves, which he had made: and he placed in Bethel priests of the high places, which he had made.

    1 Kings 13:33: After these words Jeroboam came not back from his wicked way: but on the contrary he made of the meanest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he filled his hand, and he was made a priest of the high places.

    1 Kings 15:14: But the high places he did not take away. Nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect with the Lord all his days:

    1 Kings 22:44: Nevertheless he took not away the high places: for as Set the people offered sacrifices and burnt incense in the high places.

    2 Kings 12:3: But yet he took not away the high places: for the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.

    2 Kings 14:4: But this only, that he took not away the high places: for yet the people sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.

    2 Kings 15:4: But the high places he did not destroy: for the people sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.

    2 Kings 15:35: But the high places he took not away: the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places: he built the highest gate of the house of the Lord.

    2 Kings 16:4: He sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places and on the hills, and under every green tree.

    2 Kings 17:9: And the children of Israel offended the Lord their God with things that were not right: and built them high places in all their cities from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.

    ***

    The message is loud and clear for those who have ears to hear.

    Allow me to quote one more passage:

    1 Cor. 10:11: Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

    The gravest danger is, and always has been, the allure of false religion. Nominalism is a problem for non-believers, not for the elect.

  171. Posted September 29, 2013 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    Mikelmann says,

    “your ultimate commitment is to a conquering program. Not sure you are on the same page as Pope Francis. Have you tried Bahnsen?”

    My ultimate commitment is to the supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Here’s something from Pope Francis’s encyclical Lumen Fidei:

    “There is an urgent need, then, to see once again that faith is a light, for once the flame of faith dies out, all other lights begin to dim. The light of faith is unique, since it is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence. A light this powerful cannot come from ourselves but from a more primordial source: in a word, it must come from God. Faith is born of an encounter with the living God who calls us and reveals his love, a love which precedes us and upon which we can lean for security and for building our lives” (emphasis in the original).

    Put that in your peace pipe and smoke it.

  172. Posted September 29, 2013 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    Robert & Sean,

    I beg your pardon. My comment posted September 29, 2013 at 4:38 am was addressed to Robert, not Sean.

  173. Posted September 29, 2013 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    Andrew – I’m getting the distinct impression that some of the commenters here are trying to bury strong & weighty objections against W2K that have been leveled in this thread.

    Erik – Sometimes the tinfoil hat gives false readings.

  174. Posted September 29, 2013 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Culture war militancy from a guy who’s current leader is trying to outdo Bill Clinton and Barack Obama for the role of global liberal-in-chief. That’s the distinct impression you should be getting.

  175. Posted September 29, 2013 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Francois Hollande called and said the Pope might want to sound a little less Progressive.

  176. Posted September 29, 2013 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Sean,

    You write:

    prevenient grace isn’t irresistible grace and still doesn’t function along lines of election. So again, dead is dead and not merely wounded or even just missing supernatural ability to enable cooperation.

    So what? You’re evading the issue, which is whether your postlapsarian anthropology annihilates the telos originally intrinsic to the imago, which is to conform to the Logos.

    You’re either in the kingdom of God or the kingdom of Satan as regards cultic fealty(Augustine).

    So what? The responsibility to serve God, not merely guilt for not being able to serve, remains. When I was Reformed I discovered that W2K confused a lot people about this. If you, in fact, deny the abiding (intrinsic, not just extrinsic) responsibility to serve, please put yourself on record and say so.

    Again I ask: the imago dei remains only in the sense that fallen man hates God?

    It’s in the realm of a common fallen world that God, in His goodness, has seen fit to maintain, and then reaffirmed in the Noahic cov., that we need to exercise care in distinguishing between God’s goodness(rain falls on the just and unjust alike) and God’s favor unto salvation(elect in Christ).

    I never bought into W2K’s anemic view of the Noahic covenant, but be that as it may, yes, there is general grace and particular grace. So what?

    Furthermore, NL argues for remaining Imago Dei primatur, amongst ALL Imago Dei creation such that, as regards issues temporal NOT eternal(cult), even unregenerate Imago Dei creation is adequate to the task.

    Sure, the imago in fallen man is not sufficient in itself to serve God, but it is a prerequisite, right?

    Scripture talks to us of a pilgrim church not a conquering one,

    You err because you do not take other scriptures into account:

    “For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.”

    Whoa! There’re those “high places” again!

    “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty to God unto the pulling down of fortifications, destroying counsels, and every height that exhalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every understanding unto the obedience of Christ; and having in readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience shall be fulfilled.”

    so while I’d rather prop myself up on thoughts of temporal triumph, scripture, sin and circumstance keep me humble and remind me to be sober.

    The charge directed against transformationalists, theonomists, and others, i.e., that their motivation is for temporal glory and not God’s glory, unjustly demeans the character of their faith.

    Again, however, there is a day coming. And Jesus will set all things aright. Until that day, patience, faith, hope and love are preeminent.

    What’s unloving in telling people they’re commanded to bow the knee to Jesus and obey his laws? Why am I impatient or lacking in faith (or hope or whatever) in the second coming when I say what the Bible clearly teaches: a) the Church is engaged in a contest for spiritual supremacy in the world, and b) rulers ought to promote and defend the true religion in their lands?

  177. Posted September 29, 2013 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Erik: Whenever you want to say something that isn’t totally idiotic, go ahead.

  178. Posted September 29, 2013 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Andrew,

    How does any of your spiel make sense in light of your conversion? In case you haven’t noticed, you are a member of a church that is all about retreat since Vatican II, up to and including Pope Francis’ statements within the last few weeks. Your thoughts might receive a warm welcome in certain Presbyterian and Reformed circles (witness your recent love-fest — not a truck stop love fest, mind you — with Doug), but they aren’t exactly in step with the church you are a part of now.

    Since you and Doug are both single and ready to mingle and living in California you might want to do brunch sometime.

  179. Posted September 29, 2013 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Pretty much everything you mention above can be accomplished through prayer and a humble posture instead of one of arrogrance, stridency, and militancy. Probably my biggest problem with transformationalists and theonomists when it comes down to it is that they come across like white, middle-aged, cranky a-holes. What a winning combination to win people over.

  180. Posted September 29, 2013 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Andrew, so in your quest for cultural purity, have you come up with a language that Christians can have all too themselves? Oh wait, speaking in tongues.

  181. stuart
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    “I’m getting the distinct impression that some of the commenters here are trying to bury strong & weighty objections against W2K that have been leveled in this thread.”

    I’m getting the distinct impression that some of the commenters here are taking themselves a little too seriously on this thread . . . and I apologize for doing so.

    From now on I will try not to be do serious.

  182. stuart
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    “to be do serious”

    Sounds like an alternate dimension villain of Scooby Doo.

  183. Robert
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    This is for the avowed 2Kers, a question I’ve always had:

    I tend to view myself as a bottom-up transformationalist. That is, the church preaches the gospel and, if the Lord wills, large numbers of people are converted. It is because of that conversion that society is transformed. I.E., because people art truly being sanctified, society as a whole begins to be improved simply by the effect of people endeavoring to live to God’s glory. Granted that determining what it can mean to live to God’s glory in each individual life can be hard to determine, would 2Kers have a problem with a schema like that?

  184. Posted September 29, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Robert,

    But have you noticed that in the church, the one “society” in which we would expect to see sanctified people getting along well, there is still a lot of strife, brokenness, getting mad and leaving, etc. If we don’t see anything approaching full transformation there, how in the world do we reasonably expect to see it in society at large? Go pick out 10 Americans at random and ask them a page of questions on theological and moral issues and get back to me. Even those who claim to be Christians will likely be all over the map. And no, Rome is not the answer. Ask 10 Catholics the same questions and marvel at the different answers.

  185. Posted September 29, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Stuart,

    With that avatar you are not in any danger of being taken too seriously. See also: Tom Van Dyke.

  186. Muddy Gravel
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    “they come across like white, middle-aged, cranky a-holes.”

    Whoa, just hold on there with treating them all the same.

    They’re not all middle-aged.

    I’ve never met a black theonomist. They look at theonomy as a kooky white-guy thing with weaponry thrown in. Like Lawrence Welk packing heat.

  187. Posted September 29, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Robert,

    And even if I accept your hypothesis, in the words of Chinua Achebe, “Things Fall Apart”. The Netherlands may have been a glorious, thoroughly Christian society during the day of Kuyper (note “may have”), but how long did that last? Where are they at today?

    In every Pella there is an Edouard. Sin, like The Dude, abides.

  188. Posted September 29, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    If we can lose the triumphalism and political agendas and approach people with the gospel humbly, one sinner to another, we might just get somewhere. Think small ball.

  189. Robert
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Erik,

    You’re right, of course. I’m not sure we can point to any era where this has happened. And I agree on approaching people with gospel humbly, and I’m not advocating a society free of ills. Sin will always be a problem. I guess the thing that is hard for me is that sometimes 2kers come across as hopelessly depressed about the future and what God could do. I think transformationalists err by saying what God will certainly do.

    Sin abides. I would think, though, that in a society where the gospel has thoroughly penetrated, there would be enough strictures in place to make sure that when people go bad, such as Edouard, it isn’t covered up and is dealt with promptly.

    Just thinking a bit out loud here.

  190. kent
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    When coaching high school hoops, if the boys were up 40 points on an opponent, the starters usually asked to come off and let the scrubs take over. The girls wanted to continuing a full court press right to the end, didn’t see anything wrong with trying to win 100-2.

  191. kent
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Andrew, I know you honestly mean well but these little chats have been done to death 1000 times over now.

  192. kent
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Robert: “It is because of that conversion that society is transformed. I.E., because people art truly being sanctified, society as a whole begins to be improved simply by the effect of people endeavoring to live to God’s glory. Granted that determining what it can mean to live to God’s glory in each individual life can be hard to determine, would 2Kers have a problem with a schema like that?”

    Not a problem at all with that.

    Don’t judge us by the jokers who take potshots at us on here. They don’t have a ruddy clue what we believe and teach.

    They have 6 beams in their eyes and think it’s funny or helpful to point out the…. you get the point…..

  193. Posted September 29, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Erik,

    If we can lose the triumphalism and political agendas and approach people with the gospel humbly, one sinner to another, we might just get somewhere.

    You confuse politics with meta politics, for lack of a better term. Christianity operates on a meta political level. King of kings, Lord of lords, etc.

    Sure, love and humility go a long way. Pope Francis is seriously attempting to do and be this. However, on a less public, more individual, level there are already signs he’s started vigorously cleaning house. Eventually, the Church’s enemies are going to figure out he isn’t going to change anything.

    Meanwhile, my purpose here is to contrast the dishonesty and cowardice of W2K with the glorious gospel of the Kingdom.

  194. kent
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Andrew: Meanwhile, my purpose here is to contrast the dishonesty and cowardice of W2K with the glorious gospel of the Kingdom.

    One joker leaves and another takes his place and thinks he has something new to say.

  195. stuart
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Dishonesty and cowardice, huh?

    Now that is a weighty argument worthy of consideration! I mean, unsubstantiated false witness always wins points in any debate, right?

  196. stuart
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    “With that avatar you are not in any danger of being taken too seriously.”

    Awwww, maaaan! You mean I’m not giving off that intellectually superior air of wisdom and sober-mindedness? ‘Cause that’s what I was shooting for!

  197. Posted September 29, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Muddy,

    Meet Peter Jasper Akinola (born Abeokuta, 27 January 1944), former Anglican Primate of the Church of Nigeria.

    While in office he actively supported criminalizing gay organizations and any publicity, procession or public show of same-sex amorous relationships/ behaviors.

    In 2006 in response to Muslim rioting, Akinola issued a statement in his capacity as President of the Christian Association of Nigeria: “May we at this stage remind our Muslim brothers that they do not have the monopoly of violence in this nation.” Some criticized this statement as inciting Christian counter-riots against Muslim targets in Nigeria (for example, Christian mobs in Onitsha retaliated against Muslims, killing 80 persons and burned a Muslim district with 100 homes).

    Theonomy doesn’t make sense to most blacks in the U.S.A. because issues of race & racial oppression overwhelm every other consideration. In Africa, it’s a different story.

  198. Posted September 29, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Embrace the apostasy, Kent. Breathe it in deep. Tug at the last strap, set your lord & master free.

  199. Posted September 29, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, so we can’t quote Scripture selectively but you can quote Francis when it’s convenient? What’s up with that?

  200. Posted September 29, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Andrew comes off as someone who is located on the ideological scale somewhere between The Baylys and Fred Phelps…within Rome. Appealing…

  201. Posted September 29, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Andrew,

    You must have been nuts about Idi Amin.

  202. Zrim
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Robert, instead of hopelessly depressed it my be thoroughly realistic about the way the world and its Creator ordinarily work. And so it may be that some 2kers see more biblical warrant for (and common sense in) the preservation of the natural order than what appears to be the religious fantasy of its improvement.

  203. Posted September 29, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    The Heidelberg refers to this life as a “vale of tears” for good reason. We need to embrace that and have expectations in light of it.

  204. kent
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Robert, most of the members on here are well read in the WCF and/or 3FU and we don’t go around stating an exhaustive recap of every detail of our faith. We take it for granted that those who profess to subscribe already hold hundreds of the same theological views, until they prove to strike a very very wrong note in their contributions here.

  205. Muddy Gravel
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, in my neck of the woods they do Civil War re-enactments. Doug does something like that, but it’s like a theonomic village re-enactment. For two weeks they have festivities like burning witches, re-trying Servetus, and, in confused ecumenical re-enactments, they do an inquisition and a crusade as well. The week’s festivities are topped off by putting a DGH character in stocks in the town square. They start off in one church and then, following modern theonomic practices, they splinter into a dozen churches for an average church size of three. Then they go back to shlep their regular lives of the same jobs the rest of have and quietly try to keep that theonomic feeling alive by reading Bahnsen, and loitering at truck stops.

    But now, what about you? You call people cowards so I’m wondering what your Bravery Resume is like. Other than fantasize about the good old days that you wish you could replicate, what do you conquer on a day-to-day basis?

  206. Bob S
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Erik, you need to fine tune the tinfoil hat. Edouard was not Dutch. Just sayin.
    (Immature folks in the P&R church? Can we tell by the acronyms we use? First Grim and now . . .)

    Andrew, what a work you weave when you aim (inadvertently to be sure ) to deceive. You’re getting the jesuitical dialectic down pat and should be trophy status/headliner material over at CtC any day now. Tell Bryan OL sent you.

    IOW to review the bidding, you tell us Israel fell into idolatry due to the practice of the kings – but Rome hasn’t fallen into the same due to false doctrine, if not the pope?
    Come on. Get serious.

    That not to mention that as a papist you are arguing for a monarchy and hierarchy which never obtained in the OT church and was not the first choice for the state. Go figure.

    Further, the prophets, priests and kings of the bible were all typical of the one great prophet, priest and king, the Lord Jesus Christ and now we need to have – separation of powers what’s that? – a pope that is supreme in both the temporal and eternal realms. Uh huh.
    Lord Acton is one of yours, much more total depravity is scriptural. Deal with it.

    Neither does Rom. 13 refer to a king per se, but to the civil powers that be, which as pagan in Paul’s day can hardly be expected to hold up the true religion, though they could adequately enforce the civil good in that reformed have generally distinguished between Christ as God over the state and Christ as Redeemer over the church.

  207. Posted September 29, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Andrew – Sure, love and humility go a long way. Pope Francis is seriously attempting to do and be this. However, on a less public, more individual, level there are already signs he’s started vigorously cleaning house. Eventually, the Church’s enemies are going to figure out he isn’t going to change anything.

    Erik – So in other words, even viewing Francis in the most favorable light, he’s being sneaky, sly, and pulling a bait-and-switch on people. In other words, par for the course for the Roman Catholics we tend to encounter here.

  208. stuart
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    MG,

    I know I shouldn’t be, but I am strangely drawn to participate in the theonomic village re-enactment. It sounds like fun for the whole family. I was going to Disney World with the kids, but TVR sounds much better. I was getting tired of It’s a Small World and Space Mountain anyway.

  209. Posted September 29, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Bob S. – Edouard was not Dutch. Just sayin.

    Erik – I don’t know exactly what your point is. Are you making a racial comment? Maybe share your last name if you are going to go there.

  210. kent
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Do theonomists build little gas chambers and electric chairs in their doll house re-enactment of when they get to take over the world and execute anyone who disagrees at all with them?

  211. Posted September 29, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    The point with Edouard is not to beat up on him but to use him as an example of how little-qualified the Church is to transform the world. We’re all not too far from being Edouard ourselves — certainly we commit the same sins in our hearts each day. Do we view a hospital as an entity of transformation? Of course not. The church is a hospital for sinners. And guess what sinners do when they join a church? They keep sinning. That’s why we practice church discipline. We have our hands more than full just helping each other stay in line.

  212. kent
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    We get up each day and do our job and tend to our family and be decent citizens and go to church on Sunday and engage in spiritual disciplines throughout the week.

    And sometimes we get an opportunity to share our faith, but mostly not during a given week.

    And we realize that others have different gifts and talents and personalities that are suited for other tasks.

    And don’t place too much faith in flesh and blood to be perfect examples or teachers to us.

    And praise when well and pray when hurting.

  213. Robert
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Zrim

    ,Robert, instead of hopelessly depressed it my be thoroughly realistic about the way the world and our Creator ordinarily work. And so it may be that some 2kers see more biblical warrant for (and common sense in) the preservation of the natural order than what appears to be the religious fantasy of its improvement.

    What is that old line about how all pessimists are realists? :)

    I guess it just depends on what is meant by improvement. I just think that as peoples become Christians and truly love their neighbors, society will improve. Which, unless I’m wrong, doesn’t seem to be that opposed to what you guys are saying. I’m not talking about “taking America back for Christ” and other such things. Mainly the improvement of society as people cultivate biblical values in their own lives. I know you guys don’t like “worldview thinking” all that much, and I agree that there is a lot of nonsense proclaimed in the name of such thinking. But surely there is a distinctly Christian worldview. I’d just say that pinning it down in all it’s specifics isn’t nearly so easy. I’d say the Nicene Creed is the Christian worldview, or, better yet, the Westminster Confession and catechisms.

    But I agree with y’all that the church is inept at transformation. I’m Reformed because I think the church is inept at most things besides Word and sacrament, and even there our history isn’t so clean. (That’s said a bit tongue in cheek, though there is some seriousness there.)

    I guess what I’m saying is that as Christians work unto God’s glory and disciples are made, their leaven will affect society. But the church needs to be careful about prescribing how this should happen, if it says anything about it at all.

  214. Zrim
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Robert, the only (cleaned up) line I know is, “No, I’m not a pessimist. At some point the world dumps on everybody. Pretending you haven’t been dumped on makes you an idiot, not an optimist.”

    I get the bubble-up theory. The problem is that reality makes hash of it. Christianity has had two-thousand years now. One would think given that amount of time and with the boost Christendom gave the world’s condition would be fantastic. I suppose you could point to all sorts of good things to prove that faith has made social improvement, but I could point to just as many ills. I’ve done this with many a neo-Cal here at ground zero for all things transformationalist, and it usually just reveals the neo to be saying he really likes 21st century America. I do, too, but only because it’s mine, not because it’s better than any other time and place.

  215. stuart
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    ” and it usually just reveals the neo to be saying he really likes 21st century America. I do, too, but only because it’s mine, not because it’s better than any other time and place.”

    Oh, I don’t know. If I could prove the advent of streaming video and iProducts were connected to the advance of the kingdom, I might be a hard-core transformationalist too.

  216. stuart
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    “I guess it just depends on what is meant by improvement. I just think that as peoples become Christians and truly love their neighbors, society will improve.”

    I think this is a “yes” and “no” kind of thing. Yes, there is a sense in which a “Christianized” area (that is, an area in which most people are Christians) will have some “saltiness” about it that preserves some of what is good. But there are also the issues of continuing sin in the lives of Christians (our sanctification is not perfected in this life), the realities of living in a fallen and cursed world (weeds still grow in my yard no matter how “holy” I am), and simple longevity (if this generation is godly, the next may not be).

    My biggest problem with transformationalist views is the issue of how “the kingdom” comes. Does Christ usher in the kingdom and its fullness, or is it mainly up to us? Praying “Thy kingdom come” sounds like a call for God to act first and foremost, but somehow we make the kingdom about what we do instead.

    I get it, though. Redeeming the city sounds sexy. Unfortunately most Reformed and Presbyterian folks I know are not. So maybe we should stick with what we should know.

  217. Posted September 29, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Robert,

    I think you have to ask yourself (1) what you mean by “societies”, and (2) if you realize just how big societies are. You also have to ask just how much solid, biblical preaching is penetrating society. Whenever there is a preacher who appears to be “reaching” a lot of people, they tend to be pretty lame (i.e. Joel Osteen). In other words, preachers who are popular and reach the masses do so because they tell people what their itching ears want to hear, not because they preach the Law & Gospel straight up. Normally, best case, people are bored by that kind of preaching. Worst case, they are repelled by it. I know I’m raining on parades here, but I have to call it as I see it.

  218. Posted September 29, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    As far as “Christianized” areas go, I’ve heard there is a lot of porn in Grand Rapids. True or false?

  219. Zrim
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Erik, if by porn you mean churches then true. If not and by a lot you mean no more or less than any other place then true again (probably, I don’t keep tabs on porn in the world).

    ps I will say that GR is the best looking place I’ve been, which either means there’s something to this transformation jazz or I just need to get around more.

  220. Bruce Settergren
    Posted September 30, 2013 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Hey Zrim, give a cruise around the near NW side of GR and see what the lack of big Dutch money has accomplished.

  221. Posted September 30, 2013 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    A guy who grew up there and who once had a big porn collection told me that. Now he’s a transformationalist culture-warrior evangelical par excellence. He didn’t speak well of his Grand Rapids sojourn. He said the main thing his neighbors were concerned about was that his family mowed their lawns on Sunday.

    http://stevedeace.com/

  222. Posted September 30, 2013 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    Orange City is pretty nice looking, but so is Ames. I’ve evidently closed my eyes to the plight of the cities as I’ve never lived anywhere bad.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3EUJWMWeqg

  223. Robert
    Posted September 30, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Erik,

    I think you have to ask yourself (1) what you mean by “societies”, and (2) if you realize just how big societies are. You also have to ask just how much solid, biblical preaching is penetrating society. Whenever there is a preacher who appears to be “reaching” a lot of people, they tend to be pretty lame (i.e. Joel Osteen). In other words, preachers who are popular and reach the masses do so because they tell people what their itching ears want to hear, not because they preach the Law & Gospel straight up. Normally, best case, people are bored by that kind of preaching. Worst case, they are repelled by it. I know I’m raining on parades here, but I have to call it as I see it.

    Good questions. I acknowledge the complexity of societies within societies. I’m not trying necessarily to draw a straight line or anything, just pushing a bit back against what I see to be the failing of some versions of 2K theology: That is, that you all rightly see the problems and difficulties with the Christian Coalition and the modern American evangelical endorsement of all thing Republican but then swing the pendulum too far to the other side. But I appreciate the discussion.

    As far as preaching penetrating society, I’m certainly not saying that solid biblical preaching is currently penetrating society, but this comment reads to me as if you think it would be impossible for it to do so. I don’t know how, then, you can explain the Reformation (taking into account, of course, the political support it had as well).

  224. Zrim
    Posted September 30, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Bruce and Erik, by good looking I mean people. But I think that owes more to Dutch genes than theories.

  225. Zrim
    Posted September 30, 2013 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Robert, one way to explain it is that the Reformation was an ecclesiastical reform, not a societal one. And even as an ecclesiastical reform, it didn’t exactly do for the church what transformers think faith can do for society, which is to say make all things harmonious (reform brings division, which Paul says must exist to know where truth lives). Which is why when I hear worldviewers claim that increased faith will lead to an improved society, it sounds an awful like when the paradigmers claim an infallible interpreter will bring a unified church. In other words, a disconnect between theory and reality in an immanentizing of the eschaton sort of way.

  226. Robert
    Posted September 30, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Zrim,

    Well, if transformer means makes all things harmonious, then I’m not a transformer.

    True, the Reformation was primary ecclesiastical in nature, but are you saying the Reformation of the church had no effect on society? Maybe you don’t want to call it improvement or transformation, but it’s pretty hard to look at the U.S. Constitution and not see Presbyterianism, at least in the court system.

  227. Posted September 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Robert – That is, that you all rightly see the problems and difficulties with the Christian Coalition and the modern American evangelical endorsement of all thing Republican but then swing the pendulum too far to the other side. But I appreciate the discussion.

    Erik – No, I see problems in Presbyterian & Reformed churches. As in, it’s practically a full-time job for church officers to keep them on the right track, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for cultural transformation. Talk to Sean sometime about life in the PCA. Our own URC has had to deal with multiple divorces, teen pregnancy, excommunications, weird people, etc.. And this is with one of the best young preachers in the country.

  228. Zrim
    Posted September 30, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Robert, but it’s also pretty hard to read the diverse religious affiliations of the authors and founders and think that one of them (Presbyterianism) was the pre-dominant civil template, especially when most were Episcopalian and Anglican. Much easier to read the WCF/3FU and see Presbyterianism.

  229. Robert
    Posted September 30, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Zrim,

    Agreed. Which is why I would never say that America is a Presbyterian country, or even necessarily that it should be.

  230. Robert
    Posted September 30, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Erik,

    Point taken, and I agree. That’s why I would say a “bottom up” transformation. If churches get their acts together and become true lights and true salt in the culture, I just don’t see how effects are not inevitable. Quantifying these effects. however, is a whole other matter. That is where full-on postmillennialists and theonomic transformations go wrong.

    All I am trying to say is that Christians are good neighbors and serve the Lord in their vocations, culture changes. I’m not calling for redeeming the city or any other such thing.

  231. Bruce Settergren
    Posted September 30, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    I don’t get it.

    The unregenerate can be and often are better neighbors and do better jobs at their calling. Why wouldn’t the unregenerate be able to bring about the same affect, assuming there even is such an affect? For all we know, the present pleasant state of the culture can be predominantly attributable to the transformative effects of Exxon Mobil, Tiger Woods foundation, Johnny Appleseed etc.

  232. Robert
    Posted September 30, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Bruce,

    I guess the question I would have is if the unregenerate person is acting on unregenerate principles when he is being a better neighbor than the regenerate person? Sometimes the unregenerate, in their outward conduct, act more regenerate than the regenerate person does. Why, though, is that the case?

    These things are exceptionally hard to quantify. The main issue I have is that some advocates of 2K come across as assuming the gospel will have absolutely no effect on the wider culture. I’m not saying that y’all believe that, but it’s how it comes across sometimes.

    I say this as a friendly critic, and not as a Doug or Andrew.

  233. Posted September 30, 2013 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Robert – Point taken, and I agree. That’s why I would say a “bottom up” transformation. If churches get their acts together and become true lights and true salt in the culture, I just don’t see how effects are not inevitable.

    Erik – I don’t mean to bust your chops here, but my ongoing point is that churches aren’t going to get their acts together. They haven’t since Paul wrote his epistles up to and including the present. They were, are, and will continue to be full of sinful people. In spite of this the gospel is preached and some are saved from hell. That’s all I hope for. What happens or doesn’t happen in society depends on a lot of factors, but I don’t think whether or not churches get their act together is a large part of that. I would concede it’s maybe a small part.

  234. Posted September 30, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    My atheist friend Hector Avalos would say that the number one thing that churches could do to make society better is to disband. Sell all the real estate and stop paying the pastors and administrators and use that money to feed the poor. What is our argument in rebuttal if societal improvement is the goal of religious efforts?

  235. Posted October 1, 2013 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    Erik proclaims: ” I don’t mean to bust your chops here, but my ongoing point is that churches aren’t going to get their acts together.”

    Me: LOL! So now you’re a prophet? A false prophet more likely. If the church is never to gets it’s act together then why did Jesus make great and amazing promises, if they did? Was Jesus hood winking us? Was Jesus just yanking our chain about something that will never happen? Did Jesus make false promises? According to Erik, yep!

    Try re-reading Jesus words to the 7 churches in Asia Minor? Jesus promised that if the church repented and came back to her first love that he would empower them to accomplish many things by there trust and obedience. Are you saying Jesus was lying?

    Erik, where do you get off saying the church will never get it’s act together? Who made you the judge? Show me that concept taught in the Bible, because I haven’t seen it anywhere.

    Robert, you have every reason to smell a rat! Keep asking good questions!

  236. Posted October 1, 2013 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    Erik, what is God’s number one priority?

    How about, “hallowed by thy name”?

    What name Erik?

    Now, here Jesus teaches us that the number one thing we should be praying for, is that the true name of God would be hallowed by the world.

    And Erik’s verdict? It will never happen!

    So why did Jesus tell us to pray for that, Erik? >sighsighsigh<

    Where do you come up with this pap?!

  237. Posted October 1, 2013 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Robert, I’m a friendly critic as well. Off times my simple minded brothers veer off the biblical path and are in need of a good spanking, metaphorically speaking of course.

    Much like unlearned children they need to be reminded of God promises. And when God makes a promise, he keeps it.

    God promised that our faith will overcome the world. Try asking DG or Erik what that means, if you want a good laugh, because they have no idea………

  238. Posted October 1, 2013 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    Robert,

    Looks like help has arrived…

  239. Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    Erik pontificates: “What happens or doesn’t happen in society depends on a lot of factors, but I don’t think whether or not churches get their act together is a large part of that. I would concede it’s maybe a small part.”

    Me: Oh? Then why did Jesus say that if we lose our saltiness, we will only be good for being stepped on by the feet of our enemies? What does that mean to you, Erik? Have you considered Jesus poignant warning?

  240. Robert
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Erik,

    I agree it looks unlikely that the church will get its act together. Even if it did, I’m not sure what that would look like in the broader society. I could see a scenario wherein vast numbers of people become truly converted but all that happens is that the government becomes even more beastly and oppressive to them.

    Like I said, I think that those who are full-blown transformationalists promise too much. I just think that sometimes you guys expect too little. I’m not trying to deny that sin will always be present in the church, and I am wary about having too high a view of what people in Christ can accomplish because of remaining sin.

    What can I say, I’m just an optimistic amillennialist or a pessimistic postmillennialist (is there such a thing?).

  241. stuart
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    I had a seminary prof who said an optimistic amellennialist is a post-millennialist who doesn’t have the guts to admit it.

  242. Petros
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Erik, many of your points of pessimism are well-made, but would you comment on historical phenomena like this:

    http://www.churchplantingwiki.com/index.php/wiki/Prayer_-_J_Edwin_Orr_-_The_Role_of_Prayer_in_Spiritual_Awakening/

    “The social impact was astounding. For example, judges were presented with white gloves, not a case to try; no robberies, no burglaries, no rapes, no murders, and no embezzlements, nothing. District councils held emergency meetings to discuss what to do with the police now that they were unemployed.”

    While, regrettably, this type of “transformation” effected by the gospel is not the norm, neither is it unprecedented. Your thoughts?

  243. Zrim
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Ding to Stuart’s sem prof.

    But, Robert, speaking of profs, doesn’t the Teacher sound like a realistic amil when he says, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Not exactly inspiring for the bubble-up-inside-outer, but to the extent that it captures the reality of created life east of Eden, it warms some 2k hearts.

  244. stuart
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Ecclesiastes is a good antidote for the over-realized eschatology of transformationalists. Maybe all seminaries ought to require a class on that book. Just don’t use Longman’s commentary.

  245. Posted October 1, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Robert, no one *knows* what the future will look like, just keep walking with eyes of faith brother. My hope rests in the promises of God, not how I can connect the dots. Read what the *real* prophets have to say about the kingdom of God. They are awesome pictures if triumph. See Psalms 72. Since God put those prophecies in King Davids heart, I see no reason why God won’t make them happen. Onward with your optimism, it’s all found in God’s Word.

    Keep pressing on!

  246. Posted October 1, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Stuart, try reading Douglas Wilson’s “Joy AT The End Of The Tether”, his verse by verse commentary on Ecclesiastes. It’s marvelous! And it’s awesome! And who is more post mill than Wilson?

    Warning to all: We all need to be humble because no one knows exactly what the kingdom will look like just prior to Christ’s return.

    @Stuart: Who are you to say anyone has “over realized” anything? None of us are God! Just read the prophecies found in God’s Word about the slow overwhelming growth that are found in Ezekiel. First a tiny steam, then up to the waste, then it turns into an mighty river than no one can pass through. How can we pessimistic if we take the Bible seriously?

    Keep pressing on!

  247. Posted October 1, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    @Stuart: Are you willing to concede that God transforms the world through the gospel?

    If yes, then why don’t you call yourself a transformationalist? Isn’t that basic Christianity 101?

  248. Posted October 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Amen Petros!

    I wouldn’t hold your breath on Erik commenting on the gospel transforming society, although I’m hopeful. It would bless my soul if the men at Old life finally repented and confessed that the gospel does in fact transform people for the good. Too many here at old life hate that truth taught in the Bible.

    Too many men at Old life mock with derision the notion that God is slowly transforming mankind back to him. When the kingdom parables teach that exact concept.

    Keep pressing on!

  249. Posted October 1, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Stuart says: “I had a seminary prof who said an optimistic amellennialist is a post-millennialist who doesn’t have the guts to admit it.”

    Me: Funny, but when Jim Jordan attended Seminary back in the late sixties *all* amellennialsts were optimistic! There was no such thing as this *new* pessimistic breed of amill believer. And what has this new breed of pessimists spawned? A bunch a men who mock the way God says he will conquer the earth, slowly, like leaven. Yet, that is clearly found in God’s word.

    What I see, is a bunch of men who walk by sight, not by faith, and mock men who try to walk by faith. And it’s truly sad.

  250. Posted October 1, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Stuart, who can say anyone is over realizing anything, since none of us knows what it will look like?

  251. Posted October 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Erik observes: “The Heidelberg refers to this life as a “vale of tears” for good reason. We need to embrace that and have expectations in light of it.”

    Me: True, but our tears are not in vain! The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church. Sure while we live in our mortal bodies, there will be trouble, but God promises that all things work for our good, for those who love the Lord, and are called according to his purpose. It will all work out for the glory of God. This is why Erik, you have been commanded to rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all circumstances.

    Stop your pessimism!

  252. stuart
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Hi Doug.

    Fair warning: I’m the weakest link of the 2k chain, so I’m probably not the best guy to try to debate. I’ll most likely say something overly ridiculous ’cause I don’t take myself that seriously. So you’re probably barking up the wrong tree in engaging me. You should do what the rest if these guys do and tolerate my out in left field statements.

    That said, however, I think any view of the kingdom is “over-realized” if we think we are the ones who bring it in. Christ inaugurates and consummates his kingdom. It’s his kingdom and we’re just living in it. We have a part to play in that kingdom, yes, but any lasting “kingdom change” (see, I can dig the lingo of kingdom as an adjective!) comes from him not us.

    As for Ecclesiastes, I’ll look into reading Wilson’s take. It can’t be much worse than Longman’s.

  253. Posted October 1, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Kent wonders: “Do theonomists build little gas chambers and electric chairs in their doll house re-enactment of when they get to take over the world and execute anyone who disagrees at all with them?”

    Me: No. theonomists only believe in enforcing the general equity found in God’s law. If you have a problem with theonomy take it up with God. We’re just the messenger.

  254. stuart
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    What tears will be wiped away at the advent of the new heavens, new earth? I’m guessing they must be tears of joy over all the good stuff we’ve done in transforming the world.

  255. Posted October 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Hi Stuart, I don’t think we bring the kingdom in, but we are co-workers with God. We plant the seed, God gives the growth. Consider Isaiah 9:6

    For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
    and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

    Me: here is the biggie:

    verse 7: “Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end,”

    Me: You see Stuart? It’s God who gives the increase of peace! And speaking of peace, and of the increase of peace, there will be no end.

    Can you see by this verse alone, how one should be optimistic?

  256. Posted October 1, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Remember Stuart, it’s God who transforms, not us. YET God calls us to be co-workers with him. How can people be saved if no one preaches? So our works done in faith have eternal consequences. Even in tears, we can have joy.

    P.S. I guarantee you will love Wilson’s book on Ecclesiastes.

  257. Posted October 1, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Robert, much of my issue with transformationalism is that it sounds like cheerleading for the home team (like Jason and the Callers). We can cherry pick all the good things of history and chalk them up to Christian or gracious influence. But — not to go all expert on you — historians know better (at least when they are doing their best to understand how societies and persons develop). And even among historians it is very difficult to arrive at criteria that will allow everyone to assess a social setting and tally up the influences of Christians, secularists, government, families, economies, etc. Too often what passes for evidence of the gospel’s transforming influence strikes me as grandstanding. Christians need to be humble. Transformationalism does not nurture it.

  258. Chortles weakly
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Dougzilla, Erik may or may not be a prophet…but I am!!!! I proclaim that you are going to keep ranting theonormically until you keel over or your wife pillows you in your sleep. As I came to understand about my son (in a different way), so it is with you — it’s not a phase, it’s a personality type. And, yeah, I made up a new word, you theonormer, you.

  259. Chortles weakly
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Theonormity, if you will. Sorta rhymes with enormity and deformity. And I’m going with the small-w “weakly” from now on, because it’s, you know, weaker.

  260. Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Doug, I don’t know about you, but I have overcome the world. I don’t need the world to be transformed to trust that Christ has triumphed over Satan, the world, sin, and death. Oh you of little faith.

  261. stuart
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    I’m as optimistic as a Reformed and Presbyterian guy can get when it comes to the gospel of Christ. And I’m certain the consummation of the kingdom will be beyond our imagination. It’s what’s between the advent of the good news and the consummation that gives me pause not to get too giddy about cultural transformation.

    It’s too bad Isaiah 9:6-7 isn’t the only passage in the Bible. But then there are these other pesky passages like 2 Timothy 3:1-7 . . .

    But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

    I believe Paul’s words just as much as I believe Isaiah’s.

    Now I have to get back to my job. Feel free to carry on the debate without me. You can even sign in with my name if you’d like and use me as your foil. Like so . . .

    Doug: Don’t you see? This passage of Scripture is optimistic about the future so you should be too.
    stuart: You know I never thought about it that way. I guess you’re right.
    Doug: Of course I’m right! I always am!
    stuart: Really? I guess I never thought about that either. Boy, you sure are giving me a lot to think about!
    Doug: Of course I am. I’m the voice of reason in this fog of 2kiness.
    stuart: You know, I was feeling a little foggy today while reading this blog. But then it went away. I thought it was the two cups of coffee that did it, but now that I think about it, it may have been your comments all along!
    Doug: Yes, listen to me and all will become clear.
    stuart: I listen to you and all will become clear.
    Doug: Yes, that’s what I just said.
    stuart: Yes, that’s what you just said.
    Doug: Stop copying what I say and think for yourself.
    stuart: Stop copying what you say and think for myself.
    Doug: Argggghhhhhh!
    stuart: Argggghhhhhh!

  262. Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Darryl Hart asks: “Doug, you do know that Andrew is Roman Catholic, right?”

    Me: Darryl, I have many Christian friends that are Roman Catholic, as well as other Christian denominations. I asked you a year ago, if you consider Bryan Cross your brother in Christ, and you said, “my tradition tells me I can’t”, or some such nonsense. Remember, Calvin made up with the RC’s doctrinely, before he died. Sadly, his fellow Protestants were so dug in, as well as many RC’s, that they would not listen to him

    I will answer my own question. I consider Andrew a brother in Christ who from what I know of him, has a much better handle on God’s word, than you. He’s not snarky, and he uses Scripture in context to bolster arguments. You? Ha! You never seem to use Scripture unless your yanking it out of context. Of course that’s only my opinion. But I consider Andrew part of the body of Christ; do you????

    If you do, then why all the snark?

  263. kent
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Doug: I will answer my own question.

    Good thing I was sitting down when I reading that one.

  264. Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Doug, you need a check up from the neck up if you are weeping blood.

  265. Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Doug, you’re kidding, right, about Calvin making up with Rome doctrinely? The ideas that bang around in your brain are breathtaking.

  266. Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    DGH attempts: “Doug, I don’t know about you, but I have overcome the world. I don’t need the world to be transformed to trust that Christ has triumphed over Satan, the world, sin, and death. Oh you of little faith.

    Me: Darryl, it’s God who has determined that he will transform the earth back to him, slowly. It’s God’s will, regardless what you think. You need to get with God’s program of transformation, since it’s all through Scripture. And you as usual twisted my words, I never said that I need the world to be transformed, to trust in Christ. But if you trust in Christ, then you must also believe in the transformation of the world, if you believe the Bible.

  267. kent
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    I’d love to change the world
    But I don’t know what to do
    So I’ll leave it up to Doug Sowers

  268. Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    DGH, it was “Elder Hoss” over at Greenbaggins who claims that he read where Calvin made up with the RC’s, and no one contradicted him. Not Bryan Cross, nor any Presbyterians. Say what you want about Elder Hoss, but he’s no liar. So I take him at his word.

    And for you to talk, Darryl, you were guy laughed off of Greenbaggins for your faulty perspective of Machen. So you are the guy under the microscope when it comes to misrepresenting people, not I.

  269. Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Kent, it’s not that I want to change the world. It’s God’s will that the earth will slowly be transformed back to him. It’s God’s program you’re fighting, not mine. All we need do is to trust and obey, God takes care of the growth. And yes, as we are faithful, God accelerates the growth.

    Much like when Israel was faithful to God, they’re enemies were pushed back. So when we are faithful, and quit mocking God’s program (slow transformation), our enemies are pushed back as well.

    Quit mocking God’s program of transformation, please!

  270. kent
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    This world will be burned.

    Maybe a few things will be preserved in the new one.

  271. Chortles weakly
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Well, if Elder Hoss said it who am I to disagree? What did Deacon Little Joe and Elder Adam have to say?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2-zD5lj8Hg

  272. Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Doug, oh, so you follow Elder Hoss. Yes, he is a fine judge of the historical record. Keep pressing on.

  273. Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Kent, that is a wooden reading of 2nd Peter. Hint: Jesus baptism is one of fire, right now! It speaks of restoration, not a literal fire! The old order ended in 70AD

    In other words, almost no one believes the world will literally be burned up, just like no one believes the moon will start bleeding. You need to take a class on understanding Biblical imagery.

  274. Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Don’t put words in my mouth DG. I said Elder Hoss is not a liar, Big difference!

  275. stuart
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Against my better judgment (oh who am I kidding, I have no better judgment), I’m giving in to my curiosity . . .

    Who is Elder Hoss? Is he like a Mormon transformationalist or something?

  276. Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Look Mr. History Professor, either Calvin wrote that he came into agreement with the RC’s best theolgians or he didn’t. Elder Hoss evidently knows more about Calvin than you becasue he’s read it. It’s not his opinion.

    Moreover, you were dragged kicking and screaming until enough quotes were given to prove Calvin was my kind of theonomic guy, as was his mentor Martin Bucer.

    For a while, you wouldn’t admit that fact!

    I’ll keep the light on for you, keep pressing on!

  277. Posted October 1, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Stuart, Elder Hoss used to blog over at Greenbaggins back in 07 to 2010. While Elder Hoss was NOT FV, he was sympathetic to much of what they had to say. And he was a wealth of historical knowledge, as I have just pointed out.

  278. Posted October 1, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and Stuart, What Elder Hoss said regarding Calvin, took Bryan Cross and CTC guys by surprise. In fact, he shocked everyone, but as I recall he had the sources to back up his claim.

    It just goes to show, often times our traditions omit some inconvenient truths.

  279. Chortles weakly
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    So Elder Hoss was NOT FV in the same way that Mussolini was NOT A NAZI? Is that it?

  280. Posted October 1, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Stuart, if you are interested, I can give you some excellent posts to read if you really want to bone up on the FV controversy. I have gone back and read all the FV posts from 06 to present at Greenbaggins.

    Elder Hoss, could not only write better than DG, he was ten times smarter, and twice as witty.

  281. Posted October 1, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Come on Chortles, don’t just take cheap shots from the peanut gallery. Go back and read him for yourself. Make one non-sarcastic point, even if it’s for the first time in your life!

  282. Chortles weakly
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Doug, nothing in your manner, carriage, presentation, vocabulary, punctuation, humility, or grammar invites sarcasm or cheapshottery. I believe any allusion to nuts is appropriate, though.

  283. stuart
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the offer, Doug, but boning up on FV is not on the top of my list today. Maybe next Tuesday . . .

    I simply let my curiosity get the best of me about Hoss the Elder, aka, 10x2xDG Hart.

    I am glad to know that the Reformation (at least Calvin’s part in it) was all just a big misunderstanding, though. Too bad 99.9% of Presbyterians and Catholics didn’t get the memo.

  284. Posted October 1, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Ahhh Chortles the clown, what would life be like without your constant jesting?

    Moreover, your such a fine judge of character, but if your going to call me nuts, make it cashews, they’re my favorite!

  285. Posted October 1, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Doug, why do you believe Elder Hoss and not me? Could it have something with the fact that you agree with him?

    Also, I never had trouble acknowledging that Calvin’s Geneva did not protect civil liberties the way the U.S. does (and did in 1789). But you have never comprehended the difference between Geneva and the U.S.

  286. Posted October 1, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Stuart, if you are interested, Elder Hoss’ revelation was a Copernican moment for Doug and fellow theonomists. Folks who study history for a living know nothing of Elder Hoss’ finding.

  287. Posted October 1, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Your welcome Stuart,

    But look at how far we’ve come! I think we all admit that there are born again Christians in both camps. It’s not an anathema to belong to any group today. IOW, instead of calling Rome the anti-Christ, we have now modified our terms by calling them mistaken on some important issues. I believe the CTC boys are my brothers in Christ.

    And I don’t think, Bryan Cross thinks we’re going to hell, merely by being Protestant. IOW, he was still in Christ before he swam the Tiber.

  288. Robert
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Dr. Hart,

    On the prospect of sounding like the Callers:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7X8FqFrGpA0

  289. Posted October 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    DGH, Elder Hoss’s revelation had nothing to do with theonomy, Moreover, I have no idea IF Elder Hoss holds to a theonomic perspective or not.

    So as per usual, you are off base, and not funny :(

  290. kent
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Why would I pay any attention to the Apostle Peter when I go and read Boss Hogg or whoever he is.

  291. Posted October 1, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Doug, okay, but your view of Geneva’s relation to the American founding has prompted a few snickers.

  292. Chortles weakly
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    It’s a hard, lonely, wind-swept range that Dougles and Hoss ride. A man can start a-seein’ and imaginin’ things after a while, I reckon.

  293. sean
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Whoa Doug, I’m not sure that lithium and underarm androgen roll on aren’t contraindicated.

    But maybe you might not want to be so reliant on comboxes for your edumacation. Darryl, has earned his benefit of the doubt, the rest of us including elder Hoss pay cash.

  294. Posted October 1, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    DGH querries: “Doug, why do you believe Elder Hoss and not me?”

    Me: Darryl, are you joshing me? When I first met you, you were laughed off of Greenbaggins with dersion, by Presbyterians! No one (except Zrim and Todd) took your cock and bull account of J. Gresham Machen as true.

    Machen was all about a Christian world view, with the gospel transforming society something you despise with a purple passion.

    So why would you write a tall tail on J. Greham Machen that is so laughably easy to disprove?

    The balls in your court, add out.

    P.S. You’ve lost any benefit of doubt, you are dead wrong imho

  295. Posted October 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Sean, you’ve finally made the big time! You were mentioned at Ironlink.org a few weeks ago!

    Side note, it wasn’t flattering, because they quoted you making *another* foolish statement, but what ‘else is new, eh? So Christendom is dead huh? LOL! LOL!LOL! LOL! As Gump’s Mom once said, “stupid is, as stupid does.”

    Put that in your R2K pipe and smoke it! Just don’t inhale.

  296. Posted October 1, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Doug, you are delusional. Time for the lithium.

  297. Posted October 1, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Kent, please do pay attention, you are misreading Peter worse than a fundie. Do you really think the moon has blood in it as well? Or were you not paying attention to Jesus?

    ..

    The majority of reformed scholars do not believe that the earth will literally be burned up. Go ahead and stay in the minority if you wish. After all, one can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink…

  298. Posted October 1, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Back at you Darryl, times ten!

  299. Zrim
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Doug, she also said life is like a box of chocolates–you never know what you’re going to get. Lame line, but with you now devolving to a new layer of asinine saying Calvin made peace with the Roman church, it seems fitting. Plus the lameness, also fitting.

    ps re your use of tennis terms, “ad out” means Darryl’s up.

  300. kent
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    doug;Kent, please do pay attention, you are misreading Peter worse than a fundie. Do you really think the moon has blood in it as well? Or were you not paying attention to Jesus?

    What are you talking about?

    I wanted to add a few extra words there, believe me.

    Get help, you are messed up bad.

  301. stuart
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Where is this wise Elder Hoss that I may go to him and learn from him the ways of Calvin as RC enthusiast?

    I’m sorry this Hoss guy sounds like a cheesy version of Mulder from the X-files. The truth is out there!

  302. Posted October 1, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    The incomparable Glenda Mathes recaps the recent PCA General Assembly:

    http://ascribelog.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/pca-ga-deja-vu-on-many-issues/

  303. sean
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Doug, me making Irondink is like U2 playing sunken gardens. I still expect the gate however.

  304. Posted October 1, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Has anyone read the fiction of Peter DeVries?

  305. Posted October 1, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Erik, yes. I read Slouching toward Kalamazoo a year or so ago. He’s good. Very mid-twentieth century American culture in sensibility. Calvinism haunts DeVries.

  306. Posted October 2, 2013 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    D.G.,

    Any love for the Pirates in the playoffs?

    Iowa’s football coach and former governor are Pennsylvanians so they are rooting them on.

  307. Posted October 2, 2013 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    Petros,

    What happened? If I went there today would I find the same conditions?

  308. Posted October 2, 2013 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    Doug,

    As much pressing on as you do you might have a real future in a Chinese laundry in San Fran.

  309. Posted October 2, 2013 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    Stuart,

    Be very wary of Doug’s offers to help you “bone up” if it involves you meeting him at a truck stop.

  310. Posted October 2, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    DGH concedes: “Too often what passes for evidence of the gospel’s transforming influence strikes me as grandstanding.”

    Me: Who cares how it *strikes* you? You probably would have *thought* it was grandstanding when the walls of Jericho came tumbling down, and the people cheered. Darryl, you reason like a natural man.

  311. Robert
    Posted October 2, 2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Dr. Hart,

    Robert, much of my issue with transformationalism is that it sounds like cheerleading for the home team (like Jason and the Callers). We can cherry pick all the good things of history and chalk them up to Christian or gracious influence. But — not to go all expert on you — historians know better (at least when they are doing their best to understand how societies and persons develop). And even among historians it is very difficult to arrive at criteria that will allow everyone to assess a social setting and tally up the influences of Christians, secularists, government, families, economies, etc. Too often what passes for evidence of the gospel’s transforming influence strikes me as grandstanding. Christians need to be humble. Transformationalism does not nurture it.

    Point taken, and I certainly agree that it is difficult. I guess I’m just talking about painting with the broadest brush possible, and most hardcore transformationalists seem to want to get overly specific. I don’t know. It just seems to me that it is one thing to acknowledge that we need to be humble and careful about how Christianity has influenced culture but another to look at the West in comparison to other societies and say there is no possible way we could ever know that any of the cultural differences between the West and the other parts of the world are attributable to the influence of Christianity/the Bible on the broader cultural understanding. It seems to me that a lot of 2Kers come across as stating the latter even if they don’t mean to necessarily.

    True, a lot of transformationalism comes across as baptizing the things we like in the name of Christ, and that is certainly something all should be concerned about.

    I guess I would be willing to say that the gospel does have transformative effects on society but that one must be exceptionally careful about identifying them and certainly careful never to say what a gospel-transformed society must look like. That’s where I would differ with hardcore transformationalism which does at times seem to come across as the protest of cranky men who despair that the world is changing—and not in their favor.

  312. kent
    Posted October 2, 2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    It’s about that time again that Doug comes to his senses and realizes how hurtful and abusive he has been on this board, and then apologizes, and goes away until he goes on another bender and returns with his usual nonsense. (Take #35)

  313. Posted October 2, 2013 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Erik, sure, but if the Pirates would change the ‘r’ to an ‘l’, I’d switch from the Phillies.

  314. Posted October 2, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Once again Doug draws the antithesis between those who think like him, and those who don’t. That is where neo-Calvinism leads — all Christians will think alike. You know, a Christian w-w. That’s a lot easier than having to figure out how two regenerate people think differently or how to live with differences.

    But Doug doesn’t flee temptation. He keeps hanging out at blogs with the ungodly.

  315. Posted October 2, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Robert, if we are going to talk about Christianity and the West, then we need to tip our caps to Rome and how the medieval church influenced Europe and its outposts. I am comfortable acknowledging our debt to medieval Rome (thanks in part to reading Francis Oakley — see various posts at Oldlife). But that hardly proves the affects of the Holy Spirit’s application of redemption.

  316. Posted October 2, 2013 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Kent, I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I turn the other comm box.

  317. mark mcculley
    Posted October 2, 2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Check out the novel The Blood of the Lamb, Peter De Vries’s 1961 novel about an 11-year old girl who dies of leukemia and the anguish of her father. The novel was based on De Vries’s personal experience.

  318. Posted October 3, 2013 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Doug – Darryl, you reason like a natural man.

    Erik – Just so it doesn’t make him feel like a natural woman.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEWuAcMWDLY

  319. Posted October 3, 2013 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Thanks Mark. Now that I’ve tackled some of Paul Schrader’s films I’m ready to read some DeVries. Any other Dutch Reformed contributions to film & literature?

  320. Posted October 3, 2013 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Something tells me I’m not going to find a lot of great screenwriting amongst the Protestant Reformed.

    Speaking of screenwriting, I’m rewatching “Jackie Brown” for about the 3rd or 4th time. It was on IFC last week. Elmore Leonard & Quentin Tarantino. What craftsmanship. Filthy language, though.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMhxayjtNz0

  321. kent
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Erik, go to the Dutch for painting, theology, and total football.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzT2WQCBpmY

    start at 59 seconds

  322. sean
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Total Football is the shiznit. You just need 10 other guys who can pull it off as well as you can.

  323. kent
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Just finished reading Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football, also very helpful in learning things about the mind of that wonderful people.

    My ironic and playful Brit mentality has to make adjustments at times…

  324. sean
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Football has never made sense to me apart from a dominant midfield. Everything else is a work around until you find those guys.

  325. kent
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Agreed Sean, Pirlo is my hero currently.

  326. sean
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I’m still waiting for Zidane’s progeny.

  327. Posted October 4, 2013 at 3:26 am | Permalink

    Sean,

    That’s the best soccer I’ve seen since the Greeks beat the Moderns.

  328. sean
    Posted October 4, 2013 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Erik, Archimedes is tough to stop once properly motivated.

  329. Posted December 28, 2014 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I don’t think you can say this and ratify what Trent did.

    Preparing things well is necessary, but don’t fall into the temptation of trying to close or direct the freedom of the Holy Spirit, which is bigger and more generous than any human plan.

    But if you are Gilbert Tenant, makes sense.

  330. Posted April 2, 2015 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    But sometimes the pope does judge and stands by his judgment:

    Episcopal installation Masses don’t usually involve teeming protesters, shouting matches, and popping balloons. But Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid’s did. Last Saturday, Barros was installed as bishop of Osorno, Chile, following allegations that he covered up for a sexually abusive priest who had been his mentor. “Barros, get out of the city!” chanted the demonstrators, waving black balloons. The bishop’s supporters tried to drown them out, brandishing white balloons. Some demonstrators attempted to climb the cathedral altar. The service was cut short, and Barros was escorted by police through a side door. Chile’s cardinals, along with most of its bishops, were not in attendance. Familiar with recent history, they knew it was going to be an ugly scene.

    Four years ago, the Holy See found Fr. Fernando Karadima guilty of molesting minors, and ordered him to a life of “prayer and penance.” The Karadima case has been called the worst scandal ever to befall the Chilean Catholic Church. Karadima, now eighty-four, was once one of Chile’s most influential clerics. He ministered to the wealthy, and had strong ties to Chile’s elite. He developed a devoted following, molding the church’s future leaders. Four of his protégées, including Barros, later became bishops. Now, several of Karadima’s victims—once his devotees—say that Barros not only knew about the decades-old accusations and did nothing, but that he witnessed the abuse himself. Barros denies all of it, and refuses to resign.

    After Barros’s appointment was announced in January, about thirteen hundred Chilean laypeople, including dozens of lawmakers, signed a petition seeking Barros’s removal. More than thirty clerics signed a letter asking the pope to reconsider his decision. Two Chilean bishops reportedly met with Francis to brief him on how difficult this has been for the local church. “The pope told me he had analyzed the situation in detail and found no reason” to remove Barros, the archbishop of Concepción, Fernando Chomalí, told the New York Times. Just before Barros’s installation service, the papal envoy to Chile announced that the bishop had his “confidence and support.”

    Some had hoped that pressure brought by members of the pope’s new sexual-abuse commission—several of whom recently expressed grave reservations about the appointment—might persuade Francis to act, or Barros to resign. After all, just last month the pope said that “everything possible must be done to rid the church of the scourge of the sexual abuse of minors and to open pathways of reconciliation and healing for those who were abused.” He even seemed to chide bishops who had used the excuse of not giving scandal to avoid addressing the issue. But yesterday the Holy See released a terse, curiously worded statement responding to the growing controversy: “Prior to the recent appointment of His Excellency Msgr. Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid as bishop of Osorno, Chile, the Congregation for Bishops carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons to preclude the appointment.” If this is Rome’s last word on Barros, then Francis should know that his decision has imperiled not only the Diocese of Osorno, but also his own reputation as a reformer.

    Maybe the South American curia can be as mysteriously aloof as their Roman counterparts.

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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>