Confusing Johns

This is Calvinism (mainly):

Civil magistrates may not assume to themselves the administration of the Word and sacraments; or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven; yet he has authority, and it is his duty, to take order that unity and peace be preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire, that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed, all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed, and all the ordainances of God duly settled, administrated, and observed. For the better effecting whereof, he has power to call synods, to be present at them and to provide that whatsoever is transacted in them be according to the mind of God. (WCF 23.3)

This is Calvinism revised:

Civil magistrates may not assume to themselves the administration of the Word and sacraments; or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven; or, in the least, interfere in matters of faith. Yet, as nursing fathers, it is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the church of our common Lord, without giving the preference to any denomination of Christians above the rest, in such a manner that all ecclesiastical persons whatever shall enjoy the full, free, and unquestioned liberty of discharging every part of their sacred functions, without violence or danger. And, as Jesus Christ hath appointed a regular government and discipline in his church, no law of any commonwealth should interfere with, let, or hinder, the due exercise thereof, among the voluntary members of any denomination of Christians, according to their own profession and belief. It is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the person and good name of all their people, in such an effectual manner as that no person be suffered, either upon pretense of religion or of infidelity, to offer any indignity, violence, abuse, or injury to any other person whatsoever: and to take order, that all religious and ecclesiastical assemblies be held without molestation or disturbance. (OPCCF, 23.3)

This is Calvinism on Locke:

Hall demonstrates that while the Declaration’s reference to “nature’s God,” its claim that government’s function is to protect citizens’ rights, and its assertion of a right to overthrow usurpatious rulers are consistent with Lockean thinking, they are also perfectly in keeping with John Calvin’s teaching on those subjects, which antedated Locke’s Second Treatise . . . (Kevin R. C. Gutzman’s review of Mark David Hall, Roger Sherman and the Creation of the American Republic, American Conservative, May/June, 2013)

And it gets worse for rights-affirming “Calvinists”:

. . . because the powers which God hath ordained, and the liberty which Christ hath purchased, are not intended by God to destroy, but mutually to uphold and preserve one another, they who, upon pretense of Christian liberty, shall oppose any lawful power, or the lawful exercise of it, whether it be civil or ecclesiastical, resist the ordinance of God. (OPCCF, 20.4)

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355 thoughts on “Confusing Johns

  1. A lot of this comes down to the degree of belief we have in Jesus’ statement that his Kingdom is not of this world. If we believe that, we might realize that the magistrate may not be interested in promoting Jesus’ Kingdom, but we Christians will promote it nonetheless.

    Some Christians absolutely insist on playing on the “winning team” in this temporal realm.

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  2. Agreed Mr Erik Charter

    TWO THINGS could be said: the faithful saints are always on the winning team and secondly, that winning team’s standards of WINNING are based upon the World to come consummated by Christ and made not of human hands — not of the present provisional world.

    It appears thats where many American Christians get confused. One could almost think of it as a strange case of pietistic pragmatism (if that makes sense).

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  3. Inscrutable as usual, Dr. Hart. Ace. Not one person in 1000 has the slightest idea of what you’re saying here.

    But if I have learned to read your Calvinist “inside baseball” posts, “This is Calvinism revised” means the Westminster Confession as revised [and un-revised] by your own Orthodox Presbyterian Church in 1936–when it formed as a breakaway movement from the Presbyterian Church in the United States [PCUSA]. The story of this text is here:

    American Revisions to the Westminster Confession of Faith
    http://www.opc.org/documents/WCF_orig.html

    Awesome, bro. I keep asking you, Whose Calvinism is it anyway? If it’s yours, who could possibly argue with it? Sweet. I get it now.

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  4. Tom, I’m so hurt. That was my love post card to you before trying to leave Istanbul and the secular anti-Islamists (your interpretation) taking over.

    You don’t see the point? Mark David Hall, the guy you recommend, talks about the duties of the magistrate in Lockean terms, not in the way that any of the Reformed Churches do. And then because Sherman was a “Calvinist” — the reviewer never seems to pay attention to the health of Connecticut Congregationalism at the time — voila, we have Calvinism as the basis for the U.S. War for Independence.

    That is bad historical method and really poor reasoning, Tom. At some point you actually need to see what the churches say. You argue as if the Federalist Papers (or Beza) are normative for the United States when you haven’t actually looked at what the Constitution (or the confessions) says. Documents produced by officers trump documents written by one man. Or are you a divine right monarchist?

    love,
    dg

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  5. Why it continues to bother readers here at old life that we in the OPC are free to have a constitution of our own, indeed is, ‘inscrutable.’

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  6. AB,
    I don’t think that is what would be the root of what might bother someone. Nothing wrong with stating to the world what one believes. I think is lies more in the idea that it seems to be a moving target. In asking you what you believe the Scriptures teach I know I could go to the WCF to see what Presbyterians believe, but then the target moves with the revisions. So, in essence there is perspicuity preached about the Scriptures, but the example shown is that we continually find ourselves not understanding the fullness taught in the Scriptures, but we require all those in communion with us to submit to a standard which our communion can move while saying it is “the” standard and clear universal teaching of Scripture.
    So, I guess it has to do with both saying the confession is the clear understandable teaching of Scripture, yet having a history of changing that teaching while saying we truly hold to our confessions.
    I have no problem with it. There just seems to be a inconsistency in there somewhere. I don’t think saying “councils may and do err” covers it well enough, while saying this is what we say is true. It seem like this is a large part of the postmodern idea moved into where we should find eternal truths. Scripture seems to teach their home to be in the Church.

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  7. Michael,

    The wheels came off somewhere there, calling us Biblical Presbyterians post modern. I wish I knew how to respond to that.

    Flummoxed,
    AB

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  8. Michael,

    Have you read any books on Presbyterian history? Don’t tell me everything you’ve learned about us, you’ve learned on the internet.

    Regards..

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  9. Let me know when you blog about Presbyterians (or is it all prots too?) being post modern. You are adressing me in a point I was making, but I think you should be dealing with the actual author of this blog. Unless you actually think I said sonething incorrect, you can just email instead of address me publicly here. Take care, Michael.

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  10. MTX, moving targets are more like Trent anathematizing those who confess sola fide and then V2 saying the same are separated brethren without revising Trent. P&R still confess that outside the visible church (defined by sola side and two other marks, none of which have ever been revised) there is ordinarily no possibility of salvation, full stop. How is that a moving target?

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  11. You don’t see the point? Mark David Hall, the guy you recommend, talks about the duties of the magistrate in Lockean terms, not in the way that any of the Reformed Churches do. And then because Sherman was a “Calvinist” — the reviewer never seems to pay attention to the health of Connecticut Congregationalism at the time — voila, we have Calvinism as the basis for the U.S. War for Independence.

    That is bad historical method and really poor reasoning, Tom.

    Darryl, this slippery and sophistic mess didn’t fool anyone, not even your acolytes. Using your sub-sect’s 1936 revisions to the Westminster Confessions in order to make an argument about 1776 was the worst, though. I dunno if even your supporters swallowed that one. Talk about bad history–your argument isn’t even from the right century.

    You argue as if the Federalist Papers (or Beza) are normative for the United States

    Because they were.

    Instead of a single paragraph of a review you snagged from Pat Buchanan’s magazine, People should read Professor Hall’s thesis for themselves. Peace.

    http://www.heritage.org/research/lecture/2011/06/did-america-have-a-christian-founding

    It is worth noting that all of these men wrote before Locke published his Two Treatises of Government and that this tradition was profoundly influential in America. Indeed, between 55 percent and 75 percent of white citizens in this era associated themselves with Calvinist churches, and members of the tradition were significantly overrepresented among American intellectual elites.

    The influence of the Reformed political tradition in the Founding era is manifested in a variety of ways, but particularly noteworthy is the almost unanimous support Calvinist clergy offered to American patriots. This was noticed by the other side, as suggested by the Loyalist Peter Oliver, who railed against the “black Regiment, the dissenting Clergy, who took so active a part in the Rebellion.” King George himself reportedly referred to the War for Independence as “a Presbyterian Rebellion.” From the English perspective, British Major Harry Rooke was largely correct when he confiscated a presumably Calvinist book from an American prisoner and remarked that “[i]t is your G-d Damned Religion of this Country that ruins the Country; Damn your religion.”[14]

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  12. AB,
    I understand the flummoxation over there. It was not meant to be offensive. It doesn’t have anything “particular” to do with you guys for sure. Just the necessary consequences of not having an authorized “living” voice protected by the Holy Spirit’s promises in the Scriptures to the Church. I’ll try and get with by email.
    til later,
    Mike

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  13. Michael,

    Whose dead voices are you saying cause me flummoxation? When I read what you write, I get more confused. It seems there’s a particular living voice cause me to be flummoxed, so I’d appreciate if you don’t just to conclusions about things I’ve never said. Thanks.

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  14. AB,
    I assumed you were flummoxed by my idea that part of the postmodern problem is caused by the Biblical “anybodies” which include WFC guys. No matter how solid they hold their ground to their confession against other Biblical “anybodies”.
    Help?

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  15. ““[i]t is your G-d Damned Religion of this Country that ruins the Country; Damn your religion.”

    Was that British Major Harry Rooke or Tom Van Dyke?

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  16. Tom,

    Did you know that many “Calvinists” in early America were Congregationalists (think Jonathan Edwards) and not Presbyterians? The Dutch Reformed (What became the Reformed Church in America) were small and the Christian Reformed Church (my spiritual forefathers) didn’t even start until the 1850s. My point? The people you are talking to here don’t necessarily claim a lineage to the people you are touting in the Revolutionary era.

    Another point worth noting is that what Presbyterians did is not necessarily what they should have done in light of their Presbyterian theology.

    Also note that some church historians believe that religious fervor was generally at low ebb at the time of the Revolution (Sydney Ahlstrom comes to mind).

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  17. Tom, you swing and miss again. The revisions are from 1787. Don’t you know anything about all that you’re supposed to know about?

    Plus, you are squarely hit on this one. What the Calvinist churches said about the magistrate (look at the Baylys) is nowhere near what you claim Calvinism gives you with what you say.

    Any you need to cite a lecture from Heritage? What’s next? Glenn Beck?

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  18. Any you need to cite a lecture from Heritage? What’s next? Glenn Beck?

    Unworthy of you, D. Mark David Hall is a professor at George Fox University; his doctorate is from the University of Virginia, one of America’s top universities. If you want to refudiate Professor Hall, you should do it directly, from his own words, fair and square.

    As for your citation of Chapter 23 of the Westminster Confession regarding magistrates, according to your own church’s website

    http://www.opc.org/documents/WCF_orig.html

    it was “completely rewritten” by your breakaway church, the OPC, which was formed circa 1936. Even if it fooled a few bystanders here, I don’t think you’d want to take this mess on the road.

    Chapter 23
    Of the Civil Magistrate

    3. (Completely rewritten) Civil magistrates may not assume to themselves the administration of the Word and sacraments; or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven; or, in the least, interfere in matters of faith. Yet, as nursing fathers, it is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the church of our common Lord, without giving the preference to any denomination of Christians above the rest, in such a manner that all ecclesiastical persons whatever shall enjoy the full, free, and unquestioned liberty of discharging every part of their sacred functions, without violence or danger. And, as Jesus Christ hath appointed a regular government and discipline in his church, no law of any commonwealth should interfere with, let, or hinder, the due exercise thereof, among the voluntary members of any denomination of Christians, according to their own profession and belief. It is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the person and good name of all their people, in such an effectual manner as that no person be suffered, either upon pretense of religion or of infidelity, to offer any indignity, violence, abuse, or injury to any other person whatsoever: and to take order, that all religious and ecclesiastical assemblies be held without molestation or disturbance.

    Now then. Erik Charter notes

    Another point worth noting is that what Presbyterians did is not necessarily what they should have done in light of their Presbyterian theology.

    Of course, Erik, and the arguments are familiar. Your theology is your own business; I’m discussing only theological history. The critics of your “radical” Two Kingdoms [“R2K”] theology claim you are not backed by your church’s [or churches’] history. They have a strong argument, especially in America. Hall found only two Calvinist preachers of the time who were Loyalists, and one, John Joachim Zubly, had all his stuff thrown in the river before they chased him out of town.

    the Christian Reformed Church (my spiritual forefathers) didn’t even start until the 1850s. My point? The people you are talking to here don’t necessarily claim a lineage to the people you are touting in the Revolutionary era.

    I’m not talking to you. I’m responding to Darryl Hart’s post on John Locke and John Calvin. The Calvinist influence on the American revolution is not dependent on John Locke. As Hall notes

    all of these [Calvinist thinkers] wrote before Locke published his Two Treatises of Government [1688] and that this tradition was profoundly influential in America.

    Indeed, Calvinists were prominent in the English civil wars of the 1600s: The Puritan Revolution, Oliver Cromwell, the Glorious Revolution, look ‘em up. There’s a lot more to Calvinist Resistance Theory than a few lines in the Declaration of Independence–or even just the American Revolution. It’s a fascinating story.

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  19. @TVD Are you claiming that 23.3 wasn’t altered until 1936? Or that the alteration in 1936 doesn’t reflect the edit in 1788? Here is a link to a nice paper describing the change in the 18th century:
    http://www.upper-register.com/papers/1788_revision.pdf

    The “completely rewritten” in the link to the OPC refers to what happened in 1788 not 1936. But check for yourself, I could certainly be mistaken.

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  20. 1788 American Revision of Chapter 23

    Civil magistrates may not assume to themselves the administration of the Word and sacraments or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven; or, in the least, interfere in matters of faith. Yet, as nursing fathers, it is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the church of our common Lord, without giving the preference to any denomination of Christians above the rest in such a manner, that all ecclesiastical persons whatever shall enjoy the full, free, and unquestioned liberty of discharging, every part of their sacred functions, without violence or danger. And, as Jesus Christ hath appointed
    a regular government and discipline in his church, no law of any commonwealth, should interfere with, let, or hinder, the due exercise thereof, among the voluntary members of any denomination of Christians, according to their own profession and belief. It is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the person and good name of all their people, in such an effectual manner as that no person be suffered, either upon pretence of religion or of infidelity, to offer any indignity, violence, abuse, or injury to any other person whatsoever: and to take order, that all religious and ecclesiastical assemblies be held without molestation or disturbance.

    http://www.upper-register.com/papers/1788_revision.pdf

    Tom,

    That looks like what you’ve quoted. I don’t believe “completely rewritten” means that the OPC rewrote it in 1936 (or thereafter).

    You really want to argue these fine points with a guy who has been doing Presbyterian and Reformed history for 30 years?

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  21. Tom,

    Who have you honestly read who is a critic of “radical 2K”? Who have you honestly read who is an advocate of 2K? I’m talking books. I think you dive in to some of these debates with minimal knowledge. Not that I haven’t ever done that myself. Slow down a bit.

    Can we agree that war does not always lead to the pinnacle of unbiased theological reflection?

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  22. The biggest question we have to ask is to what degree baser instincts (the desires for power, land, money, vengeance, etc.) are driving theology vs. theology informing Christian conduct. Historians can look at what happened but they can also ask what could or should have happened in light of the theology of those involved. We don’t necessarily condemn from a standpoint of moral superiority, but we reflect on what might have been.

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  23. SDB:The “completely rewritten” in the link to the OPC refers to what happened in 1788 not 1936. But check for yourself, I could certainly be mistaken.

    So you’re saying the OPC un-revised its parent church’s 1903 PCUSA changes in 1936? OK, I’ll buy that. You still get into Whose Calvinism is it anyway:

    Regardless, the 1788 revisions come after the American revolution was won in 1783. It’s still an invalid argument re Locke–the timeline is wrong.

    At this point, Darryl and whoever are arguing as churchmen, not historians–theological opinion, not historical fact. Which is fine, let’s just be clear about it.

    There were only a couple of Calvinist preachers in all of America who actively opposed the Revolution–and you see what happened to John Joachim Zubly. The point is that the objections were certainly present, but not normative in America–the Calvinist Resistance Theory of the English civil wars of the 1600s was. That’s the historical fact.

    And yes, Zubly’s arguments are the same as you [radical?] 2Kers. The arguments per Romans 13 are familiar to any student of history, not just 2K Calvinists.

    The Revolution, of course, is not the only argument relevant to challenging a rigid 2K theology: There are the English civil wars [Locke’s father supported the Puritan Revolution, and well-respected Calvinist John Owen took parliament’s side against the king. [Part of the justification for the American Revolution was that the British parliament were not the duly constituted magistrates–the Continental Congress was.] So too we have Calvin’s very religious government of Geneva, certainly more biblical than anything Sarah Palin advocates when it comes to enforcing the second tablet of the Ten Commandments.

    All theologies are valid within their own church, but once you start telling others they need to follow your theology, well…

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  24. Tom, you’re doing your impersonation of Donnie in the Big Lebowski. The OPC’s confession on the civil magistrate (in fact 99% of it) is the same as the 1787 revisions. Your putting up a link doesn’t change your ignorance. It does reveal you’re bluffing.

    As for Mark Hall’s argument, do you really want to get into CV wrestling. I’ve read Mark and I still would like to hear you explain why Calvinist churches never talked about the magistrate’s duty as one of protecting rights. For what it’s worth, too many historians and political philosophers don’t know churches or how they operate. You seem to fit right in.

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  25. Tom, why is it that whenever an argument is against you, the person is arguing as a churchman or doing theology. Is it the case that you are really the pope (as in you don’t err)?

    The rights language is not in an Reformed church confession. Those confessions are subscribed by all pastors. Not all those pastors read Calvin or Beza. A historian can tell which documents are more representative. It’s a basic methodological question. If Calvin and rights were so important to Presbyterian pastors who did support the revolution, why did they not insert the language of rights into the revised Westminster Confession? It’s a basic historical question that you haven’t even considered.

    Way to go, smart guy.

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  26. Tom, why is it that whenever an argument is against you, the person is arguing as a churchman or doing theology

    The argument isn’t against me, Darryl. You’re not arguing historical fact.

    The OPC’s confession on the civil magistrate (in fact 99% of it) is the same as the 1787 revisions.

    The American Revolution was won in 1783. John Locke died in 1704. Your timeline is off. This whole post “Confusing Johns” is off.

    As for Mark Hall’s argument, do you really want to get into CV wrestling.

    You did that, challenging Dr.Hall being published @ Heritage, Dr. Hart. His academic credentials are easily equal to yours and trying to besmirch him with Glenn Beck was foul play, Darryl.

    You want to puff your credentials over Mark David Hall’s–or Dr. Thomas Kidd’s of Baylor [Ph.D Notre Dame], who has also spoken on Glenn Beck’s show–then go ahead, Darryl. That’s a dirty game, and it’s a loser’s game. Drs. Hall and Kidd are easily your peers.

    Neither do you have an answer for the English civil wars or for Calvin’s Geneva enforcing BOTH tablets of the Ten Commandments. [Death for heresy.] Your only rebuttal can be theological, as a churchman, not as a historian.

    Which is fine. But you are not being hired in the real world as a churchman, only as a historian, and that’s where this is neither fish nor fowl, and where your readers–aside from the faithful members of your Orthodox Presbyterian Church—have valid objections.

    Say what you want as a preacher or church elder–everybody’s entitled to their theological opinion. But the historian cannot cut out Beza and Calvinist Resistance Theory and all the rest.

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  27. Tom, I’m still waiting to see where you find a Reformed confession describing the magistrate’s responsibility as protecting citizens’ rights. . .

    No hiding behind Mark David Hall’s skirt.

    BTW, the timing is perfect. The Declaration talked about rights — 1776. The Revolution was over by 1783 — more rights. 1787 revision of the Confession — no rights.

    Look Donnie, Tom, you’re out of your historical element.

    As for the English Civil Wars or Calvin’s Geneva — still no rights. You really are making this stuff up.

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  28. Tom, also, you seem to have a problem distinguishing history from politics. Hall trained in and teaches politics. I am licensed to do history.

    Are you still trying to delegitimize Mark David Hall’s work and thesis by attacking his credentials? If you would argue against his thesis and facts on their merits, the truth would be better served. If you could argue against them on their merits, you would. You haven’t laid a glove on them. Calvinist resistance theory predates Locke.

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  29. Chortles – Erik, supposably they are considering making “refudiate” a real word.

    Erik – Well, Tom’s from California and Sarah Palin’s from Alaska so they have the right to invent Mavericky new words.

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  30. Tom, you’re still obsfuscating (and this is about you). Where are rights ever mentioned in a Calvinist church’s description of a magistrate’s duties? Unless you can answer that question, you’re holding a lot of junk with an 8 high.

    But if you want to keep playing this hand, what exactly are you saying about my credentials? Chopped liver?

    Look, I’m as surprised at any behind-every-successful-man-is-a-surprised-mother-in-law about writing a global history of Calvinism for Yale. But are you really going to imply or assert I don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to Calvinism? I don’t think you are as smart as you think you are, but I did think you, Tom, were less clueless than that.

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  31. I was confused about the “clerical error” as I couldn’t find the passage of the Belgic that Mark was citing in my version of the Belgic. It was a footnote relating to an earlier version that I did not have.

    Tuininga seems to believe the error was intentional, but I’ll be charitable and assume it was an oversight.

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  32. D.G.,

    Your name is starting to get left off of lists of 2K boogeymen. In this case it might just be that you are OPC and not URC. You might need to revise “A Secular Faith” as “A Really Secular Faith” or something.

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  33. Erik, I trust the error was not intentional; I assume it was at least based on a sincere judgment call. But at the same time, I am at a loss as to how Van Der Molen managed to move part of a footnote into the text of the Confession without realizing he was doing something problematic. This is an explicit misrepresentation, even if it is not intentional.

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  34. The OPC General Assembly is underway this week. Let’s hope that “Christian Renewal” has a correspondent there to sound the alarm should any 2K or Spirituality of the Church break out…

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  35. Erik says: “A lot of this comes down to the degree of belief we have in Jesus’ statement that his Kingdom is not of this world.”

    Me: Erik, when Jesus said his kingdom is not of this world, he meant it’s not sourced in this world. Christ’s kingdom is not dependent on the natural realm. Every time someone repents and confesses that Jesus is Lord, we see Christ’s kingdom expanding on planet earth. But it’s sourced in God himself. The Jerusalem *above* is our mother.

    Moreover, our faith is to conquer the world! Why is that so hard for *some* 2Kers to affirm?

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  36. Doug…

    Primary and secondary causes, God’s secret Providence, trying not to confuse His will with His precepts.

    Calvin 101

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  37. Doug,

    Or it could be that when Jesus said “My Kingdom is not of this world” it was because, get this, His kingdom is not of this world.

    “Moreover, our faith is to conquer the world! Why is that so hard for *some* 2Kers to affirm?”

    Because it’s not true. At least not in the sense that you interpret “conquer”. You walk by sight, not by faith.

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  38. Tom, you’re still obsfuscating (and this is about you). Where are rights ever mentioned in a Calvinist church’s description of a magistrate’s duties? Unless you can answer that question, you’re holding a lot of junk with an 8 high.

    No, I’m not obfuscating, Darryl I’m saying that with a couple of exceptions, the Calvinist clergy in America overwhelmingly supported the Revolution. That’s normative American Calvinism of that period. Edit it out of your history if you want.

    But if you want to keep playing this hand, what exactly are you saying about my credentials? Chopped liver?

    The credentials game is BS. I said that Mark David Hall’s are equal to yours, which they are. Attacking his credentials is unworthy and irrelevant. Deal with his thesis or don’t, I don’t care. Enough of it has been stated in the discussion for the curious reader to investigate further on his own. The people rest.

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  39. Dr. Darryl, a bow tie makes you a hard-@ss Old Schooler in Greenville, SC or south Mississippi.

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  40. Tom – the Calvinist clergy in America overwhelmingly supported the Revolution.

    Erik- Did you interview them all? Like most things I imagine a few loudmouths on both sides give the impression that they are representative.

    And if Calvinist clergy were so influential why was Witherspoon the only active clergyman to sign the Declaration? I would have thought the signers were a veritable who’s-who of Presbyterian ministers the way you are carrying on.

    You continue to miss the point about Confessional churches. What clergy do or do not do does not trump a Presbyterian or Reformed church’s confessions. This is what separates us from Evangellyfish. This is why Hart keeps asking you for Confessional support for your position.

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  41. I believe King George’s “Presbyterian war/rebellion” comment, if he ever said it, would have been meant politically as much as or more than theologically and must be understood in the the context of 17th century English history:

    “The label “Presbyterian” was a much more ambiguous designation than it is at present. Employed broadly as a synonym for a Calvinist, a dissenter, or a republican, the term was used with considerable imprecision in the eighteenth century. Furthermore, it was used as a demagogic tool to inflame popular passions. The term Presbyterian carried with it the connotation of a fanatical, anti-monarchical rebel.”

    http://theaquilareport.com/the-presbyterian-rebellion/

    Of course I’ll leave to the scholar (DGH) and the “expert” (TVD) to re-fight this little battle.

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  42. And why no more Presby signers of the Declaration? The were all sitting quietly at home reading the Institutes, drinking Scotch, and sadly longing for the day when Al Gore would invent the internet and someone like DGH would put up a decent site like OL.

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  43. C-dubs, not too unlike the word “conservative” being used to describe plenty that isn’t these days.

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  44. Tom, so why didn’t the American revisions of the Confession include rights?

    A theological history of the Roman Catholic Church would limit itself to formal declarations such as papal edicts and Council of Trent and the like. But a history of the Catholic Church would include far more. Your attempt to narrow the discussion to a revised Confession in America in the year 1788, after the Revolution was over, leaves entirely too much history out. Should you ever account for Calvinism for the 200 years up until 1776 or 1783, the victory at Yorktown, I’ll be happy to rejoin you there.

    Otherwise, the people rest.

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  45. @DGH

    Is Hall’s claim that “55 percent and 75 percent of white citizens in this era associated themselves with Calvinist churches, and members of the tradition were significantly overrepresented among American intellectual elites” correct?

    I find that hard to believe unless Calvinist is defined so broadly that it is equated with protestantism. My understanding was that church attendance was quite low in the Colonial era relative even to today. Additionally Unitarians, Baptists, Episcopalians, Quakers, and Methodists weren’t an insignificant slice of the populace – so I am suspicious of the assertion that over half of the white citizens were associated with Calvinist churches.

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  46. Tom – A theological history of the Roman Catholic Church would limit itself to formal declarations such as papal edicts and Council of Trent and the like. But a history of the Catholic Church would include far more.

    Erik – Bryan Cross would say that’s your paradigm. Only the official history put forward by the church counts. He would say any other purported history is a straw man (or a straw something or other).

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  47. Tom – Your attempt to narrow the discussion to a revised Confession in America in the year 1788, after the Revolution was over, leaves entirely too much history out.

    Erik – Yeah, the colonists had a whole 5 years between 1783 and 1788 to forget about including rights in the revised Confession. They had moved onto other things like, you know, colonial type stuff.

    O.K., Tom, show us a Calvinist Confession that did talk about rights.

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  48. If Calvinistic churches had that many members I hope they enjoyed it while it lasted because they were about to get their clocks cleaned on the frontier by the Baptists & Methodists.

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  49. @TVD Are you saying that because most Calvinists held position X, X is a Calvinist position?

    That would be silly, SDB. Most Christians were superstitious until the 1800s, but that didn’t make it Christian. What I’m saying that just because the OPC disagrees with it, it doesn’t mean it’s invalid. At some point, when one’s theology starts to judge history, and it’s not history anymore, it’s theology. And sometimes it’s neither one, it’s ecclesiology. [And with 100s of sects, that’s a lifetime study right there.]

    And at some point, it’s your internal thing

    http://www.puritanboard.com/f30/why-1788-revision-39268/

    of only marginal interest to others. I suppose I could argue either side. Perhaps it’s in 1788, after the Revolution has been won, that the founding of the PCUSA and the rewriting of Chapter 23 re “magistrates” is where true Calvinism is fatally perverted by John Locke and the Enlightenment.

    And why the OPC’s un-revision of the PCUSA 1903 revisions? Which is the real “Calvinist position”?

    So it goes. Who can say? Who gets to say? Not me, that’s for sure. Personally, my interest wanes after 1783, because as of 1788 the whole thing becomes more ecclesiastical history than actual history itself, of concern to its adherents but not to the world at large. [Sorry.]

    Thx for asking. Peace.

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  50. sdb asks: “@TVD Are you saying that because most Calvinists held position X, X is a Calvinist position?”

    Me: Duh! Hey sdb, are you serious? If Calvinists overwhelmingly hold to a certain position, then it’s okay to call that position Calvinist, with the proper qualifications. It also means that no slip shod “historian” has the right misrepresent them a couple hundred years later. As much as I might disagree with Tom on theology proper, he’s sure pegged DGH as a sloppy inaccurate historian. Good for Tom!

    He can see right through Darryl’s bazaar twist on old school Presbyterianism. Even a cursory glance at how real “old school” Presbyterians believed makes on wonder about DGH. How can he get it so wrong?

    This also means everyone here at “Old Life” doesn’t represent real “Old school” Presbyterians in the slightest. Let’s come up with a new name for you all; how about just going with “radical two kingdom theology”?

    If the shoe fits, wear it!

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  51. Erik: O.K., Tom, show us a Calvinist Confession that did talk about rights

    Apparently these days you can make up whatever you like about BC 36.

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  52. Doug, that’s called religious narcissism: I am Reformed, I think x, therefore x is Reformed. Calvinists aren’t the filter, the confessions are. But speaking of slipshod impostors, your type is to old school Presbyterianism what Glenn Beck is to conservatism. Go America, go religion!

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  53. “I suppose I could argue either side.”

    Exactly. So what’s your point then? Censor of all theories, beholden to none? A spiritual nomad. *yawn*. That kind is a dime a dozen.

    Like

  54. Doug: He can see right through Darryl’s bazaar twist on old school Presbyterianism.

    Is that a bazaar refudiation?

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  55. Tom, wrong again. Protestants are people friendly and conciliar. So while papal encyclicals don’t reflect what priests, nuns, monks, or church members think, Reformed confessions actually require ministers, elders, and the congregations who call them to buy in.

    I understand the confessions are inconvenient to your “argument.” And I understand that you need to feel superior methodologically. But you haven’t thought this through and you show no capacity to entertain an argument that is new and cutting edge. After all, the claims about Puritans, Calvinism and the American founding are as old as de Tocqueville, George Bancroft, and Abraham Kuyper. And I’m doing theology. Puh-leeze.

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  56. sdb, remember, citizenship was based on property. There was no universal franchise. Plus, keep in mind that rates of religious adherence in 1776 were not large. Also notice that in Hall’s article he does not give a citation for his figures. So if Calvinism does represent 75 % of church goers, and church goers make up only 20 % of the population, then the groundswell of Calvinism for independence dries up.

    Tom is a believer. He has a lot of faith in Calvinism and revolution.

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  57. Doug, like Tom you believe what fits with your prejudices. As I indicated to sbd, Hall doesn’t back up his claims about numbers of adherents. Tom doesn’t check Hall’s documentation.

    I am doing theology.

    This is academics 101, brah.

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  58. Tom,

    What does the OPC have to do with any of this. You’re staring to talk gibberish.

    The 1903 Revision (addition, actually) had to do with:

    Chapter 34. Of the Holy Spirit.
    Chapter 35. Of the Gospel of the Love of God and Missions

    http://www.bible-researcher.com/wescoappb.html

    What is it you are thinking you are going to find there about rights (that the OPC did not accept) that will strengthen your case?

    The point is, nothing in Presbyterian & Reformed Confessions before or after 1788 speaks of rights in the manner that they were spoken of at the time of America’s Founding. Keep bobbing & weaving, though, if it makes you happy.

    By the way, look at the note at the bottom of the article. Wherever you go, Hart has already been there.

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  59. Doug – If Calvinists overwhelmingly hold to a certain position, then it’s okay to call that position Calvinist, with the proper qualifications.

    Erik – Kind of like saying Doug is a renowned Reformed theologian, with the qualifications that he is not a deacon, is not an elder, is not a pastor, has not gone to seminary, does not have a graduate degree, and often misspells words. He has read some books by Bahnsen and regularly gets his snark on, though.

    And Hart is “sloppy”?

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  60. Ad hom ad hom ad hom. Nice church you have here, Mr. Christ.

    There were a number of actual Presbyterian pastors on that thread, Erik, topped off with an essay by one Darryl G. Hart. It’s really a pity you don’t actually read the stuff you comment on before you start typing.

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  61. I am Reformed, I think x, therefore x is Reformed. Calvinists aren’t
    the filter, the confessions are.

    Well, Mr. Zrim, the opposite is going on here; ‘”I” don’t think x is
    Reformed, therefore it’s not Reformed’ is the argument. But to anyone
    outside your dogma wars, Belgic 36 is indeed whatever most of
    you
    think it is. In this way Kent

    Apparently these days you can make up whatever you like about BC
    36.

    is quite ironically correct.

    http://clark.wscal.edu/RevisionBelgic36.php

    On the one hand the Lutherans and Reformed postulated a
    distinction in the way God administers his sovereign rule. On the other
    hand, the rise, in the mid-16th century, of religious resistance to
    civil authority, reflected in the pseudonymous, Vindiciae contra
    tyrannos
    and Theodore Beza’s De iure magistratuum created
    intellectual tensions that have yet to be fully resolved. In
    Protestant resistance theory, the magistrate was conceived in
    essentially Mosaic-theocratic terms. These texts addressed the
    magistrate as if he were a biblical king of Israel and is if France
    were Israel.

    Which is what I’ve been saying, bold face mine. And add in the entire
    1600s in England, where the Calvinists fought the crown, whether
    Anglican or Catholic. And the American Revolution, like England’s
    Glorious Revolution of 1688, claimed that the king had “abdicated,” and
    that the legal governing authority was the Continental Congress, not
    the British Parliament.

    D of I:

    He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of
    his Protection and waging War against us.

    Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish [sic] brethren.
    We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their
    legislature
    to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over
    us.

    At least Scott Clark acknowledges your history–which is what I’m
    interested in–how Calvinism affected the world. How the world
    affected Calvinism is your lookout, not mine. [For the worse, I hear.]

    Indeed, the American 1788 revision to Article/Chapter 23 in the WCF
    reads very much like Locke’s treatment of ‘the magistrate” in his
    “Letter Concerning Toleration.” Look it up, if you’re not already
    familiar with it. When Doug Sowers speaks of “a cursory glance
    at…real ‘old school’ Presbyterians,” that would be the pre-1788
    revision ones–the ones that fought the American Revolution, not the
    ones that benefited from it.

    So yeah, the 1788 revisions remain irrelevant to the Calvinist Resistance Theory that won the Revolutionary war.

    As for your ecclesiastical history, as Scott Clark notes:

    According to John Kromminga, questions first arose in the
    CRCNA over what is described in this article as the Constantinian
    language of the original article 36 did not arise immediately after the
    Afscheiding (separating) in 1834. The CRCNA separated from the
    RCA in 1857 and by 1879, in the church newspaper, De Wachter
    (The Watchman), questions were being raised about the applicability of
    the Constantinian language in article 36.8

    Two decades later, in the 1890s Abraham Kuyper* (1837–1920) argued:

    We oppose this [Constantinian language in article 36] out of complete
    conviction, prepared to bear the consequences of our convictions, even
    when we will be denounced and mocked on that account as unReformed.

    We would rather be considered not Reformed and insist that men ought
    not to kill heretics, than that we are left with the Reformed name as
    the prize for assisting in the shedding of the blood of heretics.

    It is our conviction:

    1) that the examples which are found in the Old Testament are of no
    force for us because the infallible indication of what was or was not
    heretical which was present at that time is now lacking.

    2) That the Lord and the Apostles never called upon the help of the
    magistrate to kill with the sword the one who deviated from the truth.
    Even in connection with such horrible heretics as defiled the
    congregation in Corinth, Paul mentions nothing of this idea. And it
    cannot be concluded from any particular word in the New Testament, that
    in the days when particular revelation should cease, that the rooting
    out of heretics with the sword is the obligation of magistrates.

    3) That our fathers have not developed this monstrous proposition out
    of principle, but have taken it over from Romish practice.

    4) That the acceptance and carrying out of this principle almost always
    has returned upon the heads of non-heretics and not the truth but
    heresy has been honored by the magistrate.

    5) That this proposition opposes the Spirit and the Christian faith.

    6) That this proposition supposed that the magistrate is in a position
    to judge the difference between truth and heresy, an office of grace
    which, as appears from the history of eighteen centuries, is not
    granted by the Holy Spirit, but is withheld.

    We do not at all hide the fact that we disagree with Calvin, our
    Confessions, and our Reformed theologians.

    In the same period, in the USA, the same sorts of concerns were
    arising.9 In 1905 the Synod of the Gererformeerde Kerken Nederlands
    (the denomination that arose from the merger of the 1834 Afscheiding
    and the 1886 Doleantie, “the Sorrowing,” a separation from the
    Nederlands Hervormde Kerk led by Abraham Kuyper) took action to revise
    article 36. In 1906 “three classes and one congregation
    petitioned the Synod of the CRCNA for a revision of the article. Synod
    appointed a committee. That committee failed and a new committee was
    appointed in
    1908 “to give a more accurate explanation of the
    disputed portion of Art. 36 in a note.”

    Synod, in 1910, added the following explanatory footnote:

    In 1936 the (Calvin) Seminary faculty (the official seminary of
    the CRCNA) “expressed its dissatisfaction with the article as revised
    by the footnote…. Synod commissioned them to make a recommendation
    which they did. “Their advice was to drop the footnote formerly adopted
    and to exscind a portion of the disputed clause. The article should now
    read:

    Their office is not only to have regard unto and watch for the welfare
    of the civil state but also to protect the sacred ministry, that the
    Kingdom of Christ may be thus promoted.
    Synod followed this advice in 1938, prompting a protest in 1939
    that was rejected, but dissatisfaction continued and Synod formed
    another committee in 1940 to re-write article 36. The proposed
    revision appeared in 1946 but was contested for several years.

    Finally, in 1958, Synod declared the Constantinian language of
    the original article “unbiblical” (see below) and adopted a substantial
    revision of Article 36…

    Too many dates and schisms, man. tear each other up and leave me out of it. Whose Calvinism is it anyway?

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  62. DGH: Tom, so why didn’t the American revisions of the Confession include rights?

    Why didn’t they ban revolution? Be rigorous with your challenges.

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  63. Tom, rigor? You quote Hall’s stats and think you are scholarly?

    But you are good at avoiding challenges to your “argument.”

    In case you missed it, I never said that Presbyterians did not support the revolution. What I have questioned is how central Calvinism is to the revolution. And when I look for evidence among the churches of Calvinists where you might see support for “rights,” in chapters on the Civil Magistrate, I don’t find it.

    But you think you’re rigorous. Wow! Are you taking your meds?

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  64. Tom, rigor? You quote Hall’s stats and think you are scholarly?

    Back to ad hom on Mark David Hall [Ph.D University of Virginia] again, Darryl? Not good.

    But you are good at avoiding challenges to your “argument.”

    Unfair. Faced them head on. If American Presbyterianism truly opposed revolution, 1788 was the perfect time to explicitly write it into the new revisions of the WCF. Or an opposition to the concept of natural rights. The negative inferences argue against you, not for—your counterarguments don’t hold.

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  65. @Doug “Me: Duh! Hey sdb, are you serious? If Calvinists overwhelmingly hold to a certain position, then it’s okay to call that position Calvinist, with the proper qualifications. ”
    So you are saying that correlation equals causation? If most Calvinists prefer coke to Pepsi , coke becomes a Calvinist beverage? If Scots are unhappy with the English crown and convert from Rome to Calvinism, is their continuing antipathy for the English crown (in the UK and US) ,now Calvinist? Not necessarily. To demonstrate this one might want to show that something in the official docs implies this. In the US, as soon as the revolutionary passions died down Presbyterians cut the stuff in the wcf about the magistrate…curious no?

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  66. DGH retorts: “Doug, like Tom you believe what fits with your prejudices.”

    Not really Darryl. I believe what I believe, because I believe it’s faithful to God’s Word. I *know* I’m not always right, but I *think* I’m always right. Meaning, I really believe that what I believe jibes with Scripture in a coherent way. Do I have prejudices? Of course, so do you. But our are prejudices based on the revealed word of the Lord?

    That’s the question. Is our world view founded on the Rock of Gods Word?

    I believe mine are, although I am willing to be corrected. Give me a good argument, and I’m all ears!

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  67. sdb asks: “so you are saying that correlation equals causation?”

    No. Take a deep breath, and breath out slowly. There; feel better?

    What I am saying, is that to call one self “old school” and ridicule the notion of the Revolution puts you squarely outside real “old school” Presbyterianism. You’re living in a dream world of unreality. Real old school reformed types, would have no truck with DGH’s R2K theology.

    Tom’s right on the mark! I’ve been saying this for the last six months, look at how the founders of New England felt about the role of the Magistrate. Look at the laws they passed. These were *real* old school reformed types. And they would be appalled at Darryl Hart’s ” The Secular Christian”.

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  68. Erik excoriates: ” Kind of like saying Doug is a renowned Reformed theologian, with the qualifications that he is not a deacon, is not an elder, is not a pastor, has not gone to seminary, does not have a graduate degree, and often misspells words. He has read some books by Bahnsen and regularly gets his snark on, though.”

    Me: Now that was very scholarly of you. I have studied the Bible for years Erik, I have sat under some good teachers in my life. I listen to teachers on line all the time! And just because Darryl Hart has a degree in history, doesn’t make him right! And just because I don’t have a degree doesn’t make me necessarily, wrong.

    Sometimes I punch hard to get your attention. But I assure you, I am not arguing just for the sake of arguing. I really believe this Escondido’ 2K is off the mark for a whole host of reasons. That I feel I can prove in the Bible. And since I am just a layman like you, cut me some slack, okay?

    We all know my spelling needs improvement, but no ones perfect. Even DGH used “jive” instead of jibe. I caught that one! That was worse than misspelling a word, that was really ignorant!

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  69. Tom – There were a number of actual Presbyterian pastors on that thread, Erik, topped off with an essay by one Darryl G. Hart. It’s really a pity you don’t actually read the stuff you comment on before you start typing.

    Erik – In the immortal words of S.E. Hinton, “That was then, this is now.”

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  70. Tom – When Doug Sowers speaks of “a cursory glance at…real ‘old school’ Presbyterians,” that would be the pre-1788 revision ones–the ones that fought the American Revolution, not the ones that benefited from it.

    Erik – Amazing how Doug & Tom can identify pre-1788 Old School Presbyterians when they didn’t even technically exist until after the Plan of Union in 1801.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_School%E2%80%93New_School_Controversy

    The Old School/New School split wasn’t over the issues that the Revolution dealt with. Neither was the Old Side/New Side split of the 1700’s (It was over revivalism).

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  71. Tom – Unfair. Faced them head on. If American Presbyterianism truly opposed revolution, 1788 was the perfect time to explicitly write it into the new revisions of the WCF.

    Westminster 23 –

    IV. It is the duty of the people to pray for magistrates, to honor their persons, to pay them tribute and other dues, to obey their lawful commands, and to be subject to their authority, for conscience’ sake. Infidelity, or difference in religion, doth not make void the magistrate’s just and legal authority, nor free the people from their obedience to him: from which ecclesiastical persons are not exempted; much less hath the Pope any power or jurisdiction over them in their dominions, or over any of their people; and least of all to deprive them of their dominions or lives, if he shall judge them to be heretics, or upon any other pretense whatsoever.

    Lots of revolutionary language there, Tom. You just get worse and worse.

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  72. Doug – Real old school reformed types, would have no truck with DGH’s R2K theology.

    Erik – Ever heard of The Doctrine of the Spirituality of the Church as developed by Old School Presbyterians ? You would gain credibility, Doug, if you actually read some church history. You’re not helping Tom.

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  73. Doug, does the Bible tell you how to understand Scripture? Apparently not. Have you ever once considered that John Winthrop did not write the Constitution of the U.S.? Have you ever thought about why adultery was a capital offense in 1640 Massachusetts but not in John Adams’ day?

    When are you going to admit that the world changed? We don’t live in Constantinian North America, ToDo.

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  74. Erik, but isn’t it enjoyable to see the kind of support Tom’s “arguments” receive. If Doug agreed with me, I’d need to consider what am I doing wrong?

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  75. Tom, if it’s resistance theory you want then look at the statement from Kuyper you bolded in his effort to turn back Constantinianism. 2k resists theocracy. But the point from over here is that old schoolers are more concerned with theocracy in the ecclesiastical ranks than tyranny in the political. That appears to chaff you to no end, and so little wonder theonomic new schooler Sowers is in your amen corner.

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  76. I’ll try to be as sympathetic to Tom’s perspective as possible. Principle & practice. Tom tells me that though Old Testament law held as a matter of principle homosexuality, adultery, disobedient children were worthy of capital punishment. In practice they just held it out as an ultimate threat but didn’t actually execute these people.

    Likewise, blasphemy, heresy, adultery and other things were capital crimes under Puritan law; but they didn’t commonly go around executing folks for it. Though there were some (not many) executions of witches, Quakers, and the like.

    They could have executed Roger Williams. Instead they banished him.

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  77. Doug,

    Did you know that Calvin said that to seek and include the kingdom of Christ under the elements of this world is a “Jewish vanity”?

    Institutes, 4.20.1

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  78. Tom,

    If you were willing to spend a few bucks you could find out what Hart (and Muether) wrote about Presbyterians and the American Revolution. It’s in a section titled “The Sacred Cause of Liberty” on pp. 76-82 of “Seeking a Better Country – 300 Years of American Presbyterianism”, 2007, P&R Publishing. I’m not giving it away for free, though.

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  79. DGH retorts: “When are you going to admit that the world changed? We don’t live in Constantinian North America, ToDo.”

    Me: Darryl, only an idiot could miss that America is constant flux. Psssst, that means slow change, you know, the dreaded *transformation* word. And yes, our nation has slowly drifted away from our Godly moorings, especially regarding our sexual ethics. But why? Has the Church done a good job of being the salt and light? Yes or no? Evidently not very good, eh?

    But why?

    Much like our in our own lives, nations will either renew their (collective mind) into the image of Christ, or be transformed by the world. We only have two choices in both the church and State. Christ is to be all in all. I vote for more of Christ, over the world.

    There is always a God ordained battle raging in every realm of this world to show mankind where they’re true allegiance lies both personally and collectively, God is Triune encompassing both individuality and community in his own being. We (the body of Christ) are supposed to be reconciling the world back to Christ. We will either be the salt and light of the world, or we will wind up being salt-less, good for only being stepped on by the foot of the Gentile. That’s straight from the Lord Jesus.

    From where I stand I see Escondido’s two kingdom theology being salt-less.

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  80. Erik says: Doug,

    Did you know that Calvin said that to seek and include the kingdom of Christ under the elements of this world is a “Jewish vanity”?

    Institutes, 4.20.1

    Me: Erik, why do you quote one little snippet from Calvin as if that proves something? Is this the same John Calvin that believed the Magistrate should enforce the first table just like Greg Bahnsen?

    Two can play that game. Moreover, John Calvin would side with me over Darryl by a country mile.

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  81. Dr. John Fea has a book on Presbyterians and the American Revolution forthcoming which I am looking forward to.

    Dr. Gregg Frazer’s thesis is the “Calvinist” churches and figures who supported the revolution actually turned to Locke, not Calvin and had their Calvinism so polluted. The counter response is to look to the Calvinist resisters (Rutherford, et al.) who predated Locke.

    There is also, by the way, no provable connection between Locke and Rutherford et al.

    Some of the resisters were mentioned by the American clergy (and John Adams) who supported Whig revolt. They cited Locke more. I still haven’t gotten to the bottom of everything Rutherford, de Mornay, et al., wrote and stood for; but it seems to me that when you see preachers like Witherspoon, preaching for revolt using “state of nature” “contract and rights” buzzwords, this is Lockes-peak not Calvinist resister-speak. The Calvinist resisters were also totally illiberal on religious liberty issues.

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  82. This is an interesting blip:

    “I’ve yet to visit Westminster, but I imagine it’s on a hill-top with a perpetual sunbeam flowing over the campus while a choir of angels sing a majestic note. Machen eventually convinced Van Til to come teach at the seminary, and they, with the other wonderful theologians, brought on the fullest expression of Kuyper’s attitudes. Van Til, especially, was able to show that God was sovereign over every area of life. There is no neutrality, not even in philosophy or politics.

    Some of the most passionate disciples of these men realized that *every* area of academia needed to be “reconstructed” along consistently Biblical lines. Every subject, from sociology and anthropology, to economics and philosophy — all had to be brought under the dominion of Christ. These “reconstructionists” eventually realized the need to apply God’s word and authority to the civil government as well. Even the state was to yield to God.

    The greatest defender of this Christian Reconstruction (and the greatest of Van Til’s students) was arguably Dr. Greg Bahnsen, whose clear and powerful defense of theonomy was like a lightening rod through the heart of Westminster Theological seminary.

    But this position was so controversial — and demanded so much dedication and sacrifice — that few theologians at Westminster had the guts to endorse it. They all flatly rejected Bahnsen’s view — especially the man Dr. Meredith Kline, who even suggested that Bahnsen might not be a covenant child of God!

    Bahnen’s consistent application of Van Tillian theology forced Westminster to either give up a consistent Van Tillian approach to life, or face the entire might of post-Enlightenment Satania.

    The faculty, including John Frame, caved in the face of Satania and decided to hammer Bahnsen instead of stay consistent with their Van Tillian theology. Seventeen (!) years after Bahnsen’s “Theonomy in Christian Ethics”, the entire faculty of Westminster published a response “Theonomy: A Reformed Critique”.

    But as Bahnsen pointed out in his rebuttal to the book, most of their “critique” couldn’t be counted as a critique at all! Furthermore, much of the positions in the book, agreed with theonomy! And worse still, when the authors finally get around to arguing against theonomy, they use arguments that were already refuted by Bahnsen years before (in some cases). Westminster, it seemed, was unable to defeat consistent Van Tillianism.

    Well, Dr. Bahnsen passed away but his memory lives on. Westminster knew it had been defeated by Bahnsen and the Reconstructionists, but didn’t want to admit it.

    Dr. Frame didn’t want to accept theonomy, but neither did he want to depart from Van Til’s tradition. Over the years, in (what seems to be) Westminster’s attempt to come up with a way to defeat the theonomy movement, they’ve drifted into an incoherent position that Frame calls “The Escondido Theology” since the particulars of it are characteristic of a group of scholars out in Escondido California.

    These men staged a gradual “coup” over the Westminster faculty (Westminster Theological Seminary opened a sister school in Escondido) and — following their mentor, Meredith Kline — began imposing a view of theology on Westminster that is viciously contrary to the Kuyper / Machen / Van Til tradition. Of course, they still feel the need to coat their language in Van Tillian terms, and give lip service to the old-guard Westminster folk, but in practice, they no longer have any regard for the old seminary on the hill-top.

    Dr. Frame’s book is an attempt to refute the Escondido “Two-Kingdom” theology, without being a consistent (theonomic) Van Tillian. And while I, as a theonomist, object to Frame’s understanding of the law of God, I sympathize with his anger at these guys who are pursuing an incoherent theological system at the expense of the old Van Tillian orthodoxy.”

    That’s from shot gun barrel straight.

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  83. Doug,

    So you’re saying that if we would have elected Romney with his Mormon family values and sexual ethics we would have taken a step back onto the Christ-like path?

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  84. I don’t know, Doug. I’m reading Van Drunen (gasp!) on Calvin and Calvin said an awful lot of 2K things, as did Luther.

    Can we call you Doug Stein instead of Doug Sowers now?

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  85. A critque of John Frame’s book.

    “As wonderful as it is to see a theologian of Frame’s caliber tackle these theological revolutionaries, I feel like he’s aimed his book more at them than towards a lay audience. I wish he would have devoted more time to explaining the overall narrative of *what* the Two-Kingdom position is for our benefit. Instead, he presents a list of bullet points, offers some general criticism, then dives into his book reviews of the Two-Kingdom scholars.

    I found some of his background information in chapter 1 very helpful — he discusses a bit of the history of this theological coup — but he never puts it in a broader historical context. I suspect that’s because he realizes (as they all do) that the entire Two-Kingdom controversy is nothing more than a reaction to Dr. Greg Bahnsen.

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  86. Doug – Bahnen’s consistent application of Van Tillian theology forced Westminster to either give up a consistent Van Tillian approach to life, or face the entire might of post-Enlightenment Satania

    Erik – Quite the nuanced view. Good grief.

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  87. My pleasure D.G. Tom & I just manage to work it out and be on the same blog together. I have an autistic like ability to not lose my cool and persist in long back and forth blog discussions. And when I say long, I mean never ending. (Check the year and date of some of these blog posts.)

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  88. Doug, you might pick up Muether’s book on CVT where he accounts how CVT refused Bahnsen’s forced crown. Not to say that CVT is a test of orthodoxy, just that your take seems awfully, ahem, radical.

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  89. Erik asks: I don’t know, Doug. I’m reading Van Drunen (gasp!) on Calvin and Calvin said an awful lot of 2K things, as did Luther.

    Can we call you Doug Stein instead of Doug Sowers now?

    Me: Doug Sowers will do. That long quote is from shot gun barrel blast. He reviewed John Frame’s book on Escondido theology. I thought he made some very excellent points in his review.

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  90. @Erik, according to “shotgun barrel blast” this whole Escondido two kingdom brew ha ha is just an attempt to respond to theonomy. To late, Bahnsen already won! Which dove tails quite nicely to my original point when I first met you. To be a “christian” means you are theonomic. Some just don’t know it yet.

    We all should say with David:

    “Oh how I love your law! It’s my meditation all through the day and night.”

    Like

  91. Doug – @Erik, according to “shotgun barrel blast” this whole Escondido two kingdom brew ha ha is just an attempt to respond to theonomy. To late, Bahnsen already won!

    Erik – How is the weather on your planet? You are priceless Doug, priceless!

    Like

  92. I can just see the look on Tom’s face as he comes to the realization of the makeup of his allies here. This is Theater of the Absurd at its finest. I could not write a better script.

    Like

  93. Doug,

    If Bahnsen “won” (whatever that means) where are the Theonomist ministers, churches, and seminaries? Report to the nearest CREC church near you. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

    Like

  94. BTW, Hal Lindsey, old man he, and who will, I would bet, die of old age before Jesus returns, once confided to me in an email that he believed Bahnsen and the other postmillenialist who had premature deaths, suffered such as perhaps because of their “erroneous” position on The Rapture.

    Like

  95. sdb asks: “so you are saying that correlation equals causation?”

    No. Take a deep breath, and breath out slowly. There; feel better?

    What I am saying, is that to call one self “old school” and ridicule the notion of the Revolution puts you squarely outside real “old school” Presbyterianism. You’re living in a dream world of unreality. Real old school reformed types, would have no truck with DGH’s R2K theology.

    Really? This is your response. Not, “I’m sorry I misspoke. I didn’t really mean that “If Calvinists overwhelmingly hold to a certain position, then it’s okay to call that position Calvinist, with the proper qualifications.” Because, that sentence doesn’t entail “What I am saying, is that to call one self “old school” and ridicule the notion of the Revolution puts you squarely outside real “old school” Presbyterianism. ” at all. As I pointed out, lots of Calvinists believe lots of things that aren’t an essential element of Calvinism. How do we decide what the essential elements of Calvinism are? We look to the confessions and catechisms. No one is ridiculing the Revolution. What is disputed is the role that Calvinism proper (not necessarily Calvinists) had in motivating the revolution and the formation of the republic.

    What we see is that immediately following the revolutionary war, the WCF underwent a major revision in its understanding of the role of the magistrate. One might conclude from this that the Presbyterian leaders wanted to clarify something – maybe that their support for the revolution as citizens should not be understood as something necessitated by their religion. To adjudicate this one might want to look at sources written by the major players leading up to this point. I presume some elder didn’t stand up at the general assembly in 1787 and say – hey I have an idea let’s completely revamp that section on the magistrate. My bet is that there was several years of dialog and debate leading up to that revision (though of course I could be wrong).

    I bet reading that material (the letters, sermons, and meeting minutes by the major players) could give you a pretty good idea of how presbyterians of the time saw the relationship between the church and magistrate. I don’t think counting the number of presbyterians supporting a particular cause tells you much of anything about whether there was a specific presbyterian influence on justification for that cause – not everything Presbyterians do is motivated by their calvinism. This isn’t to say the revolution wasn’t driven by Calvinist thought rather the evidence on display thus far doesn’t demonstrate that.

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  96. Via Jon Rowe, our joint home blog has a link to the entitre review of Mark David Hall’s book:

    Hall sets out to correct a serious flaw in the historiography. While prominent accounts of the American Revolution’s intellectual underpinnings devote considerable attention to the influence of Lockean, classical republican, Scottish Enlightenment traditions, the influence of Reformed Protestantism–that is, Calvinism–tends to be overlooked. Although the focus is on Sherman’s political thinking, Hall tell us, his book shows that the Reformed tradition was central to the thought of Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Oliver Ellsworth, Jonathan Trumbull, William Paterson, John Witherspoon, and several other prominent Calvinist politicians as well.

    As Hall puts it, “I am not arguing that Calvinism was the only influence on Sherman and his colleagues, simply that it was a very important influence that needs to be taken more seriously if we are to appreciate the political theory and actions of many of America’s founders.” Hall here continues the project on which he, Daniel L. Dreisbach, and Jeffry H. Morrison have long been jointly and severally embarked: that of fleshing out the story of religion’s influence on the politics of the Revolution and Early Republic.

    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Constitutional+Calvinist.-a0330250715

    Like

  97. DGH: Erik, but isn’t it enjoyable to see the kind of support Tom’s “arguments” receive. If Doug agreed with me, I’d need to consider what am I doing wrong?

    Much better for you to talk with your sycophants than address me directly, exchanging your supercilious ad homs. Poor show, gentlemen.

    FTR, Doug Sowers agrees with me on the sloppiness of your history. The timeline of your argument is off here–the WCF revision of 1788 comes after the Revolution is won, not before, and so your argument is not on point.

    As for theonomy, I certainly do disagree with Mr. Sowers, on the realistic historical level, as Jon Rowe notes, that there’s no historical evidence of the Hebrews actually killing gays or stoning their drunk and disobedient children as Leviticus and Deuteronomy prescribe.

    But on political/theological history level, Calvin’s Geneva or the Puritans didn’t draw the line between the magistrates’ sphere of influence re the two tablets of the Ten Commandments where it’s drawn today. [Which is to say not at all–our contemporary libertarianism is license, a proposition an old school Presbyterian would reject.]

    So you need to do more work on what was the province of “ecclesiastical courts,” the interaction between the two in Geneva, as well as the NE Puritans combining their function into civil law. [Leaving “ecclesiastical courts” behind in Britain as too papist.] This I had hoped to learn from you, but this necessary component of your own history is ignored or elided.

    Further, you still don’t have your “Two Kingdoms” right. America early on learned to separate theonomy from soteriology, IOW, Calvinists and non-Calvinists could agree on how life on this earth should be lived [liberty, but without license] according to the Bible and to natural law–which, both coming from God, cannot contradict each other. Salvation was an issue outside civil law and drawing the line between this life and the next proved to be easier than expected.

    But to say that the Kingdom of God includes only the business of salvation and the rest should be left to the City of Man is unsupportable in the first centuries of Calvinist history. The Bible and the natural law have much to say about living this life, and for them to be divorced from civil law is a radical, not orthodox, theology.

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  98. Tom,

    What is a guy at a Quaker school doing writing about Calvinists in the first place?

    Who knew I could be both a sycophant and a gentleman.

    Tom – “FTR, Doug Sowers agrees with me on the sloppiness of your history. The timeline of your argument is off here–the WCF revision of 1788 comes after the Revolution is won, not before, and so your argument is not on point.”

    Any sentence that begins with “Doug Sowers agrees with me”…

    Why nothing about individual rights in the WCF revision on the magistrate if the Revolution had just ended five years earlier? You would think it would be fresh in all of their “Calvinist” minds.

    I don’t know if you’re just dumb or purposely being obtuse at this point. We’ve asked you the same question about 10 times now.

    In your last section, why do we need the Bible to inform civil law if you endorse Natural Law? Isn’t Natural Law the Law of God written on men’s hearts? (a la Romans 2)

    Like

  99. Tom,

    Since you are so high on Calvin’s Geneva and the Puritans, what laws that you saw there would you like to see in 21st Century America that you don’t?

    Like

  100. Erik, when we say Bahnsen won, we mean there hasn’t been a coherent response from the reformed community. They’re first attempt some 17 years after Bahnsen wrote TICE was hardly a critique, since over 3/4 of the book agreed with theonomy.

    The next attempt was even worse, David Gordon made a fool of himself trying to argue theonomy, only establishing the opposite.

    2K is the latest attempt at responding to theonomy. Unfortunately it’s an incoherent response.

    Theonomy wins by default.

    Like

  101. Why nothing about individual rights in the WCF revision on the magistrate if the Revolution had just ended five years earlier?

    Why no explicit ban on revolution? 1788 was the opportune time. Your question is designed to debate, not discover truth. Learn the difference.

    To repeat, the timeline of [Darryl’s] argument is off here–the WCF revision of 1788 comes after the Revolution is won, not before, and so the argument is not on point. [Indeed the 1788 revision seems a surrender to Locke’s theory of “the magistrate,” setting you on the wrong side of the Enlightenment/modernity question–a much more interesting debate.]

    In your last section, why do we need the Bible to inform civil law if you endorse Natural Law?

    It’s a shame you don’t read the links provided in this blog–either mine or Darryl’s. Then you could actually contribute to the discussion rather than just be his henchman. Your co-religionist David VanDrunen clears up your confusion [or sophistry] here

    http://www.opc.org/os.html?article_id=369&cur_iss=Y#return2

    One purpose of natural law, I think we’d all agree, is to hold all people accountable before God’s judgment for their violations of his moral law. This is explicit in Romans 1 and implicit in many other biblical texts, such as Amos 1. This means that the substance of the moral law is revealed in natural law; otherwise, many people could stand before God’s judgment and legitimately claim excuse for their sins. Therefore, natural law must objectively reveal sufficient moral knowledge for a human being to live a blameless life in the present world. But immediately one must add that, subjectively speaking, no sinner could possibly respond to this revelation blamelessly. Natural law reveals God’s perfect law but does not convey the ability to respond without sin. Fallen sinners distort the truths that they know through natural revelation, as Romans 1 also teaches. So in response to McIlhenny’s questions regarding an advantage for Christians: Christians do not have, objectively, an information-advantage with respect to the moral law; Scripture reveals the same substance of the moral law that natural law reveals. But Christians may be said to have a moral advantage in that Scripture clarifies many aspects of natural revelation for our dull minds and in that Christians’ sanctified hearts should be less prone to distort natural revelation.

    Indeed, I see that if many of your co-religionists can’t get a fair hearing*, I have no chance. your interest is in ‘winning,” by hook or by crook, not in seeking truth.
    ________
    VanDrunen, ibid.

    But I did fault Kingdoms Apart for its frequent misrepresentation of my views and arguments. In my judgment, the book lacked “collegiality” not because it disagreed with me but because of these misrepresentations. Having clarified this, I am now eager to engage the substantive matters McIlhenny raises.

    Quite so–I spend more time dispelling the distortions of my arguments than getting to make them. You guys need to work on that. You’re either being disingenuous or you honestly don’t understand the other guy’s argument. In either case, you need to try harder.

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  102. Tom Van Dyke says: “FTR, Doug Sowers agrees with me on the sloppiness of your history. The timeline of your argument is off here–the WCF revision of 1788 comes after the Revolution is won, not before, and so your argument is not on point.”

    Bingo! And since it’s become obvious we can’t trust this sloppy historian (DGH) why listen to him at all? His theology is even worse than his history, which is already been proven dubious at best.

    Two thumbs down for Escondido’s two kingdom nonsense.

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  103. Doug – Erik, when we say Bahnsen won, we mean there hasn’t been a coherent response from the reformed community.

    Erik – Currently we’re trying to duck into shops when we see you coming down the street.

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  104. TVD “To repeat, the timeline of [Darryl’s] argument is off here–the WCF revision of 1788 comes after the Revolution is won, not before, and so the argument is not on point. [Indeed the 1788 revision seems a surrender to Locke’s theory of “the magistrate,” setting you on the wrong side of the Enlightenment/modernity question–a much more interesting debate.”

    Me: Amen, and amen!

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  105. Come on Erik! Quit being such a lackey. You know I speak from my heart, so quit being so rude. I almost never come down on you. Darryl is a big boy, he can take care of himself.

    Were I you, I would be questioning if you’re on the right side of the debate.

    Like

  106. Erik, you haven’t even read “Theonomy In Christian Ethics”.

    How lame is that? Neither have your hero’s Zrim or Darryl. Were talking “Dumb and dumber”.

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  107. Tom, I believe Jon Rowe has a Ph.D. (as does Gregg Frazier):

    Dr. John Fea has a book on Presbyterians and the American Revolution forthcoming which I am looking forward to.

    Dr. Gregg Frazer’s thesis is the “Calvinist” churches and figures who supported the revolution actually turned to Locke, not Calvin and had their Calvinism so polluted. The counter response is to look to the Calvinist resisters (Rutherford, et al.) who predated Locke.

    There is also, by the way, no provable connection between Locke and Rutherford et al.

    Some of the resisters were mentioned by the American clergy (and John Adams) who supported Whig revolt. They cited Locke more. I still haven’t gotten to the bottom of everything Rutherford, de Mornay, et al., wrote and stood for; but it seems to me that when you see preachers like Witherspoon, preaching for revolt using “state of nature” “contract and rights” buzzwords, this is Lockes-peak not Calvinist resister-speak. The Calvinist resisters were also totally illiberal on religious liberty issues.

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  108. Tom, passive-aggressive, another trait you share with Doug.

    Don’t you realize I am not saying that Calvin’s Geneva was 1776 Boston or Philadelphia? You’re the one who keeps making that point. Direct enough?

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  109. Tom,

    You keep twisting yourself into knots, mainly because you lack the theological background to have the conversation.

    You argue what “Calvinists did”, we respond with Confessional statements regarding Submission to Magistrates. The burden is on you to refute the Confessions, not on us to explain why there is no “explicit ban on revolution”. It’s like I point you to a stop sign and you say, “Well, you can’t show me a sign that says ‘Don’t go’!” It’s ridiculous.

    Then you go on to use a quote from Van Drunen to argue why we need the Bible and not just Natural Law to inform civil law? Are you serious? That will be great news to the Neocalvinists. Hey guys, the war’s over! We’re all Neocalvinists now!

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  110. DGH: Tom, I believe Jon Rowe has a Ph.D. (as does Gregg Frazier)

    And David VanDrunen’s CV is far more impressive than yours. What’s your point?

    Like

  111. Doug,

    Reading “Theonomy In Christian Ethics” is the test for intelligence now? Who knew.

    It’s good to have the old Doug back, though. The kindler, gentler Doug lasted about two days after that sabbatical.

    Like

  112. Tom, the point is that you make arguments on the basis of degrees. Wow, that’s sure rigorous.

    But if your method were correct, then Jon Rowe is right and you are wrong.

    Like

  113. I’ve read Bahnsen, not only his Theonomy, but also his paperback response to critics, No Other Standard, published by Gary North. Also his defense of justification by grace alone through faith alone.

    His Theonomy book had some good points about the legal standards the prophets used in the indictment of other nations. (The problem with Kline is what he never gets to about new covenant canon.) But Bahnsen on Matthew 5:17-20 sounds like Calvin on infant baptism. He knows what he wants the text to say, and he’s smart enough to see how much work it will take to make the text say that.

    Doug, sometimes we disagree, and it’s no solution to say–“well, if only you had read what I have read.”. It’s like saying, well, if only you could be as smart as…

    I really liked No Other Standard. Some of Bahnsen’s critics were not very sharp. Many of them seemed to have not read his book. The Westminster East collection on “Theonomy” was very weak, with lots of question-begging.

    But bad critics don’t prove a person is right. And being ignored doesn’t mean that you are right either.

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  114. Erik asks: “Reading “Theonomy In Christian Ethics” is the test for intelligence now? Who knew.”

    Not intelligence, ignorance. DGH’s answer to theonomy is a. not read it. b. is to roll his eyes, and give a fake account of history. His timeline is bogus! Darryl has gone so far as to suggest that the revision repudiated the original. Not true!

    My teaching Elder at my OPC church taught us that the revision did NOT contradict the original.

    How can DGH call himself a Calvinist historian and NOT know that?

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  115. Thanks for your candor Mark. I want you to know that my disagreements with you are not personal. And FWIW I fully agree the only people who will be saved are those for whom Christ purchased with his precious blood at Calvary.

    In other words I believe it “particular atonement”.

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  116. Erik asks: “Reading “Theonomy In Christian Ethics” is the test for intelligence now? Who knew.”

    Doug: Not intelligence, ignorance.

    Priceless. Don’t ever erase this.

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  117. Doug: My teaching Elder at my OPC church taught us that the revision did NOT contradict the original. How can DGH call himself a Calvinist historian and NOT know that?

    When did the office of teaching elder in the OPC rise to such Pope-like stature?

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  118. Erik, don’t you see, whoever agrees with Doug (or Tom), automatically becomes an expert and better educated than his debating partner?

    Brilliant!

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  119. D.G.,

    I never dreamed that Doug would find such a yin to his yang. Doug has read only on Theonomy and Tom has read a mile wide and an inch deep on everything. They are the perfect complement to one another. As Doug would say, we should be prepared to be demolished by their arguments from this day forward!

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  120. Tom, the point is that you make arguments on the basis of degrees.

    Not me, Darryl. Why this misrepresentation stuff? VanDrunen was right. I explicitly wrote that the credentials game is BS right here

    https://oldlife.org/2013/06/confusing-johns/comment-page-2/#comment-87319

    “The credentials game is BS. I said that Mark David Hall’s are equal to yours, which they are. Attacking his credentials is unworthy and irrelevant. Deal with his thesis or don’t, I don’t care. Enough of it has been stated in the discussion for the curious reader to investigate further on his own. The people rest.”

    And they’re trying, believe me, returning only for rebuttals and refudiations. The people have had their say.

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  121. Tom, make up your mind. Credentials are BS or VanDrunen’s (and Hall’s) cv is better than mine. Should we believe the passive Tom or the aggressive Tom?

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  122. Tom, make up your mind. Credentials are BS or VanDrunen’s (and Hall’s) cv is better than mine.

    Both are true, Darryl. The people will again attempt to rest.

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  123. Tom Van Dyke says: “As for theonomy, I certainly do disagree with Mr. Sowers, on the realistic historical level, as Jon Rowe notes, that there’s no historical evidence of the Hebrews actually killing gays or stoning their drunk and disobedient children as Leviticus and Deuteronomy prescribe.”

    I don’t disagree. Many of these God’s penal sanctions like the DP for sodomy, would never need to be carried out. Were one to engage in sodomy with these laws on the books, it would have to be deep, deep, deep, down under cover. Or; in the closet where it belongs. This would put a crimp in groups like NAMBLA and Queer Nation. They would be defunct, and that’s a good thing for society in general.

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  124. Erik admits: “think I relish our interactions so much because they remind me of my boyhood arguments with my mom. Cherished memories…”

    Ahhhh, that warms the cockles of my heart. Who doesn’t love their own mother? FWIW, you remind me of somone too. The younger brother I never had, to beat up on while I had the advantage.

    Keep pressing on!

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  125. Doug, I see, so the point is to wield the law in order to suppress a particular class of sinners. But 2k wants to preach the law in order to stir up all manner of sinners and point them to Christ. Doug, Doug, why dost thou persecute this?

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  126. Well, another thread hijacked to become a debate on theonomy. Let’s see, that makes… just about all of them.

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  127. Todd, that’s what happens when you don’t deal definitively with monocovenantalism and all it’s bastard children.

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  128. But Sean, you can never deal with mono-covenantalism as long as you still say “covenant children” and ‘covenant baptism”. We would have to ask: which promises? which covenant? which conditions?

    And who wants to do that? I am not sure that Kline himself stood by his By Oath Consigned, after he saw what Gary North and the reconstructionists did with sanctions.

    It’s just a lot more comfortable to say that baptists “think their children are still pagans” than to ask questions about what is promised.

    And if you were to say that Christ Himself is not only the One who saves but also “not only an exegete of Moses”, then you might find yourself excluded along with Lee Irons.

    The continued ambiguity is politically useful. Who really wants to be for a justification apart from our works?

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  129. DVD: Of course the Noahic covenant serves the purposes of redemption. To say that the Noahic covenant is not a redemptive covenant (which I have said and continue to affirm) is not equivalent to saying that God does not use the Noahic covenant to serve redemptive purposes.

    mark: To nuance or question, does God still use the Noahic covenant? Are all parts of the Noahic covenant (including human sacrifice as worship to the biblically revealed God) still valid for “the second kingdom” (whatever you guys call that kingdom) or do we need some kind of moral/judicial/ceremonial distinction by which we use Genesis to justify what pagans do for pragmatic reasons?

    Genesis 9: 4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.

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  130. Ah McMark, you just substitute one absolutist position for another. Nobody wants to live with tension. Nobody likes the wheat/tares reality. Can you live in the already/not yet?

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  131. Will some “families” be redeemed? Will all members of these ‘families” be redeemed? Will we still be in different “families” in glory after Christ’s second coming?

    John Frame: God’s covenant with Noah, to be sure, a covenant with all human beings. But at the time, “all human beings” consisted of one family, a believing family, who had embraced God’s promise of deliverance through the ark. There is no specific reference in the passage to unbelievers, or to a secular state, or to “temporal affairs,” or to some system of social organization beyond the family.

    Frame: Noah’s family was a godly family, every bit as much as was Abraham’s later on. The blessing of preservation given to Noah’s family is a gracious promise, In Chapter 8:20-22 Noah offers a sacrifice to God, and God’s promise to preserve the earth is a response to the sweet aroma. Was this sacrificial ritual anything other than religious? Indeed, God’s covenant with Noah is religious through and through, even on the narrowest definitions of “religion.” In the New Testament,
    the flood is a type of God’s final judgment on sin (Matt. 24:37-39, Heb. 11:7, 1 Pet. 3:20, 2 Pet. 2:5, 3:5-6), and also of the baptism of believers (1 Pet. 3:21).

    Frame: Noah is for us a model of saving faith. By constructing an ark, “he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith” (Heb 11:7). God’s promise to Noah is an encouragement to believers that the apparent delay of Jesus’ return is part of God’s redemptive plan (2 Pet. 3:4-13).

    mark: have you condemned the world today? or worked with it?

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  132. Sean, I hope that we can agree that the wheat/tares is not against church boundaries. It’s about not prematurely attempting to reform or judge the world. Correct?

    If so, why do I need to participate in the second kingdom in order to avoid “Christianizing” or reforming or transforming it, or any of that other stuff neither of us wants to do?

    It’s one thing for us to discuss to what extent we can “come out” and “be separate” from the present economy, but I see no reason why me not sending my children to state schools equates to me attempting to weed out the tares.

    Sometimes we get used to there being only two parties. I’m here to remind you of a third way. But for you, to not assimilate seems to mean the same thing as wanting to eliminate or change the majority culture.

    I have no intention of going after the weeds. What does that have to do with mono-covenantalist confusion of law and gospel.

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  133. Sean pops off: “Todd, that’s what happens when you don’t deal definitively with monocovenantalism and all it’s bastard children.”

    Me: Mark’s right Sean. At least he doesn’t think the new covenant is the same in substance as the Mosaic administration. You on the other hand aren’t supposed to believe that way. McMark is consistent, you on the other hand call me monocovenatalism? If you tried to say that at Westminster Seminary back in the sixties, you get the taste slapped out of your mouth.

    Thank God McMark is consistent, and can see right through your double talk. Psssst Sean, there are only two covenants according to the WCF. Why not be honest and take an exception? Then you can divide up the redemptive covenants any which way you choose. monocovenatalism? Baahahahha! What a joke!

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  134. Todd,

    And I’ve been aiding and abetting him. Do you take confessions?

    For once it is at least somewhat in the ballpark of the post, plus Doug & Tom have hit it off.

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  135. Doug hijacks posts for theonomy, I hijack posts to tell jokes and share videos, McMark hijacks posts for ???. We’re a bunch of veritable D.B. Cooper’s around here. Oh, and Richard would hijack posts for Edwards, Biblicism, and being annoying.

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  136. Doug, I reject everything you stand for. I reject your agenda to make the Old Testament normative for politics. You are somebody who would love to return to the inquisition, if they would let you and Doug Wilson run the thing. You are against all kinds of sectarian proselytizing, except of course your own, which you think is just basic and obvious.

    Doug, I reject your agenda as ultimately anti- Protestant because it opposes a religious liberty in which separatists (isolationists) “hold opinions that divide them from the general public”. To implement your agenda, you will need not only a coalition of the two beasts, an alliance between church and state but also you will need one “catholic” visible church. At the end of the day, you will support killing heretics like me, if we don’t join in with your “visibility”.

    Doug, you hope for a day in which all infants will be watered in the name of Trinitarianism. You want to escape modernity by building an empire which calls itself Christendom. Doug, I am not your friend because I advocate retreat from cultural engagement. If I can vote, you think I must. if I can build and drop bombs, you think I must, because at the end of the day theonomists think killing itself becomes redemptive of civilization.

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  137. Doug – If you tried to say that at Westminster Seminary back in the sixties, you get the taste slapped out of your mouth.

    Did they have a Theonomist as Provost? Corporal punishment for seminarians.

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  138. Erik, Lillback is now President of Westminster Seminary, and his view of a conditional covenant in Calvin is very much related to his views on theonomy and Christendom:

    “The Failure of American Baptist Culture” might seem a puzzling topic for a symposium of essays, but the contention of the editors of Christianity and Civilization is that American culture has been a Baptist modification of culture. The thesis the editors are setting forth, then, is that American Christianity must return to a full-orbed Biblical and Reformed theology, and set aside Baptistic individualism, if it is to have anything to say to modern problems — indeed, if it is to survive.

    EDITORS INTRODUCTION
    By James B. Jordan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..v

    PART I: THE CRISIS OF AMERICAN BAPTIST CULTURE THE INTELLECTUAL

    SCHIZOPHRENIA OF THE NEW CHRISTIAN RIGHT
    By Gary North . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …1

    SOCIAL APOLOGETICS
    By KevinCraig. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …41

    THE MORAL MAJORITY: AN ANABAPTIST CRITIQUE
    (a review of Robert E. Webber’s The Moral Majority: Right or Wrong?)
    By James B. Jordan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …77

    PART II: BACKGROUND STUDIES IN BAPTIST THOUGHT AND CULTURE

    BAPTISM, REDEMPTIVE HISTORY, AND ESCHATOLOGY: THE PARAMETERS OF DEBATE
    B y P. Richard Flinn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …111

    THE BAPTIST FAILURE
    By Ray R. Sutton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …152

    CALVINS COVENANTAL RESPONSE TO THE ANABAPTIST VIEW OF BAPTISM
    B y Peter A. Lillback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185

    AS TO ROGER WILLIAMSAND HIS’’BANISHMENT” FROM THE MASSACHUSETTS PLANTATION (A Selection)
    By Henry Martyn Dexter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …233

    CHRISTIANITY AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY: A LETTER TO THE REVEREND KEMPER D. SMITH
    B y Craig S. Bulkeley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …244

    ANABAPTISM AND ASCETICISM: A STUDY IN INTELLECTUAL ORIGINS (by Kenneth Ronald Davis)
    Reviewed by Ray R. Sutton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …287

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  139. McMark, I wasn’t getting after your making culturally distinctive decisions, I wasn’t getting after your objection to covenant objectively considered. We deal in the finiteness of creatureliness. We take confessions, even trading on paedo promises realizing not all come to fruition.
    ,

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  140. No Erik. You have to pay close attention. I wasn’t talking about theonomy with Sean and McMark. I was called a monocovenatalist. Which is nonsense! I believe in two covenants, one pre-fall and all of the post fall covenants are essentially one covenant of grace. You should be agreeing with me!

    This isn’t a debate about theonomy proper, it’s my long standing discussion with Sean regarding the Mosaic covenant being the same in substance as the Gospel.

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  141. McMark, says: “Doug, I reject everything you stand for.”

    Me: No you don’t. You don’t know *everything* I stand for. So don’t put yourself in an impossible situation. And while I may differ with my reformed brethren on theonomy, we have a lot in common. We both love the Lord Jesus, amen? We both want justice in society, amen? We both want more of Christ working in and through us, amen? We both want to glorify God in our lives, amen?

    See McMark; we have much more in common than we don’t. Both of our lives are hidden in Christ, amen?

    Amen and amen!

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  142. McMark states: “I reject your agenda to make the Old Testament normative for politics. ”

    I reject making the old testament normative for politics as well! Yea! We’re making head way.

    Now ethics on the other hand are universal. For something to be the moral or the ethical point of view, means it’s binding on all men. And we both agree that morality can not change.

    Amen, and amen!

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  143. Mark,

    I wouldn’t mind reading that, but I ain’t paying $19.95 plus shipping for it on Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Failure-American-Baptist-culture/dp/0939404044/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1370661526&sr=8-1&keywords=the+failure+of+american+baptist+culture

    When you mentioned it I thought it might be a new book. I wondered what the President of Westminster Seminary was doing writing a book with Gary North & James Jordan. And people give Escondido crap.

    I don’t know anything about Lilliback other than he appears to be Old Bob’s hero. That’s enough to scare me.

    Thoughtful Baptists will always have a place in any Reformed takeover of America that I have a say in. No promises to obnoxious revivalists and Theonomists, though.

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  144. So at what point is it simply bad form, impolite, etc… to keep making the same arguments over and over on a blog, if you cannot convince others of your point of view? I hope that none of you would do that to someone at church or in your family. The Internet is a strange place indeed.

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  145. Sean: I wasn’t getting after your objection to covenant objectively considered.

    mark: I am not sure what that means, but it probably means that you also disagree with the “federal vision” I know I object to the idea of one “the covenant of grace” which ignores historical covenants, like the Noahic, the circumcision (Genesis 17), the Mosaic, etc.

    sean: We deal in the finiteness of creatureliness. We take confessions, even trading on paedo promises realizing not all come to fruition.

    mark. Being in the finite is why credobaptists wait for a confession from “as many as the Lord shall call”. Acts 2. I know that these confessions are fallible (as are our judgments), but our method no more claims infallibility than you do when you wait for confirmation and communicant membership.

    Are the paedo promises in the form of law: ie, if you do this, then this….?

    Or are the paedo promises in the form of Gospel, ie, I will do this, with these results…?.

    My guess is that the rhetoric is a mixture, a confusion of law and gospel, a balance, comfort yet challenge, etc.

    As in, well this is only an objective promise about the righteousness, it’s not about the person.

    But then also, God works ordinarily in terms of not only race/generations but also not in terms of “no fault parenting”. If you do right, they most likely will turn out to be elect. If they do right, they will not lost their elect status.

    If it’s not about the person, then why not do everybody?

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  146. Doug – I believe in two covenants, one pre-fall and all of the post fall covenants are essentially one covenant of grace. You should be agreeing with me!

    Erik – If the Mosaic is essentially gracious, how do you account for Israel being thrown out of the Promised Land?

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  147. Todd asks: “So at what point is it simply bad form, impolite, etc… to keep making the same arguments over and over on a blog, if you cannot convince others of your point of view?”

    Todd, are you referring to me, McMark, or both of us?

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  148. Mark,

    We baptize some infants who will not come to faith, or if they do profess faith, may fall away.

    You baptize some adults (or young adults, or kids) who profess faith, who may fall away.

    So you’re just upset about the infants?

    There’s no assurance that anyone you baptize will persevere.

    Unless you do a Richard Smitheque examination of them. But wait, they may still fall away. Never mind.

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  149. Mark,

    At some point you have to ask yourself if it is better to remain churchless or just make the best of the available options. Unless, that is, you are willing to join Richard in saying that Christ has left the world with very few faithful churches. If you are holding out for a Reformed Baptist church that also happens to hold to pacifism you may be going to your grave churchless, and then who is your family going to hire to do your funeral? You don’t have to have 100% agreement with a church to join it.

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  150. Erik asks: “Erik – If the Mosaic is essentially gracious, how do you account for Israel being thrown out of the Promised Land?”

    Me: Erik, local lampstands, (churches) can lose there position as well. Just like Israel.

    Revelations 2:5

    “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.”

    Having your lampstand removed is analogous to getting booted out from the promised land. They are both Sovereign judgments from God based on our obedience. It was exactly the same with both Israel and the 7 churches. Jesus demands that only he can be our first love. Or else!

    Does that make the new covenant ungracious? Because Jesus demands that we never lose our first love? Of course not.

    Does that answer your question?

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  151. Erik, let me try to give you a better answer. First, it was gracious of God to give Israel the land in the first place. Remember, he didn’t give them the land because they were so great; they weren’t. In fact God called them stiff necked and stubborn.

    But God demanded fidelity from the beginning, just like he demands fidelity from the 7 churches. Do we deserve to be in Christ? Neither did Israel deserve getting the promised land. And don’t forget Erik, that God made Israel fight for it, in his strength of course. When Israel was faithful, they flourished. When they were unfaithful God rose up enemies to buffet them.

    Is it any different today? When the church is faithful, we grow, we expand. When we lose our first love, Jesus threatens us with removing his lampstand, and even death! At one point Jesus was threatening to kill they’re children!

    This doesn’t mean everytime we’re faithful, everything will be hunky dory, no. Paul was faithful, and he was executed. But Jesus does promise the churches when they are faithful, he will limit they’re persecution. So I see the same standard required in both administrations. We must trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

    Does that help?

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  152. Unless you do a Richard Smitheque examination of them. But wait, they may still fall away. Never mind.

    From what I’ve read of his writings here @ OldLife, Richard Smith is principled, sincere, erudite, and a good man, who has shown more kindness and concern for you than you have returned to him, in short my conception of a Christian, sir.

    And Richard, if you’re reading any of this–cheers, bro. I have learned from you. Every once in awhile, I look back on a blog whose dust I have shaken off my feet, to find someone sliming me in absentia. That’s actually a compliment.

    And just every once in awhile, there’s someone who stood up to get my back and speak well of me as they shat on my grave. So if and when you read this now, or in a year, or in ten—

    😉

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  153. Erik, I also see an analogy with the church currently fighting the good fight of faith, with Israel fighting God’s enemies, as in the 7 nations. They’re are some big changes, we no longer fight with a physical sword to expand God’s kingdom, but we do wield the sword of the Spirit which is the Gospel. And we are in a battle! God loves to see how we respond when our lives are on the line. Will we dare to be a Daniel? God knows how to set up the perfect situations to show us where are heart is really at.

    As the church is faithful, God’s enemies are defeated throughout history. Our faith is not in vain. But if we lose our first love, or get involved with sexual immorality, or withdraw from society, Jesus threatens us with death, just as he did with Israel. This doesn’t mean we are saved by our good works, it simply means, if we are saved, we will most surely walk in the good works that God has predestined for us to walk in. Each as God has gifted us.

    He who began a good work in you, will complete it.

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  154. Tom Van Dyke observes: “From what I’ve read of his writings here @ OldLife, Richard Smith is principled, sincere, erudite, and a good man,”

    Me: Amen! Richard is a good brother!

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  155. Erik asks: “O.K., Doug, so what are the eternal consequences of “losing your lampstand?”

    Me: Great question! But I am not sure Erik, but it’s surely a warning I wouldn’t want to press to the limit. Even though, not everyone in that church had lost their first love. What were the eternal consequences of Israel being kicked out of the promised land? I think it’s the same as having your lampstand pulled. I don’t think Jesus is teaching that we can lose our salvation. I’m a five pointer. But there are definitely some tension in those passages. How about this one?

    Revelations 2:11

    “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.”

    Me: Once could reverse it, and say, that those who don’t conquer may be hurt by the second death, no? I will say this Erik, it fascinating to me, how little attention many reformed folks give to Jesus warnings to the 7 churches. Because Jesus ties our obedience to our salvation. You can’t have one without the other. Yet, to listen to McMark our obedience is irrelevant. But Jesus didn’t say anything like that to the 7 churches, did he?

    God bless you Erik!

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  156. Doug: As the church is faithful, God’s enemies are defeated throughout history

    Erik: So you are saying God is dependent on the church to defeat his enemies?

    God threatens us with death if we withdraw from society?

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  157. Doug – Because Jesus ties our obedience to our salvation. You can’t have one without the other

    Erik – How do you know you’ve been obedient enough to keep your salvation? Have you obeyed the commandments, even as Jesus expounds upon them in the Sermon on the Mount?

    Have you looked at any pornography in the last year? If so, can you be sure you are still saved? How is that different than Sodomy?

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  158. Erik, I think you know I am not against you. I consider you my brother in Christ. But I do have major problems with DGH’s brand of 2K plain and simple. Sometimes I let my emotions get the better of me, and write things with more bite, than is called for. But I love the Lord, and want to see us all grow in the true knowledge of Christ.

    Iron sharpens iron!

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  159. Erik asks: So you are saying God is dependent on the church to defeat his enemies?

    No, just like God wasn’t dependent of Israel’s obedience to drive out his enemies out of the 7 nations. It’s God’s good pleasure to use us, to overcome his enemies. We are called warriors, no? Didn’t Jesus say our faith would overcome the world? I think God thinks it’s a beautiful thing to see me and you, vessels of mercy overcome in his strength.

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  160. Erik asks: God threatens us with death if we withdraw from society?

    Erik, we are called to be the salt and light of the world. To withdraw from our calling is a prescription for having God give us a good spanking.

    Jesus threatened death and disease to people in his church that committed sexual immorality.

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  161. Erik – How do you know you’ve been obedient enough to keep your salvation? Have you obeyed the commandments, even as Jesus expounds upon them in the Sermon on the Mount?

    Me: That is just like asking Jesus; “how much should I love you, so you don’t take my lampstand”?

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  162. Doug,

    At 12:52 you said:

    “But if we lose our first love, or get involved with sexual immorality, or withdraw from society, Jesus threatens us with death, just as he did with Israel.”

    So now you are retracting that?

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  163. Doug,

    You didn’t answer my question about whether you have viewed porn in the last year. I would think that you would jump at the chance to deny that. If you’ve viewed it, what does that say about the state of your lampstand?

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  164. Erik asks: “Have you looked at any pornography in the last year? If so, can you be sure you are still saved? How is that different than Sodomy?”

    So if I haven’t looked at porno for one year, I’m off the hook? Erik, this is why God told us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling! For it’s God who is working in and through us. We need to stay clear of porno, it can destroy our walk with God. Been there done that.

    Sodomy, on the other hand, is an unnatural love for men of the same sex. God calls this passion unnatural, and to actually commit the act is very very bad. Desire for women of the same sex, is natural, although sinful, but not a death penalty crime. How many Saints in the old testament were able to stay clear from sexual immorality? Very very few.

    Left unchecked, porno can make ship wreak of our faith. So my advice is to say your prayers find a good brother in your church that you can be accountable with to overcome temptations. Sometimes when you open your heart with a brother and pray for each other, it’s easier to overcome.

    God bless you!

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  165. Erik, the churches lampstand is not an individual thing, it’s corporate. My understanding of a lampstand is Christ’s Spirit that inhabits the body of Christ.

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  166. Erik says: At 12:52 you said:

    “But if we lose our first love, or get involved with sexual immorality, or withdraw from society, Jesus threatens us with death, just as he did with Israel.”

    Erik, will you quit talking to me like you’re a prosecuting attorney?

    I should have only said sexual immorality. And acting it out is worse than just lusting in your heart. Although lusting after women is still a sin, and can make ship wreak of your faith.

    Does that help?

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  167. Check this out!

    Presbyterians have always been in the forefront of the political battle
    against both of these extremes. The War for Independence was
    characterized by the British as a “Scotch-Irish Rebellion, ” that is, a
    Presbyterian revolt. Presbyterians object to statism as an encroachment on true liberty, but they also object to anarchy. The Puritans
    and Presbyterians had little use for the anarchistic Anabaptists and
    Quakers of their day. As John Cotton put it, “If the people are governors, who then shall be governed?” Think about it. That is a good
    argument, in the light of the Biblical command to submit to the
    powers that be. Presbyterians, unlike the Anabaptists, did not rebel
    against the statist powers, but unlike the Romanists and Anglicans,
    they did not acquiesce in them either. They submitted and also
    worked for change. When forced to do so, they took up arms.
    Consistent Presbyterianism alone is able to produce a genuinely
    Trinitarian view of the State.

    James Jordan.

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  168. Matthew 13: 24 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27 And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”

    36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 THE FIELD IS THE WORLD, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

    mark: of course I don’t think infants should be watered before they profess to having been called. That’s why I am part of a confessionally credobaptist church (which is not pacifist btw)—Christ Our Righteousness Fellowship. But my main question was about the “promise” to “covenant children”. Is that promise law or gospel, or some of both?

    I promise that the Spurs will win, if they make enough threes.

    Even though 2kers can see that “the field” in the wheat/tares parable is the world and not the church, they tend to also think that the parable should in some way “apply” to the church as well. As in, let’s be charitable, and put all “our” infants in (at least one parent who professes calling) and then God will sort it out.

    So there’s ambiguity about “discipline” as a mark of the church, and this begins with Calvin. He was watered by Rome and his wife was watered by anabaptists, and it’s not clear how a church can “sort out” creditable profession later if they didn’t do it at the beginning. But then they delay the “nourishment sacrament” for those who have had the water, and so—-is discipline a mark of the church, or is the visible church also the field which should include everybody until Jesus comes???

    To ask good questions and not be shrill, first one needs to agree with the basic approach or just go away? What about if I limit myself now to only one–what do you call the other kingdom?
    (Lord willing, I am gone today on another garden tour.)

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  169. McMark, if God sees fit to make Cultic distinctions, including creaturely administration inclusive of family particularity, an point of abrahamic continuity, which Paul declares to be of faith even noting the recipients as children of promise, why the big objection? That God continues to confirm per election that its of Him who calls, doesn’t negate the temporal and Cultic practice in this age. There’ll be a day when there will be no more faith or hope either, just not now.

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  170. “Sodomy, on the other hand, is an unnatural love for men of the same sex.” -Doug

    Would you care to offer a citation to Scripture for this averment? As far as I know, Scripture always refers to sodomy as particular sexual acts, which can also include acts between members of the opposite sex. Of course, it is probably also sinful to burn with lust to engage in such acts. But the burning with lust is not the act itself.

    It is well established that some 3-5% of the population is permanently sexually oriented to members of the same sex. This is a general orientation, and does not necessarily encompass a lust to engage in any particular acts. It seems as though you’re trying to define “sodomy” with sufficient breadth to suggest that those with a same-sex sexual orientation are engaging in sodomy simply by waking up in the morning.

    This extra-Biblical zeal to condemn gay people strikes me as a bit disingenuous coming from someone who cannot say unequivocally that he refrains from engaging in the act of viewing pornography. Also, I recall that you suggested that there was nothing sinful about the sexual crimes of Mr. Gentry. It’s interesting that theonomy seems to attract those who choose not to exercise restraint over their own sexual desires, and yet are quick to call for the condemnation of those who have never even acted on their desires (e.g., celibate gay people).

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  171. Mark – and it’s not clear how a church can “sort out” creditable profession later if they didn’t do it at the beginning.

    Erik – When someone comes from another Conservative Presbyterian or Reformed church we’ll accept a transfer of membership. When someone comes from a Non-P & R church they make a profession of faith before membership. When someone is baptized in our churches they make a profession of faith before becoming a communing member.

    You’ve never seen Baptists who made a creditable profession “at the beginning” fall away?

    Nothing is foolproof and watertight in the P&R or Baptist system, because God never promises it will be. Sermon on the passage you cited:

    [audio src="https://ia601701.us.archive.org/19/items/April142013MorningSermon_201304/April%2014%2C%202013%20-%20Morning%20Sermon.mp3" /]

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  172. Doug,

    Jesus says that we should be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. You confess that you have not kept the law perfectly (you’ve viewed pornography, which is lusting after women in your heart). Why has God not killed you and why has he not removed your church’s lampstand?

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  173. Mark,

    You need to be able to embrace some ambiguity in the temporal world. That’s what people with mature minds do. Most everything we encounter is provisional.

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  174. Bobby: “This extra-Biblical zeal to condemn gay people strikes me as a bit disingenuous coming from someone who cannot say unequivocally that he refrains from engaging in the act of viewing pornography. Also, I recall that you suggested that there was nothing sinful about the sexual crimes of Mr. Gentry. It’s interesting that theonomy seems to attract those who choose not to exercise restraint over their own sexual desires, and yet are quick to call for the condemnation of those who have never even acted on their desires (e.g., celibate gay people).”

    His flip-flopping with every new day is amazing. One cannot turn their credibility inside out 18 times in order to perfect it.

    That view shows latency in a big way. Hope it has a happier ending than a half dozen people I went to a Fundy church with way back in the day.

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  175. Bobby,

    Consider Romans 1:26

    “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged (natural) relations for those that are contrary to nature; and then men likewise gave up (natural) relations for those that are contrary with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

    Me: Notice a few things Bobby, it’s God who turns these men and women over to degrading passions, doing things that are not natural.

    But why?

    verse 24:

    “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, (because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature) rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen!

    This verse single handedly wipes out the specious theory that some people were born that way. Not according to Scripture! Not according to God!

    I rest my case!

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  176. Bobby, the definition of sodomy in my Thorndyke dictionary from 1967 is any kind of sex between people of the same sex. Male or female. Sodomy is not buggery (although it can be used that way today) When we say someone was sodomized we usually mean they were buggered.

    Sodomy is simply having any kind of sex with someone of the same sex. It’s unnatural Bobby! And that is straight from Scripture.

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  177. I think it’s all just a game for a few on here.

    They have a big book on what Reformed folk take full assurance in with God, and then keep trying to poke at it with “did God really say…”

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  178. Kent, I do refrain from pornography, it’s a dangerous as a rattlesnake and can make ship wreak of our faith imho.

    But I’m not on trial. Why treat me as though I am?

    Show a little brotherly love!

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  179. Kent pontificates: Bobby: “This extra-Biblical zeal to condemn gay people”

    Me: Extra-Biblical”?! I would be interested to hear your take on what God says about homosexuality. Or do you think Romans should be taken out of the Cannon of Scripture? What do you *think* unnatural means?

    Kent, I don’t have the time right now, but I could deluge you with a ton of (Biblical) data, condemning sodomy.

    Have you ever read the Bible?

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  180. Kent, I assure you this isn’t a game for me. When I first accepted that the God’s law was still valid for punishing people today, I was the guy who was deluged with sodomy questions. People sat me down, and said, “Do you think we should still execute homosexuals?” In an incredulous tone. Or, “Do you think we should stone our rebellious children?”

    In my own wisdom I wish sodomy wasn’t a DP offense. Its hard getting jeered at by fellow Christian’s: especially the men at Old Life. I grew up in this culture. Do you think I didn’t know that theonomy cuts against our Cultures grain? Do you think this was easy for me? It wasn’t. So how about a little charity brothers!

    But I would rather look foolish to some, and be true to God’s word, than fit it with today’s mindset.

    Let God’s word be true, though every mans a liar!

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  181. Todd, Oldlife is like Cheers, Doug is like Cliff, and the 2kers here are like the homosexuals that Sean goes drinking with. We live between the times.

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  182. Erik indicts: “Jesus says that we should be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. You confess that you have not kept the law perfectly (you’ve viewed pornography, which is lusting after women in your heart). Why has God not killed you and why has he not removed your church’s lampstand?”

    Erik, are you serious? Really? Number one, I am not on trial, okay? So please quit taking this prosecuting attorney approach with me. I never said I viewed pornography, so Stop it!

    Think about what your saying before you write. Ask yourself, why didn’t Jesus just remove their lampstand right away? Why bother to call them to repent? How long had they lost their first love? Think Erik, think!

    Why did God wait for hundreds of years before he kicked Israel out of the land? Why not after one sin? Why did God send Prophets to call the people to repent?

    Why did God allow Israel to have victory over their enemies for hundreds of years? Why did Israel expand their boarders? Was Israel perfect, ever? No? Then why ask me such ridiculous questions?

    Then ask yourself, why you even asked those questions of me?

    Think Erik, think!

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  183. Doug, why is a man’s desire for a woman other than his wife “natural” when the created order is one man and one wife, you know, Adam and Eve, not Adam and Eve plus Evelyn.

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  184. Erik, let me expand if I may. Since Israel was never perfect or sinless, how did Israel have victory over her enemies for many hundreds of years? How could they expand, if they were never perfect? If the law demanded perfect obedience or face the curse, as some have claimed, and we *know* Israel was never perfect, how did they walk in God’s blessings for one second? I’ll tell you why, because that’s not true! God knows how to judge his people.

    Judges 6:1

    The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD gave them into the hand of Midian seven years.

    Okay Erik, why only seven years? Why not total destruction? All the text says, is that Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. Now in one sense, anything that is not of faith is sin. But is that what God is referring too when he says they committed evil?

    Think Erik, think!

    P.S. I don’t have all the answers, but you need to put on your thinking cap before you ask such silly questions.

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  185. Erik, some more food for thought.

    Judges 2:11

    “And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals. And they abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them. And they provoked the LORD to anger. They abandoned the LORD and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth. So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he gave them over to plunderers, who plundered them. And he sold into the hand of their surrounding enemies, so that they could no longer withstand their enemies.”

    If this happened to Israel, can it happen to our church? Who are our enemies today? Is it not Queer Nation? How about NAMBLA? How about legal pornography? Could that be a problem today for us?

    Chew on it for a while

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  186. DGH asks: “Doug, why is a man’s desire for a woman other than his wife “natural” when the created order is one man and one wife, you know, Adam and Eve, not Adam and Eve plus Evelyn.”

    Here is your answer: ”

    and then men likewise gave up (natural) relations for those that are contrary with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

    Like

  187. McMark I mistyped. Should have been; ‘WAS getting after’ not ‘Wasn’t getting after’. But your correct I’m no fan of the FV elucidation of the covenant. I do think the credo arguments swing too far the other way going beyond God’s prescription in trying to ensure a more credible confession. It’s a function of living in between times as Darryl has said. Nobody likes the dissonance.

    Like

  188. Doug, theonomy doesn’t cut across the grain of rightist culture. It baptizes it. When will you be really counter-cultural, as in 2k?

    Like

  189. Doug:If this happened to Israel, can it happen to our church? Who are our enemies today? Is it not Queer Nation? How about NAMBLA? How about legal pornography? Could that be a problem today for us?

    Is that the gutter that your mind is trapped in? You go to that place in a picosecond several times a day?

    Like

  190. Kent, don’t you believe the church has enemies? Maybe you can share with everyone who you think our enemies are? Would that cause your mind to go into the gutter?

    Like

  191. So the doc at the heritage site is not peer-reviewed (do historians do that?), has an unsourced assertion that is clearly wrong (no way 55% were goung to calvinst churches), and was written by someone who isn’t a historian (I.e. he doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt ). In my mind this makes that paper a useless source of information.

    The claim that the revolution was spawned by calvinist ideas remains unconvincing. It is not eniugh to show that calvinists contributed, rather one must show that their theology provided a unique justification or motivation (one not contained in anglican, methodist, unitarian, or baptist theology. No one has done this yet. On the other side of the ledger we see nothing in the confessions justifying this kind of thing, and imediately following the revolution, we see that the confession is dramatically revised. That revision does not include anything about resistance theory, but it does make the confession more friendly to a pluralist society. Given the time it takes for persbyterians to conclude that change to a confession they have pledged fidelity to is justified is probably neasured in decades rather than years (we arent called the frozen chosen for nothing). Further, the activities from 1776-1781 or thereabouts were not particularly condusive to theological debates about the role of the magistrate-but I could be wrong. An aspiring student of colonial history might want to dig into the letters, sermons, anddebates about this change. Like I said earlier-the behavior of Scots is not necessarily calvinist even if all the Scots in question are Presbyterian. There are other parts of cultures.

    So far the the appeal to a distinctly Calvinist resistance theory in the us revolution remains unestablished.

    Like

  192. sdb – Like I said earlier-the behavior of Scots is not necessarily calvinist even if all the Scots in question are Presbyterian. There are other parts of cultures.

    Erik – Tom’s going to see that you used the word “Scots”, and in his Dan the Illogical Scientist mode, accuse you of the “No True Scotsman” fallacy.

    Could we raise some money to entice Bryan Cross & Tom to hold a debate here? It would be priceless.

    Like

  193. Erik:

    The occasional thought of them harmlessly nattering away on a remote island of the universe would be an enviable return on investment.

    Like

  194. Kent says: To me the enemy of the church is my sin.

    Huh??????? Whatever happened to Satan and his demons? What about Spirits and Principalities? We don’t battle flesh and blood, but the stronghold (demonic force) behind them. All run by Satan himself!

    What is the stronghold behind Planned Parenthood? Is it not death?

    Now that is an enemy that needs to be pulled down in our day, and defeated in the name of Christ!

    Like

  195. Doug, you really have no clue what we think in the Reformed world do you… your eruptions are sometimes amusing.

    Doug, your sin is the blight on the church, as is all of ours. Personal piety is the key to changing the world, an aim which you clearly are lacking in as demonstrated up to 100 times a day on this forum.

    Like

  196. Doug,

    Your response misses the point.

    Romans 1 clearly refers to a lust to engage in particular sexual acts, and not to a general sexual orientation. Therefore, it does not support the point you are making. Besides, if sexual orientation alone could serve as a basis for condemning someone as having committed sin, then, by implication, every unmarried heterosexual man is also guilty of sin. You clearly don’t believe that, given that you have averred that Mr. Gentry’s sex crimes were not sinful.

    Also, your response to Kent suggests that you reject the notion that Christ triumphed over His enemies on the Cross. There is no enemy of Christ that “needs to be pulled down.” Christ has already pulled them down by way of His death and resurrection. It seems that your theonomy has become infected by a degree of Pelagianism.

    Like

  197. At a small group studying 1 Thes., during a passage on personal purity I made a comment that even being married doesn’t make a man righteous in sexual areas of mind and act… to which all of the 5 married women in attendance said “that’s for sure” or nodded vigorously.

    Like

  198. Erik:

    How about a conclave amongst our 6 most precious posters, seal them up until they come up with a leader and spokesman to slay the dragon of 2K. Take all the time they truly need.

    Sadly I assume Mr. Cross would not be interested, he appears to have something going on in his life.

    Like

  199. Kent,

    I’m game. Let’s just make sure to poke a hole in the box to let in some air.

    Rumor has it that Doug occasionally pokes his head into a Presbyterian Church in between his forays into the culture war fever swamps. We may need to bring his pastor up on charges.

    Like

  200. Doug, you’re conveniently forgetting that we not only battle the world and the devil but also our own flesh. Your theonomy gives you easily discerned good guys and bad guys (with matching white and black hats and all), but can you admit with Paul that you are the chief of sinners and mean it, as in not just a polite show of humility? This is Calvinism, not to blame devils and principalities like the Pentecostals but to emphasize instead abiding human sin.

    Like

  201. Bobby bellows: “Romans 1 clearly refers to a lust to engage in particular sexual acts, and not to a general sexual orientation.”

    Nonsense! Can you read?

    “Therefore, God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves.”

    “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions.”

    God sets limits, or boundaries, on idolatry in the human heart. When people get to a certain point, it’s God who turns them over to humiliate themselves by committing shameful acts, like sodomy. So sodomy is a judgement from God for futile thinking.

    Read the text again, have a good think and a prayer.

    p.s. you need to have your brains washed out with God’s word, to erase that PC nonsense. Because believing in sexual orientation is a lie straight from the pit of hell.

    Like

  202. Yeah Doug, people want to have feelings that makes everyone scorn, pick on, and persecute them their whole lives. That’s completely rational. Have some compassion for other sinners, lest you fall yourself.

    Like

  203. Doug,

    I’d suggest that the phrase “…to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,” refers to conduct, and not to a general sexual orientation.

    Again, I see nothing in Scripture to suggest that a celibate gay person is necessarily a sinner merely by virtue of his or her sexual orientation. After all, if he or she is, then the same rule would seem to apply to all single heterosexual folks.

    Why is it that theonomists lose all sense of proportion when the topic turns to homosexuality? And yet they are very willing to look past the sexual sins of their own. See, for example, the charges brought against Mr. Gentry by his former presbytery…oh, wait, no such charges were ever brought.

    Like

  204. So the doc at the heritage site is not peer-reviewed (do historians do that?), has an unsourced assertion that is clearly wrong (no way 55% were goung to calvinst churches), and was written by someone who isn’t a historian (I.e. he doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt ). In my mind this makes that paper a useless source of information.

    The claim that the revolution was spawned by calvinist ideas remains unconvincing. It is not eniugh to show that calvinists contributed, rather one must show that their theology provided a unique justification or motivation (one not contained in anglican, methodist, unitarian, or baptist theology. No one has done this yet. On the other side of the ledger we see nothing in the confessions justifying this kind of thing, and imediately following the revolution, we see that the confession is dramatically revised. That revision does not include anything about resistance theory, but it does make the confession more friendly to a pluralist society. Given the time it takes for persbyterians to conclude that change to a confession they have pledged fidelity to is justified is probably neasured in decades rather than years (we arent called the frozen chosen for nothing). Further, the activities from 1776-1781 or thereabouts were not particularly condusive to theological debates about the role of the magistrate-but I could be wrong. An aspiring student of colonial history might want to dig into the letters, sermons, anddebates about this change. Like I said earlier-the behavior of Scots is not necessarily calvinist even if all the Scots in question are Presbyterian. There are other parts of cultures.

    So far the the appeal to a distinctly Calvinist resistance theory in the us revolution remains unestablished.

    sdb, but it is the kind of assertion that wins you money on game shows.

    Are y’all still on this, wanking among yourselves? You haven’t done a lick of research on this yourselves, and are arguing against a single internet link. Sophistic, unconcerned with truth, only rigging the debate so you can “win.”

    Disappointing, gentlemen. Try better next time. Or at least try.

    Like

  205. I know it when I see it, Darryl, a supercilious little circle jerk. Actually, I had just hoped you’d have at least some cogent counterarguments to learn from. Anyone can play Immovable Object, epistemological black hole. I have learned much about you and your church, although not what I’d think you’d hope to teach.

    Peace, and thank you.

    Like

  206. TVD,

    You’re the one making the assertion. Thus, the burden is on you to prove it. So far, you haven’t done it.

    Again, like most Culture War types, you prefer to cast aspersions on those who identify the weaknesses of your arguments rather than demonstrate that your assertions are supported by the historical record.

    After all these years, I still wonder what makes folks want to engage in the Culture Wars. I’ve never seen them as anything but petty and tendentious, if not outright dishonest. It seems about as attractive as haggling with the car dealer over the value of your trade-in (except that car dealers are a bit more grounded in reality). You guys make it sound like we’re one step away from waking up in a country that is as lawless as Somalia. Really? Do you ever leave the house?

    Like

  207. Erik admonishes: “Yeah Doug, people want to have feelings that makes everyone scorn, pick on, and persecute them their whole lives. That’s completely rational. Have some compassion for other sinners, lest you fall yourself.”

    Me: Erik you misunderstanding Romans 1. God is saying the REASON these people have unnatural desires IS that God is judging them!. It’s God who sets boundaries on idolatry. When certain lines are crossed, it’s God who gives them a spirit of stupor to have these passions and humiliate themselves. Some take it further and act of these desires. But it’s because of their futile thinking! I do have mercy and love and hope for any soul in bondage. I have evangelized men trapped in sodomy. I know some who have completely repented and are fully recovered by the power of God.

    Since I have talked very frankly with a hand full of homosexual men, (when the time was appropriate) you would be shocked at how open and receptive they are to God’s law. I have an admittedly small sample size (seven or eight?) but they have virtually all admitted that they’re behavior is deserving of the death penalty. They all know the truth in there heart. And even when they were not ready to repent, they appreciated and yes, even respected the candor I had in telling them what I knew to be the truth of God’s word.

    The truth has a very cleansing element to it. God’s law is truth.

    Like

  208. TVD, You’re the one making the assertion. Thus, the burden is on you to prove it. So far, you haven’t done it.

    Of course I have, Bobby. I made the case, none of your little gang refuted it. You “lost” by default. That’s how a debate works, Bobby. You don’t “win” by badmouthing the other guy.

    You’d think Darryl and helpers have “disproved” the existence of Calvinist Resistance Theory, as if somebody just made it up. You haven’t even taken the field.

    “From “What is Presbyterianism?” Charles Hodge, 1855

    “This is the reason why civil liberty follows religious liberty. The theory that all Church power vests in a divinely constituted hierarchy, begets the theory that all civil power vests, of divine right, in kings and nobles. And the theory that Church power vests in the Church itself, and all Church officers are servants of the Church, of necessity begets the theory that civil power vests in the people, and that civil magistrates are servants of the people. These theories God has joined together, and no man can put them asunder.”

    If you want to remain ignorant of your own church history, that’s your prerogative. But it’s kind of cool.

    Like

  209. “sdb, but it is the kind of assertion that wins you money on game shows.

    Are y’all still on this, wanking among yourselves? You haven’t done a lick of research on this yourselves, and are arguing against a single internet link. Sophistic, unconcerned with truth, only rigging the debate so you can “win.”

    Disappointing, gentlemen. Try better next time. Or at least try.”

    Of course not. I’m an astrophysicist not a historian. I have no intention of doing any research on this. I do have Tommy’s “God of Liberty” on my shelf and I read Noll, Marsden, & Hatch’s “Search for Christian American” 15 yrs ago or so. I’m no expert on any of this stuff, and what I might have known 15yrs ago after reading their book is more or less faint recollections merged with other stuff I’ve read.

    I have no way of judging the facts asserted by these guys or by you or by the guys you cite on the internet. But I can judge method. I’ve advised four Ph.D. students and served on the committees of a dozen others. I can tell when someone is faking it – claiming things they don’t understand. It comes out in the methodology. Your methodology is the problem. Whether your facts are correct or not is immaterial in some ways. It is the way you put them together and the conclusions you draw that is the problem. You are making very fundamental mistakes here. Mistakes common among autodidacts and intellectual hobbyists. That’s OK, amateurs goof up and can learn from that (the pros do to). But when you refuse to learn from the pros (or in the case of the pros – refuse to submit to peer-review), double down on your errant methodology, and assume that all criticism is in bad faith you enter the realm of cranks. I get several letters/emails each week from someone who has this brand new theory of quantum mechanics, cosmology, relativity, etc… that all the other physicists missed because ________. Invariably, they’ve made a fundamental error and they just don’t want to hear it. So they broadcast their idea ever wider in hopes that someone will validate what they’ve done. It’s sad really.

    We may not be up to your standards of collegiality or whatever it is you’re looking for. But I suspect that you could learn quite a bit if you weren’t so ideologically committed to your take on history. Who knows, in the end maybe you would reach the same conclusions but now they would be valid. As it stands now, your method makes it impossible to know.

    Like

  210. Doug:Since I have talked very frankly with a hand full of homosexual men, (when the time was appropriate) you would be shocked at how open and receptive they are to God’s law. I have an admittedly small sample size (seven or eight?) but they have virtually all admitted that they’re behavior is deserving of the death penalty.

    I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that the terms “hand full” and “small sample size” in that paragraph were (what we used to call) Freudian slips.

    Like

  211. I can only give the gloss on Calvinist Resistance Theory in a combox, SDB. There came a point where offering additional supporting evidence and argument was clearly a waste of time and effort: the principal and his peanut gallery didn’t want to hear it. Which is fine–my purpose was to smoke out principled counterarguments, but there were none.

    As for the lack of collegiality here, quite right. The interest is in “winning” via delegitimization, not a search for truth beyond the bounds of following a link–and for instance saying Mark David Hall’s Ph.D is in political science and not history, and therefore his thesis should not be considered*.

    That’s sophistic bunk, a logical fallacy**, and if you’ve advised Ph.Ds of any worth, you know it.
    ______
    *My personal judgment is that historians tend to be quite weak on political philosophy and intellectual history, but that’s admittedly just an opinion. But we are indeed arguing political philosophy and intellectual history, and Professor Hall’s credentials are quite valid and germane to the discussion at hand.

    **See also the recent delegitimization of Dr. Terry Gray as an employee of a certain church-financed college. This is also known as “poisoning the well.”

    ***Feh.

    Like

  212. Tom, nobody thinks that the existence of Calvinist Resistance Theory has been disproved. It exists. It’s just that some of us are still waiting for the biblical support for it, which is heard since the Bible no where affirms rebellion, only submission.

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  213. Tom, nobody thinks that the existence of Calvinist Resistance Theory has been disproved. It exists. It’s just that some of us are still waiting for the biblical support for it, which is heard since the Bible no where affirms rebellion, only submission.

    That’s a theological argument, Mr. Zrim. I’m familiar with them on both sides, but they’re really not my area of concern or expertise. I have no idea what’s God’s truth on the matter, although I have my suspicions.

    That you stipulate [at last somebody did!] the existence of Calvinist Resistance Theory will do. My interest is in its history; its theological validity is above my pay grade.

    You may enjoy this debate between Gregg Frazer, Mark David Hall, and Jonathan den Hertog, Drs all.

    http://www.researchonreligion.org/protestantism/should-christians-have-fought-in-the-us-war-of-independence

    Frazer, a John MacArthur evangelical, takes the absolutist approach to Romans 13 for the first 20 minutes or so. I’m acquainted with Gregg, and our disagreement has always been that to accept his history, one needs to accept his theology. Needless to say, I do neither, and so has it been here at Old Life. I understand the absolutist Romans 13 argument; it’s really not that complicated afterall.

    And feel free to pop over to my home blog, American Creation, where this is always a favorite topic–my colleague Jonathan Rowe has tracked back the embers from this discussion thread to over there, and the subject has fired up again*. I had hoped to run across someone who is familiar with Theodore Beza’s thoughts on all this, but that appears to be a dead end, at least here.
    _____
    *Mark in Spokane said…
    I think that the Declaration is both a revolutionary document and a legal brief defending the original rights of Englishmen held by the colonists. The revolutionary part was designed to appeal largely to those overseas who might support the Cause — the French and the Dutch, particularly, but also friendly voices in England. The legal brief, though, was the critical part in terms of establishing that the Patriots were not in fact throwing off the law but trying to defend it. In the Patriot view, the Crown in Parliament were the true revolutionaries and the ones who were acting illegally. The Patriots were exercising a right long acknowledged in English practice (from the Barons who forced the Magna Carta to the Glorious Revolution) to use force to resist unlawful actions by the King. In is in precisely this way that the American Revolution was, to use the phrase of M.E. Bradford and Russell Kirk, “a revolution not made but prevented.”

    The Crown in Parliament acted illegally, and that is what justified American Independence, after all American acts to preserve the Union with Great Britain failed (Olive Branch Petition, etc.). But the Americans never argued or accepted that they acted illegally. Graglia is simply wrong in his assertion. He needs to read more Russell Kirk and more of the Founders themselves in the period leading up to the Revolution.

    This is why so much of the argument about whether Christians can disobey the government via revolution misses the boat in regard to the American Revolution. The Americans weren’t the rebels, and the Americans weren’t the ones trying to subvert the law. The Americans were defending their traditional rights and liberties, and the law that they had known and embraced under the protection of the Crown. When the Crown withdrew its Protection, their obligation to the Crown ceased. Thus, a revolution not made but prevented.

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  214. Ha ha Kent, you’re really a pill. Is that all you can do? Just make *gay* jokes? I come out with Scripture and only Bobby vainly attempted to respond. Sadly it was such a weak response I was able to take him yard in one nano-second.

    The Bible teaches us that even the *desire* for other men, is a judgment from God for idolatry!

    Can you handle the truth?

    Like

  215. What is this site rated? I’ve been treated to the terms “buggery” and “circle jerk” from Doug & Tom in the same weekend. They really are birds of a feather.

    Like

  216. Tom, your point isn’t even plausible if you take into account what a Reformed church confesses. You’re logic implies that Americans supported the Declaration of the Rights of Man simply because they were part of the Enlightenment thought that overturned political orders on both sides of the Atlantic. Because Calvinist ministers supported the Revolution, therefore Calvinism supports revolution.

    If you went to school you’d know how to clean up and qualify an argument. Simply calling this theology when you yourself repudiate theological arguments is rich with irony.

    Like

  217. Doug, all sin is an abomination.

    The weakest and most piddly sin I commit is far worse than the imagined sins you like to fantasize gay men are committing with each other.

    Like

  218. Tom, well there you go then. You have no interest in theological statements. But confessionalists inherently do. That might explain your frustration with confessional old lifery. For such a smart guy this should be easy to figure out.

    Like

  219. Erik, don’t forget Doug’s explicit and anti-family language involving a truck stop not too long ago. Oh, the ironies of moralism.

    Like

  220. Zrim: that was my fault with the truck stop language; Doug proudly defended his personal universal law that he is not responsible for ANY reaction he wants to give to a question.

    Like

  221. And I’ll never confuse internet jousting with being a means of grace, or trying to really accomplish anything.

    Like

  222. Doug arrived back tanned, rested, and peace-loving, even publicly admiring the decorum of the Callers. Two days later he had worked himself back into a lather.

    Like

  223. Erik: I think it was my asking how Doug knew someone was gay and he responded with the worst terms of extreme vulgarity, and then blamed me for the reaction he gave. It was my fault for daring to ask him the question.

    Our attempts to revive his spiritual side was rebuffed and he proudly defended his behaviour…

    I know…. shocking, right???

    😀

    Like

  224. TVD,

    You seem to be arguing against a straw man. No one here is denying that there is a set of ideas held by some past Calvinists that one could refer to as Calvinist resistance theory (CRT). But you’re not merely positing its existence. Rather, you’re alleging that there was a causative nexus between CRT and the American Revolution. And, from what I can tell, you’ve not pointed to any evidence demonstrating the existence of such a nexus. Therefore, your thesis fails.

    And, yes, the burden of proof is on you. After all, a number of credible religious historians have studied religion at the time of the American Revolution and, to my knowledge, none has uncovered evidence that could prove your thesis. In fact, religious adherence at the time of the Revolution was only about 15-20%. The number of colonists holding to orthodox Christian beliefs is estimated at about 5-10%.

    Yes, there is such a thing as CRT. And there is such a thing as the American Revolution. But in the world outside of game shows, the mere existence of such facts does not necessitate that one caused the other. Nor does it create a rebuttable presumption of such. You’ve offered no evidence to back up your thesis, so it is quite expected that no one is buying.

    Like

  225. Zrim: when i reached the end of my tether with Dispys and Evangelicals who wanted to stomp out the worst forms of imagined sin when real sin was ruining their lives (or worse they were making excuses for their cronies in the church) I came to realize there had to be another path.

    Like

  226. The number of colonists holding to orthodox Christian beliefs is estimated at about 5-10%.

    Prove THAT, Bobby.

    Like

  227. Tom, well there you go then. You have no interest in theological statements. But confessionalists inherently do. That might explain your frustration with confessional old lifery. For such a smart guy this should be easy to figure out.

    Not really, Mr. Zrim. You and your opponents just bleat theologies at each other. God knows who is correct. I just watch the wheels go round and round.

    As for your past, there’s a lot of study left undone or ignored: where to draw the line between government and Bible as far as “enforcing morality.” Historically, it was not merely today’s libertarian or “radical individualism” bent, that anything goes as long as it harms nobody else. That concept of law and morality excludes the concepts of community and “society.”

    I don’t think your “radical” 2K theology is bulletproof Biblically either.

    As for your future–whither Calvinism itself. On one side, with literalists so orthodox they argue for 24-hour days in Genesis and put a chemist on trial for evolution, on the other side with gay clergy, and the only growing part of your religion, the Neo-Cals and Kuyperists turning your stomach, I’m the least of your problems.

    But when you start bagging on other Christians with your particular version of Two Kingdoms, I don’t think you have sufficient standing any more than any other sect or sub-sect. I endorse your right to Romans 13 absolutism, but am not impressed with your condemnations of those who don’t agree with it.

    But had you fought for King George against the American Revolution, I could respect that. Gotta do what you gotta do.

    Like

  228. TVD is making the woman of Samaria look like a rookie at leaping onto red herrings and tax dodges to avoid honest questions about his existence and soul…

    Like

  229. Kent pontificates: “Erik: I think it was my asking how Doug knew someone was gay and he responded with the worst terms of extreme vulgarity, and then blamed me for the reaction he gave.”

    Sorry Kent, you asked “how can you know someone is “gay”?

    I give you a real life example and you snivel like a little girl. “Oh how rude”! Put your big boy pants on, and act like half the man you used to be!

    P.S. Be careful what you ask for; you just might get the answer!.

    Like

  230. Tom, you’re a beauty! Hand in there bro! You are running circles around DG and his cohorts. I have never seen them so panicked and upset. You have discovered his soft underbelly. Darryl isn’t even a good historian! Keep pounding away at this charlatan until his says uncle!

    You might single handedly strike down this R2K nonsense with your honest and open questions, (You have got no guil, bro) that no one at Old Life seems to be able to answer.

    Keep pressing on!

    Like

  231. Tom, who’s condemning? I’d settle for Calvinists to quit lauding that scene in “The Patriot” where the pastor removes his clerical collar in order to take up arms against the Red Coats. Shouldn’t he be tending his flock regardless of the polity it inhabits?

    Like

  232. Tom – As for your future–whither Calvinism itself. On one side, with literalists so orthodox they argue for 24-hour days in Genesis and put a chemist on trial for evolution, on the other side with gay clergy, and the only growing part of your religion, the Neo-Cals and Kuyperists turning your stomach, I’m the least of your problems.

    Erik – ???

    You’re only supposed to be using the prescription marijuana for medicinal use, Tom.

    Also, no chasing it with Wild Turkey.

    Like

  233. Doug – Tom, you’re a beauty! Hand in there bro! You are running circles around DG and his cohorts. I have never seen them so panicked and upset. You have discovered his soft underbelly. Darryl isn’t even a good historian! Keep pounding away at this charlatan until his says uncle!

    You might single handedly strike down this R2K nonsense with your honest and open questions, (You have got no guil, bro) that no one at Old Life seems to be able to answer.

    Erik – Is Doug a real person? This has to be a put on. Doug, report immediately to community college and enroll in courses on grammar, spelling, and logic.

    Like

  234. Erik: you know how you’ve been the circus and the clown pulls multi-colored handkerchiefs out of his mouth and it seems to go on and on and on for what must be about 1 mile of material?

    well, that’s TVD and Doug on here, except the handkerchiefs are their crackpot history and theology, and instead of their mouth they are pulling it out of their behind

    but not accusing this act committing an indecency that Doug would demand the death penalty over

    Like

  235. Tom & Doug,

    Don’t you listen to that Canadien lib Kent. You fine Christian Americans just keep givin’ it to them “Old Life” libs! Keep Pressin’ On!

    Like

  236. Kent, I have provided Scripture proving that even the lust for the same sex is a judgment from God for idolatry. You can call me names, and even say I’m full of crap, but why can’t you deal with the text? Engage in real argument bro!

    If my theology is as bad as you say it is, why can’t you give me your exegesis? I would be happy to take this down a few decibels and discuss this like Christian gentlemen. Maybe like we are brothers in Christ. I will if you will.

    I’m throwing down the olive branch!

    Like

  237. Doug – Erik, were you aware that the British referred to our revolution as the Presbyterian revolt?

    Erik – No, I missed the first 37 times that Tom mentioned that.

    Like

  238. Doug, a little window into historical science for you, brah. I have actually heard and studied the notion of the U.S. founding as a “Presbyterian Revolution.” Simply following what a king said is not good history (nor is is very good American politics since we rebelled against that monarch). Because Rush Limbaugh calls Obama a socialist does not make the president a socialist.

    Have you ever considered the way we use terms and the difference between linguistic usage in different periods of history? I have and I keep pressing on in doing so.

    Like

  239. Tom, who’s condemning? I’d settle for Calvinists to quit lauding that scene in “The Patriot” where the pastor removes his clerical collar in order to take up arms against the Red Coats.

    Fair enough, Mr. Zrim. That scene is based on a myth about Rev. Peter Muhlenberg. Although there is a substantive truth behind it: he did announce his immediate departure for the Continental Army from the pulpit and he did enlist many for his regiment.

    Was that improper? It’s a valid argument, even without Romans 13. I do wonder that if when Luther mused that a triumph by the Turkish hordes might be God’s judgment, whether he urged Christendom stop fighting what appeared to be God’s Will. Or why Jean Calvin helped the Genevan government in any way shape or form not just to burn up Michael Servetus but to write their laws as “Ecclesiastical Ordinances” atall.

    http://tinyurl.com/l3966vk

    I realize I accidentally called you Old Lifers by your correct name once: Not “Calvinists” but “Children of Geneva,” Calvin’s opponents [see link]. Now we have your place in your history right. I get you guys now.

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  240. Doug, a little window into historical science for you, brah. I have actually heard and studied the notion of the U.S. founding as a “Presbyterian Revolution.” Simply following what a king said is not good history (nor is is very good American politics since we rebelled against that monarch). Because Rush Limbaugh calls Obama a socialist does not make the president a socialist.

    Have you ever considered the way we use terms and the difference between linguistic usage in different periods of history? I have and I keep pressing on in doing so.

    I love the guilt-by-analogy. Hilarious.

    The theology is more to be found in the English civil wars of the 1600s. By 1776, the arguments had already been perfected. But King George wasn’t the only one who blamed the Presbyterians for the American revolution. The Calvinists had been fighting the crown since Mary Queen of Scots, had cut off Charles I’s head, took over under Oliver Cromwell, and helped chase the Roman Catholic Charles II to France. They had the drill down–in fact the American revolution didn’t even topple the monarch, it just separated from him, historically pretty mild stuff for Presbyterians.

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  241. Tom,

    Say we would concede your points (whatever they are) about the American Revolution and Calvin’s Geneva. Wouldn’t you still have to make the case that those are normative for us “Calvinists” today? As churchmen in Presbyterian & Reformed denominations/federations like the OPC and the URC who have subscribed to the revised Westminster or the revised Three Forms how do you achieve this? No one has subscribed to the American Revolution, The English Civil War, or Calvin’s Geneva.

    Tom learned his history on Family Feud.

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  242. Finney was a Presbyterian. Is the Second (pretty bad) Awakening normative for us?

    Harold Camping used to be in the CRC. Do we all go sell our property tomorrow?

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  243. Tom, where did you do your graduate training in history?

    Argument from authority [on your own behalf], genetic fallacy [attempting to impeach my credentials rather than engage my point]

    Where did you get your undergraduate training in arguing honestly?

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  244. Say we would concede your points (whatever they are) about the American Revolution and Calvin’s Geneva. Wouldn’t you still have to make the case that those are normative for us “Calvinists” today? As churchmen in Presbyterian & Reformed denominations/federations like the OPC and the URC who have subscribed to the revised Westminster or the revised Three Forms how do you achieve this?

    Do what you want. Since your Confessions are revisable, God’s truth is whatever you say it is.

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  245. “Argument from authority [on your own behalf], genetic fallacy [attempting to impeach my credentials rather than engage my point]”

    Doug and Tom continue to track one another. Doug decries degrees and points to Bahnsen. TVD does the same and points to himself. Point for Doug?

    But maybe The Price is Right gives out honorary degrees.

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  246. Since we’re playing logic police wouldn’t this be equivocation?
    ” Do what you want. Since your Confessions are revisable, God’struth is whatever you say it is.”

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  247. Since we’re playing logic police wouldn’t this be equivocation?

    ” Do what you want. Since your Confessions are revisable, God’struth is whatever you say it is.”

    I dunno. A tautology?

    9. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.

    10. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.

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  248. Tom – Do what you want

    Erik – How many days of playground football have we played with Tom where he ends the game by getting beaten on the out-and-up route, taking his ball, and going home?

    If our Confessions are wrong, tell us where. I thought you were the guy who read every posted link.

    Most even come with Scripture references ripe for your attempted refutation.

    You might have to do some theology, though. Until you do, you’re just a fart in the wind in these conversations.

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  249. If our Confessions are wrong, tell us where. I thought you were the guy who read every posted link.

    I didn’t say they were wrong. In fact I said they were valid arguments, but so are the other side’s. You just never get it. Polemical blades are sharp on one side but dull on the other.

    And you don’t get to play referee or even keep score. You’re the head cheerleader. Back to the sidelines with you, and keep telling Darryl he’s winning.

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  250. Erik, One of the tenets of reformed theology is to always be reforming, right?

    I think the men who penned the WCF in 1646 would be aghast if they saw how slothful the church has been the last few hundred years. John Murray thought we needed to re-think our formulations and use language found in Scripture.

    I tend to agree with him.

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  251. Tom,

    You raise a good question for your Catholic friends. If Scripture is not self-attesting, how is it that Rome attests to Scripture when the only reason we would know that Rome has authority is from Scripture?

    How about just saying that Scripture is authoritative because of evidence of apostolic authorship, reception by the early church, and its divine attributes.

    You may not accept that, but by your own testimony you’re just matter in motion that will cease being in motion in 40-50 years (if you’re lucky) so why should we trust you? You’re here today and gone tomorrow.

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  252. Tom – If our Confessions are wrong, tell us where. I thought you were the guy who read every posted link.

    I didn’t say they were wrong. In fact I said they were valid arguments, but so are the other side’s. You just never get it. Polemical blades are sharp on one side but dull on the other.

    And you don’t get to play referee or even keep score.

    Erik – You actually make a good point. I can do no more than decide where I am going to worship and where my minor children are going to worship. If I’m a church officer I have some authority as far as that goes. I’m always on the lookout for better arguments, because as you mention, Confessions can be revised. You have to ask where you are, though. On the sidelines throwing stones at all parties as far as I can tell. Is that really the way you want to live?

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  253. Tom excoriates Erik: “And you don’t get to play referee or even keep score. You’re the head cheerleader. Back to the sidelines with you, and keep telling Darryl he’s winning.”

    LOL! LOL! LOL!

    Hey Tom, I will try to counterbalance Erik, by telling Darryl he’s getting his arse kicked!

    In all seriousness, Darryl has met his match. Your not only smarter than him, you’re way funnier!

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  254. Erik, I have noticed that Tom has not put words in my mouth, and misquoted me like you and others have done. He actually read me correctly on some points that you missed. Moreover, I’m not complementing Tom for reciprocation value.

    Sometimes I just like to encourage 😉

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  255. Doug,

    I don’t think you encouraged Darryl. Do you not realize the patience that he has shown to even let you still post here? You would have been long gone anywhere else I have encountered online.

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  256. And I’ll take being labeled as Hart’s cheerleader as a compliment. He is a great resource for the Presbyterian & Reformed world and I have hardly disagreed with anything he has written over the past year or so I’ve been around here. Where are your followers, Tom & Doug?

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  257. Tom – I didn’t say they were wrong. In fact I said they were valid arguments, but so are the other side’s. You just never get it. Polemical blades are sharp on one side but dull on the other.

    Erik – I can only imagine what it must be like to go to Baskin Robbins with Tom. It would be two hours waiting for him to sample all 31 flavors before he could decide. Even then it would be a tie and he would request that all 31 be combined on his cone.

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  258. Erik – I can only imagine what it must be like to go to Baskin Robbins with Tom. It would be two hours waiting for him to sample all 31 flavors before he could decide. Even then it would be a tie and he would request that all 31 be combined on his cone.

    God is an ice cream cone? OK, brother, it’s your analogy. With 30,000+ sects, Protestantism is definitely the Baskin Robbins of world religion.

    So pick a flavor and enjoy it. And if you get tired of it, there’s always another. And if you get tired of all of them, you can always make up one of your own. Tuna Mint.

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  259. Erik advises: “I don’t think you encouraged Darryl.”

    Me: I wasn’t trying to encourage Darryl; I was trying to humiliate him! I was encouraging Tom to step up the pressure! He (Tom Van Dyke) is the (not so lone) voice in the wilderness “bitch” slapping Darryl around at his own game, history! LOL! And DG”s the one who’s left without a clue!

    How hilarious is this?! What a landslide! He Makes Darryl look like the hack jerk of an historian I’ve always suspected he is. A man who doesn’t’ even know his own denominations history! LOL! Back to the drawing board, Darryl!

    If this were a fist fight, it would be called in the first 10 seconds! Darryl is getting blasted from every angle imaginable, walking into left after vicious right, mixed in with wicked upper cuts, much like watching a boot rookie “club” boxer trying to fight Mike Tyson back in 87!

    Erik, you need to find a new hero. How about Jesus? DG had fallen down the stairs, and he can’t get up.

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  260. Brother Doug, not that I disagree with your assessment, and I have often wondered whether mercy is at odds with justice. Are not both divine?

    And my own assessment, observing the goingsabout, is that you have returned less indignity than you have suffered. Rendering mercy over seeking justice is a biblical dynamic if I read it right.

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  261. Erik, as much as I hate to admit it, M&M was right about how he accessed me. I got carried away last night and was WAY over the top. I’m going to take a breather and quit posting for a while. I just read what I wrote and I am embarrassed and ashamed. I would ask for your prayers. I obviously have a problem with my brother DGH that I need to get resolved. So I will be out of you’re hair. God bless you, and Darryl.

    ln Him,.

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  262. This was actually a funny exchange to read.

    It reminds me of another advantage of being 2k: Your faith in God’s promises doesn’t have to depend on whether we can force the surrounding culture to be more moral. Nor does it depend on believing some surreal myth that our nation’s founders were all secretly channeling Jerry Falwell and Jim Dobson.

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