We Are Making a Difference (even if Bill Evans Can't See)

The Ecclesial Calvinist tries to correct the historical record by claiming that Machen and Van Til are more transformational (and less 2k) than some think. I do believe that Van Til’s record is mixed since he drank so deeply at the well of neo-Calvinism. At the same time, Van Til’s involvement in the OPC, which was hardly a transformationalist church (just ask Tim Keller), and Van Til’s vigorous work for the church would certainly complicate Evans’ invocation. Not to mention that Evans does not seem to recognize that he is no transformationalist on the order of Van Til’s rhetoric. For instance, Evans features this quotation from Van Til:

He knows that Satan seeks to destroy his Christian culture by absorbing it into the culture of those who are still apostate from Christ. He knows that the whole course of history is a life and death struggle between the culture of the prince of the powers of darkness and his Christ, who has brought life and light into the world. He knows that he must fight the battle for a Christian culture first of all within himself and then with those who seek to destroy his faith and with it all true culture. He knows that the weapons of this warfare between a Christian and the non-Christian culture are spiritual. He would deny the norm of his own culture and be untrue to his own ideal if he descended to the coarse and the uncouth, let alone to the use of physical force, as he engages his foes whom he wants to make his friends and brothers in Christ.

But when it came to the 2012 election, apparently Evans didn’t have this same knowledge:

If human redemption ultimately depends on divine activity at the end of history, then one should not try, as some have put it, to “immanentize the eschaton” in the here and now. Both Jews and Christians learned that lesson long ago as the biblical holy-war tradition was eschatologically conditioned and spiritualized. Jews wisely decided to eschew the apocalyptic impulse of the Jewish Wars in the first and second centuries, and to wait for the messiah to come and set things right. Christians did much the same thing as holy warfare motifs were understood in terms of spiritual conflict in the present and the second advent of Jesus in the future (and yes, I’m quite aware of the post-millennial scenario that achieved some popularity in more culturally optimistic times or recently as an incentive to action among Christian Reconstructionists).

When it comes to theonomy, 2k sounds pretty good to Evans.

Nor was he so confident of what Van Til knew when Evans commented on homosexuality:

It seems to me that there is a lot of soul-searching to be done. To be sure, at this point even a low-key statement of biblical morality comes across as narrow-minded and intolerant, and there is probably not much that can be done about that in the short term. But the problems are more complicated than the substance of biblical morality. First of all, we have come across as hypocritical. American Evangelicalism is, by and large, thoroughly compromised on the issue of heterosexual marriage. . . . Second, we are often perceived as majoring on condemnation rather than compassion. Having lectured every year to undergraduates on the Apostle Paul’s view of homosexuality, I’m convinced that many Evangelicals have tended to misread him in two ways—on the moral status of homosexual behavior and the appropriate response of the church.

That doesn’t sound very every-square-inchish.

But what is oddest about Evans’ recent brief against 2k is the notion that somehow he represents the mainstream of the Reformed tradition (I am not sure one exists since so many different hands and so many different circumstances informed the Reformed churches in so many different lands):

In short, what seems to be emerging is a “Reformed” theology of culture tailored for deeply pessimistic times. Like most theological and historical revisionisms, it is worth discussing. But let’s just not confuse it with the mainstream of the Reformed tradition.

The gasp you may have heard was your vinegary writer when reading a man who is in a secession church — an immigrant one to boot — talking about mainstream Reformed. Evans teaches at Esrkine Theological Seminary, an institution with roots in the original Reformed secession — the Associate Presbytery of 1733 where Ralph and Ebenezer Erskine walked away from the mainstream of the Scottish Kirk (letting goods and kindred go in Luther’s words) for the sake of the gospel and the freedom of the church. Of course, the Reformers had already left the mainstream to pursue reform (and boy did the church need it — still does). But after 1733, secession, or exiting the mainstream, was what various Reformed heroes thought necessary to protect the ministry and integrity of the church. The Afscheiding among the Dutch in 1834 left the national church to be faithful to the Three Forms of Unity. Thomas Chalmers almost a decade later led another secession group out of the Scottish Kirk, this time the Free Church, again to protect the gospel and to reject infidelities in the mainstream churches. Abraham Kuyper in 1886 would reluctantly and mournfully do the same because of the compromises in the Dutch Reformed Church. Rounding out this list was J. Gresham Machen and the OPC’s 1936 break from the PCUSA.

The historical record once again shows that being outside the mainstream is not a bad thing but may actually be what conservative Reformed Protestants and Presbyterians do. It also shows that since the Reformation churchmen and laity have considered the task of the church to be more important than the kind of social good they could accomplish from inside the mainstream churches. They also believed that sacrificing cultural connections and influence was price to be paid for faithfully ministering God’s word.

Which is why Evans other point about 2k being the theology for pessimistic times is odd. Has he not heard? Christians have always lived in pessimistic times. That’s the nature of being aliens and exiles. That’s what happens when you worship in the church militant. Sure, Christians are optimistic about going home to be with their Lord. But they’re not optimistic about making their home here, this side of glory.

And that is why Evans does not seem to be able to recognize that 2kers do want and try to make a difference in this world. The difference is what constitutes difference. 2kers are not impressed, the way Evans appears to be, with political engagement or attempts to win the culture war. 2kers, in fact, know that we are always in a battle and that culture wars often distract from the real warfare which is spiritual and that can only seen by faith and not by sight. But for some reason, the efforts of 2kers to remind the church of its higher calling, to avoid identifying the cause of Christ with “conservative” politics or Western Civilization or the politics of identity, do not impress Dr. Evans.

But maybe J. Gresham Machen will and the words he spoke to future ministers:

Remember this, at least — the things in which the world is now interested are the things that are seen; but the things that are seen are temporal, and the things that are not seen are eternal. You, as ministers of Christ, are called to deal with the unseen things. You are stewards of the mysteries of God. You alone can lead men, by the proclamation of God’s word, out of the crash and jazz and noise and rattle and smoke of this weary age into the green pastures and beside the still waters; you alone, as minsters of reconciliation, can give what the world with all its boasting and pride can never give — the infinite sweetness of the communion of the redeemed soul with the living God. (Selected Shorter Writings, 205)

When the transformationalist can say that about the ministry of the word compared to the temporal blessings of this life, we can have a conversation.

553 thoughts on “We Are Making a Difference (even if Bill Evans Can't See)

  1. dgh: The historical record once again shows that being outside the mainstream is not a bad thing but may actually be what conservative Reformed Protestants and Presbyterians do.

    mark: We come-outers think you for that, even if folks want to say that separating is not a “sustainable model”.

    dgh: It also shows that since the Reformation churchmen and laity have considered the task of the church to be more important than the kind of social good they could accomplish from inside the mainstream churches. They also believed that sacrificing cultural connections and influence was price to be paid for faithfully ministering God’s word.

    Evans: It is to be lamented that, in order to provide an ecclesiological framework for such pessimism, some have turned to positions that tolerate real and palpable evil in this world.

    mark: This seems to go directly back to your earlier quotation from Machen about being intolerant in the church but tolerant in the world (having “voluntary churches”). Those who want to transform the world, think they have to stay in tolerant “mainstream” churches (like the PCA) in order to have greater influence.

    Evans sees tolerance with the world as nothing but evil non-resistance. Why? Even though God is still sovereign, is it also our duty to be sovereign and take charge and try to control non-Christians?

    Evans: I’m thinking of the Two-Kingdoms doctrine employed by some so-called “German Christians” to justify silence in the face of the Nazi regime, and the exaggerated conception of the spirituality of the church as it was used to defend the institution of slavery in the antebellum South.
    In short, what seems to be emerging is a “Reformed” theology of culture tailored for deeply pessimistic times. Like most theological revisionisms, it is worth discussing. But let’s just not confuse it with the mainstream of the Reformed tradition. It is not our job as Christians to transform the world. BUT God in his grace DOES bless the work of our hands, and he sometimes uses his people to accomplish considerable good in society. Even if the current cultural situation is one of those “Romans 1” moments in which God is handing people over to the consequences of their idolatrous behavior, our job is to be faithful.

    mark: before Jesus comes again, there will be some non-Romans 1 moments? Instead of God handing over sinners to sinners throughout this age, if we have the right attitude and do the right things, maybe this age will get better and God will begin handing sinners over to us?

    I think not. During this age, there will be nothing but “Romans 1 moments”.

    And no, I am not premill. Nor am I a dispensationalist. But the blessed hope is Christ’s second coming.

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  2. Evans: We do well not to underestimate the impact that OUR INCREASINGLY NEGATIVE SITUATION has as on our theology. To paraphrase Peter Berger on the sociology of knowledge, this cultural context provides a key “plausibility structure” for our thinking. It informs our sense of what is plausible and possible. And so, in the face of an increasingly hostile and seemingly intractable cultural situation many are concluding that real transformation is impossible.

    mark: Is the gospel less true if the world doesn’t believe it? Is the gospel less true if a church doesn’t believe it? Is the hope to change the world the gospel? Evans sounds like Norman Vincent Peale (or Reverend Ike!) If you think you can transform things, then you can On the other hand, if history does not get transformed, it must be your fault for not believing that history can get transformed.

    And i said to the little engine that tried
    you could not
    and it may turn out
    that you cannot

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  3. You alone can lead men, by the proclamation of God’s word, out of the crash and jazz and noise and rattle and smoke of this weary age into the green pastures and beside the still waters.

    Wow, that is really poetic! That JGM could really turn a phrase.

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  4. C-dubs, does that mean my love for jazz reveals unshaken transformationalism?

    But Dabney was no otherworldly slouch himself:

    God has reserved for our spiritual concerns one day out of seven, and has appointed one place into which nothing shall enter, except the things of eternity, and has ordained an order of officers, whose sole charge is to remind their fellow-men of their duty to God…But when the world sees a portion or the whole of this sacred season abstracted from spiritual concerns, and given to secular agitations, and that by the appointed guardians of sacred things, it is the most emphatic possible disclosure of unbelief. It says to men, “Eternity is not of more moment than time; heaven is not better than earth; a man is profited if he gains the world and loses his soul, for do you not see that we postpone eternity to time, and heaven to earth, and redemption to political triumph—we who are the professed guardians of the former?” One great source, therefore, of political preaching may always be found in the practical unbelief of [the preacher] himself; as one of its sure fruits is infidelity among the people. He is not feeling the worth of souls, nor the “powers of the world to come,” nor “the constraining love of Christ” as he should; if he were, no sense of the temporal importance of his favorite political measures, however urgent, would cause the wish to abstract an hour from the few allowed him for saving souls.

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  5. “… And I hear he really didn’t care for jazz, which is fine …”
    Now, let’s not get carried away here. It’s a music genre that certainly doesn’t belong in the church* (any more than this CCM drivel, IMHO), but it’s been a great marriage of blues and classical that evolved in many directions over the past century into forms that are very pleasing to the discriminating ear.

    *Unless you’re an ELCA congregation, that is, who seem to think that “jazz vespers” add some kind of special meaning to worship

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  6. That JGM could really turn a phrase

    Yeah, he sure could. Like when he was heaping praise on those not-so-invisible, transformative, “city-on-a-hill” Christian schools, and those Christian school teacher “heroes”:

    “I cannot bring this little address to a close without trying to pay some sort of tribute to you who have so wonderfully maintained the Christian schools. Some of you, no doubt, are serving as teachers on salaries necessarily small. What words can I possibly find to celebrate the heroism and unselfishness of such service? Others of you are maintaining the schools by your gifts, in the midst of many burdens and despite the present poverty and distress. When I think of such true Christian heroism as yours, I count everything that I ever tried to do in my life to be pitifully unworthy. I can only say that I stand reverently in your presence as in the presence of brethren to whom God has given richly of His grace.

    You deserve the gratitude of your country. In a time of spiritual and intellectual and political decadence, you have given us in America something that is truly healthy; you are to our country something like a precious salt that may check the ravages of decay. May that salt never lose its savor! May the distinctiveness of your Christian schools never be lost; may it never give place, by a false “Americanization”, to a drab uniformity which is the most un-American thing that could possibly be conceived!

    But if you deserve the gratitude of every American patriot, how much more do you deserve the gratitude of Christian men and women! You have set an example for the whole Christian world; you have done a thing which has elsewhere been neglected, and the neglect of which is everywhere bringing disaster. You are set like a city set on a hill; and may that city never be hid! May the example of your Christian schools be heeded everywhere in the Church! Above all, may our God richly bless you, and of His grace give you a reward with which all the rewards of earth are not for one moment worthy to be compared.”

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  7. Mark, I read that via aquila this morning, too.

    The last guy I was told could “turn a phrase” was Paul Tillich. I like that idiom, and am not heading over to the Tillich discussion groups anytime soon (though the culture post by Darryl had me look up Tillichs thoughts, my confession….)

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  8. Mark, he may have gushed about academic heroes and their polishing of a nation, but he sounded a bit more genuine when lauding his mother’s spiritual impact on her son (“Christianity in Conflict”):

    In Baltimore I attended a good private school. It was purely secular; and in it I learned nothing about the Bible or the great things of our Christian faith. But I did not need to learn about those things in any school; for I learned them from my mother at home. That was the best school of all; and in it, without any merit of my own, I will venture to say that I had acquired a better knowledge of the contents of the Bible at twelve years of age than is possessed by many theological students of the present day. The Shorter Catechism was not omitted. I repeated it perfectly, questions and answers, at a very tender age; and the divine revelation of which it is so glorious a summary was stored up in my mind and heart. When a man has once come into sympathetic contact with that noble tradition of the Reformed Faith, he will never readily be satisfied with a mere “Fundamentalism” that seeks in some hasty modern statement a greatest common measure between men of different creeds. Rather will he strive always to stand in the great central current of the Church’s life that has come down to us through Augustine and Calvin to the standards of the Reformed Faith.

    My mother did more for me than impart a knowledge of the Bible and of the Faith of our Church. She also helped me in my doubts.

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  9. I have been thinking about the cultural transformation that many in the Reformed camp are so adamant in advocating in the context of what is happening to many of the minority Christian groups in the Middle East (e.g. Egypt & Syria). How would they respond to the call to transform their culture when they face the very real threat of extermination? If I were in their shoes, the call to transformation might feel more like salt in an open wound – I would rather seek comfort knowing that Christ meets us in suffering and defeat. It makes me wonder if a good measure of transformational ideals aren’t simply the baptism of modern liberal (in the classic sense) democratic ideals. Outside of those advocating theonomy, I doubt that any in the neo-Cal/transformational context would even advocate older “Christian society” models such as Puritan New England, much less the more brutal aspects of feudal Constantinianism. In the end, I don’t see transformationalism as much more than western democratic imperialism dressed up in Reformed clothing.

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  10. Machen: he will never readily be satisfied with a mere “Fundamentalism” that seeks in some hasty modern statement a greatest common measure between men of different creeds. Rather will he strive always to stand in the great central current of the Church’s life that has come down to us through Augustine,,,,,

    Mark: minus of course the one involuntary church of Augustine, I suppose, since a little discontinuity is needed in the “noble tradition”. Of course the “voluntary successions” were not all alike —some no longer appealed to the creeds of the church from which they “came out”.

    DGH: the Associate Presbytery of 1733 where Ralph and Ebenezer Erskine walked away from the mainstream of the Scottish Kirk for the sake of the gospel and the freedom of the church. Of course, the Reformers had already left the mainstream to pursue reform
    After the 1733, secession, or exiting the mainstream, was what various Reformed heroes thought necessary to protect the ministry and integrity of the church. The Afscheiding among the Dutch in 1834 left the national church to be faithful to the Three Forms of Unity. Thomas Chalmers almost a decade later led another secession group out of the Scottish Kirk, this time the Free Church, again to protect the gospel and to reject infidelities in the mainstream churches. Abraham Kuyper in 1886 would reluctantly and mournfully do the same because of the compromises in the Dutch Reformed Church. Rounding out this list was J. Gresham Machen and the OPC’s 1936 break from the PCUSA.

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  11. And in 1893 Mr. Macfarlane broke from the Free Church because of the apostasy and declension which had consumed the Free Church to form the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, which to this day is the last witness to the truly Reformed tradition in Scotland.

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  12. Is the gospel less true if there is no “mainline” (or “historical mainstream”) to believe it?

    Steely Dan it’s not—James Ward

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  13. Mark, sure, but let’s hear worldviewers say something like, “I attended a good private school. It was purely secular; and in it I learned nothing about the Bible or the great things of our Christian faith. But I did not need to learn about those things in any school…”

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  14. Mark, Machen also supported the rights of Catholics to have their own parochial schools and he had a soft spot for immigrants and those whose first language was not English. He was about real diversity and freedom, not WASP or bland evangelical hegemony.

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  15. Zrim, I can affirm what Machen says about not needing to learn the faith in a private school. But since you seem to want to play dualing Machens, how about R2k fellows affirm with Machen that Christian schools are “cities on hill”, Christian school teachers are “heroes”, to whom the nation should be grateful for being a “preservative against decay”, and of whom he was not “worthy”.

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  16. Mark, no thanks, way too overstated and worldview-ish. How about agreeing with some of what a man says and disagreeing with others (like Kuyper on Calvin on the civil magistrate)? But if you agree with Machen about academia not being a means of grace then will you agree with me that URC CO 14 needs to be amended? If not, then I wonder if you really agree with Machen.

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  17. Zrim, no doubt he appreciated his mom’s training that he didn’t get in the secular school, but how about dealing with Machen’s incomparable high praise of the Christian school.

    Would you affirm with Machen that Christian schools:

    set an example for the whole Christian world;

    have done a thing which has elsewhere neglected, and the neglect of which is everywhere bringing disaster.

    are set like a city set on a hill; and may that city never be hid!

    the example of your Christian schools be heeded everywhere in the Church!

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  18. Zrim, I see I double posted. So I got it, you don’t affirm the worldviewist, Christian school cheerleading Machen.

    And no need for amending URC article 14, since it lines up nicely with what Machen the officebearer, said in promoting Christian schooling.

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  19. But, Mark, if you can affirm what Machen says about not needing to learn the faith in a private school then why the need for elders to promote God-centered schooling? Why formally promote what’s unnecessary? Isn’t that inviting legalism?

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  20. Zrim, there is a difference between Machen thinking he didn’t “need” to learn the faith in school since he was already being catechized by a godly mother, and also agreeing with Machen with the ideal of promoting God centered education for covenant youth.

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  21. Mark, and there’s a difference between informally cheerleading something indifferent and formally promoting something extra-biblical.

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  22. Erik, you da man! I was going to make another post about the double entandre regarding Bill Evans, but Grandma brought home a whole lot of plants and I’ve been out in 85 degree weather committing them to the earth.

    But, yes, Evans is my favorite jazz pianist. Too bad that he was so drawn into drug abuse that his life ended early. I’m not sure why someone with his kind of talent had to resort to drugs. I once asked another talented pianist about that and she told me that it was all about ego; i.e., they feel that they need another level of “reward” in response to their excellent performances. I’m not sure about that, but it certainly seems that “the good die young” (in this case).

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  23. Zrim, I agree there is a difference between formal/informal, i.e. someone actually undertaking the education itself formally vis a vis one just promoting others to undertake it– but note that Machen was calling for the church (yikes) to heed the example of Christian schools.

    Bottom line, it should be clear that Machen’s spirituality of church was not opposed to our faith being “seen” in embodied, corporeal, institutional forms. He was not a gnostic and historical sock puppetry gets us nowhere.

    Lastly, I don’t know what URC church you attend, but why not try convincing your consistory to run an Amend Article 14 overture up the URC flagpole. Would love to see where that goes.

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  24. Mark, that’s not what I mean. What I mean is that Machen’s informal promotion of Christian schools is liberty so he is free to cheerlead all he wants. But the church’s formal promotion of Christian schools isn’t biblically warranted. I have in fact floated this suggestion past our URC consistory, but I have yet to hear the biblical warrant to formally promote Christian academics. It would seem it is simply yet deeply assumed and thus little to no interest in any kind of amendment, which seems to point to the triumph of neo-Calvinism. Oh well.

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  25. Darryl, you might take a cue from Edgar Bergen. His career as a (bad) ventriloquist went downhill when he moved from radio to television, because folks could see his lips moving and the hand up Charlie’s backside.

    Let the real, whole Machen rest in peace.

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  26. DGH, I believe Mark’s concern for “every square inch” of you is touching. He’s just trying to help transform you into the best little Darryl you can be.

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  27. George – But, yes, Evans is my favorite jazz pianist. Too bad that he was so drawn into drug abuse that his life ended early.

    Erik – Not many great jazz musicians of that era that didn’t use drugs. Dave Brubeck, maybe, and he lived to a ripe old age.

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  28. George: I’m not sure why someone with his kind of talent had to resort to drugs.

    While I don’t condone the use of drugs, are you seriously shocked that musicians use drugs?

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  29. All this talk of Christian schools seem a little heady. While my public school was known for its beer drinking and tobacco usage, the biggest local Christian school was known for its marijuana smoking. That’s the kind of cultural transformation I always think of when I hear this conversation. The Christian school kids had to go beyond the rebellion of the public schools because of the stigma surrounding their school. Maybe in the cities, things are just the opposite, where the Christian school kids just stick to underage drinking and avoid illegal drugs. More likely, the transformationalists are naïve about what exactly goes on in their schools, and if they knew, they might be a little more humble about the impact of the project.

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  30. I hit every garage sale in town that I knew of yesterday and today. There was a lady having a sale who had served as a missionary for the “International House of Prayer”. I couldn’t bring myself to ask if they were affiliated with the International House of Pancakes.

    Anyway, she was selling a bunch of Christian and missions books. I bought three. In the free box down by the sidewalk she was giving away a nice DVD on “Understanding Cats”. Of course I grabbed it . Maybe I’ll send it to D.G. for Christmas.

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  31. Man’s gift:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=400569670500

    I know this is old because there is no legalese about not using it in a game. One earpad is missing and the back pad needs to be re-glued. I pulled it out of a dumpster behind a church yesterday after it failed to sell in their rummage sale so hey, what do you expect?! From the era when men were men and kids did dangerous things with reckless abandon. All that’s missing is some lawn darts.

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  32. What teachers do is temporal.

    Sure, temporal as in the sense Machen described “.. a precious salt that may check the ravages of decay..” and “..an example for the whole Christian world”, and “..like a city set on a hill..” and which “… the example of your Christian schools be heeded everywhere in the Church!”

    And of course Machen thought the ministry of preaching is given to ministers alone. But it is no contradiction for Worldviewist Machen to say this of Christian schools:

    “It is this profound Christian permeation of every human activity, no matter how secular the world may regard it as being, which is brought about by the Christian school and the Christian school alone. I do not want to be guilty of exaggerations at this point. A Christian boy or girl can learn mathematics, for example, from a teacher who is not a Christian; and truth is truth however learned. But while truth is truth however learned, the bearings of truth, the meaning of truth, the purpose of truth, even in the sphere of mathematics, seem entirely different to the Christian from that which they seem to the non-Christian; and that is why a truly Christian education is possible only when Christian conviction underlies not a part, but all, of the curriculum of the school. True learning and true piety go hand in hand, and Christianity embraces the whole of life — those are great central convictions that underlie the Christian school.”

    I know you’d rather play Bergen with Machen, but facts are stubborn things.

    I think Mark cares more about schools than the church.

    Add that to the list of things you get wrong.

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  33. Mark, if you like that from Machen, how do you like the bits that defended Communists, Roman Catholics and opposed Christian Americanists (those who favored prohibition and prayer and Bible reading in public schools). You’ve never actually considered all of Machen. It would upset too many of your received pieties and get in the way of w-w.

    You may be interested to know that I was a neo-Calvinist until I encountered Machen (I was still breathing the fumes of Schaeffer). If you actually read through the spirituality of the church business and consider its context (the days of fundamentalism and the Social Gospel), you might have to rethink categories. But you’re an old dog (who only barks).

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  34. Darryl, mirroring is not an answer. One would think a historian would deal with all the bits of his subject, including the Worldview “City on a Hill” Machen.

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  35. 2 Corinthians 4:15-18- “For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self[a] is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
    Is this 2K to NC- I’m not really sure. Surely one would want to distinguish the preconsummation creation from the post-consummation situation. But is it nonetheless easy to separate the work of the Spirit from corporeal action or is Christian spirituality semi-gnostic and/or semi-gnostic?

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  36. Mark, one would think a professional would actually read the work of a historian before opening his mouth about the defects of history. Then again, attorney’s only want witnesses to say what the attorneys want to hear.

    Shakespeare had it right.

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  37. Rob d., neo-Cals don’t seem to let these verses or the idea of transient things wasting away (have they not examined their own bodies) prevent them from redeeming all things. I can’t explain it, except that when you are leading a political movement, you need idealism to generate enthusiasm. I think that explains Kuyper and it also accounts for Kuyper’s appropriation by the Religious Right. In the Netherlands, Kuyper is not the answer.

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  38. Taking the Fifth is your constitutional right, Darryl. Hence, you might want to re-think your killing -all -the- lawyers solution.

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  39. Mark, where does special revelation speak of constitutional rights? You’re sounding 2k. Reading OL may be having an effect. Or maybe all of your anti-2k bluster is affect since your professional bread is buttered by a constitutional republic established by heterodox Christians.

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  40. David,

    Believe me, it has been an existential crisis on whether to spend more time selling on ebay or posting on Old Life. Ebay is winning as of late, and my wife is thankful. Middle-aged men everywhere are taking it hard, though.

    I’ve been selling since probably 2000.

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  41. A constitutional republic preserved against decay and disaster by orthodox Christians living out their faith like a visible “city on a hill”, ala, Worldviewist Machen.

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  42. No decay? No disaster? You’re kidding.

    witness the sort of religious fantasy that comes with worldviewist schooling.

    Poor Machen. He gets no respect.

    Darryl, I know you don’t want to deal with this. That’s your choice. But it is a bit cheeky to dump loads of sand on Worldview Machen, and then in a huff accuse the one trying to dig JGM out of putting his head in the sand.

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  43. Mark, it was more a reference to your comment than Machen’s. But what I still don’t understand is why affirming Machen there but not here is disrespect, unless it’s more about religious celebrity, something the churchman Machen would’ve eschewed.

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  44. Zrimley, no time to talk. I have to take my perfectly-behaved blonde-haired Vision Forum children for a walk on the beach in matching outfits. Then for a little valiant sword play and damsel rescuing. Ta-dah.

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  45. Mark, our “conversations” always come to this. You think you are a better interpreter of subjects that I have studied and about which I have written. Have you looked at any of those treatments? Heck, no. Just keep saying that Hart doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Not particularly becoming.

    Do you ever have cognitive dissonance? Or does w-w always triumph over Mrs. Van Der Molen?

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  46. Darryl, I was just going to say the same thing about our conversations ending the same way. I present evidence and you avoid the evidence. Can you say psychological projection and how does Mrs. Hart handle that?

    But I’ll offer to break the impasse, since you are the elite historian per your testimony, and I am just a simple layman. Could you point me to where in your studied work that you have addressed and analyzed the Worldviewist,,Christian school- as- City- on-a- Hill Machen? Would love to learn what you have done with him on this topic elsewhere, since you obviously won’t deal with it here.

    Or do you think you can just obfuscate long enough to wear your opponents out?

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  47. Mark, oh, let me see if I can find something I’ve written on Machen that might answer your question:

    Defending the Faith: J. Gresham Machen and the Crisis of Conservative Protestantism in Modern America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.

    “J. Gresham Machen,” in Handbook of Evangelical Theologians, ed., Walter A. Elwell. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993. 129-143.

    “Christianity and Liberalism in a Postliberal Age,” Westminster Theological Journal 56 (1994), 329-44.

    Fighting the Good Fight: A Brief History of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Philadelphia: OPC Committee on Christian Education and the Committee of the Historian, 1995 (with John Muether).

    “Presbyterian Confessionalism, Cultural Diversity, and the Problem of Christian Identity,” Princeton Theological Review 3/1 (March 1996) 3-8.

    “J. Gresham Machen, the Reformed Tradition and the Transformation of Culture,” Evangelical Quarterly 68 (1996) 305-27.

    “The Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Spiritual Successor to the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.” in Charles G. Dennison, ed., Perspectives: A Pre-Assembly Conference Commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the OPC (n.p.: Committee for the Historian, 1997), 1-28.

    “Christianity, Modern Liberalism, and J. Gresham Machen,” Modern Age 39 (Summer 1997) 233-45.

    “J. Gresham Machen and the Cost of Faithfulness,” The Outlook 47/5 (May 1997) 3-5.

    “J. Gresham Machen and the Makings of a Reformed Theologian,” Chongshin Theological Journal 2/2 (Aug. 1997) 21-43.

    “J. Gresham Machen and the Purpose of Reformed Theological Education,” The Outlook 47/7 (July/Aug. 1997) 13-15.

    “J. Gresham Machen and the Reformation of the Church,” The Outlook 47/9 (Oct. 1997) 15-17.

    “Machen and the Menace of Modernism,” The Outlook 47/6 (June 1997), 16-18.

    “The Tie that Divides: Presbyterian Ecumenism, Fundamentalism, and the History of Twentieth-century American Protestantism,” Westminster Theological Journal 60 (1998) 85-107.

    “When is a Fundamentalist a Modernist?: J. Gresham Machen, Cultural Conservatism, and Conservative Protestantism,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 65 (1997) 605-633.

    “Why Machen Hired Van Til,” [co-author with John R. Muether] Ordained Servant 6/3 (1997) 65-68.

    “J. Gresham Machen, Confessional Presbyterianism, and the History of Twentieth-Century Protestantism,” in Douglas Jacobsen and William Vance Trollinger, Jr., eds., Re-Forming the Center: American Protestantism, 1900 to the Present. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1998. 129-49.

    “Machen, John Gresham,” in Donald K. McKim, ed., Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1998. 594-98.

    “Somewhere between Denial and Conspiracy: Explaining What Happened to the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.,” WTJ 61 (Fall 1999) 247-68.

    “J. Gresham Machen, Inerrancy, and Creedless Christianity,” Themelios 25.3 (June 2000) 20-34.

    That takes us up through 2000. When you’re finished with that, I can supply further publications.

    Really, Mark, no more softballs. Do you intend to look so foolish?

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  48. C-dubs, when you come back, witness the way in which Mark misses how simple this is. 2k and neo-Calvinism simply don’t go together, no matter how hard the more-balanced-than-thou crowd tries. And in Protestantism the beauty is that we may have stawarts who are also mere men. And so when they speak like neos, we can demur. When they speak like 2kers, we can cheer. We don’t have to make them harmonize like the paradigmers. So when will Mark-the-worldviewer simply admit he’s no fan of Machen-the-2ker?

    ps my wittier friends call me Z-rim.

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  49. And this seems as good a time as any to mention (again) that my government-schooled son said “Homeschool Bomb Threat” would be a great band name.

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  50. They don’t call him “the prolific writer-librarian at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia” for nuthin’.

    Chortles – I was listening to your pastor on Hodge & Thornwell yesteday. Good stuff.

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  51. And so when they speak like neos, we can demur. When they speak like 2kers, we can cheer.

    At least you recognize Machen spoke like a neo and admit you select what you want to cheer about.

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  52. Thanks, Darryl. To save me an interminable slog, and as I asked, could you identify which of those publications contains your presentation and analysis of the “Worldview Christian School as City on a Hill” Machen?

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  53. A question I have re. Machen & Christian schools is, what kind of Christian schools was he talking about?

    Roman Catholic schools?

    Fundamentalist Baptist schools?

    Evangelical Christian schools?

    Christian schools in which CRC, URC, & RCA church members are cooperating (the Dutch context)?

    In Des Moines, unless you are going to homeschool you have a choice between Fundamentalist Baptist & Evangelical (Ankeny Christian, Iowa Christian Academy, Des Moines Christian, Grandview Park Baptist). How much distinctively Reformed catechesis is being undone in those schools?

    When the URC requires officers to “promote Christian schooling” how does that work outside of the Dutch ghetto context? And even in the Dutch ghetto context, why do we cooperate with denominations that are not in NAPARC. Christian Reformed cultural transformation (from the left) and United Reformed cultural transformation (from the right) are not the same thing.

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  54. C-dubs, but the wittiest band name I ever heard came from a fellow pagan schooler, Dis Please. Their first album was called Somba Dee, as in Somba Dee by Dis Please. Get it?

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  55. Mark, just like when 2k-Kuyper booed the theocratic-Calvin. But like Darryl I used to be neo and can freely admit it. Outlooks change. When will you come clean on 2k-Machen?

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  56. Mark, it’s all relevant but I know you just want bumper sticker history. You see, what you have yet to master is how you might try to resolve the tension between Machen on Christian culture and Machen on the alone significance of the Christian ministry. I have actually tried to do that in any number of writings. But you seem to think that if you find a quote that agrees with you, then that sums up a man and his time.

    Wow! That’s thoughtful.

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  57. Erik, Machen was speaking to Christian day school teachers of Dutch-Calvinist provenance. But he also said very good things about Lutheran parochical schools and catechesis. Another idea to keep in mind is how Machen defends Christian schools. They reflect the true American political tradition of diversity. For Van Til, Christian schools reflect the antithesis (between those who revere the creator and those who don’t). The antithesis doesn’t do real well in an American political tradition of winner takes all.

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  58. Darryl, just point me to one of your works that deals with this issue. Surely you dealt with it in more than bumper sticker fashion and I’m ready and eager to read your in-depth erudition on the matter.

    Or do you really want to keep looking so disingenuous and evasive?

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  59. Mark, perhaps you could read a book? Perhaps you could actually look at an index? Do you need to be spoon fed? I did write a book on Machen, you know. Do you think you might try there?

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  60. Mark, btw, there’s a good reason for being evasive. It is that whenever you and Dr. K. speak about 2k, you do so not as inquiring minds that want to know but as judge and jury. Think all those associations with Misty Irons.

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  61. Mark, waiting for you to admit you don’t much care for the implications of Machen’s 2k when he says:

    “. . . you cannot expect from a true Christian church any official pronouncements upon the political or social questions of the day, and you cannot expect cooperation with the state in anything involving the use of force. Important are the functions of the police, and members of the church, either individually or in such special associations as they may choose to form, should aid the police in every lawful way in the exercise of those functions. But the function of the church in its corporate capacity is of an entirely different kind. Its weapons against evil are spiritual, not carnal; and by becoming a political lobby, through the advocacy of political measures whether good or bad, the church is turning aside from its proper mission. . . .”

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  62. Darryl, at last we finally agree on something. But I disagree that you have stated any good reason evading my simple inquiry.

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  63. Mark, you never seem to notice that I answer your questions. (Remember, read the book. Read a book by Machen. Read a book by VanDrunen. Don’t take all of your “knowledge” from blogs. Is that so hard to figure out?)

    Really, you may want to bow out since your folly grows (is that evasive?).

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  64. Darryl, you admit you evaded, then you say you answered my question. Whiplash is not good for doing a ventriloquist act. But of course, you know very well know I’ve read books of yours, (your most recent history of Calvinism being one of them). You know I’ve been through the tiresome exercise of reading Van Drunen. When in a masochistic mood, I’ve even read Scott Clark.

    That you won’t name which of your books deals with “Worldview Christian School as City on a Hill” Machen, uh, yeah, that pretty much is an obvious evasion.

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  65. The whole notion of societal transformation occuring under a Calvinist paradigm (yes, the “P-word”) is an interesting one. For anything to be truly transformed it has to be subject to a mass movement. Bibical, Calvinistic churches, however, are by their nature quite narrow and unfriendly to “the masses”. Reformed theology, rigorous preaching , catechesis, the regulative principle of worship — these are rigorous and demanding things — part of the “narrow path” that Christ speaks of. It makes sense that truly Reformed Christian schooling should be likewise. While admirable, how exactly do we expect these things to be transformational? The only way that works is if we are talking about some kind of top-down transformation, imposed from above by elites. My wife often accuses me of being a white, middle-aged, elitist (all true). I don’t find a lot of people in the culture at large buying what I’m selling, though (not counting what I find in dumpsters).

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  66. Mark, I am holding my breath.

    Be sure to think beyond the text. Try to imagine life in an Anglo-American United States where Dutch people and their institutions are not prominent.

    Really not holding my middle-aged breath.

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  67. Be sure to think beyond the text

    After the merry go round effort to identify your text where you deal with this (non-Dutch) “Worldviewer Christian School as City on a Hill” Machen, I hope this is not hinting at some pre-emptive defense because it’s not actually IN the text. You could save me the time, but if not, I’ll hold my breath and find out.

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  68. Mark, it is simply instruction on how to read a life. You can’t understand Kuyper without considering the effects of the French Revolution on the Netherlands. Machen may require a similar effort.

    But you could cut to the chase and tell me how you interpret Machen’s view of the ministry, as ministering the eternal things, and his w-w which you think exalts Christian school teachers to a status on par with ministers.

    Your options are Machen was inconsistent.

    Machen was complicated.

    Or Mark Van Der Molen doesn’t like to think hard thoughts.

    I mean, when did a Kuyperian ever say what Machen did about the ministry of the Word? If you can find that, then maybe you are smarter than you appear.

    But that is the issue, not whether Machen said positive things about school teachers but whether a Kuyperian can exalt the ministry of the word about other callings. If a Kuyperian can do that, then the discrepancies between neo-Calvinism and 2k are not significant.

    But if you can’t agree with Machen on the ministry of the word, then you need to come out from behind Kuyper’s skirt and tell us why Machen was wrong to say what he did. 2 can play fear mongering.

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  69. Can’t read facts (your handling of Christian Schooler Machen) in context if we haven’t yet established what the facts are. We certainly can move on to the topic of Ministry Machen, but first things first. Should not be a fearful thing at all.

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  70. Mark, talk about evasive.

    It is an Old Life blog. I say what is first here. But if you don’t want to go near Machen on the ministry that’s understandable. It could jeopardize your Christian school fetish.

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  71. “But …the issue [is] whether a Kuyperian can exalt the ministry of the word about other callings.”

    Is that really the crux of the matter? Would a Kuyperian really have trouble saying that the ministry of the word is more important than say carpentry? I always assumed that kind of rhetoric on the part of neo-cals was hyperbole in order to push the point that even laymen have a duty to let their light shine among men whatever their calling.

    In my mind the larger issue in the 2K/transformationalist divide is the scope of the proper activity and authority of the Church. Does the church have the authority to speak out on temporal matters not spelled out in scripture? Like say the wisdom of bombing Syria, state recognition of no-fault divorce, or the propriety of sanctions against Israel. Do I misunderstand?

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  72. Now, now, Mark. You can’t conclude it was a fetish on the basis of your highly selective reading. Remember, I am licensed to do history. You are licensed to do law. And you seem to read history the way you conduct legal arguments.

    And here I thought you were Kuyperian. Whatever happened to sphere sovereignty?

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  73. sdb, I think the two are related. What is the kingdom of Jesus Christ? Is it the visible church as WCF 25 says, or is the ministry of word and sacrament the keys of the kingdom? Since Kuyper wound up calling cultural transformation a “holy” duty, it’s going to be hard for me to see how you elevate the eternal ministry over the temporal callings.

    That is why every-member ministry is so w-wish.

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  74. sdb, it may be the difference between soft and hard neo-Calvinism. The former tend to emphasize the more humanized way of cultural impact (forgetting the older Reformed notions of vocation that resisted spiritualizing common work while also maintaining its inherent goodness), the latter a more politicized way (forgetting WCF 31). But in either case, a de-emphasis on the institutional church in favor of its organic nature seems like a shared trait and one that distinguishes it from an older embodiment of 2k.

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  75. Darryl states: When the transformationalist can say that about the ministry of the word compared to the temporal blessings of this life, we can have a conversation.

    Dutch Neo-Cal Prof. Veenhof on the primacy of preaching:

    One cannot speak meaningfully about salvation in Christ without thereby immediately and fully involving the Word of proclamation. For only in preaching does all of that salvation exist for people and work itself out among them. But even less can anyone talk meaningfully about the Work of proclamation without directly and fully involving the living Christ, the kingdom, and salvation. These two are never to be separated from one another; the one never appears without the other. Christ, the kingdom and salvation clothe themselves with the proclamation of the Word, the gospel; in and through the proclaimed gospel they penetrate the world and there continue in full reality until the last day. Consequently, salvation obtains concrete form for us only in its proclamation, in which alone it is communicated to us and in which alone we can and may “possess” it.

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  76. The point is that like Machen, Veenhof emphasizes the primacy of preaching as the means of grace, which you seemed to suggest is lacking in Neo-Calvinist theologians. Also, the Veenhof quote does not contradict or deny a temporal/eternal distinction. Surely Paul teaches the “already, not yet” reality of our salvation, a truth found in the quote. R2k can sound like it denies “already” part of the equation.

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  77. Mark, Veenhof doesn’t even make a temporal/eternal distinction. You need to read it into him. It all blurs together. It didn’t blur in Paul and it didn’t blur in Calvin. But if you’re going to read in a way that blurs, you may wind up making points that blur.

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  78. Actually, I think you are reading the “blurring” into Veenhof. He and Machen hold preaching central as you can see. As to the distinction between temporal and eternity, I would think Machen had similar, Neo-Cal sounding interest in temporal matters:

    “Human institutions are really to be molded, not by Christian principles accepted by the unsaved, but by Christian men; the true transformation of society will come by the influence of those who have themselves been redeemed … [I]t is not true that the Christian evangelist is interested in the salvation of individuals without being interested in the salvation of the race.”

    And:

    “Instead of obliterating the distinction between the Kingdom and the world, or on the other hand withdrawing from the world into a sort of modernized intellectual monasticism, let us go forth joyfully, enthusiastically to make the world subject to God.”

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  79. Mark,

    What does Machen mean by “the salvation of the race” and “to make the world subject to God”?

    We know some things he did not mean — like cooperating with theological liberals or having the church support prohibition.

    Is it also possible that Machen was wrong?

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  80. Sorry, Mark. But the language of eternal and temporal is still all Machen’s. Can you find it among the neo-Calvinists without supplying your heavy lifting interpretation? I’m waiting (but not holding my breath).

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  81. As Calvinists, how exactly do we “make the world subject to God” if this does not include insisting that “the unsaved” “accept Christian principles”? Say as I Christian I set a good example and the unsaved respond by laughing at me. It doesn’t seem like much has been transformed.

    Where do we see in Scripture that my believing the Law and the Gospel is going to transform anything other than me personally?

    It’s a huge feat if we can even get along in our churches.

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  82. Erik, or is it possible that you need to read Machen in the light of his own intellectual developments, and so you need to read the one quote with the other, not to mention you need to read everything with what he did, not just what he said. It sure seems to me that he threw his life into the church and an institution that trained ministers for the church. He didn’t found a university, newspaper, political party, or labor union.

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  83. He didn’t found a university, newspaper, political party, or labor union.

    Or a Christian school. But it doesn’t seem he decried other folks who did so. If as I (and you) say we should look at the whole Machen this includes his Neo-Cal cheerleading. By all appearances, his temporal/eternal distinction was just that, a distinction, not a wall of separation.

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  84. As Calvinists, how exactly do we “make the world subject to God” if this does not include insisting that “the unsaved” “accept Christian principles”? Say as I Christian I set a good example and the unsaved respond by laughing at me. It doesn’t seem like much has been transformed.

    Erik, I agree that Machen’s choice of the word “make” sounds like human coercion (who knew he was a Reconstructionist?:-) yet we know that human effort doesn’t “make” the world subject to God. I suspect what Machen had in mind is no different from what we confess in the Heidelberg about God’s Kindgom advancing, one conversion at a time, thereby ruling by His Word in Spirit until He is “all in all”. Your individual transformation, joined with another, and yet another, and being displayed in our individual and corporate activity. That unbelievers would scoff at God’s advancing kingdom is not surprising, but it doesn’t change what God is doing or what His subjects are called to do. That Christians would mock this beautiful confessional portrait is another thing altogether.

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  85. Mark, so now you’re accusing Misty Irons of opposing Christian schools? Or, where have I ever decried folks who found Christian schools? I have questioned whether churches can require members to send their children to Christian schools. But in your hermeneutic, that amounts to decrying Christian school founders.

    That’s where you have a lot to learn from Machen and the Southern Presbyterians. The church needs to be careful what it requires of members. It needs a thus saith the Lord. For you it seems sufficient if Abe K. calls it holy, then we must do it.

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  86. What’s the money prize and how many feet tall is the trophy given for the 2013 “I know more about Machen than Hart does, NYAAH NYAAH NYAAH NYAAH NYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH” contest?

    Has to be quite precious for this much time spent trying to establish it…

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  87. Mark, what Darryl said about decrying. Who’s decrying? In addition to concern over legalism, there is only questioning of assumptions.

    But you also suggest that the kingdom comes by “individual transformation, joined with another, and yet another, and being displayed in our individual and corporate activity.” Are you suggesting that sanctification can be passed down from generation to generation? Does grace leak through the fingertips (like the medieval tub)? But given the reality of being human, the process starts all over again when dad dies and junior is born. Dad takes it with him, but he can’t leave any of it behind.

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  88. Kent, you are confusing my trying to learn how Hart handles an aspect of Machen (and having to pull teeth to do so) with a claim I know “more” than Hart on Machen. A silly conclusion on your part, so I’ll use some short words to make it clear–Hart knows more about Machen than I do. Cue the victory cheer for Hart.

    Zrim, that is one bizarre conclusion you draw from my statement of Christian individuals working together. Don’t you and your wife interact together in a bond of holy matrimony? Or are you going with the R2k idea that there is no such thing as Christian marriage?

    Darryl, as much as you might be tempted, you can’t re-write your history of mocking Christian schooling.

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  89. Mark, that is hearsay. You’re an attorney, you should know what that means. But if you mean you actually read a book by me, I’m impressed. The odd thing is, it wasn’t a mockery of Dutch-American Calvinist schools (though it could actually prove instructive toward the project, as could what happened to Kuyper’s Free University; but no one ever wants to look at the facts. Just damn the dissenters. We need to feel affirmed.)

    At some point, Mark, you must be feeling like Side Show Bob.

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  90. Mark, so then what was your point? Christ’s kingdom advances spiritually? That’s exactly what 2k says, so what’s the beef? But if it advances spiritually, as in Word and sacrament, then Christian schools begin to look more like baptized academics.

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  91. Mark, so then what was your point? Christ’s kingdom advances spiritually? That’s exactly what 2k says, so what’s the beef?

    Zrim, you know where the beef is. R2k “spirituality” has Christ’s kingdom floating like a ghost, remaining interior, individual, and invisible outside the walls of the institutional church, Hence, the objection to the concepts of the faith being corporeal, such as Christian schools, Christian education, Christian marriages, Christian culture, Christian (fill in the blank).

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  92. Mark, and there’s the esteeming of culture over church that neo-Calvinism is all about. 2k knows how to prize the corporate over the atomized, but it does so with the means God ordained: creed, office, Word and sacrament. It’s creedal Christianity over cultural Christianity. How does neo-Calvinism not lurch toward Protestant liberalism again?

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  93. Mark, that is hearsay. You’re an attorney, you should know what that means.

    Admissible evidence if I am dealing with the one who made the prior recorded statements. What were you saying about sphere sovereignty and licenses?

    But if you mean you actually read a book by me, I’m impressed.

    I seem to recall that’s the book where you argued for relegation of the faith to the religion department?

    At some point, Mark, you must be feeling like Side Show Bob.

    LOL! You might want to research this if you ever are inclined to hire a therapist:

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

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  94. Mark, and there’s the esteeming of culture over church that neo-Calvinism is all about.

    You must have missed the Veenhof stuff on the primacy of preaching.

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  95. Zrim, you see, you quote a Dutch guy who blurs church and culture and it’s all clear. Don’t let the CRC or the Free University get in the way of the same battle plans. We’ll win this thing yet.

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  96. Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

    The Church, as Christ’s kingdom, is not of this world. We individual believers, in this age, are both citizens of the heavenly kingdom and the various kingdoms of this world. The Church Militant, as Christ’s kingdom on the earth in this present age, begs off when it comes to pontificating on worldly kingdom issues. Individual believers, as citizens of both, are at liberty to wade in as they choose. Is this so difficult?

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  97. Mark – Hence, the objection to the concepts of the faith being corporeal, such as Christian schools, Christian education, Christian marriages, Christian culture, Christian (fill in the blank).

    Erik – My “objection” to these things (if it’s even an objection) is that I’ve spent my entire life watching Christians do these things in a clunky way. People are free to do what they want — live and let live — I just don’t need to be a promoter. I’ll promote Word and Sacrament, though.

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  98. Mark, saw it. But if a neo-Calvinist lauds preaching then his neo-Calvinism is getting in the way. What creates and affirms faith, Word and sacrament or Christian schools? And yes, It’s either/or not both/and.

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  99. . But if a neo-Calvinist lauds preaching then his neo-Calvinism is getting in the way

    Didn’t seem to impede Machen’s praise of Neo-Calvinism.

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  100. Christ’s king floating like a ghost. You mean like “my kingdom is not of this world.” Do you read the Bible?

    No, a ghostly faith that is invisible, interior, and takes no corporeal form outside Sunday (the kind that Bill Evans can’t see, as you like to point out). Unless you have some Jeffersonian version, you might remember the Bible has passages about “living letters of Christ”, “being salt and light”, “let your light shine before men”, ‘tearing down arguments and strongholds”, “taking every thought into captivity to Christ”, “be transformed by the renewal of your mind”, “being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another”…and on….and on…..

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  101. Mark,

    Say you’re a Reformed Christian living in a town of 100,000 people. Your son is homeschooled. Should you:

    (1) Organize a homeschool softball league and have your kids play in that along with other homeschooling boys and girls.

    (2) Have your son play in the town’s little league.

    Say your son is in Christian school. Should you

    (1) Encourage the Christian school athletic director to only play other Christian schools, even if it means traveling long distances

    (2) Encourage the Christian school athletic director to play the public schools in the area.

    Which choices are more transformative and why?

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  102. Mark, the problem for the Dutch neo-Calvinist is that his forms don’t read the Bible the way he does. For example, HC 83:

    What are the keys of the kingdom of heaven? The preaching of the holy gospel, and christian discipline, or excommunication out of the christian church; by these two, the kingdom of heaven is opened to believers, and shut against unbelievers.

    Try as he might, there simply isn’t anything in the forms about this-worldly cultural dominion. It’s all otherworldly and ecclesiastical. Are the forms ghostly? As far as your suggestion that 2k spirituality is Gnostic, odd. While it emphasizes the otherworldly and ecclesiastical, 2k is also about going into the world as opposed to creating more Christian ghetto, world-affirmation as opposed to world-flight. That’s the ironic rub about neo-Calvinism–when reality keeps pious dominion from happening, all that’s left to make is ghetto. The humor comes in when believers are then encouraged to bring their unbelieving neighbors to church, but there aren’t any in the ghetto and it’s 2kers who have an easier time aiding the evangel.

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  103. But the hope for “transformation” tends to have this psychological basis in some kind of optimism that the “christian ghetto” created will become such a big deal that it will have all kind of influence on everybody else. The problem is that most of the Dutch are rightly “pessimistic” ( even denying a future promise for ethnic Israel, thus realistic, I would say). So what can they do? I guess they could put up a “mission accomplished” sign and fly in on a fake plane to celebrate.

    Erick, did you ever see a “sacrament” done in a “clunky way”? I mean one done by a non-baptist priest in a clunky way? And if/when you saw it, did you remind yourself–it’s not really them doing it, but God doing it?

    Ie, not the invisible ubiquity of Christ’s humanity, but the invisible but institutionally sanctioned ladder which climbs up into heaven. John 3:13 no man has ascended who has not descended…

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  104. Mr. Z needs to read the Dutch confessions closer for Lord’s Day 48 is against his observation.

    123. Q. What is the second petition?

    A. Thy kingdom come. That is: so rule us by thy Word and Spirit that we may submit ourselves more and more to thee; preserve and increase thy church; destroy the works of the devil, every power that exalts itself against thee, and all wicked counsels conceived against thy holy Word, until the perfection of thy kingdom arrived wherein thou shalt be all in all.

    We have to be careful to not read the confessions like Dr. Hart reads Dr. Machen.

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  105. Peter, there is nothing in Lord’s Day 48 that is at odds with 2K unless, of course, you’re reading into it all kinds of kingdom of this world (btw – under judgment and whose age is ending) transformative accomplishment stuff to make life a little bit better on the margins… or not! (history informs). The law of unintended consequences is ruthlessly unpartisan…

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  106. Peter, you’re like Bill Evans and the Corinthians. You don’t believe word and sacrament actually work. You’re more impressed with Christian schools. No wonder Paul had to talk about the difference between the eternal and the temporal. I’m still waiting for any neo-Calvinist who can make that distinction in those words. Any time I do it in front of a Kuyperian (hard core), he calls me a fundamentalist. Funny, that’s what liberals said about Machen. And look what’s become of Dutch neo-Calvinism. As I keep asking Stellman, are we not supposed to notice?

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  107. How many Dutch Reformed Christian schools are there in existence that don’t involve partnering with CRC church members who don’t have the stones to leave the denomination? We say we are not in ecclesiastical fellowship with those churches while at the same time partnering with those same church members to form transformative Christian schools? Talk about 2K…

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  108. Peter, how does a petition for God to “preserve thy church” turn into a mandate for the church to “transform the world”?

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  109. 2K gets around inconsistencies by this by affirming that the church is where the action is, while the other institutions that we engage with (the school, the workplace, the government, the sports league, etc.) are temporal and passing away. We can engage with them fully, but we realize they are passing away and serve no redemptive function.

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  110. Mr. Eric,

    Say you’re a Reformed Christian living in a town of 100,000 people. Your son is government schooled. Should you:

    (1) Let your son hang with other boys who’s constant conversation is scatological and centers on what goes on between them and their girlfriends after practice.

    (2) Have your son play in the homeschooled organized Christian league?

    Say your son is in Government school. Should you

    (1) Encourage the Government school athletic director to not let his homosexuality affect his treatment of your son

    (2) Encourage the Government school athletic director to practice is homosexuality with the boys on the other teams.

    Which choices are more transformative for your son and why?

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  111. Mr. Z

    Certainly you read the rest of Q. 123

    destroy the works of the devil, EVERY POWER that exalts itself against thee, and ALL wicked counsels conceived against thy holy Word, until the perfection of thy kingdom arrived wherein thou shalt be all in all.

    Are the works of the devil that we are to destroy only works that exist inside the Church? Does the devil have no works that he works outside the Church that we are to destroy?

    Really … this is basic reading comprehension here.

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  112. Peter, to hear Paul tell it, yes, the emphasis is squarely on the sin that lies within. Leave the world to God:

    I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

    ps whatever happened to raising the standard of Christian life to being in the world but not of it, as in resisting Christian bubbles that create a false sense of security and self-righteousness?

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  113. This same Paul could also say,

    The Temple of the Living God

    14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

    “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
    and I will be their God,
    and they shall be my people.
    17 Therefore go out from their midst,
    and be separate from them, says the Lord,
    and touch no unclean thing;
    then I will welcome you,
    18 and I will be a father to you,
    and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
    says the Lord Almighty.”

    And really, Mr. Z, the only self righteousness I see here is that self righteousness that insists that it is wrong to act as a Christian in the commons.

    Christian bubbles? Those you are lampooning are seeking to destroy the pagan bubbles so all will be Christian.

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  114. Peter wrote: … the only self righteousness I see here is that self righteousness that insists that it is wrong to act as a Christian in the commons.

    Which only shows you are arguing against a distorted caricature of 2K. At least understand what your opponents are professing so that in your rebuttals you can represent them correctly. But maybe you’d rather not…

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  115. Peter – Mr. Eric,

    Say you’re a Reformed Christian living in a town of 100,000 people. Your son is government schooled. Should you:

    (1) Let your son hang with other boys who’s constant conversation is scatological and centers on what goes on between them and their girlfriends after practice.

    (2) Have your son play in the homeschooled organized Christian league?

    Say your son is in Government school. Should you

    (1) Encourage the Government school athletic director to not let his homosexuality affect his treatment of your son

    (2) Encourage the Government school athletic director to practice is homosexuality with the boys on the other teams.

    Which choices are more transformative for your son and why?

    Erik –

    (1) Yes. He’ll need to deal with it eventually, anyway.

    (2) No. He would trounce them.

    (1) It’s my daughter’s track & cross country coach who is gay, and it has had absolutely no influence one way or another. She just keeps improving under his coaching every year.

    (2) Either spend some time in the real world or get your mind out of the gutter. Check the statistics on Protestant youth ministers messing with kids vs. gay teachers messing with them and get back to me.

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  116. “Peter” may also be The Iron Ink guy. What’s his name again? Lots of similarities. Militant, right wing CRC pastor (as if that’s logically consistent…)

    Oh yeah, Rabbi Bret McAtee.

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  117. Peter, you keep forgetting that 2k says all Christians should be Christian in the commons. What we also say is that no single Christian way exists for a host of subjects in the commons. We believe in Christian liberty. Neo-Cals do not. They insist on one standard for all Christians. And they call us fundamentalists. Wow.

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  118. 2k Christian liberty does not equal cultural relativism.

    Just out of curiosity, Peter, do you think Baptists and Mormons should have the freedom to worship in public? Your Dutch ancestors in New Netherlands did not. If you do, does that make you a cultural relativist? If you do not think such liberty should exists, how are you different from a political Islamist?

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  119. Peter, right, which is why we don’t marry unbelievers, but when it comes to any other creational task there is plenty of co-mingling. 2k affirms the antithesis, but it also maintains that there is in this present age a category for that which is neither holy nor unholy but simply common. You speak like my fundamentalists, whom Horton captures well:

    Religious fundamentalism tends to see the world simply divided up into believers and unbelievers. The former are blessed, loved by God, holy, and doers of the right, while the latter are cursed, hated by God, unholy, and doers of evil. Sometimes this is taken to quite an extreme: believers are good people, and their moral, political, and doctrinal causes are always right, always justified, and can never be questioned. Unless the culture is controlled by their agenda, it is simply godless and unworthy of the believers’ support. This perspective ignores the fact that according to Scripture, all of us—believers and unbelievers alike—are simultaneously under a common curse and common grace.

    But when I say in the world but not of it, how could that be construed as wrong to act as a Christian in the commons? Refraining from worldly ways is to act like a Christian. What I hear from your side is that Christians shouldn’t even be in the commons in the first place.

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  120. Mark, but what did Jesus say? His kingdom is not of this world. Think about it

    I have and addressed that. You won’t address the texts I cited. We are not dispensationalists or Red Letter Only-ists:

    “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”

    “You shall not add to the Word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you.”

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  121. Mark, I have not addressed what Machen wrote? You might be able to say that if you read what I’ve written on Machen.

    Another rake to the head of MVDM.

    But how is Christ’s kingdom not of this world if you keep locating it in this world? You’ve addressed nothing.

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  122. “Yet He did claim a sovereignty, a sovereignty of which the spring and the source was not of earth but of heaven. My Kingdom is not of this world (means it) does not derive its origin or its support from earthly sources.”

    B. F. Wescott – John 18:36
    The Gospel According To John, p. 260

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  123. You’re calling the Covenanters Islamists?

    The difference lies in the fact that Islamism is Idolatry.

    You would refuse fellowship with Calvin and Gillespie?

    ‎”The third opinion (of Calvinism) is, that the Magistrate may and ought to exercise his coercive power, in suppressing and punishing Heretics and Sectaries, less or more, according as the nature and degree of the error, schism, obstinacy, and danger of seducing others, doth require. This as it was the judgment of the orthodox Ancients, (vide Optati opera, edit, Albaspin. pag. 204, 215.) so it is followed by our soundest Protestant Writers; most largely by Beza against Bellius and Monfortius, in a peculiar Treatise De Hareticis à Magistratu puniendis. And though Gerhard, Brochmand [de magist. polit. cap. 2. quæst. 3. dub 2.] and other Lutheran Writers, make a controversy where they need not, alleging that the Calvinists (so nicknamed) hold as the Papists do, that all Heretics without distinction are to be put to death: The truth is, they themselves say as much as either Calvin or Beza, or any other whom they take for adversaries in this Question, that is, that Heretics are to be punished by mulcts, imprisonments, banishments, and if they be gross idolaters or blasphemers, and seducers of others, then to be put to death. What is it else that Calvin teacheth, when he distinguisheth three kinds of errors: some to be tolerated with a spirit of meekness, and such as ought not to separate betwixt brethren: others not to be tolerated, but to be suppressed with a certain degree of severity: a third sort so abominable and pestiferous, that they are to be cut off by the highest punishments?”

    ~ George Gillespie
    Westminster Devine”

    Calvin writes in his defense of the execution of Servetus:

    Whoever shall now contend that it is unjust to put heretics and blasphemers to death will knowingly and willingly incur their very guilt. This is not laid down on human authority; it is God who speaks and prescribes a perpetual rule for his Church . It is not in vain that he banishes all those human affectations which soften our hearts; that he commands paternal love and all the benevolent feelings between brothers, relations, and friends to cease; in a word, that be almost deprives men of their nature in order that nothing may hinder their holy zeal. Why is so implacable a severity exacted but that we may know that God is defrauded of his honor, unless the piety that is due to him be preferred to all human duties, and that when his glory is to be asserted, humanity must be almost obliterated from our memories.

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  124. Peter,

    Have you noticed that we’ve revised our Confessional statements on the responsibility of Civil Magistrates to punish heresy?

    You are on a fringe of a fringe.

    And you call 2K radical.

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  125. To those on the fringe of the fringe the Historic orthodox mainstream looks to be the fringe of the fringe.

    One can hardly start with the premises of the Enlightenment and then call everyone with non Enlightenment premises the fringe of the fringe.

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  126. Peter, you’re making the same mistake of religious celebrity about Calvin that Mark makes with Machen. Calvin was wrong on the magistrate. Kuyper was right.

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

    Why do you think it’s so grave and fringe to part with Calvin and the theocrats?

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  127. Mark, I have not addressed what Machen wrote?

    No, I said you have not addressed the additional Biblical texts cited.

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  128. Peter,
    regarding John 18:36, from Calvin:

    36. My kingdom is not of this world…
    By these words he acknowledges that he is a king, but, so far as was necessary to prove his innocence, he clears himself of the calumny; for he declares, that there is no disagreement between his kingdom and political government or order; as if he had said, “I am falsely accused, as if I had attempted to produce a disturbance, or to make a revolution in public affairs. I have preached about the kingdom of God; but that is spiritual, and, therefore, you have no right to suspect me of aspiring to kingly power.” This defense was made by Christ before Pilate, but the same doctrine is useful to believers to the end of the world; for if the kingdom of Christ were earthly, it would be frail and changeable, because…

    … the fashion of this world passeth away,   (1 Corinthians 7:31;)

    but now, since it is pronounced to be heavenly, this assures us of its perpetuity. Thus, should it happen, that the whole world were overturned, provided that our consciences are always directed to the   kingdom of Christ, they will, nevertheless, remain firm, not only amidst shakings and convulsions, but even amidst dreadful ruin and destruction. If we are cruelly treated by wicked men, still our salvation is secured by the kingdom of Christ, which is not subject to the caprice of men. In short, though there are innumerable storms by which the world is continually agitated, the kingdom of Christ, in which we ought to seek tranquillity, is separated from the world.

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  129. Mr. C.

    Logical Fallacy.

    Non-sequitur.

    The fact that the Enlightenment established the priority of Godless thinking in social order matters does not invalidate inventions.

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  130. Mr. M

    “‘My kingdom is not of [ek: out from] this world,’” is a statement about the source — not the nature — of His reign, as the epexegetical ending of the verse makes obvious: ‘My kingdom is not from here [enteuthen].’ The teaching is not that Christ’s kingdom is wholly otherworldly, but rather that it originates with God Himself (not any power or authority found in creation).”

    Dr. Greg Bahnsen
    God & Politics — pg. 27

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  131. Calvin on Magistrates Exercising rule as Kingdom stewards,

    “But this was sayde to the people of olde time. Yea, and God’s honour must not be diminished by us at this day: the reasons that I have alleadged alreadie doe serve as well for us as for them. Then lette us not thinke that this lawe is a speciall lawe for the Jewes; but let us understand that God intended to deliver to us a generall rule, to which we must tye ourselves…Sith it is so, it is to be concluded, not onely that is lawefull for all kinges and magistrates, to punish heretikes and such as have perverted the pure trueth; but also that they be bounde to doe it, and that they misbehave themselves towardes God, if they suffer errours to roust without redresse, and employ not their whole power to shewe a greater zeale in that behalfe than in all other things.”

    Calvin, Sermons upon Deuteronomie, p. 541-542

    The French Confession

    XXXIX. We believe that God wishes to have the world governed by laws and magistrates,[1] so that some restraint may be put upon its disordered appetites. And as he has established kingdoms, republics, and all sorts of principalities, either hereditary or otherwise, and all that belongs to a just government, and wishes to be considered as their Author, so he has put the sword into the hands of magistrates to suppress crimes against the first as well as against the second table of the Commandments of God. We must therefore, on his account, not only submit to them as superiors,[2] but honor and hold them in all reverence as his lieutenants and officers, whom he has commissioned to exercise a legitimate and holy authority.

    1. Exod. 18:20-21; Matt. 17:24-27; Rom. ch. 13
    2. I Peter 2:13-14; I Tim. 2:2

    “They (the Anabaptists) will reply, possibly, that the civil government of the people of Israel was a figure of the spiritual kingdom of Jesus Christ and lasted only until his coming, I will admit to them that in part, it was a figure, but I deny that it was nothing more than this, and not without reason. For in itself it was a political government, which is a requirement among all people. That such is the case, it is written of the Levitical priesthood that it had to come to an end and be abolished at the coming of our Lord Jesus (Heb. 7:12ff) Where is it written that the same is true of the external order? It is true that the scepter and government were to come from the tribe of Judah and the house of David, but that the government was to cease is manifestly contrary to Scripture.”

    John Calvin
    Treatise against the Anabaptists and against the Libertines, pp. 78-79

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  132. Erik: Mark,Don’t you love debating here when you pick up allies like Peter Huizenga & Doug Sowers?

    Don’t forget the viking as a dependable ally.

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  133. Mark, I have not addressed what Machen wrote?

    Was referencing the additional biblical texts that you did not address.

    As to whether you addressed what Machen wrote in praising “Christian Schools as City on a Hill” (as you claim you did), we shall soon see.

    But how is Christ’s kingdom not of this world if you keep locating it in this world? You’ve addressed nothing.

    This was addressed above (yard implement blocking your vision?) in terms of our confessional testimony that the kingdom is born from above, but is already present and visibly manifested here on earth below.

    So you read Jesus as saying the kingdom is in heaven and is not presently here on earth. Then you must be flummoxed by the institutional church.

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  134. Kent – Don’t forget the viking as a dependable ally.

    Erik – Is he the viking or the priest/father/parson/friar. I recall seeing some other strange photos the last time I waded into the fever swamp that is Puritan Board.

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  135. Mark – So you read Jesus as saying the kingdom is in heaven and is not presently here on earth. Then you must be flummoxed by the institutional church.

    Erik – Once you realize that what we are saying is that the institutional church IS where it’s at, you will understand 2K.

    [Light bulb goes on]

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  136. Mark, perhaps you’ve heard that Satan exists. I can’t see him. Satan isn’t in heaven. Side Show steps on it again. You have a mind like a steel trap an engineer who designs steel traps, with the grace of Clarence Darrow.

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  137. Erik, unless the institutional church — er, I mean kingdom — includes Christian schools — er, I mean sphere sovereignty for school and church but always integrated, never separate because that would mean dualism, the light bulb stays dark.

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  138. Erik, have you read the book that your ally Hart claims dealt with “Christian School as City on a Hill” Machen?

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  139. Mark, you say you referred to the confessional standards, but your three forms make not a single mention of Christian schools. They do speak of the kingdom of the church as the kingdom of heaven (not the kingdom of earth, you know, all visible and concrete). And they also speak of the church as visible — as in the marks of word, sacrament, and discipline. 2k has always insisted on this kind of visibility. But for you if it doesn’t result in a Christian school it’s ghostly. Read much? Show charity much?

    And here’s a little dose of your own medicine, Ursinus on the second petition of the Lord’s Prayer:

    The special kingdom of God that which he exercises in his church consists in sending the Son from the Father, from the very beginning of the world, that he might institute and preserve the ministry of the church, and accomplish his purposes by it that he might gather a church from the whole human
    race by his word and Spirit rule, preserve and defend it against all enemies raise it from death, and at length, having cast all enemies into everlasting condemnation, adorn it with heavenly glory, that God may be all in all, and be praised eternally by the church. From this definition we may infer and specify these particular parts of the kingdom of God: 1. The sending of the Son, our Mediator, into the world. 2. The institution and preservation of the ministry by him. 3. The gathering of the church from the whole human race, by the preaching of the gospel, and by the power of the Holy Ghost working true faith and repentance in the elect. 4. The perpetual government of the church. 5. The preservation of it in this life, notwithstanding all the fierce assaults of enemies. 6. The casting of all the enemies of the church into ever lasting punishment. 7. The raising of the church to everlasting life. 8. The glorification of the church in eternal life, when God will be all in all.

    No school.

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  140. My interesting purchase of the weekend that went on ebay today:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=400574241258

    Great estate sale. 89-year-old retired math professor. Bought a lot of books – math, history, literature, travel, art – plus a lot of postcards, maps, and travel souvenirs. Picked up a book of letters from a french woman with a 1799 copyright. I have owned fewer that 10 books from the 18th century in my life.

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  141. perhaps you’ve heard that Satan exists. I can’t see him. Satan isn’t in heaven.

    Surely you don’t believe that since Satan’s kingdom of darkness is on earth that Christ’s kingdom of light is in heaven alone.

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  142. Mark,

    It’s hard to find a “smoking gun” with a pastor, theologian, or seminary professor because, well, they write and say a lot of things — especially if they are around for a long time. Van Drunen deals with what 2K thinkers did vs. what they wrote and readily admits that they were inconsistent at times. Aren’t we all? You have to assess a thinker according to the entirety of his life and work. Machen fits better into a 2K/Spirituality of the Church framework than he does a Neocalvinist framework, but even if he didn’t, so what? I’m into evaluating texts and ideas, not men, when the rubber meets the road.

    I could look at Patrick Edouard and conclude that the URC is all about free love, but that would be ridiculous.

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  143. Part of what Mark is dealing with (and what the URC has to deal with) is, what happens when the URC plants churches outside of the Dutch ghetto. Does a URC in Des Moines have to look like a URC in Pella, South Chicago, or Northwest Iowa. No Reformed Protestant school in Des Moines — how do we insist that people homeschool or send their kid to fundamentalist, baptist, Catholic or evangelical school?

    Without critical mass some of these Neocalvinist institutions are hard to pull off.

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  144. You have to assess a thinker according to the entirety of his life and work.

    Agreed. And its your ally Hart’s claim that he presented the Neo-Cal praising,”Christian School as City on a Hill” Machen in his book. Is your answer “no” to reading it?

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  145. Mark, why are you so intent on finding out what Erik has read when you’ve been making assertions for years without having read about Machen? The Side Show Bob routine, though funny, is getting old.

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  146. And they also speak of the church as visible — as in the marks of word, sacrament, and discipline.

    And these are located on planet earth. Do we really have to get this elementary for you to admit Jesus’ kingdom is visibly manifest in the world?

    Once you realize that what we are saying is that the institutional church IS where it’s at, you will understand 2K.

    I’ve always understood the R2k view of the institutional church as the kingdom. So why am I am having to convince Hart that the institutional church is not in heaven?

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  147. Mark,

    I haven’t read everything Hart’s written about Machen. “Defending the Faith” mostly deals with his struggles with the Mainline Presbyterians. I know he didn’t buy into their transformational schemes (which mostly involved ecumenism and watering down the gospel to get along).

    How might URC’s have to water their doctrine down to get along with other Dutch Reformed denominations to pull off a Christian school?

    Keep in mind I don’t begrudge anyone’s right to form a Christian school or to send their kids to one — I just question the idealism about what they expect them to accomplish.

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  148. Mark – I’ve always understood the R2k view of the institutional church as the kingdom. So why am I am having to convince Hart that the institutional church is not in heaven?

    Erik – I don’t think you do. Visible church on earth, invisible church in heaven. It’s when you start to insist on the institute/organism distinction that things get contentious.

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  149. From what I understand the Institution/organism distinction was ok as far as it went with Kuyper until it became clear that the ‘organism’ component was being argued to ‘leaven’ the other spheres thus violating their sovereignty. It also became clear that church as institution, while useful as a theoretical plank, was dwarfed by the ‘really real’ of the organic church as transformative agent. IOW, Kuyper began to, and varyingly waffled on, his sphere sovereignty distinctions.

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  150. Darryl, I asked Erik because he rightly brought up the necessity of presenting the whole man. Was curious as to whether he had found you had presented the whole Machen, esp. including the “Christian School as City on a Hill” Machen as you claim you did. One would think that an historian would agree presenting history fairly is more than a Side show. If an historian consistently omits history, that could make for a really interesting Main Show.

    And yes, I have read about Machen and read Machen himself . In fact, just finished his essay “Christianity and Culture”. I can imagine that essay would cause a good amount of Hart-burn. No doubt you presented and analyzed that Machen essay in your book too, right?

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  151. Having read North’s, Hart’s and Stonehouse’s biographies on Machen I would say it is clearly the case that Stonehouse gives you the whole Machen. Dr. Hart kind of trims off the edges. Dr. North is perhaps the most critical.

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  152. the other part of Mark’s problem is that he thinks the world ended when the Holy Spirit descended on 1890s Amsterdam.

    I’d say the real problem is how to read that line other than a lying accusation of blasphemy.

    Erik, you mention allies I’ll happily take Peter Huizenga sticking with his theological arguments over baseless spiritual attacks.

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  153. How might URC’s have to water their doctrine down to get along with other Dutch Reformed denominations to pull off a Christian school?

    Good question, Erik. It is something a number of leaders in Classis Central area have wrestled with for some time. The bottom line answer is we cannot “water down” our doctrine even in the context of working with other churches at the school society level. If there comes a point where principles require shifting to more “URC dominated” schools (which has happened, btw), then so be it.

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  154. Mark, but still waiting on the biblical justification for churches to do schools in the first place. Maybe if you could admit there isn’t any you wouldn’t have to worry about watering anything down and could join with other sorts of Christians in educational endeavors in good conscience. But as long as you think it’s biblically mandated and yet have no problem promoting sending Reformed kids to non-Reformed schools, it seems like compromise.

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  155. Mark, I’ve always said the means of grace were visible. But Christ’s kingdom is spiritual. No schools involved.

    Give me your address. I’ll send a football helmet.

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  156. but still waiting on the biblical justification for churches to do schools in the first place.

    Zrim, you can wait till you’re blue in the face, since no one has argued that “churches do schools”. Don’t pretend with me like you don’t know that.

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  157. Mark, you may be right. No one has argued but, worse, plenty have assumed there is biblical justification for schools being one of the biggest budgets for churches. So how about an argument for that, or elders charged with promoting Christian schools?

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  158. Chase Mc., sure. My cats give me that feeling all the time. You? Not so much.

    So I ask again. What makes you an expert? No bluffing.

    And if you’re going to use titles, Dr. would be in order.

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  159. I’ve always said the means of grace were visible. But Christ’s kingdom is spiritual.

    So you agree that the kingdom is not entirely in heaven?

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  160. As for the perspective on Christian education, including the church’s encouraging role, let Machen explain:

    “The Christian cannot be satisfied so long as any human activity is either opposed to Christianity or out of all connection with Christianity.

    Christianity must pervade not merely all nations, but also all of human thought. The Christian cannot therefore be indifferent to any branch of earnest human endeavor. It must all be brought into some relation to the gospel. It must be studied either in order to be demonstrated false or else in order to be made useful to the kingdom of God.

    The church must not only seek to conquer every man for Christ, but also the whole of the man.”

    For Christians to influence the world with the truth of God’s Word requires the recovery of the great Reformation doctrine of vocation. Christians are called to God’s service not only in church professions but also in every secular calling. The task of restoring truth to the culture depends largely on our laypeople.

    To bring back truth, on a practical level, the church must encourage Christians to be not merely consumers of culture but makers of culture. The church needs to cultivate Christian artists, musicians, novelists, filmmakers, journalists, attorneys, teachers, scientists, business executives, and the like, teaching its laypeople the sense in which every secular vocation-including, above all, the callings of husband, wife, and parent–is a sphere of Christian ministry, a way of serving God and neighbor that is grounded in God’s truth. Christian laypeople must be encouraged to be leaders in their fields, rather than eager-to-please followers, working from the assumptions of their biblical worldview, not the vapid clichés of pop culture.”

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  161. But I’m not a Doctor Mr. H.

    You’re suggesting that one can’t do a book review or a comparing and contrasting of several biographies by different people written about the same person unless one has written a book themselves on that person? Especially when the person doing the review has read her share of the person being assessed?

    This is news to the Literary world, I’m sure.

    I’ve read enough Machen to be able to know that you don’t give the whole Machen in your biography.

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  162. “Either way, someone out there is making up quotes from Machen. Does a Christian W-W include telling the truth?”

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  163. Mark, plus still no Bible to back up the church’s encouraging role for redemptive schooling. Does worldview include sola scriptura?

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  164. Chortles, you sure about that? Remember Darryl told us presented Worldview Christian Schooler Machen in that book, too.

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  165. Mark, I say what our church confesses, the kingdom of Christ is the visible church outside of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation. How many times, oh Mark, do I need to say that. The Christian school is not the kingdom of Christ.

    Capiche?

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  166. Mark, if you’re are going to keep trotting that out, then you need to harmonize that statement with Machen’s later statement that ministers alone are stewards of the mysteries of God and that the affairs of culture are temporal.

    Or is interpretation for you simply tallying up quotations?

    Plus, as Chuckles points out, your quotes should actually be genuine? Or are you in the habit of fabricating documents as an attorney?

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  167. MVDM, you cited/quoted something you found on the internet. I cited/quoted a scholar who has read every word that Machen wrote and who was recently published by the Yale University Press. If you have no conscience issue about throwing out an unsupported, provably false quote, I can’t help you.

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  168. Chase, I am a doctor so why not the honorific if you’re going to use them.

    Lest I missed something a fly by comment at a blog hardly constitutes a book review in the literary world.

    But I would sure be curious to know where Stonehouse and North deal with the spirituality of the church in Machen or the Southern Presbyterian background from which he came. That doctrine is always the fly in the ointment of harmony between neo-Calvinists and Scottish-Irish-U.S. Presbyterians.

    If they don’t cover that background, they have missed a pretty darned important aspect of Machen’s life.

    Are you going to talk about this or just play cutesy?

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  169. Chortles, the first 3 paragraphs are found in Machen’s essay “Christianity and Culture.” Easier to just rely on a scholar who claims to have read everything that Machen wrote.

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  170. the kingdom of Christ is the visible church outside of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation. How many times, oh Mark, do I need to say that

    As many times as you say the kingdom is only heavenly and not located on earth?

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  171. Mark, you’re still silent on the kingdom and schools. Taking the fifth?

    But you’re also sounding Corinthian. Have you not read Paul:

    7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

    13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”[b] Since we have that same spirit of[c] faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

    16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

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  172. MVDM, so you’re doing mashups? Got it. I only searched for the last paragraph (with all the bold type) which I knew not to be of Machen.

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  173. The Bazooka Joe comic in my bubble gum from yesterday had a quote that sounded like Machen.

    Does that count as a source that enables me to trash others?

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  174. J. Gresham Van Machen, who wrote that

    Might be time to bestow that honorific Dutch name to highlight the hidden Neo-Cal “CS City on a Hill” Machen.

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  175. Erik, I don’t find Machen crabby.

    Mark, you’re still silent on the kingdom and schools.

    If you think the kingdom is just in heaven, there’s little point in our talking about the kingdom on planet earth.

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  176. “So OL cheerleaders mock Machen’s writing because it’s old. Poor Machen.”
    Not mocking Machen, rather pointing out that historical context matters. Stringing together quotes that have a nice ring to them can result in something very misleading. Machen’s theological views underwent some transformation right around that time and certainly matured. If one wanted to understand how he would approach the intersection between say Christian liberty and the necessity of Christian schools, one might want to look at how his views evolved as he saw what battles with evangelicals over things like prohibition and so forth did to the church.

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  177. Mark, 1913 doesn’t mean anything to you as a date?

    The world’s little fantasy of a pre-mill heaven on earth due to progress and peace and science was completely shattered starting the the next year.

    And then triple-time shattered during WW2.

    Maybe Erik could have clued you if.

    If you are even willing to bother with other people’s views at all…

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  178. Between 1913 and the Founding of the OPC in 1936 Machen become more gimlet-eyed as he realized he was surrounded by do-gooders in the PCUSA who also happened to be scoundrels, The Machen who died in North Dakota was not the Machen who served hot chocolate in the Great War.

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  179. Do the people that believe it was Heaven on Earth during Kuyper’s political days feel the same way about Paisley’s political achievements over the last decade?

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  180. Machen’s theological views underwent some transformation right around that time and certainly matured. If one wanted to understand how he would approach the intersection between say Christian liberty and the necessity of Christian schools, one might want to look at how his views evolved as he saw what battles with evangelicals over things like prohibition and so forth did to the church.

    Agreed, sbd. Significant to note, then, that Machen’s “On the Necessity of Christian Schools” was part of his more “mature” work (1933).

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  181. http://www.pcahistory.org/documents/necessity.html

    Machen’s essay (speech) is interesting in that the majority of it comes from a libertarian perspective — defending the right of parents to be free from governmental tyranny in how they educate their children.

    He also argues against those who would seek to “Christianize” society by imposing “Christian values” upon it (because it won’t work). This throws some cold water on some of the (non-Reformed) religious right and Neocalvinist programs.

    That being said, he does speak favorably about Christian schools. It would be odd if he didn’t , given that he was addressing the National Union of Christian Schools.

    I don’t see a lot of the (apocryphal?) transformational rhetoric that Mark (wrongly?) attributed to Machen this morning, though.

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  182. First two sentences of the piece in question,

    “The Christian school is to be favored for two reasons. In the first place, it is important for American liberty; in the second place, it is important for the propagation of the Christian religion.”

    NL2K should break out in a rash with those sentences. For, per E2K, this is confusing the commons with the grace realm and it is suggesting that something in the commons (Christian schools) could be propagating Christianity.

    Clearly Machen is no harbinger of H2K.

    Sans Mr. Ch, this language is already strongly transformational.

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  183. “In the first place, then, the Christian school is important for the maintenance of American liberty.
    We are witnessing in our day a world-wide attack upon the fundamental principles of civil and religious freedom. In some countries, such as Italy, the attack has been blatant and unashamed; Mussolini despises democracy and does not mind saying so. A similar despotism now prevails in Germany; and in Russia freedom is being crushed out by what is perhaps the most complete and systematic tyranny that the world has every seen.”

    This indicates to us that Machen would have been appalled at the snuffing out of Christian liberty in the commons that we are seeing now. Machen would have categorized Governmental action to sue businesses for not accommodating perverted patrons as systematic tyranny. And as we see him doing so here, doubtless he would have spoken against our current systematic tyranny.

    Second, the fact that Machen as a Churchman is registering his complaint against wicked Governments suggests that he was no forerunner of E2K. No E2K minister would ever talk or write complaining about a wicked Government since that would be contrary to E2K principles.

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  184. “The result of this decadence in the American people is seen in the rapid growth of a centralized bureaucracy which is the thing against which the Constitution of the United States was most clearly intended to guard.”

    Would any E2K minister today come out in a speech complaining about centralized bureaucracy as well as linking that to a violation of the Constitution? No, they would not since E2K’s intent is to keep ministers out of that discussion.

    And why is Machen complaining? Well, clearly it is with the intent to transform the current malaise that he is noting.

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  185. “In the presence of this apparent collapse of free democracy, any descendant of the liberty-loving races of mankind may well stand dismayed; and to those liberty-loving races no doubt most of my hearers tonight belong. I am of the Anglo-Saxon race; many of you belong to a race whose part in the history of human freedom is if anything still more glorious; and as we all contemplate the struggle of our fathers in the winning of that freedom which their descendants seem now to be so willing to give up, we are impressed anew with the fact that it is far easier to destroy than to create. It took many centuries of struggle — much blood and many tears — to establish the fundamental principles of our civil and religious liberty; but one made generation is sufficient to throw them all away.”

    Y’all sure that they didn’t confuse this Machen speech with a R. J. Rushdoony speech?

    It reads like Rushdoony.

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  186. Peter, wrong again. Most 2k ministers (you really do need to supply a glossary for all of your versions of 2k) already oppose big government. On what planet do you live?

    Also, you misunderstand 2k. A minister may speak about politics but he does so as a citizen. If he tries to speak in the name of God about the federal government of the United States, he is doing what every single advocate of civil religion has done — identified the kingdom of God with the United States. If that’s what you’re advocating, then you really are the radical. You violate every Augustinian sentiment known to the history of the Western church and the Battle Hymn of the Republic is your hallmark song.

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  187. Peter, but Machen was a 2k minister and he did speak about those issues. He did not do it in the pulpit.

    Out of curiosity, do you find anything objectionable about Iain Paisley or Carl McIntire? Is that your kind of 2k minister?

    BTW, I am a contributor to Front Porch Republic. Not every 2k advocate finds Front Porch its cup of tea. But you’d have a hard time finding a better source of opposition to consolidation and centralization of government. But I also suspect it wouldn’t be sufficiently Christian for you. Why decentralization has to be a Christian cause is THE issue. It’s not a biblical matter. It’s one that Christian share with non-Christians.

    You have to keep an eye on that anti-thesis. It does come back to bite.

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  188. We could have a productive conversation about the merits and shortcomings of Christian schooling with the right partners. If someone starts with the notion that public school = unmitigated bad, Christian school = unmitigated good, the conversation never really gets off the ground, though. Idealogues do not the most interesting Christians make.

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  189. One thing I’m a bit wary of is having the conversation with someone who has ONLY attended Christian schools or ONLY attended public schools. That’s kind of like discussing sex with a Roman Catholic priest (who has maintained his celibacy).

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  190. He gave the lecture at

    National Union of Christian Schools, August, 1933

    He did so as a high profile minister.

    To suggest that he wasn’t speaking as a Christian but only as a citizen is a sssssssssstretchhhhhhh of magnificent proportions.

    A group of Christian educators brought in a Christian to give a Christian address on Christian matters. Only a E2K worldview would keep one from seeing something so obvious.

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  191. When Machen complains about the Tyranny in Russia, Germany, and Italy he is attacking Marxism in variant forms. Could you provide the link where he defends communism?

    When he complains about child labor laws he is complaining against Marxist attempts to infiltrate the home. If you look at the history of those types of legislative endeavors they have the Marxist fingerprints all over it.

    Machen writes,

    “It looks as though the enemies of American institutions might soon have their will, and as though the childhood and youth of our country might be turned over after all to the tender mercies of Washington bureaus.”

    Who else but the Marx ists (be they Socialists, Communists, Fabians, or others) desired to have the youth of the country turned over to the tender mercies of Washington bureaus? To dis-attach children from their home is Marxism 101. This is what Machen is inveighing against, and he is inveighing against it as a Christian minister.

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  192. Machen’s opposition to the dumbing down process is opposition to another ploy of Marxist ideology that continues in curriculum like common core. When Machen rails against the whole empty mind problem he is railing against forms of Marxism.

    He even complains, “Against this soul-killing collectivism.” Now in the 1930’s in the States who else but the Marxists are playing the collectivists? The Muslims sure weren’t playing that role at this time. Collectivism = Marxism. Machen is employing a Christian worldview to inveigh against Marxism. Good night people, this is at the time when Norman Thomas wins 800,000 votes in the 1932 election. The collectivist out there Machen is warning against are the Marxists.

    Machen isn’t starting from a neutrality in this speech. He is being informed by his Christian worldview. It is because of this Christian worldview that he sees the need for Christian education in order to propagate the Christian religion. For Machen American Liberty stands and falls with the propagation of the Christian religion as wrought in Christian schools that Transform.

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  193. “We are constantly told, it is true, that there ought to be an equal opportunity for all the children in the United States; therefore, it is said, Federal aid ought to be given to backward states. But what shall we say about this business of “equal opportunity?” I will tell you what I say about it; I am entirely opposed to it.”

    Since the French Revolution forward, the Marxists have always been about equality. When Machen complains about the nonsense of equal opportunity (something I’m sure very very few Christian ministers would agree with Machen on I’m sure) he is complaining against the egalitarian impulse that is characteristic of International Marxists. Machen’s complaint in this whole lecture is against Marxism, and he complains not from some kind of neutral point but he complains as a Christian.

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  194. “In the first place, we find proposed to us today what is called “character education” or “character-building”. Character, we are told, is one thing about which men of all faiths are agreed. Let us, therefore, build character in common, as good citizens, and then welcome from the various religious faiths whatever additional aid they can severally bring. Let us first appeal to the children on a “civilization basis” — to use what I believe is the most recent terminology — and then let the various faiths appeal to whatever additional motives they may be able to adduce.

    What surprises me about this program is not that its advocates propose it; for it is only too well in accord with the spirit of the age. But what really surprises me about it is that the advocates of it seem to think that a Christian can support it without ceasing at that point to be Christian.

    In the first place, when this program of character-education is examined, it will be found, I think, to base character upon human experience; it will be found to represent maxims of conduct as being based upon the collective experience of the race. But how can they be based upon the collective experience of the race and at the same time, as the Christian must hold, be based upon the law of God? By this experiential morality the reverence for the law of God is being broken down. It cannot be said that the results — even judged by “civilization” standards (if I may borrow the terminology of my opponents for a moment) — is impressive. The raging tides of passion cannot successfully be kept back by the flimsy mud-embankments of an appeal to human experience. It is a feeble morality that can say nothing better for itself than that it works well.”

    How much more clearly can Machen say that there is no neutrality in Education? No education from nowhere? He even calls E2K fancy of neutrality as comporting with the “Spirit of the Age.” All faiths can most certainly not agree on Character education.

    And then … then he commits the greatest crime of all he insists that Christian character education must be based upon God’s law. He inveighs against a character education happening in Government schools that is based on human experience and insists that all such education is breaking down reverence for God’s law. He even goes so far as to suggest that this kind of education — the education that is everywhere pursued in Gov’t schools — is not Christian.

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  195. Augustinian Sentiment?

    I suppose an Amillennialist finds amillennialism in Augustine.

    Not everyone reads Augustine to be amillennial.

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  196. Libertarianism is not Biblical as it confuses the one and the many as badly as Marxism does.

    So, no Front Porch for me.

    And decentralization is a Christian issue. Christian view only God as God and as such the collectivist state is unbiblical and decentralization biblical

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  197. “But as a matter of fact the religion of the Christian man embraces the whole of his life. Without Christ he was dead in trespasses and sins, but he has now been made alive by the Spirit of God; he was formerly alien from the household of God, but has now been made a member of God’s covenant people. Can this new relationship to God be regarded as concerning only one part, and apparently a small part, of his life? No, it concerns all his life; and everything that he does he should do now as a child of God.

    It is this profound Christian permeation of every human activity, no matter how secular the world may regard it as being, which is brought about by the Christian school and the Christian school alone. I do not want to be guilty of exaggerations at this point. A Christian boy or girl can learn mathematics, for example, from a teacher who is not a Christian; and truth is truth however learned. But while truth is truth however learned, the bearings of truth, the meaning of truth, the purpose of truth, even in the sphere of mathematics, seem entirely different to the Christian from that which they seem to the non-Christian; and that is why a truly Christian education is possible only when Christian conviction underlies not a part, but all, of the curriculum of the school. True learning and true piety go hand in hand, and Christianity embraces the whole of life — those are great central convictions that underlie the Christian school.”

    I can’t believe you people believe that this could ever be argued as anything but neo-Calvinism.

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  198. Peter – I can’t believe you people believe that this could ever be argued as anything but neo-Calvinism.

    Machen – I do not want to be guilty of exaggerations at this point

    Erik – Neocalvinists are guilty of exaggerations (of what we can expect to gain through Christian schooling). It’s just not a panacea, and I have experience with public schools, Christian schools, and homeschooling — as a student and as a parent. Neocals overstate the antithesis when it comes to Christian Schooling, as you did when you first appeared here the other day.

    You do need to deprogram Chortles’ wife of her Marxism, though. You appear to have Marxism on the brain.

    If I had to guess, Peter, I would say you either have no kids or they are still young.

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  199. Erik, as long as sinful men put their hand to anything, yes even preaching the gospel, there will be no panacea prior to the Resurrection. None of us get everything right. But what is our recourse? Just hand our children over to the PC police, so they can sit at the feet of God mockers and be indoctrinated day after day?

    By the way Erik, not all Public school districts are equal. Try living in Las Vegas (like my sister) and sending your children to Public school out there. Good luck to that bad idea.

    Machen had it right! He saw the danger way back in the thirties with the government schools. And look what they are teaching now, compared to back then! Now Public schools teach that homosexuality is a gender issue, not a moral issue. That people are born that way. If we don’t subscribe to egalitarianism we are called racist. It’s beyond sad.

    Oh, and Erik if you say Peter has communism on the brain then I guess that goes ten fold for Machen. I think Peter was mainly quoting Machen.

    And Erik, just reading those Machen quotes, doesn’t it make you wonder why you didn’t read any of that angle in DGH’s biography? Doesn’t in make you go, hmmmmmmmmm.

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  200. Doug,

    Public schools aren’t perfect (duh), but at some point as Christians we have to deal with the world as it is. If not at 7, at 14. If not at 14, at 24. Christian school is fine for those that want to do it, but we don’t need to be putting financial burdens and guilt trips on people who don’t do it. That’s my main point. It’s right for some kids and families, but not for all.

    We have a family in our church who traveled great distances to take their kids to Christian school. 5 years later they’re divorced and the wife and kids are AWOL. Maybe if they had just been more low-key and gone to the local public school they would have been better off. Christians twist themselves in knots about all kinds of things. Sometimes they just need to chill out, have a sense of humor, and go with the flow a bit more.

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  201. Erik, when my sister lived in the Chicago,suburb of Naperville, she was in the best school district in America, that wasn’t so bad. When she lived in Vegas, God have mercy! So your right, one size doesn’t fit all, BUT I would be willing to bet, that if you lived near Moscow, Douglas Wilson would see that your children were educated, even if you couldn’t afford it. I know for a fact that RC Sproul Jr. will take any Christian family for free, if they lack funds.

    Sometime these things require prayer, and trusting God. Not all my Public school teachers were bad, in fact I liked every teacher I had. But were they good teachers? How could I judge when I was so young? In high school however, I had three or four straight up communist teachers, teaching that our way of life was immoral, there was no such thing as God, in a Geography class no less!

    Frankly, I want to see all Public schools slowly fade away. Give the money back to the parents and let them educate their children as they see fit. Public schools have out lived there usefulness, and are a very UN-Godly influence in our culture, in fact as Machen predicted that the government schools would transform our society into what we’re starting to see today. A society that embraces egalitarianism, gay pride, and communism. Our nations colleges are filled with red diaper doper baby, professors who despise capitalism and hate the west.

    But I wouldn’t try to guilt trip anyone in my church. As an aside, my Pastor sent his kids to a Public school, although our Elders home-schooled there eight chillens with some Douglas Wilson curriculum. One has to know when to mind his own business.

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  202. DGH, are you seriously suggesting that a Pastor can not oppose our federal government for supporting abortion on demand?

    Why is that not a church issue?

    Have you ever heard of, “thou shall not kill’?

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  203. DGH, I think you’re way wrong on centralized government NOT being a biblical matter. And it goes to my point about you being functionally illiterate regarding the Bible. All of God’s word is good for instruction, reproof and correction for the man of God, that he would be ready for every good work. Is a proper running government a good work? Yes?. And the Bible has much to say about being a servant, and the wisdom of co-equal branches of power.

    God warned Israel what would happen when they had a king. God said that the king would take their sons for war, there best vineyards for himself, that they would be taxed as well. In other words, this demanded a different type of government, than a king or centralized power. This demande co-equal branches of government. Did the Bible say it had to be three co-equal branches?

    No, but it only makes since, no? If one is trained in the Bible especially the old testament one knew that to be great, one had to be the servant of all, with Jesus being our example. That power placed in the hands of a king, or a centralized government was not good and would wind up exploiting the very people they were supposed to govern.. Hence, our leaders are to be our servants, and our main branches of power are co-equal. This is why Machen could say that our government was founded on the Christian Scriptures. It would seem Machen knew a bit more about the Bible than you. And it also shows us why, he was so alarmed at the soul killing collectivism he saw taking root.

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  204. Isn’t it amazing what happens when the restaurant up the hill from Doug’s camping place (van down by the river) unprotects its wi-fi for a couple of days? We get…DOUG — in spades. Doug, don’t forget — if you run the laptop off the car battery too long you won’t be able to crank the van. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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  205. Peter, instead of reading the neo-Cal Machen as anything but neo-Cal, what some of us people are simply doing is preferring the 2k Machen.

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  206. The fact that blokes like Ian Paisley and Carl McIntre apply the Scriptures wrongly doesn’t therefore mean it is not possible to apply the Scriptures rightly. Machen was right,when applying Scripture, he opposed the Volstead act, when he opposed prayer in Government schools, when he opposed Bible reading in Schools. Machen didn’t oppose those presumed desiderata because he was operating from a neutral point from nowhere. He opposed them because he was a Christian and was applying the Scriptures properly.

    And McIntire’s premill eschatology made suspect everything that came out of his mouth.

    You seem to imply that if someone applies the Scripture wrongly to the commons therefore the cure is to not apply the Scriptures at all to the commons.

    That is a curious position.

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  207. Mr. Chester,

    Machen himself qualifies his “exaggeration” statement by conceding

    “A Christian boy or girl can learn mathematics, for example, from a teacher who is not a Christian; and truth is truth however learned.”

    Then Machen goes on to express a purely vanilla Christianity

    “But while truth is truth however learned, the bearings of truth, the meaning of truth, the purpose of truth, even in the sphere of mathematics, seem entirely different to the Christian from that which they seem to the non-Christian; and that is why a truly Christian education is possible only when Christian conviction underlies not a part, but all, of the curriculum of the school. True learning and true piety go hand in hand, and Christianity embraces the whole of life — those are great central convictions that underlie the Christian school.”

    When you try to suggest that Machen’s “exaggeration” statement means other then what he clearly stipulates it to mean you are the one involved in exaggeration.

    A consistent trait among the E2K groupies.

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  208. Read in his totality the L2K Machen is a myth.

    Dictionary

    P2K = Phony 2K
    E2K = Escondido 2K
    H2K = Hart 2K
    NL2K = Natural Law 2K
    L2K = Libertinism 2K

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  209. Mr. Chester,

    All because you are unacquainted regarding the long Marxism roots in our civilization doesn’t mean that anyone has Marxism on the brain when they point out, chapter and verse, its reality.

    It may just mean that you need to read a book or two on the subject.

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  210. Thanks for that, Pete. We’re all gonna memorize and start using that. Here’s one for you:

    SPKIL1k – Smarty Pants Know It All 1K (seems to be the only kind)

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  211. Read in his totality the L2K Machen is a myth.

    Dictionary

    P2K = Phony 2K
    E2K = Escondido 2K
    H2K = Hart 2K
    NL2K = Natural Law 2K
    L2K = Libertinism 2K

    and any suffix or prefix applied in an attack on 2K = cuckoo bananas upstairs

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  212. Doug, have you not read the OPC’s BCO?

    4. All church power is wholly moral or spiritual. No church officers or judicatories possess any civil jurisdiction; they may not inflict any civil penalties nor may they seek the aid of the civil power in the exercise of their jurisdiction further than may be necessary for civil protection and security.

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  213. Peter, you’re reading skills are not very impressive. Machen was a libertarian through and through, and that is a big factor in separating him from Kuyper as well as Paisley and McIntire (and also you). Look at how he argues for the Lord’s Day here with the Governor of Pennsylvania. Neo-Calvinists would be ashamed.

    Will you permit me to express, very respectfully, my opposition to the Bill designated “House Bill No. 1″ regarding permission of commercialized sport between the hours of two and six on Sunday afternoons?

    It is clear that in this matter of Sunday legislation the liberty of part of the people will have to be curtailed. It is impossible that people who desire a quiet Sunday should have a quiet Sunday, while at the same time people who desire commercialized sport on Sunday should have commercialized sport. The permission of commercialized sport will necessarily change the character of the day for all of the people and not merely for part of the people.

    The only question, therefore, is whose liberty is to be curtailed. I am convinced that in this case it ought, for the welfare of the whole people, to be the liberty of those who desire commercialized sport.

    The curtailment of their liberty, through the existing law, does not, I am convinced, go beyond reasonable bounds. There is, it seems to me, a sharp distinction of principle between complete prohibition of some form of activity or enjoyment and reasonable regulation of it in the interest of other people. To ask that commercialized sport should dispense with one day out of seven for the benefit of that large part of our population that desires a quiet Sunday and believes that it is necessary to the welfare of the State does not seem to me to be unreasonable.

    Of course it is perfectly clear that in a democracy the majority should rule in this matter as in other matters. I should be the last to advocate any attempt to make people religious or even to make people ordinarily moral or decent against their will by mere legislative enactment. I should also be the last to advocate any tyrannical imposition of the convictions of a minority upon the majority. But how shall the majority will be exercised? I think that it ought to be exercised through the ordinary processes of representative government. To allow commercialized sport on Sunday in Pennsylvania will be a radical change in the whole life of our people. It is a wise provision of representative government that such radical changes should not be hastily accomplished, as might be the case by the referendum vote, but that they should be accomplished only when it is quite clear that the majority of the people really and seriously and permanently desires the change. . . .

    As to the merits of the question, I could hardly find words strong enough to express what my feeling is. It does seem to me that the profoundest dangers to our entire civilization are found in the constant rush of noise and jazz and feverish activity which is one of the great faults of the American people and which is a great barrier to true efficiency as well as to the cultivation of the deeper things.

    Of course, my own cultivation of a quiet Sunday is based on considerations much more fundamental than these. I am a Christian, and it is quite clear that a commercialized Sunday is inimical to the Christian religion. There are many other Christians in Pennsylvania, and because they are Christians they do not cease to be citizens. They have a right to be considered by their fellow-citizens and by the civil authorities. But the reason why they can with a good conscience be enthusiastic advocates of the Christian practice in the matter of Sunday is that they regard it as right, and as for the highest well-being of the entire State.

    Very truly yours,

    J. Gresham Machen, Professor of New Testament in Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia

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  214. Math in Christian School: 2 +2 = 4

    Math in Public School: 2 + 2 = 4

    But it’s just so much more 4 in Christian school.

    If we’re serious about Christian school, why not more Christian Ph.D. programs in all of the disciplines? We can’t just turn our children over to the pagans when they hit 24, can we? And why not a Christian workplace for every Christian?

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  215. If we can only come up with a Christian version of every human institution we can extract those “Aliens and Strangers” passages out of the Bible with a pair of sharp scissors. It will be great. We may never have the chance to talk with people who aren’t Christians, but, oh well, they’re going to hell anyway.

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  216. Peter,

    Read Chambers’ “Witness”, read David Horowitz. read Paul Johnson’s “Modern Times”, read Conquest’s “Harvest of Sorrow”, watched “The Baader Meinhof Complex” and “The Weather Underground”. I’ll avoid the Fever Swamp stuff on Marxism that you’ve apparently been reading, but thanks anyway.

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  217. Mr. E

    Your reading list on Marxism only informs us that you need to read more before you critique another person’s knowledge base. I’ve not read what Huizenga apparently has read (apparently because he did not leave us a list), but I’ve read enough to know that your list is pretty slight when it comes to Marxist theory and the prevalent influence on Marxism upon our current culture.

    However, when it comes to adding numbers in a column, I’m sure to pay close attention to your advice. Accountants are handy that way.

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  218. Oh no, I thought we put a silver stake through the heart of reading our world through Freud and Marx…

    Now we get it all over again on the OLTS board!!!

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  219. DG, you apparently missed my main point, Machen believed our government was founded on the Christian Scriptures.

    Are you with or against Machen on that crucial point? You seemed either unaware, or down right hostile to the notion that our form of government was drawn from the Bible. Just so you know, I agree with Machen, do you?

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  220. What’s going on here, Hart?

    You apparently are functionally illiterate about the Bible and know nothing about the real Machen.

    You sure know how to play the game well, to get where you are…

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  221. DG, can you read? Any Pastor with a grain of common sense should oppose abortion on moral grounds. Why? Because abortion violates God’s law, and in, thou shall not murder. No OPC Pastor *needs* civil authority, to oppose abortion from the pulpit, we have a higher moral authority called God’s Word.

    That fits quite nicely with the OPC report. Onward Christian soldiers!

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  222. Doug, where in the world do you find that notion? I don’t agree that you will find that anywhere in Machen — the U.S. founded on Christian Scriptures. If so, why no mention of God or the Trinity of the Bible?

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  223. Darryl,

    I suggest that whatever you are smoking in your avatar you might want to consider to cease puffing for awhile as I think it has you addlepated.

    The quote you cite from Machen is hardly an example of Libertarianism. Machen is writing to ask that the liberties of the commercialized sportsmen be curtailed and restricted BY THE STATE. Machen is asking that the liberties of the commercialized sportsmen be sublimated for the good of the welfare of the STATE. If that is Libertarianism then I’m Ayn Rand.

    Do you not know that Libertarians don’t believe that majority vote means that minorities lose their individual rights? Libertarians desire for the State to stay out of all of these kinds of decisions and allow the market place to provide whatever it is that individuals desire as long as that something does not violate the precious Libertarian non aggression principle. When Machen writes the Governor to squelch the rights of individual commercialized sportsmen Machen is being anti-Libertarian. Mencken, (the genuine article Libertarian) would have lampooned Machen as part of the Bouboisie if he had known about this letter.

    Where Machen champions Majoritarianism there we find the heart of someone who believes in Democracy, not Libertarianism. Further, when Machen insists on change through Representative Government and not through referendum there we find the heart of someone who believes in Republican government, not Libertarianism. I see exactly zero evidence of Libertarianism in Machen in this quote you have so generously provided. I do see though a lack of understanding on your part of what Libertarianism is.

    Now, if you wanted to make the case that Machen had a Libertarian impulse, I’ve no problem with that. Machen, hailing from Baltimore, was a son of the old South and a predominant number of old Southerners at the time of Machen had a Libertarian impulse. However, that impulse obviously is set in the context of a broader belief system that allows it to restrict the rights on minorities (commercialized sportsmen) for the good of the State. To suggest that Machen is some kind of earlier expression of Murray Rothbard leaves me incredulous.

    It is interesting that when Machen ends this letter in the last paragraph he appeals to the interest of the State, just as he did earlier in the letter when he was applying a more circumstantial and less overtly Theological course of reasoning. As such what we see is rather Machen is arguing circumstantially or theologically he says much the same thing. This is just standard Christianity. Nothing H2K about it.

    If this is the most H2K that you can find in Machen, your H2K Machen is tottering.

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  224. Peter, actually, it Machen’s is the sort of reasoning of which neo-Calvinists are incapable. In case you haven’t noticed, Kuyperians want to dissect things philosophically — 1789 and all that. Machen is fully pragmatic in line with his libertarian and Democratic impulses.

    I do not for the life of me understand why you are so suspicious of my account of Machen. Nor do I understand, with so few interactions, why you seem incapable of having a conversation.

    Oh, wait. You’re a neo-Calvinist. Bad manners follow because you have the integrated mind.

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  225. Darryl,

    You’ll excuse me if I don’t get all wrought when you, of all people, complain about bad manners.

    I think Mr. Vander M and Doug S. has exposed why we should be suspicious of your H2K Machen.

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  226. Good work Peter!

    It is stunning that a history guy like Hart, doesn’t know what a Libertarian is, simply stunning. How in good conscience can anyone take another Hart (history?) book seriously again? I’m just a layman, and knew Hart was full of BS when he called Machen a Libertarian through and through. This is why I get so emotional. Where are all the fact checkers? How can Hart get away with not knowing that Machen said our form of government was founded on the Christian Scriptures?

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  227. You know Erik,

    I have had my share of over the top remarks, (as have you) some to my chagrin. But unlike Hart, I have repented (here at Old life) and moved on. If you are a true Christian brother, you need to let some of my more emotional *blasts* slide, because we are one body, and I have confessed my sin and folly before us all. If I,on the other hand, I were to act like Hart, and refuse to repent, then that’s another matter.

    God bless you brother, and keep pressing on!

    P.S. Have you had a chance to peruse TICE? I know it’s not the most exciting read but it’s thorough.

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  228. “If you are a true Christian brother, you need to let some of my more emotional *blasts* slide, because we are one body, and I have confessed my sin and folly before us all. If I,on the other hand, I were to act like Hart, and refuse to repent, then that’s another matter.”

    Good one, Doug. Let me translate for Erk: Because Doug has said, is saying, and will say lots of nasty unfounded things you should let them all slide because he has (sometimes) in the past admitted his folly (so you should assume, body brother, that he will do the same in the future). Sort of a past/future retroactive/assumed future apology/get-out-of-being stupid/unkind/unwise free card. It’s just that simple and in no way casts aspersions on his doctrine or theonomic constructions. It’s all good!

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  229. “If I,on the other hand, I were to act like Hart, and refuse to repent, then that’s another matter.”

    “I thank thee that I am not as other men are…”

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  230. Hold on Chortles!

    You touched on my weakest area. Many times I am unkind to DG, and get down right insulting. There are better ways to express outrage. Please pray for me, that I can develop self control which we all know is a fruit of the Spirit. I do wear my heart on my sleeve, and often times let my emotions get the better of me.

    Thanks in advance, and keep pressing on!

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  231. Hey Chortles, don’t do me like that!

    All believers are commanded to repent EVERYDAY! I just wonder why DG never seems to do anything wrong in his own eyes. Have you ever seen him humble himself?

    Hmmm, me neither…….

    BTW, the other day when you said you may be “full of wit” or something that rhymes with wit, I almost wanted to butt in and say: NO, you are a *half* wit, not full.

    But then I wanted you to know, I enjoy your diatribe:)

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  232. Doug, I know of no exactly appropriate emoticon for this moment. You are loved, of course — not understood or necessarily missed when you’re not here, but loved like a crazy uncle or something. We all have “areas” of course. But remember, he who cutteth no slack, verily he receiveth but little slack.

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  233. Darryl inquired: I do not for the life of me understand why you are so suspicious of my account of Machen.

    Well, maybe because you have a way of stoking such suspicion?

    Not that long ago, I mused here: “ One would think a historian would deal with all the bits of his subject, including the Worldview “City on a Hill” Machen.”

    The defensive response : “..one would think a professional would actually read the work of a historian before opening his mouth about the defects of history.”

    Fair enough, so, I asked: “Could you point me to where in your studied work that you have addressed and analyzed the Worldviewist,,Christian school- as- City- on-a- Hill Machen? Would love to learn what you have done with him on this topic elsewhere, since you obviously won’t deal with it here.”

    Rather than a specific citation, I got flooded with an impressive bibliography, telling me: “ let me see if I can find something I’ve written on Machen that might answer your question.”

    First book on the impressive list was the biography of Machen, “Defending the Faith”.

    To narrow things down, I asked: “..could you identify which of those publications contains your presentation and analysis of the “Worldview Christian School as City on a Hill” Machen?”

    After a bit more dental work tugging, we settled on his Amazon advertised biography of Machen— “Defending the Faith.”

    Thus, I set off on the quest, saying: “I’ll take a look at how you dealt with” Worldview Christian School as City on a Hill” Machen in this book. Call me off if you know I am wasting my time looking for it there.”

    Darryl did not call me off. So I finished the book. A well written book. Results?

    Among a list of 8 bullet point items Hart characterized as an “anomalies” in Machen, one such anomaly was Machen advocating private Christian Schools –and also opposing prayer and Bible reading in the public schools.

    At some point, the book gave attention to the second part of the “anomaly”, i.e., Machen and public schools. So I pressed on, waiting to see the promised analysis of Neo-Cal Christian Schooler Machen.

    Came to the end of the book and what did I find? No ink spilled examining the Neo-Cal-praising, “Christian School as City on a Hill” Machen. ( To be fair, there is a single citation to Machen’s “The Necessity of Christian Schools”, tucked in the midst of other citations in endnote #23 on p 202 of a 217 page book.)

    One might suspect I’d be displeased that Darryl could have just come clean and saved me the time. But being the optimistic Dutch fellow and all, I think this actually could turn out for the good. Maybe it can serve as lesson for some folks to consider broadening their horizons in search of the real, whole Machen.

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  234. Mark, and what say you to Bratt’s depiction of Kuyper’s affinity with New School Presbyterianism? And have you attempted yet to fathom what Old School Presbyterianism stood for?

    If you read Defending the Faith and don’t see a difference between Kuyper and Machen’s “projects,” then I suggest you go to school somewhere and figure out how to think.

    Just proves my point in my post today that nothing can dent the neo-Calvinist (one wing of it) attempt to read everything through neo-Cal antithetical glasses.

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  235. Do you ever pause and read yourself before you hit send Darryl?

    You complain about basic Christianity’s lack of diversity all the while demonstrating your intolerance of pre-American revision Presbyterians. Et tu Brutus?

    Also note that Machen wasn’t very tolerant of commercialized sports on Sunday. How un-Darryl like of him. Poor mean Machen. Would that he would have tolerated diversity like Darryl-man.

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  236. Peter – You complain about basic Christianity’s lack of diversity all the while demonstrating your intolerance of pre-American revision Presbyterians.

    Erik – All 27 of them?

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  237. If you read Defending the Faith and don’t see a difference between Kuyper and Machen’s “projects,”

    No, the thing I didn’t see was you dealing with an item of similarity (Worldviewer Christian Schools) between Kuyper and Machen, even though you claimed you did.

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  238. Mark, so you expect historians to look for current ideas in the past? This is historical anachronism. Did Machen grow up in a world of postmillennialism that could sound transformationalist? Sure. Did he read Kuyper or Dutch Calvinists? No, though he talked to them sometimes. Was Machen the product of Southern Old School Presbyterianism? Yes. Did the ideology of the South’s Lost Cause get in the way of postmillennial transformationalism? Yes. Were Dutch Calvinists and American Presbyterians on the same page on any number of issues? No.

    So I don’t know what your gripe is. I didn’t cover the bases as in a legal brief. But I did take into account those influences that would explain both what he said to Christian school teachers and to prospective ministers about the unique importance of the ministry.

    I am still waiting for you to make the slightest gesture toward reconciling all of these factors. All you seem to want to do is paste bumper stickers. If that’s the best w-w can do, no thank YOU.

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  239. While world-viewers may think they have a friend in Machen because of a post-mil impulse and an optimistic view of future transformation (which agreed are not shared by many of us), or strong opinions on political matters, (and no 2ker I know begrudges Machen for expressing such views), whatever Machen’s concerns were with big government, public schools, etc… the key is to see how adamant Machen was in keeping these battles out of the pulpit; that fighting these battles was not the ministry of the visible church. That is where many of us follow Machen in our SOTC convictions. I don’t know how he could express it more beautifully than here:

    Weary with the conflicts of the world, one goes to Church to seek refreshment for the soul. And what does one find? Alas, too often, one find only the turmoil of the world. The preacher comes forward, not out of a secret place of mediation and power, not with the authority of God’s Word permeating his message, not with human wisdom pushed far into the background by the glory of the Cross, but with human opinions about the social problems of the hour or easy solutions of the vast problems of sin. Such is the sermon. And then perhaps the service is closed by one of those hymns breathing out the angry passions of 1861 . . . Thus the warfare of the world has entered even into the house of God. And sad indeed is the heart of the man who has come seeking peace. Is there no refuge from strife? . . . . Is there no place where two or three can gather in Jesus’ name, . . . to forget human pride, to forget the passions of war, to forget the puzzling problems of industrial strife, and to unite in overflowing gratitude at the foot of the Cross? If there be such a place, then that is the house of God and that the gate of heaven. And from under the threshold of that house will go forth a river that will revive the weary world.
    ~ J. Greshem Machen in Christianity and Liberalism

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  240. It’s been over five years since I read Defending the Faith, so I have no idea anymore what it said on this. But I thought that the prevailing explanation among the worldviewers re: Machen’s apologetics was that Machen was only an evidentialist until encountering Van Til, who blew him away with presuppositionalism, but too close to Machen’s death to make a difference. That seems like an odd explanation if Machen was always a Dutch-neocal-postmill in his thinking. How much Dutch theology was even available in English to him, outside of the Kuyper lectures?

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  241. Dr. Hart, do you grade papers?

    How would you grade the recent arguments by those rebels who sit and listen to you lecture in internet life?

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  242. Kent, truth be told, I’m a fairly easy grader. Mark VDM gets a C- for stubbornness. Peter/Liam should get a similar grade but I give him a C+. I like the fire in his belly. Mark strikes me as the classroom tattletale.

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  243. “No philosophy or God.”

    And to think that Parents spend 10’s of thousands of dollars so you can teach their children.

    I appreciate your honesty though. This confirms that you practice pure historicism.

    Historicism — An egregiously bad philosophy that makes the historian god.

    Todd,

    And yet Van Dyke refused to sit under Machen’s preaching because Van Dyke believed it too political.

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  244. Liam,

    You are aware what liberals meant by “political” back then, right? I did not mean issues of government policy, which liberals were eager to address from the pulpit. It meant polemical, or doctrinally precise, as in Machen demonstrating where liberals’ definition of the gospel was false instead of wanting everyone to just get along. If you think Machen preached politics as in government policy, please show me some examples from any of his sermons.

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  245. Doug,

    If the U.S. form of government was drawn from Scriptures, then how do you find a place for freedom of religion? The whole point of Theonomy is that people need to abide by the Scriptures (i.e., the Christian religion) in their civil life – which is not freedom of religion.

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  246. Liam (if that’s your name), at least I have a method. You blow in here, no introduction, and blast away. You seem way too bad natured to be an Irishman. (Most integralists — Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Straussian — think historical accounts are historicist. The reality of human existence in its variety and development just gets in the way of theory.)

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  247. Kent, contrary to Peter H./Liam, I am not mean the way he thinks. I would like to be mean the way that Machen’s critics characterized him. Dissenters are always bad people. Let’s not have to think about what they say.

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  248. I’ve browsed the article and several back and forth comments..why such the hostility toward one another? I sense a lot of arrogance and superiority; is this really Christ-like? Or because its the Internet can we pull away from our Christian worldviews and beat each other with a hammer? Just because someone has studied years and years on a subject doesn’t make him or her superior to another one in God’s kingdom. Be aware that such petty arguments and barking to one another is not a good means of evangelism. Regardless if you’re 2k subscriber or not, people from outside and within the Church can see this as quite hypocritical by “hating” our brother. Let us live lives worthy of out calling and not grieve the Spirit by trivial issues or being a stumbling block to our fellow brother or weaker sister.

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  249. Nate, “freedom” of religion meant freedom to worship Christ without government interference. It didn’t mean freedom to worship false gods. The orgianl meaning has been twisted over the years, but Christianity was presupposed in the statement.

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  250. Mark, so you expect historians to look for current ideas in the past?

    I expect historians to be honest about the past, starting with what’s in their own historical work.

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  251. Hart is wrong and this we know
    Cuz our worldview tells us so…

    Remember, everyone with the right worldview is an expert in everything. And they are deputized to prosecute worldview transgressions wherever they may occur.

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  252. Doug,

    Presupposed huh? So all the founders were Christ followers? Did you go to a Christian school as a kid? Because that would explain your anachronism.

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  253. Adam, browsed your comment. Didn’t need to really read it or study it to know that that you are being hostile and critical of the rest of us. Some of us don’t even have a worldview yet. I just hope you don’t think we are too dumb to know that we have one anyway.

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  254. Darryl,

    Most Christian Historicists deny practicing historicism. What Christian wants to admit that they are going all relativistic with history via their spin? The integralists desire to include a whole host of phenomenological factors on all sorts of levels. All well and good, But how will all that phenomenological minutia be crafted into a whole narrative? The Historcist says …”I will let the history interpret itself via earlier history.”

    But of course the problem here is that the earlier history is not self interpreting and as a result the Historian is the one who gives meaning to a series of phenomena that would be random except for the Historians divine touch.

    And this brings us to Machen and Hart. Hart’s Historicism has created a Libertarian Machen, quite forgetting all the phenomena (as Mr. Van Der Molen brought to our attention) that doesn’t agree with what the Historicst Hart wants Machen to be.

    I hope people are paying attention here because this is really where the issue lies. Hart’s historical methodology smells more or Post-modernism than it does of Protestantism. Hart tells us we can dispense with God and philosophy. Of course that is not possible for when one does so one is left with man as God and Historicism as philosophy.

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  255. Liam, you seem to be stating your conclusion as your proof. Everyone interprets history. Therein lies the dispute. Your claims are merely an attempt to invalidate a view that you oppose without addressing the questions posed by Hart, facts concerning Machen, and the reality that history is sometimes a bit messy. To neatly put Machen in your camp is a bridge of convenience too far.

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  256. Liam (why not give us you’re real name? and will you be coming the the conference so we can jaw jack awhile?), would you care to explain why folks should pay attention to you more than to the editors at Johns Hopkins University Press, Baker Books, and P&R Publishing? Apparently, you’re smarter than most of the secular and Christian worlds. Of course, they and I could be wrong and you could be right. But if any of us lived our lives that way, we’d be going to witch doctors for the flu. Or maybe you’re holding 9 of Clubs, high.

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  257. The fact that I may be smarter than the Christian world is not saying a great deal. In the land of the blind the one eyed man is King.

    And taking you seriously is nearly the same as going to the Witch doctor.

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  258. No Nate, I went to Public school. Christianity was the only organized religion, in the late 1700’s. So while not every founder father was Christian, *Christendom* was presupposed. When people talked about religion, they mean Christianity.

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  259. Liam, glad to see you are not delusional. You don’t think you’re smarter than the editors at JHU Press.

    But you do know that youtube has not been taken captive. It contains as much smut and sermons as it does lame songs.

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  260. Darryl, if you won’t listen to (or even deal with) Machen on Christian schools, you really interested in a brotherly dialogue with a “yella” Holy Spirit blasphemer?

    Didn’t think so.

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  261. Mark, I did deal with Machen on Christian schools. You just didn’t like it. Who died and made you God? The arrogance of neo-Cals like you, “Liam” and “Peter” is extraordinary. Someone devotes 5 years of their life to study and you pull out a few quotes and dismiss it.

    What have you read of Machen beyond his talk to Christian school teachers? Not much, I’m betting.

    BTW, when I wrote the intellectual biography of Machen I was still partial to neo-Calvinism and even ordained in the CRC. Just one more instance of “not Dutch, don’t count.”

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  262. BTW, Mark, every time we have interacted it has been a version of you as prosecutor and me as defendant. I know they say that if you think you’re a hammer, everything you see looks like a nail. So maybe you think courtroom exchanges count as dialogue.

    Now I know another wife to pity aside from Bryan Cross’.

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  263. Mr. Hart,

    Your treatment of Mr. Van Der Molen has revealed that you really are a lout. That the Christian world would embrace you as some kind of spokesman speaks volumes about the current state of Christendom.

    Sir, I’ve concluded that there is very little about you that bespeaks Christ. Your historiography is post modern. Your treatment of the saints is brutish. Your casual dismissal and sneering of arguments you never answer is astounding. Your appeal to being right due to the ad populam fallacy is juvenile (all these people are publishing me therefore I must be right). The way you twist the minds of your students by not being upfront with them regarding the implications of your Historicism is shameful.

    You should have stayed a CRC minister. The shoe fits.

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  264. “Liam”, you really do make a great first impression. Five comments by you so far (unless you’re using other names), and you’ve gone right for the jugular of piety. (BTW, you don’t know much about me. I am no minister. Nor am I a historicist, but to philosopher history always looks like historicism.)

    How exactly are you exhibiting Christ?

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  265. State of Christendom? Christendom died a long time ago. Maybe that’s the whole point. Btw, if you’re offended by this rhetoric, stay away from Luther and Calvin. There’s some rhetoric that’ll make you hide the children.

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  266. I did deal with Machen on Christian schools.

    You did not deal with the specific item cited (Worldviewer “Christian School as City on a Hill” Machen) in the place you promised you dealt with it. It’s 300+ comments later and you still haven’t addressed it. Of course, you think we won’t notice since you thought up some really witty and choice personal insults.

    It’s often the case that fellows who have an aversion to being forthright see any inquiry as a prosecution.

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  267. Mark, it could be evasion, or it could be that you’re not clever enough to draw inferences from what I did write.

    Still waiting on how Christian schools advance the kingdom of Christ.

    And waiting.

    And waiting.

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  268. MVDM – You did not deal with the specific item cited…

    It’s pretty apparent that DG has. You just don’t like the answer because you see it as a “gotcha” question. See Hart’s latest post. It refutes the idea that Machen was an every-square-inch transformationalist. That alone means it’s all but hand-waving to hold up that quote as the smoking gun. I’m metaphorically exhausted now…

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  269. Nate, you may notice that the Bible uses the word religion, and not Christianity to describe what we now call Christianity. Can we both agree there is only one true religion?

    Words, change meanings over the years Nate, it’s just a fact.

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  270. Doug,

    I thought we were talking about American history. Your history is specious. You’ve got a whole lot of leg work to prove that the original founders only meant “Christianity” when they said religion. And words do change meaning, but we can’t make them mean whatever helps our cause.

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  271. Try again, Jack Miller. Your ellipses lopped off the main issue. But then again, you’re a fanboy of Hart the Historicist.

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  272. Nice try Mark… When the law is on your side, argue the law. When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When neither the facts nor the law are on your side, make an ad hominem attack.

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  273. When your gospel is about how God has “imparted” (created in you, infused) to you a righteousness of your own (created for you inside you), then the ad hominem is very much part of all your accusations. And it’s easy for Bill Evans to see that those who disagree are “Lutherans” and “nominalists” and “antinomians”

    evans: battle lines on the question of individual soteriology have been sharply drawn more recently…there is in 2K a persistently disjunctive impulse—separating sanctification and justification, Law and Gospel (another Lutheran distinctive)…

    Evans: I’ve noticed that some who are deeply concerned to safeguard the extrinsic and forensic alien righteousness of justification are reticent to speak of any real, intrinsic change in us. Positive changes in our behavior are explained in terms of direct divine activity on us, a divine occasionalism that nevertheless leaves us unchanged as to our being. That is, to use the language of the older Reformed tradition, they will speak of immediate divine grace, but not of “created graces” in us. Historically, this denial of created graces was a hallmark of antinomianism

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  274. Jack, you must have missed the fact that Darryl claimed he dealt with Machen’s soaring “City on a Hill” praise of Christian schools in his biography of Machen— and the simple fact that the claim was false. If one hangs on Hart’s every word, a person could miss those facts amid all Hart’s name calling.

    But I’ll give you credit for penning the Old Life Creedo to Blog By:

    When neither the facts nor the law are on your side, make an ad hominem attack.

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  275. Mark, keep up the good work! You have exposed Darryl’s soft underbelly. It appears that DG wrote a (biography?) on how he wished Machen was, not how Machen really was. All the aspects of Machen;’s life that contradict Darryl’s R2K tendencies have been carefully omitted or at least, not expounded upon.

    P.S. Over a year ago, Hart had the nerve to tell me Machen was Amill!

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  276. Mark: If one hangs on Hart’s every word, a person could miss those facts amid all Hart’s name calling… But I’ll give you credit for penning the Old Life Creedo to Blog By: “When neither the facts nor the law are on your side, make an ad hominem attack.”

    Aw come on, Mark. You can lay it on thicker than that! – ( and btw don’t look in the mirror) – Press for that conviction, Mr. Prosecutor. The jury’s about to deliberate. Wait! You’re also the jury?!

    Does Doug hang on Mark’s every word?

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  277. No Jack, I don’t hang on Mark’s every word, but truth is truth, amen? Doesn’t it give you pause, to learn that DG wrote a biography on Machen that omits that he was postmill and very transformational? Was that just an honest mistake?

    I smell a rat…………

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  278. Doug, my question was rhetorical given Mark’s grade-school remark towards me. Because apparently in his world if someone is in agreement with another then that someone is really just hanging on their every word. I consider that you completely speak for yourself.

    Give me pause?… that DGH wrote a biography of Machen (which I’ve read) that doesn’t include incorrect information such as Machen was postmil and a transformationalist?? Maybe you should write a book establishing those points in light of the evidence in Machen’s entire life and work. And after it’s recognized that you sufficiently made the case, then I’ll consider pausing…

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  279. Jack, there you go digging in your heals. How do you *know* that Machen wasn’t postmill and transformational? Because you read Hart’s book? LOL!

    This is what Mark meant by you hanging on Hart’s every word…..

    How about actually reading Machen’s City on a hill, and try telling me he wasn’t postmill.

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  280. Doug, there you go again – putting your words into someone else’s mouth while putting your foot into your own. I read the Machen book. Did I offer that as THE reason (or even a reason) that I don’t think Machen is postmil and a transformationalist? No. The LOL is on you and your giddy assumption. But I don’t expect that to slow you down in your headstrong pursuit of windmills.

    And, when it comes to Machen, if the false choice is to either hanging on Hart’s words or your words, I’ll choose Hart’s. I guess, along with Mark, you also specialize in playground verbal taunts. Next thing I”ll expect to hear is you chirping, Nah, nah, nah, nah, nahhh, nah…

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  281. Darryl, everything we do in faith, carries an eternal weight of glory. In other words, even the way a christian doctor practices medicine has eternal ramifications even though the bodies he’s working on will die. You have placed your mind in a trick bag, making false dichotomies and assumptions. When we do all for the glory of God, it has eternal consequences, rather or not you can comprehend it.

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  282. Doug, I’ve read it. Postmil?? What are you smoking? The core of his argument is libertarian echoes of James Madison and Alexis de Tocqueville. His posture visa-vis Christian schools is a defensive one against the State’s intrusion into the moral domain of the family and church, not a proposed means by which to change or transform culture. He’s basically telling the State with its relatively recent power grab via public education… leave us people alone by not impinging upon our freedom to raise and teach our children as we choose. And he praises those Christian educators who have entered the fight and are paying the price to keep educational options (i.e. freedom) alive.

    But don’t let me stop you from barreling down that theonomic waterfall…

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  283. Doug, I don’t necessarily disagree about the weight of glory. But it doesn’t change the reality that many non-Christian physicians practice medicine better than Christians. The weight of glory doesn’t make doctors better.

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  284. I’m hoping that the essay Doug erroneously refers to as “city on a hill,” is actually Machen’s talk – ‘The Necessity Of The Christian School.” ‘Cause that’s the one my comments refer to…

    in the peace of Machen…

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  285. Doug,

    I hope you were not assuming that when I wrote of what I call Machen’s post-mil assumptions that I was suggesting he was post-mil in the proper sense of the term. What I meant was that at the turn of the century most Christians (minus dispy’s) assumed things were going to get better and better in America, that the worse was behind us. The 20th century was to be the Christian Century, thus the name of the magazine. There is certainly evidence, especially early on, that Machen shared some of this optimism. I don’t think he shared this at the end of his life, especially as his newly formed denomination began splitting. But if you define post-mil in the sense of how to interpret the OT prophecies, the way, let’s say, Boettner or Kik interpreted them, then, no, he was not post-mil.

    (Trust me, I have read “City on a Hill” three times) – just joshing.

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  286. Todd: What I meant was that at the turn of the century most Christians (minus dispy’s) assumed things were going to get better and better in America, that the worse was behind us.

    Yes, that was earlier mentioned by Erik and myself with Machen’s 1913 essay getting trumpeted around by the Usual Suspects.

    It was the last year of serious thinking that post-mill was the obvious ending.

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  287. Can we all agree to ban the use of the following words together in one sentence? Underbelly, his, soft and expose? Thank you. I am going to go lie down now.

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  288. Dave, I propose that you lie on your soft underbelly. If you lie on your back you run the risk of exposing the aforementioned spot. There, I didn’t say “his.”

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  289. Mark, I didn’t write that comment. I didn’t even look at Bret’s blog until yesterday (and I promptly violated the Lord’s Day by doing something profane on it). Someone with my digits and id could fake my identity, I guess. Not someone, of course, who actually adhered to the Decalogue.

    Still waiting. You do a good impersonation of a pouting spouse.

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  290. Darryl,

    Since that comment is not yours I will delete it so it can’t be seen. Love covers a multitude of sins and all that.

    There is a second one from you Submitted on 2013/09/21 at 5:29 am (that would be Saturday). In that one you wrote (or someone wrote?)

    “Good to see you’re following the bouncing ball, even if you dropped it.”

    Did you not leave that one either? (I had not approved it since I thought it snarky so it was never publicly seen).

    Really … if you did not leave these comments I’d think about changing your ID and digits if I were you.

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  291. I envision Neocals & Transformationalists feverishly going through Machen’s writings, much like the children and peasants putting back together shredded documents retrieved from the American Embassy after the Iranian Revolution in 1979. See “Argo” if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

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  292. Darryl, actually I’m just amused that you are in a huff about the Decalogue regarding some digitial id. snatcher, even as you always exempt yourself from the 9th. That dual ethic comes in handy.

    Interesting too, that you could post your bouncy- ball comment sometime Saturday when you claim you hadn’t read Bret’s blog till Sunday. Being a helpful fellow, I suggest you go with the explanation of having discovered your ability to time travel. Who among your fans here would question you? Plus that headline grabbing claim would aid your desperate effort to distract other folks from seeing ( to borrow Erik’s movie analogy) that you’ve pulled an “Argo” on Machen.

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  293. Mark, it’s getting pretty petty and tiresome. I for one am still interested in a biblical justification for how academics furthers the kingdom. The more you stall the more it looks like assumption instead of argument, and you know what they say about assumptions isn’t lovely.

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  294. Mark, admit it, you’re gullible. You actually thought the phony comment was me. As if I would ever say, even if I believed it, golly, Bret, you may have a point about Machen. Are you that naive when examining witnesses in court?

    And I wouldn’t bring up the Decalogue too vociferously. I have been wondering for some time (and you have also not responded) how you can require the magistrate to enforce the seventh commandment but not the first, second, third, or fourth. One way to answer would be to admit you are a moralist, and that all that philosophical w-w hoopla is simply a cover for fundamentalism.

    BTW, I do recall having written the snarky comment at IronInk. I don’t recall doing it at 5:30 on a Sat. morning. Sue me.

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  295. 2k advocates disagree with each other about many things, even about who is or is not 2k;
    But don’t call Matt Tuininga a “dispensationalist” for attending to the discontinuity of redemptive history:

    http://matthewtuininga.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/the-christian-life-is-about-following-jesus-not-the-law-does-reformed-ethics-get-this/

    If the law communicated God’s character through inscriptions written on tablets of stone, Jesus is the express image of God himself, in the form of a living, breathing, acting, speaking human being.

    If the law emphasized Israel’s identity as having been called out from the nations to be different, Jesus called his followers to go into all nations, baptizing and making disciples, always being willing and ready to give a reason for the hope that is within them.

    If the law established Israel as a nation called to wage war against its pagan neighbors, as the expression of the judgment of God, Jesus called his disciples to love their enemies, to turn the other cheek, and to suffer rather than inflict vengeance on others.

    If the law tolerated a certain degree of mistreatment of captives, slaves, or wives, because of the hardness of human hearts, Jesus, both in example and in word, called his disciples to serve one another, recognizing that greatness takes the form of humility and self-sacrifice.

    If the law stipulated capital punishment for thirty odd cases of impiety and injustice, including adultery, Jesus, the messianic king himself, refused to decree death on a woman caught in adultery, taking instead the curse of the law on himself, and calling her to go and sin no more.

    If the law warned that suffering was a sign of God’s judgment for disobedience, and promised that obedience would be rewarded with earthly prosperity and peace, Jesus declared that suffering was the sign of God’s blessing for being identified with him, and promised that it would be a means of our being conformed to his image.

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  296. Darryl, you have to grant the identical cigarette smoker avatar and the “Rabbi Bret” reference was a good enough imitation that it made you (the one being imitated) swear at your keyboard on the Sabbath (O.T. version). But I will concede some gullibility in believing that you were actually open to re-thinking any of your positions. My bad.

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  297. Liam O’Connor
    Posted September 20, 2013 at 10:16 am | Permalink
    Mr. Hart,

    Your treatment of Mr. Van Der Molen has revealed that you really are a lout. That the Christian world would embrace you as some kind of spokesman speaks volumes about the current state of Christendom.

    Sir, I’ve concluded that there is very little about you that bespeaks Christ…

    Live by the ding, perish by the ding, Darryl. Your game, not mine, brother.

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  298. Mark, since your entire comment is in italics, it’s hard to know exactly your point. But if it is that Machen was accused of fundamentalism because of w-w, you really need to step away from the history cookie jar. In fact, I have regularly been called a fundie by neo-Cal’s when I quote Machen on the temporal and eternal. And in case you didn’t notice, the mainline Protestants were the ones who promoted w-w out the wazoo. They even wrote the book — yes, H. Richard Niebuhr was not a confessional Protestant.

    I hope you’re fitted for a helmet sometime soon.

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  299. Yes, you missed the point. I’ll blame the italics. Folks can tag others with the fundie label as a substitute for accurate assessment of one’s position. Machen was labeled a fundie. You label me a fundie (among other eptithets). You are labeled a fundie by some unnamed neo-cal.

    Who’d have thunk it– you, me, and Machen sharing something in common.

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  300. Still waiting on how Christian schools advance the kingdom of Christ.

    Perhaps more testimony from the Hidden Machen will help answer your question:

    “The Christian school ought indeed to be welcomed even from the point of view of a merely secular broadening of the mind. They ought to be welcomed by every friend of real education simply because they tend to liberate our people from the dead hand of monopolistic state control which keeps education in a miserable rut and checks true intellectual advance. Even in their mere capacity as private schools they are worthy of all support.

    But incomparably greater is their value as Christian schools. As Christian schools they are like a precious salt amid our people, a precious salt that checks the ravages of decay; as Christian schools, too, they offer blessings with which all the blessings of the world are not worthy to be compared; they offer a liberty of which that lost civil liberty, regarding which we have been speaking tonight, is but a by-product; they offer the liberty with which Christ has made us free.

    One word more needs to be spoken. What has Christianity to do with education: What is there about Christianity which makes it necessary that there should be Christian schools?
    Very little, some people say. Christianity, they say, is a life, a temper of the soul, not a doctrine or a system of truth; it can provide its sweet aroma, therefore, for any system which secular education may provide; its function is merely to evaluate whatever may be presented to it by the school of thought dominant at any particular time.

    This view of the Christian religion, I need not point out in this company is radically false. Christianity is, indeed, a way of life; but it is a way of life founded upon a system of truth. That system of truth is of the most comprehensive kind; it clashes with opposing systems at a thousand points. The Christian life cannot be lived on the basis of anti-Christian thought. Hence, the necessity of the Christian school.

    You [Christian schoolers] are at least seeking to oppose a Christian system to the system of the world; you at least are not making the huge mistake of trying to found the gold and silver and brass and iron of Christian theological seminaries or Christian colleges upon the clay feet of non-Christian schools; you at least are not appealing to ignorance, but you believe that real Christianity should have an educational system of its own. God grant that other Christian people may follow your example! You are the torch bearers of real advance for the whole Protestant Church. You have pointed out the way. God grant others the grace to follow you! Thus and only thus will the darkness of ignorance be dispelled and the light of the Christian truth be spread abroad in the land.”
    From: “Christian Schools, The Hope of America”

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  301. Darryl asked how Christian education advances the kingdom. Machen gives a clear answer. Mock away at Machen, if you must.

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  302. Mark, it took you three weeks to come up with that? Still nothing there on the temporal and eternal. Still no word from you about how biology, math, and Shakespeare advance the eternal things.

    You need to kick away the Machen crutches, brah. (and don’t confuse those rakes for crutches.)

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  303. Mark, it is clear only to you. And it’s pathetic. You scour for help to make the case for Christian schools. And you read everything through a pro-Christian squint. I didn’t know Christian schools were as much on the ropes as your defensiveness suggests. Lame.

    Just to be clear, no 2ker objects to a good Christian school. The objection is to making a Christian school a requirement for faithful Christian discipleship. Christian schools are not orthodoxy. Jesus and Paul did not know them.

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  304. Mark, but when asked how something advances the kingdom it means to elicit a biblical answer.

    “The duties belonging to the office of elder consist of continuing in prayer and ruling the church of Christ according to the principles taught in Scripture, in order that purity of doctrine and holiness of life may be practiced. They shall see to it that their fellow-elders, the minister(s) and the deacons faithfully discharge their offices. They are to maintain the purity of the Word and Sacraments, assist in catechizing the youth, promote God-centered schooling, visit the members of the congregation according to their needs, engage in family visiting, exercise discipline in the congregation, actively promote the work of evangelism and missions, and insure that everything is done decently and in good order.”

    All of those things–purity of Word and sacrament, catechism, visitation, discipline, evangelizing, good order–those are all things biblically defensible. But where oh where does THE BIBLE (not Machen, not Kuyper, not Calvin) make one mention of schooling?

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  305. Machen loved Christian day schools so much that he was inspired to find a good woman, settle down, have five kids, and send them all to Christian school K-12. Or maybe he was a lifelong bachelor with no children…

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  306. Erik,

    You’d be better off getting tips for bedroom prowess from the (mind you, infallible) papacy given the proclivity of some of these vicars, than you would marital advice from Machen. Not a few popes were strangers to the occasional rolls in the hay if you catch my drift.

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  307. Darryl, had that material long ago.(folks do have other things to do, you know). But then again, you knew that piece existed and didn’t bring it out. Knock me over with a feather.

    You fixate on what you say you learned of temporal/eternal from Machen. When I give you Machen explaining the connection with Christian schooling, you want to kick it away as a Machen crutch. Very lame. Look, you reject Machen on this. I get it.

    Zrim, Machen was making an argument based on biblical principles. You don’t see it and haven’t seen it. I’ve cited bible texts for you before and don’t engage them. You might want to study the H.C. proof texts on education for the ministry and their connection to Christian education in general. But going through those only trigger your mockery of scripture. So if you haven’t figured it out by now, I won’t indulge you in giving you a fix for your habit.

    I’ve suggested you seek counsel from your pastor/elders. Tell them you stand firmly in opposition to the position of the federation of which you are member. While you will not find or accept resolution of your problems on the internet, hopefully you will find it through personal and pastoral guidance in your church. If not, there are ecclesiastical means to make your opposition known.

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  308. erik: Machen loved Christian day schools so much that he was inspired to find a good woman, settle down, have five kids, and send them all to Christian school K-12. Or maybe he was a lifelong bachelor with no children…

    Us bachelors are the best pollyansih romanticizers on child-raising, education of the young, a perfect marriage…

    Just ask us for the perfect answer.

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  309. Mark, I don’t recall your biblical case. But surely someone who keeps returning to the issue in order to cheer lead Christian schools can repeat it. Seems like such a small request of such a big fan.

    And as I’ve already told you, I have made my views formally known and have requested a biblical justification. Nothing so far. But I also have no axe to grind. I’m just curious.

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  310. Mark, you still haven’t shown the connection. Are you mute? When students quote something in a paper, that hardly settles the meaning. But for you, you quote and we’re all supposed to have aha moments.

    We’re still waiting for the connection between the temporal schools and the eternal kingdom. At this point, I know you’re bluffing.

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  311. Mark – You might want to study the H.C. proof texts on education for the ministry and their connection to Christian education in general.

    Erik – Which question are you referring to?

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  312. Mark, Oh, I see. You read texts like they are face cards. (Didn’t Kuyper condemn card playing, btw? Another rake hits Mark in the head. Mark doesn’t notice.)

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  313. Mark, my skirt isn’t. You haven’t yet supplied an account of how the temporal schools advance the eternal kingdom. Machen doesn’t either. So take a break from your computer card games — the law practice must be undemanding — and pony up an explanation. We’re still waiting.

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  314. But Machen does explain how Christian schools advance the kingdom. It is pretty elementary, Darryl. You won’t accept an explanation from a figure you highly esteem, so you have no intention to hear it from one you despise.

    Crickets still chirping on an explanation of your hiding the “Christian School as Hope of America & Foundational to Ministry” Machen.

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  315. Zrim queries: “But where oh where does THE BIBLE (not Machen, not Kuyper, not Calvin) make one mention of schooling?”

    Me: Are you serious? God commanded that Israel teach his law to there children, and put it on there foreheads and hands. Which is just another way of saying teach them the word of God. The irony is, that you and Darryl know very little of God’s Word, so of course you wouldn’t know that. Psssst, public schools mock God’s law.

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  316. Mark, think temporal eternal. I know it’s hard for you. Machen doesn’t explain how Shakespeare advances the kingdom. You want to help him? You want to help Kuyper? You want to help us? It’s really quite simple. Most of us think you don’t need to know Shakespeare to be saved. But you apparently believe studying Shakespeare does aid the cause of redemption. Huh? If you have a brain why not use it rather than “see what Machen said,” “see what Machen said.”

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  317. Doug, you don’t need to go to SCHOOL to study God’s word. Are you really that captive to modernist institutions? Do you really think the Israelites handed out degrees?

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  318. Darryl, teaching is teaching, rather you call it going to school, or learning at home. Your problem is that you don’t understand the Bible, therefore, you can’t understand Machen. You claim to have spent five years studying Machen. What a colossal waste of time! Even though I’ve only read a small portion of Machen’s material, compared to you, I feel like I have a much better handle on Machen.

    Why? Because I’ve read and meditated on God’s word. Until you understand the Bible, you will remain clueless, when it comes to understanding Machen. Get your theology right, and Machen will turn into a new man, right before your very eyes.

    I find it hilarious that you are unable to account for the plethora of quotes by Machen, that put the lie to your bastardizing of that great man of God. You should be ashamed of yourself! You should drop what your doing, step down from teaching anyone, and spend the next five years, reading the Bible. Then you can write of new book, “The Machen I never knew”.

    I might even spend to few bucks reading a humble retraction from your previous disaster. Until then, you will remain in the dark. Put that in your 2K pipe and smoke it, just don’t inhale.

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  319. Doug, the self-righteousness that you wear on your sleeve ought to give you pause. Apparently, and sadly, it doesn’t…

    Even though I’ve only read a small portion of Machen’s material, compared to you, I feel like I have a much better handle on Machen… Why? Because I’ve read and meditated on God’s word. Until you understand the Bible, you will remain clueless…

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  320. Jack, self-righteous? I fully admit that Darryl has read more of Machen. But shouldn’t it give you pause he can’t answer Machen quotes? This one really kicks R2K’s butt:

    “The truth is there can be no real progress unless there is something that is fixed. Archimedes said, “Give me a place to stand, and I will move the world.” Well, Christian doctrine provides that place to stand. Unless there be such a place to stand, all progress is an illusion. The very idea of progress implies something fixed. There is no progress in a kaleidoscope

    That is the trouble with the boasted progress of our modern age. The Bible at the start was given up. Nothing was to be regarded as fixed. All truth was regarded as relative. What has been the result? I will tell you. An unparalleled decadence—liberty prostrate, slavery stalking almost unchecked through the earth, the achievements of centuries crumbling in the dust, sweetness and decency despised, all meaning regarded as having been taken away from human life. What is the remedy? I will tell you that too. A return to God’s Word! We had science for the sake of science, and got the World War; we had art for art’s sake, and got ugliness gone mad; we had man for the sake of man and got a world of robots—men made into machines. Is it not time for us to come to ourselves, like the prodigal in a far country? Is it not time for us to seek real progress by a return to the living God?

    J. Gresham Machen
    The Creeds and Doctrinal Advance

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  321. Jack, we are currently living through what Machen could see transpiring back in 1930’s. But is DG tracking with Machen? No, he mocks the very notion that our Nation should return to the word of God. Look Jack; if Hart struggles with the concept of a Christian world view, then why take anything he says seriously? He’s worse than an dolt, because he should know better, but sadly he doesn’t. Moreover, Darryl mocks how God said his kingdom would grow, through slow transformation. With these three example, I rest my case.

    With two or three witnesses let it be established!

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  322. Finally Jack, Machen says our Nation needs to return to the word of God! Hart and his side kick Zrim, call that Bible thumping and cheerleading.

    Moreover when the subject of (same sex marriage?) is broached neither one of these men are willing to stand of the word of God. They act embarrased about what God’s law says regarding homosexuality. They say, the pagan will never listen to the Bible. Machen says the exact opposite!

    How can Hart, with a straight face claim that he learned R2K from Machen? Not with any credibility! This is why DG was laughed off of Greenbaggins when he attempted to sell us his fraudulent bill of goods.

    For these reasons, I say Hart has written a book that has Machen backwards, in some crucial areas. So read Hart at your own peril.

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  323. Darryl confesses: “As if I would ever say, even if I believed it, golly, Bret, you may have a point about Machen.”

    Me: Truer words were never spoken! What a self damning confession! Even if DG believed Pastor Bret made a good point regarding Machen, he would never admit it.

    Wow! Maybe this is why DG never asks for forgiveness either. I hope everyone sees this. All if have to say is “pride goes before destruction”. As much as I detest DG’s brand of 2K, I have begrudgingly admitted he makes a few good points now and then. But would Darryl ever return the favor? Perhaps this is why it’s so hard to have a sincere back and forth with Hart. His snarkiness won’t allow for humble conversation.

    So Jack, who *really* is struggling with pride?

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  324. Oh, and Bobby, name calling does have it’s place. But at least I attempt to explain why I feel a given person is acting foolish. Just dropping an F bomb with no explanation is not nice. If I have misrepresented Hart, feel free to show me how.

    Well, off to bed and God bless:)

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  325. Doug – Even though I’ve only read a small portion of Machen’s material, compared to you, I feel like I have a much better handle on Machen.

    Erik – Maybe you can submit that for one of those online Ph.D.’s

    Dr. Sowers…

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  326. The links that I think Doug, and Mark, and Machen (kissing up to Christian schoolers — do we know if he was paid for the speeches?) are missing are:

    (1) How little of what we learn in our lifetimes is actually learned in school. We go to K-12 schooling from age 6-18. Many of us will live until we’re in our 80s. Whatever we learn or don’t learn in school can be undone or replaced in those next 60+ years. I know my mind is way different at 43 than I was at 18. In some ways I would argue that (certain) Christian schools actually retard future learning (by taking a fundamentalist approach to knowledge).

    (2) Christian schools don’t just teach the Bible or the Confessions (I would guess that a lot of Christian schools with CRC influence these days don’t even teach the Confessions). If a kid is spending a lot of the day learning math, science, language arts, etc. The Bible is not going to weigh that heavily on those subjects (unless the teacher is being ham handed about it). This is where Darryl keeps asking Mark to make the link between these subjects and the Kingdom.

    (3) Knuckleheads go to Christian school, too. Just yesterday I was talking to a church officer who is now homeschooling because his kid was making some bad friends in — get this — Christian school (gasp). Bad things being read and viewed on her cell phone.

    Too many Christians are just plain simplistic about education.

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  327. Probably the biggest thing that irritates me about the URC (don’t know how much it’s an issue in the other Presbyterian & Reformed denominations/federations) is the “check the box” mentality that way too many people seem to have. Kids in Christian school (check), worship twice on Sunday (check), Don’t eat out on Sunday (check). Meanwhile scripture does not give us boxes to check, it points to Christ’s work and gives us character qualities we should possess if we belong to Christ. I think the box-checking is a remnant of the Dutch ghetto context where you have a lot of people with the same church affiliation living on top of each other. Outside of that context where you have people coming from all over to attend a Reformed church it just doesn’t work and is off-putting. This may be why our churches rarely reach 100 people on Sunday mornings outside of the Ghetto — in spite of fine, biblical preaching. Dutch cultural baggage doesn’t sell to the wider world.

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  328. One thing I would ask Mark to explain is how the CRC went south given it’s emphasis on and rich tradition of Christian Schooling — not only K-12, but Dordt and Calvin.

    It could be argued that Calvin and Calvin Seminary were a big part of the problem.

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  329. Doug, if meditating on God’s word is so effectual for understanding the world, why have Christian schools? Your example proves how little we need learning.

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  330. Doug, you have yet to try to harmonize the quotes you like from Machen with his libertarian politics. So his return to the word of God also means the rights of socialists and Roman Catholics to proselytize. What does that mean, Mr. Smarty Pants who lauds Geneva and forgets that Roman Catholics had no rights?

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  331. On the list, I dunno, Erik. Setting aside for a moment the issue of how to use Sundays, I don’t see how a man can rule in the church if he isn’t observing half of the church’s worship services.

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  332. DGH, how many times must it be pointed out to you? Bahnsen had libertarian impulses, as do I, as did Machen. But we are NOT libertarians! Machen felt that when it comes to punishing crime in America, we need look no further than…..the law of God. That is theonomy 101

    That is hardly libertarian! So once again, you are just plain wrong. First off, you don’t understand the law of God, therefore your prejudice blinds you from seeing the obvious. Face Darryl, your a sloppy historian at best. Try giving a listen to Machen one more time as he demolishes your pathetic R2K nonsense.

    “The truth is there can be no real progress unless there is something that is fixed. Archimedes said, “Give me a place to stand, and I will move the world.” Well, Christian doctrine provides that place to stand. Unless there be such a place to stand, all progress is an illusion. The very idea of progress implies something fixed. There is no progress in a kaleidoscope

    That is the trouble with the boasted progress of our modern age. The Bible at the start was given up. Nothing was to be regarded as fixed. All truth was regarded as relative. What has been the result? I will tell you. An unparalleled decadence—liberty prostrate, slavery stalking almost unchecked through the earth, the achievements of centuries crumbling in the dust, sweetness and decency despised, all meaning regarded as having been taken away from human life. What is the remedy? I will tell you that too. A return to God’s Word! We had science for the sake of science, and got the World War; we had art for art’s sake, and got ugliness gone mad; we had man for the sake of man and got a world of robots—men made into machines. Is it not time for us to come to ourselves, like the prodigal in a far country? Is it not time for us to seek real progress by a return to the living God?

    J. Gresham Machen
    The Creeds and Doctrinal Advance

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  333. Erik, my point is simple. DG doesn’t understand the Bible, therefore it makes it virtually impossible for him to understand Machen, who did. Moreover, Darryl is still stumbling over what some would call libertarian impulses and a true libertarian. These fine distinctions are lost on Darryl. So it’s like talking to a two year old on higher math, when it comes to Hart comprehending Machen. He just doesn’t get it!

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  334. Doug, when you have read all of Machen, then maybe I’ll take your correction. In the meantime, please explain where you find in theonomy a defense of the U.S. Constitituion:

    . . . this whole notion that Congress may be trusted is contrary to the basic notion of the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution is essentially a system of checks and balances. It carefully guards each of the departments of the federal government from encroachments by others; it carefully guards the states from encroachments by the federal government; and it carefully guards individual rights from encroachments by any government. Jealous distrust by governmental powers is at the heart and core of our institutions. (Machen, “Voices in the Church”)

    You may think, Doug, that the Constitution is no different from the Bible but that would be — not to put to fine a point on it — dumb ass. The Bible does not teach constitutionalism, republicanism, federalism. Neither does it condemn them, though it leans pretty heavily on monarchy in much of its politics and Christians had no problems with emperors (who killed them). There is nothing libertarian in substance or impulse about your thought or your affect. You are a know it all who condemns, mocks, shouts down anyone who disagrees with you. Libertarians are tolerant of divergent views. You are intolerant.

    And you are woefully ignorant of Machen. If he had wanted to say that the U.S. was founded on the Bible, the above quotation was a chance to do it. He did not think U.S. law was based on the Bible. And I do believe it would be hard to square his distrust of government with Peter’s injunction to Christians to honor the emperor.

    You do not know what you are talking about and I bet if Bahnsen were alive he’d want you to keep quiet.

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  335. Erik, Christian schools do not guarantee a panacea. There is such a thing as a bad Christian school. Really Erik the questions you ask are so ridiculous I embarrassed for you, bro.

    But the government schools we have now, in there current state, are a recipe for disaster. Machen believed that with every fiber in his being. But try finding those quotes by reading Darryls misleading bio on Machen. He’s either deceitful or sloppy. I give Darryl the judgment of charity and call him sloppy.

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  336. So, Doug, if there is such a thing as a bad Christian school then is there such a thing as a good secular school? And don’t get all golden-agey on me and misty eyed about the goodle days when every public school had Christian prayer and Bible reading. I mean right now when those things are not aspects of secular schooling (as Machen advised, btw).

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  337. Doug’s quote was from an ironink post on Sep. 20th, where Machen also trails off with, “There is no progress in a kaleidoscope”.

    Any time Doug quotes something with a word like “kaleidoscope”, you know it was ctrl-V’d.

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  338. @Doug

    I don’t see where the quote from Machen helps your argument or undercuts 2K theology at all. At best, Machen is merely saying that the church bears a calling to preach the unchanging truth of God’s Word to the world. When Machen’s lecture is read in its entirety, it is even more clear that he is speaking of the church’s duty and not any duty of the civil magistrate.

    Further, you have again misunderstood (or misrepresented) what 2K theology teaches. Yes, I know, it’s easier to argue against straw men, given that they don’t fight back.

    Nowhere does 2K theology deny the truth of God’s special revelation. Nor does it deny that there’s a complementarity between God’s special revelation and His general revelation (given that it’s all from the same God). Further, 2K may even affirm that those with a knowledge of God’s special revelation may, in some instances, thereby have greater insight into His general revelation (and may have greater facility at drawings arguments from it).

    So, where does 2K theology depart from theonomy? 2K departs from theonomy in affirming that God’s general revelation provides a sufficient standard by which to order our civil affairs. Theonomists, in contrast, believe that God’s general revelation is woefully insufficient, and therefore propose that special revelation be the the necessary (and exclusive) standard by which to order our civil affairs.

    Further, please note that, in 2K theology, general revelation is a “sufficient” standard, not a “necessary” standard, meaning that 2K theology does not exclude appeals to Scripture when such appeals may be helpful for understanding general revelation. I’m not sure that that’s what Machen is doing in the quote above. But, even if he is, it’s not outside of the bounds of 2K theology. 2K folks can still make reference to Scripture in the public square; they just don’t do so to the exclusion of general revelation.

    I’m not sure that there’s a separate “R2K theology.” As I understand it, those you deride as adherents of “R2K theology” are simply those who recognize that it’s generally unhelpful to appeal to Scripture in cultural debates because our culture is no longer nominally Christian. Thus, the difference between 2K and R2K is probably more of a practical consideration than a theological one.

    Theonomy, in contrast, treats special revelation as a test of necessity (not a test of sufficiency); therefore, it forbids substantive reliance on general revelation. Thus, the Machen quote is not indicative of theonomy. Otherwise, his substantive appeals to the natural order (e.g., wars, slavery, etc.) would make no sense.

    For the record, I would construe Frame and Kuyper as trying to split the difference, i.e., treating special revelation as a test of sufficiency, while permitting reference to general revelation as a secondary source. This view, while popular among mainstream evangelicals and transformationalists, is problematic because it has no consistent epistemological foundation. 2K operates with a realist epistemology. In contrast, theonomy operates with an idealist epistemology. The Frame/Kuyper system operates on a hybrid epistemology that is sometimes idealist and sometimes realist, with no clear delineation of when one or the other should apply. Bahnsen’s chief contribution probably lies in recognizing the faulty basis of this hybrid position. In that limited sense, I agree with Bahnsen.

    Sorry for the long comment. But perhaps I can save you unnecessary frustration by helping you understand that you’re largely arguing against a position that no one holds to.

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  339. Don’t get me wrong – I remember hoping in reason.

    Here’s as deep as I’ll go with Doug:

    Hey Doug, my favorite words to say are Mogadishu, Pottawattamie, and Junichi Tazawa. Yours?

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  340. Muddy, ill never forget the day I gave up on reason with Doug, because MM tried to shame me over it. I’m still working through the hurt and anger.

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  341. You have to say “Junichi Tazawa” loud and fast, like you’re an angry Japanese actor in a bad WWII movie.
    Sometimes the neighbors look at me funny.

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  342. MM,

    I agree officers should be there, mainly to insure that no nonsense goes on. For those in the pews, though, attendance at both services should earn no one a badge of honor. Maybe an iron-butt award…

    My point is that too many people in our P&R world do their religious duties but then mistreat others routinely through their hobby horses, self-righteousness, unfriendliness, etc. Show me a guy whose attendance is somewhat lacking who I can trust and count on because of his Christian character and I’ll take him over the box-checker any day. If someone can check-the-boxes and have the character, then that’s fine, too. Many people do both.

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  343. MM,

    Let’s just say that certain hyper-pious people I have encountered here at Old Life and in real life have been an eye-opener for me. After 7 years in P&R churches one might say that the honeymoon is…ahem…over.

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  344. Doug,

    You’re akin to the drivers education instructor who drives wildly down the road, bouncing off oncoming cars and garbage cans, all the while bellowing at his students about safe driving. No one takes you seriously and they won’t until you tone it down and interact like a normal person. Being comic relief is an option, but it’s no way to go through life.

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  345. Muddy, propriety? Is that what they’re calling self-righteous midwestern moral elitism these days?. I kept wondering what was setting off the B.S. detector every time, I thought it was the ‘Dancing with the Stars’ palmares recitation. But hey, I did try to help Doug as regarded contraindicative protocols, cuz that’s just how I am. And all without impugning others or requiring reciprocity;

    “So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.”

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  346. One thing I would ask Mark to explain is how the CRC went south given it’s emphasis on and rich tradition of Christian Schooling — not only K-12, but Dordt and Calvin.

    It could be argued that Calvin and Calvin Seminary were a big part of the problem.

    Schools, like churches, are not immune from corruption. Your example of the CRC, Calvin Seminary, & Calvin College (my alma mater) actually demonstrate the point of the relationship of schooling and the pulpit/ministers. (You grasping this, Darryl?) Yet, we don’t look at the past corruption of churches and say let’s abandon the concept of church. We don’t look at the past corruption of Christian schooling and throw away Christian schooling. Rather we reform them both. This is precisely what many in the URC are trying to do today. But unlike the past we now have a two front battle: on the one front trying repair that historical damage and on the other, battling an in-house R2k contempt of the very concept of Christian schooling.

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  347. Mark – Yet, we don’t look at the past corruption of churches and say let’s abandon the concept of church. We don’t look at the past corruption of Christian schooling and throw away Christian schooling.

    Erik – You’re playing into Darryl’s hands on this one. We have a clear Scriptural mandate regarding the Church. Where is the clear scriptural mandate to form Christian schools? You presume it’s there, but you need to prove it to this audience.

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  348. And I wouldn’t say anyone has contempt for the very concept of Christian schooling. I’ve homeschooled. I went to a Christian College, Darryl’s taught in Christian schools. The only thing I object to is the attempt to bind peoples’ consciences on the matter. I think it should be a family decision. I think the OPC has generally agreed, but they’re not Dutch.

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  349. Mark, which is why the URC often seems like the-CRC-that-doesn’t-ordain-women. But how about making instead of assuming the biblical case for redeemed academics in the first place? Granted it was more or less another fundie screed that predictably conflated catechism and curriculum, but your cohort Sowers at least threw something at the wall.

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  350. If someone sends their kid to Bill Clinton High or Buffalo Breath Baptist Christian Day School it’s none of my business. As a parent they’ll be living with the consequences for the next 50 years, not me.

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  351. Hey, man, you don’t talk to Sean. You listen to him. The man’s enlarged my mind. He’s a poet warrior in the classic sense. I mean sometimes he’ll… uh… well, you’ll say “hello” to him, right? And he’ll just walk right by you. He won’t even notice you. And suddenly he’ll grab you, and he’ll throw you in a corner, and he’ll say, “Do you know that ‘if’ is the middle word in life? If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you”… I mean I’m… no, I can’t… I’m a little man, I’m a little man, he’s… he’s a great man! I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across floors of silent seas…

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  352. “Being comic relief is an option, but it’s no way to go through life.”

    Erik, take it easy, man. These words could apply to others who are easily wounded.

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  353. “Let’s just say that certain hyper-pious people I have encountered here at Old Life and in real life have been an eye-opener for me. After 7 years in P&R churches one might say that the honeymoon is…ahem…over.”

    Hence my respect for ministers. Can you imagine having the job to pastor that bunch with your paycheck coming from them? I couldn’t do that. One must savor and remember little signs of grace and be patient when they are scarce.

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  354. Mark, you’re not following though. The one tradition that made Christian schools a badge of honor and orthodoxy went liberal. So what do you say about that? Any chance you rethink the relationship between the temporal (biology) and the eternal (word of God)? Not really. You learned one way. You’re sticking to it. So much for being educated.

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  355. MM: Hence my respect for ministers. Can you imagine having the job to pastor that bunch with your paycheck coming from them? I couldn’t do that. One must savor and remember little signs of grace and be patient when they are scarce.

    On occasion I have sent a Christmas card to my pastor with an pledge that I will do my best to not cause him any pain or hassles due to my stupidity and disobedience over the next year.

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  356. DGH: You learned one way. You’re sticking to it. So much for being educated.

    But it’s hard to put anything more into one’s brain than what they hear from the pulpit, plus what they have occasionally read almost-closely, plus what they glean from TV and natural law (both of which everyone has full access to.)

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  357. Erik, you asked about the decline of the CRC in light of their commitment to Christian education, which seemed to suggest an indictment of the concept of Christian education. Perhaps I misread you. My answer is all institutions can become corrupt. I was not making an equivalence between schools and churches, but rather that the corruption in an institution is not an argument against the institution itself. The argument over the biblical warrant for Christian education is a different issue.

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  358. Mark, no doubt corruption abides any institution (created or redeemed) made up of human beings. But what do you mean you’re not promoting an equivalence between schools and churches? That’s exactly the assumption going on when elders are charged with promoting curriculum and catechism. The only reason you could resist dropping the former is that you think Christian academics do the same thing Reformed catechism does.

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  359. Darryl, you won’t explain Worldviewer Machen, why you hid him, and now you got Erik suggesting Machen was kissing up and in it for the money. For one who claims to hold up Machen as a model, you have a funny way of failing at it.

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  360. Mark, you haven’t explained how Machen was a w-wer. You have quoted Machen. Does that win in the courtrooms you work? If so, Indiana is even more of a hick place that the Baylys led me to believe.

    So come on Mark. Explain.

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  361. Darryl, you have unlimited credit with the Acme company? Speak up on “Christian School as Hope of America and City on Hill” Machen.

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  362. Mark, you brought it up. You now need to interpret. In a neo-Calvinist universe, facts don’t speak for themselves. (And by the way, please do pay attention to other quotes that use the distinction between the eternal and temporal, the words that neo-Calvinists dare not use.

    Floor’s yours.

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  363. @Muddy

    In all honesty, I’m not trying to reason with Doug. I added the comment in the event that some reasonable but reluctant Culture Warrior happens to pass by. There are a fair number of well-meaning conservative Christians who have been duped into thinking that conservative Christians must take sides in the Culture War. I’m hopeful that a few of them may read the discussion here and realize that you can still affirm the authority of Scripture and not go the way of Bahnsen, the Baylys, Colson, Kuyper, et al. Perhaps then they can acknowledge that what their conscience has been telling them about the Culture War is true after all, and they can free themselves from the charlatans who would weigh their consciences down with needless burdens.

    Doug, on the other hand, has seen the light, and insists on misconstruing it and running back into the darkness.

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  364. Erik – “Being comic relief is an option, but it’s no way to go through life.”

    CW – “Erik, take it easy, man. These words could apply to others who are easily wounded.”

    Being the sensitive soul I am, I must admit I took offense to Erik’s words. Thanks to CW for being brave enough to stand up to the anti-“life-is-a-stand-up-comedy-routine” aggressors who would squash comedic lifestyles everywhere with their serious, sober-minded logic.

    Vive le comedien!

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  365. @MM

    Hopefully, we can meet in Iowa in November. I probably won’t be there for Friday due to an afternoon meeting in Chicago. But I should be able to be there on Saturday.

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  366. MM,

    I do appreciate ministers and officers a lot. That’s why when we had our family visit this past weekend and they asked us if we had any complaints we said repeatedly that we had none. The problems I have are not problems that they have created nor are they problems that they can remedy, so I am not going to bust their balls over them. That’s what perfectionistic pietists do.

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  367. Mark – Erik, you asked about the decline of the CRC in light of their commitment to Christian education, which seemed to suggest an indictment of the concept of Christian education. Perhaps I misread you. My answer is all institutions can become corrupt. I was not making an equivalence between schools and churches, but rather that the corruption in an institution is not an argument against the institution itself. The argument over the biblical warrant for Christian education is a different issue.

    Erik – I understand. This makes Machen’s glowing predictions about the impact of Christian schooling seem rather pie-in-the sky then, doesn’t it? As Chinua Achebe said (and as I often like to quote), things fall apart. Everything other than the church, that is.

    I don’t know how we expect to partner with CRC members, RCA members, evangelicals, Baptists, etc. on Christian schools and have them be world-changing institutions. I can accept Christian schooling with more modest expectations, however.

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