Does the L in TULIP Stand for Living in Denial?

A while back Bill Smith, Presbyterian in exile, made this observation about the ongoing debates in Reformed circles over antinomianism and sanctification:

I think I understand the problem the “obedience boys” have with the “grace boys.” It is that the “grace boys” can seem to teach grace in such a way as to make people indifferent to sin: “Sin is not such a big deal. It happens. No need to get all worked up about it. Just accept that you are a sinner and that God loves you no matter what. Bask in the knowledge you are a child of God.” I get the problem the “obedience boys” have with the “grace boys.” As far as taking exception with that portrayal of the life of grace goes, I agree.

What I don’t think the “obedience boys” get is how normal sin is. Perhaps they really do not know this reality in terms of their own experience. It could be that for them there is a regeneration-created night and day before and after story. Or, it may mean that there has been a steady upward trajectory to their sanctification without harrowing nosedives into sin or wearying discouragements of slow or no progress. Or, it may be that they do not know themselves very well. Or, it may be that their theological understanding of regeneration and conversion does not allow them to acknowledge that believers can have messy lives – chronic struggles and frequent defeats. That believers can by their messy lives inflict great damage and hurt on other believers and can be badly damaged and hurt by the messy lives of other believers. That the church is a messy place where messy lives are intertwined with and sometimes disillusioned by other messy lives.

Smith recommends that SNAFU makes more sense of how Christians should understand the presence of sin in this world (which would also apply to the neo-Calvinists and Roman Catholics prone to talk about “human flourishing“):

SNAFU – situation normal, all messed up. A National Guard radioman may have invented the term just before World War II, but it became standard, if unofficial, military jargon during the War. It was an apt description of reality as soldiers and marines experienced it. Supplies and equipment did not get where they were needed when they were needed. Battle plans went awry. Stupid orders were issued. Men found themselves in desperate situations. Usually the “human element” was in part or whole responsible. Military men came to expect mess-ups as normal.

A further indication of how few “conservative” Christians (Roman Catholic and Protestant) are willing to apply the category of SNAFU not only to persons but also to the United States, is to consider the degree to American exceptionalism resonates with self-professing believers. Defining American exceptionalism is tricky, but it generally involves a belief that the United States is singularly blessed by God, has accomplished untold good in the history of the world, and even if it has declined the nation was truly great because of its divine sanctions and virtuous performance.

It would be one thing, say through the extra-confessional idea of definitive sanctification, to argue that the individual Christian has broken definitively with sin and so now lives a life that should not be characterized by SNAFU. But to view a nation as on balance wholesome or even as an exceptional force for goodness, truth, and beauty is downright inconceivable given what we know about human depravity (think Woodrow Wilson) or about human politics (think The Wire or Homeland).

To avoid the dark thoughts that follow from Total Depravity is truly gullible. Non-believers tend to think that Christians are remarkably prone to believe all sorts of nonsense. A pronounced understanding of human wickedness should function as a hedge on such gullibility. If it does not, it explains the appeal of the “obedience boys” and the Salem Radio Network.

52 thoughts on “Does the L in TULIP Stand for Living in Denial?

  1. Spot on, Darryl. Church has been, for way too long, in many instances a place where we pretend to be something we aren’t – a Christian who has it all together. The Tullians of the world balance all of that out. Those who believe their own press reports don’t like that our best efforts aren’t enough. We can turn Christianity into something tantamount to another world religion, turning the good news we once knew into bad news. When we are finally disillusioned enough when we realize we can’t pull off the Christian life like we thought, we crash and burn, and return to grace. Can the antithesis get out of balance? Will some take advantage of grace and abound in sin? Will we gloss over passages that tell us to strive against sin? Yes on all counts. But when obedience finally fails, grace gets the last word.

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  2. Yeah, but at least before when we were a Christian nation we weren’t being victimized by gays, Darwinists, the big bang, and climate change. – 😉

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  3. Dr. Hart,

    Thank you for this very helpful piece. I have struggled with how the ‘obedience boys’ have handled many, many things. In Richard Phillips article here: http://www.reformation21.org/articles/thank-god-that-christians-are-not-totally-depraved.php I have wondered why Robert Reymond was called upon for expert testimony on the level of sanctity in one’s ‘normal Christian life’. He did not hold the Augustine/Calvinist view of Paul in Romans 7:14-25. See Appendix F (“Whom Does the Man in Romans 7:14-25 Represent?” pp. 1127-1132) in Reymond’s A New Systematic Theology (Thomas Nelson, 1998). Simply put, that seems to be much too high of a view of the human condition post regeneration. Thankful for Christ and his obedience for me. Any further thoughts on this would be helpful and appreciated.

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  4. Thanks Brad, good to see at least one other person read what Reymond actually had to say about Romans 7.

    😦 x 50

    (and Moo as well….)

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  5. If things are going too splendidly well in your church, business, or family…be very afraid. This too will pass. It’s no fun playing the role of Stormcrow, but it’s hard to go wrong.

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  6. “SNAFU – situation normal, all messed up. A National Guard radioman may have invented the term just before World War II, but it became standard, if unofficial, military jargon during the War. It was an apt description of reality as soldiers and marines experienced it. Supplies and equipment did not get where they were needed when they were needed. Battle plans went awry. Stupid orders were issued. Men found themselves in desperate situations. Usually the “human element” was in part or whole responsible. Military men came to expect mess-ups as normal.”

    Read Paul Fussell’s “Doing Battle”

    http://www.amazon.com/Doing-Battle-The-Making-Skeptic/dp/0316290610/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394047049&sr=8-1&keywords=paul+fussell+doing+battle

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  7. Two thumbs up, Darryl… A hot topic these last couple years. Brian Lee has a good article on this (sanctification and our sinfulness) in the latest Modern Reformation magazine. The sanctification wars continue…

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  8. “But to view a nation as on balance….an exceptional force for goodness, truth, and beauty is downright inconceivable given what we know about human depravity”

    DGH – can you elaborate on that statement? Are you saying that all nations should be ranked about the ‘same’ (ie, no nation is ‘exceptional’) on the scale of “goodness, truth, and beauty”? If so, I take it your reasoning is that ‘hey, the U.S. is just as depraved as N.Korea”, so no one should begin to think there’s anything ‘exceptional’ about the U.S.? Many thanks.

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  9. Petros, from a divine standard, the U.S. is just as depraved as N. Korea. It’s a one-strike universe from God’s judgment seat.

    From an earthly perspective, the U.S. is superior (though let’s not get triumphalist or inflamed about it).

    Welcome to the attractions of 2k.

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  10. dgh: It would be one thing, say through the extra-confessional idea of definitive sanctification, to argue that the individual Christian has broken definitively with sin and so now lives a life that should not be characterized by SNAFU.

    mark: I get that you are making a distinction between an individual Christian, churches, and the nations and empires of this world. But even there Reinhold Niebuhr was wrong to suggest that individuals may be better than the collective powers formed by man. His Moral Man and Immoral Society is not a good guide for ethics, not for the nations and not for churches or individuals.

    Our fundy parents might disapprove of your use of “snafu”. What would they think of Spufford’s HPtFtU in Unapologetic—So of all things, Christianity isn’t supposed to be about gathering up the good people (shiny! happy! squeaky clean!) and excluding the bad people (frightening! alien! repulsive!) for the simple reason that there aren’t any good people. This, I realise, goes flat contrary to the present predominant image of Christianity as something existing in prissy, fastidious little enclaves, far from life’s messier zones and inclined to get all ‘judgemental’ about them.

    To speak of “definitive sanctification”, which should we probably not, since the confusions of John Murray tend to go with the phrase, we would need to define not only the word “sanctification” but always what’s “definitive”—–Is it regeneration which then causes us to be better than other people, or is it being legally set apart as holy by Christ’s death. This would involve a contested discussion of Romans 6.

    Those who speak of “definitive sanctification” often assume John Murray’s definition of sanctification is what we find taught in Romans 6. But a careful reading of Romans 6 shows that, at least in that text, God sets the elect apart by means of legal identification with Christ. The reason sin shall not reign is NOT that “we will not practice sin (so much) anymore”. The reason sin shall not reign over those sanctified by Christ’s death is that they are now no longer under the law.

    Romans 6 is about Christ the public representative of the elect first being under condemnation, being under sin and death. Romans 6:7 “For one who has died has been justified from sin. 8 Now since we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death NO LONGER has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died HE DIED TO SIN once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.

    CHRIST WAS NEVER UNDER GRACE AND IS STILL NOT UNDER GRACE. Christ was under the law because of the imputed sins of the elect. Romans 6 is about Christ’s condemnation by the law and His death as satisfaction of that law. Christ after His resurrection is no longer under law. Christ’s elect, after their legal identification with Christ’s death, are no longer under law. Of course, we can and should qualify this, but we do not need to be afraid of saying “not under law” in the sense that Romans 6:14 means that.

    The death of the justified elect is the SAME legal death that Christ died. The “definitive resurrection” of the elect in Romans 6 is the result of being set apart with Christ (and His death) from being under law.

    Christ was never under the power of sin in the sense of being unable not to sin. Christ was always unable to sin. The only way Christ was ever under the power of sin is by being under the guilt of sin. The guilt of the elect’s sin was legally transferred by God to Christ. Christ’s death to sin was death to the guilt of sin, and since the elect are united with His death, the death of the elect is also a death to the guilt of sin. Romans 6:7: “For one who has died has been justified from sin.”

    Yet many commentators tell us that “set free from sin” must mean the elect’s definitive TRANSFORMATION by the Holy Spirit so that the justified cannot HABITUALLY sin (or that their new nature cannot sin) . They imply that sin will be only occasional and exceptional in the lives of Christians. They suggest that sin is not a pattern in our lives, and that sin is not something we ever want to do.

    They tell us that justification was in Romans chapter five and that chapter six must be about something more if it’s to be a real answer to the question “why not sin?”. But Romans 6 does not talk about Christ or His people not habitually sinning. Romans 6 locates the cause of “sin not reigning” in “not being under the law” Christ was never under the power of habitual sin , and the definitive death of the justified elect is His death.

    Romans 6:14 does not say, For sin shall not be your master, because the Holy Spirit has changed you so that you cannot habitually sin, but only as an exception and always with repentance. Romans 6:14 says, “For sin shall not by your master, because you are not under law but under grace.”

    Romans 6 goes on to talk about our repenting and being ashamed of any gospel which confused justification and sanctification with morality. We were always ashamed of immorality. But now that we have been delivered by the power of God’s gospel, we are ashamed of the days when we confused our efforts at morality with the righteousness of God.

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  11. Chortles weakly
    Posted March 5, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Permalink
    If things are going too splendidly well in your church, business, or family…be very afraid. This too will pass. It’s no fun playing the role of Stormcrow, but it’s hard to go wrong.

    I mean, sure. But none other than God himself died for my sins.

    What else is there to say, Cdubs?

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  12. What the “obedience boys” don’t get is that He saves us in spite of our best efforts…not because of them.

    If one believes that they are doing a pretty good job of it, the preacher just might be watering down the law. Or the person is ensconced in an icy shell of pride. Or both.

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  13. Regarding the source of the obedience boys gullibility, I think it is the predictable result of a diet of weak, moralistic, or non-existent law preaching.

    I’ve been struck of late by HC 115, my favorite question and answer, which (with 114) asks why the law should be preached so “strongly” if we are unable to obey it. So that we may “more and more” come to know our sinfulness and therefore flee to Christ more and more rapidly, and also seek the grace of the Holy Spirit for sanctification. I just love that the HC concludes the law-gratitude section by driving us to Christ.

    The conclusion is remarkable: mature Christians know their sin better. Indeed, you might even say mature Christians feel MORE SINFUL than when they first believed. That’s how HC defines sanctification! This is totally counter-intuitive to evangelicalism and the obedience boys.

    Since it’s all about me, you can see my article on this point in the latest Modern Reformation:

    “Feeling More Sinful: A Different Take on Sanctification”
    [Behind firewall, alas]
    http://www.modernreformation.org/default.php?page=articledisplay&var1=ArtRead&var2=1510&var3=issuedisplay&var4=IssRead&var5=135

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  14. Someone might wish to ask, “if the law’s condemnation is removed, then what reason is there to obey God? What keeps believers from moral laxity?” However, such an objector fails to realize his question presupposes that the only reason to obey God is fear of the law’s condemnation. But if the only reason to obey God is fear of condemnation, obedience is only done for one’s own sake and thus fails to be “in relation to God, for God’s sake, and with a view to the service of God” (Berkhof, 532)

    But the “obedience boys” never get asked that question.

    Hebrews 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,

    Hebrews 9:14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

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  15. Brian, ding on HC 114. I’ve long thought that if there was more meditation on the idea that only the holiest among us make but a small beginning of obedience (yeow, think about that!), we might see a lot less of this gullibility.

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  16. Good observations in the post.

    The way I come at the issue is noting that because of the battle between our fleshly nature (Roms 7) and the indwelling Spirit (Gal 5:19f), it is always good to remember Jesus opening words in Mark’s Gospel, “repent and believe the gospel!”. Every day, at the beginning of the day, we need to repent and believe for a fresh start to living godly, one day at a time.

    In this, law and gospel always remain entwined. The law exposes our sin and drives us to Christ.

    Our response to the gospel is to follow the law as a response of gratitude. Our failures in obedience then take us back to repentance and the forgiveness found in the gospel. Law and gospel always together, but, and it is a big BUT, even when the law is being applied in its first or third use, the human mind and heart considering the law does not always distinguish between first and third use, and therefore the people need copious quantities of the Gospel.

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  17. Brian, so in contrast to Lutheranism — sanctification is learning to live with grace — for Reformed it is learning to live with sin. Inspiring.

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  18. All sinners are either saints or not saints. All saints are still sinners.

    Now that we are saints, the pattern of our lives is to live with sin, and sin is still not our friend. Now that we are saints, the law is still not our friend, except as we are saints by Christ’s death. The law still says our sin is sin. Only in Christ’s death are we not under the dominion of sin.

    “For I through the law died to the law” Galatians 2:19

    Machen, Notes, p 159 “The law . . . led men, by its clear revelation of what God requires, to relinquish all claim to salvation by their own obedience. In that sense, surely, Paul could say that it was through the law that he died to the law. The law made the commands of God so terribly clear that Paul could see plainly that there was no hope for him if he appealed for his salvation to his own obedience to those commands.”

    Machen: “This interpretation yields a truly Pauline thought. But the immediate context suggests another, and an even profounder, meaning for the words. The law, with its penalty of death upon sins (which penalty Christ bore in our stead) brought Christ to the cross; and when Christ died I died, since he died as my representative.”

    Machen: “The death to the law… the law itself brought about when… Christ died …Since He died that death as our representative, we too have died that death. Thus our death to the law, suffered for us by Christ, far from being contrary to the law, was in fulfillment of the law’s own demands. “

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  19. Semi-Pelagians believe that “God imparts His common grace to all men, which enables them to turn to God and believe” ( Berkhof, 247).

    NO synergist ever claims to obey God’s law “in and of themselves”. Synergists all give God some of the credit for their obedience.

    “God works in us and we also work. But the relation is that because God works we work”

    “What the apostle is urging is the necessity of working out our own salvation, and the encouragement he supplies is the assurance that it is God himself who works in us”

    “God’s working in us is not suspended because we work, nor our working suspended because God works. Neither is the relation STRICTLY one of co-operation as if God did his part and we did ours so that the conjunction or co-ordination of both produced the required result”

    “It is not a 50/50 undertaking (not even 99.9% God and 0.1% ourselves). Involved here is the ‘mysterious math’ of the creator and his image-bearing creature, whereby 100% plus 100% =100%. Sanctification is 100% the work of God, and for that reason, is to engage the full 100% activity of the believer.”

    The “grace boys” do not deny the present relevance of the imperatives or our responsibility to the law. But what relevance does our obedience to the imperatives have in causing us to be saints or even to be more saints than other saints?

    Unless we agree with the Pelagians that responsibility depends on ability, the moral capacity and ability of the saints does not change in any way our duty to obey and not to sin. Whether the Holy Spirit does all the work in us, or we ourselves now are able in some way, the law would still accuse us outside of Christ’s death imputed to us.

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  20. Exactly who are “The Obedience Boys” and do they have any relation to Pet Shop Boys, The Beach Boys, “The Boys in the Band”, “Jersey Boys”, Boys to Men, “Boys Don’t Cry”, Razor Boy, and Pep Boys?

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  21. Guys,

    The convo b/t OPC minister Matthew Holst (hello Matt if you are still reading out here) and dgh is worth reading, at the link I most recently posted.

    Again, just disclosing my progress to you all. This thread is tagged Application of Redemption , so I feel my comments aren’t just white noise.

    But dear reader, you judge for yourself, of course.

    Now, where did I put my copy of the OPC Report on Justification , I need to read that d**n thing, yo..

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  22. Mark, regarding your 99% etc, I hear you. I’ve been trying and trying, just FYI:

    http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2012/08/imputation-and-paradigms-a-reply-to-nicholas-batzig/#comment-37215

    Andrew Buckingham August 27th, 2012 5:55 pm :
    Bryan at 203:

    Thanks for elucidating the difference you see. Especially for us reformed folk.

    One question though. Under your agape scheme, you say two hypothetical people can be pitted against one another, and apparently, ranked, according to how much “participation in agape” they have. Do these two people compare, in some way, to the agape that Christ himself exercised, in his earthly life? What I mean is, let’s say I am one of your hypothetical people. Whether I am the one who participated in more, or not, is irrelevant. Is the one who participated in more, materially closer to the agape we see Jesus exhibiting? If Jesus’ score is 100, does one person score 80, and another 40? Or does on person score 1.2, and other 1.1? My point is not to get all mathematical. I just wonder what you think someone’s hypothetical participation in agape compares to what Jesus set as example for us, especially in his law keeping, and in his sacrifice on the cross. Thank you.

    Regards,
    Andrew

    All about me. Yes, I know, folks.

    PS where is vd, t, to tell me this is all angels on a pin of a needle type stuff (hello Tom). He’s on record saying a lot of stuff out here (who among us isn’t..)

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  23. Erik, regarding boys

    D. G. Hart
    Posted March 5, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Permalink
    Please direct positive comments to Bill Smith. I don’t know if he coined “obedience boys.” But that cleverness (and more) is not mine.

    But I think that comment/question was you being funny.

    This I’d me being boring.

    Insert emoticon.

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  24. In Bill Smith’s original piece, he wrote: It is that the “grace boys” can seem to teach grace in such a way as to make people indifferent to sin: “Sin is not such a big deal. It happens. No need to get all worked up about it. Just accept that you are a sinner and that God loves you no matter what. Bask in the knowledge you are a child of God.” I get the problem the “obedience boys” have with the “grace boys.” As far as taking exception with that portrayal of the life of grace goes, I agree.

    Brad: Do those that are being called “grace boys” actually teach in such a way to “make people indifferent to sin”? As of yet, I’ve not seen evidence. I get the ‘normalcy’ of sin in the Christian life and that it seems the “obedience boys” are missing that, but I just don’t see the “grace boys” as being or teaching in a way to “make people indifferent to sin” (I know Bill Smith qualifies with ‘can seem to teach’). Rather, I see a realistic view of the problem of indwelling sin being portrayed by the “grace boys” and the “obedience boys” conjuring up something from Fantasy Island.

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  25. Erik, I have gotten to know Brad over email, blogs, and twitter. Just fyi.

    It’s a figure he likes. Petrus Dathenus.

    He can answer for himself, of course.

    and….

    now im done. emoticon.

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  26. Brad – Rather, I see a realistic view of the problem of indwelling sin being portrayed by the “grace boys” and the “obedience boys” conjuring up something from Fantasy Island.

    Erik – Brings back glorious memories of the Saturday nights of my boyhood:

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  27. Erik – Brings back glorious memories of the Saturday nights of my boyhood:

    Brad – Ditto… Regarding the hat of Petrus Dathenus…no idea where he got it. But I do love his book The Pearl of Christian Comfort.

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  28. The same preachers who tell you that sin is not a normal pattern for Christians are often the ones who engage in jeremiads about how godless the current president is, indeed, so much worse than all the godly Christian presidents we used to have.

    Dr. T. David Gordon in his book “Why Johnny Can’t Preach: The Media Have Shaped the Messengers” (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 2009)
    “Some of the neo-Puritans have apparently determined that the purpose of Christian preaching is to persuade people that they do not, in fact, believe. The subtitle of each of their sermons could accurately be: “I Know You Think You Are a Christian, but You Are Not.” This brand of preaching constantly suggests that if a person does not always love attending church, always look forward to reading the Bible, or family worship, or prayer, then the person is probably not a believer…”

    The hearer falls into one of two categories: one category of listener assumes that the preacher is talking about someone else, and he rejoices (as did the Pharisee over the tax collector) to hear “the other guy” getting straightened out. Another category of listener eventually capitulates and says: “Okay, I’m not a believer; have it your way.” But since the sermon mentions Christ only in passing (if at all), the sermon says nothing about the adequacy of Christ as Redeemer, and therefore does nothing to build faith in Christ.

    “It is painful to hear every passage of Scripture twisted to do what only several of them actually do (i.e., warn the complacent that not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven). And it is absolutely debilitating to be told again and again that one does not have faith when one knows perfectly well that one does have faith, albeit weak and imperfect…”

    “So no one profits from this kind of preaching; indeed, both categories of hearer are harmed by it. But I don’t expect it will end anytime soon. The self-righteous like it too much; for them, religion makes them feel good about themselves, because it allows them to view themselves as the good guys and others as the bad guys – they love to hear the preacher scold the bad guys each week. And sadly, the temperament of some ministers is simply officious. Scolding others is their life calling; they have the genetic disposition to be a Jewish mother.” (pp. 83-84)

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  29. “Some of the neo-Puritans

    Newsflash (to AB anyway). Neo-Puritan is a real live technical term.

    Go easy on (all about) me, johnny come lately.

    Or not (insert emoticon).

    Charting my progress,
    AB

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  30. “So no one profits from this kind of preaching; indeed, both categories of hearer are harmed by it. But I don’t expect it will end anytime soon. The self-righteous like it too much; for them, religion makes them feel good about themselves, because it allows them to view themselves as the good guys and others as the bad guys – they love to hear the preacher scold the bad guys each week. And sadly, the temperament of some ministers is simply officious. Scolding others is their life calling; they have the genetic disposition to be a Jewish mother.” (pp. 83-84)

    Thanks, Mark. Your whole post is interesting.

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  31. Defining American exceptionalism is tricky, but it generally involves a belief that the United States is singularly blessed by God, has accomplished untold good in the history of the world, and even if it has declined the nation was truly great because of its divine sanctions and virtuous performance.

    Almost accurate, Darryl.

    American exceptionalism–which dates back to at least GWashington

    Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow-citizens at large less than either.—GWash, First Inaugural

    And not a single “American exceptionalist” these days doesn’t figure in America’s sins–slavery, the Trail of Tears [see Glenn Beck!], Jim Crow, the Spanish-American War.

    The City on the Hill has often betrayed whatever blessings God has granted it–not unlike ancient Israel. American exceptionalists have read the Bible, Darryl, and mostly get the gist of it. Lincoln called us an “almost” chosen people. And as the attentive reader of the Old Testament knows, being a “chosen” people is not all it’s cracked up to be.

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  32. And as the attentive reader of the Old Testament knows, being a “chosen” people is not all it’s cracked up to be.

    Tom, you would prefer being an unchosen Babylonian?

    I’m staking my claim with Israel, thank you very much. You know, the church under age.

    Good luck with whomever you think had that thing that made them “all they are cracked up to be.”

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  33. Brian Lee: Regarding the source of the obedience boys gullibility, I think it is the predictable result of a diet of weak, moralistic, or non-existent law preaching.

    Sometimes it is difficult to tell who the ‘obedience boys’ are and whether it’s just a difference of emphasis at times. It seems those that dislike the ‘gospel driven’ expression of living out the Christian life in ‘gratitude’ for what Christ has accomplished would fall into the category of ‘obedience boys’. My conscience can only be liberated and comforted by Christ in the Gospel, for me. Anyway, thank you for your excellent article on sanctification in Modern Reformation and adding another sane voice to the ‘sanctification controversy’ within and without our circles.

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