Monday, September 29, 2008
About Apologetics and Presuppositionalism.
For those who may follow very closely the material I put up here at my blog, some may wonder why I recently provided space for the methods of Gordon Clark and also Bahnsen.
Bahnsen was a Van Tillian of sorts and of course Clark was not, so why do I link to both of these men?
Well, for starters, both men have much good to offer the body of Christ.
I do not see in Bahnsen the same errors of Van Til, even though Bahnsen was not as clear and logical as Clark, he presents a good way to reduce Non Christian thought to absurdity. I think he is much clearer than Van Til on this front!
Clark on the other hand is a true Theologian as well as a true Presuppositionalist, and I lean more to his way of thinking than Bahnsen and certainly over Van Til.
The Clark/Van Til controversy was a sad affair, and I agree with John Frame who likes to consider both men reconciled in Heaven over the whole matter.
For those who would like to get a more accurate fix on my views about these issues, I point you to the following article by W. Gary Crampton, who expresses so well where my thoughts lean on these matters.
See also this fine article by Daniel Chew which references the above by Crampton but more importantly, discusses the Gospel and it's proclamation.
I am neither a Clarkian or a Van Tillian, but rather a scripturalist regarding Apologetics and Presupositionalism, meaning the Bible is my ultimate authority and Divine revelation to the intellect (whole of man) is vital for true knowledge and understanding in the New Birth. Much more could be said, and if interested, drop me a line or make a comment!
As you may know, I had tried (unsuccessfully it seems) to debate/discuss this topic with one "Brody" a Non Calvinist who participates at Steve Gregg's forum.
I came across an interesting debate thread here from one of the Team Apologian, one Turretin Fan on the subject, and I think you may find it very helpful.
I do not think the debate is yet completed, but thus far it has been very interesting dialogue.
For me, it is evident that an "entire Biblical framework" a.k.a Calvinism, is necessary in order to exegete scripture consistently, otherwise scripture is trumped and made to be contradictory and inconsistent.
Also, in a Non Calvinist system, there is always this "philosophising" method of hermenuetics that treats the scriptures as if what God say's can be made to be diametrically opposed to what God actually promises to accomplish, hence the much ado about "hypotheticals" etc.
I also find that way of thinking to be amongst the soft Calvinists, Ameraldians and Neo-reformed that are everywhere given voice these days.
Anyways, enjoy Turretin fan as he just makes sense and provides sound Biblical answers in this debate.
See link above to go to the debate page and then scroll back through the dates and find the start.
Actually, here is a link to the start of the debate.
Then 2; 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17
18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24....thus far
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Dr. James White
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I am not big on this area as is most of Christendom, BUT James White from Alpha and Omega Ministries has been raised up of the Lord to provide sound apologetics in this field.
I simply point other Christians to this man's works upon this subject, for they are truly God honoring, scholarly and much needed in this area of evangelism and defense of the truth.
Monday, September 22, 2008
"You are really convinced that you've got all the answers. You've really got yourself tricked into believing that you're 100% right. Well, let me tell you just one thing. Do you consider yourself to be compassionate of other humans? If you're right, as you say you are, and you believe that, then how can you sleep at night? When you speak with me, you are speaking with someone who you believe is walking directly into eternal damnation, into an endless onslaught of horrendous pain which your 'loving' god created, yet you stand by and do nothing.
If you believed one bit that thousands every day were falling into an eternal and unchangeable fate, you should be running the streets mad with rage at their blindness. That's equivalent to standing on a street corner and watching every person that passes you walk blindly directly into the path of a bus and die, yet you stand idly by and do nothing. You're just twiddling your thumbs, happy in the knowledge that one day that 'walk' signal will shine your way across the road.
Think about it. Imagine the horrors Hell must have in store if the Bible is true. You're just going to allow that to happen and not care about saving anyone but yourself? If you're right then you're an uncaring, unemotional and purely selfish (expletive) that has no right to talk about subjects such as love and caring."
Makes you think, doesn't it?
Saturday, September 20, 2008
I will tell you what I was seeing in that thread.
1/ A certain poster not only had answers from scripture which were plain, but he had historical confessions to lend credible weight and he had Calvin quotations given in context!
2/ Another poster whom I have had the misfortune of dealing with in the past had Calvin quotes out of context and with no balance to the real Calvin and his fuller views.
Sadly and tragically, Phil is on the wrong side of this debate and has been moving further and further away from reformed thought for a long time.
Anyway, the thread was a good one but sadly Phil smelled the air and decided enough for now.
Here is the thread. It is no lightweight conversation for sure!
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Just found out upon the passing of this man of God.
And I concur with the following...
John William Robbins ( 1948-2008 ) died at his home in Unicoi County, Tennessee on Thursday, August, 14. He was 59.
I am indebted to Robbins’ life work. God gifted him with a great mind and, in my opinion, he put it to very great use. However, not everyone shares my opinion, to say the least.
Robbins’ work is often simply ignored because people do not appreciate his tone. Gary North said “He was a bulldog in everything he did.” I have heard Robbins’ worked described as “some of the most vitriolic rage on the internet.” He has been described as a drug “pusher” responsible for getting young Christians hooked on Gordon Clark’s “methamphetamine” Scripturalism. I once had a conversation with a professedly Reformed Christian who told me he “hate(d) John Robbins so much,” he wanted to become a Roman Catholic just to spite him.
Now I recently listened to John Piper’s biography of the great defender of the faith, J. Gresham Machen and I learned something of great interest:
Others attribute the controversies and divisions that Machen was involved in, and often the ringleader of at that, being due to in large part to his peculiar personality, for example, his “temperamental idiosyncrasies.”(36) That is, it is claimed that Machen was a very difficult man to get along with, even for his friends. Machen has been called just about everything including: bigoted, cankerous, a crank, inflexible, intolerant, lacking the ability to separate people from the issues he disagreed with, militant, narrow-minded, an obscurantist, rigid, temperamental (given to fits of anger), a troublemaker, and so forth.
He seemed to have a personality that alienated people too easily. The committee that did not recommend him to the chair of apologetics at Princeton referred to his “temperamental idiosyncrasies” (see note 63). He seems to have had “a flaring temper and a propensity to make strong remarks about individuals with whom he disagreed” (see note 64).
J. Gresham Machen - especially as a commonsense theologian and as a Southerner - in some ways might be considered a period piece. Not only that, he might be considered a cantankerous period piece. He had a personality that only his good friends found appealing, and he stood for a narrow Old School confessionalism and exclusivism that many people today find appalling. Nonetheless, despite all these features which might tempt us to dismiss him, I think we can also see there was a deeply committed Christian of great insight.
-George Marsden, “Understanding J. Gresham Machen,” in Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism, p. 200
Perhaps future generation will look more kindly upon John W. Robbins than men do today. Hopefully they will at least read his life’s work.
Friday, September 12, 2008
See Comments thread.
BUMPED AGAIN AS UPDATED AGAIN!
A helpful short response regarding Unbelievers in New Covenant
from John Frame