Sunday, July 12, 2009

In support of my brother Daniel.

Below is a link to Daniel Chew's web blog, and contains recent dialog with David Ponter and Tony Byrne, the implicit Ameraldians and "One trick" men of the Universal atonement views that even Arminians have a more logical and consistent grasp of.

These guys are surely "One issue" guys, and they are relentless at defending their "one issue" subject. They have gone after other Calvinists, most recently Dr James White and Dr Robert Reymond, and they are forever finding "Hyper" Calvinists under every rock.

These guys are imbalanced, infuriating, divisive and just plain in need of repentance.

I take my hat off to Daniel's efforts in trying to at least provide answers against their many errors and anachronistic reading of history and Reformed writers of the past.

I really think it time to let these guys alone and get on with other matters.

If you get drawn in, they will suck the very life out of you. I know this only too well from years of interaction with both of them and being mistreated, castigated, misrepresented and just plain old abused by them at any price, and all for their "one issue" subject matter which is in no way Classical, reformed Calvinism as per the Confessions of the Protestant Churches, and even if they could prove to have support from other reformed men of the past, they yet have no support from Scripture properly exegeted.


Ruby said...

You've been debating with Ponter and company ever since I first read your stuff. (It was through Common Grace searches I came upon Tartanarmy). Perhaps Mark, the time has come to leave these guys to their own swill. I know that you don't want to see others duped by their teachings, but if it sucks the life out of you, that might mean - leave them with Lord.
thanky ou for the research and effort you put into your pieces.
Do you really get up at 4 in the morning to post this stuff? or scheduled?

Mark Farnon (Tartanarmy) said...

Thanks Ruby, I know what you mean Sister.

The part about sucking the life out of you was in the context of actual interaction with them, as I very well know.

That is why I do not actually engage them directly anymore.

Everyone who has engaged them has had to realize this phenomenon. Namely, their imbalance.

I only really started commenting about them again in recent times when they hurled accusations against Dr White, Reymond and others.

They are doing that with Daniel too, whom I consider well reasoned and balanced upon these matters.

I was simply supporting his efforts by way of encouragement.

Nothing would please me more, if these guys would come out and repent of their "one issue" stance and also repent of their divisiveness in the body of Christ.

I am not calling them to repent of what they believe per say (which itself should be dealt with in their Church if reformed), but for their imbalance and fruit from it.

Recently, they have both come out and said that "Hyper-Calvinism", which is their common charge against many Calvinists, is no heresy, which is quite surprising!!

If Hyper-Calvinism is no heresy, why then do these guys spend their energies so much in chasing down and maligning men with this slur?

I can respect a person who passionately refutes serious error and or heresy, but now I am left with the feeling that these guys are merely sitting behind their keyboards, and drawing lines in the sand from other motives, lesser motives.

Daniel has suggested intellectualism as a motive, and I tend to agree with that, and such is a sad situation when you think about it.

I do not speak and passionately go about exposing issues that I consider non heretical, and if I did, I would be surely rebuked.

But these Neo-Ameraldians?

Yes, I did post at that time as I was up and working on stuff.


Ruby said...

Yes, it's intellectual pride, but you know I think people who harp on one subject eg. the "L", are actually insecure in their position and need to be constantly justifying it.
I also get concerned when I read people who will debate until the cows come home but on practical christian living and application we see nothing to demonstrate their love for the Lord and his people.
Interestingly, although I do not know Mr Ponter he belonged to the same denomination, or at least attended, about 20 years ago. We held to Particular Soveriegn Grace and he left there in a tirade of accusations and many words. It seems that has not abated in all that time.
Blessings this Lord's Day.
Get some sleep man!

PuritanReformed said...


thanks brother. I am done with them also, for now.

Martin Thorley said...

To be fair I think you need to recognise that "there are two sides to every coin".
I mean, consider the following:
1. If you were genuinely convinced that a particular position on something was wrong and saw it constantly being put forward and believed that it was doing harm to the body of Christ and was not honouring God's Word and, furthermore, saw no recognition of any counter-arguments you put forward wouldn't you too be relentless in persuing that error? You may not agree with them but you must surely recognise that they are intelligent and convinced of the importance of what they do just the same as you would be in their position? There is always a danger when we strongly disagree with someone that we tend to see things lop-sidedly. This can colour our judgement and lead to us not extending the same Christian charity and general courtesy to others that we expect them to extend to us. Sadly, such is the nature of sin that afflicts us all.
2. Furthermore, reading between the lines I wonder whether the same could be said of you. That is, that you too have been relentless in your pursuit of them? Now nobody is questioning your motives are they? So, to be fair, there is surely nothing wrong with being relentless out of geniune concern - the question of who is right or wrong is besides the point here, if each party be genuinely convinced they're right. And its no good saying but they go too far if there are others such as yourself who go just as far in trying to refute them. :-)
3. Intellectualism is suggested but is that not a sin that afflicts all drawn to reformed doctrines to some degree or other? Are we not all to some degree blinded by sin? Aren't we all to some degree in error in our thinking?
4. I think your comments about them sucking the life out of you are quite revealing. The thing is we can all allow things to become more important to us than the Lord Jesus Christ at times. To describe it in such terms makes we wonder whether this has become something that has to some extent robbed you of your joy in the Lord and taken you beyond merely refuting what you believe to be error. Is it not worth remembering that God is sovereign? If He wants to stop the debate He can do so without us getting worked up about it. Can I recommend you read "The centrality of the Gospel" by Dr. Timothy Keller? (Easily found via Google) This helped me enormously with such issues.

Martin Thorley said...

Oh, and one final point, we do well to remember, and indeed, is it not a mark of genuine Christian humility, to recognise that there is always the possibility that it is actually us who can be mistaken? I mean, how many Christians have spent years as staunch Arminians arguing against Calvinism only to one day embrace it? The strength of our convictions in no way guarantees that we are right does it? - just as you would no doubt argue of your opponents. So surely in humility we have to be honest that it could be true of ourselves? In fact, I would go so far as to argue that the greater the strength of our convictions the more we need to be alert to this danger because the less likely we will think it to be true and the more likely we will be to not really intellectually and carefully process our opponents arguments and instead to filter them through a grid where we automatically assume they carry no force. I recall once discovering with horror within myself that as I was reading an opponents counter-arguments I realised that I was actually making no attempt to process them objectively but was only looking for ways in which to refute them and affirm myself in my beliefs. Again such is the nature of sin that we can very subtely make a sort of functional saviour out of our doctrines. I mean ask yourself, can you honestly say that you never automatically simply looked how to refute their arguments and never once failed to pray and say "Lord, let me not be deceived, help me to approach this objectively"? In my experience we're actually less carefull when we feel strongly about something than when we're a little unsure.

Anyway just a few thoughts which hopefully help bring a little balance. :-)


Mark Farnon (Tartanarmy) said...

Martin, I will give your comments an answer, and will put them up in a new post to give it more attention.
You have said quite a lot.


Kirby said...

Generally, when I see more than a few instances of "This is what I call xyz...", that's pretty much the end of it as far as I'm concerned.

Unless the Bible also calls it xyz, I'm going to have a hard time following the train of thought as it departs the station...

That's just me, though.