Stunning

Friday, July 31, 2009

A response to Martin....Invitation to discuss.


Thread Updated 31st July

The following comments were made in another thread here, and I thought it may be best to provide a response here as that thread was more about defending a brother and so I will respectfully answer Martin's comments here.

I have visited his blog and it appears that Martin leans more toward Amyraldian views (Based upon the men he recommends at his blog, including Amyraut and also the links he follows). than the so called High Calvinism I represent, which is really just the Calvinism taught in the reformed creeds and confessions as well as The Synod of Dordt.

There has been in recent times, a kind of historical revisionism, which has attached misguided labels to this thing called Calvinism.

One of the more modern scholars in recent times to utilize this revisionism was Norman Geisler in his book "Chosen but Free", who decided to come up with various labels such as High/Moderate/low Calvinism, and in so doing utterly confuses the established historical theology of reformed Calvinism, even allowing for Arminianism and Amyraldianism under the Calvinist umbrella..

The antedote to this work is James White's response to Geisler, "The Potters Freedom"

Arminianism and Amyraldianism are not Calvinism and certainly not reformed.

This kind of revisionism has encouraged others who give lip service to Calvinism whilst pushing their own theology under the relative safety of reformed theology.

I also want it said again, that my recent comments regarding Byrne and Ponter etc were as a result of the charges made against Dr White.

Here is a useful timeline of how all of that unfolded.

Now to Martin's comments addressed to me at my blog.

My comments shall be in italics.

----------------------------------------------

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.

Martin, let me share something with you. In all of my exchanges with the two main proponent's who would side with your views, I have never even been extended the common courtesy of being called a brother. Not once, even when asked to do so repeatedly, did these guys ever extend that courtesy to me personally? No, they never have extended that basic courtesy, and that speaks volumes does it not?

The evidence for this is on the public record and freely available.


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?


Wait a minute Martin, I cannot let that assertion slide. My motives and actions have decidedly been questioned in this debate with those men. This is no secret by the way!

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. :-)

Genuine passion and concern is great, but the rest of your comments do not even make sense given the history I have had with those you seemingly support.

I refute their views using scripture and for that I will not repent. I only wish they would do the same. I do not act in any way like them when they decide to malign sincere believers, men who are more qualified than themselves incidentally!

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?

I always get worried when such things are said by those who do not advocate a robust Calvinism, as it smacks of humility clothed in equivocation.

There is no doubt all of us are blinded by sin and there is no doubt that there is error in all of us, but, and here is the real truth of the matter.

Does admitting such sin and error thereby mean that the Word of God is not clear upon the matters where we disagree?

That is the issue.

4. I think your comments about them sucking the life out of you are quite revealing.

It would not be wise to read too much into such comments.

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.

It does not surprise me that eventually when these matters are debated, subjective emotional reactions come out of the woodwork.

My joy in the Lord does not depend upon my apologetic defense against error.

My comment about "sucking the life" out of you was meant simply to convey how much effort is required in refuting error, nothing more nothing less.

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 (emphasis mine). 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.

What issues are you specifically referring to Martin?

Funny as this may sound, but your first two sentences above that I emphasised sound awfully like a subtle form of Hyper Calvinism, but unlike those you seem to defend, I will not label you with that particular slur lol!

Incidentally Martin, I was labeled by these men as Hyper through their false use of Phil Johnson's Primer, and now Phil Johnson has come out and rebuked these men for misusing his primer against real Calvinist's who are not Hyper. Are you aware of that?

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?

This is not unlike your previous comments, and again I simply ask you if God's Word is insufficient or somehow does not speak with clarity as to the issues we disagree upon?

I mean, how many Christians have spent years as staunch Arminians arguing against Calvinism only to one day embrace it?

This only proves that error itself existed and needed correction. I am sure their embracing the truth of Calvinism did not just zap into them in a moment. God works through means, and I am quite sure that God uses the passionate proclamation of the truth and blesses the exposing or refutation of error.

The strength of our convictions in no way guarantees that we are right does it?

But who is relying upon this assertion? Certainly not me.

- 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?

Of course, but again, I humbly suggest that this kind of thinking impacts upon whether or not we believe The Word of God can speak clearly regarding the issues where we disagree...

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.

This is some interesting psychology, and as it goes it is reasonable. The problem however is that all of us process information through certain presuppositions. No one is epistemologically neutral, and hence your observations merely are equally relevant to everyone and by no means a refutation of one over another.

In other words, it sounds reasonable but is really saying nothing substantive. Your assertion above can also facilitate an attitude that endorses or gives comfort to those who desire to negate having strong convictions, and hence, the danger in your thinking is exposed and concerns me.

Incidentally, interpreting Scripture, comes with rules we call Hermeneutics, and those rules are like a grid. I find that most if not all Non Calvinists have a disdain for this thing we call Systematic Theology, preferring what has come to be called Biblical Theology. The truth is in how to adequately balance both.

I have regularly found that all of the best and faithful exegetes are found on my side of the fence so to speak, and some of them are even maligned greatly and unjustly by those on your side of the fence.

An example is David Ponter saying that Owen's work in "The death Of death in the death of Christ" was only good enough to line the bird cage with!

Then there is the whole matter of them citing sources and abusing context and anachronistically reading them from a point of reference that these guys were not even addressing.

Responding to them at that level truly sucks the life out of you and in fact leads to chasing rabbit trails. I know because I have done this with these guys.

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.


Let me share something with you.

I used to passionately argue for the Credo Baptism position, even debating online with those who were passionate Paedo Baptists.

It was only through studying their counter arguments and processing them that I came to change my views entirely, so I am no stranger to this wise counsel. And that change cost a lot too!

If we are only about affirming our beliefs then we are to be pitied and certainly setting ourselves up for many a fall. So I do understand your point.

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.


I have taken that counsel many many times, but at the end of the day, I believe the Word of God to be clear enough on these matters, and that is the hill worth dying upon.

You may want to ask the likes of Ponter and Byrne the same question, and whilst you are at it, ask them why they depicted me in demeaning cartoon caricature, made slanderous accusations against me including the charge that I promoted sexually deviant behavior from a certain unknown and unnamed theologian, lied about me stalking them, cited false online ISP information that was not mine, lied about my status as moderator online, accused me of Plagiarism, continually misrepresent my statements, incite others against me by twisting my statements, mocking me immaturely, spreading false charges, called me all kinds of names such as Retard, twit and stupid etc, and even went as far as having our "shared public conversations" deleted from my own web site just because they insisted such conversations were copyrighted, therefore stifling fair use and open dialog. Of course the secular owners of the site would agree with them, what liberal secular thinkers wouldn't?

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


Grace,
Martin


Well Martin, I thank you for your comments, but balance is a two way thing for sure.

Feel free of course to bring the Word of God in order to defend your views and you shall find me reasonable, honest and passionate in my views.

Sincerely

Mark


------------------------------Further responses-------------------------------------------

Martin, thank you for your comments.

Let me see if I can both reason with you and be reasonable at the same time.

First of all, are you the same Martin who pretty much said the same things to me a few years ago at Unchained radio forums?

I will assume you are, for the views expressed then are essentially identical to what you have said here.

Even if it is not you, the views were from someone sympathetic to the views of Ponter and Byrne.

I am somewhat taken aback that you would not in any way whatsoever even attempt to defend a fellow believer against the kinds of allegations that these guys seem to regularly employ.

Now that, speaks directly to you Martin.

I will freely admit that I am on the defensive, and I am so because of the history I have had with those guys and a few others who seem to desire to harp on this one issue of Universal Expiation/well meant offers etc.

If you are not an Amyeraldian, then that is great, but I bet you are closer to Amyraut than Calvin from my perspective, and I say that because your blog seems to indicate that from what little I have read there.

I would also assume that you would consider Calvin at any rate to be in line with what Ponter and Byrne teach, yes?

Now, regarding your comments, here is my reply, and please understand, that your assertions, which are many, are exactly that, assertions.

I am surprised that you missed in a big way, I might add, that I repeatedly referred to whether or not the Word of God is clear on these matters or not, and you decided to completely ignore this from my responses.

As far as your suggestions that I am

“defensive”,

“Not fully engaged”,

“Blind IE Lipstick/mirror comment”,

“other's see it”,

“I have deeper problems”,

“I say I am aware, but I am not”,

I find these comments a smokescreen, but I would like to ask you something, since you think I am so focused just on these guys, men you have in no way tried to correct, unless I am wrong about that.

Do you see no wrong in the way these guys have sometimes handled themselves, and whilst I am at it, are you saying that a believer has absolutely no right to defend themselves?

When you use the scripture to rebuke me in the manor you do, yet you do not do the same with those who oppose me, what am I supposed to take away from that?

I will tell you exactly what I take away from that Martin.

Your views, being in line with these guys, is causing you to not only falsely use scripture against me out of context, but is causing you to give these guys a free pass to behave however they want.

Now remember this Martin. You came here to my blog and made your comments, and you very well know that there is some kind of history to all of this between me and them, so you attempting to shift that fact, which again says more about you than me.

Anyway, I will interact with your comments and I do welcome a further response from you, but please leave off with the assertions regarding what you perceive are my failings and do what I have ever tried to achieve with those guys, namely to engage the text of scripture regarding the matters we differ.

I am aware of many failings, but unfortunately this dispute is personal, and these guys have never tried to make peace with me at any time and have never even as much as been willing to call me a brother.

In fact, both of them have publicly stated that they really wish I would stop addressing them as “Brothers” as it seems fake or insincere from their perspective.

The issues, even though it has been made personal by them, are still important, and that is why I still engage the defense of the Atonement, an atonement that actually saves everyone for whom it was intended by God's grace to save, not the irrational meanderings of many today daring to utter such false views, not based upon exegesis of scripture, but from their own imaginations and misreading of Historical theology too.

It is sad, but I will continue to oppose these views, even if it makes me look like some kind of buffoon that Ponter and Byrne publicly claim me to be.



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I’m afraid I cannot possibly to respond to all you have said and I don’t think much would be gained from a discussion of what did or didn’t happen between you and them in any case so I’m going to restrict myself to the following: (NB I’m not trying to ‘bat’ things away - even though that might be fitting given yesterday’s historic defeat of Australia by England at Lords {huge grin})

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, but that batting away ignores the context of this whole matter, it ignores the behavior of these guys, it ignores the shameful ways in which they have slurred other believers and dragged their name through the mud, it ignores how they have even tried to turn brother against brother and it ignores how they have given help and comfort to all those Arminians who are in error, a position they should be refuting, not joining hands with against Calvinists who are so misrepresented by these same men.

You may be willing to “Bat away” all of that, but I am not. And there is so much more could be added!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I don’t care much for labels but it would be more accurate to ‘lean’ me towards Calvin than Amyraut. I think the fact that you identified me as Amyraldian has coloured how you have read and responded to what I wrote. Unfortunately it seems to have put you on the defensive which means that I don’t think you have fully engaged with all I say.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am fully engaging everything you say Martin. In fact I read your own post explicitly about yourself found here, and I am reasonably confident I can grasp where you are coming from.

You seem only too eager to accuse me of being “colorized” from statements I have made, not about me personally mind you as I rarely write about myself, and yet when I read your post about you, it is really quite easy to see where you are in fact “colored” in a real sense. Don't get me wrong, I really do appreciate anyone who takes the time and makes the effort to put out there where they are coming from.

I can see where you are coming from Martin, and as much as we both might not like labels, your views can easily be seen and grasped, and from which perspectives you are aligning with. In fact, you are so clear you even rightly identify the streams of thought by name that you embrace.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Consequently its difficult to know how to respond to you as it kinda feels like I’m talking to a man who hasn’t seen himself in a mirror and doesn’t know that his kids have put lipstick on his face while he was asleep. I don’t mean to be insulting in any way – I’m just struggling to come up with a good analogy but you must surely recognise the concept that we can be blind to things about ourselves that other people can clearly see?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Martin, I expressly told you about the matter of Paedo/Credo debate, and how I came to change my views. This is perhaps one of the biggest controversies within Christianity. A complex issue I might add. But I mentioned it to try and avail your fears about me being some kind of blind imbalanced person who cannot see the other side, but you did not even rate it worth a mention, and again this says more about you than me.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In all honesty it is clear to me that the problems go deeper than you seem to realise or acknowledge.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just briefly, this kind of bare assertion seems to be the hallmark of modern or dare I say it, Post-modern thought. It is the ability to perceive motives whilst not knowing enough to assert such emotional assertions, and, to sidestep the real issues at hand. It is also a not so subtle Ad Hominem argument.

An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: "argument to the man", "argument against the man") consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim.

The process of proving or disproving the claim is thereby subverted, and the argumentum ad hominem works to change the subject.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For example, obviously I was addressing my comments to you yet so much of your response is about them. You make a long list of claims regarding how you believe you’ve been treated yet didn’t the Apostle Paul say “why not rather suffer wrong?” (1 Cor. 6:7)?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Since the “them” are both links on your site, and since you came here to comment at my blog, is it really a stretch that the “them” has no relevance, considering the “them” are very prominent on the Internet espousing their views and making a name for themselves with this “one” issue.

And again I ask you in reference to the passage you have cited against me, is it your position that a believer has absolutely no right to ever defend themselves?

You are misquoting that passage against me, for even though there has been a failure between us to have peace, there has been also a failure from some others to judge rightly 1Co 6:5, or keep silent, men who should know better.

I have not brought charges against them by going to the law or appeal to Unbelievers for vindication or some such thing, but they have done this with others I know, even contacting their Pastor etc. They even went to unbelievers to have comments deleted from my web blog! You ought to be laying this scripture at their feet, as the next verse you quote goes on to say, 1Co 6:8 But you do wrong and defraud, and these things to brothers.

All I ask is you use scripture properly and not in the haphazard way you used it against me.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All praise be to Jesus who did not respond when falsely accused but aren’t His disciples also to follow his example? If we are accepted in the beloved, declared not guilty before the highest court there is, if we are justified through faith in Christ and what He has done for us then to try to justify ourselves before men is surely to forget the gospel?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Again, why are you using such tactics as this? I have no issue with what is said above, but do you really think what I am saying is me trying to justify myself before men and then the comment that I am forgetting the Gospel?

If I were to forget the gospel as you say, I would be doing exactly what these men are doing.

I am defending the gospel btw, not forgetting it.

I also do not think it appropriate to confuse categories, meaning that you are ignoring an apologetic defense which unfortunately can get unsavory, and making it a personal gospel application, which again is mere assertion.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is why I referred you to the Tim Keller article. Unfortunately you make no mention of it in your response yet I think its the most important part of my comments.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sorry, but I did not get that impression at all. If you really thought that Mr Keller had something to teach me in any way, you easily could have sent me a personal message to read him and then leave whatever good may have come of it, without even mentioning anything else at all.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By all means ignore everything else I say but please, slowly and prayerfully read that article and ask the Lord to reveal how it might apply to you.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I will read it.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You say you are aware of the dangers I mention yet I don’t think you are. I think the level of mistreatment you feel you have endured at their hands has left you more hurt than you realise and unable to approach this whole topic objectively. I think the proof of this will be if your immediate reaction was to strongly disagree with what I just said.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Martin, you need to realize something about me. I can be quite passionate at times, but please do not read too much into what I may or may not be feeling, as far as being hurt etc.

Personally, I fully expect there to be opposition and even personal attack and all kind of names to be hurled against me if I try to be faithful to the truth. I expect it Martin, and if such does not come my way then it is very possible I am not being faithful, so the charge and emotions you would like to stick upon me are simply you reading too much into things.

Now, having said that, let me also say, that I am not a Robot with no feelings, so yes, there are times when things are said that do hurt, and I can say that with me personally, I tend to get more defensive when I see others being mistreated, and that motivates me to come to defend someone else. At the end of the day, even if I am grieved about something concerning what has been said of me, I fully rest in Christ and find my joy squarely resting in Him, where I am complete.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Furthermore, I suspect that, deep down, you are seeking for apologies and for the perceived injustices to be put right but I would remind you that we are to show mercy and forgive just as we ourselves receive mercy.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Martin, now that we are getting all emotional and personal, let me suggest a few things for you to consider, and if you are the same Martin I spoke with a few years ago at Unchained, I will simply repeat what I said to you then.

If someone has wronged someone, it is proper to seek apologies and it is proper to correct injustices. You seem to miss the very opportunity that exists when these matters are correctly dealt with.

It is one thing to just let things slip under the carpet, which is way too easy and convenient, but in calling others to repent and fix things, does not just make the person wronged feel a sense of vindication, but it also enables the person doing wrong to grow in grace and deal with their sins.

I hope my comments have helped you understand me in some small way.

And Martin, there was so much in my previous reply you did not respond to, why?

Sincerely

Mark


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mark,

I think the prejudices you hold against messrs. Bryne and Ponter and, it would seem by extension me, are proving a barrier to fruitful dialogue. I think it best left. Perhaps, in time, the Tim Keller article will lead to further studies which will lead you to a greater self-awareness of your motives. Until then I can see this is only going to go downhill.

I think my recent blog post is relevant to this situation: http://allsufficientchrist.blogspot.com/2009/07/are-you-in-default-mode.html

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Martin,
Thanks for coming to my blog and saying and addressing absolutely nothing!

I had put up our interaction in the hope that something may come of it, but you have chosen to simply take the higher moral ground and cast aspersion against me and repeatedly question my motives, even when I have attempted to clearly explain myself.

The prejudices you perceive are nothing but facts of history and the fact that you will not go there directly affects your ability to address that history.
I take it then you are the same Martin who sided with these guys over at Unchained a few years ago, and if that being the case, you in a sense share in their complicity, in that you did not reprove them for their behavior and you still refuse to do so.
If you want your views to have an audience, then those guys are a hindrance to your position, and it is the reason why we could not discuss the subject matter.

My advice is simple. If one is going to be "prejudiced" as you say, just make sure that we are being prejudiced about the right prejudice in which to be prejudiced with.
I will remain prejudiced with scripture Martin, and leave Mr Keller for another day, and I do hope Mr Keller is not your only source of authority.

As far as my motives are concerned, they remain the same. Namely, to expose error and present an Atonement, free from the ravages of men who pervert the truth and history and who attempt to divide believers against one another in their merry quest to pursue their dogmatism and narrow one string imbalance, and I do so in the hope that others may not get carried away by their folly.

Mark

And, by the way Martin, what do you think about the Edward's quote below?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------Further responses-------------------------------------------
Martin Thorley said...

Mark,

You said: "you have chosen to simply take the higher moral ground and cast aspersion against me and repeatedly question my motives, even when I have attempted to clearly explain myself."

Me: I am not sure why you should react this way. This was not what I was trying to do. My goal was to point you to the Lord Jesus Christ. I haven't even asked you to explain yourself.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Martin, it is irrelevant whether you have or have not asked me to explain myself. The point is, I have explained myself, and if your aim was to point me to our Lord then I certainly missed that in your comments.

Your previous comments are loaded with assertions about me, just as these newer comments are.

I am beginning to wonder exactly why you came to my blog and I am also wondering what you are trying to achieve.

I see you are having a conversation with Daniel which seems to also have assertion based upon assertion as a pattern of your kind of thinking and it really bothers me.

It is enough for you to know Martin, that both Daniel and myself have on various occasions stood against the teachings of the men you support.

I personally have explained to you what kind of treatment I have received from both of those men, and it strikes me as slightly offensive that you have no correcting word for these men you support.

Another important matter, which you do not yet seem to grasp, and it could be understandable given the nature that sometimes ensues when attempting to refute and expose error, and that is that you really need to grasp that refuting error can at times be confrontational, personal and unfortunately sometimes unsavoury.

Personally, I aim for being direct enough, so as to not attack the man, but his position.

This is what I did with the men you are supporting, and the truth is, when we first discussed the issues that divide us, they also were civil, but when I continued to refute their views, their attitude and methods towards me, changed for the worse.

At this point I will freely confess, that at that time there was little support for my views at the place we were discussing these matters, and those guys exploited that fact for all it was worth, but I did not flinch nor turn away from refuting their views even for a moment.

The very actions that Tony Byrne used upon Dr White, by giving aid and comfort to the Arminians, and then letting them (by influence and giving them materials to use) attack both White and Phil Johnson, and in so doing, pit them or at least try to pit them against each other. It did not work and actually backfired on them, but I say all of that to simply say I had experienced the same treatment before Dr White had to endure similar.

There are also other Christians who testify of being mistreated by Byrne and it is documented.

So, when you come here to lend a hand of support for those men, please do not act as if what me and even Daniel are saying to you, is being said in some kind of vacuum or position of ignorance. But more than that Martin. I had tried from the first interaction with you, to explain myself to you, which you then throw back at me as something you did not ask for, which brings me right back to my opening words in this post, namely, the irrelevancy of that comment.

Now, I do appreciate that you do not want to have discussions which are unsavory and or unfruitful. In that we both agree, but I tried to get you to understand where I am coming from and you chose to ignore all that and take the higher ground which I had at the first post intimated.

If you want to discuss your beliefs about the atonement and in particular your dualism and universal expiation doctrine, then great. I will be direct, cordial and take on your views but not you personally, OK?

I will also add that since you are being taught in some measure by these men, then I simply ask that if we do discuss these issues, we stick to Scripture alone, and if really necessary or historically helpful, the Synod of Dort and the Reformed confessions. I do not want to discuss any of the men these guys often quote from, as I do not trust how they handle their sources and I am definitely not alone in that accusation.

Sincerely

Mark


Note to Martin: You may have noticed that I promote Piper's Book above at the front of my blog.

I raise this with you as you seem to question my joy in the Lord. That book, was used of the Lord to really help me understand where my joy indeed is, and if you have not read it, I highly recommend it.

My Joy is in Him, all else is a distant second.


29 comments:

Martin Thorley said...

I’m afraid I cannot possibly to respond to all you have said and I don’t think much would be gained from a discussion of what did or didn’t happen between you and them in any case so I’m going to restrict myself to the following: (NB I’m not trying to ‘bat’ things away - even though that might be fitting given yesterday’s historic defeat of Australia by England at Lords {huge grin})

I don’t care much for labels but it would be more accurate to ‘lean’ me towards Calvin than Amyraut. I think the fact that you identified me as Amyraldian has coloured how you have read and responded to what I wrote. Unfortunately it seems to have put you on the defensive which means that I don’t think you have fully engaged with all I say.

Consequently its difficult to know how to respond to you as it kinda feels like I’m talking to a man who hasn’t seen himself in a mirror and doesn’t know that his kids have put lipstick on his face while he was asleep. I don’t mean to be insulting in any way – I’m just struggling to come up with a good analogy but you must surely recognise the concept that we can be blind to things about ourselves that other people can clearly see? In all honesty it is clear to me that the problems go deeper than you seem to realise or acknowledge. For example, obviously I was addressing my comments to you yet so much of your response is about them. You make a long list of claims regarding how you believe you’ve been treated yet didn’t the Apostle Paul say “why not rather suffer wrong?” (1 Cor. 6:7)? All praise be to Jesus who did not respond when falsely accused but aren’t His disciples also to follow his example? If we are accepted in the beloved, declared not guilty before the highest court there is, if we are justified through faith in Christ and what He has done for us then to try to justify ourselves before men is surely to forget the gospel? This is why I referred you to the Tim Keller article. Unfortunately you make no mention of it in your response yet I think its the most important part of my comments. By all means ignore everything else I say but please, slowly and prayerfully read that article and ask the Lord to reveal how it might apply to you. You say you are aware of the dangers I mention yet I don’t think you are. I think the level of mistreatment you feel you have endured at their hands has left you more hurt than you realise and unable to approach this whole topic objectively. I think the proof of this will be if your immediate reaction was to strongly disagree with what I just said. Furthermore, I suspect that, deep down, you are seeking for apologies and for the perceived injustices to be put right but I would remind you that we are to show mercy and forgive just as we ourselves receive mercy.

Grace and peace,
Martin

Mark Farnon (Tartanarmy) said...

Martin, thank you for your comments.

I will respond in the main post as it is easier to arrange than here in the comments.

Mark

PuritanReformed said...

From Martin's blog:

>>The old stream is what we might call classical reformed soteriology in line with the early reformation ... On the other it rejects the “limited atonement” beloved by many modern, and sadly, aggressive, internet ‘Calvinists’ ...


Wow, talk about historical revisionism! Classical reformed soteriology embraces Limited Atonement, as seen in the Canon of the Synod of Dordt, the writings of Francis Turretin, John Owen, Samuel Rutherford, Pierre du Moulin etc. Sad to say, it is the modern Amyraldians like Byrne and Ponter who are the "aggressive internet Calvinists". Martin's "old stream" for sure is old - as old as Amyraut, but it is not the historic orthodox Reformed view.

For those who DO read the original writings, and the WHOLE of it in their original book form instead of mere 'snippets' posted by Ponter and Byrne, the historical classical Reformed beliefs can be seen to be contrary to the novel teachings of Ponter and Byrne.

Martin Thorley said...

Mark,

I think the prejudices you hold against messrs. Bryne and Ponter and, it would seem by extension me, are proving a barrier to fruitful dialogue. I think it best left. Perhaps, in time, the Tim Keller article will lead to further studies which will lead you to a greater self-awareness of your motives. Until then I can see this is only going to go downhill.

I think my recent blog post is relevant to this situation: http://allsufficientchrist.blogspot.com/2009/07/are-you-in-default-mode.html

Martin Thorley said...

Daniel,

Your comments about messrs. Bryne and Ponter sadden me. I would encourage you to read the Tim Keller article too:
http://www.redeemer2.com/resources/papers/centrality.pdf

By the way, I think you missed my qualification "in line with the early reformation”. The Canons of Dordt are not a product of the early reformation and neither are any of the names you list early reformers.

Mark Farnon (Tartanarmy) said...

I have commented in the main above.
Mark

Kirby L. Wallace said...

"To be fair I think you need to recognise that "there are two sides to every coin". ..."

I find that this "two sides of the coin" argument is about the same as playing the race card. Once played, it trumps all other cards on the table - or so they hope.

Kinda like taking a failing political initiative and reinvgorating it by saying "But... it's for the kids! You wouldn't be against the children, now, would you?"

The truth is, in a great many things, the thing is not a coin, and there are not two sides.

There is truth, and there is error. And these two are not in some mystical eastern asian yin/yang relationship.

Mark Farnon (Tartanarmy) said...

Good observation, and that is precisely what I have been attempting to put at the forefront.

Mark

PuritanReformed said...

Martin:

please tell me why the same modus operandi of skeptically casting doubt on motives you have used against Mark cannot be used against you yourself.

PuritanReformed said...

Martin:

I have just read Keller's article. Are you seriously going to tell me that you are following the "be Gospel-centered but not Word-centered" path; the error of embracing the Material Principle while ignoring the Formal Principle of the Reformation?

Your response has indeed saddened me, and it reveals the Neo-Calvinist attitude of allowing the culture to dictate what "humility" and "love" is instead of the Scriptures (so much for the sufficiency of Scripture). Is it any wonder that the Neo-Calvinist movement is already fracturing even now? With and despite the "Gospel-centeredness" cry, we have Driscoll undermining the sufficiency of the Gospel through "contextualization", we have Piper compromising the Gospel witness by inviting heretic Doug Wilson to the DG09 conference, and we have Keller himself undermining the Gospel message by embracing theistic evolution.

Your attitude is out of line with the truths of Scriptur, if you think that being "Gospel-centered" must equate to having the same idea of "humility" as Keller thinks appropriate. Please stop getting your idea of humility and love from Keller and the Postmodern Zeitgeist and learn it from Scripture instead.

Martin Thorley said...

Daniel,

If you had read the Tim Keller article you might just start to get a better idea where I'm coming from.

I think because you and Mark disagree with my 'dualistic' position on the 'atonement' it is making you automatically suspicious of my motives and, seemingly, putting you on the counter-offensive. Yes, of course there is sin mixed up in my motives as there is with all of us and yes, one of my motives (but definitely not the only one) is to prepare the way for a more civilised discussion without the unsavoury rhetoric. Besides, just because everybody's motives are corrupt including mine, doesn't render a discussion of motives redundant - far from it. But in any case that is not my only motive. Contrary to what you both seem to think, my aim is to build up not tear down but like I said, your prejudices against those whose positions I share mean that you're not really 'hearing'. I'm sure my poor attempts at articulating what I'm tying to say haven't helped either - so read the article.

Martin Thorley said...

Kirby,

But nothing I said here was about determining truth or error. The two sides of the coin I had in mind were both sin. It matters not how much your brother sins against you it is no excuse to sin in return, nor harbour ill-feeling, nor frequently complain about them, nor fail to repent of one's one sin, nor fail to acknowledge that one's own sin contributed to the sins of others, etc, etc.

Sin is sin, lets call it like it is.

Martin Thorley said...

Mark,

You said: "you have chosen to simply take the higher moral ground and cast aspersion against me and repeatedly question my motives, even when I have attempted to clearly explain myself."

Me: I am not sure why you should react this way. This was not what I was trying to do. My goal was to point you to the Lord Jesus Christ. I haven't even asked you to explain yourself. I do regret that I have clearly not made a good job of it but also, as I have said, I think you are on the defensive / counter-offensive and see me as an adversary and thus are unable to process what I am saying objectively.

I also said that "I think the level of mistreatment you feel you have endured at their hands has left you ... unable to approach this whole topic objectively. I think the proof of this will be if your immediate reaction was to strongly disagree with what I just said". To be honest, at the moment, it looks to me as though that came true?

You: "The prejudices you perceive are nothing but facts of history and the fact that you will not go there directly affects your ability to address that history."
Me: Well I've no idea why and I don't claim any ability. I was merely trying to point out that the post was in my opinion one-sided and evidenced a certain degree of denial. In doing so my aim was to point you to the all sufficient Christ. Clearly I have failed.

You: "I take it then you are the same Martin who sided with these guys over at Unchained a few years ago, and if that being the case, you in a sense share in their complicity, in that you did not reprove them for their behavior and you still refuse to do so."
Me: Yes I am the same Martin but I would like to think I have learnt quite a bit since then. My involvement was also limited but I do freely confess that there were occassions when I saw sin which I did not rebuke if that helps. It is however not true to say that I still refuse to do so. And I don't see how that makes me complicit - any more than not posting here in the first place would make me complicit in your own sin.

You: "If you want your views to have an audience, then those guys are a hindrance to your position, and it is the reason why we could not discuss the subject matter."
Me: That is unfortunate. I suppose I could understand it to a certain extent but it kinda feels like guilt by association. Besides, in point of fact Im not sure I want an audience on this topic. I fear I will lack time and intellect to do the subject justice and it is clear that your current 'prejudices' will preclude any fruitful discussion anyway. I had thought that what I have written might have had the opposite affect than what has actually happened! The basic problem for me though is that I cannot in good conscience leave things unchallenged which I am earnestly convinced in the Lord are incorrect or misleading. And, as I have intimated, I have learnt a little, more recently, and am now of the opinion that the gospel is what is of first importance for believers, as well as non-believers (as is made clear in 1 Cor 15 and in the Tim Keller article I mentioned) and that, in accordance with that, that godliness, and encouraging and reproving and training one another in righteousness from the Holy Scripture is of greater importance than such arguments. That was what was foremost in my mind.

Martin Thorley said...

Continued...

You: "As far as my motives are concerned, they remain the same. Namely, to expose error and present an Atonement, free from the ravages of men who pervert the truth and history and who attempt to divide believers against one another in their merry quest to pursue their dogmatism and narrow one string imbalance, and I do so in the hope that others may not get carried away by their folly."

Me: Now Mark, that serves as an example for precisely why you encounter some of the problems of which you complain. Such statements are loaded and bound to provoke those at whom they are aimed and tempt them to sin. If you yourself would prefer civilised dialogue with even those with whom you disagree then you really should refrain from such provocative language.

"ravages", "pervert", "divide", "merry quest", "dogmatism", "narrow one-string imbalance", "folly".
That is an awful lot of negativity in one short paragraph for one who says I'm reading too much emotion into his writing! :-)

Mark, you dislike what you perceived as me casting aspertions yet here you do the same.

You dislike me raising the question of motives yet here you assume you know theirs.

You claim to be self-aware of our ability to deceive ourselves and not realise that we tend to filter things through and fit them into our pre-conceived grids yet in my opinion you use language that typifies those who lack such awareness.

You claim to be aware of your own sinfulness which includes the great sin of human pride of which we are all guilty yet you write as one who allows for no possibility of being mistaken in any way.

I, in turn, lament that I have provoked you yet maintain that it was not my intention and my call for balance, repentance where necessary, forgiveness, charity and godliness in all interactions remains.

By the way, I did take account of you mentioning your difficult move to paedobaptist but what I feel you don't take sufficient account of is that it is a constant battle we have to wage with ourselves not a one-off victory.

Martin Thorley said...

Mark said:
And, by the way Martin, what do you think about the Edward's quote below?

Me: Not quite sure what you're driving at but I don't have any problem with it if that's what you mean? Its in line with the context of the scripture and with the propositions which he is preaching and, from what little I know, in line with his theology in general in which he has said elsewhere for example that "in some sense" Christ "may be said to die for all, and to redeem all visible Christians, yea, the whole world, by his death" (On the Freedom of the will).

What is it about it that you find interesting?

Martin

PuritanReformed said...

Martin:

"in line with the early reformation"

and suddenly you are the expert on the early reformation? Please forgive me if I do not buy that line of thought. And first and foremost what is important is the biblical truth, NOT whether such and such is taught by the early reformers. Dordt and Westminster among other documents like the Belgic CoF are the summary documents of the Reformation. I find it astonishing that "scholars" historically removed from the Reformation era can pontificate to us that there is a difference between the early reformers and the truths taught in the Reformation as codified in the Reformed creeds and confessions. What next: Calvin versus the Calvinists?

Kirby L. Wallace said...

Holy cow, what a mess.

Do you want to take a stab at this?

http://carylmatrisciana.com/x2/content/view/115/1/


If you scroll down to paragraph SIX, there's a link to a Calvinism Teaching Notebook. THREE HUNDRED PAGES of "Calvinists believe this and Calvinists believe that". I'm through page 50 and have yet to see any quote that shows anything an actual Calvinist has actually said or taught as doctrine. it's all hear-say. And (as usual), a misrepresentation of what is taught.

I'm thinking about addressing this thing, but it will be a big job.

You read this stuff and wonder, "Have they ever read what an actual Calvinists has actually written?

have they read Horatius Bonar? John Angell James? Paul Bunyan? Williams Shed? Ralph Venning? Ichabod Spencer? (Basically, anyone from my "They Said..." Pages on UniusLibri.com?)

Kirby said...

Puritan Reformed:

They can't. It's not about "motive."

It's about truth.

Mark Farnon (Tartanarmy) said...

Have been busy, but will catch up soon as...

Mark

Mark Farnon (Tartanarmy) said...

Kirby,

I am tired of ignorance....but I may address this on my blog...
Mark

Mark Farnon (Tartanarmy) said...

Maybe Martin or Ponter or Byrne could address it...That would be therapeutic for me...Not to mention a thing Ponter and Byrne would never do, at least not that I can find on their sites.

What say you Martin?

Mark

Martin Thorley said...

Daniel,

Re: in line with early Reformers.

You have such a ‘winsome’ way with words. :-)

I have no doubt in my mind that you are better read and more knowledgeable and capable than me on a wide range of subjects. Though we share a common language, I suspect our cultural, intellectual, theological, presuppositional, and character differences are huge. Consequently I’m having a hard time processing anything you say as remotely resembling the wise, edifying, grace-filled, speech that I believe a more learned Christian should have towards one such as I who is obviously less learned in the faith. This in turn is tempting me to sin in thinking about my response. Tempting others to sin is clearly warned against in scripture. Right now it is difficult to find any sign of grace in what you write or any desire for mutual learning and encouragement and very easy to impute disreputable motives. Do you honestly think that your way of conversing is actually winsome and compelling or are you so blind to your dominant motives?

For my part, I cannot claim clarity of expression nor purity of thought. Yet I have prayed and do pray that any sin in what follows may be overlooked for Christ’s sake. In light of what you have written I can honestly say that I am far less concerned about the matter about which we appear to disagree and far more concerned about your apparent lack of enjoyment of the benefits of the glorious gospel of grace. All that follows is written with the prayerful hope that the Lord may lead you to godly repentance and a rejoicing anew in Him as you marvel again at the depths of His mercy to such as us who would rather constantly fabricate idols rather than wholeheartedly seek His glory alone.
...

Martin Thorley said...

Response to Daniel continued:

Since you appear to be quick to jump to all kinds of unwarranted conclusions you can hardly complain if I do the same now can you? So I am providing a translation for how I am interpreting your post. I do this in hope that you might learn something about how you come across. I do not do this to be mean but to show you what comes to mind in order to demonstrate the affect your post had. Here’s what I actually ‘heard’ you say:

“and suddenly you are the expert on the early reformation?”
Translation: I know you didn’t claim to be an expert but it makes me feel so good to belittle others and show how much more knowledgeable I am. In fact you are a nobody whereas I am important and if I attack you long enough you’ll go away so that I don’t have to deal with what you say coz I haven’t really got any constructive arguments.

“first and foremost what is important is the biblical truth, NOT whether such and such is taught by the early reformers”
Translation: I know you didn’t claim otherwise and you were only writing a summary of your position but its always good to play this card - except of course when it suits me to show how others positions are not in line with the Reformers.

“I find it astonishing”
Translation: My mind is closed and I am unable to consider anything contrary to what I already believe.

“"scholars" historically removed from the Reformation era”
Translation: it felt so good last time I tried to belittle you that I thought I’d throw a little sarcasm in too.

“can pontificate to us that there is a difference between the early reformers and the truths taught in the Reformation as codified in the Reformed creeds and confessions”
Translation: I love the word “pontificate” it enables me to ridicule my enemy, slur their motives and avoid providing any justification for what I say all in one go.

“truths taught in the Reformation as codified in the Reformed creeds and confessions”
Translation: like I said biblical truth is more important than what the reformers taught so you should ignore this point.

Now I’m not suggesting that is what you really meant yet I do think you are unaware of your own motives and of how that is how you come across. If that’s not what you wanted me to hear you’re gonna have to demonstrate both evidence for any claims you make and a little patience and grace if you’re gonna make any headway or, I would imagine, have any independent dispassionate reader think you have anything worthwhile to say.

Tell me, Daniel, in whom is your hope? I trust you will say in the Lord Jesus Christ alone? That you cannot merit God’s favour in any way save through faith in the person and work of Christ? Since we are saved though faith alone, how come one is so easily led to form the impression that you are trying to justify yourself? That your need to win and demonstrate superior knowledge shines more clearly than your faith in Him? I fear my remarks will not lead you to godly-repentance but will only produce a self-defence thereby proving the very things I say!. No doubt you will side-step the force of scriptures such as 1 Cor 6:7 as Mark did. But produce fruit in keeping with repentance applies to all who would claim His name. Indeed if you do choose to defend yourself against anything I say then will it not be clear that, much as you may be in Christ Jesus, ‘functionally’ your day-to-day hope is in your own reputation?

Martin Thorley said...

Finally, a few points of clarification:
1. I never claimed to be an expert in anything which leaves one wondering about your reason for even saying such a thing?
2. You are responding to what I wrote about myself on my own website on someone else’s website. How strange that you didn’t respond directly on mine. What is one to make of that I wonder?
3. In my post I was attempting to summarise my position not provide a biblical defence. I think we all know that it’s common place to use a few nouns and adjectives at such times. You’re obviously smart so I doubt you missed that so again we’re left wondering what you were trying to accomplish?
4. Having emphasised the importance of biblical truth over reformation teaching one is left wondering how applicable to yourself that really is since your very next point deals with reformation teaching.
5. “Scholars” – I find ‘sarcasm’ only ever preaches to the choir and alienates others. Perhaps in your theology it is not necessary to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour?
6. “pontificate” – tell me, do you like consistency? I mean is it ok for me to say that “I am astonished that someone claiming to have been transformed by the Gospel shows no fruit of that transformation in their speech and prefers to pontificate about why they’re so much superior to everyone else and the only one worth listening to”? If not then withdraw it for it is no less accurate than the things you say and, of course, achieves just as little as does your use of this word.
7. Of course, if nobody removed from the reformation can “pontificate” a difference then neither can anyone else offer any alternative ‘pontifications’ that there is absolute continuity. Not that this matters. I wrote what I wrote based on what I have read pure and simple. I guess if you had any real evidence you’d have posted it instead of attacking me.

My wise old grandmother taught me that when people attack you instead of patiently and gracefully demonstrating where they believe you err you can be sure that 1. They are unable to demonstrate where you err; 2. You have touched on a weak spot about which they are in denial; and 3. They are in greater need of learning patience and grace than learning about the subject at hand.

Daniel, you represent much of what keeps many from learning about the doctrines of grace. You readily and deliberately engage in ad hominems and inaccuracies, aware that some weaker people are unfortunately persuaded by them when accompanied by an air of superiority, yet you seem unaware or more probably unconcerned about how some - who take scriptures which talk about godly conduct more seriously than you apparently do - will equally not give what you have to say a fair listen for precisely the same reason.

You say you value scripture above all else. I say prove it by bringing it to bear on your conduct: “knowledge puffs up but love builds up”. I urge you to prayerfully examine yourself that you may find greater joy in Him than in your knowledge or in your ability to win followers to yourself or show off or whatever else is holding you captive.

Grac and peace,
Martin

Martin Thorley said...

Daniel,

Re: Keller's article.

May the Lord examine our hearts and may He be exalted in all our thinking and corresponding.

I am conscious how easily we can engage in discussion with a view to win or to be seen to have greater knowledge or better arguments. Your posts have been provocative to say the least and so I have of necessity tried to respond with much prayer and confession of my own selfish desires. I pray that the Lord will be glorified in my thoughts as well as my Words. We all constantly and so easily revert to various forms of self-righteousness when we take our eyes of the Lord and don't walk by faith as we should.

It has been difficult to know how to respond or indeed whether to respond to you at all due to my desire to glorify God and not give the devil a foothold. I assume you are aware that your posts are provocative and deliberately sot? We all must own however that in adopting such tactics we risk allowing our own sinful motives to creep in unchecked. An intention to expose error can easily have an underlying motive to showcase our knowledge or ability and can easily lead us to unwittingly exaggerate our claims and undermine other blood-bought children of God in order to bolster our own position. Ironically I think Tim Keller does an excellent job exposing the 'functional' idols that can replace our hearts affection on a daily basis but it would seem that your biases preclude you from 'hearing' what he has to say. Let me refer you to Jerry Bridges instead. He has an introductory article here: http://www.ouruf.org/d/cvt_sanctification.pdf and his books, especially Respectable Sins, are excellent.

Daniel, you make claims that are so far from what I or, in my opinion, Tim Keller believe that I cannot conceive of how there could possibly be any justification for them. This leads me to wonder how you came up with them? Now I do want to give you the benefit of the doubt but it'd be a whole lot easier to do so if you went about things differently!

You said: “Are you seriously going to tell me that you are following the "be Gospel-centered but not Word-centered" path; the error of embracing the Material Principle while ignoring the Formal Principle of the Reformation?”

Me: The only thing I can seriously tell you is that such a ludicrous, fabricated and unjustifiable assertion as this does not merit a serious response. I urge you to meditate on Eph 4:29-32 and ponder why you feel the need to write this way.

The rest seems to be more of the same lacking substance or any relation to reality including the amusing assertion that Keller undermines "the Gospel message by embracing theistic evolution." Anyone who has read his books or listened to his sermons (e.g. via timkeller.info) laughs at the notion that Tim Keller undermines the gospel. I cannot think of anything more ironic. Clearly you refused to take it seriously before you even began reading it. Thankfully he has built up far more saints than you have torn down.

The further irony is that he has doubts (and only doubts) about literal 7-day creationism on exegetical grounds and unlike most is not afraid to question widely held beliefs on such grounds. Having said that, this issue is of little importance for him. He is one of the few who seems to take seriously Paul’s need to remind the Corinthian believers about what is of first importance.

You rightly speak of the sole authority of scripture yet one is hard-pressed to reconcile what you say to Eph. 4:29-32:
29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Though we differ, yet may the Lord bless you and grant you joy and peace in Him.

Martin

Kirby said...

Martin,

But nothing I said here was about determining truth or error.

I see what you mean. Point taken.


The two sides of the coin I had in mind were both sin. It matters not how much your brother sins against you it is no excuse to sin in return, nor harbour ill-feeling, nor frequently complain about them, nor fail to repent of one's one sin, nor fail to acknowledge that one's own sin contributed to the sins of others, etc, etc.

I guess I just fail to see what your other side of the coin is, then.

These two parties are debating something. Implied is that they each believe they are arguing the truth. If they are contrary, then one (or even both of them) are wrong. But, more importantly, it is certain that they cannot both be right.

If you want to go the "both are wrong" route, that's ok by me. But that's not the same as "the other side of the coin."

As I see it, the use of that term is still an attempt to say, "well, that's what YOU believe, but I believe differently... And when you get there, you are back to the "they can't both be right" thing again.

Martin Thorley said...

Kirby,

Perhaps the analogy of a two-sided coin was a poor one then. It might have been better if I had said something like: just because a brother sins against us does not excuse our own sin.

The whole question of how Christians interact with each other over the internet is an important one. People don't seem to recognise how easy it is for sin to manifest itself in what is written in the absence of the normal "checks-and-balances" of face-to-face conversation.

There is an excellent quote from John Frame on this that is well worth reading here: http://www.dashhouse.com/2009/07/john-frame-on-theological-controversialists/

Mark Farnon (Tartanarmy) said...

A new response is up on the main page Martin...

Mark

Mark Farnon (Tartanarmy) said...

Martin said,

You claim to be self-aware of our ability to deceive ourselves and not realise that we tend to filter things through and fit them into our pre-conceived grids yet in my opinion you use language that typifies those who lack such awareness.

You claim to be aware of your own sinfulness which includes the great sin of human pride of which we are all guilty yet you write as one who allows for no possibility of being mistaken in any way.
-------------------------

Care to expand upon those comments Martin, as I would like to know how you can write such things to me...
Please deduce from what I have said that leads to your findings, please.

Mark