27 March 2015

Some Here, Some There — March 27, 2015

by Dan Phillips

Once again, start small, grows until noon TX time.
  • If you (like me) never wander to First Things, you probably missed Carl Trueman on the 20th anniversary mourning Evangelicals and Catholics Together. It's informative and thought-provoking and a bit snarky (hel-lo! Trueman!), and has wonderful quotables. Such as:
  • "...stadium platform ecumenism is personality heavy and doctrine light. It has placed some very theologically inept people in positions of significant public influence based solely on their ability to pull a crowd. Not all of its senior leaders ultimately seemed particularly clear even on the nature and importance of the doctrine of the Trinity."
  • "...can one really claim to agree on the Gospel of God without first agreeing on the God of the Gospel?"
  • "Before we start thanking the Lord that we are not like other men, we should ask ourselves whether our own alternative ecumenism, so often controlled by a few unaccountable powerbrokers and by big money, really possesses more integrity."
  • Bam.
  • And this, from the What Could Go Wrong? department:
  • The Jolly Scott, Prof. David Murray, has a very helpful note on 1 Timothy 4:10. That's one of those verses, like 1 John 2:2, that folks with a deficient view of God's saving work plop down on the table, as if the mere citing of the verse is contraindicative to affirming God's sovereign grace — blissfully unaware that the verses are at least as problematic for their own view.
  • Here's a review of Logos 6 from Jason Helopoulos. My own is forthcoming.
  • This just gives me a chuckle. I'd shared that a poor pastor, given TWTG as a gift, found it "terribly disappointing." I guess my readers have found his review "terribly disappointing," as currently 167 have found it unhelpful, to 9 who found it helpful. And I'm not certain what those nine mean, because I know at least two whom the review "helped" decide to buy the book.

  • Here, BTW, is Olson's article, subtitled Them Calvinists SO 'TUPID! Olson is helped to his conclusion by failing to allude to, let alone deal with, as much as one verse of Scripture.
  • And here, BTW and more helpfully, is Doug Wilson's first takedown thereof. (To be evenhanded, it is also without Scripture references; it is more of a very effective exercise in Proverbs 26:5.)
  • To me, Roger Olson is kind of the Bob Dylan of theology. In that every time I take a sample of actual product, I am baffled at the reputation.
Dan Phillips's signature


DJP said...

Mark Hanson — Sorry, your comment got lost. Please feel free to re-comment.

Michael said...

Wow, Dan, you don't like, let alone love, Dylan's "Saved" or "Slow Train Coming"?

Jason Dohm said...

From the comment stream of the Roger Olson post, from Roger himself: "Universalism is the most attractive heresy of all. I wish it were true and hope it is true (against the evidence of revelation)."

I'm not sure that needs any commentary. Nuff said...

swimthedeepend said...

Thanks for the the armed security post. I enjoyed reading that. I was surprised however, to see a link to an article featuring uncriticized extrabiblical revelation of the charismatic, "leaky cannon" variety:

“Antonio," the minister said, "God told me you’re going to do something you’ve never had to do before. And you’ll be brave and you’ll see it through – and you’ll be ok.”

trogdor said...

In retrospect, it may have been a mistake to label Olson's article emotegesis, since he doesn't so much as feign interest in scripture. It might be better to dub it "Emotional Theology". Olson is shunning Sufficient Fire in favor of Sufficient What-makes-me-feel-good.

It's Genesis 3 playing out all over again. Olson has decreed his standard of good and evil; if God disagrees, clearly Olson Almighty cannot be wrong!

Once again, one of the clearest proofs that Calvinism is the proper interpretation of Romans 9 is that it always produces the same objections Paul addresses. Olson's entire article is an 1100-word extra-whiny version of Romans 9:14 and 19. It deserves the same unequivocal smackdown Paul delivers to such insolence in 9:20.

Who are you, O man, to speak back to God?

Marla said...

Worth the price of admission for your comment-comparison with Dylan. Spot on! (and made me chuckle some)

jmb said...

I, too, have wondered about Olson's high reputation. In his book, "Against Calvinism," his conclusions about Calvinism are almost always some variation of, "But God CAN'T be this way! He just CAN'T!" The comparison with Michael Horton's companion book, "For Calvinism," is sort of embarrassing. Almost on the level of Dave Hunt vs. James White.

DJP said...

Surely not! Not that!

jmb said...

Well, the "Emotional Theology" is the same.

jmb said...

I'm still amazed (but maybe I shouldn't be) that Olson says: "But therein lies the secret to why I have said that IF it were revealed to me in a way I could not doubt that God is as high, classical (i.e., “TULIP” Calvinism) claims I would not worship him. (I lose no sleep over this, by the way.)"

He also wrote this in "Against Calvinism." At least he makes explicit what many believers - or professed believers - believe implicitly: "It is a GIVEN that MY moral standards are INVIOLABLE, not even by God."

donsands said...

"Before we start thanking the Lord that we are not like other men, we should ask ourselves whether our own alternative ecumenism, so often controlled by a few unaccountable powerbrokers and by big money, really possesses more integrity."-Carl Trueman

We need to love and COEXIST.

Lots of good stuff as usual Dan. You are a fine pastor-teacher. Just read an article by Phil Johson tonight in TableTalk. That brother is unreal. I love him. Love you too.


Curt said...

"To me, Roger Olson is kind of the Bob Dylan of theology. In that every time I take a sample of actual product, I am baffled at the reputation."

Is it wrong that I am laughing SO HARD at this comment? Awesomeness!!!!

Zac Dredge said...

I tried to question Olson about God hardening Pharoah's heart lately and he derided me with no real response to my questions(which I was genuinely interested in hearing answered). I tried to reply with further query/explanation of my points as well as questioning his treatment of my comment there, which is the first I've ever posted on his page. He has supposedly 'heard that one' many times before but his response didn't seem to imply any understanding of the claims I wanted him to respond to. In any case my posting here is on account of my second comment being Removed. I hope yourselves and Doug Wilson continue rebutting his posts, as doing so on the relevant meta(s) seems to invoke petty dismissal and unreasonable blocking of comments that object to the pettiness and presence of said dismissals. I even offered him an out by saying I'd accept a link rather than a specific response. Despite having supposedly put that objection to rest he had no interest in showing me where that had occurred. The irony is that I'm not a 5-point Calvinist and actually wanted to hear his interpretation of Exodus. His loss, really.

Mark Hanson said...

Zac -

Olson's method is one of the ways that these fatally flawed interpretations stay alive:

[Hands over ears] "La la la I can't hear anyone!"

Then later, "No one has even tried to answer my criticisms."

semijohn said...

Here's an example of what we need to know about Olson. He wrote a blog article called "What is Fundamentalism" (which in a neutral, historical sense, is an interesting article, if you forget or ignore Olson's personal viewpoint). At the end of the (kinda long) article, he mentions an anecdote about teaching at an evangelical college and an outside pastor being angry about how the college president had invited Robert Schueller to speak there. Olson said "Now I wasn't particularly thrilled about the president's decision, either, but I wouldn't be furious or livid about it."