17 April 2015

Some Here, Some There — April 17, 2015

by Dan Phillips

.Here you go. Updates until noon, TX time.
  • Is the doctrine of substitutionary atonement a later invention, unknown to earlier Christians after the close of the Canon? Michael J. Kruger both says and shows "no."
  • Here's one Borg who not only is not in despair over the world's increasing attempts to assimilate Christians; indeed, he finds it cause of hope and optimism, observing that "Persecution has always proved fruitful to the church."
  • So, I guess R. Scott Clark is arguing that the fact that The World-Tilting Gospel emphatically lays out the distinctions between justification and sanctification in Biblical terms rather than explicitly leaning on a confession... I'll probably eventually end up Socinian? Hm. Well, yeah, I'll be sure to watch out for that.
  • I don't take it personally; assume Clark hasn't read the book. Other confessionals such as Lig Duncan found it useful. But, anyway.
  • Clarification: I add this Saturday, without changing the wording of the previous two bullet-points. It was already clear I wasn't suggesting that Clark was interacting with TWTG, per se. Insofar as Clark is warning (to quote his later tweets to me, which I appreciate) against "reading Scripture by itself, by one's self, or reading Scripture as if no one has ever read it before," I quite agree. That spirit generally indicates a foolish unteachable arrogance often condemned in Proverbs and elsewhere. Both over-dependence on confessions, and arrogant unconcern for them and previous great students of Scripture, are dangers.
  • Over at Practical Shepherding, brother Brian Croft asks (and answers) "How do I encourage my pastor?" They're good pointers. I'd add one more: join your pastor in loving and serving the local church of Christ that he loves and serves. Become a member, attend all the meetings you can, get to know your fellows, love and encourage and exhort them, serve. Join him in trying to practice the preached word. Nothing is more encouraging (3 John 4 — walking!).
  • Last week, we noted how The Gospel Coalition seems to have strayed from its stated raison d'être by reaching out to pagans to figure out what to do about racism. Over at the DBTS blog, brother Mark Snoeberger notes more within this mission-drift, suggesting that perhaps TGC should rename itself The Coalition for the Advancement of Realized Eschatology.
  • A hard trajectory to watch, to be sure; but not hard to understand. TGC stops its ears to Gospel-loving critics not on the clubhouse in-list, and only shows much passion in sneering off the same. Who does that leave?
  • Denny Burk offers some good thoughts (hey, I said "Denny Burk") on reparative therapy.
  • I like Denny, it's no secret. He's a solid Biblical scholar and thinker, and he's a real guy. For instance, that same blog today has Denny's top ten things he loved about the new Star Wars teaser trailer.
  • Over at Cripplegate, Jesse J. slaps leather and deftly exposes Westboro Baptist Church for what it really is.
  • The irony that, in the video Jesse's pastoral associate is out on the street, preaching the gospel, behind the Westboro folks who are protesting that Jesse's church doesn't preach the gospel on the street — thus not in any way doing what Jesse's church is at that moment doing.
  • That 99% Charismatic Fringe Update #1 — horrible story: a (A) female "pastor" (b) who hears God talking to her apart from Scripture (c) in a Pentecostal-affiliated church (d) starves a two-year-old to help drive a "demon" from him.
  • That 99% Charismatic Fringe Update #2 — horrible eisegesis.
  • But yeah, everyone was right to criticize Strange Fire and ignore Sufficient Fire. No real need for either. Move along. Bring on the dancing bears.
  • I may be over-subtle. One of the biggest LOTR fans I know didn't catch the Aragorn-speech allusion that opened this sermon on the person and work of the Spirit.

Dan Phillips's signature


Daryl said...

Just watched the video you linked to about the cows...

I have a biography of Jim Bakker on my bookshelf, written after his release from prison. It's entitled "I was Wrong".

Guess he needs to write a sequel...

"Now I'm really really wrong."

And people eat this stuff up. Non-fringe people.

On another note, great great response to Westboro Baptist. Superb.

Oh, and...good post.

Frank Turk said...

I want to point out that if R. Scott Clark is against it, it's either because he thinks it makes him look smart or he thinks it proves he hates Doug Wilson.

If I could ban either Benny Hinn or R. Scott Clark from Christendom, I would ban Dr. Clark. The reason why? Benny Hinn has never turned someone who was anywhere near historically orthodox into an intellectual heretic.

Frank Turk said...

And yes: it will be impossible to extract an apology from me for that statement. Don't bother trying.

Daryl said...

Clarke's distinction is an odd one. It seems that, in order to promote the need to be Truly Reformed, he's decided that a redefinition of biblicism will help his cause.

As a result he's left with only 2 options. Becoming a pure confessionalist or ignoring what anyone else has ever said on a given doctrine and reading the bible in a surface sort of way by which we don't even let Scripture interpret Scripture.

Nothing like a pair of extremes to make a point.

What about this as a possibility. Don't wed yourself to a confession such that you must believe it even when you're positive it deviates from Scripture, but take them seriously enough to listen to them and assume they are largely correct;


don't read the bible surface-ly and one-verse-all-by-itself-ly, but read and study and consider all of it and see if your conclusions follow what the church has somewhere said before.

What about that?

Sometimes a call for balance is a call to ignore something important in order to advance a cause (McLaren on SSM), but sometimes it's just good sense.

And sometimes the highly educated, like the rest of up neophytes, don't have it.

DJP said...

Yep. My own stance towards the historic confessions is that these are the words of older, wiser brothers. I'd be a fool to ignore them, or fail to consider them seriously. But older and wiser is not inerrant and innately binding. Plus, one of the things they tell me is that Scripture alone is the supreme and final instructor. They faced a great many things I face — but not everything.

LanternBright said...

I'd love to hear Tom Chantry's take on the Clark piece, and whether (in his view, TWTG's reliance upon biblical (rather than confessional) grounds for distinguishing justification and sanctification amounts to the sort of Biblicism Clark derides, or if it's of a different sort somehow. Chantry's a good friend of the Pyros, as we all know, but I seem to remember that one of his chief objections to John Frame is the tendency toward the sort of Biblicism Clark is objecting to in this piece. It's also possible, of course, that I've largely misunderstood Tom on this point--nonetheless I'd love to get his take on all this, too.

DJP said...

But Chantry, too, would have had to have read the book, to comment.

Frank Turk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LanternBright said...

Frank, methinks you've gotten feistier as a result of watching Daredevil! I love it!!

Frank Turk said...

I'm not sure that's true.

LanternBright said...

"Meet the new Frank, same as the old Frank."

Terry Rayburn said...

"Ban...from Christendom"? Shark. Jump.

Frank Turk said...

I removed my comment which precipitated the Daredevil thing at the request of a friend. Please continue about your day.

Frank Turk said...

Terry --

everyone is entitled to their opinions, unless you ask Dr. Clark. He would tell you otherwise.

Larry Geiger said...

Thank you Dan. The stuff about Arcaceli should be in every newspaper and news outlet in the nation. (Instead of the useless junk there!) Lots of folks standing around with fingers in their ears.