16 May 2006

British link troll

Some odds 'n' ends
by Phil Johnson

  1. Adrian Warnock is giving away books. In the interests of full disclosure, we note that he asked for this link. (He could've had ten links without the Gollum picture if he had simply given me one of the books as a bribe.) But he links to PyroManiacs a lot, and I like Adrian, so we're happy to do it. His goal is to stir up discussion about the "Together for the Gospel" statement.
  2. I'm strongly in favor of the T4G statement. Do I need to say more to qualify for a free book?
  3. What Frank Turk said.
  4. Speaking of Centuri0n, if he doesn't post here soon, we're going to file a missing-persons report.
  5. Jaroslav Pelikan, Yale's famous Sterling Professor of History Emeritus, died at age 82 on Saturday. His magnum opus, a five-volume set titled The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, is indisputably the most important and most comprehensive work on historical theology published in the past century. Though Pelikan began his study of church history because of his interest in Luther (his father was a Lutheran pastor), he converted to Eastern Orthodoxy. But the range of his expertise was incredibly expansive, and anyone interested in the full sweep of church history and doctrine will benefit from his scholarship. (One of his books on my "to-read" list is Bach Among the Theologians.) Pelikan's works are as readable as they are comprehensive. His 2003 book Credo—a wonderful theological survey of Christianity's creeds and confessions of faith—is a real treasure.
  6. Here's a poignant post that I somehow missed several weeks ago, but Darlene pointed out to me this week. David "Gunner" Gundersen and his wife Cindy and both of their families are longtime friends of ours. (Gunner was my son's roommate in college, and he's also one of the regulars at foolishblog.com.) Gunner and Cindy are in the adoption process, and that opened up an opportunity for him to minister in Uganda. Back in February, it seems, he posted a beautifully written testimony about his first experience in Africa.
  7. My long dialogue and debate with militant fundamentalist separatists continues in the forum at SharperIron.org.
  8. For a slightly different approach to "dialogue and debate," James White posts his "Caner Correspondence File." James has shown ten times the patience and stamina I would have in dealing with the yapping style of Ergun Caner.
         Meanwhile, Michael Spencer makes an observation that may be worth pondering: "The Caners are playing this purported Calvinism debate for one purpose: to put SBC Calvinism right in the middle of the road and run over it for years to come." (Spencer knows something about how that tactic works against Calvinism. So I think he has a point here.)
         Still, in the chronicle of correspondence James White has posted, Caner has already managed to overthrow the old canard which suggests that Calvinists have some kind of monopoly on mean-spiritedness. Caner seems to think the word debate means "a cage match with steel chairs."
         Seriously, he sounds like a cheap wrestler taunting the competition. If he shows up for the debate in tights and a Mexican wrestling mask, I hope White and Ascol will politely duck out the back door.

Phil's signature


Carla Rolfe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Evan May said...

That Gollum pick is sweet. I like how you grayed and purpled (yes those are verbs) the Pyro logo to match.

Evan May said...

*pic :-)

I play guitar, so...

jigawatt said...

Ok, White vs. Caner in a steel cage match - who would win?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Cent. Enough of the navel gazing already. How many times do we need to work up some kind of quasi creed/confession? Preach the Gospel! All the guys who drafted and signed the thing already do preach it. Why can't the T4G crew start calling people out by name? "Hey you with the mega church and the sweet book deals- we've listened to your sermons- blah blah- they stink! Preach the Gospel instead of your self-help rubbish!"

Oh, and steel cage match? Definetly White. He's Scottish.

Michael Spencer said...


I posted a series of Four posts criticizing the Caner view of Calvinism in February.

You can access all 4 from the last one.


I've never written a post attacking Calvinism. I've written posts saying why I am not a Calvinist.

Thanks for the link. Hope you are having a productive trip.

Away From The Brink said...

Cage match? Bah. Jerry Springer show is more like it.

FX Turk said...

The link troll kills me. That's the funniest thing I ever posted on the internet, I swear. That Phil has hi-jacked it and pyro'd it is proof enough for me.

Frank Martens said...


Momo said...

For the record, I absolutely love the picture of Gollum. BTW, what an eloquent picture his character is of the natural man in bondage to sin.

Jeff Jones said...

Regarding the mental image of Caner showing up with tights and a mask:

As long as Dr. White brings his claymore, he'll be okay, I think.

Seriously, though, I'm having my doubts about the usefulness of the debate. It will certainly show the coherence and sobriety of the reformed view over against the antics of the Caners, but I don't think giving them the opportunity to slander and denigrate Christian brothers in public will ultimately help the cause. The overall tone of the debate will be characterized in the minds of many by the behavior of the Caners, and despite the best efforts of Drs White and Ascol to set a different tone, the very fact that they participated will mean that some of that image will attach to them. "Yeah, they were involved in that really ugly debate at Liberty a few years back." Since most Christians don't bother to take the time to dig for truth, that's what I fear will be the lingering legacy in many Southern Baptist minds.

Those who know the Caners really have a Christian duty to confront them about their behaviour.

I pray that I'm wrong, and I know beyond a doubt that White and Ascol will honour God in their presentation. May God use it for his glory, no matter what happens.

John said...

After reading that correspondence between White and the Caners, there's no doubt whatsoever in my mind that Ergun Caner is trying to do anything in his power to keep White and Ascol away from the debate.

He's clearly scared to death of real, substantive debate on the matter, and he also clearly wants to be able to claim victory by default. It's as plain as day. That resolution statement he came up with is downright silly.

If these Caner brothers have any real sway in the SBC (and I have no idea whether they do or not), all of us have reason to be very frightened.

c.t. said...

The Caners, as former Muslims, seem hung up on fatalism, Islam-style, and the correlation of that to Calvinism (when you don't take the time to read a basic text on how Calvinism is not fatalism).

On the one hand I can sympathize with their anabaptist-like in your face attitude, yet on the other hand it's really difficult to write off the Puritans and Calvin and Edwards and Spurgeon as 'heretics', especially when you make a living as something resembing an intellectual (dean of a seminary, or whatever they are...professors at least).

Still, always in these (Arminian, Calvinist, and related) stand-offs, one has to be practical and common-sense and note that the two sides usually aren't that far apart. Both evangelize to everybody, etc., etc. And even though the Calvinist has the advantage in that his adhering to biblical doctrine uncompromised makes him more God-centered rather than man-centered in his approach it obviously doesn't always play out like that in individuals. I mean, unless you see that foundational thing, that biblical doctrine reorientates you internally from self-will to God's will, and use it to get above your vanity, worldly pride, and self-will, then your Calvinist understanding is not worth much.

A note: Jerry Falwell used to self-identify as a Calvinist ("unapologetically so" he use to add)...

Jason Robertson said...

How about Frank against Gollum in the cage?

Mike said...

Sixteen comments with a Gollum picture on a blog about Pyromaniacs and not one "It burns us!" jokes?

David Cho said...


I am currently working on a series called "Coming to terms with fundamentalism" on my blog (You can see the links for the series on the right column).

Well, if you go there, you will find that it is about my years at Grace Community Church and I am indeed calling the church fundamentalist.

But I am not here to debate that label although your feedback on the series is welcome, and I see that you as a long time associate of Dr. MacArthur do not consider yourself a fundamentalist.

Is there a way to access your materials from the Shephard's Conference? I am interested what the distintives are that set you and Dr. MacArthur apart from what you call fundamentalism.