He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not…

Dr. Bob Gonzales is the Dean of the purportedly “Reformed” Baptist Seminary and is a defender of the contradictory and Arminian notion of so-called “Well Meant Offer” (WMO).  I first encountered Gonzales back in 2009 when he appeared on this blog defending his incoherent belief that God both desires and does not desire the salvation of all men (see Irrational Baptists ).  Admittedly, for Arminians the WMO is not irrational simply because for them salvation is not premised on the sovereign good pleasure and determination of God but on the sovereign good pleasure of man instead.  In the Arminian scheme it is man who is free to choose, or not to choose, the salvation hypothetically and universally offered to all.  In their scheme Jesus Christ does not actually “save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21), but rather only makes it possible for all people to save themselves from their sins if they so choose.  Those calling themselves “Reformed,” as Gonzales mistakenly does, have no such luxury.  That’s because according to the Reformed faith both election and reprobation are founded on God’s good pleasure completely outside of and apart from any prior choice of man.  And, if election and reprobation are premised on God’s good pleasure and if God’s good pleasure is an expression of God’s desire, then it follows that God does not desire the salvation of all men universally considered.  That’s because for the Reformed if you are a believer in God and in the good news of Jesus Christ it is because God first chose you, not because you had the good sense and moral fortitude to first choose God.  Quite the reverse. As Jesus said in John 15:16: “You did not choose Me, but I chose you….”

Well, Gonzales is back at it again attempting to salvage the WMO from the pit of irrationality and this time he does so by employing the bankrupt and completely un-Reformed and un-biblical hermeneutic of perspectivalism.  For those who don’t know, perspectivalism is  a relativistic system of interpretation first popularized in theology by Van Tillian theologians Vern Poythress (WTS) and John Frame (RTS).  According to Gonzales making sense out of the contradictory notion that God both desires and does not desire the salvation of the reprobate (i.e., those who according to God’s good pleasure He determined not to save) depends on one’s perspective:

Claiming that God *desires* the salvation of a non-elect sinner and that it’s also the case that God *doesn’t desire* the salvation of a non-elect sinner sounds illogical. The same would be true of the following juxtaposed remarks: “I *like*  chocolate ice-cream,” and, “I *don’t like* chocolate ice-cream.” Contradiction! Right? Not necessarily…Just as the same word may have a different semantic value when placed in different contexts, the significance of an affirmation, an expressed objective, and/or a value statement may change depending on the circumstances (whether real or conjectured) in which its situated. For instance, it’s undeniably true that I like chocolate ice-cream *in most situations.* But it’s equally the case that I don’t like ice-cream *when I’m shivering at the North Pole.* Hence, what at first may sound like a contradiction isn’t a contradiction when one understands the different contexts in which each value statement is made or affirmed.

According to Gonzales just as his desire for chocolate ice-cream is based on the context in which eating ice cream is contemplated, God’s desire for the salvation of those He has decree not to save is similarly contextually based.  Of course, even at the North Pole the shivering Gonzales still likes chocolate ice-cream only he prefers it when it’s balmy rather than when it’s cold.  Gonzales equivocates on the meaning of the word “like.”  In the one sense it’s a preference (as opposed to Vanilla or Strawberry), in the other it is the desire for something he may want or crave.  So for Gonzales in one context God desires to save those whom he predestined to perdition and in another context not so much.

Gonzales then goes on to offer two examples from Scripture where we see Paul and Jesus conflicted. The first example Gonzales draws from Philippians 1:20-26 where “the imprisoned apostle Paul expresses simultaneously a desire to depart this life immediately and a desire not to depart this life immediately.”  The second he pulls from Matthew 26:39 where Jesus knowing what was soon to occur at the crucifixion pleads to the Father;  “if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”  Gonzales writes:

On the one hand, Jesus knows the Father’s decreed purpose and wants to fulfill it. On the other hand, Jesus does not want to drink the cup though he knows he’s been called for this purpose. Undoubtedly, he was well aware that his desire to avoid drinking the cup of God’s wrath was “dissonant” with his desire to do what he’d been sent to accomplish and what was consonant with the maximal display of God’s glory (John 12:28; 13:31-32; 17:1, 5, 24). Yet Jesus doesn’t merely passively experience a discordant note of desire, he actively plucks the chord of that dissonant note in the Father’s ear.

To resolve this seemingly “discordant note,” Gonzales quotes Hugh Martin who correctly observes: “Considered simply in itself, to desire exception from the wrath of God was the dictate of his holy human nature . . . .”  Jesus according to his human nature, just like Paul who only has a human nature, can be momentarily torn and conflicted by two mutually exclusive choices.  Gonzales puts his argument in the following form:

Major premise: Jesus desires to drink the cup of the Father’s wrath, an objective that has reference to God’s decretive will.
Minor premise: Jesus does not desire to drink the cup of the Father’s wrath, an objective that has reference to God’s preceptive will.
Minor premise: The two desires and/or objectives above are not univocal but each are circumstantially situated within its own conceptual context.
Conclusion: Jesus’ desire to drink the cup and his desire not to drink the cup are not, therefore, logically contradictory.

Of course, if there is no univocal meaning between the two competing and conflicting desires in Gonzales’ major and minor premises, then Gonzales’ conclusion doesn’t follow.  He is guilty of the fallacy of equivocation.  Big surprise.  Just as in his example chocolate ice cream on the North Pole, Gonzales equivocates on the word “will” by attaching the idea of a “desire” to both God’s precepts and decrees.  The problem is Jesus’ desire not to drink the cup of the Father’s wrath is in the hope to avoid the punishment God has decreed against sin (see Genesis 2:17). Jesus’ human desire to have the cup of God’s wrath removed from him is a direct contradiction of God’s decretive will.  Hence, Jesus resolves this obvious dilemma by stating “yet not My will, but Thine be done.”  The whole point of Jesus’ struggle is precisely that he was confronted by two mutually exclusive and contradictory alternatives.  As Hugh Martin observed (as cited by Conzales) to “not be filled with an earnest longing to escape from it (considering the matter simply by itself) would have argued that he did not possess a true human nature with all the sinless sensibilities which are of the essence of humanity.”

Consequently, since it is admitted that men can sometimes be torn between by two mutually exclusive and contradictory alternatives, does it follow that God too can be likewise conflicted?  Is God like a man and can be straddled between the horns of a dilemma?

According to Gonzales God is very much like a man and desires what He knows He has not decreed will come to pass.  As proof Gonzales adduces Deuteronomy 5:29; “Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me, and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!”  In this example God knows that the Israelites who were given the Law and pledged to keep it would not do as they promised.  Yet, Gonzales claims God is here expressing His desire that they would keep the Law so  “that it may be well with them and with their sons forever.”  Gonzales concludes:  “Thus, this passage teaches us that God desires the good of those who never experience that good.”

But does this verse really teach what Gonzales says it does, or is this an example of God speaking in the anthropomorphically or after the manner of men?   Concerning this verse Calvin writes:

God signifies that they would not be so firm and faithful in keeping their promises, as they were ready and willing to make them; and thus that hypocrisy was not altogether banished, or purged from their minds. Moreover, He figuratively assumes a human feeling, because it would be vain and absurd for Him to desire what it was in His power to confer. Certainly He has the power of bending and directing men’s hearts whithersoever He pleases. Why, then, does He wish that it were given to the people from some other quarter, that they should be always kept in the path of duty, except that, speaking in the character of a man, He shows that it was rather to be wished than hoped that the people would constantly persevere in their fidelity? Wherefore this and similar passages have been ignorantly abused by some, to establish man’s free will. They understand this passage, as if man’s will were capable of bending either way, and that he possessed the power of doing right, whilst God without interfering looked on at the event; as if God’s secret counsel, and not rather the end and use of external teaching, were referred to here. But we, taught by innumerable testimonies of Scripture, maintain, that it is the attribute of God alone to give what He here requires. So also immediately afterwards He says, that he wishes it may be well with the Israelites and their children, viz., because it is certain that it depends on men whether they are happy or not, as often as God invites them, when they refuse the grace offered to them; yet does it not therefore follow, that it depends on every man’s free will to attain happiness for himself. But here we must consider God’s will as it is set before us in His word, not as it is hidden in Himself; for, while by His word He invites all promiscuously to (eternal) life, He only quickens by His secret inspiration those whom He has elected. In sum, although God approves of the people’s answer, he says that there will be too much difficulty in the performance of it, for the event to accord with it. – The Harmony of the Law Vol. 1

Of course Calvin was writing long before the development of the man-made and extra-biblical hermeneutics like “perspectivalism,” yet it should be obvious that it’s not only those who would seek to establish “man’s free will” who abuse this passage,  Gonzales abuses it too by ignoring that God is here speaking “figuratively” and in the “character of a man.” Gonzales rejects the anthropomorphic understanding of this passage and instead argues that “God’s desiderative desire for the salvation of the non-elect (e.g., Deut 5:29) and his decretive resolve not to effect their salvation are consistent when viewed from the perspective of the distinct attendant circumstances or conceptual framework in which each is situated.”

While I have no idea what a “desiderative desire” is (aren’t desires already desiderative or does Gonzales simply mean a “real” or “genuine”), I will say Gonzales’ proffered solution to the problem of the WMO is as incoherent as is the perspectivalism he uses to defend it.  According to Gonzales this verse proves from one perspective that God desires the salvation of the reprobate (the non-elect), whereas from another perspective (i.e., God’s eternal decree) God desires no such thing.  Of course, if what Gonzales confusingly calls God’s “desiderative desire” is merely figurative language where God is speaking after “the manner of men,” then there is no perspective in which God desires the salvation of the reprobate (much less where God desires a scheme of salvation by the works of the Law).  Reformed Baptist theologian John Gill also recognizes the obvious anthropomorphism lost on Gonzales. Concerning this passage Gill writes:

Deuteronomy 5:29Ver. 29. O that there were such an heart in them,…. Not that there is properly speaking such volitions and wishes in God; but, as Aben Ezra observes, the Scripture speaks after the language of the children of men; and may be considered as upbraiding them with want of such an heart, and with weakness to do what they had promised; and, at most, as approving of those things they spoke of as grateful to him. . . .

Understood in this way God no more desires the salvation of the non-elect, the reprobate, than He has eyes and hands.   Beside, don’t we already know according to the analogy of Scripture (not to be confused with the Van Tillian “analogous” view of Scripture where no two teachings of Scripture need logically cohere) that the Law was given not so that man might do the Law and live, but rather that through the Law they might come to “the knowledge of sin” and their need for a savior.  If God really desired the Israelites keep the Law so that they might be justified through it, wouldn’t God be at cross purposes with His entire plan of redemption culminating in Christ’s cross work?  Or, to put it another way, why the cross if God really desires man to attain salvation through law keeping? Therefore it follows, and as  Calvin rightly said, that God is here speaking figuratively and “in the character of a man.”

Rejecting this solution, Gonzales concludes:

We’ve demonstrated that God may logically desire what he hasn’t decreed. Moreover, it’s my view that God’s wish in Deuteronomy 5:29 has ultimate reference to the saving good of the historical and personal referents within the scope of the text.

Thankfully Gonzales has not demonstrated that God logically desires what he has not decreed.  What he has demonstrated is that he cannot rightly divide God’s Word and that he has adopted an irrational hermeneutic that is positively hostile to the truth of Scripture in order to defend his irrational belief that God both desires and does not desire the salvation of all men.

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69 Comments on “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not…”

  1. hughmc5 Says:

    Go, Sean, go!

    The Janus spirit infests Baptists as well as Reformed folk.

    http://www.trinityfoundation.org/PDF/Review%20300%20Janus%20Alive%20and%20Well%20Gerety.pdf

  2. hughmc5 Says:

    The lay term for the Sincere Well-Meant Offer (SWMO, or Schmooze) is simply “Bovine Scatology.”


  3. Could the instance of Jesus and the cup of wrath be another example of…not anthropomorphism…but a sort of condescending language, with the goal of teaching?

    When I look at the passage, I note the following:

    1. Jesus says, “IF it be possible, THEN let this cup pass.” He then immediately acknowledges that it is not possible. Thus we are taught that the crucifixion et al was necessary.

    2. “Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done.” Jesus, the Son, submits his will (faculty of volition) to the will (precept/faculty of volition/desire) of the Father, because Jesus’ will (desire) is actually identical with the will (desire) of the Father. Thus we are taught that we, too, are to daily submit our wills (individual faculties of volition) to the will (precept/faculty of volition/desire) of God. If we continue to do this by the power of the Spirit, we will find our wills (desires) aligning more and more with the will (desire) of the Father, thus being brought even closer into fellowship with him.

    I am beginning to suspect that a failure to distinguish between “will” (faculty of volition) and “will” (desire, goal) has been a major factor in confusion, not only of issues like the “Well meant offer,” but also discussions of Christology and Trinitarian theology.

  4. hughmc5 Says:

    More seriously, Sean, with this and “Irrational Baptists,” along with your interacting with White & Johnson, and your dissection of R.S. Clark, a collecting of these in book form is warranted, imnsho.

    {It is ironic that Sudduth was so derisive about Baptists and later apostatized. Had he but followed Crampton along the more excellent wat!}

  5. hughmc5 Says:

    way

  6. hughmc5 Says:

    Patrick,

    I’m not getting the distinction you’re making.

    Do you mean between our desires (wills) and God’s decretive will?

    What is the difference between “will” (faculty of volition) and “will” (desire, goal)?

    You’ve got so many qualifiers in your parentheses, it’s hard to sort it all out!


  7. Hugh, let me use an example.

    You and I each have our own wills, correct? We each have our very own rational faculties of volition.

    I desire that the gospel be proclaimed throughout the world.

    You also desire that the gospel be proclaimed throughout the world.

    Thus (in this instance, at least) we share a “will” (desire).

    So, in one sense of the word “will,” we have two wills. In another, different use of the word, we have one will. Hopefully, we can both use our wills in order to further our will! :P

  8. hughmc5 Says:

    MORE TO COME FROM THE KEYBOARD OF DR BOB!

    Immediately following the final quote Sean gives above, Dr G. writes:

    Some Reformed scholars resist this conclusion and suggest that God only had the temporal well-being of the Israelites in view.* We’ll address this truncated reading in a later installment.

    * For example, John Gill asserts, “These words do not express God’s desire of [the Israelites'] eternal salvation, but only of their temporal good and welfare, and that of their posterity; for their eternal salvation was not to be obtained by works of righteousness done by them, but their fear or worship of God, or by their constant universal obedience to his commands. They were saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, even as we. Their fear of God, and obedience to his will issued indeed in their temporal prosperity ….” For the Cause of God and Truth (reprint, Sovereign Grace Book Club, n.d.), sec. III, 4 [p. 5].

  9. hughmc5 Says:

    Thanks, Patrick.

    I see that (per your point #2), but am still missing point #3 ~ “will” (faculty of volition) and “will” (desire, goal)…

    How do these differ?

  10. hughmc5 Says:

    May Bob Gonzales
    READ
    MORE
    GILL


  11. Lord, forgive me from quoting Wikipedia…

    “In general, ‘Will’ does not refer to one particular or most preferred desire but rather to the general capacity to have such desiderata and act decisively to achieve them, according to whatever criteria the willing agent applies. The will is in turn important within philosophy because a person’s will is one of the most distinct parts of their mind, along with reason and understanding. It is one of the things which makes a person who they are…”

    I dunno about every jot and tittle of that, but I think it communicates what I’m after. Sometimes “will” refers to that intellectual capacity belonging to every mind; sometimes it refers to a particular desire.

  12. brandonadams Says:

    Thanks Sean

    It’s important to note why Gonzales is going to such lengths to repeatedly defend the WMO. He has made numerous posts in this recent series:

    -A Defense of the Well-Meant Offer: Framing the Question
    - A Defense of the Well-Meant Offer: The Objections Summarized
    -“Whosoever Believes”: Why I Interpret John 3:16 as a Gospel Invitation
    -“There Is No Pain, You Are Misreading”: Is God “Comfortably Numb”?
    - “Wanted a Good Man, Never Bargained for You”: Is God “Dazed and Confused”?
    -Biblical Balance: Affirming God’s Emotivity and His Impassibility

    And he has done so because he is intent on revising the London Baptist Confession on a number of points, one of which is similar to CRC’s added confessional requirements: Updating and Refining the 1689 Baptist Confession: Affirming Common Grace and the Sincere Offer
    As well as Updating and Refining the 1689 Baptist Confession: Refining “God without Passions”

    He has written 19 blog posts over the last few months arguing for various revisions of the confession

    Note also that Gonzales’ Blogroll includes a link to David Ponter’s “Calvin and Calvinism”

    Thankfully there is no way the LBC will be revised because certain men that would necessarily need to be involved have stated very clearly that there is no need to, and in their opinion, pastors today are not as wise as those who drafted the original confession, so we should not attempt to revise it.

  13. hughmc5 Says:

    While Dr Bob G may be part of an Arminian 5th column in RB circles, I must disagree with this:

    “Thankfully there is no way the LBC will be revised because certain men that would necessarily need to be involved have stated very clearly that there is no need to, and in their opinion, pastors today are not as wise as those who drafted the original confession, so we should not attempt to revise it.”

  14. hughmc5 Says:

    No confession is above revision.


  15. I could think of some good revisions for the 1689 LBCF, but certainly not in the direction Gonzales hopes…

  16. brandonadams Says:

    I never said no confession is above revision.

  17. Sean Gerety Says:

    Thank you Brandon for the above links and for letting us know about Dr. Bob’s real agenda.

    As for Ponter, he’s a real piece of work. I made the mistake of debating this closet Arminian back in ’99. Technically I think he could be called a “neo-Amyrauldian,” but he’s been a one trick pony for years.

    Here’s an example of Ponter’s theology as I think it probably nicely mirrors that of Dr. Bob:

    The wicked and unconverted die. God says he takes no pleasure in _their_ death. Whose death? Why the wicked and unconverted of course. Therefore he urges and encourages them to repent. The logic is: Because I dont take pleasure in your death, I encourage you to turn and live. God is screaming and yelling, trying to wake them up. Their house is on fire, but they dont know it. This exemplifies his compassion for them.

    Its completely amazing how you folk miss this.

    I didn’t miss it, did you? What Ponter describes is Arminianism. Generally I’ve heard the example given of a man drowning with God on the shore throwing a life preserver attached to a line and all a man must do is reach out and grab the line. Here Ponter uses the example of a house fire with his poor pathetic god yelling from the outside hoping against hope that those inside would wake up and flee for their lives.

    Of course the biblical picture in both cases is that no one is drowning as they’re all already dead and are currently fish food at the bottom of the ocean. And, those in Ponter’s house were overcome by smoke inhalation long ago and are all waiting for the flames to consume their similarly long expired bodies. Eph 2:1 – “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins….”

  18. hughmc5 Says:

    Brandon,

    I simply disagree with this:

    “Thankfully there is no way the LBC will be revised because certain men that would necessarily need to be involved have stated very clearly that there is no need to, and in their opinion, pastors today are not as wise as those who drafted the original confession, so we should not attempt to revise it.”

    Hence my saying that no confession is above revision. I am not accusing of saying that “no confession is above revision.”

  19. hughmc5 Says:

    I am say that no confession is above revision.

    I am not accusing you, Brandon of saying that “no confession is above revision.”

    The LBC (or WCF – let’s be fair to include Sean :)) is not above revision.

    To say “Thankfully there is no way the LBC will be revised,” or “pastors today are not as wise as those who drafted the original confession, so we should not attempt to revise it” is bordering on idolatry and arrogance.

    Baptists have long argued for freedom of conscience and autonomy of local assemblies. If some junta or clique of “certain men” are purported to be “necessarily…involved” in a revision of the LBC, I wonder to whom we looking.

    I have been through the subscription debate in Presbyterian circles; now it comes to RB world.

  20. hughmc5 Says:

    Patrick, per yer wiki thingy: Thanks.

  21. hughmc5 Says:

    The more I read this (as I go back & cringe @ my typos!), the more chilling it reads:

    Thankfully there is no way the LBC will be revised because certain men that would necessarily need to be involved have stated very clearly that there is no need to, and in their opinion, pastors today are not as wise as those who drafted the original confession, so we should not attempt to revise it.

    Yikes!

    Who are these mysterious masterminds running the RB world? Ascol, Barcellos, Chantry, Martin, Mohler, Nettles, Renihan, Waldron?

    Are they to decree what is necessary for revision, and who is wise enough to revise?

    You cannot have reformation when a church and her creed are irreformable. It’s a catch-22: Those who are in authority to revise a confession are the same who vowed to uphold it in same the form in which they subscribed to it!

  22. hughmc5 Says:

    No, English is not my second language.

    I got a ‘D’ in typing class in the 7th grade.

    I know it shows. :(

  23. brandonadams Says:

    Hugh, honestly, you need to calm down. I strongly encourage you to consider not jumping on every statement or comment people make and nitpicking it. Your comments are fruitless and reactionary, and the way you are commenting makes it appear that you are looking for something to argue about. Why not just ask me to clarify?

    My only point was that, when you understand the history of the reformed baptist movement, you will understand how fragile the current solidarity is and how hard fought it has been over the last 40 years. I am thankful that the LBC is not going to be revised, not because I think it is perfect, but because I think it serves its purpose well: uniting like minded churches around a common confession. Could it be more precise? Perhaps. But at what cost? Given the current landscape of confessional or near confessional reformed baptists, I think any attempt to revise the confession would splinter the solidarity into numerous factions, which, in my opinion, would be lamentable.

    And the people I was referring to are Sam Waldron and James Renihan. I say that they would need to be involved not because they have any special authority over the confession, but because they are highly regarded by RB as being the most knowledgable of the LBC, so for there to be enough support to revise it, they would likely need to be onboard. You can hear their thoughts here:
    http://www.mctsowensboro.org/2010/10/mcts-renihanwaldron-parttwo/

  24. Jim Butler Says:

    Wow Hugh, over-react much? I think all that Brandon was pointing out is that the sort of revisions Dr. Gonzales is aiming at is not universal among RBs. There is no “secret society” of RB leaders foisting their revisions and non-revisions among the rest of us hapless dupes.

    jim

  25. Jim Butler Says:

    Sorry about my last post. I was unaware of Brandon’s at the time.

    jim

  26. hughmc5 Says:

    I NEVER overreact! EVER!!!
    (Phew, that’s better.)

    Jim, Glad to know there’re no Mason-like shenanigans going on in RB world!

    Brandon, I was merely (over)reacting to your scary & sweeping statement, that in light of your most recent comment makes perfect sense. I am much less prone to (over)reactions when such

    clarifications are made.

    This, I cannot speak to:

    Given the current landscape of confessional or near confessional reformed baptists, I think any attempt to revise the confession would splinter the solidarity into numerous factions, which, in my opinion, would be lamentable.

    But it’s tantalizing! I will say that solidarity for sake of truth is lovely; such for institutionalism is lamentable, too. Learn from both Presbyterian and Baptist history (as I know you do).

    Love you, B. And will readily admit your theological prowess and grace.

    I confess having more hope in young, restless Reformed Baptists like you & Patrick than in those who’ve already sworn to uphold a confession we can only dream about revising.

  27. hughmc5 Says:

    RBs: You must admit this is a twice-funny irony:

    “There is no way the LBC will be revised because certain men that would necessarily need to be involved [Waldron and Renihan] have stated very clearly that there is no need to, and in their opinion, pastors today are not as wise as those who drafted the original confession, so we should not attempt to revise it.”

    1. If W & R say there is no need to, then the rest is moot!:)

    2. And -in their opinions- Waldron and Renihan feel wise enough to decide which and when pastors today will be wise enough to attempt a revision of the LBC? But maybe these theologians are missing something, and those poor, benighted pastors actually have enough sense to know how to revise a confession.


  28. The thing to remember, Hugh, is that nobody exclusively owns the rights to the 1689 LBCF. Anyone/everyone is free to revise it however they see fit. But having a wide range of RBs agree to subscribe to your revision is going to be difficult if the biggest experts on the 1689 are in disagreement.

    I have my own (unwritten) Patrick’s Confession of Faith, but I don’t expect anyone else to wholly subscribe to it. The 1689 LBCF, at present, is intended to be an (somewhat) inclusive document, representative of the spectrum of RBs. Note the absence of any eschatological discussion, for example.

    Waldron & Renihan don’t see a need to revise it because, well, it’s still an excellent representative of RB thought. Let’s hope they continue to be right regarding issues like the WMO. If the majority of RinoB’s decide to make a revision including Gonzales’ confusion, it’ll be a sad day, indeed.

  29. hughmc5 Says:

    Mais, oui, mes amis, mes freres.

    Je m’inquiète seulement que nous ne perdions pas nos roulements.

    Nous ne devons pas sacrifier nos consciences pour de prétendus “unity.”

  30. hughmc5 Says:

    Of course, my friends, my brethren.

    I am concerned only that we do not lose our bearings.

    We must not sacrifice our consciences for alleged “unity.”


  31. I was going to say… No speaking in tongues unless there’s an interpreter, amiright?

    “Good etiquette, like peace and unity, must yield to the primacy of truth.” -John W. Robbins

  32. T. E. Hanna Says:

    You said “In the Arminian scheme it is man who is free to choose, or not to choose, the salvation hypothetically and universally offered to all.  In their scheme Jesus Christ does not actually “save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21), but rather only makes it possible for all people to save themselves from their sins if they so choose.”

    That’s not exactly an accurate portrayal of Arminian soteriology. We are saved through Jesus Christ, and Him alone, but we have free will to respond to the salvation He offers. This is not saving ourselves from our sins, it is responding to Jesus who saves us from our sins, receiving righteousness attributed through faith. After all, if it is God’s will that none should perish, how do we reconcile that with the idea that God actively chooses some to be saved, and others to perish? The two are in comtradiction.

    Furthermore, we have to ask the question regarding what we are saved FROM. If we are saved from hell, then we are left with a very shallow faith. If, on the other hand, we are saved from our sin… then that incorporates a fundamental transformation of very nature. This transformation is worked by the power of the Holy Spirit, but we are participants, cultivating a heart responsive to the inner workings of the Holy Spirit through the disciplines such as prayer, worship, and the study of Scripture. In the Arminian view, it is Jesus who saves; but Jesus invites us to participate in the work He is doing in us.

  33. hughmc5 Says:

    Patrick: “The thing to remember, Hugh, is that nobody exclusively owns the rights to the 1689 LBCF. Anyone/everyone is free to revise it however they see fit.”
    >OK, good, fine.

    “But having a wide range of RBs agree to subscribe to your revision is going to be difficult if the biggest experts on the 1689 are in disagreement.”
    >Wideness isn’t always acceptable, as the better Baptists have historically showed us!

    “I have my own (unwritten) Patrick’s Confession of Faith, but I don’t expect anyone else to wholly subscribe to it. The 1689 LBCF, at present, is intended to be an (somewhat) inclusive document, representative of the spectrum of RBs. Note the absence of any eschatological discussion, for example.”
    >Very well, though ought not the reformers say SOMETHING eschatological, as well as refute the devilish doctrine of dispensationalism?

    “Waldron & Renihan don’t see a need to revise it because, well, it’s still an excellent representative of RB thought.”
    >And, b/c W & R don’t see anyone capable today to do so. But that is irrelevant if they “don’t see a need,” and if “there is no way the LBC will be revised because” W & R “have stated very clearly that there is no need to,” then there’s an end to it, isn’t there?

    “Let’s hope they continue to be right regarding issues like the WMO.”
    >Perhaps a needed addendum to the LBCF? Or didn’t the Strict Baptist sect address that over the years?
    >Which reminds us that the Strict Baptists, those nasty hyper-Calvinists who insist on autonomy, supralapsarianism, etc., were not interested to subscribe to any “(somewhat) inclusive document, representative of the spectrum of RBs,” nor worrying about placating any “wide range of RBs.”

    “If the majority of RinoB’s decide to make a revision including Gonzales’ confusion, it’ll be a sad day, indeed.”
    >INDEED! Amen.


  34. You’re preaching to the choir, Hugh. The LBCF is good, but I don’t fully subscribe to it. It’s my schismatic nature :P

  35. hughmc5 Says:

    I know, PM, but RinoB (or RBino), necessarily means different things to different folks.

    Or, how reformed is reformed?

    Some are semi-calvinistic.
    Some are SWMFO* folk.
    Some are Dispies.
    Some are strict sabbatarians.

    Where does one draw the line? I know, I know – @ the LBC….!

    * Sincere, Well-Meant Free Offer


  36. Bingo! A major revision to such a widely known/used standard implies general agreement among those who currently subscribe to it.

  37. hughmc5 Says:

    The chances seem slim to none for a major revision to such a widely known/used standard by those who currently subscribe to it, b/c these vowed before God they’d uphold it, b/c they believe that it IS the faith once delivered.

  38. hughmc5 Says:

    Patrick,

    My point was that the LBCF doesn’t defend against the semi-calvinistic, SWMFO folk, or Dispies.

    And itself is strict sabbath.


  39. Point taken. Patrick’s super-duper unwritten Confession does, though! :D

  40. hughmc5 Says:

    ‘course it does!

    Every man confesseth that which is right in his own mind! ;)

  41. hughmc5 Says:

    RinoB litmus test may be this: Be they* Calvinists or Spurgeonians?

    As Sean pointed out on 06/09/09:

    …here is the Spurgeon quote [on 1 Tim. 2:4] in full:

    My love of consistency with my own doctrinal views is not great enough to allow me knowingly to alter a single text of Scripture. I have great respect for orthodoxy, but my reverence for inspiration is far greater. I would sooner a hundred times over appear to be inconsistent with myself than be inconsistent with the word of God. I never thought it to be any very great crime to seem to be inconsistent with myself; for who am I that I should everlastingly be consistent? But I do think it a great crime to be so inconsistent with the word of God that I should want to lop away a bough or even a twig from so much as a single tree of the forest of Scripture. God forbid that I should cut or shape, even in the least degree, any divine expression. So runs the text, and so we must read it, “God our Savior; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

    Notice carefully, Spurgeon’s exegesis of 1 Timothy 2:4 results in a contradiction and renders his theology inconsistent. Yet, like Dr. Gonzales, Spurgeon considers it an act of piety to allow this contradiction to stand because he believes he is being faithful to Scripture. The tragedy is that it is his errant understanding of this verse that has lead him into asserting this inconsistency.

    In the past, perhaps this along with the rest of the WMO confusion could be just chalked up as a stupid error in exegesis, along with being a major concession to Arminianism. However, it wasn’t until C. Van Til that the belief in Biblical paradox was given its corrupting philosophic and epistemic justification. I believe had it not been for Van Til and his followers Spurgeon’s error would have been recognized and dismissed simply as an exegetical and, frankly, stupid error. Today, affirming “mystery and paradox” is considered the height of Christian humility and spirituality.

    By contrast, the principle of the analogy of faith is based, in part, on the belief that His Word is perfect (1 Cor. 13:10, James 1:25), non-contradictory in all that it teaches (John 10:35, Acts 15:15), and does not present to the mind assorted antinomies, and insoluble paradoxes (1 John 2:21). It was maintained that any apparent contradiction must be due to the failure of the exegete to properly divide God’s Word. Further, such “inconsistencies” ought to function not as fetishes for worship as we are called to commit intellectual suicide as we bow to some warped idea of the Creator/creature distinction, but as warning flags telling the interpreter to go back and recheck his premises. Concerning the interpretation of Scripture the WCF 1.9 states: The infallible rule of interpretation of scripture is the scripture itself; and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any scripture, (which is not manifold, but one,) it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.

    One would think that if the meaning of Scripture is “not manifold, but one,” that the glaring “inconsistencies” advanced by Spurgeon and Gonzales is a sure sign that they have failed to grasp the “true and full sense” of Scripture as it relates to the imagined desire on the part of God for the salvation of all.

    Besides, I thought Dr. Gonzales said he shared my conviction and zeal for the analogy of faith?

    But, notice how Spurgeon ended up in this position:

    What then? Shall we try to put another meaning into the text than that which it fairly bears? I trow not. You must, most of you, be acquainted with the general method in which our older Calvinistic friends deal with this text. “All men,” say they,—”that is, some men”: as if the Holy Ghost could not have said “some men” if he had meant some men. “All men,” say they; “that is, some of all sorts of men”: as if the Lord could not have said “all sorts of men” if he had meant that. The Holy Ghost by the apostle has written “all men,” and unquestionably he means all men.

    Spurgeon admits that he breaks with “our older Calvinistic friends” who have quite properly interpreted this verse as pertaining to all strata of men and not all men in general. What he fails to say is that those older Calvinistic friends include Calvin himself who said concerning this verse:

    Hence we see the childish folly of those who represent this passage to be opposed to predestination. “If God” say they, “wishes all men indiscriminately to be saved, it is false that some are predestined by his eternal purpose to salvation, and others to perdition.” They might have had some ground for saying this, if Paul were speaking here about individual men; although even then we should not have wanted the means of replying to their argument; for, although the: will of God ought not to be judged from his secret decrees, when he reveals them to us by outward signs, yet it does not therefore follow that he has not determined with himself what he intends to do as to every individual man.

    But I say nothing on that subject, because it has nothing to do with this passage; for the Apostle simply means, that there is no people and no rank in the world that is excluded from salvation; because God wishes that the gospel should be proclaimed to all without exception.

    Not surprisingly, Calvin affirms precisely what Spurgeon denies. Worse, Spurgeon ADMITS his exegesis of this verse is inconsistent with the rest of his theology, which, I assume, he believes is also derived from Scripture. Therefore, it follows that if Spurgeon is right, not only is Calvin wrong, but the Scriptures do not cohere and the analogy of faith is lost. Had he stuck with Calvin and the older Calvinists he would have avoided such a glaring contradiction in his own theology and would have remained true to Scripture. This is what it means to be zealous of the analogy of faith..

    Further, despite his seemingly pious willingness to surrender consistency in order to be true to God’s Word, he instead, and perhaps unwittingly, imputes irrationality to God and His Word. Notice, he claims that it was not his own sloppiness and failure to rightly understand this verse that lead him to embrace this very apparent contradiction, but rather he blames the Spirit for leading him into inconsistency. Rather than an inconsistency in their theology providing a clue for Spurgeon and Gonzales that they need to go back and recheck their premises, they would rather embrace nonsense and encourage others to do so as well. If that is not irrationalism and misology I don’t know what is.

    * E.g. Ascol, Barcellos, Chantry, Martin, Mohler, Nettles, Renihan, Waldron, et. al.

  42. hughmc5 Says:

    Sean had also quoted quoted Gill & Owen in support of John Calvin: http://godshammer.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/irrational-baptists/

    Spurgeon was all things to all men, it seems.

    Here he is painted as a Calvinist: http://www.banneroftruth.org/pages/articles/article_detail.php?41

    Go figure…

    Pick your quotes of CHS, I guess.


  43. RE: Ponter. See his comments on my admittedly layman’s level post on John 3:16: http://thelightheartedcalvinist.com/2012/02/14/eisegesis-101-john-316/

    I was thinking, “This guy’s a Calvinist?”

  44. Sean Gerety Says:

    I once made the same mistake.


  45. An inconsistency of my own… I like Spurgeon, but he makes me sad sometimes.

  46. hughmc5 Says:

    Patrick,

    CHS missed much of the “already,” too, being a pie-eyed Postmillennialist.

    And for all his bluster against the traditions of the C of E, he couldn’t get away from confessionalism. (I.e. Grovel for forgiveness each time you sin, b/c God hasn’t forgiven you familially, only forensically!) It’s a common plague for both Baptists and Presbies.

  47. hughmc5 Says:

    Back to Dr Gonzales: BOB’S GOT NEW JOB!

    http://www.mctsowensboro.org/event/2012-05-08-old-testament-introduction-ii/

    Ya gotta see the photo!

    Lecturer Bio: Dr. Robert Gonzales is adjunct professor of Old Testament Studies for MCTS. Dr. Gonzales has served as a pastor of three Reformed Baptist congregations since 1998 and has been the Academic Dean and a professor of RBS since 2005. He is the author of Where Sin Abounds

    (’nuff said! No, it’s not his autobiography, Sean!)

    But wait a cotton-pickin’ RB minute!
    Sam’s MCTS likes Bob?
    But Bob is bad.
    Does that mean _________________?

  48. Denson Dube Says:

    Hugh
    I think Brandon’s well meant comments were viewed from the wrong perspective.

  49. Sean Gerety Says:

    @Jeff Peterson.

    Ponter’s first reply should have been enough, however his subsequent replies demonstrate he’s no Calvinist but rather is a rank and condescending fraud. His M.O. has been the same for years; “My thought is that your argument needs some nuancing.” Then he proceeds to twist and distort things until the unsuspecting and untrained embrace universal atonement. That is what in his mind is “nuancing.” Universal atonement is the conclusion of all his arguments. He pretends he’s a Calvinist, even has a Calvinistic sounding phony website, and is even mildly skilled at using isolated quotes out of context from true Reformed stalwarts so that, to the unsuspecting at least, it appears they support Ponter’s doctrines. He is a well known on the internet as a neo-Amyrauldian troll.

    Concerning Ponter’s Amyraldianism B. B. Warfield said it “an inconsistent and therefore unstable form of Calvinism.” Hodge said:

    This difficulty the [Amyraldian] scheme involves, however it may be stated. It cannot however be supposed that God intends what is never accomplished; that He purposes what He does not intend to effect; that He adopts means for an end which is never to be attained. This cannot be affirmed of any rational being who has the wisdom and power to secure the execution of his purposes. Much less can it be said of Him whose power and wisdom are infinite. If all men are not saved, God never purposed their salvation, and never devised and put into operation means designed to accomplish that end. We must assume that the result is the interpretation of the purposes of God. If He foreordains whatsoever comes to pass, then events correspond to his purposes; and it is against reason and Scripture to suppose that there is any contradiction or want of correspondence between what He intended and what actually occurs. The theory, therefore, which assumes that God purposed the salvation of all men, and sent his Son to die as a means to accomplish that end, and then seeing, or foreseeing that such end could not or would not be attained, elected a part of the race to be the subjects of efficacious grace, cannot be admitted as Scriptural.

    Hodge’s quote goes to our friend Dr. Bob as well (which explains why Dr. B welcomes Ponter’s sidekick, Tony Byrne, running to his defense). Actually, if you haven’t you should read Hodge’s short description of Amyraldianism from where the above was lifted you should as you will see Ponter in it as clear as day. See
    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/hodge/theology2.iv.i.iv.html

  50. Cam Porter Says:

    From my fallible and non-omniscient vantage-point, it seems as if the SWMFOlogists’ version of anthropopathism is really a consent to notions of God having the perfection of an attribute that man only has in derivative imperfection (which, of course, isn’t anthropopathism at all since a proper definition of it entails attributes not possessed [as with anthropomorphism and physical attributes]). This faulty view of anthropopathism, though, is employed inconsistently when they (the afformentioned SWMFOlogists) engage Arminians/Open-Theists/others in the apologetic arena over texts that speak of God “relenting/repenting”…

  51. hughmc5 Says:

    Denson ~ Touché!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~:)~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  52. hughmc5 Says:

    Sean, Hodge is describing the winning majority not merely of the OPC, but of all Presbies & RBs today.

    I note words therein wanting spin from the fans of Amyrault: “intends” “purposes” “intend to effect” “an end which is never to be attained” “purposes” “purposed” “devised” “means designed to accomplish that end” “the purposes of God” “purposes” “what He intended” “purposed” “seeing, or foreseeing” “elected”…

  53. hughmc5 Says:

    Denson, I admitted that I over/reacted due to being frightened: “I was merely (over)reacting to your [Brandon's] scary & sweeping statement, that in light of your most recent comment makes perfect sense. I am much less prone to (over)reactions when such clarifications are made.”

    I thank Brandon for his helpful explanation and expansion.

  54. LJ Says:

    @ Hugh: “The lay term for the Sincere Well-Meant Offer (SWMO, or Schmooze) is simply “Bovine Scatology.”

    There you go with that farm stuff. Don’t you know us city slickers need an interpreter? Now, let’s see, Bovine, I think that’s a piggy. And scat, that’s what you say to a cat or, NO, not THAT scat! Naughty naughty use of English and animal abuse.

  55. hughmc5 Says:

    Ruminating on the title of this post, and ministering to those who struggle with assurance, I was struck by this next Lord’s day entry from the Heidelberg Catechism*:

    Question 31. Why is he called “Christ”, that is anointed?
    Answer: Because he is ordained of God the Father, and anointed with the Holy Ghost, to be our chief Prophet and Teacher, who has fully revealed to us the secret counsel and will of God concerning our redemption; and to be our only High Priest, who by the one sacrifice of his body, has redeemed us, and makes continual intercession with the Father for us; and also to be our eternal King, who governs us by his word and Spirit, and who defends and preserves us in that salvation, he has purchased for us.

    Question 32. But why art thou called a Christian?
    Answer: Because I am a member of Christ by faith, and thus am partaker of his anointing; that so I may confess his name, and present myself a living sacrifice of thankfulness to him: and also that with a free and good conscience I may fight against sin and Satan in this life and afterwards I reign with him eternally, over all creatures.

    *Many such blessings can be gleaned therefrom.

  56. LJ Says:

    Bovine is of course “stolid ; dull.” Or of the cattle family for you non farm types ;-)

  57. hughmc5 Says:

    MOO…POOP

  58. Steve Matthews Says:

    Great work, Sean.

  59. AZTexan Says:

    Howdy, Sean.

    I concur with Mr. Matthews: fine work. Thank you.

    Linked this over at my place and got a question in the comments section regarding Hoeksema and charges against him of hypercalvinism. Here ’tis: (comments window).

    Would you – or any of y’all fine gents here – care to address our brother’s question?, or point him to a source(s) that will?

  60. Sean Gerety Says:

    Thanks AZ (and Steve). To Otto’s question, Herman Hoeksema in not a hyper-Calvinist. I would recommend this piece by Raymond Blacketer: http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html . The piece is significant since it appeared in a CRC theological journal (the denom that tossed Hoeksema & Co out of the CRC over the issue of the WMO and common grace).

    FWIW the reason Hoeksema continues to be slandered and libeled as a hyper-Calvinst is the same reason Clark has been similarly slandered and libeled as a “rationalist” and a “hyper” and that’s because the Reformed mainstream has abandoned the historic Reformed faith and have elevated irrationalism to a form of piety. For Presbies the watershed is the Clark/VT controversy in the ’40s. The Dutch Reformed followed a similar trajectory.

    One really enjoyable piece of irony recently was when Baptist James White was attacked as a “hyper-Calvinist” and the attack was made on the basis Phil Johnson’s pathetic “Primer on Hyper-Calvinism.” It was a beautiful thing. :)

  61. AZTexan Says:

    Indeed, whenever “hyper” charges are flung I reflexively think of that damn Phil Johnson piece and lament that guys like Johnson, MacArthur, Challies et al have come to define “Reformed/Calvinist” for an entire generation of Nu-Kalvinistas. But the vast plain of that would-be rant is ground well-trod and off the trail of this discussion…so I’ll just sit n’ stew quietly, per usual. :-)

    Thank you much for taking time to answer Otto; I trust he will find the references helpful. I’ll give ‘em a look, myself.

  62. hughmc5 Says:

    We love Phil; we hate his sloppy thinking.

    Johnson’s confusion well-answered by the “Master of Hyper” ~

    http://www.predestinarian.net/content.php?21-Hyper-Calvinism-is-the-Truth

  63. Otto Says:

    Thank you both for your help! I found this post and the article very helpful.

  64. Sean Gerety Says:

    T.E. Hanna writes:

    You said “In the Arminian scheme it is man who is free to choose, or not to choose, the salvation hypothetically and universally offered to all. In their scheme Jesus Christ does not actually “save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21), but rather only makes it possible for all people to save themselves from their sins if they so choose.”

    That’s not exactly an accurate portrayal of Arminian soteriology. We are saved through Jesus Christ, and Him alone, but we have free will to respond to the salvation He offers. This is not saving ourselves from our sins, it is responding to Jesus who saves us from our sins, receiving righteousness attributed through faith. After all, if it is God’s will that none should perish, how do we reconcile that with the idea that God actively chooses some to be saved, and others to perish? The two are in comtradiction.

    T.E. isn’t Teaching Elder is it?

    First, I want to apologize for not getting your comments posted earlier. For whatever reason your post ended up in the spam filter (must be a Calvinistic spam filter ;) But, seriously, yours are the kind of responses I love.

    Second, I fail to see how your description of Arminian soteriology differs from what I wrote? It is up to you, in accordance with your free, undetermined, and sovereign will to respond or not to respond to Jesus’ offer of salvation. Jesus’ cross work made salvation merely possible. His death doesn’t actually procure the salvation of anyone. Further, if it’s God’s will that none should perish then none would perish. Some men perish. Therefore, it is not God’s will that none should perish.
    The correct answer is God is not willing for any of those for whom Christ died to perish.

    But, you’re right, if God wills that none should perish applies to all men without distinction, then this does contradict the idea “that God actively chooses some to be saved, and others to perish.” The problem is that is not what the passage states:

    2 Pet 3:9: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward [ or towards us], not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    The question is who are the “us” that God’s longsuffering is directed? All men universally considered or the particular people Christ died for; those particular people the Father gave to Christ as He explains in John 10:

    “But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

    While there are many things to notice in the above, arguably the most important is that by believing one doesn’t become Christ’s sheep. It’s the reverse of what Arminians suppose. Those Jesus addresses don’t believe *because* they’re not one of His sheep.

    Consider too John 6:65-66:

    And he said, “Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep.”

    Furthermore, we have to ask the question regarding what we are saved FROM. If we are saved from hell, then we are left with a very shallow faith. If, on the other hand, we are saved from our sin… then that incorporates a fundamental transformation of very nature. This transformation is worked by the power of the Holy Spirit, but we are participants, cultivating a heart responsive to the inner workings of the Holy Spirit through the disciplines such as prayer, worship, and the study of Scripture. In the Arminian view, it is Jesus who saves; but Jesus invites us to participate in the work He is doing in us.

    Now this is far more disturbing than the Arminian rejection of particular atonement or individual election. If salvation, or more properly justification, requires our participation then again Jesus Christ saves no one. In order to be saved you must do your part in order to one day stand justified before the Father. This isn’t Christianity. If anything it is Romanism (or something very close to it) where salvation is premised not on belief (faith) alone apart from works but on a combination of faith + works. This is why Augustus Toplady (the guy who wrote Rock of Ages) wrote the pamphlet: Arminianism: The Road to Rome (see http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/history/toplady.htm ) Jesus doesn’t invite us to participate in the work of salvation, rather those He justifies He sanctifies. Sanctification is the result of, or the “fruit” of, justification. Men play absolutely no role whatsoever in their justification, and this includes believing as belief is the gift of God (Eph 2:8).


  65. [...] He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not… (godshammer.wordpress.com) [...]

  66. LJ Says:

    @ Patrick: If the majority of RinoB’s decide to make a revision including Gonzales’ confusion, it’ll be a sad day, indeed.

    Shouldn’t that be BINO’s? Baptist in name only? LOL!

    Sorry for the late post cause I’ve been re-reading a bunch of old WMO refutations on God’s Hammer since I sent Sean’s lastest article to some Van Tilians in our local church and, you guessed it, picked a fight (no, not like Braveheart :-) or, yes, unlike Braveheart, I forget which).

    LJ

  67. justbybelief Says:

    “…or, yes, unlike Braveheart…”

    If you ever tell them, “Before I LET you leave, you must put your head between…and kiss your own…,” let me know, I want to be there. I think I’d go 3000 miles to see the reaction.

  68. LJ Says:

    Ha, the problem there is that due to their ingenious mentor the poor Van Tilians don’t know their arses from a, well, you know what I’m thinking!

    Along that line I just downloaded on my iPad a little book (essay?) by Van Til titled “Nature and Scripture.” Now most of us know that CVT wasn’t known for his clarity, that his writings are, uh, difficult to comprehend. But this is a gem of obfuscation that would do any Van Tilians proud. I had never heard of it before today and thought it would be interesting to read. NOT!!!

    Many will say he was just so brilliant he’s difficult to understand. I demur. I don’t think he was a genius at all, instead I think the man was very confused and when he wrote (I never heard him speak) his confusion became manifest.

    Anyhow, just try reading “Nature and Scripture” and you tell me if I’m the one who’s confused.

    LJ

  69. justbybelief Says:

    I wonder if one’s garden variety Van Tilian would think that an ‘arse’ was an analogy for something else. I suppose it could be a hole-in-the ground, for that matter, it could be a chipmunk.

    Come to think of it, if they believe that God’s word is analogy, what do you think they believe about my words…your words…anybody’s words. If the Supreme Being, God, can only speak in analogy then His creatures cannot do any better and must be much less.

    In fact, since they believe we’re talking in analogy why would they even bother to debate us?

    Maybe to annoy our Van Tilian friends we should stand around a group of them muttering. If in annoys them, then we know they are inconsistent Van Tilians.


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