Archive for June 2008

Clark Quick Quote

June 25, 2008

. . . The law of contradiction cannot be sinful. Quite the contrary, it is our violations of the law of contradiction that are sinful. Yet the strictures which some devotional writers place on “merely human logic” are amazing. Can such pious stupidity really mean that a syllogism which is valid for us is invalid for God? If two plus two is four in our arithmetic, does God have a different arithmetic in which two and two make three, or perhaps five?

The fact that the Son of God is God’s reason, for Christ is the wisdom of God as well as the power of God, plus the fact that the image in man is the so-called “human reason,” suffices to show that this so-called “human reason” is not so much human as divine.

Of course, the Scripture says that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways not our ways. But is it good exegesis to say that this means his logic, his arithmetic, his truth are not ours? If this were so, what would the consequences be? It would mean not only that our additions and subtractions are all wrong, but also that all our thoughts, in history as well as in arithmetic, are all wrong. If, for example, we think that David was King of Israel, and God’s thoughts are not ours, then it follows that God does not think David was King of Israel. David in God’s mind was perchance Prime Minister of Babylon.

To avoid this irrationalism, which of course is a denial of the divine image, we must insist that truth is the same for God and man. Naturally, we may not know the truth about some matters. But if we know anything at all, what we must know must be identical with what God knows. God knows all truth, and unless we know something God knows, our ideas are untrue. It is absolutely essential, therefore, to insist that there is an area of coincidence between God’s mind and our mind. One example, as good as any, is the one already used, viz., David was King of Israel.

~ Gordon H. Clark – An Introduction to Christian Philosophy

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The Laughing Wolf

June 20, 2008

Just when I thought Lane Keister had his prey trapped he let him go, and, unless he is willing to do some damage control, Doug Wilson may have the last laugh.

Now, I confess, trying to sort out the pieces is a bit difficult, but here is what happened as I see it. First, Lane trapped Wilson in a clear contradiction between the Joint Federal Vision Profession (JFVP) and the Westminster Confession of Faith concerning the Covenant of Works . To recap the JFVP states:

We deny that continuance in this covenant in the Garden was in any way a payment for work rendered. Adam could forfeit or demerit the gift of glorification by disobedience, but the gift or continued possession of that gift was not offered by God to Adam conditioned upon Adam’s moral exertions or achievements.

Whereas, the WCF states:

The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works, wherein life was promised to Adam, and in him to his posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.

As mentioned in a previous blog piece, Hunting Wolves, life cannot be promised and not promised in the covenant of works on the condition of “perfect and personal obedience,” and, at the same time, not on the condition of “moral exertions or achievements.” Perfect and personal obedience IS (at least for those of us who still speak English) the result of moral exertions and achievements. Or, to put it another way, “moral exertions or achievements”are works and the signers of the JFVP reject the idea that the gift of life promised to Adam and his posterity was conditioned on his “prefect and personal obedience” or works.

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The PCA Road to Rome

June 13, 2008

Mark Horne, assistant pastor at Providence Reformed (PCA) in St. Louis, MO got his feathers in a bunch recently on the Greenbaggins blog when one of his fellow Neolegalists, PCA pastor Bill Smith (Community Church, Louisville, KY) came under a little fire for his Federal Vision. Contributor to the Greenbaggins blog, Seth Foster, who seems to have considerable familiarity with Smith, wrote:

Bill Smith’s ordination and credentials were approved and successfully transferred from the Louisiana Presbytery to the Ohio Valley Presbytery in 2005. He, along with his session, have gone unchecked and unchallenged for over three years.

Mark Horne replied: (more…)

Lane’s Puzzle

June 6, 2008

Pastor Lane Keister over at his Greenbaggins blog is still trying to put together the pieces in Doug Wilson’s “Federal Vision” and has finally come across a piece that just doesn’t fit no matter how hard he tries. As I see it, the solution to this puzzle comes down to what is meant by the obedience of faith and how it might or might not relate to the ongoing obedience which Federal Visionists require to the demands of their conditional covenant in order to secure one’s “final justification.”

For Wilson works done by faith are acts of “obedience” just as much as is the mere act of believing the gospel. What seems to have Lane’s wheels spinning, and which is typical in so much of Wilson, is that on the one hand Wilson is correct and that when we believe the gospel, as all men are commanded to do in Scripture, we are being obedient to a biblical imperative. After all, and even Wilson points out, Jesus said: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” The obedience of faith therefore is to do as we are commanded and that is to believe the gospel. However, does it follow from this that our ongoing obedience to the law as we progress in sanctification and as new creatures in Christ is also part and parcel of our justification which results from our obedience, specifically the “obedience of faith”? After all, isn’t simply believing the message of the gospel and faithfully observing the law both acts of obedience?

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