Clark Quick Quote

clark01With the release of Clark And His Critics, Volume 7 in the Clark Signature Series, that includes the long out of print and hard to find even used, The Philosophy of Gordon H. Clark:  A Festschrift, edited by Ronald Nash, I thought I would offer up the following Clark Quick Quote that remains the core of the Trinity Foundation’s mission.

In addition to urging folks to support the Foundation’s ongoing work, right now TF is offering a great deal — 40% off retail — on all 8 volumes of the Clark Signature Series published so far.  That’s only $99 for the trade paperback or $149 for the hardback (plus S&H).  Clark’s work, all of it, is a must for any thinking Christian’s library and is something you’re unlikely to find in any pablum pushing anemic Christian bookstore.  Besides, the Signature Series will look great on your bookshelf — and even better in your hands!

Now, onto Clark:

There have been times in the history of God’s people, for example, in the days of Jeremiah, when refreshing grace and widespread revival were not to be expected: The time was one of chastisement. If this twentieth century is of a similar nature, individual Christians here and there can find comfort and strength in a study of God’s Word. But if God has decreed happier days for us and if we may expect a world-shaking and genuine spiritual awakening, then it is the author’s belief that a zeal for souls, however necessary, is not the sufficient condition. Have there not been devout saints in every age, numerous enough to carry on a revival? Twelve such persons are plenty. What distinguishes the arid ages from the period of the Reformation, when nations were moved as they had not been since Paul preached in Ephesus, Corinth, and Rome, is the latter’s fullness of knowledge of God’s Word. To echo an early Reformation thought, when the plough man and the garage attendant know the Bible as well as the theologian does, and know it better than some contemporary theologians, then the desired awakening shall have already occurred.

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70 Comments on “Clark Quick Quote”

  1. Marcelo Says:

    Sean I can’t see the TF offering. Where I can found it?

  2. Sean Gerety Says:

    Just email Tom at Trinity Foundation. He’s got you covered. 🙂

  3. Lauren Kuo Says:

    Amen to the Clark quote! We need a revival of God’s Word, not a New Perspective on it!

  4. Gus Gianello Says:

    Dear Sean,
    I got your book. Wonderful. Dont sell yourself short. It has confirmed a conclusion that I came to along time ago. There is very little of the visible church left in North America; and what there is ought to be characterized as “synagogues of Satan”. Antichrist is being healed from his wound, more are looking to the Scarlet Beast as the leader of the pro-life movement, and most of Reformation teaching and its influence has been lost.

    Thanks.

    Gus

  5. Daniel F Says:

    I wanted to add a comment on the post: Doug Wilson and his heretical friends, but the comments had JUST closed (I was 30 sec late!) So here they are here. Hopefully you don’t mind me adding them here. I can “consider the matter closed” if you are tired of that thread.

    Sean, Doug Wilson preached a sermon entitled “Not all Israel is Israel” (he’s working through Romans).

    Here is an excerpt:

    He’s making the point that faith is the dividing line. This applies to both OT and NT – by faith Abraham believed God…by faith also we believe God.

    lawyertheologian, are you saying that the Covenant of Grace was NOT made with the OT saints? Does that mean that they were saved by works? If the CoG was made with Christ (to the exclusion of the OT people) then how could they be saved by grace through faith? And if they are not saved by grace through faith, then how?
    Only Adam was required to obey in order to receive (or rather maintain) life. Everyone post Adam was/is either resting on Christ alone, and his righteousness, or are/will be damned to eternal condemnation.

    In the OT it was by grace, through faith (in the future Messiah, believing the word of Jehovah) and in the NT we look back to Christ.

    -Daniel

  6. Sean Gerety Says:

    Daniel, I shut the thread down because it was going nowhere. So, moving it here is really no use, other than the fact that you again help us to learn what a horrible heretical charlatan the man you call your pastor really is.

    As if anyone could possibly fail to know that already at this late date.

    Per the link to his entire sermon you provided, Wilson claims grace is in things, specifically in the sacraments but other things as well. About halfway through he calls these things “objective grace” and defines this “objective” or prevenient grace (which, like the Arminian can be resisted) as those things that “can be photographed.” Oddly he includes in this list of objective, photographable graces the Word, adoption, glory, the covenants, the law, ministry, the promises, and the fathers. Can you really photograph the Word, adoption, promises, etc.? Bizarre.

    But notice too, the promises and gifts of the covenant, these so-called “objective, photographable” gifts, Wilson says are given to believers and unbelievers alike. God’s covenant, per Wilson, and the blessings of the covenant including adoption and all the other covenant promises are for the elect and non-elect alike; believers and unbelievers.

    His sermon even includes some of the same relativistic “levels of discourse” nonsense he’s prattled about elsewhere. Oddly too, he equates the church with the covenant and then explains there are “Jews and faithful Jews.” He even says the Jews, all of them, “were married to God at Mount Sinai.” And, at that point they, all the people of Israel, said that they would do as God told them, and they would “keep the covenant” as they were “kept by that covenant.” Those who “kept the terms of the covenant” — at Sinai mind you — are those who did the law “from their heart” and are the faithful Jews, the true Israel. Wilson says, “Heart religion is what God sets before God’s people *in the law.*” Therefore, doing the law by faith is meeting the terms of the covenant per Doug.

    He then goes on to say “Covenant members fall away.” Per Wilson, God clearly does NOT keep his covenant with some of those Wilson calls God’s people and with whom Wilson claims God has established his covenant. Salvation by covenant keeping could not be clearer. But, it’s not a question does God keep his covenant, but rather do we? We must do our part. Wilson says “Covenant membership, which is objective, real, and provides a genuine connection to God” is something that “everyone who is baptized is part of … everyone who is part of the church is part of it … there is a real connection.”

    Then he confuses being born again with loving God as if they were the same thing. They’re not. But it makes sense in Wilson’s false religion of salvation by faith and works; what Wilson calls “life and law.” He says “if you are baptized you belong to Jesus Christ. You are called to live a life of repentance, faith, and love.”

    I didn’t have time to listen to all of his anti-Christian bilge and skipped around a bit. But he says that if you don’t believe in Christ you’re “still a Christian” by virtue of your baptism. He says, “What does thinking different thoughts have to do with it!” Then he compares this so-called “objective” relationship to Christ via the water of baptism in the case of a nonbeliever to a son who dishonors his mother in college. He’s still a son, but he’s a disobedient son. Therefore, the message is crystal clear, to be saved you need to be obedient. You need to be that obedient son of the covenant in order to saved.

    Can salvation by faith and works be more unambiguously taught anywhere? How can any PCA pastor be so stupid to think this man is a Christian minister, even if just a confused one?

    And to think you had the nerve to challenge the idea on another thread that for Wilson being baptized is what makes a person a Christian — REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU BELIEVE — since he says that EXACT same thing at the end of his so-called “sermon” that you provided.

    How on earth can you subject yourself and your family (I assume that’s a picture of your baby) to such horrible anti-Christian teaching Daniel?

  7. Daniel F Says:

    Well, I just wrote a really long response, and then my computer shut down on me… Maybe it’s a sign 🙂

    Sean, I’ll just point out one thing, which if you understand, is a response to everything you said.

    Not all Israel is Israel. What that means is, not all “Christians” are Christians.

    Doug Wilson speaks of the two type of Christians that exist. You must become a “Christian of the heart” as much as an OT person had to become “circumcised of the heart.” It’s not that hard to understand.

    Don’t fight Paul. Not all Israel is Israel. Baptism is the initiation which makes someone a “Christian” but only faith makes someone a “Christian of the heart.”

    Now, Doug Wilson makes that very clear. That was the point of this particular sermon. Look back through your response, KEEPING those catigories in mind.

    Salvation (Christian of the heart) is by grace, through faith, ALONE, and is not maintained through faithfulness to the covenant or anything of the sort. Faithfulness to the covenant (known in systematic theology as Sanctification) is the necessary outcome of saving faith (of a Christian of the heart).
    As Calvin said, God sanctifies those whom he Justifies. So, if someone is not faithful to the covenant, or, has no sign of sanctification, any good pastor would say, “you need to be saved man…”. If he is baptized, the pastor should say, “you have the name of Christ on you, you’re a Christian – BE one! Be a Christian of the heart. Apply your baptism to your heart!”

    Not all Israel is Israel. Don’t fight Paul. The Reformed faith and confessions often speak of “baptism of the heart” and “external” vs “internal” language. It’s not that hard, and it’s not new – it’s ancient.

    So, I guess the question remains – do those who are “Christian of the heart” and those who are only “christian in name” have anything in common?

    Well, as Paul would say, much in every way! 🙂 (in other words, there are real benefits to being a Christian in name AND in heart.)

  8. Daniel F Says:

    To tag onto the last thing I said, which wasn’t super clear,

    both “Christians of the heart” and “Christians in name” both are in the “covenant people of God,” and therefore share some things in common (not justification, of course, though I agree some FV guys have used Justification in a broader sense, like “The Elect”, but I’m not comfortable with using “Justification” in any way except for those decretally elect).

    But covenant has always been used by God to include both “saved” and “unsaved” Jews or Christians. So…I’m not sure what the problem is…

  9. Daniel F Says:

    Sean, I agree that maybe that comments should be closed 🙂

    I’m not sure we’re going to agree. You see me as a heretical guy who believes that I have to remain faithful to the covenant to “upkeep” my salvation or something like that (which I dont….)

    And I see you as a pseudo-Reformed baptistic type who is married to a strict, inflexible, confessional language, AND to its interpretation by today’s “Dr’s or the Law” (a privilieged, WSC educated few).

    But I’m probably wrong about you, (that’s how you come across), and if we lived in the same town, I’d invite you to share a beer, and talk about something else. The body of Christ is diverse. If we both spent this energy preaching to the gospel to the pagan world, our energy may be better spent.

    Blessings, and may the Lord uphold you were you are right, convict you were you are wrong, and do the same to me! And on the gray areas that are non-essentials? Vive la Difference! 🙂

    Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Deo Gloria, Sola Christus ET
    Semper Reformanda,

    -Daniel

    -Daniel

  10. Daniel F Says:

    http://www.federal-vision.com/video/federal_vision_rap.html

    🙂

    (sorry about double signature there… )

  11. Sean Gerety Says:

    Not all Israel is Israel. What that means is, not all “Christians” are Christians.

    That’s right. But Wilson said all baptized are Christians and are brought into a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ with all the concomitant blessings and promises, including adoption, and, by necessary implication, justification. Of course, in Wilson’s religion one can be adopted and perhaps not justified since justification is an eschatological category.

    Doug Wilson speaks of the two type of Christians that exist. You must become a “Christian of the heart” as much as an OT person had to become “circumcised of the heart.” It’s not that hard to understand.

    It’s not hard to understand what Wilson was teaching at all, those Christians that do the work of the law out of love and by faith are the “Christians of the heart.” Got it. What did I say that disagreed with that? I said this is what Wilson said and even quoted him saying it. The problem is this isn’t Christianity. It’s a sickly form of Romanism with a thin Reformed veneer to fool suckers like PCA and OPC TEs schooled in Van Til’s dialectic. It is a scheme of salvation by faith and works.

    Don’t fight Paul. Not all Israel is Israel. Baptism is the initiation which makes someone a “Christian” but only faith makes someone a “Christian of the heart.”

    A Christian is one who believes in the finished work of Jesus Christ as the sole propitiation for their sins, completely and utterly apart from any and all works of the law, even those works done by faith. Faith is not faithfulness, but faithfulness will result from faith. They are logically distinct categories in Christianity, not so in Wilson’s Federal Vision so nicely expressed in the vile sermon you provided.

    Salvation (Christian of the heart) is by grace, through faith, ALONE, and is not maintained through faithfulness to the covenant or anything of the sort.

    Then your beef is with that false teacher Doug who you subject yourself and your family to. He’s the dog you should be biting. Not me.

    Faithfulness to the covenant (known in systematic theology as Sanctification) is the necessary outcome of saving faith (of a Christian of the heart).

    Outcome, result, or fruit; not ground or instrument. Again your beef is with Doug, not me.

    As Calvin said, God sanctifies those whom he Justifies. So, if someone is not faithful to the covenant, or, has no sign of sanctification, any good pastor would say, “you need to be saved man…”

    No, what any good pastor would say is you need to believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They should question that person’s faith; his belief. But Wilson says belief is immaterial. It doesn’t matter what anyone believes. All baptized persons are Christians, are united to Christ, are in the Covenant (despite the clear teaching of the WCF to the contrary), have all the promises of God, and this regardless if they ever believe or not. You need to pay attention to your pastor. He’s not a good one.

    If he is baptized, the pastor should say, “you have the name of Christ on you, you’re a Christian – BE one! Be a Christian of the heart. Apply your baptism to your heart!”

    That is completely asinine Daniel. A person who doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ and his finished work completely outside of everything and anything that they might do or that might be done in them, even through faith, DESPITE HIS BAPTISM, is no Christian. He’s an unbeliever with a wet head. There is no such thing as “applying your baptism to your heart.” Baptism is a sign picturing what has or will occur in the heart of someone who is in the Covenant, i.e., someone given to Jesus Christ by the Father. The Covenant is with Jesus Christ and the elect alone.

    So, I guess the question remains – do those who are “Christian of the heart” and those who are only “christian in name” have anything in common?

    Yes, they have only one thing in common. The name Christian. One is only a Christian in the nominal sense – or, for those under Wilson’s teaching, is no Christian at all except in name only — the other is really a Christian as the result of mere belief alone PLUS nothing. The Christian of the heart is the one who believes the Gospel. The heart is the mind in Scripture. The Christian is the one who simply believes the Gospel and nothing more. Wilson is a liar and an extremely obvious one. How can you possibly buy that Christ denying crap? What sort of nonsense have they polluted your mind with?

    I’m not sure we’re going to agree. You see me as a heretical guy who believes that I have to remain faithful to the covenant to “upkeep” my salvation or something like that (which I dont….)

    And I see you as a pseudo-Reformed baptistic type who is married to a strict, inflexible, confessional language, AND to its interpretation by today’s “Dr’s or the Law” (a privilieged, WSC educated few).

    You’re right, we don’t agree.

    But I’m probably wrong about you, (that’s how you come across), and if we lived in the same town, I’d invite you to share a beer, and talk about something else. The body of Christ is diverse. If we both spent this energy preaching to the gospel to the pagan world, our energy may be better spent.

    Beer or no beer, if you believe what Wilson taught in that sermon you provided, you are not a Christian and you need to learn the Gospel. FYI Leithart wanted to get together with me for a beer too after I questioned some of his teachings in a private email. Alcohol must be the way these guys dupe you with their schoolboy Romanish theology.

    Blessings, and may the Lord uphold you were you are right, convict you were you are wrong, and do the same to me! And on the gray areas that are non-essentials? Vive la Difference! 🙂

    The Gospel is not a gray area or a non-essential. Long live the difference, except in this case your difference leads to hell.

  12. Eric Says:

    This is a great quote from Clark and brings to mind this statement from the WCF

    All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them. WCF 1.7

    I suppose ‘ordinary means’ indicates simply ‘reading’ the scripture.

    There is an elitism going around Presbyterian and Reformed Churches today, many pastors don’t think the ‘ordinary’ man can know anything. This is especially true in the OPC.

  13. Sean Gerety Says:

    I think you would really appreciate Kevin Reed’s booklet, Imperious Presbyterianism.

  14. Eric Says:

    Thanks Sean! I read it twice and shared it with any one who would listen which in God’s grace and in these arid times amounted to ONE person.

    This elitism is an out and out denial of the doctrine of the body of Christ, which confirms the necessity of EVERY part of the body, and consigns anyone not in the ‘inner circle’ to a secondary non-essential status.

    The slide to Romanism is not far behind: Romanism because it maintains a FORM of Christianity, to the unwary, anyway. I suppose this is why the false teacher in the OPC I attended was praising Mother Teresa as a fine Christian example.

  15. lawyertheologian Says:

    Daniel,

    I was saying that the Abrahamic Covenant, the Covenant of Circumcision was not the Covenant of Grace. For the former was made to the Jewish people as a nation, and the latter is made with Christ, and His seed in Him. The Covenant of Grace operated in the OT. The promise of the Covenant of Grace mentioned in Romans 9:8 is “In Isaac your seed shall be.” This is not the promise of the covenant mentioned in Gen.17:7 “And I will establish my covenant between Me and you and your descendents after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendents after you.” Though the latter was to serve as a picture of the former. For Abraham, it served as a sign and seal of the righteousness of faith which he had. Rom.4:11

  16. Roger Mann Says:

    I’m not sure I follow you here, lawyertheologian. If the covenant of circumcision “served as a sign and seal of the righteousness of faith which [Abraham] had” (Romans 4:11), then it was clearly part of the Covenant of Grace or “promise” (Romans 4:13, 16). And since Genesis 17:11 makes clear that circumcision was to be the “sign of the covenant” made between God and Abraham in Genesis 17:7, it follows that the covenant established in Genesis 17:7 is an expression of the same Covenant of Grace established with Abraham when he was declared righteous by faith (Genesis 15:6). Likewise, it is the same Covenant of Grace that was made with Isaac (Genesis 17:19; 21:12; Romans 9:7) to the exclusion of Ishmael (Genesis 17:18-21) — for “those who are the children of the flesh [such as Ishmael], these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise [such as Isaac] are counted as the [covenant] seed” (Romans 9:8).

  17. lawyertheologian Says:

    First of all, the promise mentioned in Romans is not the promise of Genesis 17. The former is “In Isaac shall your seed be called.” The latter is “to be God to you and to your descendants after you.”

    Second, the sign of the covenant was for Abraham AND “every male among you.” Only for Abraham, who had faith in God, did it serve as a sign of his faith; for that was the basis of his allegiance to God.

    Third, Ishmael was not part of the covenant in any sense. God would make of him a separate nation. But while he was a child living with Abraham, he was under God’s covenant (of circumcision).

    Again, the covenant of circumcision pictured the covenant of grace. The former is external, the latter is invisible. God’s covenant (of circumcision) with Abraham (and his descendents) was based on God’s covenant of grace, that is, His promise that “in your seed shall of the nations be blessed.” Thus, for all who were of faith, circumcision signified their redemptive relationship to God.

    Now one could argue that being baptized puts one into the external visible church just as being circumcised put one into the external covenant of circumcision. But there’s a big difference. God truly related to these Jewish people in a non redemptive way, and they received non redemptive blessings. Being baptized won’t result in any blessing from God. Being associated with a church would, by hearing the Word preached.

    Again, in the NT there is no entering into an external covenant that pictures entering an invisible covenant. Joining the visible church is not a matter of entering into an external covenant. It is simply associating oneself with the people of God, those of like precious faith. Baptism is not the same symbol/sign as circumcision. It symbolizes being washed from sin, and only as such, being in the Covenant of Grace.

  18. Roger Mann Says:

    First of all, the promise mentioned in Romans is not the promise of Genesis 17. The former is “In Isaac shall your seed be called.” The latter is “to be God to you and to your descendants after you.”

    That’s simply not true. The “promise” in Romans is referring to the same covenant that was made with Abraham and his seed in Genesis 17 (and referred to in Genesis 21):

    “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations…And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants [seed] after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants [seed] after you.” (Genesis 17:4, 7)

    “I will establish My covenant with [Isaac] for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants [seed] after him.” (Genesis 17:19)

    “Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called.” (Genesis 21:12)

    “For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not made to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith” (Romans 4:13)

    “But it is not that the word of God has taken none effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the [fleshly/physical] seed of Abraham; but, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called.’ That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the [spiritual] seed. For this is the word of promise: ‘At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.’” (Romans 9:6-9)

    Scripture clearly teaches that this is one and the same covenant of grace made between God and Abraham and his spiritual seed — those who were represented by Christ (the true “Seed”; Galatians 3:16) in the covenant of grace: “The covenant of grace was made with Christ as the second Adam, and in him with all the elect as his seed” (Westminster Larger Catechism, A. 31). The substance of the covenant has never changed; only the “sign” has changed from circumcision to baptism under the new covenant administration.

    Second, the sign of the covenant was for Abraham AND “every male among you.” Only for Abraham, who had faith in God, did it serve as a sign of his faith; for that was the basis of his allegiance to God.

    Yes, the “sign” of circumcision was to be administered to Abraham and “every male among you.” So what? That doesn’t change the fact that it is the “sign” of the same invisible covenant of grace made between God and Abraham and his spiritual seed (Genesis 17:11; cf. 17:4-7). Moreover, the fact that the “sign” of circumcision signified Abraham’s faith (Romans 4:11) merely emphasized the gracious nature of the covenant of grace:

    “Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, ‘I have made you a father of many nations’).” Romans 4:16-17)

    Nevertheless, the “sign” of circumcision signified the same thing for all who received it — justification by grace through faith alone — whether they possessed faith or partook of the substance of the covenant or not. For example, Ishmael received the “sign” of the covenant (Genesis 17:26) on the basis of God’s explicit command (Genesis 17:10-11), even though he never partook of the substance of the covenant (Genesis 17:18-21). The same is true of all our children who are baptized today — they still to receive the “sign” of the covenant, but only those who are elect and exhibit saving faith (at God’s appointed time) are genuine members of the covenant of grace.

  19. lawyertheologian Says:

    “I will establish My covenant with [Isaac] for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants [seed] after him.” (Genesis 17:19)

    “Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called.” (Genesis 21:12)

    “For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not made to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith” (Romans 4:13)

    Look again. These are not the same promises. The promise of the seed is not the promise of the covenant of circumcision (““to be God to you and to your descendants after you”). The former Abraham believed and it was credited to him for righteousness. That was what brought Abraham into the Covenant of Grace.

    ‘At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.’” (Romans 9:6-9)

    Again, this is the same promise as “In thy seed shall all of the nations be blessed.” That is, in Isaac shall of the nations be blessed.

    “Ishmael received the “sign” of the covenant (Genesis 17:26) on the basis of God’s explicit command (Genesis 17:10-11), even though he never partook of the substance of the covenant (Genesis 17:18-21).”

    Yes, but why did God command that he be circumcised? God doesn’t act irrationally. Would it make any sense for God to command that someone be baptized whom He told us was a reprobate?

  20. Andrew Says:

    Pleased to see that Clark and His Critics has been released. It’s been a long time coming!

    Living in the UK I have been holding off on a couple of other Clark books until this one was released to reduce shipping costs, miserable eh?

    Do you know Sean, is there a schedule for the other volumes in the signature series, or even what those volumes will be?

  21. Sean Gerety Says:

    Pat and Roger, since this is a spillover from another thread (and Roger, word of warning, Pat is the energizer bunny if you get my drift). 😉 If you’d like to discuss the Reformed doctrine of baptism vs. the Baptist version, please do it somewhere else.

    However, if anyone would like to listen to Wilson’s sermon linked above and provide some additional comments, please do!

  22. Sean Gerety Says:

    Hi Andrew, I’m quite sure there are other volumes since, unless I’ve missed something, they’re still missing some =8-(). Either that or John couldn’t count. They have a Vol. 15 out, but I think you’d be wise to get the first 8 published so far since the dollar to pound probably won’t be better, but, who knows, perhaps Obama and the immoral scale manipulators at the Federal Reserve will destroy the dollar completely and you’ll get a better deal.

    I’m reading V7 now. I just started the first critics section with Nash. GREAT STUFF. FWIW getting the entire published series (even if it’s sans a few missing volumes to come) is cheaper than I saw the Nash book not long ago. I did see it for $50 recently, but the TF is better. From what Tom told me the original had Clark’s critics all first then Clark’s reply at the end. This has Clark responding to each of his critics immediately following their critiques.

  23. speigel Says:

    I haven’t finished the book yet, but it’s a great book to have as someone who reads Clark. For example, Clark makes more explicit some of his views because he is directly answering critics. I am, however, sad to see how some of the critics misunderstood Clark’s view while also sad to see that, though, some understood Clark, they nonetheless disagree but with less than good reason for doing so.

    I’m assuming the other volumes in the Clark Series will include Clark’s other NT commentaries, combination of his theology books, and a collection of his articles, letters, and book reviews. I’m guessing it’s taking some time to organize which books get put into which volume; and to get copyright permission to reprint some of Clark’s letters and articles as well as making sure TF has all known Clark writings. I’ve seen some citations of articles written by Clark not included in the bibliography as printed in the Clark Series. I wonder if TF knows.

  24. Andrew Says:

    I’m nearly complete as far as Clark’s published works go. I bought the 7 previous volumes of the series periodically over a year or so ago; at the time I got a great exchange rate on them. I have most of the others also.

    Not so much now though…

    I had considered that the remaining volumes of the series would be made up of the theology books and commentaries, but I don’t think these would cover 7 more volumes (presuming that 15 is the last). So letters and articles must bridge the gap.

  25. speigel Says:

    I’m also finding it hard to think that the rest of Clark’s books could cover, at least, 7 more volumes. I think TF may reprint some of what Clark wrote for the Trinity Reviews, which may cover a good amount of space.

    I’m hoping there’s a book by Clark that hasn’t been published yet. I have seen citations of an unpublished manuscript by Clark, though I am unsure if it’s been worked in into one of Clark’s other books. I know some of his articles been been incorporated into some of his books. I’m also wondering if a volume would cover a possible biography of Clark’s life. I guess we’ll just have to see.

  26. huh Says:

    Looking at the latest review at TF website, and saw this: “Paul recognized no entitlement to the property of another based on need.”
    But, wasn’t it John Robbins that aided the TF’s current president when TJ moved into GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZED HOUSING?
    Apparently, Tom didn’t make enough to afford housing, so he used the property of others? Hypocritical?


  27. “Paul recognized no entitlement to the property of another based on need.”

    The only real issue is whether we agree with this statement or not.

    Besides, receiving government aid doesn’t mean we believe we are entitled to it, except in the sense that one meets the requirements that gov’t has set up for receiving such aid, not in the sense that one believes gov’t has the right to take money from your neighbors and give it to you.

  28. Ron Gilbert Says:

    Funny stuff about Tom. I helped him move in!
    Seems to me “huh” is saying that there is a disconnect between saying one thing and doing another, when those two things don’t agree.
    I see your point, LT, but if you agree that the Constitution doesn’t provide for handouts, and the government shouldn’t be meddling in business (and in this case, housing), why should you practice differently than what you teach?
    The article John wrote, was it written after Tom moved in?
    See, John defined Christianity as “the 66 books of the Bible and their logical implications.” This is about faith. Where is obedience in the definition?
    Are these not the two great constituent parts of Christianity?
    Robbins truncated it.

  29. Sean Gerety Says:

    For those who may not either know or recall or even care, but Ron here was fired from the Trinity Foundation for violating his confidentiality agreement with Dr. Robbins and was caught secretly providing one of Doug Wilson’s men with information he evidently thought incriminating of his employer. Evidently even Federal Visionists in Wilson’s employ have more integrity than Ron does and informed John of his dishonesty and deception.


  30. Sean, what the heck is this? Gossip? Is it relevant that we know this about Ron? Stick to the issue presented.

    Ron, again, I don’t see any inconsistency with accepting gov’t funds though denying their right to forcbily take those funds from taxpayers. Another example is collecting unemployment. Employers are forced to pay into a fund so that employees who lose their jobs can be provided for. I see nothing inconsistent with accepting those funds though denying gov’t’s right to take that money.

    And again, people can be inconsistent. It doesn’t make their principle incorrect.

    And no, obedience is not part of the definition of Christianity. Rather, it is because we believe that we obey.

  31. Sean Gerety Says:

    No, Pat, it’s not gossip. That is the reason John gave for Ron’s termination and explains the bitter ax Ron has decided to grind here.

    People should know who they are dealing with.


  32. Don’t confuse gossip with slander or libel (gossip might be true). Nor have I discerned any bitterness toward TF expressed in Ron’s post. Thus, if anything, your post seems premature.

  33. Sean Gerety Says:

    Well, Pat, you need to pay closer attention. Besides, this isn’t the only thread that Ron has been venting his spleen on.

    If you’d like to continue discussing Tom’s house buying practices with Ron, perhaps you and he can take this somewhere else? Thanks in advance.

  34. Sean Gerety Says:

    Better yet, Pat. I see you have your own blog. Why not take it there.


  35. Sean, I’ve checked through this whole thread and again there is nothing expressing any bitterness toward TF by Ron.

    Well, I think that my responses should have settled the issue of Tom’s house buying practices.


  36. Oh, there was this tangential discussion on whether obedience is part of the definition of Christianity (then again this whole part seems tangential-I don’t know why it was brought up in this thread). I would be willing to discuss this further at my blog. I guess I could open a page for that.

    lawyertheologian.wordpress.com

  37. Sean Gerety Says:

    Pat, I was referencing other threads. Not just this one.

    Look, it doesn’t matter. Ron is a disgruntled former TF employee who was clandestinely feeding information to those working for Doug Wilson before he got caught and violated the terms of his contract according to John.

    But, yes, if you want to entertain a man like Ron, please do it on your own blog. Thanks.


  38. “Pat, I was referencing other threads. Not just this one.”

    Well, what you said was “…this isn’t the only thread that Ron has been venting his spleen on.” And “Well, Pat, you need to pay closer attention.”

    I don’t need to pay closer attention. For it simply isn’t true that on “this” thread Ron has been venting his spleen.

    “Look, it doesn’t matter.”

    Yes, it does matter. You need to watch what you say.

    “Ron is a disgruntled former TF employee who was clandestinely feeding information to those working for Doug Wilson before he got caught and violated the terms of his contract according to John. ”

    Yeah, so what.

    “But, yes, if you want to entertain a man like Ron, please do it on your own blog. Thanks.”

    Oh, I see. A man like Ron is not welcome on your blog.

  39. Sean Gerety Says:

    I’m glad you get it Pat.

  40. lawyertheologian Says:

    Your blog ought to be about discussing ideas, regardless of where they come from.

  41. Ron Says:

    I am here to fulfill a request Tom Juodaitis, President of the Trinity Foundation, has made of me (Sean, with your condescension, please):

    Tom has asked me to apologize for first posting under the psuedonym “huh” with the email “huh@huh.com”.
    I apologize, Tom.
    When speaking to Tom on the phone, he expressed his forgiveness.

    Tom wants me to apologize as well for what he perceives to be a “personal attack” on him, as he no longer lives in government subsidized housing.
    I apologize, Tom, for assuming you still did.
    Tom also included this item in the offered forgiveness.

  42. George Says:

    I love this site and Clark’s books and Robbin’s also.

    I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Robbins in TN about four years ago. He was very warm, friendly and down to earth. A truee Christian.

    As far as govt. subsidized housing. Who cares? I drive on govt. subsidized roads, my kids play on govt. subsidized baseball and soccer fields — actually govt. owned would be better terminology. It is pretty much impossible to do much without taking advantage of some govt. owned or subsidized something or other every day.

    Does anyone here have any insight on Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines book? My PCA church has built a year-long Sunday School series around it.

  43. qeqesha Says:

    George,
    Bob DeWaay has a negative commentary on Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines at http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue111.htm.

    Denson

  44. Ron Says:

    After further dialogue with Tom I confessed to impugning his character and Tom forgave me.

  45. ray Says:

    Ron, did you ever apologize to the late Dr. Robbins for what you did?

    What advantage would there be to feeding Wilson’s clan information on Dr. Robbins?

    It is one thing to prove your total depravity … it’s another to admit it humbly and honestly. 1 Peter 3. I know … I have had to learn that lesson, and thankful to the Lord for understanding it.

  46. Daniel F Says:

    Sean,

    Sorry it took a while to respond. busy life!

    You’re still not accepting the clearly defined terminology that Doug Wilson is talking about when he talks of two kinds of Christians. Once again, you’re conflating categories from one kind of Christian to the other. Now, if you think that the distinction between a “Christian of the heart” vs a “Christian in name” is unhelpful, then THAT is an argument.

    A few times you said, “well, your beef is with DW not with me.” But you are mistaken – those things, justification by faith ALONE are what DW teaches. When you quote his writings, you are ignoring the clear categories and contexts in which he says certain things.
    You CAN claim that he is unhelpful by using these categories, but you cannot claim him to be a heretic by taking him out of context.

    Faithfulness is not the basis of Justification any more than other works. It is never divorced from saving faith, but it is NOT THE BASIS in any form whatsoever. As you said, faithfulness is the result/fruit of saving faith and justification, and a necessary one (again, not as cause, but result – the necessary result if the faith is truly a saving faith.).

    Sincerely,
    Daniel

  47. Sean Gerety Says:

    justification by faith ALONE are what DW teaches.

    Provided you accept Wilson’s definition of faith to include obedience. I do not.

    When you quote his writings, you are ignoring the clear categories and contexts in which he says certain things.

    I quoted Wilson verbatim and from the sermon you provided. If anyone thinks I’ve taken him out of context you’ve provided the link. Let them listen to his horrid caricature of a Christian sermon and decide for themselves.

    Faithfulness is not the basis of Justification any more than other works. It is never divorced from saving faith, but it is NOT THE BASIS in any form whatsoever.

    If you mean “basis” in the sense that faithfulness for Wilson and his poor followers is the ground of justification, I never said it was. However, it is most certainly the instrument in Wilson’s soterilogy which would put him squarely in the Roman Catholic camp, admittedly without the gaudy accouterments. You’re following an second rate Roman stooge. A lackey.

    As you said, faithfulness is the result/fruit of saving faith and justification, and a necessary one (again, not as cause, but result – the necessary result if the faith is truly a saving faith.).

    The fruit of faith is perhaps necessary to others to justify a person’s claim to saving faith, but they are utterly irrelevant to the question of justification in the forensic sense. For we maintain that a man is justified apart from works of the law.

  48. Daniel F Says:

    Sean,

    Do you believe that there is such as thing as a Christian who does not grow in sanctification?

    I agree with you, that the fruit of faith is indeed the fruit of faith. It’s result, consequence, etc. Works or continued faithfulness has nothing to do with Christ’s forensic declaration of our eternal righteousness (or rather, it IS upon works – but SOLELY the works of Christ, imputed to us).

    Another way of putting my question is, do you believe in (as the Baptists would call it) a “Carnal Christian”?

    FV is trying to refute that distortion of the gospel.

  49. Sean Gerety Says:

    FV is trying to refute that distortion of the gospel.

    Then I think we should agree that the FV is a complete and utter failure, since the FV is a complete denial of the gospel. Wilson’s sermon you provided is just another case in point.

  50. Daniel F Says:

    You didn’t answer my question…you and Red Beetle (Monty Collier) are good at that.

    FV failed if they do indeed deny the Gospel, which I hold they do not.


  51. So was it Dr. Clark or was it those who are publishing his books who seem hold the Second Commandment in such low esteem?

    Q. 109. What sins are forbidden in the second commandment?
    A. The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counseling, commanding, using, and any wise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself; the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever……

  52. Ron Says:

    Brian,
    If you are referring to past covers on some of the TF books of the past, Dr. Robbins stopped using covers with representations of Christ, etc. over such a concern for the 2nd commandment.


  53. Ron,

    Glad to hear it. Perhaps Mr. Gerety can update the photos of the book covers.

    Blessings,
    Brian

  54. speigel Says:

    I’ve wondered about this as well.

    But it should be noted that the original covers of Clark’s books were different than the current covers. You should probably look at the date of publication and compare it to Clark’s death in 1982. I’m assuming if Clark was alive, he wouldn’t have ok’d some of the current covers.


  55. Speigel,

    I suspected that was the case, but regardless of whether they are original or some later editor’s decisions, it was a bad decision. The Federal ReVisionists rightly point out that the PCA has some antinomian issues. Those things manifest themselves most clearly, in my experience, in Second Commandment and Fourth Commandment issues. Find out what a guy believes on those things and you’ll find out how he really views the Law of God, no matter what he says.

    It would be good for FV critics to pay close attention to these things ourselves.

  56. speigel Says:

    Carpenter, You should’ve understood that I was trying to answer your question if it was Clark or someone else’s decision to have those (new) covers. I was saying nothing else about any other issue.

  57. Pat Says:

    I don’t see what the big tadoo is all about.

    If you are referring to pictures like that of baby Jesus on the cover of “The Incarnation”, I really don’t see how that is a violation of the 2nd Commandment. It is not a representation of God. Nor would any picture of Jesus as a man (unless you add a halo). We don’t worship the man (as Clark clearly distinguished) but the Deity.

    BTW, I would think Clark would have had no problem with the picture, and in fact he may have known about it before its publication and his death.

  58. Sean Gerety Says:

    Glad to hear it. Perhaps Mr. Gerety can update the photos of the book covers.

    What for? Are you offended by depictions of Martin Luther or those illustrating the parable of the blind leading the blind? There is a picture of a dead pope on one book on my sidebar. I know some think he is the personification of Christ on earth. I’m at a loss as to what to change?

    Also, to Ron, it may be true that John was “in the process” of changing the covers that folks like Brian find sinful or that he considered some to be in violation of the 2nd Commandment, but you can still see renderings of Christ on Clark’s books on the Atonement and The Trinity at the Foundation’s website.

    And, Speigel, I would guess Clark even had prior approval on the covers or if he objected I know of nowhere that he raised that objection. The question “why” might be a good one, but I have no idea.

  59. speigel Says:

    I think the question should have been initially brought to Mr. Joudaitis since he might know the answer.

    Clark may have had given approval, but it’s all speculative, I think, unless someone at TF tells us. As far as I can tell, all books with covers depicting Christ have been published after Clark’s death. None of the books with depictions with Christ, as far as I can tell, were published while Clark was living.

    In general, I was simply asking if Clark was the one to approve the covers. I’m not here to discuss the Second Commandment.

  60. speigel Says:

    I meant: simply answering* if Clark…

  61. Pat Says:

    I believe the Trinity was published before Clark’s death (which was 1985, not 1982)which was Clark’s penultimate written book (Incarnation being his last).

  62. speigel Says:

    Thanks for the correction, Pat. I knew of the date, but wrote the wrong one in my response.

    The “current” cover of the Trinity which has the depiction of Christ is from the second edition, not the first. Unless the first edition has the same picture or another picture with a depiction of Christ, then my statement that covers with pictures of Christ, as far as I can tell, did not appear until after Clark’s death still stands.


  63. Sean,

    You’re right. I clicked a few links and ended up at the Trinity Foundation’s website and not yours. I didn’t realize I’d left your site. Sorry.

    Both “The Trinity” and “The Incarnation” depict pictures of Jesus. The Larger Catechism Q 109 reads in part:

    Q. 109. What sins are forbidden in the second commandment?
    A. The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counseling, commanding, using, and any wise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself; the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever……

    The Heidelberg Catechism says:
    Question 96. What does God require in the second commandment?

    Answer: That we in no wise represent God by images, nor worship him in any other way than he has commanded in his word.

    Question 97. Are images then not at all to be made?

    Answer: God neither can, nor may be represented by any means: but as to creatures; though they may be represented, yet God forbids to make, or have any resemblance of them, either in order to worship them or to serve God by them.

    Question 98. But may not images be tolerated in the churches, as books to the laity?

    Answer: No: for we must not pretend to be wiser than God, who will have his people taught, not by dumb images, but by the lively preaching of his word.

    Since we do not know what Jesus looked like, any picture of him we make will necessarily be one which some human being has made up. Since there is grave danger in seeing Jesus as we want to see him, rather than as he has revealed himself. There is also a grave danger in presenting one aspect of Christ apart from the other aspects (I notice that nobody ever paints him telling the pharisees off, for instance, or driving people out of the temple with a whip of cords. Nobody gives their toddler a picture of Jesus from Revelation Chpt 1 to hang on their bedroom wall. It’d scare them to death. They always give kids the Precious Moments Jesus or the Gay Hippie Jesus with the pink ribbon in his hair.) Thirdly, as Thomas Watson, one of the Westminster Divines, argues in his book on the Ten Commandments, what made Jesus unique was his humanity united to his Divinity. Since you cannot paint or picture his Divinity, you separate that which God has joined.

    The orthodox Reformed conviction on these things has always been that pictures of Jesus are violations of the Second Commandment. I happen to think this opinion is correct, and I’ve seen a great deal of damage done to people who have been misled concerning who Jesus is and what he is like by the pictures that are peddled all over the place.

    Daniel Hyde has just published a book called “In Living Color” which deals with this extensively. I’m told that it’s quite good, though I haven’t read it myself.

  64. Pat Says:

    Hmm, from what I recall, there is no orthodox Reformed position regarding pictures of Jesus, but maybe that is just the OPC and PCA.

    Again, as I posted before, we don’t worship Jesus as a man. What Jesus may have looked like has nothing to do with acknowledging him as the God Man. Thus, a picture of a man to represent Jesus, depicting the event of Jesus teaching his disciples or a multitude or whatever is not for the purpose of identifying the God man.

  65. Sean Gerety Says:

    Both “The Trinity” and “The Incarnation” depict pictures of Jesus.

    Stand corrected, it’s “The Trinity” and “The Incarnation.”

  66. lawyertheologian Says:

    Ok, Spiegel, I got home and checked my copy of “The Trinity”, which is the first edition, and it does have the same picture on the front cover.

  67. speigel Says:

    Thanks for the information Pat.

    There is still the question as to when the first edition came out. The publication date for the first edition is 1985. Clark died in April 1985. Was the book published before or after April 1985? In general, I still hold that it’s reasonable to believe that the books depicting Christ were published after Clark’s life. Is that belief true? No idea. But it’s very reasonable to think so.

  68. Pat Says:

    Well, JR wrote the Forward in Dec.2004 but I guess we’ll never know when exactly it was published. Strange, it seems that these questions always surface when the person who can answer them is no longer around.

    The bigger question, which I think is odd, that anyone would think Clark would have taken issue with the pictures, or that some would think that they are a violation of the 2nd Commandment, and that some would accuse the PCA of being Antinomian for allowing such things.

  69. Ron Gilbert Says:

    Well, somehow I ended up here after a long series of click’s and thought I would clarify some things for you, Sean, etal.

    You never did care to ask my side of the story, but in the interest of answering “Ray” and “lawyertheologian”:

    Sean: “For those who may not either know or recall or even care, but Ron here was fired from the Trinity Foundation for violating his confidentiality agreement with Dr. Robbins”

    This is true.

    Sean: “and was caught secretly providing one of Doug Wilson’s men with information he evidently thought incriminating of his employer.”

    This is not true.

    Sean: “Evidently even Federal Visionists in Wilson’s employ have more integrity than Ron does”

    This is Sean’s opinion.

    “and informed John of his dishonesty and deception.”

    No, they did not do that, unless it was after I had been dismissed.

    It was I who brought it to John as per his desire to know of all correspondences. In fact, I tearfully told Linda Robbins on my way up the stairs from the cellar to talk to John that I feared I had erred.

    Ray, I sought to meet with John on three occasions: once I cancelled, and twice I was refused. John was very sick and couldn’t see me on one of those occasions.

    Sean: “Ron is a disgruntled former TF employee”

    No, I was very happy to be free. I wanted to leave about a year before I went to John and told him of the exchange I was having with a fellow who wanted to use it against me, but John had cancer and I was truly trying to do what was right by not leaving his employ.

    Sean: “who was clandestinely feeding information to those working for Doug Wilson”

    Not true.

    Sean: “before he got caught”

    Not true. I went to John, who was ignorant of my conversation with this one person (I kept him appraised of all correspondence by his request, until this isolated incident).

    Sean: “and violated the terms of his contract according to John.”

    This is true.

    Now, both sides of the story are here on your blog. The only other party to the unfortunate episode in which I sinned was John’s wife, Linda. Others were asked to intercede but refused.

    I hope you will let this post remain up, for I have always been truly sorry this rift occurred, and would like this known. Thanks, Ron.

  70. Sean Gerety Says:

    3 years later Ron. Really? Isn’t it time you moved on?


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