John Robbins Not So Quick Quote

The result of two centuries of irrationalism is that at the beginning of the twenty-first century, we are faced, not with a hopeful prospect, but with an even more dismal prospect than our great grandfathers faced a hundred years ago. The last hundred years has seen the resurgence of medieval Romanism and the emergence of Romanist zealot organizations such as Opus Dei. Medieval Romanism is not just confined to the Roman Catholic Church-State and its thousands of educational institutions, but has gained many adherents among nominal Protestants as well: The prolific authors Norman Geisler and R. C. Sproul, and many lesser known Protestant theologians and philosophers as well, are disciples of the official philosopher of the Roman Church-State, Thomas Aquinas. Their influence has misled most Protestants away from a Biblical and Reformed view of philosophy and apologetics and into a compromise with Rome. Medieval Islam, now usually called “fundamentalist Islam,” and medieval Judaism, with the establishment of the modern State of Israel in 1948, are on the rise as well. All three religions – Romanism, Islam, and Judaism – are false, militant, and violent. Devout members of each group hate, oppose, and plot against members of the other two. But today the date is 2006, not 1006, and the true believers of each of these medieval religions have access to nuclear, biological, chemical, and electromagnetic weapons.

Barring dramatic divine intervention, such as a new Reformation, or the second coming of Christ, the wars of the twenty-first century will be religious wars. They will be worse than the secular wars of the twentieth century. The three principal protagonists will be the three medieval religions that have warred with each other for centuries. Already the battles have begun.

It is important to realize that the Christian has no dog in this fight. Neither Romanism nor Judaism nor Islam is Christianity, yet many who profess to be Christians support either Judaism or Romanism. The so-called Christian Right in the United States, influenced by Romanism, Dispensationalism, and Reconstructionism, has been a supporter of Israel, Judaism, and Rome for decades. The principal figures in the American conservative movement have been Romanist, though their source of funds has largely been Protestant. The principal figures of the so-called Neo-conservatives (Neo-cons) are Jews. The U. S. government, in violation of the U. S. Constitution, has taken tens, if not hundreds, of billions of dollars from American taxpayers and given them to the government of Israel over the past 50 years. We have fought wars and spent billions trying to prop up various Roman Catholic dictatorships. (More recently, the U. S. Government has started sending money taken by force from the American people to Arab and Muslim nations as well.) The conservative movement in the United States has abandoned the American (and Biblical) foreign policy of strategic independence pursued by our government since 1776 for a policy of global interventionism that has angered many foreign nations and peoples, most recently the Muslims.

Because Christianity is neither Romanism nor Judaism nor Islam, there is no need for the United States, a historically, if not currently, Christian nation, to be involved in the religious wars of the twenty-first century. But because of the influence of American citizens (and non-citizens) who are Jews, Catholics, and Dispensational Evangelicals, we are already involved. In fact, because of our foreign policy of interventionism developed in the twentieth century, and because of our more recent policy of pre-emptive war, the United States has become the primary target of militant Muslims worldwide. And not of Muslims only. Agents of both Israel and Rome are active in the United States, both gathering intelligence and influencing policy. The U. S. government is manipulated by foreign interests. Both Israel and the Vatican see the United States as their proxy in this religious war.  [For the rest see The Religious Wars of the 21st Century].

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66 Comments on “John Robbins Not So Quick Quote”

  1. Mike S. Says:

    This website is obviously being used to foster a right wing militia movement. It has been added to our list of known terrorist organizations in the US and six government agencies have been assigned to investigate.

    The FBI should be around shortly to pickup anyone who ever posted on your site in support of the owners views. Thank you for your patience.


  2. Cliffton Says:

    I was just about to comment but I hear a knock at my door.

  3. ray Says:

    let them come 🙂

  4. Eric Says:

    The pitter patter of little jack-boot clad feet.

    If you speak it (truth), they will come.

  5. Eric Says:

    “…six government agencies have been assigned to investigate.”

    I guess we don’t have anything to worry about, then. 🙂

  6. Cliffton Says:


    I had to laugh when I read your last comment. That was legitimately funny.

  7. Cliffton Says:

    How is it that R.C.Sproul has been given a pass all these years? Other than Robbins, the only other theologian I know of who has criticized Sproul is Prof. Engelsma, and that had to do with Sproul’s extreme postmillennial views, or rather Sproul’s support of those who hold to extreme postmillennial views. Although, to be perfectly honest, I think all postmillennial views are extreme…extremely wrong.

  8. qeqesha Says:

    RC Sproul has not necessarily been given a pass. Gordon Clark’s philosophy enables one to understand the source of a man’s beliefs/thoughts. This requires one to go into the details of a man’s literary output and this takes time and money(You have to buy the nonsense!) We only have 24 hrs a day and we have to feed our families!
    In the history of philosophy, disciples of a particular man’s thoughts have sometimes banded together to work out the implications of that man’s philosophy in all areas of thought. The Vienna circle comes to mind whose philosophy was logical positivism. Some of the activities of such collaboration is criticism and debunking of other systems of thought. This is where Sproul’s literal output would come under the spotlight. John Robbins worked hard and left a significant legacy in the area of economics and did a tremendous amount of work defending the gospel from both incompetent proclaimers and direct attacks.
    We probably need to think along those lines and build on Clark’s and Robbin’s vision and their legacy.


  9. lawyertheologian Says:

    R.C Sproul, as regards his epistemology, his Thomistic empiricism, has long been known and dealt with.

  10. speigel Says:

    Related to Denson’s last comment – has anyone built on Clark’s work? I’m asking for new deductions based on Clark’s work. Or are we left with Clark’s work and everyone just repeating what he said (not to take away the importance of what he has said)? For example, Robbins with economics. Anything or anyone else? I’ve been looking but am not sure if I’ve looked at the right places. Thanks.

  11. I have to agree with the late John Robbins’ assessment. If not for Bush’s stupid decision to go to war with Iraq the Democrats would not be in control of both houses of Congress and the office of the President.

    But then, as Christians our fight is a spiritual battle to preach the Gospel to every creature.


  12. dewisant1 Says:

    Your question on new work from a clarkian perspective reminded me of a few comments on the “Crampton reviews Andersen” thread which procaimed the futility of seeking Biblical, reformed seminaries. And I ask it again, not about education (though I would like to know), but also about worship? What’s a presbyterian to do these days? I’m getting a reputaion as a “come outer” around these parts – PCA, PCUSA, etc. We can’t just sit around and worship on the WWW. I ain’t sayin’, I’m just askin’.

  13. dewisant1 Says:

    In the above quoted article, it says this: “A. P. D’Entreves, one of the foremost historians of political theory in the twentieth century, wrote of Thomas: “It is hardly possible for the modern man to accept the system which St. Thomas founded…without renouncing the notion of civil and religious liberty which we have some right to consider the most precious conquest of the West.” The “Angelic Doctor”
    defended imprisonment, torture, murder, and banishment as proper policies in defense of Christendom. In its willingness to use force, Romanism is no different from the other major world religions of Islam and Judaism.”

    I think this point is valid. It makes me wonder if we in America should use the power of the sword in the hands of the civil magistrate to “banish” (ie: ban, or refuse civil liberties to) practising homosexuals. Deny them the civil right of civil union. I saw where the two lead attornies, pro & con, in “Bush v. Gore” have joined together in attempting to overthrow Prop. 8 in California.
    I want my country to treat all equally under the law.
    I want the Church to proclaim the Gospel to all equally according to the Law.
    I value the insight & instruction I have found on this blog.

  14. Charlie Ray Says:

    I must strongly disagree that we ought to protect “vice” as “equal under the law.” That is ridiculous. While I strongly oppose the theonomy/reconstructionist theology, it does not mean that I believe we ought to sit back while the communists, socialists, pagans and theological liberals re-invent democracy before our very eyes. Social engineering should be opposed by Christians of every denomination. At no point in previous times has homosexuality been viewed as God-given right and it should not be accepted today as such either. While the freedom of religion gives homosexuals the right to believe whatever they wish, it does not follow that society has to endorse and sanctify private immorality in the public realm. I agree that homosexuals have the same individual rights that any other unmarried individual has. Beyond this I am opposed to everything in the gay rights movement.

    What you do in private is private so keep it that way. The sad thing is the communists and socialists want to regulate religion (see Bill Maher’s comments in the Ben Stein documentary, No Intelligence Allowed). The gay activists would have Christians in the closet while they parade their immorality shamelessly in public.

    Morality is on a downward spiral in our country and atheism is gaining ground. All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing!

    May the peace of God be with you,


  15. dewisant1 Says:

    Sorry, Charlie…

  16. Daniel F Says:

    Sorry this is a bit of topic, but this is a must-read letter pertaining to FV.

    This letter encompasses my position exactly. All I can say of the SJC: Badly done. I’m grateful there are godly men in the PCA who won’t stand by and watch innocent men convicted.

  17. Sean Gerety Says:

    I have no doubt that you share Rayburn’s position. Big surprise; a Muscovite cheering for the defense of a Federal Visionist by another Federal Visionist.

    That said, there is already a topic where your “must-read” letter would fit quite nicely (someone already beat you to the punch). See PCA Pastor Peter Leithart to be Charged.

  18. Mike Says:

    Ok, I am still catching up with you all. Still reading through my Clark and Robbins. I am also catching up on R.C.’s errors. I was reviewing some of his writings and he has whole books dedicated to the conclusion that the reformers like Luther and Calvin were soley focused and devoted to faith alone, and that the Roman church rejected this and is therefore an apostate church. He sounds like he is fairly solid. I am not saying I agree with all his conclusions, and his views on God’s providence certainly do not go far enough (thank you Gordon Clark). I have just read and watched so many sources from Sproul that seem to be denouncing the Catholic church.

    Again…. I am asking the question not arguing the point, help me understand.

    I like Robbins and he seems to be excellent so explain to me why every error is linked by to a vast Catholic concpiracy, to include R.C.’s views.

  19. Mike Says:

    quick side question… I want to get the best bible I can….

    Is one of the Geneva Bibles the way to go… if so which one, 1599?

  20. Sean Gerety Says:

    I think the problem with men like Sproul is that they adhere to the same underlying philosophy (or, better, epistemology) as does the Roman church/state. On example might be that a Thomistic approach to knowledge would logically imply a more sensate view worship for one thing.

    So, it’s not so much a conspiracy as it is, at root, a capitulation. It’s the assumption that Catholicism and Christianity share the same underlying epistemological premise (which is really foundational) and this is false. Now, I suppose they did at one time, but the RCC has slid pretty far from it’s Augustinian moorings.

    As for Bibles, I used to have the Geneva NKJV with all those Sproul footnotes. I loved it. I lost it and need to buy another one (if it’s still available). Frankly, I’m a big fan of the NKJV and I have been pretty taken by the arguments in favor of the majority and “received” texts as opposed to modern translations following Wescott & Hort.

    Hope that helps.

  21. Mike, R.C. Sproul is not linked to a “vast Catholic conspiracy.” I don’t believe that is the argment that John Robbins had with him. R.C. Sproul is solid on many reformed points of theology. The point of contention is R.C. Sproul’s approach to apologetics, which is modeled on evidentialism via the Roman Catholic church father, Thomas Aquinas. Gordon H. Clark’s approach was presuppositionalism. Evidentialism begins with reason rather than with Scripture and with faith. Reason, being corrupted by the fall, can never lead to faith. Rather the eyes of the elect are opened through the preaching of the Gospel. So the beginning point is Scripture.

    The other issue is the dispute between Van Til and Clark. Both were presuppositionalists. So what was their point of contention? Van Til took the irrationalist route and denied that propositional truth in Scripture is rational. Van Til falsely accused Clark of “rationalism”. By rationalism Van Til meant exalting reason above Scripture, which is not Clark’s position at all. Rather Clark said that Scripture is revealed through rational form, i.e., logical and propositional truth states which are completely rational and understandable and comprehensible.

    Basically, Van Til’s approach has more in common with neo-orthodoxy than with solid reformed theology. Sproul, on the other hand, is not a presuppositionalist but an evidentialist and thinks that reason can set the stage for accepting the existence of God and the special revelation of God in Scripture.

    Presuppositionalism acknowledges that everyone has a presupposition and a predisposition. So the only way to break through the bondage of sin is through God’s sovereign intervention and the appointed means of such an intervention is Holy Scripture and the preaching of the Gospel.

    I don’t totally disregard Sproul. I just reject his evidentialism. As with all theologians there is some adherence to the truth.

    At least this is my take on the situation. Sean and the owners of the God’s Hammer blog are sure to correct me where I’ve misunderstood.

    Sincerely in Christ,


  22. That should have been “truth statements.” Or “truth claims.”

  23. Sean Gerety Says:

    To add one small thing to Charlie’s reply, the other problem with Sproul’s approach is his underlying empiricism. You don’t have to read very far in Clark to get slammed in the face with a myriad of arguments against the notion that knowledge can be derived from from sensation.

  24. Mike Says:

    Good to know. I had just read Robbins response to one of Sproul’s books…

    and since Sproul had been a major writer in my early walk into reformed theology it was a bit saddening. Especially because some of his arguments AGAINST the catholic church were pretty good.

  25. Mike,

    I started out reading R.C. Sproul, too. He has some good things to say but if you read the article at the link you posted, there are many problems with his thinking as well.

    I see a strand of works righteousness in Sproul. One of the symptoms of that which I witnessed at his church in Lake Mary, Florida is their use of the Crown Ministries theology on tithing. Basically, Crown ministries gives lots of practical advice on how to be a good steward and manage your resources. No problem there. The real problem with Crown Ministries is that it promises that there is some sort of direct relationship between tithing, giving, etc., and the real time “blessings.” In other words, it promises prosperity in this life as a direct result of tithing. This a subtle form of the prosperity gospel message. God never promises that we will not suffer in this life and He is under no obligation to us at all. While God can and does bless faith, there is no cum hoc ergo propter hoc. In other words, the correlation between giving and blessing does not imply causation. Our tithing in money does not cause God to bless us. God does bless his children but out of sheer mercy and not because of our works, even giving. Now, we give because of our faith and our gratitude to God and because we want to support the ministry and see the Gospel preached. That is the true source of blessing.

    As for the idea that God individually promises to do this for that, I don’t think that is Scripture. That would make God obligated to us. The truth is God keeps covenant while we are continually covenant breakers in one way or another.

    So the implications for works righteousness come to bear in even the simple things like supporting the ministry. That’s what I appreciate about The Trinity Foundation. I finally found a reformed circle where the hidden and deceitful emphasis on works are exposed for what they are.

    Sincerely in Christ,


  26. Sean Gerety Says:

    Of course, Sproul was frankly one of the few who grasped the gravity of the FV attack on the Gospel at the PCA GA that adopted the FV/NPP report. For that alone, Sproul is my hero. 🙂

    FWIW and Mike will know what I’m talking about but Sproul spoke immediately following Joe Mullen who was arguing in favor of tabling the motion the report. The irony of course is that Mullen’s old church that Mike and I attended was “Sproul central.”

  27. Andrew Says:

    R.C. Sproul leading people into compromise with Rome? Hardly. Not if you are refering to the same R.C. Sproul who has said that a Roman Catholic who gets saved has a moral responsibility to leave that Church. Not if you are refering to the same R.C. Sproul who has expressed a desire to see Rome repent of her false gospel. No, R.C. Sproul is not leading anybody to compromise with Rome. In fact, he is one of the main instruments God used to end my regrettable trist with the Roman Catholic religion.

  28. Sean Gerety Says:

    So you don’t think Sproul’s Thomism qualifies as compromise?

  29. Andrew Says:

    No I don’t. He is quite willing to call Rome’s gospel false. How a man can insist that a particular religion is false and non-saving, and still be accused of compromise with that religion is a mystery to me.

  30. Daniel F Says:

    Andrew – it’s a mystery to me to. You see, RC Sproul is not the only one. Men like Doug Wilson denounce in the strongest terms possible the damning theology of Rome, and yet his ministry is called by some a “road to Rome.” Part of those “some” include the author of this blog.

    It’s very easy to read someone in such a light that everything he says is “heresy.”

    I don’t think the Federal Vision (doug wilson) is “misunderstood” – I think it’s misrepresented. I’ve already called Sean on what I felt was dishonest selective quoting of one of Doug Wilson’s books.

    He also calls men such as Leithart not only heretics, but “Anti-Christ.” It seems that the rest of the evangelical world disagrees. They just appointment him as one of three new Association of Reformed Institutions of Higher Education Lecturers for the next two years.

    As a brother in Christ, I call Sean to repentance for his divisive and sectarian ways. I hope to see these things resolved on this side of eternity in the way Christ prayed to the Father – that we would be One as He is. May His will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

  31. ray Says:

    Your quite taken by Leithart …. eh Daniel?

    I for one … really do not need to read into anything. What happens is that FV freaks write something semi pelagian and arminian like the temporary forgiveness of God being practiced … or that the reprobate are in Christ, that temporary Justification is a real Scriptural truth … show themselves to be literalists and void of exegesis in their appeals to Scripture references … consider all the above things to be obvious facts … and babble endlessly with their critiques in word games that show themselves to be the doctrinal idiots that they are … the more they babble on. The last 2 weeks on various blogs have shown that to be the case.

    Bongs will be required for Leithart’s lecture on reformed “higher” education. You must be toking on one now yourself. You also throw that word “brother” around pretty loosely … putting even Hulk Hogan to shame …

    That this is all a mystery to you, is no mystery to me. Please refer me to your blog so I can witness how well you can babble.

  32. Cliffton Says:

    Andrew: How a man can insist that a particular religion is false and non-saving, and still be accused of compromise with that religion is a mystery to me.

    Cliffton: Maybe such a man doesn’t quite understand the implications of his own system of thought.

  33. Daniel F Says:

    Ray, my my…you know you’re right on when you get that kind of response!

    I appreciate Leithart, but you’d be more accurate if you’d said Doug Wilson.

    oh, and you’re welcome to my blog – won’t find much there except for family stuff and links/videos I liked.

    oh, and if you want some material to “gotcha” with, you might find something interesting on my quotes blog, because I have an absolutely outrageous post from Leithart as my latest post.

    as for you comment about using the word brother – perhaps you don’t use it enough?

    I don’t mind. I just want to call my brother whomever God calls his son. I hope you’re in that category, though I don’t know you, and it would be easy to think you’re not, given that Christians are to be known by their love for one another…

  34. speigel Says:

    RCC adopts Thomism. Sproul adopts Thomism. Therefore we’re allowed by GNC to conclude that Sproul compromises people by leading them into Rome?

    The connection is at best suspect. Sproul’s Thomism is wrong and a epistemological compromise. But there’s no necessary connection that it is a compromise to Rome. More than Sproul’s Thomism is needed for that.

  35. Sean Gerety Says:

    I saw this on Scott Clark blog the other day. Someone named “todd” posted it.

    Anyway, it was too good to pass up and I’m sure Daniel F. will enjoy it. Even a Jesuit woman prof can see right through Leithart’s vapidness. Too bad the folks at New St. Andrews and ARIHE are half as clueless as a Jesuit:

    THIS COMMENTARY ON the books of Kings by Peter Leithart is part of the Brazos Theological Commen­tary on the Bible. The aim of this series is to produce commentaries that interpret the Bible using the Nicene tradition as the “proper basis for the inter­pretation of the Bible as Christian Scripture” (p. 10). Commentators are chosen for “their expertise in using the Christian doctrinal tradition,” not for “his­torical or philological expertise” (p. 10). Commen­tators use whatever translation of the Bible and method of interpretation suits them. The only uni­fying element of this series is the premise that “doctrine provides structure and cogency to scrip­tural interpretation” (p. 12).

    Leithart’s method is rather eclectic. He draws here and there from historical and literary criticism, but typological analysis is clearly his preferred method of interpretation. Typology may have served the early church well, but we are not the early church. Is it really possible to do typology today without the philosophical and hermeneuti­cal underpinnings that dominated the early cen­turies of Christianity? For Leithart, every use of the number “three” becomes an allusion to resurrec­tion, every body of water a reference to baptism, and every anointing is messianic. The most tenu­ous of similarities lead to typological comparisons: David/Jacob; Adonijah/Adam; Solomon/Joshua, Solomon/New Adam, Solomon/Christ; Jehu/Christ; sacrificial animals/Israel, ritually clean wild ani­mals/Gentile “God-fearers”; Saul/Ahab; Jesus/Judah; Elijah/Jesus; Elisha/Jesus; Elisha/Joseph; and judg­ment against Ahab’s house/eschatological judgment of the world/judgment passed against all nations in the cross of Jesus. No quotation better sums up his approach than “Moses is Elijah is John; Joshua is Elisha is Jesus. Yet also, Moses is Elijah is Jesus, and Joshua is Elisha is the church” (p. 172). I was amused to discover that Elisha’s floating ax is a sign of Christ’s resurrection (pp. 200, 203) and that “the inclusion of Gentiles into the new Covenant is sig­naled symbolically by many of the apostles being [Jewish!] fishermen” (p. 73).

    In addition to spurious typologies, Leithart often uses the biblical text to leap into contempo­rary discussions that defy any logical connection to the book of Kings, e.g., a discussion of church/state/ secularity/Locke with the notice that Solomon built other buildings (1 Kgs 7:1–12); modern and Christian views of the self and the condemnation of Solomon (1 Kgs 11:1–43); public/state/church relations and the Queen of Sheba’s visit (1 Kgs 10:1–29); Pope John Paul II’s speech on the culture of death and the Elisha stories (2 Kgs 4:1–44); and rationalists’ views of Jesus and Jehu’s rebellion (2 Kgs 9:1–10:36).

    Other problems with this book include: mis­representing his sources (e.g. ,Walsh p. 43; Nelson, p. 69; Blenkinsopp, p. 227); the anachronistic use of the term “Gentile(s)” throughout the book; a superficial discussion of violence and God; an odd discussion of idolatry, chiasms with no point, a frightening view of God as an “equal opportunity trapper” (p. 180), the nature of God and evil; God as trickster, and vengeance against the wicked as “dear to Yahweh’s heart” (p. 223). Space prevents me from elaborating further. I have gained a much greater appreciation of the historical-critical method and of the literal sense of the text from reading this commentary. The literal sense is, after all, what God inspired the author to actually say and it contains enough theological depth that I do not have to imaginatively reconstruct the “hidden meaning” or make artificial connections where none exist. I am also now more firmly convinced that commentaries on the Bible should be left to biblical scholars.


  36. Daniel F Says:

    yeah, too bad eh?

    I guess she knows better than the guys at Westminster and Cambridge. And all the ARIHE folks. It’s interesting that you suddenly value the opinion of a Jesuit when you would probably criticize Leithart for quoting people like NT Wright (who are much closer theologically)

  37. N.T. Wright is a revisionist and a progressive and supports the ordination of gays and everything else. He’s a dissimulator who portrays himself one way to the Evangelicals and another to the liberals. Wright openly called the orthodox Anglicans in Africa trouble makers because he thinks homosexuality is a complex issue that needs “further study.”

    Just because Wright defended the resurrection does not make him a conservative.


  38. Sloppy agape does not a Christian make. Sound doctrine and the “faith once delivered to the saints” has something to do with who is a Christian and who is not.


  39. Good Lord deliver us.

    Pauline actually makes mo’ sense than the dispensationalists, the theonomists and the federal divisionists.



  40. Daniel F Says:

    Charlie – I’m no fan of Wright (at least in the things you mentioned for sure). I think he’s done some helpful and insightful scholarship on Jesus. I’m a fan of that work. That’s about as far as I like his theology.

    I agree, agape is not what “makes” a Christian; it is that by which they are known.

  41. Why is it they is all these ex-hippies in the Refo’med chu’ches?

    Watch it, Ray. 😀

  42. Daniel, the Lord knows his own. That’s about all I care about. If I went around worryin’ bout who thought what about me I’d probably go nuts. The Bible also commands us to “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.”

    Moralism is fine and dandy but it doesn’t mean a thing without the Gospel.


  43. Daniel F Says:

    Charlie, are you calling me an ex-hippie? haha! that’s a first!

    Well, I guess I don’t mind that as long as you put Calvin and Augustine in the same bag 🙂

  44. For what’s it is worth, I found that theonomists generally have no problem with becoming Federal Visionists, Anglo-Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and even Roman Catholic. These guys love slobbering all over themselves.

    The REC guys I knew are all Anglo-Catholics now.


  45. Chalk it up to Van Til I guess.

  46. Daniel F Says:

    Amen – the Lord knows his own.

    I would say that even stronger: Moralism sends men to hell if removed from the Gospel.

  47. Daniel F Says:

    Btw, most of the FVers I know (including myself…well, actually I don’t consider myself a FV proper…but mostly because I hold that there is not such a “defined” theology as FV – more like common goals/visions of people from lots of backgrounds. Mine is strong PCA, WCF, etc) are theonomists. I think some are…but they’re not the people I know (and I live in Moscow, Idaho right now).

  48. I knew it. You’re a derned communist!


  49. Daniel, I was referring to something Ray said about a bong and a pipe.

    I have to tell you, though, I don’t particularly have any fondness for theonomists, reconstructionists and various other products of the theology of Van Til. I had a run in with a Reformed Episcopal “presbyter” who was a theonomist. He’s now an Anglo-Catholic slobberin’ all over Robert Duncan’s ring.

    He really should trim his eye brows, though. hahha


  50. Daniel F Says:

    ok, so I didn’t get the communist thing…

    I appreciate the desires of some of the theonomist reconstructionist types – I just think they’re going about it all the wrong way.

    Though, if you asked me straight – “are you a theonomist,” I’d say, “Of course I’m for God’s law – aren’t you??” 🙂

  51. Daniel, if you’re “for” the law, you must not really understand its purpose. The law condemns you to hell. What’s good about that? Maybe you need to do some reading in Luther?

    The law can only drive you to Christ for mercy.

    After you become a Christian, the law gives guidance for Christian living. But even then righteousness never comes from our obedience. Our righteousness is always and forever based in Christ’s active obedience and his passive obedience in dying in our place on the cross. God is not going to lower His requirements so you can brag about how you love His law.

    It is true that the Psalmist loves God’s law but he is referring to the Word of God in general there and even the Psalms teach that no one deserves God’s mercy.

    ESV Psalm 143:2 Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.

    ESV Daniel 9:9-11 9 To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him
    10 and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
    11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned aside, refusing to obey your voice. And the curse and oath that are written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out upon us, because we have sinned against him.

    ESV 1 John 1:8-10 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
    9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

    I have to question when someone begins boasting about how much they love God, God’s law, Jesus, etc., etc. The fact is no one loves God or God’s law so much as to fulfill the perfect demands of the law. God doesn’t lower the bar or grade on a curve.


  52. Daniel,you’re in Moscow, aren’t you? Down heah in the South we think Moscow is a place wheah deah is comyoo nists.

    Nebah mind.

  53. Daniel F Says:

    Charlie – I agree with pretty much everything you’re saying. The law cannot make us righteous – on the contrary it condemns us. I totally agree. But how does that make us anti-law? Condemning to hell is one purpose of the law. Not the whole point of the law. For someone whom Christ has imputed his righteousness (that is, Christ’s perfect keeping of the law), the law is a delight. Nothing salvific about it in the sense of justification whatsoever, but very much a gift from God, and like you said, a rule for life. How can a Christian not love that? It is impossible for someone who has been imputed with Christs righteousness to hate the law. The law is a reflection of God.

    Of course I’m “for” the law! Would you characterize yourself as an antinomian? someone against the law of God?

    Blessed is the man
    who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
    or stand in the way of sinners
    or sit in the seat of mockers.
    2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.

    Now, I’m not saying that “made righteous” is the man who loves God’s law, but rather, the one who has ALREADY been made righteous loves God’s law.

    A also love God’s law because it sanctifies me (again, not justify in any way). I’m not saying, “look at me, I love God’s law” – I’m saying that by the grace of God, I have been saved from the crushing condemnation of the law, and therefore being free from that condemnation, am freed to love God’s law, grow in it. It is God’s gift to his people, and only a curse for those who are not saved. The law is life to the righteous; a delight. It is a curse to him who tries to fulfill it through his own works in any way.

  54. Daniel F Says:

    oh, and I got the “comyoo nists” thing – I forget that I live in a town called “Moscow” (we pronounce it a bit differently) 🙂

  55. ray Says:

    Daniel stated …”Ray, my my…you know you’re right on when you get that kind of response!”

    yes …your not “right” in the head … I also see on your blog you have a section to ask the leisured rabbi some questions … no thanks.

    As for that quote from Leithart … I think Leithart has outdone another FV circus freak … J. Jordan in his carnal ability to typify and anologize away anything in Scripture to suit his fancy and vain philosophies.

  56. Daniel,

    Sanctification is relative and inherent in the heart. Charles Hodge says that sanctification is “infused” while justification is imputed. And as the 39 Articles put it, our works are only accepted after faith and even then they are imperfect and can never be the basis for our acceptance with God, though they do give us assurance that we are exhibiting a “true and lively faith.”

    Articles IX-XVII

    When we claim to love God or God’s law it is always relative since we retain the old nature along with the regenerated nature. So we’re no longer under the law but under grace. The law itself is not bad or evil but it can only provoke us to sin (Romans 7). It is only by living by faith in Christ that we can please God or be acceptable to God. Our works are acceptable only on the basis of gratitude for what Christ did for us.

    And our perseverance is guaranteed.


  57. Daniel F Says:


    Amen to the first paragraph all the way!

    In the second paragraph, you say, “when we claim to love God or God’s law it is always relative…” what do you mean by relative? Relative to what?

    Can the only provoke us to sin? Then you are saying that the law has no role in sanctification, right? What happened to the three uses of the law? Apart from God’s grace, through faith, yes: it can only provoke and condemn. But to the regenerate believer?

    Amen to everything else you said. Only a living faith in Christ can please God. Our works (or I should say, His works in us) are acceptable because it is Him who works in us.

    Amen that our perseverance is guaranteed.

  58. Daniel F Says:

    Oops, pushed submit by accident.

    I was just going to add: You are called to love your wife (I’m assuming you’re married…sorry if you’re not). That is God’s law that tells you. And you can honestly say, “I love you, wife.” And tell someone, “I love my wife.”

    Do you do so perfectly? I know I don’t! But we are still required as husbands to love our wives, even though we will never do so perfectly this side of eternity. And when we love our wifes, we are not gaining some kind of merit – we’re just become better husbands – more sanctified, more Christ-like. God requires perfection. We fall short (WAY short – in fact, we’re incapable of ANY love towards our wives – we’re bone-dry dead in our sins). But God imputes to us HIS love, and reckons us as perfect when we trust in Him by grace through faith. But that does not mean that we don’t grow in loving our wives. It doesn’t mean that we say, “oh well, I can’t love my wife truly – I’m so imperfect, and Jesus reckoned me as perfect in the last day anyway, so what’s the point…” NO, we STRIVE to love our wives BECAUSE Christ has reckoned us already as his children, and tells us to do so, and already considers us as perfect lovers.

    Love God, love his commandments (which are to love your wife). Loving his commandments, however imperfectly, is a sign of sanctification, a fruit of the spirit (not a justifying thing, again, just a result of justification).

    And the result of absolutely every regenerate Christian is the fruit of the Spirit. God does not justify those whom he does not also sanctify, as Calvin says.

  59. Daniel F Says:

    my Calvin quote:
    “Why, then, are we justified by faith? Because by faith we grasp Christ’s righteousness, but which alone we are reconciled to God. Yet you could not grasp this without at the same time grasping sanctification also. For he “is given unto us for righteousness, wisdom, sanctification, and redemption” [I Cor. 1:30]. Therefore Christ justifies no one whom he does not at the same time sanctify. These benefits are joined together by an everlasting and indissoluble bond, so that those whom he illumines by his wisdom, he redeems; those whom he redeems, he justifies; those whom he justifies, he sanctifies…Thus is is clear how true it is that we are justified not without works yet not through works, since in our sharing in Christ, which justifies us, sanctification is just as much included as righteousness.”

    John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, bk III, ch. 26.1

  60. Daniel, you’re placing the emphasis in the wrong place. First off, you’re taking Calvin’s remarks out of context. The issue he’s debating is whether or not justification by faith alone results in antinomianism. Calvin argues that it does not because sanctification is inseparable from justification in the “golden chain.” You conveniently left off the part in Book III.16.1 that says:

    2. It is also most untrue that men’s minds are withdrawn from the desire of well-doing when we deprive them of the idea of merit. Here, by the way, the reader must be told that those men absurdly infer merit from reward, as I will afterwards more clearly explain. They thus infer, because ignorant of the principle that God gives no less a display of his liberality when he assigns reward to works, than when he bestows the faculty of well-doing. This topic it will be better to defer to its own place. At present, let it be sufficient merely to advert to the weakness of their objection. This may be done in two ways.440 For, first, they are altogether in error when they say that, unless a hope of reward is held forth, no regard will be had to the right conduct of life. For if all that men do when they serve God is to look to the reward, and hire out or sell their labour to him, little is gained: he desires to be freely worshipped, freely loved: I say he approves the worshipper who, even if all hope of reward were cut off, would cease not to worship him. Moreover, when men are to be urged, there cannot be a stronger stimulus than that derived from the end of our redemption and calling, such as the word of God employs when it says, that it were the height of impiety and ingratitude not to “love him who first loved us;” that by “the blood of Christ” our conscience is purged “from dead works to serve the living God;” that it were impious sacrilege in any one to count “the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing;” that we have been “delivered out of the hands of our enemies,” that we “might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life;” that being “made free from sin,” we “become the servants of righteousness;” “that our old man is crucified with him,” in order that we might rise to newness of life. (Book III.16.2).
    Calvin, J. (1997). Institutes of the Christian religion. Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

    Like all legalists you emphasize the law and the works as if it somehow were something you do that saves you. Calvin, on the other hand, clearly says that even our doing the law is a gift:

    1. OUR last sentence may refute the impudent calumny of certain ungodly men, who charge us, first, with destroying good works and leading men away from the study of them, when we say, that men are not justified, and do not merit salvation by works; and, secondly, with making the means of justification too easy, when we say that it consists in the free remission of sins, and thus alluring men to sin to which they are already too much inclined. These calumnies, I say, are sufficiently refuted by that one sentence; however, I will briefly reply to both. The allegation is that justification by faith destroys good works. I will not describe what kind of zealots for good works the persons are who thus charge us. We leave them as much liberty to bring the charge, as they take license to taint the whole world with the pollution of their lives.438 They pretend to lament439 that when faith is so highly extolled, works are deprived of their proper place. But what if they are rather ennobled and established? We dream not of a faith which is devoid of good works, nor of a justification which can exist without them: the only difference is, that while we acknowledge that faith and works are necessarily connected, we, however, place justification in faith, not in works. III.16.1


    2. It is also most untrue that men’s minds are withdrawn from the desire of well-doing when we deprive them of the idea of merit. Here, by the way, the reader must be told that those men absurdly infer merit from reward, as I will afterwards more clearly explain.

    They thus infer, because ignorant of the principle that God gives no less a display of his liberality when he assigns reward to works, than when he bestows the faculty of well-doing.


    It is indeed telling, Daniel, when you quote Calvin to support works and law keeping but completely ignore the fact that Calvin says even our sanctification is bestowed upon us. God gives us the faculty of doing good but it merits absolutely nothing. It is a grateful response to God’s free grace and not based on earning a reward, as you imply.

    Only the regenerate elect are enable to turn to Christ in faith and only the works of those justified by faith beforehand are acceptable to God. And even those works contribute absolutely nothing to justification. Sanctification is the natural result of being justified by faith alone and not the other way around.


  61. I’m not an antinomian. I AM however an ANTI-THEONOMIST. Theonomists love to twist, distort, and dissimulate. They love to phrase things in such a way that you must give the answer they’re looking for so they can deceive you a little more. It’s similar to asking, “You wouldn’t beat your wife, would you?” Who could answer yes to such a question?

    But no matter how many misleading and programmed questions you ask, the bottom line is theonomy is a distortion of the Reformed confessions of faith and the Scriptures. There is absolutely nothing in the Scriptures which supports the idea that the elect are somehow obligated to obey the judicial laws of the OT.

    The nation of Israel passed away and the new Israel is the church of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.


  62. Sean Gerety Says:

    Daniel FV writes:

    oh, and if you want some material to “gotcha” with, you might find something interesting on my quotes blog, because I have an absolutely outrageous post from Leithart as my latest post.

    No kidding. Here’s the quote for those who prefer not to check out Daniel FV’s blog:

    Why didn’t the Son come in the flesh just outside Eden? The erotic theology of the Song of Songs provides a possible hint. Throughout the Song, the lovers admire each other’s bodies and express their longing desires to be together. Union comes at the end of reciprocal arousal. ”Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth,” the bride says at the outset. ”How beautiful you are, my darling, how beautiful you are!” says the bridegroom. But the bride doesn’t get her winekiss until later, until he takes her to his “house of wine” (2:4) and until his enters the locked garden and drinks of the wine, milk, and honey of her lips and mouth (4:11-5:1). A period of intensifying desire precedes tasting and touching; distance, approach, distance, approach, repeated again and again before consummation.

    The history of Israel is God’s foreplay with His bride, bringing her to a pitch of desire before He takes flesh and dwells with her. Perhaps too this provides a way of describing the frenzy of Messianic excitement that Israel was undergoing in the first century.

    God waits to send His Son because He is a good lover. – from Peter Leithart’s Exposition of the Song of Songs

    I’m glad Daniel FV won’t be able to whine that poor Peter Leithart is being “misrepresented,” but no one can argue that calling Leithart insane would be due to any misunderstanding.

  63. Sean Gerety Says:

    And, I’m glad that Daniel FV agrees that Lunatic Leithart has not been misunderstood by his opponents. So, here are a handful of other Leithart gems that no one can misunderstand (except perhaps a spiritually dead Muscovite Wilsonista cult member and New St. Andrew grad) that place Leithart completely outside the Christian faith (and not just the Reformed system of faith or what Daniel FV calls “sectarian”):

    Yes, we do have the same obligation that Adam (and Abraham, and Moses, and David, and Jesus) had, namely, the obedience of faith. And, yes, covenant faithfulness is the way to salvation, for the “doers of the law will be justified” at the final judgment. But this is all done in union with
    Christ, so that “our” covenant faithfulness is dependent on the work of the Spirit of Christ in us, and our covenant faithfulness is about faith, trusting the Spirit to will and to do according to His good pleasure.

    Baptism expresses God’s eternal sovereign choice of an individual to be a member of the people of God; and those who are members of the church stand righteous before God, are holy, and are sons… [but] there are some who are made sons by baptism who fall away.

    I affirm that Christ’s obedience was necessary for our salvation, and affirm too that Christ’s history of obedience becomes the life story of those who are in Christ. I’m not sure “imputation” is the best way to express this. It’s not clear to me that the Westminster Standards require belief in the imputation of Christ’s active obedience.

    By union with Christ, that verdict [which
    Christ received at his resurrection] is also passed on us. In this construction, there is no “independent” imputation of the active obedience of Christ, nor even of the passive obedience for that matter; we are regarded as righteous, and Christ’s righteousness is reckoned as ours, because of our union with Him in His resurrection. What is imputed is the verdict, not the actions of Jesus, and this
    is possible and just because Christ is our covenant head acting on our behalf.

    I do believe that all of Christ’s benefits are ‘subsumed’ under the heading of union with Christ. This renders imputation ‘redundant’….

    I am convinced that some are united to Christ but do not persevere….

    We are righteous before God by faith
    because we are united to Christ the Righteous [no, we are righteous before God because of Christ’s righteousness imputed to us – SG]. James says that we are “justified by works.” I don’t know precisely
    how to take James, but I believe we must, in faithfulness to Scripture, affirm that we are justified by works in whatever sense that James means it.

    Leithart is a proud and bold heretic who will be charged and found guilty in the PCA (should he decide to stick around after the SJC meets in March). And, assuming he remains the proud and bold heretic I say he is, he will be cut-off like the dead branch he is and excommunicated from the PCA.

    Of course, given the PCA’s track record so far, it is always possible that Daniel FV has nothing to fear. It’s always possible that should Leithart in his arrogance stick around he will be exonerated just as other FV heretics have been exonerated by multiple Presbyteries in the PCA. Let’s face it, the PCA’s handling of antichrists like Leithart to date has been scandalous beyond anything that even I could imagine.

  64. Sean, I knew that the Song of Songs was romantic literature but I had no idea that it’s supposed to tell us that God is into porn.

    God wants to have sex with the church? Hmmmm. I think that’s stretching the analogy and typology to the extreme limits.

    Just when I thought I had seen it all. These guys have outdone the charismaniacs.


  65. Sean Gerety Says:

    I certainly have no issue with understanding the Song of Songs as a picture of Christ and His church. As Augustine says in City of God:

    But now the Song of Songs is a certain spiritual pleasure of holy minds, in the marriage of that King and Queen-city, that is, Christ and the Church. But this pleasure is wrapped up in allegorical veils, that the Bridegroom may be more ardently desired, and more joyfully unveiled, and may appear; to whom it is said in this same song, “Equity hath delighted Thee; and the bride who there hears, “Charity is in thy delights.”

    However, Leithart does stretch the “analogy and typology to the extreme limits.” Further, his idea that the story of redemptive history is a seduction only further reveals the Arminian underbelly of the entire Federal Division. There is no question that these mem love to play fast and loose with the parables of Scripture. Look at the mileage they got over the parable of the vine and the branches! However, since they like playing with analogies, I guess we can say that men like Leithart treat the Scriptures like a prostitute treats a John. Which, of course, would make Doug Wilson Leithart’s pimp.

    See how much fun analogies can be. ;-P

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