John Robbins Quick Quote

Since Lane Kesiter has so far refused to answer any of my questions and instead complained that I have misrepresented and mangled what he said and in the process distorted the teachings of his mentor and intellectual father, Cornelius Van Til (Keister said I did so it must be true), I hope to delve more into his non answers in a future post.  I confess, it was intriguing to read him bemoaning my refusal to take  his “no contradictions in the Bible” at face value.  I mean, would he take Jeffery Meyers, James Jordan, Peter Leithart, Richard Lusk, Steve Wilkins (remember him), or Doug Wilson at face value when they all say they believe in justification by faith alone?  I hope not.  Oh, yeah, Keister did take Wilson’s claim at face value before reversing himself after it was too late.

Now, I sympathize with Keister.  As I mentioned recently in one of the discussions on this blog, it is not easy for someone like Kesiter to come out publicly against the present irrationalism as it puts him at odds with the mainstream of modern Reformed thought.  Could you imagine the fallout if he were to repudiate Scott Clark who thinks the teachings of Scripture presents to the mind of man a morass of “mystery of paradoxes”?  Look at what Herman Hoeksema and Gordon Clark, not to mention John Robbins, all went through in opposing men just like Scott Clark. Just look at the amount of garbage being hurled my way for defending something so basic as justification by belief alone against the mystery mongers like Alan Strange, Ron DiGiacom, Reed DePace, Ron Henzel, Kesiter and the others at his blog.

The professional religious class is completely dominated by irrationalists.

For a guy like Keister to reject religious irrationalism parading as Reformed thought would threaten not only his standing among his peers, but his professional standing as well.  And, I’m sure he wants to keep his job.

Concerning the Clark/Van Til Controversy Hoeksema observed:

However, even now one begins to wonder whether the real question in this controversy is not whether God, but whether his revelation to to us in the Scriptures, is comprehensible, that is, can be logically understood by the mind of man. Dr. Clark’s position is that all of Scripture is given us that we might understand it, that all of it is adapted to our human mind, so that, even though there be many things in that revelation of God which we cannot fathom, there is nothing in it that is contrary to human intelligence and logic.  And the opponents appear to deny this [they do – SG].

And if this should be the real, underlying issue [it is – SG], if the complainants take the stand that Scripture reveals things that are, not above and far beyond, but contrary to, in conflict with the human mind [they do – SG], it is my conviction that the complainants should be indicted  of heterodoxy, and of undermining all sound theology.

Either the logic of revelation is our logic, or there is not revelation.

This proposition I am prepared to defend at any time.

Sadly, and as an example of how bad things really are, all you need to do is look back at the Trinity Foundation’s founding document, The Trinity Manifesto: A Program for Our Time. John Robbins wrote about this very problem and fighting it is the reason the Trinity Foundation exists (much to the chagrin of the professional religious class).

Consider this from Robbins:

Contemporary secular intellectuals are anti-intellectual. Contemporary philosophers are anti-philosophy. Contemporary theologians are anti-theology. The irrationalism of the present age is so thoroughgoing pervasive that even the Remnant—the segment of the professing church that remains faithful—has accepted much of it, frequently without even being aware of what it was accepting. In some circles this irrationalism has become synonymous with piety and humility, and those who oppose it are denounced as rationalists—as though to be logical were a sin. Our contemporary anti-theologians make a contradiction and call it a Mystery. The faithful ask for truth and are given absurdity. If any balk at swallowing the absurdities of the antitheologians, they are frequently marked as heretics or schismatics who seek to act independently of God.

There is no greater threat facing the true church of Christ at this moment than the irrationalism that now controls our entire culture. Communism, guilty of tens of millions of murders, including those of millions of Christians, is to be feared, but not nearly so much as the idea that we, as Christian men, do not and cannot know truth. Hedonism, the popular philosophy of America, is not to be feared so much as the belief that logic—that “mere human logic,” to use the religious irrationalists’ own phrase—is futile. The attacks on truth, on revelation, on the intellect, and on logic are renewed daily. But note well: The misologists—the haters of logic—use logic to demonstrate the futility of using logic. The anti-intellectuals construct intricate intellectual arguments to prove the insufficiency of the intellect. The anti-theologians use the revealed Word of God to show that there can be no revealed Word of God—or that if there could, it would remain impenetrable darkness and mystery to our finite minds.

Nonsense Has Come

Is it any wonder that the world is grasping at straws—the straws of mysticism and drugs? After all, if people are told that the Bible contains insoluble mysteries, then is not a flight into mysticism to be expected? On what grounds can it be condemned? Certainly not on logical grounds or Biblical grounds, if logic is futile and the Bible mysterious. Moreover, if it cannot be condemned on logical or Biblical grounds, it cannot be condemned at all. If people are going to have a religion of the mysterious, they will not adopt Christianity: They will have a genuine mystery religion.”Those who call for Nonsense,” C.S. Lewis once wrote,”will find that it comes.” And that is precisely what has happened. The popularity of Eastern mysticism and of drugs is the logical consequences of the irrationalism of the twentieth century. There can and will be no Christian revival—and no reconstruction of society—unless and until the irrationalism of the age is totally repudiated by Christians.

John wrote the above in 1978. I was only a year out of high school and had first professed Christ around that time, but since then very little has change. And, as Keister has demonstrated so convincingly, it has only gotten worse.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Heresies, John Robbins, Theology, Van Til

5 Comments on “John Robbins Quick Quote”

  1. Steve M Says:

    ” I confess, it was intriguing to read him bemoaning my refusal to take his “no contradictions in the Bible” at face value.”

    Sean, you are completely justified in refusing to take Lane’s statement, ” I believe there are no contradictions in the Bible. Period.” at face value, unless he clarifies whether he means there are no contradictions for God or to his own mind. He has yet to address that.

  2. Stephen Welch Says:

    Sean, Lane does not believe there are contradictions in the Bible. If he did then he would deny the authority of Scripture. The real question is does he believe there are paradoxes in the Bible, which Lane and all Van Tillians would agree there are. By definition a contradiction and an apparent contradiction or paradox are different. I do not buy into the notion of paradoxes in Scripture.

  3. Steve M Says:

    “By definition a contradiction and an apparent contradiction or paradox are different.”

    How does one know they are different, unless one can recognize the difference?

  4. Sean Gerety Says:

    @Stephen. I think you would agree that paradoxes can and do arise from our misunderstanding of Scripture, yes? That why Clark called such paradoxes “charley horses” of the mind that can only be assuaged by “vigorous mental message.”

  5. Stephen Welch Says:

    Sean, yes paradoxes do arise from misunderstanding the Scriptures. I like that, “Charley horses of the mind.” Clark had a way with words.


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