Archive for January 2018

Anti-Protestant: Lew Rockwell’s Ongoing Attack on the Reformation

January 19, 2018

“As a Roman Catholic himself, it should come as no surprise that Lew Rockwell’s eponymously named website has long featured an undercurrent of Romanist thought running beneath its Libertarian superstructure.

What is interesting about this Romanist intellectual undercurrent is how it attempts to persuade the reader that Romanism, far from being the enemy of limited government and private property, what John Robbins called “constitutional-capitalism” in his 1999 book Ecclesiastical Megalomania, the principles of liberty were developed and nourished by the scholars of the Roman Church-State and it is the Protestants who are responsible for the growth of the contemporary statism.

But while touting the fantasy that the tyrants of the Roman Church-State actually were proponents of private property and political liberty has been a consistent theme on LRC, that theme was somewhat muted.

In recent months, though, what was once a fairly low-key attack on Protestantism appears to have become more aggressive.”

Lux Lucet

Lew was at it again this weekend, publishing another hit piece on the Reformation.

Now some readers may be asking themselves, just what on earth is and why should I care what they publish or whether they attack the Reformation.

Fair questions, those. So before talking about their latest attack on the Reformation, a little explanation is in order.

By number of unique monthly visitors, (LRC) is one of the largest, perhaps the largest, Libertarian website in the world. Now by percentage of the population, Libertarians are a fairly small group, so it may be tempting to dismiss LRC as a big fish in a small pond and move on.

The LRC website describes itself thus, “The daily news and opinion site was founded in 1999 by anarcho-capitalists Lew Rockwell and Burt Blumert to help carry on the anti-war, anti-state, pro-market work of Murray N. Rothbard.”

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Clark Quick Quote

January 3, 2018

Not exactly how I ended up there but someone seems to have added me recently to an annoying Facebook group called: Calvinism Theology VS The Rest Of Christianity.  It’s really just a page where Arminians of various sorts bash Calvinists. What’s nice is that it’s usually Calvinists that are charged with being generally obnoxious and nasty. I can assure you I’ve never met a Calvinist who has anything on some of these guys.  With that said, and since I don’t really spend a lot of time around Arminians of any stripe, although I do know some, I didn’t realize how obsessed they are with the question of evil.  They seem to think that the notion of man possessing a free will somehow removes God from any culpability regarding the destinies of His creatures, but, of course, they’re wrong.   Now, I do admit that there is a certain logic in their position since if there is an independent force which can and does act freely and apart from any influence from God, or anything else for that matter, then God cannot be in any way liable for the choices of His creatures since they’re not under His sovereign control.  Here’s one of my favorite quotes from Gordon Clark’s Religion, Reason and Revelation (now available as an e-book for just $5) which effectively demolishes the imagined Arminian solution to the problem of evil:

It might seem that here is the proper place to ask the question, Does man have a free will? Is it true that his choices are not determined by motives, by inducements, or by his settled character? Can a person resist God’s grace and power and make an uncaused decision? However, these questions will not be answered here. They will be discussed later. The next step in the argument is a slightly different one. Let us assume that man’s will is free; let us assume that these questions have been answered in the affirmative; it would still remain to be shown that free will solves the problem of evil. This then is the immediate inquiry. Is the theory of free will, even if true, a satisfactory explanation of evil in a world created by God? Reasons, compelling reasons, will now be given for a negative answer. Even if men were able to choose good as evil, even if a sinner could choose Christ as easily as he could reject him, it would be totally irrelevant to the fundamental problem. Free will was put forward to relieve God of responsibility for sin. But this it does not do.

Suppose there were a life guard stationed on a dangerous beach. In the breakers a boy is being sucked out to sea by the strong undertow. He cannot swim. He will drown without powerful aid. It will have to be powerful, for as drowning sinners do, he will struggle against his rescuer. But the life guard simply sits on his high chair and watches him drown. Perhaps he may shout a few words of advice and tell him to exercise his free will. After all, it was of his own free will that the boy went into the surf. The guard merely permitted him to go in and permitted him to drown. Would an Arminian now conclude that the life guard thus escapes culpability?

This illustration, with its finite limitations, is damaging enough as it is. It shows that permission of evil as contrasted with positive causality does not relieve a life guard from responsibility. Similary, if God merely permits men to be engulfed in sin of their own free wills, the original objections of Voltaire and Professor Patterson are not thereby met. This is what the Arminian fails to notice. And yet the illustration does not do full justice to the actual situation. For unlike the boy who exists in relative independence of the life guard, in actuality God made the boy and the ocean too. Now, if the guard, who is not a creator at all, is responsible for permitting the boy to drown, even if the boy is supposed to have entered the surf of his own free will, does not God, who made them, appear in a worse light? Surely an omnipotent God could have either made the boy a better swimmer, or made the ocean less rough, or at least have saved him from drowning.

Not only are free will and permission irrelevant to the problem of evil, but further the idea of permission has no intelligible meaning. It is quite within the range of possibility for a lifeguard to permit a man to drown. This permission, however, depends on the fact that the ocean’s undertow is beyond the guard’s control. If the guard had some giant suction device which he operated so as to engulf the boy, one would call it murder, not permission. The idea of permission is possible only where there is an independent force, either the boy’s force or the ocean’s force. But this is not the situation in the case of God and the universe. Nothing in the universe can be independent of the Omnipotent Creator, for in him we live and move and have our being. Therefore the idea of permission makes no sense when applied to God.” – Religion, Reason, and Revelation, p. 204 -205. (1961)

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