About

trace and meMy name is Sean Gerety.  I am a Christian Scripturalist. For those who don’t know, a Scripturalist is a person who subscribes to the epistemological and apologetic position of the late Christian theologian and philosopher, Gordon H. Clark.

I am co-author along with Dr. John Robbins of Not Reformed At All, which is a response to and refutation of Douglas Wilson’s book, “Reformed Is Not Enough: Recovering the Objectivity of the Covenant.” Here is a brief description of the book:

Wilson is a spokesman for both the Classical-Christian school movement and the Neolegalist movement, which makes one’s salvation depend on one’s performance. In his book, “Reformed” Is Not Enough, Wilson invents a new covenant, which he calls the “objective covenant”, and denies the Covenant of Grace taught in Scripture.

The American Presbyterian Church in their review of the book said:

This is a great book. Lately, we have reviewed a number of books on this site dealing with the current controversy over justification by faith alone. If you only have either time or money for one; this is the one. It is a thorough, systematic, logical, Scriptural, and confessional refutation of Douglas Wilson’s book, Reformed is Not Enough. He utterly obliterates Wilson’s arguments and leaves him not a single confessional statement or Scriptural proof text on which to hang his errors. Actually, they are more than errors; they are heresies, for Wilson proclaims another gospel, which is no gospel, but the bad news that faith is not enough and rather than trusting in the perfect righteousness of Christ imputed by faith, our only hope is adding our own covenant faithfulness to our faith.

This book is a significant achievement. I recently purchased a copy of Wilson’s book to read for myself what he had to say. I got less than half way through it and it left me totally confused as to what Wilson actually believes. I found it a confusing, contradictory, vague work, where Wilson desperately attempts to sound Reformed and orthodox, all the while making statements and suggestions that undermine what he has just professed. Robbins and Gerety have unerringly been able to go to the heart of the matter, cut through the confusing doubletalk, define what Wilson means by the terms he uses, and systematically demonstrate what he is actually teaching. And once they have focused in on his beliefs, they annihilate them from Scripture and Confession. Wilson’s bluff, that his position is both the Scriptural and Confessional one, is called and shown to be fraudulent in the extreme.

This book is also an excellent exposition and defense of the true gospel of Jesus Christ and will renew the readers in their convictions with respect to salvation by faith alone as taught in the word of God.

However, my favorite review of the book to date, and the one that says it all, was from Doug Wilson who said it was “atrocious.”

Trinity Foundation was also nice enough to publish The Evisceration of the Christian Faith, which pretty much sums up why I’m not a Van Tillian — and why no Christian should be.  The article is a response to something I had been gnawing on since first coming to the Reformed faith when a friend asked me to read John Frame’s “The Problem of Theological Paradox.”  More recently John Robbins asked me to write a companion piece to his booklet on the state of the OPC dealing with the PCA,  Can the Presbyterian Church in America be Saved? You can read a review of this book here.

The Trinity Foundation also published Janus Alive and Well: Dr. R. Scott Clark and the Well-Meant Offer of the Gospel where I review WSC professor Dr.  R. S. Clark’s contribution to The Pattern of Sound Doctrine where he defends the inherent contradictions and implicit Arminianism of the so-called “well-meant offer” of the Gospel.

Beyond that, I’m the husband to an incredibly beautiful former Nebraska native named Tracy and we have three great children Erin, Meaghan and Conor. God has indeed blessed me.

Email: magma2 AT gmail DOT com

137 Comments on “About”

  1. Darrin Says:

    I was just lamenting the other day how quiet the scripturalist list has been and wondered where you had gotten to. I saw you post a comment on that syrupy post by Dr. Kidd and was delighted you started a blog. Look forward to future posts!

    Darrin Brooker
    drbrooker.net

  2. magma2 Says:

    Welcome Darrin. Kidd’s “Rodney King” post was nauseating. It’s hard for me to believe that the man really thinks the FV/NPP has nothing to do with the heart of the gospel, justification by faith alone, but he evidently thinks it’s all a lot of noise signifying nothing.

    FWIW I appreciated John Frame’s comment. More anecdotal evidence that the FV finds fertile soil in Van Tilianism and its “perspectivalistic” variations.


  3. Hi Sean,

    Welcome to the greatest time sink ever invented by man. Sometimes I think that blogging is worse than gaming. Glad to see you up and posting!

    Bob

  4. thebusk Says:

    A friend of mine just found this site and let a few of us know about it. Thank you for a great book “Not Reformed at All” and now what seems to be a great Blog. It is nice to see other Scripturalist out there contending vigorously for the faith.

  5. John G Says:

    Sean,

    Thank you for this website. A Scripturalist friend of mine, Stephen Macasil, gave me your book about Wilson’s covenant and from tht I found this blog. So far I’ve read several posts and I can tell you I’ll be back reading more if not all, God willing.

  6. Robert Says:

    Dear Sean,

    I enjoyed reading through your blog. I was drawn to it by the album cover you wisely chose as your avatar – one of my favorites. I’ve been a fan of Clark and Robbins for some years and have always appreciated their uncompromising appeal to Scripture and their direct language. Judging from the short bits of debate you posted between Dr. Robbins and Mr. Sungenis, I would like to hear it in its entirety.

    Thank you,
    Robert

  7. Sean Gerety Says:

    Thanks Robert. Yep, I confess, I’m a big Crimson fan. I saw them in the ’80’s and had the chance to see them again this past summer in NYC, which was last show of what will probably be their last tour. Admittedly, the Court cover has more to do with the way I feel most of the time 😉

    As for the Sungenis debate, it was an email exchange and what I posted from Pastor White was the bulk of it. If you email me I can send you the entirety of what he sent me.

  8. Robert Says:

    Wow, big Crimson fan here too. I’m a big progressive rock fan in general as well. I saw KC a few times in the 80’s in NYC and this past year as well. We may have stepped on each other’s toes. Perhaps you can direct me where to locate your email address; sorry, I’m not that blog-savvy as this is my first post on any blog.

    Incidentally,
    I’m a member of a music review/rating database that you may find interesting. Below is my page but you can access the database from there as well.

    http://gnosis2000.net/raterrob.shtml

  9. Sean Gerety Says:

    I’ll check it out, thanks. Email: magma2 AT gmail DOT com

  10. Barry Ickes Says:

    Thanks for your article on “Peter Leithart and the PCA’s Failure to Deal with the Federal Vision.” As a 62 yr old former OPC elder, I find it amazing that so many Reformed pastors are moving toward Rome and sacramentalism. Obedience is still better than sacrifice. Keep up the good fight.

  11. joe Says:

    Hi Sean, I was wondering if you have posted or could post an account of your conversion, thanks Joe

  12. Carlton Rader Says:

    Sean,

    I also am a fellow christian scripturalist. Frankly, if christians actually believed what they profess they’d all be scripturalists! I am a member of Westminster PCA in Suffolk, VA. About 5 years ago I stumbled on to the Trinty Foundation website and have been somewhat of a theological puzzle to Westminster ever since! Anyway, would like to buy you lunch & discuss how does one free the PCA from it’s Vantillian captivity?

    Your Brother In Christ,

    Carlton

  13. Sean Gerety Says:

    Hi Carlton. I’ve been to Westminster PCA. Really great church. It’s a shame that it’s in a denomination that refuses to do anything to remove the false gospel of the Federal Vision that continues to spread unabated even within the James River Presbytery.

    As far as freeing the PCA from Vantilianism, I wouldn’t hold your breath. Fortunately, I don’t think Van Til’s influence is as pervasive in the PCA as in, say, the OPC, but it still has crippled countless men. And, I agree, if Reformed Christians really believed what they professed they’d be Scripturalists. After all, Clark at one point called his epistemic and axiomatic system the “Westminster principle.” As for lunch, I would love to. I’ll drop you a line.


  14. Out of curiosity, are you a member of any NAPARC communion?

  15. Sean Gerety Says:

    Not any longer. Why?


  16. Just curious that’s all. I’m currently in the PCA, and I’m always interested in some of the other denominations former PCAers turn to when they’ve become fed up. A few people I know have moved to the RPCNA and RPCUS. Just curious as to the direction in which you headed. Anyway, great blog. I enjoy reading your stuff and appreciate your thoughts on the FV.

    -Jordan


  17. Hey Sean, I just noticed that you’ve added my blog to your blogroll. Thanks!

  18. Sean Gerety Says:

    I realize it’s dangerous to be even mildly associated with me, so if you’d ever like it removed let me know. Believe it or not one guy from the Siouxlands Pres may be formally charged in the PCA for, in part, providing a link to my blog. I guess it would have been OK if I were an FV or NPP man. Go figure.


  19. Wow… that’s what you get for calling a spade a spade, I suppose. Guess it’s a good thing I’m not a PCA member, and the PCA church I attend is thankfully not FV-friendly.

  20. LJ Says:

    Sean,
    Is it permissible to ask if you live on the West Coast (the picture of you and your beloved looks like a West Coast beach)? Also, are you a full time author, pastor, or businessman? Or, all of the above? I don’t mean to pry, just curious.
    LJ

  21. Sean Gerety Says:

    Hi LJ. It’s certainly permissible to ask where I live, but it’s not on the Pacific. I live in Va Beach, VA. Also, I’m a full time none of those things. I work in grassroots politics. I’m the proverbial Dutch boys with his finger in the dike watching the banks disintegrate all around me. Makes the PCA look positively stable.

  22. LJ Says:

    Keep on pluggin’!!!!

  23. Ric Says:

    I was looking through your blog and found where you had written to John Piper about his questionable teaching on the idea that “in some way God wills the salvation of all men.” I had the same difference of opinion with him when I visited BethBapChurch in 1998-1999 when Nokia sent me to the twin cities. He kept saying “in some way.” like a mantra. I recently read the same thing being written by William Twisse!

    I was flabbergasted to say the least. I have read Piper’s The Justification of God which is excellent and yet what he says about this double will of God is contradictory to what he wrote on Romans 9.

    I also have his book on The Future of Justification where I think he pretty much dispels the myth of NT Wrong’s oops sorry Wright’s abilities as an exegete. Yet he makes common cause with the NPP/FV men.

    I think either the man suffers from a degenerative disease of the brain or in his attempting to be Christlike (compassionate, loving, etc.) has inverted into a kind of spiritual arrogance, a direction his intellect did not allow him previously.

  24. BH Bull Says:

    New site:

    Biblical Horizons Yahoos!

    submitted for review.

  25. LJ Says:

    Funny when something just “dawns” on you. I realized when Sean and I were looking at some old Puritan Board stuff a couple of days ago that Sean is Magma2. Several years ago (7 or 8 years? Where do they go?) I used to subscribe and occasionally interact on that Puritan Board blog (I don’t think they were called blogs then). Anyhow, there was this guy, Magma2, who was always coming to my rescue when I was trying, in my own lame way, to counter the inevitable anti-Clark bigotry that is typical of many “Reformed” websites. I just realized Sean = Magma2!!! Ok, I may be a little slow on the uptick but like an elephant I never forget and this gives me the opportunity to express my gratitude for Sean’s diligent defense of the whole Clarkian enterprise all these years, including JRob’s efforts at Trinity.

    Thanks Bro!

    LJ


  26. […] Here about the book,  Not Reformed At All, “ which is a response to and refutation of Douglas […]

  27. Jake Says:

    I see now the root of your idiocy. Your epistemology cannot even pass its own test. A “scripturalist”, eh? Your a modernist moron who is more commited to a idolatrous form of logo-centrism than an orthodox view of the bible. Your mighty proud of the pointless book you wrote that was read by 14 people huh? Your a joke.

  28. Sean Gerety Says:

    I think you meant “you’re a joke.” 🙂

  29. Jake Says:

    P.s. Gordon Clark was an idiot to.

  30. Jake Says:

    Yes Sean you are correct. You’re.

  31. Sean Gerety Says:

    I think you meant “Gordon Clark was an idiot too.” From one moron to another I guess. 😛

  32. Jake Says:

    Ahhh yes, the immature defense mechanism of spell checking posts. Well done.

  33. Sean Gerety Says:

    And I just thought I was answering a fool according to his folly. And, Jake, next time try and construct an actual argument, assuming you’re able (I realize I’m stretching here). That’s always better than bad grammar.

    Thanks for stopping by.


  34. “Your [sic] a joke…Gordon Clark was an idiot to [sic].”

    Ahhh yes, the mature methodology of someone who wishes his comments to be taken seriously. /sarcasm

    Trolls.

  35. Jake Says:

    I don’t expect anyone to take what I said seriously. All I did was level insults.

    Here’s a substantive question. Where is sola scriptura taught in the Bible?

  36. Sean Gerety Says:

    Wow, an actual question (and a revealing one to boot – you must be one of those “Called to Communion” guys which would explain your clever repartee on the Stellman piece). 😉

    Of course, given your performance so far I tend to think your “substantive” question is less than a serious one, but if you’re looking for an explicit reference I can’t think of one. If you’re looking for the doctrine being taught by implication I would being with 1 Timothy 3:16,17 if only because it irritates papists and their fellow travelers so much.

  37. Jake Says:

    Haha, no I predate both Stellman and called to communion by several years.

    There’s so many problems with your reference to 1Tim 3. Let’s start with this. Where explicitly or implicitly does 1tim 3:16 support the “sola” part of sola scriptura?

  38. Sean Gerety Says:

    So you’re a Romanist, why didn’t you just say so? Are you ashamed?

    First, my mistake it is 2 Timothy. I’m surprised you didn’t catch that. Second, I have no intention of getting drawn into a debate at this time, so my response to you will be short. If you’d like a more complete discussion of sola scriptura I suggest you read Gary Crampton’s book, By Scripture Alone. Crampton decimates arguments made by Robert Sungenis and others. Highly recommended and you can order it on the sidebar of this blog.

    As for Timothy, first we learn that all Scripture, and not just some, is God breathed and sufficient so that the man of God may be perfect, as in complete, in matters of doctrine, correction, spiritual warfare, etc., so that he might be equipped for every, and not just some, good works. Nothing else is needed; certainly not the authoritarian blatherings of some self-styled “magisterium” who alone may interpret Scripture or an effeminate “pope” falsely claiming infallibility.

  39. Jake Says:

    You didn’t answer my question. Where is the “Sola” in that verse or any other verse for that matter?


  40. “…if you’re looking for an explicit reference I can’t think of one. If you’re looking for the doctrine being taught by implication I would being with [2] Timothy 3:16,17…”

  41. Sean Gerety Says:

    I did answer your question. It’s implied in the passage. Scripture is the sole infallible rule of faith. What do you think sola scriptura means?

  42. Sean Gerety Says:

    Here’s a question for you Jake, where in Scripture do you find an infallible magisterium much less an infallible pope?

  43. Jake Says:

    I know what Sola Scriptura means. It asserts that the protestant canon is the ONLY authority for faith and practice. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 does not teach that implicitly or explicitly. It teaches the profitability and usefulness of the Torah (To be specific, that is what Paul is referring to in v.15). So I still don’t see how in any way, shape or form, you get the “sole authority” of the protestant canon from Paul (which didn’t even exist in Paul’s day) saying that all scripture (sacred writings from childhood-Torah) is “profitable” or useful. You are reading into the text BIG TIME. SO, where else does the Bible “imply” Sola scriptura?

  44. Sean Gerety Says:

    Actually, it does teach that Scripture is sufficient – plus nothing – to make the man of God complete for every — as in all — good work. Scripture is also profitable for doctrine, correction, rebuke but profitability is not the same as merely useful as if it were one tool among many. After all, Paul starts out explaining it’s God breathed. Now how about you answer my question.

  45. Jake Says:

    Wow! The passage does not say that: “Sufficient-plus nothing”. Are you kidding me? If scripture is “sufficient” then why are you adding to the text? Let 2 Tim 3 speak for itself. It says its profitable. Thats it. Nothing more or less. God didnt make a mistake. It says exactly what he intended it to say. You are doing violence to the text.

    When you show me a solid biblical foundation for Sola Scriptura I will be happy to answer whatever question you like.

    You know what, I’ll save you the agony. The truth is, Scripture alone doesn’t teach scripture alone. Therefore,because the doctrine cannot pass its own test, it should be abandoned as an absurdity. Sola scriptura comes from Luther and other reformers, not scripture itself. Therefore your entire “scripturalist epistemology” is built on an appeal to tradition.

    How ironic.

  46. Sean Gerety Says:

    I’m not opposed to tradition, per se, as no Reformed man would be. I just don’t consider it “holy” much less do I view the Roman church-state as the “infallible” arbiter of either tradition or orthodoxy. From your belief in the infallibility of your popes, to your veneration of Mary as a mythological sinless being who was “assumed” into heaven, to the abomination of your mass, the rank heterodoxy that makes up the root of your false church is evident everywhere. Consequently, what Jesus said of the Pharisees of His day can be said of you:

    Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:

    “These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
    And honor Me with their lips,
    But their heart is far from Me.
    And in vain they worship Me,
    Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”

    Scripture does teach Scripture alone and it does so in 2 Timothy as it is sufficient for the perfection of the man of God to which nothing else is either needed or added (which is the meaning of the word “alone”). Your argument, if that’s what you call it, is that it’s usefulness or profitability extends to the Torah and nothing more, but that is just a failure to understand the nature of all Scripture as God breathed even the NT which was in the process of being completed to include Paul’s letters to Timothy. As Calvin rightly observes:

    But here an objection arises. Seeing that Paul speaks of the Scriptures,which is the name given to the Old Testament, how does he say that it makes a man thoroughly perfect? for, if it be so, what was afterwards added by the apostles may be thought superfluous. I reply, so far as relates to the substance, nothing has been added; for the writings of the apostles contain nothing else than a simple and natural explanation of the Law and the Prophets, together with a manifestation of the things expressed in them. This eulogium, therefore, is not inappropriately bestowed on the Scriptures by Paul; and, seeing that its instruction is now rendered more full and clear by the addition of the Gospel, what can be said but that we ought assuredly to hope that the usefulness, of which Paul speaks, will be much more displayed, if we are willing to make trial and receive it? –

    As God said through the prophet Isaiah; “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Which explains why there is no light in Rome and your religion is nothing but darkness.

    So, since I’ve answered your question and now have overcome your sterile objection, you can either answer my question or we’re done.

  47. Jake Says:

    You are proving my point. Sola scriptura is a doctrine that has ZERO biblical basis. 2 Tim doesnt teach anything even remotely close to it and Isaiah, once again, is referring to the Torah and certainly not a future NT. The fact that you wont admit that is frightening. Your intellectual dishonesty knows no bounds.You have to appeal to sources of tradition like Calvin in order to get a belief like Sola Scriptura, thus undercutting the entire docrtine. To you and Calvin I would ask; If scripture alone is the only rule for faith and practice, where in scripture does it teach us that “This eulogium, therefore, is not inappropriately bestowed on the Scriptures by Paul; and, seeing that its instruction is now rendered more full and clear by the addition of the Gospel, what can be said but that we ought assuredly to hope that the usefulness, of which Paul speaks, will be much more displayed, if we are willing to make trial and receive it?” In other words, where does scripture say that the Gospels and the Epistles are are appropriate additions to scripture? Why are you appealing to Calvin anyways? I asked for Biblical support for SS. Calvin says it, but no where in Scripture does it say this. It comes from Clavin and to a latter extent Ridderbos, both of which are an appeal to tradition.

    As to your questions, I am not the one hung up on a rediculous, blashemous, self-contradicting belief like Sola scriptura. You are. From Scripture, we are taught that Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to his disciples in order to lead them in all truth. They received the spirit at pentecost and through the layng of hands transfered this authority to their successors (The verse that teaches apostolic succession is right next to the verse that teaches infant baptism). It was through the authority given to the apostles through the Holy spirit that the CHURCH, Christ’s body made vital decision concerning the Canon, and doctrine. Through the guidance of Holy Spirit and the Holy scriptures, Jesus continues to guide His church in all truth. Therefore, what the church speaks is true. To disagree with this is to disagree with Jesus.

    There is far more Biblical and historical evidence for the authority of the apostles and the Church than there is for the rediculous notion of Sola Scriptura. But you are so blinded by your own hate and ignorance and therefore you will most likely live your life worshipping a false idol.

  48. Sean Gerety Says:

    You are proving my point. Sola scriptura is a doctrine that has ZERO biblical basis. 2 Tim doesnt teach anything even remotely close to it and Isaiah, once again, is referring to the Torah and certainly not a future NT.

    I’ve learned over the years debating Romanist on the doctrine of sola scriptura (or any of the biblical solas for that matter) is like discussing the Trinity with an Arian. Simply because the exact phrase “Scripture alone” is not an explicit deliverance of Scripture does not mean it is not a necessary inference from Scripture the same way that the Trinunity of God is. This could explain why you ignore the universals in the passage like “all Scripture” which is hardly limited to the “Torah,” as is obvious from other passages like 2 Pet 3:2; “That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour.” Notice, Peter puts the words of the Apostles on the same level as the “holy prophets.” And earlier in the introduction to that same letter Peter explains that God had granted to the apostles “everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” So, the idea that Paul’s reference was to the exclusion of the NT canon is just silly.

    Besides, I have to think you noticed even in the above citation from Matthew and elsewhere that the times where Jesus references the established church of his day or its traditions was to condemn them. Instead, when he was tempted in the desert and elsewhere he always cites Scripture and not tradition as the only authoritative word of God. He even makes that point that his many miracles, including even his rising from the dead, will not convince anyone of the truth of who He is, instead He appeals to Scripture; ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.'”

    .You have to appeal to sources of tradition like Calvin in order to get a belief like Sola Scriptura, thus undercutting the entire docrtine.

    The citation from Calvin was just to show the emptiness of your
    argument and in that it succeeded.

    To you and Calvin I would ask; If scripture alone is the only rule for faith and practice, where in scripture does it teach us that “This eulogium, therefore, is not inappropriately bestowed on the Scriptures by Paul; and, seeing that its instruction is now rendered more full and clear by the addition of the Gospel, what can be said but that we ought assuredly to hope that the usefulness, of which Paul speaks, will be much more displayed, if we are willing to make trial and receive it?” In other words, where does scripture say that the Gospels and the Epistles are are appropriate additions to scripture?

    I already cited Peter above equating the words of the Apostles with the prophets. Beyond that Paul anticipates the close of the canon in 1 Corinthians 13:8ff.

    As to your questions, I am not the one hung up on a ridiculous[sic], blasphemous[sic], self-contradicting belief like Sola scriptura. You are. From Scripture, we are taught that Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to his disciples in order to lead them in all truth. They received the spirit at Pentecost[sic] and through the layng[sic] of hands transferred[sic] this authority to their successors (The verse that teaches apostolic succession is right next to the verse that teaches infant baptism).

    Now you’re just begging the question. Where is apostolic authority transferred (this will require you actually looking at a Bible which I’m guessing is about as foreign to you as a dictionary). And, fwiw, anyone who has studied early church history knows the claim of papal authority tracing itself to Peter is a complete fiction. As Augustine explains (which should dispel a bit of popish blashphemy which I anticipate is going to be a forthcoming as you try and defend the papacy):

    “Christ, you see, built his Church not on a man but on Peter’s confession. What is Peter’s confession? ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ There’s the rock for you, there’s the foundation, there’s where the Church has been built, which the gates of the underworld cannot conquer.” – (The Works of Saint Augustine,, Sermons, Vol. 6).

    It was through the authority given to the apostles through the Holy spirit that the CHURCH, Christ’s body made vital decision concerning the Canon, and doctrine.

    If we are to believe you the Church was without the completed Scriptures until 1546 – and may still be without it as additions may be added at a later date if your so-called “magisterium” or pope decides to make an “infallible” pronouncement and add even more apocryphal books to the Roman canon in order to justify even more false doctrines of the Roman church-state. However, if one understands the marks of the apostles at least according to the Scriptures (besides Paul pointing out that he was the last of the apostles in 1 Corinthians 15:8 which should be enough to settle the debate even for a kool-aid drinker such as yourself), then they would know that the canon would be closed at the end of the apostolic age (which, of course continues for papists, just not for Christians).

    Through the guidance of Holy Spirit and the Holy scriptures, Jesus continues to guide His church in all truth.

    That’s true of the Church of Jesus Christ, but what makes you think that the Roman church-state is a true church? Besides, you don’t even have the Christian Scriptures but instead embrace as God’s word errant and contradictory later additions (which, incidentally, make God a liar and His word false).

    Therefore, what the church speaks is true. To disagree with this is to disagree with Jesus.

    Petitio principii — you merely assert as a conclusion what you need to prove and you are a very long way from doing that. 🙂

  49. Jake Says:

    You still havent shown me how 2 Tim 3 or any other passages teaches the doctrine of the Sola Scriptura. Your explainations are pitiful. You keep injecting words like “sufficient” even though the word and the concept isnt found in any passage. you still havent shown me, from scripture, why “All scripture..” is referring to more than the Torah, when that is exactly what the context indications. You still havent shown me from scripture, how “All Scripture…”refers to books and letters that havent even been written yet or whose authority hasnt been recognized.

    Please, show me from scripture, that the protestant Bible is to be the only authority for faith and practice. Calvin isnt authoirtative, Augustine isnt authoritative. I need to see it from scripture. Do this and then i will leave you alone.

  50. Sean Gerety Says:

    First, of course “sufficient” is not found in the passage, neither is the word Trinity found anywhere in Scripture yet Christians, and I assume even you, accept that God is one being in three persons is a necessary inference from Scripture. Although, maybe you don’t. Maybe you just believe whatever lies those priestlings and pedophiles feed you. I don’t know you, but I’m guessing that’s your problem.

    Second, I’ve already address your transparent “Torah” objection at least twice now and if you can’t see that “all Scripture” includes the Apostolic inspired writings in addition to the OT canon (which NEVER included the apocryphal books that you think are canonical BTW) then there probably isn’t much I can do to help you.

    Third, I never said that either Calvin or Augustine were authoritative, but I would think at least for you Augustine’s exegetical position re Matthew 16:18 that directly contradicts the “tradition” of the Roman church-state has some bearing on the foolishness of raising tradition to the level of Scripture. Of course, that would require your ability to think for yourself, something your church forbids you to do. Consequently, the Augustine quote (and there are more) is useful to demonstrate there is no uniform exegetical tradition that states that Peter is the “rock” in v. 18 and not Jesus Christ. Not to mention that Jesus elsewhere in Scripture (see 1 Corinthians 10) is referred to as the rock. Like papal infallibility and Mary’s presumed perpetual virginity, the very basis for papal authority it is but another Roman/pagan fantasy. To put it another way, your entire church is built on a lie.

    Finally, I don’t need to do anything for you to leave me alone. Have you forgotten where you are and whose blog this is?

  51. Jake Says:

    Let me go ahead and end this Sean. Its a waste of time for both of us. First of all i want to apologize to you and anyone else that I leveled an insult toward. Calling you an idiot or moron or a joke was just flat out immature and silly and uncalled for. I used to be exactly where you are. I graduated from a reformed seminary near the top of my class with 2 M.A. degrees. Toward the end of my time there I began to have serious doubts about certain claims by the reformed tradition. Sola scriptura is one of them, Sola Fide is another one. I have concluded that these doctrines have serious biblical, and historical problems. However, I am not Roman Catholic. I am still a protestant for now. I found this site by accident. I was trying to find if Jason Stellman ever publically apologized Peter Leithart for his witch hunt. Somehow google brought me here and i was appalled by some of the language I saw concerning Stellman. Calling him an “apostate” and saying he “abandoned the Gospel” just set me off. I think language like that is ignorant and totally uncalled for. I, like Stellman, have seen many of the flaws that the reformed faith have. I am not going to convince you of them and you are not going to going to convince me that those flaws dont exist. lets just agree to disagree. I would however ask you to research not reformed perspectives on catholicism, and these issues. Once again, Im sorry for my attitude and inflamatory tone.

  52. Sean Gerety Says:

    I accept your apology Jake, but you certainly did lead me to believe you had already drunk the RC kool-aid since you said you predated Stellman and C to C by “several years.” Whatever weaknesses and problems you think the Reformed faith has is nothing compared to the problems inherent in the Roman system, even aside from the gross errors I mentioned above. Atheism is preferable.

    To me the biggest single offense of the RC system is their denial, in principle and practice, that the finished work of Christ outside of us was enough. The thought that we must contribute however much to our justification, even by faith working through love, is an admission that Christ’s death was an insufficient atonement for sin. I can’t really think of anything more blasphemous than that. Thanks for stopping by and I can assure you Stellman has done more damage than you can imagine.

  53. Denson Dube Says:

    Hi Sean,
    It is not possible to “show” the blind that there is light and colour, or the deaf that there is sound and music except by opening their eyes and ears, which requires a miracle.
    Jake is proof again that faith is the sovereign grace of God, given to undeserving sinners at his pleasure. “I will have mercy in whom I will have mercy”.

  54. Sean Gerety Says:

    Hi Denson,
    We’ll just have to be praying for mercy. It seems like his seminary career really did a number on him. Not the first time I’ve seen men coming out of a purported Christian even Reformed seminary that end up well on their way to Rome.

  55. Jake Says:

    I can see why you had that impression. What I meant is that I’ve been dealing with those issues longer than Stellman and CC. Going on 9 years to be exact. I have not converted to the Catholic church but I’m not far from it. I’m sure you think I’m an apostate, but I will have to disagree.

    I have found that many reformed arguments against Catholicism are full of straw men. Tridentine doctrines concerning justification were in response to the errant semi-pelagian/anti-nomianism being espoused by Luther. Trent however affirmed 2 truths that are central to an orthodox understanding of justification. One, we are justified by the first action of God’ unmerited grace through Christ. Two, biblical faith includes obedience. For Luther, faith is simply confidence and does not include obiedience. This understanding of Faith is incomparable with St Paul’s and St James’ teaching regarding the nature of faith and was thus condemned by Trent. It’s easy to take snippets of Trent and juxtapose it against snippets of Paul and build a straw man asserting that Catholics believe in salvation by works. There is nothing further from the truth.

    As someone on their way to Rome I can tell you unequivocally that I am saved by the Grace of God ALONE that was purchased for me ONLY by the merits of Jesus Christ. Grace is realized in me through Faith that includes both confidence and outward obedience to him. I am not earning salvation. Obedience without the first unmeritted act and gift of grace is utterly worthless. But a faith that follows God’s unmerited grace that does not include obedience is as St Paul, St James, and Jesus said, “dead”.

    Have I stated anything worthy of being called a heretic?

  56. Sean Gerety Says:

    Have I stated anything worthy of being called a heretic?

    Absolutely, but since you say you’re not far from converting to Rome that’s to be expected.

    First, you are right and the Lutheran and subsequent Reformed understanding of the nature of faith and saving faith has been historically deficient at best, which is scandalous when think of the role faith plays in the Reformed scheme of justification. Gordon Clark, who you think is an idiot, outlines a number of these historic deficiencies in What Is Saving Faith as he sought to rectify this dismal situation. I think he was very successful (even if that is too much to stomach for most Reformed seminary profs who are more wed to tradition than to logic or the Scriptures).

    OTOH I would say that if faith includes obedience then I would agree that JBFA apart from works is a fiction. That said, I don’t see James as adding obedience to simple faith as some sort of “fiducial” addition that makes ordinary belief “saving.” Rather, his figure of speech concerning “dead faith” has to do with how we might determine a person who possesses a genuine faith from the feigned variety. That’s not to say that obedience to whatever degree doesn’t flow from an assent to the propositions of the Gospel,. However, if obedience were a necessary or definitional component of saving faith then we wouldn’t be saved by faith “apart” from works as Paul says, but rather we would be saved by faith plus works which is what Rome and the Federal Vision/NPP says. Further, I have no doubt that RCs think they’re saved by the grace of God alone through the merits of Jesus Christ, but like you they believe that justification is something that is wrought in them and not something accomplished completely on a tree outside of them some 2k + years ago. To me that is an inexcusable affront to the God of Scripture Roman Catholics pretend to serve.

    Besides, I would think all that Romanish superstitious nonsense would be enough to keep any intelligent man from submitting himself to such a group of effeminate totalitarian charlatans.

    Just to share one brief story, a number of years ago I went out for some drinks with a group of Roman Catholics who I work with. We were meeting a former associate who had recently become a priest. I work in conservative grassroots politics and one of my RC friends ask the priest why was it that all the priest he’d ever known were “liberal scumbags” (his words), present company excepted of course. The priest replied; “While that is true, there is one thing that a priest does that is far more important than any political views a priest might hold.” Then there was a long silence as everyone just looked at him blankly and he said; “Do the Mass.” All the RCs at the table nodded their heads in agreement. So, being your typical wise guy New Yorker, I turned to the priest and said; “So, a guy can be a leftist, a phony, a fraud, and a pedophile but if he says the words right the voodoo happens and the bread turns into flesh and the wine into blood and it has the power to remit sins, is that right?” And, he looked right at me and said; “Yes, that’s exactly right.” Also, I should point out that when I made my snarky remarks it was well before the pedophile priest scandals started to surface.

    So, even apart from their denial of Christ and His finished work there is no way I could ever imagine anyone becoming an RC. After all, didn’t Jesus say we are to identify false prophets by their fruit? You may have your issues, as unfounded as they are, with the Reformed faith, but you must be blind too if you are considering joining yourself to that sickly and corrupt body.

  57. Jake Says:

    Ok, so you are saying that saving faith
    is devoid of outward obedience to God?

  58. Jake Says:

    Sean, do you consider John Frame a heretic?

  59. Sean Gerety Says:

    Ok, so you are saying that saving faith is devoid of outward obedience to God?

    You must be kidding me Jake. You said you graduated “near the top” of a Reformed seminary with 2 degrees(!) and you are not versed in the WCF specifically concerning the doctrine of justification? How could you even ask if saving faith is devoid of outward obedience to God? Of course it is. Faith is the ALONE instrument in justification. We are not justified through the “act of believing” or by “any other evangelical obedience” by belief alone in Christ’s “obedience and satisfaction” imputed to us.

    So, yes, considered in and of itself, saving faith is “devoid of outward obedience to God.” How could it be otherwise as we are justified by the obedience and satisfaction of Christ and not through our own obedience and satisfaction; even on the basis of God supposedly working through us by faith. That’s not to say that saving faith isn’t accompanied by “other saving graces,” but that which results from saving belief shouldn’t be confused with belief itself by which we apprehend Christ and His work outside of us and on our behalf that alone can justify us before the Father.

    What seminary did you graduate from anyway that you so completely confuse the Law and the Gospel? WTS? Did you happen to study under Norm Shepherd or one of his many defenders there like Dick Gaffin?

    Sean, do you consider John Frame a heretic?

    Whether Frame is a heretic or not I’m not sure. I wouldn’t be surprised if was as he seems to be perpetually on the wrong side in the battle over justification. He is a certainly a very confused man and has polluted countless young souls with impunity for years. FWIW my first introduction to Frame was when I was brand new to the Reformed faith and first joined the PCA while still cutting my teeth on predestination. A very bright young man in the congregation let me borrow North’s Foundations of Christian Scholarship and specifically asked me to read Frame’s contribution; “The Problem of Theological Paradox.” To put it mildly, the book would have ended up in the trash if I didn’t have to return it. From that one piece I could see immediately why Calvinism is relegated to the swampy backwaters of “Evangelicalism” and why the Reformed faith is virtually irrelevant. The anti-intellectualism and irrationalism at the core of Frame’s thought provides the foundation for all sorts of anti-Christian nonsense and is something I’ve written about at some length here: http://tinyurl.com/br8ygk4

  60. Jake Says:

    I am fully aware of the WCF concerning justification. I am just trying to get your understanding of it, as there are differing interpretations of it. Follow up question; is saving faith a cognitive ACT on out part or are we totally passive in it? In other words, if saving Faith is devoid of outward obedience, then what exactly is it at its most basic core; an act of our will to assent to the proposition of the gospel, or God passively believing for us?

  61. Sean Gerety Says:

    I am fully aware of the WCF concerning justification. I am just trying to get your understanding of it, as there are differing interpretations of it.

    Any interpretation that would include our ongoing obedience as a necessary component of faith; i.e., the sine qua non that makes ordinary belief “saving,” is a wrong interpretation.

    Follow up question; is saving faith a cognitive ACT on out part or are we totally passive in it? In other words, if saving Faith is devoid of outward obedience, then what exactly is it at its most basic core; an act of our will to assent to the proposition of the gospel, or God passively believing for us?

    Your question confuses categories. Belief understood as an assent to an understood proposition and saving belief as an assent to the propositions of the Gospel is by definition a purely a cognitive or intellectual act. As already explained, neither the act of believing nor any resulting actions or outward obedience can contribute anything to our justification, that’s because a person is already and completely justified before the throne of God the moment they first believe based solely on Christ’s obedience even unto death and accomplished completely outside of us. Further, that judgment is eternal otherwise salvation could be lost and the CoG would be conditional which is Arminianism.

    In response to Doug Wilson’s claim that “covenant faithfulness” is the “one thing needful” for salvation, John Robbins countered:

    … contrary to Wilson, the “one thing needful” for salvation is not the sinner’s covenant faithfulness, but the perfect and meritorious of Christ culminating in his substitutionary death. Christ’s perfect righteousness, which is the only righteousness acceptable to God, who is absolutely holy, is imputed to sinners through belief alone. It is Christ’s extrinsic righteousness alone that saves sinners, not their alleged covenant faithfulness. Wilson does not understand the “one thing needful,” and he denies the Gospel.

    I don’t know what they fed you in Reformed seminary, but it sure wasn’t Christianity.

  62. Jake Says:

    But wait, does the “cognitive act or intellectual act” of saving belief occur prior to or after we are justified? You wrote:

    “neither the act of believing nor any resulting actions or outward obedience can contribute anything to our justification, that’s because a person is already and completely justified before the throne of God the moment they first believe based solely on Christ’s obedience even unto death and accomplished completely outside of us”

    You are talking out of both sides of your mouth. How can someones “be justified before the throne of God the moment they believe” and yet their belief has nothing to do with their justification? I agree with you that the act of our faith (believing) and the object of our faith (the finished work of Christ) are two different things, but thats not what we are talking about here. I am simply wanting to know from you; when the act of faith takes place? is this faith an act of OUR own cognitive will, or is it something that comes after God justifies us?


  63. Faith is an intellectual act produced in the sinner by God, through which justification on the grounds of Christ’s work alone is bestowed.

  64. Denson Dube Says:

    Hi Jakes,
    On the matter of the Reformation “solas”, a convenient starting point is “Solus Christus” as given by the “first Pope” 🙂 in Acts 4:12.
    Then on to passages in Isaiah where God makes unequivocal and exclusive claims to his position and authority as the only God and creator of all things, there being no other(Soli Deo gloria).
    If there is only one God and it is true, then the matter of final authority is pretty much settled. God alone has the authority. He has the final say, which I would have thought, should suggest a strong case for “Sola Scriptura” to any intelligent mind.
    Since we are sinners and have offended God, salvation becomes a matter of God’s mercy and at his discretion(Sola gratia), to be received by faith alone(Sola Fide), it being impossible for a convicted sinner, to do anything that would placate God’s justice. Meriting salvation is impossible since we are already offenders and under judgement.

    “Besides, I would think all that Romanish superstitious nonsense would be enough to keep any intelligent man from submitting himself to such a group of effeminate totalitarian charlatans. ”

    Amen! What do you say to Sean’s statement above?

  65. Jake Says:

    @ patrick- So we are 100% pasive in saving faith? God in effect, believes for us on our behalf?

    @ Denson- Of course God alone is the final authority. No one is arguing anything to the contrary. My point is that the belief that God is the sole authority does not necessitate Sola Scriptura logically or biblically (because the Bible doesnt teach sola scriptura in a ny way shape or form).


  66. I repeat, belief is an *act* – we believe – produced in us by God. By believing the gospel, we receive the rest of the benefits of Christ (justification among them). Faith is the first of those gifts.

  67. Denson Dube Says:

    Jakes,
    If God alone is the only and final authority, why would what he says be not alone be the only final authority?

  68. Sean Gerety Says:

    But wait, does the “cognitive act or intellectual act” of saving belief occur prior to or after we are justified? …You are talking out of both sides of your mouth. How can someones “be justified before the throne of God the moment they believe” and yet their belief has nothing to do with their justification?

    Nice try Jake, but you can’t seriously think your objection was not anticipated since you broadcasted it a number replies earlier. Faith is the instrumental cause in justification, not the efficient cause. The efficient cause in justification is God’s mercy alone in election and the material cause is Christ’s cross work which secures the salvation – even the very righteousness — of all those given to the Him by the Father in eternity. Believing is the means by which the justification Christ secured on the cross some 2k years ago is applied to individual elect sinners in time. With all that Reformed seminary training have you forgotten the WSC too:

    Q. 45. Upon what ground or foundation is Christ’s righteousness imputed to us?
    A. Upon the ground of his representing us from eternity, and our union with him in time, Isa. 53:5.

    And further:

    Q. 62. If faith’s receiving of Christ’s righteousness justify us, does not faith justify as a work?
    A. It is not properly the receiving, or any other act of faith, that justifies us, but the righteousness of Christ RECEIVED, Rom. 3:22; even as it is not the hand that nourishes us, but the food which we take by it.

    Q. 63. If we are justified by faith alone, why is it said, James 2:24, “That by works a man is justified, and not by faith only?”
    A. This is to be understood of justifying, or evidencing the reality of our faith before men, and not of justifying our persons before God.

    Q. 64. When is it that God justifies the ungodly?
    A. “Though from eternity God decreed to justify all the elect,” yet “they are not” actually “justified, until the Holy Spirit does, in due time, apply Christ,” and his righteousness “unto them, Tit. 3:5-7.”

    Actually, I think you need to be (re)schooled in the shorter catechism (and don’t be embarrassed because it’s for kids) as you’ve clearly forgotten it, or perhaps just never really believe it.

    I agree with you that the act of our faith (believing) and the object of our faith (the finished work of Christ) are two different things, but thats not what we are talking about here. I am simply wanting to know from you; when the act of faith takes place? is this faith an act of OUR own cognitive will, or is it something that comes after God justifies us?

    As mentioned, the justification of a fixed number of sinners was accomplished on the cross, but is not applied to individuals until such time as they first believe. Further, while belief is the gift of God it is not God who believes for us. Do you really think I haven’t played this game before?

    Also, just FWIW, I had been moderating your posts only because of the way you came out swinging was more abusive than constructive, but I have removed you from moderation since you don’t seem to be such a loose nut after all 😉

  69. jake Says:

    @Patrick- Thats what I hought you said. You are talking out of both sides of your mouth like Sean and other “Clarkians”. If “faith is an act produced by God”, then that means Faith is monergistsic. If that is true, then we are not saved by faith (as scripture clearly states), but we are rather saved prior to faith-faith being the “first gift” of us being justified. This contradicts almost everything Paul says concerning the matter.

    This is what happens when you have a greater commitment to a rationalist philosophical system and a logo-centric/structualist view of language than you do the Bible itself. This pagan systen forces you to erroneously flatten scripture into nothing more than a series of propositions for the purpose of deducing logical conclusions. No where in scripture or in the history of Christendom, is this hermenuetic warranted other than in the demented mind of Gordon Clark and his followers.

    @Denson- What God says is the final authority, but no where in the Bible does it say that the Bible is only means in which God speaks. But for entertainment purposes lets say that the Bible does make that claim. Since the Bible is always interpreted and never simply “given”, who’s interpretation of the Bible are we to trust to be the Sole Authority? Because the Bible is always interpreted, Sola Scriptura wouldnt work even it were true.


  70. Heh. Just because you don’t/can’t understand what I’m saying despite your multiple seminary degrees, doesn’t mean I’m equivocating. Faith – belief – is our act. Try again. Or not.


  71. “If ‘faith is an act produced by God’, then that means Faith is monergistsic. [sic]”

    Wrong.


  72. Also, by the way, you’re not “still a Protestant” if you reject 2/5 solas.

  73. Sean Gerety Says:

    Since the Bible is always interpreted and never simply “given”, who’s interpretation of the Bible are we to trust to be the Sole Authority? Because the Bible is always interpreted, Sola Scriptura wouldnt work even it were true.

    I realize this was for Denson, but I have to think you must be able to see this doesn’t follow. You agreed earlier that God the Holy Spirit was given to the church so that Christ’s followers might be lead into all, and not just some, truth. I would also hope you would agree that Holy Spirit doesn’t “speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak….” So why would you think that the Holy Spirit is incapable of doing the job He was sent to do and instead even consider submitting yourself to men who by taking all interpretive authority upon themselves usurp the very authority and role of the Holy Spirit?

    I mean, really, if I were you I would sue whatever Reformed Seminary you got your degrees from because you clearly didn’t get what I’m guessing you thought you were paying for. BTW was it WTS? Is there a reason you won’t tell us where you got your 2 MA degrees?

  74. jake Says:

    Sean, you are still not answering my question. You wrote:

    “Believing is the means by which the justification Christ secured on the cross some 2k years ago is applied to individual elect sinners in time. With all that Reformed seminary training have you forgotten the WSC too”

    First of all, I’m not concerned with what the WCF says because its not infallible, and like you, dodges the question of faith as a “work”.

    Is this “believing” something that we do as an act of our will, or is it something God does in us as Patrick has stated? Please answer that question and stop dodging it.

    “We are justified by faith but faith does not Justify us.” I got. Agreed. Thats NOT MY QUESTION!!!!! My question, one more time is, “is this “believing” something we do (an act) or something God does in us (monergism)?

  75. Sean Gerety Says:

    is this hermenuetic warranted other than in the demented mind of Gordon Clark and his followers.

    I just took you off of moderation, can’t you make your point without continually resorting to abusive ad hominem? What was that apology all about anyway?

  76. Sean Gerety Says:

    Jake, get a grip. I didn’t doge the question. I answered it directly. I said while belief is God caused as it is His gift to give to whomever He pleases, it is not God who believes for us. And, for a guy so enamored by tradition, particularly the warmed over pagan and syncretistic tradition of Rome, I can hardly see why you would object to me quoting the Confession. After all, I’m not interested in reinventing the wheel. I cite it because I believe it to be true and accurately reflects what the Scriptures teach.

    And, while I thought for a moment we might be making progress, I’m starting to think you were right earlier and this is just a waste of time.

  77. jake Says:

    @ Patrick- Ok I am glad I was able to to get clarity on your view. if faith is our act then we are cooperative in our recieving of justification (which was 100% the work of Christ). So in effect, we are granted the gift of Justiciation through our act of believing. Do I undertand you correctly Patrick?

    Yes, I disagree with 2 of the 5 Solas because they are unscriptural and a perversion of the Gospel. I am only still protestant because I am not yet RC or EO.


  78. I don’t know if you understand me or not, but I have no problem with your summary of my view, barring any unknown differing definition of terms.

    You’re neither RC, EO, or P.

  79. jake Says:

    Sean, The last several post you have made have contain snide back handed comments toward me so if your gonna lecture me on ad Hominen’s, consentrate on the log in your own eye first. You call me a heretic because of what i say. I call Gordon Clark demented by what he says. I’d much rather be Demented than a Heretic. If you cant play nice, why should I?

    As for your response, you wrote,

    “Belief is God caused as it is His gift to give to whomever He pleases, it is not God who believes for us”. What the heck Does this mean????? God CAUSES the belief to occur but it is OUR act. How is this not a text book example of A being non-A at the same time in the same relationship? What you wrote is illogical, irrational, and unbiblical.

    As for my response to Denson, the question I have for you is simple: which interpretation of the Bible are we to trust to be absolutely authoritative when there are literally thousands of different ones out there??

  80. Sean Gerety Says:

    Patrick, Jake’s a protestant only in the sense that he’s not yet a Roman Catholic. Either way he’s a nominal Christian.

  81. Sean Gerety Says:

    Jake, you asked if I would think what you said re justification made you a heretic and I said absolutely and explained why. That’s not ad hominiem. Also, I didn’t write what attribute to me above.

  82. jake Says:

    @ Patrick- So we are cooperative in us being saved? Glad to hear you say that. Just as the “act” of belief does not earn for us justificaction, neither does the obedience of Faith, or faith working through love, or faith that works. By understanding the “act” of faith as one that embodies the whole person and not just the mind (demented rationaists) we have no more added to the work of justification as someone who believes faith is simply the “act” of cognitive assent. We both believe that we are justified by faith and that faith does not justify. I simply believe that a more biblical defitrntion of Faith included all of us and not just our cognitive agreement with the proposition of a message.

    If Im not RC OE or P than what am i patrick?

  83. jake Says:

    Sean, do nominal Christian’s get to go to heaven?

  84. jake Says:

    I still do not know where my view of justification is heredical. I believe we are saved by Grace alone. That grace was purchased for us through the finished work of Christ in his active and passive Obedience. We add nothing to our justification. We are saved by Faith alone (but not simply cognitive assent) but a faith that demonstrates a Life turned away from sin and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Just as the ACT of Faith doesnt justify us, the Works of Faith do NOT either. Just as the cognitive assent (act) of faith does not add to our justification, works of faith DO NOT either, Faith involves our total self. Faith without works is dead.

    Where is the heresy?


  85. Your view of faith is unbiblical. I’m not sure what you are. Nominal Christian is fine and dandy; I’ve just never heard of a Protestant who doesn’t hold to the solas, but apparently Sean has, so maybe you’re a (small-p) protestant.

  86. Denson Dube Says:

    Jake,
    Have your never heared of analogia fidei? The Bible alone is its own authoritative interpreter. Further, Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice …. I know my sheep and am known of mine.” and he promised the Holy Spirit to lead believers into all truth. You needn’t worry as to how believers will understand the word. The great shepherd of the sheep has taken care of that.

  87. Sean Gerety Says:

    Jake, a nominal Christian is a Christian in name only. What do you think?

  88. Sean Gerety Says:

    And, Patrick, remember you are a demented rationalist because you believe you are saved on the basis of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and not through a faith that works or more simply faith plus works.

    A nominal Christian was too generous. Nominal Christians generally haven’t really worked out such an anti-Christian scheme of justification. Of course Rome has as has those closet Romanist pretending to be a PCA pastors like Peter Leithart. 🙂

  89. Jake Says:

    Sean, you believe that you are saved by faith that merely assends cognitively to propositions. I believe I am saved by a faith that changes ones life. In each case you we are both placing our faith the finished w

  90. Steve M Says:

    Can someone please tell me whether it was Pharaoh who refused to let the Children of Israel go or was it God who did so when He hardened Pharaoh’s heart?

  91. Steve M Says:

    Jake wrote, “We are justified by faith but faith does not Justify us.” I got. Agreed. Thats NOT MY QUESTION!!!!! My question, one more time is, “is this “believing” something we do (an act) or something God does in us (monergism)?

    My question was pointed at Jake’s, but unfortunately, I was away from my computer for so long that, by the time I asked it, it had lost its relevance to the conversation. Sorry.

  92. Sean Gerety Says:

    Sean, you believe that you are saved by faith that merely assends cognitively to propositions.

    No Jake, I believe I am saved by Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross on my behalf. You really not been able to follow anything I’ve written have you?

    I believe I am saved by a faith that changes ones life. In each case you we are both placing our faith the finished w

    You either dropped dead or were unable to finish your sentence for some reason, but we don’t place our faith in the same thing. You one day will probably stand there and say “Lord, Lord, did I not …” and we both know how that will work out for you.

  93. Tim Harris Says:

    Jake, which interpretation of the Magisterium are we to trust to be absolutely authoritative?

  94. Jake Says:

    I accidently hit the submit tab on my phone mid sentence earlier and then got busy.

    Sean, you keep repeating like a broken record things that I’m not even saying. So your either not paying attention to what I’m actually saying or your incapable of comprehending it. We are saved 100% by the finished work of Christ. We cannot add one merit to our own justification. Period. Your view that faith is merely cognitive assent to a proposition is totally unscriptural. In order to arrive at that conclusion you have to proof text certain verses while ignoring their context and ignoring other passages that clearly state the contrary. But then again that was something Gordon Clark was notorious for.

  95. Sean Gerety Says:

    I’m actually saying or your incapable of comprehending it. We are saved 100% by the finished work of Christ. We cannot add one merit to our own justification. Period.

    I understand perfectly what you’re saying and it is just warmed over Romanism and a complete DENIAL of Christ’s finished work. I don’t know why this is even up for debate as you say you reject the Reformed and Christian faith and are in the process of making your way to the abattoir called Rome. For “faith” to be salvific you say it must work. You’re no different from the FV heretics like Meyers, Wilson and Leithart who maintain that obedience is the one needful thing in order for faith to save, but that is a crudely veiled admission that Christ’s work completely outside of us is enough to justify anyone before the judgment seat. Put more simply, you are a liar and you don’t believe we’re saved 100% by the finished work of Christ.

    You keep barking that the act of believing, the act of faith, doesn’t save and no one has said it has. Actually we’ve been arguing the exact opposite. With the WCF we maintain the neither the act of believing nor any other evangelical obedience is imputed to us as our righteousness, but rather the obedience and satisfaction of Christ is imputed to us through the alone instrument of belief APART from any subsequent works and for the reasons I’ve explained multiple times already.

    Your view that faith is merely cognitive assent to a proposition is totally unscriptural.

    Why, because you say so? For a man with supposedly 2 MA degrees from some unnamed “Reformed” seminary you seem pretty much devoid of any arguments much less biblical ones. Justification is by belief alone apart from works. If you have a beef with that take it up with the Apostle Paul.

    In order to arrive at that conclusion you have to proof text certain verses while ignoring their context and ignoring other passages that clearly state the contrary.

    Where? Where is your argument Jake? You have none. You cite James but it’s clear to everyone you have no idea what James is talking about. As far as taking something out of context you then loosely quote Galatians 5:6 but you parrot it without any understanding of what Paul is saying. Calvin writes concerning this verse you butcher and misapply:

    There would be no difficulty in this passage, were it not for the dishonest manner in which it has been tortured by the Papists [along with Federal Visionists and their fellow travelers like you] to uphold the righteousness of works. When they attempt to refute our doctrine, that we are justified by faith alone, they take this line of argument. If the faith which justifies us be that “which worketh by love,” then faith alone does not justify. I answer, they do not comprehend their own silly talk; still less do they comprehend our statements. It is not our doctrine that the faith which justifies is alone; we maintain that it is invariably accompanied by good works; only we contend that faith alone is sufficient for justification. The Papists themselves are accustomed to tear faith after a murderous fashion, sometimes presenting it out of all shape and unaccompanied by love, and at other times, in its true character. We, again, refuse to admit that, in any case, faith can be separated from the Spirit of regeneration; but when the question comes to be in what manner we are justified, we then set aside all works.

    Obviously the above is something your mind cannot grasp as you conflate those things that accompany true faith with faith itself and end up in sitting in your sins.

    But then again that was something Gordon Clark was notorious for.

    I can say with confidence that if you were instructed in Clark while at seminary you wouldn’t be making your way now to kiss the pope’s … ring. Instead it’s clear from your sloppy handling of what little Scripture you’ve dealt with and your inability to form any coherent logical arguments against the biblical doctrine of justification by belief alone that whatever you were taught in seminary was complete crap.

    In any case, I think we’re done.

  96. Jake Says:

    You can’t speak without speaking out of both sides of your mouth. You say on the one hand that we are saved 100% by the work of Christ and then in the other hand say that our salvations requires of us the act of believing in the gospel in order for that justification to be applied to us. So your own position falls under the same criticism that your throwing at me: that is you act of “believing” is adding the work of Christ. So by your own standards, you are a heretic as well. This is simple Shawn; either you are a monergist or a synergist. Which one? You can’t be both or neither.

    As for you, I have learned a couple of things. Compared to men like Leithart, Wilson, Frame, and especially VanTil, you are an intellectual and spiritual infant. I’ve studied Gordon Clark formally. If he were still alive I’d wagger that he would want little to do with you because your not only a fraction as smart as you think you are, but your a total dirt bag of a human being as well. The way you talk so cavalierly about the prospects of a person going to hell is sick, sadistic, and totally unchristlike. I truly feel sorry for you, your wife, and everyone who has ever had the displeasure of being associated with you.

    I made a few phone calls earlier to some of my friends in the PCA and OPC and ask them if they had ever heard of you. Of the very few that have, their response was the same as my initial assumption; you are a moron and joke. You’re right, we are done here.

  97. Sean Gerety Says:

    This is simple Shawn; either you are a monergist or a synergist. Which one? You can’t be both or neither.

    First, it’s Sean not “Shawn.” Second, despite pretending to have a seminary education, you should know that the monergism v synergism has to do with regeneration which either precedes or follows the act of believing. Since I believe that man is altogether passive in regeneration I’d say that makes me a mongerist despite your inability to differentiate and correctly apply theological categories. That really is some education you got. But, perhaps that’s your problem and that in spite of being a religious man you’ve never been regenerated, which would explain your Christ denying infatuation with the Roman church/state.

    The way you talk so cavalierly about the prospects of a person going to hell is sick, sadistic, and totally unchristlike.

    I didn’t think I was being cavalier at all and unless you repent you will die in your sins. I have been praying for you since you first blasted on my blog spewing your bile against the very foundation of the Christian faith – and will continue to pray — that God may grant you repentance and that you might come to your senses before it’s too late. And, just because I don’t want to coddle you and tickle your ears like your seminary profs evidently did, don’t blame me for talking to your straight. Given your bravado I thought you were man enough to take the truth without a lot of varnish. Evidently I was wrong and I’m sorry if your feelings were hurt.

    I truly feel sorry for you, your wife, and everyone who has ever had the displeasure of being associated with you.

    I do too sometimes. Thankfully they don’t share your opinion. 🙂

    I made a few phone calls earlier to some of my friends in the PCA and OPC and ask them if they had ever heard of you. Of the very few that have, their response was the same as my initial assumption; you are a moron and joke. You’re right, we are done here.

    Goodbye.

  98. Denson Dube Says:

    Hi Sean,
    Jakes’ mind seems so darkened he is incapable of even the simplest form of thinking. What is left in him is an irrational and beastlike hatred of the grace of God offered to us in the gospel. These seminaries(‘cemetaries’ actually) will have to answer to God for such incalculable damage to the minds of their students.
    One has to wonder if a lot of so-called “Reformed” seminaries are not infact staffed with Jesuits and unbelievers.

  99. Sean Gerety Says:

    Agreed Denson. It is a very sad state when a man can come onto this blog out of any Reformed seminary, even with 2 degrees, and think his obedient life would somehow complete his justification even entertaining submitting himself to that antichirst in Rome. That said, it’s not surprising given some of the pathetic profs that have made their way through various Reformed seminaries most of these guys are doomed from the start.

    “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”

  100. Jake Says:

    I said I was done But I just want to clarify one thing. Each and everyone of my professors were not only deeply committed to the Lord but also to the reformed faith and the Westminster standards. I wasn’t taught one thing from them in the 4 years that I was there that nudged me towards Rome. My interest in Catholic Theology arose from questions that I had concerning problems that I saw in reformed dogma, notably sola scriptura and sola fide. These were questions that arose in my own study and reflection and were not taught to me from my professors.

  101. Steve M Says:

    Jake
    In the four years you were being instructed by these deeply committed professors, did they not mention sola scriptural or sola fide? These are the dogmas from which you say your interest in Roman Catholic Theology arose, but you say nothing they taught you nudged you toward Rome. I don’t understand. Are you saying they did not teach you about these doctrines?

  102. Jake Says:

    Of course they did. Not only did they teach them but they rigorously defended them. I just came to realize that both of these doctrines are unscriptural, that is, the Bible does not teach them.


  103. I’ll ask the same question asked to Stellman (never saw if he answered it): Even if someone rejects Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide, how on earth does that make Rome an option? That’s a lot of kool-aid one must drink in order to accept the myriad doctrines Rome teaches that aren’t in Scripture.

  104. Sean Gerety Says:

    I see, everyone is just wrong about justification by belief alone APART from works including Paul and you and the Roman church-state got it right. Apart from your generally abusive bad manners your arrogance is particularly impressive Jake.

    “Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.”

  105. Sean Gerety Says:

    Good question Patrick and one I’ve asked Jake repeatedly already, but I think Paul in Romans 1:28 above sums it up.

  106. Steve M Says:

    Jake wrote, “I just came to realize that both of these doctrines are unscriptural, that is, the Bible does not teach them.”

    Are you saying that you came to this conclusion on your own? You did it without the Magisterium to interpret the scriptures for you? If you could reach these conclusions as an individual, why do you now need the Roman Church to hand you the rest of your doctrines?

  107. Denson Dube Says:

    Jake,
    You are prepared to go to Rome and submit to those perverts and effeminate pedophiles, the so-called priests because purpotedly, of Reformed doctrines you have found unscriptural! Dude, get a grip! Pedophiles, the adoration of humans(so-called saints) the rosary, are to be prefered to reformed doctrines?
    If you had said you were considering staying home and improving your golf game on Sunday, because your church is just not worth the trouble, you would possible get some sympathy from me. Some churches are really bad. Your pining for Rome has nothing to do with a search for truth and light but God’s judgement on you… as [you] did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave [you] over to a depraved mind, so that [you] do what ought not to be done.”

  108. jake Says:

    @ Patrick- Rejecting the reformed view of Sola Fide does not necessarily lead to Rome seeing that many protestant denominations reject it as well. However, rejecting Sola Scriptura is a different story. The best way to illustrate this is to state what I believe. I believe the Bible is the Holy, authoritative Word of God, perfect and infallible. Because the Bible is written in human language, it has to be interpreted. You can argue till your blue in the face but this is a fact. The question then arises, which interpetation is the correct interpretation? I believe that Scripture teaches that Jesus endowed his disciples with the Holy Spirit to lead them in all truth (Jn 16:12-15). From the Book of acts, and the Epistles, we see that these men carried upon themselves real authority both in their writings, their oral teachings, and their traditions (thats a bad word for you guys but its there. look it up-1Cor 11:2, 2 Thes 2:15). We also know from Scripture and early church history that this authority was transfered through the laying on of hands to their successors (1 Tim 1:6, 4:14, 5:22). These men, the successors of the apostles, and their successors, endowed by the Holy Spirit, are the interpretive voice of the faith. I know this may sound foreign and Bizzare to some of you but this is what the church believed, unchallenged, since the very beginning. It wasnt until the 16th century that the notion of apostolic authority and succession was challenged in any significant way. These are not claims that the Catholic Church made in the advent of Luther and Calvin. The Church taught and believed this for 1500 years prior to the reformation.

    I find it hard to beIieve that following the acsension of Christ, the Church fell into heresy for 1500 years only to be awakended by a doctrine (sola scriptura) that not only is void of any biblical foundation, but is soley responsible for the protestant church to fracture into, are you ready for this, 41,000 denominations today. I know you guys are going to argue that the above verses do not mean apostolic succession is true and that Sola Scriptura is the right way to go. Heres the problem with that. If Jesus, Paul, Timothy, and Peter taught Sola Scriptura and not apostolic succession, then why do we ONLY see Apostolic succession and NOT sola scriptura in the 1st centruy and beyond for the next 1500 years? Sola Scriptura is a new doctrine. It was never taught or believed by the early Church. Because of Sola Scriptura and the abandonment of the orthodox doctrine of Church authority through apostolic succession, the protestant reformation has not unified the church, but ripped it apart. (41,000 denominations all claiming to have the correct interpretaion of the bible). Because there is a direct, 2000 year lineage from today to Jesus himself, the Roman Catholic Church is the one, true Church that through the Holy Spirit interprets scripture authoritatively. Because the Church of apostolic succession (the Roman Catholic Church) is empowered throughout History with the promise of the Holy spirit, its teaching are True and to be trusted.

    @Steve- I came to the realization that the beliefs that I was forming happened to be what the Church has taught for 2000 years.

    @Sean- I am submitting to the teachings of scripture as understood for 2000 years. You are submitting to the teachings Scripture as understood by the reformers.I dont think arrogance is an appropriate term on either side.

  109. Sean Gerety Says:

    @Sean- I am submitting to the teachings of scripture as understood for 2000 years. You are submitting to the teachings Scripture as understood by the reformers.I dont think arrogance is an appropriate term on either side.

    What a load of self-serving pious sounding claptrap. The understood teachings of Scripture for 2000 years didn’t include the apocryphal books as part of the canon, didn’t include the presumed sinlessness of Mary along with her mythological bodily assumption, didn’t include the belief that Peter and not Jesus Christ was the “rock” upon which the church was founded, didn’t include the belief that the pope of Rome had supreme authority in matters of faith and morals, didn’t include the belief that the pope’s imagined ex cathedra flatulence was infallible, and the list goes on and on.

    And, yes, I do think it takes a special kind of arrogance for you, on the bases of some of the most pathetic arguments that were completely devoid of any biblical exegesis, to think you can stand in judgment of the biblical and Reformed faith. Frankly, the only thing you’ve shown yourself expert in is name calling.


  110. Sounds like you’re in rebellion by not joining up with Mother Rome, Jake. After that speech, what other option are you left with?

  111. Steve M Says:

    Jake
    I don’t buy your story. It sounds very contrived to me. I don’t think you are being truthful.

  112. Jake Says:

    @Patrick- Story? I was just trying to answer your question.

    @Steve- Not sure what to make of that accusation. What about it isn’t believable to you?

  113. Steve M Says:

    Jake
    I have this sneaking suspicion that we are not getting the full picture. You tell us you went to seminary for four years and got two degrees. I would bet that very few people make the decision to commit four years to seminary study without some prior knowledge of the doctrines of Scripture. What led you to this unnamed reformed seminary in the first place? Were you raised in a reformed church? Did you just flip a coin? I think you are telling only as much of the story as you want us to know. I think there is more to this story than you are willing to divulge.
    You said, “Each and everyone of my professors were not only deeply committed to the Lord but also to the reformed faith and the Westminster standards.” But you came to this website just to castigate Sean for his commitment to the Westminster standards and reformed theology. That strikes me as disingenuous. Why do you have so much respect for your so-called reformed professors and yet so little respect for what they taught. If what they taught was so blasphemous against the true church, why do you respect them at all. These are some of my thoughts and questions.

  114. Sean Gerety Says:

    Rejecting the reformed view of Sola Fide does not necessarily lead to Rome seeing that many protestant denominations reject it as well.

    There are no Protestant denominations that reject justification by faith alone, just as there are no Protestant denominations that reject the doctrine of imputation. Simply not being part of the Roman church-state does not a Protestant make. 🙂

    For example, there are no Protestant FV churches and neither Peter Leithart or N.T. Wright are Protestants. Certainly and in spite of your sad education you are capable of seeing the distinction.

    Because the Bible is written in human language, it has to be interpreted. You can argue till your blue in the face but this is a fact. The question then arises, which interpetation is the correct interpretation? I believe that Scripture teaches that Jesus endowed his disciples with the Holy Spirit to lead them in all truth (Jn 16:12-15). From the Book of acts, and the Epistles, we see that these men carried upon themselves real authority both in their writings, their oral teachings, and their traditions (thats a bad word for you guys but its there. look it up-1Cor 11:2, 2 Thes 2:15).

    Since we have no record of their oral teachings, you are wrong when you say their traditions, specifically consisting of their teachings we have recorded in Scripture have no authority for “us guys,” as that is the supreme authority.

    What were passed down by the Apostle’s were their teachings and it’s their doctrines, and not some man who has had some sweaty hand placed on his head, that is the true measure of a church. That is in the apostolic tradition and which is why it is obvious to everyone except the most ignorant and blind that the Roman church-state has abandoned that tradition. “As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed” (Gal 1:9). The central error of your argument is that somehow church’s authority rests on men and not on God’s word alone.

    Which brings us to 1 Cor 11:2 and 2 Thes. 2:15. What makes you think the RCC even remotely holds to the traditions passed down by Paul seeing they have failed to remember him in their teachings, specifically his teachings regarding justification and the Gospel in general? Further, let’s take 2 traditions passed down by Paul; the Lord’s Supper and baptism. Does the RCC practice either of these the way Paul intended? I’ve already discussed the abomination of the Roman mass and their imagined “re-sacrifice” of Christ that is supposed to have the power to remit sins via ingestion. What about baptismal regeneration? Did Paul anywhere teach that the unintelligible mumbling of a preistling combined with water has the power to cleanse a person of all sin?

    We also know from Scripture and early church history that this authority was transfered through the laying on of hands to their successors (1 Tim 1:6, 4:14, 5:22).

    Let’s see if these verses you cite support your seemingly delusional claim that the Roman church-state is the sole possessor of apostolic authority:

    1 Tim 1:6: For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion…

    Seems to me this is a condemnation of Roman Catholicism not an endorsement.

    1 Tim 4:14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed upon you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery.

    Last I checked, the laying on of hands is part of the ordination ceremony currently in place in Protestant churches (at least the ones I’ve attended) and it is the recognition by the presbytery that certain men duly elected by the church (and not by some self-styled college of cardinals) have been specially endowed by the Holy Spirit with the gift of teaching and leadership in the church. That pretty much excludes every one of Rome’s little preistlings.

    1 Tim 5:22; Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thus share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin.

    Seems to me that’s the RCC in a nutshell as they’ve been too hasty in ordaining heretics and assorted sexual predators for centuries now.

    I find it hard to beIieve that following the acsension of Christ, the Church fell into heresy for 1500 years only to be awakended by a doctrine (sola scriptura) that not only is void of any biblical foundation, but is soley responsible for the protestant church to fracture into, are you ready for this, 41,000 denominations today.

    You find it hard to believe because you don’t believe the Scriptures as we see all sorts of heresies rising up attempting to undermine and even overturn the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostles even while the Apostles were alive and in the process of completing the canon. There are many examples from Paul refuting the teachings of the Judaizers to John exposing the false teaching of the Docetics and early Gnostics along with others who were busy trying to corrupt the faith. As Paul says:

    “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

    What I find it hard to believe is how someone would find it hard to believe that by the 16th century the church would not have become so corrupt that the truth of the Gospel and the teaching of Scripture would have been nearly completely blotted out and even beyond reformation.

    Heres the problem with that. If Jesus, Paul, Timothy, and Peter taught Sola Scriptura and not apostolic succession, then why do we ONLY see Apostolic succession and NOT sola scriptura in the 1st centruy and beyond for the next 1500 years?

    Since as previously noted since Paul was the last Apostle there is no such thing as Apostolic succession. The problem you have is that the Apostle’s teachings do not exist in the Roman church-state.

  115. Jake Says:

    @Steve- I am not sure what you are getting at. What would be my motive to make anything up? There are a lot of people who have similar stories.

  116. Steve M Says:

    Jake
    If you you don’t wish to respond to my post, don’t. But please don’t pretend to respond without actually doing so. I asked you some questions. I think they were intelligible. If you don’t wish to answer, I can’t make you do so.

    You are the one who brought your background into the conversation, not me. What I said was that I don’t think you are giving us the whole story. I also said that some of what you have said does not seem to fit with other things you have said. As to what motive you might have to “make anything up” (your words not mine), I can think of possible motives, but I don’t claim infallibility, so I have asked questions not made accusations.

  117. jake Says:

    @ Steve-Well, you did make accusations Steve. You accused me of not telling the whole story and not being truthful. Im just not sure what you want me to say. What Questions do you want me to answer?

  118. Hugh McCann Says:

    Yawn – another tedious, boring, run-of-the-mill day @ the ‘Hammer.

  119. Hugh McCann Says:

    Jake-O,
    WSC?
    WTS Philly?
    An RTS?
    Gordon-Conwell?

    Are you sneaking in here from Called to Communion, you scamp?!

  120. Hugh McCann Says:

    As for you, I have learned a couple of things. Compared to men like Leithart, Wilson, Frame, and especially VanTil, you are an intellectual and spiritual infant. I’ve studied Gordon Clark formally. If he were still alive I’d wagger that he would want little to do with you because your not only a fraction as smart as you think you are, but your a total dirt bag of a human being as well. The way you talk so cavalierly about the prospects of a person going to hell is sick, sadistic, and totally unchristlike. I truly feel sorry for you, your wife, and everyone who has ever had the displeasure of being associated with you.

    I made a few phone calls earlier to some of my friends in the PCA and OPC and ask them if they had ever heard of you. Of the very few that have, their response was the same as my initial assumption; you are a moron and joke. You’re right, we are done here.

    Promises, promises. You papists even lie about going away! 😦

    I’d say, I know you are, but what is Sean?

    BTW: Your is a possessive. You’re = you are.

    I wagger that you’re… you’re… you’re… heredical! A demented rationaist!

    {Actually, I don’t know WHAT I’d wagger, since I don’t know what wagger means.}

    Note to Steve, Sean, & Patrick: Pearls + swine = bad mix.

  121. Hugh McCann Says:

    Jake the Jerk ,I graduated from a reformed seminary near the top of my class with 2 M.A. degrees.

    WOW! How cool are you?! Yet you never really learned how to type or use spell-check or how to debate civilly?*

    You come on this blog and piss all over it and then say, “I’m sorry.”

    I will not apologize for calling you a heretic (with a “t”), and warning you to flee the wrath to come on your damned false church and false gospel. You are serving your father, per John 8:44.

    As someone on their way to Rome I can tell you unequivocally that I am saved by the Grace of God ALONE that was purchased for me ONLY by the merits of Jesus Christ. Grace is realized in me through Faith that includes both confidence and outward obedience to him. I am not earning salvation.

    You are a liar, pal, like your daddy in the Vatican and your stygian papa, too. Your organization says that sola gratia is as anathema as sola fide.

    The true merits of Christ’s atonement avail you NOTHING as you look to the BVM (your rosary decats), indulgences, penance, the treasury of saints’ merits, etc.

    Turn to Christ or you’ll burn – not in Purgatory, but where the worm doesn’t die, and where the fires are not quenched.

    * I admit these all these up front! 🙂

  122. Hugh McCann Says:

    Sean & Co.

    I gotta give you guys credit – you stayed the course well and drew out the jerk’s colors clearly for all to see.

    Touché !

  123. Hugh McCann Says:

    Hey – these sound familiar!

    an intellectual and spiritual infant.
    you’re not only a fraction as smart as you think you are,
    but you’re a total dirt bag of a human being as well.
    The way you talk so cavalierly about the prospects of a person going to hell is sick, sadistic, and totally unchristlike.
    you are a moron and joke

    These sound like the posts about me from papists @ Proclaiming the Gospel’s Facebook page!

    Blessed are we when speak evil of us for Christ’s & the gospel’s sake!

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/ProclaimingTheGospel

  124. Hugh McCann Says:

    Blessed are we when men speak evil of us for Christ’s & the gospel’s sake!

  125. Steve M Says:

    Jake you wrote:
    “@ Steve-Well, you did make accusations Steve. You accused me of not telling the whole story and not being truthful. Im just not sure what you want me to say. What Questions do you want me to answer?”

    I wrote:
    “Jake
    I don’t buy your story. It sounds very contrived to me. I don’t think you are being truthful.”

    Here is an accusation: “Jake, you are a liar.”
    Above I made it clear that I was stating my opinion. I believe that I am entitled to have one and to state what it is.

    The questions I asked were:
    What led you to this unnamed reformed seminary in the first place? Were you raised in a reformed church? Did you just flip a coin?

    Why do you have so much respect for your so-called reformed professors and yet so little respect for what they taught? If what they taught was so blasphemous against the true church, why do you respect them at all?

  126. Hugh McCann Says:

    Steve M ~ Where’d Jake go to sem?

  127. Steve M Says:

    Hugh
    He won’t say.

  128. Hugh McCann Says:

    … and beyond even all THAT, St Sean, you’ve got friends like us! 😀

  129. Jake Says:

    @ Steve-

    The questions I asked were:
    What led you to this unnamed reformed seminary in the first place?

    I went to a small Christian College as a non-denominational Christian. During my freshman year I was introdced to Calvinism and the the Doctrine of Sovereign election. I fought it hard for about a year and then became convinced. As a result I wanted to attend the premier Reformed seminary at the time, and I did. I went there as a Reformed baptist. I was convinced of Believers baptism until my Hermenutics Prof made the arguement for infant baptism from Jer. 31, of all places. I saw it instantly. From that point on I was presbyterian (PCA). However, during my time there I did 2 MA degrees; one in Biblical Studies, and one in Theological Studies. My studies were geared very heavily toward the philosophical side. It was through that journey that I began to see the real Epistemological and ontological flaws in not just reformed theology but modern theology and philosophy as well. This raised questions concerning the nature of authority which then led me to reject the unbiblical doctrine of the Sola fide AS ITS understood by the WCF.

    Were you raised in a reformed church?

    NO. I was actually raised as a Catholic until I was 13 years old when I got “saved” at a Baptist retreat. I spent the next 15 years of my life as an anti-catholic because i belived many of the lies and propoganda that guys like Sean and some of you believe.

    Did you just flip a coin? NO

    Why do you have so much respect for your so-called reformed professors and yet so little respect for what they taught? If what they taught was so blasphemous against the true church, why do you respect them at all?

    Because unlike some of you here, I believe true knowledge demands humility because the more you really know, the more you realize how much you do not know. I have nothing but love and respect for all my professors who hold to a different view of Faith Scripture, and the Church than I do. Also because I believe that we are all saved by the unmerited favor given to us to by God through the finished work of Christ, and we are NOT saved (contra to what some of you beleive) by a belief in a particular view of faith. The fruit of that faith is one that exibits love and holiness, traits that I saw in all my professors.

  130. Steve M Says:

    Jake
    Thank you for answering my questions.

  131. Hugh McCann Says:

    He went to RTS Orlando.

  132. Sean Gerety Says:

    Jake you wrote:

    During my freshman year I was introdced to Calvinism and the the Doctrine of Sovereign election. I fought it hard for about a year and then became convinced.

    And you wrote on another thread:

    I was never convinced that scripture taught that jesus only died for the elect. I am familiar with the arguments, I just was never was 100% convinced.

    OK, now I’m confused. Which is it?

    My studies were geared very heavily toward the philosophical side.

    I have nothing against philosophy, but it’s interesting that one of the only times philosophy is mentioned in Scripture it’s not a good thing: “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”

    As the old saying goes, philosophy should be the handmaiden to theology, not the other way around.

    NO. I was actually raised as a Catholic until I was 13 years old when I got “saved” at a Baptist retreat. I spent the next 15 years of my life as an anti-catholic because i belived many of the lies and propoganda that guys like Sean and some of you believe.

    What lies? You say you’re interested in philosophy and epistemology, so what is the epistemological basis for believing in an infallible magisterium along with an infallible tradition that speaks with equal (really more) authority than God’s word? Also, on what basis do you decide which scripture? The Christian scriptures or the Roman church-state’s canon that includes demonstrable and glaring contradictions?

    Because unlike some of you here, I believe true knowledge demands humility because the more you really know, the more you realize how much you do not know.

    But what makes you think you’ve arrived at any true knowledge at all? I’m still at a loss as to why you’re not an atheist if you really believe what you say regarding the insufficiency of Scripture as the alone standard by which all the thoughts of men must submit and by which they are measured? Instead of some pious sounding bromide and feigned humility regarding the more you know etc., how about a little intellectual integrity? If the Scriptures do not stand alone but need to be interpreted, by what standard do you claim to know that the Roman church has interpreted them correctly? That’s not even mentioning all they’ve added to Scripture or how they’ve corrupted the canon by the addition of the apocryphal books.

    Also because I believe that we are all saved by the unmerited favor given to us to by God through the finished work of Christ, and we are NOT saved (contra to what some of you beleive) by a belief in a particular view of faith.

    Now you’re being disingenuous. No one has once argued that a person is saved by a particular view of faith. Rather we are saved by a particular object of faith, Jesus Christ and his finished work plus nothing else. Ironically, by including obedience as a necessary component of saving faith you are the one who believes we ARE saved by a particular view of faith and one where Christ’s righteous is wrought in us, not simply what He accomplished for us. For the record, I have no problem with those who hold to the redundant traditional tri-fold definition, provided they don’t twist the tautological addition of fiducia into something we must do. Salvation is a free gift, just not according to Romanist and their FV fellow travelers that now are welcome in the PCA. Frankly, and given the outcome in the Leithart case, if you want to reject all the solas the PCA is the home for you.


  133. Sean,
    I just read your article “The Evisceration of the Christian Faith”. Outstanding! This is the perfect go-to piece that quickly and succinctly describes why VanTillianism must be abandoned. Terrific work. I will be putting a link to it up at https://nopeacewithrome.com/

  134. Tom McClintock Says:

    Hi Shawn

    I have a question for you and couldn’t find any other place to ask it. I hope I haven’t intruded wrongly. I see you have a link to Vincent Cheung and also links to Daniel’s place. My question revolves around Vincent’s views of theodicy, and Daniel’s views of the same subject. Basically Daniel’s views of Vincent’s view is that Vincent is a heretic for making God the author of sin. This is a bit confusing for me since you link both. I’ve been studying this subject a bit and lean toward Vincent’s view although this probably puts me a very small minority I believe. Honestly his view seems more biblical, consistent, and logical. I really have a problem with idea that God “permits” evil. I do have problems with many of Vincent’s other views, just to be clear. Knowing that you probably don’t agree with either man on everything, how do you reconcile linking both men with such serious differences on your blog? I would really like to know and I’m not trying to set a trap.

  135. Tom McClintock Says:

    Sorry, I meant Sean.

  136. Sean Gerety Says:

    Tom, the short answer is I have links to both blogs because I like both them. Now, in fairness, I liked Daniel’s blog when he was a more consistent student of Clark’s (which was before he went to seminary and picked up a lot of fuzzy ideas) and I would like Cheung’s more if he were more of a Clarkian and less of a whatever else he is. My bigger issue with Cheung is that he’s a continuationist.

    As I recall Daniel’s issue with Cheung had nothing to do with the question of permission, but rather Cheung’s perceived rejection of secondary causes. If you haven’t you should read Calvin’s discussion of the question of permission in his Institutes, Vol. 1, 18. He includes a great quote from Augustine: “Who does not tremble at these judgments, where God works even in evil men’s hearts whatever he wills, yet renders to them according to their deserts?” I hope that answers your question.

  137. Tom McClintock Says:

    Thanks Sean

    I’ll kook that up in Calvin’s Institutes.


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