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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Monday, January 23, 2012

Vincent Cheung's Response to the Nestorian Controversy: Gordon H. Clark, The Incarnation





Addendum:  I no longer view Clark's position as Nestorian.  He clearly did not reject Chalcedon but sought to further define the creed.  I do not take the view that Sean Gerety takes, namely that Clark rejected the Definition of Chalcedon, 451 A.D.  Charlie J. Ray, 9/5/2013.

As you can see below, Vincent Cheung mistakenly thought that the issue of the correct doctrine of the trinity and the incarnation of Jesus Christ is not a biblical issue but rather an issue of interpreting what Gordon H. Clark meant in his book, The Incarnation.   Nothing could be further from the truth.  Since Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ is one person who is both God and man, the early church sought to explain this doctrine without compromising either His deity or His humanity.  Gordon H. Clark refused to accept the plain teaching of Scripture and instead said that it was impossible for one person to be both God and man at the same time.  So instead Clark postulated that Jesus Christ was really two persons, a divine person and a human person.  How those two persons could be united Clark never tells us.  The real problem with Clark's view is that while He solves the apparent contradiction of uniting the second Person of the Godhead, the divine Logos, with the human nature in Jesus Christ, Clark's solution effectually divides Christ into two persons who are not united at all.  In essence, then, the person of Jesus Christ for Clark is not divine!   The Bible, on the other hand, says many times over that the man, Jesus Christ, is fully divine and only one person.  (John 1:1, 14, 18; 1 Timothy 3:16; Colossians 1:19; 2:9; Titus 1:3, 4).

In other words, Clark's view undermines not only the atonement (Isaiah 53:4-6, 11; 1 Peter 2:24; Hebrews 9:28) but the mediatorship of Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5, 6).  All of Clark's earlier books, including The Trinity, uphold the doctrine of a unity of two natures in the one person of Jesus Christ.  But suddenly Clark changed his mind in his last book due to his over reaction to the premature appeal to paradox and mystery by the followers of Cornelius Van Til, who essentially proposed a semi neo-orthodox doctrine of Scripture where Van Til said that Scripture is an "analogy" of God's Word and that even the propositional truth claims of the Scriptures are not "identical to" or "univocally" the very words of God in written form.  It would appear that both men, although contributing many good points of theology to the Reformed and Evangelical churches, end up in heterodoxy and heresy.

The Anabaptist emphasis on the "leading of the Spirit" has obviously taken hold of many of Clark's followers just as the same sort of wrong teaching has taken hold among Van Til's followers.  Vincent Cheung is a perfect example of that.  And just as bad, many of Clark's modern day followers try to reconcile theonomy with Clark's theology of propositional truth.  That view is about as logical as saying that Van Til and Clark were never in conflict!

You can read Vincent Cheung's irrational remarks below.  I did not post this when it was originally e-mailed because I wanted to check all my sources first.  As it stands now, The Trinity Foundation is as heretical on the doctrine of the incarnation as the Federal Visionists are heretical on the law/gospel distinction, imputed righteousness/justification by faith alone.  Would that Sean Gerety and his friends could see that Nestorianism undermines the very salvation they "think" they are defending!

Sincerely in Christ,

Charlie J. Ray

------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Gordon H. Clark, The Incarnation
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2010 21:02:19 -0500
From: Vincent Cheung <vincent@rmiweb.org>
To: cranmer1959@hotmail.com


I was made aware of the debate on Gerety's web site a while ago. Although I still have not read the debate itself, a number of people have asked me about it. It appears that some people consider me a small authority on Clark, and so when there is a controversy, they consult me about it. But I am not an expert on Clark, and have never claimed to be, although I have read his works and I think that they are overall very good and correct. 

I read his Incarnation and Philippians about 9 or 10 years ago. If I recall correctly, the Incarnation was released after Philippians, and there is a note by John Robbins in Philippians that says Clark changed his view (from a one-person to two-person view). The Incarnation indeed gave me the impression that Clark held a two-person view. Again, this is an impression that I got from reading these books 10 years ago. Whether Clark meant something very different by "person," so that even a two-person view would not essentially contradict Chalcedon, or whether he really rejected Chalcedon, I cannot say. 

Also, I understand that, at least as stated in your message, this controversy, or this part of the controversy that you mention to me, is over the correct interpretation of Clark, and not over the correct interpretation of Scripture, or the correct theological formulation based on Scripture. Because of this, I regard the significance of the debate quite limited. 







On Wed, Dec 22, 2010 at 5:57 PM, Charlie J. Ray <cranmer1959@hotmail.com> wrote:
I am sorry to bother you as I know you are inundated with e-mail and you are busy.  But a few months ago I became involved in a heated debate over at the God's Hammer blog run by Sean Gerety.  It is Gerety's contention that Dr. Clark rejected the Definition of Chalecdon 451 A.D. and said that Jesus was actually two persons, one divine and one human.  He redefined person in some technical fashion that I cannot remember offhand.  I wonder if you could offer an opinion as to what Dr. Clark's final book actually said about the incarnation and did Clark deny the Definition of Chalcedon?

Thank-you in advance for any opinion you might offer. *****

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Charlie J. Ray



3 comments:

juventudi said...

Hi, I read the email and your post and think it´s a little unfair to publish something like this after some time and without letting Cheung explain himself.

If I´m correct, he only stated that even him had the impression of two persons. BUT if by "person" Clark wanted to mention something else, it would not necessarily contradice anything. AND he make it clear that it was a long time ago since he read Clark´s words about it.

In the end of the message he stated that discuss Clark meaning of "person" after all is not a relevant matter, but would love to discuss the doctrine in the Bible.

I´m not in position of demanding anything, (I d´ont prettend to accuse you of anything either) but if your inttention is to make all things clear I would suggest you to show your post to Cheung and let him respond to you. (your message was very polite on the email, and Cheung was too, why not ask the man?)

(I know my english is very poor, but i tried my best, I´m from Brazil.)

Greetings!

Charlie J. Ray said...

The bottom line here is that Vincent Cheung is a Charismatic and is not Reformed. He does not even claim to be Reformed and he does not claim to be loyal to Gordon H. Clark's theology.

Scripture teaches that Jesus was one peron who was both God and man. Anyone who excuses Gordon H. Clark's departure from orthodoxy is participating in his error.

Peace,

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

Titus 2:13

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