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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

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

David Van Drunen Rejoinder



In a response to a negative review of his book, Living in God’s Two Kingdoms: A Biblical Vision for Christianity and Culture, David Van Drunen said:

The first is that though Scripture provides guidance for thinking and acting in all areas of life, for most academic subjects Scripture provides only general guidance. The Bible sets certain parameters for approaching the various disciplines, but it does not give us specific or exhaustive information about, say, chemistry or literature or economics. To delve deeply into these subjects requires investigation of the world around us (natural revelation) and a measure of wisdom and good judgment. I imagine that Dordt College professors would agree with this claim, and implement it in their classrooms all the time. My writing on education is not a screed against Christian education, as Zylstra suggests, but wrestles with the implications of facts like this. It is something that every Christian teacher and scholar must take into account.


If only some of the Anabaptist fanatics who "claim" to be Clarkian could understand this. Gordon H. Clark himself said that the Westminster Confession is the best expression of the Christian faith in systematic form. (Christian Philosophy, p. 122). The Bible is not an exhaustive commentary on music, the arts, science, mathematics or even modern judicial law. It is a textbook on God's revealed will and dogmatic doctrine that is specific to saving faith and other issues. Scripture only indirectly speaks to matters of general revelation or natural revelation and "natural" law. Inferring more than the Bible actually says about formal logic and other philosophical issues falls as much into the category of general or natural revelation as does science. If only Baptists and non-cessationists were more logical they would be confessionally reformed and covenantal.

As much as I agree with Clark's Scripturalism, it seems to me that some Clarkians have forgotten the distinction between special revelation and general revelation. Scripture is indeed a set of propositional truth claims set forth in logical form. However, logic, strictly speaking, is a philosophical concept and therefore falls into the category of natural revelation, as does the many inferences drawn from Scripture by Clarkians in the areas of government, politics, and the sciences. Clark himself debunked the various secular theories of philosophy and said that only presupposing Scripture gives philosophy any credibility whatsoever.

One Baptist who "claims" to be "Clarkian" or Scripturalist recently said that a man can infallibly know all the logical propositions in the Scriptures. That must be a tall order. I cannot even remember all of the commandments, much less all the promises in Scripture--and I sure do not claim to know even a majority of the doctrinal propositions in the Scriptures. I do hope I have a firm grasp on the essential propositions, though. Jesus Christ is both God and man in one person. That much I know Scripture teaches. (John 1:1, 18; 2 John 1:7-11).

Unfortunately, Gordon H. Clark insisted at the end of his life that Jesus was two persons. That sort of irrational reasoning is self-contradictory in my opinion. (1 Timothy 2:5; 1 Timothy 3:16; John 1:1,14,18; Titus 2:13; John 20:28; Matthew 16:16). Not even Clark infallibly knew all the propositions God knows. Nor did Clark know all the propositions of the Scriptures. Obviously Clark thought he erred earlier in his career when he affirmed the Reformed confessional view that Christ is one person and two beings/natures, one being divine and the other being human, perfectly united but not mixed or confused or separated. Some Clarkians love to pretend that the noetic effects of sin do not affect the intellect. But that is not what Clark taught either. What he said was that knowledge itself is objective and one does not need to be a regenerate Christian to understand a particular proposition made by Scripture, such as David was the king of Israel. How that translates to an infallible knowledge of all the propositions of the Scriptures I have no idea.

Article II, Of the Word, or Son of God, which was made very man

The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, and of one substance with the Father, took man's nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance: so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and manhood, were joined together in one person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and very man, who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile His Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men.



To read Dr. Van Drunen's rejoinder, click here: Westminster Seminary California


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