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.]

Daily Bible Verse

Monday, October 22, 2012

Re: Heidelblog....

R. Scott Clark is not all bad.  I have had some mutually edifying conversations with him in the past.  Scott Clark is not a Lordship guy.  In fact, he and Mike Horton have written against it.  Clark even says that John MacArthur is not Reformed because Mac does not hold to any Reformed confession and that includes the particular Baptist confessions like the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith.

Where I strongly part ways with R. S. Clark is his Van Tilian theology of Scripture as an analogy and his insistence that the Reformed position is that God has archetypal knowledge and man as a creature only has ectypal knowledge of God.  For R. S. Clark, the Bible is not propositional truth or logically comprehensible but merely an analogy of God's revelation.  It is tantamount to a quasi-neo-orthodox view.  In short, God is so transcendent that He cannot communicate ANY knowledge univocally, even if it is reduced to the creaturely level.  The followers of Cornelius Van Til insist that the Bible is not THE Word of God but an ectypal and anthropomorphic recreation of God's Word and that AT NO SINGLE  POINT does our knowledge and God's knowledge coincide--NOT EVEN ON THE CREATURELY LEVEL.

The legacy of Cornelius Van Til is that the folks at Westminster, California and Westminster, Philadelphia is one where the Word of God is denigrated as "prying into God's secret being" or that those who believe the Bible is univocally God's revelation on man's level are "fundamentalists".  I refer you back to my review of Mike Horton's systematic theology.

For Van Tilians 2 + 2 = 4 is only true for us but not for God.  For them God knows something different and at NO SINGLE POINT does God's knowledge and our knowledge coincide.  Therefore, we cannot logically understand anything that God understands.  Knowledge of God is therefore absolutely impossible.  At least that's the logical implication of their position.  Basically, they are closet liberals. 

That being said, Mike Horton, R. S. Clark, and John Fesko generally get the doctrine of justification by faith alone correct.  I disagree also with the framework theology of the creation account since that basically opens the door to theistic evolution.  When you combine the doctrine of Scripture as analogy rather than God's literal verbal revelation in propositional form with their doctrine of creation as a framework rather than a literal 24 hour creation, the theology of Westminster Seminary, California is wide open to liberalism.

Westminster Seminary, Philadelphia  is open to the other charge of legalism.  When you consider that Cornelius Van Til advocated contradictions and paradoxes in Scripture as do the neo-orthodox theologians, then the result is that you can be both an Arminian and a Calvinist at the same time.  For Van Tilians the Arminian and Calvinist debate is merely a matter of adiaphora or indifference, not a debate over the essence of the Gospel itself.  The Westminster PA has produced the heresies of theonomy, reconstruction and the Federal Vision controversy.  Van Tilians like Norman Shepherd openly denied justification by faith alone.  Shepherd was tried and barred from teaching at Westminster PA.  He left and joined with the more liberal Christian Reformed Church.  Ironically, the legacy of Shepherd continues at Westminster PA and many of the professors there continue to promote his views.

I would also add that the doctrine of common grace has contributed to this whole mess.  Common grace exalts general revelation in nature and creation to an equal status with special revelation in Holy Scripture.  When that happens the result is that theistic evolution is now accepted as God's "revelation".  Homosexuality gradually becomes a "scientific fact" and thus homosexuals must be accommodated in the church.  We can already see this line of thinking as it developed in the Christian Reformed Church.  In short, it is only a matter of time before the Van Tilians go that extra step.  Tim Keller openly advocates theistic evolution at the Biologos site and he has compromised on the issue of homosexuality in implicit ways.  We fundamentalists are just blind dogmatists and fideists, don't you know?  Either we presuppose that Scripture is God's final Word on all matters of faith, doctrine, practice and knowledge or we can take the closet liberal view that Westminster Seminary, CAL and PA both take.

You can read a short summary of R. Scott Clark's attack on propositional and logical revelation here:  Theses Theologicae.  I also did a short review of R. Scott Clark's book on the theology of the Reformed Confessions here:  Religious Uncertainty:  Recovering the Reformed Confessions.

If I could give you any advice, Brandon, it would be to not blindly follow anyone, including Monty Collier.  Critical understanding and thinking is essential to any Reformed theology.  Gordon H. Clark and Carl F. H. Henry were not perfect.  But they correctly understood where Cornelius Van Til's theology would lead and they were absolutely correct judging from the likes of John Frame, Tim Keller, and the late Greg Bahnsen.  Doug Wilson and the Federal Vision movement is a logical progression from Van Til and his students into theonomy and then the Federal Vision/Auburn Avenue heresy.

Sincerely in Christ,


On 10/21/2012 10:43 PM, Brandon Burdette wrote:
Are you gonna follow it? You'd said that you don't agree with much Clark says these days, right? What do you presently agree with him on, and disagree with him on? Monty doesn't have much good to say about him, present-tense. Clark is a Lordship guy, right?

On Sun, Oct 21, 2012 at 6:18 PM, Charlie J. Ray <cranmer1959@hotmail.com> wrote:
It looks like the Heidelblog is up and running again.  I wasn't aware of this until today.  Here's the link:  Heidelblog.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen. Visit Reasonable Christian Blog

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen. Visit Reasonable Christian Blog

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