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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

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Was Gordon H. Clark a Nestorian? by Dr. Gary Crampton and Dr. Kenneth Talbot


My thinking on Dr. Gordon H. Clark's final book has changed.  At first I thought he was guilty of Nestorianism.  Since reading more of Dr. Clark's works and carefully reading Clark's books, The Atonement, The Trinity, and The Incarnation, I have decided that I judged Clark too hastily. 

There are many critics in the Van Tilian camp who continue to falsely charge Dr. Clark with the heresy known as Nestorianism.  However, what Clark sought to do was to carefully examine and define the doctrine of the incarnation in light of Scripture.  The following article by Dr. Gary Crampton and Dr. Kenneth Talbot, although not perfect, gives a good summary of Dr. Clark's argument.  I did find at least one glaring error, though:
Hodge first tells us that Nestorius was not a Nestorian, and then secondly he points out that Mary only gives birth to the human nature, body and soul, and the Second Person of the Godhead is placed in that womb.  [Was Gordon Clark a Nestorian?, Crampton, Talbot, p. 6.]
God cannot be contained in a human womb.  So it would appear that Hodge contradicts himself at this point.

This is an excellent review of Dr. Clark's book, although it is certainly not perfect.  I question whether or not Dr. Kenneth Talbot is consistently a Scripturalist since it would appear that he also claims to be a theonomist and was at one time a hyper-preterist.  [See:  The Kenneth Talbot Story: Cycle of Control].  Talbot is the head of tiny online seminary called Whitefield Theological Seminary.  Dr. Crampton is supposed to be a professor at the seminary and  was also awarded a doctorate from the seminary.  Matthew McMahon, owner of A Puritan's Mind website, is an ordained minister with Talbot's denomination, Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly.  One has to wonder how an otherwise solidly Scripturalist writer and speaker like Dr. Gary Crampton could have associated himself with the likes of Dr. Kenneth Talbot?

Aside from the above mentioned problems with the The Gordon H. Clark Foundation website, the article itself seems to be well written and a fairly accurate assessement of Clark's book.  Unfortunately, since the deaths of both Dr. Clark and Dr. John Robbins, no Reformed scholar has been able to provide the leadership necessary to start a Presbyterian or Anglican Reformed denomination dedicated to a purely Scripturalist theology.  As Dr. Clark said, Scripture alone is the axiom of Christianity.  (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Isaiah 8:20).

I previously errored in my posts on the blog.  However, rather than hiding my errors, I have chosen to let the posts stand so that people can see the evolution of my thought on the issue.

Charlie

7 comments:

Jason Bradfield said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie J. Ray said...

Unfortunately, I cannot agree with your explanation. I have had conversations with Kenneth Talbot online. He has openly advocated theonomy for years. I have seen articles online where he endorses Gary North and others.

Dr. Crampton switched from Presbyterian to Reformed Baptist. Although, Dr. John Robbins loosely enodorsed Reformed Baptists as Calvinists, they really have more in common with the Anabaptists in actual practice. The London Baptist Confession of 1689 reflects those deficiencies.

Also, I have read the webpage for Talbot's non-existent denomination. Well, almost non-existent. There are only two churches that I know of and Matt McMahon is the pastor of one of them. Both churches as I understand it are very small.

Talbot also has connections with Jerry Johnson of the Nicene Council website.

Although I appreciate your efforts to spin Talbot's position, the fact of the matter remains that Talbot is an irrational promoter of irreconcilable theological positions.

Theonomy and Clarkian Scripturalism are incompatible on several levels, mainly because Theonomy is Van Tilian and Scripturalism is an epistemological position that starts with Scripture, not the law of God or with any political ambitions. Starting in the middle is no starting point at all.

Calvin's view that the government should be based on a deductive or apodeictic general equity is not casuistic as in the theonomic views of Bahnsen, North, Rushdooney, and others. Theonomists are by and large Van Tilians who advocate an analogical view of Scripture and a theology of paradox where "all Scripture is apparently paradoxical." Bahsen tried to soften that position unsuccessfully.

If you can provide me with ANY solid articles by Talbot refuting my take on his heterodoxy, I would be more than happy to retract.

Sincerely,

Charlie J. Ray, M. Div.

Charlie J. Ray said...

As for Roderick's views on Clark's theology, that would be irrelevant to Talbot's theonomy and/or his connections to the irrationalists in the Van Tilian camp.

I have heard Talbot "claim" to have known Clark personally. However, that is irrelevant to whether or not Talbot is consistent. No theonomist can consistently claim to be a Scripturalist while at the same time advocating for the Van Tilian theonomists. If Talbot is not in league with them, why is Jerry Johnson promoting Van Til, North, Bahnsen and others on the Nicene Council page? Talbot has connections with Johnson.

Theonomy is heresy and has absolutely nothing to do with Calvin's view of the moral law and general equity.

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

By the way, my name is Ray.

I should also tell you that I knew Matthew McMahon in college. We were both students at Southeastern College of the Assemblies of God, Lakeland, Florida. Matt was ordained through Talbot's denomination as I understand it.

Matt has not changed much. His views are not Clarkian whatsoever. He advocates common grace, two wills in God, and other contradictions.

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

Kenneth Talbot and Theonomy In this video Talbot goes way beyond Dr. Gordon H. Clark's views expressed in Clark's book, A Christian Philosophy of Education. In fact, Talbot advocates completely revising the criminal law code and abolishing 9/10s of the penal code. That's the view of Gary North and other radicals, not Dr. Clark. Clark said that the public education system is anti-Christian. He was correct. But that is not the same thing as endorsing the radicalism of the irrationalists and theonomists.


On the positive side, I agree with Dr. Clark that the public education system is antichristian and that private educational institutions should be the norm, not taxpayer supported atheism.

See also: Theonomy Resources

Jason Bradfield said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>I know Dr. Talbot agrees on *some* things that North, Bahnsen, and others have said. But again, if you were familiar at all with what Dr. Talbot teaches, you would know that he does not endorse these men entirely.<<<<

Thanks for the concession in all that lengthy verbiage.

You would be correct that I bear animosity against Talbot. He is a theonomist. Anyone can see that from the numerous videos and articles posted online.

I concede that I might be wrong on the hyper-preterist views. I did have that debate with Sam Frost online once. I assumed wrongly that he picked it up from Talbot at Whitefield.

Kenneth Gentry was a student of Talbots. Gentry is also a theonomist. So is Matt McMahon.... I guess I must be paranoid or something? Both are ordained with the RPCGA.

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