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

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Dispute with Sean Gerety: God's Hammer Blog. 2015

"This freedom from sin is the evidence to support an assurance of salvation.  And since John seems to have desired to assure his readers, it seems strange that he wrote so severely.  The problem here is not how I can know you are saved, but how can I know I am saved."  -- Dr. Gordon H. Clark.

[This post somehow disappeared.  I am making small editorial changes and reposting it.  The post originally appeared in 2015.]

Logic and Assurance

In recent years I began on my own to read Reformed theology and Reformed systematic theology.  During my reading I came across the writings of the late Dr. Gordon H. Clark and his emphasis on the axiom of Scripture as the defining starting point for Christianity.  Dr. Clark was an expert in philosophy, and, for that reason, his emphasis was on the logical nature of the Scriptures.  According to Dr. Clark, the Bible alone is the word of God (2 Timothy 3:16; Matthew 4:4; John 10:35).  Scripture is not just partly inspired; but, all Scripture is fully inspired and not one jot or tittle can be rejected without compromising the Gospel.  All Scripture is profitable for doctrine.  So connected is this emphasis on the Bible as a system of theology that Dr. Clark contended that all Scripture is the Gospel and the Gospel is the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).

Moreover, the Bible teaches that the pre-incarnate Christ, the Word, the Logos is Logic (John 1:1).  Furthermore, Dr. Clark exegeted John 1:9 as a verse that is not salvific in purpose; instead, he contended that the verse teaches that man as God’s image is also innately endowed with the logical ability to think in rational and logical ways.  The soul, according to Dr. Clark, is the image of God.  Man is the image of God because it is not the body that is God’s image or the combination of the soul and body that is the image of God; rather, it is the soul that is God’s image.  Man is the image of God because man is his soul.  God is a spirit and spirits do not possess bodies (John 4:24).  Likewise, man is a spiritual soul that is created in God’s image.  Animals have bodies; but, do animals do calculus, compose music, do paintings and sculptures, or do operational science?  Animals have no language or civilization.  Animals cannot keep track of time or have a divine purpose in life.  Man alone is uniquely the image of God.

The real question is how does a Christian worldview relate to epistemology?  How does man know anything at all?  The answer, according to Dr. Clark, is that all secular sources of knowledge or secular epistemological constructs lead ultimately to skepticism.  Empiricism, rationalism, and other adaptations of these two basic views lead to skepticism.  In fact, some theologians recognized that the two-pronged modernist attack against Christianity leads to irrationalism.

Unfortunately, some so-called Clarkian presuppositionalists, including the late Dr. John Robbins, asserted that we cannot know if we are elect or saved or not.  He drew this non sequitur conclusion from the distinction between saving faith and assurance.  Although it is true that at the point of conversion the elect believer is not immediately assured of salvation, it does not follow that assurance is an emotional feeling of confidence as Sean Gerety recently asserted in a blog post at the God’s Hammer blog.   Dr. Clark would have strongly disagreed because the Bible itself says that we can know we are saved and elect.  1 Peter 1:10 says that we are to make our election and calling sure.  Now it if it is impossible to know if we have made our election and calling sure, why would God command us to do so?  (See also:  Further Disputations on the Doctrine of Assurance).

Although Sean Gerety and the late Dr. John Robbins asserted that we can have assurance but not knowledge that we are saved, the late Dr. Gordon H. Clark, their alleged mentor, stated otherwise.  In fact, Dr. Clark said that we can know that we are saved.  In fact, he said so several times in at least two or three of his books.  One would think that someone who is allegedly an expert in Dr. Clark’s philosophy and theology, as Gerety claims to be, would know this.  Here is one pertinent quote from Dr. Clark’s book, The Holy Spirit:

Although the present writer should avoid the temptation to discuss sanctification too fully, as he resisted the temptation to expatiate on the Trinity, nevertheless a little more description  of the Spirit’s work in all Christians needs to be added.  If sanctification is a necessary element in salvation, it is hard to see why some Christians feel no need to understand it better.  No doubt the real reason is that they are not presently sanctified enough.

Some Scriptural statements on sanctification are deeply disturbing to serious souls.  Romans 8:9 says, “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”  What is worse, 1 John 2:29, 1 John 3:9, and 1 John 5:18 seem to say that if I commit one single sin, I have not been regenerated.  Not only “everyone that does righteousness is born of him,” but “Whoever is born of God does not sin.”  These are terrible verses.  They jolt any conscientious Christian.*  The New American Standard softens 3:9 a bit, but only a little bit.  So also the New International Version.  Even the the Revised Standard Version is better, or should we say worse?  [1 John 3:9 NASB; 1 John 3:9 NIV; 1 John 3:9 RSV].

This freedom from sin is the evidence to support an assurance of salvation.  And since John seems to have desired to assure his readers, it seems strange that he wrote so severely.  The problem here is not how I can know you are saved, but how can I know I am saved.  Presbyterians do not admit people to communicant membership on the ground of their regeneration, but on the basis of a credible profession.  Obviously, sessions often admit persons to membership who later seem to have no spiritual life whatever.  But, if a single sin certifies one’s unregenerate condition, no one could be a communicant.  There would not even be a  session to decide.

In this dismal situation Paul offers us a ray of hope, for he acknowledged that he had not attained sinless perfection.  Even in his apostolic years he committed some sin.  And if that means he was not a saved man, nobody is.  To the brief mention of Romans 7 a paragraph or two ago, a bit more can be added.  As in Galatians 5:17, “the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh . . . so that you [regenerated Christians] cannot do the things that you would,” so also in Romans 7.  The Arminians generally want to assign the whole chapter to Paul’s pharisaical years, after which, they say, we get to the freedom of the Gospel in Romans 8.  This incorrect interpretation is partly due to the stupid, unmethodical divisions into verses.  If a chapter heading had not been made after 7:25 [Romans 7:25], the THEREFORE of 8:1 [Romans 8:1] might have been more easily recognized.  Chapter 8 is a conclusion drawn from the material in chapter 7.  Note that verses 4, 5, and 6 picture a regenerate state.  [Romans 8:4, 5, 6].  Verses 8, 9, 10, and 11 refer to Paul’s life as a Pharisee, and maybe on to verse 15.  [Romans 8:8, 9, 10, 11; Romans 8:11-15].  But there comes a gradual change in the scenery.  By the time verse 17 comes into view, we see Paul as a Christian.  There is therefore a struggle.  Who shall deliver him from his sinful inclinations?  God will, through Jesus Christ.  THEREFORE there is NOW no condemnation.  Hence in spite of John’s disturbing words, Paul gives us a bit of confidence. 

Dr. Gordon H. Clark.  The Holy Spirit.  (Jefferson:  The Trinity Foundation, 1993).  Pp. 48-49.

As you can easily see, Dr. Clark intimates that we can have confidence in the knowledge that we are saved.  Of course, there are prerequisites to this attainment of the knowledge of our assurance.  But even here assurance, contra Sean Gerety, is not a “feeling” or an “emotion.”  No, assurance is the result of regeneration, justification by faith alone, the positional and progressive sanctification of the believer, and a solid knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures (John 17:17; 1 John 5:13).  In order to examine ourselves we would need to compare the information in the Bible with our propositional understanding of ourselves, our assent to that information, and our obedience to that information.  If knowledge that we are saved is impossible, as Robbins and Gerety contend, then it would also be impossible to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith or to prepare for communion.  (2 Corinthians 13:5; 1 Corinthians 11:28).  Furthermore, it would be impossible to make our election and calling sure if we can know nothing of ourselves or compare that information with the information in the Scriptures.  (2 Peter 2:10).  Assurance is therefore not a feeling of confidence or an emotional response.  It is a logical deduction made from the self-examination of the propositions we know about ourselves and how that lines up with Scripture.  After all, it is the moral law of God that reveals us to be sinners in the first place.  (Romans 3:20; Romans 7:7).  Now if I can know that I am a sinner from the law of God, surely I can know if I have believed the promises of the covenant of grace, the justification merited by Christ in His sinless life, and His atoning death on the cross for all the sins of all the elect from the beginning of time to the end of time.  

18 "Known to God from eternity are all His works. 19 "Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, 20 "but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.  (Act 15:18-20 NKJ)

Sean Gerety ought to know better than to appeal to feelings rather than to the logical system of theology and propositional truths of the inspired Scriptures.  [See: Assurance and Knowledge].  This is where Gerety stupidly makes this opening remark:

Having assurance of one’s salvation is not the same as knowing that one is saved.  I am not really sure why this is difficult for some people to grasp, but even some calling themselves “Scripturalists” have a hard time telling the difference.

So for those still confused, assurance of salvation means to be free from doubt.  It is to  possess a confidence derived from the promises of God and the finished work of Christ outside of ourselves revealed in the Gospel.  (Ibid.  https://godshammer.wordpress.com/2013/02/08/assurance-and-knowledge/).

Is not being free from doubt a form of knowledge?  The blatant contradiction here is just too much to let pass without a critical response.  Confidence and assurance are not feelings or emotions.  Rather they are logical deductions that we make from the information infallibly and inerrantly revealed in the Scriptures.  And the Bible clearly says that this is knowledge, not agnostic ignorance.

Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?

Answer: That I with (1) body and soul, both in life and death, (2) am not my own, but belong (3) unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who, with His precious (4) blood, hath fully (5) satisfied for all my sins, and delivered (6) me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me (7) that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair (8) can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be (9) subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me (10) of eternal life, and makes (11) me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him.

Question 2. How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou, enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happily?

Answer: Three; (12) the first, how great (13) my sins and miseries are; the second, how I may be delivered (14) from all my sins and miseries; the third, how I shall express my gratitude (15) to God for such deliverance.

1 1 Cor. 6:19-20

2 Rom. 14:7-9

3 1 Cor. 3:23

4 1 Pet. 1:18-19

5 John 1:7

6 1 John 3:8; Heb. 2:14-15

7 John 6:39; John 10:28-29

8 Luke 21:18; Matt. 10:30

9 Rom. 8:28

10 2 Cor. 1:22; 2 Cor. 5:5

11 Rom. 8:14; Rom. 7:22

12 Luke 24:47

13 1 Cor. 6:10-11; John 9:41; Rom. 3:10, 19

14 John 17:3

15 Eph. 5:8-10;

It would be odd that the Heidelberg Catechism could give such specific information in concise form as to how to know one is saved and elect of God if such knowledge is impossible; yet according to Sean Gerety, we cannot know that we are saved.  Gerety seems to miss this.

Charlie J. Ray


Posted By Blogger to Reasonable Christian at 2/09/2015 11:14:00 AM



Saturday, February 17, 2024

Recovering the Reformed Confession? Calvin Against R. Scott Clark and Richard Muller

Given the diversity of the movement and the fact that Calvin was not the primary author of any of the confessional norms just noted, the better part of historical valor (namely, discretion) requires rejection of the term “Calvinist” and “Calvinism” in favor of the more historically accurate term, “Reformed.” --Richard Muller

Some time ago I wrote a book review of R. Scott Clark's book, Recovering the Reformed Confession.  At that time I did not realize how duplicitous this title actually was.  I recently read the first volume of Richard Muller's Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics:  The Rise and Development of Reformed Orthodoxy, ca. 1520 to ca. 1725, vol. 1, 2nd edition. "Prolegomena to Theology". #1 (See footnote below).  I am citing and quoting from the Logos ebook edition.

Ironically, for all the bluster, R. Scott Clark is not promoting confessional Reformed theology at all.  What he is actually forcefully advocating is a post-reformation reinterpretation of the original confessional documents of the Protestant Reformation.  Richard Muller openly admits that he agrees with Amyraldianism, not the Reformed confessions.  Neither the Three Forms of Unity nor the Westminster Standards allow for any hypothetical atonement or for any alleged contradictions between the general call of the Gospel and the effectual call of God through irresistible grace.  Yet Muller tries to argue that the Helvetic Consensus Formula is trumped by latitudinarianism within the Reformed camp:

There were also bitter battles among the Reformed—over Cocceian theology, over the espousal of Cartesian principles, and over the various teachings of the Academy of Saumur, over the soteriology of Richard Baxter, and over various responses to the Socinian denial of an essential or ad intra divine attribute of punitive justice. On none of these issues, however, did the Reformed churches rupture into separate confessional bodies or identify a particular theologically defined group as beyond the bounds of the confessions, as had been the case at the Synod of Dort. Amyraut was, after all, exonerated by several national synods in France, and the debate over his “hypothetical universalism” did not lead to the charge of heterodoxy against others, like Davenant, Martinius, and Alsted, who had, both at Dort and afterward, maintained similar lines of argument concerning the extent of Christ’s satisfaction.104 The Westminster Confession was in fact written with this diversity in view, encompassing confessionally the variant Reformed views on the nature of the limitation of Christ’s satisfaction to the elect, just as it was written to be inclusive of the infra- and the supralapsarian views on predestination.105 Amyraut, moreover, arguably stood in agreement with intraconfessional adversaries like Turretin on such issues as the fundamental articles of the faith.106

Even when it was censured in the Formula Consensus Helvetica, the Salmurian theology was not identified as a heresy but as a problematic teaching that troubled the confessional orthodoxy of the church: the preface to the Formula specifically identifies the faculty of Saumur as “respected foreign brethren,” who stand on the same “foundation of faith” but whose recent teachings have become a matter of grave dispute.   . . .  [#2].

Notice that Muller does not argue whether or not the Amyraldian view is biblical or confessional.  He immediately pivots to whether or not the Reformed consensus was willing to tolerate a deviation from the Canons of Dort in order to preserve a united front against the Remonstrandts.  This is a capitulation to a downgrade in the interest of political concerns, not a question that was settled strictly on the issue of biblical propositions.  Earlier in this work, Muller betrays his own presuppositions which taint his objectivity on the matter.  He openly defies the Institutes of the Christian Religion and disagrees with Calvin.  In doing so, Muller is essentially disagreeing with the Three Forms of Unity and the Westminster Standards as well:

Indeed, any variation of doctrine incapable of being accommodated to Calvin’s 1559 Institutes can come to be viewed by the older scholarship as a deviation from the norm of Reformed theology—without any recognition of the fact that doctrinal variations and even highly polemical debates over doctrinal formulae that took place within the confessional boundaries all belonged to the broad stream of Reformed orthodoxy.

This approach, albeit characteristic of much twentieth-century historiography, does not accurately represent the seventeenth-century orthodox understanding (or, indeed, understandings) of “orthodoxy.” To define orthodoxy in terms of the more traditionalist line of Geneva, culminating in Turretin, or in terms of the Voetian theology at Utrecht prejudices the case from the start by creating subconfessional lines of demarcation for orthodoxy and by offering an anachronistic picture of a “rigid orthodoxy” operating within the narrow limits of a single school. The historical materials do not support the picture. Just as Calvin did not speak for the entire early Reformed tradition, so was Geneva less than the arbitrator of the Reformed tradition in the seventeenth century.  [#3].

Did you notice that Muller is appealing to historiography rather than the Reformed confessions or even Scripture?  That would be anathema to the latitudinarian views of Muller since his authority is his own interpretation of history rather than the final authority of Holy Scripture.  To do so would amount to what R. Scott Clark and Muller derisively call "biblicism."  Muller does so by linking the doctrine of Sola Scriptura to the Socinian rationalism and the misuse of Scripture to justify denying the trinity and calling this "biblicism."  This is nothing more than prejudicial sophistry on the part of Muller and R. Scott Clark.   

It should also be pointed out that when Muller and R. Scott Clark refer to the term "Reformed", they are actually not affirming the traditional Reformed confessions at all.  Instead, they are appealing to the various post-reformation deviations from Scripture and the confessional standards!  Muller likes to water down the Bible and the confessional standards by appealing to the detractors instead of the biblical standards deduced from the Bible and summarized by the Westminster Standards and the Dutch Three Forms of Unity.  In case you do not know what those are, the Westminster Standards are the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.  The Three Forms of Unity are the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of Dort.  But Muller openly admits this downgrade throughout the first volume of his work:

As for the terms “Calvinist” and “Calvinism,” I tend to avoid them as less than useful to the historical task. If, by “Calvinist,” one means a follower of Calvin who had nothing to say that was different from what Calvin said, then one would be hard put to find any Calvinists in the later sixteenth or seventeenth centuries. If by Calvinist, one means a later exponent of a theology standing within the confessional boundaries described by such documents as the Gallican Confession, the Belgic Confession, the Second Helvetic Confession, and the Heidelberg Catechism, then one will have the problem of accounting for the many ways in which such thinkers—notably, Amandus Polanus von Polansdorf, Bartholomaus Keckermann, William Perkins, Franciscus Junius, and Gulielmus Bucanus, just to name a few—differ from Calvin both doctrinally and methodologically. One might even be forced to pose Calvin against the Calvinists.3 Given the diversity of the movement and the fact that Calvin was not the primary author of any of the confessional norms just noted, the better part of historical valor (namely, discretion) requires rejection of the term “Calvinist” and “Calvinism” in favor of the more historically accurate term, “Reformed.”  [#4].

If I am "forced" to pose Calvin against the "Calvinists", then so be it.  I agree with Calvin's Institutes and with Calvin's two books against the Romanists--which amazingly also happen to be against the "Calvinists" that both Muller and R. Scott Clark agree with.  Calvin's two books are:  1.  The Eternal Predestination of God and 2.  The Secret Providence of God.  Both books are translated by Henry Cole.  I also recommend Henry Beveridge's translation of the Institutes of the Christian Religion.  This is where the latitudinarianism comes in.  Did you see that Muller is appealing to the multitude of names that he drops in his historiographical study instead of one single interpretation of the Calvinist position?  Following this line of thought, one could just as well take the Romanist view which amounts to a universalistic soteriology following Vatican II.

I personally do not like sophistry, duplicity, and outright misdirection.  This seems to violate the 9th commandment because it redefines terms that the lay reader is not familiar with in order to make them think that they are actually in agreement with the Bible, the Westminster Standards, and the Dutch Three Forms of Unity, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.  James White likes to call those who disagree with these reinterpretations "cage stage" Calvinists.  Scott Clark calls us biblicists, fundamentalists, rationalists, and other derogatory terms.  

One example of such misdirection is the Theocast channel on YouTube, which is run by two Baptists who claim to be "Reformed" while adamantly repudiating "Calvinism", which they refer to as those who advocate for a logical and fundamental interpretation of the Bible, the Westminster Standards and the Three Forms of Unity.  The hosts of the Theocast channel are continually juxaposing the moral law and the Gospel as if the two are mutually contradictory instead of harmonious expositions of the whole counsel of God.  (Acts 20:27 NKJV).  The channel is openly anti-Calvinist while claiming to advocate for the "reformed perspective."

Even worse, these dissimulators fail to reveal that they are basing their theology on the historiography of Richard Muller and others who have an agenda that leads in a more latitudinarian and liberal direction.  Muller's view can legitimately be linked to neo-orthodoxy, since he openly rejects any logical or rational explanation of the Bible from an internally consistent theology which is axiomatic.

The short of it all is that R. Scott Clark's book, Recovering the Reformed Confession, is not an unequivocal affirmation of the Canons of Dort, the Belgic Confession, or the Heidelberg Catechism.  It is instead an affirmation of the latitudinarianism of Muller's analytical historiography.  Muller is affirming 18th to 20th century compromises that contradict Calvin and the objective standards of the Westminster Confession and the Canons of Dort.  Do not be fooled by these dissimulating liars.  I prefer to be castigated as a "hyper-Calvinist" along with Calvin, Turretin, the Dutch divines at Dort, and the Westminster divines.  I prefer to be ridiculed as a rationalist who affirms the propositional revelation in Holy Scripture.  I prefer to be called a biblicist and a fundamentalist rather than to compromise God's written word.  Richard Muller and other detractors from the original Calvinist Reformers do not speak for me.  I identify as a fundamentalist Calvinist, not a neo-Calvinist who falsely pits being Reformed against Calvin and Geneva and Turretin.

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (Matt. 5:17-18 KJV)

If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; (Jn. 10:35 KJV)

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Tim. 3:16 KJV)

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Pet. 1:21 KJV)

#1.  Muller, Richard A. Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics: The Rise and Development of Reformed Orthodoxy;  Volume 1: Prolegomena to Theology. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2003. Print.

#2.  Ibid., pp. 76-77.

#3.  Ibid., p. 79.

#4.  Ibid., p. 30.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Compromise Leads to Persecution

"It’s easy to decry right-wing scaremongering in the abstract, far more difficult to give advice to real people who have to make decisions that could cost them their careers."  Carl R. Trueman

At last Carl Trueman has to face the reality of the layperson in the pews.  Yes, your mealy-mouthed pontifications about not making enemies with the world and how grace is common to all has come home to roost. Celebrity preachers are more concerned with how many members attend and contribute monetarily to their own careers than with the real rubber meets the road reality that Christian persecution is here to stay.  

Stand on the deontological standards of God's moral law and be fired from your job, lose your family, and wind up homeless.  That's quite a price to pay for being true to the biblical worldview, is it not, Mr. Trueman?  Not a word about Alistair Begg's real motivations for accommodating to the woke agenda, right, Mr. Trueman?   (Acts 5:29).

I am continually amazed at how proficient the sophists among the fake Evangelical elite are at dodging the ethical and moral implications of their pontifications from the bully pulpits of media platforms, social media, and their paid positions in woke Evangelical colleges and seminaries.  The celebrity preachers are unwilling to sacrifice their careers by telling the hard truth.  So, their advice to you is to compromise as well.  

After all, how can Evangelicalism survive without church members who have paying jobs and can contribute huge amounts of mammon?  The point is that the Evangelical elites can continue in their lavish lifestyles, while the rest of us toil away in blue collar jobs.  Perhaps the hard sayings of Jesus were not so much rabbinical hyperbole as actual and practical applications of God's moral law?  If evangelism and mission is about accommodation to the world, count me out.  However, if evangelism and mission is about challenging the world and challenging the religious Pharisees of easy believism, common grace, and the well meant offer?  Count me in.

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. (Mk. 8:36-38 KJV)

And did you notice that Trueman likes to fellowship with Romanists by publishing in their magazine, "First Things"?  Why would a genuine Protestant Evangelical give credibility to a publication which promotes compromise and accommodation to a false religion that the Protestant Reformers referred to as a "synagogue of Satan"?  This pretty much sums up the problem of Evangelicalism today.  Who will stand for the truth?

The late Dr. Gordon H. Clark succinctly stated the problem of accommodating to secular views of the civil magistrate:  

My thesis is that secularism necessarily implies dictatorship and totalitarian rule.  For example, Aristotle pointedly objects to Plato's communism; but his own theory defines the state as the partnership or "community" which includes all goods.  The result is state control of religion and of all human good, nothing excepted.

It is only the Hebrew-Christian revelation, as exemplified in the condemnation of King Ahab's violation of Naboth's private property, that justifies both the authority of a state and the limitations on that authority.

The Confession in section i states that it is God who has ordained civil magistrates.  Their authority comes from him; therefore, they cannot rightfully act as dictators; their just powers are only those which God has assigned them.  What those powers are and what they are not is indicated here and there throughout the Bible; and appeals to the Bible must settle such questions as pacifism and capital punishment, as well as the principle of private property.

Dr. Gordon H. Clark.  What Do Presbyterians Believe?  The Westminster Confession Yesterday and Today.  1965.  2nd Edition.  (Unicoi: The Trinity Foundation, 2001).  Pp. 207-208. 

Dr. Clark would have never greed with the radical two kingdoms view or with the so-called Christian libertarian movement in the political realm.  The reason is clearly stated in his commentary on the civil magistrate.  There is no such thing as neutrality.  While I would not say that Clark was a theonomist--mostly because the theonomy movement is predominately based on the theology of paradox of Van Til and his followers--it is clear that Clark advocated for a Christian worldview which included political activism on the part of both denominations and church members who are genuinely Christian.

It is increasingly clear that the leftists in America have a double standard for justice.  Their idea of justice is based on secular humanism and rights that the economically and racially oppressed can demand that the government enforce from the top down.  When critical race theory and cultural Marxism become the basis for American jurisprudence and the civil magistrate, the result is the totalitarianism that Clark predicted.  Anyone can see that losing one's ability to support his family is persecution.  The Democrats are determined to take away the divine rights of Christians to worship and believe whatever they wish, and the enforcement of it is to remove their divine right to self-defense by the second amendment, their right to free speech and freedom from government oppression of religion, i.e. the free exercise of religion.  The government run by the left wants to confiscate private property and redistribute wealth to so-called oppressed groups, including those who are not even citizens of the United States of America.  Open borders, the radical LGBTQIA+ movement, the radical reinterpretation of history,  and the removal of statues and books with which the leftists disagree are all symptomatic of an outright attack on the Christian worldview and the U.S. Constitution, which drew heavily from biblical principles of divine justice, not the Marxist social justice of the critical race theorists and the human secularists.

Christians who actually believe that God determines right and wrong should become not just evangelists for the Gospel, but also political activists who stand against the pharisaical Evangelical elites who have joined with the social justice warrior movement.  I find it strange that R. Scott Clark claims to be more concerned about the Gospel than political activism, yet he writes extensive articles criticizing John MacArthur.  MacArthur just happens to agree with a Reformed piety that actually calls for obedience to the Gospel and obedience to the moral law.  But Scott Clark is more concerned with appeasing the world than with standing against immorality.  Perhaps it is because Scott Clark is more concerned for pragmatic church growth than with faithfulness to the whole counsel of God?  (Acts 20:27).  Carl Trueman's article is posted at the Heidelblog for good reason.  (See:  Can Christians Attend Gay Weddings?).  Why is this even an issue?  Both Trueman and R. S. Clark are compromisers of the kind that I totally dislike.  These fake Evangelicals in the celebrity elite crowd are leading entire denominations into theological and political compromise, which eventually will end with God's judgment falling on them and on the nation.





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