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 Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Friday, October 09, 2009

R. Scott Clark's Critique of Triperspectivalism, Tim Keller, and John Frame

Keller appeals to a theological method known as “triperspectivalism” (TPism). When I learned TPism it began this way: There are three basic perspectives on every issue: control, authority, and power. The corollary to that is another triad, the “normative” perspective, the “situational” perspective, and the “existential” perspective. When this tool was unveiled to me in 1984 it seemed fairly consistent with common sense that to address an issue one had to account for the norm to be applied, the situation in which the norm is to be applied, and the person doing the applying. In principle things were more complicated, however. We were told that theoretically one could begin with any perspective but that practically one should begin with the norm, God’s Word. The theory bothered me some but the practice didn’t seem revolutionary. As it turns out, I was wrong. It is revolutionary and not in a good way. It’s revolutionary in the way the French were revolutionary in 1789.

From: Peace (with Evangelicalism) in Our time


Reformation said...

I studied with Frame for a few years. Frame studied and defended Norm Shepherd. Neither were of the stature of John Murray. We were "TP-d" to death, a cute paradigm, but one that always appeared to wifty for me.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Rick's piece is good: www.reformation21.org/blog/2009/10/tim-kellers-review-of-willow-c.php

Keller is trapped in PC-ness.

The gospel is at stake!

Arminian Hybels' WCC is not kingly (situational?).

Gnostic emergers are not priestly (existential?).

The Reformed need to be more (but not less) than prophetic and normative (Word-based).

Funny that Scott claims, "...there is an objective reality. God is objectively real and true. He is whether we acknowledge him. His revealed truth is whether we acknowledge it. Our experience of God and his truth is not constitutive of God and his truth."

Yet also, "How did we do theology before multi-perspectivalism? Ask Cornelius Van Til. He understood it: Analogical theology."

Scott then adds, "We are not creators of theology. We are receivers of theology. The Word is sufficiently perspicuous and the Spirit is sufficiently gracious to his church such that we are able to hear the Word, understand the Word, believe it, and put it into practice. We don’t become the Word. We don’t norm the Word. The Word norms us. Yes, we hear, read, and receive the Word, we obey the Word, we practice the Word in a place but the Word always norms us. We’re always seeking to conform to the Word. We’re mere creatures. We’re mere image bearers."

Hmm, Clark attacks subjectivity. Isn't that exactly what "analogical theology" IS?!


For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. ~ Romans 5:17 ~

Charlie J. Ray said...

Thanks for this, Charlie. I'm using Keller's VERY popular Reason for God with our young adults. It is disappointing. (See Monergism's orgasmic review!)

See www.trinityfoundation.org/keyword_search.php and type in Van Til for the skinny.


For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. ~ Romans 5:17 ~

Charlie J. Ray said...

See Sean's comment:

October 3, 2009 at 5:27 pm

"Scott Clark has a very peculiar if not truncated understanding of Reformed tradition. He is without question on the wrong side of the watershed the occurred in the ’40’s with the Clark/Van Til controversy and seems to view all of Reformed history from that distorted lens.

"On the plus side, Clark is without question one of the more consistent opponents of the Federal Vision, considerably more than most other Vantilians who are generally powerless to even discern the Christ denying nature of the FV. However, given that he holds to a contradictory view of Scripture on any number of doctrines from the so-called “Well Meant Offer” to God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility, I would be curious to see how he could possibly argue that Clark’s non-contradictory biblical philosophy leads to the FV and Romanism, when both the FV and Romanism — not to mention neo-orthodoxy — are merely extensions of the Vantilian view of truth and Scripture. After all, the FV is a tangle of ambiguously defined contradictory doctrines and virtually all its adherents and defenders are Vantilians to one degree or another. John Frame argued years ago that Van Til’s doctrine of biblical contradiction extends to the doctrine of justification, so I would think the FV is merely the next logical step in Van Til’s un-biblical Creator/creature distinction. I mean, Scripture does seem to teach in places both justification by faith alone and justification by faith and works. Sounds to me like just another Vantilian “paradox” that men must bow to in another act of intellectual suicide parading as Christian piety. On what epistemological basis can any Vantilian rightly oppose just one more biblical paradox? I asked Clark that question recently, he either couldn’t or wouldn’t say, but he did refer me to another of his books.

"Do you have a link to where Clark blames GHG for the FV? I’m curious if he actually argues the point or just asserts it, which seems to be his habit. That way when someone challenges him he just refers them to some book he’s either edited or written. You’d think by now he could just cut and paste the relevant arguments so that we might judge for ourselves without having to wade through another lame defense of Van Til’s dialectical and self-refuting theology."


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