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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

Friday, September 14, 2012

Matthew Tuininga: Robert Godfrey’s proposal for Reformed unity: does anyone care?

Why is that so many Reformed ministers think ecumenicalism is a desirable thing?  History shows that when unity is sought at the expense of the truth, the results are always bad.  In fact, truth matters so much that the Dutch Reformed churches excommunicated the Arminians while today idiots like Matthew Tuininga probably think Arminians are "brothers" in Christ.  Sorry, but the Canons of Dort do not leave us with the option of calling heretics "brothers".

Even more serious is the great divide between the the so-called "Reformed" denominations that have endorsed varying degrees of semi-Arminianism, Federal Vision, Auburn Avenue, Theonomy, Reconstruction and various other heresies currently dividing Reformed denominations.  In fact, these neo-legalist heresies are doing more than dividing denominations.  They are putrefying rottenness which is corrupting these denominations slowly from within.  These kinds of slowly destructive heresies go all the way back to the Arminian controversy at the Synod of Dort.  But the New Perspectives on Paul, Federal Vision and even neo-Kuyperian common grace are really nothing new.

The corrupt human nature "naturally" rebels against the sovereignty of God and absolute truth.  If the devil can introduce subtle half-truths, paradoxes and contradictions and unity at all costs, the ultimate end of such deception is relativism and skeptism.

Not only has Robert Godfrey gone off the deep end but so has Matthew Tuininga.  True unity will occur only in glory.  As for now the visible church on earth is divided as part of God's curse against human pride.  Rome is just another tower of Babel.

If the Van Tilians and the neo-Kuyperians would be willing to stand for the absolute truth of Holy Scripture and the univocal nature of God's logical propositions in the Holy Scriptures there would be more enthusiasm on the part of conservative and classical Calvinists.  As it stands, relativism will certainly do nothing more than what we are already seeing in Reformed denominations almost universally:  the denigration of confessional theology and catechesis in regards to Scripture and the Reformed standards.  I don't know of even one single Reformed denomination that requires the learning of the theology of the catechism prior to someone being accepted for adult baptism or confirmation into membership.  In fact, you could be an avowed Arminian working your way to earn heaven and be in perfectly good standing in most so-called "Reformed" denominations.  Whatever happened to excommunication for heresy?


The opening line of Tuininga's article says it all:

True Christian unity must be able to allow variations of practice and conviction within the breadth of fidelity to the gospel and the authority of Scripture, not because we are willing to compromise the truth, but because each of us is humble enough to recognize that our interpretations, judgments, or practices are not the same thing as the truth itself.  (See:  Matthew Tuininga:  Robert Godfrey’s proposal for Reformed unity: does anyone care?

His statement seems on the surface to be advocating a distinction between adiaphora and essential doctrine.  But since most Reformed denominations are supposed be confessionally Reformed and adhere to the classical Reformed standards, i.e. The Three Forms of Unity or the Westminster Standards, one has to wonder what "truth" is for Tuininga?  By his line of reasoning the Reformed denominations ought to already be in unity.  But something is wrong here.  Like Pilate Tuininga's statement begs the question,  "What is truth?"  (John 18:38). 

If the Scriptures are at no single point the univocal truth claims and logical propositions of God Himself in written form, then for all practical purposes there is no truth.  All that remains is an Evangelical version of neo-orthodoxy.  I like to call it "semi neo-orthodoxy".  While these so-called Evangelical Calvinists and Presbyterians pretend to be conservative they in fact deny the truth is absolute or that Scripture IS the Word of God.

If ". . .our interpretations, judgments, or practices are not the same thing as the truth itself . . ." then what IS the truth?  Of course, only Scripture is the infallible and inerrant word of God.  (Cf. Matthew 5:18; Luke 4:4).  But if we cannot understand the plain logic of God's special revelation and the information it contains, then it follows that no one knows "the truth itself".  According to Tuininga's logic, because we cannot know the truth itself in Scripture, what is preventing us from uniting in a "relative" unity based on relative truth claims?  Why argue about absolute truth when claiming to know the truth is a violation of Van Til's assertion that truth violates the Creator/creature distinction?  For modern Van Tilians like Mike Horton and Matthew Tuininga to claim to know what Scripture says is to attempt to pry into the mind of God and His secret being.  But when Scripture itself claims to be God's very words in written and inspired form should we follow Van Til, Horton and Tuininga?  Or should we simply believe the information God has revealed in His inspired and written words?   (2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 2 Peter 3:15-16).

Any so-called union of Reformed denominations into a larger communion or denomination will never be a true union apart from accepting the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, including the absolute truth claims Scripture asserts.  Those truth claims demand that believers individually and in confessional communions and organized fellowships stand on the truth.  (John 4:24; John 17:17, 19).  Either Scripture is the final authority and arbiter of truth or we don't know the truth at all.  Unions based on relative truth claims are false unions based on skepticism and relativism, not propositional Scriptural truth and the univocal Word of God.  Scripture alone is the infallible, inerrant and plenarily inspired Word of God.  The Scriptures cannot be broken--not even for the sake of union with other churches and denominations.  (John 10:35).

Click here to read the entire article by Matthew Tuininga:  Robert Godfrey’s proposal for Reformed unity: does anyone care?

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