Steve Hays forwarded me an argument from an Orthodox apologist charging Thomism (and by extension, all of Romanism) with monothelitism (monenergism). I see it suffers from the same kind of “make a conclusion in this field of theology, transport it over here and use it as a club to beat someone over the head” fallacy as Prejean’s does, but it is ironic to see his own falsehoods being turned against his own position. Sophists just never learn. In case you missed it, after I addressed the Envoy Magazine forum issues a few days ago, Prejean posted this long diatribe of next-to-unintelligible drivel that evidently only he could possibly follow or find compelling, but ol’ Art Sippo, clearly just as completely lost about what on earth Prejean was pretending to say as anyone else, had to give a cheer for the home team. He opined, “It seems that He-Who-Must-Not-be-Named has deigned to regale us with his ravings from his little Mecca in Phoenix. He barks and toots like the braying of the Little Horn form Revelation. Crimson has skewered his hash nicely and there is no need to go over the same ground twice.” Ah, isn’t the consistency of the ever insulting Dr. Sippo refreshing? In a world where change is the norm, his constancy is comforting! Ironically, Sippo has started another thread where he is discussing…Van Til, of all things. I read his first installment, and then could not help but find a couple of the comments that followed humorous, especially our old friend Jerry-Jet, who added,
No presuppositions = RETARDEDNESS!
Hate for presuppositions because man is depraved ends up in fiascos such as Sola Scriptura–in other words since man is so bad he has to be programmed by a sovereign and providential God.
That is why Calvinism is a pure crock!
Man isn’t as DEPRAVED as what they say and God can also infuse us with transformative saving grace WITHOUT beating us down with it.
Well, that just blessed my socks off.
Moving on to other equally—odd things, I was forwarded a lengthy quote from David Cloud today where he is doing the “Attack Calvin by hoping your audience is completely ignorant of history and bigoted enough to believe what you have to say without considering the anachronisms you are introducing to the topic” thing (just like Dave Hunt). Evidently, the belief is that if you can attack Calvin, and someone is dull enough to think that “Calvinism” is more than a historical artifact (as if the discussion began with Calvin) and that Calvin and Calvinism stand or fall together, you can “win” the argument without actually engaging the biblical text at the level of exegesis. When are these folks going to realize that their surface-level argumentation and historical chicanery is hurting, not helping, them? Sure they will keep the one who is not concerned about consistency and is happy with a “what I’ve got is good enough” attitude from looking any further, but are those the ones who would be looking and considering anyway? The more they demonstrate that they have nothing of substance to say the more they will lose their next generation of leaders. It’s truly amazing.
I was also informed that the Comma Johanneum conversation continues amongst Reformed folks on a well-known web-board. I can honestly say I haven’t the slightest interest. Evidently, there is something overwhelmingly attractive about the Comma to some, and I personally lack the desire to disabuse them of their heart’s desire. If they wish to be self-consciously inconsistent in this matter, for whatever reasons, I leave that to them. The fact remains (and this is a fact they are stubbornly silent in response to) that if they apply to the rest of the text of the New Testament the standards and arguments they use in defense of the Comma, the resultant mish-mash would look very different than the NT they are preaching from today. The fact that they do not pursue that very project proves, beyond all doubt, that their position is in error. But, some folks just don’t concern themselves about such things, and I can’t worry myself too much about it.
Patrick Madrid had a copy of his new book Does the Bible Really Say That? sent to me. Nothing overly new, to be sure. Few RC apologists focus much energy upon Reformed critiques of Catholicism. They stick to the surface level Jack Chick style stuff (far easier to handle). But there are a couple of claims that would be worthwhile looking at here, as time allows.
Finally, Jeff Downs, the man behind the curtain when it comes to all things apologetic (and a proud papa of just a few days ago!), forwarded me a thirteen page article by Greg Stafford supporting his JW/Open Theism concept. I truly wonder where this will lead Stafford, because when you start going down that road, I do not know how much of anything resembling classical theism you can really rescue. He has a Jehovah who is truly surprised at what Adam does–a God who creates and, though knowing the risks, does so anyway, clueless as to the torrent of purposeless evil He is going to unleash. And we are to worship this JW Jehovah for what reason again? In any case, Stafford’s position collapses in a heap upon any serious exegetical examination that allows the specific claims of the entire Bible on the subject to speak for themselves.