For some reason, Paul Owen is addicted to my blog. It’s sorta sad, really. I have to be dragged kicking and screaming to his oxymoronically monickered blog, but for some reason he loves reading mine. I have lost track of how many times something has appeared under his name shortly after the topic came up here on this blog.
In any case, you may recall that Paul Owen is the
Mormon, Evangelical, Presbyterian, Anglican professor at Montreat College who loves to throw out theological stink bombs to see who will respond. While identifying himself as “Reformed,” he is the best friend Mormons, Arminians, and Roman Catholics could ever have hoped for, since he is so intent upon defending them against the mean Calvinists. Recently, Eric Svendsen once again illustrated the fundamental incongruity and self-contradiction of “Reformed Catholicism” in his interaction with Owen. During that exchange Owen smugly wrote,
Svendsen is correct in noticing that I do not list the heirs of the Radical Reformation among the congregations of Christ’s visible Catholic Church on earth. Svendsen and his evangelical brethren do indeed have a noble tradition of their own, stemming backwards in time to Smith Wigglesworth, Billy Sunday and Charles Finney, and further still to the Prophet Joseph Smith, Fausto Socinus, Michael Servetus, Caspar Schwenckfeld, Menno Simons, Conrad Grebel, Balthasar Hubmaier and the Zwickau Prophets, and yet beyond to the Montanists, Novatians, Donatists and various Gnostic sects of the early centuries of the Church. But it is a trajectory of figures and movements of varying doctrinal orthodoxy outside the Catholic Church (though of course containing many faithful believers in Jesus within their ranks).
Eric rightly knocked that one out of the ballpark, though, I must confess, I disagreed with Eric’s statement that this paragraph illustrates Owen’s ignorance of Evangelicalism and its beliefs. No, my experience has led me to conclude Owen is not ignorant of Evangelicalism and its beliefs. He simply refuses to be honest about the issues he addresses, in particular when he is seeking to express his disdain for those who hold to certain views.
In any case, when I posted Dr. Hartley’s comments on Spurgeon’s sermon regarding Esau, fairly quickly Owen went to press with an attack upon his position, running out the ol’ “hyper-Calvinist” argument (this is the same man who has directed us in the past to the excellent “exegesis” offered by Arminians). I was not even aware of the response before Dr. Hartley sent me this pdf in response to Owen. I asked if I might post it, as I found it useful, and he graciously acceded.