This exchange is way too long for the blog, but it is relevant to many of the current issues. I have added my response to the previous article. However, let me post just the start of the response:
Mr. Johnson replied shortly after I posted this response. The final paragraph of that reply reads:
Yes, Athanasius and other apologists defended their doctrines, but it was the ordinary reality of the simple salvation of the faithful in Jesus Christ seen quite clearly in lives like the Virgin Mary that had the greatest impact–the working of the Word in the life of the community of the faithful.
It is this kind of assertion that creates so much confusion in the minds of people today. Is this saying Athanasius “missed it” in investing so much time and energy in the defense of the deity of Christ? Was he in error to write books against the Arians, and even suffer himself to be removed from his see five times by force, all over some “propositional doctrine”? How much better it would seem to have been to just not worry about “parsing doctrine” but rather to remain with his people and demonstrate the “working of the Word in the life of the community of the faithful.” But doesn’t this illustrate what I said a number of times above? This kind of statement has the facade of spirituality, and is surely offered with sincere motives, but what good is it if its truth content is nil? The fact of the matter is, to separate out “doctrines” from “the working of the Word in the life of the community of the faithful” is the very docetic kind of theology that rC’s claim others are promoting. There is no separating the CONTENT of the Word, its doctrine, its teaching, from living it out in the community. That is why this debate is so important, for in essence what these rC’s who openly have moved *away from* a stance of vigorous, open, honest debate against the false gospel of Rome (or any other group that has fallen into the Galatian error) into the fluffy middle ground of endless mantras and pipe-smoking, wine-sipping ecumenical fraternity with Chesterton-wannabes are doing is denying the knowability of the substance of divine revelation and replacing it with a complex of traditionally-driven platitudes that place the key issues of the gospel on a lower plane of “negotiables.” They are seeking to create unity based upon something other than the gospel itself, and the result is quite simply hideous, for the union of what “Reformed” means (a passion for God’s sole glory, His inviolable truth, Christ’s supremacy as Lord of all things, and the purity of His gospel) and its polar opposite is unpleasant in the extreme. (continue with the reply)