Saturday, December 01, 2007

Comments on the Atonement Debate - Elsewhere

Considering the shock and horror provided in response to my commenting on the debate here, on this blog, I was surprised to see some familiar faces in the combox (here).

- Turretinfan

28 comments:

GeneMBridges said...

Speaking only for myself, I will say simply this. I appreciate brothers who hold to a view of the atonement that differs from mine. I really, truly do.

However, it is also well past time for some of them to put some actions behind their words. This seems to be the only arrow in their quiver. This is their topic - to the exclusion of pretty much all others, for the others about which they post come back to this one.

If they really believe this, then,
pray tell, why don't they roll up their sleeves with the rest of us and interact with Roman and Orthodox e-pologists, or atheists, or Muslims, and so on? Shouldn't that view of the atonement lead them to do that? Some do, I'm not saying they don't, but others don't, or, at least, I have never seen them do so.

I don't know what they do in their own hometowns, and that's not the issue. I'm talking here about their internet personalities. I find it rather ironic that while they sit at their keyboards and post at length, and often the same material, often talking about historical theology as if it is our rule of faith, we see nothing, not word, from them on discussion boards, comboxes, or their own blog articles about these other issues. So, heres a challenge to them for the New Year. As of January 1, no more posting on this topic for a full year. Spend a year in the trenches of Reformed e-pologetics interacting with the Arminian (barring the atonement issue), the infidel, the pagan, the atheist, the Romanist,the Orthodox, and so on in a public forum. I, for one, would welcome that. As they say, "Put your money where your mouth is."

Turretinfan said...

"I appreciate brothers who hold to a view of the atonement that differs from mine. I really, truly do."

Amen.

-Turretinfan

Turretinfan said...

At least occasionally (this time was apparently over a decade ago) they do interact with an RC. (link)
Of course, I'm quite sure that's not what you're suggesting for them, but anyhow ...
-Turretinfan

natamllc said...

Gene,

great challenge!

Are we not there already? ah contenting with them earnestly?

But yes and amen. I would only want to know, am I different?

I heard this story. That's all, heard it, but when I did, it reminded me of a tragic set of circumstances that emboldened me to just "proclaim" the Truth instead of "win" over the opposition.

A Hell's Angel lived in a nice quiet neighborhood. Next door was a Pastor and his family.

These neighbors lived side by side for over 30 years.

One day the Hell's Angel guy "got saved" by some "witness".

When they asked him why he yeilded he said that he did not know Christ or "His" story but one day someone came and started talking with him. He sensed a sincerity and opened up and listened to the story about Jesus which "stung" him into a sense of aweful reality that God would do that to His Only Begotten Son for him!

He then got angry with the Pastor and came over to his house and "vented" saying to the Pastor he was a true hypocrite in that he lived next door to him all these years and never once told him about HELL or what happens to a person who dies in their sins.

I won't go into my experience much, just to say, I was confronted with a similar "one" time experience in a hair salon. I came in having noticed a "hog" parked outside. Inside the salon sat a "biker dude and his chick". They were intimidating in appearance. I clearly sensed I was to proclaim Christ and Him crucified to them, as an apologetic not an argument. I did not.

I got my hair trimmed and left.

The next time I came for a trim the girl who does my hair said something about the tragic death of her cousin! I asked about it and found out her cousin was the biker dude. He left the salon after stopping by to say hi to her and it started raining and they lost control of the "hog" and were instantly killed that day an hour or so after my encounter with them.


Michael

GeneMBridges said...

By the way, there's another challenge for all of us here too. This past year, when some of my interlocutors (and they know who they are) have run out of rope, particularly the ones who turn just plain blasphemous, I have not hesitated, knowing that they have been presented the gospel either by me, you, or others on the blogs, come to the point of telling them openly that I perceive that they are still in their sins and need to repent, divest themselves of all their own merits, and trust in Christ alone and Him only. We need to learn to draw that line in the e-pologetics community. When
we perceive that no more can be said, we have to leave it to the Lord, and sometimes just flatly
telling somebody who has demonstrated as best we can ascertain that they are still in their sins and must convert or perish is all that is left.

I've still interacted with them afterwards, but I know that once I've drawn that line, I've done my part. However, we all need to do
this as a community. I too, like these brothers @ Contend Earnestly, believe in a universal call to the gospel, though I find the warrant to be, in Scripture, in itself, just as all of God's commands' warrants are self-attesting and self-warranting (just as the Bible as a whole is), but we ALL need to demonstrate that by taking the time periodically, and particularly with some of the more regular commenters who we know need to hear it, to say, "We've been over this so many times, anything I write now won't matter. The problem isn't anything I've said, it's not the clarity of Bible, its your love of your sin and the fact you need Christ and Christ alone, not baptism, not sacraments, not a "the Church," etc. you need Jesus Christ. You need to repent of your sin. You need to throw yourself on God's mercy. You need to renounce your trust in yourself - period."

Seth McBee said...

Not sure what you are getting at TF...

My complaint was that you were taking our comments and placing them over on your blog instead of interacting with the post on Contend. David's was that you literally took his comments off site.

Bob, from fundyreformed, posted something on the atonement and we commented. I have had many conversations with Bob in the past, well before any interaction with you, and so I was just commenting with his post.

So, not really sure why you think this is the same thing as what I was asking of you.

Gene...

Could you be more clear? Are you saying, maybe not, that I am in sin and need to be saved? Not understanding your comment(s).

Turretinfan said...

Seth,

Fundyreformed is free (as far as I'm concerned) to comment on the debate, and you and David and anyone else are free (as far as I'm concerned) to go make comments on the debate on those other web sites.

Personally, though, I find it odd (to say the least) to get harassed for posting comments about the debate on my own blog by people who are posting comments about the debate on third party blogs.

It just doesn't seem like the standard is the same.

-Turretinfan

Seth McBee said...

The difference is that we agreed, in principle, to have the debate at Contend...you and I.

So, when I saw that you posted replies directed towards you, at your post at Contend, I found it odd that you took that and went to your site instead of interacting directly at Contend.

that was my point. Bob has nothing to do with the debate, he is just someone who is learning from the debate, an "outsider" who is posting on his site. There are others doing the same...but yes, you are different than they are...you are a participant with me in a debate on a certain blog. So there is a difference.

I thought this was "put to bed"...guess not...

And I still hope Gene answers my question....he didn't answer me last time, so I will just wait.

Turretinfan said...

Seth, even if that were the case (the agreement in principle part) that would not be a justification for David's complaints.

But I thought we had clarified that there was, in fact, no agreement (in principle or otherwise) that I would refrain from commenting on the debate in other places besides the comboxes of Content.

I thought we had clarified that this was a misconception from your side.

Nevertheless, it still would have seemed odd that you thought I agreed to discuss the issues only at your blog, but that I did not expect the same from you.

- Turretinfan

Seth McBee said...

discussing the issues only at your blog and lifting whole comments and rebuttals and commenting on them away from the debate are two separate things. If you don't see the difference, not sure what to say.

And yes, you and I got off on the wrong foot by me thinking we were going to only debate at Contend and not other places. Which is and was my feeling when comments were lifted and not dealt with at Contend, where the debate was happening.

Turretinfan said...

And likewise, if you cannot see the similarities...

Perhaps we will simply have to agree to disagree about the propriety of the standards at play.

-Turretinfan

Seth McBee said...

I am okay with that...

Hope people reading this know that we both are able to speak about these things like we do, and not lose any sorts of "love of the brethren"

Being, we have a very good email exchange between us.

Just wanted to put this down publically so that all reading would know this and not think that we are "at each other's throats"

Turretinfan said...

To which, for the same reasons, I add my "amen."

-Turretinfan

GeneMBridges said...

Gene...

Could you be more clear? Are you saying, maybe not, that I am in sin and need to be saved? Not understanding your comment(s).


Are you talking about the second post in this thread? I am talking, of course, there, about the need for us all to wake up and remember that in the realm of internet apologetics, we need to remember that, while these intramural debates are interesting, what we do in e-pologetics has a strong evangelistic component too. An intramural debate between us is not really evangelistic in tenor, though it is of interest and there is a place for such discussion.

I have made it a point this year, in dealing with some individuals on the internet in particular in the comboxes at Tblog, to tell them that the issue isn't what I've stated, but the cloud generated by their sin. I have in mind two in particular, Orthodox and EM. I have also done this in other places with others on the internet that nobody even would think about doing e-pologetics.

I'm simply stating that there are those on your side of the aisle who need to put their money where their proverbial mouth is. Likewise, I'm issuing a reminder to my own as well. We in the broad Reformed family, particularly us Baptist folks, are taking a beating from the non-Reformed folk on evangelism right now, for, true or untrue; it is an image we do project. As Dr. Daniel Akin said last week:Some Semi-Armenian friends need to become careful and better theologians. Some of my Hyper-active Calvinist friends need to get out of their office and on the mission field.

You know what, I agree. I read this last week, and I thought: He's right, and this applies to us all, and that is why I'm bringing it up here. While you and TF sit here having this debate, and while certain of y'all post reams of material on the extent and nature of the atonement and little else, and some of us hole up on our defense of the other 4 doctrines of grace incessantly (which is one reason I left SBF this year I might add), there is a man who I believe contributes or @ one time contributed to Debunking Christianity who stated that, and this is a rough paraphrase, "If I found out today God was real, I would kill myself so I could go to hell right now." Like I said, I appreciate and love my brothers who hold a different view of the "L" than I. I have said myself I can even work with a Wesleyan Arminian, but what bothers me is that what I see here is that one side of this debate is down in the trenches dealing with people like that young man on a regular basis. I think something is wrong with that picture.

If you all believe as you do about the atonement and the free offer, and I am especially happy that you believe in the "free offer" then it is well past time that, with regard to the image you project on the internet, you all demonstrate it. When I read these debates, and when I start tracking down the material that has been produced, I find that it is our side that is down in the trenches with the pagan, the Romanist, etc. far more often. What I find from y'all, as on in the link above, is a farrago of words and a barrage of comments with respect to your POV, and this happens repeatedly, sporadically in some places, depending on how often the appropriate topic arises. That's fine from time to time, but it would go a long way if you would support that material with some other material on these other issues, whether on your blogs or on discussion boards. I have seen this more than once by more than one person. They'll participate in a discussion about the atonement but not the Protestant rule of faith or Orthodoxy, or atheism, or Islam.
We are not here for our own health and well being. We are here for the readers.

Like I said, it's great there are those in the Reformed internet community who hold to a different view than I do, but I personally could care less anymore, as that debate has become hopelessly repetitious and, in my personal opinion, somewhat obsessively discussed by some on both sides. What I DO care about is the simple fact that while lecturing us about the alleged deficiencies of our position on the atonement, TF, James White, Steve Hays, myself, and others are the ones dealing with the Dave Armstrongs, Orthodoxes, Perry Robinsons, Catholic Answers people, the atheists, the Muslims, and others on a regular, ongoing basis. Others seem strangely silent. It just seems to me there is something inconsistent about that.

It's great to have a "pet issue," and I'm not disputing anyone's right to post what they wish whenever and however they wish, but shouldn't your view of the atonement generate some interaction with those who we know certainly can give no saving profession of faith and / or no credible profession of faith? Where's that material? Granted, I don't sit around trying to track down what you all publish from day to day, and I'm not interested in doing so,nor do I have the time, but I do know that when I do pop by for a looksie I can generally find the same sort of material and nary a word about anything else. TF has pointed out that he found some - a decade old. On the other hand, it's easy, extremely so, to find mountains of material on (insert theologian's name here) with respect to the nature and extent of the atonement.

Seth McBee said...

Gene.
Your comment is way off base and totally misleading and I think you really should think of emailing someone about these things instead of putting it out for all to see.

I am not going to take time to defend what I do in evangelism cause it is not the point. Contend Earnestly has always had one goal in mind: practical orthodoxy. You can read the blog if you would like, I am guessing you have never taken a long look, but it's focus is not on debates, but on how we take our theology to our everyday lives. This just happened to be one I was asked if I would do by Turretinfan.

So for you to publically come on here and say that I am in sin: that's ridiculous. It really shows you are more about the shock value, in this instance, than actual admonition or exhortation.

I have 99 posts on practical orthodoxy and 1 on a debate and your focus in on the 1 not the 99.

For me your comment is a joke, but I can't leave it alone or many others might read it and take for a fact.

Although my focus on Contend is not debating other religions you will find a lot of content on Christian Living and Evangelism

Thanks again for not knowing a brother in Christ and calling them out.

Turretinfan said...

Seth,

Gene's comments may not have been directed to you, but to one of the others involved.

There's one of the three of you to whom the comments would seem to apply.

I'll let Gene clarify things for himself.

-Turretinfan

YnottonY said...

I think Gene's first post is confusing. He's not at all clear who he is talking about when he speaks of some who need to repent and believe the gospel. They are still in their sins. Gene shifts back and forth between talking about some involved in the present atonement debate and others who are lost commenters on this blog and elsewhere.

However, in Gene's second post in this thread, he seems to be further clarifying his point. It's not that he is calling David, me or Seth lost (on the contrary, he calls us "brothers"), but stating that we need to broaden our "e-pologetics" focus and help win some of these lost individuals. At least I hope Gene is not saying any of us are lost. He needs to clear up who he is talking about (not necessarily naming names, but make it clear that we [me, David and Seth] are not those deemed lost, etc.) in his first ambiguous post.

If he actually happens to think one or all three of us are lost, then he should come out and say so. I don't think Gene realizes how terribly confusing his first post above was. Seth read his first post as if Gene was saying he was in sin. If he happens to think any of us are sinning, then he should say so as openly as his comments above. If not, then clarify.

Tony

Saint and Sinner said...

I agree with Gene...

[BTW: Gene's talking about the "Dave Armstrongs, Orthodoxes, Perry Robinsons, Catholic Answers people, the atheists, the Muslims, and others" that need to be evangelized, not the other side of this current atonement debate.]

We shouldn't engage in a continued debate (with the above mentioned unbelievers, not our 4-point brothers) just to win the debate or show off how much we know. I'll be the first to say that I'm very guilty of that.

We need to focus on the call to repentance, the gospel.

Instead of debating our fellow Calvinist brothers, let's focus on the non-Christians. In fact, I'd even go as far as to say that, if its taking time away from dealing with the above mentioned unbelievers, we need to stop with the Arminian/Calvinist debate as well. RC's, EO's, atheists, Muslims, etc. need to be dealt with first.

Seth McBee said...

So, I must ask Saint and Sinner and also Gene then:

Is it not important to defend sound doctrine?

Just because some decide to defend sound doctrine with brothers in Christ and others decide to defend sound doctrine through other belief systems doesn't mean that either is wrong, they are actually both correct.

holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
Titus 1:9


I use my blog as an extention to my teaching at my church. I don't have many Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses or even Catholics stopping by. I will aid others in defending the faith, but my main purpose is the equipping of the saints.

So to say someone is wrong, or if indeed I was told I was in sin is way off the mark.

We have to remember that the church, the ekklesia is to both equip each other and also evangelize the lost.

Turretinfan and I have decided that for this debate we would like to focus on the equipping of the saints, instead of evangelism. That is not wrong.

Imagine a pastor who stood up every Sunday and only evangelized each week...he would be missing the point.

His calling is two parts: equipping and preaching of repentance.

Saint and Sinner said...

"Is it not important to defend sound doctrine?"

I don't think that that is wrong at all. Also, I haven't even stopped by your blog or been involved in this debate. So, I am not speaking about you but about everyone in general. Equipping the saints is a great thing.

However, as Gene said, Calvinists tend to spend too much time on intramural debates and the finer points of our own theology (or Arminianism!) rather than engaging the unbelieving world.

When you go to a Christian book store or even B&N or Borders, how many books defending the faith do you see written by Calvinists? Not too many. They're all written by these Natural Theologians (yick!) like Craig and Geisler.

That's not to say that Calvinists haven't done fine apologetic and evagelistic work. Van Til has a better system of apologetics than any evidentialist or classical apologist.

But again, I believe we're spending *too much* time on our intramurals. Not that we shouldn't spend time on it, but that we're spending too much time on it.

GeneMBridges said...

Tony is right on the mark here, by the way. I should think that quoting Dr. Akin is beyond clear. Seth, if you don't get it, there is little more I can say beyond what follows.


So for you to publically come on here and say that I am in sin: that's ridiculous.


This of course bears no resemblance to what I wrote in response to your request. What's ridiculous is for you to write this after my last response to you. This is how internet legends start, just like the one about Steve Hays saying "Henry" and "Robert" were going to hell.

What this further illustrates is a certain problem some of us seem to have with words like "us," and, "all," and "here." Hence, I will clarify my second post a second time:

1. "Us" refers to us. That means all of us participating in this discussion who are giving a credible profession of faith. I would think that since I have gone on record more times than I can remember that I repudiate "Neo-Gnostic Hyper-Calvinism" and, in fact, have a very broad definition of what a credible profession of faith constitutes, that one could deduce that I am not calling you, Seth, or any body on your side of the aisle "unregenerate." The words in the last part of the second post do not apply to you.

2. All is a universal class quantifier modifying "us."

3. Here refers to here, in this discussion.

4. So, the proper interpretation is that we need to do better about drawing the line with unbelievers in general, not simply arguing our point in debate (defined not as "formal debate, as in the debate between you and TF, but on more general terms of interlocution), but, when we feel the discussion has not and will not progress further to draw the line and tell them to repent. In short, we need to present the gospel and end with the very "free offer" about which your side of the aisle has so earnest and consistently admonished us. This applies to us all.

5. Honestly, I can see how my second (not, to correct Tony for a moment, the first) post could be misinterpreted. I cannot, however, see how my last response could be so misinterpreted.

6. Apropos 5, what I'm seeing now, however, is that there is a certain value to, whether intentionally or not (and it was not my intention), provoking a person to anger. I, like Steve Hays, don't subscribe to the notion that a detached, respectful tone that avoids all ad hominem invective is the only approach to take in dealing with an opponent, or, for that matter, a brother. Sometimes the quickest and easiest way to get in touch with the real person is to make him mad at you. Suddenly the make-up comes off and you’re face-to-face with the real person. It shows they are being irrational. Thank you for doing us this service, Seth, it's a real timesaver.

It really shows you are more about the shock value, in this instance, than actual admonition or exhortation.

False. What this little exercise is showing is that you are being irrational and taking this far too personally. More bluntly, dear brother, get a grip. Pull it together, man up, and stop climbing emotion mountain.

That said - If anyone who reads the above in my first or third posts thinks they are "in sin" for the reasons so stated, then they need to deal with it between themselves and the Lord. - and that, Seth, is only said here because you framed the issue in those terms, terms in which I did not frame it at all.

So, if you protest about that, then it is only because I framed my response to answer you on your own level after you brought it up. I never framed the issue in terms of you being in sin or unregenerate the first time. You did that on your own. I answered you, and now you've continued on as if I didn't do so.

I am not going to take time to defend what I do in evangelism cause it is not the point.

I don't believe I called you to do that. Rather, what I said is that it is well past time that your side of the aisle put your proverbial money where your mouths are. Ditto to those on my side who incessantly whitter on about the DOG as if they are GOD and ditto to the semi-Arminians who get hung up on Calvinism, particularly definite atonement to the exclusion of much else. Our friend who calls us "Calumites" comes to mind, as does the Examining Calvinism guy.

Contend Earnestly has always had one goal in mind: practical orthodoxy. You can read the blog if you would like, I am guessing you have never taken a long look, but it's focus is not on debates, but on how we take our theology to our everyday lives.

I think it is wonderful if the singular goal of your blog is "practical orthodoxy." Shouldn't the practical outcome, then, of the view of the atonement about which you all have been debating and coming from your side of the debate be something along the lines of what I have outlined above? I'd add, by the way, your blog was never singled out.

What I see on the internet is that some are expressing one thing and, on the internet, their "everyday lives" another. I never singled out a particular blog. I will also say that IMPO you all might get a fairer hearing from some folks if, in fact, you broadened your focus.

I also think that, on a more general level, we'd appreciate the help. You all have good minds and write well. I know for a fact that the Secular Web has, in the past year, intentionally ramped up its "evangelistic" efforts. Consequently, we need to do the same. Like Steve recently said on our blog in a combox, "...it’s important to get into the trenches with these folks because they have a far longer reach. For every atheist who reads Graham Oppy, there are hundreds (or more) who get their info from some atheistic epologist. For every Catholic who reads Karl Rahner or Ray Brown, there are hundreds (or more) who get their info from some Catholic epologist. " Forgive me for thinking that, given the volume of material your side has produced in recent history, and the constant one noted bleating from some of you doesn't measure up to the rhetoric, particularly when there are many, many more issues to discuss - particularly in an evangelistic context. Once again, if you all really believe as you do, then it is well past time to back it up; and, once again, I don't think you are all, to a man guilty of the behavior I have described, but I do think that there are some of you who are big time offenders and need to be challenged in that regard - for the betterment of us all.


I use my blog as an extention to my teaching at my church.


Wonderful. I know many Baptists who do this too. I don't recall singling out you or your blog.

I'd point out, Seth, that I specifically noted that some of you, not all, some of you are guilty of what I have described above. This isn't about, as I *also* explicitly stated, what you do in your hometowns, and I don't dispute anybody's right to post material as they see fit. Rather, I am concerned about the image we Calvinists are projecting on the internet. As to your side of the aisle in the atonement debate in particular, which I have observed has involved not just you but others - please don't presume to lecture the rest of us about the alleged deficiencies of our views over multiple forums or post on the atonement to the virtual exclusion of anything else, telling us all about the "free offer" and which theologians believed, calling us everything from "Gillites" to "hyperCalvinsts" while doing functionally nothing to demonstrate that this "orthodoxy" is, in fact, "practical." Apparently, I'm not the only one who sees this.

Your comment is way off base and totally misleading and I think you really should think of emailing someone about these things instead of putting it out for all to see.

1. If this is a reference to Matthew 18, I don't subscribe to the notion that it applies. I believe it applies to sins committed in private that are of a personal nature.
If anything I think that what would apply would be the example of Paul publicly calling Peter out. In fact, I should think that that analogy is quite clear.

2. Consequently, Seth, I think this should be a public conversation, because it is something all of us need to hear, that's one reason why I am not singling out anyone. Besides TF has approved these comments, so apparently he has no problem posting what I have written. I may be wrong, but that would seem to me that he feels differently than you. I believe if he felt this discussion should be private, he would tell me. In fact, I would hope he would say so to me publicly.

3. By the way, to anticipate the reason I have not named names:

a. It seems I am damned if I do and damned if I don't in that arena, having done so in times past and found the ensuing interlocution fruitless to say the least.

b. I am offering an exhortation to a group, and not only that, two sides, one of which would include me. One of those groups, however, is being specifically challenged.

Is it not important to defend sound doctrine?

Just because some decide to defend sound doctrine with brothers in Christ and others decide to defend sound doctrine through other belief systems doesn't mean that either is wrong, they are actually both correct.


Where, pray tell did I say othewise? I went to great lengths to state that there is certainly room for such discussion, however, it seems that some of us, and if you'll read again, I noted on both sides, are rather obsessed with this one particular issue.

Seth, you've made this far too personal. Further, you have somehow moved from statements like this:

I find it rather ironic that while they sit at their keyboards and post at length, and often the same material, often talking about historical theology as if it is our rule of faith, we see nothing, not word, from them on discussion boards, comboxes, or their own blog articles about these other issues.

and

Iam talking, of course, there, about the need for us all to wake up and remember that in the realm of internet apologetics, we need to remember that, while these intramural debates are interesting, what we do in e-pologetics has a strong evangelistic component too. An intramural debate between us is not really evangelistic in tenor, though it is of interest and there is a place for such discussion.

and

He's right, and this applies to us all, and that is why I'm bringing it up here.

etc.

to a statement about you personally being in sin, to an assertion that there is no place for such debates, to an illustration that seems to indicate that I think the church's mission should focus on evangelism and not sound doctrine?

Seth, stop climbing emotion mountain. Go back and reread my third post in this thread in which I quote Dr. Akin. I agree with Dr. Akin, and, like I said, that is why I am bringing this issue up.

Tony gets it. Natalmic does. TF does. S&S does. Apparently, you're the only one who doesn't. Moreover, you, Seth are blowing things way, way out of proportion.

One more thing, there will be no more further clarification on this issue, not here, not in email. If this isn't clear by now, then it isn't my fault. If it does not change in the future, I may well decide to say something about it on T-blog. I reserve that right. I may or may not return to this comment stream. As I said on T-blog, I'm taking a holiday on blogging.

Turretinfan said...

Dear Brother Gene,

Hopefully your post clarifies things for everyone who has been participating in the discussion.

-Turretinfan

YnottonY said...

Gene said this above:

"...calling us everything from "Gillites" to "hyperCalvinsts"

One is left with the impression, to say the least, that one of us (me, David, Seth and/or other moderate friends of ours) have labeled Gene (and others who advocate his version of Calvinism) "Gillites" and "hyper-Calvinists." I know that I have never done that, and I know that David is thoroughly acquainted with historical theology enough to not do that. In fact, I haven't seen a single instance where any of us moderates have ever done that, or insinuated it.

For the record, I only consider someone a hyper-Calvinist if they do one or more of the following things:

1) Reject the universal love of God.
2) Repudiate the doctrine of common grace.
3) Deny that the gospel call is a well-meant offer to all the unbelievers that hear it, including the non-elect.
4) Deny that everyone who hears the gospel call is duty-bound to believe savingly, i.e., duty-faith.
5) Elevate the TULIP to an essential status such that a denial of one or more of the points means one is unregenerate.

I view John Gill as doing numbers 3 and 4, so on those grounds I would consider him a hyper-Calvinist. I am well-aware of the debates surrounding that, so it is not my concern to enter into that here. I am just describing my criteria for determining whether or not someone is a hyper-Calvinist. If Gene happens to do any of the above 5 points, then I am not aware of it. For that reason, I have never said or insinuated that he is a Gillite or a hyper-Calvinist, and neither have I seen anyone in our party use such a label for him. If Gene does any of the above 5 points, then I would not hesistate to call him hyper, for it would be an historically accurate label. If any of my own friends did any of the above 5, I would call them the same. It's not personal, but a matter of accurate historical theology and descriptions.

Tony

Turretinfan said...

Tony:

Thanks for your comments.

Note that I object to the use of "moderate" as a description of what is, apparently (though we have yet to see much of a systematic presentation) a form of Amyraldianism, possibly with a slightly different take on the order of decrees, or with a more refined explanation.

(as I explained here)

Also, calling Gill a "hyper-Calvinist" may have historical precedent (in that someoneone before you may have called him that), but Gill was certainly a Calvinist (at least, that is the position of this blog, and I'm not going to debate it in this particular combox).

Same with the 5 numbered items.

Those are (again, in my view) neither good nor accurate touchstones of hyper-Calvinism. See my link above.

-Turretinfan

Seth McBee said...

Gene.

Just by the mere fact that you have to come on and do a commentary on your comment is showing that your comments are very hard to understand

I merely asked for clarification on whether you were calling me out in sin...read my comments Gene.

Gene...

Could you be more clear? Are you saying, maybe not, that I am in sin and need to be saved? Not understanding your comment(s).


I wanted clarification because I didn't understand what you were saying. Then, YES you did say something about Contend Earnestly when you said:

I've still interacted with them afterwards, but I know that once I've drawn that line, I've done my part. However, we all need to do
this as a community. I too, like these brothers @ Contend Earnestly,


I was simply asking for clarification Gene. That is it...then you came on and went off about e-pologetics and yes, you spoke to me and those who I align with when you say:

If you all believe as you do about the atonement and the free offer, and I am especially happy that you believe in the "free offer" then it is well past time that, with regard to the image you project on the internet, you all demonstrate it. When I read these debates, and when I start tracking down the material that has been produced, I find that it is our side that is down in the trenches with the pagan, the Romanist, etc. far more often

So to say I am taking it personally and I shouldn't is farfetched.

and then you say:

It's great to have a "pet issue," and I'm not disputing anyone's right to post what they wish whenever and however they wish, but shouldn't your view of the atonement generate some interaction with those who we know certainly can give no saving profession of faith and / or no credible profession of faith? Where's that material?

So you ask, Why do you take this personally?

Because these are all directed to me and you could have just come on and say: No, I don't believe that you are in sin and/or not saved.

But you decided to do something else and instead of clearing things up you decide to muddy the waters even further, and then tell me to stop climbing emotion mountain

Seriously? Your comments amaze me that you couldn't just come on and answer my questions, you come directly at me and others (we both know who you are talking to) and tell me that I shouldn't take it personally.

You tell me Gene, how should I take it?

Oh, wait, you have decided to not discuss it any further. So you offend a brother and tell them to "deal with it" and that it is "their problem"

Thanks for showing me the way to admonish someone. If you would like to actually discuss instead of just rant let me know...that was all I was asking for...just clarification.

Turretinfan said...

Let me remind everyone how Gene started his comment:

"Speaking only for myself, I will say simply this. I appreciate brothers who hold to a view of the atonement that differs from mine. I really, truly do."

-Turretinfan

Seth McBee said...

TF:

Saying:
Speaking only for myself, I will say simply this. I appreciate brothers who hold to a view of the atonement that differs from mine. I really, truly do.

and actually showing that he does are two separate things.

Turretinfan said...

Seth,

Saying it is one of the ways to show it.

Failing to read the rest of what he wrote in light of that introduction does not do Gene justice.

-Turretinfan