Thursday, January 31, 2008

Federal Vision Sock-Puppetry

Suppose one cannot find a person ignorant enough to be good for mockery. Some folks will go out and create an ignorant opponent, in order to suggest that this one's typical opponent. An example of such charades is the "Anti-Federal Vision Study Bible" mock web site (link).

Doug Wilson posts against this anonymous sock-puppet web site in his recent post here (link).

I presume Doug is just unaware that it is Federal Vision folks (possibly just one teenage boy) that are behind the AFVSB.

It will be interesting to see how long it is before the site owner admits to this being simply a sock-puppet of the FV.

-Turretinfan

UPDATE: It seems that Doug Wilson has realized his mistake and done part of the correct thing, specifically by deleting his post. The next step would be to denounce the AFVSB as the sock-puppet that it is. At any rate, I cannot recall the last time that Doug got as close to admitting he had blundered as to delete a post from his website. Hats off to him for that much progress. Also, it hasn't been off his web site for long, so he may still go further and post something new correcting his previous error.

FURTHER UPDATE: Thanks to Civbert for plugging this post over at PuritanBoard.

ADDITIONAL UPDATE: David Field (an FVist) calls the sock puppet excellent satire (link). That shows a remarkable absence of judgment. One wonders whether it is his own creation. We'll have to wait and see. UPDATE to the update: David field praises the AFVSB some more (link).

NEW UPDATE: John Halton indicates he is "pretty sure" (!) that the site is satirical (link). UPDATE to the UPDATE: (John Halton (remember him?) tries to make his own satirical come back (link). I think it's fairly lame (and ignores the fact that Federal Visionists, both Doug Wilson (above) and Jeff Meyers (below) have responded to it), but judge for yourself.)

Latest Update: FVist Jeff Meyers mocks the sock puppet (link). It's not clear whether he is aware that it is by one of the FV crowd.

12 comments:

Albert said...

Turretinfan,

I visited the AFVSB website, and I found statements I think Reformed Christians would not use in defending the Reformed Faith because they are simply anti-Reformed.

AFVSB: The elect who endure will be saved, and the elect who do not endure will be saved. The non-elect are not saved, whether they endure or not. Remember, election is unconditional, which means that endurance is optional. In no way does salvation depend upon endurance.

Me: There are elect who will not endure, or who may totally apostatize?

AFVSB: However, there is no reason to ditch the historic Reformed faith. As the esteemed commentator Zane Hodges has pointed out, the word “save” probably refers to being “rescued” from trials. James is not speaking about eternal salvation but earthly deliverance, namely that faith without works cannot deliver us from earthly trials. Thank God for men like Zane Hodges who are committed to protecting sola fide!

Me: Zane Hodges, one of the proponents of anti-lordship salvation is a defender of Sola Fide?

AFVSB: Second, we are saved by grace alone (sola gratia) through faith alone (sola fide). Election is unconditional, and so our salvation cannot depend upon whether we bear fruit or not. Obedience is optional.

Me: This is anti-Reformed. True Christians will bear fruit.

AFVSB: Had James been aware of Paul’s writings, or even more importantly, had James known how the historic Reformed faith would have spoken of justification, James never would have written so carelessly. Then again, James has never been known as a systematic theologian. This drove Luther so nuts that he called James an epistle of “straw.”

While James is not much of a theologian, he is wonderfully practical and good to read for inspiration. However, when it comes to systematic theology, the Reformed faith has rightly looked to Paul rather than James.

Me: The Reformed believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. This AFVSB blogger does not.

IMHO, the owner of AFVSB is as anti-Reformed as the FVs.

Turretinfan said...

Albert,

If I were a betting man, I'd bet my eye teeth that the owner of the AFVSB is an FV himself. He's just pretending to be an ignorant opponent of the FV.

And apparently he accidentally suckered Doug Wilson, though he was aiming to confuse other people considering the issue.

I think most people in Internet chatrooms and the blogosphere consider such-puppeting to be a devious tactic, unless one is open about what's going on.

The author of the AFVSB is not open about it.

-Turretinfan

natamllc said...

this is musing.

I find that when one eats the best fruit given by God to eat, going back to the bad fruit eaten, is a bad idea.

I am anti:::>

the beast
the false prophet
Satan
Death
Hades
people who are against being in the Book of Life:

Rev 20:10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Rev 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.
Rev 20:14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
Rev 20:15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

God says some interesting things to Job:::>

Job 38:15 From the wicked their light is withheld, and their uplifted arm is broken.
Job 38:16 "Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Job 38:17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
Job 38:18 Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth? Declare, if you know all this.

and

Job 40:15 "Behold, Behemoth, which I made as I made you; he eats grass like an ox.
Job 40:16 Behold, his strength in his loins, and his power in the muscles of his belly.
Job 40:17 He makes his tail stiff like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are knit together.
Job 40:18 His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like bars of iron.
Job 40:19 "He is the first of the works of God; let him who made him bring near his sword!
Job 40:20 For the mountains yield food for him where all the wild beasts play.
Job 40:21 Under the lotus plants he lies, in the shelter of the reeds and in the marsh.
Job 40:22 For his shade the lotus trees cover him; the willows of the brook surround him.
Job 40:23 Behold, if the river is turbulent he is not frightened; he is confident though Jordan rushes against his mouth.
Job 40:24 Can one take him by his eyes, or pierce his nose with a snare?

I believe I believe what God believes.

Don't you? :)

Yet, the call goes out to the ends of the earth thus:::>

Eph 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Eph 6:13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
Eph 6:15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
Eph 6:16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
Eph 6:17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
Eph 6:18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
Eph 6:19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,
Eph 6:20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

My guess is TF, places like this one here with you and the thoughts of Francis Turretin will assist, quoting you above and expanding it a bit:::>

[[I think most people in Internet chatrooms and the blogosphere consider such-puppeting to be a devious tactic, unless one is open about what's going on.]]

<::::us internet chatroom junkies and blogospherers more than such-puppeting devious tactics.

I am a judge of it and the find is more so not less so!

thanks
michael

Turretinfan said...

Egomakarios:

Thanks for your comment. Are you taking credit for the AFVSB web site?

-Turretinfan

natamllc said...

No

Turretinfan said...

Dear Michael,

You misunderstand me. I was addressing EgoMakarios, not you. I was certain you were not behind that site!

-Turretinfan

natamllc said...

yes,

:(

but no nevertheless.

Will we have as much or more fun when we leave these wretched tents and enter Glory Land in a sinless new body?

Turretinfan said...

Dear Michael,

Yes, of course! There will be no tears in paradise!

-Turretinfan

Civbert said...

Hi! This is Civbert.

Your post was the first one I found that realized that the AFVSB was a parody. And I'm embarassed to say it had fooled me too. Up until then I would check the site out and shake my head thinking, this guys not help us much. It was like he's almost right, but then throws in a zinger that kills his argument. I merely thought he was both anti-FV and a bad arguer. Maybe he was a hyper-Calvinist?

Haven't we all had people on "our side" that we wish would stay out of the fight.

So I stop reading him except for an occasional skim-over, not very critically. But then I read your blog post and thought a-hah! So I thank you.

One of your updates said: FVist Jeff Meyers mocks the sock puppet (link). It's not clear whether he is aware that it is by one of the FV crowd.

Well I, Civbert, posted a warning message on Meyer's blog post on the AFVSB assuming Jeff simply thought the guy was really anti-FV but gave bad arguments. That's understandable. It's hard to pass by low hanging fruit like that.

But by the next day my comment was deleted. It seems Meyer's doesn't want to let others know the site is a parody.

http://jeffreyjmeyers.blogspot.com/2008/02/anti-federal-vision-study-bible.html

So I think Meyer's must know it's an FV proponent behind the AFVSB, and he doesn't want anyone else to know it.

Anyways, thanks again for opening my eyes.

--Anthony Coletti

Turretinfan said...

Civbert,

Thanks for the update! Some of the Federal Vision's tactics truly amaze me.

-Turretinfan

saintluke said...

Hi all,

I have been looking at a lot of people's discussions of the AFVSB, and I wanted to comment in a way that might clear up what seems is happening between the parody blog and Jeff Meyers' comments.

I am not a fan of christian sarcasm for public consumption - I think it can easily be misunderstood.

I think that the author of AFVSB is assuming that EVERYONE WILL KNOW that the AFVSB is a joke. It is very obviously an FV site. I think the target audience is other FVers and that the author(s) want(s) to make fellow FVers laugh at an inside joke. Yes, it is in public, but this is what is happening.

I don't for a second think that AFVSB is trying to TRICK anyone.

I also am certain the Jeff Meyers is also NOT trying to TRICK anyone. He is joking - saying in a silly tone, "wow, I never thought of THAT before." He agrees with the FV, and is laughing while he reads the AFVSB. He is also assuming that everyone will know he understands that AFVSB is a joke, and that his comment is a like-minded joke.

I am certain that this is not a tactic to trick the unwitting.

I am not condoning the mocking of people. I am just trying to make sure people see that it isn't a trick - it's a joke.

I am not at all trying to add to any tension - rather I hope to relieve possible readers of the misconception that Jeff Meyers is secretly trying to let poor sheep wander into confusion.

Thanks for the time to comment.

Turretinfan said...

Your sympathy for Mr. Meyers is noted. Mr. Wilson is a lot of things, but he's no dunce. If the web site fooled him, it is fair to say it will fool others. Thankfully it appears that the operator of the site (is it Meyers?) has tired of the puerility and stopped adding entries.

-TurretinFan