Friday, March 16, 2012

Live Islam Debate

Dr. James White vs Iamam Jawad Al Ansari - right now. Here:

It's been exceptionally good so far.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Video Game Theodicy

In a recent post, the inimitable Steve Hays provides an interesting critique of a video game theodicy (link). My own video game theodicy is not subject to the same criticisms, I trust.

Imagine that a video game designer makes a video game like Pac-Man. Can anyone seriously imagine one of the little ghosts complaining that the video game designer is "evil" because the game is designed such that they can get eaten by the player's character? We would view that as absurd. The designer did not even have to include the ghosts in the first place. The player's character could be pitted against the clock, or against fewer ghosts.

The ghosts aren't even the point of the game. Their happiness is not the primary objective of the game designer. In fact, their mood itself is something that video designer decides. If they are unhappy - they are unhappy.

I can anticipate the objection: we're not sprites, we're human beings. Well, Scripture compares you not to sprites but to sheep. Even less than sheep or sprites, Scripture compares man to pots. Pots aren't even animated!

Once we realize that God does not have any moral obligation to care about our happiness, we can start to realize the amazing grace of God in sending his son to save the elect.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

40 Arabic Words vs. 33 Greek Words

Just as 300 Greek soldiers stopped more numerous Persian warriors, so 33 Greek words are greater than 40 Arabic words, as James White and IV Connerly demonstrate:

Darryl Hart on the Republication Overture - Smearing the Authors

I was sad to see this exchange:

Darryl G. Hart to Mark:
Mark, you mean the overture written by some who accused Westminster California of Pelagianism?
Of course, Hart thinks that it is absurd to suggest that Westminster California might be guilty of Pelagianism, so this is his attempt to portray the authors of the overture as kooks.

Mark to DGH:
Darryl, would you supply some evidence that some ministers made this accusation?
Rather than rushing to judgment, Mark asks Hart for the evidence.

DGH to Mark:
Mark, are you looking for more evidence or are you taken aback that this charge would be made? I’m reluctant to give you another flawed source to quote against ministers in your denomination.

Anyway, I thought you knew more about the criticisms than I did.
Notice that initially Hart defers.  Of course, he gives a reason for his deferral, but see what happens.

Mark to DGH:
No, Darryl, it’s neither of those things.

To put it in your terms, I’m just calling your bluff.

So where’s your evidence of an OPC minister accusing WSC of Pelagianism?
Mark clarifies his request.

DGH to Mark:
Mark, I thought you thought I didn’t know what was going on in the OPC. Why don’t you stick to the URC and leave Presbyterianism to us Gentiles?

Here is an excerpt from the lengthy Kerux ( review of The Law Is Not of Faith (it culminates a lengthy introduction to a bloated review that puts the entire book in the context of coming down on the wrong side of Augustine vs. Pelagius):

“This is unwitting Pelagianism (calling it “typological” does not alter its
essential and substantial character) and Augustinian Calvinists are correct to see it as a threat to sola gratia as Augustine saw it 1600 years ago.”

I guess this just proves that no one reads Kerux.
Of course, saying that a particular author is committing unwitting Pelagianism is quite a bit different, from having "accused Westminster California of Pelagianism," but wait - there's more!

Mark to DGH:
Darryl, I asked for evidence that the authors of the overture I mentioned had accused WSC of Pelagianism.

You answer with the Kerux article who argued that theology that says sinners can “merit” God’s reward is “unwitting” Pelagianism.

None of the authors of the Kerux article were authors of the overture.

So, where’s the evidence?
Mark notices the key problem with Hart's evidence.  Hart's evidence isn't from the pen of one of the authors that Hart was defaming.

Mark continuing:
For the readers’ {and Darryl’s} benefit, here’s the overture:
Notice that Mark provides evidence.

DGH to Mark:
Mark, so let me get this straight. WSC is guilty of infidelity for the slightest infraction of departure from the glories of neo-Calvinism. But if an overture originates from a presbytery where a seminary is located whose founder has a journal that makes complaints about a book similar to those of the overture, it’s only coincidence?

Once again, your slipperiness is astounding. Just be honest and above board in your disagreements. Make a case that this view is outside the standards of our churches. Don’t simply traffic in innuendo.

At least the 2kers are upfront about their disagreements. Your complaint seems to be no more than they disagree with what you’ve always thought. I wonder where you would have come down on Calvin and Luther.
Rather than apologizing for his defamation, Hart accuses Mark of "slipperiness" and suggests that Mark is dishonest.  Then, without batting an eye, Hart accuses Mark, suggesting that he not "simply traffic in innuendo."

One wonders whether Hart's presbytery is aware that this is how Hart acts on the Internet.