Saturday, January 26, 2008

Interview with Great-Great-Granddaughter of Brigham Young

I stumbled accross this interview of BY's descendent who came out of Mormonism. It's actually a remarkable testimony. Praise be to the Lord!

It's worth listening to, even if you have time only for the first few minutes (link).

It actually exposes the same flaw that we see in other false gospels:

1. Undermine the value or the reliability of Scripture.
2. Identify your church's teaching as a necessary supplement.
3. Complain against those who wish to return to the Bible alone.


A Different Apologetic Approach - ANON vs. Scientology

As many of you may already be aware, a hacker group known as "ANON" (as in "Anonymous") has recently declared war on Scientology. (open letter by video here) They are a very capable and elite group of hackers. Their stated goal is eradication of Scientology from the Internet. This not their first mission, and they have been generally successful in their past missions, from what we know.

Scientology is evil, and it is good news that it is being opposed. On the other hand, while ANON is taking a stand against an evil organization, we must not therefore fully endorse ANON's methods or mentality, for both are contrary to a Christian worldview.

1. Christians must have a respect for the civil government.

Many of ANON's techniques are illegal. There is no denying this, and ANON would certainly agree. ANON may seek to justify the illegality of its actions by appealling to the end (goal) of the actions. The ends, however, do not justify the means.

2. Christians must forgive

We have been forgiven much. A proper understanding of the sinfulness of our own sin should make any Christian willing to forgive others. ANON's anthem is "We do not forgive, we do not forget ..." but this is not Christianity's message.

3. Christians must seek the glory of God

ANON's message is that they have chosen to take down Scientology for a variety of reasons, but one of the top reasons is for their own amusement. I believe that this stated reason is sincere on their part. Scientology represents a very challenging target: it is far more litigious, technologically savvy and resourceful than virtually any other body. To defeat Scientology on the Internet would represent an enormous feather in their collective hat. Furthermore, Scientology represents much that hacker world hates most: censorship.

Christian apologetics, however, must be motivated by the glory of God. We share with ANON the goal of eradicating Scientology, but we have radically different reasons. We oppose Scientology because it is a false gospel.


It is difficult to predict the ultimate outcome of ANON's attempts to destroy Scientology. I cannot think that it will be entirely successful (Scientology is very well connected politically and very wealthy), but I would be happy to be wrong. Nevertheless, unless those burdened with Scientology are brought to Christ, it will all be in vain. There is little value in removing someone from a false gospel, if they are not brought to the truth.


Friday, January 25, 2008

A Little Humor

I'm sure the critics will respond, "very little."


Here's a little web site offering aromatic fares. I'm not sure if they have nihil obstat or imprimatur, but they smell of Popery!

Reformed Musings Recommends ...

... the Confessional Presbyterian Journal (link). This journal sounds like a great antitode to a lot of the inept modernity that has been circulating in Presbyterian circles these days. I hope it takes off!


Universal Atonement - Distinguished

There is a sense in which the benefits of Christ's death spill over to the reprobate. We refer to these benefits as the incidental benefits of Christ's death. One such benefit is the stay of punishment against the wicked, which the wicked use to their own condemnation to pile up more guilt. Nevertheless, it is forbearance, and is the result of God's mercy. The main reason for this forbearance is God's desire to save the elect.

Recall the parable of the wheat and tares.

Matthew 13:24-30
24Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Matthew 13:36-43
36Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

It is about these incidental benefits that Spurgeon speaks in his discussion that has been posted by the Pyromaniacs here (link).

This is the Calvinist position, whether or not Spurgeon has it explained it in the most precise way or with appropriate and correct exegesis of each verse in question.

This is not the same as saying, for example, that Christ's blood was shed for the remission of the sins of the reprobate. It was not so shed. Christ did not redeem the reprobate, and in dying he did not intend to save them.

Thus, Spurgeon is no Amyraldian, no matter how much certain fellows (e.g.) may wish to claim him as their own.


Calvin was not a Federal Visionist

In case it was ever in doubt, here are some helpful passages to make up one's mind (part 1) (part 2), thanks to Machaira.

Swan's Response to Michuta on the Canon

James Swan has provided a two part response to a portion of Gary Michuta's recent book on the canon. If the subject, and particularly it's relation to Luther, interests you, you should check out his detailed comments:

(part 1)
(part 2)


R. Scott Clark - RPW and Offerings

I enjoyed R. Scott Clark's rather cerebral blog post on offerings with respect to the Regulative Principle of Worship (RPW). I tend to agree that they are a circumstance, not an element. I do not see any problem omitting them entirely from the service, particularly as they tend to become an uncomfortable silence that must be filled by entertainment, normally in the form of musical performance. RSC's comments here: (link).

Convicting Thoughts on the Lord's Day

This author does not want Pharisaism (nor legalism either), and yet one cannot read accounts of even modern Jewish reverence for the Sabbath without being convicted that we could do more to reverence and sanctify the Lord's day. More discussion here (link).

May God give us greater respect for the fourth commandment (Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy!),


Holy Water Debate Conclusion

I've posted my conclusion to the Holy Water Debate, over at the debate blog (link). Enjoy!

Remember, up to five audience questions will be accepted. I've already received a couple, and if we get more than five, I'll pick two and PC will pick three.

To the Glory of God!


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Check Out James White's New Site

My measily Zoom Cloud shouldn't get all the attention (though I presume its flattered), when Dr. James White and his Alpha and Omega Ministries has a brand new look for their web site (link), and an interesting new article addressing Piper, addressing Islam (link).


Amstrong Predicts

"And be sure to watch how this very post is responded to. It'll be very informative, for sure. There will be mockery and more insults. It's almost like a law of the universe with these guys. We can have some fun with it in a certain "warped humor" sense, I suppose: one last bombardment from our charitable opponents, who say we are no Christians at all (but they are: and they prove it every day with their extraordinary charity towards us unregenerate heathen idolaters, likely headed for hell)." (source)


1. The truth is that we (the Reformed) have a different gospel from Rome, and ours is right.
2. Those who ignore (or mock) the gospel, do so at their own peril.
3. If it is not "charity" to warn the lost of hell, then what is "charity"?
4. Does this response match Armstrong's prediction, or does he owe me an apology?


Rating the Messiah

Nick Norelli makes a good point here, that the statement: "Jesus Christ is Overrated," is dead wrong. (link)

It's impossible to overrate Jesus, unless one were to try to make him greater than the Father.

Instead, the second person of the Trinity is consistently underrated. He was despised and rejected; he had no honor in his own country; he came into the world, and unto his own, and was not generally received.

Islam, while even while superstitiously muttering "[may] peace be upon him" underrates the Messiah as merely a great prophet.

Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. It is impossible for us to give Him all the honor and praise he deserves. He is worthy of all our praise, and we are inadequate to the task of giving him what he is due.

Thanks be to God that Jesus Christ's righteousness will be held to our account, for He honored the Father in all that He did,


Dining at Dover

Years ago, before the Chunnel, Dover England was known for its white, chalk cliffs. These rocks are very in calcium: in fact they are mostly calcium carbonate. Calcium is an important mineral for human life. Bones have a large calcium composition, and most doctors these days recommend calcium supplements to women, especially as the approach and pass menopause.

It would be absurd to seize on the fact of Calcium's importance, to move to Dover and start dining on its cliff faces. Living off the land: literally! It wouldn't just be absurd, it would be deadly. A person would die if he attempted to do such a thing.

We see a similar mistake in a recent post by "Orthodox," who states: "White is effectively telling us that tradition ought to influence our interpretation of the text," and then continues, "Great! But by how much, one might ask? Once given permission to employ this principle, he can hardly complain if we really employ it, can he?" (emphasis original) (source)

And of course, the answer is that we can complain if people abuse any good thing. Paul gave Timothy permission to drink alcohol:

1 Timothy 5:23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.

But that was not permission for Timothy to get really "medicated" whenever he wanted. Frankly, it would be absurd to suggest such a thing, and it would take a die-hard alcoholic to seek to justify his abuse by reference to that verse.

Even so, tradition has a place. Tradition is useful, and it is arrogant to ignore tradition. The Reformers have been noting this from the beginning of the Reformation. Orthodox mentions one part of the Dividing Line message (link to DL) that interested him, but he forgets to mention that Calvin (for example) frequently made reference to and relied on the teachings of the early church fathers.

"Orthodox" mockingly claims that if "ignoring the historical position of the church equals arrogance, then being a Reformed Baptist has got to be pretty high on the arrogance scale," but his comment simply betrays his own ignorance of Reformed Baptists. It's hardly the case that "Reformed Baptists" ignore church history. They may get some of it wrong, and they may have difficulty justifying their baptismal practices historically, but they don't "ignore" history - at least none that I have met do.

"Orthodox" also asks: "why are they holding positions unknown in the history of the first 15 centuries of church?" (of which, "Orthodox" supposes that limited atonement is an example) Poor "Orthodox" - I really think he believes his own propaganda, and yet it is cruelly ironic, because he is demonstrating his ignorance of church history.

Limited atonement can be viewed, and I'll not get into the full argument here (nor in the combox), as simply a more developed explanation of atonement as that provided by Anselm of Cantebury (1033-1109) and expanded upon by Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). "Orthodox" may even be surprised to realize that the controversy over "limited atonement" actually post-dates Calvin (not because Calvin was a universalist as the Amyraldians would like to content), but simply because it was not a matter of debate. It became an issue when the universalist position became advocated by the Remonstrants.

Indeed, while limited atonement per se may not have been discussed previously, it was largely because of a lack of controversy. It is not as though Calvin or Luther cast of the shackles of universalism to rediscover the truth of limited atonement: instead, the Reformation more fully developed soteriological doctrines that were already known.

But that historical trivia is mostly an ironic aside. The bottom line is that whether or not the doctrine were merely a revival of a Scriptural doctrine, or a better explanation of an existing doctrine within Western Christianity, tradition is not the end of the matter. In the former case, if the Bible says it, we must believe it, and we must buck the contrary tradition, though not without caution. In the latter case, we must be sure to confirm that the doctrine is not just traditional but also Biblical.

In short, we must have a balanced diet. We must use our minds: we must search Scripture. On the other hand, we must do so with caution, aware of our own fallibility, and appreciative of the effort of theological giants that have gone before us. We must resist the urge to cast off the traditions of the elders in favor of anarchy and antinomianism. Tradition is good and useful, as part of healthy church life. But we'd be Dover diners to try to live by tradition rather than by the Word of God.

As Luther pointed out, relying on tradition alone ends most controversies: but does so by doctrinal stagnation. Deep mud doesn't create a stir - in fact it, in a sense, stabilizes; but those mired therein are not better for the stability it provides. Don't fall prey to Satan's devices: do not cease to search Scripture.

May God give us wisdom as we do so,


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heresy in the Guise of Charity

James Jordon, in a recent post at "Biblical Horizons," has thoughts on this thesis: "it has been my observation that in every group there are those with a healthy catholic attitude toward other Christians and also those with a proud and condescending attitude toward others who call themselves Christians."

James really ought to have capitalized that "c" in "catholic."

Look at James' examples:

- Lutherans ... supposedly have better music.

Jordan pompously insists that instruments in worship are a "must" and goes on to complain that Lutherans have the best congregational song. There's no accounting for taste, as the saying goes. I still love the sound of the voices of the congregation singing, unaccompanied, the Psalms of David.

- Baptists ... supposedly are better at evangelism.

Perhaps Reformed Baptists are (though, frankly, I have not seen evidence to back that claim up). Non-reformed Baptists claim many proselytes, but most present a gospel message that is wildly distorted! One cannot be a "good evangelist" unless one has the gospel. Besides all that, Jordan is distinguishing between Calvinists and Baptists, which presumes he has overlooked the Reformed Baptists in the process.

- Roman Catholics ... are supposedly better than "other Christians" at setting up hospitals and mercy missions.

Frankly, I have no way to evaluate the claim that he makes. I'm aware of plenty of non-Catholic medical (and the like) missions. Nevertheless, Catholics make up a large fraction of the population in some parts, so perhaps they have some edge in Jordan's perception. The bigger problem is with Jordan's blanket classification of Roman Catholics as Christians. While individual Roman Catholics (in the sense of adhering to an RC congregation) may be saved, just as anyone is saved, namely by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, Roman Catholicism is apostate: it is outside the visible church, because of its rejection of salvation by grace alone, and its rejection of justification through faith alone, as well as other things. Anyone who seeks salvation the way that Rome invites, will be lost. Nevertheless, God's word is able to work even through corrupt means. Consequently, just because someone is affiliated with the Roman Catholic church does not mean he is lost.

- Methodists ... supposedly "outdid" us in America.

What does Jordan mean? Jordan means that Methodists gained more adherants. Jordan rails against an “educated clergy,” claiming that this "eliminated vast numbers of men with pastoral gifts in favor of a scholarly elite." Jordan's an anti-intellectualism is natural, for those with sound thinking will see through his position. Nevertheless, it's important to note why "Calvinists" insisted on trained preachers, rather than novices, in the pulpit. Not only does the Bible insist that elders not be novices (which would be cause enough), but practically this helps to stem the flow of heresy. It is easier for an uneducated man to be buffetted about from untenable position to untenable position, until his ego alights on a position that renders unassailable through force of dogmatism, without justification.

- Episcopalians ... supposedly have been able best to work with "the halls of secular power."

Presumably Jordan means "the civil magistrate," or "the national/state/local goverment." It seems to me that the Quakers outdid the Episcopaleans, but how does one measure such things. Jordan even goes further and asserts that, "Episcopal church government is closer to the Bible," a statement that goes so far beyond supportable, that one wonders what Bible Jordan has been reading!

- The Pentacostals ... are supposedly more enthusiastic.

Well, this is mostly true, but enthusiasm is only good when balanced. The Reformed tradition balances enthusiasm with order, discipline, and most crucially, with truth! Irrational exuberance is what leads to stock market crashes and disorder of every kind, including heresy.

Jordan's thesis is not completely wrong. There are ways in which other Christians "outdo" us. The verse in question, though speaks to us as individuals, not the Christian church as a whole. Jordan is misapplying the verse as a platform to speak against sound doctrine and practice, and to blur the lines between Christian and heretic. This truly is a grave error, and one hopes that Jordan will repent from it. For those interested to confirm my representation of what JBJ said: (link).

May God give us wisdom to remove the beams from our own eyes,


UPDATE: Meanwhile, his fellow Federal Visionist, Douglas Wilson has post similarly perpetuating negative stereotypes of Calvinists ("Some die-hard Calvinists may have glanced at the title of this message--friendship evangelism--and asked, "What's evangelism?" Or, if they are really die-hard Calvinists, perhaps they asked, "What's friendship?"") here (link).

The real Turretin: On Christmas

I stumbled recently across this post, in which the author (about 80% of the way through the article) transcribes the real Turretin's view on Christmas. (link) Obviously, I don't share the views of the articles' author, even if I do share the views of Turretin, Calvin, etc., whom he cites.

Also, by the way, I enjoyed the title of his blog: "Autonomy is Madness." How true that is!

The Real Turretin: on Justification

GreenBaggins has posted an article that provides a small piece of Turretin's writings on Justification (link). The article complains about the lack of free availability of Turretin in electronic form. It's worth noting that Turretin's magnum opus is freely available (link), but there is a catch: it's in the original Latin.

For more (in English) of Turretin on Justification:

Justification, Forensic or Moral? (answer: Forensic) (link) (second link) (third link)


Various Readings of the Great Luther Citation

The following are the fourteen readily obtainable uses by authors of the spurious Latin gloss on Luther's statement, as instigated by Cochlaeus and perpetuated by Bellarmine, and as brought to the public's attention as spurious by both Whitaker and Swan. The words: "Si diutius steterit mud, iteru erit necessariu, ut, ppter diversas Scripture interptationes, q nunc sunt, ad coservandam fidei unitatem, Concilioru ..." are Cochlaeus' words, not Luther's words. This has been shown. Armstrong mentioned that the entire passage by Cochlaeus may be forthcoming. That would be wonderful, as it would permit us to fill out the first item in the list, and particularly to see whether Cochlaeus handled the matter like Grisar.

These are only the readings in which the Latin language is used. It is also known that there are additional related readings in German and English.

1. Si diutius steterit mud, iteru erit necessariu, ut, ppter diversas Scripture interptationes, q nunc sunt, ad coservandam fidei unitatem, Concilioru ... [which, being expanded is: Si diutius steterit mundus, iterum erit necessarium, ut propter diversas Scripturae interpretationes, quae nunc sunt, ad conservandam fidei unitatem, Conciliorum ...] Cochlaeus, [work from Opuscula] (link to snippet) (link to book) (info about book) Opuscula includes, “De canonicae scripturae et catholicae ecclesiae auctoritate,” the speculative original source of the fictious gloss.

2. Lutherus ipse in lib. 1. cont. Zwingl. et Oecolampad., nonne scriptum reliquit; Si diutius steterit Mundus, iterum fore necessarium, propter diversas Scripturae interpretationes quae nunc sunt, ut ad conservandam Fidei unitatem, Conciliorum decreta recipiamus, atque ad ea confugiamus.
Bellarmine, Opera Omnia, p. 98 (link)

3. Quare Martinus Lutherus in lib. cont. Zuvinglium de verit. corp. Euchar. Si diutius, inquit, steterit mundus, iterm erit necessarium, ut propter diversas Scripturae interpretationes quae nunc sunt, ad conservandam fidei unitatem, conciliorum decreta recipiamus , atque ad ea confugiamus.
Bellarmine, Opera Omnia, p. 76 (link)

4. Lutherus ipse scribens contra Zwinglium et Oecolampadium I. 1. ait: Si diutius steterit mundus, iterum fore necessarium, propter diversas Scripturae interpretationes, quae nunc sunt, ut ad conservandam fidei unitatem, Conciliorum decreta recipiamus, atque ad ea confugiamus.
Mellini, p. 138, Institutiones Biblicae (link)

5. Luther lib. 1. contra Zwinglium et Oecolampadium ait: si diutius steterit mundus iterum fore necessarium propter diversas sacrae scripturae interpretationes quae nunc sunt, ut ad conservandam fidei unitatem, Conciliorum decreta recipiamus, et ad ea confugiamus.
Leibniz, Philosophische Schriften 4, p. 2288 (link)

6. Luther, writing to Zwinglius, said, “If the world lasts for a long time, it will be again necessary, on account of the different interpretations which are now given to the Scriptures, to receive the decrees of Councils, and take refuge in them, in order to preserve the unity of the faith.—Si diutius steterit mundus, iterum erit necessarium, propter diversas Scripturœ interpretationes quœ nunc sunt, ad conservandam fidei unitatem, ut conciliorum decreta recipiamus, atque ad ea confugiamus."
Balmes, Protestantism and Catholicity Compared in Their Effects on the Civilization …, p423 (link) (p. 360 in this version)

7. (1) Luther lui-même écrivait : « Si diutius steterit muridus, iterum necessarium erit, ut propter diversas Scripturœ interpretationes quae mine sunt, ad conservandam fidei unitatem, Conciliorum decreta recipiamus atque ad ea confugiamus. » De veritate corporis Christi cont. Zuinglium.
Bacuez (and Vigouroux), Manuel Biblique, p. 215 (link)

8. Such was the confusion in the camp of Protestantism, that Luther himself had to exclaim "si diutius steterit mundus, iterum esset necessarium, ut propter diversas scripturae interpretationes quae nunc sunt, ad conservandam fidei unitatem concilii decreta recipiamus atque ad ea confugiamus''—(De Veritate Corporis Christi contra Zwinglium.)
Hallinan, Modern Erroneous Systems of Biblical Interpretation (pub. In Irish ecclesiastical record), p. 236 (link)

9. Imo iam olim Luther, de veritate corporis Christi contra Zvingl. scripsit : „Si diutius steterit mundus, iterum erit necessarium, ut propter diversas Scripturae interpretationes, quae nunc sunt, ad conservandam fidei unitatem Concilii decreta recipiamus, atque ad ea confugiamus."
Ranolder, Hermeneuticae Biblicae Generalis Principis Rationalia Christiana et Catholica, p. 272 (link)

10. Luther écrivait dans une lettre à Zwingle, qu'à cause des interprétations différentes de l'Ecriture sainte, il faudrait, pour conserver l'unité de la religion, admettre de nouveau les décrets des conciles et y avoir recours. « Si mundus diutius steterit, ad conservandam fidei unitatem iterum erit necessarium propter diversas Scriptura interpretationes ut conciliorum decreta recipiamus, atque ad ea confugiamus. »
Buszczynski, La Decadence de l’Europe, p. 429 (link)

11. Et c'est icy ou je crois d'avoir fermement prouvé que nous avons besoin d'une autre Regle pour nostre foy outre la Regle de l'Escritture Sainte : Si diutius steterit mundus (dict une bonne fois Luther *), iterum fore necessarium, propter diversas Scripturae interpretationes quae nunc sunt, ut ad conservandam fidei unitatem Conciliorum decreta recipiamus, atque ad ea confugiamus; il confesse qu'auparavant on la recevoit, et confesse que ci apres il le faudra faire. J'ay esté long, mays cecy une fois bien entendu, n'est pas un petit moyen de se resouvre a une tressainte deliberation. [marginal note] * Contra Zuing. et Œcol.(1) [footnote] (1) In libro, Qod haec verba, « Hoc est corpus meum, » etc. Vide in Parte Prima, cap. III, art. IV, p. 97.
Francis, Oeuvres de Saint Francois de Sales, p. 207 (link)

12. Lutherus ipse sic scribebat 83): Si diutius steterit mundus , iterum necessarium erit, ut propter diversas scripturae interpretationes, quae nunc sunt, ad conservandam Fidei unitatem Conciliorum decreta (Tridentini videlicet) recipiamus atque ad ea confugiamus."
Brunati, De nomine, auctore, emendatoribus et authentia Vulgatæ dissertatio, typis …, pages 45-46 (link)

13. And he is willing in his despair to take refuge from the anarchy he has made in the decrees of the Catholic Councils.FN12 … FN12 “Erit necessarium, ad conservandum fidei unitatem, ut Conciliorum decreta recipiamus atque ad ea confugiamus.” – Letter to Zwingli
Dominic Bevan Wyndham Lewis, Charles of Europe (link to snippet) (link to book) (link to second copy of book)

14. „Si diutius steterit mundus, iterm erit necessarium, propter diversas scripturae interpretationes quae nunc sunt, ad conservandam fidei unitatem, ut conciliorum decreta recipiamus, atquae ea confugiamus." List Lutra do Zwingli.
Aleksander Tyszyński, "Rozbiory i krytyki," "Pczatki, Filozofii Krajowej," Page 264, Footnote 1 (link)

15. Noverat hoc exitiosissimum periculum iam ipsemet LUTHERUS, qui teste Cochlaeo in l. de canon. Script. auctoritate c. II ingenue sassus est : „ Si diutius mundus steterit, iterum erit necessarium , ut ob divinas Scripturae interpretationes, quae nunc sunt, ad conservandam fidei unitatem concilii decreta recipiamus.”
Chrismann, Regula Fidei Catholicae et collection domatum …, p. 68 (link)

This may be updated at some point, for example, either as additional examples/details/etc. come to light, or as related readings in other languages are addressed. This was originally posted just after midnight London time on 23 January 2008. It will probably get backdated along with all the Luther citation materials, as it does not demand a great deal of further immediate attention. At the moment, the list exceeds the growing list at Armstrong's corresponding page, in that it also includes the use by Ranolder, as well as the full text of the use by Wyndham (Armstrong was apparently unable to obtain the relevant text) and the use by Aleksander Tyszyński.

Adding the English usage will complicate the tree.

For example, we see Balmes' English regurgitated in

Everett Pomeroy, "'The Great Reformation' a Great Mistake," p. 13 (link) (1912)

But, on the other hand, we see Rheims' English regurgitated in

Thomas Grave Law, "The Latin Vulgate as the Authentic Version of the Church," p. 62 (link)


Will Converse Wood, "Five Problems of State and Religion," p. 237 (link)

and quoted uncrtically:

Brooke Foss Westcott, "A General View of the History of the English Bible," p. 257 (link)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Of the life of the real Turretin

Here's an article, the first portion of which discusses the real Turretin (link).

Monday, January 21, 2008

Jackson's Birthday

And, of course, as a follow-up to my previous post (link), today is the birthday of General "Stonewall" Jackson: military hero and devout Christian gentleman. Born in 1824. Read more here.

UPDATE: Benjamin Glaser's tribute (here).

So much for Ian Paisley!

It's about time the Free Presbyterian church had a new moderator, and yet I extend my sympathies to them at what must be a difficult moment. One only wonders if this news report that Paisley has joined in a Catholic prayer service will be followed in a few months by an announcement that he has become formally associated with church of Rome. (link)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Metzger vs. Michuta

UPDATE: I'm not totally satisfied with this post, and I'm thinking of deleting it. Part of the problem is that the link I have provided is to the main page of Michuta's web site, and not to a particular page on which the article could be found on any permanent basis. I'm thinking about deleting this one.

Metzger writes: "Finally on 8 April 1546, by a vote of 24 to 15, with 16 abstensions, [sic] the Council issued a decree (De Canonicis Scriptures) in which, for the first time in the history of the Church of the Church, the question of the contents of the Bible was made an absolute article of faith and confirmed by an anathema." (source) (p. 246)

Michuta responds: "Metzger was really saying was that the Decree on the Canon promulgated on April 8, 1546 [sic] was the first decree on the Canon to include an anathema, which was adopted by a 24 to 15 vote with 16 abstaining." (source)

Michuta also claims: "Metzger didn't really read Trent very carefully because the vote he recorded likely wasn't even on the anathema and even if it was "nothing was decided” by it." (Id.)

We'll be digging into this in more detail a bit later. It will be interesting to see if Metzger got a fairly simple historical fact wrong, or whether Michuta did. Considering that Metzger is a renowned scholar, and Michuta isn't, it would seem to be a safe bet to go with Metzger.

Nevertheless, even experts make mistakes (in fact, the present author is hoping to present some Metzger mistakes on slightly more complex issues soon).

So far:

1) The date given by Metzger is the date on which the decree was adopted.
2) Metzger is claiming that the decree was adopted by the 44% plurality vote (thus, Michuta is wrong about at least that detail).
3) Therefore, by virtue of (2), Michuta's other claims that his Protestant opponents cannot read Metzger are mistaken. It is apparently Michuta who cannot read Metzger.
4) It is odd that Michuta, who seems to have access to some materials on the council, would not simply say, "No: the decree was issued on April 8, 1546, by a vote of: _______," and then cite his source.

To be updated as the occasion demands.

To decide the matter, we would need to identify what Metzger's basis for the claim is. Where did Metzger get the 44% number? Michuta has speculatively reconstructed a vote that he thinks matches the 44% number. Michuta calls it a "straw vote" and says it wasn't even on the anathema. This suggests Michuta may have found the wrong vote.

Sadly, Prof. Metzger died recently (less than a year ago), so unfortunately he is not around to defend his name against Michuta's charges.


UPDATE: In an act of hypocrisy, Dave Armstrong has taken the opportunity to accuse James White of deficient research for relying on secondary sources ("deficient research" and "miscalculated a bit concerning his description of a vote at the Council of Trent") after recently defending Steve Ray's reliance on secondary sources (link). Of course, that issue is simply among the weeds. So far, Michuta's claim that the decree was not adopted by the vote identified by Metzger is unsubstantiated. Let's see if Metzger was right or wrong. (UPDATE to the UPDATE: DA has now claimed in his own combox that he was not criticizing James White for using secondary sources, and clearly his post doesn't use the words "secondary sources." Since Metzger (the secondary source) clearly gives the same information White does, and since the page DA links to mentions that fact ... readers may draw their own conclusions about DA.)

FURTHER UPDATE: Carrie has given some details of this in a recent post at Beggars All Reformation. Teste Carrie, Metzger cited Jedin (second link) (older vol. 1, vol. 2) (new German version) (older German version) (several of Jedin's works may be getting conflatted in this rushed update), who gives the details of the vote. He also cited a German author, (Maichle, Albert) Der Kanon der biblischen Bücher und das Konzil von Trient (second link) (1929). (Carrie also corrected a typo found in this post.)

ADDITIONAL UPDATE: Carrie has given some more details (here). I'd summarize her points, but then you'd miss the fun way in which she presents them. As I note in the comment section there: What I find interesting is Michuta's reliance on "Concilium Tridentinum." It's not as though the Council of Trent itself published a journal of its proceedings. Or perhaps I'm wrong. And, if so, I wonder if Michuta could direct us to that work. Based on the typography in the Michuta's cut-n-paste jobs, I imagine he's referring to the immediately succeeding volume (i.e volume 5) of this work (link to volume 4).

One wonders whether we can expect out-of-date photos of Metzger, Jedin, etc. along with more claims of "deficient research" and "miscalculat[ion]" to pop up on DA's site any time soon. After all, "Michuta locuta est, causa finita est.”

The Real Turretin: Covenant with Adam

Those studying the covenants may be interested to check out what the real Turretin had to say about the Covenant made with Adam (not only for himself, but for his posterity) here: (link, courtesy of "A Puritan's Mind").


Works of Thomas Boston

The Works of Thomas Boston, which are worth reading, have been scanned by Google Books:

Vol. 1
Vol. 2
Vol. 3
Vol. 4
Vol. 5
Vol. 6
Vol. 7
Vol. 8
Vol. 9
Vol. 10
Vol. 11

Discovered over at the PuritanBoard (link); I haven't gone through to check that the information is associating correctly to the correct volume. Remember that these are downloadable as pdfs.


On-Line Bibles

I'm pleased to announce that the German Bible Society has now made publicly available, via the internet, the text of:

The Hebrew Bible (BHS)
The LXX (Rahlfs/Hanhart)
The Nestle-Aland Critical Greek NT (NA27)
The Vulgate (Weber/Gryson)
and others

Get it here (link)
Thanks to Nick Norelli for bringing it to my attention (link).