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Musculus and the Man in the Leaky Boat

June 14, 2009

A few months ago I published a brief piece on Bullinger and The Man who Thought he was a Robot. Today I want to build and expand on that post. What I will do here is post a series of rebuttal points to certain claims made here and here. The wider context to that can be found here. Readers should check out the entire post, the relevant posts preceding this one, and the comments, if they have time and inclination. This new post is also based upon my comment here.

What I want to do today is focus only on the historical aspects which speak to methodology. I will deliberately avoid interacting with irrelevant aspects, such as the claims regarding Bunyan by that commenter. I am after bigger fish today. If the reader glances at the Bullinger and The Man who Thought he was a Robot post, one will see that part of what I do there is challenge the idea that we can not draw any sure conclusions reagarding Reformers’ view on the extent of the atonement, or that to do so would or could be anachronistic, given the (unsustainable) allegation that the extent of the atonement was not debated prior to Arminius or the French Amyraldian controversy. What is more, from that post, I build and expand the first two points. After that, today I will supplement them with extra comments.

1) Just because a topic was not debated, does not mean a given person could not have had an opinion on a given subject. Or that they could not have explicitly meant what they quite apparently said.

For examples, we would be stupid if we said that prior to Augustine, the early church had no settled understanding of eternal security, or before Athanasius, the early church had no proper understanding of the deity of Christ, that they had no need to be careful in their terminology. Or that we could not make warranted inferences from these men before the issues were debated.

2) However, we do know the topic of limited atonement was debated in era of the first generation Reformers. Even going back, it was clarified by Prosper in the 5thC. It was debated again by Gottschalk in the 9thC. It was settled, clarified, codified again by Lombard in the 12thC. Lombard’s synthesis was reaffirmed by Thomas in the 13thC. We know that Bucer debated it in the 16thC, in some form or another. We know that Trent (1545-1563) condemned limited atonement in the same period. We know that Calvin knew about this specific condemnation because he cites it in his refutation of Trent. He notes its, but does not challenge it. Needless to say, if the issue was not debated until after Calvin, say sometime into the 1620s, there is no reason then why Trent would condemn the doctrine of limited atonement, unless there had been some previous contention. So the issue was known to the Reformers.

Furthermore as we move into the 157 to 1580s, we also know unlimited expiation was being defended in the 1580s by Kimedoncius no less: against the Socinians and Universalists.

Kimedoncius this in his second introductory epistle to Frederik: At this day we are slandered of malicious men with a new crime that is feigned against us, as though we should deny that Christ died for all men, an impudent reproach. For according to the Scriptures we also confess the same, but we deny, that thereupon it follows that all mankind without exception of any one, are by the death of Christ indeed justified, saved, and restored into the bosom of grace, having received the pardon of their sins, whether they believe or no.

Jacob Kimedoncius, The Redemption of Mankind: Three Books: Wherein the Controversy of the Universality of the Redemption and Grace by Christ, and his Death for All Men, is Largely Handled, trans., by Hugh Ince, (London: Imprinted by Felix Kingston, 1598), Epistle to the Most the Excellent and Renowned Prince, and Lord, the Lord Frederike the Fourth, 9. [Pages for introductory epistles manually numbered from the first epistle.]

Now remember, Kimedoncius was the president of the Heidelberg University, and was friend and contemporary to both Ursinus and Paraeus, and was taught by Zanchi no less. Kimedoncius’ the issue was already getting attention before then, in order to warrant Kimedoncius’ dedication of an entire book to the defense of the doctrine. We know that Ursinus in the 1580s is defending, what Richard Muller calls a non-speculative hypothetical universalism, against the Socinians (recall Richard Muller identifies Ursinus, along with Bullinger and Musculus as holding to this form of non-speculative hypothetical universalism).

3) The allegation that we can not with certainty discern the position of the early Reformers on the basis of their alleged ‘unguarded’ statements is a two-edged sword. If it holds good for one side of the question, then it holds good for the other side of the question. For example, if the so-called unguarded statements which seemingly speak to an unlimited redemption and expiation must be regarded with suspicion, then why not  do likewise for any statements which seem to indicated a limited expiation and redemption. When bloggers assert this rule against one side of the question, but happily go about trying to prove the other side of the question from the same sources, they are being capricious and hypocritical. So for example, how is that Calvin’s comment to Heshusius is somehow clear and perspicuous, but his many comments about redeemed unbelievers going to perdition are somehow vague and uncertain? By what public and testable rules do our proponents give us that we can determine which alleged comment is anachronistic and which is not? To date, our opponents have offered us nothing along these lines.

4) Such an allegation may find a place in the thinking of bloggers, however, at the academic level–which should be of more concern than “bloggers”–all the leading academic contributors do believe that certain positions regarding the Reformers can be discerned. For example, Richard Muller is quite convinced that men like Musculus, Kimedonius, Aretius, Zanchi, Ursinus, Twisse, Bunyan, and many others held to a form of what he calls non-Amyraldian hypothetical universalism and universal redemption. Michael Thomas is another author that comes to mind. Roger Nicole is quite convinced on his side that Calvin held to limited expiation. Jonathan Rainbow likewise. Robert Peterson has shifted ground on this too, now conceding that the doctrine of limited atonement was debated in the time of Bucer (here he confesses Rainbow has persuaded him on this point. Keep in mind, Calvin spent a year with Bucer in Strasbourg.

It is now no longer even a case of the weaker allegation that the evidence adduced so far may be taken out of context, or that to seek to discern the position of the Reformers on the extent of the atonement may be an anachronistic enterprise. We are way beyond that now.

5) Next comes the question of second guessing men like Calvin, Musculus and Bullinger. The argument goes something like this:  Had Calvin, Musculus and Bullinger been faced with the later claims by men such as Arminius, they would have modified and guarded their statements, such that all seeming references to unlimited expiation and redemption would have been expunged from their writing. What does this objection entail? Firstly, it entails that the historian is a prophet, and no longer an historian. He now should write history according to what he or she believes should have been the case. The prophet tells that what a given Reformer said was not what they actually meant, and what they actually meant, they didn’t say. The historian should not consider what was actually said, the datum which drives his historical analysis. Secondly, the objection is very naive. We know from the facts of the matter that Socinian and Roman Catholic universalism were present in the time of Calvin, which is a theology far more obnoxious than Arminianism can claimed to be. We know this from Calvin’s contentions with both Georgius and Pighius. We also know from Ursinus work that he debated a Socinian universalist. And we have Kimedoncius’ polemic against Huber. These “universalists” argued for an universal application of Christ’s satisfaction in some sense, even to Satan in some cases. However, did Calvin, did Ursinus, did Kimedoncius, in response to this, retreat into a doctrine of limited expiation and redemption? No. They maintained their exegetical and theological positions over and against all forms of Socinian and Romanist expressions of universalism. Thirdly, this objection suggests that men like Calvin had a very plastic sense of exegesis, such that in one century they could think a given verse taught a certain doctrine, and yet say a decade later, or 20 years later, in a different theological milieu, they could have just asserted the exact opposite. This objection implies that the early Reformers had a low view of Scripture.

6) The next objection, following from the previous, seems to suggest we really should know the theological world in which the early Reformers worked and developed their theology. What can one say about that? Easily, while it is true that the historian must endeavor to know the theological and cultural context in which a given Reformer lived. All parties would agree with that. However, one must move down from abstract platitudes and actually engage the primary source data. Rarely do I see our detractors do this.

7) Every claim, every theory has to at some point come to application. The rubber does have to meet the road somewhere. Let us try once again to demonstrate and table a specimen to which we invite our most recent detractor to give an account of the following specimen comments, wherein he is warmly invited to apply his historical method in the analysis and interpretation of these verses.

Wolfgang Musculus:

I.)

M. [Musculus] Moreover it is the office of a Mediator not only to pray but also to offer. And he offered himself upon the Cross for all men. For (as says Paul) Christ died for all men. Finally Saint John says that he is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. How then says he that he prays not for the world seeing he died for all men, and was the propitiation for the sins of the whole world? C. [Calvin] this may be briefly answered, that these prayers which seem to be made for all men are notwithstanding restrained to the Elect of God.

Source: Augustine Marlorate (1506-1562) on the Death of Christ.

Marlorate was a martyred French Reformer, commissioned to the French missionary field by the Genevan Consistory.

II.)

II To Whom Sins be forgiven.

If we consider of them which do purchase the forgiveness of their sins by the grace of God, there is but a small number of them, even as it is of the elect in respect of the reprobate, whose sins be withhold for evermore. But we seek not here to whom this grace of forgiveness does befall, but rather to whom it is to be taught and set forth. We can not here appoint upon any certain persons, to whom only this forgiveness of sins is to be preached. All men be generally called unto it, both Jews and Greeks, learned and unlearned, wise and foolish, rich and poor, old and young, men and women. For like as God enclosed all under unbelief that he might have mercy upon all, so he will have this grace of his mercy to be set forth to all men: “So God loved the world,” (says our Savior), “that he gave his only begotten son, that everyone which believes in him should not perish, but have life everlasting.” And in the first epistle of John, we read this: “But in case any man do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the just, and he is the propitiation not for our sins, and for our sins only, but for the sins also of the whole world. I think that there is meant by the world, all mankind, by which the world does consist, from the beginning of it, until the end. Therefore when it is said, that God gave his son for the world, and that he is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world what else is meant, but that the grace of forgiveness of sins is appointed unto all men, so that the Gospel thereof is to be preached unto all creatures? In this respect the gentle love of GOD towards man is set forth unto us to be considered, whereby he would not have any to perish, but all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth. But for all that, this general grace has some conditions going withal, of which we will speak hereafter. Wolfgangus Musculus, Common Places of Christian Religion, trans., by Iohn Merton (London: Imprinted by Henry Bynneman, 1578), 577-8.

Source: Wolfgang Musculus (1497-1563) on the Redemption of Mankind.

What we see in these two comments is that, firstly, Musculus believed that though Christ died for all, he does not pray for all. There are some serious implications here. Secondly, from the subsequent comment that the expiation of Christ is made for all mankind, and that it is an expression of God’s general grace and general love. Notice how Musculus goes out of his way to qualify world as all mankind. Musculus does the same thing again in his comments on John 3:16. Musculus therefore is very guarded, the problem is, he just disagrees with our opponents.

Now Musculus is an interesting case. In his Common Places, he devotes an entire chapter on universal redemption. And in this chapter, he clearly was aware of someone possibly objecting to universal redemption, therefore, he was careful to rebut such an objection. We see, then, even in the light of his awareness of an objection against universal redemption, he continued to affirm it. For those who wish, that entire chapter has been reproduced in the Musculus file.

If we look at certain secondary sources, here is what is really interesting. IN the 1590s, Kimedoncius cites Musculus as holding to an unlimited expiation. Recall Kimedoncius the president of the Hiedelberg University. And then in the 1620s, John Davenant cites Musculus as holding to universal redemption in his treatise on the Death of Christ. That alone is conclusive evidence that we are not taking Musculus out of context. And for modern sources, our opponents should take the time to read and/or listen to Richard Muller: Richard Muller on Non-Amyraldian Precedents to Hypothetical Universalism.

So now the invitation. Its not good enough to simply wave around abstract platitudes about historical methodology. Its not good enough to simply assert that we have taken Musculus out of context. It is not good enough to time and time again just assert that these are examples of unguarded statements. Its not good enough to just wave the magic wand at these men’s statements. It’s not good enough to tell us that what they actually did say was not what the meant to say, and what they meant to save is not actually what they did say. Both propositions, as our detractors must assert, entail a gnostic second guessing on the part of the historian. Indeed, such distractions become rather childish in the long run.

The man in the leaky boat is me. I’ve read enough of our detractors to know this much, responding to their claims is often like trying to plug a holes in a leaky boat. As soon as I plug one, another pops up, and so on. As soon as I respond to one objection from our opponents, whether it’s Turretinfan or Mr Chew, they just move on to some other topic, all the while ignoring the responses I have made. They simply change the goal post to a new location. If Mr Chew just wants to insist that had Musculus been around a few decades later, he would have denied all this, then there is nothing I can say to such a blithe statement, apart from “prove it.” Such statements only exhibit is another case of capricious and invincible ignorance.

I do not expect for one moment a serious reply from Mr Chew, other than more name-calling, condemnation, platitudes, and naked assertions (all of which I am certain will follow), therefore, unless I see some concrete work on Musculus, this man is stepping out of Mr Chew’s leaky boat.

David

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21 Comments leave one →
  1. June 15, 2009 10:19 am

    I see you have not interacted with my alternative interpretation of Bunyan’s work. Since your good friend Tony Byne was the one who utilized that quote as proof of your Amyraldism first, shouldn’t you defend your common interpretation of Bunyan’s post first instead of changing the subject and, in your own words, “ignoring the responses I have made”? Otherwise, why can’t the same leaky boat analogy be applied to you, and that you are “simply change the goal post [from Bunyan’s work] to a new location [Musculus]”? Remember, the Bunyan quote was provided by Byrne first, so the onus is on either of you to defend that quote, NOT shift the goal post to Musculus or any other Reformer.

  2. Flynn permalink*
    June 15, 2009 10:36 am

    Hey Daniel,

    Your Bunyan objection was directed to Tony, not me. I am focusing on your wider claims regarding historical methodology. All I see is that you are studiously avoiding and evading my replies to your historical methodology claims.

    I publicly invite you to post something here on Musculus.

    Post something serious on Musculus, and then I will respond to you.

    Take care,
    David

  3. Reid Ferguson permalink
    June 15, 2009 11:29 am

    Great post. The need for some to have various lights in their camp, and to flatten discussion so as to produce a nonsensically monolithic and reductionistic approach to the atonement is saddening. Alas – I was once there myself. How sweet to know some broader sense of the height, depth, length and breadth of the love of Christ which surpasses understanding. By virtue of it, we shall come to the the fullness of God.

  4. Flynn permalink*
    June 15, 2009 1:05 pm

    Hey there Reid,

    Thanks for the comment. When I was back in my old hyper EPC church in Australia, when the debate was limited the free offer and God’s general love, my old EPC friends would say all the time something like this: “had Calvin been around in the 1620s, he would have said differently.” They got this from the PRC, as its also one of their constant refrains.

    What does that mean? They never prove the assertion.

    The problem is, of course, even by the 1620s and beyond, the Reformed were still affirming general love.

    I would love to see our detractors put the anachronism charge to application and test it out using standard historiographical hermeneutics.

    Regarding Bunyan, though, I should have added that Tony is more than capable to responding to Mr Chew on that if he wants.

    Thanks,
    David

  5. Flynn permalink*
    June 15, 2009 2:11 pm

    As I suspected would happen, Mr Chew refuses to apply his historical method to the case of Musculus. I believe he would refuse to apply it to any of the names listed at the C&C site under the ‘moderate forms of Calvinism documented’ section.

    We do see more name-calling, however, and this:

    It is astonishing that in point 5 of David’s defence, David thinks that we are asking historians to be prophets who can come up with what we think the Reformers would have said and meant instead of reporting what they have said. Evidently, he is not reading our objection alright. What we are saying is that there is such a possibility that it may be the case that the words used by them at their time in their context do not convey the same meaning as what they would have when utilized in our context.

    David Ponter, Neo-Amyraldians and double standards

    Mr Chew is now back-pedaling big time. He now tables a much weaker claim. However, his original wording was clear enough:

    1) The anachronisms of the Neo-Amyraldians

    I would move on to other things soon, but just to note that one thing I have consistently seen in the quotes of the Reformers, Puritans and other great Calvinists thinkers of the past as provided by the Neo-Amyraldians is their consistent anachronisms. It seems that anytime words like ‘common grace’, ‘offer’, ‘desire salvation of all’ and others like them are mentioned by these ancient Reformed divines, then automatically the doctrine of ‘common salvific grace’ and the ‘well-meant sincere offer’ must be taught by these great Christian leaders. What has been notably absent from all these is the ability to interpret such phrases in their contexts and within the framework as believed by most if not all of these giants — Covenantal Theology, with its idea of the collective. As someone who has read the interactions of the Reformed Baptist apologist Dr. James R. White with RC apologists on the topic of the writings of the early Church Fathers, it seems more often than not that the same Roman Catholic tactic of reading modern concepts into words and phrases that was adopted in modern times to bear that modern concept, but which meant something different for the ancient writers, are used by the Neo-Amyraldians to prop up their case… From these two posts, it can be seen that Byrne engages in lots of anachronisms. In fact, since his blog is only on this one topic, and he quotes many different Reformers, Puritans and other Calvinists, it is highly probable that almost all of them are anachronistic as well.

    [underlining mine.]

    2) June 14th, 2009 at 11:15 am

    There is no disagreement with this particular point per se. However, having a pre-controversy position on a subject does not mean that that position has exactly the same nuances and qualifications even meaning as the post-controversy position even if both position statements utilizes the exact same words. Neither does it mean that the person espousing this position would hold to that position under different circumstances. Sentences are said and written in a particular historical and worldview context, and must be interpreted accordingly.

    [underlining mine.]

    3) June 11th, 2009 at 10:46 am

    The fact of the matter is that the so-called “Moderate Calvinism” or “Calvin and Calvinism” blog takes all manner of scholastic quotes OUT OF CONTEXT. Not only that, loose unguarded pre-Remonstrant and pre-Amyrald statements by the early Reformers are quoted anachronistically to “prove” Ponter and his good friend [Tony] Byrne’s Unlimited Limited Atonement position. I have done a bit of preliminary work on this topic some time ago on my own blog here (http://puritanreformed.blogspot.com/search/label/Amyraldism%2FNeo-Amyraldism).

    [underlining mine.]

    So the invitation still holds good. Mr Chew must prove his strong or his weak claims. Take your “method,” assumptions, whatever it takes, and apply them to the case of Musculus cited above. Tell us why we have no good reason to read Musculus as teaching universal expiation and that Christ died for all.

    Mr Chew this is really my last unless you can supply some concrete data to your claims.

    David

  6. June 16, 2009 7:24 am

    David:

    far from backpeddling, it seems you either refuse to or are pathologically unable to understand my points. I can address Musculus’ writings if I wanted to, but would you change your mind if I were to do so, or would you shift the goalpost once more? I am not here to play games with you, so unless you show me you are willing to play by your own standards, why should I bother talking to the wall? I have provided ONE interpretation of Bunyan, yet you persist in saying that we have not “engage[d] the primary sources directly”, a blatant lie I may say since I have engaged ONE primary source at least. You have misrepresented even my response to you (which I why I say it is a non-response), which I have documented on my blog. With such bad faith on your part, why should I think you would actually listen to anything I say?

    Unless I see evidence of change, I will take leave from this blog. You can continue to “trumpet” your Neo-Amyraldian anti-Calvinist position like your forefather Moses Amyraut, while we go out and reach others with the Gospel, as with Turretinfan, Dr. James White et al. In the end, we will know who has done more for the Kingdom: those who are only interested in making Amyraldians or those who are interested in glorifying Christ through reaching others with the Gospel.

  7. Josh permalink
    June 16, 2009 6:39 pm

    Well the tassels on my robe are longer than the tassels on your robe, so there.

  8. Flynn permalink*
    June 17, 2009 8:56 am

    For the longest time I called it “Drive-by” blogging. I shall also call it “hit and run” blogging, and “cut and run” blogging.

    Its not good when a man comes out making public accusations which are false, even possibly slanderous, who when challenged to back up his claims, runs away.

    When our uber calvinists and apologists do this, I have to believe that each time a little part of their conscious is being seared, as they know that they are treating other brothers in a dishonest way and as they know they are being untrue to history and dishonest to their readers.

    Speaking to dishonesty, Mr Chew was caught in a dishonesty (his shift from the strong to weak claim as though he had never claimed the former) and yet decided to only throw more mud.

    David

  9. June 17, 2009 10:54 am

    For those interested, I responded to Chew on Bunyan here and here.

    I finally read this post, David. It’s excellent and insightful. However, there are a significant number of typos. It’s worth re-reading and correcting.

  10. June 17, 2009 10:57 am

    If Dr. Gonzales deletes one of my posts as I requested [due to html errors, etc.], then my second reply to Chew on Bunyan may appear here instead. The comment numbers will have changed.

  11. Flynn permalink*
    June 17, 2009 1:27 pm

    Thanks Tony, I went through a fixed up some of the glitches.

    David

  12. Flynn permalink*
    June 17, 2009 1:57 pm

    Yeah Tony,

    This is an excellent comment from Bunyan:

    Hast thou not reason? Canst thou not so much as once soberly think of thy dying hour, or of whither thy sinful life will drive thee then? Hast thou no conscience? or having one, is it rocked so fast asleep by sin, or made so weary with an unsuccessful calling upon thee, that it is laid down, and cares for thee no more? Poor man! thy state is to be lamented. Hast no judgment? Art not able to conclude, that to be saved is better than to burn in hell? and that eternal life with God’s favour, is better than a temporal life in God’s displeasure? Hast no affection but what is brutish? what, none at all? No affection for the God that made thee? What! none for his loving Son that has showed his love, and died for thee? Is not heaven worth thy affection? O poor man! which is strongest, thinkest thou, God or thee? If thou art not able to overcome him, thou art a fool for standing out against him (Mat. 5:25, 26). ‘It is a fearful thing to fall into the hand of the living God’ (Heb. 10:29-31). He will gripe hard; his fist is stronger than a lion’s paw; take heed of him, he will be angry if you despise his Son; and will you stand guilty in your trespasses, when he offereth you his grace and favour? (Exo. 34: 6, 7).” John Bunyan, “The Jerusalem Sinner Saved, or, Good News for the Vilest of Men” in The Whole Works of John Bunyan (London: Blackie and Son, 1862), 1:90.

    I do not believe Mr Chew would face this comment either.

    In the end, we can say that both his accusations, regarding Bunyan, and regarding his broader claims have been disproved.

    Thanks,
    David

  13. June 18, 2009 5:34 am

    David:

    while disagreement over doctrine is fine by me, I find it shocking that you claim that I am dishonest. All that I have written are saying the exact same things, and I did not at any time retreat from any one position. If you can misrepresent me in this manner even after correction, this just shows your true character in willfull violation of the ninth commandment.

    I think Gerety has mentioned in his blog that there is no point interacting with you. Now, I see why.

    The Scriptures say that a good tree bears good fruit, and a bad tree bears bad fruit. I have moderately Arminian Christian friends who manifest more of the fruit of the Spirit than I see from you. Sad.

  14. Flynn permalink*
    June 18, 2009 10:46 am

    Daniel,

    You say that disagreement in doctrine is fine by you, but you are shocked that I would challenge your integrity. Daniel, you have been slandering us for over a year now; gossiping, sniping remarks on various blogs. Take the plank our of your own eye young man. Search the wide WWW to find a single instance where we have engaged in name-calling at your expense.

    You are clogging up this discussion. Your dishonesty was in your original claim which is documented above. Your revision of that claim is also documented above. You can’t assert that the quotations are taken anchronistically, and then say, that it may be that they are being used anchronistically.

    When you clutter a discussion with deliberate obfuscation you lose credibility.

    What is more, you made two specific charges. You charged Tony for taking Bunyan out of context on the common salvific grace issue AND you charged me with taking the Reformers, documented at the C&C site, out of context with regard to the extent of the satisfaction. When I answered your charge directed at me, you obfuscated and evaded by insisting that somehow I was obligated to answer you on your charge to Tony. That is childish behavior.

    What is more, when I answered your accusations directed at me with documentation, you just continued in your evasion and name-calling.

    Now it turns out that Tony has answered you on Bunyan, and still you evade.

    Daniel, this is the grown-up world now. You are in the grown-up world. When you make public accusations and engage in public name-calling, you must be prepared to back up your claims. You must be prepared to allow the person you accuse to defend himself.

    To repeat, Daniel, this is a grown-up world. You must start acting like a grown-up.

    So put up the goods to sustain your accusations or keep quiet.

    One more thing, if your next comment here does not actually advance the conversation by way of proper argument, it will be deleted.

    David

  15. Josh permalink
    June 18, 2009 4:03 pm

    I admire Brother Chew’s active evangelism. In the end, saving the lost is more desired than theological precision. Yet, I find it funny that he has left the initial argument (which he lost by a landslide) to now fret about which author is the best evangelist.

    Brother Chew, if your college didnt grant it to you, I personally award you the highest degree in B.S.H.D Bachelor of Science in How to Dodge.

  16. June 20, 2009 12:27 pm

    Josh:

    very funny, NOT! Why don’t you go READ the actual sources instead of reading acontextual quotes produced by David and Tony?

  17. Josh permalink
    June 20, 2009 2:09 pm

    Brother Dan,

    I accept you challenge with an open mind. Please assist me and present a quote here or at C&C that is acontextual and I will have something to work with that neither of us can cry foul with later.

    Sincerely,

    Josh

  18. Flynn permalink*
    June 20, 2009 5:03 pm

    Hey Josh,

    As long as its not on that specific Bunyan topic. The Bunyan charge was to Tony. However, he also made accusations as to what was hosted at the C&C site, so he needs to back up his allegations with proof. What is more, he was specific as to the topic: the limited-unlimited view of the atonement.

    David

  19. June 21, 2009 10:40 am

    David:

    I see you have blocked my comment. Nice censorship system you have here…..

  20. June 21, 2009 10:42 am

    Oh, btw, goodday to you sir. We “hypers” would prefer to talk to and minister to those who would listen. You know, just like Dr. James White and Dr. Robert Reymond – godly minsiters you and Tony have maliciously slandered.

  21. Josh permalink
    June 21, 2009 4:29 pm

    I am not aware of personal slander, if you refer to the title of Hyper-Calvinist being applied, it is a theological distinction. Much as the same way you have labeled us Neo-Amyraldians, and others labeling us Arminian. None of which I take issue with since Arminians to Hyper-Calvinists are all in the Kingdom and saved by grace alone though faith alone in Christ alone.

    The only issue I take is academic and not personal. Accuracy in historical definitions on theological positions is where we disagree.

    While I think James White is a hyper, I have benefited greatly by his ministry. I have spent hours talking with him, as I used to be a moderator on #Prosapologian. We both shared the same professor at Columbia Evangelical Seminary. I have no issue with recognizing that he is far more talented in theology, debate, and far more effective as a Church Elder. None of which removes my right to apply theological definitions accurately.

    I pray that in time, you also will learn to disagree without tossing the baby out with the bath water or being Pharisical in regards to pragmatism in numbers and effect vs. heeding God’s commands regardless of the outcome (think Jeremiah).

    I applaud your youth, vigor, and undying defense of the faith. In time you will learn that peace and patience out weigh the need to be right at the expense of Christian charity.

    Grace and Peace to you my brother, in Christ’s Name

    Josh

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