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As Time Goes By

June 26, 2009

Our Charming Mr Chew, on the Sunday, June 21, 2009 told the world this:

Tony Byrne recently drafted a reply to my refutation of his use of the Bunyan quote, in an attempt to defend his Neo-Amyraldian spin of Bunyan’s material. His reply is extensive, and as such will be addressed in a couple of days time.

[Italics mine.]

It is now the June 26 2009, so we are wonder, is this reply going to be a huge tome, worthy of a dissertation? or will it be a no show, on the back-burner indefinitely?

I should say, that while I jest, I admit that reading Mr Chew is not a pleasant activity.  We hope that Mr Chew will  try to frame his reply in a friendly manner, or at least in an academic manner. The thin veneer of triumphalism mixed in with sarcasm, spite and ill-will only serves to sour the taste of many of his readers. If half of our discussions were kept friendly and Christian, talking to one another as if face to face, then a lot of talking past one another would be avoided. Humor is one thing, but bitter speech is another.

Also, it really helps us all if Mr Chew will refrain from so grossly caricaturing our words. Its best if he tries to represent what we say rightly. For example:

Tony had said this:

Now that we have dealt with Bunyan, I am curious to see what you will do with the Jonathan Edwards quotes I provided above. As for Bunyan, we will just have to agree to disagree. What is your interpretation of the Edwards quotes above???

[underlining mine.]

And yet he converted that into:

let me rephrase your last comment in this meta:

“I don’t care even if you show that my interpretation of Bunyan is wrong; it is irrelevant, so EVEN if you can do so, please engage the Edwards quotes”

[underlining mine.]

That sort of gross misrepresentation needs to stop. It does not help anyone. It only serves to distort the debate, making it childish. Tony has pointed out how Mr Chew has done this previously. Let us hope, then, that he replies in a way that is more accurate in his representation of our position.

Lastly, we hope this rule governs Mr Chew’s heart:

NIV:

1 John 2:9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.

1 John 4:20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

David

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2009 4:29 am

    Yea, sure. I sure it was very loving of you to damn Dr. James White and Dr. Robert Reymond to hell. Oh wait, that was Tony Byrne, not David Pointer. Sheesh.

  2. Flynn permalink*
    June 27, 2009 5:48 pm

    Hey Mr Chew,

    Ah yeah okay… a comment that contributes what?

    I approved your comment here in order to be very clear.

    Now Mr Chew, can you please site a single instance where Tony (or myself) has ‘damned Jame White or Reymond to hell?’

    When you spread these lies around the web, you engage in slander. And it makes you look very small.

    So enough with the off-point and red-herring distraction and irrelevant comment, “as time goes by…”

    David

  3. June 29, 2009 8:22 am

    So now are you claiming that hyper-Calvinism is not heresy? I most certainly believe so!

  4. Flynn permalink*
    June 29, 2009 6:56 pm

    Now, now Mr Chew. In the West, when someone makes an accusation, the onus is on the accuser to prove his charge.

    Document where either of us has called Hypercalvinism a heresy, or retract the accusation.

    But even that is irrelevant.

    Document where either of us has said White or Reymond are damned to hell or retract the accusation.

    Prove your charge or apologize.

    David

  5. June 30, 2009 12:10 pm

    This is hilarious! You guys attack “hypercalvinists” and denounce them harshly, but you think they are not heretics?

    With regards to the case of White and Reymond, clearly I am not going to teach you the basic logical thinking behind that, which is based on the assumption that you guys think hypercalvinism is heresy. IF you don’t believe that, I apologize for thinking you do, but then you guys are the most mixed up people I have seen in my entire life! What next? Socinianism is not heresy also?

  6. Flynn permalink*
    June 30, 2009 1:29 pm

    Apology accepted, even if it did came by way of added insults.

    You slandered and lied, and its good to see you apologize for that.

    David

  7. Josh permalink
    June 30, 2009 3:12 pm

    Daniel,

    We can heartily and vigorously disagree be it Calvinism, Dispensationalism, Credo-Baptism, even Millenialism. An area, I think, the Church has matured on is that every area of disagreement does not equal anathama. Hence we have our denominations and inter-denominatioal subsets. If the divide between Hyper and Moderate Calvinists were small, we would not have separating movements creating their own sub culture.

    If paedobaptism was a small deal, we would worship together (as the Evangelical Free Church did for a time) and not have Credo and Paedo communities.

    The Solas of the Reformation are the tie that binds us into a greater community comprised of various theological differences, no matter how vigorously they are attacked or defended.

    Which brings me to why you are always confronted with slander, insults, name calling, etc. Theological labeling is not a personal attack, theological distinctions are not a personal attack. We are NOT to attack each other, and this is the lesson I think you have not grasped yet.

    People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care is still a saying worth living by.

  8. July 1, 2009 4:30 am

    Daniel,

    We’re mixed up?! Look at what you’ve done. Here’s your “reasoning”:

    1) Tony [and others] have said that White and Reymond are hyper-Calvinists.

    2) I, Daniel, think that hyper-Calvinism is a heresy.

    3) I, Daniel, will publically impute my own belief that hyper-Calvinism is a heresy to Tony and David, and say they agree with me without any evidence whatsoever.

    4) Those teaching heresy are unregenerate.

    5) Those who abide in an unregenerate state are eventually damned.

    6) Therefore, David and Tony have “damned Dr. James White and Dr. Robert Reymond to hell.”

    Look at how “mixed up” that is! First, none of us have ever said that hyper-Calvinism is a heresy (move #3 was foolish). Even if we did, hypothetically, think it is a heresy [as you groundlessly imputed to us], all one could say is that those teaching that heresy are unregenerate (proposition #4), not that they are “damned to hell” (move #6 was also foolish). On Daniel Chew’s own groundless assumptions about us, the conclusion about “damning people to hell” still does not follow. Yet we are the ones called “the most mixed up people.” Incidentally, if we’re “the most mixed up people you have seen in your entire life,” then there is no need to waste so much time on your blog [and elsewhere] in an attempt to refute us.

    Whoever interacts with Chew will only be maliciously abused and publically slandered [without any genuine apology] by this delicate little man safely typing behind a computer far away in Singapore, who is desparately trying to appear as a scholar.

  9. Flynn permalink*
    July 1, 2009 2:18 pm

    Hey Tony,

    You nailed it here when you say:

    Even if we did, hypothetically, think it is a heresy [as you groundlessly imputed to us], all one could say is that those teaching that heresy are unregenerate (proposition #4)…

    I want to pick up on the imputation idea. Mr Chew milks this cow till the udder is bone dry. For a reason, I can only discern as malicious, Mr Chew wants to impute to us the worst possible intentions and theological constructions. For example see his lastest post is nothing but a rant, loaded with his own wish-projections again.

    In his “paper” and on the blogs, he seems to think that if you or I cite a given theologian on the will of God, we are doing so with the intention of using this citation to prove that this theologian was an Amyraldian. Take this for example, from the “paper”:

    As I have logically proven, unless Byrne proves that any and every alternative interpretation of the quote which does not make it teach Neo-Amyraldism is wrong, this quote is useless in proving his Neo-Amyraldism

    [Bold mine]

    Here he refers to your citation of Preston on the will of God. The thing is, I know you are not citing Preston on this issue (the will of God) to prove that Preston was an Amyraldian. This holds good for Bunyan and many others on our sites. He imputes the wrong motive. Gets all self-deluded about it. Runs with it. And then produces a polemic based on his own wish-projection.

    His behavior is also very odd in other respects too.

    On his blog he recently said:

    Before interacting with the post proper, I must thank David for pointing out the issue of Preston being a hypothetical universalist. I will admit that I did not read Preston except for that one paragraph quoted by Byrne, as I was focusing mainly on John Bunyan. Yet, if that is the only legitimate complaint that David has against the article, then he is truly grasping at straws. After all, Preston is utterly irrelevant for proving my case. [The paper has been ammended accordingly to take this into account]

    Here he seems to concede that Preston was a hypothetical universalist. Yet in his revised “paper” we see the added footnote:

    It has been pointed out that Preston may indeed be an Amyraldian. Even if this is so, the one paragraph quote given by Byrne cannot by itself prove Preston believes in a form of “hypothetical universalism”.

    Notice how he refuses to give me credit for pointing out his error. :-) But joke aside: huh? See again, he thinks that your citing of Preston on the will of God is for the purpose of arguing that Preston was a hypothetical universalist on that basis alone. Also, one minute my “pointing out” is legitimate, then the next, its still yet to be determined? Btw, I bet this “paper” will see quite a few revisions and back-pedaling as time goes by. :-)

    Did you catch his confession that he had only read the one single comment of Preston’s from your blog, and yet he was willing to blast us both. He has no credibility. A man who reads something like 5 or so lines from a given author, who then thinks he can speak for that author’s theology as a whole is just an embarrassment. I bet he still has not read the whole Preston file. If he did, he would see Preston’s universal and particular covenant language, and Preston’s references to Christ dying in vain.

    Time, and time again I see this in Mr Chew. He constructs a caricature of our position as piece of propaganda, and then he comes to actually believe the propaganda he has created from his own brain. Note, too, the willful refusal to face the facts.  I  am sure impartial readers will see that he is both filled with hate and is a willful contrarian.

    It is obvious that a conversation with a man who creates his own propaganda and then comes to actually believe it is impossible. All discussion is reduced to dealing with childish rants and accusations. The leaky boat metaphor holds good: you plug one hole (accusation) another pops up seconds later, so that in the end one is stuck fast to a tar baby in the sinking boat.

    It’s way past due to be so done with Mr Chew. :-)

    David

  10. July 4, 2009 6:52 am

    We Arminains have our problems, but we are in sin because we find such voyeuristic amusement when we see the “Calvinist camp” arguing over the nano-aspects of doctrinal truth. Some of the arguments are so absurd and represent such a parsing and sifting of truths that should reveal a majestic simplicity rather than a labrymth of intellectual perspectives.

    Before I can love Christ, I must know if God can, if He so desires, make Himself into four distinct Persons? And before I can eefectively preach the gospel of Christ, I must completely understand every aspect of the atonement. And before I can drive my car, I must understand the particular workings of the combustion engine.

    However, I think I would have become a Calvinist had it not been for Calvinists. :)

  11. Josh permalink
    July 4, 2009 9:41 am

    Rick,

    I love your comment and appreciate your stopping in.

    Your statement is exactly what moderate Calvinism is trying to get our theological tradition back to. I to think it is amusing that some arguments are forced to irrelevant details.

    However, none of the moderators here would ever assume or proclaim that anyone is saved outside faith alone by grace alone in Christ alone; it’s that simple.

    Rick Said: However, I think I would have become a Calvinist had it not been for Calvinists. :)

    My reply: Your certainly not alone there :0)

    God Bless Your Ministry,

    Josh

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