Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Response to Matt Haney

Reformed Baptism preacher Matt Haney of Illbehonest ministries recently gave a lecture on baptismal regeneration. He called out Lutherans specifically in this message as heretics and preachers of a false gospel. After numerous requests to respond to this lecture, I am beginning a series of programs in response to this.

Here is the first program.


Steve Martin said...

What else could we expect from a Baptist preacher? Reformed...or not.

As Luther said (paraphrased) "It's too good for them."

Leave them to their deeds, filthy rags as they are.

Nicholas said...

Interstingly, Matt Haney's church has a connection to Paul Washer: http://gccsatx.com/leadership/

Look at the top left of the page. Perhaps Washer used to pastor that church.

BFrei46 said...

I thought it was hilarious how he wanted to reconstruct Acts 2:38, isn't that an exegetical fallacy? I seriously doubt he (Haney) is a linguist, not that I am.

BFrei46 said...

I thought it was hilarious how he (Haney) wanted to reconstruct Acts 2:38,isn't that an exegetical fallacy? He mentioned,"if you want to find out the context of a passage, or the meaning of a word, you need to find out how that word is used in another passage" (loose paraphrase)...WHAT IN THE WORLD!!?

Steve Finnell said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Steve Martin said...

Well that helps to explain it.

I doubt if I have ever heard a preacher that destroys the assurance of a believer more than Paul Washer.

EJ said...

Great podcast as always. I'm not too familiar with reformed baptist theology but it seems like their theology is divorced from church history in some doctrines but not others. It seems like Haney is very strong on the Trinitarian theology but he regards all the early church fathers who defended it against Arianism as heretics. I suppose he would regard the Council of Nicea as a bunch of heretics as well. He does understand the Gospel, so I am glad for that. I will certainly pray for this man to not harden his heart to the truth.

Anonymous said...

If Haney is "very strong on the Trinitarian theology" he would not be a reformed baptist or protestant for that matter.... i doubt he believes that Christ is bodily present in the sacrament of the Altar. The protestant churches mess up big time on the doctrine of the Trinity!!! A very dangerous error that is soul destroying.

EJ said...

Please explain how I as protestant Lutheran mess up big time on the doctrine of the Trinity. It is unfortunate that reformed baptists deny the Real Presence in the Lords Supper, but I know many who believe strongly in the Triniry.

Anonymous said...

Protestant Lutheran? That seems a bit messed up. Lutherans are not protestant (Formula of Concord) they are Lutheran/Evangelical. Do you understand why you believe in the “Real Presence”? One cannot “believe strongly in the Trinity” and be protestant. If Protestants believed and properly understood the Trinity they would acknowledge “Real Presence,” leave their heterodox church and join with the Christian Church (Lutheran). I think you need to read up on the Council of Nicaea and the heresy of Nestorianism. We Lutherans are not in fellowship with the Protestants. We Love them as people but we abhor their soul destroying teachings and leaders.

David Gray said...

It seems we have a Lutheran Haney here...

Nicholas said...

Dr. Cooper, why publish spam comments like the above from "Steve Finnell."

Jordan Cooper said...

Just deleted it. It somehow got past me.

EJ said...

When I use the term Protestant, I'm using it to refer to churches that don't accept the authority of the Bishop of Rome. I think that's how 99% of the world would consider Lutherans. I don't particularly like the term and don't really know the history of the word in relation to Lutheran churches, maybe you can inform me about this.

I think it would still be possible to be in agreement on the Trinity and not in agreement on the Real Presence. Maybe a faulty view of the Lords Supper would create some inconsistencies in regard to the Trinity. I don't want to sound like I don't think one's view of the Supper is not important, but I don't think Haney is a heretic. He does teach falsely about many things though.

I'm just a layman and am willing to be corrected about anything I said. I would like to hear more about the Nestorian heresy, I only have a basic understanding of this.

Jordan Cooper said...

Historically Lutherans did use the term "Protestant." However, many Lutherans today have shied away from the term due to our differences with the rest of Protestantism. I don't personally use the term, because the notion of Protestantism tends to have an anti-sacramental implication.

Anonymous said...


Can you point us to any writings that discuss the proper Christian understanding of the Trinity and the omnipresence of Christ? Especially as it relates to the two natures of Christ and the incarnation. The True Church has always confessed that Christ is fully God and in the incarnation the Word (God) was made Flesh and the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Him (Christ). With that said, Christ is God and He has all of the Divine attributes of the Godhead such as being omnipresent. It seems to me, that all of the Protestant (reformed) denominations error on the doctrine of the Trinity and the person of Christ. This is evident in their non sacramental view of the Eucharist mainly because Christ cannot be bodily present in more than one place at any given time. The Protestant god’s axiom…. “The finite is not capable of the infinite” what a blatant absurdity and attack upon the One True Faith.

Below is a link to an article from Concordia Theological Seminary – Fort Wayne discussing Post-Reformation Lutheran Attitudes Toward the Reformed Doctrine of God. The conclusion is that the reformed have a false God, the devil.


David Gray said...

The two natures of Christ is a bit of a problem for the doctrine of the ubiquity of Christ's physical presence, at least if you accept Chalcedon. And if you don't accept Chalcedon you aren't in a position to be pointing fingers.

Chalcedon said:

We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach people to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood;
truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body;
consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood;
in all things like unto us, without sin;
begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood;
one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably;
the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten God (μονογενῆ Θεὸν), the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ;
as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.

The key part there, in terms of this problem is this:

"the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved"

If you argue that Christ's nature as man is not distinct from his nature as God and that the properties of his nature as man are combined with the divine nature then it seems to me you have a problem with Chalcedon.

People shouldn't be so quick to throw out words like "heretic" and suggesting that other catholic Christians are worshiping the devil.

Christ's body and blood are truly received in the Lord's Supper. Calvin taught this as did Bucer. When Luther refused Zwingli's hand he at the same time took Bucer's hand. When Luther read Calvin's Short Treatise on the Lord's Supper he gave it modest praise instead of giving it the Zwingli treatment. Luther's example should give you pause.

David Gray said...

Below is a link to an article from Concordia Theological Seminary – Fort Wayne discussing Post-Reformation Lutheran Attitudes Toward the Reformed Doctrine of God. The conclusion is that the reformed have a false God, the devil.

Do you read what you post? Anyone who bothers to read the article will not draw the conclusion that you did.

Nicholas said...

Lutherans do not believe that Calvinists "worship the devil."

(I can see why many blogs disallow anonymous commenting)

Also, the idea that Lutherans (or any other single group) are the only true Christians is Biblically and historically untenable.

Anonymous said...

So Calvin believes the he is eating Christ's very body in the supper? So Calvin is catholic in his Faith. That is not correct.

David Gray said...

So Calvin believes the he is eating Christ's very body in the supper? So Calvin is catholic in his Faith. That is not correct.

Actually even Westminster teaches you really receive Christ's body and blood, and Westminster is arguably a bit weaker on the matter than Calvin. Perhaps you should limit your statements to areas where you have knowledge.

Calvin is catholic in his faith. That is why Luther praised him and Melanchthon was his friend. Maybe that's why Calvin was part of the team that defended the Augsburg Confession, original, at Worms. Maybe Calvin was wrong about some things (he was fallen so I'm sure he was). But don't just make stuff up and wave your hands "anonymous."

Anonymous said...

So the Westminster Confession and Calvin teach that in the Eucharist one receives the very body and blood of Christ as He is God in the flesh? I don’t think so! You are very mistaken. Protestants do not believe that Christ is bodily present at their supper, otherwise they would be catholic. They teach and confess that Christ is located in heaven seated at the right hand of the Father and one spiritually ascends in faith to Him in heaven.

Show me where the reformed and lutherans agree on the sacrament of the altar. This is one of the chief doctrines that seperate us from fellowship.

Mike Baker said...

As an initial aside, I find it interesting how, right out of the gate, Pr. Haney casually described Joel Osteen as someone who has "silly teachings" that are "unbiblical"... but then goes on into a long, developed argument explaining how Lutherans and Michael Horton (and implies that the majority of Christians past and present) are "heretics" who "deny the gospel". I don't understand the polemic disparity in his introduction. One would hope that this one comment from Pr. Haney doesn't illustrate his true opinions regarding Osteen vs someone like Horton or people on PCR.

I grew up in the Southern Baptist Convention. My personal experience is that many Anabaptist churchmen and pastors are pretty weak on their patristics and ancient history. Your counter-arguments on this and other podcasts illustrate why: the early church fathers do not support their theological positions.

That leads to a lot of mythology being shared within that camp. They kind of make up an early church that does not exist in the historical record. A particular example of this is that line about the true origins of the sprinkle mode of baptism. Since we Lutherans have been placed on trial here, I respond, "Objection! Assumes facts not in evidence."

Katy said...

That trope about babies dying was really bizarre. Maybe he misheard and someone said the babe's OLD ADAM died in the waters :)

Mike, once a Reformed Baptist relative of mine just shrugged, "I think the church fathers were all lying." (?!) the problem is, if a Lutheran points out the lack of historic anabaptism, the counter is, "well you have to fall back on the historic record since there's no evidence of regenerative paedobaptism in the Bible."

Nick H said...

Good episode, Pastor Cooper. I used to listen to illbehonest, mainly Tim Conway but I made it through some of Pr. Haney's series as well. It was websites like yours that helped get me out of my incessant naval-gazing. Keep up the good work.

J. Dean said...

This guy is pretty harsh, Jordan. Most evangelicals, Reformed and Arminian, though they may have disagreement with Lutherans on matters like the sacraments, hold Luther in high regard and would not dare to castigate Lutheranism and call it heretical.

Mike Baker said...


lol, they sure do love to pit one true thing against another don't they? False dichotomies galore! If it isn't one scripture text against another then it's church history against the Bible. The great thing about Lutheranism is that it allows for the "both/and" scenerios that are almost always in the case.

My usual counter to those counters that you mentioned is that you don't have the Bible today without the ancient church faithfully preserving it.

Those "untrustworthy" patristic churchmen and their congregations are the reason why the various versions of the Bible cannon are what they are. Those fathers and congregations are why things like the Gospel of Thomas aren't in the Bible... because they held to the apostolic teaching and tested what they heard against what they already knew to be true. You can go down this road of reasoning without going so far that you fall into the errors of Rome (the Church essentially wrote the Scripture so tradition trumps sola scriptura) and Textual critics (you can't trust the Bible to be accurate because you don't have the originals).

The act is that we aren't Mormons. An angel didn't hand our authoritative Scriptures to 20th century man in some miracle. I always like to point out that we don't have the original copies of these Bible texts. There is no museum vault where John's original copy of his Gospel is held. You can't go touch Paul's original letter to the Galatian church. So you can't create an "massive anti-anabaptist conspiracy" in the early Christian church without destroying trustworthiness of the modern texts that we have today.

The second problem with their ignoring history or accusing it of error is that it means that the Scriptures were wrong when they record Jesus saying that the "Gates of Hell prevailed against the church", because this error was effectively universally believed for the majority of the church's history.

Both of these points illustrate that a reliance of the history of the tradition of the church fathers strengthens the reliability of our copies of the scriptures and an ignorance or suspicion of the tradition of the church means you can't really trust the copy of the Bible that you have in your hands.

Eric Lockhart said...

I am reformed baptist, so you might want to ignore me since I just learned I worship the devil and deny the Trinity, but to call Lutherans heretics is ridiculous. I am not a believer in baptism regeneration but I do believe it is more than mere symbolism. I think it would do some well to read Calvin, Luther and Zwingli. They were not in total agreement, but they didn't consider the others their opponent.

David Gray said...


You are right regarding Luther and Calvin but incorrect regarding Luther and Zwingli. Luther would not take Zwingli's hand and said he had a different spirit.

Jason said...

I hear from Baptist all the time that infant Baptism is not found in the Bible. I like them to show me where the "age of accountability" is found in the Bible.