Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Antinomianism

On today's program I discussed antinomianism in light of reformed theologian Mark Jones' new book on the topic. 

23 comments:

J. Dean said...

How can this guy reconcile this position with historic Reformed theology, let alone Biblical Christianity as a whole? Doesn't he realize he's opening the door for the undermining of the P in TULIP, and undercutting his own Calvinism?

Bad enough that he's heading in the direction of salvation by works; to be honest he's running in the direction of Arminianism and I would dare say sounds like an NPP advocate trying to slip in through the back door.

Levi Nunnink said...

Good show, Jordan. I think I find more usefulness in Forde than you do but I agree that he needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Overall it's going to be interesting to watch this trajectory as more in the Reformed camp react against grace-centered theologians like Tullian.

David Gray said...

You mean liberals like
Tullian Tchividjian? You can't understand grace as well as you ought if you don't know the law.

http://baylyblog.com/blog/2013/10/tullians-therapeutic-grace

J. Dean said...

David,

I would disagree with that assessment. I've read Tullian's book and his blog posts and can say that he does assert the preaching of the Law to condemn and convict. In his book "Jesus+Nothing+Everything," he does go "gung-ho" on grace, but keep in mind that he's reacting to law-centered preaching, so that's one of the reasons why he's a little more grace and gospel heavy.

And Tchividjian is right: far too many in the Reformed camp lean in the direction of this fellow that Jordan was describing in his podcast. For every criticism of Tullian that says he doesn't emphasize the law enough, I can name for you theologians and preachers in the Reformed/Calvinist camp who overemphasize the law too much.

Nicholas Myra said...

@David Gray

Did you just favorably cite the Bayly blog?

Nicholas Myra said...

Fellow Lutheran Paula Coyle responded to that fundy-theonomist attack on Tullian: www.purposedrivel.com/2013/10/still-thinking-tullian-is-antinomian.html

David Gray said...

I don't think the commenter knows what theonomy is or even what fundamentalism is. They are simply pejoratives which are deployed with little or no understanding. I'm not over keen on either of them but using the terms when they don't apply won't help anyone.

David Gray said...

Just to throw down a couple of markers. Michael Horton is not antinomian. Genuinely confessional Lutherans are not antinomian (although we've had some examples of Lutheran antinomians on this blog as critics who were neither confessional nor biblical).

Nicholas Myra said...

The Baylys and their circle of friends are hardcore fundamentalists and theonomists. They self-identify with the "Christian Patriarchy" movement as well. This is all quite obvious when one reads their blog. I encourage everyone to do just that and see who is telling the truth.

Nicholas Myra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Martin said...

Anyone who believes that they can somehow use the law for their own purposes, doesn't take the law with the deadly seriousness that it needs to be taken.

"Things aren't that bad…they are much worse than that." - Forde

David Gray said...

Nicholas,

What is a theonomist? Do you know?

The idea that the Baylys are theonomists is laughable. And I know theonomists.

The Baylys are fundamentalists in the same way that Jordan is a fundamentalist; i.e. the secular press would describe them as such because they take the Bible seriously.

The Baylys aren't remotely fundamentalists in the sense that educated people use the term.

What you are I don't know, except, apparently, badly informed.

Nicholas Myra said...

Here's more appalling content from the Bayly blog.

David and Tim Bayly argue that "sometimes it's the children themselves who initiate the sin" of child sexual abuse: http://baylyblog.com/blog/2011/08/souls-sodomites-destroyed-children-are-next

In an article on incest, Tim Bayly writes:

"My wife and I spent most of the past week out of state working with the elders and pastor of a PCA congregation dealing with sins of incest in a large homeschooling family. Much like war, the horror of incest conspires to silence the application of God's Word to the sinners and victims... It's so obvious--why say it? Why beat a man when he's down? This applies to the victims, but also the offenders. It seems like blaming the victim to inquire about extortion or violence against civillians when the man you're talking with is crying over the death of his squad member. So also it seems like blaming the victim to inquire of a young woman crying over the sexual crimes her older brother committed against her to ask whether she came to enjoy and initiate the sin?"

http://baylyblog.com/blog/2012/11/pastoral-care-times-war-and-incest

Tim Bayly is again arguing that a victim of child sexual abuse shares in the guilt of her abuser.

The Bayly blog is one of the most vile, appalling blogs I found that profess to be "Christian." Nobody who favorably cites such a blog without qualification should be taken seriously.

Nicholas Myra said...

And now the Bayly blog is defending "quiverfull" fundamentalist Doug Phillips by pretending that his recent downfall was just a "moral failure," when in reality he was having a relationship with a girl who was at most 18 years old when it began, and it lasted 10 years.

http://baylyblog.com/blog/2013/11/why-evangelical-and-reformed-gnostics-hate-doug-wilson-rcjr-and-doug-phillips

http://baylyblog.com/blog/2013/11/whats-aquila-report

David Gray said...

So I guess you don't know what a theonomist is or believes.

Or a fundamentalist for that matter.

Given that this appears to be true you should cease using the terms until such time you've become reasonably acquainted with their meaning.

And how is Phillips' failure not a moral failure?

David Gray said...

You know I would recommend folks read the articles that Nicholas linked to. He doesn't even understand what he quoted. What is more he does not seem to understand the pervasiveness of sin, even in the life of the believer.

Luther understood it. Luther was right that the life of the believer should be one of daily repentance. As 2nd Corinthians points out repentance leads to salvation. And 2nd Peter points out that the alternative to repentance is to perish. Yet it is not a work but the gift of God as the scriptures attest.

Nicholas Myra said...

I meant that Doug Phillips' sin is much more than just a "moral failure." He sexually took advantage of a young woman for over a decade. This was a girl brought up in the fundamentalist "quiverfull" movement who was taught to distrust "the world" while giving absolute trust to Phillips, whom I'm sure her parents held in absolute idolatrous awe. And Phillips actually remains unrepentant:

http://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2013/11/29/doug-phillips-disowns-former-vision-forum-executive-assistant-to-president-peter-bradrick-calls-him-destroyer-when-confronted-about-sins/

Doug Phillips is what the Apostles call a "false brother."

And yes, I know well what theonomy is: http://theonomists.blogspot.com/

And I think you know what I mean by fundamentalist. It does NOT today refer merely to someone who holds to the "fundamentals" of Christianity, but someone who adds onto them, or adds requirements onto the Christian life that aren't found in Scripture. This shows the evolution of the term: http://www.wheaton.edu/isae/defining-evangelicalism/fundamentalism

David Gray said...

Your links would indicate you don't understand what theonomy or fundamentalism are. Neither of the Baylys can reasonably be described by either of those terms. You should not make a fool of yourself by pretending they can be described by those terms. If you want to you should provide evidence of such.

We've probably moved beyond where Jordan wants this discussion. Why don't you use your own posting capability to describe how the Baylys are theonomists or fundamentalists. You won't be able to in any meaningful way.

That doesn't mean you have to think they're right about any given matter but if I think Jordan is wrong about something it doesn't give me license to tell people he's a Jesuit or a Baptist.

I don't have a dog in the Phillips camp. I think we bought two boys' toys from Vision Forum and that's about the extent of my involvement. If he's unrepentant then he's set his own fate.


Jordan Cooper said...

Alright, calm down everyone. I don't know anything about the Baylys or Doug Philips aside from the fact that they are controversial figures. I have not seen this tendency in Tullian, but to be honest I haven't spent much time listening to/reading him.

J. Dean said...

I have read Tullian, Jordan, and he does sound Antinomian to a lot of reformed people, but I think part of it is due to the fact that the Reformed movement has been slipping into Arminian legalism in some circles, as people like David Platt, Francis Chan, and Paul Washer are all gaining notoriety and are all pushing what comes across as sounding like works-righteousness in their speaking and writing.

To be honest, Jordan, Tullian sounds a LOT like a Lutheran when it comes to the issue of law and gospel, and after hearing some of his lecture (see
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvYYPvq8Aqc), I was pretty impressed with it. He handles law and gospel pretty well, but is careful to warn against ignoring the law as well as ignoring the gospel.

Jordan Cooper said...

He hasn't sounded antinomian to me certainly. I will check out the lecture. Thanks!

David R. said...

Hi,

I just listened to this program after someone posting on Darryl Hart's blog mentioned it. I am a Reformed layman with an intense interest in the current controversy. I do appreciate the law-gospel antithesis as emphasized by a number of contemporary Reformed Theologians such as Michael Horton, but I also think Jones and others provide a helpful corrective against a tendency among some to shortchange the doctrine of sanctification. I wanted to mention a couple of things.

1. Regarding the necessity of good works, Calvin, who affirmed their necessity (as you do in your program), was clear that this does not properly speaking imply causality, since the cause of our salvation is always and ever God's grace alone (the Father being the efficient cause, Christ's work being the material cause, and the instrumental cause being faith). Yet Calvin was willing to speak in terms of the "inferior causality" of good works, which for him simply meant that they preceded eternal life in the order of God's administration. (His discussion of this is in Institutes 3.14.17 and then 3.14.21.) This idea is reflected in Westminster Larger Catechism 32, which says that "holy obedience" is "the way which [God] hath appointed [the elect] to salvation." I don't believe Jones or the Puritans he cites are really saying anything more than this, so I believe you are mistaken to identify this notion with Romanism (which as I understand it views good works as meritorious).

2. Also, toward the end of the program when you provided some quotes from the kindle edition of Jones's book, I don't believe you were clear that the very first quote was not actually from Jones himself but rather a citation from the Reformed theologian, Petrus Van Mastricht.

I enjoyed listening.

David R. said...

Hi,

I just listened to this program after someone posting on Darryl Hart's blog mentioned it. I am a Reformed layman with an intense interest in the current controversy. I do appreciate the law-gospel antithesis as emphasized by a number of contemporary Reformed Theologians such as Michael Horton, but I also think Jones and others provide a helpful corrective against a tendency among some to shortchange the doctrine of sanctification. I wanted to mention a couple of things.

1. Regarding the necessity of good works, Calvin, who affirmed their necessity (as you do in your program), was clear that this does not properly speaking imply causality, since the cause of our salvation is always and ever God's grace alone (the Father being the efficient cause, Christ's work being the material cause, and the instrumental cause being faith). Yet Calvin was willing to speak in terms of the "inferior causality" of good works, which for him simply meant that they preceded eternal life in the order of God's administration. (His discussion of this is in Institutes 3.14.17 and then 3.14.21.) This idea is reflected in Westminster Larger Catechism 32, which says that "holy obedience" is "the way which [God] hath appointed [the elect] to salvation." I don't believe Jones or the Puritans he cites are really saying anything more than this, so I believe you are mistaken to identify this notion with Romanism (which as I understand it views good works as meritorious).

2. Also, toward the end of the program when you provided some quotes from the kindle edition of Jones's book, I don't believe you were clear that the very first quote was not actually from Jones himself but rather a citation from the Reformed theologian, Petrus Van Mastricht.

I enjoyed listening.