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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we bessech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Friday, March 14, 2014

John Calvin Admonishes Roger Olson's Attack on God's Goodness

You yourself, however, will one day find, to your sorrow, how abhorrent a crime it is to trifle and lie in this manner concerning the secret mysteries of God! And that you may clearly understand that you are not dealing with me in this your war against the truth, but with the supreme judge of heaven Himself, whose tribunal, you may be assured, you can never escape, ....  -- John Calvin






Roger Olson, the heresiarch Arminian and promoter of Open Theism, often calls the God of the Bible a monster when he is debating Calvinists.  Olson selectively reads Scripture and cuts out the hard verses against his position or uses massively revisionist exegetical presuppositions to explain away the plain meaning of the text.  Here the late John Calvin completely annihilates Olson's arguments:

"You yourself, however, will one day find, to your sorrow, how abhorrent a crime it is to trifle and lie in this manner concerning the secret mysteries of God! And that you may clearly understand that you are not dealing with me in this your war against the truth, but with the supreme judge of heaven Himself, whose tribunal, you may be assured, you can never escape, listen to that which Job testifies--and certainly under none other influence than the inspiration of the Holy Spirit--that the doings of Satan, and of the robbers who plundered him, were the works of God Himself. And yet Job never, in the extremest idea, charges God with sin. No such most distant intimation is found in the patriarch. On the contrary, he blesses God's holy name for what He had done by Satan and by these robbers (Job i. 21). So also when the brethren of the innocent Joseph sold him to the Ishmaelites, the deed was evidently a most wicked one. But when Joseph ascribes this to God as His work, so far is he from imputing sin to God, that he considers and lauds His infinite goodness, because that, by this very means, He had given nourishment to his father's whole family (Gen. xlv.). "

-- John Calvin, The Secret Providence of God.

http://www.the-highway.com/Calvin2_sectionIII.html

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Soren Kierkegaard and Irrationalism: Refuted by Dr. Gordon H. Clark


The Reformed Anglican Connection: New Biography on the Life and Thought of Dr. Gordon H. Clark



"Don’t be satisfied to learn Scripture truth second hand. If you make a duplicate key from the master key, then a duplicate key from the first duplicate, in four generations the keys will not fit the lock. You must have constant reference to the Master Key. (Check your doctrine by the inspired Word of God.)"  -- Robert Knight Rudolf



Recently, I received an e-mail from a theological student named Douglas Douma some time ago.  He sent me several chapters to review from a new biographical work he is doing on the life, theology and thought of the late Dr. Gordon H. Clark.  In the e-mail Douglas informed me that the Reformed seminary at Sangre de Cristo in Westcliffe, Colorado is in possession of an unpublished 800 page systematic theology written by Dr. Clark.  He is in process of reading  that systematic theology.

Also, for those interested in Dr. Clark's connection with the Calvinist, Protestant, and Reformed side of Anglicanism, there are brief mentions of Dr. Clark's association with the Reformed Episcopal Seminary in Philadelphia.  One personal connection Dr. Clark had was with Robert Knight Rudolf, whom he apparently met at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Clark was friends with Rudolf after he became a professor at the REC seminary.  Rudolf was apparently influenced by J. Gresham Machen and Cornelius Van Til as well, and they are in fact pictured together at the Wikipedia website.

Dr. Cornelius Van Til and Robert K. Rudolf


Unfortunately, the Reformed Episcopal Church has gone decidedly far away from its original reason for being and has become increasingly associated with Tractarianism, high church Arminianism, and Anglo-Catholic ecumenicalism.  (See:  The Departure of the Reformed Episcopal Church).   The REC has even provided a commentary on The Declaration of Principles to explain away their departure from those principles which were never supposed to be revised or rejected.  (See:  Declaration Denial).  One has to wonder if this departure from Protestant and Reformed orthodoxy and confessionalism is due to Van Til's theology of paradox and/or a connection to theonomy?  Dr. Michael Horton of Westminster Seminary, California is just one example among many of the direction which Van Til's theology of irrational paradox leads.  (See my critical review of Horton's systematic theology).  

The REC denomination joined with the Anglican Province of America in concordat back in 2002 or so.  (See also:  Anglican Province of America).  More recently the denomination joined with the decidedly Anglo-Catholic denomination, the Anglican Church in North America.  Despite its claims to be "orthodox" the ACNA is not Evangelical or Protestant.  In fact, its only claim to orthodoxy is its objection to homosexual ordination.  The APA is likewise not Evangelical or Protestant but in fact is a high church Anglo-Catholic denomination.


While it is certainly true that Dr. Gordon H. Clark was not infallible, it is nevertheless true that Dr. Clark never wavered on his objections to neo-orthodox theology and his objections to Dr. Cornelius Van Til's compromise position which attempted to mediate between the old line Princeton Theology and the neo-orthodox position which advocated irrationalism and contradiction as the modus operandi for solving the modernist controversy.  This is how Mike Horton can embrace a known advocate for Open Theism, namely the heresiarch Roger Olson, as a "brother" in Christ.  (See:  For/Against Calvinism).  Basically, irrationalism and paradox can be used as an excuse to justify many departures from the five solas of the Reformation and the confessional nature of traditional and classical Protestant and Calvinist theology.

Dr. Clark was a known supporter of Dr. J. Gresham Machen and helped Dr. Machen form the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.  Unfortunately, after Dr. Machen's death the neo-liberals, who sneaked into the new seminary at Philadelphia, sought to prevent Dr. Clark's ordination with the OPC as a teaching elder.  That attempt failed and Clark was exonerated and ordained.  (See:  Clark/Van Til Controversy).  Regrettably, this was a temporary victory as Clark was forced to leave when most of his supporters were under theological and doctrinal attack by the irrationalists under the leadership of Dr. Van Til.  That departure can be directly linked to the rise of neo-liberalism at Westminster Seminary, PA, the Norman Shepherd fiasco, and the more recent victory of the Federal Vision heresy within the Presbyterian Church in America.  (See:  PCA Endorses Federal Vision).

The legacy of Dr. Gordon H. Clark continues today through the Trinity Foundation and those who support presuppositionalist apologetics and biblical inerrancy.  The controversy revolves around the issue of the univocal nature of Scripture as propositional revelation.  Van Til contended that any idea of Scripture as univocal revelation and propositional revelation is to violate the creature/Creator distinction.  Van Til's response to Clark was to adopt Thomas Aquinas' theology of Scripture as analogy rather than propositional.  The neo-orthodox theologians adopted Aquinas' theology as a way of advocating their theology of mystery, paradox, and irrationalism.  The neo-Calvinists, who evolved out of the 19th century adoption of Abraham Kuyper's semi-arminian doctrines of common grace and the free offer of the gospel, decided to accommodate neo-orthodoxy into the clothing of Evangelicalism and its anti-intellectual mindset.  It can legitmately be argued that the beginning of the liberal bent at Princeton Seminary in the 19th century can be directly traced to the adoption of Kuyper's compromises with Arminianism and to the Stone Lectures:

In the same year, at the invitation of B.B. Warfield, Kuyper delivered the Stone Lectures at Princeton Seminary, which was his first widespread exposure to a North American audience. These lectures were given 10–11 October 14 and 19–21 in 1898. He also received an honorary doctorate in law there. During his time in the United States, he also traveled to address several Dutch reformed congregations in Michigan and Iowa and presbyterian gatherings in Ohio and New Jersey.   (Kuyper:  Member of Parliment).

Ironically, B.B. Warfield, an ardent advocate for verbal plenary inspiration and biblical inerrancy, invited Kuyper to speak at Princeton.  It can legitimately be argued that this compromise with a rationalist compromise with Arminianism that set off the move to theological liberalism at Princeton.  This same bent is present at both Westminster seminaries, PA and CA, and the same neo-liberal results are present.  That can be observed in the neo-legalism of Norman Shepherd and Richard Gaffney at Westminster PA and in the neo-liberalism of the Two Kingdoms theology at Westminster CA.  Gaffney has confused justification and sanctification in his over-emphasis on the doctrine of union with Christ in existential encounter.  The 2K theology of Westminster CA has led to aberrations like Lee Irons, who endorses homosexual marriage in the political realm.

In closing, I cannot say where Robert K. Rudolf's theology ended.  I do know that for a brief time that Dr. Gordon H. Clark taught at the Reformed Theological Seminary.  How much his influence was able to counter the irrationalism of Cornelius Van Til I do not know.  But judging from the current state of the Reformed Episcopal Church the answer has to be not much.


The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the word; and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the word, which are always to be observed. (WCF 1:6 WCS)

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Gordon H. Clark: No Logical Objection to Christian Axioms

"If the axioms of other secularists are not nonsense, they are nonetheless axioms. Every system must start somewhere, and it cannot have started before it starts. A naturalist might amend the Logical Positivists’ principle and make it say that all knowledge is derived from sensation. This is not nonsense, but it is still an empirically unverifiable axiom. If it is not self-contradictory, it is at least without empirical justification. Other arguments against empiricism need not be given here: The point is that no system can deduce its axioms.

"The inference is this: No one can consistently object to Christianity being based on an indemonstrable axiom. If the secularists exercise their privilege of basing their theorems on axioms, then so may Christians. If the former refuse to accept our axioms, then they can have no logical objection to our rejecting theirs. Accordingly, we reject the very basis of atheism, Logical Positivism, and, in general, empiricism. Our axiom shall be that God has spoken. More completely, God has spoken in the Bible. More precisely, what the Bible says, God has spoken."

Gordon H. Clark (2013-09-19T04:00:00+00:00). In Defense of Theology (Kindle Locations 319-327). Kindle Edition.

The Trinity Foundation - Workers of the Church, Unite!: The Radical Marxist Foundation of Tim Keller's Social Gospel

Only a few days after Pope Francis issued his Apostolic Exhortation, U. S. President, Barack Obama declared that income inequality “is the defining challenge of our time.”[16] This is the core belief of Marxist philosophy, and as Obama himself acknowledges in his memoirs, he is naturally drawn toward Marxism, and intentionally chose Marxist professors while he attended Occidental College.[17] Barack Obama’s former church in Chicago, Trinity United Church of Christ, lists as part of its 10-point mission to work toward “economic parity,” because God “is not pleased with America’s economic mal-distribution!”[18] In 1996, Barack Obama joined the leftist New Party, a political party that is “deeply hostile…to American capitalism.”[19] His affection for Marxist economic theory and his distaste for capitalism are the basis for President Obama’s famous quip to Joe the Plumber, “when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” Not surprisingly, President Obama identifies Reinhold Niebuhr, a committed Marxist, as “one of my favorite philosophers.”[20] Like Liberation Theologians of today, Niebuhr “argued that social radicalism and Marxism owed their existence to Christian inspiration.”[21] Biographer Ronald H. Stone provides the background of Niebuhr’s Marxism:

Late in the 1930s [Niebuhr] outlined his essential agreement with Marxist thought. Marxism furnished an analysis of the economic structure of society that was essentially correct. It correctly perceived the conflict between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie as inevitable. He agreed that private ownership of the means of production was the basic cause of periodic economic crises. Marxism was right in its judgment that the communal ownership of property was the prerequisite of social justice. He accepted Lenin’s view that capitalism was responsible for the economic imperialism that characterized the advanced nations.[22]

- See more at: http://www.trinityfoundation.org/latest.php#sthash.b4Hft6zN.dpuf



The Trinity Foundation - Workers of the Church, Unite!: The Radical Marxist Foundation of Tim Keller's Social Gospel

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