Monday, April 30, 2007

The Corporeal Discipline of Children

All of you should know that the state government of California is attempting to outlaw spanking of children of any age as a means of child discipline or correction. In lieu of this, someone anonymously sent our Biblical presentaion on the corporeal discipline of children, written by our principal, Pastor David Sutton, to the Contra Costa Times. They proceeded to do a front page news article on it. The AP picked it up, so I noticed that the Denver Post and the Carlsbad, NM newspapers printed the story. Fox News came to our office saying that they wanted an interview this week. After that, Channel 11, local NBC showed up with their cameras and got our principal and one of our teachers. The next day a major radio station in Denver, KHOW (they'll start talking to him at minute 12; at minute 21 of the second hour, consider the caller named Kent), called our principal to talk to him and did an interview with him.

We believe in Biblical spanking.

Biblical spanking lovingly disciplines or corrects a child for disobedience (sin), not for accidents or immaturity. Biblical spanking includes instruction. The Bible calls for the use of the rod, which is a wooden implement like a tree branch, thin and flexible, that causes a sting but not injury. This acts as a correction, deterrent, and punishment. Scripture says that it cleanses away guilt (Prov. 20:30). The Bible does not instruct in the use of the hand to discipline a child. This is what the state is calling for. The Bible does not instruct in speeches and in yelling, the Alec Baldwin methodology. When the will, not the spirit, of a child is broken, to where he becomes a respectful, submissive person, as opposed to a rebellious, self-willful person, he usually needs very few spankings. My children need very few anymore. They, however, are necessary especially between the ages of 1-4, and this is the time period the state is concentrating on prohibiting. Here are applicable passages on spanking:
Proverbs 13:24, "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." Proverbs 22:15, "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." Proverbs 23:13, 14, "Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell." Proverbs 29:15, "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame."
The Bible says only "rod," not hand, fist, electrical cord, or vacuum hose. The rod is God's means for discipline and this is what Sally Lieber and the state legislature wants to take away from parents. She wants parents to rather strike them or hit them with their hand. The hands of a parent should be used to nurture, hold, hug, and protect his children. This is where someone, who hates Scripture and has power, wants ignorantly to destroy society. She, the cat owner with no children of her own, should keep out of parent's affairs unless some real abuse or crime has been committed.

Opponents say, "But that's only Proverbs and only OT. Jesus didn't spank." First, Jesus didn't have children. Second, Jesus didn't need a spanking, because He lived perfectly. Third, since Jesus did everything the Father would do or have Him to do, He would spank, because the Father spanks.
5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Hebrews 12:5-10

See how really clear this actually is. It's OT and NT. It's what God says. We should believe God is a loving God, a wise God, and do what He says. The state should not be interfering with what God says.

Let's review some truths:
1. God created everything, including us. We can't create or sustain anything.
2. God is smarter than us.
3. God said use a rod.
4. God didn't say use anything else.
5. We should trust God because of #1-4, and then just do what He says.
6. When people have done this historically, practiced Biblically, things have worked out well.
7. When people started not doing it this way, things got much worse.

Children have shorter life spans who do not get properly disciplined. We're all against child abuse, but it is also abuse when a child doesn't get the discipline he needs.

Here's the NBC Channel 11, local story on us. You'll see Pastor Sutton, Mr. Kutrieb, and then others. Notice the next story of a SCHOOL THREAT---apropos for comparison, supplying a reason to spank.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Secondary, Tertiary, or Essential? (part two)

A little over a week ago, I started a short series on core-versus-tertiary-doctrine issue. I referenced Phil Johnson. This is not a position exclusive to evangelicals (new-evangelicals) like Phil. Here is part two, continuing right where part one left off.

The Parent-Child Principle

The middle of the ten commandments, "Honor thy father and mother," mirrors the believer's relationship to God. Colossians 3:1 commands children to obey their parents for this is "right." Children don't obey just the "essential" commands. They obey everything. Obeying everything is right. Not obeying everything is wrong. The human parent to a child is less great than the Divine parent (God) to his children. He does not deserve lesser obedience. Making some of God's will primary and other secondary is another way to justify obedience. We don't let our children get away with it, as we shouldn't, so neither should we do this to God.

The No Diminish-No Add Principle

God warns of the most serious possible punishment for adding to or taking away from what He said to do. Revelation 22:18, 19 says, "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." This is a common admonishment in Scripture (Deut. 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32, "What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it."; Jer. 26:2). This principle contradicts the secondary-tertiary doctrine view, which certainly diminishes certain teachings in the Bible.

The Mirror-Illustration Principle

James 1:23-25 compares the Bible to a mirror. When someone looks into the mirror and sees something askew, he will correct himself in accordance with the mirror. He will realign the slightest error. With Scripture as a mirror, the hearer of the Word will change the most "tertiary" problem to obey God.

The Dead Uzzah Principle

When David commanded the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem, he treated the means of carrying the ark as secondary. His servant Uzzah, obeying the charge for this task (2 Samuel 6:3-8), reached out and touched the ark to keep it from falling on the ground. God struck him immediately dead. What David thought non-essential, God saw as essential. Nadab and Abihu violated this principle when they considered the recipe for incense in the holy place to be tertiary (Lev. 10). God killed them. Saul hedged on the secondary doctrines (killing Agag, waiting for Samuel to offer the sacrifice, allowing animals to live) and lost his throne. Samson cut his hair and touched a dead carcass. Ananias and Sapphira kept back part of an offering. David numbered the people. If not all of these instances, then at least some of them parallel with today's secondary teachings or practices. The message from God is that He takes very seriously everything that He said.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Secondary, Tertiary, or Essential?

Phil Johnson, primary editor for John MacArthur and executive director of Grace to You, wrote over at the comment section of his blog, Pyromaniacs:

The fundamentalist movement was eventually ruined by anti-intellectualism, overweening separatism, and a contentious attitude over secondary and tertiary issues that caused many fundamentalists to forget what the truly essential doctrinal issues of Christianity are. But the original idea of fundamentalism was a really good idea, and we could use a healthy revival of it today.
I answered this comment by saying:
I noticed your use of the bold and italic for "movement," differentiating a fundamentalist by dictionary definition from the movement. By definition a fundamentalist strictly adheres to a standard. You understand that separation is a doctrine in Scripture, difficult to parse with a platonic view of the church, however.

I don't see the "secondary doctrine" teaching in Scripture---it seems to be invented, read into (eisegesis) passages, coming out of an evangelical desire for "unity" (an unscriptural sort). The emergents have broadened the unity to a state of discomfort for evangelicals like yourself, taking your "secondary doctrine" teaching to its logical conclusion. The verses supporting personal separation from the world are taken from deep in the vault, dusted off, and now put into use, only not in an "overweening" way (i.e. according to superior intellect) in your case based on your own opinion.
Phil replied:

Kent, well, since that discussion would de-rail the actual subject of this thread, let's postpone it. But I'll tell you what: I will make a post on that topic soon, just for you.

If I'm going to do that, however, you're going to need to bring your A-game.

Of course, anyone and everyone would need his A-game for Phil and by his own admission. However, Scripture is enough for me, so let's explore that together. Hopefully the Bible counts as the A-game. Does the Bible teach a "secondary doctrine" position?


Read these verses. Seriously. Read them all (not just the important ones). These aren't even all, but they will give a more than ample representation of God's will.

Old Testament

Exodus 15:26, "And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee."

Exodus 24:3, "And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do."

Leviticus 19:37, "Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the LORD."

Leviticus 20:22, "Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out."

Leviticus 26:16, 17, "And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it."

Deuteronomy 5:31, "But as for thee, stand thou here by me, and I will speak unto thee all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which thou shalt teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess it."

Deuteronomy 6:2, "That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged."

Deuteronomy 11:32 And ye shall observe to do all the statutes and judgments which I set before you this day.

Deuteronomy 12:32, "What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it."

Deuteronomy 17:19, "And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them."

Deuteronomy 28:15. "But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee."

Deuteronomy 29:29, "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law."

Deuteronomy 30:8, "And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day."

Deuteronomy 31:5, "And the LORD shall give them up before your face, that ye may do unto them according unto all the commandments which I have commanded you."

Deuteronomy 31:12, "Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:"

Joshua 22:5, "But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul."

1 Kings 8:58, "That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers."

1 Kings 9:4, "And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments."

1 Kings 11:38, "And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee."

2 Kings 17:13, "Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets."

2 Chronicles 7:17, "And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments."

Ezra 7:23, "Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?"

Nehemiah 10:29, "They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God's law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes."

Psalm 119:6, "Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments."

Ezekiel 18:21, "But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die."

New Testament

Matthew 4:4, "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

Matthew 28:20, "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."

Luke 1:6, "And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless."

Galatians 3:10, "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them."

Do you get the very clear sense, as I, that God wants us to do everything He said, that due respect of Him means that we do every, single thing that He said? You can see this is what Scripture plainly teaches. We don't have to strain to see this. We don't have to piece fragments of verses together to get it. This is God's will for us from His Word.


One Offense Enough to Condemn
James 2:10, For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."
If one offense is enough to condemn someone, then every command, statute, and precept of God is essential. God is displeased with one sin. It took one sin to remove Adam and Eve from the garden.
2 Peter 2:4, "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment."
"Sinned" is aorist tense, point action. The angels who fell sinned but once. One sin and they were lost forever. God is interested in perfect obedience. We are saved by the perfect obedience of Christ.
(to be continued)

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Waldenses Controversy

Who They Were

The Waldenses were Bible-believing Christians who remained separate from Rome during the Dark Ages and who were bitterly persecuted for their faith. The name Waldenses in English is from the French Vaudois, Vallenses in Latin, and Valdisi in Italian, and these words mean "men of the valleys." They refer to several valleys in Europe where these Bible loving and practicing people lived.

Why and How Their History Is Questioned or Attacked

The enemies of the true and historic position on the Waldenses will often slander the motives of those who hold that the Waldensian history is ancient. They explicitly and implicitly charge that those with this "trail-of-blood"(i) view alter history in order to preserve their historic position. On the other hand, the English separatists and others who deny this position, have their own bias against the truth of the Waldensian testimony. This understanding of the Waldenses is questioned or attacked under four primary influences: (1) the view that the truth came out of Roman Catholicism during the Reformation, (2) the undermining or elimination of a manifestation of the perpetuity of the church ("Baptists come from the line of the first century New Testament church, originating with Christ"), making room for an English Separatist view ("Baptists originated out of the Reformation") of Baptist history, (3) abolishing the evidence of an old and consistently used received text for a history of the preservation of Scripture, and (4) the predisposition toward catholic church "scholarship." Perhaps the question is: Who is fabricating or inventing a history? Our contention, of course, is that the English separatists are. They have a bias that is not based upon Biblical presuppositions as those who teach a pre-Reformation Baptist history. A very sad reality is that the English Separatist colleges and seminaries purposefully leave out the abundance of evidence for a pre-twelfth century orthodox Waldenses, essentially fitting their history with their bias. It is not the politically or theologically "correct" view of history.

The Reformation Baptists (English Separatists) and others (some Catholics) would argue that the Waldenses were a kind of cultic group of pseudo-Christians that arose with Peter Waldo in the twelfth century, who have little to no connection with the first century Jerusalem church. On top of this, they contend that the Waldenses had unorthodox beliefs that refute their legitimacy. These arguments manifest the nature of interpreting historical material. Anyone can piece together any history he wishes for any person or group. One will see a definite historical bias in data dating from the long period of Roman Catholic dominance, during which time they often destroyed the writings of the true Christians and kept them so preoccupied with persecution that they did not have the opportunity to leave a thorough historical record. The Roman Catholics, however, left plenty of "evidence" from their point of view, in many cases creating a "fake" history that would show them to be the true descendants of the Lord Jesus Christ, a position that one can easily see is false by examining the source document for Christianity, the Bible. Romanism contradicts Scripture, so it cannot be the posterity of Christ. Historians should take note and look elsewhere in historical record for the true church, discarding the position endorsed by the long time state church.

Evidence of Who They Were

Evidence of their Pre-Twelfth Century History

Par Jean Leger in his General History of the Evangelical Churches in the Piedmontese Valleys (1669) wrote concerning their Confession of Faith to Francis I in 1544 (p. 163): "This Confession is that, which we have received from our ancestors, even from hand to hand, according to their predecessors, in all times and in every age, have taught and delivered."

Robert Olivetan (c. 1506-1538) in the preface to his French Bible, 1535, writes: "[S]ince the time of the apostles, or their immediate successors, the torch of the gospel has been lit among the Vaudois, and has never since been extinguished."

William Gilly in his Waldensian Researches during a second visit to the Vaudois of Piemont (1831) summarizes (on pp. 118, 119) the work of Pierre Allix (1641-1717) in his Some Remarks upon the Ecclesiastical History of the Ancient Churches of the Piedmont, first published in 1690: "The method which Allix has pursued, in his History of the Churches of Piedmont, is to show that in the ecclesiastical history of every century, from the fourth century, which he considers a period early enough for the enquirer after apostolical purity of doctrine, there are clear proofs that doctrines, unlike those which the Romish Church holds, and conformable to the belief of the Waldensian and Reformed Churches, were maintained by theologians of the north of Italy down to the period, when the Waldenses first came into notice."

J. A. Wylie, Presbyterian historian, in his History of Waldenses (1860), on p. 3 writes: "Their traditions invariably point to an unbroken descent from the earliest times, as regards their religious belief. The Nobla Leycon [Noble Lesson], which dates from the year 1100, goes to prove that the Waldenses of Piedmont did not owe their rise to Peter Waldo of Lyons, who did not appear until the latter half of that century (1160). The Nobla Leycon, though a poem, is in reality a confession of faith, and could have been composed only after some considerable study of the system of Christianity, in contradistinction to the errors of Rome."

Evidence of their Orthodoxy

They were separatist, New Testament Christians who continued from the first century, but were they orthodox? Some groups of these were not, as is the nature of churches, passing along the truth to another generation, but some departing from the faith. The Waldenses as a whole should not be judged according to an evaluation of the least orthodox of them. If someone were to document the nature of Christianity today by looking at the worst examples, they would not get an accurate picture of what was happening today. Reinerius Saccho, a persecutor of the Waldenses in the 13th century, had lived with the Waldenses 17 years previously, and in 1250 he was ordered by the pope to make a list of their errors. The original Latin of his catalog of errors can be found in Remarks upon the Churches of the Piedmont by Allix. Following is a summary of what he said they believed:

1. They rejected the Roman church, believing it to be the whore of Babylon. 2. They claimed that Rome erred in yoking with the secular government in the days of Constantine. 3. They rejected the mass and claimed that the bread is only symbolic. 4. They rejected infant baptism because babies cannot believe. 5. They rejected the Catholic priests and bishops. 6. They rejected extreme unction, saying it is a curse rather than a sacrament. 7. They rejected purgatory, believing that the dead go either to heaven or hell. 8. They rejected prayers to the dead. 9. They did not believe in the prayers of the saints. 10. They rejected confession of sins to a priest, believing that sins should be confessed only to God.
Others have expressed their similar beliefs, including William Jones in his The History of the Christian Church, from the Birth of Christ to the Eighteenth Century; including the very interesting account of the Waldenses and Albigenses (1819), with similar quotes from Aeneas Sylvius, who was an inquisitor against the Waldenses in Bohemia and later became Pope Pius II.

One should also consider these Confessions of Faith of the Waldenses from 1120 and 1544.

Evidence of their Bible

Frederick Scrivener, one of the 19th century’s greatest textual scholars, says that the old Latin version was likely translated from Greek around 150 AD.

Allix in Churches of Piedmont (1690) on p. 37 says that the old Waldensians used "texts of Scripture of the ancient Version called the Italick."

Frederick Nolan (1784-1864) spent twenty-eight years studying the history of the Italic version and he writes in 1815 in his classic volume, An Inquiry into the Integrity of the Greek Vulgate or Received Text of The New Testament: "In fine, a very short process enables us to prove that the tradition which supports the authority of this text has continued unbroken since the age of the apostles. The coincidence of the Vulgar Greek of our present editions with the old Italic translation, enables us to carry up the tradition to the times of St. Jerome. . . . The particular manner in which the Western Church delivers its testimony, in confirmation of that of the Greek Church, seems almost decisive in evincing the permanence and purity of the text of Byzantium. The Brescia manuscript, which contains this testimony, possesses a text which, as composed of the old Italic version, must be antedated to the year 393, when the new version was made by St. Jerome."

In the preface (pp. xvii, xviii [not found online]), Nolan writes: [T]he author thence formed a hope, that some remains of the primitive Italick version might be found in the early translations made by the Waldenses, who were the lineal descendants of the Italick Church; and who have asserted their independence against the usurpations of the Church of Rome, and have ever enjoyed the free use of the Scriptures. In the search to which these considerations have led the author, his fondest expectations have been fully realized."

Another translation associated with the Waldenses was the Tepl Bible, which came from Bohemia. Martin Luther used this as one of his resources when he translated the Bible into German in the early 16th century. Emilio Comba in his History of the Waldenses of Italy: from their origin to the Reformation [1889] (pp. 190-192) says that the Tepl was a Waldensian translation. Comba cites two authorities, Louis Keller and Hermann Haupt, and states that the Tepl was based on old Latin manuscripts rather than Jerome’s Latin Vulgate.

John T. Christian writes in his The History of Baptists: "There had been more than one translation of the Bible into German before Luther’s time. The Baptists used with great power their heritage of the Waldensian Bible, and they hailed with delight Luther’s translation of the Bible. Their own leaders, such as Hatzer and Denck, translated the Scriptures out of the originals into the vernacular of the people. Among the skilled artisans, journeymen and better situated peasants of the early sixteenth century, there were not a few who could read sufficiently to make out the text of the German Bible, whilst those who could not read would form a circle around those who could, and the latter, from the coigne of intellectual advantage, would not merely read, but would often expound the text after their own fashion to their hearers."

Par Jean Leger, Waldensian pastor in the 17th century, in his General History of the Evangelical Churches in the Piedmontese Valleys (1669), wrote: "I say 'pure' because all the ancient exemplars, which formerly were found among the Papists, were full of falsifications, which caused Beza to say in his book on Illustrious Men, in the chapter on the Vaudois, that one must confess it was by means of the Vaudois of the Valleys that France today has the Bible in her own language. This godly man, Olivetan, in the preface of his Bible, recognizes with thanks to God, that since the time of the apostles, or their immediate successors, the torch of the gospel has been lit among the Vaudois (or the dwellers in the Valleys of the Alps, two terms which mean the same), and has never since been extinguished."


We look at Scripture and God says He would preserve His church (Mt. 16:18) and His Words (Mt. 4:4; 5:18; 24:35). When we look at history, knowing God’s veracity and power, we assume that His churches would continue, following His preserved Words. We reject the bias of Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. They claim that His church used Jerome’s Latin Vulgate. His church instead used the text received by the churches, having been passed down to succeeding generations. Those copies culminated in a printed edition of Scripture, the textus receptus, which is the basis for the standard English translation, the King James Version. The New Testament in the Greek language in which it was written and passed down through Christ's churches represents God’s perfectly preserved Words in fulfilment of His promises.

(i) English Separatists mock the history presented in B. H. Carroll’s little booklet Trail of Blood, which is a brief presentation of the fulfillment of Matthew 16:18 in history. Several fuller editions of this history are found in the many Baptist histories which remain in print. Beginning with the presupposition that the Lord would preserve His churches, B. H. Carroll presents a history of groups who existed that remained separate from Roman Catholicism and were loyal to the Word of God, leading all the way to the Anabaptists, separatists before and during the Reformation that affiliated neither with the reformers or the Catholics.

The Mainstream Media Exposes Mainstream Media Christian Bashing

Not to have a pity party, but I think this article in the mainstream media actually is the first that I have read to go after all the attacks on Christ and the Bible that are out there in the mainstream media. I don't remember reading anything like this in something as mainstream as MSNBC. I don't know Joe Scarborough, although I like the cadence to his name, the sheer poetry of it. I think it would take someone who isn't as worried about career "advancement" as others to feel OK about following through with it.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Fideistic Fakes

"They're fideists" is the smoke screen en vogue for the MVO (multiple version only) crowd. They pirouette for applause from their friendly rationalists, smiling and waving like British monarchs. "They're bad. They're fideists. We're not." I see them in a tight bear hug with Bruce Metzger, their textual daddy. You know, Dr. Bruce, the man who co-wrote a book with his prize student, Bart Ehrman. They pull away from the embrace to taunt the fideists.

I'm writing this in humorous manner for the enjoyment of my readers, but I am very serious in all this. They have a very complicated position to take. They're lovin' Bruce Metzger. They're claimin' they believe in preservation. They're sayin' they don't believe in preservation, in a sense. They're presuppositional gettin' their suppositions post-evidential.

Wrong. Truth is, if we are fideists, then so are they---the three fingers pointing right back at themselves. I can already hear the new theory---they're "plausible fideists" and we're "implausible fideists." They leap into the gray and we the dark. "The gray is so much lighter than the dark. It's got evidence in it." No, it doesn't.

Here's the thing---James White is a fideist, and so is Fred Butler (yeah Fred, you got mentioned next to James [bald is the new hair] White), James Price, Kevin Bauder, William Combs, Phil, John, C. H., and Bob. You're all fideists guys. You're like the evolutionists who say they're science, but they really are philosophy. You're philosophy too, just mixed with staggering doubt. L-i-t-t-l-e F-a-i-t-h. That's you guys. You are willing to redefine providence to keep staggering. I'd rather keep providence intact, but not you. It's worth pummeling to get what you want. And meanwhile, you're fideists, just like me.

How? Let me explain. It's not hard. Folks, no verse says there will be 66 books of the Bible. No verse says there will be 39 OT books and 27 NT books. None. So how do you come up with your books? You believe God would do what He said He would do. You think you have evidence. You don't. You have the acceptance of churches. Churches settled on 66, not because any verse said it would be 66. And so we believe 66. We believe the Holy Spirit guided the churches to use and copy and pass along 66 books. Not that everybody did. And for awhile it was a little unsure for many. But finally the 66 came through the gauntlet. For a little bit of time those apocryphal books were looked at closely again. Some still think they're in there. Why do we say they're not? Well, because those aren't the ones that the true church, the orthodox church, accepted. We take that from Biblical principles. "We" includes MVO guys.

So you're fideists when it comes to the preservation of books. The Bible doesn't actually teach that specifically. It teaches the preservation of Words, of jots and tittles. We would look for what the Holy Spirit preserved through the churches, look for perfection. We think it matters if one book is missing, even though we could lose several of the books and still have all the doctrines preserved. We think it matters if a word is missing since we believe in a perfect Bible, in inerrancy, in verbal plenary inspiration.

Isn't this great? Welcome to the fideist club, guys.