Chapter by Chapter Review of "Why I Preach from the Received Text"

Status
Not open for further replies.

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
If one searches PB one can find I'm not present as someone that has shown a lot of participation or interest in this subject. I'm KJV (or NKJV, horrors) preferred. But I know a little bit about the subject of scandal and we need to choose words very wisely even when refuting someone we think is in error. Look for instance with the respect James Durham treats Richard Baxter when addressing some of the latter's views, and Baxter had problems far weightier than said here. And even if "they've" been extreme, maybe more the reason to be extra careful not to be also, unless we truly want to consign them to the flames and discredit them altogether. That's all I'm saying on this topic.
 
Last edited:

Imputatio

Puritan Board Freshman
Perhaps the best way to vindicate Revs. McCurley and Sheffield is to show how the accusations against them are incorrect. Rev. Keister’s words were based off of arguments made by them—let’s deal with the arguments.
 
Last edited:

Jie-Huli

Puritan Board Freshman
Pooyan Mehrshahi's Chapter

One problem with this chapter is that he seems to assume that the proof-texts have to be held in their usually printed form if one is to adhere to the Westminster Standards. This is a very bizarre position, not one held by any Reformed or Presbyterian denomination of which I am aware. The proof-texts were added later as evidence of a long exegetical tradition in the commentaries about why and how this doctrine got its formulation in the way it did. The answer to his question on page 174 is “quite easily, as most Presbyterian and Reformed denominations actually do.” He commits an outright lie on page 175 when he says, “The critical text is generally based on the minority of available texts.” In the vast majority of the NT, the critical text matches the TR word for word and the Majority text word for word. So, it is GENERALLY based on the same readings as the TR. This kind of lie undermines the TR position at every point: a gross exaggeration of the differences between the TR and the CT, and no acknowledgment whatsoever of the vastness of the agreement. Only a very few acknowledge the vastness of agreement. The majority of TR advocates only see differences. This is why it is difficult for me to respect the TR position as it is often argued.

I know I do not post very often but I would add my voice to those who believe the review posted here is unduly negative and, it appears to me, exaggerated. I have not yet had the opportunity to read the book but I plan to, and would not be put off of doing so by this review.

Just to choose one example, in the above section on Mr Mehrshahi's chapter, I believe it is both inflamatory and intellectually wrong to state he has committed "an outright lie" in the statement you quote. It is based on a very forced and, I think, misconstrued reading of his quote; even without the full context, it appears obvious to me that his statement has nothing to do with the separate point you are making. I do not think any objective reader would understand him to be saying that the CT is different from the TR in almost every verse. What he appears to be saying is that the critical text generally takes a small number of the available texts (presumably referencing, e.g., Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus) as the authority and goes with their readings the vast majority of the time - nothing more and nothing less. It may be that in the majority of the text the CT manuscripts being referred to agree with the TR, but that does not make it factually wrong to say that the CT is generally based on the minority of available texts. The CT is generally based on those texts, both when they agree with the TR and when they do not agree with the TR. The crux of the matter is obviously where the manuscripts do not agree, and Mr Mehrshahi is simply making the point that where there is divergence, the CT generally goes with the minority manuscripts.

So it seems unwarranted to make so much out of this point in your review, even to the point of calling it an "outright lie". If you feel that TR advocates do not give sufficient acknowledgment to the amount of overlap between the CT and TR, you are free to make that point, but it seems unfair to use Mr Mehrshahi's words as a hook to do this, especially with the strong language used.

Without dwelling on it, I would also take issue with what you have said about the proof text point. I will not get into the question of whether strict subscription to the Confession includes the proof texts, but it does feel like your description of them downplays their standing somewhat. When you say these were "added later" . . . lest anyone reading the thread misunderstand, it is true that in the first draft sent by the Westminster divines to Parliament the proof texts were not included (though they had been discussed extensively by the Assembly), but they were added by the Westminster divines in 1647 (at the request of Parliament) and present in the final Westminster Standards as approved by Parliament.
 

PointyHaired Calvinist

Puritan Board Sophomore
But the TR guys are often branded as the only divisive ones ...
When some (or many) TR advocates say CT/MV users
  1. have a corrupted text and are compromising with (or just uncritically adopting) ungodly scholarship
  2. are using Bibles that mistranslate the Word of God because they follow modern English and modern English is a corrupt language
  3. are unconfessional because they don’t use the exact text family the Reformers used
  4. must be either stupid or spiritually blindly to not be able to read Shakespearean English
  5. Have you-know-who’s Bible
AND again many also…
  1. Say the KJV is “not perfect” but when asked for an even modest revision to make it understandable or corrected they respond with mistrust, disgust, incredulousness, or with preconditions that are impossible to fulfill
  2. say “it’s about the text, not the translation” when most of their talk is defending a specific translation
  3. nitpick the NKJV or claim it is a CT translation because some translation choices match modern versions, when this is a translational and not a textual discussion
  4. Refuse to speak out (at all or forcefully) when their fellow travelers ARE divisive (e.g. speaking about leaving a non-TR church or calling other Bibles satanic)
And when a CT brother tries to bring up these issues and call people to at least reflection and moderation, the gentle CT critic is called “toxic” and worse.

EDIT: not all TR advocates hold to all of these, but I’ve read them all from “I’m TR not KJVO” folks.

If a man comes up to me and repeatedly insults a loved one, am I being divisive because I tell him to stop and am not eager to have lunch with him?
 
Last edited:

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
If one searches PB one can find I'm not present as someone that has shown a lot of participation or interest in this subject. I'm KJV (or NKJV, horrors) preferred. But I know a little bit about the subject of scandal and we need to choose words very wisely even when refuting someone we think is in error. Look for instance with the respect James Durham treats Richard Baxter when addressing some of the latter's views, and Baxter had problems far weightier than here. And even if "they've" been extreme, maybe more the reason to be extra careful not to be also, unless we truly want to consign them to the flames and discredit them altogether. That's all I'm saying on this topic.

Thank you for this reminder, Chris. I definitely would like to clarify that I respect many of the godly contributors to the volume (and don't know the others). I can't speak for or against their specific statements. I took issue with the way the introduction was framed but understand that this shouldn't reflect the views of the individuals.

I think individuals are often misinformed or led astray by claims of those who should know better, but I hope I do not generally impugn motives or character and if I do then I ask forgiveness for that.
 

danekristjan

Puritan Board Freshman
When some (or many) TR advocates say CT/MV users
  1. have a corrupted text and are compromising with (or just uncritically adopting) ungodly scholarship
  2. are using Bibles that mistranslate the Word of God because they follow modern English and modern English is a corrupt language
  3. are unconfessional because they don’t use the exact text family the Reformers used
  4. must be either stupid or spiritually blindly to not be able to read Shakespearean English
  5. Have you-know-who’s Bible
AND again many also…
  1. Say the KJV is “not perfect” but when asked for an even modest revision to make it understandable or corrected they respond with mistrust, disgust, incredulousness, or with preconditions that are impossible to fulfill
  2. say “it’s about the text, not the translation” when most of their talk is defending a specific translation
  3. nitpick the NKJV or claim it is a CT translation because some translation choices match modern versions, when this is a translational and not a textual discussion
  4. Refuse to speak out (at all or forcefully) when their fellow travelers ARE divisive (e.g. speaking about leaving a non-TR church or calling other Bibles satanic)
And when a CT brother tries to bring up these issues and call people to at least reflection and moderation, the gentle CT critic is called “toxic” and worse.

EDIT: not all TR advocates hold to all of these, but I’ve read them all from “I’m TR not KJVO” folks.

If a man comes up to me and repeatedly insults a loved one, am I being divisive because I tell him to stop and am not eager to have lunch with him?
I grant all your points. That's why I said "the only divisive ones". No doubt many divisive statements have been made by TR advocates (I have said many of them in the past), and many frankly untenable positions have been taken by TR advocates, but reviews like this one return the favor. Brotherly charity is a two way street. I don't think Dr Ward's review was toxic at all personally. But while I appreciated much of the push back on the weak points of the book provided by Rev. Keister (including his push back on my own chapter) he also included, in my opinion, many unfair and divisive statements.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Although I've never found the quotation, I have heard it was Calvin who said that the very best theologian could only be, at best, 80% correct in his theology.
I always heard this attributed to N. T. Wright. In which case, perhaps he meant to say he is only 20% correct.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
I've disagreed with Pastor Lane on some issues and he has fervently disagreed with some of my book reviews. There was nothing wrong in his rhetoric. It sometimes feels explosive when a position is taken apart point by point.

For example, we all believe, correctly, that JI Packer was a godly theologian and someone to imitate. I also believe he was deeply mistaken in some comments on the subordination of the Son. If I had to review his writings on that point, I would not hold anything back. None of that, of course, takes away my admiration for him.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
Instead of just “being offended” that Lane said “mean things” about “godly and beloved” men… interact with what was written. Maybe the comments were warranted. Or maybe they weren’t. But rather than simply being indignant, interact with what was written for publication by these various authors.
 

Imputatio

Puritan Board Freshman
I've disagreed with Pastor Lane on some issues and he has fervently disagreed with some of my book reviews. There was nothing wrong in his rhetoric. It sometimes feels explosive when a position is taken apart point by point.

For example, we all believe, correctly, that JI Packer was a godly theologian and someone to imitate. I also believe he was deeply mistaken in some comments on the subordination of the Son. If I had to review his writings on that point, I would not hold anything back. None of that, of course, takes away my admiration for him.
I second this.

And the reaction in this thread is successfully turning the sights off of the bad argumentation of the book in question, and putting them solely on Pastor Lane—without interacting with the arguments.

Some of you don’t say a peep when this conversation goes one direction (perhaps because there is no defense of your position you can make), but then the thread explodes with TR-proponents crying foul when strong language is pointed out.

Let’s get back to the arguments and see.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
I second this.

And the reaction in this thread is successfully turning the sights off of the bad argumentation of the book in question, and putting them solely on Pastor Lane—without interacting with the arguments.

Some of you don’t say a peep when this conversation goes one direction (perhaps because there is no defense of your position you can make), but then the thread explodes with TR-proponents crying foul when strong language is pointed out.

Let’s get back to the arguments and see.
Exactly. It’s the kind of thing I’ve complained about for years. There’s a segment here that has historically been given essentially a free pass to berate and belittle, and have been treated with kid gloves, like some sort of privileged class… and now when the light is turned on the egregiously bad argumentation they use, and proper labels are applied to their behavior… They wanna cry like victims.

I say: three cheers for Lane for having the nerve to accurately interact with their arguments and for saying what needed to be said! Hip, hip, hooray!
 

NM_Presby

Puritan Board Freshman
Exactly. It’s the kind of thing I’ve complained about for years. There’s a segment here that has historically been given essentially a free pass to berate and belittle, and have been treated with kid gloves, like some sort of privileged class… and now when the light is turned on the egregiously bad argumentation they use, and proper labels are applied to their behavior… They wanna cry like victims.
It seems that there must be a lot more history to this debate on this forum than I realize.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Pausing thread. Now speaking as an board Admin. If you don't want this thread closed, stop complaining about the board and calling into questioning the impartiality of the moderators. The moderators are volunteer and make it possible for this board to exist. They should be appreciated not attacked for saving this relative dinosaur form of online dialogue from dying, which it would have if the current team had not hung with it. On the topic of this thread, nothing prevents both discussion of the book and reaction to Lane's language from both carrying on; both are legitimate responses in regular discussion and on topic. If you don't like one of those, don't interact with it. Nothing prevents you from pushing forward on the other. This post is thread moderating; it is not up for discussion. Thread will open back up in a bit after a pause.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
Obviously, a bit of explanation is needed here. Non-TR folk like myself are mortally tired of being misrepresented by the strong and extreme versions of TR. We are tired of being lumped together with WH, when many of us disagree strongly with WH. We are tired of the hints that we are in league with Satan for questioning the truth. We are tired of being told that we don't really have the Word of God. These types of caricatures are all over this book. There is a line that TR strong and extreme advocates have repeatedly crossed. Gentle approaches in the past by many have not made a single dent in that approach by the strong and extreme TR advocates. I have advocated in the past for the "police your own" approach. Admittedly, this is difficult to do, as it takes a huge amount of imagination and empathy to put oneself in another person's shoes on the other side of an issue. But when that TR rhetoric is constant, one gets inured to it if one basically agrees with it, or thinks it is within bounds. That is one point I am trying to make. It is not within brotherly bounds. If you think my post was not within such bounds, then welcome to the way non-TR folk have felt since the beginning of the controversy. I'm not going to try to claim there isn't blame on the non-TR side. There is. But we are not the ones claiming the other side doesn't have God's Word.

Believe me, I was far more angry at this book than my review even suggests. Now, if you are TR and reading that, you could simply react with disgust. Or, you could ask yourself this question out of genuine curiosity, "Why is Rev. Keister so angry at this book?" You all should know by now that I do not get angry for no reason. I am angry that this is a book I have to actually keep away from my church. I am angry at all the misrepresentations. I am angry at what I perceive is sectarianism and divisiveness.

I have delineated the moderate TR position in the other thread. I have absolutely zero quarrel with them. I have not seen misrepresentation on their part. In reality, I see them as the counterpart to my position on the TR side. What I am trying to point out is the lack of self-awareness on the strong/extreme TR side. Not all are equally lacking in self-awareness. But some are blasting me to smithereens while completely and utterly ignoring the misrepresentations mentioned above (or they may even mistakenly believe such things themselves). Such people are also not, by and large, engaging with anything of substance in my review. If you are basically going to say that I have no points of any validity whatsoever, then why should I listen to you on these things?

I have taken an oath to my denomination to uphold the purity and peace of the denomination. I see the strong/extreme TR position as a threat to the peace of the denomination. This is not, therefore, a polite academic discussion. My suggestion is that the strong and extreme advocates do a reality check and back off that line they keep crossing. Another suggestion that would fix everything: go to the moderate position.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Pausing thread. Now speaking as an board Admin. If you don't want this thread closed, stop complaining about the board and calling into questioning the impartiality of the moderators. The moderators are volunteer and make it possible for this board to exist. They should be appreciated not attacked for saving this relative dinosaur form of online dialogue from dying, which it would have if the current team had not hung with it. On the topic of this thread, nothing prevents both discussion of the book and reaction to Lane's language from both carrying on; both are legitimate responses in regular discussion and on topic. If you don't like one of those, don't interact with it. Nothing prevents you from pushing forward on the other. This post is thread moderating; it is not up for discussion. Thread will open back up in a bit after a pause.
Thread pause lifted.
 

Jeri Tanner

Administrator
Staff member
Pastor Keister, where are the people whose rhetoric and inflammatory language you're mimicking and targeting in your review... my main question is, are they on the PB? Is one of them Pastor Sheffield for instance, such that you thought it appropriate to speak of his contribution in, in my view, a personally derogatory way? Are very many of us on the PB aware of, and participants in, these flame wars that apparently you're responding to? Several in the thread responded to your OP that they now will not be reading the book since they're satisfied with your review. To me that is problematic and sad. Yes, I have a prejudice in that I feel strongly about this issue, so will likely be missing some nuances or not-so-nuances that I'd otherwise perceive. But I don't know. This felt like a very painful and destructive bomb dropped into a place where in spite of high feeling, all have maintained to keep the 9th commandment or I hope ask forgiveness where they might have violated it.
 

John Yap

Puritan Board Sophomore
Pastor Keister, where are the people whose rhetoric and inflammatory language you're mimicking and targeting in your review... my main question is, are they on the PB? Is one of them Pastor Sheffield for instance, such that you thought it appropriate to speak of his contribution in, in my view, a personally derogatory way? Are very many of us on the PB aware of, and participants in, these flame wars that apparently you're responding to? Several in the thread responded to your OP that they now will not be reading the book since they're satisfied with your review. To me that is problematic and sad. Yes, I have a prejudice in that I feel strongly about this issue, so will likely be missing some nuances or not-so-nuances that I'd otherwise perceive. But I don't know. This felt like a very painful and destructive bomb dropped into a place where in spite of high feeling, all have maintained to keep the 9th commandment or I hope ask forgiveness where they might have violated it.
Jeri, which part of the review of Ps Sheffield's chapter do you feel is 'personally derogatory'? Is it this?

"His statement about Romans 9:5 on page 209 is so highly misleading as to transgress into the "lie" territory. The only modern editions of the text that substantially disagree with the punctuation in the TR are the 19th edition of NA, the 3rd edition of UBS, and the Lachman edition. All other editions are so agreed with the TR on this position that the NA 27th-28th edition doesn't even have a text-critical entry on the punctuation point. I would point out that the following translations agree essentially with the KJV on the meaning of this important verse: ASV, ESV, NIV, CSB, NASB, NLT, NRSV, NET, CEB."

I do not have the access to the said Rom. 9:5 statement, but it seems Ps Keister has given objective evidence to reveal a truth proposed by Ps Sheffield to be an untruth. I do not see anything 'personally derogatory' here.
 

Jie-Huli

Puritan Board Freshman
I second this.

And the reaction in this thread is successfully turning the sights off of the bad argumentation of the book in question, and putting them solely on Pastor Lane—without interacting with the arguments.

Some of you don’t say a peep when this conversation goes one direction (perhaps because there is no defense of your position you can make), but then the thread explodes with TR-proponents crying foul when strong language is pointed out.

Let’s get back to the arguments and see.
Instead of just “being offended” that Lane said “mean things” about “godly and beloved” men… interact with what was written. Maybe the comments were warranted. Or maybe they weren’t. But rather than simply being indignant, interact with what was written for publication by these various authors.

In my post above I believe I did interact with the arguments, at least in relation to the review of one of the chapters (which I did by way of example, though I think there were similar issues with other chapter reviews). From my point of view, the concern is not just "mean" words (I am fine with robust and pointed debate when warranted). But accusing a minister of having "outright lied" is a serious accusation and, as I outlined in my response above to one of the chapter reviews, it does not appear to be at all warranted in the context. Just because you disagree with a statement or think it is wrong, that doesn't make it a "lie". I think this is one of the main reasons for the strong pushback in this thread. It veers into character assassination.
 

Imputatio

Puritan Board Freshman
This felt like a very painful and destructive bomb dropped
I have taken an oath to my denomination to uphold the purity and peace of the denomination. I see the strong/extreme TR position as a threat to the peace of the denomination. This is not, therefore, a polite academic discussion.
In my post above I believe I did interact with the arguments, at least in relation to the review of one of the chapters (which I did by way of example, though I think there were similar issues with other chapter reviews). From my point of view, the concern is not just "mean" words (I am fine with robust and pointed debate when warranted). But accusing a minister of having "outright lied" is a serious accusation and, as I outlined in my response above to one of the chapter reviews, it does not appear to be at all warranted in the context. Just because you disagree with a statement or think it is wrong, that doesn't make it a "lie". I think this is one of the main reasons for the strong pushback in this thread. It veers into character assassination.
Sorry brother, I must have missed that in the several comments that showed up around the same time. I’ll read it.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
Jeri, Christopher's treatment of Romans 9:5 is so misleading that I really have no choice but to call it an untruth. I don't have to believe that it was intentional to call it such. If you would prefer the term "untruth" to "lie," I would have no quibble with it. There are lots of people who are sincerely untruthful about something, who believe what they wrote.

There are several on the PB who use such inflammatory language rather a lot. I think most people would know who I mean, the likes of Andrew Barnes, for example. And there are plenty of people off the PB who use this language as well. You think my review is a bomb. Well I think this book was a bomb.

Do you honestly feel like I have absolutely zero points of validity whatsoever?
 

Jeri Tanner

Administrator
Staff member
Jeri, which part of the review of Ps Sheffield's chapter do you feel is 'personally derogatory'? Is it this?

"His statement about Romans 9:5 on page 209 is so highly misleading as to transgress into the "lie" territory. The only modern editions of the text that substantially disagree with the punctuation in the TR are the 19th edition of NA, the 3rd edition of UBS, and the Lachman edition. All other editions are so agreed with the TR on this position that the NA 27th-28th edition doesn't even have a text-critical entry on the punctuation point. I would point out that the following translations agree essentially with the KJV on the meaning of this important verse: ASV, ESV, NIV, CSB, NASB, NLT, NRSV, NET, CEB."

I do not have the access to the said Rom. 9:5 statement, but it seems Ps Keister has given objective evidence to reveal a truth proposed by Ps Sheffield to be an untruth. I do not see anything 'personally derogatory' here.
I'm thinking of this in relation to Rev. Keister's review of Rev. Sheffield's essay: 'First of all, I have answered all his [referring to Rev. Seffield's] specious arguments, including the lie. Secondly, this rhetoric is so overblown as to be ridiculous.
 

danekristjan

Puritan Board Freshman
Obviously, a bit of explanation is needed here. Non-TR folk like myself are mortally tired of being misrepresented by the strong and extreme versions of TR. We are tired of being lumped together with WH, when many of us disagree strongly with WH. We are tired of the hints that we are in league with Satan for questioning the truth. We are tired of being told that we don't really have the Word of God. These types of caricatures are all over this book. There is a line that TR strong and extreme advocates have repeatedly crossed. Gentle approaches in the past by many have not made a single dent in that approach by the strong and extreme TR advocates. I have advocated in the past for the "police your own" approach. Admittedly, this is difficult to do, as it takes a huge amount of imagination and empathy to put oneself in another person's shoes on the other side of an issue. But when that TR rhetoric is constant, one gets inured to it if one basically agrees with it, or thinks it is within bounds. That is one point I am trying to make. It is not within brotherly bounds. If you think my post was not within such bounds, then welcome to the way non-TR folk have felt since the beginning of the controversy. I'm not going to try to claim there isn't blame on the non-TR side. There is. But we are not the ones claiming the other side doesn't have God's Word.

Believe me, I was far more angry at this book than my review even suggests. Now, if you are TR and reading that, you could simply react with disgust. Or, you could ask yourself this question out of genuine curiosity, "Why is Rev. Keister so angry at this book?" You all should know by now that I do not get angry for no reason. I am angry that this is a book I have to actually keep away from my church. I am angry at all the misrepresentations. I am angry at what I perceive is sectarianism and divisiveness.

I have delineated the moderate TR position in the other thread. I have absolutely zero quarrel with them. I have not seen misrepresentation on their part. In reality, I see them as the counterpart to my position on the TR side. What I am trying to point out is the lack of self-awareness on the strong/extreme TR side. Not all are equally lacking in self-awareness. But some are blasting me to smithereens while completely and utterly ignoring the misrepresentations mentioned above (or they may even mistakenly believe such things themselves). Such people are also not, by and large, engaging with anything of substance in my review. If you are basically going to say that I have no points of any validity whatsoever, then why should I listen to you on these things?

I have taken an oath to my denomination to uphold the purity and peace of the denomination. I see the strong/extreme TR position as a threat to the peace of the denomination. This is not, therefore, a polite academic discussion. My suggestion is that the strong and extreme advocates do a reality check and back off that line they keep crossing. Another suggestion that would fix everything: go to the moderate position.
Rev. Keister, you made many fair points in your review. You are right to call out the in places absurd rhetoric. You are right to call out what is schismatic and divisive. However, accusing ordained ministers of "lying" is much different than boldly, manfully, or even sharply, refuting what you perceive as error.

I can only speak for myself. In your review of my chapter, you were correct that I misspoke. I don't know how I didn't catch my error to be honest. I should have added "*English speaking* reformed preaching", or left it as "the TR". Thank you for pointing out that error as others have. Perhaps I will make a video addressing some of the errors I made in my chapter.

To your point, I am all for repudiating much of the rhetoric in the TR movement. It is much needed. But we won't get anywhere if "you guys" on the "other side" employ the same rhetoric.
 

MarrowMan

Puritan Board Freshman
As I write this response to the thread in general and to the discussion concerning Mr. Keister's review, I will lay down the following clarifications for context. First, I'm a newly registered member of the board, having had my application approved just this morning. I've been an observer of the boards for the better part of 10 years, but found that others say most things better than I could. It's been immensely profitable benefiting from the greater lights here. Second, I hold to a Majority Textish view. I find the arguments of men like Robinson and Snapp compelling. I have considerable reservations with the modern text critical method, primarily in the underlying assumptions grounding them and the over confident faith that the methods proposed are effective in removing a large degree of human bias in their application.

That said, this book is not a book that I would recommend. It is, quite frankly, long on rhetoric and short on quality re: logical argumentation and rigorous scholarship. It reads like a book with a TR/KJV axe to grind because, well, it is. One may take issue with the polemic in Mr. Keister's critique, but the content is not far off the mark.

With regard to Mr. Keister's review, while some might find the language he has employed objectionable, the greater concern is the content that he is critiquing. Let's take his critique of Mr. Sheffield as an example, given the uproar that is apparently causing on these boards. The fact of the matter is that if Mr. Keister is correct, then Mr. Sheffield has either knowingly propagated a falsehood or has done so unwittingly through shoddy scholarship. Neither scenario is acceptable. Indeed, it behoves Mr. Sheffield to either demonstrate that Mr. Keister is incorrect in his analysis of the Romans passage, or to retract his statements from his contribution, if not the entire contribution. His being a minister and a member on these boards does not privilege him against being the object of scrutiny and criticism. Ministers are and ought to be held to a high standard. We are trusted sources of information, instruction, and spiritual guidance. There are many who will read our various books, blog articles, and posts on social media. There are many who will listen to our podcasts and our sermons. We must be rigorous in our scholarship, reasoning in our argumentation, and careful in our communication lest we lead others astray into error. And when we are short-sighted, as all sanctified sinners are at times, we ought to have the humility to listen to criticism and correct our course if said criticism is valid.

If Mr. Keister needs to repent and reword elements of his critique, then he ought to do it. But that ought not to detract from engaging with the legitimate concerns he has raised. Our tribalism is showing.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
To those commenting on Lane's language, I will admit that I would not have used the word "lie" myself. That being said, I spent a fair bit of time in TR/AV circles when I was younger, and when I started to look into the facts of the matter further, I felt as if I had been lied to by these people. I was also increasingly disgusted by their hatred (and I can call it nothing else) of the NIV (sadly, now transferred to the ESV), which I increasingly came to regard as both profane and schismatic.

As a result of these experiences, I will now instinctively turn to virtually any conservative translation of the Bible except for the AV. That is one real-life example of the damage that TR/AV purists do to their own cause that could be avoided if they had been more intellectually honest and less hateful towards other translations of God's word.

One could argue that it is better to say that the people who contributed to this volume are misinformed. Conversely, one could say that ministers of the gospel, who are supposed to be heralds of truth, ought to know better and need to be judged more strictly than the average person.

I have known Lane online for sixteen years and have watched him contribute to debates on this subject for at least fifteen of those years. He has been patient with his opponents to a fault. He has even been humble enough to modify his own views partly, I presume, through interaction with reasonable people who are TR preferred. Hence, I do understand the frustration and will not be condemning him when the real elephant in the room is why ordained ministers, who have contributed to an edited volume, have been permitted to spread such misinformation with impunity.
 

Jeri Tanner

Administrator
Staff member
Jeri, Christopher's treatment of Romans 9:5 is so misleading that I really have no choice but to call it an untruth. I don't have to believe that it was intentional to call it such. If you would prefer the term "untruth" to "lie," I would have no quibble with it. There are lots of people who are sincerely untruthful about something, who believe what they wrote.

There are several on the PB who use such inflammatory language rather a lot. I think most people would know who I mean, the likes of Andrew Barnes, for example. And there are plenty of people off the PB who use this language as well. You think my review is a bomb. Well I think this book was a bomb.

Do you honestly feel like I have absolutely zero points of validity whatsoever?
I think you do have points of validity (as far as pushback being valid against others' positions) in your interactions with propositions; that doesn't mean I necessarily think (or know) whether some points you make may be valid, as in correct, but it is always quite valid for you to make them in arguing and defending your position. But normally, when speaking temperately on a topic and wishing to maintain brotherly love, the word 'inaccurate' might be used instead of 'lie.' Words carry implication with them that have their effect. I think of the 9th commandment. I could go through your review and make a list of such instances, but I suppose the point is made.

I haven't read the book yet, I'm waiting for it to arrive, so I can't interact with your review of the book yet. But I can interact with your treatment of the contributors. I think the way you spoke of Rev. McCurley for instance will greatly prejudice some here on the board against him and his ministry and preaching, and that is a real shame. Words are powerful. In the end, .what can be proved regarding manuscripts and other outside data. It is all how one weighs the data in the end. It is based on each person's beginning presuppositions and is a theological and doctrinal matter that has to do with one's view on what the Bible actually teaches on the matter of preservation, and then secondarily on how we understand the implications of our confession's treatment of it.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top