God of the Mundane, my Heidelblog review

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Very well-witten and reasoned piece for *not debating Day Jyer*. This didn't show why debates are not worthwhile in themselves; more so, this did a great job of showing why having debates with someone who does not fully engage all necessary parameters of a topic are certainly not worthwhile.

It didn't answer my original point though since debates often help guide to where top scholarship is in order to begin said hard and painful research.

If you don't formally debate, fine, but you do a lot of *informal* debating here (and I love it) and please don't act like it is isn't a valid format when you yourself give credit to Bahnsen-Stein etc in the piece you wrote.

I don't understand why "clarification of issues" is such a low endeavor as to make debates unwarranted in the whole?

Informal debating via writing is one thing. Formal, spoken debates require more preparation. I don't have that time and I doubt Randy does as well. I don't think the topic warrants that amount of preparation (and I am not even sure what the topic is).

There are good formal debates. The TEDS debate on the Subordination of the Son was a good one.
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
I am not nearly as well read as Jacob and I use Seminary Profs and reputable people to help me learn and grow. I have been very fortunate to have access to many good theologians and 3 Seminary Presidents who have helped me develop a good understanding of the issues that I had with Westminster West over the past decade. I focused more on the hermeneutical problem more so then the Historical aspect. I was able to learn a bit about the Natural Law issue and some of how the Enlightenment also effected the views concerning the Reformed view of Natural Law.

Debates do convince others. The problem with debates sometimes is that they usually only expose both sides to things unanswered which can divert from the real issues. I would prefer to focus on one topic. The hermeneutical issue of Law and Grace is the most problematic in my estimation. I also have an issue with the Mosaic having an subservient covenant within a covenant. That is a debatable topic since it appears there is only one subservient covenant issue that I find. At the same time that is a result of their Hermeneutic which I find very problematic. If the topic would be focused on that from a biblical discussion then maybe it could stay more focused.

I personally can sit down and think and write better than I can debate in public. I don't even like teaching Bible Studies. I do love participating and watching in the discussions but I try to leave the teaching to ordained guys when it comes to formal stuff. I have the best people surrounding me. I am blessed. They try to keep me in between the lines. LOL. I think the Leadership on the board will back me up when I say I try very hard to listen to my Elders. Even the guys who run the board.
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
Oh yeah, I do know that Coloquhoun and Vos had Covenanter heritage but I am not necessarily a fan of those guys. I prefer Durham, Ball, Rutherford and many others. I have blogs on those guys and their writings. Read Bavinck.
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Senior
. I would prefer to focus on one topic. The hermeneutical issue of Law and Grace is the most problematic in my estimation. I also have an issue with the Mosaic having an subservient covenant within a covenant. That is a debatable topic since it appears there is only one subservient covenant issue that I find. At the same time that is a result of their Hermeneutic which I find very problematic. If the topic would be focused on that from a biblical discussion then maybe it could stay more focused.
I read your blog post, it was good. I’m assuming your ‘targets’ would be defensive of your charge. Not that your charge comes from an ill will.

(My pastor is pretty high on Vos).

Just stumbling on to all this in a deeper way and it’s hard to see what all the fuss is about, but on further reflection I could also see how folks get tripped up and the inter-connectedness /possible unintended consequences of it all.

If you aren’t a natural law guy (I’m assuming you feel it compromises too much), what is your theology on the church’s influence and domain as far as the state/civil matters? You probably already answered that so sorry if I missed it…. if you have a blog link expressing that I’m interested…
 
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ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Debating is a genre and a tool. It has benefits for some by those good at it. I found, among other things, debates in the mid 00s helpful in my leaving RCism and coming to faith. The Latin named, ridiculous and gassy FV/NPP blogs of that time period were a bridge OUT of Catholicism for me while others went the other way.
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
If you aren’t a natural law guy (I’m assuming you feel it compromises too much), what is your theology on the church’s influence and domain as far as the state/civil matters? You probably already answered that so sorry if I missed it…. if you have a blog link expressing that I’m interested…
Oh, I believe in Natural Law. It matters what is meant by it though. I asked Dr. Guy Richard about Samuel Rutherford's view and this is what he said.

"Regarding your questions, let me first say that the passage you found in Pretended Liberty is a very good representation of what Rutherford believed regarding natural law. He clearly believed that the whole of the ten commandments were written upon the hearts of all men “in deep letters.” But, apart from Christ and apart from God’s Word and the Holy Spirit, “the ink is dim and old, and therefore this light is like the Moon swimming through watery clouds, often under a shadow, and yet still in the firmament.” Natural law is real. There is no such thing as an atheist, no one who ought to be able to plead ”not guilty” to breaking any of the 10 commandments. It is ”still in the firmament.” But it is oftentimes ”under a shadow.”

How this applies in the case of a person living within England or Scotland (or any other “Christian” nation) will be different many times than in the case of a “heathen” who does not have the same “Christian influences” around him/her. The one who lives within a Christian nation will have certain Christian influences (i.e., God’s Word, Christians themselves, the church, civil laws derived from the Christian ethic, etc). These things would serve to reinforce natural law in the case of the one living in a “Christian nation.” But the heathen would not have these influences. All he/she would have is natural law, which is the ten commandments written upon his/her heart “in deep letters” but with “ink [that] is dim and old” and “often under a shadow.”

https://rpcnacovenanter.wordpress.c...-and-natural-law-question-for-dr-guy-richard/

Here are a few posts on your other question.

https://rpcnacovenanter.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/Christ-the-king-of-all/

https://rpcnacovenanter.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/the-king-and-his-kingdom-part-1/

https://rpcnacovenanter.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/the-king-and-his-kingdom-parts-2-4/
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Senior
@PuritanCovenanter
I like what Pastor Tipton highlights here (on Vos) regarding the natural focus of theocracy and the lack of blueprint applicability to the various areas in Vos' day and subsequently our own.... It's interesting, that if you think about the powers that be, how their social order is founded almost entirely on a post-industrial technocratic system.... What would it take to get our priorities back to a purer theocratic system? Probably something cataclysmic. ....
 
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A.Joseph

Puritan Board Senior
How much theological truth and biblical reality must us Calvinists ignore for this to be true via the comment section of the YouTube video:

“RIP Gary North. Yes, we postmill types would rather not have the unbelievers secretly establish a centralized counterfeit monetary scheme that lines the pockets of their regime, disincentivizes productivity, and encourages debt accumulation. Instead we look forward to a world where a general equity of law is followed, and understood as common sense, among believer and unbeliever alike. North is not seeking for nominal Christians to outwardly follow the law in the flesh. He’s seeking a dominant Christian influence in culture that results in less wickedness in the lives of unbelievers. The rampant pietism of the churchmen causes this position to be a fringe one.”


…. the bolded section of the comment is seen as a prioritized vision for the prevention and annihilation of the non-bolded portion. But can this really be our focus and concentration? An exercise in distracted futility that ranks up there with Twitter wars. Eventually the wicked take over and change and circumvent laws accordingly. That doesn’t mean we hide or bury the truth of the gospel or the 2nd use of the law. It just means we can’t change hearts by persuasion or coercion - it’s just where we are. It’s where we always wind up. Even now punishments are not equally distributed, nor is the law equally enforced, until such time that laws and standards are abolished all together. Maybe then men and women will cry out.
 
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A.Joseph

Puritan Board Senior
I can’t really argue with much of this. It’s worth noting. …. Celebrity culture, whether we are a leader or a follower, can be pretty seducing.

“Evangelicals flocked to Driscoll and Piper, in part, because those preachers told them exactly what God wanted them to do with every moment of their lives. The control that people ceded to Piper, Driscoll, MacDonald et al. over their lives was an abdication of the Reformation doctrine of Christian liberty.
Piper is entitled to his opinion about when you should retire and what you should do with those years. He is not entitled to bind your conscience and say, “Thus says the Lord” about what you should do with your retirement. The preacher does not have that authority. Should we be critical of American materialism? Certainly but when I stand before God I will not be presenting to him the last thing I did with my life. I will be presenting to him the last thing Jesus did with his life for me. If you think that Piper’s doctrine of final salvation through works does not have practical implications you are not listening carefully enough. His doctrine of final salvation through works gives him the leverage he needs to tell you what you must do with your retirement. Driscoll was going to take back and transform Seattle so he got to tell the Gen-Xers who followed him when to marry and who could work and not work and how many children to have.
Piper’s doctrine of final salvation through works is not the gospel and it is most certainly not a Reformation doctrine and it underpins the sort of control that he, MacDonald, Driscoll, et al. in the YRR movement sought (and seek) to exercise over Christian laity. If the Reformation doctrine of Christian liberty is new to you, welcome. It was a great deliverance from the tyrannical control exercised by the clergy over the daily lives of medieval Christians. It went hand in glove with the Reformation recovery of the salvation by grace alone, through faith alone and the Scripture as the alone final standard for the Christian faith and the Christian life.” https://heidelblog.net/2021/08/pipe...ar-the-yrr-movement-was-from-the-reformation/
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
I can’t really argue with much of this. It’s worth noting. …. Celebrity culture, whether we are a leader or a follower, can be pretty seducing.

“Evangelicals flocked to Driscoll and Piper, in part, because those preachers told them exactly what God wanted them to do with every moment of their lives. The control that people ceded to Piper, Driscoll, MacDonald et al. over their lives was an abdication of the Reformation doctrine of Christian liberty.
Piper is entitled to his opinion about when you should retire and what you should do with those years. He is not entitled to bind your conscience and say, “Thus says the Lord” about what you should do with your retirement. The preacher does not have that authority. Should we be critical of American materialism? Certainly but when I stand before God I will not be presenting to him the last thing I did with my life. I will be presenting to him the last thing Jesus did with his life for me. If you think that Piper’s doctrine of final salvation through works does not have practical implications you are not listening carefully enough. His doctrine of final salvation through works gives him the leverage he needs to tell you what you must do with your retirement. Driscoll was going to take back and transform Seattle so he got to tell the Gen-Xers who followed him when to marry and who could work and not work and how many children to have.
Piper’s doctrine of final salvation through works is not the gospel and it is most certainly not a Reformation doctrine and it underpins the sort of control that he, MacDonald, Driscoll, et al. in the YRR movement sought (and seek) to exercise over Christian laity. If the Reformation doctrine of Christian liberty is new to you, welcome. It was a great deliverance from the tyrannical control exercised by the clergy over the daily lives of medieval Christians. It went hand in glove with the Reformation recovery of the salvation by grace alone, through faith alone and the Scripture as the alone final standard for the Christian faith and the Christian life.” https://heidelblog.net/2021/08/pipe...ar-the-yrr-movement-was-from-the-reformation/

That's all I was getting at. Ironically, I'm actually quite close to Piper on things like hating American stupidity, materialism, etc. I live a somewhat Spartan existence.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
Piper’s doctrine of final salvation through works

Huh? I haven't followed this thread closely so I am sorry if this was discussed and I missed it.

I've paid little attention to Piper for the last 20 years or so since he hooked up so closely with Mahaney. ( Having been in an SGM church for a while in the 90s, and having loved the Piper audios I'd listened to like all those biographies, Hebrews, etc, well, it was hard to watch).

So you are saying that the guy who preached the definitive sermon on "this man went down to his house justified", dealing the death blow to any justification by works, is now into final salvation by works?

So, uh, is this true or some knee jerk reaction to quotes from James or the end of the sermon on the Mount or what? Is this a far right Reformed hyper anti FV position that freaks out when you talk about "grace alone faith that produces fruit" type of statements?

I have no idea, please do not think I am arguing with this because I don't know what has been going on : Piper’s doctrine of final salvation through works

I'm just a bit shocked to hear that said. Anybody have links other than an RSC blog? I'm more of a John Framer on the subject of WSC. When I've read RSC criticizing so badly Edwards, Iain Murray, Lloyd Jones, etc, well, he isn't somebody I respect.

It sounds slanderous based on my pre 2000 AD love affair with Piper sermons ( I'm over that, sigh). Thanks for any explanation.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
So you are saying that the guy who preached the definitive sermon on "this man went down to his house justified", dealing the death blow to any justification by works, is now into final salvation by works?

He's always taught this. He rejected the Heidelberg understanding of Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude 20 years ago in Future Grace.
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Senior
Piper’s doctrine of final salvation through works
That’s the only part I was unsure of. I never followed him too closely. That sounds like a charge that would be laid at Washer. But in the context of the rest of the article it all seemed problematic.

And from reading that review of Future Grace The Purifying Power of the Promises of God
it does appear Piper uses many emotional elements and terms to express the realities and experiences of faith. That can get a little dicey….

This is also concerning:
“There are places where Piper causes some tensions with the two sound premises noted above. First, he makes perseverance in faith a condition for justification. After quoting Jonathan Edwards to this effect, he stated in his own words “Thus it is proper to speak of the moral effectiveness of justifying faith not merely because it brings us into a right standing with God at the first moment of its exercise, but also because it is a persevering sort of faith, whose effectiveness resides in its daily embrace of all that God is for us in Jesus.” (pg. 25; emphasis added) We should all affirm that true faith is persevering faith, so Piper is correct on that point. On the other hand, to say that “justifying faith” – which I take to refer to faith’s role in respect to justification – has “effectiveness” – which I take to mean truly bringing about its corresponding result of justification – in a daily renewal seems obviously to shift justification from one definitive and punctiliar act of God in permanently declaring a sinner righteous upon their taking hold of Christ for salvation to a grant that is always in question. Some might object that it is obvious that if we hypothetically were to lose faith, we would no longer be justified. Apart from the only hypothetical nature of that thought experiment, which I suppose has a valid conclusion from an unreal premise, Piper’s definition of faith fosters an understanding that true faith can ebb and flow, perhaps suggesting it might ebb so low as not to be effective anymore. I will treat the issue of Piper’s understanding of faith in the next section, but it is worth flagging here. Piper does seemingly have a construction that undermines the sure permanency of justification and makes it contingent upon our perseverance in good works. In this sense, works are no longer simply evidence as he stated elsewhere in Future Grace.
 
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RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Jacob, do you believe in the doctrine of the judgment according to works? If so, how would you say your understanding differs from Piper's?

Yes. In p.25 of the revised version of Future Grace, Piper speaks of a "moral effectiveness" of justifying faith. He also speaks of the covenant of grace as conditional--if we don't keep it we won't get to heaven. I understand how that language has been glossed in the past, but Piper isn't taking any of those precautions.

I'm willing to grant him a charitable reading, but if I were a ministerial candidate and said the above on the floor of presbytery, it's not hard to imagine how people would react.
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Senior
Yes. In p.25 of the revised version of Future Grace, Piper speaks of a "moral effectiveness" of justifying faith. He also speaks of the covenant of grace as conditional--if we don't keep it we won't get to heaven. I understand how that language has been glossed in the past, but Piper isn't taking any of those precautions.

I'm willing to grant him a charitable reading, but if I were a ministerial candidate and said the above on the floor of presbytery, it's not hard to imagine how people would react.
And when you tie this to his influence on the YRR movement you can see how things can get pretty mixed up. The Reformed faith is an active faith but if we are trying to constantly prove our faith our faith is ultimately dependent on us…. and the preachers who are calling us to act in various ways under various circumstances. Too much application, too far removed from the text, may not always be a good thing…. Just thinking out loud.
 
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Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Sophomore
I grant that Piper could be clearer and more precise in distinctions, but I think he's essentially orthodox on this point. A couple years ago I took Clark to task on my blog for his treatment of Piper on the matter. The reader will have to forgive the pretentious tone I wrote with as a hot-headed 22 year old, but I still think my points were basically correct.
 
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Tychicus

Puritan Board Freshman
Turretin:

Michael Lynch translated a portion of Louis le Blanc on good works. He cites Pareus and Ames against Bellarmine.

Mark Jones (Twisse, Zanchi, Witsius, Mastricht):

John Davenant contra Bellarmine's misconception of the Protestant view of good works:

Someone more contemporary, Sinclair Ferguson:
"In order to experience final salvation, sanctification is as necessary as justification."

GK Beale:
 

Tychicus

Puritan Board Freshman
This is a great collection of historical sources on good works:

 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Senior
I absolutely think we need to make our calling and election sure! I’m glad I’m accountable to my SAVIOR for what HE’S DONE for me…. for HIS SAKE ALONE and GOD’s GLORY.

This is an interesting video
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Senior
I don’t know if we need to even listen to what happened at Mars Hill Church (the Rise & Fall). At what point is it just a pile on. Let’s pray that the man can be restored as well as those who were badly affected by his ministry.
 
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Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
That's where the debate starts to trade on ambiguities. God's law can mean anything from the 10 commandments to all the civil penalties. But to the question: the Regulative Principle of Worship has rightly been seen as an application of the 2nd Commandment. Most Baptist churches probably don't hold to the RPW. That means they (and all Lutherans and most Anglicans) are violating the 2nd Commandment. I return to my question.
Forget about the Baptists and others. Most Presbyterian churches probably don’t hold to even the watered down Hart/Muether version of the RPW, and are also generally anti-sabbatarian.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Think of how many non-Sabbatarians are in America (probably over 100 million). Will you execute them? I know it sounds extreme, but those are the issues that have to be worked out before hand. If we say, "But the Spirit of God will change the hearts before that happens," then the whole issue of social ethics is now moot.
There are estimated to be over 332 million people in the country. Are more than a million of them Sabbatarian? I doubt it.
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
There are estimated to be over 332 million people in the country. Are more than a million of them Sabbatarian? I doubt it.
I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell amongst men of unclean lips. I will go. It aint easy either. Definitely an uphill battle but who knows what God will do. Thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. I don't care about all the. "we are too pagan now to recover." God is able to do what he wants when he wants. I am called to go.
 
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