Open Letter to Michael Horton Pyromaniacs

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by PuritanCovenanter, Jan 26, 2011.

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  1. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Wow, even the Baptists are getting the issue about what the gospel is in my estimation. We have had a few threads and discussions about the law and gospel recently. I believe it is a worth while discussion. I do believe this is important. It has challenged me in the last few years. Especially in my reading of the Puritans.

    Pyromaniacs: Open Letter to Michael Horton

    Anyways, Read the whole blog. It is done in a gracious spirit I believe.
  2. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    As a side note I have a deep appreciation for much of Dr. Horton's work and echo Frank Turk's admiration for Dr. Horton and WHI.
  3. Michael Doyle

    Michael Doyle Puritan Board Junior

    Didnt we put this to rest once before? It seemed to me we clarified that Horton wasnt actually saying what he was espoused to have been saying. He affirms the third use of the law in everything I have ever read of his. It must be bash Horton month I suppose. :deadhorse:

    I should state for the record I am really not trying to be dismissive of your concerns Randy as I appreciate the points from our last conversation on this topic.
  4. jogri17

    jogri17 Puritan Board Junior

    Is it bash Horton month? Wow, I didn't get the emails! When did Bash R. Scott Clark month end? (I'M JK!!!! I deeply appreciate Brother Clark!... though I have suspicions that Daryl Hart is the antichrist! How dare he criticize revivalism, the Banner of Truth, MLJ, Evangelicalism, etc...!!!)

    All kidding aside, I jsut finished ''a secular faith'' and I'm working on ''deconstructing evangelicalism''.
  5. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritanboard Amanuensis

    The "cliquish" nature of much of the Reformed world (I am of WSC! I am of WTS! I am of BoT!) is becoming readily apparent in these discussions. In the blogosphere the same 5 people argue (two of whom I can't imagine actually have the time to spend in these threads) in nearly every Law/Gospel, R2K, SOTC, etc. discussion on the same 3 blogs and are producing about zero light and a million suns worth of heat.
  6. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Dr. Horton is a public teacher of Christianity and is therefore accountable for what he teaches. Critique is not "bashing." Please try to reflect a mature outlook and represent things in a biblically spiritual light rather than as adolescent melodrama. Your world is not going to end just because someone undertakes to expose the error of one of your "favourites."
  7. jogri17

    jogri17 Puritan Board Junior

    I was not intending to bash anyone :) I just find it silly that some people get so worked up over it (though I used to be one in all fairness). I prefer stupid immature jokes as a way of pointing out some valid points (à la John Stewart). I am placing my order for Horton's tome as well as Bavinck's A reasonable Faith with cbd either tomorrow or Friday. Then after wards, presuming I have money left over, I'm buying my epilepsy meds! ;)
  8. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    I disagree with the last statement. I am learning a lot and seeing some major differences in terminology. And I am not so sure it is a cliquish nature situation for all. I have appreciation for WCal and all of the others who are Reformed. A lot of this discussion stems from adherence to Meredith Kline's views vs. the other Reformers of the past. That is what I am learning. There are sharp statements being made on both sides probably. I see distinctions coming out from the Klinian teaching that seem to be less Reformed than the Past.

    Read the blog. The statements quoted are from their podcasts and can be heard. I listen to the WHI podcast. It is a good discussion. Read the blog.

    What surprised me is that the Baptists are seeing some problems also. This is from a totally different angle and perspective. It is worth while to look into it. How we define the gospel is important. How the Reformers and Puritan's defined the gospel is important. We ought to strive to understand it in its full measure. If we don't we will be stunted. Partial truth leads to Partial orthopraxy and decline in generations to come.
  9. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    These are the quotes Frank Turk is responding to. Maybe I should have posted them earlier.

  10. Michael Doyle

    Michael Doyle Puritan Board Junior

    Who is Frank Turk anyhow? I would assume he is associated to MacArthur somehow? Is he reformed?

    Just asking so I can understand his Christian worldview

    I really have no favorites. I like who I like and try to remain charitable to those whom I might otherwise disagree with. This is something I learned in my lack of charity to the likes of Driscoll through the years.
  11. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Deal with the content. Please? Let's not let this be a personality issue.
  12. Michael Doyle

    Michael Doyle Puritan Board Junior

    Sorry to have created a ruckus. I will desist and move on. No disrespect intended.
  13. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but aren't the Pyromaniacs dispensationalists? :scratch:

    The reason I ask is because if that is so, it just adds another layer to the law/gospel critique, and as such is not really a Reformed critique of the position.
  14. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    I am not sure Tim. Tim Challies has interviewed him as he does others. As far as I know, if this was about dispensationalism it would tend to lean more toward Dr. Horton's view. I don't see that happening here.

    As far as I am concerned this post and blog has to do with a definition of the Gospel and he seems to have a fuller more biblical view of the gospel. As I stated up above...

  15. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    You didn't cause a ruckus. I am not feeling any disrespect. Sorry if I came across harshly. I just would rather keep the thread on topic. I can rabbit trail and see why you would ask the question you did. I probe to understand why people think the way they do also. I do believe this topic is about what the Gospel is. I fear that others might be taking away from the gospel message. And from what I saw in the blog this man has some credible critique a better understanding in some areas. I was also surprised by the source. I am most willing to bet this man isn't a Covenant Theologian nor a Paedo Baptist. Of course I am not a Paedo Baptist but I do hold strongly to Covenant Theology.

    You didn't cause a ruckus. You are actually helping me to try to keep this on tract most likely. LOL:cool:

    Anyways, I apologize if I seemed harsh.
  16. Michael Doyle

    Michael Doyle Puritan Board Junior

    No harm and thanks brother for your most charitable response
  17. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    No problem Mike. Be Encouraged.
  18. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

    The Pyromaniacs post is standard MacArthur. Really saved people will bear fruit. Look at these people's lives and the bad things they do. They must not be saved.

    That's decent theology turned in an ugly direction. MacArthur, and moreso his zealous followers, represent a degenerate Calvinism that has little pastoral advice to people who are sinning or who have flaws other than, "You must not be saved." It's ridiculous to blame internet personalities, of whom Turk cannot possibly have any thorough knowledge, on the teachings of White Horse Inn. Turk must not be saved (if I followed his logic).
  19. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member


    Okay, Enough with the Character assassinations. You are implying and assuming Charlie. And your conclusion is so incorrect about his logic. If you truly follow what he said you would see some of the same concerns and things being said by good old Puritans and Reformers that we have discussed in the other threads just below this topic in the 'Calvinism and the Doctrines of Grace' threads. I earlier asked that we deal with the topic instead of the personalities. Now please do that.

    This sorta boundaries on ad hominem. Don't you think? Maybe not.
  20. seajayrice

    seajayrice Puritan Board Sophomore

    A painful read. Why must commentators tell us what we are reading? JUST MAKE YOUR COUNTERPOINT.
  21. Wannabee

    Wannabee Obi Wan Kenobi

    Charlie, I think you have severely mis-characterized John MacArthur. His writing in regard to this is an effort to correct a wrong. Just as a Calvinist focuses on God's sovereignty when responding to the teaching of Arminianism, MacArthur focuses on the fact that from a good tree will come good fruit in light of easy believism and the false-gospel that has lead so many astray. It is true that many have become "zealous followers" to the detriment of their own souls and those they minister to. Of course, the same could be said for hyper-Calvinists, but we don't blame Calvin.
    I would submit that you do not know John MacArthur. I expect you have never sat and talked with him. It appears you have never seen him actually ministering to anyone. And I would also surmise that you are not familiar with his shepherding efforts and experiences. I would further propose that if you had done any of these that you would be humbled by a man who cares deeply for souls and is incredibly charitable and compassionate for those who struggle with sin. In fact, his compassion for such people lead to a case where he was sued when someone he was ministering to committed suicide.
    It's easy to cast stones at men in what seems to be ivory towers. But often those towers were not constructed, desired and are not maintained by them. And often they are not ivory at all. Perhaps when MacArthur departs from the interview in order to address Chad Allen on a personal level some will see that even on national television he displays a compassionate and humble heart toward a sinner. A friend of mine knows Chad to some degree. He once told me Chad told him of MacArthur, "Regardless of what people think of Christians, he's the real deal."


    ---------- Post added at 11:26 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:25 PM ----------


    I'm sorry Randy, I was working on this when you posted. Please feel free to remove it if it's unhelpful.
  22. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

    It's not a character assassination. It's relevant. This goes back decades. John MacArthur published a book, The Gospel According to Jesus. That book received heavy criticism, some from Dispensationalists like Charles Ryrie and Zane Hodges, who disliked the Reformed theology and really are to some extent antinomian. It also received criticism from Reformed authors, including Michael Horton, who edited a book entitled Christ the Lord: The Reformation and Lordship Salvation. Horton and the others argued that at several crucial points, MacArthur himself had misunderstood Reformed theology. So, there's been disagreement here for almost 20 years.

    Baptist fundamentalism/conservative-evangelicalism ate up MacArthur's work. For fundamentalists, who believed primarily in "eternal security," MacArthur's nominally Reformed position gave them a new weapon. They couldn't claim that you lost your salvation, but they could tell their people, "If you don't live like X, you never were saved." In dozens if not hundreds of churches, the stakes were raised on every issue. Disagree with the pastor? You must not be saved. Disagree with arbitrary "personal standards"? Not saved.

    That's what the Turk is saying. Listen to him:

    So, the Turk invents these bad, bad people. How does he know, really, what these bloggers would say to their Hindu neighbors? How does he know they don't attend church? Does he actually know them? He's building a stereotype. And it's not just a few. It's an "avalanche." That's the first absurdity.

    The second absurdity is when he concludes that they aren't saved. I've bolded some portions to emphasize:

    You see, the Turk concludes that this "avalanche" of bloggers aren't saved; they merely have a "comprehensive understanding." That's the fundamentalist scare tactic: if you behave badly, immediately jump to the conclusion that the person is unsaved. If they were saved, they wouldn't act in a way that makes me upset. All these anonymous 5 solas bloggers are actually people who have a faith that James wouldn't recognize. How dare he. How dare he.

    The MacArthur connection is apparent in the term "unhealthy Christian." MacArthur bled thousands of words proving against his Dispensationalist opponents that there is no such thing as a "carnal Christian," a person who is justified but whose sanctification hasn't started yet, because they haven't had the proper dedication experience (see Charles Ryrie, Balancing the Christian Life). The Turk thinks that Horton is teaching the "carnal Christian" theology, and that's the third absurdity. He has entirely misunderstood Horton, reading him against the background of Dispensational antinomians. The fourth absurdity is thinking that because someone listens to WHI, that Horton has some sort of personal responsibility for their actions. Does the Turk take responsibility for the jerks who link to Pyro articles?

    I get the Reformed discussion about law/gospel. I actually lean a bit toward the gospel imperative side. But this isn't really about that. This is about a degenerate fundamentalist Calvinism that uses the doctrine of perseverance of the saints as a bully club to beat struggling Christians.
  23. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    It would be better read if you included the first part of the paragraph also Charlie. And yes, There are a lot of people on the bloggesphere and forums who do live as he is discussing. They do hide behind names and attack with no accountability. I have seen a lot of it. They usually are disconnected and just are not truly connected to an ecclesiastical body. The Puritanboard has its attacks from such people. I have seen it a lot. I have seen good men attacked by people like the supposed W*t*hman. Ever hear of that name? These people aren't mentioned on this forum because there is no need to expose people to this kind of rubbish. Believe me. I can rattle off an avalanche of Youtube stuff and other sites that do just what he is discussing. Some even claim to be Reformed and claim John Calvin is heterodox at best.

    He is correct in this assessment and this...
    ...doesn't sound like what he is saying.

    BTW, have you ever read 'The Almost Christian Discovered' by Matthew Mead? Ever Read the Banner of Truth booklet The Carnal Christian by Ernest Reisinger? I don't think they are going beyond anything St. Paul would encourage in 2 Corinthians 13:5. Do you?

    Again, BTW, I was very entrenched in that Lordship Controversy discussion. I read the books and was involved with discussion groups when that discussion was going on. Back then we had real life physical discussion groups. The internet was new and I was just trying to understand DOS. I didn't even have the internet. We checked the references in the books and found many wanting. I know the discussion. And I appreciated Dr. Horton's work.

    You are making too simple of a statement here. And your characterizations are just that without the full substance. In other words there were also Reformed people working this out also. The Puritans had a lot to say on this topic also. And there is something to the claims of St. James about faith without works is dead. And what is incorrect about the stakes being raised on every issue?

    It kind of sounds like to me that you have some keen insight in the above statement. You have broad brushed dozens or maybe even hundreds of Churches just as you claim Mr. Turk has made a fallacious statement concerning the avalanche. Have you really experienced this stuff concerning this? I imagine you have. I have to some degree. We all do it a bit I bet. After all we are a confessional group who believes the confessions are important.

    BTW, this is for you.....

    Does the above quote sound like your accusation here? "Disagree with arbitrary "personal standards"? Not saved.?"

    There is a lot in the article to be gleaned and seen as a concern. I liked the article and thought it had some good points. I still don't see your accusations being so stained by this movement as you seem to be saying. But then again I am too tired to deal with most of what I want to deal with in your post.

    Maybe I will pick up on this tomorrow.
  24. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    Thank you, brother viking. I fully agree with the substance of your post and appreciate the balance it brought.
  25. jason d

    jason d Puritan Board Freshman

    Perhaps we should reflect on what Turk cautioned about to see if any of it is true for us... no need to dismiss it right away and dismiss it as a whole... (unless something in it tweaked us [if you even read it] and we are just trying to avoid dealing with something in us that is wrong.)
  26. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

    Mr. Snyder, my reading in Augustine today began with this: "The student who fears God earnestly seeks his will in the holy scriptures. Holiness makes him gentle, so that he does not revel in controversies." So, I will hope to follow that in this brief reply.

    BTW, I apologize for any disrespect conveyed by my saying "the Turk." I really thought that was his nickname. Don't know where I picked that up.

    I think that the article had some potential, but went off the rails. The law/gospel distinction is a worthwhile subject. The point about the subjunctive mood is valid. What I find objectionable is the arbitrary creation of a large category of internet personalities, the strong implications that they are not really saved, and the direct blame placed upon WHI for giving them the impression that passive, intellectual understanding is all that's necessary for salvation. Wherever one falls on the issue of gospel imperatives, that's not anywhere close to justified. I found it interesting that he both critiques WHI's "Word and Sacrament" emphasis and blames WHI for all these bloggers that don't go to church. They must not be that faithful devotees, then, eh?

    I think this has more to do with repristinating aspects of the Lordship controversy than with what's really going on in Horton's/WHI's ministry.
  27. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    An honest mistake. At least one of the other Pyromaniacs goes by a nickname (Centurion).
  28. R. Scott Clark

    R. Scott Clark Puritan Board Senior

    "There is something of a renewed controversy among the Young, Restless, and Reformed movement over whether all the emphasis on free grace is promoting antinomianism (lawlessness). At Pyromaniacs, Frank Turk has published an open letter to Mike Horton, apparently on the basis of a single episode of White Horse Inn, accusing the WHI guys of fostering antinomianism..." To continue this article, please follow the link below

    Jason Hood, Frank Turk, Dane Ortlund, Mike Horton, and Antinomianism
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  29. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    No one to my knowledge has impugned those gentlemen by name. If you actually listen to the WHI show (perhaps you do), you would hear that it the Emergent/Social Gospel movement and leaders that are being addressed (e.g., Warren, McLaren, etc.).
  30. Michael Doyle

    Michael Doyle Puritan Board Junior

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