Over at the Confessional OH the R2k boys are offering up hackneyed versions of Eric F. Wakeman’s recent visitation to friendly environs of Iron Ink. Here is his report.
I visited the blog of a CRC minister that was referred to me by a friend in mid-Michigan. This minister is a theonomist who calls Two Kingdom Theology (2Kt) a “disease”, and makes gratuitous assertions about a connection between 2Kt and gnosticism.
First, as I don’t know what people understand ‘theonomy’ to mean, I seldom refer to myself as a ‘theonomist’ as the guys at the Confessional Outhouse suggest. I really couldn’t say I am a theonomist until EFW first tells me what he thinks theonomy is. Personally, I would be satisfied with arrangements that follow the classical Reformed take advocated by Samuel Bolton in the ‘True Bounds Of Christian Freedom.’ Unfortunately, R2Kt types object to the classical Reformed take on the law and so they hastily stick the label of ‘Theonomist’ — a label that they have worked so assiduously to turn into a pejorative — upon people who dare to take exception to their novel Klinean Reformed dispensationalism.
Second, since none of my commentary was composed of assertions my commentary couldn’t suffer from being gratuitous.
One thing that EFW has right in the quote above is that I do think that R2Kt is a disease that if not quarantined will either contribute to the death of what remains of Christendom (an eventuality that they are perfectly at peace with) or will work to redefine what Christianity is.
Unfortunately I took the bait and attempted a dialog. In return I recieved more gratuitious assertions, strawman arguments, and ad hominem attacks. Finally, I made assertions regarding what I believe concerning the nature of the two kingdoms and the Church’s role in them. Responding to this, this pastor pulled my post and hacked it apart so as to take my words out of context and do more grandstanding to show just how totally right he is for being a thenomist and how ludicrous my thinking on 2Kt is. He was even so kind as to make more assertions… this time telling me (or more correctly, those who read his blog) what I believe (which I can understand since much of my original post, that which contained my own assertions of belief, was removed or ‘reorganized’). To add insult to injury, he assured his audience that he does not care to support his claims concerning the connection between 2Kt and gnosticism.
Starting from the bottom up, I most certainly did show the connection between R2Kt and gnosticism. Eric was so put off that he completely read past the connection made.
Second all are welcome to go to this link
and see if EFW is accurate in his accusation that I ‘hacked apart (his words) so as to take his words out of context. Examining his original post will also answer the scurrilous accusation that I removed or ‘reorganized his words.’ I think I only deleted his request for gnostic proof, and I did that because I had already provided that in the part I put in bold at that link. What EFW slanderously accuses me of only serves his purpose to look as if he is the injured party. Once again, much of Eric’s post was not removed. Only his request for gnostic proof was removed and that because I had already answered that request.
The fact of the matter is, is that EFW and his R2Kt was taken to the woodshed. In what could be taken as an attempt to mitigate that embarrassment EFW now accuses me of misquoting and misrepresenting him. Something that an examination of that link will thoroughly disprove.
Interestingly enough, several days ago there was a post concerning the political grandstanding and underhandedness of the Obama campaign. This being the culture a Theonomist would care to redeem, one must wonder exactly what that redemption will look like in that great millenium of political victory when ministers like this one rule the world ‘by the power of the Holy Spirit’. His concern, it was suggested in response to some of my comments, was the third use of the Law. I care not for it, he said, but he wants to see its fruits.
Ummm… the end of grandstanding and underhandedness?
Of course those who subscribe to a 2Kt believe in the third use of the Law, and I pointed this out (that was one of those points he didn’t see fit to publish on his site). Furthermore, I am in awe of the ironic state of affairs in which this pastor finds himself; on the one hand he argues for application of the Law to the culture at large, and yet he violates it in his argumentation of that very point.
First, look at the link provided and see for yourself whether or not I didn’t publish his point about the third use of the law.
EFW’s second point touching irony therefore doesn’t stand since I posted his comments.
This is highly irritating.
I do not believe it would be right for me to direct y’all to this site, nor do I think I ought to give his name. But there is a lesson to be learned here, and it is my hobby horse: everybody has a system. We’ve all thought this stuff through and I have no doubt that many who disagree with me are bright, intelligent, well-intending souls. They are just wrong. On the other hand, I’m happy to go toe-to-toe with those with whom I disagree knowing that I’ll either be strengthened in my belief or be corrected where I err. This, of course, requires argumentation that is soundly logical and respectful. We can debate and discuss with attention to one another’s presuppotions therein, but I stop when I feel the need to call names, mischaracterize, or call into question the salvation of those with whom I disagree (at least those who are presumably in the Church).
Well this is a hobby horse we can both ride into the sunset EFW. You have misrepresented our discussion in order to make yourself smell like Mr. Clean when in point of fact you have the deposits of the Outhouse covering you. Who has done the misrepresentation? Who has shown a lack of respect by these ungrounded accusations? Who has cast aspersions that are not true?
The fact of the matter is that EFW is infected with the R2Kt and hence he is severely wrong.
It would seem to me that given my disappointment with the rancor and putrid state of affairs in the realm of politics (though it doesn’t surprise me, it is politics after all) that I as a Christian could possibly (attempt to) set an example to the world. Must we always agree? Absolutely not. I love to argue. Should we attack (percieved) inconsistencies in the ideas of others? I hope so. Should we attack one another as stupid, as “against the Kingdom of God” or practice illegitimate forms of debate such as those cited above? Lets not.
Look, the R2kt virus is against the kingdom of God. I have no doubt it is well intended. I have no doubt that people mean well by advocating it. But at the end of the day it is against the Kingdom of God.
Second, all the illegitimate forms of debate I’ve been accused of have been shown to be so much grandstanding and ad hominem by EFW.
Whether we all agree on 2Kt, Calvinism, Covenantalism (or what have you) or not, we agree that the saints of God ought to conduct themselves in a way that reflects the application of the redemption which God has accomplished through Christ on the cross. This board has gotten heated at times as these topics are likely to do, and we’ve had brothers correct brothers and get corrected back and so on, but we have stayed away from the sort of political grandstanding that I witnessed recently.
Oh for pete’s sake. Give me a break. The piousness is getting so thick you can shovel it with a pitchfork. If there is any grandstanding you are witnessing it in this post I am responding to.
And that is exactly what it was. Political grandstanding for an audience. Why do I subscribe to 2Kt? Because ministers ought not attempt to utilize the tools of the kingdom of men such as mischaracterization, slander, and blantant dishonesty to further our Lord’s Kingdom. The Lord will bring in an innumberable harvest in the elect, but He will do so by His appointed means. We do Him no favors when we privelege cultural transformation over seeing to the faithful execution of those means. They’re weak in the eyes of men and even those in our own reformed camp sometimes sound as though they believe them inadequate to the task, but they’re all we’ve got.
I am working on being calm here. Someone mind hitting a gong and telling me to find my calming mantra?
We must ask here what makes a tool a tool of the Kingdom of men? EFW has gone all pious and spiritual on me and yet all he has done is mischaracterize and slander me while offering blatant dishonesty to further his argumentation. He has, by dishonest means (look at the link) sought to advance his R2Kt kingdom.
Second, I quite agree that God will bring in His elect by His appointed means of Word and Sacrament. I have never said that people are saved by any other means. To imply that I have is yet one more example of EFW’s dishonesty, slander, and mischaracterization. I am hoping that EFW is 20 something years old.
Third, it is completely gratuitous of EFW to suggest that classic Reformed Theology privileges cultural transformation over Word and Sacrament as the means of God’s harvest. The problem with EFW is that he can’t see a link between God’s harvest of men and how men harvested bring God’s salvation to every thing they touch.
Fourth, I quite agree that the means of grace seem weak in the eyes of men and I quite agree that they are the means that God has appointed by which men will be saved. Personally, I know of no orthodox Reformed people who would disagree with that statement. The implication that I would disagree with that is an example of dishonesty, slander and mischaracterization on EFW’s part.