Dualing Blogs — Confessional Outhouse vs. Iron Ink

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

The Family Values Candidate Just Sprung A Leak

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.

Ayers, Obama, McCain & Election 08

At this web site http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/August-2001/No-Regrets/ you can see William Ayers, a former 60’s radical, in a photo op to promote his recently released book. Ayers has once again entered the American limelight due to his well known friendship with B. Hussein Obama.

Doug Wilson over at his mablog site gets all hot and bothered over Ayers standing on the US flag. Wilson splashes his testosterone all over his post as he professes that if he had been present at the photo-op he would have knocked Ayers off the US flag he was standing on. Wilson thinks it is dishonoring to the King for Ayers to show that kind of disrespect — never mind that the King is seeking to exterminate the Christian faith. Now, I agree with Wilson that Ayers actions is disrespectful but I am more concerned about the disrespect that Ayers has for noble men who died than about the disrespect for the Emperor.

The real problem with Ayers standing on the flag is he stands on the flag for the wrong reasons. If Ayers had the same reasons for standing on the flag that the Confederate soldier gave for saying he ‘wouldn’t wipe himself with the American flag’ when required to take a pledge of loyalty to the flag, Ayers at would at least be understandable. Ayers problem is that America isn’t anti-Christ enough and for Ayers the flag represents what is wrong with the limited remains of the Christian influence on America.

As mentioned earlier Ayers has connections with Obama. It is interesting that while one stands on the American flag the other goes out of his way to not wear the American lapel pin. Does this mean that B. Hussein Obama has the same kind of contempt for America that his buddy William Ayers does? Ayers and Obama together provide a kind of poster child for the kind of winning coalition that apparent Democratic presidential nominee is trying to cobble together. Ayers is now an academic and B. Hussein continues to garner about 93% of the black vote. What Ayers and B. Hussein together symbolize is the ‘egghead and black coaltion’ that Paul Begala recently noted the Democrats can’t rely on in order to win the 2008 election.

Now, in a normal universe one would think that friendships with a guy who takes photo-ops standing on the US flag (William Ayers), and marriages with a woman who wasn’t proud of being American until her husband began to win primaries (Michelle Obama), and close ties to black national pastor racists (Jeremiah Wright), and financial involvement with a slum lord (Tony Rezko) would torpedo the candidacy of most Presidential hopefuls. Not this year. This year Obama has the advantage of running against a Rebulican candidate who is running away from his base. As such Obama, if he gets the nomination, still has a chance to not lose. I say ‘not lose’ because the guy who is elected in this election will not be the guy who wins but will be the guy who doesn’t lose.

For voting Christians this presidential election cycle is another example of ‘not having a dog in this fight.’ Christians with a Biblical world view simply cannot support the liberal cadaver from Arizona or the poster child Senator for affirmative action from Illinois. For Christians our dog is either Bob Barr of Chuck Baldwin.


Well, my mind is exploding with observations about our recent trip to the West Coast. The first one I will offer is about Airports.

I have said before on this blog that Americans are like stupid dairy cattle being milked by farmer Joe Government. The Federal Reserve is a system designed to milk average Americans of their wealth.

With the advent of TSA procedures in America airports we now even look like cattle waiting to be milked. When I was a boy working on my Grandfather’s dairy farm the dairy cows waited in a pen outside the dairy parlor where they lined up to travel up a slight concrete incline in order to be the next cow to slip through the sliding door that was periodically opened to allow the next cow in to be milked. Once the cow got through the parlor door it dutifully went to the appropriate stall, enticed by some sweet hay, where it would be hooked up to the milking machine so it could drop its creamy load. Upon finishing it would have its teats dipped and its rump thumped so as to move out of the stall so the next cow could take its place.

I recalled all of this while I waited my turn in the TSA queue at the airports so I could take my shoes off and be felt up by people who looked a little to eager to get to the part where they frisked people down. The imagery was so stark that I was waiting for my Grandfathers voice to yell out ‘Cowboy’ to let one of his younger grandchildren know that it was time for them to open the parlor door so the next cow could be milked.

These TSA types (drawn from the cream of American civilization by the way) are nothing if not thorough. First they would look at every license with a black light. I had written a love note on my license that could only be read by a black light but they didn’t say anything. Finally you get to the point where you have the privilege of passing all your carry on luggage through the super duper X-ray machine. If there is a bag in doubt (and it seemed ours were always in doubt) they would pull it, open it and rub its contents like they expected some kind of genie to appear to grant them three wishes, all the while asking gruff questions like; “This belong to you?” “What Is This For?” “Do you really where a size 36?”

Upon arriving at California I learned that my bag was one of those randomly chosen bags that were pawed through by the TSA Stormtroopers. I satisfied myself that they went through my personal belongings with the comfort of knowing that they were decent enough to put a little note in my bag that they had violated my privacy. It’s always nice to have your belongings rifled through by decent chaps. I had unsanctified thoughts that next time I might leave them something to find like a hypodermic needle or an exposed razor.

Another thing I observed as I traveled was the deep reading that Americans do. Magazines such as ‘US,’ ‘People,’ ‘Ladies Home Journal,’ and other tomes must make their profit margin by people deciding to get caught up in their reading while they travel. And what good is reading if you can’t do it with every one of your tattoos and piercings exposed? If you can’t catch somebodies attention by your reading fodder they will certainly be interested in you when they see that stud sticking out of your cheek or the chains connecting your cheek to your earlobe. (It must be a pain to get all that hardware through TSA security.) Let us not even begin to talk about travel attire.

When I wasn’t mooing I found myself humming Larry Norman’s “I’m only visiting this Planet.”

Local Pastor Aids CDC In Fight Against R2k Infection

If my difficulty in hearing what you’re saying is built upon a pretext it is this: Christ came to build His Church. He didn’t call His people to an overthrow of the social order. In fact, He specifically told His inquisitors that His kingdom was of a different nature.

He told Pilate that ‘My Kingdom is not of this world.’ This text is often cited wrongly in support of the idea that Jesus’ Kingdom was of such a nature that it was irrelevant to this world. The problem with such interpretation is that it doesn’t fit what John does with the word ‘world’ through much of his Gospel. For John, the word ‘world’ is often used to designate this world as it lies in the thralldom of Satan. Hence Jesus speaks of the Spirit who the Father will send — The Spirit that the world cannot receive because it neither sees Him (The Spirit) or knows Him. As just one more example, Jesus can say in 14:30 that ‘the ruler of this world is coming.’ For John the word ‘world’ often works in the same kind of way that the phrase ‘this present wicked age’ works for the Apostle Paul. Because this is so we shouldn’t stumble over reading Jesus saying that ‘My Kingdom is not of this world, anymore then we would stumble if we read Jesus saying, ‘My Kingdom is not of this present wicked age.’ Of course His Kingdom was not of the world as it lies in the thralldom of Satan. But that doesn’t mean that His Kingdom, which is not of this world, isn’t a Kingdom that will overcome this world.

B. F. Wescott wrote on John 18:36 saying,

“…Yet He (Jesus) did claim a sovereignty, a sovereignty of which the spring and the source was not of earth but of heaven.” So, agreeing with the Greek scholar Wescott we say that ‘My Kingdom is not of this world,’ means it (quoting Wescott again) does not derive its origin or its support from earthly sources.”

Second, in responding to your statement immediately above allow me to suggest that you forget the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples to pray. One line in that prayer is, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Now, if we are to pray that God’s present Kingdom continues to come that implies that we are praying against other Kingdoms that would exalt themselves over God’s Kingdom. To pray for God’s Kingdom to come is to pray against Kingdoms that rise up in defiance of that always present and always coming Kingdom. E. F., my friend, go read of that Stone in Daniel 2. It is definitely not an a-millennial Stone, but rather it is a rolling post-millennial stone that gathers no moss but instead overthrows and crushes everything in its path, including a-millennial naysayers.

The postmillenial obsession with the culture… transformation of the culture… influencing the culture… what you have sounds like a contradiction.

Well, when people use pretzel logic, I’m sure straight thinking gets accused of being contradictory.

I am not obsessed with culture. I am obsessed with the global and cosmic implications of the finished work of the King-Priest Jesus. I am obsessed with my ruling liege-Lord who provides such a rich salvation that it overflow the banks of individual lives and hearts that have been visited with His salvation. I see this salvation start trickling, pouring and cascading in the cultural street so that the salvation of the good High King Jesus becomes a flood that rolls over all of humanity and all of its institutions bringing life where the desert of wickedness had previously been.

I am obsessed with people coming to Jesus. I am obsessed with the Church swelling as God calls in His elect. I am obsessed with the glory of the crucified and ascended Jesus.

If my belief that Christ will ultimately have victory over sin and death and create a new order in His second and victorious coming is Gnostic I guess I’ve misread something. Your implied assertion that I do not believe that Christ and His disciples had all power is a misunderstanding of two kingdom thinking: I believe that said power is of a different nature than the power to transform secular culture. The power of the Holy Spirit will empower His Church to continue faithfully preaching the Gospel message.

First, there is no such thing as secular culture. It is a phrase that has been invented and repeated ad nauseum to convince people that culture can be a-religious. Culture is but the outward manifestation of a people’s inward beliefs. As all belief is theological, all cultures are theological. There is no such thing as ‘secular culture.’

Second, you believe ‘the power of the Holy Spirit will empower His Church to continue faithfully preaching’ with a message that in the end utterly is triumphed over as the Church becomes a isolate fort surrounded by the ‘injuns’ that can only be rescued by a deus ex machina eschatological in breaking. You believe that Jesus returns to a tare field in order to pick the wheat out. I, on the other hand, believe that Jesus returns to a wheat field to pick out a few irksome tares. I likewise believe that the ‘power of the Holy Spirit will empower His Church to continue faithfully preaching,’ but unlike you, I also believe that the Gospel will both succeed and bear fruit that will remain. I don’t confuse the Gospel for the culture but neither do I fail to believe that the Gospel has implications. That a people freely declared Holy will increasingly become what they have freely been declared to be and that with that personal and individual transformation all that they touch will be affected by the salvation that has visited them. Salvation doesn’t end with Jesus coming into people’s hearts. Neither does salvation end with doing Church just right. The salvation that Christ brings to individuals gets in their marriages, their families, their schools, their economic structures, their juridical and legal institutions, their art and science and every other realm over which Jesus is King.

Quit being embarrassed by Jesus cosmic Lordship.

Furthermore, my comments regarding the personal holiness of believers and our call to be salt and light refer directly to the third use of the law. The third use of the law, unfortunately for you, does not call those outside the Church to be transformed, but those inside.

Look, E. F. if you have a problem with transformation you need to take it up with Romans 12. In writing to the Church at Rome the Holy Spirit speaks,

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

The Holy Spirit speaks something similar in Ephesians 4:23-24 and while you have your Bible open you might want to also look at II Cor. 3:18 and Romans 8:28-29. Honestly, I can’t understand for the life of me the resistance of R2k types to the idea that the Christian life is one of ongoing transformation into the image of Christ.

The motivation for Gospel ministry for Amils such as myself is the glorification of our Lord through the steady use of the means of grace to the end that all of the elect may be brought into this redeemed culture called the Church. The postmil seems to have much more to do with reforming the existing political and social order.

As it is the case with all Amillennialists you are seriously confused. The postmillennialist is with you every step of the way in your first sentence above. The difference is that postmillenialists believe that the Gospel as vastly wider and more powerful implications then our Eeyeore cousin amillennialists. Notice also the amillennial tendency to compartmentalize nature and grace. This is platonic (gnostic) thinking.

Where did Christ command us to “baptize all cultures (especially Constantines Christendom)”? I thought that call was to people of every tribe and tongue… gotta return to Matthew 28 and reread I guess…

How very American and non-covenantal of you to read the text that way. No, you have no trouble reading what the text says … it is what it means you need to spend some time on.

I’m not Gnostic, you’re just a member of “the cirumcision group”.

I beg your pardon… Both my son and I still have our foreskins. Similarly we both believe that salvation is completely gracious.

Further gnostic comments will not be posted. Go find someplace else to evangelize people into the belief that Jesus is Lord in a abstract way over the realm where we do 95% of our living.