Rob Harrison — PCUSA Pastor in Warsaw Indiana
Umm…Proposition 8 isn’t a theological document, it’s a legislative one. You might as well complain that Colossians 1:15-20 doesn’t contain provisions for enforcement, or that the Nicene Creed doesn’t specify which agency is to oversee it. Your entire argument is a non sequitur.
It is precisely because Prop 8 is a legislative document that it is also a theological document. The whole thing breathes theology. My argument isn’t a non-sequitur but rather yours is. All documents, including judicial legislative documents, are theological documents as all documents are informed by and are derivative of a theology.
Nice unsupported assertions.
Your first one is nonsensical; your second one assumes facts not in evidence, and even assuming those facts does not prove what you’re trying to assert. Even if one grants that “all documents are informed by and are derivative of a theology,” that does not mean that “all documents are theological documents.” Otherwise, one might make free to criticize your grocery receipts for the lousy quality of their theology.
The fact of it is, Proposition 8 is merely a codification in the state constitution of a principle which had always existed in the laws of California, in response to judicial aggression against those laws in the service of ideology. Is there an underlying theology to the desire to prevent the laws from being rewritten by the courts? You assume so; but one might just as well support it for reasons which have zero to do with a theological understanding of homosexuality. At the same time, calls to repentance and gospel faithfulness would be out of place and inappropriate in it, because *it is an assertion of legal principle, not theological principle.*
As such, I repeat, the original argument here is a *non sequitur* based on a misunderstanding of what’s actually going on.”
Are you being purposely thick or is this just your natural disposition?
All documents, just as all of reality, is theological in nature. You can not compartmentalize that which creates all reality from the reality it creates. Theology informs literature so that literature is just theology under another guise. Theology informs legislation so that legislation is just theology under another guise. Theology informs economic theories so that economic theories are just theology under another guise. Theology informs history textbooks so that history textbooks are merely theology under another guise. etc. etc. etc.
And yes I would include your grocery list. Why do you have on your list what you have on your list? And one might be welcome to criticize my grocery list if on that grocery list I have a product that is known to be destructive.
You’re reasoning is specious and without quality and your showing that the theology that informs your reasoning is of a nature where you have compartmentalized reality so that some areas are informed by the God of the Bible while other areas just exist. This is foolishness on stilts.
All documents are theological documents. What is in those documents is shaped and informed and derivative of some theology.
Next you go on to blather about Prop 8 being merely a codification of the state constitution … a state constitution that is reflective of some theology.
Even if someone supports the State constitution they are supporting it for theological reasons even if they cloak those theological reasons in the guise of some other type of speech.
Now, one doesn’t have to have calls for repentance in a legal document in order for it to be a document that is informed by Christian theology. Furthermore, all legal principle is an expression of theological principle. Any denial of that on your part merely communicates to me your theology — a theology that compartmentalizes reality and sees the only unity in reality to be disunity.
Since all this is true, I repeat that your argumentation is a huge non-sequitur. Indeed, what you are advancing, as a result of your theology, might be the largest non-sequitur that has ever existed.
“You have a serious confusion of terms going on here, and a serious confusion of categories as well. Yes, obviously, all of reality is theological in nature. Equally, all of reality is scientific in nature, because God created everything a…ccording to a particular physical order, and all of reality is aesthetic in nature, because that particular physical order has aesthetic qualities due to the character and nature of God. One can go on and on with this, and yes, on a philosophical, theological and scientific level, one must always be aware of the interpenetration of categories.
*However.* This does not mean that we cannot categorize. The fact that there is theology in narrative or poetic sections of the Bible does not mean that we can treat them exactly the same as, say, the letters of Paul; genre matters. The fact that there is aesthetic quality to an office building does not mean we can judge it as if it were intended to be a Gothic cathedral; yes, a skyscraper is less beautiful than Notre Dame, but again, genre matters, and the two buildings have different functions which should produce different forms. And a legal document is designed to serve legal functions, not theological ones, and the fact that one can evaluate and critique its underlying theology does not mean that one should expect it to make statements which do not serve that legal function, or judge it negatively because it does not, because *that is not its purpose.* Genre matters, and the only system in which the legal and the theological are simply fused, undifferentiated, is the theocracy–and we do not have a theocracy. As such, even granting that the legal document ought to be an expression of the same reality as the theological document, there is and ought to be a meaningful distinction between the two–and ignoring that distinction creates a non sequitur.
To the man who only has a hammer, everything is a nail . . .”
Hey Nail-man ….
Science is only as good as the theology that it is dependent upon. For example, if my evolutionist friend and I happen upon a fossil, my evolutionist friend because of the theology informing his science concludes that the fossil proves evolution. However, I, because of my Biblical theology informing my science conclude that it proves that God created the world in 6 days … all good. You see … once again, science is only as good as the theology that it is derivative of.
We could continue to press this point w/ aesthetics. Why do people make anti-art and call it “art” while other people make “art” and call it art. The answer is the theology that is informing their aesthetics.
Are you getting it yet Rob? All of life is theological. This is not to say that Theology doesn’t express itself in different avenues and streams. It certainly does. Literature is distinct from science is distinct from history is distinct from economics, is distinct from the juridical but it all is derivative of some theology.
What do they teach people in Seminary these days?
I quite agree that genre matters. Because God is so vast, and infinite we can expect different genres to incarnate theology in different ways. You don’t build a office building to be a Cathedral because the purpose in the theology that is driving both of those is distinct — distinct but still theological. One might say that an office building is theology at work, while a church is theology at worship, while a sports arena is theology at play.
Getting back to legal documents — when legal documents do what Prop 8 has done it must be adjudicated not only on the legislative (judicial) legal level but also the theological level since it is forcing a theology on the public square. That’s pretty simple right?
Finally, we do have a theocracy. All forms of governments are theocracies. It is never a question of “if theocracy,” but always a question of “which theocracy.” Our theocracy is one where the God is Demos. The voice of the people is the voice of God. This is why we call it democracy.
To the man who say’s no hammer exists there are no such things as nails.
Now, if you want to continue this conversational pursuit I’ll be waiting.
8 thoughts on “Conversation On Proposition 8 w/ PCUSA Minister From Warsaw Indiana”
I wonder if Pastor (aka: Hireling) Harrison would say the same thing if it came down to his children being buggered by some sodomite pervert. With this perversion being entrenched in our pagan society, to whom would he cry for justice? Certainly not the courts of men, who reject out of hand the Law of God (as he does in his diatribe).
This, along with other statements made by hireling false shepherds of God’s flock, make it clear why our formerly Christian culture is in the state it is currently in. My word to Hireling Harrison is to repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.
You’re arguing with the dead but it’s good education for the living.
Question: Who is the most religous? Billy the kid, Billy Clinton, or Billy Graham? Answer: They are all equally religous. I am using the word religous instead of theological. Every man and everything is a religous matter. There is no neutrality in any area of life. Mr. Harrison assumes there are areas that Gods law does not apply to. He is absolutely wrong. Everyman when he awakes in the morning and every morning of his life makes every decision about life from some religous worldview. Therefore all you have to do is ascertain two things about everyman. Who is his god and what is this gods laworder. For pagans it is usually themselves as god and their laworder is self autonomous reasoning. Which always follows a pragmatic relativist ever changing path. Every government is a theocracy. Same two things need to be ascertained. Who is the god of the gov. and what is its law order. Since I must live in a theocracy I prefer Jesus Christ and His sure mercies to any other. His law is perfect and we can be absolutely sure of His justice, as Abraham famously said shall not the judge of all the earth do right? Yes He will. Bret you are correct even your grocery list is religous.If there are any areas of neutrality like grocery lists then Christ loses some of His sovereignty. And we know that cant happen. Mr. Harrison needs to go back to basics. Like so many others you must understand who man is and who God is. Until you have a right understanding of the character of both you will come to wrong conclusions about what Gods word says. AW Pink has a great book on the character of God. If you are omnipotent, omniscienst, omnipresent, then there is no way any area of life is not under your absolute sovereign rule. Christ controls every synapse of every brain that He ever created or will create. So in conclusion Mr. Harrison doesnt realize it, but he is stealing from Christ to be able to insult His sovereignty the way he has done in his responses. Gray
Great comments Gray!
100% spot on!
Actually, I probably wouldn’t have bothered w/ this guy except that I noticed he was from Warsaw, In. My sister lived in Warsaw for a number of years and I am familiar w/ the Church a little bit.
In north-central Indiana, that guy is definitely in the minority. If a judge in Indiana had done what the judge in California did, I do believe that that’s one place where you’d see the proverbial peasants-with-pitchforks mob.
BTW, does this guy not realize that a legal system always has a god of the system? Figure out who the supreme authority of any legal system is, and you’ve discovered who the god of the system is.
As well, laws are based on morality, and morality is based on . . . theology. Checkmate, Bret.
All law is legislated morality, what is right behavior and what is wrong behavior.
It is arbitrary for one to proclaim on one hand, “different strokes for different folks”, and on the other hand to declare any action “immoral”, such as the removal of redistribution from our tax code.
Don’t tell me something is wrong if you’re going to tell me “to each his own.”