Greg Bahnsen Answers J. Ligon Duncan From the Grave

“If you sincerely try to stand against the slide into the cesspool of wickedness in our state and our culture by looking for a consistent biblical position from which you might witness against the disgrace all around us as many of us have found you’ll lose your job within the seminary community, you’ll lose your standing in the church establishment you’ll virtually become unemployable even if you’re orthodox you’ll become ostracized you’ll be called dangerous. What’s  wrong with us  that theonomists are called dangerous when we have to lock our windows at night? It’s crazy isn’t it? How many times can a man turn his head and pretend he just doesn’t see?

Of all the wicked heresies and threatening movements facing the church in our day when Westminster Seminary finally organized their faculty to write something in unison, they gave their determined political efforts not to fight socialism, not to fight homosexuality, not abortion, not crime and mayhem in our society, not subjectivism in theology, not dispensationalism, not cultural relativism, not licentiousness, not defection from the New Testament, not defection from the Westminster Confession of Faith all of which are out there and they could give their legitimate efforts to. Boy, the thing they had to write about was Theonomy. How many times can a man turn his head and pretend he just doesn’t see? We are living in the cesspool of relativism and the church doesn’t have an answer. So I praise God, not for my work, I think it’s the grace of god that allows me to have this ministry, but I praise God that the truth that the early church knew and that is found in the Bible is available to us and there are people like you who are willing to say we’ll pay the price, it’s worth it.”

The Bahnsen Institute
Taken from “Law and Disgrace”

Fewer and fewer Christians are willing to pay the price.

Will you?

Francis Roberts Arguing that the Noahic Covenant is a Gracious Covenant

While this (taking the Noahic covenant as a common grace covenant) is a common construction among many today (think R2K) (17th century Puritan) Francis Roberts rather understands the Noahic covenant as an ‘expressure’ of the Covenant of Grace. Roberts will write of a double covenant made with Noah, one before the flood, in which God covenanted to save him and his household, and one after the flood ‘superadded’ to the former covenant. In this second instance of covenanting, several things are noticed that indicate not common, but special saving grace. The first is the occasion of it, that God ‘smelled the sweet savor’ of Noah’s sacrifice, as the outward moving cause of it, which indicates an appointment to Christ and His sacrifice, the inward ‘moving cause’ being God’s ‘mere grace and commiserating mercies’ to Noah. Second, the parties covenanting are the appeased God on the one hand, smelling that ‘savor of rest’ and second, Noah and his sons, and their ‘seed.’ Third, the matters covenanted consist on God’s part that He will not again destroy all flesh. For Noah and his sons, on their part, and especially in reference to the ‘seed,’ to believe God’s gracious dealing in this promise, but more to believe in Christ, the true sacrifice as the one who appeases God’s wrath and restores rest to the perishing and cursed creature, preserving God’s gracious design. Fourth, the token of the covenant, the rainbow in the cloud, concerning which Roberts declares, ‘So then the rainbow which physically and naturally denotes rain theologically, supernaturally and by institution signifies fair weather and security from rain and flood.’ ”

God’s Covenants: The Mystery & Marrow of the Bible Vol 1 — p. 36
Rev. Dr. Todd Ruddell — Preface

Dabney & Calvin On God’s Approval Regarding Slavery

Most clergy read out Dabney from being highly estimated because of his views on slavery as seen with this quote;

“Moses legalized domestic slavery for God’s chosen people, in the very act of setting them aside to holiness.

Christ, the great Reformer, lived and moved amidst it, teaching, healing, applauding slaveholders; and while He assailed every abuse, uttered no word against this lawful relation.

His apostles admit slaveholders to the church, exacting no repentance nor renunciation. They leave, by inspiration, general precepts for the manner in which the duties of the relation are to be maintained. They command Christian slaves to obey and honor Christian masters. They remand the runaway to his injured owner, and recognize his property in his labor as a right which they had no power to infringe.

If slavery is in itself a sinful thing, then the Bible is a sinful book.”

R L Dabney
Life of Lt Gen Thomas J Jackson

But if we are going to toss Dabney on the bonfire of our cultural vanities we need to be willing to throw Calvin there as well;

“Here a question arises, Is perpetual servitude so displeasing to God, that it ought not to be deemed lawful? To this the answer is easy — Abraham and other fathers had servants or slaves according to the common and prevailing custom, and it was not deemed wrong in them.”

“That since God permitted the fathers to retain servants and maids, it is a thing lawful; and further, as God permitted the Jews also, under the Law, to bear rule over aliens, and to keep them perpetually as servants, it follows that this cannot be disapproved.”

“And still a clearer evidence may be adduced; for since the Gentiles have been called to the hope of salvation, no change has in this respect been made. For the Apostles did not constrain masters to liberate their servants, but only exhorted them to use kindness towards them, and to treat them humanely as their fellow-servants.”

“If, then, servitude were unlawful, the Apostles would have never tolerated it; but they would have boldly denounced such a profane practice had it been so.”

“We hence see that the thing in itself is not unlawful.”

Interestingly enough, in SwordSearcher Bible software, these six paragraphs are missing from John Calvin’s commentary on Jeremiah 34:8-9.  It is fairly obvious that the reason why they are missing is that Calvin, like Dabney after him, would not have supported Jacobinism or abolitionism in the form that it took.

It is criminal for publishing houses to just delete whole sections of author’s works because they don’t find them tasteful to their zeitgeist palates.

McAtee Analyzes Stephen Wolfe Using Theological Categories

Col. 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Romans 11:36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things…

“We think that all faithful thinking has to be theological. But most things, to truly understand them, require non-theological analysis. That’s not to say that they are outside God but that the topics of the theological discipline cannot adequately explain/analyze them.”

Dr. Stephen Wolfe

“An Orthodox Jewish friend of mine spotted it immediately in a comment he made to me soon after seeing the movie (Gibson’s ‘The Passion of Christ’) himself and dismissing the charges of antisemitism as preposterous. ‘It’s all a put on, isn’t it?’ he remarked. ‘None of the guys claiming it’s antisemitic really believes that. It’s really just a question of power. That’s all.’

It is indeed a question of power because entirely apart from the theological, historical, and aesthetic merits of the Gibson film is the question of controlling the public culture, the way of life that defines American society and establishes public standards by which behavior, discussion, and thought are regulated. You probably do not have to accept Christopher Dawson’s view that ‘a living religion always aspires to be the center round which the whole culture revolves’ to grasp that religion is invariably a powerful force in defining a culture and that it is no coincidence that the words cult and culture both derive from the Latin cultus. The religion a society accepts—publicly, regardless of what its members privately believe—is what defines its morals and its patterns of what is and is not legitimate.

The angry controversy about (the movie) ‘The Passion’ is about which cultus will define American culture, and the conflict over the movie is a struggle for cultural power, for what Antonio Gramsci called  ‘cultural hegemony.’ Rabbi Jacob Neusner has remarked that Auschwitz has replaced Sinai in the religious sensibilities of many modern secularized Jews, and the bitter and hysterical war against Mel Gibson represents a further attempted displacement—that Auschwitz replace Calvary, that Christianity itself as Americans understand and accept it be defined and regulated by contemporary Jewish standards and those cultural hegemons who enforce them.”

Samuel T. Francis

I run these these three quotes, from Scripture, Wolfe, and Francis, together in order to demonstrate how mind bogglingly jejune Wolfe is to insist. “that to understand most things requires non-theological analysis”, by providing a Samuel Francis quote regarding a film. Francis’ quote, using theological analysis gets to the center of the meaning of Mel Gibson’s film as well as why it was so vehemently resisted.

Secondly, contra Wolfe and R2K, with their agreement on the Natural Law model of the world, there is no understanding of any reality apart from the usage of theological analysis and categories. I promise you any analysis that Wolfe does on anything is riven with theological assumptions and a-prioris. The theological assumption that is incipient in Wolfe’s quote above is that God is not needed in order to understand many aspects of reality. Wolfe is presuming that man can understand many aspects of reality in the context of completely discountenancing the God of the Bible. Autonomous man, can, starting only from his own reality, and as the measure of whatever he is analyzing, come to the truth of whatever he is analyzing.  You cannot understand the depth of the depravity of Wolfe’s quote without using theological categories to analyze his and its depravity.

Thirdly, what is odd about Wolfe’s quote when compared with the Francis quote is that Francis, who was not a Christian at the time he wrote this piece from which the quote comes, was not a Christian while Wolfe professes Christ. Here we have a case where the children of darkness are wiser than the children of the light.

I do accept Dawson’s view on religion and it is only Wolfe’s religion that could force him to not accept Dawson’s view on religion that religion/theology is the center around which all culture orbits. If we don’t do analysis on anything via theological categories then all that is left is doing analysis via humanistic categories, which, ironically enough, ends up being its own theological analysis.

Wolfe went on to describe anybody who disagrees with his quote above as doing the worst of worldview thinking. Keep in mind that Natural Law theory is inimically hostile to worldview thinking. It is only “natural” that a Natural law aficionado like Wolfe would say such a thing.

Dawson is correct. Religion/theology is the center around which all revolves and since that is the center than all is an expression of the religion/theology around which it revolves.

All the denials and vituperations of the Stephen Wolfes and the R. Scott Clarks of the world, who do not agree that everything must be analyzed using theological categories, no matter what else they might disagree on, will not change that.

Van Til & McAtee on Linguistic Deception

“Modernists will usually betray pretty clearly that they use Christian terminology before a pagan background . . . Modernism is the use of Christian terms for the purpose of conveying pagan thought . . . All the words that we daily use and give a Christian meaning must now receive a pagan meaning

Cornelius Van Til
“What Do You Mean?” The Banner, Vol. 67

This is called linguistic deception and we are seeing it all the time now. Linguistic deception treats words like eggs which can be cracked open and emptied of their content and then filled with new content. What these people do is they empty words used by Christians that have traditional meanings and then fill them with other meaning.

We see this w/ R2K for example. All R2K fanboys will affirm that Jesus is Lord, but eventually one learns that the word “Lord” for R2K fanboys means “Lord,” except for where Jesus is only “kind of Lord in a spiritual sense.”

We see this w/ Federal Vision types. They assert “Justification by faith alone,” and then they teach that there are two justifications, initial and final, and not all who are initially justified are finally justified. What’s the difference between the those who are initially justified and also finally justified and those who are who initially justified but not also finally justified? Well, what else can the difference be but the contributory dynamic of our works to that final justification?

We see this in Gary DeMar’s full Preterism. They recite the Apostles Creed but when they get to the part about Jesus returning again for the quick and the dead, suddenly that is reinterpreted to mean “returning for the persons of the quick and the dead but not their corporeal and now glorified bodies.”

Machen complained about this linguistic deception in his “Christianity and Liberalism,” continuously. He complained that Modernists (Liberals) where cracking open the words, emptying out the meaning, and then filling the words with new meaning, while still insisting that they were “Christian,” when in point of fact they were liars, just as the R2K chaps, the FV chaps and the Full Preterist chaps are liars when they do the very same thing.

OK… let me soften that a wee bit. At least some of them are epistemologically self conscious about their lying while the rest who are doing the same may not be epistemologically self conscious about what they are doing but instead are merely useful idiots.