Christian Theology

May 27, 2008

Some Various Quotations by Calvin on Idolatry

Rather than bore you with my prose, I leave you some quotations from Calvin:

Mingled vanity and pride appear in this, that when miserable men do seek after God, instead of ascending higher than themselves as they ought to do, they measure him by their own carnal stupidity, and neglecting solid inquiry, fly off to indulge their curiosity in vain speculation. Hence, they do not conceive of him in the character in which he is manifested, but imagine him to be whatever their own rashness has devised. This abyss standing open, they cannot move one footstep without rushing headlong to destruction. With such an idea of God, nothing which they may attempt to offer in the way of worship or obedience can have any value in his sight, because it is not him they worship, but, instead of him, the dream and figment of their own heart.-John Calvin, Institutes, Book I. Ch. 4. Section 1.

In this way, the vain pretext which many employ to clothe their superstition is overthrown. They deem it enough that they have some kind of zeal for religion, how preposterous soever it may be, not observing that true religion must be conformable to the will of God as its unerring standard; that he can never deny himself, and is no specter or phantom, to be metamorphosed at each individual’s caprice. It is easy to see how superstition, with its false glosses, mocks God, while it tries to please him. Usually fastening merely on things on which he has declared he sets no value, it either contemptuously overlooks, or even undisguisedly rejects, the things which he expressly enjoins, or in which we are assured that he takes pleasure. Those, therefore, who set up a fictitious worship, merely worship and adore their own delirious fancies; indeed, they would never dare so to trifle with God, had they not previously fashioned him after their own childish conceits. -John Calvin, Institutes, Book I. Ch. 4., Section. 3.

Hence we must hold, that whosoever adulterates pure religion (and this must be the case with all who cling to their own views), make a departure from the one God. No doubt, they will allege that they have a different intention; but it is of little consequence what they intend or persuade themselves to believe, since the Holy Spirit pronounces all to be apostates, who, in the blindness of their minds, substitute demons in the place of God. -John Calvin, Institutes, Book I., Ch. 5. Section 13a.

Among the gentiles in the time of Christ, the Samaritans undoubtedly made the nearest approach to true piety; yet we hear from his own mouth that they worshiped they knew not what (John 4:22); whence it follows that they were deluded by vain errors. In short, though all did not give way to gross vice, or rush headlong into open idolatry, there was no pure and authentic religion founded merely on common belief. A few individuals may not have gone all insane lengths with vulgar; still Paul’s declaration remains true, that the wisdom of God was not apprehended by the princes of this world (1 Cor. 2:8). But if the most distinguished wandered in darkness, what shall we say of the refuse? No wonder, therefore, that all worship of man’s device is repudiated by the Holy Spirit as degenerate. Any opinion which man can form in heavenly mysteries, thought it may not beget a long train of errors, is still the parent of error. -John Calvin, Institutes, Book I. Ch. 5. Section 13b.

Yep. Smart fella, that Calvin.

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37 Comments »

  1. John Calvin is always a worthy read, though we need to know he was a man of his time, and hardly infallible. But yes smart man of God.

    Comment by irishanglican — May 27, 2008 @ 4:37 pm | Reply

  2. I agree with you, of course (that Calvin was fallible), but am curious as to what, from my post, prompted you to state such?

    Comment by Josh — May 27, 2008 @ 6:15 pm | Reply

  3. Oh I have myself a fair Calvin library, and he is always someone I look at as to scripture exegesis. I have been Reformed Anglican (Thirty Nine Articles), but I am now closer to Orthodoxy. And I am an Anglican priest.

    Comment by irishanglican — May 27, 2008 @ 6:51 pm | Reply

  4. So was something in my post that made you think I implied that Calvin was infallible, or were you just stating an obvious on which we would all agree?

    Comment by Josh — May 27, 2008 @ 7:01 pm | Reply

  5. Most of the folk that I know, and that is also many Reformed, they all love Calvin, but know he was a man of another time also, and can be sometimes narrow in his thought and logic. Indeed there are no perfect theolog’s..we all have feet of clay.

    Comment by irishanglican — May 27, 2008 @ 7:10 pm | Reply

  6. How dare you say Calvin was fallible. :)

    It’s true that Calvin is at his strongest as an exegete. (I know Arminian Pastors that treasure his commentaries but live in holy fear of footnoting their sermons.) It seems that the farther Anglicanism gets from Anglicanism the more attractive things like Eastern Orthodoxy become. Is it the vagueness that is attractive or the power of tradition? I admit that I am attracted to neither without a compelling reason. Something being old does not seem to be a very good reason for holding it dear, though something being new might be good reason to consider it suspect. For my money, the Westminster Confession is yet to be topped as a simple outline of faith and practice, and that document was also written by the Anglicans?

    All the best,

    Christopher

    Comment by Neiswonger — May 27, 2008 @ 7:11 pm | Reply

  7. Something being old does not seem to be a very good reason for holding it dear, though something being new might be good reason to consider it suspect.

    I can’t rightly place it, and I’m sure that I’m paraphrasing, but some wise man once said, “If it’s new, it’s probably not true; and if it’s true, it’s probably not new.”

    Comment by Josh — May 27, 2008 @ 7:19 pm | Reply

  8. Being an Anglican, I am very creedal..and the Oecumenical Councils, and epecially First Nicaea (325) and then Chalcedon (451) (really the first four) defined the Triune God and the Incarnate person of Christ. Also, this does not include the filioque, which should be discarded, as the East have done so. These great councils are eastern by the way. So my first and always great concern is the the doctrine of God!

    Comment by irishanglican — May 27, 2008 @ 7:43 pm | Reply

  9. Constantinople I, (381) condemned Macedonians and declared the Holy Spirit consubstantial with the Father and Son. And at Ephesus (431) the Nestorians were condemned theologically as well the Pelagians. But very importantly the divine maternity of Mary as the theotokos was also declared. And the Reformed Belgic Confession maintains this also.

    Comment by irishanglican — May 27, 2008 @ 7:56 pm | Reply

  10. irishanglican, you said:

    Indeed there are no perfect theolog’s..we all have feet of clay.

    Yes, we understand that. What I’m asking is why are you stating the obvious, as nothing in my post intimates that Calvin is infallible. It’s quite superfluous.

    Comment by Josh — May 27, 2008 @ 8:08 pm | Reply

  11. Now you are going to side step what I have written about Creeds and the proper nature of God, for this? Superfluous?

    Comment by irishanglican — May 27, 2008 @ 8:18 pm | Reply

  12. Sir, I’m not sidestepping anything. This is a blog at which I’m a contributor. This particular post is mine. I can respond and deviate from its original intent as I please. You, on the other hand, have not answered my question. Why did you feel the need to state the obvious concerning a man’s fallibility?

    As for “side step[ing]” what you have written, I don’t follow. I didn’t see any questions directed, or assertions to be challenged. I, on the other hand, have asked you a simple question several times, and you have evaded it. It’s not a trick question. It’s simply a genuine one that I’d like an answer to. That’s all.

    Comment by Josh — May 27, 2008 @ 8:25 pm | Reply

  13. Well first, let me state too, that I am not really a hard blogger. I use the blog mostly for pastoral use, and to keep and make contact, etc. I am an Anglican priest and rector as I have stated. Irish born, but educated in England.

    As to your question, I have found often, that people that quote Calvin do so as they feel like he is a, and sometimes “the” definitive voice on anything Reformed. This is not with everyone, but certainly it is often very true. So there ya have mate! Now can we move on to some substantive issues? Or do you not “follow” at least the Creedal and Christian theological reality of Nicaea and Chalcedon?

    Comment by irishanglican — May 27, 2008 @ 9:28 pm | Reply

  14. As to your question, I have found often, that people that quote Calvin do so as they feel like he is a, and sometimes “the” definitive voice on anything Reformed.

    So, because of your own subjective experiences with other people who have quoted Calvin, you presumptuously assume and import this (i.e. that I feel Calvin is “the” definitive voice on anything Reformed) as being the motive behind my quoting? Couldn’t you have just asked/stated that in your first post? You rightly note that this assertion of yours is not true with everyone, but is often very true. I must ask, how do you peer into the souls so deeply of those who quote Calvin in your presence? Furthermore, Calvin is, indeed, a definitive voice of Reformed theology, seeing as how he was a Reformer. How anyone could assert otherwise is like saying Martin Luther wasn’t a Reformer, either.

    Now can we move on to some substantive issues? Or do you not “follow” at least the Creedal and Christian theological reality of Nicaea and Chalcedon?

    Within the context of this Blog Post, and more specifically Calvin’s quotes, I must say that you’re purpose in commenting such things are incoherent. Are you saying that the aforecited quotes from Calvin are not substantive? If not, why did you read and comment on the blog post? Why not just go and make a post of your own? I really am not grasping what it is your trying to get across with stating the obvious. Are you intimating, in some vague mysterious manner, that Calvin didn’t hold to the Councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon?

    Typically, in a discussion, someone asks a question in response to, or makes an assertion against, the original subject matter as declared by the original author/writer, etc. However, I’m not really understanding your allusions to Creeds and Councils, in light of my blog post. Maybe you can clear up this poor Arkansan Boy’s confusion.

    Comment by Josh — May 27, 2008 @ 10:06 pm | Reply

  15. Josh – I was responding to “Neiswongers” question to me. Even as you did also (and obviously toward me! And when one reads Calvin on the doctrine of the Trinity, and the eternal Sonship of Christ, one indeed wonders about Calvin’s depth and understanding here? At least I do. I do value Calvin very much really, but as I said, he is hardly infallible. Luther was much more able in Trinirarian doctrine than Calvin in my opinion. And I did my D. Phil. on Luther’s Ontology of the Cross (in the mid 90′s).

    Comment by irishanglican — May 27, 2008 @ 10:22 pm | Reply

  16. irishanglican,

    I would think that now the question is somewhat other. Since you are claiming a specific ordination and affiliation with a theological tradition that is historically Protestant, and at least within the wide parameters of the Reformation’s understanding of orthodoxy, whether or not you actually hold to the theological distinctives and tradition that you swore that you would hold and teach at you ordination is much more compelling.

    We all know what Calvin held; he was a Calvinist. And it isn’t very helpful to imply that he is not an authority on Reformed Orthodoxy. If we widen out “Reformed” to mean everything reformish there are many authorities, but he is always a leading voice in any reasonable interpretation. But if we exclude Lutherans, Anglicans, and others of the Protestant lineage and use “Reformed” more specifically to mean the Reformed Churches, his influence positively dominates and they tend to define themselves by agreement with his thought.

    And so do you hold to your 39 Articles? If not, it would be hard to view you as an Anglican, ordination and Nicea not-with-standing.

    All the best,

    Christopher

    Comment by Neiswonger — May 27, 2008 @ 10:35 pm | Reply

  17. Christopher – I can see that you do not know the whole history of the Anglican Communion. It has gone well beyond the Thirty-Nine Articles, even before Wesley and of course after. The Thirty-Nine Articles are not Articles of Faith like the Creeds, and they are not imposed on members of the Anglican Church or clergy as necessary terms of communion, etc. They are not religious tests, or even Articles of the Faith. They are or were made as comprehensive as possible, and were to be interpreted and understood in and with the general rule of the Catholic tradition and the Catholic sense…”I understand by the Catholic sense, that sense which is most comfortable to the ancient rule.” (Rev. Keble)

    This has become the general sense at least of the majority of the Anglican clergy in Great Britain. Of course there are hard-line evangelicals who want to take them in the more exclusive sense of certain Reformed ideas. But they are not major in number or authority in the Anglican Church or Communion. I in fact have belonged to an older and most growing group of Anglicans who belong to a society for Anglican-Orthodox dialogue. I am very close to Orthodoxy for certain! They do hold to the ancient faith and the Apostles doctrine and teaching, in both Scripture and Tradition. They are certain preservers of teachings and truth in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

    I guess no one is going to take up my challenge from the Oecumenical Councils?

    Fr. Robert

    Comment by irishanglican — May 27, 2008 @ 11:32 pm | Reply

  18. Sir Robert,

    I’m certain that I’m probably not qualified to discuss the “Oecumenical Councils,” but was there a challenge couched amongst your comments? Again, forgive my laxity in picking up on it, what exactly was your challenge? And, after clarifying that, could you kindly tell me what it has to do with my post?

    Thanks!

    Sincerely,

    Josh

    Comment by Josh — May 28, 2008 @ 12:23 am | Reply

  19. Josh, Hey mate..thanks to let an old Irishman come in a bit. My point about the Eucumenical Councils was that the doctrine of God triune, nor the clarity of the incarnate Christ came easy but were hard fought with the power and presence of the apostolic church (Acts 2:42). We are indeed standing on their shoulders, both 1st Nicaea and Chalcedon. In fact I hold, like the Orthodox to the first seven Ecumenical Councils! Check at least the first five. These all are very closely connected to the doctrine of God and Christ incarnate. Though I am an Anglican, I will always hold to the Orthodox doctrine of the Trinity of God: The Father is the regal, cause or origin of the Godhead, from whom the Son is begotten eternally and also from whom the Holy Spirit proceeds (alone..no filioque – John 15:26) eternally. The Holy Trinity is three, distinct, divine persons (hypotasis), without overlap or modality among them, who share one divine essence (ousia) – uncreated, immaterial and eternal. To God be the Glory!

    Fr. Robert Kelly..

    Comment by irishanglican — May 28, 2008 @ 1:47 am | Reply

  20. Josh, When ya look at the second century..Tertullian, and Montanism..etc. You can appreciate even more how far the Church had come with Nicaea…the Son declared “consubstantial” with the Father. And Chalcedon, Christ is declared to be one person in two Natures, the Divine of the same substance as the Father, the human of the same substance of us (without sin), which are united unconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisbly, inseparably. These great doctrines came with time and theological thought, but in the heat of doctinal battle. Indeed the Church matters!

    Fr.Robert

    Comment by irishanglican — May 28, 2008 @ 2:06 am | Reply

  21. Fr. Robert,

    Sorry if this is way off topic, but I was curious about your care in rejecting the filioque.

    As I understand the filioque issue it has become one more of authority than of the orthodoxy of the doctrine itself. Our RC friends have taken pains to explain the inclusion of the clause in ways that don’t seem to cross any boundaries of Orthodox theology; denying any notion of subordination of the Holy Spirit, for example.

    Barth argues for the necessity of the filioque clause, though.

    Is your particular objection on the grounds of theology (biblical e.g. John 15:26, or traditional) or on the grounds that the Western Church had no authority to add the clause after the Council of Constantinople had closed the matter with strong anathemas?

    Also, are you monopatrist or would you accept “through the Son”?

    LNB

    Comment by L. Nathaniel Brooks — May 28, 2008 @ 7:43 am | Reply

  22. LNB – My objection to the filioque, as an Anglican, would be biblical/theological/traditional. And also as you add (from history) that the Western Church had no real authority to add the clause, and yes the Council of Constantinople also. When you role all that together, from a whole Scripture/Tradition/Church-Council statement of truth, it is overwhelming! And from the strict standpoint of “procession”, which is really the whole biblical & theological argument – the Father alone! The beauty of the Father regal, the cause or origin of the Godhead, from whom the Son is begotten eternally and also from whom the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally, is simply the glory of God Triune!

    Fr. Robert

    Comment by irishanglican — May 28, 2008 @ 5:19 pm | Reply

  23. PS Though I read and like some Barth (pron. Bart), he must go with the filioque, as something still Reformed, and Augustinian.

    Comment by irishanglican — May 28, 2008 @ 5:25 pm | Reply

  24. Fr. Robert,

    I truly appreciate your interaction on this. It is in dealing with this kind of issue that we define ourselves. We have a very real need to know who and what we are and perhaps nothing is as determinative in that as our theology. You say, I think very accurately, “The Thirty-Nine Articles are not Articles of Faith like the Creeds, and they are not imposed on members of the Anglican Church or clergy as necessary terms of communion, etc. They are not religious tests, or even Articles of the Faith.” But of course they were, and were written to be. That the Anglican Church may have lost the mooring to its historic roots in the Reformation is not something that American Evangelicals are ignorant of, just something that being an ocean away can only sadden us from a distance. It is not without reason that many American Anglican Churches have found themselves realigning with the African Anglican Churches to avoid the shame they find themselves bearing under the administrative paganism of current moods in Anglicanism.

    Cut to the chase then?

    This is the doctrine of the Anglicans, a once robust and glorious communion, now of a faded glory due mainly to dilution, on the issue that you seem to be Angling’ for…

    “The 39 Articles of the Anglican Church.”

    “Article V. Of the Holy Ghost.”

    “The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.”

    It is of course not lost on me that you will not say plainly that you do not hold to the 39 articles. Whatever else one believes about such things it must be plain that this is what an Anglican believes, because being an Anglican is not a mood, or a methodology, or membership in a social club but a theological communion.

    I seem to be more the Anglican between us on this and I’m a Presbyterian for goodness sake. :) The idea of being more or less “Catholic” is helpful only in regard to what is more or less Christian, and what is more or less Christian is measured by what is more or less biblical. “Traditions” come and go. We keep what is good. Even the early Church, be it East or West, is not immune to the Word of God as its measurement. Creeds are wonderful, and Confessions necessary and good, but all of them are subject to the word of God. Nothing is right because it is old. Every modern heresy had its birth in the Early Church. Unless what the Church is, its definition and the content of its thought, is defined by the teaching of the Apostles and the Prophets, we have nothing, and the Church in history is a footnote of manmade religious eccentricity. The Church is created by Christ through His written Word and the work of the Holy Spirit, and so without the measurement of the Scriptures, there can be neither Church nor any way to identify the true Church from a false Church.

    The idea of the eternal procession of twin lesser deities was always a nodding confusion and over 400 years ago the Anglicans had the good sense to call it to account and frame their consciences according to the Word of God rather than subtle philosophy. What great men they must have been. So pure was their devotion. Rather the Stake than a theological compromise. I affirm them wholeheartedly. I appreciate their passion. I learn from their patience and perseverance. If only we had stalwarts like Cramner today, what kind of a world might we have? What kind of an England for goodness sake? And I’m an American.

    Christopher

    Comment by Neiswonger — May 28, 2008 @ 5:54 pm | Reply

  25. LNB – We should note however, that there was a regional council in Persia (410), that brought forth some kind of filioque in their creed. So the expression is not just western, though certainly with the mass of eastern and the later Ecumenical Councils, the issue is done and spoken…The Father alone!

    Comment by irishanglican — May 28, 2008 @ 5:56 pm | Reply

  26. Christopher – I can appreciate your zeal, but as St. Paul said, “zeal” without “enlightenment” is really ignorance. (Rom.10: 2-3) I am very sorry to tell you that you just don’t know your Anglican history! The Nonjurors, the Caroline Divines, John Wesley, to Tractarianism…to Anglo-Catholicism. Indeed the Anglican Church and Communion has gone through many changes in its history. We cannot live in the past, but must live in the reality of where we always are! The Anglican Church and Communion, whether we like it or not..is Broad Church, High Church, and Low Church (in the low church you will find your niche).

    And if you are refering to the double procession? Ya better check it out a little more, as St. Augustine taught this (his De Trinitate) with his idea of the comparison of the two processes of the Divine life (the later ‘filiation’ and ‘spiration’) to the analogical processes of human self-knowledge and self-love. His conception of the generation of the Son as the act of the thinking on the part of the Father was based on Tertullian, the explanation of the Holy Spirit as the mutual love of the Father and the Son was the fruit of his own reflections. This so-called ‘psychological theory of the Trinity’ was taken over from him and later developed by medieval Scholasticism. This is the classical writings of Thomas Aquinas.

    Finally the Church, at least 30 years before there was a anything written down as NT documents, there was this, the Apostles doctrine and teaching (Acts 2:42, with Septuagint of course). Here there was the oral teachings of the very early but still Apostolic Church. The great question comes: “In what manner is divine revelation propagated among men and preserved in the true church?” This would be Scripture and Tradition. Tradition as a method of preserving divine revelation has the priority in time. The keeper of tradition is the church. “All true believers transmit to each other – and one generation to the other – by word and exmaple, the teaching of faith, the law of God, sacraments and holy rires.” Again the church is the keeper of this tradition. “All true believers, united by the sacred tradition of faith, jointly and in seccession, constitute the church,” which is the “pillar and foundation of truth.” The Holy Tradition is complementary to Holy Writ in the sense that it directs the right understanding of Scripture, the right administration of the sacraments, and the preservation of sacred rites in the purity of their original institution. Tradition must be kept in so far as it is in conformity with the divine revelation and the Holy Scripture. This is the doctrine of both the Orthodox Church and the Anglican High Church.

    Christopher, on a personal note..I have a younger brother in America (he was an American Marine), so I love the USA too. And I was a Royal Marine Recon officer (Gulf War 1, etc.)

    Peace of Christ,
    Fr. Robert Kelly..
    D.Phil.,Th.D.

    Comment by irishanglican — May 28, 2008 @ 7:51 pm | Reply

  27. Josh – This is your blog, take us where ya want us to go? Calvin is always a worthy read, as I stated. What does Calvin say about Church Councils?

    Irish

    Comment by irishanglican — May 29, 2008 @ 3:03 pm | Reply

  28. [...] Some Various Quotes by Calvin on Idolatry [...]

    Pingback by Anglicanism Lost « Christian Theology — May 29, 2008 @ 6:48 pm | Reply

  29. Fr. Robert Kelly, you are obviously an Anglo-Catholic with whom your Reformed Anglican brothers would disagree. :)

    Josh – nice Calvin quotes!

    Comment by Rev. — May 30, 2008 @ 6:06 pm | Reply

  30. James, Good to hear from you again, they don’t realize that I value Calvin, and I have been very Reformed myself (past years). But, I am moving along both theologically and I hope spiritually. I have not really sought to change their minds, as they mine. As I have written the Anglican Thirty Nine Articles, have had real value and theology, but some of it is time conditioned to me now. And I don’t see the law of God in a “in loco justificationis”. I know you will understand what I mean. Even if ya don’t agree?

    I have not used the term “Anglo-Catholic” it has been so worked over, at least here. But I guess I should with my American brethren, but I thought that obvious? (Me as something Anglo-Catholic) I am indeed more inclined toward very much in Orthodoxy. Their Trinitarian truth (Ecumenical Council of Nicaea I) and also Chalcedon. Really the first Seven Councils! Did you know that the Council at Ephesus not only condemned the Nestorians (which is much of evangelical Christinity now), but it condemned the Pelagians also. And it also declared Mary as the Theotokos. This is for the incarnational and Christological truth and reality. Do you like Calvin, hold a “theotokos” place for Mary? Just asking, if not I will not make argument.

    Again best to you and yours my brother.

    God Bless James,
    Robert

    Comment by irishanglican — May 30, 2008 @ 7:26 pm | Reply

  31. After reading Christopher’s post from today, I finally realized what Fr. stands for! I kept thinking, “irishanglican” is a funny screen name for a Frenchman (Fr.). Ha ha ha!

    Mr. Robert,

    This is not my blog, I’m just a contributor here. My main question was how in the world your responses related Calvin’s quotes. I took the entry precisely where I wanted it to go: some quotes from Calvin on Idolatry. :)

    Dr. Galyon,

    I’m glad that quotes were edifying, and that we all now agree that Calvin is infallible. *phew* Glad I got that off my chest. ;)

    Sincerely,

    Josh

    Comment by Josh — May 30, 2008 @ 11:11 pm | Reply

  32. Josh – this is where I will leave you and this blog. Just reinforces my point about the blog, and the worst in bloggers. If that was not ad hom, I don’t know what is?

    Fr. Robert

    Comment by irishanglican — May 31, 2008 @ 12:46 am | Reply

  33. Ad hominem? Wherein did I engage in any such thing, Sir? If you’re alluding to my comment concerning my misunderstanding of the term “Fr.” then the only possibe ad hominem argumentation in which I could have been involved would be against myself, due to the fact that I was proclaiming my ignorance of your title! Such was no insult to you. Respectfully, you should avoid wearing your feelings on your sleeve, particularly since you’re in the field of academia and will be engaging much more rabid folk than what you have apparently percieved me to be. For all your self-aforementioned achievement in scholarship, you sure have succeeded in confusing me with your style of response.

    It seems to me that your interaction could have been just as likely placed in any of the other posts, because from the beginning you’ve offered answers to questions that weren’t asked, and conjured up assertions that had nil (insofar as this guy is able to tell) to do with the original post.

    So while I’ll admit to my ignorance of most of what you’ve said, I won’t confess to engaging in the ad hominem attacks of which you accused me. You would do well to either:

    1. Wait for a post that has something to do with the subject matter that you’re so eager to discuss (For example, Mr. Neiswonger’s most recent).

    or

    2. Write about it at your own blog and get others to come and engage you there.

    With all due respect, I reject your accusation.

    Sincerely, and With Due Respect,

    Josh

    Comment by Josh — May 31, 2008 @ 4:48 pm | Reply

  34. Josh,

    From “Sir Robert”, to the jokes about the French and “Father”, at my expense? Not ad hom? Sorry but not with this old Irishman and former Royal Marine! I don’t need to prove myself in the blogdom! Ever had real rounds coming over your head down range and from someone who wants to kill you? This is a real test of character! Say why not try your Marine Corps, my younger brother did! I am very proud of him!

    Fr. Robert

    Comment by irishanglican — May 31, 2008 @ 5:35 pm | Reply

  35. Robert,

    I fear you have taken offense because you have imported ill will to my posts.

    First, I referred to you as Sir, because I hadn’t a clue as to what Fr. referred to. Whether you believe so or not, it was actually me addressing you with respectability, as opposed to your perception that I was somehow smarting off.

    Second, I made NO JOKE about the term Father, I simply made fun of myself for not knowing what Fr. stood for, and then exposed my own folly by relaying as to what I thought it mean. None of those were directed toward you in the least. Rather, it was me laughing at my own ignorance.

    So, NO, it wasn’t ad hominem. Thank you for interpreting me in the worst possible light. Nobody’s asking you to “prove [yourself].” As for the Marines, I am most thankful for them. No where in the blog, nor its responses, have I assassinated or wrongly implied anything about your character. Your accusations, though, have asserted quiet a bit of misinformation about my own character. However, I’ll leave that to the reader to decide considering all the tenor of my past, present, and future writings.

    I’m glad for your younger brother.

    Ever So Sincerely,

    Josh

    Comment by Josh — May 31, 2008 @ 6:33 pm | Reply

  36. Josh, Chris,

    Is this a typical type of response when quoting John Calvin?

    I was very much non-Cal but after I became a Cal (which happened before I even ever heard of John Calvin or Calvinism) and after studying up on the age old debate and feeling confident enough to make it known in discussion where I now stand it seems the first response of the non-Cal is to accuse me of believing everything that John Calvin did as if Calvin was either a) my hero or b) that Calvin’s writings are the equal of Scripture. Neither of which are true, though as far as church planting (and some other issues) Calvin is a bit hero-ish in my book.

    Anyway, it seems as though the sequence in the Cal vs. non-Cal debates (my experience) is the accusation that the Calvinist believes everything and anything that John Calvin did, then the debate moves on to actually exegeting Scripture and history, the Calvinist wins, and the non-Cal ends the debate with the same accusation that he started with (or changes the subject).

    It is frustrating for me oftentimes… anyways, I wanted to thank you guys for discussing things in such a kind, respectful, and orderly manner as you do on this blog and elsewhere. I’ve been reading for about a year now and you’ve really helped me mature.

    Kind regards,
    Matt

    p.s. I recently got the DVD’s of the Apologetics.com Life of the Mind Conference with Os Guinness — they rock!

    And Robert, thanks for you and your little bro’s service, sincerely. May the Lord keep you in His hand, and never close His fist too tight.

    Comment by Matt — June 1, 2008 @ 3:43 am | Reply

  37. Matt, I can honestly say, that in my brief, unprofessional, experiences of quoting/promoting Calvin, I’ve never had a discussion that is like the aforementioned discussion. I certainly do not mean this as an insult toward Robert, but even at this point in the discussion, I still have no clue as to what inclined Robert to write the comments that he did. Now, so as to give Robert the benefit of the doubt, I have chalked this misunderstanding of mine up to possibly my own ignorance. However, after repeated direct questions at to the why of Robert’s assertions/inquiries, I’ve yet to get a coherent (to me at least), direct answer.

    So, I certainly would not say that the “discussion” between Robert and we here at ChristianTheology.Wordpress.Com as being the typical Calvinist vs. Non-Calvinist discussion. In fact, Robert’s response (in light of the subject matter of which I posted — namely Idolatry) has to be the most left field offering that I have seen in response to one of my postings. In other words, and this is no personal offense toward Robert, I haven’t a clue as to what his words -from beginning to end- have to do with my post or the quotes given by Calvin.

    Godspeed to you, Matt, and I am humbled to think that anything I write could be used as a means of edification to the brethren.

    Sincerely,

    Josh

    Comment by Josh — June 1, 2008 @ 4:26 am | Reply


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