Saturday, January 28, 2012

Why when leaving redux he should have considered New Testament Christianity

This is the writing of an Old schoolmate turned Orthodox theologian Jay Dyer. I will critique his article. Now in this article he addresses leaving calvinism. I am not a calvinist in a regular since I neither am a presbyterian nor am I 5-point calvinist. When I knew him Jay was the most zealous defender of calvinism that i had ever met.

"Problems in Calvinism and Reformation Theology - Why I Left Redux: A New Debate
And Why I Wouldn't Go Back

UPDATE: My First Rebuttal to Craig on Sola Scriptura is posted here

By: Jay Dyer

My friend Craig French, a sharp and respectable Calvinist blogger at, is wanting to do a debate on the following topics. Look forward to that, as I will set it off.

Many practical and observational reasons could also be given, but this will focus on the central doctrinal errors I see. This will be similar to posts in the past, but tweaked a bit and given with newer arguments. I believe that Calvinism is an erroneous system that, while containing much that is true, must be abandoned because of several serious flaws:

1. Sola Scriptura cannot be the foundation of true religion because the Protestant Bible has the wrong canon and therefore sola scriptura cannot be true (since it presupposes a correct canon). The process of the formation of the canon in the early church as described by myriads of Protestant scholars makes it also impossible, as well as a-historical."

The canon of scripture was not formed by Church History: it was formed By God. This the most important point and it seems that J takes it for granted.
A. The Jews preserved the Hebrew Bible in their language.
Romans 3:1What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?
2Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.
matthew 5: 18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Therefore, the jewish canon would be the canon of the Old testament.

B. The apocrypha is not seen as revelation
(proven by apocrypha in 1Maccabees)
There had been a ceasing of the prophets
“There had not been such great distress in Israel since the time prophets ceased to appear among the people” 1 Macc. 9:27
There currently was no prophet
“They stored the stones in a suitable place on the temple hill, until a prophet should come and decided what to do with them” 1 Macc. 4:46
They were waiting for a prophet
“The Jewish people and their priest have, therefore, made the following decisions. Simon shall be their permanent leader and high priest until a true prophet of God arises.” 1 Macc. 14:41

C. Catholics do not truly see the apocrypha as revelation
In other words they are not going to put strict qualities to it such innerrancy, infallibility and plenary verbal inspiration nor preservation. Therefore they do not truly argue for the inspiration of the apocrypha scripture.

D. Catholics and orthodox are divided on the Canon
The Orthodox include several books not recommended by the rcc and even differ among diocese as to what is the official canon.

"2. Calvinism's christology is generally Nestorian, and at best, quasi-Nestorian. This is because it makes the hypostatic union a product of the Incarnation (the WCF does) -- divine nature + human nature = person Jesus. Most Calvinists (like many westerns in general) erroneously confess Jesus to be a "human person." Turretinfan, as well as Gordon Clark and his disciples and other reformed giants like A.A. Hodge, openly defend Nestorius and his views."

Nestorianism is and always has been a scarecrow argument. This charge is based off a bad argument nestorius used. It was not his true position.
I do think at times there is description in the calvinist community that is nestorian in the sense that there is discussion of two natures meeting like persons. However I have neither encountered conservative protestants nor calvinist who would say that jesus was two persons even after 500 years. I have encountered some in the liberal community as well as a few modalists in the oneness movement who could be accurately labeled thus. Yet No one in the orthodox evangelical community would really believe or teach that there are 2 jesus's or two person's of christ.
Perhaps Jay is in fact hiding his own heretical tendencies towards apollinarinism.

"3. The Calvino-Nestorian view of the Incarnation has all kinds of other flaws that flow from it. Most notably, Calvinists often confess (1) a human person - Jesus - being damned by the Father at the cross. This is, to say the least, obviously Arian/Nestorian, while the other option for Calvinists (2) is to keep the orthodox confession of the sole subject of all the Incarnaet acts as the Logos, but this leads to the conclusion in their view of the imputation at the cross as meaning that the Father damned His divine Son (for three days or at the moment of the crucufizion) - thereby splitting the unity of the Trinity. Either route the Calvinist takes, it can only be heretical."

A. Damnation is not the proper terminalogy and those who use it are in error.
Addmittedly there are some in the Newer calvinism who have preached this way as well as the word of faith preachers. But evangelicals and calvinist who hold to orthodoxy have all taught blood atonement and not the damnation of christ.

B. If reform theology divides the deity from the humanity of Christ in the crucifixion then the unity of the trinity is not split. This is a confusing and contradictory argument.
Think about it. If we teach that jesus the man is not God the Son then we can not be charged with damning God. Yet Jay throws both darts hoping that some accusation sticks.

So by death is the logos destroyed since the spirit of christ went through death?
matthew 27:50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
psalm 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Obviously the soul is not annihilated and neither was the soul of christ and thereby there is no such thing as the Father damning the logos.

"4. Also flowing from this issue is the nature of salvation and other problems for strict imputational theology. If no. 3 is correct in its analysis, then what we are really "saved" by is a created reality - a legal status earned by a human-person-Jesus. But we cannot rely upon a legal status - itself, again, a created grace earned by a human-person-Jesus - to save us. We need an actual ontological change in our whole being - a real theosis or deification, and this is denied by 99% of Calvinism, as it holds to created grace. The reason for this is also its faulty Christology, because Calvinism won't consistently confess that the Logos is sole subject of all the Incarnate economic actions. It will not confess two energies in Christ because of its denial of the essence - energy distinction and adoption of western absolute divine simplicity, as well as its theological voluntarism and a whole host of difficulties that come with classical, unbalanced Western
Augustinian theology (such as strictly identifying all "attributes" with God's simple essence)."

A.The ontological change according to scripture will happen at glorification. There is no need for the satanic doctrine of deification.
Genesis 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

B. Jay is laying a direct attack on the gospel which is usually promoted by atheist Bible scholars. Do we need to be like God to be aproved Or can jesus stand in our place forensically? First Jesus is fully man but not simply man. He is the only begotten Son of God.
1 Timothy 3:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Romans 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

C. Now the essence energy distinction is a very rare topic in protestantism. Essentially what it states is that God is entirely transcendent and otherworldly. Therefore, His interactions with the earth are not in his substance But in His energy. In the the theology of it's defender palamas we see the energy of God which deals with the immanent as not carrying the other attributes of God.
Protestants and Catholics hold to a doctrine of divine simplicity. this means that God in his essence or substance is in divisible. the only exception being in His persons as there are three.
Therefore in Orthodox theology the saints and sacraments become filled with God's energy though they are not God's substance. this keeps them from the heresy of pantheism. However, this is only a result of their first error of subordinationism. The idea that the Son and spirit have less deity than the father. This even cuts at the trinity more when you realize that the Holy Spirit is the active agent of God in the immanent realm.
Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

But how should a New testament church paradigm respond to this question?
1 Corinthians 8:4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
We nottice that all things consist with God. Of the Father and by the Son; there is an equality even though a role distinction. The parallel testifies to the equality. So the oneness of God's essence testifies to the unity of his substance with his attributes.(omnipoent, omniscient, omnipresent, etc)

"5. As just mentioned in point 4, the rejection of the essence - energy distinction and adoption of absolute simplicity has plagued calvinism with the same problems as outright Augustinianism. Consider it's implication for the Incarnation and the divine nature in Christ. Pure monergism means mon-energism, which means the heresy of monothelitism, condemned by the 6th council. Many Calvinists say they confess the 6th council and two wills in Christ, but the WCF mentions two wills nowhere and Calvinism's acceptance of absolute simplicity means it must of necessity reject two energies in Christ as taught by the 6th council."

Westminster not citing the issue simply means that they were not concerned with the topics in that contemporary setting. I was taught two wills in christ at Boyce Bible College.( a baptist calvinist institution) which jay attended but dropped out of.) Jay's argument of contradiction with the 6th council would put the 6th council in conflict with Nicene which argues divine simplicity. How is that calvinism is in his view teaching two persons and yet only 1 will?
Reformed theology and most evangelical theology teaches that Christ is one person with two wills.
matthew 26:39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Now, could monoergism contradict this? As I said, I am not a calvinist. They will respond for themselves and I know that calvinists have already debated Jay over this issue.

"6. The denial of the Real Presence in the Eucharist coincides with late medieval nominalism a la Gabriel Biel (see Luther scholar Heiko Oberman's Harvest of Medieval Theology: Gabriel Biel and Late Medieval Nominalism). Nominalism is an outworking of theological voluntarism and rejection of a proper ordo theologiae - and the proper ordo is that of starting one's theology with the divine persons and the Logos Incarnate and working out from there, as opposed to Calvinism's starting point of all theology at abstract questions of predestination and soteriology."

A. The proper order of theology should not start with the doctrine of God or salvation. It starts at the epistemological level with the experience of revelation. Man is by nature morally corrupt and limited in knowledge. We can not simply assume that we naturally Know God well if we know him at all. We must search the scriptures. Jay is following a man-made religion.

"7. That God has an "attribute" of hate, wherein He damns for all eternity in "fire," thereby giving evil an eternal "existence." Instead, the best answer to this apparent Manichaean dualism is St. Maximus' apokatastasis wherein all things really will be recapitulated in Christ and the reprobate will experience the glory fire of God, which is good in itself, as torment. This is not denying eternal torment."
Manichaean the favorite accusation of the inquisitors. This charge against the doctrine of hell is irrational. The devil certainly does not have sovereignty in the New Testament or calvinism. If He has a problem with God having attribute of Hate, then He is utimatly denying God's free will.

"8. Calvinism has the same anthropology as Pelagianism in terms of pre-lapsarian man and is actually merit-based in its covenant of works doctrine. Calvinism thus confuses nature and grace in the garden as well as in soteriology, as well as confusing nature and person in humans. Yet, ironically, it rejects any real deification of the Logos' flesh, but soteriology is based on that very thing. The covenant of works, as said above, also necessitates a human-person-Jesus meritting a created legal state, which cannot save us. Our problem is mortality and corruption and thus we need to be made immortal, as 1 Cor. 15 clearly says Christ does to all. "

Sorry Jay mortality is the symptom. Our problem is sin and the fact that we are outside the Will of God!
Jay is ignoring a simple doctrine of christianity and that is resurrection. It is resurrection that solves the problem of death. But what holds back immortality is sin. Therefore if the saints die it is only concerning this life.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Yes, if we are in Good legal standing with God, God will save us.

"9. Because human nature is inherently evil in Calvinism (though they say conflicting things here) and because evil is given as substantial existence, created nature is thus alienated from, and set in dialectical opposition to, God and thus matter cannot image the Divine Persons or convey real divine energy/grace. We cannot be saved here because Christ is not consubstantial with us. He is not consubstantial with us, because He does not assume our fallen nature and state to raise it, because fallen nature is thought to be inherently evil. In this system, Christ also does not assume universal human nature, but only the nature of some men - namely, the elect. But resurrection isn't a "natural" event - it's supernatural and there is no other basis for all men to be resurrected than union with Christ."

Our old nature is not naturally redeemed since we experience death. It is only through resurrection. The only way to resurrection is through justification first. Otherwise a holy God would be separate from any interface with sinful man.
There is no union with Christ until christ redeems man. without it, there is no salvation.
This is the core problem with jay's mysticism. We are not allowed union with Christ or God until our sins are propitiated. Jay attempts to disprove the Gospel. But fails quite honestly.

In christ,

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Recommended reading 2

Gordon Clark
Religion, Reason and revelation
This is a great book dealing with philosophy. It is not an easy read. Yet it is the best christian philosophical apologetic book I have read so far! In which Gordon clark destroys roman catholic, secular and liberal christian philosophy all in one foul swoop. If you are wanting a serious philosophy intro this is the book.

But I do warn Clark is a fundamentalist presbyterian. His definition of true religion is simply the westminster confession of faith. The Westminster has lot's of good things to say but should never thought the equivalent of scripture. On the other hand the fundamentalism within the westminster confession of faith is fully represented and is an a classic apologetic for protestantism.

Edgar young Mullins
Axioms of religion/The baptist faith
Here we have a proper definition of religion. As opposed to creed or confession with it's subjective conclusions biblical philosophy is summaraized in the axioms or religion. The axioms are an extension of the protestant ideology (the five solas of the reformation.) These concepts are reformulated into axioms based on the principle of soul competancy. This is the best representation of baptist thinking in a philosophical context.
It interesting however misunderstood, that these axioms stand like the Bill of rights as opposed to negative principles of Law.

Edward hiscox
The New directory for the Baptist Churches
This is the premier classic on ecclesiology(study of churches) for the New Testament Church. It is hard to agree om everything with anybody. But I never agreed so much with a large document as this one.

Watchman knee
The spiritual man This one of the best devotionals on sanctification that I have ever read. Watchman knee was a legendary chinese pastor for them beginning of the 20th century. His arguments for the trichotomy of man are thorough and sound. He is also
very adept at understanding grace and the sinful nature. I am not a keswick theologically and I am wary about dividing a saved christian from a victorious christian. But aside from that. a pastor should find this content essential to a reasoned and spiritual approach to sanctification.

Archbishop james usher
Annals of the world Usher was considered a genius of his day. He Proves that prior to 800B.C. No History was sound or consistent except for the Old Testament scriptures. he then has scripture as the primary guide to world history and prioritizes secular records in accordance.

Henry Morris

The biblical basis for modern science I have always loved the writings of henry morris above all the creation scientist. obvious the newer the science, the newer te information. Yet in this book. not only do we see the absolute full presentation creation science, but we see it from a fundamentalist's perspective where the bible is accepted nakedly. As a savy experienced scientists morris is not intin his hermeneutics like most theologians over the last 2 centuries.

William jones
The history of the christian church: account of the albigenses and waldenses The majority of Chruch history is written from a Roman Catholic perspective. Yet Roman Catholicism is not the gospel of the New Testament. Here We have a Baptists perspective on Church History. How does a borna again Christian who defines a church according to the dictates of the New Testament understand Church History? Jones organizes the best scholarship of His time on the Christian religion into a scriptural worldview.

Dr. Cathy burns
Billy Graham and his freinds
Just as Catholicism overwhelmed church history. Evangelicalism has overwritten the 20th century with a sanitized politically correct view. However Dr. Cathy Burns shows the entrenchment of socialism/communism in protestant christianity and the dark side of Billy Graham and his freinds.

political recommended
John loftus and Mark Aarons
"The secret war against the Jews" and "Unholy trinity"This book is a layout of espionage history and will give you the inside track on world history in the 20th century. Find out what even professoers don't!

I do warn that I have no confirmation of testimony from these men. I have heard that they are liberal. It is simply the fact that their research lines up with a biblical worldview. In other words I endorse this book for the truths that it espouses.

Pat Buchanon"where the right went wrong" This is a classic peace where paleoconservative Pat Buchanon outlines the faults lying in the globalist philosophy/neo-conservatism.
Pat has also published reliable works dealing with illegal immigration. warning: Buchanon is Roman Catholic and not a born again Christian.

Pat Robertson
"The New World Order" "The ten Offenses" the Son of A senator, a presidential candidate and major Evangelical leader. Pat has good material for a christian first studying politics. warning: Pat has terrible charasmatic/word of faith theology. as a religious leader pat has compromised with the RCC and has publically made false predictions/prophecy.

Michael Savage
Michael is an engenious writer thinker and entertainer. He is politically very constitutional and independent. He struggles between secularism and his Old Testament faith however.