Tuesday, July 10, 2007

You tell me

First, read m'man Phil Johnson's Cessationism Again.

Then, read Dan Edelen's Throwing Stones in Glass Houses of Worship.

Then you tell me:
  1. Do you think Dan actually read Phil's post all the way through (as he insists that his readers do, with his post)?
  2. Are you persuaded by Dan's plea that he "didn’t want to write this post," but that it "need[ed] to be written" because of the contents of Phil's post?
  3. Do you think the bad experiences Dan claims to have had with Reformed guys is at all analogous to Phil's post?


jscotth said...


I feel soiled after wading through Edelen's post. I've never read him before; is he always so mean-spirited?

I'm afraid I can't respond further to him. I'm studying his Lutheran brother's "Cost of Discipleship" again, and everything I type brings me back to Bonhoeffer's discourse on Mt. 5:22...


rick said...

Scott - odd, I felt soiled after wading through Phil's post ... hmmm.

DJP said...

Rick -- Blogger must have eaten your "So there! Nyah nyah nyah-nyah nyah!"

rick said...

I tried to resist but maturity isn't one of the 'gifts'.


rick said...

ok - now to answer your questions.

1) I have no reason to think he did not read Dan's post all of the way through.

2) I think he didn't want to write the post in the sense that the whole debate saddens him. I think he felt compelled just as many of us do. It's hard to sit back and watch this kind of thing.

3) Yes they are analogous because they reinforce the silliness of the line of reason Phil takes.

In the end, there is a fundamental difference in understanding of Scripture but the writings of Pyro, MacArthur, etc. do not recognize this, rather they misrepresent, attack strawmen, use guilt by association, etc.. You've heard it all before and I've heard the come backs all before.

The bottom line is that none of this represents Christ. Both sides do harm to His cause.

I, like you, and like Cent, and like MacArthur, etc., have friends on the other side of this argument. And while we all enjoy "spirited" conversation debating this stuff with each other, I bet it is done in private, in love, and with respect.

One is hard pressed to read these posts and get the same sense. If that is not obvious, read the comments and blogs of those that are agreeing with you. It is quite ugly out there.

Edelen is simply saying, as many of us have, stop telling people what others think and what is wrong with them. Stick with your strength of preaching the Word of Truth.

I'm sad to confess that in my own blog I have lashed out at "your side". It is not right but it represents where I'm at. In doing that, I fall victim to the same thing I am suggesting you guys stop.

Carla Rolfe said...

I think... rather than answer those questions you posed, I'll just say this:

It's a hot topic and quite often cannot be rationally discussed with grace. Folks tend to let their flesh fly on this one (at times) and that unfortunately does a disservice to those of us who are watching, lurking, reading and hoping to learn something.

I'm glad Phil posted what he did. I'm glad EVERY time it comes up and I have an opportunity to learn something. I'm glad there are those brothers and sisters out there that take this seriously and have the ability TO discuss this minus all the snark. That's key.

This IS an important topic and NOT discussing it (as some would prefer) is just plain immature & being willfully ignorant. We're not supposed to be either.

Yep, that's what I think.

rick said...

Carla - I'm one that leans toward not discussing it. Perhaps in my ignorance I do not realize I am immature and ignorant. Eventually I see the "snarkiness" though - it's not good.

My reason for preferring to not discuss it isn't that it is being discussed. The issue is the way the discussion is done.

1) When someone I know challenges me based on Scripture, I feel loved yet confronted. When Pyro, MacArthur, etc. do this, I feel misrepresented, wrongly accused, a victim of false logic, etc..

2) Because Scripture is not changing, no new data has come into the conversation. As both sides have sad, "how often do I need to repeat myself?" So unfortunately, the arguments posited are the same old ones. Those that "charge the air" do not bring new facts, just junky accusations. Sadly, these are the ones that get attention over the dryness of expositing the Scripture.

3) This medium (the internet) is horrible for such conversation. Most of us do not know how to read or write properly. It is also very difficult to stay on topic and it is easier to get caught up in a quick response rather than a thoughtful one.

And so on it goes ... so, if you are referring to constant reading to understand Scripture as being good, I'm with you. I have not found this to be the bulk of what is out there on this topic.

David said...

1. Yes (which does not mean he understood the point)
2. No
3. Yes, only so as much as he did not understand the point of of the post.

April said...

1. Yes, he read it all the way through. I think he focused on one (perceived?) point: that Hinn is representative of all charasmatics rather than addressing the entire scope of the article.

2. Yes, because it does get tiring being tied to Hinn. Of course, if the charasmatics did "take care of their own house," it wouldn't an issue. (I think his point here is weak. There is no biblical support for this sort of ghetto-ized heresy hunting. Heresy must be opposed by all who love God's word.)

3. Only in that their are madmen, charlatans and jerks in every part of the body.

DJP said...

I'm honestly surprised at how many think Edelin read Phil's post through.

It seems to me that there's a huge, gaping problem with Edelen's central complaint, which calls that (charitable?) supposition into question.

rick said...

I'll say a little more about Phil's post in an effort to shed light on why I think it was read through.

My opinion is that Phil used a lot of words, some of which are emotionally charged, to make a simple point.

His point is that (1) the Charismatic position cannot be supported in the absence of "biblical-quality miracles" and that (2) Benny Hinn has not provided that proof.

Is that what you think he is saying?

If so, the reason for the reaction is that the logic and Scriptural base of the first point is not a given and that the second point, i.e., that Benny Hinn is a good representation, is also arguable (even though Phil was simply replying to someone's recommendation).

When you add to this the volume of words and the "tone" of these, it's very understandable why reactions such as Elden's are elicited.

So yes, I'm confident he read it (but God didn't tell me that).

Carla Rolfe said...


I think we can all understand not wishing to discuss something if doing so is going to cause us to feel misrepresented, wrongly accused, etc. I think us Calvinists can sing a few bars of that tune. :-)

I do believe discussing it with grace however, is a profitable endeavor and one we as students of the word and followers of Christ need to be busy doing - not just with this topic but any others that come up. No matter how uncomfortable we might feel when having our beliefs challenged.

Just a few more thoughts.


jscotth said...

I'm honestly surprised at how many think Edelin read Phil's post through.

It seems to me that there's a huge, gaping problem with Edelen's central complaint, which calls that (charitable?) supposition into question.

Dan, it seems to me that the charitable supposition would be that he didn't read Phil's post.

Edelen chose to attack Phil, Pyro, and an evil Reformed/Calvinist strawman, rather than respond to Phil's offer to evaluate and verify "any credible biblical-quality miracles" his charismatic correspondents might produce. Supposing he read Phil's post first would lead to uncharitable implications about Edelen's motives and intentions.


DJP said...

Good point, Scott.

Even leaving aside that Edelen's fundamental complaint ignores the establishing premise of Phil's post.

us said...

Phil only mentioned Benny Hinn et al because the "charismatic gentleman" relied on him to support his argument.

Yet Edelen critices reformed perople for only ever looking at people like Hinn.

If he had read the article he would not be criticising Phil but criticising the "gentleman" for bringing Hinn to Phil's attention.


DJP said...

There y'go.

The irony is heightened in the comment thread. The cry of folks like Dan is, "Pah! NOBODY supports Benny Hinn."

Yet one of the major charismatic apologists in the thread is positive/agnostic towards Hinn.

Libbie said...

well, I'm not a charismatic any longer, but I did want to say that my charismatic best friend thinks Hinn is a complete charlatan and that he relies on hypnosis techniques rather than the giftings of God, which is the same thing I believe.

DLE said...

@ Dan

I was not aware that you had posted on my post. I'll answer for myself.

1. You'll notice that Pyromaniacs is listed in the sidebar on my blog and has been since day one. I respect you guys very much.

2. What bothers me about Phil's post is it lumps anyone who believes that the charismata are still for today in with the charismaniac Hinn crowd. It's the same error MacArthur committed in Charismata Chaos (and also in Truth War). My post attempted to show the fallacy (and damage) of such a statement by turning it around. Not every charismatic is a blithering TBN maniac, just as not every Calvinist is a self-righteous xenophobe. If you can't catch the moral of what I'm writing, I don't know what to say. I know you're smarter than that.

3. Apart from the needlessness of lumping all charismatics into the fruitcake mold, I agree with Phil. Charismania needs to be stamped out.

4. If you'd like to do a little cleaning of the Reformed house, I can send you the phone numbers for the example churches I posted. So far, no one from Team Pyro's taken me up on that. I write about the need to purge the charismatic house all the time. But does Team Pyro ever talk about purging some of the worst aspects of the Calvinist/Reformed camp? I can't remember the last time I read one of those posts on Pyromaniacs(especially one that had to do with fixing faulty praxis).

DLE said...

@ Jscotth:

I'm answering for myself in response to your comments on my post.

I've never once been called mean-spirited and I'm still trying to understand why you think that post was mean-spirited. Because I pointed out that there are bad Reformed churches and leaders just as there are bad charismatic churches and leaders? Phil's the one who painted with the broad brush. I think the broad brush approach is foolish and I noted that in my post. It seems to me that you didn't read my entire post because I came out very clearly against that fallacy of using the worst of a particular group as an example of the norm. If you'd read to the end you'd have seen that point being made. But I guess you either didn't read to the end or you missed the point entirely.

As to your second comment, my entire post was an antithesis to the very thing you accuse me of. I noted the foolishness of a strawman argument by setting up my own and showing how stupid it is to do so.

And yes, I read Phil's entire post. He sets up a charismatic strawman by painting all charismatics as Hinn-ites, TBN-ites, and so on. But that's a strawman fallacy because not all charismatics are that way. Yes, rabid, heretical charismaniacs exist. So do self-righteous, xenophobic Calvinists. But to use the worst of charismatics and the worst of Calvinists as the norm is simply intellectually dishonest.

As to my motives and intentions, my only motives and intentions are to show that the kind of post Phil posted has no purpose other than to rile and assume a superior stance. I don't think that's what Christ put us on earth for.

Furthermore, I find it hard to believe that Phil would be confident in sending his post to C.J. Mahaney, a Reformed charismatic. I would encourage him to do so and see what C.J. thinks of how Phil lumped him in with Hinn, especially considering that John MacArthur invited Mahaney to speak from the pulpit at Grace.

If Phil, or anyone else in team Pyro, wants to debate Mahaney, I think it would serve everyone well.

Meanwhile, I'll be waiting to see that exchange...

DJP said...

You know, Dan, you remind me of nothing more than a review of the movie Cujo in the Los Angeles Times.

The writer began her review with something like, "For no apparent reason, this St. Bernard becomes rabid...."

The Times was flooded with letters observing that the opening scenes of the movie show the dog being bitten on the nose by a bat. The reviewer completely missed the entire premise of the movie.

That's you.

The sad thing is, it's in public, it's been pointed out to you repeatedly, and (unlike the reviewer, who admitted her error) you just keep repeating it.

Actually read Phil's post, Dan. Then retract yours.

The only thing worse than being wrong in public is being the last to admit it.