Wednesday, July 07, 2010

You will embrace cultists and apostates, and you will like it

First: "Brigham Young University professor of Hebrew Donald W. Parry has been appointed as an editor for a new edition of Biblia Hebraica Quinta, the Hebrew Old Testament."

I think he should be required to provide some original Reformed Egyptian manuscripts first, with a lexicon.

Second: Dr. Francis J. Beckwith - Baylor University, heads the list among "over twenty other influencers in Christian apologetics as they equip you about the issues facing contemporary Christian witness," for the Evangelical Philosophical Society's ninth annual apologetics conference.

Now, I don't know where the Bible Society imagines itself to be, doctrinally. But the "Evangelical Philosophical Society"? As I have argued before (for instance here, and here), such muddling not only betrays doctrinal cluelessness about essential matters, it betrays a lack of love for the apostates/cultists whose throbbing consciences are further dulled by insinuations of "Peace, peace," where there is no peace.


Robert said...

It is sad how people think that Christians need to align themselves more with the world in order to engage them. I see this a lot in my biological family. I once posted a quote by R.C. Sproul on Facebook where he said that he thinks pastors who tell their congregation God loves them unconditionally should be defrocked. My sister (a professing Christian) responded by saying that I creating athiests. It breaks my heart because most of my biological family go to "seeker-sensitive" churches and I don't see much fruit of repentence in their lives.

The funny thing to me is that you never hear of any of the non-Christian groups wanting to become more like Christians. They think they have already settled the truth and are hostile towards the real truth.

Chris said...

Oh, how the swamps of despair seem to rise to such levels on both sides of the narrow path to the eternal city in our age! True Christians need to watch their every step and stay focused on the straight path of truth...keeping their feet dry and unpolluted by the filth and stench of death that permeates from those dark, apostate bogs!

Citizen Grim said...

Beckwith is disappointing, but I'm glad to see Jim Spiegel will be at that conference. I had him as a prof in college, and he's one of the reasons I turned towards reformed theology. He recently released a book arguing that atheism is not a rational response to a lack of evidence, but is in fact a result of sin, willful rebellion and self-deception (as Romans 1 indicates). Interview about the book here.

That being said, I don't agree with Spiegel on everything. For example, he holds the very minority view of conditional immortalism, which I think requires some exegetical gymnastics. To his credit, he bases it on what he thinks Scripture teaches, not what he thinks God ought to be like. But I still think he's wrong.

Amera said...


If you were to try, just for once, to avoid guilt-by-association maybe someone beyond your own echo chamber might actually take you seriously and find you to be persuasive on these sorts of topics. Otherwise, all of this endeavor is rather amusing and is an excellent example of how not to argue.

1. Beckwith isn't talking on anything distinctly Roman Catholic, is he? Ooops, you forgot to mention that. If you don't think that such facts make a difference, then not sure why anyone should take this post seriously. Passions will nonetheless rule the day against stubborn things like facts. Try to exercise some self-control.

2. Even if Beckwith were speaking on something distinctly Roman Catholic, there are way better ways to argue for this as being problematic for the EPS or any other self-identified "evangelical" organization.

Granted, avoiding certain relevant facts and engaging in guilt-by-association are easy to do, but for the sake of the good names of Calvin, Spurgeon, Machen, and Piper, please stop doing this!

DJP said...


What is the name of the organization hosting this conference, again?

What does "evangelical" mean?

What is the stated topic of the conference?

Would it be appropriate to head the list with a Mormon, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Jehovah's Witness, or a Oneneness Pentecostal — teaching on the stated topic? If so, how so? If not, why not?

Please give one example, from the post, of guilt-by-association.

Please give one example, from the post, of passions overruling stubborn things like facts.

Please give one example, from the post, of a lack of self-control.

Please give one example, from the post, of avoiding certain relevant facts and engaging in guilt-by-association.

Are you suggesting that Calvin, Spurgeon, and Machen would welcome apostates headlining lists of instructors at evangelical conferences?

Please, in all your answers, hold to your stated standards of adherence to facts, self-control, and avoiding guilt-by-association.


Amera said...

Let me try one more time, since I am starting to repeat myself.

1. Your claim is that the EPS is basically not living up to its name "evangelical" because it is having Beckwith speak. If you don't recognize that as making a claim of guilt-by-association, then please consult a good intro to logical fallacies. (Peter Kreeft has a great intro to logic text, but he's, um, how shall I say, Roman Catholic). In other words, you could argue for the same conclusion but not in a fallacious way.

2. You still fail to note Beckwith's actual topic, and thus the REASON for why he is coming to the conference. Failure to do that, I think, is not due to your lack of intelligence or the lack of accessible information, but because you are more passionate than not about the thesis of this post then to keep the facts in context.

Anyone with a teachable spirit and slight curiosity can look here:

Or, for eyes that don't want to see the website, how does this topic, "Natural Rights and the New Atheists," reflect Beckwith's Roman Catholicism????? But that is a stubborn fact that you didn't admit, such that if it were admitted, one might actually come to think that there is a better reason than yours to have Beckwith come to the conference.

But of course, you must apparently know the REAL reason why Beckwith is coming ... because the EPS is going apostate. And since that is your background claim, it makes sense (although unfortunate) that you would then be compelled to find evidence to support that. Which, I will grant you, yours is a far more exciting and thrilling sort of claim to make, but how you arrive at its justification, let alone its veracity, is itself questionable.

On the matter of Calvin, et al, I cited them because I don't think your reasoning in this post does you or their perspective justice.

Good day!

DJP said...

Amera, yes, you are repeating yourself.

What that means is that you are not answering the questions.

So, you get one more shot. Your next comment that I will publish will contain your answers to those questions.

And, if you like, throw in this additional, but only after answering the preceding:

Given the answer to the previous questions (see above), would it be appropriate to have a Hindu, a Muslim, a Jehovah's Witness, or a Mormon present a session — as an "Instructor" — on "Natural Rights and the New Atheists"?

Samuel said...

It would not be appropriate to have instructors from those groups (Mormon, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Jehovah's Witness, or a Oneneness Pentecostal) speak on this topic at EPS.

Why? Simple: their religious tradition just doesn't have the resources to deal with this topic. If anything, it disqualifies them. And why would it be in the interest of the EPS, which is a well-regarded academic organization, to invite someone whose very religious tradition would disqualify them on this topic.

You need a better analogy, bro!

Sure, they might have something to say, but why find it worthwhile or compelling compared to Beckwith's trinitarian theology (contrasted with a Mormon, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Jehovah's Witness, or a Oneneness Pentecostal).

Beckwith's tradition does have the means to deal with this topic. If it does, then that means that there is something of substantial difference between his tradition and the rest that he's lumped into by analogy.

Compared to them, Beckwith's tradition at least gets the doctrine of God correct, and as a Catholic he even takes OT and NT to be true, and since his topic does deal with the existence of God, and not any unique Roman Catholic doctrines, he seems qualified to instruct at this EPS event.

Your offer an ineffective analogy. Or, to put it differently, why would the EPS not want Beckwith to be the instructor compared to the other traditions mentioned? Again, that there is a comparison is suggestive of a difference. Therefore, it is improper or at least ineffective to lump Beckwith with everyone else.

DJP said...

Funny, the advent of the no-profile objectors.

So Samuel, you don't think that any member of any of those religions would be happy to talk to a bunch of evangelicals about atheism? I think you're wrong.

Your problem with my analogy seems to be that you don't understand it. Let me try to help you. Here's your assignment for your next comment:

What is the name of the organization hosting this conference, again?

What does "evangelical" mean?

What is the stated theme of the conference?

Manage that well, and we'll try to build on that.

trogdor said...

I'm just amused that when arguing that there's no problem with having an apostate papist act as teacher to a group of Christians, the first name brought up in support is John Calvin. That was an outstanding joke, I truly commend it.