Archive for January, 2008

Federal Vision Sock-Puppetry

January 31, 2008

Suppose one cannot find a person ignorant enough to be good for mockery. Some folks will go out and create an ignorant opponent, in order to suggest that this one’s typical opponent. An example of such charades is the “Anti-Federal Vision Study Bible” mock web site (link).

Doug Wilson posts against this anonymous sock-puppet web site in his recent post here (link).

I presume Doug is just unaware that it is Federal Vision folks (possibly just one teenage boy) that are behind the AFVSB.

It will be interesting to see how long it is before the site owner admits to this being simply a sock-puppet of the FV.


UPDATE: It seems that Doug Wilson has realized his mistake and done part of the correct thing, specifically by deleting his post. The next step would be to denounce the AFVSB as the sock-puppet that it is. At any rate, I cannot recall the last time that Doug got as close to admitting he had blundered as to delete a post from his website. Hats off to him for that much progress. Also, it hasn’t been off his web site for long, so he may still go further and post something new correcting his previous error.

FURTHER UPDATE: Thanks to Civbert for plugging this post over at PuritanBoard.

ADDITIONAL UPDATE: David Field (an FVist) calls the sock puppet excellent satire (link). That shows a remarkable absence of judgment. One wonders whether it is his own creation. We’ll have to wait and see. UPDATE to the update: David field praises the AFVSB some more (link).

NEW UPDATE: John Halton indicates he is “pretty sure” (!) that the site is satirical (link). UPDATE to the UPDATE: (John Halton (remember him?) tries to make his own satirical come back (link). I think it’s fairly lame (and ignores the fact that Federal Visionists, both Doug Wilson (above) and Jeff Meyers (below) have responded to it), but judge for yourself.)

Latest Update: FVist Jeff Meyers mocks the sock puppet (link). It’s not clear whether he is aware that it is by one of the FV crowd.

Daily Devotional

January 30, 2008

Looking for a daily devotional? Look no further! The Othodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) has a daily devotional available over the Internet (link). Unfortunately, the OPC has not yet put the daily devotional in the form of a blog, but give them time!


Last Chance for Audience Questions

January 30, 2008

The Holy Water Debate has mostly finished. My sparring partner, PhatCatholic, has posted his concluding argument, and consequently it is time for audience questions. I’ve received several questions so far. If you have a question that you would like to ask PhatCatholic or myself, please submit it for possible inclusion.

Thanks to everyone who followed the debate.


P.S. I do have some thoughts of my own about the debate, but I plan to reserve those thoughts until after the audience questions.

Cochlaeus in the Original Latin

January 30, 2008
This post has a high chance of getting bumped off the main page within a short amount of time.

in De Autoritate Generalium Conciliorum, (Chapter XI of De Autor. Scrip. &c.), Cochlaeus scribit:

Quinimo & contra tuoy amicos Zuingliu & Oecolampadiu scribes, pro substantia et veritate corpis & sanguninis Chri in Eucharistie sacremeto, sic ait. Si diutius steterit mud9, iteru erit necessariu, ut ppter diversas scripture interptationes, q nunc sunt, ad coservandum fidei unitatem, Concilioru Decreta recipiamus, atq ad ea confugiamus.
See image version, below:

Image provided via scan from Dave Armstrong.

Loose translation, below. I realize Dave has posted a translation on his web site. I’ll compare it later and update as may be needed:

Instead, and against your friends, Zwingli and Oecolampadius, he wrote, for the substance and true body and blood of Christ in the Eucharistic sacrament, this he said: “If the world lasts long, it will again be necessary, then, because of the diverse Scriptural interpretations which now are, in order to conserve the unity of the faith, we will receive the decrees of Councils and then flee to them.”

Thoughts on Abortion

January 29, 2008

By abortion I mean intentional unjustified termination of the life of an unborn child.

Abortion is wrong. It is a sin, and a violation of the 6th commandment. It is a particularly heinous sin when committed by a child’s father or mother. It ought to be crime, and governments who refuse to treat it as a crime risk God’s judgment for failing to act justly.

Abortion is properly classifed as murder, because an unborn child is a person. An unborn child is a human being. An unborn child has a separate physical existence from its parents, even though it is totally reliant on its mother for nutrition, support, protection, and so forth.

That the child’s father committed rape or incest is not ordinarily a justification for termination of the life of the child, whether or not the child was conceived as a result of that sinful action by the child’s father.

That a child’s mother committed a capital offense (and rape or incest might qualify as such an offense) may justify the termination of the life of the child, as collateral to the just judgment of death on the mother.

That a child is going to kill its mother may be a justification for terminating the life of the child, under a self-defense principle. That is to say, a mother (or a father acting as head of the family) may be justified in killing her child if the child is going to kill her, and if killing the child is the only way (back to the wall limitation) to stop the child from killing her.

Criminal law is not the sphere of authority of every government. Some politcal structures, like America or the European Union, have many spheres of authority. While it is the duty of the magistrate generally to protect life, it may not be, for example, for either the highest or lowest spheres of government to be enacing criminalization of abortion laws, if such laws do not fall within the proper scope of their authority.

Likewise, it is not the Christian’s duty to become abortion vigilantes, hunting down and executing justice on those who commit unjustified abortions.

That a child is very small is not a justification for killing a child.
That a child is not likely to have an enjoyable life is not justification for killing a child.
That a child is very ill is not a justification for killing a child.
That a child might endanger the life of its mother is not a justification for killing a child.

All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The point of this post is not to judge sinners. Judgment is the responsibility of God and the kings of the earth. Nor is the point of this post to judge kings who are sinners.

Instead, the point of this post is to entreat the kings and rulers of this world to enact just laws that protect the lives of innocent children, and justly punish those who take their lives.

May God bless this world with more nations that protect the lives of the unborn,


The Real Turretin on: Ecclesiology

January 28, 2008

Here’s a brief excerpt from Turretin’s Institutes, on the lack of difference between Presbyter and Bishop (link).

The Real Turretin on: the Covenants

January 28, 2008

The Reformed Reader has graciously transcribed a two part series taken from the real Turretin’s Institutes:

(part 1)
(part 2)

See also the recent transcription of the difference between Grace and Works by Transforming Grace.



Surprising Developments in the Federal Vision

January 28, 2008

The Auburn Avenue congregation has voted to leave the PCA, and to call Wilkins (their current pastor) to continue on as their pastor. They have also voted to join Doug Wilson’s “federation” the CREC. This will presumably result in Steve Wilkins asking to be transferred out of the PCA, although he has been referred to the PCA SJC for trial for his notorious heresy by the Lousiana Presbytery.

I suspect that his request to leave will be granted, and that his departure will signal to the other Federal Visionists in the PCA that it is time to conform to Scriptural doctrine or depart out.

I am sorry to see people leaving rather than heeding godly discipline, but what can we do except continue to pray and continue to reach out to them as errant brethren.



First Corinthians, Chapter Nine, Verse Twenty-Five

January 28, 2008

I realize that this article (link) is very remotely related to the verse above (1Co 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.), but it is important to realize that whether our churches crown their elders with physical, corruptible crowns, all true believers have crowns laid up for them in heaven, namely the crown of Christ’s righteousness, life eternal, and unfading glory:

2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

In comparison to which, the bishop’s crown is just so much dust.

I do genuinely feel sorry for the bishop in question, who says he feels “lost” without his crown. And I exhort him to remember the words of our Lord, who said:

Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:


Note to irascible Orthodox readers: I realize that this crowning with a physical bejeweled crown is a very ancient practice in your sect, and that this bishop saying that he feels “lost” without his crown is presumably not a soteriological reference. Also, I recognize that not everyone who seeks to be an Orthodox bishop does so in order to get decked out in gold, and to obtain the mastery (as per the subject verse). Doubtless there are bishops who despise their gaudy crown, awaiting a crown of righteousness, glory, and eternal life in the life to come. There is great diversity within “Orthodoxy.”

UPDATE: Another Orthodox bishop lost his crown, this one the more usual way (link) (and not just any bishop, but an archbishop).

Parable of the Bag of Donuts

January 28, 2008

As I was walking through the grocery store, I encountered a man about to buy a big bag of fresh baked donuts. But I noticed in his other hand a book: “Dealing with Diabetes,” and then I noticed he had a medical necklace that had come over his collar, which indicated him as having a very advanced case of Diabetes.

So, I warned the man: “Those donuts have a lot of sugar in them.”

The man looked at me and said, “No, donuts are healthy. I love them. I’m going to eat them.”

I offered to try to explain to him the nutritional facts about donuts, but he wouldn’t listen. In fact, he offered to debate me about the nutritional value of donuts. His proffered resolution was: “Resolved that donuts are properly classifiable as healthy food.”

I said, “well, I want to be clear that we are talking about the same thing here:”

– “donuts have tons of saturated fats, right?” His answer surprising answer was a denial.
– “donuts have tons of sugar, right? ” Again, he replied in the negative.
– “donuts are a kind of pastry, though, right?” (I asked in wonder) But again he replied in the negative.

He insisted that these “round things with holes” are nutritious, sometimes are made from whole grains, and often include embedded fruit, such as raisins or blueberries.

“Aha,” I answered, “what you have there are bagels not donuts. Bagels are (or can be) healthy food, so I won’t be able to argue with you that they are not healthy.”

“Oh no,” insisted the man, “I mean ‘donuts.’ Don’t tell me what I mean. But I can see you are not interested in a debate, since you are trying to impose all these absurd conditions on me.”

With that, the man took his bag of donuts and left the grocery store.

I sat in awe. Could anyone be so foolish as to be a severe diabetic eating donuts? Could anyone be so hardened in his sugar-consuming ways that he would deny basic characteristics of his donuts, even to the pointing of treating donuts as though they were bagels?

But that was not the end. The next day one of his friends stopped by and insisted that I was afraid to defend my “crazy” ideas about nutrition, and that I had refused to debate the man in the grocery store! I tried to set him straight, but oddly he too thought that I must accept the man’s own description of the contents of the bag, and not a more objective description.

Moral: One might think that the moral is “don’t mess with the donut guy. You’ll both get powdered sugar all over yourselves, but the donut guy will enjoy it.” But, of course, sometimes one has a duty to warn someone else of the dangers that face them. Sometimes the only charitable thing to do is to warn someone that something is unhealthy, for their body or (even more crucially) for their soul. They may deny that it is what it is, until they are blue in the face. You cannot change that. What you can do is give the warning as best you can, and leave it in God’s hands to open their eyes to the danger.

%d bloggers like this: