Thursday, December 07, 2006

New Link

Well, it's about time I added a new link in the chain. So out of a completely selfless motive, I am linking to JD Hatfield's blog, Voice of Vision. JD has suggested I need to round out my theology a bit more and he is happy to assist in that matter.

There are a couple of reasons I like JD, first being we share the same name. Secondly, our fathers share the same name...and before you ask, no, we are not cousins. JD pastors a church down in the sunny citrus land of Florida, and has a very good attitude towards discussing topics of a Biblical nature. I appreciate his willingness to avoid contentious name calling and seek unity based on scriptural truth.

I can't help but think that I have heard the name Hatfield somewhere before though...hmmm...could it have been on an old episode of the Flintstones where Fred goes to visit some distance relatives in Arkansas. Does that sound familiar to anyone?

Anyways, I think I am now well roundedly linked to reformed brethren and calvinistically minded individuals. To avoid the danger of becoming unbalanced, I need to find some other view points. Does anyone have some recommendations?

By the way, nobody likes a person to remain unlabeled. What in your opinion is the label you would attach to my beliefs as you have read them. How am I coming across?

48 comments:

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

You are a Non-Calvinist Dispensational Fundamentalist.

Even So... said...

Right now I'd say you were a good guy, but I just might be a little biased...oh, and back at 'ya with the linkage...

Bhedr said...

Hatfields? Them's Kentucky folk aint they?

Is Matthew right? It would seem to me that you have a twinge of Calnadian in ya:-)

Even So... said...

Brian, close, and right sort of, but basically Hatfield's are from the West Virginia side of the state line they were fightin' on...McCoy's are from Kentucky...

Jim said...

Matthew:
Thanks for your thoughts bro.

JD:
You were on my shortlist already, it just took a little nudge. Thanks for the link as well.

Brian:
Ha ha brother, that is a good one. That's right it was the McCoy's they were a feudin' with. Funny what names bring to your memory.

Thanks y'all for stoppin' by.

Bhedr said...

O me...even so I should have know as I hail from WV. Just the same, I jus as soon keep em McCoys on their side o the line.

Well Jim I guess Even so gave us the green light. Hey you must have alot of change in your pocket Even so as I gotta keep rollin and thanks for helpin us out. Uh oh...lookin a little pink up here though...break check.

Now what in the world could I bee talkin about?

Even So... said...

I don't know but I 'spose you might tell us...

Blaurock said...

Hey Jim,
On recommendations for "other points" there is a very good site done by George Zeller on the "Problems of Reformed Theology."

http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/reformed/reformed.htm

While you say that "nobody likes a person to remain unlabeled," I would say, that "unlabaled" is the only way to go. You're free to take the best of JD, and the best of Brian,and others without worrying if you contradict a system. You come across to me as a Biblicist, a christian willing to let the secret things belong to the Lord, and the things revealed to be revered. Once we buy into a system, the Spirit of God gets a gag order, and we are stunted greatly.

Jim said...

JD:

I think he was referring to his Trucker Break contest. Of course, I am totally clueless when it comes to their lingo.

Joe:

I do appreciate your words of wisdom and encouragement brother.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I love systems. I feel confused if I am not part of some dogmatic system.

Jonathan Moorhead said...

Excellent choice with JD. I recently linked him myself. Contra Blaurock, we all think in systems whether we recognize it or not. Everyone can claim to be biblical but it means nothing. I think Matthew pegged you about right.

Jim said...

Matthew, I gathered that much from your posts.

JMoor,

Thanks for stopping by...what system do you feel most attached to?

Blaurock said...

My point exactly.

Blaurock said...

It's the same attitude a Catholic has. He is comfortable in his fetters. Confused without a dogmatic system? This should be a warning to everyone. It may mean nothing to Jonathan, but it means very much to me.

Jim said...

Joe:

Would you see a difference between someone who may espouse certain beliefs without a label, and someone who promotes what they believe vigorously with a label?

Are you saying there is an inherent danger in making a neat and tidy outline of what you believe? Does this somehow prevent further revelation from the scriptures?

Blaurock said...

Dear Jim,
Labels are too easy. If someone fits neatly into catagories then they are not very well taught. Would Paul have been a Cessationist? Calvinist? The Word of God is so undefinable to the catagorist that they just go with what seems closest to them. No catagory does justice. I have a doctrinal statement for the church here in Ulqin, but it would hardly be accepted by any one group. In fact it alienates almost everyone who is "committed" to a dogmatic theology. Truth does not fit into neat catagories.

It does prevent further revelation in that the person is now a part of a sub-culture within a larger community. If he lets go of his hold on what his peers see as a common dogma, he is now "out." The pressure to stay "in" is enough that most shut down any possible hint of their system being wacked.
Any scripture that threatens the system is reconstructed to fit-like 1 Jn.2:1,2 for Calvinists and James for Free Grace people, or 1 Cor.12-14 for Cessationists. They have to corrupt the plain interpretation to hold up the fort. To say you are a Biblicist is not impossible, it is just not popular because you are owned by no one and belong to all in Christ. I've lived among owned men.
They are not free, and they show it. They have to label you. They do not appreciate a free man.

Jim said...

Thanks Joe, our natural tendancy is to associate with like minded individuals. We must work hard at allowing brothers with varying views into our circle of fellowship, at least that is what my experience has been.

Jonathan, what do you think about those thoughts from Joe?

Even So... said...

How about this label...

CHRISTIAN

Anyone want to step up to that?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"CHRISTIAN

Anyone want to step up to that?"

David Stern did not.

He argued in 'Messianic Jewish Manifesto' that only converted Gentiles are Christians, but converted Jews are not Christians.

Weird guy. Don't bother with his Bible translation.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Joe, if the Bible is God's inerrant word, it must be consistent.

If it is consistent, we can draw from it a coherent system of dogma. There should be no confusion or inconsistencies in God's revelation to man.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Blaurock said...

Matthew,
If you were innerant to match the Word, then it could be possible to make your system. The Pharisees thought they had it figured out. Isn't it strange that one of the most popular systematized philosophies of salvation still adds the Law into the Atonement, and one of the others deletes repentance? The problem isn't the Word. You are imagining that the mind of man can dogmatize over something as mysterious as God's revelation. When all the "confusion" is gone, you've just joined a cult.

Bhedr said...

A cool and interesting conversation that has transpired here Jim. I am leary of labels but find sometimes that I have to tell people that I have a Calvinist perspective...and often cringe thinking about some of the things the reformers did, but it quickly identifies me with an understanding of God's Sovereignty. However at the same time it can be misleading because all of Joes points are true. Also once you start embracing a label you fall under a huge sea of people that try to hold the fort together and they start overlooking inconsistencies(especially that of Infant Baptism) within the framework of Calvinism. Quite frankly I think Joe himself has a twinge of Calvinism in him even though I know he would feel insulted by me saying it and I am sorry dear brother as I love you and don't want to offend you in any way sooooo....phew...I think we do need to strive to be biblical. Man this is something I have wrestled with for a long time.

JMOOR? Think of systems from the perspective Joe is coming from. You are a DTS student so you must be part of the Free Grace label??? Huh? You must be one of those people that don't believe in repentance! Huh? Right? A logical conclusion based on preconceived notions right? Now how much of the DTS stigma do you barter with or drop? You see where Joe is coming from and why we need to strive for seeking Christ apart from trumpeting the system and endeavoring to identify yourself within a system that may mean things to differing people. It does indeed lead to Sanhedranism and a lifelong endeavor of trying to reform when in fact I do believe we are called away from that mindset to be honest. I appreciate your stand in areas brother Jonathan, but I wish I could convince you somehow of where Joe is coming from and the importance of what he is saying.

Jonathan Moorhead said...

I understand where Joe is coming from because labels can be used in many bad ways. However, for someone to say that they are an objective biblicist is just not reality. Everyone reads Scripture through a grid and it is good to recognize that. Consequently, I don't mind being labeled but I want to be as specific as possible so that I am not misunderstood. This seems to be the rub.

Blaurock said...

Jonathan,

"However, for someone to say that they are an objective biblicist is just not reality. Everyone reads Scripture through a grid and it is good to recognize that."

Is it that strange to be objective and Spirit taught, as to be considered a non-reality? Is your reality a rule unto others? You say the claim to be biblical means "nothing" and that biblical objectivity is not a "reality." I totally disagree and stand against that line of thought as profoundly anti-biblical and the result of natural thinking.

William Kelly says:

"In Christ there is room for everything true that both Calvinists and Arminians hold, and for a good deal more which neither holds. It is a pity that saints of God do not drop these partial schemes of doctrine, cleaving only to God's revelation, accepting it wholly, and eschewing every substitute for it. Christianity has ample room for the widest feeling and for the soundest judgment, and in short for everything that faith is bound to receive from God, or that love is free to achieve for His glory."

That is healthy spiritual thinking.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Joe, one has two options:

1. To look for consistent doctrine in the Bible.

2. To claim that the Bible teaches things which are inconsistent.

If you take option 1. you have a system of doctrine, whatever you choose to call it.

If you take option 2, you deny that God has the power to communicate knowledge to His people.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Blaurock said...

"Man makes, or strives to make, revelation into a science. Can two things more thoroughly differ? Who ever found life or peace in systematic divinity? It is always guarding this and guarding that with human weapons, and framing its uncertain and defective doctrines into imaginary fortresses of the faith, which must be Christ's working in us by the word and Spirit of God. Only in the Bible we have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; and we have the Holy Spirit who wrote all to guide us into all the truth. Therefore we have confidence in God and the word of His grace."
(Kelly)

Blaurock said...

Matthew,
You forgot option 3:
God's word has many truths that look contradictory, and yet come to us with equal authority and are consistent to the mind of the Spirit.

Take option 3 and watch your system crumble, and your life set free to be taught of God.

Jonathan Moorhead said...

Joe, do you claim to be 100% objective when you read the Bible? Is this possible? Do you think what is "plain interpretation" to you is plain to everyone? I also wonder if you think denominations are a bad thing since you eschew labels.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

There is no option 3.

Either the Bible teaches things which are contradctory in the human mind or it is consistent in what it reveals to us.

If the Bible teaches things which are paradoxical, then divine revelation is a failure and we cannot possible understand God's communication to us.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Blaurock said...

Jonathan,
From "nothing" and "non-reality" to 100% is quite a stretch in terms. I desire to be 100% objective, and have to allow the Holy Spirit to work in His own personal way to achieve that goal.
I am positive that it has not been a vain pursuit, a non-reality and nothing. Is it 100%? Only He knows.
Do I think the plain interpretation of my personal reading is plain to everyone? Jonathan, you're sounding like a Catholic priest arguing for the magisterium! Of course my interpretations are not plain to everyone. But, neither am I accountable for them, nor are they for me. It may be years before I can grasp something openly bare to another, and vice versa. The Bible is not a manual for building motors.

I am not against denominations. When men define themselves by that denomination, then they have failed to understand their(the denominations)usage. They are tools in the hand of God as are mission agencies and societies.

I don't eschew all labels. Only those that claim to say too much about something too great.

Blaurock said...

Matthew,
Then divine revelation has failed.
The scriptures are full of the paradoxcal.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Paradoxes such as?

Jonathan Moorhead said...

Joe, so it looks like we agree that we cannot be objective, the "plain" is not a good description of a method of hermeneutics, and that all labels aren't bad.

One more question: I assume that you have signed a doctrinal statement for your current ministry. When you attempt to read the Bible in complete objectivity, do you disregard those doctrinal essentials that you signed to?

Blaurock said...

We can't be objective? Who agreed to that overstatement? No one said "all" labels were bad.

I never signed "to" a doctrinal statement, nor do I neglect the things I've been taught previously in life. Your assumption is wrong.
Yet, when I read in "my attempt" to objectivity, I do so as before the Lord, not as bound to someones short-list of must-believes, or must not-believes.

Matthew,
Is it not a paradox that man is commanded to repent and believe, yet he is dead in trespasses and sins and blinded by satan?

Is it not a paradox that infinite God would become man and die bearing sin. The very mystery of godliness!

Evil itself is a present paradox-the mystery of iniquity.

God's ways are unfathomable and far from being consistently understood by man. If you think you have a grasp on them, rather than believing them in their revealed and yet-to-be revealed form, you are decieved greatly.

Bhedr said...

>This seems to be the rub.<

Well maybe you have sort of a point but I would have to disagree. This ain't rubbin'...it's racing!!! I've got the checkered flag out and waving it; watching to see who makes it in first.

Jonathan Moorhead said...

:-)

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"Is it not a paradox that man is commanded to repent and believe, yet he is dead in trespasses and sins and blinded by satan?"

No. There are two logical solutions. Either-
1. God commands man to repent and believe even though he cannot do so.
or
2. Being dead does not mean inability to repent and believe.

Survey the Scriptures and decide for yourself.

"Is it not a paradox that infinite God would become man and die bearing sin. The very mystery of godliness!"

No. When the incarnation is understood, it should be apparent that there is no logical inconsistency in it. I do not consider it to be paradoxical at all.

"Evil itself is a present paradox-the mystery of iniquity."

I fail to see how this is the case. Mystery does not necessarilly equal paradox. I see no apparent contradiction here.

"God's ways are unfathomable and far from being consistently understood by man. If you think you have a grasp on them, rather than believing them in their revealed and yet-to-be revealed form, you are decieved greatly."

God's ways and purposes are not always revealed to us, but they show no appearance of contradiction or paradox.

I do not think any of the examples you have listed are truly paradoxical.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Blaurock said...

par·a·dox /
–noun 1. a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.


You "understand" the incarnation? Now that is interesting. The infinite walking in a body is within your grasp? I believe it because it is revealed.

Evil, in a world created by a Sovereign and Holy God. This is a paradox. It is to be believed but is not understandable without an
extra-biblical statement or philosophical story.

Immutable and Holy, yet changed (became a man) and endured the becoming of a sin offering, and died! Paradox to be believed.

The only way to deal with the innumerable truths that are beyond us is to believe God's report concerning Himself. He is neither illogical, nor logical. He is beyond the sphere of understanding and logic. These things are spiritually communicated by the enabling of the Holy Spirit.It is not possible through the reading of a statement, or system of dogmatics, which always strive to take out the bumps and smooth out curves which make the truth of God out of bounds to the chronic systematizer.

Matthew, Your view of your own intellect is over-rated.

Jim said...

Hey guys, looks like I missed an interesting conversation.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"Matthew, Your view of your own intellect is over-rated."

Joe, if Jim will forgive me for saying so on his blog, I do wish you would find it in your heart to be courteous and polite with those who you disagree.

You have consistently addressed me in very harsh and quite unpleasent terms. Perhaps you do not, but I put a high premium on courtesy.

Is there anything wrong with being kind and gentle towards those with whom you have disagreements?

With regard to what you say:

par·a·dox /
–noun 1. a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.

I do deny that God's revelation contains such statements.

"You "understand" the incarnation? Now that is interesting. The infinite walking in a body is within your grasp? I believe it because it is revealed."

What in particular is self-contradictory about the incarnation? I see nothing illogical in the incarnation.

God being omnipotent is quite capable of entering into hypostatic union with true humanity. While such an event cannot be understood according to the laws of nature, there is nothing inherently self-contradictory about it.

"Evil, in a world created by a Sovereign and Holy God. This is a paradox. It is to be believed but is not understandable without an
extra-biblical statement or philosophical story."

So evil is not paradoxical when seen within the light of an extra-biblical statement? You would seem to be qualifiying your example here.

While philosophical explorations of the problem of evil are helpful, I am not sure that there is not sufficent material within the Scripture to construct a theodicy, thus disallowing it as a true paradox.

"Immutable and Holy, yet changed (became a man) and endured the becoming of a sin offering, and died! Paradox to be believed."

The humanity with which the Son of God entered into hypostatic union was subject to time (change). What is the self-contradictory element here?

"He is neither illogical, nor logical. He is beyond the sphere of understanding and logic."

If God is neither logical nor illogical, how can His being be meaningful? Once we step outside of the realms of logic, we can have no true meaning.

I see logic as part of the essence of God; a logic that sustains the order of the universe and is the foundation of divine to human communication.

"It is not possible through the reading of a statement, or system of dogmatics, which always strive to take out the bumps and smooth out curves which make the truth of God out of bounds to the chronic systematizer."

To construct a systematic theology is simply to recognise the inherent meaningfulness and truth of God's revealed communication to us.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Blaurock said...

You've got to love the courteous heretic.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

'You've got to love the courteous heretic.'

True. I think being polite would be a good start.

Jim said...

Regardless of what system we have embraced, either openly or subconciously, it is our responsibility to test everything by the Word of God and to that end desire to become more Biblically based.

If we are not relying solely upon the scriptures to interpret the scriptures, we are in danger of adopting a framework that will exclude much of what God has for us in this life.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Jim, do you not think the Athanansian creed is helpful?

It does provide a very good statement of Trinitarian doctrine that is very useful for one who is new to that doctrine.

God Bless

Matthew

Jim said...

Matthew,

I am not familiar with that creed. Could you please expound what it means?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Athanasian Creed

1. Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;

2. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

3. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;

4. Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.

5. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.

6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.

7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.

8. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.

9. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

10. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.

11. And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal.

12. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.

13. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty.

14. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.

15. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;

16. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

17. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;

18. And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord.

19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord;

20. So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords.

21. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.

22. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.

23. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

24. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.

25. And in this Trinity none is afore or after another; none is greater or less than another.

26. But the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal.

27. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

28. He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

29. Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

30. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.

31. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world.

32. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.

33. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.

34. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.

35. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God.

36. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.

37. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;

38. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;

39. He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty;

40. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

41. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;

42. and shall give account of their own works.

43. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

44. This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.

Jim said...

Thanks Matthew. There are some good points in there but I would be hesistant to accept completely simply because it is not the Word of God, but man's rational understanding of the same.

God bless,
Jim

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

It certainly is not the Word of God, but it is a useful device.

It provides a systematic statement of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.

Thus, if somebody says something funny about the Trinity, one can know it is a dodgy teaching without checking up every possible Scripture reference. If a Trinitarian teaching contradicts the Athanasian creed, we can know there is something wrong with it.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew