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December 10, 2007

Comments

I agree, Brett. Pastore graduated from Talbot with his MA in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. For someone like him to be making such a sloppy and careless objection is strange.

I also found it odd that he assumed Moreland meant ALL evangelicals, as in every one. This is, at best, uncharitable, and at worst, patently ridiculous.

It seems to me that it's difficult for some evangelicals who are concerned about the authority of Scripture to set aside the knee-jerk reaction to a title like "How Evangelicals Became Over-Committed to the Bible and What can be Done about it" (the naming of which was probably Moreland's biggest mistake in this whole thing) and interact with what was actually argued in a level-headed way. Once the emotional hackles are raised, that's a hard thing for any of us to do, but it is certainly the sign of a careful thinker.

I didn't know there was so much controversy about it, but I would have to say that besides the title I didn't see much controversial with what Moreland wrote.

Well stated, Brett!

I found your observations and comments about Pastore to be very helpful and wise. Friends of mine, who religiously listen to Pastore, need to hear the balance of your tone and perspective. I will encourage them to read this post.

Thanks for your thoughtful work!

It's not surprising to me the lack of charity evangelicals direct towards those they disagree with. I've had a lot of aspersions cast upon my own character since I walked away from the faith.

Though I will say that STR has been one of the few exceptions to that rule, so I have to give the people here credit. Hopefully you guys can rub off on some of the Christians I come in contact with.

That's good to hear, Jon, and very appreciated by those of us who try to emulate the STR approach and values, particularly coming from someone on the "other side of the isle". Actually, "rubbing off" on other Christians is STR's main goal and focus, and I think I'm actually seeing that happen more and more over the last several years.

The title of the paper definitely made my eyes bug out. I think that is what people are reacting to. I have yet to hear or read a good argument against any of the points in the paper. In fact, I found the paper so intriguing that I ordered his book, Kingdom Triangle.

Brett,

First, Pastore's essay. Wow. You called it a "fallacious attack". That may be too generous. Pastore is being irrational. His criticisms are frustratingly unhelpful in their failure to deal fairly and reasonably with what Dr. Moreland said.

Second, I want to repeat the comment I made in Melinda's post on the subject. There is more to the controversy than you or she brought out in your posts; your commentary on those aspects would be helpful.
http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2007/11/what-dr-morelan.html

----------
Melinda,

First, I will say that I (mostly) agree with you that the part of the situation that you emphasized should not be controversial. That is, Moreland was absolutely correct to point out that the historic doctrine of "sola Scriptura" does not mean that the Bible is our sole authority or source of knowledge, but that it is the sole *infallible* authority, under which all other sources are subjected. That distinction is welcome, and needed in evangelical America. (For the last year, I've been hearing Reformed teachers discuss this distinction as, "Sola Scriptura does not mean Solo Scriptura.")


Perhaps some of the controversy is be coming from knee-jerk reactions. But not all of it. Some of the controversy comes from his expectation of extra-Scriptural revelation from God, which deserves more attention then you gave it. (You approvingly mentioned "words of knowledge" at the end of your post.) With that topic in mind, I'm surprised that you "didn't hear anything surprising or controversial". This is a major point of difference between continuationists and cessationists--i.e. it's part of the question of whether the NT revelatory spiritual gifts and gifts of attestational miracles are to be expected today.

Even if you yourself happen to agree with him entirely on that point, it is certainly controversial.


The relevant portion begins:
"The third and final area where over-commitment to the Bible is harming the church is in the rejection of guidance, revelation, and so forth from God through impressions, dreams, visions, prophetic words, words of knowledge and wisdom."

The question of whether there is on-going extra-Scriptural revelation is not small. (Saying that you do not believe it is on authoritative par with Scripture, as Dr. Moreland's did, does not end the discussion. I am still unable to wrap my mind around the idea of guiding revelation that is not wholly authoritative, or is so subjectively recognized.) And I would expect you in particular to disagree with Dr. Moreland when he says we should expect guidance from "impressions"--something that Greg's material on decision-making discusses at length.

Brett:

Thank you for your post.

Pastore's uncharitableness is stunning. His "all" Evangelicals rant could serve as inspiration for a Monty Python skit. Pastore claims that since JP doesn't qualify "Evangelicals," he must mean "all" Evangelicals. But since JP is an Evangelical too, he must, according to Pastore's bent logic, be talking about himself and all the Evangelicals he quotes positively, such as Wagner and Willard.

First Pastore says the Emergent Church supports Al-Qaeda, and now demagogues over a tacit adjective only he can see. Looks like another wild pitch for the ex-major league baseball player. http://tinyurl.com/35qu94

Dr. Beckwith,

Why do you mention Mr. Pastore's status as a former baseball player, twice, here on this blog and at the link you copied http://tinyurl.com/35qu94 ? Are you trying to cast aspersions on his thinking by attacking the man, reminding us he played professional baseball? So what?

CTontz:

As a member of the 1978 Bishop Gorman High School Nevada state championship basketball team, I agree that athletic accomplishment or lack thereof is not relevant to assessing a person's arguments.

BTW, did I tell you that I was a member of the 1978 Bishop Gorman High School Nevada state championship basketball team?

Seriously, I mention Frank's prior career because the pitch metaphor adequately captures his comments. If Frank had been a plumber, I would have said, "Pastore clogs another toilet," or a surgeon, "Pastore commits intellectual malpractice," or a gardner, "Pastore plants weeds in flower bed," or a member of the San Francisco Giants, "Pastore on fallacy steroids."

In response, feel free to say, "Beckwith shoots another air ball." :-)

Frank

CTontz:

As a member of the 1978 Bishop Gorman High School Nevada state championship basketball team, I agree that athletic accomplishment or lack thereof is not relevant to assessing a person's arguments.

BTW, did I tell you that I was a member of the 1978 Bishop Gorman High School Nevada state championship basketball team?

Seriously, I mention Frank's prior career because the pitch metaphor adequately captures his comments. If Frank had been a plumber, I would have said, "Pastore clogs another toiler," or a surgeon, "Pastore commits intellectual malpractice," or a gardner, "Pastore plants weeds in flower bed," or a member of the San Francisco Giants, "Pastore on fallacy steroids."

In response, feel free to say, "Beckwith shoots air ball." :-)

Frank

Frank,

Classic! : )

Beckwith hits a three at the buzzer.

I'm not sure if this has been stated by anyone yet, but we should really take a look at 2 Tim 3:16-17 again and make sure we are all on the same page. Note that I have not read Moreland's paper. It just seems to me from my perception of the disagreement, that the following scripture is central.

"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work" (NASB).

This scripture is saying that all of scripture is profitable to make the man of God adequate and equipped for every good work. This means that it provides us with direct guidance, examples for our learning and wisdom which can be transported to every culture and time period in the present and future. Does this mean that it DIRECTLY answers every question we have through every culture and period of time? Of course not. I think everyone agrees on this.

Perhaps what the concern is (if there is any valid concern here whatsoever) is that one might state that in order to be godly (to be in His will), one needs to seek wisdom OUTSIDE of that offered in scripture (through the Holy Spirit's illumination). Are we agreed that this is not necessary? Do we agree that God has forseen what wisdom even we need today and provided guidance for us in scripture even though it may not speak to our exact situation?

Ryan

It seems to me that some here are "attacking" and "assaulting" (to use Brett's terminology) Frank Pastore personally instead of sticking to the issues.

Frank B--every time I read something from you you're telling me or someone else we are "uncharitable". Perhaps you should consider another adjective since that particular one can also be applied to you.

Frank Pastore is doing his job and doing it well. I think it's great that hundreds of thousands of people respect him enough to listen to him every week. His points on Moreland are well taken and perhaps STAND TO REASON should reconsider him as a headliner for their summer cruise.

Jill Martin Rische
Walter Martin Ministries

Hey, another Aaron! Hi!

Building on Tim's comment above, most of the serious concern with Dr. Moreland's paper is not addressed in your or Melinda's posts. Moreland seems to dismiss a desire by some for careful scrutiny of claimed extra-biblical knowledge of the spiritual realm, and also invests such extra-biblical knowledge with authority for faith and practice. Considering current, wide-spread faulty teaching regarding such things as demonology and a frequently uncritical acceptance of claimed signs and wonders, I think this is a legitimate concern.

Using a humorous metaphor is one thing, Jill. And I will concede that not everyone may consider it funny.

But it is quite another for a public Christian like Frank Pastore to misrepresent on a widely-listened to radio program his former professor's work and based on that misrepresentation suggest that J.P.'s employer reconsider its relationship with him. That, Jill, is not only uncharitable, it is disrespectful of a mentor.

What Brett Kunkle wrote in this blog should be the subject of your concern. He wrote a carefully crafted analysis of a horribly-reasoned and uncharitable reading of our dear friend, J. P. Moreland, who has contributed mightily to the advancement of Christ's kingdom.

Frank Pastore has done much good work, and should be commended for that. But lately he has offered public arguments and issued stern judgments that seem to be as detached from reason as they are from charity. Having been confronted privately on these matters, Frank nevertheless remains resolute in his insistence that on matters of deep controversy among Christians there is no wisdom to be found in his detractors. Such a posture results in an ugliness of soul, a demeanor that seems needlessly combative on matters over which Christians should dialog rather than demagogue.

I am hoping that in your case, Jill, the apple has not fallen far from the tree.

Hi Jill -

1. Do your comments reminding others to not attack others personally apply to your post?

2. Have you read Dr. Moreland's paper?

3. If you have, can you refer us to where Brett has miscast Frank's position in his response to Dr. Moreland paper?

4. If you have not read Dr. Moreland's paper, how can you claim that Frank's points are "well taken"?

Thanks,
John

State champions? Wow, I'll remember that.

As to the title of these two pieces, don't you think both men are simply trying to get the reader/listener's attention? Dr. Moreland with "How Evangelicals Became Over-Committed to the Bible and What can be Done about It" and Pastore with "Why Al Qaeda Supports the Emergent Church."
After both have got our attention, each makes a finer argument. Where is the difference?

There isn't anything uncharitable or poorly reasoned about Pastore's column, even if you disagree with it. There is nothing charitable or well-reasoned about the reactions to it. They are simply personal attacks. How this can be defended coming from Christians is beyond me.

Concerning the titles of Pastore's columns: most columnists do not title their own columns. The titles are written by headline-writers, with the same purpose as any other headline--to attract readers, and not necessarily Christian readers.

Trish,

Please show me where Brett made a personal attack on Pastore (the closest I see is, "Such equivocation is almost inconceivable from someone with Pastore’s training in philosophy," which was said in reference to his argument, and is really more saying, "Wait, Frank's a bright and well-trained guy - why didn't he see this?"). The rest of the post doesn't deal at all with Pastore as a person. It deals with - and gives a reasoned critique of - what Pastore *wrote*.

>>There isn't anything uncharitable or poorly reasoned about Pastore's column, even if you disagree with it.

The poorly-reasoned part has been documented and argued. You can't waive that away without dealing with the argument Brett (and Frank Beckwith) gave. Please show where we've gone wrong in our reasoning. We've charged Pastore with equivocation. If we're wrong, great - just please show us how we're wrong.

Also, what do you mean by "uncharitable"? Pastore *assumes* Moreland meant *all* evangelicals, when such an assumption a) does not give him the benefit of the doubt (charitable) by reading it in the best possible way, and b) creates an absurd outcome if interpreted that way.

Trish,

I assume that I was included when you said that the reactions are simply personal attacks.

I had said,
------
First, Pastore's essay. Wow. You called it a "fallacious attack". That may be too generous. Pastore is being irrational. His criticisms are frustratingly unhelpful in their failure to deal fairly and reasonably with what Dr. Moreland said.
------

In my case, I think you have a point. My intent was to express my agreement with the substance of Brett's critique of Pastore's criticisms. I stand by that agreement. However, I expressed it in a way that used somewhat strong language, without contributing anything to Brett's critique. (I could have done so by pointing out that--contrary to Pastore's claims--Moreland did limit the "overcommitment" to only some evangelicals, in the very text that Pastore quoted. Moreland said, "_there is an_ over-commitment" and "it has produced a mean-spiritedness _among the over-committed_." [emph. added] "Among the overcommitted" means that not everyone is overcommitted.) If I wasn't going to add to the critique, I would have done well to express my agreement without being demonstrative--saying "Wow" and the like.

But I see no validity to your criticism of Brett Kunkle and Frank Beckwith's comments. They made specific critiques of arguments & interpretations made by Pastore, arguing that he was not dealing legitimately with what Moreland actually said. In other words, they made specific arguments about what Pastore said. For you to ignore those arguments--not addressing or acknowledging them in any way, saying that there hasn't been anything but personal attacks--is hardly helpful. If you want to disagree with those critiques, you're welcome to do so, but please do not pretend they don't exist.

To recap, some of those specific critiques include:
--That Frank Pastore ignored Moreland's definition of what he meant by "over-commitment". First he said that Moreland's point was non-controversial, then he raised a stink about...exactly that point.
--That he claimed Moreland was saying *all* evangelicals are over-committed, which is an untenable interpretation at best.

Jill you should lighten up. At a minimum take a jaunt to Vegas on the 22nd and pull for the BYU Cougars to defeat UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl.

I am almost finished with a response to the entire paper that is the size of a small book. A primer is here.

http://biblicalthought.com/blog/jp-moreland-the-kingdom-triangle-and-damage-control/

We are praying that God is glorified in all this. This week I will address Moreland's use of Beegle's bibliolatry, and look at what commitment is. The question I will be asking is, "is there such a state as over-committed?" I have found that fully-committed is more accurate.

Moreland and his cronies are no angels. Read my post and learn how they have deleted comments and distorted the discussion, deceiving KT forum readers. I have all of the original comments saved in email and I'll release them soon, all in order, including what KT sent me personally. I wish it wasn't as nasty as it is. I would rather discuss things rationally with them.


Pastore is making a mountain out of a molehill. The biggest problem with Dr. Moreland's article was the title. The title makes for a great soundbite, suitable for most people who want everything summarized in a headline. Unfortunately, his title has been taken totally out of context. It's really not a very controversial article at all, my opinion, but the title can be taken that way. Safe to say Dr. Moreland will think a bit more carefully about his titles in the future...

From what I can tell, what some are seeing most troubling is Pastore taking some unnecessary shots at his former instructor. Unless Pastore fell asleep during class in the early 90's until the time he graduated, he was being exposed to most of what was in that paper. Moreland's ideas in the recent paper were nothing new to me since he has been teaching that since the days I was there when he first came to Biola University.

It appears Pastore has committed a hit and run at intersection of faith and reason and Brett has got the warrant on him. Sorry, not much of a baseball fan. ;)

I've been loosely following this out of curiosity as I don't have a dog in this fight however I do see some troubling things.

I found this in a comment on Stephan's site:

"Dr. Morelands “fellows” lovingly (I am not being facetious)refered to him as the “godfather.” Truly, this was a term of endearment and respect. I reflected on this group of fellows that I sat under for a short time a while ago and thought about where they are now….
one was confronted for academic fraud (he has been academically restored since), one was removed for immorality (to this day saddens me greatly), one has become an apostate to the Eastern Orthodox Church, another to the Roman Catholic Church..."

It it common for evangelicals to view folks of the EO and RC persuasion as not being Christians or is the commenter an outlier? I sense a tone among some here that brings 17th Century Europe to mind.

Also, anyone know what Dr. Moreland meant by his reference to the lack of serious and sophisticated political thought and engagement among white evangelicals?

Stephen wrote: "Moreland and his cronies are no angels. Read my post and learn how they have deleted comments and distorted the discussion, deceiving KT forum readers"

As long as you use inflammatory language like cronies and deceiving, you will not have people engage you in discussion, especially given the exemplary life of those people to whom you refer.

Be careful friend.

Patrick, thank you for your warning and advice. I'm sorry that you have perceived "cronies" as inflammatory. That wasn't my intention. It is a word that I use often. It simply means "close friend of long standing." Not meant to be inflammatory. Perhaps I could have said "staff?"

When I used "deceive," I did so because that is what is happening. When comments that are left in chronological order, a reader can read the responses to comments and get a "feel" for the "type" of discussion taking place. If certain "choice" comments are deleted without a disclosure (comment deleted), and a response to the deleted comment is allowed by the moderator to remain, it gives the reader a distorted story.

Stephen,

Your self-absorption and need for attention on this issue here and elsewhere is not flattering to your point of view.

Alan,

In response to your question, it depends on how you are defining common. It is not universal nor do I think it is a view represented by the majority of evangelicals. The hard line of demarcation that those who are Catholic or EO are lost does exist in many people that I have talked to over the years. Many more than I am comfortable.

Jay

After parousing Stephen's site, I can understand why J.P. Moreland wrote what he did. That is one scary group of Evangelicals. The tone is not so much 17th Century Europe as a 1,700,000 bc cave ...

I actually have few questions about JP's paper that I was hoping someone could answer for me.

I agree that the Bible is not the sole source of information but the ultimate authority. I can go along with him on that. I also noted that he was careful to say that extra-biblical knowledge we discover could (should?) not be elevated to the status of doctrine. However, he stated that we can and should be able to pursue knowledge that is God's truth outside of the biblical record. And here, he gave the example from archeology - saying that we can learn things about the culture or people connected to the artifact that may be factual but outside the Bible's description of that culture (did I get that right?). He also alluded to the fact that we can obtain knowledge from disciplines like psychology, and again, I agree with him.

But this brings up a question for me. I think it is one thing to do that kind of inference in archeology, but isn't it an entirely different category when speaking of demons? If we can glean knowledge from our spiritual experiences or encounters with demons, then how would we go about judging those experiences at all without using the Bible as the SOLE source of information? What other compass would we have when encountering demons? These are persons, not pottery fragments. One thing we know from Scripture is that demons are liars. How could we even be sure of what we perceive when it comes to these spiritual personalities? Shouldn't the Bible be our sole source in an area like this one? From JP's paper, he doesn't seem to think so.

Any input or answers?

Ed, Mark C., ad hominem attacks say more about the attacker than the one attacked. Deal with the argument, not the person.

I've read Moreland's paper and it seems to me he invites somewhat legitimate criticism for his failure to distinguish epistemology from soteriology. I fully agree that the Bible isn't the SOLE source of authority about knowledge and truth, but it IS the sole source of the gospel of Christ, which is necessary for salvation. THIS might be the panty-knot that evangelicals (like Pastore) have not clearly articulated in thier reactions and critiques. I was quite surprised to see Moreland's oversight in failing to make this important distinction, although I highly respect his position on Biblical and non-Biblical epistemology. It also is sad to see that no one above has pointed this out either.

Stephen
thanks for the clarification. I guess having spent time with JP (very informally in lectures) and spending considerable time studying under several of his closest associates, I have a comfort level in assuming the best unless proven otherwise. That seems to be the biblical mandate as well. It may also be that the deleted comments were divisive beyond the scope of the discussion, perhaps even foul. In which case, the blog host could still respond to the relevant points. The old innocent until proven guilty prevails for me, I suppose!

Stephen,

What sort of sophisticated argumentation is the following from your website if not an 'ad hominem' attack? Perhaps Roman Catholics are fair game ...

http://biblicalthought.com/blog/justifying-apologetics-itself/#comments:

"Imagine a Christian trying to dialogue with a group of Natural theologians and philosophers as to why they bother doing apologetics ...

First Natural Theologian: “Well, I needed a job. I was educated by the Jesuits but they would not hire me unless I became a Roman Catholic. I tried to get a job at a local community college but they did not want me either. I then applied at an evangelical school and they were excited to hire someone from Notre Dame. So, I signed with them.”

Stephen Says:
November 8th, 2007 at 5:05 pm

On the basis of my observation of the evidence, there is an extremely high probability that Natural theologians 1, 2, and 3, and the Christian, may be identified as:

NT#1: William Legg Craine
NT#2: Kraig Gougl
NT#3: Brancis Feckwith
Christian: Mob Borey

Is this what you call "Biblical Thought"?

"Is this what you call "Biblical Thought"?"

No, it is called "satire" just like the tag says. BTW, this was posted by Dr. Morey, a friend, brother, and "Stand To Reason Radio" guest of Greg Koukl, not me. Satire is supposed to be funny.

If you ever met Bob Morey, you'll quickly realize why he thinks theology is the queen of the sciences and why that makes him the top theologian.

--SATIRE (so that makes it okay, according to Steve)

"Satire is supposed to be funny."

Probably why no one recognized this as satire...

Dear Friends at Stand to Reason,

I think you have a pretty cool ministry going for yourselves, especially Greg K.'s refutation of Postmodernism has been helpful to Evangelicals, but as I read your comments regarding JP Moreland's controversial comments at this years ETS meetings, I come away with the distinct impression that the only Evangelicals tolerated here or anything connected to Biola are those Evangelicals who happen to agree with Moreland, William Lane Craig and other Evangelicals who essentially espouse Molinist views on Middle Knowledge and Aristotle's views on Natural Theology.

However, as you know there are many Evangelical Christians in America, coming from the Reformed, Calvinist and Augustinian tradtion that reject natural theology, Molinism, Arminianism and also reject Moreland's "over dependence" on Natural Theology.

Last year Christianity Today (CT) featured a front cover article covering the massive resurrgence of Reformed Theology within American Evangelicalism and after years of listening to Stand to Reason and JP Moreland over at Talbot, I do not believe you guys really factor this Reformed stand of Evangelicalism into your philosophic and ecclessiastical paradigm.

Many young Evangelicals in Bible Colleges, Christian Universities and Seminaries accross America are turning towards Calvnism and tradtional conservative Evangelicalism. I think you guys and Moreland act as though this strong tradtion of Evangelicalism does not exist or is somehow intellectual inferior. How sad.

Hi Ed,

I do not want to put words in Koukl’s mouth so if I mischaracterize his views in any way, my apologies to him ahead of time. However, you do know that Greg holds to Calvinism, right? You also know that he does not accept Middle Knowledge, although I think he remains open to it. Additionally, Greg disagrees with Moreland on what the Bible teaches about how the Holy Spirit functions in our lives, and he is (much) less mystical than Moreland when it comes to the guidance of the Spirit (Koukl has a whole teaching series on this topic – you have listened to “Decision Making and the Will of God, right?) Further, there are several faithful listeners and participants in STR’s ministry who would disagree with William Lane Craig, Moreland, and other professors at BIOLA on a whole host of issues.

What has been primarily challenged in the above discussion are the attacks on JP’s character and the irrelevant arguments. Many comments do not address issues presented in the paper in any substantive way. You’ve read the paper, right? The lack of logical argumentation against JP’s claims gives one good reason to think that many have either not read it, do not understand his polemic, or are simply the kind of people who need to draw negative attention to themselves. Why you would come away with a “distinct impression” about anything regarding Natural Theology or Middle Knowledge is inexplicable since the paper (and most of the discussion generated by it) does not directly involve those ideas.

In light of these facts, your comments about what is “tolerated” on this blog or comments section are odd at best. Additionally, the rest of your charges about those involved with this ministry thinking theological views other than their own are “intellectually inferior” and unable to fit into their “philosophic and ecclesiastical paradigm,” are without justification. Not only is your “distinct impression” plainly wrong, but your condescension at the very end is uncalled for and offensive.

Last, I will assume that you truly mean STR are “friends” and encourage you to be sure of your facts as well as focus on the discussion in future posts. I trust you are a discerning brother who hastily posted a comment without thinking thoroughly about the allegations you were making.

Hey boys, and girls,

Well those of you who insist that JP’s paper is bad or bad for the Christian community….O’ just a minute I need a good stiff drink in order to be nice and lady-like.

Firstly I have read the paper and it was beautifully written, which I will summarize; after only reading it once and fairly quickly, but read very slowly those quoted parts in varies blogs that disagreed with it, to see if indeed they were as horrific as attested. OK I am not the smartest person in the world, but JP basically covered:

1) The history of education from “uni” to “plura” versities, and how that lead to naturalistic thinking, meaning that only those things which we can see, touch, hear, smell which are testable are vehicles of true/real/certain knowledge.
2) Naturalistic ideology has affected our thinking in such away as to affect our perception of reality such that the “mystical/metaphysical/spirtiual” is not strongly thought of as True reality. It s kinda like we don’t believe in the spooky stuff any more, or naturalism is a stronger part of our foundational beliefs/noetic structure as opposed to supernaturalism.
3) The Bible has become an idol and taken the place of an intimate relationship with Jesus. Doing a ‘quiet time’ every morning is not going to make you a loving person if you are not sensitive to the spirit and practice loving people rather than being a clanging cymbal.
4) The Bible is not the Word of God, rather it contains the Word of God because the Word of God is to be hidden in our heart. You do not need the Bible to know the Word of God or to meditate on it day and night if it is hidden in your heart. (owning a copy of the scriptures is a recent modern phenomenon.)
5) The Church is in desperate need of learning to ‘hear’ God’s voice personally and obey it.---For example (mine, not JP’s) God might tell one women not the marry a particular man but tell another women to marry that same man at another time; these women would not have found this information in the Bible specific to their situations. If a person is over committed to the Bible then they will not train themselves the hear God, but will rather be overly dependent on the “bullet-points” (remember that one of the NT writers said that all the books in the world could not contain what Jesus did, therefore Gospels/NT/OT are basically ‘bullet-points’ of what God deems important as a standard for us to know and live by.)

I do not agree with JP 100% and think he can be a brat sometimes but when I found out about this attack of him I got really mad because I believe he leads and exemplary life, and he is kind, gentle and loving. I immediately understood what he was getting at with the title without having read the paper, and after reading it my perceptions were confirmed. You know what JP’s problem is? He’s a little Prophet of the Lord, he can’t help but tell the truth, take that you Cessationist you.

I believe that those attacking JP are acting like a divorcing disgruntled spouse accusing the other of child abuse/incest. It all feels really personal and attention grabbing to me. They all sound like those guys that were jealous of Aaron and Moses. (sorry cannot give the verse off-hand, and I am too lazy to look it up, seeing that I am not overly committed to the scriptures. Ha, Ha, Ha take that to the bank!).

I would go to Vegas but I don’t believe in gambling and drinking, but they tell me it can be a real family place……..Hmmm maybe I’ll get married there?

Wonderfully broad response!

I have noted Greg's Calvinist leanings myself, am a "Fan" of STR, am currently anti molinist, but pro many great arguments from where e're they come.

I am not in 100% agreement with any one here, but you all make great points. This diversity is iron sharpening iron as far as I am concerned. I just hope we keep searching scripture, and using the great brains God gave us!

Love to the brethren!

'Anti-Molinist'?

Why?

Molinism is trivially true.

Molinism claims that a person will freely choose one particular way in each set of logically possible circumstances that could occur in a real world.

Is this true?

Let us take two sets of logically possible circumstances which could have occured in the real world, but did not.

1) I am sitting down to breakfast in an hotel at 8:30 am on Sun 30/12/2007, and a waiter is asking 'Tea or Coffee’, and an omniscient being has infallible knowledge that I will choose tea.

2) I am sitting down to breakfast in an hotel at 8:30 am on Sun. 30/12/2007 , and a waiter is asking me ‘Tea or Coffee’, and an omniscient being has infallible knowledge that I will choose coffee.

Are these logically possible, and distinct, sets of circumstances?

What are my counterfactuals of freedom in each of those 2 sets of circumstances?

Which way would I freely choose in each of those sets of circumstances?

If there is a definite fact of the matter about how I would choose in each of those 2 sets of logically possible circumstances, has Molinism now been proved to be true?

These questions are trivial to answer.

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