Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Moved to Word Press

I have moved the blog to Word Press. I will be blogging there from now on. They have features which will help prevent dishonest people from posting as sock puppets undetected. They also come highly recommended by some who were one time users of Blogger, so I thought it would be nice for a change. The site has been completely moved except for the side bar links which I need to do manually and might take a while. Any future posts will be made there. I hope to have the next post up regarding Hebrews 10 by the end of this week.

If you link to AP please change the link to the new Word Press address. Here is the link:


Thank you and God Bless.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Happy Easter

I will be away until after Easter but wanted to wish everyone a wonderful Resurrection Sunday.

"For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the Head over all rule and authority; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead." (Col. 2:9-12 emphasis mine)

In Him alone do we have life now and forever!

God Bless,

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Synod of Dort

Billy has been doing some nice work on the Synod of Dort at his new web-site Arminian Manifesto. Be sure to check it out.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Paul's Sock Puppet Show?

Does ~PM stand for Paul Manata or does it stand for Puppet Master? Examine the evidence and decide for yourself at the junkyard.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Calvinist Humility Displayed

Here are some comments taken from the combox of a recent post on apostasy in Hebrews by Ben Witherington. The first comments are from a Calvinist objector, followed by a small portion of Ben’s response.

“Many words don't mean truth, more likely much sin, as Prov 10:19 says, a big reason for the shallowness of web "christianity" (if the present atomized "web christianity" isn't an oxymoron versus God's Heb.10:25 picture of the Church.

Contra Witherington and Wesley, and their countless antiBiblical synergistic egoistic delusional errors, castles on air with not one verse of Scripture to support them, there is of course no possibility of a true Christian apostatizing, as 1 John 2:19 and all of Romans and many other passages make clear, explicated voluminously by so many of the Puritans (such as John Owen and Jonathan Edwards, to name but two, and ably demonstrated at www.monergism.com and www.desiringGod.org for those who desire God more than men, unusual for synergists, as Ben's bizarre and irrational antiBiblical insistence (sadly almost universal today) on God idolatrously glorifying man and not Himself as supremely worthy), whom synergists can't handle honestly but need not worry about today's illiterates ever reading to expose their bluff, stupidity, vacuity, and vanity. As C.S. Lewis said about the assured results of modern criticism, the only reason the results are so "assured" is that the original authors are dead and so can't blow (=refute) the gaffe (=error).

As John Piper has pointed out on the passage in preaching through the book (www.desiringGod.org), contrary to the usual eisegetical delusions of synergists, for whom the ego is God, and God is belittled, contrary to the pillar of Romans 9:15 that tells us God is sovereign and decides all (Prov 16:33), Hebrews 6 refers to two DIFFERENT soils, NOT one soil that changes itself; sadly I myself taught Ben's error many years ago before I matured, and was rightly ejected from the house I shared with Christian brothers for it as I wish would happen to wake up those following Ben's error to make them take the Christian faith versus mere ego seriously.

Ben would have saved himself a lot of wasted time and effort typical for synergists trying to use special knowledge like "rhetorical signals" and what not, going all over the map with extraBiblical legerdemain vainly trying to escape the simple meaning of the Sacred text, and thus failing to notice the small but essential point that overthrows these vast (and as vain as vast, in both senses of the word) synergist speculations with a bogus antiBiblical view of grace that has been so catastrophic in destroying God's Church, especially but not only in the west) by substituting for His true Gospel of grace, Wesley's and Finney's ultimately humanistic chicanery of a pseudo-gospel of works and ego (I (appropriately the middle letter of sin) have the final say, not God, in who is elect, contradicted by Rom 9:15) that today's tragically stupid and worldly Biblically illiterate couch potato devils'/idiots' box & screen imbibers are all too happy to embrace as James 4 adulteress-idolatresses. God save us, for only His grace in sending conviction and revival to His Church that has lost her way (at least in the west), gleefully headed like lemmings for certain destruction but for His amazing grace.”

Witherington’s entire reply was excellent but I only want to cite a small portion:

“It is interesting to me, who has read the works of Calvin, Owens, Edwards, Berkhof, Berkower, both Hodges, Warfield and so on and did attend a Reformed seminary and has respect for that tradition, that I am happy to admit I learned a lot from them, but when I actually turned to doing the detailed exegesis of all the NT, while their theological system was certainly logical and coherent, unfortunately it did not match up with what the actual text of the NT was teaching on ever so many points, not the least of which is what it teaches when it warns genuine Christians about apostasy.”

Here is exactly why I reject Calvinism. There is no doubt that Calvinism as a system is, to some extant, inherently logical. The problem comes when we try to harmonize this “system” with the Scriptures. The fact that its doctrines are at odds with so many of the most basic Scriptural declarations (e.g. God’s love for all the world and desire to save all) is the reason why this Arminian rejects it. I suspect that is the case with most Arminians and Non-Calvinists. It is not some desperate desire to “worship at the alter of free will” or “exalt man above God”. It is simply a desire to build theology on the teachings of Scripture, however bothersome those teachings may be to some (e.g. the possibility of genuine apostasy, etc.), rather than constantly struggling to fit the square peg of Calvinism into the round hole of Scriptural teaching.

Calvinists can reject Arminianism for whatever reasons they like but they should have the decency to stop trying to tell Arminians why they reject Calvinism. Calvinists may not like it, but I suspect that most people reject Calvinism for no other reason than that they find it thoroughly unbiblical. If I could find real support for Calvinism in the pages of Scripture, I would embrace it at once. Don’t you think I would like to be one of those “intellectual elite?” However, as attractive as being a “mature” and “intellectually superior” Calvinist might be, I would rather be a fool in their eyes for the sake of allowing the Lord to define Himself and His intentions through the infallible revelation of His word.

I should point out that the arrogance of the commenter at Mr. Witherington's blog is by no means representative of all Calvinists. Some have similar thoughts but would never express them as this gentleman has done. There are surely numerous Calvinists who exercise genuine humility in thought and practice everyday. However, the attitudes expressed by the above Calvinist commenter sadly seems to reflect the norm rather than the exception among Calvinists today, particularly on the Internet. This is strange behavior for those who claim to have a corner on humility based on the teachings of their theology. It is even stranger that those who claim to alone understand the "doctrines of grace" so often conduct and express themselves with such little grace themselves.

Interesting Church Sign

The sign in the front of my local Presbyterian church read:

"God's love is meant for all."

I admit that I do not keep up with the Presbyterian church. I have heard some rumblings that there is some strife within the denomination, but I couldn't remember if it had much to do with the Calvinist Arminian debate. Is there a move towards Arminianism in the Presbyterian church or is there a "secret" meaning behind "God's love is meant for all" that I am just not clever enough to figure out?

Monday, March 10, 2008

What's on Deck?

Just a quick note to let you know what’s in the works:

We will be continuing with the perseverance series with three posts on Heb. 10. I decided to break it up due to the volume of the material so people’s eyes don’t glaze over half way through it and so there can be some discussion on key points along the way.

After Hebrews 10 will be a post on whether apostasy is always irremediable as depicted in the warnings of Heb. 6 and 10. Then we will briefly examine the passages which proponents of unconditional eternal security most often appeal to for support of their doctrine. Lastly, we will take a look at which theological system gives better grounds for Biblical assurance. I will also be working on my second post having to do with provisional atonement.

After all of that I think we will tackle the issue of free will as it seemed to be a hot topic in recent discussions. We will therefore examine the Calvinist claim that free will in the libertarian sense is not a Biblically derived definition. There may be some other smaller posts on various topics spinkled in as well. My time is extremely limited so I apologize if these posts take some time to get up.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Early Spring Cleaning (Taking Out The Trash)

Does anyone remember following the garbage truck around as kids so that you could watch the trash get crushed? It is weird what entertains kids. I had a friend in Junior High who loved to look through trash. He always wanted to find some “good junk.”

People love to be entertained. Many adults still like watching trash and prove it by continually tuning into things like Jerry Springer and Professional Wrestling. For some it is just entertainment, but the product itself is still little more than garbage. I tend to think that Triablogue is popular because people have a fascination with trash and, shamefully, this is true of many Christians as well. Paul Manata told me that the things he says and does which would “appear” to be slanderous and distasteful were solely for the purpose of “entertainment.” Something similar to “trash talk” in football I suppose.

Now please understand that all of this is just my opinion. I do not mean to offend anyone but I have just personally had enough of interactions with these guys. In my opinion most of what they produce over there is garbage that makes for good entertainment on par with Jerry Springer or Pro Wrestling while void of any real substance. That’s just how I see it and you don’t have to agree. They have their opinions of me as well and have been freely expressing them in multiple posts over the last few weeks.

I personally am not a fan of Jerry Springer and I am not a fan of Pro Wrestling. I find the stuff to be a waste of time and if I do watch a few minutes of either I tend to feel defiled and dirty, kinda like I need a shower. That is how I feel when I read the material at Triablogue. I am no longer going to sully my blog with responses to that kind of garbage.

One of my professors at college once shared an illustration relating to the concept of original sin. He compared it to working on an assembly line. The person on the assembly line has the job of putting certain items in the right spots as the conveyor belt moves by. This person also has “slimy finger” disease and everything he touches gets contaminated. He may make good decisions and put the items in their proper places but can’t help but to contaminate them while doing so. That is somewhat analogous to interacting with Triablogue in my opinion. You can try to be polite and try to have civil dialogue but the whole thing gets contaminated because you just can’t interact with garbage and come out smelling clean.

I feel like Arminian Perspectives has begun to take on the unpleasant odor of Triablogue and so I am taking out the trash. For those of you who still like to follow trash around J.C. will be clearing out a spot at his website for contaminated waste. Any further responses to Triablogue will be dumped there for those of you who just can’t help but entertain yourselves with that type of thing. That is where my final response to Paul on intercessory prayer will eventually be posted as well as an “entertaining” post which chronicles some of the recent comedy that has come out of the mouths of Paul, Steve, and Peter of Triablogue. I will let you know when those posts become available and direct you to the trash can for those who can't resist.

As for Arminian Perspectives the focus will return to posts that have to do with Arminianism and Calvinism. The focus will not be on what opinions the Triabloguers have of those posts. If you are interested in that then just hang out over there or check the “trash” periodically. The blog will continue to be called "Arminian Perspectives." It will not be changed to "Answering Triablogue" despite their desperate need for attention. I will also be respectfully requesting that the gentlemen from Triablogue no longer express their opinions in my comboxes. You are no longer welcomed here. You have proven to me that you are not interested in an honest and respectful exchange of ideas. You are only interested in “winning” at all costs even if that means belittling fellow believers and trying to bury them with numerous posts which no one should have the time to answer (Eph. 5:16). As an unfortunate consequence I will no longer be allowing anonymous comments at AP. I apologize for the inconvenience but I feel it is a necessary move. You will need a google account to leave comments from now on and any comments from Triabloguers who do not respect my ban will be deleted.

I regret this move but I don’t see any other way to remedy this situation and move on from the circus that Triablogue has made of a simple disagreement. I regret that Bernabe Belvadere will also be banned since he has been very gracious to me throughout this fiasco and has expressed hope that interactions between our blogs could improve. I was hopeful as well, but I no longer see that as any kind of real possibility.

I am sorry it had to come to this but it is past time to take out the trash. Thank you for your understanding and thank you to those who have offered me support and encouragement. Thank you to Bernabe Belvadere for his gracious e-mail.

God Bless,

Monday, March 3, 2008

Leaving The Play Ground (For Now)

The gentlemen at Triablogue are apparently hurting for material. For someone as dumb as I apparently am, who is defending an obviously indefensible sorteriological position, they sure seem to give me a lot of attention. Why do they feel like they need to addrsss my arguments if they are not a threat to their position? Do they really believe that someone might be taken in by my foolishness? They have even lifted comments written by commenters in my comboxes and dedicated entire posts to "refuting" those threatening comments. Just what has gotten these gentlemen so freaked out and rattled?

For some reason they have targeted me for the purpose of throwing their theological eggs at. I am fine with them not liking what I am saying concerning Calvinism, but why draw so much attention to me and why see me as such a threat? Paul began his crusade with insults that only grew worse. When I asked him to tone things down and show a little respect if he wanted me to continue dialogue with him, he said, "save the drama for your mama." Paul responded to my initial response just as I predicted but decided to change one thing. And what thing was that?

Here is how I envisioned things going with Paul after my response to his critique of my post:

"Now I am quite sure that Paul will respond in force. I have seen an example of how this will likely develop with his interactions with J.C. As J.C. continued to dismantle his arguments (and numerous “hypotheticals”), Paul’s posts quickly disintegrated into theological temper tantrums, baseless assertions, ridicule and mockery, and bold and childish claims of victory without ever really even addressing the main issues. They became so long that anyone trying to address them and carefully untangle his sophistry would have needed to shamefully neglect his family in order to take the time to give a detailed response. He is masterful at confusing his readers to the point where they just assume he must be right."

Just as predicted Paul followed through with everything I mentioned above except for one thing. He made his response shorter. Now why would Paul do that? If Paul wanted to change something, why not change the disrespectful tone and childish claims of victory? Instead, Paul became more insulting and put pictures up all over his post of things like dead kangaroos. So why was it so important for Paul to shorten his reply?

Here is what he said at the beginning of his post:

"Before I begin, I guess I should point out that Mr. Kangaroo (and some of his Arminian peanut gallery members) commented about my loooooooooong posts. So, I'll make this short than his latest response to me. Three pages shorter, to be exact. Any whining and complaining about comments I didn't interact with are thus rendered moot. You can't have it both ways, that is."

I admit that I gave Paul and easy out and he was glad to take it. He could ignore much of what I wrote and focus on the areas where he still felt he had a foothold. Paul knows that most of his fanboys will not even bother to read my responses, they just wait for him to respond and assume he has "refuted" those stupid Arminians again. Maybe Paul just wanted to appease me; but If Paul was so concerned about the length of his post, then why no concern for the other things I mentioned?

Paul has been egging me on for a response and I had declined until he promised to engage in civil dialogue (to which he responded with the very mature, "save the drama for your mama"). He has since posted again. Now why would Paul be concerned about length in his first response (apparently because I complained that his posts are too long to respond to), and then decide to write a follow-up post? Doesn't that just put back at least most of those "three pages" that he so graciously spared me from the first time around?

The games continue as Steve Hays chimed in with his own post correlating Calvinistic prayer with theoretical issues relating to time travel (which only demonstrates how difficult it is for Calvinists to "make sense" of simple things like intercessory prayer). So now I really have my hands full. I wonder, then, why Paul and Steve feel the need to keep going with their responses. If Paul successfully refuted my response in his Roo Stew post, then why the need for all this follow-up? Why the need for Steve Hays to add his two cents and appeal to theories of time travel? It makes me wonder. Why are they still so insecure about their position? Why the need to keep trying to bolster their arguments? This seems like very strange behavior unless, perhaps, they recognize that despite all of their sophistry and insults they have still not made their case or refuted my initial post or my response to Paul's critique. I am amazed that I have somehow managed to get them so riled up. How many more follow-up posts can we expect to follow? Will some of the other Triablogue team members jump in to the fray? Why does Paul need so much defending?

I am tempted to let my posts stand as it seems to me that if Paul had successfully refuted me the first time there would be no need for these follow-up posts. But I will give Paul the response he wants because he has been much more gracious in his latest post and I appreciate that effort. I might even explore the mysteries of time travel with Steve Hays, but these things are not my priority right now. I will get to them when I get the time and for now I am going to focus on finishing my series on perseverance and provisional atonement. Maybe the Triablogue team will keep piling on the material, in the mean time, in an effort to overwhelm me or continue to try to vindicate their position, but I hope that they will find some better things to do with their time. They have already convinced their fanboys so the only purpose in continuing with it is to try to make it impossible for me to ever respond so that they can claim victory. So I promise a response to what has been written so far but it is not my greatest concern. For now I am leaving the playground so Paul and Steve will have to figure out some new ways to entertain each other.