Friday, December 23, 2005

Of the devil's party without knowing it


EEEEK!! An Anti-Christian!!!

Has anyone else noticed that the TR blogosphere has got their sanctifed panties in a total major twist over this web site? Golly Gee, there's real anti-Christians out there. Let's mob them with blog posts explaining that, if they would just look at the evidence and think clearly (like a good TR) they would come to Jesus, too.

This from people who supposedly affirm that we all basically have the same attitude, apart from God's gracious intervention. This from the "total depravity" team. Duh. Why are guys like this a threat to Chrstian Certaintists? I mean, the whole first century was like this guy, right? I'll take a dozen of this guy over a bore like Spong.

If I'm not careful, I'll post that I'm worse than Bill Maher again.

Posted by Michael Spencer at 02:09 PM


Blake famously said that Milton was of the Devil’s party without knowing it. By contrast, Blake was knowingly of the Devil’s party.

I haven’t read the Tavernistas for a few days. But a friend has drawn my attention to the fact that they have temporarily interrupted their edifying tabulation of slang words for masturbation long enough to pounce on a couple of Christian bloggers who were critiquing a new atheist website.

The two Christian bloggers I’m aware of who are doing this are Frank Turk and Eric Vestrup. While Turk could be classified as a member of the “TR” blogosphere, Dr. Vestrup is certainly not a Reformed Baptist.

But as recent events have borne out, elementary fact-checking is not one of Spencer’s forte’s.

Spencer then insinuates that these bloggers feel “threatened” by the atheist website.

To begin with, I’m a little surprised that Spencer would psychoanalyze the motives of Turk or Vestrup. After all, I thought that Spencer was very disapproving of this practice when it went in his own direction.

Be that as it may, the obvious reason that Turk and Vestrup are critiquing this website is for the benefit of other Christians. Vestrup is a professional academic while Turk is a Christian bookstore owner. As such, they have resources which the average Christian does not.

For example, Chaz Bufe compares Christianity to Mithraism. Now, among other flaws in Bufe’s methodology is his failure to distinguish between Iranian and Roman Mithraism. But how many Christians are equipped to point that out? Most of us didn’t have a course in Mithraism back in high school or college.

Likewise, while their critique is about the atheist website, it is not necessarily addressed to the atheist website.

BTW, I’ve never met a “Chrstian Certaintists?” I’ve met a number of Christian Certaintists, “but never a Chrstian Certaintist. Is this a new cult?

Spencer then makes the really stupid claim that apologetics (evidence and clear thinking) is contrary to the doctrine of total depravity. Is Spencer really that clueless about Reformed theology?

Total depravity is no more or less of an impediment to apologetics than it is to the preaching of the Gospel.

Apart from the grace of God, you can no more preach a man into the kingdom of God than you can reason him into the kingdom.

That doesn’t mean that reason, evidence, and preaching are useless. Rather, it only means that they are useful in conjunction with the grace of God. As such, they will benefit some, but not others.

Spencer is equating Calvinism with Hyper-Calvinism. That’s pretty dopey for a man of his sophistication.

But, of course, he’s too busy emoting to think straight—too busy lashing out at his “enemies” to lend a helping hand to a struggling believer.

Mind you, if Spencer really believes that the “Truly Reformed” have a monopoly on evidence and clear thinking, then that would go a long ways towards explaining the absence of evidence and clear thinking over at BHT. So who am I to take issue with Spencer’s self-diagnosis?

Still, it’s striking that Spencer has chosen to pounce on Christians who are trying to give other Christians answers to critics of the faith.

It makes you wonder which party Spencer belongs to anymore—Milton’s or Blake’s?


  1. It is almost comical that Spencer's little "Rule 40" cease fire tactic didn't last long. It goes to prove that he is the REAL LIAR and not able to hold to his own word (or self imposed rules). He simply cannot stand not being able to criticize those that fit within his definition of the "TR". And, he will continue. Mr. Spencer's words would seem to indicate that he is a very bitter person.

    I know his allies will jump on here and criticize me as they cannot handle the truth and love the depravity that goes on at the BHT but Michael Spencer fell down the slippery slope long ago. The man is a disgrace to the ministry and on a daily basis disgraces himself with his own words. It could be that he is jealous because the men he criticizes are far more successful then he ended up being.

    Hey Michael, you have once again stepped onto someone else's "porch". According to your IM piece, that was something you promised not to do. Next time you are so quick to call another man a liar, you might remove the log out of your own eye because he seems to be wedged in there rather perfectly. Merry Christmas!

  2. No, I think he left himself a little loophole. Almost Clintonesque.

    "Rule 40" for the Tavern Monkeys says "ALL links from, ALL quotes from and any comments about the BHT or its fellows (and their blogs) taken from the sites listed are prohibited at the BHT. This does NOT mean these blogs cannot be mentioned or topics at these blogs discussed, but ALL links from and ALL quotes from these blogs and any comments CONCERNING THE BHT or its MEMBERS (and their blogs) are prohibited. [Fide-o, Triablogue, Centuri0n, Pyromaniac, Alpha and Omega Ministries, Calvinist Gadfly, electofgod]"

    In other words, they can comment about the dreaded TR's, but not link or comment to anything the TR's say about the BHT.

    Sounds fair to me."(JN)"

  3. Steve: You've made a good point about Spencer. I read his stuff but I'm usually not in agreement with him. He's obviously still upset with Frank Turk.

    That being said, I suggest you not make typos yourself ("Still, it’s striking that Spencer has chooses to pounce on Christians..") if you are going to pick on him for doing so ("BTW, I’ve never met a 'Chrstian Certaintists?' I’ve met a number of Christian Certaintists, 'but never a Chrstian Certaintist. Is this a new cult?").

  4. Great post. I'm tired of the usual Christmas posts. They're all so pretentious.

    Spencer is a pinhead. He's virtually illiterate. Everything he posts is taken from other blogs. The word is that he's been in and out of mental hospitals his entire career, and fired several times.

    His attack on the reformed faith is his way of pretending to be sane. Don't be surprised if he leaves his wife and marries a catholic.

    Still, I read his stuff carefully and he's never mentioned Eric Vestrup. More likely he means C.T.
    Spencer always reads the same 5 or 6 blogs.

    Keep up the good work until we drive this loon into the emerging church where he belongs.

    We shouldn't be satisfied until the BHT is closed. It's a blight on the Reformed faith.

  5. Matt Brown's web site is full of pictures of Christmas trees, which the book of Jeremiah teaches are idolatrous. He also has a link to a Tony Campolo book. He's probably a BHTer.

  6. I have been informed that "curious57" is an alias for Michael Spencer. I have not confirmed that identification, but I pass it along for the benefit of my readers.

  7. Steve: Thanks - I was going to reply to curious57's statements about me, but I see it would be ridiculous for me to give any kind of response to them. I don't even know what a "BHTer" is, but it doesn't sound pleasant.

    I see you've corrected your typo. ;-)

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