Monday, December 05, 2005

Satanic Christology

Paul McCain has his defenders, of whom the most colorful may be Charles Lehman who, according to his own blog, is both a Lutheran vicar and a Lutheran theologian.

***QUOTE***

This whole debate is centering around Calvinism's false, un-Scriptural, semi-Nestorian, and satanic Christology.

Strong words? Tough.

I am sick and tired of Calvinism getting upset when we call them on their false teaching. If you're not going to take Jesus at His Word, there are going to be consequences.

Do not try to set up your system and fit the biblical data into it. Sometimes the biblical data flies in the face of human reason. Deal with it. Deal with it by confessing it, not explaining it away.

John 3 and Roman 3 flatly contradict the false and satanic doctrine of double predestination. God justifies precisely the same pantes that have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

The Scriptures are clear. Calvinism obscures the teaching of Scripture with its own arrogance, and one should not expect Lutherans to just let that slide.

It is out of your false Christology that all your other heresies fly including iconoclasm, denial of the bodily presence in the Lord's Supper, and the absence of Christ's physical body in all the world right now.

I realize I'm being harsh, but I don't think I have any choice. The arrogance I've been reading among Calvinists lately demands condemnation.

You are all demonstrating why I sometimes struggle with whether or not you are even Christians. You deny the hypostatic union as confessed at Chalcedon. This makes it a tough call, to say the least.

I get the definite sense as I read Calvin's Institutes that he starts with his definitions and then goes to the Scriptures with them in hand. He forces the Scriptures into his sytem and thereby destroys their meaning.

Romans 3 says that "all men" pantes, fall short of the glory of God. That means all people, right? In the next verse, the participle "being justified" is in the nominative masculine plural. It MUST modify pantes, there is no other option.

The very same people that fall short of the glory of God (all men) are the ones that are justified. Universal atonement.

The only way around it is to say pantes doesn't mean pantes. Just like when Jesus says "This is my body" he doesn't mean "This is my body." The Calvinist approach is consistent.

Agree with the plain meaning of the text only if it fits into your system. Ignore it otherwise.

http://timbayly.worldmagblog.com/timbayly/

http://www.blogger.com/posts.g?blogID=8793370

***END-QUOTE***

The Lutheran tradition is a noble tradition. What a pity to see it so poorly represented.

The only thing resembling an argument here is his appeal to Rom 3. But his position is hardly consistent with Pauline theology. For one thing, there’s just a thing as justification by faith, is there not? Doesn’t Paul teach that justification is contingent on faith? And doesn’t Lutheran theology agree with Paul on that score?

But all men are not believers, are they? This is the problem with isolated prooftexting. Before we can confess the biblical data, we must exegete the biblical data.

Then you have his appeal to the plain meaning of “This is my body.” But Lehman doesn’t believe that the communion elements simply “are” the body and blood of Christ. Rather, Lehman believes in consubstantiation. On his view, the body and blood of Christ are “in, with, and under” the bread and wine.

But that is not the “plain” meaning of the text. That, rather, is a harmonistic gloss.

Then you have his remarkable claim that iconoclasm is nothing short of “heretical”? This is a guy who supposedly believes in sola Scriptura.

Iconoclasm would only be heretical if the Bible commanded Christians to make sacred images.

Then you have his appeal to the creed of Chalcedon to prove that Reformed Christology is Nestorian and downright “Satanic.”

This, of course, is an old charge. And the old countercharge is that Lutheran Christology is monophysitic. So each side can brand the opposing side as heretical by quoting different clauses of the creed. So this is victory by mutually assured destruction.

Perhaps, after Pastor Lehman has a chance to take his blood pressure medication, he will be better positioned to enter into a rational dialogue. Certainly the Lutheran tradition deserves better. And I’m sure the Reformed tradition does.

7 comments:

  1. Oddly, that blogger link in the quote cannot be found...hmmm.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey,

    Thanks for the information and response. I too have briefly responded to Lehman's comment here.

    irRational:
    The links to the original blog and comments can be found in the article I posted above.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Steve,

    McCain would not answer when asked in chat why we should accept Lutheran view of the Lord's Supper rather than the Roman Cathoic view since he was using the same Scripture (John 6) against the Reformed view.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's striking that McCain would use Jn 6 since Francis Pieper rejects Jn 6 as a prooftext for the real presence.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Re: Lehman's appeal to Rom. 3 . . . does the "all" in Rom. 3:23 refer back to "all those who believe" in v. 22?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi, irRational, it's me, Mr Peabody! We finally got some snow down here at the terminus ad quem of the Oregon Trail. How is it going up in the Great White North?

    Should a Baptist mention Matthew 3:16 at a time like this?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Maybe we'd buy that the destruction was mutual if you'd give some serious interaction with the thought of Nazianzus, Leo, Damascenus, and Cyril of Alexandria, comparing to the thought of Calvin, Hodge, and Berkhof.

    At least when we say we're Chalcedonian, we go to great lengths to prove it. You guys just sort of dismiss christology with a wave of the hand.

    ReplyDelete