The chat rooms are still ablaze after Paul McCain turned his flamethrower on Calvinism.
You have to wonder where all this seething resentment is coming from. Who would have known that all this anger was just under the surface, waiting to well up and explode at the slightest perceived provocation?
If Reformed bloggers had been churning out a steady stream of fiery broadsides against Lutheran theology, you could understand this volcanic reaction. But Lutheran theology is not a regular target of Reformed bloggers, is it?
With all due respect, I’m tempting to suspect that this reflects a festering inferiority complex. Gene Veith recently blogged on the “invisibility” of Lutherans on the cultural horizon. Is it that some Lutherans envy and resent the visibility of the Calvinist contingent?
But Lutherans are free to be as visible as they please. Has anyone of note in the Reformed arena tried to muzzle Lutheran freedom of expression?
Calvinist theology rests on the abstract principle of Sovereignty, and the rest of the system is constructed on top of it. On the contrary, Lutherans construct their system on the incarnate Christ. Afterall, he is the very explanation of God. To place the former before the latter is to place the cart before the horse.
So Reformed theology is constructed from the abstract principle of Sovereignty? And where do you suppose that “Kobra” got that idea? Was it from reading a number of Reformed theologians?
No, he simply lifted this form of words from Paul McCain. Is there some reason that Kobra can’t go back to the primary sources and think for himself?
BTW, there is more than one way to systematize the theology of Scripture. Morton Smith runs through the “Trinitarian” method, “analytical” method, “covenantal” method, “Christological” method, “synthetic” method, and “kingdom” idea. To this one could also add the redemptive-historical method.
Since, by definition, any systematic theology will reorganize the contents of Scripture, no method is more scriptural than another. It’s just a matter of emphasis.
I'm not skipping class to argue with some Baptist about predestination. Some things aren't worth my time.
In other words, Lutherans and Reformed Baptist shouldn’t even be on speaking terms. Once again, where is all this hostility coming from, Josh?
Gadfly, Pieper didn't put sovereignty before incarnation. You are apparently unaware that Volume II (which treated the Gospel and the doctrine of Christ) was written and published before Volume I (which treated the doctrines of Scripture, Creation, and God), which says loads more about which was more prominent in his thought. In fact, in nearly every chapter of Christliche Dogmatik, Christ and the Gospel are emphasized.
Isn’t this a lovely piece of special pleading? If Pieper had intended the order of publication to reflect his theological priorities, then why didn’t he just renumber his systematic theology so that Volume II became Volume I and vice versa?
There is a reason, isn’t there, that he distributed the content of his systematic theology in the sequence he did, isn’t there? Doesn’t that reflect his authorial intent and overall design for the final product? When you buy the set, it’s in a numerical order.
The reason he followed this format is because he was following a fairly stereotypical format which, with minor variations, goes back to Aquinas. The order of presentation is not fundamentally different from a Reformed theology.
And while we’re on the subject, it’s not as if the average Reformed theology has nothing to say about Christ and the Gospel until it arrives at those particular loci. It its doctrine of God, it talks about the Trinity, which involves the person of Christ. In its doctrine of the decree, it talks about the covenant of redemption and/or the covenant of grace, which involves the work of Christ.
And I don't know which Formula of Concord you're reading, but my copy isn't a systematic theology constructed on the abstract principle of divine sovereignty.
So Reformed theology is constructed from the abstract principle of Sovereignty? And where do you suppose that Josh got that idea? Was it from reading a number of Reformed theologians?
No, Josh is parroting “Kobra,” who is parroting McCain. “Poly want a cracker?”
Unfortunately, these guys have put their brains in “sleep” mode. Like a tape-recorder on playback, they simply repeat what they’ve heard.
If this represents the quality of their educational experience, then they’d do well to skip class and spend more time in the library instead of coasting through school on autopilot.
It's responses to a few specific controversies of the time. The bulk of it, of course, is spent on the Incarnation, the Sacraments, and the Gospel. The section on predestination uses the Gospel as a controlling hermeneutic and sets the tone for the next four centuries of orthodox Lutheran theology.
Now Josh is trying to change the subject. The reason I originally brought up Pieper and the Formula of Concord was to answer McCain on his own terms. He was the one who made such a big deal about the order of presentation, about how long it supposedly takes for Reformed theology to get around to Jesus.
Why is it that he and Dr. McCain lack the common honesty to admit that McCain spoke a little too precipitously on this issue, ignoring some rather glaring counter-examples within his own tradition?
Theologians like Chemnitz, Quenstedt, and Calovius knew how to reason. Is this a dying art in McCain’s generation?