Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rocks for Brains Arminian

A mean, angry and unloving Arminian by the name of A.M. Mallett (infamous for bad arguments against Calvinism) decided to respond to my post, An Arminian Argument for Determinism.

Basically, my post took aim at an Arminian eisogetical argument from 1 John 2:16 that has been recklessly used by the likes of J.C. Thibodeaux and Bossmanham, among others. The argument was brought up to refute Steve Nemes and to show that God cannot be the "ultimate originator" of any actions whatever because the passage says that sin is not "from" God. So I simply quoted Jesus: "Apart from me, you can do nothing." I thus answered the Arminian on their own terms. Speaking for myself (as my post made clear), I don't think either verse properly exegeted speak to the specific and technical subject of origination in terms of the contemporary discussion. So, neither verse proves that God is or is not the "ultimate source" back of all actions.

Enter A.M. Mallett. He decided to mosey into the debate and make his presence known.He quotes me:

Some Arminian epologists have been using 1 John 2:16 to argue that in no sense can the origination of a sinful action be determined by God. That is because John says those things don't come "from" the father.

And responds thus,

That is an odd statement. While I certainly cannot account for all Arminian arguments regarding the passage, I do not think I have ever encountered that argument. The source for the statement was not provided so I can only work with the Triabloke claim which strikes me as a straw man set up solely for the purpose of burning in some perverse joy. Here is the passage in full context.

Now, besides his mean, angry, and unloving name-calling, his revealing psychological priorities displayed by his use of terms like "molests" and "perverse", is just the sloppy nature of his response. Notice:

i) I was responding to a select group who were aware of the links and did not feel inclined to justify the claim given my intended audience. However, we should note that it is odd that A.M. Mallett chose not to link to my blog entry. If he had done so, one would be able to easily see through his distortion of my post.

ii) He undercuts the Arminians who used this passage! Not only that, Bossmanham commented on his blog and lauded Mallett's post.

iii) As an email correspondent who alerted me to Mallett's post wrote: "Apparently he was out to lunch on that whole long thread over at Arminian Perspectives. So he automatically blames you for his own ignorance. Not only does this ignorant accusation make him look stupid (especially when he fails to keep up with what his own side is saying), but it's not exactly a charitable accusation."

Next, he says,

Rather than a discussion of the Calvinist philosophy of determinism, the passage in question is contrasting the carnal desires of the world with that of the love of the Father. Wesley framed verse 16 as:
But this is similar to the interpretation I gave of the passage! If he would have linked to my post, people could have called him on that. The passage is not talking about origination in the sense of contemporary debates on moral responsibility. So Mallett supports what I explicitly affirm in my post while pretending he is critiquing me. So, again, he sides with me in undercutting the poor Arminian argument from 1 John 2:16 that was employed as a spoof text against Nemes.

While some Calvinist eisegesis practitioners may wish to make hay over a far fetched application and strawman of their own construction, they tend to look foolish doing so.

But who looks foolish? Me or Mallett? Me or the Arminians I was responding too? Certainly not me because I never eisogeted the verse and used it in such an irresponsible way. I was responding to them and their bad interpretation on their own terms. My post made it explicit that I didn't buy their eisogesis. So it is either Mallett or the Arminians I was responding to who look foolish, in fact, it is both of them who look foolish.

The contrast between the world (outside of Christ) and abiding in Christ is what is intended with the passage. It is how most Arminians understand the passage and teach it.

Again, the ironic thing is that Mallett is critiquing the Arminians I was responding too. He's not critiquing me. He shakes his head at how foolish I am, but when one has rocks for brains, shaking one's head is the last thing you want to do.



A.M. Mallett said...
As a secondary argument, I'm comfortable with it. Perhaps I was hasty with my comments.

June 11, 2010 5:29 AM

Now this Mallett character is comfortable with the argument he was ripping up! The title of his post was, "A Triabloke Molests 1 John 2:16." But now he accepts the molested interpretation. However, if he has, then he has my counter-argument back on the table, and A.M. Mallett is another Arminian who employs and understands a spoof text that proves determinism, i.e., given John 15:5 conjoined with their understanding of "from"! Moreover, he should apologize to me for saying I "look foolish" since he now accepts what he said should make one look foolish. He will not apologize and he will try to spin his horribly bad post, that's how Arminian epologists (besides Dan Chapa) role.

As my email correspondent said:

"He accused you of misrepresenting Arminianism, in his ignorance of what his Arminians compadres were saying over at Arminian Perspectives.

When Boss drew his attention to that thread, this put him in a bind. So now he's in a no-win situation. He can either recant his post, in which case he loses face–or else he can stick to his guns, and thereby condemn his Arminian cohorts. Right now he's trying to do a little of both, which is incoherent."


  1. "So he automatically blames you for his own ignorance. Not only does this ignorant accusation make him look stupid (especially when he fails to keep up with what his own side is saying), but it's not exactly a charitable accusation."

    Incredulous laughter. That is hilarious. Summing up: The incredulous defendant is left wondering about the depths of the stupidity and ignorance of the accuser.

    What makes it more hilarious is that you kinda have to point it out, otherwise the danger will still be that he and possibly others will continue to believe that you're an idiot and he's the good guy. And he's the smart guy.

  2. Well, maybe shaking your head full of rocks is not such a bad idea if you can shake a beat and keep time on stage with a Jamaican Reggae band mic'd up for sound?

  3. Something tells me he partook of Jamaica's number one cash crop before he read my post :-)