Here’s a comment left at Birch’s blog by an Arminian pastor:
Rick FruehJan 29, 2012 04:08 PM
And I noticed an article about the Judeao-Christian morality which is a myth and man made.
He’s alluding to this post:
However, he’s completely mangled van Inwagen’s argument. This is how I construe the argument:
i) Critics of OT ethics frequently take their own moral judgment for granted. But by what standard to they presume to judge OT ethics? Are they begging the question?
ii) Social mores are often culturebound. They vary in time and place. So why should critics of OT ethics automatically assume the superiority of their moral judgment to the moral judgment of the OT writers? Isn’t the moral outlook of the critics a reflection of their own social conditioning?
iii) Ironically, the moral judgment of the critics is unconsciously influenced by the very source they presume to criticize. Although they criticize OT ethics, they are historically indebted to Judeo-Christian morality. So they’ve sawed the legs off the chair they are sitting on. They are clueless about their intellectual dependence on the very the thing they swing around to attack.
Why would an Arminian object to this argument? Maybe Rick isn’t very sharp. Or maybe this is a just knee-jerk reaction to anything he finds on a Calvinist blog.
But I also noticed the article was written by a professor at Notre Dame University. I guess Roman Catholic heresy stops at the door of moral agreement. Perhaps hays would be happy to endorse the Manhattan Declaration?
This is unintentionally comical on several levels:
i) Is he inferring that van Inwagen must be Catholic just because he teaches at Notre Dame? As a matter of fact, van Inwagen happens to be Catholic. However, you don’t have to be Catholic to teach at Notre Dame. To take one obvious counterexample, Alvin Plantinga recently retired from Notre Dame.
ii) Why does he speculate on whether I’d endorse the Manhattan Declaration? All he has to do is Google “Triablogue” and “Manhattan Declaration” to find out where I stand.
iii) Not only that, but he’s also too lazy to Google the signatories. For instance:
Dr. Tom Oden
Theologian, United Methodist Minister; Professor, Drew University (Madison, N.J.)
Dr. Everett Piper
President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University (Bartlesville, Okla.)
Dr. Sarah Sumner
Professor of Theology and Ministry, Azusa Pacific University (Azusa, Calif.)
Dr. Timothy C. Tennent
President, Asbury Theological Seminary (Wilmore, Ky.)
So his conjecture backfires badly. The list of signatories includes leading Arminians.
Why doesn’t he bother to do a little fact-checking before he accuses Calvinists? Evidently, his default setting is to assume the best about Arminians and the worst about Calvinists. Classic confirmation bias.
Whatever happened to Toatl depravity? And how can a totally depraved sinner have any kind of morality? I love the puzzle piece theology which forces pieces to fit whenever they deem it convenient. Even we Arimaians know that fallen morality is no morality at all.
Well that’s ignorant. According to total depravity, the reprobate and/or unregenerate are unable to do any spiritual good. Unable to do anything pleasing to God. Unable to do anything justificatory in their graceless state.
But common grace often preserves a remnant of common decency among the reprobate and/or unregenerate. That’s necessary for the church to survive and flourish in a fallen world.
Why do so many internet Arminians act like Pharisees? Is there something about Arminian theology that fosters spiritual bigotry?