Monday, June 04, 2012

Running the race

6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day —and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing (2 Tim 4:6-8).

Jason Stellman’s public repudiation of sola Scriptura and sola fide is getting some buzz. Some people find these defections unsettling or dispiriting. I don’t.

This is one way God purifies his church. Not everyone who begins the race finishes the race. Some drop out.

That’s sad and bad for them, but that’s not a reason for the rest of us to become discouraged. Rather, that’s a reason to thank God for keeping his church reasonable pure by sloughing off runners who don’t share a common vision of the route or the destination. Sorry, but we don’t want runners who give other runners wrong directions.

I don’t say this in a triumphalist spirit. I haven’t arrived. I haven’t crossed the finish line. Only God’s sustaining grace keeps us in the race from start to finish.

Finally, we need to guard against rubbernecking at the accident scene to the point where we take our eyes off the race track and fall into the ditch. Keep moving. Keep looking ahead. 


  1. "Jason Stellman’s public repudiation of sola Scriptura and sola fide is getting some buzz. Some people find these defections unsettling or dispiriting. I don’t."

    I used to. Professor Francis Beckwith's, back when he was President of the Evangelical Theological Society, and he still swam the Tiber, was a huge surprise to me.

    It helped a little knowing that he originally had a Roman Catholic background though.

  2. Pastor Bret McAtee has an interesting thesis:

    R2K Acolyte Swims The Tiber

    I have nothing but sympathy for Mr. Stellman. I do not intend to gloat over the shipwrecking of his faith. However, I do intend to note that “ideas have consequences.”

    Mr. Stellman was a graduate from Westminster West R2K Seminary. Mr. Stellman had drank so deeply from that R2K well that he had even written a book supporting R2K. However what was a trickle in terms of his R2K theology became a Tiberian flood.

    R2K holds that Scripture alone is not the norm that norms all norms in the common realm. No sola Scriptura for the common realm for R2K where most of our living is done. If Scripture is not the norm that norms all norms for the common realm, where we do 99% of our living, how much deeper of a dive is it to find that Scripture alone also is not the norm that norms all norms in the the last 1% of our lives in the Redemptive realm? If Natural Law is the norm that norms all norms in the common realm then why not a Church as a norm that norms all norms in the Redemptive realm?

    Second, Thomistic Natural Law and the Nature vs. Grace divide that are identity markers of R2K have always been the stock and trade for Rome with its two paths to truth motif. Really, in crossing the Tiber, Mr. Stellman is really only returning home, as the philosophical dualism that informs R2K is Mother’s milk for Rome. Why go with the cheap imitation R2K when you can get the real McCoy with Rome?

    Of course the solas of the Reformation stand and fall together. If one gives up sola Scriptura one is sure to give up sola Fide, sola Christus, and Sola Gratia.

    But make no mistake about it. Mr. Stellman’s journey to Rome (or Constantinople) was greased by the Thomistic dualism theology that underlies the R2K project. I should not be surprised to be finding others who have embraced R2K taking the plunge.

  3. I was just thinking something similar but not spurred on by the recent news all a buzz about Stellman's departure from the PCA; just that I am glad for a pop gone off in my head, a light gone off about the "One" who wins and has won the race basis your reference at the beginning of this particular post.

    Taking my mindset from these Words I will make my point clear afterwards:

    Rev 5:1-10 ... Rev 19:1-8

    Two things here that I would note. The first is to note "Who" those twenty four Elders and four creatures are worshipping in chapter 19 is the same One they are worshipping in chapter 4.

    They are worshipping:

    Rev 4:9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever,
    Rev 4:10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
    Rev 4:11 "Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created."

    Afterwards we read their focus of worship changes to that "one", the Lamb standing that was slain, Him who takes the scroll from Him who is seated on the throne who they were worshipping.

    And the second point is about "Who" it is that is the "One" who wins the race. Only "one" wins the race. No man wins the race, rather it is Him, the Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, Who it is that was sent to win the race for His Elect. He won the race. He wins the race for us.

    If you happen to be one of those God conjoins to Him, you surely are going to cross the finish line indeed, crossing it conjoined to Him who crossed the finish line already and won the race for you.

    Then, now you can rest in this reality now that you, too, are one of those conjoined to Him from that great multitude revealed to John who are worshipping Him as he records it at Revelation 19!

    Only "One" won the race; and it is He who it is who was sent to win the race to and for the Glory of the "One" who sent Him to win the race for His Elect! Now the saying is so what John saw as is recorded here about both of Them:

    Rev 22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
    Rev 22:2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
    Rev 22:3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.
    Rev 22:4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
    Rev 22:5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

  4. What is the best definition of R2K theology?

  5. Ken,

    Type in 2K in the Triablogue search function and peruse the posts that come up.