Thursday, April 17, 2014

Life in the compound

Fred Butler ‏@Fred_Butler 2hRT @triablogue: Steve Hays defends the guy who props up the cranks who gave us Todd Bentley. 
Fred Butler ‏@Fred_Butler 11hIt truly is a tragedy to see Triablogue become shills for the likes of Sid Roth & Heidi Baker,
Frank Turk ‏@Frank_Turk 1h@Fred_Butler @BibChr What do you think has happened there, Freddy?
Fred Butler ‏@Fred_Butler 1h@Frank_Turk @BibChr It's mystifying. I have no idea. Maybe Steve was pulled up into heaven recently.

Within the paranoid compound of MacArthurville, Craig Keener is the enemy. 

Imagine that. Keener has become the premier apologist for the historical Jesus, NT miracles, and the historicity of the gospels. But from the paranoid viewpoint of MacArthurville, he's the real enemy. He's dangerous. They must impeach his credibility at all cost. 

Hence, anyone who offers even a partial defense of Keener against ankle-biters like Lyndon Unger is the enemy, too. 

If Michael Kruger writes a positive review of Keener's defense of miracles, that makes him a shill for Todd Bentley. If Craig Blomberg writes a positive review of Keener's defense of miracles, that makes him a shill for Sid Roth. If Richard Bauckham or Craig A. Evans endorse Keener's defense of miracles, that makes them shills for all the worst charlatans. 

This is how the world looks when you peer out the shuttered windows of the MacArthurville compound.  

Now, a reasonable person would be more judicious and discriminating. For instance, a reasonable person reading Keener's defense of miracles might say: "Keener has marshaled a tremendous amount of evidence. Some of his examples are stronger than others. Overall, he makes a credible case."

However, because MacArthurites are doctrinaire cessationists, they must find some way to destroy Keener's defense of miracles. Even if they're theoretically open to some kinds of modern miracles, they can't allow for that in practice because that would also allow the wrong kinds of miracles to slip through the sieve. Even if Keener frequently defends the right kinds of miracles, that's inadmissible because it leaves the door ajar for the wrong kinds of miracles to creep in. 

So they cast about for any way to discredit his monograph in toto. Their philosophy is: better to discard a 1000 genuine miracles than to admit a single miracle, however well-attested, that's incompatible with cessationism. 

Their tactic is to hunt for what they deem to be Keener's weakest examples. They then use the weakest examples (in their estimation) to discredit the strongest examples. 

2 hrs · Twitter ·
Retweeted Fred Butler (@Fred_Butler):It truly is a tragedy to see Triablogue become shills for the likes of Sid Roth & Heidi Baker,
Triablogue: Fragging Craig KeenerMary Elizabeth Palshan I actually thought Triablogue was sound at one time. Then I see an article endorsing the book Heaven Is For Real. What's up with that?

Presumably, she's alluding to this post:

Did I endorse the book? Just the opposite: I was very critical of the book. 

But MacArthurites see the world through their tinted glasses, so a critique of Heaven is For Real becomes an endorsement. 

Dan Phillips It was sound at one time. It was dedicated to opposing enemies of the Christian faith. Now it's something different.

I've been consistent in my defense of miracles. What I've noticed is that MacArthurites recycle the same objections used by the atheists I've debated over the years.  


  1. Triablogue is "unsound" then? So to be sound it is insufficient to be Christian, inerrantist, Calvinist, young-Earth creationist. You must also be cessationist.

    Personally, I think the only sound people are Christian, Calvinist, creationist, supralapsarian, double predestinarian, inerrantist, amillenial, theonomist, semicessationist, paedobaptist Anglicans who believe the Pope is the AntiChrist.

  2. It seems to me the MacArthurites would say, whoever is not for us is against us. If someone isn't a charismatic but also isn't perfectly in agreement with their cessationism, then they're no longer "sound" and "something different [than] dedicated to opposing enemies of the Christian faith" as well as "shills for the likes of Sid Roth & Heidi Baker" who "prop up the cranks who gave us Todd Bentley," etc.

  3. I really deeply appreciate JMac, and have been immensely helped by Phil Johnson's work as well, but there is a certain creeping sectarianism present within the Grace camp.

    The inherent gracelessness of sectarianism is highly ironic given the interrelated ministry's namesake.

  4. Thanks for the good work Steve. Don't stoop to appease them either.

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