Thursday, July 21, 2005

Holy Batmania!

Over at Camp’s outfit, “Breuss Wane,” aka Chad Bresson, posted the following comment about my material

You'll have to excuse those of us who simply dismiss the theonomically inclined argument outright without feeling the slightest compunction to answer.

Impressive, isn’t it? Life is so much easier when labels do the work of arguments.

Keep in mind that this comment was made with reference to my “Anarchy in the Camp” essay, in which, unlike Chad, I offered some exegetical arguments for my position. For example, I cited Walter Liefeld’s commentary on the Pastoral Epistles. Last time I checked, Liefeld was not your average witchburning theocrat--unless he's been leading a double-life all these years.

So I guess that Chad only holds himself answerable to the 23 subscribers to Kerux magazine. A small world for a small mind.

Incidentally, Vos never hesitated to engage those with whom he disagreed. But I guess attitude is everything.

The caped crusader then followed up that comment with the following:

Because the gospel is inherent to everything that a Christian does in the marketplace of ideas. There is no equivalence to buying a car, or attending a sporting event, or mowing the grass AND engaging the marketplace of ideas. The moment a "philosophy" is involved is the moment "the gospel" becomes involved de facto (whether we admit it or not).

Actually, I agree with Chad about this--if he’s saying what I think he’s saying. But you can take this all-or-nothing outlook in either of two opposing directions: Amish or Kuyperian. I’m Kuyperian.

However, Chad and Camp talk as though they're Amish. Take, once more, this comment by Camp:

Abortion, Gay marriage, etc. are not political problems, but are issues of the heart and are spiritual ones. They need the gospel; not legislation.

Presumably, Chad agrees with that. But while they talk the Amish talk, they don’t appear to walk the Amish walk. For example, Chad makes his living as a journalist.

It’s exceeding strange that a journalist would strike an apolitical pose. Why is a Christian reporting on world events unless he’s interested in cultural engagement? Shouldn’t he be riding around in a horse-and-buggy with a funny hat and a German accent?

At least the Amish have a consistent position in what they preach and practice. They are true to 2 Cor 6:14-7:1 as they see it. But Chad seems to have an Amish philosophy with a Kuyperian lifestyle.

Of course, I don’t expect him to explain this to me since, in a good Anabaptist fashion, he doesn’t speak with worldings like me. He only relates to his own kind--you known, the 23 subscribers to…but I’ve said that already.

Yet let’s go back, one more time, to Camp’s statement about same-sex marriage. Well, if we shouldn’t outlaw same-sex marriage, then I guess we shouldn’t outlaw child marriage.

That’s not just a hypothetical. Child-marriage is commonplace in the Muslims world. And when Muslims emigrate to the West, they demand their own laws.

So, should an adult Muslim-American male be allowed to wed and consummate his marriage with a prepubescent girl?

I say “we” shouldn’t, since I assume that Chad and Camp frown on Christians who lobby for this sort of legislation. But if Christians don’t do it, who will?

And while we’re on the subject, what about NAMBLA? What about sodomites adopting children? What about kiddy porn?

Since Chad doesn’t care for “theonomy,” what is his Vossian-cum-Klinean version of social ethics?

Since he’s written off OT ethics tout court, and since he presumably believes that NT ethics are for Christians only (at least, that’s Camp’s position), just where then, between the upper register and the already/not yet, between the Alpha-Author and the Omega-Consummator, between the Cosmic House and the Glory-Tabernacle, between the advent of the Antilord and the parousia of the Glory-Spirit, does he draw the line on unbelievers?

I know where the Amish draw the line. And I know where Rushdoony draws the line.


  1. Calling someone a small mind or a caped crusader isn't exactly conducive to healthy, Christian discussion is it? I'm reading the Camp posts and those disagreeing with him with interest, but you almost lose your points when you insult the people who disagree with you. Just a thought.

    Actually, when I really think about it, it actually causes me to agree with Camp even more. I'm not saying, that that is good either. I should just look at the biblical arguments, which you have definitely made. Just analyzing my own thoughts.

  2. BTW, Juice, if you're reading the posts over there, you're free to enter into the discussion here if you'd like and comment on those posts here, or ask questions. Especially if you want to retain your anonymous status :-) I don't know why Mr. Camp made up that rule. It seems sort of paranoid and suspicious, but maybe he's had bad experiences or something in the past, so I won't judge him on that. It's his blog.

    Anyway, I promise to be nice :-) And I do happen to agree with Steve's evaluations over here re: Breuss. There are objective facts about whether someone is small minded or broad minded in a particular comment, and making unargued potshots at _detailed arguments_ looks small minded to me.

  3. How is "caped crusader" insulting? I'm spinning off of his own chosen handle (you know, Breuss Wane, a la Batman).

    Oh, and yes, when someone says "You'll have to excuse those of us who simply dismiss the theonomically inclined argument outright without feeling the slightest compunction to answer," I'd characterize that as smallminded, or do you regard that as broadminded?

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  6. crankmonster,

    Sorry, you need to read more carefully. In the comment to which you refer:

    ...Steve didn't "call Camp an Anabaptist". Rather, he referred to "Camp's Anabaptist theory of church/state relations." That's a rather focused assessment, analyzing one part of Mr. Camp's publicly stated thoughts. He also gave citations. If you don't think the citations support the assessment, then that's the charge you should be making, I think.

  7. crankmonster,

    You say: "And you are a theonomist, based on your own words."

    Actually, in that article Steve only rebuts several objections to theonomy.

    But let's say he is a theonomist. So what? What Steve did in the comment to which you refer was not to deny he was a theonomist, but to point out that Breuss simply _dismissed_ an argument he saw as "theonomically inclined," rather than actually interact with it.

  8. crankmonster,

    You say: "Still, on the other part of it, why would somebody who writes like a theonomist take such umbrage when he is called a theonomist."

    Where did Steve take umbrage at being called a theonomist? Have I missed something here?

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  10. crankmonster,

    You say:

    "I think reasonable people can differ on whether Hays was taking umbrage at the, as he called it, 'label' of theonomist. Call it as you see it, by all means."

    What are you talking about? Where did Steve refer to the 'label' of theonomist? "As he called it"? Huh? Did a comment get deleted somewhere?

  11. crankmonster,

    Ah, I see, you must be referring to the original post, where Steve said, "Impressive, isn’t it? Life is so much easier when labels do the work of arguments."

    Again, Steve isn't taking umbrage _at the label_. He's taking umbrage at the notion that _labels can do the work of arguments_. See the difference? That's precisely what he said.

  12. Sorry, I left out the first few paragraphs of the 4:13pm comment:


    Here's one Anabaptist's take on the Christian's relation to the state. The Anabaptist "contributes to the government through peaceful living, rather than through direct political action; he expresses appreciation for the government and prays for it, but does not attempt to control it, nor demand that it follow a certain course of action with respect to foreign policy, etc."

    "Basic Principles of Anabaptist Thought," Harold S. Martin

    From the same page:

    Anabaptists "were zealous in reaching people for Christ and were essentially indifferent to the affairs of the state."

    Any of this sound familiar? :-)

    As Steve himself pointed out in his citations, according to Mr. Camp: "Abortion, Gay marriage, etc. are not political problems, but are issues of the heart and are spiritual ones. They need the gospel; not legislation."

    This is just a false antithesis (though I'm sure it's being held in all sincerity, and with good motives). Think about the implications of this statement. Abortion doesn't need legislation addressing it? Gay marriage doesn't need legislation addressing it? What, pray tell, _does_ need legislation? Murder? Theft? Issues of national security?

    The idea that, because various forms of immorality in our society are "issues of the heart" and "spiritual problems," that therefore they don't "need... legislation" _just is_ the anabaptist theory of how Christians relate to the state. If you don't think legislation is "needed," then you are "essentially indifferent to the affairs of the state".

    So I think, in the end, Steve's designation was justified, at least with respect to a specific portion of Mr. Camp's stated thoughts.

  13. crankmonster,

    BTW, this made me chuckle a little:

    "Having spent some time on Calvinist forums and witnessed how theonomists operate and how rather difficult it is to discuss matters with them I suspect the person who wrote that comment to Steve was drawing on similar experience."

    Yup, there's nothing like sheer prejudice based on interactions with _other_ people :-)

  14. Wow! I go make dinner and look at all the traffic while I’m gone! Crankmonster says that Jus has mutated into my lawyer. Actually, it looks like Crackmonster has mutated into Chad’s lawyer, or Camp’s—or both. I guess they’re codefendants! Anyway, that makes us even, doesn’t it?

    Actually, I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have Jus taking my case pro bono since I could never afford such a high caliber defense if I had to pay $500 per hour.

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