Saturday, October 20, 2007

He's brilliant, you're not!


“Who are you to question what Clark Pinnock knows?”

For starters, how many articles on Greek philosophy or patristic theology has he ever published in peer-reviewed periodicals and journals in the field of Classics or patrology or ancient philosophy?

“He's brilliant and you aren't.”

I’d love to tell you my I.Q., but it’s classified.

He’s just a lowbrow demagogue who recycles Ingersoll-styled invective against traditional Christian theology.

I’ll grant you that he’s a successful huckster. He began his career as a groupie of J. W. Montgomery (who really is brilliant, as well as orthodox).

Since he didn’t have what it took to be the next J. W. Montgomery, he mortgaged his conservative reputation as a popular apologist to make a bigger name for himself as an avant-garde iconoclast.

Pinnock is to theology what Madonna is to music: an entertainer with no appreciable talent who manages to parlay his mediocrity into a lucrative career by breaking all the rules—one convention at a time. John Spong has used the same formula.

This is appealing to musical and theological rubberneckers who are curious to see which blasphemy or obscenity they’ll resort to next. The appeal of Pinnock lies in the morbid fascination with a gory, roadside accident. Charred bodies. That sort of thing. The more R-rated or X-rated the better.

The formula is successful because there’s a symbiotic relationship between hucksters and suckers. Since there’s an inexhaustible supply of suckers, a good huckster enjoys lifetime job security.

More to the point, hell is chock-full of brilliant men and women. There are far more Nobel Laureates in hell than you’ll ever find in church—although I’ll grant you that the Nobel Peace Prize is definitely depressing the Bell Curve.

But it’s far better to be retarded and redeemed, than brilliant but damned. Swedenborg was brilliant, Moody was not. Guess which one went to heaven when he died, and which one ended up as renewable kindling for the everlasting bonfire? A Christian with Down syndrome is infinitely better off than Bertrand Russell in hell.

“Pinnock started where you are and saw truth. I doubt you ever will.”

I wouldn’t say he saw the truth, but he may have seen the light. Even at a distance, the lake of fire burns bright.


  1. Great post, Steve.

    This is a very fine example of when it befits true piety that a point be made with a holy harshness that approaches its truth content.

  2. Pinnock seems pretty bright. He earned a doctorate in semitic languages under FF Bruce and his early book Biblical Revelation was quite good.

  3. wow...I'm so scared to burn up. How can I be saved?

  4. Sort of off topic: Robert Morey, author of Battle of the Gods (which covered this topic in detail), now has a blog:

  5. As I supposed, Steve Hays is tweakable in the area of intelligence. The Achilles heel, perhaps?