Friday, May 03, 2013

Bloodness martyr complex

Poor little Randal Rauser is suffering from a bloodless martyr complex. He’s covered himself in bandages, but when you peel back each bandage, there’s soft pink skin underneath.

If you’re going to cultivate a martyr complex, at least have the scars to show for it.

Over the past year I’ve been under attack by a handful of Calvinists who have attempted (among other things) to ensure that I lose my job. Their attacks have been characterized by quote-mining, misrepresentation, and outright deception.

I always appreciate the unintentional self-incrimination of defendants who say they’ve been “attacked” when you provide lengthy verbatim excerpts documenting their views in their own words, complete with links to the full text.

I’ve also been accused of denying substitutionary atonement simply because I don’t accept penal substitutionary atonement as a theoretical account of the mechanism of atonement. Sadly, my attackers are apparently unable to grasp such theological nuance or to conceive of thoughtful evangelicals differing with their Calvinist views.

If Calvinism is the last-standing theological tradition that still upholds penal substitution, then so much the better for Calvinism and so much the worse for all the others.

BTW, I happen to agree with Rauser. Like him, I don’t accept penal substitutionary atonement as a theoretical account of the mechanism of atonement. Rather, I accept penal substitutionary atonement as the teaching of Scripture.

And to cap it off I’ve been called things like “apostate” and “God hater”.

One mark of intellectual charlatans like Rauser is when they quote one or two-word conclusions without giving the supporting arguments.

For example, I’ve been accused of denying inerrancy even though I have explicitly endorsed inerrancy (properly defined) as in my article “Errant statements in an inerrant book.” (I know these attackers must be familiar with this article because they seem to document whatever I write with meticulous precision.)

Rauser’s “explicit endorsement of inerrancy” is pure sophistry. That may snooker credulous seminary administrators, but gullibility is not a theological virtue.

Once again, Rauser lays the blame squarely on the shoulders of those malevolent Calvinists. And to prove his point, here’s a review by a notorious Internet Calvinist:

But what about the Bible? Rauser’s defenses of Scripture are sure to leave some Christians dissatisfied. While it is true that he makes an effort to disabuse Loftus of his severely critical interpretations, his concessions with respect to the problem of Old Testament violence and biological evolution give the impression that there is something strange about holding to the authority of Scripture in this day of age. Why not just jettison it and search for a more adequate revelation of God? Rauser maintains that despite Scripture’s oddities, God is a supremely competent author, but if Loftus has achieved anything in this book, it is that he creates some prima facie reasonable doubt for this claim.

There you have it. A deceptive Calvinist who’s waging a personal vendetta against Rauser.

Wait a minute. Adam Omelianchuk is actually a critic of Calvinism. So you don’t have to be a Calvinist to see through Rauser’s sham inerrancy.

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