Thursday, February 20, 2014

Out of bounds

Tom Chantry has done a sequel post in which he digs in his heels:
A few quick observations:
i) Although Chantry pays lip-service to honesty, his behavior in this situation is conspicuous for its lack of honesty. For one thing, he's raised these objections before, and Frame patiently corrected his misunderstanding:
Yet Chantry brazenly disregards the factual corrections.
ii) If he was honest about critiquing Frame's triperspectivalism, the proper way to do that is not to rely on your 20-year-old recollection of an offhand answer Frame allegedly gave in class, but to analyze a careful, detailed, written exposition of Frame's position like this:
Likewise, the honest way to criticize Frame's position on contemporary Christian music is to engage his arguments. 
iii) And while we're on the subject of honesty, It's striking to me that Sam Waldron and Jason Delgado (who appears to be Waldron's familiar) simply rubberstamp Chantry's secondhand version of Frame's triperspectivalism. Is that a serious way to evaluate Frame's position? If you want a representative statement of Frame's position, you need to get that from Frame, not Chantry. 

Once again, if you're going to critique Frame's triperspectivalism, the honest way to do it is to take one of Frame's written expositions of triperspectivalism (such as his revised primer) as the point of reference. Begin with a recent primary source. Waldron should know that. 

iv) In his latest post, Chantry says:
Consider, prior to Nicea a great many preachers were all reading the same Bible and describing different Christs.  At Nicea the churches recognized the orthodox truth regarding the nature of Christ and formulated that teaching in a creed.  The result was to put an end to personal interpretations within the church – to distinguish between what was inside and what was outside the boundaries.  Anyone who wished to pursue a private interpretation would have to do so outside the boundaries of the communion defined at Nicea.  In other words, the church recognized early on that sinful tendency drives theology away from biblical truth – even where the Bible is quoted.  Corporate recognition of right interpretations put a brake on individual error.  The Eccumenical creeds did this for the entire church; in a more recent era the confessions have accomplished the same task for various segments of the church.
And where does that leave Reformed theologians like Calvin, Warfield, and Paul Helm who take issue with Nicene subordinationism? For instance:
Does Chantry take the position that Helm's analysis is inherently out-of-bounds? 
v) Chantry also has a simplistic view of creeds and confessions. Precisely because these become a standard of reference for denominations, seminaries, and Christian colleges, a history of interpretation grows up around them. It's not just the nude creed or confession that's meaningful, but a multilayered interpretive tradition. 


  1. Can you explain this?

    "...Jason Delgado (who appears to be Waldron's familiar) simply rubberstamp Chantry's secondhand version of Frame's triperspectivalism..."

    I am not sure how you came to that conclusion. I don't see where I endorsed or agreed with anything Chantry said on that blog. And though I have interviewed Dr. Waldron and love his stuff, there are issues I disagree with him on... but genuinely curious... how did you come to those conclusions?

    1. On that blog, Waldron attacks Frame's position on the regulative principle (among other things). You immediately post a comment linking to Waldron's series.

      In addition, The Confessing Baptist, where you, Waldron, and others hang out, automatically reposted Chantry's screed.