Sunday, June 9, 2013
People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
In and of themselves, I appreciate the statements that both Mr. Tuininga and WSCAL are making regarding the need to be academically and intellecually honest when looking at another's position.
I simply wish that they actually realized that they not only need to be preaching this to others who do not agree with them, but they need to apply it to themselves as well.
To say that WSCAL is anti-theonomic is probably an understatement, but part of the problem that the school has is that they are not understanding theonomy correctly, and so what they are attempting to refute has nothing to do with the actual theonomic position.
For instance, Dr Clark has recently wrote a blog series on "We Are Not Polishing Brass On A Sinking Ship" in several parts. In part 2, here, he goes on to talk about the so-called errors associated with the theonomic movement. It seems that Dr Clark is not listening to his employer's own advice when attempting accurately represent opposing views:
-RSC: "Supported by their postmillennialism, theonomy/reconstructionism looked forward to a future Christian “dominion“ through the gradual leavening of the culture by Christian cultural and political influence"
-CSL: This particular quote is very subtle and most people will miss the fallacy of association here. It is no secret that WSCAL is militantly amillenial. The problem comes about because Dr Clark as well as Dr Gaffin (former prof at WTS PA) have both associated theonomy with postmilleniliasm in a fallacious manner. One of their many anti-theonomic contentions is that since postmillenialism is wrong (and amil is correct), and since theonomy means postmillenialism or theonomy is associated with postmillenialism, therefore, theonomy is wrong.
This is fallacious reasoning. While certainly many theonomists are postmillenial, theonomy itself does not **automatically equate** to postmillenilaism. Theonomy is what should be. Postmillenialism states what will be. People can agree on what should be without actually agreeing on what will be. And by intentionally and subtly (and fallaciously) associating postmil with theonomy, Dr Clark seeks to discredit theonomy in this sentence on that fallacious basis.
You can't prove your conclusion true by using a fallacious argument, which he attempts to do here.
Dr Clark assumes that his readers will see the connection between post mil and theonomy and make the fallacious association as he does that therefore theonomy is wrong (since his premise is that amil is true).
-RSC: "Even the true believers, the theonomists/reconstructionists seem to have given up their original program of cultural transformation through direct political action (Rushdoony’s followers). Instead, they’ve turned to a program of cultural transformation through sacerdotalism, via their theology of baptismal election-union-justification etc ostentatiously self-glossed as “The Federal Vision.”
-CSL: It is amazing to me how uninformed, misleading and/or misinformed, and not clear Dr Clark is being when he writes statements like these. Again notice the fallacy of association and now also the fallacy of misrepresentation that he brings to bear when attempting to connect theonomy with federal vision. Any person who is not extremely familiar with this on-going debate will then conclude from Dr Clark's post that theonomy now (by definition) equals federal vision.
To be fair, there are many well known theonomists who have gone the federal vision route such as Doug Wilson and James Jordan. However, I could also easily conclude that (R)2K leads to Roman Catholicism due to Jason Stellman's defection to Rome after having prosecuted the cases against Peter Leithart (FV advocate in the PCA). And Mr Stellman was a hard core (R)2K advocate, even writing a book about it, Dual Citizens. Even the church that he planted has a (R)2K name: Exile Presbysterian Church. I have read enough of the (R)2K position to know that while there are blatant and gross inconsistencies in this doctrine, if it is faithfully followed in accordance to how Dr Van Drunen espouses it in such books as Living in God's Two Kingdoms, (R)2K will NOT lead to Roman Catholicism.