Friday, August 14, 2009

"Heretical Calvinism"

Gail Riplinger has a lot to say about everyone she disagrees with, even engaging in the vilest innuendo (see P. 829 for one that I am not going to repeat because of its vileness). But there is one theological view that she always describes as "heretical", and it is Calvinism. Now never mind that the majority of the translators of the AV were Calvinists, Riplinger is determined that Calvinism is a heresy!

George Abbott was one of the translators of the AV, a godly man and a gifted preacher, he was one of the best men ever to occupy the See of Canterbury, as well as a learned Bible scholar. Today his two chief monuments are his library, preserved in Lambeth Palace, and Abbott's Hospital in Guildford, a splendid set of almshouses for the poor of the town. Learning and charity sum up his life. When he accidentally shot a gamekeeper while out hunting, Abbott was stricken with grief, and settled an pension on the man's widow. She married again, but Abbott still paid the pension to her. He was also a Calvinist. Indeed all of the best men on the AV committee were Calvinists, as I have already said.

Time and again Riplinger refers to Calvinism as 'heresy' Some examples I have noted are to be found on P. 528, P. 529, P.685 (Theodore Beza), P. 686 ("one of the most unscriptural heresies imaginable - Five Point Calvinism"), P.712, P. 798, P. 821, P. 823. On P. 824 she states that John 3.16 has "little meaning for Calvinists." Really? So why is it the verse from the Bible I quote most often in preaching? P. 1150, Warfield and Barth equated as if they taught the same thing, which they do not; P. 1153, B.B. Warfield a heretical Calvinist; 1155, ditto; P. 1175, C.A. Strong, P. 1173: "Calvinists spend their time writing theology books, instead of evangelizing". I would have found more if Riplinger had an index to this book, which she doesn't.

"Beza's text, like any other one-man exercise, must be examined with caution in the minutiae, particularly because of his rabid Calvinism," she writes (P. 685). At this point I have a question for Riplinger's doughty defenders - where is the Textus Receptus to be found today?

Pp. 687-9 contain a feeble attack on Calvinism. Riplinger is apparently a 'Once-saved-always-saved' Arminian. She holds that the will of man is freely able to choose God, and that depravity does not extend to the human will, thus agreeing with the Roman Church. She holds to election of a class only, falsely claiming that Calvinists "skip around Romans 9, ignoring the words 'having done any good or evil' (that is, good works and evil works) and ignore the words 'not of works'" (Pp.687-8). What she means here I really don't know, as Calvinists insist on those very words. "When God said, 'I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy,' he means he chooses the means; he chose to have mercy on those who will belive on the Lord Jesus Christ." Where is this in Romans 9? She belives Jesus died equally for the sins of everyone who ever lived and ever will live. She believes God draws all men to Christ, and some refuse to come. She needs to read John 6 again. The verses she quotes to support her own position are nothing to the purpose, being John 5.40, Acts 7.51, Proverbs 1.24, and Titus 1.11, not one of which states that men resist the saving grace of God successfully. Finally she gives the usual carping criticism of the phrase 'Perseverence of the saints', "God will preserve his saints; they are eternally secure. However their word 'perseverence' has a connotation of works. Their word is actually only used once in the Bible in the context of unceasing prayer, not salvation (Eph 6.18)" (Pp. 688-9). The word 'Trinity' is not in the Bible at all, theology, like ay other branch of human knowledge, has its own vocabulary. The existence of heresy requires Biblical ideas to be expressed in words other than those of the Bible. For example, both Arius and Athanasius were willing to say that Jesus is God, but they meant rather different things when they said it.

"Beza's lack of scriptural understanding, which would allow him to misunderstand all of the above verses, gives me little confidence in his choice of Greek words... Though Beza's Greek text was generally that which came down from the first century, evidently God saw at least 139 small errors in it, to which he alerted the KJB translators" (P. 689) Though not to Beza's conjectural emendation in Revelation 11.17, where all Greek manuscripts read, 'who was and is, O Holy One', which Beza 'corrected' to 'who is to come', a phrase which is in the AV, but was in no Greek text before Beza. See Comfort: New Testament Text and Translation Commentary for details.

On the basis of this attack on Calvinism, why would any Calvinist use Riplinger's works? After all, she believes that Calvinists hold to "one of the most unscriptural heresies imaginable!" Are you a Calvinist? Riplinger says you're a heretic. What is more, as I have shown, Riplinger's latest book is riddled with bad arguments, errors in fact and logical fallacies. This book does indeed contain Hazardous Materials. So if you want a Calvinist defence of the Textus Receptus, go and contact the Trinitarian Bible Society. I know several members of the Society personally, and they are sane and reasonable men.


The Puritan said...

It seems that the fact that Riplinger is an independent fundamentalist Baptist is a revelation to only you. You didn't know that?

She also grew up Roman Catholic and tends, like many, to associated too much latent Romanism in high church Calvinism.

And, again, unless you believe that understanding the five points of TULIP are a necessary step to salvation your point in bringing this up is silly.

It's not a new phenomenon for different groups of Christians to be good at different things. The IFBs are good at defending the pure and whole - received - Word of God. Mocking or sneering at or looking down your nose at them based on Federal Theology either makes understanding Federal Theology determinative for salvation (and hence not faith alone in Christ alone) or is just empty, vain behavior.

Highland Host said...

My dear chap, don't be so ridiculous, of course I knew that. My point is that she is dismissing all Calvinists as heretics. I am not mocking her for being an Arminian. SHE is the one doing the mocking.

A heretic is one outside the Church. Again we see the pattern. You give Riplinger the sort of free pass that she is unwilling to give anyone else. It seems that you have made the acceptance of the King James Bible alone in English the primary mark of a true Christian. Have I misunderstood you here? This is precisely my point, the while Riplinger kicks you and calls you a heretic, you bend over backwards to praise her. No, sir, YOU are the one who is being silly!

You see, it is not the King James Bible you are defending (as I have said once and again, I use the AV myself), but the whole Riplinger package, the innuendo, the insults, the IVOr. Why? Why not the TBS and their reasonable stance?

The Puritan said...

The fact is her opinion of Calvinism is irrelevant to the manuscripts issue. It's the *exact same* sand thrown in the air as talking about the fact that she has been divorced.

I personally don't care about innuendo or insults coming from Arminians or Roman Catholics or liberal Christians or anyone else. When you have understanding of biblical doctrine you are grateful to the Holy Spirit and you don't worry about mocking or whatever from Christians who are yet to come into understanding of it. But that understanding doesn't take precedence over faith alone in Christ alone vis-a-vis salvation.

Riplinger herself wouldn't and doesn't say you can't be saved with a modern version Bible. The alarm being sent up by the watchmen is regarding the corruptions that exists in the modern versions and the *progressive nature* of that corruption.

Again, why is there not *one* modern version based on the Masoretic and Received Text? There is even monetary motive to make one, yet there is *not one.* The spirit of the times are for the famine of the Word of God. God's own know the voice of the Shepherd though. We are grateful to God that he makes his pure and whole Word available in English in the Authorized Version. And all the mocking from the academic priesthood, from Jesuits, from Liberals won't dissuade us or make us ashamed of a Bible our brothers and sisters not only used and valued since the Reformation, but actually died for in defending and passing it down. That such a thing is seen to be a subject worthy of mocking only shows the spirit of the times.

Highland Host said...

My dear sir. I do not mock the AV. But I recall that there is something more important than a Bible version that we have received from the time of the Reformation, and that is a true understanding of the teaching of the Bible. It is THAT doctrine Riplinger is mocking, the truth that God saves, not me, and that God's will is not subject to my puny creaturely will.

Using your logic, we could say

"Unless you believe that using the King James Bible alone is necessary for salvation your point in bringing this up is silly."

And actually I might agree there!

Once again, it amazes me how you rush to defend, not the King James Bible, but Gail Riplinger. Let's not kid ourselves here, because that's whatyou're doing. The TBS are upholding the use of the AV without one reference to Gail Riplinger. TBS members I've shared the contents of this book with have laughed at it and called it silly. These are men dedicated to the AV and the underlying texts, who are translating the underlying texts into other languages.

So once and for all let me say this: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DEFEND GAIL RIPLINGER IN ORDER TO DEFEND THE AV. It is time to expose this false idea for what it is.

The Puritan said...

Riplinger is attacked with great lunacy and viciousness by the academic priesthood for a reason. The devil doesn't confront the unregenerate. The unregenerate are tame slaves in his kingdom. The devil confronts the regenerate. The academic priesthood doesn't bother to attack the TBS because they are lukewarm and full of concessions to the academic priesthood. And their influence is almost nil. The academic priesthood attacks Riplinger because *Riplinger exposes them.* And Riplinger's influence is big.

The Puritan said...

I posted this somewhere below too, but here is a good thread among Reformed Christians on these various subjects. Note lower in the thread where the subject of the Westminster divines and their view of the TR and preservation is discussed:

Waitaminute! said...

Makes sense why the Jesuits are so fond of imitating Calvinists.
Augustinianism calls for more heretical doctrines. Why not purgatory? Transsubstantiation? Keeping whores as a neccessary evil? Sure would cut down on child rape.
Fallen man can not wrap his mind around foreknowledge. Take it by faith. Elect according to foreknowledge.
Whosoever shall call upon... God is not willing that any should perish...Died for the sins of the whole world...God so loved the world that as many as received Him...more joy in heaven over one sinner that repents...rejected the counsel of God against themselves...
"You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink".
John Wayne

The Puritan said...

Waitaminute, the Calvinist view preserves the mystery while hewing to what the Bible says.

And whatever you're view if you have a Word of God approach, i.e. when you evangelize you use the actual Word of God, when you preach you use the actual Word of God, when you as a seeking person engage seriously the actual Word of God that takes care of matters. The Word of God is the environment where regeneration occurs, when it does occur.

It's a religion of the Book. God has to communicate with us some way. He does it through His Word.

Basically, at a practical level, the doctrines of grace (TULIP) when accepted by fallen man is a sign that one has become God-centered rather than man-centered.

Another thing: 99% of the emotional outrage and confrontation towards Calvinist doctrine is based on pure ignorance of Calvinism, often delivered through astonishingly crude and lying propaganda regarding it.

It's just apostolic biblical doctrine un-watered down, un-negotiated down to the demands of fallen man.

The Puritan said...

And false teachers, such as Jesuits down through history, attack from without or from within wherever the truth is being taught and proclaimed.

Highland Host said...

Actually, as Pascal demonstrates convincingly in his 'Provincial Letters', the Jesuits are NOT Augustinians. Pascal was, and he got in all sorts of trouble with the Jesuits for being TOO Augustinian. Ever heard of the Jansenists? Bishop Jansen of Ypres published a bookm of EXTRACTS FROM AUGUSTINE and got viciously attacked by the Jesuits for doing so. B.B. Warfield was substantially correct when he described the Reformation as the triumph of Augustine's theology of grace over his theology of the Church.

On Riplinger, apparently she gets a free pass because 'the academy' don't like her. The TBS don't either, and no-one ever accused them of attacking the AV.

Funny, that when I point out Riplinger's IFB I'm told it's irrelevant, but when Riplinger criticises others and calls them heretics for NOT being IFB (and note that this includes Calvin and Beza), well, that's irrelevant too!

I love consistency.

Hiraeth said...

The truth is, the reason why Riplinger gets attacked to the extent that she does is that she picks fights. Funny, that.

One of the earliest Christian Councils specifically stated that people who went into idol temples, disturbed worship, and got themselves killed were not martyrs, merely self-advertising so-and-sos. The same principle applies to people who toss the 'h' word around indiscriminately.

The Puritan said...

>that people who went into idol temples, disturbed worship, and got themselves killed

Yes, Riplinger certainly kicks many an idol temple. In her case it is to expose what is hiding in darkness, and the reaction is telling.

Highland Host said...

I have documented that Riplinger is an expert in vitriolic attacks on people, that she is not above making foul insinuations (I've given the page numbers, you look them up, I don't even want to think of them), and of course we all know how NABV accuses all modern translations of being part of a Luciferian plot to usher in Antichrist's one-world religion. Her methods of demonstrating this are so fallacious that sometimes even I can't see the connection, but maybe that's because the style of NABV is so stilted. Let's just say that because New Agers talk about 'the Christ', it does not follow that everyone who talks about 'the Christ' is a New Ager, shall we?

Plus she relies on Hislop's fallacy-filled 'The Two Babylons' WAY too much in NABV, when Hislop has been demonstrated to have massively over-egged the pudding.