swfdoc1 wrote:Hey Paula,
Hi, good to "see" you I've got so much to tell you, about the other thing. I'll message you asap.
Sorry my first interaction in such a long time is in opposition to a point you made. Over decades, I have found that many of my Reformed friends are too quick to call “heresy.”
I've noticed that too. And why are they so arrogant?
I suppose the first point in any post discussing heresy is to note how problematic any working definition of that term is. I suspect that you know that almost all (and probably flat “ALL”) Protestants are heretics even under definitions that some of us accept. (Huh? Well, some of us accept those definitions without thinking through the implications.) Second, even those Protestant—but let’s cut to the chase and talk about “Reformed”—theologians who are smarter than that, e.g., R.C. and R.C., Jr., have struggled to fashion a working definition.
Be all that as it may, even Reformed theologians with outstanding credentials assert that Arminians are not heretics. Besides R.C. and R. C., Jr. (who sometimes seem to be trying to have it both ways), hereis just one example. Here is a man with significant credentials—although with those credentials, he ought to understand the view he is opposing MUCH, MUCH more accurately—who declines to call Arminians heretics, EVEN with such false views as he ascribes to them. Fortunately, he understands the concept of heresy and declines to ascribe it to Arminians.
I write this about Arminians because I have read some of the key primary sources. I have not done so with Molinism, so I will not pass judgment. I will say however, that having read multiple, not just con-, but also pro-, secondary sources; I have serious reservations about it.
Mostly, I used the word "heresy" to get a rise out of folks and maybe bring some people out of the woodwork. But...my understanding of heresy is any view that is in opposition to orthodox doctrine. In my view, salvation by grace has always been orthodox and any system which adds anything to grace is heresy. Now, most protestant A's will not admit their view of salvation includes works, nevertheless...carried to its logical end, it does. I can see you know much more about the term "heresy," than I do, so perhaps it implies other things as well. For example, I don't believe someone cannot be regenerate while believing A (or M for that matter). I read the article you provided, it was helpful although I couldn't find the author. I assume RC Jr. has the same beliefs as his dad although I don't care for his teaching so haven't read much of it.
By the way, I am always perplexed that my Reformed friends (at least those who are well-informed about the theological label they claim) are so quick to call “heresy,” when so much of their own system is made up out of whole cloth—a point I made earlier in this thread. Looking at the first 2 Sproul videos that you recommended, I was glad to see that he admitted that the Bible doesn’t directly support the Covenant of Redemption. (And he mentioned in passing the doctrine of “probation.” I assume he would also admit that the Bible does not directly support this doctrine, since he seems willing to be truthful about doctrine origins.) Unfortunately, Sproul claimed that the Covenant of Redemption is based on “inference” from the Bible. That stretches the meaning of “inference” WAY beyond any normal or (in my opinion, legitimate) meaning.
When you use the idiom, 'made up out of whole cloth," aren't you saying the reformed system ("so much of it") is based on a lie with no biblical support? I'm not too familiar with that term, just want to clarify.
Also, I don't believe one must wholeheartedly agree with Covenant Theology to call themselves reformed. As for the Mosaic Law, I prefer New Covenant Theology over CT. If I'm correct, MacArthur is a dispensationalist and Piper claims to be a mix of all three.
As for the covenant of redemption, I try not to get too sideways over the names of these things. I'm sure you would agree, at some point (eternity past?) the Godhead agreed with each other to make the redemption of the elect possible. Kind of like the word "trinity" is not explicit in the Bible but the concept is certainly there. Maybe we should not call these things "covenants," as there must be a sign and a ceremony evidenced although it was between the Godhead? And if there were a sign wouldn't it be the cross? Anyway, it makes me nervous when you disagree with me, try not to do that, ok?
I would be interested in knowing which of the 5 points you reject. Have a great evening!By the way, I am not—as you may remember—(completely) an Arminian, and I am not (at all) a Dispensationalist, if that makes you feel better. Obviously, I reject the view of 5-point Calvinists (as opposed to 4-point and 4 ½-point Calvinists) and their Armenian counterparts that it is “all or nothing.”