Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, November 07, 2005

From the Calvinism Hater Files

11/9 Greetings to all you Calvinist Gadfly readers, and thanks Alan for the plug.

David Cloud is a typical KJV only, classic dispensationalist, antinomian, Arminian Fundamental Baptist. He toils under the delusion that he has some sort of reputable apologetic, end-times ministry guarding the Christian Church. He regularly posts articles under the section of his website entitled, The Daily Article Listings. Generally, Mr. Cloud has to re-publish his posted articles because the information he is alerting his readers about is out-of-date and filled with blunderous errors of fact.

A good example of this is a daily article listing from September 2004 in which he criticized Steve Camp for his call to reform Contemporary Christian music. Aside from his ridiculous criticisms of Steve and his ministry, Mr. Cloud consistently cites out of date information about Steve. The most amusing is his biographical background to Steve where Mr. Cloud states he is a member of John MacArthur's Grace Community Church. The fact of the matter is that Steve was once a member of Grace from 1998-1999 and by the time Mr. Cloud published his criticisms of him, Steve had been living in Nashville for nearly four years.

Why I did this, I don't know, but I took the time one afternoon to write Mr. Cloud and correct his error about Steve's Church membership. I pointed out that many of his Daily Articles are rank with these sort of errors and that he would do his ministry good if he would take the time to do better research on those subjects he is posting about. All I got in return was a dismissive "thank you, but I know what I am doing you amateur punk" style email.

What has Mr. Cloud posted this time? Well, in his November 3rd posting, Mr. Cloud warns his readers of some major false doctrine facing the Church. He lists 14 major heresies meddling the Church in these end times. Basically, it is the typical cult heresies like the denial of Christ's deity, the rejection of the Trinity, Pentecostal errors and so forth. But scroll down to number 12 and guess which false teaching Mr. Cloud has named? Why it is none other than Calvinism. Bahaaaaaa. You can just see the blood dripping from the point of the v.

Cloud writes:

12. The false teaching that God chooses who will be saved and that only those who are chosen can be saved (Calvinism)

Bible Answer:

a. The Bible says that God wants all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:3-5; 2 Pet. 3:9).

b. Jesus died for the sins of all men, not just some who are pre-chosen (1 John 2:1-2).

c. God has ordained that every person who believes on Christ will be saved (Jn. 6:40).

d. God has commanded that the gospel be preached to every person (Mark 16:15).

e. The Holy Spirit convicts every sinner and Jesus draws and gives light to every sinner (Jn. 1:9; 12:32; 16:7-8).

f. Believers are the elect of God, but that does not mean that God chooses some to be saved and the others not to be saved. Election is based on God'’s foreknowledge (1 Pet. 1:2).

Yes, all the Calvinists I know just hate evangelizing because why take precious time away from smoking pipes and reading heavy theology just to witness to the lost when God has already chosen whom He wants to save? Please. Don't you just admire the way he is able to roll every Arminian platitude and eisegetical interpretation into 6 brief bullet points? And this guy really thinks he is a legitimate defender of the Christian faith? If there is no one in particular contending for the Calvinist Gadfly award, I certainly nominate David Cloud.


Blogger ThirstyDavid said...

This is off-topic, but you did sort of bring it up.

What is the difference between "classical dispensationalism" and the dispensationalism of John MacArthur and TMS?

6:42 PM, November 07, 2005  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Classic Dispensationalism teaches the 7 dispensations of God's plan, separates the New Covenant into two: one for Israel and another for the Church, and down plays God's work of saving grace in redeeming one people of God in Christ.

John would hold to a much more milder form of dispensationalism. He would probably not emphasize the 7 dispensations thing and I know he certainly would not hold to two New Covenants. His dispensationalism simply recognizes a distinction between God's dealings with the nation of Israel and the Church.

John explains it better himself. Look at this article where he answers a question about his dispensationalism. There are also some other related questions located at the site where I pulled this q and a. I hope that helps.


6:37 AM, November 08, 2005  
Blogger ThirstyDavid said...

Thanks. That is basically what I believe. I have had some pretty wild accusations thrown at me for being dispensational. I am really surprised at what a divisive issue it is.

6:52 AM, November 08, 2005  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

I have been accused of being "dispensational" but generally, the person leveling that charge is ignorant of what dispensationalism teaches.

One thing I have learned is that Christians will confuse dispensationalism with a proper understanding of discontinuity between the two testaments. In other words, what is rightly understood as something pertaining only to the redemptive purposes of God in the NT due to the coming of Christ. Baptism is a good example of what I mean. I have had Presbyterians call me dispensational (I know many presby/covenant theology guys who insist Reformed Baptists are "dispensational"), because I hold to believer's baptism. But I understand baptism by immersion upon a confession of faith to be associated with the new work of Christ in establishing a world wide spiritual body. Hence, circumcision, a sign for the OT covenant of the physical, theocratic nation of Israel, has been done away with (ie, discontinued) and thus there is discontinuity between the sign of the OT and that of the NT. Makes sense?


7:05 AM, November 08, 2005  
Blogger Frank Martens said...

Hey Fred,

I don't know if you know about these but I thought you might like to read two articles I found at bible.org. Challies mentioned something about the NET bible and I was reading their about page and found these articles on the KJV...

Part I: From Wycliffe to King James (The Period of Challenge)
Part II: The Reign of the King James (The Era of Elegance)
Part III: From the KJV to the RV (from legance to Accuracy) -> Defense against KVJOism

8:49 AM, November 08, 2005  
Blogger ThirstyDavid said...

Fred, that makes sense. That has been my experience, too.

9:18 AM, November 08, 2005  
Blogger Pickle Boy said...

Fred, I see your comments about the doing away with circumcision as a sign to the theocratic nation of Israel. I assume you would handle the issue of Sabbath keeping similarly, no? I'm not 100% sure how to deal with that, since the sabbath part of the decalogue, and was also a commandment issuing from the creation account itself. I know, it's off-off topic, but just wanted your thoughts.

8:59 AM, November 09, 2005  
Blogger Sam H. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:06 AM, November 09, 2005  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Pickle Boy wrote:

Fred, I see your comments about the doing away with circumcision as a sign to the theocratic nation of Israel. I assume you would handle the issue of Sabbath keeping similarly, no? I'm not 100% sure how to deal with that, since the sabbath part of the decalogue, and was also a commandment issuing from the creation account itself. I know, it's off-off topic, but just wanted your thoughts.

(Fred) I have many Covenant Theology acquaintances, and though I am sympathetic to the general aspects of their theology, I disagree with them over many areas, particularly the relevance of the OT decalogue as it pertains to NT believers. That is not to say I dismiss it out of hand, but I recognize its application is different with NT believers as it was to the OT, theocratic national people of Israel. The primary reason for the difference in application is the person and work of Christ.

One area where this discontinuity is evident is obviously with the sabbath. The first reality is the change of day for the Christian sabbath as opposed to the Jewish sabbath, but also, the rigid legalism once placed on sabbath keeping and sabbath breaking has been lifted. Immediately when I say this, I have my CT friends accuse me of being antinomian and minimalizing the importance of Sunday worship. But that is not what I am doing at all. Before under the OT law, there was a restrict requirement for all Jews to stop working and keep the sabbath or there would be heavy consequences. But I see under the NT a removal of requirements for one specific day. The spiritual dimension of Christ's work took away those specific requirements. I believe this is what Paul was writing about in Colossians 2:14-17, and certainly in Romans 14:5,6. Rather than gathering on one specific day, the command extends to just gathering together in fellowship. Sunday is a convenient time for gathering in fellowship, particularly in our culture here in America. But what of other cultures where Sunday is disregarded and authorities look for Christians to gather together on Sunday so as to arrest them? If they chose Tuesday nights because it is safer, are they violating the sabbath? I don't believe so. In my mind, they are fulfilling the sabbath requirement as interpreted by the coming of Christ.


6:08 AM, November 10, 2005  
Blogger Pickle Boy said...

Thanks for your comments Fred. I know that wasn't a simple question to throw your way in the comment section here. I appreciate the time you took. I've read most of Carson's book "From Sabbath to Lord's Day" and also found it helpful (albeit longwinded). This issue has nagged at me for many years, and has resulted in much restricted activity on Sundays in the past. It's one of those issues where I wished Jesus, Paul or some other apostle had been more explicit on the matter. But then I suppose that's implying that the scripture is inadequate, and I don't want to be accused of thinking that!

7:23 AM, November 10, 2005  
Blogger Sam H. said...

(Reposted with some invective removed). Sad, but we do have some of these yahoos masquerading as fundamentalists. But, let's be clear and fair--Being Clear: fundies have been aware of and working to fight against men/churches/institutions like this for the last 20 years or so. Our stands and our ministries are not as prominently visible,as David's are. Personally, I would not consider him a fundamentalist (historically or doctrinally)--his textual and other views are hedging into or are in the heretical sphere. Being Fair: evangelicalism (New Evangelicalism) is beset with its problems too. Will anyone rise up and call Greg Boyd, emergents, peudo-calvinist church growth gurus, redemptive-hermeneutic-ancient/future faith proponents, new perspective on Paul types--will anyone in the NE camp rise up and call these ones blessed?

There are/were many fine, scholarly, godly, well-thought-out voices in Fundamentalism--Minnick, Doran, McCune, Bauder, Whitcomb, McClain, Pickering, Ashbrook, Combs, etc. And in some areas, men like these are the majority voice. But there are always roosters crowing in the barnyard. I simply will not claim to be on the same farm with them.

Sam H.

3:40 PM, November 10, 2005  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Hey Sam,

I would agree with you to a point. Perhaps I was a tad too quick to call Cloud a "fundamentalist." However, he does give himself that definition and I imagine he would fight you tooth and nail to be acknowledge as a "fundamentalist."

I would consider Cloud a fundamentalist because of the things he advocates as core values, but I attempted to distinguish him from the sound minded, biblical fundamentalists like the men you mention with the adjectives I used to describe his fundamentalism, ie, classic dispensational, Arminian, antinomian, and KJV only.

By the way, who falls into the redemptive-hermenuetic-ancient future/faith camp?


1:30 PM, November 11, 2005  
Blogger Sam H. said...

Bro. Fred,
thanks for the clarification. I passed too quickly over the adjectives, you are correct. I have a visceral reaction when 'fundamentalist' is attached to DC's bio. I know he embraces the label, but he and his ilk (I always love using that word) have caused great harm to the idea of fundamentalism, and I get a bit cranky about him :). One of my profs at seminary has taken him to task several times, but to no avail--he keeps going.

Re: the RH and ancient/future faith-ers; Two books to reference: William Webb's book, "Slaves, Women and Homosexuals", where he delineates and promotes a different hermeneutic than the lit/gram/hist. variants (used by Cov/Disp alike). Also, Robert Webber: The Younger Evangelicals--Facing the Challenges of the New World. There are more and more ministries and theologs in my neck of the woods buying into the teachings promoted by these men.

See Grudem about Webb's Red. Herm. at his Bib. Manhood, Womanhood, etc. website for a decent review of the book. Rolland McCune has written a review of Webber's book in his own book Promise Unfulfilled--The Failed Strategy of Modern Evangelicalism. The ideas promoted in these books seem to be much of what is driving the current movement broadly termed 'the emergents.' I think Warren and others fit part of this bill, but maybe not as much as those who would speak clearly the 'emergent' language. An example of these two influences at work: there is a large church in this area whose pastor became enamored with both Webb and Webber's views--they have redefined "elder" to include women, redefined baptism to become a commemorative rite to celebrate nearly anything, and are essentially redefining a number of NT traditions (not simply human traditions)--for the purpose of connectivity to POMO "seekers." They would not necessarily attach emergent to themselves, but they seem to be in the same category--broad as that category is.

These two influences (RH and Younger Evangelicalism) seems to be affecting the 'leading edge' thinking in the minds of 'progressives.' Frankly, I think the two go hand in hand, though a proponent of one may not consciously declare connectivity to the other influence. IMO, it all has feel of a Neo-Modernism.

2:38 PM, November 12, 2005  
Blogger Aaron Shafovaloff said...

You guys might be interested in Theopedia:


6:16 AM, November 14, 2005  

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