Thanks for the response. I do appreciate it and also the candor.
Maybe it is just my wounded sensibilities, but I read that statement to be saying something like: "John is going to be leading people into theological error, so thanks for the warning so I can make a point not to watch CNN all day just in case I may accidently see him making positive comments about Gibson's movie." It is as if John has nothing valuable to say in defense of Christianity and that it might as well be James Dobson doing that interview."
It is your wounded sensibilities, Fred. What I said is what I meant. You read way too much into what I said, but I appologize if the wording was what led you to take it that way. I respect John as a godly man who acts on the strength of his convictions and one who loves the Lord and has done much in service of The Savior.
Thus, I do believe John has valuable things to say, and for some that value may actually over ride the damage done, IMO, if he doesn't clearly support the 2nd Commandment in his statements about the movie. But for me, the time would be better spent in reading and understanding what these men of past generations whose views you have cast aside on this issue, had to say with respect to the second commandment and other aspects of the Christian life. To me the issue is more than trivial, and John's "being a model for apologetics" is not as important as recognizing the value of obedience to the clear instructions of God on this issue. It't that simple, for me, as it was apparently for men like Owen and Ursinus.
My thought is that such thinking is unnecessary separation akin to the attitudes displayed in the very fundamentalist church that you deride.
I haven't been deriding fundamentalist churches, you have. But I agree with you on the shallow nature of fundamentalism. That is why I was never a member of a fundamentalist church. The church I spent the most time in, and which I have mentioned here as an antinomian church, was a intellectualist church that derided fundamentalism, and prided itself on not being fundamentalist, another trap to be avoided in my view <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> Everyone that accepts the currency of the older confessions with regard to the second commandment is not automatically a fundamentalist.
John is not NCT. My convictions are my own, so let us make that clear so as to not have any further confusion.
Thanks Fred for making that clear. I don't follow John's minstry closely so I had no idea where he stood on this and so I appreciate your clarity on it.
I believe "boogey man" is a truly appropriate term, because like I have stated in previous posts, the convictions displayed here concerning the 2nd commandment are creedal traditions, not the application of biblical exegesis.
Correction, as has been stated in previous posts, the convictions concerning the 2nd commandment are indeed the application of biblical exegesis. The creeds you mention, and they include more than the WCF, as Pilgrim has pointed out to you, were developed by the best biblical scholars of the times in which they were written, many if not most, of whom are considered by todays best scholars to have attained heights of wisdom and insight into God's word that simply hasn't been surpassed in the succeeding centuries. I'm thinking here of men like Owen, T. Goodwin and so on. It may not be YOUR biblical exegesis, but it most certainly is biblical exegesis.
The issue is not the making of graven images, but the use of those graven images in worship and as a replacement for God.
Yes, you have made this statement before, but unlike your assertion here, it has not been ignored. It has been answered. Apparently not to your satisfaction, but it has been answered. Your interpretation of the purpose of the Cherubim and the bronze serpent, as well their application to the issue at hand, not to mention the Lords purpose in providing vs 5 of the context to the 2nd commandment is lacking in my view, as has been pointed out in other posts on this subject. You are of course entitled to another view, but you are rejecting the majority view of the orthodox Christian community for centuries, and I find your basis for doing so quite unsubstantial, if what you have provided here is the whole of it.
I feel what you are saying when you speak of those congregations that are weak on conviction and have no theological anchor because they are not taught scripture by the pastors. All of their knowledge of the Bible comes from shallow quarterlies that rush the sunday school class through the Bible on some 3 year jet tour schedule. The depth of the sermons preached are 3 point evangelisitc presentations that are really just 30 minute torture session of a passage cruelly removed from its context. The convicition the people convey are legalistic and ascetic vice based upon a list of supposed dos and don'ts derived from misapplied verses and personal preferences elevated to the authority of scripture. Honestly, I have heard just as much negative reaction toward Gibson's film from the fundamentalist, antinomian crowd and they base that reaction on the 2nd commandment.
Fred, you must have me confused with someone else. I have told you what my convictions are based on, as have others on this site. It seems you are trying to say that either our (my) covictions are based on shallow fundamentalism or "creedal tradition", and you reject the fact that I and others have told you that we have studied the scriptures too, have applied biblical exegesis to them and come up with a different postion than you. As I said before, I did not come to my place of belief, soley on the basis of observing the results of antinomian error in various contexts, nor have I blindly swallowed a "creedal tradtion".
However, just because you come across other Christians who believe you are misapplying the 2nd commandment and do not conclude the same thing as your personal convictions, does not mean they are antinomian, don't respect creeds and confessions,
I have already given the basis of my suspicion that your views are considered by some as tending toward antinomianism in the form of direct quotes from respected scholars that say that NCT has that tendency. Thus your attempting to to imply that my view is based on a lack of analysis or simple difference in convictions conveniently avoids the issue, does it not?
nor are they to be equated to those anemic congregations you escaped from.
Those "anemic congregations I escaped from" are very similar to those that you, by your own admission, escaped from. But you keep refering to this as the basis of my current views, which it is not, and thus I can't help but wonder if you have really escaped to the extent that you believe. In other words, Fred, not everyone disagrees with you on this issue because they are shallow fundamentalists.
I believe Christians should have a standard to which to hold them accountable, and creeds and confessions do a fine job of that and I would readily receive them as a doctrinal statement.
Agreed, and on the issue at hand, I do indeed accept the WCF and the Heidleberg Catechism as good doctrinal statements.
But, our ultimate doctrinal statement is the word of God rightly interpreted, and when any creed or confession wrongly applies a Bible verse or promotes priniciples that are misapplied due to a certain reading into the Bible, then that is where the creed and confession should be laid aside.
Agreed again, and in the case of the 2nd Commandment, I believe the creeds in question rightly apply the Biblical teaching on this subject and I refuse to lay them aside.