The Highway
Posted By: Robert The Nature of Church - Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:31 PM
Please comment on this comment:
"Increasing institutionalism is the clearest mark of early Catholicism - when church becomes increasingly identified with institution, when authority becomes increasingly coterminous with office, when a basic distinction between clergy and laity becomes increasingly self-evident, when grace becomes increasingly narrowed to well-defined ritual acts. We saw above that such features were absent from first generation Christianity, though in the second generation the picture was beginning to change (Unity & Diversity in the New Testament, Westminster Press, 1977, p.351)." James D. G. Dunn
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: The Nature of Church - Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:19 PM
Robert,

There's not much to comment on because we don't have Dunn's argument, only it's conclusion. Scripture clearly invests authority in particular offices, especially that of elder/overseer. Does Dunn address that or not? Or is he looking at the episcopal structure which really began to develop in the late 3rd Century?
Posted By: Robert Re: The Nature of Church - Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:40 PM
For all to consider: Unity & Diversity in the New Testament, Westminster Press, 1977, p.351 James D.G. Dunn
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: The Nature of Church - Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:49 PM
Originally Posted by Robert
For all to consider: Unity & Diversity in the New Testament, Westminster Press, 1977, p.351 James D.G. Dunn
Well, isn't it interesting that Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Owen, Goodwin, Edwards,, Bunyan, Boston, Hodge, Bavinck, Berkhof and a litany of other "stalwarts" aren't worthy of much or even any of your consideration, but James D.G. Dunn is?

Are you even aware of who this man is? It's no wonder that Westminster Press published his work, since their mainstay is Liberal (theological) authors. So, just in the outside chance you do not know of James D.G. Dunn, he is one of the prominent proponents of the infamous heresy known as "NPP" (New Perspective on Paul) which denies the cardinal doctrine of Sola Fide, justification by faith alone; that doctrine which stands in opposition to ALL other sects and religions of the world which embrace synergism vs. monergism.

Now, knowing who this author is and what he believes, do you seriously think that I or anyone else here who has read the several discussions on this heresy and its advocates would bother reading what Dunn wrote? dizzy

There are two old adages which immediately come to mind in regard to your recommended reading:

1. Consider the source!
2. One doesn't have to jump into the sewer to know that it stinks!

Perhaps you would like to offer a CHRISTIAN author to make your point? And if so, how about narrowing it down to at least a chapter? I have offered small terse but salient articles which one could read in a few minutes, with the exception of Dr. Francis Nigel Lee's book, The Covenantal Sabbath, which I did because it is a monumental work that covers virtually all aspects of the Sabbath in a way that no one else has done to this day.

THANKS! grin
Posted By: Robert Re: The Nature of Church - Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:27 PM
Pilgrim said: "Well, isn't it interesting that Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Owen, Goodwin, Edwards,, Bunyan, Boston, Hodge, Bavinck, Berkhof and a litany of other "stalwarts" aren't worthy of much or even any of your consideration, but James D.G. Dunn is?"

How do you know what I consider worthy of consideration? What you say must be true before it is said, don't you think?
Posted By: Robin Re: The Nature of Church - Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:23 PM
Because you recommended it, Robert! That is why we suppose you think it worthy of consideration. YOU said so, not Pilgrim.

Dunn is known to be a heretic, so we disagree with your recommendation, that's all.

It's no different than if you had recommended Scientology or Islam for "consideration."

This is a Christian forum, so we don't recommend non-Christian books and authors.

Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: The Nature of Church - Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:47 PM
I think, Robin, that Robert was objecting to Pilgrim's statement "that Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Owen, Goodwin, Edwards,, Bunyan, Boston, Hodge, Bavinck, Berkhof and a litany of other 'stalwarts' aren't worthy of much or even any of your consideration," rather than "but James D.G. Dunn is?"
Posted By: Robert Re: The Nature of Church - Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:31 PM
I was just putting the book up for consideration. I haven't even read it, but it looks interesting. Apparently Pilgrim thinks him a heretic, so never mind.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: The Nature of Church - Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:13 PM
Originally Posted by Robert
I was just putting the book up for consideration. I haven't even read it, but it looks interesting. Apparently Pilgrim thinks him a heretic, so never mind.
Robert,

I can confirm that I not only think him a heretic, he IS a heretic. Not that you aren't well read, but some of us here are very well read and being "Reformed" we try to keep abreast of what is happening in that circle. NPP (New Perspective on Paul) and several variations of it, FYI, is a total denial of several cardinal biblical doctrines, some of which are: 1) the imputed righteousness of faith, 2) the necessity of the active obedience of Christ, 3) justification by faith ALONE, which is given to every true believer which includes eternal life. It redefines "faith" to mean simply a "badge of identification with the church community". Again there is much more to this heresy than what I have mentioned here.

Given that James D.G. Dunn is one of the major proponents of this heresy, I/we have no interest in reading his opinions concerning the Church, since he denies the Scriptures teaching on ecclesiology (the doctrine of the Church).

No offense to you personally, especially since you have now stated you haven't read the book and it would seem that you have no clue who the author is. grin

In His grace,
Posted By: Robert Re: The Nature of Church - Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:07 AM
I may differ from you in that I would want to respond to his arguments regardless of whether he is a heretic or not. There is no harm in opposing error by holding it up to the truth (if he is indeed a heretic);.
Posted By: Robert Re: The Nature of Church - Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:09 AM
I would suggest refutation of his arguments as a fruitful endeavour if you feel that he is a heretic so that others can be warned.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: The Nature of Church - Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:47 AM
But obviously you haven't since you recommended his book without having read it.

Now, this is going in the same direction as the other thread... nowhere. As I have stated numerous times, the overwhelming majority on this board are of the Reformed/Calvinistic tradition. Our view of the Church is quite well known and can be known by those who don't know by reading any of the historic Confessions, e.g., Westminster Confession. Relevant articles are clearly labeled such as Chapters XXI and XXV. These truths have been believed for centuries and more. If you believe them to be in error, then by all means show where they err, just as you would have us do to Dunn's views on the Church.

Doubt not that we will gladly respond to your critique of the historic view of the Church which again can be found in the great Confessions of the Reformation and further in detail in the various articles found on the main website. That's why they are there; to set forth that which has been believed by the Church universally so that others may read them. The Highway averages 1.5 million hits per month. Obviously there are people who value the resources and read them. Perhaps you should do likewise? Then we can discuss something other than books authored by a known heretic which none have read. We are very familiar with the references offered to you here. grin

But I can assure you that if this thread continues on its current course, I'll lock it. evilgrin

PS. re: (if he is indeed a heretic) He IS a heretic to historic biblical Protestant Christianity on the matter of salvation, which views are everywhere to be found in the great Confessions; Westminster, Larger/Shorter Catechism, Belgic, Heidelberg Catechism, Canons of Dordt, Second Helvetic, French, The Waldensian, Savoy, Baptist London, and the Thirty-nine Articles. Now, it may be that you are in agreement with Dunn, Jordon, NT Wright, Auburn Avenue, Norman Shepherd, Douglas Wilson, et al who embrace NPP, FV or some form of it which holds that salvation is synergistic rather than historic Christianity's monergistic view? In that case, Dunn would not be a heretic in your eyes but then again, you wouldn't be considered Christian either. giggle
Posted By: Johan Re: The Nature of Church - Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:14 AM
Originally Posted by Robert
I would suggest refutation of his arguments as a fruitful endeavour if you feel that he is a heretic so that others can be warned.

You can find more than enough refutation of Dunn, Wright and the NPP HERE

Johan
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