Remember Me?

No, the Lord has not in his providence called me home. Rather, I have simply been swamped with work, school, and life issues. Since I last posted I have 1) started a new job, 2) started a new school, and 3) begun searching for a new church-home. That’s quite a bit of change, I’d say. Well, all this has been taking up quite a bit of my time lately. I’m sorry that I didn’t at the least post something here to indicate what was going on with me, but that generally isn’t much my style. I’ve tried to hold myself to very high standards concerning what I write here, and have deigned to post things such as, “Today I got an ice cream cone from 31 Flavors and listened to the Goo Goo Dolls on my iPod.” These kinds of things are, as the Preacher says, vanity. My intention for this blog has always been the furtherance of God’s kingdom and the edification of myself and fellow believers, according to his will.

I do have something to say about my comings and goings, however. I purchased Abraham Kuyper’s The Work of the Holy Spirit today. I’m mentioning this because I plan to take up the doctrine of illumination. The doctrine of illumination is that teaching which says whatsoever we know from Scripture comes by the grace of the Holy Spirit according to the will of the Father and not by our own strength of will or intelligence. The doctrine of illumination explains why some have been graced with a right understanding of the several doctrines of the scriptures (not a perfect understanding, mind you, for we are yet imperfect) whilst others twist and distort them to their own destruction. Illumination is also a critical doctrine for the presuppositional apologist because without the doctrine of illumination you cannot bridge the gap between the presupposition of Scripture and the codification of doctrine according thereto. Illumination is the justification for the formation of doctrine based upon the interpretation of Scripture. The argument when based on illumination becomes circular, but valid. This is set in opposition to mere assertion or outright invalid argumentation, such is all the evidentialist has to work with, by the way.

Anyhow, I have a number of other books on the work of the Holy Spirit that I will be studying and reflecting upon. These include Gordon Clark’s work on the Holy Spirit, B. B. Warfield’s writings on illumination, John Owen’s Pneumatology, and others that escape me for the moment. There might yet be some period of silence between now and the first post of the series, but it will come. And I thought that at this point it would be worth posting something, anything, rather than nothing.

Soli Deo Gloria

Jon

The “Genuine Offer” Dialogue

For some reason or another, I got to thinking about a debate I had with a brother on the Semper Reformanda forum over at Christian Forums. It was over the “genuine,” “sincere,” or “well meant” nature of the gospel. Those who are privy to this debate will know precisely what I am talking about. If you do not then you will probably find the following four posts to be very helpful.

Over the next week or so, I will be posting the dialogue. It is about 25 pages of 12-point font, so there is a substantial amount of material to read. I recommend that you try to read the whole thing, though. If you simply cannot, the opening and closing sections will probably adequately address the topic. A couple of notes on the dialogue are needed.

First, no names are used. Instead, pseudonyms are given to the speakers, who are primarily (99% of the content) ISP and SDP. Now, the abbreviations stand for Infralapsarian Single Predestinarian and Supralapsarian Double Predestinarian, respectively; however, it is not necessarily the case that all “ISPs” and “SDPs” will concur with the positions presented by the two characters in the dialogue. These pseudonyms were chosen to illustrate the common position from which the two sides of the “genuine offer” debate come from, but this is by no means universal.

Second, the majority of this material comes directly from the original debates. It has been edited for grammar and spelling. Some additional content has been added to both characters, so the dialogue is not verbatim. There is probably more than twice as much material as I will be posting that is available. Because I have edited it and adapted it for the blog, I will respect the anonymity of the parties involved. Well, except for myself… let’s see if you can guess which character is me! 😉

Third, while SDP’s arguments are pretty well representative of the strongest and most convincing arguments for the side that he is advocating, it might not be the case that ISP has represented his side as well as possible. If there are any ISPs that read this who think they have something note-worthy to add or a “killer argument” that ISP failed to employ, by all means, let me know. I can very easily make a fifth blog entry with additional arguments for either side.

That about sums it up. I’ll post the opening part of the dialogue tomorrow.

Soli Deo Gloria

Jon

New host

Welcome to the new home of the Reformed Worldview. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rich Leino for offering to host my blog here. It is a real honor to be hosted at SoliDeoGloria.com. I could not think of a better domain to pitch my tent under.

I have some administrative work ahead of me. It does not appear that WordPress has an export/import feature available, so I might have to move over my previous posts one by one. That might take a little time. Until then, I refer you back to the old site. I will go ahead and leave that up for a few months to allow people to update their bookmarks (not that anyone has my site bookmarked…). In any case, there will be a post on that site about the move, as well.

Soli Deo Gloria

Jon

New series of topics

I am currently taking a philosophy course in school. Since I am in a business program, this will probably be the only class on philosophy that I will be taking, but I thought that it might be interesting if I were to share with you the assignments that I will be turning in. Of course, I don’t see this class as just a class on philosophy, but an extended apologetic encounter. I plan on elaborating the work of Christ as much as possible within the context of a fully biblical, philosophical worldview. It’s sure to raise some interesting discussions in the class. I’ll be sure to keep you posted of those of substantial note.

Since my courses are all fast track, this series will only run for nine weeks, but it will be more consistent, and will offer more content than I have published so far (naturally, since college requires plenty of work). After the class is over, I plan on coming back to the epistemology series, which I have let founder for too long.

As a final note, my original thesis for the next section was to demonstrate an axiomatized system of propositional logic from Scripture. That will be set aside for now. Instead, I will be demonstrating Aristotelian logic, for reasons that are probably more complicated and subjective than are worth addressing.

I have an interesting book here that contains a number of essays about the philosophy of Fred Sommers, who revised and revived the syllogism (and by extension, term logic). Those interested in more can read this article by Sommers. I’ve been reading some of his responses to those who decry the “old logic” (as well as Clark’s response in his Logic) and am becoming more and more convinced that modern logic is something of a sham. It’s touted to be a superior system and methodology to the old system, but I see nothing that indicates that whatsoever. Modern mathematical logic is simply more suited to mathematics, which makes the scientists happy, since they consider math a skeleton key in the locker room of truth. Essentially, Sommers sees a sort of union between propositional and term logic (which he believes was posited by Leibniz) is the best solution. But I’m getting ahead of myself. We’ll get to this later.

I’ll have something to read posted tomorrow, viz. The Impact of the Christian Response [to Pagan Philosophy].

Soli Deo Gloria

Jon

A quick word on future entries

The next entry will discuss how the very idea of “truth” is founded in rationality. It will also serve as a primary to the next section of the outline, which is The Biblical Concept of Truth. In the first part of that section, I intend to demonstrate an axiomatized system of propositional logic from the Bible. To do that, I will be doing quite a lot of reading and studying, so there will be another period of silence. I’m sure that probably bores and annoys the few consistent readers that I have (if any), but the primary reason I started this blog was to record my thoughts on epistemology and to provide quick references to my arguments for people that I meet on the Internet. In any case, I am pretty excited about this endeavor because, to my knowledge, it has never been done before. Or, at the very least, it is an idea foreign to most Christians. I think the greatest benefit of doing this will be to present to Christians the necessity and validity of using logic not only for theology, but also for everything. That is my hope for the project, anyway.

Soli Deo Gloria

Jon