Saturday, November 01, 2008

Historical anarchonism by Ponter and the Neo-Amyraldians

Well, it seems that the Neo-Amyraldian David Ponter cannot stop practising the deceitful practice of Historical Anachronism, as Turretinfan aptly points out:

And, as has already been pointed out, quoting loosely worded statements by Reformers from before the Arminian controversy is a recipe for confusion, just as it would be improper to try read the "New Perspective on Paul" controversy back onto Calvin and his contemporaries, it is likewise improper to try to read the Arminian/Amyraldian controversies back into the minds of the pre-controversy Reformers.

There are some quotations, and Ponter's post provides two examples, that taken out of their historical context and placed into ours sound very Arminian or Amyraldian. Ponter's argument seems to be: "no one made a fuss about these comments at that time, so when Amyraldians make such arguments today, everyone should just accept them as part of the 'Reformed' perspective." Such an argument is the result of shielding one's eyes from the value that the Arminian/Amyraldian controversy had in developing and working out clearly the Scriptural doctrine of the Atonement. The debates with Romanists for the most part focused elsewhere.

Ponter's apparent underlying strategy is to amass as many decontextualized quotations as possible from early Reformers, and then argue that despite the Scriptural resolution of the Arminian/Amyraldian controversies (in favor of TULIP, which Ponter so loathes), such positions (the positions contrary to the Reformed confessions) should still be viewed Reformed.

Such indeed seems to be the strategy of the Neo-Amyraldian promoters nowadays, from David Byrne to the misnamed "Calvin and Calvinism" blog, which is anything BUT that.

I truly wonder: Is it too much to expect that these Neo-Amyraldians practice proper historical interpretation of Reformed writings? For example, I am very sure none of them would allow the Romanists to read the church fathers' teaching on the concept of the Real Presence as indicative of the church fathers' belief in the doctrine of Transubstantiation (which require Aquinas' assimilation of Aristotelian categories to be understood)!

[HT: The Crumbs which Fall]

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