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Somebody please introduce the White Horse Inn and Michael Horton to John Owen

How many brain cells can one lose listening to a churchian podcast? Seemingly many, very many. Just listened to the latest podcast called the White Horse Inn with boy wonder theologian Michael Horton, and they did do something interesting, amidst the straw men and the fake hand wringing as they basically find their 836th way to snicker: "Evangelicals and Americans are really stupid and stuff." The interesting thing they did was to come fully out of the closet on regeneration (check about the 19:45 mark of the podcast). They dislike it. They dislike the notion of it. They don't believe in it. They even went so far as to theologically 'Godwin' their argument by invoking the term 'Gnostic' and applying it to anyone who 'thinks' they have experienced anything subjective along the lines of what the Bible calls being born again. Now they are fully out of the closet on that. (In political discussion you Godwin your argument when you invoke the name Hitler. In theological discussion I put forth that you similarly 'Godwin' your argument when you invoke the term Gnostic.)

Two further things here...

I need to give my usual disclaimer that I realize it's not very practical to come down on Christians who have it about 98% right in their doctrine. I know that. I should probably just leave them alone. But they do insist on being teachers and leaders of Christians, and their faults are rather foundational (anger towards any notion of regeneration qualifies as a foundational fault).

And the second thing here, this needs-to-be-more-well-known quote from John Owen on this very subject of the hatred of the doctrine of regeneration, the notion of it, the reality of it:

"As among all the doctrines of the gospel, there is none opposed with more violence and subtlety than that concerning our regeneration by the immediate, powerful, effectual operation of the Holy Spirit of grace; so there is not scarce anything more despised or scorned by many in the world than that any should profess that there hath been such a work of God upon themselves, or on any occasion declare aught of the way and manner whereby it was wrought. The very mentioning hereof is grown a derision among some that call themselves Christians; and to plead an interest or concern in this grace is to forfeit all a man's reputation with many who would be thought wise, and boast themselves to be rational. Neither is this a practice taken up of late, in these declining times of the world, but seems to have been started and followed from the days of old, -- possibly from the beginning; yea, the enmity of Cain against Abel was but a branch of this proud and perverse inclination." - John Owen, A Discourse Concerning The Holy Spirit


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Kierkegard?

August 11, 2013 at 12:03 AM  
Blogger c.t. said...

In what context are you asking about Kierkegaard?

August 13, 2013 at 2:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


August 13, 2013 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger c.t. said...

I think what I'm seeing Horton and his ilk doing is engaging in an absolute objectifying of biblical data to the point where individual Christians become mere cyphers that connect with the faith solely at the point where Reformed clerics dole out so-called 'means of grace' sacraments.

It's a position of false piety and pride taken by people who have not experienced regeneration and are most likely too vain and prideful to even want to experience regeneration.

August 14, 2013 at 12:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think your argument has some truth in it.

Their reaction against a non-historical christian mysticism has lead them to objectifying christianity to the point of virtually denying any subjectivity.

Kierkegaard likewise thought the Danish Lutheran Church of his time had fallen into the same trap.

August 14, 2013 at 5:47 AM  
Blogger c.t. said...

I thrash about at these people from a street level, but I'm still surprised at the lack of seriousness one sees in the ranks of those who put themselves in a position to lead and teach Christians. Their lack of valuation for the word of God (supernaturalism, the received text, etc.) and their lack of valuation for the biblical doctrine of regeneration (their dislike of God being sovereign in regeneration, their 'anger of Cain' and mocking of anyone who speaks of their own experience of regeneration, etc.).

August 15, 2013 at 2:05 AM  

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