4 comments on “A Response to J.I. Packer on the “Two Tones” of Faith

  1. Patch,
    “the result of an incorrect philosophy of mind & thought imposing itself onto one’s theology.” Would you please explain the above quoted statement?

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  2. Here’s a quote from p.64 of Gordon Clark’s “Faith and Saving Faith.” Clark is discussing the views of Charles Hodge regarding different types of faith, knowledge, opinion, head/heart distinction, etc. In the midst of pointing out Hodge’s redundancies, Clark provides this paragraph:

    “These criticisms do not mean that Hodge’s theology is bad. On the contrary, it is very good. Every man makes mistakes, but in theology Hodge makes fewer and those less in importance than any other I have read. The criticism is that he obscures his good theology by setting it in a background of false philosophy, and this obscures the truth and confuses the reader. No doubt he would direct the same criticism against me, for he is very convinced of the Scottish common sense philosophy which I regard as horrible.”

    The “false philosophy” that Clark refers to is Hodge’s muddled understanding of the concepts of mind, thought, reason, belief, opinion, heart, conviction, faith, and other related terms. Hodge approaches the subject of saving faith with certain incorrect assumptions, and thus his philosophy imprints on his theology.

    For example, if one incorrectly posits a dichotomy of mind and heart, it is only natural for one to split faith into intellectual and emotional component parts, as so many theologians do. Does this make them heretics? No, but it is still an error which ought to be corrected.

    A large part of my criticism of Packer’s comments, as well as those of Lordshipmen in general, are of a similar nature to Clark’s criticism of Hodge.

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  3. Patrick,

    What are you learning in your Lordship salvation discussion?

    Is a new post pending?

    Thanks for the above,
    Hugh

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  4. Hugh,
    I’m learning several things:
    1. Most seem to think that there are only two “sides” to the discussion: that of the Lordshipmen, and that of Grace Evangelical Society. Thus, in conversing with Lordshipmen, I have to constantly reiterate that I hold to Perseverance of the saints, and that God sanctifies those whom He justifies.
    2. It’s important to address each writer/preacher/theologian independently, based on their own statements, because…
    3. As I see it, some Lordshipmen are in grievous error, others are confused, and others are confusing. For example, John MacArthur is pretty consistent in his teachings, but John Piper is more unpredictable. Sometimes I can give a hearty amen, sometimes I shake my head in disbelief at his statements… and they can be about the same subject! Mark Dever is confusing on faith & repentance (See his faith equation from my review of “9 Marks of a Healthy Church.).
    4. Lordshipmen believe/claim that they are merely restating the orthodox traditional Reformed view of soteriology. Thus, they often quote Luther, Calvin, and others, to show that these historic figures were in agreement with so-called Lordship Salvation. Sometimes these quotes are correct, sometimes they completely misrepresent the original author.
    5. Some traditional Reformed exegesis of specific passages seem to lend themselves to the Lordship position. A correct understanding of James 2 is crucial to the discussion.
    6. Patience.
    7. Love.
    8. Carefully defined terms.

    I think I may adopt 6-8 as my new motto.

    No new posts in the making yet; my work schedule has become rather hectic lately. I have a few good ideas though!

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