- Dear List,
I need to apologize to everyone for my post this morning. It is something which never should have been sent or even composed. I do not recede from the doctrinal positions asserted, the defence of truth, or my concern for the fact that such questions and positions are discussed in a public forum; but there was no need that I should address what had already been addressed by others, and the conclusion of the post was in tone and nature due to a misapprehension in my mind. The occasion will provide some explanatory context, and was this:
When I looked at the forum this morning, I saw that there were 2 or 3 new messages counted in the 7-day activity status. Upon clicking to view the messages, I was given the messages in order from oldest to newest, thinking that I had the opposite order, with newest messages at the top. Consequently, it appeared to me that the 3 newest messages were 16767 by Ben, posing his questions on the Federal View of Imputation and two non-related messages from someone else, who I thought might have responded to Ben, but had apparently chose not to. In light of the recent history of the club, and a darkening memory of posts from more than a month ago (or perhaps I had never even read Ben's post 16767 originally,) it seemed to me that Ben was once again trying to pose questions to call in doubt what really ought not to be treated as a subject up for discussion among Reformed Christians, in a public discussion forum. It seemed he was proving Bob Suden exactly right in his concerns about Ben's actual intentions in raising such questions.
Thus, my post.
Consequently I need to ask forgiveness of
Ben, for (1) thinking that you were intentionally re-stirring these debates, and accordingly (2) responding to you as one who had cast off faith in the truth of holy Scripture, and fundamental doctrines of the Gospel. This may have encouraged others to believe such things about you contrary to your profession. If you are sincerely only struggling, then I would not want to do that. I do think there was impropriety in your posts, insofar as they do appear to be arguing against the truth, and in favour of heresy. But others have already dealt with you about this.
Bob Suden and others, for posting this call to repentance as if you had not attempted to correct Ben already. My intention was not to ignore what you had already written or treat it as insufficient.
The List in general, for having possibly misled others into thinking that Ben had re-posted these arguments, and was seeking to confuse others or call in question the truth, when in reality he had decided not to carry on the discussion further.
The Moderator, whom I enlisted to the expunging of messages which were not actually posted, on my behalf, because of my imaginary apprehensions. Also, for giving Ben a more legitimate occasion in your forum to identify the Reformed community as something of which he ought to have a waning opinion. I do not those with mere questions to feel unwelcome in a place where I know they are very welcome; and am sorry for giving occasion for this.
Why the Lord left me this morning to my foolish misapprehensions to stumble and stir more trouble in the conversation, I cannot know. I hope I have dealt with my misdeed properly and that if anyone else has taken offense for any other reason, you will consider the circumstances described above once more, and let me know your thoughts. My hope was to help Ben to recognize the worthlessness of the arguments alleged against the Gospel, and the sinfulness of toying with them, as well as encouraging or occasioning others to do so. I also hoped to bring a full end to a discussion which, in reality, had already ended. In this regard I perfectly defeated my own purpose.
Tr. Pr. - Repenting
> 2. I posed objection two as a difficulty in squaring the whole idea ofI reject that imputation and inheritance are foreign to our normal experience and practice. Actually, it is quite common in the parent-child relationship, so it should not be at all surprising in the Adam-mankind and Jesus-adopted children relationships.
> imputation with how we typically understand justice. My argument was that
> we normally don't work things like that in our everyday holdings of people
> morally responsible. I mean how often do we allow a deal people made
> thousands of years ago to affect our moral standing with another party? How
> often do we allow it that the good or bad merit of others can be made over
> to ourselves? How often do we allow an innocent to be executed for the
> guilty? These are extremely counterintuitive and go directly against almost
> all of our moral practices, yet they stand at the heart of the Reformed
> understanding of the Gospel.
Just some examples:
1. Children who are born to rich parents are born rich; children who are born to poor parents are born poor.
2. Children who are born to mortal parents will be mortal.
3. Children often inherit the genetic diseases of their parents. Children of parents with healthy genes inherit those genes.
4. The children of terrorist parents are more subject to have their house (along with themselves) blown up. (What is it like to be born the child of an Al Qaeda leader? Does the US military really have to wait until the wife and children are out before destroying the house in which a terrorist leader is residing? Do you think that the US military waits until everyone is out except the terrorist leader?)
5. Rich parents buy their children presents which the children never worked for; penniless parents can buy their children nothing.
6. Rich parents often open up a bank account for their children and put money in it for the children (a form of imputation), even though the children never earned it. Penniless parents do not do the same.
7. When a rich couple walks through an orphanage and selects a child, upon adoption that child is immediately rich, even though the child did no more to earn it than the next child that never gets adopted.
8. Parents are under no moral requirement to lay up money to the children of other parents, but they should lay up for their own children, "for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children." But their own children did not do some special work to receive this blessing.
Imputation and inheritance are alive and well in the real world we live and act in. We are very familiar with it in our moral practices. But some people try to suppress the truth in unrighteousness.
- J. Parnell McCarter