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Tuesday, March 05, 2002
Open Letter to John Robbins
P. Andrew Sandlin | Trinity Review author seems bent on battling fellow believers


Dear John:

In your recent Trinity Review you begin:

Editor's note: An earlier version of this essay first appeared in The Journal of Christian Reconstruction in 1978. (Those were the days when Reconstructionism was underdeveloped, and the movement was still semi-Biblical.) Current events spark this essay¹s revision and republication.

Despite being written almost 25 years ago, this essay remains relevant, for little has changed for the better. If anything, those who profess to be Christians are more gullible, confused, and compromised today than they were 25 years ago. For 50 years Christians in America have been bamboozled by Romanists like Patrick Buchanan, William Bennett, and William F. Buckley, Jr., into supporting their Antichristian programs, candidates, and theologies. The rise of the Religious Right—Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority, Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition, D. James Kennedy's Center for Reclaiming America, and Rousas Rushdoony's-Gary North's-Greg Bahnsen's Re-constructionist movement—has exacerbated, not corrected, the situation. Now Romanists are invited to address D. James Kennedy's political conferences, and putative Protestants endorse books by devout Romanists, and become Romanists and Orthodoxists themselves. And the Reconstructionist movement and its allies and offshoots, by substituting political and cultural action for the proclamation of the Gospel, by substituting eschatology for soteriology, and by mangling the Gospel itself, have become tools of Romanist political action. The lessons of this essay have been ignored.

You mention a number of folks in your diatribe above. I'm sure they're fully capable of answering you, if they choose. I can only speak for myself in suggesting how egregiously you have, at least by implication, misrepresented my own views [Sandlin, for those that do not know, is executive vice president of Rushdoony's organization, Chalcedon].

I have never substituted "political and cultural action for the proclamation of the Gospel." In fact, if you've read what I've written, you know that I've constantly subordinated political and cultural action to the Gospel and in fact posited it as a corollary of the Gospel and warned Christians about reducing the Faith to politics.

My book The Full Gospel is (naturally) soteriological to the core.

I have never substituted eschatology for soteriology. I am unashamedly postmillennial, but I have never argued that eschatology is a substitute for soteriology. There are many fine Christian premillennialists and amillennialists, and precise millennial perspectives take back seat to the Gospel.

Nonetheless, I do agree with New Testament scholars like Cullmann, Gaffin, Ridderbos and Vos (all Protestants, and all amillennial!) that eschatology and soteriology are intimately related in the NT. I won't reproduce their various arguments here, but it won't suffice to posit a big chasm between eschatology and soteriology. You'd need to refute these men's careful arguments.

A number of the people whom you target above stand broadly within a Kuyperian paradigm, not a Roman Catholic one. I'm not holding that Kuyper's view is above criticism; but if you're going to shoot, at least aim at the right target—culturally, many of us are broadly Kuyperian, not Roman. So refute Kuyper, not Rome.

I appreciate the contributions that both Byzantium and Rome have made to the Faith historically (take, e.g., the orthodox conception of the Trinity [Byzantium] and a judicial view of the atonement [Rome]), and so should you; but I don't have a Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox bone in my body. I'm a Protestant, and I'm proud of it; and most of these other people are, too.

I have never "mangled the Gospel." To the best of my knowledge, I preach the same gospel that Moses, Jesus, Peter, and Paul preached. I preach that men are saved by grace through faith on the ground of Christ's atoning death and bodily resurrection. Is this a "mangled Gospel"?

True, I've attacked the mistaken gospel of those Roman Catholics and Protestants who suggest that salvation can be merited—this is why I so oppose Charles Hodge's and Meredith Kline's "covenant of works" idea. Salvation must always be by grace, never by merit. To suggest otherwise is (I believe) to misunderstand the Gospel.

John, month after month you seem on the warpath against some Bible-believing Christians with whom you disagree. Now, there's nothing wrong with spirited, charitable dispute with your brothers.

But couldn't you find more worthy targets for your monthly venom?

Yours and his,

P. Andrew Sandlin
Chalcedon

Related column

"Gloriously Doomed to Creaturehood" by Sandlin


Wednesday, September 04, 2002

PUBLIC SQUARE
Capricious Disregard
Guest | Jim Rudd looks explores where law ends and tyranny begins


PUBLIC SQUARE
Scary Thought
Joel Miller | Ready to go to jail for thinking the wrong ideas?
JOTS & TITTLES
God's Court
Email to Editor | Readers on Rev. Ball's article, why end-times debunkers are just as wrong, and why RM is smart and cool
Tuesday, September 03, 2002

WHITESPACE
Hamas Feels Really Sorry
Tom White | Islamic terrorists show us their sensitive side


PUBLIC SQUARE
Big Bro and You
John W. Whitehead | Camera-toting cops turn innocent citizens into suspected criminals
PUBLIC SQUARE
Stepping up to the Challenge?
Joel Miller | Learning an accidental lesson in faith by studying staircases and escalators
Monday, September 02, 2002

THEOLOGIA
We Can Work it Out (I Hope)
Guest | Rev. Larry E. Ball stands athwart ongoing Morecraft-Wilson heresy controversy, yells 'stop!'


THEOLOGIA
God's Law Trumps Opposition
David L. Bahnsen | The game is over, and the scoreboard is easy to read
JOTS & TITTLES
God in a Box
Quoth the Maven | J.B. Phillips gouges Christians for poor concept of God
Saturday, August 31, 2002

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Harry Potter Redux
Joel Miller | Douglas Jones goes to bat for 'Christian' wizard


Thursday, August 29, 2002

THEOLOGIA
First Things, Part 4
Jamey Bennett | Exploring God's strength and sovereignty


END-TIMES FRENZY
The End Comes to Beliefnet
Joel Miller | Religion site reveals apocalypse angles of various faiths
SMOKE & DRINK
Man Takes Beer to Grave
News Clip | Yugoslav claims to have drunk 100,000 bottles since 1972, says water would make him 'collapse'
Wednesday, August 28, 2002

THEOLOGIA
Cultic Characteristics
P. Andrew Sandlin | Benefiting from the church universal


Tuesday, August 27, 2002

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
The Death of Hip-Hop?
Joel Miller | Author gives dirge to floundering art form


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