RazorMouth.com | Cutting-edge Christianity  

Oakdown Books
Daily: R.C. Sproul
Weekly: Doug Wilson
More audio from John Piper, Steve Schlissel, Michael Horton, others
David L. Bahnsen
Jamey Bennett
Tristan Emmanuel
Jeremy Lott
Dale Meador
Joel Miller
P. Andrew Sandlin
R.C. Sproul Jr.
Tom White
John W. Whitehead
Guest writers
Meet the whole clan
Bible Study
Slice of the Web
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

Related column

"Gloriously Doomed to Creaturehood" by Sandlin

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

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

Scary Thought
Joel Miller | Ready to go to jail for thinking the wrong ideas?
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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 29, 2002

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

The End Comes to Beliefnet
Joel Miller | Religion site reveals apocalypse angles of various faiths
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

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

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

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

info & submissions
email to editor

public square
christian living
sex & marriage
arts & entertainment
end-times frenzy
smoke & drink
schlock watch
jots & tittles

[special offer]
Click to order 'Ritalin Nation' Ritalin Nation by Richard DeGrandpre

Ritalin Nation describes how the modern mania for diagnosing and treating so-called "Attention Deficit Disorder" is a mark of our age, rather than a demonstration of medical discovery and cure. While some of his analysis and solutions are not "Christian" per se, DeGrandpre's diagnosis of the problem is keen. Anyone concerned about the drugging of our children by the medical establishment needs this book.

284 pages. Hardback.
RazorMouth price: $8.00 + $4 s&h


© 2002 MenschWerks.
Inquire for reprint permission by emailing here.
Copyright violaters will be pelted mercilessly with free AOL promo discs.