Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On Sarcastically Busting Pirate Balls for their Godless Gambling and Heresy!

Captains journal, 9/27/2011.
Me crew and I were having a jolly laugh at the Triablogue being afire when I heard from the water "You know, we're not done in yet."
I looked and beheld there Captain Manata, clinging to a flimsy bit o driftwood.  Soggy, but not surrendered.
"I say again, you thought you had a good turn sir, but she'll hold fast yet. You have no leg to stand on in this discussion."
"Ye be swallowing too much saltwater Captain." Says I. "She's afire now, and this here  peg leg of mine works just fine to prop up such theology as I be havin'."
"Nonetheless I cordially invite you aboard to discuss the matter further."
Now tis a strange thing to be noticed in such a manner- I could hardly refuse the offer, so I had me first mate extend the gangplank whilst they pulled him aboard his own vessel. 

Only thing is, Captain Manata hasn't seen the likes of me before. "Red beard" Ponter is strong and clever, wild as a shark, but this here sea lover is decidedly more deadly.
"Sit down please, I'd like a word with you sir.  I’ve refuted your “can” argument a dozen times. Suppose you “offers”your  neighbor a piece of pizza for dinner. Your neighbor accepts. You say you’ll bring a piece over later. When the pizza comes, it turns out God has decreed that you will eat the entire thing. You weren’t planning on this when you offered it. However, since God decreed that you would eat the entire pizza, then you couldn’t provide a piece given identical decrees of God. So, as the claim stands, it’s been refuted, since I think all would say that you made a sincere offer of pizza yet couldn’t deliver."
Says he.
"Aye, but that is naught but gibberish. Yer smooth talk means little to such untrained wretches."
Says I.
"Very well. I suppose I could make another go at it... it’s not just that the person, considered as a libertarian free autonomous agent, doesn’t “want” God’s offer, it’s that God determined that he would not want it, and so the person is not able, given that decree, to want otherwise. God made sure that the reprobate would not accept. If I could make sure, make certain, make unavoidable, your denial of an offer to come to a party at my house before I asked, and then I went ahead and “offered” you a seat at the party, would I be sincere?"
Not knowing me, Manata didn't realize that I parrrley with a loaded pistol. Once he finished talking I pointed it straightaway and fired:  "Yer presupposition is askew landlubber.  God doesn't determine the fate of the reprobate as He does the elect. There be no wall separatin' the wide oceans of mercies of God from the non-elect save their own obstinate hearts. They, and they alone are responsible for their fall and sorry condition, tis not God who cast them inexorably into the miseries.  God is like the sun, His positive decrees are always warm, always good, always pure. To the non-elect He simply does not manifest His goodness, whereas you assert He manifests badness.  Now, I'll be using you for chum." 
"Raa! Chum!" barked Sammy, the sea dog, bird on my shoulder.
Then I left.
And we sailed away. As far as I know their ship finished burning, and there they be at the bottom of the sea, green zombies insisting that God causes fresh evil in men, having predetermined by His own councils before the foundation of the world to damn them without regard to their deeds or character.  Some of the crew may have been picked up by the Supralapsarian, but Captain Manata wasn't among them.
Beware then sailors, that you don't let your anchor too far down in highCalvinist bay, or they are liable to climb up the chain and board you.


Ryan said...

You misspelled "Captain."

Phil said...

You are kind to only point out that one mistake. There are several more I'll correct tomorrow.

Erica Higgins said...

1) I'm marrying he first man who says, "Says I," whether he wants to marry me or not.

2) hahahaha @ jumping aboard the Supralapsarian ship!

3) I don't know that I fully agree with God simply passing over the non-elect, although that makes the most LOGICAL sense. It seems very arbitrary. I love the way you described it, though.

4) Unless you're R.C. Sproul, Jr., I don't see how hypercalvnists can say that God ISN'T the author of sin. (Which goes back to God passing over the non-elect as making the most sense) That He doesn't have an active role in the damnation of sinners. Wouldn't John 3:17 refute that?

I could almost be a Calvie if not for that specific point, coupled with the sincere call of the Gospel. I even believe in Limited Atonement, for goodness sake!

THEOparadox said...

Hey, you stole my title! :-)

THEOparadox said...

Then again, you do claim to be a pirate.

One thing I thought funny about Mr. Manata's initial protest was this: you painted both Ponter and Manata (and yourself) as pirates. So obviously you didn't mean any disrespect by it. But he really seemed to take it personally when I said he didn't have a peg leg (to stand on).

In his reply to this post, Manata invokes divine determinism. He has been invoking it relentlessly since writing his "paper" on Reformed Theology and Moral Responsibility. His ship is going to tip over if he doesn't do what Calvin did: balance things out by refusing to press the logic of divine determinism to unscriptural conclusions. He needs to make more room for mystery and the revealed will or He might end up where Houksema and company went.

As one who has received much benefit from Manata's writings in the past, I have to say again how sad I am about these developments in his reasoning. Let's pray he balances out.


Phil said...

If you look I never called him a pirate. I had always envisioned the Lordly Triablogue ship as a royal navy style.
But you are right, he's tilting very hard into hyper Calvinism.
I wonder if that's not directly related to how much church you get vs how much online theology you get.

THEOparadox said...

You're kidding me. Does this mean I was the only one who ever implied he was a pirate? You're not helping me out here. :)

I suppose I can still appeal to the fact that I literally said he and Hays "don't have a peg leg . . ." Well, I did say that. And it's true whether they are pirates or not.

BTW - correction to preveious post: I meant Hoeksema (not Houksema). I can't keep my hypers straight sometimes.

THEOparadox said...

Correction to correction to previous post: it was supposed to say "previous", not preveious. I even spell like a pirate. Surprised Ryan didn't catch that. :-)

Paul said...


1. I did not take offense at anything. You keep missing the point. It is YOU who complained about the sarcasm when I used the LSD analogy. So I'm merely holding YOU to YOUR standards. I'm not offended, I'm pointing out hypocrisy.

2. I am not "relentlessly promoting determinism since I wrote that paper," for *nothing* i wrote in that paper is something I haven't been saying for *years*.

3. You also clearly did not read my paper, where I both defended mystery, and appealed to it. I also recently explicated the notion here


Moreover, I began with Reformed confessional documents and systematic theologies in presenting a the kind of determinism I argued for, and also made several valuable distinctions that avoid caricatures of determinism.

4. Lastly, nothing I have said on this matter or on determinism have been out of accord with what James Anderson would argue, and I'm not sure you're "worried" about his reasoning or his lack of appeal to mystery.

You seem to constantly make accusations about others that you cannot back up. Frankly, if I were you, I'd be more worried about your lack of reasoning and use of objective arguments instead of my own considered and studied opinions which are argued for. You constantly blur the line between appealing to mystery and resorting to anti-intellectualism.

Paul said...

"I can't keep my hypers straight sometimes."

See what i mean? Hypocisy. You complain about Hays calling the calvinism of 4-pointers into question and say he should call them "moderate calvinists." Yet you don't apply the same rules you expect others to follow. I am not a hyper and there's been no proof or argument to that effect other than mere labeling. Check yourself, Derek.

Paul said...


I wonder if that's not directly related to how much church you get vs how much online theology you get.

This is uncalled for. You people are a joke, literally.

Bye bye.

THEOparadox said...


Did you read my confession and request for forgiveness in the comments here:


I hope you did, and I hope you will respond positively to the request.

Just a few thoughts in response to what you have said here. First, when I said, "I can't keep my hypers straight" I was clearly referring to Houksema, not you or Hays. I mentioned my concern that your line of reasoning could lead there, but I have never called you or Hays hyper. I truly hope that shoe never fits you.

As to your charge of hypocrisy, you are re-hashing something we already put to bed in the comments here:


I don't see how you can avoid being snared in your own net on this. I have already confessed to sinfully launching ad hominem attacks, and I requested your forgiveness for the snarky comments I made as I "busted balls" with you. For me, those tactics are now off limits (by God's grace, never to be used again - hopefully). It was lots of fun, but very wrong. You don't seem willing to admit to your own wrongs in the matter or willing to extend forgiveness for mine. From a spiritual standpoint, this is distressing and calls for your immediate attention. I recommend finding a good Nouthetic counselor or a godly brother in Christ who can help you work through this. This suggestion is completely serious and sincere, not a joke or insult.

(Part 2 to follow)

THEOparadox said...


Regarding your appeals to mystery, I did read your paper and your post responding to W.L. Craig. You may remember I recommended your paper on my blog. I'm glad you're willing to make some room for mystery, but that hasn't stopped you from making unbalanced arguments.

As to objective arguments and logic, you are one of the best logicians I know of. Some of your work is pure genius. I have no problems with you logic, except as it impinges upon Scripture. I don't have your gifts, or Steve's, or David Ponter's. I have mine. My gifts are more in the areas of exegesis, historical theology, devotional writing, and connecting the dots of divine revelation. I hope you don't think your analytic philosophical method is the only way to reach correct conclusions. Once we have accepted the presupposition that Scripture is absolutely inerrant and sufficient, we are forced to submit our objective arguments and logical conclusions to its pre-conclusions. We can count on that more sure Word even if the world's greatest philosophers are advancing countless arguments against it. This is what I see you and Hays doing. You're reasoning wonderfully for the most part, but you're not reasoning with Scripture.

We can learn much from analytic philosophy and it certainly has its place, but we can also learn from exegesis and historical theology. As K. Scott Oliphint wisely noted, philosophy should be the servant of theology, and not vice versa. Otherwise, we are in danger of becoming rationalists rather than presuppositional Biblical thinkers. My approach is not anti-intellectualism, it's faith (in the Word and wisdom of God) seeking reason.

(Part 3 to follow)

THEOparadox said...


I'm sorry we don't seem to be getting along so well anymore. If you go back and look at the comment I left at your LSD post (the comment you didn't publish), you will find that I was not so much "complaining" about your sarcasm as encouraging you to address Ponter's arguments in more effective ways. You may see things differently, but that was my intention and I think it is reflected in what I wrote.

When Loftus came to my blog to complain about you, I defended you. When his agnostic friend left harsh comments criticizing you and Hays, I didn't even publish them. So don't think I'm your enemy. Think of me as someone who is waiting to find out if you're my enemy.

Unfortunately, we have exchanged harsh words in the past. But as your brother in Christ, I am seeking reconciliation. And I hope you will too.

Paul said...

I didn't read the first link you pasted. As for your second link, if you're saying that you're all about the sarcasm now and were wrong for calling me out for using it, and now you've joined mine and Steve's style of rhetoric, cool, I'll never bring up the charge of hypocrisy again. I guess they're right when they say imitation is the best form of flattery. But I still see some disparity. If you think I should have gone about it in a different way, then why didn't you say the same to Phil for his uncalled for comment about my church life, of which he knows nothing about? Or is that a good way to go about it?

However, I note that you have simply made assertions about unbalanced arguments and not using Scripture rightly. That's something that does bother me. Naked assertions without arguments to back them up are simply unfounded accusations and do nothing besides get under the other side's skin.

Paul said...

Oh, Derek, I just noticed this.


And you're seeking reconciliation?

You cited nothing in that post that would warrant your criticisms of me. Whenever I was "snarky", that was always in *response* to you guys. I was snarky with the LSD comment *in response* to David's snark about purple unicorns. I was snarky with Phil *in response* to his claims about me. i was snarky with you *in response* you your claims.

THEOparadox said...

So I guess you have done no wrong, and you just responded innocently after we provoked you.

If you look back at Ponter's unicorn post, you'll see that he did not attack you in any way. He merely used an over-the-top illustration to point out a gaping logical hole in your argument. It was a brilliant reductio ad absurdum that I personally found more innocently humorous than anything I've read on a blog in a few years (outside of Phil's posts). You came back with "Ponter drops LSD and sees purple spotted unicorns." As I said before, that was truly funny but it didn't help your argument any.

As for Phil's comment, I admit I cringed a little when I read it. But since I know he doesn't make a habit of ad hominem attacks, I waited to see if it would continue. It didn't, and I was glad. But Phil's comment is in no way comparable to Steve Hays' perpetual pattern of misrepresenting and insulting his opponents. He's harming the cause, and you would be an ideal person to tell him about it. Don't leave it to me and James White, please.

Back to the snarkiness . . . when you did it, I said it was wrong. When I did it, I said it was wrong. That was consistent. So far, you are only saying it was wrong for me to do it and it was wrong for me to say it was wrong when you did it. Will you aim any criticism back at yourself?

Phil said...

Oh come now Paul, I'm not literally a joke, I'm literally a human being. Just clearing things up.