R. Scott Clark Profile picture
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25 Oct
It simply doesn’t follow and there is no evidence that the apostles or early post-apostolic church intended to say Ekklesia, in Christsn use, meant what it meant in secular usage.
Ekklesia is used in the LXX (The Greek translation of the Old Testament) in place of the Hebrew word for “covenant assembly.“ This is how it is used in the New Testament.
Read 9 tweets
16 Sep
It would help the evangelical discussion re church/state (e.g., masks, distancing, meeting indoors etc) to distinguish between the state's interest in regulating things *around* worship, that are common to all gatherings, and regulating the material of worship.
We all recognize (or we did before Covid) that the community, as represented by civil gov't, has a proper interest in the general welfare of the community. Thus, I'm unaware of any church that has refused to allow the fire dept or the health dept to do inspections.
How many churches now certify that their youth/nursery workers are not sexual offenders? How many have made training in re ipsa mandatory? Our church buildings must be built to local safety/fire codes. No one reasonably objects to such civil regulation.
Read 31 tweets
25 May
The distinction between *for* and *from* is the distinction between law & gospel, between the covenants of works & grace. Learn it well.
There are a number of teachers/preachers within NAPARC & without who teach that we do good works *for* salvation. Some say that good works are the instrument of “final salvation.”
Any such teaching would turn the covenant of grace into a covenant of works, were it possible. They want to steal your joy & freedom in Christ & replace it with guilt & servile fear in order to drive you to more good works.
Read 17 tweets
8 May
The people who tell you "Reformed Is Not Enough" almost never know what they're talking about. First try actually being Reformed for a week before you start telling people to move on.
People who tell you that "Reformed Is Not Enough" and who corrupt the holy gospel are not qualified to criticize the Reformed faith. They don't even get the gospel right.
How hard is to to get the gospel right? It's not that complex: salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. The ground of justification is the imputed righteousness of Christ, received through faith alone.
Read 12 tweets
21 Apr
Thread.

To whom it may concern, Geerhardus Vos was not a Baptist. He did not read the history of redemption the way Baptists do. He saw ONE covenant of grace running throughout redemptive history, with various administrations.
Recognizing progress in the revelation and realizing of redemption does not make one a proto-Baptist. The Reformed have ALWAYS done this. For Vos, as a Reformed theologian, the covenants in the OT were the covenant of grace.
They did not merely anticipate the covenant of grace or somehow participate by anticipation (prolepsis) the covenant of grace. They WERE the covenant of grace or administrations of the covenant of grace.
Read 6 tweets
2 Mar
@joythruChrist @PrometheusX303 Jen,

@JulesDiner is correct. The expression “Reformed Baptist” is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. One is either Reformed or Baptist. One cannot be both. This is not uncharitable. This is the truth.

1/x
@joythruChrist @PrometheusX303 @JulesDiner The expression “Reformed Baptist” has only become widely used very recently. The earliest usage I’ve seen dates to 1823, almost 3 centuries after the meaning of “Reformed” was established. That 19th-cent usage is ambiguous. 2/x
@joythruChrist @PrometheusX303 @JulesDiner Think of it this way. Your family has lived in a house called “Reformed House” since the 1540s and suddenly other folks begin moving in and moving the furniture around and telling you to be quiet and stop complaining about the new arrangements. How would you like it? 3/x
Read 9 tweets
10 Feb
This thread illustrates what happens when Reformed theology is reduced to divine sovereignty. The premise is that as long was attribute our works to grace, doctrines like “final justification...based on works” are Reformed.
This is one of the many reason I object to the reductionist (re-) definition of Reformed. With it we not only lose the rest of our theology, piety, & practice but our ecclesiastical confessions.
We confess truths and distinctions that are completely ignored here. Those truths & distinctions are much more satisfactory, account for Scripture more adequately, account for the history of the church & theology more carefully than the approach represented in the thread.
Read 34 tweets
15 Jan
Thread. Theonomy/Reconstructionism (overlapping movements, with distinguishing interests but sufficiently similar to be treated as one thing) is a controversial ideology, which has been rejected by most orthodox Reformed churches and people.
Nevertheless, it has succeeded in gaining adherents for two reasons: 1) it seems biblical on the surface; 2) it offers clear-cut answers and certainty to difficult questions.
The most controversial feature of theonomy is its conviction that the Mosaic civil laws and penalties should be reinstated. this view contradicts Westminster Confession 19. 4.
Read 67 tweets
14 Nov 19
Thread on paedocommunion.

Thesis: American evangelicalism is essentially Baptistic. From a Reformed POV, Baptists conflate (identify, confuse) the sign of outward initiation into the covenant people with the sign of renewal. In their system baptism does both.
When American evangelicals come into Reformed Churches they bring their Baptistic assumptions with them. They are so pervasive, so widely assumed, that many don’t even realize that they making assumptions. For them what they assume is what everyone around them assumes.
They may not even be aware that there are other assumptions, other ways of looking at things.
Read 17 tweets
7 Nov 19
TFW people doing history and theology on the internet to complain about people doing history and theology on the internet. 😂
The good news is not: Jesus died for everyone who ever lived, to make it possible for you to be saved, if you do your part.
The good news is that Jesus obeyed and died to accomplish salvation and the Holy Spirit effectually applies that salvation to those for whom he died, by grace alone, through faith alone and even faith is the gift of God (Eph 2:8-10).
Read 28 tweets
18 Aug 19
Tullian violated his oath, violated God’s law repeatedly, had extra-marital sex with a married member of his congregation, was defrocked, was given ANOTHER position of trust, broke that, defied presbytery & session, & has planted a church.
“Across Christian denominations, it’s generally the professional and moral standard that clergy refrain from sexual contact with parishioners, said Nancy Duff, the Stephen Colwell Associate Professor of Christian Ethics at Princeton Theological Seminary.”
Here’s Narcissism: While he was married, while he was her pastor, he had sex with a married member of his congregation.
“Tchividjian said his “infidelity in 2015 was completely wrong, morally & ethically.” But, he said, there was no element of abuse in that or the other affair.”
Read 26 tweets
26 Jul 19
Thread. The Founders trailer imbroglio—I’ve never had the opportunity to use that word before—illustrates what happens when the culture war trumps gospel truth.
I understand the temptation to put the culture crisis before doctrine. The critics of the Federal Vision theology heard this critique regularly: “you guys are concerned about fine points of doctrine but the social crisis before us is too great to be arguing about that.”
As I noted back in 2008, that was the logic of Harry Emerson Fosdick contra Machen.

heidelblog.net/2008/09/the-so…
Read 21 tweets
9 Jul 19
As to who is Reformed, ⁦@affectedbytruth⁩ gets it. This THE historical designation. It’s not that difficult. “Reformed Baptist” is oxymoronic. Learn Baptist history. Learn Reformed history. Which Reformed Church in the 16/17th cent called PBs “Reformed”? Hint: None.
Do you know what the Reformed Churches called the Baptists (all of them)? Anabaptists. Now, I don’t entirely agree with this assessment but it’s not *entirely* wrong. There are obvious points of agreement and connection.
Still, as I’ve been saying at heidelblog.net, here, and in print, there are significant areas of disagreement between the Anabaptists & the PBs. It’s not a binary question (yes OR no). It’s Yes AND no.
Read 26 tweets
9 Jun 19
@samuelmark25 1. Nonsense. I’m a Protestant, in part, because I read and teach history. First, we must define “Protestant.” It doesn’t = modern evangelical. It means: what the Protestant churches confessed in the Reformation.
@samuelmark25 2. The Roman sacramental system was not confirmed until the late 13th century (Lyons II). NO ONE in the 2nd century knows anything about any sacraments but 2 dominical sacraments. The 5 false sacraments were unknown as late as the 9th century.
@samuelmark25 3. There’s not a shred of actual, historical evidence for the papacy in the 2nd century. There’s nothing like a real pope until Gregory I and he said Bishop who claimed universal authority = Antichrist.
Read 12 tweets
7 Mar 19
Thread: “I just don’t understand what all the fuss was about regarding the Federal Vision.” Ok, fair enough. Here you go:

heidelblog.net/2018/08/resour…
“But that’s a lot of reading. I can’t do all that.” Ok, I understand. It’s only the gospel (the article of the standing or falling of the church) but okay, here are the essential things you should read:
1. “For Those Just Tuning In” —this will get you oriented to the basic issues. It’s quite brief and gets you started.
Read 20 tweets
4 Mar 19
Thread.

In 1976 I was first introduced to American evangelical Christianity by a layman in a mid-sized SBC in my hometown on the Great Plains. He was zealous and kind and influenced by the Navigators.
Soon I was introduced to the Nav approach to Bible memorization and “the quiet time,” which is the true sacrament of Pietist evangelicalism. The is much to be gained (esp now) by being quiet, praying, and reading Scripture but the quiet time was more than that.
It was regarded *the* mark of the Christian par excellence. We kept track of our QTs and organized them by the use of books such as 9:59 With God (or for the more spiritual 29:59 - digital clocks were new and high tech).
Read 38 tweets
13 Feb 19
This is also a time to recognize that the visible church matters, polity (accountability) matters, doctrine matters, and all these matter bec the sheep matter. All these were neglected in the rise of HBC/MacDonald.
Discoll, HBC/MacDonald are a symptom. Julie is right about tbe evangelical machine. That it took a shock jock on WLS to bring him down is telling. It took someone with a lawyer & a bigger platform.
Look, Big Eva is (relatively) Big Business. Sundays are a show. They’re selling a product. You are the mark(et).

There is an alternative. Laugh at the NAPARC churches if you will but most of our pastors are anonymous and intentionally so. It’s not about them.
Read 27 tweets
9 Feb 19
The problem of evil is great and amateur “Reformed” (ahem) Twitter is not the best place to learn how to think about it. The Scriptures do teach divine sovereignty but they also teach human agency.

tabletalkmagazine.com/posts/2018/01/… /
For example, the Synod of Dort was more careful about how to talk about the doctrine of reprobation than some have been:

heidelblog.net/2018/11/canons…
Read 24 tweets
31 Jan 19
Thread: Resources on abortion. Christians have ALWAYS affirmed the humanity of unborn humans and opposed murdering them in utero. We have always opposed infanticide. Even the pagan Assyrians could see that it was wrong.
Read 29 tweets
19 Jan 19
Bob Godfrey reviewing Arminius’ biography, challenging narrative that Arminius was a victim of meant-pants Calvinists. ⁦@wscal
Correction: meany-pants.
In Arminius’ library was Molina’s work on Middle Knowledge (Media Scientia). He embraced this view as a theodicy, a way of defending God. He hid this view. When rumors reached the church & civil gov’t the faculty said that they were getting on fine
Read 49 tweets
15 Dec 18
The eschatological-legal religion is graceless and driven by a shared vision of the future, one that is attained by obedience to the new and ever-morphing law of social justice.
I recall reading that at least some of the ancient rabbis believed that if every Israelite obeyed the law at the same time, for just a moment, the Messiah would come. If so, that’s a religion of eschatology and law.
Christianity has eschatology and law but it is not fundamentally an legal-eschatological religion, i.e., attainment of the eschaton (the future blessed state on earth) through law-keeping. It is a religion of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
Read 14 tweets