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Shall I Poke a Hornet’s Nest?

29 Feb

I shall.

Vox Day is debating Calvinists. Here is part 1 and here is part 2.

Vox is winning the debate at this juncture, though some, perhaps all, of my co-conspirators will surely disagree. Which is not to antagonize, but instead to open the floor for debate.

Is Vox winning? Where do papists fit in this discussion?

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42 Comments

Posted by on February 29, 2012 in religion

 

42 responses to “Shall I Poke a Hornet’s Nest?

  1. Temüjin

    February 29, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    This heathen is of the opinion that Vox is wiping the floor with the Calvinists.

     
  2. Samson J.

    February 29, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Vox is winning the debate at this juncture

    I wasn’t very impressed with Vox’s initial analysis, so I didn’t bother reading any further. To be honest, it was the sort of thing that makes you say, “Hey, if he’s being overly simplistic *here*, maybe he’s being unfair when he debates the atheists, too!”

     
  3. Samson J.

    February 29, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Truth be told, I’ve been finding Vox’s obnoxious attitude tiresome for some time now. Knock off the bravado and braggadocio; you’re smart, but not as smart as you brag that you are; your writing and arguments are good, but not that good. Stop pretending that everyone else is a moron, especially when you’re espousing WAY-out-there concepts like God doesn’t know what’s going on in the world and sends messengers to investigate for him.

    I wish people would stop treating Vox like he is some kind of trained theologian. I would hardly ever be inclined to read a theological debate at his site.

     
  4. Carnivore

    February 29, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Where do papists fit in this discussion? You are both wrong. :)

    I saw the start of Vox’s post but didn’t bother reading. I prefer to stick to basics. If we can’t even get that right, does anything else really matter? And let’s go very very basic basics. As Calvinists and Catholics – as Christians, do we both believe in a Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost and that Jesus is the Son meaning He is both God and man?

    Vox does not believe in the Trinity and he does not believe Jesus is God.

     
  5. Ulysses

    February 29, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Samson – Vox’s ego is certainly a force unto itself, but the line of reasoning is interesting and, leaving aside the original snark of equating Calvinism to mental disease, a useful exercise. It’s almost a Deist approach to Christianity. On the other hand, it goes along with a C.S. Lewis quote I really like:

    Nature means to us whatever we please as the moods select and slur. But everything becomes different when we recognise that Nature is a creature, a created thing, with its own particular tang or flavour. There is no need any longer to select and slur. It is not in her, but in Something far beyond her, that all lines meet and all contrasts are explained.

     
  6. Ulysses

    February 29, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I’m not a Vox disciple so I don’t keep up with his opinions. What does he believe then?

     
  7. Svar

    February 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    “You are both wrong. :)”

    Ha! My thoughts exactly. Except Vox is far more wrong than our Calvinist brethren.

    “Vox does not believe in the Trinity and he does not believe Jesus is God.”

    Ergo, he is not a Christian.

     
  8. Samson J.

    February 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Vox does not believe in the Trinity and he does not believe Jesus is God.

    Cripes, I know, eh? The stuff that’s come out of him in the past few months…

    I have what I guess you’d call a pretty “open” view of who will be saved, since I believe that an active, lived-out faith is the only prerequisite, and I think we all probably hold erroneous views on doctrine. So I’m not calling this a salvation issue, but Vox is clearly way, way out in make-up-your-own-religion territory.

    I’m not a Vox disciple so I don’t keep up with his opinions. What does he believe then?

    *shrug* I don’t know (or care) anymore.

     
  9. Samson J.

    February 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    And by the way, I agree with what Will S. said in the other thread (in which *I* not entirely intentionally poked a hornet’s nest!) that I don’t really want to get into divisive doctrinal issues here.

     
  10. Ulysses

    February 29, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Though I sided with Vox on the two linked posts, my aim is not division. Partly I just enjoy the clarifying effects of civilized disagreements and partly I’m trying to motivate myself to write a follow-up on Calvinism. The latter would not predictably follow this post.

     
  11. Will S.

    February 29, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    I suppose I have to respond to this, but I’m really not getting into this, except to say that I obviously disagree with Vox Day on Calvinism and open theism, and think he’s incorrect in these and some other theological views, bright though he nevertheless is. But I can’t be bothered to give a detailed explanation as to why I hold exactly what I hold to, and why I think he’s wrong; as I’ve said before, I choose not to go into such things at this site. I will say, that probably every faith tradition has certain “proof texts” that they emphasize more than other traditions do, while downplaying or ignoring verses less in line with their particular theological biases. We Reformed no doubt do this, but so does arrogant MENSA boy there. Like Samson, I find his attitude irritating. I like Vox Day on politics and Red Pill matters; I ignore him on most specific theological and doctrinal matters (though his take-downs of atheists are amusing).

     
  12. Will S.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    And yeah, open theism and denial of the Trinity and Christ’s divinity are all heretical. On that, Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox agree. And brightness does not save anyone, any more than stupidity does; sometimes very bright can be very wrong, and less bright can be more right. (And as a fictional wise fool once said, “Stupid is, as stupid does.” Or thinks, for that matter.)

     
  13. Matthew

    February 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    I’m mostly with Vox here. And I’m pretty sure he is as smart as he says and thinks.

    About open theism: I would consider a God who choose whether or not to know something to be greater than a God who has no choice but to know everything. Voliscience provides more options than omniscience.

    About the doctrine of the Trinity: it is a late development, and there is nothing in the scriptures demanding it. I don’t find either position interesting.

     
  14. Matthew

    February 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    About MENSA: the membership floor is a low threshold, all things considered. Vox probably exceeds it by 25 points. I know I do. His brandishing of the MENSA membership is an excellent and cruel way to gain the high ground over people who think they’re smart, but don’t qualify.

    About extremely high intelligence: it’s an extremely mixed blessing.

     
  15. Gerry T. Neal

    February 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    ” It is even possible that God knows less about your daughter’s current activities than you do at the moment. To find out what is happening somewhere on Earth, God customarily investigates Himself or instructs others to find out about it and inform Him.” – Vox Day

    It would appear that Mr. Day has confused God with Wotan/Odin who sent his ravens out to keep him in the know about everything that goes on in the world.

    This is the sort of mistake one makes, when one abandons the ecumenical creeds and the cardinal truths of Christianity found within. They end up with the head of a pagan pantheon rather than the true God, Who is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

     
  16. Gerry T. Neal

    February 29, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    @ Matthew

    The Scriptures declare that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is one God. Jesus identified that God as as Father. He also identified Himself as being that God – “before Abraham was, I AM”. He also identified the Holy Spirit as God by declaring that blasphemy against Himself would be forgiven, but not blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. When Christ was baptized, the Father spoke from heaven, and the Spirit descended upon Christ, demonstrating them to be distinct Persons. Christ’s extended discourse at the Last Supper, recorded in St. John’s Gospel also makes clear that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (the Comforter or Counsellor) are distinct Persons, with distinct roles, Who interact, but who are also One. Jesus’ last instructions to His disciples included the command to baptize “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” This is the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, clearly taught in Scriptures. It is not a late doctrine, the Church merely gave it a name and condemned the various heresies which defected from Apostolic doctrine in one direction or another.

     
  17. Samson J.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    I don’t find either position interesting.

    You don’t find historic, orthodox Christianity interesting, preferring a wacky idea that was invented fifteen minutes ago? That’s exactly the sort of arrogance I can’t stand.

    It would appear that Mr. Day has confused God with Wotan/Odin who sent his ravens out to keep him in the know about everything that goes on in the world.

    roffle! I know, seriously.

     
  18. Will S.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    @ Gerry: Spot on. And Christ said, “I and my Father are one.” Between all the points you made, and that, the Trinitarian position is easily, logically, derivable from Scripture, which is why all three main Christian traditions have, notwithstanding their differences, held to it. And why the surest sign of a cult – Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the like – is denial of Trinitarianism.

    @ Samson: I also don’t see how anti-Trinitarianism can be anything but a modernist heresy, and how it can be compatible with traditionalism, in the least. As Gerry has shown, just because something isn’t spelled out directly in Scripture doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

     
  19. Will S.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    @ Gerry: “This is the sort of mistake one makes, when one abandons the ecumenical creeds and the cardinal truths of Christianity found within. They end up with the head of a pagan pantheon rather than the true God, Who is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”

    Exactly. Creeds and confessions ground one in historic, apostolic Christianity, in spite of the differences between the various traditions.

     
  20. Matthew

    February 29, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    samson: “You don’t find historic, orthodox Christianity interesting, preferring a wacky idea that was invented fifteen minutes ago?”

    I don’t find either position interesting. I’m not required to. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light. Holding the correct doctrines about Jesus’ ontological status is not.

     
  21. Matthew

    February 29, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Will S.: “the Trinitarian position is easily, logically, derivable from Scripture”

    Provided you approach scripture from an indoctrinated Trinitarian viewpoint. For many years I did; hymnic theology being a potent teacher. Then I stopped caring about the topic, and the Bible became more interesting and fear-inducing. I’m not claiming the doctrine is wrong, as Vox does. It seems completely irrelevant to the actually interesting things about life and the bible.

     
  22. The Continental Op

    February 29, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Vox is a heretic, and a schtick, and a burgeoning cult of personality.

     
  23. Carnivore

    February 29, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    I choose not to go into such things at this site.

    Yeah, I’m pretty much the same, but not just here and for different reasons – I don’t have the time. In the original Vox post where he mentioned that he did not believe in the Trinity or that Jesus is God, I made a neutral comment about my ignorance in assuming that everyone who identifies as ‘Christian’ all hold to those two articles of the Faith. I then went away for a couple of days and when I came back there were like 200+ comments, as I recall.

     
  24. Will S.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    @ Matthew: “It seems completely irrelevant to the actually interesting things about life and the bible.”

    I don’t see how.

     
  25. Will S.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    @ Carnivore: The Ilk have a lot of time on their hands, don’t they? Must be nice!

     
  26. Svar

    February 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    @ The Continental Op

    Vox is the Joseph Smith of our times.

     
  27. Svar

    February 29, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    “It would appear that Mr. Day has confused God with Wotan/Odin who sent his ravens out to keep him in the know about everything that goes on in the world.”

    Hahaha! It would seem so.

     
  28. Will S.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    @ Svar: “Vox is the Joseph Smith of our times.”

    Ha! :)

    Though, to his credit, Joseph Smith claimed to have received a revelation from on high, from some angel he called Moroni (how appropriate), so he at least had some level of humility, unlike someone who thinks because he’s bright, he’s gotten it all figured out by himself, unlike two millennia of the faithful who preceded him.

    Contrast this with the gifted scientist Sir Isaac Newton, a staunch Christian (only disputed in our day by the usual dissident historians who claim to ‘out’ people who secretly believed as they do), who possessed much humility, and modestly said “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” and “I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”

    I know who I think more highly of (despite Newtonian mechanics having been shown to be deficient at the micro level; that was beyond observability in Newton’s day, and they still hold up at the macro level), as a man.

    And thankfully, I don’t think there will ever be formally established, a Church of Latter-Day Ilk. ;)

     
  29. Svar

    February 29, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    “from some angel he called Moroni (how appropriate)”

    LOL! Joseph Smith, dum dum dum dum dum dum!

     
  30. Svar

    February 29, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Sir Isaac Newton was a great and humble man.

    “And thankfully, I don’t think there will ever be formally established, a Church of Latter-Day Ilk. ;)”

    I hope not neither. We have enough heretics in our midst to deal with anyhow.

     
  31. Will S.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    “Joseph Smith, dum dum dum dum dum dum!”

    Exactly. One wonders why their book was called the Book of Mormon, rather than the Book of Moron. ;)

    Better to not be either too bright or too stupid; both are surely curses. :)

     
  32. Will S.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    “We have enough heretics in our midst to deal with anyhow.”

    Damn straight.

     
  33. Carnivore

    February 29, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    LOL! Joseph Smith, dum dum dum dum dum dum!

    Hmmm, I don’t know if I’d call him dumb. I can only envision 3 possibilities:
    1. He was a liar and made it all up.
    2. He was mentally ill and had hallucinations and thought he saw an angel.
    3. He actually did have an apparition, but of a fallen angel who mislead him and he fell into the trap.

    Of course, #3 assumes one believes apparitions can take place. (I do.) There’s a story (don’t have the source) about a very, very humble monk who woke up in his cell in the middle of the night to see an apparition of a beautiful, radiant angel. Before the angel said a thing, the monk exclaimed, “Begone Satan!! I am not worthy to receive an apparition!!” The “angel” instantly vanished. Who among us would not be enthralled to see such a vision and would we have the humility to answer the same?

     
  34. Will S.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Good points, Carnivore; it’s his initial followers, who listened to the ravings of a liar / madman instead of the clear teachings of Scripture in solid churches, who were more dumb.

    I don’t suppose that monk was Luther, was it? He claimed to have been visited by the Devil, and is said to have thrown an inkwell at him.

    True story about Luther: He was known to have been constipated, and have spent many hours sitting on the shitter, thinking about things – and that’s how he got his novel ideas.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/3944549.stm

    So, if you Catholics want to say Luther was full of shit, you may have a point, literally, at least. ;)

     
  35. Carnivore

    February 29, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    @ Matthew: “It seems completely irrelevant to the actually interesting things about life and the bible.”

    @Will: “I don’t see how.”

    I agree; to me it seems very important that a decision be reached. We are obligated to worship God and no one or nothing else; if Jesus is God, we are obligated to worship Him. Gerry posted the Scripture which shows Jesus is distinct from the Father. If Jesus is God and the Father is God, we either have two gods or one God and there’s some other explanation. If we have two gods, we run counter to the arguments for one God, which are made before even considering Jesus, the Bible and Salvation history.

    But there I go, breaking my rule about getting into this. :(

     
  36. Carnivore

    February 29, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    “I don’t suppose that monk was Luther, was it? He claimed to have been visited by the Devil, and is said to have thrown an inkwell at him.”

    No, it wasn’t Luther, since in his case, it was the Devil. (Yeah, and I saw the ink stain – it’s still on the wall in the Wartburg castle above the town of Eisenach in Germany. At least, when you take the tour, the guide points out a stain on the wall. :) ) In the story I related, it was a vision of what appeared to be a good angel.

     
  37. Will S.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    @ Carnivore: Agreed. As far as I can see, knowing Who and What God is, is necessary in order for us to understand how He relates to us and us to Him, and how we are to respond to what He did for us. I can scarcely imagine many things more important than that.

    And these aren’t Catholic/Protestant/Orthodox division matters, into which I care not to delve too deeply here as I’ve stated, but first principles, surely, upon which, as I’ve said, all three main traditions agree (notwithstanding the Eastern / Western division over the Filioque in the Nicene Creed).

     
  38. Will S.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    The ink stain is still on the wall? Neat!

    Well, you would of course hold that, re: the Devil. Heck, I think it’s possible, too, but I’d explain it differently, no doubt.

    But I think it was more likely an overworked, overtired, fevered imagination, after a long day. But it could have been otherwise.

     
  39. Carnivore

    February 29, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    “The ink stain is still on the wall? Neat!”

    Hmmm, now I tried to a google a picture of it and found a site that said the stain is no longer there because vandals took out pieces of the wall.

    I saw it in the mid-80′s when it was still Communist East Germany. Maybe it was damaged after the Wall came down. Things got a bit lax there and caretakers were naive. It was amazing – you could go into a church or a local museum in a small town and they’d have small art objects from the Renaissance and Baroque hanging on the wall or sitting on a shelf with no alarm system like in the West. Items which could have been easily slipped into a woman’s large purse. Of course, if something would have been stolen, nothing could be done with it since the borders were tightly controlled. After the Wall came down, art thieves initially had a field day.

     
  40. Will S.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Ah. That’s too bad, about all those treasures, not safeguarded.

    I have never been to Germany, but I have some pieces of the Wall itself. Or concrete rubble passed off as it to gullible tourists, possibly.

     
  41. Will S.

    March 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I see Vox is at it again; seems Calvinism-bashing is his favourite pastime…

     

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