And Now to End One of the Stupidest Internet Discussions Ever

Mike explains that blurbing a book that surveys a theologian does not mean that he agrees with the doctrine taught by that theologian.

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  1. I don’t think it was a stupid internet discussion. I still do not understand the point of the blurb. It is worth an incredulous questioning.

  2. The Creationist group known ‘Answers in Genesis ‘has made B.B. Warfield one of it’s favorite whipping boys because BBW was more than willing to allow for certain aspects of evolution-paricularly in terms microevoultion. He refer to Darwin as a ‘great’ man which got the folks at AIG up in arms and stormingt he castle with pickforks and torches. But, it should be pointed out that BBW also made reference to both Albrecht Ritschl and Charles Finney as ‘great’ men- but as anyone who has ever read BBW ‘s critique of these men will tell you ,he profoundly disagreed with practically everything they represented. In all three cases Warfield is using the word ‘great’ to denote their significance and thus their importance-and as such they are to be reckoned with as deserving attention. This is exactly what Horton is saying about Pope Benedict.

  3. It is surprising to me that this would be an issue at a time when, allegedly, many Reformed people are reading Calvin’s Institutes. Those who are know first-hand that Calvin read theologians in other traditions with discerning appreciation for their insights — he could do this with theologians in the Roman Church, and also pagans. In fact, I believe he said those who refused to exercise this kind of discerning appreciation were in danger of blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

    This is nothing new, people.

    • Nice Brandon!

      The Apostle Paul read and quoted the philosophers of his day and he interacted with the pagans on Mars Hill. Apparently to some this was totally wrong for Paul to do!

  4. May Horton’s tribe increase! We need Reformed theologians to be engaged with what Rome is writing. Benedict is perhaps the most important theologian to rise to the office of Pope in generations. Good for Horton for understanding this and acknowledging his influence.

    • I agree that we need Reformed theologians to be engaged with what Rome is writing. Why doesn’t he read and refer people to Ratzinger/Benedict works of interest, rather than to “the second team”? Hahn is an apologist; he merely plays “theologian” and “scholar” on TV.

      • John –

        I am almost done reading Mike’s book _People and Place_ and throughout he does interact with Benedict directly, which is what Mike said in his blog response.

        • Mark, I appreciate that. I have the book, but have not had time to read it. I very much liked “Covenant and Salvation” — I think MH interacted very admirably with scholarship from all over the spectrum.

          Still, I fail to see how an endorsement for Hahn translates into any scholarly benefit for reading/interacting with Benedict. In this work, we won’t read Benedict directly; we’ll read him through the Hahn filter.

  5. The hyperbole is unhelpful. There are other internet discussions that are stupider than this one.

    Steve Hays from Triablogue writes:

    “The problem is pretty obvious: Horton is a high-profile popularizer of Reformed theology who is plugging, and thereby promoting, a book by the most popular Catholic apologist of the day who’s not merely summarizing the current pope’s theology, but making a case for it in the process.

    If Frame did the same thing, you’d be all over his case.

    In addition, if folks really want to understand Benedict’s theology, why not simply read his stuff? He’s actually a pretty good communicator. Knows how to express himself with a nice turn of phrase (even in translation).”

    I don’t think Steve Hays’ observation is grossly stupid.

  6. Truth Unites…, that is precisely the point and well put. A blurb is an uncritical promotion of a book. This is certainly not what Calvin would have done. Being discerning and widely read is different from writing blurbs that come across in an uncritical manner.

  7. I’m so grateful that WSCAL professors taught us that burying our heads in the sand or putting our fingers in our ears are not the right ways to deal with differing opinions out there. For that matter, neither is reading other view points *simply* to critique and dismantle them (like some sort of Apologetic sword-drill).

    Horton et al have modeled to us all what it means to see common grace even extended to biblical and theological scholarship. We can learn a great deal of truth from many people who we would not even admit to the Lord’s table! I wouldn’t be in grad school if I hadn’t learned this in seminary!

  8. What insanity!

    Once more here is what Mike actually said:

    Even when one disagrees with some of his conclusions, Benedict’s insights, as well as his engagement with critical scholarship, offer a wealth of reflection. In this remarkable book, Hahn has drawn out the central themes of Benedict’s teaching in a highly readable summary. An eminently useful guide for introducing the thought of an important theologian of our time.

    This is no unqualified endorsement of anything!

    I’m going to do my part to end this stupid discussion by closing the comments.

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