Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Jots & Tittles 3: Is Confessional Bibliology A "False Teaching"?


Last week someone sent me a link to an online article by Kent Brandenburg titled, “The Who-Is-Nicer or Who-Is-Meaner Argument for the Text of Scripture.”

The articles notes that those who advocate for the modern critical text have a tendency to use this so-called “argument,” charging advocates for the traditional text with not being nice and then using this as an reason in favor of their position.

He mentions Mark Ward and James White by name as those who frequently make use of this tactic.

Indeed, in Mark Ward’s online review of Why I Preach From The Received Text he is highly critical especially of Chris Myers and the rhetoric he used in his article.

In fact, MW begins his review with something of a exhortation against “tribalism” in which he writes:

When I read a book such as this one, one that announces its agenda on the front cover, I am always on the lookout for the authors to demonstrate their awareness of three of the very simplest of truths in a biblical worldview, namely that 1) there is created goodness in my opponents, who are made in God’s image; 2) the fall affects my tribe, too; and 3) Christ’s redemptive power is strong enough to save both of our tribes.


When Christian people forget or ignore or even deny these simple truths, they fall into tribalism, into canonizing their friends and demonizing their opponents. And they lack both humility and charity. When the other side is only ever wrong and our side is only ever right, there is pride and every evil work.


As I noted in my rejoinder, however, it seemed inconsistent, if not hypocritical, when Ward later wrote of Myers in this review:


I respond to a great many arguments from KJV/TR defenders, and I ask the Lord for patience in this work. But Myers’ words are utter and complete foolishness unworthy of response; they are almost impossibly divisive; they are sin.

Given MW’s stated desire not to engage in the demonizing of his opponents I was surprised to hear MW declare at the CB position was a “false teaching” in the opening to the final episode of the recent TCC (episode 7/7 posted on 8/22/22).


In the opening segment as the panelist are reviewing what PVK,Jr. has called their “trauma” regarding their experiences with the KJV and their IFB backgrounds, MW makes this statement (c. 7:17):

“... the source of this division is, in our judgement, a false teaching of textual absolutism.”


So, MW declares that what he calls “textual absolutism” is “false teaching.” I suppose this would mean that those promoting such views would be “false teachers.”


Back in TCC 3/7 the panelists defined those who they believe fall into their error under the umbrella of “Textual Absolutists.”


First, they said there are “extreme views”: (1) Ruckmanism; and (2) KJV-Onlyism.


Second, they said there are “moderate views”: (3) KJB Defenders; (4) KJB/TT Defenders; and (5) TR Defenders.


One might say that one of the major problems with the TCC is that they lump such different views together. Here MW does what he claims he would not do, conflate CB with KJVO.


In this statement made in TCC 7/7 MW made no distinction in the term “textual absolutism.” They are all, according to his words, “false teaching.”


That is, on the face of it, a very serious charge to bring against anyone, especially publicly. Consider what the apostle Peter said about false teachers in 2 Peter 2: 1ff.


I am hoping that MW simply made a mistake in his wording and that he will consider offering a correction to his statement and perhaps he would even consider withdrawing TCC 7/7 and maybe even the entire series.


I happened to post to twitter today a quotation from John Owen:


 "As, therefore, the integrity and purity of the Scripture in the original languages may be proved and defended against all opposition,... so we must ascribe their preservation to the watchful and powerful operations of the Spirit of God absolutely securing them throughout all generations" (Works, 4: 234).


And I wondered: Does this make John Owen a textual absolutist? Was he then promoting a false teaching? Was he a false teacher?


I hope Mark Ward will soon offer some clarification for us on his statement.


1 comment:

R. L. Vaughn said...

I prepared something that posted today on much the same subject. https://baptistsearch.blogspot.com/2022/08/who-is-naughty-and-nice.html

As usual, thanks for the challenging thoughts.