Wednesday, December 3, 2008

One Stringed Banjo Tunes and Hyper-Calvinism, Warmed Over

I have not been able to follow every blog (or even most of them, I'm sure) where the controversy of the J316 conference is being discussed. In fact, I haven't really followed any of them other than what James White and Phil Johnson, and Steve Camp have written. I think they've all done a more than sufficient job of addressing the accusations of Hyper-Calvinism.

Here's what I think is so ironic though. I'd already gone through the whole finger-pointing and accusation of "she's a Hyper-Calvinist with dangerous and unbalanced theology! - Phil Johnson's Primer on HC proves it!!" with Tony Byrne, several years ago. That part is ancient history to me. So here we are several years later, and Tony Byrne shows up again to provide this handy-dandy chart for the J316 conference to essentially make the same claims all over again - this time though - via a much wider platform, and the result being many more people being accused of the same thing as I was. I'm just going out on a limb here, but I'd say that prolly wasn't the smartest move anyone's ever made.

So bloggers blog it, commenters comment on it, as it goes, and continues to go. Now this is the part where it gets ironic.

Suddenly my sitemeter shows lots of visits from Timmy Brister's site, and I wasn't sure why. I went to see and it seems someone left a link in his combox to what I'd already written on this - to demonstrate to Timmy's readers what kind of stuff Tony likes to do. Tony responds to the comment and a.) says he's not responding to comments there anymore because b.) Brister is "willfully permitting disrespectful and abusive comments" to be made.

In other words, someone links to what I've written about Tony's conduct in the past, and Tony runs away with a parting shot at mean ole Brister for letting people be "abusive" (unlike Tony, who is the pinnacle of grace and truth) to him, and making sure he knows that his combox is not "hospitable or conducive to irenic discussion". I wonder how false accusation and attempts at character assasination are "conducive to irenic discussion" in Tony Byrne's world? I wonder if I called my friend tomorrow on the phone and said "hey, how's it going you big, ugly, arrogant slob?", how the rest of that conversation would go? Somehow I don't find unfounded accusation grounds for irenic discussion, but maybe that's just me?

In a word? PFFT. Frankly, I'm glad more people are seeing this, as more bloggers take interest in it. Yes, Theology Matters, as James White is known to say quite often. Knowing what you believe and why you believe it, is very important - even if your hand is forced to elaborate on it because someone with a 1 string banjo lumped you in with those with "unbalanced" theology.

And with that... I'm back to being far too busy with other stuff to really get into this mess, again. Others are doing a superb job of addressing this, so go read them. I just had to get that little rant off the table so I could have more room to wrap Christmas presents.

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