On Sword-play

The Old Zorro: “Do you know how to use that thing?” The New Zorro: “Sure, the pointy end goes into the other man.” The Old Zorro: “This is going to take a lot of work.”
In dueling twelve people at the same time, it is difficult to retain one’s composure. It wastes time to be “polite” to other people in such circumstances. If a swordsman waits to ask, “And how is your family?”, certain deleterious results will happen, such as being reamed right in the middle of the question. Our culture has a pension for politeness. This is seen most often in the scholarly world. Instead of saying, “He’s wrong,” the scholar must say, “What he says is misleading.” This grows rather tiresome at times.
It is a breath of fresh air to read Carl Trueman’s critique of James Dunn, for instance (available at thepaulpage.com). Trueman lets Dunn have it, both fists flailing, and rightly so. Dunn is compromising the Gospel. When Paul was getting irritated at the Galatian heretics, the gloves came off: (5:12) “I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!” Earlier, of course, he pronounced an anathema (twice!) against those who preached another Gospel than Paul’s. But Paul’s comment here in 5:12 is especially barbed, because they were talking about circumcision. He wishes the knife would slip and cut off more than what was intended!
The New Perspective deserves such barbed comment, because they are changing the Gospel for a lie. They are changing justification for something else. They deny imputation. They deny Christ’s obedience to the law being credited to the believer’s account. They deny the idea of merit altogether (that is, the idea that the law could theoretically be kept; no one has except Christ). This is a false Gospel. Woe to us if we do not oppose this might and main! On guard!

Advertisements