Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ian Hodge's Dangerous Website

Professing theonomist Ian Hodge, author of "Baptized Inflation: A Critique of 'Christian' Keynesianism," has a website promoting very dangerous doctrines titled "Biblical Landmarks: Exploring the Boundary Marks of Biblical Theology and Worldview."

A more accurate description would be "Violating the Boundary Marks of Biblical Theology and Worldview."  For instance,

1. The site includes a video of the late David Chilton promoting baptismal regeneration, a soul-damning heresy.  (The third video on the list--VTS_02_3.)

Chilton claims "[water] baptism washes sins away"; when "you are baptized into Christ, you are united with Him.  You are one with Him.  You've clothed yourself with Christ." Unsurprisingly, Chilton here dons a Roman-Catholic-type robe.

This video proves the Federal Vision heresy was around long before 2002.  In addition to promoting baptismal regeneration, as Federal Visionists do, Chilton promotes the Federal Vision "covenant objectivity" and blurring of the distinction between the visible and invisible church.

For instance, Chilton says, "The context of faith is the covenant.  We need to come back to a biblical objective theology"; and, "Now being a Christian means covenant membership.  Being a Christian in terms of objective theology means that you belong visibly to the people of God." 

For refutations of baptismal regeneration, see "The Danger of Believing Water Baptism Saves," and "Nowhere does the Bible teach that Water Baptism Saves."

2. In his piece, "This is Nuts! Part 2," Hodge, in taking issue with the modern church, writes the following:
"Where’s the baptismal font in the church? Is it missing? If so, what does this illustrate? It illustrates that baptism is no longer the entrance way into the faith. When the debate comes into the church about whether people should be baptized before they are permitted to the Lord’s Table, try to find out where the baptismal font is located. Is it at the doorway to the church like it still is in the older Catholic and Eastern churches? In many Protestant churches today the baptismal font cannot be seen. What does that tell you? Baptism is not important. That’s what it symbolizes."
Notice how Hodge takes issue with water baptism not being thought of as "the entrance way into the faith."  It's hard to understand this in any other way than Hodge meaning that water baptism saves.  Notice too how Hodge speaks favorable of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox Church, heretical churches that hold to salvation by water baptism.

3. In his piece, "Are we really Justified by Faith Alone," Hodge writes,
"I’ve had some correspondence with a good friend, Mark. He’s a “justified by faith alone”, hang-on-to-the-Reformers guy who takes the Bible seriously. I’ve been a little rough on him."
In saying that he's "been a little rough" on a “justified by faith alone” guy, already we see that Hodge disagrees with justification by faith alone, and thereby the Gospel.  Hodge then lists scriptures that he believes deny justification by faith alone, and says,
"Now I don’t know about you, but I find it more than a little challenging to get “faith alone” out of those statements. By the same token, it’s equally a challenge to get the idea of being saved by our works of merit as the way of justification.

"Yet these statements are what the Bible clearly says. Here’s my suggestion.

"Maybe, just maybe, we should accept all the statements as the Biblical doctrine of justification, insisting neither on “works alone” nor on “faith alone” as opposites but rather as the complete picture. Maybe these apparently conflicting ideas are simply two sides of the same “coin”, and you can’t have one without the other. And when we describe the idea of justification, to ignore one side at the expense of the other just doesn’t seem like the full picture.

"What do you think about this for a radical — but biblical — idea?"
A radical idea, yes, but not a biblical one.  Hodge misunderstands the context of such passages as James 2:24, which reads, "You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone."  See John MacArthur's piece that addresses the question, "Does James 2 contradict Romans 4?"

The fact of the matter is, works play absolutely no role in conversion and justification.  Works are symptomatic of conversion; they follow it.  Thus anyone who claims to be a Christian but does not produce good fruit was never a Christian to begin with. 

In denying the distinction between faith and works is to deny the Gospel.  In the book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul distinguishes between law and Gospel:
“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?  Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?” (Galatians 3:1-4)
The Apostle Paul teaches that those who rely on works for salvation cannot be saved (Galatians 5:1-4).  And he even curses those who teach a false gospel (Galatians 1:6-9), which includes the false gospel of salvation by works.

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