Monday, October 20, 2008

According To Daniel Chew, His Church Is Associated With Heretics!

In a comment, Daniel Chew the Watchman wrote:

Antithesis, thanks for showing us your ignorance of doctrine once again. Question: Have you ever read any good theological book like Dr. Robert Reymond's A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith? Better question: Are you even seminary trained? Denial of the Covenant of Works (which you are doing) is in fact hetero-orthodox at best and heretical at worst. Of couse, not to mntion you don't even know what the Covenant of Works actually is? [Sarcasm] Is it something you can eat? Or maybe it actually teaches synergism - a Covenant relationship whereby God tells Man to work for his salvation "with fear and trembling"? Ha! /Sarcasm

It seems that the joke is on him.

Watchman Chew has no idea what the covenant of works is, at least within the Dutch Reformed theological framework his church is associated with.

Watchman Chew wrote, "Are you even seminary trained? Denial of the Covenant of Works (which you are doing) is in fact hetero-orthodox at best and heretical at worst."

But according to many Reformed theologians, the “covenant” of works is not really a covenant, but a bond or contract. Shane Lems wrote:

"Those within the Dutch tradition who have reformulated or denied the covenant of works have had little influence outside of their respective circles. The most notable are Herman Hoeksema (1886-1965), Simon de Graaf (1889-1955), Klaas Schilder (1890-1952), Anthony Hoekema (1913-1988),and G.C. Berkouwer (1903-1996). These five, we must add, are quite recent theologians in Dutch Reformed history." - The Covenant of Works in Dutch Reformed Orthodoxy, Shane Lems

So according to Watchman Chew, all the above theologians i.e. Herman Hoeksema (1886-1965), Simon de Graaf (1889-1955), Klaas Schilder (1890-1952), Anthony Hoekema (1913-1988),and G.C. Berkouwer (1903-1996) are HERETICS because they deny the “covenant of works.”

Well done, Chew!

With his abysmal knowledge of "Reformed Christianity," he is a shame even to his own denomination. According to the links from his church's website, his church is associated with the Protestant Reformed Churches of America (PRCA).

But doesn’t he know that the PRCA e.g. Herman Hoeksema DENIES THE COVENANT OF WORKS?

And according to Watchman Chew, his church is associated with HERETICS (because the PRCA denies the covenant of works), and “denial of the Covenant of Works … is in fact hetero-orthodox at best and heretical at worst.”

Watchman Chew, shouldn’t you be honest and simply tell your pastor Paul Goh that the PRCA are considered heretical according to your doctrinal standards?

Let us peruse something more edifying from Rev. Angus Stewart in The Covenant with Adam—A Brief Historical Analysis. This brief article – unlike the insane ramblings of the self-appointed Watchman Chew – would explain why it is unscriptural to believe in the Covenant of Works, and worse, that salvation via works is even a possibility in pre-fall Adam.

Quoting Stewart:

But why did [Herman] Hoeksema (correctly) reject the concept of the covenant of works and the possibility of “salvation” through this “covenant” even in pre-fall Adam?

Though Calvin (wrongly) held that Adam could have attained to heaven, he (rightly) rejects all notion of Adam meriting with God. Peter Lillback writes, “Calvin’s theology permits no merit in the prelapsarian context.” He explains,

Calvin’s rejection of merit in the pre-fall context is partly motivated by a desire to refute the Roman Catholic theologians’ connection of merit and the justification of the sinner. But his antipathy to merit is deeper than this. For Calvin, no creature of God [including pre-fall Adam and the elect angels], even though perfect, could merit anything from God the Creator.

Lillback cites Calvin’s commentary on Romans 11:35:

Paul not only concludes that God owes us nothing, on account of our corrupt and sinful nature; but he denies, that if man were perfect, he could bring anything before God, by which he could gain his favour; for as soon as he begins to exist, he is already by the right of creation so much indebted to his Maker, that he has nothing of his own.

Luther’s deadly hatred of creaturely merit in all its forms is well-known. Other Reformed theologians, such as Thomas Goodwin and the Swiss Daniel Wyttenbach (1706-1779), also rejected the idea of Adam meriting with God, even if it was ex pacto (out of the covenant). …

Peter Mastricht (1630-1706) speaks for many Reformed and Presbyterian theologians: “all the essentials of the covenant of works are contained in the first publication of it [in Genesis 2:17].”[11] This covenant of works includes a “condition” (not eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil), a “penalty” for eating (death) and a “promise” (eternal and heavenly life). In his commentary on Genesis 2:16-17 and in his Institutes (2.1.4), Calvin uses words such as “test,” “threat” and “promise,” though he does not present the schematised theology of many later theologians.

However, not only is there no promise of eternal life in Genesis 2:17, this system also presents the pre-fall covenant as merely a means to an end. But the Bible teaches that the covenant is eternal and the end of God’s dealings with His people (Rev. 21:3), not merely a means. Moreover, if “all the essentials of the covenant of works” are contained in Genesis 2:17, then there was a time, after Adam’s creation and before God issued the prohibitory command, in which he was not in covenant with God! A “covenantless” existence for pre-fall Adam, even for a short time, is unthinkable!

The covenant with Adam was a bond of fellowship between the Almighty, Triune God and Adam His covenant friend-servant whom He created in His own image. Thus, as
Calvin notes, “In the very order of the creation the eternal solicitude of God for man is conspicuous, because he furnished the world with all things needful” for man (Comm. on Gen. 1:26). God gave Adam a “home” in “Paradise,” which Calvin further describes as “a place which he had especially embellished with every variety of delights, with abounding fruits, and with all other most excellent gifts … from the enjoyment of which he might infer the paternal benevolence of God” (Comm. on Gen. 2:8). Thus Adam was “in every respect, happy” for He lived as a recipient of the divine “liberality” (Comm. on Gen. 2:16). In His goodness, God gave Adam a wife with whom he lived in “sweetest harmony” and with whom he enjoyed “a holy, as well as friendly and peaceful, intercourse” as “the inseparable associate of his life” (Comm. on Gen. 2:18).

Another excellent essay is the one by Ralph Smith, "The Covenant of Works: A Litmus Test for Reformed Theology?" He wrote:

More respected among conservative Reformed people, though less well-known, is the theologian mentioned in the quotation above, S. G. DeGraaf, who altogether repudiated the notion of a Covenant of Works because he believed it created more problems than it could solve.[6] If Berkouwer is less than thoroughly Reformed in the eyes of some, the same cannot be said of DeGraaf. His eminence as a Reformed theologian is only reduced by the fact that so much of what he wrote is only available in Dutch. ...

The most famous example of a Reformed theologian denying the covenant of works is that of John Murray. Here we have a theologian whose credentials as a guardian of Reformed orthodoxy are unquestioned. Also, in distinction from the groups and men mentioned above, John Murray was a Presbyterian, holding to the Westminster Confession of Faith. He did not consider taking exception to the doctrine of a Covenant of Works a denial of theology of the Westminster Confession, though in general his approach to the Confession is strict.

So according to Daniel Chew, even John Murray is a heretic!


Anonymous said...

Daniel Chew talks as if he is "seminary trained."

He isn't.

A Pastor

Anonymous said...

What a stooge.

He makes a mistake, and tries to cover his mistake with further mistakes.

When he made the error of saying that there is a "possibility" of salvation apart from Christ, he should have humbly admitted the error and moved on.

Now, his statement indicts his own local church in Singapore, and makes his pastor look like a fool.

Watchman Chew, after all these years, I thought you would have improved, but obviously those with the kind of pride that you have would require the miraculous work of regeneration within their hearts.

Your friend,

PS: Antithesis, don't waste your time on this stooge. He's an unrepentant goner.

Anonymous said...

Hi Antithesis,

I agree that Hoeksema is a genius, and anyone who thinks that he is heretical must have brain-damage somewhere along the line.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Antithesis said...

ken e,

Thanks for asking.

Are you?

Anonymous said...

Hi AT,

"Denial of the Covenant of Works (which you are doing) is in fact hetero-orthodox at best and heretical at worst." (from Daniel)

I have never heard of anyone in Reformed circles (living or dead!)say such things. Daniel is the first for me.

It is ironic that you pointed out John Murray - I have peruse his materials (esp. his excellent commentary on Romans) and the last thing I would ever say about him is, "Murray is a heretic or hetero-orthodox"!


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Antithesis said...

I was just wondering,,,,,no biggy..but what's your definition of gay...we should compare, because maybe I

>I’m gay, which means I’m happy. What were you thinking of (sanctify your thoughts!)?

Anyways, you're creepy, your blog is way creepy, because it's all Daniel, and I'm not the only one saying it. Another person who doesn't even blog mentioned it also.

>Oh, I have more than thirty blogs on blogosphere, and each is dedicated to a particular watchman. Remember, I’m the watchman of watchmen.

You are one creepy person.

>So are you saying that the office of watchman is creepy business? Then why don’t you complain to Watchman Chew as well? I’m simply watching him just as he is watching others. We are all watching somebody.

Anonymous said...

Hi Antithesis,

I noticed that you have contacted his pastor, Paul Goh about this matter. Has he gotten back to you yet?

A reader

Antithesis said...

Dear Reader,

Is Mr Paul still pastoring that church? It looks quiet as the grave.

yours truly,

Anonymous said...

Hello Antithesis,

From their website, I think it is still a functioning church. They are moving premises, that is reflected in the page entitled "Pastor's Voice". Nothing amiss. Perhaps the pastor is busy.

Did you identify yourself to him? Perhaps if you emailed him, that would help.

A reader