We now continue our exciting journey into scholarly Chew’s intensely researched article on Rick Warren. We have previously seen that, in his rebuttal of a fellow Christian blogger named Dave Chong, Chew alleged that Chong confused “Classical Arminianism with Evangelical Arminianism.” In a recent comment in the Credo500 Christian Conference, he changed his mind and accused Chong of refusing “to differentiate Evangelical Arminianism from the semi-Pelagian Finneyist theology [of Rick Warren]…”
So which is it, Watchman Chew? Did your brother-in-Christ Dave Chong fail to differentiate between Evangelical Arminianism and Semi-Pelagianism, or did he fail to distinguish between Evangelical Arminianism and Classical Arminianism? Or is it something else altogether?
Or perhaps it is you who are confused?
It seems that Mr Chew is truly confused concerning what Chong is allegedly confused about.
Error 3 – Theological Confusion
We have previously seen that our Watchman Chew had made serious factual errors concerning Arminianism; for example, while the Remonstrants did affirm total depravity, Mr Chew denied that they did.
This time, he revealed that he is actually quite confused with Rick Warren’s theology (doctrinal beliefs).
In a recent comment on Credo500, Mr Chew snarled at Dave Chong:
As usual, you still do not get it. Warren is NOT in any shape the same as Wesley. In fact, Wesley himself would denounce Warren as teaching error. Your refusal to differentiate Evangelical Arminianism from the semi-Pelagian Finneyist theology that Warren teaches is extremely regrettable.” [emphasis mine]
In this comment, the venerable Watchman Chew made it clear that Warren’s theology (doctrinal beliefs) is that of Semi-Pelagianism, calling Warren a “semi-Pelagian Finneyist” in theology. A budding theologian would surely know that Semi-Pelagianism is distinct from Arminianism. Or so we thought.
In Mr Chew’s paper, Evaluating the Purpose Driven Paradigm: Recapturing the Vision of the Centrality of the Gospel, Chew stated clearly that Warren’s theology or doctrinal stand is that of Arminianism. Chew wrote:
“Lastly, the sufficiency of Scripture and of the Gospel is undermined by practical Pelagianism or the embrace of the Finneyist error of revivalism. That the Purpose Driven paradigm is practically Pelagian in its outworking, though doctrinally Arminian, can be seen in its consistency with Finneyist dogma that revival is a natural event engineered by the correct use of natural means.”
Do note that although Chew accused Warren of “practical Pelagianism” (Warren’s praxis), he is adamant that Warren is “doctrinally Arminian” (Warren’s theology).
Here we get a serious problem. In Chew’s ‘expert’ theological discourses on Credo 500, Chew is confident that Warren’s doctrine is that of “semi-Pelagian Finneyist theology.” In other words, he believed that Warren was a Semi-Pelagian in doctrine/theology (not merely praxis). But in his scholarly paper, Chew alleged that Warren is “doctrinally Arminian.”
Hence, after intensive research, Chew is nonetheless confused concerning Rick Warren’s theological or doctrinal system. In one place, Chew was adamant that Warren’s theology is Semi-Pelagianism; in another, Chew was unrelenting in his allegation that Warren’s theology is Arminianism.
So which is it, Mr Daniel Chew Huicong? Is Rick Warren’s theological/doctrinal system that of Semi-Pelagianism or Arminianism?
Error 4 – Ipse-dixitism
We recall that in a recent comment on Credo 500, the venerable Watchman Chew made the following assertion:
“Warren is NOT in any shape the same as Wesley. In fact, Wesley himself would denounce Warren as teaching error.” [emphasis mine]
Giving Mr Chew the benefit of doubt that it is indeed true that Warren is not “in any shape the same as Wesley” – although we are not sure if Chew was referring to Warren’s physique, body-mass index, hairline or theological beliefs – it is puzzling to read how Chew managed to know (for a fact) what Wesley would do to Warren i.e. “Wesley himself would denounce Warren as teaching error.”
That is an amazing statement, spoken with perhaps equally amazing confidence and gusto.
It is possible that Mr Chew had learned the satanic art of necromancy, summoned Wesley from the grave and demanded from him a conclusive denouncement of Warren’s teaching. But this is quite improbable, given that he is a Christian, and that his genealogy does not include the witch of Endor and/or the likes of her.
It is, however, more probable that Mr Chew is entrenched within the minefield of ipse-dixitism; he has learnt the art of spewing ipse dixits and bare assertions – out of his own free will, of course – in order to accuse a fellow Christian blogger of being “confused,” as well as to relegate Warren to that proverbial heretic’s stake.
Still, we would like to hear from Chew: How did he know, for certain, that Wesley would denounce Warren’s teachings as error?
He is no necromancer, ain’t he?
 “Both Semi-Pelagianism and Arminianism insist upon a synergistic view of redemption. A person’s salvation is the result of two agencies: (1) God’s grace and (2) human faith and obedience. But here again, there are important dissimilarities. The Semi-Pelagians thought of salvation as beginning with human beings. We must first seek God; and his grace is a response to that seeking. The Arminians of the seventeenth century, however, held that the human will has been so corrupted by sin that a person cannot seek grace without the enablement of grace. They therefore affirmed the necessity and priority of grace in redemption. Grace must go before a person’s response to the gospel. This suggests that Arminianism is closer to Semi-Augustinianism than it is to Semi-Pelagianism or Pelagianism. The word Pelagian as a description of Arminians – or Roman Catholics for that matter – does them an injustice because it associates them with a theological tradition that is truly heretical in that Pelagius trivialized grace, and in so doing trivialized the work of Christ.” Robert A. Peterson and Michael D. Willams, Why I Am Not an Arminian (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004), 39-40.
 Daniel Chew Huicong, Evaluating the Purpose Driven Paradigm: Recapturing the Vision of the Centrality of the Gospel, 22nd Sep 2009, p.9