Monday, September 28, 2009

The Art of Christian Necromancy

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.[1] 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.”[2]

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?


[1] “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.

[2] Daniel Chew Huicong, Evaluating the Purpose Driven Paradigm: Recapturing the Vision of the Centrality of the Gospel, 22nd Sep 2009, p.9


A Friend said...

I think Daniel makes allegations too lightly and quickly. He is too keen on supporting his thesis that Warren is a heretic, and got carried away with his "passion" for such things.

Deeper and better research would make him more credible.

It is obvious that he couldn't tolerate anyone who opposes his point of view e.g Dave Chong.

The ad hominems kept coming at Chong e.g. "you couldn't get it", "confused", "failed" etc

Anonymous said...


Daniel's article IS a whopper! The Watchman is really confused!

Fancy an "author" on Warren-ism confused about Warren!


Choo Kok said...

Did you read the Credo500 blog and Daniel's reply?

He couldn't answer you (coz your exposé is so true), so he accuse you of using Wikipedia.

What a ninny he is!

You were telling him to AT LEAST use Wikipedia and GET THE FACTS RIGHT. And here he is rambling on and on about senseless poppycock which has nothing to do with your exposé!

AT, it's really no use talking to Beavis' sidekick - BUTTHEAD!

Anonymous said...

I have read Daniel's 'response'. This is very annoying and tragic, for Daniel to respond to something he did not even bother to read.

He claims to be a scientist, but a scientist is trained to have 'an attention to detail'.

Keep up the good work, Antithesis.

Anonymous said...

Yep, I agree with your observations pal. Whenever someone becomes recalcitrant and unteachable, more often than not it has something to do with pride.

It is as clear as day.

Does he have Asperger's Syndrome?

Wikipedia says:

Three aspects of communication patterns are of clinical interest: poor prosody, tangential and circumstantial speech, and marked verbosity. Although inflection and intonation may be less rigid or monotonic than in autism, people with AS often have a limited range of intonation: speech may be unusually fast, jerky or loud. Speech may convey a sense of incoherence; the conversational style often includes monologues about topics that bore the listener, fails to provide context for comments, or fails to suppress internal thoughts. Individuals with AS may fail to monitor whether the listener is interested or engaged in the conversation.

What do you think, AT?

Anonymous said...

This guy Chew is a true-blue stooge. (And it's evidence-based!)

Avoid him like a plaque!

He calls himself a scientist when he has only a BSc. Wow! In which case, we have a herd of BSc scientists running all over the country - in schools, toilets, canteens, tuition centres and shopping malls!

Anonymous said...

Hi AT,

Are you taking time off? Keen to hear from you soon :)

take care now,
A keen reader

Antithesis said...

We can't have fun all the time ;)

We'll be back ... ... soon.

Check it out.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to reading your new posts....

Anonymous said...

Chew is making more noise ... :)