Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Daniel H. Chew’s Confusion Concerning Baptism: Burn Baby Burn Part II

I have previously noted Daniel H. Chew's rabid hatred for infants and retarded individuals who are unable to give conscious assent to the Gospel of Christ. As analyzed in the previous post, Chew has to logically concede that all infants who die in infancy (prior to their ability to give conscious assent to, or to believe in, the Gospel) are reprobates and destined for hell fire.

In his recent post, Chew reiterates his belief concerning infants and other humans who are unable to have conscious belief:

“Heb. 9:27 is the final nail in the coffin for the heresy of Inclusivism. Judgment comes immediately (not temporarily but experientially[sic]) after death, and thus there are no second chances for anyone to have a "postmortem conversion". Those who do not have conscious faith in Christ in this life do not have eternal life, and do not have any second chance to "gain" eternal life after their earthly life have passed.” - Daniel H. Chew
Infants cannot have “conscious faith in Christ,” and if they were to die in infancy, they “do not have any second chance to "gain" eternal life after their earthly life have passed,” so said Chew.

At baptism, the local church would not be able to know whether the said infant is going to survive beyond infancy. If the said infant of believing parents were to die prior to its ability to have conscious belief, then the infant is apparently doomed for judgment as a reprobate i.e. the infant is a reprobate. Therefore, it is baffling that the self-confessed pedobaptist Chew would argue that Scripture warrants/mandates the baptism of reprobates, given that Infant Baptism is a sign and seal of the Covenant of Grace.

Even Chew's own professor at Westminster would agree that:

“Baptism is a means of sanctifying grace and a gospel ministry to the people of God. It is a sign and seal of the Covenant of Grace illustrating what Christ has done for his people and sealing salvation to the same. Therefore covenant children of believing parents as well as unbaptized adult converts should be baptized. (Reformed).” - R. Scott Clark
Within the context of Chew's statements above, I couldn't imagine a greater tragic irony than that of infant baptism, where the said infant would die prior to acquiring an ability to give conscious assent to the Gospel. According to Chew’s previous statements, and by applying the simple laws of logic, such an infant is reprobate and predestined for hell i.e. “those who do not have conscious faith in Christ in this life do not have eternal life, and do not have any second chance to "gain" eternal life after their earthly life have passed (Chew).” Nevertheless, such a predestined reprobate must, according to Chew’s theology, receive the sign and seal of the Covenant of Grace.

Isn't it true that Chew's theology is suggesting that God is an omnipotent hypocrite? God says, “Hey parents, the promise is to you and your children. Oh yes, your infant ought to receive the sign and seal of My covenant of grace. Yep, he is special! Oh yeah, no kidding! On second thought, this one is actually My predestined reprobate, for I have predestined him to burn in hell for all eternity. But hey, what’s the big deal? Give him the sign and the seal of my gracious covenant. It’s just for show, you know? But do you see how gracious I am? I want him to burn in hell for all eternity, but I mandate that you give him My sign and seal of the gracious covenant.”

If Chew would attempt to draw a false analogy between baptized infants who die in infancy (and/or children who die prior to giving conscious assent to the Gospel) and baptized adult believers who later turned out to be false believers or apostates, then Chew is sadly mistaken. In the case of infants, they are baptized prior to them developing a perceived ability to give any conscious assent to the Gospel (or any propositions besides those involving basic primal needs [1] for that matter), whereas in the case of adult believers, these are able to profess conscious belief to the local church. If we cannot accept such conscious belief and subsequent professions of faith from adult believers when considering their baptism, what should we then consider as a testimony to their mental acceptance of Gospel truths? Should we then replace adult baptism with a “Reformed, Protestant” version of extreme unction? From this side of eternity, even adult “believers” who apparently bear spiritual fruits, and are subsequently baptized, might eventually turn out to be reprobates.

Again, Chew might rebut, “God commands all children of believers to be baptized. So it is not a matter of logical analysis, but obedience to God's commandments and mandate.” Firstly, it shall always be a matter of logical analysis, for Clarkian Chew cannot have it both ways: the peddling of Clarkian logic and the simultaneous denial of the Law of Non-Contradiction.

Most of our readers would agree that Reformed Theologians are still debating the issue of infant baptism, and perhaps none has ever claimed to conclusively prove the doctrine from Scripture. Now given that Chew can prove from Scripture that God has indeed commanded baptism for “you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call (Acts 2:39),” how would Chew argue that “children” refers only to infants, and not to older children who can indeed give conscious assent to gospel truths?

How would Chew draw the line of definition between an “infant” and a “non-infant”? How would Chew show from Scripture that a particular “age” defines an infant as opposed to that of a non-infant?
How would he then demonstrate that the household baptisms in the New Testament were those involving these infants i.e. children before they arrive at the non-infant age?

Lastly, why are only infants baptized in pedobaptism? Isn't it true that all children of believers are within the Covenant of Grace, and not just infants (whatever “infant” means)? Since Chew concede that children are in the covenant, why aren’t paedobaptists baptizing all children of believing parents irrespective of age? Again, how should Chew draw the line between an infant, child, the non-infant and the non-child?

[1] Arguably, infants are able to communicate to their carers needs in the lowest of Abraham Maslow's hierarchy, e.g. physiological needs, and perhaps even safety and love needs.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Daniel H. Chew and his Superego

"There are different kinds of voices calling you to all different kinds of work, and the problem is to find out which is the voice of God rather than society, say, or the super-ego, or self-interest." - Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC

In the beginning, Daniel H. Chew (also known as Daniel Chew Huicong) self-appointed himself as apologist, author, watchman.

He was without fame and void, and darkness was upon his reputation. So, Daniel H. Chew self-published himself a book.

And Daniel H. Chew said: let there be a string of degrees behind my name, and so Chew gave himself the external call to the Christian ministry – apart from any involvement within a local church in Singapore. It was a "ministry" to study in seminary, and that's it.

Even a little of positive affirmation from his pastor (if any) would be good. But alas, does he even have a local church? Is he even an active member of any church in Singapore?

In the future, we keenly anticipate his self-ordination.

Do peruse this excellent post by the Protestant Pope.

Let us also peruse some interesting comments by my readers (Note: I do not stand by these comments):

Anonymous said:

I just found out that Watchman Chew is now a student of Westminster Ca under a prestigious scholarship called "My Daddy's Scholarship." As he has never served in any major capacity in any local church before, he is not supported by any church for his seminary studies. ...

As a self-serving student who aspires to quarrel and debate in blogosphere with a seminary degree, he would probably self-ordain himself as a reverend of a handful of rank-and-file blogo-fans. Would his pastor (if any) clarify these rumors?

Another Anonymous wrote:

Studying seminary in America is not cheap; in fact, it's like doing a professional degree overseas! Taken together with the moneys required to survive/live in USA, it's easily 100K USD or more. ...

May I know which board of elders had elected/appointed godly Chew to do seminary and to be ordained upon his return - given the fact that he hasn't served the local church in any capacity?

I'm sure Pastor Paul Goh wouldn't send Chew to Westminster given that the PRCA seminary is still functioning. Oh wait, Chew is no longer in CERC.

'A Friend' wrote:

To be fair to Daniel, he is greatly to be admired for not having any family commitments in any way. Both his parents are doing well and self-supporting, while Daniel himself has no emotional ties in Singapore.

By all means, he is his father's son, and his father can choose to "invest" in his theological education. At his age, most would be supporting a wife and kids, but in his case, perhaps it's more secure to continue living under his dad's roof.

It isn't easy these days for theological students to survive when supported by a local church; so isn't it great that he is supported by his dad and not by any local church?

I would have wanted my dad's support too!
Barry wrote:

He [Daniel H. Chew] is THE Chee Soon Juan of Reformed Scholarship! I like him!
John wrote:

Although Daniel does not have a church to go to, he serves God with his heart and mind like true prophets within apostate Israel. Churches in Singapore are so degenerate that even pastors are not saved. I see Daniel tells the truth bravely, and churches need to listen to him. How can such pastors lord over Daniel by telling him when he is prepared to go to seminary?
'Would be Pope' wrote:

Daniel needs to test HIMSELF (confirming his 'internal' call) and also prove to his CHURCH (confirming his 'external' call), BEFORE he should even embark on seminary studies.

Writing blogs about the apostate so-and-so, drumming up support from his friends, going to other churches to rub shoulders with the renowned Reformed men DO NOT constitute a call to the ministry.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Watchman or A Fool?

The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. - Ecclesiastes 10:12

Dedicated to those who devote their time to endless disputes and debates in Blogosphere; please make yourselves useful for God's glory.

A word of advice from Matthew Henry to the Fool:

"Fools talk a great deal to no purpose, and they show their folly as much by the multitude, impertinence, and mischievousness of their words, as by any thing; whereas the words of a wise man's mouth are gracious, are grace, manifest grace in his heart and minister grace to the hearers, are good, and such as become him, and do good to all about him, the lips of a fool not only expose him to reproach and make him ridiculous, but will swallow up himself and bring him to ruin, by provoking the government to take cognizance of his seditious talk and call him to an account for it. ...

A fool also is full of words, a passionate fool especially, that runs on endlessly and never knows when to leave off. He will have the last word, though it be but the same with that which was the first. What is wanting in the weight and strength of his words he endeavours in vain to make up in the number of them; and they must be repeated, because otherwise there is nothing in them to make them regarded. Note, Many who are empty of sense are full of words; and the least solid are the most noisy [in blogosphere]. ...

[A fool] is full of words, for if he do but speak the most trite and common thing, a man cannot tell what shall be, because he loves to hear himself talk [or blog/write], he will say it again, what shall be after him who can tell him?"