Several weeks ago, I received a surprising letter from the NCT website The Word of His Grace, signed by Peter Ditzel. We had last corresponded personally, Peter informed me, in 2007 when I was very ill. So now, in April 2012, five years later Peter was writing to hear if I were now, once again, on my feet. That was the nicest bit about the letter.
Then Peter mentioned that he had written some six essays a number of years ago on his site attacking my doctrine of Justification and he had since been informed by a third party that I had responded, though I only discovered the essays some time later when surfing the web for information on Justification. It appears that Peter now wanted a larger public than a mere correspondent to whom he could proclaim his animadversions against the fact that God justifies us in Christ from eternity where he dwells.
In Peter’s six essays, he shows that he has quite misunderstood my doctrine but believes he has, nevertheless, the right to misrepresent it to an alarming degree on the grounds of ‘Logic’, and then condemn it hook, line and sinker. I therefore took the trouble to counter his arguments in a briefer article in New Focus. Now, years later, Peter wrote to me, demanding an apology for my response giving me a time-limit of two or three weeks to prepare my ‘apology’.
I wrote back on the same day, explaining that Peter had referred to his criticisms of my doctrine of Justification and that we should therefore clear up the matter as to what I really believe and how Peter had reacted unwisely before talking about apologies. My NCT friend wrote back denying that he had misrepresented me, though I had pointed out some half of his misrepresentations in my response, and that he would not therefore take up my offer. He suggested that he would erase my name from his website if I erased his. I pointed out that as both opinions had become well-known in certain circles and what was written was written, this would be impossible. I nevertheless offered him my right hand of fellowship and told him that we could work together, examining the pros and cons of each other’s arguments together, striving to come to some common understanding of where we stood. As I received no response, though, admittedly, I did not give Peter a deadline as he had done me, I looked into Peter’s website to see if he had done a blog on the matter but found nothing. I thus made another try, writing:
Dear Peter: We seem to have got off to a bad start in determining what separates us. Let us therefore put all warfare aside as far as possible and progress in mutual cooperation. I am sending you my initial reaction to your web site for comment. I will not publish this paper or even put it on my website until I get the go-ahead or stop from you. I did not write this in a rush but have pondered over it for some time and made notes now and then from your site, particularly after your writing last. So please take your time with your answer. No deadline!
I would like you to tell me exactly where you think the NCT, as represented by you, has been misrepresented and why. I will then strive to revise my judgments before God, believing that you will, too. When we have settled this matter, perhaps we can make a sober assessment of where we stand together and where we fall apart. I have striven to make a start in this article. Then, I would ask you, time permitting, to send me a similar paper, pointing out where you believe I am wrong in my theology and how I should go about correcting my position. In the past, I have found myself totally misunderstood and misrepresented by you as you have felt I have totally misunderstood and misrepresented you. So we have one mutual feeling which unites us and which cries out for clarity. As you know from my writings in the past, where I have been rightfully corrected, I have admitted this and thanked the corrector publicly. I trust that this attitude is mutual. I felt, as I informed you, that taking one doctrine at a time would be the easiest way of comparing thoughts but you might think that is playing two much in my field. I have decided in the interest of peace, it is far more irenic of me to play in your half first and estimate your strategy and defense. You might think I have got things wrong. Good, that is something with which we can start so that you can put me right on this matter. Who knows? We might end up playing in the same team one way or another. Some of my best friends are people whom I once crossed swords with on far more vital issues than those that separate us.
God bless you then my dear friend in giving a reason for the hope which is within you. I trust you will not take my hope and testimony as written in the attached paper too amiss.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
PS: I, too, am very busy at present due to poor health and swatting for my oral exams for the Dr. Theol. in a couple of weeks, but I believe that I must do my best to find some mutual fellowship with you.
I then attached the following:
Two Distinctives for What New Covenant Theology Stands
Keeping track on NCT developments
I have received much criticism from New Covenant Theology adherents in the past for quoting from books and websites claiming to be NCT and using them to refute general NCT doctrines. Confessing their ignorance of their colleagues’ works, several NCT men have protested that they do not follow the beliefs I have dealt with taken from the books or websites I quote. Though admitting that they have not consulted the works in question, they say publicly that I am lying. Some NCT men are changing their views so quickly that they are even shocked by my quotes from their former works and though I quote direct from their sources, they deny that my quotes are authentic. One NCT pastor who pronounced the Old Covenant ‘wrong’, claimed that I was lying when I pointed this out. When I sent him the page reference, he did not think of apologizing but accused me of further ‘lies’.
Though the NCT, therefore, are no longer a united body in their apologetics they still tell us they speak in one voice and though they have developed their beliefs further from their founding fathers, they still profess to be one with them. This is like ever-changing Rome’s Semper Eadem. I believe it therefore valid to deal with them as one body until they openly declare their disagreements amongst themselves and confess they are a developing movement treading an ever broadening path. Thus, in my analyses of their conflicting views, I shall continue to name my sources and draw conclusions within the framework of those sources, taking them to be a common belief amongst the NCT community.
No Covenant of Grace found in ‘The Word of his Grace’
In this paper, I shall concentrate mostly on a NCT website known as ‘The Word of his Grace’, believing they represent modern developments. Most Christians, when confronted with such a title, will think that this NCT website propagates the eternal Covenant of Grace made between the Father and the Son from eternity believed in both Testaments. However, the website under discussion rejects such a Covenant and replaces it with what they call ‘new covenant teaching’ which introduced a completely new covenant built on a New Law which frees sinners from the Old Law but binds Christians under the New. They claim that their New Covenant of Law was never active in the Old Testament and is an abrupt new divine covenant, totally separate from the covenant which went before it which they equate with the Old Testament and maintain is abolished. Thus, their New Covenant Theology is really New Law Theology which came into being in post Old Testament times, making a clean break between the Testaments as if they were separate Bibles.
The Old Testament Covenant of Grace was drawn up by the Godhead to redeem fallen man from the judgment of the Law and curse of sin. The NCT abolishes this Covenant and places their people under a new Sinai. From such chains the old, ever-new, Covenant was to free God’s people such as Abraham, Moses and David. In rejecting it, the NCT remains fettered to their sin. This erroneous view of Covenant Theology has arisen because the people behind the website in question will not allow for any New Covenant teaching in the Old Testament which outlines the sin which condemns mankind and the grace which justifies and saves him. Indeed, they do not see such a single covenant of grace in all the Scriptures, whether in the Old or New Testaments, though we find this covenant teaching throughout the Old Testament, in the historical books, in the Psalms, in the Writings and in the Prophets and carried on in the New Testament.
NCT directives void of NCT distinctions
The site, however, gives us a definition of what they call their First New Covenant Theology Directive on their opening page:
‘The Old and New Covenants are distinct covenants, Christians are under the New Covenant and not under the Old, Christians are not under the law but under grace, the New Testament interprets the Old Testament (which is a testament of types and shadows). This is often called New Covenant Theology, and is, in fact, the theology of the old Particular Baptists.’
Accepting the words according to their natural meaning, there is much to agree with here. Christians are certainly under grace and not law after conversion. We could never be saved under the Law of Moses as those who live by duty-works, Jesus says, have merely done their duty but salvation is not of works but of grace. So, too, the Bible of the early Christians was clearly the Old Testament which was interpreted for us by Christ, His Apostles and the New Testament authors. The Reformers also called the New Testament a commentary on the Old. It is also true that the old Particular Baptists, especially before the advent of Fuller’s spreading of confusions amongst them turning the Gospel into law-duties, agreed with the Reformers on these principles.
Caution, however, is called for here as these NCT terms are used carelessly. They speak of two distinct covenants one under which the Christian is not to be found and the other under which, happily, he is placed. These covenants they equate with the two Testaments between which, they teach, there is no bridge or continued covenant teaching. The Old Testament is one of Law and the New Testament is one of Grace. Grace does not co-reign with Law and Law does not co-reign with Grace. The corollary is that there is no such thing as a covenant of Law and Grace synergized in the one Bible and one Covenant.
The conundrum here is that though the website speaks much of grace, they refuse to call their New Covenant a Covenant of Grace, Mercy and Peace which is the way the Scriptures describe the pan-Biblical Covenant. The people in this imagined graceless, merciless Old Testament Covenant, which includes, by the way, God’s righteous ones such as Abraham who believed in faith in Christ, are condemned because all in the OT were law-breakers and grace does not reign there. This is probably why the website teaches that the OT saints were not born again, members of the Bride and Body of Christ. Likewise the site teaches that all Christians in the New Testament will be saved because they keep the New Law, written on their hearts, placed in their federal Head who is both the Law-Maker and Law Keeper. This is true but only a half-truth. The fact is that the Old Testament teaching of well over 1,000 years before Christ affirmed that true Old Testament believers have also the Law written on their hearts, as David repeatedly claims. The NCT thinks this was merely prophetic wishful thinking and no actuality. They say that God could not have given David this gift then as David had only the written Word of God on parchments and tablets of stones. This is like saying that we of the present age cannot have God’s Word in our hearts as it is all written in a book. The written Word then as now was mightier than a two-edged sword and penetrated the hearts of believers as the full Bible of the two Testaments does today.
What does the NCT mean by the Law which Christ fulfilled?
This is also a point which the NCT needs to clear up. Several leading NCT men are now teaching duty-faith and a view of Law which is centred not on Old and New Testament teaching but on that of Andrew Fuller who rejected even the fact that Christ put Himself fully under the Mosaic Law in order to free us from it. Fuller, declares, in the face of all that the Bible teaches:
‘”The sufferings of Christ in our stead, therefore, are not a punishment inflicted in the ordinary course of distributive justice, but an extraordinary interposition of infinite wisdom and love; not contrary to, but rather above the law, deviating from the letter, but more than preserving the spirit of it. Such brethren, as well as I am able to explain them, are my views of the substitution of Christ1.”
So, too, Fuller denies the Biblical doctrine of Christ’s vicarious ransom, punishment and thereby His freeing us from guilt. All this also plays a large part in understanding the NCT’s doctrine of the Atonement in its relationship to the Law and the plight of sinners.
NCT leaves out the plight of sinners and with it the incentive of the Great Commission
Thus, according to the NCT, we are faced with two distinct covenants or Testaments, under the first is condemnation for all and under the second is salvation for believers. But here, a most vital point has been left out. If there is no condemnation for sinners in the New Testament as the Law has been abolished, then what condemns them? This must be asked as The Word of his Grace maintains that the Old Covenant or Testament is passed away, and with it, the Law. If the Law is abolished, so is sin as it is God’s Law as revealed in Scripture which both defines and condemns sin and makes the law-breaker a sinner. That the New Testament is God’s commentary on the Old is hardly challenged by any Christian but the NCT movement argues that once the commentaries were authored the subject and grounds for the commentaries became automatically obsolete, even though they contain the gospel of reconciliation, justification and the forgiveness of sins, without which the NCT’s Christianity would have little meaning left. Indeed, let us be honest. There is not a NT gospel doctrine which is not a continuation of an Old Testament doctrine and needs it as an essential part of the power of God unto salvation. Rid the New Testament of the Old Testament and the New Testament Gospel is lost. It would be mere dried leaves left over when the roots and limbs are felled and transported away.
In opposition to the NCT view, I thus believe the Old Testament is still with us as the first volume in our two-volume Bible. The reason is that it outlines God’s Covenant with his Son on behalf of man which is essential for salvation. So, too, it contains all God’s promises to His people concerning keeping them in the one Covenant of Grace and His gracious hand is outstretched to sinners, urging them to join His Covenant. It is in the Old Testament that believing gentiles are given the hope of following believing Jews in their faith. Accepting Old Testament teaching means accepting, by God’s grace, the roots of our Christian faith. Destroy the roots, as the NCT has done, and there is nothing to produce branches. There is no gospel to preach and thus no sinners to be saved and saints built up in the faith. The Great Commission is abandoned. The Old Testament is not merely a book of obsolete laws which is now succeeded by another Book of Law, as the NCT claims, it is an essential part of God’s powerful gospel which leads to salvation and a book of God’s gracious covenantal dealings with both saints and sinners, continued seamless like the robe of Christ into the New Testament.
The Word of his Grace’s second directive
Obviously acknowledging this lack of comprehensiveness in their system thus far, and striving to overcome the problem, the site outlines its Second Directive which is:
‘The Doctrines of Grace: Natural, sinful man is utterly unwilling and, therefore, utterly unable to do anything to save himself from his state of sin and death. But God, in His divine sovereignty, has determined from before the foundation of the world to graciously save his elect people through His Son, their Savior, Jesus Christ. He does not do this based on any good or any faith foreseen in these people, but solely as determined by His sovereign will alone. Because of this, we teach the Doctrines of Grace, also known as the Tulip or the Five Points of Calvinism.’
Here, too, there is much to be commended. There is no salvation to be had for fallen man without the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ who was given a people in eternity for atonement, reconciliation and justification. However, even these people were part of the fallen mass of mankind with not a single exception apart from the Man Christ Jesus. So, again, we are faced with the question, ‘What makes people the sinners the NCT acknowledge they are and what now condemns them once the Law by which they were judged has now been abolished? I have searched through Ditzel’s, Reisinger’s, Wells’, Zaspel’s, Seiver’s and other NCT apologists’ books, blogs and blurbs but have not come across an answer to this vital question. Why are present day unbelievers judged to be sinners if there is no Law to condemn them as such?
Under which Law did Christ die?
Another question equally meaningful here is that if the Law were abolished before the New Testament began, in what way did Christ give His life for a sin offering? An NCT leader, John Reisinger, tells us in his book ‘I say unto you’ that the old Law was abolished but Christ founded a New Law for believers on the Sermon of the Mount. This would mean, of course, that the old law was abolished before Christ paid the penalties of our breaking it. Was Christ’s work in paying the penalties of a Law which no longer existed thus in vain? This question constantly exercises the minds of NCT apostles and various attempts have been made to overcome the historical and theological difficulty by delaying the entrance of the New Law into their new legal covenant. Thus some tell us that the New Law was inaugurated on the Mount, others say at Calvary, still others at Pentecost and now most seem to be declaring that the New Law began and the Mosaic Law was abolished in a.d. 70 when the unfinished Temple of Herodius fell. Now, modern NCT believers can indeed claim that the Law which slew Christ was still active at His execution. But again, caution is needed. If sinners were still condemned by the old Law until a.d. 70, what condemned them in a.d. 71 and condemns them still? Why, indeed, does The Word of his Grace’ refer to present day unbelievers as ‘sinners’? Of course, the easy way out would be to argue that modern sinners disobey the NCT’s New Law, but the NCT say it is a Law for believer’s only, written on their hearts. Sinners, who have not the law written on their hearts are not under this law but only saints who have it imprinted in them.
The fact is that Christ lived and lives on in the teaching of both Law and Grace in the plan of salvation revealed in full in the one Covenant which bridges both parts of the Divine Testament which He drew up with His father. He is the eternal Covenant-Keeper, ruling over both Law and Grace. He did not ‘earn’ this task as Reisinger seems to argue, at Pentecost. Christ did not fulfill two contrary covenants but the one He had jointly created with the Father to save His Bride, the Church from destruction, which includes condemnation and justification. The Father, Son and Holy Ghost needed no other. Christ was the only one worthy to pay the price of sin, which is the teaching, not of two covenants but the one. Nor did Christ fulfill the one Covenant of Grace found in the Old Testament to then drop it and found another in New Testament times. The one Covenant always said that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. It always taught that salvation is to be found in the one, eternal Covenant. The teaching that in Adam all die but all in Christ will all be made alive is to be found in one pan-Biblical Covenant describing the terrors of the Law and the triumphs of Grace. The NCT would, however, rather teach that God’s plan A, the Old Testament, failed and He was compelled to create a New Covenant as a second attempt. The New Testament teaches that the New Covenant, inaugurated in the Covenant in Old Testament times, was a great success!
Tulips are not gospel emblems
The Word of his Grace website testifies to flower-power in the form of a tulip. The T-U-L-I-P, beautiful as it is, does not sum up the Christian Gospel. There is no doctrine of the Word, no justification, no sanctification, no repentance, no faith, little Christology and little ecclesiology in the tulip’s five letters. They outline correctly and superbly God’s sovereign will, but they are alarmingly silent on how this is applied to the needs of sinners in witness, worship and evangelism as in the Covenant of Grace. Theological gardeners who only cultivate tulips, are thus often accused of that spiritual barrenness and hyperaesthesia called Hyper-Calvinism. I understand that the NCT is happy to relax in their tulip bed. The Rose of Sharon, I find, is a more Biblical flower.
Summing up my thoughts
To summaries my thoughts on the Covenant, I affirm that the Old Testament, containing the revelation of the New Covenant was the Bible of the Early Church and all her doctrines were thus grounded in this. As the English and Swiss Reformers believed, there was one Covenant and one Testament in the Scriptures, the parts, which overlap chronologically being united and completed by the appearing of Christ bodily in the fullness of time to fulfil the Covenant purpose of all time, past, present and future in choosing out his Bride.
Christ was appointed from eternity as the Mediator of the New Covenant between God and man. His office was not merely to reveal the Father’s mind as Moses but to reconcile sinners to God. This is the meaning of the Hebrew and Greek words depicting ‘newness’ in relation to ‘covenant’. Both ‘cadash’ in Jeremiah and ‘kainos’ in Hebrews do not mean ‘new’ in the sense that it had never existed before. The terms mean, ‘refreshed’, ‘renewed’, ‘ever new’, ‘restored to its right use’. It is thus called ‘new’, not because it was newly made but because it was newly revealed, published and declared from time to time as a ‘better covenant’ than that with Adam and that which the Scribes and Pharisees made of it. Actually, this testament was made in eternity (2 Tim. 1:9) and is thus not time-bound, though it is time-applied. However, Tom Wells believes he is speaking for the entire NCT movement when he denies the clear historical truth of 2 Tim. 2 in his co-work with Zaspel on their New Covenant which is a covenant minus its Biblical content.
This covenant is sealed, though not with the symbols of circumcision, baptism and the Lord’s Supper which some take to be the seals of the covenant of grace. The seals are the Holy Spirit of God who witnesses to the covenant and the blood of Christ which ratifies and confirms the covenant, Zech. 9:11; Matt. 26:28; Heb. 13:20. We notice here that it was an Old Testament saint who initiated this teaching.
The Covenant’s promises point to the vicarious work of Christ who made His soul an offering for sin and poured out His blood in death, Isaiah 53:10-12. As Christ is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, His Testatorship works both backwards and forwards in time, securing all God’s elect from condemnation and reconciling them to God. Nothing can be given man in the covenant of grace without Christ’s counsel and consent and all that Christ has to give man could only be obtained through Christ making his soul an offering for sin and pouring out His soul unto death (Isa. 53:10-12). All this was planned from eternity with the drawing up of the covenant so the Bible can truly speak of Christ as the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. All that is the Father’s was given the Son in eternity and all that was the Son’s was given the elect by a testament. Thus Christ, when facing death, could say to His followers, “And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me.” Again, we see that this is Old Testament teaching continued in the New which agrees with it and refreshes it.
Moses revealed God’s Holy nature in comparison to man’s sinful being. Christ made man partaker of God’s holiness, thus fulfilling and completing the Covenant not destroying it. Here Christ by virtue of His two perfect natures represents both sides perfectly. We gain unity with the Father through our unity with the Son. This unity is kept upright by the intercession and advocacy of Christ. Nothing that man can do can alter, change or enhance this work of Christ’s so those who speak of man’s agency in salvation speak of a nonentity. Christ’s covenant mediation as the Son of God entailed his redeeming us from the curse of the law by putting Himself under the law and fulfilling it to the last jot and tittle. The Law is fulfilled in Him for ever and is certainly not destroyed but seen as it really ought to be and is. Thus modern theories of mediation as in Fullerism, whereby Christ is seen as carrying out an obedience to a token law where quality is shown rather than quantity, always being above the law and not placing Himself under it, is not the gospel of Christ’s Mediatorship. Christ could only redeem us by suffering the full curse of the law. He could only redeem us by fulfilling all the law in His Person, not abrogating the Law in His person. As Mediator, Christ mediates only for the elect of all ages for whom He died. He is the Mediator of the Old Testament saints as He is of the New. There was never a time when Christ was not Mediator. Christ’s Mediatorship is fully successful and is for eternity. He never mediates in vain.
This is because Christ has given Himself as the elect’s surety, guaranteeing freedom from punishment, guilt and condemnation for all eternity. In this surety, Christ guarantees to pay the debts of His people to the law and to the punishment for sin and to preserve them safe for ever more in glory. Again, the initiative to be our surety is entirely Christ’s and man’s agency plays no part.
Christ’s Mediatorship also includes His Testatorship. All the blessings in Christ appertaining to the Covenant of Grace are the eternal legacy of the saints. This bequest can only come into being through the death of the Testator. Christ offered up His life so that eternal redemption, justification and glorification, which He alone can give, could be inherited by His Bride, the Church. The triumph of the Law was in Christ’s dearth. The triumph of Grace was in Christ’s resurrection with which he resurrects all the saints with Him. This is the pure teaching of the Covenant of Grace.
Yesterday, 22 April, I looked into Peter’s website and found that without consulting me. Never mind informing me, he had published several of my personal letters to him, with almost verse by verse commentaries, though some were over a page long. All this took up some five web-pages. Sadly, Peter missed out a couple of letters, including my last, though he had obviously received them. Within these five pages were the most outlandish accusations which Peter knows to be untrue because I have not only told him but my opinions on these subjects are recorded in my books, newspaper articles on these websites. Even where we are obviously of one opinion, Peter adorned his false accusations with stories of holding beliefs I have written against since the 1950s. Sinister enough was his underhand way of striving to create strife between some of my closest friends and myself. Peter closed his tirade by demanding that I repent of all the notions he had listed as mine and told his readers that he would have nothing more to do with me but would keep his stone of stumbling, the six articles against my doctrine of Justification, on his site.
I therefore wrote on the same day as a comment to his new outburst of unfairness:
Dear Brother Peter,
When you wrote to me privately after so many years, I was rather surprised, as you had continued our debate through your website and not through personal post. I did not know you even had a website and you had never addressed mine. I took it that it was an online debate you wanted, though it took some time for me to become aware of it. I thought with your recent post that you wished to continue your debate privately to avoid unnecessary mistaken publicity until we were able to make a joint statement of where we agreed and where we disagreed. I was sorry you discontinued it. Though you now produce an allegedly initial letter to me which you did not address to me and never sent to me, nearly all our debates were online. Now I see that in alluring me to write privately to you, thinking our correspondence was just that, you wished to misuse it publicly, to promote your own crusade on your site and justify your behaviour. You thus did not ask for my agreement, and rejected the right hand of fellowship which I have repeatedly offered you with a plea that you explain yourself doctrine for doctrine should you feel my analyses unjust. However, you have now made a last fling at me by publishing part of our correspondence, prefaced by further wild accusations and commented on by thoroughly misrepresenting my doctrines, saying you are now through with me. Tantrums like this are not very helpful at all. Why did you not merely produce the letters if you wished to break trust with me instead of using such unfair, unbrotherly methods and again making the most outlandish accusations whilst doing so? I am not the man, dear friend whom you make me to be. If I have failed in obtaining your appreciation of this point, I am indeed sorry but you can hardly complain of my misrepresenting you when you misrepresent me so horribly and refuse to explain yourself peacefully to me so that I can apologise where necessary. I have not found a shadow of a shade of such an intention in you.
In the first of your resent war-like letters to me, you mentioned your criticisms of Peter Meney and myself in your six speculative essays on what you felt were my views of Justification in which you went wide off the mark. Also you invented breaches with my dear friends and mentors, the Particular Baptists which were only in your subjective imagination as you equate NCT novelties with their ancient Biblical teaching which is historically and doctrinally incorrect. I suggest you read them on the Covenant of Grace again, especially Gill, and read me again also. The greatest writer on the Covenant, John Durie, always said that when considering Biblical doctrine, one must erase all a priori and preconceived ideas from one’s mind and take each passage on its grammatical-historical strength. Naturally, I need to do this with you, too, that is why I asked you to explain your doctrines one by one without presenting them so aggressively and polemically without qualification or explanation. For instance, all you said about Marcion, completely bypassed what you yourself state in a Marcion way. It was merely another of your wild broadsides. If you had only mentioned the one point, however, we could have done something about it together but I cannot tackle all the shot at once which you place in your canons. I am still willing to discuss our differences point for point. I realize that our meeting our bulk criticism with bulk and unexplained criticisms makes correspondence useless but why not give one argument at a time a try? As you mentioned in particular my doctrine of Justification which, judging by your reaction you quite misunderstand and react accordingly, I offered that as a start towards a mutual understanding, but you refused to comply. Instead of writing to me, you publish some post of mine with highly misleading introductions and commentaries which makes an objective understanding of the letters impossible. So, too, you have not stated in fairness that I sent you further post, including an essay on NCT theology and told you I would not publish it until you gave me your comments on it, and suggested that in future we should make this a two-way method of understanding each other. Your behaviour here is most disappointing and hardly worthy of a brother. However, we are both, as Christians, able to jump over our shadows and I still hope to receive a brotherly, factual reply from you. If you explain carefully what you feel is wrong with my theology, one point at a time, I will then be able to tell you where I believe you have misunderstood me. For instance, well over half of the points you made against me in such a shattering way, reveal my agreement with you, so what windmills are you attacking? I hope that this does not mean we say the same words but mean different things. This is often the case when brethren refuse to talk to each other. Their languages then also grow apart.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
PS: Why do you give me titles when we are on first names as brethren?
I am wondering whether Peter will publish my last three pieces to him or not. I am still hoping that a NCT friend will volunteer to clear up his views with me. Peter, explained in his comments that I tar all NCT-ites with the same brush though they diverge in opinions. As long as they stay under the NCT banner, what else can I do? I have always pointed out that the NCT is now radically divided. Is there a brother out there who will confess his disagreements with the current mainstream NCT professors and comment on them objectively? I must say, I am still optimistic.
- Works, vol. II, p. 689. ↩
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