After presenting my D.D. thesis The Practical Divinity of Universal Learning: John Durie’s Educational Pansophism to Marburg University this last Thursday (8.12.2011) on which I had been working intensively for almost two years, I now find some time to dig deeper into NCT ‘studies’ on God’s Covenant and tackle further ideas from Randy Seiver. I do this as he is one of the most out-spoken and less-gentlemanly members of this fraternity and has challenged me to produce scholarship (See his blog ‘George, Let’s talk about scholarship.’) to refute him and not the garbage of a clown which he claims in his blog-site that I deal in. This is not an easy task because of the scornful, insulting remarks with which Seiver presents his arguments. So, too, some months ago, after repeated request from me that he would stop sending me poison-pen letters, Seiver promised me that he would never ever again send me his offensive letters, and even claimed he would never ever read anything again from my pen. Since then, though he has had no mail from me, he has sent me some eight letters which immediately landed in the waste bin. However, I could not help but notices his highly offensive subject titles as they arrived in my mail-box. This hardly serves for academic, scholarly and brotherly correspondence.
I mentioned in my previous article Seiver Gets it Wrong that Seiver had addressed me on his web-site with, ‘Oh! By the way, George, why don’t we tell the folks what I actually did write about the Law (Old Covenant). Please notice I didn’t even use the word, “wrong.”’ I pointed out that in spite of his denial, Seiver had indeed used that word on page 123 of his eschatological views presented in In These last Days. I then sought briefly to explain that nothing God does is ‘wrong’. Now Seiver denies the fact that he personally used the word ‘wrong’ of the Old Covenant, because he was quoting someone else. However, Seiver does not mention this in his book, nor does he give the source of his wrong translation, nor explain why he uses it. My argument was that amemptos ouk in Hebrews 8:7 could not possibly be translated ‘wrong’. Seiver has not dealt with this point at all but relied on a most dubious translation, though not, he now says, his own. However, when a scholar quotes any presumed translation whatsoever and uses it to back up an argument, he alone is responsible for its usages and its suitability in the given context. Seiver’s logic reminds me of a criticism of John Davenant I found in a magazine essay claiming that the Reformer, Puritan and member of the Synod of Dort was a follower of Cameron, though he was commission by the Synod to refute Cameron, which he did most skillfully and truthfully. I replied giving many quotes from Davenant’s works, especially his work against Cameron, which refuted what the author had written. It was obvious that the writer was ignorant of Davenant’s works. This person replied, accusing me of being ‘a liar and a spewer of lies’ (vide Seiver) because he had obtained his criticism from a brother whom he held in honour and thus maintained the information did not originate with him and therefore the brother was to blame and not he. However, the writer had not explained in his denunciation of Davenant that he was using someone else’s ideas, nor why he was reproducing them as his own. So, too, this was like Adam who when God challenged him for eating the forbidden fruit, his excuse was that the woman had given it to him – though he had taken it in full knowledge of its disastrous effects.
This was not a mere ‘one off’ slip of the pen on Seiver’s part. Immediately after saying that he had never used the word ‘wrong’ of the Old Covenant, Seiver goes on to use this very word again concerning the Old Covenant, though modifying its application. I give it in full as Seiver would have his readers believe that I misrepresent him. Notice, his modified application is still wrong. Seiver thus says in his denial and his explanation for his denial:
‘Oh! By the way, George, why don’t we tell the folks what I actually did write about the Law (Old Covenant). Please notice I didn’t even use the word, “wrong.” Besides that, there is a difference between saying something was wrong with the Old Covenant and saying the Old Covenant was “wrong.” George, I know the truth doesn’t matter to you, but maybe someone reading this will care.’
We see here that Seiver is now apparently arguing that the Old Covenant which he relates to ‘Law’ contained error (wrongness?) but was not necessarily thus fully erroneous. The Christian view of God is surely that He does nothing wrong and is never in error. Thus, a Divine Covenant which is wrong in part or even a partly wrong Law would be still wrong. This was my point in commenting on Seiver’s wrong use of the word ‘wrong’. I was not commenting on his use of ‘faultless’, or ‘deficiency which he, appears to argue that I was. I was keeping to one subject and not meaning by that another. Of course the Old Covenant is deficient as it is only part of God’s revelation. This does not make it wrong in any way whatsoever!
I realize that Seiver cannot see my point because he believes strangely enough that the Old Covenant is merely a transient dispensation of the Law given at Sinai and does not study it in either a pan Old Testament or a pan-Biblical context. He calls it ‘Old Covenant (Law). This is, I presume, to distinguish it from what the NCT calls New Covenant Law. The Old Covenant Law the NCT sees as being abolished and done away with a New Covenant Law being initiated through the Beatitudes. The NCT thus argues that there is no Covenant of Grace but merely that one ‘Law’ (the OT ‘Law’) has been taken over by another (the NT ‘Law’). However, what Seiver calls ‘Law (Old Covenant)’ was the Law which Christ Himself upheld and said it would never pass away. There is no new New Covenant Law. The New Covenant was also preached alongside the Old in both Testaments as God’s revelation proceeded in the time He judged was appropriate.
The Old Covenant contains the first installment of God’s complete Covenant in Christ which has perpetual significance for the eternal future of mankind, one way or another, and especially for Christ’s Bride, the Church in one triumphant salvational way only. The Christian gospel is that the NT message completes the OT message which is retained as part of the full revelation of God. The NT is not there to correct alleged OT wrongs but to complete and fulfill its teaching. Christians are neither Marcionites nor Dualists. They believe in a saving Christ in all the Scriptures. This, it appears, is where Seiver and I differ. I see the New Testament saints completing the great cloud of witnesses in the OT, with Christ engrafting all believers onto the True Vine. However, I cannot get near enough to Seiver’s heart and mind on this issue, though we may agree on many points, because he sees all I write in this direction as ‘loony’, ‘garbage’. ‘lies’, ‘terminally demented’ etc., etc.. Though Seiver repeats in his blog-site that I am a person who does not care about the truth, I care very much about both truth and error both to confirm the former and denounce the latter. I also believe that this can be done without scapegrace scatology. I have apologized to Seiver for inadvertently raising his ire in my refutations of NCT policy as I seek to live in peace with all men, but this has neither been reciprocal nor resipiscent. Seiver says he will continue to insult me until I repent of my criticism concerning his theological position. The only way I have thus of avoiding Seiver’s wrath, it seems, is either to persuade him that his theology is ‘wrong’ or agree to disagree with him without being disagreeable. I cannot agree that he is ‘right’.
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