Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gregory MacDonald worships a false god

Dear Blog Readers,

Here is the first very critical review of my book (to be precise it is a review of chapter 1 and a part of chapter 7). It is by a Christian brother called Steve Hays. I have to warn you that is is VERY long and will take about 45 minutes to read properly

It is certainly worth a look. It seems that I am 'an idolater' who has worshipped a false god since even before I became a universalist. Oh dear.

For those who are interested I felt that the arguments ranged from good to worthy-of-taking-seriously-but-mistaken to poor. However, I have no intention of replying to the arguments in the review. Not because I cannot but beause I do not have enough time and it would be a wasted effort. As the author himself confesses,

I’m a Calvinist. And I’ve been doing apologetics for several years now, so my beliefs are battle-hardened. There’s no opening in my belief-system for him to exploit. No crack in the wall.

As they say, 'know thyself'. Reading the review I judge that Steve does indeed know himself and that consequently discussion is futile.

Nevertheless the review is recommended reading because I think that it may actually serve to expose the nature of the theology that Steve defends. Perhaps it illustrates better than any argument I could mount how one's view of God will impact one's attitude towards other human beings and the way that one treats them. Steve's review did not, to my mind, reflect so much love for the world as a deep dislike of humanity. Maybe I am not being fair here so you'd better read it yourselves and make your own minds up. I felt sad for Steve as I read it (though he would not want my pity). I do pray God's blessing on him.




Jason Pratt said...

Yeah, Steve was more than a little testy with me, too, when Thomas Talbott and I were discussing universalism with the Triablogue crew over on Victor Reppert's "Dangerous Idea" site a couple of months ago.

Tons of chunky discussion in the comments for that link, including from at least one aggrieved Arminian (mostly aiming at Paul and Steve. Paul behaved much better, btw.)


Gregory MacDonald said...

You get a mention in this review. You are also of questionable faith.

Jason Pratt said...

He's referring to the discussion with Talbott that I linked to. Frankly, his review of your book is a lot more temperate than the denigration of me he posted up on Triablogue (though that isn't evident from his brief mention.) I was kind of amazed he let you off so easily; Tom must have reined him in. {wry g}

That being said, it wouldn't hurt for you to address any corrections to his presentation of your position, in the comments. Triablogue is read by a significant number of people; and you wouldn't have to set it up in a counter-apologetic fashion, I think.


Gregory MacDonald said...


I don't think that he misunderstands me or misrepresents me (for the most part). I just think that his critique fails. More than that I think that the review manifests a dehumanizing theology that is sad.

Glad I got off light. I was flattered that he judged my chapter worth taking that seriously. Given that I was accused of using reason instead of revelation it is a shame that he did not comment on all the biblical exposition chapters!!!

Jason Pratt said...

That would have kind-of blown his thesis. {g}

What's funnier is that they regularly complain when opponents hold back on doing exegesis due to time constraints. So, one wonders, why not deal with your exegesis?!

(Due to time constraints? I'll have to bring that up next time we're crossing swords. Due to philosophical principles being the ground for interpretation? No surprise here!--but then they complain when other people do that, too...)

As for getting off light--at least he didn't start hurling invective about you being some Satanic-level blasphemer pretending to use orthodox theology to mislead people.


jdc said...

I follow one or two blogs of Christians including Chris Tilling's on which there have been a few of a"universalist" nature. Chris's most recent was on Tuesday 24th at I wondered if you would care to comment. I am an interested Christian lay person without the competence to fully understand all the arguments and would value your contribution.

Gregory MacDonald said...


Thanks - I have commented as you requested.

Here's the link



jdc said...

Thanks, Gregory, for taking the time to post your comment on Chris Tilling's blog

Edward T. Babinski said...

Steve Hays making "testy" blog entries? Say it isn't so!

Wondering what you think about there being so many different interpretations of the Bible?

In fact such interpretations range from damnationism and even beliefs like this one (by one of Steve Hays's fellow Calvinists and a seminary graduate)...


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