For many years now Professor R. Scott Clark has been tweeting and writing (on his blog) about matters that cause him grave concern. I have it on pretty good authority that I am one individual he has concerns about, and I think it is fairly obvious that he is referring to me when he denounces unnamed nefarious personalities in the Reformed churches today. He recently wrote the following:
Clearly, he thinks there is a serious problem in the church: “an attempted coup.” This isn’t a television show, folks, but a Professor at a Reformed Seminary claiming there is a coup going on. This tone is reaching a hysterical pitch, and if I am one of the people he has in mind, I deserve more than a subtweet.
I believe my own writings on the Puritans, Christ, and Reformed orthodoxy are fully consistent with the Westminster Standards. The Westminster Standards are documents I have given my Christian life to studying and trying to master as far as I am able. I do not take a single exception, which my Presbytery can confirm.
I propose, for the sake of the church, and especially the Reformed community, that R. Scott Clark and I debate these matters of justification, salvation, good works, etc.
I will fly, at my own expense, down to Escondido and debate him on his own turf.
If Clark refuses to debate me, then perhaps he can calm down a little and try to build bridges rather than throwing doubt upon whether heterodoxy is being pushed on the Reformed churches. The sub-tweeting needs to stop. Instead, he needs to be a man and face the issues head-on.
Now, when I say debate, I mean this in a Reformed classical sense: a disputation where both sides are there to amicably present their case, seeking understanding and, perhaps, a public statement that the other side is not heterodox. Personally, I don’t believe Clark is heterodox, even though I disagree on some issues with him. But I would like a chance to present my case for what I believe is a classical Reformed position on good works, justification, etc.
Unless I have seriously misunderstood the WCF, Dort, Owen, Goodwin, Burgess, Rutherford, Mastricht, Turretin, Ames, Perkins, etc., I believe it should not be too hard to present the truth in a clear, forthright manner and, I hope, put an end to the silliness that goes on online.
Pastor Mark Jones, PCA Minister.
The Rev. Dr. Mark Jones (PhD, Leiden Universiteit) has been the Minister at Faith Vancouver since 2007. He is also Research Associate in the Faculty of Theology at University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa. Dr. Jones is the author of several books, including his most recent, Knowing Christ.
The Calvinist International is a forum for research, resourcement, and renewal of Christian wisdom.