Carl Trueman's theology

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A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
Any good in him can be found elsewhere. There's a lot to worry about. He has a reputation as a conservative Reformed guy but this is not earned. He is certainly within the broad Reformed camp, but middle of the road. On any controversial issue within Reformed circles- worship, xmas, halloween for example- I've never heard him take the minority position (i.e. the older Reformed view). He sets himself up as a cantankerous critic of modernity, but he has embraced every innovation within the Reformed camp. And he bears a lot of the responsibility for elevating Aimee Byrd to prominence. I'd stay clear.
Hey brother, he’s not going to bind consciences. He‘s going to give people something to think about. I’ve been in legalist circles and when you hyper focus on these things they define you and may consume you. I definitely don’t think he’s endorsing or encouraging many of the things you mention. Aimee’s participation was ok and when she crossed the line, Trueman fell on the right side. Maybe he should be a stronger watchman. But I do believe he’s much more discerning in belief, practice and recommendation than you give him credit for.

MoS is not a good source for hardline applications - it’s a whimsical and wise dialogue on current events. I dont like much of the outro music.
 

alexandermsmith

Puritan Board Junior
Hey brother, he’s not going to bind consciences. He‘s going to give people something to think about. I’ve been in legalist circles and when you hyper focus on these things they define you and may consume you. I definitely don’t think he’s endorsing or encouraging many of the things you mention. Aimee’s participation was ok and when she crossed the line, Trueman fell on the right side. Maybe he should be a stronger watchman. But I do believe he’s much more discerning in belief, practice and recommendation than you give him credit for.

MoS is not a good source for hardline applications - it’s a whimsical and wise dialogue on current events. I dont like much of the outro music.

MoS is his main output. And evenif it weren't he should be held accountable for what he says there. Ministers today are far too eager to give their opinions, or go off on flights of whimsy. All Christians should be careful about what they say, but especially ministers. We will be held accountable for every word we say. And since when did the Reformed believe that holding to the Biblical principle of worship was "conscience binding" or "legalistic"? And xmas for that matter.

It is not the job of a minister or a theologian to "give people something to think about". It is their job to proclaim the Gospel and to teach the whole counsel of God.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Any good in him can be found elsewhere. There's a lot to worry about. He has a reputation as a conservative Reformed guy but this is not earned. He is certainly within the broad Reformed camp, but middle of the road. On any controversial issue within Reformed circles- worship, xmas, halloween for example- I've never heard him take the minority position (i.e. the older Reformed view). He sets himself up as a cantankerous critic of modernity, but he has embraced every innovation within the Reformed camp. And he bears a lot of the responsibility for elevating Aimee Byrd to prominence. I'd stay clear.
This is a disingenuous reading of the man.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
MoS is his main output. And evenif it weren't he should be held accountable for what he says there. Ministers today are far too eager to give their opinions, or go off on flights of whimsy. All Christians should be careful about what they say, but especially ministers. We will be held accountable for every word we say.
Oh, how much more for laymen by this logic!
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
MoS is his main output. And evenif it weren't he should be held accountable for what he says there. Ministers today are far too eager to give their opinions, or go off on flights of whimsy. All Christians should be careful about what they say, but especially ministers. We will be held accountable for every word we say. And since when did the Reformed believe that holding to the Biblical principle of worship was "conscience binding" or "legalistic"? And xmas for that matter.

It is not the job of a minister or a theologian to "give people something to think about". It is their job to proclaim the Gospel and to teach the whole counsel of God.
I’d have to consider specific examples. I don’t want to be a hypocrite and say something has absolutely no value or must be avoided at all costs (newer Reformed view). I’m sure Trueman has met with a lot of strange cultural phenomenon in the States. How do we use our liberty? How do we redeem the time? These are noteworthy considerations. But we are all in different places in our life and come from different backgrounds and life experiences. I think Trueman is seeking to meet people where they are at. I don’t expect my pastors to be saints, they may even have interests that seem out of character. But does this define them? Is it their preoccupation? What is their intent and their heart? What do they keep going back to and proclaim above and beyond all else? I don’t know, again, I’d need more specific examples. But I think we can be charitable, at least up till a point, and then we can start debating.... to see where our hearts really lie. If I’m so busy seeking to condemn men like Trueman, maybe what I know to be righteous loses its purity cause it’s causing me to cast stones rather than joy in the righteousness of God. Again, we would need to get into the specifics. Which we may or may not want to get into ...

How is Trueman causing men to stumbling? How does it compare to the good he does?
 
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A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
Again, this could potentially go down a road I really don’t want to go....

But we could probably get into older Reformed view vs. a newer Reformed view... I’m sure I would lean more toward older while stumbling toward newer sometimes. This is the Puritanboard after all. But I think the true value of the Puritans is their utter dependency on Jesus. We are surely bombarded with all kinds of distractions. But eventually, God willing, everything will fall into place.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
I've always seen him as a mixed bag. I avoid the Donatist view that anyone who isn't perfect enough is tainted and suspect. I've always disliked MoS because of its format. That said, Trueman is an expert on Luther and John Owen, so when he speaks on them I listen. I've gotten to the point that I really don't buy non-academic works anymore, so it might be a moot point.
 

alexandermsmith

Puritan Board Junior
I’d have to consider specific examples. I don’t want to be a hypocrite and say something has absolutely no value or must be avoided at all costs (newer Reformed view). I’m sure Trueman has met with a lot of strange cultural phenomenon in the States. How do we use our liberty? How do we redeem the time? These are noteworthy considerations. But we are all in different places in our life and come from different backgrounds and life experiences. I think Trueman is seeking to meet people where they are at. I don’t expect my pastors to be saints, they may even have interests that seem out of character. But does this define them? Is it their preoccupation? What is their intent and their heart? What do they keep going back to and proclaim above and beyond all else? I don’t know, again, I’d need more specific examples. But I think we can be charitable, at least up till a point, and then we can start debating.... to see where our hearts really lie. If I’m so busy seeking to condemn men like Trueman, maybe what I know to be righteous loses its purity cause it’s causing me to cast stones rather than joy in the righteousness of God. Again, we would need to get into the specifics. Which we may or may not want to get into ...

How is Trueman causing men to stumbling? How does it compare to the good he does?

I am hardly "so busy seeking to condemn men like Trueman". Someone asked for people to give their opinion of Trueman; I gave mine. I haven't listened to him for a long time, I don't read his output, I rarely think of him unless he is brought up in discussion (as here). But it was a good thing I did give my opinion as every other response has been the usual uncritical adulation of a man whose contribution to Reformed theology, if it weren't so dangerous (because of his high profile), is mediocre and forgettable. Trueman is all schtick and no substance. People shouldn't waste their time with him.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I am hardly "so busy seeking to condemn men like Trueman". Someone asked for people to give their opinion of Trueman; I gave mine. I haven't listened to him for a long time, I don't read his output, I rarely think of him unless he is brought up in discussion (as here). But it was a good thing I did give my opinion as every other response has been the usual uncritical adulation of a man whose contribution to Reformed theology, if it weren't so dangerous (because of his high profile), is mediocre and forgettable. Trueman is all schtick and no substance. People shouldn't waste their time with him.
Do you have any author recommendations on the subjects Truman is addressing? You mentioned better sources on a previous post.
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
I am hardly "so busy seeking to condemn men like Trueman". Someone asked for people to give their opinion of Trueman; I gave mine. I haven't listened to him for a long time, I don't read his output, I rarely think of him unless he is brought up in discussion (as here). But it was a good thing I did give my opinion as every other response has been the usual uncritical adulation of a man whose contribution to Reformed theology, if it weren't so dangerous (because of his high profile), is mediocre and forgettable. Trueman is all schtick and no substance. People shouldn't waste their time with him.
Ok, I respect that. Let’s make this easy cause I do respect your view. Name some contemporary replacement options for Trueman and we can leave this on a positive note :)
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Better even than John Owen?
Presuming that since Owen didn't write books analyzing Owen's theology, I don't think the comparison holds. My comment was not that Trueman is the greatest theologian writing today. Far from it. Not even close. My point is that he is the best authority on John Owen's writings today.
 

StephenMartyr

Puritan Board Freshman
Any good in him can be found elsewhere. There's a lot to worry about. He has a reputation as a conservative Reformed guy but this is not earned. He is certainly within the broad Reformed camp, but middle of the road. On any controversial issue within Reformed circles- worship, xmas, halloween for example- I've never heard him take the minority position (i.e. the older Reformed view). He sets himself up as a cantankerous critic of modernity, but he has embraced every innovation within the Reformed camp. And he bears a lot of the responsibility for elevating Aimee Byrd to prominence. I'd stay clear.
Thanks for your words. I haven't bought the book yet. I'll re-think my purchase. I have enough to read at the moment, as well having Nancy Pearcy's book Saving Leonardo which seems to be talking about the same subject. I'll read that first.
 

StephenMartyr

Puritan Board Freshman
I wrote prematurely not seeing there was a second page. I won't name names or point fingers but seeing how this page is going I feel kind of bad and I would like to address something.

There's a company that makes chocolate bars. I wouldn't normally like talking about this (but I did before a long time ago when I had chocolate as a hobby. Yes there is a chocolate hobby and a forum or two to go along with it!) because it might sound like I'm snotty and boastful. But I want to use this as a picture.

I won't talk about names from the thread here and I won't say who the company of these bars is (it's not important). But they make very expense bars. The more expensive being around $18-24 a bar. Something like that. They are very good.

As time goes on and you find companies like this one and try their bars you get hooked on real chocolate and enjoy learning how they make it. You get into a..."higher" taste and find you don't like anything less because your tastes go up. You find what you liked before is nothing in comparison.

Well the same is true I think for writers. I think there is a danger to our hearts when we set people up. I've read Owen and also like a lot of others. I really enjoy Machen. But there are Christian writers who may not write as good or as deep as those people.

We have to guard our hearts to being so "high tasted" that no one else can come close. Are we able to enjoy a talk with a new Christian? Can we read a blog from a young adult and rejoice with him? Can we give a child a high 5 when they quote a verse?

I really don't want to point the finger here because I MYSELF can act like that! Machen is SOOOOO good! I can't stomach anyone with lesser degrees! The way they talk is so watery.

There is fine chocolate but can we find something good in the little shop down the road who's trying their hardest and what they make might make you wince?

By the way I'm not advocating heresy or deliberate or natural bowls of whip cream (Osteen).
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I wrote prematurely not seeing there was a second page. I won't name names or point fingers but seeing how this page is going I feel kind of bad and I would like to address something.

There's a company that makes chocolate bars. I wouldn't normally like talking about this (but I did before a long time ago when I had chocolate as a hobby. Yes there is a chocolate hobby and a forum or two to go along with it!) because it might sound like I'm snotty and boastful. But I want to use this as a picture.

I won't talk about names from the thread here and I won't say who the company of these bars is (it's not important). But they make very expense bars. The more expensive being around $18-24 a bar. Something like that. They are very good.

As time goes on and you find companies like this one and try their bars you get hooked on real chocolate and enjoy learning how they make it. You get into a..."higher" taste and find you don't like anything less because your tastes go up. You find what you liked before is nothing in comparison.

Well the same is true I think for writers. I think there is a danger to our hearts when we set people up. I've read Owen and also like a lot of others. I really enjoy Machen. But there are Christian writers who may not write as good or as deep as those people.

We have to guard our hearts to being so "high tasted" that no one else can come close. Are we able to enjoy a talk with a new Christian? Can we read a blog from a young adult and rejoice with him? Can we give a child a high 5 when they quote a verse?

I really don't want to point the finger here because I MYSELF can act like that! Machen is SOOOOO good! I can't stomach anyone with lesser degrees! The way they talk is so watery.

There is fine chocolate but can we find something good in the little shop down the road who's trying their hardest and what they make might make you wince?

By the way I'm not advocating heresy or deliberate or natural bowls of whip cream (Osteen).
Nobody was worshipping the guy...even if one alleged it. All I am saying is that his book is eye opening from a historical point of view and his writing erudite.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I wrote prematurely not seeing there was a second page. I won't name names or point fingers but seeing how this page is going I feel kind of bad and I would like to address something.

There's a company that makes chocolate bars. I wouldn't normally like talking about this (but I did before a long time ago when I had chocolate as a hobby. Yes there is a chocolate hobby and a forum or two to go along with it!) because it might sound like I'm snotty and boastful. But I want to use this as a picture.

I won't talk about names from the thread here and I won't say who the company of these bars is (it's not important). But they make very expense bars. The more expensive being around $18-24 a bar. Something like that. They are very good.

As time goes on and you find companies like this one and try their bars you get hooked on real chocolate and enjoy learning how they make it. You get into a..."higher" taste and find you don't like anything less because your tastes go up. You find what you liked before is nothing in comparison.

Well the same is true I think for writers. I think there is a danger to our hearts when we set people up. I've read Owen and also like a lot of others. I really enjoy Machen. But there are Christian writers who may not write as good or as deep as those people.

We have to guard our hearts to being so "high tasted" that no one else can come close. Are we able to enjoy a talk with a new Christian? Can we read a blog from a young adult and rejoice with him? Can we give a child a high 5 when they quote a verse?

I really don't want to point the finger here because I MYSELF can act like that! Machen is SOOOOO good! I can't stomach anyone with lesser degrees! The way they talk is so watery.

There is fine chocolate but can we find something good in the little shop down the road who's trying their hardest and what they make might make you wince?

By the way I'm not advocating heresy or deliberate or natural bowls of whip cream (Osteen).
What I got from this is knowledge there are people dropping 20 bones for a candy bar. Now I’m really curious...
 

Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Sophomore
What I got from this is knowledge there are people dropping 20 bones for a candy bar. Now I’m really curious...
I know, right? It's like no one told them they're supposed to spend their milk money on scotch and ipa's.
Nobody was worshipping the guy...even if one alleged it. All I am saying is that his book is eye opening from a historical point of view and his writing erudite.
Maybe I misunderstood but I think he's addressing those critical of Truman.
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
I wrote prematurely not seeing there was a second page. I won't name names or point fingers but seeing how this page is going I feel kind of bad and I would like to address something.

There's a company that makes chocolate bars. I wouldn't normally like talking about this (but I did before a long time ago when I had chocolate as a hobby. Yes there is a chocolate hobby and a forum or two to go along with it!) because it might sound like I'm snotty and boastful. But I want to use this as a picture.

I won't talk about names from the thread here and I won't say who the company of these bars is (it's not important). But they make very expense bars. The more expensive being around $18-24 a bar. Something like that. They are very good.

As time goes on and you find companies like this one and try their bars you get hooked on real chocolate and enjoy learning how they make it. You get into a..."higher" taste and find you don't like anything less because your tastes go up. You find what you liked before is nothing in comparison.

Well the same is true I think for writers. I think there is a danger to our hearts when we set people up. I've read Owen and also like a lot of others. I really enjoy Machen. But there are Christian writers who may not write as good or as deep as those people.

We have to guard our hearts to being so "high tasted" that no one else can come close. Are we able to enjoy a talk with a new Christian? Can we read a blog from a young adult and rejoice with him? Can we give a child a high 5 when they quote a verse?

I really don't want to point the finger here because I MYSELF can act like that! Machen is SOOOOO good! I can't stomach anyone with lesser degrees! The way they talk is so watery.

There is fine chocolate but can we find something good in the little shop down the road who's trying their hardest and what they make might make you wince?

By the way I'm not advocating heresy or deliberate or natural bowls of whip cream (Osteen).
If you wanna go real lowbrow, there’s P&P.

What’s Driscoll up to these days?
 
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BottleOfTears

Puritan Board Freshman
as every other response has been the usual uncritical adulation of a man whose contribution to Reformed theology, if it weren't so dangerous (because of his high profile), is mediocre and forgettable.
Every other response? I'm not sure that's entirely fair here brother. You don't think anyone else here has read Carl Trueman critically? Frankly, I think your criticism of Dr Trueman is far too harsh, I mean dangerous? Really? And how can you claim that everyone else here is not only incorrect but has been completely uncritical in reading, when you admit yourself that you haven't read any of his work?

I haven't bought the book yet. I'll re-think my purchase.
I would strongly advise against deciding your purchases on the testimony of someone who is so obviously bias and who apparently has not read a single one of the author in question's books. If you really want to know what the book is about, Dr Trueman gave a lecture series recently at Grove which covers the same topic. The interviews linked above are also helpful.
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
I am hardly "so busy seeking to condemn men like Trueman". Someone asked for people to give their opinion of Trueman; I gave mine. I haven't listened to him for a long time, I don't read his output, I rarely think of him unless he is brought up in discussion (as here). But it was a good thing I did give my opinion as every other response has been the usual uncritical adulation of a man whose contribution to Reformed theology, if it weren't so dangerous (because of his high profile), is mediocre and forgettable. Trueman is all schtick and no substance. People shouldn't waste their time with him.
Alex, to be fair, you’ve been critical of him before. Which is fine. I’m not saying you, in particular, are so busy seeking to condemn. But I think many of us have a tendency to do that very thing. I was just making a general statement on our natural tendency to do that. There is a place for that, but we have to be prepared to battle our opinion, while hopefully maintaining a measure of charity whenever possible.

Good stuff...
 
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A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
A good follow up for CT would be the potential traps and pitfalls that come when these concepts creep into the church and empower the gay celibate Christian or the female church leader/authority or the male narcissist/abuser of authority, etc. I’m assuming CT does not get into that.....? But at this point, that may be the more timely analysis. But any uncovering of cultural mores is always a good thing.
 
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ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
A good follow up for CT would be the potential traps and pitfalls that come when these concepts creep into the church and empower the gay celibate Christian or the female church leader/authority or the male narcissist/abuser of authority, etc. I’m assuming CT does not get into that.....? But at this point, that may be the more timely analysis. But any uncovering of cultural mores is always a good thing.
I wonder if he’s fielding requests? :)
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
I wonder if he’s fielding requests? :)
Well, we can’t assume the church is well aligned on what is true and what is not. There have been various breakdowns in these areas. Again, I would think he would have included a chapter on such things. Maybe he did allude to them to some degree.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Well, we can’t assume the church is well aligned on what is true and what is not. There have been various breakdowns in these areas. Again, I would think he would have included a chapter on such things. Maybe he did allude to them to some degree.
I could addressed at the essay level as well.
 

alexandermsmith

Puritan Board Junior
I wrote prematurely not seeing there was a second page. I won't name names or point fingers but seeing how this page is going I feel kind of bad and I would like to address something.

There's a company that makes chocolate bars. I wouldn't normally like talking about this (but I did before a long time ago when I had chocolate as a hobby. Yes there is a chocolate hobby and a forum or two to go along with it!) because it might sound like I'm snotty and boastful. But I want to use this as a picture.

I won't talk about names from the thread here and I won't say who the company of these bars is (it's not important). But they make very expense bars. The more expensive being around $18-24 a bar. Something like that. They are very good.

As time goes on and you find companies like this one and try their bars you get hooked on real chocolate and enjoy learning how they make it. You get into a..."higher" taste and find you don't like anything less because your tastes go up. You find what you liked before is nothing in comparison.

Well the same is true I think for writers. I think there is a danger to our hearts when we set people up. I've read Owen and also like a lot of others. I really enjoy Machen. But there are Christian writers who may not write as good or as deep as those people.

We have to guard our hearts to being so "high tasted" that no one else can come close. Are we able to enjoy a talk with a new Christian? Can we read a blog from a young adult and rejoice with him? Can we give a child a high 5 when they quote a verse?

I really don't want to point the finger here because I MYSELF can act like that! Machen is SOOOOO good! I can't stomach anyone with lesser degrees! The way they talk is so watery.

There is fine chocolate but can we find something good in the little shop down the road who's trying their hardest and what they make might make you wince?

By the way I'm not advocating heresy or deliberate or natural bowls of whip cream (Osteen).

When it comes to theology I think we have to have a higher standard than "trying their hardest". There is nothing contradictory about enjoying reading a work of deep theology which may involve complex discussion and also enjoying blog posts which one finds profitable. I don't think that's the issue here. The issue, as far as I'm concerned, is what is actually being said in whatever place one is reading it. As has been said already: Carl Trueman is not a stupid man. He is, academically, accomplished and can write literature which is aimed at those with a lot of prior knowledge, as well as writing popular level articles and blogs. My issue is what he says.

It's one thing to settle for a cheap and cheerful chocolate bar for 50p; it's quite another to settle for compromise because the writer talks about issues one might be interested in.
 
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