John Robbins has died

Discussion in 'Defending the Faith' started by BobVigneault, Aug 14, 2008.

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  1. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    Dear Friends,

    John William Robbins (1948-2008) died at his home in Unicoi County, Tennessee on Thursday, August, 14. He was 59.

    The youngest child of Seamon L. and Edith S. Robbins of Wayne County, Pennsylvania, Dr. Robbins is survived by his wife of 35 years, Linda; his three daughters, Juley Grady of Georgia, Laura Juodaitis of Tennessee, and Meri Robbins of the home; two sons-in-law, six grandchildren, two brothers, a sister, a brother-in-law, sister-in-law, five nephews, and a niece; and an uncle and aunt. He was preceded in death by his parents and several other aunts and uncles.

    In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to either Reformation Church of Unicoi or to The Trinity Foundation, which Dr. Robbins founded and presided over for more than 30 years. The mailing address is Post Office Box 68, Unicoi, Tennessee 37692.

    Funeral arrangements have been made by the Tetrick Funeral Services of 3001 Peoples Street, Johnson City, Tennessee 37602. Their telephone number is 423.610.7177. Their website is Tetrick Funeral Homes. Family visitation is on Sunday from 4-6 pm at Tetrick, and the Funeral will be on Monday at 2 pm.

    Thanks to all for your prayers and support.

    Remember that our only comfort is in Christ.

    In Christ,

    Tom Juodaitis
    The Trinity Foundation
    The Bible alone is the Word of God.
     
  2. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa

    I just received that email too, Bawb. Posted it on my blog. Will be praying for John's family.
     
  3. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    :pray2:
     
  4. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    Here is one of John's last articles. I post it as a tribute to the fallen contender and as food for thought for the rest of us.

     
  5. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    :pray2:
     
  6. Jerusalem Blade

    Jerusalem Blade Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    John Robbins gone

    I received this in an email from the Trinity Foundation:

    Dear Friends,

    John William Robbins (1948-2008) died at his home in Unicoi County, Tennessee on Thursday, August, 14. He was 59.

    The youngest child of Seamon L. and Edith S. Robbins of Wayne County, Pennsylvania, Dr. Robbins is survived by his wife of 35 years, Linda; his three daughters, Juley Grady of Georgia, Laura Juodaitis of Tennessee, and Meri Robbins of the home; two sons-in-law, six grandchildren, two brothers, a sister, a brother-in-law, sister-in-law, five nephews, and a niece; and an uncle and aunt. He was preceded in death by his parents and several other aunts and uncles.

    In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to either Reformation Church of Unicoi or to The Trinity Foundation, which Dr. Robbins founded and presided over for more than 30 years. The mailing address is Post Office Box 68, Unicoi, Tennessee 37692.

    Funeral arrangements have been made by the Tetrick Funeral Services of 3001 Peoples Street, Johnson City, Tennessee 37602. Their telephone number is 423.610.7177. Their website is Tetrick Funeral Homes <http://www.tetrickfuneralhome.com> . Family visitation is on Sunday from 4-6 pm at Tetrick, and the Funeral will be on Monday at 2 pm.

    Thanks to all for your prayers and support.

    Remember that our only comfort is in Christ.

    In Christ,

    Tom Juodaitis
    The Trinity Foundation
    The Bible alone is the Word of God.
     
  7. Theogenes

    Theogenes Puritan Board Junior

    :pray2:
    Its a sad day for the Church.
     
  8. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    :pray2:
     
  9. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    R. I. P. :pray2: for his family.
     
  10. Augusta

    Augusta Puritan Board Doctor

    :pray2:
     
  11. Zadok

    Zadok Puritan Board Freshman

    :pray2:
     
  12. PresReformed

    PresReformed Puritan Board Freshman

    :( :pray2:
     
  13. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritan Board Doctor

    :pray2:
     
  14. Southern Presbyterian

    Southern Presbyterian Moderator Staff Member

    :(:pray2:
     
  15. DeoOpt

    DeoOpt Puritan Board Freshman

    :pray2:
     
  16. Blueridge Believer

    Blueridge Believer Puritan Board Professor

  17. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    :ditto:

    :pray2:
     
  18. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    He was very gracious to me recently in amply suppling some books.

    I appreciated him.
     
  19. JM

    JM Puritan Board Professor

    Yes, it is...
     
  20. shackleton

    shackleton Puritan Board Junior

    That's too bad I rather liked his lectures on logic :(:tombstone:
     
  21. SolaGratia

    SolaGratia Puritan Board Junior

    One thing I learned from Mr. John W. Robbins which I am very grateful and I will never forget is the following;

    "The Bible alone is the Word of God," John W. Robbins
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2008
  22. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    R. I. P.
     
  23. kalawine

    kalawine Puritan Board Junior

    Rest in peace John

    :( :pray2: Let me say that I am very proud of the attitude of all you guys who have posted on this thread. I've not been a member of the PB for very long but it hasn't taken me long to see that Dr. Robbins had some pretty tough critics on the board. I do understand this and I think that the reasons varied, some I agreed with and some I didn't. I'm proud that no one on the PB has made any jokes about his passing. Please let me say that if it were not for Dr. Robbins I might never have heard of presuppositional apologetics or the laws of logic. Also, I have wondered many times if he wasn't misunderstood to some degree. His apologetic, probably 100% of the time, was a polemic apologetic. Many people can't take the polemic approach, especially if the ideas of someone they respect is the target of controversy. I actually learn more and enjoy more the polemic approach to apologetics even though I would rather listen to or read it than actually participate. Many times this is because I don't know enough about the subject to be involved.
    The post that "Bawb" posted about God's will and healing is to me an article worth reading because it shows a side of the man that many of you may have never known. I have emailed John on several occasions and he has always been quick to answer any questions that I had. Once I called his home to see if I could possibly find a workbook that he had used (along with the text book by Clark) to teach his lectures on logic. His wife told me that he was too weak to come to the phone but he did send the message that he could no longer publish the work book as there was no demand for it. He was always polite yet never bending in his assault on empiricism and his stand for Clarkian apologetics. He was hard to understand for many of us because he approached apologetics with a philosopher's and a logician's mind. No matter what anyone else thinks I will miss him very much.
     
  24. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    LewRockwell.com Blog: John W. Robbins, RIP

    John W. Robbins, RIP

    Posted by Lew Rockwell at August 14, 2008 09:36 PM
    Writes Gary North:
    John W. Robbins died on August 14, 2008. He was 59. He received his Ph.D. in political theory under Gottfried Dietze at Johns Hopkins University. He was awarded an M.A. from Johns Hopkins at age 21 and his Ph.D. at age 23. As an undergraduate, he studied political science and also took economics courses under Hans Sennholz at Grove City College.

    Robbins was a defender of free market economics. He was disciple of Gordon H. Clark. Clark was famous as a Calvinistic philosopher. He also was an advocate of the free market. He was the author of The Christian View of Men and Things.

    Robbins devoted much of his career to the republication of Clark's books. He did this through his non-profit Trinity Foundation, which he founded in 1977Robbins first came to the attention of libertarians because of his self-published book, Answer to Ayn Rand (1974). He did not object to her defense of the free market. He objected to her epistemology, which rested on atheism. He updated this and gave it a new title, Without a Prayer: Ayn Rand and the Close of Her System, an obvious reference to Bohm-Bawerk's Karl Marx and the Close of His System, the 1896 title applied to the English-language translation of his book on Marx. Robbins devoted much of his career to discussions of epistemology, religion, and atheism. In the spring of 1976, Robbins was hired by Congressman Ron Paul as his legislative assistant. Paul had been elected to Congress in a midterm election in April. He immediately hired Robbins. In June, he hired me as his research assistant. We were truly the odd couple. Robbins, as a defender of Gordon Clark, was completely hostile to Clark's chief rival, Cornelius Van Til. I am a disciple of Van Til's apologetic method, and I studied for a year under Van Til at Westminster Theological Seminary in the early 1960s. Dr. Paul had no knowledge about the rival positions that Robbins and I represented. I am not sure that he understood fully the extent of our Calvinism. He surely did not know about our rival views of epistemology.

    Robbins and I and a secretary occupied a small room in the Longworth Building, far removed from Dr. Paul's main office in the same building. I never did figure out exactly where this little room fit on a map of the Longworth Building. I could get there, but I never figured out which direction I was walking. I only rarely went to the main office.

    I stuck to my knitting; Robbins stuck to his. I did research on various economic issues; Robbins did research on specific pieces of legislation that were being considered by Congress. Our secretary had no understanding of Calvinism, economics, or politics. She took care of constituent complaints and requests.

    The room was small. Yet, most of the time, Robbins and I did not talk to each other. Our desks were separated by a divider. We were working on separate projects. He would occasionally come to me and describe some legislative disaster that the House of Representatives was about to consider. He would ask me about what I thought concerning the legislation if it happened to deal with economics. He understood enough about Austrian School economics so that he can handle most of these questions himself.

    He would then send summaries to Dr. Paul about the legislation. Anyway, that is what I assumed he did. I never got involved with the specifics of most of the legislation, unless it had something to do specifically with banking.

    Robbins was tenacious. I have never known anyone more tenacious. He was a bulldog in everything he did. He would size up a piece of legislation, identify why it was tyrannical, and presumably would outline this to Dr. Paul for any speech that Dr. Paul might insert into the Congressional Record. He was not a man to compromise. So, he fit right in. Dr. Paul was never a politician to compromise, either. He still isn't.

    Robbins and I left the Federal payroll in January, 1977. Dr. Paul had been defeated by 268 votes out of approximately 180,000 votes the previous November. So, Robbins and I went our separate ways. He set up the Trinity Foundation in 1977. I had already set up the Institute for Christian Economics in 1976. He later returned to Dr. Paul's staff, becoming Chief of Staff, 1981-85. I saw him again briefly at a party honoring Hans Sennholz on his retirement from teaching in 1992. He co-edited a festschrift presented to Sennholz at that meeting, A Man of Principle. I wrote an article for it.

    Over the years, I would occasionally read one of his essays. Usually, it was directed against Van Til. Some people think that I am controversial. Compared to Robbins, I am a shy pussycat trying to avoid trouble.

    He and I generally honored an unspoken agreement. I would not respond to anything he wrote, and he would not respond to anything I wrote. I was never particularly interested in the writings of Gordon Clark. This is not because I did not think the Clark was an intelligent philosopher. I was just not interested in the topics he usually wrote about. Robbins, in contrast, carried Clark's war against Van Til. He also had a long history of challenging other Calvinists and Arminians with equal fervency. He was an equal opportunity bulldog.

    He was a strong opponent of tax-funded education. He was also a great fan of J. Gresham Machen, the founder of Westminster Theological Seminary in 1936 and a 19th century classical liberal in his economic and political views. Robbins reprinted many of Machen's articles and lectures. He assembled in one book several of Machen's essays against public education, Education, Christianity, and the State.

    He did not write a book on political theory. I often wondered what he would say about the history of political theory. Of all the people I have ever known whose book on the history of political theory I would have been most likely to read, it would have been his.

    The two of us did not stay in academia. I quit the only full-time teaching job I ever had at the collegiate level after one semester. I never looked back. It was one of my better decisions. He taught briefly at a small private college in Hobbs, New Mexico.

    His main legacy will be the books written by Clark which he reprinted. That project absorbed much of his time and the money he raised.
     
  25. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    :pray2:
     
  26. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    John Robbins

    Last year I had the privilege to correspond with him. He was VERY gracious to me in dealing with my questions. I appreciated that aspect. He was also VERY patient with me in answering my questions even when he was busy. When I read the thread title I thought for sure, this cannot be the John Robbins I have corresponded with. I was saddened to find out it was. He was an ardent defender of scripture. I will miss him.

    I will remember his family in my prayers.
    :pray2:
     
  27. Christusregnat

    Christusregnat Puritan Board Professor


    If anyone has tracked anything I've said on the PB, you would probably think I'm van Tilian. I'm not. Why? John Robbins.

    I cut my teeth on Gordon Clark's writings in the late '90s, and have since been a generally faithful disciple of Clark. Robbins impacted my life in a fundamental and life-long way: he introduced me to Christian philosophy. Thank you John; you will be missed.

    Cheers,

    Adam
     
  28. rjlynam

    rjlynam Puritan Board Sophomore

    :pray2: ing for God's comforting mercies to be upon the family.
     
  29. BlackCalvinist

    BlackCalvinist Puritan Board Senior

    Saint gone home.

    Blessed are they who die in the Lord for they now rest from their works.
     
  30. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    I'm glad for Robbins's positive contributions to theology and the church, but his weird obsession with the Gordon Clark/Cornelius Van Til "feud," leading to his bitter denials of Van Til's theological accomplishments, along with his rather obvious contempt for the OPC (because of Van Til) surely won't be missed.

    A talented and gifted man, but a very odd duck - as a friend of mine put it to me when I announced the news to him.
     
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