The comment that got me banned

On Ortho Bridge’s future of protestantism thread, the admin mentioned Nevin, particularly Leithart’s use of Nevin.  I was intrigued.  I’ve long read Nevin (and Leithart) and I knew that Leithart’s project depends on Nevin’s theology.   I made a comment along the lines of “The Trueman-Leithart debate is an exact replay of the Nevin-Hodge debate.”  I thought it was a commonsensical and brilliant comment.  I was warned not to derail the discussion.  Well, the comment I was about to make, and one pertaining directly to both Nevin’s and Orthodoxy’s anthropology was this:

if we accept Nevin’s platonic essentialism, especially with regard to the Eucharist and Christology, then we run into huge problems. If Christ assumed the universal humanity, then he also assumed the rules of predicating of genus: the more universal a genus, the less specific it is. If Christ is the universal humanity, then there is nothing specifically human about him!


6 comments on “The comment that got me banned

  1. John* says:


    It appears that this comment of yours exposed to OB the severe damage Hellenism does to both Christology and Orthodox hermeneutical methodology. None too subtly you opened an extremely raw wound in Orthodoxy:

    The Orthodox cannot both have their cake and eat it too.

    1) If the Orthodox want to have a truly Chalcedonian Christology, where Yeshua is both God and Human (in a specific human body) – as they appear to want so badly to do,

    then they are required to abandon all forms of Hellenism, including Platonic and neo-Platonic cosmology, philosophy and theology and revert to a truly Hebraic basis of doing cosmology, philosophy and theology – IF they want to claim, in the fields of cosmology, philosophy and theology any true form of “Apostolic Succession”.

    2) If the Orthodox want to retain all forms of Hellenism, including Platonic and neo-Platonic cosmology, philosophy and theology – which they seem are so obsessively committed to do,

    then they are required to abandon any form of Chalcedonian Christology, where Yeshua is both God and Human (in a specific human body), AND they are also thus required to believe that Christ IS the universal humanity, AND there is nothing specifically human about him!. Which is essentially the classic Gnostic position.

    And as a consequence, they are required, in the fields of cosmology, philosophy and theology to abandon any true form of “Apostolic Succession”. Something truly anathema to them

    There is no “middle ground” third (or subsequent) option(s).

    .I suspect that RA saw the point you were trying to make, explored its ramifications, and found them so dangerous to both his personal theology and that of EO that he could not afford to have them surface on OB. It might have scuttled the entire basis of the OB website.

    It indeed WOULD “derail the discussion” and throw him onto the permanent defensive, challenging him to prove the “Apostolic Succession” of so much of what EO has in its carry-bag.

    Anyway, thanks for trying with OB, it seems that they (in at least their own opinion) are indeed “rich and increased with goods and are in need of nothing” (Rev. 3:17). They are my conclusions too. Sadly.

  2. olivianus says:

    Jacob, You’re still torturing these guys? Good for you! A real sadist.

    • John* says:


      sadly your comment is so true. I wish that you were using the term “sadist” tongue in cheek.

      Jacob (bless him), and perhaps myself, fill the role for OB of being the small boy in the story of the king’s newest and finest clothing.

      Many positions on OB are untenable – and both Jacob and myself know it, and RA does not like these “small boys” around to do the scholarly honours in example after example.

      If you are an Icarus and Daedalus attempting to fly to the sun, the wax sticking your feathers to your arms will eventually melt and you will come crashing to earth. And RA does not want that to happen.

      RA is particularly sensitive in the fields of Hellenism and “apostolic succession” with these small boys showing that these two are mutually incompatible – this is perhaps the most painful of all for him. I could expand, but I trust that this will be enough for now.

  3. Really, I wouldn’t go all out on these guys were it not for a few things:

    1) If you are going to critique Reformed thought, please go beyond the TULIP label.
    2) Make arguments instead of saying “Ignatius says.”

    and most importantly,

    3) When I was in college I was so joyful and happy, but after I got out of grad school and came into contact with these guys,, I wrestled with faith and assurance for four years. THere is no more horrible thing than someone stealing your joy. That’s why I have a bulldog mentality.

    • John* says:


      Re your #2.

      You are right, we are meant to be students in a Yeshiva, not parrots learning by rote to squark the same responses in the same tone of voice with the same, but untested, level of surety..

      For the Orthodox, and to a lesser extent these days, Rome, being an “original theologian” means “going back to origins” and producing a compilation of Patristic / Episcopal thought.And going no further! For the Orthodox, this is the pinnacle of “original theology” and produces the complacent but inadequate “Ignatius says” as above.

      I trust that this assists..

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