The following is some more insight from Jim Babka on Gregg Frazer's thesis and the whole Interposition discussion in response to Jon's last post:
I couldn’t read thoroughly all the comments back and forth between you and King of Ireland over at American Creation. After awhile, I skipped to the end. I’m not interested in weighing back into this fray, as I believe I’ve said everything I want to say on the matter. Still, I think that this particular discussion could be aided a bit with the following perspective.
I agree with KofI, for the most part, in the case he’s been building of late, both for the Presbyterian doctrine of interposition and its influence on the Founding Fathers. And, overall, I admire and appreciate what I’ve learned, from you, about Mr. Frazer’s thesis — that is, I believe that Theistic Rationalism was the primary belief system amongst the leading Founding Fathers.
But all that said, I think KofI’s critique of Mr. Frazer on this aspect of Interposition is focused imprecisely. Both Mr. Van Dyke and I have pointed out that Frazer dismisses, entirely, all the scholarship within Calvinist circles, following Calvin himself.
1) Frazer takes the view that Calvin didn’t really mean that kind of interposition! He meant that only lower magistrates who had the power, as a specific job description, to rebuke the king, could do so, albeit guardedly and hesitantly. This view ignores that Calvin lived in an era where individual interpretation of scripture was new, that Calvin’s view appears to have evolved, and that he made reference to Biblical situations that did not fit the take that the power was so limited.
2) Frazer is unwilling to consider that Calvin had contemporaries who wrote on the topic of interposition, who claimed Calvin personally agreed with them. Whether or not they were telling the truth, he ignores the fact that “Calvinist” scholarship expanding the doctrine of interposition began while Calvin was still alive.
3) He rejects the influence of Calvinist interposition authors on the Founders, even when John Adams cites one of them, and other historians like Gary Amos can demonstrate that the DOI was modified, in convention, to appeal to the Calvinists. That would suggest, along with King George’s claim of a “Presbyterian Parson’s rebellion,” that the ORTHODOX Presbyterians were a necessary part of the revolutionary block.
4) And, most amusing of all, he rules out the generations that followed Calvin and elaborated on his doctrine of interposition, as Calvinists — like, they don’t have the secret decoder ring, and if they do, they should return it. As I pointed out in the past, their non-Calvinism would come as a great surprise to most of them.
Jon, you are correct: Mr. Frazer’s hermeneutical/theological disagreement is legitimate, even if KofI and I think he gets that part wrong as well (to disagree with Frazer theologically, btw, does not require that we look at Scripture as uninspired — the mere doctrine of men). Each must judge for their own, but to me, judging historically, given the aforementioned four points, Frazer seems closed to contrary evidence on interposition.
And I’m not sure why. I for one think his historical flag in the ground is still erect and waving, even while disagreeing with him on this singular aspect.