Saturday, May 30, 2020

Frazer Responds to Van Dyke III

Tom Van Dyke made three comments (onetwo, and three) on 5/28/20. Gregg Frazer responds to them below.

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Mr. Van Dyke: You persist in making claims in my name that I do not make.

I am not arguing that no one else held some of the same views as Locke.  I am arguing about who actually influenced the “patriot” preachers.

Re “Just because Locke was cited does not mean that those ideas and arguments were not already part of the growing body of Christian/Protestant/"Calvinist" political theology”: OK, but I’m not arguing that they didn’t have some of the same ideas – I’m arguing that the “patriot” preachers did not get them from “the growing body of Christian/Protestant/’Calvinist’ political theology,” but from Locke.  I’m arguing the apparently controversial notion that they got the ideas from the source they said they got them from.

You and Mark largely hold the same views.  If someone reads Mark’s book and cites him in support of their own view, is it equally valid to claim that you influenced them?  It makes no difference who they cited for the ideas they’re expressing?

The fact that someone cites Locke and not anyone in the cast of “Reformed” characters does not indicate that they got their ideas from Locke? – irrespective of whether the ideas of others are similar?

It is, of course, not necessary for someone to directly quote from a source that influenced their thought, but to attempt to satisfy Mr. Van Dyke, here’s an example of a “patriot” preacher quoting Locke directly:

“Men in society having property, they have such a right to the goods, which by the law of the community are theirs, that nobody hath a right to take their substance, or any part of it from them, without their own consent: Without this they have no property at all; for I have truly no property in that, which another can by right take from me when he pleases against my consent. Hence it is a mistake to think, that the supreme or legislative power of any commonwealth, can do what it will, and dispose of the estates of the subject arbitrarily, or take any part of them at pleasure.  Lock on civil Government”
           

-- John Tucker, An Election Sermon, Boston, 1771

Next from you is a demand that Mark supply direct quotes from Beza or another Reformer in a “patriot” sermon – right?  I’ve noticed that “read my book” isn’t OK when I say it, but it’s fine with you when Mark does.

Almost all” is an important distinction.  I would be interested to see, for example, a 16th-century “Reformed” writer building his argument on the state of nature. “Social contract” was not a Founding principle?  You might have trouble telling that to Jefferson, Bernard Bailyn, Clinton Rossiter, Pauline Maier, Forrest McDonald, and countless other scholars of the Founding.

3 comments:

Our Founding Truth said...

Excellent discernment yet again Dr. Frazer.

Tom Van Dyke said...


Mr. Van Dyke: You persist in making claims in my name that I do not make.


I'll thank you to keep a civil tongue, Mr. Frazer. I have not misrepresented you. We all understand you just fine.

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I am not arguing that no one else held some of the same views as Locke. I am arguing about who actually influenced the “patriot” preachers.

Re “Just because Locke was cited does not mean that those ideas and arguments were not already part of the growing body of Christian/Protestant/"Calvinist" political theology”: OK, but I’m not arguing that they didn’t have some of the same ideas – I’m arguing that the “patriot” preachers did not get them from “the growing body of Christian/Protestant/’Calvinist’ political theology,” but from Locke.



Even if we stipulate that, it is irrelevant: You are still back where you started. "Lockean" is therefore a distinction without a difference, and you have conceded the argument.

If these ideas were indeed "already part of the growing body of Christian/Protestant/"Calvinist" political theology,” Locke is merely the conduit. The ideas--scholarly speaking--are "Christian" by any workable philology.


The claim here has always been that Locke was seen as a Christian thinker, and his political theology seen as consistent with the body of growing Christian thought--specifically "Calvinist"/Reformed Resistance Theory."

You have not even attempted to illustrate what was uniquely "Lockean" and not already ensconced in Christian thought.

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To move past this basic [and well-belaboured] point, I point the reader to a discussion I had some years back with Daryl G. Hart, who became intrigued enough

https://oldlife.org/2013/08/05/step-aside-beza-and-locke-say-hello-to-almain-and-mair/

to stop buffaloing about Theodore Beza--John Calvin's friend and immediate successor--and do some actually homework. Reformed resistance theology really begins with and runs through Beza. We shall pick up the trail there anon.

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