Monday, January 28, 2008

A.W. Pink and Watchman Nee

Watchman Nee and A.W. Pink might seem like two very different writers, but in my mind they belong to the same category. They both began from a solid base in Dispensational theology, but moved in an extreme and unhealthy direction. Both men wrote many works which contain much which is very edifying, yet for the most part their works are somewhat unbalanced.

Watchman Nee had a tendency towards a proto-Charismatic mysticism, while Pink adopted an extreme form of Calvinism and abandoned Dispensationalism altogether. They illustrate the dangers of moving either to the right or to the left.

It is likely that both men were influenced by their surrounding culture, Nee, by the mysticism and superstition of China, and Pink, by the legalistic Calvinism prevalent in Scotland.

We must navigate carefully between the Scylla of Reformed theology and the Charybdis of Charismatic theology.

21 comments:

Jonathan Hunt said...

a solid base in Dispensational theology

You are entitled to your opinion.

And you wonder why I don't link to your blog?

Only kidding. I hope to revise the whole template soon. You'll be back... ;-)

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I know, I am a bit narrow in my theology.

But know more so than a lot of Reformed people.

And I am Dichotomist rather than Trichotomist on the psychology issue, so I guess that puts me a few inches closer to the Reformed camp.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

David Wyatt said...

Bro. Matthew, to your post, I say BINGO!! You hit the target right in the bull's eye! Great!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Hey, thanks!

Earl said...

I started in Dispenational theology and then went hopelessly apostate. It's a disease. When you sniff it, run for your life.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Wow.

Antonio said...

I am thoroughly dichotomist too, Matthew.

Didn't you know that Charles Ryrie is one? He calls his position "bipartite unity"

Antonio

Earl said...

I am a dichotomist too, as are most Calvinists. What out you guys, you're on the slippery slope to apostasy like me.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Earl, yeah.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Antonio, interesting to know your view.

I can see how the issue might affect the doctrine of saving faith.

Thanks for telling me what Ryrie thinks. I was not aware of his view.

God Bless

Matt

Earl said...

Matthew,

Thanks for putting up with my lame humor. :o)

Antonio said...

Earl,

I was not aware that most Calvinists are. I once wrote a pretty hefty paper on the nature of man, and I saw alot of reformed people believing in trichotomy.

Antonio

Earl said...

Antonio,

That is interesting! Here is a sample of Reformed who are dichotomists: R.C Sproul, John Murray (Westminster, PA), Louis Berkhoff, Robert Reymond, John W. Robbins, Kim Ridlebarger, Michael Horton. These are people who I've seen take the dichotomist view. From this sample I've made the assumption that most Reformed people are, but you've come across a bunch who aren't. Just goes to show you I can make bad assumptions.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

It would be interesting to know which Calvinists are Trichotomists. I suspect they are more recent theologians.

It is not just Calvinists; Lutherans and Roman Catholics tend to be Dichotomist. Western Christians.

Eastern Orthodoxy, on the other hand has championed Trichotomy.

The defenders of the Tripartite view sometimes argue that it comes down to linguistics, with Latin, unlike Greek being unable to sustain the distinction between soul and spirit.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Earl said...

Matthew,

That is interesting. The few conservative Lutherans I know about (from the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod in the USA) express the dichotomy view. These include John Warwick Montgomery, Todd Wilkin and a few others who I have listened to long enough or read enough to know their views on the subject.

I'm wondering if some of the non-classical Reformed people, such as John MacArthur (whose a mix of Dispensational and Reformed) or Douglas Wilson (who has taken an independent path into Reformed and takes some unusual views) have trichotomy views. I haven't read them enough to know.

Interesting about the Latin vs. Greek.

David Wyatt said...

If forced to a decision, or position, I suppose I'd be a trike.

Just poppin' in! Hi bro. Matthew.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Nice to see you, David.

Parture said...

Do you have any evidence for the allegation Nee was into "proto-Charismatic mysticism"?

You wouldn't want to sin bearing false witness since God hates that sin.

If you can't find any evidence for your allegation then you should repent.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that those holding the dispenation position think any one that holds a different position than themselves is a cult? When was the last time you spoke to an unbeliever about Christ. Watchman nee is a hero of the faith his ministry continues to be a blessing. Mr dispensationist what legacy will you leave?

Matthew Celestis said...

I've changed my mind about Watchman Nee having read more of his writings. He wrote some great stuff!

I don't agree with everything he wrote, but I like a lot of it.

Mary C. said...

All these isms are just schisms. Many times a teacher just states a Bible truth a little differently than one of these dogmatic sects and he is branded a heretic. Everybody gets off the indwelling Christ and glorifying Him and starts fighting for some pet doctrine with a long name that no one understands. This is the real heresy and apostasy that is going on today, and why the Body of Christ is so divided.