You might be a gnostic, if…

Somebody made up a joke like this ten years.  I decided to give it my own spin.  I’ve tried to make it funny and not just mean-spirited.

  1. You might be a gnostic if…you think demons only exist in the Bible and not in real life.
  2. You might be a gnostic if…someone quotes Isaiah without citing it and you accuse them of carnal eschatology.
  3. You might be a gnostic if…you think that connecting bodily habits with spiritual disciplines denies the gospel.
  4. You might be a gnostic if…you think liturgy denies the gospel, even though the Holy Spirit uses that word in Acts 13.
  5. You might be a gnostic if…you deny the free offer of the gospel.
  6. You might be a gnostic if…you are a hyper-Calvinist.
  7. You might be a gnostic if…you don’t realize (5) and (6) are the same thing.
  8. You might be a gnostic if…you have the same view of angels as Immanuel Kant but you know your presbytery will never call you on it.
  9. You might be a gnostic if…when I ask that singing the doxology literally invokes angels in worship but you respond by saying, “That’s just words.  We don’t really mean it.”
  10. That means you are also a nominalist.
  11. You might be a gnostic if…you confuse the intermediate state, which is necessarily dis-embodied and rightly in the presence of God, with the eternal state which is resurrected and drinking wine on Yahweh’s mountain.

About J. B. Aitken

Interests include patristics, the role of the soul in the human person, analytic theology, Reformed Scholasticism, Medievalism, Substance Metaphysics
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3 Responses to You might be a gnostic, if…

  1. Evan says:

    R. Scott Clark made a humorous one of these on the Heidelcast one time on neonomianism. I cracked up listening to it.

    A more charitable reading of criterion number 11 would make me a gnostic :).


    • JB Aitken says:

      During the summer I started a thread on Puritanboard on the soul and near death experiences. The result was predictable: the usual Monte Python style of discussion. What no one realized was that I was summarizing what every Father, East and West, said on the nature of the soul and angels.

      So I hold to the disembodied soul in the intermediate state. But a resurrected body will be on the new heavens and new *earth*. Even Amils like Hoekema and Beale say this.


      • Evan says:

        I understand to a degree their skepticism of “near death experiences.” One thing that is particularly troubling for me, as a Reformed Christian, is the ignorance of patristics; it seems that most Reformed have, at best, a survey of patrology and some understanding of Augustine’s soteriology.


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