by Mike Ratliff
1 Καὶ προσελθόντες οἱ Φαρισαῖοι καὶ Σαδδουκαῖοι πειράζοντες ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν σημεῖον ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἐπιδεῖξαι αὐτοῖς. 2 ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· [ὀψίας γενομένης λέγετε· εὐδία, πυρράζει γὰρ ὁ οὐρανός· 3 καὶ πρωΐ· σήμερον χειμών, πυρράζει γὰρ στυγνάζων ὁ οὐρανός. τὸ μὲν πρόσωπον τοῦ οὐρανοῦ γινώσκετε διακρίνειν, τὰ δὲ σημεῖα τῶν καιρῶν οὐ δύνασθε;] 4 γενεὰ πονηρὰ καὶ μοιχαλὶς σημεῖον ἐπιζητεῖ, καὶ σημεῖον οὐ δοθήσεται αὐτῇ εἰ μὴ τὸ σημεῖον Ἰωνᾶ. καὶ καταλιπὼν αὐτοὺς ἀπῆλθεν. (Matthew 16:1-4 NA27)
1 And having approached to test him, the Pharisees and Sadducees asked for him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 But he answered and said to them, “When evening comes you say, ‘Fair weather for the sky is fiery red.’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today stormy weather for the sky being overcast is fiery red.’ The appearance of the sky you know enough to distinguish, but the signs of the times you can’t make out? 4 An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign and a sign will not be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” And having left them, he went away. (Matthew 16:1-4 Possessing the Treasure New Testament V1)
Today, my friends in the CRN discernment group sent me the link below to a tweet by Perry Noble.
Perry Noble tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/perrynoble/status/123786301538451456
Go ahead and follow those links and read James MacDonald’s post on Proverbs 26:4,5, which Perry Noble says is a “must read.” If you don’t think this is reference to the blow up over his invite of T.D. Jakes to his Elephant Room 2 discussion, his failed attempt to defend that decision, his losing Mark Dever from the Forum, et cetera then you haven’t been paying attention. Dr. James White said it best when he commented the other day on this whole sad affair by saying, “…the Elephant Room, whatever that is. Whatever it is, it sounds like a place where people sit around and discuss how to redefine Christianity while refusing to stand on the shoulders of giants who have come before…” Of course, his main comment was about the foolishness of inviting a known Modalist, T.D. Jakes, to a supposed Christian discussion about the Holy Trinity.
Who is being foolish? Who is being presumptuous with theology that they have no business messing with? If you read that article by MacDonald then you know that all through it he hit on the fact that his detractors seem to believe “they have it all figured out.” I assure you, those who know theology enough to know when the doctrine of the Trinity is being attacked and discussed by someone who is a heretic, a Modalist, then they are being much less foolish then those who think it is in their purview to redefine Christianity on their on terms. Sorry, it isn’t and the fact they think it is puts them in the category of ‘the foolish.’
Here is Proverbs 26:4,5 from the ESV.
 [b]Answer not a fool according to his folly,
lest you be like him yourself.
 [c]Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be [d]wise in his own eyes.
(Proverbs 26:4-5 ESV)
[b] [2 Sam. 16:11; 2 Kgs. 18:36; Luke 23:9]
[c] See Matt. 16:1-4; 21:24-27
[d] ch. 28:11; [Rom. 12:16]
All the commentaries I read on these two verses say that they appear to contradict each other. In v5 we are told to answer a fool according to his folly lest he be wise in his own eyes. This is to show up their folly. However, if the encounter turns into something like what our Lord had to continually deal with as in Matthew 16:1-4 then we give the rebuke and end it. This is why I have certain rules for commenting in place on this blog, which I didn’t have for quite some time. It became necessary because certain individuals simply will not give it up no matter how well their arguments are answered.
John MacArthur says in his Commentary, page 723 pertaining to these two verses:
“Taken together, these verses teach the appropriate way to answer a fool (e.g. an unbeliever who rejects truth). He should not be answered with agreement to his own ideas and presuppositions, or he will think he is right (v.4), but he should be rebuked on the basis of his folly and shown the truth so he sees how foolish he is (v.5).”
Take these two together and compare it to what James MacDonald has done and how he has tried to justify himself and misuse this part of Proverbs and we see that when we attempted to correct him about “his error” he responded as a fool by refusing to listen and it is obvious that he is still there.
Soli Deo Gloria!