Two folks have chimed in, and reviewed my article Was Calvin a Marriage Mandator?????? Anakin Niceguy and Chizadek. I know that they are not exactly unbiased, but here is what they said. First here is Anakin:
Wow. That's all I can say, PC. You have beaten Debbie at her own game. Although I am not Reformed in my theology, I appreciate your adept handling of the historical sources and the way you exposed the spurious appeal Mrs. Maken makes to church tradition. I argued against the use of Church History (as opposed to biblical exegesis) to formulate doctrine, but you went further and nailed the coffin by turning Mrs. Maken's Frankenstein back on her. It is utterly devastating to her case that she walking in the "old paths" (when in fact, marriage mandate theology is a recent creature born out of sloppy hermeneutics).
Anakin also said, on his blog:
1. First there is this decisively humiliating piece by Puritan Calvinist, wherein he exposes Debbie Maken's claim to the mantle of Reformed tradition as an ahistorical sham.
Chizadek wrote the following in the comments section of my blog:
Regarding the celibacy = continence issue. I believe Maken is mainly redefining celibacy to be continence, not the other way around, though she does seem to take an extreme meaning of continence as absence rather than control of desire as you discuss. She does not use celibacy in the dictionary sense. It seems that the idea is that celibacy means whatever the gift of celibacy entails.
I believe that Matthew Henry had a control rather than absence view of the gift, but didn't realise that Calvin was the same. I wonder what support there is for a historical no-desire view of the gift? Your analysis is helpful, thanks.
I really hope we can get my article out to Reformed Christians so that we can keep the Mandatory Marriage Movement from getting a historical foothold. If we can show it to be a-historical as well as unbiblical we can take away any argument that they might use.
Thanks to both of you for your comments!