Thursday, July 12, 2007

Is it even worth mentioning? Sippo Update

Sippo in three recent posts:

(a) connects Lutheranism and National Socialism (Do you really want a link?);
(b) thinks his question "Was the Good Samaritan saved?" has an answer other than, "The Good Samaritan was not a real person." (link for those who doubt that Sippo would actually call that answer "a dishonest excuse."); and
(c) denies that the first and great commandment (upon which hangs all the law and prophets) is meant literally (link in which Sippo attaches the adverb "crassly" to the adjective "literal": particularly ironic when you consider his view of the Eucharist), in order to avoid admitting the obvious, namely that we all always fall short of perfect obedience to the great commandment.

-Turretinfan

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you saying that the good Samaritan wasn't a real person and that you personally use this excuse but don't think it's a dishonest excuse? It kinda looks like that's what you're saying, but it's hard to tell.

Turretinfan said...

The good Samaritan was a fictional character. Labelling that as an "excuse" seems strange, but labelling it as a "dishonest excuse" is beyond strange.

-Turretinfan

Josh said...

I logged in and posted a comment on Sippos blog. Basically, I agree that the good Samaritan was a real person, but I don't agree with the conclusions he draws from that. I think that it is an excuse to say "he's not a real person" and it shows a lack of backbone to say what I said in my comment on his blog (which unfortunately hasn't made it up yet).

Turretinfan said...

Josh,

I'm not sure why you would think that the good Samaritan was a real person.

-Turretinfan

Josh said...

The reason I think he was a real person is that Jesus says "A certain man..." He doesn't say "Now let's suppose a certain man..." And since he is God (1) he cannot lie (2) he certainly would have intimate knowledge of this certain man if he indeed existed. Therefore, I believe he did exist as a real man. But to use the example of the good Samaritan to make a point about salvation clearly misses the point. Jesus did not point him out as an example of how to get saved but as an example of how to love one's neighbor. Now, I suppose certain extreme varieties of Calvinism that state man is so depraved he can do nothing good at all until reborn would have a problem with such a man really existing, as Sippo points out, and would like to make him a fiction, because his existence...nay, whether he is a real man or purely a hypothetical, he still disproves their extreme view of depravity! But for everyone else, who acknowledges the obvious Biblical truth that an unsaved man can do good things and those good things will not save him, there is no reason to fear the good Samaritans' having been a real man. The reality of the man does not prove universalism as Sippo wants it to, as if God will save those who do not believe in Jesus, which Sippo implies. The Samaritan's existence only proves that there was a Samaritan who was a good neighbor (whether he was saved or not) and Jesus told us to be like him in his neighborliness (not his theology or doctrine).

Turretinfan said...

Dear Josh,

But Jesus never phrases parables with "let's suppose."

On the other hand, in parables, "a certain" is frequently used to introduce a person in a parable.

See: Matthew 18:23, 21:33, 22:2;
Luke 12:16, 13:6, 14:16, 15:11, 16:1, 16:19-20, 19:12, 20:9.

Of course God does not lie, but the form of the narrative suggests a parable, not an historical account. Furthermore, the point of the narrative is clearly to convey a spiritual truth.

Also, naturally, God knows everything and would also know all the details of any actual event.

In any event, yes, trying to make the story be about salvation is quite desparate on Sippo's part.

Even if the people were real people, and the account a real account, no one denies that unsaved people can do outwardly moral deeds - even us Calvinists.

-Turretinfan