Saturday, January 16, 2010

Unloading 35 Loaded Questions for "Bible Christians" 7/35

Steve Ray has a list of 35 loaded Questions for "Bible Christians" (quotation marks his)(link to the whole list). This is number 7/35. I'm trying to provide the answers in a common format, for easy reference.

7) Where in the Bible is God’s Word restricted only to what is written down?

Simple Answer(s):

Nowhere that we know of.

Important Qualification(s):

1) However, the main thing that is called the Word of God is Scripture.

2) And Jesus and the apostles do quote from and rely on the Scriptures as authoritative.

3) And Jesus commands his critics to search the Scriptures to evaluate his ministry.

4) And the Bereans were applauded for searching the Scriptures to evaluate Paul's ministry.

- TurretinFan

12 comments:

natamllc said...

The question I would pose first is, historically, where is the earliest known writing of any human body, group of people?

natamllc said...

And "what" is that writing?

Nick said...

The response given is insufficient to prove just what SS needs proven, that God's Word was (eventually) confined only to writing.

Turretinfan said...

Nick:

Why does anyone need to prove that? Isn't the burden of proof on the proponent, not the opponent?

It seems as though you are inventing a standard for SS to meet, rather than meeting SS on its own terms.

-TurretinFan

Nick said...

They would need to prove it because it's contested. And the burden would be on the one making the assertion God's Word would one day be confined only to Scriptures.

We don't see any indication of such a plan in Scripture, so it's an unjustified leap to say so. If someone wants to assert that, they must prove it, else we'd be following a tradition of men by definition.

If things under dispute can be simply asserted without providing proof, then what's stopping someone from asserting a whole host of things without proof (and leaving the defender with the 'burden' to prove otherwise)?

Turretinfan said...

"They would need to prove it because it's contested."

Both sides are contested. Do both have the burden of proof in your mind?

"And the burden would be on the one making the assertion God's Word would one day be confined only to Scriptures."

Why not on the one who asserts that something else is also God's word?

"We don't see any indication of such a plan in Scripture, so it's an unjustified leap to say so."

You don't see it, but we do.

"If someone wants to assert that, they must prove it, else we'd be following a tradition of men by definition."

Actually, the default is that the traditions of Rome are traditions of men unless they can be shown to be the Word of God.

"If things under dispute can be simply asserted without providing proof, then what's stopping someone from asserting a whole host of things without proof (and leaving the defender with the 'burden' to prove otherwise)?"

Hey, you're the one trying to assert your church's broader definition of "Word of God" and asking us to prove otherwise.

-TurretinFan

Nick said...

TF: Both sides are contested. Do both have the burden of proof in your mind?

Nick: No because the (prior) condition of not having God's Word confined exclusively to Scripture is already agreed upon. Protestants agree there was a point where God's Word was not confined to Scripture. The Protestant goes ahead and says that condition is no longer true, so they must shoulder the burden of proof for this new claim. The Catholic says no such change took place, leaving conditions the same, thus having nothing to prove.

TF: Why not on the one who asserts that something else is also God's word?

Nick: That can be called to account as well, after all, a Mormon isn't now free to just say the Book of Mormon is also/now God's Word. However, that's another debate, so whether something else is also God's Word or not is not within the current scope of debate.

If we are to imagine ourselves in a courtroom, the proposition "God's Word would one day be confined only to Scripture" is on trial, nothing else. Another court case at another time can put on trial whether "X is also God's Word."

oldNick: "We don't see any indication of such a plan in Scripture, so it's an unjustified leap to say so."

TF: You don't see it, but we do.

Nick: What do you mean? The original question stated: "Where in the Bible is God’s Word restricted only to what is written down?"
To which you replied: "Nowhere that we know of."
How can you "see it" in the Bible now, but not see it in the Bible when you originally replied?

If you do see it, please cite where Scripture says something to the effect that God's Word would someday be confined only to Scripture.

TF: Actually, the default is that the traditions of Rome are traditions of men unless they can be shown to be the Word of God.

Nick: That is another debate and does not excuse or remove the burden of the Protestant to demonstrate God's Word would someday be confined to Scripture. Just as a JW disproving Mormonism doesn't automatically make the JW position true, so doesn't a Protestant disproving Rome automatically make the Protestant position true.

TF: Hey, you're the one trying to assert your church's broader definition of "Word of God" and asking us to prove otherwise.

Nick: Nobody is extending the definition of Word of God beyond what was initially granted, that it was both spoken and written. The Protestant is the one introducing a new situation, where God's Word is (now) confined wholly unto writing. If the Bible does not teach this, then the Protestant has no grounds to assert it. That's no unfair request.

Turretinfan said...

"The Protestant goes ahead and says that condition is no longer true, so they must shoulder the burden of proof for this new claim."

Jesus is ascended and the apostles are dead. The condition that existed is no longer true. You agree this is true. The burden shifts back to you.

"That can be called to account as well, after all, a Mormon isn't now free to just say the Book of Mormon is also/now God's Word."

Why not? If you're allowed to just say that your church's teachigns are God's Word, why can't they?

"That is another debate and does not excuse or remove the burden of the Protestant to demonstrate God's Word would someday be confined to Scripture."

Are you kidding me? It's not another debate. It's the debate.

"Nobody is extending the definition of Word of God beyond what was initially granted, that it was both spoken and written."

It's still spoken and written. You can get audio versions of the Bible. That's not the issue. The issue is whether the teachings of Rome's magisterium are to be consider the Word of God.

- TurretinFan

natamllc said...

TF, I have in my memory right now an exclamation I saw made in a movie I went to see years ago, "Coming to America".

When I read the exchange between you and Nick I make a similiar expression within my mind. The expression is "ah ha"!:::>


"...."That can be called to account as well, after all, a Mormon isn't now free to just say the Book of Mormon is also/now God's Word."

Why not? If you're allowed to just say that your church's teachigns are God's Word, why can't they?..."[sic].

I haven't read an answer or reply to the "Why not? question from Nick, yet?.

I suppose because if ever there were birds of a feather, albeit, one of these birds is aged in light of the other, it probably would be good to stay away from that answer.

But now, back to my questions, the where and what of my two posted questions above.

The thinking I have, which is reasoned/logikos comes from something Paul the Apostle penned about God writing on our hearts with the Spirit of God through the equipping ministry of Paul and what both Jeremiah and Ezekiel write about about writing on the hearts or exchanging the heart of stone for a heart of flesh.

I would note that it seems to me, IMO, that the first time we see of this sort of "writing" in Biblical "recorded" History by the Finger of God comes to my mind here with Cain:::>

Gen 4:15 Then the LORD said to him, "Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him.
Gen 4:16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

Here we see a "mark" put on Cain that implies that "whoever" sees him after that spiritually indelible mark was put on him could be read by all and understood by all, why, that it is a judgment given to Cain who appealed to God. How merciful Our God is even after our sin is done.

Paul wrote:

1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

I believe there is "written" down on earthy material human writings by people before God wrote on the two tablets the ten Words??

My point is, this example is still followed, directed by the Holy Spirit as time moves forward.

It is also being done by the devils too, "doctrines of demons".

Today, there is no end to the writing of books and so on. And there is no restriction for God to continue writing the Word of God, written already, on the hearts of His people today.

Nick said...

TF: Jesus is ascended and the apostles are dead. The condition that existed is no longer true. You agree this is true. The burden shifts back to you.

Nick: The condition was that the Word of God was not confined to written alone, but rather existed in oral and written form. How Christ's Ascension or the Apostle's Death affects that condition is for you to demonstrate. Is there a passage that says the oral will cease upon His Ascension or the death of the Apostles? If not, then the original condition has not changed, at least not according to Scripture.

And the fact you posit a change TO the Word of God being in written form alone means SS was not being practiced beforehand, making an appeal to any given text subject to the anachronistic fallacy.

TF: Why not? If you're allowed to just say that your church's teachigns are God's Word, why can't they?

Nick: I should clarify, one is free to make claims, but if objected to they don't stand as true unless the one making the claim proves it.

"That is another debate and does not excuse or remove the burden of the Protestant to demonstrate God's Word would someday be confined to Scripture."

TF: Are you kidding me? It's not another debate. It's the debate.

Nick: If Catholicism is false, it doesn't automatically make Protestantism true. Nothing removes the burden of you proving God's Word was confined to Scripture.

TF: It's still spoken and written. You can get audio versions of the Bible. That's not the issue. The issue is whether the teachings of Rome's magisterium are to be consider the Word of God.

Nick: The Word of God in oral form was not simply the written word read aloud.

Turretinfan said...

"The condition was that the Word of God was not confined to written alone, but rather existed in oral and written form."

You like to characterize it that way, but your way of characterizing it doesn't change that you haven't established anything more than we've granted (which was only, as noted above, that Jesus was present and that there were living apostles). The conditions we've granted have changed, as you admit. You wish to establish some broader characterization, but the burden is on you to demonstrate it.

"And the fact you posit a change TO the Word of God being in written form alone means SS was not being practiced beforehand, making an appeal to any given text subject to the anachronistic fallacy."

No. Scripture shows its own material and formal sufficiency. Having living prophets is an additional blessing that we presently lack.

"I should clarify, one is free to make claims, but if objected to they don't stand as true unless the one making the claim proves it."

Ok ... so prove that your claim that your church's teachings are the Word of God is true. Don't insist that it is our burden to disprove that.

"If Catholicism is false, it doesn't automatically make Protestantism true."

Right.

"Nothing removes the burden of you proving God's Word was confined to Scripture."

The position that God's Word is confined to Scripture is a default position among those who agree that God's Word is present in Scripture and disagree over whether God's Word is present in any other form. The burden is on the person asserting that God's Word is present in another form.

Even supposing that we cannot demonstrate the universal negative (the "confined" or "only" as such) the fact remains that no creditable additional sources have been brought to light.

"The Word of God in oral form was not simply the written word read aloud."

It isn't that way according to your church's theology, of course - just as we don't agree that the situation prior to the ascension of Jesus and the death of the apostles and prophets should be characterized as something other than Scripture plus prophets (and Jesus). You'd prefer to characterize it as "written and oral form" with a very special meaning on "oral form" to which we don't agree, even while you act (see your previous comments) as though it is agreed. We may agree on the words "written and oral" but not the sense you give them.

- TurretinFan

Nick said...

TF: You like to characterize it that way, but your way of characterizing it doesn't change that you haven't established anything more than we've granted (which was only, as noted above, that Jesus was present and that there were living apostles).

Nick: How does Christ's Ascension and the Apostles' deaths affect SS? That must be addressed for "conditions changed" to mean anything. I could say any number of things, such as Stephen died so "conditions changed", but they would be irrelevant if I didn't tie them to SS somehow.

TF: No. Scripture shows its own material and formal sufficiency. Having living prophets is an additional blessing that we presently lack.

Nick: You just said above things changed when the Apostles died, and if the Apostles were composing Scripture then it could neither have been formal sufficiency nor merely an "additional blessing".

TF: Ok ... so prove that your claim that your church's teachings are the Word of God is true. Don't insist that it is our burden to disprove that.

Nick: I havn't insisted it's your burden to disprove any Catholic teaching, because that's not the focus here.

TF: The position that God's Word is confined to Scripture is a default position among those who agree that God's Word is present in Scripture and disagree over whether God's Word is present in any other form. The burden is on the person asserting that God's Word is present in another form.

Nick: A 'default position' is negative proof, at most. If Scripture teaches it, it's not 'default', but rather divinely mandated (i.e. positive proof). If the Bible doesn't mention it's only in written form, you cannot assume or default to that. That's as invalid as saying that "since the Bible is silent on X, I can assume X is true unless proven otherwise." One is not free to assert things (X) and leave the burden on others to prove.

TF: Even supposing that we cannot demonstrate the universal negative the fact remains that no creditable additional sources have been brought to light.

Nick: I've never asked you to prove a universal negative. Remember, I've asked for 'positive' evidence, not 'negative'. Just because someone cannot disprove your thesis, it doesn't make your thesis automatically true. If I assert there is life on Mars, I cannot assume that is the 'default truth' until you go prove otherwise. Yet that is what you're doing with SS.

old: "The Word of God in oral form was not simply the written word read aloud."

TF: It isn't that way according to your church's theology, of course

Nick: Places like Acts 18:11 state "Paul stayed [in Corinth] for a year and a half, teaching the Word of God to them." It doesn't make sense to say the Word of God was the written text simply read aloud. The point informed Protestants note is Scripture is "sufficient," meaning that it doesn't have to be a word for word transcription of oral teaching, nor would that make sense (such as the example I cite).

TF: - just as we don't agree that the situation prior to the ascension of Jesus and the death of the apostles and prophets should be characterized as something other than Scripture plus prophets.

Nick: I agree it was "Scripture plus prophets" during that time, which in itself doesn't necessitate "confined to writing".

TF: You'd prefer to characterize it as "written and oral form" with a very special meaning on "oral form" to which we don't agree.

Nick: What else could you mean then from your original blog post?
Q: Where in the Bible is God’s Word restricted only to what is written down?
A: Nowhere that we know of.

At the very least this means there was a time when God's Word was not restricted to Scripture, but was oral. An Apostle preaching the Word of God is preaching inspired information by definition.