Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Unloading 35 Loaded Questions for "Bible Christians" 11/35

Steve Ray has a list of 35 loaded Questions for "Bible Christians" (quotation marks his)(link to the whole list). This is number 11/35. I'm trying to provide the answers in a common format, for easy reference.

11) How do we know, from the Bible alone, that the individual books of the New Testament are inspired, even when they make no claim to be inspired?

Simple Answer(s):

We accept them on faith.

Important Qualification(s):

1) We know that the whole Old Testament was inspired, even though many of those individual books don't make any such claim.

2) And, of course, it is sufficient for us that 2 Timothy tells us that all Scripture is inspired (and note that 2 Timothy doesn't seem to think that it is necessary to attach an infallible and inspired table of contents of Scripture).

2 Timothy 3:16-17
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

3) The fact that we accept them on faith doesn't mean that our faith is irrational. Thus, for example, the following are also the case.

a) The Holy Spirit testifies to the inspiration His word.

b) We have historical evidence that also supports our conclusion that a particular book or passage is inspired Scripture.

c) But ultimately, "my sheep hear my voice" is the governing principle.

- TurretinFan

33 comments:

Alphonsus said...

"And, of course, it is sufficient for us that 2 Timothy tells us that all Scripture is inspired (and note that 2 Timothy doesn't seem to think that it is necessary to attach an infallible and inspired table of contents of Scripture)."

Isn't it considered question begging to appeal to Scripture as an authority in proving Scripture's infallibility?

"We have historical evidence that also supports our conclusion that a particular book or passage is inspired Scripture."

What sort of evidence do you mean? Do you have evidence for every book and passage?

'But ultimately, "my sheep hear my voice" is the governing principle.'

A question-begging conclusion.

Turretinfan said...

"Isn't it considered question begging to appeal to Scripture as an authority in proving Scripture's infallibility?"

It's only considered that by people who don't accept Scripture's authority. Obviously, this argument is not one that would persuade (for that very reason) any fool who refuses to believe the Scriptures.

"What sort of evidence do you mean? Do you have evidence for every book and passage?"

Evidence in the form of manuscript transmission and in the patristic era literature. Every book has some evidence of that kind. The evidence for certain passages (the pericope adulterae and the Johannnine comma, for example) is quite thin.

"A question-begging conclusion."

No, for the reasons already explained above.

natamllc said...

Of course one would have ears to hear to turn to follow His Word & recieve His Spirit. Proverbs 1:23

Coram Deo said...

Alphonsus,

It isn't question begging, the scriptures interpret the scriptures because they are God's uniquely inspired written Word, and God's written Word is the ultimate expression of His revealed will for mankind.

If you desire to take an authority above and outside of the scriptures, then your ultimate authority is no longer God speaking through His inscripturated Word, but something else. That something else, then, is your ultimate authority.

But God Himself, by definition, is the ultimate authority, so to take something or someone else's word, other than God Himself and His written Word, as your ultimate authority is commit de facto idolatry and to violate the first and second commandments - or only the first, I suppose, if you're a Romanist.

Perhaps you believe the church at Rome determines what scripture is or isn't?

If so, then Rome is your ultimate authority. Ultimate authorities aren't subject to validation by a yet higher authority, or else by definition that next higher authority becomes the ultimate authority.

The Protestant holds that which is "God breathed" - the written Word - as his ultimate authority.

This a very safe presupposition, because God's inscripturated Word is as high (ultimate) an authority as can be hoped for.

God speaks by His own authority, and He saw to it that His Word was inscripturated, this process being supernaturally superintended by His Holy Spirit.

God's authority is ultimate simply because God is God.

Man's knowledge of God and His ultimate authority is fallible because man is fallible - in fact his heart is desperately wicked and sinful above all things.

But the believing Protestant faces up to the difficulties of directly encountering God's truth and with fear, trembling, and prayer he seeks guidance from God through His Word.

But it's at this critical point that the Romanist punts the ball by transferring his or her personal responsibility to a human hierarchy that claims infallible authority.

Yet each individual Romanist's decision to do that was a fallible one itself.

In Christ,
CD

natamllc said...

Al,

what is missing?

John 17:3

You seem to miss who is making the distinction.

That's the big One.

Everyone can make your distinction.

Not everyone can make the distinction is making.

Clearly you are not!

Alphonsus said...

"It's only considered that by people who don't accept Scripture's authority. Obviously, this argument is not one that would persuade (for that very reason) any fool who refuses to believe the Scriptures."

But your skipping the problem of canonicity. Second Timothy may say what Scripture is, but that doesn't paticularly help solve the issue of whether a given text is Scripture.

"Evidence in the form of manuscript transmission and in the patristic era literature. Every book has some evidence of that kind."

Again, that doesn't solve the issue of canonicity, merely (human) authorship. Even if it did, wouldn't you be subordinating Scripture to the human historical sciences or, in any case, veering away from Sola Scriptura?

"Of course one would have ears to hear to turn to follow His Word & recieve His Spirit. Proverbs 1:23"

natamllc, you seem very sincere, but you're not really adressing the epistemic concerns I have with TurretinFan's post.

"Not everyone can make the distinction is making."

What do you mean? I'm not sure what you're referring to.

"It isn't question begging, the scriptures interpret the scriptures because they are God's uniquely inspired written Word, and God's written Word is the ultimate expression of His revealed will for mankind."

Yes, but how does one know a given book, which does not declare itself inspired, is in fact inspired? The decision seems to rely on extra-biblical factors.

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Alphonsus,

I think if you are pushing the question of canonicity this far back, we are asking fundamental questions about the reliability of Jesus' testimony and its inspired nature. The former we can know through manuscript transmission. The latter, which does, in some sense, depend on manuscript transmission, is, I believe, grounded in the evidence for the Resurrection. If we can demonstrate the historicity of the Resurrection from reliable, yet (from our perspective) uninspired documents, arguments can then be made, from the claims of Jesus in Scripture, for considering the Words of Jesus as inspired. From this would flow the rest of the canon (via Jesus' explicit or implicit approval of certain disciples' and witnesses' accounts and testimonies).

As for subordinating Scripture to human sciences, I suspect this charge could be equally applied to any member of a religious tradition looking to discover its rule of faith through human means; we all arrive at our rules of faith from outside of them.

However, I don't know how this objection succeeds anyway. How is discovering the canon making Scripture subordinate? Does discovering the sun make sunlight subordinate to eyesight? I don't see how that's the case.

Or take another example: Does discovering that the Catholic Magisterium is God's chosen instrument for guiding the Church make the Magisterium subordinate to human reasoning, human sciences, human interpretation of Scripture, etc.? Would we say that every convert to Catholicism from Protestantism did so by subordinating the Magisterium to his own (in part or in whole) will and intellect?

Perhaps I am not following your argument, but it does not quite make sense to me.

Turretinfan said...

"But your skipping the problem of canonicity."

Canonicity is not such a big problem as some people like to suggest.

"Second Timothy may say what Scripture is, but that doesn't paticularly help solve the issue of whether a given text is Scripture."

The claim isn't that we somehow come to the canon using the canon without using the canon (I explained this in more detail in the post responding to Beckwith.)

"Again, that doesn't solve the issue of canonicity, merely (human) authorship."

It helps to assure us that the parts we have are part of the original. It's not a proof of canonicity of the whole, of course. One cannot prove inspiration (though one can sometimes disprove it).

"Even if it did, wouldn't you be subordinating Scripture to the human historical sciences or, in any case, veering away from Sola Scriptura?"

No. Sola Scriptura assumes we have the Scriptures (note the second word of the phrase). Investigations made without the Scriptures (such as investigations regarding whether something is inspired) are outside the boundaries of Sola Scriptura. And we receive the inspired books on faith - not on proof from the natural sciences.

Coram Deo said...

Yes, but how does one know a given book, which does not declare itself inspired, is in fact inspired? The decision seems to rely on extra-biblical factors.

By faith through the work of the Holy Spirit.

In the written scriptures God has spoken, and His sheep hear His voice, those not of His fold do not.

It should give you pause that you're asking precisely the same question that the serpent posed to Eve in the garden; Yea, hath God said?

It seems to me that you're taking the position that without Rome's so-called "sacred tradition" (e.g. the infallible Magisterium, ecumenical councils, ex cathedra papal decrees, etc.) sola scriptura cannot stand, is this correct?

If so, then proceeding along this line of thinking inevitably leads us to the question of ultimate epistemic authority.

Either God is the ultimate authority, or something or someone else is, in which case God is subordinated to a level less than ultimate, thereby making the other ultimate authority "god", or else definitionally dethroning God from being God.

The canon isn't something that exists outside of scripture as though it were some other or additional self-existent revelation.

How did OT Jews prior to the time of Christ - and prior to the infallible Magisterium, ecumenical councils, ex cathedra papal decrees, etc. - know that the OT scriptures were inspired?

By faith through the work of the Holy Spirit.

The canon is a function of inspiration, our recognition of is a different function. God's Word would still be God's Word even if no one on earth knew about it at all.

Romanists attempt to lay claim to having infallible knowledge of the canon because they accept what Rome tells them is "sacred tradition."

But, how does the Romanist know that sacred tradition is reliable, trustworthy, and accurate?

The only accomplishment here is moving the question of ultimate authority/epistemology back a step, and abdicating one's personal responsiblity to a hierarchy that makes an unsubstantiated claim to infallibility based upon unprovable, undocumented "sacred tradition" as I mentioned in my prior post.

Rome is always right because Rome is always right. Talk about begging the question!

In Christ,
CD

natamllc said...

Al,

I do not want to be stroking anyone, in here, or, anywhere else seeing I am alive in the First and Second Commandments, rather They are alive in me. In fact, I am alive now in all of them and them in me, because access to God, for me, is through Christ by "One" Spirit.

Having said that, let me back into your comments directed towards me by knocking on the front door?

I am making an assumption that you are a Roman Catholic, yes?

As for stroking, I am not, merely agreeing with TF when I cite his last words in the combox until now mine, which parenthetically you are presummably reading, now? :)

TF: "....And we receive the inspired books on faith - not on proof from the natural sciences.".

Exactly!

The Righteous shall live by Faith. That "Faith" is also a gift to those who walk by it, knowing keenly that truth!

However, keep in mind that it was God's choice to superimpose Himself on the "natural sciences" He created out of nothing.

That in itself is amazing, wouldn't you agree?

What do I mean?

Well, consider that you do not doubt for a moment the writings of Moses, correct?

Neither do the children God sent Moses too, doubt he was "sent" by God, correct?

Why?

God superimposed Himself over natural law, the sciences which by the Word of His power are upheld.

Further, the other people groups around the world of their day do not doubt either, beside the Hebrew peoples and their foreign servants/subjects, who wandered around the desert for forty years. And the world of that day also trembled at times when news came to their ears that it was those pesky Jews on the move and moving towards their small world enjoying the fruits of their labors. Terror struck their own hearts! Shouldn't terror strike ours too?

And it is so, as well, with Jesus in His day. God superimposed, in fact, He had trained the Jewish people so well, that when He did, they were only going to submit to Christ after that supernatural witness, a witness by God Himself to their hearts of what He does over and above the natural sciences for them.

I would say, "that's why you have canonicity".

So, the canonicity, it seems to me, and the epistemic concerns of TF's post, would be relevant to one such as yourself too, for different reasons than for one such as I am, given the fact you are Catholic and your belief rests so much on the human institutions of "apostolic succession, the magisterium and the infallibility of the Popes and their ["writings"] after the first few centuries from the resurrection".

One last thing, about fools. Fools become fools by their own willful disobedience towards God. Just like you have to work for death, the wages of sin is death, so it is the same for a fool, seeing all men are taught of God by God Himself.

Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

natamllc said...

Ooops, if I didn't need these fingers I would chop them off:::>

I wrote: "....Not everyone can make the distinction is making.".

Ooops, it should read:

Not everyone can make the distinction "TF" is making!

louis said...

"Perhaps I am not following your argument, but it does not quite make sense to me."

It doesn't make sense, but before they can sell you anything else, they have to convince you that you can't rely on God's written word. That's the whole and only point of it.

"It should give you pause that you're asking precisely the same question that the serpent posed to Eve in the garden; Yea, hath God said?"

Actually, the question is just slightly more complicated now: 'How can you really KNOW God said it, or that you interpreted it correctly?' But yes, it amounts to the same thing.

natamllc said...

Louis

for what it is worth? The Lord "adds" daily to His Holy Christian Church, such as are being saved.

You asked:::> ".... 'How can you really KNOW God said it, or that you interpreted it correctly?'


That isn't man's problem, now is it, seeing even in the RCC they teach this strange sort of doctrine of pending judgment, PURGATORY? What is that and where does one find that in any of God's inspired writings?

That is a watered down version, humanistically speaking, for describing "hell". That sort of teaching cools things off a bit, now doesn't it? Kinda gives one an alternate option to dying daily, picking up one's cross and following Jesus, now doesn't it, or not?


This is such an important debate, where one will end up spending eternity, for the Elect's sake, that is, that one would eagerly want to "do the Will of Our Father in Heaven", yes?

Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.


The Faith that works in me can be closely associated with and in fact is this:::>

1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1Pe 1:4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
1Pe 1:5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Bringing a soul to Heaven is something God does by His own power and authority, not man by his.

As TF said above, it is so true:

:... One cannot prove inspiration (though one can sometimes disprove it)...".

Again, one would have to have received the gift of Faith and be one of the Holy Christian Church to listen to a writing being disproved uninspirational.

Haven't you ever read doctrines of demons, yourself?

Alphonsus said...

"One cannot prove inspiration (though one can sometimes disprove it)."

So you can't prove that, say, St. Paul's Letter to the Romans is inspired? Or 2 Timothy?

"Haven't you ever read doctrines of demons, yourself?"

What exactly are you talking about? Don't take this question the wrong way (it's meant sincerely), but is English your first language? I have a lot of difficulty understanding some of your posts.

"In the written scriptures God has spoken, and His sheep hear His voice, those not of His fold do not."

What's the point of this website and all of apologetics then? Why is it that Calvinists, once they left the "lecture hall," so to speak, act like Molinists in their interactions with other people.

"It should give you pause that you're asking precisely the same question that the serpent posed to Eve in the garden; Yea, hath God said?"

Eh. Calm down. If you're really pre-destined to heaven, my little questions aren't gonna hurt you.

Turretinfan said...

"So you can't prove that, say, St. Paul's Letter to the Romans is inspired? Or 2 Timothy?"

Obviously, to some extent "proof" depends on the initial state of the judge of the proof. I could prove that to someone who is willing to accept the WCF as correct, or the church fathers as correct, or Trent as correct. Ultimately, though, the acceptance of inspiration has to rest on faith.

"What exactly are you talking about?"

He's referencing Scripture.

"What's the point of this website and all of apologetics then? Why is it that Calvinists, once they left the "lecture hall," so to speak, act like Molinists in their interactions with other people."

Why do Molinists act like Calvinists outside the lecture hall?

The answer to your question is that Calvinists believe that God uses means. The more puzzling thing (from where I'm standing) is why a Molinist would be involved in this sort of discussion.

"Eh. Calm down. If you're really pre-destined to heaven, my little questions aren't gonna hurt you."

Actually, though, his point was right on the money. A big part of Steve Ray's approach is the same as that of the serpent, namely to try to induce a lack of trust in God's word.

Rhology said...

Alphonsus is the typical Romanist bully who won't ask the same questions of his own position. If he did, he wouldn't be so bold, and he'd ask diff questions.

natamllc said...

Al,

"....What exactly are you talking about? Don't take this question the wrong way (it's meant sincerely), but is English your first language?...".


it's ok, you won't offend this dead man.

Have you ever seen a dead man laying in the roadway and see a truck or car roll over him and then see the dead man jump up and complain?

Don't worry. And I do understand:::>

".... I have a lot of difficulty understanding some of your posts.".

Hey, I have been married to the same woman for over 25 years and she still doesn't understand me. :) In fact, she is different than I am, I don't really understand her either or my two sons, too!


As a matter of fact, though, I am native american and I got several first languages as a child being raised up. My own people and the way we think and talk. The way the public school system in Northern Carlifornia thinks and talks, and, it is very different.

I have traveled to many countries over the years and spent a fair amount of time in some of then, to the point where I probably can say something in the spoken language of several of them in the specific dialect of their specific region.

Hey, I was in Mississippi once and couldn't understand them or speak their language and the last I checked, Mississippi was in the United States. Been to England many times and I had to have a translator translate for me just what in the world they were saying, too!

And, I am sincerely sorry if I was doing what you are doing, presupposing we think and understand like you reason things out.

Typical human way of reasoning.

The sin nature looks for it's companion to ease the conscience too.

Al, here is what I don't understand about you. Why are you so hung up on "who" determines what writing or orally spoken missive is inspirational?

Do you live by Faith or don't you?

I believe it would be fair to say you are trapped in a dogma that is starting to rub your internal safety mechancism raw and that is destablizing to your conscience.

That's just my speculative assertion about you??

sd said...

Second Timothy was written before many of the other books of the New Testament. Thus when it refers to "Scripture" (in the present tense, I might add) it cannot mean the entire New Testament as we have it today. I suppose if it said "All Scripture will be given by inspiration..." then it might be taken to refer to the biblical writings written after it, but it doesn't say that, so it can't reasonably be taken to do so. We read it today as it contains the witness of St. Paul, but if we forget that it was written as a letter - at a specific point in time to a specific group of people - we run the risk of going way, way off the rails in determining what its trying to say.

Second Timothy is of course refering to the writings of the Old Testament when it says "Scripture". And I agree with Paul whole-heartedly. Which is why I find it unfortunate that many Christians have chosen to delete several books of the Bible (e.g Baruch, 1, 2 Maccabees), presumably because they don't like the things that the Holy Spirit has chosen to reveal in them.

natamllc said...

SD

"....presumably because they don't like the things that the Holy Spirit has chosen to reveal in them.....".

That's some bold rhetorical flourish and for me, I would stay away from.

The Holy Spirit:
Pro 1:23 If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.
Pro 1:24 Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
Pro 1:25 because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof,
Pro 1:26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you,
Pro 1:27 when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.

For One Who is Merciful, He doesn't mence Words:
Pro 1:28 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
Pro 1:29 Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD,
Pro 1:30 would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof,
Pro 1:31 therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices.


Even after the hard Words, His soft Heart does appeal and is appealing:
Pro 1:32 For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them;
Pro 1:33 but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster."

Seeing He does not speak on His own authority:

Joh 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
Joh 16:14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Joh 16:15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Joh 16:16 "A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me."

It makes perfectly good sense too, and apparently not to you, that His Wisdom brought the sufficient Words together for bloks like us?

The question then is simple, "will you turn at His reproofs and let Him pour His Spirit upon you too so that you also can discern the Words of Truth?"

sd said...

natamllc:

What in the world are you trying to say?

Look, I believe that the Scriptures are the inspired Word of God. ALL of the Scriptures - including books like Tobit, Baruch, etc. that Protestants have cut out of their Bibles.

And its not like I'm alone. The full canon of Scripture has been accepted by the vast majority of Christians who ever lived, including virtually every single Christian who lived for the 1000+ years between late antiquity and the Reformation.

And in those early days of the Reformation some of the "heros" of the Reformation meant a shorter Bible than you (likely) hold to when they said "sola scriptura." Martin Luther had Bibles printed without James or Revelation because he thought those books were not inspired.

GeneMBridges said...

Isn't it considered question begging to appeal to Scripture as an authority in proving Scripture's infallibility?

As TF has said, this is only a problem for those who dismiss the authority of Scripture.

That said:

There is a difference between virtuous and vicious circularity. Turretin (the real one) spoke that and pointed out that our appeal is virtuous,whereas the Roman Catholic appeal is vicious.

You see, here's the problem for the Catholic: The Catholic is ultimately left to to appeal to tradition to validate tradition. If our appeal to Scripture is circular, the Catholic can't very well avoid this same problem, for in appealing to tradition he seeks to validate his tradition.

The issue of canonicity is hardly the problem Catholics suggest. Scripture is remarkably intextual. It is entirely possible to use Scripture to deduce the canon of Scripture.

Further, their appeal to Trent poses some serious problems, for that would mean (a) the Jews had no certain canon of Scripture and (b) various bishops, councils, and popes functioned without an infallible canon for over a thousand years - which directly undercuts one of their key arguments against Sola Scriptura. How did these people ever muddle through without such knowledge?

And we maintain also that if the Catholics wish to say oral tradition is on a par with Scripture as a part of the correct rule of faith, they should produce via documentation what those traditions are. If they can produce them, they can document them,and if they are indeed "Apostolic" then let them explain why they are not included as Scripture. Indeed, if they can document them, this proves the primacy of written tradition over oral tradition.

Alphonsus said...

"He's referencing Scripture."

Yeah, I figured that. I was just wondering what his intention was.

"Why do Molinists act like Calvinists outside the lecture hall?"

What do you mean?

"Alphonsus is the typical Romanist bully who won't ask the same questions of his own position. If he did, he wouldn't be so bold, and he'd ask diff questions."

No, I am willing to ask those same questions about my position, but I generally think fundamental theology is better done face to face or in book-length form. My problem with sola scriptura is not that I'm some evil devil who wants you to hate the Bible, but that I haven't been convinced that it is taught by the Bible. Also, you might consider dropping antique terms like "Romanist." Offending people who you claim to love and want to convert is generally a rhetorical technique of dubious value.

GeneMBridges said...

Look, I believe that the Scriptures are the inspired Word of God. ALL of the Scriptures - including books like Tobit, Baruch, etc. that Protestants have cut out of their Bibles

Trent canonized Wisdom of Solomon, didn't it? Does your theory of inspiration include pious frauds?

Ecclesiasticus separates itself from the canonical Scriptures - ergo,you believe something to be inspired which itself denies its own inspiration. How quaint.

Turretinfan said...

Are you likewise willing to accuse Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus (aka Jerome), Cardinal Francisco Jiménez, and Cardinal Thomas Cajetan as cutting books out of the Bible in view of their rejection of those books from the canon of inspired Scriptures?

Turretinfan said...

SD wrote: "Martin Luther had Bibles printed without James or Revelation because he thought those books were not inspired."

All the copies of Luther's Bible that I've seen have those books. Can you document your claim?

Coram Deo said...

Alphonsus said: Also, you might consider dropping antique terms like "Romanist." Offending people who you claim to love and want to convert is generally a rhetorical technique of dubious value.

My use of this term isn't derogatory. I use it in the same sense that Pastor King uses it as summarized in the exchange below:

Anonymous said...

King, I'd prefer that you do not refer to us as Romanists.


dtking said...

This is a request that I cannot grant. I must refer to you folks as Romanists out of conviction. You see, I don't know of any position that is more anti-catholic than that of the Roman position. So I use the term "Romanist" as what I believe is an accurate description of your position out of conviction. I do not use it as a derisive term. I use it because I refuse to grant the term "catholic" to the Roman communion. In short, out of conviction, I cannot refer to you folks as "catholic" because I believe you folks to be more anti-catholic than any professing communion of Christ given the exclusive claims of your communion, not the least of which is dominion over all the churches of Christ. I know of nothing more anti-catholic than that claim, for it usurps the crown prerogatives of Jesus Christ as the only head and king of His Church.

I agree with Basil of Caesarea (AD 329-379)on this issue who said: "Now you are the body of Christ and members of member’—that is, the one and only true Head which is Christ exercises dominion over and unites the members, each with the other, unto harmonious accord." Fathers of the Church, Vol. 9, Preface on the Judgment of God (New York: Fathers of the Church, Inc., 1950), p. 41.
Greek text: τῆς μιᾶς καὶ μόνης ἀληθῶς κεφαλῆς. De Judicio Dei, §3, PG 31:660.

Romanists do not want to unite the members of Christ's Church under Its true Head, but rather the Roman Pontiff.

Friday, January 08, 2010 6:58:00 PM


In Christ,
CD

Turretinfan said...

SD wrote: "Second Timothy was written before many of the other books of the New Testament. Thus when it refers to "Scripture" (in the present tense, I might add) it cannot mean the entire New Testament as we have it today. I suppose if it said "All Scripture will be given by inspiration..." then it might be taken to refer to the biblical writings written after it, but it doesn't say that, so it can't reasonably be taken to do so. We read it today as it contains the witness of St. Paul, but if we forget that it was written as a letter - at a specific point in time to a specific group of people - we run the risk of going way, way off the rails in determining what its trying to say."

a) It's a Gnomic statement. It is applicable to all Scripture, not just Scripture that was already written.

b) To deny that it applies to all Scripture is to contradict the interpretation of all the fathers who addressed the issue. I bring it up because you claim to regard tradition, though I realize that you don't care any more about tradition than you do about Scripture.

SD continued: "Second Timothy is of course refering to the writings of the Old Testament when it says "Scripture". And I agree with Paul whole-heartedly. Which is why I find it unfortunate that many Christians have chosen to delete several books of the Bible (e.g Baruch, 1, 2 Maccabees), presumably because they don't like the things that the Holy Spirit has chosen to reveal in them."

Are you ashamed to make that same accusation against Gregory the Great, who wrote: "With reference to which particular we are not acting irregularly, if from the books, though not Canonical, yet brought out for the edification of the Church, we bring forward testimony. Thus Eleazar in the battle smote and brought down an elephant, but fell under the very beast that he killed" (1 Macc. 6.46). (Library of the Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church, (Oxford: Parker, 1845), Gregory the Great, Morals on the Book of Job, Volume II, Parts III and IV, Book XIX.34, p.424.)?

- TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

I had written: "Why do Molinists act like Calvinists outside the lecture hall?"

Alphonsus asked: "What do you mean?"

1) Similarity is transitive. You already claimed that Calvinists act like Molinists outside lecture halls, so you should similarly grant that the reverse is true. If one acts like the other, the two act alike.

2) But more than that, I had in mind the offering of prayers to God regarding their fellow men and the use of various other mechanisms (argument, advertisement, etc.) aimed at influencing the supposedly autonomous wills of their fellow men.

"Also, you might consider dropping antique terms like "Romanist." Offending people who you claim to love and want to convert is generally a rhetorical technique of dubious value."

In view of your opinion about that use of language, I suppose you were not pleased by the policy of some in your church of refusing to call our churches "churches" in favor of terms like "faith communities"?

-TurretinFan

Alphonsus said...

"Similarity is transitive. You already claimed that Calvinists act like Molinists outside lecture halls, so you should similarly grant that the reverse is true. If one acts like the other, the two act alike."

When I said that Calvinists act like Molinists outside the lecture hall, I meant that they (Calvinists) seems to abandon or at least neglect certain elements of their theology in practice. That is, there is some cognitive dissonance.

"But more than that, I had in mind the offering of prayers to God regarding their fellow men and the use of various other mechanisms (argument, advertisement, etc.) aimed at influencing the supposedly autonomous wills of their fellow men."

An analogy might help. If you see a starving person, you should try to get them food. Whether or not they actually accept the food is a different matter. Even if they reject it, you have still acted virtuously by trying to help. Also, Congruists might not consider the will as autonomous as you might think.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04251b.htm
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06710a.htm

'In view of your opinion about that use of language, I suppose you were not pleased by the policy of some in your church of refusing to call our churches "churches" in favor of terms like "faith communities"?'

I was displeased with the way the mainstream media presented the "Church v ecclesial community" issue. I think there's a difference between formal eclesiological discussions and pastoral, apologetical situations. Formally speaking, most Protestants don't mean the same thing when they say "Church" (note the big-C) as Catholics and Orthodox.

Pastorally, I think the usage requires more tact. For example, some distinctions should probably be made between little-c and big-c notions of church and conciliatory terms like "separated brethren" should be utilized.

natamllc said...

Al,

unless I am missing something in here, I believe it would be ok for you to ask me what my intention was?

Turretinfan said...

SD:

You may wish to take back your claim regarding Luther and the Bible: link to evidence against your claim.

-TurretinFan

Coram Deo said...

An apologist for Rome playing fast and loose with facts?

Surely you jest, TF!

Next thing you know you're going to be accusing them of employing cut-n-paste, out of context quotes from patristic and ECF sources!

Oops, that was Pastor David King, not you, I stand corrected.

On a personal note, does it ever strike you as maddening that RCC apologists apparently have such a low regard for the truth that they are more than willing to regularly obfuscate, deceive, and outright lie in defense of their Mother Church?

Does anyone else think this provable assertion reflects rather poorly on Rome's communion?

In Christ,
CD

natamllc said...

CD

I see you point and I rather would say it reflects richly on her!

If it lies like a liar, if it dies like a liar, if it cries like a liar, then it probably isn't of the Truth!

Was that to jesty for you?