Saturday, February 06, 2010

Unloading 35 Loaded Questions for "Bible Christians" 28/35

Steve Ray has a list of 35 loaded Questions for "Bible Christians" (quotation marks his)(link to the whole list). This is number 28/35. I'm trying to provide the answers in a common format, for easy reference.

28) If Jesus intended for Christianity to be exclusively a “religion of the book,” why did He wait 1400 years before showing somebody how to build a printing press?

Simple Answer(s):

ROFL [Quick note, one reader has pointed out that laughter has been the answer for the last several questions. The reason is that some of the questions are rather absurd. This is one of the most absurd. The longer answers below in the qualifications section should provide meat that no simple answer to these kind of absurd questions could provide.]

Important Qualification(s):

1) This is a variant on the old "If God had wanted us to fly, he would have given us wings" argument. It is as absurd as that one.

2) But more seriously, we don't know God's exact reason, he hasn't told us.

3) One possible reason is that one's memory is aided by copying out the words of Scripture by hand. Thus, for example, the kings of Israel were given the following command:

Deuteronomy 17:18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:

4) But why stop at the printing press? Why not demand that God give the 1st Century a photocopier or Google books?

5) More to the point, if images of Christ are acceptable and if oral tradition is so important, why not have ever second of Jesus' incarnation recorded for us in 3D video with 7.1 surround sound and subtitles in our various languages? Or better yet, memory implants so that we all have a complete photographic memory of the entire ministry of Christ? But all this is absurd. We don't dictate to God how he carries out his work. We should be thankful he did give us his Word in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments rather than asking vain and unanswerable hypothetical questions that would require us to have a knowledge of the secret counsel of God.

- TurretinFan

11 comments:

Coram Deo said...

If Jesus intended for Christianity to be an exclusive religion why does he allow other religions?

And still no one has satisfactorily answered the question about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

In Christ,
CD

Turretinfan said...

Exactly!

David Betz said...

I'd say we do know the reason: the printing press would have allowed for centralized control of the Bible. Per Dr. White, it is the wide spread copying of the Bible by the common man that prevents this type of centralization and, therefore, corruption. With the early invention of the printing press, the Muslims and Liberals (and the DaVinci Code nuts) could THEN actually have a reasonable argument against us.

natamllc said...

Well, somebody wanted us to fly cause I will be flying back to Nashville in a few weeks! :)

There we go again about the secrets of God.

There are no secrets of God to His Elect. It's the nonelects and the not yet elects that seem to miss that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

It was a well hid secret from me until God on July 21st, 1975 had me read:::>

Mat 1:20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
Mat 1:21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."
Mat 1:22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
Mat 1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us).


Of all the wonderful "feelings" and emotions I was experiencing at the time, once they subsided, I now knew why I did not understand.

Once God put in me His understanding of the Christ, I then knew I was lost and now I was found.

Once you are found you are not dropped off at the lost and found room. No, no, you are placed in the very Holy Kingdom of God:::>

Luk 9:18 Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, "Who do the crowds say that I am?"
Luk 9:19 And they answered, "John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen."
Luk 9:20 Then he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter answered, "The Christ of God."
Luk 9:21 And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one,
Luk 9:22 saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised."
Luk 9:23 And he said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
Luk 9:24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
Luk 9:25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?
Luk 9:26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
Luk 9:27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God."

natamllc said...

CD,

such a fool that I am, I will tell you just how many that "number" of Angels is. It is exactly as many Angels as God wants dancing on the head of a pin!

"zero"!

Angels have better things assigned to them to do than dancing on the head of a pin:::>

Heb 1:13 And to which of the angels has he ever said, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet"?
Heb 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

Now, a better question might be: "at what time in our experience with the Faith once delivered to the Saints does the Holy Spirit say to the Angel, I will take over from here, you go now to that one and this one and that one too":::>

Psa 87:1 A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. A Song. On the holy mount stands the city he founded;
Psa 87:2 the LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.
Psa 87:3 Glorious things of you are spoken, O city of God. Selah
Psa 87:4 Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon; behold, Philistia and Tyre, with Cush-- "This one was born there," they say.
Psa 87:5 And of Zion it shall be said, "This one and that one were born in her"; for the Most High himself will establish her.
Psa 87:6 The LORD records as he registers the peoples, "This one was born there." Selah
Psa 87:7 Singers and dancers alike say, "All my springs are in you."

Alphonsus said...

"And still no one has satisfactorily answered the question about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin."

Aquinas took a stab at a related question. The answer to the pin question depends on how many "spaces" there are on a pin's head. ;)
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1052.htm#article3

Here's more on the pin question. Enjoy.
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1052.htm#article3

Alphonsus said...

I accidently posted the Summa link twice. This was supposed to be the second address (sorry):
http://bedejournal.blogspot.com/2010/01/dancing-with-angels.html

john martin said...

2) But more seriously, we don't know God's exact reason, he hasn't told us.”

So we don’t know why SS is true, even though it requires us to believe millions of Christians lived out Christianity without access to the bible or the ability to read. Its far more likely that SS is false and that’s why God hasn’t told us its true.

”3) One possible reason is that one's memory is aided by copying out the words of Scripture by hand. Thus, for example, the kings of Israel were given the following command:

Deuteronomy 17:18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: “

Yet most did not have access to the scriptures for many centuries. This is historical fact. So if SS is true it seems unlikely that Christians had access to the truth that would allow them to be saved. However this is not tenable and shows SS to be false.

”4) But why stop at the printing press? Why not demand that God give the 1st Century a photocopier or Google books?”

Why not admit this is a false extension of Steves question based upon historical fact?

”5) . . . We don't dictate to God how he carries out his work.”

SS definitely does dictate how God reveals his truth.

“We should be thankful he did give us his Word in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments rather than asking vain and unanswerable hypothetical questions that would require us to have a knowledge of the secret counsel of God.”

The question was based on historical fact and still remains unanswered. The fact is SS is unhistorical because it just doesn’t work historically.

JM

Turretinfan said...

"So we don’t know why SS is true, even though it requires us to believe millions of Christians lived out Christianity without access to the bible or the ability to read. Its far more likely that SS is false and that’s why God hasn’t told us its true."

You've badly misunderstood the answer. The answer is that we don't know why God permitted the Scriptures to be transmitted by handwriting (though we could speculate). The answer is not that we don't know why SS is true.

"Yet most did not have access to the scriptures for many centuries. This is historical fact."

No, it's not (unless you include unevangelized pagans).

"So if SS is true it seems unlikely that Christians had access to the truth that would allow them to be saved."

That sentence doesn't make sense, perhaps because it is premised on some further misrepresentation of the historical record?

"However this is not tenable and shows SS to be false."

See above.

"Why not admit this is a false extension of Steves question based upon historical fact?"

It's a reduction to absurdity of Steve's argument from ignorance.

"SS definitely does dictate how God reveals his truth."

It states how God reveals his truth - it doesn't dictate anything to God any more than any other doctrinal formulation does.

"The question was based on historical fact and still remains unanswered."

The question was as silly as saying "If God had wanted us to fly, he would have given us wings." It's a simple argument from ignorance (we don't know why God didn't give us wings).

"The fact is SS is unhistorical because it just doesn’t work historically."

It has been working fine since the death of the apostles.

- TurretinFan

john martin said...

You've badly misunderstood the answer. The answer is that we don't know why God permitted the Scriptures to be transmitted by handwriting (though we could speculate). The answer is not that we don't know why SS is true.

We do know and its simple – God set up a church to teach the gospel and it doesn’t require the bible be in the hands of every yahoo that thinks he’s got the HS in the palm of his hands.

"Yet most did not have access to the scriptures for many centuries. This is historical fact."

No, it's not (unless you include unevangelized pagans).”

No, its true. Before the printing press, most Christians only had access to preaching simply because bible copies were rare. That’s historical fact.

"So if SS is true it seems unlikely that Christians had access to the truth that would allow them to be saved."

That sentence doesn't make sense, perhaps because it is premised on some further misrepresentation of the historical record?

It does make sense. If SS is true then Christians must have had access to the scriptures from the time of the apostles, otherwise they didn’t have access to the gospel.

"Why not admit this is a false extension of Steves question based upon historical fact?"

It's a reduction to absurdity of Steve's argument from ignorance.

Steves argument is based on the historical fact of the printing press being invented in about 1500 years after Christ and this one fact destroys SS.

"The question was based on historical fact and still remains unanswered."

The question was as silly as saying "If God had wanted us to fly, he would have given us wings." It's a simple argument from ignorance (we don't know why God didn't give us wings).

Your counter argument to Steves argument is to misdirect with a false comparison.

"The fact is SS is unhistorical because it just doesn’t work historically."

It has been working fine since the death of the apostles.

Sure! Without a printing press and without copies of the bible and with illiteracy . . . it works real well in the fantasy land of SS.

JM

Turretinfan said...

"We do know and its simple – God set up a church to teach the gospel and it doesn’t require the bible be in the hands of every yahoo that thinks he’s got the HS in the palm of his hands."

That sounds like your church 500 years ago. Your own church today claims, however:

CCC133 The Church "forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful. . . to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.

(quoting from Jerome on that last bit about ignorance of Scripture being ignorance of Christ)

"No, its true."

No, it's not.

"Before the printing press, most Christians only had access to preaching simply because bible copies were rare. That’s historical fact."

Again:

a) Copies weren't so rare that people couldn't go to their local church and find a copy.

b) Reading of Scripture has been an element of worship from before the time of the apostles, and was maintained by the apostles (Justin Martyr, among others, testifies to this fact).

"It does make sense."

No, it doesn't.

"If SS is true then Christians must have had access to the scriptures from the time of the apostles, otherwise they didn’t have access to the gospel."

They did have access to the Scriptures from the time of the apostles. Rome tried to prevent that access toward the end of the medieval period, but that failed miserably. God provided the printing press, which led to the failure of Rome to suppress the venacular translations.

"Steves argument is based on the historical fact of the printing press being invented in about 1500 years after Christ and this one fact destroys SS."

Only to those who (a) think that the same argument proves we shouldn't fly planes and/or (b) are blissfully ignorant of history, as noted above.

"Your counter argument to Steves argument is to misdirect with a false comparison."

Saying it is a false comparison is easy - demonstrating such is not.

"Sure! Without a printing press and without copies of the bible and with illiteracy . . . it works real well in the fantasy land of SS."

People have been making copies and translations of the Bible from the beginning. And while the late medieval period had high illiteracy, the earlier eras (such as the patristic period) were not marked by a similar level of general illiteracy. However, again, with the public reading of the Scripture - even illiteracy was overcome, until Rome locked up the reading of Scriptures in a language that practically no one could understand.