Sunday, May 02, 2010

Holy Scripture - The Foundation of the Church - A Response to Stellman

Jason J. Stellman wrote:
I think we need to make a simple distinction between the “Word” and the “Scriptures.” The New Covenant church was founded on the Word (that is, upon Christ and his message as preached by the apostles), but it was not founded upon “the Scriptures,” for the obvious reason that decades elapsed during which the church was growing, and no NT books had even been written, let alone collected and recognized as canonical.

So whatever our doctrine of ecclesiastical authority, it needs to do justice to the fact that the church existsed (not before the Word, but) before the Scriptures.
(source)

I answer:

a) Most of the Scriptures predate the New Testament church, and those Scriptures speak of Christ.

b) The Church is, of course, founded specifically on Christ, and on the revelation of Him. The primary source of that revelation is the Old Testament Scriptures, but the New Testament Scriptures are also a critical part of the revelation, providing additional light that helps to explain the Old Testament.

c) The Scriptures were completed in the first century, and the Church was nurtured on them from the time of their writing onward.

d) Further to (c), the New Testament Scriptures were recognized as such during the lifetime of the apostles (See Peter's description of Paul's letters as Scriptures, as well as Paul's reference to Luke's gospel).

e) Further to (a)-(d) the Old Testament Scriptures were used authoritatively by Christ himself and the apostles as well. The one "council" that we see relied for its judgment on comparing their experiences to the authoritative Old Testament Scriptures.

f) Further to (e), the Bereans were specifically commended for carefully scrutinizing the Old Testament Scriptures to determine whether Paul the Apostle's gospel was true.

g) We also see from the earliest extant post-apostolic writings that the churches had and read both the Old and New Testament Scriptures.

h) The Scriptures were given for the purpose of the edification and instructions of the church.

From the above, which cannot be reasonably denied, it is proper and right to say that the true Church of Christ is founded on the Scriptures, and therefore the authority of the Scriptures cannot depend on the Church.

Certainly, beyond any doubt, the authority of the bulk of the Scriptures, specifically the Old Testament Scriptures, cannot come from the Church.

As a final support for the fact that the authority of the New Testament Scriptures does not come from the church, we see that Scripture itself explains to us that the Bible is θεόπνευστος (theopneustos), God-breathed. The Scriptures are not ecclesiopneustos (church-breathed). They come not from the authority of the church, but from God's authority.

Indeed, the same is true of Paul's own ministry. Paul was not an apostle of the church, but of Christ. He did not derive his authority from the twelve, but directly from God. Paul's discussion at the beginning of Galatians is especially clear about this. When he wrote Scriptures, he did not write from their authority, or from his own authority, but according to the authority of the Holy Spirit who inspired him.

The Scriptures were written for the church, not by the church. Their authority is greater than the church, because they are θεόπνευστος (theopneustos). There is no greater authority that we have. Paul himself explained that if the apostles themselves or an angel from heaven were to preach another gospel, we should not accept that (Galatians 1:8).

To divide the Word from the Scriptures, as Stellman is doing, is dangerous ground (although it is one of the approaches that the Romanists use). Surely the Word of God came to prophets in the apostolic age, even as the Scriptures were continuing to be given. Nevertheless, that Word upon which the church was founded is the inscripturated Word. The inscripturated word has, since the time of Moses, always had the priority over alleged prophets:

Deuteronomy 13:1-5
If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

We see the difference between the time period of the apostles and the time period succeeding the apostles in Hebrews 1-2:

Hebrews 1:1-2
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; ...

Hebrews 2:1-4
Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

Notice that the author of Hebrews treats the period of confirmation of the revelation as a time that has past (was confirmed - aorist tense). This makes sense if, as many suppose, Hebrews is one of the last books of Scripture. It particularly makes sense in view of the prophesied completion of prophecy when the revelation was complete:

1 Corinthains 13:8-10
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

So, there is little doubt that the prophecies, and tongues, and knowledge that failed upon the completion of Scripture were not formally the same as Scripture. Nevertheless, the Word of God is preserved. It is what was completed, ending the need for prophecy. And it has been preserved for us by the mechanism of Scripture.

Psalm 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

Isaiah 40:6-8
The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: the grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

1 Peter 1:24-25 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

This is not a new idea from the 21st Century, but something that Irenaeus recognized in the 2nd century:
1. We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith. For it is unlawful to assert that they preached before they possessed "perfect knowledge," as some do even venture to say, boasting themselves as improvers of the apostles. For, after our Lord rose from the dead, [the apostles] were invested with power from on high when the Holy Spirit came down [upon them], were filled from all [His gifts], and had perfect knowledge: they departed to the ends of the earth, preaching the glad tidings of the good things [sent] from God to us, and proclaiming the peace of heaven to men, who indeed do all equally and individually possess the Gospel of God. Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia.

2. These have all declared to us that there is one God, Creator of heaven and earth, announced by the law and the prophets; and one Christ the Son of God. If any one do not agree to these truths, he despises the companions of the Lord; nay more, he despises Christ Himself the Lord; yea, he despises the Father also, and stands self-condemned, resisting and opposing his own salvation, as is the case with all heretics.
- Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book III, Chapter 1

Notice that Irenaeus plainly teaches us that it is the Holy Scriptures that are the ground and pillar of our faith ("the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith."). That's because for Irenaeus there is a merger, not a division, between the Word and the Scriptures. I hope this post will encourage Stellman to do the same.

- TurretinFan

24 comments:

The Puritan said...

I think it's a case of Stellman spending too much time in the cheap philosophical rhetorical haze of the Romanist apologist over there (the Bryan whats-his-name guy) and ending up conceding things as a result of attrition until he ends up conceding very big things.

Where he and others like him are falling is in their weakness to want to blather philosophically with just about anyone, over and over; and their refusal to confront people who have no other motive other than to tempt people into false doctrine and the prison of a false system.

I.e. they want to play 'secular academic' with all the niceties of that rather than be spiritual warriors and no-nonsense soldiers of Christ on dangerous ground making their way to the Celestial City.

john martin said...

a) Most of the Scriptures predate the New Testament church, and those Scriptures speak of Christ.”

All scriptures were written by prophets either of the OT church of Israel of the NT church of Israel. In both cases the prophets came first, and spoke the word and some of the word was then written down. From this we have the principle of church dependence upon the OT and NT, for the scriptures were never self written nor self authenticating, but were written and authenticated by church members.

”b) The Church is, of course, founded specifically on Christ, and on the revelation of Him. The primary source of that revelation is the Old Testament Scriptures, but the New Testament Scriptures are also a critical part of the revelation, providing additional light that helps to explain the Old Testament.”

In both the OT and the NT the scriptures were recognised as such by the magesteriums’ within either testaments. In the OT were have the chair of Moses and the NT we have the chair of Peter.

“c) The Scriptures were completed in the first century, and the Church was nurtured on them from the time of their writing onward.”

Church founded by Christ and the apostles
Some members of the apostles and their close associates writes some texts
These texts were used in the liturgy and later recognised as being apostolic and inspired by the church magesterium. This is historical fact.

In short we have church- church members write- church uses text- church recognises text officially as scripture. Therefore, from beginning to end the authority of scripture is dependent upon the church.

”d) Further to (c), the New Testament Scriptures were recognized as such during the lifetime of the apostles (See Peter's description of Paul's letters as Scriptures, as well as Paul's reference to Luke's gospel).”

It is fallacious to cite a cited text as being authoritative without establishing the authority of the original text that uses the statement. Therefore to say Peter says Paul’s texts are scripture means we must determine the authority of Peter first and as Peter is not self authenticating then it must be determined as authoritative through the ordinary means of tradition and the magesterium. Therefore the so called early citation of scripture is fallacious.

”e) Further to (a)-(d) the Old Testament Scriptures were used authoritatively by Christ himself and the apostles as well. The one "council" that we see relied for its judgment on comparing their experiences to the authoritative Old Testament Scriptures.”

Christ also referred to the chair of Moses as being binding on the believer and Paul says repeatedly throughout his letters that tradition is binding on the believer. As Paul was an apostle and Paul preached many truths not recorded in scripture, we then have the three authorities of scripture, tradition and the magesterium being used in the early Church. Evidently the church was Catholic and not a reformed version of the Gospel.

“f) Further to (e), the Bereans were specifically commended for carefully scrutinizing the Old Testament Scriptures to determine whether Paul the Apostle's gospel was true.”

The Bereans listened to Pauls oral tradition as from an apostles who was a member of the magesterium. The Bereans were formally using scripture ad materially using tradition and the magesterium, which to be expected because the Bereans were not yet in the church, but only possible converts when Paul was evangelizing them. Even still, the Bereans used scripture tradition and the teaching magesterium and not scripture alone.

“g) We also see from the earliest extant post-apostolic writings that the churches had and read both the Old and New Testament Scriptures.”

The first person to correctly put together was Athanasius in the 4th C, so the NT canon was not settled until at least that time.

“h) The Scriptures were given for the purpose of the edification and instructions of the church.”

. . .

john martin said...

And so was tradition and the teaching magesterium to resolve doctrinal conflicts. We see this in the Jerusalem Council and later at Nicea and Chalcedon and son on. All three authorities were used together throughout church history. This is undeniable fact.

”From the above, which cannot be reasonably denied, it is proper and right to say that the true Church of Christ is founded on the Scriptures, and therefore the authority of the Scriptures cannot depend on the Church.”

From what I’ve said, from what’s found in scripture and from church history there are three authorities of scripture, tradition and the church magesterium all required and interdependent. We cannot base the authority of the church upon formally upon the scriptures, but only materially, because the scriptures authority formally comes from God, through the church.

”Certainly, beyond any doubt, the authority of the bulk of the Scriptures, specifically the Old Testament Scriptures, cannot come from the Church.”

The OT scriptures come from the OT church, which was OT Israel. Again, this is an almost self evident fact.

”As a final support for the fact that the authority of the New Testament Scriptures does not come from the church, we see that Scripture itself explains to us that the Bible is θεόπνευστος (theopneustos), God-breathed. The Scriptures are not ecclesiopneustos (church-breathed). They come not from the authority of the church, but from God's authority.”

Taking a closer look at the text shows us just how problematic sola scriptora really is. The reference to scripture being God breathed is only a metaphor, which assumes an authoritative magesterium to flesh out the meaning of the text and give the church a more formal and a more precise meaning of what it means for a text to be inspired. This was done by the catholic Popes, who made pronouncements on the nature of inspiration in conformity with tradition.

Evidently the church is only materially dependent upon the scriptures for its authority. The church is formally dependent upon Christ and the apostles and the tradition passed down through the church history. This tradition tells us of the way in which the church is to pray, worship, a code of conduct to be used to please God and a magisterial authority that can an has made pronouncements upon many matters of faith and morals.

Any way you look at it, scripture, tradition and the church are all interrelated and we cannot come to the conclusion that the church is formally dependent upon the scriptures for its authority.

JM

john martin said...

I missed commenting on this statement by FT –

“The Scriptures were written for the church, not by the church.”

This is one of the more hilarious statements I’ve come across in recent times. If the church didn’t author the scriptures, then who did? Umpa-lumpas?


1 Corinthians 13:8-10 is referring to charity never falling away in the next life and all the other gifts are then of less importance. This has nothing to do with scripture being the sole mechanism for preserving the Word.

“Notice that Irenaeus plainly teaches us that it is the Holy Scriptures that are the ground and pillar of our faith. . .”

And scripture itself refers to the church as the pillar and foundation of the truth, so with the scripture and Ireneus we have the church and scripture as the pillar and foundation and if we consider Ireneus to be faithful to the apostles, then he is asserting a tradition not found in the scripture. Soonce again we see the three authorities of scripture, tradition and the church working together. Its never scripture alone.

By the way, when am I going to get and answer to my questions on sola gratia and Trent and my objections to penal substitution and Calvinism? I thought those issues would have been very important for a Calvinist to discuss at length so we can all see just how well you can defend your belief system.

I’m waiting.

JM

Matthew Bellisario said...

Good job John! I was going to comment but it looks like you pretty much covered all of the errors there.

The Puritan said...

I don't think I've seen the babel of Romanist doctrine exposed so blatantly as in the series of comments above.

Then again I don't hang in Romanist apologist environments all that much.

The Puritan said...

Wow, I just forced myself to read every word of John Martin's comments above.

The spirit of Eck lives.

Jim said...

----------------
The Christian church started its existence with a book, but it was not to the book that it owed its existence. [...] the Church owed it’s distinctive existence to a person.
- F.F. Bruce – The Canon Of Scripture, pg 27
-----------------

I like FF Bruce's comment above.

TF, while I mean this with all due respect (and much is due), and while this is just occasionally my impression (for what that's worth), sometimes I think you do yourself a disservice in over-reacting to error.

I would grant Mr. Martin his point; that the Church (New Covenant) is founded on Christ.

And that does what to Sola Scriptura?

The Puritan said...

>I would grant Mr. Martin his point; that the Church (New Covenant) is founded on Christ. And that does what to Sola Scriptura?

How does this pass for anything but babble? Accuse me of just calling names or whatever, but this is not worth answering.

"Hey, let's try this: let's separate God from His Word, and then by this let's affect to assert that His Word is 'less-than' God Himself. 'Cause, I mean, we're talking GOD here, and GOD vs. pretty much anything and you've got 'less than', get it? It's brilliant. The Calvinists' heads will explode. In bewilderment AND anger!"

What did Calvin say about Eck?

Jim said...

The Puritan,

A bit touchy, are we?

I wasn't commenting on anything you wrote.

Didn't you notice the "TF,...?"

My comment was basically because of this statement in the original post:

>From the above, which cannot
>be reasonably denied, it is proper
>and right to say that the true
>Church of Christ is founded on
>the Scriptures, and therefore the
>authority of the Scriptures cannot
>depend on the Church.

...and I thought it was rather respectful, or so I meant it to be.

Jim

Jim said...

Another point of clarification.

Ah. Part of the confusion here is mine. I said "Mr. Martin" in my original comment thinking he was the one that the original post was directed at. I suppose it should have said "Mr Stellman."

louis said...

Puritan, I think you diagnosed the problem precisely.

The Puritan said...

Confusion cleared up.

Yeah, I get touchy when Romanists, who as a species have no incentive to understand biblical doctrine let alone value it, affect to lecture Christians who very much do have an incentive to engage it, know it, understand it, and value it higher than our physical life in this world itself.

Jim said...

The Puritan,

One more point of clarification (given that your most recent comment could be interpreted in a particular way that may need some addressing).

I am very much Reformed.

Thanks,
Jim

Turretinfan said...

"I would grant Mr. [Stellman] his point; that the Church (New Covenant) is founded on Christ."

See point (b) of my post.

- TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

"Good job John! I was going to comment but it looks like you pretty much covered all of the errors there. "

One more reason for me to thankful to John Martin for his participation here. :)

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

I had written: “The Scriptures were written for the church, not by the church.”

JM responded: "This is one of the more hilarious statements I’ve come across in recent times. If the church didn’t author the scriptures, then who did? Umpa-lumpas?"

No.

2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

The Scriptures were written by God for the church.

"1 Corinthians 13:8-10 is referring to charity never falling away in the next life and all the other gifts are then of less importance. This has nothing to do with scripture being the sole mechanism for preserving the Word."

Undoubtedly the life to come is another example of love enduring while other partial knowledge passes away. Indeed, we might even say that we will not need the Scriptures themselves there. But that does not take away from the fact that this Scripture was in fact fulfilled already in the cessation of tongues and prophecy upon the completion of the Scriptures. Even your own church acknowledges the public revelation ended when Scripture was complete.

I wrote: “Notice that Irenaeus plainly teaches us that it is the Holy Scriptures that are the ground and pillar of our faith. . .”

"And scripture itself refers to the church as the pillar and foundation of the truth ..."

The Scripture that mentions that says that it was written to teach Timothy himself how to conduct himself in the church. The provides us with the sense of "church" that is being discussed.

"... so with the scripture and Ireneus we have the church and scripture as the pillar and foundation ..."

It's equivocal to combine those two, since the sense that Irenaeus is using is different than that which Paul is using.

" ... and if we consider Ireneus to be faithful to the apostles, then he is asserting a tradition not found in the scripture."

No. Irenaeus is teaching what Scripture itself teaches.

"So once again we see the three authorities of scripture, tradition and the church working together."

You only see that because you've equivocated and then inserted the third from thin air.

"It[']s never scripture alone."

Your position is noted. However, you haven't established this position.

"By the way, when am I going to get and answer to my questions on sola gratia and Trent and my objections to penal substitution and Calvinism? I thought those issues would have been very important for a Calvinist to discuss at length so we can all see just how well you can defend your belief system. I’m waiting."

You've been getting answers. And every time I answer, you provide several more comments. There's no reason to be impatient.

-TurretinFan

natamllc said...

My Attorney taught me something one time when he and I were before my Tribal Council when a question was to be responded too with a legal opinion. He said, "ask" the question and I will respond to it first before I render a legal opinion and sign it.

That way, I am speaking to you from my understanding and not from the basis of legal opinion.

I am not sure I conveyed that well? If there are legal minds in here who would sharpen the sense of that, be my guest and do so??

In any event, what I intend by that opener is this, I see TF has written a response to this by Jason Stellman:

"..... I think we need to make a simple distinction between the “Word” and the “Scriptures.” The New Covenant church was founded on the Word (that is, upon Christ and his message as preached by the apostles), but it was not founded upon “the Scriptures,” for the obvious reason that decades elapsed during which the church was growing, and no NT books had even been written, let alone collected and recognized as canonical...."

I would rather put over my understanding first before I go back and read TF's response.

I would differ from Mr. Stellman's understanding by saying, no, the new covenant Church was established on the "oracles of God" that resided with the children of Abraham as Paul taught:

Rom 9:1 I am speaking the truth in Christ--I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit--
Rom 9:2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.
Rom 9:3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.
Rom 9:4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises.
Rom 9:5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
Rom 9:6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,
Rom 9:7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but "Through Isaac shall your offspring be named."

What the Apostle is accounting here is the same as what Moses did by direction from God orally. As we read into the book of Exodus we begin to "read" that God gave Moses direction to "write" things down for memorial purposes.

When we "read" Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God, we are being directed to the "basis" for oral arguments, which are the Words of God orally spoken and directed by that that has been written down.

I find it rather tangential to say "...no NT books had even been written, let alone collected and recognized as cononical."

The test whether the speaker or preacher is orally speaking the Word of God falls upon two things. One, is the Holy Spirit being heard and two, if He is, rest assured it is because what is being heard is based on what the "Written" record of the oracles of God are as the Old Testament demonstrates. The Word of God, read orally or spoken orally are founded in the Written down Oracles of God.

It should not be to hard to accept what Peter had written of Paul and his "writings" here and believe it holds true for "all" of God's written record in light of the way Satan himself twisted the Word when fighting off Jesus:

2Pe 3:16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

natamllc said...

One other thing about the Holy Spirit.

We read this written down and sent by letter from Paul to Timothy:

2Ti 3:14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it
2Ti 3:15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
2Ti 3:17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

I would note two things here. One, the Holy Spirit, when moving upon men whether from the Old or the New, certainly isn't going to conflict with Himself. He is God. He inspires the Truth, who is Christ, written, spoken or manifested by revelation as we see recorded in both the Old and the New.

And that last part, the "good works".

There is such a great gulf between the RCC's definition of just what these are and the Reformed's definition.

I submit that the good works of the True Living breathing Church are Christ's works done through His Body so that it cannot be said those works were done by just anyone of us, but solely by Christ in us. This indeed is a mystery:

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

and

Col 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,
Col 1:25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known,
Col 1:26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.
Col 1:27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Col 1:28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
Col 1:29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

If the "good work" is not done by Christ or by Christ through His agent, His Body, the True Church, it is not a righteous deed that is acceptable to God, the Righteous Judge.

We ought to not only ponder Hebrews 4:10-12, we ought to "experience" it from this time forth and forevermore in this life and in the Everlasting Kingdom as that is all that is left after one is born again!

Heb 4:10 for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
Heb 4:11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

natamllc said...

Well said and developed TF!

I can understand why there is opposition to it by those of a different spirit.

But, we are at war and quite literally the war has taken grave manifestations these days both external and internal.

We ought to heed Peter then and Paul:

Peter:
2Pe 3:1 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,
2Pe 3:2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles,
2Pe 3:3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. .....

.....2Pe 3:17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.
2Pe 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Paul:
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Eph 6:13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
Eph 6:15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
Eph 6:16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
Eph 6:17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
Eph 6:18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
Eph 6:19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,
Eph 6:20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

natamllc said...

JM wrote: "....And scripture itself refers to the church as the pillar and foundation of the truth, so with the scripture and Ireneus we have the church and scripture as the pillar and foundation and if we consider Ireneus to be faithful to the apostles, then he is asserting a tradition not found in the scripture. Soonce again we see the three authorities of scripture, tradition and the church working together. Its never scripture alone.".

To which I infer JM cuts his own magisterium throat by those words, undercutting the pinnacle of it!

I quite agree with Paul that the "Church", that is, the True Church, is the ground and pillar of the Truth.

The Truth is a Who, not a magisterium of "what nows and wherefores of religious practice and orders"!

The Church, as Paul describes her, is a spiritual body of beings conjoined to and reanimated with their Head, Who is Christ Himself, risen from the dead.

The only reason we can consider ourselves "one" with both the Father in Heaven and the Holy Spirit now, here on earth, is because of this "act" of God as Paul describes it at Eph. 2:5 and Col. 2:13.

Peter's style is boorish because of his refinement of character and boorish nature, being a fisherman from the shores of the sea. Peter describes this enhancement this way:

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.

Notice "Who" is doing "what" to "whom"?

The great benefits of this act of God is our security, that is our inheritance is secured from destruction or defilements.

And while we last upon the earth, we too, are being "kept" by the same Power of God that raised Jesus Christ up from the dead!

Yahoo! Ah, pardon me, but that was a modern day hoot for Praise God from Whom all blessings flow! :)

natamllc said...

LOL!

"....One more reason for me to thankful to John Martin for his participation here. :)

-TurretinFan...".

Really now, TF, I didn't think you had that sort of humor in you? :)

As I recall Matthew did take it on the chin more than a few times by you!


Are you just wanting to be gentle as Jesus with him? Where is that fighting spirit, the zeal of the Lord, that Spirit of Christ in you that roars as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah? :)

Turretinfan said...

John Martin:

My response to you got rather long, so I turned it into its own post.

You may find it here: link to new post).

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Dear NatAmLLC,

Regarding Bellisario, he seems to have increased the percentage of insults in his comments of late. That's my reason for being thankful that he has decided not to contribute. Perhaps my comment was uncharitable, however, and I apologize if the bluntness of my comment has offended Bellisario.

-TurretinFan