Monday, May 24, 2010

List of Things Necessary to Salvation

One objection that is occasionally addressed to the Reformed doctrine of the perspicuity of Scripture, and also sometimes to the doctrine of the sufficiency, formal and material, of Scripture, is a request that we provide an exhaustive list of the doctrines that are necessary to salvation.

After all, we claim that all the things that are necessary to be known for salvation are clearly taught in Scripture. Some folks think this is an incredible claim unless we can provide a list of the necessary things. There are several rebuttals to this objection.

1) No one thinks the list itself is necessary to salvation

In other words, while one may need to know the essential doctrines, there is no requirement that one be able to distinguish the essential doctrines from the unessential doctrines. So, even if the Bible does somehow tell us which doctrines are essential, that list is not something that falls within the realm of the doctrine of perspicuity. Furthermore, if we reach the conclusion that the Scriptures do not provide such a list, the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture would simply confirm that such a list is not necessary to the rule of faith.

2) We derive the doctrine of perspicuity from Scripture deductively

In other words, we reason from the fact that the Scriptures are able to make the simple wise and specifically in order to make a person wise unto salvation, that they consequently teach with sufficient clarity all that must be known for salvation.

3) An analogy to Medicine

The field of medicine provides an analogy. Suppose you have a drug that you realize cures some particular ailment, such as malaria. There is no reason you need to know which ingredients in the medicine cure you, you just need to eat the medicine. By analogy, you do not need to know which doctrines of Scripture are essential. You just need to believe what the Scripture teaches. If you do so, that should lead you to repent of your sins and trust in Christ alone for salvation.

Conclusion

Christians are required to believe all of the Bible. The canonical Scriptures are our rule of faith, and only the canonical Scriptures are our rule of faith. Adherence to the rule of faith is not the way that people are saved, but it is a Christian duty. It is through believing the gospel that the Bible proclaims that sinners are justified. Our inability to identify those points that are essential should simply prod us to study Scripture more intensively and seek by prayer and study to understand it more fully.

- TurretinFan

129 comments:

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"There is no reason you need to know which ingredients in the medicine cure you, you just need to eat the medicine. By analogy, you do not need to know which doctrines of Scripture are essential. You just need to believe what the Scripture teaches. If you do so, that should lead you to repent of your sins and trust in Christ alone for salvation."

That is a very good analogy.

All the same though, I think it's important to rebuke false doctrine as explicated throughout the New Testament (eg. Titus 1:9).

Turretinfan said...

Oh yes. One ought to rebuke false doctrine.

natamllc said...

Excellent again and I do not tire in saying that! It is quite refreshing to read and learn as much and more from you on this blog!

You wrote: "...You just need to believe what the Scripture teaches....".


The problem as I see it is found in this quib: "you produced it first".

What is produced first? The doctrine of the Perspicuity of Scripture.

It has been all along. It hasn't not been. God is and God is not the author of confusion but all perspicuity of Scripture.

Has Jesus always been here in a physical form? No. Has Jesus always been? Yes.

Was Jesus Savior of the world before creation? Yes.

Was Jesus Jesus while leading Moses and the children of Israel through the desert? Yes.

Was the doctrine of Perspicuity of Scripture something that could be produced "first" before creation? Or is it a revelation that was first produced after coming to "know" God and the "Word" of His Grace?

What seems to me to be the argument or objection isn't so much their existence, the Reformed teachings of the Perspicuity of Scripture and the doctrine of the sufficiency, formal and material, of Scripture, rather "who" began teaching their existence at the time of the Reformation. It seems it is this weakness the devils use to keep us divided, that is, a lust for superiority over others, or, to be the first and considered better than others!

A better argument to be made, from my view, is just how we got into such a human mess in the first place so that an argument could arise as has arisen against Reformed informed minds causing divisions among us?

Why is there such scorn in the first place, scorn against anyone holding to these doctrines?

Next:

As for the deductively matter, number 2 above, you were presupposing this verse, if not others as well, were you not?:::>

Psa 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;

When I read your words following number 2 above that is the verse that I thought of and two more with this explanation:

"surely both Paul at Romans 12:1 and Peter at 1 Peter 2:2 were thinking about that verse too"?

Why? Because of the Greek Word "logikos" used by such diverse minds as these two, one very highly schooled, more a scholar and the other more basic and nominal of education, a fisherman. However, God is not limited in educating both kinds of minds and every other mind in between or more or less because clearly the Holy Spirit was being very perspicacious with both Peter and Paul as He was King David, who produced and published there, Psalm 19:7, "a doctrine of the Perspicuity of Scripture". :)

I am now convinced that not all of us is going to go on to maturity in this life. We all, smart or dumb, whoever God has given the Gift of Faith, will die and then Live perspicuitously and perspicaciously ever after in Their Glory as is indicated here by the Angel of the Lord to John:

Rev 22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb

Please note the "intensity" of the water of Life: "bright"!

Nick said...

Here are my thoughts/objections:

(1) The very proposition that "all things necessary for salvation are *clearly* taught in Scripture" is something Scripture never teaches.

(2) To say "No one thinks the list itself is necessary to salvation" is begging the question. If there is a finite list of necessary doctrines, it is not unreasonable or illogical for the list to be produced.

(3) This isn't about the sufficiency of Scripture, but rather the 'clearness'. Big difference. Perspicuity adds another component to the issue. An advanced chemistry textbook might be sufficient, but that in no way implies the essential teachings are 'clear'.

(4) You said: "We derive the doctrine of perspicuity from Scripture deductively"
This is a tall order, and I don't believe your deductive argument comes anywhere close to supporting the claim. Nowhere do you demonstrate this is directed at "the simple [minded]," nor does this entail conveying any information above a bare bones "Jesus is Lord" understanding. All would agree, by virtue of common sense, that a "Jesus is Lord" understanding would be sufficient for salvation for the most simple folks, yet that in no way logically makes all other important doctrines automatically clear.

(5) You gave the "analogy to medicine," yet this simply builds from my last comment. The most the analogy benefits you is a bare bones "Jesus is Lord" Gospel. And thus when the Confessions and such say "all things necessary for salvation" are clearly taught, they really mean a single bare bones "Jesus is Lord" Gospel. Once you expand beyond that, trouble arises.

Turretinfan said...

"(1) The very proposition that "all things necessary for salvation are *clearly* taught in Scripture" is something Scripture never teaches."

It's not explicitly stated in Scripture in so many words. It is taught in Scripture.

"(2) To say "No one thinks the list itself is necessary to salvation" is begging the question. If there is a finite list of necessary doctrines, it is not unreasonable or illogical for the list to be produced."

a) No, it's not begging the question in any sense.

b) Is there a finite list of necessary doctrines? If so, can you produce the list?

c) Unless we say that we know what the list is, it's unclear how it's supposed to be reasonable to demand that we produce the list. We also know that Jesus is coming again, but we don't know the day. We know that Jesus Paul consented to Stephen's death, but we don't know how many stones were thrown at Stephen. We know that there were two thieves crucified with Jesus, but we don't know their names.

"(3) This isn't about the sufficiency of Scripture, but rather the 'clearness'. Big difference. Perspicuity adds another component to the issue. An advanced chemistry textbook might be sufficient, but that in no way implies the essential teachings are 'clear'."

It comes up as an objection in a variety of contexts. Normally the issue is perspicuity. Sometimes the issue is formal sufficiency, which has to do with the role of the text as the rule of faith.

As to [4]-[5], how much knowledge do you think is demanded of the simple?

-TurretinFan

natamllc said...

Nick: "... All would agree, by virtue of common sense, that a "Jesus is Lord" understanding would be sufficient for salvation for the most simple folks, yet that in no way logically makes all other important doctrines automatically clear....".

No, I disagree with that assertion.

Why?

All doctrines, essential and nonessential, are made clear by the Gift of Faith from God, not one's reason. Faith starts with our reason as I noted above as both Paul and Peter taught but doesn't stay there.


1Ch 16:28 Ascribe to the LORD, O clans of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!
1Ch 16:29 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness;
1Ch 16:30 tremble before him, all the earth; yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
1Ch 16:31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns!"
1Ch 16:32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it!
1Ch 16:33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.
1Ch 16:34 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

I would note just one word in there: "clans".

How many of these do you suppose could read or write when that song was taught the clans?

Also, note, these folks were certain Jesus was returning to the earth to "judge" them too.

As for the rest of your argument, remember Christ was there dwelling among the people.

"Where" was that?

"Where" were they?

Well, by that time, they, the children of the promise of God's Kingdom, were dwelling in the Promised Land without the God of the Promise. Although, the smart ones would argue the point. They made it quite clear they were of the bloodline of Abraham and free people, notwithstanding the Romans were all over the place as occupiers!

And that is exactly where the King was sent, too! What better life could a child of promise have, living in the promised land with the God of the promise living there with them? Yahoo! What a hoot of a deal!

Geesh, no one believed Him to be the King of the Jews, except Pilate and some Roman soldiers. Even His chosen disciples didn't believe Him about His message of the Gospel though He repeatedly told them what would happen. He even told them He would meet them after the Resurrection for breakfast and He was buying the meal so bring as many of the smart and dumb with you, then! But they didn't believe Him. Some went fishing. Others, a couple of them, went walking to the spa! Where did they all go? :)

Why, when He debated with them before they killed Him, the smart ones, they refused to accept that He was Who He said He was, God, Emmanuel, that He was the very promise that God made that He would come and dwell among them; because God always keeps all His promises to all His people, both smart and dumb!

However, it is reported this way about that:
Joh 1:9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
Joh 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.
Joh 1:11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
Joh 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
Joh 1:13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

The Gospel is only going to be "clear" to those to whom it is sent to, smart or dumb. Clarity comes by the Faith once delivered to the Saints by the sanctification work of the Holy Spirit upon the Elect.

Smart or dumb, both are in hell as of this writing.

Smart or dumb, both are rejoicing in Heaven as they make tea from the leaves of the Tree of Life, sipping it in goblets of pure Gold basking in Their Glory as of this writing.

Nick said...

(1) One is free to claim it's taught in Scripture; I've yet to see Scriptural evidence. At most I see evidence for a "Jesus is Lord" gospel, such as what the Epilogue of St John's Gospel is driving at - which is very different from the notion that a range of necessary doctrines will be clearly laid down in Scripture.

(2a) I see it as begging in that it dispenses you of a duty which could reasonably be met if the main argument were true.

(2b) I would say there aren't an infinite number of doctrines to be believed, else it would be impossible to believe them all.

(2c) If there are say 25 doctrines required for salvation and thus should 'clearly' laid out in Scripture, a list is easily attained. This is similar to how the Jews count 613 distinct commandments of the Torah, yet the number 613 is never given explicitly. The details you mention (names, stones, day) are not recorded and thus would be argued to be non-essential information.

(3) I try to avoid conflating perspicuity from sufficiency; though they are related.


As for 'how much is demanded of the simple'?

I don't know of any definitive statements on it. The only indispensable quality for salvation is Union with Christ (which Catholics say is through sanctifying grace). This is why the most simple (e.g. infants, mentally disabled) can be justified without formally believing or speaking.

Richard Froggatt said...

Nick wrote:
As for 'how much is demanded of the simple'?

I don't know of any definitive statements on it.

Me:
Luke 10:21 In that same hour, he rejoiced in the Holy Ghost and said: I confess to thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent and hast revealed them to little ones. Yea, Father, for so it hath seemed good in thy sight.

Matthew Bellisario said...

There are so many violations of the law of non-contradiction in this post that I don't know where to start. TF essentially says, "Scripture is clear, but as to what it is clear on we have no idea."

ChaferDTS said...

"TF essentially says, "Scripture is clear, but as to what it is clear on we have no idea."

Scripture answers the most basic queston which is what must I do to be saved ? It is clear in matters relating to man's salvation and Christian daily living. Whereas in contrast Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox and other cults claim that Scripture is entirely unclear and therefore needs not only tradition to suppliment it but also have a claimed infallible authority. To them Scripture is incomplete and totally unclear. And the sometimes claims it prevents so called divisions when it really does not fix anything.

ChaferDTS said...

The best writings that deal with the specific issue are :

1 ) Disputations On Holy Scripture Againist the Papist Especially Bellarmine and Stapleton by William Whitaker.

2 ) Holy Scripture The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith by David King & William Webster.

Those are great sources of information for an indepth study in Sola Scriptura.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Catholicism does not teach that Scripture is unclear, that is a false characterization. It teaches that Scripture is unclear to those who remain outside of the Body of Christ and have separated themselves from the Holy Spirit which provides its proper interpretation. Big difference between the two.

Unless you can tell us what is necessary to believe in order to be saved from Sacred Scripture, then it is not clear for you is it? If you tell us that we cannot find a list of necessary things to believe from Scripture, then you are a slave to subjectivism, and are not free to to follow realism. Telling us that Scripture is clear, yet not clear enough to determine core dogmas and doctrines that bring us to salvation, then you are violating the tenets of rational reasoning.

ChaferDTS said...

"Catholicism does not teach that Scripture is unclear, that is a false characterization. "

When it teaches that was also need claimed " tradition " and a claimed infallible Pope who sits on the chair of Peter that speaks volumes. If it does not teach that then why the needed for tradition being added to Scripture as a rule of faith equal in authority with it? And why the need for a claimed infallible church councils and an infallible Pope ? When you have such things it is hard to avoid the conclusion that Scripture is unclear to the people of God in Roma Catholicism. It claims we need the help of an infallible authority. Not too long ago two Roman Catholics on a radio program claimed that Scripture was not sufficient to refute Arainism. :( That was a total turn off at least to me.

Turretinfan said...

Bellisario:

You need to re-read the definition of perspicuity, so perhaps you will understand why your example is not an example of a contradiction.

Here is a link.

It's clear (pun intended) that you have no clue what you're talking about.

-TurretinFan

ChaferDTS said...

"It teaches that Scripture is unclear to those who remain outside of the Body of Christ and have separated themselves from the Holy Spirit which provides its proper interpretation. Big difference between the two. "

And unclear to the people of God as well. Since it claims we need an infallible teaching authority. The major problem is Roman Catholicism has not lived up to it's claim on biblical interpretation since it has not dogmatically interpreted any verses in Scripture. Though some claim as much as 6 verse. And therefore renders not only Papal infalliblity a useless doctrine in practice but also failed the people of God who desire and want verse by verse interpretation of Scripture.

Turretinfan said...

That Scripture teaches that Jesus is God is clear even to most atheists. There are of course skeptics who will try to find ambiguity in even the most clear statements, but there is nothing truly ambiguous about the Jesus' virgin birth, crucifixion, resurrection, and so forth.

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

"It's clear (pun intended) that you have no clue what you're talking about."

Its either clear or it isn't, despite the rhetorical nonsense that you buy into that contradicts itself. If you cannot tell us what is necessary to believe from Sacred Scripture in an objective manner than you are contradicting yourself, period. Telling us that a list of objectivity is not needed is subjectivism in its truest form. Its all about you and what you want to believe that Scripture teaches is clear about salvation, not objectively what Scripture teaches is necessary about salvation. Making you own rules about the perspicuity of Scripture is not enough. It has to be rationally objective, not subjective. That is the problem with Protestantism, its all subjective nonsense.

ChaferDTS said...

"Unless you can tell us what is necessary to believe in order to be saved from Sacred Scripture, then it is not clear for you is it?If you tell us that we cannot find a list of necessary things to believe from Scripture, then you are a slave to subjectivism, and are not free to to follow realism. "

Acts 16:30-31 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

"Telling us that Scripture is clear, yet not clear enough to determine core dogmas and doctrines that bring us to salvation, then you are violating the tenets of rational reasoning. "

That is not what I stated. I said it is clear on matters relating to salvation and Christian daily living. The core doctrines of the Christian faith are clear. The objection is that Roman Catholicism exaggerates on how unclear Scripture is. :(

Hope your morning is going well for you.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Catholicism does not teach that Scripture is unclear, as I have already explained. Either you can tell me what those objective beliefs are from Scripture that we must believe in order to be saved or you cannot. If so tell us, if not then you are contradicting yourself.

Turretinfan said...

Bellisario:

a) Instead of just ranting and raving, go to the link, read it, and learn what the doctrine of perspicuity actually entails.

b) Using "Its either clear or it isn't" as your argument shows either that you don't understand the position you are trying to address, or that you are trying to mislead people.

- TurretinFan

ChaferDTS said...

"Catholicism does not teach that Scripture is unclear, as I have already explained."

Then why do we need a claimed " infallible Pope " with regard to faith and morals if that is the case ? The very concept of adding tradition as equal in authority and making it part of the rule of faith and the idea of a infallible Pope contradicts what you are telling me at the very least in practice and function.

Matthew Bellisario said...

"b) Using "Its either clear or it isn't" as your argument shows either that you don't understand the position you are trying to address, or that you are trying to mislead people."

No, as I said, no amount of sophistry is going to get you out of your contradiction. You are the one trying to mislead people by claiming that Scripture is clear to you on what is necessary for salvation, yet you can't tell us what these tenets are. That is subjectivism. I did read your post and the following explanation contradicts what you are telling us.

"VII. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all; yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed, for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them."

So tell us TF, what is the list of the clear teachings of Scripture which are necessary to believe for one's salvation? Either you can tell us what they are, since you are apparently one of the enlightened ones who can tell, or you cannot, and if you cannot then you have contradicted yourself.

ChaferDTS said...

"Either you can tell me what those objective beliefs are from Scripture that we must believe in order to be saved or you cannot. If so tell us, if not then you are contradicting yourself."

Acts 16:30-31 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Matthew Bellisario said...

"Then why do we need a claimed " infallible Pope " with regard to faith and morals if that is the case ? The very concept of adding tradition as equal in authority and making it part of the rule of faith and the idea of a infallible Pope contradicts what you are telling me at the very least in practice and function."

No it does not. It is not as if the Pope is siting on his throne interpreting the Scriptures for us. They are ordinarily interpreted in the manner in which they were given, along with Holy Spirit which works ordinarily within the Catholic Church as a Body. The Pope and Magisterium merely keep promulgating what has always been given in God's Divine Revelation. You have some serious flaws in your characterizations of the Pope and the Catholic Church.

Matthew Bellisario said...

"Acts 16:30-31 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."

So what does believing on the Lord Jesus Christ mean? Is that a subjective interpretation or objective? If it is objective, you should be able to tell me what it is.

Turretinfan said...

"The Pope and Magisterium merely keep promulgating what has always been given in God's Divine Revelation."

That's not an accurate picture of Romanism.

As for your objection about not producing a list, it's addressed in the post itself.

- TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

"As for your objection about not producing a list, it's addressed in the post itself."

Yeah we all know. It is because its not necessary right? It is more like you are unable to tell us what it is that we must believe. Again, either tell us or, or admit that you contradicting yourself.

Turretinfan said...

Bellisario:

Your truculent insistence that there is a contradiction isn't an argument. It's just an assertion.

Feel free to try to make an argument. I'll help you, if you need help.

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

"Your truculent insistence that there is a contradiction isn't an argument. It's just an assertion"

Can you give us a list of essential doctrines to believe from Scripture or not? Telling us that we do not need to separate essential from nonessential is nonsense. Either one can know what one must believe in order to be saved from Scripture or they cannot. If they can then you should be able to tell us all what that is objectively.

Turretinfan said...

That's still not an argument.

However, let me provide you some food for thought:

Suppose that doctrines 1-100 are clear in Scripture. We're pretty sure that 1-5 are essential, and we're pretty sure that 95-100 are not. However, we're not sure about 6-94.

Where would the "contradiction" be in that scenario in saying that all the necessary doctrines are clear?

Matthew Bellisario said...

"Where would the "contradiction" be in that scenario in saying that all the necessary doctrines are clear?"

The contradiction is in the fact that you can't tell me what they are. Do you know what objectivity is? God is objective and everything that He reveals to us in Divine Revelation is able to be objectively understood by the human mind in matters of faith and morals. If you cannot tell me what those objective realities are then are not representing God's Divine Revelation authentically.

ChaferDTS said...

"No it does not."

I was right in what I said though you do not like it. It teaches that Scripture and tradition as defined by them is the rule of faith for the church. It made tradition equal to Scripture. And then it has the Pope who when he sits on the chair of Peter can define doctrine for the church. The Pope make papal infallibility a useless doctrine as he defined less than 6 verses for the people of God. It renders him as failing in the task which God calls on Pastors in the church as far as teaching the people of God is concerned. My complaint there is valid. It claims so much and yet when asked it has so little it produced.

"It is not as if the Pope is siting on his throne interpreting the Scriptures for us. They are ordinarily interpreted in the manner in which they were given, along with Holy Spirit which works ordinarily within the Catholic Church as a Body. The Pope and Magisterium merely keep promulgating what has always been given in God's Divine Revelation. "

Less than 6 verses have been dogmatically interpreted by them. That is the exact problem. Just stating doctrines is not enough. What is also needed for the people of God is an exegetical treatment of Scripture verse by verse that is dogmatically interpreted by the teaching Magisterium and the Pope. It failed in it's task if one is to embrace Roman Catholicism. And I do not believe Roman Catholicism has taught the same things for over 2,000 years.Much of it's claimed distinctive dogmatically defined claimed doctrines are really post 1054ad. Roman Catholicism shall forever have the people of God waiting for an infallible exegetical verse by verse treatment of the entire Scripture. Merely listing doctrines in the Cathechism Of The Catholic Church is not completing it's claimed task as far as teaching is concerned. What is needed is an interpretation of each verse in Scripture for the people of God. Yet that wont ever be done. It is not giving the people of God what it claims to have .

"You have some serious flaws in your characterizations of the Pope and the Catholic Church. "

First, I do not believe that the Catholic Church is limited to those in communion with the Pope. And therefore what is rejected is Roman Catholicism and not what is Catholic. The concept of the papacy is limited to those in the Roman See. As you must know besides Protestants, Old Catholics and Eastern Orthodox reject papal infallibility and deny that the Pope is the visible head of the entire church on the earth. Secondly, I am pointing out many of it's failures and are objectively speaking true. It is shown by the fact that he has infallibily defined less than 6 doctrines for Roman Catholics. Why so little ? The papacy failed in it's task of teaching the people of God.

Turretinfan said...

"The contradiction is in the fact that you can't tell me what they are."

It's in that fact? How so? What does that fact contradict? Let me provide you with another example: there are ten men on a desert island. One of them is murdered. Each of the seven innocent men will know that the murderer is one of the other eight living men, but he won't know which one. That's not a contradiction, so why is it a contradiction here where we know that the necessary things are clear, even if we don't know precisely which things are necessary?

"Do you know what objectivity is?"

Yes

"God is objective and everything that He reveals to us in Divine Revelation is able to be objectively understood by the human mind in matters of faith and morals."

LOL If you understood what objectivity is, you wouldn't say that. Nevertheless, God's objective truth can be revealed to man. The primary way by which God reveals propositional truth is Scripture.

"If you cannot tell me what those objective realities are then are not representing God's Divine Revelation authentically."

I can hand you a Bible. I can read you a Bible, if you prefer the oral Word.

I can (and have already done so) provide you with a great many of those objective truths.

-TurretinFan

ChaferDTS said...

Acts 16:30-31 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. So what does believing on the Lord Jesus Christ mean? Is that a subjective interpretation or objective? If it is objective, you should be able to tell me what it is."


To be saved as used there means to be delivered from the penalty of sin which is eternal damnation from the presence and love of God. Believing on the Lord Jesus Christ means trusting in Him alone as through whom salvation comes by from. It is trusting that in the person and work of Jesus Christ who died for our sins and raised from the dead. Scripture itself is God's objective inerrant and infallible word while all interpretations of it is subjective. Just like your reading of the Catechism Of the Catholic Church and all other authorized books of Roman Catholicism are subject in it's interpretation of it by people such as yourself.

Matthew Bellisario said...

"It made tradition equal to Scripture. "

No, you separated Scripture from the head which is Jesus Christ and His Divine Revelation which is preached with authority, some of which was written down in Sacred Scripture.

"The Pope make papal infallibility a useless doctrine as he defined less than 6 verses for the people of God."

Again the Pope does not make these doctrines, he holds firm to what has been objectively revealed to the Church through Divine Revelation. It appears that you do not understand the diffferene between "making" and "adhering" or "delivering".

"Less than 6 verses have been dogmatically interpreted by them. That is the exact problem. "

No that is not the problem. I have asked repeatedly here on this post what is even necessary doctrine, and you and your buddy TF cannot tell me. The Church does not have to define each Biblical verse infallibly. It teaches the necessary faith and morals as revealed by God infallibly. The fact is the Catholic Church tells you what believing in Jesus Christ means, and you cannot. It seems that Protestantism has failed, not Holy Mother Church.

"First, I do not believe that the Catholic Church is limited to those in communion with the Pope."

So what?

"The concept of the papacy is limited to those in the Roman See. As you must know besides Protestants, Old Catholics and Eastern Orthodox reject papal infallibility and deny that the Pope is the visible head of the entire church on the earth"

No there are other Eastern Churches that also hold to papal primacy besides the Roman Rite. Also, just because you can name others who reject the papacy doesn't make it any less objectively true.

"Secondly, I am pointing out many of it's failures and are objectively speaking true."

No failure on the Church's part. I understand perfectly what is is that I must believe, too bad you don't.

Turretinfan said...

"No, you separated Scripture from the head which is Jesus Christ and His Divine Revelation which is preached with authority, some of which was written down in Sacred Scripture."

And the rest was lost?

Or passed down orally?

Or?

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

TF says, "One of them is murdered. Each of the seven innocent men will know that the murderer is one of the other eight living men, but he won't know which one. That's not a contradiction, so why is it a contradiction here where we know that the necessary things are clear, even if we don't know precisely which things are necessary?"

Wow, if this is your understanding of how God reveals Divine Truth to us then you are far worse off than I thought. The fact is God does not just give us an obscure truth that we cannot know for sure. In other words God does not just tell that someone in a group of people is the "murderer", he tells us exactly who the murderer is.

"LOL If you understood what objectivity is, you wouldn't say that. Nevertheless, God's objective truth can be revealed to man. The primary way by which God reveals propositional truth is Scripture."

LOL, then tell us what it is in Scripture that is necessary to believe. Just telling us that it is in there somewhere is not objective truth. Your theology is what I call the Archie Bunker theory, "In its there somewhere."

ChaferDTS said...

"No, you separated Scripture from the head which is Jesus Christ and His Divine Revelation which is preached with authority, some of which was written down in Sacred Scripture."

Scripture alone is given by inspiration of God and not so called claim pronouncements from the Pope or church councils. I am subject to the authority and person of the Lord Jesus Christ as He is revealed in Scripture. I believe Jesus Christ is head of the church alone. And that no single Bishop is head of the visible church on the earth in the place of Christ at all. Christ is the Chief Shepherd while all elders/ Bishops are shepherds.The apostles all had equal authority with one another and none of them claimed to be head of the entire visible church. Since the Pope is not an apostle therefore he has no universal authority at all over the visible church. I reject the so called doctrine apostolic succession through the episcopate through the line of Peter which is your presuposition there. :)

ChaferDTS said...

"Again the Pope does not make these doctrines, he holds firm to what has been objectively revealed to the Church through Divine Revelation. It appears that you do not understand the diffferene between "making" and "adhering" or "delivering". "

He dogmatically defined them is what I said. His interpretations are subjective just like ours are. :) Afterall he is a man just like we are. Your claim there of me not understanding is just that a claim. My belief is the papacy and Roman Catholicism has added to the faith on what was not taught by Jesus and the apostles. And the objective evidence is that which is in Scripture. And from what we see in the church father writings on how step by step the Roman Church moved further and further away from Biblical Christianity.

"No that is not the problem. I have asked repeatedly here on this post what is even necessary doctrine, and you and your buddy TF cannot tell me."

I specificially told you in my post . The person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ as presented in the gospel message.

"The Church does not have to define each Biblical verse infallibly."

Then it failed in it's task of teaching the people of God who desire to know what each and ever verse in Scripture means. It claims a teaching authority yet you are telling me it does not have to now. That speaks volumes to me. :(

ChaferDTS said...

"So what? "

You are using the word Catholic Church in a manner that is different from what is in the Creeds of the early church and on how the church fathers understood it. It is a big deal. It shows me the pride and arrogance of the Church of Rome.


"It teaches the necessary faith and morals as revealed by God infallibly. "

That is false in some cases. It was not so with Liberius or Honorius who taught formal heresy. Likewise I Trent, Vatican I and Vatican II are to be rejected by the people of God as being in error. I will throw in the 7th ecumenical council as part of the problem too. The history of the events of the heresy of the Arians by a majority of the visible church during the time of Nicea shows that the visible church was anything but infallible. Very few true defenders of the Trinity back in those days. Most of the visible church were deep in the heresy of the Arians even the Bishop of Rome Liberious who took part of an Arian church council and signed an Arian Creed though later on he retracted and held to the Trinity. Neither the visible church in any councils nor the Pope are infallible.

"The fact is the Catholic Church tells you what believing in Jesus Christ means, and you cannot. It seems that Protestantism has failed, not Holy Mother Church. "

That is not so. Roman Catholicism added things never taught as a necessary doctrine to salvation by the early church. For examples, it added the immaculate conception of Mary, Papal infallibilty itself, Papal supremacy , assumption of Mary. Things like this shows me Roman Catholicism does not live what it claims to be. Your use of Catholic Church is incorrect. It is Roman Catholicsm / The Church of Rome / The Roman See. To reject Roman Catholicism does not mean to reject what is catholic. Embracing Protestantism is expresslly rejecting that which is Roman Catholic only and not what is catholic.

"No there are other Eastern Churches that also hold to papal primacy besides the Roman Rite. Also, just because you can name others who reject the papacy doesn't make it any less objectively true. "

I am aware of Eastern Rites. Since those are in communion with the Pope I place them under the decriptive term Roman Catholicism. My listing of Old Catholics and Eastern Orthodox just shows that the claim of the Papacy is rejected by the other claimed Sees that was created at Nicea and onward. My point is that the claims of the papacy is really about pride, power and greed and nothing more and that it was never part of the entire Christian faith. As to it being true or not we have the objective Scriptures for that. :)

"No failure on the Church's part. I understand perfectly what is is that I must believe, too bad you don't."

The failure is the papacy itself. Did those at the Council of Nicea believe that it was necessary to believe that the Bishop of Rome is head of the visible church on the earth and Papal infallible as a condition to salvation that was later on added as a condition in 1870ad at Vatican I dogmatically ? You see in Roman Catholicism down the road it may or may not add added beliefs to salvation that you may not even believed. That is the thing.

Matthew Bellisario said...

"Scripture alone is given by inspiration of God and not so called claim pronouncements from the Pope or church councils."

Not so, Divine Revelation includes everything God has revealed to us by the Word of God, Our Lord Jesus Christ who preached the truth. There is no such thing as Sola Scriptura. We are seeing a perfect example of that realization now as your buddy TF cannot even tell what objective truth is, as revealed by Scripture alone. Just telling us that it is in there somewhere is leaving it at a subjective state for each individual to determine just what it actually is in Scripture that is essential to believe in order to be saved. God tells us exactly what it is that we must believe. It is objective and absolutely able to be understood by man. "It is in there somewhere" isn't going to cut it.

Matthew Bellisario said...

"It was not so with Liberius or Honorius who taught formal heresy. "

Liberius did not teach formal heresy and Honorius was not speaking for the entire Church. Sungenis buried these foolish arguments when he spanked James White on the infallibility debate years ago.

ChaferDTS said...

"This is great. Good job Matt!"

Did the apostle Paul teach that belief in the primacy of the Bishop of Rome and papal infallibility as necessary conditions to the gospel ? It appears that Vatican I in 1870ad thought it knew more than Paul on that.

1 Cor. 15:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

Matthew Bellisario said...

"Did the apostle Paul teach that belief in the primacy of the Bishop of Rome and papal infallibility as necessary conditions to the gospel ? "

No, Jesus taught that. Did the apostle Paul teach that Scripture alone is the sole rule of his faith? No, he did not. Did the apostle Paul tell us that Scripture alone provides us with everything we need to know concerning salvation, yet we don't really know that reality is? Did he coin the prophetic words of Archie Bunker, "it is in the Bible somewhere?" No, he did not.

Turretinfan said...

"Wow, if this is your understanding of how God reveals Divine Truth to us then you are far worse off than I thought. The fact is God does not just give us an obscure truth that we cannot know for sure. In other words God does not just tell that someone in a group of people is the "murderer", he tells us exactly who the murderer is."

John 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

But regardless, that's just a deflection. There's no contradiction, as my example showed.

ChaferDTS said...

"Liberius did not teach formal heresy "

The Letters of Pope Liberious are in fact heretical. Arianism as you must know is heresy. Plus he took part of an Arain Church Council and signed an Arian creed. That would never have happend if papal infallibility is true.

"and Honorius was not speaking for the entire Church. "

His heresy had impacted the church at large in the west and in the east. And condemned for it specifically by the 6th Ecumenical Council. The decrees of that council had stated it's use and his deception in leading others to heresy. He stands condemned for formal heresy in his office as pope. He met the conditions as such for that. He was not condemned as a private theologian.

"Sungenis buried these foolish arguments when he spanked James White on the infallibility debate years ago."

Historical revisionism does not change the facts of history as understood by the 6th Ecumenical Council when it condemned Honorius for formal heresy. It's decrees stated what he did and how his heresy infected the church in his misleading pf people. Don' forget people used his writing on that to support the heresy he held. No one can explain away the facts of what happend or change the decrees of that council which condemned him and others for formal heresy. That came from my own study of the church. That is stuff I find written down in church history books and checked out for myself. Those foolish arguments are really those who wish to deny or revise church history in order to save a pet doctrine of Roman Catholicism that has no historical basis in Scripture or in church history. I personally consider those who ignore those false teachers as being in bed with them and ignore the spiritual harm caused by them at that time. I have no seen that debate of White but if it is anything like the one I did see online yesterday than all I would expect to see and hear is historical revisionism once again from a Roman Catholic apologist. Liberius's letter and the decrees of the 6th ecumenical council is more than sufficient evidence for showing their guilt of formal heresy in their function as Pope.

Matthew Bellisario said...

TF says, "John 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

But regardless, that's just a deflection. There's no contradiction, as my example showed."


Yes there is a contradiction in the fact that you can't tell me what it is that I must believe in order to be saved by Scripture alone. What is it? Thus the prophet Bunker sayeth, "It is in there somewhere!"

Also your example from Scripture shows your poor understanding of Scripture since Scripture tells exactly who that person is, doesn't it? God does not leave it a mystery does He? No, He does not. He tells clearly, "Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve." (22:3), "The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus" (John 13:2). God is very clear in revealing to us Divine Revelation, and now you are the one trying to tell me that is not clear! I thought Scripture was clear in matters of salvation? tell us what the clear doctrines are that we must believe! Again, "It is in there somewhere" is not objective, but ultimately subjective. I should really do a complete post on this absurdity.

ChaferDTS said...

"No, Jesus taught that."

Jesus said otherwise.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

"Did the apostle Paul teach that Scripture alone is the sole rule of his faith? No, he did not. Did the apostle Paul tell us that Scripture alone provides us with everything we need to know concerning salvation,"

Sola Scriptura teaches that Scripture alone is the sole INFALLIBLE " rule of faith for the Christian once the apostles died off and the NT Canon was completed written. And Paul did teach the formal sufficancy of Scripture.

2 Tim 3:15-17 And that from a child thou hast known *the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.* 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.

"yet we don't really know that reality is? Did he coin the prophetic words of Archie Bunker, "it is in the Bible somewhere?" No, he did not. "

I would say when one denies the historical facts of Liberius and Honorious one is far off from reality and deep in to dream land somewhere. What is rejected is unwritten tradition that can't be proven to be traced back to the time of the apostles. If such claimed unwritten oral doctrinal tradition can't be proven it is not binding on the people of God to believe.

Matthew Bellisario said...

"The Letters of Pope Liberious are in fact heretical. Arianism as you must know is heresy. Plus he took part of an Arain Church Council and signed an Arian creed. That would never have happend if papal infallibility is true."

Wong, you do not know your historical facts. It has never been proven that Liberius was tortured into signing an Arian declaration.

"Historical revisionism does not change the facts of history as understood by the 6th Ecumenical Council when it condemned Honorius for formal heresy."

It is not historical revisionism. I never said that Honorius was not in error, what I said was he was not speaking in his authority for the entire Church, and that is a historical fact. Again, listen to spanking of White in the Sungenis debate. I do not need to rehash it here. The fact is, no Pope has ever declared heresy from the Chair of Peter.

Turretinfan said...

Bellisario:

How is just saying "it's in there somewhere" a contradiction?

Can you explain your argument? I've given you several chances to do so. So far, you haven't risen to the occasion.

As for the remainder of your comment, yes Scripture clarifies. However, for a time, Jesus did not.

I'll give an example that Scripture doesn't clarify. It says Jesus is coming again, but it does not say what day.

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

"Sola Scriptura teaches that Scripture alone is the sole INFALLIBLE " rule of faith for the Christian once the apostles died off and the NT Canon was completed written. And Paul did teach the formal sufficancy of Scripture."

No he did not, and even your hero James White admits the apostles did not teach Sola Scriptura. See the Matatics debate for that spanking.

"I would say when one denies the historical facts of Liberius and Honorious one is far off from reality and deep in to dream land somewhere."

Again it is you who does not understand the historical facts son. You are making all kinds of historical inaccuracies based on little bits of information that you picked up here and there, yet do not understand what bearing they had or as to what consequence they do or do not bear upon the papacy. Liberius was never proven to have signed any Arian confession, and Honorius never spoke from the chair regarding his error. The later Councils themselves attest to that. Again, refer to the Sungenis spanking of White on that issue.

Finally, if Scripture is clear and the only infallible rule of faith as you claim, tell me what is it that I must believe in order to be saved? Give me a list from the sole rule of faith. Again, "It is in there somewhere does not fly."

Truth Unites... and Divides said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Matthew Bellisario said...

TF says, "How is just saying "it's in there somewhere" a contradiction?"

If it is there then you should be able to tell what it is, no? If not then it isn't objectively clear as to what it is, or if it is even there in the first place.

TF says "I'll give an example that Scripture doesn't clarify. It says Jesus is coming again, but it does not say what day."

Again your example of Scripture is bad one since Scripture tells us plainly that it is not your business to know when Jesus is coming back. It is objectively clear about that fact. No mystery there, and your poor feeble analogy has again fallen flat on its face.

Again, if you cannot tell me what it is that is so clear in Scripture that pertains to my salvation, then you have no rational argument. "It is there somewhere" is nothing but subjective philosophy that is rooted in nihilism. God is either clear about matters of faith and morals, and He can and does communicate them clearly to us objectively, or He cannot or chooses not to do so. We both think that He chooses to do so, yet you can't tell me what those objective truths are. Tell us, what are these clear truths that we must believe that are revealed in Sacred Scripture?

Turretinfan said...

Again, Mr. Bellisario, you've had a chance to demonstrate a contradiction and you have failed to provide anything more than just your assertion that there is a contradiction.

Would you like another try?

- TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

How does any of the nonsense that "Truth Unites and Divides" posted above have any bearing on this or the other post? I won't even engage in that here. I am still trying to find out what the clear teachings of Scripture are. I know, "Its in thee somewhere, we just don't where."

Turretinfan said...

TU&D - I agree that your comment is off-topic here. Bellisario has a post against Hays on that topic somewhere, I think. That would be the best place for your comment.

Matthew Bellisario said...

TF'says, "Again, Mr. Bellisario, you've had a chance to demonstrate a contradiction and you have failed to provide anything more than just your assertion that there is a contradiction."

It is a contradiction to tell us something is objective and yet you cannot give us an objective explanation. Either you can tell what is clear in Scripture, or it isn't clear is it? That is the contradiction. Again, Scripture is clear as to the two examples you gave me, isn't it clear as to what we must believe to be saved? It is painfully obvious that you are stuck here and have no way of getting out of your dilemma of self contradiction. "It is in there somewhere but we don't know what it is" is a joke. I mean, TF exists is objective, but we just can't tell anyone what planet he is really on, right! Scripture is absolutely clear about matters of salvation, we just can't know for sure what those clear things are. What a joke.

Turretinfan said...

Wow - the string of failures continues!

Let's examine:

"It is a contradiction to tell us something is objective and yet you cannot give us an objective explanation."

That's not even remotely a contradiction.

"Either you can tell what is clear in Scripture, or it isn't clear is it? That is the contradiction."

a) Again, that's not a contradiction.

b) I can tell you a lot of clear things from Scripture. Not all of those clear things are things that are necessary for salvation.

"Again, Scripture is clear as to the two examples you gave me, isn't it clear as to what we must believe to be saved?"

We must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. The precise level of knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ that is required is not clear.

"It is painfully obvious that you are stuck here and have no way of getting out of your dilemma of self contradiction. "It is in there somewhere but we don't know what it is" is a joke. I mean, TF exists is objective, but we just can't tell anyone what planet he is really on, right! Scripture is absolutely clear about matters of salvation, we just can't know for sure what those clear things are. What a joke."

I know you have (or had) a father, but I don't know who he is. I can't identify him. His paternity of you is an objective truth, but his identity is not known to me.

If you thought more clearly, you wouldn't make this sort of frivolous argument.

-TurretinFan

Truth Unites... and Divides said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Turretinfan said...

I'm trying to avoid (or at least limit) having the word for that particular activity. Here are two possible places on MB's blog:

http://catholicchampion.blogspot.com/2009/04/is-catholic-churchs-teaching-on.html

http://catholicchampion.blogspot.com/2010/03/steve-hays-and-protestants-on-self.html

Matthew Bellisario said...

TF "If you thought more clearly, you wouldn't make this sort of frivolous argument."

TF, there is no one who thinks rationally that would ever make such an outrageous claims that you have made on this post. It is obviously a contradiction if you are telling me something is objectively true, yet you have no way telling what it is that is objectively true.

"I can tell you a lot of clear things from Scripture. Not all of those clear things are things that are necessary for salvation."

Tell us then what the clear things are that are necessary for salvation. If they are objectively true then tell us what they are. It is painfully obvious that you do not have any background in rational Thomistic logic. Maybe if you take few classes about how to present a rational argument it would be worth spending more time here discussing this. But as it stands, you are in complete contradiction with your original statement. If Scripture is clear, then in order to prove that premise you would have to prove it objectively by telling me what it is that is actually clear in the text of Scripture. Again, "It is in there somewhere" only works in the world of Archie Bunker, not in the realm of God's Divine Revelation. Better luck next time son.

Turretinfan said...

"TF, there is no one who thinks rationally that would ever make such an outrageous claims that you have made on this post."

Please identify two outrageous claims I made.

"It is obviously a contradiction if you are telling me something is objectively true, yet you have no way [of] telling what it is that is objectively true."

We've already demonstrated that your comment is false both by the example of the 1 devil among the twelve and the date of Christ's return.

It seems clear you have no rational argument to present. Instead you've just provided for my readers an example of the objection that this post aimed to address.

What is also interesting is that you've demonstrated to my readers that you have no rational argument for your assertion that there is some contradiction.

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

"We've already demonstrated that your comment is false both by the example of the 1 devil among the twelve and the date of Christ's return.

It seems clear you have no rational argument to present. Instead you've just provided for my readers an example of the objection that this post aimed to address."

No, I have demonstrated that your abuse of the Scripture passages are perfectly clear and do not support your fallacious claim. Are you really going to try and pass this off as a rational argument? It is obviously rational to ask you for the clear doctrine that Scripture teaches, that you are claiming it contains. Again, either it is objectively true that Scripture contains all necessary doctrine for salvation or it is not. If it is then it must tell us what those things are, otherwise you cannot make the objective claim that they are there. If these truths are there and no one can tell what they are for sure, then they are of no use. It is all subjective guesswork. God did not give His Holy Word so that we can guess what these objective truths of salvation are. Again, "It is there somewhere, we just don't know what it is" doesn't cut it. This is logic 101 dude. Get a grip.

Turretinfan said...

"No, I have demonstrated that your abuse of the Scripture passages are perfectly clear and do not support your fallacious claim."

The passages are perfectly clear. It's so nice to hear you affirm that.

They also provide counter-examples to your absurd charge of contradiction.

"Are you really going to try and pass this off as a rational argument?"

Yes. Really.

"It is obviously rational to ask you for the clear doctrine that Scripture teaches, that you are claiming it contains."

a) You keep shifting the question, equivocating between the clear doctrines necessary for salvation and clear doctrines in general.

b) It may be rational for someone to ask the question. It's irrational for someone to insist that if they don't get the answer they want there is a "contradiction."

"Again, either it is objectively true that Scripture contains all necessary doctrine for salvation or it is not."

It's objectively true. It's also objectively true that Christ is coming again. There's an objectively true number of grains of sand on the sea shore and number of stars in the sky. It does not mean we know what the number is, when the date is, or which particular doctrines are the necessary ones.

"If it is then it must tell us what those things are, otherwise you cannot make the objective claim that they are there."

Actually, you're mistaken - as I showed in the post. We can deduce that fact rather than inducing it.

"If these truths are there and no one can tell what they are for sure, then they are of no use."

a) You claim that, but Scripture says they are quite useful.

b) Turn that skeptical beam on your own church and see what happens to her claims. Can anyone tell us which papal statements are infallible for sure? Is there an infallible canon of oral tradition? Is there an infallible canon of infallible teachings from councils? Oh, so are those things useless? You would never say so, because your skepticism is something you apply only against the Truth, not against your church.

"God did not give His Holy Word so that we can guess what these objective truths of salvation are."

Yet you want us to guess. Funny how often you contradict yourself.

"This is logic 101 dude. Get a grip."

For someone who can't make an argument, you sure think you know a lot about logic.

Please express your argument, if you think you have one, as a syllogism. That's logic 101.

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

"It may be rational for someone to ask the question. It's irrational for someone to insist that if they don't get the answer they want there is a "contradiction.""

No its not. If you can't prove what your objective claim is, then its not objective. It is wishful thinking. Again learn logic.

"It's objectively true. It's also objectively true that Christ is coming again."

Yes, and its objectively true that Christ doesn't want you to know when that is. Are you going to say that Christ likewise does not want you to know what is objectively true for salvation in Scripture? Your argument doesn't hold.

Tf says, "There's an objectively true number of grains of sand on the sea shore and number of stars in the sky. It does not mean we know what the number is, when the date is, or which particular doctrines are the necessary ones."

So you are going to make a parallel between knowing how many grains of sand there are on a beach to what is necessary in Scripture in order to be saved? You are out of your tree dude. Again, tell me what these necessary truths are in Scripture that you claim are so clear. If you cannot do so, then again, you contradict yourself. Maybe Archie bunker should be your patron Saint.

Turretinfan said...

"No its not. If you can't prove what your objective claim is, then its not objective. It is wishful thinking. Again learn logic."

That's not what "objective" means. "Objective" doesn't mean provable. "Objective" doesn't even mean "known to us."

Perhaps you need to learn English a bit better before you continue?

"Yes, and its objectively true that Christ doesn't want you to know when that is."

Ok ...

"Are you going to say that Christ likewise does not want you to know what is objectively true for salvation in Scripture?"

Of course! If he wanted us to know, he would tell us!

"So you are going to make a parallel between knowing how many grains of sand there are on a beach to what is necessary in Scripture in order to be saved?"

No, I'm trying to help your feeble mind grasp the concept that "objective truth" does not equal "known truth."

Let's take another example, this one from Scripture. God knows the number of hairs on your head. That number is an objective (though probably variable - decreasing as you pull them out reading this thread) truth. But you don't know the number of hairs on your head. And you know it is an objective truth that God has them numbered, even though you don't know what number it is.

- TurretinFan

ChaferDTS said...

"Not so, Divine Revelation includes everything God has revealed to us by the Word of God, Our Lord Jesus Christ who preached the truth. "

Since there are no present day prophets or apostles there is no " new divine inspired revelation " presently being given to the people of God as part of a rule of faith. I accept apostolic doctrinal tradition that is taught by Jesus and the apostles but this is presently found and located in Scripture for us. I reject unwritten oral doctrinal traditions as binding on Christians because it's claimed apostolic source can not be confirmed for the people. Therefore are not binding on Christians by anyone. Unless you can prove that bishops at a church council or the Pope are are present day prophets or apostles I shall forever reject the claims of the papacy. Since there are no present day prophets or apostles then there are no claimed divine inspired oral doctrinal traditions that are being given to us. You must remember Eph 2:20 in your arguments.

Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

"There is no such thing as Sola Scriptura. We are seeing a perfect example of that realization now as your buddy TF cannot even tell what objective truth is, as revealed by Scripture alone. Just telling us that it is in there somewhere is leaving it at a subjective state for each individual to determine just what it actually is in Scripture that is essential to believe in order to be saved.

Then you must ignore or run away from the exegetical meaning of the word " complete " and " thoroughly equipped " that is found in 2 Tim 3:17 which refutes your claim that Scripture is incomplete. It is said you want to deny the right of Christians to " search the Scriptures " or " to test all things and hold fast to that which is good " .

"God tells us exactly what it is that we must believe. It is objective and absolutely able to be understood by man. "It is in there somewhere" isn't going to cut it. "

You were given the answer and you did not see it.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 20;31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Matthew Bellisario said...

"Are you going to say that Christ likewise does not want you to know what is objectively true for salvation in Scripture?"

Tf said, "Of course! If he wanted us to know, he would tell us!"

He did tell, so you say, in Scripture. So tell us what it is that we must believe in order to saved! Either you can tell us what it is from Scripture alone or you cannot. If you cannot then what you say is not objectively true son. You are really out of your mind if you think that Jesus Christ gave us Scripture so that we can all guess what we should all believe or not believe, especially when our salvation hinges on it. You are a true relativist.

TF says, "No, I'm trying to help your feeble mind grasp the concept that "objective truth" does not equal "known truth."

You are the one claiming that everything we need to know about our salvation is in Scripture, not me. Yet you are the one who cannot tell anyone what that objective truth is. If this is your argument, then so be it. But it fails on all accounts of formal logic, say what you will. I can't wait until I get some time to put this exchange up on my site and let everyone take a look at this. This is truly unbelievable!

ChaferDTS said...

"No he did not, and even your hero James White admits the apostles did not teach Sola Scriptura. See the Matatics debate for that spanking."

It appears that you did not listen to the debate. James White provided an exegetical treatment of 2 Tim 3:15-17 in that debate. What James White was saying was that that New Testament canon was being written during the life time of the apostles. Sola Scriptura relates to the normative period of time in which there are no present day prophets or apostles in which once that condition is no longer around there are no new added divine revelation being given to the people of God. Matatics was basically setting up a strawman argument. I am not sure if you are aware that Gerry Matataics is no longer an orthodox Roman Catholic ? And that he is now a Sedevacanist Catholic instead. You evidently failed to listen to Matatics fail to answer honestly on questions on Matt. 16:18 and on 2 Thes. 2:6-7 in his claims on those for the RCC on it's teaching

Matthew Bellisario said...

If you listen to the debate, White admits that Saint Paul never taught the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. It was impossible since there was no NT at the time. He also did not look to the OT as his only source either, since he himself appealed to other revelation outside of Scripture to interpret the OT properly.

ChaferDTS said...

Again it is you who does not understand the historical facts son. You are making all kinds of historical inaccuracies based on little bits of information that you picked up here and there, yet do not understand what bearing they had or as to what consequence they do or do not bear upon the papacy."

You have no idea on what I have studied on this matter at all and are making false assumptions. My information is from from the facts of church history. I personally do not care one way or the other. But I am honest with the fact and conclude those men are guilty of formal heresy in their function and office as Pope. You want me to deny the Letters of Liberius and the decrees of the 6th ecumenical council and to believe the historical revisionism of Sugensis. I guess what you think happend to Athansaius by Liberius was a myth right ? Let's see had him exiled for defending the Trinity. Instead of the RCC conceding those things it wants to go in to denial mode for it's pet papal infallibilty doctrine.

"Liberius was never proven to have signed any Arian confession, and Honorius never spoke from the chair regarding his error."

Read the Letters of Liberius and the decrees of the 6th ecumenical church counil. They contradict what you are saying. I wont ever deny what those things say and must say Liberius and Honorius were clear cut guilty of formal heresy and demeaned the "chair of Peter" by what they had done.

"The later Councils themselves attest to that. "

Incorrect. His condemnation was reaffirmed for formal heresy of his guilt and condemned by other bishops of Rome as well. You need to read more church history there.

Turretinfan said...

"He did tell, so you say, in Scripture."

I said the opposite. Obviously, that's not something you can handle, so it's straw man time.

"You are the one claiming that everything we need to know about our salvation is in Scripture, not me."

And I'm sticking with that. I am also telling you that the number of hairs in your head is in the mind of God.

"Yet you are the one who cannot tell anyone what that objective truth is."

Nor can I tell you the number in God's head.

"If this is your argument, then so be it."

Yay!

"But it fails on all accounts of formal logic, say what you will."

You haven't used formal logic to analyze it, and you haven't used formal logic to argue against it. So, by all accounts of formal logic, it stands.

"I can't wait until I get some time to put this exchange up on my site and let everyone take a look at this. This is truly unbelievable!"

Oh no! (gasps) Not that! Whaddle-I-do!

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

"Incorrect. His condemnation was reaffirmed for formal heresy of his guilt and condemned by other bishops of Rome as well. You need to read more church history there."

Look son, I know my history, and I know that Liberius never proclaimed heresy from the chair of Peter, and neither did Honorius. This is just revised Prot history. It is debated as to what Liberius even signed. Honorius did proclaim heresy in a private letter he wrote, hardly a qualification to be speaking from the Chair of Peter. Again, listen to Sungenis who spanked your hero James White in the public debate on the issue. No need for me to rehash it here son.

Turretinfan said...

Let me simplify the discussion:

Rational Person presents argument.

Bellisario counters with assertion.

Rational Person responds to assertion with argument.

Bellisario rebuts with a more dogmatic sounding assertion.

Continue ad infinitum.

Matthew Bellisario said...

"You haven't used formal logic to analyze it, and you haven't used formal logic to argue against it. So, by all accounts of formal logic, it stands."

No is does not and any Thomistic philosopher would agree that you just got spanked in front of all of your buddies on this subject. Lets recap your fallacious argument, shall we?

TF says, that Scripture is the only infallible rule for us in which all necessary doctrine is revealed to us, yet, no one on the face of the planet knows what these essentials are! Jesus also did not intend to teach us what is necessary to believe either, you can just make it up for yourself. As TF's prophet Archie Bunker said, "Its in the Bible somewhere!" Yes folks, the Bible is clear, just not clear enough to tell us what it is that is clear.

ChaferDTS said...

"Again, refer to the Sungenis spanking of White on that issue. "

All I usually find from Sugenis is historical revisionism, selective partial citation thereby leaving important parts out which contradicts him and misquotating of someone. You must learn to listen to both sides and not close your eyes and ears to the otherwise. I always check out both sides very carefully. My study comes from reading various theological writings and church history books and not from such debates as you want to refer me to. I am pretty sure you are unaware of Holy Scripture The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith by David T. King and William Webster. Much of your confusion on Sola Scriptura would be helped out there on what the doctrine actually teaches contrary to what " Catholic Answers " want to distort and misrepresent and refine it to be. I want to thank you for remidning of of why I left Roman Catholicism in June 1992 and never returned. Sola Ecclesia is the name of the game and best shown by your post here.

"Finally, if Scripture is clear and the only infallible rule of faith as you claim, tell me what is it that I must believe in order to be saved?"

I already posted it. Here it is.

John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Acts 16:30-31And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

1 Cor 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

Matthew Bellisario said...

"I am pretty sure you are unaware of Holy Scripture The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith by David T. King and William Webster"

Oh yeah I am well aware, and you think that those two guys are to be taken seriously? You are going to attack Sungenis for his alleged revisionism and then you are going to come to me with these two nitwits? Please son, get real.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Also, are the above passages you quoted essential truths or just unessential passages like the hairs numbered on our head?

Turretinfan said...

"No is does not and any Thomistic philosopher would agree that you just got spanked in front of all of your buddies on this subject. Lets recap your fallacious argument, shall we?"

LOL - let's ...

"TF says, that Scripture is the only infallible rule for us in which all necessary doctrine is revealed to us, yet, no one on the face of the planet knows what these essentials are!"

God knows. Don't forget about that important detail. Your statement is also a little misleading in that it's not a question of knowing the essentials, but of knowing which of the many clear doctrines are essentials.

"Jesus also did not intend to teach us what is necessary to believe either, you can just make it up for yourself."

I did not say that. At some point it becomes apparent that you're not so stupid as to think that I said that ...

And you still didn't identify any fallacy, either in the misleading worded restatement of my position or in the misstatement of my position.

The fact that we aren't told which doctrines are necessary doesn't mean we get to make it up, just as not knowing the number of hairs on our own heads doesn't allow us to just make it up.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

MB:

You really shouldn't call your intellectual superiors like Webster and King "nitwits." If they are nitwits, where does that place you?

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

"Also, are the above passages you quoted essential truths or just unessential passages like the hairs numbered on our head? "

Amazingly, as we've said all along, the Bible doesn't tell us, and we are required to believe all of Scripture including passages we may think are non-essential.

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

"The fact that we aren't told which doctrines are necessary doesn't mean we get to make it up, just as not knowing the number of hairs on our own heads doesn't allow us to just make it up."

The fact is Scripture is yours to abuse based on what you think is essential, not what God has revealed objectively as being essential. You have contradicted yourself over and over. Either Scripture is clear or it is not. If it is, again, tell us what is and is not essential. If you can't then you are just wasting your time son. This is where Protestantism falls apart. Its all about you, not about God.

ChaferDTS said...

"If you listen to the debate, White admits that Saint Paul never taught the doctrine of Sola Scriptura."

That is incorrect. James White pointed out Paul taught it in 2 Tim 3:15-17. Selective memory on your part or did you not listen to the entire debate ?

"It was impossible since there was no NT at the time."

Most of the New Testament were written before 67ad. 2 Tim was written about 67ad which would render what you said incorrect. And let's not forget the fact the apostle Peter knew of Paul's writings when he wrote 2 Pet. 3:15-17. Individual books were being added to formulate the New Testament Canon. Besides, Sola Scriptura relates to the normative conditions of the church when they are no present day prophets or apostles. Evidently you have no idea what Sola Scriptura teaches otherwise you would not make that " Catholic Answers " strawman argument.

"He also did not look to the OT as his only source either, since he himself appealed to other revelation outside of Scripture to interpret the OT properly."

Paul was taught by the Lord Jesus Christ. And he had his apostolic authority in what he taught. Sola Scriptura does not deny the use of sources other than Scripture. What it claims is that Scripture is the sole infallible rule of faith. Since Scripture alone is inspired by God and there are no present day prophets or apostles. You basically were using a strawman argument.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Tf says, "You really shouldn't call your intellectual superiors like Webster and King "nitwits." If they are nitwits, where does that place you?"

Prove your fallacious assumption as to their superiority son. Webster is hardly a scholar. We can see that by his misunderstanding on Aquinas and Scripture.

Turretinfan said...

"The fact is Scripture is yours to abuse based on what you think is essential, not what God has revealed objectively as being essential."

No, we have to believe all of Scripture - both essential and non-essential.

"You have contradicted yourself over and over."

You've said that over and over, but you haven't once shown a contradiction. It's the story of your argument, as already outlined above. You just assert.

"Either Scripture is clear or it is not."

I've repeatedly pointed out how this micharacterizes the doctrine of perspicuity. The issue is not whether Scripture is clear throughout.

I'm not sure how I can put it in any simpler terms for you.

- TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

"Sola Scriptura relates to the normative conditions of the church"

Interesting, because Scripture never mentions once the normative operating conditions that you and your Prots have invented.

"What it claims is that Scripture is the sole infallible rule of faith. Since Scripture alone is inspired by God and there are no present day prophets or apostles. You basically were using a strawman argument."

First of all you can't even tell what is essential to believe in Holy Scripture, let alone what Saint Paul meant or taught. If you cannot tell anyone what is and is not essential to believe from Scripture then you lose son. Your whole foundation is built upon sand. It is all an illusion. Oh I know, "Its in the Bible somewhere, we just don't have an idea what it is!" Keep living a lie.

Turretinfan said...

"Prove your fallacious assumption as to their superiority son. Webster is hardly a scholar. We can see that by his misunderstanding on Aquinas and Scripture."

I've already rebutted that ridiculous charge here: (link).

- TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

"I've repeatedly pointed out how this micharacterizes the doctrine of perspicuity. The issue is not whether Scripture is clear throughout"

I am not asking for clarity throughout! I am asking you to tell me what Scripture says is essential to believe in order to be saved. Tell us. If Scripture is clear in matters of salvation then it should not be a problem. If not then you again contradict yourself.

Turretinfan said...

"I am not asking for clarity throughout!"

Ok

"I am asking you to tell me what Scripture says is essential to believe in order to be saved. Tell us. If Scripture is clear in matters of salvation then it should not be a problem. If not then you again contradict yourself."

You need to think more clearly. Here are some examples:

a) If I am simply silent, my answer can't possibly contradict myself.

b) If you took the time to try to construct an actual argument, you might see the flaw in your reasoning.

a) There are essential doctrines.

b) Scripture teaches all of the essential doctrines.

c) Scripture teaches all of the essential doctrines clearly.

d) A hypothetical doctrine consisting of "Here is a list of all and only the essential doctrines" is not itself an essential doctrine.

For there to be a contradiction, (d) would have to be inverted, such as the hypothetical doctrine would consist of "Here is a list of all and only the essential doctrines" and that hypothetical doctrine would itself be an essential doctrine, and consequently would itself be on the list.

But that's not our position - that's a straw man. You ought to know this, but for some reason you have demonstrated over and over again that you cannot grasp this.

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

"Scripture teaches all of the essential doctrines clearly."

Then what are they?

ChaferDTS said...

"Oh yeah I am well aware, and you think that those two guys are to be taken seriously?"

Yes. Their work was well researched and always checked out when I read it.

"You are going to attack Sungenis for his alleged revisionism and then you are going to come to me with these two nitwits? Please son, get real."

I am not attacking him personally. But I have caught him misquating the church fathers and changing church history. There is no need to name call King or Webster at all. Maybe Disputation On Holy Scripture by Willaim Whitaker would be more to your likening since it was written in the late 1500's and interacted with top level Roman apologist at that time. Sorry if you do not like your " unwritten doctrinal oral traditions " are being challenged by Scripture and church history.

Turretinfan said...

"Then what are they? "

Clear.

- TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

Great define what the clear essentials are. If Scripture is clear then you should have problem telling me what they are. After all what are you going to tell an agnostic if he asks? Are you going to tell him the essentials are in there somewhere, you just have no idea where or what they are? Great evangelization tool there.

Here is how the conversation goes.

TF,
You must believe that Scripture tells us everything we need to know concerning the essentials to our salvation. It is clear in doing so.

Agnostic asks, "What are those essential beliefs"

TF says," Well its in there somewhere, don't worry about it."

Agnostic says, "Who did you learn this from, an Archie Bunker show?"

Turretinfan said...

"Great define what the clear essentials are. If Scripture is clear then you should have problem telling me what they are."

Please explain why you think this follows. That's what you have failed to do. That's the missing link in your argument.

-TurretinFan

natamllc said...

I'll take a crack at the nut!

Matt: "....I am not asking for clarity throughout! I am asking you to tell me what Scripture says is essential to believe in order to be saved. Tell us. If Scripture is clear in matters of salvation then it should not be a problem. If not then you again contradict yourself.".

Matthew, question?

How much time do you spend reading the Scriptures?

Let me point out something by way of an example of what also could be defined as the perspicuity of Scripture, "objectively" and "subjectively objective" as a list leading to the discovery of the Truth you are asking for here?

Here is a record of an objective event, wouldn't you say?

Act 26:12 "In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests.
Act 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me.
Act 26:14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'
Act 26:15 And I said, 'Who are you, Lord?' And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.
Act 26:16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you,
Act 26:17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles--to whom I am sending you
Act 26:18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'
Act 26:19 "Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
Act 26:20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.

Here we see Paul the Apostle give an objective explanation to King Agrippa of Christ's objective appearance to him.

Consider what Jesus said, here: "....Act 26:16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you,...".

Objectively Jesus is speaking to Paul. Of the guys with Paul, not one of them "heard" a Word being spoken to Paul but Paul. They were very much aware objectively of something happening, though.

Now, what was being done "objectively" there, then, at that time, to Paul? That Christ was commissioning him is understood clearly: "...for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me..." .

What Jesus says next is where I want to rest my head: "...and to those in which I will appear to you,...".

You keep asking for an objective list so that "what" will be accomplished in your mind? Is it so that you can have "Peace with God" about your Salvation so that when you die you don't go to hell?

Was God keeping "secret" those additional Truths He was referencing to Paul then when He says to Paul this: "which I will appear to you?"

Jesus appears to Paul objectively.

Jesus tells Paul to prepare himself for more appearances from Him and as these appearances occurred over time they too will become objectivity for those He is sending him too.

Do you know what those objective appearances accomplished for the Church?

Answer: "read all of Paul's epistles" and then you have the answer and a list of essentials of the doctrines of the Faith once delivered to the Saints.

ChaferDTS said...

"Look son, I know my history, and I know that Liberius never proclaimed heresy from the chair of Peter,"

He taught heresy. He held and taught arianism. He took part of an Arian council. He proclaimed arianism as part of the catholic faith. Letters of Liberious is very clear of his formal heresy. Not unless you say that the Pope is infallible except when he is wrong.

"and neither did Honorius. "

The decrees of the 6th Ecumenical church coucils says otherwise. Whom am I to believe ? My own eyes reading it's decrees in what they said or you ?

"This is just revised Prot history. It is debated as to what Liberius even signed. Honorius did proclaim heresy in a private letter he wrote, hardly a qualification to be speaking from the Chair of Peter."

No. What you are doing is called Roman Catholic historical revisionism 101. So I am guilty by assocation with Protestants ? I was not born in to a Protestant background .This is stuff I studied since I was able to understand growing up as a kid. I guess you will accuse those such as myself, Old Catholics and Eastern orthodox of revised history as well when they bring up the same exact thing on Liberius and Honorius. Hardly the acts of a private theologian in what they taught and did. All you are doing is telling me that they are not infallible in all cases except when they are wrong. Papal infallibly is the invented doctirne for sure without historical proof or proof from Scripture either. All I can say is excuse me for embracing the five Solas in June 1992.

"Again, listen to Sungenis who spanked your hero James White in the public debate on the issue. No need for me to rehash it here son."

Ok another guilt by accusation with James White this time. I do not believe that you paid attention to what James White said in it at all. You only listend to one side really. In listening to a debate you examine both sides and check out what they say or claim and check sources in what they use. You evidently are the one that is biased. All Protestants are wrong is the name of the game from you it appears. Unlike you I never brought forth personal bias one way or the other on matters such as this.

Matthew Bellisario said...

"Please explain why you think this follows. That's what you have failed to do. That's the missing link in your argument."

TF, you are missing link. You claim that Scripture tells us what all the essentials of the faith are, yet you cannot tell me what they are from Scripture. It is an absurd proposition.

Matthew Bellisario said...

"He taught heresy. He held and taught arianism. He took part of an Arian council. He proclaimed arianism as part of the catholic faith. Letters of Liberious is very clear of his formal heresy. Not unless you say that the Pope is infallible except when he is wrong. "

No you are wrong. Tell me what sources you are using that says Pope Liberius taught formal heresy from the chair of Peter. Because it is simply a false accusation.

Turretinfan said...

"TF, you are missing link."

There's some irony to the Tarzan-like way that is worded.

"You claim that Scripture tells us what all the essentials of the faith are, yet you cannot tell me what they are from Scripture. It is an absurd proposition. "

No. You're misstating things again.

a) Can you see the difference between:

1) Scripture tells us all the essentials of the faith.

2) Scripture tells us what all the essentials of the faith are.

b) Are you aware that our position is (1) not (2)?

c) Are you aware that your argument requires (2) not (1)?

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

Dude, you have lost your mind. If Scripture tells us what is essential to believe, then it is able to be communicated to mankind as being essential, not as some mystical puzzle to be solved. Again, show me where the essentials are in Scripture. If you claim they are there, then there should be no problem for you to point them out. I am still waiting.

Turretinfan said...

"Dude, you have lost your mind."

hmmm

"If Scripture tells us what is essential to believe, then it is able to be communicated to mankind as being essential, not as some mystical puzzle to be solved."

What makes you think it's a puzzle that's supposed to be solved? Why not just be content that it's not revealed?

And please answer the question in my previous comment. Do you see the difference between the two statements?

Matthew Bellisario said...

"What makes you think it's a puzzle that's supposed to be solved? Why not just be content that it's not revealed?"

Because God is not an idiot who cannot or refuses not to reveal what is essential to our faith, that why. If Scripture holds the essentials of the faith, then show us what the essentials are in Scripture. If God said all the essentials are there, then He obviously wants us to know what they are. Again, if what you say is objectively true, then show us it is true.

We all know the real reason you wont answer the question. Because you know that when give in on this preposterous position, that Protestantism falls flat on its face. Because you know that none of you can agree on what is essential and what is not. For instance, your buddies can get divorced and remarried. But of course, that is not an an essential teaching right? Some Protestants think it is essential. But of course if we can't know if it is then it doesn't really matter right? Come on, tell us, what are the essentials?

Nick said...

Wowzers, over 100 comments!

Doesn't the sheer number of posts suggest something about this debate isn't as perspicuous as some would have assumed?

Matthew Bellisario said...

We can all see the old Protestant answer to their disunity- that they agree on the essentials- is a sham. You cannot even tell me what is essential for you as it is revealed in Scripture. How in the world are you going to agree on the essentials with your Protestant brethren as you so often claim if you don't even know what to agree on? What a joke.

Turretinfan said...

"Doesn't the sheer number of posts suggest something about this debate isn't as perspicuous as some would have assumed?"

No. It shows Bellisario's obstinacy. He's responsible for the bulk of them (either he wrote them, or they are responding to him).

Turretinfan said...

"Because God is not an idiot who cannot or refuses not to reveal what is essential to our faith, that why."

a) If you really believe that, show me the list of essential things, please.

b) If you don't really believe that, why are you wasting space in this comment thread?

"If God said all the essentials are there, then He obviously wants us to know what they are."

That doesn't follow.

"Again, if what you say is objectively true, then show us it is true."

That's as absurd as asking me to tell you how many hairs are on your head, as explained above.

- TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

And to make matters worse, we still cannot tell if Bellisario can see the difference between:

1) Scripture tells us all the essentials of the faith.

and

2) Scripture tells us what all the essentials of the faith are.

If he cannot, no wonder he continues to blunder on.

Matthew Bellisario said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matthew Bellisario said...

I wrote, "If God said all the essentials are there, then He obviously wants us to know what they are."

TF says, "That doesn't follow."

How does that not follow? God is going to tell us the essentials are there, but He is not going to tell us what they are? Are you serious? If you are I feel sorry for you, since your only rule of faith isn't going to tell you what is essential to your salvation.

Tf wrote, "That's as absurd as asking me to tell you how many hairs are on your head, as explained above."

Really? It is absurd for God to reveal what is essential to our salvation? What is essential to our salvation is nothing more than a trivia question to you, likened as to how many hairs are on our heads? You are so far off the reservation now your own mother wouldn't recognize you.

Turretinfan said...

MB had written: "If God said all the essentials are there, then He obviously wants us to know what they are."

I noted: "That doesn't follow."

MB replies: "How does that not follow?"

There's no link between the fact that God put them all in and the idea that he wants us to be able to pick out which are essential.

"God is going to tell us the essentials are there, but He is not going to tell us what they are? Are you serious? If you are I feel sorry for you, since your only rule of faith isn't going to tell you what is essential to your salvation."

Yes.

"It is absurd for God to reveal what is essential to our salvation?"

It would not be. It's absurd for you to demand that God reveal it.

"What is essential to our salvation is nothing more than a trivia question to you, likened as to how many hairs are on our heads?"

Reasoning from the lesser to the greater is reasonable in this case.

And now you've trolled here long enough. So here are the conditions for your continued participation in this thread:

Your next comment must say whether you understand the difference between (1) and (2) as I asked twice above and it must respond to the following two options

a) If you really believe that, show me the list of essential things, please.

b) If you don't really believe that, why are you wasting space in this comment thread?

If that's too much material for one comment, you may break it into two, but you must answer those things in some rational way before you waste any more space in this comment box.

Coram Deo said...

Looking beyond MB's jumping up and down, waving of hands, and general foaming at the mouth throughout this thread, perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the entire exchange - even worse than his abysmal rhetoric and failed logic - is his strikingly frequent use of various tenses of the verb "spank".

I'm no clinician, but there's something...unusual...about such fixations upon a theme.

Of course this is just one man's observation.

In Christ,
CD

Nick said...

TF: And to make matters worse, we still cannot tell if Bellisario can see the difference between:
1) Scripture tells us all the essentials of the faith.
and
2) Scripture tells us what all the essentials of the faith are.
If he cannot, no wonder he continues to blunder on.

I don't see any significant distinction here, at least not with an analogy of some sort.

Going by the Westminster's own wording - "those things which are necessary to be known for salvation are so clearly propounded" - there are "things" (plural) that are necessary to be known and observed for salvation, and as such (as the argument goes) are clearly stated in Scripture.

The question is simple: What are these "things" that are necessary to be known? They *must* be stated clearly enough in Scripture to be easily discernible and thus easily conveyed to others.

Matthew Bellisario said...

"And now you've trolled here long enough. So here are the conditions for your continued participation in this thread."

OK TF, you can kick me out now and declare victory for yourself. Its too bad that you cannot see your own contradictions in declaring an objective truth that for you has no objective reality to back it up. I would like to say its been fun, but I can't so I won't. Its your blog so your demands have been met. Have fun with the essentials of Scripture of which you have no clue as to what they even are.

Turretinfan said...

"I don't see any significant distinction here, at least not with an analogy of some sort."

That explains your confusion then!

(1) says all the essentials of the faith are in the Scriptures and are clear.

(2) says all the essentials of the faith are in the Scriptures, are clear, and are identified as being essential in a clear way.

As I mentioned above, (1) is our position, not (2).

Do you see the difference now?

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Bellisario:

I will leave your parting message up as a demonstration to my readers of your inability to do anything more than troll here.

-TurretinFan

ChaferDTS said...

"If that's too much material for one comment, you may break it into two, but you must answer those things in some rational way before you waste any more space in this comment box."

Hi TF. I do not believe it is wasted space. What he has done is showed me one of the many reasons of why I left Roman Catholicsm in June 1992 when I was 19 years old. It came down to the issue of :

1 ) the relationship between Scripture and tradition.
2 ) the relationship between Scripture and church councils .
3 ) the relationship between individuals priest and the Pope in relationship to Scripture. And
4 ) the issue of how is man is justified before God ? On if it is by faith only in Jesus Christ apart from all human effort or worth and anything meriterious involved from a person or is it by faith & works done by the grace of God in which man cooperates with God actively in our justification.

It was the five Solas that won out with me in my study of Scripture on it at that time.

Nick said...

That explains your confusion then!

(1) says all the essentials of the faith are in the Scriptures and are clear.

(2) says all the essentials of the faith are in the Scriptures, are clear, and are identified as being essential in a clear way.

As I mentioned above, (1) is our position, not (2).

Do you see the difference now?
-------------------------------------

The only way the two can be different in a significant way is if you are saying the essentials are clear but we don't know what the essentials are.

So, as an example, your position would state that while it is abundantly clear that Jesus ate fish, we cannot know whether Jesus eating fish is an essential point of belief.

The proponent of #2 would say that it is abundantly clear Jesus ate fish, but add the qualifying note that this 'clearly' isn't an essential point.

Is this an accurate assessment of your actual position?

Turretinfan said...

"The only way the two can be different in a significant way is if you are saying the essentials are clear but we don't know what the essentials are."

Or more precisely, while we may be able to identify some things as essentials clearly and identify other things as non-essentials clearly, we don't think we can create a precise list.

For example: Jesus is Lord is essential - there were 153 fishes that were dragged up by the disciples in the net - not essential. However, there are areas where it is harder to say. Is holding to the filioque essential, for example?

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

ChaferDTS:

Perhaps I owe you an apology for terminating your discussion with him early. I was primarily referring to his comments supposedly in response to what I wrote.

-TurretinFan

ChaferDTS said...

"Perhaps I owe you an apology for terminating your discussion with him early."

That is something you do not owe me. I saw what he was doing. It was bothersome to me anyway seeing double standards being used that he himself would not apply to his own church. And then for some reason failing to see the exact point you are making. I felt a strong personal bias in him which caused me to believe that no matter what evidence presented he was not going to believe it no matter what. He was not open to the possibility of being wrong on something. His mind set is all too common among Roman Catholics from my own personal experience. I thank you for putting up with him as long as you did. :) The one thing that kept showing up in my mind in his post is " sola ecclesia " run wild.

Nick said...

TF: Or more precisely, while we may be able to identify some things as essentials clearly and identify other things as non-essentials clearly, we don't think we can create a precise list.

For example: Jesus is Lord is essential - there were 153 fishes that were dragged up by the disciples in the net - not essential. However, there are areas where it is harder to say. Is holding to the filioque essential, for example?
----------------------------

This seems like you've ultimately conceded the Catholic argument against the notion of "all essential doctrines are clearly taught". The notion of "essential" ultimately becomes subjective. Your filioque comment is a prime example.

To say you can only recognize *some* of the essentials is basically admitting you don't know what other *essential* (for salvation) doctrines there are. Any Christian should be disturbed to find themself in such a predicament, knowing the essential doctrines are clear but only being able to identify some of them.

I don't believe God would give Scriptures with the intention of assisting Christian living and even make the essentials clear, all the while never intending or making clear just what those essentials are.

It would be akin to a doctor making a list of 100 vitamins, telling us many of them are essential, but leaving it up to us to figure out which and how many are essential. Is that really the "rule of faith" you'd expect God to leave us with?

Turretinfan said...

"This seems like you've ultimately conceded the Catholic argument against the notion of "all essential doctrines are clearly taught". The notion of "essential" ultimately becomes subjective. Your filioque comment is a prime example."

There's an important difference between something being subjective and something being unknown. The number of hairs on your head is unknown, not subjective. Do you see the difference?

"To say you can only recognize *some* of the essentials is basically admitting you don't know what other *essential* (for salvation) doctrines there are."

Ok

"Any Christian should be disturbed to find themself in such a predicament, knowing the essential doctrines are clear but only being able to identify some of them."

Why is that? Why should that be disturbing?

"I don't believe God would give Scriptures with the intention of assisting Christian living and even make the essentials clear, all the while never intending or making clear just what those essentials are."

Why is that?

"It would be akin to a doctor making a list of 100 vitamins, telling us many of them are essential, but leaving it up to us to figure out which and how many are essential."

What would be the problem with that? Keep in mind that we're supposed to eat all the vitamins (i.e. believe everything that Scripture teaches).

"Is that really the "rule of faith" you'd expect God to leave us with?"

Yes, a superabundantly sufficient rule of faith.

-TurretinFan

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"I'm trying to avoid (or at least limit) having the word for that particular activity. Here are two possible places on MB's blog:

http://catholicchampion.blogspot.com/2009/04/is-catholic-churchs-teaching-on.html

http://catholicchampion.blogspot.com/2010/03/steve-hays-and-protestants-on-self.html"

Thanks for the help TurretinFan. I submitted the questions to Matthew Bellisario on both of blogpost threads above. He has a moderated blog and I hope that he posts the questions along with his answers.

Thanks again.

natamllc said...

TF,

with regard to how you respond to Nick and MB, your modesty and the Wisdom of the Lord are quite apparent. It sharpens my senses!

Thanks!

I have a couple of verses and an encouragment for you and one word of warning, not a warning to you, but more of an underscoring the warning to us who have received the Holy Spirit:

Psa 46:4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
Psa 46:5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
Psa 46:6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
Psa 46:7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

and

Mat 13:10 Then the disciples came and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?"
Mat 13:11 And he answered them, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
Mat 13:12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
Mat 13:13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
Mat 13:14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: "'You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.
Mat 13:15 For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.'

While I note your modesty towards them and quite frankly to all of us, even those of us who struggle to just stay up with you as the Lord reveals just how much you have been given for the edification of His Church I also note that some have not been "given" the understanding of the Kingdom. They, by the Will of God, are left wandering the dark places of the earth in their own minds, even though they talk about the Lord Jesus Christ with sometimes convincing arguments!

Now, the warning with regard to any one of us who come in here and it might be that this is what now has to occur in here by you regarding some?:::>

Tit 3:4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,
Tit 3:5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,
Tit 3:6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
Tit 3:7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Tit 3:8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.
Tit 3:9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.
Tit 3:10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him,
Tit 3:11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

natamllc said...

Nick:
"To say you can only recognize *some* of the essentials is basically admitting you don't know what other *essential* (for salvation) doctrines there are. Any Christian should be disturbed to find themself in such a predicament, knowing the essential doctrines are clear but only being able to identify some of them."

Nick, I suppose this is your justification for being a part of the RCC then?

Why is that?

Let me ask, "why is that an essential thing"? "What is wrong with "living by Faith"?

Faith, as you should know is the substance of things "hoped" for and the evidence of things "not" seen.

Your demand is like the guy going into the bank and coming up to a bank teller and demanding a withdrawal from an account and have the teller tell you, "sorry" you do not have the right code to this account. Rest assured, there is plenty of money in the account, more than you could spend in a lifetime, but, you have not been given the access code so you are prohibited from withdrawals. Go see the account holder and ask them for the code and I will be happy to give you as much money as you wish to withdraw!

Nick said...

TF: There's an important difference between something being subjective and something being unknown. The number of hairs on your head is unknown, not subjective. Do you see the difference?

N: I don't think the analogy works, for the number of hairs on a head is not perspicuous. That's very different from asking whether a given *perspicuous* teaching is *also* essential. I agree "unknown" and "subjective" mean two different things, but there is a link. It is unknown which doctrines in Scripture are essential, yet deciding which ones to go with is a subjective choice.

{old quote}"To say you can only recognize *some* of the essentials is basically admitting you don't know what other *essential* (for salvation) doctrines there are."

TF: Ok

How is that "ok"? How is it ok for the well-informed Biblically astute believer not to know what is essential?

TF: Why is that? Why should that be disturbing?

N: Because on one hand the Christian believes God made everything essential "clear" for us to see, while on the other hand left us guessing at what clear things really are essential and what aren't.

TF: What would be the problem with that? Keep in mind that we're supposed to eat all the vitamins (i.e. believe everything that Scripture teaches).

N: That's not the same as knowing and taking the *essential* vitamins for salvation (the others are "supplemental"). A person can dispense with non-essentials and be fine.

Turretinfan said...

No one's allowed to dispense with the non-essential doctrines, and it would be impious to try to do so.

So what if we can't draw a precise line? We're not about to dispense with the non-essentials.

Nick said...

I was under the impression Protestants were free to disagree on 'non-essentials' while still remaining "Christian". For example, some Protestants say infant baptism is essential for being Christian, while others say it is not - but a large consensus today says infant baptism is non-essential.

As for your comment, "So what if we can't draw a precise line?"
Well, the point I'm making is that I don't even see enough agreed upon "essentials" listed to be able to draw any clear "line".

Turretinfan said...

"I was under the impression Protestants were free to disagree on 'non-essentials' while still remaining "Christian"."

ok

"For example, some Protestants say infant baptism is essential for being Christian, while others say it is not - but a large consensus today says infant baptism is non-essential."

ok

"As for your comment, "So what if we can't draw a precise line?"
Well, the point I'm making is that I don't even see enough agreed upon "essentials" listed to be able to draw any clear "line"."

ok

And?

- TurretinFan