Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Scripture has its Own Authority - and Christ Alone is Our Mediator - A Response to Michael Liccione

Roman Catholic Michael Liccione recently provided a comment in the comment box of a Roman Catholic blog that I think highlights two of the problems with Roman Catholic theology: (1) the disparaging of the authority of Scriptures themselves; and (2) the deification of "the Church."

He said:
What’s needed is a concrete, communal, continuous locus of “the sources” that is the divinely authorized subjectum of those sources. In other words, what’s needed is not “a” church but “the” Church that Jesus founded. Apart from such an body, the sources have no authoritative meaning; they are just “data” that we interpret in ways that may seem plausible to us, but which have no divine authority. Thus they leave us no way to distinguish divine revelation from human opinions about the sources.

So if we’re going to see the relevant “evidence” as such, we have to see it in the way such a body sees it over time. Just as we have no access to the Father without the Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, so we have no access to Christ, cognitive or sacramental, without “the” Church that is his Mystical Body.
(source)

The authority in God's Word is inherent authority, because of their authorship. Their meaning is an objective reality that is authoritative, whether or not it is recognized. Ignorance of that meaning does not diminish the authority of the meaning.

I like the way Augustine (A.D. 354-430) put it:
Our volumes are put up for sale in public; the light never needs to blush. Let them buy them, read them, believe them; or else buy them, read them, make fun of them. Those Scriptures know how to hold people guilty who read them and don’t believe.
- Augustine, Sermon 198.20, translation found in John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., ed., The Works of Saint Augustine, Newly Discovered Sermons, Part 3, Vol. 11, trans. Edmund Hill, O.P. (Hyde Park: New City Press, 1997), pp. 195-196.

And Scripture itself teaches:

Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

And again:

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Moreover, just as Roman Catholicism's view of Mary as co-mediatrix deifies Mary by placing her in position as mediator between God and man, so also Liccione's attempt to insert "the Church" (meaning the Roman Catholic Church) between men and Christ similarly deifies the church: "Just as we have no access to the Father without the Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, so we have no access to Christ, cognitive or sacramental, without “the” Church that is his Mystical Body."

But Scripture says:

Ephesians 3:1-12
For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, if ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: how that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
And again, we read:

Romans 5:1-2
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

May I call our Roman Catholic friends to this communion with God that is described by Paul in Romans, communion with God through faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone, all to the glory of God alone.

-TurretinFan

UPDATE: Pastor King brought this to my attention:

R. P. C. Hanson:
Indeed, Roman Catholics often grossly overstate the incoherence and obscurity of the Bible, and even of the New Testament. The Bible can stand as a tradition by itself, as far as coherence and consistency of thought are concerned. The Church in no sense completes the Bible. It is indeed a stupid insult to the memory of the four evangelists and of St. Paul and the other apostolic writers to suggest that they failed in the first aim of their writings, which was to convey the meaning of the Christian Gospel to their hearers. We cannot imagine that the Christians in Rome whom Mark probably had in view when he wrote his Gospel, were not expected to understand what was written for them until the writings were re-interpreted or explained to them by the Church. And if the Church were to undertake to complete the Bible, there is no source of doctrine from which it could legitimately do so except --- the Bible.
Richard Hanson and Reginald Fuller, The Church of Rome: A Dissuasive (London: SCM Press LTD, reprinted, 1951), p. 95.

139 comments:

natamllc said...

Yes and Amen!

Some good food here! Yum, yum, yum!

Now, I suppose, we can see the same today of them and you two as Ezekiel experienced in his day too?

Eze 3:1 And he said to me, "Son of man, eat whatever you find here. Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel."
Eze 3:2 So I opened my mouth, and he gave me this scroll to eat.
Eze 3:3 And he said to me, "Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it." Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey.
Eze 3:4 And he said to me, "Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with my words to them.
Eze 3:5 For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and a hard language, but to the house of Israel--
Eze 3:6 not to many peoples of foreign speech and a hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, if I sent you to such, they would listen to you.
Eze 3:7 But the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me: because all the house of Israel have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart.
Eze 3:8 Behold, I have made your face as hard as their faces, and your forehead as hard as their foreheads.


I believe it takes one hard head to know one hard head! :)

But, sadly, seeing what this thread message does for Mr. Michael Liccione and to his faithful religion, this will probably be the effect upon them then, I am sure, perchance they eat it as we do?

Rev 10:5 And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven
Rev 10:6 and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay,
Rev 10:7 but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.
Rev 10:8 Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, "Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land."
Rev 10:9 So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, "Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey."
Rev 10:10 And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter.
Rev 10:11 And I was told, "You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings."


I just can't see the RCC eating your words and they stay as sweet as honey in both places let alone one place, their mouth?

Thanks you guys!! Yahoo!

ChaferDTS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ChaferDTS said...

Hi TF. Your post is very good and right to the point. Roman Catholicism does in practice place itself over the authority of Holy Scripture. They get to proclaim so called " unwritten oral traditions " even if it directly goes againist Scripture. The case in point is the specific RCC dogmas regarding the the virgin Mary such as her claimed assumption, immaculate conception and her personal sinlessness and others. One day Roman Catholicism shall be judged by the Lord Jesus for her false doctrines and practices. It is time for the RCC to repent of Trent, Vatican I and Vatican II. And time for them to embrace the five Solas of the Reformation and free themselves of their spiritual bondage and see the light of Christ in the great doctrine of justification by faith only in Jesus Christ.

john said...

FT- The authority in God's Word is inherent authority, because of their authorship. Their meaning is an objective reality that is authoritative, whether or not it is recognized. Ignorance of that meaning does not diminish the authority of the meaning.

JM – As you said on another thread, you must assume SS and therefore you must assume the inspiration of the text and also assume inspiration means God wrote the text. All these assumptions are the quick sand of reformation theology, which is essentially a humanist movement.

FT- Moreover, just as Roman Catholicism's view of Mary as co-mediatrix deifies Mary by placing her in position as mediator between God and man, so also Liccione's attempt to insert "the Church" (meaning the Roman Catholic Church) between men and Christ similarly deifies the church: "Just as we have no access to the Father without the Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, so we have no access to Christ, cognitive or sacramental, without “the” Church that is his Mystical Body."

JM – Mary as co-mediatrix does not deify Mary, just as Paul saying we are co-workers with Christ deifies Paul. Making the church a mediator also does not deify the church, simply because a mediator is not required to be God, but is only required to participate in the mediation of Christ. This is what Paul does when he preaches the gospel and Paul is definitely not God.

If the church is the Mystical Body, it obtains this status through its participation in the work of Christ. Without the church, we do not have Christ.

FT- Romans 5:1-2
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

May I call our Roman Catholic friends to this communion with God that is described by Paul in Romans, communion with God through faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone, all to the glory of God alone.

JM – Actually Romans 5 does not state faith alone, or grace alone or Christ alone. These conclusions are false traditions from the reformers not based on scripture.

JM

Ryan said...

TFan wrote: The authority in God's Word is inherent authority, because of their authorship. Their meaning is an objective reality that is authoritative, whether or not it is recognized. Ignorance of that meaning does not diminish the authority of the meaning.

JM replied: As you said on another thread, you must assume SS and therefore you must assume the inspiration of the text and also assume inspiration means God wrote the text. All these assumptions are the quick sand of reformation theology, which is essentially a humanist movement.

My reply to JM: Your criticism is unintelligible. I might as well write - "you must assume sola ecclesia and therefore you must assume the inspiration of the Magisterium and also assume inspiration means God inspired the words of pope when speaking ex cathedra et. al. All these assumptions are the quick sand of Romanism, which is essentially a humanist movement."

In essence, your reply not only has no relevance to TFan's point, which was simply that God's word is authoritative whether or not one regards it as such, your reply cuts both ways. I would add that you have written elsewhere:

"God is the author of the natural and the super natural and when he makes a revelation to man, such as Abraham he does so perfectly so man cannot deny the revelation made."

Well, if you agree that men can recognize Scripture is supernatural revelation of God, that it validly demands obedience to its supernaturally revealed precepts, and that it binds the conscience of those who disobey, whether or not Scripture is the sole rule of faith is irrelevant to TFan's point and only shows that you are a one-trick pony.

In fact, however, your above quote would imply that men are able to discern the extent of God's word without an infallible church, as in the case of Abraham.

Turretinfan said...

JM wrote: "As you said on another thread, you must assume SS and therefore you must assume the inspiration of the text and also assume inspiration means God wrote the text. All these assumptions are the quick sand of reformation theology, which is essentially a humanist movement."

a) No, that's not what I said.

b) The text is inspired - God wrote the text. You don't deny this, I hope. So it can hardly be "quick sand" to affirm it.

"Mary as co-mediatrix does not deify Mary, just as Paul saying we are co-workers with Christ deifies Paul."

Mary's role in Romanism is not the role of evangelist but mediatrix - there's an enormous difference.

"Making the church a mediator also does not deify the church, simply because a mediator is not required to be God, but is only required to participate in the mediation of Christ."

It steals the same honor from God that is stolen by the Mary co-mediatrix blasphemy.

"This is what Paul does when he preaches the gospel and Paul is definitely not God."

Preaching the gospel is quite different from being a mediator. But yes, the role of the church is to preach the gospel.

"If the church is the Mystical Body, it obtains this status through its participation in the work of Christ."

No, it obtains this status by the adoption of Christ, and all believers are equally a part of that mystical body.

"Without the church, we do not have Christ."

I don't see any need to dispute this.

"Actually Romans 5 does not state faith alone, or grace alone or Christ alone. These conclusions are false traditions from the reformers not based on scripture."

A bold assertion on your part, but one that collapses when you realize that you started by faulting us for sola scriptura. That is, of course, where we get these doctrines: from Scripture. And while the words "alone" are not stated, their meaning can still be understood by the diligent reader.

-TurretinFan

ChaferDTS said...

"Christ alone. "

Jn. 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.

1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

Rev 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

ChaferDTS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ChaferDTS said...

"Mary as co-mediatrix does not deify Mary, just as Paul saying we are co-workers with Christ deifies Paul. Making the church a mediator also does not deify the church, simply because a mediator is not required to be God, but is only required to participate in the mediation of Christ. This is what Paul does when he preaches the gospel and Paul is definitely not God. "

1 Tim.2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

ChaferDTS said...

"Actually Romans 5 does not state faith alone, or grace alone or Christ alone. These conclusions are false traditions from the reformers not based on scripture."

It was Roman Catholicism traditions which contradicts what is taught in Rom 5:1-2.

1. It says justified by faith. This is in contrast to Trent which affirms faith & works. 2. It has the Lord Jesus Christ of whom it is through. Yet Roman Catholicism places Jesus & Mary, Papacy and the RCC itself. 3. It has the word grace there which means unmerited favor which excludes all human worth or merit to be done by us in any manner.In otherwords, we dont add anything to the grace of God in our justification before God by works done before and after our positional justification before God. In contrast to Trent which taught that grace plus human merit done by us actively acting in cooperation with God. 4. It has glory of God there which shows it is God's great outworking of which He alone does to a person. This excludes any idea that we brought this about ourselves in any manner. It shows God alone is the only one who can save a person. In contrast to Trent which places God aciting actively in cooperation with man which in the final factor from a logical stand point teaches glory to God & man together.

Rom. 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

ChaferDTS said...

"A bold assertion on your part, but one that collapses when you realize that you started by faulting us for sola scriptura. That is, of course, where we get these doctrines: from Scripture. And while the words "alone" are not stated, their meaning can still be understood by the diligent reader."

I fully agree with what you said there. Amen ! It was Scripture that freed me out from Roman Catholicism in 1992. Praise God for Scripture for it showed me the way of salvation and how to live as a Christian in my daily life since the act of regeneration which God did to me.

john said...

JM - wrote: "As you said on another thread, you must assume SS and therefore you must assume the inspiration of the text and also assume inspiration means God wrote the text. All these assumptions are the quick sand of reformation theology, which is essentially a humanist movement."

a) No, that's not what I said.

JM2- Even if you deny you said it, this is the position logic forces you to hold because inspiration cannot be defined from the text without being circular, nor demonstrated without being naturalistic and therefore non supernatural and therefore self defeating. The inspiration of the text must therefore be based on a tradition external to the text, which is inconsistent with SS, or assumed, which is mere subjectivism and self defeating regarding objective religion.

b) The text is inspired - God wrote the text. You don't deny this, I hope. So it can hardly be "quick sand" to affirm it.

JM2- I’m only denying you can arrive at the conclusion that God wrote the text as inspired for the above reasons. I deny you have sufficient grounds to conclude to inspiration also the for the following reasons -

Inspiration is not definable within the SS doctrine without being self serving or circular.

Inspiration is not distinguishable from God moving a man to author a text as the first mover. Therefore inspiration is either an exception to the norm that God is the author of all texts and this exception requires supernatural exceptional evidence which not discernable for a man without an objective supernatural authority, or inspiration is not an exception and every text is inspired by God. The former is the problem of the supernatural authority which is not available within the text from the text itself, and if it exists outside the text, the authority conflicts with SS. Also the later is absurd, because this means inspiration concludes to God being the supernatural author of sin.


JM - "Mary as co-mediatrix does not deify Mary, just as Paul saying we are co-workers with Christ deifies Paul."

FT - Mary's role in Romanism is not the role of evangelist but mediatrix - there's an enormous difference.

JM2 - St Paul brings the gospel to men and therefore he acts as a go between, between God and man and therefore he is a mediator. Therefore any man who promotes the gospel is a mediator as he should be, because Christians participate in the service of Christ as priest, prophet and king. Mary is also a Christian and therefore she is a mediatrix like all other Christians. Furthermore, she is the only human person who brought the God man into the world and as he is the cause of all Christian grace, then she is the mediatrix of all Christian grace, therefore she is a mediatrix of grace. She is also the queen mother in heaven, based upon the work of Christ and her unique relationship with Christ.

john said...

JM- the diligent reader must see the text doesn’t say the word alone in connection with grace, faith or Christ anywhere in the NT. The diligent logician must also be aware that the statement “man is justified by faith alone, through grace alone by Christ alone, is logically untenable for the following reasons –

Scripture says the work of redemption is the work of the Trinity and “Christ alone” excludes the work of the Father and the HS, therefore “Christ alone” is not scriptural.

St Paul gives us sin lists which exclude man from entering the kingdom. The contrary of these lists are the virtue lists, which allow men to enter into the kingdom. Therefore man is not saved or justified by faith alone, but by faith and many other virtues such as hope, love, prudence, justice, temperance, fortitude, humility, chastity, honesty and so on.

“man is justified by faith alone, through grace alone”, means if faith is really alone, then it is exclusive of grace, yet the statement includes grace as a necessary cause of justification. Likewise grace alone is exclusive of faith, yet the statement includes faith grace as a necessary cause of justification. Therefore the statement is both inclusive and exclusive of faith and grace and is therefore self contradictory.

Because of the above problems the notion of “man is justified by faith alone, through grace alone by Christ alone” is an illogical tradition of men, projected into the text.

JM

ChaferDTS said...

"Inspiration is not definable within the SS doctrine without being self serving or circular."

That would be your position is self servimg or circular since you claim an infallinble teaching authority from councils of the church and papal infallibility both of which evidence of is totally lacking.The RCC itself has not infallibly defined or interpretated 2 Tim 3:15-18 for Roman Catholics and therefore you are giving your own mere opinion or personal judgement which you condemn Protestants for doing. It appears you are ignorant of Dr.B.B. Warfield's extensive treatment of what inspiration is in 2 Tim 3:16. The burden of proof really lies on Roman Catholicism for it's own claims rather than to merely attack Sola Scriptura. You still argue like an atheist or agnostic that does not believe in the Divine inspiration of Scripture. We dont need Roman Cathiolic to know what is Scripture. And you dont have any proof of this either. A burden Roman Catholicism can not meet.

ChaferDTS said...

“man is justified by faith alone, through grace alone”, means if faith is really alone, then it is exclusive of grace, yet the statement includes grace as a necessary cause of justification. Likewise grace alone is exclusive of faith, yet the statement includes faith grace as a necessary cause of justification. Therefore the statement is both inclusive and exclusive of faith and grace and is therefore self contradictory."

You really do not understand the Reformed position at all as seen in your comments. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone and glory to God alone. Has the Roman Catholic Church infallibly interpreted Romans 5:1-2 for Roman Catholics ? If not, then you are giving your own personal interpretation of Scripture which you have no way to know for certain if what you say is right or not since the RCC has not provided any interpretation of it. Our salvation excludes good works before and after Justification before God as being meritous. God's grace excludes all humam merit in all forms. While we are justified by faith only in Christ this faith is not alone. It manifest itself in good works in the daily life of the Christian.

john said...

"Christ alone. "

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

JM- Sure – men coming to the Father is an act of salvation and you are trying to prove salvation is only the work of Christ. Go figure!

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.

JM – And yet Matthew tells us Christ says men are to be baptized in the name of the father, son and holy spirit. Therefore when we say Christ, we infer the HS and the Father, otherwise scripture is self contradictory.

1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

JM- If Christ is the only mediator, then according to this verse Christ is only a man and we should all be Arians. This will not do of course and we see there is more to the text than the Prot wants to see. Simple logic dictates the text itself and the author of the text are also mediators through which Christ has acted to bring this message to believers. Therefore implied in the text is the mediation of the HS and the human author and the church which declared the text to be inspired from its supernatural authority.

Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

JM – Not the only savior, because the body is given life by the HS, which was sent by the father and the Son. So the church is the work of the Tirnity.

Rev 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

JM – The keys are given to Christ, who works with the F and HS.

JM- " Moreover, just as Roman Catholicism's view of Mary as co-mediatrix deifies Mary by placing her in position as mediator between God and man, so also Liccione's attempt to insert "the Church" (meaning the Roman Catholic Church) between men and Christ similarly deifies the church: "Just as we have no access to the Father without the Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, so we have no access to Christ, cognitive or sacramental, without “the” Church that is his Mystical Body."
C- 1 Tim. 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

JM2- See above. This verse is always easily misunderstood by non Catholics to mean something other than what it really means when taken in the context of other verses. Simply put, Christians participate in the work of Christ as priest, prophet and king, therefore they participate in his work of mediation. This is why we are told to pray for one another in the verses following.

john said...

"Christ alone. "

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

JM- Sure – men coming to the Father is an act of salvation and you are trying to prove salvation is only the work of Christ. Go figure!

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.

JM – And yet Matthew tells us Christ says men are to be baptized in the name of the father, son and holy spirit. Therefore when we say Christ, we infer the HS and the Father, otherwise scripture is self contradictory.

1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

JM- If Christ is the only mediator, then according to this verse Christ is only a man and we should all be Arians. This will not do of course and we see there is more to the text than the Prot wants to see. Simple logic dictates the text itself and the author of the text are also mediators through which Christ has acted to bring this message to believers. Therefore implied in the text is the mediation of the HS and the human author and the church which declared the text to be inspired from its supernatural authority.

Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

JM – Not the only savior, because the body is given life by the HS, which was sent by the father and the Son. So the church is the work of the Tirnity.

Rev 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

JM – The keys are given to Christ, who works with the F and HS.

JM- " Moreover, just as Roman Catholicism's view of Mary as co-mediatrix deifies Mary by placing her in position as mediator between God and man, so also Liccione's attempt to insert "the Church" (meaning the Roman Catholic Church) between men and Christ similarly deifies the church: "Just as we have no access to the Father without the Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, so we have no access to Christ, cognitive or sacramental, without “the” Church that is his Mystical Body."
C- 1 Tim. 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

john said...

JM2- See above. This verse is always easily misunderstood by non Catholics to mean something other than what it really means when taken in the context of other verses. Simply put, Christians participate in the work of Christ as priest, prophet and king, therefore they participate in his work of mediation. This is why we are told to pray for one another in the verses following.


JM- "Actually Romans 5 does not state faith alone, or grace alone or Christ alone. These conclusions are false traditions from the reformers not based on scripture."
C- It was Roman Catholicism traditions which contradicts what is taught in Rom 5:1-2.

JM2- The protestant doesn’t have an answer to the simple statement that the word alne doesn’t appear in the text.

C- 1. It says justified by faith.

JM – Which is not an exclusive statement.

C- This is in contrast to Trent which affirms faith & works.

JM2 – Simply not true.

C- 2. It has the Lord Jesus Christ of whom it is through. Yet Roman Catholicism places Jesus & Mary, Papacy and the RCC itself.

JM – a gross projection that ignores the subtleties of Catholic doctrine.

C- 3. It has the word grace there which means unmerited favor which excludes all human worth or merit to be done by us in any manner.

JM – Does grace exclusively mean unmerited favor? Grace means gift and that gift is what? If its external to the Christian then maybe you would have a case that Christians cannot merit. Yet again, grace is stated in the context of faith, which is an interior action and therefore it is far more likely that grace is an interior action allowing man to act with merit. One simple example is a man making the act of faith is said to justify, this means man has made a moral act which has merit to make man right before God. Therefore grace is both a free gift acting inside man and a meritorious act done by man.

C- In otherwords, we dont add anything to the grace of God in our justification before God by works done before and after our positional justification before God.

JM – Justification is both an act of God and man. This is so because faith is a virtue given by God for man to have and act upon. Man does not add to the gift of God by making a meritorious act, he is using the gift of god to do a meritorious act before God, otherwise the gift of God is not efficacious.

john said...

C- In contrast to Trent which taught that grace plus human merit done by us actively acting in cooperation with God.

JM- Grace includes the gift of cooperation and other virtues such as hope and love. Your statement about Trent is a very poor caricature of what it said.

C- 4. It has glory of God there which shows it is God's great outworking of which He alone does to a person. This excludes any idea that we brought this about ourselves in any manner. It shows God alone is the only one who can save a person. In contrast to Trent which places God aciting actively in cooperation with man which in the final factor from a logical stand point teaches glory to God & man together.

JM – Paul says were are coworkers with Christ and James says a man is justified by works and Matt 25 says man is judged on the final day according to his works. All of this verses and many more show faith alone theology is a mere invention of men who have a very poor understanding of the nature of justification.

JM

john said...

I fully agree with what you said there. Amen ! It was Scripture that freed me out from Roman Catholicism in 1992. Praise God for Scripture for it showed me the way of salvation and how to live as a Christian in my daily life since the act of regeneration which God did to me.

JM - and of course this statement includes all the absurdities now highlighted on this thread. Amen to that.

JM

ChaferDTS said...

"Inspiration is not definable within the SS doctrine without being self serving or circular."

Scripture itself says it is given by inspiration of God while you imply it is not. Sola Scriptura rightly belives that Scripture is infallible and God breathed. This is a doctrine taught within Scripture itself no matter what false arguments you may try to use. Are we to believe you or what the apostle Paul stated in 2 Tim 3:26 which is Scripture ? I take Paul over you any day.

2 Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

ChaferDTS said...

"See above. This verse is always easily misunderstood by non Catholics to mean something other than what it really means when taken in the context of other verses. Simply put, Christians participate in the work of Christ as priest, prophet and king, therefore they participate in his work of mediation. This is why we are told to pray for one another in the verses following."

You as a Roman Catholic can not tell me what is the correct interpretation of it at all since the RCC has not infallibly interpreted that verse for Roman Catholics. Care to provide me the offical Roman Catholic interpreration of that verse if there is such a thing ?

"The protestant doesn’t have an answer to the simple statement that the word alne doesn’t appear in the text."

That is a logical fallacy. It is an argument of silence. Just because the word itself is not there does not mean it is not exegetically taught there. The word Trinity is not found in Scripture yet it is a full biblical doctrine. See you practice double standards.

"Which is not an exclusive statement."

It would be. It deals with the terms of justification. It says by faith. If there was an added condition it would have been there in the text itself. Where is your proof from the text that it adds other conditions to it there ? We dont find it.

"JM2 – Simply not true.:

Read the canons Trent. It condemned all those who deny that good works done before and after justification are meritous. Do you need me to quote it to you ?

"JM – a gross projection that ignores the subtleties of Catholic doctrine."

None sense there. Are not Roman Catholics requried to believe in things like immaculate conception, her being ever virgin and so forth ? Last time I checked it does. Does not all Roman Catholics requried to believe that the Bishop of Rome is head of the entire visible church in order to be saved ? Last time I checked it does teach this . Prior to Vatican II the RCC taught those outside out of the RCC are not saved. Though since Vatican II it teaches differenly.

ChaferDTS said...

"JM – Does grace exclusively mean unmerited favor? Grace means gift and that gift is what? "

It excludes all human worth and merit. Do you now need a word study of the NT Greek for the word grace ? It means divine unmerited favor. In the context of Romans 3 to 5 it relates to the salvation of man. Our salvation is God's unmerited gift to the one who has faith in Jesus Christ. Is this clear enough for you ?

"If its external to the Christian then maybe you would have a case that Christians cannot merit. Yet again, grace is stated in the context of faith, which is an interior action and therefore it is far more likely that grace is an interior action allowing man to act with merit."

That is not what Romans 3 to 5 teaches. You are again giving your own personal interpretation . Roman Catholic has not infallibly interpreted Romans 3 to 5 for Roman Catholics. Now prove what you claim there. What part of without the deeds of the law you dont understand ? Faith without the deeds means faith alone . It excludes the law of God as being a condition. And the deeds of the law in context refers to all of God's law in whatever form it takes in Scripture. And teaches that justification before God is by faith only.

Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

ChaferDTS said...

"One simple example is a man making the act of faith is said to justify, this means man has made a moral act which has merit to make man right before God. Therefore grace is both a free gift acting inside man and a meritorious act done by man."

That is not what we see in Romans 3 to 5 at all. Even faith itself is a gift of God. And neither faith nor works are meritous . All human merit is excluded in all forms by the apostle Paul.

ChaferDTS said...

"JM – Justification is both an act of God and man. This is so because faith is a virtue given by God for man to have and act upon. Man does not add to the gift of God by making a meritorious act, he is using the gift of god to do a meritorious act before God, otherwise the gift of God is not efficacious."

And is totally contradicted by Scripture.

Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Eph 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:Not of works, lest any man should boast.For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Phil 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

Acts 13:38-39 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Rom 4:1-6 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

natamllc said...

JM:

"JM – Justification is both an act of God and man. This is so because faith is a virtue given by God for man to have and act upon. Man does not add to the gift of God by making a meritorious act, he is using the gift of god to do a meritorious act before God, otherwise the gift of God is not efficacious."

Huh?

What in the world does that mean?

"Justification"

Where do you come up with that premise that justification is an act of God and man?

Where does the Bible teach that?

Here is a clear understanding of the depth of understanding we only need to go to to understanding the meanings of Justification:

Joh 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Joh 1:15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'")
Joh 1:16 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
Joh 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.


Now, let's let the Apostle Paul exegete what that means there,ok?

Consider these Words Tertius wrote for Paul, here:

Rom 5:16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.
Rom 5:17 For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Rom 5:18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

Rom 8:11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Rom 8:12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
Rom 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Rom 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
Rom 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"


Now, at Romans 5:16 the Greek word there for justification means an "equitable deed". That is the "act" of God in the first part of your sentence cited above.

However, at Romans 5:18, the Greek word there for justification means "acquittal". So in the second part of your sentence cited above, if you mean, God found us because He foreknew us, finding us in our sin, and because of the Act of God Christ performed by suffering on the Cross He acquits us and we believe it because prior to that He gifted us with Faith to believe because of His Grace and Mercy, then yes, we do an act, but it cannot be said it is an act of justification, either an equitable deed or acquitting ourselves of our sins!

Instead, it is an "act" of obedience to the Faith once delivered to the Saints because of the Grace of God found to be given to us by Truth Himself!

So, would you explain what you meant above in the citation I cite above that you made?

john said...

JM- "One simple example is a man making the act of faith is said to justify, this means man has made a moral act which has merit to make man right before God. Therefore grace is both a free gift acting inside man and a meritorious act done by man."
C- That is not what we see in Romans 3 to 5 at all. Even faith itself is a gift of God. And neither faith nor works are meritous . All human merit is excluded in all forms by the apostle Paul.

JM2 – Paul only excludes works of the law, which is a catch all phrase to exclude works associated with the Mosaic covenant. Paul is therefore not excluding every form of human effort and why? Because Paul says man is justified by faith and faith is an act done by man, which means man must do some acts to merit eternal life. Romans 3 to 5 is probably the most misunderstood passage in the bible. It is systematically abused to promote a man made theory of justification not found in the church fathers or ecumenical councils. Faith alone theology is a pure invention whereby the words of Jesus, such as “If you want eternal life, keep the commandments – unless a man believe and be baptized, he will not be saved [paraphrased].

In Romans 3 to 5, Paul is using covenant terminology to contrast the outdated Mosaic covenant and its works of the law which are excluded by the works of the new law, entered into through faith. This is why he later talks about baptism as entering into the death of Jesus and in 1 Cor 10, 13 he talks about the Eucharist as the body and blood of the lord. Paul’s understanding of the NT is Jesus came to give man a universal, Catholic covenant as a typological fulfillment of the Mosaic and Davidic covenants. Therefore when Paul says a man is justified by faith apart from works of the law in the context of Abraham and his promised son and David’s sin being forgiven, this statement can legitimately be understood to mean –

A man is made right by becoming an adopted son of God, through a supernatural action of God to fulfill the promises made to Abraham. Such an action provides the regenerate man with the virtue of faith, so man now has a supernatural life inside him, whereby he can now merit a supernatural reward and thereby be justified through an infusion of the divine life into the soul.

A man is justified by moving from the Mosaic covenant with all of its revoked covenant rituals and laws and entering into the new covenant of Christ with its new covenant rituals and law of Christ. The natural moral laws, such as the ten commandments carry over into the New covenant and the supernatural virtues that existed in the Mosaic covenant, such as faith, hope and love, continue in the new covenant. If a man was in the Mosaic covenant and knows he should enter into the Christian covenant and does not do so, then he has sinned against faith and is therefore not justified, but tries to continue in the Mosaic covenant which is therefore now only a natural work of man, devoid of the supernatural life.

In short, there is nothing in Romans 3-5 that compels a faith alone theology when the context of what Paul is talking about is correctly understood. In fact, when Paul quotes from Gen 15:6, he is merely saying Abraham, who is a covenant, priest king, did a supernatural act in God, who promised a son to Abraham through a supernatural action of God. Paul is therefore drawing a covenant analogy with the NT Christian, who is also a priest king in a covenant, who is to do a supernatural act in God, who will and does bring his son into the present through the church after the resurrection. This is the hidden conclusion of Romans that Protestants miss. The context of the justification of Abraham is not a legalistic court room exchange, it is a covenant family and priestly context, whereby Abraham is justified by a personal and supernatural relationship with his God as a faithful father, who has promised to bring Abraham a son. The fulfillment of the promise is to bring the Son of God into our presence through the mother church and the Eucharist.

tbc

JM

john said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john said...

Paul’s understanding of justification is as always, thoroughly sacramental. This is why he late discusses baptism as the means by which men participate in the death of Christ and later still, he discusses how Christ has the power to save through his intercession. Catholics interpret these passages sacramentally as a justified man entering into the sacramental economy of salvation.

There is no compelling statement made by Paul or any other NT author that requires the reader to conclude to a faith alone theology.

JM

john said...

And is totally contradicted by Scripture.

Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
JM- Explained now on this thread.
Eph 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

JM- Paul’s use of ‘not of works’ is referring to the Mosaic works which are outdated. This has now been explained on this thread. Contained in Pauls statement is a reference to walking in works, which means we are to do works that are the basis of salvation. These works are all formally caused by grace and efficiently caused by man. Both man and God are required as causes of salvation, otherwise, if we say only God is required for salvation we must edit what Paul has said, to say the following - Eph 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through BLANK; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto BLANK, which God hath before ordained that we should BLANK.

This is what faith alone theology requires and therefore it is a false understanding of the text.


Phil 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

JM – believing and suffering are actions done by man, which are therefore meritorious for salvation.

Acts 13:38-39 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

JM- Faith is an action of man which is meritorious.

Rom 4:1-6 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

JM- Romans 4 has been explained previously on this thread. There is nothing of faith alone theology in the text.

JM

john said...

if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Rom 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
Rom 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"

JM- Romans 8 is talking about the HS entering into the life of the Christian in the new Exodus event to act with Christians putting to death the works of the flesh and then living. Therefore Christians must do a work with the HS to have life, forgiveness of sin and justification.

Now, at Romans 5:16 the Greek word there for justification means an "equitable deed". That is the "act" of God in the first part of your sentence cited above.

JM – the free gift is divine sonship, which is contained in the catchall phrase of faith. Divine sonship is a gift of God and faith is the theological gift whereby man believes everything God has revealed. The gift is from God, but it must be used and therefore both God and man are required to act in mans salvation as the norm.

N- However, at Romans 5:18, the Greek word there for justification means "acquittal". So in the second part of your sentence cited above, if you mean, God found us because He foreknew us, finding us in our sin, and because of the Act of God Christ performed by suffering on the Cross He acquits us and we believe it because prior to that He gifted us with Faith to believe because of His Grace and Mercy, then yes, we do an act, but it cannot be said it is an act of justification, either an equitable deed or acquitting ourselves of our sins!

JM- “then yes, we do an act” therefore man must do an act to be justified, therefore man must merit before God through the God acting in man to justify. Therefore both man and God act together for man to be justified. This is unavoidable once Paul has said man does anything to be justified. It is a false humility to say otherwise, because the text says man must act.

N- Instead, it is an "act" of obedience to the Faith once delivered to the Saints because of the Grace of God found to be given to us by Truth Himself!

So, would you explain what you meant above in the citation I cite above that you made?

JM- Explained here and on this thread. An act of obedience is an act done by man. Its very simple and that’s why both God and man must act.

JM

john said...

The problems with the protestant understanding of Paul are -

The supernatural elevation of the sinner into the divine life to participate in the life of the Trinity through the Son is ignored or not applied to the Pauline texts.

The analogy used by Paul for Abraham and David are convenantal analogies, ignored by Protestants.

The phrase, works of the law is always misunderstood to mean any work, when it actually only means any work of the outdated Mosaic covenant. There is a big difference as now explained on this thread.

The words, grace, faith, justification and sanctification are almost always misunderstood to be vague references to gifts and legal actions between God, Christ and the man. All of these notions are either false or half truths.

Faith alone theology is always projected into the text but never exists in the text and the consequence of this is a split in theology between Jesus and Paul and James and Paul.

Faith alone theology is always projected into the text but never exists in the text and the consequence of this is the logical problems highlights on this thread, whereby faith is alone, then grace is alone and Christ is alone in the act of justification. All of which means faith, grace and Christ are all mutually exclusive and yet together in the act of justification. Evidently this is a self contradictory position and therefore faith alone theology is a theory of man.

JM

Ryan said...

Still waiting on a response to my posts regarding the analogy between God's special revelation to Abraham and God's special revelation to mankind via Scripture. If Abraham could recognize the former, why can't Joe reprobate recognize the latter, especially given that you have admitted that while Abraham could have disobeyed God, he would nevertheless have recognized the commandment as having proceeded from God?

john said...

Still waiting on a response to my posts regarding the analogy between God's special revelation to Abraham and God's special revelation to mankind via Scripture. If Abraham could recognize the former, why can't Joe reprobate recognize the latter, especially given that you have admitted that while Abraham could have disobeyed God, he would nevertheless have recognized the commandment as having proceeded from God?

JM- I’ll answer what you have written above.

Gods revelation to Abraham is direct and received via the internal senses and the intellect whereby he hears the voice of God. This form of revelation is direct and has an ontological effect on Abraham, who knows God has made a revelation to him and he can then respond freely to either accept or reject that revelation.

Public revelation made through a text is very different, because the revelation does not have an ontological effect on the man reading the text. The text is just print on a page, like any other and the divine authorship of that text is not discernable from the text alone. Why? Firstly the text has no ontological effect on the man reading it like there is for a man who receives a revelation directly into the internal senses and intellect by the spirit. Secondly, the inspiration of the text is unknown to the reader, because the text is only a natural thing like any other text and if it is inspired, the supernaturalness of the text is beyond the ability of the man to discern.

JM

Turretinfan said...

JM:

That explanation has been answered above. Do you have anything better?

Ryan said...

"Gods revelation to Abraham is direct and received via the internal senses and the intellect whereby he hears the voice of God."

What are you talking about? Where are you getting this from?

"Public revelation made through a text is very different, because the revelation does not have an ontological effect on the man reading the text."

That's an assertion in search of an argument.

"The text is just print on a page, like any other and the divine authorship of that text is not discernable from the text alone."

The words are God-breathed. Where is any other text said to be God-breathed?

Was that really all you had? You didn't demonstrate a disanalogy at all. You only claimed they are different.

Anonymous said...

Is Christ alone our mediator?
Our (Reformed) church seems to think that the "leaders" are also.
Godith

Turretinfan said...

No they don't, Godith.

Turretinfan said...

I should qualify that ... the Reformed churches as a rule do not think that the leaders are mediators. But perhaps individual sessions and elders have a faulty understanding.

natamllc said...

JM

I see you have responded to my remarks.

I want to get to them point by point as I am slowing down my mental processes now and focusing to try to find my way to each of your logical conclusions to each point you are making. I am looking for common ground upon which to proceed in this dialogue with you.

However, reading other comments and remarks you are making in here, one in particular jumped out at me. Here it is, it is a response to ChaferDTS:

JM2 – Paul only excludes works of the law, which is a catch all phrase to exclude works associated with the Mosaic covenant. Paul is therefore not excluding every form of human effort and why? Because Paul says man is justified by faith and faith is an act done by man, which means man must do some acts to merit eternal life.

If we could, can we unpack that understanding to a more base and common common denominator?

For instance, I have in mind this "work" or "act" found in the verses, here:

Heb 4:9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,
Heb 4:10 for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
Heb 4:11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.


Now, as we both know, an "action" or one's "acts or actions" are the thing one does, right?

In those verses there from Hebrews 4:9-11 can we agree that there are at least "two" who are being discussed as "doing" something, an act or action, acts or actions?

There may be more beings doing something in those verses? I want to focus though, with you, on just two beings in those verses, ok?

The first being is God, Eternal in nature and being, having no beginning.

The second being is man, created in nature and being, having a beginning.

Agreed?

Now, would you ponder those verses and then post and explain or exegete "what" each "being" is doing, acting, so that we can come into that "Sabbath Rest" that remains for some?

Lucian said...

Some of the very ancient [ones] to these properties have also added, that just as the Spirit together with the Father does not eternally beget the Son, neither does the Spirit proceed from the Son as from the Father

To what does the word "ancient(s)" in this passage refer to? To their pagan ancestors? Or to the Christians of the preceding generations?

-TF and Viisaus, do you hear me?-

Re-read this from Eusebius' Church History then:

we have learned also that the likenesses of his apostles Paul and Peter, and of Christ himself, are preserved in paintings, the ancients being accustomed, as it is likely, according to a habit of the Gentiles, to pay this kind of honour indiscriminately to those regarded by them as deliverers.

john said...

That explanation has been answered above. Do you have anything better?

JM -And that answer is not to be found above either.

You have failed to answer my statements.

JM

john said...

"Gods revelation to Abraham is direct and received via the internal senses and the intellect whereby he hears the voice of God."

What are you talking about? Where are you getting this from?

JM – standard theology of revelation found within the writings of theologians who have studied how God makes revelations to men throughout history.

"Public revelation made through a text is very different, because the revelation does not have an ontological effect on the man reading the text."

That's an assertion in search of an argument.

JM- For the text to have an ontological effect, the text must act as a being inside the man as a text, unlike any other text known to man. Of course it doesn’t do this because only the spirit can act inside man to have a supernatural ontological effect on a man.


"The text is just print on a page, like any other and the divine authorship of that text is not discernable from the text alone."

The words are God-breathed. Where is any other text said to be God-breathed?

JM- You only assume the words are God breathed and then you search for an argument for why you do.

Was that really all you had? You didn't demonstrate a disanalogy at all. You only claimed they are different.

JM- I didn’t claim to. I only answered your recent post. I remember reading your post some time ago and it seemed to be jumble of mixed ideas that didn’t go anywhere.

JM

john said...

Now, would you ponder those verses and then post and explain or exegete "what" each "being" is doing, acting, so that we can come into that "Sabbath Rest" that remains for some?

JM- Sabbath rest is a covenant phrase whereby men enter into the covenant and receive the grace of forgiveness, divine sonship and hesed. Both God and man participate in hesed rest because the covenant is between God and man.

JM

Turretinfan said...

"JM – standard theology of revelation found within the writings of theologians who have studied how God makes revelations to men throughout history."

Is this a long-winded way of saying "definitely not from the Bible"?

Turretinfan said...

JM:

You wrote: "You only assume the words are God breathed and then you search for an argument for why you do."

Come on. This is ridiculous. You can't possibly think that's true. You know with certainty why we think the text of Scripture is inspired, namely because it says so.

If you continue with this sort of empty-headed nonsense, I'll ban you from this blog.

Do you understand?

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

"JM -And that answer is not to be found above either. You have failed to answer my statements."

I'll take that as an admission that you don't have anything better than what you've already presented. Since you have presented your best argument, and I've answered it as I see fit, there's no need for you to continue repeating yourself.

Ryan said...

JM – standard theology of revelation found within the writings of theologians who have studied how God makes revelations to men throughout history.

Really? How interesting. And how did those theologians come to believe that? And what exactly does it mean to have revelation "direct and received via the internal senses and the intellect whereby he hears the voice of God" such that we do not have it when Scripture is preached or studied?

"JM- For the text to have an ontological effect, the text must act as a being inside the man as a text..."

Why? The Spirit is a witness to God's word, to be sure, but a Spirit without a word is a witness-less Spirit. You have to have God's word to have the Spirit. That is why Paul wrote faith is said to come by hearing the word of God (Romans 10). That sounds like Scripture indeed produces an ontological change, does it not? And if not, then in addition to an explanation as to why not, please expound upon what you mean by an "ontological" change?

JM- You only assume the words are God breathed and then you search for an argument for why you do.

That is plainly false. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that Scripture is God-breathed. I would have no reason to believe Scripture was God-breathed if Scripture didn't itself claim to be God-breathed. TF is right, your reply is nonsense.

Ryan: Was that really all you had? You didn't demonstrate a disanalogy at all. You only claimed they are different.

JM- I didn’t claim to. I only answered your recent post. I remember reading your post some time ago and it seemed to be jumble of mixed ideas that didn’t go anywhere.

So there is no disanalogy between God's revelation to Abraham and God's Scriptural revelation? Then please recall the following conversation:

You: [Abraham] couldn’t reject knowing God had made the revelation, he could reject the revelation.

Me: In that case, in what way would this be different from the way in which reprobates suppress the truth of God's word?

You: Its similar. If Abraham rejected the message from God, then he made an act of unbelief.

Me: Then to assert that reprobates cannot know God's revelation and reject it as Abraham recognized God's revelation and could have rejected it (according to you) is arbitrary.

That is, reprobates can know God's revelation. Hence, my original criticism of your reply to this post was bang on the mark:

//Well, if you agree that men can recognize Scripture is supernatural revelation of God, that it validly demands obedience to its supernaturally revealed precepts, and that it binds the conscience of those who disobey, whether or not Scripture is the sole rule of faith is irrelevant to TFan's point and only shows that you are a one-trick pony.

In fact, however, your above quote would imply that men are able to discern the extent of God's word without an infallible church, as in the case of Abraham.//

If Abraham could recognize these things about the revelation he received from God as described in Genesis 22, so can reprobates, according to your own line of reasoning, recognize yet reject the inspiration and authority of Scripture, not to mention its extent.

natamllc said...

JM- Sabbath rest is a covenant phrase whereby men enter into the covenant and receive the grace of forgiveness, divine sonship and hesed. Both God and man participate in hesed rest because the covenant is between God and man.

Yeah, but JM, aren't you missing something here?

Can you agree that God finished making this present heavens and earth and then rested from all His works as the Scripture/Holy Spirit teaches?

Gen 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
Gen 2:2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.
Gen 2:3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.


Is there some RCC teaching or doctrine that is opposed to that truth there?

Is there something that you would oppose with regard to that citation, Genesis 2:1-3?

Furthermore, seeing God finished His work, what work do you suppose the writer of the book of Hebrews is focusing on that man should "stop" doing so that he can "start" resting from his own works?

What would you characterize those works as being, JM, those works man is to stop doing so he can enter that Sabbath Rest that remains for him to enter into??

And, what would you characterize the disobedience to be?

john said...

Is this a long-winded way of saying "definitely not from the Bible"?

JM – No

john said...

And, what would you characterize the disobedience to be?

JM – the endless rabbit trails of Nat, because he cannot admit to both god and man being involved in mans salvation. Very sad to see, but reformed theology seems unable to grapple with this simple biblical truth.

JM

Ryan said...

"I know with a moral certainty because of tradition and the church."

That's interesting, because you later write:

"...there is no way you can establish the Gospels as being authored by a supernatural being, simply because if a text says they are inspired, you are using a fallible, natural authority to conclude to an infallible supernatural authority."

How would you respond to this:

"...there is no way you can establish the Roman church as being authored by a supernatural being, simply because if a group of people says they are inspired, you are using a fallible, natural authority to conclude to an infallible supernatural authority."

Epistemologically, everyone has first principles. Ours rests on on God's word, yours rests on the Roman church. If you actually think it's a problem to believe Scripture is God's word on the grounds it claims to be God's word, then explain why you believe the Roman church is infallible.

"You deny the divine origins of both, or at least their authority in the post apostolic age..."

The authority of the church rests on its capacity to function as the promulgators of God's word. Insofar as Romanism fails to do this, it has no authority.

"...or arbitrarily assign a value to a text that cannot be derived from the text alone."

The text says it's God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16). There is no higher authority than God (Hebrews 6:13). What are you failing to understand?

"You only have a very few number of NT texts to fall back on to establish what scripture is and even then you can only come up with a metaphor “God breathed”"

Metaphor? Do you deny that Scripture is God breathed? To what reality does this metaphor point if not that Scripture is authored by the God of Truth, as your own catechism states?

"The quotes allegedly from Peter you use to establish Paul’s writings are scripture, assume an infallible tradition and an infallible authority in Peter which you have later denied for all the apostles."

That is false. Scripture is infallible, written tradition. You predicate infallible authority on the apostles, whereas the emphasis is rather placed on the *words* which God has breathed out. That's why Peter writes that all prophecy of Scripture was written as men were moved by the Holy Spirit. The men who wrote Scripture had special function in the revelation of God's word, but the authority of their words derives from God Himself, not the office they held. After all, even you would claim there is only one pope, and given that, you would, unless you conceded my points are true, have to admit that Paul, James, et. al. wrote Scripture fallibly.

"Yes, you did claim all the apostles were fallible and I intend to hold you to that statement because it is very problematic for your theological position."

The apostles were fallible. God's word is not.

"You have no way of establishing the notion of scripture as being written by a supernatural author...

We just did. You're getting rather desperate. Anyways, I'm still awaiting a reply to my post.

natamllc said...

JM

JM – the endless rabbit trails of Nat, because he cannot admit to both god and man being involved in mans salvation.

No, I haven't. Where have I made a claim that salvation only involves God?

What is sad, to me JM, is you and your present lack of understanding of the way God gives salvation to us.

However, salvation, though it comes by way of the Jews, is an Eternal Gift given to God's Elect from Our Eternal God through His Christ sent to us through the Holy Spirit.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

His involvement in our common salvation and ours is quite different.

Where we seem to be at an impasse is when we define what involvement we have and what involvement God has in our common salvation.

You want to say the involvement is an obedience to justification while I want to agree with Scripture that the obedience is an obedience to the Faith once delivered to the Saints because of Christ's equitable deeds, that is, His suffering on His Elect's behalf whereby God declares His Elect acquitted of our guilt making peace with us by reconciliation.

Isa 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
Isa 1:19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;
Isa 1:20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

Col 1:19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
Col 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.



My position is this, God acquits us because of Christ's atonement and redemption made on the Elect's behalf and we respond in obedience according to the gift of Faith by the Grace and Mercy given to us.

Your position is God and you acquit and both you and God have a place in obeying one another seeing God has to concede to your involvement to receive your common salvation.

You, JM, are on very dangerous ground.

Turretinfan said...

JM wrote: "Very sad to see, but reformed theology seems unable to grapple with this simple biblical truth."

That sounds so hypocritical coming from you, JM. You oppose yourself to the simple truth of Scripture, and then say something like that -- simply amazing.

-TurretinFan

john said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john said...

JM-"I know with a moral certainty because of tradition and the church."
R- That's interesting, because you later write:

"...there is no way you can establish the Gospels as being authored by a supernatural being, simply because if a text says they are inspired, you are using a fallible, natural authority to conclude to an infallible supernatural authority."

How would you respond to this:

"...there is no way you can establish the Roman church as being authored by a supernatural being, simply because if a group of people says they are inspired, you are using a fallible, natural authority to conclude to an infallible supernatural authority."

Epistemologically, everyone has first principles. Ours rests on on God's word, yours rests on the Roman church. If you actually think it's a problem to believe Scripture is God's word on the grounds it claims to be God's word, then explain why you believe the Roman church is infallible.

JM2- The church’s authority is established by taking note of the historical reliability of the OT texts and seeing a Davidic kingdom had been established up until the time of Christ. There are also prophesies and actions expected of the Messiah. The Messiah comes and completes all the prophesies, proving he is God and institutes a church with the power to teach, govern and sanctify. This church uses texts in its liturgy and later declares them to have been authored by God. The authority of the church is based upon the historical evidence presented within the text and the fruit seen in church history. The historical evidence points to the church being the authority in the post apostolic age.

As the church has the power to teach from God, (he who hears you hears me), then she is infallible. As the church is the family of God, then she has a genealogy, which means she has succession from Christ and the apostles. Therefore the true church is the church with apostolic succession and the charism of infallibility. As the reformed church’s do not have either, they are not the true church.

JM "You deny the divine origins of both, or at least their authority in the post apostolic age..."

R- The authority of the church rests on its capacity to function as the promulgators of God's word. Insofar as Romanism fails to do this, it has no authority.

JM2- And of course you wont find this in scripture. The church is the pillar and foundation of the truth. Therefore it always teaches the truth officially and your criteria for the church is pure invention. You are probably basing your criteria on a typical psychological and sociological model of Protestantism with its endless divisions and projecting that onto the scriptural understanding of the church. . .

john said...

However scripture knows nothing of the subjective criteria of the church as understood by Protestantism.

"...or arbitrarily assign a value to a text that cannot be derived from the text alone."

R- The text says it's God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16). There is no higher authority than God (Hebrews 6:13). What are you failing to understand?

JM2- According to you a fallible human author wrote a letter to Timothy and the text says scripture is God breathed. Its doesn’t say God has written any text which is scripture, nor does it say how we are to know what is and is not scripture.

Yes there is no higher authority than God, but if we don’t know how to determine if a text is written by God, then we don’t know the value of the text. If you think a text is authored by God and you cannot rationally defend that belief, then according to reason, the text has no reasoned value. As such, the text you claim is written by God, without the authority of the church and tradition backing the supernatural origin of the text, your claims concerning an inspired text are vacuous. In short, you can only claim a text is inspired because of authority found in the church and tradition.


JM- "You only have a very few number of NT texts to fall back on to establish what scripture is and even then you can only come up with a metaphor “God breathed”"
R- Metaphor? Do you deny that Scripture is God breathed? To what reality does this metaphor point if not that Scripture is authored by the God of Truth, as your own catechism states?

JM2 - God breathed is only a metaphor. What does this mean without the metaphor is not to be found in the text so inspiration is only a metaphor. Unless of course you go by what the church and tradition teaches and conclude that inspiration means God is the supernatural, principle author of the text with secondary human authors. Then again, for you to do that means you are not holding to SS, so you must be inconsistent in your authority to embrace SS.


JM -"The quotes allegedly from Peter you use to establish Paul’s writings are scripture, assume an infallible tradition and an infallible authority in Peter which you have later denied for all the apostles."
R- That is false. Scripture is infallible, written tradition.

JM2- This is only a starting premise which I do not admit to exist in a text without the authority of the church and tradition.

R- You predicate infallible authority on the apostles, whereas the emphasis is rather placed on the *words* which God has breathed out.

JM2- There’s that metaphor again. I suppose Gods breath (which he doesn’t have) lands on the page just at the same time the human author writes. So God and the human author are merely coincidentally breathing and writing at the same time. All of this is mere metaphorical speculation which is hardly the foundation for a theology.

john said...

R- That's why Peter writes that all prophecy of Scripture was written as men were moved by the Holy Spirit.

JM2- quotes please.

R- The men who wrote Scripture had special function in the revelation of God's word, but the authority of their words derives from God Himself, not the office they held.

JM2- So you assume. You have no way of verifying that apart from tradition and the church.

R- After all, even you would claim there is only one pope, and given that, you would, unless you conceded my points are true, have to admit that Paul, James, et. al. wrote Scripture fallibly.

JM2- Screwball sentence.

JM-"Yes, you did claim all the apostles were fallible and I intend to hold you to that statement because it is very problematic for your theological position."
R- The apostles were fallible. God's word is not.

JM2- The reformed notion of inspiration gets more screwy by the minute. God is the infallible author of a text and man is the fallible author of the text. Therefore the text is written by both a fallible and infallible author. This sounds like a contradiction to me. Yep, it is!

JM- "You have no way of establishing the notion of scripture as being written by a supernatural author...

R- We just did. You're getting rather desperate. Anyways, I'm still awaiting a reply to my post.

JM2- You have no way of establishing the notion of scripture as being written by a supernatural author from the text itself. It has never been done without self referencing and therefore the fallacy of circularity.

JM

john said...

N- You want to say the involvement is an obedience to justification

JM- simply not true. I’m not pelagian.

N- while I want to agree with Scripture that the obedience is an obedience to the Faith once delivered to the Saints because of Christ's equitable deeds, that is, His suffering on His Elect's behalf whereby God declares His Elect acquitted of our guilt making peace with us by reconciliation.

JM- You can make any false comparison based on a straw man argument all you want. Simply stating something I haven’t said will not establish your argument.

N- My position is this, God acquits us because of Christ's atonement and redemption made on the Elect's behalf and we respond in obedience according to the gift of Faith by the Grace and Mercy given to us.

JM- The response is an act of man so salvation is through both God and man. End of debate.

N-Your position is God and you acquit and both you and God have a place in obeying one another seeing God has to concede to your involvement to receive your common salvation.

JM- I’ve simply never said this. You are making up a position I’ve never stated.

N- You, JM, are on very dangerous ground.

JM- that would be the JM straw man you have made up in your mind.

JM

natamllc said...

JM

sorry to ask you to repeat yourself; though, if willing, would you state what it is exactly you do in this process of your salvation?

What do you believe God accepts from you that you do in participation with God to secure your salvation?

Ryan said...

Reply to JM, Part 1:

“The church’s authority is established by taking note of the historical reliability of the OT texts and seeing a Davidic kingdom had been established up until the time of Christ… The authority of the church is based upon the historical evidence presented within the text and the fruit seen in church history.”

Lol. You predicate recognition of the church on historical criticism? An empirical hermeneutic is as subjective as one can get. That you accused us of “using a fallible, natural authority to conclude to an infallible supernatural authority” is deliciously ironic after reading your reply. Moreover, your methodology presupposes Scripture is perspicuous, contrary to your own allegedly infallible church. You cannot have it both ways: either an infallible church is necessary to understand Scripture, or infallible Scripture is necessary to know the church. You are arguing in a circle.

“As the church has the power to teach from God, (he who hears you hears me), then she is infallible… church is the pillar and foundation of the truth.”

Being the bulwark of truth does not presuppose intrinsic infallibility. It presupposes the job of the church is to function as the means by which the word of Him who alone is infallible is preached. That is what the context of 1 Timothy 3:15 [and all other such appeals you would likely make] points to: “I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household.” The written instructions are what the church is to preserve. And again, all of these appeals you would make would presuppose Scriptural perspicuity.

“ As the church is the family of God, then she has a genealogy, which means she has succession from Christ and the apostles. Therefore the true church is the church with apostolic succession and the charism of infallibility.”

You are again supposing that the apostles were infallible. You haven’t demonstrated this.

“The church is the pillar and foundation of the truth. Therefore it always teaches the truth officially and your criteria for the church is pure invention.”

You didn’t connect those statements at all. Why does the fact the church is the pillar and foundation of truth imply that the church always teaches the truth? That the church is supposed to teach the truth does not mean it always will. Why do you think Paul wrote to the church in Corinth?

“However scripture knows nothing of the subjective criteria of the church as understood by Protestantism.”

To what do you think “church” refers in 1 Timothy 3:15? The “house of God” in the OT was the temple. What would make you think that in the NT it refers to a Magisterium?

“According to you a fallible human author wrote a letter to Timothy and the text says scripture is God breathed. Its doesn’t say God has written any text which is scripture, nor does it say how we are to know what is and is not scripture.”

Well, since you continue to ignore my post paralleling Abraham’s ability to recognize God’s voice with our ability to recognize God’s voice [in Scripture], you are at fault here, not me. I have already explained how God’s word can be recognized. Moreover, the fact the Paul was fallible is irrelevant. He was a man “carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21, cf. 3:15). Why do you keep pointing out that I believe Paul is fallible when such has no bearing on whether or not God’s word is infallible? God does not need Paul to be fallible in order to use Paul as a medium to communicate His infallible word. No more red herrings, please.

“Yes there is no higher authority than God, but if we don’t know how to determine if a text is written by God, then we don’t know the value of the text.”

But since we do, as Abraham did, your point is moot. Until you address my recent post that explains this parallel, you are repeating an answered argument.

Ryan said...

Part 2:

“God breathed is only a metaphor. What does this mean without the metaphor is not to be found in the text so inspiration is only a metaphor.”

That doesn’t make any sense. If “theopneustos” is a metaphor, what is the referent of the metaphor? Where does your allegedly infallible church tell you this?

Me: //Scripture is infallible, written tradition.//

You: “This is only a starting premise which I do not admit to exist in a text without the authority of the church and tradition.”

Wrong again. This too is deducible from Scripture (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:5, 15; 1 Corinthians 4:6, 11:2, 15:1-11). You should familiarize yourself with what Scripture has to say about tradition before making such ignorant statements.

“There’s that metaphor again. I suppose Gods breath (which he doesn’t have) lands on the page just at the same time the human author writes. So God and the human author are merely coincidentally breathing and writing at the same time. All of this is mere metaphorical speculation which is hardly the foundation for a theology.”

Lol. That would explain why Paul told Timothy that Scripture is useful for reproof, correction, every good work, training in righteousness, teaching, etc… not.

What’s your deal? Do you deny that Scripture is inerrant? God is truth. If God breathed out Scripture and the Holy Spirit carried men along as they wrote it, how exactly can any of the words be false? And why do Jesus and the apostles, when arguing with Pharisees or teaching their respective disciples, appeal to the authority of the written word over against the prophets who wrote it? “It is written…” is a phrase which has little authority if the words written are not infallible, no? You’ve got some explaining to do.

“quotes please.”

2 Peter 1:21.

“So you assume. You have no way of verifying that apart from tradition and the church.”

Sure I do. The words are God-breathed, whereas the apostles themselves admit to being men who still sin. And are you arguing that the authority of Scripture is not divine in origin? If not, what are you arguing?

You: “Screwball sentence.”

That one stung you, huh? :)

“The reformed notion of inspiration gets more screwy by the minute. God is the infallible author of a text and man is the fallible author of the text. Therefore the text is written by both a fallible and infallible author. This sounds like a contradiction to me. Yep, it is!”

So you are claiming that the apostles were infallible? Did Peter infallibly ignore the Gentiles in Galatians 2? How about when he denied Jesus – was he infallible then? Sin stems from fallacious thinking. The reason you have a hard time understanding the doctrine of inscripturation is due to the fact your God is not sovereign. He cannot accomplish His will unless man condescends to agree. On the other hand, we believe that the apostles – who were fallible – were able to infallible put God’s word into writing for the simple reason that God determined that they should do so. No big mystery here.

“You have no way of establishing the notion of scripture as being written by a supernatural author from the text itself. It has never been done without self referencing and therefore the fallacy of circularity.”

You completely ignored the point I made about epistemology and first principles. If you have no first principle, you have no grounding reason upon which to believe anything. You would have to justify proposition with prior premises ad infinitum, which is impossible. Establishing internal consistency – including, in this case, self-attestation – is the necessary epistemological apologetic. This we have done. You, on the other hand, appealed to Scripture to justify your belief in an infallible church which denies Scriptural perspicuity! What a joke.

And you still haven’t replied to my post that I wrote Sunday, October 17, 2010 6:32:00 AM.

Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john said...

R- “The church’s authority is established by taking note of the historical reliability of the OT texts and seeing a Davidic kingdom had been established up until the time of Christ… The authority of the church is based upon the historical evidence presented within the text and the fruit seen in church history.”

Lol. You predicate recognition of the church on historical criticism?

JM2- No.

R- An empirical hermeneutic is as subjective as one can get. That you accused us of “using a fallible, natural authority to conclude to an infallible supernatural authority” is deliciously ironic after reading your reply.

JM- Man only has a moral certitude that Christ existed. It’s the same certitude we have that Caesar existed. It’s solid, based on historical evidence, but not absolute, like a mathematical proof. The supernatural authority is a conclusion flowing from Christ’s claims about himself and the church He instituted. Once Christ’s claims are established, we can then immediately conclude the church is also supernatural.

R- Moreover, your methodology presupposes Scripture is perspicuous, contrary to your own allegedly infallible church. You cannot have it both ways: either an infallible church is necessary to understand Scripture, or infallible Scripture is necessary to know the church. You are arguing in a circle.

JM2- My argument does not assume the perspicuity of the scriptures. It only assumes some truths can be obtained from a historical text.

JM- “As the church has the power to teach from God, (he who hears you hears me), then she is infallible… church is the pillar and foundation of the truth.”

R- Being the bulwark of truth does not presuppose intrinsic infallibility.

JM2- A foundation assumes everything taught is the truth and therefore the church must be infallible.

R- It presupposes the job of the church is to function as the means by which the word of Him who alone is infallible is preached. That is what the context of 1 Timothy 3:15 [and all other such appeals you would likely make] points to: “I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household.” The written instructions are what the church is to preserve. And again, all of these appeals you would make would presuppose Scriptural perspicuity.

JM2 – RCC says the Word of God is found in both written and in tradition. So you have nothing here against infallibility of the church.
. . .

john said...

JM“ As the church is the family of God, then she has a genealogy, which means she has succession from Christ and the apostles. Therefore the true church is the church with apostolic succession and the charism of infallibility.”

R-You are again supposing that the apostles were infallible. You haven’t demonstrated this.

JM2- they were given the authority to teach in the name of God, thus making them prophets and as prophets are infallible, the apostles were then infallible.

JM- “The church is the pillar and foundation of the truth. Therefore it always teaches the truth officially and your criteria for the church is pure invention.”

R- You didn’t connect those statements at all. Why does the fact the church is the pillar and foundation of truth imply that the church always teaches the truth? That the church is supposed to teach the truth does not mean it always will. Why do you think Paul wrote to the church in Corinth?

JM2- Your reasoning is faulty and presupposes a human understanding of the church as fallible, just like every other human institution. On what scriptural basis do you establish the church is fallible? After all the church is founded on Christ and the apostles and the apostles were prophets and therefore infallible. Their authority as bishop is passed on through election, which means the teaching authority passes from the apostles, done through the bishops. So when the bishops formally teach the church, as they did at the Council of Jerusalem, then they are using their prophetic charism to teach the church without error.

To say the church is supposed to teach the truth, means the church is not formally supernatural, which means your understanding of the church concludes to a naturalist and therefore fallible and defectable church. This is simply not fitting from a supernatural origin in Christ and the sending of the HS to bring to mind all truth.

JM “However scripture knows nothing of the subjective criteria of the church as understood by Protestantism.”

R- To what do you think “church” refers in 1 Timothy 3:15? The “house of God” in the OT was the temple. What would make you think that in the NT it refers to a Magisterium?

JM2- Formally the church includes all of its members with its sacraments. The church is a hierarchical, visible society of men united in truth and grace through the teaching magesterium and sacramental grace. The house of God, is a dynasty from Christ through to the Pope and bishops of today.

JM- “According to you a fallible human author wrote a letter to Timothy and the text says scripture is God breathed. Its doesn’t say God has written any text which is scripture, nor does it say how we are to know what is and is not scripture.”

R- Well, since you continue to ignore my post paralleling Abraham’s ability to recognize God’s voice with our ability to recognize God’s voice [in Scripture], you are at fault here, not me.

JM2- This doesn’t follow.

john said...

R- I have already explained how God’s word can be recognized.

JM2- According to you Gods word is recognized by a subjective experience, which means Christianity is merely a subjective religion.

R- Moreover, the fact the Paul was fallible is irrelevant.

JM2- The fact is Paul was a prophet, therefore he was infallible.

R- He was a man “carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21, cf. 3:15).

JM2- Yeh, which means infallibility.

R- Why do you keep pointing out that I believe Paul is fallible when such has no bearing on whether or not God’s word is infallible?

JM2- If Paul was fallible then everything he wrote was fallible, therefore what he wrote was not scripture, because scripture is infallible. You hold to both Paul as fallible and infallible and therefore you must hold to a contradiction.

R- God does not need Paul to be fallible in order to use Paul as a medium to communicate His infallible word. No more red herrings, please.

JM2- No more twisted logic please.

JM-“Yes there is no higher authority than God, but if we don’t know how to determine if a text is written by God, then we don’t know the value of the text.”

R- But since we do, as Abraham did, your point is moot. Until you address my recent post that explains this parallel, you are repeating an answered argument.

JM2- Abraham had a direct experience of God who made a direct revelation to him. A text is not a direct revelation, but only a mediate revelation through human words. Therefore Abraham could not have identified the word of God the same way you identify a text to the inspired.

JM

john said...

JM- “God breathed is only a metaphor. What does this mean without the metaphor is not to be found in the text so inspiration is only a metaphor.”

R- That doesn’t make any sense. If “theopneustos” is a metaphor, what is the referent of the metaphor? Where does your allegedly infallible church tell you this?

JM2- That’s right, the text says inspiration is only a metaphor. So those questions are for you to answer without a church or tradition from God to help you. Have fun.

R- Me: //Scripture is infallible, written tradition.//

You: “This is only a starting premise which I do not admit to exist in a text without the authority of the church and tradition.”

Wrong again. This too is deducible from Scripture (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:5, 15; 1 Corinthians 4:6, 11:2, 15:1-11). You should familiarize yourself with what Scripture has to say about tradition before making such ignorant statements.

2 Thessalonians 2:5- talks of the coming of the lawless one and a powerful delusion sent by God for those who don’t want the truth. Nothing here about an infallible text.

1 Corinthians 4:6- Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.

Do not go beyond what is written does not refer to scripture as the sole infallible rule. It doesn’t even mention inspiration of the text, or infallibility. Furthermore the text assumes the authority of Paul and Apollos who deliver the message. Therefore there must be a binding oral tradition from that is apostolic.

1 Corinthians 11:2 - I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the teachings, just as I passed them on to you.

“I passed them on to you” infers written and oral tradition and nothing here is mentioned concerning infallibility of the scriptures.

1 Corinthians 4:15:1-11- 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

Paul only makes reference to the scriptures. We do not know from the text alone what those scriptures are or how to identify them or if they are infallible or authored by God. You simply have not texts to support your foundational doctrine of the infallibility of the texts you call scripture.

john said...

You: “Screwball sentence.”

That one stung you, huh? :)

JM2- No it really was a screwball sentence. I called it the way it was.

JM- “The reformed notion of inspiration gets more screwy by the minute. God is the infallible author of a text and man is the fallible author of the text. Therefore the text is written by both a fallible and infallible author. This sounds like a contradiction to me. Yep, it is!”

R- So you are claiming that the apostles were infallible? Did Peter infallibly ignore the Gentiles in Galatians 2?

You confuse infallible teaching with sin in moral behavior. Peters actions assume the infallibility of the decisions made at the Jerusalem council and that is why Paul can correct Peter. The incident assumes infallibility at Councils, which is a Catholic belief.

R- How about when he denied Jesus – was he infallible then? Sin stems from fallacious thinking.

JM2- sin is caused by a wrong action from the will.

R- The reason you have a hard time understanding the doctrine of inscripturation is due to the fact your God is not sovereign.

JM2 – Not established in anything I’ve said.

R- He cannot accomplish His will unless man condescends to agree.

JM2 – this is not found in anything I have said.

R- On the other hand, we believe that the apostles – who were fallible – were able to infallible put God’s word into writing for the simple reason that God determined that they should do so. No big mystery here.

JM2- So you conclude with the same old contradiction as before and say its no mystery concerning the apostle who is both fallible and infallible.

john said...

JM- “You have no way of establishing the notion of scripture as being written by a supernatural author from the text itself. It has never been done without self referencing and therefore the fallacy of circularity.”

R- You completely ignored the point I made about epistemology and first principles. If you have no first principle, you have no grounding reason upon which to believe anything. You would have to justify proposition with prior premises ad infinitum, which is impossible. Establishing internal consistency – including, in this case, self-attestation – is the necessary epistemological apologetic. This we have done. You, on the other hand, appealed to Scripture to justify your belief in an infallible church which denies Scriptural perspicuity! What a joke.

JM2- answered above and your statements were found to be a joke. Your first principle of the inspiration of a text allows any other religion or any other person to do the same thing. Therefore you cannot object to other religions such as Islam, Mormonism or many other religions from having there own inspired texts. Furthermore you cannot have any objection to anyone in history writing a text and claiming it is written by God. Any also you cannot have any objection to anyone objecting to your position, because it is only an assumption and nothing more. There is simply no power whatsoever in your epistemological position.

R- And you still haven’t replied to my post that I wrote Sunday, October 17, 2010 6:32:00 AM.

JM2- Which one? provide the link and the argument again if you want it answered.

JM

john said...

JM

N- sorry to ask you to repeat yourself; though, if willing, would you state what it is exactly you do in this process of your salvation?

JM - do good acts by the grace of God given to me merited by Christ so I can receive the reward of eternal life as an inheritance in the family of God. Every supernatural good act I do, I do by the grace of God. It is both me and God acting together for me to enter into eternal life. This is the biblical position.

N- What do you believe God accepts from you that you do in participation with God to secure your salvation?

Good works done by the grace of God, just as James, Paul, Peter and Jesus say they do.

JM

Ryan said...
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Ryan said...
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Ryan said...

Reply to JM, Part I:

“No.”

That’s what you just said: “The authority of the church is based upon the historical evidence…” What does that mean if not that you predicate recognition of the church upon historical evidence???

R- An empirical hermeneutic is as subjective as one can get. That you accused us of “using a fallible, natural authority to conclude to an infallible supernatural authority” is deliciously ironic after reading your reply.

“JM- Man only has a moral certitude that Christ existed. It’s the same certitude we have that Caesar existed. It’s solid, based on historical evidence, but not absolute, like a mathematical proof.”

That’s not what the apostles taught. Here are a couple examples show that the apostles taught men were to know propositions, propositions which presuppose knowledge of the existence of Jesus:

John 17:3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Acts 13:38 "Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.

Ephesians 4:20-21 You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.

Colossians 2:2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ

2 Peter 1:2-3 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

“Once Christ’s claims are established, we can then immediately conclude the church is also supernatural.”

But since historical evidence isn’t absolute, as you admit, you can’t establish Christ’s claims. Your presuppositional method of evincing an infallible authority rests on an epistemic position far more suspect than mine, viz. that God’s word is true.

“My argument does not assume the perspicuity of the scriptures. It only assumes some truths can be obtained from a historical text.”

How, if the text isn’t clear? This ought to be interesting.

“A foundation assumes everything taught is the truth and therefore the church must be infallible.”

No. You assume that. You haven’t exegeted 1 Timothy 3:15 such that it follows it means that. I, on the other hand, provided an interpretation of my own which is both consonant with the passage and opposed to your understanding. The burden of proof is on you to show why my interpretation cannot be true.

“RCC says the Word of God is found in both written and in tradition. So you have nothing here against infallibility of the church.”

Insofar as Romanism teaches that some oral tradition was not written down in Scripture, yes I do. Speaking of that, what oral tradition is revelation of God which is not found in his word, and how do you know it has been faithfully preserved?

“…they were given the authority to teach in the name of God, thus making them prophets and as prophets are infallible, the apostles were then infallible.”

Prophets weren’t infallible. You haven’t demonstrated that either. Moreover, you haven’t shown that, even if such is the case, that this extended beyond the apostles, especially given that apostolicity is predicated upon having witnessed Christ.

“Your reasoning is faulty and presupposes a human understanding of the church as fallible, just like every other human institution. On what scriptural basis do you establish the church is fallible?”

I just told you: the letters to Corinth et. al. showed that the church is capable of egregious sin, and sin stems from fallacious thinking. I think we may be talking past one another, for I regard the nature of the church as the body of Christ, as is said in Scripture. You later write:

“Formally the church includes all of its members with its sacraments.”

Are all the members infallible, then? Are you going to bite that bullet?

Turretinfan said...

Ryan:

If you just keep trying, you convince the spam filter that it was right to designate your comment as spam.

I've released your comments from the filter. Please feel free to delete the comments you see as redundant.

Ryan said...

Part II:

“After all the church is founded on Christ and the apostles and the apostles were prophets and therefore infallible.”

That doesn’t follow. It simply means that the work of both Christ and the apostles was necessary for God’s word to be written, which is certainly something that presyters do not do today. The authority to teach what is written and infallibility are not synonymous, interchangeable concepts.

“To say the church is supposed to teach the truth, means the church is not formally supernatural…”

How does that follow?

"This doesn’t follow."

Yes it does. We recognize what “is and is not Scripture,” which is special revelation, the same way Abraham recognized special revelation. Here is the post you have yet to respond to:

*****

JM – standard theology of revelation found within the writings of theologians who have studied how God makes revelations to men throughout history.

Really? How interesting. And how did those theologians come to believe that? And what exactly does it mean to have revelation "direct and received via the internal senses and the intellect whereby he hears the voice of God" such that we do not have it when Scripture is preached or studied?

"JM- For the text to have an ontological effect, the text must act as a being inside the man as a text..."

Why? The Spirit is a witness to God's word, to be sure, but a Spirit without a word is a witness-less Spirit. You have to have God's word to have the Spirit. That is why Paul wrote faith is said to come by hearing the word of God (Romans 10). That sounds like Scripture indeed produces an ontological change, does it not? And if not, then in addition to an explanation as to why not, please expound upon what you mean by an "ontological" change?

JM- You only assume the words are God breathed and then you search for an argument for why you do.

That is plainly false. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that Scripture is God-breathed. I would have no reason to believe Scripture was God-breathed if Scripture didn't itself claim to be God-breathed. TF is right, your reply is nonsense.

Ryan: Was that really all you had? You didn't demonstrate a disanalogy at all. You only claimed they are different.

JM- I didn’t claim to. I only answered your recent post. I remember reading your post some time ago and it seemed to be jumble of mixed ideas that didn’t go anywhere.

So there is no disanalogy between God's revelation to Abraham and God's Scriptural revelation? Then please recall the following conversation:

You: [Abraham] couldn’t reject knowing God had made the revelation, he could reject the revelation.

Me: In that case, in what way would this be different from the way in which reprobates suppress the truth of God's word?

You: Its similar. If Abraham rejected the message from God, then he made an act of unbelief.

Me: Then to assert that reprobates cannot know God's revelation and reject it as Abraham recognized God's revelation and could have rejected it (according to you) is arbitrary.

That is, reprobates can know God's revelation. Hence, my original criticism of your reply to this post was bang on the mark:

//Well, if you agree that men can recognize Scripture is supernatural revelation of God, that it validly demands obedience to its supernaturally revealed precepts, and that it binds the conscience of those who disobey, whether or not Scripture is the sole rule of faith is irrelevant to TFan's point and only shows that you are a one-trick pony.

In fact, however, your above quote would imply that men are able to discern the extent of God's word without an infallible church, as in the case of Abraham.//

If Abraham could recognize these things about the revelation he received from God as described in Genesis 22, so can reprobates, according to your own line of reasoning, recognize yet reject the inspiration and authority of Scripture, not to mention its extent.

*****

Ryan said...

Part III:

“According to you Gods word is recognized by a subjective experience, which means Christianity is merely a subjective religion.”

Apply that to Abraham and see if it sticks. I’ll wait.

Me: He was a man “carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21, cf. 3:15).

You: Yeh, which means infallibility.

Firstly, he was not always carried along by the Spirit. This passage specifically refers to the process of inscripturation. Secondly, the implication is that Paul wrote infallibly, not that he was infallible per se. Thirdly, I find it interesting that even though to be “carried” along by the Holy Spirit is a metaphor like 2 Timothy 3:16, you have no objection to grounding your beliefs on it. What gives? I think what Peter says here is precisely what Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:16, viz. that God used the apostles as mediums through which He inscripturated His eternal word. As I pointed out elsewhere, Paul didn’t need to be infallible for God to be able to sovereignly achieve this, so the burden of proof is on you to show why it is necessary.

“If Paul was fallible then everything he wrote was fallible”

That ignores the fact that God determined what Paul wrote, viz. Scripture.

“No more twisted logic please.”

No more repeating refuted arguments, please.

“Abraham had a direct experience of God who made a direct revelation to him.”

And we have a direct experience of God who makes a direct revelation to us.

“A text is not a direct revelation, but only a mediate revelation through human words.”

You must have a strange philosophy of language. Words are simply tags of thoughts. Whether God literally spoke to Abraham or imbued Him with thoughts is irrelevant, then, because God’s word likewise imbues us with thoughts. You cannot escape the analogy until you provide a contrary philosophy of language which can account for Abraham’s capacity to intelligibilize God’s command and our ability to likewise discern what Scripture says.

“That’s right, the text says inspiration is only a metaphor.”

What is the referent? Where does your church teach this? Why are you ignoring these questions?

“2 Thessalonians 2:5- talks of the coming of the lawless one and a powerful delusion sent by God for those who don’t want the truth. Nothing here about an infallible text.”

You didn’t look at 2 Thessalonians 2:15, which I also cited. 2:5 is meant to show that what was taught orally was also written.

“Do not go beyond what is written does not refer to scripture as the sole infallible rule. It doesn’t even mention inspiration of the text, or infallibility.”

The function of the citation of 2 Corinthians 4:6 was to the same purpose as 2 Thessalonians 2:5. The passages aren’t meant to be divided as you have done. You are in effect attacking a straw man. Also, what do you think this passage means?

“Furthermore the text assumes the authority of Paul and Apollos who deliver the message. Therefore there must be a binding oral tradition from that is apostolic.”

So what? I don’t deny that Scripture was, at one point in time, oral tradition. I implied as much in my citation of 2 Thessalonians 2.

““I passed them on to you” infers written and oral tradition and nothing here is mentioned concerning infallibility of the scriptures.”

That’s question begging, and more to the point, I have cited several passages which refer to Scripture as tradition. So it wasn’t an assumption, you lied, etc.

“Paul only makes reference to the scriptures. We do not know from the text alone what those scriptures are or how to identify them or if they are infallible or authored by God.”

I have already covered this question in paralleling Abraham to us.

Ryan said...

Part IV:

“You confuse infallible teaching with sin in moral behavior.”

Moral behavior stems from thought. Only be thinking fallaciously can we break God’s law (e.g. “we ought not follow God’s law”). Implicit in any immoral action is an immoral thought. Implicit in any immoral thought is immoral dogmatism. Implicit in immoral dogmatism is teaching.

“Peters actions assume the infallibility of the decisions made at the Jerusalem council and that is why Paul can correct Peter. The incident assumes infallibility at Councils, which is a Catholic belief.”

Not all councils were comprised of apostles or spoken as carried along by the Spirit (Acts 15:28). I double dog dare you to try to prove that.

“sin is caused by a wrong action from the will.”

Irrelevant to my point.

“Not established in anything I’ve said.”

RCs aren’t determinists. You didn’t have to say it.

“this is not found in anything I have said.”

So you believe that God could have determined the inscripturated words of the apostles without first requiring alleged “free will” consent? This undercuts your argument that the apostles must have been infallible for their word to have been infallible.

Me: On the other hand, we believe that the apostles – who were fallible – were able to infallible put God’s word into writing for the simple reason that God determined that they should do so. No big mystery here.

You: So you conclude with the same old contradiction as before and say its no mystery concerning the apostle who is both fallible and infallible.

No. Reread what I just wrote. It’s plain. God determined their words. Whether or not they themselves were infallible, then, is irrelevant, for the words are infallible regardless.

You: You have no way of establishing the notion of scripture as being written by a supernatural author from the text itself. It has never been done without self referencing and therefore the fallacy of circularity.

Me: You completely ignored the point I made about epistemology and first principles. If you have no first principle, you have no grounding reason upon which to believe anything. You would have to justify proposition with prior premises ad infinitum, which is impossible. Establishing internal consistency – including, in this case, self-attestation – is the necessary epistemological apologetic. This we have done. You, on the other hand, appealed to Scripture to justify your belief in an infallible church which denies Scriptural perspicuity! What a joke.

You: answered above and your statements were found to be a joke.

No you didn’t. You made no mention of first principles, nor did you explain how a text which grounds your opinion of the church does not presuppose perspicuity and sola scriptura.

“Your first principle of the inspiration of a text allows any other religion or any other person to do the same thing.”

See here. I will be surpised if you can think up a criticism I haven’t anticipated.

“There is simply no power whatsoever in your epistemological position.”

Notwithstanding your bad arguments, I still have yet to hear you provide your own, beyond that you rely on Scripture to know the church (which differs from Protestantism… how, exactly?).

Ryan said...

"I've released your comments from the filter. Please feel free to delete the comments you see as redundant."

Thanks, TF.

natamllc said...

JM

we might be entering into the gnat zone and strain at meanings of words and phrases as we plow over one another's comments.

You wrote: Good works done by the grace of God, just as James, Paul, Peter and Jesus say they do.

In this sentence you make reference to the Apostle Paul.

I would point out something Paul wrote about these 'good works' by God's Grace in making a distinction about our works and the works only Christ accomplished on our behalf.

He wrote:

Rom 15:14 I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.
Rom 15:15 But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God
Rom 15:16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Rom 15:17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God.
Rom 15:18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience--by word and deed,
Rom 15:19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God--so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ;


Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.


I am in agreement with you regarding your words there if what you mean by them is the same as what the Apostle Paul writes about the Works of Christ done "through" him so that he is not credited for the good works done, but Christ is instead?

Also consider this verse:

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

You do understand that there are works that we do "outside" of Christ, no matter how valuable, moral or good they are, that God counts as unrighteous?

There in that verse from Ephesians, we see the 'good works' that are acceptable to God. The works that are acceptable to God are the 'works' "prepared" by God for us to do.

Do you believe that conclusion I make here?

natamllc said...

TF,

on my IPhone I see 93 comments and here on my computer only 79?

Can you add to this comment box the additional comments? I would like to respond to John's latest comment, #93 I believe it is?

thanks
michael

Turretinfan said...

JM had written the following, which I think is the one you are referring to as #93:

Nat - You do understand that there are works that we do "outside" of Christ, no matter how valuable, moral or good they are, that God counts as unrighteous?

JM- You do realize I'm onto your games. Try a little honesty concerning what I have already said and then proposes a response in context.

JM

natamllc said...

TF,

thanks for putting up his comment and,

yes, that's the one!



JM you responded to my comment:::>

JM- You do realize I'm onto your games. Try a little honesty concerning what I have already said and then proposes a response in context.

I am glad to be examined by you and TF or any of those participating hereon regarding this thread.

TF, and as an addendum, Pastor King, put forward a claim that Christ alone is Our Mediator countering Michael Liccione claims. The argument centers around the source/s for Divine Authority operating in the world and excising souls from it. Your claim is the sole authority is with the RCC. My claim is it is with the Spirit of Grace working sanctification upon the soul justified by Grac through the Faith Christ brought to light. The foregoing comments have not been a game for me and I am not in anyway attempting to "entrap" you in some will of man, mine as you insinuate by claiming I am playing games with you. Clearly, I am not.

Please, if I am playing games with such a subject as this one, or you, by all means, I am open to any reproof or correction and if necessary, a rebuke from any one of you.

My comments have been forthright and sincere in response to yours.

I believe, however, with all humility, that I am not playing any game or games here with you. That is not my style and I would hope after all this time that I have made comments on a variety of subjects in this blog, TF would be the first to hammer down on me if I was playing any games with him or anyone I choose to make a comment about the thread's subject or their response to it.

I am being as sincere and loving towards you in this dialogue as enabled by the Spirit of Grace. It is His gift to me that I can love others with a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith.

I truly believe the Gospel.

Do you not as well believe the Gospel?

I believe you do.

With all consideration then, would you continue with me as we plow over each others points of view regarding this thread?

thanks
michael

ChaferDTS said...

What does " homoousious " mean , I ask, but The Father and I are one ( Jn. 10:30 ) ? I should not, however, introduce the Council of Nicea to prejudice the case in my favor, nor should you introduce the Council of Ariminum that way. I am not bound by the authority of Ariminum, and you are not bound by that of Nicea. By the authority of Scriptures that are not the property of anyone, but the common wittness for both of us, let position do battle with position, case by case, reason with reason. ( WSA, Arianism And Other Heresies, Answer To Maximinus the Arian, Book II:XIV.3, Part 1, Vol. 18, John E. Rotelle, O.S.A, ed. ( Hayde Park: New City Press, 1995 ) , p, 282. Taken from Holy Scripture The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith Vol.III. pg. 147 by King & Webster.

Ryan said...

Reply to JM, Part I

Since you will not be able to reply to longer posts, and since most of your post is repetition of refuted arguments, I will shorten mine correspondingly. However, that you will not respond to links will not dissuade me from continuing to do so. There is only so much one can write in a concise yet profitable manner. I would therefore recommend that you read the contexts in which I provided those links and then the links themselves, because several of your criticisms – especially of my epistemological beliefs – are anticipated, as I suspected they would be, in those links.

Predicating knowledge of the supernatural upon natural knowledge at best leaves you with a probabilistic argument. This is insufficient, because such presupposes an objective standard of truth, a standard for which you are unable to account. The dichotomy you make between faith and reason only facilitates this dilemma. Faith is never divorced from reason in Scripture, and it is in fact through faith that we understand (Hebrews 11:3; cf. this post for a more thorough examination of the relation between faith and reason as well as a substantiation of my philosophy of language). Even so, you have only provided in broad strokes the reasons you believe that it is probably Scripture is divine revelation.

Moreover, you write that “moral certitude [of historical events]… does not include error, even though it is not an absolute certitude.” You say such certitude is compatible with “doubt.” Yet certitude is “The state of being certain; complete assurance; confidence.” It seems to me that you are obviously out of your depth and you know it. You are hoping to get away with such an obvious faux pas, I am here to disillusion you. The idea that you can “trust” the accounts of the New Testament is a subjective conclusion, if you are subjecting the examination of it to historical criticism applied to other texts from antiquity rather than, in line with what the New Testament teaches about its own nature, believing it for no other reason than it is God word. If you disagree, you are free to provide the critical measures you have taken by which you have concluded the New Testament.

If the Bible is contradictory to truth, it cannot be God’s word, because the Bible claims that God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18). If Scripture Is not perspicuous, then you cannot, since you insist upon applying the historical-critical method in the determination of the trustworthiness of Scripture, examine whether or not all claims in Scripture are true. If it is the case that you cannot know whether or not even one proposition in Scripture is true, to posit Scripture is God’s word a posteriori is question-begging. And even if you could discern that all the events which are able to be compared to so-called natural knowledge do indeed coincide with said knowledge (which, as empiricism is unsound, is not possible), there are innumerable propositions in Scripture which go further than what can be discerned from natural revelation. How do you propose to confirm those? Let us suppose you had certitude that the historical events of the Bible are true. Well, how do you purport to know that the meaning of those events correspond to what Christ and the apostles allege?

Binding and loosing is the capacity to preach the gospel. One’s conscience is bound when he rejects the gospel, and it is loosed when accepted. That which the apostles taught ought be followed does not exceed what is written in Scripture, and so we in what way a presbyter’s authority is subordinate to God’s word. This is seen in 1 Timothy 3:15, as I have already shown.

Ryan said...

Part II

The canon of Scripture is accountable from within sola scriptura (I told you I doubted you can come up with a criticism of my epistemological position which I have not heard; cf. this link as well as the above), the assumption of Mary was not taught by anyone within the first three centuries, the church – not Mary – is the new Eve as Christ is the new Adam (are you suggesting Jesus is wed to his mother???), you still haven’t explained what inspiration or tradition is whereas I have (from Scripture, no less), and the rest of your list is similarly barely asserted and cannot be substantiated, even if empiricism was epistemologically sound. You write: “Inspiration of a text is not a first principle of reason.” Sure it is. Even if you will not read them, I will provide you with several more links which demonstrate such: on the necessity of an eternally omniscient, infinitely knowledgeable, revealed being; Scripturalism: explained and defended; Empiricism refuted. So far as you counter that “The principle of contradiction is a first principle of reason and it can be defended,” I would be interested to see if your defense is not anticipated by the content in links I have provided. You later write: “Internal consistency has not been established in the case of self attestation of the inspiration of a text. This simply means a text is inspired because it says so and it says so because it is inspired. This collapses into the circularity fallacy which is illogical.” Hence, I would especially like to see if you can non-circularly defend logical principles. On the other hand, here is just one quotation from the first link I provided in this reply which is directly relevant to your critique of my epistemology:

//In order for Scripture to function as the basis of knowledge, however, it must contain satisfactory answers to relevant epistemological questions. If, for example, Scripture does not even allude to divine inspiration, infallibility, perspicuity, or canonicity, then anyone who speculates that Scripture is divinely inspired et. al. does so arbitrarily and evinces that Scripturalism is a self-defeating epistemological position. Of course, anyone with a passing acquaintance with Christianity knows the self-attesting nature of Scripture (John 10:1-35, 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 5:11-6:1; 2 Peter 1:3, 20-21; 1 John 4:4-6); however, for Scripture to be the ground of knowledge also presupposes that it provides an account of the means by which one knows that which God has revealed. Deducing [from Scripture] the historical process by which one comes to accept the axiom of revelation is as important as recognizing that such a deduction cannot circularly function as a premise by which the axiom of revelation becomes, oxymoronically, a conclusion. Rather, a Scriptural explanation of the means of knowledge serves to confirm the logical consistency of [other] Scriptural claims and anticipates reductio ad absurdum argumentation. It is with this in mind that Clark discusses the relation between Scripture and language.//

Ryan said...

Part III

Your appeals to subsequent councils as binding are logically unsubstantiated. What you think I should do because I regard said councils as authoritative only insofar as they accurately teach God's word is of no consequence to me, especially since you have exhibited no ability to exegete Scripture to sustain your claims of infallibility. This is an argument from silence: "You have not found any NT text that teaches the fallibility of the church or the apostles." The burden of proof is on you, not me, to explain your apparently qualified understanding of the church (since it does not match the NT usage, viz. the body of Christ) and infallibility (since one can apparently sin and be infallible). You later write: “Paul was infallible whenever he spoke as a prophet and he spoke as a prophet when he preached to the church.” Yet if this were true, how could it be possible that the church in Galatia could hear him preach a false gospel (Galatians 1:8)? You’ve said “The church is formally, according to its teaching powers from Christ, the instrument of Gods truth on earth,” but you haven’t substantiated it. You haven’t even explained what it means, so how you can be critical that my argument that sin implies acting out an immoral thought is not apropos is rather disingenuous. [While on that subject, you wrote: “Sin is not an immoral dogmatism. Sin is an act of the will in disconformity with the rule of morals” – why do you suppose the two to be mutually exclusive? Demonstrate the point at which my argument does not follow.] Back to infallibility: when you make reference to Christ and the prophets and apostles as the foundation of the church (not the church itself), instead of replying to what I wrote, you impute to me things I didn’t say or imply. Example: “Infallibility does not necessitate Gods word must be written.” Another: “Furthermore, if scripture is tradition, then tradition is infallible, because scripture is infallible. You deny former, which makes your position anti scriptural. No worries, this happens a lot doesn’t it!” I didn’t say or imply either of these. Indeed, apostolic tradition is infallible. Indeed, infallibility does not necessitate inscripturation. You are speaking of counter-factuals, however, which is not relevant to our discussion. I am speaking of what is, not what could have been.

You have, however, said some things I agree with. Example: “God acts inside men to reveal himself according to a divine illumination of the intellect. This is common knowledge according to the expression “the word of the lord came to me”.” This is quite true, and it answers how the teaching authorities of the church can be fallible while the church will ever prevail against the gates of Hell (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:13). But I do not, however, understand how this answer functions as a reply to my question. In fact, it seems you have misquoted our conversation at this junction, which is probably due to the fact you wrote a 14 page reply. Recall that the original question was how you knew "Gods revelation to Abraham is direct and received via the internal senses and the intellect whereby he hears the voice of God." You said you learned it from theologians. When I asked from whence those theologians obtained said information, you gave the reply quoted at the beginning of this paragraph. But that reply is merely the original assertion rephrased and does not in any way explain what the difference is between Abraham’s perception of God’s word and ours via Scripture.

Ryan said...

Part IV

We are reborn by the word of truth. Faith comes by hearing the word of God. How can you think that one can possess the Spirit without the word? The mode by which Scripture is preached is irrelevant (2 Thessalonians 2:15). I already said this. Whether oral or written, however, the fact is the Scripture contains the sum of apostolic tradition, which is how we know what the apostles taught was true. Protestants don’t rely on hearsay. Parenthetically, I didn’t say that everything Paul talked about with the Thessalonians was recorded: the apostolic tradition, however, was. Either way, without God’s word, the Holy Spirit has no lively hope unto which we may be regenerated. Moreover, if Scripture is “extrinsic” to the believer, how do you suppose we are to hide it in our heart (i.e. mind)? Finally, what do you believe “Scripture” is? Your comments on 2 Peter 1 suggest you think it is something other than the written word of God?

You still don’t seem to grasp the implications of the fact that you admit Abraham knew God was speaking to Him. If you cannot demonstrate a disanalogy between God revealed word to Abraham and God’s revealed word to us, you can have no objection to that idea that we are able to recognize, intrinsically, the extent of Scripture. Your only argument consists in claiming that God spoke “directly and not through a text.” But first, you haven’t explained what “directly” means, as pointed out two paragraphs prior to this one, and second, you haven’t proceeded to show (not merely assert, as you have done) why speaking through a text cannot yields any appreciable “ontological change,” another phrase I have asked you to explain (without luck). I furthermore explained that the Spirit may use the text of Scripture as a witness, for the Spirit cannot work in us without a witness; hence, the text may, on the occasion of the work of the Spirit, produce an ontological change. You mentioned that the Spirit can work without God’s word, which is false. You mentioned the Spirit can work on the occasion of senses other than sight. So what? The word of God remains the same whether read or heard. You say: “For a text to be recognized as being written by God requires an authority outside the text from God.” But this leads to an ad infinitum justificatory process, which is not possible. There isn’t any good reason God can’t, through the text of Scripture, reveal Himself directly to men. And as by the very words of Scripture it is by faith that we understand, taking Scripture as the grounding principle of my epistemology is not problematic.

On the other hand, your continual refusal to engage my criticism of empiricism and the historical method of recognition of God’s word is what makes your allegations of subjectivity so ironic. You still have not even explained the nature of the church – let alone how you recognized it! – yet you expect me to believe that it is by the authority of the church alone that we can know God’s word. But this seems to undercut your previous assertions that we have “moral certitude” of Scripture by “historical evidence.” Well, which is it? Church or history? Or both? And how can you claim to derive a ought statement (e.g. one ought regard the RCC as authoritative) follow from an is statement (e.g. some men from antiquity claimed they were authoritative)?

Ryan said...

Part V

Your critique of my philosophy of language smuggles in assumptions from your epistemic position which I reject. An appeal to the majority, furthermore, is fallacious. God’s word, not man’s, is the norm of truth. Furthermore, you do not seem to account for the fact reprobates suppress the truth about God and hide from the light of the epistemological Logos, who enlightens all men: how, if they have no conception of either? God is manifest even in His creation. How much more so in His special revelation? You say you ignore several of my questions because they do not account for the consequences of your criticism. But since the validity of your criticism is precisely what is in question, you do not seem to grasp that my questions are logically prior to any consideration of the alleged consequences of your criticism.

You wrote: “Specualted arguments based upon what I have not said will not be answered” – either you believe that God could have determined the inscripturated words of the apostles without first requiring alleged “free will” consent or you don’t. If you do, then your statement that “God determined [the apostles’] words” is a contradiction is undercut as well as your argument that the apostles must have been infallible for their word to have been infallible. If you do, then your statement “this is not found in anything I have said” in reply to my contention you believe that “[God] cannot accomplish His will unless man condescends to agree” is disingenuous. God determines all things. One final quote from the first link which you probably will not read:

//…free will as such implies a capacity to choose apart from extrinsic antecedent causation – including God’s will – in which case God’s knowledge is extrinsically contingent; given that God created and sustains all other things (Colossians 1:16-17), it is contradictory to simultaneously affirm free will and God’s eternal omniscience (Isaiah 40:14), for that upon which God’s knowledge would be contingent would be temporal. Secondly, one who believes man’s will is free must explicate the means by which one comes to desire anything if not by [divinely] extrinsic causation. The biblical account of the depravity of fallen man provides a practical case in which free will is an impossibility, for fallen man is, by nature, incapable of choosing to please God (Ephesians 2:1-5, Romans 8:7-9). Man cannot autonomously choose to desire to obey God; such desire is given at God’s discretion by regeneration (John 1:12-13, 6:44). In any case, free will would itself be insufficient to unravel why God decided to create reprobate men, men He [somehow] knew would sin and refuse to believe unto salvation.

God is the ultimate cause of all things because Scripture affirms God causes all things according to His good pleasure [for His glory] (Job 23:13-14; Psalm 115:3, 135:6; Isaiah 46:10-11; Lamentations 3:38; Daniel 4:35; Ephesians 1:11). He is active in effecting that which He desires, and everything that occurs is so according to His desire. While God can use instrumentalities or “second causes” to achieve His purposes as well as direct efficiency – God is never the immediate cause of sin, so one should not find James 1:13 to be mutually exclusive with determinism – the ultimate or first cause of all things stems from God’s direct, efficient, and determinative purpose. The extent of God’s proactive determination is borne out in specific cases as well as general testimony (Deuteronomy 2:30; 1 Kings 22:19-23; Psalm 105:25; Isaiah 10:5-15, 19:17; John 12:37-40; Acts 2:23, 4:27-28). He blinds, hardens, determines, directs, and turns the wills of His creatures, not passively responds to them; He knows counter-factuals because He knows what He would have caused had He decreed events differently.//

Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john said...

Since you will not be able to reply to longer posts, and since most of your post is repetition of refuted arguments, I will shorten mine correspondingly. However, that you will not respond to links will not dissuade me from continuing to do so. There is only so much one can write in a concise yet profitable manner. I would therefore recommend that you read the contexts in which I provided those links and then the links themselves, because several of your criticisms – especially of my epistemological beliefs – are anticipated, as I suspected they would be, in those links.

Predicating knowledge of the supernatural upon natural knowledge at best leaves you with a probabilistic argument. This is insufficient, because such presupposes an objective standard of truth, a standard for which you are unable to account.

JM – You merely assert I cannot account for an objective standard. Further, the supernatural knowledge is based upon the natural, for the supernatural is not against, but work with and acts beyond the natural. The natural is a pointer towards the supernatural.

The dichotomy you make between faith and reason only facilitates this dilemma. Faith is never divorced from reason in Scripture, and it is in fact through faith that we understand (Hebrews 11:3; cf. this post for a more thorough examination of the relation between faith and reason as well as a substantiation of my philosophy of language). Even so, you have only provided in broad strokes the reasons you believe that it is probably Scripture is divine revelation.

JM- You merely assert I have made a dichotomy between faith and reason where there is none.

Moreover, you write that “moral certitude [of historical events]… does not include error, even though it is not an absolute certitude.” You say such certitude is compatible with “doubt.” Yet certitude is “The state of being certain; complete assurance; confidence.” It seems to me that you are obviously out of your depth and you know it. You are hoping to get away with such an obvious faux pas, I am here to disillusion you. The idea that you can “trust” the accounts of the New Testament is a subjective conclusion, if you are subjecting the examination of it to historical criticism applied to other texts from antiquity rather than, in line with what the New Testament teaches about its own nature, believing it for no other reason than it is God word. If you disagree, you are free to provide the critical measures you have taken by which you have concluded the New Testament.

JM- I have a moral certitude that my parents really are my parents. There is no real error in this, yet the certitude is not absolute, because I cannot bring my birth to my attention directly here and now. Similarly, the existence of Jesus is also a moral certitude and not absolute. That’s the way history works and there is nothing we can do about it. Clearly you have misunderstood the value of historical data and you are out of your depth.

john said...

Since you will not be able to reply to longer posts, and since most of your post is repetition of refuted arguments, I will shorten mine correspondingly. However, that you will not respond to links will not dissuade me from continuing to do so. There is only so much one can write in a concise yet profitable manner. I would therefore recommend that you read the contexts in which I provided those links and then the links themselves, because several of your criticisms – especially of my epistemological beliefs – are anticipated, as I suspected they would be, in those links.

Predicating knowledge of the supernatural upon natural knowledge at best leaves you with a probabilistic argument. This is insufficient, because such presupposes an objective standard of truth, a standard for which you are unable to account.

JM – You merely assert I cannot account for an objective standard. Further, the supernatural knowledge is based upon the natural, for the supernatural is not against, but work with and acts beyond the natural. The natural is a pointer towards the supernatural.

The dichotomy you make between faith and reason only facilitates this dilemma. Faith is never divorced from reason in Scripture, and it is in fact through faith that we understand (Hebrews 11:3; cf. this post for a more thorough examination of the relation between faith and reason as well as a substantiation of my philosophy of language). Even so, you have only provided in broad strokes the reasons you believe that it is probably Scripture is divine revelation.

JM- You merely assert I have made a dichotomy between faith and reason where there is none.

john said...

Moreover, you write that “moral certitude [of historical events]… does not include error, even though it is not an absolute certitude.” You say such certitude is compatible with “doubt.” Yet certitude is “The state of being certain; complete assurance; confidence.” It seems to me that you are obviously out of your depth and you know it. You are hoping to get away with such an obvious faux pas, I am here to disillusion you. The idea that you can “trust” the accounts of the New Testament is a subjective conclusion, if you are subjecting the examination of it to historical criticism applied to other texts from antiquity rather than, in line with what the New Testament teaches about its own nature, believing it for no other reason than it is God word. If you disagree, you are free to provide the critical measures you have taken by which you have concluded the New Testament.

JM- I have a moral certitude that my parents really are my parents. There is no real error in this, yet the certitude is not absolute, because I cannot bring my birth to my attention directly here and now. Similarly, the existence of Jesus is also a moral certitude and not absolute. That’s the way history works and there is nothing we can do about it. Clearly you have misunderstood the value of historical data and you are out of your depth.

If the Bible is contradictory to truth, it cannot be God’s word, because the Bible claims that God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18). If Scripture Is not perspicuous, then you cannot, since you insist upon applying the historical-critical method in the determination of the trustworthiness of Scripture, examine whether or not all claims in Scripture are true. If it is the case that you cannot know whether or not even one proposition in Scripture is true, to posit Scripture is God’s word a posteriori is question-begging. And even if you could discern that all the events which are able to be compared to so-called natural knowledge do indeed coincide with said knowledge (which, as empiricism is unsound, is not possible), there are innumerable propositions in Scripture which go further than what can be discerned from natural revelation. How do you propose to confirm those? Let us suppose you had certitude that the historical events of the Bible are true. Well, how do you purport to know that the meaning of those events correspond to what Christ and the apostles allege?

JM – your claims concerning the historical critical method are not found in anything I’ve stated in my comments. I have only stated Jesus is a historical figure found in the NT and extra texts of the time, therefore we know he existed and did actions. The meaning of the text is understood through the teaching of the church, unlike your individualistic method. Mine is biblical and your is not.

Binding and loosing is the capacity to preach the gospel. One’s conscience is bound when he rejects the gospel, and it is loosed when accepted. That which the apostles taught ought be followed does not exceed what is written in Scripture, and so we in what way a presbyter’s authority is subordinate to God’s word. This is seen in 1 Timothy 3:15, as I have already shown.

JM – actually binding and loosing is the ability to apply laws and sanctions and forgive sins. This is the correct interpretation based upon the OT and the church.

john said...

The canon of Scripture is accountable from within sola scriptura (I told you I doubted you can come up with a criticism of my epistemological position which I have not heard; cf. this link as well as the above),

JM- I’ve answered your position in a previous post, which you have not answered. O assume the text is inspired is not a first principle of reason or faith. The first principle of reason is the principle of non contradiction and the first principle of faith is prime truth. Inspiration of a text is not even a principle, it’s only a vacuous assumption.


R- the assumption of Mary was not taught by anyone within the first three centuries,

JM- Well you weren’t around in the first three centuries so you don’t know every conversation that happened and so you cannot say the assumption was not taught in the first three centuries.


R- the church – not Mary – is the new Eve as Christ is the new Adam (are you suggesting Jesus is wed to his mother???),

JM – Mary as the new Eve is found in the early church fathers. You ignore it because its not a Protestant idea. So now we see the double standard of if we don’t know its not in the early church fathers writings, then we don’t believe it concerning the assumption of Mary. Yet when it is in the early church fathers, such as Mary as the new Eve, then you ignore it. What sort of screwy methodology is that? The pick and choose methodology that goes nowhere.


R- you still haven’t explained what inspiration or tradition is whereas I have (from Scripture, no less),

JM- Your understanding of inspiration is flawed. Its only a metaphor in the text and therefore you have to align your belief with the text as a metaphor. Your equating tradition with the text is also flawed, because it is not found in the text. Where the text equates some oral traditions to a later text, does not conclude to all oral traditions being recorded. Your arguments and text citation were flawed.

john said...

R- and the rest of your list is similarly barely asserted and cannot be substantiated, even if empiricism was epistemologically sound.

JM- You asked me to provide a list of traditions and that what I did. I was never asked to substantiate anything. However if I was, all I have to do is ask you to show me the contents of the prayer stated in James 5, when the elders pray over the sick and have sins forgiven.


R- You write: “Inspiration of a text is not a first principle of reason.” Sure it is.


JM- No its not. The principle of non contradiction is the first principle of reason.

R- Even if you will not read them, I will provide you with several more links which demonstrate such: on the necessity of an eternally omniscient, infinitely knowledgeable, revealed being; Scripturalism: explained and defended; Empiricism refuted. So far as you counter that “The principle of contradiction is a first principle of reason and it can be defended,” I would be interested to see if your defense is not anticipated by the content in links I have provided.

JM- you are way off the mark with your comments. Anything known about God assumes the principle of non contradiction to be the first principle of reason.

R- You later write: “Internal consistency has not been established in the case of self attestation of the inspiration of a text. This simply means a text is inspired because it says so and it says so because it is inspired. This collapses into the circularity fallacy which is illogical.” Hence, I would especially like to see if you can non-circularly defend logical principles. On the other hand, here is just one quotation from the first link I provided in this reply which is directly relevant to your critique of my epistemology:

JM – If we hypothetically doubt the principle of non Contradiction which is stated as the principle of identity as something is the same as itself. Or A is A. If this is denied then A is not A, which is absurd. Therefore the principle of identity is a fundamental principle of reason. Is it the first principle? Yes because all other principles use terms and each term is identical with itself. Therefore every principle assumes the principle of identity to be fundamental, therefore the principle of identity is the fundamental principle of reason.

R- //In order for Scripture to function as the basis of knowledge, however, it must contain satisfactory answers to relevant epistemological questions. If, for example, Scripture does not even allude to divine inspiration, infallibility, perspicuity, or canonicity, then anyone who speculates that Scripture is divinely inspired et. al. does so arbitrarily and evinces that Scripturalism is a self-defeating epistemological position. Of course, anyone with a passing acquaintance with Christianity knows the self-attesting nature of Scripture (John 10:1-35, 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 5:11-6:1; 2 Peter 1:3, 20-21; 1 John 4:4-6);

Jm – None of theses texts provide support for the self attestation of the scriptures, because such evidence would be circular.

john said...

R- however, for Scripture to be the ground of knowledge also presupposes that it provides an account of the means by which one knows that which God has revealed. Deducing [from Scripture] the historical process by which one comes to accept the axiom of revelation is as important as recognizing that such a deduction cannot circularly function as a premise by which the axiom of revelation becomes, oxymoronically, a conclusion.

JM- if you are stating in your usual convoluted manner, historical evidence cannot be used to establish the canon, then no, your conclusion is false. Historical evidence is used, because the texts themselves record historical events. The inspiration of a text is a supernatural character, which presupposes natural historical truths. If these truths are missing, then the text cannot be considered to be inspired.

R- Rather, a Scriptural explanation of the means of knowledge serves to confirm the logical consistency of [other] Scriptural claims and anticipates reductio ad absurdum argumentation. It is with this in mind that Clark discusses the relation between Scripture and language.//

JM- Which means this – scriptural explanations from the text are used to establish the text. But this means we don’t know the text is scripture, but require the text to tell us so. The text is therefore scripture because it says so and it says so because it is scripture. Circularity anyone? Yep this is the same problem highlighted before.

R- Your appeals to subsequent councils as binding are logically unsubstantiated.

JM- Not substantiated with any argument.

R- What you think I should do because I regard said councils as authoritative only insofar as they accurately teach God's word is of no consequence to me, especially since you have exhibited no ability to exegete Scripture to sustain your claims of infallibility.

JM- This is a non sequitur. I don’t need to demonstrate my exegetical skills to believe the councils were infallible. It simply doesn’t follow.

john said...

R- This is an argument from silence: "You have not found any NT text that teaches the fallibility of the church or the apostles." The burden of proof is on you, not me, to explain your apparently qualified understanding of the church (since it does not match the NT usage, viz. the body of Christ) and infallibility (since one can apparently sin and be infallible).

JM – Your claim is the apostles were fallible, yet the texts never says they were fallible, so the burden is on you to provide the evidence they were fallible. As the apostles were prophets and they bound men to oral preaching, then such preaching must have been infallible. Otherwise we have the absurdity of prophets speaking errors concerning the faith, when they are moved by Go to do so. This of course is your absurd position, which is not defend by reason or anything from the scriptures.



R- You later write: “Paul was infallible whenever he spoke as a prophet and he spoke as a prophet when he preached to the church.” Yet if this were true, how could it be possible that the church in Galatia could hear him preach a false gospel (Galatians 1:8)?

JM – Paul didn’t preach a false Gospel in Galatians. Galatians 1:8 is only a hypothetical statement using a literary device to emphasize his authority to preach the gospel as opposed to the false prophets. After all can an angel from heaven preach a false gospel? No. Because the angel from heaven is confirmed in grace.

R- You’ve said “The church is formally, according to its teaching powers from Christ, the instrument of Gods truth on earth,” but you haven’t substantiated it.

JM- a demonstration from scripture concerning the teaching authority of the church would require many scriptural texts and references from tradition. I refer the reader to John Salza’s website for details on this topic found here http://www.scripturecatholic.com/the_church.html and here http://www.scripturecatholic.com/apostolic_succession.html.


R- You haven’t even explained what it means,

JM- The church is one, holy, Catohlic and apostolic. These are the marks of the church with its hierarchy as demonstrated here - http://www.scripturecatholic.com/the_church.html When the magesterium teaches the church it cannot make an error on faith and morals.

john said...

R- so how you can be critical that my argument that sin implies acting out an immoral thought is not apropos is rather disingenuous. [While on that subject, you wrote: “Sin is not an immoral dogmatism.

JM – No. Sin is a disconformity of a moral act with the rule of morals. Check out St Thomas summa for details.

R-Sin is an act of the will in disconformity with the rule of morals” – why do you suppose the two to be mutually exclusive? Demonstrate the point at which my argument does not follow.] Back to infallibility: when you make reference to Christ and the prophets and apostles as the foundation of the church (not the church itself),

JM – Here is another false distinction between foundation of the church and not the church itself.

R- instead of replying to what I wrote, you impute to me things I didn’t say or imply. Example: “Infallibility does not necessitate Gods word must be written.” Another: “Furthermore, if scripture is tradition, then tradition is infallible, because scripture is infallible.

JM – My statements are not quotes from your statements. My statements are logical consequences of your position, which shows your position is false concerning the extend of infallibility of the apostles. You claims concerning me twisting your statements are false.

R- You deny former, which makes your position anti scriptural.

JM – I deny the word of God is only found in the scriptures and I deny the scripture restrict infallibility to the scriptures alone. 1 Peter 1:25-but the word of the Lord stands forever." And this is the word that was preached to you. This means the word of the lord is found in preaching an therefore it must have been infallible. Scriptures says preaching was infallible, because this follows from preaching being the word of God, yet you say preaching was fallible. You are not being scriptural.


R- No worries, this happens a lot doesn’t it!” I didn’t say or imply either of these. Indeed, apostolic tradition is infallible. Indeed, infallibility does not necessitate inscripturation. You are speaking of counter-factuals, however, which is not relevant to our discussion. I am speaking of what is, not what could have been.

JM- actually you are being counter factual. See 1 Peter 1:15.

john said...

R- You have, however, said some things I agree with. Example: “God acts inside men to reveal himself according to a divine illumination of the intellect. This is common knowledge according to the expression “the word of the lord came to me”.” This is quite true, and it answers how the teaching authorities of the church can be fallible while the church will ever prevail against the gates of Hell (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:13).

JM- another non sequitur. Illumination of the intellect by the HS does not conclude to fallibility of the church.

R- But I do not, however, understand how this answer functions as a reply to my question. In fact, it seems you have misquoted our conversation at this junction, which is probably due to the fact you wrote a 14 page reply. Recall that the original question was how you knew "Gods revelation to Abraham is direct and received via the internal senses and the intellect whereby he hears the voice of God." You said you learned it from theologians. When I asked from whence those theologians obtained said information, you gave the reply quoted at the beginning of this paragraph. But that reply is merely the original assertion rephrased and does not in any way explain what the difference is between Abraham’s perception of God’s word and ours via Scripture.

JM – Abraham received the word in a vision – “the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision” As visions are direct revelations, they have an ontological impact on the internal senses. This is why he knew it was the Lord speaking to him.


R- We are reborn by the word of truth. Faith comes by hearing the word of God. How can you think that one can possess the Spirit without the word?

JM- You can have the word without the spirit and the spirit without the word. Not a problem.

R- The mode by which Scripture is preached is irrelevant (2 Thessalonians 2:15). I already said this. Whether oral or written, however, the fact is the Scripture contains the sum of apostolic tradition,

JM – this is only a Protestant assertion necessary to maintain SS. It is not founding the text, nor church history. Therefore it is bogus.

R- which is how we know what the apostles taught was true. Protestants don’t rely on hearsay. Parenthetically, I didn’t say that everything Paul talked about with the Thessalonians was recorded: the apostolic tradition, however, was. Either way, without God’s word, the Holy Spirit has no lively hope unto which we may be regenerated. Moreover, if Scripture is “extrinsic” to the believer, how do you suppose we are to hide it in our heart (i.e. mind)? Finally, what do you believe “Scripture” is? Your comments on 2 Peter 1 suggest you think it is something other than the written word of God?

JM- scripture is the Catholic canon and nothing else.

R- You still don’t seem to grasp the implications of the fact that you admit Abraham knew God was speaking to Him. If you cannot demonstrate a disanalogy between God revealed word to Abraham and God’s revealed word to us, you can have no objection to that idea that we are able to recognize, intrinsically, the extent of Scripture.

JM- repeating an argument already answered at length.


R- Your only argument consists in claiming that God spoke “directly and not through a text.”

JM – which is self evident. So why try to ignore the self evident? Because you don’t have an argument to establish the canon or the real meaning of inspiration.

john said...

R- But first, you haven’t explained what “directly” means, as pointed out two paragraphs prior to this one,

JM - Directly is an immediate action of the spirit on mans faculties of knowledge.

R- and second, you haven’t proceeded to show (not merely assert, as you have done) why speaking through a text cannot yields any appreciable “ontological change,”

JM – simple. The text is not the spirit and therefore the text does not ontologically act on the man as text. However the spirit does ontologically act inside man. Even if we say the text is known and therefore acts on man, this is only a natural action and not the supernatural as occurs with the spirit. The two ways are very different.

R- another phrase I have asked you to explain (without luck). I furthermore explained that the Spirit may use the text of Scripture as a witness, for the Spirit cannot work in us without a witness;

JM –The spirit can do all things, therefore it can act without a witness such as a text. St Paul preached without a NT text, so he did not need a text as a witness to his new revelations.

R- hence, the text may, on the occasion of the work of the Spirit, produce an ontological change.


JM – another non sequitur.

R- You mentioned that the Spirit can work without God’s word, which is false.

JM- Not established.

R- You mentioned the Spirit can work on the occasion of senses other than sight. So what? The word of God remains the same whether read or heard. You say: “For a text to be recognized as being written by God requires an authority outside the text from God.” But this leads to an ad infinitum justificatory process, which is not possible.

JM – the establishment of a church by Christ does not require the text to be inspired. All we need is the historical evidence, just as we have the historical evidence for the establishment of the English parliament. No inspiration is required and no infinitum is required either.

R- There isn’t any good reason God can’t, through the text of Scripture, reveal Himself directly to men. And as by the very words of Scripture it is by faith that we understand, taking Scripture as the grounding principle of my epistemology is not problematic.

JM – a text is a mediator of a message and therefore it is not a direct revelation from God. Only an action of the spirit is a direct revelation from God as was received by the prophets.

john said...

R- On the other hand, your continual refusal to engage my criticism of empiricism and the historical method of recognition of God’s word is what makes your allegations of subjectivity so ironic.


JM – It only shows your statments are not relevant to my arguments.

R- You still have not even explained the nature of the church – let alone how you recognized it!

JM – See Salzas website for details.

R- – yet you expect me to believe that it is by the authority of the church alone that we can know God’s word. But this seems to undercut your previous assertions that we have “moral certitude” of Scripture by “historical evidence.”

JM – and again I’ve never stated this. We only have moral certitude of the existence of Jesus. Following this we know what he did, including instituting a church.

R- Your critique of my philosophy of language smuggles in assumptions from your epistemic position which I reject. An appeal to the majority, furthermore, is fallacious.

JM – Not established from anything I’ve stated.

R- God’s word, not man’s, is the norm of truth.

JM- reality is the measure of the intellect. Gods truth is know through nature and super-nature. You merely assume you can locate Gods truth in a text. Again, this is only an assumption.

R- Furthermore, you do not seem to account for the fact reprobates suppress the truth about God and hide from the light of the epistemological Logos, who enlightens all men: how, if they have no conception of either? God is manifest even in His creation. How much more so in His special revelation? You say you ignore several of my questions because they do not account for the consequences of your criticism. But since the validity of your criticism is precisely what is in question, you do not seem to grasp that my questions are logically prior to any consideration of the alleged consequences of your criticism.

john said...

Jm – Moe convoluted reasoning that goes nowhere. Any objections of substance were answered long ago and inconsequential questions have and will remain ignored.

R- You wrote: “Specualted arguments based upon what I have not said will not be answered” – either you believe that God could have determined the inscripturated words of the apostles without first requiring alleged “free will” consent or you don’t. If you do, then your statement that “God determined [the apostles’] words” is a contradiction is undercut as well as your argument that the apostles must have been infallible for their word to have been infallible. If you do, then your statement “this is not found in anything I have said” in reply to my contention you believe that “[God] cannot accomplish His will unless man condescends to agree” is disingenuous. God determines all things. One final quote from the first link which you probably will not read:

JM- and of course if anyone can unravel this mess, they are welcome to it. That fact is God can act through free will because he is omnipotent. He can also act to have men speak infallibly and write infallibly because he is omnipotent.

R- //…free will as such implies a capacity to choose apart from extrinsic antecedent causation – including God’s will – in which case God’s knowledge is extrinsically contingent;

JM – of course “extrinsic antecedent causation” is a jumble of notions not explained.

R- given that God created and sustains all other things (Colossians 1:16-17), it is contradictory to simultaneously affirm free will and God’s eternal omniscience (Isaiah 40:14),


JM – which is only Calvinism in disguise.

R- for that upon which God’s knowledge would be contingent would be temporal. Secondly, one who believes man’s will is free must explicate the means by which one comes to desire anything if not by [divinely] extrinsic causation.

JM- Or we can take the biblical position and affirm two truths and leave it as a mystery. We simply don’t deny free will because there is a problem.

john said...

R- The biblical account of the depravity of fallen man provides a practical case in which free will is an impossibility, for fallen man is, by nature, incapable of choosing to please God (Ephesians 2:1-5, Romans 8:7-9).

JM – free will means man is free about means with a fixed end. The end is fixed on himself when he is not regenerate but fixed on God when he is regenerated. Mans will is not free to choose the true ultimate end which is God, when he is in the state of mortal sin. However, man is free to commit sin, when he is in the state of grace and then love a false ultimate end. Man is also able to be moved by God to freely love him above all things through a mysterious action of Gods grace acting within the will to strengthen it.

R- Man cannot autonomously choose to desire to obey God; such desire is given at God’s discretion by regeneration (John 1:12-13, 6:44). In any case, free will would itself be insufficient to unravel why God decided to create reprobate men, men He [somehow] knew would sin and refuse to believe unto salvation.

JM – The creation of reprobate men is a mystery which Calvinism twists to be an absolute predestination not found in scripture or the fathers. You will never find scripture teaching an absolute predestination to hell.

R- God is the ultimate cause of all things because Scripture affirms God causes all things according to His good pleasure [for His glory] (Job 23:13-14; Psalm 115:3, 135:6; Isaiah 46:10-11; Lamentations 3:38; Daniel 4:35; Ephesians 1:11). He is active in effecting that which He desires, and everything that occurs is so according to His desire. While God can use instrumentalities or “second causes” to achieve His purposes as well as direct efficiency – God is never the immediate cause of sin, so one should not find James 1:13 to be mutually exclusive with determinism – the ultimate or first cause of all things stems from God’s direct, efficient, and determinative purpose. The extent of God’s proactive determination is borne out in specific cases as well as general testimony (Deuteronomy 2:30; 1 Kings 22:19-23; Psalm 105:25; Isaiah 10:5-15, 19:17; John 12:37-40; Acts 2:23, 4:27-28). He blinds, hardens, determines, directs, and turns the wills of His creatures, not passively responds to them; He knows counter-factuals because He knows what He would have caused had He decreed events differently.//

JM – If god is not the cause of sin and in existed, then there is more than one will in the universe acting. That will is an appetite for understood good and as goods are limited, then the will is set free. This is all way beyond the immediate discussion concerning inspiration.

JM

john said...

This is my last post on this thread for the mean time.

JM

Ryan said...

Reply to JM, Part I

”You merely assert I cannot account for an objective standard.”

Then show me how you can. Evidential arguments are probabilistic. You have proceeded from probability to the conclusion that Scripture is trustworthy, which is inferential.

“You merely assert I have made a dichotomy between faith and reason where there is none.”

Unfortunately, the posts to which I was replying seem to have been deleted or are in the spam filter, so I am unable to recall to what portion of your reply I was referring.

“I’ve answered your position in a previous post, which you have not answered. O assume the text is inspired is not a first principle of reason or faith.”

I did answer you. I provided you with several essays on my epistemological position which explain the means by which knowledge flows from such a proposition. That you do not care to read them does not mean I have not answered you.

”Well you weren’t around in the first three centuries so you don’t know every conversation that happened and so you cannot say the assumption was not taught in the first three centuries.”

But more damning is the fact that you had no good reason to assert it was oral, apostolic tradition apart from “my church says so,” which was the point.

”Mary as the new Eve is found in the early church fathers. You ignore it because its not a Protestant idea.”

I didn’t ignore it at all. The church is the bride of the eschatological Adam, not Mary. What part of that didn’t you understand? Perhaps some ECFs believed it. Well, what of it? Why did they believe it? Recall that I am not the one who is bound to accept the testimony of the ECFs just because there existed alleged unanimous consent on a particular doctrine. You and your church can apply that appeal to majority fallacy to yourselves if you want to. The “screwy methodology” is called reduction ad absurdum argumentation. Look it up.

”Your understanding of inspiration is flawed. Its only a metaphor in the text and therefore you have to align your belief with the text as a metaphor.”

Where does your church teach this? To what does the metaphor refer? You can’t appeal to consequences of the criticism if you haven’t evinced the validity of it.

”…if you are stating in your usual convoluted manner, historical evidence cannot be used to establish the canon, then no, your conclusion is false.”

That is not what I was saying, no. Essentially, I was saying that a first principle cannot be a conclusion, or else it ceases to be a first principle. Nevertheless, unless the first principle is self-attesting, it is question-begging to assert one knows the first principle is true.

”But this means we don’t know the text is scripture”

You are implicitly asking for a premise by which I concluded my first principle is true. Do you not see you are implicitly committing an infinite regression fallacy? It is rather obvious.

Me: Your appeals to subsequent councils as binding are logically unsubstantiated.

You: Not substantiated with any argument.

I’m glad we agree.

”Your claim is the apostles were fallible, yet the texts never says they were fallible…”

Yes it does. Sanctification is a life-long process. The apostles were sinners too. I already mentioned this.

“…such preaching must have been infallible.”

So? That doesn’t mean the apostles were infallible. This is analogous to the points I made with regard to God having determined the words the apostles inscripturated. Just as the apostles needn’t have been infallible there in order for the writ itself to be infallible, just so here.

”I refer the reader to John Salza’s website for details on this topic found here”

The usual suspects. Matthew 16 et. al., all proof-texted without any real exegetical support in the span of five paragraphs. If you were going to link me somewhere, you could have done better, I think. Your other link has two line commentaries on Scripture. How overwhelming. Pick one and we’ll see how superficial it is.

Ryan said...

Part II

“Directly is an immediate action of the spirit on mans faculties of knowledge.”

John 1:9, 3:27, and 1 Corinthians 4:7 all teach that there is no knowledge not attributable to God’s mediation. Hence, your attempt to create a disanalogy between Abraham’s revelation and ours fails.

”The text is not the spirit and therefore the text does not ontologically act on the man as text.”

As already mentioned, however, the Spirit is not witness-less. The word of God is that which it mediates to man’s mind. Where God’s word is preached, its message understood, there is the spirit.

”…the establishment of a church by Christ does not require the text to be inspired. All we need is the historical evidence”

Then your belief in the church is grounded upon a probability and is therefore subject to the criticisms at the beginning of my reply.

“…a text is a mediator of a message and therefore it is not a direct revelation from God.”

If words are a mediation of a message, no intelligible means of communication can be direct (so-called).

”You merely assume you can locate Gods truth in a text. Again, this is only an assumption.”

A first principle, to be precise. So what? Do you pretend you have no first principle?

Me: Furthermore, you do not seem to account for the fact reprobates suppress the truth about God and hide from the light of the epistemological Logos, who enlightens all men: how, if they have no conception of either? God is manifest even in His creation. How much more so in His special revelation? You say you ignore several of my questions because they do not account for the consequences of your criticism. But since the validity of your criticism is precisely what is in question, you do not seem to grasp that my questions are logically prior to any consideration of the alleged consequences of your criticism.

You: Moe convoluted reasoning that goes nowhere. Any objections of substance were answered long ago and inconsequential questions have and will remain ignored.

We’ll let the reader decide, I guess.

”That fact is God can act through free will because he is omnipotent. He can also act to have men speak infallibly and write infallibly because he is omnipotent.”

Exactly. He doesn’t need them to be infallible to do it. Now you get it.

”of course “extrinsic antecedent causation” is a jumble of notions not explained.”

It is obvious: men’s actions are either priorly determined by something else or they are not. Did you really not understand that?

”which is only Calvinism in disguise.”

It’s overt Calvinism, if you ask me. What of it? Is that the best you could do?

”Or we can take the biblical position and affirm two truths and leave it as a mystery.”

I.e. you have absconded from your principle of contradiction already. What a surprise! Running for the hills and we’ve yet to get the good stuff.

“…free will means man is free about means with a fixed end.”

Paul says the end of the unregenerates choices is necessarily fixed on sin (Romans 8:7-9).
”The creation of reprobate men is a mystery”

Another mystery! The deeper we go into Catholic soteriology, the fewer answers we find it provides. P.S. Augustine taught absolute predestination. As for what Scripture teaches, I am the only one citing Scripture. I wonder why that is… not.

“If god is not the cause of sin and in existed, then there is more than one will in the universe acting.”

Non sequitur. That God causes our wills by determining our desires does not mean we cannot act according to our desires. That is precisely what Augustine taught.

Ryan said...

Posts are in the spam filter again. Sorry.

ChaferDTS said...

"I don’t need to demonstrate my exegetical skills to believe the councils were infallible. It simply doesn’t follow. "

That is a position that can't be defended since many councils contradicted one another and taught error at times. Saint Augustine did not believe councils were infallible nor believe they had an infallible authority.

Augustine said What does " homoousious " mean , I ask, but The Father and I are one ( Jn. 10:30 ) ? I should not, however, introduce the Council of Nicea to prejudice the case in my favor, nor should you introduce the Council of Ariminum that way. I am not bound by the authority of Ariminum, and you are not bound by that of Nicea. By the authority of Scriptures that are not the property of anyone, but the common wittness for both of us, let position do battle with position, case by case, reason with reason. ( WSA, Arianism And Other Heresies, Answer To Maximinus the Arian, Book II:XIV.3, Part 1, Vol. 18, John E. Rotelle, O.S.A, ed. ( Hayde Park: New City Press, 1995 ) , p, 282. Taken from Holy Scripture The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith Vol.III. pg. 147 by King & Webster.

Turretinfan said...

Your and John's spam-filtered comments have been released.

john said...

JM- ”You merely assert I cannot account for an objective standard.”

R-Then show me how you can. Evidential arguments are probabilistic. You have proceeded from probability to the conclusion that Scripture is trustworthy, which is inferential.

JM2- No, you demonstrate your statement.


JM- “I’ve answered your position in a previous post, which you have not answered. O assume the text is inspired is not a first principle of reason or faith.”

R-I did answer you. I provided you with several essays on my epistemological position which explain the means by which knowledge flows from such a proposition. That you do not care to read them does not mean I have not answered you.

JM2- The essays were bogus and I don’t answer links.

JM-”Well you weren’t around in the first three centuries so you don’t know every conversation that happened and so you cannot say the assumption was not taught in the first three centuries.”

R-But more damning is the fact that you had no good reason to assert it was oral, apostolic tradition apart from “my church says so,” which was the point.

JM2- More damning still is you ignore my statement and add a false statement “my church says so”. The fact is you don’t have any evidence in the first three centuries that the fathers were unanimously against the assumption of Mary. Therefore the Catholic church can use its prophetic character to pronounce a dogma, based upon biblical precedent of other assumptions in the OT and its powers given to it from Christ. You however play the guessing game on first principles, the fathers and scripture itself.

JM-”Mary as the new Eve is found in the early church fathers. You ignore it because its not a Protestant idea.”

R-I didn’t ignore it at all. The church is the bride of the eschatological Adam, not Mary. What part of that didn’t you understand? Perhaps some ECFs believed it. Well, what of it? Why did they believe it? Recall that I am not the one who is bound to accept the testimony of the ECFs just because there existed alleged unanimous consent on a particular doctrine. You and your church can apply that appeal to majority fallacy to yourselves if you want to. The “screwy methodology” is called reduction ad absurdum argumentation. Look it up.

JM2- Christ is the second Adam (Rom 5) therefore Mary is the second Eve. I suppose you will ignore the fathers and the consequences of scripture as well and continue on about the irrelevant topic of the church as the bride of Christ.

JM-”Your understanding of inspiration is flawed. Its only a metaphor in the text and therefore you have to align your belief with the text as a metaphor.”

R-Where does your church teach this? To what does the metaphor refer? You can’t appeal to consequences of the criticism if you haven’t evinced the validity of it.

JM2- The metaphor is in the text. Where does the text teach God wrote the text? Nowhere in the text?

john said...

JM-”Your understanding of inspiration is flawed. Its only a metaphor in the text and therefore you have to align your belief with the text as a metaphor.”

R-Where does your church teach this? To what does the metaphor refer? You can’t appeal to consequences of the criticism if you haven’t evinced the validity of it.

JM2- The metaphor is in the text. Where does the text teach God wrote the text? Nowhere in the text?

JM-”…if you are stating in your usual convoluted manner, historical evidence cannot be used to establish the canon, then no, your conclusion is false.”

R-That is not what I was saying, no. Essentially, I was saying that a first principle cannot be a conclusion, or else it ceases to be a first principle. Nevertheless, unless the first principle is self-attesting, it is question-begging to assert one knows the first principle is true.

JM2- Inspiration of the text is not self attesting. The text as text is only a text and that is sefl attesting. How do we know? Because when we look at the page we see the text. Therefore inspiration of a text is not the first principle of a text. Furthermore, it is not the first principle of reason or faith either because of reasons already discussed.

JM-”But this means we don’t know the text is scripture”

R-You are implicitly asking for a premise by which I concluded my first principle is true. Do you not see you are implicitly committing an infinite regression fallacy? It is rather obvious.

JM2- Only showing you the simple problem in assuming inspiration is the first principle of faith. Other principles are assumed before this principle such as the principle of identity, the principle of prime truth revealed, the principle of causation, the principles of grammar and so on. Your first principle epistemology is laughable.

Me: Your appeals to subsequent councils as binding are logically unsubstantiated.

You: Not substantiated with any argument.

I’m glad we agree.

JM2- Twisting what I said. You did not substantiate your statement with an argument. That what I meant.

JM-”Your claim is the apostles were fallible, yet the texts never says they were fallible…”

R-Yes it does. Sanctification is a life-long process. The apostles were sinners too. I already mentioned this.

JM2- Check out the high priest Annas who prophesied about Christ even though he was evil. Prophecy and therefore infallibility is a charism given through authority. Even in the OT we see men prophecy when they are evil – Balaams prophecy to bless Israel for example. Clearly prophecy and sanctity and not reliant upon each other. Your position is pure invention.

john said...

JM- “…a text is a mediator of a message and therefore it is not a direct revelation from God.”

R-If words are a mediation of a message, no intelligible means of communication can be direct (so-called).

JM2- Rubbish.

JM-”You merely assume you can locate Gods truth in a text. Again, this is only an assumption.”

R-A first principle, to be precise. So what? Do you pretend you have no first principle?

JM2- Another first principle. Early the inspiration of the text was the first principle. Now the truth of the text is the first principle.

R- Me: Furthermore, you do not seem to account for the fact reprobates suppress the truth about God and hide from the light of the epistemological Logos, who enlightens all men: how, if they have no conception of either? God is manifest even in His creation. How much more so in His special revelation? You say you ignore several of my questions because they do not account for the consequences of your criticism. But since the validity of your criticism is precisely what is in question, you do not seem to grasp that my questions are logically prior to any consideration of the alleged consequences of your criticism.

You: Moe convoluted reasoning that goes nowhere. Any objections of substance were answered long ago and inconsequential questions have and will remain ignored.

We’ll let the reader decide, I guess.

JM2- You cannot assume a reprobate exists in your illogical epistemology. Therefore the rest of you statement is inconsequential.

JM-”That fact is God can act through free will because he is omnipotent. He can also act to have men speak infallibly and write infallibly because he is omnipotent.”

R-Exactly. He doesn’t need them to be infallible to do it. Now you get it.

JM2- When he acts in man for the man to teach, then man is infallible because of Gods actions. You seem to separate the man from the act of God in man, or think infallibility means impeccability. Both are fallacious. You simply cannot get your head around the truth that when God acts in a prophet, the prophet is then infallible. This is so very simple.

JM-”of course “extrinsic antecedent causation” is a jumble of notions not explained.”

R-It is obvious: men’s actions are either priorly determined by something else or they are not. Did you really not understand that?

JM2- You initially said “/…free will as such implies a capacity to choose apart from extrinsic antecedent causation – including God’s will” – which is not substantiated. Calvinists often deny one of two truths of a mystery. The mystery of free will and divine promotion does not mean we embrace divine promotion and ignore free will by making the unsubstantiated claim that free will necessarily means the free choice must always be in accordance with Gods will. Its simply only a truth claim made by Calvinists because they cannot handle free will in their theology. The Calvinist God is only a God of machines, who are either predestined to heaven or hell without any free choice. That’s why many Christians chose not to follow Calvinist theology.

john said...

JM- “…a text is a mediator of a message and therefore it is not a direct revelation from God.”

R-If words are a mediation of a message, no intelligible means of communication can be direct (so-called).

JM2- Rubbish.

JM-”You merely assume you can locate Gods truth in a text. Again, this is only an assumption.”

R-A first principle, to be precise. So what? Do you pretend you have no first principle?

JM2- Another first principle. Early the inspiration of the text was the first principle. Now the truth of the text is the first principle.

R- Me: Furthermore, you do not seem to account for the fact reprobates suppress the truth about God and hide from the light of the epistemological Logos, who enlightens all men: how, if they have no conception of either? God is manifest even in His creation. How much more so in His special revelation? You say you ignore several of my questions because they do not account for the consequences of your criticism. But since the validity of your criticism is precisely what is in question, you do not seem to grasp that my questions are logically prior to any consideration of the alleged consequences of your criticism.

You: Moe convoluted reasoning that goes nowhere. Any objections of substance were answered long ago and inconsequential questions have and will remain ignored.

We’ll let the reader decide, I guess.

JM2- You cannot assume a reprobate exists in your illogical epistemology. Therefore the rest of you statement is inconsequential.

JM-”That fact is God can act through free will because he is omnipotent. He can also act to have men speak infallibly and write infallibly because he is omnipotent.”

R-Exactly. He doesn’t need them to be infallible to do it. Now you get it.

JM2- When he acts in man for the man to teach, then man is infallible because of Gods actions. You seem to separate the man from the act of God in man, or think infallibility means impeccability. Both are fallacious. You simply cannot get your head around the truth that when God acts in a prophet, the prophet is then infallible. This is so very simple.

JM-”of course “extrinsic antecedent causation” is a jumble of notions not explained.”

R-It is obvious: men’s actions are either priorly determined by something else or they are not. Did you really not understand that?

john said...

JM2- You initially said “/…free will as such implies a capacity to choose apart from extrinsic antecedent causation – including God’s will” – which is not substantiated. Calvinists often deny one of two truths of a mystery. The mystery of free will and divine promotion does not mean we embrace divine promotion and ignore free will by making the unsubstantiated claim that free will necessarily means the free choice must always be in accordance with Gods will. Its simply only a truth claim made by Calvinists because they cannot handle free will in their theology. The Calvinist God is only a God of machines, who are either predestined to heaven or hell without any free choice. That’s why many Christians chose not to follow Calvinist theology.

JM-”which is only Calvinism in disguise.”

R-It’s overt Calvinism, if you ask me. What of it? Is that the best you could do?

JM2- Calvinism is false belief system.

JM-”Or we can take the biblical position and affirm two truths and leave it as a mystery.”

R-I.e. you have absconded from your principle of contradiction already. What a surprise! Running for the hills and we’ve yet to get the good stuff.

JM2- Or you can admit the deficiency in Calvinism and move onto the truth.

JM- “…free will means man is free about means with a fixed end.”

R-Paul says the end of the unregenerates choices is necessarily fixed on sin (Romans 8:7-9).
”The creation of reprobate men is a mystery”

JM2- Paul doesn’t use the words fixed on sin. He says “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Which is merely a logical consequence of what he has said. Why? If a man does not follow the law, then he sins. Therefore a sinful man cannot follow the law, because the law is the contradiction of sin. We cannot therefore conclude a causal consequence whereby mans will is fixed on sin, otherwise men cannot change their minds and be fixed on God.


R-Another mystery! The deeper we go into Catholic soteriology, the fewer answers we find it provides. P.S. Augustine taught absolute predestination. As for what Scripture teaches, I am the only one citing Scripture. I wonder why that is… not.

JM2- Another sentence used to spot the dog. Mystery is anathema to Calvinism. Only a fixed, premeditated action by the insecure God, who needs to show us his glory by damning men is all we must seek. Everything for the glory of God and damn the mystery!


JM- “If god is not the cause of sin and in existed, then there is more than one will in the universe acting.”

R-Non sequitur. That God causes our wills by determining our desires does not mean we cannot act according to our desires. That is precisely what Augustine taught.

JM2- Augustine was not a Calvinist. You don’t even know what it means for a will to be free.

JM

Ryan said...

Reply to JM, Part I


“No, you demonstrate your statement.”

If you had read the link on empiricism I posted, you would see that I have. For instance:

//[Empiric principles are] predicated on reasoning which cannot account for all possible contingencies. One might wonder whether “[this desk is red]” is a proposition contingent on the veracity of the proposition “ducks can swim” or “the Protestant canon is fallible.” There are infinitely many such propositions one could posit, of course, meaning that if one is to know that [this desk is red], one must be infinitely knowledgeable.//

And:

//The scientific method is inductive. Inductive reasoning cannot produce general principles which are certain. Observing many green blades of grass does not guarantee all blades of grass are green.//

If you disagree, then show me a sound [deductive] argument which uses empirical principle to demonstrate the reliability of Scriptural testimony. It’s your epistemological beliefs which are on trial now, not mine.

“More damning still is you ignore my statement and add a false statement “my church says so”.”

If your church doesn’t say so and neither did any ECF in the first 3 centuries AD, why do you regard it as oral, apostolic tradition? What other reason do you have? Hey, you can’t show that the existence of aliens wasn’t an oral, apostolic teaching and that the ECFs didn’t unanimously believe them. Why don’t you believe in aliens?

Sheesh.

“Christ is the second Adam (Rom 5) therefore Mary is the second Eve.”

Christ’s bride is the church, not Mary. Your argument makes no sense, so of course I’m going to point that out.

”The metaphor is in the text. Where does the text teach God wrote the text? Nowhere in the text?”

So are you saying Scripture is perspicuous after all? Lol.

“Inspiration of the text is not self attesting. The text as text is only a text and that is sefl attesting. How do we know? Because when we look at the page we see the text. Therefore inspiration of a text is not the first principle of a text. Furthermore, it is not the first principle of reason or faith either because of reasons already discussed”

Firstly, what you say presupposes empiricism, which is unsound. Secondly, you have no idea what you’re talking about, or if you do, you haven’t communicated yourself very well. I can’t make heads or tails of your point. Perhaps you are saying that empiricism is a presupposition of believing that the text is self-attesting, which is false, as I show in my essays. The means by which we know Scripture is not empiricism but divine illumination, as Augustine taught. Recall that I wrote this, which you ignored:

// John 1:9, 3:27, and 1 Corinthians 4:7 all teach that there is no knowledge not attributable to God’s mediation. Hence, your attempt to create a disanalogy between Abraham’s revelation and ours fails.//

“Only showing you the simple problem in assuming inspiration is the first principle of faith. Other principles are assumed before this principle such as the principle of identity, the principle of prime truth revealed, the principle of causation, the principles of grammar and so on. Your first principle epistemology is laughable.”

I was right. Unfortunately, you have just demonstrated you could not follow this:

//…for Scripture to be the ground of knowledge also presupposes that it provides an account of the means by which one knows that which God has revealed. Deducing [from Scripture] the historical process by which one comes to accept the axiom of revelation is as important as recognizing that such a deduction cannot circularly function as a premise by which the axiom of revelation becomes, oxymoronically, a conclusion.//

An account of logic, grammar, et. al. is provided for within my first principle. Of course I historically require these things to come to an understanding of my first principle, but you are confuting this historical process with the propositional process, the formal justification of knowledge. This is probably because you are a novice :)

Ryan said...

Part II

”Check out the high priest Annas who prophesied about Christ even though he was evil. Prophecy and therefore infallibility is a charism given through authority. Even in the OT we see men prophecy when they are evil – Balaams prophecy to bless Israel for example. Clearly prophecy and sanctity and not reliant upon each other. Your position is pure invention.”

Any atheist can prophecy. Atheist A says it will rain tomorrow, atheist B says it won’t. One will be right. So you are suggesting one of the atheists is infallible?

“You initially said “…free will as such implies a capacity to choose apart from extrinsic antecedent causation – including God’s will” – which is not substantiated.”

It’s a definition. How do you substantiate the use of a definition? You may define free will differently if you like, but your church still holds to the idea that men are able to choose to accept God’s grace or reject it apart from antecedent, extrinsic determination. Your red herring is noted.

“Calvinists often deny one of two truths of a mystery. The mystery of free will…”

Which presupposes free will. Why do you believe men possess free will, and how do you harmonize it with eternal omniscience, given my criticisms? I didn’t say anything about free will being inconsistent with God’s will, so no more lies and no more stalling, please.

“The Calvinist God is only a God of machines”

Machines don’t possess wills, thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc. Men do. That these are determined in no way negates the fact that we have them, so your intended analogy is false. Moreover, TFan has noted elsewhere that God calls men pots, axes, rods, and other such instruments God uses as He sees fit. Where is your emotional outcry against these Scriptures?

“Calvinism is false belief system.”

Unsubstantiated. I can’t believe you even showed your face back here after that non-response to the incompatibility of free will with eternal omniscience.

”Or you can admit the deficiency in Calvinism and move onto the truth.”

A truth which must dress up inconsistencies as mysteries? Pass. Your alleged adherence to the principle of contradiction was a front. You don’t believe it at all. You would call black what is white if your church told you to.

”Paul doesn’t use the words fixed on sin.”

Neither does any author of Scripture use the word Trinity. The concept is there, though, so let’s skip your red herring and go straight to the text:

Romans 8:7-8 The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

You comment:

“Which is merely a logical consequence of what he has said. Why? If a man does not follow the law, then he sins. Therefore a sinful man cannot follow the law, because the law is the contradiction of sin. We cannot therefore conclude a causal consequence whereby mans will is fixed on sin, otherwise men cannot change their minds and be fixed on God.”

The mind of the flesh is not able to submit to God’s law or please God. How do you propose one escape this quandary? I say that by God’s regenerative grace, our mind set on flesh becomes minds set on the Spirit, like Paul says in the following verse: “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.” There is no middle ground, JM. Either one is controlled by the Spirit or the flesh. If the latter, one is unable to believe, as such would indeed please God. If the former, then you must abscond from free will and synergism to the blessed gate of sufficient, monergistic grace.

“Everything for the glory of God and damn the mystery!”

Damn the contradiction, surely, which is what you believe.

“Augustine was not a Calvinist.”

No, but he was a monergist.

“You don’t even know what it means for a will to be free.”

Then neither did Augustine, because he says the same thing I do. A “doctor of the faith,” but you know better than him! Lol!

john said...

“No, you demonstrate your statement.”

If you had read the link on empiricism I posted, you would see that I have. For instance:

//[Empiric principles are] predicated on reasoning which cannot account for all possible contingencies. One might wonder whether “[this desk is red]” is a proposition contingent on the veracity of the proposition “ducks can swim” or “the Protestant canon is fallible.” There are infinitely many such propositions one could posit, of course, meaning that if one is to know that [this desk is red], one must be infinitely knowledgeable.//

And: //The scientific method is inductive. Inductive reasoning cannot produce general principles which are certain. Observing many green blades of grass does not guarantee all blades of grass are green.//

If you disagree, then show me a sound [deductive] argument which uses empirical principle to demonstrate the reliability of Scriptural testimony. It’s your epistemological beliefs which are on trial now, not mine.

The inductive method is only used to determine the veracity of the claim that the man Jesus really existed. He then claimed to be God and because God is truth itself, He could not lie. He did certain actions, including founding a church on himself and the apostles and he made some claims about His church, including the gates of hell would not prevail against the church and the church had the authority to teach in His name. The documents also record succession from the apostles as bishops. The succession continues throughout church history which had the authority to teach the church. One such doctrine is the canon of scripture and another is the inspiration of scripture. These doctrines are not well defines in the text itself, meaning they are dependent upon the church for definition.

Your quotes above are faulty – The veracity of the most fundamental proposition A is A is checked by assuming its negative is true and we find A is not A is absurd. Therefore the fundamental proposition is the principle of identity. This cannot be related to the false notion of a canon as inspired, being the firs principle. There is simply no comparison. Furthermore, the conclusion that there must be an infinite regression if we ignore a simple proposition is also false as shown above. What is true however, is we cannot define all terms. The most fundamental terms are only described in terms of other fundamental terms.

Also the inductive method does provide us with general principles, otherwise science would not progress beyond the individual. Water boils is a general principle. We don’t need to continually heat water to know it boils.

Bottom line – you have failed to provide a logical argument for the inspiration of a text, the meaning of the word inspiration and the canon of scripture from the text.

john said...

“No, you demonstrate your statement.”

If you had read the link on empiricism I posted, you would see that I have. For instance:

//[Empiric principles are] predicated on reasoning which cannot account for all possible contingencies. One might wonder whether “[this desk is red]” is a proposition contingent on the veracity of the proposition “ducks can swim” or “the Protestant canon is fallible.” There are infinitely many such propositions one could posit, of course, meaning that if one is to know that [this desk is red], one must be infinitely knowledgeable.//

And: //The scientific method is inductive. Inductive reasoning cannot produce general principles which are certain. Observing many green blades of grass does not guarantee all blades of grass are green.//

If you disagree, then show me a sound [deductive] argument which uses empirical principle to demonstrate the reliability of Scriptural testimony. It’s your epistemological beliefs which are on trial now, not mine.

The inductive method is only used to determine the veracity of the claim that the man Jesus really existed. He then claimed to be God and because God is truth itself, He could not lie. He did certain actions, including founding a church on himself and the apostles and he made some claims about His church, including the gates of hell would not prevail against the church and the church had the authority to teach in His name. The documents also record succession from the apostles as bishops. The succession continues throughout church history which had the authority to teach the church. One such doctrine is the canon of scripture and another is the inspiration of scripture. These doctrines are not well defines in the text itself, meaning they are dependent upon the church for definition.

Your quotes above are faulty – The veracity of the most fundamental proposition A is A is checked by assuming its negative is true and we find A is not A is absurd. Therefore the fundamental proposition is the principle of identity. This cannot be related to the false notion of a canon as inspired, being the firs principle. There is simply no comparison. Furthermore, the conclusion that there must be an infinite regression if we ignore a simple proposition is also false as shown above. What is true however, is we cannot define all terms. The most fundamental terms are only described in terms of other fundamental terms.

Also the inductive method does provide us with general principles, otherwise science would not progress beyond the individual. Water boils is a general principle. We don’t need to continually heat water to know it boils.

john said...

Bottom line – you have failed to provide a logical argument for the inspiration of a text, the meaning of the word inspiration and the canon of scripture from the text.

JM- “More damning still is you ignore my statement and add a false statement “my church says so”.”

R- If your church doesn’t say so and neither did any ECF in the first 3 centuries AD, why do you regard it as oral, apostolic tradition? What other reason do you have? Hey, you can’t show that the existence of aliens wasn’t an oral, apostolic teaching and that the ECFs didn’t unanimously believe them. Why don’t you believe in aliens?

Sheesh.

JM2- Well we believe we have the pedigree and you don’t. We believe we have the charism of prophecy within the church, which is binding on believers and when the church teaches, we believe it is the HS acting as Christ said it would. When the church makes a decision as it did at Jerusalem which any OT precedent for circumcision to end in the NT, we believe the church does not need scriptural texts or express patristic support on the particular doctrine being defined. We do have enough evidence from church history that the ecumenical councils have a consistent tradition and the Popes have consistently been the centre of orthodoxy when they were called upon to defend the truth. This along with succession, suasive arguments from reason, Papal primacy and church authority allows the church to define doctrine based upon Christ’s actions, the power of the HS and the charism of infallibility. Your reference to aliens is plain stupid, because the assumption is concerned with a biblical character called Mary and not a mere invention from thin air.

JM - “Christ is the second Adam (Rom 5) therefore Mary is the second Eve.”

R- Christ’s bride is the church, not Mary. Your argument makes no sense, so of course I’m going to point that out.

JM2 – The either/or mentality is a sign of a poorly formed methodology.

JM- ”The metaphor is in the text. Where does the text teach God wrote the text? Nowhere in the text?”

R- So are you saying Scripture is perspicuous after all? Lol.

JM2- Still haven’t got around the problem of inspiration have you. Lol!!

john said...

JM- “Inspiration of the text is not self attesting. The text as text is only a text and that is sefl attesting. How do we know? Because when we look at the page we see the text. Therefore inspiration of a text is not the first principle of a text. Furthermore, it is not the first principle of reason or faith either because of reasons already discussed”

R- Firstly, what you say presupposes empiricism, which is unsound.

JM- It doesn’t. I’m only commenting on your position in my statement.

R- Secondly, you have no idea what you’re talking about, or if you do, you haven’t communicated yourself very well. I can’t make heads or tails of your point. Perhaps you are saying that empiricism is a presupposition of believing that the text is self-attesting, which is false, as I show in my essays.

JM2- I wasting talking about empiricism at all. I’m only commenting on your position that the text is self attesting. Your point I flawed for there reasons given.

R- The means by which we know Scripture is not empiricism but divine illumination, as Augustine taught. Recall that I wrote this, which you ignored:

// John 1:9, 3:27, and 1 Corinthians 4:7 all teach that there is no knowledge not attributable to God’s mediation. Hence, your attempt to create a disanalogy between Abraham’s revelation and ours fails.//

JM2- I didn’t ignore these passages at all. If they didn’t appear they may have been lost in the spam.

1 Corinthians 4:7 - 7For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?
JM2-m Reception does not exclude mediation through a creature.
John 1:9 9The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
JM2- light is only a metaphor and is doesn’t exclude mediators in this verse either.
John 3:27 27To this John replied, "A man can receive only what is given him from heaven.
JM2- And how is it given to him? It does say regarding a mediator and it doesn’t say everything received I from heaven, because that would include actions against Gods commandments such as murder.

john said...

JM- “Only showing you the simple problem in assuming inspiration is the first principle of faith. Other principles are assumed before this principle such as the principle of identity, the principle of prime truth revealed, the principle of causation, the principles of grammar and so on. Your first principle epistemology is laughable.”

R- I was right. Unfortunately, you have just demonstrated you could not follow this:

JM2- You are rarely right. You are often presumptuous.

R- //…for Scripture to be the ground of knowledge also presupposes that it provides an account of the means by which one knows that which God has revealed. Deducing [from Scripture] the historical process by which one comes to accept the axiom of revelation is as important as recognizing that such a deduction cannot circularly function as a premise by which the axiom of revelation becomes, oxymoronically, a conclusion.//

An account of logic, grammar, et. al. is provided for within my first principle. Of course I historically require these things to come to an understanding of my first principle, but you are confuting this historical process with the propositional process, the formal justification of knowledge. This is probably because you are a novice :)

JM2- The historical process itself requires principles of reason and the science of historical investigation to determine the veracity of the text. All of this comes waaaaay before any arbitrary first principle of inspiration as you claim. You can forget the patronizing tone as well you convoluted inventor of myth!

JM- ”Check out the high priest Annas who prophesied about Christ even though he was evil. Prophecy and therefore infallibility is a charism given through authority. Even in the OT we see men prophecy when they are evil – Balaams prophecy to bless Israel for example. Clearly prophecy and sanctity and not reliant upon each other. Your position is pure invention.”

R- Any atheist can prophecy. Atheist A says it will rain tomorrow, atheist B says it won’t. One will be right. So you are suggesting one of the atheists is infallible?

JM2- Prophecy is not a guess as you suggest. Maybe you are the neophite after all.

R- “You initially said “…free will as such implies a capacity to choose apart from extrinsic antecedent causation – including God’s will” – which is not substantiated.”

R- It’s a definition. How do you substantiate the use of a definition? You may define free will differently if you like, but your church still holds to the idea that men are able to choose to accept God’s grace or reject it apart from antecedent, extrinsic determination. Your red herring is noted.

JM2- Definitions are made from terms that are easier to understand. There are methods used to arrive at a definition to ensure the definition accurately describes the nature of the thing being spoken about. How me where my church teaches men are able to choose to accept God’s grace or reject it apart from antecedent, extrinsic determination. If you don’t, then red herring noted.

john said...

JM- “Only showing you the simple problem in assuming inspiration is the first principle of faith. Other principles are assumed before this principle such as the principle of identity, the principle of prime truth revealed, the principle of causation, the principles of grammar and so on. Your first principle epistemology is laughable.”

R- I was right. Unfortunately, you have just demonstrated you could not follow this:

JM2- You are rarely right. You are often presumptuous.

R- //…for Scripture to be the ground of knowledge also presupposes that it provides an account of the means by which one knows that which God has revealed. Deducing [from Scripture] the historical process by which one comes to accept the axiom of revelation is as important as recognizing that such a deduction cannot circularly function as a premise by which the axiom of revelation becomes, oxymoronically, a conclusion.//

An account of logic, grammar, et. al. is provided for within my first principle. Of course I historically require these things to come to an understanding of my first principle, but you are confuting this historical process with the propositional process, the formal justification of knowledge. This is probably because you are a novice :)

JM2- The historical process itself requires principles of reason and the science of historical investigation to determine the veracity of the text. All of this comes waaaaay before any arbitrary first principle of inspiration as you claim. You can forget the patronizing tone as well you convoluted inventor of myth!

JM- ”Check out the high priest Annas who prophesied about Christ even though he was evil. Prophecy and therefore infallibility is a charism given through authority. Even in the OT we see men prophecy when they are evil – Balaams prophecy to bless Israel for example. Clearly prophecy and sanctity and not reliant upon each other. Your position is pure invention.”

R- Any atheist can prophecy. Atheist A says it will rain tomorrow, atheist B says it won’t. One will be right. So you are suggesting one of the atheists is infallible?

JM2- Prophecy is not a guess as you suggest. Maybe you are the neophite after all.

R- “You initially said “…free will as such implies a capacity to choose apart from extrinsic antecedent causation – including God’s will” – which is not substantiated.”

R- It’s a definition. How do you substantiate the use of a definition? You may define free will differently if you like, but your church still holds to the idea that men are able to choose to accept God’s grace or reject it apart from antecedent, extrinsic determination. Your red herring is noted.

john said...

JM2- Definitions are made from terms that are easier to understand. There are methods used to arrive at a definition to ensure the definition accurately describes the nature of the thing being spoken about. How me where my church teaches men are able to choose to accept God’s grace or reject it apart from antecedent, extrinsic determination. If you don’t, then red herring noted.

JM- “Calvinists often deny one of two truths of a mystery. The mystery of free will…”

R- Which presupposes free will. Why do you believe men possess free will, and how do you harmonize it with eternal omniscience, given my criticisms? I didn’t say anything about free will being inconsistent with God’s will, so no more lies and no more stalling, please.

JM2- Mans will is free because the will is an appetite for understood good. When a good is limited, the will appetises the good, but does not appetise the non goodness of the thing known through the intellect. The will then appetises and does not appetise a limited thing. Therefore the nature of the will and the thing as a limited good sets the will free. Therefore the norm is mans will is free.

God’s omniscience means He knows all things. Therefore His knowledge covers all contingencies, or in other words all possibles cause by free will. Your criticisms don’t mean anything more than poorly formed phrases associate with the word “will”.

You stated “free will as such implies a capacity to choose apart from extrinsic antecedent causation – including God’s will – in which case God’s knowledge is extrinsically contingent”

Please don’t accuse me of lying again. If you do I will not respond to your posts.

JM- “The Calvinist God is only a God of machines”

R- Machines don’t possess wills, thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc. Men do. That these are determined in no way negates the fact that we have them, so your intended analogy is false. Moreover, TFan has noted elsewhere that God calls men pots, axes, rods, and other such instruments God uses as He sees fit. Where is your emotional outcry against these Scriptures?

JM2- Scriptures are full of poetry and exaggerated expressions used a literary devices. That’s all they are bro. If a will is not free, then it is no different to a programmed robot. You can jump up and down and cry about it all day long, but that’s the bottom line for Calvinism.

JM- “Calvinism is false belief system.”

R- Unsubstantiated. I can’t believe you even showed your face back here after that non-response to the incompatibility of free will with eternal omniscience.

R- //…free will as such implies a capacity to choose apart from extrinsic antecedent causation – including God’s will – in which case God’s knowledge is extrinsically contingent;

JM2 – “extrinsic antecedent causation” merely the notion that God as prime mover necessarily means a secondary cause cannot be free. Yet nowhere are we given arguments to sustain this other than the mere assertion that it cannot be so. This is not an argument, but the fanciful theology of Calvinism.

john said...

R- given that God created and sustains all other things (Colossians 1:16-17), it is contradictory to simultaneously affirm free will and God’s eternal omniscience (Isaiah 40:14),

JM2- God created all things. He created man as a rational animal and rationality means a man has an intellect and a will. The will is free as shown above. Creation does not exclude freedom at all.

JM -”Or you can admit the deficiency in Calvinism and move onto the truth.”

R- A truth which must dress up inconsistencies as mysteries? Pass. Your alleged adherence to the principle of contradiction was a front. You don’t believe it at all. You would call black what is white if your church told you to.

JM2- If you believe the will is not free then prove it is so. Merely saying God is a cause and God created, therefore the will is not free is simply hand waving your way through Calvinism and presenting a falsehood as a truth. Therefore it is you that cannot propose a real argument.

Further – if the will is not free then man is not responsible for his actions. It’s like saying the man was brain washed or hypnotized, so he is not free and therefore not responsible for his actions. However the reality is that the norm for man is that they are responsible for their actions, so this presumes freedom of will and responsibility of men to be accountable for what they do. The entire legal system assumes freedom of will and you think because you are a Calvinist you can ignore the problem of human responsibility by ignoring freedom.

Therefore it is the common experience of man that man ha a free will. To ignore this in your theology because it poses a problem with divine promotion only means your theology can account for the mystery of promotion and free will.

JM- ”Paul doesn’t use the words fixed on sin.”

R- Neither does any author of Scripture use the word Trinity. The concept is there, though, so let’s skip your red herring and go straight to the text:

Romans 8:7-8 The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

You comment:

“Which is merely a logical consequence of what he has said. Why? If a man does not follow the law, then he sins. Therefore a sinful man cannot follow the law, because the law is the contradiction of sin. We cannot therefore conclude a causal consequence whereby mans will is fixed on sin, otherwise men cannot change their minds and be fixed on God.”

The mind of the flesh is not able to submit to God’s law or please God. How do you propose one escape this quandary? I say that by God’s regenerative grace, our mind set on flesh becomes minds set on the Spirit, like Paul says in the following verse: “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.” There is no middle ground, JM. Either one is controlled by the Spirit or the flesh. If the latter, one is unable to believe, as such would indeed please God. If the former, then you must abscond from free will and synergism to the blessed gate of sufficient, monergistic grace.

john said...

JM2- There is no middle ground concerning the ultimate end loved by the will above all things. Either a man loves himself or God above all things. If himself, then he is in the state of mortal sin and cannot change his will to love God, unless God regenerates him. This is the scriptural and Catholic position. If the man loves God above all things, he is free to sin and fall away from God as his supernatural last end and love himself above all things. Further, freedom is defined as election of means with a fixed end. So even if the ultimate love of the will is fixed, the will if still free regarding means to that end. For example if a man wills to go to town B from Town A, his ultimate end is fixed in town B, but the means by which he obtains that ultimate end is not fixed. He could walk, run, swim, drive or fly to town B. All these distinctions are either unknown or ignored by Calvinism.

JM -“Everything for the glory of God and damn the mystery!”

R- Damn the contradiction, surely, which is what you believe.

JM2- Your analysis was very flimsy as per usual from a Calvinist.


JM -“You don’t even know what it means for a will to be free.”

R- Then neither did Augustine, because he says the same thing I do. A “doctor of the faith,” but you know better than him! Lol!

JM2- He’s not a doctor of Calvinism that’s for sure.

JM

ChaferDTS said...

"Augustine was not a Calvinist. You don’t even know what it means for a will to be free."

Luthernism and Calvinism are two strains of Augustinianism. Augustine taught all the essentials of it in his writing on the subject of election / predestination. I dont believe you read him for yourself.

Here is his writing online:

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/15121.htm

ChaferDTS said...

"He’s not a doctor of Calvinism that’s for sure."

Augustine's doctrine of sin and grace was taught and held generally by all the Reformers. Calvinism is a more fully formulated strain of Augustianism. The other strain of it is Luthernism. All too often Roman Catholicism want to turn all the church fathers in to present day Roman Catholics. The RCC can't allow the church fathers to be who they were.

natamllc said...

All too often Roman Catholicism want to turn all the church fathers in to present day Roman Catholics.

AMEN

Ryan said...

Replies are in the spam filter.

JM, you want to take this discussion over to my blog? I hate having to constantly bother TF about my comments.

Viisaus said...

"In the meantime Augustine was writing on the subject,39 and the African bishops condemned the Pelagian doctrine and asked Innocent to express his approval.40 A decision on the matter devolved upon Innocent's successor Zosimus, who was elected on March 17, A.D. 417, and the ear of this Pope was gained by Caelestius, who had come to Rome. Zosimus censured the African bishops for condemning Caelestius, and intimated that he would decide, if the accusers came and appeared before him. Then he received a letter from Pelagius, which convinced him that Pelagius was a perfectly orthodox Catholic.41 But the African bishops were not convinced, and in defiance of the Pope's opinion, they condemned Pelagius and his teaching in a synod at Carthage (May 1, A.D. 418). Zosimus at last became aware that the doctrines of Pelagius were really heretical; he was obliged to execute a retreat,42 and he confirmed the findings of the African synod."

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/secondary/BURLAT/11*.html

Viisaus said...

Historian J.B. Bury tells us more about the papal blunderer Zosimus:

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/secondary/BURLAT/11*.html#ref44

"In the list of Roman pontiffs the name of Zosimus is not one which the Catholic Church holds in high esteem. His brief pontificate fell at a critical period, when the Roman see was laying the foundations of the supremacy which it was destined to gain by astute policy, and propitious circumstances, over the churches of western Europe. Zosimus, through his rashness and indiscretion, did as much as could be done in two years to thwart the purposes which he was himself anxious to promote. In the matter of Pelagius he committed himself to a judgment which shows that he was either unpardonably ignorant of the doctrine which had been challenged, or that he considered orthodox in A.D. 417 what he condemned as heterodox in A.D. 418; and he exposed himself to a smart rebuff from the bishops of Africa.45 But his indiscretion in this affair was of less importance than the ill-considered policy on which he embarked on a question of administration in the Gallic Church, and which proved highly embarrassing to his successors.

The authority which the Roman see exercised in western Europe at this time, beyond its prestige and acknowledged primacy in Christendom, was twofold. Decrees of Valentinian I and Gratian had recognised it as a court to which clergy condemned by provincial synods might appeal.46 In the second place it was looked up to as a model, and when doubtful questions arose about discipline it was consulted by provincial bishops. The answers of the Popes to such questions were known as Decretals. They did not bind the bishops; they were responses, not ordinances. Appellate jurisdiction and the moral weight of the Decretals were the principal bases on which the power of the Roman see was gradually to be built up.47

Zosimus entertained an idea of his authority which transcended these rights and anticipated the claims of his successors. Immediately after his election his ear was gained by Patroclus, the bishop of Arles, who desired to make his see an ecclesiastical metropolis of the first rank. In the three provinces of Viennensis, Narbonensis Prima, and Narbonensis Secunda, the bishops of Vienne, Narbonne, and Marseilles48 were the metropolitans; Arles was merely a bishopric in Narbonensis Prima. The idea of Patroclus was naturally enough suggested by the translation of the residence of the Praetorian Prefect of Gaul from Trier to Arles.49 Zosimus determined to deprive the bishops of Vienne, Narbonne, and Marseilles of their metropolitan rights, and to invest the bishop of Arles with jurisdiction over the three provinces. He also proposed to establish a new Metropolitan of Arles as a sort of Roman vicar, apparently over the whole of Gaul.50

The bishop of Narbonne yielded with a protest to this revolutionary assumption of sovranty. But the bishops of Marseilles and Vienne defied Zosimus and brought the question before a council of the Milanese diocese which met at Turin (Sept. 22, A.D. 417).51 The council at first decided against the pretensions of Arles, but finally compromised by dividing the Viennese province into two parts, of which the southern was to depend on Arles. Zosimus was not pleased, but deemed it prudent to concur. The bishop of Marseilles, who declined to yield, was excommunicated by a Roman synod, but remained quietly in his see. Thus a part of the Pope's plan was actually carried out, but the facts remained that the council of Turin had refused to recognise the supreme authority of Rome, and that Marseilles had resisted with impunity."

Viisaus said...

Historian J.B. Bury tells us more about the papal blunderer Zosimus:

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/secondary/BURLAT/11*.html#ref44

"In the list of Roman pontiffs the name of Zosimus is not one which the Catholic Church holds in high esteem. His brief pontificate fell at a critical period, when the Roman see was laying the foundations of the supremacy which it was destined to gain by astute policy, and propitious circumstances, over the churches of western Europe. Zosimus, through his rashness and indiscretion, did as much as could be done in two years to thwart the purposes which he was himself anxious to promote. In the matter of Pelagius he committed himself to a judgment which shows that he was either unpardonably ignorant of the doctrine which had been challenged, or that he considered orthodox in A.D. 417 what he condemned as heterodox in A.D. 418; and he exposed himself to a smart rebuff from the bishops of Africa.45 But his indiscretion in this affair was of less importance than the ill-considered policy on which he embarked on a question of administration in the Gallic Church, and which proved highly embarrassing to his successors.

The authority which the Roman see exercised in western Europe at this time, beyond its prestige and acknowledged primacy in Christendom, was twofold. Decrees of Valentinian I and Gratian had recognised it as a court to which clergy condemned by provincial synods might appeal.46 In the second place it was looked up to as a model, and when doubtful questions arose about discipline it was consulted by provincial bishops. The answers of the Popes to such questions were known as Decretals. They did not bind the bishops; they were responses, not ordinances. Appellate jurisdiction and the moral weight of the Decretals were the principal bases on which the power of the Roman see was gradually to be built up.47

Zosimus entertained an idea of his authority which transcended these rights and anticipated the claims of his successors. Immediately after his election his ear was gained by Patroclus, the bishop of Arles, who desired to make his see an ecclesiastical metropolis of the first rank. In the three provinces of Viennensis, Narbonensis Prima, and Narbonensis Secunda, the bishops of Vienne, Narbonne, and Marseilles48 were the metropolitans; Arles was merely a bishopric in Narbonensis Prima. The idea of Patroclus was naturally enough suggested by the translation of the residence of the Praetorian Prefect of Gaul from Trier to Arles.49 Zosimus determined to deprive the bishops of Vienne, Narbonne, and Marseilles of their metropolitan rights, and to invest the bishop of Arles with jurisdiction over the three provinces. He also proposed to establish a new Metropolitan of Arles as a sort of Roman vicar, apparently over the whole of Gaul.50

The bishop of Narbonne yielded with a protest to this revolutionary assumption of sovranty. But the bishops of Marseilles and Vienne defied Zosimus and brought the question before a council of the Milanese diocese which met at Turin (Sept. 22, A.D. 417).51 The council at first decided against the pretensions of Arles, but finally compromised by dividing the Viennese province into two parts, of which the southern was to depend on Arles. Zosimus was not pleased, but deemed it prudent to concur. The bishop of Marseilles, who declined to yield, was excommunicated by a Roman synod, but remained quietly in his see. Thus a part of the Pope's plan was actually carried out, but the facts remained that the council of Turin had refused to recognise the supreme authority of Rome, and that Marseilles had resisted with impunity."

john said...

Augustine's doctrine of sin and grace was taught and held generally by all the Reformers. Calvinism is a more fully formulated strain of Augustianism. The other strain of it is Luthernism. All too often Roman Catholicism want to turn all the church fathers in to present day Roman Catholics. The RCC can't allow the church fathers to be who they were.

JM- and who were the Fathers? Were they Calvinists, Lutherans, Baptists, Zwinglians, Adventists? What were they?

JM

john said...

What was Augustine's doctrine on sin and why do you think it is binding. after all Augustine is just another nobody outside a text you all scripture.

JM

john said...

M, you want to take this discussion over to my blog? I hate having to constantly bother TF about my comments.

No

ChaferDTS said...

Augustine's doctrine of sin and grace was taught and held generally by all the Reformers. Calvinism is a more fully formulated strain of Augustianism. The other strain of it is Luthernism. All too often Roman Catholicism want to turn all the church fathers in to present day Roman Catholics. The RCC can't allow the church fathers to be who they were.





"JM- and who were the Fathers? Were they Calvinists, Lutherans, Baptists, Zwinglians, Adventists? What were they?"

They were catholic and not the heretical system of present day Roman Catholicism. It was Roman Catholicism that departed. Calvinism is not a denomination. Are you that ignorant or are you just a bigoted anti-protestant ? The Reformers historically were part of the Western Church presently known as Roman Catholicism and this shares it's historical link to the ancient church. The Reformers are all part of the church founded by Jesus and the apostles at Pentecost. Are you trying to say all the Reformers and present day Protestants are not Christians ? If so, that would be contrary what Vatican II says of them even calling them " separated brethern " . By the way, Adventists like Roman Catholicism are a false group since they each have a claimed infallible authority ( Ellen G. White for SDA and The Pope for the RCC ) . It appears you are brainwashed by the claims of the Church of Rome.

ChaferDTS said...

"What was Augustine's doctrine on sin and why do you think it is binding. after all Augustine is just another nobody outside a text you all scripture."

Augustine from his writings held essentially what is today known as total depravity, unconditional election, efficacious grace, limited atonement and perservance of the saints ( this part is debated ) . Those in it's essentials were taught by him. No one claims him as an infallible authority. I guess in your bias you have no defense againist my link which showed that he taught the essential aspects of what is known as Calvinism. You claimed he did not teach it and I refuted you with a link to his own writing on the subject. Sola Scriptura does not deny the use of bible teachers which is what Augustine was. What is rejected is any idea of any claimed infallible teacher. My use of him was to show how ignorant you really are when it comes to the church fathers. Augustine is a key figure who gave the issue of predestination a systematic treatment. A position that contradicts present day Roman Catholicism. Roman Catholicism is essentially a modified form of Semi- Pelagianism.

john said...

The Reformers historically were part of the Western Church presently known as Roman Catholicism and this shares it's historical link to the ancient church.

JM – The reformers were not a united group except in their errors. The reformers did not reform anything, but invented new doctrines not found in the church fathers. The reformers did not have any authority to do what they claimed to do.

The Reformers are all part of the church founded by Jesus and the apostles at Pentecost.

JM- The reformers were not united in doctrine or practice, therefore if they all came from the apostles, the apostles were schizophrenic.

Are you trying to say all the Reformers and present day Protestants are not Christians ?

JM- Many present day Protestant are not Christians. Some are separated bretheren.

If so, that would be contrary what Vatican II says of them even calling them " separated brethern " . By the way, Adventists like Roman Catholicism are a false group since they each have a claimed infallible authority ( Ellen G. White for SDA and The Pope for the RCC ) . It appears you are brainwashed by the claims of the Church of Rome.

JM- This argument doesn’t follow, but don’t worry, neither did anything else you stated above either!

JM

john said...

Augustine from his writings held essentially what is today known as total depravity, unconditional election, efficacious grace, limited atonement and perservance of the saints ( this part is debated ) .

JM- So you say, but I doubt it very much. He probably believed in election and predestination, but definitely not limited atonement as Calvin taught it. He probably ad a different understanding of efficacious grace and probably believed in free will.

Those in it's essentials were taught by him. No one claims him as an infallible authority. I guess in your bias you have no defense againist my link which showed that he taught the essential aspects of what is known as Calvinism.

JM – Guess again.

You claimed he did not teach it and I refuted you with a link to his own writing on the subject.

JM – You only posted a link and I haven’t made comment on that link so you cannot claim you’ve refuted anything yet.

Sola Scriptura does not deny the use of bible teachers which is what Augustine was.

JM – Therefore SS is not Sola the scriptures. But then again, such a small inconsistency is nothing new in Protestant circles.

What is rejected is any idea of any claimed infallible teacher.

JM – Probably an arbitrary objection as well, just like the distinction you made in SS above.

My use of him was to show how ignorant you really are when it comes to the church fathers.

JM- And I’ve only made comments in passing concerning Augustine so for you to say I’m ignorant of the fathers is based on an argument from silence.

Augustine is a key figure who gave the issue of predestination a systematic treatment. A position that contradicts present day Roman Catholicism. Roman Catholicism is essentially a modified form of Semi- Pelagianism.

JM – I’m pretty sure Augustine would have been in conformity with the church. He was in conformity with the church on many other doctrines such as the Eucharist, baptism, purgatory, marriage as a sacrament and so on. Augustine was a Catholic saint and doctor of the Catholic church.

JM

natamllc said...

John,

pardon me, you wrote:

The reformers did not reform anything, but invented new doctrines not found in the church fathers.

Hmmmmm, ok, what do you have in mind that the Reformers invented? What were the new invented doctrines not found in the church fathers?