Friday, May 25, 2007

Orthodox lays his cards on the table

Orthodox has let much of his position be known, and it's shaky indeed.


ORTHODOX: questions the tradition of drinking green cordial and wonders if we ought really be drinking red cordial, we MUST abandon green cordial because we can't prove it is a "good" tradition?

RHOLOGY: Is drinking one or the other condemned in Scr? No.
Is judging people and dividing people b/c of traditions that are held in their proper place (ie, subservient to Scr) and which are not commented on by Scr, thus condemned? Yes, it's condemned - 1 Cor 8 and Rom 14 comment on those. Your example is bad.

ORTHODOX: That's one way. But it's not the only way.

RHOLOGY: I know that several ways.
Mark 7:1-13 tell me that Scr is the standard by which trads are to be judged.
Also, as I said above: you can't tell me a priori what Holy Tradition is. You can only tell me AFTER I cite you some writing of the ECFs or sthg. Then, if it agrees w/ your position, it is Holy Tradition. If it does not, it is not. Which is, of course, circular and unconvincing.
And, we're testing Tradition itself, so it is stupid to say "We test tradition by tradition to see if tradition is good."
But you can help me out - how shall I go about testing tradition by tradition?

ORTHODOX: I was talking about "the Tradition" which has a specific meaning in Orthodoxy.

RHOLOGY: Oh, OK. What is that specific meaning?
Can you provide a list of what "the Tradition" is? Since it is so specific, you must have a list compiled by The Church®, which is infallible since The Church® is infallible.

ORTHODOX: tell is what is clearer, the Orthodox Tradition, or scripture alone?

RHOLOGY: I already told you. Scr is clearer by far.

ORTHODOX: No, it is not Holy Tradition if it agrees with me, it is Holy Tradition if it agrees with the Church, aka the people of God whom the Spirit led into all truth.

RHOLOGY: But the Church is supposed to live by Holy Tradition and use it for its rule of faith. How can The Church® be submitted to Holy Tradition and at the same time define in and out of Tradition any opposing viewpoint expressed by an otherwise-reliable ECF?

ORTHODOX: And yes, if an ECF is at variance to the rule of faith, then they are in error.

RHOLOGY: B/c The Church® says so, yeah I know.

ORTHODOX: Just like if an ECF is wrong about the canon from your point of view are in error.

RHOLOGY: Unlike in your view, I have an easy explanation to acct for when ECFs are in error - I judge them by Scr. Indeed, they themselves would have told me to do so.

ORTHODOX: Whatever the church holds up IS the truth. The bible says so.

RHOLOGY: Yes, and the Church holds up the truth of God. The Scr. That's what my pastor does every week.

ORTHODOX: You argument is similar to me saying to you, how am I, a mere individual, supposed to know the canon of scripture when I can't infallibly discern it? I presume you hope for me to discern it, but that doesn't mean I infallibly will.

RHOLOGY: Strawman. My argument has never been that individuals are the ones who judge the Canon/have the Canon revealed to them. I refer to "the people of God" over and over, through a "passive, subtle" act of God. (I'm quoting myself between ""s.)

ORTHODOX: It's called humility Alan.

RHOLOGY: How does that answer my question?
Here's my question: But how would I know that (that is, that the Scr is only a subset of revelation) if I can't interp the Scr correctly, as a mere individual?

ORTHODOX: That you "can" doesn't mean that you actually will.

RHOLOGY: Thank you. That's exactly my answer when you ask me about "Protestant disunity". Just b/c individuals can interp the Scr correctly (b/c the Scr is sufficiently clear for that) doesn't mean that they will.

ORTHODOX: but I have at my disposal the collective wisdom of the Church which is led into all truth.

RHOLOGY: So do I, but unlike you I accept what earlier mbrs of the church have said and judge them by God's revelation rather than having to resort to one of two options:
1) shoehorn what they said into My Church's Paradigm, or
2) reject what they said as Authentic Holy Tradition b/c I don't like it

ORTHODOX: Which is why protestants can't agree on paedo baptism, but Orthodox Tradition has no ambiguity.

RHOLOGY: As I have said about 6 times so far, I refuse to compare apples to oranges.
Among Reformed Baptists, there is as much unity as in the modern EOC, so how are you any better off than I?

ORTHODOX: But if I want to say I can have knowledge about God's people led into the truth concerning the traditioin, suddenly you claim it is all too fuzzy.

RHOLOGY: Finally, a good question - I commend you.
1st, there is no Scriptural promise that God will lead His people to an infallible tradition.
2nd, there is no Scriptural promise that God will make His church infallible.
3rd, church history shows that the church has not been infallible.
4th, ECFs whom you often cite as sources of Holy Tradition say other things related to subjects that make you uncomfortable, such as that the Scr should be our sole final authority; when they do, you just reject them out of hand w/o even thinking about it.


ORTHODOX: It (that is, whether Copts (No) or non-Chalcedonians (No) or ROCOR (Yes) are in your church) is common knowledge.

RHOLOGY: OK, then the Canon is common knowledge. No matter what question you ask of me, I'm just going to respond "it is common knowledge, no more questions!"
Besides, you have a difficult road ahead of you if you want to convince me that it's "common knowledge".

ORTHODOX: I don't see anything about "denominations" in scripture.

RHOLOGY: True, just a WHOLE BUNCH of smaller house churches.
But the concept of infallible interpreter doesn't appear in Scr either, and that hasn't stopped you from believing it. I'm beginning to suspect you have a higher authority than the Scriptures. [/irony]

ORTHODOX: Why are you so afraid to compare who you consider in the Church to who I consider in the Church?

RHOLOGY: It's ludicrous to suggest that I'm afraid of what you have to offer, man.
And kudos - apparently you're not afraid either since you ARE interacting w/ it. It just took me a couple tries to get you around to it. But you're doing better than your bud Lucian.

ORTHODOX: the "White Question" is not in scripture.

RHOLOGY: Don't remember claiming it was. But it reveals the bankruptcy of one point of your position.

ORTHODOX: Neither is the canon.

RHOLOGY: Interestingly, even in your much wider body of teachings (ie, Tradition), you don't have a Canon either, whether of Scripture or of Tradition. So why even bring it up? Every time you do it's another bullet discharged into your own leg.

ORTHODOX: Now you are adding to scripture.

RHOLOGY: Ssssuuuurrrrre I am.

ORTHODOX: Thus: chaos... SS doesn't work.

RHOLOGY: Oops, you were showing promise, like you were actually going to interact w/ my position, and then you backed off right back into Orthodox clichés again. W/ a little effort you can make it back to real argumentation.

ORTHODOX: An unclear teaching in the infallible scripture plus a clear teaching in the fallible "other authority", leads to the "other authority" winning out.

RHOLOGY: Ah, so the Scr is unclear, is it?
See, I knew you would say that eventually. You have to either claim the Scr is unclear or demean its authority, b/c if you took it as your highest authority, you would have so much cognitive dissonance that it would be painful to remain a mbr of the EOC. As it is, your cognitive dissonance expresses itself in terrible and circular argumentation.

ORTHODOX: So no buddhists adhere to sola the buddhist scriptures? No Muslims adhere to sola the Koran?
...So if you're going to make the absurd link of lumping us with LDS, I'm going to lump you with Wahhabis Muslims. Deal?

RHOLOGY: I reject this comparison to Buddhists and Muslims, as if they were comparable to Sola Ecclesia-ists or Sola Scripturists who at least say that the Bible is an authority.
Buddhists don't even care about the Bible.
Muslims kind of do but the Had'ith and Qur'an are far higher. And those two are not "Scripture". They are more properly called "pagan writings". Cool?
My point is related to those who use the actual Scriptures as final authority (SS) or Scriptures + infall interper (SE).

ORTHODOX: do you list any ECFs as SSists?

RHOLOGY: There are many many who give a lot of support to the idea that the Scr are the highest authority.

ORTHODOX: Just when did the true church perish from the earth?

RHOLOGY: It never did.

ORTHODOX: Who in these first centuries enumerated your canon?

RHOLOGY: Haha, who enumerated YOURS? You amaze me.

ORTHODOX: why shouldn't I compare Greek Orthodox with Russian Orthodox?

RHOLOGY: Whoa whoa whoa, are Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox denominations? I thought you Totally United Eastern Orthodox® didn't have any of those!

ORTHODOX: Or if you want to compare RCC with EOC, why shouldn't I compare reformed baptists with anglicans, or pentacostals, or even oneness pentacostals?

RHOLOGY: Anglicans aren't SS.
Oneness Pentecostals aren't either and they aren't Trinitarian. They hold to Scr+infall interper (ie, private revelation) model. Thus, yup, you guessed it, they are SE-ists.
But compare Reformed Baptists to some SS Pentecostals is 100% fair.
See how easy that was? I'm very agreeable as long as you make sense.

ORTHODOX: I said that we can get rid of the bad by testing against scripture. I never said to compare tradition to tradition.

RHOLOGY: Excuse me, but in this same post you said this:
ORTHODOX: That's one way (to test tradition). But it's not the only way. If you disagree show me the verse saying it is the only way.
RHOLOGY: I guess I need you to explain the other way to test tradition.

ORTHODOX: When scripture refers to a righteous man it isn't always referring to anybody and everybody who simply has faith. See what happens with you and your bible under a tree?

RHOLOGY: Strawman - show me where I ever expressed the idea of "me and my Bible under a tree". You're very discourteous for doing that.
And the very category of "righteous" in the Scr means someone who has saving faith. Feel free to join in on the discussion on that if you want.

ORTHODOX: Did you really NEED your NASB to tell you that it is right to look after your parents as per the passage in question?

RHOLOGY: Not the NASB but God's revelation, yes.
What are you, a member of the Rational Response Squad? You think you have some morality outside of what God has declared? How?
You have a worldview that is far from biblical, though I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

ORTHODOX: There is no scriptural revelation specifically about abortion.

RHOLOGY: Your ignorance shouldn't surprise me, but it does.

ORTHODOX: The only clarity and workability that is of practical interest, is what we find in real life.

RHOLOGY: B/c you don't have a Christ mind.
Your big (and unsupportable) assumption is that, just b/c sinful people misinterp and misuse the Scripture, that means it's the Scr's fault for being unclear.
This is why I always say that EOC and RCC go a long way towards demeaning the authority of Scr and bear a large resemblance to liberal Protestant epistemology. Even if I cite Scr to you, you won't care. Why should I even waste my time talking to you? What common authority could we possibly share?

ORTHODOX: 2 Peter says some things are hard to understand.

RHOLOGY: Yes, which the "untaught and unstable distort, as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."
I don't suppose that could mean that the taught and stable can understand them!
Besides, the points where you and I disagree (ie, authority, justification, prayer to dead people) are not unclear at all. But I'll grant you that I don't fully get Paul's eschatology.

ORTHODOX: It's really hard to follow that if you never received the oral traditions.

RHOLOGY: The ones that I'm commanded to receive have been enscripturated and I receive them w/ gladness. You w/ your ungodly authority structure and demeaning attitude towards God's Word don't. Your destiny scares me.

8 comments:

orthodox said...

>Is judging people and dividing people b/c of
>traditions that are held in their proper place (ie,
>subservient to Scr) and which are not commented
>on by Scr, thus condemned? Yes, it's condemned -
>1 Cor 8 and Rom 14 comment on those.

How can you say that that having a discipline on things which are not commented on in scripture is condemned, and as proof you cite some scriptures which comment on these things? There is no general condemnation of "things not in scripture" in these passages. Rather there is freedom granted concerning specific issues which clearly are mentioned in scripture because you just quoted them.

If you think Paul's setting up a general principle that you can't have church disciplines about any apparently small issues, we could point to 1 Cor 11 where Paul gets all worked up about length of hair and covering your head praying.

>Oh, OK. What is that specific meaning?

>Can you provide a list of what "the Tradition" is?
>Since it is so specific, you must have a list
>compiled by The Church

I've already explained why we don't have the need for lists that you think we do.

>ORTHODOX: tell is what is clearer, the Orthodox
>Tradition, or scripture alone?
>
>RHOLOGY: I already told you. Scr is clearer by
>far.

I say nonsense, and I'm backed up by the existance of Presbyterians and Baptists on your side, and Orthodox practice on ours.

>But the Church is supposed to live by Holy
>Tradition and use it for its rule of faith. How can
>The Church® be submitted to Holy Tradition and
>at the same time define in and out of Tradition
>any opposing viewpoint expressed by an
>otherwise-reliable ECF?

The church doesn't define Holy Tradition, rather it humbly submits to it.

How do you submit to scripture when you decided for yourself what is your canon?

>B/c The Church® says so, yeah I know.

Cool, we're making progress. ;-)

>ORTHODOX: Just like if an ECF is wrong about >the canon from your point of view are in error.
>
>RHOLOGY: Unlike in your view, I have an easy
>explanation to acct for when ECFs are in error - I
>judge them by Scr.

You judge an ECF's canon by your own canon? Sounds like you are your own pope.

>Indeed, they themselves would have told me to
>do so.

Unlikely.

>RHOLOGY: Yes, and the Church holds up the
>truth of God. The Scr. That's what my pastor
>does every week.

Your pastor upholds some of the truth.

>RHOLOGY: Strawman. My argument has never
>been that individuals are the ones who judge the
>Canon/have the Canon revealed to them. I refer
>to "the people of God" over and over

Oh dear, but you need to interpret the thinking of the people of God. And that's all fuzzy and hard and so on.

Or are you now realising that understanding what the people of God think is easier than just deciding it all yourself?

>But how would I know that (that is, that the Scr is
>only a subset of revelation) if I can't interp the
>Scr correctly, as a mere individual?

There seems to be a lot of straw men being set up here.

That Orthodoxy doesn't encourage individuals to interpret scripture apart from the body of Christ doesn't mean you can't do it, it just means it is riskier to do it that way. You're flying without a safety net.

Again, there's a difference between apologetics that get you into the church, and the rule of faith once you are in. An argument about creation might get you into faith, but it isn't a rule of faith in itself. Pascal's wager might be a good argument, but it isn't what defines the faith.

>RHOLOGY: Thank you. That's exactly my answer
>when you ask me about "Protestant disunity".
>Just b/c individuals can interp the Scr correctly
>(b/c the Scr is sufficiently clear for that) doesn't
>mean that they will.

Thus SS doesn't work, because so very few do interpret it well all by themselves, both from my view AND yours.

>RHOLOGY: So do I, but unlike you I accept what
>earlier mbrs of the church have said and judge
>them by God's revelation rather than having to
>resort to one of two options:
>2) reject what they said as Authentic Holy
>Tradition b/c I don't like it

We didn't see Jason judging Eusebius by scripture, we saw him defending his scriptural canon using Eusebius. That's back to front, right?

And how quickly will you reject any ECF's in your "God's leading his people into the canon", if you don't like the canon they listed?

>RHOLOGY: As I have said about 6 times so far, I
>refuse to compare apples to oranges.
>Among Reformed Baptists, there is as much unity
>as in the modern EOC, so how are you any better
>off than I?

You've given us no reason whatsoever of equating reformed baptists with EOC. Where is the equivilence? You don't believe Reformed baptists is the entire church. All it is is a name for people who agree with you, it has no theological status in your system.

>RHOLOGY: Finally, a good question - I commend
>you.

Gee, could it be a little... respect? Makes a pleasant change.

>1st, there is no Scriptural promise that God will
>lead His people to an infallible tradition.

Really. Didn't you just assure me God was leading his people infallibly to the correct canon?

>2nd, there is no Scriptural promise that God will
>make His church infallible.

See above. Same question.

>3rd, church history shows that the church has
>not been infallible.

The only infallibility claimed is concerning the faith, and of course I vigorously dispute your analysis.

>4th, ECFs whom you often cite as sources of Holy
>Tradition say other things related to subjects
>that make you uncomfortable, such as that the
>Scr should be our sole final authority; when they
>do, you just reject them out of hand w/o even
>thinking about it.

ECFs don't say that unless you take them out of context and ignore their entire teachings.

>RHOLOGY: OK, then the Canon is common
>knowledge. No matter what question you ask of
>me, I'm just going to respond "it is common
>knowledge, no more questions!"

Well common knowledge is part of our rule of faith. I am not the one acting like a sola-scholarist.

>Besides, you have a difficult road ahead of you if >you want to convince me that it's "common
>knowledge".

Looks like a bunch of discussions that agree with what I said. Is there a point?

>ORTHODOX: I don't see anything about
>"denominations" in scripture.
>
>RHOLOGY: True, just a WHOLE BUNCH of smaller
>house churches.

Also the concept of The Church is in scripture.

>But the concept of infallible interpreter doesn't
>appear in Scr either, and that hasn't stopped you
>from believing it.

Whatever you bind on earth, has been bound in heaven. It's all there in black and white.

>I'm beginning to suspect you have a higher
>authority than the Scriptures.

Believing things not in scripture means I have a higher authority? Don't you believe anything not in scripture?

>RHOLOGY: Interestingly, even in your much
>wider body of teachings (ie, Tradition), you don't
>have a Canon either, whether of Scripture or of
>Tradition. So why even bring it up?

I've told you a number of times why. Here's another reason. You can't even have a partial canon without going extra scriptural. That Tradition may have some fuzzy edges doesn't get you out of your lack of even a partial list of canon from sola scripture. But I can definitely give you at least a partial list of Holy Traditions.

>RHOLOGY: Ah, so the Scr is unclear, is it?

When used outside of its native environment of the Church that it belongs to, yes. Like reading 2Th 2:15 and not having the contextual knowledge of what traditions Paul is talking about.

>if you took it as your highest authority, you
>would have so much cognitive dissonance that it
>would be painful to remain a mbr of the EOC

Nonsense.

>Muslims kind of do but the Had'ith and Qur'an
>are far higher. And those two are not "Scripture".
>My point is related to those who use the actual
>Scriptures

Oh! You mean the ACTUAL scriptures, not just any old scriptures. Well I meant the ACTUAL Holy Traditions in the ACTUAL Church, not just any old traditions in any old organization. That rules out the LDS. Give up that dead horse now, deal?

ORTHODOX: do you list any ECFs as SSists?

>RHOLOGY: There are many many who give a lot
>of support to the idea that the Scr are the
>highest authority.

Good old Webster eh. Trying to retro fit the early church to be protestants. He argues for example that Basil the great didn't really believe in any source of authority besides scripture, because he quoted a lot of scripture. And yet Basil said "Of the beliefs and practices whether generally accepted or publicly enjoined which are preserved in the Church some we possess derived from written teaching; others we have received delivered to us "in a mystery" by the tradition of the apostles; and both of these in relation to true religion have the same force."

Webster argues that Augustine taught that the true church is characterised by adherance to scripture alone. And yet Augustine said "As to those other things which we hold on the authority, not of Scripture, but of tradition, and which are observed throughout the whole world, it may be understood that they are held as approved and instituted either by the apostles themselves, or by plenary Councils"

and "And if any one seek for divine authority in this matter, though what is held by the whole Church, and that not as instituted by Councils, but as a matter of invariable custom, is rightly held to have been handed down by apostolical authority."

Gee, could it be that Webster is spinning a tale?

>ORTHODOX: Just when did the true church perish
>from the earth?
>
>RHOLOGY: It never did.

Is there supposed to be something informative there?

>RHOLOGY: Haha, who enumerated YOURS? You
>amaze me.

I'm not the one who needs a canon enumerated before I can have the true faith.

>RHOLOGY: Whoa whoa whoa, are Greek
>Orthodox and Russian Orthodox denominations?
>I thought you Totally United Eastern Orthodox®
>didn't have any of those!

I thought your definitioin of denomination was administratively separate bodies. If not, I stand corrected, and await a new definition.

>RHOLOGY: Anglicans aren't SS.

Have you read the 39 articles of the Anglican church?

>Oneness Pentecostals aren't either and they >aren't Trinitarian. They hold to Scr+infall interper
>(ie, private revelation) model.

ALL oneness pentacostals are damned by private revelation, but there are SS pentacostals who aren't? Sounds arbitrary to me.

>RHOLOGY: Excuse me, but in this same post you
>said this:
>ORTHODOX: That's one way (to test tradition).
>But it's not the only way. If you disagree show
>me the verse saying it is the only way.
>RHOLOGY: I guess I need you to explain the
>other way to test tradition.

Well a tradition can be tested against the mind of the Church.

>And the very category of "righteous" in the Scr
>means someone who has saving faith.

And the category of "truck" means something with wheels. But it doesn't mean that every reference to something with wheels is discussing trucks.

>RHOLOGY: Not the NASB but God's revelation,
>yes.
>What are you, a member of the Rational
>Response Squad? You think you have some
>morality outside of what God has declared? How?

Elementary my dear Watson.

Romans 2:14-15 Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15 since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)

>You have a worldview that is far from biblical,
>though I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Looks like I spoke too soon about respect.

>ORTHODOX: There is no scriptural revelation
>specifically about abortion.
>
>RHOLOGY: Your ignorance shouldn't surprise me,
>but it does.

Nope, no mention of abortion here, unless I guess you intend to procure abortion by hanging around struggling men hoping to get accidently hit.

>RHOLOGY: B/c you don't have a Christ mind.

There goes the respect again.

>Your big (and unsupportable) assumption is that,
>just b/c sinful people misinterp and misuse the
>Scripture, that means it's the Scr's fault for being
>unclear.

Wrong. It is not the scripture's fault for being unclear, it is the sinful person's fault for interpreting it outside of the context of the Church which it belongs to.

>This is why I always say that EOC and RCC go a
>long way towards demeaning the authority of Scr
>and bear a large resemblance to liberal
>Protestant epistemology.

Nonsense. You won't find any ECFs taking your view that the scripture is equally effective in the vacuum of the environment outside the church as it is when used in the church in the context of the church's tradition.

>Even if I cite Scr to you, you won't care.

What you regard as "not caring" I regard as taking on board the "cares" of 2000 years of Christians, all of whom "cared" what the scripture said. To go on some ego trip of what I see in scripture today without input from millions of other Christians is crazy stuff.

>RHOLOGY: Yes, which the "untaught and
>unstable distort, as they do the rest of the
>Scriptures, to their own destruction."
>I don't suppose that could mean that the taught
>and stable can understand them!

Yep, good one. So come into the Church and be taught. Oh I forgot, if we were to teach you, it would no longer be you and your bible under a tree.

Rhology said...

This is getting long, which is partly my fault. I don't have the wrist strength to do a point-by-point response.

Tell you what - lemme ask you this question.

Why should I join EOC and not RCC? A brief answer is fine and I can reflect off of it if you like. Or a longer one, but don't give me 4000 words.

orthodox said...

I'm preparing a debate against a Roman Catholic. I'll drop a link in here somewhere in the next few weeks when my opening argument is done.

Lucian said...

Why should I join EOC and not RCC?

This commin' from a guy who posts about what certain "sons of Rome" did or didn't do (to him :D ). You're a Catholic-basher, admit it! (Now, don't deny it! Denial is allways the first step). You just sit there, in Your dark, little corner, just WAITNG for someone to do something to You, so You'll have a moral-majority type of excuse to bring it out in the open for Your own interest. Come on, admit it! ;D
I'm not worried about You joining either one of them any time soon. At least I've got this off my mind. (Phew!)

Salva said...

or out of your spleen, which appears somewhat more likely to be the case...

Rhology said...

Orthodox,

Tell you what - I don't have time right now to write up a point by point response. I could but I don't want to.
Besides, it might be more (for lack of a better word) helpful (profitable?) for us to focus on one topic.

Or to be fair I'll bring up one facet of what we've talked about so far and you can ask me about one facet in particular as well.

I'd like you to comment on this:
Please compare the unity found within Reformed Baptists and that found w/in EOC. Which do you think is more unified and why?

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

I've always been curious about the unity question, as to why it comes up so frequently. Given that a goodish number of prominent exponents of the faith seemed not to mind sharp doctrinal divisions (one thinks of Paul suggesting that his opponents castrate themselves, or Jesus' thoughts to the disciples about family togetherness), I've never understood why 'unity' is even an issue. Is it because the doctrinal differences that break fellowship in Protestantism are unimportant? Who gets to make that decision?