Monday, June 18, 2007

The Gospel and the OT Law. Orthodox has no idea.

OK, I spoke too harshly about Orthodox's disingenuousness recently. He has made many comments I consider disingenuous, but this one in particular that I called out was off.

On the other hand, let's consider this brilliant input into our discussion:

WIll (sic) you test the NT canon against the previous torah? Would you have tested Paul's oral traditions in the early church against the torah? Good luck justifying Paul's gospel against the torah.
It's so funny, when I think about it. This guy Orthodox is clearly skilled in polemics against Protestants and has demonstrated some knowledge of the Bible and some knowledge of Church Fathers' writings. And yet he exhibits total cluelessness as relates to a fundamentally important idea in the New Testament.
I recommend that Orthodox read the Epistle to the Hebrews. And then he can ask himself how the noble Bereans went about testing what the Apostle Paul said when he brought the Gospel to them and they tested it by the Scripture (ie, the Old Testament).
He is also welcome to come to my church anytime where, if he cares to, he can learn about God's Word.

30 comments:

orthodox said...

I appreciate your retraction concerning the previous issues, but I do await your next attempt to show why Chrysostom and Athanasius are in the true church, and modern EO are not.

Concerning Paul and the Bereans, its long been confusing to me why protestants would cite this as evidence for sola scriptura. Certainly the Bereans tested Paul's major claims against the scriptures. He probably pointed them to Isaiah 53 or something along those lines as evidence for his claims about the Messiah.

HOWEVER... concerning, for example, the Christian practice of not keeping the dietary laws, those noble Bereans could hardly have found support in the scriptures for that, could they? The apostles did not follow sola scripture, they didn't set that example, nor did they teach it.

Another thing I find interesting. There was plenty of room for the Bereans to cast doubt on some of these prophesies in the scriptures, that they were really talking about what Paul claimed, in just the same way as protestants cast doubt on how we understand the church being the pillar and foundation of the truth, or that the church will be led into all truth. And the Bereans, if they accepted all these prophesies were about the Messiah, there was plenty of room to cast doubt on whether Jesus was the Messiah, in the same way protestants cast doubt on whether the church that comes from the original church is really the church.

Not to say that these scenarios are entirely equivalent, but the point is, these Bereans wouldn't have been nearly so noble if they possessed all the skepticism of many protestants.

One of the Christian traditions is that we (and protestants did also at least until the late 20th century), keep Sunday as the new covenant equivalent for a sabbath day. But there is no verse saying that another day may be substituted for Saturday. Sometimes Col 2:16 is cited, but all that is saying is that no-one should judge you on your keeping of the sabbath, but it doesn't say the sabbath is abolished. Heb 4:9 says that the Sabbath day remains. Protestants are themselves selective in what scriptures they want to hold to. They follow the Church tradition about Sabbaths, and the interpretation of these verses, but they can't actually prove them, as evidenced by groups like Seventh Day Adventists.

The Bereans were noble enough to check some things in the scriptures, but they never checked everything in the scriptures, or they would have tossed the apostles out on their ear.

orthodox said...

>He is also welcome to come to my church anytime >where, if he cares to, he can learn about God's Word.

Why would I need to come to your church? Isn't scripture alone enough?

Rhology said...

Again, read the Epistle to the Hebrews. I'd also be happy to recommend some commentaries to you.

As for why come to my church, well, you HAVE the Scriptures in hand, yes. But you don't understand them b/c your mind is darkened by sin, you are missing the Holy Spirit's illumination, you are still a "natural man" as 1 Cor 2:14 says, you are "holding to a form of godliness, although (you) have denied its power" (2 Tim 3:5). It's therefore no surprise you make stupid statements like you did about Torah vs. NT. If you come to my church you'll hear the Scripture proclaimed correctly. You'll have a chance to understand and to repent.
On top of that, you could see the example of a church that holds to BOTH ideals: obedience to elders AND submission to Scripture. Where you are now, you've only seen the former and missed the latter.

orthodox said...

RHOLOGY: Again, read the Epistle to the Hebrews.

ORTHODOX: Again?

RHOLOGY: But you don't understand them b/c your mind is darkened by sin, you are missing the Holy Spirit's illumination, you are still a "natural man"

ORTHODOX: If I'm incapable of understanding the scriptures because I'm supposedly a natural man, then logically, you have no way of knowing if it is really the other way: you are the natural man, and I am the one who understands.

RHOLOGY: On top of that, you could see the example of a church that holds to BOTH ideals: obedience to elders AND submission to Scripture.

ORTHODOX: Come to my church and get the Trifecta: Scripture, Elders AND Tradition.

Rhology said...

Yes, read it again. You need it.

then logically, you have no way of knowing if it is really the other way: you are the natural man, and I am the one who understands.

I'm not the one claiming the Torah and NT contradict themselves.

Rob said...

As for why come to my church, well, you HAVE the Scriptures in hand, yes. But you don't understand them b/c your mind is darkened by sin, you are missing -the Holy Spirit's illumination, you are still a "natural man" as 1 Cor 2:14 says, you are "holding to a form of godliness, although (you) have denied its power" (2 Tim 3:5). It's therefore no surprise you make stupid statements like you did about Torah vs. NT. If you come to my church you'll hear the Scripture proclaimed correctly.-

That seems like an argument for a tradition of your own, a reliable teaching authority. Why should your church's authority be considered more reliable than Chrysostom's or Augustine's.

Rhology said...

For one thing, Rob, b/c my church doesn't claim that different parts of God's revelation contradict themselves, unlike what Orthodox has said here.

Lucian said...

As far as I'm able to understand it, there's no 'contradiction'; it's just "not-self-understood continuation". (The later ["everything in the Torah is now to be put aside and understood differently than it was for the last 1,500 yrs"] does not result from the former [Gensis 1:1 -- Deuteronomy 34:12]).

And You have to admit, it's pretty logical. (There was another locality in which St. Paul stood for a fair amount of time, preaching in their synagogues Sabbath after Sabbath, and not only that they wouldn't listen, but they've tried to kill him also!). So, to my knowledge, the use of the Berean episode to dispute in favor of the S.S. misses the point.

Rob said...

So, are you saying that your church can, in effect, function as we (an RC chiming in here) claim the Magisterium of the Church functions, as a reliable and infallible teaching authority?

If you do not believe that your church can do this, then what is the basis of any doubt, i.e. who can say that your church is wrong (or right?). If someone were to disagree, who could say, authoritatively, whether they were correct or not?

This is just plain curiousity. I have lurked a bit here and I know that you are all way out of my league when it comes to apologetics. I have just always wondered how Proetstants sorted this out.

Rhology said...

Lucian,

That's much closer to the truth than Orthodox got, so kudos to you.

I wonder - in your opinion, is Orthodox's blunder b/c he's
1) badly educated,
2) foolish, or
3) evidence of disunity w/in the EOC?

I'm very interested in which one you think, and I'm 100% serious.

Rhology said...

are you saying that your church can, in effect, function as we (an RC chiming in here) claim the Magisterium of the Church functions, as a reliable and infallible teaching authority?

No, not infallible, but...
1) yours is definitely not infallible either
2) "not infallible" does not equal "wrong" or "not authoritative" necessarily.
The teaching power of the church derives from its faithfulness to the Scr. My church's teaching is highly faithful to the Scriptures.

If someone were to disagree, who could say, authoritatively, whether they were correct or not?

On the basis of the Scriptures, judging that church's teaching by the Word of God, as Jesus told us to in Mark 7:1-13.

I have lurked a bit here and I know that you are all way out of my league when it comes to apologetics. I have just always wondered how Proetstants sorted this out.

You are welcome anytime, Rob. Thanks for stopping by. I have read some of your blogs too, just this morning, actually. ;-)
And I'll be honest and try to draw this out a bit more so as to satisfy (hopefully) your questioning and curiosity.
To a Sola-Scripturist (note the distinction between "Sola Scripturist" and "Protestant"), the Scripture is the only infallible rule of faith. There can be other rules but they are all subservient to the Scr b/c only the Scr is breathed out by God.
He recognises that EOC and RCC both teach many unbiblical doctrines and in their official positions do not even have the Gospel of grace for salvation.
He recognises that Scriptural fidelity is to be more highly valued than unity at all costs.
W/ that in mind he looks for a church that teaches the Scriptures.
If disagreement arises, it is to be brought to the Scr for judgment.
Sometimes disagreements (over, say, church gov't) arise and the church splits. Is that a terrible horrible grave catastrophe? It can be. Or it can be not so bad, depends.
So the church splits b/c the mbrs couldn't agree on the interp of Scr. But in a tiff over church gov't, does that involve the Gospel? No. So are the mbrs of each church brothers in Christ? Yes, according to the Scr. And hopefully, if cooler heads prevail, the mbrs will be practically cognizant of that fact.

Contrast that w/ the fake "unity" of Rome, for example, where when people step out of line doctrinally, they are either
1) ignored (ie, liberals)
2) absorbed into Rome anyway (ie, Vatican 2)
3) excommunicated and labeled as "they were never ever part of us anyway!" (ie, Gerry Matatics and sedevacantists)

To the outside observer, that doesn't inspire confidence in Rome's "unity." Add to the mix the fact that Rome's Gospel of faith+works leads explicitly to damnation in Galatians 1:8 and I'm QUITE happy where I am.

See these four posts for more insight, if you like.

Peace,
ALAN

Rob said...

Well, I really don't have to do any apologetic dance, I guess. The method for dealing with disagreement, which you have described, seems to be simply a recipe for chaos. Also, I have always seen the break with the Catholic church simply to be a rebellion against authority and an indulgence of pride.

For me, to become Protestant would simply mean that I thought too much of myself to listen to the wisdom of thousands of years of interpreting scripture that the Church has. I am only 34 and have little experience at it. To say that I am a better judge seems to go against everything the faith teaches about submission to authority.

Lucian said...

4) Missundersdtanding from Your part. [No insult intended -- it's only human].

Rhology said...

Ah, Lucian...

OK, please tell me how I misunderstood Orthodox's statement.

Lucian said...

"Orthodox"'s comments were a 'reduction to the absurd', pointing out to You the obvious fact that we wouldn't have any Christianity today, if the 1st Christians would've held to S.S.

orthodox said...

Did I use the word "contradiction"? I don't remember using that word. Anyway, you're trying to weasel out of the facts here.

Please answer these questions. Feel free to pretend you are a Berean:

1) Does the OT teach observance of dietary laws?
2) Does the OT teach observance of the Saturday Sabbath?
3) Did the apostles teach observance of the dietary laws?
4) Do you advocate keeping the Sabbath?

If your answers don't agree above, just how noble would have been in Berea?

You see, it's no good pointing to the Bereans as proto sola scripuralists, if we all know full well that they didn't compare all the apostle's teaching to the scriptures and judge it on that basis.

Kyle said...

I'm sure Rhoblogy will address how the Bereans were proto-SS'ers. But I would like to jump in with a few comments.

Paul took the message of the Jewish Messiah to the Bereans.

Acts 17:2-3 "And according to Paul's custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ."

But they went to the Jewish scriptures to confirm if the Christ Paul was proclaiming fit the Christ of the Torah.

Acts 17:11 "Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so."

What they did was noble in that they were not accepting Paul based on his reputation or authority but on conformance to scriptures. First he showed that the Christ was THE Christ then that he was a true Apostle of THE Christ. After Paul was authenticated as an apostle of the True Christ then he became an acceptable means of conveying new truth. First he showed conformance to old truth, and then he could bring new truth. So the dietary laws and Sabbath keeping were done away with as part of the New Covenant (See the book of Hebrews) which Paul proved to be a spokesman for. I think you miss this point about SS. We don't think that all new truth must be in the scriptures, otherwise there could never be new revelation. For you to suggest that makes me think you were just throwin' sumptin out there hoping it sticks.

The RCC, Mormons, EO, and other contenders for the One True Church fail the test of conforming to old truth, and so their 'Apostles' are not candidates to bring new truth not already contained in scripture.

Lucian said...

Kyle,

Why did the Thessalonians reject him, though he "reasoned with them for three Sabbaths from the Scriptures in their Synagogues"?

Is it maybe because Scriptures and reason aren't enough?

And why did the Bereans accept him?

Kyle said...

Hi, Lucian.

LUCIAN: Why did the Thessalonians reject him, though he "reasoned with them for three Sabbaths from the Scriptures in their Synagogues"?

The answer is right there in verse 5.

"But the Jews, becoming jealous and taking along some wicked men from the market place, formed a mob and set the city in an uproar; and attacking the house of Jason, they were seeking to bring them out to the people." (Acts 17:5)

They were jealous of Paul. We can see that they wanted a place of honor in religion and since following Christ means to divest yourself of any honor, these fellows would have none of it.
I'm not sure how the Thessalonians are relevant to SS. SS'ers do not claim that all people who read scriptures will be converted. There are fools, reprobrates, the deceieved, and false teachers all who distort the scriptures for one reason or other. The error of these does not exclude godly people from understanding the scriptures.

LUCIAN: Is it maybe because Scriptures and reason aren't enough?

No. Why does any non-believer not believe? It is because they reject the grace of God. They are unwilling to repent and believe for their own reasons. For the Thessalonians it was pride which led to their coveting of Paul.

LUCIAN: And why did the Bereans accept him?

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him up. (John 6:44)

They were drawn by the Father. I am not settled in my opinion about whether some are drawn and reject that drawing, or if only those who accept were drawn in the first place. But clearly all who accept were first drawn. No one believes without hearing the Gospel and being under the influence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit opens the heart and mind and removes barriers such as pride so that men of such low character like myself can come to believe the glorious Gospel of salvation by grace through faith as proclaimed in the Scriptures.

Lucian said...

So, in other words, these verses say nothing about S.S., then, whether for, or against? Just about (wo)men and their (non)receiving of the Gospel, ... or?

orthodox said...

KYLE: After Paul was authenticated as an apostle of the True Christ then he became an acceptable means of conveying new truth.

ORTHODOX: Hmm. What happens if we take the above sentence and the above logic and we substitute "Church" for "Paul".

KYLE: The RCC, Mormons, EO, and other contenders for the One True Church fail the test of conforming to old truth, and so their 'Apostles' are not candidates to bring new truth not already contained in scripture.

ORTHODOX: You've weaseled out of the questions. What was the "old truth" about the dietary laws? Did the apostle's teaching on dietary laws conform to the old truth?

KYLE: We don't think that all new truth must be in the scriptures, otherwise there could never be new revelation. For you to suggest that makes me think you were just throwin' sumptin out there hoping it sticks.

ORTHODOX: Kyle, I wasn't the one who brought up the Bereans. Either the Bereans tested everything against the scriptures, or they didn't. Clearly they didn't, so bringing them into the argument was a non-sequitur. If everyone would like to admit that, we can move on.

Kyle said...

LUCIAN: So, in other words, these verses say nothing about S.S., then, whether for, or against? Just about (wo)men and their (non)receiving of the Gospel, ... or?

No. The fact that some Thessalonian Jews rejected Paul and the Gospel is not an argument against SS. You brought it up as if it were. I responded to you. The Bereans however, are a glowing example of how scripture should be used to test anyone who claims to speak for God including all claimants for the One True Church.

Hello Orthodox.

ORTHODOX: Kyle, I wasn't the one who brought up the Bereans. Either the Bereans tested everything against the scriptures, or they didn't. Clearly they didn't, so bringing them into the argument was a non-sequitur. If everyone would like to admit that, we can move on.

Could you please state your definition of SS? From your comment that the Bereans had to test ALL things against the scripture shows me that your definition is different from mine. SS means that only scripture is an infallible authority. When an Apostle delivers new scriptures (such as changes to dietary laws) these can't be tested. So caution should be taken before accepting Joe Heretic as an Apostle.

The Bereans are relevant in that they authenticated the Apostle through examining the OT prophecies about the Christ. They didn't accept him based on an authority claim about him representing the One True Church. Once the Apostles were proven to be the real deal then the Bereans would believe them when they brought new teachings changing the dietary laws since they spoke the scriptures like a prophet.

How does this apply to RCC, EO, CLDS, or others? Taking the example of the Bereans, we compare the teachings of these Churches to the scriptures (the old and new). And we know God considers this a noble task, not a prideful attempt to avoid authority as SS'ers are sometimes accused of.

Cheers,
Kyle

orthodox said...

KYLE: Could you please state your definition of SS?

ORTHODOX: It's not my place to define the position of the other side.

KYLE: From your comment that the Bereans had to test ALL things against the scripture shows me that your definition is different from mine. SS means that only scripture is an infallible authority. When an Apostle delivers new scriptures (such as changes to dietary laws) these can't be tested.

ORTHODOX: That's fine Kyle. But it means you can't cite the Bereans as evidence for sola scriptura, because we have no evidence that this is something that they practiced.

KYLE: The Bereans are relevant in that they authenticated the Apostle through examining the OT prophecies about the Christ. They didn't accept him based on an authority claim about him representing the One True Church.

ORTHODOX: Let's try and unpack this. As far as the text says, the Bereans accepted his message about Christ based on comparing the claims to the scriptures. There's nothing in the text about them accepting his claim to be an apostle. What they accepted was probably some facts about Christ being the Messiah. One might imagine they would have reacted the same no matter who delivered the message.

Now, one might imagine that the Bereans did accept his authority, although this has nothing to do with the text of Acts 17:10.

Now if they did accept his authority claim, one would assume it was (contrary to what you say) because they accepted his authority in Church. (Yep, the one true church). If not, then what? Because he preached some things which the Bereans found to be true from their scriptures? I could do that, you could do that. The Pharisees could do that.

KYLE: How does this apply to RCC, EO, CLDS, or others? Taking the example of the Bereans, we compare the teachings of these Churches to the scriptures (the old and new). And we know God considers this a noble task, not a prideful attempt to avoid authority as SS'ers are sometimes accused of.

ORTHODOX: Again, the Bereans didn't compare all Paul's teachings to all the scriptural teachings, and then pronounce judgment on him. Had they done so, they would have kicked him out, because the apostles' teachings do conflict with the OT scriptures (e.g. dietary laws). If the Bereans accepted Paul's non-scriptural teachings, it could only because they recognized his authority in the Church to do so. There is no sola scriptura here.

Furthermore, if you are trying to compare accepting Paul's apostolic authority, with accepting the authority claim of LDS, then apparently, all I've got to do is preach to you something from the scriptures which you believe, and then I am elevated to the position of apostle. It doesn't work like that, because what you are seeing in Acts 17 has nothing to do with what actually happened.

Lucian said...

Kyle,

What constituted, in Your opinion, the difference between the 2 approaches in these 2 scenarios: studying Scripture and accepting Paul vs. studying Scripture rejecting him ?

Salva said...

dunno how far Kyle will kick this one, but it occurs to me that the difference might be described in terms of accepting the gospel or rejecting it: the difference is that the Bereans read the Torah correctly, through faith, whereas the Thessalonians read it sinfully, through pride, and thus missed the truth.

Of course, I think I would argue that Paul did have a special claim to apostleship not enjoyed by anyone particular in the church he helped to found - that is to say, unlike Boniface VIII and Athanasius, he really could interpret Scripture infallibly, and reapply the OT laws, which is how Peter got off lumping in his epistles with 'the rest of Scripture.' The reason I'm a Protestant is I don't see anyone else around capable of making a similar claim: the Catholics and EO try, but they both have a regrettable habit of basing their claims to authority on particular interpretations of Scripture, which they then use the resultant authority to infallibly interpret. It's most confusing.

Kyle said...

Lucian,

See Salva's comment.

SALVA: the difference is that the Bereans read the Torah correctly, through faith, whereas the Thessalonians read it sinfully, through pride, and thus missed the truth.

This sums it up quite nicely.

Kyle

Kyle said...

Orthodox,

You seem strongly opposed to SS and convinced that your Church is correct. But I don't think you understand SS because your arguments are missing the mark. If you wish to take out SS, you need to adjust your aim.

ORTHODOX: It's not my place to define the position of the other side.

OK. I'll do it for you. The words of God are the highest authority because it is theopneustos (God-breathed). God cannot appeal to a higher authority because He is Ultimate.

For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself.(Heb. 6:13)

Anywhere the words of God can be found, there you have the highest authority. In the time of Christ the OT was the known repository of the Words of God. Christ and His Apostles brought more words to be added to that list. During the times of enscripturation, the Word of God was passed along orally. So living prophets, Apostles, or Christ could give oral teachings that were as binding as the written scripture. Once those messages were recorded they became part of the canon of scripture.

So, SS means that in all times except for during enscripturation, the scriptures are the sole infallible authority for religious matters.

The written scripture has many exhortations to test anyone bringing new scriptures or a new interpretation of them.

You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. (Deut. 4:2, see also Deut. 13:1-5, Deut. 18:15-22)

I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; (Rev. 22:18)

ORTHODOX: That's fine Kyle. But it means you can't cite the Bereans as evidence for sola scriptura, because we have no evidence that this is something that they practiced.

The Bereans recognized that Paul's messages was the Word of God in verbal form. Sola scriptura is for the Church to follow after scripture was written. The Bereans followed SS until presumably they realized they had a living Apostle to give them the Words of God. (For the sake of discussion, I think it is safe to assume they followed the new dietary laws given by Peter which means they had to test Peter for Apostolicity but the same test is true for Peter or Paul). They illustrate the principle that faithful followers of God should only follow His Word as an infallible authority in religious matters.

ORTHODOX: Furthermore, if you are trying to compare accepting Paul's apostolic authority, with accepting the authority claim of LDS, then apparently, all I've got to do is preach to you something from the scriptures which you believe, and then I am elevated to the position of apostle. It doesn't work like that, because what you are seeing in Acts 17 has nothing to do with what actually happened.

You can't really believe that I think that, can you? You did not ask me what the test of an Apostle is and I did not state the case. But it appears I should. Since the Apostles were commissioned directly by Christ, and they all died out, there are no more Apostles today.

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? (1 Cor. 9:1)

The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles. (2 Cor. 12:12)

Apostles were sent by the resurrected Jesus to be his representatives. They are all dead now so what is left of their authority is written down in the NT. Any Church that claims Apostolic authority has the burden of proof that their message conforms to that of the NT.

Again I will state as my conclusion from personal study, not as an argument, that RCC, LDS, EO, JW's do not conform to the scriptures' teaching about salvation by grace through faith, and so I do not recognize them as bearers of the true Gospel. To those within these systems of belief, I urge to study scripture like the Bereans and discover the truth firsthand.

May God be merciful to you,
Kyle

orthodox said...

KYLE: OK. I'll do it for you. The words of God are the highest authority because it is theopneustos (God-breathed).

ORTHODOX: Okaaayyy.....

KYLE: Anywhere the words of God can be found, there you have the highest authority.

ORTHODOX: Okaaayyy.....

KYLE: During the times of enscripturation, the Word of God was passed along orally. So living prophets, Apostles, or Christ could give oral teachings that were as binding as the written scripture. Once those messages were recorded they became part of the canon of scripture.

ORTHODOX: Okaaayyy.....

KYLE: So, SS means that in all times except for during enscripturation, the scriptures are the sole infallible authority for religious matters.

ORTHODOX: It's this "except for during enscripturation" bit which is where the problems start. Not only does scripture not say this (defying sola scriptura itself), but the whole concept of a "period of enscripturation" is an idea never found in scripture, and I would argue, impossible to actually define.

And then there is the issue I call "the BIG CUTOVER". How do you convert a church that was weaned on the authority of oral tradition (which you admit WAS an authority), over to a new era of sola scriptura? When do you do it? How can any individual know when enscripturation has ceased? How do you even know what the criteria for being scripture is, which is a necessary pre-requisite for knowing when it has ceased? Even if you think it has ceased, how can you implement sola scriptura until you know for sure you have a settled canon? Because if there's an oral teaching with no scripture to back it up, you can't be sure that some day the scripture will turn up to support it.

Of course, as a matter of fact and history, the BIG CUTOVER never happened, which is unsurprising since the apostles didn't teach it, and they never arranged for it to occur. The idea of a two phase church, the church "during enscripturation" and "post enscripturation", is simply protestants 20 centuries later trying to overlay on history what they think should have been taught, but wasn't.

KYLE: The written scripture has many exhortations to test anyone bringing new scriptures or a new interpretation of them.

ORTHODOX: In terms of new scriptures, since Orthodox are not bringing new scriptures, it's not exactly pertinent to this discussion. In terms of new interpretations, well that is a problem for protestants, because they are the ones with new interpretations. Orthodoxy has nothing to concern itself here.

KYLE: You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. (Deut. 4:2, see also Deut. 13:1-5, Deut. 18:15-22)
I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; (Rev. 22:18)

ORTHODOX: Since you get your manuscripts from Orthodoxy, you'd better hope we obeyed these.

KYLE: The Bereans followed SS until presumably they realized they had a living Apostle to give them the Words of God.

ORTHODOX: Whether the Bereans followed sola scriptura is simply a fact not in evidence, which I guess you are admitting by saying "presumably". But instead of presuming, why not just admit that the Bereans tell us nothing about sola scriptura?

KYLE: I think it is safe to assume they followed the new dietary laws given by Peter which means they had to test Peter for Apostolicity but the same test is true for Peter or Paul). They illustrate the principle that faithful followers of God should only follow His Word as an infallible authority in religious matters.

ORTHODOX: You've just contradicted yourself. You've just said it is safe to assume they followed Peter's oral instruction, and then said that they illustrate the principle that faithful followers only follow His Word (do you mean written Word?).

You can fabricate out of whole cloth this idea that there should be a sola-scriptura post-enscripturation age for the church, but the Bereans are NOT in this age by your own admission, so they can hardly illustrate such a principle.

Of course, since everything in scripture is by definition during enscripturation, we ought to agree now that nobody's actions in scripture can illustrate sola scriptura.

KYLE: You did not ask me what the test of an Apostle is and I did not state the case. But it appears I should. Since the Apostles were commissioned directly by Christ, and they all died out, there are no more Apostles today. Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? (1 Cor. 9:1)The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles. (2 Cor. 12:12)

ORTHODOX: Well hang on now, you can't cite the apostle defining the criteria for apostolicity, and then claim that the Bereans judged the apostle's authority based on the OT scriptures. You'd have to be quoting the OT scriptures if you want to somehow relate the Bereans' examination of the scriptures to how they regarded Paul. Of course as I've said, Acts 17 has nothing to do with these issues at all.

KYLE: Apostles were sent by the resurrected Jesus to be his representatives. They are all dead now so what is left of their authority is written down in the NT. Any Church that claims Apostolic authority has the burden of proof that their message conforms to that of the NT.

ORTHODOX: Yes, Jesus appointed apostles and gave them authority. But you conveniently forget that the apostles appointed leaders and formed churches and gave them authority. It's rather arbitrary to follow the followers of Jesus but not follow the followers of the followers of Jesus.

Burden of proof? You've taken on the burden of proof to show that every book in your particular canon of the NT is in fact authentic teachings of the apostles, and every book not in your canon isn't the authentic teachings of the apostles. And then you would have the burden of proof to show that the authority the apostles gave to the elders of the church in fact lapsed. And you have the burden of proof to show that every Tradition that the early church followed, but you don't, is not an apostolic one.

KYLE: Again I will state as my conclusion from personal study, not as an argument, that RCC, LDS, EO, JW's do not conform to the scriptures' teaching about salvation by grace through faith, and so I do not recognize them as bearers of the true Gospel.

ORTHODOX: There seems to be a strange lack of documentation that Orthodox do not believe in salvation by grace through faith. Would it be too much to ask for documentation, seeing as you've just cast hundreds of millions of people into the wilderness?

Rhology said...

A quick step in here.

Orthodox, you should know better. You've been in interaction w/ Sola Scripturists for quite some time. If you don't know our position by now, that's your own fault.

SS's position is that the 12 Apostles' ORAL instruction was authoritative b/c they held the office of Apostle. OK? Authoritative, equal to Scripture.

We believe that we hold to the Apostles' teaching by believing the Scripture, which contains and passes on their teaching. Once the apostles died, their authority did not continue in the same sense to others. The final authority is now in the Scr and it is the responsibility of church elders/teachers to teach it correctly.
I have recently asked you for proof of this "apostolic succession" and you gave us the following psgs:

-"the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth" (paraphrase of John 16), yet only the Eleven were present when Jesus said it
-"whatever you shall have bound on earth shall have been bound in heaven" (Matt 16 and 18), but these are in the context of church discipline
-"let another take his office" (Acts 1:20), yet that was a specific fulfillment of a prophecy, and nothing like that occurs when James the brother of John is put to death w/ the sword in Acts 12.

Finally, I'll ask you about this, Orthodox.
ORTHODOX: There seems to be a strange lack of documentation that Orthodox do not believe in salvation by grace through faith.

We don't have to assume; you can just tell us plainly. Do you believe in salvation by grace thru faith ALONE? (The "alone" should be understood from Kyle; again, you should know better. You're just playing games.)

orthodox said...

RHOLOGY: SS's position is that the 12 Apostles' ORAL instruction was authoritative b/c they held the office of Apostle. OK? Authoritative, equal to Scripture.

ORTHODOX: Which has nothing to do with the Bereans.

RHOLOGY: -"the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth" (paraphrase of John 16), yet only the Eleven were present when Jesus said it

ORTHODOX: Facts not in evidence.

RHOLOGY: -"whatever you shall have bound on earth shall have been bound in heaven" (Matt 16 and 18), but these are in the context of church discipline

ORTHODOX: You asked for a passage showing infallibility of the church. You didn't restrict your request to a particular sphere of activity.

RHOLOGY: We don't have to assume; you can just tell us plainly. Do you believe in salvation by grace thru faith ALONE?

ORTHODOX: Saved through faith alone? Of course not, since John 3:17 says we are saved through Christ, and Acts 15:11 says we are saved through grace. That means it isn't "faith alone".

And to answer your inevitable follow up question, I don't know of anybody Orthodox who would say we are saved through works, or through faith and works. Orthodox have a saying, that how we worship and how we pray is how we believe.

Following is the morning prayer from the Orthodox prayer book:

My most merciful and all-merciful God, O lord Jesus Christ! In Thy great love, Thou didst come down and become flesh in order to save all. Again, I pray Thee, save me by Grace! If Thou shouldst save me because of my deeds, it would not be a gift, but merely a duty. Truly, Thou aboundest in graciousness and art inexpressibly merciful! Thou hast said, O my Christ: He who believes in me shall live and never see death. If faith in thee saves the desperate, behold: I believe! Save me, for Thou art my God and my Maker. May my faith replace my deeds, O my God, for Thou wilt find no deeds to justify me. May my faith be sufficient for all. May it answer for me; may it justify me; may it make me a partaker of Thine eternal glory; and may Satan not seize me, O Word, and boast that He has torn me from Thy hand and fold. O Christ my Savior: save me whether I want it or not! Come quickly, hurry, for I perish! Thou art my God from my mothers womb. Grant, O Lord, that I may now love Thee as once I loved sin, and that I may labor for Thee without laziness as once I labored for Satan the deceiver. Even more, I will labor for Thee, my Lord and God Jesus Christ, all the days of my life, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

What do you think?