Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Yet another liberal professor

One Dr Eric Reitan has chimed in here and here at Dr McGrath's blog.
He is apparently nothing more than another dime-a-dozen liberal religion professor type who likes to talk like an Emergent. Probably b/c "Emergent" usually just means "old-tyme liberalism wearing a soul patch and thick black-frame glasses, a progressive and awesome hairstyle, and typing his blog on a Mac".
But it really is remarkable how he has eviscerated any thought of a meaningful religion given to humanity from God. Rather, he apparently thinks the "man trying to reach God by means that man chooses" is the way to go. Yeah, good luck with that.

Dr Reitan said:
The gist of it is this: a God whose essence is love would not choose, as His primary vehicle of revelation, a static text.

Right off the bat, you are setting yourself up as an authority over the Bible, just like Dr McGrath.
Which means you don't accept the Bible as God's primary means of self-revelation. What will you put in its place? From reading the rest of your comment, you will put "people" in its place. Nice theory, but it only works when people are sorta like you, nice people who don't want to kill you and your kids for fun, who don't want to steal your car and use it for drug and drive-by shooting raids, who don't want to foist all sorts of legalistic requirements for salvation on others, who would never give up their Macs for Lenovos, who would never dream of attempting to subjugate the entire human race under one racist régime.
I don't know if you're a part of the Emergent Church, Dr Reitan, but what you have said here falls directly in line with their worst elements, and that's an awful shame. One of their fundamental problems is their backhanded ethnocentrism. You will no doubt swear up and down that it's actually those awful fundies who are racist, but wait a second. Our message, from the Bible, remains consistent. We call ALL people to repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, b/c ALL people are equally filthy and equally dead in their sins. You want this squishy "community" wherein people are able to "express themselves", but you only want some of that. You won't include the conservative Reformed person like me. You won't include the unrepentant jihadist or the Hindu church bomber, or the loner, or the repentant homosexual who is now happily married to a woman and has 4 kids and wants to help others to leave the homosexual lifestyle, or the sociopath, or the wife-beater. And you know what? There are an awful lot of people like that out there. They are sinners. We are sinners. We need a Savior. Our problem is not that we need community. Our problem is that we are sinful.

One of the points of that is that humans are wildly inconsistent and don't agree on much of anythg, but you naively make humans your yardstick. This boils down to nothing more than happy-happy subjective relativism, and it will fail you in the hard (or even moderately difficult) cases. Ground your morality in humans? What do you tell the guy who wants to murder you? You can't say it's morally wrong to do so! You might tell him it's wrong FOR YOU, but maybe it's perfectly right for him!

OK, back to a point by point refutation of your foolish premise.
a God whose essence is love would not choose, as His primary vehicle of revelation, a static text.

How do you know anything about God apart from His self-revelation in the Bible?
Also, you never interacted (much like your colleague Dr McGrath) with my questions. I invite you with all possible urgency to do so.


We learn most about love through loving and being loved.

Apart from God's revelation of the nature of love in the Bible, how do you know:
1) what love is, and
2) what loving looks like?
See how you've set yourself up over God, set yourself on the throne?


Christianity affirms this when it maintains that God's most fundamental revelation in history was in the PERSON of Jesus.

And if the biblical text is errant, you have a strong defeater for ANY proposition you might make about Him.
"He told us to love our neighbor." No, the text was errant at that point.
"He told us to turn the other cheek." No, the text was errant at that point.
You've cut yourself off from the source and you're left floundering. This is the fruit of liberalism.


He made disciples--PERSONS--whom He sent out into the world.

And you know nothing about them either apart from the Bible.
Will you appeal to church tradition? It looks nothing like what you're proposing here, sorry to say. In fact, it doesn't look like much of anythg - it's a mishmash of elements we'd today identify as Romanism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism, with all sorts of other elements thrown in the mix. One thing is for sure, it doesn't look like what you're expressing here. So I guess that appeal is right out for you, and we're right back to what is, in effect, "But I'm Eric Reitan, yo. Trust ME."


But it will cease to be valuable if we come to pay more attention to this text than we do to our neighbors.

This has ceased being an argument for an alternative foundation for epistemology and morality and is evolving into a complaint that modern conservative Christians can be meanies. And who denies that? We're sinners.
If the text is errant, I'd like to know why I *SHOULD* pay attention to my neighbor. Can you tell me?


the place where Christ is present, embodied, on Earth today. Not in a book. In persons.

Persons who have no knowledge of the historical Christ outside of that book.
It's not like I'm denying the importance of people or the church, but the church is cut off from her moorings without God's guidance.


When the biblical witness is treated as the proxy voice of persons who lived long ago,

Oh, like a history book is a "proxy" of dead guys who fought wars, drew borders, made peace, etc?


the biblical witness becomes an invaluable partner in our efforts to understand what God is saying to us

Even though Jesus Christ Himself taught us to test all things by the standard of His Word? Mark 7:1-13.


it trumps the voice of the neighbor and is used as a conversation-ender.

Precisely. Let all human voices cease before the voice of God. Let Him, in His infinite love and wisdom, define the universe for us and let us bow before our Sovereign Creator.
HE defines sin. HE defines righteousness. HE provides for our salvation. HE commands. HE is the final authority. This is Christianity. I wish you were part of it.


It becomes an excuse not to listen to the lived experience of the neighbor.

Oh, I'll be happy to listen all day long if necessary. But for actual finding the answer to tough questions, God has defined them, and our puny human efforts fail miserably. I'd be willing to bet you only think that "human experience" is important when most things are going right for you in the world. What happens when you're faced with a church split? A divorce? The murder (God forbid) of a family member? Temptation to do something and you can't decide which way to go? Death? What does "human experience" have to say about the question of life after death?


And since compassionate listening is one of the most essential acts of neighbor love

Which you have no way of knowing outside of an objective revelation from God.
In closing on this, you have no case. Your mouth is closed before the Lord. Submit yourself to God.


But why pay attention to fallible people when you think you've got an infallible book?

Maybe b/c I love those fallible people? And b/c the infallible book told me to?
What am I listening to them FOR? You'd say I should go to them for EVERYthing. The Bible tells me to give TO them from the truth that God has already given. See how God would have us be generous, and on your view more selfish?


The tendency is to silence them by quoting chapter and verse: "It's (sic) says so here. It's never wrong. So you must be wrong. Now shut up."

Depends on what we're talking about. If this person wants to know the truth and the Scripture speaks to that issue, yes, God is right and you're wrong. You are obligated to agree, and furthermore, agreeing with God is right in and of itself. That doesn't mean I say "shut up" to people. I only say that to false teachers (much like Dr McGrath) and other destructive influences in the church who are willfully distorting the truth. Not to people who just have questions. And not on every question, either. The Bible allows for diversity of belief on many, many issues. Dr Reitan would lump all questions in under the same category, and he should know better.


the anguished cries of gays and lesbians who are excluded from full participation in the life of the community are ignored in favor of Romans 1:26-27.

And what of when the anguished cries of thieves and child molesters who are excluded from full participation in the life of the community are ignored in favor of Revelation 22:15? You would judge them?!?!?!?!
The church of Jesus Christ is for REPENTANT SINNERS, not unrepentant sinners who want to turn a nation to greater perversity and acceptance of sin. But see again how Dr Reitan is focusing on the loud, gay-agenda, "We're here, we're queer, get used to it" type crowd and ignoring the many homosexuals and former homosexuals in the world and in the US who neither want "civil rights" nor support the gay rights political agenda, nor want to destroy the institution of marriage for everyone else, nor even want to keep being homosexual. Doesn't mean they'll all be able to overcome their same-sex attraction, but it does mean they have actually repented of their sin.
Wow, imagine that - people who honestly and authentically realise they are sinful and bow the knee before a perfect Savior and His revelation.

Dr Reitan will never see that as long as he continues in his stubbornly unChristian views.

53 comments:

Sam Norton said...

Um... "you don't accept the Bible as God's primary means of self-revelation."

No, Christians tend not to. They see Jesus Christ as the Incarnate Word of God, ie "God's primary means of self-revelation", as specified in, eg, John 1.

You have an Islamic understanding of Scripture, not a Christian one; what you imply about the Bible is what Muslims say about the Koran - and yet the Bible is not to Christians what the Koran is to Muslims. Jesus is to Christians what the Koran is to Muslims.

As our Lord himself said, "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me...."

Which is why on the last day people will go to Him and say 'we did many wonderful things in your name' and he will say 'depart from me... for I never knew you'.

In the end, it's all about Him, and knowing Him - not the book which describes Him.

Rhology said...

Hi Sam,

And how do you know anythg about Jesus?
Did Jesus exposit the entire OT? Did He even quote a significant portion of it? Is the OT important? How about the non-Jesus parts of the NT? Less, more, or equally important to the accts of Jesus' life?

You are right that the Koran is the Word of God, uncreated, etc. That's not my view of the Bible, you know.

it's all about Him, and knowing HimAnd I suppose all that is enriched by thinking that He is incapable or unwilling to produce a piece of self-revelation that is consistent, inerrant, and complete.
How do you know Him if everythg you think you know about Jesus could be errant? How do you judge?

Sam Norton said...

I would say, to begin with, that I know about Jesus from several mutually criticising and mutually reinforcing places: the gospels; the church in history; my local church communities throughout my life; and personal experience of God. Jesus himself is the authority over and above all of those, not the Bible.

Rhology said...

"The church in history" - how much ch history have you read?

My local ch community has a very different "experience" of Jesus than yours does, apparently. Who's right and how can we know?
My personal experience of Jesus is very different than yours is, apparently. Who's right and how can we know?

Jesus himself is the authority over and above all of those, not the Bible.Aren't you forgetting sthg? A little problem called "sin"?

Sam Norton said...

"The church in history" - how much ch history have you read?Rather a lot actually, I've got several relevant qualifications in the subject. How much have you read?

My local ch community has a very different "experience" of Jesus than yours does, apparently. Who's right and how can we know?I don't know if that's true because I have never been to your church community (and I'd guess the reverse is true). I'd apply the test from 1 John 4 (my favourite epistle).

My personal experience of Jesus is very different than yours is, apparently. Who's right and how can we know?Again, I don't know whether your experience of Jesus is different from mine because neither of us have said very much about them. Yet I think it is the latter question that vexes you most - you seem to be craving a conscious certainty for being right. I have a conscious certainty that I am not right about some things, and probably not right about many things, and yet I also know that this is supremely irrelevant. Jesus died to save us from that game of blame and justification - that's why the resurrection is good news, not bad news.

'Jesus himself is the authority over and above all of those, not the Bible'. Aren't you forgetting sthg? A little problem called "sin"?You'll have to unpack your logic there as I don't follow what your argument is.

Rhology said...

Oh, I've read less than you, I'm sure. Unfortunately that means you have even less excuse to hold to the position you hold.
2 serious problems:
1) Jesus Himself informs us rather obviously that we are to judge all traditions by the Word of God - Mark 7:1-13. Or is that text just one of the errant ones?
2) Ch history, as I mentioned above, is wildly variant on a lot of subjects, including the identity of Christ. How do you adjudicate between rival lines of thought (aka traditions), since you're basing your knowledge of Christ on that?


1 John 4 - why apply THAT test and not other tests?
How do you know 1 John 4 is not errant?
Maybe MY church community thinks the 1 John 4 test is ridiculous and ungodly. Which of us is right and how can we know?

What I mean by mentioning sin is that you want to get away from an objective source - an infallible God-inspired text - in favor of "people" and "community", as if people aren't sinful. And communities are nothing more than a bunch of sinful people getting together. Alot, an awful lot, of potential decisions are based around the question - Is this the right thing? Base your morality on the foundation of sinful man, and you'll never get an answer, anywhere. God defines sin and righteousness, not people.


that's why the resurrection is good news, not bad news.So you think. But as your buddies are fond of mentioning, the Gospels have inconsistencies and contradictions (not that I agree). Maybe the resurrection is part of the errant accts and didn't happen. Maybe all the good stuff mentioned about the resurrection is part of the errant text. How can you know either way?
If you answer: But look at how much good thinking that has wrought in the world and in myself and in my community, are you unaware that a lot of self-deceived people with wrong ideas have done alot of good and "had peace" in themselves and in their communities, just like you. Is there really no way to tell who's right?

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Rhology: "Right off the bat, you [Eric Reitan] are setting yourself up as an authority over the Bible, just like Dr McGrath."Therein lies much of the problem.

The rotten fruits of liberalism.

If that's what liberalism is, I want nothing to do with it. Yuck. Liberalism is lukewarm spit.

Anonymous said...

Rho,

Jesus is the way I say he is, because I know in my heart that he wears thick rimmed glasses, is effeminate, drinks starbucks espressos, and would use a mack if he were here today!

I do not need the Bible because I have contradicting traditions, Brian McClaren, James McGrath, John Loftus(hehe), Eric Reitan, and other godly men to tell me who Jesus is. Don't you know that the Christian faith is more about doubting, and finding yourself than knowing god, or the fear of god? Sheesh, you have read way to much John Calvin, and J.I. Packer. I can tell because you are so... consistent, yuck.

Blake

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Yet another liberal professor"

Yo Rho!

How about writing a book titled

"Why the Liberal is Illiberal"

or

"Saving Jesus from the Liberals"

Sam Norton said...

Um... Mk 7.13 doesn't have the meaning you attribute to it. Jesus is criticising the Pharisees for being textual obsessives (as he does elsewhere) whilst missing the actual point of God's Word - in this case, social justice. As for Church History (other than the simple 'you brought it up!!') the universal church agreed on a creed through a sequence of councils. I accept the authority of those councils for interpreting Scripture (eg I accept the doctrine of the Trinity, which is not a Scriptural term). If you accept a Trinitarian God then you are accepting the authority of the church in this matter (eg you're not an Arian - another textual conservative who didn't have the Spirit).

On 1 John 4 - _does_ your church community disagree with it? If it doesn't, your words don't have much content to them.

I think our disagreements are much less to do with the Bible than with a philosophical issue to do with 'objectivity'. I see 'objectivity' as a creation of Modern Philosophy, unScriptural and unChristian, dependent on Descartes rather than Deuteronomy. God (and God's Word) are no more 'objective' than they are 'subjective' - the whole categorisation is a product of atheist scientism, and I'm surprised you're giving authority to such thinking. Whenever you call upon the 'objective' as a factor in your argument, I just think you're an atheist and you don't even realise it.

I still get the impression that you have a need to find certainty because you are afraid of your own sinfulness. As Christians, we don't need that sort of certainty, because we don't need to be afraid of our own sin any more. That's what being 'set free from the law of sin and death' means.

hebrewandgreekreader said...

So you are reading 1 John!

Lex Fear said...

You're all wrong - MY Jesus told me so, I've had a personal revelation of that and my Jesus would like to inform you all that he's neither liberal or conservative.. he's actually a Jainist!

Though you have made some excellent point Rhoblogy, I can't help but think that trying to address these points with McGrath, Reitan et al is a bit like nailing jelly to the wall.

I notice some commenters/defenders over on McGraths blog are agnostic, so his teaching and his beliefs are more in tune to their view of Christianity.

I really haven't seen a statement from McGrath on what he thinks Christianity is or what doctrines he does support, only what he doubts or disbelieves.

I know that the argument is now shifting to the old Catholic/Protestant dividing lines. Protestants believe that the bible as the authority whereas Catholics believe the church is the authority - thus why things like Saints, confession and all manner of unbiblical practices have crept in over the years.

McGrath may well find himself more at home amongst the Catholics than Protestant Christianity. However I really feel he could end some of this controversy if he set out a statement of beliefs.

Rhology said...

Lex,

Well, yeah, but none of these guys believe the church is the authority. At most THEIR local "community" (defined usually however fits their immediate need) is, but usually it's not an authority at all. Rather, it's the medium thru which the Spirit flows. It's the context in which all our conversations and stories come together. Sounds nice until you remember that humans are sinners.


Sam,

Wrong and wrong about Mk 7. The Phar were IGNORING the text of the Scr! That's the whole point of Jesus' corrective and rebuke. Where, pray tell, is the Corban rule in the OT? It's not there. Rather, by following an EXTRABIBLICAL "authoritative tradition", they were nullifying the 5th cmdmt. "And you do many things such as these" (I forget if that's in Mark 7 or the parallel in Matt 15).

Re: ch hist, you're expressing a tautology. those who agreed to the creeds agreed to the creeds. Well, of course! But "church history" is not made up just of all those who were in agreement, b/c taken individually, there is no unanimous agreement about ANYthing except for probably monotheism in church history. So, what's the standard by which we judge? That's what I want to know.

If you accept a Trinitarian God then you are accepting the authority of the church in this matterHardly! The clear teaching of the Bible is that God is a Trinity. I give full credit to the church for expressing it in a one-stop-shop format, but the church has nothing without God's authority.
But hey, for you, those guys were from a different faith tradition, a different story, a different conversation. Were they right? How do you know? What if MY faith community has a different story, a non-Trinitarian story? How could you know if my story is wrong? IS it wrong?


On 1 John 4 - _does_ your church community disagree with it? If it doesn't, your words don't have much content to them.This is nothing more than a "Nuh UH!" from you, and I don't mean to be rude, but you're expecting me to take your word for it? Why?
Maybe MY faith community thinks YOUR faith community is all jacked up for following the obviously-errant 1 John 4. Who's right and how can we know?

You can retreat into all sorts of high-sounding philosophical this or that if you like; is it really that hard to answer my questions?


I just think you're an atheist and you don't even realise it.OK, so I'm an atheist. You pegged me. And all this time I thought I was a Calvinist.
It's funny, you get challenged a little bit and instead of interacting with the challenges, you start calling names and redefining ME, though I gave you no permission to do so. Why not just let me define me and you define you? you can start by answering my questions.


you are afraid of your own sinfulness.If I believed like you, I would be, b/c I'd have no assurance that Christ died for my sin or what that could possibly mean, whether I have eternal life. I don't believe like you, thank God.


That's what being 'set free from the law of sin and death' means.Actually, it means that the Law condemns you b/c you are a sinner and you break the Law, and there is a "certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us", but "He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross" (Col 2:14). Christ redeemed me by taking the punishment for my sin on the Cross and then gave me eternal life through imputing His perfect righteousness to me and His bodily resurrection.
But of course, maybe all that stuff is just errant...

Paul C said...

"The clear teaching of the Bible is that God is a Trinity."

If it was that clear, then they wouldn't have needed the councils to clarify it.

Sam, welcome to the madhouse, but don't spend too long here - you'll never make any progress with this guy.

rotsaP loeJ said...

Wait, so if it is possible to disagree with something, it is therefore ambiguous? Good to know.

On another note, Sam, I think you need to parse your terms a little more. "Objectivity" in the so-called modernist, positivist sense may be relatively new - by which I intend, broadly post-DesCartes - but that does not demonstrate that pre-moderns did not accept the idea that certain facts were true for all people, irrespective of personal perception.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Yet another liberal professor"

Key words: Liberal. Professor.

Liberals have distorted, twisted, undermined, and misrepresented the Word of God, both Living and Written.

See this recent article about how liberal clergy are serving the Father of Lies to support the sin of homosexual behavior.

Rho, maybe you can write a book, or at least a blog essay, on "The Sin of Liberalism".

Rhology said...

TU...AD, it's been done. :-D

Paul C said...

Wait, so if it is possible to disagree with something, it is therefore ambiguous?By definition. This is non-controversial.

Rhology said...

Paul, I disagree that it's non-controversial.

Uh oh...

Dr Funkenstein said...

The gist of it is this: a God whose essence is love would not choose, as His primary vehicle of revelation, a static text.According to whose authority exactly? A God by definition can do whatever he/she/it wants - if that means utilising a static text as the main vehicle of revelation, then why exactly would he/she/it not choose to do that.

This is yet another example of people claiming to know the mind of God, when really they just make stuff up to fit their own preconceptions - it amazes me that so many people now and through history claim(ed) to 'know how God would do it' [or words to that effect] yet come up with a near endless number of contradictory claims and conclusions on His behalf.

Amazingly, that's now about 3 times in two posts I've agreed with Rhology...

Rhology said...

that's now about 3 times in two posts I've agreed with Rhology...Yeah, you sure you didn't hit your head on something?

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Rhology: "TU...AD, it's been done."

You point me to a book written by a Liberal titled "The Sins of Scripture" by John Shelby Spong?

Yeeeeesh.

The rotten fruits of liberalism.

If that's what liberalism is, I want nothing to do with it. Yuck. Liberalism is lukewarm spit.

How about writing a book titled

"Why the Liberal is Illiberal"

or

"Saving Jesus from the Liberals"

There's no doubt that Liberals have distorted, twisted, undermined, and misrepresented the Word of God, both Living and Written. Especially with a book titled "The Sins of Scripture".

Rho, are the liberal mainline denominations growing in numbers over the last 40-50-60 years with all their "progressive" doctrine by which to love and attract people to Christ? That should certainly be long enough to see the quality of the fruit of liberalism?

Paul C said...

"Paul, I disagree that it's non-controversial."

It comes as no surprise to me that you disagree with the definition of the word "ambiguous". There seem to be very few words in the English language for which you use the same definition as everybody else, which is one of the many reasons why debating with you is a waste of time.

rotsaP loeJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rotsaP loeJ said...

Although the current control group seems to suggest a degree of ambiguity about the definition of ambiguous you've offered, in order to defend my original objection I would amend it thus:

something is only ambiguous if it is subject to legitimate disagreement.

Of course we can dispute about whether a given instance of disagreement is legitimate, but at least in extreme cases my formulation should be clear enough: a lunatic scribbling "darkness" on the wall of his cell does not thereby raise legitimate controversery about the existence of the sun.

I would argue, following the above, that the Arians and other heretics were fanatically distorting reality as presented in Scripture, pitting one text against another and refusing the harmony required by inspiration; therefore, in that sense, the issues raised in Councils were not especially ambiguous.

Paul C said...

I would argue, following the above, that the Arians and other heretics were fanatically distorting reality as presented in Scripture, pitting one text against another and refusing the harmony required by inspiration; therefore, in that sense, the issues raised in Councils were not especially ambiguous.As I have pointed out, the very existence of the Councils reveals that it was ambiguous. They weren't convened because a lunatic was scribbling on the wall of his cell. They were convened because there were very real disputes over the meaning of the faith. You take one side of those disputes, and that's fine, but you are not in a position to declare that the disputes did not exist.

Moreover there clearly remain ambiguities in the interpretation of the Bible, otherwise we wouldn't have to watch with embarrassment as Rhology huffs and puffs about how he has a monopoly on Christianity. Unless you're prepared to call McGrath, Reitan and LITERALLY EVERYBODY WHO DOESN'T AGREE WITH YOU ON EVERY SINGLE BELIEF YOU HOLD a lunatic, then my point stands.

Sam Norton said...

Pastor Joel - the point about the language of objectivity is that it is a product of a particular culture - one that is atheist/scientific. My objection is to the importing of that language into a discussion about the authority of Scripture, because it smuggles in a subordination of Scripture to that atheist/scientific mindset. Is 'objectivity' a Scriptural concept? Is it even a concept hallowed by one of the church councils (like 'Trinity' or 'homoousios')? No.

More broadly, to return to the conversation with the blog author, I see these appeals as indicative of fear. You keep asking 'what is the standard by which we judge', in various ways, as if saying 'I accept the Bible as inerrant' etc removes the need for you to exercise individual judgement. That's just nonsense. Even if you accept that the Bible is inerrant Scripture, you still have to judge between the various schools of interpretation, all of which claim to have the inerrant perspective. As you say later, you've recently agreed upon a different tradition - so on what grounds have you accepted it? Has the Bible changed in the meantime, or has your interpretation of the Bible changed in the meantime? Oh no! You've set yourself up as an authority over the Bible!!

BTW I'm English - you need to set your irony meter on high alert, eg when I accuse you of being an atheist. My point is that you are more captured by worldly traditions than you are aware of - at least, judging by the rhetoric which you use.

Which brings me to the main point that I want to make. We know that the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, gentleness, self-control and so on. The fact that your writings display fear and anger, dissimulation and false accusation suggests to me that the Spirit is not in them. In other words, you are not speaking the truth.

For it is the language of truth that we need to hang on to (which, after all, is Scriptural) not the language of "inerrancy" and especially not the language of "objectivity".

Ultimately the truth is personal - think of Pilate asking the question when the truth was standing in front of him! It is by knowing Him, not by knowing propositions about Him, that we are redeemed and set free from fear.

In other words: if you really had no fear you wouldn't talk the way that you do.

captain howdy said...

"One Dr Eric Reitan has chimed in here and here at Dr McGrath's blog.
He is apparently nothing more than another dime-a-dozen liberal religion professor type who likes to talk like an Emergent."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hey--Maybe you can report somebody else for heresy as well! Maybe if you ask Dr. Reitan's pastor, he'll let you extract a confession from that evil heretic!

Makes you long for the days when you could just stone heretics to death, doesn't it, Rho?

Rhology said...

capt howdy,

Long for it? No, not really.

Paul C,

Surely you're aware of the maxim - "Proof is not the same as persuasion."
Yes, the liberals with whom we're discussing here would like to re-define Christianity and thus muddy the waters. Fundamentalists can do that, too, with their sometimes-rampant legalism wherein Christian = "someone who says 'Jesus', doesn't smoke or drink or dance, whose wife's hair beyond a certain length and skirt is always below the ankles."
But we represent neither extreme here; rather, we simply think that Christianity = that which Jesus Himself taught, and which His authorised reps (the apostles) taught. It's not really that complex.
They held the Bible in the highest regard, as the very Word of God, that would never be broken, that would never pass away, etc. You don't see the liberals around here doing that. That's a big part right there.
You'll see them deny the resurrection (as Dr McGrath does; I would never accuse someone of doing that unless it were pretty obvious, so please note that I don't accuse Sam Norton of such), and Jesus Himself made that the cornerstone of His claims about Himself, and proved those claims true when He was raised from the dead. No resurrection and you're left with empty moralistic platitudes and a Law that condemns a man to Hell for breaking it in the slightest, which we of course have done, and more.
It just requires analysis of the direct consequences of giving up a normal Christian belief, like the Deity of Christ. It makes Christ a liar, since He *claimed* He was God. It denies that Christ's death could be of infinite value so as to propitiate for the sin of the elect. It also causes serious problems in resolving the problem of the one and the many, just to name a few things.
Point is, we don't just randomly grab onto stuff to denounce as unChristian.


Sam,

Is 'objectivity' a Scriptural concept?I would disagree that it's necessarily atheistic/scientific. Sure, this modernist movement has co-opted such concepts, but didn't Jesus and the apostles quote the OT like it was sufficiently clear for everyone to understand, even their enemies? Yep. Did the enemies ever object to His obvious interp of the text cited? No. The text has meaning, just as your text manifestly doesn't mean that jell-o has no bones and the 5 they fly the much.

You continue to accuse me of fear, and apparently nothing I say will convince you otherwise. You are welcome to your psychoanalysis. My critiques and activities here are based on a love for Christ's true identity, the Word of God, and yes, the church at large as Body of Christ. that's why I wrote the letter to McGrath's pastor - I was concerned (and now am even more concerned) for the people of his church.


you still have to judge between the various schools of interpretationOh, not so much. The grammatico-historical method is perfectly fine; indeed, it's the very method you're using to engage me in this combox. It's the method Christ and the apostles used; it's good enough for me.


Has the Bible changed in the meantime, or has your interpretation of the Bible changed in the meantime? Oh no! You've set yourself up as an authority over the Bible!!This is a serious category mistake, and I'm surprised to see this, given the caliber of thought you've so far exhibited.
No one is claiming the Bible will always lead everyone to understand every part of it exhaustively and perfectly at first read-through. Far from it! It requires work, study, prayer, meditation, illumination by the Holy Spirit. I seek to understand it better at all times, and when I realise I've been mistaken, about Calvinism, say, then my mind is changed precisely b/c I'm submitted to ITS authority, not b/c now somehow I changed the Bible. What kind of power do you think I think I have?


My point is that you are more captured by worldly traditions than you are aware of You have but to demonstrate them, then. I don't see a counter-exegesis of Mark 7, btw.


The fact that your writings display fear and anger, dissimulation and false accusationI am a sinful man, there's no denying it, and to the extent that you see anger and false accusation here, I apologise. I also ask you to point out precisely where I've made false accusations, since "anger" to you may just be a combination of stridency, my passion for the topic, and the fact that the medium of text is a poor communicator of emotion. What is an example?
OTOH, unbelief and willful rebellion against the Word is a yet more serious offense. May I suggest you check your own heart?


not the language of "inerrancy"Then do you have answers to the questions I asked Drs McGrath and Reitan on that subject?

Paul C said...

But we represent neither extreme here; rather, we simply think that Christianity = that which Jesus Himself taught, and which His authorised reps (the apostles) taught.Based on what he's written, that's also what McGrath believes, so this point is irrelevant.

They held the Bible in the highest regard, as the very Word of God, that would never be broken, that would never pass away, etc.Based on what he's written, McGrath holds the Bible in the highest regard, so this point is irrelevant.

You'll see them deny the resurrection (as Dr McGrath does; I would never accuse someone of doing that unless it were pretty obvious, so please note that I don't accuse Sam Norton of such), and Jesus Himself made that the cornerstone of His claims about Himself, and proved those claims true when He was raised from the dead.Based on what he's written, McGrath does not deny the resurrection, so this point is irrelevant.

So by the criteria that you're offering here - which are pretty weak, to be honest - McGrath is in fact a Christian just like you. In your "critiques" (and I dignify them with that word) of McGrath and Reitan, you consistently impute beliefs on their part that are not evident in their writings - essentially, you're projecting an imaginary hate figure onto them. This comes as no surprise - you do exactly the same to atheists who debate with you here, claiming that they must hold beliefs that they don't in fact hold, and making assumptions about their politics in the same way. Where your hatred comes from, I don't know, but it seems to be remarkably common in the US.

You should drop the arrogance for a while, Rhology. You don't wear it well at all.

Paul C said...

p.s. And none of your arguments counter my point, which is that in many key areas the Bible is a sufficiently ambiguous document to generate the sort of debate that we see here - and which of course has plagued Christianity ever since it's inception.

Rhology said...

Mmmm, no, McGrath doesn't hold the Bible in "highest" regard. He thinks it contains errors. That's not highest at all.

And no, McGrath doesn't believe in the resurrection either.
Thus, I'm not sure what you're getting at.

claiming that they must hold beliefs that they don't in fact holdYeah, and the favor is NEVER returned. Exhibit A: Sam Norton calls me an atheist. Steph and Wes Ellis impute all sorts of hate and anger to me. Sam thinks I'm afraid of something.
This comes off as whining, Paul - if I misrepresent me, correct me. If your correction is sound and comports with what you've written, I withdraw the assertion. I've done that before. I DON'T see that favor often returned.

rotsaP loeJ said...

And incidentally, I'm waiting for some kind of argumentation to back up your frequent assertion that the majority of Patristic heretics were anything but loonies. Case in point: the Pelagians. To qualify, it's not that everyone who ever called himself an Pelagian was insane, but the doctrine itself clearly ignores largish swathes of biblical doctrine. It's not text that was cloudy, but the brains of those interpreting it.

rotsaP loeJ said...

Sam,

I'd still like to see, when you get a minute, a tighter definitition of objectivity. It seems clear to me that even if the Biblical authors were not positivists, then neither were they really relativists; so simply saying that they weren't one extreme doesn't help me very much.

As I said before, they certainy believed in an external reality not grounded in their own sense-experience; therefore to some degree they certainly were objective. But perhaps this is not what you object to?

Sam Norton said...

Joel/Rhology,
On the objectivity front, I wasn't the person to introduce the word, and I tend to avoid using it because I think it is philosophically problematic - so I don't particularly want to get into a discussion on the definitions of it! I'd be quite happy if the word (and concept) was dropped entirely, I don't think it's needed in this discussion. We can just talk about things being true, or otherwise. (Although, if Rhoblogy wants to, I'd participate in a discussion about why it is necessarily atheistic on a different blog thread.)

On to the other points:
- by schools of interpretation I wasn't thinking of academic schools, I was thinking of Baptist/ Calvinist/ Jehovah's Witness/ etc; ie that there are several denominations which accept 'inerrancy' but don't agree on all the implications from that;
- my remarks about fear/anger and so on is a record of my impression from your writings - that is how they come across (the most recent, somewhat less so). Just trying to speak the truth in love and all that;
- I'll have a read of the questions you asked James and come back to you.

Paul C said...

Mmmm, no, McGrath doesn't hold the Bible in "highest" regard. He thinks it contains errors. That's not highest at all.You can hold believe a text has errors and still hold it in the highest regard, i.e. in higher regard than any other text.

And no, McGrath doesn't believe in the resurrection either. Thus, I'm not sure what you're getting at.At no point in the post you link to does he state - or even imply - that he doesn't believe in the resurrection. You appear to be deliberately misrepresenting him, as well as taking me for a fool. Please feel free to clarify where he says that he doesn't believe.

I understand why you took offense, though - he's talking about you when he writes: "some conservative Christians today not only claim a higher degree of certainty than the apostles seem to have had, but make such certainty the standard of their Christian orthodoxy."

Now you can disagree with that if you wish - although everything you've ever written stands as evidence that you fit this profile perfectly - but why do you then feel the need to denounce him as a heretic? What urge are you satisfying?

Yeah, and the favor is NEVER returned. Exhibit A: Sam Norton calls me an atheist. Steph and Wes Ellis impute all sorts of hate and anger to me. Sam thinks I'm afraid of something.First, as Sam has already pointed out in his reply to you, he's British and his irony meter was set on high. You lack a sense of irony, so you missed it the first time around, which is fair enough - but to not bother to read his reply demonstrates the heart of your problem. You simply don't bother to read what other people write.

Second, I think it's entirely reasonably for Steph and Wes to attribute anger and even hatred to you, based on what you've written on other people's blogs. You seem to think that just because you don't use profanities, your tone isn't abusive and even offensive, but I'm sorry to tell you that it is. Either change it or live with it, but don't complain when others point it out.

Oh, and just because you think other people are attributing false opinions to you, it doesn't justify you doing it to them. If anything, that's a reason for you not to commit the same error that you think they do.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Dear Rho,

You must have done something right. You are on the receiving end of angry intolerance by the Liberal Fundamentalists. These Leftwing Pharisees want to crucify you for testifying to the Written Truth and the Living Truth.

Forgive them Rho for they know not what they do. Their father is the Father of Lies.

Paul C said...

And incidentally, I'm waiting for some kind of argumentation to back up your frequent assertion that the majority of Patristic heretics were anything but loonies.I tend to assume that people aren't loonies until it's demonstrated otherwise. If you're the one who's asserting that they were loonies, then once again the burden of proof is on you.

And of course I'm not saying that people don't make mistakes - of course they do, even those with the strongest beliefs and the best intentions. The problem is that

a) there's no reason why I shouldn't include you in that category, thus removing any defenses you might have for any future positions, and
b) this argument doesn't remove the fact that disputes about the Bible are not strange and rare events, they're the norm. And that means that - once again, sing along now - the Bible is ambiguous in many key regards.

Here's the weird thing: I don't think that's a problem for your faith, and I'm not sure why you do.

Sam Norton said...

OK, had a brief look at the questions. My simple answer is 'Jesus' - ie we take Jesus to be the criterion of what is right and wrong, and we use Him as the ultimate hermeneutic for interpreting Scripture. Bear in mind that I believe we have access to Jesus apart from Scripture (eg during Holy Communion, corporate and personal prayer) but that Scripture is the primary form for getting to know Him. We know that we are on the right track in interpreting the texts correctly if the fruits of those interpretations tie in with the fruits of the Spirit, ie we become more like Jesus (including doing greater things than He did, as He promised). The implication of this - as spelled out in my first comment here - is that I take Jesus to be a higher authority than Scripture - I'm guilty as charged on that. (It's also why I am uncomfortable with attributing divine aspects, inerrancy, which properly belong to Jesus himself to created products like a text.)

PaulC said...

You are on the receiving end of angry intolerance by the Liberal Fundamentalists. These Leftwing Pharisees want to crucify you for testifying to the Written Truth and the Living Truth.Mate, you wouldn't know what angry intolerance was if it came up and cock-punched you. Please, for the sake of the web, get over your persecution complex.

Rhology said...

We know that we are on the right track in interpreting the texts correctly if the fruits of those interpretations tie in with the fruits of the SpiritBut we know the fruits of the Spirit ONLY thru the Scripture. If the Scr is errant, perhaps those fruits of the Spirit are in fact the fruits of the devil.
But maybe you're not advocating that the Scr is errant. McGrath does, but do you?


is that I take Jesus to be a higher authority than ScriptureThis is a strange thing to say, since Jesus held the Scr in the highest regard. Jesus' word will never be broken, and Jesus says that the Word of God, the Bible, will never pass away, never be broken. Their authority is the same, since the Bible faithfully expresses Jesus' identity, work, actions, teachings, meaning, etc.
Since you're uncomfy ascribing inerrancy to the Scr, can you please explain why Jesus thought that it would never be broken or pass away? Why He assigned it in Mark 7 as the standard by which all other traditions are to be tested?





Paul C,
angry intolerance was if it came up and cock-punched you.Indeed. clearly you are in full control of your emotions and civility.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Rho,

Why are Liberal Fundamentalists so angry and intolerant?

Rhology said...

Paul C,

Only a few things worth mentioning here.
that he doesn't believe in the resurrectionSee also his comments here. It's not in doubt.


I understand why you took offense, thoughNo, I actually didn't take offense for myself.



, it doesn't justify you doing it to themDidn't claim it did.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Sam Norton: "BTW I'm English - you need to set your irony meter on high alert, eg when I accuse you of being an atheist."Oh. I see. Like a modernist in the Church of England.

Paul C said...

"Truth", you have no basis for believing that I'm either angry or intolerant. Please go away unless you have something interesting and/or constructive to offer.

Rhology, you have no basis for believing that I lack control of either my emotions or my civility. Do you think that Truth is contributing anything?

In the link you give, McGrath says that he does not feel confident enough to assert the resurrection as a historical fact. I have no desire to speak on his behalf, but it appears that he feels the historical record is insufficient evidence for the resurrection, and that consequently the resurrection itself is something outside history. This is a reasonable position, and not that uncommon (as I understand it) in at least some Christian thought.

From the perspective of an unbiased outsider - and I say that in the full knowledge that you don't believe anybody is unbiased unless they agree with you, because if they were unbiased how could they possibly resist the force of your arguments - I can see why you resent this. His admission that he doesn't fully understand the events in the Bible - by placing himself squarely in the apostolic tradition - is a slap in the face of everything the Bible has given to you - that certainty, that righteousness. I can understand why you'd want to expel him from your in-group. Have at it!

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Rho,

Why are Liberal Fundamentalists so angry and intolerant?"
Paul C.: ""Truth", you have no basis for believing that I'm either angry or intolerant. Please go away unless you have something interesting and/or constructive to offer."


#1. Given your response to a comment that wasn't addressed to you, thank you for at least acknowledging and confirming that *you* are indeed a Liberal Fundamentalist.

#2. Your comment is both the basis and the confirmation that you are intolerant. Because an intolerant person tells another person to go away.

Furthermore, revealing the blatant hypocrisy of a Liberal Fundamentalist is both interesting and constructive.

Sam Norton said...

Rhology: "But we know the fruits of the Spirit ONLY thru the Scripture."

This is false; Paul was describing the phenomenon experienced by the believers after Pentecost. First there was the reality of living in the Spirit, then there was the articulation and description of the experience that we have in our Scriptures.

"This is a strange thing to say, since Jesus held the Scr in the highest regard. Jesus' word will never be broken, and Jesus says that the Word of God, the Bible, will never pass away, never be broken. Their authority is the same, since the Bible faithfully expresses Jesus' identity, work, actions, teachings, meaning, etc"

The phrase 'Word of God' has at least five different meanings within Scripture; in ascending order of importance - 1. direct prophetic utterance ('hear the word of the Lord O people of Israel...'); 2. the Law; 3. Scripture; 4. the Gospel proclamation; 5. Jesus personally. Where I differ from you is that I don't read Jesus' reference to 'the Word of God' as being a reference to our Bible. Sometimes it's a reference to Scriptures that have since been incorporated into our 'Old Testament'.

As for Mark 7 I just don't read it as dogmatically as you. I don't see what He says there as setting up a single exalted rule around which all other interpretation must orbit. He was criticising the Pharisees for missing the point; using this passage to justify an appeal to inerrancy is, IMHO, a fine example of eisegesis, ie reading a meaning into a text. (NB the OT justification for Corban is a text like Lev 1.2)

PS Truth... - wonderful link. For the avoidance of ambiguity I am most certainly not a modernist, nor a liberal, nor a fundamentalist. I seek to be a Christian, and I seek to be 100% orthodox in my belief. I'm not quite there yet.

Rhology said...

phenomenon experienced by the believers after Pentecost.See 1 Cor 12 and 14 - you refer to a GIFT of the Spirit. Not the same as the fruit of the Spirit - Galatians 5.
And amazingly, you still miss the point. You once again refer to Scripture! Here's how it went down:
ME: You are appealing to Scripture to provide evidence for some other way by which we know Jesus.
YOU: Yeah, like in this Scr passage.
ME: That's found in Scr.
YOU: Well, what about this OTHER Scr psg?
ME: Um, that's Scr too.

I think you lost track of the argument. I suggest you stop appealing to Scripture to provide evidence against the sufficiency of Scripture.


The phrase 'Word of God' has at least five different meanings within ScriptureAgreed. Now, what about the precise and specific psgs I cited from Jesus?


Mark 7 - I don't see what He says there as setting up a single exalted rule around which all other interpretation must orbit. So what do vv 9 and 13 mean?

9He was also saying to them, "You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your (K)tradition.
13thus invalidating the word of God by your (O)tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that."


He was criticising the Pharisees for missing the point;(NB the OT justification for Corban is a text like Lev 1.2)What point, exactly?
Lev 1: 1Then (A)the LORD called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying,

2"Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'When any man of you brings an (B)offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of animals from (C)the herd or the flock.

3'If his offering is a (D)burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer it, a male (E)without defect; he shall offer it (F)at the doorway of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the LORD.


Where is the Corban there?
The point is that Jesus was critiquing them for elevating either a bad interpretation of the Law (if what you say is true) or a tradition that did not originate in God-inspired revelation to the point that it overturned what God had already commanded and revealed. How precisely does this not prove my point, please?

Peace,
Rhology

rotsaP loeJ said...

Paul,

in re: the "loonies", the judgement and tradition of the church, as expressed in the councils, is precisely that these issues (like the Trinity) are not ambiguous at all; rather, they are the inescapable teaching of the Bible. For example, the Arians in denying Jesus' true divinity had to ignore the passages in John in which he accepts human worship, calls himself God, or otherwise ascribes divine honours to himself. A balanced reading of the whole text would never yield their conclusion.

Therefore, I say that, for the literate, they are not really ambiguous questions. The whole function of the councils was to adjudicate that anyone dissenting from these central positions was so far away from a reasonable interpretation of the text as to be subject to damnation.

Paul C said...

in re: the "loonies", the judgement and tradition of the church, as expressed in the councils, is precisely that these issues (like the Trinity) are not ambiguous at all; rather, they are the inescapable teaching of the Bible.If something is not ambiguous, you don't usually need a series of intense and highly-contested discussions to pronounce that they're not ambiguous. Inescapable doesn't mean unambiguous; quantum theory is inescapable but highly ambiguous.

The whole function of the councils was to adjudicate that anyone dissenting from these central positions was so far away from a reasonable interpretation of the text as to be subject to damnation.Or more specifically, persecution.

Joel, you might have a solid case if this was the only instance of dispute in the history of biblical exegesis. But it isn't. It's just one example in a line of contention that stretches back all the way to the immediate aftermath of Jesus' life. If you want to deny that Christians have been arguing about the meaning of the Bible consistently in that time - if you want to deny, in fact, that this very discussion is happening - then we use very different definitions of the word "ambiguous".

Paul C said...

#1. Given your response to a comment that wasn't addressed to you, thank you for at least acknowledging and confirming that *you* are indeed a Liberal Fundamentalist.Sadly this is not the case.

#2. Your comment is both the basis and the confirmation that you are intolerant. Because an intolerant person tells another person to go away.Try reading my comment again, and you'll notice that I told you to go away unless you had something interesting and/or constructive to contribute to the discussion. That is to say, I'm not intolerant of you from a religious or political point of view, merely of the fact that your comments are boring and incoherent.

Furthermore, revealing the blatant hypocrisy of a Liberal Fundamentalist is both interesting and constructive.And what hypocrisy would that be, my insightful friend?

Sam Norton said...

Rhology, you're going to have to unpack for me exactly what distinction you are drawing between 'gift' and 'fruit' with regard to what the blessing provides. I suspect it may be a perfect example of our different understandings.

Re the Mark passage I am reading Jesus as being in a specific dispute with the Pharisees; I see no reason for elevating what He says there above all that He says elsewhere.

Re Corban - it's what the word 'offering' is translated from in verse 2, AFAIK.

The thing is, you've gone back to being strident. Why shouldn't I appeal to Scripture? It's all about how it's interpreted and I have a different interpretation to you. That doesn't mean I can't give it authority (I just don't want to give it a form of authority that quietly makes science more important than God).

Rhology said...

hi Sam,

RE: gift and fruit. Let us hear the Word of God.


1 Cor 12:1Now concerning (A)spiritual gifts, brethren, (B)I do not want you to be unaware.

2(C)You know that when you were pagans, you were (D)led astray to the (E)mute idols, however you were led.

3Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking (F)by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is (G)accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is (H)Lord," except (I)by the Holy Spirit.

4Now there are (J)varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.

5And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.

6There are varieties of effects, but the same (K)God who works all things in all persons.

7But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit (L)for the common good.

8For to one is given the word of (M)wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of (N)knowledge according to the same Spirit;

9to another (O)faith by the same Spirit, and to another (P)gifts of healing by the one Spirit,

10and to another the effecting of (Q)miracles, and to another (R)prophecy, and to another the (S)distinguishing of spirits, to another various (T)kinds of tongues, and to another the (U)interpretation of tongues.

11But one and the same Spirit works all these things, (V)distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

12For even (W)as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, (X)so also is Christ.

...

28And God has (AH)appointed in (AI)the church, first (AJ)apostles, second (AK)prophets, third (AL)teachers, then (AM)miracles, then (AN)gifts of healings, helps, (AO)administrations, various (AP)kinds of tongues.

29All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they?

30All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not (AQ)interpret, do they?

31But (AR)earnestly desire the greater gifts.

1 Cor 14: 1(A)Pursue love, yet (B)desire earnestly (C)spiritual gifts, but especially that you may (D)prophesy.

... 12So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the (X)edification of the church.

13Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.


As for fruit:

Galatians 5:19Now the deeds (or fruit) of the flesh are evident, which are: (AJ)immorality, impurity, sensuality,

20idolatry, (AK)sorcery, enmities, (AL)strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, (AM)disputes, dissensions, (AN)factions,

21envying, (AO)drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not (AP)inherit the kingdom of God.

22But (AQ)the fruit of the Spirit is (AR)love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23gentleness, (AS)self-control; against such things (AT)there is no law.

24Now those who belong to (AU)Christ Jesus have (AV)crucified the flesh with its passions and (AW)desires.

25If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk (AX)by the Spirit.


The contexts are totally different. Gifts of the Spirit are just that- gifts given by the Holy Spirit to aid in the administration and ministry of the church of Christ. No one gets every gift.
The fruit of the Spirit are a SIGN that one is justified and that the Spirit is working in his life to sanctify him, and are to be displayed by all, as opposed to the deeds of the flesh.
Does that make sense? I intend no offense, but the only "different understandings" here are that I take/strive to take the biblical usage of terms in everything I say, and you seem not to be too concerned with that, or are at minimum fairly ignorant of the Scr, given that this gift/fruit distinction is not a very obscure point.


Mark 7 - I see no reason for elevating what He says there above all that He says elsewhere.Even though He says "And you do many other things such as these"? Those other things just don't matter?
"Thus for the sake of your tradition you nullify the commandment of God." - this ONLY applies to the Corban rule? How do you know?
As for Corban, I see. However, the Pharisees' practice is pretty different from that described in Lev 1. They added their bad and self-serving tradition to what Leviticus describes, and Jesus rebukes them for it - turn back to what God actually said.


Why shouldn't I appeal to Scripture?B/c your argument is that we can know stuff about Christ OUTSIDE OF SCRIPTURE, in order to escape the conundrum I've often indicated when you hold to an errantist position. I keep asking you how you know stuff about Christ OUTSIDE OF SCR and you keep pointing to stuff INSIDE the Scr. I don't see how you're making any positive argument for your position.

Peace,
Rhology