Monday, August 24, 2009

Continuing with John

This is just the latest comment with John the Eastern Orthodox from the Mirror target practice thread, but I just had so much fun with this one that I wanted to set aside a post for it.


John,

God hasn't told me everything he has ever done. (John 21:25). We know the things we need to know in our time.

Yes, and the Jews had the same. YOU'RE the one who posited extra revelation I don't know about. But b/c it strikes against your position, you alluvasudden think they had sthg else, sthg you can't prove and have no idea existed.
I might as well say the same about the CFs - their writings that have not survived and come down to us described in detail the Reformed position. Irenæus was a 5-point Calvinist. His non-extant writings prove it!


that's what Paul did.

1) Weren't you just telling me you were inerrantist? This doesn't match.
2) Did he weasel out? No, of course not - he explained how the NT FULFILLS the OT's foreshadows, thanks to the coming of Messiah. Did Philo have that explanation available to him? No, he was Jewish after Messiah's coming.


I asked: "How do we know what traditions are traditions of MEN?"
You answer: By carefully staying in tune with the mind of the Church as a whole. The Vincentian canon.

You're begging the question. Again. And I was hoping you'd say that, just like all the other EOx.
So what you're telling me is that you know which traditions are traditions of men by looking at traditions that are not merely traditions of men?
How do you know which is which? And "believed by all, everywhere, always" is not a live option - it's disproved by the very existence of these traditions of men! You have one corpus of writings - tradition. Then in accord with what you believe NOW, you pick and choose which ones agree, and those magically become Sacred Apostolic Tradition. But you're supposed to be proving your position by appeal to Sacred Apostolic Tradition! Yet all you can do is a posteriori read your position into the corpus of tradition and then draw out the ones that agree and then jump around and point - "See? Tradition proves us right!!!" But all you did was point to the writings that support you, and you left the ones that don't support you in the dust.
No, this is far from objective and far from intellectually honest.
Further, Jesus did not do this, it hardly needs to be said.


The original denominations are in sad shape. The new ones build success from flashy shows and good coffee.

1) I don't like the flashy shows and good coffee approach.
2) And I couldn't care much less how numerous we are. Numbers aren't the goal; even less are they a proof of truth. As long as we're being faithful, we trust God for sufficiency in numbers and all that.
3) The older denoms are largely in bad shape b/c of their courtship of liberalism. EOC is hardly a bastion of conservatism, by the way, on that count. So I'd hesitate to bring that up if I were you.


I said that burial and death doesn't sound related to spirit baptism. You quoted verses about death and themes in the Christian life. I said they have no relation to spirit baptism.

Now you need to deal with my last point, since it counters your statement about death and burial related to Spirit baptism.


The point is they both can stand.

1) Quite an admission for a guy who just tried to bully me using the bogus Vincentian Canon.
2) For that one psg, yes. So if I'm trying to decide between the two positions, looks like I'll have to look elsewhere. And the rest of the NT doesn't permit the bap reg view.


But if both can stand, then scripture has failed as an authority in the church.

1) Both can stand, given tradition as well. I guess your model fails.
2) I don't make human agreement the standard of truth. This is a fundamental difference between us, and clear demarcation of your man-centered view.
3) You were criticising me just recently about being "me and my Bible under a tree", and here you're committing a similar bad practice - "this verse and this verse only!"


Do you see Orthodox arguing over baptismal regeneration? Nope.

1) Did I originally claim that?
2) And yes you do; on your view early Church writers were Orthodox. And they didn't agree. So there you go - yes you do see them arguing.
3) And EOx argue about all sorts of other things; I don't need to show them arguing about bap reg.


Seriously, the early church was baptising people in water everywhere,

My church baptises ppl in water all the time too. So what? It's a PICTURE of death and burial with Christ and of resurrection thru Him. That's what the NT teaches, so we practice it thus.




the Church HAS the interpretive skills of all God's people.

On that we can agree! We stand on the shoulders of giants. Without lending them some bogus and selective idea of infallibility.


BUT, sola scriptura folks disagree with you.

1) Oh no! I never realised before that other holders-to of Sola Scrip might disagree! Never occurred to me! My faith is now in shambles. I hope you're happy. I think I'll write an atheist memoir and then off myself.
2) The rule of faith in EOC is Sola Ecclesia - the church alone.
Any question of authority, interpretation, hermeneutic, etc, comes down to What The Church Says®.
As opposed to the rule of faith to which I hold, where any question of authority, interpretation, hermeneutic, etc, comes down to What The Scripture Says (Sola Scriptura).
One of the problems in being a holder of Sola Ecclesia is that EOC is not the only group w/in Sola Ecclesiaists. RCC, Coptic Orthodoxy, other non-Chalcedonian Orthodox groups, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Mormons are also holders of Sola Ecclesia.
By contrast, there aren't very many holders of Sola Scriptura, and the doctrinal variation among the denominations is FAR narrower than those who hold to Sola Ecclesia, the Infallible Interpreter model.
If you don't like being lumped in w/ the cults and schismatics, maybe you should change your rule of faith. My church would welcome you!

Titus 3:5-7 - 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior

Colossians 2:10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.


The problem is, Protestants make all the church fathers out to be always inconsistent with themselves, even within a few sentences of each other.

"All"? "Always"? I suppose you can back that universal generalisation up?


Now no doubt Fathers can be inconsistent with other ones on occasion, and even on the odd occasion a father can be occasionally inconsistent with himself.

Thank you for the rare (for an EOx) concession. So we shouldn't very well base our faith on them, should we? Shouldn't think of them as infallible, now should we?
Maybe there's some way out there by which God HAS spoken w/o inconsistency, w/o garbling... Hmmm, what could that be?


And two sentences earlier Athanasius said that "Nicea is sufficient".

Maybe b/c Nicæa correctly expressed biblical doctrine? Now who's failing to harmonise?


I want to let the Fathers be who they are, not force them into being what they are not.

Sure you do, you who quoted the Vincentian Canon just a few sentences ago. Uh oh, you were inconsistent with yourself within a few minutes, a few sentences! Alarm bells.
BTW, that's MY line - letting the Fathers be who they are. So, when they're being who they are, yet you appeal to them to establish the correctness and authority of your church, how do you know which ones of their statements to accept? (That's a rhetorical question; I just want to see you repeat your a posteriori "we see which statements agree with us and then pick those to be Sacred Apostolic Tradition, and leave the rest aside" statements.)


in the catechism class I have on video, the teaching is that all the apostolic traditions have equal authority

Except when they disagree with EOC.


Was there any scripture in the process of being written during the events of Acts?

1) Yes, probably Mark and the early epistles like 1 Cor. Acts covers the events of some years, you know.
2) And they always had the OT - the OT was sufficient for salvation (2 Tim 3:15) and to verify the Gospel msg (Acts 17 Bereans).


When the apostle picks up his pen, sola scriptura ends, and when he puts it down it begins again?

No, SS is in effect during the normative state of the church. When the church has the Scripture. Apostolic revelation was/is as good as Scr; indeed Scr depends on the gift and authority of apostolicity.


But they didn't say "When we're gone, all scripture will be sufficient

Excuse me, but yes they did - 2 Tim 3-4.


The church is the pillar and ground of the truth.

1) Yes, the pillar and ground hold something else up - the truth. Of the Scripture.
2) Irenæus said:
But it is not possible that the Gospels can be either more or fewer in number than they are. ...since the "pillar and ground" of the church is the Gospel and the spirit of life, it is fitting that she should have four pillars...From this fact, it is evident that the Logos, the fashioner (demiourgos) of all, he that sits on the cherubim and holds all things together, when he was manifested to humanity, gave us the gospel under four forms but bound together by one spirit. (Against Heresies 3.11.8)


If the Church hasn't dogmatically spoken on these topics, why would my taking a side prove anything?

Um, what does "dogmatically" spoken mean? Isn't that Roman language?

35 comments:

Lucian said...

1) That's true. Onesidedness is a characteristic of Protestantism, and of every heresy, for that matter.

2) Your theology contradicting the teaching of Scripture (alone or not):

Rhology:

Baptism is a PICTURE of death and burial with Christ and of resurrection thru Him. That's what the NT teaches, so we practice it thus.

St. Paul:

Titus 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior

Lucian said...

When Paul said that Scripture is sufficent (and by that he meant only the OT), did he mean that you come to the scripture tabula rasa, or read it without having the Apostolic teaching or hypothesis in mind? (since You brought up St. Irenaeus).

We view Titus 3:5 in the same light as John 15:5, Philippians 4:13, the cursing of the fig-tree and the parable of the talents.

Seriously, why is it that the Holy Spirit, Who desccended upon Christ when He was baptized by John in the Jordan does NOT descend also upon those baptised in His Name?

Why is it that the same Holy Spirit Who formed Christ's flesh in the virginal whomb of Mary does not do the same for the bread and wine of the Eucharist?

Why is it that only the Apostles and the bishops and presbyters were the ones by whose imposition of hands the Holy Spirit was given to the faithful? -- So why is it then that ordination is missing from Your religion? -- And why is also confirmation or chrismation missing from it? -- Are these two not clearly biblical & scriptural?

Since Sola Scriptura is the rule, and Orthodoxy cannot be shown to break this rule (I'm not saying that others can't prove theirs as well, but making a point for Yourself, or offering other alternatives, is not the same thing as showing the other views to be wrong), why can't You just cut us some slack? -- it seems to me that You're ... not necessarily inconsistent, but ... somehow fake.

Lucian said...

Oh, yeah, and another thing: (which is THE most important): Protestantism and Neo-Protestantism are based on Western Church Tradition: the whole movement started with Luther (and then it continued with Calvin and Zwingli and others), and all of these were Roman Catholic theologians of a scholastic bent.

There are two great Fathers in the West: St Augustine and St Jerome: the former is from where Luther and the rest got their stance on grace and free-will, and the later is from where they got their view of Canon. -- so their view of themselves as being traditionless is self-refuting or easily refutable.

Now, the problem with this is twofold:

First, it lacks Catholicity, since it logically and immediately follows from here that the birth or appearence of Protestantism would have been impossible somewhere else: no "Augustines" and "Jeromes" in the East or Orient.

Secondly, they took from each exactly those particularities which distinguish them from the rest: Augustine is peculiar with his view on grace and free will, and Jerome is alone in his extreme view of the Canon. (If You want to have a bit of fun: ask Yourself what Jerome's view was on grace and free will, and what Augustine thought about the Canon).

The Lutherans themselves, who started the whjole business, have a more "flexible" understanding of what Canon is: LINK. (No leather-bound set of exactly 66 books dropped down from Heaven as far as they're concerned...)

Lucian said...

Sorry, I've posted the wrong link in my previous comment; here's the one I was talking about.

Rhology said...

Lvka,

You quote Titus 3, and yet that very psg defines what he considers baptism to be - washing and renewal BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. Spirit baptism, as I've been saying.

You said:
Since Sola Scriptura is the rule, and Orthodoxy cannot be shown to break this rule

If Sola Scriptura is taught in the Bible (and it is), then Orthodoxy DOES break this rule, b/c it doesn't teach Sola Scrip.

Lucian said...

No, that's not what You teach: You believe that Baptism is merely a sign or symbol. -- NOT "washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit". Sorry.

The Orthodox dogma and our main practice is contained in Scripture.
(That we share different understandings of what different passages mean is not the problem discussed here).

Rhology said...

By the way, see here for more about your claims on the Canon.

Darlene said...

Rhology,

Why is it that you choose Calvin's teachings over Luther's? Further, why are you selective when it comes to Calvin, whose teachings you revere so much? I'm sure you are aware that Calvin said for one not to baptize their children, "it is sin." Was Calvin wrong and if so, by what criteria do you charge him with error?

As far as Luther, his views on baptism are completely different than Reformed Baptists. Recall what he said about those (Anabaptists) who refused to baptize their infants...they were heretics. He taught that Baptism was necessary for salvation.

His teaching on the Lord's Supper -completely different than the Ref. Baptist view. He taught that the Eucharist was truly the body and blood of the Lord. Those who taught otherwise had strayed from Christ's teachings.

His teaching on Confession - different than the Ref. Baptist view.

His teaching on predestination, different than the Ref. Baptist view.

His teaching on professing and reciting the Apostle's Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasius Creed, the Lord's Prayer in worship and liturgy...completely different than the Ref. Baptist view.

Luther used the Holy Scriptures in defense of his teachings. Calvin did too. Why choose Calvin over Luther, and then be selective as to which of Calvin's teachings regarding major matters of faith be ignored?

If you want to get a better idea as to what conservative Lutherans think of Reformed Calvinism, take a glance over at two blogs, "Old Adam Lives" and "The Sacrament is the Gospel." Also, if you read Luther's Confession and Cathechism, you will clearly see the MAJOR differences between Lutheranism and Ref. Baptists.

Lucian said...

Yes, the Canon (precisely) as we have it today converged only very late (around the turn of the millennium approximatively). Where were You going with that?

Rhology said...

Hi Darlene,

Thanks for your questions.
Why is it that you choose Calvin's teachings over Luther's?

B/c more of Calvin's are more biblical than the sum of Luther's.
Why is it that you choose EOC over the LDS church?


why are you selective when it comes to Calvin, whose teachings you revere so much? I

I don't "revere" his teachings qua his teachings. I revere them only insofar as they reflect the truth of what God has revealed in the Scr.
When I am selective, it's b/c Calvin was wrong or probably wrong.
The situation is not really analogous to the EOdox and his/her place with respect to EOC. EOC is held up as an infallible authoritative interpreter. Thus, when it is inconsistent, when it is vague, or when the EOdox individual believer chooses to believe what is at variance with it, the trouble starts, for its role as infallible authoritative interpreter is no longer substantive in any way.
But of course, no one considers Calvin an infallible interpreter.


Was Calvin wrong and if so, by what criteria do you charge him with error?

By what Scr teaches. Jeremiah 31 and Heb 8, among other places.


As far as Luther, his views on baptism are completely different than Reformed Baptists

Yeah, it sure does seem to be the case. I have never known much about Luther and less about Lutheran theology, so I'm happy to take your word for it here.


His teaching on professing and reciting the Apostle's Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasius Creed, the Lord's Prayer in worship and liturgy...completely different than the Ref. Baptist view.

Well, maybe different from historical Anabaptism (I don't know), but I don't know of too many ppl who'd have a big problem reciting any and all of those in worship and liturgy. If I were ever to start a church plant, I'd say the chances are good I'd add those to the worship, actually.


Luther used the Holy Scriptures in defense of his teachings. Calvin did too. Why choose Calvin over Luther, and then be selective as to which of Calvin's teachings regarding major matters of faith be ignored?

Arius used the Holy Scriptures in defense of his teachings. Athanasius did too. Why choose Athanasius over Arius, and then be selective as to which of Athanasius' teachings regarding major matters of faith (such as his position of Sola Scriptura) be ignored?
Rome uses tradition in defense of her teachings. EOC does too. Why choose EOC over Rome, and then be selective as to which traditions regarding major matters of faith be ignored?


take a glance over at two blogs, "Old Adam Lives" and "The Sacrament is the Gospel."

Thank you, I will do so.

Lucian said...

Athanasius interepreted Scripture not by himself, but in the light of the already existent and unadulterated Tradition. Arius had philosophical dwarfs on his brain while doing it. Athanasius used the lex orandi, Arius used his own very original ideas.

John said...

"YOU'RE the one who posited extra revelation I don't know about. But b/c it strikes against your position, you alluvasudden think they had sthg else, sthg you can't prove and have no idea existed."

What I do know is that your understanding of the old covenant is very much at odds with the 1st century Jewish understanding of it. An understanding that wasn't criticised by Jesus and the apostles, but actually embraced and reinforced by them. I don't need to know the fine details of that to observe that you are again out of touch with what the Spirit does among His people.

"1) Weren't you just telling me you were inerrantist? This doesn't match.
2) Did he weasel out? No, of course not - he explained how the NT FULFILLS the OT's foreshadows, thanks to the coming of Messiah. Did Philo have that explanation available to him? No, he was Jewish after Messiah's coming."

How is "the NT FULFILLS" not just a fancy way of saying he weaseled out? The issue is not what fancy label you slap on it, the issue is whether God revealed that teaching. It's all very well calling Philo a weasel because you don't agree with him, but you do agree with Paul when he says the exact same thing.

... and I don't see what this has to do with inerrancy.

Did Philo have that explanation? He used the same explanation as Paul, that the idea of the temple can now be FULFILLED in an allegorical, metaphorical way. Maybe he read the same verses as you in Ezek. 11:19 and thought it was fulfilled. Maybe they had some other revelation. Or maybe he was just wrong. But its hard to write them off as being categorically wrong when they anticipate the apostolic teaching.

"You're begging the question."

LOL, I noticed you snipped the bit about "Like... oh say whether Revelation is of apostolic teaching?"

Because you can't answer the same question without opening yourself to the same accusation! How do you know Revelation is not a tradition of men? Come on, give us an answer without begging the question.

" Then in accord with what you believe NOW, you pick and choose which ones agree, and those magically become Sacred Apostolic Tradition."

You pick and choose your books! Why is Hebrews in, but Clement is out?

"And "believed by all, everywhere, always" is not a live option - it's disproved by the very existence of these traditions of men!"

I'm not nearly so pessimistic, but again, if we take your view, the agreement among God's people can't be discerned for the canon.

LOL, and you pointed me to White's book! "Yes. So does it not follow that God will both providentially preserve the Scriptures and lead His people to a functional, sufficient knowledge of the canon so as to fulfill His purpose in inspiring them?" P103, Scripture Alone.

Of course, there was a lot of disagreement about the canon, even well into the latter part of the 1st millenium, but this apparently doesn't dampen White's enthusiasm for believing what God is doing in the Church with the canon, and our ability to discern the same. It's funny how the enthusiasm is there for knowing what scripture is, but wanes in enthusiasm to believe God leads his people to a sufficient knowledge of what it means.

John said...

"Yet all you can do is a posteriori read your position into the corpus of tradition and then draw out the ones that agree and then jump around and point - "See? Tradition proves us right!!!"

We can point to the scriptural teachings too, and jump around (remember Mal 1:11), but you still won't follow the teachings that don't agree with you. We at least have a theological principle to how we go about those things, but you merely pick and choose. That's why we are one, and protestantism is not one. But protestants won't change their ways when presented with a scripture to follow. Almost no protestants will start using incense because you point out a verse.

"See? Tradition proves us right!!!" But all you did was point to the writings that support you, and you left the ones that don't support you in the dust. "

And when you ask a protestant to justify their canon, if they have any response at all, they will jump around pointing to whatever ECFs seem to agree with them, and studiously ignore the ones who don't.

But we believe the church CONTINUES to be led by the Spirit. We don't need stuff to be settled 100% by any particular date.

Still, I find the fathers to be many orders of magnitude more Orthodox than anything else.

"Further, Jesus did not do this, it hardly needs to be said. "

Jesus didn't follow any oral traditions? Nonsense. The Jews had many good traditions that Jesus followed without comment.

"And I couldn't care much less how numerous we are. Numbers aren't the goal; even less are they a proof of truth. As long as we're being faithful, we trust God for sufficiency in numbers and all that."

Everybody says that, but few follow it to the logical conclusion without begging the question. Few would for example, do what Luther did and think they could be the only ones right, or one of the few right and therefore take the hatchet to the canon. Everyone functionally recognises that the common practice among Christians has some authority, even if only in the canon, if not beyond.

"EOC is hardly a bastion of conservatism, by the way, on that count."

I think it is a bastion of conservatism. I know you can dig up some EO liberal stuff, but its mild and infrequent compared to what we find in any other major denomination.

"Now you need to deal with my last point, since it counters your statement about death and burial related to Spirit baptism. "

What point? You quoted some stuff that doesn't mention baptism.

John said...

"For that one psg, yes. So if I'm trying to decide between the two positions, looks like I'll have to look elsewhere. And the rest of the NT doesn't permit the bap reg view."

The problem is you are left in an infinite circle of arguments about what verse should be the reference point for understanding other verses. I could say that the verse about baptism should be a reference point in understanding what works are in passages about that. You could then claim that passages about works should be a reference point in understanding verses about baptism.

Arminians can take Heb. 6:6 as their reference point in understanding the overall theology of salvation, and Calvinists subordinate that verse to their favourites. Arians take their passages of prime importance, Unitarians theirs, and Trinitarians theirs. If you've decided that a particular verse is the most important one in informing the rest of your understanding, then you can end up anywhere.

But nobody forced the catholic understanding of the overall teaching of the bible on the early church. The earliest Christians don't get to blame a 2000 year old tradition. They read the scriptures and they believed what they believe. We read and believe the same thing, but you accuse us of mere tradition. That argument doesn't work, its not logical.

"1) Both can stand, given tradition as well. I guess your model fails."

Err, no they can't. Tradition isn't your ability to dig up a quote.

"2) I don't make human agreement the standard of truth."

(a) Fine, prove what is divine revelation without any reference to what humans have to say about it.
(b) The Church is a divine organisation. Not merely human.

"3) You were criticising me just recently about being "me and my Bible under a tree", and here you're committing a similar bad practice - "this verse and this verse only!""

We can move onto other verses. I'm confident that there is no verse that proves your position.

"And yes you do; on your view early Church writers were Orthodox. And they didn't agree."

Ok, where do early church writers disagree about bapt. regeneration.?

"We stand on the shoulders of giants."

Some of us do. Others hack giants off at the knees.

John said...

"2) The rule of faith in EOC is Sola Ecclesia - the church alone.
Any question of authority, interpretation, hermeneutic, etc, comes down to What The Church Says®."

The rule of faith in ProtestantLand® is Sola Self®. Any question of authority, interpretation, hermeneutic, etc, comes down to What The Self® Says. Who decides what scripture is and what scripture means in your world? Only Self®.

If pressed between the humble and pathetic skills of Self® and the Church® which is all the αγιος λαος, I'll choose the latter.

"One of the problems in being a holder of Sola Ecclesia is that EOC is not the only group w/in Sola Ecclesiaists. RCC, Coptic Orthodoxy, other non-Chalcedonian Orthodox groups, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Mormons are also holders of Sola Ecclesia."

And the sola scripturalists include Muslim sects. Let's compare apples with apples.

"By contrast, there aren't very many holders of Sola Scriptura, and the doctrinal variation among the denominations is FAR narrower than those who hold to Sola Ecclesia, the Infallible Interpreter model."

Really. Let's see how much you agree with Muslims about. You realise the equivalent of comparing different church authorities is to compare different scriptural authorities, right?

"So we shouldn't very well base our faith on them, should we? Shouldn't think of them as infallible, now should we?"

That's like saying the manuscript scribes made mistakes, so we shouldn't base our faith on them.

Besides which, they are only a witness to the faith, not the final authority in themselves. Manuscripts are a witness to the apostolic teaching, and only authoritative to the extent they don't have scribal errors. Fathers can err when passing on the faith, but I'm not pessimistic about that any more than I am pessimistic about the manuscript tradition.

"Maybe b/c Nicæa correctly expressed biblical doctrine? Now who's failing to harmonise?"

I'm not failing to harmonise, because I don't see every use of the protestant lightning rod words like "sufficient" as an implicit support of a doctrine that wouldn't be conceived of for another millenium.

"Sure you do, you who quoted the Vincentian Canon just a few sentences ago. Uh oh, you were inconsistent with yourself within a few minutes, a few sentences! "

Wha....?

John said...

"So, when they're being who they are, yet you appeal to them to establish the correctness and authority of your church, how do you know which ones of their statements to accept?"

Not being able to think of any off hand that are unworthy of acceptance, its hard to know how to answer that. No doubt you'll now try and dig one up, but frankly I find them few and far between.

"Except when they disagree with EOC."

No apostolic traditions disagree with EOC.

"2) And they always had the OT - the OT was sufficient for salvation (2 Tim 3:15) and to verify the Gospel msg (Acts 17 Bereans)."

Ahh, but now we get to the fact that it while it may be sufficient for some things, it did NOT teach the whole Christian doctrine. The argument has never been about whether scripture can teach many things, the argument is about whether it is a sole sufficient rule of faith. And you have just acknowledged that is was _not_ during the times of apostolic teaching. And you've thereby also admitted that 2 Tim 3:15 doesn't teach sola scriptura.

"When the apostle picks up his pen, sola scriptura ends, and when he puts it down it begins again?

No, SS is in effect during the normative state of the church. When the church has the Scripture. "

You didn't answer the question about when precisely the Church enters this normative state. For that matter, you don't acknowledge that the Church, as a point of fact, did NOT enter this state. Unsurprising since the apostles didn't do a cutover.

"But they didn't say "When we're gone, all scripture will be sufficient

Excuse me, but yes they did - 2 Tim 3-4."

You already acknowledge above that 2 Tim 3 does not teach that all Christian doctrine is in scripture. Only that what is necessary to salvation is. You've ceded the debate.

"1) Yes, the pillar and ground hold something else up - the truth. "

DOES hold it up, not SHOULD hold it up. You make the verse to be a wish, when it is a statement of fact.

"Um, what does "dogmatically" spoken mean? Isn't that Roman language?"

Dogmatically spoken means that the Church agrees that this is Orthodox doctrine. Sometimes it is referred to as the "Catholic Consciousness".

Rhology said...

Hi John,

Wow, a lot to say!
your understanding of the old covenant is very much at odds with the 1st century Jewish understanding of it.

I care not; my authority is Scr, specifically Hebrews, not "1st-cent Jewish understanding". Besides, you freely dispense with such understandings when they conflict with your ideas of the extent of the OT Canon.
But again, how is this other, unknown revelation? Either substantiate your original claim or concede it.


How is "the NT FULFILLS" not just a fancy way of saying he weaseled out?

See Hebrews, Epistle to the.


It's all very well calling Philo a weasel because you don't agree with him, but you do agree with Paul when he says the exact same thing.

Yeah, I wonder why that could be? Maybe Paul was an inspired apostle, and Philo an unrepentant, unregenerate Jew who rejected his Messiah?


How do you know Revelation is not a tradition of men? Come on, give us an answer without begging the question.

Now you're talking like an atheist, though I doubt you realise it.
If I ask YOU the same question, you'll beg the question in a similar way. Rather, Scr is my presupposition, and I argue that rejecting this presupp leads to catastrophic consequences for one's epistemology and metaphysics.
We're both supposed to accept that Rev is canonical. Why make this a challenge, when it would cut down your own tree?


Why is Hebrews in, but Clement is out?

B/c God inspired Hebrews and not Clement.
Now, I ask you - Why is Hebrews in, but Clement is out?


if we take your view, the agreement among God's people can't be discerned for the canon.

I'm certainly not claiming the Canon was held to by everyone, at all times, everywhere. Most, and over time, in dispersed geographical areas is more like it.
What about "functional, sufficient view" sounds like "everyone, at all times, everywhere" to you? Help me out. Provide dictionary references too, please.


We at least have a theological principle to how we go about those things, but you merely pick and choose.

Which you have yet to demonstrate. And what's your principle? How do you know it's right?


That's why we are one, and protestantism is not one

If you want to actually compare apples to apples, compare EOC with the SBC - church to church. Now who's more unified?


Almost no protestants will start using incense because you point out a verse

B/c you never made anything close to a good case for what you say it means.


But we believe the church CONTINUES to be led by the Spirit.

I'm glad to hear you believe that. Fideism, Sola Ecclesia, at its best.
And you amazingly fail to recognise that you do the same thing - jumping around in ECFs and ignoring when they speak contrary to your dogma. I'll admit it, and happily - ECFs are not the proof for my position, but rather I cite them to attack yours. If they are inconsistent or disunified, it's a problem for YOU, not me.

Rhology said...

I find the fathers to be many orders of magnitude more Orthodox than anything else.

But that's not the Vincentian Canon. Either hold to it and prove it or don't.


Jesus didn't follow any oral traditions? Nonsense. The Jews had many good traditions that Jesus followed without comment.

Never said that. You're hardly paying attention now.


I know you can dig up some EO liberal stuff, but its mild and infrequent compared to what we find in any other major denomination.

Yeah? St Vlad's?
EO priests who pray at the Democratic Nat'l Convention, the single biggest force for baby-murder legalisation in the USA?


Arminians can take Heb. 6:6 as their reference point in understanding the overall theology of salvation, and Calvinists subordinate that verse to their favourites.

Oh, on the contrary, I cite Heb 6:6 all the time, b/c no one believes that it's really true if it's Arminian.
No one believes that, if one falls away, he can never come back. Everyone focuses only on the "if he fall away". Looks like you're guilty of that too.
Besides, you're describing prooftexting w/o context. My position takes ALL the Bible into acct. And holds ALL ECF quotations in their proper position - subordinate to the Scr.
You, OTOH, claim to hold SacTrad and Scr in equal position, but when a Scr or ECF quotation makes your position uncomfy, you ignore it. It's far from intellectually honest.


prove what is divine revelation without any reference to what humans have to say about it.

Scripture. QED.


where do early church writers disagree about bapt. regeneration.?

Give this a read. Let me recommend all of it.


The rule of faith in ProtestantLand® is Sola Self®

Since I submit to the Scr, this is hardly true.


Any question of authority, interpretation, hermeneutic, etc, comes down to What The Self® Says.

1) Nope, what the text says.
2) Any question of authority, interpretation, hermeneutic, etc, comes down to What The Self® Says The Church® Says.
Taking this line of reasoning doesn't help you at all. YOU still have to read and analyse what The Church® says. It's disingenuous to say that your position somehow gets rid of the individual human element.


And the sola scripturalists include Muslim sects.

Um, they don't believe hardly any of Scripture. Sheesh. The Qur'an isn't Scripture at all. Try to keep on track, please.


That's like saying the manuscript scribes made mistakes, so we shouldn't base our faith on them.

I'm not claiming the mss scribes were infallible. You ARE claiming that about your church. So, an answer?


Fathers can err when passing on the faith, but I'm not pessimistic about that any more than I am pessimistic about the manuscript tradition.

And how do you know when they err?


No apostolic traditions disagree with EOC.

B/c you define all disagreeing tradition out of existence - it's not Sacred Tradition b/c and only b/c it disagrees with the modern teaching of the church. Sola Ecclesia.
I've gone over all this before, most recently in my Sola Scriptura debate opening statement. It might help you.


while it may be sufficient for some things, it did NOT teach the whole Christian doctrine.

Prove it.
And how can it make the man sufficient for EVERY good work if what you say is true?


You didn't answer the question about when precisely the Church enters this normative state.

When it has the Scripture. This isn't that hard.


Dogmatically spoken means that the Church agrees that this is Orthodox doctrine.

Meaning that it accepts some tradtion and not other tradition. This is precisely what I mean by Sola Ecclesia and What The Church® Says. Trust us, we're The Church.

John said...

"Besides, you freely dispense with such understandings when they conflict with your ideas of the extent of the OT Canon."

That's a claim not in evidence. In any case, the idea of an "OT Canon" is not scriptural. There is scripture, and there is non-scripture, and the canon of scripture was not final at that time, as we both know.

"Yeah, I wonder why that could be? Maybe Paul was an inspired apostle, and Philo an unrepentant, unregenerate Jew who rejected his Messiah?"

So when Philo is a witness to the same Jewish theology that Paul propounds, he is an unrepentant unregenerate Jew, and we can't trust him?

I'll take note of this statement if we ever get into a canon discussion. Unrepentant unregenerate Jews: ignore their testimony: Take mental note.

"Now you're talking like an atheist, though I doubt you realise it."

By that argument, protestants always talk like atheists from our point of view.

"If I ask YOU the same question, you'll beg the question in a similar way."

I don't see how, since I can talk about the witness of the people of God, just like when the apostles had to meet and discuss circumcision, they talked about what the Spirit was doing among the gentiles. You don't want to talk about that witness, because that would supposedly put men above revelation.

"We're both supposed to accept that Rev is canonical. Why make this a challenge, when it would cut down your own tree?"

Obviously, because you have cut down half of the tree, and I need to point out to you that stopped chopping in an arbitrary spot.

"B/c God inspired Hebrews and not Clement."

Evidence?

"Now, I ask you - Why is Hebrews in, but Clement is out?"

Because that is what God's people, led by the Spirit into all truth, teach.

"Which you have yet to demonstrate. And what's your principle? How do you know it's right? "

The principle is the tradition of the church. I know its right because (a) the church has always taught thus, (b) the apostles taught it in scripture (c) all other positions end up begging the question or are self-contradictory, or simply don't work.

The whole point of a rule of faith is a source of normative teaching for a community. Sola scriptura can't function in the very role it is claimed to function, because it gives individuals the right to overrule the community. Jesus' command to "take it to the church" is turned upside down.

In the few cases where protestant chuches do actually try to take the role of making a particular theology normative, they have to contradict their own founding principle to do so. For example in traditional Presbyterian circles, to become the presbyter you will have to sign off on their statement of faith, which for example includes the filioque. Can they prove from scripture that the filioque is correct? Of course not. So they perpetuate the church having teachers that are teaching something that can't be shown from scripture, thus they have set up a system of church governance that perpetuates false traditions, which is of course contrary to sola scriptura.

John said...

"If you want to actually compare apples to apples, compare EOC with the SBC - church to church. Now who's more unified?"

We are still, because SBC are always arguing between calvinists and arminians.

But you miss the point, which I mentioned above. If I set up my own statement of faith, say perhaps the WCF adhered to by Presbyterians, or for that matter the Watchtower statement of faith, or whatever, and I gather a church together based on that, then certainly everyone in the church will agree, because I have self-selected the people who agree with me.

But there is no foundational basis for claiming that the WCF or the Watchtower is in any way guided by the Holy Spirit, and the WCF would certainly deny that. Therefore, self-selecting a group that agrees with you proves nothing.

That's why I say, we are one because of a belief that God guides his church. We are one for a theological reason, not because we self selected the people who agree with certain propositions. We are one because we are submitted under a genuine authority, not self-selecting the interpretation we will adhere to.

"B/c you never made anything close to a good case for what you say it means."

There will be a pure offering and incense offered continually among the gentiles. That's tons clearer than a lot of the prophesies referred to in the New Testament. It's not even a typology, just a plain statement. In my view, the burden is on you to refute it.

"I'm glad to hear you believe that. Fideism, Sola Ecclesia, at its best."

I don't where the fideism accusation comes from. Sola Ecclesia I will get to shortly...

>But we believe the church CONTINUES to be led by the Spirit.
"And you amazingly fail to recognise that you do the same thing - jumping around in ECFs and ignoring when they speak contrary to your dogma."

A claim not in evidence.

But your response ignores what I said. The church CONTINUES to be led. We could burn the scriptures and the ECFs now, and the church would still be led. Whether I do or don't jump in the ECFs has no bearing on what I said.

"But that's not the Vincentian Canon. Either hold to it and prove it or don't."

Have you read the whole Vincentian canon, or just "everywhere, always by all"? Vincent has a great deal to say about various scenarios.

"Yeah? St Vlad's?"

Here is a comment by someone who has actually been to St Vlads:

"Liberal Teachings?
Many people have asked me about this one. For some reason, SVS has been given (and quite unfairly, I might add) a reputation for teaching somewhat "liberal" Orthodox theology. This just hasn't been my experience here. I'd say at least 98% of what we're taught is good, solid, conservative Orthodoxy. As for the other 2% - yes, you'll occassionally hear things from various professors that may come from a different angle (but really can't be considered "heretical", if I may use the term), and there's only been one or two instances in the last 7 months that I've heard something that caused a red flag to go up in my mind, but even in these cases, the professor stating it made clear that it was just his personal opinion/thesis, and not an "official" teaching. That's fine; you'll hear that sort of thing no matter where you go for theological education, but to reiterate, almost everything that is taught here is rock-solid Orthodoxy with plenty of patristic reference. True, we're encouraged to look deep into the various teachings and not just learn them by rote - we're encouraged, in other words, to "think through faith," and not just blindly accept it. But I believe that can only lead to a deeper faith commitment to Christ."

"EO priests who pray at the Democratic Nat'l Convention, the single biggest force for baby-murder legalisation in the USA?"

Matt. 5:44 ?

John said...

"Oh, on the contrary, I cite Heb 6:6 all the time, b/c no one believes that it's really true if it's Arminian.
No one believes that, if one falls away, he can never come back. Everyone focuses only on the "if he fall away". Looks like you're guilty of that too."

What I think about Heb 6:6 is beside the point. I could have quoted any number of other verses, which I'm sure you can find by googling arminianism.

"Besides, you're describing prooftexting w/o context."

You couldn't show from the context that Rom 6 is not about water baptism.

"My position takes ALL the Bible into acct."

Everybody claims that. If you didn't claim that, I'd have to check your pulse.

But you bring to the bible your own presuppositional grid. The bible itself doesn't explain what it means by many terms. What does Paul mean when he says that everyone baptised into Christ has "put on Christ". Not explained. What is the binding and loosing power, how was it exercised, and who did it apply to? Not specified. Is baptism in particular verses by water or by the Spirit? We're not told. Why were the twelve told they had the power to forgive sins? How was it exercised? We're not told. But these unexplained references are what arguments centre around. Which is why Athanasius thought you should teach people the creed first which functioned as a grid for their reading of the scriptures.

And even if you are one of the few clever enough to "take ALL the bible into account", that still doesn't show that the bible alone is sufficient to act as a normative teaching authority in the community, when not everyone comes to your conclusions or are as smart as you, or have as much time as you. That's why protestant churches have statements of faith that go way beyond what can be simply extracted from scripture.

Since the bible can't teach these things in a way that can function alone as the community rule of faith, statements of faith are constructed, which are in fact a human reconstruction of the Faith, which is found in fragmented form in the bible. Whether the fragments are assembled the right way in any particular statement of faith can't be normatively binding.

"You, OTOH, claim to hold SacTrad and Scr in equal position, but when a Scr or ECF quotation makes your position uncomfy, you ignore it. It's far from intellectually honest."

(a) Another claim not in evidence.

(b) Were there supposedly something that makes me "uncomfy" (as if nothing makes YOU uncomfy!), there would be nothing intellectually dishonest in submitting myself to the Church. We'll get to the sola ecclesia claim shortly....

>where do early church writers disagree about bapt. regeneration.?
"Give this a read. Let me recommend all of it."

I looked through there. Didn't find anybody against baptismal regeneration. Found a bunch of quotes in favor of it.

John said...

">Any question of authority, interpretation, hermeneutic, etc, comes down to What The Self® Says.

1) Nope, what the text says.
>2) Any question of authority, interpretation, hermeneutic, etc, comes down to What The Self® Says The Church® Says.
Taking this line of reasoning doesn't help you at all. YOU still have to read and analyse what The Church® says. It's disingenuous to say that your position somehow gets rid of the individual human element."

Of course, but I didn't raise the nonsense spectre of sola ecclesia. Your claim is that since the church can authoritatively say what scripture is and what it means, we supposedly have "sola ecclesia". Well, by that criteria, you have sola-Self®. You made the accusation, and the criteria for the accusation, so you have to live with the rebuttal.

Secondly, yes we all have the human element. But this is the very reason why sola scriptura doesn't function as a rule of faith for a community, which is supposedly the stated function of the sola scriptura doctrine. The individual with a faulty understanding of the doctrine of the community can aim to conform himself to the community, thus making that rule of faith one that functions for its stated purpose. Sola scriptura has no such principle, thus we can have someone like Luther who thinks he has sufficient reason to act contrary to every other Christian, living or dead. That isn't a principle that can lead to a community rule. That's why protestant churches are divided by differing statements of faith, and you have to pick your church based on which one you like the most.

"Um, they don't believe hardly any of Scripture. Sheesh. The Qur'an isn't Scripture at all. Try to keep on track, please."

And the Mormons, JWs etc etc are not the Spirit led church. Try to keep on track :-P

">That's like saying the manuscript scribes made mistakes, so we shouldn't base our faith on them.
I'm not claiming the mss scribes were infallible. You ARE claiming that about your church. So, an answer?"

(a) so much the worse for you. Another reason not to be protestant.
(b) the comparison was between individual ECFs and the text of scripture. Not the Church as a whole.
(c) how does this help you?

"And how do you know when they err?"

In a very similar way to how you know when manuscripts err.

"B/c you define all disagreeing tradition out of existence - it's not Sacred Tradition b/c and only b/c it disagrees with the modern teaching of the church. Sola Ecclesia."

And this criticism comes from one whose answer to the canon question is "that is my presupposition".

Yes, the church is led into all truth. "When the spirit of truth comes, he will lead you into all truth" and "the pillar and ground of the truth". I have a basis for what I believe. You've probably got a different interpretation of that (as usual). But it sure beats "because that is my presupposition". If that was a winning argument... well you may as well end apologetics now, because you've said it all. I've talked to Mormons, and the doctrine is identical. If you think it is scripture, that is the the end of the argument. There is no authority to say you're wrong. At least the church, acting as you claim as sola ecclesia believes itself to be right precisely because it is passing on what the previous generation bequeathed to it. You are right simply because you are, or so you claim.

John said...

"while it may be sufficient for some things, it did NOT teach the whole Christian doctrine.

Prove it."

Show me baptism, the eucharist and the tri-personhood of God in the old testament that Paul refers to in that verse. If you can't, then his sufficiency clearly didn't mean in the sense of teaching all Christian doctrine.

"And how can it make the man sufficient for EVERY good work if what you say is true?"

All scripture is given SO THAT men may be sufficient for every good work. It doesn't say what you claim.

">You didn't answer the question about when precisely the Church enters this normative state.

When it has the Scripture. This isn't that hard. "

You don't tell us how the Church knows that it "has the scripture", nor when it knows it has all the scripture, which are both preconditions to a functioning sola scriptura. It wouldn't hurt to give us date when the church could know it has all the scripture. Then prove from scripture that your method and criteria are the correct ones.

">Dogmatically spoken means that the Church agrees that this is Orthodox doctrine.

Meaning that it accepts some tradtion and not other tradition. This is precisely what I mean by Sola Ecclesia and What The Church® Says. Trust us, we're The Church."

Yeah, why do the churches of the reformed tradition still recite the filioque? They've had 500 years to figure out this isn't in scripture. You're just as bound by your personal and ecclesial traditions as we are. The difference is we want to be bound by ours, whereas you're pretending not to be.

Rhology said...

test

Rhology said...

In any case, the idea of an "OT Canon" is not scriptural.

Oh, so you think the OT teaches that, if God has spoken, we can't know where to find God's communication?


So when Philo is a witness to the same Jewish theology that Paul propounds, he is an unrepentant unregenerate Jew, and we can't trust him?

This is so ironic - I inform EOx that the NT-era Jews held to an OT Canon diff than theirs, and they accuse me of preferring Jewish sources to (what they think) the LXX would make us understand the Canon to be. Now we've switched sides, it would appear.
Anyway, the original comment was that Paul was "weaseling out" of the issue by claiming Christ fulfilled it.


I can talk about the witness of the people of God, just like when the apostles had to meet and discuss circumcision, they talked about what the Spirit was doing among the gentiles.

1) Which you know about thru SCRIPTURE.
2) So, how do you know the witness of the people of God, just like when the apostles had to meet and discuss circumcision, is not a tradition of men? Come on, give us an answer without begging the question.


"B/c God inspired Hebrews and not Clement."

Evidence?


We're both supposed to believe that. Atheist-talk again.
Why can't you argue this point from your own worldview? It's evidence yours is insufficient.


Because that is what God's people, led by the Spirit into all truth, teach.

Evidence?


I know its right because (a) the church has always taught thus

About the only thing the church has always taught is monotheism. Unless you're sticking with your highly-a posteriori-question-begging pick-and-choose approach to tradition.


(b) the apostles taught it in scripture

Like where? Whence do you derive your "theological principle to how we go about those things"?


Sola scriptura can't function in the very role it is claimed to function, because it gives individuals the right to overrule the community.

1) You mean to do what Christ commanded to properly interp the Scr?
2) Plenty of churches, even in NT times, were corrupting stuff.
3) There's never been total agreement on most of anythg. So I'll ask you again - on what basis do you choose which traditions to accept and which to reject? The fact that there are dissenting statements in tradition is enough to overturn this statement of yours.


Jesus' command to "take it to the church" is turned upside down.

Hardly, especially b/c He was talking about a concrete, local church with concrete, actual human elders; not some abstract, worldwide body. How would some huge body like that fulfill what He told the church to do in Matt 18?


For example in traditional Presbyterian circles, to become the presbyter you will have to sign off on their statement of faith, which for example includes the filioque. Can they prove from scripture that the filioque is correct? Of course not.

That's silly of you to say. Sola Scrip is the belief that Scr is the sole FINAL rule of faith. Not the only one; it doesn't say one can't have traditions, just that Scr is the only final judge of traditions. Please.


We are still, because SBC are always arguing between calvinists and arminians.

And your arguments on Old vs non-Old Calendar, pro-baby-murder vs pro-life, inerrantist vs errantist, baptise Baptist converts vs chrismate Baptist converts, and your territorial squabbles mean nothing? I still like the way we stack up.
All that said, unity is not the touchstone of truth. Plenty of ppl are united in their desire to keep baby-murder legal. This is your yardstick, not mine; I'm just showing you that you come up short on one of your major arguments.

Rhology said...

If I set up my own statement of faith, say perhaps the WCF adhered to by Presbyterians, or for that matter the Watchtower statement of faith, or whatever, and I gather a church together based on that, then certainly everyone in the church will agree, because I have self-selected the people who agree with me.

EXACTLY. This is precisely what your group has done.
And it's also what you do in terms of going from all of tradition ---> Sacred Tradition. You pick and choose, and then appeal to what you picked and chose to justify your church's existence. It's a tautology.


But there is no foundational basis for claiming that the WCF or the Watchtower is in any way guided by the Holy Spirit

Leave the WCF out of this - it's not Sola Ecclesia like EOC and Watchtower are.
Why not? After all, the WT picked and chose what Scr and tradition would be their basis. If you challenge them, they'll just do what you do - call the tradition you cite as not Sacred Tradition. Just like what you do when I cite Athanasius or Chrysostom to you. They disagreed with your position, and yet you dismiss them b/c you didn't pick or choose THAT quote to be part of your Sacred Tradition.


Therefore, self-selecting a group that agrees with you proves nothing.

I love it. The blindness you display is dumbfounding.


"And you amazingly fail to recognise that you do the same thing - jumping around in ECFs and ignoring when they speak contrary to your dogma."

A claim not in evidence.


I already showed you. Try to pay attention.
Here it is one more time.


Have you read the whole Vincentian canon, or just "everywhere, always by all"? Vincent has a great deal to say about various scenarios.

1) YOU'RE the one who cited it, not me. I would never cite sthg so obviously false and stupid.
2) So, it's everywhere by all at all times... only not?



St Vlad's isn't liberal

Except when it is.
Example 1
Example 2
Example 3

As for larger Orthodoxy, it's not a whole lot better.


Matt 5:44

They were throwing rotten tomatoes at the priest? Or were they pretending to be religious while they met to discuss how to keep baby-dismemberment legal under the auspicious blessing of an EO priest?


"My position takes ALL the Bible into acct."
Everybody claims that.


False. It shows whenever I cite a biblical text and the liberal, RC, or EO cites a "counterverse", as if they contradict.


But you bring to the bible your own presuppositional gr

Oh please. Everyone does. It's just that your church tells you what's in there, so magically voilà, it's in there.


What does Paul mean when he says that everyone baptised into Christ has "put on Christ". Not explained.

Actually, he explains it quite well in Eph and Col.


What is the binding and loosing power, how was it exercised, and who did it apply to?

So does that mean that any EO appeal to Matt 16 and 18 with respect to its ecclesial authority are toothless, b/c it's not clear what those psgs mean?


That's why protestant churches have statements of faith that go way beyond what can be simply extracted from scripture.

On the contrary, they're purely extracted from Scr. Doesn't mean ppl can't massage the language to make it more accessible, in one place, organised by subject matter.

Rhology said...

Didn't find anybody against baptismal regeneration.

Check again. There's a whole section on it.


As for all the Sola Self stuff, you bring virtually nothing new to the table here.


Secondly, yes we all have the human element.

And somehow that doesn't affect what the church says? Only what the Scr says?


The individual with a faulty understanding of the doctrine of the community can aim to conform himself to the community, thus making that rule of faith one that functions for its stated purpose.

The individual with a faulty understanding of the doctrine of the Scr can aim to conform himself to the Scr, thus making that rule of faith one that functions for its stated purpose.


That isn't a principle that can lead to a community rule.

Funny how it HAS led to precisely that. I'm in spiritual communion with millions of other Sola Scrips all over the world.


And the Mormons, JWs etc etc are not the Spirit led church. Try to keep on track :-P

Prove it.


In a very similar way to how you know when manuscripts err.

I doubt it. Describe precisely how.


And this criticism comes from one whose answer to the canon question is "that is my presupposition".

At least the Scr is, we both agree, God-breathed. That makes Scr a fine presupposition - it's what God spoke.
But I *don't* agree EO is God-inspired, so it's up to you to prove its difference from other Sola Ecclesia groups and cults.


Yes, the church is led into all truth. "When the spirit of truth comes, he will lead you into all truth" and "the pillar and ground of the truth". I have a basis for what I believe.

1) And how do you know this is the proper interp of the Scr you cite?
2) How do you know the Scr is true?

(I ask #2 b/c you've been asking questions like you're an atheist, so I want to give you a little taste of your own medicine. In reality, only question #1 is valid from my worldview.)


If you think it is scripture, that is the the end of the argument. There is no authority to say you're wrong

In the context of talking to LDS, there absolutely is such an authority! God's Word! Later "revelation" must agree with the perfect revelation that has gone before!
Further, internal contradictions demonstrate a worldview's untruth, even when said worldview CLAIMS divine guidance. This is one of the ways we can know that EOC is wrong.


Show me baptism, the eucharist and the tri-personhood of God in the old testament that Paul refers to in that verse

Hmm, good point. I concede.
OK, so as to remember what was under discussion at the time, let's go back:
Rhology said: "2) And they always had the OT - the OT was sufficient for salvation (2 Tim 3:15) and to verify the Gospel msg (Acts 17 Bereans)."
John said:
Ahh, but now we get to the fact that it while it may be sufficient for some things, it did NOT teach the whole Christian doctrine. The argument has never been about whether scripture can teach many things, the argument is about whether it is a sole sufficient rule of faith.

So it would appear I was overstating my case. I'd like to revise my statement - 2 Tim 3 says that the OT is sufficient for leading one to salvation by faith. It goes on, a sentence later, to say that "Scripture" is sufficient for teaching for the man of God. But the NT is also Scripture. And the NT IS complete - it is the revelation of Jesus Christ cf Heb 1. There is nothing left for God to say in terms of salvation, until the Parousia.


All scripture is given SO THAT men may be sufficient for every good work.

It's the only rule of faith and the only source for teaching that's given in that psg. Show me another.

Rhology said...

You don't tell us how the Church knows that it "has the scripture", nor when it knows it has all the scripture

Then maybe YOU could tell us how the Church knows that it "has the scripture", nor when it knows it has all the Scripture. Or how the Church knows it has the truth. After all, if doctrine is still developing, you don't know what will come along later. Especially when CFs have said plenty of things that don't match what EOC teaches today. With all that instability and circular self-referential teaching authority claims, how can you know anything?



Yeah, why do the churches of the reformed tradition still recite the filioque

How is this even close to relevant? Please answer the original challenge.


They've had 500 years to figure out this isn't in scripture.

Um, maybe it IS in Scripture.
Or, more specifically to the Reformed faith, it's hardly an essential of the faith. One is free to believe any trad he thinks is right and which his conscience accepts as long as it does not conflict with Scr.

John said...

">In any case, the idea of an "OT Canon" is not scriptural.

Oh, so you think the OT teaches that, if God has spoken, we can't know where to find God's communication?"

I don't know how this is a response to what I said.
(a) The idea of an OT Canon is not scriptural. I didn't say anything about canons in general.
(b) I'm not the one who needs everything to be scriptural in order to be true.

"This is so ironic - I inform EOx that the NT-era Jews held to an OT Canon diff than theirs...."

...noting of course that you can only claim it, but never demonstrate it...

(a) I don't have to demonstrate that Philo was right. I only gave it as a possible example of a witness to extra-scriptural revelation.
(b) I gave other evidences that date from way before the NT-era, so that's irrelevant.

"Anyway, the original comment was that Paul was "weaseling out" of the issue by claiming Christ fulfilled it. "

I only applied your terminology for people who did what Paul did to Paul himself. You can take responsibility for your own end game.

"1) Which you know about thru SCRIPTURE."

How do you know I know about it through scripture?

"2) So, how do you know the witness of the people of God, just like when the apostles had to meet and discuss circumcision, is not a tradition of men? Come on, give us an answer without begging the question. "

Because of the witness of the Holy Spirit to Christ's body.

"B/c God inspired Hebrews and not Clement."

>Evidence?

We're both supposed to believe that. Atheist-talk again.
Why can't you argue this point from your own worldview? It's evidence yours is insufficient."

If you can't defend your own position from your own epistemology, then your position fails. Inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument. I'm perfectly within my rights to put your epistemology under the spotlight. If you believe the right thing for the wrong reasons, then the rest of your theology which is based on those same wrong reasons is found wanting. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. If I ask you why you think the clock is right at 4:00pm, even if it happens to be 4:00pm when I ask it, that doesn't mean your reasoning for believing the clock is sound. And if it isn't sound, then when I ask you an hour later, your answer will be wrong.

I think you know all this, but are just playing the point scoring game.

John said...

"Because that is what God's people, led by the Spirit into all truth, teach.

Evidence?"

Athiest! Athiest!

I can walk into any of God's churches and find Hebrews in their bible. That's not even a hard one.

"About the only thing the church has always taught is monotheism."

You should really stop listening to James White.

JND Kelly says that belief in the reality of Christ's body in the Eucharist was "universal" among the apostolic fathers. Since White was busted pretending to have read the Fathers, when he hasn't read them at all, I'd rather believe JND Kelly.

"Like where? Whence do you derive your "theological principle to how we go about those things"?

2Th. 2:15, and its interpretation in the Fathers and the Church.

"1) You mean to do what Christ commanded to properly interp the Scr?".

Begging the question that you interpret it correctly and the early church did not.

"2) Plenty of churches, even in NT times, were corrupting stuff."

Non-sequitur since you already denied a general apostasy.

">Jesus' command to "take it to the church" is turned upside down.

Hardly, especially b/c He was talking about a concrete, local church with concrete, actual human elders"

Jesus' command implicitly assumes only one church, or if we're talking about local churches, one church in your jurisdiction. Just as the canons of Nicaea stipulate. If you can take it to the church, get disciplined, but then just go start another church, Jesus' words are a nonsense.

"Sola Scrip is the belief that Scr is the sole FINAL rule of faith. "

How is it the final rule, when it is the confession which acts as the final rule? Let's say you're a credo-baptist, and you are going to a presbyterian church, openly saying that paedo-baptism is heretical. The elders turf you out for openly teaching contrary to the WCF. The WCF has become the final rule of faith in the church. The elders don't even have the option to reconsider their position, because they all signed off on the WCF as a condition of becoming elders. Not to mention that the church has self-selected for people who have that viewpoint. There is zero possibility that presbyterian churches could be changed on the authority of scripture. Nor that baptist churches could go the other direction. They are 100% locked into their statements of faith, regardless of scripture. Point me to any Presbyterian or Baptist church who has switched positions. If you can't, empirically you are obviously wrong.

"And your arguments on Old vs non-Old Calendar, pro-baby-murder vs pro-life, inerrantist vs errantist, baptise Baptist converts vs chrismate Baptist converts, and your territorial squabbles mean nothing?"

We don't argue over calendars. Who is pro-baby murder? Whether to baptise or chrismate is a matter of judgement on how to apply rules that we all in fact agree on. In legal speak, they are issues of fact rather than of law. And territorial squabbles don't sound very doctrinally significant to me.

"I'm just showing you that you come up short on one of your major arguments."

Actually, presence or absence of arguments was never my criteria. I just played along with you for lafs. Being One is much more concrete than that. Otherwise my wife and I would not be One, since we have plenty of disagreements. Try that argument on your wife if you are married. It don't work.

John said...

"EXACTLY. This is precisely what your group has done. "

How so, since previously in history we were the only church? We didn't have protestants breaking off in all directions, and self selecting different theologies.

"And it's also what you do in terms of going from all of tradition ---> Sacred Tradition. You pick and choose, and then appeal to what you picked and chose to justify your church's existence. It's a tautology."

So how does it work when you talk to an atheist? Rhology: "The bible says to repent". Athiest: "Why listen to the bible instead of the Koran? You pick and choose and then appeal to what you picked to justify your religion's existence. It's a tautology".

Everything about your religion is picking and choosing. You pick what books are scripture, and you pick what interpretation you will follow. I do no such picking and choosing. I have very little scope for picking and choosing.

And in any case, almost everyone who reads the fathers who makes a move, makes the move out of protestantism. I don't think that's because the fathers have nothing in common but monotheism. That's a fun catch phrase, but it rings hollow unless you follow the prooftexters like White and Webster rather than reading the fathers yourself.

"I already showed you. Try to pay attention."

I don't arbitrarily jump around in the ECFs, because as I've said several times already, the church is STILL led into all truth. I don't need the fathers to be correct by any particular date. And all I really see in those quotations is some difference in the canon, which I think is more of a problem for you than me. You're the one who opened this reply by asking "don't you think we can know where God has spoken?" Apparently by your scriptura standard, people didn't know. And if Chrysostom didn't know, with his shorter canon, why are you so arrogant to think you do know? What is special about you when compared to Chrysostom?

"1) YOU'RE the one who cited it, not me. I would never cite sthg so obviously false and stupid.
2) So, it's everywhere by all at all times... only not?"

Read Vincent's Commitorium. I'm not going to cut and past the whole thing here. Suffice it to say he has much more to say about what happens if people disagree.

"St Vlad's isn't liberal

Except when it is.
Example 1
Example 2
Example 3

As for larger Orthodoxy, it's not a whole lot better. "

I don't know what the significance of half of those are, and I'm not going to spend 4 hours figuring it out. But I do note that most of these quotes seem to be sourced from a single individual. And how would that in any way refute what I said about Orthodoxy in comparison to Protestant denominations? It doesn't.

"They were throwing rotten tomatoes at the priest? Or were they pretending to be religious while they met to discuss how to keep baby-dismemberment legal under the auspicious blessing of an EO priest?"

Their motivation is not the issue, any more than it would be my sin if I pray for the president, and he ends up doing the wrong thing.

John said...

"False. It shows whenever I cite a biblical text and the liberal, RC, or EO cites a "counterverse", as if they contradict."

If you didn't make that false claim, I'd also have to check your pulse.

"So does that mean that any EO appeal to Matt 16 and 18 with respect to its ecclesial authority are toothless, b/c it's not clear what those psgs mean?"

That depends if you think there is weight in the argument that only one rational interpretation has been advanced, and it is the same one as assumed in the apostolic fathers.

Too often I see protestants who can't bear the traditional interpretation through Romaphobia or some other pre-commitment, and yet who can't advance their own interpretation, simply resort to throwing as much fear, uncertainty and doubt about the only existing interpretation into the ring in the hope that something will sink it. Of course, any theological system can be entirely sunk if we reject everything that one can suggest doubt about. That's called radical skepticism.

">That's why protestant churches have statements of faith that go way beyond what can be simply extracted from scripture.

On the contrary, they're purely extracted from Scr. Doesn't mean ppl can't massage the language to make it more accessible, in one place, organised by subject matter."

Purely from scripture eh? So, in the WCF, "II. Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary; but Baptism is rightly administered by pouring, or sprinkling water upon the person." That is PURELY from scripture?

Or what about:" V. Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ, but also the infants of one, or both, believing parents, are to be baptized."

That's also PURELY from scripture?

">Didn't find anybody against baptismal regeneration.

Check again. There's a whole section on it."

Nope, can't see a one.

">Secondly, yes we all have the human element.

And somehow that doesn't affect what the church says? Only what the Scr says?"
....
The individual with a faulty understanding of the doctrine of the Scr can aim to conform himself to the Scr, thus making that rule of faith one that functions for its stated purpose. "

Yes you can aim to conform to scripture, but that doesn't help conforming the COMMUNITY. Remember the purpose of scripture, and a common Reformed definition of sola scriptura: The Sole infallible rule of faith IN THE CHURCH". The aim is to be a rule of faith that brings unity to the church, not to bring unity between you and a book. That's why Jesus says to "take it to the Church". Not "go home and agree to disagree, and have self-unity".

"Funny how it HAS led to precisely that. I'm in spiritual communion with millions of other Sola Scrips all over the world."

And why should I believe in this fantasmagorical spiritual communion, when you don't have communion in the actual physical world? You remember, the world we actually live in, and not the one where your gnostic imagination wanders to.

As Jesus said, "they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You loved them". Looks like the world doesn't believe God loves you, and its because of your own disunity. You can't expect me to believe what the world won't.

John said...

"And the Mormons, JWs etc etc are not the Spirit led church. Try to keep on track :-P

Prove it."

They don't have apostolic succession.

"In a very similar way to how you know when manuscripts err.

I doubt it. Describe precisely how."

You look at all the witnesses, you take into account age and geographic distribution and independence, you take into account the history of the tradition and the inherent plausibility that a particular thing was changed by an individual, and you come to a decision.

"At least the Scr is, we both agree, God-breathed. That makes Scr a fine presupposition - it's what God spoke."

Except I don't take it to be a presupposition. I see an historical reality that Christ became incarnate, and set up a church, and therefore we have scripture. Augustine said he should not believe scripture except for the authority of the church. Scripture is believable precisely because it is intertwined with history. Not because it floated out of a cloud and is self-evidently true. The Book of Mormon floated out of a cloud, and tons of people think it is self-evidently true. I don't follow that epistemology, even though you do.

"But I *don't* agree EO is God-inspired, so it's up to you to prove its difference from other Sola Ecclesia groups and cults."

The apostolic succession was good enough for the apostolic fathers, and its good enough for me. If the principle that held together the church that formalised your canon isn't good enough, I suggest you toss it and start again.

>1) And how do you know this is the proper interp of the Scr you cite?"

a) Didn't you claim scripture is clear in all things that affect salvation? Surely the list of authorities I should follow could affect my salvation, therefore this verse must be clear, thus it may only withstand one interpretation.

b) I've never seen another suggested interpretation that didn't eisegete into the text the meaning that the church OUGHT to be the pillar of the truth, rather than that it IS the pillar, which is what the text actually says. Thus I must adhere to the only interpretation I know of that works. My conscience is captive to the word of God. Here I stand, I can do no other.

>2) How do you know the Scr is true?

(a) I become convinced God became incarnate. (1Cor. 12:3) Obviously scripture has a part to play in this, but not the sole part. (John 17:23)
(b) I become convinced Jesus called apostles who set up His Church.
(c) The Church tells me what books are scripture, and that it is true.

The source of authority starts with Jesus, the living Word, and moves from there through the apostles (who are the original church) to the secondary word, the written. The bible is not God.

"In the context of talking to LDS, there absolutely is such an authority! God's Word! Later "revelation" must agree with the perfect revelation that has gone before! "

The old testament says that gentiles who want to become one of God's people must be circumcised. The NT says they don't. Deciding what is or isn't in agreement sounds like a pretty tough call for little old me.

John said...

"Further, internal contradictions demonstrate a worldview's untruth, even when said worldview CLAIMS divine guidance. This is one of the ways we can know that EOC is wrong."

Errr... what INTERNAL contradiction have you alleged with EOC?

I can see your internal contradiction that you claim scripture as authority, you are in disunity with other groups you consider to be the church, yet your scriptural authority says we should know who God loves by virtues of their unity. QED.

">Show me baptism, the eucharist and the tri-personhood of God in the old testament that Paul refers to in that verse

Hmm, good point. I concede. "

Thankyou.

"So it would appear I was overstating my case. I'd like to revise my statement - 2 Tim 3 says that the OT is sufficient for leading one to salvation by faith. It goes on, a sentence later, to say that "Scripture" is sufficient for teaching for the man of God. But the NT is also Scripture. And the NT IS complete - it is the revelation of Jesus Christ cf Heb 1. There is nothing left for God to say in terms of salvation, until the Parousia. "

(a) Hebrews 1, says nothing about scripture being complete. In fact it doesn't mention scripture at all!
(b) 2 Tim 3 says nothing about salvation, nor salvation by faith, but no matter that is not the issue of dispute.
(c) Whether the NT is or isn't complete, or there is or isn't another verse that says as much, it leaves the point unassailed that Paul, simultaneously with his 2Tim3 statement about scripture, was teaching baptism, the eucharist and the trinity as Christian doctrines which were not contained in scripture. Therefore, 2Tim3 does not teach sola scriptura. Therefore, you need to find another verse or admit Sola scriptura is not taught in scriptura. (And of course, any other verse you might advance would collapse under the same logic). And if its not taught in scripture, you have refuted yourself.

John said...

"It's the only rule of faith and the only source for teaching that's given in that psg. Show me another."

2Th 2:15

"Then maybe YOU could tell us how the Church knows that it "has the scripture", nor when it knows it has all the Scripture."

That's not my epistemological problem. I have the Church as the thing which is led into all truth. You have the scripture which is the sole truth.

"After all, if doctrine is still developing, you don't know what will come along later."

It's not my position that doctrine is developing. Only that the Church from time to time clarifies it.

" Especially when CFs have said plenty of things that don't match what EOC teaches today. With all that instability and circular self-referential teaching authority claims, how can you know anything?"

Again, the Church CONTINUES to be led into all truth. This problem is your problem, since you can't know you have a canon. If Athanasius says the canon is one thing, Jerome another, and Marcion another, you've got the problem any of them could be in fact right. I've got 1500 years more reflection for one thing, and I don't have the canon problem you have for another, since the Church is led into the truth with or without a precise canon.

"Um, maybe it IS in Scripture.
Or, more specifically to the Reformed faith, it's hardly an essential of the faith. One is free to believe any trad he thinks is right and which his conscience accepts as long as it does not conflict with Scr."

So how come when I went to a Presbyterian church, they recited the Creed? Don't you think you might be just a little bit ostracised in the community, if you go to church and can't recite the symbol of faith, the "I believe" that everyone recites together?

And if it is "hardly essential", why is it in the creed, whose function is clearly to enunciate the essentials of the faith?

And how do you know it isn't an essential, since so many Christians for so many years considered the Creed as the essentials in the faith? What verse lists the essentials contra the non-essentials?