Monday, August 17, 2009

Mirror target practice

John continues to stumble over his misconceptions of the Sola Scripturist's disadvantages vis-à-vis the Eastern Orthodox Church. I'll try to help.

but then you later say: "the true church is invisible" and "that the institution of the Christian church thru time has been as a rule corrupt"

No, I meant what I said. No one church has it all right, but some have it more right than others. See Revelation 1-3. But when I have the opportunity to choose whether I should go to Philadelphia or Ephesus, I'll go Philadelphia, though there are no doubt members of the invisible ch in Ephesus as well.


wrong interpretation of Ware

Prove it. You haven't interacted with Ware at all.


Arguments over books written 2500 years ago is not an open canon.

Oh, OK. So if EOC were to accept one of these books in a few decades in an ecumenical council, that wouldn't actually result in an addition to your now-commonly-accepted Canon?


Ware does not mention anything about a canon dispute, he only mentions people who think some books are on a different level

Wrong.


Concerning the remnant and the "motif of the OT", there was a remnant WITHIN the institutional Israel.

And outside it. Naaman, Rahab, Ruth, 1000s of Egyptians and other foreigners who went with Israel in the Exodus.


And institutional Israel was the custodians of scripture. Not anybody and everybody who happened to possess a copy.

Agreed. So what?


They didn't throw their ideas into the public square and let people do what they will, they actually went around and set up institutions.

Once again, agreed. So what?
And that didn't prevent the churches from going wildly astray already, even within years of their apostolic foundation.


when you said you don't have a committment to the truth of institutional church, you don't mean that.

You don't know nearly enough about me to make such a judgment.


If Calvin wasn't an authority, then your friends at church can hardly be an authority. An invisible group can't be an authority.

Sure they can. What is your argument for this assertion? You're assuming what you need to prove - that Calvin is somehow over "my friends at church".
And "my friends at church" aren't in authority over me; my elders are - Hebrews 13:17.


Who told you the canon again?

Bishop Ware.

Kidding, kidding. The people of God have come gradually to recognise what the true Canon is. That is, Canon2 has gradually come to match Canon1.

Who told YOU the canon again? EOC? When it can't make up its mind?
No, seriously, who told you the canon?


oh say Malachi 1:11 I suppose? We would find incense burning in your baptist hall?

Malachi 1:11“For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure; for My name will be great among the nations,” says the LORD of hosts. 12 “But you are profaning it, in that you say, ‘The table of the Lord is defiled, and as for its fruit, its food is to be despised.’ 13 “You also say, ‘My, how tiresome it is!’ And you disdainfully sniff at it,” says the LORD of hosts, “and you bring what was taken by robbery and what is lame or sick; so you bring the offering! Should I receive that from your hand?” says the LORD.

1) Are you offering grain offerings?
2) Is incense offered in EVERY place?
3) Is this not a prophecy of the endtimes, where God will rule over the entire world?


It is also individualism, not something befitting of the body of Christ.

1) Not pure individualism, as explained.
2) Yet given that Christ holds every man responsible, label it with whatever epithet you like. It changes nothing about Christ's command.


Rhology said: "I trust God to lead His church to a proper recognition of Canon1"
-Didn't you just lecture us that the true church is invisible and visibly mostly corrupt?

Sure, and I stand by it. But you're jumping in at the wrong end of the pool.
If the Scripture is not given, we have no revelation from God. And it just so happens that we have no objective and consistent way to judge moral right from wrong, we have no solution for sin, we have no God-given metaphysical or epistemological basis for anything. In short, we're screwed. So yes, to believe the contrary is absurd so I believe that God is trustworthy to make His Scripture known to His people.
Now, it also just so happens that His Word reveals what His people are supposed to believe, that counterfeits will arise, and that even the earliest churches had serious doctrinal and practical problems, and that each person is responsible to repent and believe Christ and the Gospel. But if a "church" like yours doesn't teach said Gospel, we have a problem.
Hope that helps clarify.


Canon2 was in flux in Luther's time, but not now?

Canon2 was in flux in Luther's time for EVERYONE, not just for Protestants. It's still in flux for EOC. I don't see how you're in a position to lecture anyone.

29 comments:

John said...

Concerning Ware, he says they are deutero-CANONICAL, and part of the BIBLE, merely on a "lower level". If he wanted to say "not scripture", I'm sure he was capable of saying that.

As for comparing these opinions with Jerome, etc, well Jerome calls these books "Holy Scripture" and written by "Prophets", so how Ware interprets the various data about Jerome etc I can only assume is reflected in what he wrote being "on a lower level". Now you can disagree with Ware if you want, but that is not the issue.

"And outside it. Naaman, Rahab, Ruth, 1000s of Egyptians and other foreigners who went with Israel in the Exodus."

How are those with institutional Israel not in institutional Israel?

"And institutional Israel was the custodians of scripture. Not anybody and everybody who happened to possess a copy.

Agreed. So what?"

I think you know what. People couldn't just recreate institutional Israel by grabbing the scriptures and claiming to be Israel.

"Once again, agreed. So what?
And that didn't prevent the churches from going wildly astray already, even within years of their apostolic foundation."

Let me quote the ESV study bible, that bastion of evangelical thinking:

"Jesus Christ is building his church, and even the gates of hell will not defeat it (Matt. 16:18). He is the foundational cornerstone providing unyielding stability (Matt. 21:42 par.; Acts 4:11; Eph. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:6–7), and he promises that he will complete the building he is making (Eph. 2:21–22). Therefore, even when the church appears weak, corrupt, and lost, there is always reason for deep confidence in its continued growth and enduring strength. God’s people are “living stones” (1 Pet. 2:5) who have received their life from the Cornerstone, who is the giver of life."

and also....

"the Bible disallows a total apostasy of the church (e.g., Matt. 16:18; 28:20; Eph. 3:21; 4:11–16), warning instead of partial apostasy (1 Tim. 4:1)."

I couldn't put it better.

"And "my friends at church" aren't in authority over me; my elders are - Hebrews 13:17."

So the elders at your local church are your authority for the canon? Even if they are Martin Luther and telling you to toss Revelation, Hebrews, James, Esther etc in the Rhine?

John said...

"The people of God have come gradually to recognise what the true Canon is. That is, Canon2 has gradually come to match Canon1."

Sounds like something that could only happen with the help of the Holy Spirit. But then those sacramentalists and baby baptizers, Athanasius, Basil, Gregory and company seemed to be inexorably led into the correct canon.

So... does the Holy Spirit also lead the false church, in which case we should give more consideration to the book of Mormon, or does he only lead true churches, in which case you've got the tricky task of explaining why Athanasius=good and EO=bad, when we have so much in common.

"Who told YOU the canon again? EOC? When it can't make up its mind? No, seriously, who told you the canon?"

The tradition, the manuscripts, the lectionary, the councils, the printed bibles and so forth.

And while I may or may not perfectly perceive the mind of the church, I'm not tempted to go into wholesale redaction like Luther did.

"1) Are you offering grain offerings?"

Well uh, yes we are. But the Hebrew doesn't have to mean "grain", as you will notice if you peruse other translations.

"2) Is incense offered in EVERY place?"

You're not going to go all technical on me are you?

"3) Is this not a prophecy of the endtimes, where God will rule over the entire world?"

No it isn't, and the earliest fathers said as much. (Didache 14, 3; Dialogue with Trypho 41, 2; Against Heresies, Book IV, cap. 17, 5)

"1) Not pure individualism, as explained."

I didn't see where this does not become pure individualism, other than that few protestants have the stomach to do what Luther did.

"2) Yet given that Christ holds every man responsible, label it with whatever epithet you like. It changes nothing about Christ's command."

Christ commanded you to embark on a scholastic journey in search of the true canon? Chapter and verse please.

"we have no God-given metaphysical or epistemological basis for anything. In short, we're screwed. So yes, to believe the contrary is absurd so I believe that God is trustworthy to make His Scripture known to His people."

So your argument about why "his people" must have the right canon is because they would be screwed otherwise.

Okay... but my corollary is that "his people" are screwed if God does not also lead them into all truth about correctly interpreting and applying said bible. To have one and not the other is to in fact have nothing at all.

"Canon2 was in flux in Luther's time for EVERYONE, not just for Protestants. It's still in flux for EOC. I don't see how you're in a position to lecture anyone."

Firstly, even with your most hopeful interpretation of Ware, it greatly overstates the case. If a book is in the lectionary, that is really the end of the discussion, the church has accepted it as scripture. And recently published Orthodox Study Bible has all the books described in the preface as "God inspired", without a murmur to be heard anywhere (and Orthodox are not shy to speak up when they sense somebody trying to change something).

Secondly, we don't need a canon as badly as you. Our church as a whole is inspired give or take a book or two. On the other hand for you, a book or two could in theory change your whole theology and require a whole new reformation.

Rhology said...

Ware interprets the various data about Jerome etc I can only assume is reflected in what he wrote being "on a lower level"

Yes, a lower level than Scr.


How are those with institutional Israel not in institutional Israel?

They became sharers in the covenant through conversion.
Tell you what, let me use a more obvious illustration, which I should have used before. 1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.


People couldn't just recreate institutional Israel by grabbing the scriptures and claiming to be Israel.

"Grabbing the scriptures and claiming to be Israel" wasn't how one entered the covenant community in the OT. The NT covenant community is different - one enters into it by faith and repentance, and publicises that reality by baptism and church membership. Wherever they are.


total apostasy

No one is claiming total apostasy. Remnant, remember?
Matt 16:18 refers to the church defeating the gates of Hell; it's not a statement about the other way around.


So the elders at your local church are your authority for the canon?

Oh, I didn't realise you were asking about the Canon when you asked who is in authority over me.
And I've already explained who is the authority for the Canon - God. You're conflating authority and recognition.

I have no idea why you mention the Book of Mormon.


The tradition, the manuscripts, the lectionary, the councils, the printed bibles and so forth.

Which apparently differ. No wonder you're so confused about my position - your own is currently hopelessly mixed up. You appear to be attributing your own confusion to me.


And while I may or may not perfectly perceive the mind of the church, I'm not tempted to go into wholesale redaction like Luther did.

Now wait a sec. If you don't necessarily perceive correctly the mind of the church, how do you know you're not participating in wholesale redaction?


You're not going to go all technical on me are you?

Hahaha, that's funny. You quoted it as support for your style of worship. I point out where it doesn't match and all of a sudden I'm too picky.
So, it's not a prophecy of the endtimes? Even though insisting that what it describes is pretty much a paradisaical vision and that it hasn't come to pass now is "all technical"? Fine, let the reader judge.


Christ commanded you to embark on a scholastic journey in search of the true canon? Chapter and verse please.

Matthew 22:31. If I don't know what God's speech is, I can't very well know what God said.


So your argument about why "his people" must have the right canon is because they would be screwed otherwise.

Yes, a standard argument ad absurdum. The impossibility of the contrary.


your whole theology and require a whole new reformation.

That depends 100%, for both of us, on what a "new Canon book" would contain, b/c we already know what's in the Canon as it stands now. The Bible as it stands now convicts your church of myriad false doctrines. Someone brings fwd a new book, if it's indeed theopneustos, then it won't contradict the Bible, previous revelation. So no, this is totally wrong, and it fails to reflect how far off the mark your church is in its understanding of biblical doctrine as it stands now.

John said...

"Yes, a lower level than Scr."

Again you assume your own partisan interpretation even when demonstrated that is not what he said and probably not what he meant.

" 1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us."

Errr... Isn't this the verse I'm supposed to be using against you? How do you use it against me?

""Grabbing the scriptures and claiming to be Israel" wasn't how one entered the covenant community in the OT. The NT covenant community is different - one enters into it by faith and repentance, and publicises that reality by baptism and church membership. Wherever they are. "

You can't baptise yourself. A representative of the church baptises you into the community. How this differs to the OT as far as the institutional aspect, I can't see.

"No one is claiming total apostasy."

So why bring up the problem churches?

"And I've already explained who is the authority for the Canon - God. You're conflating authority and recognition."

Unless God told you personally, you are relying on some secondary authority and I'm asking you who it is.

"I have no idea why you mention the Book of Mormon."

The point is, you have borrowed your canon from a Church you consider to be wildly corrupt. So that means other books would need careful consideration as well.

"The tradition, the manuscripts, the lectionary, the councils, the printed bibles and so forth.

Which apparently differ."

In earlier times, yes.

"your own is currently hopelessly mixed up."

Not that I can see.

"Now wait a sec. If you don't necessarily perceive correctly the mind of the church, how do you know you're not participating in wholesale redaction?"

Because I follow the authority as best I can. I don't fabricate a canon out of whole cloth like Luther seemed to be doing by condemning books purely based on his own opinion.

"You're not going to go all technical on me are you?
Hahaha, that's funny. You quoted it as support for your style of worship. I point out where it doesn't match and all of a sudden I'm too picky."

Come now. You can do better than that:

Rom. 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.

If you want to say Romans lies, then go ahead.

"Matthew 22:31."

Mt 22 doesn't say you need to go on a scholasic journey, it assumes you already read it! Nothing here on doing textual and historical analysis to prove whether a particular book appears to be written by a genuine prophet.

"Yes, a standard argument ad absurdum. The impossibility of the contrary."

But no comment on the absurdity that God would institute scripture that nobody was interpreting correctly? Yet you don't agree with the total apostosy? None of it adds up.


"Someone brings fwd a new book, if it's indeed theopneustos, then it won't contradict the Bible, previous revelation."

Yes, but it may contradict YOUR INTERPRETATION. Whereas we believe our interpretation is also led by the Holy Spirit. That's why another book in our understanding can't change anything, but in your understanding it could change everything.

Seth said...

Here's some questions for you both regarding "You can't baptise yourself. A representative of the church baptises you into the community."

Obviously issues of eschatology and official "sacraments" vary drastically, even among protestants. For instance, Alan's home church of SBC is strong in Oklahoma, but as a Reformed Baptist, were he to pursue a theology degree, I doubt dispensational Dallas Theological Seminary would be a good fit.

So, can we use "entrance into the Church" as a starting point for me to understand from an Orthodox and RefBap standpoint:

(*) Assume an individual is at the verge of repenting and accepting Christ (whatever that entails) and now wants to proceed and enter the community of God, New Covenant style.

(1) Which NT scriptures are weightiest on how you enter the community of God?

(2) Which OT scriptures dealing with "entering the commonwealth of Israel" fit the pattern for a New Covenant believer? (For instance, some RefPresbs might say, "OT circumsicion = NT infant baptism").

(3) What is the OLDEST traditional model (post-Acts, or other NT text) that most closely matches the 'correct' pattern?

Rhology said...

Hi John,

Isn't this the verse I'm supposed to be using against you?

That someone would go out from the visible ch b/c they weren't among the invisible ch?
That someone proves they weren't among the elect by leaving? I don't really see how this verse communicates anythg helpful to EO doctrine.


You can't baptise yourself.

Well, actually, that IS how baptism was done in Israel before the coming of Christ. But baptism wasn't the entry into the OT cov comm of God; circumcision was. The OT cov comm of God was a visible nation with borders and gov't. The NT cov comm is not.


So why bring up the problem churches?

B/c I'm claiming a partial/mostly apostasy.
I bring them up to show you that institutional unity is neither necessarily a hallmark of true church, and its lack is not necessarily a result of, nor is its lack limited to practitioners of, Sola Scriptura.


Unless God told you personally, you are relying on some secondary authority and I'm asking you who it is.

No, God didn't tell me personally. It's not an authority at all; the church RECOGNISED the Canon.


you have borrowed your canon from a Church you consider to be wildly corrupt.

Totally false. It was what it was. The early church was not EO; nor was it Protestant. It was the early church. Is this the 1st time you've talked to a Reformed person about this?


In earlier times, yes.

And now; all you've done is assert I'm misinterping Ware. You've made no argument to that effect. Naked assertions are worthless.


I don't fabricate a canon out of whole cloth like Luther seemed to be doing by condemning books purely based on his own opinion.

And Athanasius apparently, whose OT Canon differed quite a lot from what you'd like to say. And Melito of Sardis. And Pope Gregory the Great. The list is long.
And "out of whole cloth" is some pretty serious hyperbole. Let's try to keep our language accurate, OK?


Mt 22 doesn't say you need to go on a scholasic journey, it assumes you already read it!

Yup. And if you don't know it's God's speech, then you might as well be reading a Dean Koontz novel.


Nothing here on doing textual and historical analysis to prove whether a particular book appears to be written by a genuine prophet.

1) Never said that.
2) Do you really think the über-obsessed-with-detail teachers of the Law and Pharisees never talked about that? Council of Jamnia ring a bell? The guys who translated the LXX ring a bell?


But no comment on the absurdity that God would institute scripture that nobody was interpreting correctly?

1) Why is that absurd? Make your argument. Show what logical principle is violated by claiming that.
2) And I didn't claim NOBODY was interping correctly. Again, make sure your hyperbole is appropriate.


Yes, but it may contradict YOUR INTERPRETATION.

Sure. Let all sides bring forth their arguments.


Whereas we believe our interpretation is also led by the Holy Spirit.

Wow, you BELIEVE that. We're all really impressed.
The question is: does the Holy Spirit lead people to conclusions that are obviously contradictory to His revelation in the Bible?
The errantist like you and David has an easy (and lame) way out. The Sola-Ecclesia-ist like you and David has an easy (and circular) way out. But for those of us who take the Bible seriously, we're looking for solid results.

Rhology said...

Seth,

My eschat is undecided; DTS's main problem is their tolerance of non-Lordship salvation profs.
Anyway...

1) Acts 16:31 and following. Romans 10:9-10. That's how one ENTERS.
2) Romans 1:17's quotation of Habakkuk 2:4. And the entire pattern of baptising professing believers and thus forming a church.
3) I'm sorry, I don't understand the question. Do you mean post-NT as a whole? If so, I see every reason not to accept such a premise.



And yes, I'll be interested also to see John's answers.

Seth said...

Re: #3. I mean, can we look to a particular historical account of how [entering] was done in their post-biblical Church (say Tertullian, or whoever) and say, "this description is basically correct, let's use that to fill in the details the scripture leaves out," thus establishing a traditional precedent.

Rhology said...

Well, for one thing, EOdox don't distinguish strongly between Scripture and tradition.
And for my part, I don't see a good reason to think of early church history apart from the witness of the NT.

Lucian said...

1) Are you offering grain offerings?

Yes.

John said...

"don't really see how this verse communicates anythg helpful to EO doctrine."

Yeah, but I didn't bring it up. You brought it up, you make your point.

"The OT cov comm of God was a visible nation with borders and gov't. The NT cov comm is not."

Err.... ever heard of the diaspora?

"B/c I'm claiming a partial/mostly apostasy."

And where were the true believers? Trail Of Blood?

"I bring them up to show you that institutional unity is neither necessarily a hallmark of true church"

But these "bad" churches still were in institutional unity with the universal church, at least at the time of writing, and were still addressed as "the church". You've failed to notice that the true church can have bad people.

"No, God didn't tell me personally. It's not an authority at all; the church RECOGNISED the Canon. "

Didn't ask about the church, I asked about -YOU-. There is enough equivocation going on here to make my head spin.

"The early church was not EO; nor was it Protestant. It was the early church. "

When I asked you why you consider EO corrupt you mentioned baptismal regeneration. Since that is the criteria you have mentioned as defining corruption, then early church was corrupt.

"You've made no argument to that effect. Naked assertions are worthless."

I made a bunch of arguments, but you ignored them completely. You are the one making naked assertions.

"And Athanasius apparently, whose OT Canon differed quite a lot from what you'd like to say. "

Having a different canon is not making a canon out of whole cloth.

"And "out of whole cloth" is some pretty serious hyperbole. Let's try to keep our language accurate, OK?"

What do you call it when you throw out Revelation, James, Hebrews, Esther, etc etc from the canon purely based on your own opinion of the teaching therein?

"Do you really think the über-obsessed-with-detail teachers of the Law and Pharisees never talked about that? Council of Jamnia ring a bell?"

I know of no evidence that they went beyond the question "What does the traditions say?".

"Why is that absurd? Make your argument. Show what logical principle is violated by claiming that. "

The exact same argument as you made. Just substitute "correct interpretation" for "canon" in your argument about what God would do.

"And I didn't claim NOBODY was interping correctly. Again, make sure your hyperbole is appropriate."

Can you point to who they were? If not we might posit someone in a cave somewhere has the right canon and you don't.

"Sure. Let all sides bring forth their arguments."

Ok, I suggest we add Irenaeus to the canon, and I suggest his interpretation of scripture contradicts yours, and therefore I win, and you lacking any authority have no argument to respond with.

"The question is: does the Holy Spirit lead people to conclusions that are obviously contradictory to His revelation in the Bible? "

If they were "obviously" contradictory, the people who came up with them probably wouldn't have come up with them, and they certainly wouldn't have been accepted by the universal church. What were you saying about hyperbole?

Joel said...

Hey all, it's been a while.

I have a question for John regarding his final paragraph, which I shall quote for convenience.

'"The question is: does the Holy Spirit lead people to conclusions that are obviously contradictory to His revelation in the Bible? "

If they were "obviously" contradictory, the people who came up with them probably wouldn't have come up with them, and they certainly wouldn't have been accepted by the universal church.'

My question is, do I understand this to mean that you accept coherence with the rest of Scripture as a valid test of orthodoxy? Even if you do not apply it personally, relying on the hierarchy and Chesterton's beloved democracy of the dead (although you may have a slightly different demographic in mind) to make the call in specific cases, do you grant, in principle, that traditions may be judged by the information in the text itself?

John said...

Well certainly Joel. I mean we read the same bible as you do, and are corrected by it daily. I have bad traditions, and I'm sure you do too. There are even widely held traditions that are in need of correction.

Rhology said...

I brought up 1 Jn 2:19 to illustrate the diff between invisible and visible ch.

ever heard of the diaspora?

Sure I have. But did God change the Law to accommodate?


And where were the true believers? Trail Of Blood?

A similar place to where the 7000 who hadn't bowed the knee to Baal were in Elijah's time. You're asking the same question as Elijah, and the answer is the same - God is in charge. Besides, where they were is unimportant compared to knowing what the Gospel is.


But these "bad" churches still were in institutional unity with the universal church, at least at the time of writing, and were still addressed as "the church".

And were warned that they'd lose their lampstand if they kept on their same path. So yes, I agree, but we need to take all the Scr into acct.


you mentioned baptismal regeneration. Since that is the criteria you have mentioned as defining corruption, then early church was corrupt.

Except the NT is the record of the earliEST church, and there's no mention of bapt reg in the NT.
Further, that belief was not unanimously held in the later early church. Clement of Rome and Polycarp don't seem to have held it.


Having a different canon is not making a canon out of whole cloth

And since Luther had a different canon, he didn't make a canon out of whole cloth. Thank you, it's always nice to agree.


What do you call it when you throw out Revelation, James, Hebrews, Esther, etc etc from the canon purely based on your own opinion of the teaching therein?

What do you call it when you throw out 1-3 Maccabees, Tobit, Sirach, Judith, 1-2 Esdras, and W of Solomon like Athanasius did?
This is some serious special pleading.


I suggest we add Irenaeus to the canon, and I suggest his interpretation of scripture contradicts yours, and therefore I win, and you lacking any authority have no argument to respond with.

It's not simply a question of "my interpretation". The text is saying something, objectively. You're swinging a double-edged sword; you just haven't realised that this tactic bleeds your own position just as bad. The "that's just your interp!" argument is indeed absurd.


If they were "obviously" contradictory, the people who came up with them probably wouldn't have come up with them, and they certainly wouldn't have been accepted by the universal church.

1) You forgot the entire discussion we just had about the problem churches in the NT.
2) Here's another big difference between us. I worship God, in a God-centered religion. You worship a similar God, in a man-centered religion. Here you reveal that in your judging truth on the basis of man. I discover truth on the basis of God.

John said...

"I brought up 1 Jn 2:19 to illustrate the diff between invisible and visible ch."

1Jn 2 indicates that the visible and invisible move in tandam with one another.

"ever heard of the diaspora?
Sure I have. But did God change the Law to accommodate? "

Well the Jews didn't see things your way.

A temple was built at Leontopolis, by the priest Onias (either III or IV), sometime in the 2d century B.C.E. and was closed by the Romans in 74 C.E. (Hayward 1982). Josephus (JW 7.436) claims that it functioned for 343 years.

And of course the apostle Paul, "Paul of Tarsus" was himself part of the Diaspora. And a citizen of Rome. Yet was a "Pharisee of Pharisees" (Acts 23:6).

The Jews in the diaspora remained Jews, observing the law, and circumcising newborn into the community, and it didn't matter that they weren't in a nation.

You would think Jesus, or the apostles or somebody would make at least some passing comment on this situation if they had been doing the wrong thing.

"You're asking the same question as Elijah, and the answer is the same - God is in charge."

But in Elijah's time, all those not bowing the knee to Baal were all Jews. Nobody had thought to pick up the scriptures and supplant existing institutional Israel with a new organisation.

"And were warned that they'd lose their lampstand if they kept on their same path."

Which is not the issue, because you have denied the total apostasy.

"Except the NT is the record of the earliEST church, and there's no mention of bapt reg in the NT."

Rom. 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

"Clement of Rome and Polycarp don't seem to have held it."

Since they didn't even mention baptism in their extant writings, you've got some work to do in proving that.

"What do you call it when you throw out 1-3 Maccabees, Tobit, Sirach, Judith, 1-2 Esdras, and W of Solomon like Athanasius did?
This is some serious special pleading."

I take it that Athanasius is representing his church's traditions to the best of his understanding. Athanasius didn't say "I'm tossing ABC into the Rhine, because it is a lot of nonsense".

"It's not simply a question of "my interpretation". The text is saying something, objectively."

The text often isn't speaking about the question you want answered! At what age do we baptise people? The text doesn't directly address that. What is the ordo-salutis? The text doesn't directly address that.

If a text turns up that is inspired and teaches explicitely what you have interpreted implicitely, then your world could change.

This is why the early church couldn't be holding to sola scriptura. Anybody could be teaching anything and be beyond refutation without a final canon.

"You're swinging a double-edged sword; you just haven't realised that this tactic bleeds your own position just as bad."

No it doesn't because we believe our interpretation is inspired, thus no inspired books can turn up that will contradict us.

Furthermore, one of the principle criteria the early church used to judge canonicity is whether its teachings conform to that of the Church. So any book that turned up teaching contradictory wouldn't be judged in the canon.

And if you don't like that, then you don't like the way that as a matter of historical fact, YOUR canon came to be recognised, and maybe you ought to start from scratch.

"1) You forgot the entire discussion we just had about the problem churches in the NT."

You forgot that you denied the universal apostasy.

And purely as a matter of common sense, to claim everyone went off the rails in the same way at the same time is about as credible as saying that everybody changed the text of the bible at the same time in some grand conspiracy.

John said...

"Here's another big difference between us. I worship God, in a God-centered religion. You worship a similar God, in a man-centered religion. Here you reveal that in your judging truth on the basis of man. I discover truth on the basis of God."

You already denied God speaking to you directly. The text you have was written down by men, copied by men, subjected to textual criticism by men, and printed by men. Why having men tell you the canon should be a great problem in this scheme, we aren't told. Nor have you claimed to have gathered a whole bunch of books in front of you and decided one by one which ones seem inspired to you. So you must be getting your canon from men anyway, but just don't want to admit to it lest your argument fall apart.

Rhology said...

Hi John,

1Jn 2 indicates that the visible and invisible move in tandam with one another.

Not always - the false teachers were in there for quite some time before they left. And many other NT psgs indicate that false teachers are still present in the church, as well as unconverteds.


A temple was built at Leontopolis

I must've missed where the Law provides for any temple other than the one at Jerusalem. Enlighten me, please.


The Jews in the diaspora remained Jews, observing the law, and circumcising newborn into the community, and it didn't matter that they weren't in a nation.

Couldn't practice all the Law, not by a long shot. Temple.


You would think Jesus, or the apostles or somebody would make at least some passing comment on this situation if they had been doing the wrong thing.

Oh, you mean like Mark 7:1-13?


Nobody had thought to pick up the scriptures and supplant existing institutional Israel with a new organisation.

Didn't claim they had.


Which is not the issue, because you have denied the total apostasy.

You're getting carried away by your emotions here. Is Revelation 1-3 addressed to:
a) the Christian church as a whole?
b) 7 LOCAL churches?

If you guessed b), you still have some of your wits about you. If a local church is removed (as most of those churches were), does that mean a total apostasy?



Rom. 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

Congratulations, you can quote Bible verses out of context. Now prove this refers to water baptism and not Spirit baptism.


Since they didn't even mention baptism in their extant writings, you've got some work to do in proving that.

1) Precisely.
2) They mention being justified by faith, which rules out baptism.


I take it that Athanasius is representing his church's traditions to the best of his understanding. Athanasius didn't say "I'm tossing ABC into the Rhine, because it is a lot of nonsense".

1) You don't know if he said that or not.
2) Remember, no established Canon by any overarching authority at the time of Ath OR Luther.
3) Ath refused many more books than Luther did, but you're giving Ath a free pass. B/c you like him and you don't like Luther. Special pleading.


This is why the early church couldn't be holding to sola scriptura

Who's claiming the earliest church held to Sola Scriptura? Certainly not I.


No it doesn't because we believe our interpretation is inspired

Well, since your interp is so obviously wrong on many points, so much the worse for your church.


to claim everyone went off the rails in the same way at the same time

Sigh. When was the last time you actually READ the NT? How much of the NT is written to seriously screwed up churches? In the lifetime of the apostles?


Why having men tell you the canon should be a great problem in this scheme, we aren't told

When did I say that was a problem?
You apparently don't understand the issue very well. You're throwing out stuff that's the rough equivalent to my slobbering "Eastern Orthodoxy is just Romanism without the Pope! And you worship statues!!!!111"

Let me recommend a good primer - James White's Scripture Alone. I bet you can get it pretty cheap, and it's not a terribly hard read.

John said...

"I must've missed where the Law provides for any temple other than the one at Jerusalem. Enlighten me, please."

Maybe they had revelation you don't know about.

"Couldn't practice all the Law, not by a long shot. Temple."

So any Jew not in Jerusalem was in sin? God made them prisoners of Jerusalem?

Maybe your problem is sola scriptura, and you don't know what God wanted them to do.

"Oh, you mean like Mark 7:1-13?"

No mention here of the diaspora.

"If a local church is removed (as most of those churches were), does that mean a total apostasy?"

No.

So why bring up Revelation?

"Now prove this refers to water baptism and not Spirit baptism."

It's hard to see how a spirit baptism would be likened to a burial, or death.

Of course, for sola scriptura to stand, you've got to prove your interpretation and only yours is tenable. I've only got to show mine is tenable, and add to it Holy Tradition.

"2) They mention being justified by faith, which rules out baptism. "

Everyone who holds to baptismal regeneration also mentions being justified by faith. That logic was awful.

The irony is that Lutherans, those decendants of the great proponent of justification by faith, believe in baptismal regeneration! Oh the irony.

"2) Remember, no established Canon by any overarching authority at the time of Ath OR Luther."

Fuzzy edges to the canon, doesn't mean its open slather. You can see in the fathers that what is agreed by all is authoritative.

Or in other words, just because there was remaining disagreement in Athanasius' time, doesn't mean Luther gets open slather. You may not believe in any authority, but I do. So you beg the question.

"3) Ath refused many more books than Luther did, but you're giving Ath a free pass. B/c you like him and you don't like Luther. Special pleading."

Nonsense. Arguing that "I don't know if he [Athanasius] said that", about throwing books in the Rhine is an awful argument. Argument from silence.

You seem to be trying to exercise every logical fallacy in the book.

"ho's claiming the earliest church held to Sola Scriptura? Certainly not I."

Well that's good. And do you agree that the patristic church didn't hold to it either?

"Well, since your interp is so obviously wrong on many points, so much the worse for your church."

We picked the books in the canon in part because we considered their teaching in accordance with our "obviously wrong doctrine". So your doctrine must be just as suspect since it lies on the same foundation.

"How much of the NT is written to seriously screwed up churches? In the lifetime of the apostles?"

What does it matter? You've denied the total apostasy.

"James White's Scripture Alone. I bet you can get it pretty cheap, and it's not a terribly hard read."

I've read it. He is so enthused with discussing canon(1), that he doesn't seem to realise he forgot to address the main point of contention - where specifically someone can go to get canon(2).

At times he struggles mightily to avoid admitting the infallibility of the church. He argues that knowledge of the canon is based on God’s purpose in giving and revealing scripture, and not on the infallibility of the Church. But if God is exercising his infallible purpose in revealing this truth to the church, then we have infallibility in the church.

He also struggles to avoid outright denying sola scriptura. If God in his purposes is revealing the canon to the church through the process of the affairs of men, as White asserts, then right there we have an infallible and binding source of authority not in scripture.

Rhology said...

Maybe they had revelation you don't know about.

Like what?


So any Jew not in Jerusalem was in sin? God made them prisoners of Jerusalem?

Yes. What does the Law say? It says to make sacrifices in the Temple. If you're not near the Temple, well...


No mention here of the diaspora.

The less dense reader will note that Mark 7 deals with submitting tradition to Scripture.


So why bring up Revelation?

To illustrate that, even during the lifetime of the apostles, local churches could become seriously screwed up and even be removed by the Lord. Something your flawed interp of Matthew 16:18-20 won't allow.
It shows that your "but how can God allow His church to go astray like you claim?" rebuttal is toothless. The NT shows that very thing happening.


It's hard to see how a spirit baptism would be likened to a burial, or death.

The NT discusses putting the old man to death all the time. Crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires. I am crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, etc.


Of course, for sola scriptura to stand, you've got to prove your interpretation and only yours is tenable.

You mean my interpretation of psgs relevant to Sola Scriptura? Mmm, I guess.


I've only got to show mine is tenable, and add to it Holy Tradition.

1) Yours isn't tenable, so fair enough.
2) Spoken like a true errantist. You have the advantage of not having to take the Scr very seriously and the disadvantage of blaspheming God's holy Word and of being inconsistent all the time when you quote Scr as if it's authoritative.
3) Also spoken like someone who's checked out his mind at the door of the church. Nothing illustrates the mindset of Whatever The Church® Says better than quotes like this.


Everyone who holds to baptismal regeneration also mentions being justified by faith.

Well, it can't very well be both, now can it? Justified by faith alone is not compatible with justification by faith + works.


The irony is that Lutherans

Lutheran doctrine is not as you represent it here.


doesn't mean Luther gets open slather

1) "Slather"?
2) Let the reader judge how badly you're committing special pleading here. You haven't said anythg new on this topic in 2 comments now. Make an argument or I'm leaving this aside.


And do you agree that the patristic church didn't hold to it either?

No, most of them did, actually.
The reason the earliest church didn't hold to SS is b/c it was during a period of inscripturation. You have to have a Scriptura before it can be Sola Scriptura.



We picked the books in the canon

Um, you weren't there.


Canon2

White says the same thing I've said here about Canon2 - we trust God to bring the church to understand the Canon.
(I got it from White; let's give credit where it's due.)


But if God is exercising his infallible purpose in revealing this truth to the church, then we have infallibility in the church.

No, we have SUFFICIENCY FOR THIS PURPOSE in the church. What is your argument for that?
And how do you explain the times that the church has erred? Which view on the Calendar is correct and infallible? Which view on evolution vs creation? Which Canon of the OT? Which view on errancy vs inerrancy of the Scripture?

John said...

"Maybe they had revelation you don't know about.

Like what?"

Jerusalem council? The apostles observed that God through the Holy Spirit was working through the gentiles, and therefore concluded that the SCRIPTURAL command to circumcise people into God's community no longer applied.

The Jews seem to have experienced a similar revelation concerning the temple. Paul and Philo the Jew seem to have a similar teaching in that the understanding of the temple is now to be allegorised. Is it a coincidence that the Jews were already teaching and anticipating what Paul would teach? I don't think so.

"The less dense reader will note that Mark 7 deals with submitting tradition to Scripture."

Traditions OF MEN, yes. Scripture itself is a tradition.

"To illustrate that, even during the lifetime of the apostles, local churches could become seriously screwed up and even be removed by the Lord. Something your flawed interp of Matthew 16:18-20 won't allow."

Mt 16 won't allow local churches to be screwed up? First I heard of it.

"Crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires. I am crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, etc."

Which has nothing to do with Spirit baptism.

"Of course, for sola scriptura to stand, you've got to prove your interpretation and only yours is tenable.

You mean my interpretation of psgs relevant to Sola Scriptura? Mmm, I guess."

No I mean in this case, you've got to prove that only your interpretation of Rom 6:4 can stand. Otherwise it is just your opinion vs my opinion. And to have an infallible rule of faith in the church, it's not good enough if everyone who has a tenable interpretation is in conflict.

"1) Yours isn't tenable, so fair enough."

You haven't shown that from the text. You've just asserted it in papal fashion.

"2) Spoken like a true errantist. You have the advantage of not having to take the Scr very seriously "

Have you forgotten so quickly that I was on your side over on David's errantist debate?

"3) Also spoken like someone who's checked out his mind at the door of the church. Nothing illustrates the mindset of Whatever The Church® Says better than quotes like this."

The Church, is the sum of the interpretative skills of God's people. Greater minds than mine, whose knowledge of scripture greatly exceeds mine.

Of course if you prefer you and your bible under a tree.....

"Well, it can't very well be both, now can it? Justified by faith alone is not compatible with justification by faith + works."

Yes well, I went into further detail about that, but you have ignored it thus far.

"Lutheran doctrine is not as you represent it here."

Augsburg confession, Article IX:

"Of Baptism they [the Lutheran Churches] teach that it is necessary to salvation, and that through Baptism is offered the grace of God, and that children are to be baptized who, being offered to God through Baptism are received into God’s grace."

"1) "Slather"? "

Open Slather is an idiom meaning complete freedom.

"Make an argument or I'm leaving this aside."

I can't help it if you are being deliberately obtuse in seeing Luther's complete disregard for the canon.

John said...

"No, most of them did, actually. "

Oh boy. This is like where James White in his Scripture Alone claims Basil of Caesaria as a Sola scripturalist. Only someone dishonest or completely ignorant could make such a claim.

“The one aim of the whole band of opponents and enemies of “sound doctrine”is to shake down the foundation of the faith of Christ by levelling apostolic tradition with the ground, and utterly destroying it. So like the debtors, — of course bona fide debtors. — they clamour for written proof, and reject as worthless the unwritten tradition of the Fathers.” Basil the Great, Chapter X, Oration on the Holy Spirit,

"While the unwritten traditions are so many, and their bearing on the mystery of godliness is so important, can they refuse to allow us a single word which has come down to us from the Fathers; — which we found, derived from untutored custom, abiding in unperverted churches; — a word for which the arguments are strong, and which contributes in no small degree to the completeness of the force of the mystery” ibid

"For I hold it apostolic to abide also by the unwritten traditions." – Chapter XXIX ibid

Is White dishonest, or just very very ignorant? I'm really curious to know. And then he also presses Augustine as a sola scriptura advocate.

” the custom, which is opposed to Cyprian, may be supposed to have had its origin in apostolic tradition, just as there are many things which are observed by the whole Church, and therefore are fairly held to have been enjoined by the apostles, which yet are not mentioned in their writings.” – Augustine on baptism, against the Donatists.

“As to those other things which we hold on the authority, not of Scripture, but of tradition, and which are observed throughout the whole world, it may be understood that they are held as approved and instituted either by the apostles themselves, or by plenary Councils”. – Augustine, Letter LIV.

Please. Give me a break.

"The reason the earliest church didn't hold to SS is b/c it was during a period of inscripturation. "

Show me chapter and verse where periods of enscripturation get a free pass. Then show me the verse on how you calculate when such a period is in force.

Then tell me, if the apostles wrote during these periods, how could they have taught sola scriptura, since you've already admitted they taught when it wasn't in effect.

"No, we have SUFFICIENCY FOR THIS PURPOSE in the church. What is your argument for that? "

I don't understand this statement.

"And how do you explain the times that the church has erred? Which view on the Calendar is correct and infallible? Which view on evolution vs creation? Which Canon of the OT? Which view on errancy vs inerrancy of the Scripture?"

Tell me why you think the church has dogmatically erred on these topics, and we can discuss.

Seth said...

John, allow me to troll your first two points while my microwave lunch cools down... I'll skip over the rest.

1. [The JC concluded that] SCRIPTURAL command to circumcise people into God's community no longer applied.

You are confused about the difference between the Old and New Covenant. The JC presented a proper interpretation of the command ( = circumcision does not justify anyone) but did not overturn it. Paul explains in Rom 3:28-31:

"For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law...since God is one--who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

So the interpretation is: yes, even in 2009 you or I cannot enter the Old Covenant without being circumcised. But why enter the OC if the NC includes all the good stuff about the OC plus all the upgrades (i.e., justification)?

2. Traditions OF MEN, yes. Scripture itself is a tradition.

Then why does Paul follow up the statement that (2 Tim. 3:16) "All Scripture [referring to 'THE holy scripture' in v.15] is breathed out (theopneustos) by God and profitable with teaching, for reproof, for correction", with the charge in 4:2,4 to "reprove, rebuke...[those who] wander off into myths"?

Paul (1) takes for granted that Timothy knows what constitutes scripture, (2) is willing to plea to tradition if it is useful (Jannes and Jambres, 3:8), but (3) judges teachings by how they align with scripture.

No one is arguing that tradition has no value. I disagree with Rhoblogy's assessment that Jesus said in Mark 7 that traditional handwashing is wrong, the passage shows the point was to not use a tradition (good or bad) to judge whether or not someone is faithful to God. That's what we call a hierarchy of value.

Rhology said...

Seth said:
Rhoblogy's assessment that Jesus said in Mark 7 that traditional handwashing is wrong, the passage shows the point was to not use a tradition (good or bad) to judge whether or not someone is faithful to God.

Oh no, that wasn't my point. My point is that the question is "is this tradition good or bad?" and Jesus' answer in Mark 7 is "Does it conform to Scr?" thus making Scr a higher authority than tradition.

Rhology said...

John,

Jerusalem council?

We were talking about OT Jews. So, like what other revelation?


Paul and Philo the Jew seem to have a similar teaching in that the understanding of the temple is now to be allegorised.

Just b/c Paul might have referred to the Temple allegorically doesn't mean that he exclusively thought of it that way.
And I don't know much of anythg about Philo, but it is pretty convenient and a common human tactic to weasel out of God's commands.


Re: Mark 7, Traditions OF MEN, yes. Scripture itself is a tradition.

How do we know what traditions are traditions of MEN?


Mt 16 won't allow local churches to be screwed up?

Oh, OK, you don't use that argument. Romanists do all the time, but so much the better for you.
So do you disagree that churches can get way out of line doctrinally, even quickly? If so, why?


Which has nothing to do with Spirit baptism.

You have a short memory, I've noticed. You have numerous times forgotten what you were arguing in the comment before. Let me give you some advice - look above each of my responses; I list the comment to which I'm responding in italics.
But my memory isn't perfect either; I apparently forgot that you are inerrantist. My apologies for that.


you've got to prove that only your interpretation of Rom 6:4 can stand.

And if yours doesn't stand? Why is it any different for you?


Otherwise it is just your opinion vs my opinion

Well, it could be that anyway. And appealing to an infallible church doesn't make the problem, if there is one, go away.


The Church, is the sum of the interpretative skills of God's people.

Where does the Scripture say that?
And here I always thought the church was God's people, like in John 10 and Matthew 16 and 18.


Of course if you prefer you and your bible under a tree.....

I don't, and I've told you this many times. Don't be dishonest.


I went into further detail about that, but you have ignored it thus far.

Yeah, I kind of lost interest in that thread. And I consider the matter settled given your response's poor quality.


Augsburg confession, Article IX:

Shrug. That wasn't what I thought of Lutheran theology, but I've been wrong before. I guess the original thing you said was:
The irony is that Lutherans, those decendants of the great proponent of justification by faith, believe in baptismal regeneration! Oh the irony.

Yes, it's ironic. But Luther didn't get rid of all vestiges of Romish doctrine that he should have. But since I'm not Lutheran, I don't have any obligation to defend them.
The point is that the NT teaches justification by grace alone thru faith alone. Baptism isn't faith, it's a work. The references to "baptism saves you" in the NT are references to SPIRIT baptism, and ironically, EOs like to cite 1 Peter 3 when it specifically says it's not about water washing.

(cont)

Rhology said...

Now, your quotes from CFs just underscores why we need Sola Scriptura as our rule of faith so badly.
Let me recommend you do some extra reading on this. When CFs teach inconsistently, that's not a boon for your position.
So whether we see:
1) CFs teaching that "divine Scripture is sufficient above all things" as Athanasius did (De Synodis, 6), or
2) CFs ALSO teaching that tradition is supposed to be on par with Scr,
it's bad for your position. In the 1st, they teach different than what you say. If the 2nd, they are inconsistent and teach contradictory things and are not to be trusted as final authorities, as they are obviously fallible.


Show me chapter and verse where periods of enscripturation get a free pass.

Chapter and verse? What's that supposed to mean? It's just common sense - while Scr is being written, there's no Scriptura to be Sola. Think, man.


Then tell me, if the apostles wrote during these periods, how could they have taught sola scriptura

B/c they looked fwd to when they'd be gone. It's not that hard, you know. All you'd have to do is read 2 Tim 3-4 to know the answer to this, but reading Scr is not EO-dox' strong suit, generally, so I can understand how you might have missed that.


I'd said:
"No, we have SUFFICIENCY FOR THIS PURPOSE in the church.

You claimed the church correctly figured out the Canon, therefore it's infallible. I'm saying no, it received sufficient protection from error from God, not infallibility. If the church were infallible, we'd see that in the founding documents of the church - the NT. But we don't, so...


Tell me why you think the church has dogmatically erred on these topics,

??? Tell me WHICH SIDE of each dispute is right, and then how you know that.

John said...

"We were talking about OT Jews. So, like what other revelation?"

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

"And I don't know much of anythg about Philo, but it is pretty convenient and a common human tactic to weasel out of God's commands. "

Well, that's what Paul did.

"How do we know what traditions are traditions of MEN?"

Like... oh say whether Revelation is of apostolic teaching? By carefully staying in tune with the mind of the Church as a whole. The Vincentian canon.

"So do you disagree that churches can get way out of line doctrinally, even quickly? If so, why?"

As far as I see, the speed with which churches go out of line is proportional to how seriously they take the admonition to hold to the traditions as opposed to other principles. Rome wandered off when they held the Pope above the traditions. Protestants wander when they consider their own interpretation above the traditions. The protestant denominations who have wandered least are those who for some unexplained reasons hold to the reformation traditions. Like many Lutherans. Of course, you don't like them doing that. The further denominations are from the original tradition, the less traction they have in stabilising their doctrine. The further you get from that, the more diverse, wacky and vague the teaching becomes. And all protestant denominations, lacking any firm teaching on tradition, continue to splinter and diversify. The original denominations are in sad shape. The new ones build success from flashy shows and good coffee.

"Which has nothing to do with Spirit baptism.

You have a short memory, I've noticed. You have numerous times forgotten what you were arguing in the comment before. "

I think I'm perfectly aware of where the discussion is. I quoted Ro 6 about baptism. You claimed it was about spirit baptism. 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 how do I have a short memory?

"You've got to prove that only your interpretation of Rom 6:4 can stand.

And if yours doesn't stand? Why is it any different for you? "

The point is they both can stand. I think yours is less likely for reasons already stated. But if both can stand, then scripture has failed as an authority in the church.

"And appealing to an infallible church doesn't make the problem, if there is one, go away."

Do you see Orthodox arguing over baptismal regeneration? Nope.

"The Church, is the sum of the interpretative skills of God's people.

Where does the Scripture say that? "

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

"Of course if you prefer you and your bible under a tree.....

I don't, and I've told you this many times. Don't be dishonest."

If you try and argue both sides against the middle, I've got to point that out.

"Yeah, I kind of lost interest in that thread. And I consider the matter settled given your response's poor quality."

The reply was a challenge to defend your thesis on its own terms. Terms that I might add, Lutherans would disagree with.

"But since I'm not Lutheran, I don't have any obligation to defend them."

BUT, sola scriptura folks disagree with you. The church from the beginning disagrees with you. At the very least, that means you can't dismiss the position with a sound bite "baptism is a work, we are not saved by works". No Lutheran would let you get away with that.

"in the NT are references to SPIRIT baptism"

... which of course assumes what you need to prove. And you can't really prove it because there is no mechanism to do so.

Seriously, the early church was baptising people in water everywhere, that would be the uppermost thing in their minds, that would be what comes to mind when you speak of "burial in baptism", that would be what comes to mind when discussing being saved and entering the church.

John said...

"When CFs teach inconsistently, that's not a boon for your position."

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

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. But to claim that all fathers are always inconsistent is far more likely to indicate a massive problem with the reader than with the Fathers.

"CFs teaching that "divine Scripture is sufficient above all things" as Athanasius did"

And two sentences earlier Athanasius said that "Nicea is sufficient". At this point we have two options: We count Athanasius as a sola scriptura proponent, and write off the context as the stupid man being inconsistent... OR... we try and understand him in his context, and realise that sufficient in the context is not about teaching it in the sola scriptura sense of sole rule of authority in the church. I want to let the Fathers be who they are, not force them into being what they are not.

"CFs ALSO teaching that tradition is supposed to be on par with Scr, it's bad for your position. In the 1st, they teach different than what you say. If the 2nd, they are inconsistent and teach contradictory things and are not to be trusted as final authorities, as they are obviously fallible."

I'm not quite getting what you are saying, but in the catechism class I have on video, the teaching is that all the apostolic traditions have equal authority, but there is a kind of pride of place or preeminance to scripture. What you want to do is kind of like what the Pope wanted to do in elevating primacy to supremacy and then onto removing the force of other authorities.

"Show me chapter and verse where periods of enscripturation get a free pass.

Chapter and verse? What's that supposed to mean? It's just common sense - while Scr is being written, there's no Scriptura to be Sola. Think, man."

Was there any scripture in the process of being written during the events of Acts? Nope. So where is the common sense argument that scripture could be overridden in this period? Your argument would have fallen flat if offered at the time.

And how is it supposed to work? When the apostle picks up his pen, sola scriptura ends, and when he puts it down it begins again? Or we wait 1 year? Or 5? Or 10? There is no common sense to your claim, it is all your opinion. Or to put it in your own terms, "a common human tactic to weasel out of God's commands.".

"Then tell me, if the apostles wrote during these periods, how could they have taught sola scriptura

B/c they looked fwd to when they'd be gone. It's not that hard, you know."

But they didn't say "When we're gone, all scripture will be sufficient", he said it as a present reality. Was he terribly imprecise (aka wrong) in his teaching? Or could perhaps.... you be wrong in your interpretation?

"I'm saying no, it received sufficient protection from error from God, not infallibility. "

Divine protection from error versus infallibility? Well, I have to say I do not see the distinction. They sound like exactly the same thing to me.

"If the church were infallible, we'd see that in the founding documents of the church - the NT. But we don't, so..."

The church is the pillar and ground of the truth. If you want to know the truth you have to see what is built on the ground and pillar of the church. We don't have to see the actual word "infallibility" to arrive at the equivalent conclusion. We don't have to find the word "trinity" in scripture.

"??? Tell me WHICH SIDE of each dispute is right, and then how you know that."

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

John said...

Hmm... did you censor my post, or did I do something wrong when I posted it.....

Rhology said...

No, sorry, I forgot that I turned comment moderation on (for the debate) and that it affected all pages. My apologies. I will get better at this!