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Defending the Bible

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics' started by cole456, May 1, 2011.

  1. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

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    That doesn't deal with the problem of epistemology. The question was how do you determine how we get truth?

    :confused: Please expand on this. I don't see a different. "telling the truth" and "giving an account for(?) truth" are the same thing in different words. If you "tell the truth", then of course you would have a basis for the truth you are telling.

    That seems to be a strawman. As I said, truth is grounded in evidence.

    But everyone uses an interpretation of scripture! And you said we have the "interpretation of what we call "reality" given by God." You don't even say we have the reality itself, just an interpretation. How do avoid what you call "subjectivism" when you make those interpretations? Why is one interpretation - which, after all, are made by men -- any more "truth" than another.

    Also, the words in scripture are not themselves totally objective. Yes, we have the words on the page, but you want to go deeper than that and have the meaning be objective. However, you can't do that. All those words were filtured thru the human authors. By your standards, anything from man can't escape subjectivism. So, by your own arguments, the meaning of the words in scripture are subject to subjectivism. Sorry, but you are hoist by your own petard.

    So, we are deciding if a belief in Biblical inerrancy is a true belief or a false belief. Or a combination of the two.

    Let's put it this way, are any actions of humans completely autonomous? After all, when we use reason, we got that reason from God, didn't we? So our reason is not totally autonomous. When we find truths via science we do so by studying God's Creation. So those truths are not totally autonomous, either. When we use scripture to tell us that scripture is not inerrant, we are still not being autonomous, are we? Because we are using what you call "God's Word".

    Sorry, but not all the time. For instance, we have the "truths" of the dietary laws. But they turned out not to be "absolute", did they? We find in scripture in Acts that the dietary laws are no longer "truth".

    Also there is the issue of salvation of faith alone or faith and works. There is scripture on each side. In fact, there is scripture that says works alone without faith (Rev. 12). So what is the "absolute" truth?

    What's the absolute truth about the taste of Brussels sprouts? This is based on "tastes and preferences" as you are using the term. This is based on one of the senses -- taste. The taste of Brussels sprouts is different for you and me. Which is absolute? Neither?

    Well, we still have the issue of whether any human reasoning is "autonomous". However, I would like your citations on Kant for this, because all the philosophers I have read don't accept that. They still use human reason and reach truthful conclusions.

    Which is why evidence is not "interpreted evidence". Evidence is personal experience: what we see, hear, taste, smell, touch, or feel emotionally. David Hume demonstrated this and no one has argued against it since. What science changes is the explanations for the evidence. That's what hypotheses are: explanations for evidence. Don't you think we should revise our explanations/hypotheses when we have new data. After all, Christianity is the result of such a revision of Judaism based upon the new evidence of Christ.
    I'm sorry you find it funny. It means that you are missing the theology. In Judaic belief, what lineage was the Messiah supposed to come from? David's, right? From the "house of David". Jesus is the Messiah, so he must come from the house of David. Thus the geneologies. Theological message: Jesus fits the criteria for being the Messiah.

    Wow, you really do like to fall all the way to the bottom of every slope, don't you?

    Have you ever tried explaining how a television works to a 4-5 year old? Do you give them the real, detailed, scientific way a TV works? If you did, would they understand it? God inspired the theology. He was not concerned with the science and not with most of the history. After all, for the science He left us His Creation to study. We could figure out that when we learned enough to understand it. It's only people who try for inerrancy in everything that make this problem for God.

    You just completely misused the English language and the world "presuppose". By Webster's online, presupposed means "
    : to suppose beforehand" Thus, a presupposition can't be done after the reading and studying. You would do it before the reading and studying. Instead, after the reading and studying you have a conclusion: ": the last part of something: as a : result, outcome " You can't then go back and make it something "beforehand" because that is circular logic.

    You are trying to us "presupposition" to get the idea of bias involved. You want those of us who have concluded the Bible is errant to do so out of bias. But that won't work.

    Yes, but this isn't one of those.

    Is God a brainwasher? Does God reach into your brain and force you to write something down? That's what verbal plenary means. How does that brainwashing correlate with a loving God? I have never heard that brainwashing is something associated with love.

    And yes, people can and do resist the will of God. It's called "sinning". And we all do it, don't we?
  2. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Saved by Grace through Faith

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    Strawman, I never claimed the scientific method to be directly part of special revelation. However I will say, God not only made the scientific method possible, He knew how it would work, long before man put it into use. So it (like all knowledge) is part of God's omniscience, therefore not an invention of man, but a discovery in practical application and interaction with objects outside of self.

    Another strawman, I never claimed science is all relative. That is not my position either, and I am sure in practice most Scientists would simply consider the results of the method of Science as the plain and simple facts, however consistent or inconsistent the method is with their epistemological presuppositions. The debate is not over whether the results are facts, but how we come to know the facts epistemologically speaking. The method of Science begins with the presupposition of whether the Scientific "facts" are created "facts" by God, or whether they are not created...random chaotic facts. Facts founded on human autonomy are falsely so-called on one hand, but in practice can be inconsistent with the conclusion. In other words, just because the believer and non-believer can agree on x, it does not follow x is true, not to mention knowledge x is accounted for by presupposition y and z.

    Science is done by humans, humans are fallible, and interpreters of the objective physical. Since we are interpreters, how do we truly know the objective physical? According to Scripture, "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge". Knowledge which suppresses the truth of the Triune God of Christianity's existence is falsely so-called. The "facts" are not isolated facts outside of the knowledge of God. To deny the true source of true knowledge and make a truth claim is inconsistent.

    Another strawman, I never claimed anybody actually thinks "all truth is relative" not in practice, but the logical conclusion of claiming the bible is an errant book written merely by men can only lead to "all truth is relative" because apart from the Bible, we have no objective ground for objective truth! You see, the facts and truth cannot be established on human autonomy, to try and separate them from the Creator is in itself a suppression of the truth ie sinful.

    Soli Deo Gloria!
  3. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Saved by Grace through Faith

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    Not so, half-truths are not true. Essentially you are claiming that because a work of Science Fiction contains agreed upon (autonomous) truths, that it is true! I doubt you or most anyone else would claim a work of Science Fiction were a source for truth. It is not a false dichotomy because once a person accepts that the bible contains errors, the source for true knowledge is gone, and all that is left is relativism.

    Do you know what a Red Herring is? It is a distraction from the original issue, something not related to the original issue. The issue is defending the bible, whether it is inerrant or not, is very much related to defending it!

    The Lord Jesus made no such claim. To the contrary, Jesus said; “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled." (MT 5:17-18)

    Do you know what a "jot" or "tittle" is?

    I think you are "poisoning the well". I am not confusing assumptions with conclusions. I am in fact trying to show inconsistency between assumptions and conclusions. To say we can start out not making any assumptions is to say we can start out without a worldview! Without a basic network of presuppositions...beliefs...from which we arrive at conclusions! Non-sense! You approach the bible either autonomously or Theonomously period! You approach the bible either with Christ and His Lordship, or you do not, there is no neutral ground! As it is written “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad." (MT 12:30)

    Essentially, you would submit the authority of the Bible under the authority of extra-biblical "evidence". This is consistent with non-Christian autonomous methods of arriving at conclusions.

    Which is like asking the question, can Science Fiction contain scientific facts? Oh why yes it can, shall we turn to Science Fiction for scientific facts? Well, I can only speak for myself when I say, I wouldn't recommend it. The truth of matter is, you pick and choose the parts you want to believe according to your autonomous method of approaching the bible. Bottom line, you do not submit to the authority of Christ over every area of life. God just doesn't speak authoritatively in matters of history or science in your view, and by your standard fallible man decides what is true and not true, which is autonomy in a nutshell.
  4. theistic evol

    theistic evol Newbie

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    You just repeated the logical fallacies of False Dichotomy and Red Herring. Remember, I already gave the example of Macbeth. It is a work of fiction, but it is popular because it contains truths about human nature. Similarly, Tau Zero is a work of fiction, even science fiction. But many people (including me) learned about and understood relativisitic time dilation because it contains accurate descriptions of that.

    Sorry, but you are wrong. In fact, I have known of high school and college physics classes that have assigned Tau Zero to help students understand Relativity and time dilation.

    The false dichotomy is that a work has to be entirely true or it contains no truth at all. We simply don't work that way. Any large work is going to have a number of statements or claims. We take those claims one at a time. Not as a whole. Let's take another example, this time from science. Origin of Species by Charles Darwin has a number of claims, both general and specific. In one of those, Darwin claimed that "wingless" beetles (found on islands) evolved from winged beetles by a Lamarckian mechanism. Basically, the "wingless" beetles have wings, but they are under a carapace that is an extension of the exoskeleton. Thus, the wings cannot be used to fly. It turns out Darwin was wrong; the "wingless" beetles evolved by natural selection. Do we throw out all of Origin of Species as untrue? Of course not. The vast majority of claims in the book are true.

    The same applies to the Bible. So it has a few errors in history and science when read literally. That does not preclude it from being a source of true knowledge about deity.

    Ironically, Apologetics Warrior, you are repeating the claims of militant atheists. They too want the Bible to be totally true or totally untrue. Why? Because they want to tie the claims about deity that are untestable by history and science to claims that are testable by history and science. Their idea is your worst nightmare: show part of the Bible to be in error, and they can show God to be an error. And I argue against militant atheists the same way I am arguing here.

    Yes, I know what a Red Herring is. And we have 2 examples of Red Herring: 1) inerrancy and 2) all true or none true. Both of those distract from defending the Bible. In fact, both of those are fatal to defending the Bible!

    The real goal is not defending the Bible, but defending Christianity or, better yet, defending theism. In Mark 10 and Mark 19, when the Bible contradicted the theology that Jesus held, he immediately threw the Bible under the bus.

    You and I are both defending the Bible. But I am more concerned with defending God and Christianity. I am defending the Bible where it is possible to defend it. You simply can't validly defend the Bible on inerrancy

    Yes, but I also know you have to look at context of the verse and all of scripture, not just a specific verse.

    In this case, Jesus isn't saying what you claim he is. First, Mark 10 and Matthew 19 is not the only place where Jesus overthrows the Law. In fact, if you go down to verses 31 and 32, Jesus does it again!
    "You have heard the law that says, 'A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.' But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery."

    There goes one "jot" or "tittle" of the Law.

    Look at verses 38 and 39:
    "You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also." Another "jot" and "tittle" gone.

    So, Jesus obviously didn't mean that verse the way you are reading it. We can discuss separately what Jesus actually meant. A translation into more modern English of verses 17-18 reads:
    "Don't misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God's law will disappear until its purpose is achieved."

    Second, you don't adhere to all the Laws, either, do you? Do you keep to the dietary Laws? Why not? Because Peter had a dream and Paul says the Laws don't apply anymore! So by other scripture (translated into Christian practice), Jesus cannot have meant what you said. Or, all Christians are wrong and we should go back to strict OT Law. :)

    Talk about "poisoning the well"! Projection much? We are talking about whether specific statements are assumptions or conclusions. Not whether there are some basci presuppositions. Yes, if you back far enough, any search for truth starts with 2 basic assumptions:
    1. I exist.
    2. I am sane.

    But the point is we share those assumptions. From those we work to get conclusions about other things. Whether or not the Bible is inerrant is not an assumption. We didn't start out with that as a presupposition. It's a conclusion after study.

    Another false dichotomy. The Bible is there even if you don't approach it with Christ and His Lordship. In fact, the Bible is there to help you conclude God and Christ! See for yourself at the end of the gospel of John:
    "This disciple is the one who testifies to these events and has recorded them here. And we know that his account of these things is accurate. Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written."

    At least here, the Bible is saying to approach it autonomously. The gospel of John is written to convince people of the reality of Christ and His Lordship. It's not starting with a presupposition that this is the case. Instead, after reading this you will conclude this is the case. In fact, the author is saying that he picked and chose among what Jesus did; he picked enough so that the readers would believe.

    Are you confusing an inerrant Bible with Jesus? Can't you see the non-sequitor in that? Not only that, can't you see the idolatry in that?

    This forum is open only to Christians. All us here are for Jesus. The point is that we can be for Jesus but against the idea of an inerrant Bible

    Let's look at context again:
    "Then a demon-possessed man, who was blind and couldn't speak, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he could both speak and see. The crowd was amazed and asked, "Could it be that Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah?" But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, "No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan, [fn] the prince of demons." ... "But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you. For who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man like Satan and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house. Anyone who isn't with me opposes me, and anyone who isn't working with me is actually working against me."

    Jesus had just demonstrated his power by performing a miracle. The Pharisees opposed him by saying Jesus did so by the power of Satan. Jesus is replying that the Pharisees are opposing him.

    Now, you should go up a bit in that chapter to see another place where Jesus overthrows a "jot and tittle" of the Law.
    "Then Jesus went over to their synagogue where he noticed a man with a deformed hand. The Pharisees asked Jesus, "Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?" (They were hoping he would say yes, so they could bring charges against him.) And he answered, "If you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn't you work to pull it out? Of course you would. And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Yes, the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath." "

    Here Jesus reinterprets the Law away from the literal and inerrant interpretation that the Pharisees used. Perhaps there is a personal lesson in there for you.

    Actually, it is what Christians have always done! Look at Luke 2:1 in the KJV:
    "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. "

    That's what the Greek says literally: "all the world". However, extrabiblical evidence tells us that "all the world" was not enrolled. We know from extrabiblical evidence that the Japanese, Inuit, and Zulus (to name just 3) were not enrolled. That extrabiblical evidence is so strong that the NIV and NLT now translates that as: "At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire."

    The cosmology of the OT is that of the Babylonians, with a flat earth, a dome above the earth, and caverns of water beneath it. Genesis 1:2-8, Genesis 7:12, Isaiah 40:21-22, Job 22:14, Job 37:18, and finally Daniel 4:11. The passage in Daniel can only be literally true if the earth is flat, otherwise the view is impossible on a spherical earth. These verses led all the early Church Fathers to be flat-earthers and to the book Christian Topography by Cosmas Indicopleustes in 550 AD that insisted on a flat earth. Do you think the earth is flat? Or have you allowed extrabiblical evidence to change your interpretation of those verses?

    The Bible says in plain Hebrew in a number of places that the earth is immovable: Job 26:7, I Chronicles 16:30, Psalm 93:1, Psalm 96:10, and Psalm 104:5. These verses fueled the opposition of the Catholic Church to heliocentrism, because the earth had to move to orbit the sun. So, do you think the earth is the center of the solar system and the earth does not move? Or have you allowed extrabiblical evidence to alter how we interpret those verses?

    In the first 3 decades of the 1800s, scientists (all of whom were Christian and most of whom were ministers) showed that the earth was very, very old and that there was no world-wide flood. This is the response of Christian evangelicals at the time: "If sound science appears to contradict the Bible, we may be sure that it is our interpretation of the Bible that is at fault." Christian Observer, 1832, pg. 437

    Again, extrabiblical evidence.

    Apologetics Warrior, we can't even read the Bible without invoking extrabiblical evidence. Start with Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. " We need extrabiblical evidence to even tell us what "beginning", "heaven", and "earth" are.

    Not really. I take into account all of the evidence: Biblical and extrabiblical. Now, since eventually all evidence comes from God, I am submitting "to the authority of Christ over every area of life." I would argue that you are not. Instead, you are confusing Christ with the Bible. Christ is not the Bible. Christ (and God) are much, much bigger than the Bible. The Bible is about the life of Christ and about God. But it is not, of itself, "the authority of Christ". That extends far beyond the Bible.

    No, God does speak authoritatitvely on such matters. It's just that God speaks in places other than the Bible. Again, you are confusing the Bible and God. They are not the same thing. But you are making them the same thing, and that is false idol worship. You do know that is forbidden, right?
  5. theistic evol

    theistic evol Newbie

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    You also said: "by your standard fallible man decides what is true and not true, which is autonomy in a nutshell. "

    Later in this post you say: "Science is done by humans, humans are fallible, and interpreters of the objective physical. Since we are interpreters, how do we truly know the objective physical? ... The "facts" are not isolated facts outside of the knowledge of God. "

    But by this we don't have "fallible man" deciding what is knowledge, but "all knowledge is not an invention of man" Sorry, but you can't have it both ways. Science is part of knowledge, so is history. As you say, those are not "invention of man", they come from God. So you can't turn around and denigrate them as being fallible.

    You said:
    " Not that you are one in practice but any theory of truth not founded on the special revelation of God or in other terms revelational epistemology, ends up sliding down the slippery slope of relativism."

    Now, "special revelation" means scripture. That is what led me to state that science wasn't "relative". Now, if we go with your first paragraph and say the scientific method and the objective universe are part of revelational epistemology, then science isn't relative. But then, you end up with science having facts and theories to explain facts that supposedly contradict a literal interpretation of scriptrue.

    I am a scientist. Been a professional scientist now for over 40 years. Facts are what science works with: they are repeated observations. The results of science are hypotheses and theories to explain the facts. "Epistemological" refers to the study of how we know things. As such, science didn't start with a "presuppostion". What we have now are conclusions that the methods used by science produce reliable knowledge.

    Again a confusion of "presupposition" and "conclusion". What you are describing are different beliefs by individual scientists about the ultimate nature of the universe. Many scientists, like me, believe that God created the universe and sustains the processes we discover by science. Some scientists believe the universe was not created and that the processes happen on their own. But in either case, the facts are the same. So are the hypotheses and theories to explain the facts.

    BTW, no one thinks that facts are "random chaotic facts". That's obviously false. Science itself can't tell you whether the order is ultimately due to God or the processes themselves.

    The thing about science is that accepts only intersubjective experience. That is, the facts/observations must be the same for everyone under approximately the same circumstances. The same for theists and atheists. The same for Chinese and Germans. So, the facts are independent of one's belief in God. So are the hypotheses/theories. We evaluate hypotheses/theories against the facts. So theists and atheists and agnostics are all going to reach the same conclusions about whether a hypothesis/theory is correct or not.

    As I say, as it turns out, science and Christianity share the basic presuppositions about the physical universe necessary to do science. That's not surprising, since science got them from Christianity (altho they are independent of Christianity). So, in science, atheist and theist are working on the same presuppositions. If they are wrong for one, they are wrong for the other.

    Because God created the objective physical and us. The only way for us not to "truly know" the objective physical is for God to lie to us. And that is not acceptable, is it?

    The irony meter just pegged. Do you realize that Trinity is a product of fallible humans? Nowhere is Trinity explicitly stated in scripture. Humans hypothesized it first out of "fallible human reason" and then decided that scripture did not contradict it. But it took over 200 years of argument to get there, and there are still people who believe Christ is Lord but don't accept Trinity -- Jehovah's Witness and Mormons, for instance.

    One of the good things about science is that, if we get the interpretation wrong, God will eventually tell us. Thru His Creation. It doesn't matter if the scientist believes in God or not. God will still tell us if the interpretation is wrong.

    Sorry, but no. The facts are out there for anyone to find, whether they believe in God or not. That's fine, because God is out there whether anyone believes in Him or not. Right? If everyone today became an atheist, would God stop existing?

    Truth comes in nested shells, like those Russian dolls.

    Now, let's be clear about something: when an atheistic scientist makes a claim about the existence or nature of God and says that claim is scientific, he is wrong by science. IOW, science does not back that claim. Such a scientists is speaking as an individual and misusing science to back his personal belief. For more detail on how this works, I strongly suggest you read Science Held Hostage by Menninga, Davis, and Van Till. It's out of print, unfortunately, but you can get used copies.

    Wow, talk about non sequitors. First, everyone here thinks scripture was inspired. I do think the authors were human, but I agree with Paul that they were inspired to write text that would be " profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

    But to say that "apart from the Bible, we have no objective ground for objective truth" is to deny that God is Creator! After all, don't we also have God's Creation -- the "objective physical" to use your phrase -- as a ground for objective truth?

    Congratulations. You just committed a sinful suppression of the truth. Because, of course, you just denied above that God created. This is where your insistence on an "inerrant" Bible leads you: denial of the first line of the Nicene Creed: We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

    Sorry, I will defend the Bible, but I won't follow you into denial that God is Creator by insisting the Bible is the only source of knowledge we have.
  6. The Outlier

    The Outlier Regular Member

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    Sorry to take so long to get back to you. Isaiah 53 talks about the crucifixion in detail.

    If you see contradictions in the Bible, please state them. I've never seen any that weren't actually clarifying each other.

    They didn't have to be recorded right at the time jesus was on earth to be written by the disciples. As I said, there were scribes. The Apostle John lived a long time. He is believed to have been 98 when he saw the vision recorded in Revelation. Also remember the Jews memorized scripture and geneologies by poetry. That way it could be remembered decades and centuries after the fact.

    As for the earlier discussion regarding Paul not claiming to be inspired by God, read this verse from I Thessalonians ch 2:
    There are 4 main reasons people usually try to discredit Paul. (And this is not an accusation against anyone here, but merely an observation)
    1. They don't want to go to church. Its Paul that talks about the church more than anyone else. If we throw out the 14 books Paul wrote, there is no necessity to go to church.

    2. The don't understand his remarks on women in authority. While Its clear from all scripture that the man is the head of the family, much of what Paul said was for specific churches. When he gave an opinion, he usually made it clear when he was doing so.

    3. They don't understand what he said about slavery. Paul never supported slavery. He said that evangelism and the Kingdom of God came first. If he had instructed people in churches to flee their masters, the Romans would have wiped out the church from the very beginning because slaves were what Rome was built on.

    4. They disagree with what he says about homosexuality. Jesus did not specifically call it out because it wasn't His purpose to address every specific sin, but to defeat all sin. Those he addressed the most were sins of the religious leaders- almost exactly like the prophet Malachi did 400 years before. (Its interesting how well the testaments fit together). Paul made it clear that homosexuality was a sin. People that want to justify it have to throw out what Paul said in Romans.
  7. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Saved by Grace through Faith

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    You just committed every logical fallacy known to man. Because I said it, does that make it so? Of course not!! Yes I remember, and just because Macbeth might have some subjective relative truths in it, NO WAY would I turn to it as an authoritative source as to the nature of human beings or how to deal with feelings, etc. I can enjoy it as Science Fiction and appreciate the realistic elements in it, maybe even things I can relate to, but I would not consider it AUTHORITATIVE, on a level anywhere near the authority of the Bible.

    Red herring, which proves??? Nothing.

    Wrong, the false dichotomy is because it was written by fallible men, it is therefore fallible. That is the false dichotomy. I never made the claim a work has to be entirely true or it contains no truth, that is a strawman you built, which I have already torn down, evidently without your realization. What is at stake here, is, where do you go, as an ultimate source for truth? You may say GOD, which on the surface might seem like a good answer, until you're pressed as to how you know what you know about GOD. Does He read aloud to you? Do you hear His voice so clearly you do not even need to read the Bible to know about the birth, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ?

    In my opinion, the most ironic thing here is, the type of militant atheist you speak of, understands this issue, better than you do. Their idea is far from my worst nightmare, I understand where they are coming from, though I disagree at the most basic level. The atheist and me have different worldviews and different presuppositions by which we interpret and make conclusions. To try and show me an error in the Bible, would at worst expose error in human interpretation. So my interpretation of the Bible had error...it does not logically follow therefore the Bible contains errors. Supposed errors in the Bible have been addressed by Christians long before you and I were born and by men of greater education. Take Professor B.B. Warfield for example, he devoted a great deal of his work to defending the Bible.

    You know, what really strikes me funny is how you seem to think that accepting the Holy Scripture as erroneous could somehow resemble a defense of the Bible. If that is not a twisted notion, I do not know what one is. I get it, the best defense is no defense...keep reading your Science Fiction, maybe you'll learn something about God.

    Defending Christianity...great idea...only problem is...WHAT IS CHRISTIANITY BASED ON? How do you define a Christian? THE BIBLE IS THE SOURCE FOR CHRISTIANITY. Here is a dichotomy for ya, No Bible = No Christianity. Call it what you want, but it's true for those of us who are not living in the Holy Lands during the time of Christ and the Apostles, for us who are not firsthand witnesses. Threw the Bible under the bus... ^_^ good one.

    You are not defending the Bible, you do not like the fact that I am an inerrantist. You think it's even harmful to have such a view, because somewhere along the line somebody busted your bubble. Well, I am sorry, and I honestly believe an errant view of the Bible is unhealthy for any Christian, especially the struggling Christian. I think it is beyond unhealthy, I think it dishonors God Himself, as He is the co-author of Scripture. And yes, the Bible can be validly defended on inerrancy contrary to your claim. It has been done by men far greater than myself.

    Wrong again, you are the one imposing an over-literal interpretation there my friend. Jesus is not "overthrowing" the law as you claim, he is, as it were, adding to the law, explaining the law, giving commentary on the law, etc. Further, where Jesus say's "you have heard the law that say's..." is that actually in O.T. law, or is Jesus referring to a Pharisee interpretation of the law? You see, even during those days, there were many misinterpretations and such. What I want to know is how you think you are defending anything other than what you perceive to be error.

    Another, false dichotomy. It does not follow that because we are not under law that the law does not apply or have value or use. Non-Christians will in fact be judged by the law, according to the law. Paul talks about how the law is Holy and good, how it revealed sin to him. Nice try bud, but no cigar!

    Red herring. How do you know you exist? What if our existence is merely an illusion of some insane sadistic cosmic scientist. In madness this cosmic being has us in a pool of whatever and causes us to think what we sense is reality, but does not allow us to know the truth. Could you disprove this seemingly insane theory? Further, since your search for truth begins with you, and humans make mistakes, it would seem to follow that your quest for truth is actually hopeless, you cannot really be too sure that what you know as truth is truth. In a previous post, you threw the question back at me, " So, tell me friend, which epistemology should a Christian subscribe to?" A Christian epistemology is a revelational epistemology a Biblical epistemology. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. God is truth. Jesus Christ is the way, THE TRUTH, and the life. Our finite limited knowledge and understanding is a pale reflection of the knowledge of God.

    Wrong again friend, it is an assumption, a presupposition. God is true, in Him there is no falsehood. In countless passages we read in Scripture, "Thus say's the LORD", "GOD said", "Jesus said", etc. In all of those passages there is a claim of divine origin, a claim of ultimate authority. I do not believe God would speak authoritatively in one place, and then allow human error to poison His well of Words if you get my drift.

    Sure it it "there", but that does not begin to dismiss what I said...

    The Scripture you quote does not support your claim "At least here, the Bible is saying to approach it autonomously." Nowhere in Scripture are people encouraged to approach it autonomously. If you want to gain a better understanding of autonomy, read the book of Judges, where "everybody did as they saw fit", and the results.

    Acknowledged or not, here are the assumptions behind your assertion.
    1. The author is not a Christian, living under the authority of Christ,
    2. nor obeying Christ in the selection of writing what Christ did

    You assume John autonomously chose to write what he did, without inspiration, without leading of the Holy Spirit.

    No Jesus did not re-interpret the law as you suppose, He gave the correct interpretation, He corrected the Pharisees in their misinterpretation. A personal lesson? ^_^ Oh, you mean like how you misinterpret Scripture like the Pharisees? I am sitting here just wondering how much of the O.T. you have actually read considering your non-compatibilist interpretations. You fail to see how Jesus is not abolishing the law, but fulfilling it. Further, I would say, since Jesus Christ is the Eternal Son of God, His interpretation of the law, is not only the authoritative interpretation, but consistent and compatible with the O.T. You see, the Septuagint, Jesus' "Bible", did not have all the divisions we see in our Bibles today. The O.T. was commonly referred to as "the law and the prophets". Did you know the "two great commandments" are also in the Old Testament? Did you know before GOD gave the law to Moses, it is written of Abraham "And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness."

    Is there a difference between Majority text and Alexandrian texts? Let's assume "world" is in both though for discussion. You are imposing a modern definition, and choosing a particlular definition to interpret it "at face value" just like the fundamentalists you oppose.

    From Thayer's

    "Original: οἰκουμένη
    - Transliteration: Oikoumene
    - Phonetic: oy-kou-men'-ay
    - Definition:
    1. the inhabited earth
    a. the portion of the earth inhabited by the Greeks, in distinction from the lands of the barbarians
    b. the Roman empire, all the subjects of the empire
    c. the whole inhabited earth, the world
    d. the inhabitants of the earth, men
    2. the universe, the world"

    I propose, considering the context "the whole world" as it's found in the KJV, is referring to the Roman empire, just as the word "empire" is found in the HCSB in Luke 2:1. The word "world" is also found in the ESV. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia features a lengthy article on the word "world".

    And I think I have spent enough time with this response, sorry to cut it short, but I do not have enough time to keep up with your lengthy responses.