Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Can the Bible tell me when I am wrong?

Rightly drawing attention to the strongly biblical case mounted and maintained for apartheid in South Africa by Bible believing Reformed Christians, David Runcorn asks the question, "And how do I know when I am wrong? Evangelical Faith and the Bible." We have already had some discussion on David Runcorn's views on homosexuality and the Bible when the Pilling Report was reported on here (he wrote an appendix to the report). I have no wish to rerun that discussion (which issue figures prominently in the article I link to above). Rather, given some past discussion here on Sola Scriptura, I am keen to take up the general question posed in the title, How do I (who believes in the authority of Scripture) know when I am wrong? And making that question have an edge with particular reference to apartheid for which the support of the Bible was once claimed and now it is difficult to find biblical Christians who still support such social policy.

In one way I think the Bible can tell me I have drawn the wrong conclusion from the Bible: I keep reading the Bible, with more depth and more width than previously, and reconsider. I probably (thinking of apartheid's grip on South Africa in the past) need to read the Bible in such a way that my reading opens a cycle of critical assessment of previously reached conclusions (rather than reading the Bible to confirm previously reached conclusions). Of course, if, try as I might, I cannot dislodge the previously reached conclusion then maybe that conclusion stands. In particular, if I read the Bible with others, so "I" becomes "we" then some grounds for thinking the conclusion is correct exist. This was the case with the church in the days of arguments to and fro about orthodox Christology.

Within South Africa those grounds of "we" readers were once thought to exist by the many readers who shared a similar conclusion about biblical support for apartheid. That then raises the question of the width of the community reading the Bible: in those days the rest of the Bible reading world was not supportive of apartheid. Generally the church has recognised that for a conclusion from reading the Bible as God's authoritative Word to be authoritative for the church, the whole worldwide (i.e. catholic) church needs to share that conclusion. (It is not clear to me that David Runcorn recognises that).

Something Protestants likely under-appreciative about authority in the Roman Catholic church is that the Pope's 'Infallibility' relates to one individual giving voice to the reading of Scripture (and Tradition) of the whole church (rather than one individual giving voice to that individual's reading of Scripture).

Protestants may also under-appreciate the difficulties of organising an agreed worldwide conclusion when reading the Bible if we have cast aside the papacy and resisted the possibility of worldwide councils/synods having power over local churches.

Nevertheless a strength of Protestantism (under-appreciated by Romans?) is that over time some conclusions do become agreed around the world (one example of which is, in the present context, that apartheid is wrong). The convoluted process to get there has the virtue of not being affected by the deaths of particular individuals, nor by corruption of officeholders in the church nor by the winds of fashion and favour.

It also has the virtue that it is going to be a biblical conclusion, anchored in the one source of God's revelation that all Christians are agreed is God's revelation to us.

Can the Bible tell me when I am wrong (even about the Bible)? Yes. Likely, however, I will need to listen to what all readers of the Bible are saying rather than what my reading (or even my tribe/clan/wing of the church reading) is saying to me.

70 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Generally the church has recognised that for a conclusion from reading the Bible as God's authoritative Word to be authoritative for the church, the whole worldwide (i.e. catholic) church needs to share that conclusion. (It is not clear to me that David Runcorn recognises that)."

Of course he doesn't, because his purpose is rhetorical-polemical, not historical accuracy. He wants to link catholic teaching on sexuality with the local aberration in Southern Africa. Yet even in South Africa during the ascendancy of apartheid (roughly 1949-1985), most Christians did not support 'apartheid theology', and some of the most trenchant critics were Dutch Reformed theologians, who recognised 'apartheid theology' for what it was, an ex post facto justification for a political policy designed to protect Afrikaner identity in the land of its birth.

Martin

Kurt said...

I don't believe in an infallible book anymore than I believe in an infallible bishop.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

carl jacobs said...

If the Scripture isn't the Norm that norms all norms, then we might as well eat, drink, and be merry. Because in the long term we are all [out of luck.]* What do we know of God? How do we know it? What does God require of us? How do we know it? The silent god sits in his distant heaven and sleeps.

Epistemological doubt is one of the twin pillars of liberal religion. And how does man avoid despair given that he asserts he can know nothing that does not originate within himself? He asserts that he is by nature good. His religion becomes the deification of his own desires and his own understandings and his own speculations. He begins by asserting that God is silent and concludes with the declaration that he himself is a prophet.

carl

Anonymous said...

If you don't believe in infallible Scriptures (and if you think that idea is crazy, have a close look at John Wenham's 'Christ and the Bible' for a quick tour d'horizon of the historical doctrine and its Christological foundation), then you probably have to believe in an infallible reason (probably your own) as the faculty for telling you what is true of false (like a liberal clergyman I know of who claims to know directly the mind of God); but if you are humble enough to forswear such a claim (and you should be), then you should remain suspended in doubt, unable to say with any conviction what's true and what isn't.
Fortunately historical Anglicanism (Caroline Anglicanism included) doesn't go up that Holzweg.

Martinos Theopneustos

Peter Carrell said...

Possibly, Martin.

Might not a classical Anglican reply be that (whether Scripture is deemed to be infallible or not), the use of fallible reason and fallible tradition assists fallible Anglicans in the task of understanding Scripture (whether deemed infallible or not)?

Of what we may be certain via Scripture, even the 39A place the emphasis on what Scripture reveals about salvation rather than other topics (such as church order and governance, on which we may legitimately disagree about what the application of Scripture requires of us).

Kurt said...

From An Outline of the Faith, or Catechism, of the American Episcopal Church:

Q. Why do we call the Holy Scriptures the Word of God?
A. We call them the Word of God because God inspired their human authors and because God still speaks to us through the Bible.

Q. How do we understand the meaning of the Bible?
A. We understand the meaning of the Bible by the help of the Holy Spirit, who guides the Church in the true interpretation of the Scriptures.

Please note, Martin, the Catechism says nothing about so-called “inerrancy” or “infallibility.” If you want that type of stuff, there are plenty of fundamentalist sects to chose from.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Anonymous said...

Kurt, I've been an ordained Anglican for many years and a member of Anglican churches for most of my life, and I'm more interested in Anglicanism's historical roots and foundations, in the Reformers as well as the Caroline Divines - who, as you know, did believe in the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture - as did the Church Fathers, as can be easily demonstrated by a bit of historical study. Of course I know that modern liberalism doesn't share this view (I used to give lectures in historical hermeneutics), as it successively submits to the authority of 18th century Kantian rationalistic epistemology or 19th century anti-supernaturalism or 20th century humanism and whatever the 21st century is throwing up. Such is the perpetual dilemma of liberalism: never knowing what to believe because the secular culture keeps changing its mind. Gresham Machen saw this nearly a century ago and wrote the script for liberal religion in advance.
I'll stick with Cranmer, Jewel and the Caroline Divines.

Martin

Anonymous said...

Peter, the 'classical Anglican' (Hooker?) would likely reply that tradition and reason help us to understand the Scriptures, which are true - since there is little point in understanding something that is false, except to reject it. I don't think any Anglican argued there were mistakes in Scripture until the publication of 'Lux Mundi' (c. 1859, IIRC).
The Articles don't claim that C of E Orders are found 'au pied de la lettre' in the Bible, only that they are not repugnant to it.

Martin

Father Ron said...

An awful lot, surely, depends on the hermeneutic!
The real problem appears when conservatives want to hold onto a medieval understanding of biology and the theological speculation that proceeds from that. True theology consist in making the connection between what The ancients perceived to be God's Word to them - in context - and the reality being experienced in today's world. This discipline is call 'topical hermeneutic'

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
I invite fellow commenters here to agree with me that you are right that there is a problem when conservatives hold onto medieval views of biology.

I ALSO invite fellow commenters here not to take umbrage at the comment because there is no need to infer that any conservatives commenting here hold onto medieval views of biology.

Indeed it may be an abstract non-real notion to conceptualise such conservatives exist in the world today.

What would be interesting, would it not, Ron, would be to engage with conservatives with a modern understanding of biology as well as a modern understanding of current issues in hermeneutics?

Shawn Herles said...

"” If you want that type of stuff, there are plenty of fundamentalist sects to chose from."

The Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, all Protestant Churches prior to the 20th century, they are all "fundamentalist sects"?

Some churches may not use the term infallible, but the idea is and always has been a part of the universal Churches theology, in all it's forms.

The only place we have any witness to Jesus and what He taught is the Bible. If the Bible can be wrong one place, and can be wrong everywhere, including about Jesus, His life, His death, and His resurrection.

Without a Bible that always speaks truthfully, we have no Jesus.

In response to Ron, true hermeneutics are the tools we use to understand what the Bible says, not to twist the Bible to say something else. I don't subscribe to e "medieval" biology, I subscribe to the God-given Biblical understanding of human nature and sexuality.

a "topical" hermeneutic in practice just ends up elevating subjective feelings and the false idols of modern Western ideology over the Word of God, a recipe for confusion and spiritual corruption.

Shawn Herles said...

"I invite fellow commenters here to agree with me that you are right that there is a problem when conservatives hold onto medieval views of biology."

Why? As I said above I think most conservatives are far more interested in Biblical understandings of human nature, not medieval, but for the sake of a possibly interesting discussion I want to challenge the assumption that seems to be behind your statement.

Your assumption is that newer is more true and more accurate.

While it is not the view of all, or even many conservatives, there are those of us like myself who see the world, and especially the West, declining and degrading (think Spengler) and thus what came before is necessarily superior.

The only true science is metaphysical science. Modern science, based as it is in the spirit of the Anti-Christ (materialism) is useless for much of anything. This, to me, is true across the board with regards to all human disciplines of knowledge.

My view on this is very much a minority one amongst Christian "conservatives" I admit, and has been heavily influenced by a non-Christian source, the French Traditionalist Rene Guenon, who converted to Islam.

That said, my point is that we need to work more on those assumptions, such as the notion of progress, that are fairly recent Western ideas heavily influenced by the so-called Enlightenment, especially when it comes the question of knowledge, truth and revelation.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn
I do not equate 'human nature' with 'biology' (and I am not sure that Ron is either).

I think newer knowledge where science is concerned is generally better than old (e.g. am glad that bacteria is understood as cause of disease and anti-bacterial agents have been discovered as cure, etc). The same does not apply to human nature.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure what 'medieval views of biology' means, but if it entails the idea that there is a telos (order, purpose, goal, direction) in biology, as that great medievalist Thomas Aquinas insisted, then I am very much a medievalist. But Thomas was only doing what came naturally to him, to Christianise Aristotle, who believed in four causes, including the final or telic cause, the purpose for which something exists, but as a pagan living without the revelation of the Hebrew Scriptures, did not know that the world was created by the Eternal Creator. Aristotle thought the world was co-eternal with the 'First Mover', Aquinas knew it was created.
Modern biology (in its Neo-Darwinian form as expounded by Richard Dawkins), on the other hand, denies there is *any purpose or design in biology. As Dawkins says interminably, living things *look* as if they've been designed, but that is a mistake. All living things are the product of random, mindless natural selection, the interaction of environment with the imperfect replication of genes (mutations).

Yes, that is what modern textbooks on biology say, in a nutshell. Anyone who believes that biology testifies to intelligent design and purpose is holding to medieval ideas - or worse!

God defend New Zealand, and shed the light of His Gospel into unbelieving hearts.

Martin (well advanced in his 'medium aevum')

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Martin
Modern biology is not reducible to evolution.
It's lessons even help us keep Kiwis from extinction!

Anonymous said...

"Modern biology is not reducible to evolution."

Of course I know that. 95% or more of biological study can be done without any reference to the theory of evolution, if you are content to study how biological systems work, and even if you follow the idea that something in the body has a ... (whisper) purpose. But that is something that evolutionism doesn't allow you to do, because it insists, as a matter of dogma, that existence is purposeless and undesigned.
Belief in design, supported by the anthropic arguments, leads us in a different direction.
But a design needs a designing Mind.

Martin

carl jacobs said...

Re: 'Topical hermeneutics'

Otherwise known as 'doing what is right in your own eyes.'

theology consist in making the connection between what The ancients perceived to be God's Word to them - in context - and the reality being experienced in today's world

This is theology by modern language generator. What does this actually mean in practice? How do you actually know anything according to this? Everything becomes a matter of transient perception. How can that ever form the basis for Truth?

What the ancients perceived is not important. Our experienced reality today is not important. Is it the Revelation of God or not? Does it have authority or not? Otherwise we are just speculating about other peoples' speculations.

carl

Kurt said...

“…the Caroline Divines - who, as you know, did believe in the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture.”—Martin

That’s not my reading of history, Martin. Even the Articles of Religion say nothing about “inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture.” My understanding is that the Carolines believed that the Holy Scriptures “containeth all things necessary to salvation.” I, too, believe this. Nevertheless, that does not mean I believe in the inerrancy or infallibility of a book—even one that is genuinely inspired by God. If I did, I would also have to assent to the Scriptural statement that the See of Peter is the rock on which the Church Catholic is built.

But even if you are correct, Martin, the Carolines also believed in slavery, that women were the property of their husbands, in the divine right of kings, in the subservience of the colonies, etc. All of these viewpoints were derived from passages of Holy Scripture. All of them were wrong.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY
(For Martin: Another three inches of slushy snow fell last night.)

Anonymous said...

"All of these viewpoints were derived from passages of Holy Scripture."

Derived from misunderstanding or distorting Scripture. Slavery had been abolished in Europe long before the Reformation. The Bible does not teach the chattel idea of women. But the Bible does teach (though not as Charles I construed it) that kings have (some) divine authority. The subservience of the colonies is so obvious as to need no justification. :)

Martin

Kurt said...

"The subservience of the colonies is so obvious as to need no justification. :)"--Martin

Perhaps in Australia, Martin, but not here in America. We fought a revolution about that,remember...?

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Shawn Herles said...

"I do not equate 'human nature' with 'biology' (and I am not sure that Ron is either)."

Ron's thinly veiled point, which was another put down of others, was that opponents of same-sex marriage are backwards, living in the dark ages. That was the only point he was making. You invited the rest of to agree that it would be bad to be backwards.

It was just another insult, enabled by you.

Shawn Herles said...

"the Carolines also believed in slavery, that women were the property of their husbands, in the divine right of kings, in the subservience of the colonies, etc. All of these viewpoints were derived from passages of Holy Scripture."

Some of these are just modern, Liberal re-interpretations of history, but even if they were all true, the point your trying to make Kurt is not.

If I drive my car into another car, am I at fault or the car?

Bad readings of Scripture do not mean Scripture is wrong, or not infallible. It means we are wrong and fallible.

If Scripture can be wrong in one place, it can be wrong everywhere, in which case we have no Jesus, no cross, no resurrection. The argument your making is exactly the same argument Cupitt, Spong and Geeering and others make against the resurrection, and they do so because they are at least being consistent with this approach to Scripture.

But some who want to diminish Scripture also want to affirm the parts they like, so we get this shell game in which Scripture is clear and true in one place, and unclear and false in another, and the only rule being used to determine which is which is purely subjective personal preference and modern political ideology.

This approach cannot and does not work. It destroys any notion that God has told us who he is, that God has revealed anything about Himself.

The answer is not to diminish Scripture, but to diminish ourselves, to understand that we get things wrong, and will get things wrong until the Eschaton, but to trust that no matter how much we may, sometimes, et it wrong, that God has spoken, that He has spoken truthfully, and that He will guide us, through His Word written, IF we submit oursleves to Him in prayer and fasting.

Shawn Herles said...

Further to my last post on Scripture, we need, I believe, to deal with the issue of "fundamentalism."

In one sense there is no such thing. Like other words, it is really just a put down rather than an objective take on any churches theology.

Real fundamentalism was a pre-war movement opposed to Liberal theology. The "fundamentals" were largely a statement of creedal orthodoxy on issues like the Trinity, the nature of Christ, and the resurrection. This movement decided that the best way to deal with the Liberal hegemony in academia was to withdraw from the academy and civil society.

Post-war Evangelicalism took a different approach. While it affirmed the need for a Biblically grounded orthodoxy, it also believed that it was better in the long run not to withdraw from the academy of from modern learning, but to engage with them critically and constructively and to engage with civil society and the political sphere.

Most importantly, neither movement took a superficially "literalistic" approach to Scripture.

Modern Evangelicalism is not Fundamentalism, but then the original Fundamentalism was not fundamentalist in the way that some (not all) Liberals use the word.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn re 2.08

I invite people to see the mistake Ron is making in his (mis)understanding of conservatives.

However it is your right in respect of 'reader response' to read Ron's misunderstanding as a thinly veiled insult.

Anonymous said...

""The subservience of the colonies is so obvious as to need no justification. :)"--Martin

Perhaps in Australia, Martin, but not here in America. We fought a revolution about that,remember...?"

Ah, Kurt, how could one forget? To this day sensitive souls in the line of Edmund Burke deeply regret the foolishness of George III and Lord North.

And how could you forget that you also fought a war - one that darn near destroyed you as a nation - in order to preserve the institution of slavery, something which had never been legal in Great Britain and was peacefully outlawed in her colonies without a shot being fired?
Sometimes Mother knows best.

Martin

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
Discretion is the better part of valour and I am omitting your middle sentence.

"Certainly, Jesus had a 'new view' on many customs that were 'de rigueur' in the religious ethos he entered into at the Incarnation - that was one of the reasons for which He was crucified. But what's new today?

[]

Well said, Kurt! Kiwi's are very different from Australians in many ways - often to our advantage.
"

Peter Carrell said...

Hmm Martin
Not quite sure where this subservience of the colonies thing is going but I hardly think Australia with its treatment of Aborigines nor NZ with its treatment of Maori is in any position to lecture or quasi-lecture the USA on any of its faults regarding slavery or race relations.

(Watching (the film) The Sapphires recently was a reminder of the racism once endemic in both our Down Under societies; and though improved now, not all sorted).

Anonymous said...

I was talking about Britain, not Oz or NZ.

Edmund Burke thought the American colonies had legitimate grievances which the British government foolishly ignored. As in most things, he was right.

"Racism" (a lazy, hazy word) or better, inter-ethnic conflict has been endemic in *every* society in the world. The native Americans were arguably treated worse than the imported slaves from Africa. NZ's record in race relations are historically among the best in the world.

Happy Waitangi Day

Peter Carrell said...

It has been a lovely sunny day ... and NZ did quite well batting against India :)

Anonymous said...

“And how could you forget that you also fought a war - one that darn near destroyed you as a nation - in order to preserve the institution of slavery, something which had never been legal in Great Britain and was peacefully outlawed in her colonies without a shot being fired? Sometimes Mother knows best.”—Martin

Slavery certainly was legal in Britain all during the Roman Period, though it was generally superseded by feudalism. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries African slaves were straightforwardly purchased and sold on the commodities markets of Liverpool and London. Indeed, in 1729 the Attorney General and Solicitor General of England approved the Yorke–Talbot slavery decision expressing their view that slavery of African captives was lawful in the realm. And, of course, Britain was a center of the triangular trade in slaves for two centuries.

And, Martin, it was, guess who?—South Carolina—that initiated the rebellion that proved so destructive, in order to keep their human “property.”

Anyway, both Australia and New Zealand are fortunate that they were not involved in the abominable practice of chattel slavery.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

tachesterton said...

Can the Bible tell me when I am wrong?

Well, yes, i think it can, but parts of it are more useful for this than others.

There is a law in the Pentateuch that says that if a man accuses his new bride of not being a virgin on their wedding night, her parents are to bring the bloody sheet to the judges as evidence of her innocence. If they can't, then she is to be stoned to death (Dt. 22:13-21).

Another law says that if a husband accuses his wife of adultery, the judge is to put some dust from the tabernacle floor into a jar of water, and she is to drink the water. If she's guilty, her abdomen will swell and she will miscarry and she will become a curse. If nothing bad happens to her, it's a sign of her innocence (Num. 5:11-28) (I note, by the way, that there is no law regarding a husband who has been unfaithful to his wife).

Personally, I don't find these parts of the Bible as useful for telling me when I am wrong as the Sermon on the Mount.

I guess the question is, "Does the phrase 'the authority of the Bible' mean 'the equal authority of every statement in the Bible?'" Well, obviously it doesn't, or we would still be executing children for cursing their parents, as well as adulterers, people who commit bestiality, men who engage in gay sex, mediums and spiritists (see Leviticus 20). Note: this passage not only says these things are wrong, but also commands the death penalty for them. I know very few Christians who are prepared to argue that it is God's will for a son who curses his father or mother to be executed. And that's why I can't take the 'if it's not all true, then none of it can be true' argument seriously. In practice, all of us treat some parts of the Bible as more authoritative than others. And we all have our hermeneutical rules of thumb for doing so.

Tim Chesterton

Father Ron Smith said...

"Is it the Revelation of God or not? Does it have authority or not? Otherwise we are just speculating about other peoples' speculations."

- carl -

I don't know what happens in your neck of the woods, carl, in connection with reflection on the scriptures when read at the Eucharist; but here in N.Z., the reader is seen to be inviting the congregation to: "Hear what The Spirit is saying to the Church". Not, you will notice, directing one's attention to just the reading, but also to what the Holy Spirit may be directing us - as a RESULT of what we are hearing.

It is at such times that a new revelation may not only come, but ought to be expected to come.

For instance, The Spirit may be saying different things to different people - depending on their need of spiritual enlightenment at the time.

Of course, if you are so embedded to your once in a life-time revelation that you refuse to accept that God's Spirit may be "doing a new thing", then you may miss out on the revelation.

I, for instance, am a pneumatic Christian, believing that God is constantly updating God's Church with 'new life' in Christ - not cancelling out past beliefs, but setting them in a new context.

After all, the Spirit is still alive and active - or not?

Father Ron Smith said...

"Without a Bible that always speaks truthfully, we have no Jesus" S.H.

Speak for yourself, Shawn! I'm glad that Christians don't have to believe in an inerrant Bible to be able to believe in the Jesus of The Scriptures - especially when some of the statements in the Bible could not be credited ax being applicable in the world of today.

Tim Chesteton has given us all an excellent summary of biblical statements that simply do not cohere at all comfortably with the teachings of Jesus. So why should we predicate our faith in Jesus on the inerrancy of the Bible?

If one's faith depended on the inerrancy of the Bible, rather than the teaching of Jesus made known to us in the scriptures - Who is The Word made flesh at the incarnation - then is our faith vain.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
I will publish this comment minus its middle statement which has an implied put down of others.

"Love you, Tim. You have really put into words what many Christians feel on this tricky subject of submission to the inerrancy of The Bible.

[]

Jesus, thankfully, exploded quite a few myths about 'Biblical certainty' that upset his co-religionists in His day.
"

John sandeman said...

Kurt,

sadly the "Blackbirding" trade in 19th century Queensland, where Pacific Islanders worked under onerous "indenture" contracts means that Australia is not quite guilt free as regards chattel slavery.

Kurt said...

Thank you John for your input. I'll read up on "Blackbirding." Hope all is going well with you.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Shawn Herles said...

In response to Tim.

"Personally, I don't find these parts of the Bible as useful for telling me when I am wrong as the Sermon on the Mount."

Personal subjective opinion is not relevant, and picking and choosing which parts of God's Word's are relevant to you is playing God.

"I guess the question is, "Does the phrase 'the authority of the Bible' mean 'the equal authority of every statement in the Bible?'" Well, obviously it doesn't, or we would still be executing children for cursing their parents,"

Not true. The Bible itself tells us that the civil law of Israel does not apply to the Church. Jesus Himself makes this point with regards to hand washing and unclean foods, as does the first meeting of the Church to decide on the issue of circumcision. So Scripture itself tells us what is or is not relevant and how, and this can only be determined by respecting the authority of the whole Bible. Nor is this a case of unequal authority. It is a case of how authority works differently in the Old and New Covenants. The Israel civil code no longer has authority as a civil code, but it does have moral authority, which is why the Ten Commandments are still taught in the Church and why Jesus affirmed them.

" And we all have our hermeneutical rules of thumb for doing so."

Many of us perefer a plain reading of Scripture without any "hermenuetical" tricks. I disagree with your claim here, it relies on assuming that everyone else takes the very selective approach to Scripture you do, but thats a very conveniant assumption.

As I pointed out above with regards to unclean foods and circumcision, the plain meaning of Scripture itself is sufficiant to answer your opinion that we must be selective. That is not the case, IF we take ALL of Scripture seriously and allow ALL of it to guide us, including the parts that teach what is different in the New Covenant from the Old, and no hermenuetical tricks are needed.

Finally, Jesus affirmed the death penalty for seriously disobediant children and criticised the more liberal Pahrisees for making up "traditions" to get around it. Jesus rebuked them by leading them back to the plain meaning of the Torah.

Pacifist Jesus meek and mild is an invention that can only be sustained by taking Him out of the Biblical context and finding hermenuetical tricks to dismiis vast amounts of Scripture.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn
You go too far in one part of the comment below which I have redacted.

"In response to Ron,

"Speak for yourself, Shawn! I'm glad that Christians don't have to believe in an inerrant Bible to be able to believe in the Jesus of The Scriptures"

Yes, they do. otherwise you cannot know that the Jesus of the Scriptures is speaking truthfully, or that the Scriptures speak truthfully about the Jesus being portrayed.

You have actually proven my point with your statement "the Jesus of Scripture", but if Scripture is fallible then the stories of Jesus and the words attributed to Him are also fallible, in which case, we have no reliable way to know Jesus or His message.

You cannot have it both ways and trying to do so leads to absurd logical contradictions like trying to affirm the Jesus of SCRIPTURE while not also affirming Scripture. That makes zero sense, logically and theologically.

"the reader is seen to be inviting the congregation to: "Hear what The Spirit is saying to the Church". Not, you will notice, directing one's attention to just the reading, but also to what the Holy Spirit may be directing us "

Not true. The hearer is invited to hear the Spirit is saying in the Word's of Scripture, which is why "Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church" occurs as a response to Scripture, not to subjective opinions about what the Spirit is saying. "Hear what the Spirit is saying" is a new form of the vastly better original "Hear the Word of the Lord" meaning hear the Word of God written.

Inventing a different Spirit who contradicts Scripture is not at all what the words are inviting the hearers to do.

"For instance, The Spirit may be saying different things to different people - depending on their need of spiritual enlightenment at the time."

Thats nonsense. "Hi John, I'm the Spirit of God. Murder is bad!" "Hi Chris, I'm the Spirit of God. Murder is good!"

Your just replacing the real Spirit of God with subjective opinion.

", for instance, am a pneumatic Christian, believing that God is constantly updating God's Church with 'new life' in Christ - not cancelling out past beliefs, but setting them in a new context."

Charismatic and Pentecostals Anglicans/Christians are pneumatic. As am I. [Redacted: But are you talking about God's Spirit or the spirit of the world, the political ideology of Western liberalism? If so then] Slapping a Holy Spiirit label on political Liberalism does not make it the actual revelation of the Spirit, nor does it make anyone open to God, but only open the the false idols of the world.

Moreover, on marriage and sexuality, you have indeed replaced the revelation of God's Spirit in Scripture, not "set it in a new context."

"After all, the Spirit is still alive and active - or not?"

Yes, but largely only in Charismatic and Pentecostal churches, not in Western Liberalism.
"

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron and Shawn,

Might I raise with you both the possibility that each of you are wrong?(!!)

Ron: the inerrancy of Scripture has nothing to do with its applicability to the world today. (Though, thankfully, the Bible is relevant to the world today).

If the Bible is not inerrant, might we ask you on what your confidence rests that we nevertheless have an accurate depiction of the words and deeds of Jesus in Scripture?

(If we do not have that confidence then might we be following a mythical Jesus?)

Shawn: might you be over confident in the validity of the plain reading method of biblical interpretation? On the example you raise I tend to agree with you. Nevertheless I have to admit that (say) on the question of eucharistic theology a lot of difference arises precisely between Christians who claim to read the Bible plainly. Yet find themselves arguing over the meaning of 'is' (in 'This is my body'). Ditto on infant baptism versus believers' baptism.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn
It would be helpful if you could give the text for Jesus supporting the death penalty for 'disobedient children.'

Also, do you mean 'God's children generally speaking: i.e. humanity' or 'children, not adults'?

Father Ron Smith said...

Peter, I can't escape the feeling that you might be addressing one of your Theology 1 students. Please give me a little more credit.

You seem to be presupposing that I'm speaking about the Gospel narrative, when I say that the scriptures can err. Like you, I have implicit faith in the Jesus revealed to us in the Gospels - but that is not the whole of scripture - there is so much more. The Dominical sayings and doings I have absolutely no problem with. What I do question is the veracity of every single sentence uttered in the Scriptures as being consonant with the testimony of Jesus, and relevant to our life today.

Do you need me to quote from such material? I think Brother Tim has given you enough examples to be going on with.

Kurt said...

“If the Bible is not inerrant, might we ask you on what your confidence rests that we nevertheless have an accurate depiction of the words and deeds of Jesus in Scripture?”—Fr. Carrell

I think, Peter, that truth (or, should I write “Truth”?) and inerrancy/infallibility are different things. Truth is agreement with what is. Inerrancy and infallibility mean exemption from error. I can affirm that the Scriptures contain the Truth without declaring them inerrant or infallible (whether on the astronomical, biological, historical, scientific, etc. levels.)

There are, of course, different layers of Truth, including the narrative (personal), historical, mythical, poetic, symbolic, etc. In delving into Holy Scripture, I think that one has to be able to shift gears, so to speak, to get the most out of all of the various kinds of Truth that are offered there.

Insofar as we have “an accurate depiction of the words and deeds of Jesus,” I trust the Holy Spirit, operating in fallible human beings, has provided us in Scripture “all things necessary to salvation.” That is enough for me.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron and Kurt,

Indeed it is (theoretically) possible for the Bible (or my favourite wise uncle or the newspaper) to be true on somethings and (unintentionally) false on other things.

The question remains, however, if I trust the Bible to tell me the truth about Jesus in the narratives about hime, why I would not also trust it to tell me the truth (say) Paul and his doings (noting that scholars are hopelessly divided on whether Acts is good history or not). A question, in other words, of the basis on which we discern what we read in the Bible.

Ron: I distinguish between 'veracity' and 'applicability'. The Law of Moses is true, at least in the sense that it tells us what the laws of Moses were (veracity). Not all the Law of Moses is applicable to life today (as both Tim and Shawn have demonstrated (applicability)).

I have never understood the inerrancy or infallibility of the Bible to be about the applicability of each jot and tittle of every verse to life today.

One of the great challenges, of course, to all of us, wherever we are on the journey of theological understanding, is to work out how we relate to the Bible of Jesus (i.e. the Old Testament): it often seems that our Lord placed more trust in the Old Testament as true revelation from God than we 21st century folk do ...

Father Ron Smith said...

Good Morning, Kurt. Christ is indeed risen from the dead. Today is a new day 'en Christo'. There is no room in believing Christianity for unresolved pessimism. Jesus is Risen. Alleluia! All is not lost.

Shawn Herles said...

To Kurt and Ron,

The problem is that if you choose the Gospel narratives alone then we are back to subjective selection, and this does not hold up to logic. Picking one part, and not another, is being selective, and placing the authority for revelation inside ourselves, not in God. Moreover, the Gospels themselves do not lend themselves to this approach, because they assume the truth of the OT, and here is the important part, so does Jesus! jesus quotes the OT repeatedly. Thus to affirm the truth of the Gospels alone, while not also affirming the rest of Scripture, is impossible. Jesus said that the Law and the Prophets speak of Him. Note, he does not say that only parts of the Law and Prophets.

Thus to affirm the truth of Gospels, to affirm that Jesus speaks truthfully, we must also affirm the truth of all of Scripture, otherwise we make Jesus to be a liar.

This approach to Scripture is logically contradictory and impossible to maintain, which is why most of the Church has so resoundingly rejected Liberal hermenuetics.

Peter makes an important point that is often lost on some Liberals, that affirming the equal truth of all of the Bible does not mean (and never has in Church history) that all of it is equally applicable in the same way. Jesus Himself says that kosher foods and ritual hand washing are not required in the New Covenant, and along with ACTS and Paul, we have further Scriptural authority that the civil Law that ruled the nation of ancient Israel is not applicable to in the NC.

That however does not mean that the OT is not relevant, or that parts of it do not reveal God. As Jesus said, all of the Law and the Prophets, the Old Testament, reveal Him, and thus reveal God. We can learn and know the moral charcter of God from all of the OT. It's moral and narrative aspects are revealing of God, and are absolutely necessary in knowing and understanding Jesus.

Note, this change in Scripture with regards to the Torah Law is only about the change from the Old Covenant to the New in the blood of Jesus. It has nothing to do with the Liberal notion of being relevant to the 20th/21st century. That is placing the authority of revelation in the fashions and sins of the world.

The authority for revelation rests on God alone. Not on us. Not on our conveniant selctive approaches to Scripture. Not on the world, or the values and fashions and political ideology of white, Western, urban liberals.

God alone is King. Not us. Not the world. Not changing cultural and moral fashions. Not the vopices of the demon spirits of the age. God. We must submit to Him alone and the entirety of the holy Word that He breathed by His Spirit. That is the way of discipleship.

Anonymous said...

Kurt, I know all these things. I have even taught them to high school students. Newton, Wilberforce, Venn, Glanville Sharpe etc etc - fine Evangelical Anglicans. I said "IN Great Britain" - not provincia Britannia. GB was constituted in 1707. A famous court case established that escaped slaves IN Great Britain were free. Same in Canada - think underground railroad. Mother knows best.
Martin

MichaelA said...

Kurt wrote:

"My understanding is that the Carolines believed that the Holy Scriptures “containeth all things necessary to salvation”."

Indeed they did, as do orthodox Anglicans today. But if scripture is not both reliable and authoritative, then it does not contain those things because we cannot rely on it.

"I, too, believe this. Nevertheless, that does not mean I believe in the inerrancy or infallibility of a book—even one that is genuinely inspired by God."

If the scriptures are "genuinely inspired by God", i.e. the all-powerful and all-knowing God that we meet in Scripture, then they don't make mistakes. Of course WE humans may make mistakes reading them, but that is another matter.

""If I did, I would also have to assent to the Scriptural statement that the See of Peter is the rock on which the Church Catholic is built."

No you wouldn't because scripture makes no such statement.

"But even if you are correct, Martin, the Carolines also believed in slavery, that women were the property of their husbands, in the divine right of kings, in the subservience of the colonies, etc."

Which simply proves that the Carolines were human, like you and me, and therefore they were fallible, like you and me. I wouldn't go looking down on the Carolines if I were you - history may well judge you just as harshly as it has judged them, in certain areas!

"All of these viewpoints were derived from passages of Holy Scripture."

No they weren't. People *attempt* all the time to base their beliefs on scripture - modern liberals do it too. But that is quite a different thing to whether scripture actually support their beliefs.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
There is fair comment in the comment below, but an implication of 'putdown' in the sentence I am not publishing.

""The problem is that if you choose the Gospel narratives alone then we are back to subjective selection, and this does not hold up to logic.'
- S.H. -

So does that mean that if society had only the four gospels to learn about Jesus Christ, this would somehow be a defective message of God's power to redeem? Curious!

[]

I guess if theological colleges (Christian) had the choice of only 4 books of the Bible from which to teach about the life and teaching of Jesus, the Gospels might just have priority over all others. I know some teachers might prefer the Pauline Epistles (or even Leviticus) but not many.
"

Shawn Herles said...

Hi Ron,

"So does that mean that if society had only the four gospels to learn about Jesus Christ, this would somehow be a defective message of God's power to redeem? Curious!"

I did not say anything about the "power to redeem" but the power to reveal, and indeed, while if we had only the four Gospels a person could still learn enough to be saved, nevertheless some of what they read would make no sense to them, because they would not have the back story so to speak. They would not know what Jesus was talking about when he mentions the Law and the Prophets or many of the prophecies about Himself. I could probably get some idea of what the Lord of the Rings was about by reading the last four chapters, but much would make no sense, and I would miss the richness of the whole.

So to know the fullness of God's revelation, the fullness of God's Story, we need the whole story!

Father Ron Smith said...

And who is the Author of 'The Whole Story'? No less than another Person of the Most Holy Trinity - The Spirit, Who gives life - in all its fullness.

Christ Himself is revealed in the gospels, which give adequate information about his role in Creation; e.g. (John 1.1) "In the beginning was The Word....etc".

Potential believer is Jesus as that Word - made flesh - have adequate evidence in the 4 Gospels to be open to the Holy Spirit's further revelation. After all, Jesus is shown therein to have fulfilled 'The Law and The Prophets'. What more do you need for salvation? It is the Holy Spirit who convicts, not the Bible. The Bible informs of The Christ who is accessible in the sacraments: "Do this......."

Shawn Herles said...

"And who is the Author of 'The Whole Story'? No less than another Person of the Most Holy Trinity - The Spirit, Who gives life - in all its fullness."

Yes, which is exactly why, because the Lord IS the Author of the Bible, all of Scripture is His revelation, His Story.

"It is the Holy Spirit who convicts, not the Bible. "

Wow. The Bible "does not convict"???

Millions of Christians over the last two thousand years who were convicted by Scripture were wrong???

The teaching of the whole Church that the Bible does convict is wrong???

Seriously Ron, statements like this are so far away from any notion of Christian orthodoxy and practice, in ANY branch of the Church catholic, that they cannot be taken seriously.

It is the Holy Spirit through the Bible who convicts. Every word os Scripture is the word of the Holy Spirit.

"What more do you need for salvation?"

ALL of God's revelation of Himself in BOTH the Word written and the Word made flesh, which are the one and same Word. We need all of it, not just the bits the do not offend Liberals.

"The Bible informs of The Christ who is accessible in the sacraments"

Not if the Bible can be mistaken. And Christ is accesible in ALL His means of grace, both Bible AND Sacraments.

Trying to cut out part's of God's revelation of Himself because they offend Liberals is placing ourselves above God.

We do not, as disciples, tell God what He is allowed to reveal, nor do we take only one part and not another. God is Lord and King. Not us.

How did we fall in the first place? We decided to place ourselves above God and choose for ourselves what is right and wrong.

Shawn Herles said...

"ALL Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Martin,
I will accept your encouraging comment to Shawn; but the rest veers into ad hominem faster than the speediest slalom skier at Sochi.

"Shawn, I admire your patience in debate, ...

Martin
"

MichaelA said...

Father Ron wrote:

"So does that mean that if society had only the four gospels to learn about Jesus Christ, this would somehow be a defective message of God's power to redeem? Curious!"

Why would it mean that? Shawn's post dealt with the issue of those who *choose* to accept only part of the Bible (an issue in Christendom since at least as early as the 2nd century AD).

I was curious as to how you were going to respond to that, Fr Ron, but was rather bemused when you simply declined to respond. Instead, you came up with a hypothetical: the situation where a person through no fault of their own only has part of the bible. Quite a different situation, and I am still not sure why you haven't answered the question that was actually asked.

Kurt said...

Thank you, MichaelA, for doing so much to educate people regarding the inerrancy of Scripture. I have learned a great deal from you.

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord—Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

Also, a friend of mine would like to sell his daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her? (Remembering, of course, the differences in the exchange rates between Australian and American dollars…)

Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

Now, Michael, I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or can I hire someone to do it?

I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play American-style football if I wear gloves?

I know you have studied these things extensively (no doubt at Moore Theological College), so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is inerrant, even though it is transmitted through errant human beings.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Anonymous said...

Kurt, these are obviously pressing questions for you, and you will find the Caroline Divines have answered most of these questions quite thoughtfully. See the sermons of Lancelot Andrewes in particular. I am not sure, though if he addresses the question of plagiarism.

Martin

Father Ron Smith said...

But, Kurt. Didn't you realise that both MichaelA and Shaun have the classic Get-out clause - Old Testament Law has been 'overcome' by the theology of the N.T.!

However, when you and I plead that reality, we are told that every word of Scripture was 'God-breathed' and irrevocable. We just can't win!

Shawn Herles said...

"But, Kurt. Didn't you realise that both MichaelA and Shaun have the classic Get-out clause - Old Testament Law has been 'overcome' by the theology of the N.T.!"

Not "overcome" Ron, transformed from civil Law to moral Law. That's not the same argument you and Kurt are using at all. And, our view is the one that has been held by the universal Church since the apostles. The view you and Kurt are espousing is a twentieth century novelty.

I can only assume that Kurt has not actually read many of the posts above as his claims have already been answered.

Shawn Herles said...

The transformation of the OT law from civil law to moral law was necessary because of the change from God's people being a theocratic geo-political state to a stateless universal community/Church, and because of the change in the New Covenant from an external Law to an internal moral law of the heart.

That is totally different to the argument used by some (and it is only some) Liberals, including on this thread, which is that the Law does not even have moral force anymore. That is a radical notion that has never been taught by the Church, only a few fringe sects. The theological term for this idea is antinomianism, meaning, without law.

If the OT moral Law has no moral force, why are the Ten Commandments in the Anglican prayer book and catechism, as well as the catechisms of every major branch of the Church? Just to fill up space? Or as an example of a historical curiosity with no relevance to people?

Shawn Herles said...

"We just can't win!"

No, you can't. But not for the reason you claim. As my previous post shows, we are not remotely saying the same thing about the difference between the Old Covenant and the New. Only you and Kurt seem to be advocating antinomianism.

No, the reason you can't win is because your arguments are self-contradictory and self-defeating, and based not on trying to read Scripture fairly, but on trying to diminish and dismiss Scripture solely because the moral force of the Law is opposed to Liberal notions of morality.

This argument is not really about different ways of reading Scripture, but about those of us who place the authority of Scripture, and thus of God, first, and those who place Western Liberal politics first.

And that approach is always going to lose the debate.

MichaelA said...

“When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord—Lev.1:9.”

Do you? I suggest you need to sit down and re-think your confidence in your own knowledge.

If you had done it in times B.C., I would agree with you. But why on earth would you expect it to please the Lord now, after Christ has come and sacrifice has been superseded?

“The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them.”

Yes, that’s the first thing I thought when reading your post – Kurt’s neighbours have a lot to answer for….

“Should I smite them?”

I wouldn’t want them to be smitten by you.

“Also, a friend of mine would like to sell his daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7.”

Which it isn’t, so he’s already got problems. However, I am intrigued by the unusual habits of your friends – did you meet them at the local Episcopal Church… :)

“In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her? (Remembering, of course, the differences in the exchange rates between Australian and American dollars…)”

I wouldn’t dare to guess. Each of my daughters’ weddings cost a great deal more than my own. It appears to be an appreciating market.

“Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations.”

You aren’t Jewish and aren’t living in Old Testament times. Sorry to break the news, but you are going to have to clean up after yourself. As my wife frequently tells all the men in the family...

“A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?”

Ummm, possibly because slaves are mostly acquired through conquest, and the last time you fought the Canadians they reduced your capital to a smoking pile of ash? ;)

“Now, Michael, I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death.”

No it doesn’t. Next question!

“I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean…”

No it doesn’t. Next question!

“I know you have studied these things extensively”

Come now, Kurt. One doesn’t need “extensive study” for this. My twelve year old niece would have little difficulty with these questions.

Kurt said...

"I am not sure, though if he addresses the question of plagiarism."--Martin

Oh, Martin, get a sense of humor, will you!? I simply modified part of a humorous essay, well-known by theological liberals here(in America, anyway)to poke fun at the fundis a bit. (Besides, I don't complain when others "borrow" material for use on this site!) You do know it's an honored custom in America for comics to "steal" from each other, don't you?

"But, Kurt. Didn't you realise that both MichaelA and Shaun have the classic Get-out clause - Old Testament Law has been 'overcome' by the theology of the N.T.!

"However, when you and I plead that reality, we are told that every word of Scripture was 'God-breathed' and irrevocable. We just can't win!"--Fr. Ron

Ain't that the truth, Father Ron! It's one reason why I can't take them too seriously.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Kurt said...

Good for you, MichaelA; you have, at least a sense of humor!

"..the last time you fought the Canadians they reduced your capital to a smoking pile of ash"

Actually, that was the British, not the Canadians. And the Brits claimed it was in retaliation for the USA reducing the Canadian capital (York, now called Toronto) to a smoking pile of ash...Or, at least the log cabin Parliament building thereof.

Actually, in 1813/14 Australians were more worried that Commodore Porter and his Pacific squadron would pay Sydney a visit; though why on earth they thought he would bother to do that is beyond me. Captain Wilkes, USN would eventually surprize Sydneysiders one morning in 1839 with the unannounced arrival of a couple of warships off Circular Quay, their great guns trained upon Government House. Wilkes would later be on hand at Waitangi to witness the British takeover of NZ.)

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Kurt,
Speaking from memory, one of the influences on the British making a formal move re relationship with Maori via the Treaty of Waitangi was concern that if such a thing did not happen then there would be an American takeover of our fair islands. (And if that hadn't happened, the French were lurking not far away).

Given that American Samoa is still American Samoa, I guess we might still be American New Zealand ... perhaps as the furtherest state from DC?

Kurt said...

"Given that American Samoa is still American Samoa, I guess we might still be American New Zealand ... perhaps as the furtherest state from DC?"--Fr. Carrell

Probably the 51st state. And, you wouldn't be speaking with that dreadful Australian accent...!

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Shawn Herles said...

Kurt,

" I simply modified part of a humorous essay, well-known by theological liberals here(in America, anyway)to poke fun at the fundis a bit."

It's a bit of humorless nonsense to poke fun at a non-existent strawman.

Your attempt at a point has actually been answered and critiqued, but I notice you have not responded. Perhaps cannot?

"Ain't that the truth, Father Ron! It's one reason why I can't take them too seriously."

Ron's point was based on a falsehood, on something nobody here has said. Perhaps you could try actually responding to the arguments rather than engaging in avoiding them?

Or do you realize that you have no theological leg to stand on in the first place, so poking fun at others may be a useful way of not engaging in an argument you have lost?

Father Ron Smith said...

Reading down this blog I found this little gem:

"Thus to affirm the truth of Gospels, to affirm that Jesus speaks truthfully, we must also affirm the truth of all of Scripture, otherwise we make Jesus to be a liar." - S.H. -

Firstly, the second part of this sentence is a real non-sequitur!

The Bible is actually a library of 50 Books. Not each of them is the material known as 'Gospel' Truth.

On the other hand, words about 'The Word-made-flesh' are convincing because of what they are; containing for all eternity 'The Eternal Word' - as opposed to legalistic requirements for a particular, unredeemed, society).

Peter Carrell said...

The point you seek to deny Ron concerns what Jesus made of the rest of Scripture. The Word-made-flesh himself affirmed the Old Testament (albeit updating aspects of the law in the process, as touched on in this thread).

I find it difficult to understand how your theological wisdom and experience permits you to take the scissors to Scripture in this kind of way.

Whether the Bible is composed of one or 50 or 500 hundred books, so what?! What the church claims about Scripture is that it is one book of God, divine revelation to us.

Shawn Herles said...

"The Bible is actually a library of 50 Books. Not each of them is the material known as 'Gospel' Truth."

The Gospel Truth begins with Genesis and ends with Revelations. It is all God's Word. That has been the teaching of the Roman, Orthodox and Classical Protestant churches, even with the very slight variations in the canon. Only very recently have Liberals tried to dismember large parts of God's Word to try and make their sexual/political ideology fit.

And please, no "then why do we eat shellfish" arguments. That has already been explained to you.

Your well outside the catholic tradition on this.

MichaelA said...

Kurt, interesting perspective on Wilkes here: http://members.ozemail.com.au/~macinnis/ockhams/wilkes.htm.

I don't know much about him, but its all interesting. Thanks for the reference.