homepage
  roll on christmas  
click here to find out more about ship of fools click here to sign up for the ship of fools newsletter click here to support ship of fools
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
discussion boards live chat cafe avatars frequently-asked questions the ten commandments gallery private boards register for the boards
 
Ship of Fools


Post new thread  Post a reply
My profile login | | Directory | Search | FAQs | Board home
   - Printer-friendly view Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
» Ship of Fools   » Special interest discussion   » Dead Horses   » biblical inerrancy (Page 11)

 - Email this page to a friend or enemy.  
Pages in this thread: 1  2  3  ...  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  ...  42  43  44 
 
Source: (consider it) Thread: biblical inerrancy
Goldfish Stew
Shipmate
# 5512

 - Posted      Profile for Goldfish Stew   Email Goldfish Stew   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
quote:
Originally posted by kiwigoldfish:
An "inerrantist" approach to the Bible can lead the reader to assume that bombing abortion clinics is okay, or even a divine calling.

I'm sorry, I can't get my head round this one! How does a belief in innerancy lead someone to murder?! The person committed to innerancy must take seriously the command not to murder. Where is the command to take the life of an abortionist?!
As I see it, most (if not all) of the idiots who are bombing abortion clinics are fundamentalists, who believe in an inerrant bible. They read the OT accounts and see how God commands His people to go and kill evildoers. They see abortionists as evildoers who need to be removed. They start to believe that they have this same scriptural call to cleanse society of this scourge. Yes, it is a bit of a stretch, but no more a stretch than some other examples given of the risks of rejecting inerrancy.

I was not saying that an inerrant approach to the bible would necessarily come up with this conclusion. (As I said, I personally normally land up with the inerrant line.) But I was pointing out that assuming inerrancy will not protect one from serious error.

[ 22. February 2004, 18:44: Message edited by: kiwigoldfish ]

--------------------
.

Posts: 2405 | From: Aotearoa/New Zealand | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
If we go for a simple majority, then indulgences were absolutely fine and dandy because most people used them in Medievil times, and the reformation was mistaken.

I think you might need to widen your perspective. Indulgances might have been acceptable for a majority of Christians in Western Europe just prior to the Reformation, but in terms of the history of Christianity prior to that and including Christians outwith Western Europe (including the Orthodox) then you may well find that even a "simple majority" wouldn't be met...
Fair enough - my illustration perhaps fails historically. But perhaps not - the majority in the RC church perhaps did adopt indulgencies. No matter - at very least it demonstrates the weakness of the "majority" determining theology.

--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by kiwigoldfish:
...But I was pointing out that assuming inerrancy will not protect one from serious error.

Happy to agree with this point. We will have nut cases who misinterpret innerant scriptures (anti-abortionists) and nut cases who hear God outside the scriptures (Yorkshire Ripper) - innerancy probaly makes no difference to nutters. But for everyone else, in determining truth and righteousness, I still hold that an innerant scripture are our strongest standpoint.

--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

 - Posted      Profile for Papio   Email Papio   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
.........or it might be if inerrancy was in any way credible.

--------------------
Infinite Penguins.
My "Readit, Swapit" page
My "LibraryThing" page

Posts: 12176 | From: a zoo in England. | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Papio:
.........or it might be if inerrancy was in any way credible.

Well, I'm glad we've sorted that out then! You're post has won me over! I submit!!

--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Josephine

Orthodox Belle
# 3899

 - Posted      Profile for Josephine   Author's homepage   Email Josephine   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
Fair enough - my illustration perhaps fails historically. But perhaps not - the majority in the RC church perhaps did adopt indulgencies. No matter - at very least it demonstrates the weakness of the "majority" determining theology.

Fish Fish, the test is not what a simple majority of Christians at one place and time believe. If it were, we would all be Arians now.

To determine the truth, you apply all three principles -- antiquity, universality, consensus. Indulgences were unknown in antiquity, so they fail right there. As has already been pointed out to you, they were not accepted by a majority of Christians even in the middle ages, so they fail on universality. And if you look to the teachings of the most faithful, most holy believers, you don't see anything anywhere that smacks of indulgences.

We don't vote on doctrine. It's not a matter of majority rules. Democracy doesn't dictate dogma.

But the Holy Spirit leads the Church. Always, in all places, at all times.

--------------------
I've written a book! Catherine's Pascha: A celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church. It's a lovely book for children. Take a look!

Posts: 10273 | From: Pacific Northwest, USA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by josephine:
But the Holy Spirit leads the Church. Always, in all places, at all times.

Fair enough. I don't dispute this.

The problem is, the church is made up of flawed sinful people, who can err and stray in all sorts of directions.

Lets use an example - the Bible teaches X. But the church wants to go headlong down path Y. How does the church know not to take that path unless it turns to the scriptures? Does the Spirit simply change everyone's mind? No. The Spirit uses what he has already said (the Bible) as the means to guide us and correct us.

So yes, the Spirit guides us. but he has given us the authoritative reference so we can see how he guides us.

--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
AB
Shipmate
# 4060

 - Posted      Profile for AB   Author's homepage   Email AB   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Actually, Fish Fish, I want to suggest something. Maybe we don't need to 'know'. Whatever the theological ramification of the incarnation, mankind's relationship with God changed. Out went covenant agreement, in came relationship language.

Maybe actually God wants us to reach out to Him, and not just follow the manual which he supplied. Lest we forget that Truth is Jesus, the Bible just points us to Him. But to Jesus does my loyality lie, and He has authority over me. The Bible is useful in this, but perhaps not essential as 2 Timothy 3:16 hints at.

AB

--------------------
"This is all that I've known for certain, that God is love. Even if I have been mistaken on this or that point: God is nevertheless love."
- Søren Kierkegaard

Posts: 513 | From: not so sunny Warwickshire | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Josephine

Orthodox Belle
# 3899

 - Posted      Profile for Josephine   Author's homepage   Email Josephine   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
Lets use an example - the Bible teaches X. But the church wants to go headlong down path Y. How does the church know not to take that path unless it turns to the scriptures?

Antiquity. Universality. Consensus.

The way to avoid error isn't to trust the Bible and mistrust the Church. It is the Church, after all, who told you what writings to accept as Scripture. Without the Church, you could have no Bible. Without the Bible, you'd still have the Church.

So we accept the Bible, and understand it as the Church teaches us to understand it, according to the principles I have explained. If you follow those principles, you cannot go headlong down a wrong path.

Let's back up a bit, Fish Fish. If you have just the Bible, how do you know that you understand it correctly? How do you know whether you're to take your enemies babies and dash their heads against the stones? How do you know whether you're to sell all that you have and give it to the poor? How do you know whether women are to cover their heads in Church? What authority do you have to guide you in the correct understanding of Scripture other than your own self?

--------------------
I've written a book! Catherine's Pascha: A celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church. It's a lovely book for children. Take a look!

Posts: 10273 | From: Pacific Northwest, USA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by AB:
Actually, Fish Fish, I want to suggest something. Maybe we don't need to 'know'. Whatever the theological ramification of the incarnation, mankind's relationship with God changed. Out went covenant agreement, in came relationship language.

Now, I don't want to seem to simply disagree with everything! But I disagree! The whole of the OT is about a relationship with God. God calls Abraham into a relationship with him, and promises relationship with his descendents. He brings them out of Egypt to have a relationship with them. This is the covenant - a covenant of relationship. This is fundamentally the same in NT - God does the work, and comes to us to establish a relationship with us. So, in that sense, I think it wrong to say "mankind's relationship with God changed" in this way.

And again I find myself asking, in response to
quote:
Originally posted by AB:
Maybe actually God wants us to reach out to Him, and not just follow the manual which he supplied.

...how do we know we are truly communicating or reaching out to him if we discredit what he has given us - that which time and time and time again claims "thus says the Lord"?

--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by josephine:
Let's back up a bit, Fish Fish. If you have just the Bible, how do you know that you understand it correctly? How do you know whether you're to take your enemies babies and dash their heads against the stones? How do you know whether you're to sell all that you have and give it to the poor? How do you know whether women are to cover their heads in Church? What authority do you have to guide you in the correct understanding of Scripture other than your own self?

I'm sorry - this is going in circles, and I'm sure I've done this before! But, in summary...

If I don't accept innerancy, then in some sense I (or some human institution) am the arbiter or authority - in some sense I assume the right to "sit over" the Bible. In the end, then, what a preson says has authoirty over what God says. This is a weak standpoint.

If I accept the Bible is innerant, then is is an authority that I "sit under". I constantly seek to understand it better. The more I go on, the more I understand, and the more my oppinion is moulded to what the Bible teaches.

When the bible teaches tricky things (such as you have quoted), do I become the arbiter (and sit over the text, over what God says), or do I sit under it and try and workl out the full picture? I do the latter - seeking to understand the context of the tricky passages, and how they are understood in other parts of the Bible whcih teaches us how we are to understand them.

So, for example, in answer to one of the issues you raise:

Taking a verse out of context, we could conclude that the Bible tells us of people wanting to smash babies heads against rocks - so we should do the same.

But in its context, smashing baby's heads is a cry of anger and pain from Israel in captivity - it doesn't claim to be prescriptive of how we are to behave - it seems instead to be descriptive of how they were feeling. When interpreted by the rest of scripture, we build a picture of a people in rebellion who should turn back to God in repentance rather than smash babies heads against rocks.

--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by josephine:
So we accept the Bible, and understand it as the Church teaches us to understand it, according to the principles I have explained. If you follow those principles, you cannot go headlong down a wrong path.

p.s. We are told that this is not the case. We are warned frequently about false teachers - who can and do lead churches astray. But how do we make a judgment about false teachers and what they teach if we have no bedroack, no absolute, no standard by which to measure?

It seems to me that you instead believe in the innerancy of the church!!! Now, with 2000 years of church history, I'd say that's a hard position to defend.

--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Josephine

Orthodox Belle
# 3899

 - Posted      Profile for Josephine   Author's homepage   Email Josephine   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
But how do we make a judgment about false teachers and what they teach if we have no bedroack, no absolute, no standard by which to measure?

Antiquity. Universality. Consensus.

quote:
It seems to me that you instead believe in the innerancy of the church!!!
I do not believe in inerrancy. Not of the Bible. Not of the Church. Not of anything. It is not a concept that has any use or value to me.

However, the Holy Scriptures themselves declare that the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth. I think that should be good enough for both of us.
I don't believe in inerrancy. Not of the Bible, not of the Church. It is a novel concept, foreign to the C

--------------------
I've written a book! Catherine's Pascha: A celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church. It's a lovely book for children. Take a look!

Posts: 10273 | From: Pacific Northwest, USA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
AB
Shipmate
# 4060

 - Posted      Profile for AB   Author's homepage   Email AB   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
The whole of the OT is about a relationship with God. God calls Abraham into a relationship with him, and promises relationship with his descendents. He brings them out of Egypt to have a relationship with them. This is the covenant - a covenant of relationship. This is fundamentally the same in NT - God does the work, and comes to us to establish a relationship with us. So, in that sense, I think it wrong to say "mankind's relationship with God changed" in this way.

Fish Fish, I don't think you understand. The nature of mankind's relationship with God changed with Jesus Christ. I must have done. The Law fulfilled, the curtain torn, surely you must agree that we are no longer 'owned' by the covenant, but now by Jesus Christ.

Under the covenant it was important to 'know' because deviation from the Law was a serious serious thing, likely to result in the exile of the people from the promise land. However, we have grace, we are to strive for perfection, but to know that our treasure is assured despite our sinfulness.

Under the convenant we had a system of laws to obey - our morality laid out. Under Jesus those commandments effectively reduced to the two moral commands of "love your God with all your mind, body and soul, and love your neighbour as yourself". Commands which are absolute in morality, yet subjective in application.

I simply don't think that 'knowing' is as important in our everyday relationship with God as it was back then for we have Jesus now. 2 Tim 3:15 hints at that. It is not faith in the Bible that makes salvation, but faith in Jesus Christ. Scripture is useful for this, but I find nothing in the Bible to say that is essential.

You will repeat, I'm sure, that we are told to test everything. Yes, how about testing them against the commands of our Lord to observe the fruits of 'teachers' and weighing them with the two greatest commandments to see how they fair. One does not need an innerrant Bible to make a judgement call on that basis.

AB

--------------------
"This is all that I've known for certain, that God is love. Even if I have been mistaken on this or that point: God is nevertheless love."
- Søren Kierkegaard

Posts: 513 | From: not so sunny Warwickshire | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by josephine:
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
But how do we make a judgment about false teachers and what they teach if we have no bedroack, no absolute, no standard by which to measure?

Antiquity. Universality. Consensus.
But this can take 100's of years to filter through. That 100's of years - whole life time's of people being taught flasely while the church gets round to sorting out what it believes. Sorting out what the Spirit is saying - when the Spirit has already said everything we need to know and conveniently had it written it down for us!! If I take your doctine, I'm reinventing the wheel, very slowly indeed, when I can take the book off the shelf and read!

Furthermore, you do indeed have a view of the innerancy of the church long term if you belive what you say:

quote:
So we accept the Bible, and understand it as the Church teaches us to understand it, according to the principles I have explained. If you follow those principles, you cannot go headlong down a wrong path.


--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by AB:
Fish Fish, I don't think you understand. The nature of mankind's relationship with God changed with Jesus Christ. I must have done. The Law fulfilled, the curtain torn, surely you must agree that we are no longer 'owned' by the covenant, but now by Jesus Christ.

Yep - I agree with this.

quote:
Originally posted by AB:
However, we have grace, we are to strive for perfection, but to know that our treasure is assured despite our sinfulness.

Yes, agreed. Yes, we are to strive for perfection. Yes our salvation is assured.

But assurance does not free us to sin. We are, as you say, to strive for perfection. How can we do this unless we have an incling of what perfection is?!! Do you realy believe God lays down all his moral expectations in the OT, and then wipes all that out in the new? So we can live as we want? Where did Jesus teach that?

Presumably, if I follow your logic, the more we sin, the more grace we recieve? You are suggesting that grace is a licence to ignore what God has taught in the past. Almost a licence to sin.

Can I suggest you read Romans 6. It lays out that we are no longer slaves to sin - and so should commit ourselves fully to a holy life. We are very much bound to righteousness and holiness. A few quotes from it in response to what you are suggesting:

quote:
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
Romans 6:1-2

quote:
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!
Romans 6:15


quote:
Originally posted by AB:
[QUOTE] I simply don't think that 'knowing' is as important in our everyday relationship with God as it was back then for we have Jesus now.

Please tell me where you get a scriptural justifcation for this, because IMHO I really don't think you are correct!

--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
You will repeat, I'm sure, that we are told to test everything. Yes, how about testing them against the commands of our Lord to observe the fruits of 'teachers' and weighing them with the two greatest commandments to see how they fair. One does not need an innerrant Bible to make a judgement call on that basis.[/QB][/QUOTE]

But don't you see, because you have rejected the innerancy of the Bible it is YOU who decides that these are the greatest commanments and YOU who decide that we only test against what Jesus said. YOU have become the authority, sitting over the Bible, determining what is true and acceptable. Who one heaven or earth gives you that right?!!!!

--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
AB
Shipmate
# 4060

 - Posted      Profile for AB   Author's homepage   Email AB   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Fish Fish,

I have to warn you, I am so utterly annoyed at you at the moment that I have had to slow down and stop myself posting something rash and which I will later regret. I shall try and be reasoned, but please do not take my efforts at being polite to mean that I don't think you have been smug, patronising and glib.

Why are you quoting Romans 6 to me? That's not be standpoint at all, nor is it the logical conclusion of my thinking. Please don't create a straw man of my position and please don't assume I have never read Romans 6. Just because I reject inerrancy, doesn't mean that I don't study my Bible and be challenged by it's contents.

And as for your second post addressed to me, well - where do I start? First off, it's Jesus who claimed that the 2 commandments were greatest and that everything hangs on those points. Secondly so I decide to test things on Jesus' teaching, and not on scripture whole - you decide to test things on scripture whole - so what's the problem. Either way, our moral guide is outside of our self, and either way we are attempting to take God as our guide - so what's the problem?

quote:
YOU have become the authority, sitting over the Bible, determining what is true and acceptable. Who one heaven or earth gives you that right?!!!!

Fish Fish, this is just offensive, not indicative of my position and as such I will not answer it.

..

Ok, now that that is taken care of, let's get back to business.

I wasn't saying that knowing isn't important, but that certainity isn't as crucial to our relationship with God as it was under the covenant. Under the covenant it was salvic, under grace it is not - Christ is.

But let me ask you the reverse - where does it claim that certainty in scriptures is essential to salvation?

AB

--------------------
"This is all that I've known for certain, that God is love. Even if I have been mistaken on this or that point: God is nevertheless love."
- Søren Kierkegaard

Posts: 513 | From: not so sunny Warwickshire | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by AB:
Fish Fish,

I have to warn you, I am so utterly annoyed at you at the moment that I have had to slow down and stop myself posting something rash and which I will later regret. I shall try and be reasoned, but please do not take my efforts at being polite to mean that I don't think you have been smug, patronising and glib.

Why are you quoting Romans 6 to me? That's not be standpoint at all, nor is it the logical conclusion of my thinking. Please don't create a straw man of my position and please don't assume I have never read Romans 6. Just because I reject inerrancy, doesn't mean that I don't study my Bible and be challenged by it's contents.

I am sorry. This posting lark is quite tricky, getting the hang of what people are saying. So, sorry for misunderstanding you.

The trouble is, I am talking absolutes, and you are not, so there is bound to be misunderstanding here. As I will no doubt now prove...!

quote:
Originally posted by AB:
And as for your second post addressed to me, well - where do I start? First off, it's Jesus who claimed that the 2 commandments were greatest and that everything hangs on those points.

Let me try again. If you say that the scriptures have flaws in them, then we are at liberty to discuss to what extent the flaws stretch thoughout the Bible. That, I would suggest, is a fairly arbitrary decision. You have concluded that "it's Jesus who claimed that the 2 commandments were greatest and that everything hangs on those points" - but it would be an equally fair conclusion to say that, the passage where Jesus is recorded as making these claims, is one of the passages in error.

You have decided this is not the case. By whose authority? Its your decision to accept the authority of this passage. So you are making an authoritative judgement over the Bible.

On my behalf, it is true that I am making a judgement that the Bible is innerant - based on its claim to be God's word. So i accept this claim, and seek to know what it says rather than seek to know what I find acceptable for it to say. There is a world of difference.

quote:
Originally posted by AB:
But let me ask you the reverse - where does it claim that certainty in scriptures is essential to salvation?

I've never claimed that cos the Bible doesn't claim that. But I would claim those who reject biblical innerancy remove the anchor of their faith and can drift into any area of false teaching that they choose to accept. They may or may not danger their salvation depending on what particular teaching they choose to adopt.

[ 23. February 2004, 10:41: Message edited by: Fish Fish ]

--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

 - Posted      Profile for Papio   Email Papio   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Fish-Fish, I apologise for my arrogant quip earlier. It didn't help the discussion and so I am sorry. Please allow me to respond to this, however.

quote:
Originally posted by Fish-Fish

But this can take 100's of years to filter through. That 100's of years - whole life time's of people being taught flasely while the church gets round to sorting out what it believes. Sorting out what the Spirit is saying - when the Spirit has already said everything we need to know and conveniently had it written it down for us!! If I take your doctine, I'm reinventing the wheel, very slowly indeed, when I can take the book off the shelf and

But the Biblical canon took lifetimes to decide upon and there were many, many, many generations of men and women who lived, worked, worshipped and died before St. Paul was ever born. Therefore, your objections to Josephine's arguement based on length of time strike me as, perhaps, besides the point.

In any case, being inspired by God is not the same as being written by God or dictated word for word by the Holy Spirit. For example, I can be inspired by a beautiful sunset to paint a picture, by a scene of devastation to write a poem, by a lover to write a song. In each case however it is me, and not the source of my inspiration, that creates the painting, poem or song.

For me, an insistence on an inerrant Bible is actually damaging because, I believe, there is evidence of scientific, historical, geographical and literary errors in the Bible, as well as misqoutes etc. Therefore, to insist that the Bible must stand or fall on the perfection of every verse is, for me, to inisist that the Bible must fall.

Moreover, the fact that there are errors, discreptancies and contradictions in and between between the four canonical actually seems to me to add to their validity, not detract from it. If there were no contractions at all, I would suspect collusion. I would suspect that four clever crooks had cooked up a scam and a con. However, the fact that some of the gospels are not very well written is evidence against this.

Police witness statements of events we know to have happened often show some contradiction in the detail. For example, Witness A may state that the get-away car was red while Witness B is sure that the car was blue. The prescence of comparable errors in the gospels strongly suggests that they were written by honest men who had either seen the events themselves or had heard about them from people who had. It suggests that the evangelists were genuine, not collusionists.

--------------------
Infinite Penguins.
My "Readit, Swapit" page
My "LibraryThing" page

Posts: 12176 | From: a zoo in England. | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

 - Posted      Profile for Alan Cresswell   Email Alan Cresswell   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
I can take the book off the shelf and read!

Which brings us back to the question Josephine asked, and I seem to have missed your answer too, namely
quote:
If you have just the Bible, how do you know that you understand it correctly?
Basically, whether the Bible is inerrant or not, you can't just take it off the shelf and read it. You have to do something else to ensure you've understood it correctly. For most evangelicals that would be through application of reason and learning (your own, plus that of others through study groups, commentaries, sermons etc) within a context set by the traditions of that group.

So, for example, when you read Pauls instructions about women having their heads covered some would take that literally as meaning they must wear hats, others wouldn't - and both groups could well believe the Bible to be inerrant. Why do they come to different conclusions? A large part of it would be the tradition of their church.

It is when I see such examples of people accepting Biblical inerrancy, and yet coming to such different conclusions (albeit, about what IMO is a secondary issue) that I simply see no value in inerrancy as a doctrine. An Inerrant Bible is no different from an "errant" one if it isn't clear enough to be understood by all without ambiguity.

--------------------
Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

Posts: 32413 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

 - Posted      Profile for Papio   Email Papio   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Papio The Dork

Moreover, the fact that there are errors, discreptancies and contradictions in and between between the four canonical actually seems to me to add to their validity, not detract from it

This should read:

Moreover, the fact that there are errors, discreptancies and contradictions in and between the four canonical gospels actually seems to me to add to their validity, not detract from it.

[Hot and Hormonal] [Hot and Hormonal]

--------------------
Infinite Penguins.
My "Readit, Swapit" page
My "LibraryThing" page

Posts: 12176 | From: a zoo in England. | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Leprechaun

Ship's Poison Elf
# 5408

 - Posted      Profile for Leprechaun     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Papio - did you consider changing the spelling of "discrepancies" in your post as well? [Razz]

Alan wrote
quote:
An Inerrant Bible is no different from an "errant" one if it isn't clear enough to be understood by all without ambiguity.
I had convinced myself that I wasn't going to weigh in on this debate any more, and I'm not really, just to say that Alan while I see your point, I think you have overstated it. Inerrancy doesn't provide "pop the question through the grinder" answers to every question, but it does considerably narrow the field of interpretations by ruling out those that plainly contradict the rest of the Bible.

While this is not a simple answer to many of the hard questions we face, it does provide a solid framework to operate in, and there is a plain difference between doing Interpretative stuff with an inerrant presumption, and doing it without.

Posts: 3097 | From: England - far from home... | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Josephine

Orthodox Belle
# 3899

 - Posted      Profile for Josephine   Author's homepage   Email Josephine   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
quote:
Originally posted by josephine:
Antiquity. Universality. Consensus.

But this can take 100's of years to filter through. That 100's of years - whole life time's of people being taught flasely while the church gets round to sorting out what it believes.
Yeah, it's worked out that way from time to time. And you know what? That's okay. We're not saved on the basis of doctrinal perfection. We're saved based on the mercy and grace and love of the Most High God.

quote:
Sorting out what the Spirit is saying - when the Spirit has already said everything we need to know and conveniently had it written it down for us!!
This gets back to my question, that you haven't answered, and that Alan courteously repeated.

The Spirit already said everything you need to know. So how do you know that God is Three Persons with one Nature? That Jesus Christ, our Lord, is one Person with two Natures? How do you know whether to call Mary, our Lord's Mother, the Mother of God, or the Mother of Christ, or simply the Mother of Jesus -- and how do you know whether it matters? How do you know whether icons are the necessary implication of the Incarnation of God, or whether they are idols?

Those things took many years for the Church to work out. Give me chapter and verse on any of them. Please be sure your citation is so clear and unambiguous that it's impossible to interpret it in any way except the way you, in your wisdom and humility, say it should be interpreted.

quote:
Furthermore, you do indeed have a view of the innerancy of the church long term if you belive what you say:

quote:
So we accept the Bible, and understand it as the Church teaches us to understand it, according to the principles I have explained. If you follow those principles, you cannot go headlong down a wrong path.

Read my lips, Fish Fish. I do not believe in inerrancy. Not of the Bible. Not of the Church.

You seem to have a real talent for telling other people what they believe, rather than paying attention to what they tell you they believe. Rather than saying, "you do indeed believe X," as if you know more about what I believe than I do (this being one of the big reasons that people keep telling you that you come across as arrogant) why don't you try saying, "I don't understand -- doesn't Y imply X?" It would be more respectful, and you just might learn something.

--------------------
I've written a book! Catherine's Pascha: A celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church. It's a lovely book for children. Take a look!

Posts: 10273 | From: Pacific Northwest, USA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
CorgiGreta
Shipmate
# 443

 - Posted      Profile for CorgiGreta         Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I think that the Church has been quite consistent over the centuries in regard to core beliefs, the very basics of Christianity. Fundamentsl heresy has been quite rare and for, the most part, short-lived. The essence of the Holy Faith has been kept intact, and the Gates of Hell, as promised by Our Lord, have not prevailed against the Church.

The many disagreements and alleged and actual errors have been over those things that I think we must admit are of secondary importance. I would submit that the notion of inerrancy is illustrative of just such relative trivia.

Greta

Posts: 3677 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jolly Jape
Shipmate
# 3296

 - Posted      Profile for Jolly Jape   Email Jolly Jape   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
(Pops head above parapet for a quick pot-shot)

Lep, you wrote:
quote:
Inerrancy doesn't provide "pop the question through the grinder" answers to every question, but it does considerably narrow the field of interpretations by ruling out those that plainly contradict the rest of the Bible.

But surely no-one here is saying that the Bible has no validity whatsoever. I'm certainly no inerrantist, as you know, but I certainly evaluate what I believe the Bible is saying by taking note of whether an interpretation is in line with the whole of the Bible. That's just good practice. Nothing in a non-inerrantist position prevents such good practice. The important thing to me (and it's been said many times before on this thread) is whether or not the Bible is authoritative, not whether or not it is inerrant.

quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by josephine:
Antiquity. Universality. Consensus.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

But this can take 100's of years to filter through. That 100's of years - whole life time's of people being taught flasely while the church gets round to sorting out what it believes.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yeah, it's worked out that way from time to time. And you know what? That's okay. We're not saved on the basis of doctrinal perfection. We're saved based on the mercy and grace and love of the Most High God.

Josephine, as always [Overused] [Overused]

--------------------
To those who have never seen the flow and ebb of God's grace in their lives, it means nothing. To those who have seen it, even fleetingly, even only once - it is life itself. (Adeodatus)

Posts: 3011 | From: A village of gardens | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Leprechaun

Ship's Poison Elf
# 5408

 - Posted      Profile for Leprechaun     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
JJ wrote
Lep, you wrote:
quote:
Inerrancy doesn't provide "pop the question through the grinder" answers to every question, but it does considerably narrow the field of interpretations by ruling out those that plainly contradict the rest of the Bible.

But surely no-one here is saying that the Bible has no validity whatsoever. I'm certainly no inerrantist, as you know, but I certainly evaluate what I believe the Bible is saying by taking note of whether an interpretation is in line with the whole of the Bible.
But JJ, even our discussion here goes to show that being an inerrantist (for better or worse, this is not meant to be a moral judgement) limits the number of possible interpretations.
So my view on errancy/inerrancy prohibits me from using the Gospels to interpret the OT to mean that the "genocides" of the Joshua did not happen. Now I know a lot of you think that is ridiculous, let's not get started on the rights and wrongs, but it is merely one example of how believing in inerrancy means that the possible applications are more limited.

I agree, the issues of authority and inerrancy are getting confused here, they are linked, but I see that the Bible can have authority without being inerrant. I honestly still don't know or see HOW that can work actually practically in your life, and what is to stop you adopting the "pick and choose approach" but I don't expect anyone to be able to try and explain that to me here, and it probably belongs on the interpretation thread.

Sorry to break the trend of worshipping Josephine, but I am not sure that you give the whole issue of false teaching the weight or seriousness that the NT writers give it. Well over half the NT epistles are written to combat particular heresies (some in the strongest of terms), and Jesus warns about this repeatedly. Inerancy is not a panacea for this problem, I'm not suggesting that at all, but it does, as I have said above, limit the interpretative options.

Those are pragmatic considerations, I am convinced that the Bible teaches its own inerrancy too. Just so we are clear.

[ 23. February 2004, 15:43: Message edited by: Leprechaun ]

--------------------
He hath loved us, He hath loved us, because he would love

Posts: 3097 | From: England - far from home... | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Papio:
Fish-Fish, I apologise for my arrogant quip earlier. It didn't help the discussion and so I am sorry.

No worries! [Biased]

quote:
Originally posted by Papio:
In any case, being inspired by God is not the same as being written by God or dictated word for word by the Holy Spirit. For example, I can be inspired by a beautiful sunset to paint a picture, by a scene of devastation to write a poem, by a lover to write a song. In each case however it is me, and not the source of my inspiration, that creates the painting, poem or song.

Ok, fair point about the Bible not being [i] written [/] by God. It is clearly written by men - we see their characters clearly on each page. However, the Bible claims much more than inspiration - it claims things such as "Thus says the Lord", and "God breathed" - implying the words do come from his mouth. I'm afraid I'll be repeating myself if I go back on what I've already posted above on this. Suffice to say, the claim is for the Bible to be more than inspired, but to be fully guided by God, and thus essentially innerant.

quote:
Originally posted by Papio:
For me, an insistence on an inerrant Bible is actually damaging because, I believe, there is evidence of scientific, historical, geographical and literary errors in the Bible, as well as misqoutes etc.

2 points in summary of what I've previously posted
1. We need to read each verse within its context and within it's genre to make sure its making a scientific claim, or if its poetic language etc which may remove the apparent contradiction.

2. Regarding alleged contradticions, I'll repost what i said before as no one has ever really responded to this - and its my main reason for believing in innerancy:


The more I read the Bible, the less "contradictions" I find. I used to see millions. I don’t see so many now. The vast majority of the Bible ties together wonderfully – with common themes, prophecies, and fulfilled prophecies etc. Since its written by many different people over many centuries and many places, this alone is a remarkable thing. And compelling evidence for the Bible’s authority as the revealed word of God. That’s probably the main reason I started taking it as God's word.

But I freely admit I find some bizarre stuff, and a number of verses which seem contradictory, or at odds with scientific theory etc. My argument is that, if there is an explanation that resolves an apparent contradiction, its fair to accept this explanation.

Lets assume 5% of the Bible is made up of these allegedly contradictory texts. One person states categorically that they contradict with the rest of the text, or with modern science etc. Another person says they can be solved. Both people can claim to have equally valid opinions. The latter looks stupid as they seem to contradict a considerable weight of scientific evidence etc.

But I believe they look stupid because the "contradiction" is seen in isolation from the rest of the Bible. When I realise that 95% of the Bible ties together beautifully, that gives much more weight to those arguing for solutions to the “contradictions”. If you like, the weight of evidence for the consistency of the Bible is so strong, that when we find one of those problems, any proposed solution isn’t just a “fly in the face of science” type argument. It carries much more weight than that.

Now I took the number as 5%. But the number of apparent contradictions is, I would suggest, much much smaller than that. There are some verses about Pi, rabbits chewing cud, and no doubt some others. But compared to the rest of the Bible’s consistent message, any solution to these minor problems of little significance must be much more compelling than you are giving credit. I would go further, and say the solutions are almost unavoidable!

So – to summarise – I find the Bible compelling as it is so consistent – and the inconsistencies are so minor. What an incredible book (books!) it is.


For me, an insistence on an inerrant Bible is actually damaging because, I believe, there is evidence of scientific, historical, geographical and literary errors in the Bible, as well as misqoutes etc. Therefore, to insist that the Bible must stand or fall on the perfection of every verse is, for me, to inisist that the Bible must fall.

Moreover, the fact that there are errors, discreptancies and contradictions in and between between the four canonical actually seems to me to add to their validity, not detract from it. If there were no contractions at all, I would suspect collusion. I would suspect that four clever crooks had cooked up a scam and a con. However, the fact that some of the gospels are not very well written is evidence against this.

Police witness statements of events we know to have happened often show some contradiction in the detail. For example, Witness A may state that the get-away car was red while Witness B is sure that the car was blue. The prescence of comparable errors in the gospels strongly suggests that they were written by honest men who had either seen the events themselves or had heard about them from people who had. It suggests that the evangelists were genuine, not collusionists. [/QB][/QUOTE]

--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by josephine:
Yeah, it's worked out that way from time to time. And you know what? That's okay. We're not saved on the basis of doctrinal perfection. We're saved based on the mercy and grace and love of the Most High God.

Agreed. Absolutely agreed. But, if we take up the anchor of the authority of the Bible, then we can drift into areas of false teaching or worse that definately can endanger our salvation.

quote:
Originally posted by josephine:
This gets back to my question, that you haven't answered, and that Alan courteously repeated.

The Spirit already said everything you need to know. So how do you know that God is Three Persons with one Nature? That Jesus Christ, our Lord, is one Person with two Natures? How do you know whether to call Mary, our Lord's Mother, the Mother of God, or the Mother of Christ, or simply the Mother of Jesus -- and how do you know whether it matters? How do you know whether icons are the necessary implication of the Incarnation of God, or whether they are idols?

I don't propose to answer each of the examples you raise as I haven't time I'm afraid. But, in general response:-

The Bible tells us everything we need to know for salvation. It gives us frameworks and guidelines how to work out how to behave etc. The authority of the Bible has been essential in determining church doctrine. The church has wrestled with big doctrinal issues over many years - but concluded that the scriptures teach the trinity and dual personality of God. The church submitted itself to the authority of the scriptures in coming to these conclusions. And that is what I am arguing for here. Of course the church should work out its doctrine, and it may take centuries. But if it does so submitting to the authority of the Bible, rather than its own collective wisdom, then I believe the church will have good reason to beleive it has discovered the truth.

quote:
Originally posted by josephine:
Read my lips, Fish Fish. I do not believe in inerrancy. Not of the Bible. Not of the Church.

You seem to have a real talent for telling other people what they believe, rather than paying attention to what they tell you they believe. Rather than saying, "you do indeed believe X," as if you know more about what I believe than I do (this being one of the big reasons that people keep telling you that you come across as arrogant) why don't you try saying, "I don't understand -- doesn't Y imply X?" It would be more respectful, and you just might learn something.

I am really sorry for offending or upsetting you, and for attempting to tell you what you belive. I am sorry that each time I post here I seem to cut corners to save a bit of time, and tread toes in so doing. Sorry! [Hot and Hormonal]

It still seems to be, however, that if you do believe the following statement to be true, (" If you follow those principles, you cannot go headlong down a wrong path. ") then you believe that the church CANNOT go down the wrong path, thus it CANNOT err or stray, and thus CANNOT be in error, and so by definition is innerant. So, you may say "Read my lips, Fish Fish. I do not believe in inerrancy. Not of the Bible. Not of the Church." but it seems to me that you are contradicting yourself, for in practice it seems to me that you do believe in the innerancy of the church.

Sorry if that treads on your toes [Hot and Hormonal] [Hot and Hormonal] [Hot and Hormonal]

--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
A Final, general point, to no one in particular. And I know I'm repeating myself, but...

Everyone seems to be happy to agree that the Bible has authority. But if we (as individuals, or the church) have the right to dismiss even the smallest bit as error, then we have assumed authority over the Bible. And thus the Bible loses its authority. How can we claim it has authority over us if we have the authority to dismiss the bits we think are in error?

--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
For me, an insistence on an inerrant Bible is actually damaging because, I believe, there is evidence of scientific, historical, geographical and literary errors in the Bible, as well as misqoutes etc. Therefore, to insist that the Bible must stand or fall on the perfection of every verse is, for me, to inisist that the Bible must fall.

Moreover, the fact that there are errors, discreptancies and contradictions in and between between the four canonical actually seems to me to add to their validity, not detract from it. If there were no contractions at all, I would suspect collusion. I would suspect that four clever crooks had cooked up a scam and a con. However, the fact that some of the gospels are not very well written is evidence against this.

Police witness statements of events we know to have happened often show some contradiction in the detail. For example, Witness A may state that the get-away car was red while Witness B is sure that the car was blue. The prescence of comparable errors in the gospels strongly suggests that they were written by honest men who had either seen the events themselves or had heard about them from people who had. It suggests that the evangelists were genuine, not collusionists.

Oops - three posts above, these last 3 paragraphas are a quote that I forgot to delete, and not what I wanted to say! If a host would be able to delete those, and this email, then that would be fantastic [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

[ 23. February 2004, 16:15: Message edited by: Fish Fish ]

--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Chesterbelloc

Tremendous trifler
# 3128

 - Posted      Profile for Chesterbelloc   Email Chesterbelloc   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:

quote:
Originally posted by josephine:
This gets back to my question, that you haven't answered, and that Alan courteously repeated.

The Spirit already said everything you need to know. So how do you know that God is Three Persons with one Nature? That Jesus Christ, our Lord, is one Person with two Natures? How do you know whether to call Mary, our Lord's Mother, the Mother of God, or the Mother of Christ, or simply the Mother of Jesus -- and how do you know whether it matters? How do you know whether icons are the necessary implication of the Incarnation of God, or whether they are idols?

I don't propose to answer each of the examples you raise as I haven't time I'm afraid.

That's a pity then, FF, because I'm guessing that you absolutely need to address such examples for your position to be even vaguely comprehensible, let alone coherent or convincing, to most of us.

I'm having genuine difficulty in seeing how, after repeated attempts by many different posters, you could fail to see the importance of this challenge to your position.

CB

--------------------
"[A] moral, intellectual, and social step below Mudfrog."

Posts: 4199 | From: Athens Borealis | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
AB
Shipmate
# 4060

 - Posted      Profile for AB   Author's homepage   Email AB   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Fish Fish,

Time to move this on to a slightly different footing. If God wanted a purely clear cut document spelling everything out clearly then:

#1 Why didn't He ensure the Bible more clearly defined itself that way? This debate shows that it isn't.

#2 Why didn't He better protect it against translation errors (for an example, see Psalm 40(v6) and Hebrews 10(v5), spot anything at odds?

#3 Why does He allow honest believers, praying for guidance to come to alternative interpretations?

Serious questions, not challenges. They are some barriers between me and inerrancy.

AB

--------------------
"This is all that I've known for certain, that God is love. Even if I have been mistaken on this or that point: God is nevertheless love."
- Søren Kierkegaard

Posts: 513 | From: not so sunny Warwickshire | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stoo

Mighty Pirate
# 254

 - Posted      Profile for Stoo   Email Stoo   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
if we... have the right to dismiss even the smallest bit as error, then we have assumed authority over the Bible. And thus the Bible loses its authority.

I corrected my boss' maths the other day.

Does that mean I'm now in charge? I do hope I'll be paid accordingly.

--------------------
This space left blank

Posts: 5266 | From: the director of "Bikini Traffic School" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
I'm having genuine difficulty in seeing how, after repeated attempts by many different posters, you could fail to see the importance of this challenge to your position.

CB

Hi - I've tried to answer it in principle -

quote:
The Bible tells us everything we need to know for salvation. It gives us frameworks and guidelines how to work out how to behave etc. The authority of the Bible has been essential in determining church doctrine. The church has wrestled with big doctrinal issues over many years - but concluded that the scriptures teach the trinity and dual personality of God. The church submitted itself to the authority of the scriptures in coming to these conclusions. And that is what I am arguing for here. Of course the church should work out its doctrine, and it may take centuries. But if it does so submitting to the authority of the Bible, rather than its own collective wisdom, then I believe the church will have good reason to beleive it has discovered the truth.


--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Chesterbelloc

Tremendous trifler
# 3128

 - Posted      Profile for Chesterbelloc   Email Chesterbelloc   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
I'm having genuine difficulty in seeing how, after repeated attempts by many different posters, you could fail to see the importance of this challenge to your position.

CB

Hi - I've tried to answer it in principle -

quote:
The Bible tells us everything we need to know for salvation. It gives us frameworks and guidelines how to work out how to behave etc. The authority of the Bible has been essential in determining church doctrine. The church has wrestled with big doctrinal issues over many years - but concluded that the scriptures teach the trinity and dual personality of God. The church submitted itself to the authority of the scriptures in coming to these conclusions. And that is what I am arguing for here. Of course the church should work out its doctrine, and it may take centuries. But if it does so submitting to the authority of the Bible, rather than its own collective wisdom, then I believe the church will have good reason to beleive it has discovered the truth.

But, FF, (and I'm very far from being the first to point this out here) there are many different and coherent ways of reading Scripture that would legitimate a unitarian position as well as a trintarian one. Your example merely shows that a "plain reading" does not yield the right answer alone - which is precisely why the Church needed to sort out it's Christological position in lengthy and difficult Council gatherings. Of course the doctrine of the triune nature of the Godhead is not contrary to Scripture, but it isn't the only way to read Scripture with integrity either. The Spirit guided the Church into that truth, but it was a particularly complicated and drawn-out process. If Scripture were clear on the issue, it just would not have needed to be that way.

If (as you seem to admit yourself) it isn't so straightforwardly "plain", it is you who have to explain why not, since you are arguing that Scripture is clear and consistent on all important teachings. If it isn't clear that God is triune from Scripture, why not?

Why would working out important truths about the Godhead take centuries of Church attention if it were plain? How could the Church fail to use her "collective wisdom" in praying her way through such controversies? How would the Church even know if she were "submitting to the authority of the Bible" without applying such wisdom?

CB

--------------------
"[A] moral, intellectual, and social step below Mudfrog."

Posts: 4199 | From: Athens Borealis | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

 - Posted      Profile for Alan Cresswell   Email Alan Cresswell   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
our discussion here goes to show that being an inerrantist (for better or worse, this is not meant to be a moral judgement) limits the number of possible interpretations.

I'll agree inerrancy results in limits of interpretation. But then again so does any other view of Scripture, at least those views that hold that Scripture has a level of authority. In many cases, we will end up with the same problems and solutions for many "problem passages". For example, whether or not we accept Biblical inerrancy we object to the apparent barbarism of God ordering the genocide of Caananites - and many of us see this as a "problem" because it is at odds with other Biblical expressions of the nature of God (rather than just "we don't like it") and seek to address it by reference to other Biblical passages. By accepting Biblical authority, whether or not we accept inerrancy, we use the same approach for the same reason to these problems.

But, there are areas where our approach may differ. For example, I would be highly sceptical of an idea that depends on the sun standing still during the battle with the Amorites (Joshua 10) being an actual historical event. It is standard interpretative practice not to hang any doctrine on a single text (again, whether or not Scripture is inerrant). A potential problem with inerrancy is that it forces one to put more importance on individual texts than I would be comfortable with - though I'm aware that there are usually "solutions" to these ... of the "ever-decreasing plausibility to an ever-increasing range of problems of ever-increasing triviality" type mentioned in my quote from Goldingay earlier in this thread (and the morality thread).

--------------------
Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

Posts: 32413 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Atmospheric Skull

Antlered Bone-Visage
# 4513

 - Posted      Profile for Atmospheric Skull   Email Atmospheric Skull   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
In subsequent posts, Fish Fish wrote:
quote:
2. Regarding alleged contradticions, I'll repost what i said before as no one has ever really responded to this
and:
quote:
I don't propose to answer each of the examples you raise as I haven't time I'm afraid.
And you express surprise that people find you arrogant? You really do take the biscuit, Fish Fish.

--------------------
Surrealistic Mystic.

Posts: 371 | From: Bristol, UK | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Godfather Avatar:
In subsequent posts, Fish Fish wrote:
quote:
2. Regarding alleged contradticions, I'll repost what i said before as no one has ever really responded to this
and:
quote:
I don't propose to answer each of the examples you raise as I haven't time I'm afraid.
And you express surprise that people find you arrogant? You really do take the biscuit, Fish Fish.

Thanks for the biscuit.

In my defence,

1. I did go on to answer the question by explaining some principles - which hopefully began to answer the specific examples raised.

2. No one answered my question - and thats why I thought I might repost it - and also as it answered a question raised of me.

So my hypocrisy and arrogance are not perhaps quite as huge as you suggest, and so I'll pass back the biscuit. But thanks anyway! [Yipee]

--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Atmospheric Skull

Antlered Bone-Visage
# 4513

 - Posted      Profile for Atmospheric Skull   Email Atmospheric Skull   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
2. No one answered my question - and thats why I thought I might repost it - and also as it answered a question raised of me.

OK, then -- rather more constructively:

Before being convinced by your argument from consistency, I'd expect to see a statistical analysis of how many inconsistencies and errors one might expect from a set of texts of this range and antiquity (which is probably impossible to come by anyway), rather than relying on your subjective expectations. I'd expect this -- and the necessary subsequent examinations of the texts to see how many of these there actually are -- to be carried out by somebody rather more disinterested than your good self.

If this established an unexpected degree of consistency, I'd want to know whether this could be explained by the fact that the texts were transmitted, copied, translated and interpreted in cultures which had an interest in creating an apparently consistent body of work.

I'd ask to know whether you'd examined the similarly varied sacred texts of, say, Hinduism or Buddhism to see if they convinced you on similar grounds.

And I'd certainly want to know why -- given that there are many fewer inconsistencies in the Old Testament than there are between the Old and the New -- you hadn't found Judaism an even more convincing religion than Christianity.

Any thoughts?

--------------------
Surrealistic Mystic.

Posts: 371 | From: Bristol, UK | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Josephine

Orthodox Belle
# 3899

 - Posted      Profile for Josephine   Author's homepage   Email Josephine   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
1. I did go on to answer the question by explaining some principles - which hopefully began to answer the specific examples raised.

They don't, as chesterbelloc has pointed out.

Please pick one example from my list, and show how the plain reading of Scripture unambiguously supports whatever your position is, and how any alternative reading is clearly and unequivocally wrong.

If the Bible alone is the supreme authority, without reference to or need for interpretation by the Church, you shouldn't have any trouble at all.

Pick one. If not the Trinity, how about Mary? Is it legitimate to call her the Mother of God or not? Is it necessary? Is it irrelevant?

If you don't like that, pick something else. How about infant baptism. Can infants be baptized? Should they be? Scripture verses only, now. I expect you to show me an explanation that can't be interpreted any other way without doing violence to the Scriptures, and that requires nothing outside the Scriptures to understand it clearly.

I'm waiting.

--------------------
I've written a book! Catherine's Pascha: A celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church. It's a lovely book for children. Take a look!

Posts: 10273 | From: Pacific Northwest, USA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by josephine:
Please pick one example from my list, and show how the plain reading of Scripture unambiguously supports whatever your position is, and how any alternative reading is clearly and unequivocally wrong.

If the Bible alone is the supreme authority, without reference to or need for interpretation by the Church, you shouldn't have any trouble at all.

Ok. I'll have a stab at answering this - but can I flag up the one heck of day I've just had?!! [Frown] And can I also suggest that I'm not the only person who comes across as aggressive, arrogant, or patronising on this site? For myself, I try to avoid personal insults in my posts. I don't think they are helpful in the debate. And when i am on the receiving end - I do find it rather agrivating that while I am trying my hardest to answer questions and interact with Christians from another perspective, that I am constantly slammed for being arrogant etc. That's not a criticism of anyone in particular - its just an observation as the person most often as the object of those accusations. But again, I appologise for the times when I am overly blunt.

In response to your post...
I think I'm being slightly misunderstood here. I don't believe I have argued that "the Bible alone is the supreme authority, [which does not need] reference to or need for interpretation by the Church." I think what I've argued for, is that the church has a very special role, even unique role, in setting doctrine and in interpreting the Bible.

But I am suggesting that the church should submit itself to the authority of scripture when formulating its doctrine and morality. The church has been given a gold mine - an authoritative source and reference for determining its doctrine - the Bible. The Bible is not laid out as a doctrine text book, and so we have to work hard to understand it in formulating our doctrines.

So - you ask for an example. Let me take the Trinity. As I understand things, the reason we have the doctrine of the Trinity is because of the texts in the Bible that say that Jesus and the Father are one, that the Spirit is God, and passages that mention all three together. The doctrine of the Trinity is not spelt out in the the Bible. However, it seems to be assumed that God is triune (ege in the passages above). The early church, in an attempt to summarise the texts, came up with the doctrine of the Trinity. This was the church sitting under the scriptures, trying to make best sense of them, and not trying to impose any agenda to have a triune God!

I would argue that the doctrine of the trinity still is subserviant to the Bible. The Bible is set and authoritative - but the doctrine is a sort of systematic summary of the text. The text is set, but the doctrine is open for improvement as we understand the text better. So, yes, the doctrines can take centuries and longer to hone and formulate (I was wrong to mock the long time scales before - sorry). We may yet improve this summary of God as we come to understand the text more.

Now it is clear, that on some issues, there is not an obvious clear reading of scripture. What do we do in this case? I am arguing that the church works hard on understanding what the Bible does say on the issue. And, yes, many will disagree on the conclusion. Concensus may take centuries. But concensus will not be reached if we do not have an authoritative foundation on which doctrine is built. If the Bible is not authoritative (and even if its not innerant), then we lose the boundaries within which we work. I think Leprachaun said it much more clearly:

quote:
Inerrancy doesn't provide "pop the question through the grinder" answers to every question, but it does considerably narrow the field of interpretations by ruling out those that plainly contradict the rest of the Bible.

While this is not a simple answer to many of the hard questions we face, it does provide a solid framework to operate in, and there is a plain difference between doing Interpretative stuff with an inerrant presumption, and doing it without.

If we abandon innerancy, and assume some authority
over the text, then we remove the boundaries God has set in place to help us and guide us.

I hope this is a clearer explanation of my understanding of scripture, and how we decide our doctrine.

--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Godfather Avatar:
Before being convinced by your argument from consistency, I'd expect to see a statistical analysis of how many inconsistencies and errors one might expect from a set of texts of this range and antiquity (which is probably impossible to come by anyway), rather than relying on your subjective expectations. I'd expect this -- and the necessary subsequent examinations of the texts to see how many of these there actually are -- to be carried out by somebody rather more disinterested than your good self...[etc]

I don't have such statistics. This is simply annecdotal. But it seems to me, that when we talk of errors in the Bible, there are remarkably few considering the size of text, and most are of the order of a couple of numbers here and there etc. That is not to dismiss them as unimportant - but to observe that it seems increadible to me how consistant the Bible is in doctrine and morality.
And how, in almost every case, there are valid and sensible explanations of the so called errors.

But this is annecdotal. How would you measure errors statistically?!

--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by AB:
#1 Why didn't He ensure the Bible more clearly defined itself that way? This debate shows that it isn't.

I don't agree that the Bible isn't crystal clear in declaring itself to be God's authoritative word! Do I have to go over the reaosns I believe this again?


quote:
Originally posted by AB:
#2 Why didn't He better protect it against translation errors (for an example, see Psalm 40(v6) and Hebrews 10(v5), spot anything at odds?

My argument above is that, if there is a good explanation for such apparent error, since the error is so small when compared to the overall amazing consistance of the Bible, then explanations to questions such as yours carry immense weight.


quote:
Originally posted by AB:
#3 Why does He allow honest believers, praying for guidance to come to alternative interpretations?

I've answered that in part above.

Sorry - I know these are hardly adequate - but I'm so knackered now, that I'll have to submit to the superior authority of my bed, and dealing with the mauling I'll receive in the morning!

Good night!

--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Chesterbelloc

Tremendous trifler
# 3128

 - Posted      Profile for Chesterbelloc   Email Chesterbelloc   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
I am suggesting that the church should submit itself to the authority of scripture when formulating its doctrine and morality. The church has been given a gold mine - an authoritative source and reference for determining its doctrine - the Bible. The Bible is not laid out as a doctrine text book, and so we have to work hard to understand it in formulating our doctrines.

But, FF, I repeat: who is to decide precisely what "the authority of the Scriptures" is? You speak as if it were clear from the Scriptures themselves what "authority" they have. This is nonsense. The Church herself decided which of the texts was to be received as "authoritative" (and in what way), not the other way around!

The authority belongs, not to words written down by witnesses to the truth, but to the Word whose body is the Church, through and in the Holy Spirit. There would still be a Church without the Scriptures, but not Scriptures without that Church - that is just the way the Godhead has chosen to operate in the world. The Church herself is the continuation of the revelation of God to the world - the Scriptures are the Church's, not the Church the manifestation of the Scriptures.
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:

So - you ask for an example. Let me take the Trinity. As I understand things, the reason we have the doctrine of the Trinity is because of the texts in the Bible that say that Jesus and the Father are one, that the Spirit is God, and passages that mention all three together. The doctrine of the Trinity is not spelt out in the the Bible. However, it seems to be assumed that God is triune (ege in the passages above). The early church, in an attempt to summarise the texts, came up with the doctrine of the Trinity. This was the church sitting under the scriptures, trying to make best sense of them, and not trying to impose any agenda to have a triune God!

The doctrine of the Trinity as a "summary" of the texts is an idea that I admit to finding utterly bizarre! Also, your implicit dichotomy between slavish binding to the strict "plain" reading of the Scriptures and "trying to impose an agenda" is plain false. The Scriptures were one hugely important tool for the Church in trying to formulate for herself who Christ is, but how could the Church have come to the authoritative conclusion on the person of Christ with just the texts? So huge and central a doctrine soc clearly derivable from a braod overview of some particularly tricky texts, without using her "accumulated wisdom"? You really believe that? No additional help upon the special intercession of the Spirit? I really don't understand that, which is why I'm left really scratching my head at the following:
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
I would argue that the doctrine of the trinity still is subserviant to the Bible. The Bible is set and authoritative - but the doctrine is a sort of systematic summary of the text. The text is set, but the doctrine is open for improvement as we understand the text better. So, yes, the doctrines can take centuries and longer to hone and formulate (I was wrong to mock the long time scales before - sorry). We may yet improve this summary of God as we come to understand the text more.

The text is set as what? It's not a bus timetable. So the text is such that, even after all the Councils and centuries of controversies, we can't be sure we've got it right evwen yet? What kind of plain authoritative text is this?
Posts: 4199 | From: Athens Borealis | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Goldfish Stew
Shipmate
# 5512

 - Posted      Profile for Goldfish Stew   Email Goldfish Stew   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Thanks for this debate so far. Please avoid killing each other, so far we seem to have at least agreed that that would be bad. [Razz]

I have decided that I really don't like the term "inerrant." It's got a lot of baggage for different people.

A better word (as I see it) is "perfect" - which may look like a kind of a weird distinction, but as I see it inerrant is a very exacting term, whereas perfect has a lot more room to move. (One error disproves strict inerrancy.) They are perfect inasmuch as they are designed by God, inbreathed by Him, and fulfil His purpose. It's perfect for what it's for. Of course, that word has a lot of baggage too. But it's how I see it.

I struggle to accept the standpoint often quoted that "the original manuscripts are inerrant, but some typos may have slipped in with time." That just looks sloppy on God's part. Actually I prefer the traditional Jewish understanding that they actually improved with time, which makes the scriptures far more of a community production than an individual job. (Something akin to antiquity, universality and consensus.)

We need to wrestle. I don't think it's a simple as being "under or over" the scriptures. It's about being under God and His authority, and (in my life) walking around the scriptures, looking at them this way and that, wrestling with them - not so much under them but under God. And as I do this I grow. God's authority comes through the scriptures, through the church (institutionally and relationally) and through experience and personal revelation by His Spirit. It is God who is over all these methods, not the Bible. And from what I'm reading here from other posters, they aren't assuming personal authority over the Bible, but acknowledging a wider view of authority.

I also find it very difficult to justify inerrancy only from the Bible (which would mean that the doctrine of inerrancy comes from one of those errant sources.)

Finally, let's not become distracted by discussing a doctrine of scriptures. We could spend an awful lot of time talking about how valid an approach to reading them is, and forget to actually read them.

--------------------
.

Posts: 2405 | From: Aotearoa/New Zealand | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Leprechaun

Ship's Poison Elf
# 5408

 - Posted      Profile for Leprechaun     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by AB:

#1 Why didn't He ensure the Bible more clearly defined itself that way? This debate shows that it isn't.

If I may be permitted to slightly nuance FF's answer here, as, I think has been made clear, for may people here authority and inerrancy do not imply one another.(so the answer "it is authoritative" is not sufficient in itself) And apologies for repeating myself, as I think I wrote this somewhere else. I think that inerrancy follows from the character of God as revealed in the Bible, and believing that God verbally inspired it. Now, as I have said elsewhere, if you do not believe that the Bible is inspired ("breathed/spirited out") by God, there is no need to even have this discussion.
But if you do, and you believe that God is as he says he is in the Bible, then for his words to be perfect simply follows. And in fact, this is spelt out in many places, not least in Psalm 119 the Bible's longest chapter.
I think that's while we will probably find, as has become apparent earlier in this discussion, that our differences over error, underneath it all, probably boil down to differences in understanding what it means for Scripture to be God-breathed.
That's partly why this discussion has become a bit circular. So in answer to your question AB (and you are not going to like this, and neither are you Karl, be warned) I think that God doesn't need to use the word inerrant of his words, or a particular document, because to say that's someone's words are untrue is a slight on their character. As such, God establishes his character and leaves us to accept the implications about the things he says.
We had a practical example of this in our little fracas earlier on this thread, where Karl took something I said about something He said to be an indictment of his character. Its that type of thing.

Oh, one more thing, I would be quite happy to ditch the word inerrant if it has baggage for people, and go with perfect instead. Maybe that's better because its actually a word the Bible uses repeatedly of itself. But I don't think that implies any less of a standard of accuracy...

[ 24. February 2004, 08:30: Message edited by: Leprechaun ]

Posts: 3097 | From: England - far from home... | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
But, FF, I repeat: who is to decide precisely what "the authority of the Scriptures" is? You speak as if it were clear from the Scriptures themselves what "authority" they have. This is nonsense. The Church herself decided which of the texts was to be received as "authoritative" (and in what way), not the other way around!

No, its not nonsense! Its too easy to dismiss my position as nonsense!! And I have answered this before.

I don't see the church as sitting over the texts, in editorship, deciding which were in and which were out, and chopping the bits they didn't like. Rather, the church recognised the scriptures when they read them - their authority was apparent - their apostolic authoriship was their mark of authenticity - and also their consistency with the rest of scripture. When you compare the Biblical books with those which were rejected, these rejected texts massively contradict / teach different things about God etc.

So, in summary - the church recognised what was given rather than sitting over the text and editting it.

quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
The Church herself is the continuation of the revelation of God to the world

Agreed. But in order for the church to operate within some God given boundaries, and knowing that people will err and stray unless they have some boundaries, God has given us the scriptures. If you abandon their authority, or water their authority down, then the church can drift into all sorts of heresy - as indeed it did pre-reformation.

quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
The doctrine of the Trinity as a "summary" of the texts is an idea that I admit to finding utterly bizarre!

Ok then - how did we get the doctrine of the trinity if not by formalising what is written in the scriptures?


quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
No additional help upon the special intercession of the Spirit?

You misunderstand me. I am NOT saying the church is not invoved in interpreting the scriptures or forming doctrine. I am NOT saying the Spirit is not massively involved. But what I AM saying is that the Spirit has already spoken to us with authority, and so we can test what we think the Spirit may be saying to us today by comparing with what he has said in the past, becasue he does not change.

quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
The text is set as what? It's not a bus timetable. So the text is such that, even after all the Councils and centuries of controversies, we can't be sure we've got it right evwen yet? What kind of plain authoritative text is this?

The text isn't changing. Its set.

--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

 - Posted      Profile for Fish Fish     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
Oh, one more thing, I would be quite happy to ditch the word inerrant if it has baggage for people, and go with perfect instead. Maybe that's better because its actually a word the Bible uses repeatedly of itself. But I don't think that implies any less of a standard of accuracy...

I think I agree - but again so long as perfect means completely perfect - ie without error! [Biased]

--------------------
Thought about changing my name - but it would be a shame to lose all the credibility and good will I have on the Ship...

Posts: 672 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Ponty'n'pop
Shipmate
# 5198

 - Posted      Profile for Ponty'n'pop   Email Ponty'n'pop   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Fish Fish said:
quote:
.....what I AM saying is that the Spirit has already spoken to us with authority, and so we can test what we think the Spirit may be saying to us today by comparing with what he has said in the past, becasue he does not change.

But communication is a relationship involving more than just God. God (in Christ or in Spirit) may not have changed, but we his people have. Why then must both the message and its meaning be unchanging when the context in which they are received has changed? I don't understand.

It has always seemed to me that we are happy to accept that context has changed when it suits us - a relatively non contentious example being Paul's prohibition of women even speaking in Church (1 Corinthians 14 I think) - but less comfortable when it does not. Surely we are forever moving on? Why then should not the meaning of scripture be different for us in our different context? Or did Paul really mean that my wife can't read next week's lesson?

Honestly, this business of scripture being hard and fast, as if context has absolutely no bearing, baffles me.

--------------------
"....creeping around a cow shed at 2 o'clock in the morning. That doesn't sound very wise to me"

Posts: 236 | From: South Wales | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged



Pages in this thread: 1  2  3  ...  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  ...  42  43  44 
 
Post new thread  Post a reply Close thread   Feature thread   Move thread   Delete thread Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
 - Printer-friendly view
Go to:

Contact us | Ship of Fools | Privacy statement

© Ship of Fools 2016

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0

 
follow ship of fools on twitter
buy your ship of fools postcards
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
 
 
  ship of fools