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Source: (consider it) Thread: biblical inerrancy
Chapelhead*

Ship’s Photographer
# 1143

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quote:
Originally posted by Grits:
I'm not getting at all, since Genesis 13 and 15 are referring to Moses knowing God as Lord, not Abraham.

[Confused]

quote:
There Abram called on the name of the LORD Genesis 13:4
quote:
Abram believed the LORD , and he credited it to him as righteousness. He also said to him, "I am the LORD , who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it." Genesis 15: 6-7
These both sound like they are referring to Abram/Abraham to me.

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Benedikt Gott Geschickt!

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Grits
Compassionate fundamentalist
# 4169

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My bad. I looked up your two second cites in Exodus, also. Duh. I'd like to look at this some more, but son is up and must be fed, so I must take care of him now. I'll be back. [Smile]

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Lord, fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff, and shut it when I've said enough. Amen.

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Grits
Compassionate fundamentalist
# 4169

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Dear Onionchapelhead: I do sincerely want to know more about your list. I am thankful to see that none of your points really have to do with salvation, per se. However, I also realize your point is that, if you have doubts about the validity of these scriptures, why should you give credence to any of them? I imagine we could argue your list right into a new Dead Horses thread, but I am always interested in finding out just how people lose their confidence in the scriptures. It seems you have worked very hard to flesh out these particular issues, so I assume it is important to you, as it is to me. My time is limited today (I just had to leave Stephen to chase down my neighbor's two dogs who had escaped while everyone is at church), but I do want to know why you feel these things are contradictory. And I'll try to engage my brain this time! Thanks. [Smile]

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Lord, fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff, and shut it when I've said enough. Amen.

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Atmospheric Skull

Antlered Bone-Visage
# 4513

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quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
To me, it is natural, to assume that the Bible is authoritative and generally self consistant, but I have no reason to believe it is inerrant, and a deal of evidence that it is not. I find nothing in Jesus' silence on the matter to lead me to doubt that view. You, however come from a position where inerrancy is assumed, and find nothing in Jesus view of the scriptures that contradicts that. The difficult passages you can get round with some creative exegesis. Nothing wrong with that. I can exegete creatively with the best (see above) [Two face] . It's just a question of which position has us jumping through fewer hoops.

I've suddenly realised what this whole discussion has been reminding me of.

I'm a Doctor Who fan. For the non-Brits amongst us, Doctor Who was a long-running BBC science fiction series which ran from 1963 to 1989, with a brief revival in 1996. It's about an alien time-traveller, and combines elements of science fantasy, space opera, historical fiction and pretty much every other genre you can think of. The (160 or so) TV stories have been supplemented since the programme went off the air with hundreds of novels, plus numerous audio drama CDs and a handful of webcasts; and now the whole project is being revived for BBC1 next year.

All of which is background. The point is, Doctor Who is wildly inconsistent. It has been written by literally hundreds of different writers over the course of four decades, most of whom cared very little about anything beyond the confines of the story they were writing. Thus each individual story hangs together, and some of them are sequels to other stories, but as far as the overall background goes there was never a coherent plan. No Star Trek style future history, no "series bible", no unifying factors at all except the central characters and -- as the series progressed -- a few recurrent alien species and planets.

Basically, the writers wrote what the hell they wanted: they started improvising in 1963 and are still winging it today. Huge, sweeping statements about future history, universe-defining physics or the major alien presences like the Daleks or the Time Lords, were made one year and then utterly ignored the next. There is simply no way the whole Who corpus, in its raw form, can be considered anything approaching a consistent whole.

And yet... fans do it. They do it on websites, they do it at conventions, they publish books about it. Long screeds where the on-screen (or on-page or on-CD) evidence is examined, the conflicting claims weighed, theories proposed to reconcile apparent contradictions. Stories are re-dated (always with some justification given), characters shown to be lying or mistaken, evidence reinterpreted outrageously. Occasionally things just have to be put down to spurious "translation conventions" or the like.

And, marvellously, when interpreted, heavily mediated even, in this way, Doctor Who does hang together. It works as a coherent metanarrative, and everything -- all 400-plus stories, most of them pulling in wildly different directions from one another -- can be read as a single consistent story.

It's all an intellectual game, of course, and most Doctor Who fans are quite capable of understanding it ironically. Only someone with serious psychological problems (and it has to be admitted that fandom tends to attract such people) would take it seriously, or invest the process with any importance other than the sheer fun of it. And only the seriously deluded would believe a word of it.

Nevertheless, I do think there may be some relevance to the current discussion, if only in the simple fact that -- if you care enough, and approach a body of texts with sufficient ingenuity and confidence in your own convictions -- almost any disparate corpus can appear consistent, almost any contradiction can be reconciled.

None of which makes the works in question true, or even particularly convincing.

[ 08. March 2004, 11:39: Message edited by: Godfather Avatar ]

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Surrealistic Mystic.

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Leprechaun

Ship's Poison Elf
# 5408

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quote:
Originally posted by Callanovsky:
I agree with you that all of us approach the Bible with an interpretive framework whether we be catholic or protestant, liberal or conservative. However, I think the point is that the Bible speaks to us and we respond to it and that there is an element of dialogue. The Bible should challenge our presuppositions.

In the same way, if we insist that it is the nature of God's character to provide an infallible text in the face of the evidence then we are treating scripture in much the same way as my liberal friend, albeit from the opposite end of the spectrum. Which isn't to say you can't regard scripture as authoritative. Neither Luther or Calvin were inerrantists, for example (Calvin spotted the example of Matthew's confusion between Zechariah and Jeremiah, let me confess) and I'm not convinced that Paul was to be honest (compare Galatians to Ezekiel or Leviticus).

I think that scripture is the Word of God in the same sense that the elements at Holy Communion are the body and blood of Christ. Scripture is, at the same time, a miscellaneous collection of religious texts which contain errors and truth, wonder and wickedness and also the Word of God in the same way that the elements are the body and blood of Christ and bread and wine. But insisting on an inerrant text is like the medieval belief in exsanguinating hosts. Quite simply it will not bear the interpretative weight which is put upon it.

Right, a number of things here.
First, of course I believe that the Bible itself shapes our opinions of it. But in allowing how I think the Bible presents the character of God to effect the way I interpret the Bible is exactly what I am trying to do.
Second, You talk of interpretative weight, in the same way JJ talked earlier of exegetical hoops. However, I suggest that the non-inerrantist position, while having the appearance of simply "taking the text as it comes" actually can't bear its own weight, and requires even more exegetical hoop jumping.
So, your position requires an interpretation of the character of God who either CANNOT or DOES NOT WANT to communicate clearly, which, when you take the character of God "as it comes from the Scriptures" neither seem to be true.
Similarly, while inerrancy may require some exegetical hoop jumping on passages like the Matthew one you mention, non-inerrancy (as I think we have seen on this thread) requires some equally rigmarolous hoop jumping when it comes to the doctrine of inspiration.
The question is not, which interpretative framework gives us the simplest answer, and the simpest interpretative process. Rather, the question is, which interpretative framework does the nature of the Bible and its author demand that we use.
Simply pointing out that inerrancy is a complicated doctrine to apply, does not mean it is untrue.
Actually, although I don't like cutting and pasting from my own posts, I have addressed the issue before - of the difficulties raised by the non inerrantist position - and if you will bear with me just once to cheekily cut and paste my own post I would be grateful. This was in reference to now much discussed Joshua passage.
quote:

I wrote:

I really can understand the emotional appeal of it, but it does not actually address the can of worms it opens.
Why did God then let his people believe it was Him who said these things for centuries if it was not? Why didn't Jesus (or Paul) say "that part of Joshua that you thought was Scripture is mistaken, it wasn't of God", and in fact use God's acts of judgement in the OT as models of what will happen to those who reject Jesus?
Why does Paul use God's judgement of 23 000 of his own people in the desert as a warning to us if God is not responsible for such acts?
Why is God portrayed in Revelation as bringing destruction on the earth if that is not his nature?
Why is God deliberately misleading us if he is not really like that? And if he is, how can we know that his promise to rescue us if we trust Jesus is real?
Now, that whole issue probably needs a separate thread, I am not asking for definitve answers to all of those questions here, but simply to point out that this argument raises far more questions about God's character than it answers.

Hope the relevance of that is clear.

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

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Chapelhead*

Ship’s Photographer
# 1143

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Ok, Grits [Smile]

Firstly apologies for being rather mean and not giving the scripture references to go with my list above. [Hot and Hormonal]

Where I am coming from on this subject is that I first encountered Christianity in a fundamentalist church (about as fundamentalist as they come in the UK, which may be less than in the USA, I don’t know). Now at the time I knew diddley squat about the Bible (marginally less than I know now) but once I started reading it certain problems started appearing. The first of these, I recall, was the two apparently different accounts of how Judas died – did he hang himself or did he fall headlong, burst asunder and all his bowels spill out (lovely)?

So I raised this question with people at church who I thought would have the solution. Their answer was that the two passages are not necessarily contradictory, perhaps Judas hanged himself and the rope then broke and his body fell headlong to the ground etc.

Well this approach can be used to harmonise different passages, but my reaction is that it means that unless something is spelled out absolutely precisely in the Bible then I cannot assume it. This approach suggests to me that we cannot rely on the plain meaning of anything in the Bible. If we have to depart (and are willing to depart) from the plain meaning in one place we can do it in any place.

[Note, I don’t have a Bible to hand (shame on me) so the scriptural details of what follows may not be accurate, but I believe the principle applies]

This approach means that when Jesus raises the girl ‘from the dead’ we cannot be sure that she had been dead; perhaps she had genuinely only been sleeping because the Bible doesn’t say she was dead, only that people said she was dead. This approach means that when the Bible says Jesus was walking on the water, he might have been walking on the water that was splashing over the raft he was on; the Bible doesn’t say there wasn’t a raft, so there might have been. And so we can go on finding ways to interpret Biblical passages that is far removed from the plain meaning, and that consequently it becomes almost impossible to know what the meaning of a passage is.

In order to avoid this, to avoid the Bible becoming almost meaningless, I have moved away from a position of Bible inerrancy. My way of keeping faith in the Bible is to think it not inerrant. If I had to be an inerrantist I might have less faith in the Bible.

[BTW, I reserve the right to say, “Of course it’s true – its in the Bible [Biased] ” ).

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Benedikt Gott Geschickt!

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ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by Godfather Avatar:
The point is, Doctor Who is wildly inconsistent. It has been written by literally hundreds of different writers over the course of four decades, most of whom cared very little about anything beyond the confines of the story they were writing. Thus each individual story hangs together, and some of them are sequels to other stories, but as far as the overall background goes there was never a coherent plan. No Star Trek style future history, no "series bible", no unifying factors at all except the central characters and -- as the series progressed -- a few recurrent alien species and planets.

Basically, the writers wrote what the hell they wanted: they started improvising in 1963 and are still winging it today. Huge, sweeping statements about future history, universe-defining physics or the major alien presences like the Daleks or the Time Lords, were made one year and then utterly ignored the next. There is simply no way the whole Who corpus, in its raw form, can be considered anything approaching a consistent whole.

Oh, indeed. But then we have a universe which bleeds into more than one paralell universe, in which the Time Lords have been (secretly) going back in time to change history. And almost everything the Time Lords ever say about their own history is a lie (after all they are only even pretending to look human - biologically they are farther from humans than Daleks are). The Doctor has been meddling with timelines history all over the place, and not always been honest with his human companions about what he's doing. The other Time Lords have been lying to the Doctor about what they want him to do - and Time Lord society has for much of at least one of its alternate histories been ruled by a secret clique anyway.Humans and Daleks descendants have been using time travel to alter history to fight wars. Faced with that - what would consistency even look-like? When there are Daleks in the past?

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Atmospheric Skull

Antlered Bone-Visage
# 4513

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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
Oh, indeed. But then we have a universe which bleeds into more than one paralell universe, in which the Time Lords have been (secretly) going back in time to change history.

Well, that's certainly one of the interpretive frameworks available -- and one which, I admit, has no immediately obvious equivalent in biblical exegesis.

But books like The Discontinuity Guide and A History of the Universe are able to start with assumptions like "All Doctor Who stories take place in the same universe unless otherwise stated" and "History doesn't change except when we are explicitly told it has", and still come up with theories good enough to convince the willing reader.

The serious point I'm making, I think, is that the reader has to be willing to go along with the game, which is why inerrantists' explanations of biblical problems or contradictions seem to convince only inerrantists. The rest of us need to be given some more fundamental reason for why we should even be trying.

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Surrealistic Mystic.

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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Nicely said, Onionhead! [Overused]

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Leprechaun

Ship's Poison Elf
# 5408

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quote:
Originally posted by Godfather Avatar:
[The serious point I'm making, I think, is that the reader has to be willing to go along with the game, which is why inerrantists' explanations of biblical problems or contradictions seem to convince only inerrantists. The rest of us need to be given some more fundamental reason for why we should even be trying.

I'm sorry, I'm not meaning to be rude, but have you actually read any of this thread? If so, you'll find that very little of it has to do with resolving "contradictions" but nearly all (for the last 4 pages at least) been about whether there are good theological reasons to "try" and resolve "contradictions." Nearly all of our discussion has been about whether we should try or not.
I know you aren't an inerrantist, but it really is quite irritating to have days worth of nitty gritty discussion written off like that, when I think much of the argument has focussed on the qualitative difference between the Bible and works of fiction like Dr. Who.

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

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Jolly Jape
Shipmate
# 3296

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Lep, just a couple of points:
quote:
So, your position requires an interpretation of the character of God who either CANNOT or DOES NOT WANT to communicate clearly
Well, of course it depends on what you mean by clearly. I believe God doues communicate clearly, but not in the way in which I would communicate clearly (were I capable of it) with, say, you. Very often He doesn't explain what he means, he speaks often by allusion. Jesus explicitly states, for example, that the parables are meant to be obscure. Depth of meaning, rather than simplicity of meaning, seems to accompany most of the scriptural texts. Were it not so, we would not be having this discussion. Nevertheless, the meaning (apart perhaps for a few very obscure texts, such as Daniel or Revelation) does come through. Of course, in this little discourse, we haven't mentioned the work of the Holy Spirit, one of whose ministries is specifically stated to be the interpretation of scripture. So does God not want to communicate clearly. I would say "not always".
quote:
...when you take the character of God "as it comes from the Scriptures" neither seem to be true.

Don't agree, or at least, don't completely agree, see above.


quote:
Similarly, while inerrancy may require some exegetical hoop jumping on passages like the Matthew one you mention, non-inerrancy (as I think we have seen on this thread) requires some equally rigmarolous hoop jumping when it comes to the doctrine of inspiration.
Not quite sure what you're driving at. Perhaps we just understand inspiration as meaning something different. But I do agree that both views do require a certain amount of interpretation.

quote:
The question is not, which interpretative framework gives us the simplest answer, and the simpest interpretative process. Rather, the question is, which interpretative framework does the nature of the Bible and its author demand that we use.
Absolutely agreed. This is a new week, does this still count against you?

quote:
Simply pointing out that inerrancy is a complicated doctrine to apply, does not mean it is untrue.
True; niether, of course, does it mean it is true.

With regards to the quotation referring to the issue of "Joshua", we really would be rehashing old arguments to battle that one out again. To me, the issue of God's character is not in the least compromised by (as I believe) inaccurate reading of revelation by people who historically knew very little of the His character. "When I was a child..." Would you or I be willing to sacrifice our son as Abraham was. No, because we know God does not ask us to commit human sacrifice. Abraham had no such net with which to sift his revelation.

On the other hand, if we take the Joshua texts as authentic from a revelation point of view, the ramifications of that for God's character are so far in excess of any other issue that we have discussed here on these boards as to lead us to question the whole salvation story. How could we worship a genocidal ogre?

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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)

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Jolly Jape
Shipmate
# 3296

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Oops, disn't see that the Abraham/Isaac thing was flavour of the day in hell! No connection, honest.

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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)

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ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by Godfather Avatar:

But books like The Discontinuity Guide and A History of the Universe are able to start with assumptions like

The problems with AHOTU are legion - I could go on and on and on.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
I'm sorry, I'm not meaning to be rude, but have you actually read any of this thread? If so, you'll find that very little of it has to do with resolving "contradictions" but nearly all (for the last 4 pages at least) been about whether there are good theological reasons to "try" and resolve "contradictions." Nearly all of our discussion has been about whether we should try or not.

To be fair though, the analogy to Dr Who is appropriate to at least one branch of the discussion we've been having over the past few weeks. Just to take one quote at random (it's Fish Fish from 26th Feb, on p13), certainly not the only comment along these lines and maybe not the most recent
quote:
My defence on the grounds of solutions to tricky passages being available doesn't cerry much weight if you don't beleive innerancy. But its added weight if

1. We acknowledge the vast majority of the text (written by many people over many centuries) is hugely consistant - I think this gives added weight to the argument

Fish Fish has been using the solutions to "contradictions" and general consistancy of the texts as an argument. I think he's made the point more clearly than what I've just quoted, but I'm at work and don't have time to go through this thread finding a more appropriate post.

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Atmospheric Skull

Antlered Bone-Visage
# 4513

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quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
If so, you'll find that very little of it has to do with resolving "contradictions" but nearly all (for the last 4 pages at least) been about whether there are good theological reasons to "try" and resolve "contradictions."

I agree -- the contradictions are not being addressed to any great degree. Which I find odd, as by definition a single contradiction, if verified, would demolish any inerrantist position. You and Fish Fish seem to take it as an article of faith that the substantial work of exegesis which is needed to resolve such contradictions as Judas's death, the misquotation of Ezekiel and so on is possible. Well, fair enough, but stating an article of faith isn't going to persuade anyone of its validity -- and the necessary work can, as I've rather suggested above with my rather silly parallel, be vast. Why embark on it at all? Currently my Christian faith doesn't require it.

My point isn't enormously different from the one you made on the previous page, in fact:

quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
My question is whether we SHOULD read the Bible assuming, from the character of God and his process of inspiration, that what he reveals is inerrant.

...and I don't think you or the other inerrantists on this thread have anywhere near demonstrated that we should.

I suppose what's frustrating me about this discussion is that both sides appear to believe that their position is a default to be assumed, and both seem to be defending it against assault, rather than actively arguing for it. I've read an awful lot about why you and Fish Fish are inerrantists, and virtually nothing about why I should become one. I don't see it as incumbent on me to prove my point, though, because (on the crudest level) there are far more people who believe the Bible is not inerrant than believe it is. I'm less clear as to why you would feel the same.

To answer some specific points (and to justify my frivolous post a bit further): if I take Fish Fish's tack, I might argue that (for a body of work written over forty years by hundreds of authors, many of whom had little idea what those coming before them had said) Doctor Who is remarkably consistent when you examine it closely enough. I could argue that it tells me about a heroic and admirable figure which no other body of texts mentions, and that, whenever a Doctor Who story refers back to another Doctor Who story, it always assumes that what it says can be taken as true (even when it gets what it says wrong, as Matthew does Jeremiah). I can take the view that Doctor Who is inerrant with as much consistency as Fish Fish has with his biblical inerrancy: the only reason to consider that his view is a reasonable one whereas mine is barking mad is that pesky human extra-biblical decision-making ability which Fish Fish calls "reason".

More seriously, I'm unconvinced by your argument from the character of God, because it fails to take into account that:
1. Even the most well-intentioned and eloquent speaker may be misinterpreted by their audience;
2. A God who allows us the freedom to sin will surely allow us the freedom to make mistakes in the transmission of a text;
3. If we believe in a God who communicates through parables, then it is perfectly viable to believe in a storyteller God who expresses truths through fiction, and who doesn't worry about the details provided a true message comes across.
quote:
I know you aren't an inerrantist, but it really is quite irritating to have days worth of nitty gritty discussion written off like that
I beg your pardon for irritating you: I admit I was being facetious. I hope this post is more constructive.

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Surrealistic Mystic.

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Jolly Jape
Shipmate
# 3296

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Lep:

On another thread you wrote, (with reference to the position of Karl Liberal-Backslider)
quote:
How can you say you believe and operate with the authority of the Bible in view when you come to conlcusions that large chunks of it are mistaken? While your view is obviously much more nuanced than the "load of tosh" view, the practical effect LOOKS just the same (and I say looks carefully, because I am not wanting to impugn your motives).

I was just wondering what you feel those practical effects are. Do you believe that there is a difference in the practical, as opposed to philosophical, realisation of the Christian faith in the lives of those who espouse inerrancy, compared with those who do not? It's been my experience that God distributes "saints" and jerks with remarkable fairness right across the theological spectrum (using the term saints in the popular, rather than biblical, meaning). Or have I just misinterpreted what you wrote.

[ 08. March 2004, 18:34: Message edited by: Jolly Jape ]

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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)

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Leprechaun

Ship's Poison Elf
# 5408

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Oh no JJ, I was making no reference to the actual way life is lived (esp Karl, as I have no idea how he lives his life) rather I was saying that practically whether you take the nuanced view, or the load of tosh view, it still looks in practice the same in the answers that you come up with from the Bible. (particluar parts aren't true, OT radically "interpreted" because of the new etc.)
Although I think inevitably, after a while, it will begin to lead to different lifestyle choices, but that's an entirely different debate, and not one I want to get into really if that's all right...

Agreed there are jerks in all parts of the church. Loads in my church. But I feel at home there... [Big Grin]

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Chapelhead*

Ship’s Photographer
# 1143

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I suggested previously that I would give references for the questions I posed; here they are.

The death of Judas is described as being the result of him hanging himself in Mathew 27:5 and being the result of a fall in Acts 1:18.

References for whether Abraham knew the name of the Lord have already been given.

The other questions were:

  • What is the reason for keeping the sabbath day? Because the Lord rested on the seventh day, according to Exodus 20:11. Because the Lord delivered the people from the land of Egypt by his outstretched arm according to Deuteronomy 5:15.
  • Who killed Goliath? David according to I Samuel 17:50. Elhanan according to 2 Samuel 21:19.
  • How much did David pay for the land on which he planned to build the temple? 50 shekels of silver (for which he got the land and some oxen) according to 2 Samuel 24:24 or 600 shekels of gold according to 1 Chronicles 21:25.
  • Did Mary and Joseph take Jesus to Egypt shortly after his birth? Yes, according to Matthew 2:14. No according to Luke 2:39.
  • When did Jesus cleanse the temple? Early in his ministry according to John 2:13-22. On Palm Sunday according to Matthew 21:12-17. On Monday, the day after Palm Sunday according to Mark 11:12-19.
  • Was Jesus crucified on Passover day or the day of preparation for Passover? Passover day according to Luke 22:13 and the other synoptics. The day of preparation according to John 18:28 and John 19:31.
  • Did one of the thieves believe in Jesus at the end? No according to Mark 15:32 and Matthew 27:44. Yes according to Luke 23:39-43.
  • What was the last thing Jesus said from the cross? "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit" according to Luke 23:46 or "It is finished" according to John 19:30.
  • Who discovered the empty tomb? Mary Magdelen and the other Mary, according to Matthew 28:1. Mary Magdelene, Mary the Mother of James, and Salome acording to Mark 16:1. Mary Magdelene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and another unnamed woman according to Luke 24:10. Mary Magdelene (and Peter and the disciple whom Jesus loved?) according to John 20:1.


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Benedikt Gott Geschickt!

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Chapelhead*

Ship’s Photographer
# 1143

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I should have said that much of the information in my previous post was derived from a small book called Why Bible-Believing Methodists Shouldn't Eat Black Pudding by Revd Dr Stephen Dawes. The book is out of print but you can download it from the pdf file linked to (courtesy of Dr Dawes).

As well as dealing with the question of Biblical errancy or inerrancy this excellent book also has some interesting things (in the 'black pudding' chapters) about issues, such as sexuality, that have been so much in the news recently.

[ 08. March 2004, 22:08: Message edited by: Onionhead ]

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Benedikt Gott Geschickt!

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Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

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quote:
Originally posted by Onionhead:
I suggested previously that I would give references for the questions I posed; here they are.

The death of Judas is described as being the result of him hanging himself in Mathew 27:5 and being the result of a fall in Acts 1:18.

References for whether Abraham knew the name of the Lord have already been given.

The other questions were:

  • What is the reason for keeping the sabbath day? Because the Lord rested on the seventh day, according to Exodus 20:11. Because the Lord delivered the people from the land of Egypt by his outstretched arm according to Deuteronomy 5:15.
  • Who killed Goliath? David according to I Samuel 17:50. Elhanan according to 2 Samuel 21:19.
  • How much did David pay for the land on which he planned to build the temple? 50 shekels of silver (for which he got the land and some oxen) according to 2 Samuel 24:24 or 600 shekels of gold according to 1 Chronicles 21:25.
  • Did Mary and Joseph take Jesus to Egypt shortly after his birth? Yes, according to Matthew 2:14. No according to Luke 2:39.
  • When did Jesus cleanse the temple? Early in his ministry according to John 2:13-22. On Palm Sunday according to Matthew 21:12-17. On Monday, the day after Palm Sunday according to Mark 11:12-19.
  • Was Jesus crucified on Passover day or the day of preparation for Passover? Passover day according to Luke 22:13 and the other synoptics. The day of preparation according to John 18:28 and John 19:31.
  • Did one of the thieves believe in Jesus at the end? No according to Mark 15:32 and Matthew 27:44. Yes according to Luke 23:39-43.
  • What was the last thing Jesus said from the cross? "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit" according to Luke 23:46 or "It is finished" according to John 19:30.
  • Who discovered the empty tomb? Mary Magdelen and the other Mary, according to Matthew 28:1. Mary Magdelene, Mary the Mother of James, and Salome acording to Mark 16:1. Mary Magdelene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and another unnamed woman according to Luke 24:10. Mary Magdelene (and Peter and the disciple whom Jesus loved?) according to John 20:1.

Hi everyone - been too busy for the last few days - but dipping in again now. I'll try and catch up with what's been posted soon.

Just a response to this.

As I've said before, it seems at first glance that these are indeed contradictions. No one disputes that. However, IMO if there is a reasonable explanation of why a contradiction is not in fact a contradictions, then its reasonable to accept that reason. Furthermore, even if there isn't a reason that we can see right now, it does not mean such a reason does not exist. So lists such as this do not disprove inerrancy. In fact, as I've argued before, the lists are so small, and of such minute matters in comparison to the whole text of the Bible, that I find they actually convince me more of inerrancy, and give me good reason to accept any "solutions" that are offered for the apparent contradictions.

Taking another tack, I see a huge problem taking your stance. Again, this has been covered before!

Your stance is to note contradictions or this that seem impossible. But if you pull on this thread, where does it stop?
  • I may find the doctrine of the trinity is full of contradictions (1 God but 3 persons! - Come on?!!!). So I may reject that, despite the fact that there is a reasonable explanation of the apparent contradiction...
  • I may find the idea of celibacy an unreasonable thing for the Bible to teach - and think it contradict with common sense or my experience - and so decide to abandon it...
  • I may find the idea of human life being valuable a contradiction with my experience of hatred of someone - and reason that murder of that person may be acceptable.

You see, when you assume there are contradictions (rather than assume they are not, accept inerrancy, and accept the solutions to the apparent contradictions), you assume the right to determine contradictions. You then assume authority over the text (either you as an individual, or the church, or "experts" etc.) in order to dismiss bits as contradictions. But then where do you draw the line?

I'm sorry this goes over old ground - but the question does, and so I thought I'd answer it.

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

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dyfrig
Blue Scarfed Menace
# 15

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quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
IMO if there is a reasonable explanation of why a contradiction is not in fact a contradictions, then its reasonable to accept that reason.

So give us these reasons (for they will be many, given the numerous examples of flat contradiction). Bear in mind also that if these "reasons" involve such mental-gymnastics as to require the acceptance of nonsense, it is more reasonable to believe that the Bible contains contradictions than that it does not.

quote:
Furthermore, even if there isn't a reason that we can see right now, it does not mean such a reason does not exist.
How long must we wait?

quote:
So lists such as this do not disprove inerrancy

Actually, they do. If Biblical inerrancy claims that there are no contradictions in the Bible, the presence of statements that cannot be reconclied without the aforesaid mental gymnastics is very strong prima facie proof that inerrancy is untenable.

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"He was wrong in the long run, but then, who isn't?" - Tony Judt

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ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by Godfather Avatar:
I can take the view that Doctor Who is inerrant with as much consistency as Fish Fish has with his biblical inerrancy: the only reason to consider that his view is a reasonable one whereas mine is barking mad is that pesky human extra-biblical decision-making ability which Fish Fish calls "reason".

Not at all. We believe that the Bible is a special book because it is our most direct witness to the life of Jesus, who we believe to be God incarnate.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Leprechaun

Ship's Poison Elf
# 5408

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quote:
Originally posted by Godfather Avatar: Why embark on it at all? Currently my Christian faith doesn't require it.

FF has discussed this at length. A number of reasons, the main one being that the authority of the Bible IS undermnined by saying that bits of it may be mistaken . We had a long discussion comparing it to the US constitution in this sense, does something need to be inerrant to be authoritative? The answer is no, as long as everyone agrees to be bound by it even where they think it is wrong. (like the constitution) This is not, as I understand it, the non-inerrantist position, rather they say we do not need to be bound by it where it is mistaken. Thus its authority is undermined.
If you want to discuss why the authority of the Bible is important, it needs a different thread.

quote:

I suppose what's frustrating me about this discussion is that both sides appear to believe that their position is a default to be assumed, and both seem to be defending it against assault, rather than actively arguing for it.

That's probably because
a) its hard to tell someone else they HAVE to chnage their mind without sounding like an arrogant prat, so we have been trying to studiously avoid that
b) at least part of the benefit of this discussion is about interacting with the other point of view. I have no doubt that I will not persuade JJ and Paps to agree with me, but interacting with them is helping me understand both their view and my own better.

quote:

I don't see it as incumbent on me to prove my point, though, because (on the crudest level) there are far more people who believe the Bible is not inerrant than believe it is. I'm less clear as to why you would feel the same.

Ah yes, I had forgotten that principle that always leads for the church making excellent decisions - the majority is always right. Tell that to the minor prophets. [Roll Eyes]

quote:

More seriously, I'm unconvinced by your argument from the character of God, because it fails to take into account that:
1. Even the most well-intentioned and eloquent speaker may be misinterpreted by their audience;
2. A God who allows us the freedom to sin will surely allow us the freedom to make mistakes in the transmission of a text;
3. If we believe in a God who communicates through parables, then it is perfectly viable to believe in a storyteller God who expresses truths through fiction, and who doesn't worry about the details provided a true message comes across.

I have addressed all of these points before, but as a quick recap
1. No one is denying that there are difficult issues of interpretation - this discussion is about the nature of the text we are interpreting. A simpler interpretative process as I have said before, isn't necessarily the right or the wrong one. I really don't see that this has anything to do with the question at hand.
2. The parallel with us and our sin is not one the Bible makes. Rather link in revelatory terms is between God's word the Bible, and God's word Jesus in which he did not allow flaws. If you want to argue by analogy Jesus himself is the closest, and God did not allow flaws in that revelation.
3. Is it really viable? That process that you call "not worrying about the details" I would see as "deliberately allowing himself to be misrepresented throughout all of history". Most of the discussion on this thread I think has (helpfully) focussed on the real issue of God's revelation of himself rather than the type of so-called contradicitons Onionhead has raised.
But if we take the "Jesus radically reinterprets the God of the OT" line this leaves serious questions about ahy God allowed himself to be so deliberately misrepresented in the past, and why Jesus did not make this vast change in God's revelation of himself clearer.

Sorry for the repetition everyone, as with the PSA thread, I am going to try not to post now until I really have anything new to say.

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ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by dyfrig:
If Biblical inerrancy claims that there are no contradictions in the Bible, the presence of statements that cannot be reconclied without the aforesaid mental gymnastics is very strong prima facie proof that inerrancy is untenable.

I don't have the strength to go back through this whole thread and find out what exactly we mean by "inerrancy". Though I suspect not all posters are agreeing on it.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Jolly Jape
Shipmate
# 3296

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Ah, FF, do I detect the slippery slope argument. If we accept that there may be some historical inaccuracy in, say, I Chronicles, then this means the Bible can have no authority whatsoever, and before you can say lickety-split, people are murdering each other all over the place, and the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.

Well, frankly, I don't buy it. It is predicated on the assumption that, in the words of Papio's rather excellent metaphor, we can't discern the tune of a song because of a few clicks and pops on the recording.

In fact, as has been instanced previously on this thread, it is quite possible for something to be both non-inerrant and authoritative. The exegisis required under this paradigm is in no way different from that which you accept is necessary even for an inerrantist. In both cases, we look behind the text to discern God's purposes in causing this or that scripture to be written. Neither of us are literalists. Both of us allow scripture to interpret scripture. Both of us, at our best, use our intellect and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to allow God to speak to us through the words of the scripture. Maybe it's a failing in my intellect, but I don't see the contradiction between our two positions, nor understand why you seem to feel that yours is inherently more sound.

And Ken, I agree absolutely. [Overused] [Overused]

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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)

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Jolly Jape
Shipmate
# 3296

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Ken, that referred, of course, to your post of 11:19, (not to mean I disagreed with your later post, but just to clarify [Biased]

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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)

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Leprechaun

Ship's Poison Elf
# 5408

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quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
Ah, FF, do I detect the slippery slope argument. If we accept that there may be some historical inaccuracy in, say, I Chronicles, then this means the Bible can have no authority whatsoever, and before you can say lickety-split, people are murdering each other all over the place, and the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.

Good post JJ, this made me laugh a lot! [Big Grin] (with the post, not at it I hasten to add)
However, I'm not sure this was what FF was saying, although I think his use of hyperbole may have got him carried away (FF, correct me if this is not so). Rather I think he was saying that we do accept some things in our faith that seem inherently contradictory, the Trinity being an excellent example, and assume that they are in fact not contradictory in reality because God says they are true.
I think FF was merely trying to show some of the possible, if unlikely results of over rationalising everything.

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Atmospheric Skull

Antlered Bone-Visage
# 4513

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quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
FF has discussed this at length. A number of reasons, the main one being that the authority of the Bible IS undermnined by saying that bits of it may be mistaken.

Er... I'm not sure that it is. Nor why I would necessarily care if it was. My faith isn't reliant on having an instruction book.
quote:
quote:

Even the most well-intentioned and eloquent speaker may be misinterpreted by their audience;

I really don't see that this has anything to do with the question at hand.
All right, then... You say (more or less) that to suggest that the Bible misrepresents God is a slur on God's character. I say that even the most well-intentioned and eloquent speaker may be misinterpreted and therefore misrepresented by even a well-intentioned audience. This is a crucial point which I haven't seen you engaged with (although I might have missed it, in which case apologies).
quote:
quote:
A God who allows us the freedom to sin will surely allow us the freedom to make mistakes in the transmission of a text;
The parallel with us and our sin is not one the Bible makes.
No, but I'm making it. The people who received God's inspiration (according to any inspirational model) and verbalised it, and those who then passed on, transcribed, copied out, translated, printed and annotated the results of that process, were all imperfect human beings, whom God allowed to be imperfect in terms of giving them free will to sin. How then can you be sure that they were perfect verbalisers, transcribers etc?

If you don't see this, then take that whole process of dissemination of the text one stage further. When we read the Bible, God very evidently allows us to interpret it in wildly different ways -- ways that, according to your inerrant beliefs, must be mistakes. If God was so keen on having a perfect text reach us, then why allow it to fall at the last hurdle, that final leap from eye to understanding? If he allows the reader the freedom to be imperfect in this way, then how can you be sure the recipient of the original inspiration et al were not?
quote:
quote:
If we believe in a God who communicates through parables, then it is perfectly viable to believe in a storyteller God who expresses truths through fiction, and who doesn't worry about the details provided a true message comes across.
Is it really viable? That process that you call "not worrying about the details" I would see as "deliberately allowing himself to be misrepresented throughout all of history".
It's only a "misrepresentation" if the reader is assuming factual accuracy: if the reader takes my line, that the Bible is a collection of stories about God, then the details genuinely don't matter. It's a perfectly consistent position, and one which I would suggest most Christians historically have understood implicitly.

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Surrealistic Mystic.

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Atmospheric Skull

Antlered Bone-Visage
# 4513

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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
Not at all. We believe that the Bible is a special book because it is our most direct witness to the life of Jesus, who we believe to be God incarnate.

Oh, I know, yes. My only real point in making the parallel with Doctor Who is that Fish Fish's "argument from consistency" can't possibly hold water, as a sufficiently dedicated reader can find consistency in anything.

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Surrealistic Mystic.

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Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

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quote:
Originally posted by Godfather Avatar:
quote:
Originally posted by ken:
Not at all. We believe that the Bible is a special book because it is our most direct witness to the life of Jesus, who we believe to be God incarnate.

Oh, I know, yes. My only real point in making the parallel with Doctor Who is that Fish Fish's "argument from consistency" can't possibly hold water, as a sufficiently dedicated reader can find consistency in anything.
Right, just catching up again!

The arguement about anything having consistancy doesn't wash with me. The bible is like a gold mine, which after years of study still provides new depths. The consistancy is more than a mere surface level that you might find with Dr Who etc. Its consistancy works both in hindsight, as the Bible develops earlier themes, and also in advance with its amazing prophecies fulfilled. The more I study, the more I see common themese, and amazing "coincidence" which tie the whole book together amazingly. To compare it to Dr Who seems to me to be rather patronising and belittling of the Bible. But there we are.

quote:
Originally posted by Godfather Avatar:
quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
FF has discussed this at length. A number of reasons, the main one being that the authority of the Bible IS undermnined by saying that bits of it may be mistaken.

Er... I'm not sure that it is. Nor why I would necessarily care if it was. My faith isn't reliant on having an instruction book.


I'm not sure if its my argument that is not clear, or what!!! [brick wall]

How can the Bible remain authoritative if we assume authority over it? I am arguing that the Bible has authority over us - in the sense that it tells us what is true and what is false about God. Sometimes what it tells us goes against our reasoning - eg with the Trinity. But we still accept that. But as soon as I start saying "I understand better than the Bible - I can see the errors in the text" then that text no longer has the authority over us to tell us what is right or wrong or mysterious or even apparently contradictory about God.

This is one of the problems with abandoning inerancy. Inerancy is a matter of authority - either I accept that the Bible can tell me things beyond my own puny little comprehension that may seem to contradict - or I don't. And I'm afraid that if I don't, I (or the church) becomes arrogant, and begins to tell God what he logically must be like rather than humbly listens to what he has told us.

I know I'm repeating myself. But I really feel like I'm [brick wall] !!!

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

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Leprechaun

Ship's Poison Elf
# 5408

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quote:
Originally posted by Godfather Avatar:
Er... I'm not sure that it is. Nor why I would necessarily care if it was. My faith isn't reliant on having an instruction book.

Right. Well as I have said many many times, I would have no expectation that someone who does not accept the authority and/or inspiration of the Bible to believe in its inerrancy.

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

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
I have said many many times, I would have no expectation that someone who does not accept the authority and/or inspiration of the Bible to believe in its inerrancy.

I accept the authority of the Bible. I accept it's inspiration (inspiration not being the same as dictated by God or God directly controlling the writers in some way). I don't believe the Bible is inerrant. Am I unexpected, or do you also accept that even people who do accept the authority and/or inspiration of the Bible can also reject inerrancy?

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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
Leprechaun

Ship's Poison Elf
# 5408

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quote:
Originally posted by Alanski Creskovich:

I accept the authority of the Bible. I accept it's inspiration (inspiration not being the same as dictated by God or God directly controlling the writers in some way). I don't believe the Bible is inerrant. Am I unexpected, or do you also accept that even people who do accept the authority and/or inspiration of the Bible can also reject inerrancy? [/QUOTE]

In practice I believe these people "can" do it (because, as you have said, you do) but I find it hard to understand. Which is why I am involved in this discussion. If mine and GA's basic starting points about the Bible are so different then the discussion will only ever be pointless, for both of us.
I'm just trying to make it clear that I am not trying to make everyone believe in inerrancy, rather trying to point out how I think it should fit in if we hold to certain other doctrines of Scripture, especially its inspiration and authority.

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

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Jolly Jape
Shipmate
# 3296

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FF, I too feel like I'm [brick wall]

Is the concept really so hard to grasp. We all have things in our life that are, to a greater or lesser extent, authoritative over us. That does not make them inerrant. In no sense is the authority that they have diminished by that lack of inerrancy. My argument against inerrancy is not so much that it goes against our reasoning, though on your reading, I guess you think that it must do. It is as much that it goes against the Bible. Non inerrantists (at least, this one) have come to their position because they believe that this is the interpretation that satisfies the apparent inconsistencies which even you accept are there in the text.

I really don't see how this position can be interpreted as saying, "I understand better than the Bible," as if the Bible were capable of understanding. It is not. It is a book (or rather a library). It is IMHO divinely inspired, authoritative, full of truth, and remarkably self consistant. But it is a book. It cannot understand, It cannot, in itself speak to us. Its power lies in the fact that God used and uses it to communicate with us. It is testimony, but it is the Testifyer who speaks to us.

Let me put it another way. You have said, I think, that you are not a literalist. I conclude from this that you apply your critical faculties, your understanding, to the text. Prayerfully, you discern that, say, Genesis 1 and 2 are primarily mythic in genre, and do not reflect, nor were they ever meant to reflect, a scientific understanding of the mechanics of creation. Now you would rightly take me to task if I accused you, therefore, of putting your understanding before the authority of scripture. Yet it is precisely this process which you find so difficult to understand when advocated by non-inerrantists. In each case, we take the text seriously. In each case, we use a combination of our intellect and the inspiration of the spirit to discern what we believe God is saying to us through the text. In fact, there is a good case to be made that it is in insisting on inerrancy that we are really telling God what we think he ought to be like, or at least, how we think he ought to speak to us.

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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)

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Stoo

Mighty Pirate
# 254

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quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
How can the Bible remain authoritative if we assume authority over it?

I posted a question in reply to this some time back. I'll expand on it a bit here. I'd be interested in your thinking on the matter.

A few weeks ago, I corrected a mathematical error that my boss made. Was that me assuming authority over my boss? If so, then am I now the one in charge? Was I the one in charge at that point in time?

If I wasn't assuming authority over my boss, then how am I assuming authority over the Bible if I accept that it may have errors?

Genuinely interested to know your thinking on it.

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This space left blank

Posts: 5266 | From: the director of "Bikini Traffic School" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
How can the Bible remain authoritative if we assume authority over it? I am arguing that the Bible has authority over us - in the sense that it tells us what is true and what is false about God.

You start off the word "authority" to mean "in charge" and then shift to using it to mean "truth".

When I say the Bible has authority I don't mean its my boss, I mean that what it says is true.

You seem to have got them confused.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

Posts: 39579 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

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quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
FF, I too feel like I'm [brick wall]

Oh dear - headbanging is so 1980's!

quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
Is the concept really so hard to grasp. We all have things in our life that are, to a greater or lesser extent, authoritative over us. That does not make them inerrant...

No, I get your point. I just think you're wrong!!!! The difference with other authorities, and the trouble with using them as examples (such as Stoo's example of correcting his boss's maths), is that these other authorities are neither innerant, nor need to be so! But when we are talking about a perfect God, that is in his nature not to lie, then his revelation of himself should not or can not contain errors.

quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
I really don't see how this position can be interpreted as saying, "I understand better than the Bible," as if the Bible were capable of understanding. It is not. It is a book (or rather a library).

Fair enough. Sorry that I used that term in the wrong way. What I mean is - the Bible contains the truth, and is authoritative, and so our understanding needs to conform to the Bible to correct our flawed understanding of ourselves, the world and God. The alternative (and what it seems to me non-innerantists so) is to impose our flawed understanding on the Bible, correct it or change it or ammend it or reject it (or bits of it at least), and thus our understanding is not challeneged by a supreme authority.

quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
Let me put it another way. You have said, I think, that you are not a literalist. I conclude from this that you apply your critical faculties, your understanding, to the text. Prayerfully, you discern that, say, Genesis 1 and 2 are primarily mythic in genre, and do not reflect, nor were they ever meant to reflect, a scientific understanding of the mechanics of creation. Now you would rightly take me to task if I accused you, therefore, of putting your understanding before the authority of scripture. Yet it is precisely this process which you find so difficult to understand when advocated by non-inerrantists. In each case, we take the text seriously. In each case, we use a combination of our intellect and the inspiration of the spirit to discern what we believe God is saying to us through the text. In fact, there is a good case to be made that it is in insisting on inerrancy that we are really telling God what we think he ought to be like, or at least, how we think he ought to speak to us.

The way I currently understand Genesis 1&2 is that they are poetic, and teaching "Who" not "How" as I've explained before. What I need to make clear now is that this oppinion is, in a sense, provisional. I am "sitting under" the text, making it authoritative, because I will change my opinion if it becomes apparent that I've misread the text. I will happily chnage to be a 6 day creationalist if it becomes apparant that is what the text is teaching after all. So, my reasoning is subserviant to the text.

I hope we can all see the difference. I am not assuming authoritative knowledge over the text. I am hopefully open to the text challenging and changing my understanding.

But if I assume to know or discern errors in the text, I am imposing my knowledge on the text, and trying to reform it rather than let it reform me. This is why I keep banging on about it losing its God given authority.

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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
Stoo

Mighty Pirate
# 254

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quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
But when we are talking about a perfect God, that is in his nature not to lie...

We're not talking about God. We're talking about the Bible.

quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
The difference with other authorities, and the trouble with using them as examples (such as Stoo's example of correcting his boss's maths), is that these other authorities are neither innerant, nor need to be so!

You cannot argue that my example doesn't count because it is "not inerrant nor needs to be so", when the whole point we are arguing about is this one.

You are claiming that the Bible needs to be inerrant, otherwise it isn't authoritative. I pointed out an authority over me that clearly is not inerrant to show that something can have authority over me whilst still being in error, and you dismiss it purely because of the fact that it is not inerrant. What example could I use, then, Fish Fish? I cannot give you an example of an inerrant authority with errors in it.

Believe me, Fish Fish. It is not you who should be using the head-banging smilie.

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This space left blank

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

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quote:
Originally posted by Stoo:
You are claiming that the Bible needs to be inerrant, otherwise it isn't authoritative. I pointed out an authority over me that clearly is not inerrant to show that something can have authority over me whilst still being in error, and you dismiss it purely because of the fact that it is not inerrant. What example could I use, then, Fish Fish? I cannot give you an example of an inerrant authority with errors in it.

Believe me, Fish Fish. It is not you who should be using the head-banging smilie.

Sorry to cause you a head ache! Sorry not to have made clear that I agree that something that is not perfect can have authority over you.

The reason I think your illustration is mistaken and not a good analogy is that we are talking about a perfect God - without flaw. A God who knows perfection and who can communicate perfectly. Neither you nor your boss are perfect, nor claim to be perfect. So your analogy does not work for we are talking about a perfect God's revelation of himself to imperfect people. So, by its nature, the Bible is a different sort of authority to your boss.

My point is that rejecting innerancy wrecks the Bible as an authoritative revelation of a perfect God because you become the arbiter of truth and not God in his revelation. And, as I said before, that is to impose our flawed understanding on the Bible, correct it or change it or ammend it or reject it (or bits of it at least), and thus our understanding is not challenged by a supreme authority.

[ 09. March 2004, 17:49: Message edited by: Fish Fish ]

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

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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Fish Fish - the Bible isn't God. Stop conflating the two.

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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

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quote:
Originally posted by Papiovavitch:
Fish Fish - the Bible isn't God. Stop conflating the two.

IMO the Bible claims to be God's word, his revalation of himself. What the Bible says, God says. I'm assuming that when I write, and so ISTM I'm not conflating the two.

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

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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Even if the Bible is God speaking to us (which, in a way, I believe), that doesn't mean it's the sole or complete message from God. Indeed, there's no way in which a mere 66 books, inerrant or otherwise, can say all that God has to say to us.

If God does speak to us through the Bible in a manner that is relevant and direct to us (which I, again, believe he does), then that message must be conveyed in more than just those words on the page. For God to speak he must use the interpretive process (including translation, commentary, teaching as developed by the Church in light of Scripture, expository sermons, group and individual Bible study ...). Otherwise, the living God is trapped in set of words and is powerless to address new situations.

The thing is, every single one of those steps in what is, IMO, an essential interpretive process must either be inerrant if we were to follow your logic that gives rise to Biblical Inerrancy. Or else we accept that none of them are perfect, and prone to potential error, in which case why does the previous step (the Bible) deserve special treatment and be assumed inerrant?

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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
Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
IMO the Bible claims to be God's word, his revalation of himself.

Where does Jesus fit into ths scheme?

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insert amusing sig. here

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Jolly Jape
Shipmate
# 3296

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FF, you wrote
quote:
The reason I think your illustration is mistaken and not a good analogy is that we are talking about a perfect God - without flaw. A God who knows perfection and who can communicate perfectly.
Now I'm not quite sure what you mean by perfect communication, but I am sure that He chooses not to do it. If by perfect communication, you mean written, clear, unambiguous, declarative statements, then there might be a case for biblical inerrancy, but I would be surprised if this is how you see the Bible, that it goes even halfway to describing the riches that are contained within it. But if it were the case, there would be no possibility of interpretive input - such input would detract from the perfect source material. How can you improve on perfection?. If, on the other hand, that communication, in as far as the bible is concerned, is nuanced, subtle, at times obscure, then the text demands interpretation, but does not require inerrancy. I don't see the logic of combining the two. You claim that you are under the authority of the Bible, ready to change your views according to how you believe God is interpreting the text to you. Well, what if, like me, you were to come to the conclusion that God was "telling" you that the text is not inerrant? This is a serious question, not merely a debating point. I came to non-inerrancy because that is the view which I believe the bible compels me to take.

I'm quite sure that God could communicate to us directly, without the need for the Bible. At times, I believe he does. He certainly did with Jesus, if we are to believe the gospel accounts. I guess that way would satisfy your demand that He communicate in a way which you believe He should. But, for whatever reason, He chooses not to do it.

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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)

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Psyduck

Ship's vacant look
# 2270

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Fish Fish
quote:
Bible claims to be God's word, his revalation of himself.
Where?

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The opposite of faith is not doubt. The opposite of faith is certainty.
"Lle rhyfedd i falchedd fod/Yw teiau ar y tywod." (Ieuan Brydydd Hir)

Posts: 5433 | From: pOsTmOdErN dYsToPiA | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

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quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf:
quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
IMO the Bible claims to be God's word, his revalation of himself.

Where does Jesus fit into ths scheme?
quote:
Originally posted by psychodukos hudrotypiko-pokemon:
Fish Fish
quote:
Bible claims to be God's word, his revalation of himself.
Where?
Jesus is God's word in human form (John 1:1). He is God's revelation of himself in human form. The Bible is said to be God's word as well - Psalm 119 might be a good place to start...

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

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Ponty'n'pop
Shipmate
# 5198

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Fish Fish says:
quote:
we are talking about a perfect God - without flaw. A God who knows perfection and who can communicate perfectly.
Does it all boil down to this? Even if God is perfect, communication is a process which involves more than God.

God cannot communicate perfectly whilst neither the facilitators of that communication nor the recipients are perfect.

(edited for poor grammar)

[ 10. March 2004, 08:50: Message edited by: Ponty'n'pop ]

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"....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
Fish Fish
Shipmate
# 5448

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quote:
Originally posted by Ponty'n'pop:
God cannot communicate perfectly whilst neither the facilitators of that communication nor the recipients are perfect.

Your theory is interesting - but not backed up by the evidence. So, for example, where does God say he cannot communicate perfectly?

You are putting God in a box. You're saying God cannot do something. God can do absolutely anything he wants! However, if I follow your logic, I could just as easily go on to say God himself cannot be perfect if he cannot communicate perfectly.

God can do something perfectly, even if those he does it for and with are not perfect. And after all, this is the claim the Bible makes for itself - (Psalm 19:7 "The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple."). And this is the way Jesus treated it (Matthew 5:17-18).

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

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dyfrig
Blue Scarfed Menace
# 15

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quote:
Originally posted by Fish Fish:
The Bible is said to be God's word as well - Psalm 119 might be a good place to start...

There's an important and subtle distinction to be made here. The sciptures (compiled and canonised by the worshipping community) make certain claims about certain things - the Psalmists sing of "Gods's Word", by which they mean Torah, the five Mosaic books. These are God's "Word" given to at Sinai. However, God's "Word" also refers to the words spoken through the prophets - note, spoken, not immediately written down. The NT then says that this "Word" of God, a pre-existing, eternal person, is embodied in Jesus Christ. And whilst we're at it, the bit in 2 Timothy refers, and can only refer, to the then extant Jewish scriptures (the canon of which was still in flux).

So the Bible, by which I presume you mean the 66 books of the Protestant version of it, never does claim itself to be the "Word of God". It is a deposit of and about the "Word", to be sure, but that is slightly different.

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"He was wrong in the long run, but then, who isn't?" - Tony Judt

Posts: 6917 | From: pob dydd Iau, am hanner dydd | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ponty'n'pop
Shipmate
# 5198

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quote:
Your theory is interesting - but not backed up by the evidence. So, for example, where does God say he cannot communicate perfectly?

You are putting God in a box. You're saying God cannot do something. God can do absolutely anything he wants! However, if I follow your logic, I could just as easily go on to say God himself cannot be perfect if he cannot communicate perfectly.

Have you deliberately ignored the point which I made that communication is a process involving more than God? I'm not putting God in a box so much as acknowledging the imperfection of the transmittors and receivers.

Of course God can do anything he wants - including communicating eternal truth through imperfect means. It's a decent enough argument for supporting the view that Biblical inerrancy is not necessary for God's redemptive plan.

But it seems plain as plain to me that God is not communicating perfectly - otherwise we'd all receive the same message. I'm not knocking God here - that lack of perfection in communication is at our end not God's. That is my belief....but.....

Tangental Heresy Warning! In the meantime, we might wonder about God's perfection. If we are truly made in his image, and we are imperfect, does that not imply that God is also imperfect??!

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"....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



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