Thursday, October 15, 2015

I Can Do No Other...

I was recently asked to explain my objections to the theological theory of Sola Scriptura. Sola Scriptura is the Protestant theory that the Bible is the sole or primary source of authority on matters of faith and morality - with some general debate about what specifically that means, but that's the gist of it.

It originated with the Protestant revolution and with some (in my opinion) good reason. The Catholic Church believed/believes that "Scripture AND human Tradition (specifically, the teachings/traditions of "the church," which can then be debated futher) are equally important. With the Protestant Reformation, the protestors were saying that some popes and church leaders were making up tradition out of whole cloth, contrary and apart from what the Bible had to say. Thus, in protest to these abuses of the church leaders, they cried "Sola Scriptura!" meaning that the popes couldn't just make up doctrine willy nilly. As an attempt to get away from abuses, it isn't wholly irrational.

Consider: At one point, the Catholic Church demanded that Martin Luther recant from some of his positions. His response...

“Unless I am convinced by the testimony from scripture or by evident reason - for I confide neither in the Pope nor in a Council alone, since it is certain they have often erred and contradicted themselves - I am held fast by the scriptures adduced by me, and my conscience is held captive by God’s Word, and I neither can nor will revoke anything, seeing it is not safe or right to act against conscience. God help me. Amen.“

Thus, sola scriptura was a noble attempt to defend religious liberty (or at least could be seen that way) from those who presumed to speak for God. But, I would argue that sola scriptura ended up being a way of just establishing a NEW and different tradition that wasn't the Catholic Church making the call, but that, in practice, still demanded that people heed what others thought the Bible was saying.

Because I object to sola scriptura theories, I was asked to espouse my alternative theory, and so...

An Alternative to the Human Theory/Tradition of Sola Scriptura, a Theory Never Espoused in the Bible or by Jesus or in any way called "essential" in the Bible, because it is not espoused in the Bible:

My Theory is what I will call the Rational Theory of Godly Inspiration

I. Regarding "sola scriptura..." theories

1. In the Bible (for those of us who take the Bible seriously as a book of wisdom), we find that God reveals God's Self and Ideas in many ways...

a. through Creation,
b. through God's Spirit,
c. through Jesus' direct teaching,
d. through "scripture" (almost always speaking specifically of OT teachings)
e. through "God's Word" or revelation (here, not speaking specifically of Bible books, but the over-arching notion of "every word out of God's mouth..." or the idea of God's Ways)
f. through God's Self revealed in our hearts, minds and/or being,
g. through our God-given reasoning,
h. through "special" or direct revelation (God speaking to someone, directly, audibly - and sometimes inaudibly)
i. through tradition,
j. ...and possibly others I'm not thinking of at the moment

2. At NO time in the Bible, do biblical authors, God or the text give one of these methods of revelation a priority over the others. It never happens.

3. At NO time in the Bible - and for followers of Jesus, more specifically, in Jesus' teachings - do we read about any direct notion of "sola scriptura," or the human theory that the 66 books of the Bible have a special, primary place of authority, in matters of theology or practice. It never happens, not for the 66 books of the Protestant Bible, nor for "Scripture," in general.

4. At NO time in the Bible is the notion of "sola scriptura" - never being directly taught by anyone in general or Jesus, specifically, not literally - called "essential" to Christian teaching. It never happens.

5. Given all this, at a minimum, we need to start with the recognition that, as a point of fact:
a. sola scriptura is a human theory/tradition,
b. it is not an essential teaching of Jesus (or of the essence of Jesus' teachings)
c. that believers of good faith can disagree on this and that's okay

II. If not "sola scriptura," then what?

1. First of all, if we have no rational or biblical reason for Theory A, we are under no obligation to espouse an Alternative to Theory A. It is sufficient to say, Theory A is not sound or can not be supported by data in the real world. For instance, if someone says that we can "know" all Biblical inspiration comes from God via an alien race named Thetans and we can know this because of Ezekiel's story of the spinning wheel and a few other verses, it is sufficient to say "that is not a rational conclusion..." and if they respond, "then via what source do we receive God's inspiration?" we do not need to come up with an alternative theory to Thetan revelation. It is sufficient to say, "that is not a sound theory."

2. But, to answer the question, If not the theory of sola scriptura, then what? I respond: No theory at all, just Reason. Period.

But human reason is not perfect, is it? Hardly. The suggestion is laughable.

Understand, I'm not making the suggestion we should choose to embrace reason in questions of morality, faith, theology and religion. I'm saying that it's what we have. Plain and simple. It's not like we have a line of choices (Do we want to use the Bible, the Koran, Sagan's "Cosmos" or human reason to settle these matters? Let's use... hmmm, option A!") and must choose one and, if not one, then the other.

No, it's not like we have a choice and one answer is the best answer. Rather, we have our reason to sort through ALL the available data out there and do the best we can on matters that are not provable. If we like all or part of what the Bible has to say, we use and have used our reason to understand it. Without reason, it's just a bunch of text that is undecipherable gibberish. Whether we're speaking of the Bible, the Koran, Cosmos or Playboy.

If we highly value the Bible as a source of wisdom on matters of faith, then we hopefully used our reason to reach that conclusion and didn't just start off with "I highly value the Bible because someone else told me to do so..." That wouldn't be a very solid rational starting point for faith.

If we highly value the Bible as a source of wisdom, then we use our reason to sort it out. THIS passage is literal history, it seems to me based upon my best reasoning and the data I have available... THAT passage is likely more mythic in nature, based upon my best reasoning... This OTHER passage seems solidly poetic (as opposed to being a list of literal rules, for instance, or a model for perfect living, for instance). We all do this, beginning with our reasoning, because it's what we have. Those who embrace sola scriptura begin not from the Bible, but from reason, as do the rest of us.

Thus, the answer is, as a point of fact and not preference, that we all begin from a place of reason. It's not a question to be answered, but an observation that we can establish.

Now, all of our reasoning may not be as solid and well-thought-out as others and none of our reason is anything like perfect, but it IS our starting point, just as a point of fact. For all of us. Thus, sola scriptura is not the starting point, as a simple point of fact, our reason is.

And, using our reason, we see that the Bible's authors nowhere specifically push sola scriptura. Just as a point of fact. Further, while some people have, using their reason, taken some passages and reasoned out sola scriptura as a theory, it is a human theory derived using human reason. So, for those people, too, reason was the starting point, the "primary source," literally speaking.

I point back to Luther's quote which I cited early on...

"my conscience is held captive by God’s Word, and I neither can nor will revoke anything, seeing it is not safe or right to act against conscience."

What is Luther citing there? Nominally, "God's Word," presumably he meant the Bible. But, what is he actually citing? He's citing HIS UNDERSTANDING of what God wants. His primary appeal, then, is to his conscience, his reason, not primarily the Bible. Which is right, it's just the fact of the matter.

There's no harm in citing the reality that we are all beginning with our reason. I know there's more comfort and "certainty" if we can conflate our understanding of the Bible with fact or God's Word, but that's just not factual. Thus, let us cling to our fallible human reasoning and acknowledge it as such.

It's what we have.

And if someone were to demand that I recant from this "heretical" position, what would I do?
I would answer, with Luther, that this is right and good and factual, as best I understand it, and I must follow the good and right and factual (ie, God, to me) and can do no other. The difference between Luther and me, is I am making it clear that this is the good and right, as best I understand it, and I do not conflate my opinions and interpretations with God's Word.

It is a critical - the critical - difference.


Marshall Art said...

Far too wordy to labor through in its entirety, but I've been following along at Craig's. Clearly you did not in the least read any of the link I provided there that totally and completely discredits your insistence that nothing in Scripture suggests a doctrine of Sola Scriptura. Nothing could be further from the truth (aside from your ludicrous pro-homosexuality heresies).

As you so often that Jesus came to teach us how to live, you ignore that His ministry was a constant reference to Scripture. He routinely corrected, "You have heard it said..." by responding, "It is written". That alone should imply to any "serious and prayerful" student of Scripture using his "God-given reason" that Christ regarded Scripture as THE main source of understanding against which all else must align. Paul, Luke, John...each refers to the practice of looking to Scripture to get the final word on any question of Christian living.

But "reason"? Anyone who reads YOUR comments, here or elsewhere, can easily see what a bad idea reason is as an authority. YOUR ability to reason, allowing for the possibility that you aren't a complete fraud and liar, is plainly insufficient. Case in point, your reference to Martin Luther.

"Unless I am convinced by the testimony from scripture or by evident reason..."

You seem to believe that Luther is putting reason and Scripture on equal footing. At the very least, "reason" should allow for the fact that he is referring to his position on Roman Catholic policy, specifically that which provoked his 95 theses. That is to say, when he is considering Catholic doctrine, some of it may have been to him obviously invention of the Church, as opposed to Scripture inspired. "Evident reason" would be that which is obvious and without doubt true...that which doesn't require deep research into Scripture to determine...NOT that he believes reason has equal authority of Scripture for teaching us how to be Christian. So, he is saying that unless something obvious exists to convince him, he will stick to Scripture. He says as much in the same statement you quote, as he was "held fast by the scriptures adduced by" him, and that he was "held captive by God’s Word", which he can only know by reading Scripture. In short, he's even in your quote affirming the supreme authority of Scripture.

Marshall Art said...

A slight correction:

In the last paragraph, I said:

"At the very least, "reason" should allow for the fact that he is referring to his position on Roman Catholic policy, specifically that which provoked his 95 theses."

I meant to say:

"At the very least, "reason" should allow for the very likely possibiity that he is referring to his position on Roman Catholic policy, specifically that which provoked his 95 theses."

I haven't researched it enough to state that it is a fact, but I would wager heavily that it is the case. It doesn't make sense any other way given the context in which it appears.

Dan Trabue said...

completely discredits your insistence that nothing in Scripture suggests a doctrine of Sola Scriptura.

I didn't say some people might not find words that, to them SUGGESTS the doctrine of ss. I said it factually does not exist in the pages as a theory. It is, in fact, a human theory where people lift phrases (like Jesus saying "You have heard it said..." and quoting Scripture) and THEN, took those phrases and REASONED OUT, "Jesus wouldn't have said that unless Scripture had THE PRIMARY AUTHORITY..." and that is fine, as a theory, if it makes sense to you.

But as a point of fact, the teaching is not a direct quote from God. It is an opinion. ONE WAY of interpreting a few words in this ancient holy text. Not the only way.

You are welcome to your opinion. As a point of fact, though, I do not find this human theory to be rational because it is self-defeating, in my opinion, and it is not biblical. Literally.

Dan Trabue said...

His ministry was a constant reference to Scripture. He routinely corrected, "You have heard it said..." by responding, "It is written". That alone should imply to any "serious and prayerful" student of Scripture using his "God-given reason" that Christ regarded Scripture as THE main source of understanding

This theory does not hold up as a rationally sound conclusion. You cite Jesus' citation of OT scriptures and he certainly did cite Scripture. Not once did he say that it was the main, primary, sole or supreme authority, but he did cite it. Are you saying that merely citing something is proof that Jesus considered it a supreme authority?

Jesus cites nature a good number of times, too.

"Consider the lilies of the field"
"consider the birds of the air"
"the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed..."
"unless a grain of seed falls into the earth and dies..."
"Look at the fig tree, and all the trees"
"a man had a fig tree planted in his garden..."
"If God so clothes the grass of the field..."
"Where the body is, there the vultures will be gathered around..."

I could go on, but you get the point.

Further, Jesus went into the wilderness many times to be with God, many of his most important teaching times came when he and his followers were in nature, the Sermon on the Mount, fishing in the sea, the Sermon on the Plain, etc.

If mere mentioning of a source is the credential, then Jesus almost certainly cites nature more than the OT. By your reasoning, this is "proof" that Jesus MUST consider nature the primary source.

By your reasoning.

Where am I mistaken?

Craig said...

"The supernatural, interventionist understanding of God is no longer credible in a modern understanding of the universe. Galileo put this god out of a home and Darwin put “God” out of a job."

Since you claim to be a Progressive Christian, and the above was written by someone who also claims the Progressive Christian mantle, could you please defend the above statement?

Craig said...

"We can call ourselves non-theists or post-theists or a-theists and declare game over, there is no reality to which theism points and thus no need for religion or Christianity."

Can you please defend the above position taken by your fellow Progressive Christian?

Dan Trabue said...

I'm sorry, you want me to defend one line comments from some unnamed context that are not mine and not what I believe? Why? You'll have to take it up with the person(s) who made them, I would think.

For the record, I tend to claim to be a Christian from the Anabaptist tradition. I just acknowledge that many conservatives call me a liberal/progressive Christian (or more often "liberal" "Christian")

Will you be explaining what this has to do with the point of this post, Craig?

Craig said...

What, do you have a problem with someone asking questions that don't have anything to do with the post in question and are based on the premise that you should defend something someone else has written.

Could have fooled me.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, when I asked you an off-topic question, I VERY politely said, "Would you mind answering... I'm curious... feel free to delete..." I didn't ask you to comment then and there on that thread. You chose to do so.

That's one difference.

The second difference is that it appears you agree with the theory in question, so I am asking you a question about a position that you hold.

I do not hold that a "supernatural" God is no longer credible, nor am I familiar with the deeper context of this person you quoted. Perhaps I agree with his/her over-arching notions and points - fully or in part - perhaps not. I don't know because this is an obscure two lines ripped from who knows where with no context saying something that I do not agree with, on the face of it.

That's the second difference.

Do you understand the differences now, Craig?

Do you understand the difference between defending something that you probably agree with (ie, YOUR ACTUAL position) versus defending something you probably don't agree with (ie, something that is NOT my actual position)?

Craig said...

Gotcha, so you are fine with interposing an off topic comment on other people blogs in which a request for one party is asked to defend comments made my another party based on your perception of what positions you believe the parties hold. Got it.

Just a little object lesson.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, an object lesson only works insomuch as it makes a salient point.

I don't have the slightest problem with someone coming here, off topic, and saying, "Dan, I know you believe in some form of Christian pacifism... I have a question about that... would you mind answering sometime?" I have no problem in the slightest with someone doing just that, as I did with you. Again, if YOU had a problem with it, all you had to do was delete it and ignore it. No harm, no foul.

Nor do I have a problem with your questions about something unrelated to anything I believe or have said. I would handle that just as I did... "You want me to "defend" something I haven't said and don't believe..? Based on one sentence quotes from people and contexts I don't know? No, I would not care to defend that. Why would I?"

I don't have a problem with the question at all, so your "object lesson" isn't very pertinent to anything, nor does it teach a lesson (except maybe telling something about you, I don't know).

And Craig, it IS a different point, isn't it, since I asked you about something YOU believe, right? So, I just don't see that your lesson was very successful or helpful. But now that I've pointed out the problems with it (and to be clear: The problem is NOT that it was asked, I don't mind that at all), maybe it will be a lesson for you?

I hope so, man.

Any thoughts on the topic?

Craig said...


I simply asked about a couple of quotes from someone who, like you, identifies as a Progressive Christian.

"And Craig, it IS a different point, isn't it, since I asked you about something YOU believe, right?"

Actually, you asked me about something that you ASSUME I believe. You did not actually take the time to verify your assumption before you jumped in. Further, even if I did believe S.S. to be the case, your questions were based on something that Stan wrote, not something I wrote. The simple fact that you presume that you can ask/demand answers about something that I didn't even write, is a concern.

But anyway, I'm glad you have expressed your openness to off topic digressions at your blog.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, if you don't believe it, then ALL you had to do is to say, "Sorry, I don't believe as Stan does in the human theory of SS. It is a bit silly and, frankly, I agree with you. It IS a self-defeating argument..."

But you didn't say that because, as a point of fact, you almost certainly do believe in it. But by all means, clear it up. Tell me that you don't agree with the SS theory and I'll be glad to apologize for making a mistaken presumption. I'm always glad to admit an actual mistake.

The ball's in your court.

Craig said...

Or, you could have asked the question, "Do you believe X", before making assumptions. Of course that would require you to admit you made an error and that you not blame others for things.

Oh well.

Dan Trabue said...

And that makes a great deal of sense if it was a complete stranger, but when I've read your writing for a few years, I often have a good idea of where you likely stand on an issue and so, it seems a bit unnecessary to bother asking if, for instance, you believe that Jesus was/is God, as I'm pretty sure you do.

Am I mistaken?

Or given that, on Stan's site where you were talking, you were defending SS, so why would I NOT presume you support the theory of SS?

And what is the difficulty in clarifying when someone has made a good faith mistake. "You misunderstand, Dan, I agree with you. SS is a self-defeating and irrational human theory..." What is the problem with that?

And in this case, am I NOT correct in my assumption? You're doing a lot of arguing on a topic where the point is moot, as I almost certainly did get your position correct. But you tell me: DO you agree that SS is a bad and irrational theory? DO you agree that it is a human theory?

Quit kicking against the goads, Craig. Just take on the topic rather than dancing around the margins.

Craig said...

"Just take on the topic rather than dancing around the margins."

If only you would take your own advice.

I get that you can justify the fact that you are basing your off topic intrusion on your preconceptions, but that doesn't change the fact that you wanted me to answer for Stan, based on what you think I might believe rather than engaging on the topic of the post based on what I actually have articulated.

As I said, every other time we've engaged on this topic you've been less than responsive in engaging with anything you don't like. Given that history, I see no benefit to repeating what has previously been a long a frustrating interaction.

So, I will leave you to rationalize and justify your preconceptions and move on.

Craig said...

I have to compliment you on the King Jamesy sounding language there at the end. It kind of gives your rationalization a nice "Bibley" veneer as if you were some sort of prophet or something.

Dan Trabue said...

I'm sorry, Craig, do you have ANYTHING to say on the topic? Or is your only point, "Dan sucks."..? Because we get that you have a low opinion of me, but that is not salient to the conversation.

By all means, take on the topic if you have ANYTHING of worth to say. But if not, then move on. People are tired of constant ad hom attacks and "discussions" with no actual conversation.

If your entire point is "Dan is a poopy guy" then your opinions are duly noted. Move on.

You ARE welcome to talk about the topic here, if you want, though.


Dan Trabue said..., that appears to be a No, you don't have anything to say on the topic or a defense to make of it, you just wanted to engage in some off topic ad hom attacks?

Duly noted.

Dan Trabue said...

Further, you continue to attack me for presuming that your position is, most likely, your actual position... so you're attacking me NOT because I'm mistaken, but because I accurately identified your position and you think I should have asked if it was your position, rather than presume - given your repeated defense of SS - that it is your position. You attack, rather than offer a simple clarification if I was mistaken.

Again, duly noted.

Craig said...


I have not attacked you, and I have no desire to engage with you again on this topic. I certainly have no desire to engage you here. Feel free to impute whatever motives you choose to my actions. Further, feel free to (mis) represent my words and actions in whatever way that seems to best serve you.

Dan Trabue said...

The point was you continue to object to my characterizing your position as it is, that you are a supporter of sola scriptura, which appears to be your actual position.

If it's not, why not just say, "I don't believe in ss, it's a silly and self-defeating human theory..."

If you do, it seems like you or someone might be prepared to defend it against reasonable questions.

I don't blame you for not defending it and answering these questions - they're not answerable, they point to fatal flaws in this human hunch. I'd just think that honorable people should be willing to either point to the answers if they're given somewhere else or admit they don't have answers.

Since I truly believe you to be a good and honorable man, one who is reasonable and not afraid to admit when he doesn't have answers, I'm just puzzled as to why you wouldn't answer the questions or admit you can't.

You are free, of course, to opt out, and do so with my blessings. One day, somewhere, I hope to find someone to answer these reasonable questions.

Craig said...

Yes, I object to you making assumptions and acting on assumptions about positions that you have a hunch that I may hold. I further object to your presumption that because Stan and I might possibly hold some beliefs in common, that I am somehow obligated to defend his positions because Stan isn't as willing to put up with your BS as I have been.

It doesn't surprise me that you have not managed to figure this out by now so I'll try to be simple and emphatic.

I've had this discussion with you before. It wasn't productive. You ignored everything I provided in support of my positions. You provided nothing remotely resembling objective proof for your position. You danced around, ignored, and dodged multiple questions. Given that history, why would any sane person engage in the same conversation more than once?

So, as I said, misrepresent my position, mischaracterise my reasons for not wanting to get stuck to this tar baby again, define things as unanswerable based solely on your dissatisfaction with "answers" you think you got 30 years ago. Don't let a little thing like reality stop you from spinning this however you need to to make yourself feel Reasonable and superior.

I just don't care.

I'd suggest that if you really expect me to even consider engaging with you on anything, that a sign of your good faith would be to answer all the questions you've dodged in the last thread or two at my blog, but I know that doing so would be a fruitless and futile gesture.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, a very simple request:

Am I mistaken in my assumption? DO you agree with the human theory of Sola Scriptura?

If you'd like to comment here, please answer this question. The reason is that you are accusing me of making assumptions, but it appears to be that I've made a correct assumption (ie, read you defending SS and assumed, therefore, that you agreed with it... which seems like a reasonable assumption. You appear to be stretching out this with venom and distaste when I only correctly read your words and repeated back a correct assumption, based on your words.

But, if you tell me that I am mistaken, that you do NOT agree with SS, then I can apologize for my misunderstanding and we can move on.

This is only reasonable, don't you see?

Craig said...

What is reasonable is that I stick to what I have said all along and not engage with you on this topic in this forum. Instead I leave you to your own presumptions and devices so that you can intimate whatever makes you feel superior.

I would be remiss if I failed to point out that you took umbrage at my suggestion that you shared beliefs with others of your progressive predilection, yet you insist that it is only reasonable for you to do the same about me.

Dan Trabue said...

No umbrage. I asked why you'd presume I'd support something I've never defended or brought up or advocated.

You, on the other hand, have defended Sola scriptura, thus, I made a reasonable (and I believe still accurate, given the data) assumption that you believe in SS. Which you almost certainly do, and thus, I was not mistaken in making my assumption.

Craig said...

I understand, you find it Reasonable to make presumptions about others, while getting annoyed when people do the same about you.

I realize consistency hasome never been particularly important to you, but still this is a new kevel.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, do you have any comments on the topic of this post?

If you're only here to attack and demonize and not engage in respectful conversation, I'll ask you to take your personal attacks elsewhere.

Your on topic comments are welcome. If you're just going to be a troll, I'll hope you can understand how I ask you to move on.

Craig said...

Not once have I attacked you, nor have I misrepresented your position. You on the other hand have consistently misrepresented my position. Given this, I wonder why you think I would have any hope of engaging in anything resembling a reasonable conversation. When your starting position is to misrepresent me, despite repeated correction, it seems unreasonable to think that you will all of a sudden change now.

So if all that intrests you is misrepresenting and name calling, I'm not going to play your games.

Dan Trabue said...

You continue to criticize me for assuming that, because you have defended SS in other times and places, that you actually believe in SS. Repeatedly you have made this attack. It is an ad hom attack because it is attacking my assumption based on your words (with the open plea for you to clarify if I'm mistaken, which I do not appear to be), rather than dealing with the actual topic.

I have not misrepresented your position. You can not point to some place where I have misrepresented your position. This is a false claim. If, at any point, you want to actually, you know, SUPPORT your claim rather than just be an accuser, please do. As always, IF I have misunderstood and thus, misstated your position, I will be glad to apologize and correct it.

But be reasonable, You can't

1. Defend SS in other places
2. and thus, lead me to believe your defense of SS is an indication that you actually believe it;
3. and when I ask you to clarify, "DO YOU not believe in SS?"
4. refuse to answer
5. And reasonably say I'm misrepresenting your position.

I'm making a reasonable assumption based on your words and asking you to clarify. You are the one opting to be obtuse, rather than clear; make charges, rather than be helpful.

Now, it could be you were defending SS just playing devil's advocate and I mistook that intellectual exercise as an actual belief. Then, clearly, I would be mistaken, but not for an unreasonable reason.

But if you won't clarify your positions, then you don't get to whine, "you're misrepresenting me!"

By all means, step up and clarify, be helpful and engage in conversation, rather than dodge questions and just make accusations with no support. I'm willing to engage in reasonable dialog.

Dan Trabue said...

And I repeat: Do you have any thoughts on the topic of this post?

Craig said...

Why would I get sucked into another variation of a conversation we've already had?

Dan Trabue said...

I don't know. YOU are the one who came here, I didn't make you. YOU are the one making off topic comments. I'm merely asking you if you want to, you know, comment on the topic. I'm being polite and assuming you're not just a troll seeking to be divisive or disruptive.

So, if you're not here to comment on the topic, why ARE you here? To tell me that you're not going to comment on the topic?

Again, no problem. I hope some day to meet a conservative Christian who will try to actually answer these questions or have the strength of character to admit there are no good answers to them and they point to legitimate concerns in the human theory of sola scriptura. If not you, maybe some day someone else will.

Craig said...

"I hope some day to meet a conservative Christian who will try to actually answer these questions or have the strength of character to admit there are no good answers to them..."

I see, so you will ignore the answers and scholarship that already exists because you haven't actually "met" the authors. It does my heart good to see how open you are to seeking out answers and scholarship. Maybe if you didn't dismiss everything that is out there because you didn't like something you heard or read 30 years ago without actually taking the time to investigate it, you could actually have a rational conversation about the topic. But your "I learned all I ever needed to know about this 30 years ago and therefore see no reason to open my mind or reconsider my position." attitude precludes any hope of a rational conversation. Your inability to lay out a reasonable alternative doesn't help either.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig: Read my answer very closely and understand:

I'm familiar with the SS teachings. I was raised with it. I've looked into it. I've abandoned it because these questions exist that point to holes in the reasoning (or lack thereof) in the human theory of SS. I'm not familiar with anyone who has answered these specific questions.

If you are, by all means point me to them. But don't point me mindlessly to yet another person making their human case for the human theory of SS, I'm familiar with the general argument. What is missing is anyone (that I've yet to read) dealing with the holes my questions point to.

So, do you understand that there is no "ignoring" of "answers and scholarship" - unless you call 30 + years of reading those answers "ignoring..."?

Do you understand, then, that it is a false charge to call my due diligence "ignoring..."?

If so, then I'm sure you'll do the honorable thing and apologize for the false charge and admit your error. If you opt not to, well, that's on you.

Maybe if you didn't dismiss everything that is out there because you didn't like something you heard or read 30 years ago without actually taking the time to investigate it

It's not that I "didn't like it..." I AGREED with the theory, thus I "liked it." It was the theory I was familiar with and had taught to me all my life. But ultimately, BECAUSE the teaching is not biblical, BECAUSE there are these holes that no one - including you - is answering, I had to abandon what I liked in favor of what was reasonable and biblical.

Do you understand your mistake in your mischaracterization of reality?

Craig said...

You are the one who claims to have investigated this 30 plus years ago and who is unable to find ANYONE who answered your particular questions in the way that you would like them answered, I'm simply paraphrasing what you've claimed.

So if, as you now claim, you've done your "due diligence" for "30+" years, can you name me one or two books(or scholarly articles) written recently that you've read in the past two rears on the subject? Can you pick out one or tow specifics from those books (or articles) and demonstrate how they have failed to deal with your questions?

I ask because, your current claim (That you've been doing "due diligence" for "30+" years) is at odds with your previous claim that you had heard some Sunday School lessons and done some unquantified amount of research 30 years ago.

To be fair, I think that when I have provided you with articles, links, and quotes in past discussions that you have never read, debunked, acknowledged, or commented on, that it's safe to say that you "ignore" things that might cause to to reassess your current positions.

Again, by all means continue to have this conversation with your hunch about my position, I'm entertained by it.

Dan Trabue said...

Again, by all means, make your case.

When you have offered repeats of what I'm already familiar with, no, I haven't spent a great deal of time re-reading what I'm already familiar with. Why would I?

Dan Trabue said...

can you name me one or two books(or scholarly articles) written recently that you've read in the past two rears on the subject?

Are you suggesting there is some new writing on this topic that now gets around to answering my questions? Which ones?

Can you pick out one or tow specifics from those books (or articles) and demonstrate how they have failed to deal with your questions?

"Specifics," of where they never addressed my questions?

So like, there is this essay from the folks at Ligonier...

Where they never address my reasonable questions. That specific? Or do you want me to say that when they said, "Furthermore, we are forbidden to add to or take away from Scripture (cf. Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Rev. 22:18-19). To add to it is to lay on people a burden that God Himself does not intend for them to bear..." that THERE, the did not answer my questions, nor do they in any other line of the essay? Do you want me to cite each line and then say, "didn't address it there," and move on to the next one?

I can't cite something that isn't there. Now, if YOU know of some place that deals with these questions, by all means, cite it, refer me to it. Or just make the case yourself.

That's what I'm waiting for: Someone to deal with these questions or to send me to someone who deals with these questions (or, more reasonably, admit that these questions point to holes in the human ss theory).