First, let me direct your attention to something I’ve added to the blog just below the blog’s name and tag-line: a page entitled “Naked Bible’s Inspiration Discussion.” For those who are new to this blog, we’re in a discussion on inspiration — why, in the Naked Bible’s view — the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy has problems and we need something better. I will be referring new readers and those who complain about how heretical my views are (read: they don’t conform to some confession or doctrinal statement they are familiar with) to this page. I can’t take the time in replies to do the catch-up work for you, so this page will be your go-to place to get caught up if you really care about the discussion.
Now, back to the discussion. When we last left off, some time ago, I had issued my third “Bellingham Statement”. Here are the three statements to date:
1. Another Whack at Bellingham Statement 1
2. Moving to Bellingham Statement 2
What I’d like to do at this juncture is start specifically comparing my thoughts to the Chicago Statement. After the third Bellingham Statement it occurred to me that it would be easier to issue more statements if I had first gone through the entire Chicago Statement and taken some notes as it were. Below are the first eight (of 19) Chicago Statement Articles and my thoughts on them. Subsequent posts will cover the rest.
WE AFFIRM that the Holy Scriptures are to be received as the authoritative Word of God.
WE DENY that the Scriptures receive their authority from the Church, tradition, or any other human source.
|No issues with this in general. The affirmation is worded broadly enough so that someone who holds to a canon other than the Protestant canon could affirm it. The denial seemingly takes a swipe at that possibility, but doesn’t have to be read to rule out a wider canon. It certainly rules out the Church (read: Roman Catholic Church) as the originator of Scripture’s authority.|
WE AFFIRM that the Scriptures are the supreme written norm by which God binds the conscience, and that the authority of the Church is subordinate to that of Scripture.
WE DENY that Church creeds, councils, or declarations have authority greater than or equal to the authority of the Bible.
WE AFFIRM that the written Word in its entirety is revelation given by God.
WE DENY that the Bible is merely a witness to revelation, or only becomes revelation in encounter, or depends on the responses of men for its validity.
|No issues with this either since I’m not neo-orthodox.|
WE AFFIRM that God who made mankind in His image has used language as a means of revelation.
WE DENY that human language is so limited by our creatureliness that it is rendered inadequate as a vehicle for divine revelation. We further deny that the corruption of human culture and language through sin has thwarted God’s work of inspiration.
|The affirmation is interesting. Who is “speaking” the language in the affirmation? Humans? If so, then the affirmation could be read in such a way that the idea of God GIVING the words to the writers violates the affirmation. This would work as follows: God gives humans language>humans use language to write the words of Scripture (the words aren’t given to them)>the result is “Scripture” (in terms of this being the beginning of the inspiration process). But does this refer to GOD using human language? That would mean this part of the statement has God giving the writers the words, an idea that readers know I object to. I think, though, that the denial portion favors the former option, since the denial clearly concerns *problems* that may occur in normal human communication – which problems would NOT occur if God were the speaker. As such, I think this affirmation could easily be in agreement with me that the words of Scripture originate with humans who use the vehicle of their language to write under Providence.|
WE AFFIRM that God’s revelation within the Holy Scriptures was progressive.
WE DENY that later revelation, which may fulfill earlier revelation, ever corrects or contradicts it. We further deny that any normative revelation has been given since the completion of the New Testament writings.
|I have no issue with the affirmation. The denial is tricky. Where does analogical fulfillment of prophecy fit in here? Take Hosea 11:1 (“out of Egypt have I called my son”). The verse looks BACK into time to the exodus and refers to the nation of Israel (God’s son – called exactly that before Pharaoh [Exo. 4:23]). Yet Matthew applies it to Jesus. Hosea 1:11 isn’t predictive in any way, so Matthew sees an analogy. Fine. Does he then “correct” Hosea 11:1? No – Hosea never claimed anything; he just looked BACK and made an observation. Does Matthew “contradict” Hosea? No, again because Hosea makes no claim that Matthew contradicts (God did indeed redeem Israel from Egypt, and Matthew doesn’t say otherwise). My issue here with Article V is that it ought to account in some way for Scripture “updating” or “being applied” by subsequent Scripture (or subsequent editorial hands in the inspiration process). That would help distinguish certain phenomena in Scripture from what is being targeted in the denial.|
WE AFFIRM that the whole of Scripture and all its parts, down to the very words of the original, were given by divine inspiration.
WE DENY that the inspiration of Scripture can rightly be affirmed of the whole without the parts, or of some parts but not the whole.
|My issue here is the idea that the WORDS “were given by divine inspiration.” What I want from those who composed this language is an explanation of how this is NOT dictation (“subconscious dictation” is still dictation – it need not be audible) or how it is not a take-over of the writer’s mind. As this whole series of posts has documented, NO notion of dictation can be reconciled with the phenomena we find in the text – since the result would render the “whisperer” (God) incompetent, schizophrenic, or mutable in disturbing ways. See the catch-up PAGE above for a list of earlier posts and readings that are fundamental to understanding my concern and view on this.
I have no problem with the denial portion.
WE AFFIRM that inspiration was the work in which God by His Spirit, through human writers, gave us His Word. The origin of Scripture is divine. The mode of divine inspiration remains largely a mystery to us.
WE DENY that inspiration can be reduced to human insight, or to heightened states of consciousness of any kind.
|I have several issues with the language here, as anyone who takes the time to read the links on the catch-up PAGE above will understand. I do not believe it is correct to say God “gave” the words. The origin language is also vague. I would affirm that God is the ultimate originator of Scripture in the ways I have articulated in earlier posts. I would deny that God is the immediate originator of Scripture. That would be the human writers. The denial “mode” language is a cop out – the mystery results from NOT wanting (or being able) to distinguish the idea of God giving the words from any sort of dictation. Rather than appeal to mystery, the dictation language of words being given ought to be scrapped for something better.
I am in agreement with the denial statement.
WE AFFIRM that God in His work of inspiration utilized the distinctive personalities and literary styles of the writers whom He had chosen and prepared.
WE DENY that God, in causing these writers to use the very words that He chose, overrode their personalities.
|I agree with the affirmation and the denial – but how in the world does the person who wrote or assents to Articles VI and VII assent to Article VIII? How (or why) would God give the different words to each synoptic writer? Why have writers quote the MT vs. the LXX and vice versa in the same book or passage? What about a later editor updating what God “gave”? Sure, we could say (and I do) that the editor was part of the inspiration process, but how is it that what GOD gave in need of updating? Didn’t God know via omniscience that part would need updating? If so, why not just take care of that need with better wording? Etc. Etc. This is all comprehensible if you just have Article VIII, but Articles VI and VII? I guess it’s a mystery.|
Following you from the beginning, it is quite obvious that your qualms with the Chicago statement are indeed because you do not hold to the same presuppositions, pertaining to specifics of the doctrine of God, of which the men who penned the statement had. I will explain what the main specifics are:
First, you do not believe in a God that ordains every minute detail of history (and the future for that matter); you only believe he ordains the ends; the big things .and only may concern himself with certain means which directly affect the ends. You can research the scriptural evidence by checking any of the orthodox responses to open theism; picking up a copy of Charnock on the Attributes of God or perhaps reading John Pipers Desiring God or Pleasures of God, or perhaps Lorraine Boettner where he documents it nicely in his The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination.
He (B.B. Warfield) goes on to say that the writers (Of the Old Testament) rarely use such expressions as “it rains;” they instinctively speak of God sending rain, etc. The possibility of accident and chance are excluded and even “the lot was an accepted means of obtaining the decision of God (Joshua 7:16; 14:2; 18:6; 1 Samuel 10:19; Jonah 1:7). All things without exception, indeed, are disposed by Him, and His will is the ultimate account of all that occurs. Heaven and earth and all that is in them are the instruments through which He works His ends. Nature, nations, and the fortunes of the individual alike present in all their changes the transcript of His purpose. The winds are His messengers, the flaming fire His servant: every natural occurrence is His act; prosperity is His gift, and if calamity falls upon man it is the Lord that has done it (Amos 3:5, 6; Lamentations 3:33-38; Isaiah 47:7; Ecclesiastes 7:14; Isaiah 54:16). It is He that leads the feet of men, wit they whither or not; He that raises up and casts down; opens and hardens the heart; and creates the very thoughts and intents of the soul.”
Mike, God acts as Sovereign in two ways. One by moving his hand upon what he wishes and secondly by withdrawing his hand from what he wishes. This is so clear in our salvation .With the elect God chooses to move his hand of grace upon them, but with the reprobate God chooses to withdraw his hand and let them go about in their own free-will. The majority of the men who penned the Chicago statement believed God worked the very same way in inspiring the word of God. He moved his hand upon holy men to move them to produce words of his desire, yet still words that corresponded to their own will. In other instances, such as in the case of editing, God withdraws his hand and allows updates and other variations to enter into the evidence of his divine word. With this presupposition of Gods Sovereignty YOU MUST allow God to GIVE the words of Scripture to the authors. While at the same time YOU MUST accept that those words are truly the words of the authors. The words must be both truly divine and truly human.
Your qualms with the mystery stated in Article VII does not hold water, because if it is a mystery to us when God influences and when God withholds in history, them the inspiration process MUST be a mystery also because it is based on the same mystery. In the same way, if it remains a mystery to us who God has decreed to be his elect and who God has decreed to allow to follow their own free-will (the reprobate), then the inspiration process will remain a mystery to us since it is based on the same mystery of Gods Sovereign Actions within his creation, whether we are talking about soteriology or bibliologyman is ignorant of exactly how God works in these processes…we only know what he has revealed to us–that He gave us the words of scripture as his words and yet they are fully the words of holy men also who God taught by the Holy Spirit.
Your qualm about not being able to distinguish dictation from the inspiration advocated in the Chicago Statement is unfounded. With the presupposition of the authors of the Chicago statement that I have set forth here, that God is Sovereign over every detail of everything (therefore making chance and risk incoherent for the nature of God), the continuity between the words being fully given of God and yet no dictation being contracted is totally sensible and biblical. Because the same paradox that exists with Gods inspiration of Scripture and mans part in it (being not a dictation) is THE SAME EXACT paradox of Gods Absolute Sovereignty and mans responsibility; how in salvationfor God to predestine his elect to salvation, yet this predestination has no coercion or force upon their willis a paradox equal toGod giving every word of scripture through the Holy Spirit, yet this giving does not entail dictation because mans will in producing words works perfectly with the will of the giver of the words so that the words of Scripture can be said to be 100% Gods and 100% mans.
I pray for grace to be with you in your studies,
@cwmyers007: Some response and correction: You said “First, you do not believe in a God that ordains every minute detail of history (and the future for that matter); you only believe he ordains the ends; the big things.” Right on the first part; wrong on the latter – God can ordain “little” things if he wants to. I’m also not ruling out any mystery – just pointing out that the mystery in the Statement doesn’t need to be mysterious. Since foreknowledge and predestination are not of necessity connected, the view I’m arguing for isn’t incoherent. One last item: you have YET to address any of the specific “test cases” I’ve put out as to the phenomena we see in the Scriptures themselves. What I’d like to see you do is go back to the list (now the page designed to get everyone caught up) and go through the cases one by one, showing us how your view works and answers the problems/questions. That would be more helpfulthan quoting theologians.
First, I was faithful to understanding your view by saying in my original post, “the big things and only may concern himself with certain means which directly affect the ends.” (i.e. some little things of his choice). And secondly, I did once briefly go back and consider what you think to be “problems” (although not on the blog)…..I said,
“When I studied those, they just did not seem to pose any problems…Psalms 105 is poetry; not a strict-historical account…the author is more concerned with the hymnody than rigid enlightenment-strict historicity. Deuteronomy was written to be horatory-distinctly different than Exodus and I have heard it explained before that the word changes are for that reason in addition to the big time-frame difference between the writing of Exodus and Deuteronomy where some things had to be contextualized for the new generation about to enter the promised land.
Additionally, I Cor. 11 does not suppose a non-scientific worldview–your source was original and I could find no commentator (ancient or modern) that even comes close to espousing such an explanation. It seemed totally wishful thinking and inventive in my estimation. His source will not stand up to scholarship, just watch.
I Samuel 13 was new to me…but it seems that we are simply missing some of the original manuscript text–which is okay–it is not like it is a piece of Romans that we are missing. I think God has made it so that we do not have the originals for a reason–man would worship them! Look at how the ‘relics’ of early centuries were treated–pay to look at a relic and your dead sister gets a get-out-of-purgatory-free-card!
Jeremiah–I admit is one of the most difficult…however, it is definitely doable here…I agree with such scholars as John Walton, Doug Kennard, and Bruce Waltke that both editions are Jeremaic. That is to say that Jeremiah wrote an earlier, shorter edition in Alexandria and later added to his previous work while in Babylon. Both editions were in circulation and both were authoritative because both were original. Further, this should not pose a great problem, for we have already seen that God can use additions to the initial writing to bring about His divine text, therefore even if both editions were not Jeremaic (which I believe they were), they were both still part of the inspired original.
You see your “problems” just does not produce problems regarding the process between the divine and the human like you are trying to display with your immediate and ultimate terminology, but rather this stuff tells us about the divine and human process of how God has preserved the text (not the process of genesis or origination) without preserving the original wherein the actual inspiration and infallibility is to be found.”
In the last paragraph, I was trying to say that all of your problems that you cited are problems only if we are trying to understand the process of preservation of the original text. It seems that they do not pose any problems to understanding the process of God inspiring the text (the divine-human aspect that is a “mystery” as cited in the Chicago statement). The unbreakable chain is that inspiration implies infallibility because of the nature of God and his revelation. The question you need to wonder is this: does the original revelation of God which was inspired and infallible have to be preserved with the fullness of its inspiration and infallibility? I think this is this question that you are investigating and it is not the question of whether the Revelation of God is infallible or not as you are staging.
So what I would like to see you do is to show me how any of your “problems” denigrate the inspiration of God’s revelation because only if you can show this can you show any to be an issue for the infallibility of Scripture.
Also remember that your qualm with dictation is recitified if you consider how you understand the connection between thought and language. If words are merely arbitrary signs of ideas, like the algebraic symbols plus and minusmere marks having no affinity with the ideas and not prompted by themthen an idea might be suggested by inspiration without any prompting or suggestion of a word to express it. Thought and language in this case are wholly diverse and disconnected, and if words are given to a prophet by which to exhibit the wordless thoughts that have been started in his mind, it must be by dictation. Dictation is the standing objection to verbal inspiration. Upon this theory of language, it is assumed that the two processes of thinking and expressing thought can each go on by itself independently of the other and that the thought does not naturally and inevitably prompt the word. When an author dictates to a scribe, the scribe does not go through the mental process along with the author, any more than does the typesetter in setting up type or any more than does the parrot in repeating human words. The scribe does not think the authors thoughts along with him, but mechanically writes down what he hears with his ear. In this instance, the ideas and the words for the scribe are entirely separated from each other. If this be the true theory of the relation of language to thought, then verbal inspiration would be dictation.
But if it be held that there is a natural affinity and a necessary connection between thought and language, then whatever prompts thought prompts language, and an influence upon one is an influence upon the other. The suggestion of ideas inevitably involves the suggestion of words. Thought and language upon this theory are inseparable, so that when the Holy Spirit inspires a prophet, the mind of the prophet is so moved that he not merely thinks, but utters his thinking in language that is suitable and simultaneously inbreathed and prompted along with the thought. Both alike are theopneustic.? This is wholly different from dictation. Dictation separates thought and language; verbal inspiration unites them. Verbal inspiration is the truth if thought is prior to and suggests language; but not if language is prior to and suggests thought. The inspired writer in this latter case does not have the thought until he has had the word, and the word is dictated to him by the Spirit, not prompted in him by the inspired thought in his own mind.
Mike, you do not have to post this…I just wanted to throw a note to you that I will start really researching harder on this….taking special attention to what you have made distinctive (I’ve catalogued 14 items). I will start with the problem of Inerrancy and science (or a pre-scientific worldview as you term it) and especially as it relates to I Cor 11:13-15. It is here that I especially disagree with you…and I seek to better explain things to you and by no means convince you of anything…I think that is humanly impossible. When my research is complete…I will throw it to you for feedback…whether through the blog or e-mail it depends on its length….talk to you soon.
@cwmyers007: sounds good!
@cwmyers007: I think we should reduce this to simple questions:
(1) Do you believe God GAVE the writers the words that wound up in the original product of inspired composition- the initial thing the writer produced)?
(2) If so, did God also give editors the words THEY used, making them part of the process? Why would God need to do things this way if he, in omniscience, knew changes would be necessary to those words he originally gave?
(3) How does your view (assuming you answer “yes” to #1) handle the list of issues I’ve referred to earlier (i.e., what is its explanatory power)?
Most definitely I answer YES to number one. My second affirmation of number two poses no problems to my answering YES to number one because I understand the editorial updates NOT to be “improvements” that “needed” changes.
Rather holy men who edited the text did so for contextualization among many other holy factors. Why can’t God inspire the original authors to speak to his generation and then for a later editor to add or revise names, places, or to update by narration the death of the past inspired author as part of God CONTINUING to speak to his people? (kinda like forewards and second and third editions and other such modern inventions of todays publications–why limit God and say that he cannot do #1 and still add forewards, appendices, and second and third editions to his original inspired words which he GAVE inerrantly to holy men by his Holy Spirit?) Show me one example of inspired editorial work that was intended to “fix” the original inspired authors content and I will concede to your view, but until then I hypothesize that your view is inadequate to the Biblical view of God’s intimate ordering of the world. And your rejection of number one is untenable and at odds with the Biblical evidence of theology proper.
As to number three, I will start handling this with my research…starting first with Inerrancy and Science.
I will probably get some preliminary stuff to you after Christmas.
Grace be with you,
@cwmyers007: If they weren’t necessary changes (such as necessary applications of an OT passage) what were they? Why do they occur? What’s the point of the changes?
If God did as you describe (application, basically), then I’d say the changes WERE necessary to communicate to people of a new era. I think we’d agree, but I don’t think you see the implications. The easy ones are things like updating place names. The hard ones are instances where a prophecy is “applied” in a way that the original prophecy didn’t envision [recall the Chisholm article I gave your class].
Your idea of God still inspiring editions and addendums and changes, etc. is one I don’t disagree with, since I believe God was in the entire process. But you have a problem that is created by your view of God GIVING the words. When those editions contradict one another, if God was GIVING the words AT THE MOMENT THOSE EDITIONS WERE BEING CREATED – who was God talking to? Why didn’t he “move” the editors to avoid creating contradictions between editions? Can’t God make up his mind? Didn’t he know he was creating contradictions? Since I don’t have God whispering words during the process, but instead using providence to work toward the final form, I don’t have to explain who God was speaking to when all this work was going on. God was letting humans struggle through the process, overseeing the work so that, in the end, there was a final product of the process. And THAT was what we ought to consider the autograph.
You want an example of a later writer “fixing” something written earlier? Here are a couple. I’ll turn these into posts after you’d had some time to think about them (I won’t telegraph the point; I want you to find the problem):
1) Compare Exodus 21:1-7 with its parallel passage in Deuteronomy (15:12-18). Do you see what the latter removes? Hint: the earlier version needed to be edited for theological reasons.
2) Compare the rules for the passover given in Exodus 12 with the rules for it in Deuteronomy 16. What was changed in Deuteronomy – even to the point of making parts of the Exodus rules a violation of the law in Deuteronomy? Why were these changes made? Hint: Did Moses really write both chapters?
Excellent Response. This response is not a comprehensive response to your post, but rather it is to tell you that I am surely researching this out, but let me give you some preliminary thoughts of where I will be going and critique your understanding of editing.
First, you laid out very nicely your view of how the inspiration process works and succintly defined what your view understands the ‘autographs’ to be. However this is definitely not how the majority of evangelicals understand the autographs (nor the theologians of the Chicago Statement). I think our understanding of editing is divergent and needs to be identified.
I do not see in the evidence that God was allowing different editors at once to produce different inspired editions of a text that had contradictions between them.
Mike, I understand your view to be deficient because it requires us to believe that God made something inerrant out of what was originally errant. The varying contradicting editions, you say, are providentially overseen so that in the end they become inerrant and the word of God providentially. But I must believe in plenary inpsiration that necessitates inerrancy precisely because God gave his holy men the words of the autographs.
My view of editions is this, taking Jeremiah as an example. Jeremiah probably produced a first draft of his book while he was in Egypt. God was inspiring both Jeremiah and his scribe Baruch. However, establishing that Baruch never altered the text without Jeremiahs consent while he was alive we can also establish that Jeremiah probably left a MS of his draft in Alexandria while moving to the near East. The MS that was left in Egypt was subsequently copied by uninspired scribes and possibly even edited by uninspired editors.
Meanwhile in the near East, Jeremiah (or Baruch following Jeremiahs death) finished Jeremiahs book and that MS was copied by different uninspired scribes and perhaps even edited by different uninspired editors.
With this understanding of editing look at what we have fleshed out. Jeremiah deposited inspired, inerrant MS floating in Egypt and the Middle East, which have no contradiction within them, however they evolve contradictions by later uninspired editors and scribes.
You see in my view I understand that not just anyone could mess with the text. The editors who were inspired were men of Israel who were prophets or other men of God who were authorized to touch the text because they were recognized to be men of God taught by the Spirit of God. The minute that the text entered uninspired hands is when we start understanding the origin of contradiction in our current evidence of MSS.
This is the point, my view is that there never was errant editions that coalesced into Gods inerrant Word. Rather, we started with inspired, inerrant autographs which were given from God through holy men inspired of the Holy Spirit. THEN, inspired editors could touch the text still leaving them to be inspired and inerrant; and also therefore producing two separate editions of inspired MS; one without the inspired editions and one with them (in the case of Jeremiah), however I believe Jeremiah to be the exception because I think Israel guarded their Law from unholy hands at least until all havoc broke lose in the times of the exile or apostasy (like during the time of the kings before Josiah when the MS were lost in the temple library).
Since this is extensive, I will separately post the rest of my response.
RE: The Rest of my response
Secondly, regarding prophecy and Chisholms article; give me some time to research this (and dig up Chisholms article and re-read it), however if I remember correctly, Chisholms evidence in the article is explainable in my view by consulting my understanding of the NT use of the OT and especially the application of prophecy according to the distinctions made by Kaiser (into direct, applicative, and typical or something like that I will have to consult his work again).
Lastly, at my preliminary examination of your two examples, I do not believe they show a fixing of inspired text (or how could the unfixed inspired text be inspired and inerrant!).
(1) Your first example seems NOT to be a fixing. The omission of Exodus 21:4 in Deuteronomy seems to me to be contextualizing. Think with me on this. Ex. 21:4 was infallibly designed by God in his infinite wisdom to protect the slave and the slave-owner. It protected the slave because a slave could not support a whole family right away after freedom, but would need to establish himself before being able to, so the interlude between the time of his freedom and the freedom of his wife and children (which would come after 6 years of bondage) would enable him to build a support base to support them later. Additionally, it protects the slave-owner because he does not lose his investment of the women, which he benevolently gives to his slaveman. Instead, the women would have to serve her 6 years for her freedom just as the man did, this ensures that the slave-owners investment is protected and therefore the welfare of all of the slaves and the Masters house is protected. Now, this law probably cannot be so abused in a land of wandering and desert occupation. However, as the Israelites made their land dwelling permanent and their permanent land became a land of milk and honey, there must be a contextualization, since now the law will and could be so easily abused and manipulated to keep slaves enslaved (which could not so easily in a wilderness wandering). So, God in his infinite wisdom had Moses omit Exodus 21:4 in Deuteronomy foreseeing its abuse in their new permanent promised land. Dont you see how Exodus and Deuteronomy are serving two totally different circumstancesthe law in the wilderness wandering to one generation and the law in the promised land to a new generationso these contextualizations should be expected.
(2) Your second example is like unto the first. Again, the difference is that Exodus 12 is designed for the wilderness wandering, while Deuteronomy 16 is designed for their permanence in the promised land. This is especially seen in Deut. 16:6-7, where it is largly stressed to sacrifice at the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place his name. This is significant indeed, and I believe it is foreshadowing of the Holy Spirit, not only of the coming permanence of the tabernacle localized in Jerusalem through Solomons temple, but also the evil of the Northern tribes who will start sacrificing in a different location out of apostasy not considering where the Lord has placed his name. Looking over it quickly, I did not see the point of making parts of the Exodus rules a violation of the law in Deuteronomy. But when I research it further, I will find it if it exists. And indeed, I am sure it can be understood to be a contextualization similar to what I explained in your first instance.
I will probably post some of my conclusions on these two examples when you post more on them in a future particular post that you have promised.
Grace be with you,
Well MSH, I started to “get up to speed” as you say, but found myself shaking my head at your “scholarliness.” You may remember me from back in mid October when I commented on some Bellingham Statement, and you advised me to go back and re-read all the posts. Something I hesitated to do, thinking it to be a waste of my time.
Well I got as far as your “The Naked Bible’s Thoughts on Inspiration, Part 1” and couldn’t take it anymore. Reading your thoughts and reasonings regarding the term theopneustos were almost too much. What really got me was the first question you following the “so we have God breathing out the Scriptures directly to the writers.” You then started with your “How did he do that?” and went on with the same non-sensical questions for a paragraph, until you seemingly became so satisfied yourself with your own self-induced confusion, that it allowed you to move on to what you thought was a better idea, Ultimate source.
Honestly, I was expecting something more convincing. You did absolutely nothing to discredit the Immediate Source idea except lay out plainly that you are a confused doubter, and unable to accept what God says.
Frankly, cutting to the chase, what concern is it of yours as to How did He do that? Did God ask you to believe Him as long as you are able to work out all the details, or answer all your unbelieving, scholar worshipping cohorts? Is God interested in you saving scholarly face with all your vain question happy unbelieving buddies? Why would you even concern yourself with a silly and useless question like that? I have found this to be true from most of what I did read. You have a text, your unbelieving mind (maybe because is it so interested in being scholarly rather than faithful?) raises a bunch of useless, unimportant and vain questions which allows you to justify your doubt and thereby allows you to press forward with faithless conjectures that you think are intellectually satisfying. This is the deceptive method of Satan, and you are falling for it completely. I am amazed that you are not warned by the hath God said passage in Genesis 3. Or do you doubt that too? Maybe some of God-hating liberal musings have found root?
Satan desires to cause you to doubt Gods Word. Dont you know that that is a device of Satan? And what better deception could Satan have than to make you doubt Gods Word, and at the same time make you think that you are being faithful to, and doing justice to, the Word. And how could Satan pull off such an amazing feat? Maybe he would find those filled with the pride of life. Those who would be interested in promoting their intellect. Those who may be smart, but are fools in Gods eyes. Those who know nothing of walking with child-like faith with the Father. Those are would be very interested in purchasing exalted degrees to attach to all their writings, showing all how smart they are. And maybe those would all too often be interested in receiving honor from one-another, which will stoke the fire of pride. Why else would some plaster their titles over everything they write. I would contend that they love the honor. Jesus said Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts Ah, yes, the life of a scholar described perfectly by Jesus. Also, Paul warned about these proud, lovers of themselves by stating He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings. Now if you dont see yourself as one doting about questions and strifes of words, who in the world could Gods Word be talking about here? Jesus said How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? (Jhn 5.44).
Cant you (your some of your friends here) see that is who you are? Have you no conscience whatsoever? Has scholarly pride so blinded you?
Herein lies the difference between the child-like faith of a believer and the faithless, mental wanderings of an unbeliever who needs to satisfy their own intellects before they can believe what God has said. God will catch you in your craftiness.
In reading your website I am reminded of the following verses:
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
Now I know that I will likely be dismissed as uninformed, and certainly it will be stated that I havent studied at your prestigious schools etc. So be it. Im thankful that I do not walk in your circles.
If your website and the thoughts that are expressed are in anywise representative of the manner of scholars and theologians and seminaries, I thank my God that He restrained me from that entire waste of time and resources, some years back. Things like your use of the term Good luck and your use of pictures attempting to represent the finger of God show you to be faithless.
Has no one in your world ever corrected you concerning all this? I will leave you guys alone after these thoughts. I hope you and your friends are having your fun now, being a theologian and a scholar and all, because I suspect that your fun is going to come crashing down upon all your heads. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, and many crying Lord, Lord have we not .
@qaton: I’m approving this one so others can see how you don’t answer the questions. You apparently don’t get the whole reason for the series of posts (it’s to put out a position and have it critiqued so as to make it better). I’m not putting it out with the assumption that it can’t be improved. That said, I won’t look for any help from you in the future, since you haven’t said anything constructive or instructive.
Frankly, cutting to the chase, what concern is it of yours as to How did He do that? Did God ask you to believe Him as long as you are able to work out all the details, or answer all your unbelieving, scholar worshipping cohorts?
Jonnathan Molina says:
Frankly, yes. Doubtless there are men of the sort you accuse Dr. Heiser of being, seeking gain for corrupt purposes and not to the glory of God. However, God does ask us to believe Him by a myriad of approaches one of which is reason. It is natural for man to want to reason with God (Job 13:13–I refer to the KJV since something tells me you might appreciate that). God invited us to reason with Him (Isa. 1:18) which tells me He is not afraid of our inquiring minds (which he happened to create).
I quote the following from the site: http://latter-rain.com/genko/reason.htm
“Reason is the capacity for rational thought. Those persons of the ignorant variety would have you believe that since God has spoken to us in scripture, there is nothing left for us to reason. Reason is that faculty of mind that is able to judge things whether they be true or not. You cannot reason with an unreasonable person and it is unfair to have a war of wits with an unarmed person. Reason has become a prejudice for the ignorant, the worst form of prejudice because reason is the only instrument for liberation from prejudice. To believe that we are to have faith and not reason is to have a theology of ignorance. The fact is that reason and faith validate each other.”
Based on your position, I ask you to answer this question. Paul the Apostle was, perhaps, one of the most intellectual minds of the New Testament and Christian Era able to argue anyone down anywhere…did he also not posses childlike faith? Does being smart invalidate this?
And what of Acts 17:10-11?
“Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily [to find out] whether these things were so.”
I guess the Bereans were “wasting their time and resources raising up useless, unimportant and vain questions”.
James used the reason approach to correct doctrinal error when people took Paul’s ideas of grace and used them as excuses to not do any good works. He basically said, “I’ll show you my faith by my works” basing the doctrine on common sense observation not a dictate from above. Paul used both Supernatural power and Logic to declare the gospel. Faith and Reason.
As you sit there and attack those who perhaps highlight your own intellectual inadequacy, provoking you to respond in fear and not reason (i.e. your own refusal to carefully weigh everything that is being presented, unlike the noble Bereans) please bear in mind that it was the intellectual men that went before us who, by the grace of Almighty God, helped us to preserve the Word of God we enjoy. By the way, either way you cut it, your comment reeks of a superior air. Your argument goes “my child-like faith trumps your puffed up argumentation” and then you proceed to snarkily dismiss everything that honest, God-fearing men are trying to accomplish which seems completely unchristian to me…and also begs the question why did you even choose to post a comment on something you obviousy don’t agree with if it was simply to lord your own superior view over it and “correct” what, if you were paying attention, didn’t need to be corrected?
Grace be with you.
CORRECTION TO MY USAGE ABOVE: JOB 13:13 SHOULD READ JOB 13:3. Thank you.
@Jonnathan Molina: thanks for this