Why is the belief in Biblical inerrancy important to people?

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  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    edited February 14
    mr cheesy wrote: »

    So what about The Shepherd?

    A candidate for inclusion in the NT which did not make the cut. It was a post-apostolic writing and I think there also has been some criticism of it for implied docetism.

    But you bringing it up also gives me the opportunity to provide a link re the views of Rufinus which you'll find here.

    The Shepherd gets an honourable mention. Rufinus coins the term "ecclesiastical" as a separate classification to apocryphal and applies it to the Shepherd and the deuterocanonicals. His views seem very similar to Athanasius i.e that these books were useful and could be read out publicly; they were "below" canonical but "above" apocryphal.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    Which is roughly the official Church of England line on them.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    Which is roughly the official Church of England line on them.

    I've been in CofE services for decades and have never heard anyone reading from, or talking about, The Shepherd.

    Which is a good thing, in my opinion, because it is rubbish.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    To quote Eutychus, it certainly wouldn't be in my personal "canon within a canon". But I did think the Didache was informative and interesting.

    As this website shows there are many extra-canonical writings!



  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    edited February 14
    From somewhere, I seem to remember being told that Hermes, the Epistles of Clement, the Didache etc were written too late for there ever to have been much of a serious suggestion that they should be included in the canon. Unlike some of the other works, including some on @Barnabas62 's link, they're not omitted because they are heretical. It's that they're from a generation or two beyond personal memory of either the Lord himself or of the original apostles.

    Besides, the Didache was lost for many centuries.

    They aren't 'scripture' but they can be inspiring to read, particularly the Didache and there's no objection to being edified by them. I'd admit that I didn't get much from Hermes, but that may be just me.


    Something that annoys me is the way some divines at the Proddier end of the spectrum speak of the traditional Apocrypha in the sort of tones that imply that so much as opening the pages of, say, Ecclesiasticus is to expose oneself to the sort of spiritual dangers that go with attending a séance. Yet the same people are often all too ready to encourage their followers to attribute an almost authoritative level of validity either to the writings of, these days, almost unreadable C16th and C17th century heroes or to very mundane paperbacks written by moderns of whom they approve.

    Whatever level of authority one attributes to the Greek only books of the Old Testament, IMHO they are a lot more spiritually edifying than a lot of stuff that has been written in the last 1500 years. When one considers the typical differences in price between versions of the Bible sold with or without the Apocrypha, they are also incredibly good value for money.
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    Second is the genesis of the apocrypha, the fact that it originated between the testaments after Malachi, the last canonical book and during the period where there were no prophetic voices. The apocrypha does not contain prophecy.


    That isn't a valid argument for anything. The books in question don't claim to be prophecy. Nor, though, do a number of the books in the Hebrew canon. Nor do most of the books in the New Testament. Whether a book contains prophecy has never been a test of canonicity.

    You kind of miss the point which is that the canonical books have a provenance that is earlier than the apocrypha and the Jews, after Malachi, thought the prophetic voice was stilled. Had apocryphal writings been prophetic, they may have been seen as canonical...but they weren't.
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    Why is Samuel Cheetham (1827-1908) a better authority on the early church’s view of the canon of the Old Testament than Augustine (354-430).

    That is like asking why is Churchill's biographer a better source on Churchill than Churchill himself.

    Basically it is about distance and perspective.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    MPaul wrote: »
    Why is Samuel Cheetham (1827-1908) a better authority on the early church’s view of the canon of the Old Testament than Augustine (354-430).

    That is like asking why is Churchill's biographer a better source on Churchill than Churchill himself.

    Basically it is about distance and perspective.

    Basically, Cheetham's distance from the facts has distorted his perspective.

  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    edited February 15
    What Cheetham distorts is that both Athanasius and Rufinus do not categorise the deuterocanonicals as apocryphal. Only Jerome does that.

    Rufinus describes them as ecclesiastical. Athanasius describes them as books appointed to be read by the Fathers. They saw them as a kind of second division of sacred writings. And of course they included Esther in this second division. The term apocrypha was used for other books which could mislead the simple.

    Their arguments in this respect mirrored the arguments of Irenaeus against heretical writings, of which there were many around. See my link to early Christian writings.

    The decision of the Synod of Hippo to classify first and second division as canonical drew a clearer distinction between books regarded as useful for instruction (2 Tim 3 v 16) and those regarded as dangerously misleading.

    I feel sure there was also a political element in this classification, because of differences in practices in the Eastern and Western churches. Saying that the inclusive list was largely due to Augustine was misleading, was unfair to the evidence. Jerome's position was more restrictive than the other early Fathers referenced by Cheetham, as can be seen from their writings which I have linked.

    Athanasius died before the Synod of Hippo but Rufinus was still alive. There is no record I have been able to find which shows Rufinus disagreeing with the decision of the Synod of Hippo. From his writings and those of Athanasius, the decision at Hippo to classify the deuterocanonicals as canonical doesn't look like a big deal. If the books were useful for instruction and OK to read out in church, where was the harm in giving them a canonical tick?

    There was a heck of a lot more general argument about the inclusion of Revelation and 2 Peter than the deuterocanonicals.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    edited February 15
    MPaul wrote: »
    Why is Samuel Cheetham (1827-1908) a better authority on the early church’s view of the canon of the Old Testament than Augustine (354-430).

    That is like asking why is Churchill's biographer a better source on Churchill than Churchill himself.

    Basically it is about distance and perspective.
    If you want the story of Churchill’s life the biographer is better because he did something Churchill never attempted. If you want an idea of Churchill’s mind and thinking then Churchill is a better source.

    Distance and perspective are good for a landscape painting, but not for a portrait. What you gain from a broader picture you lose in loss of clarity and detail. It’s hard to say (certainly on the basis of what you have quoted) that there was anything relevant on this question which was known to Cheetham which was not known to Augustine.

    It’s a fun analogy, but it only tells us that you prefer Cheetham over Augustine on the canon. It doesn’t give any cogent reasons why.
  • I suppose it is possible to erect an argument that says something about Augustine subverting and confusing the truth - and that some later person had the perspective to unravel the complexity and put individuals from ancient history in their proper context. I don't think this is perhaps as silly as it might sound, and historians of the ancients do similar things all the time - assessing, disregarding, contextualising what figures said about themselves, what others said and how they have been interpreted throughout the centuries.

    So on some level it is a battle of narratives and who one considers authoritative.

    It seems to me that there is a complicating factor, that of the claimed "inspiration of the Holy Spirit".

    If we are talking about Evangelical inerrantists (which I think we probably are, on the whole), the whole edifice is built upon the idea that God The Holy Spirit has been at work in the world since the Reformation (let's just say for convenience), finally enabling people to shake off the influence of the broken Church and giving wisdom to see through various Kinds of Papist Nonsense.

    And I think there is just about enough uncertainty in the documents available in the historical record to make that intellectual paradigm sustainable for a lot of people.

    Also, fwiw, it basically suggests that arguing against it with appeals to historical argument and ancient authority isn't going to achieve much - because it is a sticky idea and a form of "conspiracy theory"* and these kinds of efforts tend to reinforce the idea rather than destroy it with logic.


    * which isn't supposed to be insulting, I couldn't think of a more neutral term. I don't actually think this is a totally ridiculous way to understand the available information.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    So did the church councils get it right in regard to the selection of the Biblical canon? What would you want to change and on what basis?
  • mr cheesymr cheesy Shipmate
    edited February 15
    Rublev wrote: »
    So did the church councils get it right in regard to the selection of the Biblical canon? What would you want to change and on what basis?

    If that's addressed to me, you are asking the wrong person. I was attempting to explain the position not advocate for it.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    mr cheesy

    You have a point. Personally, I think it's a remarkable feature of the www that we can access directly the words of these 4th C Fathers and see what they said, rather than relying on commentators like Cheetham for example.

    Doing that, we can see for ourselves, for example, that Cheetham was not accurate in his summaries of the opinions of Athanasius and Rufinus. We can see how nuanced their views were.

    I've learned some things I didn't know by doing this digging. With early church history I've found that happens a lot.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    Rublev wrote: »
    So did the church councils get it right in regard to the selection of the Biblical canon? What would you want to change and on what basis?

    On the whole, I think they created a pretty decent boundary. Personally, I think the ratification of Trinitarian belief and the understanding of the Person of Christ represent more significant boundaries. The Creeds represent valuable summaries of the central beliefs of the early church.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    Do the Creeds set out to summarise central beliefs or do they rather seek to defend the faith against popular heresies?

    Personally I find the Nicene Creed very inadequate as a statement of the Christian faith. It avoids naming the Holy Spirit as divine and its theology of Christ is based upon Paul rather than the gospels. So it says far more about the death of Jesus than His life.
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    mr cheesy

    You have a point. Personally, I think it's a remarkable feature of the www that we can access directly the words of these 4th C Fathers and see what they said, rather than relying on commentators like Cheetham for example.

    Doing that, we can see for ourselves, for example, that Cheetham was not accurate in his summaries of the opinions of Athanasius and Rufinus. We can see how nuanced their views were.

    I've learned some things I didn't know by doing this digging. With early church history I've found that happens a lot.

    I think there is a high chance you have more access to ancient materials than anyone writing in the early 20 century. So I'm sure it is true in that respect.

    But I'm not really sure any of us can examine these artifacts and conflicting materials without bias. It basically comes down to who to believe, if anyone.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    Total objectivity would be really rather boring to read, wouldn't it? If you set out your position and argue your case accordingly, then others can engage from their own perspectives. In contributing to the debate then we move the subject forward. Someone might come up with a completely original interpretation.

    And as Barnabas62 commented, you can enhance your own understanding of the subject. Reading through commentaries on your own is not so dynamic a process as contributing to an online discussion. The rabbis knew that so they gathered together to debate the law. The church councils did the same. The original SOF.
  • Rublev wrote: »
    Total objectivity would be really rather boring to read, wouldn't it? If you set out your position and argue your case accordingly, then others can engage from their own perspectives. In contributing to the debate then we move the subject forward. Someone might come up with a completely original interpretation.

    And as Barnabas62 commented, you can enhance your own understanding of the subject. Reading through commentaries on your own is not so dynamic a process as contributing to an online discussion. The rabbis knew that so they gathered together to debate the law. The church councils did the same. The original SOF.

    I don't believe history is ever objective.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    Should history be objective? Isn't the interest provided by the author's perspective?

    As Pilate asked, What is Truth?

    When he was facing the Incarnation of Truth.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    Secular humanists think that objectivity is the holy grail.

    But that is even less likely to exist.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    @Barnabas62 do you think it's totally unfair to say that most of the Fathers were evaluating the books of the Hebrew and Greek canon by their assessment of their content, and that St Jerome simplified this by taking a simple line on the OT, Hebrew = OK, Greek = less OK? The Reformers then used this as a simple tool to classify the books of the OT which had the convenient result of omitting one or two individual passages that didn't fit what they would prefer the scriptures to say. Hard luck if it then resulted in the omission of a quantity of other material that's actually rather good.
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    MPaul wrote: »
    Why is Samuel Cheetham (1827-1908) a better authority on the early church’s view of the canon of the Old Testament than Augustine (354-430).

    That is like asking why is Churchill's biographer a better source on Churchill than Churchill himself.

    Basically it is about distance and perspective.

    Basically, Cheetham's distance from the facts has distorted his perspective.

    Really.
    Rublev wrote: »
    So did the church councils get it right in regard to the selection of the Biblical canon? What would you want to change and on what basis?

    Well bear in mind this is a huge simplification but there are two main source rivers, if you like of Biblical documents and you have to accept either one or t’other as purer.

    The reformation began a separating process. Luther essentially used Jerome’s Latin translation which came from the LXX (looking only at the OT). Jerome was a great man, as a scholar and translator. Luther translated the Jerome’s Latin Bible into German making a vernacular version of the Bible available.

    However there was a different source river, if you like, that came via Greek sources and is known as ‘Textus receptus’ that was used by Erasmus of Rotterdam, also a most marvellous scholar and his work was taken up by Wycliffe and Tyndale and ultimately, this is where the King Jimmy Bible came from in 1611.

    Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy have through the ages stuck with the vulgate and the vulgate has included the apocrypha mainly because of Augustine’s influence. Jerome and Augustine disagreed over whether it was scripture and Augustine prevailed.

    The other source river tended to keep it as a separate set of docs and did not include it as part of the canon though you can find KJV s that do have an apocryphal section. It tended in later versions to be discarded,probably as it was extra expense to publish and not seen as necessary.

    I can be corrected on this but I believe that the Textus Receptus source, which Erasmus used, was separate from the Egyptian codices ..Sinaiticus and vaticanus ..used by Jerome and both of these were seen by the KJV scholars as dodgy.

    To come back to your original question, the church councils never dictated but rather recognised a canon of scripture. It was probably the Council of Nicea where the first recognitions occurred since all the apostles were dead and it became necessary to separate their teachings and writings from the plethora of other stuff in the ancient airwaves. Anyhow, we have a chap called Melito, Bishop of Sardis 170AD to thank for the first OT list of canonical books. Apparently, he omitted Esther according to FF Bruce.
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    Oh, I should have mentioned that Luther rejected the apocrypha but he also queried the book of James and seemed to only have included it in his translation under duress. As stated above, nothing comes down just to one chap’s opinion.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    MPaul

    Re Cheetham.

    Did you bother to read what Athanasius and Rufinus wrote?
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    Yes, Luther regarded the Letter of James as 'an epistle of straw' because it did not express the theology of justification by faith alone.
  • MPaul wrote: »
    Oh, I should have mentioned that Luther rejected the apocrypha but he also queried the book of James and seemed to only have included it in his translation under duress. As stated above, nothing comes down just to one chap’s opinion.

    So why don't you also reject James?

    I'm struggling to understand the point you are making - you appear to be suggesting that the Reformers had special God-given insight about what was and wasn't scripture.. but then at the same time you appear to be arguing that they're wrong.

    So which was it? Who is the authority?
  • The Orthodox have never touched the Vulgate. It has never been part of our worship or devotion. It is historical ignorance of the grossest, most absurd fashion to suggest otherwise. The Vulgate is a translation in to Latin. The Orfies don't use Latin. We use the Greek New Testament, and the Greek Old Testament, also known as the Septuagint. Translations into (say) Slavonic are made from those texts. Some of our scholars could read Latin, but none used the Vulgate except maybe as a cross-reference, the way a modern scholar might use the Peshitta.

    Don't give me no nonsense about the Orthodox using the Vulgate. It's risible.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    Absolutely. For example, Athanasius, one of the four great eastern doctors of the faith (the others being Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Basil the Great, and Gregory of Nazianzus) was born into a Christian family in Alexandria and would have read the Greek Septuagint and the various New Testament documents in their original Greek.

    MPaul, this is completely wrong.
    Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy have through the ages stuck with the vulgate

  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    The Orthodox have never touched the Vulgate. It has never been part of our worship or devotion.
    Sorry for that error. So even before the big split up Orthodoxy had a different textual basis for their Bible?
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    MPaul

    Re Cheetham.

    Did you bother to read what Athanasius and Rufinus wrote?
    7. But for greater exactness I add this also, writing of necessity; that there are other books besides these not indeed included in the Canon, but appointed by the Fathers to be read by those who newly join us, and who wish for instruction in the word of godliness. The Wisdom of Solomon, and the Wisdom of Sirach, and Esther, and Judith, and Tobit, and that which is called the Teaching of the Apostles, and the Shepherd. But the former, my brethren, are included in the Canon, the latter being [merely] read; nor is there in any place a mention of apocryphal writings

    Yes, I assume you refer to the quoted piece. If so, it might seem ambiguous as he refers to both canon and apocryphal writings. When he says ‘the former,’ (L6) he refers to the canonical books listed separately before the list above? At least that is my take. The ‘other books’ L2, he then lists as separated from canon but recommended reading anyway. I think that is what Cheetham thought.
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    Mr Cheesy: you appear to be suggesting that the Reformers had special God-given insight about what was and wasn't scripture.. but then at the same time you appear to be arguing that they're wrong.
    I think the question is about which sources are most reliable not about who had the most insight.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    edited February 15
    MPaul

    I'm using Wikipedia re the origins of the Vulgate. There is a relationship between the Latin of the Vulgate, the Latin of earlier texts, the Greek LXX and the Hebrew OT texts!

    Here is the story. It is not a simple one, particularly when you look at Jerome's role and actions.

    Back re Cheetham, here are the quotes from Rufinus which I also found interesting.
    But it should also be known that there are other books which are called not "canonical" but "ecclesiastical" by the ancients: 5 that is, the Wisdom attributed to Solomon, and another Wisdom attributed to the son of Sirach, which the Latins called by the title Ecclesiasticus, designating not the author of the book but its character. To the same class belong the book of Tobit and the book of Judith, and the books of Maccabees.

    followed by this summary
    These are what the fathers have handed down to us, which, as I said, I have thought it opportune to set forth in this place, for the instruction of those who are being taught the first elements of the Church and of the Faith, that they may know from what fountains of the Word of God they should draw for drinking.

    The problem with the word apocrypha is its usual meaning. Its use in categorising texts implies that those texts are of dubious value, whereas both Athanasius and Rufinus make it clear the that the views of the Fathers were that the deuterocanonicals are of positive value.
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    Athanasius and Rufinus make it clear the that the views of the Fathers were that the deuterocanonicals are of positive value
    That seems to be true but distinguished nonetheless from canonical books. Pretty well every commentator on them confirms this opinion.
  • Perhaps, but the 'inerrancy' doctrine introduces a particular type of distinction - or drives a particular kind of wedge - there which the more I look at it, the less sure I'm was there in the first place.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    Yes, that's the point. The Reformation and subsequent Protestant developments hardened the canonical boundary significantly, compared to attitudes in the early church. Yes, there was a recognition that some early Christian writings were wrong and misleading, because of the pictures they painted about God and the person of Jesus. But issues of doctrine, and seeking to be faithful to apostolic witness and teaching were more important than canonical boundaries.

    The departure from Catholic understandings, Holy Tradition and Papal authority did place a higher emphasis on the authority and inspiration of scripture, which in turn led to a greater emphasis of the importance of the boundaries of scripture. That really wasn't the way things were in the early church.

  • Which early Christians writings (i.e. the gospels, Acts, epistles, Revelation let alone the further ripples) aren't wrong and misleading because of the pictures they painted about God and the person of Jesus?
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    Depends on your viewpoint Martin. I think the reflections which produced Trinitarianism and the understanding of the person of Christ are probably the best approximations the human mind is capable of.

    But I think the Cappadocian Fathers were pretty well aware of their limitations, that these pictures were a reach. Apophatic prayer was a crucial element in the reflections.

    They took their ignorance seriously. Regretfully, later dogmatists did not always do that.
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Which early Christians writings (i.e. the gospels, Acts, epistles, Revelation let alone the further ripples) aren't wrong and misleading because of the pictures they painted about God and the person of Jesus?
    Martin54 what is the horse you have in this race? Have you revised your view that they are all equally useless as contemporary faith currency?
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    But issues of doctrine, and seeking to be faithful to apostolic witness and teaching were more important than canonical boundaries
    Indeed, issues of doctrine were important enough for someone like Tyndale to die for. However, the canon determined the limits of doctrine for the likes of him.

    To me the issue is about the kind of intense experience centred emphasis of the new Gnostics amongst the Pentecostals who are now flocking to mega churches. They take the goosebumps instead of Biblical truth AFAICT and I Have spent the last 40 years in Pentecostal fellowships.

    If you have the Bible then you can be grounded. If you have not or choose to ignore it, you have everyone claiming to have the word of the lord and nothing to measure it against.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    edited February 16
    There are four measuring rods; scripture, tradition, reason and experience. It's unwise to overlook both the value of all four and the human limitations which apply to all four. Which is why we work them out in communities, not on our own.

    Folks talk about three or four legged stools and argue endlessly about which leg is most important. But stools can fall over unless the legs are balanced. We live and learn.

    A fine believer observed this way. Too much Word, insufficient Spirit, dry up. Too much Spirit, insufficient Word, blow up. Right Spirit, right Word, grow up.

    Me? I'm a perseverer with L plates.
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    Depends on your viewpoint Martin. I think the reflections which produced Trinitarianism and the understanding of the person of Christ are probably the best approximations the human mind is capable of.

    But I think the Cappadocian Fathers were pretty well aware of their limitations, that these pictures were a reach. Apophatic prayer was a crucial element in the reflections.

    They took their ignorance seriously. Regretfully, later dogmatists did not always do that.

    Thank you B. Seriously. Movedly so believe it or not. I woke up to the God who isn't there. Who may be regardless, whom I invoke anyway (Schrödinger's God), despite there being no warrant for Him but my longing in the inertia of 50 years (the Cheshire God). Shared with those ancient men. There certainly isn't in the provenance of the NT, in them. No rational one. No Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. No first hand account there. No 'autograph'. Not even in the epistles of those who may have been in the first circle. And weirdness and wrongness in even that circle. And the next: Paul. Such a struggle. Such a weak, desperate struggle and that's not just projection. How could it be otherwise even if Jesus were so? Even He got Himself 'wrong'.
  • MPaul wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Which early Christians writings (i.e. the gospels, Acts, epistles, Revelation let alone the further ripples) aren't wrong and misleading because of the pictures they painted about God and the person of Jesus?
    Martin54 what is the horse you have in this race? Have you revised your view that they are all equally useless as contemporary faith currency?

    Why do you ask? They are the only faith currency we have, in their stark, pathetic human limitation, just like our howling hearts.
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    There are four measuring rods; scripture, tradition, reason and experience. It's unwise to overlook both the value of all four and the human limitations which apply to all four. Which is why we work them out in communities, not on our own.

    Folks talk about three or four legged stools and argue endlessly about which leg is most important. But stools can fall over unless the legs are balanced. We live and learn.

    A fine believer observed this way. Too much Word, insufficient Spirit, dry up. Too much Spirit, insufficient Word, blow up. Right Spirit, right Word, grow up.

    Me? I'm a perseverer with L plates.

    I know. I'm following. Slow down!
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    Why do you ask? They are the only faith currency we have, in their stark, pathetic human limitation, just like our howling hearts.

    We. You said 'we'.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    MPaul wrote: »
    But issues of doctrine, and seeking to be faithful to apostolic witness and teaching were more important than canonical boundaries
    Indeed, issues of doctrine were important enough for someone like Tyndale to die for. However, the canon determined the limits of doctrine for the likes of him.

    I think that's probably true. He couldn't for example see any canonical justification for prayers to the saints. But I'm not sure what books he accepted as canonical (which may be a failure of my own research). It looks as though he did not complete his OT translations before his betrayal and execution.



  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    edited February 16
    Ruminating on the connections between doctrines and scripture, I remember something Barr said about the interrelationships of doctrines and the dangers of a kind of tick-list approach.

    One of the obvious examples, and one which generated a lot of heat in the 4th and 5th Centuries, was theotokos versus christotokos. The church resolved in favour of theotokos (Mary the mother of God) as opposed to christotokos (Mary the mother of Jesus) because the doctrine was seen, rightly I think, to be more consistent with the developing Orthodox understandings of the Trinity and the person of Jesus.

    Does the canon of scripture resolve that issue on its own? Probably not. Weighing scripture with scripture can lead honest men to different conclusions. The deeper question (how does this marry up with that) requires further hermeneutical reflection.
  • Eutychus wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Why do you ask? They are the only faith currency we have, in their stark, pathetic human limitation, just like our howling hearts.

    We. You said 'we'.

    Of course. I believe. Help thou mine unbelief.
  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited February 16
    Have some Arthur C Clarke for a change (I literally just read this sentence and was irresistibly reminded of you):
    Moses Kaldor had always loved mountains; they made him feel nearer to the God whose nonexistence he still sometimes resented.
  • Perfick. I tell Him that and all sorts. That He'd better be there. I'd be REALLY annoyed if He's not.
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