Why is the belief in Biblical inerrancy important to people?

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  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    Well, Douglas Adams reckoned that God's final message was "We apologise for the inconvenience".

    Which has always made me smile.
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    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.

    The canon of scripture doesn't resolve the issue of the Incarnation. Arius could cite chapter and verse, one after another, to prove that the Christ was a creature and not co-eternal with the Father. <Ortho advert> That's why we need the Holy Spirit operating through a Church with the authority to "rightly divide the word of truth" and make it stick.</Ortho advert>
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    Also true. Most of the doctrinal controversies of the 4th and 5th century were caused precisely because scripture on its own was not decisive.

    One of the problems, mousethief, is that many Protestants don't know a lot about church history. To be honest, coming from my background, I didn't. The discussions here on SoF created in me a much greater interest in early church history and some voyages of discovery.
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    Well, Douglas Adams reckoned that God's final message was "We apologise for the inconvenience".

    Which has always made me smile.

    Yeah. There's no other way.
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    Also true. Most of the doctrinal controversies of the 4th and 5th century were caused precisely because scripture on its own was not decisive.

    One of the problems, mousethief, is that many Protestants don't know a lot about church history. To be honest, coming from my background, I didn't. The discussions here on SoF created in me a much greater interest in early church history and some voyages of discovery.

    Yes the benighted souls who insist that the Trinity is "obvious" and at the same time denigrate Constantine -- just a LEEEETLE bit of history might cure them of their ignorance. As long as it's ignorance and not conspiracy theory. Then all bets are off.
  • I acknowledge that I'm the beneficiary of an awesome 400 year struggle and I'm not talking the last, but the first. The last is hardly worth the candle I know. In some ways we'd be better off without. But he're we are and we can't undo rationalism. Put that genie back in the bottle.
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    Most of the doctrinal controversies of the 4th and 5th century were caused precisely because scripture on its own was not decisive
    You could also argue that the reformation occurred because scripture was ignored by those who could read it, and unknown to those who couldn’t.
  • MPaul wrote: »
    Most of the doctrinal controversies of the 4th and 5th century were caused precisely because scripture on its own was not decisive
    You could also argue that the reformation occurred because scripture was ignored by those who could read it, and unknown to those who couldn’t.

    You could claim it, but I doubt you could build a coherent argument for that gross oversimplification.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    MPaul wrote: »
    Most of the doctrinal controversies of the 4th and 5th century were caused precisely because scripture on its own was not decisive
    You could also argue that the reformation occurred because scripture was ignored by those who could read it, and unknown to those who couldn’t.

    I'm using my phone for this post so am a bit limited. I know for example that there is an online link to Athanasius's rebuttal of Arianism, which is extensively about proper exegesis of various key scriptures. The plain fact is that the debate went on for about 60 years before the final outcome. mousethief's summary is a very good one

    So far as the Reformation is concerned it is worth looking at Luther's 95 theses and his subsequent debates within Catholicism. I'll see if I can find some decent links to that as well.
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    MPaul wrote: »
    Most of the doctrinal controversies of the 4th and 5th century were caused precisely because scripture on its own was not decisive
    You could also argue that the reformation occurred because scripture was ignored by those who could read it, and unknown to those who couldn’t.

    Pretty well every reformer was a disgruntled Catholic priest.

    The selling of indulgences is blatant corruption..merchandising of so called spiritual truth to the ignorant. A bit like the TV money preachers of today.
    “A coin in the coffer rings
    A soul from Purgatory springs”

    Most people couldn’t read and the scriptures were in Latin a language most did not have anyway.

    Luther actually understood and believed the book of Romans
    ‘Therefore it is of faith that it might be by grace’

    He translated the scriptures into German making them available.

    Circumstances prevailed politicall to protect Luther from assassination.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    RL got in way today, MPaul. More from me later.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited February 18
    On Athanasius and the Arians.

    Here is a link to the four discourses. After the introduction, you have to press the next page button a couple of times. They aren't all that easy to read and Athanasius uses some pretty aggressive language, but you can get past that.

    My personal summary is that Athanasius' criticism of the Arian use of scripture is that he sees it as literalist proof-texting, involves taking texts out of context and ignoring some of the wider messages of scripture.

    What the orations show is that the interpretation of scripture was at the heart of the controversy. A part of the problem is that very little survives of Arius's own writing and much of what we know about his understanding has been drawn from hostile criticism,
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited February 18
    On the Reformation. The trigger issue was the scandal of indulgences, which is the central issue in Luther's 95 theses. This widened out into an issue of Papal authority, its use and abuse as Luther saw it. The use and abuse of scripture, and its inspiration and authority, became a significant part of that widening out. Had Holy Tradition, under the guardianship of the Catholic church, developed doctrines in ways which departed too far from the faith once given? Much of Calvin's writing, particularly the Institutions, is based on that theme.

    It is a complex, many-sided, story but at its heart it was about authority.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    edited February 19
    The great scandal of the sale of indulgences was inadvertently caused by the attempt to raise funds for the rebuilding of the decaying St Peters Church in Rome. Luther successfully used it as the banner issue in his 95 Theses that led to the Protestant Reformation.

    The Council of Trent reformed some of the worst abuses in the Catholic church. It was originally intended to be an ecumenical council including the Protestant Reformers but ended up condemning the doctrines of Protestantism.

    The rebuilding of St Peters did give us Michaelangelo's Cistine chapel, so it wasn't an entirely bad idea. But the method had the unintended consequence of triggering the Reformation.

    Was the Reformation inevitable anyway ? In retrospect we can say it was an idea whose time had come.
  • Rublev wrote: »
    Was the Reformation inevitable anyway ? In retrospect we can say it was an idea whose time had come.

    I can't.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    Do you think that the Reformation would have been avoided if it were not for the scandal of indulgences or if it were not for the role of Martin Luther?

    Or is it your point that the Orthodox church did not have a Reformation? Although they did have the iconoclast controversies.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    I think this might be more important but of course it is less well known in Protestantism.

    Given that afterwards the church had ceased formally to be "catholic" in the sense of "universal" (despite claims to the contrary about who got it "wrong"), the loss of the ecumenical principle was very damaging. Of course I am aware that co-existing under the same "umbrella" had become increasingly difficult before the East-West schism. But I think one consequence is that the Reformation was a distinctly "Western" split; Protestantism did not in general draw much from the Eastern church traditions and I think it lost out as a result.
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    I think this might be more important but of course it is less well known in Protestantism.

    Given that afterwards the church had ceased formally to be "catholic" in the sense of "universal" (despite claims to the contrary about who got it "wrong"), the loss of the ecumenical principle was very damaging. Of course I am aware that co-existing under the same "umbrella" had become increasingly difficult before the East-West schism. But I think one consequence is that the Reformation was a distinctly "Western" split; Protestantism did not in general draw much from the Eastern church traditions and I think it lost out as a result.

    I don't know. In terms of organisation there are similarities between the Anglican communion and the Eastern Church, particularly in having national churches with distinct identities but sharing parts of their heritage in common.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    But not in terms of theology. I'm not an expert but I think the terms essence, energies and ontology get distinctive use in Eastern Orthodox theology.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    edited February 19
    Rublev wrote: »
    Do you think that the Reformation would have been avoided if it were not for the scandal of indulgences or if it were not for the role of Martin Luther?

    I do not know. I don't know what I said that made it sound like I had an opinion about this.
    Or is it your point that the Orthodox church did not have a Reformation? Although they did have the iconoclast controversies.

    Ditto about this.

    The Reformation shattered and splintered the church, which had before been merely broken into largish chunks (which was bad enough, don't get me wrong). And it introduced very many errors, including errors of ecclesiology that had to be invented to paper over the dog's breakfast of sectettes the church was splintered into.
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    But not in terms of theology. I'm not an expert but I think the terms essence, energies and ontology get distinctive use in Eastern Orthodox theology.

    Also those westerners who use "theosis" are borrowing, and too often mangling, our usage.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    True. Theosis and sanctification are not interchangeable.
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    I think this might be more important but of course it is less well known in Protestantism.

    Given that afterwards the church had ceased formally to be "catholic" in the sense of "universal" (despite claims to the contrary about who got it "wrong"), the loss of the ecumenical principle was very damaging. Of course I am aware that co-existing under the same "umbrella" had become increasingly difficult before the East-West schism. But I think one consequence is that the Reformation was a distinctly "Western" split; Protestantism did not in general draw much from the Eastern church traditions and I think it lost out as a result.
    I have read at least one or two Orthodox writers who opined that had the East-West Schism not happened, the Reformation probably would not have happened, but that once the East-West Schism did happen, a Reformation of some kind was inevitable. The thinking was that with the Schism the Western church lost theological perspectives that would have balanced Western views on issues that were the focus of disputes at the Reformation.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    I have read at least one or two Orthodox writers who opined that had the East-West Schism not happened, the Reformation probably would not have happened, but that once the East-West Schism did happen, a Reformation of some kind was inevitable. The thinking was that with the Schism the Western church lost theological perspectives that would have balanced Western views on issues that were the focus of disputes at the Reformation.
    Interesting thought. Completely untestable of course but worth considering.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    I have read at least one or two Orthodox writers who opined that had the East-West Schism not happened, the Reformation probably would not have happened, but that once the East-West Schism did happen, a Reformation of some kind was inevitable. The thinking was that with the Schism the Western church lost theological perspectives that would have balanced Western views on issues that were the focus of disputes at the Reformation.
    Interesting thought. Completely untestable of course but worth considering.
    Oh yeah, quite untestable. And perhaps a little bit of “that’s what they get for ignoring us.” But still, there may well be something to it.

  • Oh yeah. Orfies can be just as ecclesioegotistical as ordinary folk.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    mousethief

    You are right about untestable. I have this inkling that an acceptance of diversity, a willingness to be pilgrims on a journey despite our differences, is a better way to live. Historically, we have found it difficult to live with diversity once it crosses various boundary lines.

    When I reach way back into this, I always end up pondering the work of Irenaeus. I think he was horrified by the Christian Gnostics because of their elitism. He was right to be horrified. But I get uncomfortable when I consider the underlying premise that bad behaviour is a dangerous consequence of wrong belief, so wrong belief must be rooted out.

    I read the gospels as proclaiming that elitism is bad in itself. There is something very poignant in the criticism which Jesus levels at scribes and pharisees. 'You will not lift a finger to help them'. The criticism is about behaviour which is indifferent to suffering. Indeed, Jesus points to the better behaviour of the Samaritan as exemplary, despite the fact that his listeners would have perceived the Samaritan as someone with wrong beliefs.

    What lesson is he trying to teach us through these examples? I think it is that lack of love is more important than correct belief.
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    Essentially though we live out what we believe. If you think you can behave in a way that God will always tolerate, that leads to hypergrace. Osteen..Joseph Prince. ..ultimately what you decide to do doesn’t matter. If you live as if you can please God by keeping rules, then you struggle in the opposite way. The point is that your doctrine is important as it feeds into your choices.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    Sure, but my point (and I may be forgiven for seeing it as a Jesus point) is that sound beliefs do not necessarily produce sound behaviour, nor do unsound beliefs necessarily produce unsound behaviour. The gap between righteousness and self righteousness can get very narrow.

    Come to think of it, you can also see this in the best known NT scripture (1 Cor 13).

  • MPaul wrote: »
    Essentially though we live out what we believe. If you think you can behave in a way that God will always tolerate, that leads to hypergrace. Osteen..Joseph Prince. ..ultimately what you decide to do doesn’t matter. If you live as if you can please God by keeping rules, then you struggle in the opposite way. The point is that your doctrine is important as it feeds into your choices.

    Trusting in God's forgiveness doesn't mean the harm we do by sinning is not real. Both the damage we do to ourselves, in making our own head and heart less wholesome places to be, and the harm we do to others, are real and cause real pain and suffering. The truth that God can and will heal us, and join us in repairing the damage doesn't make that damage less real. What we do in this life matters not because of any impact it might have on our eternal state but because it causes joy or pain to ourselves and others in the here and now. It matters when we leave someone hungry not because Jesus says it's tantamount to leaving him hungry (though that's true), but because we let someone go hungry.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    Yes. It matters. Accepting personal responsibility is not a denial of grace, rather a consequence of it.
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    Barnabas: sound beliefs do not necessarily produce sound behaviour, nor do unsound beliefs necessarily produce unsound behaviour
    Really? Interesting comments on the Purg ‘citizen’ thread about this. I cannot think beliefs that really become convictions do not feed into behaviours that reflect them. If they don’t how are they sincerely held?
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    MPaul wrote: »
    Barnabas: sound beliefs do not necessarily produce sound behaviour, nor do unsound beliefs necessarily produce unsound behaviour
    Really? Interesting comments on the Purg ‘citizen’ thread about this. I cannot think beliefs that really become convictions do not feed into behaviours that reflect them. If they don’t how are they sincerely held?

    Cognitive Dissonance.
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    MPaul wrote: »
    Barnabas: sound beliefs do not necessarily produce sound behaviour, nor do unsound beliefs necessarily produce unsound behaviour
    Really? Interesting comments on the Purg ‘citizen’ thread about this. I cannot think beliefs that really become convictions do not feed into behaviours that reflect them. If they don’t how are they sincerely held?

    Cognitive Dissonance.
    Not possible. There is something underneath the likes of that. It goes beyond the intellectual. We all fundamentally react out of the self that is more than a brain IMV.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Glad you know more about this than scientists who study it. They should call you.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    MPaul wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    MPaul wrote: »
    Barnabas: sound beliefs do not necessarily produce sound behaviour, nor do unsound beliefs necessarily produce unsound behaviour
    Really? Interesting comments on the Purg ‘citizen’ thread about this. I cannot think beliefs that really become convictions do not feed into behaviours that reflect them. If they don’t how are they sincerely held?

    Cognitive Dissonance.
    Not possible. There is something underneath the likes of that. It goes beyond the intellectual. We all fundamentally react out of the self that is more than a brain IMV.

    You believe all sorts of vile nonsense about God but you're a decent bloke.
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