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Thread: Can Your Christianity Be Disproven?

  1. #11
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christianbookworm View Post
    Didn't some one a long time ago say that the survival of the early church would determine if it were really from God or not?



    Well, nearly 2,000 years later, so...
    Very good point CBW!
    3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures --1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (borrowed with gratitude from 37818's sig)

  2. #12
    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostSheep View Post
    Very good point CBW!
    I wonder if Gamaliel ever became a Christian?
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

  3. #13
    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christianbookworm View Post
    I wonder if Gamaliel ever became a Christian?
    Some people think so.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

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  4. Amen Rushing Jaws amen'd this post.
  5. #14
    tWebber NorrinRadd's Avatar
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    The OP evokes quite a few thoughts. I'm afraid I don't currently have the patience or motivation to try to weave them into a thoroughly coordinated whole, but I'll try to not be *too* disorganized.

    On the CSBI -- In reading Amazon reviews, one gets the impression that this was the particular version of "inerrancy" that the book was to address. If so, it was appropriate for Mohler to "equate" the whole concept of inerrancy with the CSBI. However, the information Zondervan itself provides about the book makes no mention of this.

    The CSBI probably *is* the most common detailed definition and exposition of "inerrancy," but in specific discussions of the topic, it is worth noting which version is under discussion, and at least briefly addressing others.

    My views on the Chicago Statements: There are, in case any are unaware, three of them -- Inerrancy, Hermeneutics, and Application. IIRC, the authors specifically aver that they are not to be viewed as formal, binding "creeds." And yet, in practice (at least in my experience), many who hold to them do seem to attach that sort of weight to them. Further, there is (IMO) a tendency to treat the "authors' exposition" that accompanies some editions of the CSBI as "part of" the CSBI text itself, and to treat the later successive Statements as logically (and therefore necessarily) derivable from the former. And then (once again, in my experience) that whole package tends to be used to define "evangelical" approaches to Scripture. I think that is unhelpfully exclusionary.

    My view on inerrancy: I'm ok with the "inerrantist" label. I'm ok with the CSBI, as I interpret and understand it. I'm somewhat less ok with the subsequent Statements. I also think "inerrancy" is of limited practical value. Left undefined, one readily takes it to mean, "No errors of any kind, at all." This is prima facie not the case, which is one reason we need elaborate things like the CSBI. The CSBI (and various other versions) limit "inerrancy" to the original manuscripts. They also -- either explicitly or implicitly -- assume inerrancy in the choice of the 66-book Protestant canon. They also -- either explicitly or implicitly -- do NOT ascribe inerrancy to preservation, transmission, or translation; and at the same time, they acknowledge that the originals no longer exist. So the only truly "inerrant" Scriptures vanished at least 1800 years ago.

    As a bit of an excursus on this bit, I was recently looking at Witherington's "Socio-Rhetorical Commentary" on the Gospel of Mark. Witherington is one of my favorite authors. For such things as qualifying to teach at Asbury, he is happy to agree to their Statement of Faith (or whatever term they use) that includes "inerrancy." But for various reasons such as those I cited above, he doesn't generally jump to use that label for himself. In the commentary I was reading, he does not comment at all on anything after Mark 16:8. In the footnotes, he explains (and concurs with Metzger) that the well-known vv. 9-20 ending, and the few other lesser known endings that extend beyond v. 8, are later non-Marcan additions; but, again agreeing with Metzger, he believes v. 8 was NOT the INTENDED original ending, but that most likely the last "leaf" or column got torn away and lost. So very early on, part of the "inerrant" text was "lost," before it even had a chance to be copied.

    Returning to the topic, I don't automatically have a problem believing the Bible, even when it conflicts with, e.g., "scientific facts." I believe, for instance, in a literal Adam and Eve. It doesn't matter to me that the "science" of genetics says the entire human race could not have descended from an original pair, especially in any reasonable time frame. "Fideism" isn't always bad; the Bible itself encourages it, at least at some points.

    In terms of our faith in general, Scripture objectively teaches that subjective experience is a large (if not THE largest) part of it.
    Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

    "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

  6. Amen Scrawly, Rushing Jaws amen'd this post.
  7. #15
    tWebber Rushing Jaws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christianbookworm View Post
    I wonder if Gamaliel ever became a Christian?
    He is - or was - listed as a Saint in the Roman Martyrology, with 32 OT worthies. FWIW.

  8. #16
    tWebber Rushing Jaws's Avatar
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    I don’t believe that the Bible is inerrant in any way. I do think that it can and should and must be judged like any other book, and I see absolutely no reason not to criticise it when need be. It is not perfect textually, and has not been perfectly preserved; I don’t see how belief in its total inerrancy makes sense, when it is imperfect in all other respects. The Church is grotesquely imperfect, always has been, and, for so long as it is on earth, it will be; yet it is the Body of Christ. Why then should the Bible any more preserved from sin and error ? The manner of God’s dealings with men seems to be, that He uses weak and imperfect instruments; the logic of total inerrantism seems to contradict that, and also to contradict the logic of the Cross, that the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God stronger than men. Total Inerrantism seems too close to Prosperity Theology, for both cater to the human longing for earthly security.

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