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Thread: Answering Street Epistemology

  1. #31
    tWebber Rushing Jaws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornet View Post
    I agree that churches and individual Christians need to have answers to their questions.

    Suppose someone is talking with a street epistemologist and he says that he believes in Christianity because there is good evidence outside of the Bible that Christianity is true. What do you think of the claim made by certain apologists that if you believe in Christianity because of some evidence outside of the Bible that you are standing as a judge over the Bible?
    That makes the same mistake as the RC apologetic claim that the NT is from the Church, therefore, the NT derives its authority from the Church.

    The mistake confuses

    1. being (in some sense) the, or at least a, source of X

    with

    2. giving to X an authority it would otherwise lack.

    Both the believer and the Church have to respond to the Divine Authority of the Bible/NT.

    But to acknowledge the Divine Authority of the Bible, is almost the opposite of conferring authority on it. One is not judging it to be Divinely Authoritative - one is responding to a “Something” about the Bible that is inherent in the Bible - one is responding to its quality of being God’s Word written; which is the result of its God-breathedness, its *theopneustia*.

    The Bible has God as its *Primary Uncreated Divine Author*, working in, with, through and for the *secondary, created, human authors*. It is “the Word of God - in the words of men”. So it cannot gain authority from man; not even among God’s People. It has Divine Authority by virtue of originating in God. For God - not the Bible, the Church, nor any created thing - is the First and the Last, the Almighty.

    A man does not confer authority on a law by responding in obedience to it - he acknowledges its authority over him, and his duty to be obedient to it. He admits that he is its subject, and denies that he is its master. He is bound by it - not free from its prescriptions. The attitude of the Church is like that. The Spirit of God worked in the Church, recommending the Divine Scriptures to it. Various parts of the Church responded in various ways, and took various books to heart in various ways over several centuries. The final canonisation of the books of both Testaments, is the public culmination of this (largely invisible) process. The canonisation of the Scriptures is the recognition - not the creation - of the Divine Authority of these books.

    Belief that St John’s Gospel, or Hebrews, or Revelation, or 2 Peter, or Romans, is canonical Scripture was witnessed to by the Churches, by their receiving, using, and honouring these books as God’s Word written. They recognised, by this treatment of them, their belief that these bookswas Scripture. They did not confer on them any authority the books did not have - they recognised that they came to them “freighted” with God’s Authority. And they did this, because the Holy Spirit in these individual Christians, and in the Churches, moved them to recognise the testimony of the Holy Spirit to Christ Whom these Scriptures set forth, so that they saw these Scriptures to be the God-breathed Scriptures they are.

    The whole process is both Trinitarian; and Christological, Pneumatic, Paternal - and: it involves both man-in-the-Church, and, the Church as a body both local and universal. And it continues to do so.
    Last edited by Rushing Jaws; 07-21-2019 at 07:42 PM.

  2. Amen Chrawnus, mikewhitney amen'd this post.

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