Sunday, May 18, 2014

Bubba/Dan-I'LL Answer The Question

I've been monitoring the back and forth between Bubba and Dan, and it's going pretty much as expected.  I can't say that I don't understand what the big deal is.  This is how I see it:

Let's assume two sides, since there really actually are.  Since they generally run along political lines that are fairly well understood, I'll use "right side" and "left side" (of course I'm on the right side---the right side morally is just coincidentally the right side politically).

Anyway, Bubba argues for the right side, and Dan argues for the left.  They are each, to one extent or another typical of all who are on each side, at least generally.  And they each engage in a manner that is also, to one extent or another, at least generally, typical of each side.  The right goes to the heart of the matter, dealing in reality, willing to face the truth on truth's terms.  The left, goes to the heart of what they want reality to be, and takes great pains to avoid facing the truth on truth's terms in deference to that altered "reality" they would prefer.

When the right answers a question, the answer is as direct as the question.  The left alters the question to reflect the preferred altered reality, and then answers a question that wasn't asked. 

When the right balks at a question, it is because the question is leading, irrelevant, or takes the discussion down a preferred tangent believed by the left to be more amenable to the altered reality the left prefers.  When the left balks at a question, it is because the question exposes the gaping holes in the altered reality the leftist hoped wasn't so glaringly obvious. 

Maybe I shouldn't paint the entirety of the left with such a broad brush.  But the above is descriptive of what's going on at Dan's blog and is typical of all debates with him.  So I can show Dan how it's done and take the initial questions Bubba put to him and demonstrate how one answers the questions honorably.  I won't answer as if I'm Dan, but answer as if the questions were put to me.  I begin with the two set up questions to which I believe Bubba put forth with an assumption of a positive response from Dan:

Do you believe in orthodoxy and heresy as real categories and not just traditional understandings?

Yes.

Do you really believe that there are essential Christian doctrines?

Yes.

See how that works?  I answered two "yes or no" questions with either a "yes" or a "no", in this case, a "yes".  That's my honest response.  But keep in mind that these were set up questions, as in setting the stage for the real questions of interest to Bubba.  A "no" response would make what follows unnecessary and moot.  There would be no point in asking what follows if a "no" response followed these questions, so the asking was rhetorical.  So here are the actual questions:

NAME ONE ESSENTIAL CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE.

Jesus is God in flesh.

NAME ONE CLEAR TEACHING OF THE BIBLE.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Note that I didn't ask "essential to whom", as if the question wasn't seeking my opinion only.  Note that I didn't take off on irrelevant asides regarding how some things in Scripture are clear to some and not to others.  I answered as one who convicted in my beliefs, confident that what I believe is true and honest enough to allow my beliefs to be scrutinized and tested openly in a manner that might lead to a better understanding of what is true, or greater confidence that what I already know is true.  If I'm wrong, show me.  I don't want to be wrong, but I do indeed want to know the truth. 

Dan doesn't want to be wrong.  He likes what he wants to believe is true.  I think that's for the most part true for leftists in general, but for Dan I have little doubt of it based on our years of engagement.  It makes perfect sense given his evasive and convoluted style of debate.  It is being played out before our eyes at Dan's blog, though I wouldn't expect it to last much longer.

495 comments:

1 – 200 of 495   Newer›   Newest»
Mark said...

It's really much simpler than that. Dan just wants to argue. Period. No way does Dan really believe the crap he spews.

John B said...

My experience with Dan is that he invariably takes great pains to give his answers in such a way as to always leave himself an "out". He is ambiguous and equivocal. He makes sure that when you expose the flaws and absurdities of his views he can always just say you misunderstood. How many times have we all simply quoted, ver batum, his own words only to be told we've misrepresented his position?

Craig said...

He once accused me of slander for quoting his exact words.

Of course that's rational.

Marshall Art said...

Mark,

Good to see you still peek in now and then. But, yeah. That pretty much is likely. As I said, he really wants what he believes to be true and cannot engage honorably in debate without risking that what he wants to be true isn't really true at all. He talks about leaving room for the possibility of being wrong, but that's pretty much for the other guy. He only pays lip service to that concept as it applies to him. If he was truly convicted in his own beliefs, he'd be far less evasive.

Feodor said...

NAME ONE ESSENTIAL CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE.

The deification of man.

(because, "the left goes to the heart of what they want reality to be")



NAME ONE CLEAR TEACHING OF THE BIBLE.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

(because, "the left goes to the heart of what they want reality to be")

Marshall Art said...

feo,

I'm not surprised that you would choose to suggest such a provocative notion as an essential Christian doctrine, unless you're admitting that being a god is what you want reality to be.

As to your one clear teaching, it appears you are suggesting that your heart treasures your overinflated sense of your own intellectual superiority.

I'd ask for clarification, but you never provide any.

Marshall Art said...

Wow! Here's an update:

Bubba just spoke of the existence of God as an obvious teaching of the Bible. Dan suggests that Bubba's position is that one must agree it is an obvious teaching because Bubba says it is. Dan says, "Obvious to whom?" Thus, if the two of them see a German Shepherd sitting under a tree and Bubba says, "That's a dog", Dan would say, "Sez you, but not everyone would necessarily agree." Bubba would say, "But it's obviously a dog and is to anyone who is not willfully blind." Dan would scold Bubba for his arrogance. Good gosh!

Feodor said...

There's the rub, Marshall. You try to sound like you know christianity but you cannot even recognize orthodox doctrine. One is left with the right assumption that you are familiar solely with heresy.

You don't know St. Athanasius. You don't know St. Iranaeus. You don't know St. John Chrysostom. You don't know Maximus the Confessor, Gregory Palamas, or even St. Paul.

In short, you don't know the church and you don't know christian doctrine.

Because you don't know Theosis.

Look it up, o ignorant one.

And don't start quibbling about "essential to whom." You've already ruled that out - though now perhaps you see it's wisdom.

Marshall Art said...

The "rub", oh false priest, is that you think once again that you have presented some deep knowledge unknown to me. My response to you in no way provides any indication of what I do or do not know on the subject. What's more, this last comment of yours demonstrates that you number is had completely. You concern yourself with posturing as an intellectual superior to anyone else who comments here. You've certainly "deified" yourself to your own satisfaction. Too bad you impress only yourself.

John B said...

Did Dan really say it is not a clear and essential teaching from the bible that God exists?

Feodor said...

So you looked it up and still don't understand it.

Christian doctrine just isn't your thing.

Why did God come in the flesh, Marshall

Theosis.

Pretty essential. And you remain ignorant in your own faith.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

The right goes to the heart of the matter, dealing in reality, willing to face the truth on truth's terms. The left, goes to the heart of what they want reality to be, and takes great pains to avoid facing the truth on truth's terms in deference to that altered "reality" they would prefer.

Marshall, that is one of the best descriptions of the issue that I have ever read--- WELL SAID!

Marshall Art said...

John,

"Did Dan really say it is not a clear and essential teaching from the bible that God exists?"

Dan is trying to argue that somehow, in some way, one cannot say that it is obvious to everyone. As you know, Dan requires a Scripture mired in ambiguity so that he can continue believing what appeals to him on the basis that no one can ever be sure with 100% certainty of anything Scripture teaches. That being true, so his argument goes, allows for any possible interpretation to be equally valid or invalid.

Marshall Art said...

Glenn,

That's how it appears to me, anyway.

Marshall Art said...

feo,

"So you looked it up and still don't understand it."

I described it as a provocative position. Even to the well read and highly educated false priest that should indicate at least some familiarity. Other than having done that, there is nothing that I've mentioned that should indicate, even to a well read and highly educated false priest the extent to which I understand it, except of course that I understand it well enough to know it is provocative and even controversial.

Once again you desperately need to believe that I am deficient in knowledge and understanding of the faith, so as to stroke your inflated self-image. So you throw out terms against which you believe others will stand in awe. "Oh, how bright the false priest is!!"

The term means different things to different faiths. No doubt you already see yourself as a god, so your understanding is suspect. I wondered at your selection of a Christian essential and apparently daring to wonder is as blasphemy to your lordship. Tough shit. The correct response, the adult and gracious response to my wonderment is to explain what you mean by the term so that anyone who gives a rat's ass what you think can weigh in on whether your understanding of the concept is even Biblical.

Craig said...

I just looked din over at Dan's and it's a veritable greatest hits collection of Dan's dodges and obfuscations. I could have written Dan's responses they're so predictable.

I give Bubba credit, he certainly gave the conversation an exemplary effort, but Dan has constructed a world where there is no such thing as a simple yes or no answer. It's clear that he just can't abide the possibility that his 63 years of intense Bible study could have lead him astray. But as long as you have as your starting point Reason and experience, then you have no choice but to twist things so that nothing can assail them.

It'll be interesting to see how much longer this goes.

Bubba said...

After all is said and done, I may come here and write a post-mortem comment or two.

A couple thoughts in the meantime:

--

I saw from Dan's that this post linked to his thread, but that cross-reference has since disappeared.

--

John, most of what he's written points solidly in that direction.

I asked whether the existence of God or the historicity of Jesus is a clear teaching of the Bible and/or an essential doctrine of Christianity, and his position seems to be no.

"Now, we can argue, 'I think the AUTHOR of this text was trying to pass on THIS teaching...' and argue about whether or not the author was trying to do that. BUT, the thing is, the authors are not here, they have not told us the intent of their teachings, nor has God told us.

"WE assume some meaning, we read into it whatever meaning we might find, PERHAPS guessing correctly what the author's intent was, but not knowing one way or the other, nor being able to prove one way or another, it will perforce remain a guess.
"

The way I'd put it would be blunt but hardly a gross distortion: Dan thinks God mumbles.

Or, at best, he thinks that God speaks clearly but human infallibility prevents us from having any certainty about what He communicates -- a functionally equivalent position.

The conversation has involved nearly 30,000 words over the course of almost three weeks, across about 80 comments, and it's still going.

As important as the subject is, it's still quite simple, and so I don't think this much arguing would be likely if both sides were capably arguing in good faith.

I think that entire conversation is a lengthy demonstration of why I do not have any respect for Dan and why I have long since given up any pretense of the benefit of the doubt.

A MUCH shorter demonstration is the trio of glib comments Dan offered in your thread about the abortion industry's targeting children with their propaganda.

"I’m not really all that into the abortion issue, other than I think it’s not gov’t’s business what medical procedures people have or saying what end of life decisions families decide to make."

"And your claim that elective abortion is evil is an objective truth is, itself, a subjective opinion. One I used to hold, myself, so that’s how I know it’s subjective."

"Shooting someone is not a medical decision. Abortion is not murder. Murder has a legal definition.
"

Those sort of comments don't make me think, "Now, there is a thoughtful Christian who's serious about issues of consequence and earnest in his opposition to violence in defense of society's most vulnerable."

Taken in the smallest possible chunks or in the largest possible context, his writing just doesn't seem sober, moral, and intellectually honest, to say nothing of refecting a mature and growing conformity to Christ and His gospel.

Marshall Art said...

We all know what Dan's trying to do, but he will continue to claim he's acting in good faith in pressing his arguments to ward off the most logical conclusions as true.

I'm especially fascinated that he continues to redirect attention to the possibility that others might indeed deny a lesson from Scripture in good faith. He'll neither explain how this can even be possible, nor will he address the question which was, in fact, directed toward what HE believes about unassailable lessons or teachings. So, while I might know and believe that falling into water will make me wet, or that holding my hand in fire will burn me, or that laying naked in the snow will make me cold, I certainly can't confirm that no one exists who would in good faith sincerely disagree. And with such a statement, I insist that you all regard me as arguing in good faith. Incredible.

Craig said...

Bubba,

I've had a similar conversation with him a couple of times regarding the existence of Truth. His position was essentially, that he believes that there are some things that are True, but that our fallibility prevents us from knowing (at least part of) what is actually True.

He spends a lot of time bowing at the alter of "truths' and reason, but not much else.

Craig said...

"I think, in my opinion, some of your comrades hold an implausible position when they think that when Jesus says "poor" he does not mean specifically the literal poor,..."

While I doubt Dan will see this, and I will honor the request not to comment on the other thread, I can
t let this pass.

Twice in the comment thread he has made some version of the above comment. In point of fact it is factually an untrue statement, and he's been told multiple times it is untrue. For him to continue to assert this falsehood is nothing short of an intentional lie. I've rarely ever accused Dan of lying, and I've always tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, but this is so blatant that there just isn't any other conclusion to be drawn other than that he has intentionally decided to lie about this.

Beyond that, it's just the same old lame Dan crap. ANSWER ME! ANSWER ME! ANSWER ME!.

I'll give Bubba points for persistence though.

To be fair, I think Dan actually agrees with Bubba's main point (that the Bible explicitly teaches that God exists), but Dan just can't bring himself to actually outright agree with anyone on anything.

Marshall Art said...

It's because, Craig, that as I said, he can't risk opening himself up to having his preferred reality exposed to direct scrutiny. If he simply answers the question, a follow-up will occur. He does the same thing in the other direction, but his questions are leading to his desired result, rather than simply asking a question to find a point of agreement. How many times has he asked questions like, "So if God tells you to rape a baby, you'll do it?" or "If raping a baby will stop terrorists, would you do it?" and the like.

But notice the overall question of this discussion concerns whether or not we can know anything with certainty. Thus, as a baseline question, Bubba seeks to find one teaching that cannot be said to NOT a teaching of Scripture. The baseline question is no more involved than that. And THAT was a point Bubba himself offered as a possible answer to the challenge to provide any teaching of Scripture with which people of good faith cannot disagree.

Typical evasion. I can't see how anyone convicted in their beliefs can be so afraid to answer direct questions directly.

Bubba said...

I think/hope I'm done there, and just hitting the triple-digit mark for comments!

Craig, it's all so reminiscent of the serpent in the garden and Pilate's talk with Jesus: Did God really say that? What is truth?

That's not the intellectual heritage to which a Christian should aspire. It's NOT intellectually honest, but it is ubiquitous as the cultural Marxists seek to tear down everything, including confidence in the concept of objective and knowable truth.

I could see how a shallow thinker could assume that existential relativism is plausible because it's prominent in our decadent, post-modern culture, but it should only take a moment to realize that there ARE objective truths after all, about which we CAN have real confidence. It takes a concerted effort to suppress that realization after it's been pointed out, again and again.

I share your suspicion that Dan sees what the truth is but cannot bring himself to say it -- which leads to Marshall's point.

"I can't see how anyone convicted in their beliefs can be so afraid to answer direct questions directly."

I can: the point isn't discovering and arguing for the truth in the clear light of day, it's about pushing a radical agenda under the false flag of Christianity, perhaps because the utopian ends justify the literally dehumanizing means, or perhaps because he simply cannot let go of his heritage and honestly swear allegiance to what amounts to a new faith in a secular religion.

Either way, it's a tightrope of revealing enough to change people's minds (or at least sow seeds of doubt), while obscuring the rest so it cannot be seen just how radically his belief system diverges from the clear teachings of the Bible which he claims to revere.

The only truly open question in my mind is, is he primarily trying to deceive others or himself?

There's no way to know from this end, and the answer hardly matters, but it is an interesting question, whether we're seeing the contortions of years of cognitive dissonance or something much more sinister.

And when I say sinister and dehumanizing, I mean it.

A person must think of others as something less than human if he tries this hard to manipulate them to think what he wants them to think, rather than persuade them to agree with what he really believes.

To do this despite God's numerous warnings about dishonesty, and to do so in God's name, suggests no real concern for His judgment against this sort of behavior.

Here as in the Sunday School classes I've taught and in the conversations I've had about my faith with believers and non-believers, I try to be VERY conscientious in distinguishing between what I believe to be the clear teachings of God's written revelation and what I hold as my own tentative opinion.

(Paul gives us the pattern in I Cor 7, when he was explicit in giving his opinion rather than God's commands. Clearly, he knew the difference between the two.)

I'm frankly too much in awe of God to make such a blatant habit of treating His written revelation with such disrespect.

It's sociopathic, and in how he treats us and God, his behavior is, in a certain sense, anti-humanist AND anti-theistic.

Marshall Art said...

Well, Bubba. You got be comment #100, so that's a bit of a coup. But your final comments there were fantastic. It would have been interesting to see how you would have followed up, if you had intended on following up, had he immediately gave a straight yes or no answer to your initial questions. Perhaps he tries to over analyze or over intellectualize the discussion. None of his equivocations about the possibility of what others might think are even relevant. "What do YOU think, Dan?" is the basic question he doesn't answer.

I'm constantly amazed by the diversions, such as, "We know what it says, but we can't be sure what it means". Really? Sure, the passage might say that the character sat at the table. And YOU know what "table" means. And I know what "table" means. But the author could have meant a bowl of jello. We just can't know for sure.

You mentioned that he leaves openings for false gospels. While I would expect him to deny this, a more accurate result of his shenanigans is that he is protecting his own position by leaving those openings. Is it conscious or a by product of his attachment to his position preferences? No matter as the result is the same. He can maintain his position preferences secure in the hope, if not knowledge (in his mind) that we just can't know anything for sure.

The real irony is in how he describes proper Biblical study for determining the lessons taught therein, but cannot connect the dots of his own beliefs. At the same time, we can show, by the very method of Biblical study he claims to employ, how our understandings are supported by the text. You did it within the discussion by showing three areas that support the teaching of God's existence.

He claimed he believes he communicates well. This is true and actually understated. He communicates especially well, far better than he thinks, just not what he hopes. This is when he screams about being misunderstood, when, as we've said for years, we are merely drawing conclusions that his own words provoke. And instead of correcting us, he inevitably confirms our initial conclusions.

The worst part is how he is so keen to chastise us for our arrogance, that we don't admit that we could be wrong. It isn't enough that we stand ready to defend our positions until such time as he logs a true game changer (something that hasn't happened yet). We can't simply regard that as a given and just get on with it, but he must make that charge (and it always comes when he's stumped by what we say). But at the same time, he only gives lip service to holding that attitude and nothing, in all the years of debate, has he ever once so much as put something aside to reconsider, much less open himself to the possibility that he is wrong on any issue. We just the "arrogance", "don't you know how that sounds", "you can't speak for God" and so many other "tells" that he truly has lost the debate.

Oh well. That's our Dan.

Marshall Art said...

Wow. I should have proof read that last one.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

All this with Bubba and Dan just demonstrates why I quit dealing with him on my blog a couple years ago when I finally banned him. He took an inordinate amount of time to respond to and yet never really committed to any response that wasn't obfuscatory. And the rabbit trails he took when he wouldn't give a direct answer!!!

The guy is unteachable.

Bubba said...

Marshall, I think you're right: "He communicates especially well, far better than he thinks, just not what he hopes."

I believe it's often the case that we understand the content of his position quite well, but he accuses us of misunderstanding when we disagree on the evaluation of that position, as if only those who do not grasp his position would balk at praising it for its moderation and rationality.

Glenn, I agree that Dan's unteachable, and that's a particularly pernicious problem, because if you're teachable, most other flaws can be corrected. If you're not, those flaws solidify.

--

Dan's posted a response, and there's really no need for me to write too much about it, not here and certainly not there.

An awful lot I've already addressed anway: I was already getting to the point of nearly constantly referencing old comments and even quoting them at increasing length.

It looks like he's conflating Peter and Paul, and he seems unaware of the apostles' often harsh denunciations of false teachers, but I've honestly never been impressed on his grasp of Scripture, EVEN those passages he esteems so highly.

And there's the ever-present hypocrisy, beginning with risible paraphrases of my position when he has a habit of denouncing even direct quotes as misrepresenations, and continuing with his labeling as demonstrably, objectively factual those claims that he would dismiss as hunches coming from anyone else.

An amusing game is to notice Dan's use of the word "demonstrably," and to ask yourself, first, whether Dan has actually tried to demonstrate what he says is demonstrable, and second whether he COULD actually demonstrate it. Toward the end he derides my conclusions about his motives as "demonstrably" false, but how could one's motives be demonstrated?

It's almost as if he's using the word as a talisman to make people think his position is stronger than it is.

The hypocrisy is especially rich in two places.

First:

"None of us have perfect knowledge in general, or even perfect knowledge about some subset of ideas. Factually, no one does."

He seems absolutely convinced: he thinks he has perfect knowledge about the impossiblity of having perfect knowledge. That's ONE idea he proclaims as a simply undeniable fact.

Second:

"BUT, people have GOT to get past this attitude of, 'If they disagree with me, they can't honestly think they're right, so they must be lying monsters, of the devil, out to deliberately destroy and therefore, must be stopped." That is just a shallow, irrational approach to disagreement. We've got to stop that, and that is what I'm trying to do here by emphasizing holding our positions strongly, but with humility and respect/love for those we disagree with.

"That is the Mistake of the Pharisee and it is wrong because it is lacking in grace and humility.
" [emphasis mine]

Those who have the attitude of "they must be stopped" MUST BE STOPPED!

And those who denigrate others as lying monsters are being positively pharasaical.

In two consecutive paragraphs, he opposes strong condemnation and then compares those with whom he disagrees to the Christ-murdering Pharisees.

If a person claims to be a Christian while denying the existence of God, we cannot dare conclude that he's deficient in the virtue of honest, because we can't know his heart and judge his motives.

But when we draw that conclusion, Dan can lecture us about how we're deficient in the virtues of grace and humility.

Consistency has never been his strong suit, and it's worth correcting the record, that Jesus criticized the Pharisees for their mistake -- sorry "Mistake" -- of hypocrisy, alongside their discarding the clear teachings of Scripture for the sake of presumably quite reasonable human traditions. John 8:44 has especially harsh words for the Pharisees.

Marshall Art said...

Wow. I just checked in over there and his response to you is five posts long. Not up for wading through more of the same, but right at the start he again quibbles over Gen 1:1. He doesn't seem to get that even if the entire Bible was total fiction written by Mark Twain two centuries ago, it still TEACHES that God exists. There's absolutely no doubt about it. The question of whether or not the Bible teaches that God exists does not hinge on the writing style in any way, shape or form. It is still a clear teaching one way or the other. Incredible! Again. That's our Dan.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

The man is just one logic fallacy after another!

Feodor said...

It's not my fault, nor the fault of my learning, that you don't know shit when you start talking about shit.

Not knowing is on you.

You think you know christian doctrine. Yet when confronted with essential orthodox doctrine you don't recognize.

Much less the fact that the christian doctrine I name is the "so what" of your claim that Jesus is God come in flesh. Why did God come in human flesh?

Theosis.

But you're not familiar with that. And confronted with your ignorance, you turn to the same strategies you and Glenn and Craig try to pin in Dan.

Prevarication, denial of the obvious, and blaming others.

It's not my fault you don't know shit when you start talking shit.

It's a habit of yours.

Marshall Art said...

Speaking of logic fallacy, we now have feo again.

False priest. I know you desperately need to believe I know nothing. Feel free. But expressing that desire in your weak sauce claims along those lines are pointless without something to back it up. Again you want to believe you've brought up something about which you hope I'm unaware. You print one word, again hoping to impress with the wondrous knowledge and wisdom you want all to believe you possess, and you wet yourself insisting I've no clue on the topic. You want me to expound on what I've already referred to as a provocative and controversial concept, likely to see if you can score a "gotcha". But as there two or three schools of thought on the concept, I have no idea what saying "theosis" says about what YOU believe. Are you a Mormon, Greek Orthodox...what? As you already regard yourself as a god-like brainiac, perhaps you have your very own notion of what the word should imply. In the meantime, the only "shit" has been typed by you. A more accurate reflection of the false priest typing it there never was.

Marshall Art said...

One more thing, feo, in my currently limited time: I wouldn't dare deny that I possess a bad habit or two. You haven't identified one here. Others would say that I have a bad habit of continuing to engage with people like you, allowing you chance after chance to contribute substance and something to ponder while consistently failing to find satisfaction on that score.

Have any other unsubstantiated charges you wish to project upon me to make yourself sleep better?

Dan Trabue said...

My, my, how the hens gossip!

I wondered why my ears were burning!

Craig...

He once accused me of slander for quoting his exact words.

BS. False. This may be what Craig THINKS happened, but it has not happened in the real world. It is a demonstrable falsehood, as he can't produce any such exchange. I won't call it a lie, but will let it go as a falsehood told either in ignorance or confusion.

Just to be rational and fair.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, you wrote...

When the right answers a question, the answer is as direct as the question.

Do you know how very hilarious and ironic it is, considering the source and the source's comrades?

I try all the time to get direct answers to direct questions and without fail, it turns into a game of semantic gymnastics, trying to nail you all down to a position.

Now, in MY case, what you attempt to deride as being evasive, is, in fact, being PRECISE. If one asks, "What is a clear biblical teaching?" it is entirely rational to ask, "Clear to whom?" before continuing.

The anabaptists think passage/teaching X is abundantly and obviously clear, while the Catholics think text Z is abundantly clear. The fundamentalist evangelical will say, "I think X is clear - but NOT what the anabaptist is interpreting it to mean!, and A, B, C, D and E are all clear, too, by our understanding..."

Asking "clear to whom" is an important question.

I could easily answer, "Blessed are you who are poor... woe to you who are rich" as a passage that I think is quite clear, but in this case, Bubba was not wanting for me to answer the question based on what I thought was clear, but on what GOD thinks is clear...!

Well, as I made clear, I am not God and can not speak for what God thinks is clear, any more than Bubba could. But he thinks he can, so, there you go.

The point being, trying to be precise and answer the precise question being asked is not dodging, it is being specific and direct.

Just to clarify.

~Dan

Craig said...

"BS. False."

Nope true, Sometime when I have the time I'll post it.

Bubba said...

"My, my, how the hens gossip!"

Oh, noes! The braying jackass found us!

We should apologize immediately, because this conversation has been the epitome of gossip.

- It's a public conversation, as all good gossip is.

- It's in a public blog that Dan damn well know exists, which is exactly where you'd hide gossip -- in plain sight!

- At least at one time, a link to this comment thread was present at the end of Dan's comment thread, which is the perfect way to throw him off the scent.

- None of us are saying a damn thing that we're not willing to write directly to Dan, which is EXACTLY the content one would expect in gossip.

- And most of what we've written here, we've ALREADY written directly to him, which is why our saying it here is so vicious.

We're guilty of gossip of the worst sort.

Either that, or Dan Trabue is a lying, sanctimonious prick, but that's unpossible.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba, get some help for that anger. It's only harming you.

God bless you, fellas.

~Dan

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

I have no doubt that if Bubba is at all angry, rather than incredibly frustrated, it is provoked by your famous evasions and equivocations. Above, right after your whiny crap about gossip (I'll address that later), you said

"Now, in MY case, what you attempt to deride as being evasive, is, in fact, being PRECISE."

That was really funny. I laughed really hard. I had no idea you were so talented to play the fool so straight. You said that like you were being serious. That's perfect comedy technique. Kudos, my man.

Bubba clearly put it this way:

Name one essential Christian doctrine

You responded

""Essential," to whom?"

And you're now saying you were trying to be precise? That's classic.

Your response is stupid. It is crystal clear that Bubba was directing the challenge to YOU. It could not have been to anyone else, or in regards to the opinion of anyone else, especially given this invitation:

"So, Bubba, here's your chance: Raise your questions here and now if you have some real concerns about my faith journey striving by grace to walk in the steps of Jesus."

Why in the wide, wide world of sports would even an imbecile ask "essential to whom?" in response to a question posed so directly to that imbecile after that imbecile encouraged someone to ask him anything? To freaking whom else could the interviewer in such a case possibly be referring? Have you less on the ball than an imbecile, Dan? Or perhaps its a question of honor a graciousness?

Asking "clear to whom?" in such a situation is NOT an important question. It's an irrelevant question. It's a question for which the answer is self-evident given the invitation and the person to whom the question was posed. HE WAS ASKING YOU!!

Now, as to the gossip comment. It wasn't quite as funny as the "direct response" joke to which I referred at the top of this comment, but it provoked a snicker. You closed the comments to anyone not named Bubba or Dan. What you see here is a discussion and analysis on the commonly observed style of discourse of yours we all have experienced for ourselves. We were commenting on it as it that closed discussion unfolded. Based on your whiny opinion here, it is clear that every news talk show, like Meet The Press, or any discussion of, say, diplomatic talks between leaders of nations is gossip, in which case I'm good with that.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

It is crystal clear that Bubba was directing the challenge to YOU.

Actually, not so much. After some back and forth to get a straight answer from Bubba, he finally said that what he wanted to know was something that was clear NOT to me, but to "everyone who reads the Bible in good faith..."

Bubba's words:

Clear to whom? To EVERYONE who reads the Bible in good faith.

I can easily answer for myself: There is a God, that is a basic, essential of Christianity, as I understand it (and, I think, most everyone else). There's one.

But he's not asking about me, he's asking about EVERYONE. How can I answer that question? There is no answer to THAT question but, "No, we can't say that, because people will always disagree on something."

HOW can we know what is obvious to "everyone?"

So you see, Marshall, determining WHO he is asking the question in reference to DID matter to the answer. Thus, my answer for me was specific to me and my answer for what Bubba was actually asking is a best guess, not being able to know what "everyone" is thinking.

I mean, I would think it is abundantly obvious that Jesus, in Luke 6, was speaking specifically of the literal poor. I would think that is abundantly clear to "everyone," but apparently not everyone does agree. Like you.

Or do you agree with me?

It's hard to tell because you won't give a straight, clear answer to the question.

Irony. Funny, huh?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Proof once again that Trabue is a fool. Bubba hit the nail on the head. OF course anytime one does that, Trabue marginalizes it and calls it anger. The fool was always ascribing some sort of emotion to me which I never had. But then again, he knows everything, doesn't he?

Bubba said...

Gosh, Dan.

On the one hand you wish God's blessings on us, but on the other hand you lie about us by accusing us of gossip.

It couldn't be that you don't mean one of those statements, and that, liberated from pretending that you argue in good faith, I'm simply calling you out on your idiocy. It must be that I'm angry.

--

Your clarifying questions, I answered, so there's really no excuse or explanation for why our conversation took 100+ comments over the course of 3 weeks, requiring some 30,000 words.

And as it is, your position is incoherent.

You say we cannot possibly know a person's heart from his words, such that we could actually KNOW that "The Bible doesn't clearly teach God's existence" is evidence of an absence of honesty.

But, then, you presume to know my heart from my words, accusing me of an absence of grace and humility for daring to think that the Bible is actually clear to everyone -- to all capable adults -- at least on subjects as basic as the existence of God and the historicity of Jesus.

If you really believed that a person's heart was unknowable from his words, you would never accuse us of ANYTHING, since you don't know us except for by our words.

As it is, you'll pretend to believe it long enough to cast doubt on the clarity of God's written revelation.

Funny how that happens.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

On the one hand you wish God's blessings on us, but on the other hand you lie about us by accusing us of gossip.

Just one response...

Gossip, noun: casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.

If the shoe fits and you don't like it when someone points out it fits, perhaps you should change shoes.

It is demonstrably NOT a "lie" when someone points out a fact. You all were, by definition, gossiping. Like a bunch of ol' hens. (The latter being more of an opinion, to be sure.)

Now, peace and wisdom and grace to us all.

~Dan

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Trabue,

Every detail of the conversation was "confirmed as being true."

Too many of us have witnessed the exact same thing which was reported. YOU are the liar.

Dan Trabue said...

Now that would be an example of slander and false witness, not gossip.

You can't confirm what isn't factual, Glenn. You can't point to any of the claims you all have made and support them with actual data, thus, it's a false witness. And making that claim in an effort to defame is slander.

Thanks for the object lesson, Glenn.

~Dan

Oh, and just to factually and clearly answer something for John, who asked...

Did Dan really say it is not a clear and essential teaching from the bible that God exists?

No, Dan did not say that. Does everyone understand? Dan DID NOT say that it is "not a clear and essential teaching from the bible that God exists." That phrase never left my fingertips. I never said it. I never said it because I do not believe it. IN FACT, in the real world, I stated JUST THE OPPOSITE. Of course, I think it is a clear teaching from the Bible.

John, with that answer, do you now understand my actual position, rather than the false impression some would leave in their gossip and slander about another?

I hope so, I don't know how I can be more clear.

Here's a tip for the future, John: If Bubba, or Marshall, or Craig (or you, for that matter) state as a fact, "DAN believes..." or "DAN said..." you can take it as a fairly safe conclusion that Dan neither said nor believes whatever follows that statement. You all have an amazing history of misunderstanding my (and others' on the "other side") positions and, in fact, oftentimes reaching conclusions that are totally the polar opposite of what we actually believe.

Just as a helpful hint.

Case in point:

Bubba claims:

Dan thinks God mumbles.

Reality is: Dan does NOT think God mumbles.

You see, the way you can tell that is the way I never made that claim. Or suggested it. Or hinted at it.

You see, I think God and God's ways TEND to be abundantly clear. MY ACTUAL position, as opposed to the strawman you all are gossiping about, is NOT that God mumbles, but just that humanity is prone to misunderstanding, even on the clearest points.

You know, the "fallen nature of man." In other words, completely orthodox Christian belief.

Gossip and slander on, men, I'm really trying to exit outta here.

~Dan

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Trabue's typical responses. "slander, false witness, gossip." And he is wrong with every one of them.

By the way Trabue, slander is spoken - I think you mean "libel," but even they you are a liar.

Bubba said...

Dan, there are two REALLY big problems with your defense of the accusation of gossip and your subsequent accusation of slander.

1) Your own behavior routinely fits the definition you give of gossip, AND it engages in precisely the sort of strawman argumentation you now denounce, as in your most recent blog post.

There, you denounce a view of salvation requiring belief in a "vague," "whimsical," and even "unjust" list of doctrines -- as if those presenting that list would THEMSELVES describe the doctrines as whimsical and unjust.

Pressed to produce even one quote to substantiate that somebody SOMEWHERE believes as you say they do, you demure.

The post is even misleading about your own beliefs.

"For some, it's not enough to even generally embrace the ideas of an eternal Creator God, God's son Jesus as a man who literally lived on earth, died and rose from the dead, the need of salvation by Grace and several other ideas..."

Well, it's not as if you yourself affirm that belief in the existence of God and the historicity of Jesus are essential for salvation, essential to the Christian gospel, or clear enough teachings of Scripture to preclude any good-faith disagreement from any capable adult.

Your problem isn't just with those who insist upon a specific theory of the meaning of Jesus' crucifixion, but on those who insist upon the historicity of Jesus' life; it's not just with those who insist upon a triune and omniscient deity, but a deity of ANY kind.

2) You're continuing to be transparently dishonest about the specific point of contention between us.

"Dan DID NOT say that it is 'not a clear and essential teaching from the bible that God exists.' That phrase never left my fingertips. I never said it. I never said it because I do not believe it. IN FACT, in the real world, I stated JUST THE OPPOSITE. Of course, I think it is a clear teaching from the Bible."

You've made it clear, that you think the Bible is clear on this issue TO YOU, but not clear to all capable adults, precluding the possibility of a genuine disagreement in good faith.

I made quite clear that that's what I meant, and I think it's safe to assume that that's what John B was asking about.

As much as you made of the question, "clear to whom?" you omit that qualifier, and I believe you do so deliberately, because it is ONLY without that qualifier can you plausibly claim to believe the "OPPOSITE" of what John B asked about.

You write, "MY ACTUAL position, as opposed to the strawman you all are gossiping about, is NOT that God mumbles, but just that humanity is prone to misunderstanding, even on the clearest points."

Gosh, if only I had mentioned that.

Oh, right. I DID.

QUOTE:

"The way I'd put it would be blunt but hardly a gross distortion: Dan thinks God mumbles.

"Or, at best, he thinks that God speaks clearly but human [ ]fallibility prevents us from having any certainty about what He communicates -- a functionally equivalent position.
"

It is my position that the two are functionally equivalent because they have the same result of universal human doubt about God's revelation to man.

I made absolutely clear my conclusion that you believe one OR THE OTHER, and the only way you can accuse me of grossly misunderstanding your position is by carefully quoting me to try to make it appear that my conclusion is that you believe one BUT NOT THE OTHER.

I wonder how stupid you must be, to think either that people cannot simply scroll up and see the context of what you quote or that I won't quote the missing context to highlight your misleading approach.

I do NOT however wonder about your mendacity.

You are a pathological liar, evidently incapable of being shamed about it.

Craig said...

"If Bubba, or Marshall, or Craig (or you, for that matter) state as a fact, "DAN believes..." or "DAN said..."

Of course, because actually quoting Dan's actual literal own words, is not an indication of what Dan either says or believes.

Craig said...

When am I going to learn that it is virtually impossible to have a disagreement with Dan where he will actually admit that he could be mistaken. I'm not talking about the faux humility "Well I'm a fallible human and fallible humans are fallible so as a fallible human I must be proud of my fallible human fallible humility and embrace of grace." I'm talking about real "Hey I misunderstood you." or "Oh, so that's what you meant, I can see you're point."

Instead we just get the same old move the goal posts, only one possible English language definition, double down on every unsupported hunch that crosses his mental transom.

Yet we all keep coming back for the same old crap time and time again. We say we won't then we do.

I just keep thinking that I should adopt the role of his (presumably ex) reader and defender Alan and simply make a series of snide, rude, personal attacks while pretending that I'm such a great example of christianity.

I probably won't, but it's sure tempting.

Craig said...

Sorry for the multiple posts.

I shouldn't have gone back to Dan's.

It's like the tar baby, you try to start out with something reasonable, and just get sucked further and further in. It's hard to watch him take things completely out of context and act as if he's scored some major rhetorical point. Certainly in light of his constant whining about how his words are used.

It's kind of tempting to see how many comments he makes before he realizes that I'm not playing his game anymore.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

"The way I'd put it would be blunt but hardly a gross distortion: Dan thinks God mumbles.

"Or, at best, he thinks that God speaks clearly but human [ ]fallibility prevents us from having any certainty about what He communicates -- a functionally equivalent position."


I DO believe the latter. I'll give you that you're right on that, WITH TWO CAVEATS:

1. I do NOT believe we can't have "any certainty." I have stated quite clearly that we can't have ABSOLUTE certainty that we mortals can NOT be mistaken. I hold my positions that I hold with a good degree of confidence because of their utterly moral and rational conclusions. But, as a mortal and a Christian, I hold it rational and evident and biblical that we can't say we have perfect knowledge about anything because we are not perfect. Behold, we see as through a glass, darkly. We know only in part. As the Bible says, as real world observation corraborates.

2. These two are NOT "functionally equivalent." At all. There is zero evidence to support such a claim. Nothing.

Bubba goes on to say...

It is my position that the two are functionally equivalent because they have the same result of universal human doubt about God's revelation to man.

In the real world, we hold many things as clearly evident even though we don't know with absolute certainty. We have relative faith in a court system, even in trials where we don't know with absolute certainty all the facts. We have relative faith in many scientific processes even though we don't know with absolute certainty all the facts. And many of us rational, moral, God-following adults believe in God and our moral positions with a great deal of conviction and surety, without having universal human doubt about God's revelation.

We are just humble and rational enough to admit the obvious: That people CAN be mistaken. That people of good will can look at an almost endless variety of positions and reach different conclusions in good faith.

Given that there is no evidence to the contrary, why would we believe otherwise?

I think the fear is (and it DOES sound like fear on your part) that, IF you allow that you can't know with "absolute certainty" some things, then your faith is shaken and you can't speak with God-like authority against those ideas about which you hold certain convictions. But the thing is, I'd argue, it's a good thing that you can't argue with God-like authority, you're not equipped for it (nor am I, which is why I am glad to not argue with God-like authority). But that's just a guess on my part.

Do I believe that human fallibility means we only know in part and not with absolute certainty? Absolutely, I have no evidence to believe otherwise and, besides, it's what the Bible tells us. In contrast, the Bible never one time tells us that, ON SOME TOPICS (a list that shall remain un-named) we can be absolutely certain. Not one time.

So, given the real world evidence that we CAN be mistaken in good faith on probably every topic (being a finite human, I can not authoritatively speak to every topic, but I've not run across many topics where someone doesn't disagree), given the biblical witness that we ONLY know "in part," not perfectly, and given the lack of real worl or biblical evidence that there are "some topics" about which we can know perfectly, I have no other reason to think otherwise.

So, there you go.

Dan Trabue said...

Sorry for the two deletes, misread something and made a mistake.

In good faith, of course, but still a mistake. Happens sometimes with human types.

~Dan

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I love it when Trabue tries to dig out of his hole so that he is never wrong. What a joke!

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Oh, and by the way Trabue, "Slander' may have been what the translators picked for the Bible, but when you say we slander you, you are speaking English and not a translation of a word. You are so despicable.

Dan Trabue said...

And I love you as my dear brother in Christ, Glenn, warts and all.

And I know that disturbs you and it is not my intent, it's just the fact. I do love you and I do consider you my brother in Christ, whether we agree in good faith or disagree. Facts are what they are.

As to a "fact" that "I'm never wrong..." t'ain't a fact at all, nor is it a fact that I try to present myself as never wrong. You can tell that's the case by the way I never state it and by the way I affirm the opposite - that I am indeed a flawed human who makes genuine mistakes.

Such is life.

Peace,

Dan

Dan Trabue said...

Re: slander/libel/defamation...

"Under common law, to constitute defamation, a claim must generally be false and have been made to someone other than the person defamed. Some common law jurisdictions also distinguish between spoken defamation, called slander, and defamation in other media such as printed words or images, called libel."

The point being, you are using phrases to communicate false claims (here, written) to defame my character, what the Bible would have called slander, as it's not a legal point, but a moral one.

The charges foisted against me here are demonstrably false, they are unsupported and unsupportable, since they are not true or factual. Most times you all say "Dan thinks..." you are mistaken. Most of the time, you have it totally backwards, but almost always, it is mistaken.

Just as a point of demonstrable fact.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Trabue, I have said it over and over again that you are NOT my brother in Christ, and I'm really tired of your offensive continual insults by calling me that. You are NOT a Christian - you are a wolf with heretical doctrines and worship a false God and a false Christ. DO NOT CALL ME you brother in Christ. YOU DON'T KNOW Christ and are unteachable and unwilling to know Christ.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Point of demonstrable fact - I have NEVER made false claims about you Trabue, nor have I seen false claims by anyone else about you. You are a liar like your father of lies.

Dan Trabue said...

And when you get to heaven and meet with God and God shakes God's lovely head and says, "Glenn, Glenn, Glenn, you were SOOO mistaken about Dan. Why did you give him such a hard way to go?" Even THEN will you refuse to accept me as a brother in Christ?

If so, what does that say about who you are truly committed to?

The fact is, I believe in God, in Jesus, God's son, in his life, teachings and resurrection. I believe in salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus. I believe in repentance of sin and making Jesus the Lord of my life.

In short, orthodox on all commonly held "essentials." And I do love you with Christ's love, no matter how you view me. So, while you are welcome to reject my brotherhood, I do not reject yours. For neither height, nor depth, nor principalities nor powers, nor Glenn's stiff disapproval can separate me from the love of God, or Glenn from me.

I am sure you are doing what you think best, however awkwardly it may express itself.

God bless you.

Dan

Dan Trabue said...

So, just to point out, IF you are mistaken about my Christianity (and you are), then you have, in fact, made a false claim. IF you are mistaken about my "father," (and clearly, you are) then you have made a very ugly false claim about me. There's at least two false claims right in your brief rant.

Grace, humility, love, forgiveness.

The Way. Amen.

~Dan

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

There goes Trabue blaspheming God again. The Christ/God Trabue worships loves same-sex fake marriage, and is 100% pro-homosexual (if they're "committed") and the Christ/God he worships is okay with abortion. The Jesus Trabue worships wants you to take your neighbor's money and give it to the poor. In fact, if it is the ideology of the LEFT, Trabue's Jesus supports it.

Paul, in 1 Cor. 11:4, called that "another Jesus"

Trabue is no more of a Christian than a Mormon or a JW. They also worship a Jesus not defined in the Bible. That's the thing with these cults and false teachers - the say the same things as real Christians, but when you define the terms, you discover they have a Christ/God in their own image.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Trabue,

I am NOT mistaken about you not being a Christian, as I noted that the Christ you worship is not the Christ of the Bible.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Proof of my contention that Trabue is a wolf:

http://wolfsheep2.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/false-teacher-profile-updated/

Dan Trabue said...

Glenn, there is not one word that Jesus teaches that I disagree with. That is, EVERYTHING about Jesus in the Bible, I agree with. Thus, you can't say that I am following "another Jesus" unless you are following a Jesus other than the one in the Bible.

Are you? Because I'm not.

You have to understand that I disagree with GLENN'S opinions about what Jesus might think about topics Jesus didn't discuss does not mean that I am worshiping a "different Jesus." Again, unless you are conflating your opinions about Jesus as being equal to Jesus actual words.

I don't make that mistake and I would hope that you don't.

In the real world, Glenn, people of good faith disagree about this idea and that idea and it doesn't mean that one or the other is worshiping a "different Jesus," it just means they disagree.

Factually speaking, you can not point to ONE SINGLE teaching directly from Jesus that I disagree with. NOT ONE.

That is a fact.

You can point to all kinds of ideas that Glenn might have that I might disagree with, but clearly, even you recognize that Glenn is not Jesus.

So, factually speaking, you are mistaken about the "different Jesus" (again, unless YOU are worshiping a different Jesus than the one found in the Bible).

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

LOL!!!! Trabue says "there is not one word that Jesus teaches that I disagree with" and yet Jesus taught that marriage is one man and one woman, while Trabue says it can be two men or two women - and he says Jesus is okay with it!

Trabue says it is my "opinions" yet for 2000 years Christians have taught what my "opinions" are. Jesus pointed to Adam and Eve as literal people, the very first couple; Jesus taught Noah and the world-wide flood as literal, and yet Trabue says they are legends or myths, etc.

Trabue, you are a blooming JOKE!

Dan Trabue said...

One thing about Marshall's original post...

Dan doesn't want to be wrong. He likes what he wants to believe is true.

I don't want to be mistaken, of course. IF I learn I am mistaken, I don't wish to remain mistaken. It's why I have, in the past, changed my opinion or my position, because I decided I was mistaken.

I would say that's a good thing, wouldn't you?

As to "he likes what he wants to believe is true..," I hold positions based on the evidence as I understand it. When I feel like something makes sense, is moral, is Right and Good, then yes, I hold strongly to that position, even in the face of criticism, even if that criticism is from of my former allies. I must obey God rather than humanity, after all. A point I'm sure you can agree to, as well.

And, in the past, when I held a position that I THOUGHT made sense, but the more I prayed about it, the more I researched it, the more I studied the Bible, the more I meditated on the matter, if I decide my former position no longer is the most moral, most rational, most Godly position, then I will and have changed it to align with God's will, as best I understand it.

I can do naught else.

These seem like points we all should be able to agree with. I certainly encourage YOU ALL to study and pray and decide things for yourselves, as well, and if I disagree with it, but you're convinced your position is the most Right position, as best you understand it, then I encourage you to hold to it with conviction. And I won't think any less of you for it, I won't call you NOT a brother because we disagree.

Instead, I will strenuously disagree and yet, encourage you to still hold to what you think is the most Godly position, as best you understand it.

I would hope you could do the same for others.

Peace,

Dan

Dan Trabue said...

Glenn...

Trabue, you are a blooming JOKE!

If I can make your day brighter by being a joke, then this is how God has used me today.

Glenn...

Trabue says it is my "opinions" yet for 2000 years Christians have taught what my "opinions" are.

Nonetheless, they are your opinions. They are opinions that many have agreed with, but Righteousness is not always found within the majority, as you well know. So, you can cite tradition as the reason to hold to your position, but tradition alone is not enough for me. It has to be moral, it has to be Godly, it has to be rational, it has to be consistently biblical and I just disagree with your opinions on some ideas. But disagreement happens.

The thing is, we agree on far more than we disagree.

We agree that God created the world.
We agree that there is a God.
We agree that Jesus, of Nazareth, is the son of God, who came, lived, taught, led, was crucified and rose from the dead.
We agree (I hope) in salvation by Grace, not by works, but by God's grace through faith in Jesus, the risen Messiah.
We agree that we ought to defend those in need of defense.
We agree (albeit sometimes imperfectly) that we ought not steal, cheat, lie, slander, gossip, murder, rape or abuse.
We have both been married (I believe on your part, I know on my part) faithfully to one woman for decades.
We both have been good parents (I have certainly tried, giving you the benefit of the doubt that you did your best, too)
We both certainly help the needy, give to good causes, assist and respect the elderly.
We both believe in admitting mistakes when they come to light.
We both believe in repentance for sins and
We both believe in following, by God's grace, in the footsteps of Jesus.

I could go on and on about the many ways we agree. We disagree about the sin status of maybe a dozen behaviors (two big ones) - behaviors that Jesus never directly addressed not one time, but which we both believe the "right" position is abundantly evident in Scripture and just based on human reasoning.

But simply because we disagree on a handful or two of ideas, I don't think there's any room for me to break fellowship with you. I will still disagree, as I think your positions on some ideas are VERY immoral and irrational, but beyond that, I will write it off as human disagreement, there is nothing else to do.

Glenn...

Jesus pointed to Adam and Eve as literal people

Factually, no, he didn't. He mentioned them, referred to their stories, but that is not the same as saying they were literal people. I refer to their stories and I don't assume that they were literal people, so the mere fact of referring to a story is not evidence of a belief in the literal nature of the story.

Glenn...

the very first couple; Jesus taught Noah and the world-wide flood as literal, and yet Trabue says they are legends or myths, etc.

I disagree with your opinion about what literary style these stories were written in. AND YET, we agree that it is vitally important for good exegesis to understand the right literary style, so on that principle, I think we agree, we just disagree about the literary style and neither of us can prove that we are right. It is your opinion vs my opinion.

That's just the way it is and that you disagree with my opinion is no reason for me to cut you off as a heathen. I would hope that you could learn to embrace that same grace towards others.

~Dan

Craig said...

"...there is not one word that Jesus teaches that I disagree with. That is, EVERYTHING about Jesus in the Bible, I agree with."

Well, you've just spent lord knows how many comments arguing that the words below,spoken by Jesus mean something not indicated in the text.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,..."

So, maybe it would be more accurate to suggest that you agree with everything about Jesus in the Bible according to how you interpret it. Or perhaps a better way to put it would be "as long as you can comfortably assign metaphorical meaning where you would like to."

Hopefully Bubba will chime in as I suspect he might be a little confused by your statement.


Of course, as you demonstrated in the thread at your place, you certainly aren't averse to doing some editing of Jesus in order to make your point.

"Blessed are you who are hunger for you will be satisfied." D. Trabue

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled."
Jesus





Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

you've just spent lord knows how many comments arguing that the words below,spoken by Jesus mean something not indicated in the text.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,..."


No, Craig, I factually HAVE NOT done that. I am sorry that you have this much trouble understanding my words, but NOT ONE TIME EVER in all of my history in the world have I claimed that the Matthew text you cite "mean something not indicated in the text."

That is a false charge, a mistake on your part, I am sure, from ignorance or just plain understanding, but a false charge, nonetheless.

Do you stand ready to correct the false charge, thereby demonstrating that you are engaging in a good faith discussion?

Craig...

maybe it would be more accurate to suggest that you agree with everything about Jesus in the Bible according to how you interpret it.

? You're making the "charge" that I interpret the Bible as I understand it?? Well, okay, you got me there. But, so what? How do you interpret the Bible? As someone else understands it or as you understand it?

Craig...

Of course, as you demonstrated in the thread at your place, you certainly aren't averse to doing some editing of Jesus in order to make your point.

"Blessed are you who are hunger for you will be satisfied." D. Trabue

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled."
Jesus


?!

Jesus in Luke 6, and I quote, "Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied."

Okay, going from memory, I awkwardly typed "blessed are you who are hunger, for you will be satisfied," accidentally leaving out "now," but you can see that I did get the gist of the quote correct.

So, your attempts at slandering my position to suggest that I DON'T love Jesus' teachings have failed and you have two blatant false charges that have now been pointed out with facts.

Jesus tells us not to attack those who are "for him" for "those who are not against us are for us," but you seem intent on attacking me nonetheless, but I believe you didn't do it on purpose, but in error on your part. So, now that you have been corrected, hopefully you'll be good enough to accept the correction and admit the error.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

I would like you to either restate your method of Scriptural interpretation, or provide a link to a presentation of it. It would be helpful in explaining problems with your positions. Thanks in advance.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

IF I learn I am mistaken, I don't wish to remain mistaken

Except he will never admit he's mistaken. He loves the homosexual lifestyle too much to admit it is an abomination to the REAL God.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

We agree that God created the world.
We agree that there is a God.
We agree that Jesus, of Nazareth, is the son of God, who came, lived, taught, led, was crucified and rose from the dead.
We agree (I hope) in salvation by Grace, not by works, but by God's grace through faith in Jesus, the risen Messiah.
We agree that we ought to defend those in need of defense.
We agree (albeit sometimes imperfectly) that we ought not steal, cheat, lie, slander, gossip, murder, rape or abuse.
We have both been married (I believe on your part, I know on my part) faithfully to one woman for decades.
We both have been good parents (I have certainly tried, giving you the benefit of the doubt that you did your best, too)
We both certainly help the needy, give to good causes, assist and respect the elderly.
We both believe in admitting mistakes when they come to light.
We both believe in repentance for sins and
We both believe in following, by God's grace, in the footsteps of Jesus.


You know, a Mormon says exactly the same thing, but when it comes to defining who Jesus and God are, like you they have a different definition. You have a God and Jesus who sanction homosexuality and abortion - an EVIL God and Jesus.

And your "opinions" about the Bible show nothing less than your low view of Scripture. Christians for 2000 years have believed differently than you, but they just all had opinions - no Christian really understood the Bible, did they? And even the Jews never understood that Adam and Eve and Noah were just stories and myths and legends. All were wrong until YOU came along.

Heretic.

Craig said...

"...NOT ONE TIME EVER in all of my history in the world have I claimed that the Matthew text you cite "mean something not indicated in the text."

So despite the disparaging remarks and snide comments you do agree that Jesus was talking about a subgroup of "the poor" who are "poor in spirit" and that the "poor in spirit" are literal people who are literally "poor in spirit". Thanks for putting all of that confusion to rest.


So, you admit that you edited Jesus words by choosing the Luke quote and ignoring the Matthew quote. Why would you choose to do that, if not to reinforce your prejudice? You have offered ZERO evidence to objectively demonstrate that the Luke text is more correct or supersedes the Matthew text, yet you continue to edit Jesus by pretending that Matthew either doesn't exist or is superseded by Luke. I've a) put forward a case that the Matthew version is the more detailed and b)more in tune with the entirety of Jesus earthly ministry. Just because you can take two verses and isolate them from context, doesn't mean you're correct to do so. You just pretend that it doesn't exist or write it off as metaphor. (As if "poor in spirit" is some how a metaphorical way to refer to the "material poor") What I said clearly still stands, and you have just demonstrated the truth of my observation. You can say "There is not one word that Jesus teaches...", because if there is a teaching that gives you trouble, you just label it metaphor and move on. Or, you use your other tactic and say "I agree that the text SAYY that Jesus SAID X, Y or Z, but we fallible humans can't possibly know for 100% absolute certainty what it actually MEANS".

As Glenn has pointed out numerous times, your approach is exactly the same as the JW's. You agree with it and "love" it all, as long as it's "properly" (meaning using Dan's Reason and Logic) interpreted.

Fortunately, I have just pointed out my opinion of your positions based an years of interacting with you, reading what you have written and watching you evade providing proof for your hunches and answering questions. None of this constitutes an "attack", so this should put your groundless fears to rest.

Now, had I called you “pervert scum” or “perverted moral degenerate”, those could be reasonably be termed an attack.

Or had I said; "...each time someone suggests that sort of verbal vomit, they are exposing their arrogance and hypocrisy and all-around plain goofiness, not to mention a bit of diabolical divisiveness. Stop it.”, that could also be called an attack.

However, I just expressed my opinion regarding what you've written, surely you don't seek to stop people from expressing opinions, do you?

Bubba said...

Dan:

About the functional equivalency between God's mumbling and our inability to understand ANYTHING with complete certainty, you write:

"These two are NOT 'functionally equivalent.' At all. There is zero evidence to support such a claim. Nothing."

That's simply not true. An inadequate transmitter and an inadequate receiver ARE functionally equivalent in at least one very important sense, one that is key to the subject at hand: either one is sufficient to undermine the reliability in communicating a message.

--

I believe that certainty is a lot like pregnancy: it doesn't make much sense to say a person is "somewhat" certain or "somewhat" pregnant.

Suppose an attorney asks a witness on the stand, "Are you certain that the defendant was still at the restaurant at 10:00 pm?"

At least in such circumstances, an answer of "somewhat certain" is just a way of avoiding the answer of "no."

But even supposing that the concept of certainty exists on a continuum -- as it may in the field of statistics where there are concepts like confidence intervals, margins of error, and standard deviations -- it's clear that whatever certainty you have in even the most obvious teachings of Scripture, it's not enough for you to agree on the subject that we're actually discussing, namely the propriety of concluding that otherwise capable adults cannot deny those obvious teachings in good faith.

--

Again your inconsistency is worth noting.

You think that human fallibility means that we can be mistaken about literally anything, but you obviously leave an exception for your own concept of human fallibility.

And while you believe it's wrong to draw conclusions from a person's words about his lack of honesty, you feel completely justified in judging us by our words, denouncing us for our supposed lack of grace and humility.

That you do so by twisting Scripture only adds to the offense.

The Apostle who wrote about seeing through a glass darkly ALSO pronounced a solemn curse on anyone who would preach a different gospel -- himself, an angel, ANYONE, as if honest mistakes and good-faith disagreement really wasn't possible.

Paul taught that we cannot know EVERYTHING, but he did not teach that we cannot know ANYTHING with any real certainty -- and what he taught is entirely consistent with Scripture.

"The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law." - Deut 29:29

Indeed there ARE things that YHWH has not revealed, but what He has revealed, we can actually believe and obey, because He HAS revealed His message with sufficient clarity to act.

And that freedom and duty to act includes rebuking those who would undermine the clarity of that message.

Bubba said...

Craig, I think you're handling the subject of the beatitudes and poverty quite ably: I myself have probably misspoken on the subject in the past, but here we see a concerted effort to treat "literal" and "spiritual" as opposites when they're not.

The opposite of literal is figurative.

The opposite of spiritual is material.

Conflating these two pairs of opposites is like conflating hot/cold and dry/wet. Hot and dry frequently go together, but not always, and even when they occur together, they're STILL different qualities.

In His first sermon, recorded in Luke 4, Jesus also proclaimed liberty to the captives, but His earthly ministry didn't result in the political liberation of Israel from the Roman occupiers, nor any sort of storming of the Bastille or the mass release from any prison. The ONLY captive who was released was Barabbas.

Dan seems to think that Jesus preached a gospel uniquely for the materially poor, but that is contradicted by Luke's record of followers like Joseph of Aramathea and the Gentile centurion whose faith Jesus praised as superlative.

It's all reading the New Testament through a Marxist lens.

Bubba said...

Dan:

Luke prefaced his gospel by claiming it to be a careful and orderly account, and his genealogy of Jesus in chapter 3 presents Him as the son of Adam.

There's no real question that the Bible consistently treats Adam as historical, and I don't see why you would balk at the position seeing that you already claim to believe in the Incarnation and Resurrection of Jesus. God became man who died and was raised: is that REALLY less astounding than the claim that God miraculously made our common ancestor, through whom sin and death entered the world?

--

You tell us that we all agree "that we ought to defend those in need of defense," but some of us don't make exceptions for the unjustifiable and often brutal murder of children when it can be obscured in euphemisms about medical procedures.

You tell Glenn:

"Glenn, there is not one word that Jesus teaches that I disagree with. That is, EVERYTHING about Jesus in the Bible, I agree with. Thus, you can't say that I am following 'another Jesus' unless you are following a Jesus other than the one in the Bible."

That brings us back to questions about what Jesus taught regarding the authority and authorship of Scripture, about the stated reason for why God made us male and female, and about why His blood was being shed.

I have it on good authority, both that there will be false teachers who claim allegiance to Jesus AND that we can judge these frauds by the fruit that they bear.

But then, we're not arguing about God's revelation to man, just our interpretations of that revelation.

And THAT is where your list of where you and Glenn agree completely misses the point.

The existence of God, the historicity of Jesus, and the good news of salvation by grace through faith: whatever degree you actually believe in these, you affirm them *ONLY* as your personal opinion or church tradition.

We proclaim these as God's revelation to man, and we do so NOT because we presume to read His mind, but because we know He has revealed Himself quite clearly.

Dan Trabue said...

Wow. There is SO much that is simply demonstrably factually mistaken in the past six comments that the mind reels as to where to even begin.

Just in short, as a starting place: ANY time that you find the phrase, "Dan thinks..." or "Dan said..." almost without fail, whatever follows that line is factually mistaken, literally, demonstrably false. You are free to disagree with my opinions, but you are not free to make up my opinions for me. Any time you do, almost without fail, you fellas, as a lot, get it wrong.

That is just fact number one. And again, it's a demonstrable, observable, provable fact. So, there's no need to really debate it. Now, you CAN say, "Oh, well, I misunderstood you... I THOUGHT you were saying..." and that is fine, it's just a misunderstanding. But just for the record, most things you've said about my position is simply factually not my position.

Do you understand these words?

From there, I don't know where to begin, but I will jump back and answer Marshall's question about my hermeneutics, which are very rational, very orthodox, nothing special, not limited to myself. They are, in fact, by and large, what I learned growing up in Southern Baptist Land.

When interpreting the Bible...

1. Begin with a real desire to seek Truth. Prayerfully. Humbly. Using our God-given reasoning.
2. Always consider what the text actually says.
3. Always consider the context (the cultural context, the context of the immediate surrounding text, the context of the rest of the Bible).
4. Strive to keep in mind/understand original language and clues about the text that might be strained in translation.
5. Interpret obscure teachings/passages through more clear teachings/passages.
6. Interpret all of Scripture through the lens of Jesus' specific teachings (being followers of Jesus, we believe that Jesus is the most obvious, clearest representation of God and God's will, and for this reason, we use JESUS as our guide and role model in studying Scripture).
7. Recognize that we all are using our God-given reasoning and that our opinions and understandings are not one in the same as God's opinion and God's understanding.

I may be leaving out a point or two, but that's the main gist.

Again, nothing AT ALL controversial about these ideas.

Bubba said...

"Just in short, as a starting place: ANY time that you find the phrase, 'Dan thinks...' or 'Dan said...' almost without fail, whatever follows that line is factually mistaken, literally, demonstrably false. You are free to disagree with my opinions, but you are not free to make up my opinions for me. Any time you do, almost without fail, you fellas, as a lot, get it wrong."

I not only doubt that, I doubt that you really believe that, because if you did, you would have stopped trying to communicate with us long ago -- or do you comment on blogs written in languages you don't understand, too?

On your own blog, you've most recently engaged in the worst sort of strawman argumentation against a position no one actually holds, justified by no actual quotes because you admit that you're only summarizing.

And in summarizing and attempting to present the phantom view you oppose, you can't even enter that view's perspective long enough to present a credible facsimile of it.

[QUOTE, ALL EMPHASIS MINE]

...when people like this picture God and God’s justice, they do not appear to be talking about the English language word, Justice, at all. They appear to be speaking about Blarb. And Blarb‘s definition is, what, exactly?

If I were to give a shot at what they seem to be describing, I’d say it’s something like this:

Blarb: adj. according to some in the Christian tradition, this is “agreeing with a rather whimsical and unjust notion of adhering perfectly to some subset of God’s rules, rules which we can not know or understand perfectly, and yet, being held accountable to them as if we could understand them perfectly. This may include a wildly out-of-proportion-to-the-”crime” set of punishments that are neither just, reasonable, consistent or fair, but are “blarb-ish.”

But that’s just my guess based on what they have said (and, to be clear, what I would have agreed with at one time).

[END QUOTE]

No one on earth would describe his own position as unjust and whimsical, and so we can dismiss your summary as absurd on its face.

You act as if even the other side believes their position to be irrational and immoral, and I suspect that the problem on the other side of the equation is that you cannot imagine anyone truly believing that YOUR position is irrational and immoral.

And because YOU wouldn't describe YOUR position as irrational and immoral, we must be misunderstanding your position when we deride it as such.

After all, you didn't describe your own beliefs as irrational and hypocritical nonsense, so concluding that it's irrational and hypocritical nonsense can ONLY be the deliberate act of putting words in your mouth.

Dan Trabue said...

Moving along, in alphabetical and chronological order, Craig...

you admit that you edited Jesus words by choosing the Luke quote and ignoring the Matthew quote. Why would you choose to do that, if not to reinforce your prejudice?

?? This is bizarre, Craig. After pointing out that, contrary to your false charge, I DID quote Jesus accurately, you double down on the offense.

I do NOT "admit" that I "edited Jesus' words." I QUOTED Jesus words from Luke's reporting of the Sermon on the Plain. Why would I do such a horrible thing? Because I was discussing the Sermon on the Plain's teachings. I almost always quote Luke 6 when I'm discussing Luke 6 because, well, that's what I'm discussing.

Nor was I ignoring the text from another sermon, I just wasn't discussing it. I also, by that measure, "ignored" what Genesis 1:1 had to say about Luke 6 and what Revelation 2:4 had to say about Luke 6.

Perhaps your problem here is you think Matt 5 and Luke 6 must be detailing the same sermon, because of the similarities. In context, I would assume that these are two separate events, two similar, but separate, sermons. We don't know for sure, but given that the one is described as happening on a mount and one on a plain, and given that it's not uncommon for teachers and preachers to use similar-but-not-identical sermons, it seems reasonable to many to presume (not just me) that it's two separate sermons.

In the SOTM (which, of course, I LOVE and tremble in its majesty, beauty and implications!), we have Jesus speaking, indeed, about the "poor in spirit," and "those who hunger and thirst FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS." Jesus is specifically speaking about more spiritual ideas using more figurative language.

On the other hand, in the SOTP, by all appearances, Jesus is speaking of "YOU who are poor, YOU who are hungry, YOU who are oppressed... YOU who are rich, you who are well-fed..." there just is no indication that he's spiritualizing the sermon or using figurative language here. Jesus DID preach to crowds of people who tended to be poor, as he said specifically in response to John the Baptist's request ("Tell John, the poor have the gospel preached to them, the sick are healed..." - going from memory, so some grace, please if I missed a word or two) and in the SOTP, he appears to be addressing the literally materially poor that were such a large part of his following.

So yes, Craig, when discussing Luke 6, I DID quote Luke 6, but do you find that odd?

Regardless, your claim that I was "editing" Jesus is simply factually false. Why not admit at least that much?

And your innuendo that I did so to "reinforce my prejudice" is also factually false. The prejudice I have is in favor of taking Scripture for what it appears to say, for the moral teachings that are evidently there. The "prejudice" I have was formed BY Scripture. I got to my belief system today BECAUSE of conservative traditional Bible teachers who taught me to take Jesus' teachings seriously, whatever implications that might have. EVEN IF people criticize and cast aspersions on us for taking Jesus' teachings - even his hard teachings - seriously, we should still take it seriously, they taught me.

Thank God for that sort of good conservative teacher!

More when I have time...

Bubba said...

The Sermon on the Mount, "which, of course, I LOVE and tremble in its majesty, beauty and implications!"

Of course!--except, there are plenty of reasons to question your adoration of Matthew 5-7.

--

In chapter 5, Jesus claimed to have fulfilled Scripture, and yet you apparently believe that He did exactly what He claimed not to do, that "clearly, Jesus HAS abolish[ed] (or set aside, or reinterpreted, or taken from and added to our understanding or SOMETHING like that) at least some laws."

We argued about that at length, and I went so far as to hand-type literally thousands of words in excerpting John Stott's commentary on the sermon, but so far as I know, and even with repeated requests to do so, you *NEVER* dealt with the substance of his position, and mine.

For all you claim about your hermeneutics, you showed absolutely no interest in wrestling with the actual words of the text or the greater context of those words.

--

In chapter 6, we see Jesus focusing on our relationship with God, on how we pray to Him and whether we trust in His providence, but you've always seemed entirely more interested in our ethical duties to others than in our ethical duties to God, and you won't now say that even THE EXISTENCE OF GOD is clearly taught in the Bible beyond any possible disagreement in good faith.

In our lengthy exchange at Craig's, I had asked for your take on the Christian essentials, and upon seeing your answer, I noted, "You mention many earthly aspects of Christian life, including living simply and peacefully, but I don't see much about those particular activities that are uniquely Christian: prayer, Bible study, baptism, communion, and evangelism."

Your response? You claimed, "at least some of [those] are not what I would call essential biblical teachings."

Asked to elaborate, you demurred.

--

And in chapter 7, Jesus warns us about wolves in sheep's clothing, even among those who profess to follow Christ. We are to judge false teachers by the bad fruit that they bear.

In our most recent conversation at your blog, you seemed to take exception, not only to my concluding that you're a false teacher, but even to the category itself, at least in the absence of absolutely conclusive evidence of a willful effort to deceive.

--

You may like how you can distort parts of the sermon so that they can server your pet political causes, but you do not demonstrate either a very insightful understanding of the Sermon on the Mount or a true willingness to conform to it.

Bubba said...

And, Dan, your supposed gratitude for conservative Bible teachers is laughable.

"EVEN IF people criticize and cast aspersions on us for taking Jesus' teachings - even his hard teachings - seriously, we should still take it seriously, they taught me."

According to Jesus, why did God create us male and female?

According to Jesus, why was His blood to be shed?

According to Jesus, who wrote Scripture?

The implications of THOSE teachings, you don't have much to say about -- and let's be honest, you don't even follow the implications that you DO draw to their logical conclusion.

--

For instance, if you really believed that "turn the other cheek" applied to the state and not just the individual, you wouldn't just support strict pacifism, you would NECESSARILY support a sort of de facto anarchism where, at most, the state writes laws that it cannot possibly enforce through violence and incarceration.

After all, Matthew 5:38-41 is most assuredly *NOT* about non-violent resistance to evil, but about complete non-resistance to evil.

"Turn the other cheek" was only one of a handful of applications for the broader principle given in verse 39, "Do not resist the one who is evil."

You pretend that one part of the Sermon on the Mount is concerned with political effectiveness through NVDA, because its useful for you to do so: Christ's stated concern for holiness is evidently irrelevant to you.

Dan Trabue said...

Glenn...

Except he will never admit he's mistaken. He loves the homosexual lifestyle too much to admit it is an abomination to the REAL God.

Demonstrably false. I have admitted IN THIS VERY THREAD I've been mistaken. I have changed my positions because I thought they were mistaken. False, easily demonstrated.

Glenn, does it matter to you that your words are demonstrably false? Are you putting them out there in sincere ignorance or is it a deliberate attempt to slander/defame?

Because I hold a different opinion than GLENN holds does not mean I'm not worshiping the "real God." We just disagree on a behavior.

Another false statement, unsupported by anything but unprovable opinion.

Craig...

You have offered ZERO evidence to objectively demonstrate that the Luke text is more correct or supersedes the Matthew text, yet you continue to edit Jesus by pretending that Matthew either doesn't exist or is superseded by Luke.

I have not said nor do I think the Luke text is "more correct" or supersedes the Matthew text. I don't often make a case for something I don't believe and have not said.

Craig, do you understand that I have not said what you suggest nor do I think what you suggest?

Further, you repeat the false claim (demonstrably, factually false) that I "edit Jesus" when in the real world, I directly quoted him.

Craig, do you understand now that this is a demonstrably, factually false statement?

Craig...

I've a) put forward a case that the Matthew version is the more detailed and b)more in tune with the entirety of Jesus earthly ministry.

Good for you. I disagree with your opinion, but haven't really tackled why, since I was not making ANY points that pitted Matthew against Luke and given the vast number of corrections and false claims I've had to deal with first.

I don't think Luke and Matthew NEED to be pitted against each other. I think clearly they are two separate sermons, each wonderful for what points they make.

Craig, do you think it is necessary to pit Matthew's SOTM against Luke's SOTP and make one or the other "lesser..."?

Craig...

As Glenn has pointed out numerous times, your approach is exactly the same as the JW's. You agree with it and "love" it all, as long as it's "properly" (meaning using Dan's Reason and Logic) interpreted.

We ALL strive to interpret the text "properly" using OUR reasoning. At least, I do (that much you got right).

Craig, do you NOT use your own reasoning and logic to understand text as best you can? If not, whose do you use?

You all attack and dismiss people for using our God-given reasoning, but it's the same thing YOU do (at least, one would hope). What is the alternative? So, this charge is just silly and dismissable.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

I not only doubt that, I doubt that you really believe that, because if you did, you would have stopped trying to communicate with us long ago

Again, when you hold opinions about my opinions, they are almost invariably wrong. This is a case in point.

I LOVE how interesting and (in my opinion) extremely strange our conversations are. I love the challenge of trying to find words that help you understand my actual position. I find the blindness to the position of "the other" to be an exceptionally interesting cultural phenomena and have enjoyed (might be the wrong word, but it'll do for now) our interactions.

If nothing else, your points and misunderstandings have helped me (I think) strengthen my writing, communication and reasoning skills, challenging me to think and re-think my positions. My beliefs have evolved over the last ten years thanks largely to you all (which is not necessarily praise, mind you - seeing the errors and holes in your arguments have helped me find them in my own and forced me to rethink my position and why I hold it, IF I should hold it).

So, yes, you all DO tend to misunderstand me and others on "my side," I know this to be a fact because we're talking about MY positions and I am in a position to know MY positions better than you. Again, just a fact. Demonstrable.

Bubba...

No one on earth would describe his own position as unjust and whimsical, and so we can dismiss your summary as absurd on its face.

Did I claim that you would define your position as unjust and whimsical? No, factually I did not. That was MY best guess at an attempt to define this word which you all are calling "God's justice" and saying it might be different than ours.

I am asking a very reasonable question: IF "god" (in your opinion) has a sense of "justice" that is, in your opinion, not the same as ours, then WHAT definition of this idea (if you don't like "blarb," let's call it "godjustice" with the caveat that it's YOUR idea of what God's justice is) do you assign to it?

And if you assign to this "godjustice" some meaning that is counter to our understanding of Justice, then isn't it fair to say that you're really talking about some concept other than English language Justice?


Bubba, can you agree that these are reasonable questions?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

In chapter 5, Jesus claimed to have fulfilled Scripture, and yet you apparently believe that He did exactly what He claimed not to do, that "clearly, Jesus HAS abolish[ed] (or set aside, or reinterpreted, or taken from and added to our understanding or SOMETHING like that) at least some laws."

Indeed, Jesus HAD/HAS fulfilled Scripture. He has given us a more complete, more full, more rich, more nuanced and mostly, more-grace-full understanding of Scripture.

Bubba, would you agree with the anabaptists and others who would say that Jesus is the clearest expression of God we have?

Yes, he HAS fulfilled Scripture. But in so doing, he DID set aside the literal law-approach to Scripture. Eating shrimp WAS an abomination, NOW it is not. He set that aside. Gleaning wheat on the Sabbath WAS wrong, but he set that understanding aside. Killing the adulterer WAS the clear and unambiguous law, but he set that understanding aside, saying, "neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more."

He taught us, quite clearly, to see that leaning on THE LAW is the way of death, but he taught us another way, a way of GRACE, that leads to life. He taught us that the Sabbath was made for humanity, not the other way around.

Factually speaking, in orthodox Christianity's understanding of the Bible, Jesus literally set aside at least SOME laws.

Bubba, do you agree that it is a fact that Jesus set aside the law that we can't eat shrimp or pork, literally, in the Bible?

Facts is facts, friends.

Bubba...

For all you claim about your hermeneutics, you showed absolutely no interest in wrestling with the actual words of the text or the greater context of those words.

You offered me nothing with which to wrestle. If you want to challenge me to reconsider something, offer something worth considering.

It IS a fact that Jesus set aside at least some laws. It is a valid understanding, in my opinion, that "I have come to fulfill Scripture" is not the same as saying, "All those OT rules are still in place." or "SOME vague and unidentified subset of those OT rules are still in place... sort of, or maybe not..." or whatever it is you all want to believe.

Bubba said...

Dan:

"So, yes, you all DO tend to misunderstand me and others on 'my side,' I know this to be a fact because we're talking about MY positions and I am in a position to know MY positions better than you. Again, just a fact. Demonstrable."

It's funny how you mention our misunderstanding others, too, even though you couldn't have the same sort of inside information.

That inside information -- "I know my positions better than you" -- is something you know doubt have, but there's no way you can demonstrate that we actually do misunderstand your position.

For that reason, I do wish you'd quite abusing the word "demonstrable" to refer to claims you clearly cannot demonstrate: like with your references to facts and the real world, you're invoking things to accrue to your position respectability that ought to be earned.

And, honestly, if your "best guess" to define somebody else's position involves such loaded and derogatory terms as "whimsical," you should try harder.

Or you should stop trying altogether.

Either way, you should quit bitching about how we're the ones who are incapable of understanding the Other.

For someone who claims to have been on our side, you show absolutely no understanding of what we really believe.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

There's no real question that the Bible consistently treats Adam as historical

That is a fine if entirely whimsical and unsupported opinion. You are welcome to hold the opinion that, in your mind, "the Bible" treats Adam as "historical." But just because you hold that opinion does not make it the sole opinion worth holding.

IN FACT, people of good faith disagree.

Wrestle with this (as NO ONE ever has acknowledged this point): I and many folk I know who do not necessarily take Adam to be a literal person will ALSO refer to the geneology or to the story of Adam without blinking AND YET, we don't consider them to be necessarily historical or a literal person.

AGAIN: That someone refers to a story without saying, "ya know, this is a myth and he's not a real person..." is not "proof" that said person believes them to be factually historical. Fact.

And just as point of clarification: I'm not saying that there was not an Adam and Eve at some point on which these stories may be based. I'm just saying that, 1. The Creation story READS like a myth, obviously so, and 2. I don't think we NEED to assume a literal Adam and Eve to be blessed by the beautiful creation stories found in Genesis.

The Truths remain solid, regardless of the facts.

Last one, for now...

That brings us back to questions about what Jesus taught regarding the authority and authorship of Scripture, about the stated reason for why God made us male and female, and about why His blood was being shed.

Again, that I disagree with BUBBA's or GLENN's OPINIONS about the best interpretation of Scriptures as it involves these ideas is not a sign that I do not love or revere Scripture or that I do not take Jesus' teachings literally.

You see, as always, I do not confuse God with Bubba or Glenn. I am able to sort out... "Huh! Bubba/Glenn think X represents 'God's Truth...' but I don't find that opinion to be rational, moral or biblical... I guess IF they were God, I should pay closer attention to their opinions. Of course, they aren't God..."

That BUBBA THINKS Jesus taught X or Y about "the authority and authorship of Scripture" does not mean that Jesus taught what they think. It is THEIR OPINION about the teachings of Jesus, opinions that I disagree with in good faith, as I'm sure they disagree with my opinion in good faith.

That's all for now, kiddos!

~Dan

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

For someone who claims to have been on our side, you show absolutely no understanding of what we really believe.

Again, demonstrably false.

Bubba said...

Dan:

"Gleaning wheat on the Sabbath WAS wrong, but he set that understanding aside."

Where, specifically, does the Bible teach that gleaning wheat on the Sabbath is wrong?

--

Just as it takes two to tango, it takes two to commit adultery, so BOTH guilty parties were subject to capital punishment (Lev 20:20). Since only the adulteress was presented to Jesus, the situation in John 8 was NEVER in strict adherence to OT law.

Deuteronomy 17:6-7 requires two witnesses for any capital case, and it requires the witnesses to be the first to execute judgment. Jesus somehow shamed the religious leaders out of witnessing against her -- it's entirely speculative, but perhaps the writing on the ground pointed out adulterers in their midst -- and so no one was there to testify against her.

You write, "Killing the adulterer WAS the clear and unambiguous law, but he set that understanding aside."

He did no such thing, since that "clear and unambiguous law" required a due process that the religious leaders did not meet.

--

About the Jewish dietary restrictions, we know from the Torah that they were not for all people at all times, since God permitted Noah to eat meat without restrictions (Gen 9:3).

We know from Hebrews 10 that Jesus fulfilled the "shadows" of the OT's sacrificial system through his death on the cross: it is impossible to be cleansed by animal blood, but we now have confidence to enter the holy places by Jesus' blood (10:4, 10:19).

It is ENTIRELY reasonable to draw an analogy to the dietary restrictions and the other laws regarding ritualistic purity: the external cleanliness that they produced anticipated and has since been fulfilled by the internal cleanliness that Jesus has now made available through His Spirit.

The animal sacrifices and the purity regulations were part of the old covenant, and the new covenant provides forgiveness through Christ's blood and holiness through His Spirit. Since the old covenant even pointed to its being superseded, most clearly in Jer 31:31, nothing has been set aside, only fulfilled.

What you're concluding is in the face of His clear teaching that Jesus DID NOT COME to abolish the law.

--

But I ask again, where, specifically, does the Bible teach that gleaning wheat on the Sabbath is wrong?

Dan Trabue said...

If you are like most traditional evangelicals, you probably believe...

that God loves us all, but hates our sin;

that God can't stand to be in the presence of sin;

that is because God is "so Holy" and "so Just" that sin and God just can't coexist;

for that reason, someone "had to pay" for our sins, but a simple animal sacrifice was not sufficient, it wasn't pure or holy enough to actually cover ALL of our sin;

for that reason, JESUS "had to pay the price" for our sins and without Jesus' actual "blood payment" our sins COULD NOT be forgiven;

You probably believe that...

God loves us all, but hates our sin;

for that reason, it is a loving thing to do to help people "out of" their sin;

Thus, you absolutely don't hate the homosexual sinner, or the alcoholic sinner or abusive sinner, but you DO hate the sin, because you believe God hates it;

...

I could go on, but as you can see, I am familiar with and DO have an understanding of that from which I came, even if I don't exactly agree on everything in the same exact way.

Thank God that we do not need to prove our "rightness" and/or have perfect understanding on some limited subset of beliefs in order to be saved! eh?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

where, specifically, does the Bible teach that gleaning wheat on the Sabbath is wrong?

"The Bible" doesn't. Scriptures teach that it was an egregious sin to work on the sabbath, though, and to the Pharisees, it was "obvious" that one could not glean without working ("certain of the Pharisees said, Why do ye that which it is not lawful to do on the sabbath day?"). So, TO THEM, it was a "clear" violation of the Sabbath laws DIRECTLY FROM GOD!!

But no, the OT does not say, "Don't glean on the Sabbath..." any more than the OT says "Gay guys can't get married..." but that doesn't stop some people from using/abusing biblical "rules" to push their particular agenda.

The point, Bubba, is that we are NOT to live by the rules. Jesus CLEARLY set aside, if nothing else, the dietary rules. Now, I know you can justify why he did so and why it was okay, but that's the EXACT point I'm making: Jesus came to clarify and fulfill the law, not abolish it.

And part of clarifying and fulfilling is helping us have a right understanding of Law and our relationship with it. To abandon the life of Laws, which leads to Death and embrace the Way of Grace, which leads to life.

Bubba said...

"Again, demonstrably false."

Saying something's demonstrable is a poor substitute for actually demonstrating it. If it's demonstrable, demonstrate it.

Otherwise, fixate on another word.

--

"You offered me nothing with which to wrestle."

This is just an outright lie, plain and simple.

In that conversation, I even summarized the very substantive points behind the claim that Jesus set aside no OT laws, including the lex talionis in particular.

I'll restate them here.

1. The substance of the antitheses. Clearly, Jesus didn't "set aside" the prohibition of murder and adultery: He deepened their implications by also prohibiting hatred and lust. And, when He opposed the teaching of "hate your enemy", He opposed a doctrine that is found **NOWHERE** in Scripture.

2. The introductory formula. Christ routinely introduced Scripture with "it is written" (perfect tense), but here he introduces the antitheses with "it was said."

3. The immediate context. In the verses immediately prior (5:17-20), Jesus taught that not one penstroke would pass away, that He would fulfill all of Scripture, and that His followers were to obey even the least commandment.

4. Christ's known attitude to the Old Testament. Elsewhere He consistently appealed to Scripture as authoritative and even submitted to Scripture.

5. Christ's affirmation of retribution. In the very same sermon, Christ affirmed the same principle of retributive justice at the cosmic level.

To run from these points and never address them is cowardly.

To deny that they even exist is pure dishonesty, Dan, and if you want to prove how willing you are to apologize when it's warranted, you have an excellent opportunity to do so now.

--

And that's not the only opportunity for you to show some maturity.

"You see, as always, I do not confuse God with Bubba or Glenn."

It's precisely this sort of bullshit remark that prompted my accusation of your being a false teacher and our subsequent conversation at your blog.

NO ONE here confuses himself with God.

We believe that God has communicated some things clearly enough that good-faith disagreement is impossible, and that belief DOES NOT require such confusion or presumption about being God.

We believe that human fallibility means that everyone can SOMETIMES make mistakes, not that anyone can ALWAYS make mistake; we believe that even fallible humans can all reach the same conclusion as capable adults approaching the issue in good faith; these beliefs DO NOT require any sort of presumption of infallibility.

You are such a prick, Dan, for continuing to try this sneering piece of slander.

Dan Trabue said...

Funny.

Dan Trabue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bubba said...

Dan, your list of typical evangelical beliefs is off on a few of the details.

It's not that animal sacrifice doesn't cover "ALL of our sin," it doesn't cover ANY of our sin. Hebrews 10 is clear that the sacrificial system was merely a shadow of Christ's sacrifice on the cross, and "it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins" (10:4).

It's not that we're forgiven because of "Jesus' actual 'blood payment,'" as if a blood donation would have sufficed, but because of Jesus' death.

And it's not that any of us believe that a "perfect understanding" of anything is necessary for salvation, as plenty of children and the mentally handicapped surely have saving faith.

Romans 10:9 is clear, "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." It's about believing that God raised Jesus -- which the Bible clearly teaches -- not necessarily understanding how God did it.

In these areas, you not only misunderstand that which you say you left, you do so in derogatorily. The true beliefs of evangelicals are replaced with a savage and censorious parody.

--

I would love to see a plain explanation of where you do disagree in that list. I know that you believe God just forgives apart from Christ's death, which you think was only a demonstration of grace rather than the grounds on which grace saves; I wonder where else you deviate.

Just as you will not deal with our beliefs as they really are, you will not be truly honest about your beliefs as they really are.

Such candor would obliterate your claims to be a faithful follower of Jesus.

--

Since the Bible (or "the Bible" in inexplicable quotes) doesn't actually forbid gleaning wheat on the Sabbath, it's not clear why you think that's an example of Jesus' setting aside the laws contained therein.

You claim that Jesus DID set aside parts of the law but didn't abolish the law; I wonder what distinction you would make between the two.

"Jesus came to clarify and fulfill the law, not abolish it.

"And part of clarifying and fulfilling is helping us have a right understanding of Law and our relationship with it. To abandon the life of Laws, which leads to Death and embrace the Way of Grace, which leads to life.
"

A strange conclusion, considering Jesus warned about relaxing even the least of the commandments.

As I pointed out before and in my summary above, Jesus didn't set aside the prohibitions of murder and adultery, HE STRENGTHENED THEM, declaring that even murderous and adulterous thoughts were just as bad.

Your position just doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

But, hey, you're finally dealing with some of the substance of my argument, so there's that!

Any chance you'll apologize for the lie that there was no substance to address?

Bubba said...

What's really funny, Dan, is your thinking that you can repeatedly insinuate that we mistake ourselves for God Almighty and not expect any pushback for that garbage.

Looks like an apology for that attempted character assassination isn't forthcoming.

I won't pretend to be shocked.

Dan Trabue said...

Very funny.

Sad that you don't get the irony, the humor of your demands, but funny nonetheless.

Bubba said...

"Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep."

Dan Trabue said...

"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me..."

~Jesus

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

To run from these points and never address them is cowardly.

To deny that they even exist is pure dishonesty, Dan...


Bubba, the problem with your approach to Bible discussions, it seems to me, is that it relies upon the whole Bible-as-Magic-8-Ball approach that, to my tastes, is disrespectful to the Bible.

An idea is not wrong because "Hey, look, over in chapter 4, Jesus mentions Adam, therefore, we KNOW he took Adam to be literal and historic..." ...because you find a verse that supports or denies a point of view.

The Bible is not a rule book, it is not a magic 8 ball where we get answers to questions just by throwing it up and seeing what verses pop up. And if someone says, "But look, here's ANOTHER verse that says something else, contrary to your idea, so NOW we know the Truth!"

That is just not the right way, it seems to me, to deal with learning wisdom from the bible or any source, or of seeking God's ways in general.

And so, when I find someone - whether it is you or Your Favorite Theologian - proof-texting and cherry picking verses here and there to "prove" a point, I am not impressed.

In THAT sense, there was nothing much to respond to because it is an approach that I find distasteful and a bit shallow.

Now, to be fair, I do/have engaged in this same process with you, mainly because I know (again, coming from your world) that this is how you all like to do things in evangelical land. I sometimes will try to meet you half way and argue in the way you all prefer.

But sometimes I tire of what seems to me to be pablum-chewing and just not a very deep or wise approach to seeking wisdom. Your and this fella's approach leaves me non-plussed, regardless of what he says, it's the approach that I find disrespectful to God, wisdom, Truth and the Bible, and just a bit immature and shallow.

So, there you go.

Bubba...

NO ONE here confuses himself with God.

You say that and I'm sure it's true. BUT, then you go on to say...

We believe that God has communicated some things clearly enough that good-faith disagreement is impossible

...and THAT becomes truly a difference without a distinction. IF there are "some things" that you can "know" and since YOU "know" them, then you also "know" that others "can't" possibly disagree with YOUR take on it, then you have elevated your knowledge to a level equivalent to God - unable to be mistaken! - and everyone else then becomes evil and deliberately liars.

It is a backdoor way of saying, "I may not be God, but I sure am the one who can correctly identify God's position on the points that I, BUBBA, SAY are God's opinions..."

A difference without a distinction, or at least without much of a distinction.

Clearly, you recognize that you are not all powerful or everlasting, but you DO think, on at least some vague list of topics that are whimsically/haphazardly identified, that YOU CAN NOT BE MISTAKEN. Glenn, to his credit (I guess) will at least come right out and say that, whereas the most of the rest of you all just tend to hint at it.

Bubba said...

Dan:

"IF there are 'some things' that you can 'know' and since YOU 'know' them, then you also 'know' that others 'can't' possibly disagree with YOUR take on it, then you have elevated your knowledge to a level equivalent to God - unable to be mistaken! - and everyone else then becomes evil and deliberately liars."

The premise is inaccurate: it's not that I believe there are things *I* can know with confidence but things that EVERY capable adult can know with confidence.

The conclusion is also inaccurate: I've tried very hard to keep mentioning "capable adults," which allows for outright idiots to reach different conclusions without evil intent.

Your logic doesn't follow from my actual premise to my actual conclusion.

It is *NOT* that I "have elevated [my] knowledge to a level equivalent to God," but that I believe God has condescended to reveal His knowledge to ALL OF US.

God has clearly communicated.

It's not arrogance to recognize this, nor does humility require us to stuff our ears and cover our eyes and pretend that capable adults really could reach different conclusions in good faith.

You insist that we're saved through faith, but it's not clear what that really means if someone could be saved despite denying the God in whom he ought to believe.

--

About the ridiculous charge of proof-texting and cherry picking, you're more than welcome to walk us through Stott's argument (or mine) and show us where we go astray.

As it is, you say that you're only arguing on our terms to meet us halfway and "argue in the way you all prefer," because "this is how you all like to do things in evangelical land."

How would you prefer to do things?

In arguing that Jesus really did set aside the law, you point to the adulteress whom Jesus didn't condemn and the Pharisees' accusation about picking wheat on the Sabbath: are those really your arguments for your position while my more thorough responses were (somehow) proof-texting, or do you really have an entirely different rationale for your beliefs?

Those principles of hermenuetics you claimed to espouse: was that just play-acting?

How do you REALLY approach Scripture if what you've been doing was some sort of dance for our benefit?

Be specific, please.

And in the meantime, you shouldn't really be shocked that people don't believe you're playing straight with us, since you admit that very thing.

Bubba said...

Dan, earlier you wrote:

"The prejudice I have is in favor of taking Scripture for what it appears to say, for the moral teachings that are evidently there. The 'prejudice' I have was formed BY Scripture. I got to my belief system today BECAUSE of conservative traditional Bible teachers who taught me to take Jesus' teachings seriously, whatever implications that might have. EVEN IF people criticize and cast aspersions on us for taking Jesus' teachings - even his hard teachings - seriously, we should still take it seriously, they taught me."

Are you being sincere when you claim this, or is this your playing to this crowd and trying to argue in the "Magic 8 Ball" approach that you think we prefer?

Where in this thread have you argued insincerely, and where have you argued honestly?

Craig said...

"I DID quote Jesus accurately, you double down on the offense."

To be more accurate, you selectively quote Jesus accurately, because you want Jesus to line up with your preconceived notion. So, while you didn't technically edit Jesus words. your selective quoting has the effect of editing the larger contextualized message.

As to the rest of your crap. You have still provided ZERO evidence to support your hunches. The fact that you have chosen to "ignore" my point (which I must thank you for reinforcing), that if one chooses to look at the entire context, rather than to isolate one passage from all others, it is possible to assert almost anything.

So, yes, by choosing to focus on one passage to the exclusion of all others, you have chosen to manipulate Jesus words to suit your personal taste.

If, you would like to provide some actual evidence to support your contention, by all means do so. But since you haven't so far, I doubt you will now.

Craig said...

"Craig, do you understand that I have not said what you suggest nor do I think what you suggest?"

Clearly no rational being can ever hope to understand what you say, as you dodge, weave and obfuscate to the point where you essentially say nothing.

For example, you have clearly said the the term "the poor" can ONLY and EXCLUSIVELY mean the material poor, and derided the very concept of "poor in spirit" (incidentally Jesus words, not mine), now you claim to love and respect the very concept you just derided.

"Craig, do you understand now that this is a demonstrably, factually false statement?"

What, you couldn't wait for me to address this so you had to get petulant and bring it up a second time.

"Craig, do you think it is necessary to pit Matthew's SOTM against Luke's SOTP and make one or the other "lesser..."?"

The fact that you even had the temerity to ask this incredibly stupid question alone validates my point that you have nno interest in accurately representing the positions of those who disagree with you and will make up whatever stupid crap you want to in order to to avoid having to actually engage in a reasonable conversation.

"Craig, do you NOT use your own reasoning and logic to understand text as best you can? If not, whose do you use?"

The last time I answered this question I got multiple vile, vulgar, and obscene comments from you. Comments that you not only didn't apologize for, but actually defended as righteous and christian. So, no I think Ill pass and leave you to venerate your (fallible human)Logic and (fallible human) Reason, and your self serving exclusivist eisegesis.

Craig said...

Dan.

You are welcome to hold the opinion that, in your mind, "Jesus" treats "the poor" as exclusively and only "materially poor" But just because you hold that opinion does not make it the sole opinion worth holding.

Craig said...

"To run from these points and never address them is cowardly."

"To deny that they even exist is pure dishonesty, Dan..."

Then, as Dan backpedals quickly away from anything of substance, we hear "No it's all a dirty evil slanderous untruth.". Or words to that effect.

Craig said...

Does it surprise anyone that at the same time Dan is scolding us for having some sort of; "magic 8 ball", "the Bible as a rule book", "proof texting", throw it up against the wall and see what sticks approach, he is engaging in exactly the same sort of tactics to make his "there is only ONE POSSIBLE way to interpret the term "the poor" that Jesus used, and I know what it is?

Bubba said...

Not surprised at all: it's called projection.

And I guaran-damn-tee you that Dan wouldn't be able to find any proof-texting in the "wonderfully challenging sermon" given a few years back by his good friend Rick, premised on the ridiculous notion that the Joseph's dreams in Egypt were at odds with the provision of manna in the wilderness, as if the hand of God wasn't behind both.

And with Dan so glibly dismissing John Stott's expository commentary as "proof-texting and cherry picking verses here and there to 'prove' a point," we can know exactly how serious he is about Bible study.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

You are welcome to hold the opinion that, in your mind, "Jesus" treats "the poor" as exclusively and only "materially poor"

NOT what I said. NOT what I believe.

Craig...

he is engaging in exactly the same sort of tactics to make his "there is only ONE POSSIBLE way to interpret the term "the poor" that Jesus used, and I know what it is?

NOT what I said. NOT what I believe.

Again, I'm sorry if you have a hard time understanding my actual points, but maybe you'd be better off not trying to state my position as if you know it. Again, almost every time, you get it wrong.

You'd think at some point you'd be embarrassed by your repeated false claims and mistaken understandings.

But perhaps I'm just projecting. I know I would be embarrassed if I kept misstating your views, especially if I did so without acknowledging it when it was pointed out.

Craig said...

"I know I would be embarrassed if I kept misstating your views, especially if I did so without acknowledging it when it was pointed out."

Yet, your not and you do.

"I was speaking of material poverty. I have ALWAYS been speaking of material poverty, as this seems what is obvious in the text. "Blessed are you who are poor (lacking in material wealth), for yours is the KINGDOM OF GOD; blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied... but woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full, woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry..." This seems clearly to be speaking of literal, material hunger and poverty, literal, material wealth and well-fed... the actual poor as poor is normally understood."

It sounds from this quote of your exact literal words that you do seem to be making exactly the case I suggested.

I think we all notice the avoidance of substantive issues you have so far not engaged with.



Bubba,

Dan once dismissed something by Francis Scheaffer, (based not on reading and rebutting the piece, but instead based on some anonymous review or some other "source") because Scheaffer was too Calvinist and Calivn was a heretic, or some such foolishness.

Hey, I get it, you read the piece and don't agree, then provide a rebuttal, but Dan has a habit of simply dismissing things out of hand. He recently did this in a thread at John's where he provided a study who's title he presumed would support his position, but strangely couldn't muster up the willingness to deal with the problems in "his" study, not to mention the multiple studies which provided plenty of evidence against his position. So, I can't say this is a surprise.

Bubba said...

A few years back, Dan and I were arguing over whether the Constitution as-written permits federally funded education, and Dan pointed to an article about how Thomas Jefferson "tried to get bills passed to support free public education and free public libraries."

"Smart man, that Jefferson. I guess he must not have read the Constitution, though, given all the programs he wanted to start that were 'unconstitutional.'"

Hardee-har-har.

I actually read the article cited, and I noticed the claim that, "Jefferson felt so strongly about education that he, as a strict constitutional constructionist, submitted to congress an amendment to the constitution to legalize federal support for education in his State of the Union Address, December 2, 1806."

I concluded, "If Jefferson believed the Constitution would have to be amended to give Congress the power to fund public education, then he clearly believed that Congress didn't already have that power."

Dan cited evidence without giving it a close enough reading to realize that it proved my point, not his.

--

Here, I revived the question of whether Jesus abolished the law. Citing Stott, I pointed out a few salient facts concerning Matthew 5.

- Jesus explicitly claimed not to abolish the law.

- In the antitheses, Jesus opposed what "you have heard," not "what is written," which was His standard formula for citing Scripture.

- In the details of what He opposed, He cited a teaching of "hate your enemy" that is both absent from Scripture AND contrary to what it clearly taught about helping both your brother and your enemy.

- In the Scriptural commands He did cite, He strengthened them rather than set them aside: murder and adultery were still impermissible, and hatred and lust were condemned as equally immoral.

Dan's response? To deride the entire approach as "disrepectful" in treating the Bible as some Magic 8 Ball or rule book.

"And so, when I find someone - whether it is you or Your Favorite Theologian - proof-texting and cherry picking verses here and there to 'prove' a point, I am not impressed."

That ain't the response of someone's who is truly interested in what the text actually conveys.

He's not impressed with Stott's careful reading of Scripture.

I'm not impressed with Dan's flippant disregard for substantive arguments.

It's stubborn and childish.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

It sounds from this quote of your exact literal words that you do seem to be making exactly the case I suggested.

Then you are misunderstanding. Still.

I, DAN TRABUE, was speaking specifically of the Luke 6 passage. In THAT passage, it is abundantly clear that he is speaking of the literally materially poor, hungry, rich and well-fed. I was not speaking of the OTHER sermon of Jesus, where he was clearly speaking metaphorically.

So, when I was speaking of Luke 6, YES, I think it is abundantly clear that he's speaking literally, materially poor. Not in Matt 5. Thus, your claim is false. Factually speaking.

Understand?

Now, jumping back to this...

he is engaging in exactly the same sort of tactics to make his "there is only ONE POSSIBLE way to interpret the term "the poor" that Jesus used, and I know what it is?

This really gets to the whole crux of our disagreement and what started all of this. Please follow:

The difference between me and at least some of you is that what I'm saying is...

"I think this is abundantly, obviously clear, what the text means in this case. AND YET, I recognize that EVEN THOUGH I think it is clear, some people will disagree with me. And they will do so in good faith.

I have NO EVIDENCE to claim that they are not disagreeing in good faith and 'they disagree on something that I think is obvious' is NOT evidence."

That is my position. It is rational and observable and biblical.

On the other hand, Bubba and some of you all appear to be saying, "There are SOME things about which people of good faith can't disagree... and I don't know what that list of things is, but I can tell you some of the things on the list, these ideas are obvious to 'everyone' of good faith and sound mind..." Is that fair, Bubba?

So, the reason I keep bringing up "the list" which Bubba says can't be defined, but that he knows some things are on it, is that IF we don't KNOW "here is a list of things 'all people' can not possibly disagree about in good faith" then how do we know idea A is on it, but not idea X? Who says? Who are we appealing to?

Bubba is appealing to "everyone" but "everyone" has not agreed to his partial list. It is not a rational claim, it is not a supportable claim and there is no evidence to support the claim OTHER than "I, Bubba, am sure that 'everyone' (of good faith and sound mind) HAS to agree with me, because it is 'obvious...'" So ultimately, this is an appeal to Bubba's (and those who agree with him) genius, not any hard evidence, and that is a problem from a rational and biblical point of view.

Where am I mistaken?

Bubba said...

Dan, I remain curious about which claims you've made you don't really mean: which ones are just your aping our disrespectful rule-book/Magic-8-ball approach to reading the Bible?

And are you still making such claims now?

One reason I ask is that you keep making claims that cannot possibly meet the standards you're trying to impose on your opponents.

"Who says? Who are we appealing to?"

Who are YOU appealing to when you lecture us about what's demonstrably true, even when you do not (and probably cannot) actually demonstrate what's supposedly demonstrable?

You make no appeals to authority and you construct no actual arguments when you presume to tell us about what's factual "in the real world" -- and you're still engaging in the same basic hypocrisy here, not only when you tell us what's "clearly" true about Luke 6, but when you crow about how your position is "rational and observable and biblical."

--

You ask:

"So, the reason I keep bringing up 'the list' which Bubba says can't be defined, but that he knows some things are on it, is that IF we don't KNOW 'here is a list of things "all people" can not possibly disagree about in good faith' then how do we know idea A is on it, but not idea X?"

This question I answered REPEATEDLY at your blog -- Ctrl-F on "Manhattan" -- and I don't believe you even once acknowledged the answer much less responded to it.

It's not necessary to know EVERYTHING about a subject in order to know ANYTHING about a subject: more specifically, it's not necessary to know the complete contents of a list to determine that one particular item belongs on that list.

Three examples should suffice to prove my point:

1) If you're working in an office building on Manhattan Island, you know that you belong in the list of "People in Manhattan at 12 noon on May 29th" even though a comprehensive and completely accurate enumeration of that list may well be impossible to construct.

2) If a lawyer is trying to substantiate his client's alibi in court, he doesn't have to produce a thorough "List of occupants in Ted's Bar & Grille at 10 pm on the night in question." All he has to do is show that HIS CLIENT would belong on such a list: his credit card record shows a payment there, the bartender remembers him there, and his dining companion vouches for his being there.

3) If you want to confirm that there's mustard in your fridge, you don't actually need to search the appliance exhaustively, create a complete and accurate and thorough "list of items in my fridge" and then see that, yup, mustard's on that list. You just open the damn door and look for the mustard.

In the real world, nobody approaches the Bible or any other subject with the kind of lumbering, excessive formality that you require ONLY from positions with which you disagree.

Even in the most formal branches of logic and deductive reasoning, one is not required to produce a comprehensive list of axioms to begin arguing from a single axiom.

That you do this sort of thing at all is just stupid, but that you do it so VERY selectively is proof positive that you're not even attempting to argue in good faith.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Dan, I remain curious about which claims you've made you don't really mean: which ones are just your aping our disrespectful rule-book/Magic-8-ball approach to reading the Bible?

I mean everything I say. If you misunderstood my point, then you can understand it now: I MEAN EVERYTHING I SAY.

I never said otherwise. That's how you can tell I don't think that, by the way I never made the claim.

As always.

Bubba...

One reason I ask is that you keep making claims that cannot possibly meet the standards you're trying to impose on your opponents.

"Who says? Who are we appealing to?"


But I CAN meet the standard.

Dan: I think clearly that in Luke 6, Jesus is speaking of the literally materially poor, the actually hungry, the literally rich, etc.

Bubba: SAYS WHO? Who are you appealing to as your source?

Dan: I already stated "who." I repeat: "I THINK that clearly Luke 6..." I, Dan Trabue, think that is clear.

Bubba: Well, that's fine, that's just your opinion, though.

Dan: Indeed, and I think it's a very rational opinion given what the text says. I don't see how anyone else could come to any other conclusion, it is abundantly clear in the language, the text and the context. But it IS my opinion.

You see, Bubba, that's the difference between me and thee. I am FINE saying, "This is my opinion." I do not need to be speaking for God or for "all rational people everywhere." I fully recognize that there is ZERO evidence that "all rational people everywhere" will agree with my opinion. That does not lessen the reality of my opinion or how sound that opinion is, given the text or context.

Our opinions about unprovable things ARE our opinions. That is just a fact.

Do you disagree?

Bubba...

Who are YOU appealing to when you lecture us about what's demonstrably true, even when you do not (and probably cannot) actually demonstrate what's supposedly demonstrable?

When I speak of what is demonstrably true, I am referring to that which can be demonstrated. I CAN demonstrate that my opinion is my opinion. Just ask me. "Dan, is that really your opinion???" "Why, yes, it is absolutely my opinion..."

Boom. Demonstrated.

Personal first hand testimony IS a demonstration. It happens in courtrooms every day.

Now, we might sometimes ask, "Well, is this person being honest...?" and, if there is some provable motive, some evidence to support that claim, then we might have reason to doubt the honesty. But merely appealing to "my opinion" as "evidence" that someone is not telling the truth does not reach the level of rational or reasonable.

That is, merely saying, "But I, BUBBA, do not see how anyone could possibly REALLY believe that..." is not sufficient evidence to say, "Therefore, he DOES NOT believe it." Personal testimony, absent any rational evidence to contradict that testimony IS a reliable demonstration of facts.


Bubba...

You make no appeals to authority


Factually false. When I am speaking of MY PERSONAL OPINION, I AM an authority on that.

Do you have ANY evidence to suggest otherwise? Because I hope you realize that a claim that Dan is not an authority on Dan's positions is laughable on the face of it, if you have no evidence to support that claim.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

You ask:

"So, the reason I keep bringing up 'the list' which Bubba says can't be defined, but that he knows some things are on it, is that IF we don't KNOW 'here is a list of things "all people" can not possibly disagree about in good faith' then how do we know idea A is on it, but not idea X?"

This question I answered REPEATEDLY at your blog -- Ctrl-F on "Manhattan" -- and I don't believe you even once acknowledged the answer much less responded to it.


Your answer has been demonstrated to be insufficient.

Follow, again:

IF you are saying,

"There is a list of ideas in the Bible about which ALL RATIONAL PEOPLE can not be sincerely mistaken... Now, we can NOT know everything on the list, and the 'list' is never directly mentioned in the pages of the Bible, but we can intuit that it exists, even if we can't know everything on the list..."

Then the obvious question is, "Okay, what is an example of what's on the list...?"

To which, you respond, "God is real, for one..."

To which, the obvious question is, "How do we know that is on this unidentified list? In fact, how do we KNOW there is a list, a collection of ideas about which ALL RATIONAL PEOPLE can not be mistaken?"

To which, you respond, "we know it's on the 'list,' in the collection because it is 'obvious...'"

To which, the reasonable question is, "Obvious to whom?"

You respond, "To all rational people everyone."

Says who? Where is the evidence?


It's self-evident!

Says who?

Me, Bubba...

And that's what it always gets back to. You are NOT appealing to "all rational people." You have zero evidence to corraborate the claim that all rational people DO agree with your claim. This becomes a convenient circular argument because you can just keep repeating, "it's self-evident" and "to all people" without ever providing support for the claim.

And when I point to real actual people who actually disagree, in good faith, you can claim, "But they AREN'T acting in good faith!" and when asked why, you can conveniently respond, "Because it is self-evident, ALL rational people agree!" without ever providing support for the claim

What happens when someone ELSE makes that claim. If I give up being rational, for instance, and say that MY opinion about Luke 6 is "self-evident" and "all rational people" agree with me - without providing support - then it becomes easy to "demonstrate" that you are a liar or mentally challenged because you don't agree with me.

It is a false and circular argument built ultimately upon the Altar of Bubba (or anyone who'd make that argument), not upon evidence or reality or reason.

Where specifically am I mistaken?

I mean, is it okay for me to just make up the claim about Luke 6, "But it is self-evident, therefore you must be a liar!" or would that be wrong? IF it is wrong (and it is, to be sure) on what basis would I claim that I'm not mistaken, if not, "But it seems that way TO ME..."?

It's entirely fine to say, "My opinion is my opinion and I think it is abundantly clear," there is no problem with that. The problem comes when we claim that our opinion is the ONLY rational opinion and all who disagree are liars.

Rationally speaking. Biblically speaking.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

It's not necessary to know EVERYTHING about a subject in order to know ANYTHING about a subject

Never said it was.

Bubba...

more specifically, it's not necessary to know the complete contents of a list to determine that one particular item belongs on that list.

Three examples should suffice to prove my point:


In each of your examples, you're appealing to some point that is provable, demonstrable. I can KNOW that I was in the building because I WAS in the building. The lawyer can know that the client was in the bar because there is specific, demonstrable evidence that he was there.

But we're speaking of ideas that are not evidentiary and demonstrable.

If someone is saying, "The Bible contains a verse about Jesus weeping." THAT is factual, demonstrable, observable.

If someone is claiming "There are some ideas in the bible about which people of good will and sound mind CAN NOT disagree upon," you are appealing to all people everywhere. This is not demonstrable. It is an unsupported and unsupportable opinion.

Now, you CAN reasonably say, "IF we took a poll of 100 people, 99% would almost certainly agree with my interpretation of this passage..." and that could be proven to be either a valid (or near-valid, if, for instance, 98% agreed...) opinion or not.

But you're appealing to "all people" to give you the leeway to make the claim "...therefore, if someone DOES disgree with my opinion, they are either mentally deficient or lying..."

It is an unprovable point, one that can be DISproven by finding just ONE person who disagrees with your claim. And since the claim is in question, you can't beg the question and say, "Well, if he disagrees, then he's lying!" because that would be irrational.

If there is a list, a grouping of unknown size, we CAN know some portion of it if there is evidence for it, but that is a different case than what you're making, because it is about unprovable and disprovable claims.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, in your original post, you noted...

Note that I didn't ask "essential to whom", as if the question wasn't seeking my opinion only.

I'll note that the ACTUAL question was NOT "my opinion only," but "in the opinion of all rational people..."

Do you have an answer for the actual question that was asked?

Do you recognize that the actual question asked is a different thing than simply "in my opinion..."?

Do you see, now, why it was important to ask "essential to whom..."? because you appear to be mocking the asking of the question

Marshall Art said...

No Dan, I don't. And here's why: The challenge was put to you to name an essential that YOU believed was unassailable by rational people. Bubba can correct me if I got it wrong, but the point was what YOU thought, not what the rest of the world thought. That is, can YOU, Dan, offer what YOU think is an essential teaching that rational people cannot dispute. If leveled at me, I would say that Jesus is God in the flesh. THAT is an essential that no one can argue with in good faith, whether they believe it to be true or not.

Anyway, I haven't been able to keep up with you guys as I've been working 12 hour days for the last four. Now I'm off for a few and will have some time.

Bubba said...

Dan:

"I mean everything I say. If you misunderstood my point, then you can understand it now: I MEAN EVERYTHING I SAY."

Did you mean this?

"Now, to be fair, I do/have engaged in this same process with you, mainly because I know (again, coming from your world) that this is how you all like to do things in evangelical land. I sometimes will try to meet you half way and argue in the way you all prefer.

"But sometimes I tire of what seems to me to be pablum-chewing and just not a very deep or wise approach to seeking wisdom. Your and this fella's approach leaves me non-plussed, regardless of what he says, it's the approach that I find disrespectful to God, wisdom, Truth and the Bible, and just a bit immature and shallow.
"

It seems to me that, by your own admission, you've been engaging in an approach that you don't really believe, just to indulge us -- an approach that you ridicule for being foolish, immature, shallow, and even disrespectful to God.

Or if there is a way to reason about Scripture that matches "how [we] all like to do things in evangelical land" and is STILL mature and respectful to God, then you owe me an actual, detailed explanation for why my arguments (and Stott's) do not qualify while your pretending to follow that approach DOES.

You cannot sneer at our entire approach to Bible study and then claim to engage us on those terms, and rationally expect us to conclude that you've been nothing but honest with us.

--

Now, you're the one who brought up this concept of a completely knowable list of teachings from the Bible that are clear enough that they cannot disputed in good faith.

I've just been focusing on TWO specific teachings.

- the existence of God

- the historicity of Jesus

There are indeed other clear teachings besides these, but I've just been focusing on these, the most obvious and incontrovertible.

The Bible clearly teaches these two doctrines, and no capable adult can dispute this in good faith.

I believe this is obvious, and you ask, "says who?"

You're the guy who berates US about what's demonstrably true without actually demonstrating it, and the guy who insists on lecturing about what's factual and what's true "in the real world."

Have you demonstrated what's demonstrable? No.

Have you proven what's true and factual? No.

Have you even acknowledged the burden of providing evidence or the authority in which you claim to pronounce ex cathedra what's real and what's not? No.

You're not interested in living up to your own stupid standard, just invoking that standard when it suits you, to dismiss claims that you don't like.

--

"And when I point to real actual people who actually disagree, in good faith..."

WHEN HAVE YOU ACTUALLY DONE THIS? WHAT ARE THEIR NAMES? WHAT DO THEY DO FOR A LIVING?

You've pointed to no such people, at least on the two claims I've made about Scripture.

And what is your evidence that these phantoms are arguing in good faith?

It's not enough to assert that I have insufficient evidence to conclude that they're arguing in bad faith, you need to make the positive case that each of these supposedly "real actual people" is conclusively arguing in good faith.

You yourself have agreed that the Bible teaches God's existence and Jesus' historicity; you say that this is clear "to you," so who SPECIFICALLY are these people who dispute this?

--

"It is an unprovable point, one that can be DISproven by finding just ONE person who disagrees with your claim."

Only one who does so credibly, but where is he? Where is the guy who claims that the Bible doesn't teach God's existence and/or Jesus' historicity?

Let us examine his reasoning for ourselves to see whether it's credibly in good faith.

It's long past time for you to put up or shut up, Dan.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Did you mean this?

...It seems to me that, by your own admission, you've been engaging in an approach that you don't really believe, just to indulge us -- an approach that you ridicule for being foolish, immature, shallow, and even disrespectful to God.


I think that proof-texting, using texts ripped out of scripture to "prove" a point, is a shallow and inappropriate use of the Bible. Yes, I meant what I said.

That is to say, if someone says, "Look over in Gen. 1:1, it's the BIBLE saying that 'in the beginning, God created Adam and Eve...' THEREFORE, we KNOW there was a literal Adam and Eve." is not a rational or biblically appropriate use of the wisdom of the bible, it seems to me.

Now, I understand, IF we accept the Bible as being useful to understanding and beneficial for teaching, there may be times where we might say, "hmmm, what is/are the lessons we learn in the Bible about, say, good stewardship of our money or the earth..." and we can reasonably compare verses and passages to try to get a sense of what the biblical authors were trying to get at. And so, in that process, we learn that the author of Genesis had A, B and C to say about these ideas and that James over in the NT said X, Y and Z about these ideas and other authors had other thoughts.

No problem in all of that, as far as that goes.

But, in lifting a verse from Genesis to "prove" that what James had to say in his book needs to be taken another way... looking for the One Right Message, that is misunderstanding the Bible and using it inappropriately.

Or more directly, lifting a quote from the OT and trying to conform Jesus' specific teachings to the older texts - and if there's an apparent conflict, then adapting the apparent understanding of Jesus' words to "fit" with the OT words because "the Bible has to be made to agree..." that would be bad proof-texting and a rather immature and inadvisable approach, it seems to me.

Having said that, sometimes, people ARE at a stage or from a culture where this is the norm and so, you meet people where they are. I don't think that meeting people where they are is necessarily disrespectful to God, so let me clarify that. But I'm just saying we need to get past this rather elementary need to "prove" points simply by pointing to a text and saying, "but, the bible says..." especially if that is just a text ripped out of context and/or used inappropriately to the rest of the text.

Consider it this way:

If someone says, "we can know that behavior X is wrong because there is a line in the Bible that appears to condemn it..." That is a rather elementary way of discerning right and wrong.

We can KNOW if something is wrong if it causes harm, if it is not of God, if it is not loving, compassionate, respectful, is not kind, if it oppresses, hurts, kills, destroys, tears down, etc.

To simply point to a text and say, "I 'know' what is wrong when I find a text in the Bible that tells me it's wrong..." is fine as far as it goes, but it doesn't go far if that's all you have.

Again, one obvious example is ripping out your eyes. We should not say, "I know ripping out my eyes is right because the Bible tells me..." we need to use our God-given reason to sort these things out and not rely on simplistic, wooden "commands" from "the Bible..." as if these lines in the Bible were a god, themselves.

It is God we should follow, not "the Bible." The problem with following "the Bible" is that it is too easy to make it into a sounding board that approves whatever our pre-existing beliefs are.

So, with all of those caveats and notices, YES, I meant what I said.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

The challenge was put to you to name an essential that YOU believed was unassailable by rational people. Bubba can correct me if I got it wrong, but the point was what YOU thought, not what the rest of the world thought.

So, Marshall, are you saying that YOU can answer on behalf of "All rational people..."? Where is your evidence to support that claim?

I can answer FOR ME (and have, many times now). I can not - YOU can not, Bubba can not - answer for everyone in the world and throughout history who has been rational.

If you think you can, please explain how? On what basis?

Perhaps you're missing the distinction.

Question 1: Dan, what do you think is an essential teaching of Jesus?

Dan: Love God, Love humanity. Boom. Done!

Question 2: Dan, what do you think is an essential teaching of Jesus that no other rational person in the world could disagree with?

Dan: Well, I'd have to have some way of surveying ALL rational people, I can't do that, you can't do that. So, I can't answer.

I can tell you that, to me, it seems obvious that a clear biblical teaching is, in Luke 6, Jesus taught that "you who are poor are blessed, you who are hungry are blessed..." and that it seems TO ME, pretty clear and I can't see how any rational person in the rest of the world could disagree, BUT SOME DO.

Bubba, this gets to your last questions:

You've pointed to no such people, at least on the two claims I've made about Scripture.

And what is your evidence that these phantoms are arguing in good faith?


I'm just noting that I have ZERO evidence (YOU have ZERO evidence) that someone might exist out there in all of rational humanity throughout history who might disagree with what you and I agree upon. JUST LIKE I think Luke 6 is clear AND YET some rational people disagree in good faith, I am sure that it is possible some exist out there who disagree with your premise.

Again I would ask, rather than offering up a premise where I know of no one personally who would disagree, why not offer up a premise that YOU THINK, in BUBBA's opinion, that no rational people could disagree where I DO know people who disagree? I've suggested it would make more sense to argue about this in the concrete rather the abstract.

Since I know of no one who disagrees on the two topics you have offered, ALL I can rationally say is that I have no evidence that no one exists out there who would disagree with the premise. You have no evidence.

Again, this is just a fact. What do you want me do? Deny facts?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba, answer this question please:

If someone says, "ON POSITION X, no rational people can disagree in good faith with my understanding...," by what objective, reliable measure can we affirm they are correct?

Dan Trabue said...

To further point out the problem...

We have 5 people (A, B, C, D and E)

A says "Idea 1 is CLEAR in the Bible and no reasonable person could disagree..."

B says "Idea 2 is CLEAR in the Bible and no reasonable person could disagree..."

C says "Idea 3 is CLEAR in the Bible and no reasonable person could disagree..."

D says "Idea 4 is CLEAR in the Bible and no reasonable person could disagree..."

E says "Idea 5 is CLEAR in the Bible and no reasonable person could disagree..."

ON WHAT BASES do we evaluate these claims and "prove" them?

OR, is it obvious that NONE of these claims can be proven, that they are just the unsupported claims (maybe some that sound more rational and some that sound less rational) of Messrs A, B, C, D and E... and that it really comes down to, it's just their respective un-provable opinions?

Bubba said...

"A says 'Idea 1 is CLEAR in the Bible and no reasonable person could disagree...'

"ON WHAT BASES do we evaluate these claims and 'prove' them?
"

Careful and prayerful Bible study.

Look, you're going to a very generic version of the problem, because the specific version I keep focusing on proves my point.

You yourself believe the Bible is clear in teaching theism, and you cannot produce ANYONE who claims otherwise, despite the vague assertion that you have already "point[ed] to real actual people who actually disagree, in good faith."

If you can't point to anyone IN THE REAL WORLD who actually disagrees with my claim that the Bible teaches theism, maybe it's not so daffy that the claim is beyond any good-faith disagreement.

--

About our supposedly disrespectful approach to Scripture, you write:

"Or more directly, lifting a quote from the OT and trying to conform Jesus' specific teachings to the older texts - and if there's an apparent conflict, then adapting the apparent understanding of Jesus' words to 'fit' with the OT words because 'the Bible has to be made to agree...' that would be bad proof-texting and a rather immature and inadvisable approach, it seems to me."

I'd agree, but since I don't see where I've done this -- or anyone else, including Stott -- I hardly see your point.

--

"Having said that, sometimes, people ARE at a stage or from a culture where this is the norm and so, you meet people where they are. I don't think that meeting people where they are is necessarily disrespectful to God, so let me clarify that."

So: the people within that culture using that approach is disrespectful to God, but YOUR aping that approach to "meet people where they are" isn't disrespectful.

Right, whatever, but you're not answering my question: where SPECIFICALLY have you been aping our supposedly disrespectful approach and not presenting your actual arguments for your position?

I don't see how you can simultaneously claim to be "meeting us where we are" in aping an approach to Bible study that you think is disrespectful to God *AND* get defensive about our thinking you're not being entirely honest with us in what you believe.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

"If someone says, 'we can know that behavior X is wrong because there is a line in the Bible that appears to condemn it...' That is a rather elementary way of discerning right and wrong.

"We can KNOW if something is wrong if it causes harm, if it is not of God, if it is not loving, compassionate, respectful, is not kind, if it oppresses, hurts, kills, destroys, tears down, etc.
"

The "of God" criterion is not useful unless God has revealed Himself authoritatively, and the standard of "no harm" is insufficient for someone claiming to worship the deity who forbade graven images and the incarnate Lord who claimed that harmless lust is as bad as harmful adultery.

"It is God we should follow, not 'the Bible.' The problem with following 'the Bible' is that it is too easy to make it into a sounding board that approves whatever our pre-existing beliefs are."

Why you put the Bible in scare-quotes is beyond me, but you present a false dilemma that is entirely at odds with the record of Christ's own approach to Scripture.

It's not a matter of following the Bible over God: it's following God by recognizing that the Bible is His written revelation to man, authoritative in the absence.

Indeed, a man acting in bad faith CAN distort the plain meaning of Scripture to make it say what he wants, but you seem to be acting as if ANY attempt to submit to Scripture as God's word written is illegitimate -- as at best "elementary" and at worst disrespectful to God and outright idolatry, acting as if lines in the text "were a god, themselves."

You have not and probably CANNOT point out any actual errors in, e.g., Stott's argument concerning Matthew 5, so the problem evidently isn't with any specific logical misstep, but with the entire approach of seeking God's will through Scripture.

Your disdain for that approach undermines your frequent, noxious claim that your position re: same-sex marriage came from Bible study -- no, you're far too sophisticated for that, it seems.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

it's following God by recognizing that the Bible is His written revelation to man, authoritative in the absence.

How do you know this? The Bible doesn't tell you that the bible is "authoritative in the absence."

And in the absence of what? God? Is it the case that you don't think God is with us? That the Holy Spirit is not working within us even know? That we are absent God in this world?

The claim that the NT makes about "scripture" (which evangelical humans have accepted/decided means "the Bible..." but God has not told us this, for what it's worth) is that it is inspired and useful for teaching and correction. Not that it is the great decider in matters of conflict.

And even then, you are still needing to deal with WHOSE interpretation of the Bible gets to "decide..."?

So, any chance of getting a clear response to my rational and direct question?

I had asked...

"ON WHAT BASES do we evaluate these claims and 'prove' them?"

To which you responded...

Careful and prayerful Bible study.

Is that your final answer? It's a pretty vague one and not authoritative. So, okay, you and I and Messrs A, B, C, D and E have ALL carefully, prayerfully studied the Bible and we have reached 7 different conclusions on ten different topics - some of which are contradictory and not able to be simultaneously correct.

MY question was, on what bases do we determine - "WE," as a whole - determine which of these points is correct? Your answer (which seems to me to be the correct one, by the way, assuming you are also using some God-given reasoning) does not tell us all which of these guys is "right."

Indeed, we CAN NOT say, as a group, or as an individual, with complete authority, "A, B and Dan are all correct, everyone else is mistaken." It keeps coming back to personal opinion.

Which is fine, that's just the fact of human understanding. The only problem is if we confuse our OPINIONS with the "unmistakable, unmistaken Word of God," because then we get people making claims like, "I can tell that he's lying by the way he's disagreeing with 'God's Word' [meaning, HIS particular opinion about an interpretation, not God's literal Word.]" When you get statements like that, you've lost grace, humility and the ability to distinguish between opinion and fact. And that's a problem.

So, is that your best answer? Because it does not help your cause, rather, it makes my case for me, because that is MY answer, and really, the only reasonable answer, it seems to me.

~Dan

Dan Trabue said...

And so, I repeat:

If someone says, "ON POSITION X, no rational people can disagree in good faith with my understanding...," by what
objective,
reliable
measure
can we affirm they are correct?


Marshall, since this is a post about supposedly dodging questions (which I did not do, factually speaking), here is a chance for you to tackle a reasonable question head on and answer it directly.

But I'm open to Bubba or anyone answering, or multiple answers is cool, too.

Bubba said...

Dan, I omitted a crucial phrase in my typing.

The Bible is authoritative in the absence -- I meant to say -- of Christ and His Apostles on earth.

I'm pretty confident that anabaptists have historically affirmed sola scriptura and that many still do, and I'm not interested in having that fight.

Earlier you asked, "would you agree with the anabaptists and others who would say that Jesus is the clearest expression of God we have?"

Indeed I would, but He's no longer here in His earthly ministry, and He did not leave us without divine revelation.

He affirmed both the divine authorship of Jewish Scripture and its lasting authority to the smallest penstroke, submitting to its authority in His temptations, in the controversies with the religious teachers, and in His own understanding of His mission.

(I'd cite the passages but corroborate all this, but why bother? You'd just sneer about cherry-picking and Magic 8 Balls.)

And He hand-picked and authorized His Apostles to preach in His name, and their teaching has been preserved in their writings.

In brief, Jesus left us the Old Testament and the New Testament -- "the Bible" as you would have it in scare-quotes.

He also sent us His Spirit, but God's written word and His living Spirit are not at odds with each other. On the contrary, Paul authoritatively taught that the Spirit sought ought and conveyed God's wisdom to the Apostles, inspired the very words they used to convey that wisdom to the church, and illuminates those words to us.

(A freebie for you: I Corinthians 2.)

But, again, I'm not arguing that the Bible is authoritative in what it teaches, only that SOME of what it teaches is clear beyond any good-faith dispute.

I've given two very obvious examples: the existence of God and the historicity of Jesus.

If the Bible really wasn't clear beyond any good-faith dispute on these subjects, you should have been able to produce someone who objects, so we can evaluate the credibility of his counter-interpretation.

"Who gets to decide what's clear?"

Well, Dan, each of us can read the Bible for ourselves, and if I believe that the Bible clearly teaches certain doctrines beyond reasonable doubt, I am free to level the accusation of dishonesty against those who deny that the Bible teaches those doctrines -- just as you're free to draw similarly negative conclusions from other people's words.

And we're back to your basic hypocrisy.

" When you get statements like that, you've lost grace, humility and the ability to distinguish between opinion and fact. And that's a problem."

See, you have no problem making very serious accusations based on the words of others with no special insight into their minds and motives -- that their words are proof that they lack grace, humility, and rationality.

You have no grounds on which to object with any consistency to my doing the same, concluding that, based on others' words, they lack the virtue of honesty.

Funny how, the way you apply the principle of human fallibility, you're still sitting in judgment of others.

Bubba said...

I wonder:

If someone says, "this person's words are proof of an absence of grace, humility and the ability to distinguish between opinion and fact," by what
objective,
reliable
measure
can we affirm they are correct?


I'm guessing no such measure exists, but since Dan feels free to make precisely that sort of accusation in the absence of such an
objective,
reliable
measure,
perhaps we can conclude that no such measure is necessary.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

See, you have no problem making very serious accusations based on the words of others with no special insight into their minds and motives -- that their words are proof that they lack grace, humility, and rationality.

You forget one critical difference:

I am entirely willing to give you and Marshall, et al, the benefit of the doubt and extend the grace to you to assume that you are holding your views in good faith. I do that BECAUSE my opinion about what is obvious is not, in itself, evidence that someone is lying because they could not possibly reach a different conclusion than me.

THAT is a huge difference, Bubba.

Beyond that, it is a difference of humility vs arrogance; of evidence vs NO evidence; of reason vs whimsy.

You have no evidence beyond "I, BUBBA, don't think they could possibly think that..." This "evidence" by all appearances comes from a place of arrogance - that Bubba could possibly be mistaken on these vague, random points is not in your world view, as you have expressed it, anyway.

So, returning to the heart of the matter:

If someone says, "ON POSITION X, no rational people can disagree in good faith with my understanding...," by what
objective,
reliable
measure
can we affirm they are correct?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

perhaps we can conclude that no such measure is necessary.

Indeed, you can conclude that. IF you want to admit you have NO basis for your charge of lying, then you can absolutely admit it.

Say it with me, Bubba;

"I have NO EVIDENCE to support my charge that those who disagree with me on a list of ideas of my choosing are lying, it is entirely whimsical and baseless."

And while you're at it, why not man up and apologize for making such a serious charge ("they are LYING...") with NO evidence at all beyond an appeal to your own genius and "insight..."?

Do the right thing.

~Dan

Bubba said...

This ain't giving people the benefit of the doubt, never mind how little the statement in question resembles my actual position:

"When you get statements like that, you've lost grace, humility and the ability to distinguish between opinion and fact."

Now, all of a sudden, you've replaced the very high bar of an
objective,
reliable
measure
with the much lower bar of evidence any sort.

If somebody claims that the Bible does NOT teach that God exists, I have plenty of evidence that he's either an idiot or a liar.

That evidence is the text about which he's making such an absurd claim: I know the Bible well enough to know that it does indeed clearly teach theism.

I owe you no apology, and I'll remind you that your behavior here has been shameful.

You've accused me of having no substantive arguments regarding Christ's affirming the law, you have REPEATEDLY insinuated that I mistake myself for God Almighty, and you have dismissed my call to apologize for either charge.

Dismissing my entire approach to Bible study as proof-texting, cherry picking, and disrespectfully treating the Bible like a Magic 8 Ball, you refuse to deal with even one part of my argument that Christ did not set aside or abolish any part of the law.

And although you now admit that at least some of your own arguments from Scripture have been put forward insincerely, as an effort to ape an approach that you now denigrate as disrespectful to God, you still take umbrage at our doubting your sincerity.

You'll probably follow all that up by taking God's name in vain as, once again, you'll wish us patently insincere and passive-aggressive blessings.

You've earned the designation of liar, and much more besides.

Dan Trabue said...

And yet, despite your charges, it comes back to this:

Say it with me, Bubba;

"I have NO EVIDENCE to support my charge that those who disagree with me on a list of ideas of my choosing are lying, it is entirely whimsical and baseless."

And while you're at it, why not man up and apologize for making such a serious charge ("they are LYING...") with NO evidence at all beyond an appeal to your own genius and "insight..."?

Do the right thing.

You have, by your own admission, NO evidence BEYOND your own genius. You have zero hard evidence, nothing. You have YOUR opinion and your opinion and your opinion alone - with NOTHING else - is insufficient to support a charge of lying.

Imagine going to a courtroom to make your case.

"Your honor, this man is LYING!"

"That's a serious charge, Counsel Bubba, what is your evidence?"

"He inteprets a biblical passage differently than I do!"

"...and??"

"..and NO ONE could possibly disagree with my opinion if they were of sound mind, and this man is of sound mind, THEREFORE, HE MUST BE LYING..."

[rolls eyes] "I'm dismissing this as a frivolous lawsuit and you'll be charged court costs, Counsel Bubba. Get out of my court."

Craig said...

"I, DAN TRABUE, was speaking specifically of the Luke 6 passage. In THAT passage, it is abundantly clear that he is speaking of the literally materially poor, hungry, rich and well-fed."

Thank you for making my point (although we could do with out the condescending tone, as we're all aware of what you're doing). You have quite clearly chosen to yank the Luke 6 verses out of context, (cherry pick them, if you will), and focus on ONE out of context text, to try to make a larger point.

Enough said.

Craig said...

"It is God we should follow, not 'the Bible.'"

This is a conundrum, as the only way to reasonably learn how to follow God, is using the Bible.

"The problem with following 'the Bible' is that it is too easy to make it into a sounding board that approves whatever our pre-existing beliefs are."

First, can you provide any actual, demonstrable, real world evidence that demonstrates this "following the bible" canard that we hear about so often from progressives?

Second, if it's OK for you, why not for everyone?

Craig said...

"ON WHAT BASES do we evaluate these claims and 'prove' them?"

Personally, I prefer third base. But I know some are more comfortable at first.

;)

Marshall Art said...

Again, I'll answer the question:

"
If someone says, "ON POSITION X, no rational people can disagree in good faith with my understanding...," by what
objective,
reliable
measure
can we affirm they are correct?"


First, what is the position being taken?

Secondly, is that position understood by all parties involved?

Third, can the initial person cite examples from Scripture that support the position?

Fourth, can any of the participants cite examples from Scripture that contradict the position?

Fifth, having contrary examples cited for all, can all agree on the any of the examples contradicting the initial position?

At this point, if the last two questions both score a "yes", then we have a rational group of people being in disagreement in good faith.

But if at this point, the answer to the last two questions is "no", then the position can be regarded as one that no one of good faith can deny being true.

Of course, if the fourth question comes up "no", then there is no fifth question. But, if it comes up yes, each objection must be weighed out by the group to determine if the contrary position or positions are properly supported by the cited evidence for each. The initial person has the right to argue against the validity of the contradictions.

This, though perhaps not comprehensively, provides a method of determining whether or not a given proposition is beyond disagreement by people of good faith. If we use Bubba's example of the existence of God, there is no possible way that any rational person of good faith can posit that the Bible does not teach that God exists. It is not possible. Such a person would have to be lying, an idiot or some combination of the two. But such a person could not be a rational person arguing in good faith. Even if the Bible was known fiction, it still teaches the existence of God, just as any of the Harry Potter books teach the existence of witches and wizards. Belief in witches has nothing to do with whether or not the books teach of the existence of witches and wizards. Belief in God has nothing to do with whether or not the Bible teaches of the existence of God.

The fact that the teaching of the existence of God by the Bible is so incredibly obvious so as not be mistaken, anyone wishing to suggest the Bible does not teach it must be a liar or and idiot. As things become more obscure (as compared to the teaching of God's existence), there is greater room for good faith disagreement.

A final basis upon which we can determine such things is the exhausting of questions. Are there any questions left unanswered as to what my position is, why I believe it to be true, and have all my questions regarding the contradicting positions been answered?

With all that said, we have yet to hear an answer to the question put to Dan. I'll rephrase it here:

Do you believe there are any essential teachings of Scripture against which no person in good faith can disagree? "Essential to whom?" Doesn't matter. Do you believe any such essential teachings exist in Scripture?

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

Personally, I prefer third base. But I know some are more comfortable at first.

You DO know, don't you, that the plural for "basis" is "bases" (bay - sees)?

Craig...

You have quite clearly chosen to yank the Luke 6 verses out of context, (cherry pick them, if you will), and focus on ONE out of context text, to try to make a larger point.

Again, EVERY TIME I speak of Luke 6, I ALWAYS speak of Luke 6. I don't refer to Genesis 1 when I'm speaking of the text of Luke 6, but instead, I actually speak of what Luke 6 says.

This is not in any way "editing" Jesus. Shame on you for not correcting that false charge and admitting the error/slander.

I'm done with you, at least in this thread. You've been exposed as a base gossip and a bearer of false witness and shamelessly refuse to back down.

Shame on you, Craig. I expect better from you.

Craig said...

"I'm done with you, at least in this thread. You've been exposed as a base gossip and a bearer of false witness and shamelessly refuse to back down."

At least this isn't vile and vulgar like you get sometimes. Of course, you can't actually demonstrate your accusations (as usual with you), so I could say that... But I won't, because then I'd just be you.

But since we agree, I will gladly let you spend time dealing with the numerous questions Bubba has raised, which are much more substantive that agreeing that you won't look at Luke 6 in it's greater context.

So, please, spend your time here doing things more worthwhile than agreeing with me again.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Do you believe there are any essential teachings of Scripture against which no person in good faith can disagree? "Essential to whom?" Doesn't matter. Do you believe any such essential teachings exist in Scripture?

Answering your second question, first:

Depending on what you mean by "essential," I would say that THESE teachings are of the essence of Jesus' teachings (ie, "essential teachings of Scripture"):

Live simply.
Be peacemakers.
Tend to the needs of the poor (and by "poor," I mean the actual, literal, materially poor, in case anyone is uncertain).

Clear, unequivocal teachings, it seems to me, Dan Trabue.

Are there teachings against which "No person" can disagree in good faith?

Clearly, I can NOT speak for all people everywhere in every time. However, I have complete confidence in the human ability to disagree that I am SURE there are those who would disagree with what I think are clear teachings, and do so in good faith.

So, since I believe in humanity's ability to sincerely disagree with one another, NO, I do not believe there exists a teaching anywhere where SOMEONE might disagree in good faith.

Craig said...

"You DO know, don't you, that the plural for "basis" is "bases" (bay - sees)?"

You do know, that the little ";)" means that which preceded it was intended as humor, right. It's like a little wink and a smile. You know, a bit of levity.

Or did you sense of humor get surgically removed when you became a liberal? (or isn't communist the word you used elsewhere to describe your political stance)

Anyway, lighten up once and a while, it's good for you.

Craig said...

MA

"25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[c]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]”

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

Given that Jesus Himself said so I would have thought that the above would be considered the "essence" of Jesus teaching. (Note the terminology change MA, that's usually a sign of obfuscation.)

The interesting things encapsulated in Jesus essential teaching are:

1) His reference to the authority of scripture, both in His initial question to the lawyer, and in His affirmation that the Deuteronomy scripture was the right answer.
2) His affirmation that there is a "Lord your God". This affirms Bubba's point that theism is an essential.
3) Jesus authority.

So when Jesus Himself was asked what's essential He didn't mention "simple living" (interesting how this comes first in the list, no?), or "being peacemakers (although, love your neighbor probably includes this), or specifically "tending to the needs of the poor" (again love your neighbor certainly covers this, no question). One must wonder why, when Jesus gave an example of "Who is my neighbor?", He didn't use a "materially" poor person? If "tending to the needs of the poor was part of the "essence" of Jesus teaching, why would He not tell a parable about a "materially" poor person? Or, why would He not mention the economic status of the person helped by the Samaritan?

I guess I fail to see how one can capture the "essence" of Jesus teaching while not mentioning anything related to His divinity, or any of His "spiritual" teachings. Especially as the teaching of "Love your neighbor..." flows directly from "Love the Lord your God...".

Bubba said...

Dan, you yourself admit that one could conclude bad faith if, for instance, someone claimed that the Bible didn't "speak of" Jesus.

What would be your evidence?

"He interprets a biblical passage differently than I do!" - namely, that he thinks the Greek word for Jesus is absent in the text.

Clearly, the word is present, BUT JUST AS CLEARLY, the text asserts the historicity of the person designated by that word. We can draw clear conclusions not just about what words are present, but what those words mean.

Not only does the Bible mention God, it attributes creation and redemption to God; it claims that God revealed Himself and made covenants and promises to particular human beings; it records man's worship and prayers to God; and it records the chief ethical duty of loving God above all others and having no other gods before Him.

Not only does the Bible mention Jesus, but John emphasizes his personal and intimate eyewitness testimony, and Paul emphasizes that we're dead in our sins if Jesus wasn't raised, which presumes His historicity.

In BOTH cases, "The Bible mentions God" and "The Bible teaches God's existence," the actual contents of the Bible are sufficient to preclude alternative interpretations made in good faith.

--

Clearly, you don't mind invoking the same sort of evidence to make your own accusations.

How do you know we're guilty of an absence of grace and humility, of arrogance and whimsy and irrationality?

"He interprets a biblical passage differently than I do!" -- namely, that we believe that the passage leads to only one interpretation for capable adults acting in good faith.

How do you know we're being disrespectful to God by treating the Bible as an idol and substitute?

"He interprets a biblical passage differently than I do!"

How do you know we're guilty of cherry picking and treating the Bible like a Magic 8 Ball?

"He interprets a biblical passage differently than I do!"

(You don't even have the decency to walk us through even ONE instance of where we're supposedly cherry picking.)

Your take on human fallibility is ultimately self-defeating, but if you had abstained from such drawing such venomous accusations from evidence that you would OTHERWISE dismiss as no evidence at all, at least you would be demonstrating an effort to live by your own ridiculous standards.

As it is, it's obvious that all you're interested in is our unilateral disarmament.

You have absolutely no problem with YOUR drawing negative conclusions from others' words and your own interpretation of Scripture.

You just want to reserve that power to yourself.

Bubba said...

Craig:

As I've pointed out to Dan on numerous occasions in the past, the encounter with the rich young ruler doesn't even really point to a works-based salvation. In all three synoptic Gospels, the disciples despaired because they realized that no one could work his way to heaven, but Jesus responded by claiming that all things are possible with God.

Both God's existence and the assurance of salvation through God's grace seem to be the sort of things one shouldn't leave out from a summary of Jesus' essential teachings.

I'd go further than that, too.

In Matthew, Jesus teaches that His blood was shed for the forgiveness of sins.

In Mark, Jesus teaches that He came to serve and give His life as a ransom for men.

In Luke, the risen Jesus taught that all of Scripture pointed to Him, and that Scripture pointed to the necessity of His suffering, death, and resurrection, so that "repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations."

And in John, Jesus taught that He is the resurrection and the life, the bread of life whose flesh must be eaten in order to have life.

Christ's teachings are very Christ-centered, and they're centered on His death.

Live simply.
Be peacemakers.
Tend to the needs of the poor.


I'm not sure where Jesus or any of His Apostles actually exhort simple living or rail against a life of complexity, but even accepting that as a given, this list is anemic, a pale shadow of Jesus' teachings.

These so-called essentials are the essence of the mostly harmless humanism of the hippies, not the God-centered and Christ-centered good news of Jesus Christ.

Dan Trabue said...

Just to clarify about my list of three essential teachings: Marshall was asking for something the Bible clearly teaches. These are three clear teachings. I am not saying this is the entirety of clear teachings, just that these are three examples. I chose those because there might be some here who disagree with them, even though in my opinion, they are abundantly clear.

As to why I defined "essential" and how I was using it, it's because the term has a few possible connotations ("essential" for salvation? "essential" to a basic understanding of Scripture? Of the essence of Jesus' teachings? etc). And, given how we could not even agree on a definition of "poor," I thought it important to point out HOW I am using the term. Indeed, that is a reasonable first question before answering the question Marshall asked. As is "essential" to whom?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, thank you for a direct answer to my direct question. Let's take a look at your answer:

1. So, in order to "verify" that a person can "know" that another is disagreeing in good faith or not, we need to consider the position taken...

May I ask, how does the position they take "prove" that they are or are not disagreeing in good faith?

For instance, I think clearly, Jesus taught his followers to not kill their enemies. You take an opposite position, as it relates to war-time killing. How does your position or my position "prove" that we are disagreeing in good faith or not?

2. In order to "verify" that a person can "know" that another is disagreeing in good faith or not, we need to consider whether or not all parties understand the others' position. IF A does NOT understand B's position, does that mean that either is arguing in bad faith? I don't think this point follows.

It certainly is important for good communication that all parties understand the others' positions, but whether they do or not seems irrelevant to their good faith.

3. Why is this necessary? If person A holds the position that the Bible is a valuable text of wisdom, but not necessarily a rule-book or guide to specific behaviors, and person A argues points 1, 2 and 3 (about pollution, say) and person B says, "But these conflict with passages in the Bible here in the OT..." and person A says, "what of it? I'm not arguing about whether this text in ancient wisdom teachings specifically to Israel has something to say about this modern situation... whatever ancient Israel may or may not have understood about God and morality is not necessarily applicable to our topic of pollution or my points..." That A does not feel the need to "argue back" with Scripture is not an indication that he is arguing in bad faith, right? If you think it is, why?

You all do recognize that not everyone - even those who appreciate the Bible's teachings - not everyone feels a need or thinks it wise to "argue back" text with text? Bubba, this was what I was trying to get at earlier: If a Bible-lover is arguing that "We need to cut back on pollution and find ways to reduce our carbon output" and someone responds, "but, Genesis teaches that the earth is ours to "subdue" and that Bible lover does not feel the need to counter with a biblical passage, but instead says, "but polluting is wrong, it causes harm, especially to the poor and marginalized..." it does not mean that he is arguing in bad faith, it just means he's taking the argument to a rational level and appeal for basic morality, regardless of what some people might think the Bible does and doesn't teach. It's not irrational to do so, nor is it dishonest or disrespectful of the Bible. Not everyone thinks "I'll argue back against your biblical ideas with my own biblical ideas..." and that they don't take that approach is NOT a sign of bad faith.

Agreed?

Dan Trabue said...

4. See 3.

5. I'm not sure that "all agreeing" has anything to do with the reality of whether or not someone is arguing in bad faith. Dan thinks "Jesus teaches his followers not to kill their enemies. Here are the reasons why, including some biblical passages..." Marshall responds, "I disagree, here's my biblical verses to back up why I think it is not only acceptable, but morally GOOD for Christians to kill their enemies in some circumstances..." Whether or not Marshall agrees with my examples or I agree with Marshall's examples OR if I just argue from an appeal to reason and innate morality and justice, regardless of what verses Marshall offers, (or if Marshall agrees with mine...), this is not any kind of evidence that either side is arguing in bad faith.

Do you think it is? If so, how? Where is the evidence?

And that's really what it all comes down to, for me. WHERE is the evidence that someone is arguing in bad faith? If the entirety of the evidence is, "I personally can't imagine why someone would disagree with my interpretation, it is SOOOO reasonable and 'obvious...'," well, that is simply NOT enough to justify calling someone a liar.

If you have zero hard evidence to offer, nothing beyond a personal opinion, then you just can't rationally or morally or biblically expect people to go along with the claim. Indeed, rationally, morally and biblically, people would have to call your charge of lying to be, itself, a false witness.

Why wouldn't we, when there is no evidence?

Bubba said...

One thing that shouldn't be ignored, lest it gives the wrong impression that it cannot be addressed, is the idea that the Bible commands self-mutilation and that command points to our needing to look past the Bible.

Dan had written:

"Again, one obvious example is ripping out your eyes. We should not say, 'I know ripping out my eyes is right because the Bible tells me...' we need to use our God-given reason to sort these things out and not rely on simplistic, wooden 'commands' from 'the Bible...' as if these lines in the Bible were a god, themselves."

The Bible doesn't actually command such self-mutilation: what Jesus taught, in that Sermon on the Mount that Dan pretends to love oh-so-very much, is that, *IF* your eye causes you to sin, you should pluck it out (Mt 5:29).

If somebody faced in real life the situation in that dark comedy/horror flick, Evil Dead 2, where a man's hand had become possessed, that man's gory response of severing that hand WOULD be morally appropriate.

As it is, our hands and eyes do not cause us to sin, but we should mortify ourselves from those circumstances and relationships where we find ourselves tempted beyond our ability to endure with any real consistency.

If there's someone online whose hypocritical and incoherent assaults on orthodoxy leads to too much frustration and too much wasted time, it might be best to say one's peace, move on, and not cast pearls before swine.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

You've been exposed as a base gossip and a bearer of false witness and shamelessly refuse to back down.

Has he? I'm still waiting for such evidence to be given

Bubba said...

Not just evidence, Glenn, but an
objective,
reliable
measure
because nothing else will suffice.

Right? :)

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

As it is, our hands and eyes do not cause us to sin, but we should mortify ourselves from those circumstances and relationships where we find ourselves tempted beyond our ability to endure with any real consistency.

I, of course, agree. To take that passage literally WOULD be to misunderstand it. But literally, it does teach us if "our eye causes us to sin" (as in looking at someone in lust) PLUCK IT OUT. Literally, that would completely stop the looking in lust at someone so one could make the argument that it makes sense, taken literally, but taking it literally does not make sense and everyone understands that.

The point is NOT that there are other verses that teach us to NOT pluck our eyes out, but that we can use our common sense and say, "That would be just silly to take that literally," regardless of what other verses we might find in the bible.

And someone who opted to dismiss out of hand a literal reading of that text would NOT be arguing in bad faith. And anyone who would claim, "But I, MR X, can't think that anyone could disagree with a literal interpretation, so they must be lying..." are, themselves, making a false accusation, unsupportable by evidence.

Dan Trabue said...

To Bubba/Glenn's request for proof, easily done:

Craig made the false claim...

Of course, as you demonstrated in the thread at your place, you certainly aren't averse to doing some EDITING of Jesus in order to make your point.

He cited my words to "support" the false claim, trying to juxtapose them against Jesus' words...

"Blessed are you who are hunger for you will be satisfied." D. Trabue

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled."
Jesus


I pointed out that the passage I was citing says JUST what I said (although I left out a word, but the gist was still the same). So, IN FACT, I did NOT edit Jesus. It did not happen in the real world.

That, Bubba-Glenn, is a real world, observable fact.

Thus, Craig's claim that I "edited" the words of Jesus is verifiably, observably, demonstrably false.

Rather than admitting the error, he double down on the attack, saying that somehow by quoting Luke 6 when I was speaking of Luke 6, that I...

"you admit that you edited Jesus words by choosing the Luke quote and ignoring the Matthew quote. Why would you choose to do that, if not to reinforce your prejudice?"

Edit is defined, "prepare (written material) for publication by correcting, condensing, or otherwise modifying it."

Craig's implication was that I was "otherwise modifying" Jesus' words in Luke 6 by modifying them to mean something other than what Jesus said. But I was QUOTING his words, NOT editing.

As to the gossip thing, you all were here talking about me, "casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true."

Thus, by definition, you were gossiping.

See how one proves things with observable facts?

Bubba said...

What you present as observable facts, are just your interpretation -- or else, you must accept as an observable fact the claim that the Bible teaches the existence of God and the historicity of Jesus.

Either hold yourself to the very high standards you insist others meet, or allow others to meet the very low standards you permit for yourself.

Anything else is pure hypocrisy, Dan.

Dan Trabue said...

The difference, Bubba, is we can confirm with me, with Craig, if those are indeed our words and our intent.

How will you confirm the words and intent with the authors of the Bible?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

What you present as observable facts, are just your interpretation -- or else, you must accept as an observable fact the claim that the Bible teaches the existence of God and the historicity of Jesus.

Beyond that, we ARE speaking about observable facts. Craig literally said I "edited" the words of Jesus, hinting that I was changing them to suit some political end - "to make my point..." (and he can verify that this was his implication, which I'm pretty sure it was that or something like that). And we can factually observe, "DID Dan edit the words of Jesus to make some point..."? And factually, we can see no, I did NOT "edit" Jesus, I quoted Jesus directly (with two small typos that were just typos that did not impact the quote).

And if someone makes a claim about the Bible that can be factually observed, we can state with authority that it IS a fact.

If someone states, "Genesis 1:1 says 'in the beginning, God created the world...'" we can factually observe that the text is either there or not there and if the paraphrase is a fair one.

On the other hand, if someone states, "Gen 1 says what it says and THAT MEANS that God created the heavens and the earth 6,000 years ago in six literal, 24 hour days..." that is NOT an observable fact, it is an opinion about an interpretation that can not be verified directly, although the science of it all would be evidence against the claim...

The point being, some things ARE observable facts. Craig's claim was a claim that can be factually disproven by looking at what actually was there and we can ask questions to clarify if there is any confusion (Craig, did you not LITERALLY mean "edit," but something else? for instance).

To try to conflate opinion with observable fact is a simple rational error.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I just read this article:
http://hipandthigh.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/a-literal-pop-quiz/

By gum gadfry, I think he's dealing with a Trabue clone!

Bubba said...

Dan, I repeat:

Not only does the Bible mention God, it attributes creation and redemption to God; it claims that God revealed Himself and made covenants and promises to particular human beings; it records man's worship and prayers to God; and it records the chief ethical duty of loving God above all others and having no other gods before Him.

These are all observable facts about the contents of the Bible.

We can factually observe that the texts are there and the summary above is accurate.

Bubba said...

Glenn, Erick Erickson had a good line that I think applies here:

Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant, then it seeks to silence good.

The dynamic here isn't an exact match, but here we're told that we cannot judge how other people may reach different conclusions in their ostensibly careful Bible study.

But the same guy who urges being non-judgmental is quick to condemn the conclusions that we draw -- and quick to disparage us in the process.

The theological radicals, we cannot rebuke for being liars and false teachers, but WE are despised for being arrogant and graceless and irrational: for cherry-picking, for disrespectfully treating the Bible like a Magic 8 Ball, for confusing the Bible with God, and even for confusing OURSELVES with God.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Not only does the Bible mention God, it attributes creation and redemption to God; it claims that God revealed Himself and made covenants and promises to particular human beings...

These are all observable facts about the contents of the Bible.


And I'll repeat: IF someone is saying, "That text that says that is not in the Bible..." then they are obviously lying or deluded.

IF, rather, they say, "Yes, it's in there, but it doesn't mean what you think it means..." That is not necessarily lying.

Look at my Genesis example again and tell me where I'm mistaken.

That someone might disagree on a MEANING of a text (ie, "sure, it SAYS God created the world in six days, but it does not MEAN that there is a God that literally created the 'heavens and earth' in six literal days...") is NOT a sign that they are lying.

Bubba...

But the same guy who urges being non-judgmental is quick to condemn the conclusions that we draw -- and quick to disparage us in the process.

Again - and it's the last time I'm pointing it out since you all are just ignoring it, anyway - I am pointing to a demonstrable FACT. Craig DID literally say that I was editing Jesus' words when I literally, demonstrably was not, and certainly not with a negative motive.

That I point out a factual mistake would normally, in good faith adults, be cause for a "Thanks for the correction, my bad... here's what I was TRYING to say..." not further attacks. But that I point out a factual mistake is not condemning the conclusions you draw, it's condemning a factual mistake and correcting it WITH facts, demonstrable, observable facts.

Deal with the Craig false charge if you want to continue down this road, but don't accuse me of doing what you're doing (and, even if I were, it wouldn't make YOU doing it right...)

There's a difference between pointing with certainty to FACTS that can be observed and OPINIONS which can not be.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant, then it seeks to silence good.

The dynamic here isn't an exact match, but here we're told that we cannot judge how other people may reach different conclusions in their ostensibly careful Bible study.


Oh, goody, I'm not an "exact match" for evil trying to silence good. Thanks for that!

Ha!

I have not said you can't judge how other people reach their conclusions. I have said you can't reach a definite conclusion - especially to the level that you're prepared to call someone a LIAR! - with NO evidence other than, "But they disagree with my interpretation!" That is petulant-sounding and just silly.

Look, guys, whatever you may think of people like me and our conclusions, we are NOT evil people. We love and care for our families, take care of ailing parents, tend to the needs of the poor and marginalized, we work hard jobs to pay for our bills, we don't go around making up stories or lying, we play with children and help raise them - not just our own children but everyone in the community... we are decent, law-abiding, caring, rational, responsible people.

Just like you are, I have NO doubt.

And as decent, moral people who - whether you accept it or not - are striving to follow God, walking in Jesus' tough but beautiful steps by God's grace - we sometimes disagree with one another and we do so in good faith.

Just like I have no reason to suspect you all of any nefarious motives, you have NO reason to suspect that of people like me. Ask my kids, ask my parents or the people around us, you will be able to tell our basic goodness and sincerity, even if we are very imperfect human beings. Now, I don't do that to brag on me (any more than I was doing it to brag on you) but just to make the point that we are not evil people out to "trick" people by making up stuff about our lives. There simply is NO evidence for that on either side of this great divide.

Disagree with opinions? Sure, let's do that. Hold on to our beliefs and defend them? When they're moral and rational, yes, by all means, let's do that. But we can do that without demonizing the others or calling them liars for the great sin of simply disagreeing with your opinion.

This old world needs a bit more kindness and compassion and grace.

Bubba said...

Apparently your concept of kindness and compassion and grace doesn't keep you from accusing us of a lack of humility, a disrespectful approach to the Bible, cherry-picking, treating the Bible like a Magic 8 Ball, and confusing ourselves with God.

No, it's only OUR conclusion that you're a liar that's unacceptable.

--

Your point about Genesis would be worthwhile, except I already conceded that:

"Mature and faithful Christians can disagree about details THAT ARE NOT MENTIONED IN THIS PASSAGE -- e.g., HOW God created the universe and WHEN, as in how long ago was 'the beginning' -- but the teaching itself is beyond dispute."

What teaching? THAT GOD EXISTS, that God is the Creator, and that God created the cosmos "in the beginning," whenever that may be.

I made this same point in the previous previous conversation, and I did so at least twice.

That there exists SOME areas about which good-faith disagreement is possible, isn't proof that that is true about ALL areas.

Dan Trabue said...

And again...

Oh, never mind. No sense in repeating what's already been repeated...

Bubba said...

Dan, about this...

"Look, guys, whatever you may think of people like me and our conclusions, we are NOT evil people. We love and care for our families, take care of ailing parents, tend to the needs of the poor and marginalized, we work hard jobs to pay for our bills, we don't go around making up stories or lying, we play with children and help raise them - not just our own children but everyone in the community... we are decent, law-abiding, caring, rational, responsible people."

Remember that poem you posted (twice) about W. and his "spawn", accusing his supporters of killing God and worshiping a bloodthirsty false god? That didn't seem to show much cognizance about their being decent, law-abiding, caring, rational, and responsible.

About the claim that you "don't go around making up stories or lying," you did defend as a "man of God" a race-essentialist, conspiracy-mongering so-called pastor who accused the U.S. government of creating AIDS as an act of attempted genocide -- and you accused us his critics of a "digital lynching."

Even in this thread, you now admit that you don't really believe some of the biblical rationales you present: you're just aping an approach to Scripture that you simultaneously condemn as disrespectful to God, as an effort to "meet us where we are."

And about your tending to the poor and the marginalized, well, it depends, doesn't it? If you can obscure the often violent murder of children in the womb with euphemisms about medical procedures, you'll do so -- and you'll equivocate between what's legal and what's moral, as if the decisions of the state free you from any moral responsibility.

On the whole, the ends that your side supports are evil, oppressive and dehumanizing, and the means by which you advance those ends are also evil -- in part because they're also dehumanizing, subversion and deception treating people like objects to be manipulated rather than subjects to be persuaded.

But, sure, you're probably very pleasant to your neighbors and maybe you even feed the birds when you go to the park.

Jesus taught that even those who are evil give good gifts to their children. That you give good gifts to your children does not exonerate you from using dishonest means to advance immoral ends.

Dan Trabue said...

Okay, Bubba, you win. In the real world, I am an evil guy with nefarious motives out to undermine good everywhere.

God bless ya, you big lug.

Craig said...

"Of course, as you demonstrated in the thread at your place, you certainly aren't averse to doing some EDITING of Jesus in order to make your point."

Of course in "proving" your point, you choose to ignore my clarification of my use of the word editing, and my admission that it probably wasn't the best word. Of course, had you chosen to present the full context of my comments, you wouldn't be able to "support" you claim. Which, one presumes, is why you chose to take my comment out of context in the same way you pluck the Luke text out of the larger context in order to force the text(s) to support something they just don't support otherwise.

As to the gossip nonsense;

First, we've said nothing here we haven't said to you.
Second, you set the "just you and Bubba rule, so we commented here. Had you not limited comment on your thread we wouldn't have needed to comment here.
Third, this is not some password protected hidden thread, it's out in the open and you found it.

So, what does one call in when one selectively quotes someone else in order to attempt to prove a point which the larger context doesn't support.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

In your response to the following:

Do you believe there are any essential teachings of Scripture against which no person in good faith can disagree? "Essential to whom?" Doesn't matter. Do you believe any such essential teachings exist in Scripture?

You chose to answer the "2nd" question first. But that "2nd" question was not being asked as much as I meant to defer it being asked. That is to say, the quotation marks surrounding it was intended to convey the notion that it was not a question that concerned me, nor was it one that should have been a concern to you in answering the question. That said, the two questions surrounding that quoted one, were simply two ways of asking the same thing. Perhaps I should have been more clear in stating that should the question "Essential to whom" come up, I should have responded to that potential question: "To you." The point being that as the question was directed to you, there is no reason to ask "essential to whom".

That being said, there are only three ways to answer the question. They include: yes, no and "I'm not sure I understand...please rephrase it". Your subsequent and entirely unnecessarily long response could have been summed up with answer 2--"No. I do not believe there are any essential teachings about which people of good faith cannot disagree." If this is not the case, please clarify and provide an example.

You may decide that you have indeed provided three examples:

Live simply.
Be peacemakers.
Tend to the needs of the poor.


It could be my fault in how I worded my question, but I can't see how any of these three can in any way be considered unassailable teachings of Christianity or Scripture in general. Bubba's example (God exists) is. There is no way that any rational person, regardless of what that person might believe personally about the truth of Scripture, there is no way such a person could honestly say that the Bible does not teach that God exists. There is little that is a more essential teaching than that God exists.

What's more, one needn't be a Christian to believe in the need to care for the poor, to make peace or to live simply. It's more than just a little curious that you would list those three items as essential teachings about which there can be no good faith disagreements. I can think of others that are Christian specific and thus far more essential and far less ambiguous so as to preclude any good faith disagreement, God's existence being the easiest to name.

Gotta go.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

It could be my fault in how I worded my question, but I can't see how any of these three can in any way be considered unassailable teachings of Christianity or Scripture in general. Bubba's example (God exists) is.

But that's just the point, Marshall. Those three teachings ARE ABUNDANTLY clear, TO ME. I don't think you can get around Scripture without getting this message.

And yet, I'm quite aware that some people do. That's my point. Just because I think point 1, 2 and 3 are abundantly clear and Bubba and I think points 4 and 5 are abundantly clear does not mean that there is not some human out there who may not think that is a clear teaching at all.

That is my sole point: That there is no accounting for what people may disagree with and that we can NOT use the mere fact of disagreement with "evidence" that the person is lying. Again, look at my examples: You do not see how they can be seen as unassailable teachings of Christianity or Scripture in general. I don't see how anyone can NOT see them as unassailably clear teachings.

But, just because I can't imagine someone walking away with the same interpretation/idea that I have, that is not evidence that they are arguing in bad faith.

Does that not make sense?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

That being said, there are only three ways to answer the question. They include: yes, no and "I'm not sure I understand...please rephrase it"

Factually speaking, since I or you or Bubba or NO one has the ability to speak for "all people," then the ONLY answer is, "I don't know, I can't speak for 'all people...'"

Factually speaking, since we have actual evidence of people who are, by all available data, disagreeing in good faith about just about anything, we have no data to support the claim "There is a topic about which NO one could reasonably disagree in good faith..."

So, the factual, observable, by all evidence answer is No, as I have stated.

If you want to some how make a case that the actual answer is Yes, you'll have to come up with some evidence beyond "seems that way to me..."

Sine you took the time to respond to my question, I hope you'll take the time to respond to my response to your answer. For each of your five points, there are logical questions that must be answered before we decide that your points have any validity. The questions point to what seem like big holes in your answer.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

You are still missing the "essential" aspect of the question: Do YOU, Dan Trabue, believe there exists ANY teaching of Scripture with which people in good faith cannot disagree? As soon as you say about your little list...

"Those three teachings ARE ABUNDANTLY clear, TO ME. I don't think you can get around Scripture without getting this message.

And yet, I'm quite aware that some people do."


Then those three items do not qualify according to the standard set by the question. That standard is:

A teaching of Scripture with which no one can in good faith disagree.

You apparently don't believe any such teaching exists in Scripture. There is at least one: God exists. There can be no good faith argument against this fact. The Bible clearly teaches this. It doesn't matter whether or not you want to play games with the style of writing, or whether or not a given person doesn't believe what it teaches. The initial question was simply in regards to whether or not there is any teaching in Scripture against which anyone can argue against Scripture teaching it.

I defy you to present an argument against the fact that Scripture clearly teaches that God exists. It doesn't have to be YOUR argument, just anyone's to which you can provide a link or a name to research that could possibly, in good faith, argue that the Bible does NOT teach that God exists. I can't imagine anyone would even presume to try to argue such a thing, even in bad faith. It would be too idiotic to attempt. Do you actually disagree with this?

Marshall Art said...

To respond to your response:

Me:

First, what is the position being taken?

You:

May I ask, how does the position they take "prove" that they are or are not disagreeing in good faith?

It doesn't. It isn't supposed to. All discussions must begin somewhere. That "somewhere" is often with a position taken. If we cannot understand what one's position is, we cannot engage at all. There is nothing with which we can engage. Someone must take a position. That is the first step.

Me:

Secondly, is that position understood by all parties involved?

You:

It certainly is important for good communication that all parties understand the others' positions, but whether they do or not seems irrelevant to their good faith.

Clearly this is untrue. If I don't even understand what your position is, how can I determine whether or not you are arguing in good faith. I must understand your position, the point you are trying to make or no further discussion is even possible. I wouldn't know what I'm opposing or to what I am agreeing.

Me:

Third, can the initial person cite examples from Scripture that support the position?

You:

Why is this necessary?

That you even ask this question is incredible to me. We're talking about positions based on Scripture. How can one say, "As a Christian, I believe pollution is wrong" without having any piece of Scripture that supports the position? If one in any way ties a position to one's faith, there absolutely must be some connection between that faith and the position tied to it that can be cited, otherwise it is a deceitful appeal to emotion in order to influence the opinion of others. That demonstrates a lack of good faith.

Put another way, if I say, "That's a sin!" I would not be arguing in good faith if I couldn't back it up with Scripture.

continuing...

Marshall Art said...

Me:

Fourth, can any of the participants cite examples from Scripture that contradict the position?

You:

See 3.

Just as in the previous, if one begins with a position supported by Scripture, to refute the position one must also have Scriptural support in order to refute in good faith. You say Scripture teaches you to regard homosexual marriages as a good thing and do so with the weakest appeals to Scripture imaginable. I refute it with solid Scriptural support that is clear and to the point. (My opposition to your position is not only in good faith, but shows a better example of it based upon the Scripture I use versus that which you use.)

Me:

Fifth, having contrary examples cited for all, can all agree on the any of the examples contradicting the initial position?

You:

I'm not sure that "all agreeing" has anything to do with the reality of whether or not someone is arguing in bad faith.

If all agree that at least one of the contradictory positions is well supported, then at least one person opposing the position of the first person can be said to be doing so in good faith. Put another way, a good faith disagreement has occurred.

And this is all my five points are meant to do: establish whether or not opposition is put forth in good faith. I would insist that arguing in good faith requires some support for the opposing argument that is more than just a person disliking the original position. I may not like that I can't murder someone, but I can't insist in good faith that Scripture doesn't teach that murder is wrong. It clearly does and no Scripture comes to my mind that could possibly refute that fact.

Thus, you must separate personal preference from the equation. It doesn't matter what you personally feel about what Scripture teaches, or what you would prefer it does teach. To argue in good faith requires something more substantive, otherwise it's no more than John Cleese saying, "No, it isn't."

Marshall Art said...

One clarification: The first person putting forth his position must also substantiate his position with evidence as well. It's not a one-way street.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Then those three items do not qualify according to the standard set by the question. That standard is:

A teaching of Scripture with which no one can in good faith disagree.


By that standard, then, there is - even from your point of view - NO teaching with which no people of good faith can disagree.

That is, you have no evidence or, at best, you are using a circular evidential argument.

Dan: there is no teaching which which we see any evidence that NO one can disagree in good faith.

Bubba/Marshall: Yes, there is, doctrines A, B and C, for instance.

Dan: But I see no evidence that people can not disagree with those in good faith. What evidence are you appealing to as evidence to support your point?

B/M: we are appealing to the fact that they are disagree with this doctrine, with which no people of good faith can disagree!

Dan: But how do you know that no people of good faith could disagree with it?

B/M: Because, if they had good faith, then they would NOT disagree with it...

As far as I can see, you are not appealing to evidence but rather, just using circular argument in lieu of hard evidence.

What is your evidence, if not the appeal to your foregone conclusion to the question itself?

=====

Marshall...

Dan:

It certainly is important for good communication that all parties understand the others' positions, but whether they do or not seems irrelevant to their good faith.

M:
Clearly this is untrue. If I don't even understand what your position is, how can I determine whether or not you are arguing in good faith.


?

Dan holds a Yes opinion about question A. Marshall holds a No opinion.

Now, if Marshall does not understand Dan's position, that is simply NOT evidence of Dan not arguing in good faith, it's just a sign that Marshall doesn't understand. I don't see how this can be called bad faith?

Your not understanding my position is certainly a problem in communication, but it's not a sign of bad evidence.

Correct?

Marshall...

I must understand your position, the point you are trying to make or no further discussion is even possible. I wouldn't know what I'm opposing or to what I am agreeing.

If you can't understand my position, one might say that "no further discussion is possible," but it does NOT say that Dan (or Marshall) is arguing in bad faith. It just means that Dan has been unable to communicate his point in such a way that Marshall can understand it (or vice versa).

Again, I see zero support for the claim that a failure to understand is some evidence of bad faith. Do you have any?

To that end... (More to come)...

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall:

Third, can the initial person cite examples from Scripture that support the position?

You:

Why is this necessary?


That you even ask this question is incredible to me. We're talking about positions based on Scripture.


? Says who? (or if, like Bubba, you don't like "says who?..." then, "On what basis?")

I thought we were speaking of moral positions, philosophical and/or theological positions. Now, IF one argues that one can have ZERO moral, philosophical or theological opinions, that might make sense. IF one accepted that treatise. I do not accept that treatise.

Clearly, all manner of people hold all manner of good faith opinions about moral, philosophical and theological positions outside of what the Bible says. I would wager that you do, too.

Jumping back to what you said about being unable to understand as some sort of evidence of bad faith... That you don't understand that people might have opinions about these matters outside of the Bible is not evidence of bad faith on your part, it's just a lack of understanding on your part.

Marshall...

We're talking about positions based on Scripture.

Perhaps this is the root of our misunderstanding? Perhaps you are assuming that any and all who would, as a Christian, hold positions for reasons on morality, philosophy or theology would do so entirely based on what the Bible says? But the thing is, not every one does, as a matter of fact.

The Bible does not teach us to limit our moral, etc opinions ONLY to what can be found in the Bible, reason does not support that conclusion, so why would we limit it to what the Bible says?

Here's the thing, Marshall:

I believe that things are moral, right and/or good because they contribute to the Good, to Understanding, to Truth, to Grace, to Morality, to Well-being and Health.

A behavior is not right or wrong because there is a line in the Bible telling us it is. A behavior is not right or wrong because someone finds a text from which they interpret out "God's Will." A behavior/belief is right or wrong, period.

I believe that Scripture, as we learn from the Bible itself, is USEFUL for teaching, correction and understanding, but it is not the sole font of these. GOD is.

And the Bible is not (does not CLAIM to be) the sole source for finding out God's opinions on things. So, if the Bible does not make this claim or requirement, why would we make it? On what basis?

Says who?

Marshall...

How can one say, "As a Christian, I believe pollution is wrong" without having any piece of Scripture that supports the position?

Because it causes harm. Because it especially causes harm to innocents and the poor, children and the elderly. Because it does NOT contribute to health and well-being. We don't need a line in the Bible to affirm what is obvious and observable.

Do you disagree? Do you think we can hold NO positions on moral and theological questions apart from finding a line in the Bible to support it? If so, why, since the Bible never tells us to do this?

Marshall...

If one in any way ties a position to one's faith, there absolutely must be some connection between that faith and the position tied to it that can be cited, otherwise it is a deceitful appeal to emotion

In speaking of pollution-as-sin, I'm citing an appeal to observable harm, especially to the weaker and marginalized. Is that appeal not sufficient?

Again, ON WHAT BASIS do you make the claim? Who says all our positions MUST be tied to a line in the Bible? Because the Bible makes no such claim of itself, and God has not told us this, so what are you appealing to, in this claim?

Interested in hearing your responses. Thanks for the back and forth dialog.

Marshall Art said...

It will take a couple of days before I can respond properly. Stay tuned.

Dan Trabue said...

No hurries, thanks for the notification.

In the meantime, allow me to clarify what I'm speaking about when I say there is an element of "biblical arguing" that I find distasteful.

If one is asking, "Given the pantheon of teachings found within the bible, can we say that (for argument's sake) a concern for the poor is a consistently biblical teaching?" ...and then looking at Genesis and Daniel and Luke and Revelation... looking through the Bible and comparing passages and teachings found offered within its pages, and seeing, "Yes, a concern for the poor is a consistently biblical teaching... one can find elements of that teaching throughout the Bible." like that, I have no problem with that. It's not an emotionally or intellectually or biblically unhealthy approach.

However, if one is asking, "Given all that we reasonably know, can we say that 'THE BIBLE' - and therefore, by extension, GOD - thinks that all of humanity is innately evil, and of the worst sort of evil? With 'evil' being defined as we define it in the dictionary?" and then one person points to the passage, "Humanity is created a little lower than God (or "the angels")... therefore, we can conclude that No, humanity is NOT innately evil of the worst sort..." and someone else responds, "Ah, but look at what Paul says, that there is "NO ONE who does good, NO NOT ONE!" therefore, we know that we do NO good, none of us... therefore, we can safely KNOW that GOD says that humanity is innately evil!" and back and forth they go, lobbing bible verse after bible verse at each other.

"But it says in Genesis..." "Yes, but you're failing to take into account what Revelation says..."

And all the while, repeating and believing that we can "know" WE are the right ones who "know" God's will, because we found a verse that say x, y or z... THAT is the sort of biblical one-upmanship that I find unhealthy and lacking in wisdom and insight.

Look, we can look around us and SEE that concern for the poor and working with and for the poor is a good thing, it is good for those who partner - both the poor and the helper - it is good for society, it is good for mental and emotional health. We can find further support for this idea in the Bible that helps us see this - because as the bible says, it is good for teaching, for correction, for learning, etc. But we don't say/ought not say, "We should raise the minimum wage to $10.25/hour because the Bible says X and therefore, God agrees with a $10.25 minimum wage..." or "we should cut off ALL welfare/assistance because the Bible says Y and therefore, God DISAGREES with welfare of any sort..."

That sort of behavior/approach is what I find distasteful.

More...

Dan Trabue said...

Make your arguments based on reality, based on what is rational, based on teachings of wisdom from Scripture, based on wisdom from other sources... all of the above. But don't say, "The Bible says x,y and z about behavior X, therefore, "THE BIBLE" "teaches" against behavior X, therefore, we can all "know" that God disapproves of behavior X... and that I'm telling you this is what the Bible teaches should be sufficient, no further debate needed" because that is not the way to approach questions of wisdom, of morality, of philosophy or theology. It cuts off growth and learning, it cuts off communication (after all, if we have "THE WORD" from God, then we don't need to listen too much to what Ralph has to say, do we? If he disagrees with my understanding, why, he is disagreeing with God and I don't need to pay ANY attention to what a God-hater thinks...)

There is a sort of childish/shallow/foolishly and needlessly "black and white" approach to weighing Scripture that is not healthy or wise or biblical, it seems to me. I'm not saying that my first approach offered above is unhealthy ("Given the pantheon of teachings found within the Bible..."), just the lobbing of Scriptures back and forth, as if whoever finds the most scripture "wins...," that I find to be unhealthy.

Just to clarify.

Dan Trabue said...

And because someone didn't understand why I did it earlier, I have referred to "the Bible" and "teaching" in quotes because the Bible does not "teach." When someone says that (myself included), what they are really saying is, "My understanding of biblical text is THIS teaching, which I am passing on..."

The Bible doesn't teach. It contains text which we can then prayerfully consider, meditate upon, contemplate and seek wisdom from, but "teachings" come from us and our interpretations.

That is, Genesis 1 has text that describes a Creation story. It is HUMAN teaching to say, "This is a wonderfully powerful creation myth that affirms God as Creator..." or, "This text affirms that God created the world 6,000 years ago, in May."

It is important to understand the difference between OUR understanding and God's Actual Word. That is why I referred to "the Bible." Lest anyone misunderstand.

Bubba said...

"The Bible doesn't teach. It contains text which we can then prayerfully consider, meditate upon, contemplate and seek wisdom from, but 'teachings' come from us and our interpretations."

That's conjecture, and while this idea of the "death of the author" is a popular, suitably post-modern approach to interpretation, it is by no means the only approach, and it is a point of contention whether it's even a valid approach.

The approach is inconsistent with what Scripture teaches about itself (Mk 7, Rom 15, II Tim 3), and its implication is that God's revelation disappeared with the men through whom God spoke -- and how are exactly we to hold fast to the apostolic teaching if that teaching no longer exists?

--

Psalm 8 expresses wonder at God's regard for man, making him a little lower than the angels, but that position is clearly in terms of man's authority over creation -- "You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet" -- and it implies nothing about man's righteousness or holiness.

We know this because the author of Hebrews quotes this very passage in 2:6-7, but he points to man's sinfulness in making his central argument that Christ is superior to all possible rivals: Christ is our high priest "without sin" in contrast to every other high priest who is "beset with weakness" and who is thus "obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people" (4:15, 5:2-3).

In the same way, Paul teaches that we know only in part, but obviously he meant that we don't know everything, NOT that we cannot know ANYTHING with any certainty, because this same Apostle condemned anyone who would preach a false gospel, implying that the true gospel is actually knowable.

In both cases, the approach isn't tallying verses that teach different things and see which side has more, "the lobbing of Scriptures back and forth, as if whoever finds the most scripture 'wins'."

We approach Scripture as internally consistent and coherent, seeing which position makes the most sense of EVERYTHING that is taught.

It's not just making an argument "based on teachings of wisdom from Scripture," as if Scripture contains teachings of wisdom and teachings of foolishness -- or "Truth but not facts" -- and we must sift the wheat from the chaff.

It's approaching Scripture in the belief that EVERYTHING it teaches is wisdom, that ALL Scripture -- ALL of it, Greek pas -- is God-breathed, and that taken together it conveys a single and coherent message, at least some of the contents of which is clear beyond dispute.

"Lobbing" passages back and forth, treating Scripture like a Magic 8 Ball, drawing overly literal, "wooden" interpretations: we don't do any of these things, and those who oppose these approaches are dealing with strawmen.

Addressing the poor arguments one wished his opponents made rather than the substantive arguments they're actually making: that is what strikes me as childish, shallow, unhealthy, and distasteful.

Dan Trabue said...

Speaking of strawmen arguments...

The approach is inconsistent with what Scripture teaches about itself (Mk 7, Rom 15, II Tim 3), and its implication is that God's revelation disappeared with the men through whom God spoke -- and how are exactly we to hold fast to the apostolic teaching if that teaching no longer exists?

I have not said nor implied that God's revelation has disappeared. In fact, I don't believe that at all, quite the opposite, so, strawman.

How do we understand? The best we can, using our God-given reasoning, God's Word, writ upon our hearts and the Holy Spirit working within us. As human seekers always have done.

Is it a perfect solution/perfect way of understanding a God beyond our understanding? No.

IS there a perfect way of understanding? Not that I know of. If you find one, let me know.

We are and remain an imperfect people, created nonetheless in God's image. We understand things the best we can, based on what we see around us, based on prayerful contemplation, based on our reasoning, based on what we might learn, albeit imperfectly, through the Bible.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

We approach Scripture as internally consistent and coherent, seeing which position makes the most sense of EVERYTHING that is taught.

Well, me, too, as a rule.

But more specifically (and yet, more generally...), I approach God's Revelation as if it were internally consistent. If I find a consistent theme in the Bible that sometimes God commands people to kill babies, but that conflicts with a basic understanding of justice and love, I might reasonably question that conclusion (not that "teaching" but that CONCLUSION) as perhaps not consistent with God's revelation to humanity.

But my goal is NOT to cobble together a series of beliefs that make the pages of the Bible "consistent," my goal is God's Will. I happen to think that the Bible, rightly understood, SHOULD be consistent, but that does not mean that I think every human understanding of biblical teaching is consistent or correctly emphasizing the right understanding.

Look at the oft-mentioned Blessed are you who are poor/poor in spirit conundrum. Some, in an effort to make "the Bible" consistent, say that Luke 6 MUST be subjugated to Matt 6, that given "the poor" and "the poor in spirit..." in order to make sense of "everything in the Bible," we must take Luke 6 to mean the more generic "poor in spirit..."

This is

1. a human interpolation, not "scripture."
2. creating a dichotomy where none need exist
3. emphasizing the wrong choice, if you're making a choice between the two passages.

The goal is not "let's find some way to make these two passages make sense with each other." The goal is God's Will.

At least that is what makes sense to me.

Dan Trabue said...

A question: Does the Bible make any promises that "the Bible" must be consistent?

Given that the Bible is the human-compiled collection of books and letters and poetry, etc from a variety of human authors - all of which we agree are inspired by God and useful for teaching, but still human authors - would we necessarily expect perfect consistency?

Jesus taught us to love our enemies while the oppressed psalmist who despaired of his people's oppression prayed that God would destroy the enemy, even bashing the heads of their babies against rocks - a seeming inconsistency.

Why is it not acceptable to say...

Well, the goal IS to love everyone, including our enemies... but we are humans who DO despair and get angry at injustice and oppression, and it is not an unreasonable human reaction to want vengeance against an enemy. So, we don't need to find words to 'make these fit together...' to cobble together a forced consistency... It's okay to recognize that humans have a variety of reactions and thoughts and expectations in different circumstances and this seeming inconsistency is just the reality of having different authors and different settings from which we have compiled these books we consider as Scripture...

I tend to believe the Bible - or more rightly, God's Word - IS consistently rational, but I have no need to make the words of our human-compiled Bible to be consistent. The Bible makes no such promises that "the Bible" will be consistent. Why must we?

On what basis?

Bubba said...

I didn't just mention God's revelation, Dan: I was quite clear in mentioning "the men through whom God spoke."

Moses, David, Isaiah; Peter, Paul, and John.

We don't just have our ability to reason and our consciences, the latter of which is arguably blasphemous to label as God's word written on our hearts (see Jer 17:9). God called specific human beings to serve as His prophets, to communicate His word through speaking and writing; and in His earthly ministry God Incarnate called hand-picked Apostles to teach in His name and with His authority.

According to their record of Jesus' teachings and their own, the Holy Spirit had a mission to guide and empower these Apostles, to recall to memory Christ's words on earth and to reveal what they were not then ready to hear, to seek out the depth of God's wisdom and even to guide the very words the apostles used to convey that wisdom to us. (See Jn 14:26, I Cor 2:6-13.)

"The Bible doesn't teach. It contains text which we can then prayerfully consider, meditate upon, contemplate and seek wisdom from, but 'teachings' come from us and our interpretations."

Your position seems to be that God's revelation THROUGH THE PROPHETS AND APOSTLES died with them: they didn't preserve their teaching in writing, there are no teachings contained in Scripture, and the only teachings that exist come from ourselves.

No doubt I'm guilty of misunderstanding you and painting your position in an unfair light, but I notice that you don't mention that we can find God's revelation to man in the Apostles' teachings which remain preserved in their writings. You didn't even mention the Bible at all in that comment.

And I suppose we are bound to lob accusations back and forth about whose guilty of strawman argumentation, but I notice that you don't address my point that NO ONE actually argues from Scripture as you describe, tallying passages that support each position and seeing which one has the greater total.

You could, of course, show that somebody actually does take this approach by citing his relevant arguments, by providing quotes, context, and links.

But if you don't do that at your own blog, where you feel quite free to summarize other views without any substantive support for the accuracy of that summary, I doubt you'd feel compelled to do so anywhere else.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Your position seems to be that God's revelation THROUGH THE PROPHETS AND APOSTLES died with them: they didn't preserve their teaching in writing, there are no teachings contained in Scripture, and the only teachings that exist come from ourselves.

Not what I said. Not what I believe.

[And, as an aside, if you have this much difficulty understanding my words, written today, what hope do you have of understanding these ancient words coming from a different time, language and culture?]

I do NOT believe God's revelation has died. I believe God STILL reveals God's will to us.

Do you disagree?

I do NOT believe the "teachings" come from ourselves. I believe that WHEN we interpret texts and then WE make a teaching based on our understanding, THAT teaching is OUR teaching. We may or may not have aligned it well with God's will, but it is NOT wise or humble to say, "MY understanding that I'm offering right now by way of a teaching is the same as God's Word..."

See the difference?

Bubba...

We don't just have our ability to reason and our consciences, the latter of which is arguably blasphemous to label as God's word written on our hearts (see Jer 17:9). God called specific human beings to serve as His prophets, to communicate His word through speaking and writing

I don't think God has stopped calling specific humans to serve as God's prophets and teachers, to communicate God's ideas to people today. Do you?

Bubba said...

"Jesus taught us to love our enemies while the oppressed psalmist who despaired of his people's oppression prayed that God would destroy the enemy, even bashing the heads of their babies against rocks - a seeming inconsistency."

Right, because Jesus never warned us about judgment -- about unquenchable fires, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the great tribulation where pregnant women and nursing mothers are to be pitied.

"I tend to believe the Bible - or more rightly, God's Word - IS consistently rational, but I have no need to make the words of our human-compiled Bible to be consistent."

It's incoherent and equivocating comments like this that validate my belief that you're willing to use dishonest means for dishonorable ends.

Here you suggest that the Bible and God's Word are equivalent and that you do believe the Bible "is consistently rational," but in THE VERY SAME SENTENCE you argue against the need for "our human-compiled Bible" to be consistent.

Are there two Bibles, one compiled by humans and one written by God? Where is this non-human-compiled Bible?

If you differentiate between the Bible and God's word, you ought not to treat them as synonyms in your writing, and you ought to be clear about your beliefs regarding the difference between the two.

"Does the Bible make any promises that 'the Bible' must be consistent?"

The Bible teaches both God's consistency and His authorship of Scripture; the consistency of God's written revelation follows quite naturally.

Again, look to Matthew's gospel: the same Evangelist who recorded Christ's command to love your enemy ALSO recorded His affirmation of Scripture's lasting authority to the smallest penstroke (in the same chapter, 5:18) and His attributing a passage of Scripture to God despite its not being labelled as God's spoken word (19:5).

Your attitude to Scripture is contrary to Christ's teachings and example and contrary to what Scripture affirms about itself: it doesn't matter that its affirmations do not fit your absurd, anachronistic, legalistic, and self-serving standards.

Bubba said...

Dan, you claim, "I don't think God has stopped calling specific humans to serve as God's prophets and teachers, to communicate God's ideas to people today."

That's funny, because I've been under the distinct impression that, if someone were to believe that God has clearly revealed His ideas to him, that person would be guilty of gross megalomania.

What's that sneer of yours? That's right, you don't confuse God with anybody else.

"I do NOT believe God's revelation has died. I believe God STILL reveals God's will to us."

That's not what I asked about, Dan. For the second time you've omitted my reference to a very particular means of revelation to make my criticism seem less reasonable than it is. You quoted where I put those means in all-caps -- the PROPHETS AND APOSTLES -- then dropped that distinction altogether.

"I believe God STILL reveals God's will to us."

Do you believe God still reveals His will to us THROUGH THE PROPHETS AND APOSTLES -- e.g., Moses, David, Isaiah, Peter, Paul and John?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Here you suggest that the Bible and God's Word are equivalent and that you do believe the Bible "is consistently rational," but in THE VERY SAME SENTENCE you argue against the need for "our human-compiled Bible" to be consistent.

Well whatever feelings you may have about my honesty are mistaken, so there again, perhaps you should not go on your feelings but on my words. Ask questions if you don't understand.

In what I wrote, I'm distinguishing between

God's Word - God's Will, that which God desires/wants/calls. This is beyond Scripture or the Bible and is best embodied in the Lord, Jesus, himself. "In the beginning God created the Word... and that Word is among us..." (going from memory) John tells us about Jesus.

Scripture - texts written by humans that humans have agreed are inspired by God and are useful for teaching, correction and understanding, as we find stated in the pages of the Bible.

The Bible - the Protestant Bible, compiled by humans, which HUMANS have agreed is "as Scripture" to us. God has not called the 66 books of the Protestant Bible "Scripture," (or other combinations of books, such as the Catholic Bible) that is a human creation/compilation. Now, I happen to agree with those humans who've compiled these 66 books, that they are "as Scripture" for us, and I treat them thusly.

But BECAUSE I treat them thusly, I am not willing to say "These 66 books are from God's Hand to ours..." or "God WROTE the 66 books of the Protestant Bible..." The Bible makes no such claim, "scripture" makes no such claim and I have no room to make that sort of claim on my own. It is a human compilation and with any human compilation, there is room for error and thus, there should be room for humility.

Teachings - human interpretations and human efforts at explaining God and God's ways. When we say, "Genesis 1:1 says 'in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.' we are quoting what Genesis 1:1 says. When we say, "...and that means that..." we have offered a HUMAN teaching. These teachings may be more or less aligned with God's Will, but they are HUMAN teachings.

Hope that helps you understand my actual position, my honest, sincere, actual position.

Bubba said...

Your position's clear as mud, Dan.

You write that Scripture is "texts written by humans that humans have agreed are inspired by God," but you don't make clear whether you believe these humans are right in that agreement. You say that you "agree" with those who recognize the Protestant canon as Scripture, but you don't make clear whether you think that their divine inspiration is an objective fact or just a human speculation.

And you're not clear what you mean about divine inspiration either.

You're unwilling to say that God authored Scripture, that they are "from God's Hand" or that God wrote them or (presumably) any other formulation that attributes the text a dual authorship of God and man.

Okay, so in what sense is Scripture "inspired by God," if its divine inspiration is indeed a fact of reality and not just a theory about which some HUMANS have agreed?

You say that you treat the Protestant canon as Scripture, but:

"But BECAUSE I treat them thusly, I am not willing to say 'These 66 books are from God's Hand to ours...' or 'God WROTE the 66 books of the Protestant Bible...' The Bible makes no such claim, 'scripture' makes no such claim and I have no room to make that sort of claim on my own."

Why do you have no room to make claims about Scripture that it doesn't make about itself, ESPECIALLY if Scripture is a merely human work?

Even though you say that now, I've seen you make LOTS of claims about Scripture that the text doesn't make for itself, how its genre is mythic, how it may contain revenge fantasies of ancient Israelites and how it doubtlessly contains evidence of Paul's bigotry.

What does seem to be clear is your belief that that the Bible is a MERELY human work, but you seem intent on obscuring that belief with jargon about its being inspired by God and your humble (and transparently insincere) unwillingness to make claims about it that it doesn't make for itself.

What do you mean by "inspired"? You don't say.

Why can't make you make claims about the text that it doesn't make for itself? You don't say.

But even as those very interesting questions go unanswered, your approach is clear enough in being a radical departure from the teachings and example of the Lord you claim to follow.

Maybe that's why you're only being as clear as you are.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

You write that Scripture is "texts written by humans that humans have agreed are inspired by God," but you don't make clear whether you believe these humans are right in that agreement.

I said, and I quote...

"Now, I happen to agree with those humans who've compiled these 66 books, that they are "as Scripture" for us, and I treat them thusly." Speaking of the 66 as Scripture, I would think it should be clear that I happen to think of Scripture "as Scripture," as well, but there you go, I've clarified the point for you.

Bubba...

You say that you "agree" with those who recognize the Protestant canon as Scripture, but you don't make clear whether you think that their divine inspiration is an objective fact or just a human speculation.

? Objective fact? We have no data to support such a claim. It is, brutally factually, an opinion which we can NOT prove. Thus, it is a subjective opinion on our part.

Now, IF we could ask God and get definitive clarification, it may be that we could say it is an objective fact. But when WE have zero hard evidence to support a claim, it is, by definition, a subjective opinion.

Do you have hard, measurable data to support a claim that this "inspiration" is an objective fact? If so, present it. If not, then can you admit that you have no such evidence and it is, as is manifestly obvious, a subjective opinion? It is, objectively, human speculation?

more...

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

You're unwilling to say that God authored Scripture, that they are "from God's Hand" or that God wrote them or (presumably) any other formulation that attributes the text a dual authorship of God and man.

? I am unwilling to say that it is a "fact" that God "authored" the Scriptures when

1. There is zero hard data to support that claim, and
2. Scripture itself makes no such claim of itself

...is that what you're asking? If so, then why yes, I am not willing to make a claim about Scripture or the Bible that the Bible does not make. Do you think it is a good thing to make such claims, absent any evidence or even a claim from the Bible itself?

Why?

What do I mean by "inspired..."?

Inspired, adj. "outstanding or brilliant in a way or to a degree suggestive of divine inspiration"

I mean just the English definition, Bubba. Paul (speaking apparently of OT texts, specifically) uses what appears to be a metaphorical phrase, "all scripture is God-breathed..." as a way to suggest the set apart, divine nature of these texts called Scripture. They are very cool, profitable, wise to a divine degree.

Just the English definition, Bubba, that's what I usually mean when I use a word (when I use words in non-standard ways, I tend to point it out and explain my meaning).

Bubba...

you're not clear what you mean about divine inspiration either.

? I mean as much as what Paul means, it would appear. I mean Scripture is inspired, wise to a divine degree, and therefore, useful for teaching, correction, etc. Naught else.

I don't mean, for instance, that God WROTE or CO-WROTE Scripture. If Paul had wanted to say that, Paul could have said something like, "All Scripture is written directly by God, using human hands..." But Paul didn't. So, I am unwilling to make a claim about the text with zero evidence to support that claim and when the text itself does not make that claim.

This seems reasonable to me, but it seems to be a point of ridicule, to you.

Do you not even see how it could APPEAR to many to be reasonable to not make claims about a text that the text has not made?

What if someone claimed that the book, Chicken Soup for the Soul contains incantations which can cause magic to happen? The author makes no such claim, the text makes no such claim, there is zero evidence to support the claim... Why would anyone assume something about ANY text that the text does not state itself and for which there is no evidence?

To that end...

Why do you have no room to make claims about Scripture that it doesn't make about itself, ESPECIALLY if Scripture is a merely human work?

Again, I don't generally make claims about any text that the text does not make itself. Why would I? And if I ever do, I am sure I will always make clear I'm offering an opinion for what it's worth.

Bubba said...

Dan:

Where does Genesis itself claim to have been written in a mythic style, since you don't generally make claims about a text that it doesn't make about itself?

How could a merely human text be wise "to a divine degree" if that text wasn't authored by God? Did Paul confuse himself with God?

You write that Paul used the phrase "God-breathed" "as a way to suggest the set apart, divine nature of these texts called Scripture" -- set apart by whom? And how can merely human texts have a divine nature?

You clarify that you treat Scripture "as Scripture," but you do not clarify whether you agree with those other unnamed humans that Scripture is inspired by God, nor are you clear about what you actually mean by the phrase.

About the objectivity of the claim that Scripture is authored by God, you write, "IF we could ask God and get definitive clarification, it may be that we could say it is an objective fact. But when WE have zero hard evidence to support a claim, it is, by definition, a subjective opinion."

If only we could ask God?

Or, barring that, if only God became a human being and drew a bright-line distinction between merely human traditions and divine commands, treating Moses' written text as equivalent to God's law.

If only!

But since he didn't, we're out of luck, even as devoted followers of a merely human first-century rabbi.

Dan Trabue said...

Some help with some questions to address when you get a chance...

1. Do you have hard, measurable data to support a claim that this "inspiration" is an objective fact?

If so, present it.

2. If not, then can you admit that you have no such evidence and it is, as is manifestly obvious, a subjective opinion? It is, objectively, human speculation?

3. Do you not even see how it could APPEAR to many to be reasonable to not make claims about a text that the text has not made?

4. I am not willing to make a claim about Scripture or the Bible that the Bible does not make. Do you think it is a good thing to make such claims, absent any evidence or even a claim from the Bible itself?

Why?


As to this question...

Where does Genesis itself claim to have been written in a mythic style, since you don't generally make claims about a text that it doesn't make about itself?

I have not claimed that Genesis 1 calls itself mythic. I say, "It appears, by all evidence, to be written in a mythic style."

The difference is, you appear to be saying that the Bible calls itself scripture when it doesn't (as opposed to saying something like, "It appears to me that we can reasonably assume the 66 books are the same thing as Scripture, which is what people used to call the texts of the OT...") or that "inspired" definitively means the same as "God wrote it..." as opposed to something like, "To me, I think a good way to consider the word 'inspired' as how Paul uses it is to say it is as if God wrote it God's Self..."

That is, the difference is you appear to be making an authoritative claim (where you have no such authority, not being the author) making a definitive claim as if it were an objective fact, not your own opinion.

I have no problem with you saying, "It is my opinion that 'inspired' in Timothy is the same as saying God wrote it... for what that opinion is worth..." Just don't make authoritative claims with no evidence and no claims to objective facts where you have no objective data to support it.

Dan Trabue said...

In case you're still not understanding me, I'll address this further...

"I tend to believe the Bible - or more rightly, God's Word - IS consistently rational, but I have no need to make the words of our human-compiled Bible to be consistent."

It's incoherent and equivocating comments like this that validate my belief that you're willing to use dishonest means for dishonorable ends.


That you fail to accurately understand what I am saying is not evidence of dishonesty on my part, but a failure to understand on your part and, perhaps, a failure to completely make myself clear (though, Lord knows I've tried) on my part.

Continuing, you said...

Here you suggest that the Bible and God's Word are equivalent and that you do believe the Bible "is consistently rational," but in THE VERY SAME SENTENCE you argue against the need for "our human-compiled Bible" to be consistent.

Are there two Bibles, one compiled by humans and one written by God? Where is this non-human-compiled Bible?


Just to repeat and illuminate further:

GOD'S WORD is what God wants, God's will, God's desire. As such, it is not contained in any collection of texts up to and including the Protestant (or other) Bibles.

"SCRIPTURES" are, in general, simply texts that are considered holy, set apart or sacred by some group of people. In our context, "Scriptures" specifically refers to OT texts. From there, Christians have added to those OT texts a collection of texts decided upon by humans as being "as Scripture," or "also Scripture."

Clearly, "Scripture" does not define itself as "the 66 books of the Protestant Bible." That is a fact. Also a fact: God has not told us what is and isn't "Scripture." Has not happened in the real world.

Since the collection we call "The Bible" does not define what books are considered Scripture, and since God has not told us specifically what books made the cut, it is a historical fact that HUMAN believers decided "THIS collection of books are what we consider to be Scripture." That is a matter of historical record.

Do you disagree?

There is no "non-human compiled Bible," but there is God's Word, which is simply God's Will, God's thoughts, God's desire which is not contained by a human text.

Humans have collected these writings and called them "scriptures," not the Bible, not God. That in no way diminishes the wonder and beauty of the Bible, any more than acknowledging that it rains sometimes in Portland diminishes Portland. It's just a fact.

By saying that I have no need to make a case that the collected 66 books MUST be consistent, I'm just acknowledging that there is no TEXTUAL reason to say this must be so, nor is there any rational reason to insist upon it.

If you have hard data to support the claim that it MUST be consistent, feel free to present it.

If your evidence is, "I think God inspiring Scripture is the same thing as God writing it, and I further think that God must be consistent, therefore, it is my opinion that the Bible would be consistent..." that's a fine opinion and has some merit, but it does not demand that the 66 be consistent. It's an opinion, for what it's worth.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

"[Genesis] appears, by all evidence, to be written in a mythic style."

Only to those who practice eisegesis. Funny how virtually every Christian for 2000 years, and virtually every Jew for 4000 year, thought it read as literal history - BY ALL EVIDENCE. There is absolutely NO evidence to suggest the writer meant it to be anything but literal history. Even Jesus referred to Genesis as literal, as did Paul. And if you do not have a literal Adam and Eve as the first humans, then you don't have a literal Fall.

Just making an assertion that Genesis read as myth does not make it so.

Dan Trabue said...

And just making an assertion that, "Many, many people have taken it to be a literal history..." is not evidence, either.

What IS evidence is looking AT the evidence:

In the time period that these stories emerged, people were NOT telling stories in the modern historic style, there is zero evidence of it happening.

Indeed, in this time period, people DID tell mythic and epic style stories. Just look at ALL the other literature from the time period.

The science does not support a literal reading.

Given the evidence, I have no reason to assume an appeal to tradition is sufficient.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Trabue, your "evidence" was nothing but assertions. People making such claims are only speculating because they don't want to accept the Bible as contrary evidence.

REAL science DOES support a literal reading. Fake evolutionism is built on speculations, assertions, and assumptions - sort of like the way YOU look at the Bible,

Again, a plain reading of the text shows it to be literal. Jesus and Paul both took it as literal. Even Peter took it as literal. But Trabue knows better and he knows better than Christians who taught the literal reading for 2000 years. Yep, Mr heretic Trabue, whose view of the Bible is as if it is just a work of fiction with some good advise.

Bubba said...

Dan, I wonder what other claims you would consider to be subjective opinion and not objective fact.

Is Jesus of Nazareth objectively, factually the Son of God, or is that just the church's opinion? If it's objective, what is your "hard, measurable data" to support the claim?

On the one hand, you claim, "I believe God STILL reveals God's will to us."

But on the other hand, we apparently cannot know what God's will is, because in the absence of "hard, measurable data" all that we believe is -- "manifestly obviously" and objectively mere "human speculation."

--

You still haven't answered my question, Do you believe God still reveals His will to us THROUGH THE PROPHETS AND APOSTLES -- e.g., Moses, David, Isaiah, Peter, Paul and John?

And you haven't made yourself any clearer on what you mean by affirming the divine inspiration of Scripture.

Earlier, you denied the Scripture's divine authorship while claiming that it SOMEHOW retains its divine nature and contains wisdom "to a divine degree."

Now?

You contrast the conclusion that God-breathed means God-authored to this gobbledygook, which may or may not be your own position.

"To me, I think a good way to consider the word 'inspired' as how Paul uses it is to say it is as if God wrote it God's Self..."

In which case, "God-breathed" isn't a metaphorical way to communicate that God authored Scripture: it's a MISLEADING way to communicate that He didn't.

There's plenty of evidence in the text itself that points to its divine authorship, including how Jesus Christ Himself approached Scripture in His teachings and in His example.

That ought to be enough for those who claim to follow Jesus and esteem His teachings.

Dan Trabue said...

Glenn...

Trabue, your "evidence" was nothing but assertions. People making such claims are only speculating because they don't want to accept the Bible as contrary evidence.

It's a fact that there are zero pieces of literature written in a modern history style from this time period known to exist. If you have one, all you have to do is provide and you can disprove my claim.

You never have because you can't. It doesn't exist, so far as we know.

You are the one making empty assertions, my statements are fact-based.

Zero modern history-style stories from this time period? Fact.

Literature from this time period written in an epic or mythic style? Fact.

Science does not support a 6,000 year old earth? Fact.

You can call these "mere assertions," but your assertions are mere assertions not supported by any evidence. Each of your assertions are simply your assertions, based on your cultural traditions, not on any hard evidence.

If you can provide some facts to support your unsupported claims, by all means, do so. Otherwise, thanks for your opinions.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Is Jesus of Nazareth objectively, factually the Son of God, or is that just the church's opinion? If it's objective, what is your "hard, measurable data" to support the claim?

We've been over this before. There are some things that MAY BE objective facts - there MAY BE actual aliens living on Mars, there MAY BE pink unicorns with purple horns, etc - BUT, if someone has no hard objective evidence to demonstrate it, then THE CLAIMS to these opinions are, by definition, subjective opinions.

Thus, it IS my and the church's subjective opinion that Jesus is the son of God. We have ZERO hard evidence to support the claim. We can not objectively prove our opinion to be a fact, so it is, by definition, a subjective opinion.

How is it not?

Now, I think that, unlike the purple unicorn and aliens on Mars, we WILL one day all see and learn that Jesus is factually the son of God, objectively so. But my claim, at this point, is a subjective opinion that I can not demonstrate objectively.

It's simple plain English, Bubba.

If you have hard evidence to support your claim, provide it. If not, the claim is by definition subjective and unprovable.

Bubba...

You still haven't answered my question, Do you believe God still reveals His will to us THROUGH THE PROPHETS AND APOSTLES -- e.g., Moses, David, Isaiah, Peter, Paul and John?

I haven't answered your question? Funny. Is there any plan in your future to answer my questions? The ones that point to holes in your arguments?

I have always been clear on this point: I believe that God is still speaking to us through a variety of ways: thru Scripture, thru creation, thru our God-given reasoning, thru God's Word written upon our hearts, thru the Holy Spirit. So, God IS still revealing God's will to us thru all these ways, including thru the words written by Moses, et al.

What of it?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Trabue,

It's a fact that there are zero pieces of literature written in a modern history style from this time period known to exist.

The BIBLE is a piece of literature written as literal history from that time period. You want more, and when you can't find any, you argue from silence to say since there are none, then the Bible can't be supported. Again, it boils down to YOUR low view of Scripture.

And who are you or anyone else to say literal history has to be written as we write it now? Bias, pure and simple.

REAL science DOES support a 6000 year old earth - FACT!

You are the one with mere opinions of man who rejects God. Heretic and spawn of Satan is who you are. You have a homosexual god.

Dan Trabue said...

Glenn...

The BIBLE is a piece of literature written as literal history from that time period. You want more

Begging the question, Glenn.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

No Trabue,

You beg the question by saying it ISN'T. You have decided that the Bible is not literal history, so you appeal to silence to prove that it isn't literal history. Yet for 4000 years it has been accepted and understood as literal history until the liberals like you who accept the devil's lies have decided that you can't have it to be literal or then you couldn't justify your love of perversion, etc.

You claim Genesis isn't literal history so you call Christ a liar, and you heretically say Adam and Eve are not literal, meany you have no literal sin. You have no Christian faith, as has been demonstrated over and over. And then you can't understand why I can truthfully say that you are not a Christian.

Dan Trabue said...

Glenn...

You have decided that the Bible is not literal history, so you appeal to silence to prove that it isn't literal history.

1. I have not decided that "the Bible" is not literal history. I've decided that parts of Genesis read like myth.

2. Pointing to these facts: a. the structure/style of the story, b. the time period from which it came, c. other literature from that same time period and d. that a literal interpretation would conflict with the sciences (not just evolutionary ideas, but many areas of science...) - pointing to these facts is not appealing to silence.

3. Your pointing to tradition and appealing that, "We know that historic literature existed in Genesis' time because Genesis IS historic literature..." are two rational errors.

Thanks for the thoughts, though.

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