Posted by TJH @ 2:05 pm on June 30th 2007

The Padded Room

Here is the place to put discussions that are off-topic of an existing thread, yet perhaps worthwhile in their own right.

The name indicates that you can afford to “bump your head” here without as much consequence as usual. Also, the padding will provide a little bit of insulation so the potential “din” does not interfere with the focussed discussion going on in the other rooms.

141 Comments »

  1. Well, I have been having a conversation with Turretin fan on his blog (which I have just posted the latest on my blog). I would appreciate it if I could get some verification that what I am saying is really representative of Van Til. (I am not asking for “back up in the argument”–I just want to make sure I’m not giving Turretinfan the wrong impression and false ammo to other Clarkians. A simple “yes” or “no” would be sufficient.)

    Comment by JonathanB — June 9, 2007 @ 4:09 pm

  2. JonathanB (#17) — I’ll try to get the maestro to answer your question. But if you have time and inclination, it might be helpful for him (and me) if you could give a brief summary of T-fan’s thesis and your counter, here. It’s kinda hard to jump into the middle of someone else’s rather lengthy dialogue.

    Comment by TJH — June 9, 2007 @ 10:07 pm

  3. Debate 1: T-Fan had been arguing that proof is persuasion of a sound argument. I was arguing that proof can simply be a sound argument but that I can accept his definition without compromising my thesis that God can be objectively proven because in a sense, all men know the God and therefore are persuaded of the truth of it (though they supress the truth in unrighteousness).

    A second debate arose concerning circularity: I mentioned John Frame’s justification of certain kinds of circular arguments when it comes to one’s ultimate commitment. T-Fan rejects this as fallacious reasoning and believes that the presupposition (which he equates with an axiom) can only be asserted. I, in return, have argued that an assertion that cannot have self-attesting authority, by the nature of the fact that it is the ultimate authority, is an unfounded claim and is therefore arbitrary. T-fan has argued that an unfounded claim is better than a circular argument but I have argued that this is not true because we do not advocate the validity of all circles but only in relation to an ultimate commitment and that even then, the ultimate commitment must be verified transcendentally. Thus, this valid form of circularity does not reduce the whole system to allowing any kind of circular arguments where as T-fan’s allowing arbitrariness into his system has no guidlines to keep arbitrariness from taking over the entire system.

    So that is the gist of the argument. Have I been misrepresenting Van Tilinism?

    P.S. If anyone wishes to view the argument in full they can click on T-fan’s link in the first reply in this thread which leads to the first debate over the nature of proof. On his website you will find the second debate on circularity above the former. I have responded to the his criticism on my own blog and tried to post a link to it on his website but he has yet to publish the link… either way, one can simply click on my name at the bottom which will take you to the response I have posted.

    Comment by JonathanB — June 10, 2007 @ 3:06 pm

  4. [Note to readers: in the following, when I refer to “T-fan’s definition” etc., that is meant as shorthand for “Jonathan’s statement of what T-fan’s definition is” without prejudice for or against T-fan's agreement.]

    Jonathan — excellent summary. Exactly what was needed. I’m generally on board with your presentation.

    re debate 1:

    a. I don’t think T-fan’s definition of proof will fly, unless it becomes a useless word. You could not present a “proof” in a book on geometry, since you don’t know if the reader will be persuaded. But if calling it “proof” only declares the author’s own persuasion, how wd that differ from him saying, “this is a sound argument”?

    I think “proof” is a broader, not narrower concept than “sound argument.” That is, all sound arguments are proofs, but not all proofs are sound arguments. But this is more of a linguistic question, not a logical one.

    b. A clarification wd be needed on the function of men already knowing God, and thus being persuaded. There is a difference between being persuaded of a conclusion, and of the argument to get there.

    Suppose you are trying to prove to your conversation partner that 7+5=12. The premises all seem true, and the logic faultless; yet your partner is unpersuaded. Yet he grants that 7+5=12.

    Then have you met T-fan’s standard of “proof”? I think not.

    However, your comment I think is correct in the case of the transcendental argument, if the transcendental argument is an explication of both the form and the content of the sensus divinitatis; I am inclined to think this is so.

    I’ll add a comment on debate #2 later.

    I’m sure MB will also weigh in on this later in the week, though possibly on a different thread. We’re getting a bit off of Clark and science.

    Comment by TJH — June 11, 2007 @ 7:06 am

  5. For what it’s worth my position is not “proof is persuasion of a sound argument.”

    In fact, I would reject that definition for much the same reasons that TJH does.

    This situation, however, illustrates the value of interacting with the author instead of the author’s critic.

    A full discussion is available on my blog, and speaks for itself. I would, of course, welcome any comments from yourself, TJH, on my actual position presented there.

    Comment by TurretinFan — June 11, 2007 @ 9:06 am

  6. re the “second debate,” I too tend to see the adoption of “axioms” without a reason as mere fideism, and unable to oppose, say, a Muhammedan’s similar move. In my mind this is a serious defect of clarkism. The “reasons” we offer are of course resting on and dependant on the principium of revelation, are not self-attesting, and so on; therein lies the “circularity.” It is analogous to “proving” the validity of logic. This is the nature of what it means to have creaturely knowledge.

    Anyway, I’m just the fill-in guy; I think the Meistersinger will weigh in on these matters soon; hold tight.

    Comment by TJH — June 11, 2007 @ 6:06 pm

  7. T-fan — your statement in (Clark on Science) #17, “The law of God encompasses sins of ignorance” — did you mean by that, that one is, or is not, held liable (sinful) for a violation of the law done from ignorance?

    Comment by TJH — June 16, 2007 @ 7:35 am

  8. Thanks for the opportunity to clarify.

    I meant that sins of ignorance are still sins, and (while less heinous) have the usual ramifications of sin.

    Naturally, the substitutionary work of Christ prevents the elect from being held liable on the judgment day (from any and all sins).

    I think that’s more or less the standard WCF explanation, and I assume you agree on that.

    Comment by TurretinFan — June 16, 2007 @ 10:46 am

  9. T-fan, I was going somewhere else with this. I was wondering if the “no empirically certain knowledge” thesis would have any ethical implications, say, if Adam had not fallen. It would seem, then, that it would always be possible to violate the law of God due to inescapable empirical uncertainty. Yet it would not be a “fall” in the self-conscious sense. Would this follow from your or Clark’s view?

    Comment by TJH — June 16, 2007 @ 4:38 pm

  10. I’m not sure where you’re going with this, but I’ll try to just answer the question.

    We could imagine a scenario in which the serpent removes a fruit from the tree and mixes it in with the rest of the fruit Adam had already picked for the day.

    The next morning before dawn, Adam just grabs a fruit off the top of the basket for a quick burst of morning energy … and the letter of the law is certainly violated.

    It didn’t transpire that way, but I suppose it hypothetically could have. God, however, in His providence arranged for the fruit to be consumed with knowledge that it was the forbidden fruit.

    Comment by TurretinFan — June 18, 2007 @ 8:49 am

  11. I for one ask that the Clarkians deduce every single one of the statements they’ve made in this combox from Scripture, or else admit that they’re just offering their mere opinion.

    I also find it funny that they say people have misunderstood Clark. I would ask that Clark’s “correct view” be deduced from Scripture, otherwise you all don’t know that Tim has “misunderstood” Clark, now do you? To say that presupposes that you *do* “understand” Clark, this implies that Tim et al do not and thus you must know that you do and they don’t. If you do know this, please deduce it. Otherwise, just admit that in your opinion Clark says X.

    Comment by John Calvin — June 21, 2007 @ 12:06 pm

  12. TF,
    “Scripture tells us that the sun is hot (Isaiah 49:10 and James 1:11). Science says the same thing. Therefore, Science is right.”

    Well, this presupposes that they were speaking literally. How do you *know* that the writers were? If you do, deduce this from Scripture. Secondly, how do you know that “science says this?” Can you deduce that from Scripture? Can’t get very far with simpleton valid syllogisms. Anyone can pump those out of the mental factory. Big deal.

    All eagles are birds.

    God is an eagle.

    Therefore God is a bird.

    See, valid syllogisms don’t really get you that far. If my premises are false, then so what I have a valid argument?

    So, you need to deny Clark epistemology to argue for Clark’s epistemology.

    That’s kind of like TAANC – transcendental argument against the non-existence of Clark.

    Indeed, how do you even know Clark existed? Can it be deduced from Scripture?

    Comment by John Calvin — June 21, 2007 @ 12:07 pm

  13. JC,

    Your conclusion proves the absurdity of trying to argue like a Van Tillian. Thank you for the demonstration.

    Of course, I take the truth of Scripture as a presupposition. I can deduce that the sun’s heat is being described “literally” from Scripture.

    I don’t have to claim to “know” what Science says – it is enough that you and I can agree that Science says that – i.e. that we take it as a given for the purposes of our conversation. In other words, for the sake of conversation, that too is a presupposition. Are you unwilling to accept that proposition as a presupposition for the conversation? If someone was, the conversation would shift, and the simple (not “simpleton”) syllogism would have to be put on hold.

    The conclusion, of course, follows from the premises.

    I don’t “know” Clark existed using Clark’s extremely high standard for knowledge, and I don’t need to. Simply showing that I don’t have the same level of confidence in Clark’s existence as I do in Christ’s is not equivalent to proving Clark’s non-existence.

    One point you raised in your comments is true, but totally irrelevant: if the premises are false, then the logical conclusion is not necessarily true. That’s an accurate statement of logic, but totally irrelevant to the present conversation.

    Comment by TurretinFan — June 21, 2007 @ 1:06 pm

  14. TF,

    And of course you don’t know that my conclusion proves the absurdity of trying to argue like a Van Tillian, do you? It’s just your mere opinion, isn’t it?

    I see you *assert* that the sun’s heat is being spoken of literally, but you don’t know that, do you? Sure you can “presuppose it,” but whopp-dee-doo. Then I can prove God is a bird by “presupposing” that it is speaking literally? No. So, just “presupposing” anything willy-nilly is a bit unwise. And, of course you don’t even know that Scripture says “sun.” That word could be “oven,” and so your eyes are tricking you. How would you know otherwise?

    So, no free lunches. I want to know how the Clarkian doesn’t commit epistemological suicide every time he opens his mouth. Your saying “just grant me that I know what the Bible says,” sems like the evolutionist asking me to grant him that “life evolved from non-life just once,” and then he’ll show me how everything else follows. Like Tim said above, “of where one cannot speak, one should be silent.”

    You don’t know Clark existed, and you don’t know he had a high standard of knowledge, either. That’s another mere opinion. Also, you don’t know that you don’t need to know. So that was another opinion. A mere assertion. Why do you expect “Van Tillians” to grant you your unjustified opinions? Is it because it’s “absurd” to reason like us so you think you can pass assertions on as substantive answers and we won’t “get it” because we’re “absurd.”

    You don’t know that Clark existed, that’s right. But, you also don;t know that eh should have been ordained because you don’t know if he was a man. You don;t even know if you’re a man, how much more then do you not know that Clark is?

    I mean, you don’t even know that Scripturalism is the case! If all knowledge is either found in Scripture, or able to be deduced from Scripture, then since *that proposition* cannot be deduced from Scripture, you don’t know it! So, the Scripturalist can’t even know his own Scripturalist package. Thus it looks like you have in-house problems in your backyard that needf cleaning before you tell me to clean up my own backyard.

    Comment by John Calvin — June 22, 2007 @ 10:07 am

  15. Dear Tim, Keith, and JC,

    I’ve responded here), in a single, rather lengthy post to your collective responses.
    Nevertheless, I took a temporary (DV) pass on your (Tim’s) request to deal specifically with Clark’s book.

    There seems to be much glee associated with using Clark’s definition of “know” in the context of epistemology in other contexts.

    Doing so produces absurd results: like that Clark does not “know” that he went to seminary or that Van Til opposed his ordination.

    A similar absurd result is obtained by applying the Physics definition of “work” to the job of a librarian, and concluding that an excellent librarian does no work over the course of the year, because all the tomes are in the same position at the end of the year as they were at the beginning of the year.

    Such games can amuse those with a sense of humor by relying on implicit equivocation. They can also confuse the witless, who will think upon such demonstration that Clark is looney and Physicists, deranged.

    Reader Beware!

    Comment by TurretinFan — June 22, 2007 @ 1:07 pm

  16. TF,

    Unfortunately you missed gthe substance behind my comments and made some minor responses.

    You also assume way too much. let’s look at your answer to 7:

    I charged you with at least (a) holding a self-referentially incoherent position if you say that you *know* the Scripturalist package, and (b) at least complete agnosticism w/ regard to the Scripturalist package – thus leaving us wondering just *what* possible *positive* epistemic status it holds.

    Now, you responded that the Scripturalist package is just *sola Scriptura.*

    Sorry, no free lunches. I mean, you’re free to *define* sola Scriptura as meaning “nothing can be known by humans unless it is a proposition stated in Scripture, or deducible from Scripture,” but then I can just as easily *define* it, along with 99% of all the other reformers who have defined it as such, this way: Scripture is the *standard* of life, doctrine, practice.

    Indeed, if *sola Scriptura* is defined as “all human knowledge is either directly stated in Scripture or able to be deduced from Scripture,” then I maintain that you cannot *know* that this is what sola Scriptura means!

    The traditional reformed definition is:

    WCF 1:X

    “The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.”

    So, you don’t even appear to understand the traditional definition of *sola Scriptura,* but you also have, if you’re correct, given us a position which cannot be known.

    This is one of the many problems of Scripturalism. It not only destroys things that are *paradigm instances* of knowledge (e.g., say memorial beliefs about having had eggs for breakfast), it rules *itself* out as an item of knowledge.

    best,

    John Calvin

    Comment by John Calvin — June 22, 2007 @ 8:07 pm

  17. JC,

    The only things we can know with the highest confidence are the things that God himself reveals. That is the reason behind the use of Scripture as the supreme judge.

    Once you’ve grasped that, the rest should fall into place for you, as long as you commit yourself to abandon your consistent implicit equivocation over the words “know” and “knowledge.”

    So far, I don’t see you doing that.

    Comment by TurretinFan — June 23, 2007 @ 9:06 am

  18. TF,

    The only things we can know with the highest confidence are the things that God himself reveals. That is the reason behind the use of Scripture as the supreme judge.”

    (a) Unfortunately for you, you don’t ‘know’ what you just said.

    (b) Even if this is granted, you’ve pretty much destroyed Clark (or, perhaps more correctly, his contemporary followers). Even granting what you said, you seem to allow for extra-biblical knowledge, but that knowledge is not known as “confidently” as other things.

    (c) Even with Scripture, you don’t really *know,* with that “high degree of confidence” that it says what you think. You simply dogmatically posit that it means X, but since you can’t deduce the *meaning* then you don;t have a “high degree of confidence” in knowledge that it means what you think it means.

    (d) The reason for Scripture as judge is that Gid is always right and so we should never have a philosophy, religious view, ethical view, etc., that is in conflict with Scripture. That does not translate to “there is no extra-biblcail knowlegde.”

    Once you’ve grasped that, the rest should fall into place for you, as long as you commit yourself to abandon your consistent implicit equivocation over the words “know” and “knowledge.””

    I don’t see how I equivocate. I have only used the term the same throughout. That is, the Clarkian has told me that “Knowledge consists of propositions either directly stated in Scripture, or else beliefs deduced from Scripture; all else is unjustified opinion.” That’s a direct quote from fellow Clarkian, Vincent Cheung. And so I take 8that* definition and maintain that your belief in Scripturalism is “unjustified opinion.”

    I didn’t know that Clarkians had different kinds of knowledge, epistemologically speaking. Are you saying that I can have epistemic knowledge of what I ate for breakfast this morning? If so, I commend you, you’d be the first Clarkian to grant me that.

    Comment by John Calvin — June 25, 2007 @ 11:01 am

  19. JC wrote “I don’t see how I equivocate.”Therein seems to lie the problem.

    I’ll give it one more, probably last, shot.

    You implicitly conflate “knowledge” in the epistemic sense (i.e. things we know with absolute certainty) with “knowledge” in the ordinary sense (i.e. things that we reasonably believe to be true).

    If you understand the difference, then your objection (a) is as silly as the criticism of the librarian for laziness, because she does not do “work,” (b) evaporates, (c) is a false statement, and (d) evaporates as well.

    Since you don’t seem inclined to render your arguments univocal, I’m not inclined to treat them in much depth.

    Comment by TurretinFan — June 25, 2007 @ 11:06 am

  20. T-fan: But I think you set your opponent up to be charged with equivocation by your own highly idiosyncratic definition of “knowledge,” which yet does not prevent you from continuing to use the same word for “opinion.”

    I think it would help to avoid misunderstanding if you would choose different terms for these different categories, then in the future stick with them. For example, you should say, (picking up on Cal-fan’s point [a]) “My uncertain opinion is that the only things we can know are the things that God himself reveals.” Adapting Cal-fan’s (c), you should say, “I have the uncertain opinion that Scripture teaches P, and also the uncertain opinion that if Scripture teaches P, then P can be known.”

    And so forth.

    (BTW somewhere you hastily assumed that Cal-fan is a vantillian; however, last time we heard from him, he was not vantillian. Always dangerous to assume!)

    Comment by TJH — June 25, 2007 @ 12:43 pm

  21. In other words, I think you set yourself up to be taken equivocally, and you should really assume the burden to explain your position in a way that reduces the chance of confusing your two very different uses of the same word.

    Comment by TJH — June 25, 2007 @ 12:49 pm

  22. TF,

    I don’t conflate the two and you have nowhere shown where I have.

    What I have done is point out that on Clark’s system you can’t know very much, including the system’s own strictures on knowledge!

    So, enter your two definition:

    a) episetmic sense – things known with certainty.

    b) ordinary sense – things reasonably believed to be true.

    Now, despite the fact that I reject (a) as the “epistemic sense of ‘know.’” I’ve been meaning that sense – your sense; in that sense you don’t have *epistemic* warrant for Scripturalism.

    Secondly, I don’t even understand (b). How does a Scripturalist say that he can “reasonably believe X is true?” What are the “reasons?” Scripturalists say, “induction is a fallacy.” If I “reasonably” believe X am I justified (or warranted) in believing X? Then, if true, wouldn’t I “know” it? Most Scripturalists I’ve talked to hold to JTB.

    Anyway, do you “know” that Scripturalism is the case in sense (a) or in sense (b)? I maintain that on *both* grounds you don’t “know” it.

    I mean, sure, you can avoid the discussion by imputing to me all sorts of epistemic sins, but you’ve not really interacted in any substantive way with what I’ve said.

    Again: The Scripturalist thesis either is self-referentially incoherent if one claims that he knows it. Or, it has no positive epistemic status – it can’t be known but one still believes it. And, it’s not “reasonably” believed to be true. It’s not stated in Scripture. No valid argument can be given. And, at best, you can try to develope an inductive case for it, but we all know what Clark thinks of that!

    Tim,

    I am a Van Tillian, just not a TAGster.

    Comment by John Calvin — June 28, 2007 @ 9:25 pm

  23. Dear JC,

    I’m not a big fan of the term “Scripturalist” because I’m not sure what it is intended to mean. Please allow me a second to clarify, and then we’ll see where your criticism interacts with the position presented.

    First, for the purposes of clarification, when I speak of knowing something with absolute certainty, rather than use the word “know,” I’ll use all caps (i.e. KNOW). If I don’t use all caps, I am using the term in accordance with its ordinary use.

    Second, the fundamental presupposition of my point of view is that God has revealed Himself truthfully and clearly in Scripture. I KNOW this to be true.

    Third, I KNOW from Scripture that reason and senses are generally (though not infallibly) trustworthy. Skipping several steps to be concise, I KNOW that I can reasonably believe things to be true – ergo – I KNOW I can know.

    I invite you to link your criticism regarding incoherence/apositivity to the explanation above. I don’t see the connection, but perhaps I’ve overlooked something. Or perhaps my only objection to the criticism is that it sounds pejorative … I’ll wait and see what connection you make.

    Comment by TurretinFan — June 29, 2007 @ 10:38 am

  24. A funny thing happened to me on the way to Doug Wilson’s blog. There I was tussling away with the FVer’s over there and who is right there next to me with saber unfurled, but Tim Harris. THE TIM HARRIS!

    Now how odd is that! It’s like a good ex-Vantilian friend of mine used to say while he was still a Van Tilian; “you can’t pick your family members.” Attacks on the gospel have a funny way of demonstrating who your real brothers and sisters are.

    So, my two-cents at this point (seeing that Tim and I have called a truce). My very strong guess is JC above is none other than Paul Manata. What was that old saying about a duck? Not that it wasn’t obvious from the first post, but the “I am a Van Tillian, just not a TAGster” really clinched it. I could of course be wrong (which is no sweat, I’m a Scripturalist after all), but if I were to hazard a guess . . . .

    Regardless, JC wrongly cites WCF X:X as defining sola Scriptura.

    He writes: “The traditional reformed definition is: WCF 1:X.”

    Yet, 1:X has to do with the finality of Scripture in arbitrating between parties in controversies, disputes over councils, opinions of “ancient writes,” etc. Not really a definition of sola Scriptura, but I can see why he would cite this portion of the Confession in support of his view since, in isolation, it would seem to permit the advancement and acceptance of knowledge from other sources apart from Scripture.

    However, I would submit sola Scriptura is defined in WCF I:VI:

    I:6. The Sufficiency of Scripture

    The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.

    Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are
    revealed in the word; and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human
    actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the word,
    which are always to be observed.

    I can see why JC Manata would not want this to function as a definition for sola Scriptura because it sounds very much like something Gordon Clark would espouse and defend as the centerpiece of his epistemic and philosophic framework. Not surprising, it is and Clark refers to his view as an application of “The Westminster Principle” and he very much has WCF 1:6 in mind (see http://www.trinityfoundation.org/new_article.php?id=1)

    For the Confession, and for Clark, the authoritative sufficiency of Scripture extends to “all things necessary for [God's] own glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life” — nothing is excluded — and the principle of sola scriptura is not limited in authority or scope to some narrow “religious” sphere or as a referee in religious disputes, though the Scriptures are that as well. After all, are we not commanded to take *every* thought captive to the obedience of Christ, which would include our many opinions including our scientific ones.

    Interestingly, the whole verse reads; “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ . . . .” Who could possibly deny that modern science, arguably above all else, has exalted itself against the knowledge of God? Surely there have been other challengers in the past and are even some today, but I would argue few have been as successful as the claims made by modern science.

    I would also like to note, the real John Calvin who is the father of “Reformed tradition” wrote: “I call that knowledge, not what is innate in man, nor what is by diligence acquired, but what is revealed to us in the Law and the Prophets.” Again, a view Clark very much endorsed.

    Finally, just for the record, I believe the name Scripturalist was coined by Dr. Robbins. At one time Clark called his own view dogmatism among other things. I recall Clark saying somewhere that he didn’t really care what someone called his system, provided they correctly understood what he meant. Scriptualism was chosen to avoid some of the connotations associated with labels like dogmatism.

    Comment by Sean Gerety — June 29, 2007 @ 1:06 pm

  25. Sean,

    Good call!

    If this post is not by the same person that is posting under the pseudonym “John Calvin,” above, I’d encourage JC to get in touch with Manata, since they appear so like-minded.

    Comment by TurretinFan — June 29, 2007 @ 5:07 pm

  26. TF,

    If your position is not that of Gordon Clark and John Robbins and Gary Crampton and Vincent Cheung and Sean Gerety, then I don’t have a critique – at least not one I want to spend time dealing with now:

    **********

    Robbins summarizes his and Clark’s position: “Epistemology: The Bible tells me so… Scripturalism does not mean, as some have objected, that we can know only the propositions of the Bible. We can know their logical implications as well… Now, most of what we colloquially call knowledge is actually opinion: We “know” that we are in Pennsylvania; we “know” that Clinton – either Bill or Hillary – is President of the United States, and so forth. Opinions can be true or false; we just don’t know which. History, except for revealed history, is opinion. Science is opinion. Archaeology is opinion. John Calvin said, “I call that knowledge, not what is innate in man, nor what is by diligence acquired, but what is revealed to us in the Law and the Prophets.” Knowledge is true opinion with an account of its truth.

    It may very well be that William Clinton is President of the United States, but I do not know how to prove it, nor, I suspect, do you. In truth, I do not know that he is President, I opine it.
    **********
    **********
    Sean’s friend on the puritan board: “Yes, from a Scripturalist worldview, if a proposition can not be deduce from Scripture, then we can’t “know” if it’s true or false.”
    **********
    **********
    Gerety says knowledge is limited to: “that which can be known to Scripture and all those things necessarily deducible from Scripture.”
    **********
    **********
    Vincent Cheung: “”All knowledge comes from biblical propositions and their necessary implications”
    ***********
    Gary Crampton in his review of Reymond shows his disagreement: “And more than once he refers to knowledge being justified by means of history and experience (478, 678), whereas Scripture alone is the sole means of justifying knowledge,…”
    **********
    And so TF, if you agree with the above, *then on those terms,* you don’t “know” Scripturalism. You only, following Robbins, “opine” it.

    So, if you want to maintain your public disagreement with Robbins, Crampton, Cheung, Gerety, Gerety’s friend, et al., be my guest! As Sean said above, “you can’t pick your family.” So, if you’re saying they’re all wrong, then I don’t have a bone to pick with you. Perhaps Sean will have something to say.

    Sean,

    You says that this is the definition of sola Scriptura:

    “The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.”
    Okay, but this says NOTHING about knowing, say, that I had eggs for breakfast. It simply says that everything necessary THAT GOD HAS TO TELL US on matters of glorifying God, salvation, faith, and life, is “either expressly set down in scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from scripture
    .”

    Is it “necessary” that I know that I had eggs for breakfast? I don’t think so. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t know that! You can’t squeeze the Scripturalist juice out of the fruit of the confession that you’re trying to, not even with your juicer!

    This section in the confession does not say that “all knowledge is either expressly set down in Scripture or deducible from it.”

    I have asked for the claims like those I quoted above to be either expressly shown in Scripture or deduced from Scripture. You know, something like

    (x)(Ax –> ~Bx)
    Bc
    Ac –> ~Bc
    ~Ac

    that.

    That’s what a deduction would look like. Just include plug in the instances.

    So, either show me the Scripturalist package explicitly from, say, II Opinions 3:27, or show me the deductions from I and II Opinions.

    If you can’t, then you don’t “know it.” It is, therefore, simply OPINED. That’s not MY conclusion, that was what ROBBINS said.

    Blessings.

    John Calvin

    Comment by John Calvin — June 29, 2007 @ 9:06 pm

  27. Paul Manata writes:

    Okay, but this says NOTHING about knowing, say, that I had eggs for breakfast. It simply says that everything necessary THAT GOD HAS TO TELL US on matters of glorifying God, salvation, faith, and life, is “either expressly set down in scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from scripture.”

    It is true, WCF 1:6 says nothing about knowing, unless of course how and what one can know pertains to glorifying God and all of life. Me thinks it does and very much so. The Scriptures also agree. Jesus said; “I am the way, the truth, and the life” and Paul (not Manata) adds, in Christ are hid ALL the treasures of knowledge. Who should we believe? Paul Manata, who is more concerned with knowing he had eggs for breakfast than with how a man might come to the knowledge of the truth? I’ll stick with the Scriptures which are a light in a very dark place and the Confession as an accurate summation of what the Scriptures teach.

    FWIW I think I had Grape Nuts this morning. Or was that yesterday morning? Or did I skip breakfast entirely yesterday and had a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit from Burger King the day before? Sometimes the days all bleed together. However, God’s word is the same yesterday, today and forever, amen.
    Paul Manata writes concerning knowing what he had for breakfast: “Is it “necessary” that I know that I had eggs for breakfast? I don’t think so. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t know that!”

    Indeed it does mean you “don’t know that” if you cannot provide a rational account for what you claim you know. Who are you that your mere assertion counts for anything? I thought the Creator/creature distinction had a special place in the hearts of all Vantilians? Evidently not yours. You say you had eggs, how do I know? Maybe you were dreaming? Maybe you’re lying? Maybe it is true? Maybe like me you had Grape Nuts instead and just forgot? By what method do you determine which thoughts that pop into your head are true and which are false? Can you appeal to Scripture to arbitrate such controversies in your own mind per WCF 1:10? I don’t see how? Or can we be content not knowing somethings in order that we might grab hold of what we can know and by God’s grace?

    I’m just happy I found an unexpected compatriot in the fight against the FV heretics corrupting the simplicity of the Gospel like Doug Wilson, Steve Wilkins, Peter Leithart, just to name three top dogs among many. Maybe if Paul Manata would spend more time worrying about the truth of the Gospel under attack than his runny eggs, and had a epistemological reason for doing so, perhaps I could say the same for him.

    Peace . . . or maybe not.

    Comment by Sean Gerety — June 29, 2007 @ 10:06 pm

  28. Quick question for Manata:

    Gary Crampton in his review of Reymond shows his disagreement: “And more than once he refers to knowledge being justified by means of history and experience (478, 678), whereas Scripture alone is the sole means of justifying knowledge,…”

    Sounds like Crampton is very much in agreement with Gerety here. Am I missing something? Sounds to me like Gary and Gerety are on the same page.

    Comment by Sean Gerety — June 29, 2007 @ 11:07 pm

  29. Sean,

    With regards to 72. I notice AGAIN that you refuse to do what was asked of you. If you’re right, it should be no problem to show me the verse(s) or the logical deduction of your Scripturalist package. Instead you quote some verses, minus any serious exegesis, and simply proof text your way into the winners circle. Of course one of the problems is that you’ve nowhere exegeted Colossians 2 and shown that Paul’s specific response to the Gnostic heresy means “all knowledge is either deducible from Scripture, or explicitly stated.” And, it is not even close to being obvious that the phrase “All knowledge is hid in Christ” (whatever that means, oh, yeah, all means all, just like the Arminians always say) means, “All knowledge is either directly stated in Scripture or deducible from Scripture.” And, you’ve not shown any contradiction between knowing what I had for breakfast, though not deducible from Scripture, is not “hid” in Christ. I’d recommend some basic books in exegetical skills. This kind of reasoning is rather embarrassing for the Calvinists who are supposed to be the ones with the great logical and exegetical skills. Now, maybe in Roman Catholic circles the mere say-so of the pope is enough to force people to accept the interpretation, but you should know that Van Tillians are protestants, Sean. Just telling me that Colossians 2 means X doesn’t mean that Colossians 2 means X. You do recognize the difference, right? And, if you respond, please deduce *the meaning* of Colossians 2 from Scripture. If I don’t see the logical deduction of the *meaning,* then I will be forced to believe that you are merely *opining* its meaning and trying to force a mere unjustified *opinion* on me.

    Another problem is your infallibilist constraint you’ve placed on knowledge. Unfortunately for you, this is another one of your doctrines which you cannot “deduce” from Scripture. So, your above strictures on knowledge render your constraints mere opinion. Tell me, Sean, why should I accept your mere opinions?

    Lastly, in regards to #73, I’m afraid your eyes and your cognitive faculties – the area responsible for understanding other people’s language – are showing themselves to be quite unreliable; you’d bring a tear to Gordon’s eye for empirically demonstrating that our senses and our reasoning faculties are untrustworthy. For you see, Sean, I never said Crampton was not in agreement with Gerety. I said he shows his disagreement with Reymond. Robert, that is. I don’t know why you’d think Gary would mention you in his critique of Robert Reymond? Or, perhaps you were under the impression that Reymond mentions Gerety in his acclaimed systematic theology textbook? I don’t remember seeing that, but of course when he writes what appears to be the letters “B-A-V-I-N-C-K,” I could, due to my most unreliable eyesight, be confusing those letters for the reall letters: “G-E-R-E-T-Y?” Wow, big time, Sean Gerety is mentioned in Robert Reymond’s systematic theology text book. I mean, how would any of us know otherwise? I mean, you don’t even know that you exist, do you? You can’t deduce that from Scripture, can you? Perhaps you’re a robot, how would you know otherwise? And, since Christ only died for men, and you may be a robot, then you don’t know that Christ died for you, do you? And, if you say you can’t know, but can have assurance, the problem there is that only men can have assurance, and for all you know, you’re a cleverly constructed robot from Alpha Centauri.

    Blessings,

    John Calvin

    Comment by John Calvin — June 30, 2007 @ 2:06 am

  30. Yes (to #24), Sean and I found ourselves, willy nilly, fighting on the same side. I learned something about internet communications — the ease of mistaking tone — through it all. (Let everyone learn from our mistake.) And his passionate denial of my inferences convinced me beyond all doubt that the error (if error it was) was inadvertant.

    Comment by TJH — June 30, 2007 @ 8:16 pm

  31. Let me also add my 2 cents on this cloak-and-dagger stuff about “who is the real ‘John Calvin.'”

    First, I do dislike the use as alias of a name that will commonly be looked to as an authority in our circles. It only adds to confusion since one then has to say “John Calvin (the person using this alias) is wrong when he says…” or “John Calvin (the real one) said…”

    So Cal-fan, consider changing your moniker; though I am not going to do anything more about it than plead.

    Now, on the other hand, why this excitement about outing the real man? This foursome has two clarkians and two vantillians. One guy from each team uses an alias, and one uses his real name. I would prefer that everyone use his real name, but if you don’t, I assume you have a good reason. So why all the cloak-and-dagger exposure?

    Comment by TJH — June 30, 2007 @ 8:22 pm

  32. I’ve often wondered about this to. Why an alias? If you want a fantasy life, go to secondlife.com. Calvin and Turretin are dead; if one wants to honor them, then they may perpetuate their teachings and emulate their best traits. But they should do as real persons with real names. I make it a point not to interact with folks who hide their real identity. It’s immature, and cheap.

    Comment by Joshua — June 30, 2007 @ 9:28 pm

  33. Ouch. That’s a little too harsh. I was trying to thread the needle more subtly on both sides.

    Comment by TJH — June 30, 2007 @ 10:15 pm

  34. JC,

    None of the quotations you provided conflicts with my own presentation of Clark’s position. If you cannot see that, no wonder you continue make the same inflammatory and demonstrably fallacious arguments.

    -Turretinfan

    Comment by TurretinFan — July 2, 2007 @ 9:47 am

  35. Now, on the other hand, why this excitement about outing the real man?

    I don’t know if I would call it excitement, but Manata obsessive and clear hatred of all things Clark are well know. TFan’s link gives a good example of Manata comparing Clark to a meth dealer and those who agree with Clark, pushers. He also pridefully and repentantly defends his defamation of good Christian men as somehow being completely warranted. Not warranted by Scripture of course, but that never stops Manata.

    Consequently, I think it is important recognize who this mock John Calvin really is. He is not a man to be taken seriously, even if he appears under the cloak and name of the Prince of Theologians, John Calvin.

    Comment by Sean Gerety — July 2, 2007 @ 9:48 am

  36. Joshua,

    I, for one, try to limit my interaction with folks who use ad hominem arguments to pointing out those arguments.

    -Turretinfan

    Comment by TurretinFan — July 2, 2007 @ 9:53 am

  37. “He also pridefully and repentantly defends”

    That should have been unrepentantly. Sorry.

    Comment by Sean Gerety — July 2, 2007 @ 10:31 am

  38. All,

    Despite the fine and flattering comments you’ve made about me, I see no interaction with what I’ve written. I’ll chalk that up to my senses not being reliable and assume this “padded room” is a treasure trove of Clarkian responses to my repeated argumentation. If only I could see!

    ~I’m Not Really John Calvin

    P.S. For all the Clarkians know, no one uses their real name. Sean Gerety could be Bill Cosby for all he knows.

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 2, 2007 @ 11:46 am

  39. Clarification… by “all” I did not mean Tim or Joshua.

    Best,

    ~I’m Not Really John Calvin (INRJC, hereafter)

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 2, 2007 @ 12:35 pm

  40. INRJC,

    Your complaint: “I see no interaction with what I’ve written,” is the result of a problem of cognition, not sensation.

    It’s also a particularly hollow complaint when you openly refuse to interact with what I wrote.

    -Turretinfan

    Comment by TurretinFan — July 2, 2007 @ 12:41 pm

  41. TF,

    I threw down the last challenge, TF. I laid out my complaint. You didn’t respond to my last post. It’s pretty obvious. There’s “knowledge” and “opinion.” As John Robbins says. If you don’t know that Scripturalism is the case, then you opine it. Now, how does one “know” something (and I’m not talking abotu a “hunch” or a “good bet” or an “edumacated guess” or whatever else falls in sense (b))? Well, pretty simply, according to Robbins et al. one only knows a proposition P if one can either find P stated directly in Scripture, or P must be deducible from Scriptural propositions. Okay, got it. Now, how about this proposition, the Scripturalist Package:

    SP: Man can only know what is directly stated in Scripture, or deducible from Scripture.

    So, pretty simply, you either know SP or you don’t. If not, okay. But what positive epistemic status does Scripturalism claim, then? if so, then show me the verse which says SP, or deduce SP from verses.

    Thus, the only acceptable response either looks like this:

    II Opinion 3:27 says [...]

    Or,

    II Opinion 3:27 says [...]

    hence,

    {insert logical deduction}

    Therefore, SP.

    I didn’t make these rules, TF. Don’t get upset with me. These are Robbins’ rules. Gerety’s rules. Crampton’s rules. Cheung’s rules. Clark’s (perhaps) rules. *Your* rules. These are not my rules, they’re your guys’.

    So, following Robbins, does SP lie in the camp of “opinion” or in the camp of “knowledge?”

    ~INRJC

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 2, 2007 @ 12:56 pm

  42. I notice AGAIN that you refuse to do what was asked of you. If you’re right, it should be no problem to show me the verse(s) or the logical deduction of your Scripturalist package.

    It becomes hard to keep humoring a man who refuses to interact with the Scriptures or even recognize their epistemological import. You’re weak exegetical argument appears to be that since Col. 2:3 was written in response to the Gnostic heresy it’s application is limited to just this controversy and this is simply unacceptable. That’s like arguing Paul’s letter to the Galatians has no application to the FV controversy because Paul was addressing his anathema’s to the Judiazers. Yet, Paul in verse 4 states; “I say this in order that no one may delude you with persuasive argument.” It would follow that Paul is limiting true knowledge (see v. 2) to those things hid in and made known by Christ and is not limited to any mere refutation of Gnosticism.

    Further, in verse 8 Paul commands Christians to, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” Now, I admit, I am hard pressed to see how the belief in the supposed cognitive nature of science does not violate Paul’s command? Certainly, if the conclusions of science are the result of demonstrably fallacious arguments as Clark, Popper, Russell and others have so clearly demonstrated, then it’s hard for me to see how this isn’t, at the very least, an “empty deception.” I think the onus is on those who claim truth is the end result of scientific inquiry to demonstrate their contention and simply pointing or alluding to how well science “works” will not suffice.

    Consequently, to compare the universal application of the word “all” in Col. 2:3 to the misreading of Arminians whose knees jerk every time they see the word “all” is simply disingenuous and begs the question. What you would have to do is show per the passage WHY the word “all” is not to be understood universally distributive. That is how I would reply to an Arminian. Perhaps you just call them names?

    As to the question of limiting the question of the truth that can be known to Scripture and those things necessarily or soundly deduced from them, the Confession cites 2 Tim. 3:16-17. The key words in those verses are ALL, DOCTRINE, EVERY and PERFECT. Perhaps more, but since you are having such trouble seeing that ALL in Col. 2:3 is a universally distributive term, I hardly think it’s worth my time playing ring-around-the-rosie again with you on this passage. While you hate proof-texting, the Divines at Westminster had no problem citing 2 Tim as proof that “The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.”

    I’ll stick with the Divines. :)

    And, you’ve not shown any contradiction between knowing what I had for breakfast, though not deducible from Scripture, is not “hid” in Christ.

    I didn’t see you demonstrate how you know what you had for breakfast at all? I’ve seen you make assertions, but you’ve provided no account for what you claim to know at all.

    Perhaps if you could demonstrate how you know might go a long way in disproving what Paul said in Col. 2:3. Not only that, you would also disprove the Trinity Foundation’s motto that God’s Word alone is the Word of God. Since God is all truth and you assert truth can be known by some unspecified means apart from Scripture, then you must possess God’s Word by means other than God’s propositional revelation alone. I would like to learn this method. Will I have to be “slain in the Spirit” and receive special revelation, or do you have something more mundane in mind?

    Another problem is your infallibilist constraint you’ve placed on knowledge.

    I haven’t argued for certainty at all. You must be arguing against someone else. I would say, Lord I believe, help me thou mine unbelief.

    I’m afraid your eyes and your cognitive faculties – the area responsible for understanding other people’s language – are showing themselves to be quite unreliable; you’d bring a tear to Gordon’s eye for empirically demonstrating that our senses and our reasoning faculties are untrustworthy. For you see, Sean, I never said Crampton was not in agreement with Gerety. I said he shows his disagreement with Reymond.

    Fair enough. Of course what one thinks they see and what is actually there is often two different things. Providing an account even for the latter is also extremely problematic as even a cursory reading of Clark will reveal. But why read Clark, Empiricism has historically ended in skepticism, not knowledge. But, thanks for pointing that out and seeing is not believing. Our eyes often deceive us. That could be the case here, or perhaps your writing skills could be improved? That’s why Christians are commanded to live by belief in the propositions of Scripture and not by sight.

    Regardless, it is a trivial point that Crampton is in disagreement with Reymond who views history as a source of knowledge. Perhaps Reymond should read Clark’s monograph on historiography. You should read it too, perhaps then you wouldn’t say such silly things.

    Comment by Sean Gerety — July 2, 2007 @ 1:01 pm

  43. Hi Sean,

    “It becomes hard to keep humoring a man who refuses to interact with the Scriptures or even recognize their epistemological import.”

    I have no problem with the Scripture. I have a problem with what YOU SAY it means. So, since YOU made the positive assertion that it means something that is not clear to me (or any commentator I’ve ever read), then I would think that you would have the burden to provide the exegetical argument.

    “You’re weak exegetical argument appears to be that since Col. 2:3 was written in response to the Gnostic heresy it’s application is limited to just this controversy and this is simply unacceptable.”

    I didn’t offer an exegetical argument. I’m not the one trying to make the case that a verse says X. And, I never said it was *limited* to the Gnostic heresy, Sean. I started out giving the immediate context of the passage. For me, I don’t think Paul had in mind “P is not knowledge if it is not in Scripture or deducible from Scripture.” If you think that’s what he meant, well I’m ready for the argument.

    At any rate, let’s say you’re correct. I just don’t see it. It’s not obvious to me. So, since YOU, not me, YOU, have made the claim that you cannot know P unless P is either explicitly stated in Scripture, or deducible from Scripture, and you apparently think Col. 2 and II Tim. 3 are teaching this proposition:

    SP: Man can only know what is directly stated in Scripture, or deducible from Scripture.

    then I’m asking you to make your case. I have not read that interpretation in any commentary. it is not immediately obvious. It seems to contradict other passages. So, Sean, from my perspective all you’ve done is simply *told* me that it means what you say it is. Why should I accept your say-so?

    So, if it means what you say, and you know it means this, surely you should be able to deduce the meaning for all to see, right? It should be publicly checkable, right? Put forth the deductive argument that shows that those verses mean what you want them to mean.

    I think I’ve asked this three times now. Why are the Scripturalists so afraid to put their money where their mouth is?

    Blessings, Sean

    ~INRJC

    P.S. You said,

    “Regardless, it is a trivial point that Crampton is in disagreement with Reymond who views history as a source of knowledge. Perhaps Reymond should read Clark’s monograph on historiography. You should read it too, perhaps then you wouldn’t say such silly things.”

    Sean, my quote had nothing to do with his disagreement with Reymond. I was giving the context of his reply. So, you’ve now misunderstood what I wrote, you’ve also misunderstood the purpose of posting it. I was simply showing that Crampton agreed with the others. He did this by disagreeing with Reymond. I wasn’t trying to use Reymond’s name to make any points. Anyway, you’re majoring on the minors.

    P.P.S. Despite the obvious fallacious attacks – like trying to undermine my argument here by saying that I don’t spend enough time defending the gospel against FV people – you should know that I publicly, and in person, defending the gospel at the last SCCCS conference. I was publicly laughed at and ridiculed by more than a few of the conference speakers for my comments. This should be on the tapes and so is public knowledge. I have also engaged in numerous private email conversations dealing with this issue. And, I am studying it in more detail so as to either engage an FV adherent in a public debate or put something more substantive out on line. Anyway, I just want to make sure that you are a bit inconsistent since you claimed above that science always derives its conclusions deductively, but here you are dressing your posts in all sorts of informal fallacies. What’s the difference between your posts and the findings of science, then?

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 2, 2007 @ 1:37 pm

  44. INRJC — Just a quick point of clarification. I believe T-fan identified “fundamental presupposition” as a second source of capital-K knowledge, when in #23, 3rd paragraph, he says, “Second, the fundamental presupposition of my point of view is that God has revealed Himself truthfully and clearly in Scripture. I KNOW this to be true.” Whether this is intended as a second source or not I will let him be the one to clarify.

    Comment by TJH — July 2, 2007 @ 1:54 pm

  45. At any rate, let’s say you’re correct. I just don’t see it. It’s not obvious to me.

    I suppose so what and who cares? FWIW I’ve explained that 1 Tim 2:4 is in reference to classes or sorts of men to include even kings and rulers and not all men universally distributive. Sometimes they don’t see it either? Not much more I can do. Consequently, I’ve explained why ALL in Col. 2:3 is a universally distributive term and I fail to see anything in the context of the verse or the entire chapter or letter for that matter which would restrict the use of ALL to only a specific class or types of knowledge, say, knowledge of salvation, or pertaining to religious matters.

    Interestingly, Paul’s admonition is against being taken in by “philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” Needless to say, even in Paul’s day, epistemology was very much a concern of philosophy. So, seeing you have no counter argument, my exegesis stands.

    and you apparently think Col. 2 and II Tim. 3 are teaching this proposition:

    SP: Man can only know what is directly stated in Scripture, or deducible from Scripture.

    That’s the position of the Confession writers as per 2 Tim. Col. 2 is just additional support to the great job already done by the Divines. If you think the Confession writers are wrong and 2 Tim does not pertain to “The whole counsel of God concerning ALL things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith and LIFE” then let’s see your argument. This is sola Scriptura. I admit I can see why the application of this principle is an affront to your own epistemic framework, but that’s the problem of your epistemology. You should rethink your position.

    Comment by Sean Gerety — July 2, 2007 @ 2:20 pm

  46. P.P.S. Despite the obvious fallacious attacks – like trying to undermine my argument here by saying that I don’t spend enough time defending the gospel against FV people . . . What’s the difference between your posts and the findings of science, then?

    Absolutely none. Thanks for making my point and for defending the gospel.

    Comment by Sean Gerety — July 2, 2007 @ 2:23 pm

  47. INRJC,

    Let’s see if you can follow this flow.

    P = “Man can only know what is directly stated in Scripture, or deducible from Scripture.”

    P is deducible from Scripture, and the proof is essentially the same as that of Sola Scriptura.

    Are you following?

    Your counterargument appears to be that you disagree with the Scripture proof, or that you are not satisfied that a Scripture proof has been offered.

    -Turretinfan

    Comment by TurretinFan — July 2, 2007 @ 2:31 pm

  48. Tim #44,

    There is one source of knowledge, God.

    -Turretinfan

    Comment by TurretinFan — July 2, 2007 @ 2:33 pm

  49. I wrote:

    if the conclusions of science are the result of demonstrably fallacious arguments as Clark, Popper, Russell and others have so clearly demonstrated, then it’s hard for me to see how this isn’t, at the very least, an “empty deception.” I think the onus is on those who claim truth is the end result of scientific inquiry to demonstrate their contention and simply pointing or alluding to how well science “works” will not suffice.

    I just want to be clear that my objection is directed only at those who think science is a means by which the truth can be known, that it has a cognitive function. My arguments have not been directed at those who believe science is useful and/or is an application of the creation mandate to subdue the earth. I think science can be an absolutely good thing, but if one wants to known the truth they must, with TFan, look to God alone who alone is the Lord God of Truth. OTOH science is an absolutely bad thing if it is raised up against the knowledge of God as it all too often is.

    FWIW most thoughtful atheists I’ve met on line and in person (particularly scientists – i.e., men who actually make their living in the sciences), don’t believe science discovers truth. Rather science operates on the basis of “working models” that may or may not be true, but for them the question of truth is irrelevant. Actually, the very idea of truth seems to be an affront to them.

    The only ones that seem to think science arrives at truth are Christians. For example, the folks over at Answers in Genesis. They do a great job, but they oversell what science actually does. Another example would be a Nightline debate I saw recently between atheists and the “Way of the Master” guys. The Christians were under the impression that science proves things and the atheists were happy to let them go down that path only to rip them apart. It’s not that the atheists had proofs either, but they didn’t need any nor did they let on concerning their own impotency.

    Anyway, just wanted to make sure I was clear. Thanks.

    Comment by Sean Gerety — July 2, 2007 @ 3:13 pm

  50. TF,

    “INRJC,

    Let’s see if you can follow this flow.

    P = “Man can only know what is directly stated in Scripture, or deducible from Scripture.”

    (*) P is deducible from Scripture, and the proof is essentially the same as that of Sola Scriptura.

    Are you following?

    Your counterargument appears to be that you disagree with the Scripture proof, or that you are not satisfied that a Scripture proof has been offered.

    -Turretinfan”

    Notice the (*)? Deduce it. And, I have at least 10 different books on sola Scriptura on my bookshelf. NOT ONE. Zero. Zilch. Nadda. The empty set. No, there is not one, that defines sola Scriptura as: “man can only know what is deducible from Scripture, or explicitly stated in Scripture.”

    Now, since you’re obviously offering a strange and obscure definition of sola Scriptura, the burden is on you to offer this “proof.” You cannot say it is the “same proof” as that of sola Scriptura, because when I go and pick two or three random books off my shelf, not of them define sola Scriptura in that way. Furthermore, given passages like Matt. 24:32 et al., the Bible doesn’t even define sola Scriptura in your way. Now, maybe I’m wrong about all this, granted. So, what you need to do is stop asserting and get on with the proof. Lay it out. Number the premises. Let’s see it. Surely you can do this for you’re the one who makes such grandious claims about deducing things. So, let’s quit wasting each other’s time and let us all see your deduction. If you have a verse in mind, supply an actual *argument* and *exegesis* to go behind the verse. The verses you use are not obvious supporters of your position to me or 99% of all the commentators in the world. I saw on your blog that you made an “exegetical challenge.” So, I’m assuming you can do this, no? If you know your position you should be able to either find it explicitly stated in the Bible, or you should be able to offer the deductive argument from scriptural propositions. if you can’t do this, just say-so. We can then spend out time in a more productive manor.

    Blessings,

    ~IMRJC

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 2, 2007 @ 4:05 pm

  51. Tim,

    I cited numerous Scripturalists who held to this position:

    SP: Man can only know what is directly stated in Scripture, or deducible from Scripture.

    TF said he agreed with that. So, my contention is that he doesn’t know SP. John Robbins said there is either knowledge or opinion. it is my contention that SP is opinion, then.

    best,

    ~IMRJC

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 2, 2007 @ 4:08 pm

  52. Having read Sean Gerety’s latest reply I guess I’m to assume that he doesn’t want to (a) offer the exegesis supporting his *interpretation* of the verses he’s using in support of Scripturalism, or (b) doesn’t want to put forth the deductive argument from scriptural statements. I will thus assume his failure to interact is indicative of his inability to actually justify his own theory by its own standards.

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 2, 2007 @ 4:12 pm

  53. INRJC,

    The fact that zero define it in exactly those words is a trivial argument, and you surely know it.

    But, since you insist on seeing a more detailed deduction, try the following on for size. Please object at the appropriate place.

    Scripture says it is impossible for God to lie, and Scripture says that it is both possible for men to lie, and that men lie habitually. Scripture also says that it is possible for men to deceive themselves. Furthermore, Scripture tells us that the devil (who is the father of liars) can disguise himself as an angel of light.

    Accordingly, the only thing we can trust for absolute certainty is the Word of God, not men, not great preachers, not even an “angel from heaven.” We can even trust God more than we trust our own personal judgment.

    Ergo

    P

    QED

    Still dissatisfied? If so, on what ground? Which of the propositions is not properly deduced from Scripture? Or do you agree that all are properly deduced from Scripture, but you simply disagree that they establish P above?

    -Turretinfan

    Comment by TurretinFan — July 2, 2007 @ 8:44 pm

  54. TF,

    “The fact that zero define it in exactly those words is a trivial argument, and you surely know it.”

    Actually, no, it’s not. Surely you are aware that there are valid forms of the argument from authority. And, let’s not trivialize my statements. I never said that no one defines it in “exactly” those terms. You’re committing the fallacy of accent. Actually, no one defines it in those terms, and their definitions are actually *contradictory* to yours.

    “But, since you insist on seeing a more detailed deduction, try the following on for size. Please object at the appropriate place.”

    Oh, goody.

    1. “Scripture says it is impossible for God to lie, and Scripture says that it is both possible for men to lie, and that men lie habitually.”

    Granted. (But, not to be a stickler, you don’t know that Scripture says those things. I’ll let you pass, though.)

    2. “Scripture also says that it is possible for men to deceive themselves.”

    Granted. Like you, for instance.

    3. “Furthermore, Scripture tells us that the devil (who is the father of liars) can disguise himself as an angel of light.”

    Granted.

    4. “Accordingly, the only thing we can trust for absolute certainty is the Word of God, not men, not great preachers, not even an “angel from heaven.” We can even trust God more than we trust our own personal judgment.”

    Granted (though I’d say that there’s few other things we can know with certainty. Triangles have three angles, for example.)

    5. “Ergo

    P”

    Whoa, Nelly. Hold the horses.

    Let’s note what SP is:

    SP: Man can only know what is directly stated in Scripture, or deducible from Scripture.”

    How does it follow from 1-5 that all knowledge is restricted to propositions of Scripture or those deducible from propositions of Scripture?

    It looks like a key unstated premise is:

    (*) Knowledge has an infallibilist constraint.

    This is proven by his claims that it is possible that we can be mistaken.

    Thus TF must believe that “if one can be mistaken about P, then one cannot know that P.” This is an unstated premise, and his argument must utilize it for SP to even begin to follow from the premises. The problem should be obvious, how could (*) be deduced from Scripture? Hence the argument as it is relies on extra-biblical epistemological assumptions.

    “Still dissatisfied? If so, on what ground? Which of the propositions is not properly deduced from Scripture?”

    Yes, I am. I don’t doubt Scripture says those things, I doubt where you take it. I also have shown that your argument rests upon a crucial unstated premise and I highly doubt that you can deduce (*) from Scripture. Furthermore, “SP” uses terms like “knowledge” and “deducible,” where are those concepts deduced from Scripture? And, since men are fallible, and can be mistaken, you take that to mean that they cannot know. But, Jesus says that men do know things they haven’t deduced from Scripture: e.g., summer is near based on the look of fig leaves. Moreover, when I know something like a basic belief about what i had for breakfast, you’d say that I can’t know that since I can’t deduce it from Scripture. But, I maintain that I do not need propositional evidence in favor of all my beliefs for them to be warranted. Where in your deduction was that established? Perhaps you think it was established because of the possibility that I could be mistaken. But I deny your infallibilist constraint and demand you deduce said constraint from Scripture. And, you could be mistaken too. Perhaps the Bible says that God cannot “fly” (not lie). How do you know it says God cannot lie? Because you read black squiggles on a page? Because you “presuppose” it? So what. Does mere presupposing mean that you’re right? You don’t know that the Bible says that God cannot lie, do you. Indeed, since you can’t deduce YOUR EXISTENCE from the Bible then you can’t know that YOU know anything!

    I’m afraid that your deduction just lead to more problems.

    ~INRJN

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 2, 2007 @ 10:43 pm

  55. INRJC,

    I’m disappointed.

    You wrote:

    It looks like a key unstated premise is:

    (*) Knowledge has an infallibilist constraint.

    This is proven by his claims that it is possible that we can be mistaken.

    No, like “triangle” we have assigned that meaning to the term definitionally.

    Obviously, yes, if you simply refuse to use that definition, so be it. We’re not suggesting that you are forced by Scripture to use that particular definition for the term “knowledge.”

    And, since you appear to grant that the conclusion follows from the premises, and the only premise you deny is the definition, your response is not a rebuttal.

    Furthermore, your complaint that:

    Yes, I am. I don’t doubt Scripture says those things, I doubt where you take it.

    That’s an inane criticism. If you agree that Scripture says those things, you’re wasting everyone’s time to ask for me to explain where Scripture says it.

    The remainder of your post centers around the definitions of terms, and thus is not worthy of any further response than the response above. If you want to define terms differently, of course you will arrive at a different conclusion.

    Bluntly put, if that’s your argument, that we should define terms differently to make you happy, who cares?

    -Turretinfan

    Comment by TurretinFan — July 3, 2007 @ 8:28 am

  56. TF,

    You only have yourself to be dissapointed with:

    “No, like “triangle” we have assigned that meaning to the term definitionally.”

    Then you’ve shot yourself. But, furthermore, your case is disanalogous. Adding an infallibilist constraint on knowledge is unlike the triangle, I would think you should know this. And, why does NO ONE disagree with the definition for triangle whereas they do violently about the definition of knowledge.

    “Obviously, yes, if you simply refuse to use that definition, so be it. We’re not suggesting that you are forced by Scripture to use that particular definition for the term “knowledge.”

    You seem to be a bit obstuse. Since that claim is CENTRAL to your argument – it would not follow otherwise – and since you cannot deduce the infallibilist constraint from scripture, then you do not know SP. This has been shown in this thread. QED.

    “And, since you appear to grant that the conclusion follows from the premises, and the only premise you deny is the definition, your response is not a rebuttal.”

    Am I on Candid Camera? I stated that the conclousion uses an UNSTATED PREMISE. You cannot deduce that from Scripture. Hence, if you calim to “know” your position then you know at least ONE extra-biblical truth, namely – knowledge has an infallibilist constraint. But, since you could not know this if your theory were true, then you’ve refuted yourself since you claim to know that Scripturalism is the case.

    “The remainder of your post centers around the definitions of terms, and thus is not worthy of any further response than the response above.”

    Whatever helps you slepp at night.

    “Bluntly put, if that’s your argument, that we should define terms differently to make you happy, who cares?”

    Bluntly put, I’ve shown that your position is self-referentially incoherent. That you can grasp this is no bad mark on my argument.

    I think you’ve shown above that you don’t care to seriously interact with the argument, and I’ve said my final response, and so i guess we’re done here. Thanks for your time.

    Blessings,

    ~INRJC

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 3, 2007 @ 11:01 am

  57. FWIW,

    Mixing biblical (verses about God not lying, man being a liar, etc) with extra-biblical (infallibilist constraint) propositions is *exactly* what my post on the drug connections with Scripturalism was talking about. Turretin has proven my point. He pretends to have a “pure” product to push (e.g., Scripturalism), but when we look at it we find that it is “cut” with what Scripturalists would consider “battery acid” (e.g., extra-biblical propositions). They then market this mixture to an unsuspecting audience – usually white boys from the suburbs with no epistemological street smarts. Next thing you know, you have junkies committing “intellectual suicide” (e.g., I can’t know that I’m saved, I can’t know that I can know anything, I can’t know that I am a male or a female, I can’t know that my wife isn’t the same sex as myself, etc.,). So, my post on “Just Say No To Scripturalism” was very apropo, I’d say.

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 3, 2007 @ 11:35 am

  58. INRJC,

    Ah, I see: you don’t want to argue against the position that Clarkians hold (namely “Man can only know what is directly stated in Scripture, or deducible from Scripture,” where knowledge = absolute certainty) you want to argue against a position that nobody holds, namely that “Man can only know what is directly stated in Scripture, or deducible from Scripture,” where knowlege = justified belief of a true datum.

    We call that the straw man argument. It happens when people refuse to treat a position on its own terms, instead preferring to go after another position that is an easier target.

    You’ve wasted our time, and weakened the Van Tillian case. Surely there are some arguments that are not so blatently abusive, not to mention disrespectful, but because you have been filling up space with a flurry of straw you’ve made it appear that this is the best that the followers of Van Til have to offer.

    No wonder Tim tried to dissociate you from Van Tillianism.

    -Turretinfan

    Comment by TurretinFan — July 3, 2007 @ 4:23 pm

  59. No, it wasn’t that. It was just that Cal-fan was laying into us last October on the TAG thread. Before last week, I hadn’t realized that there were “non-Tagster vantillians.”

    I think Cal-fan’s question is this: is the proposition “we can only KNOW what we learn from Scripture” itself something we KNOW, and if so, is it something we know from Scripture? If not, then the statement would seem to be paradoxical.

    Sean answered “yes” and Cal-fan countered that the exegesis supporting that “yes” was inadequate.

    T-fan, correct me if I am wrong, but I think you hedged a bit between sharing Sean’s “yes,” vs trying to rely on a different tack such as meta-logic or second-order statements or statements about a system that aren’t part of the system? Or, perhaps you are distinguishing between the personal motivation for an utterance vs the truth-criteria for the utterance; obviously, I’m not completely clear on your answer either.

    Comment by TJH — July 3, 2007 @ 5:05 pm

  60. is the proposition “we can only KNOW what we learn from Scripture” itself something we KNOW, and if so, is it something we know from Scripture? If not, then the statement would seem to be paradoxical.

    Sean answered “yes” and Cal-fan countered that the exegesis supporting that “yes” was inadequate.

    Manata may think it inadequate, but so what? All that was necessary was for me to show that ALL in Col. 2:3 was universally distributive. There is nothing in the context that would limit the scope of the word ALL in reference to knowledge. Like I said, he’s like a typical Arminian who insists that ALL means ALL men head for head even after you explain that all per 1 Tim 2:4 has to do with classes of men. Only this time, the word is universally applicable and Christ is the source of all knowledge. There really isn’t much you can do with such a person. Pray that God will cause him to repent I suppose.

    Consequently, if he will not concede this point it is pointless to press on to any exegesis of the Confessional proof concerning sola Scriptura which extends to those things in and deduced from Scripture.

    Of course, if Manata was correct Scripturalism would be not so much paradoxical as self-refuting. This is why he cannot even concede a single exegetical point even if the Scriptures everywhere refute him. Besides, he can’t even provide an account for his own breakfast. Pathetic.

    As for me, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”

    Comment by Sean Gerety — July 3, 2007 @ 5:23 pm

  61. Sean,

    “Manata may think it inadequate, but so what? All that was necessary was for me to show that ALL in Col. 2:3 was universally distributive.”

    “All knowledge is hid in Christ” does not equal the claim “all knowledge must be explicitly stated in Scripture or deducible from Scripture.” If you think so, and it is not even close to being a prima facie reading of the text, then the burden is on you to ARGUE and DEFEND and EXEGETE your position. If your argument is: “nope, that’s what the verse means and I don’t need to justify my non-obvious reading which NO exegete in the history of the church has been able to see,” then I counter:

    “Jesus said we can KNOW things from our senses by saying that we observe fig trees and know summer is near.”

    Now, if you respond by asking me to back up my reading (and surely I’m on more sure ground than you because my version IS at least an obvious and prima facie reading of the text), my rejoinder will be: “I don’t care if you disagree. Simply showing that they “know” something not deducible from Scripture is enough for me.”

    You’ve been hoisted by your own petard.

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 3, 2007 @ 9:05 pm

  62. TF,

    If Tim doesn’t want me associated with the van Tillians how does that weaken my argument, the one you haven’t answered?

    My argument, again, in case you ever care to deal with it, is: You claim that you can only know (where ‘know’ is taken in the infallibilist sense) those propositions explicitly stated in Scripture or deducible from Scripture.” I claim that *that proposition* cannot be known *on its own terms.* I asked you to show it. You couldn’t. You tried to avoid the force of it by saying that you simply *define* knowledge to have an internalist constraint. Well, then, I simply *define* knowledge to be that which is by the senses. On top of that, since THE BIBLE doesn’t define knowledge this way, and since you (above) said humans can and often are mistaken, you *could be* mistaken about the infallibilist constraint and so, therefore, even on your own definitional account you can’t know that knowledge has an infallibilist constraint, on your own terms, again!

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 3, 2007 @ 9:09 pm

  63. Tim, here are a few Van Tillians that are not TAGsters:

    1) James Anderson, Ph.D.

    2) John Frame, Ph.D.

    3) Michael Horton, Ph.D.

    4) Richard Pratt, Ph.D.

    5) Scott Oliphint (I think?), Ph.D.

    6) Greg Welty, Ph.D.

    this list could be greatly lengthened.

    And, I define a “TAGster” as one who holds to the strong modal version of TAG (i.e., “the impossibility of the contrary of the three-in-one Jehovah God). I do not think all value in using a transcendental argument is gone.

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 3, 2007 @ 9:14 pm

  64. Tim,

    You wrote:

    I think Cal-fan’s question is this: is the proposition “we can only KNOW what we learn from Scripture” itself something we KNOW, and if so, is it something we know from Scripture? If not, then the statement would seem to be paradoxical.

    Sean answered “yes” and Cal-fan countered that the exegesis supporting that “yes” was inadequate.

    I thought the same thing, which is why I wrote number 47 as I did, and why I presented a short-form supporting exegesis in number 53.

    Manata or Hays or whoever INRJC is, had one major counter-argument, which was simply a semantics argument.

    That it was just a semantic argument can be readily seen from the supporting argument regarding how Jesus used the word.

    The semantic argument, however, is absurd. It’s already been admitted that Clarkians are using the word in an extreme form, not in the conventional sense. Furthermore, this present author has previously shown the interrelationship between the extreme form and the conventional form.

    But INRJC is not really here to interact with the arguments but to mock, by applying the extreme form to everyday life. Like a freshman physics student guffawing at his professor who claims the school librarian doesn’t do “work,” INRJC just demonstrates his inability to deal with specialized meanings of words that have conventional meanings.

    Surely there is a better Van Tillian argument than that.

    -Turretinfan

    Comment by TurretinFan — July 4, 2007 @ 8:21 am

  65. Hi TF,

    Let’s be intellectually honest. I did (as you can note above) distinguish between the two forms (your a and b). Indeed, I even said that ON BOTH FORMS you don’t ‘know’ that Scripturalism is the case.

    At any rate, you agreed with Robbins et al. that man can only know things by deducing them from Scripture.

    I asked you to back this up.

    If you read your own posts above you’ll note that this is exactly what you’ve tried to do. You tried to show me the deduction from Scripture.. This shows that YOU THINK you know the Scripturalist Package in the “big sense” of “KNOW.” The “deduced or stated in Scripture” sense.

    Then what I did to your response, if you have been paying attention, is that I showed that you smuggled in an extra-biblical assumption about knowledge. You thus MIXED biblical and extra-biblical propositions (implied or otherwise) in your “deduction.”

    This extra-biblical assumption has not been deduced.

    Therefore you do not know that the Scripturalist Package (SP, above) is the case in the sense that you ORIGINALLY TRIED TO SHOW THAT YOU KNEW IT.

    That leaves your “other” view of knowledge left. Well, that is what John Robbins calls “opinion.” I know that Clarkians have distinguished between the epistemic status of the claims we hold. They bifurcate them into these two classes:

    a) Knowledge

    b) Opinion

    In (b) goes your “good assumptions” and your “edumacated guesses” and your “hunches” and your “estimations” and your “seems right to me” etc.

    Thus you’ve been reduced to saying that Scripturalism is the case… IN YOUR OPINION. Let’s read John Robbins again:

    **********

    ” “Epistemology: The Bible tells me so… Scripturalism does not mean, as some have objected, that we can know only the propositions of the Bible. We can know their logical implications as well… Now, most of what we colloquially call knowledge is actually opinion: We “know” that we are in Pennsylvania; we “know” that Clinton – either Bill or Hillary – is President of the United States, and so forth. Opinions can be true or false; we just don’t know which. History, except for revealed history, is opinion. Science is opinion. Archaeology is opinion. John Calvin said, “I call that knowledge, not what is innate in man, nor what is by diligence acquired, but what is revealed to us in the Law and the Prophets.” Knowledge is true opinion with an account of its truth.

    It may very well be that William Clinton is President of the United States, but I do not know how to prove it, nor, I suspect, do you. In truth, I do not know that he is President, I opine it.”

    **********

    And TF can add his own position to the above: “It may well be that Scripturalism is the case, but I do not know how to prove it, nor, I suspect, do you. In truth, I do not know that it is the case, I opine it.”

    So, since you’re now admitting that you don’t “know” that Scripturalism is the case in your “real” and “important” sense – the sense the Scripturalists use – then we only have your “other” sense left. That you defined has:

    b) “things reasonably believed to be true.”

    Edumacted guesses can fit in (b). Any way, we can try to dissect this one for you too. First, since you hold an infallibilist constraint on knowledge, you could be wrong about (b) and so, according to you, you don’t “know” it. But, perhaps you “reasonably” believe (b). If so, what is it to “reasonably believe” something? And, since you don’t “know” (sense a) the answer to that, I guess you “reasonably believe” it. So, what is it to reasonably believe something? Why should I believe, say, SP? What positive epistemic status does Scripturalism have? What reasons can you offer me to believe it? I reject the infallibilist constraint. Indeed, I find it almost self-refuting. Are you telling us that if you accept a bunch of unproven Scripturalist assumptions, then Scripturalism follows? Well, same with the theory of evolution. So, really, I mean, you’re free to believe in Scripturalism if you want to, but why do you tell other’s that they’re wrong because they don’t hold your unproven assumptions? I mean, is that what we do? We just “guess” and “define” our epistemological theories into existence and then tell other people that they’re straight from the Bible and if you deny them you’re denying God’s word? So, let’s be honest about this discussion, at least.

    ~INRJC

    P.S. You shouldn’t insult Steve Hays’ intelligence by saying that he may be me. :-D

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 4, 2007 @ 11:16 am

  66. Honestly, I don’t find much wrong with Turretin’s basic argument (and I consider myself Van Tilian).

    As T-Fan has stated, “‘Man can only know what is directly stated in Scripture, or deducible from Scripture,’ where knowledge = absolute certainty) you want to argue against a position that nobody holds, namely that ‘Man can only know what is directly stated in Scripture, or deducible from Scripture,’ where knowlege = justified belief of a true datum.”

    I recall Bahnsen once saying that he was more certain in propositions of the Bible than that toothpaste would come out of his toothpaste-tube in the morning (to paraphrase). This is what I had always taken to be the Van Tilian epistemology: that the word of God is that which is most certain. We can say we “know” other things but not with the same certainty as we can know God’s direct revelation.

    This seems to be a matter of common sense… If God appeared before you and said “the sun is hot” and a man stood before you and said “ice is cold” which would you be more certain about? Obviously, God’s statement, I should think.

    Now, one may wish to argue as Sproul once did, “but how do you know it was God that appeared before you and not some illusion?” Our answer is that this is our presupposition. If the Scripture is to be our ultimate authority then it can have no verification outside of itself… As T-Fan has already pointed out the question makes no more sense than what is taller than the tallest building.

    The guy who certainly isn’t John Calvin seems to want to know (by Tim’s reckoning), “is the proposition ‘we can only KNOW what we learn from Scripture’ itself something we KNOW, and if so, is it something we know from Scripture?”

    I fail to see the problem because the idea that we can know the Scripture is a presupposition of the concept of revelation… Like the game of basketball has contained within it the concept of game.

    The idea of Scripture is that God is communicating to man. Within this concept are several other “presuppositions.” A few of these presuppositions could be: (1) the sufficiency of language as a medium and (2) the ability of man’s cognitive faculty to apprehend the content within the revelation (granted, through God’s grace). Thus, as all of us in the padded room know, no belief stands independent of other beliefs and this includes our presuppositions.

    Therefore, it seems to me, to ask “how do you know you can only know with the greatest level of certainty what is stated in the Scripture” is to deny one of the presuppositions of the system itself. The question may arise, “when you bring up that objection, where are you standing?” You might say I’m pulling a TAG on the non-TAGster Van Tilian.

    On the other hand, maybe I’m off on a limb here and the Van Tilians and Clarkians are going to saw off my branch and throw me out of the padded room.

    -Augustine

    Comment by I Might Be Augustine — July 4, 2007 @ 11:23 am

  67. Again, let’s hi-light this passage in Robbins:

    “Now, most of what we colloquially call knowledge is actually opinion:

    But TF said:

    “It’s already been admitted that Clarkians are using the word in an extreme form, not in the conventional sense.”

    The “conventional sense” is what Robbins calls “opinion.” And, there is no “extreme form.” If that’s what “knowledge” is, then it’s not “extreme.”

    Anyway, does TF agree with Robbins? (I can cite other’s as well.) If so, then it’s as I said, Scripturalism is OPINION. TF actually spends time arguing and debating his mere opinion. Much like the ethical anti-realists. Much like the two kids in front of the ice cream parlor. “Chocolate is the best!” “Nuh-uh, Strawberry is the best!” “Is not!” “Is too!”

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 4, 2007 @ 11:24 am

  68. After reading the guy who’s intelligence isn’t on par with Steve Hays response I would like to add that I would agree with the problems as he has pointed them out. What I was attempting to do in the above post is move the claim away from (a) and (b) into (c)… (c) being the presupposition.

    -Augustine

    Comment by I Might Be Augustine — July 4, 2007 @ 11:33 am

  69. “All knowledge is hid in Christ” does not equal the claim “all knowledge must be explicitly stated in Scripture or deducible from Scripture.” If you think so, and it is not even close to being a prima facie reading of the text,

    I’ve never said it was. What I intended to establish, and absent any counter argument that might refute my contention, is that ALL per Col. 2:3 is to be understood universally. Once that was agreed on, then we could move on to 2 Tim 3:16 and the universals which support the WCF’s doctrine of sola Scripture per WCF 1:6 and not 1:10 as you erroneously assert.

    Since you will not conceded the universal import of Colossians, it is pointless to go around and around 2 Tim 3:16 with you as I’ve done on numerous occasions in the past. It is like trying to argue for particular atonement with someone how refuses to see that 1 Tim 2:6 applies to all classes of men and not all men head for head. If a person cannot grasp something so basic, there really isn’t much hope that they will progress to the next step.

    Of course, you cannot concede even this much ground, because to do so is devestating to your position. As Clark points out:

    “. . .one notes that the word all implies that science is neither wisdom nor knowledge. Knowledge, in its objective sens of truth, never changes. Science has always been changing , with an ever-increasing acceleration. There is no truth in physics and chemistry.”

    I don’t need to justify my non-obvious reading which NO exegete in the history of the church has been able to see,”

    I haven’t seen you provide any counter argument other than now which is an ad populum appeal to your imagined group of every exegete in history. Besides being fallacious, you didn’t canvas very far. Gill states:

    “. . . our highest wisdom and knowledge lies in knowing him, whom to know is life eternal; and the excellency of whose knowledge surpasses everything else; it is the greatest riches, and most valuable treasure; nor is there anything worth knowing but what is in Christ, all is laid up in him: and being said to be “hid” in him, shows the excellency of the wisdom and knowledge that is in him only valuable things being hid, or compared to hid treasure; that this cannot be had without knowing him . . . .”

    Comports very well with what I’ve said so far.

    then I counter:

    “Jesus said we can KNOW things from our senses by saying that we observe fig trees and know summer is near.”

    Yes, you could. You could also use Mat 16:2-4:

    “But He answered and said to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them, and went away.”

    Then we can discuss Jesus’ (valid) use of the ad hominem argument and perhaps you would see that Jesus was no empiricist.

    Comment by Sean Gerety — July 4, 2007 @ 1:08 pm

  70. FYI per the Geneva study notes:

    Col 2:3 – In whom are hid all the treasures of (d) wisdom and knowledge.

    (d) There is no true wisdom outside of Christ.

    Even a quick google shows how lazy our friend Manata is who claims EVERY exegete disagrees. Seems not:

    2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.] Once again we see that Paul has emphasized knowledge, wisdom and understanding (see 1:9). But he points to Jesus Christ as being the source, not human philosophy (verse 8). This is also a statement to Jesus’ omniscience.

    Comment by Sean Gerety — July 4, 2007 @ 1:29 pm

  71. Sean,

    ” nor is there anything worth knowing but what is in Christ, all is laid up in him: and being said to be “hid” in him,”

    Obviously doesn’t get what you want. You’re equivocating. I may know something that isn’t “worth” knowing.

    “Col 2:3 – In whom are hid all the treasures of (d) wisdom and knowledge.

    (d) There is no true wisdom outside of Christ.”

    Again, what does this mean. And, it’s clear that it doesn;t mean “all knowledge is stated or deduced from Scripture.” Heck, “scripture” isn’t even in the commenters notes.

    Furthermore, Sean, try this one on for size. G.H. Clark said,

    “”Therefore, since God is Truth, we shall define person…as a composite of truths…theologians will complain that this reduces the Trinity to one person…This objection is based on a blindness toward certain definite Scriptural information…I am referring to the complex of truths that form the Three Persons. Though they are equally omniscient, they do not all know the same truths. Neither the complex of truths we call the Father nor those we call the Spirit, has the proposition, “I was incarnated.” …The Father cannot say, “I walked from Jerusalem to Jericho.”

    G. Clark, The Incarnation (The Trinity Foundation 1988), 54-55.”

    Therefore, Sean, it follows by strict logic, according to Clark, that this knowlegde:

    (*) The Son proceeds from Me

    is not something Christ knows.

    Or, take this:

    (**) I know what it feels like to deny Jesus three times.

    Does Christ know that?

    Now, I normally wouldn’t do this but you’re the one who pressed the “ALL” means “ALL” and “NO EXCEPTIONS” here.

    Moreover, Jesus said, “No one knows tha day or hour, not even the Son.” So, you have A LOT of qualifying to do. It seems your calling me lazy was merely psychological projection.

    I said,

    “I don’t need to justify my non-obvious reading which NO exegete in the history of the church has been able to see,”

    Sean said,

    “I haven’t seen you provide any counter argument other than now which is an ad populum appeal to your imagined group of every exegete in history.”

    And Sean ALSO said in response to my claim that,

    “All knowledge is hid in Christ” does not equal the claim “all knowledge must be explicitly stated in Scripture or deducible from Scripture.” If you think so, and it is not even close to being a prima facie reading of the text,”

    He said,

    “I’ve never said it was.”

    So, he admits he hasn’t proven his case. He holds to a position even Gordon Clark wouldn’t. He uses sloppy exegesis. He msirepresents those he quotes, relying on equivocation. His anger and over-heated type-writting seems to be his way to make up for a weak and shoddy case.

    Have a nice 4th,

    INRJC

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 4, 2007 @ 3:02 pm

  72. Obviously doesn’t get what you want. You’re equivocating. I may know something that isn’t “worth” knowing.

    No equivocation at all. I want to know all the truth I can. Sorry you don’t. But I understand. As Clark said, “Knowledge, in its objective sense of truth, never changes.” You just want to know what you had for breakfast.

    I meet folks like you every day.

    Comment by Sean Gerety — July 4, 2007 @ 6:41 pm

  73. (d) There is no true wisdom outside of Christ.”

    Again, what does this mean. And, it’s clear that it doesn;t mean “all knowledge is stated or deduced from Scripture.” Heck, “scripture” isn’t even in the commenters notes.

    What it means Manata, is that all knowledge (by parity of reasoning) is found in Christ. To know Christ is to know the Scriptures for in them we have “the mind of Christ” (or, at least a portion of it).

    OTOH, by logical necessity you’re position is clear, Christ’s mind, that is, Christ Himself, can be found apart from Scripture.

    Again, I meet folks like you every day.

    Comment by Sean Gerety — July 4, 2007 @ 6:45 pm

  74. Furthermore, Sean, try this one on for size. G.H. Clark said,

    Keep reading Paul. You might begin with Clark’s book, The Trinity. He avoids all the irrational pitfalls Van Til stumbles on like asserting God is both three persons and one person.

    Comment by Sean Gerety — July 4, 2007 @ 6:47 pm

  75. Seems like this is more about Clark and Van Til than actually having a coherent epistemology…

    – IMBA

    Comment by I Might Be Augustine — July 4, 2007 @ 6:51 pm

  76. I’ve never said it was.”

    So, he admits he hasn’t proven his case. He holds to a position even Gordon Clark wouldn’t. He uses sloppy exegesis.

    Indeed I do admit it. Hardly the sign of failure you suppose. Not that I’m not happy to let you dream. ;) As I said, one step at a time. But since you are either resistant to even taking the first step, and for the reasons I’ve explained, or just incapable, I’m happy to let you sit where you are.

    In addition, my exegesis may even be sloppy, but it doesn’t follow that it is also wrong. Again, you reject for some unknown reason that the word ALL in Col. 2:3 is a universally distributive term and you evidently are incapable of providing a counter exegetical viewpoint that would limit the use of the word ALL to just certain types or classes of knowledge. Consequently, I’m happy to let my sloppy exegetical position stand and for you to sit where you are. :)

    Happy 4th to you too. :)

    BTW, if ya’ll get a chance watch (or read) this speech by presidential candidate Ron Paul, please do. When I heard it the lights went on.

    At one time I would probably have dismissed him as some conspiracy nut. Had I not read John Robbins’ piece on the problem of indexation and arguments for getting the gov’t out of the money business in Freedom and Capitalism I probably wouldn’t have already been primed.

    It’s a little long, but you can either watch it or read it in light of passages like Prov 20:10; Differing weights and differing measures, Both of them are abominable to the LORD. Or this passage: Deu 25:14-16: “You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small. You shall have a full and just weight; you shall have a full and just measure, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you. For everyone who does these things, everyone who acts unjustly is an abomination to the LORD your God.”

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul303.html

    It’s appropriate listening or reading for the 4th even if you’re British.

    Sean

    Comment by Sean Gerety — July 4, 2007 @ 6:59 pm

  77. Seems like this is more about Clark and Van Til than actually having a coherent epistemology…

    Unfortunately, that is ALWAYS the case with Manata. I can’t even make it beyond the first step with him.
    Which is weird, seeing he just realized that VT was wrong and TAG indefensible. One would have thought under such circumstances even Manata might be willing to open his mind a little and consider an alternative view. But, I learned a long time ago Manata is the special kind of ideologue.

    Comment by Sean Gerety — July 4, 2007 @ 7:03 pm

  78. …says the pot to the kettle.

    Comment by I Might Be Augustine — July 4, 2007 @ 7:22 pm

  79. Not sure what that is supposed to mean, but he asked me to answer a question concerning limiting knowledge to Scripture and its necessary inferences. I started to do that per Col. 2:3 and aside from one quote from Clark explaining why perhaps Manata is unwilling to accept the meaning of this verse, I haven’t mentioned the man. FWIW, I’m just defending the position of the WCF concerning sola Scriptura which is sufficient and authoritative for all of life (see WCF 1.6).

    Comment by Sean Gerety — July 4, 2007 @ 7:37 pm

  80. Sean, I’ve not mentioned Van Til once. Nothing in my critique depends on me being a Van Tillian. In fact, since it’s a reductio, all I’m using are *Scripturalist* assumptions.

    If you read my posts you’ll note that they’re 99% substance, while yours are 99% rhetoric.

    I understand you’ve given your life for the cause of Clark, so I expect the same from you every time. I don’t think I’ll disagree with the proverb that, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” You see, you don’t *want* Clark to be wrong. You’d have to eat too much crow, and you just can’t do that.

    I’ll leave the convo as I leave all our other ones. The debate is public for all to read. I’m fine with what I wrote, and I’ll assume Sean is confident in his defense. The reader can decide.

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 4, 2007 @ 7:40 pm

  81. IMBA (number 66), you seem to be thinking along the same lines I was thinking, although the final bit (about turning the tables on the critic) is not necessarily where I would go.

    INRJC (number 65),

    Your assertion:

    And TF can add his own position to the above: “It may well be that Scripturalism is the case, but I do not know how to prove it, nor, I suspect, do you. In truth, I do not know that it is the case, I opine it.”

    So, since you’re now admitting that you don’t “know” that Scripturalism is the case in your “real” and “important” sense – the sense the Scripturalists use – then we only have your “other” sense left.

    is false.

    I have consistently asserted that I “know” Scripturalism in the strong sense. I have also proved that Scripture teaches Scripturalism.

    So, likewise, your comment:

    Anyway, does TF agree with Robbins? (I can cite other’s as well.) If so, then it’s as I said, Scripturalism is OPINION. TF actually spends time arguing and debating his mere opinion. Much like the ethical anti-realists. Much like the two kids in front of the ice cream parlor. “Chocolate is the best!” “Nuh-uh, Strawberry is the best!” “Is not!” “Is too!”

    Is also false.

    Within Robbins’ definitions, Scripturalism itself is KNOWLEDGE, not OPINION.

    If it were just opinion (not admitted), that would still not necessarily be a rebuttal that would lead to a new epistemic system. There is, however, no reason to go down that path.

    -Turretinfan

    Comment by Turretinfan — July 4, 2007 @ 9:01 pm

  82. All,

    See my problem here?

    TF states,

    “I have consistently asserted that I “know” Scripturalism in the strong sense. I have also proved that Scripture teaches Scripturalism.”

    The above suffices to show Tim and ~Augustine that TF holds to a self-referentially incoherent position. He thinks he knows a claim that doesn’t meet his own standards of knowledge.

    If so, deduce the infallibilist constraint. If not, then your “argument” assumes premises not deduced from the Bible.

    Here was your deduction a stated a bit more formally:

    P1. God is infallible.
    P2. The Bible is God’s infallible revelation.
    P3. God controls all things
    P4. Man is fallible.
    P5. Man’s sensations are fallible.
    P6. Man’s intuitions are fallible.
    C. Therefore, all knowledge comes from biblical propositions and their necessary implications.

    But as I’ve pointed out above, you at least need something like this:

    P7. Knowledge is gained only from infallible sources.

    Can (7) be deduced from Scripture?

    Furthermore, I doubt your original premises can be shown on your assumptions. I don’t doubt that they’re true, I doubt you can deduce all of them. For example, can P5 be deduced from Scripture? If so, can the information in those premises be deduced? And, at best, are the only arguments for them *inductive* ones? That is, *a few* people had fallible senses, therefore *all* people do?

    Really, Scripturalism is a shoddy philosophy. All you’ve been doing TF is wasting our time by seeing how many posts you can make which appear to answer me but are really nothing more than cop-outs in the disguise of “rejoinders.”

    Take Care,

    INRJC

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 4, 2007 @ 10:36 pm

  83. [This comment was originally posted under "Stereotypes". --FW]

    While your observation that Christ told us to bring the good news of the Gospel to ‘all nations’ is versically correct, you then jump to the wrong theological conclusion, in assuming that the ‘to ethne’ (the ‘ethnos’) of the original Greek ( and the knowledge that the Apostles, as mere men, saw the ‘world’ as confined to the boundaries of the Roman Empire, i,e, Caucasoid Europe) or the ‘world’ of Christ’s Great Commission, actually MEANT the entire world, sphrerical ball, etc. of modern ‘all the world.’

    For, to follow that logic, it would mean that if ALL the ‘nations’ of the ‘world’ did NOT hear the Gospel, then God is a) a liar (may it never be!) or b) not omnipotent! Yet, the hottentots or some Austro-Tasmanian tribe died BEFORE hearing the gospel, if historical memory serves…

    If God, in clearly delineating the fact that Adam is the ‘father’ of the Elect race, and that the hebrew tongue cleary shows that ‘a-dam’ means, “rosy, fair, able to blush,” (cf. Strong’s) and that King David was described as ‘fair of face, and ruddy’ (possibly even ‘red-headed’ – a trait known to be ‘ethnically’ Celtic!), etc. then -what RIGHT have we to confuse a false egalitarian Universalism of the soul (all men will be saved) with a false ‘anti-incarnationalism’ of the Body as well (all races are to be ’saved’- i,.e., Christian’!!

    IF Jews are ‘cunning’, and Negroes are ’slow, stupid, bestial, like innocent children,’ etc. (just a FEW of the statements I have read on this sort of forum, and in many books over the years) why would it not ALSO be correct to make the ’stereotype’ viable, that Christianity is ‘the white man’s religion,’ and just leave the rest of bipedal humanoids to their idols, etc.!?

    I find it fascinating that, so close to our national holiday of independence, the explicitly RACIAL nature of the Declaration, and the Constitution, which so many ‘reformed’ aver has it’s roots in both Magna Charta and the Bible, that we do not see, before our eyes, the EXCLUSIVELY RACIAL NATURE OF THE INCARNATION! If Christ is truly the Son of God (and I believe He is, may He be forever praised!) HE IS the ETHNIC HEIR to the Davidic line-a clearly, DIVINELY ELECTED ETHNICITY!

    Then why not believe the Scriptures when it says that He (christ) will ’save HIS PEOPLE from THEIR sins.” Matt. 1:21 If we Caucasoid Europeans ARE that people (cf. Belloc’s “Europe is the Faith, the faith, Europe”) it would make our foreign policy SO much easier, if we saw all non-whites (including the Edomitic Khazarians- i.e., the “jews”) as ‘goyim’ and us as ‘Elect.’ Why are we so afraid to take St. John, St. Paul, St. Peter, indeed, the ENTIRE NT, at face (literally!) value, when it says that WE are ‘a chosen RACE, a HOLY PRIESTHOOD, etc.’ and be content that ‘I thank thee, Lord, that I am a [at the VERY LEAST, a ’spiritual’] Jew, when we all KNOW that ‘those who say they are Jews, and are not,’ [Rev. 2:8,9] ARE NOT!

    It is time we abandoned the OTHER stereotype not taught by Christendom, but by the deicides, that the non-white, non-European ‘is my brother’. God has a people, he fashioned them clearly to be a ‘light [skin?] unto the gentiles,’ and, when we attempt to divorce Christianity from her European, WHITE Foundations, we no longer have the Christianity of the Councils, the Fathers, and the Apostles, but an amalgam, a ‘false faith.’

    Amen, and Amen!

    Comment by Fr John — July 5, 2007 @ 10:19 am

  84. If you read my posts you’ll note that they’re 99% substance, while yours are 99% rhetoric.

    LOL :) What a hoot! And this coming from a man who compares one of the most important Christian thinkers in the twentieth century on his shameful blog with a crystal meth dealer!

    Let’s review. So far you have failed to interact AT ALL with Col. 2:3 except to call my exegesis “sloppy” and make a blind ad populum appeal. Why? Because you and I both know that one little word destroys the heart of your entire argument.

    It’s really not that complicated and something a child could understand.

    Per Col. 2:3 we learn ALL knowledge is hid in Christ and Paul per 1 Cor. 2:16b tells us in Scripture we have the mind of Christ.

    Per WCF 1:6 and its supporting verses, specifically 2 Tim 3:16,17, in addition to numerous examples of valid inferences drawn from Scripture (see Mat. 12:18ff for a wonderful example), we learn that Scripture consists of not only those propositions specifically given but all necessary inferences as well. After all, the Scriptures cannot be broken, except I suppose in the mind of a Vantilian like you who thinks affirming biblical incoherence is a mark religious sophistication and piety. (Those interested should see Manata’s ongoing defense of the idea of the so-called insoluble paradoxes of Scripture, commonly called contradictions, at his blog site).

    Contrary to the white-noise coming from your posts, and comparing spiritual things with spiritual, the conclusion therefore follows that knowledge consists of all things found in Scripture and their valid inferences.

    A simple biblical and Confessional position you continue to reject in disbelief.

    Like I said early on, since you will not even grant that all knowledge is hid in Christ despite the clear, expressed and unequivocal teaching of Scripture, there really isn’t much sense in trying to deal with a man like you.

    But if you want to continue to think your posts are 99% substance, I certainly don’t want to disturb your delusion. =8-)

    Comment by Sean Gerety — July 5, 2007 @ 10:42 am

  85. Several problems seem to be going on here. On one hand, there is confusion over the use of the word “knowledge” and “know.” In one sense, TF has not denied that one can know propositions outside of Scripture. ~Calvin has replied with John Robbins quote stating that non-Scripture “knowledge” is “opinion” but it would seem that TF is giving “opinion” the same properties as “knowledge” with a lesser degree of certainty.

    Surely, we could all agree that we know some things more certainly than we know other things. Therefore, who cares if I want to call that which I am most certain about “Blark” (or knowledge) and all of that which I am less certain about “Flarp” (or opinion). As long as we understand that opinion is “justified belief of a true datum” what makes the difference? We are speaking about the same cake we are just cutting it a little differently. Still, I don’t see this as helpful since it obviously is unorthodox and adds confusion to the mix.

    Therefore, ~Calvin, P7. would have to say something like “Only absolute certainty is gained from infallible sources.” In which case your objection is pushed back to what Tim phrased earlier as “is the proposition ‘we can only KNOW [with highest degree of certainty] what we learn from Scripture’ itself something we KNOW [with highest degree of certainty], and if so, is it something we know [with highest degree of certainty] from Scripture?”

    This leads us to another confusion. Though TF is claiming that only Scripture provides the highest degree of certainty I doubt that he would claim that he apprehends all of what Scripture has to say with the highest degree of certainty (am I wrong?). TF may admit that it is *possible* that he is mistaken about his view of eschatology… yet this does not defeat his Scripturalist position (as I have caste it) because if TF’s position of eschatology is going to be demonstrated as fallible then it must be done so from Scripture itself. John Frame concedes the same point in his book ‘Doctrine of the Knowledge of God.’ Man is fallible but the Scripture is not, therefore, “those corrections may be made only on the basis of a deeper understanding of Scripture, not on the basis of some other kind of knowledge” (p. 45).

    At this point it is tempting to push try and push the fallibalist claim over the edge of skepticism by asking such things as “how do you ever know you can interpret John 3:16 correctly?” However, this denies the points contained within the presupposition of Scripture itself (as I pointed out in an earlier reply). Perhaps this means that “fallibalism” is taken with a different connotation than usual as well. After all, when the non-Christian says he is a fallibalist he means something different than the Christian. The Christian recognizes his fallibility but also the constraining power of God on the fallibility.

    At this point, I’m just throwing crap out there to see what works. You might say im taking full advantage of the padded room.

    -IMBA

    Comment by I Might Be Augustine — July 5, 2007 @ 10:43 am

  86. Tim,
    Perhaps you would consider creating padded rooms by category. That way we don’t get too cluttered in the posts.(i.e. Apologetics Padded Room, Politics Padded Room, Miscellaneous Padded Room, etc.)

    Comment by I Might Be Augustine — July 5, 2007 @ 10:47 am

  87. It is time we abandoned the OTHER stereotype not taught by Christendom, but by the deicides, that the non-white, non-European ‘is my brother’.

    Wow. Really wacky stuff.

    Needless to say, seeing what this portion of the blog is reserved for, I’m now offended that our discussion on the limits of biblical epistemology was moved to the “padded room.” I should have known better.

    Comment by Sean Gerety — July 5, 2007 @ 10:58 am

  88. Seriously… how can black people be “bestial,” and “like innocent children” at the same time? That doesn’t even make sense.

    Comment by I Might Be Augustine — July 5, 2007 @ 11:24 am

  89. INRJC,

    Your new argument, namely that I need something close to:

    P7. Knowledge is gained only from infallible sources.

    Is a little different (at least in the sound of it to my ears) from your previous argument.

    But let me ask you to explain whether something close to P7 is escapable in light of the foregoing, and given the “strong sense” definition of knowledge.

    In other words, given that the type of knowledge we are asking for is what you would conventionally call infallible knowledge, can infallible knowledge come from a fallible source.

    We’ll call that hypothetical rebuttal position 1:

    HR1 = Infallible knowledge can come from a fallible source. (where “infallible” is redundant if we are using Robbins’ definition)

    Do you believe that Scripture and deductions from Scripture teach HR1, permit HR1, or deny HR1 (or, lest I be accused of improper dichotomoy, some other option to be named)?

    -Turretinfan

    P.S. Oh yes, and as to:

    “I have consistently asserted that I “know” Scripturalism in the strong sense. I have also proved that Scripture teaches Scripturalism.”

    The above suffices to show Tim and ~Augustine that TF holds to a self-referentially incoherent position. He thinks he knows a claim that doesn’t meet his own standards of knowledge.

    You seem to need to get your prescription (for corrective lenses) changed. Your continued misrepresentation is so gross as to be bizarre if not for some error of sight on your part.

    -Turretinfan

    Comment by TurretinFan — July 5, 2007 @ 11:27 am

  90. [This comment was originally posted under “911 Nut-Balls”. –FW]

    MRB,

    Your satire does not address the argument presented. Your satire speak volumes – about its author. I’m done discussing this topic with you, which I suppose was the goal of your dishonorable work.

    Tim,

    The alleged molten steel issue and the analysis of the collapse of WTC7 are both interesting issues that warrant further investigation. The analysis of the collapses of WTC7 is ongoing, we’ll see what happens.

    I have serious doubts about the reliability of the molten steel accounts. It would be nice for the government to respond to those allegations (beyond the explanation provided for what appears to be molten metal in the video of the collapse of the twin towers.

    The refusal to accept the government’s account of the results of the stock trading evidence requires expanding the conspiracy to include yet another government agency, the SEC (whose job it is to investigate insider trading).

    The explanation provided is reasonable, even if skeptics would like to see more support for the explanation.

    The skeptics have a lot of questions, but consistently, and in the main, those questions have been reasonably answered.

    Short of a desire to imagine that our government is out to get us, I don’t see any reason to continue the skepticism. Do you?

    -Turretinfan

    Comment by TurretinFan — July 5, 2007 @ 12:13 pm

  91. More bad form.
    If you’re not going to leave my comments in their original, unedited form, just delete them wholesale from your website. You don’t have permission to copy and move posts, and I have tolerated it enough already.
    -Turretinfan

    Comment by TurretinFan — July 5, 2007 @ 12:57 pm

  92. T-fan (#90) — you say, “the explanation provided is reasonable,” but I listed several reasons why it was not. Why insult us by assuming an al Qaeda perp when that is one of the questions? Why not list the # of stock options instead of saying “95% of them”? It is just as easy. But everything is slippery, evasive, deceptive, tricky.

    It almost seems as though on your view they could just announce “we have investigated all aspects of the govt’s story about 9/11 and found everything in order.” Why bother with reports and 900 page books at all?

    If we are simply to trust their conclusions, no matter how poorly substantiated, then just say that that’s what you rest on. Don’t pretend like the detailed arguments are actually germane.

    Comment by TJH — July 5, 2007 @ 4:17 pm

  93. TF,

    This slight of hand and equivocating is getting boring. That is, there’s knowledge, but not knowledge, it’s just colloquial use for edumacted guess, yada yada.

    Let’s be precise. We have

    a) knwoledge

    b) opinion.

    In (b) go your edumacted guesses, your rational believings, your hunches, etc.

    In (a) goes all and only those propositions that are explicitly stated in or deducible from Scripture.

    With me so far? This way we don’t need to say, it’s knowledge, but not *knowledge.* It’s knowledge but not KNOWLEDGE. it’s knowledge but not the colloquial use. So confusing and sloppy.

    That is, when terms are properly defined, ambiguity and equivocations removed, we do not call that knowledge which is not in Scripture or deducible from Scripture.

    Now, we have TF’s Scripturalis Package:

    SP: All knowledge is either stated in or deducible from Scripture.

    Does TF ‘know’ SP is sense (a) or sense (b)?

    If sense (b) then I don’t care to have the discussion. I’m satisfied that that sufficies to show the demise of Scripturalist epistemology.

    If sense (a), then deduce it.

    Now, TF thinks he has deduced it. But, he has not since an unstated premise that is crucial to the argument cannot, say I, be deduced from Scripture.

    So, as it stands, TF doesn’t know (sense a) SP.

    Gerety,

    Still waiting for the exegesis and the deduction. You must either not know how to do exegesis or must not know how do write up a formal proof. Which is it?

    And, I refuted your argument from Col. Remember, you said ALL means ALL and no expetions.

    I responded:

    Furthermore, Sean, try this one on for size. G.H. Clark said,

    “”Therefore, since God is Truth, we shall define person…as a composite of truths…theologians will complain that this reduces the Trinity to one person…This objection is based on a blindness toward certain definite Scriptural information…I am referring to the complex of truths that form the Three Persons. Though they are equally omniscient, they do not all know the same truths. Neither the complex of truths we call the Father nor those we call the Spirit, has the proposition, “I was incarnated.” …The Father cannot say, “I walked from Jerusalem to Jericho.”

    G. Clark, The Incarnation (The Trinity Foundation 1988), 54-55.”

    Therefore, Sean, it follows by strict logic, according to Clark, that this knowlegde:

    (*) The Son proceeds from Me

    is not something Christ knows.

    Or, take this:

    (**) I know what it feels like to deny Jesus three times.

    Does Christ know that?

    Now, I normally wouldn’t do this but you’re the one who pressed the “ALL” means “ALL” and “NO EXCEPTIONS” here.

    Moreover, Jesus said, “No one knows tha day or hour, not even the Son.” So, you have A LOT of qualifying to do. It seems your calling me lazy was merely psychological projection.

    So far this has not been rebutted. As it stands Gerety is just posting to save face.

    Best,

    ~INRJC

    I then replied:

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 5, 2007 @ 6:00 pm

  94. Still waiting for the exegesis and the deduction. You must either not know how to do exegesis or must not know how do write up a formal proof. Which is it?

    Are you going to ask me when am I going to stop beating my wife next? The exegesis was done and in light of no serious challenge from you or anyone else, it stands. How can you expect to move on to a formal proof when you reject the major premise? In Christ are hid ALL the treasures of knowledge.

    The context in no way limits Paul’s discussion to a refutation of Gnosticism as you foolishly asserted. Quite the reverse as I have already demonstrated. If that wasn’t embarrassing enough to discredit your impotent and laughable attack on Clark’s Scripturalism and your inability to rightly divide God’s Word, your constant and shameful smearing of your opponents only makes you look increasingly desperate and, frankly, foolish.

    I can see why Dr. Robbins would have nothing to do with you – even after your feigned and self-serving “apology” to him and after you took down an offensive and libelous blog only to subsequently replace it with others even more offensive and libelous.

    I’m honestly starting to feel sorry for you Paul. I don’t think you’re well.

    Therefore, Sean, it follows by strict logic, according to Clark, that this knowlegde:

    (*) The Son proceeds from Me

    is not something Christ knows.

    You must be joking. I thought this is where you were going, but I really couldn’t believe even you could be that ridiculous. I realize there is nothing too low for you. Your gross libel of Christian men like Drs. Clark and Robbins, who are in every way your superior, really is boundless.

    Is your argument now that Gordon Clark was some species of Arian? I won’t say this is as pathetic as your shameful attack on Clark and others who share his position as “crank heads,” but do you actually think that Clark denied the omniscience of Christ in The Incarnation or was the material just beyond your capability and reasoning skills. Which is it?

    Comment by Sean Gerety — July 5, 2007 @ 8:12 pm

  95. Hi Sean,

    Okay, got it. Col. 2 means that no one can know anything unless the find it in Scripture or deduce it, because you say-so. Got it.

    Isn’t this just a case of *you* resorting to ridicule rather than argumentation? The arguments are out there. Where’s your response to them? To not interact with my claims, but engage in mere emotional outbursts, simply asserting how stupid I am, is not a response, it’s ridicule.

    We have unsubstantiated, unargued, emotive rhetoric.

    I’ll just quote what another one of your interlocutors told you, it matches my sentiments,

    “There’s something of a pattern here in Gerety’s puerile attacks:

    1. He never cites any sources.
    2. He engages in lavish, vitriolic rhetoric.
    3. He attacks people personally.
    4. He has a superiority complex.
    5. He never gives a single argument.

    In short, he deals with intellectual disputes in a childish, unsophisticated, uninformed, unchristian manner. I think this will be my last time to respond to him.”

    Blessings!

    ~INRJC

    P.S. No, Clark was not a Arian, he was a neo-nestorian. Even you push the whole “Christ was two persons” argument.

    Here’s some quotes from Gerety,

    “The Son is defined as a person of the Trinity and this person is united to a fully human what? Nature? Christ is fully man and fully God. Aren’t we considered persons as men? We are not considered natures. Gordon Clark brings up these questions in The Incarnation and yes, I know that Nestorianism is/was considered a heresy, but I think he was onto something.”

    And,

    “seem to have problems affirming the divine person is still a real person in the Incarnation, but the human person is nowhere to be found. What we really have is a divine person and an impersonal human nature.”

    See, Sean and Clark are nestorians.

    Anyway, Sean has not dealt with me reductio from Clark where we read that “Christ” does NOT know some propositions, and so it is hard to see how ALL, and no exceptions, ‘knowledge’ is “deposited” in him.

    P.P.S This is my last response here. I’d like to thank the Clarkians for their help again. As I always say, they do more harm to Scripturalism then I could ever do.

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 5, 2007 @ 11:19 pm

  96. P.P.P.S. LOL, notice that Sean thinks that knowledge of first person indexicals is something known by God. Sean, “omniscience” has never been defined, at least by those philosophically competant, as knowing EVERYTHING there possibly is to know. But, that’s where your forced with you ‘all means all and no exceptions” line of argument. Go pick up a philosophy of religion text and see how that sophomoric view gets sliced and diced by theistic and non-theistc philosophers alike.

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 5, 2007 @ 11:23 pm

  97. simply asserting how stupid I am, is not a response, it’s ridicule . . .

    See, Sean and Clark are nestorians.

    You’re wrong again Paul. It wasn’t ridicule.

    Comment by Sean Gerety — July 6, 2007 @ 8:56 am

  98. “omniscience” has never been defined, at least by those philosophically competant, as knowing EVERYTHING there possibly is to know . . . Go pick up a philosophy of religion text and see how that sophomoric view gets sliced and diced by theistic and non-theistc philosophers alike.

    You’ve been spending too much time reading open-theists again Paul.

    Omniscience: In philosophy and theology it means the complete and perfect knowledge of God, of Himself and of all other beings, past, present, and future, or merely possible, as well as all their activities, real or possible, including the future free actions of human beings. — J.J.R.

    See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

    I’ll pray for you Paul.

    Comment by Sean Gerety — July 6, 2007 @ 9:14 am

  99. “Omniscience: In philosophy and theology it means the complete and perfect knowledge of God, of Himself and of all other beings, past, present, and future, or merely possible, as well as all their activities, real or possible, including the future free actions of human beings. — J.J.R.”

    I agree.

    Your quote in response to what I said shows just how serious to take you.

    And, again, your own Clark blows you out of the water:

    “Though they are equally omniscient, they do not all know the same truths. Neither the complex of truths we call the Father nor those we call the Spirit, has the proposition, “I was incarnated.” …The Father cannot say, “I walked from Jerusalem to Jericho.”

    G. Clark, The Incarnation (The Trinity Foundation 1988), 54-55.”

    Now, since you’re not into paradoxes, and Clark isn’t into Van Tillian double speak, I take it he means what he said in the bolded part.

    So, G.H. Clark has told us that not all the omniscience persons KNOW ALL THE SAME TRUTHS!

    There are some things God doesn’t know. Here, specifically, is the problem of indexicals.

    What I know when I know that

    1. I am making sinning against God.

    is an indexical fact that no one else can know. At most, what someone else can know is that

    2. ~John Calvin is sinning against God.

    or perhaps, pointing to me, that

    3. ~John Calvin is sinning against God.

    God may know (2) or (3), but not (1).

    Now an omniscient being knows everything that can be known. But since I am not omniscient, there is at least one proposition that I know — (1) — that is not known by any other knower, including an omniscient knower, or, God.

    No being knows every indexical and non-indexical fact. This is why philosophers have *qualified* their definition of omniscience so as to escape these problems.

    This isn’t so strange, right? Is God “omnipotent?” So he can do ANYTHING, AND NO EXCEPTIONS? He can lie? He can make a square circle? He can make a rock to big he can’t lift it? No, that’s not right. And when I qualify omnipotent in that way is my “soul” in danger? Is Sean Gerety going to “pray for me?”

    So, it’s not *prima facie* absurd to do what I did to omniscince the same type of things I do to God’s other attributes. Now, I understand the fundamentalist, Appalachian Mountain, Pentecostal snake-dancing Christian doesn’t make this distinctions. he dons his overalls and his straw hats, and marches his “aww shucks” theology down to the local college and tells people to believe in God because “bad things are a comin’. For zample, God’s gonna send people to the firey pit where tha debil will poke them with pitchforks.”

    So, take that for what it’s worth, Gerety. A free lesson. And, I’d be careful about using prayer as a kind of Argumentum ad Metum, or baculum, or perhaps circumstantial ad hominem, or maybe those and more wrapped into one.

    Take Care, and the best to you and yours,

    INRJC

    P.S. This really was my last reply! :-D

    Comment by I'm Not Really John Calvin — July 6, 2007 @ 10:48 am

  100. Let’s all hope this time that it really is Manata’s last reply because it is clear he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, yet thinks he can fool the unwitting with philosophic jargon.

    So, G.H. Clark has told us that not all the omniscience persons KNOW ALL THE SAME TRUTHS!

    There are some things God doesn’t know. Here, specifically, is the problem of indexicals.

    Another great example of Paul Manata not heeding the Apostle Paul’s stern admonition: “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception. . . .”

    Any honest and fair, not to mention competent reading of Clark, would see that Clark’s distinguishing between first person and third person propositions is a semantic shift that doesn’t alter that which is known. For example:

    Paul Manata claims to know:

    1. I am making sinning against God.

    Like when he libels Christians by scurrilously referring to them crank dealers, falsely accuses them of Nestorianism, or publicly claims his elders need “spankings” on his blog. God knows this too. Notice the knower changed, but the meaning remains the same: Paul Manta is sinning against God when he libels and falsely accuses other Christians. Paul seems to forget that a proposition is the meaning of a declarative sentence. Replacing “I am sinning . . .” with “Paul Manata is sinning. . .” did not alter the meaning of the proposition, but rather moved from the first person subjective to a third person objective.

    Joel Parkinson who IS an honest, fair AND competent reader of Clark observes:

    “Thus the subjective thoughts of the three divine Persons and their objective knowledge are not one and the same even though they are both all-encompassing. The Father does not think, “I will or have died on a cross,” nor does he think, “I will or do indwell Christians.” Only the Son can think the former and the latter is unique to the Holy Spirit. But all three know “the Son will die or has died on a cross,” and “the Holy Spirit will or does indwell Christians.” So the subjective thoughts distinguish the Persons even though their objective knowledge is shared and complete.

    . . . We therefore conclude that the concept of the intellectual triunity of God helps to show the coherence of the Trinity. On the one hand, there are three subjective thoughts in the Godhead which cannot be reduced to one personality. One the other hand, there is one common objective body of knowledge to the three Persons. The omniscient content of this shared knowledge uniquely renders the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit indivisible. If they are indivisible, then they are one God. Yet we have not confounded the Persons.” http://www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=70

    Finally, notice what an awful pickle Manata has gotten himself into through his empty and deceptive use of contemporary analytical and philosophic jargon:

    Now an omniscient being knows everything that can be known. But since I am not omniscient, there is at least one proposition that I know — (1) — that is not known by any other knower, including an omniscient knower, or, God.

    Can a denial of omniscience be any clearer.

    1. An omniscient being knows everything that can be known.

    2. There is at least one proposition God doesn’t know.

    :. God is not an omniscient being.

    QED

    Goodbye Paul. For the record, I wasn’t being facetious in the least. I will be praying for you.

    Comment by Sean Gerety — July 6, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

  101. Greg Bahnsen has excluded indexicals from the definition of omniscience, so you’ll get no sympathy here.

    Anyway, since you equivocate,

    1. An omnipotent being can do anything.

    2. There is at least one thing – lying – that God cannot do.

    3. Therefore, God is not omnipotent.

    QED.

    Does God know what it feels like to rape a woman?

    Wake up Sean.

    Comment by I'm not John Robbins — July 6, 2007 @ 2:21 pm

  102. You never seem to shut up even when you promise to do so and repeatedly.

    Greg Bahnsen has excluded indexicals from the definition of omniscience, so you’ll get no sympathy here.

    Well, of course, that’s because it is not the case that the Son knows some truths the Father does not know, but rather how what is known is different.

    There is a good reason why linguistic philosophy, which is what virtually all the modern philosophy has been reduced to, and what has entrapped you, is anti-philosophy. Schaeffer was correct on this score and it’s nice to see him vindicated by your remarks here. It took some time for its crippling effects to pollute Christian apologetes, but thankfully Francis wasn’t around to see your posts. OK, you’re not as bad as Poythress, but IMO it’s just a matter of time.

    Anyway, since you equivocate . . . Does God know what it feels like to rape a woman?

    The equivocation is entirely yours and rests on your sloppy use of the word “know.” Knowledge by definition is propositional. Consequently, a feeling is non-propositional and are not objects.

    Your Neo-orthodoxy is showing again Paul.

    Comment by The Ghost of Greg Bahnsen — July 8, 2007 @ 5:47 pm

  103. Using the name of a dead theologian is fatuous. But using “the Ghost of . . .” is unacceptable even for the “padded room.” It is especially unacceptable when it is used as a subtle way dig the dead theologian. Further comments with such tags will be deleted.

    Comment by MRB — July 9, 2007 @ 5:37 pm

  104. Well, I’m sure it was meant in good fun. I myself inadvertantly offended someone a while back with a “turning over in his grave” allusion to the very same man. “Let’s just say… it is our request not to do so; that has a much more pleasant sound to it.” (quick quiz: that’s roughly a quote from what recently-mentioned movie?)

    Comment by TJH — July 9, 2007 @ 6:14 pm

  105. 1. All (things that God has revealed) are true.

    2. All (propositions contained in Scripture) are (things that God has revealed).

    3. Therefore, (propositions contained in Scripture) are true.

    While (1) and (2) can both be argued for, I think everyone here will agree that all Christians hold both, so we can stipulate them.

    (3) seems to follow rigorously. Said differently (as I would prefer)

    3′. If Scripture says P, then P.

    However, by their “only,” (we only know what Scripture affirms) Sean and T-fan affirm the converse of 3′, namely

    4. If P, then Scripture says P.

    I agree with I’m-not-sure-what-to-call-him that (4) would not seem to follow from Col 2:3.

    (let’s stipulate that “Scripture says P” is shorthand to include also propositions that are deduced from those in Scripture)

    Comment by TJH — July 9, 2007 @ 6:34 pm

  106. I’ve been receiving ole Falwell’s “confidential” for awhile now – I haven’t the slightest clue how he found me
    You may find this amusing

    FALWELL CONFIDENTIAL
    Insider weekly newsletter to The Moral Majority Coalition and
    The Liberty Alliance http://www.moralmajority.com

    From: Jonathan Falwell
    Date: July 10, 2007

    A Significant Meeting Between Muslims and Christians

    On Monday, July 2, I attended what I can only pray may become a historic meeting. Several weeks ago, I received a call about attending a meeting at the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, D.C. I was told that this meeting would be hosted by the Ambassador from Egypt and might be attended by representatives of other Arab nations, as well as by 10-15 pastors, evangelists and Christian media representatives.

    My interest stirred, I agreed to attend the meeting even though I was not quite sure of its purpose. I asked Dr. Ron Godwin, Liberty University’s Executive Vice President to attend with me. When we arrived at the Embassy, we were greeted by Evangelist Benny Hinn and introduced to several other pastors, evangelists, Christian TV producers and representatives of Christian organizations. Among them were Gordon Robertson of the 700 Club, Paul Crouch Jr. of Trinity Broadcasting Network, Christian lobbyist Ralph Reed, Richard Cizik of the National Association of Evangelicals, Vernon Brewer of WorldHelp and several others.

    Within a period of no more than 10 minutes, the Ambassadors from Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Kuwait, Yemen, Iraq, Bahrain, and the Ambassador from the Arab League of Nations all arrived. I now realized that this meeting was far more than a social gathering. Soon thereafter, we sat down at a large table, Evangelicals all on one side and Arab representatives on the other, about 24 of us, for lunch.

    The Egyptian Ambassador began the meeting by graciously saying that we should not worry about diplomacy at this meeting. He went on to emphasize that we should have an open, honest conversation about what is necessary for bridges to be built between Islam and American Christians. At that moment, I realized that the meeting might, indeed, offer far greater potential than I had imagined.

    Over the course of several hours, a great deal of candid conversation took place. Conversation, on the Americans’ part that just might begin to crack open the doors to religious freedom in nations where it is now practically forbidden.

    One of the Ambassadors mentioned that American Christians seemed to always favor Israel in all situations, even when Israel was wrong. He asked if it might be possible that Christians become more “balanced” in our support of Israel.

    The answer to this question came from the former head of the Christian Coalition, Ralph Reed. Ralph said that we, as Christians, do take our support of Israel very seriously. Ralph went on to say that our support of Israel comes from our belief in the Scriptures and that this rendered our support for Israel largely nonnegotiable. However, with that understood, Ralph went on to say that we would also love to build far more positive relationships with Arab nations.

    We told the ambassadors that we loved the Arab people no more, but certainly no less, than the Israelis. We shared the Scriptural truth that God loves the entire world and sent His Son to die for all, regardless of their nationality. Thus, we stated that our love for Arabs was just as important a priority to us as is our love for Israel.

    The conversation then turned to the perception among American Christians of the Arab world. I shared that as Christians, we are strongly pro-life. And, that while the vast majority of Christians in America speak out against the horrors of abortion, we never condone or tolerate violence against those who disagree with us on this issue. I went on to say that there is a very small minority in the pro-life community who do resort to violence, and that when they do, the rest of us strongly and publicly condemn their actions. We make it known that we do not support any such violence and we do everything possible to stop it.

    I then told the Ambassadors that, likewise, they should strongly condemn the violent actions of their radicals as well. I shared that this would amount to a huge step towards changing perceptions of Muslims in our country. While I may never know if these words will be heeded, I do know they heard these words loud and clear.

    We went on to discuss humanitarian and educational assistance. We told them that, as Christians, we welcome the opportunity to work with them to offer humanitarian aid in their countries. And, while we take the Great Commission very seriously, we understand that humanitarian aid only offered with proselytizing strings attached generates great distrust.

    We also offered Liberty University to bring fully accredited, American education to their countries through our Distance Learning Program. We shared how that any student in their countries could receive a fully accredited American university degree online. We also offered to allow students from their country to attend LU in our resident program. Throughout this portion of the discussion, we made it clear that LU was a Christian institution and that the only kind of education the world’s largest evangelical Christian university would ever offer would be Christ-centered without apologies.

    As the meeting neared its end, one of the Ambassadors shared what may be one of the most promising statements made during the entire two hours. He said that we must understand that Americans have always been accepting of other religions and faiths because that is how we were founded. He went on to say that their nations did not come from the same background. And, in what could be a glimmer of hope for the freedom to worship in the Arab world, he said that we must understand that they are trying to head in that direction as well. He said that he knows it has been a slow process, but they truly desire to make the acceptance of other religions a reality in their respective nations.

    We all agreed that this would not be the last meeting. We promised that this dialogue would continue, that we were willing to visit their countries, meet their people, and attempt to continue the conversation to build a more peaceful future for our children and theirs. And then, we closed the meeting in prayer, in Jesus’ name!

    This truly was an historic meeting.

    Comment by secret agent +J(o)>S~H** — July 10, 2007 @ 10:44 am

  107. [moved here from Puritan Guide to the Opera]

    OK, the ‘Three Tonners’ joke put me in my place.
    laughing until it hurts…

    What I was aluding to, is the simple marxist tactic of destroying culture, by blurring the edges. Just as in TV, I now (being in a different city, with cable available) have had a chance to watch TV (we don’t own one in our house- except for videos of our choice)and what I see, is an EXPONENTIAL increase of blacks in positions of a) authority, power, prestige, and (most incredulous of all) intelligence.

    All of the ‘white’ characters are…yup, you guess it, ’semitically correct.’ I don’t know about you, but I find all that hawk nose, snake-eyed physiognomy disgusting. I truly do find Jews UGLY- i.e., Sarah Jessica Parker types, etc.

    So, I had an ulterior motive. WHY do we allow people to say, ‘Sorry, whites cannot do blackface,’ when we allow (encourage?) blacks to do ‘whiteface’? Isn’t this a stereotyping in reverse? Are they not (think of the movie, ‘Two white chicks’) both mocking and insuting Caucasians at the same time? I, for one, am DEEPLY insulted.

    I mentioned Battle and Norman, because they are BOTH on that Live from the MET “Adrienne Obnoxious” and yes, while I could watch Battle, I really, REALLY had a hard time looking at Norman without severe revulsion. Same with that farewell performance of PRICE as AIDA. Those big, fat lips just make me wonder, ‘WHAT GRECO-ARYAN Egyptian would EVER find her more attractive, than the (usually) WHITE AMNERIS???’

    I was hoping to engage in a ‘This is our culture, only WE can truly understand it, only WE can truly portray it,’ sort of thing. As corrolary, now white kids ape (Oops, too close to home!) ‘black [sic] culture’- but in becoming ‘wiggers’ have they not also NOT remained WHITE, i.e., Anglo-Saxon?

    I believe so….

    Comment by Fr John — July 14, 2007 @ 11:24 am

  108. [moved from Vera's protest]
    Tim I know you are going to erase this comment because it isn’t on topic nevertheless I wanted to ask if you and MRB would please do an article on evolution. Thank you

    Comment by 007 — July 30, 2007 @ 2:06 pm

  109. MB already did a nice job on that subject (at least, the historical-evidentiary basis) here.

    Atheist-materialist evolution could not be true in this sense: if it were true, then thoughts are themselves “secretions” (to state the matter crudely) and therefore it would be a category mistake to assign truth-value to them. It fact, it wd make no sense in such a universe to speak of propositions having truth-values; therefore the assertion of evolution as a true theory would self-refute.

    This leaves non-materialist evolution that would still need to be addressed as to teleology.

    Comment by TJH — July 30, 2007 @ 2:34 pm

  110. “God is self sufficient; He needs nothing outside Himself; He cannot become greater than He is, in knowledge, love, power, glory, for a greater than God is inconceivable. Nevertheless, He creates a world for His own glory-to obtain more glory, to enter into significant knowledge; love- and power-relationships which He would not have entered otherwise. In other words, on the one hand, God’s knowledge, love, power, and glory preclude addition; on the other hand they demand addition.” (P.308 Foundations of Christian Scholarship) Would either of you please expatiate upon this issue and the problem of the Christian paradox in general. As I understand it Van Til asserts that ultimately all teaching of Scripture is apparently contradictory. Your words on this topic would be most edifying to me, thank you.

    Comment by 007 — August 14, 2007 @ 1:26 pm

  111. 007, check out Plantinga’s evolutionary argument against naturalism. Its incredible. I did a post on it at my blog here, if you’re interested.

    Mr. Butler and Mr. Harris: what are your thoughts on Ron Paul? I’ve become a huge fan. I’m excited for once about something Republican.

    Comment by Keith — August 15, 2007 @ 8:09 pm

  112. 007 — that’s too big a topic to bang off in a comment box. However, one thing that may help in this reflection is to understand that everything is mysterious ultimately. This is the worst fallacy of the natural attitude, which creeps into evidential apologetics — the idea that lots of things are “obvious,” and well-understood — physical objects, the world, the correspondence between human mind and world, the human mind itself — and we need to ascend to the “mysteries” of Christian doctrine. But all those things are mysterious too.

    Some mysteries clarify, others obscure. So the “contradiction” of the Trinity sheds light, by which we understand everything; while pagan “mysteries” darken and obscure. This is one way reason we are not left to pick between rival mysteries.

    Keith — yes, if you poke around you will see that we are fully on board with Ron Paul.

    He is clearly the only candidate in either Party that is not already owned lock stock and barrel by the cryptocracy. For that reason, he will be assassinated if he manages to break through the media blackout and make a serious run. So our support has a tragic aspect. Yet we must do so, if only in the hope that it will wake some people up to what is going on.

    Comment by TJH — August 20, 2007 @ 9:19 pm

  113. FIRST WORD–
    Has anyone read: http://opc.org/os.html?article_id=56
    Review article of Meredith’s latest book?
    Just as evangelicals miss creation ex nihilo, it seems to me that only a scholar of some force can miss the enduring relevance of the Sabbath commandment. To us simpletons it’s rather plain. Either way, I would benefit from your take on Kline’s view. The reviewer disagreed with him on that point.

    Comment by ElizaF — August 21, 2007 @ 1:23 pm

  114. Have either of you seen this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fz_C20TeaxE and what are your thoughts – I encountered similar argumentation at the university of wisconsin milwaukee while taking several biblical and egyptology classes. I look forward to your response.

    Comment by 009 3/4 — September 14, 2007 @ 3:40 am

  115. Tim did you recieve my email regarding the doc. linked above?

    Comment by 008 — September 24, 2007 @ 7:17 pm

  116. Question: Would someone address how to incorporate some of the basic tenets of agrarianism into one’s life when moving, job change, etc. is impossible. I know that “community” is one element. Others?

    Comment by ElizaF — September 27, 2007 @ 4:31 pm

  117. The irrefutable logic and wisdom of southeastern Louisiana’s professor of philosophy concerning science and epistemology http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BJa7WAr7aQ&mode=related&search

    Comment by BillyJoeJimBob IV — October 4, 2007 @ 12:35 am

  118. I happened across the above link while viewing some material on the shroud of Turin and Gary Habermas of Liberty University. Here is a link with Habermas assuring his skeptical opponent that he doesn’t assume that the Bible is inspired or reliable http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TBBzTMSUC0

    Comment by BillyJoeJimBob IV — October 4, 2007 @ 12:42 am

  119. By the way here is a new link to the earlier documentary link comment 114 which has been removed http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Who-huEpwg the doc is entitled Zeitgeist

    Comment by BillyJoeJimBob IV — October 4, 2007 @ 12:48 am

  120. Eliza (#113) — it would be hard to say much in interaction with Kline without actually reading the book. However, clearly he is continuing to sing his old chorus of common grace and intrusion ethic. Both of these lead him to a natural law framework which is deeply hostile to the biblical ethic. Thus, despite his many rich insights into biblical symbolism, he must be taken as a foundational antinomian who has done great harm to the kingdom of God on balance.

    Comment by TJH — October 6, 2007 @ 1:49 pm

  121. BJJB (#114,115,119) — Sorry it took so long to get to this. The first link says “This video has been removed due to terms of use violation.” The second one says “The greatest story ever told,” not “Zeitgeist.” So, can you get back to me if this is the video you are interested in. Also, could you summarize in one sentence what you think the “problem” is that needs to be addressed?

    Comment by TJH — October 6, 2007 @ 2:07 pm

  122. The title of the doc is Zeitgeist the section of the doc linked above is the section of Zeitgeist I’m interested in hearing your comments on.

    Comment by BillyJoeJimBob IV — October 6, 2007 @ 10:02 pm

  123. Water powered engines

    I meet a fellow roughly seven years ago who worked for NASA until he and his research partner devised such an engine and were immediately fired and their research confiscated.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ChLaqkm_ME&mode=related&search

    Comment by BillyJoeJimBob IV — October 17, 2007 @ 10:24 pm

  124. Salt water for fuel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ChLaqkm_ME&mode=related&search

    Comment by BillyJoeJimBob IV — October 18, 2007 @ 5:24 pm

  125. Above is the wrong link here is the correct one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEPPXxtnJ2Q&mode=related&search

    Comment by BillyJoeJimBob IV — October 18, 2007 @ 5:30 pm

  126. This may be off topic even in this off topic thread:

    I’d love to hear Butler/Harris’ thoughts on Alex Jones’ new film Endgame. I’d also love to hear what you who participate in this forum think as well. It is available to buy/stream on his website or you can see it (warning: low quality) for free at Google Video:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4583630379439989634&q=end+game+site%3Avideo.google.com&total=1722&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=5

    Comment by Josh — November 1, 2007 @ 1:05 am

  127. TJH/MRB,

    What are your thoughts on concealed handgun licenses? Obviously, the state should not need to grant me a license for a right I think we already have, but in weighing the benefits of concealed carry vs. the going through the requirements to obtain the license (fingerprinting, record as a license holder, etc.), what are your thoughts?

    Comment by GV — November 8, 2007 @ 6:04 am

  128. GV — I have one for Penna. I wasn’t fingerprinted. I wouldn’t do it if your county requires fingerprints. As far as record-keeping, I wouldn’t worry about that too much, since you don’t have to own a gun in order to obtained a carry permit.

    Comment by Tim H — November 8, 2007 @ 10:08 am

  129. Tim H
    Why do you not recommend it it fingerprinting is required?

    Comment by Joshua — November 8, 2007 @ 8:54 pm

  130. I don’t want to be treated like a criminal for claiming my Constitutional right. It’s a matter of principle.

    And frankly, the day may come when it will be more than just a matter of principle.

    Comment by Tim H — November 8, 2007 @ 9:46 pm

  131. I get the principle and agree wholeheartedly, but I am really struggling with whether or not the benefit of carrying (and especially my wife) is worth “setting principle aside” (I can’t believe I just said that). My objection to the fingerprinting is identical to TJH. However, I have wondered to myself when the day comes that it will be “more than a matter of principle,” whether I’ve been fingerprinted won’t really matter. The question then will only be, “At what point am I willing to pull the trigger?” I’m really trying to figure out the wisest action here, so feel free to share any other thoughts. I appreciate your perspective.

    Comment by GV — November 8, 2007 @ 10:28 pm

  132. In my state they require fingerprinting. I could keep a gun in my house without fingerprinting, or carry it with me (and my family) when we travel by getting fingerprinted. The latter gives me more freedom to protect my family, the former limits my freedom to a house which is owned by the government anyway through eternal property tax, and eminent domain (another constitutional afforedment.

    Comment by Joshua — November 8, 2007 @ 10:37 pm

  133. A couple years before he died, I heard Samuel Francis give a speech in which he argued very cogently that being armed for self-defense is a right belonging to every man that is more fundamental even than the Constitution — like the right to eat, or breathe. As a matter of conscience, I am persuaded.

    On that assumption, the question of permits is one of pragmatics — how to minimize interference from a lawless “magistrate.”

    Sort of like, if the magistrate asked you to have a permit before eating.

    As far as carrying in your automobile, I offer two thoughts.

    1. We should all resist a “request” to have our premises (house or car) searched, even if there is absolutely nothing to hide. If all Americans had this spirit, there would be a lot less to fear.

    2. Anecdotal, but maybe worth something:  a guy was pulled over in a national park in a different state for a minor vehicular infraction. In the course of obtaining license and registration, the officer discovered a rod. He made a scene — driver and passenger having to put hands on the dashboard, a lot of blustery verbiage, etc. But in the end, he returned the rod and there was no ticket or incident.

    Was he just a “nice guy”? Or did he know that he wouldn’t really have a case uncovering heat carried by an American, and discovered through no fault of his own?

    Comment by Tim H — November 8, 2007 @ 11:47 pm

  134. A question about authority. You join a church with a decent session. New men are nominated, some of whom may not only be non-confessional (of course for me one has to be almost 100% to be considered confessional), but also, the man is insensitive and you’ve seen this in action. (Not only that but he slandered Ron Paul! Now you see why I am asking!) Therefore, you vote against him, but the tyranny of the majority prevails and now you are “under the authority” of one who doesn’t know the WCF from the WLC (slight exaggeration). What do you do? Submit? Allow him to come to your house to check up on you spiritually? How does that work?

    Comment by ElizaF — January 29, 2008 @ 1:00 pm

  135. Joshua (continuing from earlier thread) — no, that’s not why we write about opera; it was just an apropos-that throw-away comment.

    I think some people (and I have been the chief sinner) on both the Right and Left in the church get a “mission from God” attitude; the thrill of battle gets in their blood; they start to live for doing battle. Which is understandable — as Lee said, it is a good thing war is so terrible, or we would grow to love it. And I think Chesterton said somewhere, there must be something great about warfare, or so many Christian men would not have been drawn to becoming soldiers.

    Nevertheless, in our saner moments we need to remember the obvious — our life on earth is meant to be developed at the hearth and in the field and woods. War is to be an exceptional time of discipline and readiness.

    Comment by TJH — February 26, 2008 @ 10:58 am

  136. Have either of you read Christianity and Neo-Liberalism – The spiritual crisis in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and beyond by Paul M. Elliott? If so what are your thoughts on it?

    Comment by M — September 4, 2008 @ 10:57 am

  137. M — I have only flipped through the book, but I did attend a conference the burden of which was Elliot presenting the material in view-graph format. I am sympathetic to their concerns, but (1) some of his criticisms indicate a lack of understanding. Most egregious was his attack on Dr Poythress’ perspectivalism, which he clearly does not understand. Even the true concerns showed a lack of patience with the brethren. Thus, (2) in my opinion, the concerns do not warrant breaking fellowship. Indeed, I am inclined to think that breaking away with such slight effort at understanding and reform is schismatic, and did harm to both themselves and to the OPC.

    Comment by TJH — September 4, 2008 @ 10:20 pm

  138. Elliot says that Machen left the PCUSA throughout his book and thus argued that seperating as opposed to sticking things out and being kicked out was justifiable. My understanding was that Machen was kicked out, am I mistaken?

    Comment by M — September 5, 2008 @ 5:01 pm

  139. M — quite so. The closest you could come to speaking of voluntary withdrawal in that case would be those besides Machen that left “voluntarily” to form the OPC. However, they stood with Machen and believed that when he was kicked out they were kicked out.

    Comment by TJH — September 5, 2008 @ 8:55 pm

  140. Elliot’s book has me very concerned. The perspectivalism discussion comes at the end and isn’t the center or largest source of his unease. It is the views of Sheppard, Gaffin, Kainared, Green and others which seemingly have been defended and upheld often in a scandalous or conspiratorial manner by Westminster and the General Assembly. It appears based on Elliot’s research that this behavior and these views have been infiltrating the denomination for quite some time without challenge, and when there is some challenge it appears that Westminster or the Assembly pull some shady business to achieve their goals. I’ve mentioned the book to an elder at my church – he was unaware of it or any problems. I intend to speak about it with others in order to get a proper grasp on the situation. I recommend reading the book if you haven’t, there sure is a lot in there.

    Comment by M — September 10, 2008 @ 10:36 am

  141. Hi, how should I cite Butler’s paper “The Transcendental Argument for God’s Existence” found here: http://www.butler-harris.org/tag/? Was that published in a journal? Permission to reproduce portions with attribution?

    Thanks,
    Patrick

    Comment by Patrick R — August 9, 2013 @ 12:10 pm

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