Friday, July 01, 2005

Continuing Comments on Cheung

For those following the recent exchanges over Scripturalism: Aquascum has posted some further comments on several of Vincent Cheung's blog entries (which appear to have been occasioned by Aquascum's original critique).


  1. I have made a small contribution as well:

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Hi Paul,

    I haven't read your post yet, but it looks good. Today was the first day I saw it. I had to hit 'reload' in Firefox :-) Up to five minutes ago, the latest post looked like it was from June 17th, but I guess I wasn't getting the latest stuff.

  4. Hello Sharkbait bruhaha,

    it was probably down because I keep having to tweek little pieces here and there.

  5. Paul Manata wrote:

    "Hello Sharkbait bruhaha"


    Unfortunately, I'm not Sharkbait, but the little piece of technology that Sharkbait eventually defeated :-)

  6. I've written a response to Cheung's latest entry "Fallacies, and Fallacies upon Fallacies". It should appear on the Aquascum page fairly soon, I think. It will be called "First Reply: Some Comments". Boring, I guess, but it gets to the point. Indeed, I open by summarizing the entire document in three sentences :-)

    Here's the opening Summary...

    For the benefit of my readers, I can summarize in three sentences Vincent Cheung’s first reply to me, and then summarize my response in three sentences. Cheung essentially claims three things:

    [VC1] He makes a distinction between knowledge and opinion.

    [VC2] He thinks he can provide a deductively valid argument for one of his key claims about Ro 1-2.

    [VC3] He thinks I must have an entire epistemology, and have justified my criticisms in light of that epistemology, before I can offer any cogent criticisms of him.

    In reply, I say:

    [AS1] The Scripturalist distinction between knowledge and opinion, far from *undermining* any of my criticisms of Cheung, was in fact *appealed to* in those criticisms, making Cheung’s highlighting this distinction of doubtful relevance to anything I’ve said.

    [AS2] Not only is Cheung’s argument from Ro 1-2 nowhere close to a valid deduction from Scripture alone (employing as it does non-Scriptural premises about “systems of thought”), but it implicitly denies a central teaching of Ro 1-2.

    [AS3] Since my *reductio ad absurdum* exclusively appeals to Cheung’s premises, rather than to any of my own, I have no need whatsoever to justify the premises of my arguments against him; for Cheung to think otherwise is either because he has fallen back on his discredited epistemological internalism (and thus continues to employ an assumption inconsistent with his Scripturalism), or because, in rejecting my appeal to *his* premises, he *ipso facto* rejects *his own* epistemology as unjustified to begin with.

    Before I get into the details, I just want to pose one simple question for Cheung, out of all of the questions I’ve posed for him so far. Where does *Scripture* either say or imply that *all knowledge is restricted to* either propositions of Scripture or valid deductions from propositions of Scripture? This is a simple question; it should admit of a simple answer. If not even Cheung can answer this one, then I think I can’t be blamed for continuing to hold that Scripturalism is self-referentially incoherent, because it doesn’t pass its own standards for knowledge.

  7. That Cheung would reply to you means that either his work is "inadequate" or you have written something "earth shattering." He himself said he wouldn't reply unless he found his work inadequate to deal with the argument, or if the critique was earth shattering. From now on, anytime Cheug responds to someone we can assume it's because that someone's critique was a good one. :-)

  8. Paul,

    Well then, given that I put confidence in my products, this shows great perception on Cheung's part. But this is to be expected, since even his readers believe that he is "one of the best theologians in the world, if not the best" ;-)

    Cf. "Comments from a Friend" (