ED: WHat have I been corrected on? You have merely asserted that you do not believe your position to be defined by these, but in your classic phraseology, you have yet to "show" why the force of my arugment is misapplied.
SH: No, I didn’t “merely assert” my position. Rather, I carefully deconstructed your argument and drew attention to the flaws in your reasoning.
ED: For all of your words, your contra argument amounts to, "No I don't." Please forgive me if I fail to find that compelling.
SH: Notice that instead of making any effort to mount an actual counterargument against what I said, ED offers a tendentious characterization of my analysis.
ED: Your "responses" are interesting, for they do not actually deal with the logic of my posts, but retreat into propositions that have little or nothing to do with what I have written.
SH: Another assertion without a supporting argument.
ED: I hardly see how "mental causation" is fundamentally different from "material causation."
SH: If you did any serious reading in philosophy of mind, you’d be able to see the distinction.
ED: In fact, I would argue that they are exactly the same, as human consciousness inevitably derives from our material constitution.
SH: If that’s what you “would” argue, then where’s the argument?
ED: When have I denied that God created the world? All I have denied is that this creative act can be adjudicated on the basis of material processes, as you clearly assume they can be.
1.You deny that divine creation is a causal category.
2.God didn’t make the world “on the basis of material processes.” Rather, material processes are a consequence of divine creation. They are an effect of creation ex nihilo, having their basis in creation of a material world, not vice versa.
Given material processes, as a result of divine fiat, God also effects certain events via second-causes. One can find this all through the Bible.
ED: No, my objection is to philosophies which reduce the divine to materialist speculation. ALthough you would vehemently deny it, I hardly see any difference between the definition of God which you provide and that of Feurbach.
SH: To the contrary, you are superimposing on Scripture your apophatic-cum-Kantian epistemology.
ED: That is fine. I do not deny that God has made the infinite intelligible through the finite. However, the very nature of this means of self-revelation would seem to categorically preclude us from making that which finite infinitely and defnitively qualified.
1.Once again, you’re not getting this from Scripture. Rather, you’re running Scripture through your extraneous, apophatic-cum-Kantian grid.
2.You’re confusing infinite knowledge with knowledge of the infinite. One can have a finite knowledge of the infinite. Partial knowledge can be true knowledge as far as it goes.
If we need to know everything to know anything, then we know nothing—which is self-refuting.
For example, mathematicians enjoy a true, if partial, knowledge of the Mandelbrot set without being able to mentally encompass the entire set.
3.You are also assuming, without benefit of argument, that we can only know something if it is like us. That the subject of knowledge and the object of knowledge must belong to the same ontological category.
Where is your supporting argument for this assumption?
For example, do I have to be like the Mandelbrot set to grasp the Mandelbrot set?
ED: I have outlined an alternative.
ED: Stop supposing that finite propositional statements can be definitive of the divine nature.
SH: “Definitive” is a weasel word. The question at issue is whether they are true.
ED: I do not see why the category of "the other" is an inappropriate example within this discussion. Within theological and philosophical discourse, this is a quite normal way of speaking of the divine in relation to that which is created. It is a category of difference. You appear to be looking for something to attack, rather than actually dealing with what I am saying.
SH: There are unscriptural as well as scriptural ways of defining divine transcendence.
A Neoplatonic or Kantian or Barthian definition of transcendence is unscriptural.
You define transcendence in a way contrary to Scripture.
ED: This is an absurdly circular argument. Upon what basis have you determined whether or not something would or would not obtain apart from the assumed property of "inspiration?"
1.For the obvious reason that if it would or could obtain apart from inspiration, then inspiration would be superfluous.
2.Moreover, the Bible predicates certain effects of inspiration.
ED: You are making causal that which, it would seem by its very nature, cannot be reduced to causality.
SH: No, you are beginning with an unscriptural version of divine transcendence, which you then deploy to quash what the Bible has to say about the process and product of inspiration.
ED: However, this merely goes to support my contention that you have ultimately delimited the divine nature by materialist conceptions of reality--hence, your reduction of inspiration to the causal frameworks of space/time. However, in doing so, you have made yourself the master of inspiration, for it is upon the categories which you have fabricated that the nature of inspiration is defined. I fail to see how one can have a more materialist conception of the divine than this.
1.The categories come from the Bible. The self-witness of Scripture to the nature of inspiration.
2.You are the one imposing on Scripture a wholly alien conceptual scheme.
ED: Well, that should be qualified as "your" elemental self-understanding of Scripture, whatever that actually means. You have chosen to look at Scripture in a certain way and, not surprisingly, you have found your conclusions waiting for you.
SH: You retreat into these fact-free abstractions. A writer like B. B. Warfield has actually documented the various ways in which Scripture describes the process and product of inspiration.
You, by contrast, present no exegetical alternative. To say something and to show it are two different things.
ED: You have yet to show why this is a mischaracterization. MOreover, given what you have said about the ability of reducing divine inspiration to causality, you have only gone to prove my contention, not overturn it and you continually profess yourself to have done.
SH: To claim that my definition of inspiration is reductionistic is another assertion without a supporting argument.
ED: According to your categories, yes, I assume it is. However, as you are not the ultimate determiner of potential categories for understanding reality, God, or the Scriptures, your conclusions are hardly warranted, and lack any substantive proof apart from appeal to your presupposed conceptions.
SH: Yet another assertion without a supporting argument. Notice a pattern here?
ED: I don't believe in indeterminism--you are forcing that category upon my responses, which will lead you to exactly the wrong conclusions about my methodology. Both determinists and indeterminists are cut from the same presuppositional cloths; they merely disagree on the conclusions, which even then are not that different when one cuts through the rhetoric.
SH: Yet another assertion without a supporting argument.
There are sophisticated models of determinism and indeterminism alike in the philosophical literature.
Show us your mediating alternative?
ED: Why? This conclusion is based upon the presupposition that God's relationship to creation can be materially reduced to causality. Being as God is not confined to causality, it is also not a necessary conclusion that God's relationship to creation need be defined along these lines.
SH: A fallacious inference. God is not confined to causality because God is a se. But the creation is not a se. Rather, the creation is contingent on divine causality for its being.
ED: No, I do not "think" that at all. What we call "communication" is what it is. However, what is there beyond our conception and usage of language that would provide us with the basis for determining whether or not our communication is "successful" or not?
SH: Do you really need to ask a question like that? To take one example: if you ask for directions, and I give you good directions, you will successfully arrive at your destination. If I give you the wrong directions, and you follow them, then you will arrive at the wrong destination.
ED: If your definition of successful communication is based upon "the Bible," then you are basing your understanding merely upon fiat, and not some supposedly objective standard by which to determine the reality of the thing.
SH: You’ve lost track of your own question. I didn’t use the Bible to “define” successful communication, but to supply a standard of reference.
ED: This argument only works from your end, for the categories through which you view me "work." As I do not presuppose these categories, they are not applicable.
SH: You like to talk a lot about alternative categories without providing any.
ED: This is all patent conjecture. After all, to begin, the autographic text of Scripture no longer exists.
1.You were the one who failed to distinguish certainty as it relates to the objective wording of the text from certainty as it relates to the subjective effect of the text on mind of the reader the reader.
Nothing the least bit conjectural about my distinction between the text and the reader.
2.And there’s nothing conjectural about a distinction between originals and copies.
ED: Next, even if it did, upon what standard would you determine that it, indeed, bore the marks of "inspiration?" The only possible answer would be either upon some arbitrary standard devised by your own thinking, or an appeal to the autograph itself--both of which terminate in exactly the same answer.
1.Further confusions on your part. How much I take for granted when debating with an opponent depends, in part, on whether the opponent is a professing believer or unbeliever.
2.This, in turn, goes to the distinction between what the Bible claims for itself, and whether the disputant is prepared to accept the Bible on its own terms.
3.The Bible does assert its own inspiration. And that assertion does not depend on having the autographic text before us since, as textual criticism has established, our extant text is quite reliable.
4.I don’t have to prove the inspiration of Scripture to prove its claim to divine inspiration. These are separate issues with separate arguments.
And when I deal with a professing believer, it should be unnecessary to prove the inspiration of Scripture.
ED: Therefore, you entire argument is based upon fiat, not of the actual, objectively determinite nature of the thing itself. As I have said before, it would appear that if one could determine the criterion for identifying the mechanism of "divine inspiration," this very identification would seem to preclude the mechanism from being the thing which one has set out to prove that it is. This spiral continues, indefinitely.
1.There are objective criteria in textual criticism.
2.There are objective claims in Scripture respecting its own inspiration.
3.There are also many lines of internal and external evidence to confirm this claim.
4.The “spiral” is generated by your unscriptural and extrascriptural version of divine transcendence.
ED: Well, before the Scriptures were composed, the community of Christ-followers was the context in which faith in Christ was developed and communicated. The so-called propositions of Scripture came after, not before, and developed out of the "being" of the church.
1.You are evidently a Marcionite. The OT Scriptures antedate the NT church.
2.The Apostles preached the gospel, in large part, from the OT scriptures.
3.The chronological priority of the spoken word to the written word, even if true, is irrelevant to our own epistemic situation.
We, living in the 21C, are dependent on a text for our knowledge of the person and work of Christ.
ED: Christian faith is in the person of Christ.
1.No, Christian faith is in the person and work of Christ—including his teaching.
2.We only have access to the person of Christ via the written record of his person (and work).
The immediate object of faith are propositions by and about Christ recorded in Scripture.
ED: The very limited teachings of Christ which were incidentally recorded in the Scriptures are important, for sure.
1.They are not limited in terms of the amount of space they occupy in the Gospels.
2.And they are not incidental to the Gospels, but strategically located. The teaching supplies the interpretive matrix for the person and work of Christ. Without the teaching material, the person and work of Christ loses all significance. It’s becomes a mute event.
Many 1C Jews died by crucifixion. Apart from the explanatory context of Christ’s person and mission, the raw events are ciphers.
ED: However, the church formed around a person, not a curriculum.
SH: It formed around a person who was known by the disciples. And they disseminated their knowledge by the spoken and written word.
ED: Yes. And who are the fools? Those who believe they can quantify the knowledge of God in such a way as to twist it to their own purposes.
SH: That’s an acontextual definition. You are citing 1 Cor 1-3 out of context as a pretext to justify your apophatic-cum-Kantian epistemology.