Friday, September 01, 2006

Self-referential incoherence

ED: I hardly see why this is a necessary conclusion. THe only way in which this is a necessary conclusion is if one presupposes that God's sovereignty must be materially reducible to the physical outworkings of the universe. As I happen to think that God's sovereignty is not delimited by such considerations, your conclusion is simply wrong. There is nothing logically necessary about your assumption, unless of course you expect me to operate within the pantheistic framework which you propose for the universe in which we live and the God who [supposedly] created it.

SH:

1.You continue to use buzzwords like “pantheistic” or “materialistic” although you’ve been corrected on this.

You shot your wad some time ago. You suffer from an incapacity for self-criticism.

When you first attempted to cast the debate in these terms, I responded to you. When you attempted a repeat performance, I responded again.

I’ve addressed your challenge. Instead of mounting a counterargument, you merely repeat yourself.

Pity your intellectual development stalled at such an early age.

2.I don’t limit the real world to matter in motion. There are spiritual agents as well as physical agencies in play. Mental causation as well as material causation.

That’s been drawn to your attention as well. But you’ve adopted a certain rhetorical strategy, and you’re either unable or unwilling to break free from your default setting. Once again, you lack a capacity to learn.

3.When you can’t even bring yourself to say that God created the world, your objection is not to Calvinism in particular, but to Christianity in general. You’re basic problem is that you’re a theological liberal who’s trying to salvage some face-saving remnant of Christianity. Why that’s important to you, I don’t know.

4.Because we’re finite creatures, God ordinarily relates to us via creaturely means. His method is adapted to the nature of the object.

ED: This is, again, hardly a necessary conclusion. The alternative which you "allow" for my position still operates within a materalist conception of God's relationship to creation, a viewpoint which I patently reject. Just because you cannot conceive of "sovereignty" outside of the boundaries of your divine physicalism does not mean that such a conception is impossible nor improbable.

SH:

1.Aside from the fact that ED habitually misrepresents the opposing position, he never presents an alternative. He merely talks about an alternative, without spelling it out.

2.And it’s clear that any alternative which he could offer would be unscriptural.

ED: Are you kidding me? So you are saying that divine inspiration--which is divine by virtue of being "other" than that which is common to the universe--can be explicated on the basis of the very thing over and against which it is supposed to be "other?" As usual, you fully prove my contention about your materialist conception of God and the divine relationship to the created order.

SH: As usually, ED likes to indulge in vacuous abstractions (“the other”) instead dealing with the witness as well as the self-witness of Scripture.

Inspiration determines an outcome that would not obtain apart from inspiration. For if the outcome were attainable apart from inspiration, then inspiration would be superfluous.

So inspiration is a causal category. And that’s how the process of inspiration is described in Scripture—which goes to the elemental self-understanding of Scripture.

ED: I fully believe in the inspiration of Scripture. I simply deny that the notion of inspiration can be adjudicated on the basis of physicalism, as you assume that it can be.

SH: Aside, once again, from the fact that EB mischaracterizes the opposing position, this is the same guy who said that “as the Bible was written by humans, it would seem difficult to posit its authority beyond the gathered community of worshippers.”

He pays lip-service to the inspiration of Scripture, but given his denial of divine causality as well as his denial of propositional revelation, his affirmation of Biblical inspiration is hollow to the core.

ED: Why is it self-refuting? You incessantly accuse me of making claims without "showing" the proofs, yet you continue to do the exact same thing. Why don't you show me how "inspiration" cannot be conceived of in any other way than the conclusions to which your presuppositions about the material relationship of God to creation lead you...

SH: Two issues:

1.As I said before, I don’t have to make an independent case for my own position since I can make a case from your own presuppositions. By your own admission, your indeterminism undercuts language as an adequate vehicle of communication.

So it’s your very own framework that illustrates the impossibility of the contrary.

While there are varieties of determinism, the only alternative to indeterminism is some form of determinism.

2.It would also behoove you to develop a Scriptural doctrine of Scripture. A good place to begin is vol. 1 (“Revelation & Inspiration”) of B.B. Warfield’s collected works.

ED: Why? Why should we assume that successful communication is possible?

SH: Gee, that’s a tough one. Let’s see now.

Maybe, just maybe, we should assume that successful communication is possible because, barring that assumption, we are in no position to pose that very question in the first place. Ya think?

ED: ANd if it is, what does it look like?

SH: Like the very exchange we’re having.

ED: Against what standard would you judge such a thing? (I'm really interested to see the answer for this...).

SH: How about the Bible?

ED: I don't exempt them. I have never denied my presuppositional loyalties, nor have I ever claimed that they are somehow immune from criticism nor that they are infallible. You are the one who insists upon absolutizing them, an approach which I specifically reject.

SH: The problem, of course, is that, like any armchair relativist, ED has one position on paper, and a contrary position in practice.

He talks about relativism, but he talks like an absolutist. In principle, he’s a relativist—but as soon as he opens his mouth and attempts to convince anyone of his relativism, then he has to abandon his relativism.

Rational persuasion and global scepticism don’t go together.

16 comments:

  1. As I've read some of the things posted by E~D, he believes that we can only approximate the meaning of Scripture. That belief undercuts the whole purpose of revelation. If we can only approximate the meaning of the text, then God cannot communicate what He means to reveal about Himself to us by means of human language. That leaves us with a God that is blurry in our understanding. It is odd that God chose to reveal Himself to His creatures primarily through a book, if indeed, human language is incapable of communicating truth about the infinite to the finite. I guess we must conclude that God was mistaken about this method then? Or that He is incommunicable? Now, I grant that there is room for differences in interpretation, but we can speak about God with regard to His character, attributes, etc. with abundant clarity. Did God inspire something He knows we couldn't accurately (note: accurately, not perfectly) interpret and understand? I would also add that it's strange that Christ would command His people to abide in HIS WORD, if in fact, we can't properly interpret it, nor understand it's original meaning. What does E~D get out of his Bible while holding to such a position?

    I saw on his web site that he was "tagged" about what books he reads. The one he put down as a book that made him laugh was "The Attributes of God" by AW Pink. That, I think, says a lot about where he's coming from (if in fact, words can actually "say" anything)....

    The other thing I noted while reading the painfully long comments in the Calvinist Gadfly's combox was that he and some other posters couldn't be pinned down by Scripture. No matter what was quoted, the question would be, "what do you mean here?" or "I don't see how that applies to what we're talking about". When the meaning is patently clear on the face of the text, and the shifting sands of your position will not allow for correction by Scripture, I'm done talking to you. Time is not a commodity I like to waste on tumbleweeds and will-o-the-wisps....

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  2. Shining,

    See, you gotta learn how to make deconstructionism work for you.

    For instance, I simply interpret everything that ED says as, "CalvinDude is the smartest man on Earth." Granted, I still disagree with him there but at least that takes the offense out of it.

    So these pesky things called "words" that have this pesky thing called "meaning" can all be deemed as just ED's ironic use of language to agree to everything that I agree with!

    While you're at it, since words can mean whatever you want them to mean, you can just answer all his questions with, "Iadoy judslars meinlo" since that means pretty much the same thing as "One of you will ask, why then does God condemn us for who resists His will? But who are you, O man, to talk back to God?"

    Make deconstruction work for you and everything gets a lot easier! :-)

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  3. Exit~Devolve9/01/2006 1:21 PM

    Steve,

    "You continue to use buzzwords like “pantheistic” or “materialistic” although you’ve been corrected on this."

    "You shot your wad some time ago. You suffer from an incapacity for self-criticism."

    Nice retort, obviously I didn't think your correction was correct. You have your "meaning" that you have attached to the words "materialistic" and "pantheistic", and I have mine. So your refutation doesn't refute my assertion to the contrary.

    "When you first attempted to cast the debate in these terms, I responded to you. When you attempted a repeat performance, I responded again."

    "I’ve addressed your challenge. Instead of mounting a counterargument, you merely repeat yourself."

    "Pity your intellectual development stalled at such an early age."

    I didn't respond correctly as correct is a word that cannot communicate itself, sorry but nice try. I was not repeating myself, I was being redundant with a different angle while changing the position of my words. Maybe you should re-read what I said, because it should be clear that what I said was what I said. Why the petty pot-shots? Is it because you can't deal with my argumentation?

    "I don’t limit the real world to matter in motion. There are spiritual agents as well as physical agencies in play. Mental causation as well as material causation."

    "That’s been drawn to your attention as well. But you’ve adopted a certain rhetorical strategy, and you’re either unable or unwilling to break free from your default setting. Once again, you lack a capacity to learn."

    C'mon, this point is laughable. Matter isn't always in motion. How can mental causation actually "cause" anything? Can you cause things to move just by thinking about doing it? Please...

    "When you can’t even bring yourself to say that God created the world, your objection is not to Calvinism in particular, but to Christianity in general. You’re basic problem is that you’re a theological liberal who’s trying to salvage some face-saving remnant of Christianity. Why that’s important to you, I don’t know."

    It's important to me because I believe in Christ, and that means something. Just because words are insufficient to communicate actual meaning doesn't mean that my confession of faith doesn't mean anything. God is wholly "other" than what has been created. God doesn't make Godself out to be dependent upon matter like you believe because of your determinism and physicalism. You just don't see it because of your default setting.

    "Because we’re finite creatures, God ordinarily relates to us via creaturely means. His method is adapted to the nature of the object."

    You're killing me here. Are you serious?

    "Aside from the fact that ED habitually misrepresents the opposing position, he never presents an alternative. He merely talks about an alternative, without spelling it out."

    "And it’s clear that any alternative which he could offer would be unscriptural."

    I have spelled out my position, multiple times. If you would like to read more fully about what I believe then visit my blog. I can't keep repeating my position over and over and over again. I although generally I like to, I just don't have time to do so. I also don't misrepresent the opposing position because it is unmisrepresentable, and my alternative is scriptural, if you think like I do.

    "As usually, ED likes to indulge in vacuous abstractions (“the other”) instead dealing with the witness as well as the self-witness of Scripture."

    "Inspiration determines an outcome that would not obtain apart from inspiration. For if the outcome were attainable apart from inspiration, then inspiration would be superfluous."

    "So inspiration is a causal category. And that’s how the process of inspiration is described in Scripture—which goes to the elemental self-understanding of Scripture."

    More semantic blather. The self-witness of Scripture verifies my position. We have to get behind the inability of human language, or word symbols, so commonly misunderstood by Reformed theologians like you.

    "Aside, once again, from the fact that EB mischaracterizes the opposing position, this is the same guy who said that “as the Bible was written by humans, it would seem difficult to posit its authority beyond the gathered community of worshippers.”

    "He pays lip-service to the inspiration of Scripture, but given his denial of divine causality as well as his denial of propositional revelation, his affirmation of Biblical inspiration is hollow to the core."

    It's ED Steve, not EB. The Bible was written by humans, that is why the inspiration is unclear and anti-materialistic. If you did some reading outside of your Reformed circles, you would understand this. My denial of your affirmations are solid, not hollow like your blind following of causal physicalism.

    "As I said before, I don’t have to make an independent case for my own position since I can make a case from your own presuppositions. By your own admission, your indeterminism undercuts language as an adequate vehicle of communication."

    "So it’s your very own framework that illustrates the impossibility of the contrary."

    "While there are varieties of determinism, the only alternative to indeterminism is some form of determinism."

    You've side stepped the whole argument. I don't deny my own presuppositions, I just deny yours. I consider my refutation of your argument to be my own form of determinism, so you're point doesn't really hold water.

    "It would also behoove you to develop a Scriptural doctrine of Scripture. A good place to begin is vol. 1 (“Revelation & Inspiration”) of B.B. Warfield’s collected works."

    You're kidding right? I reject his version of inspiration, and I generally don't read authors named "B.B."

    "Gee, that’s a tough one. Let’s see now."

    "Maybe, just maybe, we should assume that successful communication is possible because, barring that assumption, we are in no position to pose that very question in the first place. Ya think?"

    You're funny Steve. Ha Ha

    "How about the Bible?"

    What kind of standard is the Bible? Could you define what you mean when you say "Bible"? Do you really mean "Steve's interpretation of the Bible"?

    "The problem, of course, is that, like any armchair relativist, ED has one position on paper, and a contrary position in practice."

    "He talks about relativism, but he talks like an absolutist. In principle, he’s a relativist—but as soon as he opens his mouth and attempts to convince anyone of his relativism, then he has to abandon his relativism."

    "Rational persuasion and global scepticism don’t go together."

    This argument is tired and old, and typical. I'm not an armchair relativist, in fact, I don't even sit in a chair because I deny the causal relationship between God and the creation. Your conclusion is fallacious. I say what I mean and it makes perfect sense to anyone not trapped in the human language box you're in.

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  4. Shining said:

    "It is odd that God chose to reveal Himself to His creatures primarily through a book..."

    I think E-D believes that God chose to reveal Himself to His creatures primarily through Christ - Christ being the embodiment of God's revelation.

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  5. I love this line:
    ---
    I didn't respond correctly as correct is a word that cannot communicate itself, sorry but nice try.
    ---

    And yet he uses the word in the sentence anyway, even though it cannot "communicate itself."

    I'm wondering what words ED thinks actually DO communicate themselves. Any of them?

    Just the one's he uses, maybe?

    Frankly, that ED would write about anything (using language) disproves his silly notions about language.

    By the way, if it's any comfort for ya ED, I don't consider you an "armchair relativist" personally. But then, "consider" isn't a word that can communicate itself. So maybe I do.

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  6. Calvindude--

    If you had read a little closer, you would see that the response to which you replied in this thread was not written by me, but by an impersonator--and a poor one at that. My screen name is Exist-Dissolve.

    The person to whom you replied was signed as "Exit-Devolve."

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  7. Cramdon,

    Christ is the incarnate Logos, the Word made flesh...

    CalvinDude,

    skjfdpai kjdkl lafowol, LOL!

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  8. The Real ED (and we don't mean the ED that Bob Dole means):

    You are correct. I did not read the name carefully enough.

    Still, the similarities were uncanny. One can hardly fault me :-D

    Shining: Preach it! *lol*

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  9. S&B--

    As I've read some of the things posted by E~D, he believes that we can only approximate the meaning of Scripture. That belief undercuts the whole purpose of revelation.

    I did not realize that epistemological certitude was the purpose of revelation. I guess I have been mistaken...

    If we can only approximate the meaning of the text, then God cannot communicate what He means to reveal about Himself to us by means of human language.

    Yes, this is why the actual self-revelation of God occurred in a person, not a text or a sermon.

    That leaves us with a God that is blurry in our understanding.

    Again, I was not aware that the purpose or nature of divine self-revelation was precisely equivalent to epistemological certitude. With that being said, no matter how "certain" you profess to be in your "understanding" of God, the bottom line is that we still have, inspite of your rhetoric, a very fuzzy picture of God. The very nature of God's self-revelation in Christ mitigates against epistemological qualifications, for the infinite and the eternal are absurdly communicated through a wailing baby, a social outcast and a bloody cross. This is far from an epistemologically "clear" picture of God--in fact, I would say that on the basis of epistemology, such is the antithesis of clarity. This is why Paul says that knowledge of God is foolishness--after all, the moment you have claimed certitude in quantifying the eternal nature of God is the very moment that you have forgetten the extreme scandal that God in Christ was massacred on a bloody cross. All categories for "knowing", in this light, are completely exploded.

    It is odd that God chose to reveal Himself to His creatures primarily through a book, if indeed, human language is incapable of communicating truth about the infinite to the finite.

    Thankfully, you are wrong. God's "primary" means of self-revelation is not the Scriptures, but Christ. It is Christ that reveals God, and the Scriptures testify to this self-revelation in Christ. They are not themselves self-revelation.

    I guess we must conclude that God was mistaken about this method then?

    If you believe that Christ's incarnation was a mistake, then yes, you would have to assume that. I, however, do not believe that God's "method" of self-revelation (in Christ) was a mistake. The mistake comes when we presume that the Scriptures are something they are not.

    Or that He is incommunicable?

    That depends--upon what basis is something "communicable?" How would you determine this?

    Now, I grant that there is room for differences in interpretation, but we can speak about God with regard to His character, attributes, etc. with abundant clarity.

    Okay, define omnipotence. I will show you that you immediately contradict yourself in your conception of God's divine attributes, for you--like all of us humans--will define it upon the basis of the material reality in which we live.

    Did God inspire something He knows we couldn't accurately (note: accurately, not perfectly) interpret and understand?

    What constitutes accuracy? What constitutes "perfection?" You throw out these terms, but the bottom line is that in speaking of divine/human communciation, there is no basis upon which to properly adjudicate their values. As far as I am concerned, "accurately" and "perfectly" may be exactly the same--upon what basis would you determine the difference?

    I saw on his web site that he was "tagged" about what books he reads. The one he put down as a book that made him laugh was "The Attributes of God" by AW Pink. That, I think, says a lot about where he's coming from (if in fact, words can actually "say" anything)....

    Have you ever read that book? It is hilarious.

    The other thing I noted while reading the painfully long comments in the Calvinist Gadfly's combox was that he and some other posters couldn't be pinned down by Scripture. No matter what was quoted, the question would be, "what do you mean here?" or "I don't see how that applies to what we're talking about".

    Yes, and to each of these questions, I never receieved an answer. As Scripture always involves interpretation, it is pointless to throw out verses as proof-texts. To me, that about as worthwhile as quoting lines from Shakespeare.

    When the meaning is patently clear on the face of the text, and the shifting sands of your position will not allow for correction by Scripture, I'm done talking to you.

    Apparently you do not realize that the "face of the text" is not really there--we create it as we interpret it. Therefore, what the "face of the text" says to you is an entirely different value to me as I approach the Scriptures with entirely different hermeneutical presuppositions.

    Time is not a commodity I like to waste on tumbleweeds and will-o-the-wisps....

    Nor on reasonable argumentation, apparently...

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  10. hostus twinkius9/01/2006 5:24 PM

    Actually, I found the impersonator's arguments as astute and compelling as the real Exist~Dissolve. And I at least had a good laugh both times I read it!

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  11. What's reasonable about arguing with someone who denies the objective meaning of words by using words objectively?

    See, E-D betrays his own position. In writing about what he believes, he assumes that people can understand what he means. Yet in the process, he denies that God can do the very thing that E-D assumes that he personally can do. God cannot communicate with people; but E-D feels free to blather on and on about how God can't do the very thing E-D does.

    Thus, E-D > God.

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  12. E~D,

    Actually, I make time for reasonable argumentation. I just haven't run across any here yet. I have read The Attributes of God and I didn't find it amusing. I found myself in awe of the Holy One of Israel. Be that as it may, you're welcome to your position. I don't having time to travel nowhere...

    Peace,
    S&BL

    Oh, and slko soiekk neifi theoidd forl,,ee

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  13. E-D posits that Scripture's authority does not exist beyond its immediate receptive community. He further posits indeterminism, and he can by no means, based on this say that Scripture is an artifact of revelation.

    Yet E-D wants desperately to hold on the ecumenical creeds. But those same creeds are also propositional statements, so why, pray tell, are they authoritative for today, while Scripture is not?

    In addition, in rejecting determininism as it relates to inspiration, E-D undermines the Incarnation.


    Yes, this is why the actual self-revelation of God occurred in a person, not a text or a sermon.

    And by your own admission, you get this from the ecumenical creeds, not Scripture. Are you so incompetent that you can't recognize the regressive fallacy when you see it? How do you know this apart from propositional language? You point to the creeds, but the authors of the creeds tell us that they got this from Scripture.

    In addition, the Incarnation, by the witness of Scripture, is also a causal category, in that God the Son is said to have taken on a human nature, and become the God-man, and Mary gave birth to this theanthropic person. You'd know none of this apart from Scripture, and this witness also informs us that the Incarnation via the virgin birth is thus determinative category as well. But, by rejecting determinism and inspiriation, E-D cannot consistently affirm the Incarnation. The theanthropic person of Christ is an artifact of the incarnation, just as Scripture is an artifact of the Holy Spirit's working with respect to the authors. He accepts the one and rejects the other.

    His view of Scripture is Docetic. It only seems divine on paper. In reality, it requires some sort of hyper-conscious revelatory experience from God to the human mind; Scripture is a record of human thoughts about God, a channel of revelation. It becomes authoritative when we read it. His conception of God is Gnostic ("wholly other"), and his affirmation of the Incarnation, if he was consistent should be Docetic too. Will the real pantheist please stand up?

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  14. steve--

    SH:

    1.You continue to use buzzwords like “pantheistic” or “materialistic” although you’ve been corrected on this.


    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. For all of your words, your contra argument amounts to, "No I don't." Please forgive me if I fail to find that compelling.

    You shot your wad some time ago. You suffer from an incapacity for self-criticism.

    Yes, and I suspect that you are immune from the same.

    When you first attempted to cast the debate in these terms, I responded to you. When you attempted a repeat performance, I responded again.

    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.

    I’ve addressed your challenge. Instead of mounting a counterargument, you merely repeat yourself.

    How can I mount a counterargument to an argument that has yet to be posited?

    Pity your intellectual development stalled at such an early age.

    Another outstanding example of stellar rhetorical style.

    2.I don’t limit the real world to matter in motion. There are spiritual agents as well as physical agencies in play. Mental causation as well as material causation.

    I hardly see how "mental causation" is fundamentally different from "material causation." In fact, I would argue that they are exactly the same, as human consciousness inevitably derives from our material constitution.

    That’s been drawn to your attention as well.

    Okay...but the fact that this has yet to be established hardly makes it a principal aspect of the dialogue.

    But you’ve adopted a certain rhetorical strategy, and you’re either unable or unwilling to break free from your default setting. Once again, you lack a capacity to learn.

    Given that you appear to exhibit the identical rhetorical attributes of which you accuse me, I hardly see how your slight is justified.

    3.When you can’t even bring yourself to say that God created the world,

    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.

    your objection is not to Calvinism in particular, but to Christianity in general.

    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.

    You’re basic problem is that you’re a theological liberal who’s trying to salvage some face-saving remnant of Christianity. Why that’s important to you, I don’t know.

    Ha! Yes, the personal attacks are definitely an aspect of a refined rhetorical style. Come now, we can rise above this.

    4.Because we’re finite creatures, God ordinarily relates to us via creaturely means. His method is adapted to the nature of the object.

    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.Aside from the fact that ED habitually misrepresents the opposing position, he never presents an alternative. He merely talks about an alternative, without spelling it out.

    I have outlined an alternative: Stop supposing that finite propositional statements can be definitive of the divine nature.

    2.And it’s clear that any alternative which he could offer would be unscriptural.

    Okay, I do not see why this is a necessary conclusion.

    SH: As usually, ED likes to indulge in vacuous abstractions (“the other”) instead dealing with the witness as well as the self-witness of Scripture.

    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.

    Inspiration determines an outcome that would not obtain apart from inspiration. For if the outcome were attainable apart from inspiration, then inspiration would be superfluous.

    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?" You are making causal that which, it would seem by its very nature, cannot be reduced to causality. 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.

    So inspiration is a causal category. And that’s how the process of inspiration is described in Scripture—which goes to the elemental self-understanding of Scripture.

    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: Aside, once again, from the fact that EB mischaracterizes the opposing position,

    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.

    He pays lip-service to the inspiration of Scripture, but given his denial of divine causality as well as his denial of propositional revelation, his affirmation of Biblical inspiration is hollow to the core.

    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.

    1.As I said before, I don’t have to make an independent case for my own position since I can make a case from your own presuppositions. By your own admission, your indeterminism undercuts language as an adequate vehicle of communication.

    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.

    While there are varieties of determinism, the only alternative to indeterminism is some form of determinism.

    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.

    2.It would also behoove you to develop a Scriptural doctrine of Scripture. A good place to begin is vol. 1 (“Revelation & Inspiration”) of B.B. Warfield’s collected works.

    Yes, I'll take your word on that.

    SH: Gee, that’s a tough one. Let’s see now.

    Maybe, just maybe, we should assume that successful communication is possible because, barring that assumption, we are in no position to pose that very question in the first place. Ya think?


    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?

    EB: ANd if it is, what does it look like?

    SH: Like the very exchange we’re having.


    If our exchanges are "successful communication," I would suggest that I have proven my point.

    SH: How about the Bible?

    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: The problem, of course, is that, like any armchair relativist, ED has one position on paper, and a contrary position in practice.

    "Armchair relativist?" Come on. I am certain you can do better than personal attacks.

    He talks about relativism, but he talks like an absolutist. In principle, he’s a relativist—but as soon as he opens his mouth and attempts to convince anyone of his relativism, then he has to abandon his relativism.

    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.

    Rational persuasion and global scepticism don’t go together.

    Define both of those for me.

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  15. I prefer Exit~Devolve's response, it made more sense...

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