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.
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.
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.