Prejean suffers from a bad case of foot-in-mouth disease:
“But if we took the proposition as if God Himself had uttered the self-same proposition that the author did (which is how I take the notion of authority being asserted in sola scriptura), then absurdity would ensue, since God is clearly not affirming the literal proposition that he has thoughts, makes decisions, etc., which is contradicted by Isaiah 55:8.
How is that contradicted by Isaiah?
i) Let’s see how two Catholic translations render the Isaian passage:
“My dealings are higher than your dealings, my thoughts than your thoughts” (Knox Bible).
“My thoughts are not your thoughts, my ways not your ways…the heavens are as high above earth as my ways are above your says, my thoughts above your thoughts” (New Jerusalem Bible).
So, even if we confine ourselves to Roman Catholic versions of the Bible, how does Isaiah contradict the thesis that God literally has thoughts? It doesn’t.
Rather, it says that God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts, which is quite different than saying that God has no thoughts at all.
ii) In addition, the distinction in Isaiah 58:7-8 is ethical rather than ontological. As one commentator explains:
“The third [interpretation] is that humans should turn from their sinful ways and thoughts because those are not God’s ways and thoughts…The third option must be the correct one. The repetition of ‘ways’ and ‘thoughts’ from v7 suggests that what is wrong with human ways and thoughts and requires one to turn away from them is that they ‘are not’ God’s thoughts and ways. This same point is made in Prov 16:1-3 (cf. Also Prov. 3:5-6; 21:2), using the same words. Our ways and thoughts have been perverted by original sin, and it is only as we turn from them to God and his mercy that we can ever have peace with him and live lives that will be truly productive,”
J. Oswalt, The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 40-66 (Eerdmans 1998), 445.
“Note the double chiasm in the arrangement of the two terms in vv7-9: (7) ways, thoughts (8) thoughts, ways, (9) ways, thoughts,” ibid. 445n52.
So Prejean’s prooftext doesn’t prove what he says it does. It is not setting up a metaphysical disjunction between human beings, who have thoughts and intentions—in contrast to God, who doesn’t have thoughts and intentions.
But, of course, that comes as no surprise. God’s Word means nothing to Prejean. The source of his theology lies elsewhere. Wherever he actually gets his theology, whether from Zubiri or George Lucas—he isn’t getting it from Scripture.
So his appeal to Scripture is just a bit of window-dressing to camouflage the extrascriptural source of his theology.
“I mean deterministically caused in the way I described, so that it is as if God Himself were dictating the sentence, effectively commandeering the human will.”
Prejean is like a compulsive gambler on a losing streak. He can’t bring himself to leave the table.
The Protestant alternative does not subscribe to a dictation theory of inspiration. There never was a dictation *theory*, only a dictation *metaphor*.
Rather, the standard theory, as represented by the Old Princeton school of theology (among other representatives), is the organic theory of inspiration, involving a concursus between the primary author (God) and the secondary author (the apostle, prophet, &c.).
The human will isn’t “commandeered” by God. Why should God commandeer his own handiwork? God is man’s Creator. God created the human will. He created the will of the apostle or prophet. So he doesn’t need to “commandeer” it—any more than Enzo Ferrari needs to commandeer the sports car he designed.
What we see in Prejean is self-reinforcing ignorance. He is to Catholic apologetics what Dawkins is to militant atheism. Just as Dawkins is too contemptuous of the opposing position to acquaint himself with the opposing position, Prejean is too contemptuous of Scripture to acquaint himself with Scripture, and too contemptuous of Protestant theology to acquaint himself with Protestant theology.