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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Against Heresies: The tragic essence of Pharisaic piety

The following is from Martin Downes' blog, Against Heresies. His comparison of the prayer of the Pharisee with a prayer preserved from Pelagius is telling. I will post a short quote by way of introduction. To read the rest of the article click on the link below:

Where will you find the best expression of the essence of Pharisaic piety?

It lies in what Jesus says about the prayer of the Pharisee in the temple:

God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get. (Luke 18:11-12)

It is a prayer that makes the wrong comparison because it looks upon a fellow sinner with a sense of elevation. It is a prayer that makes the wrong appeal because it imagines a sense of righteousness that comes from being free from certain sinful acts committed by others. It is a prayer that compounds that wrong appeal by placing confidence in works-righteousness.


Against Heresies: The tragic essence of Pharisaic piety


71 comments:

beowulf2k8 said...

The great wrong the Pharisee does in this prayer is when he thanks God for not making him like other men -- thus implying God made the other men that way. "I thank you that you did not make me a murderer like that guy" implies that God made that guy a murderer. It is this inherent Calvinism in the prayer that Jesus objects to--it makes God the author of evil.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Well, that's a great eisogesis into the text. But the point of Jesus is not that the Pharisee was making a wrong logical proposition about what God made of other men but rather that he was self-righteous and thought that he had accomplished these things on his own.

The text does not say that the Pharisee thought God made other men like that. It merely shows the Pharisee bragging about the fact that he is not "like" other men. There is nothing to suggest he means what you assert; therefore you are eisogeting what the text does not say.

Second of all, it is true that God decreed the fall of Adam and the cursing of all mankind. God, however, is not the author of sin. Adam is the agent responsible for the actions taken in the Garden of Eden. Therefore, Adam, not God is the "author" of the fall. God, however, as you rightly point out IS the ultimate CAUSE of evil in the world. The fact that God is omnipotent makes this a necessary axiom drawn from special revelation in Holy Scripture.

God is not subject to laws outside Himself. We as creatures are subject to God and His moral law, not vice versa. The Creator/creature distinction makes it possible for God to determine good and evil from within Himself.

Also, the fact that God works through secondary means to bring about what is His decretive will means that God is the cause of evil without being the "author" of it.

(Isaiah 45:7)

The Westminster Confession of Faith says:

Chapter 3: Of God's Eternal Decree

1. God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass:1 yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,2 nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.3

See also: WLC 12 | WSC 7



Of course Pelagians continually object to God's absolute sovereignty over evil. But what else is new?

Isaiah 46:9-10

Charlie J. Ray said...

I see that you left your Arminian Baptist faith in favor of agnosticism and/or atheism. At least you are logically consistent with Arminianism. Arminianism and atheism have in common the tendency to reject what Scripture says about God and to instead resort to rationalism to protest God's sovereignty. As Gordon H. Clark says in Christian Philosophy, there really are only two choices. Human reason leads ultimately to agnosticism since reason can lead to no knowledge. The choice is between divine revelation and atheism. You have chosen consistently with the logical implications implied by the Arminian objections. In fact, it is for that reason that I chose divine revelation, which implies Calvinism.

Clark says:

An immediate poin, touching on both epistemology and theology, that will recommend this hypothesis is to those who are religiously inclined, is the impossibility of knowing God otherwise than by revelation. This is evident, not only because proofs for the existence of God are invalidated by the arguments of Hume and Kant; but also because of the conditions under which one person can know another. Though not impossible, it is difficult to extort knowledge of a human being if he does not want to make a self-disclosure. A fortiori, the notion that God can be known only through revelation seems essential to the very concept of God. To try to extort knowledge of God from an unwilling God is impossible, if God is the supreme omnipotent Being. Therefore, if we profess a God who is infinitely superior to man, we should not be surprised by the necessity of a revelation, if we are to know him. Or, to put the matter in other words, we are confronted with an alternative: We can either deny God and accept atheism, or we shall have to try revelation.

To the same effect, it may be pointed out that if God is supreme, as we claim, there can be no higher source than self-disclosure. God cannot be deduced from any superior principle. Therefore, the same conclusion follows: Either revelation must be accepted as an axiom or there is no knowledge of God at all. Gordon H. Clark. Christian Philosophy, (Unicoi: Trinity Foundation, 2004), pp. 299-300.


As for the problem of evil, siding with agnosticism or atheism does not solve the problem of evil. The problem of evil exists for whatever metaphysical system you choose--even if your metaphysics are the atheism philosophy of existence.

I was amused by your "testimony" link. I didn't read it yet. But should not reason be more credible than subjective experiences, sensations, and other such epistemological failures? Hume's empiricism is a failure to achieve any knowledge of reality as most philosophers these days would agree. Logical positivism is equally a failure.

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

Romans 5:12

Charlie J. Ray said...

I should point out that I am not a semi-Arminian like the majority of neo-Calvinists out there. I have absolutely no objection to saying that God is the cause of evil. The Bible clearly teaches that:

Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 ESV)

So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. 19 You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? (Romans 9:18-21 ESV)

The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. (Proverbs 16:4 ESV)

I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things. (Isaiah 45:7 ESV)


God is sovereign over natural disasters and moral evil and is the cause of evil via His secret decrees. (Deuteronomy 29:29). Causation and authorship, however, are distinguishable.

Charlie J. Ray said...

The Greek of Luke 18:11 shows clearly that the Pharisee is not claiming that God made other men evil. He is rather claiming self-righteousness based on his own standards:

Ο θεός, εὐχαριστῶ σοι ὅτι οὐκ εἰμὶ ὥσπερ οἱ λοιποὶ τῶν ἀνθρώπων (Luk 18:11 BYZ)

εὐχαριστῶ σοι ὅτι οὐκ εἰμὶ ὥσπερ οἱ λοιποὶ τῶν ἀνθρώπων (Luk 18:11 GNT)

Courtesy of Bibleworks 9.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Atheism is a metaphysical philosophy and therefore is subject to the same criticisms of reason as any other metaphysical system.

beowulf2k8 said...

"The Greek of Luke 18:11 shows clearly that the Pharisee is not claiming that God made other men evil."

No the Greek does not prove any such thing.

I was obviously paraphrasing when I quoted him as saying "I thank you that you did not make me a murderer like that guy." Nevertheless, from his words it is clear that he thinks God made the other guys sinful.

Luke 18:11 "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican."

Why thank God that you are not an extortioner or adulterer or even a publican unless you believe it is God's fault that those other guys are?

If you believe that those other guys made themselves into extortioners or adulterers then you won't thank God that you aren't one, since you don't think he makes people one.

"Well, that's a great eisogesis into the text. But the point of Jesus is not that the Pharisee was making a wrong logical proposition about what God made of other men but rather that he was self-righteous and thought that he had accomplished these things on his own."

You obviously get this from Luke's interpretive comment "he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:"--but Jesus doesn't say any such thing. From Jesus' own words, it is clear that the problem is the Pharisee blames God for everyone else's sins--he thanks God for not making him a sinner like God made them. Luke's interpretation of Jesus' words -- Luke isn't even an apostle and wasn't even there -- is clearly wrong.

"Atheism is a metaphysical philosophy and therefore is subject to the same criticisms of reason as any other metaphysical system."

Did some atheist's comments get deleted cause I don't see any.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Well, since Luke is speaking the Word of God when he tells us what the parable means, it is obvious that you do not believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, hence you get to pick and choose what propositions in Scripture you think you agree with and which you will not.

I also suspect that you cannot read Greek for the Greek does not use the word "make". It says "like". It is an adverb which means "like or as". Furthermore the Liddell Scott Lexicon and the Bauer Gingrich and Arndt Lexicon both say "hosper" is an adverb that means "like". It is NOT a verb. The verb for "make" in Greek is "poieo", not "hosper".

The BAG Lexicon plainly says:

εἰμὶ ὥσπερ τις I am like someone Lk 18:11.


You'll have to forgive me for bluntly saying so but simply because you choose to paraphrase what is unjustifiable from the plain meaning of BOTH the English translation AND the Greek original does not make your paraphrase a legitimate exegesis of the text. It is plainly and clearly reading into the text what is not there.

Also, your agenda fails because I would agree that men are determined to evil by God. So what's your beef?

If a man shoots his wife and kills her and goes to prison it is because God willed it to be so. Any other questions? :)

But to shut your mouth, I quote Calvin who of all men says that God predestines both election and reprobation, good and evil. Calvin agrees that the man boasts in his own merits. Although I will concede that the man attributes his merits to God's grace he claims credit for the merits by his attitude of self-righteousness. Calvin's response is meant to answer the Papists who credit their works to both grace and their own ability:

Charlie J. Ray said...

11. God, I thank thee.

And yet he is not blamed for boasting of the strength of his free-will, but for trusting that God was reconciled to him by the merits of his works. For this thanksgiving, which is presented exclusively in his own name, does not at all imply that he boasted of his own virtue, as if he had obtained righteousness from himself, or merited any thing by his own industry. On the contrary, he ascribes it to the grace of God that he is righteous. Now though his thanksgiving to God implies an acknowledgment, that all the good works which he possessed were purely the gift of God, yet as he places reliance on works, and prefers himself to others, himself and his prayer are alike rejected. Hence we infer that men are not truly and properly humbled, though they are convinced that they can do nothing, unless they likewise distrust the merits of works, and learn to place their salvation in the undeserved goodness of God, so as to rest upon it all their confidence.

This is a remarkable passage; for some think it enough if they take from man the glory of good works, so far as they are the gifts of the Holy Spirit; and accordingly they admit that we are justified freely, because God finds in us no righteousness but what he bestowed. But Christ goes farther, not only ascribing to the grace of the Spirit the power of acting aright, but stripping us of all confidence in works; for the Pharisee is not blamed on the ground of claiming for himself what belongs to God, but because he trusts to his works, that God will be reconciled to him, because he deserves it. Let us therefore know that, though a man may ascribe to God the praise of works, yet if he imagines the righteousness of those works to be the cause of his salvation, or rests upon it, he is condemned for wicked arrogance. And observe, that he is not charged with the vainglorious ambition of those who indulge in boasting before men, while they are inwardly conscious of their own wickedness, but is charged with concealed hypocrisy; for he is not said to have been the herald of his own praises, but to have prayed silently within himself. Though he did not proclaim aloud the honor of his own righteousness, his internal pride was abominable in the sight of God. His boasting consists of two parts: first, he acquits himself of that guilt in which all men are involved; and, secondly, he brings forward his virtues. He asserts that he is not as other men, because he is not chargeable with crimes which everywhere prevail in the world.


Calvin's Commentary on Luke 18:11

One would think Calvin would be the Calvinist of the Calvinists. Yet Calvin makes no such assertion which you so stupidly read into the text.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I thought you were an atheist? That's what the blog link to your ID says? Either way, Arminianism and Atheism are not that far apart. Both are attempts to read rationalist views into the Bible that are not there.

beowulf2k8 said...

"The BAG Lexicon plainly says:"

I'm not arguing definitions of Greek words. When somebody says "I thank you that I am not like X" the plain meaning behind that is "I thank you you didn't make me like x." No Pelagian could pray "I thank you that I am not like X" because they would say "I am not like X because I chose not to be." As a result, they would also say "the publican is a publican because he chose to be" and not imply, as this guy does, that God made the publican a publican. How is this so hard to understand?

"I thought you were an atheist? That's what the blog link to your ID says?"

What are you talking about?

"Well, since Luke is speaking the Word of God when he tells us what the parable means, it is obvious that you do not believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, hence you get to pick and choose what propositions in Scripture you think you agree with and which you will not."

In Matthew 2, where Matthew quotes half of Hosea 11:1 "out of Egypt I called my son" and make it into a prophecy of Jesus...have you ever gone back and seen that Hosea 11:1 in full says "When ISRAEL was a child I loved him and called my son out of Egypt" and don't you know that this is an allusion to Exodus where God instructs Moses to say to Pharaoh "ISRAEL IS MY FIRSTBORN; let my son go that he may serve me"? The New Testament is not inerrant; the NT authors often misunderstand or misuse the OT, and sometimes the gospel writers plainly misunderstood what Jesus meant by a certain statement.

"Either way, Arminianism and Atheism are not that far apart."

I'm not an Arminian either. Like Calvinism, Arminianism accepts predestination which is an abomination.

"Both are attempts to read rationalist views into the Bible that are not there."

Both Arminianism and Calvinism are attempts to make Paul's inconsistent and clearly wrong theology work, as if the NT were inerrant, when it is clear it is not. Romans 2 "the doers of the Law SHALL be justified"--Romans 3 "by the works of the Law shall NO flesh be justified." How inerrant!

"Also, your agenda fails because I would agree that men are determined to evil by God. So what's your beef?"

You are clearly the atheist then--you hide behind inerrancy as if pretending to believe the Bible to be inerrant will conceal your atheism. But difference is there in saying that God doesn't exist and saying that God is the author of evil? In either case, he is devoid of moral authority. Calvinism is simply atheism in religious guise--which is why all Calvinists do all day long is try to convert Christians to either Calvinism or atheism which are in effect the same thing.

beowulf2k8 said...

"And yet he is not blamed for boasting of the strength of his free-will, but for trusting that God was reconciled to him by the merits of his works....or the Pharisee is not blamed on the ground of claiming for himself what belongs to God, but because he trusts to his works"

Where did you get this silly, laughable, commentary? Where does the text say he believes he was reconciled to God by works?

IT DOESN'T. It say, he said "God I thank thee that I am not like other men." By this, he puts everything on God in good Calvinist fashion! He's not even a semi-semi-Pelagian!

"God I thank thee that I am not like other men."

Not, I am glad I am not like other men. Not, I chose to not be like other men. But God I thank thee that I am not like other men -- which means -- God I thank you for not making me like other men.

If he was a Pelagian, he would say "I am glad I am not like other men." Maybe even, I thank myself I am not like other men. But God I thank thee that I am not like other men -- only a Calvinist would say that.

Charlie J. Ray said...

An omnipotent God can obviously do whatever He likes. He is subject to no law outside of Himself. Otherwise He would not omnipotent or independently divine. If there is a law greater than God then God isn't God. God determines the moral law. The moral law does not determine what God can or cannot do. God determines the moral law every bit as much as He determines the physical law of the universe.

So your contention that God has no moral authority simply because He is sovereign over evil and in fact decrees and causes evil to exist is nonsense. The Bible clearly says that God determines evil. Isaiah 45:7 says He determines natural disasters and by implication, moral evil as well. I could point to the crucifixion as a determination of evil on God's part as well. Acts 2:23; Acts 4:27, 28; Proverbs 16:4.

He also sends a spirit of delusion to harden the reprobate: 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12

You know if you hope to have ANY credibility at all you would at least refute the text of the Bible for what it ACTUALLY says. Your reading comprehension is atrocious. I hope you don't read the newspaper that way. If so, I fail to see how you get anything profitable at all from what you read since words apparently have no meaning except the arbitrary meanings you assign them. A boat is really a car and a banana. HUH?

Yes, this is why atheists are stupid. It's not because they don't believe in God. It's because they don't have any clue about the rules of logic, interpretation of texts, or any other sciences.

As you can see, this blog is not anonymous. If you have any guts or integrity you would stand behind your words with your real name and reputation as you see that I am doing here. In the future you'll need to post with a real name and blog or I am not obligated to post your comments.

Also, in the future simply making bare assertions of your subjective opinions will not do. If you insist on your interpretation you'll have to back it up with rational arguments and facts.

Also, you should read the article to which I original linked.

Charlie J. Ray said...

You idiot, I clearly cited it as John Calvin's commentary on Luke. Didn't you read what I posted?

OK, enough. As I said before, if you want to do your own blog, go do it somewhere else. I don't have patience for irrational idiots who cannot even read with comprehension. I have better things to do than argue with ignoramuses who invent new word meanings at random.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I'm not arguing definitions of Greek words. When somebody says "I thank you that I am not like X" the plain meaning behind that is "I thank you you didn't make me like x."

How is that plain when not one of the translations even comes near stating what you assert? It is not plain because your assertion is a logical fallacy known as non sequitur. For a syllogism to be valid the conclusion must be a restatement of what is said in the premise. Your syllogism as much as admits it is not plain because you say it is "behind" it.

The plain text says that the whole parable is about self-righteousness, not God is the author of evil. What silliness!

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: (Luke 18:9 ESV)

If context and the plain meaning of words can be redefined to whatever you like, then you cannot know anything whatsoever. You must be totally confused in the real world. I guess you don't know if you're an ape or a dog or a man since words can mean whatever arbitrary meaning you assign them?

Charlie J. Ray said...

End of conversation.

Charlie J. Ray said...

BTW, believing in inerrancy or not believing in inerrancy has nothing to do with this. The text says what it says. You understand clearly what verse 9 says but you want to reinterpret everything to fit with your presupposed eisogesis. So the issue is not inerrancy but reading comprehension. The proposition in verse 9 contends that the parable is about self righteousness and looking down on others. Atheists don't do that, do they? :)

Charlie J. Ray said...

...which means -- God I thank you for not making me like other men. As I said before, you have a presupposed agenda and wish to ignore the context. Luke 18:9 clearly shows your view is wrong. An adverb of comparison is way different from a verb exhibiting an action. Don't you know anything about rules of grammar?

"hosper" means "like or as" or "just as". It does not mean and never did mean "make". This is so simple a child could understand it.

beowulf2k8 said...

"BTW, believing in inerrancy or not believing in inerrancy has nothing to do with this....The proposition in verse 9 contends that the parable is about self righteousness and looking down on others."

The errant proposition says that. But Jesus' words say clearly that the problem is that the man said "I thank you I am not like other men" which implies that God made other men evil. And to say that God made other men evil is simply to say "I am an atheist" for atheists want to make God evil so he and all moral law can be dismissed. You Calvinists are homosexuals who say "I was born that way" -- that's all the doctrine of original sin is -- its the same doctrine as the homosexual mafia.

beowulf2k8 said...

"'hosper' means 'like or as' or 'just as'. It does not mean and never did mean 'make'."

Read this carefully:

"I thank you I am not like other men."

"I thank you that you did not make me like other men."

I am NOT changing the word "like" to "make." I am simply saying that thanking God that you are not like other men is the same as thanking him for not making you like other men. Nobody can thank God for not being like other men unless they believe he made the other men that way.

Charlie J. Ray said...

OK, Brian. I figured it out.

But since logic, grammar, and reading comprehension are all beyond your abilities there is no point to continuing this discussion.

And yes, God determines homosexuals to be wicked for the day of destruction:

What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory-- (Romans 9:22-23 ESV)

The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. (Proverbs 16:4 ESV)

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, (Romans 1:18-24 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Gary Crampton:

Moreover, that which God decrees is right simply because God decrees it; God can never err. God, says the Scripture, answers to no one: "He does not give an accounting of any of His words" (Job 33:13). He is the lawgiver (Isaiah 33:22; James 4:12); man is under the law. God is accountable to no one; He is ex lex ("above the law"), whereas man is sub lego ("under the law"). The Ten Commandments are binding on man, not God. The only precondition for responsibility is a lawgiver--in this case, God. Thus, man is necessarily responsible for his sin because God holds him responsible; whatever God does is by definition just; and God is completely absolved of the accusation that He is the author of sin.

The determinism expressed in the statements of the Westminster Confession is not the same thing as fatalism or behaviorism. In fatalism, god, or the gods, or the Fates, determine some if not all outcomes, apparently apart from means. In behaviorism, the actions of men are determined, not by God, but by chemicals in their brains and muscles.

Someone will object, Is not murder sin and contrary to the will of God? Then how can it be that God wills it? The answer is found in Deuteronomy 29:29: "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law." Here Moses distinguishes between God's decretive will ("secret things") and His preceptive will ("those things which are revealed"). The decretive will (God's decrees) determines what must happen; the preceptive will (God's commands) is the law which men are obliged to obey. The decretive will is largely hidden in the mind of God; it is absolute and determined by Him alone; it is not for man to know unless God reveals it. The preceptive will, on the other hand, is wholly revealed in Scripture. It is that will of God for man by which he is to live. Hence, it is for us and our children to know and to obey. The word will is ambiguous. It would be better to speak of God's commands and his decrees. Man is held accountable for his disobedience to God's commands, not God's decrees. Man cannot disobey God's decrees, for God is sovereign. In the example used earlier, God from all eternity decreed Christ's crucifixion, yet when it was carried out by the hands of sinful men, it was contrary to the moral law, that is, God's commands.


God and Evil

beowulf2k8 said...

"And yes, God determines homosexuals to be wicked for the day of destruction:"

And you quote Romans 9 -- of course. But what of James 1:13?

"Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God,' for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one."

If God cannot tempt anyone to do evil, then he certainly cannot make anyone do evil.

You can pretend to be an inerrantist all day long, but the fact is you disbeleive JAmes 1:13 and believe Romans 9. I disbeleive Romans 9 and believe James 1:13. Neither of us are inerrants, though you play one in real life. But what you really are is just an atheist faggot.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I am NOT changing the word "like" to "make." I am simply saying that thanking God that you are not like other men is the same as thanking him for not making you like other men. Nobody can thank God for not being like other men unless they believe he made the other men that way.


You can state your opinions all day long. However, bare assertions are just that. The text does not say anything near that and so the burden of proof is with you. Also it is a non sequitur, it does not follow. It is obvious that people have wrong conceptions all the time. The Pharisee mistakenly thought that God was blessing Him on the basis of his merits. He is not like those low lifes around him. Even worse, he is thinking it in his heart.

Your inference that the Pharisee is focusing on the fact that God makes other men like that misses the whole point. The Pharisee, like the atheist, is justifying himself. That's the point of the passage. He implies that God's grace makes him better but instead he brags about his merits and what he himself has done.

Jesus says it clearly:

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 18:14 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Rabbit trails don't work here. Stick to Luke 18:11-14.

beowulf2k8 said...

"The Pharisee mistakenly thought that God was blessing Him on the basis of his merits."

On what basis do you make this claim? There is not even any mention of blessing!

I thank thee I am not a murder and so on -- I tithe a lot etc.

He is not saying "I thank thee for blessing me for my obedience. I gave money to charity, and you increased my goods! I refrained from adultery, and you sent me a hot wife! Oh thank you Jesus!"

He's not saying that. He doesn't say one word about blessings! He doesn't say one word about his works having any consequences.

He simply thanks God for not making him evil--and that is his sin, the belief that God makes people evil.

Charlie J. Ray said...

No, Brian, I accept ALL of Scripture. James 1:13 does not contradict Romans 9. Scripture interprets Scripture.

Also, the Westminster Confession is a summary of what the Bible teaches. The chapter on God's decrees clearly says that God does not violate the will of men but that He also predetermines everything they do:

Chapter 3: Of God's Eternal Decree

1. God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass:1 yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,2 nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.3

See also: WLC 12 | WSC 7

Charlie J. Ray said...

God is the cause of evil without being the "author" of evil. That distinction seems to escape you. God does not do evil. He causes it through secondary means. Men do evil and are the author of their own actions.

Humans are not robots. Yet God knows exactly everything a man will do from the day of his birth to the day he dies. He knows because He decreed it to be so from all eternity.

beowulf2k8 said...

"James 1:13 does not contradict Romans 9. Scripture interprets Scripture....God does not violate the will of men but that He also predetermines everything they do:"

Right...God doesn't tempt anyone to do evil, he determines them to do evil. Real nice way of getting around reality, atheist.

So what you are saying is, "God I thank you that I am not an Arminian, or a Pelagian, or a Mollinist, or an Open-theist, or a Jew -- I know Lord that you made Beo a Pelagian, but I thank thee that thou madest me a Calvinist Atheist. I believe in predestination, I call you the author of evil, I attack Christians every day and try to make them Calvinists or break them and send them into atheism." Your the damn Pharisee of the 21st century.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Let me get this straight. The Pharisee is an atheist because he is praying to God? And all Calvinists are atheists and homosexuals? Wow.

That truly is BRILLIANT logic. Have you been drinking again?

James 1:13 says God is not the author of evil. Isaiah says God creates evil. Obviously the two propositions do not contradict each other since all Scripture is inspired of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21). An omnipotent God would reveal Himself only in written words that do not contradict each other. Otherwise knowledge is impossible.

Charlie J. Ray said...

No, read Calvin again. The attitude of the elect is not the attitude of the Pharisee. It is the attitude of the tax collector: "God have mercy on me a sinner!"

The tax collectors were despised in that day because they extorted extra money from the tax payers to line their own pockets. The tax collector was the pariah of that day. The tax collector had no standing with his community OR with God, hence his prayer is, "Have mercy on me a sinner!"

The attitude of every elect believer is not, "I thank you lord that I'm not like those other wicked men." No, the prayer is, "God, I'm like those other wicked men. I deserve hell. I do not deserve Your mercy. Please have mercy on my soul!"

Grace and mercy given to a murderer calls for humility, not pride. The Pharisee is proud while the tax collector is humble. That's the difference.

Charlie J. Ray said...

The prayer of a Calvinist is not "I thank God I'm not like you!" His prayer is, "I deserve hell and but for the grace of God there go I." It could have been me doing all those wicked things--if God had left me to my own devices. And God WOULD have been totally just in turning the Calvinist over to his own reprobate nature. Romans 3:23

Charlie J. Ray said...


He simply thanks God for not making him evil--and that is his sin, the belief that God makes people evil.


That would be odd since the Bible says that God causes people to do evil:


For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." (Romans 9:17 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Right...God doesn't tempt anyone to do evil, he determines them to do evil. Real nice way of getting around reality, atheist.

The Bible is God's Word. If you reject one part while accepting the parts you dislike, then you are dishonest. I accept ALL Scripture, good and bad. The Calvinist has no problem with the parts that say man is responsible. He has no problem with the parts that say God is sovereign over evil and determines it. The Bible teaches BOTH.

And the LORD said to him, 'By what means?' And he said, 'I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' And he said, 'You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.' 23 Now therefore behold, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the LORD has declared disaster for you." (1 Kings 22:22-23 ESV)

beowulf2k8 said...

"James 1:13 says God is not the author of evil. Isaiah says God creates evil."

Because in James evil refers to moral evil -- whereas in the passage in Isaiah it refers to calamity or natural disasters.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Yes, in James the text says God is not the "author"of man's moral evil. That is because men are not puppets or machines. They are free moral agents.

But the Bible clearly says that God decrees and determines even the moral evil that men do:

this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. (Acts 2:23 ESV)

for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. (Acts 4:27-28 ESV)

For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. (Romans 9:15-18 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will. (Proverbs 21:1 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

From Gary Crampton's review of Gordon H. Clark's book, God and Evil:

God, says the Confession, is the sovereign first cause of all things, many of which occur through the free acts of man, which are second causes. The end which is decreed by God must never be separated from the means which he has also decreed, as second causes. God, writes Clark, “does not arrange things or control history apart from second causes….God does not decree apart from the means. He decrees that the end shall be accomplished by means of the means.” [6]

And this is the reason, according to the Confession, that God is not to be considered “the author or approver of sin.” God is the sovereign first cause of sin, but he is not the author of sin. Only second causes sin (51).

This view taught by the Westminster divines is the Calvinistic concept of “determinism” (19-21). The word determinism often carries with it an evil connotation, but this should not be the case. In actuality, determinism expresses a very biblical and high view of God, and it gives us the only plausible theodicy. God determines or decrees every event of history and every action of man.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Gordon H. Clark: Biblical Inerrancy Cannot Be Disproved by Fallible Historiography

In the nature of the case archaeology never will be able to prove that the Bible is inerrant. Too many cultural or historical minutiae are beyond recall, not to mention the utterly foreign sphere of theological doctrine. But only an inerrant critic can expect to prove that the Bible errs. --Gordon H. Clark

beowulf2k8 said...

"But only an inerrant critic can expect to prove that the Bible errs."--Gordon H. Clark

You put way too much stock in this Clark guy. Could not a Muslim equally make the moronic claim that "only an inerrant critic can expect to prove the Koran errs"?

To make statements like Clark makes there is just lazy. Essentially its the same as to say that God has left mankind no way to verify truth.

Can I not read Hosea 11:1? "When Israel was a child I loved him and called my son out of Egypt."

Can I not tell that this is an allusion to Exodus where Moses says to Pharaoah "Thus saith the Lord: Israel is my firstborn; let my son go that he may serve me"?

Can I not then read in Matthew that Jesus was taken into Egypt (which is absent in Luke and the other gospels) to fulfill the 'prophecy' of Hosea 11:1 "out of Egypt I called my son" and recognize that Matthew is misusing the text?

I would have to be an idiot to say "Well, I'm not inerrant, so I can't be sure." That's just the sort of wooly headed thinking that would cause a person to try to be every religion at once...because if this is our case, how can we know that any book is not inerrant???????

Charlie J. Ray said...

Clark agrees with the secular philosophers that reason cannot lead to knowledge. Empiricism, logical positivism, Kantian philsophy, Locke, Kierkegaard, realism, common sense, rationalism and all the rest were miserable failures. Even the philosophy of science has shown that science can produce practical applications but cannot prove any real knowledge. Epistemology cannot prove knowledge. All secular knowledge leds to skepticism, which is particularly true of Nietzsche.

There are two options. Either you choose skepticism in all branches of knowledge--which even the secularists admit--or you can try revelation.

An omnipotent God would reveal Himself rationally in verbal propositions, not in irrational gibberish. So that would require special revelation. The presupposition of the Christian is this axiom: The Bible IS the Word of God.

All philosophy must begin with a first principle. Since all other first principles clearly fail, the Christian's first principle is the axiom that Scripture is the literal Word of God in propositional and rational and logical form.

As to why the Bible rather than the Koran? That's obvious enough to anyone reading and comparing the Bible with other religious books. The propositions made in the Bible are absolutely unique in that the Bible alone teaches that there is one God revealed in three persons and that salvation is by grace alone. All other religions teach works as the basis for salvation. So the Christian does not seek to prove the Bible is true. The Christian presupposes it.

Everyone has a first presupposition. Yours is apparently irrationalism and skepticism. But if that is the case then nothing you have to say can disprove the Bible.

I am not here to prove the Bible is true. I presuppose it because divine revelation is the only possibility to know God or have any knowledge of any other area of life whatsoever. It is Scripture that makes life rational and comprehensible and apprehensible. Otherwise all you have left is nihilistic existentialism and no clear knowledge of reality or the universe whatsoever.


Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

Basically, Clark's view can be summarized as natural revelation or natural theology fails because reason cannot consistently lead to truth in any area.

Only presupposing the Bible is God's revelation can lead to truth. Since the Bible is based on logic and is non contradictory, then all other religions and sources of knowledge are self-contradictory. God is the essence of logic and reason and therefore cannot contradict Himself.

if we are faithless, he remains faithful-- for he cannot deny himself. (2 Timothy 2:13 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

I should ask how agnosticism or atheism solves the problem of evil? Doesn't evil still exist even in the worldview of an atheist? Or is your solution that evil is merely a human thought construct, an illusion that does not actually exist? If so, what are you complaining about?

Charlie J. Ray said...

I put way too much stock in the Bible, since the Bible alone provides any knowledge at all. Without the Bible knowledge is impossible.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I would have to be an idiot to say "Well, I'm not inerrant, so I can't be sure."

The point is not that you cannot be sure. The point is that you cannot prove the Bible is not true.

You cited examples of historical events from the Bible. So tell me, how do you know George Washington crossed the Delaware? Can you prove it? Maybe it is simply an expression meaning that his army as a unified collective crossed the Delaware? How do you know the date is correct? Can you absolutely prove any of that? Or maybe you are taking someone's opinion of what they perceived through experience as being "fact"? If eyewitness accounts in modern courtrooms are shakey at best, then what makes historiography any more reliable?

Sorry, but your criticism of the Bible is contradictory since you accept other historical accounts at face value. Historiographical accounts of the past are selective, arbitrary--depends on whose historical account you're reading--and approximate at best. There is no such thing as absolute knowledge of history.

As I said, only by assuming that there is a God who is sovereign over history does it become possible to know anything at all about history. The Bible does not need archeology to prove it is true. But the critical attacks on the historical narratives of the Bible turned out to be wrong in the past and they will prove wrong in the future... And even if they are not proved wrong, the Christian can be just as certain of the history recorded in the Bible as you are certain about the existence of Napoleon. In fact, more so, because the Bible IS God's Word. :)

beowulf2k8 said...

"Clark agrees with the secular philosophers that reason cannot lead to knowledge...There are two options. Either you choose skepticism in all branches of knowledge...or you can try revelation."

"I put way too much stock in the Bible, since the Bible alone provides any knowledge at all. Without the Bible knowledge is impossible."

This obviously raises the question of what exactly you mean by 'knowledge.' You do know what you ate for breakfast right? And without having to turn to any verse to read an inerrant history of your own day, to boot! But if knowledge is impossible without the Bible, how do you know you are even really reading these comments? Maybe its all just an illusion...maybe the Internet doesn't even exist...since it isn't in the Bible.

You position certainly isn't borne out by scripture itself. Paul says in Romans 1 that by nature we know the invisible attributes of God. Again, in another place he says that nature teaches us that if a man has long hair it is a shame to him. In order to keep to your theory that "without the Bible knowledge is impossible" you will have to charge Paul with error. Not that I have a problem with charging Paul with error, when he is wrong, but in this case he clearly is not wrong.

Jesus also in a particular passage speaks about how the people of his generation can "discern the face of the sky" and know when a storm is coming. How could they do this, when according to you "without the Bible knowledge is impossible", and the Bible (as they knew it then) did not contain this information?


"An omnipotent God would reveal Himself rationally in verbal propositions, not in irrational gibberish."

Or he could, as Paul says, reveal himself in nature--or even in a law written in the heart of man. "So that would require special revelation." Its not required. That is in fact Paul's point in Romans 1--commonplace revelation, nature, is enough to make us know God's invisible attributes and what he requires morally.

"The presupposition of the Christian is this axiom: The Bible IS the Word of God." In modern times, yes, but in ancient times it was simply "Jesus is Lord."

"As to why the Bible rather than the Koran? That's obvious enough to anyone reading and comparing the Bible with other religious books. The propositions made in the Bible are absolutely unique" -- that sounds like you intend to use reason which you have already condemned as untrustworthy.


"I am not here to prove the Bible is true. I presuppose it because divine revelation is the only possibility to know God or have any knowledge of any other area of life whatsoever."

And yet the very book that you presuppose is always right says otherwise.

For another example, how did the Pharisees know that Jesus baptized more disciples than John? (John 4) Had they read it in the gospel of John that didn't exist yet?


"It is Scripture that makes life rational and comprehensible and apprehensible. Otherwise all you have left is nihilistic existentialism and no clear knowledge of reality or the universe whatsoever."

The funny thing is your entire 'defense' of scripture ends in "nihilistic existentialism"--your doctrine that nothing is knowable apart from scripture makes nothing knowable, because apart from scripture, how will you know scripture? If you can't know that you really are holding a book in your hand, how do you know you really are reading the Bible? How do you know you aren't just an element of a dream in an Elephant's head? You're view makes you truly lost.

"Since the Bible is based on logic and is non contradictory, then all other religions and sources of knowledge are self-contradictory."

And yet you will not use logic to test this claim but will only presuppose it. Because obviously you know it is false.

beowulf2k8 said...

"You cited examples of historical events from the Bible. So tell me, how do you know George Washington crossed the Delaware?"

I think if you look back over the example of Hosea 11:1, my argument was that this is a historical allusion to the Exodus, not a prophecy of Jesus' childhood. I wasn't questioning a historical event in the Bible. I was saying Matthew misinterpreted an Old Testament passage as a predictive prophecy when it was in fact a historical allusion.

I'm not pitting secular history against Biblical history. I'm showing that a new part of the Bible misinterpreted an old part. That is very different.

As for G.W. crossingthe Delaware, I really don't care.

"If eyewitness accounts in modern courtrooms are shakey at best, then what makes historiography any more reliable?"

Again, I'm not saying something like that the census of Quirinius was in a different year than Luke said it was. I'm saying that the New Testament writer, Matthew, misuses Old Testament passages. He invents one that doesn't exist "he shall be called a Nazarene." He makes Hosea 11:1 into prediction when it is historical allusion. He makes Jeremiah 31, which is about the Assyrian captivity of the Ephraimites, into a predictive prophecy about Herod killing babies at Jesus' birth. None of this has anything to do with any of the claims of secular history.

"The Bible does not need archeology to prove it is true." I didn't say one word about archeology.

"And even if they are not proved wrong, the Christian can be just as certain of the history recorded in the Bible as you are certain about the existence of Napoleon." -- I don't care whether Napoleon existed or not.

"Historiographical accounts of the past are selective, arbitrary--depends on whose historical account you're reading--and approximate at best."

Which is also true of Matthew, since he obviously creates narrative based not on actual history but on his interpretation of unrelated Old Testament passages. The whole Jesus down to Egypt narrative is just a mangled interpretation of Jeremiah 31 and Hosea 11:1--not real history.

"Sorry, but your criticism of the Bible is contradictory since you accept other historical accounts at face value."

I don't accept other historical accounts at face value.

"I should ask how agnosticism or atheism solves the problem of evil?"

Obviously it doesn't. And, as I said, I am not an atheist--I'm a Pelagian. Whatever in scripture conduces to a righteous living is right; whatever conduces to the opposite is false; whatever is indifferent is indifferent.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I'm saying that the New Testament writer, Matthew, misuses Old Testament passages. He invents one that doesn't exist "he shall be called a Nazarene." He makes Hosea 11:1 into prediction when it is historical allusion. He makes Jeremiah 31, which is about the Assyrian captivity of the Ephraimites, into a predictive prophecy about Herod killing babies at Jesus' birth. None of this has anything to do with any of the claims of secular history.

Well, you are presupposing that those are errors in the Bible rather than errors on your part. But can you prove that your interpretation is true? No, you can't--unless you are omniscient. What is your basis for claiming you are inerrant in your interpretation? You have none:)

As for Pelagianism, even Pelagians can accept Scripture is without error. After all, you're supposed to be innocent, remember?

But then, if Pelagianism were really true there should be no moral evil in the world, right?

Charlie J. Ray said...

I'm a Pelagian. Whatever in scripture conduces to a righteous living is right; whatever conduces to the opposite is false; whatever is indifferent is indifferent.

But you're simply stating a tautology. A = A. Righteous living is righteous living. If Scripture errs, as you presuppose, then how would you decide what is true and what is false since you cannot define "righteous living"? "Whatever is adiaphora is adiaphora?" That's another tautology. You can't define adiaphora either since you assume that Scripture is errant and fallible. Really, all you have is an empty presupposition since you apparently do not believe God is omnipotent or omniscient. How could you trust a god who errs and is a wimp?

Charlie J. Ray said...

You do know what you ate for breakfast right? Well, no. I can't know that unless the Bible reveals God. It might be that what I experience and perceive is an illusion. It could be that it is merely a hologram in the mind and external objects are not real. Unless there is a God who reveals Himself in divine revelation, there is no way to know that time, history or perception is objective in any sense at all. Don't you watch PBS? The latest "scientific" discovery is there are multiple universes and dimensions and the physical universe is just a hologram. Of course, they can't prove any of it. It's just mathematical speculation.

Descartes' axiom, "I think therefore I am" fails as well. Simply because I think does not make anything real. Only if the Bible is true does any knowledge at all become possible. History is providentially directed by the God who is revealed in propositional truth statements in the Bible.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Paul says in Romans 1 that by nature we know the invisible attributes of God. Again, in another place he says that nature teaches us that if a man has long hair it is a shame to him. In order to keep to your theory that "without the Bible knowledge is impossible" you will have to charge Paul with error. Not that I have a problem with charging Paul with error, when he is wrong, but in this case he clearly is not wrong.

So why did you appeal to Scripture to prove that natural revelation exists? And if you read the context Paul concludes that natural theology cannot lead to saving faith. It can only lead to leaving the wicked without excuse:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, (Romans 1:18-24 ESV)
and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:15-17 ESV)
And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:19-21 ESV)


Scripture tells us that special revelation alone can reveal God and His plan of salvation, not general or natural revelation. (John 14:6; Hebrews 1:1-3; Acts 4:11-12).

Charlie J. Ray said...

Again, you contradict yourself. You say that knowledge is possible apart from Scripture when Paul clearly says that knowledge of God in nature leads to idolatry and ignorance. Scripture alone can tell us what we need to know about God, creation, and reality--which is why you quoted it:)

As for Paul's argument about hair, his argument is not for natural law but creation. In the beginning God created gender roles, male and female. Nature = creation. We only know that God created from Scripture. Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1-3 God is Logic.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I don't care whether Napoleon existed or not.

Well that's the gist of your argument on just about everything, isn't it? You don't really know and you don't really care:) So what's your point? My point is you don't know anything. You have simply presupposed social and society's conventional thinking. Whether or not your views are true or false is unfalsifiable and unverifiable. Therefore, your opinion is meaningless and irrational except as a bare assertion.

However, I stand on the beginning point that the Bible IS the Word of God. From that starting point everything else falls into place and real knowledge becomes possible.

beowulf2k8 said...

I'm only curious what happened to my first comment from yesterday. I suppose by removing it you concede that it defeated your position.

beowulf2k8 said...

"So why did you appeal to Scripture to prove that natural revelation exists?"

To show that your position that knowledge can only come from scripture is not even scriptural.

"Again, you contradict yourself. You say that knowledge is possible apart from Scripture when Paul clearly says that knowledge of God in nature leads to idolatry and ignorance."

This he does not say. He says that those who ended up in idolatry has "exchanged the truth of God for a lie" -- you can only exchange what you once had. Further, he says they are "without excuse" for their idolatry, because they knew the truth--they simple "exchanged" it for something else.

beowulf2k8 said...

"In the beginning God created gender roles, male and female. Nature = creation. We only know that God created from Scripture."

Really? I suppose when the Psalmist says in Psalm 19 "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork" that you think this was revealed to him by an Oral Revelation rather than his simply looking up at the heavens.

The fact is, even in scripture we have characters who knew nothing of God by any sort of special revelation but only by nature. Job, the Gentile who lived a righteous life before receiving any revelation and finally received his special revelation only after having already been presented to Satan as an exceptional example or righteousness and put through various trials. Of him, of course, Pelagius says he was "a disciple of the apostles who opening the hidden wealth of nature and bringing it out in the open revealed by his own behavior what all of us are capable of and what that great treasure in the soul is which because we do not display it we convince ourselves we also do not posses." Job is the ultimate example of a righteous man who lived only by the light of nature, and was actually given a special revelation afterwards.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I didn't remove your comment from yesterday. It's not my problem if you're too inept to know how to post a comment.

You have conceded that you have an opinion which you have presupposed, namely that the Bible errs. Since you would need to be omniscient to prove such a thing, I am under no obligation to believe your presupposition. My presupposition begins with one simple axiom: The Bible IS the Word of God.

There is no need to keep posting usely posts since my view cannot be disproved. But then, neither can yours:) Your view is merely a presupposition. Mine is based on the Scriptures which God divinely revealed.

Charlie J. Ray said...

The fact that everyone can see heaven does not make everyone who writes a psalm divinely inspired:) What the Psalmist wrote is divinely inspired. You only know the Psalmist saw heaven because it is recorded in Scripture. If nature is all that is necessary, why are you quoting some book that is not divinely inspired and is full of errors? :)

Charlie J. Ray said...

I have not denied natural revelation. You have misunderstood me:) I deny that natural revelation can reveal true knowledge in any ultimate sense. Science can solve certain practical problems. But science cannot provide any true knowledge about reality. Science, like everything else, is subjectively conducted by fallible human beings. Science is wrong continually and is always correcting its previous corrections ad infinitum.

Again, quoting Scripture to prove Scripture is not divinely inspired does not prove any such thing:) You're merely asserting a tautological presupposition.

For a critique of science see this blog entry: Clark on the Philosophy of Science and this Wikipedia article on the philosophy of science.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Salvation comes only through knowledge of Jesus Christ. Paul states that clearly several times over, particularly in Romans 1:16-17, Romans 10:4-12. The other biblical writers state the same thing (Acts 4:11-12; John 14:6; John 5:23-25; John 3:16-21). Natural revelation cannot lead to true knowledge of God precisely because of original sin (Romans 5:12; Genesis 3:6-8; Genesis 6:5).

You've professed not to believe the Bible as a whole. It is therefore disingenuous for you to quote the Bible capriciously and out of context. The best example of that is when you quoted Luke 18:9ff totally out of context. Since you presuppose so much against the Bible, why do you continually quote the Scriptures so haphazardly when it happens to fit your anti-Christian presupposition?

Refusing to argue with irrationalists is not conceding defeat. It is conceding that logical arguments are impossible when the other person presupposes contradictory arguments and irrationalism.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Job is the ultimate example of a righteous man who lived only by the light of nature, and was actually given a special revelation afterwards.

Oh? And how do you know Job was a real person? :) I suppose you know that from nature?

beowulf2k8 said...

"I didn't remove your comment from yesterday. It's not my problem if you're too inept to know how to post a comment."

Actually you did remove it--yet you have quoted parts of it in several of your responses which is interesting since you say you did not remove it and pretend I somehow forgot to hit post or something.

"You've professed not to believe the Bible as a whole. It is therefore disingenuous for you to quote the Bible capriciously and out of context."

But is this not precisely what Paul does with the Old Testament? He clearly doesn't believe those parts of the Law that offer forgiveness or a way of return--for he pretends that the Law doesn't offer any such thing but that by breaking one command one becomes damned to where there is no possibly recovery except by the abolishment of the Law. And he quotes the Old Testament capriciously and out of context to establish his view that the Law is abolished.

The reality is then, that nobody uses scripture consistently as the word of God -- not even authors of scripture like Paul. The rational take what they know from nature and mix with it whatever from scripture fits. The irrational take whatever is the absolute worst of scripture and use it to demolish the very light of nature itself -- as you do, and as Paul himself did with the Old Testament.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Scroll up, stupid.

Charlie J. Ray said...

The reality is that Scripture has only one meaning. Since Scripture is propositional truth that meaning is found with logic and reason. Man's mind has been darkened by sin such that he refuses to believe what he understands. It does not mean he cannot understand logic or the propositions in Scripture--only that he refuses to assent to it. Sorta like what you're doing here:) You understand that the Pharisee is self-righteous because Jesus says so in the text. You simply refuse to believe it and instead arbitrarily pick and choose the meanings of texts to fit your false presuppositions. The text nowhere says the Pharisee thought the tax collector was evil. He simply thinks he's better than the other guy. And what is worse, he thinks it in his heart:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Romans 1:18-32 demolishes any hope for natural revelation sufficient to lead to salvation. Only special revelation can illuminate the minds of the elect to saving faith. (Romans 10:4-11; Acts 4:11-12; Hebrews 1:1-2; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 2 Timothy 3:15-17). The ignorant twist the Scriptures to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16). And God insures the deception of the reprobate by hardening their hearts and sending a spirit of delusion so that they cannot believe (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12; Romans 9:14-21). The reprobate refuse to believe because they are predestined to do so (1 Peter 2:8).

Charlie J. Ray said...

The prayer of the Pharisee is the prayer of the natural man. The prayer of the sinner and the ungodly is, "Have mercy on me a sinner, Oh Lord!"

Charlie J. Ray said...

As for Scripture being errant and contradictory, I've already refuted that. You're merely presupposing errors that are not there. You would need to be omniscient to assert that there are no answers to your "apparent" contradictions.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I can just as well presuppose that the Bible is God's inspired revelation and that it has no contradictions and no errors. And in fact, it does not. Scripture has been proved right on many occasions. The census of Tiberius Caesar, the existence of the Assyrians, Pontius Pilate, and a host of other details have been proven. But the Christian is under no obligation to prove any of that since history, science, empiricism, archeology, philosophy, etc., et. al. are all flawed by their own admission.

beowulf2k8 said...

"The prayer of the Pharisee is the prayer of the natural man. The prayer of the sinner and the ungodly is, 'Have mercy on me a sinner, Oh Lord!'"

In my experience its exactly the opposite. The man unaided by the lies of systematic theology prays "have mercy on me a sinner" and the Calvinist prays "God I thank you that you didn't make me a Pelagian or a Jew."

Charlie J. Ray said...

Your experience does not count. What does count is what Scripture says. But I'm glad that you finally concede that the issue of the passage is self-righteousness:)

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. (Romans 10:4 NKJ)

Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, (Romans 3:20-25 NKJ)

All true Calvinists know they deserve hell. It is the self-righteous who accuse God of injustice and exalt themselves above others.

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