House Churches

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C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
[quote:8e3724d501]
Personally, I think education should be in a local church not some place divorced from the local church.
[/quote:8e3724d501]

You mean like Knox Seminary being under the auspice of Coral Ridge Presbyterian church... :eek:
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Derick...

[quote:eb840fce76]Define the Lord's Table using Scripture. Presbyterians are famous for saying that when you mention Baptism replacing circumcision that everyone knew it was to include infants. I go further to explain that when the elements are mentioned in the Bible it was understood to be around a meal (will show this later in this post). You said "This is not the Lord's Table". I invite scriptural evidence for such a use as I will for saying that the elements are a part of a supper and referred to as such.[/quote:eb840fce76]

Per the words of institution in 1 Cor. 11 and what Jesus says himself about it, to include John 6, the Lord's supper is the bread and the wine. It was a meal, it was a supper, but the elements of the supper that are instituted by Christ are only bread and wine. They are not meat and potatoes or anything else.

[quote:eb840fce76]Most of our other issues can be solved by looking at II Timothy 3:16-17. I believe that the Word of God is given to thoroughly equip us for every good work. You contend that we need history as well, but I believe the Bible is sufficient and should be used to reprove, rebuke, and exhort.[/quote:eb840fce76]

I'm sorry I need to cut this short, but today is a study day. The Scriptures are sufficient for all we need. They are the supreme authority. They are the full revelation of God along with nothing else.

The only way we can know what Scripture teaches is by the witness of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit witnesses to us when we read it, when we discuss it, when we read what others have said about it, when we hear it preached, when we hear it sung. The Spirit uses all these means.

However, He does not do so in a vacuum. There can be no understanding or interpretation of Scripture that has not before in history ever been understood. All light that shines today, may in fact be brighter than times past. The future light may be brighter still. But it is the same light and is no other. Any "light" that disagrees with what the Spirit has testified to up until now, is no light at all. This is all I am saying about history.

Any Scripture does not come about by private interpretation. Is is always witnessed to by the Spirit. He either allows agreement, or He blinds the eye so that it cannot see. But no light shines divergent of the light we have. This is the position of the Reformation and this is what they mean by Sola Scriptura.

[quote:eb840fce76]Your reasoning is also circular. You state that history has shown that history's interpretation is a part of Sola Scriptura. Thus, you are relying upon the same source to say that history is authoritative. This is circular and faulty logic. It would be like me saying, "This article is a great source for your paper." You look at the paper and see that I am the author of that article. The Bible does not state such a position for history. Thus, I must reject circular reason.[/quote:eb840fce76]

Because the Bible has been interpreted and translated in history, this has bearing upon our understanding of it. It cannot but effect our interpretation. We must then decide if we are in line with what has been, or whether we want to go away from that. This has everything to do with Sola Scriptura.

The Spirit builds upon the work of others. We are all built upon the foundation of Christ and the Apostles, upon the Law and the Prophets. There is nothing new to this. So to approach the Bible as if we are going to get something totally and completely new, and never before believed, is not how God has revealed himself.

Therefore, our interpretation either lines up with a common understanding or it does not. This is where we must draw our lines of battle. It is unavoidable.

What is avoidable is our impertinence to think that our belief must be true and all others false. We must avoid this at all costs, because we, ourselves, are not the supreme authority over the Scriptures. They are over us, and who are we to say we have interpreted them correctly.

This is where the Spirit's witness in history, in the apostles and in the church of God, is pertinent to our understanding.

[quote:eb840fce76]My interpretation knows no higher authority than the Bible. As Luther said, "Unless you can convince me by the Bible and not Council, nor Pope, nor creed, I am bound to my conscience." God gave us the Holy Spirit for this very reason-to teach. It is the Holy Spirit that teaches us and guides us. Granted, I will be wrong in some areas of my theology, but so will you. God also believes the Bible to be easy enough to properly interpret by anyone and has allowed that to be so with the Bereans and all who read it.[/quote:eb840fce76]

But what is great about this is that the Spirit has spoken to all. So we have a common thread running through history of how the Bible is interpreted. I may not be right about everything, and so the same with you. But collectively, throughout all of redemptive history, we are right. The church is right where it agrees with the church of all ages. This is the rule of faith. It is the common experience and witness of the Spirit. It binds all together so that all may apply the truth of the Word in the same way among all the people of God. Where this does not happen is sin and is inevitable.

[quote:eb840fce76]As mentioned, though, we should use the wisdom of the ages and rationally evaluate it. We should heed to wisdom but there are many cases where I see they were wrong.[/quote:eb840fce76]

But how do you know they are wrong? Has the Spirit imparted something to you and not to them? How is your light different from theirs? Is this not "new" revelation?

In the end, you are the final arbiter of this, not the Scriptures. Your understanding says that they are wrong. This is subjective. That is why if it doesn't align itself with the historical interpretation, it is suspect.

[quote:eb840fce76]First, can you show me where I am wrong using the Bible, which is given to correct?[/quote:eb840fce76]

Yes, I can show where you are wrong with the Scriptures. I can show you what the church has believed and you disagree with. But since you are supreme authority of what you are going to believe, and since you do not see the witness of the Spirit in many counselors, then we are at an impasse. Just like with your other friend you mentioned.

[quote:eb840fce76]You call what I do as "new light". I guess that is where we differ. I am saying through much research and study of the Bible that this is not new light but what the Bible states and that man corrupted through the years. If I disagree with a vast majority of history, trust me, I go through everything twice and make sure of my findings and try to see if there is anywhere I could be wrong. In fact, I am more critical of my views if I am going against history. Yet, I do not look at history as the final authority, I look at the Bible who is perfect in making men complete.[/quote:eb840fce76]

You are looking to your own interpretation as the trump card. There is no other way to see this. If they are all wrong and you are all right, it is not the Bible speaking through you, but you speaking through the Bible. If there is not common witness to what you are saying, it is new light and you stand alone. There is no place in Scripture that shows this to be true because it is not of private interpretation. I am sorry, but there can be no other way to analyze your argument. You are the supreme authority when it comes to what you believe.

[quote:eb840fce76]Actually, I think seminary is a vacuum. My philosophy on religious education is this: There are two lies of the devil, one is that you need formal education the other is that you do not need any education. I believe most of seminary education is inappropriate for most. Now, I have done much post graduate work and so I am not entirely against it but I am not always for it either. Yes, I probably will get my Ph.D., but I may not. I do believe they had teachers but I also believe seminary education is sometimes a terrible thing. Personally, I think education should be in a local church not some place divorced from the local church. The local church should be the center of education otherwise you do get yourself into a vacuum.[/quote:eb840fce76]

I don't know what to say to this. I disagree vehemently. How are you going to show yourself approved? By appealing to they layman in the pew? Can he refute you? Can he rebuke and admonish you? Does he know as much as you do? Has he been trained as you have? Men need a proving ground to show that they can rightly divide the Word of truth. Timothy had his. We have ours.

I agree that seminary is not perfect. But it is the best thing we have right now.

[quote:eb840fce76]Even if the church is teaching things contrary to the Bible? I have no problem with autonomy as mentioned before about Diotrophese and the issues surrounding this issue. It did not seem that the Elders took him out of power but they did caution people to avoid Diotrophese.[/quote:eb840fce76]

You'll notice I said lawful church. I am assuming that the church is not teaching contrary to the Bible.

[quote:eb840fce76]Yet, if you believe something you better be ready to defend using the Bible alone. I do read books and see where the arguments are but no book will convince me of the validity of an argument. The Bible alone convinces me of an argument. I became reformed because I read the Bible not because I read books. Books directed my research but they were not the reason. I have a great friend who is a Presbyterian Pastor, and his focus was on the Bible not books and he convinced me of the reformed perspective. Why? It is clear in the Bible. Yet, it is the Bible we spend most of our time studying.[/quote:eb840fce76]

I became Reformed by the Spirit alone working in me. He uses many things. The foundation is the Word, the secondary means are various. But if the secondary means do not include books and witnesses, then I disagree.

[quote:eb840fce76]You are reading into the text and arguing from silence. The word used is a singular church not plural. Secondly, many scholars throughout history saw that there was only one church per city and that was the mentality of the early church. They took a collection for the church in Jerusalem, not the churches. Thus, the Elders were over the house meetings that met from house to house because of persecution. We do not know how many of the people remained in Jerusalem after Pentecost and how many scattered in persecution, so we do not know the numbers of the church in Jerusalem.[/quote:eb840fce76]

Church is a collective noun. It can mean many or one.

[quote:eb840fce76]Secondly, I Corinthians 16:15, in context they said "everyone who works and labors with us." The issue was not about submission in ecclesiastical form. Charles Hodge states concerning this passage, "The exhortation is, that ye also submit yourselves to such. "As they serve you, do you serve them." Nothing is more natural than submission to the good" Matthew Henry seems to point out something very similar to what Charles Hodge stated but more wordy. Matthew Poole states it is more of an idea of reverencing him. The word in the Greek can be used either way. Considering in context that all those who are with Paul and labor with him should be treated like this, I do not think it is referring to all Elders and submission. He did not single out "every elder".[/quote:eb840fce76]

You need to define submission before you can understand what Hodge and the others are saying.

There is no person on earth who is not subject to another person. Submit yourselves to one another is another such reference.

In Christ,

KC
 

Drdad

Puritan Board Freshman
Wow, I think it is amazing that you think John 6 is a representation of the Lord's Supper. I actually hypothesized this in my commentary on John and probably got more opposition of this (and one other) point than anything else I said (among the prof's who reviewed my work). To add to this, if this is the case then there is no mention of wine and fish are added. In my commentary I stated this may have been a Passover meal because of John's special mention of the Passover (we believe he may have not mentioned one of the Passovers in Jesus' ministry thus adding to some speculation as to why he especially mentions this one when Jesus was in Galilee not Jerusalem) and some other phrases within the text (not to mention that they ate till they were satisfied). Yet, you do not have much objection from me about John 6, but again I believe it was a meal (though there was not much of a variety in this meal) and I would not state a definite on this point especially since the institution of the Lord's Supper does not occur for another year.

I agree that the elements of bread and wine are intrinsic yet the Lord's Supper included much more than just bread and wine and was always taken around a meal. It was not a snack but a Supper as demonstrated using scripture.


[quote:3b2ff9c479]
However, He does not do so in a vacuum. There can be no understanding or interpretation of Scripture that has not before in history ever been understood. All light that shines today, may in fact be brighter than times past. The future light may be brighter still. But it is the same light and is no other. Any "light" that disagrees with what the Spirit has testified to up until now, is no light at all. This is all I am saying about history.
[/quote:3b2ff9c479]

Again, I said that I believe it was practiced in history but may have been lost or changed as was the case in the Tradition of the Elders as I have explained. I believe the Tradition of the Elders is a very tough argument to deny as explained above. It all should be tested in light of Scripture, which I believe I Timothy 3-4 is very clear in saying. We both agree history should be used, but I believe even history should be measured in light of the Bible and judged accordingly.


[quote:3b2ff9c479]
But what is great about this is that the Spirit has spoken to all. So we have a common thread running through history of how the Bible is interpreted. I may not be right about everything, and so the same with you. But collectively, throughout all of redemptive history, we are right. The church is right where it agrees with the church of all ages. This is the rule of faith. It is the common experience and witness of the Spirit. It binds all together so that all may apply the truth of the Word in the same way among all the people of God. Where this does not happen is sin and is inevitable.
[/quote:3b2ff9c479]

How do you know it is what the Spirit has spoken unless you measure it up to the Bible? I believe the way we test the Spirit is through the Bible. Use others for wisdom but the Bible is where we spend our time testing whether something is of the Spirit or not. Again, we should test everything to see if it is from the Spirit... we should not give a pass to history, this is the lesson of the Tradition of the Elders.


[quote:3b2ff9c479]
But how do you know they are wrong? Has the Spirit imparted something to you and not to them? How is your light different from theirs? Is this not "new" revelation?
[/quote:3b2ff9c479]

This is another crux of our discussion. To believe in the historically and Biblically accepted idea called the Perspicuity of Scripture. If the perspicuity of the Bible is true and someone comes up with a wrong reading, just take them back to the Bible and explain the truth. My Sunday Night I am teaching them how to study the Bible for themselves. Last week's homework I gave 4 problems where they had to find out the true meaning of the passages not our "cultural meaning" all using the context. I took these problems from a couple of seminary textbooks and while none of them have ever been told what these verses really said in context, they were very able to read the context, study, and come up with the right answer (without using anything but their Bible and a Strongs). That is called the perspicuity of Scripture and I stand by this idea.

[quote:3b2ff9c479]
Yes, I can show where you are wrong with the Scriptures. I can show you what the church has believed and you disagree with. But since you are supreme authority of what you are going to believe, and since you do not see the witness of the Spirit in many counselors, then we are at an impasse. Just like with your other friend you mentioned.
[/quote:3b2ff9c479]

As mentioned, I do not deny Church history. Yet, no one is infallible, not even history. God commands us to test everything with Scripture as shown in my previous post in II Timothy 3-4. I will mention this again, but I have been in debates when people have said, "You can prove anything with the Bible" and I simply say "Go ahead and try and see if it can withstand the weight of evidence within the Bible itself." I am not the supreme authority, the Bible is and if you believe in the Perspicuity of Scripture then you have a problem relating history=the Spirit but you must say the Bible=the Spirit. As shown, also, the Bible is perfect in correcting.

Why use something that is not perfect as the Bible is? Only the Bible is seen as perfect in reproving, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. While I often support myself with history I spend the majority of my time in the Bible.

You mention "my interpretation" but I assume you hold to the perspicuity of Scripture. If it is my interpretation and not what the Bible says then I agree. Yet, if it is the Bible then it is not my interpretation is it? The test is not history but the Bible alone (I Timothy 3:16-17).

[quote:3b2ff9c479]
I don't know what to say to this. I disagree vehemently. How are you going to show yourself approved? By appealing to they layman in the pew? Can he refute you? Can he rebuke and admonish you? Does he know as much as you do? Has he been trained as you have? Men need a proving ground to show that they can rightly divide the Word of truth. Timothy had his. We have ours.

I agree that seminary is not perfect. But it is the best thing we have right now.

[/quote:3b2ff9c479]

How are you to learn to be a Pastor in Seminary? BTW, layman is not a Biblical word. My wife had a professor on the Book of Hebrews who did not have a College Education. Yet, he had memorized the entire book of the Bible (along with several others and many cross references) and had studied well. Unfortunately, most Seminaries are a Spiritual wasteland. They are producing Pastors who pray less than 8 minutes a day. They have much knowledge but little agony in prayer is ever taking place. I also see that you seem to think people who go to seminary are above intellectually the people in the pews. Having lived in 6 states and a part of many churches, I can testify over and over again of great men in the pews. My former president of my seminary stated, "Seminary is academically challenging and because of that you believe you are doing well spiritually, but this is also the place where many die spiritually." I thank the Lord that Seminary was not an option for the great apostles.

[quote:3b2ff9c479]
Church is a collective noun. It can mean many or one.
[/quote:3b2ff9c479]

You are correct about this being a collective noun (Acts 9:31). In Acts 15:, though, ekklesia is preceded by the word "the" in mentioning a definite group. This is the same throughout Scripture with a definite article and ekklesia mentioning a singular church. The contrast to this is clearly in Acts 9:31 where the singular of ekklesia is clearly many churches yet without the definite article.


Derick
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Derick...

[quote:b9f2d9a7c7][i:b9f2d9a7c7]Originally posted by Drdad[/i:b9f2d9a7c7]
Wow, I think it is amazing that you think John 6 is a representation of the Lord's Supper. I actually hypothesized this in my commentary on John and probably got more opposition of this (and one other) point than anything else I said (among the prof's who reviewed my work). To add to this, if this is the case then there is no mention of wine and fish are added. In my commentary I stated this may have been a Passover meal because of John's special mention of the Passover (we believe he may have not mentioned one of the Passovers in Jesus' ministry thus adding to some speculation as to why he especially mentions this one when Jesus was in Galilee not Jerusalem) and some other phrases within the text (not to mention that they ate till they were satisfied). Yet, you do not have much objection from me about John 6, but again I believe it was a meal (though there was not much of a variety in this meal) and I would not state a definite on this point especially since the institution of the Lord's Supper does not occur for another year.

I agree that the elements of bread and wine are intrinsic yet the Lord's Supper included much more than just bread and wine and was always taken around a meal. It was not a snack but a Supper as demonstrated using scripture.[/quote:b9f2d9a7c7]

I am okay with a meal surrounding the Table, but the Lord's Body and Blood are in none other represented except for the bread and wine. That was all I was getting at. Some of the house churches I have heard of do not use the common elements that Christ appointed. Instead they eat whatever and drink Coke. That is wrong.

[quote:b9f2d9a7c7]Again, I said that I believe it was practiced in history but may have been lost or changed as was the case in the Tradition of the Elders as I have explained. I believe the Tradition of the Elders is a very tough argument to deny as explained above. It all should be tested in light of Scripture, which I believe I Timothy 3-4 is very clear in saying. We both agree history should be used, but I believe even history should be measured in light of the Bible and judged accordingly.[/quote:b9f2d9a7c7]

I don't understand how you can separate Scripture from the interpretation of it. Scripture is supreme and is the authority, but if we do not know what it means, then how do we know how to apply it.

Interpretation does not confirm the truth. Interpretation does not take away from the supremacy. The interpretation is not made as something over the Scriptures. Yet, interpretation by the Spirit in us, is the only way we know the spiritual things of God. It is this very witness that stands above all under the Scriptures.

Our interpretation does not take anything away from the Scriptures supremacy, UNLESS it is not the proper interpretation. So, rightly dividing the Word of Truth we can see that John 3:16 is not teaching that God loves everyone and salvation is possible for everyman if he makes the right choice. However, to some it is PERSPICUOUS that John 3:16 means exactly the opposite. Who is right and who is wrong. Of course we know that this is wrong, but how do we know that? Because the Spirit has witnesses who have testified to the truth of this Scripture.

If we were alone in this world, it would be enough. But God wants the truth to be known by all who say they are the people of His name. Yet, not all are convinced of the same truth, of which there is only one. Why, if it is simply perspicuous as you have said?

I agree that the plain things of the Bible are plain. But they are not plain to those whose eyes remain unopened.

Now, where you have an interpretation that is opposite of what the majority witness has been, then your eyes remain closed to the truth. You may say it is from the Bible what you believe, but there are witnesses in the church against you. Therefore, you are placing your interpretation above theirs, still claiming that this is what Scripture says.

How do we get past this? Can you not see this dilemma?

We both agree that the only way we know what the Scripture means is by the illumination of the Spirit. How can the Spirit tell you one thing and the rest of the church another? One of two things must be true. Either both parties are mistaken, or one or the other is mistaken. Yet they are both claiming Sola Scriptura and using the Bible alone.

So, this dilemma comes down to you and I. I read a Scripture and you read the same Scripture and we both come to different conclusions. The Scripture isn't wrong. But one of us is. How do we solve this? Saying that we go back to the Scriptures does not solve this, because we both take what we know from Scriptures to verify our interpretation. The Bible has spoken and has spoken supremely. But one of us has to be hearing and one not hearing.

This is the testimony of the Spirit. He cannot illumine two groups to different truths. One group is wrong.

This is why the majority witness, the regula fidei, is important to Sola Scriptura.

Otherwise it is all a subjective mess.

BTW, it also fosters submission and accountability which the Scriptures teach us to be, not thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought.

[quote:b9f2d9a7c7]How do you know it is what the Spirit has spoken unless you measure it up to the Bible?[/quote:b9f2d9a7c7]

How do I know what the Bible says unless the Spirit has witnessed to its truth and illumined me? This is what it means by NOT being of private interpretation. The Spirit bears witness to the truth in all of the church.

1 Cor. 2 is the prime example. Without the Spirit, I cannot understand it. Therefore, wherever I have misunderstood it, it is because the Spirit has not imparted the correct interpretation to me, for what reason it pleases Him.

[quote:b9f2d9a7c7]I believe the way we test the Spirit is through the Bible. Use others for wisdom but the Bible is where we spend our time testing whether something is of the Spirit or not. Again, we should test everything to see if it is from the Spirit... we should not give a pass to history, this is the lesson of the Tradition of the Elders.[/quote:b9f2d9a7c7]

First, we do not try the Spirit, with a capital "S". If it is a typo, which I hope it is, then I understand where you are coming from. We must try the spirits with the Word, but this is not devoid of the Spirit's witness to us. Now, He uses the Scripture, that is the starting point. But if we test a spirit based upon our own interpretation and darkened eyes with an interpretation that the Spirit does not witness to, do you actually think this test will work?

In other words,, if we come with an incorrect idea or premise, one that is not illumined in us by the Spirit, will our test meet with the correct answer? No. But we have used Scripture, right? No, if we didn't understand it to begin with, because the Spirit had not illumined the correct interpretation, then we used what we think Scripture says, and not what it actually does say. Once again, the Spirit bears witness in the church. If something is true, I am not the first to hear it. The Spirit has imparted the truth before to someone else. Thus we have our ribbon in the fabric.

If however, I am the first to hear, or am one of the few to hear it, I must question what I have heard. Did it come by the Spirit? If it did, why has He not imparted it to a vast majority of the church of God? I think in this case, we must label this as new revelation. And the Spirit has not done that since the canon closed.

[quote:b9f2d9a7c7]This is another crux of our discussion. To believe in the historically and Biblically accepted idea called the Perspicuity of Scripture.[/quote:b9f2d9a7c7]

Once again, I do not deny the Perpiscuity of the Scripture. But this clarity is not devoid of the Spirit's illumination. If the Spirit imparts to me something not witnessed to by universal experience, then I have misread the clear meaning.

[quote:b9f2d9a7c7]If the perspicuity of the Bible is true and someone comes up with a wrong reading, just take them back to the Bible and explain the truth.[/quote:b9f2d9a7c7]

In all the discussions we have had on this list, I cannot believe you think that your Reformed brothers are not doing this with you. You simply choose not to believe what we say is true.

I can point you to Scripture after Scripture, but I cannot be the Holy Spirit. Only He can enlighten you to the truth. But, I will tell you this. Submit to the universal experience and the regula fidei and you will not be far from what the Spirit has spoken to the church. You can choose to believe, even where you do not understand.

[quote:b9f2d9a7c7]My Sunday Night I am teaching them how to study the Bible for themselves. Last week's homework I gave 4 problems where they had to find out the true meaning of the passages not our "cultural meaning" all using the context. I took these problems from a couple of seminary textbooks and while none of them have ever been told what these verses really said in context, they were very able to read the context, study, and come up with the right answer (without using anything but their Bible and a Strongs). That is called the perspicuity of Scripture and I stand by this idea.[/quote:b9f2d9a7c7]

Again, my position does not take the Bible out of anyone's hand, but holds them accountable for their use of it. If God allows me to minister, I will encourage everyone to be in the Word, daily, learning all they can. But, I will also hold them accountable for this. And, they will not be allowed to teach an interpretation that does not agree with the witness of the church. This is giving heed to doctrine and is rightly safeguarded by those appointed to rule in the church.

[quote:b9f2d9a7c7]As mentioned, I do not deny Church history. Yet, no one is infallible, not even history. God commands us to test everything with Scripture as shown in my previous post in II Timothy 3-4. I will mention this again, but I have been in debates when people have said, "You can prove anything with the Bible" and I simply say "Go ahead and try and see if it can withstand the weight of evidence within the Bible itself." I am not the supreme authority, the Bible is and if you believe in the Perspicuity of Scripture then you have a problem relating history=the Spirit but you must say the Bible=the Spirit. As shown, also, the Bible is perfect in correcting.[/quote:b9f2d9a7c7]

You're absolutely correct, Derick. It does reprove and correct. But only when the Spirit imparts His illumination. And if you have your blinders on, and He has not allowed you to see it, then you cannot show the Scriptures to say anything that is truth. It will fall on deaf ears. They will be ever hearing, yet never listening, ever seeing, yet never perceiving.

Also, if no one is infallible, then why do you hold to an interpretation that is the minority report? This would mean that you are infallible. If it can only be one or the other and you have a choice, why do you choose yours? Why do you assume that the universal experience is in error?

[quote:b9f2d9a7c7]Why use something that is not perfect as the Bible is? Only the Bible is seen as perfect in reproving, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. While I often support myself with history I spend the majority of my time in the Bible.[/quote:b9f2d9a7c7]

I am not saying you should use a history book. I am saying that what you say Scripture says should line up with what the Spirit has imparted to a multitude of witnesses. Otherwise how do you know you're right? The Spirit must bear witness between you and the Word and the testimony of the church.

[quote:b9f2d9a7c7]You mention "my interpretation" but I assume you hold to the perspicuity of Scripture. If it is my interpretation and not what the Bible says then I agree. Yet, if it is the Bible then it is not my interpretation is it? The test is not history but the Bible alone (I Timothy 3:16-17).[/quote:b9f2d9a7c7]

The Bible in the hands of a person not illumined by the Spirit cannot rightly say what the Bible says. This is how men twist the Scriptures to their own ends. It can never say what they say it says. There must be testimony by the Spirit and the church.

[quote:b9f2d9a7c7]How are you to learn to be a Pastor in Seminary?[/quote:b9f2d9a7c7]

Countless great pastors have. I do not know why I may not trust God to work in me as He has in them when they did the same thing.

[quote:b9f2d9a7c7]BTW, layman is not a Biblical word.[/quote:b9f2d9a7c7]
I didn't know I could only use words from the Bible. How about member who is not an office holder. Better?

[quote:b9f2d9a7c7]My wife had a professor on the Book of Hebrews who did not have a College Education. Yet, he had memorized the entire book of the Bible (along with several others and many cross references) and had studied well.[/quote:b9f2d9a7c7]

And this proves what? That seminaries are a waste of time just because this man memorized Hebrews? I am pretty sure that there are other religions in the world in which the members can memorize long passages of their sacred texts.

[quote:b9f2d9a7c7]Unfortunately, most Seminaries are a Spiritual wasteland. They are producing Pastors who pray less than 8 minutes a day. They have much knowledge but little agony in prayer is ever taking place.[/quote:b9f2d9a7c7]

This is an unwarranted comment. You may be right about some seminaries, but you would be incorrect about the one I attend. And, I am not in a spiritual wasteland there.

Intellectualism is a problem, I'll not deny that. But the cause is not seminary, nor is it scholarship. The cause is sin, plain and simple. If a man can memorize volumes of information, but cannot apply it in his life, then he is in a spiritual wasteland. But places where ministers of the gospel are trained in the correct manner, will always stress the application of what they know.

BTW, seminaries do not pastors make. Sticking an untrained man in a pulpit does not a pastor make. God makes them. And why should you question His methods? Are these men not in His plan for the church? They aren't in yours, it would seem. But day by day, more men are being trained and given that which they need to be good pastors, by God's grace and by the means of a seminary.

I am in seminary by God's grace. I am being made daily by Him. You should not say anything against this because it is God's will, not yours.

[quote:b9f2d9a7c7]I also see that you seem to think people who go to seminary are above intellectually the people in the pews.[/quote:b9f2d9a7c7]

Intellectually, no. But in his office, yes. And he must be approved for that office.

[quote:b9f2d9a7c7]Having lived in 6 states and a part of many churches, I can testify over and over again of great men in the pews.[/quote:b9f2d9a7c7]

I am not arguing against the men in the pews. But they are not held accountable as a teacher, are they? With greater responsibility, must come greater devotion and greater scholarship. In the eyes of God, we are one. But when it comes to holding us accountable, God holds teachers to a higher standard.

[quote:b9f2d9a7c7]My former president of my seminary stated, "Seminary is academically challenging and because of that you believe you are doing well spiritually, but this is also the place where many die spiritually." I thank the Lord that Seminary was not an option for the great apostles.[/quote:b9f2d9a7c7]

They were not untrained. They had the greatest teacher ever to live. They had a seminary like no other. And, yes, I believe that these men were greater than the ones in the pews. But men die spiritually everyday, without a seminary. Seminary did not cause it. Their own sin and God's providence did.

You may pin it on seminary if you want to. But it is misplaced. God has His reasons. And those who did not do what they set out to do are still under God's providence. But seminary is not the first cause.

[quote:b9f2d9a7c7]You are correct about this being a collective noun (Acts 9:31). In Acts 15:, though, ekklesia is preceded by the word "the" in mentioning a definite group. This is the same throughout Scripture with a definite article and ekklesia mentioning a singular church. The contrast to this is clearly in Acts 9:31 where the singular of ekklesia is clearly many churches yet without the definite article.[/quote:b9f2d9a7c7]

Can't the word at the beginning of this sentence in Acts 9:31 be counted as the definite article? If not, the English Bible would be wrong in putting the definite article there.

In Christ,

KC
 

default

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you for this thread. It is a serious discussion, especially with Harold Camping preaching long and hard on the matter. I disagree with Camping's ideas on this subject.

However, I am a part of a house church. I was blessed beyond measure back in 1993 when I was introduced to this group. Would you mind if I tell you a bit about our format and what we do? Great!

Being a small group we have become quite intimate as a body. When one is in sin, it is noticeable to at least one member, if not all. Here you have accountability one to another. More so than those that walk into the pew on sunday morning to do their "christian duty" and then live their life as the world the rest of the week. (I realize there are a lot that do not do this, but FEW there be that find the strait and narrow path that leadeth to righteousness!)

We do have an elder who has been studying in the scriptures for over 40 years and is quite gifted in teaching.

The format is one that is almost unheard of. We go through one book at a time, currently in Joshua. Everyone knows where we are and it's in question format, that each has had the week to dig in for discussion the next Saturday evening. It is of the utmost importance that we keep things in context, yet also dig out the deeper meaning behind things. It was through this bible study that I was TAUGHT HOW to study the scripture, something not one of the church organizations took time to teach me during the 21 years of being in different churches.

As for the outreach, we have a ministry we support. One that publishes reformed writngs and distributes them throughout the world, even bibles to those in need.

Worship is from the heart, exalting the Heavenly Father.

With that said, I agree that some, actually many Bible studies or House churches go off doctrinally, even sometimes to the point they follow a false Christ. But not all do. In fact, some can be great for fellowship, growing, maturing, responsibility, encouragement, edifying and most important, giving God Glory!

Thank you for allowing me to encourage those who are thinking of finding a home fellowship. I know you will do so through prayer and discernment. But weather you fellowship in a house or in a designated building with a name on it, I pray y ou will weigh every word that is taught with scripture. If you agree with the teaching, do you know BIBLICALLY why you do? And if you disagree, can you show through scripture WHY you disagree?
 

Drdad

Puritan Board Freshman
I am going to be quick on my response for a four reasons. One, we are running in circles. Two, we are chasing around the same post. Three, we keep addressing the same issues. And four, we are getting no where. :D

On the first thing, I am not seperating interpretation, application, and the Bible. I just doubt history is always right and have sited a couple of examples.

Secondly, I agree that He cannot illuminate two different truths, one is right and the other is wrong.

Thirdly, I do not see it as being a subjective mess in my case no more than choosing which history you will adhere to.

Fourthly, I did have a typo, should have used it with a lower case "s". I Somethings Get Into The Habit of Using A lot of Capitols. My Sermon Notes are Full of This type of thing.

Fifthly, if the Spirit is not illuminating people then history is meaningless anyway. The Bible is the best to show faults anyway. I agree this is all dependent upon the Spirit.

[quote:4b0b4f9517]
I didn't know I could only use words from the Bible. How about member who is not an office holder. Better?
[/quote:4b0b4f9517]

I actually use the word "clergy". The only place it is used in the entire Bible it is talking about the congregation. I have used this in sermons but I warn my congregation from parking in clergy spots at the hospital. :D


[quote:4b0b4f9517]
And this proves what? That seminaries are a waste of time just because this man memorized Hebrews? I am pretty sure that there are other religions in the world in which the members can memorize long passages of their sacred texts.
[/quote:4b0b4f9517]

All it shows is what I wish to show, that while formal education is not necessarily bad it is not necessary.


[quote:4b0b4f9517]
BTW, seminaries do not pastors make. Sticking an untrained man in a pulpit does not a pastor make. God makes them. And why should you question His methods? Are these men not in His plan for the church? They aren't in yours, it would seem. But day by day, more men are being trained and given that which they need to be good pastors, by God's grace and by the means of a seminary.
[/quote:4b0b4f9517]

I agree with your statement. I have heard people say, "I am going to go to seminary so I can be a qualified Pastor." My response is, "If you are not qualified now, a seminary will not make you qualified." In other words, just what you stated. It does challenge you in areas but seminary should be for those who are qualified.


[quote:4b0b4f9517]
Can't the word at the beginning of this sentence in Acts 9:31 be counted as the definite article? If not, the English Bible would be wrong in putting the definite article there.
[/quote:4b0b4f9517]

You are actually right. After rereading the Greek text, the definite article is in that text but was not where I would have thought it to be but it is clearly modifying ekklesia. On that, though, I was reading other works of people who said that the congregation approved of the work of the elders which seems to imply by the wording it is a singular congregation.

Derick
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Derick...

Fair enough. Thank you for the exchange, it was quite thought provoking.

In Christ,

KC
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
[quote:8aecd51d6d][i:8aecd51d6d]Originally posted by Drdad[/i:8aecd51d6d]
I wanted to add something considering I have been following the House Church Movement and if the Lord Wills, we will have a house church movement in our area as a result of the work of our church.[/quote:8aecd51d6d]

Derick,
Will this church have an accountability to your congregation or are they on their own?

[quote:8aecd51d6d]
Doctrinally, just like anything else, there are house churches on every major theological front out there. Actually, from my experience, the two most prominent users of the house church idea are reformed believers and people associated with the vineyard movement.[/quote:8aecd51d6d]

Derick,
Have you researched the "Vineyard" movement? They are Arminian and highly charasmatic. There type of worship trounces upon the regulative principle. One of the off-shoots of the Vineyard camp was that of the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church. These are the people who started the "roaring like lions and Laughing" while being slain in the spirit, and things of that nature. (John Wimber, Rodney Howard Browne, John Arnott, )

Bad example Derick; Their house churches cannot be any better off!

[quote:8aecd51d6d]In our analysis our church spends well over $10,000.00 per year just to pay the utilities of our church building (not to mention repairs that need to take place). On the money issue, I know one house church in North Carolina whose biggest expense is buying paper plates and cups for their fellowship meal that occurs after the preaching is done. House churches, in my experience, tend to have better outreach into the community than established churches in buildings. As well, they tend to have better fellowship and accountability from my experience. A church I know who is a house church has seen God bring salvation to 8 people in the last year which increased his church size by about 30%. The effectiveness is greater, in my opinion, because the ministry of each member is discussed in the house church (or many house churches) and they are kept accountable in ministering into the community.

How a house church operates varies according to theology. Some have a number of preachers every sunday and others just have one preacher. Most are family integrated. I know some house churches who have people speak then put in R.C. Sproul or John MacArthur to further grow from these great men.

I don't think a person can properly "Pastor" a church of a few hundred people. House churches, by design, keep the numbers low in the home and it allows true pastoring to occur. [/quote:8aecd51d6d]

But this is not the way to accomplish this need. If a church has grown so large that they cannot keep thier finger on their members, they should plant churches. These plantees should have very close ties to the planting body, i.e. accountability, financial, etc.

In the mean time, prior to planting, small group studies can be implemented. Not in place of the Lords day gathering, but in addition to, say on a Friday evening. Led by elders of course.



[quote:8aecd51d6d]I talked to one house church leader today who related that in one house church they had to do church discipline. Because the congregation was much closely knit than in most, the results were amazing. He said he has seen church discipline in many churches but this one was probably the best he has ever seen because of the close ties they had together. Not only that, but there is usually a higher ministry per person ratio. [/quote:8aecd51d6d]

So, I take it that this house church has an official membership? Or do they just ask the person to not come back to the house until they repent?

[quote:8aecd51d6d]There are theologies of House Churches out there that are very good. I have several books and tape series on the subject from people who have a variety of beliefs.

In planting a church you essentially need the following: Elders, a meeting place, and people. [/quote:8aecd51d6d]

Elders. Can you define elders? Elders need to be ordained by someone-no? Are these elders ordained or are they self apointed? If they are ordained, they must have ties to somewhere or someone........

[quote:8aecd51d6d]Some home churches are light on doctrine and others are very heavy--just like any church movement.

Many follow a common scenario in ministry.

1. Longer services, longer preaching/teaching, longer prayer, less music (this varies but the ones I have seen are like this). It is not unusual for a service to begin at 10:00 and people leave the home at 3:00.
2. A meal following the service where the Lord's Supper is served (many refuse to call it communion, it is the Lord's Supper).
3. Ministry and outreach based upon geographic location. A house church in a neighborhood sees it as their job to reach that neighborhood.
4. Family Integrated (I have heard of a few not family integrated but most are).
5. Not a one man show. Many men get up and share from the Bible, not just one (this also varies).[/quote:8aecd51d6d]

"Not a one man show". Does this seem right to you? Has God called all men to teach? To preach? How are men called? What validates this calling? (In response to your statements to KC) Academics! You say seminaries re wastelands. I disagree. From what standpoint; spiritually or educationally? Most all charasmatics I know say this same thing. The death null is "going to seminary". This is wrong! God equips men. He prepares them for academics. These are the men God uses. This is one of the problems in the present age of the church. Every Tom, Dick and Harry want to be pastors. Yet, they have no education. They have only picked up the bible. Well you may say, "is not the bible sufficient?". Yes and no. Hows that. I am a nurse by profession and am knowledgeable above my licensure. I could possible practice medicine in third world nations if I had the proper test equipment. Does this make me a doctor? No! I do not have the academic capacity to learn medicine in the manner the boards require. Would you go to a doctor who did not have a license or did not have at least the minimal requirements to practice in the profession? No. Even if soemone told you I was an excellent clinician? No! If you're smart you don't. In the same way, we need to make sure our leaders are educated. Ok, so God has gifted a man. He is an excellent expositor. encourage this man to get formal training. It cannot hurt. My opinion, this is one of the greatest tragedies today. Men stepping up to the plate when they have no proof of calling. In fact, I believe this is where the problem stems. Poorly taught men whom believe they are called to teach. This is why people are looking to form "house churches", not with the idea to plant, but get better food!

In closing, Matt and I are planting. Our plant has, at this moment, a tie to a larger organization whom we can be accoutable to (OPC). My concern are single ships floating in an ocean with dictatorships as captains. All men have pride and sin, all men need accoutability. Single ships have no accountability. They are lone cowboy gatherings in a one horse town.

[Edited on 4-3-2004 by Scott Bushey]

[Edited on 4-3-2004 by Scott Bushey]
 

Drdad

Puritan Board Freshman
Scott,

My point to using the vineyard movement was not to show a postitive example but who is very active in that movement. Actually, my point was to show the variety in the house church movement. Some like the characterize the House Church movement as being a certian segment when in actuality it is like saying "Churches that meet in ancient buildings are like this...". Thus, the example fits. Thus, trying to stereotype the house church movement is not proper and almost impossible.

A church we plant will be accountable to us until we set up Elders in that church and they become self sufficient.

[quote:66bbaf00db]
So, I take it that this house church has an official membership? Or do they just ask the person to not come back to the house until they repent?
[/quote:66bbaf00db]

I do not know the point being made here. The ones I am a part of have membership and church discipline. Membership, though, is different in most house churches than big churches by nature that usually all the members in house churches know the other members. Usually their attendance is higher than their membership.


[quote:66bbaf00db]
Elders. Can you define elders? Elders need to be ordained by someone-no? Are these elders ordained or are they self apointed? If they are ordained, they must have ties to somewhere or someone........
[/quote:66bbaf00db]

This depends on the house church just as it does on the local church. I define Elders very similar to Alexander Strauch. As for ordination, this depends on the House Church as well. My personal feelings of ordination is not shared by every house church. I do not believe ordination is proper and thus reject it as being Biblical. I do believe Elders are appointed as is commended in Titus 1. I also believe appointing of Elders is a local church function and not a denomination. I also am not saying that house churches have void of ties to others.

Concerning Seminaries. I am not a charismatic, I am not one of them and never have been confused as one of them. Secondly, I stand by my statement of Seminaries being a wasteland which I have said about my own denomination. They were not needed in Paul's day and I do believe they are not in the best interest because they are not under the authority of a local church and local Elders. As mentioned before, I see two lies of the devil: one is that you don't need any education the other is that you need formal education. The precedence is the Bible. In the Bible there was a time of testing, trying, and proving that is not the case in today's society. In fact, after about a few interviews most Pastors are called. Does anyone think this is trying or testing? I don't. Yet, we excuse it by saying that someone else tested them. This does not mean much to me. While I don't like ordinations, there is a place for them and I will attend an ordination of a man, but only if I had ample opportunity to try him, test him, and prove him. Not just in doctrinal areas... for there are a lot more criteria in the Bible than just doctrinal. Heck, anyone can answer the right questions, just ask Charles Finney and look at his ordination. I am not totally against education, but I believe education is very shallow spiritually (usually). Again, I know people without Seminary who are wiser in the things of God than many who teach in Seminaries. This goes back to the perspicuity of Scripture, which I believe allows for this view of mine, as does the Bible itself.

About my "one man show" issue. I am not discounting the teaching ministry or the preaching ministry. In fact, in the early church there were many qualified people who taught. In I Corinthians 14:26-33, we see that the Apostle is giving instructions for order of service because of the chaos. He relates that there was more than one "prophet" (someone who expounded the word). There was more than one person who brought a psalm. The problem in the book of Corinthians is that they had this in chaos and Paul had to ensure that they did this properly and in order. BTW, when someone prophecies (preaches the Word) we are to judge. The Elders are to ensure truth is given. In context of a multiple number of teachers were the women encouraged to remain silent in the church (they were not to get up and speak or interrupt the speaker to ask questions).

You asked, "Has God called all men to teach/preach?" Yes! If you plan on being a father you are called to be a teacher (action), not all are called to be Pastor-Teachers (office). I do not see the separation of a teaching-elder and other elders. Mark Dever does try to make a point in Revelation and other places concerning a singular teaching Elder. He makes a strong point, though, to say that at best his position is speculative. All Elders should be apt to teach, which some have stated means the "ability" or "spiritual gift" to teach but it can mean (and most often means in ancient text) the stability (or ability because of sturdiness) to teach. I site the fact that none of the qualifications for Elders have anything to do with giftedness in a certain area. In fact, an Elder is to labor in Word and Prayer and be able to teach (rebuking implies that they may be required to teach).

Thus, I do not see a one man show anywhere in Scripture. I do, though, believe they got together to hear from special speakers like Paul and others. Yet, there is a multiplicity of teaching going on. Of course, fitting this into an hour service is almost impossible. Our church service is 1 1/2 hours except once a month we meet for about 3 1/2 hours (like tomorrow). Tomorrow we will partake in the Lord's Supper, have a few people teaching, as well as my lesson for tomorrow. The Sundays we do this is probably our best attended Sundays (people who normally have trouble getting to church, try to make a special attempt on this Sunday). We will probably have other testimonies and others share what God is teaching them in their quiet time. I also give out requests and have people pray over them. A lot happens in our services but we are not where I want to be.

Derick
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
The problem with the dicussion on the thread is that it is only taking up part of the overall matter that shoudl be talked about. Everyone on this thread should read the "Theological Traiditionalism" Thread as well.

http://www.puritanboard.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=1710

It will help round out the obvious question of authroity that this thread is lurking around, under, in front of, behind, but not "with."
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
[quote:8983dcdc28][i:8983dcdc28]Originally posted by Drdad[/i:8983dcdc28]
Scott,

My point to using the vineyard movement was not to show a postitive example but who is very active in that movement.
[/quote:8983dcdc28]

Derick,
Why would you want to use such a bad example to try and rend positive support to your position. Bad move. Vineyard & company are heretics!

[quote:8983dcdc28]Actually, my point was to show the variety in the house church movement.
[/quote:8983dcdc28]

This does not help your case............variety? To me, it shows the inconsistancy. It is not at all historically "orthodox".



[quote:8983dcdc28]Some like the characterize the House Church movement as being a certian segment when in actuality it is like saying "Churches that meet in ancient buildings are like this...". Thus, the example fits. Thus, trying to stereotype the house church movement is not proper and almost impossible.[/quote:8983dcdc28]

I don't quite understand.


[quote:8983dcdc28] A church we plant will be accountable to us until we set up Elders in that church and they become self sufficient. [/quote:8983dcdc28]

And then they are accountable to who? No one?



[quote:8983dcdc28]Concerning Seminaries. I am not a charismatic, I am not one of them and never have been confused as one of them. Secondly, I stand by my statement of Seminaries being a wasteland which I have said about my own denomination. [/quote:8983dcdc28]

Derick,
Who are you to level such a charge against Gods people? God sends men to school and you say that the schools as well as the men attending are [i:8983dcdc28]dead[/i:8983dcdc28].


[quote:8983dcdc28]They were not needed in Paul's day and I do believe they are not in the best interest because they are not under the authority of a local church and local Elders. [/quote:8983dcdc28]

Did not Paul exhort us all to [i:8983dcdc28]study. To show thyself approved?[/i:8983dcdc28] Study is academics. Approved could be rendered passing tests that lead to degree's. You say that these institutions are not under the authority of a local church and local elders. Are these home churches?



[quote:8983dcdc28]As mentioned before, I see two lies of the devil: one is that you don't need any education the other is that you need formal education. [/quote:8983dcdc28]


Lay people may not need formal training. Leadership should never cease studies. Leadership should have formal training.
You say it is not a biblical mandate; I disagree. Paul exhorts leaders to study.

Please comment on my idea of my acting as a doctor. Is it ok for me to practice medicine?


[quote:8983dcdc28]The precedence is the Bible. In the Bible there was a time of testing, trying, and proving that is not the case in today's society. In fact, after about a few interviews most Pastors are called. Does anyone think this is trying or testing? [/quote:8983dcdc28]


Part of the trying and testing is the academic institutions and tests.


[quote:8983dcdc28]About my "one man show" issue. I am not discounting the teaching ministry or the preaching ministry. In fact, in the early church there were many qualified people who taught. In I Corinthians 14:26-33, we see that the Apostle is giving instructions for order of service because of the chaos. He relates that there was more than one "prophet" (someone who expounded the word). There was more than one person who brought a psalm. The problem in the book of Corinthians is that they had this in chaos and Paul had to ensure that they did this properly and in order. [/quote:8983dcdc28]

Derick,
I disagree that Paul was talking of the leadership. We know that not all are called to be pastors and teachers. We know that Pastors and teachers have certain responsibilities that the lay people do not. So, unless this contradicts, this must be less than a formal church gathering. This is not an example of how a church should run. Woman were speaking even.


[quote:8983dcdc28]BTW, when someone prophecies (preaches the Word) we are to judge. The Elders are to ensure truth is given. In context of a multiple number of teachers were the women encouraged to remain silent in the church (they were not to get up and speak or interrupt the speaker to ask questions). [/quote:8983dcdc28]

Derick,
How do you know that the elders are qualified?

[quote:8983dcdc28]You asked, "Has God called all men to teach/preach?" Yes! [/quote:8983dcdc28]

He has? I believe the scripture says:

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Some. Not all!


[quote:8983dcdc28]If you plan on being a father you are called to be a teacher (action), [/quote:8983dcdc28]

Technically, no. We are called to rear our children as parents. The bible speaks specifically of teachers. These examples are for the local assembly. The reference is not in regards to parenting and to try and fit this square peg in a round hole is to paint w/too large a stroke and an injustice.

[quote:8983dcdc28]not all are called to be Pastor-Teachers (office). I do not see the separation of a teaching-elder and other elders. Mark Dever does try to make a point in Revelation and other places concerning a singular teaching Elder. He makes a strong point, though, to say that at best his position is speculative. All Elders should be apt to teach, which some have stated means the "ability" or "spiritual gift" to teach but it can mean (and most often means in ancient text) the stability (or ability because of sturdiness) to teach. I site the fact that none of the qualifications for Elders have anything to do with giftedness in a certain area. In fact, an Elder is to labor in Word and Prayer and be able to teach (rebuking implies that they may be required to teach).[/quote:8983dcdc28]

I agree.

[quote:8983dcdc28]Thus, I do not see a one man show anywhere in Scripture. I do, though, believe they got together to hear from special speakers like Paul and others. [/quote:8983dcdc28]

Correct. The apostles were accountable to each other. These autonomous small groups cannot be left to their own decision making. Special speakers are fine.



[quote:8983dcdc28]Yet, there is a multiplicity of teaching going on. [/quote:8983dcdc28]

Derick,
You are dismantling the system. You have confused the precept. The hierachial system is not just a figment of historical orthodoxy's imagination. It is a biblical concept. The passage in 1st Cor is not new to the ears of history. Why is it no one has generally adopted such a practice? The church at large does not function in such a manner. Why is that?



A lot happens in our services but we are not where I want to be.

Derick [/quote]


Derick,
Look at this cite. it is very close to what you describe. Have you seen this material?
http://www.house2house.tv/index.pl/faq2#1012

This concerns me.............Take Matts suggestion and read the post on traditionalism defined. There are reasons we do what we do.

Alsio, Don't confuse my zeal for lack of love toward you brother. I was telling someone the other day that I work at my job in the same manner. Even sports.......I am high energy. Forgive me, I don't mean to be offensive. Challenging, but not offensive.

[Edited on 4-4-2004 by Scott Bushey]
 

Drdad

Puritan Board Freshman
[quote:4129e674ae]
Derick,
Why would you want to use such a bad example to try and rend positive support to your position. Bad move. Vineyard & company are heretics!
[/quote:4129e674ae]

The purpose of using them was to combat two things, one is to have people think this is just a one theology movement but to show that it is very vast.

Secondly, to show that you cannot just assume you know what theological system the house churches use, because you can't.

Thirdly, I was reporting facts of who is involved. I do not think reporting is a "bad move" but honest.

The purpose was not to get sympathy for the house church movement. On that end, I was hoping people would not fall for the fallacy of guilt by association and believed that would not be a problem. Unfortunately, I have been battling the fallacious argument of guilt by association on numerous fronts.

[quote:4129e674ae]
This does not help your case............variety? To me, it shows the inconsistancy. It is not at all historically "orthodox".
[/quote:4129e674ae]

Again, the movement is not rooted in just one group, but many groups. To say that one group is guilty by association is a fallacy in argument.

[quote:4129e674ae]
And then they are accountable to who? No one?
[/quote:4129e674ae]

They are accountable to the Elders of the Church. I do not see the Bible making a separate entity for accountability. I do believe when one church teaches heretical doctrine other churches should remove fellowship from that church, but I do not see a structure above the local church in the Bible.

[quote:4129e674ae]
Derick,
Who are you to level such a charge against Gods people? God sends men to school and you say that the schools as well as the men attending are dead.

[/quote:4129e674ae]

No doubt God sends men to those schools, I went to two post-graduate schools and will probably go to a third. Yet, the vast majority of them are dead spiritually. Are there good professors? Yes! Yet, I do believe most of them are dead and they could no less cast out a demon if they needed to. The results of these seminaries have resulted in deadness in the church.

I am not relating deadness as the Charismatics do, though. They relate everything as emotional but fail to understand the spiritual. Seminaries tend to move on a few plains, one is that they are focused on church growth or church work. The other is focused on theology and doctrine. The final is focused on leadership. Yet, few are focused on the spiritual and theological and doctrine. One Calvinist from overseas came to a reformed school and remarked as such. He stated that the learning was great in the institutions but the spiritual depth was shallow. The two things an Elder should focus on is praying and studying. I believe that should be the focus of a seminary.

[quote:4129e674ae]
Lay people may not need formal training. Leadership should never cease studies. Leadership should have formal training.
You say it is not a biblical mandate; I disagree. Paul exhorts leaders to study.

Please comment on my idea of my acting as a doctor. Is it ok for me to practice medicine?
[/quote:4129e674ae]

I do not believe in anything called 'lay people' for it is a made up word and not found in the Bible. I do not see that distinction in the Bible.

I used to work at a Medical School coordinating 3rd and 4th year rotations as well as working in Rural Health Care working with R-HEP and the Kellog Foundation (I know R-HEP no longer exists but I am not sure if Kellog still exists or not). I can give you a couple of reasons why I believe the training is different.

1. There is no Holy Spirit who was given to teach you all things medical
2. Other books are not given to us as the Bible was given: it is the "Perspecuity of Scripture" that makes the difference.
3. The Bible is perfect in reproving, rebuking, exhorting, and training in Righteousness. The medical profession requires many books who often change from year to year with new studies to validate previous thoughts or invalidate them. The Bible does not need such work.
4. We are not professionals, we are people who study. The Bible does not state, "Go to Seminary to show yourself approved." It says to study (btw, what are we to study? The Bible).

I do believe in studying. That is why I keep stating my favorite phrase. There are two lies of the devil, one is that you need formal education and the other is that you do not need any education. Studying is a requirement but seminary is not.

[quote:4129e674ae]
Derick,
How do you know that the elders are qualified?

[/quote:4129e674ae]

By living with the person, knowing them and how they act day in and day out. Seeing them in day to day situations is the best way to see if someone is qualified. You do not know someone is qualified by sending them to Seminary. You also do not know if they are qualified by having a few interviews and letting the person preach in your church a couple of times. You know if they are qualified by living with them, getting to know them personally. There is no replacement for seeing their life every day. It is then you see whether they measure up to the qualifications in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1. You will also know their sturdiness in theological issues. You can see if they are true spiritual leaders of their family. You can also see if they are filled with the Holy Spirit.

My question is how do you test to see if a man is an Elder? Most churches I know take in a resume, call a couple of references whom the candidate supplies. If they are really good they may call a couple of references whom the candidate's references supply. They talk to him about theology. Listen to them preach once or twice. Here a tape of their preaching. They may ask a few questions hoping the candidate does not lie. Have a vote, and guess what, that is an elder. Total time, maybe three months but only a couple of dozen contacts if that much. Oh, yeah, the person went to Seminary so they can be "qualified as an Elder" and they have ordination papers." As in the medical profession, because we trained people to be Doctors did not mean they were good doctors. It only meant they went to school and passed a few classes. Even in my Elder meetings today, we keep challenging each other. Last week we asked, "What are you doing to continue to grow in your studies? What studies are you wanting to do in the future?" In Seminary you are forced to study, in the real world you study because you love God. I believe my Elders study because they love God and not because they are forced. They want to grow.

[quote:4129e674ae]
He has? I believe the scripture says:

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Some. Not all!...

Technically, no. We are called to rear our children as parents. The bible speaks specifically of teachers. These examples are for the local assembly.
[/quote:4129e674ae]

I invite you to read a link on my website to Dr. Francis Nigel Lee's dissertation on Family Worship. He is a Covenanter and while there are areas I disagree with him, I respect him. As well, traditionally, the father was seen by the reformers and the compilers of the WCC that they were the teachers of their home in spiritual matters. By the 1600's this was so accepted that people began to allude to it because few debated it.

Secondly, I do believe there is a difference between the office of teaching and the act of teaching. For instance, in Ephesians 4 it states an office of Evangelist. Does this mean everyone should not evangelize? Of course not! We are all called to be evangelists and spread the Gospel but not all called to hold that office. There is an office of teacher but that does not mean no one else can teach? In fact, Titus 2 seems to indicate that everyone has an obligation to teach.

I still stand by my I Corinthians verse in which it states many teachers. I Timothy 2:2; 24, Timothy was exhorted to entrust words to people who would be able to teach, not necessarily elders. Hebrews, Apollos (?) states that they all should be teachers by now but they still need teachers. I do not believe he is talking about the office of teacher but being able to teach. Thus, when you asked me whether everyone is called to teach, my answer is yes! If you stated, "Is everyone called to the office of teacher (Pastor-Teacher)" my answer would be no.

[quote:4129e674ae]
Derick,
Look at this cite. it is very close to what you describe.
http://www.house2house.tv/index.pl/faq2#1012

This concerns me.............Take Matts suggestion and read the post on traditionalism
[/quote:4129e674ae]

Again, do not fall for the fallacy of "guilt by association". I used to subscribe to House 2 House magazine and I no longer do because of some areas I disagree with them on and thought my money could be better spend on other things. In fact, if I am not mistaken, I was on their subscription list when they first began publishing.

On traditionalism, I again offer you to read my citations on the "Tradition of the Elders." I believe Jesus clearly gave us his modern day equivalent to that underlying issue and Jesus did condemn the Tradition of the Elders. I also believe the Word of God is perfect in reproving, rebuking, exhorting, and training in Righteousness... being perfect I do not believe it needs anything else to "help us", otherwise it would not be perfect. I did read what McMahon linked to. I am still waiting for a Biblical explanation of that belief rather than a philosophical rationale based on proven logical fallacies. Otherwise, I believe this fits almost exactly to my research and understanding of the Tradition of the Elders that Jesus himself condemned.

Derick
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Ephesians 4:11, "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;"

We know that teachers, or doctors, have been given tot he church. This is a plain Scriptural statement on God's gifts to the church. Prophets, Apsotles and Evangelsits are no longer - they are the extraordinary offices of the church. Now we have pastors, teachers, and deacons, the oridnary offices of the church.

Question: What use are Teachers (Doctors)?? (i.e. those particularly gifted and skilled in exegetical, theological, historical and pracitcal theology.)

Here is the WCF on Teachers and Doctors:
Teacher or Doctor.

THE scripture doth hold out the name and title of teacher, as well as of the pastor.

Who is also a minister of the word, as well as the pastor, and hath power of administration of the sacraments.

The Lord having given different gifts, and divers exercises according to these gifts, in the ministry of the word; though these different gifts may meet in, and accordingly be exercised by, one and the same minister; yet, where be several ministers in the same congregation, they may be designed to several employments, according to the different gifts in which each of them doth most excel. And he that doth more excel in exposition of scripture, in teaching sound doctrine, and in convincing gainsayers, than he doth in application, and is accordingly employed therein, may be called a teacher, or doctor, (the places alleged by the notation of the word do prove the proposition.) Nevertheless, where is but one minister in a particular congregation, he is to perform, as far is able, the whole work of the ministry.

A teacher, or doctor, is of most excellent use in schools and universities; as of old in the schools of the prophets, and at Jerusalem, where Gamaliel and others taught as doctors."

This is a fine defenition. Eph 4:11 says we have teachers and the above indicates the prudent and Scriptural application of such an office in the church.

Calvin agrees:

(Given in brief - cf Institutes 4:3:1ff)

For by this means he first declares his regard for us when from among men he takes some to serve as his ambassadors in the world [cf. 2 Corinthians 5:20], to be interpreters of his secret will and, in short, to represent his person. And by this evidence he proves it to be no idle
speaking that he often calls us his temples [1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16], since from the lips of men, as from the sanctuary, he gives his answers to men.

Those who preside over the government of the church in accordance with Christ's institution are called by Paul as follows: first apostles, then prophets, thirdly evangelists, fourthly pastors, and finally teachers [Ephesians 4:11]. Of these only the last two have an ordinary office in the church; the Lord raised up the first three at the beginning of
his Kingdom, and now and again revives them as the need of the times demands."

(Also compare the work, "R. W. Henderson, The Doctoral Ministry in the Reformed Churches (Harvard Dissertation, 1959)."

Okay, now we know that teachers (or Doctors) are in the church, and they are specially gifted to keep the church pure from heresy on an official level. They have an office.

INSERT HERE >>>> the Thread on Theological Tradictionalism

Now that we have hashed out the theological traaditionalism idea, and we have seen that those who become islands unto themselves, or dissenters from the church. usually claiming the "me and my bible" theology, or "I have the Holy Spirit...." theology, then what do we do about this huge problem of teachers?

If teachers are gifts by Christ to the church, then we best be smart enough to use them. Pastors shoudl be trained by other godly Pastors and Teachers (Doctors) of the church - those most apty suited who have been prepared and following in a specific orthodoxy given the church.

To deny that, is to deny what the Scriptures mean that we have the Holy Spirit to teach us - ffor he has given us, quite blatantly, Ephesians 4:11 that demosntrates that we have teachers who teach. Seminaries given under the guidance of the church (and we can think of lots of them that are not "dead") are useful for the training of ministers and for the training of future doctors. Such a connection throughout Christendom is sufficienctly seen in Acts 15 and 21. House churches are not set on the authroity of their own "esse." If that were the case, then the Scriptures themselves have no authority, written of course by Apsotles and elders of the church who had authroity over all of the church. (i.e. all of the one church). Georgraphical locale does not disassociate the reality of the one church. Schism on the other hand is a result of sin, and does throw an immense wrench into the ecclesiology of the church.

If we believe what we like int he Bible, and throw out what we do not like, then it is not the Bible we believe, but ourselves.

Theological "Traditionalism" is the cornerstone of the doctrine of Ephesians 4:11 (and other passgaes about chruch officers). To disregard their offical role, or to say that "most seminaries are dead" is ludicrous, unless of course you have visited them all and have documented why this is such.

Rather, what is ludicrous is to dissent from the given orthodoxy of the church, and say that one is an island unto themselves in matters of faith and practice. That is why those who have misrepresented Christ to the world as divided, and schismatic, have been called dissenters throughout church history.


[quote:177d26fd05]
I did read what McMahon linked to. I am still waiting for a Biblical explanation of that belief rather than a philosophical rationale based on proven logical fallacies.
[/quote:177d26fd05]

The biblical rtionale is set in the context of that thread. You read the whole thing? WOW! Its quite long - one of the top 3 longest threads on the board.

In any case, you would have to demosntrate that dissention is biblical, otherwise, you would have to recant what you have said thus far. The very fact that Christ gifts teachers for his church demonstrates the incompatibility that "congregationlism" has with the biblical record.

Let's take a practical example:

Derrick said that a medical doctor is trained differently, using Scott's example. He then appealed to "I have the Holy Spirit" to teachy me theology.

Now, we are not saying that the Holy Spirit doe snot teach us. But we must ask HOW the Holy Spirit DOES teach us. Is it a barritone voice that well up out of the air? Is it a "feeling?" What exactly does it "feel like" when the Holy Spirit teaches us? Let's use my example from the theological tradicionalism thread - it is quite valid:

"Let's say a man were on a desert island, he studied the Bible for a whole week (he and his bible alone - SOLA SCRIPTURA!!), and let's say he had the Bible in the original languages and new them well, and came to a conclusion on passage. He believed he was right on it. The next week he did the same thing with another passage. He believed in his heart that the Spirit of God illuminated him to the truth of the passages. A few days later a box of books washes up on shore. They happened to be commentaries (you pick which ones you would like). He then checks his work. On the first passage he finds he misses a critical verb form of a word and it throws off kilter the whole meaning of his conclusion. On the second passage he found his ideas were almost word for word as the commentators. He hit the nail on the head on that one. In the midst of theological traditionalism, or the lack thereof, what does being "illuminated" by the Holy Spirit feel like? This man thought he had the truth, and found he had blundered. How would he have known what the "prompting" "internal testimony" of the Holy Spirit bearing witness with his heart to the truth of the Word (SOLA SCRIPTURA!!) FELT LIKE TO KNOW FOR SURE HE WAS RIGHT? I had asked this before, which is the heart of the issue, and no one has commented on it yet, so I bring it up again. [AND I BRING IT UP AGAIN HERE!!] The issue here is on how one [b:177d26fd05]knows[/b:177d26fd05] the Holy Spirit is leading them, as a regenerate believer, and that he is translating the Bible accurately since it is so clear. In this case (which is not such a fantastical case) the man was wrong. But if he did not have someone to check his work against, he would not have known that and would have thought the Spirit had lead him into all truth. He would have been happily mistaken. How does Sola Scriptura fit with the illumination of the Spirit of God, and how does one know they are really being lead? What does it FEEL LIKE TO BE LED??"

Historically, the Reformation did NOT teach NOR believe that the ploughboy became a "teacher", and was an island unto himself. Private interpretation was stressed "ad fontes" (back tot he sources) which placed private interpretation into the hands of the teachers, pastors and doctors of the church who knew how to handle Greek and Hebrew (not to mention Aramaic). That was why it was SO IMPORTANT to translate the bible into various languages so others could read it for themselves. However, they emphatically stated that interpretation, to be accurate, is placed int he hands of Sola Scriptura which begged "ad fontes." it is impossible without it.

The Reformation was built upon a proper understanding of hermeneutics, though in different methodologies, which gave way to a solid doctrinal stance on Sola Scriptura. In the beginning, young Luther embraced the scholastic fourfold sense of hermeneutical interpretation of a given passage (literal, allegorical, anagogical and tropological). This Quadriga was later replaced by sound exegesis, though at the time, men like Calvin were ridiculed for handling the text in a literal fashion. Zwingli first utilized this literal interpretation in following after Erasmus' insistence on obtaining knowledge of Hebrew and Greek. As a result, the Quadriga influence on Luther (and later his "eight senses") would not be influential upon the Reformed church. Instead, Luther more positively influenced interpretation by applying the lex and evangelium in balance. Later, in his theology surrounding justification, Luther more readily abandons the Quadriga (or rather his heightened eight sense theory) and adheres to a literal sense as the Reformed church exemplified. The hermeneutics, though, of both the Lutheran Church and the Reformed church seem to have little in common at the outset. Rather, the commonality of their views of Scripture emerge from the their mutual attachment to the patristic fathers.

ALL THE DOCTORS OF THE CHURCH (i.e. those gifted by Christ in offices int he church to keep it pure from heresy) reject the notion that private interpretation is "me and my bible" theology or "I have the holy Spirit so I don't need to listen to anyone else." (That is simply a warped misrepresentation of the Word, and a rejection of historical orthodoxy.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Derick,
You mention the admirable Nigel Lee. Curious, do you believe he would agree with your house church philosophy here?
 

Drdad

Puritan Board Freshman
Why I do not hold to traditionalism!

I want to apologize for the tardiness of this response, but this has been a very busy week.

First, part of the reason I no longer come back here is because of this very issue and one other issue and the very link you gave me was key to that issue. Thus, this topic is important to me. Here is my rationale for rejecting your ideas.

1. You base most of your argumentation on circular reasoning (in many cases not just one or two which I will site in my response), which is a logical fallacy. You base most of your argument of using history by using history. It is like saying "I am an expert on cross country skiing" And you believing it without because you believe I am right. You believe I am an expert in cross country skiing because I said I was. Now, if an Olympic Committee awarded me a Gold Medal, then there is external evidence for this belief. Much of what is being stated is using some sort of circular reasoning. My litmus test was to prove it using the Bible alone (an outside source). Otherwise you are just using circular reasoning and thus give me one of my best reasons for rejecting your proposition. Let me show you what you are stating. You are validating history by using historical figures like Calvin. You state what Calvin believes. Yet, all the arguments against my side can be leveled on one person's interpretation on how to use history. Thus, the question is, "How can we trust what Calvin says", "Calvin is depraved and could have misinterpreted", "Calvin was only one man", etc. As I have read your arguments it goes something like this, "We can trust Calvin because history has validated it." In other words, we have to believe in the validation of history in order to believe in the validation of history. That is the essential conclusion of your belief which is circular reasoning. In essence, I would have more respect for you if you said, "I just believe by faith" rather than relying upon history to validate history and thus using fallacies of argumentation. My conclusion and point is that I want you to show me using the Bible your point because otherwise you will be relying upon circular reasoning.
2. It makes the Bible less than perfect. The Bible claims to be perfect in those matters but by saying that we NEED history to interpret essentially states that the Bible is less than perfect and needs something to come along side it to help us. If I said God was omniscient, He would need nothing added to be perfect in this area. The same could go for all his attributes. If the Bible is perfect in the areas described in II Timothy and Psalms 119, then it needs nothing added to keep it perfect and/or interpreted. You are arguing that man being totally depraved will make mistakes. Duh! Yet, it is the Bible that is used to correct and the Bible makes that exact point in how it is to be used in light of man being totally depraved. For the same reason you use for rejecting man's interpretation, total depravity, I use to support the Bible as perfect. In fact, that Bible is perfect in correcting thus needs nothing else. To state the Bible needs something to be interpreted correctly outside of the Holy Spirit is stating the Bible is less than perfect.
3. Part of your argumentation about "my interpretation" is fallacious. You are basing your argument on mishaps of humans not on whether the Bible is perfect and can be interpreted correctly by an individual and not based upon this person's interpretation withstanding the scrutiny of cross-examination. The Bible is perfect no matter the human entity or what history has stated and we do need help in interpretation thus Christians are given the Holy Spirit. Even history can be misinterpreted, anything can. Yet, in the case of cross examination and using hermeneutical laws, I do not believe a misinterpretation can withstand the scrutiny of the Bible. Why? The Bible is perfect and nothing can be more clear and focused than the Bible alone. I do not believe it is through the lens of history that makes the determination but through Biblical exegesis. Should we totally reject history? No, there is much wisdom and oftentimes they are correct and offer Biblical exegesis that cannot be denied. But as stated, we treat it as wisdom and not on the same plain as the Bible. Sometimes one must reject wisdom and other times we must hold fast to wisdom. Thus, I believe in the depravity of humans and believe that even history can be misinterpreted and history itself because of depravity should be rejected.
4. Your argumentation denies the perspicuity of Scripture. That simple.
5. I believe you have not addressed my argument on the Tradition of the Elders. I also believe you reject it for the mere fact that it was the 1st Century equivalent to this debate. In fact, very few examples fit more closely than that one. They relied upon history to interpret the Word of God, they believed it was based upon the Word of God, and they condemned people who did not hold to the Tradition of the Elders. Jesus, quite boldly, did things that were explicitly forbidden in the Tradition of the Elders. The same argumentation existed by the First Century Elders as is being advanced here. Even our Reformers rejected history at times because of the clarity of the Bible. For instance, we know that the church before 100 AD, had separated Bishops and Elders into two different offices similar to the Catholic model. This is the case until after the Reformation, thus there is no history for Calvin and Luther to turn to in rejecting this idea. The reformers rightly turned us back to the Bible in this one area. When for 1500 years of church history we got it wrong beginning very early. Yet, the Reformers were not claiming to be inspired either. They changed a wrong as they saw it misrepresented in the Bible and rejected history. Now, in trying to use circular reasoning some have stated this is a reason to support history because history corrected itself. If we made a change today in the Christian church, 50 years from now someone could use the exact same argument that history "corrected itself" but other Christians rejected it today because it was not historical. In fact, that argument can be used for dispensationlism today.

Thus, I believe in the Bible alone! I believe Jesus gives us the example that tradition should be rejected when it collides with the Bible. Yet, the Elders in Jesus' day believed history interpreted the Bible correctly.

[quote:0ed5055450]
ALL THE DOCTORS OF THE CHURCH (i.e. those gifted by Christ in offices in the church to keep it pure from heresy) reject the notion that private interpretation is "me and my bible" theology or "I have the holy Spirit so I don't need to listen to anyone else." (That is simply a warped misrepresentation of the Word, and a rejection of historical orthodoxy.
[/quote:0ed5055450]

If this is a warped misrepresentation of the Word, show me using the Word of God. If the Bible is

Thus a part of the entire fallacy of argument that history says thus about history so therefore it is true. Which, is the precipice by which the entire argument stands and by which is normally called circular reasoning and should be rejected.

Secondly, this idea denies the true perspicuity of Scripture and believes that the Bible is not perfect in the areas the Bible itself states it is perfect in. In other words, you believe the Bible is insufficient alone and needs history and thus somehow less than perfect.



I still invite any insight on the Tradition of the Elders material I have placed forth.

I agree, this is the base of the debate. I believe the Bible is perfect in reproving, rebuking, correction, and training all in righteousness. You clearly believe that the Bible is somehow not perfect and needs help from history.

Derick
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Derick...

Not that I necessarily want to enter this debate with you again, but I would like to ask you a few things:

Can you understand God's Word without the help of the alphabet, grammar, lexicons, dictionary, etc?

None of these things are inspired.

These are all things that history has proven true. Do they make the Scriptures less inspired? Do they render it insufficient?

Yet you would have us believe that you approach the Scriptures alone and that you are a clean slate, bringing no presuppositions and no preconceived ideas.

Tell us, do you know how to read the Scriptures in both Hebrew and Greek? How is it that you know what Scripture says? Do you sometimes depend on an English translation? If you do read it in the original languages, how did you come by this knowledge? Did the Bible teach it to you?

Now, you automatically believe that we attack the all-sufficiency and the perspicuity of the Scriptures, yet this is far from the truth. What we are saying is that we have had help understanding what the Scriptures say. It doesn't all come from Calvin. Did he receive nothing? Was he a clean slate? Instead, we are arguing that the Church from its infancy until now has had a common understanding. You are trampling on that, sir. And, you have no other authority than your own opinion and understanding. The Scriptures aren't telling you this, because they don't tell other people this. They speak through many, but you would have us believe they only speak through you.

This is not Sola Scriptura. And, unless you have been given divine powers never given to any human being, you use common ordinary means that are HISTORICAL to understand the Scriptures.

The Scriptures would never have been perspicuous had God not also allowed us to have written language. The Scriptures, for those of us who do not know the Hebrew and Greek language, would never be perspicuous were it not for History and Tradition.

Is the Alphabet history and tradition? Yes. Each successive generation writes and spells using the same alphabet their fathers used. It changes sometimes, too. Definitions change as well.

Why do we know what the color blue is? Is it described in the Scriptures? We know what the color blue is because God gave it to someone to know, and it has been passed from generation to generation.

The same it is with the Scriptures. We know what they say and what they mean by some modicum of universal experience. There is not one person on this earth who approaches the Bible without history and tradition. This history and tradition is not inspired. But God uses it to help us understand what He means.

Now, we affirm Sola Scriptura. It is the rule for faith and practice. It is the supreme authority by which all must be judged. But it does not stand apart from understanding. And that understanding is tradition whether you want to admit it or not. Some traditions are better than others. But the singular testimony of the Church through the ages is placed along side the Scriptures so that we may understand them. It is a glossary and it helps us to understand and know that we are hearing the truth of God. The Scripture is a witness to God's truth. It is the ultimate witness. The rule of faith is a secondary witness to it, so that we mere humans can know and be affirmed in the truth.

Sola Scriptura will always include peripherals. Reading my post right now includes peripherals. How did you know what peripheral meant? Was that divinely inspired?

You may say all you want about circular reasoning and flawed logic. But the truth is that you cannot understand a thing without history and tradition. The very reason you know what those two words mean, proves that you must use history and tradition.

In Christ,

KC
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
I would not argue that history assists us in interpreting the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit does.

Where I differ from Derick (and I pray that he sees that the difference, whiel significant, is not insurmountable) is that the Holy Spirit works both specifically (in the believer) and generally (in the Church).

The Work of the Holy Spirit throughout the ages is found in the doctrines of the Church. They are not infallible, since the Church could actually be resisting the Holy Spirit and fostering the doctrines of men. But the key point (somehow I think I have made this 1000 times) is the burden of proof. If the Church is wrong, it is because it has rejected the work of the Spirit in that area (something Papists say is impossible since the Pope is infallible). Otherwise the Church is right, since it (like the believer) is applying the illumination of the Spirit who works in the collective body of believers [b:3829860e77]even as[/b:3829860e77] He works in the individual believer.

So the burden is on the individual to show that the Church has rejected the Scriptures, not vice versa. Look at this from every perspective of the Reformation - even the "radical" Reformation. Show me where Calvin or Luther or anyone else rested in "Show me, Roman Catholic Church, where in the Bible is X. Until you show me, I'm right." They always take painstaking care to show that Rome was WRONG about its doctrines, that papal authority is against the Scriptures, not found in the Scriptures, and that Biblical church government is.

Why do the 21st century heirs to the Reformation take the opposite tack? We hear this today all the time -
"well, I don't believe in X, and I don't care if the Church has believed in and confessed X for 1000 years (even if it has done so across denominational lines). Unless you, Joe Shmoe, can show me today, to my satisfaction (would that an easier standard like [i:3829860e77]beyond a reasonable doubt[/i:3829860e77] were used!) that the Bible teaches X, then I'm right and you're wrong."

Are we saying that the Holy Spirit left His people to wander about on every issue for 1000s of years? Is he more foolish than any other founder of an entity in that He does not lay down a foundation and then build upon it? Do we really think that he makes us rebuild again basic doctrines all the time?
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Fred...

[quote:fcb3c01797][i:fcb3c01797]Originally posted by fredtgreco[/i:fcb3c01797]
I would not argue that history assists us in interpreting the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit does.[/quote:fcb3c01797]

Thank you for showing how unclear I can be at times. :banghead:

I do not mean to say that it is merely history and tradition either. The only way we may understand anything Spiritual is by the Spirit. I completely affirm this, though my post did not mention it. The Spirit is obviously using whatever means are necessary to show us truth.

[quote:fcb3c01797]Are we saying that the Holy Spirit left His people to wander about on every issue for 1000s of years? Is he more foolish than any other founder of an entity in that He does not lay down a foundation and then build upon it? Do we really think that he makes us rebuild again basic doctrines all the time? [/quote:fcb3c01797]

Good questions. I do not think He causes each generation to rebuild. Course by course, we should all be laying on the same foundation, each course adding understanding for their posterity. We will never have to go back to the bottom course with the Spirit. He is the master builder who desires that we should all be built up into one spiritual household.

In Christ,

KC
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
I guess you need to define the "Church" then, because my church thinks your church is dead wrong on several issues!

Do we go by who has held a belief longer?

Well if we do, the RCC has us all beat, because they held to error for hundreds of years before the Reformers challenged their tradition.

So what is orthodoxy? The WCF? The LBCF?

Can't be either, because groups that claim to hold to these confessions disagree with other groups holding to the same confessions. So the confessions interpret the Scriptures and then we must interpret the confessions and so we disagree about what the confession means and what the Word means and we are n ocloser to consensus.

So how do we settle debates?

We each individually go to the Word of God.

If we go to history we can quote opposing sides all day long with historical support. I mean really now, how much material got left out of the confessions because those framing them could not agree on their interpretation of passages of Scripture? And then too, the confessions are not comprehehnsive, so not everything can be settled by appealing to history.

We must go to the Word. We must rightly handle the Word.

Derick is correct when he states that the only tool we have that is perfect for doctrine, reproff, correction, and instruction in righteousness, the only tool we have that is guaranteed to make the man of God thoroughly equipped for every good work, the only tool that brings us to maturity and makes us compelte in Christ is the Word of God.

We need to quit trying to defend the Word with history and tradition and instead try defending our history and tradition with the Word.

My :wr50:

Say goodnight Gracie....

Phillip
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Phillip,
Please read Kevins post as it presents logic. You cannot leave the defining of scripture to individuals. It has to be validated by something other than just subjectiveness. It was not my or Kevins intent to imply that scripture is secondary to history or tradition; it is not; You know us both better than that. Is Derick correct? How does what Derick defines as correct settle alongside the fathers and history? Are father and history defining? I believe God has ordained many things in this manner, i.e. The closed canon for one. Secondly, eclessiastical protocols which generally have remained consistant except for a few instances. The church at large is generally on the same page. Does this not count for something? Absolutely. How can one deny this?
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
Presenting logic is fine.

Present Scripture though if you want to be convincing!

What has Derick put forth that is unorthodox or unScriptural?

He is advocating a church that meets in a house. Some abuse it as some that meet in houses are wacko...then again, many that meet in church buildings are just as crazy, but he has carefully defined the church in a way that is consistent with Scripture. Proper government, ordinances, discipline, etc.

So they meet in a house. What's the big deal? What is it that you and KC are really reacting to here?

Phillip

[Edited on 4-9-04 by pastorway]
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Phillip,
Not so much about the "house church" itself, but the philosophy behind it. The question to ask is, are these house churches planting more house churches with the ultimate goal of creating house churches everywhere in liu of the typical.

[Edited on 4-9-2004 by Scott Bushey]
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
So if it is a sound reformed church that meets in a house and plants another such church, where is the error there?

I mean, you are in a house church are you not? What if your church never outgorws the house but later your have opportunity to plant a new work and it also meets in a house? Is there anything wrong with that?

Derick has not stated that the house church is the only model. Even then, there is nothing wrong with the model.

Keep in mind - a church CANNOT be defined as sound or unsound based on where it meets.

Phillip
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Phillip,
Yes we are in a house church "plant". There is a difference. We will disband if in fact Matt leaves to Ohio or we can aquire no affiliation.

derick has admitted to at one time being connected to this movement. is this orthodox to you?

Now, this is not to imply that Derick's philosophy of how a church should be facilitated is exampled here, but he is in the same vein of sorts.

It's this house church movement thing that has me a bit perplexed.........I may be wrong.

http://www.house2house.tv/index.pl/faq2#1012

[Edited on 4-9-2004 by Scott Bushey]
 

Drdad

Puritan Board Freshman
I think it is best that I speak for myself on this one. Boy has a firestorm begun. I admitted to being a part of a house church movement, yes. In the same line if you read what I have said is that most of the churches I am associated with in the house church movement are reformed and family integrated. Those are the ones I am familiar with and the ones that I have supported. I did recount that the movement as a whole has a variety of beliefs just like any other movement and thus impossible to characterize their belief as only being "x". Which has been my entire point and one that I have stated we cannot stereotype a house church into a certain belief, doing such is probably not accurate nor can it be accurate to much of a degree. Why? Just like churches who meet in buildings, there is a variety of beliefs and in my connections there are more reformed house churches percentage than regular churches.

Now onto the traditionalism thread:

Let me relate what is happening here. In my post I stated reasons for rejecting Theological Traditionalism as the other side has defined because of their circular reasoning and other reasons. There has not been any dispute of my findings that they are using circular reasoning and thus they are stripped from the main thrust of their argument and have no positive argument to present for their side. Thus, without a positive argument they go to focus on tearing down my argument. Yet, they continue to use logical fallacies in their arguments that must be addressed.

I am going to address a few in this post. I want to remind everyone what I have said and not said. I do believe history is valuable and have called it "wisdom". At one point I stated that I believe that reformed history is right in the areas of orthodoxy and heresy. Yet, I reject history was always right and I reject some of history's findings based upon evidence in the Bible. I have never advocated jettisoning wisdom, but I am using history as wisdom not as authoritative nor perfect in reproving, rebuking, etc... as the other side seems to want to use history. History is wisdom not inspired. History is to be tested by Scripture not understood as being perfect concerning Scripture. Just like all humans, there are times they are wrong and there are times they are right. Fred is correct in how I believe he is interpreting the use of Scripture and history, we should be wary in throwing history away but I would add we should test each point to see if it lines up with the Bible. I have stated my position on this portion of the argument several times. Please do not read that I am jettisoning all history but am using it in the vein of wisdom and testing it in light of Scripture.

Thus, I can say history, just like tools (Lexicons, Dictionaries, etc) mentioned in a rebuttal, are tools. Yet, they are not inspired and they are not perfect in reproving, rebuking, exhorting, etc.... What has been said about those tools is a logical fallacy in that it is being stated that I believe in the use of tools just like the Traditionalism side views history. That is false and the idea portrayed in that post has serious misgivings for that reason! There is not an exact match between my view of tools and their view of history and thus the fallacy, I believe, is evident. It is apples and oranges. I use history and other tools just as that, tools. I use my brain as a tool as well but this does not prove that I am wrong in my idea of the perspicuity of Scripture or in that the Bible is less than perfect in the areas I mentioned. Yet, when tools are wrong in comparing to the Bible then they are wrong. Whether that tool is a lexicon, a dictionary, or history they are only tools.

Thus, the argument about tools should be rejected for the following reasons:

1. They uplift my use of tools to equal their use of history which I do not and would never advocate. Tools are just that, tools. Just as the brain is a tool!
2. They mischaracterize my argument in believing I am discounting tools. That is false.
3. They mischaracterize my use of tools in thinking that I believe they are perfect in the areas I listed from the Bible in II Timothy 3:16-17. I do not believe tools are perfect in those areas nor would I advocate such a position and would argue that using tools as the Traditionalism side uses history is wrong!!!!! Thus I am consistent in that point.

I believe I have shown how this argument is a fallacy and believe we can safely conclude that tools are not equal to the other side's views of history and thus there is not an equal comparison.

The second fallacy they use in trying to destroy my argument is that of the use of languages. I am going to contend that language has a logical structure and the art of learning language as well as the form of language is a part of General Revelation, intrinsically linked to logic as a creation of God and a part of general revelation.

You state that my understanding of the languages and my learning of Greek and Hebrew is dependent upon my being taught. Yet, I contend that there is a logical structure to languages, they were created by God, and just like logic there are rules of languages. In fact, the idea that kids can learn to communicate language has baffled linguists yet to a Christian who understands logic as being rules of nature from God, I contend language is the same vein of thought and related to logic in that degree.

In the Bible, oftentimes the words used are defined within their passages by context. There is a logical structure that can be clarified within the text itself. Thus, a wrong teaching of language, just like logic, can be easily refuted because of the logical structure contained therein. Thus, to use language as an argument against my argument, I contend you will have to use logic in the same manner. We can even go so far as to considering that the 'brain' falls into this category. Yet, all three are God given with rules that govern their use set by the creator. They are a part of General Revelation and given by God to use in understanding God. On that point, the statement was made that I use "historical methods" of hermeneutics to understand the Bible. No, I use logical methods that through history have been understood, they are logical and supported by the rules of logic which were created by God himself, not man. Again, I believe logic is a part of General Revelation and is not based upon traditionalism and thus your argument that logic (or historical exegesis) is contrary to my belief is wrong. In fact, God's General Revelation is intrinsic to my belief.

As for the color of blue... by definition blue is blue which is a logical progression of ideas which again is a part of General Revelation. Yet, this also has nothing to do with my argument because the definition of blue is not perfect in the areas I sited for Scripture thus the argument is invalid. As for the Alphabet, see again my understanding of language. As for words changing their meaning, again this goes back to the nature and logic of language and the definitions and context of the meanings which I believe clear in contexts. All of these are interrelated and go back to my argument for language being a General Revelation from God. Yet, none of them prove or even come close to showing that your ideas of Theological Traditionalism is correct nor do they show mine are incorrect. The points you are trying to make is based upon assumptions not made in my post and based upon faulty logic.

The argument of using language (as given in a proof in geometry) equal to tradition is obvious fallacy and should be rejected by the mere fact of the nature of language and the nature of tradition as explained above.

In my analysis, there still are no arguments outside of circular argumentation for supporting Theological Traditionalism. There is no addressing the point of the Tradition of the Elders. So, all that can be leveled on my rebuttal is arguments based upon weak assumptions of my belief, faulty logic, and assumptions that certain things are outside the realm of General Revelation.

I can use all things as a tool but everything must be tested in light of the Bible. I can read history and test them according to the Bible for history is a tool. On Fred's objection, I do not see how I have advocated not using history nor advocated that history is all heretical but have advocated that they are wrong in points. I mentioned a couple in previous posts. I have sited things like the Bishops that history did get wrong very early but that the Bible clearly states. Finally, my argument is that the Bible should be used in reproving, rebuking, exhorting, and training in righteousness... it is perfect in those areas. All other things are imperfect in those areas, including history. Thus, we should appeal to the Bible not to history. If history appealed to the Bible then appealing to history is irrelevant. If history did not use the Bible then appealing to the Bible should be done to show the Bible correct and history either correct using wrong reasoning or outright incorrect.

Finally, my fear is what a Catholic related one day. In using II Timothy 3:16-17, the Catholic said, "the Bible says 'all scripture' but not 'only scripture'". I relate back and wish I had said, "Yet, the Bible did not give us anything else but Scripture, all other things are assumptions on our part." Which, I believe theological traditionalism is an assumption based upon circular reasoning. It was stated that we must have an understanding using Scripture through history but the Bible is authoritative. The problem with this statement is that I believe the Bible should be used to test history's understanding. As in the Bereans, they tested everything and we should as well. The key difference here is that you believe history helps us to understand Scripture but I see Scripture as the test for history and if, in that area, history passes the test then it may offer wisdom to us. What seems to be missing on the Theological Traditionalism side is the testing everything first.

Thus, I believe a mistake is being made on the other side. They are relying upon history to do what only the Bible does perfectly and that is to reprove, rebuke and exhort. They believe that history helps understand Scripture but I believe history should be tested by Scripture. They believe history validated itself and I believe that this argument is based on circular reasoning and not supported from the Bible. Thus, now instead of offering logic to show their side they have resorted in showing why I am wrong. Yet, we have no reason to support Theological Traditionalism for all the arguments have been shown to be logically illogical. Thus, attacking my position is the only thing they have remaining. In essence, they are trying to show you they are right because I am wrong... which again is another logical fallacy. For them to be right they need to show via the Bible they are right not to show that I am wrong. Even if one of my positions is wrong, it does not mean their position is right.

I believe the Bible is still perfect in the areas defined in II Timothy 3:16-17 and I believe history is not.

Derick
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
[quote:d4b949cac7]
In essence, they are trying to show you they are right because I am wrong... which again is another logical fallacy. [/quote:d4b949cac7]

No. You misunderstood the thread.

[quote:d4b949cac7]For them to be right they need to show via the Bible they are right not to show that I am wrong. [/quote:d4b949cac7]

My comments on Ephesians demosntrate this already.

[quote:d4b949cac7]I believe the Bible is still perfect in the areas defined in II Timothy 3:16-17 and I believe history is not. [/quote:d4b949cac7]

How do you know? Who told you this? (Note: once you appeal to the Bible, I am going to ask you how you know the bible is right in what you think it says (i.e. the desert isaldn scenario)- thus, we are back to the traditionalism thread which is not a circular argument - yours is ipso facto.)

I don't care whether you think history is valuable or not - that is missing the point entirely. The point is how you know what you is true, even when you say "I appeal to the bible."

:deadhorse:
 
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