Van Til and paradox

Discussion in 'Apologetical Methods' started by Puritan Sailor, May 22, 2006.

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  1. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Again, with all due respect, I think you´re wrong on a number of different counts, even in spite of your mastery of Latin and years of study. John Frame writes:

    Notice, if Frame is correct, and I have no reason to think otherwise having read VT, Christianity is not a deductive system and, for VT, "œthere is no "œmaster concept" from which the whole of Christian doctrine may be logically deduced." Yet, this is precisely what the Westminster Confession and the Scriptures affirm when they assert all the parts of Scriptures "œconsent," that is, agree with one another. Jesus put it this way: "œThe Scriptures cannot be broken." It is the consent of the whole (for the meaning of God´s word is not manifold, but one) which provides evidence, through the power and work of the Holy Spirit, to convict men that God´s Word is true. If one rejects the notion that Christianity is a logically deductive system, as Van Til and his many followers have done, then there can be no "œconsent of the parts." While no one denies that sinful men are fallible and often err in both exegesis and when drawing inferences from Scripture, the error of the Vantilians and the Neo-orthodox is to impute error to logic itself. In additon, Van Til and Frame miss even the very heart of the Christian system; the "œmaster concept" is actually a master proposition, the axiom of Christianity itself: The Bible alone is the Word of God.

    Again, you repeatedly confuse the *how* with the *what* of knowing and end up obfuscating, if not completely missing, the issue at hand. The fact that God´s knowledge of the relationship between every proposition revealed in His word -- and every possible valid inference from Scripture -- is as exhaustive as it is immutable, has no bearing on whether or not, by the help of the Holy Spirit who promises to lead us into "œall truth," we can also come to a right and harmonious understanding of any set of biblical propositions, especially those that may appear to us as "œapparently contradictory." Truth is characterized by the logical and harmonious relationship of propositions, not by "œapparent contradictions," antinomies, or insoluble and inscrutable paradoxes. Dr. McMahon is exactly right when he said;

    That would be honest, but the tragedy is that is not what Van Til or his many followers say. The tell us that we must embrace "“ and embrace with passion "“ these seeming contradictions. They plead "œmystery" with reverence and joy in their eyes like some charismatic mystic. They do not plead ignorance, nor do they answer the real life questions and difficulties even those raised by the recent post by Heidi "œmere housewife" Zartman on this thread:

    Yet, in face of such difficulties (some easier to overcome than others), the Van Tilian makes ignorance a mark of Christian piety and the height of humility as they attribute their own ignorance to the Creator/creature distinction and command the rest of us to submit our minds to contradictory notions and half-truths. Their anwer to a person like Heidi is; just believe and know that for God there is no contradiction. I´m sorry I don´t buy it. To me this is a proscription for complete ecclesiastic authoritarianism, something you would think all P&R men would be very sensitive and wary of. I guess as the singer said; these times are a changin' -- but at least in this case, we know why.
  2. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    Well that's a great example to show how*adding* a statement creates a contradiction. Ironic.

    Now take:

    1) God is sovereign.
    2) Man is responsible.

    First notice there is no contradiction.

    Next, what proposition must be added that makes it "seem" contrary?

    Now ask yourself, does adding the premise make it "seem" contrary, or does it in fact make it really contrary (or contradictory)?

    Finally, since the first two are from Scripture, is the added proposition from Scripture?

    I think that's really interesting. We start with two completely non-contradictory propositions, and everything a great. But then we add some worldly common sense propositions and BOOM! - we have a real contradiction.

    The first two are true because "God said so". Sounds good to me. Seems like "God said so" is the best way to know something. But I bet whatever proposition you add that causes a contradiction or contrary, isn't going to be because "God said so". In fact, we *know* that God did not say the contradiction-causing-proposition because God does not contradict himself.

    I think that is the case for most "apparent" contradictions in Scripture. We start with God's Word (which contains no contradictions) and then we try to make connections by *adding information* based on un-biblical assumptions or principles. Since we know God's Word is inerrant - then the only way Scripture can "appear" to have contradictions, is by imposing un-biblical information to the Scriptures. Apparent contradictions are the result of going beyond the text - to "discern" things we know can not be Scripture.

    Often this occurs when we first interpret God's word. We impose our worldly principles onto the text of the Bible, so that we misunderstand God's Word. But doesn't matter if it occurs when we first interpret the Bible, or when we try to make connections by adding unbiblical propositions. What matters is that at some point we have erred, and we need to pray that we figure out where.

    You can not believe what you do not understand. You do not understand God's Word correctly if it "appears" to be contradictory. Therefore you can not believe what appear to be contradictory in Scripture.
  3. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    Just want to thank Dr. McMahon and Sean Gererty for their excellent posts. I tend to be silent when I agree, and noisy where I find errors. And were I think I'm doing pretty good at correcting errors and explaining things, I read what you both have posted and I see I'm just a technician, pointing out some details. You both have really gotten to the heart of the matter, in a Scriptural and loving manor. Thanks! I pray the God overcomes stubborn hearts (including mine) so that we can all come to a fuller understanding and knowledge of Him.
  4. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I think you´re exactly right Anthony. in my opinion the way the above is generally presented below with the hidden implied assumptions provided:

    1) God is sovereign and sovereignty implies that God controls whatsoever comes to pass even the sinful thoughts and actions of men.

    2) Man is responsible and responsibility implies and necessitates a free and undetermined will.

    1) asserts that man has no free will, 2) asserts that free will is necessary for man to be responsible, therefore man´s will cannot be free and not free in the same sense, hence a contradiction.

    An attempted and popular solution is that God doesn't really control "whatsover" comes to pass, particularly evil (the "Arminian" solution). Of course, the problem with this "solution" is that the God of Scripture is lost in the process. The solution to the problem, which Clark solved (see "œGod and Evil: The Problem Solved"), is to show that responsibility does not entail or imply a free and undetermined will. The Van Tilian will say that Scripture teaches both 1) & 2) and we must embrace both premises complete with their implied assumptions.
  5. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thank you Anthony.
  6. Don

    Don Puritan Board Freshman

    Sorry but I just don't see why "Clarkians" keep harping on this issue. Matt, that is a caricature of the actual position you were referring to while preaching on the previous page.

    Jeff, I haven't seen Sean give you this example but he refers to it in his article. Since the VT Lists are only available for download now, I'll post the entire entry that Sean refers to in his article.

    After reading that, here's Aquascum's take on part of Gerety's critique.

    Post from the VT List by David Byron on 17 Aug 1999:

    At 09:08 PM 8/16/99 , John Kittrell wrote:

    >What I consider Common sense still opposes the idea that
    >God, as the most profusely logical being of all beings,
    >would reveal himself in an illogical fashion.

    No such claim is made by Van Til, when he's rightly understood.
    And, I take it, no such claim is made by Vern, James, and Greg.
    It's not that God "reveals himself in an illogical fashion" but
    rather that God doesn't reveal enough to us for us to see *how*
    some of the teachings of scripture cohere (though God assures
    us that they do, in the proverbial grand scheme of things). It
    is likewise questionable whether finite creatures noetically
    equipped as we are could handle the big picture, or more of the
    big picture, even if God had chosen to divulge more.

    In a message now archived at

    I addressed this issue by defusing the objection that for God
    to reveal "apparently contradictory" teachings in Scripture
    amounts to God's revealing himself "in an illogical manner".

    In that message (for those who prefer the nutshell over
    following the link), I provided the following explanation,
    which I will paraphrase here in *somewhat clearer* form:

    Some sets of propositions constitute *apparent contradictions*.
    Among the sets of apparent contradictions, some are actual
    contradictions and some merely seem that way. Call the actual
    contradictions "Class-A Apparent Contradictions" and call the
    ones that merely *seem* contradictory "Class-B Apparent
    Contradictions". Class-A and Class-B combined constitute the
    set of all apparent contradictions.

    Here is an example of a Class-A apparent contradiction:
    [a] On 16 August 1999, George W is the front-runner.
    ' On 16 August 1999, it is not the case that George W
    is the front-runner.
    If, and only if, all the key terms in statement [a] have the
    same definition in statement , then we would want to insist
    that [a] and are directly contradictory, and that the reason
    they *appear* contradictory is precisely that they *are* so.

    Here is an example of a Class-B apparent contradiction:
    [a'] Someone who stabs a child in the face with a sharp
    object is someone who thereby performs an immoral
    [b'] Bob is someone who stabs a child in the face with
    a sharp object.
    [c'] It is not the case that Bob is someone who thereby
    performs an immoral act.

    On the face of things (so to speak), it *appears* that the
    conjunction of [a'] and [b'] stands in direct contradiction over
    against [c']. It *appears* that, given the truth of [a'] and of
    [b'], Bob *must* be someone who performs an immoral act when he
    stabs. And if we had good reason to think that [a'] through
    [c'] were the whole story, then we might also have good reason
    to find a Class-A contradiction here. However, [a'], [b'], and
    [c'] are *not* the whole story. What God hasn't revealed (to
    suggest the relevant analogy) are the true statements [d'] and
    [d'] Someone who is a dentist and who, in the course of
    his legitimate practice, stabs a child in the
    face with a sharp object that is an appropriate
    dental instrument is NOT someone who thereby
    performs an immoral act
    [e'] Bob is a dentist.

    The revelation of more information, in the form of [d'] and
    [e'], makes evident that there is *more than one way* to "stab
    a child in the face", and that some senses of that phrase
    denote immoral acts while some other senses denote acts of

    Now, suppose that [a'], [b'], and [c'] were among the teachings
    of scripture, and suppose that [d'] and [e'] were part of the
    unrevealed private counsel of God. Given scriptural teachings
    such as
    [a'] Someone who stabs a child in the face with a sharp
    object is someone who thereby performs an immoral
    [b'] Bob is someone who stabs a child in the face with
    a sharp object.
    [c'] It is not the case that Bob is someone who thereby
    performs an immoral act.

    would we be justified in calling the conjunction of [a'], [b'],
    and [c'] and "apparent contradiction"? Of course. They rather
    obviously appear contradictory in the absence of prospects of
    further information. Would we be justified, then, in claiming
    that God had revealed himself illogically? Of course not.

    Even more important, we would be able to provide a formulation
    of [a'], [b'], and [c'] that eliminates the appearance of
    contradiction by trading it for an appeal to mystery. Here's
    [a''] Someone who "x-stabs a child" in the face with a
    sharp object is someone who thereby performs an
    immoral act.
    [b''] Bob is someone who "y-stabs a child" in the face
    with a sharp object.
    [c''] It is not the case that Bob is someone who
    thereby performs an immoral act.

    In this revision, "x-stabbing" is distinguished from
    "y-stabbing" to eliminate the appearance of contradiction. If
    Bob is really just a y-stabber, then he fails to satisfy the
    condition mentioned in [a''], for he has not been shown to be
    an "x-stabber".

    Now, if we know precisely how to draw the x/y distinction
    among stabbers, then Bob may be exonerated with no appeal to
    mystery. However, if we simply *posit* such a distinction
    without being able to identify precisely how to differentiate
    cases of x-stabbing from cases of y-stabbing, then we posit
    *with an appeal to mystery*. When is the Christian theist
    permitted to appeal to mystery in his effort to construct a
    non-contradictory model of scripture's teachings? Whenever
    doing so is warranted by the authority of teachings that
    appear contradictory in scripture but (by God's scriptural
    reassurances, consistent with his logical self-consistency)
    cannot be Class-A apparent contradictions; and never

    By means of a *biblically warranted* appeal to mystery,
    apparent contradictions in scripture *can always* be recast
    in logically consistent, but underdefined, terms. And it is
    apologetically useful that the antichristian *cannot* simply
    claim that contradictions within her system are Class-B ones
    unless her worldview provides both an epistemologically
    relevant creator/creature distinction *and* a model of
    necessary special revelation. This requirement rules out
    quite a few worldviews -- especially immanentistic ones which
    must, by dint of their internal structural inadequacy, bear
    the brunt of thoroughgoing rationalism and its correlative

    Classical logic is sufficient to express Christian Theistic
    theology in consistent sets of propositions, provided one
    incorporates (with biblical warrant) denoting terms of which
    the denotation is mysterious -- or non-denoting terms as
    placeholders for terms that denote what God hasn't revealed.

    Van Til is describing a similar predicament when he speaks of
    apparent contradiction. He is not discussing logical failure
    or limitations to formal logic; Van Til is expounding on
    informational limits built into our epistemic environment.
    When he says "All scripture is apparently contradictory" in
    a most unfortunately worded section header, Van Til does not
    mean that if one takes any two teachings of scripture that one
    will, they will appear contradictory. Rather, he means that
    some such teachings will appear contradictory, and that those
    teachings are part of the seamless garment of God's design.
    So, one can capture Van Til's meaning, according to my
    argument above, by paraphrasing "All scripture is apparently
    contradictory" as "Our knowledge of any teaching of scripture
    is limited by God and will therefore not be exhaustive, but
    will involve some mystery from a human standpoint".

    So, Van Til's apparently scriptural claim that all scripture,
    including that claim, is apparently contradictory is merely
    apparently contradictory; God knows how, but I think we know
    something about why.

    [Edited on 5-26-2006 by Don]
  7. Jeff_Bartel

    Jeff_Bartel Puritan Board Graduate

    Thank you. That is what I am looking for.
  8. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    It's ironic that I have read the same article ( The Evisceration of the Christian Faith, and even note where Sean uses uncompromising and "unkind" language to describe the teachings (and by implication, character) of Vantillians, but do not have the same emotional reaction as you did.

    Sean's writing seems no harsher than the words of Jesus, Luther, Calvin, Paul (the apostle) and even Paul Manata (the Vantillian). Yet you heap praise on these men, and scorn on Sean Gerety - simply because he is harsh. While I do find Sean's prose shocking at points, I think the points he makes are sound (and less shocking than Van Til's teachings).

    And although I've tried to give Vantillianism the benefit of the doubt - trying to find areas of agreement between Van Til and Gordon Clark - it seems that almost every key argument that Sean attributes to Vantillians, has been repeated and verified in this tread. I still see potential areas of agreements between them, but I don't see much desire among Vantillians to stress these agreements. I suppose as long as they assert the idea that we must "embracing apparent contradictions" in Scripture, the differences will be irreconcilable. As long as they don't see the clear problems with the very idea of blindly accepting paradoxes, they will never understand.

    Gordon Clark's teaching was not so different from Van Til's, accept that Clark understood better the implications of some of Van Til's errors. And if you are reading this and take great offense to what I've written, maybe that is because you are starting how some of Van Til's teaching have lead you astray. Just don't let your anger over-ride your reason.

    I'd recommend reading Sean's article again, until you can read it without letting your emotions cloud your judgment. It's important to get past your immediate reactions, and think rationally.

    The Evisceration of the Christian Faith

    I'd also recommend any of Clark's books, and Francis Shaffer (he shows the patten of corruption as it goes from philosophy to the arts and education and last to theology - that insight can make you more aware of how old worldly philosophies have corrupted modern theology such as the neo-reformed teachings). I'm sure Van Til was a fine person, but he believed and taught some bad theology.
  9. Don

    Don Puritan Board Freshman


    You could ask if we are talking about the same Bill and whether there is an equivocation in "Bill". Is it Bill Colletti referred to in premise 1 and 3 while Bill Gerety is referred to in premise 2? or is it just Bill?
  10. Jeff_Bartel

    Jeff_Bartel Puritan Board Graduate

    After reading through this, I THINK we would all have to admit that it is at least possible for a paradox to exist in the fashion described by the Van Tillians (i.e. not having all of the premises to resolve the paradox).

    Sean/Anthony, do you agree that it is possible (not speaking of scripture now) that it is possible given this example?:

    If this is the case, then the next question would be, does such a creature exist in scripture?
  11. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    My next question is can you embrace [a'] and the conjunction of [b'] and [c'], and the answer is no. And the addition of information does not reconcile them (make them both true), but tells you that [a'] is false. Of course, you never believed both parts because that was a contradiction.
  12. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Since Manata seemed to make a big deal about Aquascum on his blog site and I've already responded there, I'll reprint what I wrote here:

    While I´m hard pressed to answer a man who lacks the courage of his (or her) convictions to put his (or her) real name to his (or her) published pieces, cowards such as Pond Scum seems to have impressed you. For what it's worth I actually looked forward to reading his critique of my piece, The Evisceration of the Christian Faith, when it first came out, but I confess I was disappointed. Scum fails on all fronts and he even accuses me of equivocating on my use of the phrase, "œthe sufficiency of Scripture," even though I couldn´t be more clear; Byron denies the Scriptures are sufficient to provide the necessary information by which we might harmonize the various "œinsoluble paradoxes" of Scripture. Byron´s "œsolution" to the problem, which Scum is correct and I didn´t address simply becasue it is basically a repeat of the same ground I already covered in my section on Frame, is arguably worse and this might have been a mistake on my part. In retrospect, Byron´s solution is considerable worse and even more dishonest than Frame´s. Byron recommends ambiguously redefining key terms so that, at least formally, we can create the appearance that the teachings of Scripture actually cohere while covering our tracks with an appeal to "œmystery" to disguise our inability to unequivocally define key terms. He argues that (since) we cannot know *how* or in what sense God uses particular words, the theologian has biblical grounds to invoke the proverbial and unbiblical "œmystery." This non-answer and imagined "œsolution" imputes irrationality to God who, evidently, cannot express Himself in unambiguous language so that we might understand. In a nutshell, his solution is that since we cannot understand the sense in which God has expressed His mind in Scripture, we should therefore formulate biblical doctrines ambiguously and plead "œit´s a mystery" complete with feigned piety and humility when pressed. Byron´s "œsolution" amounts to nothing more than accusing God of equivocation "“ which is a whole lot worse than accusing me of equivocation.
  13. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Please consider carefully these comments from Don. This boils down to nothing more than if Vern, James, and Greg (and we can assume every other respected and revered Van Tilians as well) cannot harmonize various teachings of Scripture it therefore follows that God hasn´t revealed enough for us to see *how* the teachings of Scripture cohere. The "œsolution" given by Byron and others is that if they can´t solve a particular difficulty in Scripture then no solution is possible. Worse than this arrogance is the assertion that the reason for their failure is that God has failed to reveal enough of his mind for us in Scripture in order for us to "œsee *how* some of the teachings of Scripture cohere. The problem is not our own inability, blindness, stupidity or even foolishness, although we feign humility and admit that we probably couldn´t handle the "œbig picture" even if God has revealed it to us, rather it is God´s fault for not revealing enough information so that we might see or understand.

    Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture? It turns out that Van Tilian humility and their affirmation of their own "œcreaturiliness"is nothing more than sinful pride and of the worst kind. Paul called the Scriptures "œthe perfect" (1 Cor. 13:10) and he said; "œAll scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." While we all patiently wait for an answer to Jeff´s question to see whether or not any Van Tilian here or anywhere can provide a biblical parallel to Byron´s "œface stabber" scenario, I would also ask what are the consequences of Byron´s scenario as we "œearnestly contend for the faith?" We could not even judge, much less correct, the actions of a "œface stabber," given Byron´s scenario. So what happens when we try to make judgments or to draw inferences from Scripture? If Scripture is inherently insufficient, as Byron, Don, Manata and other argue, if one doctrine will invariably appear to be the contradictory of another, as Van Til asserts, which side of any given Biblical contradiction will serve the various functions Paul outlines above? It seems, despite their explicit denials, that both Christ and Paul did speak "œYes and No." Can there really be any wonder why it took the faculty and administrators of Westminister East seven years before they were able to finally rid themselves of Norm Shepherd even if it was too little too late? Why John Frame still defends Shepherd and thinks the imputation of Christ´s active righteousness by faith alone is a debatable point. I´m confident Van Tilians wouldn´t be any more effective if Shepherd was caught actually stabbing students in the face, which would have been considerably less destructive and harmful.
  14. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member


    I want you to throw down now and put your money where your big mouth is. I want you to display the courage of your convictions once and for all. Let's see you be as courageous as you have been to impugn the OPC denomination and Reformed seminaries.

    Enough with the hypothetical "We can't embrace paradoxes or mysteries" from the Clarkians. I want you guys to come out and tell me you don't embrace this:
    Do you believe the above or not? It surely embraces an epistemic paradox.

    You Clarkians either deny this ecumenical creed so we can label you as apostate or admit that there is a well-established, and prudent, acceptance of some paradox (or mystery if you like).

    If you avoid this and don't address Chalcedon directly then I will consider you a coward of your convictions.
  15. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    No it doesn't.

    There is no contradiction in the statement. You seem to believe there is. Please explain why. Spell it out. It's your assertion.
  16. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Either you are completely ignorant of it's denial on philosophical grounds by many or you are afraid to take it on.
  17. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    You're the one who asserted that the statement was a "epistemic paradox". So tell me why. You called it, it's you ball now.

    BTW - and epistemic paradox is either cause by discerning a contradiction, or it means we're too ignorant to figure it out, or it means contradiction in knowledge from one moment to the next (such as happens with the Liar's Paradox)- depending on who you ask. You're choice since you called it.
  18. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    First, Rich, I´m getting a little tired of your ad hominem remarks. If you can´t deal with the subjects you should remove yourself from the Apologetic boards. The rules of these boards state; "œThis forum is for those who desire to DEBATE and DISCUSS. All others please refrain from this Forum." Clearly you´re too sensitive a soul to engage in theological battles. Perhaps you should stick with the devotional pages?

    Secondly, I have not "œimpugned" the OPC. They´ve done a good job of that themselves in the Kinnaird case and their failure to discipline Shepherd who instead was allowed toleave the OPC in good standing and join the CRC.

    Thirdly, Westminister Cemetery East . . . I mean Seminary . . . is not under the OPC´s oversight or control and is not an OPC seminary. That was, after all, what much of the battle over Shepherd was about. Read O. Palmer Robertson´s "œThe Current Justification Controversy" in order to get up to speed.

    Chalcedon is fine as far as it goes, but let´s hope it´s not the last word on the subject. I also agree with Anthony and I don't find anything particularly contradictory in it, albeit some of it is simply nonsense. If you´d like to discuss the Definition of Chalcedon, why don´t you start another thread under "œTheology" and begin by defining substance? Thanks in advance. :)

    Hundreds of years of repeating nonsense doesn´t make something true. Robert Reymond writes in his systematic theology something you should take to heart Rich:

    I honestly don't care what you consider me. I just wish you would think more and emote less.

    [Edited on 5-26-2006 by Magma2]
  19. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Look, you guys have denied that there is no mystery. Unravel it for me.

    I don't completely comprehend how the Godhead can take on a nature and still remain immutable.

    I don't understand how Christ the man can suffer, be one person, and not suffer in the Godhead.

    Break it down for me. I want you Clarkians to show there is no apparent contradiction in ANY of its parts.
  20. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    I can't show you something that I don't see there. I can't show you "no" contradiction. If you can show me the contradiction, then I'll try to explain it to you - or we will see what part you don't believe can be true when another part is true. As for any mystery, I'm not saying there is none - but its not one of apparent contradiction as far as I can tell.
  21. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Weak. You're just being obtuse. You're also afraid to take on Chalcedon.

    You have a chance to get rid of mystery. I mean, come on, Clark could have just said the same thing about human freedom and Divine Sovereignty. Go beyond Clark and untie Chalcedon.

    [Edited on 5-27-2006 by SemperFideles]
  22. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    I can't show you what I don't see. So tell me what you see. Where's the apparent contradiction? If it's there, you should be able to spell it out for me. I'm not going to waste time explaining in detail where there are no *apparent* contradictions - since they are a matter of how one miss-understands something, there could be many possibilities. I'd be guessing at where you're mistake is. I'd have to constructs any number of potential misunderstandings that lead to contradictions and that just silly. Especially since you seem to see them and I don't. So let's have it.
  23. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    Your conclusion: "Jesus is both made and not made in the image of God, i.e., one person is both x and ~x."

    The person of Jesus was not created, the nature of Jesus was.

    Jesus has two natures. The human nature was created, the Godly nature was not created. (Recall that Jesus did not always have a "human" nature.) All things that are, were created, and that includes Jesus' human nature.

    If you think my answer is not Scriptural, please tell me where. Otherwise, I'll have to dig up all the references. Which I will if you want to drag this out. I certainly would benefit from searching the Word. But if you want to go that route - then list the rest of the "apparent" contradictions so other's can take a crack. And you'll have to show some patients because I'm not going to do this all night. It may be tomorrow or next week before I can justify the time.
  24. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member hominem...that reminds me of somebody...

    I can't think of who....

    Who could it be?!!!

    At last we hear it! Clarkians will even call the Ecumenical Creeds nonsense.

    Which parts are nonsense Sean. Paul has taken this issue up. If the MODS decide to break this off so be it. Have the courage of your convictions to remove all paradox. I think this will simply reveal that you are not Orthodox in your belief and should likely be banned from this forum.

    Honestly, I think you need to repent of your intellectual arrogance.

    [Edited on 5-27-2006 by SemperFideles]
  25. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Rich, (and all parties),

    Tone down the rhetoric.

    This is not a request.

    Peace, brethren, or the thread will be closed.
  26. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member


    MODS: Request the Chalcedon discussion be broken off into a new thread.

    I want to give Sean a chance to reveal whether or not he is orthodox. What he has posted would be enough to bring a Minister up on charges.

    Never mind. I got it...

    [Edited on 5-27-2006 by SemperFideles]
  27. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I'd like to give you a chance to define substance. Let me know when you're ready.

  28. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher


    Just as a note of help: most, if not all the theologians in the RPCGA are Clarkians. They have been Clarkians longer than you and I have been Christians, or maybe even alive in general.

    I asked them about "Scripturalism." If "I" am not in the Bible, then how do I know I exist? - thus Clark seems to be silly there if only the Bible is the Word of God in the way Clark seemed to demonstrate it.

    They answered very simply that such was not what Clark taught. They say that "men" are in the Bible, and thus they would never resort, nor did Clark, to absurdity in saying that your name has to be there. We know men exist because God created them, they have children, and they continue to exist. We don't need our name there, etc. HTis would go for anything we find that is extrapolated: trees, works of art, craftsmanship, industry, animals, creeping things, birds, the world, stars, etc.

    Just an FYI from the "Clarkians."
  29. Don

    Don Puritan Board Freshman


    The critique is more along these lines:

    "Men" may be in the Bible, but *certain or particular* men are not in the Bible. Assuming Scripturalism, how do I connect 'men' in the Bible to a particular man outside the Bible in order to know that I am a man? Unless you adopt some form of occassionalism, it would seem that the inferences used in determining whether you were a man would not be stated in or deducible from Scripture since you'll have to appeal to something outside of Scripture in order to make that determination. Thus you would forfeit Scripturalism.


    [Edited on 5-27-2006 by Don]
  30. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Paul "œThe Dane" Manata once again demonstrates that for the Van Tilian the Christian faith is not a rational religion (which is, after all, what Chalcedon was striving to demonstrate), but is rather, at its heart, that Kierkegaardian leap into the absurd. And who said existentialism was dead and buried. Maybe the Van Tilian application is the passion we´re supposed to feel as we embrace apparent contradictions with the religious furor of a pagan praying before his idol.

    Are we having fun yet? :lol:

    [Edited on 5-27-2006 by Magma2]
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