Was Augustine a Scripturalist? by Drake

Discussion in 'Apologetical Methods' started by Drake, Dec 19, 2010.

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  1. Drake

    Drake Puritan Board Freshman

    Was Augustine a Scripturalist?

    by Drake Shelton​

    First it must be ascertained what Scripturalism is. I believe that the axiom of Scripturalism is the revelation of Jah. This is defined as the Protestant canonical list. This axiom gives man one source of knowledge in two categories special and general revelation. Special revelation is the propositions that are inferred from the canonical list. General revelation is the apriori structures otherwise known as innate ideas. For info on the distinction between General and Special Revelation see TR The White Horse Inn: Nonsense on Tap. The propositions of scripture are therefore deduced from the list and are therefore given an account. The axiom is not knowledge. It is THE assumption. In Dr. Robbins' article TR The White Horse Inn: Nonsense on Tap he clearly refers John 1:9 to the apriori structures and those who criticize Scripturalism for ignoring the apriori structures simply have not done their homework. It is true there are some inconsistent statements regarding the exclusive role that scripture plays regarding knowledge but the answers are very clear and both Clark and Robbins touch on these things. First the apriori structures are deduced from scripture as Clark made clear in his Festschrift and this is what I think they mean when they say that all knowledge must be deduced from scripture, in the sense that they are demonstrated from scripture. Yet I think it easier to say that all knowledge comes through revelation in two categories special and general. Therefore, on this assumption and definition was Augustine a Scripturalist? Let's see what he said:

    (The quotes from Book 3 are taken from Against the Academicians and The Teacher [Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Publishing, 1995] )

    A​ugustine, Concerning the Teacher

    "There are two statements made by the Academicians which we decided to argue against to the best of our ability. (a) nothing can be perceived; (b) one should not assent to anything."


    vs. 35 "Accordingly, prove that either this inference or those disjunctions given above can be false because of sleep, madness, or the unreliability of the senses! If I remember them when I wake up, I'll admit that I've been beaten. I think it's now sufficiently clear what falsehoods seem to be so through sleep and madness, namely, those that pertain to the bodily senses. For that three times three is nine and the square of rational numbers must be true, even if the human race be snoring away!"

    Here we have an admission that sensation does not give knowledge. However, the rational light of the apriori structures does.


    vs. 10-15 "If there are four elements in the world, there are not five. If there is only one Sun, there are not two. The same soul can't both die and be immortal. A man can't be simultaneously happy and miserable. It isn't the case here that the Sun is shining and that it is night....These and many other things, which would take too long to mention, I've learned to be true through dialectic. They are true in themselves regardless of what condition our senses are in."

    Again we have here the admission of logic as innate in men and an indisputable proof of the reality of truth.

    vs. 25 "Dialectic has also taught me that there shouldn't be any dispute over words when there is agreement on the matter for the sake of which the words are spoken. Anyone who disputes in this way should be instructed if he does so through inexperience;"

    Logic asserted again.

    ​11.38 [Basic Writings of Augustine Volume 1 pg. 391] Concerning the Teacher

    "But, referring now to all things which we understand, we consult, not the speaker who utters words, but the guardian truth within the mind itself, because we have perhaps been reminded by words to do so. Moreover, He who is consulted teaches; for He who is said to reside in the interior man is Christ, that is, the unchangeable excellence of God and His everlasting wisdom, which every rational soul does indeed consult. But there is revealed to each one as much as he can apprehend through his will according as it is more perfect or less perfect. And if sometimes one is deceived this is not due to a defect in the truth which he has consulted any more than it is a defect of external light that the eyes of the body are often deceived; yet we confess that we consult this external light about visible things in order that it may show them to us in so far as we have the power to discern."

    H​ere is where the real meat of the matter pertains. Here Augustine denies that knowledge is gained through sensations of an external world and asserts that Christ ALONE is the Teacher of men, ergo revelation is the source of knowledge not the senses.

    12.40 Against the Academicians and the Teacher [Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Publishing, 1995] Concering the Teacher

    vs 30-35 "When we deal with things that we perceive by the mind, namely by the intellect and reason, we're speaking of things that we look upon immediatley in the inner light of Truth, in virtue of which the so-called inner man is illuminated and rejoices...Therefore, when I'm stating truth's, I don't even teach the person who is looking upon these truth. He's taught not by my words but by the things themselves made manifest within when God discloses them."

    I​f there was any reserve in the reader before this quote the issue is now settled. Augustine makes it very clear, the sensation is not the source of the knowldge. In the occasion of the sensation it is God who immediately gives knowledge to men. This is explicitly Scripturalism and let the reader understand that Dr. Clark did not get his theory out of thin air. He got it from reading Augustine. Augustine made some inconistent remarks regarding sensation in his other works to the ones here so I will confidently say Augustine was a Scripturalist though inconsistent at times.

    One such alleged inconsistency is in Aquinas' Summa Whether there is falsity in the senses? [http://www.ccel.org/ccel/aquinas/summa.FP_Q17_A2.html]

    "Objection 1: It seems that falsity is not in the senses. For Augustine says (De Vera Relig. 33): "If all the bodily senses report as they are affected, I do not know what more we can require from them." Thus it seems that we are not deceived by the senses; and therefore that falsity is not in them...
    On the contrary, Augustine says (Soliloq. ii, 6), "It appears that the senses entrap us into error by their deceptive similitudes."
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  2. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    How exactly do you define knowledge?
  3. Drake

    Drake Puritan Board Freshman

    I am committed to Robbins' defintion that knowledge is a justified true belief. The axiom: the Revelation of Jah: the Protestant canonical list (Special Revelation) and the a priori structures (General Revelation). For info on the distinction between General and Special Revelation see TR The White Horse Inn: Nonsense on Tap. The propositions of scripture are therefore deduced from the list and are therefore given an account. The axiom is not knowledge. It is THE assumption. The basic is the scriptural propositions that are inferred from the protestant canonical list. Therefore, knowledge is given an account and is inferred as an application of the Revelation of Jah to this period of redemptive history. Scripturalism is much more akin to the Coherence theory rather than Foundationalism. I would understand the Scripturalist system to be a logical organization of knowledge. By "demonstration" I mean logical demonstration. The pointed attacks on the Scripturalist axiom assume upon the idea of demonstration to mean "providing the conditions for knowledge that allows one to locate p as an item of knowledge" . This is not what I mean. My own Pastor says that Scripturalism removes the possibility of knowledge because sensation is the only way to demonstrate or give an account of the Bible and if you refuse sensation then you cannot demonstrate the Bible. This criticism assumes upon this faulty definition of "demonstrate" or "give an account" therefore I reject the conclusion.
  4. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    Justified before whom? Who is the judge of what is and is not knowledge?

    Also, why do we make knowledge claims all the time which do not fit the criteria you set?

    How do you know that there is a Bible without sensation? How could you hear the word unless you hear? As St. Paul says, "How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?"

    The real question, Drake, is this: why should I distrust my God-given senses?

    Obviously---so why assume it? You've placed a burden of proof upon yourself to show at least how this is a justified assumption.
  5. Drake

    Drake Puritan Board Freshman

    “Justified” in a philosophical context refers to giving an account. It is not a forensic term. That’s theology.

    “Who is the judge of what is and is not knowledge?”
    This question could mean a bunch of different things. I think you are changing the conversation now. Mine is a logical organization of a theory not a syllogism that proves something true objectively. By judge do you mean “who determines what is true and what is not”? do you mean, “who can prove what is true”? do you mean “who is the one who determines for a certain person what is true and what is not”? I just had this conversation with an Eastern orthodox guy who asked me this question and he was getting at the point that the Church should be the one who decides what is true and what is not for the individual person while complaining that my view posits me as the person who determines what is true and what is not. The answer is too easy, with respect to my personal agency, I have made no judgment, I have made a choice by faith that the Protestant canon is the true starting point. But then again I could be missing your question because that question could have been directed towards a number of things.

    “"providing the conditions for knowledge that allows one to locate p as an item of knowledge"”

    I am assuming you mean things like, “Hey honey, where are the car keys? I know I put them on the key rack. Oh thanks hun, see you later.”

    If so, this is simple colloquialism. We use words commonly that technically have a different philosophical meaning.

    “"providing the conditions for knowledge that allows one to locate p as an item of knowledge"”
    I don’t and I would only need to know that if I believed in created knowledge, which you believe. You need to read my article I posted a couple days ago on created and uncreated light. The Bible simply does not teach created knowledge that gives us participation in created nature, 2 Peter 1:3-5. It teaches participation in uncreated light and uncreated nature.

    “"providing the conditions for knowledge that allows one to locate p as an item of knowledge"”
    I do not deny that I hear, I simply do not know what the sensation of hearing is and God didn’t tell me.

    Pro 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

    Yet Jer 17:9 says Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    How are you supposed to keep it if you do not know what it is? The problem is you thin that people have to know what they are doing in order to do it.

    A common objection to Scripturalism is that we do cannot obey certain precepts that the Bible gives us involving empirical objects. Clarkians say we do not know what soil is, yet Adam was commanded to till it. We do not know what the pages and the ink that the printed Bible are written with therefore we cannot read it, etc. I have been reading up on computers to prepare for an A+ certification exam that I hope to pass. On page 217 and 218 of March Chambers' PC For Dummies he explains the strange phenonmenon of the Internet. Most people do not know what the Internet connotatively is, yet they can use it. Chambers says, "Seriously, though, you don't need to know what the Internet is in order to use it." So, our position is nothing strange. In our technologically advanced civilization people do things without knowing how they do them all the time; operating machinery that only a handful of people in the world really understand. Now someone might object, "Must we Know What a Sensation is to know it?" Yes. Functioning and knowing are two different things. Theory and Practice are not the same thing.

    Can you explain to me off the top of your head how an internal data bus relates to the northbridge on the motherboard in your computer? If no, on your logic then you cannot use your computer because you do not know how it works.

    On the God given senses thing. 1. You have yet to define sensation show how sensation produces perception and how perception produces abstract concepts. 2. 1 Cor 2:9-10 clearly denies that this is how we get knowledge. 3. Because the Bible does not teach created knowledge from created nature to participate in created nature, it teaches the opposite.

    Your last statement clearly shows you do not understand my first reply and Scripturalism in general. I am not saying that the Protestant canon is a justified assumption. It is a choice on faith. Because without faith it is impossible to please God. You Van Tilians and Scholastics want to prove God in order to follow his teachings which in itself is a contradiction and may I say demonic.

    ---------- Post added at 11:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:54 AM ----------

    You are going to say, “why make that choice, why make that choice”? To this I have only one reply: Psa 65:4 Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.
  6. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    Then let us use "warranted" as it carries fewer judicial connotations and does not carry such a normative force.

    The trouble with justification language is that at its root, it assumes that if you cannot give justification, you are somehow blameworthy.

    Another trouble, though, is that justification language excludes certain individuals who are incapable of giving said account and yet (I think) are capable of knowledge. For example, a five-year-old can know God and be saved (I was saved at the age of five or six), yet a five-year-old would be incapable of giving an account. Or, let us say, an individual afflicted with down syndrome would be incapable of such, yet he would have knowledge.

    Yes He did---He told you through your sense of hearing. If you don't know what the terms are, then you do not understand the proposition.

    Well gee, why do I have to provide all this?

    That's just out of context. What the verse is saying is that our finite understanding cannot contain all that God has done for us in Christ Jesus.

    I'm still not clear on the distinction.

    No it's not---no one chooses what to believe---for example, when I look at the lamp in front of me, I don't say "Hmm, there appears to be something in front of me that follows the form of a lamp, ergo there is probably a lamp in front of me, ergo I believe there to be a lamp in front of me." Instead, I see the lamp and find myself believing that there is a lamp in front of me.

    I didn't choose to believe the scriptures, God worked in my heart, opened my soul, and breathed life into my sensus Divintatus (Calvin's term) such that I found myself believing that Jesus is the Christ, so I chose to pray and follow Him in faith.

    On this point I am neither---I have proof of the existence of God, but that's not my warrant for believing it. My warrant is that God has revealed Himself to me through the Scriptures and through His creation. I look at a beautiful mountainscape and it occasions in me the thought "I serve a great God." As the hymnwriter said:

    This is my Father's world: He shines in all that’s fair;
    In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
    He speaks to me everywhere.

    My belief in God is neither unwarranted nor based in argument---it is a belief formed in the ordinary way.

    Faith, Drake, is not opposed to reason or warrant, but is occasioned by God Himself through these things. All knowledge involves belief and belief is but another word for faith.
  7. Drake

    Drake Puritan Board Freshman

    “Another trouble, though, is that justification language excludes certain individuals who are incapable of giving said account and yet (I think) are capable of knowledge. For example, a five-year-old can know God and be saved (I was saved at the age of five or six), yet a five-year-old would be incapable of giving an account. Or, let us say, an individual afflicted with down syndrome would be incapable of such, yet he would have knowledge.”
    Your incapability of knowledge is the exact thing I said I rejected as a definition of demonstration when I said, “The pointed attacks on the Scripturalist axiom assume upon the idea of demonstration to mean "providing the conditions for knowledge that allows one to locate p as an item of knowledge." Moreover, as I have just posted another thread on, your view here posits saving knowledge to infants and those with mental inabilities impossible, because your system demands mediated knowledge, whereas the Scripturalist view works just fine because we have immediate knowledge.

    “Yes He did---He told you through your sense of hearing. If you don't know what the terms are, then you do not understand the proposition.”
    This is so stupid I feel embarrassed just answering it. So my sense of hearing is a definition of hearing? Where did God give us a definition of a sensation? All you can do is denote you can never give me any connotation.

    “Well gee, why do I have to provide all this? “
    Yes, as you just said, “If you don't know what the terms are, then you do not understand the proposition”

    “That's just out of context. What the verse is saying is that our finite understanding cannot contain all that God has done for us in Christ Jesus.”
    No, no read the verse, “but by his spirit” is the method of revelation, not the contents.

    “I'm still not clear on the distinction.”
    I already gave you the article to read. And when you do get the distinction you are going to have to make a choice, Eastern Orthodoxy or Scripturalism, from what I have read from your profile, your FV buddies usually head East.

    “---no one chooses what to believe”
    I am talking about logical not chronological.

    “for example, when I look at the lamp in front of me, I don't say "Hmm, there appears to be something in front of me that follows the form of a lamp, ergo there is probably a lamp in front of me, ergo I believe there to be a lamp in front of me." Instead, I see the lamp and find myself believing that there is a lamp in front of me.”
    This is yet again the "providing the conditions for knowledge that allows one to locate p as an item of knowledge" view of demonstration that I am rejecting. You are still not actually fighting me, you are fighting a straw man, because you have yet to see me, that is understand me.

    I didn’t chronologically choose God either and if we were talking about a choice made in our temporal world. I am talking about a logical choice, that is the choice of a axiom in the logical organization of a theory. WHICH HAS BEEN THE CONTEXT THE ENTIRE CONVERSATION AS I MADE VERY CLEAR AND YOU HAVE FAILED TO GRASP!

    If you have proof for God then you have ipso fact removed the possibility of faith. So do the mountainscapes have little propositions written in them, “There is a God”? If not what then is knowledge?

    The Westminster confession clearly teaches the logical organization of a theory. WCF 1.5 ” the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole. ”

    I am not talking about my faith or our faith as we are persons in a temporal world I am talking about the logical organization of a theory.

    You have failed to answer any of my arguments and you have failed to grasp what Scripturalism is.
  8. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    Au contraire, I'm a direct realist (in the tradition of Thomas Reid). My knowledge of God is immediate, just as my knowledge of the lamp, or that I am writing a response to you is immediate.

    Why do we need a definition is order to know? You're right that I can't define hearing---but I darn well know when I hear something. That's like asking you to define logic.

    I reject the view that all truth is propositional, therefore not all knowledge knowledge is propositional in nature.

    The kind of knowledge being communicated, though, is the kind that could only come through special revelation.

    This is both absurd and libelous. Can you at least give me an example of each?

    But it's what I'm talking about when I discuss warrant. I'm talking about how God reveals Himself to people---and it's through the sensus Divinitatus (again, Calvin). He reveals Himself through the Spirit speaking through the word, whether read or preached.

    Actually, it's not: I take it as a given that there is a lamp.

    Drake, here's my proposal. I will reject any epistemology that cannot account for my knowledge (yes knowledge) of the following propositions:

    1) 2+2=4
    2) There is a lamp in front of me
    3) I have two brothers and a sister
    4) George Washington was the first President of the United States
    5) Jesus rose from the dead

    All of these propositions are understood well enough for practical purposes (all that we need, really---ordinary speech is the speech of Scripture according to Reformed Theology).

    No need to shout.

    Excuse me, but you assume here that I have a theoretical structure similar to yours. I do not. Again, I'm a direct realist. When doing epistemology, I look at a set of beliefs and ask how it is that I know them. This isn't necessary for them to be knowledge (again, a down syndrome child can have knowledge).

    No I haven't. This is the fallacy of thinking that knowledge/proof are somehow opposed to faith. That is the Kierkegaardian fallacy, and has penetrated Christendom too far. Again, all knowledge involves belief and all belief involves faith.

    Yes, I have proof for God, but I could have made a fallacy, I'm not infallible. Yet again, even if this proof were proven unsound, I would yet believe because God has indeed revealed Himself--as Schaeffer said, "He is there and is not silent."

    Again, your assumption here is that all knowledge involves deductive reasoning. I reject this. Instead, I look at the mountainscape, and it occasions in me the belief "I serve a great God" and further, it occasions praise of that God. If your theology and philosophy are not occasions for praise and deeper love for God, I would suggest that there's something wrong with them.

    Then what you are talking about is irrelevant. A theory that cannot work itself out in practice is mere idle speculation. Unless you can bring it to bear on our faith as Christians, I would suggest that your Scripturalism merits little in the way of reason for me to take it seriously.
  9. Drake

    Drake Puritan Board Freshman

    1. Apples and Oranges. You are still positing that the objects of knowledge are created natures. Where then does knowledge of God come from? On your view you must still posit that it comes through creatures. Knowledge of the external world is not the issue.

    2. Have you ever heard something in your dreams? Logic is easily definable. Clark says that Logic is the science of necessary inference. Telling me what you do not believe is worthless, what then is knowledge?
    3. First you said that the verse referred to our finiteness and how much or “all that Christ has doe for us”; you first posit the verse is talking about quantity now you are talking about quality. You are just making stuff up dude.
    4. The fact that we have a different definition of warrant is not a refutation of my view.
    5. Assertion. You waste my time with assertions. I argued why I thought you were guilty of a straw man, you just assert.
    6. I have no idea where you are going with this. I just think you need to understand that there is a difference between knowledge and opinion and you need to understand that you do not have to know what you are doing to function. Your demands for a theory are again not a refutation of my own.
    7. No I don’t. I am telling you what I believe. You are trying to find an inconsistency in what I believe and I am showing you that you are imposing your view onto mine and then you turn around and say that I am imposing something on you. Nonsense. You came to critique me on my thread.
    8. Yes they are opposite by definition. Again you are not making clear what you are saying. If you mean that I have to have an object to believe in and in that sense knowledge is required for belief, then fine. But that is not the context of our conversation. I am referring to the proofs for the “existence” of God not the revealed propositions that tell me what God is, that is the object of my faith.
    9. Then you do not have proof. Infallibility is required for the definition of proof
    10. You are bringing in your religious presuppositions. The mountain is giving you no data.
    11. Assertion. How does it fail in practical life? You do not know what the Internet is, yet you can use it, you may not know what an internal data bus is or a north-bridge but you can still use a computer. Not knowing the objects of your function does not eliminate function. You have yet to refute this claim and until you do you are merely blowing steam you are refuting nothing. This view of knowledge can be taken to courts of law and absolutely destroy the Darwinian worldview that is pushed down the throats of young people here. I have been told by every atheist that I have spoken with that I have in Scripturalism the strongest defense of Christianity they have ever known.
  10. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    No, I am positing that some objects of knowledge are created natures.

    Revelation, both general (the created order [Rom 1]) and special (1 Tim 4:12).

    Sure---and as soon as I woke up, I was aware that it was a dream.

    That tells me what logic does, not what it is.

    Knowledge is warranted true belief (warrant here means that the belief arises from a properly-functioning module of the Divine design plan).

    I have to have some knowledge, just not exhaustive knowledge.

    And giving me no reason to think it true---it's all very fine, but frankly absurd, impractical, and leads to dangerous places in our theology.

    Says who? A court of law accepts fallible proof, a science lab accepts fallible proof.

    Again, I see what is there that an unbeliever would not because he is unregenerate. Because God has reawakened the sensus Divintatus, I see what the Psalmist saw that,

    The Heavens declare the glory of God
    And the firmament showeth His handiwork.

    Sure I do: the internet is a worldwide network of computers.

    But I would contend that the functioning of them presupposes certain pre-philosophical kinds of knowledge. Ordinary language use of the word knowledge is perfectly fine here.

    Actually no. Empirical evidence and induction are king in the courtroom. What you are attacking is not Darwinian thought but common sense. Not Van Tillianism, but Calvinism. At the root, you attack Scripture itself.

    You see, Scripture assumes some things. The parables of Jesus, for instance, assume that His audience knows things, like how shepherds work or the difference between tax collectors and pharisees. Also, how are we to understand the mighty acts of Jesus unless we have background knowledge? In order for the Gospels to make sense, we have to understand that lame men don't walk, blind men don't see, and dead men don't rise. If we don't understand this, then the mighty acts of Jesus are not mighty at all. Indeed, what did Jesus tell John's disciples? Report to John what you have seen!

    Then you've met some pretty poor specimens of atheism.

    Drake, here's a question: are our senses (you know as well as I do what they are, even if we can't define them) God-given or are they not? If so, does God deceive or doesn't He? God's honor is on the line here and you impugn it by doubting.

    As one character (Thomas) in a dialogue I wrote sometime back said: “And why should we doubt everything? Your skepticism, it seems, requires more faith than my credulity—I believe what I see, others, more blessed, believe what they have not, yet you disbelieve what you have seen. If that is not faith, what is?”
  11. Drake

    Drake Puritan Board Freshman

    1. So then there are two kinds of objects of knowledge? This is laughable. So then some are propositions? Here comes the difficulty: what remains changeless? Is it an idea in a divine mind or is it a material object? You cannot have a changing object as the object of knowledge. Aristotle posited the forms in the matter as objects of knowledge and Plato and Clark posit the ideas/propositions in the divine mind as objects of knowledge because these things are the unchanging abstract concepts while the material world is always changing and these reflected their systems as a whole. Your construction is quite frankly friend not worthy of consideration. And how do you come to the conclusion of a universal truth from observation of one material object?
    2. You are not answering the question. Where does Revelation knowledge come from? It comes from the ink and the paper in your Bible doesn’t it? So then it is a created nature just like I said before. Au Contraire, spare me the cow dung sir.
    3. Assertion. How are you aware of it? Define the difference between a sensation in this realm and a sensation in the dream state.
    4. I just told you. This is so stupid. If I would have said, Logic is how we do this or that, then your complaint would have been warranted, but I didn’t. I said, it is a science. I am telling you what it is and individuated it from other sciences.

    I am asking you hat the objects of knowledge are. We say the objects of knowledge are propositions.

    5. Then what
    is the Internet? And by the way your other definition of Internet earlier is a WAN, not the Internet, per se.

    6. 1Ti 6:20 O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called "knowledge"—

    Ecc 8: 17 and I saw every work of God, I concluded that man cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and though the wise man should say, "I know," he cannot discover.

    Col 2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

    1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. KJV

    There, that is why you should think Scripturalism true

    7. Courts of law and science labs do not discover truth. And many innocent men get convicted and many guilty men go free. Just read the Bible: Joseph, Daniel, Jesus, Paul
    8. That is for you to demonstrate.
    9. Scriptualists can use empirical evidence in an ad hominem fashion and point out embarrassing problems for Darwinists as Russell pointed out,

    “All inductive arguments in the last resort reduce themselves to the following form: 'If this is true, that is true: now that is true, therefore this is true.” This argument is of course, formally fallacious. Suppose I were to say: “If bread is a stone and stones are nourishing, then this bread will nourish me; now this bread does nourish me; therefore it is a stone, and stones are nourishing.' If I were to advance such an argument, I should certainly be thought foolish, yet it would not be fundamentally different from the argument upon which all scientific laws are based.” The Scientific Outlook By Bertrand Russell (Publisher: Routledge; New edition (July 18, 2001)

    10. That is for you to prove
    11. In none of this do you tell me what a sensation is, neither have you told me whether the universe is 1 substance, 4, and infinite number, or even an infinite number with qualities or no qualities. It seems to me that what you are implying is that there are laws of the universe. 1. How do you know about these laws 2. The miracles in the Bible contradict them.

    Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
    As Calvin points out in this passage, the Galatian never witnessed empirically Jesus Crucified. This is in reference to Jesus being preached to them and the sight here refers to the sight of faith. I believe Calvin here rips down every possible objection you have to Scripturalism.

    Institutes 1.11.7
    “The simple reason why those who had the charge of churches resigned the office of teaching to idols was, because they themselves were dumb. Paul declares, that by the true preaching of the gospel Christ is portrayed and in a manner crucified before our eyes (Gal. 3:1). Of what use, then, were the erection in churches of so many crosses of wood and stone, silver and gold, if this doctrine were faithfully and honestly preached—viz. Christ died that he might bear our curse upon the tree, that he might expiate our sins by the sacrifice of his body, wash them in his blood, and, in short, reconcile us to God the Father? From this one doctrine the people would learn more than from a thousand crosses of wood and stone. As for crosses of gold and silver, it may be true that the avaricious give their eyes and minds to them more eagerly than to any heavenly instructor.”

    12. This all assumes that the senses were given for knowledge. This for you to prove.
  12. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    Propositions are not objects of knowledge. They are statements or descriptions of knowledge.

    Why not? I have all kinds of warranted true beliefs about changing objects.

    Not at all, it comes through the Spirit who inspired the ink and paper, and who speaks through it. Of course it's created---God created it. Through the words of God we know the Word of God who was enfleshed as Jesus the God-man.

    Quite easily. Just because I cannot put the distinction into propositional form does not not mean a) that there is no distinction b) that I cannot tell the distinction. The fact is, it's so blasted obvious that anyone who questions it is clearly not thinking straight.

    Propositions are not objects of knowledge. They describe objects of knowledge.

    A particular worldwide network of computers through which you and I are conversing at this moment.

    Those are reasons to believe Scripture above all other forms of knowledge, not scripturalism as a modernistic system.

    They do all the time. Just because you could be wrong about it doesn't make it unwarranted or untrue. You are setting a bar so high that nothing will ever pass it.

    Actually, since ordinary language and sense perceptions are prephilosophical intuitions, the burden of proof is on you to show how a) your definition and understanding of knowledge are more adequate to what we ordinarily mean by the word or b) why we should reject these prephilosophical intuitions.

    Russell, along with Clark and Leibniz, Apollinarius and Arius, is an example of beautiful logically coherent systems that also happen to have little to no connection to the way things really are.

    a) they are not laws, just the way things ordinarily go, as any fool knows.
    b) the mighty acts of God obviously are not the way things would ordinarily go. Hence why they are considered mighty in a way that the sun coming up in the morning is not.

    As Calvin himself was not a Scripturalist, you are simply reading your own presuppositions into him (and into Scripture itself, I might add). Scripturalism is the peculiar position of Gordon Clark.

    It's fairly obvious, I would think. It's the ordinary manner of speaking about them, so unless you can show me why they are not (under an ordinary-language definition of knowledge) I have no reason to think otherwise.
  13. Drake

    Drake Puritan Board Freshman

    In reference to my assertion that change denies an object of knowledge: Heraclitus gives the example of a man stepping into a river and never stepping into the same river again (Due to the constant motion and change). Even the man has changed. Plato gives a similar example in the Timaeus concerning a gold statue of Zeus that was only the sculptor's Zeus but for a moment and then was never to appear again. Clark says, "if everything is changing, nothing exists. Universal change implies universal non-existence. And this implies that the changing is unreal and reality is unchanging." Clark also adds that for a word to have a meaning in empiricism, the object that the word tags must remain unchanged for some time for it to have meaning.
    Aristotle objects that "all motion, therefore requires a subject that remains unchanged during the motion." Scriptualism answers with the continuous creation theory. How do you know that reality is not like a cartoon film, where motion is an illusion of many still images being presented and taken away very quickly? "Motion no doubt, presupposes an unchanged substratum, but how do we know there is such a substratum and how do we know there is motion?” No wonder Democritus said that motion was an indemonstrable axiom. (Democritus did teach that particular motion could be explained but not motion per se).

    Gordon H. Clark, The Philosophy of Science and Belief in God (Jefferson, Maryland.: The Trinity Foundation, 1964, Second edition 1987), 10
  14. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    From a certain perspective, I suppose. I happen to think that even with change, things persist over time.

    The trouble is, Drake, that you yourself are a changing being. You move, you act, you are temporal. Change is a function of temporality, thus since God is atemporal, He doesn't change. Our knowledge is temporal because we are temporal. We live from one moment to the next, while God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

    I do not follow his reasoning. Change is not the cessation of existence at all. This runs contrary to common sense and ordinary usage. Thus we get the problems of being and becoming, of the one and the many, which, like the unity and two natures of Christ, must be held together even if we cannot reconcile them ourselves.

    What reason do I have to think that it is?
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