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Impossible to avoid sinning, response & re-challenge to Sloan

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  • empiricism101
    ... argue for ... views on ... absurdities. ... Christian) ... Do you really want a piece of this action, Sloan? How about this: Robert Bowman, a scholar of
    Message 1 of 7 , Dec 2, 2005
      --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Jimmy Sloan"
      <jimmysloan@m...> wrote:
      > >What we have at this point is:
      > >Mormons have NO support for their views from
      > >non-Mormon scholars on the origin of South American
      > >civilization.
      > >and
      > >Inerrantists have NO support for their views from
      > >non-inerrantist scholars on Paul's Genesis
      > >interpretation set forth in Galatians 3:16.
      > >See a pattern?
      > Yes, I do see a pattern. It's your annoying habit of wanting to
      argue for
      > arguments sake, and then when your arguments are refuted (like your
      views on
      > free will and predestination at carm) you re-post the same
      > There is nothing like debating a fundy atheist (probably a former
      > hell-bent on destroying Christianity.
      > ~ J. Sloan

      Do you really want a piece of this action, Sloan?

      How about this:

      Robert Bowman, a scholar of God's Word, who has stood up for biblical
      truth in the past even when some of his Christian fellows fell short
      of it...has engaged me in this debate.

      Do you think Mr. Bowman lacks discernment, seeing that you think
      arguing with me is completely profitless and pointless?

      Or, is it YOU who lacks discernment? Obviously you don't think
      arguing with me about the bible is worth the effort, so you MUST
      think that Mr. Bowman isn't quite as discerning as you?

      And to answer your complaint more directly, I have seen all the
      responses at Carm on my points about predestination and
      foreknowledge, and I still carry the same conclusion that I have NOT
      been refuted.

      That being the case, I offer to debate those same arguments one at a
      time here on this list with you, to demonstrate that I have a lot
      more to offer than just flaming hit-and-runs.

      Care to engage?

      If god gave you a videotape on which he recorded his prediction that
      you would mow your lawn at exactly 3 pm YOUR time, what possibility
      is there for you to deviate from that INFALLIBLE foreknowledge?

      I didn't ask you whether your choice was "free".

      I asked whether it was POSSIBLE, yes or no, to deviate from a course
      of action which god's infallible foreknowledge predicts that you will

      You can either deviate from an infallible prediction about your
      future actions, or you cannot, so IS IT POSSIBLE TO DEVIATE FROM AN

      If yes, then how can you call that prediction INFALLIBLE? What's so
      infallible about a prediction that could easily turn out to be wrong?

      If no, then that is the same as saying it was not possible to avoid
      doing what you did, which, in any system of civilized justice, is a
      proper shelter from punishment. Any system of justice
      that "punishes" a person for doing something that they could not
      avoid doing, is surely barbaric and unChristian, amen? :)
    • Jimmy Sloan
      ... No, I don t. But it is not because of any argument that you may have to offer, it is because I have had discussions with you before. Have good day, I m
      Message 2 of 7 , Dec 2, 2005
        >Do you really want a piece of this action, Sloan?

        No, I don't. But it is not because of any argument that you may have to
        offer, it is because I have had discussions with you before. Have good day,
        I'm out.

        ~ J. Sloan

        Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et
        nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

        Express yourself instantly with MSN Messenger! Download today - it's FREE!
      • Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
        Dave, You wrote:
        Message 3 of 7 , Dec 2, 2005

          You wrote:

          << Agreed, and I am careful to avoid concluding that Apostle Paul
          must have been wrong because it is only inerrantists who defend his
          objectivity in Galatians 3:16...because it remains a possibility at
          this early stage that the inerrantist interpretation of Galatians
          3:16 is correct. >>

          I'm glad for this acknowledgment.

          I wrote:

          "On the other hand, in questions of the latter type, I would regard
          uniformity of opinion outside and against the view of one's
          ideological or religious community to be less than decisive in
          assigning the burden of proof. For example, I don't reason that
          atheists bear the burden of proof to show that the universe is self-
          explanatory as a materialist, physicalist system, merely because
          everyone else thinks such a position is false. Instead, I think both
          atheists and non-atheists who wish to argue for their position ought
          to be prepared to show some evidence or make an argument for it."

          You replied:

          << I see what you mean. >>

          I'm gratified.

          I wrote:

          "Likewise, let us assume that avowed non-inerrantist commentators on
          Galatians 3, if they comment on the question at all, uniformly
          regard Paul's statement as errant. Well, golly! Isn't that what we
          would expect of a commentator who was avowedly non-inerrantist?"

          You retorted:

          << Let us assume that avowed inerrantist commentators on Galatians
          3, if they comment on the quesiton at all, uniformly regard Paul's
          statement as correct. Well, golly! Isn't that what we would expect
          of a commentator who was avowdely inerrantist?

          Your axe swings both ways, mind if I use it? >>

          Exactly my point: if the axe swings both ways, it becomes useless to
          determine which viewpoint is the product of bias or presupposition.

          I wrote:

          "Even if you wanted to assign the burden of proof to the
          inerrantist, I have delivered to you an argument in defense of an
          inerrantist reading of the passage. Therefore, the alleged lack of
          support for my reading from non-inerrantists is irrelevant."

          You replied:

          << Yes and no. Yes, the issue of whether Paul was correct or not in
          Galatians 3:16 obviously cannot be decided by noting that it is only
          pro-Christian commentators who agree with Paul and the rest do not.

          But no, the lack of non-inerrantist support is NOT irrelevant in
          spite of the fact that you have already supplied what you believe
          are objective reasons for the inerrantist view on the subject. And
          that's because there is not one exception to the rule that non-
          inerrantist commentators disagree with Paul. >>

          All you're saying here is that the lack of non-inerrantist support
          is relevant because there is a lack of non-inerrantist support.
          You're begging the question.

          You wrote:

          << It is my view that the error of being too biased falls against
          the inerrantist, because it is THEY that have more to lose. If non-
          inerrantist commentators are wrong, and Paul was right, they have
          lost nothing, for there was no "Chicago Statement on Biblical
          Errancy" that they pledged allegience to, for them to be seen
          falling from when they discover they were wrong. The non-
          inerrantist has room to grow in case he discovers he was wrong,
          because there is no "non-inerrantist manifesto" that he is
          absolutely committed to, such as inerrantists are absolutely
          committed to inerrancy as if inerrancy were completely and totally
          obvious. >>

          This is your best point. Inerrantists do have quite a bit to lose by
          acknowledging that a particular statement in the Bible is an error.
          But this doesn't stop some inerrantists from acknowledging that a
          particular statement in the Bible is an *apparent* error, or a
          difficulty of some kind. In any case, you are now talking about
          something other than which view of Galatians 3 is *true.* That needs
          to be kept firmly in mind.

          Your statement, however, needs to be heavily qualified, if it can be
          accepted at all. Non-inerrantists who are professional Bible
          commentators *all* have something of an axe to grind against
          biblical inerrancy. Those who write commentaries on Galatians are
          going to be familiar with the fact that Paul's use of Genesis in
          Galatians 3 is controversial. We would expect those with an axe to
          grind against the inerrancy of Scripture to side with those who
          consider Paul's use exegetically flawed. They do have something to
          lose by acknowledging that Paul's use is exegetically defensible: a
          bullet in their anti-inerrancy arsenal.

          Furthermore, the fact of the matter is that inerrancy and anti-
          inerrancy are not positions existing 'in the wild.' Biblical
          inerrancy is a position held in the context of a theological
          perspective that understands the New Testament to express the true
          fulfillment of the Old Testament. We're talking here about
          Christian, biblical inerrancy, not the inerrancy of the Jewish Bible
          as in very orthodox Judaism. To acknowledge the accuracy of Paul's
          use of Genesis in Galatians 3 does far more than acknowledge that in
          this one verse Paul did not make a goof. Acknowledging the accuracy
          of Paul's use of Genesis in Galatians 3 entails acknowledging that
          Paul's perspective on the entire Old Testament is correct, namely,
          that the Old Testament points forward to Jesus Christ as the
          fulfillment of God's promises to Israel. It means acknowledging that
          the Old Testament really does prophesy the coming of a Redeemer of
          the world and that Jesus was that Redeemer. It therefore means
          acknowledging that Christianity reads the Old Testament correctly
          and both Judaism and Islam do not. Oh, how intolerant! We can't have
          that! Liberal, 'open-minded' scholars, even those in nominally
          Christian institutions, are horrified! No, Paul *must* be understood
          as a dogmatist whose handling of the Old Testament was biased by his
          controversies with Jews and Judaizers. His reading of the Old
          Testament must be patronizingly viewed as one biased view among
          many, an option for those who wish to espouse it but not the true
          meaning of the Old Testament. If these scholars are to say anything
          at all about Paul's handling of Genesis in Galatians 3, they *must*
          position it as something other than an accurate, hermeneutically
          sound interpretation of the Old Testament. Otherwise, they would be
          implicitly conceding that Christianity is the authentic fulfillment
          of the religion of Abraham himself (the figure at the heart of the
          Genesis texts in question). Again, they cannot concede THAT.

          I conclude, then, that most if not all non-inerrantist commentators
          on Galatians have about as much at stake in disputing the
          hermeneutical soundness of Paul's handling of Genesis as inerrantist
          commentators have in defending it.

          You argued that inerrantist scholars have institutional pressures on
          them to conform their reading of Galatians to the evangelical party
          line, while non-inerrantist scholars have no such institutional
          pressures. I can see how someone might innocently suppose this to be
          so, but as someone who has deep experience with both evangelical and
          liberal institutions I can assure you that you are missing the
          bigger picture. The biblical scholars who get hired at liberal and
          secular institutions get those jobs only if they distinguish
          themselves as anti-fundamentalist, anti-evangelical (unless they're
          suitably progressive, e.g., a quasi-evangelical with a liberal-
          pleasing track record on the ordination of gays or other hot-button
          issues), theologically and politically liberal scholars. At all
          costs they must eschew a conservative Christian biblical
          hermeneutic. Therefore, if Galatians 3 comes up at all, they must
          side with Paul's critics. They must! I'm not saying they find fault
          with Paul's handling of Genesis even though they know that he was
          right; no, they really think he's wrong. They wouldn't be who they
          are, or be teaching where they are, if they didn't.

          You wrote:

          << I think inerrantists, although giving lip-service to the truth
          that everybody is biased, do not as freely admit that their biases
          color their handling of the evidence as non-inerrantists. That's
          totally expected because for inerrantists, "inerrancy" is not
          merely "the nature of scripture as I see it", but rather......"the
          nature of scripture according to god." Most Inerrantists that I've
          dealt with absolutely have no ability to distinguish between their
          opinions and "god's word", indeed for them to acknowledge that
          inerrancy is "just an opinion on scripture" sounds to them like a
          negation of god's very words. >>

          Again, you are not now talking about which view is true. My
          experience with both evangelicals and non-evangelicals gives me a
          different picture. Liberal and avowedly non-Christian scholars in
          biblical studies talk very earnestly about the relativizing effects
          of bias and community on the Bible and on conservative, traditional
          Christianity, but seem totally blind to its effects on themselves.
          If you want to see this phenomenon in action, watch any of the Peter
          Jennings documentaries on the Bible. On those rare occasions when
          liberal scholars acknowledge their biases, they do not then admit
          that the evangelical might be right after all!

          I appreciate your efforts and look forward to your responses to my

          In Christ's service,
          Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
          Center for Biblical Apologetics
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