Saturday, March 07, 2015

Summit on Inerrancy: Not a Consistent, Therefore, Christian Worldview

As I write this, the NY Times publishes an article entitled, "Why Our Children Don't Think There Are Moral Facts."  This year in our school, I'm teaching biblical worldview, and for awhile, I have been both establishing and explaining the bifurcation of truth in the world.  I thought that the NY Times article titled it well with the terminology, "moral facts."  Children don't see certain morals as facts like they do gravity and blood circulation.  Evangelicalism and fundamentalism are already there too, and among other things, their statement on inerrancy explains.

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, reaffirmed by the summit on inerrancy in southern California, does not reflect a scriptural bibliology.  It synthesized a biblical position with what men believed they could defend with what they reasoned as evidence outside of scripture.  But men fiddle with what the Bible teaches because they don't see biblical truth as fact.  They don't take the Bible as true like they do gravity, which is to accept, buy into, or at least be influenced by a worldly two truth system that divides the sacred from the secular, and a reason why I point out music at the southern California summit on inerrancy.  Music can't be judged because it is not in that lower story of fact, but in the upper story, the subjective realm of values and religion and beauty and aesthetics.  It isn't scientific.  It isn't fact.

Since music isn't fact in this new two tiered view of truth, everyone's beauty is beautiful, everyone's goodness is good, and everyone's truth is true.  When you corrupt or diminish any one of beauty, goodness, and truth, you are also corrupting or diminishing the other, because you are relegating the objective to the subjective.  God now is Who you want Him to be.  This is why music is the gateway to the Charismatic movement, because beauty is already relegated to a subjective, personal realm, not on the same plane as fact.  Your God is now the one Who accepts what you want to offer Him, because you like it -- it's your taste.  Truly, He's your God too, different than the God of the Bible.  Our God is how we worship Him.  You can deny this all you want, but it is true.

Professing Christians adopted elements of classical philosophy, even though the Greek thinkers were pagan, who had drawn a dichotomy between matter and spirit, the material realm as though it were less valuable than the spiritual realm.  Moral ideals, beauty, and creativity are not subject to scientific investigation.  This is how we get to amoral music.  Nothing in the upper story is moral, so neither is marriage.  And all this relates to inerrancy.

Warfield, educated in the German universities that John MacArthur referenced as the resurrection of the dead Germans, bridged the gap between theology, the upper realm, and science, the lower realm with the term, "inerrancy."   By doing so, he could save Christianity from its 'sure demise' at the hands of scientific evidence.  I think it's worthwhile knowing that Warfield also believed in evolution and attempted to bridge that to the Bible.

On p. 433 of Richard A. Muller's Post Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 2, Holy Scripture: The Cognitive Foundation of Theology, he writes:

By "original and authentic" text, the Protestant orthodox do not mean the autographa which no one can possess but the apographa in the original tongue which are the source of all versions. . . .  It is important to note that the Reformed orthodox insistence on the identification of the Hebrew and Greek texts as alone authentic does not demand direct reference to autographa in those languages; the "original and authentic text" of Scripture means, beyond the autograph copies, the legitimate tradition of Hebrew and Greek apographa.

At the end of that page he writes:

The case for Scripture as an infallible rule of faith and practice . . . . rests on an examination of the apographa and does not seek the infinite regress of the lost autographa as a prop for textual infallibility. . . . A rather sharp contrast must be drawn, therefore, between the Protestant orthodox arguments concerning the autographa and the views of Archibald Alexander Hodge and Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield. . . . Those who claim an errant text, against the orthodox consensus to the contrary, must prove their case. To claim errors in the scribal copies, the apographa, is hardly a proof. The claim must be proven true of the autographa. The point made by Hodge and Warfield is a logical leap, a rhetorical flourish, a conundrum designed to confound the critics---who can only prove their case for genuine errancy by recourse to a text they do not (and surely cannot) have.

Warfield invented an extra-biblical and non-historical standard for the Bible that now stands as "inerrancy."

The apex of Warfield's designed inerrancy can be found in the fourth and fifth propositions of the short edition of the Chicago statement in 1978:
4. Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God's acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God's saving grace in individual lives.
5. The authority of Scripture is inescapably impaired if this total divine inerrancy is in any way limited or disregarded, or made relative to a view of truth contrary to the Bible's own; and such lapses bring serious loss to both the individual and the Church.

What's wrong with that?  There's nothing wrong with it in itself, but it is akin to what Kevin DeYoung talked about in the first Q and A, led by Albert Mohler.  The former statements, which represented biblical teaching, were replaced by more ambiguous and arbitrary statements of the Chicago statement that would conform to the spirit of the age.  The Chicago statement would aid in preserving the coalition, not so high that they would lose their academic institutions. This is now considered a conservative position, but it is one where two tiers of truth still remain, the scientific lower story and the subjective upper.

The new position, called inerrancy, is a change in belief on the historic, Christian, biblical position.  I can be happy about something that is true, but is less than the whole truth.  It is still true, and I celebrate that.  In that sense, I am a supporter of the summit on inerrancy.  I say that, because men act like your opposition denies the truths they do tell.  They tell truths, but they are carefully crafted ones to dodge what the Bible actually teaches and what Christians have believed before the enlightenment.

You can't ultimately defend a doctrine that isn't the whole truth.  If there is something left short, because the purveyors are ashamed or unbelieving, it is still lacking in sustaining faith. When we're talking about the Bible, we've got to get what we believe about it from the Bible.

In the same Q and A to which I referred, John MacArthur talked about Fuller Theological Seminary leaving what we understand is the Warfieldian position.  He said that Peter Wagner brought students from his church growth class over to see what a growing church looked like, but then he stopped, and when he did, he told MacArthur.  MacArthur said that Fuller did not depart from inerrancy based upon an intellectual basis, but based upon a pragmatic one.  There is a strong similarity between Fuller and the folks at this summit on inerrancy.  What am I talking about?

They departed from scriptural, objective beauty, not based on intellect, but based on pragmatism.  They welcome a breathy, intimate, sultry song being sung as worship, not on an academic level, but on the level of worldly lust.  This, by the way, is how doctrine changes the most anyway, as Peter reported in 2 Peter 2-3.  Men deny the Word of God, because it clashes with their own lust.  Doctrinal statements are not left, primarily because of a wrong doctrinal position, but because of a wrong affection toward God (read Jonathan Edwards's Treatise).

I don't know where to put this, so I'm going to include it here, rather than as an aside.  Some reading this would marginalize it as the 'rant' of a KJVO.  Actually, KJVO, as they would understand it, I'm convinced is a product of their own confiscation of a scriptural bibliology.  Left without a perfect, authentic original-language apographa, based upon fact, that is, biblical truth, men filled the vacuum with a mythical perfect English that is as much a denial of objective, biblical fact as Warfield's invention of inerrancy.  Warfield was warding off what he saw as future apostasy due to the existence of textual variants.  The KJVO, which does not include me, embrace a perfect English translation that is as much a pendulum swing to avert mass departures.

John MacArthur, either with a lack of discernment or out of pragmatism himself, gave credit to the Jesus movement, aka the movement of Lonnie Frisbee, to be a genuine revival.  That movement gave him a lot of people, so perhaps it was difficult to call it a fraud.  He nibbles all around it to call everything, but that, a strange fire.  And that movement is the birth of Christian rock as well. MacArthur was at the front door of accepting this ugliness that defiled the affections of those professing to be God's people.  And he continues with the Gettys.  There will be no woman out front, singing in a sensual voice, in the kingdom of Jesus Christ.  This is not God's will on earth as it is in heaven. This is man's will, false worship, producing a lack of understanding about Who God is, Who the Holy Spirit is, and how He works.  It is acceptable to the world and confusing to them about the nature of Jesus Christ.

Evangelicals and now fundamentalists will say this "music issue" isn't a gospel issue.  It is.  If you don't have a biblical Jesus, you don't have Jesus.  If you don't repent, you don't believe in Jesus.  It mistakes the nature of grace to a cheap grace, even using MacArthur's own words.  Cursed are those who don't love Jesus.  And this is not love.  This is flesh.  I believe MacArthur himself knows this. And then if Jesus is Lord, He's Lord of the music too.  If He is Lord of everything but the music, because the music is an idol, that's a gospel issue.

You either have a consistent Christian worldview or you don't.  God is one, so only the one beauty, goodness, and truth can be defended.  Holes exist any other way, holes that are patched with fiction, with imagination, with myth, which, by the way, exalt themselves against the knowledge of God. When you start picking and choosing what you will believe and what you will not believe, you have moved truth into that upper, spiritual, subjective realm.  You can now make up your own view of beauty.  You can make up your own view of the nature of God's Word.  There is no wonder that men are making up their own view of marriage too.  And you will not have any real, objective basis to stop it.

Let God be true and every man a liar.  That's kind of what the Warfieldians say they believe.  I'm saying they don't -- not with this point of view.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let's say you are correct. You are not even close but let's say for argument's sake that you are. I have a very simple question for you. How does Kent Brandenburg know what objective beauty looks like in music? And when Kent Brandenburg's opinion differs from others, maybe even someone who actually knows something about music, why should we accept your opinion?

Kent Brandenburg said...

Anonymous,

You are essentially good with burning down the whole building and scorching everything around it to keep your music. It doesn't matter that it can't be true. You are willing to embrace the big lie if I can't paint every detail for you. You have a lot to deal with first.

You have moved things that you want to have into the realm of opinion. Read it yourself. The opinion is that beauty is subjective. It isn't, but it must be for you to have what you want.

I'm not asking anyone to accept my opinion, but to believe the truth. You can judge things. If you can't, then we're either determined, mechanistic, scientific materialism or we are whatever we want, whatever we feel, everyone's truth is true. You're one of those that want it both ways, even though both are false. And then you claim repeatedly that I'm ignorant. I have to say that it is funny.

George Calvas said...

I must continue to "harp" on your simplistic view of KJVO. Your comments on this alone take the view that all KJVOs believe that "it ALONE came down directly from heaven". In a sense it is true of all text types that are recognized by the body of Christ as "the scriptures". Jesus Christ opened a bible and read "from the scriptures". Therefore, the Hebrew or Aramaic text he was reading IS SCRIPTURE. It is the exact argument for the Holy King James Bible. It has been recognized by the body of Christ for 400 years as inspired and therefore "the scriptures".

The historical evidence is there, but it is argued from the basis of some AUTOGRAPHS that have NO IMPORTANCE to God nor the scriptures, since the bible never speaks about the scriptures in those terms. That is added by every Greek scholar that I have ever read, but no one deals with the body of Christ, the image of God (1 John 4:2) as those who by the Spirit "recognize" and accept as absolute truth.

Therefore, whether your arguments or Warfields, you both argue from the past to try to prove the present, while the presence has established the only bible anyone hold to be absolute truth in English, ie, the King James Bible.

The way I prove that is to teach it with great confidence in its words and truths and by faith when one speaks against the words of God to correct them. I have never failed to prove anyone wrong concerning "the scriptures" when they have said "errors" exist within. As you know, as a true bible believer, I hold to the fact that the Holy King James Bible is without proven error, it is perfect in words, infallible, and it is the very words of God. It as like it came from heaven as all inspired scripture comes (2 Peter 1:19-21), for men spake by the Holy Ghost and now we have a MORE sure word of prophecy, for it is written and kept by the sons of God. All that is written and known as "the scriptures' are kept throughout the ages by the Lord God and it is given to the church, the body of Christ (not scholars!) to determine what is and what is not "the scriptures" by the "common faith" of those who will live, preach, teach and admonish the body to continue in them, for the true scriptures read you while you read them.

Kent Brandenburg said...

George,

It's impossible to glean from the Bible the position you espoused in your comment. It isn't a historic position either. All Scripture came to us before the English language existed. God preserved what He inspired. At the same time, as I above explained, I understand how you could get there through a pendulum swing from the Warfieldian type view. Both of you don't believe we still have the Bible in the languages in which it was written, so you have invented positions you can both live with. They are both faithless.

This will be the extent of our give and take on this in the comment section.

Gary said...

Almost all Christian doctrines are based on the New Testament of the Bible. But, how do Christians know that these 27 books are the inerrant, inspired words of God, as Christians tell us?

Answer: A bunch of fallible, scientifically illiterate Churchmen in the second, third, and fourth centuries said so! That's it!

When and where did God say that a bunch of old Churchmen have the authority to determine what is and what is not his Word? When and where did God say that Saul/Paul of Tarsus was speaking on his behalf? Or the writers of the Gospels? Or James? Or Peter? Or any other writer of the New Testament? Even if the apostles themselves had voted unanimously for the 27 books of the current New Testament to be designated as the "Word of God", that still would not prove that God had authorized them to do so. We have no evidence that the Eleven achieved a state of perfection and omniscience on Pentecost. They, like every other human being, were fallible. So where is the evidence that God left a list of what should and what should not be considered his Word in a new testament?

Answer: No where!

We have no evidence from the Bible or anywhere else that God gave Christians a list of what is and what is not his Word! Christians have created an "inerrant, inspired, you-are-damned-to-Hell-if-you-don't-believe-it" Holy Book based solely on the opinions of men living almost 2,000 years ago.

Bombshell: Christians have zero evidence that proves the New Testament of the Bible to be the Word of God; the inerrant message of the Creator of the Universe to mankind. Zero!

Kent Brandenburg said...

Gary,

You charge "zero evidence" as a basis for Christianity, but how does anyone decide what is evidence, that is, what is the authority for evidence? What is the evidence for evidence? How can we know anything that we know unless there are laws that are universal, unchanging, and invariant, that are a basis by which anything and everything can be judged? They are true. That would mean that truth is objective. If there is a standard for judgment, where did it come from?

Gary, if you are going to say that a standard exists by which we can judge whether something is true, how could that be if it did not apply repeatedly in a contingent realm of experience, that is, not in a world that is random, not subject to personal order, where nothing can be judged truly? Why are these laws of evidence true by which you indict Christianity? Why do you believe them? You assume the validity of evidence. That is, you believe evidence with no evidence.

So do I. We can't have a discussion without assumptions. You assume Christianity is not true. I assume that it is, because it is the only explanation that fulfills the laws of logic. It is the only explanation that fulfills rational thought. The alternative is that we are an accident, which I reject. You can stick with that, if you want, and when I say, if you want, that is with the assumption that you can want anything, that is, that you are not an accident. You, however, cannot make that assumption, because as an accident, you can't assume anything. To assume, there must be self-evident laws that are universal, unchanging, and unvariant. Or we can't argue and there would be no point. Since you want to argue, you agree with that point. And that point fits only with a biblical worldview. If you don't believe my worldview, stop borrowing it to argue with me.

Farmer Brown said...

Gary, it is incorrect that almost all christian doctrines are based on the NT. Almost all are from the OT. Here is a (very) abbreviated list:
1. Resurrection from the dead: Exodus 3:6
2. Atonement by blood: Exodus 12:13
3. Salvation by faith alone: Genesis 15:6
4. Headship of man: Genesis 2:23
5. One man one woman marriage: Genesis 2:24
6. The death of Messiah: Genesis 3:15, Psalm 22, Isaiah 53
7. Only one path to God: Genesis 4:10-11
8. Rapture before judgment:Genesis: 6:17-18
9. Messiah fulfilling Passover: Exodus 12:5-6, 10, 46
10. Salvation for any who believe: Exodus 12:49
11. Eternal security: Deuteronomy 6:23, 17:13
12. No sacrifice for those who willfully reject: Exodus 32:33
13. Preservation of the words of God: Deuteronomy 8:3, 30:11-13
14. A land prepared for us: Exodus 3:17, 23:29-30

These are some of the broad strokes. I don't know if you have more faith in the OT than the NT, but everything in the NT has a predecessor in the OT. Even without getting out of Moses, you could have almost every NT doctrine established.

The OT is just the Testimony of Jesus the Messiah prior to his advent. The is the reason Jesus said, "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me." (John 5:46)

In addition, the resurrection of Jesus has no less than 6 eyewitness accounts that survive to this day. It is the most well recorded even in antiquity. God saw to it that would happen so you would have all the evidence you need that Jesus is Messiah.

What other accounts from antiquity have six written eyewitness accounts that survive to this day? The death of Caesar? The battle of Thermopylae? The siege of Masada? Destruction of the temple? None have even a fraction of the evidence of the resurrection.

Because of what you wrote I assume you believe in God but reject Jesus as God. He gave you all the evidence you need to know he is God.

KJB1611 said...

Dear brethren,

In case you didn't realize it, this is the Gary from the comments here:

http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-bible-teaches-permanent.html

He ignored the questions and evidence given him there and here is (again, as he has done on this blog over and over) just cut and pasted in our comment section a post he wrote on his blog some time ago. Just to let you know--it is probably a waste of time answering him unless you think his answers on the other post showed that he really wanted truth.

KJB1611 said...

Unless he goes back and deals with the evidence that was given him on the other post, investigates the books and links, and admits that he was wrong when he didn't even get the way he was supposed to argue for anti-Christianity correctly, I for one am not going to take the time again to respond to yet another one of his blog posts cut-and-pasted into this blog.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thomas,

I deleted about 10 of his comments last time and gave him a window to the future if he commented on the post itself, which he did, but it is a very narrow window.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Gary,

You've taken the same tack with your last two comments (unpublished) that you did before, and you didn't deal with the evidence you were given, so I will keep deleting your comments until you deal with the ones from the past. You will likely say elsewhere that no one has answered you, but I can for sure say that you have been answered, but you like your own way better than the truth.

If we cannot judge this to be true, we cannot judge anything to be true, because we cannot judge, but if we can judge and we do judge, we will judge this to be true. You are not judging but assuming it not to be true, what Paul calls suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. What is ironic is that you can only assume anything, because this is true. But you assume it not to be true because you can assume something because it is true.

Farmer Brown said...

One thing you have to appreciate about Gary is his ideological and rational consistency. His is the rational critical text position.

I went back and read some of what he said in the post Thomas linked. Gary said that he thinks Paul is either a liar or a madman. That is the only consistent position, if you do not believe it literally.

Many will try to spiritualize or allegorize Daniel, Moses Isaiah, and others. They will say Moses did not write the books of Moses, there were three Isaiahs, Daniel was written later, etc. They will then say there is a deeper spiritual meaning or the accounts are allegories, but the author of these accounts claim they are eyewitness accounts and real.

The problem with claiming the accounts contained in the Bible are not real but that they still have value is you are conceding the author to be a liar perpetrating a multi-millennia fraud or a complete madman. How could spiritual truth come from such a source?

The CT position has to arrive at this point. It the words cannot be trusted implicitly and completely, then they cannot be trusted at all. All of the outright religious reprobates started where Maranatha and Bob Jones are now. They will be there, probably sooner rather than later.

Gary just got there before Mark Minnick and Larry Oats. At least Gary is consistent.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Farmer Brown,

I won't go any further than this, but do I know you? I know you're farmer brown, but have I met you in real life.

Anonymous said...


John Mark IB
Dear Pastor Brandenburg,

Hope you're well, here's something I thought you might not have seen but it's actually pretty scary if true,

http://www.watch.pair.com/macarthur-1-mark-of-beast.html

basically he's saying that those who receive the mark can still be saved??
and as one who long ago used to sort of think and follow John McArthur it's just really sad, I now know better and am grateful to you and Dr. Strouse, and Dr. Ross for your stand and teachings which really help what do you think about this from MaCarthur? even I know better and can only read the English versions not the original languages like yourself and Dr's Ross and Strouse can, but how can he be in such tragic error of the clear reading?? thanks for your allowing my posts and may you and yours have a blessed day and weekend with love joy and peace always in Jesus name amen! :) John Mark IB

Anonymous said...

John Mark IB,

Dear Pastor Brandenburg,

also one more thing thanks so much for your stand and always wanting to be GOD first I'm so sick and tired of these people who come onto your site and even attempt to start some kind of foolish theological argument with you and though I do love the fact that you always choose to stand GOD first!! thanks for that and wanting to be Biblical, etc., love the way you pick them apart theological piece by piece etc., haha :) have a blessed weekend!! sorry to detract form the main points and thanks for allowing me my 2 cents on your great site!! GOD bless!! John Mark IB