måndag 9 november 2015

In defense of Jay Dyer's Objections from Back Then

1) Creation vs. Evolution : CMI and Reformers, *sigh* , 2) Great Bishop of Geneva! : 2 Timothy 3:16, 3) HGL's F.B. writings : With Matt Singleton on LXX/"Apocrypha" and on liquor in moderation, 4) Great Bishop of Geneva! : In defense of Jay Dyer's Objections from Back Then

Jay Dyer
Though I am a sinner, I believe God’s deifying grace had brought me to this truth. Such arguments, by God’s grace, have already led to the conversion of many of my learned friends from Protestantism.

Bible Smack
It is interesting that jay affirms that Protestantism though heretical, imparts grace. Why has God imparted more grace through heresy, if EOC is true? Because Protestantism has covered more of the world, after all.

My comment
Where exactly is he affirming Protestantism was imparting grace?

[Sorry, missed earlier part of quote than the part I quoted.]

St Eustace pleased God before God Made Flesh appeared to him and converted him. But surely it was not Paganism IN which Eustace was living FROM which he got the grace, rather he got the grace FROM God even while living IN a Paganism which of itself does not dispense it.

Similarily with those living in Protestantism, if God touches them.

The geographic argument is one which works out for Roman Catholicism, actually. Where exactly do you get a Protestant Missionary where there hasn't been a Catholic one before? Not very many places. Not very great peoples.

Unless you would say that Catholics failed to evangelise Kabyls and now Pentecostals are doing the job, even so, Kabyls descend from the people who in St Augustine's day were Catholics.

[Here I catch up on what was referred to:]

However, he spoke about Protestant baptisms being valid. A Protestant baptism when valid is NOT of Protestantism, just as a Protestant Bible in its correctly translated verses is also not OF Protestantism. The Lord's Prayer remains the Lord's Prayer, even if a Protestant is the one you learn it from.

These things, according to RC theology (as much as his version of EO, there are divisions on such matters, notably baptism among non-EO) are not Protestantism providing grace, they are grace working through an inimical and alien Protestantism, despite what is wrong in it.

Bible Smack
But also notice how "God's deifying Grace had brought me to this truth"? Jay assumes that he has a transcendent knowledge which gives Him a truth which others can not obtain.

1 Corinthians 8:1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

So the idea of "hidden knowledge" or gnostcism is an immoral agent when used extensively.

My comment
Grace is not a question of hidden knowledge, but of being touched by the knowledge available. Some aren't, not because knowledge be not available to them, but because they refuse to look.

John 6:66
And he said: Therefore did I say to you, that no man can come to me, unless it be given him by my Father.

Christ was not hidden. But Pharisees were not taken a good look, neither were the ex-disciples who were walking away from him. But all the facts they needed were there.

So is it also with this question.

In order to know the canon, we need the Tradition of the Church. We will return to it.

Note also, the ban on "hidden knowledge" (as in knowledge obtainably from only non-public traditions), it is an excellent response to the claims of the Baptist Continuity Scenario, or those claiming Foxe had access to a real oral tradition linking both Albigensians and Valdensians to early Church.

Jay Dyer
"1. The First and Major Error: the Protestant Canon of Scripture.

"My first argument is that if the Protestant has the wrong canon, then his claim of sola scriptura is completely groundless and falls flat. Let me preface this by saying we believe in soli verbum Dei, the Word of God alone, not Scripture alone. The Divine Logos is a living Person (Heb. 4:12, John 5:39), not a book, though the written Revelation of Himself in the canonical Scriptures is inerrant and infallible. It is not, as will be demonstrated below, the sole means of knowing Christ and obtaining infallibly true religious propositions."

Bible Smack
So Jay is really putting forth his basic thesis and theology of scripture. The Word of God alone but not scripture alone.

My comment
Correct analysis. And this is the position, not just of EO, not just of EO and RC, but also for Jacobite Monophysites, also for Armenian Monophysites, also for Nestorians, not failing to mention Old Catholics and High Church Anglicans. In other words, all bodies who have anything like a realistic claim to be the unbroken line of the Church of God, and even some where the claim seems very spurious (and is declared so by the RCC), like Anglicans and Old Catholics.

Bible Smack
Let us see two important passages

matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

2 timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for ins truction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

So I want to point your attention to What Christ says about the Word of God. Man shall live by every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God. So we need to get the complete revelation of God's Word. But Paul teaches that the scripture may make the man of God perfect.(Here perfect simply means complete.)

How can the scripture make us complete when the scripture does not contain the complete revelation of God's Word? It is obviously a contradiction to hold this line of thinking alongside scripture.

My comment
He is not saying "Scripture (and only that) makes us complete", he is saying "when it comes to make us complete, no part of Scripture is superfluous".

I am sorry, but it is not my fault that Pastor Matt Singleton lacks reading skills necessary to grasp the otherwise pretty obvious meaning of 2 Tim 3:16-17.

A little hint is that the words "That the man of God may be perfect" contain the English words "that" and "may", which in Latin correspond to "ut" and subjunctive (in the case of "may be" in stead of "is" or "becomes", it is "sit" and not "est" or "fit").

The original Greek text, though my Greek is a lot rustier than my Latin, since I studied both, has a similar nicety, no doubt.

But not only that. Scripture is here talked of as a completion, not as a foundation. That is, before a "man of God" is completed by Scripture, he may well have become so in the first place by some OTHER instruction, like oral or Q and A type Catechism. And that OTHER instruction is ALSO of the Church. And that PREVIOUS instruction would certainly shape how that man of God viewed Scripture. Among RC no less than among Protestants, Hebrews being invoked by BOTH sides in the controversy on Holy Mass.

The difference is that a Protestant going with a previous understanding that "Hebrews condemns the RC doctrine of Mass being a Sacrifice" (a question begging argument if you mean Hebrews 9, since the RC doctrine allows for singularity of Calvary Sacrifice by claiming Mass is SAME sacrifrice, not other), while the Catholic goes to it with a previous understanding "Hebrews tells us what the Sacrifice of the Mass is" (it is for instance not an utterly other sacrifice than that of Calvary, it is not an addition to it).

Both read Hebrews, both remain convinced of being right, and one of them has to be reading Hebrews wrong.

Even supposing that Protestants were right in supposing Bible alone (in this question text of Hebrews) could settle the question, Protestants are not actually getting "Bible alone" through being spared the traditional RC filter. They are getting, generally speaking, Bible seen through the non-permanent-tradition, five-hundred-years-ago-revolutionary filter of Protestantism.

And five hundred years ago revolutionary amounts to now traditional. And clearly not extant 600 years ago amounts to not continuously from Apostles, which amounts to man made. The Protestant filter is actually precisely a man made tradition.

Note that there is a difference between "clearly not extant 600 years ago" (because if so it would not have been revolutionary about 500 years ago, which everyone agrees it was) and "not clearly extant 600 years ago" or "not clearly extant everywhere 600 years ago". This is to distinguish my method from that used by Protestants who say "I can't find Sacrifice of Mass in Tertullian" (except you can) or "St Augustine's works against Pelagius or on Genesis according to the Letter, Twelve Books, are not quite specific that Mass is a Sacrifice, one could interpret it otherwise" (more probably I should have taken St Ambrose's De Mysteriis).

I believe those who DID get to Hebrews without either filter would by now (in an age no longer drenched in Renaissance rhetoric) probably even from Hebrews be able to lean to Catholicism, even more so if comparing to Malachi 1:11, and if looking up the clear cross reference to Melchisedec in Hebrews.

But going to Scripture before getting instruction from Church is a little like trying to get the top of the house before the foundation is laid. While it may keep out the rain, it is not quite steady without foundation. And when it comes to foundation of truth, Scripture is VERY specific. It is not "Scripture" but Church.

1 Timothy 3:15 Si autem tardavero, ut scias quomodo oporteat te in domo Dei conversari, quae est ecclesia Dei vivi, columna et firmamentum veritatis.

One letter earlier, one verse earlier in chapter three. The hint is so broad, if you miss it, you will miss a barn at three feet distance.

Oh, in English:

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Next verse is also referring to Oral Tradition:

And evidently great is the mystery of godliness, which was manifested in the flesh, was justified in the spirit, appeared unto angels, hath been preached unto the Gentiles, is believed in the world, is taken up in glory.

"hath been preached"

Not "written and read", but "preached". You cited one book later for an otherwise comparable verse. 1 Tim 3, verses 15-16 come before 2 Tim 3 verses 16-17. If you don't get the hint, I still do.

Jay Dyer
"A detailed response to the major Protestant myths concerning the DC, which is what is required, are ably dealt with in this article of mine. I cite only conservative, respected Protestant scholars of various flavors."

Bible Smack
The problem is the whole label "protestantism" is actual catholic. Ultimately it is a straw man. If he wants to debated evangelical theology then that is fine. But some have used the term protestant as a name to call any non-catholic and therefore set up a straw man.

My comment
Not at all.

The label "Protestantism" is NOT a straw man. It includes all who DO have one specific relation to Roman Catholic Church and Tradition : having their Bible ultimately or mainly FROM it, and claiming it got it wrong. That a reformation was needed.

Oh, Evangelicals and Calvinists may be very divergent about what exact reformation was needed. But they claim one was needed. They and Lutherans are divided on WHAT one should keep from Martin Luther, but they agree one should keep something from him.

And more specifically, from his rebellion against the Catholic Church.

Evangelicals are a brand of Baptists, more specifically a brand of usually free will Baptists. They differ from other free will baptists by not being clearly Modernist and tended to differ from Fundamentalists by being freer about historic senses of OT, now however they tend to coalesce with Fundamentalists (unless I got that part of Protestant history wrong). Free will Baptists and also Baptist Union (which if I get it right tends to free will, but is less opposed to Calvinism) go back to one of the two original sects of Baptists, namely an Arminian and a Calvinist faction thinking they should now reform also baptism according to the example of the Mennonites.

Arminians and Calvinists are Zwingli-Oecolampadius branch of Protestantism, diverging on how much they should take from Luther's De Servo Arbitrio. Mennonites are the Münzer branch of Protestantism, with a difference of being unlike Münzer pacifists (like Moravians differ from the Ziska line of Hussites, in being, unlike Ziska, pacifists).

So, the actual founders of two early forms of "Baptism" in 17th C go back through 16th C. Arminius or through 16th C. Calvin to early 16th C. Zwingli and Oecolampadius, and they go back through Menno to Münzer. And in 1517, Luther, Zwingli and Oecolampadius, Münzer AND the two Sozzini, ALL went back to having previous year been Catholic, which is where they got the Bible from. Similar things can be said about ANY Protestant sect. They can NOT exactly be said about EO or Nestorians.

EO claim "early Church was less Papal than RC, we are just continuing it". The biography of Photius gives them a lie, because in it they claim that Pope Zacharias rescinded the Constantinople IV which had condemned Photius and convoked another Constantinople IV which is the real one, i e they claim that as Pope he had a right to rescind what had been accepted (though not by the faction of Photius) as an Ecumenical Council. But no RC is saying that Photius was a Latin who got a Vulgate from Rome and then decided to make his own translation into Greek. We very clearly admit he had the Greek text of NT and not from the text transmission in Rome in centuries closely previous to his own. We admit his episcopal consecration was by a bishop who had enjoyed some independence of Rome greater than that of Latin bishops. We say he innovated, but we also say he was in a position at least to pretend that he was just following tradition, as it had come to him, while all agree, even Protestants, that Luther was not doing so.

for here at least, the discussion of specific passages.

Note that Jay's method is the same as when Protestants argue Christ and the Apostles accepted the Old Testament.

Whether his passages are probative or not, they are an answer to what Protestants usually do when arguing that Christ and Apostles accepted canonical but not deuterocanonical books.

Jay Dyer
"Thus, we see that the NT writers clearly had no Protestant dislike of the Deuterocanon (from now on DC). I fact, it is well known that many early Protestant vernaculars contained still contained the DC Books, or at least some of them, such as the early King James and the original Geneva Bible. Who, then, is right on the canon? Who has the full written Word of God? If a Protestant cannot give a cogent account as to what constitutes canonicity, who makes that decision, and the historical events that makeup canonicity, then he continue to claim sola scriptura as a viable principle. It might simply be asked, why follow Luther in rejecting them? Luther himself admitted he had theological reasons for rejecting them. But that begs the question—to reject the DC because it doesn’t fit with “the Word of God,” as many Protestants do, is merely presupposing you already have the correct canon. But that’s what is in question. If you do not even have the correct canon, it logically follows that you are also wrong about sola scriptura."

My comment
At least in its material application.

Bible Smack
They did not contain the apocyrpha in the traditional sense. The apocrypha was always separate because they were not translating from the LXX they were translating from the hebrew which did not contain the apocrypha. They did this for historical perspective. letting the books inform the reader of the history.

My comment
As I previously answered this one, the Apostles when speaking Greek where not "translating from" LXX, but QUOTING it as an already EXTANT translation from Hebrew to Greek.

There is a passage in Hebrews, which presupposes that LXX got a passage of Jeremiah right and implies that the present Masoretic text gets it wrong. The present text of the Masoretic version is in the Hebrew Original Language, but it is not in the Hebrew Original Wording. Or if it is, Hebrews is wrong and NT can be thrown out. Your choice. Or not, God has chosen, Hebrews and LXX are right, Masoretic is on this one wrong. But it is not me you should believe on that one, but the Church.

Bible Smack
Here we are coming to Jay's fundamental misunderstanding of inspiration.

it just comes across so ridiculous in my mind. "Who Decides what God says?"

God!! He determines His Word.

psalm 119:89 For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.

My comment
And in Heaven, Jesus as God made Man, His Blessed Mother, the angels, the souls of the saints, on a lower level, probably, Henoch and Elijah, certainly do not need to ask any Pope or Bishop what the canon is, it is IN HEAVEN set out forever, exactly as the verse says.

So, IN HEAVEN, God has decided it, once and for all. No doubt or ambiguity possible.

Next question, to repeat what Jay was obviously asking, but to paraphrase a bit.

Who decides ON EARTH what God has said in Heaven?

Bible Smack
Jay appears to be missing the fundaental question. "what is the word of God to begin with?" Is it a set of Holy Books? Or is it the Revelation of God?

The Church does not make something the Word of God. The Church simply has a responsibility to recognize what we know that God has revealed.

My comment
The Church is the "we" - the real we - which knows that God has revealed a certain book.

You admitted yourself, it is the CHURCH which has the responsibility to recognise what "we" - in fact THE CHURCH - know(s) that God has revealed.

There can be no other "we" than the Church to know this, if it is the Church that has this responsibility. Which brings us to the question of where is the true Church.

And the obvious answer is "at least not Protestantism". In any of its branches. It may have parts of Catholic truth and even one true Sacrament (in most forms of Protestantism) which remains valid : Baptism. Plus Marriage, when between baptised persons intending to remain faithful all their lives, and intending to be fruitful and multiply.

But each and every one of the more than 5000 larger or smaller branches of Protestantism (from Anglican Community down to a one congregation Independent Baptist community) shares the root of trying and failing to base its canon of the Bible on anything other than the Roman Catholic Church the original branches of Protestantism rebelled against.

When I say "failing", I am obviously not referring to "in their own eyes".

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre University Library
Feast: Rome, on the Lateran,
Dedication of Basilica of Christ Our Saviour
Mother and Head of all Churches in Rome
and on the Orb of Earth