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Messages - Dan Fienen

#1
Yet we are often regaled with anecdotes of one LCMS pastor or one LCMS congregation that shows how bad the LCMS is.
#2
Your Turn / Re: Highlighting the Walkout
February 22, 2024, 02:37:46 PM
Quote from: Charles Austin on February 22, 2024, 01:56:27 PMSo you reserve your contempt for those you declare non-Lutheran?
Charles. RDPreus has not declared contempt for anyone. It is you who have decided that he is contemptuous. In the past, I have called some of your interactions with me and others as showing contempt. You have disputed that characterization. Are we to take it that you have abrogated to yourself the position of sole arbiter of what is and what is not contempt on this forum?
#3
Your Turn / Re: Highlighting the Walkout
February 22, 2024, 01:01:08 PM
Quote from: John Mundinger on February 22, 2024, 06:36:20 AM
Quote from: RDPreus on February 21, 2024, 06:18:16 PMI don't mean to be rude when I say that I do not regard the ELCA as a Lutheran church body. Most LCMS pastors I know agree.

I'm not surprised to hear you say that.  Regardless, the evangelicals with whom the LCMS collaborated in the crafting of their understanding of inerrancy weren't Lutheran.  If LCMS can collaborate with them they should likewise be able to collaborate with ELCA in matters that do not involve pulpit-altar fellowship.
Over the course of my ministry I have collaborated with pastors from many different churches, including the ELCA. I've usually participated in the local ministerial association, served as a part of their volunteer police chaplain corps along with Methodists, ELCA, and I'm not really sure what. 

In my current parish I do not, so far as I know, collaborate with any ELCA, not even in our monthly food distribution program where I collaborate with RCC, Methodist, extensively with the pastor and people from a local Covenant Church. The reason that I no longer collaborate with ELCA is that none have volunteered and there is not an ELCA church in my county. Otherwise I would have no problem.

I do not and have not practiced alter and pulpit fellowship with other denominations.
#4
Your Turn / Re: Highlighting the Walkout
February 22, 2024, 11:17:32 AM
Does every discussion on this forum have to devolve into discussions of the unsavory personal faith of the persons in the discussion? We have heard complaints that ECLA women pastors in this discussion have been disrespected and subjected to unkind labelling and name calling. (Something that I have observed and agree had and has no place on a discussion forum like we try to be.) We have been harangued that ELCA participants have left this forum because they have been called heretics and disrespected.

Now a participant from the conservative side has had his faith and the faith of anyone who would agree with him questioned and characterized as weak, untrusting, and fearful. Does that poster welcome anyone to participate here who doesn't agree with him?

Can we treat each other with respect, even when we vigorously disagree? Maybe not.
#5
Your Turn / Re: Christian Nationalism and the ELCA
February 22, 2024, 10:59:58 AM
Quote from: John Mundinger on February 22, 2024, 09:58:50 AMhttps://www.amazon.com/Kingdom-Power-Glory-Evangelicals-Extremism/dp/006322688X

Tim Alberta is not ELCA
From the reviews of this book, it would seem that Tim Alberta is not exactly impartial either.

Personally, I find the rabid support of Donald Trump among some Americal Evangelicals (a grouping into which neither the ELCA nor the LCMS really fits) as inexplicable as the rallying of support of feminists around Pres. Clinton and against Monica Lewinsky during his scandal.

The phenomenon of Donald Trump's popularity and the devotion, at times almost rabid, of his followers deserves serious study. He has tapped into a deep vein of discontent in America and exploits it with great demagogic skill. The dismissive disregard of that discontent on the part of Democrats and those who claim to be the intellectual and cultural elites is short sighted and potentially dangerous. In dismissing the discontent and concerns of those attracted to Trump as unworthy of consideration and as signs of intellectual and moral deficiencies, gives the impression of dismissing these people as of lesser importance as people and unworthy of concern or care. In a word, as second class citizens and not quite as fully human. More than just intellectual or cultural snobbery, it marginalizes swaths of America as being less than persons worthy of respect or rights. We have seen and tasted the bitter brew of what happens when people are marginalized on the basis of race or ethnicity. Do we really want to do so again on the basis of ideology or race?

The discontent and concerns of those who have become devoted to Trump may well be exaggerated, and for some (not all, but some) based more on their perceived loss of cultural dominance than real injustice. But to them it is real, and it needs to address realistically, not simply dismissed as frustrated white privilege. Reports of the demonization of Whites as White in current anti-racism efforts, Critical Race Theory, DEI efforts, and the like may be exaggerated, but those claims deserve examination and if exaggerated the reality calmly disclosed. I would be very surprised if all those claims are baseless. Where there has been a kind of counter-racism, it needs to be admitted and corrected, not simply dismissed. Is it really necessary in order to fully recognize the intellectual, social, and cultural achievements of Black and other ethnicities, is it necessary to denigrate the contributions of whites as just old dead Europeans?

For example, Google has delayed roll out of it's new A.I. platform Gemini because apparently it has a problem displaying images of white people. CNBC reports,
QuoteUsers on social media had been complaining that the AI tool generates images of historical figures — like the U.S. Founding Fathers — as people of color, calling this inaccurate.

Google said in a post on X on Wednesday that the AI feature can "generate a wide range of people. And that's generally a good thing because people around the world use it." But it said that the software feature is "missing the mark here," adding that the tech giant is "working to improve these kind of depictions immediately."


The people who are attracted to Trump need to be listened to and their concerns addressed  rather than just dismissed and the people marginalized as unworthy of concern. Whether you like them or not, whether or not you consider them your inferiors as Americans or people (which is the impression, warranted or not, that is being given) they are fellow Americans, not some underclass who should think and do as they are told by their betters.
#6
Your Turn / Re: Christian Nationalism and the ELCA
February 22, 2024, 10:01:01 AM
Over the last half century, there has arisen several groups and movements that could reasonably be called Christian nationalism. These included Dominionism, Christian Reconstructionism, Catholic Integralism, and Pentecostal Kingdom Now Theology. None of these groups were ever more than fringe movements, rarely if ever were they violent, and generally they did not hold the US Constitution in high regard, rather calling for a complete restructuring of American government along their vision of what a Christian government and laws would be. Generally they do not fit the ELCA definition of Christian Nationalists with their call to overturn at least portions of the US Constitution to institute their version of Christian rule. These groups have if anything diminished in numbers and influence as we entered the 21st century.

There have been other extremist groups, White Nationalists, and various extremist militias who sometimes include claims to Christianity in their ideologies. Their ideologies generally are based more on racial claims or extreme interpretations of the US Constitution and often are or threaten violence. Calling them Christian Nationalists would be a stretch as their defining characteristics and ideologies are not Christian so much as racial or political.

Claims of the dangers of Christian Nationalism are generally exaggerated. Even the White Nationalism and various Militia movements while they do pose a real threat of violence and their illegal operations need to be investigated and stopped, do not pose a real threat to our American government.

What I do consider a moderate threat are attempts by some on the Left to brand anyone to the right of their positions as terroristic threats. So, we have attempts to label parents who speak up at School Board meetings domestic terrorists and have the FBI investigate them. Conservative Christians who voice opinions about American laws and governance that are not in line with the ideas of Progressive Americans are labeled Christian Nationalists and denounced as a threat to America as though they were espousing the most extremist positions.

I also object to attempts by some on the Right to label anyone to their left and dangerous Communists. Ideological purity cults thrive on both the Right and the Left. Compare the tactics and rhetoric of the old Republican Tea Party to that of the Democratic Squad.
#7
Your Turn / Re: Highlighting the Walkout
February 21, 2024, 06:25:37 PM
Quote from: John Mundinger on February 21, 2024, 05:33:50 PM
Quote from: RDPreus on February 21, 2024, 09:46:35 AM"Not as you define inerrancy," you write.  But you know perfectly well that my definition of inerrancy is what the word actually means, and when the term is used to describe a view of the Scriptures that says there are errors and contradictions in the Bible it is being used dishonestly.  Luther wrote, "The Scriptures have never erred." 

Actually, I don't because the term has been used arbitrarily in application to various parts of Scripture.  For example, I think Genesis 1 - 2 is better understood and a more profound statement of creation if it is read as metaphor rather than as literal, scientific fact.  I suspect that most theologians who are not intimidated by historical criticism would agree.  Yet, I suspect that you would reject those chapters as metaphor on the basis of inerrancy.  Yet, I suspect that you read Psalm 23 as metaphor.

I agree with Luther that Scripture never erred.  But, I think Luther would agree with me that the same cannot be said of practitioners of hermeneutics.

Quote from: RDPreus on February 21, 2024, 09:46:35 AMWe Lutherans did not look to Harold Lindsell to teach us about the authority of Scripture.  Our own theological tradition was rich in providing proof for this doctrine.  It is true that many LCMS Lutherans worked with inerrantists from other denominations to produce a common statement on inerrancy at a meeting in Chicago in the Fall of 1978.  It was the kind of ecumenical endeavor in which we could participate without violating the biblical prohibition of unionism. 

Yet, I was introduced to Harold Lindsell in a Sunday morning Bible class in an LCMS congregation.


Quote from: RDPreus on February 21, 2024, 09:46:35 AMWe Lutherans did not look to Harold Lindsell to teach us about the authority of Scripture.  Our own theological tradition was rich in providing proof for this doctrine. 

Quote from: RDPreus on February 21, 2024, 09:46:35 AMIt is true that many LCMS Lutherans worked with inerrantists from other denominations to produce a common statement on inerrancy at a meeting in Chicago in the Fall of 1978.  It was the kind of ecumenical endeavor in which we could participate without violating the biblical prohibition of unionism. 

It's unfortunate that so many LCMS Lutherans spurn comparable ecumenical opportunities with other Lutherans.
John, so, you were introduced to Linsell in an LCMS Sunday morning Bible class. From your particular experience you know definitely that the whole of the LCMS derived our understanding of Scripture from him. Really? You can make such a definitive generalized judgment of us on the basis of one experience in one congregation.
#8
Your Turn / Re: Highlighting the Walkout
February 21, 2024, 03:06:10 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on February 21, 2024, 02:35:03 PM
Quote from: Dan Fienen on February 21, 2024, 12:06:53 PMThey are two different things. But why is it incorrect usage to assert inerrancy to the texts that once existed but no longer do?

I have never indicated that they never existed. They may well be inerrant, but I find that meaningless since we don't have any of them.
I find it meaningful and have tried to explain why. This will remain another of the many, many things we disagree about.
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QuoteYou are the one who accused me of talking about unicorns when I wrote of the autographs of the Biblical books.

I didn't accuse you of anything. I used unicorns as examples. One: of something people talk about existing without any proof. Two: since they are mentioned in the KJV, is that proof they existed or an indication of an error in the Bible?
Error in the Bible, no. Error in the KJV translation, yes. Especially when it comes to the names of flora and fauna, we just cannot in some cases be sure what the ancient Hebrew referred to.
QuoteI study the synoptics as if the four source theory was a fact. That means I consider Mark to have been written first and used as a source by Matthew and Luke. I explore the ways Matthew and Luke have modified Mark to fit their purposes and/or their audience. I also look at what the later writers omitted from Mark. This does not change the belief that they are all the inspired Word of God for us - that God may be behind the changes they made from their sources.
As a working assumption, I suppose it is not bad. I certainly would not count it as more inerrant than the Bible. I am inclined to think that the reality may have been even more complex than that. I also do not discount, as many do, that some of the Gospel authors (especially Matthew and John, maybe at least in part Mark) were also eyewitnesses and are operating also from their own memory, supplemented by other sources.
QuoteYes, I had read and shared the theory that Ebionites were the poor ones Paul was seeking to support in Jerusalem. It's a remote possibility.
But especially as a remote possibility, I would not use that speculation as a reason to suppose that Paul was not interested in people having correct doctrine and so neither should that be a concern of ours.

#9
Your Turn / Re: An Introduction, "What If..."
February 21, 2024, 12:11:10 PM
Welcome, may God bless your efforts among us. The task of moderator is largely thankless as most sincerely want others to be moderated.

I don't know when Matthew Guite wrote that poem, but it does describe our words in the internet age. Nothing is forever in this world, but the internet seems poised to be that.
#10
Your Turn / Re: Highlighting the Walkout
February 21, 2024, 12:06:53 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on February 21, 2024, 11:13:44 AM
Quote from: Dan Fienen on February 21, 2024, 10:32:45 AMActually, I do use the standard dictionary definition of inerrant, I simply apply it to texts that you apparently want to deny existed and do no longer exist in their originals, but about which we have abundant evidence and tools to make a good approximation of their original forms.

The existence of texts and saying that they are incapable of being wrong are two different things.
They are two different things. But why is it incorrect usage to assert inerrancy to the texts that once existed but no longer do?
Quote
QuoteDo you deny that the original autographs of the books of the Bible ever existed? Where did all the ancient manuscripts that have come from? Do you deny, for example, that a writer, we will call him Luke for convenience, actually researched and assembled the material and wrote (or dictated) the text that we call today the Gospel of Luke? Or researched and wrote a history of the earliest days of the church into the history that we call Acts? You have written on occasion about how meaningful it is to compare the four Gospels and perceive the differing emphases and strategies of presentation of the various authors. If there was no original work that we now call Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, how can we talk about the intent of the author in selecting and arranging the materials that he did?

Of course autographs existed - but perhaps not in quite the same way we have. There are arguments, for example, that 2 Corinthians is the combination of three letters that were originally separate. It seems likely to me (and many other scholars,) that the original Mark did not include 16:9-20. I approach the ending of Mark assuming that he intended the non-ending ending at 16:8.
Textual criticism takes that manuscripts that we have, compares and contrasts them and seeks to reconstruct the original from which the manuscripts that we have were copied (or are copies of copies of . . . back to the originals.

Speculations about 2 Corinthians having been originally cobbled together from three other letters is speculation, but in the absence of any manuscript evidence of those original source letters, of which we have none, it is not a matter of textual criticism but other speculation. We can debate the plausibility of that reconstruction of source, literary, and redaction criticism, as well as its importance and utility, but that is another discussion. There is another form of HC criticism, canon criticism that speaks to this.

As to the ending of Mark, that is a textual critical issue since we have manuscripts that lack all or part of chapter 16:9-20 or have various endings after verse 8. There we can discuss the text since we have evidence beyond speculation.
Quote
QuoteActually, rather than trying to talk about unicorns, about which none exist now and whose remains we have not found, our discussion is more like talking about dinosaurs. No dinosaurs exist today that we know of. But we have many, many fossils that allow us with a great deal of confidence reconstruct what they were like when they did exist and we can figure out with some confidence what they were like. Since we have no dinosaurs today, do you deny their existence?

I do not deny their existence, but an LCMS minister in a town I served did. He believed that the fossils that we have were created by God to confuse unbelievers.
Irrelevant to our discussion.
Quote
QuoteIf you want to talk in terms of unicorns, a closer analogy to my mind would be talking about the letter documents: Q, J, E, D, P, and the like. They are theorized to have existed, but there is no hard, documentary evidence that they ever existed as separate independently circulating documents. All we have are theoretical dissections of existing documents that, along with speculative assumptions, are used to dismember those existing documents into their hypothetical but nonevidential sources. Go on ahead and prattle on about unicorns, I'll look at the evidence that we have for dinosaurs.

It's a bit like finding dinosaur bones and then theorizing how they might go together based on what knowledge we have about animal skeletons. The evidence for different sources is found in our documents. For example, the use of YHWH vs. God. Two separate stories of the flood can be gleaned from what's in the text, e.g., one with two of each animal and the other with seven pairs of the clean animals. Such theories are based on the evidence that we have in the scriptures.

The four source theory for the synoptics comes from studying the synoptics. The attach chart indicates a way of viewing what is in these three books and their relationship to each other. Theorizing four source makes the most sense to me among the different theories about how these gospels are related to each other. The finding of the Gospel of Thomas strengthened the argument about the existence of Q that contained sayings of Jesus that was used by Matthew and Luke, but unknown to Mark.

You are the one who accused me of talking about unicorns when I wrote of the autographs of the Biblical books.

It is apparent that the authors of the Biblical books used sources in their writing. Luke specifically mentions the research he conducted and never claims to have actually seen Jesus or witnessed anything about which he wrote. The OT historical books mention royal archives in their historical accounts. Moses would have had to drawn upon some source to recount history from before his birth. Teasing out those sources can be much fun, like doing double-crostic crossword puzzles, and a rich source for the writing of scholarly papers and journal articles (publish or perish), but it is largely speculative and based on assumptions that may be dubious. The "assured results of scholarly research" from one decade can quickly become last year's fad. Where I particularly dispute this cottage industry is when these speculations are expected to be accepted as fact, and especially when these speculative facts are taken to prove the errancy of Scripture and contradict the teachings of Scripture.

As I recall, you at one time trotted out and suggested that we take to heart the idea that Paul did not object to people who taught contrary to what he taught on the basis of the "fact" that it was speculated that the offering that Paul was taking up for the poor brethren in Jerusalem was actually intended for the support of the heretical sect of the Ebionites ("the poor ones") for whose existence as a group we have no evidence until the second century. But because of the similarity in the name, perhaps they existed in Paul's time and he wanted to support them in their Jewish Christian beliefs. This is the sort of speculation that can be destructive of sound theology but passes as "Scholarship" that I object to.

There has also been much speculation in critical circles that primary Biblical teachings, such a creation, the birth, miracles, and resurrection of Jesus are really just recycled and reworked mythological stories from the various peoples around the Mediterranean Sea. That God's people were highly influenced by the religious ideas around them and cobbled together Judaism and later Christianity out of those surrounding myths, legends, and stories. The "assured results of scholarly research" coming out of higher criticism have been a fertile ground for these assertions. Another reason that I and many like me treat HC with great caution.

N. T. Wright in his massive volume The Resurrection of the Son of God treats many of these assertions that the Christian teaching about the resurrection of Jesus simply reworked existing myths in great detail. Panbabylonism, accepted by many as the definitive account of the origins of much of Judaism and popular in the late 19th, early 20th centuries has become largely passé, but does still resurface from time to time. The Religionsgeschichtliche Schule from that time also enjoyed popularity and intellectual snobbery bragging rights, but again has fallen greatly in acceptance. Fad come and fads go in theology as much as in fashion and in culture.

Did Q exist and was used by Matthew and Luke in writing their Gospels? Perhaps, or perhaps what has been designated as Q was simply the number of stories that were told and retold among the community. Luke researched them, and possibly Matthew heard them first hand. At one time it was fashionable to cast doubt on the accuracy and historicity of the Gospels on the basis of the "fact" that the Gospels as we have them weren't written down until the second or third centuries. The stories were handed down, told and retold for a couple of generations before being compiled so they would have grown and changed. Hence the schism between the Jesus of history and the Jesus of faith. It allowed the origins of Christian to be rewritten quite differently from how the Gospels tell it, those much later and much altered from the facts accounts. More legend than history.

That speculation has had to be drastically revised as older and older manuscripts have been discovered, although the basic idea, that we cannot trust the Gospels to tell us much actual facts about Jesus has been sustained. Faith has often been detached from fact and left to hang in the air as whatever is meaningful to the believer. We are to have faith in faith. Whatever is meaningful for the believer, counteracts our angst, and helps us live authentic lives. After all, Jesus is the eschatological manifestation of the ground of our being, the kerygma in which we found the ultimate meaning of our interpersonal relationship.
#11
Your Turn / Re: Highlighting the Walkout
February 21, 2024, 10:47:42 AM
Quote from: John Mundinger on February 21, 2024, 07:28:46 AM
Quote from: Dan Fienen on February 20, 2024, 05:02:14 PMThis whole discussion has become little more than an exercise of willfully talking past each other and refusing to directly address the concerns of each other.

I agree.  I'd also suggest that the consistent use of "buzz words", like inerrancy, Gospel-reductionism, etc. contribute to the problem.  Such words might mean something to those who regularly use them, but they are code-words for whole paragraphs, the content of which doesn't get added to the conversation.
Every profession and area of interest has a body of technical language, or jargon if you will, that is within the profession commonly understood with reasonable precision. Its use saves much time and effort by allowing single words to be used in place of the repetitive use of the whole paragraphs that those words represent. Problems arise when this technical language is used with non-specialists, or non-standard meanings (even though that meaning may be in common, non-specialist use) are inserted into the conversation without specifying the use.

Quote
Quote from: Dan Fienen on February 20, 2024, 11:38:56 PMApparently you know exactly what we should mean when we use the term inerrant and since what we say doesn't match what you know we must mean we simply don't know what we're talking about.

I don't know exactly what people mean when they use the term, inerrant.  And, to be honest, it gets even more confusing when folks acknowledge the copy errors to which Pr. Stoffregen refers but still suggest that he thinks the autographs are "inerrant" (whatever that term is supposed to mean).
I think that I have been pretty explicit in describing how I use the term inerrant and why I apply that term to what I do. If you disagree with me, that is actually to be expected. But I have been as clear as I can about what I actually mean.
Quote
Quote from: Dan Fienen on February 20, 2024, 05:02:14 PMIn contrast, for the Bible we have thousands of really old copies and partial copies of the Bible to compare. There is plenty of material for the textual critics to work with. While we do not have the autographs, we can come quite close to reconstructing them.

I generally agree.  But, I do not understand how it is possible to reconstruct the autographs without employing all of the tools in the historical-critical tool bag.
How much do you know about textual criticism? As to applying the rest of the HC tools, in my experience much of those are intent not in reconstructing the original but in dismembering the original into the putative sources and redaction history. The reliability of the methods and assumptions of the various Criticisms is another discussion.
#12
Your Turn / Re: Highlighting the Walkout
February 21, 2024, 10:32:45 AM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on February 21, 2024, 01:24:59 AMNo, I don't know what you mean by the word "inerrant," because it doesn't quite match what an English dictionary says the word means. I've been accused a number of times of making words mean whatever I want them to mean. However, I still use meanings that a Lexicon has for those words.

You completely missed the point about the unicorns. Arguing that the autographs are inerrant is like arguing that unicorns existed. Since we have no actual autographs nor remains of unicorns, how can we support that argument?
Actually, I do use the standard dictionary definition of inerrant, I simply apply it to texts that you apparently want to deny existed and do no longer exist in their originals, but about which we have abundant evidence and tools to make a good approximation of their original forms.

Do you deny that the original autographs of the books of the Bible ever existed? Where did all the ancient manuscripts that have come from? Do you deny, for example, that a writer, we will call him Luke for convenience, actually researched and assembled the material and wrote (or dictated) the text that we call today the Gospel of Luke? Or researched and wrote a history of the earliest days of the church into the history that we call Acts? You have written on occasion about how meaningful it is to compare the four Gospels and perceive the differing emphases and strategies of presentation of the various authors. If there was no original work that we now call Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, how can we talk about the intent of the author in selecting and arranging the materials that he did?

Actually, rather than trying to talk about unicorns, about which none exist now and whose remains we have not found, our discussion is more like talking about dinosaurs. No dinosaurs exist today that we know of. But we have many, many fossils that allow us with a great deal of confidence reconstruct what they were like when they did exist and we can figure out with some confidence what they were like. Since we have no dinosaurs today, do you deny their existence?

If you want to talk in terms of unicorns, a closer analogy to my mind would be talking about the letter documents: Q, J, E, D, P, and the like. They are theorized to have existed, but there is no hard, documentary evidence that they ever existed as separate independently circulating documents. All we have are theoretical dissections of existing documents that, along with speculative assumptions, are used to dismember those existing documents into their hypothetical but nonevidential sources. Go on ahead and prattle on about unicorns, I'll look at the evidence that we have for dinosaurs.
#13
Your Turn / Re: Highlighting the Walkout
February 20, 2024, 11:38:56 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on February 20, 2024, 09:24:09 PM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on February 20, 2024, 05:36:18 PMIf I see dents and scratches on my neighbor's car, do I conclude that it rolled of the production line with those dents and scratches? Of course not. I understand the dents and scratches came later.

In the same way, the textual notes in Bibles don't show me that the divinely inspired Scripture is errant. On the contrary, they tell me much more about the problem of sin since sinners have subsequently made mistakes in copying them.

The variants argument does not alter the divine inspiration of the original texts. One should hold to what Scripture says about itself in Psalm 19:7--11 as traditional Jews and Christians do. (And when Jews hold to that, no one should try to trace the thought to "The Fundamentals" or call them fundamentalists. It's silly. It's clearly age-old teaching. )
I don't believe anyone here as denied the divine inspiration of scriptures. When the topic of inerrancy comes up, there is always some qualifications, such as "the autographs are inerrant" or "the message of salvation is inerrant." To me, it is twisting the definition of inerrant to fit our reality. Because of human sin/errors, our biblical texts and translations are capable of having errors. Thus, our Bibles do not fit the dictionary definition of inerrant: "incapable of being wrong." It becomes a theory about the autographs.

Dan's comments above made me think of arguing that unicorns existed. (They are mentioned nine times in the KJV. Could that be an error?) Can anyone prove that they did not exist?
Apparently you know exactly what we should mean when we use the term inerrant and since what we say doesn't match w hat you know we must mean we simply don't know what we're talking about. As to your last paragraph, huh? Have you decided that anyone who talks about Biblical inerrancy must believe that the KJV is inerrant so we either must believe in unicorns or accept that the Bible in errant. Sorry Brian. I do not accept that you know better than I do what I mean. Your refutation on my point refutes a position I don't hold.
#14
Your Turn / Re: Highlighting the Walkout
February 20, 2024, 06:40:27 PM
Quote from: Charles Austin on February 20, 2024, 05:49:39 PMPastor Fienen:
There was at least an attempt to deal with matters on a theological basis

Me:
But the professors remain innocent until proven guilty, at least, I think that ought to be the rule. Charges were never drawn up, never filed with appropriate judicial bodies in the Synod.
The professors themselves opted out of that adjudication process when they defaulted on their contracts and calls. They removed themselves from the the authority of those "appropriate judicial bodies" and, as I recall, (hey, it was 50 years ago, memories get fuzzy) specifically refused to cooperate with any such process and refused to recognize their authority to adjudicate. Even if the Board of Control and Synodical administration had proceeded with those judicial processes, it would have been farcical without the professors participation, which they refused.
#15
Your Turn / Re: Highlighting the Walkout
February 20, 2024, 05:02:14 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on February 20, 2024, 03:55:44 PM
Quote from: MaddogLutheran on February 20, 2024, 01:39:13 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on February 20, 2024, 09:58:24 AMAgain, I ask, which Bible on your shelf has no errors? [snip]

Yawn.

I'll say it again, for the hundred time.  If you know what those errors are, please share them so that we can be disabused of the notion.  What errors are there that are material to our faith?

Because I for one have no interest in having faith in a God that, having revealed to us mortals that we are disobedient to Him, would mislead us in his revelation to us.  Deception does not grow faith.

Focusing on the possibility that the Bible might have errors is just a license to discard anything inconvenient to contemporary human desire.

I've stated for at least 101 times, read the footnotes in your Bible. They indicate errors in ancient manuscripts. They indicate possible errors in translations.

I've asked for perhaps 99 times for you to tell me which Bible on your shelf has no errors in translation or choice of variant readings.
This whole discussion has become little more than an exercise of willfully talking past each other and refusing to directly address the concerns of each other.

The usual response on the part of those who support Biblical inerrancy is that we do not claim that any existing version of the Bible, translation, or manuscript is itself inerrant, they are all copies and translations. What is claimed is inerrancy in the original autographs. The usual response to this is that we do not have those autographs only fallible copies, so there. Inerrancy in the autographs is meaningless without having the autographs.

But I find that quibble at least in part disingenuous. The autographs of the books of the Bible are not mythical as though they never really existed. They must have or where would the copies of those manuscripts that we have today come from? At some point in time and in specific places, certain men first applied ink to writing surface and produced the autographs of the books that now constitute the Bible. That should be beyond question. Whether Peter's assertion,
Quote2Pe 1:19-21 "And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."
is the true origin of what was written, or they were simply religious men who, reflecting on their religious experiences and insights, wrote words that others later found exceptionally insightful and meaningful and then gathered them together and considered them in some way authoritative, is a matter more of faith than historical research. Even if we had those original autographs, there are forensic tests to discover the ink used, what exactly served as the paper, possibly even DNA residue from drops of sweat, tears, or blood, to give clues as to the writer or scribe; but there is no forensic test for direct divine inspiration.
But we no longer have those autographs, although they did at one time exist! So is talking about the inspiration and infallibility of the autographs meaningless, as some seem to assert? That depends in large part on how reliable are the copies that we have. If they are generally unreliable so that we have only a vague idea of what the original might have been, like a blurry out of focus copy of an original photograph, then whether or not the original was absolutely inspired and inerrant really wouldn't mean much. But is that the case?
No, not really. Here we have to take into account the work of textual criticism. For most of the corpus of ancient literature we have at best a handful of really ancient copies. Do they really reflect the autographs that stood behind them, fresh from the author's pen? We assume so, but really don't know.

In contrast, for the Bible we have thousands of really old copies and partial copies of the Bible to compare. There is plenty of material for the textual critics to work with. While we do not have the autographs, we can come quite close to reconstructing them. And while there are hundreds, thousands of variations they do not amount to much significance. Considering the technology of copying available in that day, the variations between manuscripts are remarkably small, and relatively speaking, insignificant. On the basis of the manuscript evidence that Brian so confidently trots as absolutely killing any possibility that we can consider the Bible in any meaningful way inerrant, we can confidently assert that while we do not have the autographs we have come pretty close and the remaining variations have no significant bearing on the meaning of the text. Look at the work of Bruce Metzger and his successors.

So, should we let the critics point to these variations to cast doubt on the Bibles that we have, so that we do not trust the Bibles that we have and treat them like a fuzzy copy of a photograph and unreliable? I have found it risible that we are assured that we cannot trust the Bible for which we have these thousands of ancient witnesses and from which we can come to a clear picture of what the original was, but we can absolutely trust the critical scholars reconstruction, on the basis of no textual evidence, of theoretical documents that stand behind our current texts and reconstructions of how they developed over decades or centuries and were redacted together, for which again we have no actual textual evidence.
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