Beliefs of Fundamentalists Christians

Started by Dave Likeness, April 21, 2013, 09:44:24 PM

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Charles_Austin

Jay. writes:
Does the catechism/confessions address the Biblical account of Creation, the Flood, Jonah to name a few.  Would one have knowledge of these historical facts from the catechism/confessions alone?

I comment:
No, but the catechism addresses the doctrine of God as Creator. Are the stories of the flood and Jonah as "historical facts" essential for our relationship with God and our salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ?

Pastor Ted Crandall

Quote from: John Mundinger on April 24, 2013, 01:55:18 PM
Quote from: Pastor Ted Crandall on April 24, 2013, 11:33:53 AMWhat if what you teach and believe is not mentioned directly in the Catechism, but contradicts another part of our Confessions?  Would you consider that an open question?

My personal confession is the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, as I learned it from the Small Catechism.

The history of the Church through the centuries is very sordid and, in that history, Lutherans have not been exempt from participation in the sordid.  In sorting through that history, it is a challenge to know the catholic truth distinct from the corrupting influences of the clay vessels who have passed on the truth from one generation to the next.  I believe that the doctrine contained in the Small Catechism comes about as close as we can get to knowing spiritual truth, i.e. the questions for which the Catechism has answers are closed.  I say that acknowledging my Lutheran bias and acknowledging that there is not universal agreement in the Church regarding what Lutherans believe regarding the Sacraments, regarding the place of good works and regarding predestination.

So, I guess the best answer I can give you is that it depends.  What specifically are the questions/answers in the Confessions that are not directly mentioned in the Catechism?  How do those answers related to the answers provided by the Catechism?  How do those answers relate to Scripture - not just the passages used to support those answers but also passages that might lead to a different answer?

That's what I thought... 

Jay Michael

Quote from: Charles_Austin on April 24, 2013, 09:04:00 PM
Jay. writes:
Does the catechism/confessions address the Biblical account of Creation, the Flood, Jonah to name a few.  Would one have knowledge of these historical facts from the catechism/confessions alone?

I comment:
No, but the catechism addresses the doctrine of God as Creator. Are the stories of the flood and Jonah as "historical facts" essential for our relationship with God and our salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ?
For Almighty God to have include it in Holy Writ indicates HE deemed it essential enough to include for our benefit. As far as the catechism addressing creation, Holy Scripture contains detail not contained in the catechism but deemed important enough by God to include for the benefit and edification of humans.

Charles_Austin


Jay Michael

#94
Quote from: John Mundinger on April 24, 2013, 01:55:18 PM
My personal confession is the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, as I learned it from the Small Catechism.
Where did you learn of the details of creation ... of the life of Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Abram, Issac, Jacob, Joseph, the period of slavery in Egypt .... Rahab, Ruth, .... on and on ... all the additional material included in Holy Scripture ... not included in the Small Catechism.

You, Mr. Mundinger, are placing your fear, love and trust in the writings of a man ... rather than the writings of THE God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Weedon

#95
Jay,

Certainly there are Biblical facts and data not adduced in the Symbols, but is there any DOCTRINE which they do not treat in some fashion? What I'm trying to get at is that the big problem (as Matt and Peter have pointed out) with evolution is with assuming the naturalness of death. That's the thing's achilles heel and it's where (in my opinion) the effort should be focused in discussion. The Scriptures don't just reveal God as Creator, but Creator of a world without death, but death invaded this world through the concrete actions of the first humans.

Nonetheless, the Symbols do imply a quite literal read of Genesis 1 in, of all places, citing St. John Chyrsostom on the consecration of the Holy Eucharist where he likens the almighty and ongoing power of the words of God in Genesis 1 with our Lord's words consecrating the Supper:

The declaration "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth" [Genesis 1:28] was spoken only once. But it is ever effective in nature, so that it is fruitful and multiplies.

Similarly, an understanding of Genesis 3 as actual history pervades the AC and later Symbols whenever dealing with the fall of Adam: "All men since the fall of Adam are conceived and born in sin..." And yet the FC is clear in its discussion of original sin that the first state of man was precisely NOT sinful or fallen and not characterized by death.

Jay Michael

It is not my intent to minimalize, marginalize, or trivialize the Symbols.  I believe it is wrong to state
Quote from: John Mundinger on April 24, 2013, 01:55:18 PM
My personal confession is the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, as I learned it from the Small Catechism.
to the exclusion of Holy Writ.

NCLutheran

Quote from: Jay. on April 24, 2013, 10:53:21 PM
It is not my intent to minimalize, marginalize, or trivialize the Symbols.  I believe it is wrong to state
Quote from: John Mundinger on April 24, 2013, 01:55:18 PM
My personal confession is the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, as I learned it from the Small Catechism.
to the exclusion of Holy Writ.

Is the Small Catechism not itself a confession of the Holy Bible? If the Catechism confesses the Bible, then isn't Mr. Mundinger confessing the Bible as well? (If A=B, and B=C, then A=C).

Pastor Ted Crandall

Quote from: NCLutheran on April 24, 2013, 11:40:14 PM
Quote from: Jay. on April 24, 2013, 10:53:21 PM
It is not my intent to minimalize, marginalize, or trivialize the Symbols.  I believe it is wrong to state
Quote from: John Mundinger on April 24, 2013, 01:55:18 PM
My personal confession is the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, as I learned it from the Small Catechism.
to the exclusion of Holy Writ.

Is the Small Catechism not itself a confession of the Holy Bible? If the Catechism confesses the Bible, then isn't Mr. Mundinger confessing the Bible as well? (If A=B, and B=C, then A=C).

I think the difference is that Johan appears to be limiting his confession to just the parts of Scripture that are addressed in the Small Confession.  Anything else in Scripture or the rest of the Confessions he seems to consider open questions... 

John_Hannah

Quote from: Pastor Ted Crandall on April 25, 2013, 06:51:32 AM
I think the difference is that Johan appears to be limiting his confession to just the parts of Scripture that are addressed in the Small Confession.  Anything else in Scripture or the rest of the Confessions he seems to consider open questions...

Really? Example, please.


Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

David Garner

Quote from: Weedon on April 24, 2013, 09:55:10 PM
Jay,

Certainly there are Biblical facts and data not adduced in the Symbols, but is there any DOCTRINE which they do not treat in some fashion? What I'm trying to get at is that the big problem (as Matt and Peter have pointed out) with evolution is with assuming the naturalness of death. That's the thing's achilles heel and it's where (in my opinion) the effort should be focused in discussion. The Scriptures don't just reveal God as Creator, but Creator of a world without death, but death invaded this world through the concrete actions of the first humans.

It seems to me this is the real point of dispute.  The one thing Fr. Reardon kept coming back to as I read his excellent book on this subject was that despite the Fathers' varying views of the TYPE of historicity Genesis offered, the great doctrinal issue was that death came into the world as a consequence of sin.  There were some differing views on what "death" meant in that context as I recall (it's been a couple of years since I read the book), but everyone agreed that death is a consequence of sin, not something that is "natural."  Hanging your doctrinal hat on that nail seems to me to be solid ground.  Hanging it on whether 6 days occurred in exactly 144 hours or some other frame of reference seems quite a bit shakier, especially when we have talk of heresy and the devil's influence  accompanying it.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

George Erdner

Quote from: David Garner on April 25, 2013, 07:08:28 AM
Quote from: Weedon on April 24, 2013, 09:55:10 PM
Jay,

Certainly there are Biblical facts and data not adduced in the Symbols, but is there any DOCTRINE which they do not treat in some fashion? What I'm trying to get at is that the big problem (as Matt and Peter have pointed out) with evolution is with assuming the naturalness of death. That's the thing's achilles heel and it's where (in my opinion) the effort should be focused in discussion. The Scriptures don't just reveal God as Creator, but Creator of a world without death, but death invaded this world through the concrete actions of the first humans.

It seems to me this is the real point of dispute.  The one thing Fr. Reardon kept coming back to as I read his excellent book on this subject was that despite the Fathers' varying views of the TYPE of historicity Genesis offered, the great doctrinal issue was that death came into the world as a consequence of sin.  There were some differing views on what "death" meant in that context as I recall (it's been a couple of years since I read the book), but everyone agreed that death is a consequence of sin, not something that is "natural."  Hanging your doctrinal hat on that nail seems to me to be solid ground.  Hanging it on whether 6 days occurred in exactly 144 hours or some other frame of reference seems quite a bit shakier, especially when we have talk of heresy and the devil's influence  accompanying it.


As it was explained to me in Confirmation class, God used the process of evolution to shape the "dust of the earth" (aka amino acids, proteins, etc.) into the physical form of humankind. He then "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life", which referred to give the first human being, Adam, a soul ("breath of life" seems a very nice poetic description of a soul). The death that was introduced to the world thanks to Adam and Eve disobeying God and eating the forbidden fruit was the death of the soul. That was what was unprecedented. Only an aware being with a soul could "know" death. In a world where there were no consciously aware beings, physical death would be unknown, because knowledge only exists when there is someone to know it.


Even if an entire organism doesn't die, death is still a constant part of each of our lives. Every week or so I trim the dead cells of my fingernails. Those white parts of the nail are dead. The cellular metabolism in them has ceased. The same goes for hair and skin cells. Every time we take a shower, hundreds of dead cells are washed from our bodies and go down the drain. Every day new cells are created within our bodies to replace those that have died. Conventional wisdom is that over the course of seven years, most of the cells of our bodies are replaced with new ones.


So, though it is true that the death of a human soul entered the world through the concrete action of the first human, it is also evident from observed reality that the Bible is referring to that death of a human soul, not the death of plants, animals, or individual cells in the human organism.


Once again, the creation accounts and the account of the consequences of The Fall are the truth, revealed through poetry, not through literal scientific journalism.


Personally, this is where I see Christian fundamentalism displayed is the refusal to recognize that though everything in the Bible is true, not everything in the Bible is literal.




Donald_Kirchner

Quote from: George Erdner on April 25, 2013, 07:43:47 AM
The death that was introduced to the world thanks to Adam and Eve disobeying God and eating the forbidden fruit was the death of the soul. That was what was unprecedented. Only an aware being with a soul could "know" death. In a world where there were no consciously aware beings, physical death would be unknown, because knowledge only exists when there is someone to know it...

So, though it is true that the death of a human soul entered the world through the concrete action of the first human, it is also evident from observed reality that the Bible is referring to that death of a human soul, not the death of plants, animals, or individual cells in the human organism.

So, are you concluding, Mr. Erdner, that at death the human body and the human soul die?
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

David Garner

Quote from: Pr. Don Kirchner on April 25, 2013, 07:52:53 AM
Quote from: George Erdner on April 25, 2013, 07:43:47 AM
The death that was introduced to the world thanks to Adam and Eve disobeying God and eating the forbidden fruit was the death of the soul. That was what was unprecedented. Only an aware being with a soul could "know" death. In a world where there were no consciously aware beings, physical death would be unknown, because knowledge only exists when there is someone to know it...

So, though it is true that the death of a human soul entered the world through the concrete action of the first human, it is also evident from observed reality that the Bible is referring to that death of a human soul, not the death of plants, animals, or individual cells in the human organism.

So, are you concluding, Mr. Erdner, that at death the human body and the human soul die?

Not to speak for Mr. Erdner, but at least from an Eastern Orthodox perspective, "death" is equivalent to "separation from God."  So we would say that the soul is "dead" or "dying" even though it is also eternal and will exist forever.  This is so because God is the fount and source of life (which explains why death could not hold Jesus in its bonds, and why His death destroys death itself). 

In that, I can fully understand where he is coming from with his statement.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

George Erdner

Quote from: Pr. Don Kirchner on April 25, 2013, 07:52:53 AM
Quote from: George Erdner on April 25, 2013, 07:43:47 AM
The death that was introduced to the world thanks to Adam and Eve disobeying God and eating the forbidden fruit was the death of the soul. That was what was unprecedented. Only an aware being with a soul could "know" death. In a world where there were no consciously aware beings, physical death would be unknown, because knowledge only exists when there is someone to know it...

So, though it is true that the death of a human soul entered the world through the concrete action of the first human, it is also evident from observed reality that the Bible is referring to that death of a human soul, not the death of plants, animals, or individual cells in the human organism.

So, are you concluding, Mr. Erdner, that at death the human body and the human soul die?


I am concluding nothing. I am repeating what I was taught, which was that at physical death, the human soul is either redeemed through the grace of God, or it isn't. I was also taught that redemption means rebirth through resurrection. The human soul is not immortal, but that even though it dies, God can still resurrect it. So, what I was taught is that the promise of eternal life is a promise of death followed by resurrection, not immortality.


And what David Garner posted as I was typing is correct. Death (from a soul's perspective) is separation from God. When we die we are separated from God, when we are resurrected, we are restored to communion with God.


And to answer the next obvious follow-up question, I was taught that we do not know if this death and resurrection event is instantaneous or is we exist in some unknown state between the moment of death and the Last Day.

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