Biggest problems facing the world

Started by peter_speckhard, October 04, 2013, 11:54:26 AM

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David Garner

Quote from: John Mundinger on October 22, 2013, 10:59:59 PM
Quote from: peter_speckhard on October 22, 2013, 10:44:58 PMWhat makes think sinners are incapable of holding truth? You seem so dogmatically certain that there can be no valid certainty because of sin.

Pr. Speckhard - I hold tightly to the doctrine of justification, the truth that matters, by faith, mixed with measures of hopefulness, doubt and desperation, but not with certainty in my own intellectual ability to understand it.  I have lived long enough with myself and with fellow sinners to realize that other truths we hold are unavoidably compromised by selfishness.

Isn't that all the more reason to try to adhere to what was passed on to us, or (in the case of you Lutherans) what you believe was passed on by the Church before it was corrupted by false doctrine?  If I am not trustworthy, then why should my views stand in opposition to what the Church has always said about a particular matter?  Or even in opposition to what the Church as a whole has to say today?

None of us can even do that perfectly.  But isn't it more trustworthy than the alternative of each deciding for himself what the truth is and then arguing for a seat at the table based on their own private interpretation?  I have mentioned before that I read the Lutheran confessions as attempting to preserve the faith of the Apostles against error that was introduced over time.  That's why it was called a reformation as opposed to a revolution.  Now, I disagree in part with those confessions on whether they hold to the Apostolic faith, but I disagree more with the notion that the call for reform was intended to be, or should be, instead a call for everyone to simply determine that we cannot know what truth is.  That view seems to me to be foreign to the Lutheran confessions and, for the same reason, the Church throughout the ages.  The Church has always contended for truth.  You seem to be arguing that has always been a mistake.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

John Mundinger

Quote from: David Garner on October 22, 2013, 11:17:17 PMIsn't that all the more reason to try to adhere to what was passed on to us, or (in the case of you Lutherans) what you believe was passed on by the Church before it was corrupted by false doctrine?

I would say that it is all the more reason to continue to struggle with what was passed on to us, to be sifted by it as we continually sift the wheat from the chaff.  I would also say, as a first approximation, that all that causes division within the Body of Christ should be assumed to be chaff.

Quote from: David Garner on October 22, 2013, 11:17:17 PMThe Church has always contended for truth.  You seem to be arguing that has always been a mistake.

Close, but not quite.  It has not been a mistake for the Church to contend for truth.  The mistakes have been the certitude with which some in the Church have asserted that they have found the truth.  The Church has not found the Messiah.  The Church has been found by the Messiah.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

David Garner

Quote from: John Mundinger on October 23, 2013, 05:46:51 AM
Quote from: David Garner on October 22, 2013, 11:17:17 PMIsn't that all the more reason to try to adhere to what was passed on to us, or (in the case of you Lutherans) what you believe was passed on by the Church before it was corrupted by false doctrine?

I would say that it is all the more reason to continue to struggle with what was passed on to us, to be sifted by it as we continually sift the wheat from the chaff.  I would also say, as a first approximation, that all that causes division within the Body of Christ should be assumed to be chaff.

So who is the sifter?  The same person you suggested was too tainted by sin to be trusted?

Quote
Quote from: David Garner on October 22, 2013, 11:17:17 PMThe Church has always contended for truth.  You seem to be arguing that has always been a mistake.

Close, but not quite.  It has not been a mistake for the Church to contend for truth.  The mistakes have been the certitude with which some in the Church have asserted that they have found the truth.  The Church has not found the Messiah.  The Church has been found by the Messiah.

The Church does not claim to have "found" the truth, but rather to have preserved it.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

John Mundinger

Quote from: David Garner on October 23, 2013, 06:18:41 AMSo who is the sifter?  The same person you suggested was too tainted by sin to be trusted?

You missed the point about us being sifted and I included that because we are tainted by sin.

Quote from: David Garner on October 23, 2013, 06:18:41 AMThe Church does not claim to have "found" the truth, but rather to have preserved it.

How can the Church preserve that which the Church has not first found?
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

David Garner

Quote from: John Mundinger on October 23, 2013, 06:54:53 AM
Quote from: David Garner on October 23, 2013, 06:18:41 AMSo who is the sifter?  The same person you suggested was too tainted by sin to be trusted?

You missed the point about us being sifted and I included that because we are tainted by sin.

I did indeed, my apologies.  In that case, I'm not sure how one can "be sifted by" what was handed down.  One either receives or rejects it.

Quote
Quote from: David Garner on October 23, 2013, 06:18:41 AMThe Church does not claim to have "found" the truth, but rather to have preserved it.

How can the Church preserve that which the Church has not first found?

The truth was not something that was discovered, as if it were buried and then found many years later.  This is a hyper-Protestant view of the Church that Lutherans tend to not hold to.  The so-called "Great Apostasy" theory.  The truth was given by Christ.  It was not "found," it was received.  And once received, the Church's job was not to "discover" it, but to preserve it.  The Lutheran Confessions make no claim to have "discovered" the true faith.  They claim to be returning the Church to that faith after Rome departed from it.  The Orthodox Church does not claim to have "discovered" the true faith.  We contend we have preserved it.  You seem to be taking a view that no one ever preserved the true faith, such that we have to discover it anew.  Is that what you are saying?
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

John Mundinger

Quote from: David Garner on October 23, 2013, 06:59:08 AM
Quote from: John Mundinger on October 23, 2013, 06:54:53 AM
Quote from: David Garner on October 23, 2013, 06:18:41 AMSo who is the sifter?  The same person you suggested was too tainted by sin to be trusted?

You missed the point about us being sifted and I included that because we are tainted by sin.

I did indeed, my apologies.  In that case, I'm not sure how one can "be sifted by" what was handed down.  One either receives or rejects it.

and, if one receives it, it must make some kind of difference.  I'd suggest that difference comes from being sifted by it.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

Team Hesse

Interesting and thought provoking uses of the words "truth" and "faith" in these discussions. Sometimes "truth" and "faith" appear to be things of substance revealed by or discovered that are somehow related to the Christ but not "of" Christ himself.


Are they (truth and faith) substantive in that the Christ brings them or reveals them to us? Or are they Christ himself?


Lou

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