It’s no use (more about the “plain sense” of Scripture)November 1, 2007 — Deacon Duncan
I guess it’s no use trying to trying to “trick” Anthony Horvath into posting any actual apologetics on the main, front-page blog of the “Christian Apologetics Ministries.” He’d rather amuse himself by pretending that he succeeded in offending me with his–I guess you’d have to call it name-calling. Meanwhile, it seems I touched a nerve by my survey of what the Bible teaches on how Christians should respond to this kind of so-called “persecution.”
If this is what he’s got to stoop to to show a lack of charity on my part, why, I think in order to demonstrate charity you’d have to hold his hand and kiss it ever so gently and never raise your voice… not even a little. And butter his toast for him. Without even being asked!
The “aw, poor me” card again. That mean old professor is just so demanding. Quoting the Bible to Christians? How could anyone stoop so low?
It’s another stealth post, so you’ll have to click the link above to get to it (if you really want to).
Meanwhile, since I’m not afraid to tackle substantive issues on my blog, let me post a follow-up to my post on why Bible-based Christianity can’t work. It’s not just because Christians get offended whenever anybody stoops so low as to quote it to them.
As I alluded to before, if God existed and were giving Christians access to the same Holy Spirit as He used to inspire the Bible, then the Bible, together with the Holy Spirit, should not fail to produce doctrinal unity among Christians. Yet we plainly see that they do fail to produce such unity, and always have. The canon of Scripture itself was born amidst disagreements over which ancient texts constituted genuine apostolic teaching, and disagreements over the meaning of these texts are even older. To this day, Catholics and Protestants disagree over which books belong in the Bible.
And yet Christians today are of approximately equal sincerity overall, and are not particularly aware of any serious problems in their own interpretations of Scripture’s “plain sense” meaning, even as their interpretations contradict one another. The Holy Spirit, thus, is manifestly unable to overcome the erring Christian’s personal conviction that their interpretation is correct.
This poses a tremendously difficult problem for Christianity, because the very inspiration of the Bible itself is based on the Spirit’s ability to communicate effectively with fallen and fallible human hearts. Men claim that the Holy Spirit was able to infallibly communicate the truth of the Gospel to the writers of the Bible, but what we observe in the real world is that the Holy Spirit is not able to accurately and consistently communicate the truth, even to believers.
It’s no use claiming to have spiritual authority based on the Scriptures if the Scriptures themselves are unreliable. Yet the lack of doctrinal unity among sincere Christians makes it unmistakably clear that we cannot trust the Holy Spirit to be able to communicate accurate and reliable doctrine to mortal men. According to the Gospel, the Holy Spirit wants to communicate the truth, and ought to be able to communicate the truth, but what we see in real life is that in at least the majority of the cases he fails to do so–and even then we have no objective, non-egometric means of determining which cases, if any, were successful.
Doctrinal unity is the desirable and predictable consequence that would result from God being willing and able to accurately communicate truth to human hearts. In its absence, we not only have no way to know whose interpretation is correct, we also have no reason to believe that there’s anything infallible to interpret. The Bible is just a bunch of people writing down whatever seemed right in their own eyes.