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Posts posted by cksalmon

  1. 1 hour ago, bluebell said:

    Is it accurate to say that a belief in sola scriptura and the infallibility of the bible made it difficult to maintain believe in Christ once you believed the bible to be flawed and different than you thought it had to be?

    You'd think so, wouldn't you? It's a great question. 


    But I think ... not really? Or, not that much, maybe. 

    I went from a belief in (a fairly-thoroughgoing) inerrancy to questioning whether the Jesus of the New Testament existed at all. Maybe at some point in that journey the issue you raise above played its part, but I'm not able to pinpoint it at the moment. 😞

  2. 1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

    Would you say that critical scholarship is the same as apologetics and polemics?

    No, I wouldn't. Certainly not in the sense of "critical scholarship" with which I'm familiar. 


    Also, you are no doubt aware of other critical scholars (such as Pete Enns of BioLogos) who have remained believers, but who rejected the silly claims of infallible and inerrant Scripture:  Are they just apologists, or do they also do critical scholarship?

    No, I certainly don't consider Enns a Christian apologist. (Maybe an apologist for evolution. Ha.) He just doesn't do apologetics in the sense of that term with which I'm familiar. (Think WLCraig.) 

    Much of Enns's recent output strikes me more as that of a popularizer, but, sure, he has engaged in his share of critical scholarship. 

    I don't have any opinion about (nor much interest, frankly, in) the extent and particulars of Enns's theology.

    Suffice it to say I didn't end up in the same place as he has. 


  3. 7 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

    Is your story similar to that of Bart Ehrman, or at least influenced by him?

    Hi, Robert. 

    In fact, yes, on both counts. 


    This sort of dives into the middle of my story rather than the beginning, but briefly:

    At a certain point, I came to take critical scholars like Ehrman and Robert Price at their word when they claimed to have sought advanced studies/degrees in order to understand and defend (Evangelical) Christianity. They started from a point of sincere belief. But, as you know, they wound up quite in another place (as have many others like them). 

    Then I had to choose between believing that these ex-Christian scholars of religion and the Bible had been bamboozled by Satan and were now (wittingly or unwittingly) serving his dark and nefarious bidding to destroy Christianity.

    OR, alternatively, their studies led them to conclude that the historical and textual evidence in favor of Christianity just wasn't compelling. Some other things in my life made it possible for me to even entertain that question, but that's for another post.

    They now disbelieved—just as sincerely as they'd once believed—in the doctrines and foundational truth claims of Christianity (at least insofar as they identified Evangelicalism with Christianity). 

    I read Ehrman voraciously (and Price, too). I discovered that they are just nerdy biblical scholars trying to make sense of the available historical data. No demonic possession required. 

    Over time, my views shifted considerably. 



  4. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=james+white+intense+conversation&docid=608018753205309065&mid=C28BA9DB567281CE1412C28BA9DB567281CE1412&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

    Yes, I used Bing. 

    No, I haven't watched this all the way through. 

    Watching now. 

    I am thus far impressed with James White's demeanor in this particular, specific debate. Believe it or not, I have some problems with James White. I think he has, at times, gone off the rails. 

    At any rate, this young Mormon is acquitting himself quite well, thus far. 




  5. 40 minutes ago, Vance said:

    The problem with the Christian world it that as a whole they are "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby the lie in wait to deceive", mostly for money or fame.

    "The problem with the Mormon world it that as a whole they are 'tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive', mostly for the prospect of ruling their own creations." (1)

    Does that seem like a fair assessment to you, Vance?

    I happen to think my Mormon neighbors are just trying to get by and do the best they can in life, but to each his own. 



    3 hours ago, The Nehor said:

    I will exist and reign over creations beyond counting when the universe I live in now will be counted as an old story

  6. 50 minutes ago, Vance said:

    I think we can put Calvinist into this group.  After all, they they accept Calvin as their arbiter of scriptures.  He has interpreted the Bible for them.

    As I mentioned above, Calvinist and Lutherans etc. do have an external arbiter.

    Can't speak for Lutherans, but I'm a so-called Calvinist (with regard to soteriology) and a Presbyterian (with regard to ecclesiology), and I don't accept Calvin as a binding arbiter for scriptural interpretation. He wrote some insightful works, but he was far from infallible. So, no.

  7. 2 hours ago, Spammer said:

    I think you’ll find there’s plenty of questioning, interrogating, investigating and reforming within the RCC and Orthodoxy.

    Until a teaching/interpretation becomes irreformable. 

    2 hours ago, Spammer said:

    There is no criterion for truth, except personal preference. 

    I don't accept that characterization, but you're right in the sense that there is more of an onus on the individual to search diligently for truth. More later, perhaps, as time allows. 


    2 hours ago, Spammer said:

    [God] must have appointed a human agency to be His official interpreter for human ears

    This appears to be a foundational assumption. If I don't accept your premise here, the rest of the argument falls flat and "damn the torpedoes," as they say.  Yes, there are obstacles and dangers, but if the foundational premise just isn't true ...

    2 hours ago, Spammer said:

    That’s why I went with the Catholic Tradition after ceasing to be LDS

    Not to psychologize you, but I'll admit that makes a certain amount of sense to me given your LDS background. I'm glad you didn't go with atheism, which seems to me be the most common final landing spot for ex-LDS. 

    2 hours ago, Spammer said:

    Good conversation

    Likewise. Thanks. 

  8. 36 minutes ago, Spammer said:

    You identify someone whose subjective interpretations you believe are God-sourced and treat them as your objective standard.

    So, to rephrase, you make make a subjective decision to treat the subjective interpretations of others as an objective standard based on your personal subjective belief that their interpretations are God-sourced. That just moves the subjectivity upstream one step.

    36 minutes ago, Spammer said:

    You are your own arbiter, unless you voluntarily submit to an external human agent who gets the last word. But that would be the end of sola scriptura, wouldn’t it?

    Yes, voluntarily submitting without question to the subjective (but somehow iron-clad and irreformable) interpretations of other humans would be the end of sola scriptura. You're right about that,  Spammer!


    Mind you, I don't have any problem submitting to the biblical interpretations of others, even Catholic biblical scholars (that's a separate issue). Heck, maklelan, an erstwhile LDS poster here even changed my mind on the interpretation of something in Genesis one time.

    The problem I have is with submitting to a subjective interpretation that has no possibility of being questioned, interrogated, investigated, or, when necessary (dare I say it?), reformed. But I guess that's one reason I'm not a Roman Catholic. To each his own.

    Ecclesia semper reformanda.


  9. 6 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

    We know what truth is and how to use the term, we just cannot define it in a way that stands up to criticism, and everyone accepts  :) 

    I think there might be a lesson in here somewhere. I quoted Spammer labeling himself "an orthodox, Catholic Christian" as proof that he was, in fact, Roman Catholic. But he intended no such meaning. Authorial intent matters after all. 😄

  10. On 11/16/2018 at 8:29 PM, MiserereNobis said:

    Also, an issue I have with protestants is that they accept the Bible as canonized by the Catholic Church, but they don't accept the Church that gave them the Bible. How do LDS view this? Why do you accept a compilation of religious writings canonized by a Church you believe is apostate? 

    Well, naturally, as a Protestant, I take exception to your characterization. 😄

    The belief that the Roman Catholic Church "gave" the canon to the Christian community is, of course, widespread. From my interactions with LDS, it seems that this belief is accepted, for the most part, uncritically and without hesitation. My faithful Mormon friends here can correct me if I'm overstating the case. 

    But this ignores an entire thought world and body of scholarship arguing, to quote Michael Kruger, and particularly with reference to NT: "They [the canonical books] are not canon because the church receives them; the church receives them because they are already canon by virtue of their apostolic authority."

    Or, to phrase it another way, the church didn't establish the canon so much as recognize the apostolic authority inherent in what we collectively refer to as the New Testament scriptures. Yes, there is a nuanced discussion to be had; yes, there was a historical corporate reception process. 

    I suspect my Roman Catholic friends here will disagree with that assessment, but, to be honest, I don't understand why LDS would. I have no doubt someone here will enlighten me. 🖖

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