Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A response to Triablogue

Over on Triablogue Gene Bridges has written a response to my blog posting In the Combox... He writes inTriablogue: The Need For An Infallible Interpreter a very good response, I will answer his points below:


Hmmm, and why is this a convincing argument? Let's take a quick look at it:
The plain fact is that an infallible Bible without an infallible living interpreter is futile.
1. So, the Jews labored for centuries with Scripture but no infallible interpreter.This was futile. Okay.
No, the Jews had infallible interpreters. God sent them prophets. These prophets spoke the Word of God. It was only when God ceased sending prophets did the Jews fracture into different sects.

2. How do we ascertain - infallibly - who the infallible interpreter is in the New Covenant era?
Logic and Faith. Jesus left his church. A church which is the "pillar and foundation" and is led to "all truth".
Infallibility never gets from the printed page to the one place where it is needed: the mind of the reader.
This would, of course, apply equally as well to the Roman Catholic if true. Even if the interpreter is "infallible" (the Church and its teachers, who convey its teaching) it's infallibility would never get from the printed page or the audible words to where it is needed, the mind of the interpreter.

Every interpreter is a reader/hearer too, and vice versa. So, the problem isn't related to the necessity of an infallible interpreter (teaching office), it's the necessity of an infallible hearer/reader (person in the pew, reader, etc.).
Using this logic, then the Bible cannot be infallible either. Because it was written down by men. And since men cannot be infallible even under the protection of the Holy Spirit, we must assume the Scriptures are not infallible.

This is the slippery slope that begins to develop when one sets out to discredit the church. See, the Church believes infallibility is possible with the protection of the Holy Spirit. So, the Bishops' arguments do not apply to the church.

The Roman Catholic solution only puts the question back one step or more. So, it's on epistemic par with the Protestant rule of faith, which is precisely our argument - and the very argument you provided here has proven it for us. Moreover, since you apparently agree with it, you have done our work for us. That's a real timesaver.
But the ultimate question is: "Is infallibility possible?" The Catholic says "Yes", the Protestant says "No".

The myriad divisions within Protestantism offer ample evidence of the proof of this statement.
Of course, this is a non-sequitur. The divisions within the receivers of teaching say nothing about the fallibility or infallibility of the teaching itself or the text itself. That's a category error.
No, his point with this statement was that the divisions among Protestantism demonstrate the futility of the doctrine of "Scripture Alone". Because if it were a valid system, there would be unity in Protestantism instead of division.

He was illustrating the flaw in the logic of Protestants who claim the Bible is infallible but they are not.
And it does a miserable job of illustrating it, for if valid, it applies equally to the Roman Catholic.
Everything must be read in context, I only offered one paragraph of his work, I suggest you read the entire chapter.

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