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Rick Bates
Rick Bates
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#57066 Tue Oct 19, 2021 8:23 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
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Tom Offline OP
Needs to get a Life
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Needs to get a Life
Joined: Apr 2001
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I started another thread last week called ‘Natural Theology’. I would like to continue along the same lines with a more recent dialogue.

Here is a short dialogue illustrating why one must assume something outside the text in order to gather the meaning of the text. Namely, God as He reveals Himself through nature. Otherwise, the claim "I hold to sola Scriptura" is meaningless—
Presups: God is this way.
Others: No, God is that way.
Who has the true knowledge of God?
Presups: We do, because the Bible tells us so.
Others: No, we do, because the Bible tells us so.
Who has the right interpretation?
Presups: We do, because regenerated by the Holy Spirit.
Others: We do, because regenerated by the Holy Spirit.
What means does the Spirit use to bring you to a correct understanding of the Bible?
Presups: We are regenerated by the Holy Spirit!
Others: God Himself as He speaks through His works and provides us with basic first principles allowing us to know, read, and speak intelligible things, of which the Scriptures are preeminent.
The key take-away: We must appeal to authority *outside* the self (metaphysics) rather than an alleged innate reality (epistemology) in order to justify our approach to Scripture before other men. Otherwise, the universal claim of both Christian and heretic is, "We believe the Bible," and no one gets anywhere.
I will be criticized for saying this. But remember, even James White appeals to rules of grammar, textual theory, and a host of other things when interacting with Shabir Ali, Bart Ehrman, and everyone in between. What are those rules but first principles preceding our approach to Scripture itself?[/quote

He went on to say the following:

[quote] Special Theology assumes Natural Theology. Authority would be unintelligible as a concept apart from natural revelation.

He goes even further by saying that both:
Natural Theology and Special Theology, have equal authority.

I am not assuming this person believes that Natural Theology can lead anyone to Christ; I have yet to ask him.



Tom #57067 Tue Oct 19, 2021 9:41 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
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Head Honcho
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Joined: Apr 2001
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It is not "natural Theology and Special Theology, have equal authority" which is meaningless on its face. Theology is the study of God and whatever is to be known about God, He Himself must reveal it. Thus, the actual issue is with Natural revelation vs. Special Revelation. One cannot even begin to comprehend the created without the supernatural, inspired Revelation of God as the "sole and final authority in all matters of faith and practice". Everything is meaningless without God, for all things are in some way an expression of Himself. And the incarnate Son of God is the ultimate and perfect Revelation of the living God (Col 1:9-17; Heb 1:3) who cannot be known apart from the ONLY authoritative written Revelation of God, the Bible.

Disagreements occur when one, the other or both fail to practice biblical hermeneutical principles to interpret the Bible. And, we must never underestimate the noetic effects of sin upon the mind and hearts of even the regenerate which often clouds sound judgment. Now, we know in part... but that does not in any way diminish the principle of "Sola Scriptura"; the Scriptures ALONE! it being the only inspired, infallible, inerrant supernatural communication from God to mankind, which is wholly authoritative over all things.

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