16 Jul 2009

Hermeneutics: A Salvation Matter!? Reflecting on Thomas B. Warren

Author: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Bible, Exegesis, Hermeneutics, Ministry, Preaching


As I type these words I am sitting at a table at Starbucks sipping on an iced double shot hazelnut latte. I’m here with a few books and my manuscript for my K. C. Moser book. Let me share some thoughts … unrefined as they are:

I grew up singing lyrics penned by John Fawcett, “How precious is the Book divine, By inspiration given! Bright as a lamp its precepts shine, To guide my soul to heaven.” In singing these words we intended to affirm our commitment to the Bible as the written word of God and its essential importance in the life of the Church. We were, and are, a “people of the book.” We, the faith progeny of Barton Stone and Alexander Campbell, have rhetorically “amened” Chillingworth as he quipped “The Bible, the Bible alone, the religion of Protestants.” Thus in our rhetoric we affirmed two basic core tenets of our identity: 1) the sufficiency of scripture and 2) the perspicuity or clarity of scripture. These notions so ingrained into our collective Stone-Campbell DNA are often heard as “all I need is the Bible.” “We don’t interpret the Bible, we just obey it,” “It means what it says and says what it means.” Or some other such slogan … and we have all used them at one point or another.

Though we have, at times, vociferously attacked any notion that we “interpret” the Bible and that a disciple needs any sort of spiritual help outside of the Bible … I want to pose the question “Is that a polemical mask? a Ploy?” Do we hide a secret within our church closet the truth that we do in fact not only believe we MUST interpret the Bible but that it must be interpreted in a SPECIFIC and PARTICULAR way to arrive at already believed propositions (i.e. doctrinal statements)? I believe the only answer to this question is in the affirmative. Our most conservative scholars have taught us that simply reading and believing the Bible is not enough rather the run of the mill disciple must be educated to a certain way of interpretation for her soul depends upon it.

I draw upon Thomas B. Warren’s “When is an ‘Example’ Binding? as a classic example. Warren was a great and classic polemicist in the last half of the 20th century. He challenged atheists like Anthony Flew as well as those within his own circle of fellowship. “When is an ‘Example’ Binding?” was first published in 1975 and remains a critical textbook among many today. My first encounter with the book was in a class called “Establishing Biblical Authority” with Kippy Myers, now a professor at Freed Hardeman University. “When is an ‘Example'” is a difficult book to read at best but if we get beyond Warren’s writing style it is fascinating in its claims.

For Warren a reader of the Bible begins with a philosophy of some sort. He critiques three (Empiricism, Romanticism, and Idealism, pp 11-13). “Philosophy leads theology around by the nose” he states (p. 10). It is “logic,” however, that is lens through which we are to read the scriptures. The kind of logic we can use for biblical interpretation is found in, among other places, Logic, An Introduction by Lionel Ruby (a book I was required to read in school). “The Bible is the most logical book which has ever been written” (p. 9).

Warren exerts tremendous mental energy through a series of exercises that make scriptural interpretation as methodical and (seemingly) precise as a Calculus textbook does with mathematics. The underlying cause for this is that hermeneutics is, when all is said and done, actually a salvation issue. This is stated explicitly (and I did not catch this for many years).

“The importance of this problem is seen in the following facts: 1) Only God’s truth (the Bible) can free men from sin (John 8:32), 2) one must learn not only what the Bible SAYS but also what it MEANS.”

There are a number of critical problems here that call out for attention. For starters the Scriptures do not teach that the “Bible” sets humans free from sin and the citation of John 8.32 does not support such a claim. The “truth” that sets us free in the Gospel of John is the Messiah himself not the Bible and certainly not the Bible as Protestants understand the term. “Truth” is a Person “I AM … THE Truth” (John 14.6). But for our purposes note that Warren makes it crystal clear that the MEANING of the Scripture is NOT self-evident but must be interpreted according to his understanding of logic. This becomes even clearer as we read …

“It is important for each person to learn as much of what the Bible SAYS as he possibly can, but it is conceivable that one might MEMORIZE the entire Bible itself and NOT understand what it MEANS. One must learn not only what the Bible SAYS but ALSO how the various statements … relate to one another” (pp. 7-8)

We all agree with Warren we need to have a “big picture” view of Scripture. Yet for our purposes here we need to see that interpretation is declared essential. The laser becomes more focused …

“Even if one gained knowledge of that God is and that the Bible is His word, he still COULD NOT BE SAVED [my emphasis] by such knowledge if he did not know how to properly INTERPRET the Bible” (pp. 8-9). (For similar statements on the necessity of interpretation to get the real meaning of Scripture see pp. 20, 121, etc) This is far removed from “it means what it says and says what it means!”

Hermeneutics is a salvation issue! One does not simply learn about God through the Bible. Indeed we may learn all that and still could not be saved. Salvation hinges on interpretation. Thus the importance, and urgency, of the matter for Warren. The issue of MEANING is important for two reasons as we work our way through Warren’s thoughts:

1) the Bible can, and does, mean MORE than what it actually says for a person living today

2) the Bible can, and does, mean LESS (and even the OPPOSITE) of what it actually says

I’m using my own words here but that is the “basic thesis of the book” a phrase that pops up repeatedly in the book. One must accept this “basic thesis” or be in danger of missing the true meaning of scripture and endangering the soul. Through the lens of logic we can reduce the the biblical materials to a series of Propositions and arrive at the actual “word of God” which may be, btw, MORE than the Bible claims or LESS depending on issue and circumstance.

Through the proper use of logic, according to Warren, faithful Christians can actually construct a reading that directly and explicitly contradicts the actual words of the text. In fact to DO what the text says is “sin” and to do the opposite is to “obey” God’s revealed will. First Corinthians 14.39-40 is one of Warren’s examples. It reads,

“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues; yet everything should be done in a fitting fashion.”

A proper understanding of the meaning of this text is a matter of salvation for Warren. I want to point out two important (to me) points about the meaning of this text as Warren understands it. First that the conclusion which he arrives at will be agreed with, he says, IF we recognize “the truthfulness of and (b) by acting in harmony with the basic thesis of this book” (p. 54f). So unless one agrees and endorses Warren’s approach to LOGIC one will never actually understand the MEANING of the text for you and me. Second, when the cards are down it is not logic that determines the meaning of this text for us but rather rejection theologically unacceptable conclusions. “If one rejects the basic thesis of this book, THEN HE HAS NO WAY OF SHOWING THAT THE COMMANDS IN VERSE 39 ARE NOT BINDING …” (p.55, my emphasis). Warren has to show that v.39 is not binding because if he doesn’t he cannot tell folks not to speak in tongues! Or to not to want to prophesy! His logic is driven by polemics and not by either the immediate context or the remote context (his lingo).

A faithful Christian, indeed possibly a Christian period, must forbid speaking in tongues and cannot be eager to prophesy. So by accepting the logic of Warren we learn that we must disobey what the apostle actually said and in so doing we will save our souls. The text MEANS nothing like what it appears to mean:

“[R]ather than being under obligation not to forbid men to ‘speak in tongues’ … Christians living today ARE under obligation to teach others it is wrong either to attempt to or to claim to be able to ‘speak in tongues.’ This is the case because the total evidence of the Bible warrants this deduction.” (p. 55).

I wonder what Warren would say if some one used the same “logic” for the passage just a few verses away in 14.34? Would not Thomas’ allies say such a person did not believe in the “authority of the Bible?”

First Corinthians 14 is not the only place where it is clear that the fear of an “unacceptable” conclusion drives the Warren’s hermeneutic and not the biblical text or even logic. Later he soundly rejects the notion that only explicit commands are binding on humans because “if this doctrine were true, it follows that no one could rightly say, ‘You must not use instrumental music in the worship of God; it is sinful to do so” (p. 100). Warren has already at that conclusion (just as he did regarding 1 C 14.39) and any approach that calls the CONCLUSION into question is to be rejected out of hand. Rather we “must” accept the basic premise of the book and THEN the conclusions will follow … the ONLY acceptable conclusions. Conclusions already believed. Alister McGrath opined “It is important to appreciate that Protestant readings of the Bible are often shaped by past controversies” (Christianity’s Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution, p.204). The same can be said here. Warren has positions that are arrived at not by biblical exegesis but were hammered out in a polemical arena. Within the construct of Thomas B Warren correct biblical interpretation is simply another rung on the ladder we erect to heaven. It is, in my view, works salvation. If we misinterpret 1 C 14.39 it will cost us our salvation. This approach, it seems to me, breeds arrogance. It breeds self reliance. It all but denies the role of sin in our human apprehension of truth. It multiplies division and schism exponentially. This is serious stuff.

I believe in the Bible and ALL of the Bible. I believe the Bible is “logical” but certainly it is not a book of logic. It has a rhyme, it has a reason, it has a flow, it has an organic unity and it has a Story. I believe Scripture must be wrestled with and digested and prayed over and consumed for the life of the disciple and the Gathered People of God.

I do not believe the Bible is the Savior. The Crucified and Risen Messiah is. People had faith in him and lived in fellowship with him and each other long before there was something like our present Protestant Bibles. I believe God has given us Scripture to nourish us as we walk with him … so I sing “give me the Bible” and laud the excellencies of the written Word as it points me to the Living Word who dwells with his people to this very day. I hope to offer another post that may have some helpful pointers to a more theologically healthy hermeneutic.

My comments on Brother Warren’s book should not in ANY way be understood as an attack on him. I value his efforts to serve the Lord and thank God for his courage and faithfulness. His approach to the issue of hermeneutics is where I demur from him.

I am sorry for the long absence in my blogging. I promise to be more faithful with it in the future.

71 Responses to “Hermeneutics: A Salvation Matter!? Reflecting on Thomas B. Warren”

  1. Jason Browning Says:

    Bobby, well done! Thank you.

  2. Josh J. Says:

    Great post, Bobby. Gotta love the magisterium that we’ve created for ourselves.

    Josh

  3. Wade Says:

    Great post. Thanks, Bobby.

    I think it was John Wesley who came up with the very helpful concept of the “Wesleyan Quadilateral,” or the basic forces behind our embedded theology, which seems relevant to the conversation: (1) reason, (2) experience, (3) tradition, and (4) scripture. It seems beneficial to wrestle with our lenses–to ask the question, how do I come up with scriptural interpretations (i.e., background in which we are raised, life circumstances that shape our understanding, etc.)? Blessings!

  4. Stoogelover Says:

    Good post. Glad you’re back!! I grew up in north Alabama under that teaching (TBWarren was all but worshipped). It was a wonderful point in my life when I moved beyond that perspective.

  5. Dick Sztanyo Says:

    Bobby,

    I look forward to your musings on a “more healthy approach to hermeneutics.” This, because you have incredibly and woefully misunderstand brother Warren’s treatise. He was perhaps a little too one-sided in his emphasis on logic, however, he did not make the mistakes that you assigned to him.

    For one thing, it is not the Bible that saves, and brother Warren did not believe that. But, it IS the Bible through which all saving information about the Christ and the church originates. You have absolutely no knowledge about Him and what He expects of you, except through what the Bible teaches. In that sense, we are completely dependent upon its truths for our salvation to be realized.

    For another, it is not always what the Bible says that divides religious people. We all know what John 3:16 says, but that is not what separates us from Baptists and other versions of Calvinism. They see it as excluding obedience (including baptism), but I see it as including obedience, being a synechdoche (much like Acts 11:18; 1 Pet. 3;21; 1 John 2:23; etc.). The very context in which this passage is found stresses obedience (see John 3:3-5, 36).

    Still further, Warren’s burden was, in part, to describe the power of and value of implication as a means of arriving at truth. Without at least some understand-ing of implication (one doesn’t need to know all of the various forms of logical argument), we could not understand how we are to live today.

    I have several other things I could say, but I’ll end this brief rejoinder with a suggestion: perhaps you need to read the book a few more times. My reason for this suggestion is that your premise that “hermeneutics is actually a salvation issue” is NOT what brother Warren said explicitly nor is it what he said implicitly. I studied under him and knew him exceptionally well. It is also not what he personally believed. If a person differed with him on certain points (not relative to the plan of salvation, the existence of God, etc.), he would attempt to explain why he differed, but he never thought that his interpretation was a salvation issue (witness his view on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as over against, say, the view of Guy N. Woods). AND, what he said is absolutely correct, as my earlier mention of John 3:16 makes clear. We don’t differ on what John 3:16 says, but rather, on what it means. Bobby, you know that too, and I’m surprised that you have concluded otherwise!

  6. Randall Says:

    Bobby,
    Glad you’re back and I got to enjoy another great post. Just one point of contention I need to bring up: what’s with the hazelnut in the coffee?
    Peace,
    Randall

  7. Glenn Says:

    Bobby,

    Despite Mr. Sztanyo thinks, I believe you have uncovered a tender spot in the armor once known by its bearer – Contending For The Faith. TW had great gifts, to be sure, but also a very slanted view of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

    Your comments here have been well-stated and to the point. You have cut through a lot of the linguistically challenged writings of TW to uncover the central agenda of his writings. And for that you are to be commended.

    The wrestling between Unity and Uniformity continues, and as Sztanyo so readily points out, the battle lines are still being defined and redefined in some parts of our own nation, if not in scattered parts all over the world.

    I am looking forward to the next installment.

    Blessings…to Him who needs no help being understood…

  8. BillyWilson Says:

    pffft hummm

  9. ben overby Says:

    Bobby,

    The strongest point in your blog has to do with using logic to prove a predetermined conclusion. Science is often used the same way by people on either side of a political question. If we want to know the truth, we can, and it will set us free. How? Abiding in Jesus’ word. One doesn’t need Warren’s book or Copi’s for that matter, in order to abide in Jesus’ word. He says you’re blessed if you’re poor in spirit. If we abide in, or allow that word to settle into our lives, we begin to learn that Jesus knew what he was talking about, and before long we begin to trust him with our lives and . . . we’re then free! But Warren’s work had more to do with keeping church’s of Christ alive as a social grouping than knowing the truth that sets us free. Through Warren we learn, primarily, how to cobble the propositions that keep us captive. Sorry to be so harsh, but I’ve abided in both “words,” and have some experience with slavery and freedom.

    ben o.
    http://hopefulliving.wordpress.com

  10. Keith Brenton Says:

    All due respect, Mr. Sztanyo, if Mr. Warren’s contention was that

    “… it IS the Bible through which all saving information about the Christ and the church originates. You have absolutely no knowledge about Him and what He expects of you, except through what the Bible teaches. In that sense, we are completely dependent upon its truths for our salvation to be realized”

    … then he proceeds from a flawed premise. The Bible is not the sole source, nor does it claim to be. In fact, quite the opposite.

    See Romans 1:18-20, which tells us that “God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made”, which is certainly external to scripture.

    See also Jesus’ promise in John 16:13-15, that “the Spirit of truth … will guide you into all truth,” which is certainly supplemental to scripture for us but prior to much of it for those whom He directly promised the Comforter.

    So “all saving information about the Christ and the church originates” from the Holy Spirit, whose work is to “take from what is mine [Jesus’] and make it known to you” and “who goes out from the Father.” (15:26)

  11. Keith Says:

    Thanks for the interesting post, Bobby. Looking forward to the next one.

  12. Brian Casey Says:

    Found you via a couple of other blogs and have linked to you. Maybe your readers would also like some of what I have to say at blcasey.wordpress.com. One of my categories is the S-C Movement, and I tend to comment a lot on “stupid church tricks,” the assembly, and scriptural interpretation, too.

    Thanks for an effective treatment of some hermeneutical issues through some analysis of Warren. You seem to be saying some important things!

    Brian Casey
    blcasey@rochester.rr.com
    Fillmore, NY

  13. Wade Tannehill Says:

    In allegiance to predetermined conclusions, it’s amazing how a self-proclaimed “people of the book” have been so dishonest with the text. The key word, I think, is “control.” If we can just restrict the workings of the Spirit, then we can control everyone so no one gets too out-of-hand. Everything can be wraped up in a tidy package. Gone are mystery, intuition, and spontaneity. We have it all figured out so there are no new frontiers. It’s more comfortable that way. If can just keep everyone in the same hermeneutical straight-jacket, then we can restrict and control their movements.

  14. preacherman Says:

    Great post brother!
    Amen to everything you have said…
    I am glad you are posting again. Love your blog!!!

  15. Brian Says:

    Wow! worth the wait, thanks for that.

    well-said, and those views of interpretation are still strong among us

  16. kingdomseeking Says:

    This was the inevidable result of modernism, a human centered paradigm.

    Also, within the history of the CoC, 1 Corinthians 11-14 has been perhaps the most inconsistently interpreted text, often picking and plucking verses in such a way that becomes self-contrsdictory when looking at the larger context.

    Great post,

    K. Rex Butts

  17. Wade Tannehill Says:

    Rex,

    I agree with what you said and I understand where you are coming from. I would simply add that post-modernism is every bit the “human centered paradaigm” that modernism is. As I see it, modernism sought proofs through what could be objectified. The post-modern paradaigm relies more on subjectivity than objectivity, but is still very human. I think either approach taken to an extreme will have both gains and losses.

  18. kingdomseeking Says:

    Wade,

    I do believe there are positives and negatives to both modernism and postmodernism. However – and I could be wrong on this – I would not classify postmodernism as human centered as it has recognized the limitations and problems of a human driven/controlled world. If premodernism saw God/gods at the center/control of all things, modernism disposed with the “superstitions” of god/religion and saw human as the center/controll of world with the ability to fix and write its own destiny. Recognizing the failure of humanity, postmodernism seems to have become a “centerless” paradigm or a “perpetual morphing kaleidoscope” of things (religion, politics, philosophy, sociology, etc…) that are sought out to find the path forward. Whatever postmoderns place into the kaleidoscope will be what pragmatically works. From that standpoint, life is still about us and therefore human-focused.

    From a Christian viewpoint, we believe we are part of a large story with God as its main character and such a story runs against both modernism and postmodernism.

    Grace and peace,

    K. Rex Butts

  19. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:

    Wade and Rex a book you should read is James K. A. Smith’s “Whose Afraid of Postmodernism?” this is a most wonderful book.

  20. kingdomseeking Says:

    Thanks for the recommendation. I have heard of this before. Actually, I am more comfortable in a postmodern paradigm than the modern.

    Thanks again,

    K. Rex Butts

  21. Anonymous Says:

    Keith Brenton, you refer Dick Sztanyo and Thomas Warren as “Mr. Sztanyo & Mr. Warren but have many times called J.P. Manzi bro (brother). Even when he (JP)cursed and denounced Jesus as the Christ. Just curious.
    CoC

  22. Keith Brenton Says:

    No slight intended, CoC. Sometimes I call my daughter “Miss Laura.”

    I keep praying for JP, hoping that he will yet find a place for Christ in his heart and an end to his confusion and perplexity. If you have something against me for still loving him and his family as dearly as I love you or Tom Warren or Dick Sztanyo, I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me and join me in praying for him.

  23. Dick Sztanyo Says:

    To Keith Brenton,

    I appreciate your response to my response. However, I stand by my original statement for the following reasons: First, I am committed to the truths taught in Rom. 1:19ff., and use natural revelation constantly to argue the case for God’s existence. At the same time, one does not receive saving information from trees, stars, and human bodies. We can KNOW that God exists from nature, and have no excuse for denying that. But that does not give us saving knowledge. Second, THE only information we have regarding the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith, is found in the Spirit’s sword (the Word). It is not found in any other source. Surely, you are not going to contend that the Spirit gives you this information extra-Biblically, are you? If so, then prove it. If not, then you actually agree with me.

  24. Keith Brenton Says:

    To Dick Sztanyo,

    Does the Bible contain all truth? Does it claim to?

    Jesus’ promise regarding the Spirit was that He “will guide you into all truth. … He will tell you what is yet to come.” (John 16:13)

    Do you have proof that this refers only to what is recorded in scripture?

    You see, proof is easy to demand but difficult to supply in questions of faith. Implication may be sufficient to prove questions we feel are answered to our satisfaction … but from those with whom we disagree, we demand proof.

    Logic is an excellent tool with which to more fully understand God’s will for us through scripture – but it often provides two different answers to two different people.

    We so often fail to ask for His Spirit (Luke 13:31), who is given to unite us, and who will guide us into all truth.

    The Spirit inspires the written word of God, to be sure, and that precludes any contradiction between what the Spirit reveals whether written or personally. But no proof is required beyond scripture itself that the Spirit has revealed God in both ways … and only a kind of human logic can come to the extrascriptural conclusion that He no longer can or does so.

  25. Dick Sztanyo Says:

    Keith,

    There is good contextual evidence (from John 13-17) that the information contained in those chapters was intended for the apostles only. That is, it is purely an assumption on your part that John 16:13 applies to men today, and was not restricted to the apostles who were inspired men (Acts 2:4; Eph. 3:3-5; etc.).

    I believe in the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and His assistance in certain areas that the Bible clearly specifies. But, additional revelation BEYOND what is actually contained in Scripture is not one of them. Your position seems to be that Scripture does not contain the information that we need to attain life and Godliness (2 Pet. 1:3ff.), and that God is still revealing additional truth to you. Since that is completely subjective, there is no way to prove or disprove it to you emotionally. However, I am convinced that it can be disproved Biblically.

    Yes, Scripture contains all the truth that we need to bring us to salvation, and to aid us in living the Christian life (Acts 20:32; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). Does it contain all of the revelation that God has ever given? No, because He revealed Himself naturally as well as Scripturally (Ps. 19:1ff.; Acts 14:17; Rom. 1:19ff.). You can learn about God from nature, but you can’t learn about the church, about the plan of salvation, about Jesus’ life, teachings, death, burial, and resurrection apart from Scripture. And, I submit to you, that without Scripture, you wouldn’t even have a notion of this extra-revelatory truth that you seem to be claiming is given to you by the Holy Spirit. In other words, the only way you came to that understanding is through a misuse of a passage meant to apply only to the apostles.

  26. Keith Brenton Says:

    So … good contextual evidence is equal to fact? Through logic, of course? Which categorically proves that all of Jesus’ promise in John 14-16 nothing but history now?

    And all truth is equal to all truth pertaining to salvation?

    Then what point is there in believing in an indwelling Holy Spirit who doesn’t do anything?

    Peter says the promise is to all who are afar off … but not us? Or just part of the promise? How do you know which part or parts?

    Forgive me, bro, but it seems to me that point of view would require even more assumptions!

  27. Dick Sztanyo Says:

    Keith,

    The indwellng Spirit aids in prayer (Rom. 8:26-27), and in sealing us with a guarantee of future inheritance (Eph. 1:13-14), and a number of other things (e.g., Gal. 4:6; Rom. 8:16; etc.). BUT, and this is important, that information came strictly from the Spirit-inspired Word. I would not know it otherwise.

    You are the first person I have ever heard suggest that good contextual evidence cannot or does not equal fact. How else do we come to understand what Scripture teaches, except through grammar, context, etc.?

    Peter’s promise to “those who are afar off” (Acts 2:39) was of the indwelling Spirit, NOT additional revealtion (which was restricted to the apostles and prophets (Eph. 3:3-5; 2 Pet. 3:1ff.; Rom. 16:25f.).

    Finally no, all truth is not all truth pertaining to salvation. But, I hardly think that truth in mathematics, or in secular history, or in Physics, etc., need concern us all that much when we are talking about Biblical topics. Furthermore, when the issue being discussed here is “hermeneutics,” truths in those tangential areas don’t really speak to the issue now, do they? Come on, Keith. Put on your thinking cap.

  28. David Cook Says:

    Bobby, Good post! Are you suggesting that a relationship with Jesus superceeds a relationship with his text? The issue of interpretation largely influences the type of relationship each individual has with his/her God. If Scripture is indeed God’s primary way of revealing his interest to a lost community. Then how I read those statements in the text largely influences how I relate to my God. The whole process of interpretation should be reconsidered by any and perhaps all disciples. Scripture can not be manipulated as it has been by our tradition over the years. While we can not throw the baby out with the bath water; I do suggest we use scripture as a way to meet with God instead of a way to win an argument. Interpretation after all seems to be the primary vehicle for destroying fellowship in the brotherhood.
    Random thoughts I know. My basic point is that in the past our idea hass been that a relationship with the text= a relationship with God. I can know the text; understand its precepts; map out a plan based on a few selected verses; follow that plan and still not know my God… I suggest that an intimate relationship with the Father is possible without a familiarity with all of his word…

  29. Keith Brenton Says:

    I think we’re talking past each other, Dick.

    I was out of line to assume that your view was of a powerless or unhelpful Holy Spirit, and I apologize.

    But your hermeneutic and mine are so far apart, I don’t think we’ll be able to successfully communicate our points to help illuminate each other. So, yes, I do find hermeneutics to be at the heart of our misunderstanding.

    The scriptures you cite (Ephesians 3:3-5; 2 Peter 3:1ff.; Romans 16:25f.) do not indicate that additional revelation “was restricted to the apostles and prophets” (unless you add the word “only” somewhere in the Ephesians reference: the other two say nothing about the apostles or prophets of century one).

    And to conclude that Peter spoke only of the Spirit, but not of His gifts (or even some undefined quantity of them) is incomprehensible to me. Did the Holy Spirit reveal to you which gifts were to be withheld, and from whom, and at what time? Because I find no such delineation in scripture.

    Good contextual evidence is helpful but not equivalent to fact. If you can point it out in John 13-17 as supporting exclusivity of the apostles, it might be more persuasive to me. However, even that would seem to exclude “prophets” in your citing of Ephesians 3:3-5.

    Did Jesus only go to prepare a place for the apostles? Would only they live because He lives? Were only they the branches to His Vine? Did He only love them as the Father loved Him?

    I don’t really expect you to answer these questions; most of the questions I’ve asked in the comments above are really hard to answer and I can’t blame you for skipping a few. But I continue to believe that logic alone is not enough; that we would all be better served in getting answers to our questions if we simply asked for the help of the Holy Spirit.

    Sometimes, as James says (1:5-6;), we don’t have because we don’t ask.

    I will not accuse you of not wearing a thinking cap; simply of wearing a different one than I wear. I already know that I am abominably stupid when it comes to spiritual matters, and don’t really need to be reminded, bro! (That’s why I ask for help from the One who can provide it.

    And sometimes He provides.)

    I’m afraid we will just have to continue singing “Break Thou The Bread of Life” differently: you, with the phrase “within the sacred page,” and I with “beyond the sacred page.”

  30. sony notebook battery Says:

    good post,great review…

  31. Dick Sztanyo Says:

    Keith,

    I will also apologize if I needlessly offended you. I have also never said, nor do I believe, that “logic alone is enough.” Logic is simply a tool to aid us in understanding things, and I have never said otherwise. Still further, I have not said much about logic in my posts here.

    I will ask you a question or two, though. First,do you believe that God is still revealing additional truth today–not contained in Scripture? Second, do you believe that you personally have received additional revelation to what is contained in Scripture? If your answer to either is no, then I guess I am missing your point. If your answer, instead, is yes, then I’d like to have access to this additional revelation–especially if I need it for my salvation.

    Again, with reference to hermeneutics: how exactly do you approach the Spirit’s message? I would be interest in these things.

    Now, I don’t want to beg off continuing, but I am engaged in three different businesses, preach for the Pelham congregation, and serve as one of its elders, and am involved in a good bit of writing and teaching. I will likely answer some of your questions, but please don’t think badly of me if that doesn’t happen immediately.

    Again, if your were offended by my language, then I apologize as well.

  32. Anonymous Says:

    I have nothing against you. But I was wondering why you call one bro (brother, One who searches but in his search he curses our Savior) and one Mr. Sure it is your business what you call someone but thought it odd in the manner that you referred to Dick Sztanyo. I did enjoy the correspondence between you and brother Sztanyo.
    CoC

  33. Keith Brenton Says:

    Dick, I’ll try to keep my answers brief:

    First,do you believe that God is still revealing additional truth today – not contained in Scripture?
    I’d have to say I’m at the stage of trying to believe that, since I find nothing that contradicts it. If it’s available, I know I need to ask in faith (James 1:5-7) or I’m wasting my time and God’s.

    Second, do you believe that you personally have received additional revelation to what is contained in Scripture?
    I think it’s possible that I have received additional revelation – and many other people have as well – without even realizing it, so subtle was the Spirit’s whisper and so built-up is our resistance to the possibility of it.

    I can think of times, in retrospect, when a passage of scripture has become suddenly clear – sometimes after being obscured by previous teachings about its meaning. Is that new revelation? It was new to me!

    Again, with reference to hermeneutics: how exactly do you approach the Spirit’s message?
    I’m still trying to encapsulate it, but for want of a better term, I’m trying to see scripture through a “Jesus hermeneutic.” That is, to see scripture as pointing back toward, directly at, and/or forward to Jesus. If I’ve been told that a passage means something, and yet that meaning clearly contradicts the nature of God and the heart of Jesus Christ – both their justice and their mercy – then I believe it’s time to ask for help from the Holy Spirit in getting to the truth.

    I’d like to have access to this additional revelation – especially if I need it for my salvation.
    I don’t know that I have written anything that indicates I disagree with your contention that what is necessary for salvation has been revealed in scripture. But I do have a pretty broad definition of salvation: that it is more than five steps, that it is not complete on the achievement of them, and that it encompasses more than just going to heaven when one dies. Salvation is an ongoing, life-long process of growing, maturing in Christ, being transformed into His image (2 Corinthians 3:18), which we work out in obedience to and partnership with God (Philippians 2:12-13).

    And it’s not just my salvation that may benefit by the occasional bit of truth from the Holy Spirit – it could be that others might benefit if I listened when the Spirit prods me to go here or there and do this or that – or not to – or to be prepared for the consequences if I do! (Acts 16:31; 21:11). Even if it’s just a nudge to go speak to someone who looks confused, or to put a hand on the shoulder of someone who’s distraught – both of us could be blessed.

    Actually, I’ve been blessed by trading thoughts with you here and I hope you have been, too. When you have some time, I’d be interested in your answers, too – as much to the questions you posed to me in your last comment as to any others!

  34. Dick Sztanyo Says:

    When I can spare the time, I certainly will attend to the questions, including those I asked of you.

    Keith, I mean no ill will toward you at all. I think that you know that we are poles apart, however, I think that there are some common threads where perhaps we can bridge the divide, and come to better understanding.

    For now, I simply must attend to other things. But, I’LLLLLLLLLLLL be back!

  35. Matthew Says:

    Bobby, Coming back with a homerun post. Loved it.

  36. Patrick Mead Says:

    I enjoyed this very much, Bobby. Thank you for doing the hard work of putting it together. I plan to steal from it… uh… .liberally… in the days ahead.

  37. Patrick Mead Says:

    Bobby, I also have a request! Some restoration preacher was asked if there were Christians in the denominations and he said something about them being found everywhere else — pool halls, bars, etc. Can you help direct me to this quote when you have time?

  38. laymond Says:

    Keith said, … “then he proceeds from a flawed premise. The Bible is not the sole source, nor does it claim to be. In fact, quite the opposite.”
    And then brother Brenton goes on to quote the bible, to prove his point that the bible is not the sole source.

  39. Keith Brenton Says:

    laymond, you get the biggest tickle out of ribbing me, don’t you?

    We all pretty much agree that the Bible is authoritative source; I was pretty sure Dick would agree to that. So I used scripture as the source of my point, with which he only partially agreed.

    “Go outside, look up at night and experience the handiwork of God” doesn’t constitute evidence for some folks unless Psalm 19:1 says so!

    (I know, because I usedta be one o’ them folk.)

  40. laymond Says:

    Dick Sztanyo said…To Keith Brenton,
    “We can KNOW that God exists from nature, and have no excuse for denying that. But that does not give us saving knowledge.”

    Keith, brother Sztanyo pretty much said it all here. If we were not blessed with the gift of a book recording God’s creation and the teachings of a man called Jesus, we could still look at the wonders of God’s handiwork, and know there is something greater than us out there, but we would have no knowledge of salvation, or what is expected of man to receive that great gift, without the bible.

  41. Keith Brenton Says:

    I won’t argue that the Bible is a source for the story of salvation in Jesus Christ … but unless someone reads it and teaches it to the illiterate, it’s a doorstop to them. To the hopeless and hassled who aren’t acquainted with it and have never seen someone live a Christ-like life, it’s just another book.

    We need to be God’s word to them … and I want to emphasize that for three hundred years or more after the Ascension, there was no single, collected, canonized Bible; people were threatened, imprisoned, tortured and killed for believing, and the cause of Christ did just fine.

    Why?

    I believe it’s because the Holy Spirit of God kept Jesus’ promise that you and I can read in Matthew 10:19 or Mark 13:19 or Luke 12:11 or John 16:8-11.

    I’m here to tell you that we were not commissioned to distribute Bibles and say, “Here, read this.” We were – like those of century one – commissioned to go, and teach the gospel, and make disciples of all nations, and baptize them in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe everything Jesus instructed them.

    We use the Bible like a crutch, all of us – including me. We can’t quote it, we can’t cite it without a copy in our hands or on our iPhones or bookmarked in our browsers. We argue about what it means and we don’t even know what it says – and I am the chief of violators in that regard.

    We don’t know the stories because we only read the moral of them. We don’t know the context because we only read the verses.

    We ought to be more like the refugees in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 – walking books; rehearsing, living Bibles so that His word will written on our minds and hearts and Jeremiah’s prophecy will come true (31:31-34. And if we think just study and memorization is going to do that, we’re fooling ourselves; we need to live it and the one and only way for that to happen is let God’s Spirit live in us and let Christ live through us.

    I simply will not shut up anymore about the sorry, self-righteous, self-dependent, God-defying injustice we have done in trying to replace the Holy Spirit with the Holy Bible. They work together! One inspired the other! They were never meant as sequential tools to be used by us; we were intended to be tools willing to be used by God through His Spirit and armed with His sword, the Word of God.

    Sorry, Bobby; I seem to have borrowed a lot of pixels at your expense. This is an awesome post and it exposes self-reliant error for what it is. I owe you.

  42. laymond Says:

    2Jn:1:9: Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

    2Jn:1:10: If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

    I fail to find within the teachings of Christ, that everyday Christians become indwelled by the Holy Ghost at baptism, or any other time. I do read where Jesus is talking to his apostles and gives them the encouragement to continue in his teachings/doctrine although he will not be present in the flesh, he has not left them without help. Jesus left his apostles to teach his doctrine to the multitudes, and some of them decided the way to do that is to write down what they personally witnessed, and leave that testimony for future generations.In my opinion, it has worked well.

  43. Keith Brenton Says:

    “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.” ~ Romans 8:11

    “So it is written: ‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:45

    “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” ~ 2 Corinthians 3:6

    “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” ~ Galatians 6:8

    I don’t know what conclusion you draw from these verses; whether you regard them as literal or figurative or unimportant or incomprehensible. To me, these and other scriptures say very plainly that from the first moments when God’s Spirit hovered over the waters to the present moment when the Spirit and the Bride say “Come!”, the Holy Spirit has been and remains the Spirit of Life through whom God gives life.

    If you believe that and regard it as part of the natural order that God has created and sustains, I cannot argue with you. If you believe that and regard it as miraculous – the restoration of life to dead, buried, disintegrated flesh; gloriously transformed into the image of the Incorruptible – I cannot argue with you, either. I do not know which way to describe it.

    I simply believe it to be true, because that is what scripture simply says.

    If it is true … what does that mean for those who quench the Spirit? confidently restrict His power to the past inspiration of the scriptures only? loudly assert their absolute knowledge regarding what He can or will or does or does not do in the present age?

    Back up to Romans 8:9-10, just before the verse quoted above:
    “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.”

    Can a person who does not permit the Spirit of Christ to live in him or her – by denying that He can and should – have a reasonable expectation to be resurrected from the dead by that Spirit?

    If Jesus’ words in John 16:5-15 were for His disciples and/or that era only, then who convicts the world of sin and guides His followers into all truth today?

    If He is gone from our lives and our words, how can we hope for the full and eternal life He brings?

    How can we convey that hope to others?

  44. Jody B Says:

    Thank you Keith.

    laymond, please read 1 Cor 2:14 with me. Paul states: “But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Well, according to you, I guess we should go ahead and shut down this blog now, because we don’t understand any of God’s words anyway.

    Now if Paul says what I think he does in Rom 8:9-11 and 1 Cor 3:16 and 2 Tim 2:14, then the indwelling of the Spirit is very real in those who are His. Claiming that the intellect is the only thing that gives us the ability to understand the word of God shows a lack of conversion. It means you do not and cannot understand the words of God.

    This is what absolutely blows me away: How in the world can some in the Church be so certain that incorrect interpretation of scriptures regarding corporate worship practices is a “damnable heresy” and not understand the fundamentals of the Holy Spirit?

    (shakes head)

  45. laymond Says:

    Keith and Jody, convince me of your indwelling by stating how your life is influenced by this spirit which dwells within, what is the guidance which is imparted to you differently, or more fully by this spirit than it was by the words of God, spoken by his Son. I do believe Jesus said when he spoke to the apostles , you will be reminded of things already spoken, not new things to come.

    Jody, I would be happy to sit down with you in person or on the keyboard and explain how I see what Paul was saying, but I am afraid that would require intellect, and you would not take the word of a non-converted sinner. And as I said above to you and brother Keith, until you impart some wisdom, of salvation other than what is readily available within the pages of the bible, I am afraid I and many others will continue to have doubts.
    I along with countless others are indwelled by the spirit of knowledge imparted to us by the word of God delivered by Jesus and written down by apostles of Christ who witnessed these things. Please remind me of what God said about the new covenant, and how we would not need someone else to teach us, how it would be written within our memory/mind.

  46. Jody B Says:

    laymond, without the Spirit, one cannot properly understand the words of God because they are spiritual. I’m just (barely) re-phrasing what Paul said. Relying on intellect alone gets us nowhere because that premise basically states that if I’m smarter (i.e. interpret the Bible better) than you, then you must listen to me and do what I tell you. Didn’t the Hebrew writer say something regarding this in 8:10-12? 😉 As a matter of fact, Rom 8:10-12 indicates that the mind must be set on the Spirit and the mind must be controlled by the Spirit. Unfortunately, the Bible doesn’t give me an exact answer to every request for wisdom I make of God. In other words, when I pray to God to help me make an ethical decision on a job or pray for righteous counsel to give a friend in need, then how am I to know that I have received the answer except by having his Spirit within me which allows me interpret my potential words or actions according to the word of God?

    Where you give credit to “spirit of knowledge imparted to us by the word of God delivered by Jesus and written down by apostles of Christ who witnessed these things” (BTW, where is that found in scripture), I give credit to the Spirit of God itself. I believe 2 Tim 3:16 with all my heart, but if intellect is the sole thing that allows me to interpret scripture, then I can make the word of God say anything I want and that is the subject of Bobby’s thesis. That is humanist to the core and indeed may be demonic.

  47. laymond Says:

    Jody, I assume you are saying that you have never given any bad advice.
    Well I have been called a lot of things, but up till now never a demon, but I guess I am in good company, wasn’t Jesus accused also?

  48. Keith Says:

    Hello laymond.
    You said above:

    “I fail to find within the teachings of Christ, that everyday Christians become indwelled by the Holy Ghost at baptism, or any other time.”

    I don’t understand your view here. Ephesians 1.13-14 says:

    13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

    I understand this verse to say that Christians are given the Holy Spirit. That’s how you know they are Christians. And being so marked (with the Holy Spirit) you will receive salvation. I don’t see how you can be a Christian without having the Holy Spirit.

    Would you care to elaborate on your statement?

    Thanks,
    Keith Cummings

  49. laymond Says:

    Keith C. May I suggest that you read both the KJV, and a newer version, if the KJV is difficult to understand.

    KJV–Eph:1:3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

    13: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
    14: Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

    What I understand the first ch. of Eph. to say is God trusted his son Jesus with the word of truth, and if we also trust in his son, we will inherit things promised.

    (When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance)

    What this seems to say is you receive the “holy spirit” until you get something better.
    I say Paul is speaking of a promise, you say he is speaking of a spirit. No I don’t believe I need to change anything yet. I will continue to trust God’s promise, while you seem to need more.

  50. Keith Says:

    laymond,
    Thanks for the reply.

    Taking a look at the KJV it says,
    “ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,”

    “of promise” is a prepositional phrase describing the prepositional object, the Holy Spirit. It still says you were sealed with the Holy Spirit.

    The next verse says, “Which is the earnest of our inheritance…” What is this “earnest” if not the Holy Spirit? The promise grammatically cannot be the earnest as it is applied only to it’s prepositional object: the Holy Spirit.

    I’m still not following your interpretation here. I really don’t mean to pester, I just don’t get it.

    There are many other passages that say Christians have the Holy Spirit:
    Romans 8.9
    1 Corinthians 3.16-17
    1 Corinthians 6.19
    Ephesians 2.22
    1 John 2.14

    Why is it that you feel like we can’t have the Holy Spirit living in us? You seem to put a great deal of faith that God has preserved the Bible so that we can know him. I agree. Why would he also not give us his Spirit so we could know him as well? That’s how I look at it and I think the Bible supports this view. I could be wrong, of course.
    -Keith C

    P.S. Maybe us Keith’s are just trouble-makers 😉

  51. Keith Brenton Says:

    It’s the name. “Woody,” “hilly,” “windy,” or “narrow.”

    Especially “windy” and “narrow!”

  52. Keith Says:

    hehe

  53. laymond Says:

    Keith C. and B I will stay with the book of Eph. For now.

    Eph: 1:13 ——————- ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

    Eph: 1:17: That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

    Seems that Paul ( in my opinion) was speaking of two gifts here, the gift of the promise, and that of wisdom. If we believe in his son Jesus Christ.

    Rv: 5:6: And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
    I don’t see any place in scripture that says the Holy Ghost will dwell within any earthly body, the only person I see who received all the spirits of God was his son Jesus Christ.

    Jn: 3:34: For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. ( does this not suggest that God does give the spirit by measure to others?)

    Isa: 11:1: And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
    2: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

    Jn: 1:32: And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

    I agree that the spirit of holiness should rest upon the Christian, we should be holy as God is holy.
    But I can’t see where the “third person of the trinity” dwells within the Christian.

  54. Anonymous Says:

    laymond, what do you think would happen “if” the spirit did indwell each Chrsitian?

  55. laymond Says:

    Anon. I would expect something on the line of what happened when Jesus bestowed the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, or when they later bestowed the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. I would expect healing hands, and tongues spoken.
    Not just the forgiveness of sins, as Paul said John’s baptism was the baptism of repentance, but it did not bestow the Holy Ghost. Even the baptism in the name of Jesus did not do that until the hands of the apostle were laid on.
    according to the book of Acts.

  56. Keith Says:

    laymond,
    You said you didn’t see where the Bible says the Holy Spirit will dwell in an earthly body. I think I listed five such passages in my previous post.

    Also, the KJV butchers John 3.34. Consider a newer version or even better the original Greek and you’ll see it actually says that God gives the Spirit “without measure” or “without limit.” This is quite different than “by measure.” (The KJV has many such problems, but what should we expect from a 400 year old translation. It was great in its day.)
    But either way, you seem to be conceding that God does, in fact, give his Spirit to his people. But I may not have got your point on this verse correct.

    Either way, I wish you the best, as I think we may just see things differently here. I’ll leave the closing arguments to you.

  57. Anonymous Says:

    Guys I’m just a little tired of the same old humanistic, claptrap, 3-step hermeneutic that subjugates us to Ph.D.-level interpretation of simple language. If the scriptures say Christians have the spirit, then we don’t need someone who thinks they know more than the inspired authors telling us we don’t. No need in arguing with someone who is steeped in works-based theology.

  58. Anonymous Says:

    Oh we have that ol works based theory. I don’t agree with Laymond. Scripture says the Spirit dwells in His children and I believe it. But I don’t see Laymond saying “work based theory.” You brethren, always go to that silly saying, “WBT” Where did you get that? What did he say that is WBT?
    CoC

  59. Anonymous Says:

    Excuse me…..theology
    CoC

  60. cwinwc Says:

    Wow – I stay away a couple of months and look what I found – great post.

  61. laymond Says:

    Anon, if you used the “WBT” as “WORD BASED THEOLOGY” you would be closer.

    Jn :8:31: Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
    1 Jn: 2:24: Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

    could this be the way in which the spirit indwells? He said his law will dwell within us, because he has written it upon our heart.

    I don’t believe anyone can earn a reward like eternal life, no one will gain this reward except by the grace of God, and without the gift of his son, and the word he brought. The Gospel.

  62. Edward Says:

    As a 13 or 14-year-old, I heard Roy Cogdill and Guy N. Woods debate the “institutional” issue in Birmingham, Ala. Both men, I am told, had law degrees, but neither practicing law.

    (SIDE NOTE: Having pacticed law myself now for more than two decades, I realize that no judge would have tolerated the kind of arguments they were both dishing out as being 100% nail-banging, foot-stomping, bell-ringing, last-word, summary-judgment-quality material.)

    My main impression, which I wrote in my notebook at the time, was “If what these men are saying is true, the only people who have any chance of going to heaven are lawyers!” Given what Jesus said about the “lawyers” of his day, that might make for some empty streets in the New Jerusalem.

    Ah, the simplicity of the gospel! (I am presently scribbling a series of short, simplistic pieces on the same topic you treat here (at http://www.EdwardFudge.com/-gracemails/plague_patternism.html).

    Keep up the good work, brother — you’re the man!

  63. Jody B Says:

    Ouch, Edward…my toes hurt.

  64. Dale's Spot Says:

    just a note here. I got word late last night that Lindsey Warren, Thomas’ son, passed away. He was a prince of a man. Loving, kind, fun, as thoughtful as any man you’d ever meet, dedicated to the Lord and to his (and His) Family.

    d
    http://www.dalejenkins.com

  65. Anonymous Says:

    I came here to be refreshed but I feel like I’m in Athens. The world is going to hell one sole at a time. Let’s go knock doors or in some way go to the lost world (in addition to preaching to the choir on Sunday morning).

  66. Anonymous Says:

    Didn’t Bro Warren write a book on the Holy Spirit? I seem to remember one. I am having a hard time finding it.

  67. Anonymous Says:

    It is very ironic that one could put the arguments made against what Warren has taught into logical form, and find that the argument is illogical.

  68. Anonymous Says:

    On the author’s comment about Warren having no proof as to why 1 Cor. 14:39 is not binding (i.e. that we CANNOT (not “should not” btw) speak in tongues:

    This is 100% false. Check out Spiritual Sword: Volume 5, Issue 3.

  69. Anonymous Says:

    Boys, context is the key here. What’s misunderstood is the writer, the audience and the occasion. Find a legitimate tongue speaker–one who fluently speaks in a known language that he has not studied– and then make your case. You can’t, you won’t.
    A binding or non binding example has to do with whether or not the original intent of the letter applied to ALL Christians or just the Christians being written to. Take the letter to Philemon: Are we arguing that we are to put any debts against us on Paul’s account and prepare lodging for his arrival? come on let’s be intellectually honest here and not do our own predetermined conclusions.

  70. Ryan Says:

    Excellent post. My reading of Warren has always left me frustrated. How can a man who goes on and on about logic pay so little attention to the justifications of his own premises and to his own potential for making fallacies. I wish he had spent as much time in his works discussing the nature of language and the nature of logical fallacies as he does in demonstrating his ability to settle arguments by merely appearing to abide by the ‘law of rationality’.

  71. larry0417bullington@tx.rr.com Says:

    I grew up in the c of c and by the time I was 15 I was so guilt-ridden,I thought there was no way I could be saved. Now 52 years and 4 divorces later I know what Jesus did on The Cross and it wasn’t for the self-righteous but for sinners like me.Most c of c members want nothing to do with me,but God through His Son Jesus Christ and the wonderful work of The Holy Spirit convene with me everyday,AND I SHOUT EVERYDAY ‘Thank You Jesue” for saving my soul.

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