If You Can’t Stand Superiority, Get Off the Top Shelf

The chief deficiency of Protestantism, according to Jason and the Callers, is that we only have a Bible that needs to be interpreted while they — Roman Catholics — have a pope who is the final word on interpretation. In other words, Protestants have multiple opinions about the Bible’s meaning while Roman Catholics have one truth thanks to its one pope (please don’t notice, by the way, when the church had more than one).

Given this anti-Protestant polemic (the new acceptable prejudice), I had a good chuckle when devout Roman Catholics had to come to the rescue to explain what Francis meant in his recent universalistic sounding homily.

Andrew Preslar did a pretty good impersonation of a Protestant reading his Bible when he wrote:

The key to understanding the Pope’s remarks is to understand that there is a difference between being redeemed–as are all men (objectively), because of Christ’s death and resurrection–and being saved or in a state of grace–as are only those who receive God’s grace by faith and abide in his love. It is also important to notice that the Pope was not teaching that atheists can be saved merely by doing good works. He made two distinct though related points; namely, that atheists can do good works and that Christ has redeemed everyone. For these reasons, we can “meet one another in doing good.” [1] Of course, the Pope’s point about the universality of the Atonement is disputed by Calvinists, and the teaching of Vatican II concerning the possibility of salvation apart from explicit faith in Christ is widely debated in non-Catholic Christian circles. Without here entering into these debates by way of argument, I want to describe how I think about this matter now, as a Catholic, with special reference to evangelism.

Bryan Cross couldn’t resist getting in on the fun of private interpretation:

Whatever the merits of these explanations of Francis, they flatly contradict the claim that Protestantism suffers from a diversity of opinions. Roman Catholicism does as well. You have the former Protestant line of Francis’ meaning, and then you have the cradle-left-leaning-social-justice Roman Catholic version. Link to NCR comments on homily. Protestants have to interpret the Bible and Roman Catholics (post-Vatican 2) have the freedom to interpret their bishops. Without any temporal power to enforce the right interpretation – whether Geneva’s City Council or the Roman Inquisition, we’re all Protestants now.

If Jason and the Callers had the slightest awareness of history, they would know that they jumped from the frying pan of denominationalism into the fire of Roman Catholic opinion making. But to justify their rational, autonomous decisionism, they continue to think they have chosen the church of Cappadocia circa 389 AD.

Modernity does make its demands.

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  1. sean
    Posted September 4, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Michael, canon as intrinsic to treaty form is a self-limiting consideration as it is coterminous with propehtic administration.

  2. Posted September 4, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Could you make that a little clear for this East Texas boy.

  3. sean
    Posted September 4, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Michael, you don’t have covenant apart from prophetic administration. That’s how we get the law and the prophets paradigm. Canon intrinsic to treaty form(covenant form) is inclusive of this prophetic ministration. Deut 18:15, exodus 4:16, 7:1

  4. Drew P
    Posted September 4, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink


    Reading back over our discussion, I can understand your confusion as to which questions to answer. You gave some answers to the original questions but they proved to cloud my understanding more than to clarify it and the clarifications are what I have not found to be as forthcoming. So, I’ll try to distill this as best as I can.

    I believe the heart of the issue is best laid out in what I said in this comment. To this you gave some measure of an answer in saying that you believe that there would have been some form of a Magisterium that determined the canon for the people of the OT. However, this is a direct contradiction to the articles that you have pointed to elsewhere by Barber and CTC and what you yourself have said concerning the status of the canon in the OT as I talk about in this comment.

    So, I’m at a loss. You are arguing that we need a body given the authority by God to tell us what the canon is today and that there is no other means by which we can know what God’s word is. When I pressed you on this, you said that the same would have had to be true for OT saints. However, when making positive arguments against the Protestant canon, every argument you’ve cited and used has said that not only was there no consensus on the canon but that there was in fact no way to know at that time what it was. So, I don’t know which line of argumentation to believe or how they can be reconciled.

    So, the 2 ways of reconciling things as I see it are as follows. First, you hold to what you said about there being a body that determined the canon prior to the advent of Christ and repudiate Barber’s, CTC’s, and your own previous arguments to the contrary and either identify what that body was and how we can find what they identified as the canon authoritatively that is in agreement with Rome’s position or simply assert that such a body must, of necessity of the truth of the position, have existed even though you have nothing to indicate that such is the case.

    The other option is to back off of the position that there was an authoritative body that identified the canon prior to Christ’s advent and admit that there was another way that people identified and received God’s word or contend that the people therefore had no means of identifying and receiving His word. If you choose the former, then you need to account for why you assert the necessity of the Magisterium to define the canon now when there was a time when the canon was identified apart from it or you need to admit that the Magisterium is not necessary to the process of us identifying what is and is not God’s word.

    I hope that explains what I’m asking for. Thanks.

  5. Posted September 4, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I guess I’m just not getting what your thoughts are trying to point out to me and for what reason you are saying it. How are we kicking out the books here?

  6. sean
    Posted September 4, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Michael, the ANE treaty form consideration was one in where canon is intrinsic to treaty form. Part of that treaty form(covenant) consideration is prophetic administration. So, where there is no prophetic administration as stipulated in Deut., for example, you don’t have execution of covenant ministration and thus no canon. The deuterocanon has no prophetic administration. Therefore it’s not part of the treaty form therefore not part of the covenantal documents therefore not canonical.

  7. Drew P
    Posted September 4, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink


    Sorry the comments didn’t format properly in the post above. I was referring to my 6/4 3:32 pm comment and my 6/6 11:11 am comment.

    Hopefully that helps.

  8. Posted September 4, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Thanks. That makes your points clearer. If I understand you right, there is no prophetic or revelatory nature to any of the seven books so they are excluded. Or is it the time period in which you are saying there couldn’t be revelation?

  9. sean
    Posted September 4, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Michael, there’s no prophetic administration. There is no prophet during the time, by which covenantal documents may eminate. If I remember correctly even Macc. notes this as a time absent of prophets. Malachi anticipates the next prophet as John the Baptist; Elijah in Mal. 4

  10. Posted September 4, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Great clarification, Drew. I think I can help you with those problems in your understanding of my current view. Let me get some time to put it together and i will get back to you.

  11. Posted September 4, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    What Scriptures do you go to to confirm this premise?

  12. Drew P
    Posted September 4, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink


    My comments have been getting hung up in moderation and the links didn’t work in the one post that got posted so just to clarify, I meant my 6/4 3:32 pm comment and my 6/6 11:11 am comment as the ones that lay out much of what I’m trying to say. Hopefully this one gets through.

  13. sean
    Posted September 4, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Michael I don’t understand your question, which premise?

  14. mark mcculley
    Posted September 4, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    anybody see cardinal dolan on colbert last night–jolly politician.

    Colbert: But aren’t we supposed to judge?

    dolan: The Bible says, “judge the sin but not the sinner”.

  15. Zrim
    Posted September 4, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Mark, he must have the Ben Franklin translation.

  16. Posted September 4, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Sean, the idea that just because there is no sent prophet that there is no Holy Spirit inspired Scripture. Not all Scripture is written by commissioned and sent prophets right?

  17. Posted September 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Drew. I will take off from the above comment and make any clarifications from there. Sound good?

  18. Posted September 4, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Probably won’t be til tomorrow or so.

  19. sean
    Posted September 4, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Michael, I think that is the case. Heb 1:1 tells us that this was how God spoke to the OT saints; was through the prophetic office. It’s not a matter of the prophet writing the text, it’s the existence of the prophetic office in conjunction with the administration of the covenant that in turn generates canonical documents. You don’t have prophets in the land ‘executing’ the covenant or bringing lawsuit against the covenant people and enforcing the sanctions, delivering God’s verdict during the time frame. So, you don’t have ongoing generation of covenantal documents after Malachi.

  20. Drew P
    Posted September 4, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink


    That’s fine, I just wanted to make sure you knew which comments I was citing so that there wasn’t any confusion.

  21. Posted September 5, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the wait. I hope this will help.

    I guess to distill my premises, it come down to I know I don’t have any answer on limiting the canon and I don’t feel I should. The Church leaders have an answer and I have come to accept the Catholic Church is Christ’s Church. I am still looking at what other reasonable possibilities there could be. Some other reasonable Scriptural/historic way is what I would like to hear. My premise is I know of no other way to accept and teach the limits of the inspired books than the protection given within the Scriptures to the Apostles. They didn’t tell us. I haven’t found it in history or Scripture or logic or direct light from the Spirit or an intuition of some kind.

    To help clarify what I think may be the case regarding your confusion on my points. It probably has to do with that I hold out what could be the possiblies. I’m not being shifty. I’m just unsure. But, I still think I can clarify your confusion with my position.

    Here is my idea. It is reasonable that Israel was able to recognize the books of Scripture. It is also possible that these books were common knowledge of the learned Israelites and maybe even common to all at the time of Christ. History(prior to time of the NT Church) nor Scripture seems to make that explicitly clear in my current knowledge. I believe for it to have been explicitly clear to the Israelites it would have taken more than the faithful Isrealite or even a sect of Israelites to say so by reading all the stuff written back then (I could be wrong here). But, this is where my pre-Christ magisterium comes in. I see a unifying voice needed. In the Scriptures we have Jesus issuing the command to “practice and observe whatever they tell you”, this is the scribes and the Pharisees who “sit on Moses’ seat.”[Matt 23:3] This seems to point to a unifiable voice to the people recognized by Christ. Of course, He goes on to tell the crowds not to “do what they do; for they preach but do not practice.” He also speaks of there being human traditions that are against the word of God. All this is still in my framework as a Catholic. By grace, I will not practice what Church leaders/teachers do, if it is against the Faith or the love of God and neighbor and I will not follow a tradition that goes against the Word of God. This pre-Christ leadership in the people of Israel is how the Bereans could have had a sure understanding of what books were the Scriptures, even if at the time some books were possibly undefined. The Church also doesn’t teach that people such as yourself should not look into the Scriptures to try and understand all that you can understand. The Church teaches to its own that you can not use the Word against the God given authority of the infallible instructions of the Church’s Teaching office given in that Word. This would make that person out of submission to the Church leaders, which is a command of Scripture. This is all the same teachings to the eklessia of Israel applied to the NT Church, in my understanding. But for those outside the Church, they should seek to search the Scriptures to test and see if the Church is what it says it is. Like the Bereans tested Paul. Just like a Gentile would do to enter into communion with the kahal/eklessia of Isreal. This is what I did coming into the Church. This type of studying is what I understand the Bereans to have done. They heard Paul speak with the authority given to him by Christ and they searched the Scriptures(whatever they understood those Scriptures to be[39 or 46 or even a core of less than both]{This is what is uncertain to me}), to see if what he said was consistent with the Scriptures and they “received the word” from Paul “with eagerness.”

    Here is where I think you are getting the disconnect in what the articles bring forward and what you are hearing from me. I am not dealing with historical evidence in what is above. I’m only thinking through what makes sense from the Scriptures to me. My interpretive evidence includes what is above, but includes other things as well. That is where other evidences to the limits of the canon like what you find in the articles come into play. Some of those are that there isn’t any solid evidence to what the “received” OT books are prior to the NT Church, as the articles put forward.

    This will be vague, but some of the essentials that shape where I am are:

    there is good evidence the Greek translation of Scriptures(Septuagent) made by Jewish scholars had more books in it than the 39(third centry BC)(this translation is largely quoted by the NT writers and early Church fathers)(It basically includes the 7 books to my knowledge),
    the Jews only have a list at around 200AD in the Talmud(after their rejection of Christ, Christians and the commissioning of the Apostles to teach all nations “first to the Jew then to the Greek”),
    the Talmud quotes some of those books as Scripture, I think Sirach,
    they are use as Scripture by many Church teachers throughout history prior to the 1500(I just know of things I have read they are right in their(St Athanasius, St Cyril, St John Chrysostom, St Augustine, St Thomas, St Francis, St Anthony),
    the councils of Church leaders such as Hippo(393)&Carthage(397) list the 73 books[which was basically uncontested until the Reformation, to my knowledge],
    the 73 are read as Scripture throughout Church history(to my knowledge on the subject),
    the Guetenburg Bible(before the Reformation bible) has them in it,
    the Counsel of Florence(1440s) had them all listed as inspired by the Holy Spirit[This council was dealing with the division with the Eastern Orthodox],
    the German translation by Luther has them in a index, but he also has James, Jude, Hebrews and Revelation indexed separately,
    the KJV(1611) had them in it(though in a separate category),

    I’m sure I could keep rummaging my brain but I think that gives you a bit of my thoughts to rummage through.

    Here is sort of why Sola Scriptura’s place in this in important to me. If we are to operate Sola Scriptura then we must be seeking to harmonize all the Scriptures, so we must know what they are to do so. We can’t drop books which are inspired books to uninspired status because they do not fit our current interpretation of things elsewhere. This is what I see happening during the Reformation period, not books which were never considered inspired being added to the canon.
    I really hope this helps you see where I am. There of course could be books written on the details of all this. So I hope you will forgive the crude glazing over.


  22. Posted September 5, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Then your assertion is that the verses in Malachi proclaim,”the existence of the prophetic office in conjunction with the administration of the covenant” removed. Is this right?

  23. Drew P
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink


    I’m going to try to summarize what I understand you to be saying so that we can be clear on this. So, if I understand you correctly, you are holding to the idea of a pre-Christian Magisterium that defined the canon for the OT church at that time. It seems that you’re most likely identifying that body as the scribes and the Pharisees according to Christ’s words concerning their teaching office, though you didn’t definitively say that such was the case. At the same time, you don’t feel that you can really point to a great deal of evidence for this pre-Christian Magisterium defining the canon and so you are open to the possibility that such was not the case and therefore don’t take a definitive stance one way or the other. However, based on the evidence you do have, you believe that the testimony of history, and particularly that of the catholic church, lends itself to the Roman canon whether there was a pre-Christian Magesterium or not. I hope this accurately portrays your position, if not please feel free to correct me on where I haven’t fairly represented you or if I’ve left anything out.

  24. sean
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Michael, I’m not following your wording. Malachi is anticipating John the Baptist, this is not controversial, and Macc notes this absence of the prophets in the time frame of the deuterocanon, before John the Baptist. Following treaty form and the appointment of prophets per Deut 18:15, exodus 4:16, 7:1, you have no execution of the covenant as regards new lawsuit, new charges, new verdicts among other things, during the time frame under consideration, because there is no prophet to execute such a ministration. As a result, you don’t have generation of new/additional canonical documents recording such events.

  25. Posted September 5, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    That is relatively well put. The preChristian authoritative voice of Israel would have been able to speak for God in such matter. If they did or what was proclaimed on the matter would be a matter for historic evidence, which in my current knowledge is indeterminate. Though the LXX(250ishBC) having more books seems to lend credence to the longer authorized canon.
    To clarify a question possibly raised by this premise of a OT teaching office, this what I would understand gets removed by the rejection of Christ(many prophets were rejected/now the Lord is rejected) This authority now lives in the teaching offices of the Church because of the belief and acceptance of Christ. This is the sending of the Apostles to make disciples of all nations, baptizing, practicing the “do this in remembrance of me”, and being the for disciples to “take it to the Church,” etc. I would think the final decisive last point of the dual authority structure would be either the rending of the veil or 40 years later with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. I’m not decisive on that point, but it is an unnecessary point for our discussion. Being there are authoritative writings of the Jews denouncing Jesus and Messiah as Christians we know they don’t speak for God now.

  26. Posted September 5, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Now that I think on it more. The great commission would surely put the Apostles over the OT teaching office definitively.

  27. Posted September 6, 2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Sorry, I didn’t see your post yesterday.
    In my 2:53 post I was trying to repeat what I heard your point to be and the ask if I have it right. That is why I said,”Is this right?”
    Anyway, I’m not catching you purpose for Exd 7:1. 4:6 does give us the standard to judge prophets and Duet 18:15 give us the prophecy of Christ. I have no problem with what you are saying about Malachi prophesying the coming of John the Baptist. I am just having a problem with that being what necessarily closes the canon. I still see administration of the covenant being exercised by God’s favor in the Maccabees. It is just happening with a party more like how Israel was while claiming the land. I don’t see there having to be a prophet in the land as a necessary element to canonical books. At least I don’t see that a reasonable enough yet. Our common Wisdom books of Proverbs, Ecclessiastes, and Song of Song had no active prophets in the land as far as I know. My Biblical history could be wrong on this. I haven’t timelined out the deaths of the prophets. But, Job isn’t even pertaining to the land or the nation or the family of God’s people yet it is canonical. This seems to contradict the idea of “you have no execution of the covenant as regards new lawsuit, new charges, new verdicts”=no canonical documents. I’m not seeing this being a solid enough framework yet. You seem to be saying the Maccabees isn’t part of the canon out of hand while it speaks the truth to the situation in Israel and records God’s faithfulness to His part of the covenant while exicuting judgement on those who were breaking the covenant by making covenants with the Gentiles to prevent evils from coming upon them by the differences because of keeping the Law.[Mac 1:11-15] Also, isn’t Baruch in the timeline with Jeremiah. And, the parts removed in accepted books a different issue.
    Just wanting to see where and if the idea ties together. Is the no prophet=no books issue addressed in depth in Kline’s book?

  28. sean
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Michael, Ezekiel gives creedence to the inclusion of Job in Ez. 14:14. Just off the top of my head, Solomon is given credit for authorship of the wisdom books you cited and Nathan was the prophet. The prophet angle is just one angle but it is of relevance to the deuterocanon and it’s relation to canon intrinsic to treaty form(covenant). And yes Kline covers this ground, though, like I mentioned he doesn’t deal directly with apocrypha at every consideration of canonical markers. The deut. and exodus citations point to the establishment of a prophetic office which was in fact a treaty stipulation as representatives and agents of Yahweh-Suzerain.

  29. Drew P
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink


    While I think I’ve come to understand where you’re coming from better, it looks like your position is a non-starter when it comes to being able to discuss the issue of the canon. It seems that you’re committed to and arguing for concluding with the Roman view but that you’re not so much committed to the view for the sake of debating the issue. You have contended that the only way we can know what the canon is, and unless I’m mistaken therefore whether any book is or isn’t the word of God, is by means of the authority given by God to the Magisterium and Tradition (M&T). So, taking that to its logical conclusion and supposing a pre-Christian M&T stands to reason. What is baffling and maddening for the purposes of discussing the issue then is why you would feel the need to hedge your bets and say that it is possible that there was no such body that delineated the canon before Christ. If such were the case, this would only leave you with the option that it was not possible for people prior to the church’s rendering of the canon to know what the word of God was or else you’re being disingenuous when you tell us that the M&T are a necessity since it clearly wouldn’t have been the case prior to Christ. So, perhaps you’re not willing to commit one way or the other but it really takes the bite out of your position if you don’t. Either the M&T is necessary for all people at every instance of the history of written revelation for people to infallibly know what the word of God is and therefore no people ever have hope of knowing without it or it’s not and it is, or at least was, possible to know God’s revelation by other means. If you’re going to argue for the necessity of the M&T then you’re going to have to be willing to die on that hill.

    The stance that you take on the issue greatly influences the way we can go about the discussion moving forward. If the M&T are a necessity, then historical or any other kind of evidence or argumentation is irrelevant to the truth of your position since everything ultimately depends on the infallibility of the church on this issue. So, for the purposes of discussing your position, our time would be far better spent and your argument much better framed by establishing from Scripture the validity of the M&T as conceived by you since any argument that doesn’t do away with those conceptions cannot bring any weight to bear on their definition of the canon as far as you’re concerned. If you want to bring in other forms of argumentation in your critique of Protestantism, as you have, that, of course, makes sense but I don’t think it promotes understanding or even supports your position to employ such measures in defending your own stance.

    So, I’m certainly willing to continue to refine the conception of your starting position and listen to any reasons you might have as to why you might object to my thoughts on how you should make your case but once we’ve reached that point of understanding, I think the best way for our discussion to proceed would be in one of two directions. First, we could seek to evaluate the Protestant position, in which case I think the best place to start would be for you state your foundational premises concerning Scripture and the canon so that we can evaluate those and see if we can build a consensus for evaluating the Protestant position. Or, we could evaluate the Scriptural texts that you believe teach the necessity of M&T and look at them exegetically and see if we make any headway there. What are your thoughts?

  30. Posted September 6, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    I see how Ezekiel gives credence to Job’s inclusion, but it would be included because of some other standard than the ANE treaty form. This type of reference would also make us need to include a book like Enoch because of its NT reference.
    What was the name of Kline’s book again?

  31. Posted September 6, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    The above pos is to Sean. You slipped in there, Drew.

  32. sean
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Michael, even if Job is pre-mosaic it’s still within the scope of ANE treaty form whether historic prologue or covenantal lawsuit indictment and explication as Ezekiel references it. Kline: Structure of Biblical authority.

  33. Posted September 6, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    I really would like to proceed in grasping a solid reason to explain having only the 66 book canon, but I see that being difficult while you think I’m possibly being disingenuous. So, can you email me so I can give you my phone number then we could talk and hopefully proceed from there. michaeltx2013 gmail com

  34. Posted September 6, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Thanks Sean

  35. Posted September 6, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    My 10:45 is to Drew.

    You guys are on the ball. I can’t get a word in edgewise.

  36. Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    BTW, I understand your apprehension about my genuineness. Not everyone is sincere. I’m guilty of it myself.

  37. Drew P
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink


    I’m willing to continue our discussion in a different forum if that’s what you’d prefer but let me clarify. I don’t believe that you’re not being genuine; my experience with you thus far is actually quite the opposite. So, if I’m coming off as hostile or distrusting, I apologize, that is not the spirit with which I am posting (the only partial exception to that would be that I was somewhat skeptical about whether you would address my questions concerning the status of the canon prior to Christ’s advent but you have since graciously laid that out, even if there are still some details I’d like straightened out). The reason I’m proceeding in the manner that I am is for the sake of clarity. I started this conversation for a number of reasons but one of them was that I didn’t see the coherence of the Roman position and wanted to be able to interact with someone who would answer my questions regarding them. Thanks to our interactions, I have a much better understanding of where you’re coming from. But it seems to me that our conversation has little hope of being fruitful if we don’t have clear starting points and objectives.

    So, I’m trying to go through the process by which we both know where the other stands on the issue, we determine clear starting points for discussing the issue, and we are then able to proceed based on that foundation. I think we’re pretty close to getting there. My most recent post is me trying to push a little more to get definitive positions from you on areas that I think are vague or contradictory in how you’ve presented your position. For example, from the outset of our discussion, it has been my understanding of your position that the M&T are necessary for it to be known what is and isn’t Scripture yet, I see you arguing that it is possible (though perhaps not probable) that this was not necessarily true always. These 2 things are incompatible. They could be made compatible by amending certain parts of the statements so that you could say something like: there was a time when the M&T were not the means by which God determined the books of Scripture to be known but since the advent of Christ, He has determined that it only be done by the virtue of the M&T. That statement is possible and we could proceed to evaluate it but it is a far different thing from saying that the M&T are necessary for to knowing what Scripture is. But it’s very hard for me to be able to engage your position if it’s being argued that the M&T are necessary but maybe they weren’t always.

    Similarly, I’m trying to sort out arguments that I don’t see as being germane to what we’re discussing. For example, if your position is that the only authority on the canon is the M&T, then not much is accomplished in citing history in describing that position since history doesn’t have the authority to determine the issue according to that position. History can be legitimately used for other purposes but it only muddies the waters as far as establishing that position as far as I’m concerned. Now, if I’ve misunderstood your position and it is not only the M&T that has the authority to determine the canon, then engaging in this part of the discussion will be helpful to clarify that. Similarly, if you don’t agree with me that history is not germane to the position I’ve attributed to you but rather think that it has an essential role in your position, it would certainly help to hear you clarify why that is.

    Now, perhaps you’re not willing to box yourself in in the ways I’m asking for and, if so, then we’ll have to see if there is still a way to have a productive discussion. But, please don’t understand me as questioning your motives or anything like that. It is just very easy for there to be confusion between us on this issue and for us to get sidetracked into unhelpful discussions so I want to try as best I can to avoid those things.

  38. Posted September 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    All that sounds like good things for me to try and clarify. I will probably work through it and get back with you. It may be Monday or so. I don’t mind the format, here. It makes it where if anyone truly has an added understanding that can be added then they can. I will kindly ask one thing of you if you believe me genuine, Drew. Please don’t add things like “…or else you’re being disingenuous when you tell us..” I can work to help clarify things even if those are added, but its is a added pain to me which I want to be resolve in our discussion if we can. I don’t consider you a big “us” that I’m talking to and if you wish to address concerns of my ingeniousness please ask. My email is always for any communications you wish to have outside of OLT.
    Blessings in Christ,

  39. Posted September 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    BTW, I do accept your apology.

  40. Drew P
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink


    Sorry for the use of disingenuous there, it wasn’t the appropriate word for me to use and conveyed the wrong idea. Thank you for accepting my apology.

  41. MichaelTX
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Mercy overcomes justic. We have a King that does thae same.

  42. Posted September 6, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Hey Drew,
    If you didn’t get a chance to read over me and Sean’s discussion of some of this over on Unexpected Loophole” then at “Unexpected Development”, here is a good place to start. I’m working on putting things together for you. Hope the reading over there may help with some background.
    First here:
    Then mainly and finally here: http://oldlife.org/2013/05/development-of-loophole/comment-page-3/#comment-83740
    Then over to “Unexpected Development” for a couple of pages starting @:
    Continuing here with a lot right after it until the end of the posts:

    Hope those help, Drew.

  43. Andrew B
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Hey MichaelTX,

    I’m happy to help respond to some of this too (I clicked on some of your links, about disagreeing with WCF). I am in a position of subscribing to the confession as an officer of the OPC (a deacon). So I’m willing to defend my vow. It’s not something that I have done, lightly, nor do I take it lightly. Anyway, looks like interesting stuff you are asking about, although I will confess, I’m finding Isaac Asimov’s Foundation pretty interesting too, I’ve never read it.

    Until later,

  44. Andrew B
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Permalink


    Were I able to help you in your questions about canon and WCF, just know from the outset I have sympathies with Klinean thought, but the others you are talking with here have studied more. In other words, I won’t be offended if you don’t ask me any questions. I’m justglad I was able to point you to this blog, so you could find people with more time abe experience than me.

    Always glad to see you “hanging out” with us, around here, and I don’t mean to be flippant.


  45. Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Thanks AB,
    Happy to have you reviewing our thinking. I like Kline’s thoughts too. I’ve found them quite helpful in helping me coalesce my thoughts. No deacon over here of course, Just walking it out day by day. I’m trying to put myself out here to Drew. Maybe he can sort through this mad mind of mine. Back to the drawing board.
    Peace friend,

  46. Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Looks like a pretty wild book. I and the kiddos finally finished The Hobbit. I’m trying to put them off on starting the the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. It will take a while once we start it. I’ve had this one in mind before we start LOR.

  47. Andrew B
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Michael, I’ll try to take a closer look at your thoughts, or, feel free to try to ditill down your main points. When you and I spoke, you wanted me to read the CTC writing about Solo/Sola from 2009. And you appear to be continuing about the books that the Catholic church and WCF disagree on canonical status. My mentioning being a deacon is not to be superior (more of a jack and coke guy, not top shelf over here….), but only that I’ve considered these things for several years. In fact, the membership how for the OPC hit me square against the teaching of Barth and Tillich I encountered in high school philosophy. It means I’ve considered these things now since teenage years, and affirm WCF 1 as very very helpful, personally. Enough about me. Back to Asimov…….

  48. Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Yeah this area of having the Scriptures to operate under a Sola Scriptura framework is still baffling me as to how it can work without a authoritative living voice. My post next I’m putting together for Drew may have some decent distillations of things. But we haven’t got to where you are talking about yet.

  49. Posted September 7, 2013 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    BTW, I wasn’t knocking you around about the deacon bit. Just saying I’m barely making it as a poor layman overhere.

  50. Andrew B
    Posted September 7, 2013 at 12:08 am | Permalink


    I’m barely making it as a poor layman

    I hear ya, 4+ chaps of Scritpure via M’Cheyne, prayer, and the latest theology books help me. Just finished Darryl’s latest, FYI.

    But it is by God’s grace alone we proceed.

    Good night,

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