Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Human logic is often overrated

Yes, Martin, God does have a sense of humour. By the way, the "u" is intentional, because it DIDN'T all start in Santa Barbara; it started in Basildon.

But I digress (though I pat myself on the back for connecting a previously unconnected band and restaurant chain).

I just had to laugh at the following statement, because I knew that it would drive reasonable people up the wall.

Lutheran doctrine is unreasonable and logically impossible.

And no, it wasn't talking about our beliefs on communion; it was talking about our beliefs on salvation. Here's a fuller (heh) quote:

There are basically two kinds of Protestants: Calvinist and Arminian....

Let me interject here and note that from the Lutheran view, Lutherans are not Protestant. So this statement doesn't indicate that Lutherans fall into one of the two categories.

...Calvin found all the Scriptures that say if you go to heaven, it is because God chose you. He concluded, logically, that if you do not go to heaven, it is because God did not choose you. This makes God responsible for damnation, and so horrifies most people that few Calvinists believe it anymore.

Arminius went at it from the opposite direction. Arminius found all the Scriptures that say if you go to hell, it is be cause you choose to do evil. He concluded, logically, that if you do not go to hell, it is because you did not choose to do evil, that is, you did not reject Christ.

Logically speaking, you either have to be a Calvinist or an Arminian. On the doctrine of election there is no other reasonable alternative. Lutheran doctrine is unreasonable and logically impossible. Lutheran doctrine is half Calvinist, half Arminian -- it ignores the logical conclusions and sticks with the Scriptures that each collected. Lutheranism accepts the paradox.

The statements above are taken from a page entitled "Reason And Logic As Pope: Calvin and Arminius" - the title basically alleging that anyone who introduces logic into their interpretation of the divine is by definition not sola scriptura.

Michael Legna has a differing view:

I describe my frame work as Faith followed by Reason, probably closest to faith and reason but is slightly different because once there is faith, reason can then (based on a few accepted assumptions) support the beliefs I hold....

I do not believe sola scriptura is possible because it is too big a job for one person. The reason I say this is because we know scripture cannot contradict itself. So in order to know for sure what the correct interpretation of any verse is we must be sure that, that interpretation does not contradict the proper interpretation of any other verse in all of scripture. So that means we must properly interpret all of scripture before we can interpret any of it. Man's mind is just to limited to hold all of scripture and its proper interpretation of scripture in our mind at once and compare them all against one another in an instant.

NTC provides specific examples:

[D]ue to apocrypha, translation errors, manuscript versions, etc. There actually are some contradictions which exist in the scriptures: example, one place says "all have sinned" (1 John) and another says "Enoch was perfect, so God took him" (Genesis). Interpret away these contradictions, of course... but the point being that it takes some REASON in addition to the scriptures to understand the meaning of the message.

Oh well, I guess all the faith plus reason people are just heretics - or, better yet, Arminian heretic preachers.

Yes, I was kidding. But if you still think that human reason is the be-all and end-all, consider:

Men Without Hats wore hats sometimes.


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