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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
William

The Authority of Scriptural Reasoning: "Necessary Inferences"

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Most Bible believers admit that God teaches directly by means of direct commands and direct statements.

 

We sometimes say: "Commands constitute binding authority"; so, people are expected to obey, and those who do not obey in error.

[Examples: Acts 10:48; Matthew 22:37-39; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25; 14:37; John 14:15,21-24; 15:14; 1 John 2:3,4; 5:3; Matthew 28:18-20]

But besides direct, explicit statements, the Bible also teaches by indirect methods.

 

These methods include examples and "necessary inferences" (or "logical conclusions"). Some people say we are obligated to follow only commands. They deny that example and necessary inference are valid, binding ways to determine God's will. They may even say that using such methods constitutes a man-made creed or a human tradition. (Some even have a name for this view. They call it a "new hermeneutic.")

The purpose of this study is to examine whether or not "necessary inference" constitutes a Scriptural method to learn God's will.

 

By "necessary inference" we refer to truths that are not directly or expressly stated, but must necessarily follow as a logical conclusion from what is stated. But the term "necessary inference" sometimes confuses people, so we will also refer to that same concept by other terms, such as "Scriptural reasoning" or "necessary, logical conclusions."

 

We use such methods in everyday life so often that we usually don't even realize we are doing it. If I tell you my age, that is a direct statement. But if I say I was born in October of 1944, you may reason to the same conclusion. That is all we mean by "necessary inference": a conclusion that is not directly stated but necessarily follows from what is stated. Whether a conclusion is stated directly or indirectly, either way it is just as true, just as valid, just as factual.

 

Many Scriptures show the importance of reasoning about what God's word says.

 

Isaiah 1:18 - The Lord said, "Come now and let us reason together."

1 Peter 3:15 - Be ready to give an answer to every man who asks a reason for the hope within you.

Acts 17:2; 18:4; 19:8,9; 28:23 - Paul reasoned with the Jews from the Scriptures to prove to them that Jesus was the Christ. [17:17; 18:19; 24:25]

Hebrews 5:14 - We should have our sense exercised to discern good and evil.

 

Sometimes the Bible does not directly spell out the answer to questions about right or wrong. Rather, we must reason from what the Bible says to reach the proper conclusion about what is right or wrong.

 

Note that we are not defending any and all kinds of reasoning.

 

(1) We are not defending the use of "human wisdom" in which conclusions are based on human authority or evidence, instead of on Bible evidence.

(2) We are not defending binding invalid or even possible conclusions that do not necessarily follow from Bible statements. Such instances do not prove a conclusion but simply jump to the conclusion.

What we defend in this study is the practice of using God's word as our evidence and from it reaching conclusions that truly, validly must follow from what is stated.

 

https://www.gospelway.com/bible/necessary_inference.php

 

 

@Origen @RazeontheRock

 

This is meant to be a fruitful discussion and one where we may show grace and charitableness towards one another. Since this is one of the things that drives me bonkers when dealing with other camps of theology I'd like to invite you both to this thread. I'm interested in your thoughts and advice on how to deal with others when tempers begin to flare. From my experience, at this time in my life, when someone only limits themselves to only what Scriptures "say" explicitly I tend to relax now and just leave it alone. I tend to think that my opponent is uncomfortable with thinking too deeply. I mainly run into these confrontations which I am convinced are our differences in an approach to the Scriptures. Usually, I run into this kinda difference when addressing Dispensationalist opposed to my Covenant Theology, or even Arminians opposed to Reformed Theology.

 

Your thoughts?

 

God bless,

William

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"Rightly dividing the word of truth" is something worth being passionate about! Notice from your passages cited that the main purpose here is to be ready to explain our great Hope, which pertains to witnessing to unbelievers rather than bickering between brothers, trying to prove one another wrong. That's an exercise I find is worse than futile, also being divisive to the Body.

 

I think what's essential to the topic you raise is recognizing the importance of any given query. Is it a direct command, to be obeyed? Does it contribute to our worldview, affecting our Faith or perception of God Himself? If it falls into either one of these categories, God has probably stated and re-stated His point in multiple ways, hoping we might get it. If He's said it a bunch of times, it's probably because it's really important to Him! Even if our obedience is not at issue. For example, God's big on how we think of Him, even when that doesn't have direct and immediate bearing on our actions.

 

There are many other things we can find in Scripture that must be less important than the things already mentioned. While there's nothing wrong with pursuing Truth, we need to be able to make space for both not knowing everything right now, and for our fellow believers to have different opinions. Church history is sadly riddled with Christians literally killing one another over such things. We need to be circumspect about that! It's easy for us to say nobody's been doing that for a long time now, but there are several problems with letting our guard down in this area. First, it hasn't been that long.  (IRA, anyone?) Second, muslims still behave that way. We may like to say that belongs back in the middle ages, but the world is watching, and eager to lump believers of every stripe together. Is there really any difference between us? If we are going to think "of course there is," we need to be able to PROVE that, by our behavior. Not to please the world, but per a Scripture you've recently highlighted site-wide, John 13:35.

 

All that is step one in our response to your point. Operating from that as a base, we have to find that's still not adequate. Scripture addresses all sorts of things, but there are also a lot of issues that spring up that it's absolutely silent about. We are to be able to recognize His voice! Of course applying ourselves to Scripture is the place to start, but we also need the Holy Spirit for lots of things we can't find in Scripture. And wow is He ever good at telling us what we need, and then showing us how it really IS in Scripture, in indirect fashion! I would hope everyone has that experience, but this is often where fellow believers turn on one another.

 

What we need to guard against is turning on one another. We need to remain open to His leadership. That looks so simple in print ...

Edited by RazeontheRock
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There are only two posts in this thread - i am being punted off to an article elsewhere - so be it

 

Ok - enjoyed the list of things where it asked "Do you have a conviction of...?"

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9 minutes ago, Anto9us said:

There are only two posts in this thread - i am being punted off to an article elsewhere - so be it

 

Ok - enjoyed the list of things where it asked "Do you have a conviction of...?"

Your attitude going into elsewhere is noted :classic_ninja:

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Posted this in our other thread. Lemme share this here and introduce a Reformed principal:

 

"The negative aspects of God’s Law are the prohibitions. The “shall nots.” The positive aspects of God’s Law are the commands from God explicitly and implicitly flowing from the negative Law of God. That is, the duties and obligations placed upon the Church that extend beyond actively and directly not violating a negative prohibition."

 

For example, "You shall not murder" is the negative aspect explicitly stated in God's Law. 'You are to preserve life' is an implicit positive aspect from the same Law. Many that hold to Pacifism reject the implicit positive aspect of the Law, because Scripture does not "say" that.

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5 minutes ago, William said:

, "You shall not murder"

 

That's how I take it, but KILL and MURDER are different words in English. 

 

Ratsach and Haraq are different words in Hebrew, and as a 'loose rule' haraq can be like slay as in battle and ratsach can be murder

but that is a grey area.  I once looked through all references for the two Hebrew words.  Not every time to me did ratsach convey murder, not every time did haraq just mean 'slay'

 

But the whole commandment is a THOU SHALT NOT -- to flip it to 'look for the positive of Thou Shalt Preserve Life' might be a bit much, i dunno

 

We can infer, we can deduce

 

Some used this commandment for anti-war purposes

 

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3 minutes ago, Anto9us said:

But the whole commandment is a THOU SHALT NOT -- to flip it to 'look for the positive of Thou Shalt Preserve Life' might be a bit much, i dunno

 

We can infer, we can deduce

 

Some used this commandment for anti-war purposes

The implicit positive aspect of the Law can be defined by other clear explicit statements on how to preserve life which does involve killing rather than murder motivated by the love for our neighbor. 

If not, "what am I, my brother's keeper?"

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On 9/13/2018 at 2:33 PM, William said:

Usually, I run into this kinda difference when addressing Dispensationalist opposed to my Covenant Theology, or even Arminians opposed to Reformed Theology.

 

Your thoughts?

After some years of study, here's my summary of the Bible or Word of God.

 

0. God is Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient. God has His throne in heaven.( Ezekiel 1 , Revelation 4 ) Satan and his demons rebelled against God.( Isaiah 14:12 , Ezekiel 28:17 , Revelation 12:4-9 )
....... God-in-heaven desired to replace the spiritual rebels with S'piritual humans. Earth is like a test-bed for this purpose.

 

1. On earth, all humans are born sinful/evil/satanic because of Adam's Original Sin = unclean/dirty/unholy = bound for hell when they die.( Romans 5:12 )

 

2. Because of 1. , no humans on earth can see the true face of God and live or qualify to be in heaven.( Exodus 33:20, John 1:18 & 5:37 )

 

3. To save fallen humans, God-in-heaven endeavoured to come down to earth in lesser forms as the invisible Spirit or as the visible human(= Angel of God or Jesus Christ). ( John 8:58 / Exodus 3:14 , John 1:1 & 14 , 1 Timothy 3:16 , 2 Corinthians 3:17 , Isaiah 9:6 )
....... As the Spirit in the yet-to-be-revealed Jesus Christ, God-in-heaven gave His Law to Moses and the Jews, in order to curb humans' inborn tendency to commit sins/evil-deeds/satanic-deeds.( Genesis 6:5 , Deuteronomy 28:1 & 15 )
....... As Jesus Christ, God-in-heaven gave the apostles and Christians the sacrificial Lamb of God on the Cross(JOHN.1:29), in order to save them from hell when they die = the free gift of salvation or the kingdom of heaven through faith in Jesus Christ/God.( John 3:14-18 , Leviticus 17:11 , Hebrews 9:22, Matthew 4:17 , Galatians 2:16-17 )
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

A good analogy of our One and Only God is our one and only sun.
... God-the-Father-in-heaven sends His invisible Spirit and His visible Son-Jesus to earth to sustain immortal life = the sun-in-outer-space sends her invisible warmth/heat and her visible light to earth to sustain mortal life.
.
.
.
.
The Bible or Word of God can be broken down into 2 parts, the Old and New Testaments/Covenants, ie,

 

(i) if you wanna have a good n long life on earth, you need to keep the Law/Word of God.( Deuteronomy 28 , Matthew 19:16-21, Acts 15:24-29 & 21:20-25, 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 & 11:30 , 1 John 5:16 ),

 

(ii) if you wanna go to heaven when you die, you need to be saved from hell by Jesus the Christ/Messiah/Savior.

 

Christians should aim to achieve both, ie to gain both blessings from God. Both blessings require faith in God/Jesus, ie believe that He will bless them accordingly.( Hebrews 11:1-6) Cf; obey or follow like a robot, like a pack of dogs.
.
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Bc of our inherited Adam's Original Sin, we have the dual problems of INVOLUNTARY satanic/evil/sinful thoughts, eg immoral lust, hate, anger, greed, selfishness, jealousy, fear/worries, doubts, etc, ...and VOLUNTARY satanic/evil/sinful deeds, eg blasphemy, idolatry, murder, adultery/fornication/rape, stealing, lying/cheating/defrauding, etc.
....... The former resulted in being cursed/sent to hell when we die( Genesis 3:14-17 ) and the latter resulted in being cursed by God with a sad and short life on earth. God's Law solved the latter and God's Son solved the former.
....... Usually, before someone committed murder, he/she had originally harbored hate or greed or lust or jealousy or etc in his/her heart and mind.(source is spiritually from Satan - John 8:44 , Matthew 16:23 & 23:27 , Mark 7:21 , 1 John 3:8 IOW, all humans are born satanic/evil/sinful/unclean, from their hearts to their feet.
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At Acts 15:24-29 & 21:20-25, God/Jesus requires Gentile Christians to begin their born-again lives of the Spirit by keeping 4 easy or non-burdensome laws of Moses, ie avoid eating blood, strangled animals, foods sacrificed to idols and sexual immorality = minimum legal requirement. They r then given time to learn to gradually keep the other laws of Moses which are not a burden, esp morality laws, eg the Ten Commandments at Exodus 20:1-17 , Leviticus 10:9 , Deuteronomy 18:9-14 , etc.
....... In comparison, Jewish Christians are required by God/Jesus to continue to keep Moses Law, as many as possible, because it is not a burden to them.
....... Eg, Gentile Christians should still avoid homosexuality and can continue to eat non-kosher foods because the former is not a burden but the latter is a burden(ie it's a burden for them to keep the food laws).

 

Faith in God's Son, Jesus = faith in God's Word/Law/commandments because John 1:1 says the Son is the Word and is also God = justified for salvation by faith in Jesus Christ/God alone, and not by the works of the Law/commandments or not by faith+works.

 

Before Christ(= before His Resurrection and Ascension at around 33AD), only Jews who kept the Law had the opportunity to be saved from hell.( 1 Peter 3:19 & 4:6 ) Those who unrepentantly broke the Law were sent to Hades/hell. The rich young Jewish man of Luke 16:19-31 ended up in Hades/hell because he broke the Law at Deuteronomy 15:11, ie by refusing to do charity work towards the poor and destitute like beggar Lazarus.

....... After Christ, Jews had to believe in Jesus as the Christ/Messiah/Saviour, in order to be saved from hell, ie it was no longer sufficient for them to just keep the Law.( eg Matthew 5:27-30 ) This requirement for salvation was later extended to the Gentiles, ie saved by faith alone, and not by the works of the Law.

 

We need to properly differentiate between involuntary satanic/evil/sinful thoughts and voluntary sins/evil deeds/law-breaking, and between Gentile and Jewish Christians.

 

Analogy about involuntary evil/satanic thoughts and voluntary law-breaking/evil-deeds/sins - black crows(= Satan) often squawks noisily over our heads but we should not let them settle and build their dirty nests on our heads - eg Matthew 4:1-11 .

.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

This is the first time I heard of Dispensationalism vs Covenant Theology. Am I a dispensationalist or covenantist or something else.?

 

Your thoughts.

 

Edited by discipler77

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9 hours ago, discipler77 said:

This is the first time I heard of Dispensationalism vs Covenant Theology. Am I a dispensationalist or covenantist or something else.?

 

Your thoughts.

I don't think your response really has anything much to do with the OP. However, I note that your rejection of methodology and principals elsewhere applied to hermeneutics is largely responsible for your theology.

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