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Thread: The Multi-Level Canon

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    The Multi-Level Canon

    The Multi-Level Canon

    No established doctrinal statement or published writing in Protestantism contains a definite and clear teaching on the notion of a multi-level canon. Most official teaching and confessional dogma supports the 66 canonical books established at the Council of Carthage (397 A.D. ff.) and re-affirmed by Protestants in unity with Rome at the Diet of Regensburg (1540 A.D.). Since these affirmations are proposed to be as sure and certain as the Deity of Jesus Christ, the authenticity and equal authority of all books in the present Christian Bible is simply assumed to be the truth. Any deviation from this position is generally assumed to be liberal skepticism and heresy.

    If the issue of the canon is to be re-opened and re-studied, we must reject at the outset any high-critical views of scripture. Our interest is in the historical evidence of the development of the canon, not in criticism of basic Bible doctrine. There are both skeptical and legitimate views of a multi-level canon; skepticism must be rejected as a denial of Godís revelation in Jesus Christ. Confession of the direct activity of God in the creation and preservation of the scriptures through human agents is most essential to affirming the gospel itself.

    To introduce this subject I am recommending that the following two articles be read. Then we can begin to dialog regarding the real basis of our canon. The bottom line is this: the notion of a true closing of the canon is historical revisionism. I believe that Luther is correct in defining the gospel as the basis of the canon, not the Westminster teaching that the canon defines the gospel. The self-authenticating nature (as affirmed by the Holy Spirit) of the apostolic writings rich in the gospel of Christ provides the standard by which to evaluate the alleged inspiration of other writings.

    http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=689

    http://www.ntrmin.org/Luther%20and%20the%20canon%202.htm
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: The Multi-Level Canon

    The canon of the New Testament was not closed historically by the early church. Rather, its extent was debated until the Reformation. Even then, it was closed in a sectarian fashion. Therefore the question must be asked, is it then heresy for a person to question or reject a book of the present canon ? There have been repeated reevaluations of the church's canon. This happened during the initial sifting period. It happened again during the Renaissance and Reformation period, and it is beginning to happen again now. In such instances the fringe books of the canon have been repeatedly questioned. If an individual believer should come to question or reject a book or books of the accepted canon, should that person be regarded as a heretic, or accepted as a brother whose opinions are not necessarily endorsed?
    This quote of the article from Bible.org is one that haunts my mind! If is very interesting that our discussions here about the canonicity of some portions of James is not new at all, however, we were (are) compelled by a group of religionists to accept it as if it was as Holy and untouchable as the Divinity of Jesus!

    I am very happy that it is not just happening here: let me highlight this quote:

    It happened again during the Renaissance and Reformation period, and it is beginning to happen again now
    Yes, including in this Forum!

    A word or caution, though: We must, have the obligation of, question the things we don't feel should be imposed upon us especially when they appear to contradict other portions of scriptures, such as James 2 contradicts Paul's writings in my view; however it must have done with the sole intention of finding the purity of God's revelation and NEVER in an attempt to endorse some of our pet beliefs. Otherwise we will be no different that those who impose their "confessions" upon us!

    Milt
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    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: The Multi-Level Canon

    The article by Sawyer is interesting. However, although he shows the problems with the rationalistic scientific approach of Warfield he does manage to pry himself from Warfield's grip. He continues to speak of inerrancy which is a Warfieldian idea. Warfield is the one who shifted the paradigm from infallibility to inerrancy and really kicked the quest for the historical text into high gear in Reformed and Presbyterian churches. The quest for the historical text if taken to its logical conclusion will certainly lead to the quest for the historical canon.

    The historic Reformed position is different. It holds to the belief that God has preserved His Word. The text must not be subjected to so-called scientific theories but where manuscripts differ from one another they are compared and a reading should never be adopted which has the support of a single manuscript. God has also preserved the canon. There are canonical books and there is also a canonical text within those books.

    I am certainly in agreement that the Scriptures are self-authenticating. But the Holy Spirit does not bring confusion. It is not up to each individual to look at each book of the Bible, decide that he doesn't like a certain one, and then get the scissors out. In God's Providence he has preserved a Canon of Scripture within the church.

    While I think it is legitimate to argue for progressive revelation and teach that certain things which are not stated as clearly in earlier books of the Bible are made clearer in later books, it would seem difficult to construct a multi-level canon. It would seem to present some of the same problems of that which some Roman Catholic scholars like to call the deutero-canonical books. If Scripture is God-breathed then we run into some very strange things if we say that some of God's breathing should be thrown out when another piece of God's breathing supposedly contradicts it.

    It really seems far less complicated and more consistent with the God-breathed character of Scripture to harmonize the various passages.

    Matthew 10:34 " Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.

    Luke 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

    Colossians 1:20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

    Mark 9:50 "Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another."

    John 3:17 "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

    All of the above statements are true. But if we were to take them all literalistically we would end up with contradiction.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: The Multi-Level Canon

    A word or caution, though: We must, have the obligation of, question the things we don't feel should be imposed upon us especially when they appear to contradict other portions of scriptures, such as James 2 contradicts Paul's writings in my view; however it must have done with the sole intention of finding the purity of God's revelation and NEVER in an attempt to endorse some of our pet beliefs. Otherwise we will be no different that those who impose their "confessions" upon us!


    Amen and Amen Milt! I think it is wise to state from the get go that just because we are discussing the cannon does not mean we sympathies or agree with those whose motives are to relativise or undermine the gospel by rejecting certain books. It should also be stated that we do not identify ourselves to be united with any group that desires to reopen the discussion of the cannon that does not share our convictions on the gospel of Sovereign Grace itself. The intent here is to maintain the truth of Sovereign Grace, not to throw out books that don’t agree with our pet doctrines; as many groups have as their motive to reopen the discussion of the cannon.

    I have to say for myself that if I am to reject any of the 66 books, I will have to be convinced by undisputable facts that the book in question in some way does not belong in the cannon. That being said I don’t expect to be hasty in my decision, rather it will be something I will study as long as I live. In my opinion history deserves a fair trial here and it is my duty as well as any other child of God to search the scriptures and history to determine if these books are self-attesting. The conscience of every believer should be free from the ‘brow-beating’ of dogmatic confessionalism as if these confessions hold some type of authority. Not that the confessions don’t help us understand the historical views of the cannon; it’s just that they are not an undisputable source of truth.

    Finally, not only should it be noted that the confessions are not an undisputable source but the archives of history are not undisputable either. This is why I am so cautious in making any conclusions on this issue. In my opinion the best source in determining the validity of any book as inspired is in the book itself compared to the rest of the books.

    May God help us and preserve us from error; and may it be for His glory alone and the preservation of the testimony of the person and work of Jesus Christ in Sovereign Grace.

    Mike


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    Re: The Multi-Level Canon

    I am glad to see the tread opened up concerning the Canon. Keep in mind that at the hear of the question of the Canon is our doctrine of God and his interaction with his creation. If we start with the presupposition that God has removed himself from his own testimony and self revelation then it will not be difficult to end up with no consistent canon at all, but merely a collection of what maybe inspired and each person is responsible to analyze and understand. (this inevitably make man the authority and not God) This presupposition also brings to the table the problem of lost books. This supposition can not help but have dramatic impact on our doctrine of God and our understanding of redemption.

    On-the-other-hand, if we start with the supposition that God's Word will not return to Him void - and He is faithful in all his promises and covenant activities. Monorgistically working out His glory and His Salvation through human history by the means of grace that he has ordained primarily, and that He is such a God that interacts with His creation that He sent his own Son as a propitiation for us - that in Him we live and move and have our being - that all things are by Him and for Him. Then the mystery and difficulties of such questions will be much more easily handled in the light of God's care for His Name.

    "Multi-Leveled" must be distinguished from "organic" or married to it if possible, before we can go much farther. The Reformers as well as most historic Christianity believe that the scriptures are an organic whole - meaning they fit together like a living thing. So while they may agree that the imperatives of the levitical codes (or other obvious examples) are not binding today - they would not say it is because they are less canonical or sub-authoritative.

    At the onset - I would also like to say that I am opposed to the Montanist idea that the Spirit moves more freely than a text and is therefore not bound by parchment - making personal revelation higher than scripture. I assume that this discussion is with those who believe that there is such a thing as God's Word which is available for God's people. If there are those not holding to this foundation, then please reveal that upfront - for there are two discussions of Canon - one - is their a Canon at all! - the other - is the completion and perfection of the Canon. I assume we are discussing the later.
    "We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ[Acts 4:12]. We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else." - John Calvin

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    Re: The Multi-Level Canon

    Quote Originally Posted by SamothWerdna
    At the onset - I would also like to say that I am opposed to the Montanist idea that the Spirit moves more freely than a text and is therefore not bound by parchment - making personal revelation higher than scripture. I assume that this discussion is with those who believe that there is such a thing as God's Word which is available for God's people. If there are those not holding to this foundation, then please reveal that upfront - for there are two discussions of Canon - one - is their a Canon at all! - the other - is the completion and perfection of the Canon. I assume we are discussing the later.
    I agree with you here! It is important to note, however, that questions about apparent "contradictions" as wisely proposed by WildBoar, and that "the imperatives of the levitical codes (or other obvious examples) are not binding today" have to be understood by the way the whole context of the Bible harmonizes them, in the case of the apparent contradictions, and to understand where and to which point the imperatives ceased to be binding and who is the one in the Bible who clarifies such un-binding. If we find a text that in a way "contradicts" another, we have to establish a rule not to "sugar coat" such contradiction with an explanation that is not found in the text itself, such as saying "it is speaking of "justification before men" without backing up such sweetening with real hard core linguistic, contextual and topical evidence (explain the reasoning based on the main topic of the book). If we do not establish such a rule, we will be saying to each other during this discussion: "This is in the canon in my opinion because of a,b or c" and the other will be saying "this should not be in the canon for a,b or c" and we will end up with a tremendously wordy argument with no end and no profitability. We should also not refrain from looking at the possibility of interpolations when they are proved absolutely and beyond shadow of doubt and find reasons as to why they were placed in the middle of the Holy writings.

    I recommend we do consider the establishing of some this parameters for this discussion. Anyone want to suggest any? Please, post here! You don't need to suggest any and just have a free-for-all discussion as well, but note that this may have no end and and may fail.

    If anyone thinks that I think the 5solas Forum is daring enough to prove tha we have to change our outlook in terms of how we understand the canon, I would say, YES, I am so much of a daring person to think so. Let the other organizations and forums come here and see that we are really seeking the purity of God's word, which we already have, doubtless, and yet we see that perhaps the influence of religion in the past have added to this Precious and Perfect Word.
    It is so hard to make such statement because I predict, (and this is not a prophecy, N.T. or otherwise) that others will come to our forum as coward lurkers to bash us for casting doubt in the text of the Word of God when we are absolutely NOT doing such a thing! We are attempting to repeat and to relive that which other past teachers have done. We accept and are grateful for what they have done, but we feel that they have not gone all the way as we see in the articles suggested by Bob and also we feel that we have the right and duty to "examine all and retain that which is good" 1 Thess. 5:20.

    To wit, I believe that our Bible today not only contains the Word of God, but it is The Word of God.

    Milt
    Grace Ambassador
    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: The Multi-Level Canon

    WB: It is not up to each individual to look at each book of the Bible, decide that he doesn't like a certain one, and then get the scissors out. In God's Providence he has preserved a Canon of Scripture within the church.

    'The church' as it is called is nothing more than individuals. How we interpret Providence is the key issue here. The fact that a large majority of persons got together and legislated certain doctrine does not prove that what was legislated was correct. We cannot have both the doctrine of liberty of conscience and the doctrine that conscience must submit to the majority. These are mutually exclusive.

    On another point, 'multi-level canon' and 'progressive revelation' are indeed two different entities. The latter refers to a progression of clarity in the canonical scriptures as they were given over time. The former refers to a distinction between the core-canon and disputed books that are still in our Bible. I have no problem with Luther leaving the DC books in the Bible that he translated--since he did not imply that they were of infallible authority. Innerrancy is confessed only with regard to the superior or core canon. The inferior canon would refer to those books that might certainly contain infallible scripture--but we have no clear basis to assume that all of the verses within them were originally given by inspiration or preserved without interpolation or corruption.

    On the matter of innerrancy vs. infallibility, it is best to view this in pre-Warfield terms in my estimation. Both terms (infallibility and innerrancy) refer to the composite TEACHING of the Bible when compared and summed to the whole; not scientific precision or accuracy in every text. Otherwise, the Bible would be teaching error in using round numbers, allegory, idiom, etc.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: The Multi-Level Canon

    If we start with the presupposition that God has removed himself from his own testimony and self revelation then it will not be difficult to end up with no consistent canon at all, but merely a collection of what maybe inspired and each person is responsible to analyze and understand. (this inevitably make man the authority and not God) This presupposition also brings to the table the problem of lost books. This supposition can not help but have dramatic impact on our doctrine of God and our understanding of redemption.
    Andrew, this is what we are dealing with right now. The judgment of men in the past is what is in question. There are books that are not presently in the cannon, and from those that I have read in my judgment I agree they do not belong in the cannon.

    If God has preserved His word through the men at Carthage and the men at Regensburg then why would He not do the same in other examinations of the cannon? This I believe is fallacious reasoning because there are cults out there who have perverted and twisted the word of God; even made their own 'scriptures'.

    In reference to the lost books if they are lost they are lost and we cannot examine them. But for those that we have found such as the Dead Sea scrolls I believe they should be examined, but I would be very weary of accepting them as inspired due to the lack of apostolic testimony. If any manuscript is accepted as inspired due to an agreement with books that we already accept as inspired; opens the flood gates to accept any manuscript, such as the articles written here at 5solas as inspired scripture.

    I must further state that I share Andrew's concern for each individual having their own 'collection of what maybe inspired'.

    Mike


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    Re: The Multi-Level Canon

    Hello all,

    I thought I would include this lesson that I compiled for our Sunday evening service last year. This was the first in a series of lessons that I gave, so it is not complete but may have some helpful spring boards for further discussion:

    Providential Care - Thoughts on Canonicity and Historicity

    "Christianity is primarily not merely doctrine, but life, a new moral creation, a saving fact, first personally embodied in Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word, the God-man, to spread from him and embrace gradually the whole body of the race, and bring it into saving fellowship with God. The same is true of Christianity as it exists subjectively in single individuals. It begins not with religious views and notions simply; though it includes these, at least in germ. It comes as new life; as regeneration, conversion, and sanctification; as a creative fact in experience, taking up the whole man with all his faculties and capacities, releasing him from the guilt and the power of sin, and reconciling him with God, restoring harmony and peace to the soul, and at last glorifying the body itself. Thus, the life of Christ is mirrored in his people, rising gradually, through the use of the means of grace and the continued exercise of faith and love, to its maturity in the resurrection.
    But the new life necessarily contains the element of doctrine, or knowledge of the truth. Christ calls himself "the way, the truth, and the life." He is himself the personal revelation of saving truth, and of the normal relation of man to God. Yet this element of doctrine itself appears in the New Testament, not in the form of an abstract theory, the product of speculation, a scientific system of ideas subject to logical and mathematical demonstration; but as the fresh, immediate utterance of the supernatural, divine life, a life-giving power, equally practical and theoretical, coming with divine authority to the heart, the will, and the conscience, as well as to the mind, and irresistibly drawing them to itself. The knowledge of God in Christ, as it meets us here, is at the same time eternal life. We must not confound truth with dogma. Truth is the divine substance, doctrine or dogma is the human apprehension and statement of it; truth is infinite, unchanging, and eternal; dogma is finite, changeable, and perfectible.
    The Bible, therefore, is not only, nor principally, a book for the learned, but a book of life for every one, an epistle written by the Holy Spirit to mankind. In the words of Christ and his apostles there breathes the highest and holiest spiritual power, the vivifying breath of God, piercing bone and marrow, thrilling through the heart and conscience, and quickening the dead. The life, the eternal life, which was from the beginning with the Father, and is manifested to us, there comes upon us, as it were, sensibly, now as the mighty tornado, now as the gentle zephyr; now overwhelming and casting us down in the dust of humility and penitence, now reviving and raising us to the joy of faith and peace; but always bringing forth a new creature, like the word of power, which said at the first creation, "Let there be light!" Here verily is holy ground. Here is the door of eternity, the true ladder to heaven, on which the angels of God are ascending and descending in unbroken line. No number of systems of Christian faith and morals, therefore, indispensable as they are to the scientific purposes of the church and of theology, can ever fill the place of the Bible, whose words are spirit and life." (Philip Scaff pg 511-513)
    The questions surrounding canonicity and Historicity of Scripture may not find top billing on the priority list of most Christians today. At first glance such questions seem superficial rather than essential, secondary rather than primary. However, if we start with a more fundamental question we may gain insight into the primacy of such discussions. That question is: did the church create the canon, or did the canon create the church?
    I. Disclaimer about the Argument:
    In an age where books like the "Di Vinci Code" are best sellers, the obvious desire of the culture is to imagine the vain thing of psalm 2 - as "the kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us." The undisputed authority of the scriptures rises more and more to the forefront of true Christianity
    Definition of Terms.
    The first duty before me is to define quickly some necessary terms. First there may be some confusion about the term "canon". The Greek word simply means rule or measuring rod. After the first century the word began to take on the meaning of "revealed" truth, or rule of faith, and it wasn't until the 4th century that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were referred to as "the canon". Apologetics - "the defense of the faith". Bibliocity - "the study of the Bible as a principle to itself. (This should always include a sound apologetic!) Presuppositional, the foundation of truth is established preverification, or that truth must have an assumed beginning, and evidentialism where truth must be determined by the material evidence and weighed by the reason of man.
    II. Historical Considerations:
    Now we have already said that it was not until the 4th century that the word canon was applied to the New Testament, However, as Steven Voorwinde points out, this does not mean that the idea of the canon did not exist earlier. Herman Ridderbos said: "the history of the Canon is the process of the growing consciousness of the Church concerning its ecumenical foundation." "From its earliest days the Christian community was aware that it had a body of writings equal in authority to the Old Testament and equally revelatory in character." It must be said that the New Testament Christians used the Old Testament as Scripture but that they new at the same time there was more to the story. By 200AD we already find the terms "Old and New Testaments", palaia diatheke and kaine diatheke.
    A. The First 140 Years.
    The Apostle seem to be aware that they where writing Scripture. Especially the Book of Revelation. Again Voorwinde says: "There is as awareness within the New Testament itself, but these are mere "hints" compared to the authoritative tone conveyed by certain New Testament concepts." He enumerates three terms. Apostle: "transmitter of revelation. Witness: eyewitness in a forensic way. And Tradition: 'what had been handed down with authority'. "The tradition of which the New Testament speaks is therefore not an unchanneled stream which is then perpetuated as the faith or theology of the Church. It is rather the authoritative proclamation entrusted to the apostles, as the witnesses of Christ and as the foundation of the Church."
    B.The Rise of Heretics: The Church endures a rather rough beginning with missionary efforts being complicated with the Jewish conceptions, as Paul informs us, yet amazingly or rather providentially the Apostles teaching is wide spread and quickly embraced. However, the rise of heretics is always on the horizon and by the year 140 the Roman church receives her first visit from Marcion.
    1. Marcionism. Marcion presented his teachings to the presbyters at Rome, "but they found it utterly unacceptable, which was not surprising considering his radical Gnostic views. Marcion rejected the Old Tesament and regarded the the God of the O.T. as evil. He also found little use for most of the New Testament with the exception of Paul and Luke. Marcion's views were wide spread. The Marcionites were the first to have a clearly defined canon.
    2. Gnosticism. Gnostic errors were of course around prior to the coming of the Lord. It is not clear when they started. Basically it was the supremacy of thought, esoteric gnosis (knowledge) The Gospel of Thomas was chief among there documents along with the apocryphal Gospel of Truth. For the Gnostics true gnosis was beyond Scripture. Gnosticism is alive and well anywhere where individual experiance, feelings or knowledge is exalted as the arbiter of
    3. Montanism. Started in [/COLOR]Asia Minor[COLOR=gray] around 156AD its leader Montanus believed that Christ promise of the Holy Spirit had now been fulfilled. Montanus was the Spirits mouthpiece, so obviously it stressed the renewal of the prophetic gift.
    C. The Churches Response:
    It is important for us to understand the state of the Church at this point. During the early development of the church most movement was apolitical, and spread through simple means. The apostles established the churches and were faithful to their calling to preach the gospel to the whole earth. Faithful men were made leaders to continue that which they had received and on the smaller scale that was easier to maintain. The warnings about present antichrist and ravenous wolves however, show that even during the life of the apostles there was always a contention for the truth, but the mechanism for affirming the truth of the one catholic church could not be in place until after the formation of such a grand organism. How the church responded to heretics and established its canon basically falls into to points of view.
    1.The Liberal view. Voorwinde suggest that the liberal view was epitomized by the work of Adolf von Harnack the leading liberal theologian in at the latter half of the 19th century. He was basically a Gnostic and a montanist himself. Believing that the true inspired word was by the spirit and not by the Letter. He asserted that the drive for a written canon came from the heretics. He proposes what the boys over at infedel.com and the Jesus Seminar picked up on, and that is that right makes right. The Bible that we have is mere the church that won the canon wars.
    2.The Orthodox View. Defending the Orthodox view there are many. William Whitacker, Francis Turretin and Theodor Zahn however, are at the forefront of the debates. There is much to their arguments, but one of the strongest factors they bring out is in the state of the New Testament around 200. "Basic agreement coupled with random disagreement characterizes this period. Difference of opinion rages over some books. The idea of fluid boundaries is unthinkable if (according to Harnack and the Liberal school) the Church is creating a canon in response to Marcion. The Church's canon would have been defined as exactly as Marcion's. The New Testament is not then a book that falls out of the sky, nor is it an invention of the Church to combat heresy.
    III. Theological Considerations:
    As we consider these questions it is important that we donít forget our theology. Remember what we have been taught on apologetics. About the problems of evidentialism, and thinking we can come to these concerning questions from a neutral stance. We need to argue for the Bible the same way that we argue for the faith; presuppositionally. This does not mean carelessly, however. Some men in an attempt to simplify the question have made grave errors.
    A.Problems with Warfieldís View.
    For example B.B. Warfield gives more content to apostolic authority than is warranted by the New Testament itself. "In his view the New Testament canon was imposed by the apostles on the church. Thus the canon was not only complete but also fully and finally accepted by the end of the first century. Warfield writes: "In every case the principle on which a book was accepted, or doubts about it laid aside, was the historical tradition of apostolicity". Warfield goes on to assert that the canon was whatever, the apostle had imposed on the church as law whether written by them or not. He completely leaves out the question of reception, and cast doubt on the historicity of the early church struggles. This view may be tempting to those wanting easy answers, but it is not correct.
    Criterion and the Problem with it!
    The real nature of the question strikes at what criterion can be used to establish canonicity. Many suggested things such as apostolicity and Christological Concentration. (This was the big one for Luther, who used the motto: 'what urges and preaches Christ' - As good as these criterion sound, they are of no use. Again Steven Voorwinde states: "all attempts to establish criteria have failed. More to the point is the observation that all attempts to establish criteria must in principle fail and in fact destroy the canonicity of the New Testament...(for) It would mean subjecting the canon to fallible human insight - and this destroys the absolute authority of the canon!"
    IV. Redemptive History:
    To helps us here, Herman Ridderbos has suggested that the authority of the canon is not to be sought in the history of the Church, but in the history of redemption: God provides a verbal commentary on his redemptive activity. Hence the New Testament itself is a phenomenon in the history of redemption.
    Ridderbos continues by saying: "In conclusion we can only say that the deepest foundation of the canon can only lie in Christ himself, and in the nature of his coming and work. The very basis or ground for the recognition of the canon is, therefore, in principle redemptive-historical. ...For Christ is not only himself the canon in which God comes to the world, and in which he glorifies himself in contrast to the world, but Christ establishes the canon and gives it a concrete historical form. (Read Heb 1: 1-3) Christ is our all in all!
    Also I would like to note the excellence of what Milt says when he states:
    Quote Originally Posted by Milt
    To wit, I believe that our Bible today not only contains the Word of God, but it is The Word of God.
    "We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ[Acts 4:12]. We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else." - John Calvin

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    Re: The Multi-Level Canon

    I just thought that I would add that the Trinity Foundation thinks this topic is important enough to monitor and report on regularly. They are watching intently and think that what has been posted already in this thread is heresy.

    Personally, I don't care what the institutions of men think. And I certainly don't think that Sean Gerety or John Robbins are intellectually honest enough to deal with this topic without falling back on the traditions of men for support. To deviate from their precious traditions, they would indeed find themselves outside the camp; and that would be just too much for them to bear. Essentialy they value their presbyterian traditions over the truth itself and that is to their shame.

    We at 5solas.org are only interested in the truth. This topic of discussion may be unsettling to many because it is opposed to hundreds of years of tradition. It goes against tradition which is founded in the papacy itself!

    Will we support sola scriptura or solo institutio?

    Brandan
    This is my signature.

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    Re: The Multi-Level Canon

    It seems as if Cardinal Sean is not satisfied yet and keeps reading our Forum just as I have predicted. People are never satisfied in being confronted and not having the power to debate convincingly and they keeping cowardly lurking to find off context phrases to make more careless and naive Christians to total submission...

    Now he is paranoid! None of the comments I made in the previous posts are directed to him and I wasn't thinking of him since he is not the "remarkable" unforgettable character that he deems himself to be. Now he is obsessed with us!

    He will not be honest and Christian enough to post statements such as this (in my previous posts):

    Originally Posted by Milt
    "To wit, I believe that our Bible today not only contains the Word of God, but it is The Word of God."


    He does post this statement because is not stated in submission to his "creedal salvation" beliefs; he will not because this may be a dim light that will lead people to realize that what is doing as he continues his obsession in maligning and gossiping about us is not fair, not Christian and not good to anyone.

    I just hope that he learns a few things from us!

    I hope he posts this in his list:

    "During my presence in the 5solas Forum, I realized that I am not that good, that intelligent, that well-learned as I thought I was, and I deserve no credibility among those who think, among those who will not budge to denominational pressure and especially among those who have indeed not only left the ways of the Roman papacy, but IT left them completely, which unfortunately does not and cannot happen to me! 5solas will always stand on the way of my impositions, my assumptions, presuppositions and desire to be respected as an erudite and a scholar. Milt showed me many instances where I did not know what the instructions of Paul were, for example, for restricting the gifts and judging prophecy. It was clearly proved to me that I do not know as I thought I knew. Sean.
    *************
    As for us in the 5solas, we are indeed 5solas, sola scriptura which believes that the scripture ONLY devoid of tradition is sufficient to state, depict, describe, narrate and teach Godly truth. The "institution" equates "tradition" with the Bible; thus we will always have a different view of what is sacred.

    I wonder if John Robbins, a man whom I continue to admire, will be satisfied with someone who is willing to defend traditions more than the Bible itself; a man who will ascribe Holiness to tradition more than he will the revealed Word of God! I wonder if John Robbins would read what we are writing (I am not trying to attract him to the 5solas with this remark) would agree that Sean is not that bright anyway...

    Sean can do whatever he wants with out posts! I am not the one who will judge him! If it would be I know what I would do with him: give him a new pacifier and a full bottle of warm milk!

    Milt
    Grace Ambassador
    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: The Multi-Level Canon

    Quick question:

    Is this true?

    The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.
    "We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ[Acts 4:12]. We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else." - John Calvin

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    Re: The Multi-Level Canon

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    I just thought that I would add that the Trinity Foundation thinks this topic is important enough to monitor and report on regularly. They are watching intently and think that what has been posted already in this thread is heresy.
    Brandan
    Where are you hearing of this BK? Where are they writing all this stuff?
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
    GALATIANS 5:22

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    Re: The Multi-Level Canon

    Sean Gerety is harrassing me by e-mail about his stuff on their private discussion list even after I left it out of disgust.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scripturalists/

    Also notice how it's private and not public? They're being secret just like the papacy.
    This is my signature.

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    Re: The Multi-Level Canon

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    Sean Gerety is harrassing me by e-mail about his stuff on their private discussion list even after I left it out of disgust.

    Oh, I thought it was being posted on their site.
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
    GALATIANS 5:22

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    Re: The Multi-Level Canon

    Quote Originally Posted by samohtwerdna
    Quick question:

    Is this true?
    Of course it is!
    This is my signature.

  17. #17

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    Re: The Multi-Level Canon


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    Re: The Multi-Level Canon

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugly_Gaunt_Cow
    I've tried to read a couple, and I couldn't. I knew they were false bcause the Spirit of God wasn't present in the text.
    Right Scott! We don't need a papacy to tell us which books are inspired and which are not!
    This is my signature.

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    Re: The Multi-Level Canon

    Oh!

    Did I say that??

    Hmmmmm... That opens a WHOLE NEW CAN OF WORMS now doesn't it.

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