You are rebutting SFIC's statement about Calvinism. Here's what SFIC said again: "Paul said that God wants all men to be saved. Paul said Christ died for all. The Calvinists claim that God does not want all men saved." SFIC is not making an emotional appeal here. He is saying that a claim of Calvinism contradicts Paul's words, so your first point about emotional hangups is irrelevant. As to your second point, it's also irrelevant because SFIC wasn't questioning what Calvinists think about the sufficiency of Christ's atoning work. He was talking about how many, according to Calvinism, God wills to save. If it's God's will to irresistably draw everyone, why isn't everyone drawn? Or, if it's God's will to irresistably draw only some, how is that different to what SFIC was saying? And as to your final point, you seem to be saying that the reason some are saved and others are not is because of each individual's desire to accept or reject Christ, the Devil being an example of one who rejects Him. Yet it's a key tenet of Calvinism that all men in their natural state reject Christ (total depravity), and that the only reason any are saved at all is because the Lord draws some irresistably, by changing their hearts so that they come willingly.
Well, given that this closely follows NN's post, where he asserts that the 'TULIP' doctrines aren't Biblical, the obvious implication seems to be that it is NN's claims that you are calling 'viles lies', RevRob, and that you are calling NN a "Bible rejector". Then you go on to say that members of the "True Christian Church of Jesus" don't tell such "viles lies". Again, the implication seems to be that NN is not a member of the "True Christian Church of Jesus". Now, as you know from the forum's doctrinal statements, the site's owner/maintainers don't believe in Calvinism, and it follows that almost none of the forum members do. So in effect you are calling almost all the members of this forum Bible rejectors, vile liars, and not members of the "true Christian church". So now you've said all that about the forum membership, where do we go from here, Rev Rob?
In the UK too it is a title associated with qualifications and it appears on forms and questionnaires as 'Rev'. Apparently the correct title is actually 'The Reverend' and if I remember there are peculiarities with using it in letters and stuff because it is an adjective. For example you can say "The Reverend John Smith" but it's considered grammatically incorrect to say "The Reverend Smith". Or something. As a title associated with a person's qualifications, it's akin to 'Doctor' (learned) and 'Professor' etc, and also suffixes like 'Msc' (Master of XYZ). All of them are grand words that are designed to elevate and distinguish the bearer. But I don't think I've ever heard a baptist or methodist pastor use 'reverend' for their everyday title. Rather they use it when they need to declare their qualifications, for example on a public notice. With the Church of England its different, because 'Reverend' is also a title associated with rank, along with stuff like 'Right Reverend', 'Venerable' etc, all the way up to the Queen herself. People will sometimes call the clergyman in charge of a church 'Reverend' instead of 'Vicar', though again I've been told it's grammatcially incorrect. None of that CofE stuff should be a surprise to anyone...
Whether or not its sound, Dave's obviously presenting a systematic method, not some 'vagary'. Or if you insist the method/teaching is that, why not show how it is? Or was that just another fly-by assertion, Invicta? See you in a few weeks when you drop in with three or four more unexplained and unhelpful one-liners...
There's nothing there I disagree with, Pastor Scott--thanks for following up. I would add that I haven't attempted to argue that the grammar is ambiguous in any of the passages you've discussed in your debate. I think I've been exploring a more general argument about analysing grammar.
No worries. Like I said in my post, I couldn't understand why you were apparently making most of your points in response to my post--it seemed like you were responding to someone else but had clicked the 'quote' button on mine by mistake. Clearly we are very much talking past one another. The fact that I picked up your points anyway and tried to respond to them was just me being charitable. The last lines of my post were about Pastor Markle's explanation of his own interpretation of 70 weeks. Here's what he said: "Now, the distance of time between these events are known by historical record to be greater than a period of sixty-nine literal weeks." That's Pastor Scott laying out why he doesn't interpret "70 weeks" as literally 70 weeks. It's not him trying to refute anyone else. Don't believe me? Scroll up to here, where Pastor Markle expands on this explanation. Pastor Scott says that he interprets the underlying Herbrew (corrected--thanks Pastor Scott) as not referring to literally 70 weeks, and then further supports this interpretation with what the historical record shows.
Thanks for expanding on your intpretation of 70 weeks, Pastor Scott. Actually I think you did refer to both reasons and I failed to point out one of them--apologies. "In the first place, within your opening comments, you change the point that Brother Dave was making. Brother Dave was speaking concerning when someone analyses the grammar of a sentence correctly. However, by the end of your opening comments, you were speaking concerning when someone uses the grammar of a sentence correctly, as per your statement -- "This argument relies on a premise that grammar is like maths: it's totally unambiguous when used correctly." You continue this change in the point when, after presenting your example, you ask the question and deliver the answer -- "Did I use grammar correctly? Yes I did. I used the most popular British way of listing items in a sentence, which is to omit the serial comma before the word 'and'." Brother Dave's point was not about the correct usage of grammar, but about the correct analysis of the grammar that is being used by another." I disagree that I changed Dave's point. To explain: "...you were speaking concerning when someone uses the grammar of a sentence correctly, as per your statement -- "This argument relies on a premise that grammar is like maths: it's totally unambiguous when used correctly." The premise talks about both using and analysing. In order for grammar to be analysed, grammar must be used. You accept that don't you? I'm saying there that the meaning will be unambiguous to the person doing the analysing (the reader), assuming the grammar has been used correctly. All I'm doing there is laying out the premise, which includes that there is a correctly written sentence there to be analysed. Dave didn't make explicit reference to the correct usage of grammar in his syllogism because we are dealing with scripture and we can assume it. I chose to make it explicit, but that doesn't mean my main point isn't about analysis of grammar. You continue this change in the point when, after presenting your example, you ask the question and deliver the answer -- "Did I use grammar correctly? Yes I did. I used the most popular British way of listing items in a sentence, which is to omit the serial comma before the word 'and'." Actually I make three points in that section: one about usage (and I'll explain why in a sec) and two about analysis. You ignore the two about analysis and focus on the one about usage. But all I'm doing by referring to usage here is ruling out the possibility of incorrect usage being a factor in the analysis. Why did I choose to do that? Because in my hypothetical example we are dealing with my (hypothetical) writings and not scripture, so I thought it better to explicitely rule out that variable. What you've just done is take that one minor point and erase everything around it, so that if we were to just read your post we would think I was talking only about usage. I was not. The example is about how someone called Timmy analyses a sentence, and my reference to usage is a minor point within that. On to your next criticism: "In your example it is specifically because Timmy incorrectly analyzed the grammar of the sentence that he formulated the wrong conclusion." I think it's a shame that you make this point without referring to this bit of my argument: "Was Timmy's 'analysis' of my grammar invalid? Nope. It's common for people to use a comma to put things in apposition. In this case, according to Timmy, the co-authors and their names. Therefore it's perfectly possible that I did mean to thank the co-authors and give their names, and Timmy's analysis isn't invalid." And later on: "His analysis was valid--it's correct to use a comma like that--but his conclusion was wrong because I employed the comma in an equally valid way that means something different. In other words, the grammar in the sentence is ambiguous." My point is that there are two equally valid ways to interpret the sentence. The problem is not Timmy's analysis--he was correct to posit that a comma can be used in that way--the problem is that the grammar is ambiguous. My overall point: grammar can be used correctly, analysed in a valid way, yet even then it is possible to draw the wrong conclusion because of the possible existence of ambiguity. I think your counter here is about semantics. You could say that the conclusion is part of the analysis, and therefore by falling foul of a hasty conclusion, Timmy has in fact analysed incorrectly. So maybe I'm using the word 'analyse' incorrectly. I don't think this harms the point I'm making, however. "As such, ambiguous grammar allows for more than one possibility in the process of grammatical analysis." Actually there are any number of possibilities in the process of gramatical analysis even if the grammar is unambiguous, since I could come up with 100 'analyses' that are totally wrong-headed, for example if I interpret a comma as a full-stop, or a question mark as a colon. But you were talking about correct analyses, weren't you, as in ambiguous grammar could result in a sentence having more than one valid interpretation? And that's what I meant when I said that Timmy had analysed correctly and yet drawn the wrong conclusion.
Fair enough, and thanks for keeping it open for those of us who still want to discuss! I spent about 45 minutes composing the last three posts I put up--my first in this discussion--so I'd be galled if that time went to waste because the thread got locked just after I posted.
Well, I agree that we're guided by the Holy Spirit and we should walk in faith. However I don't think this truth can be levered in a discussion about scripture. Firstly because any person can say "my interpretation is correct because the Holy Spirit has told me" and secondly because by entering into a discussion about scripture, I'd argue we are acknowledging that the Holy Spirit uses such discussions to teach us (else why have the discussion?). And if we accept that, aren't we also accepting in principle that it could be us that the Holy Spirit is trying to correct, not the other person? Have to say I've never really understood this argument. The Bible doesn't have an appendix where it explains English grammar rules (or ancient Greek etc.), so aren't we relying on teaching we're received outside the scriptures? If I was to question some of Pastor Scott's grammatical analyses, I guess he would back up his arguments by making reference to English books about grammar. Ditto for word meanings. I'm not sure why you've brought this up in response to me unless it is because you are responding to this statement of mine: "Pastor Scott has already explained why--he has interpreted that bit of scripture in the light of extra-Biblical sources." If you are, then I'm confused because I don't think Pastor Scott is a preterist. Or is he?
Oh, I forgot to say, I notice that Covenanter has 'liked' John's appeal for the debaters to explain why they aren't interpreting 70 weeks as literally seventy weeks, i.e. 490 days. Pastor Scott has already explained why--he has interpreted that bit of scripture in the light of extra-Biblical sources. Cov, will we get yours? I'm sure it's been posted already on the forum in the past, but hey what hasn't...
Ok, I'll bite. Dave says that it's not possible for someone to correctly "analyse" the grammar of a sentence and yet draw incorrect conclusions about what the grammar means. This argument relies on a premise that grammar is like maths: it's totally unambiguous when used correctly. I reject that premise, with a hypothetitical example. Let's say I publish a book with three co-authors, and lets say I get my own little acknowledgments section. I want to thank my co-authors and I want to thank two other people who helped me whose names are Rod and Jane. So here goes: "I wish to thank my co-authors, Rod and Jane." Then Timmy comes along and reads the sentence and thinks, "ah, this person's co-authors are called Rod and Jane." So let's look at what's happened: Did I use grammar correctly? Yes I did. I used the most popular British way of listing items in a sentence, which is to omit the serial comma before the word "and". Was Timmy's "analysis" of my grammar invalid? Nope. It's common for people to use a comma to put things in apposition. In this case, according to Timmy, the co-authors and their names. Therefore it's perfectly possible that I did mean to thank the co-authors and give their names, and Timmy's analysis isn't invalid. Was Timmy's conclusion about what my grammar means correct? No, he got it wrong. His analysis was valid--it's correct to use a comma like that--but his conclusion was wrong because I employed the comma in an equally valid way that means something different. In other words, the grammar in the sentence is ambiguous. So I argue that at least in principle it is possible for Pastor Scott's analysis of the grammar of that (or any) passage to be correct and his understanding of that grammar to be incorrect. In other words, grammar is not like maths. It might be more like maths than the meaning of words, but it isn't us unambiguous as all that. And here's what I'm not arguing: That all grammar is ambiguous. I'm not saying that. Maybe the passage in question in this discussion lends itself to no other valid grammatical interpretation. But Dave appears to be making a general argument about interpreting grammar and it's specifically that "critical point" I'm arguing with. That I wrote a book that got looked at by Timmy. I'm not saying that. It's a hypothetical example. That the problem in the hypothetical example is unavoidable. I'm not saying that. Obviously I could write the sentence with a serial comma, or bullet-point the people I want to thank. Or Timmy could look up the co-authors. But that's all irrelevant to the point the hypothetical example is supposed to illustrate.
Actually it's already been covered. Cov and Pastor Scott disagree on what 70 weeks does mean, but they both agree that it doesn't mean what it says in English. The word 'week' is unambiguous in English, but both Cov and Pastor Scott reject it's literal English meaning. From the opening posts: Pastor Scott: "Now, the distance of time between these events are known by historical record to be greater than a period of sixty-nine literal weeks. Rather, we understand by the historical record that the distance of time between these events encompassed a multitude of years (indeed, 483 years). Therefore, we are brought to understand that the “seventy sevens” of this context are a reference unto seventy groupings of seven years each. Cov: "Now the LORD is very specific in this 70 weeks prophecy. All agree that that means 490 years...." So Pastor Scott rejects a literal 70 weeks because of extra-Biblical sources disagreeing with the English meaning of the word 'week', and Cov agrees that it isn't a literal 70 weeks. It was this bit of the discussion (the opening posts) that prompted me to ask whether Cov and Pastor Scott would be interpreting English words in English or whether they would be using the underlying Greek to support their arguments at times. Pastor Scott replied to say that he definitely would be.