June 6, 2007

This Post is Old!

The post you are reading is years old and may not represent my current views. I started blogging around the time I first began to study philosophy, age 17. In my view, the point of philosophy is to expose our beliefs to rational scrutiny so we can revise them and get better beliefs that are more likely to be true. That's what I've been up to all these years, and this blog has been part of that process. For my latest thoughts, please see the front page.

Discussions on Scripture and Tradition

Just a couple quick links:

John Fraiser of Chaos and Old Night discusses the attitude Evangelical Protestants ought to take to Church tradition in his post, Sifting Through Church Tradition. Fraiser argues that we need to recognize the influence tradition has on us, and we ought not to try to escape from that influence, but, at the same time, we need to recognize that it is Scriputre and not tradition which is authoritative. I mostly agree with what Fraiser said (though I still think that the West is wrong to talk about Scripture and tradition as wholly distinct - instead we ought to consider Scripture as a sort of 'super-tradition,' as the Orthodox do; I have argued for this postion previously), but, unfortunately, he didn't present much in the way of argument. Or rather, in so far as he did argue for his position, he is arguing against Evangelicals who want to ignore tradition, not Catholic or Orthodox believers who give more authority to tradition than the position he argues for does.

On the other side, we have The God Fearin' Fiddler (with whom I have debated this issue before) presents a Catholic argument against sola scriptura. Unfortunately, the post is kind of long and focuses on debunking an argument that I've never heard any Protestant use, and that I certainly wouldn't use. However, he does make several good points, and I recommend taking at least a skim.

I've already sort of jumped into the fray by leaving a long comment for the Fiddler (Update 6/7/07, 1AM: the Fiddler has responded to my argument in a new and most interesting post), but I may jump in in a more substantial way some time soon. The best way to jump in would of course be to finish by Why Believe the Bible? series that has been sitting unfinished for a year. I'm considering, when I finish it, adding an appendix discussing what beliefs about the Bible the argument justifies. It will, I think, justify innerrancy without a problem, but it isn't clear to me what kind of a uniqueness claim that argument will justify.

Posted by Kenny at June 6, 2007 5:15 PM
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Where is Palouse, anyway? I was born in Tacoma, and used to have friends in Elbe.

Just thought I'd point out that topics of canon and authority and tradition are being discussed across a swath of the biblioblogosphere, and you are welcome to join in.

Go to www.ancienthebrewpoetry.typepad.com

John Hobbins

Posted by: John Hobbins at June 11, 2007 9:53 PM

Thanks for the link, John. I don't know if or when I'll have time to go back and read your discussion on the subject thus far, but I'll certainly add it to my RSS feeds. I'm a little weak on Old Testament, so maybe you'll be able to help me out :)

Palouse is near Pullman (Washington State University), which is not very near to Tacoma. I'm not sure where Elbe is, exactly.

Posted by: Kenny at June 11, 2007 10:34 PM

Hey Kenny:

I love the decor, man!

Hey, I'm on the fly so I haven't taken time to read the linked article. What is the reason to know the influence of tradition other than to identify how it affects how we think of Scripture, or how it is distinct from Scripture? And subsequently, how can we be sure that what we think of Scripture is without error if what we think of Scripture falls under that which is fallible?

If the author tackles this topic, let me know and save your carpal tunnels for other posts. I'll check into it later.

God Bless,

The Undergroundlogician.

Note: I've changed my signature in Blogger to Justanotherbeggar, which is my Catholic blogsite. I'm the one that was on Godfearin' Fiddler. See ya.

Posted by: justanotherbeggar at June 12, 2007 12:13 PM


Why study the Christian tradition? This is the primary question of the Chaos and Old Night post, which I highly recommend. The purpose is to use it as it relates to Biblical interpretation, but not to subjugate our interpretation of Scripture to it.

As to your second question, what we think about Scripture isn't without error. The Scripture is inerrant, our interpretation is not. I have discussed this question before (since you have been using the handle Undergroundlogician, I hope you will enjoy my use of the Bayesian probability calculus).

Posted by: Kenny at June 12, 2007 6:21 PM

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