illogical arguments

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by nodak, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. nodak

    nodak
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    I've been enjoying reading Baptist history lately, but keep running up on some very illogical arguments.

    One concerns postmillenialism. Now, we could have an enjoyable and vigorous scriptural debate about millenialism. But I keep reading (even on BB) that WW I and WWII and the Depression proved postmillenialism wrong.

    Uh, no they didn't. They might have discouraged folks from believing in it. But they proved nothing. That is like saying Job really should have cursed God and died, or like saying Abraham should have tried to get Sarah in the family way a reasonable amount of time and then given up.

    Postmil may be right or may be wrong scripturally, but current events should not logically determine our endtimes beliefs.

    Another--from both sides of the creation fence--is that either you have to accept YEC or godless evolution.

    Uh, no, there are more options. It isn't that cut and dried.

    Another issue is apostolic succession. I grew up where landmarkism was rampant, and got taught a rather illogical view that Baptists didn't believe in it AT ALL, that was RCC, and yet that we could trace our "apostolic succession" through the trail of blood all the way back to John the Baptist.

    Well, pick one view and let the other go.

    Without debating the issues of endtimes or creation or apostolic succession, are there other illogical teachings you see floating around?
     
  2. DaChaser1

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    That of hyper pretierists claiming that the Second Coming of jesus already happened, in a spiritual sense in AD 70, yet have little if any proof to support that, and disregard nearly entire church being adament that jesus will return in a physical bodily form in the future!
     
  3. Van

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    Hi Nodak, I just wanted to thank you for presenting the illogical arguments thread. Logical fallacies are illogical arguments. When you see an article that addresses (and questions) the qualifications and character of those holding some theological view, you are seeing two things: (1) attempting to disparage a position without offering any actual rebuttal to the position, and (2) an effort not to enlighten but to dumb down the audience.

    Next is the false dicotomy of the either/or argument. Either Christ died for the Church or Christ died for all mankind. Uh no, Christ died for all mankind which includes those chosen out of mankind and set apart in Christ, i.e. the church. So its not either/or, but its both.

    As you said, it is not you are a this or you are a that, if not a Calvinist you are an Arminian sort of thing, because other options are logically derived from scripture.

    The final fallacy I want to address is the scriptural nullification tool box. This verse does not mean this because then it would not fit with my understanding of man-made doctrine. The say a truth presented in a parable does not count. They say God does not mean what He says.
    They say from God's view it means something else, as if they were in a position to have God's view, rather than their view of God.
     
  4. nodak

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    Good points!

    Sometimes I wonder if we need to make kids go back to studying logic in high school.

    Another one I've noticed is in music--the battle lines are clearly drawn. Either all traditional music is said to be boring or all contemporary is trivial.

    But there can be well done, non boring traditional music and good contemporary.

    But probably the one I see most is letting current events determine our understanding of Scripture, rather than letting Scripture just say what it says.
     
  5. gb93433

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    Creation of God from nothing is illogical. God is illogical. Rationalism is idolatry. There are loads of illogical teachings that are from God and others which are man centered. There are also logical rational teachings that are man centered and not in agreement with what the Bible teaches.
     
  6. Baptist Believer

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    I think I know what you're getting at here, although I don't think there's actually a problem of logic. It's just that we have a materialistic (literally, thinking in terms of matter/atoms) presupposition for much of our logical thinking instead of considering that the spiritual (immaterial) is more real than the matter it sustains. It's very difficult for us to think beyond the bounds of matter because we are connected to the material reality and often not as much in tune with the spiritual nature of the universe and God Himself.

    I think it's more a limitation of our vision/understanding, than a problem with logic.

    Yes. I've noticed that many theologians actually seem to think of God as more of a force or principle rather than a Person. They have God tidily wrapped up in a series of attributes that they use to define God and make claims about what God would and wouldn't do. Now I think there is enormous value in studying God and His attributes, but I think we can make an idol of our theological constructions.

    It is sobering to me to consider the witness of the gospels concerning Jesus. He was everything the scripture said He would be, but a far cry from the Jewish mainstream views of the Messiah. In the same way, the Spirit did all kinds of unexpected things in Acts and the early church spent its time playing catch-up.

    We cannot predict the work and acts of God using logic. The grace of God flies in the face of logic and law and transforms those who receive grace into a loving community - not a logical proposition.

    Absolutely. I have been very guilty of things in greater/lesser degrees throughout my life. It is my chief idol beyond simple self-interest. I constantly have to guard my thoughts about God so that I don't forget that God is Person, not a theological construct that exists for my benefit.

    To paraphrase C.S. Lewis: He is not tame, but He is good. Unimaginably good.

    Yes. Grace, love and mercy spring to mind.

    Most of our theologies that are nice and neatly tied up are idolatrous.

    I have a passion for theology, but we need to hold on to our theologies lightly in favor of what God might show us next. We need to be open to learning and growing each day in our faith as we live out our theology in the crucible of life.
     
  7. Van

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    Is it possible to make an illogical argument by asserting that an alternate view is illogical? Calling something illogical does not make it illogical. Is creation out of nothing illogical. Science tells us our whole physical universe had a beginning, and before the beginning there was nothing. So thinking whatever is had no beginning might be considered just as illogical. Our belief in God splits the difference, God had no beginning, He is the uncaused cause, and everything else comes from God, the creator of everything.

    Is Rationalism idolatry. Certainly we are not to lean on our own understanding, but we are to "count the cost" and test what is said.
    God after all is not a God of confusion, and what He has revealed in His word was for our understanding, so it logically follows it should make sense to us. People who advocate a view and say never mind it makes no sense, it is a mystery are simply going the long way around the barn to say "trust me on this, I know what is right."
     
  8. gb93433

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    God is not so interested in us understanding Him but our obedience. Not all will understand everything in scripture simply because they need to be taught.

    2 Peter 3:14-16 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."

    Too often they are lazy and their understanding is dependent on their view. I call what you are referring to as S-Y-I (Share Your Ignorance). Don't you know that the "trust me on this, I know what is right" people has a special relationship with God that only they have and others do not have that privilege. When I was in business it was amazing how many churches led by those kind of pastors were delinquent on their accounts. They "trusted God" for their finances. The problem was their God was self focus and that god did not come through and listen to them.
     
    #8 gb93433, Jan 22, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2012
  9. quantumfaith

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    Does that mean any attempts that we make at being rational, we are actually practicing idolatry? Thus we should just be irrational?
     
  10. gb93433

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    Hebrew 11:6 teachers that without faith it is impossible to please God. Is faith in God rational?

    Would it be rational for one to consider following the ways of the prophets. The prophets did what God wanted with a complete disregard for themselves and most were executed. Is that rational?

    Rationalism becomes idolatry when we put our logical thoughts and understanding ahead of God. That is when we go from a relationship with God and begin to rationalize/intellectualize God. He is beyond our finite mind. He gives us enough light for us to be obedient and follow Him. If we comprehend Him then he becomes our idol.

    I have tried to explain my thoughts in words which hopefully are comprehended but I did not explain God except to say that we must believe that He is and He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
     
  11. Benjamin

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    It may not have seemed that rational when at first I responded in love of the truth that He is Wiser and more Just than me and I confessed that there were influences from Him that I have recognized and ignored in my life but that I believed His way to be way, the only way to live my life. It may not have seemed rational in that saying this I did not even understand how to communicate with Him, to hear Him, yet I asked to have a relationship with Him anyway and to have Him guide me in my life. BUT, my pleas to know Him and hear Him started proving to be rational from that very moment as I instantly felt a peace come over me like I have never known. It proved to be rational the next day when I opened up the letter that He had wrote us (the Bible) and He spoke to me right out of those words showing me not only that He had heard me but was also explaining how I could hear Him. As I got to know Him it may not have seemed rational at first that, I, someone that surely didn’t deserve His kind of love was asking for it in tears and all along asking for more faith everyday while recognizing that this was making me become as if a slave to Him. But it became even more rational when He then showed me from His Word that I had not been bound in this spirit of love to fear Him, because He was Love and full of grace, and whether I deserved it didn’t matter, I had become a son and was loved. And having come to know Him and His great Love it all seems completely rational now and therefore my faith perfectly logical.

    Amen!
     
    #11 Benjamin, Jan 22, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2012
  12. Van

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    Is God really not interested in us understanding Him? What biblical support for this illogical argument can be drudged up?

    To be without excuse requires understanding. 2 Peter 3:14-16 actually teaches we should study scripture, understand it as written, and not distort it. Then obey what it says rather than the distortion.

    "Too often they are lazy and their understanding is dependent on their view. I call what you are referring to as S-Y-I (Share Your Ignorance). Don't you know that the "trust me on this, I know what is right" people has a special relationship with God that only they have and others do not have that privilege. When I was in business it was amazing how many churches led by those kind of pastors were delinquent on their accounts. They "trusted God" for their finances. The problem was their God was self focus and that god did not come through and listen to them."

    Amen brother, counting the cost and being sober minded and self controlled are acts of obedience based on understanding.
     
  13. quantumfaith

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    I think it is irrational to NOT have faith in God.
     
  14. gb93433

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    Could it not also be that the Holy Spirit speaks to your spirit and that went deeper than just words?

    And having come to know Him and His great Love it all seems completely rational now and therefore my faith perfectly logical.
    [/QUOTE]I would contend that love cannot be explained. The only thing is that some of its results or qualities can be out into words.

    Phil 4:7 "And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

    Eph. 3:19 "and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God."

    Faith transcends knowledge, rationalization, and anything we can possibly put into words that makes faith seem logical. The life of a prophet is illogical. Logical reasoning would say one is stupid to be a prophet with the expectation of death. I would contend that God would not work through one who tries to save his life rather than be God's servant in any way He wants.
     
  15. glfredrick

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    Can't "go back to" something that has not existed in American schools since the very early 1900s. Logic, civics (as in how our government runs and compared to how other governments run), actual history instead of revisionist history that works to prove a liberal point, etc., have all gone by the wayside in American education.

    Same goes for our "understanding of Scripture." Unless a sound hermeneutic is taught no one will really ever come to grips with a proper understanding of Scripture. We see that every day here on the board when people discount some big picture concept because they find one verse with one WORD in it (in English no less) that they use to parse the entire meaning into something other than what the original writer, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, intended to put across.

    What we HAVE taught is "pragmatism." "If it works it is true." Sometimes, perhaps, but for the most part, IT IT IS TRUE, IT IS TRUE. Truth needs to have a coherent and rational tie to some reality that is anchored in something objective, not subjective.

    We have also taught that the READER defines the usage of the words, that deconstructing words is the way to make them act in accordance with the reader's will, and that all things are subject to the current view. All of this has caused great harm in that we now set aside truths for myth and it shows in both our churches and in our population.
     
  16. Baptist Believer

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    You are describing one of my pet peeves... However, my desire for a careful and logical hermeneutic is frustrated by the New Testament church. For instance, I am doing a careful study of the Book of Acts for both an adult and youth curriculum and I am consistently frustrated by Peter's use (to my eyes, misuse) of the Old Testament in his sermons and decision-making. Seems to me that Peter needs an introductory course in biblical interpretation!
     
  17. glfredrick

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    At times it would seem that way... But I believe that Peter was acting in the leadership of the Holy Spirit, who ALSO preserved some of what Peter did to guide us today.

    Also, always keep in mind that the Scriptures can show both "description" of what happened and "prescription" of what it is that God wishes for us to know directly from a commandment or to infer based on what was described. Knowing who was speaking, to whom, and why, are all critical questions that must be answered first before jumping off the deep end with some supposed biblical mandate that may or may not actually BE a mandate. (Almost sounds like I am advocating "deep" Bible study...)
     
    #17 glfredrick, Jan 23, 2012
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  18. gb93433

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    I find that so often what we understand does not happen just by studying. James said, "But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves." If one is not a doer he is deluded. I cannot comprehend that and it makes no sense until I become a doer. I cannot know what that verse means until I trust what it teaches. That trust stems from trust in God not in our intellect or logic.
     
  19. gb93433

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    The problem I have is when OT quotes are taken from a specific context and applied in a completely different situation in the NT that does not seem to be related at all. I am unable to explain those situations other than to accept them.
     
  20. seekingthetruth

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    What about Christians that believe that God is going to destroy the Earth?

    I can show many scriptures that show that God intends to restore the Earth, not destroy it.

    Can anyone show scriptures that show that God is going to destroy the Earth, or is this just a church legend/myth?

    John
     

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