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This is the forum to discuss the spectrum of views within Christianity on God's foreknowledge and election such as Calvinism, Arminianism, Molinism, Open Theism, Process Theism, Restrictivism, and Inclusivism, Christian Universalism and what these all are about anyway. Who is saved and when is/was their salvation certain? How does God exercise His sovereignty and how powerful is He? Is God timeless and immutable? Does a triune God help better understand God's love for mankind?

While this area is for the discussion of these doctrines within historic Christianity, all theists interested in discussing these areas within the presuppositions of and respect for the Christian framework are welcome to participate here. This is not the area for debate between nontheists and theists, additionally, there may be some topics that within the Moderator's discretion fall so outside the bounds of mainstream evangelical doctrine that may be more appropriately placed within Comparative Religions 101 Nontheists seeking only theistic participation only in a manner that does not seek to undermine the faith of others are also welcome - but we ask that Moderator approval be obtained beforehand.

Atheists are welcome to discuss and debate these issues in the Apologetics 301 or General Theistics 101 forum without such restrictions. Theists who wish to discuss these issues outside the parameters of orthodox Christian doctrine are invited to Unorthodox Theology 201.

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Rule of Faith

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  • Rule of Faith

    Scripture alone?
    Scripture and tradition in conjunction?
    Scripture over tradition but with tradition?
    Tradition over Scripture but with Scripture?
    Does experience ever count?
    Can reason overrule tradition?
    Can reason overrule experience?
    Can reason overrule Scripture?
    Another aspect?

    I was trying to rank which parts of the Welseyan Quadrilateral were more relatively important to my own understanding of the faith and couldn't decide whether I thought experience overruled tradition, and that it depended on whether "tradition" only extends to those teachings in common amongst the catholic orthodox Church, or if tradition covers only creeds, or if it included for example a Roman or Eastern understanding of Sacraments, or perhaps that experience and tradition don't often conflict but instead deal with different aspects of the Church.

    I very cautiously would rank

    Scripture
    Experience
    Tradition
    Reason

    in that order, but am aware of the danger inherent in placing such an emphasis of experience.

    Thoughts on any part of this post? I'm sure someone disagrees with me . I find it easiest to come to an understanding by talking through an issue, and I hope for (expect) feedback on this. I kinda expect my position to shift on this for full transparency, the only thing I feel like I need to completely clarify is that I hold to an inerrantist view of Scripture which I don't expect to lose any time soon, so my brothers and sisters who might think I am placing something equal to Scripture can rest easy on that account.
    Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? -Galatians 3:5

  • #2
    A friend of mine was an auto mechanic.

    One day my vehicle was making a horrible screeching sound, like metal on metal, and I was only blocks away from his shop. I pulled into his driveway and he heard me coming, motioning to me to cut the engine. He walked over to his big tall tool box, picked up something, came back to my car, lifted the hood, and bent over my engine, signaling me to stay in the car. Then he told me to start the engine.

    It roared to life without the horrible noise. I was astonished - it sounded like MAJOR trouble to me, and he fixed it instantly!!!!

    I asked "What WAS that?" - he held up a yellow crayon, and said, "grease crayon" - your fan belt needed "dressed".

    I asked "how much?" He said "$49.95 -- 95 cents for the grease crayon, and $49 for knowing what to do with it".


    So....

    1) Scripture
    2) The Holy Spirit to help us know what to do with it.

    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

    Comment


    • #3
      Obviously I put Scripture first, and probably tradition second. One thing I've never quite been clear on about the Wesleyan Quadrilateral is what people mean by "experience".
      "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
        Obviously I put Scripture first, and probably tradition second. One thing I've never quite been clear on about the Wesleyan Quadrilateral is what people mean by "experience".
        I'm not sure if this is what is intended here, but I have often heard older folks, and those of the Wesleyan tradition particularly, equate "experience" with their "Christian testimony" - how they came to a saving knowledge of Christ, and what they're doing about that.
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
          I very cautiously would rank

          Scripture
          Experience
          Tradition
          Reason

          in that order, but am aware of the danger inherent in placing such an emphasis of experience.
          But where shall Wisdom be found?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
            Obviously I put Scripture first, and probably tradition second. One thing I've never quite been clear on about the Wesleyan Quadrilateral is what people mean by "experience".
            Things personally experienced in relation to God, particularly the sense of being born again with some room for the rest of your testimony. AFAIK

            Originally posted by Paprika View Post
            But where shall Wisdom be found?
            In the fear of the Lord.

            @CP, I really like that understanding of things. It covers the important bits and leaves the rest. (But I like the rest..?)
            Last edited by Pentecost; 03-15-2015, 10:22 AM.
            Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? -Galatians 3:5

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Paprika View Post
              But where shall Wisdom be found?
              I usually find wisdom in the words of Scripture. Learning how to apply it is the hard part.
              "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

              "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
                In the fear of the Lord.
                Is it not important? If so then where does it fit in the quadilateral, assuming that there should only be four?

                I usually find wisdom in the words of Scripture. Learning how to apply it is the hard part.
                But wisdom can also be found and given by God without Scripture.

                Comment


                • #9
                  What we know comes first:
                  Experience.
                  Witness of others: Scripture - Traditions
                  Reason

                  From which I conclude:
                  Scripture
                  Reason
                  Tradition
                  Experience

                  Where the Scripture is the sole final authority.
                  . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

                  . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

                  Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 37818 View Post
                    What we know comes first:
                    Experience.
                    Witness of others: Scripture - Traditions
                    Reason
                    So you're saying one has the experience first, then are taught Scripture and traditions which they then affirm through reason? I'm positive that is not the uniform for all Christians. Personally, I read for example, Matthew three or four years before I had a born again experience, after I had that experience I sought reasons to affirm the traditions and Scriptures, which I then began to endeavor to learn more of. I have had subsequent experiences that while not as important to salvation I have found very useful.

                    From which I conclude:
                    Scripture
                    Reason
                    Tradition
                    Experience

                    Where the Scripture is the sole final authority.
                    This does not seem to follow from your previous statement 37818. Will you please explain the connection?

                    Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                    Is it not important? If so then where does it fit in the quadilateral, assuming that there should only be four?
                    I accidently deleted my whole response. It was kinda long so I will sum it up. It is very important and good, in fact a case can be made for it using all four that I listed, but a case for reliance upon Scripture ultimately derives much of its power from Scripture itself, and the same with the other three. I do not assume there should be only four, but it seems reasonable to me that the quadrilateral is for the very bases that while they are held up by the others, largely stand on their own merits.


                    But wisdom can also be found and given by God without Scripture.
                    Agreed.
                    Last edited by Pentecost; 03-16-2015, 03:43 PM.
                    Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? -Galatians 3:5

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
                      I usually find wisdom in the words of Scripture. Learning how to apply it is the hard part.


                      Holman Christian Standard Bible
                      James 1:5 Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.
                      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
                        Scripture alone?
                        Scripture and tradition in conjunction?
                        Scripture over tradition but with tradition?
                        Tradition over Scripture but with Scripture?
                        Does experience ever count?
                        Can reason overrule tradition?
                        Can reason overrule experience?
                        Can reason overrule Scripture?
                        Another aspect?

                        I was trying to rank which parts of the Welseyan Quadrilateral were more relatively important to my own understanding of the faith and couldn't decide whether I thought experience overruled tradition, and that it depended on whether "tradition" only extends to those teachings in common amongst the catholic orthodox Church, or if tradition covers only creeds, or if it included for example a Roman or Eastern understanding of Sacraments, or perhaps that experience and tradition don't often conflict but instead deal with different aspects of the Church.

                        I very cautiously would rank

                        Scripture
                        Experience
                        Tradition
                        Reason

                        in that order, but am aware of the danger inherent in placing such an emphasis of experience.

                        Thoughts on any part of this post? I'm sure someone disagrees with me . I find it easiest to come to an understanding by talking through an issue, and I hope for (expect) feedback on this. I kinda expect my position to shift on this for full transparency, the only thing I feel like I need to completely clarify is that I hold to an inerrantist view of Scripture which I don't expect to lose any time soon, so my brothers and sisters who might think I am placing something equal to Scripture can rest easy on that account.
                        From the Orthodox perspective:

                        Tradition (in which Scripture is of primary importance).

                        Experience and our own reason don't mean much, and are more likely than not to lead us astray; pretty much all heresies, for example, were started by someone using his own reasoning.
                        Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                        Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                        sigpic
                        I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                          From the Orthodox perspective:

                          Tradition (in which Scripture is of primary importance).
                          So then would you say that Scripture takes precendence, but the church councils for example are nearly as binding? Did God preserve them from being corrupted by the participants in someway? How much would you extend that to a more local synod?

                          Experience and our own reason don't mean much, and are more likely than not to lead us astray; pretty much all heresies, for example, were started by someone using his own reasoning.
                          Does Orthodoxy have an understanding of the feeling of an assured salvation? Or more loosely what of the sense that as you speak words are being put within your mouth, or a feeling of peace, or alternatively euphoria when contemplating God or His Scripture? Can these ever be important?

                          And I am rather surprised at a discounting of reasoning, which I am tempted by; but I am surprised by a member of the Eastern church doing this because of the long history of philosophy in the development of understanding proper Christology.
                          Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? -Galatians 3:5

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
                            So then would you say that Scripture takes precendence, but the church councils for example are nearly as binding? Did God preserve them from being corrupted by the participants in someway? How much would you extend that to a more local synod?
                            Ecumenical councils are considered binding, and the it is believed that the Holy Spirit has preserved them as such. In order to be accepted as "ecumenical", however, the council must be a) church-wide, b) accepted by the laity, and c) ratified by a subsequent church-wide council. Local synods are not considered binding, but at times ecumenical councils have ratified the canons of local councils (thus making them binding).
                            Does Orthodoxy have an understanding of the feeling of an assured salvation?
                            Sort of. The presence of the Holy Spirit can be felt, but salvation should never be taken for granted.
                            Or more loosely what of the sense that as you speak words are being put within your mouth, or a feeling of peace, or alternatively euphoria when contemplating God or His Scripture? Can these ever be important?
                            Experiences can be counterfeited, so the fathers warn not to place much stock in them. There is a strong tradition (at least as far back as the 4th century - see here) of being able to experience the uncreated light (or energy) of God, but this is nearly always limited to monastics.
                            And I am rather surprised at a discounting of reasoning, which I am tempted by; but I am surprised by a member of the Eastern church doing this because of the long history of philosophy in the development of understanding proper Christology.
                            This development has always been done, however, in the light of previous revelation; at each of the church councils dealing with Christology, recourse was made to the writings of the church fathers to ensure continuity with tradition.
                            Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                            Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                            sigpic
                            I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
                              So you're saying one has the experience first, then are taught Scripture and traditions which they then affirm through reason? I'm positive that is not the uniform for all Christians. Personally, I read for example, Matthew three or four years before I had a born again experience, after I had that experience I sought reasons to affirm the traditions and Scriptures, which I then began to endeavor to learn more of. I have had subsequent experiences that while not as important to salvation I have found very useful.

                              This does not seem to follow from your previous statement 37818. Will you please explain the connection.
                              The first list is how we come to know [anything]. The second list is what we come to know as a Christian. Based on the witness of holy Scripture.
                              . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

                              . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

                              Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

                              Comment

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