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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Did the Apostles do a Lousy Job: Part 4

As seen from

Originally Posted by Poetik View  Post
What I'm saying is this---> We know about the past from records, but the records we do have certainly doesn't mean that's the whole of history.
The Bible didn't record everything either:
John 21:25
"Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written."

The book of Acts didn't record what the other Apostles did either. Thus, you can't use that which was not recorded as an excuse to dismiss what was recorded.

Scripture shows us that it's not necessary to record everything.

Take for instance some of the great wonders of the world. Some archaeologists are still baffled because according to our "RECORDS" the ancient peoples did not have the intelligence or the technology to do it (obviously they did)! Just because we don't have records that they did not have the know-how, tech, etc. doesn't mean they didn't.
You are confusing ones bias/presupp and interpretation with the actual evidence itself.

I'm not saying we can't know the past as in "Oh, we'll never know"... what I'm saying is, we can't know it in it's entirety.
Scripture shows us the example that such a thing is not necessary. If you believe that the Providence and Sovereignty of God works through history, then you should also believe that what we have can be trusted at some level/degree......or else we wouldn't have it.

You seem to be saying that we can't trust what we do have because we don't know what we don't have. And so what the known recorded history says doesn't mean a lick.

I've read the discussion. The gist of it is, "Did the Apostles do a lousy job of making sure that Truth was promulgated or have cats been missing for some 2,000 years"

The argument is that because kats have been saying the same thing for 2000 years then that means that there is some validity to it (and I understand that). My point, however, is that cats like Polycarp, Augustine, Athanasius, etc. (although they may have been great men), did not constitute what every single Christian thought.

You seem to be missing something here.

Scripture says:
1 Corinthians 7:17
Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.

1 Corinthians 4:17
For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.

2 Timothy 2:2
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.

Now note what Tertullian(around 197 A.D....still in his Orthodox years) had to say about the Apostles and the common Faith they preached to the churches: (Tertullian was arguing against the claims and arguments of the heretics Marcion, Apelles, Philumene, Valentinus, Nigidius, and Hermogenes). (Read chapters 20 to 42)

Quote: (from chapter 20)
"they obtained the promised power of the Holy Ghost for the gift of miracles and of utterance; and after first bearing witness to the faith in Jesus Christ throughout Judæa, and founding churches (there), they next went forth into the world and preached the same doctrine of the same faith to the nations. They then in like manner founded churches in every city, from which all the other churches, one after another, derived the tradition of the faith, and the seeds of doctrine, and are every day deriving them, that they may become churches. Indeed, it is on this account only that they will be able to deem themselves apostolic, as being the offspring of apostolic churches. Every sort of thing must necessarily revert to its original for its classification. Therefore the churches, although they are so many and so great, comprise but the one primitive church, (founded) by the apostles, from which they all (spring). In this way all are primitive, and all are apostolic, while they are all proved to be one, in (unbroken) unity, by their peaceful communion, and title of brotherhood, and bond of hospitality—privileges which no other rule directs than the one tradition of the selfsame mystery."

Quote: (from chapter 21)
"Chapter 21. All Doctrine True Which Comes Through the Church from the Apostles, Who Were Taught by God Through Christ. All Opinion Which Has No Such Divine Origin and Apostolic Tradition to Show, is Ipso Facto False.
From this, therefore, do we draw up our rule. Since the Lord Jesus Christ sent the apostles to preach, (our rule is) that no others ought to be received as preachers than those whom Christ appointed; for “no man knows the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.” Matthew 11:27 Nor does the Son seem to have revealed Him to any other than the apostles, whom He sent forth to preach— that, of course, which He revealed to them. Now, what that was which they preached— in other words, what it was which Christ revealed to them— can, as I must here likewise prescribe, properly be proved in no other way than by those very churches which the apostles founded in person, by declaring the gospel to them directly themselves, both vivâ voce, as the phrase is, and subsequently by their epistles. If, then, these things are so, it is in the same degree manifest that all doctrine which agrees with the apostolic churches— those moulds and original sources of the faith must be reckoned for truth, as undoubtedly containing that which the (said) churches received from the apostles, the apostles from Christ, Christ from God. Whereas all doctrine must be prejudged as false which savours of contrariety to the truth of the churches and apostles of Christ and God. It remains, then, that we demonstrate whether this doctrine of ours, of which we have now given the rule, has its origin in the tradition of the apostles, and whether all other doctrines do not ipso facto proceed from falsehood. We hold communion with the apostolic churches because our doctrine is in no respect different from theirs. This is our witness of truth."

Quote: (from chapter 26)
"Much less, when churches were advanced in the faith, would they have withdrawn from them anything for the purpose of committing it separately to some few others. Although, even supposing that among intimate friends, so to speak, they did hold certain discussions, yet it is incredible that these could have been such as to bring in some other rule of faith, differing from and contrary to that which they were proclaiming through the Catholic churches, — as if they spoke of one God in the Church, (and) another at home, and described one substance of Christ, publicly, (and) another secretly, and announced one hope of the resurrection before all men, (and) another before the few; although they themselves, in their epistles, besought men that they would all speak one and the same thing, and that there should be no divisions and dissensions in the church, 1 Corinthians 1:10 seeing that they, whether Paul or others, preached the same things. Moreover, they remembered (the words): “Let your communication be yea, yea; nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than this comes of evil;” Matthew 5:37 so that they were not to handle the gospel in a diversity of treatment."

From Chapters 27 and 29
"Chapter 27. Granted that the Apostles Transmitted the Whole Doctrine of Truth, May Not the Churches Have Been Unfaithful in Handing It On? Inconceivable that This Can Have Been the Case.
Since, therefore, it is incredible that the apostles were either ignorant of the whole scope of the message which they had to declare, or failed to make known to all men the entire rule of faith, let us see whether, while the apostles proclaimed it, perhaps, simply and fully, the churches, through their own fault, set it forth otherwise than the apostles had done. All these suggestions of distrust you may find put forward by the heretics. They bear in mind how the churches were rebuked by the apostle: “O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you?” Galatians 3:1 and, “You did run so well; who has hindered you?” Galatians 5:7 and how the epistle actually begins: “I marvel that you are so soon removed from Him, who has called you as His own in grace, to another gospel.” Galatians 1:6 That they likewise (remember), what was written to the Corinthians, that they “were yet carnal,” who “required to be fed with milk,” being as yet “unable to bear strong meat;” who also “thought that they knew somewhat, whereas they knew not yet anything, as they ought to know.” 1 Corinthians 8:2 When they raise the objection that the churches were rebuked, let them suppose that they were also corrected; let them also remember those (churches), concerning whose faith and knowledge and conversation the apostle “rejoices and gives thanks to God,” which nevertheless even at this day, unite with those which were rebuked in the privileges of one and the same institution.

Chapter 28. The One Tradition of the Faith, Which is Substantially Alike in the Churches Everywhere, a Good Proof that the Transmission Has Been True and Honest in the Main.
Grant, then, that all have erred; that the apostle was mistaken in giving his testimony; that the Holy Ghost had no such respect to any one (church) as to lead it into truth, although sent with this view by Christ, John 14:26 and for this asked of the Father that He might be the teacher of truth; John 15:26 grant, also, that He, the Steward of God, the Vicar of Christ, neglected His office, permitting the churches for a time to understand differently, (and) to believe differently, what He Himself was preaching by the apostles—is it likely that so many churches, and they so great, should have gone astray into one and the same faith? No casualty distributed among many men issues in one and the same result. Error of doctrine in the churches must necessarily have produced various issues. When, however, that which is deposited among many is found to be one and the same, it is not the result of error, but of tradition. Can any one, then, be reckless enough to say that they were in error who handed on the tradition?

Chapter 29. The Truth Not Indebted to the Care of the Heretics; It Had Free Course Before They Appeared. Priority of the Church's Doctrine a Mark of Its Truth.
In whatever manner error came, it reigned of course only as long as there was an absence of heresies? Truth had to wait for certain Marcionites and Valentinians to set it free. During the interval the gospel was wrongly preached; men wrongly believed; so many thousands were wrongly baptized; so many works of faith were wrongly wrought; so many miraculous gifts, so many spiritual endowments, were wrongly set in operation; so many priestly functions, so many ministries, were wrongly executed; and, to sum up the whole, so many martyrs wrongly received their crowns! Else, if not wrongly done, and to no purpose, how comes it to pass that the things of God were on their course before it was known to what God they belonged? That there were Christians before Christ was found? That there were heresies before true doctrine? Not so; for in all cases truth precedes its copy, the likeness succeeds the reality. Absurd enough, however, is it, that heresy should be deemed to have preceded its own prior doctrine, even on this account, because it is that (doctrine) itself which foretold that there should be heresies against which men would have to guard! To a church which possessed this doctrine, it was written— yea, the doctrine itself writes to its own church— “Though an angel from heaven preach any other gospel than that which we have preached, let him be accursed."

Chapter 30. Comparative Lateness of Heresies."

The picture I see from both Scripture as well as from Tertullian some 100 years after the death of Saint John the Apostle is one of the Apostles teaching doctrine in front of witnesses. In public to the faithfull in all the churches. This is what you are not seeing.

You are making it seem as if the early Church....from the 1st century onward.... had no unity whatsoever. That everyone disagreed about everything. This is what you will have to assume.

I disagree with the idea that there was no unity at all.

Let's say that in the year 4000, some kats want to study about what Christians in the 2000s thought... but wait... they can only find a HANDFUL of primary sources from Reformed pastors... but they find a GANG of information from WOF. The people in 4000 AD then conclude that WOF movement was what the majority of what Christians thought---which may have not have been the case.
You are looking at the issue from a different context. You are assuming that the fracture of christianity that we have now was always the same in the past. And thus, you are looking at this issue from that context. Some of the ancient gnostics called themselves christian, and thus the term "christian gnostics". And yes, they did teach a "figurative" resurrection of the dead......just as Kingneb, brandon, full-preterists, and liberal christians do today.

The thing is. I don't call nor consider the ancient gnostics as christian nor would I call certain forms of modern liberal christianity christian.

And so, according to your context. Yes, I would have to agree with you......because of the way you have it set up. I understand your point, but I wouldn't use the same context as you. My context would focus on the actual groups themselves.

In 4,000A.D. if someone wanted to know what Reformed protestantism was, and they only could find a handfull of Reformed pastors, then they will have to base their info on that. And if someone else from that time in the future wanted to find out what WOF was all about in our day, and if they had alot of WOF pastors to go by, then they will have to base their info on that.

This would be my context of your example.

Never said he did. My point is, I can name a lot of kats from the WOF who all say the same thing, but that doesn't mean anything.
It means alot. For it would mean, that this is what WOF is. If someone claimed to be WOF but was spittin Reformed doctrine......then that person wouldn't be will have to put them in a different group.....the Reformed group.

And so, dispite all the splits we see in christianity. If one of the few common things we see is that our Resurrection from the dead is physical and that the 2nd Advent is still future.......then anyone who claims the opposite can't be christian. They will have to be something else......but christian is something they can't be.

I can name a lot of kats from Reformed theology, but that doesn't mean anything.
It means alot. For it would mean, that this is what Reformed theology is. And so, if someone claimed to be Reformed, but was spittin mad WOF doctrine......then that person wouldn't be Reformed. will have to put them in a different group.....the WOF group.

And so, dispite all the splits we see in christianity. If one of the few common things we see is that our Resurrection from the dead is physical and that the 2nd Advent is still future.......then anyone who claims the opposite can't be christian. They will have to be something else......but christian is something they can't be.

How many people believed in something or how many prominent teachers who taught something doesn't mean a lick of anything. What is important is---> IS WHAT THEY TAUGHT TRUE?
It would actually mean alot if seen in the right context.

History may not be on shaky ground, but it definitely isn't concrete.
It depends on the topic.

See that's my point. When it says that everyone did what was right in their own sight, it certainly doesn't mean that everyone was. It just means that the bulk of kats did. Who were they... we don't know a whole lot of 'em. But that doesn't mean they didn't exist.
Did the Apostles do a lousy job? Yes or no

Did the Apostles teach the samething to all the churches? Yes or no

Did the known recorded historical record in regards to the teachings of our Resurrection from the dead and Christ's 2nd coming get it right or wrong? Yes or no

The Apostles didn't teach two opposite things......what did they teach?

Just because the history books says the majority believed X, it means just that... the "majority" (not all). But even the majority is based on records. I'm not saying history is completely in disarray... what I'm saying is that there's a margin of error. It's not so black and white.
So the Apostles didn't teach the samething to the churches? Are you saying that the Apostles tought onething to one group but the total opposite to another group?

Read any history book and there's a lot of speculation going on. Scholars and PhDs, etc try their best to articulate or interpret the info but that even they have to concede that they don't fully know.
Did the Apostles do a lousy job? Yes or no

What did they teach in regards to this issue?

Is what we have in regards to this issue from known recorded history wrong? Yes or no

We know because of records. But the records doesn't constitute as a majority. They can give us a gateway into the key players and who did what or believed what, they can't tell us certain things. Sometimes they can't tell us key information, either.
Scripture shows us that it's not necessary to record everything.

I'm not saying we can't know anything. We can't know everything, we can't know everyone, we don't know every view.
So the Apsotles didn't teach the samething to the churches? Is this what you are saying?

Every Calvinist didn't agree with everything Calvin said, Every Pentecostal didn't agree with William Seymour. They were just like us. We're here on a forum discussing our differences, just the other believers in the past did before us. Nothing has really changed except for the technology, but essentially we're doing exactly they were doing.
So are you saying that it is impossible to know what Pentecostalism is and isn't? Are you saying it is impossible to know what Reformed protestantism is and isn't?

Is this what you are saying?

Scripture shows that it isn't necessary to record everything.

They called kats heretics just like we do. They got into discussions about the Bible just like they did. They weren't so black and white, just like we aren't. So if we're going to form an argument for or against a certain position, while history can be a tool in guiding us, it can't be the only form of evidence.
No one is claiming history as the ONLY form of evidence. I am using both Scripture and history,.....Scripture first, and history second as a subordinate tool. But you don't seem to like it when history is used as a tool to support an interpretation of Scripture.

What frustrates me sometimes is that when guys try to articulate their point, they appeal to the Scriptures. But when someone challenges them, they appeal to Church history. But church history is ambiguous at times.
Did the Bible fall from the sky only to land on your lap and your lap only? Yes or no

Did God only speak to you? Yes or no

It's funny and saddening to me that two Christians can go to two different "Christian" colleges, take classes in Greek and Hebrew, and after they obtain their PhDs, they have two completely different views. LOL
You can't have it both ways. You can't be frustrated one minute because people are trying to check their interpretation with the interpretations of 2,000 years worth of commentary only to turn around and be frustrated again for people not checking their own interpretations with 2,000 years worth of commentary.


Did the Apostles Do A Lousy Job? Part 1

Did the Apostles Do A Lousy Job? Part 2

Did the Apostles Do A Lousy Job? Part 3

Did the Apostles Do A Lousy Job? Part 4

Did the Apostles Do A Lousy Job? Part 5


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