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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Quakers, old and new, and the 'inner light'

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Compton
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
Moreover, these divine inward revelations, which we make absolutely necessary for the building up of true faith, neither do nor can ever contradict the outward testimony, of the scriptures, or right and sound reason.



I can agree with much of what Barclay is saying except I think it worth noting that while "sound reason" is a source of wisdom, it is not on par with scripture. To measure all "inner testimonies" with the metric of scripture's "outer testimony" is sound policy.

Quote:
even as the common principles of natural truths move and incline the mind to a natural assent: as, that the whole is greater than its part; that two contradictory sayings cannot be both true, nor both false;



This is touches on what I tried to describe earlier; that some mistakenly act as if the Spirit and the Scriptures are engaged in a dialectic to guide us. Barclay says that two contradictory sayings cannot both be true...but Christians do not always think like this. As an example...when I was younger a pastor "prophesied" over me that I was going to be involved in a large business enterprise that would bring me great wealth in order to "bless" other people. Because it was a public prophecy, that year many people came to me privately to "confirm" this word. I remember being just mature enough in my faith to be confused...afterall didn't Paul warn Timothy about the enticement of money and how some think Godliness is a way to wealth?

Here is the juncture where "spirit-led" Christians enter into that dialectic process I mentioned..."God promises you wealth" is the thesis and "God cautions you about wanting wealth" is the antihesis. So, in our reasoning we might arrive at a new revised thesis to resolve the tension...something like "God is telling you to expect wealth, while at the same time not desiring it."

A healthier process would be to avoid the dialectic and follow scripture. The testimony of the "spirit" (sic) via my pastor...(as well as the "sound reason" that money does some neat things in the church,) should have been completely disregarded rather then being used to "inform" my understanding of Paul's advise to Timothy. The testimony of scripture is absolute even if I am void of inner light on a particular matter.

I recognize what Oswald Chambers was talking about regarding blind adherance to creed, instead of "spontaneous" adherance to Christ. I think he wasn't talking about contradicting scripture where it is explicit...only being willing to act outside of mere tradition or even to be spirit-led in areas where scripure might seem silent or uninformative. Chambers, I think, was concerned about obedience, otherwise his point could be license for all sorts of personal ethics. For example, consider the homosexual argument with the bible that it does not hold to a consistent "sexual ethic". In fact, the point they make has merit...Solomon could apparently do things that I am not permitted to do! Yet there is one consistent "ethic" such reasoning overlooks and that is the consistency of obedience. Throughout the bible obedience is the one "ethic" that the children of God are judge by...even though the ethics of war, money, and sex seem to change during the history of scripture. So for me...I resolve that the New Testament is written to me, a Christian, and therefore, holds moral and spiritual preeminence where it is explicit over the Old testament, while both testaments uphold that the chief goal of a child of God is obedience.

I suppose I am saying that I am reluctant to the idea that the Holy Spirt, or any Inner light "informs" the Christian in the literal sense. Testifying of the word, teaching the word, reminding of the word certainly, but never introducing a new word. At the risk of being too poetic... scripture informs, reason should conform, and I guess the Spirit can transform...the scriptures into character, a Living Word within. :-)

MC


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Mike Compton

 2005/10/26 22:39Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
Break thou the bread of life, dear Lord to me,
As thou didst break the loaves beside the sea;
Throughout the sacred page I seek thee, Lord,
My spirit pants for thee, O Living Word.

Thou art the bread of life, O Lord, to me,
Thy holy Word the truth that saveth me;
Give me to eat and live with thee above;
Teach me to love the truth, for thou art love.


Hi Mike C
this hymn has been doctored! The original version says[u]Beyond[/u] the sacred page I seek thee Lord,
My spirit pants for thee, O living word :-) But the writer it not looking for 'revelation' beyond the sacred page but acknowledging that his heart's desire is for that personal encounter with the Christ of the scriptures. The scriptures are a sign post“And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” (John 5:38-40, KJVS)I think this was the real burden of much that Fox was saying. A doctrinal rectitude is not Christianity. Christianity is not believing certain things or going through certain evangelical process, but a 'coming to Christ'. I don't mean by that 'going forward at a meeting'. I think Fox has much to say to our doctrinal evangelicalism but I think he was right on the edge of a wrong 'ultimate authority'. It was his own saturation in the scriptures that safeguarded him and people like Barclay. But if you move from his personal context to the 21st century it becomes much more dangerous. It is significant to me that for all that Fox and Barclay wrote they never, personally, went into the excesses that many did then, and have done since. Why?

Quote:
I'm not emphasizing the words apart from the spirit, as much as I want to highlight the spirit of the words.

I know you weren't. I was not disagreeing but just adding my comments.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/10/27 2:53Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
even as the common principles of natural truths move and incline the mind to a natural assent: as, that the whole is greater than its part; that two contradictory sayings cannot be both true, nor both false;


MC, I somehow expected you to spot the flaw in this logic. Two contradictory things can be false. Today is Thursday. If I say it is Wednesday and you say it is Friday, we can be both contradictory and WRONG.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/10/27 2:55Profile
Compton
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
A doctrinal rectitude is not Christianity. Christianity is not believing certain things or going through certain evangelical process, but a 'coming to Christ'.



Amen Ron.

Quote:
this hymn has been doctored! The original version says

Beyond the sacred page I seek thee Lord,
My spirit pants for thee, O living word


I've been had! Wouldn't you know it...not even hymns are tamper proof! :knockedout:
Quote:
I somehow expected you to spot the flaw in this logic. Two contradictory things can be false.



I was so binary in my focus that I didn't notice that two opposing ideas could be equally wrong. In fact a million conflicting falsehoods are all equally wrong!

Quote:
I think Fox has much to say to our doctrinal evangelicalism but I think he was right on the edge of a wrong 'ultimate authority'. It was his own saturation in the scriptures that safeguarded him and people like Barclay. But if you move from his personal context to the 21st century it becomes much more dangerous. It is significant to me that for all that Fox and Barclay wrote they never, personally, went into the excesses that many did then, and have done since. Why?



Do you think there is merit in Francis Shaefer’s idea that as the "enlightenment" emerged, a separation between faith and reason began to be expressed? I have wondered if Fox was just beginning to touch the edges of a fault line that finally broke open with Kierkegaard. I think in many ways the 20th century was not only an age of industry and science, but also an age of mysticism. This divergent trend seems to only be getting strgoner in the 21st century. The chasm is visible even in Christianity. Perhaps the forms of liberal Christianity on one side, and Charismaticism on the other are all divergent excesses along this fault line...in some pattern that I can't exactly quite see.

I wonder if many liberal Quakers are essentially practicing excesses on both sides of this fault line; preserving the tradition of "inner light", but in the vacuum of modern higher criticism.

Have you ever noticed that some of the most "scientific" minded people, tend to have the most irrational self-styled spiritual beliefs? I have an acquaintance, who will constantly mock my faith, citing evolution theory, genetics, astronomy, and world religions as rational proof against the reality of Christianity...yet this same fellow has arrived at a belief that his thoughts and words are controlling his material reality on some matter/energy/spirit quantum physics level. He’ll talk about this like it’s another gospel. He thinks he's an [url=http://www.dnaperfection.com/pages/10/index.htm]Indigo Child[/url]. I love to point out that those Charismatic televangelists, whom he loves to laugh at, believe essentially the same thing!

MC


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Mike Compton

 2005/10/27 5:07Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
...that two contradictory sayings cannot be both true,



I would like to challenge this. :-)

Two sisters appear on a talkshow who were born of the same mother and of the same father on the same day within minutes of each other. They are near identical in every way.

1) Audience member one says "they are [u]not[/u] twins."
2) Audience member two says "they [u]are[/u] twins."

This is a contradiction, but both are right. ;-)

How can this be?



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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/10/27 8:52Profile
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:

Egads MC,

Quote:
Have you ever noticed that some of the most "scientific" minded people, tend to have the most irrational self-styled spiritual beliefs?

Quote:
I love to point out that those Charismatic televangelists, whom he loves to laugh at, believe essentially the same thing!


Perusing through all that, there was a point mentioned about how eventually the 'frequency' would become such that it would stop the skeptics from coming to his site, wish I could send him an email to tell him it's already working... :-?


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Mike Balog

 2005/10/27 9:46Profile
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Joined: 2003/7/28
Posts: 404
Watford, UK

 Re:

Robert, I assume the audience members are talking about the same people?

And I assume that the audience members mean a twin to be "One of two offspring born at the same birth"?

If so then they cannot both be right.


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Mark Nash

 2005/10/27 9:47Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Nasher,

Quote:
I assume the audience members are talking about the same people?



Yes.

Quote:
And I assume that the audience members mean a twin to be "One of two offspring born at the same birth"?



Yes.

Quote:
If so then they cannot both be right.



Here is a clue:

They [u]are[/u] twins, but they are not [u]twins[/u]


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/10/27 10:03Profile
Nasher
Member



Joined: 2003/7/28
Posts: 404
Watford, UK

 Re:

Quote:
Here is a clue:

They [u]are[/u] twins, but they are not [u]twins[/u]



Please tell me how so


_________________
Mark Nash

 2005/10/27 10:50Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

OK. The context of the issue is that I challenged this statement:

Quote:
...that two contradictory [u]sayings[/u] cannot be both true



I used this analogy:


Quote:
Two sisters appear on a talkshow who were born of the same mother and of the same father on the same day within minutes of each other. They are near identical in every way.

1) Audience member one says "they are not twins."
2) Audience member two says "they are twins."

This is a contradiction, but both are right



I then gave a clue:

Quote:
They [u]are[/u] twins, but they are not [u]twins[/u]



The solution to this is realized [u]not[/u] by what is here, but [u]who[/u] is missing. It happens that there is a third person missing from this equation that the audience never imagined. They searched and searched and finally gave up.

Indeed the girls [u]were[/u] twins, but they were [u]not[/u] twins, they were [u]triplets[/u] and their other sister was not invited to the program. And so it is when we make logical deductions drawn from proof texts when we don't have all the variables and we don't invite the Holy Spirit.

There are also statements that lie in order to make themselves correct:

"This sentence containns two errors."

1) Error #1 is spelling
2) Error #2 is the facts contained in the sentence concerning itself.

The sentence has to lie to be correct.

At the end of the day, if we follow logic to its final conclusion we get [i]pragmatism[/i]. Because when we make logic the final authority and not the Holy Spirit as our interpreter of Scripture- we have left out that person who will keep us from that inevitable (pragmatism). When we don't desire counsel from the Holy Spirit to lead us in conformity with, but [i]beyond[/i] the sacred page in our lives we are almost trapped to always make logical decisions based on proof texts in our lives.

God Bless,

-Robert




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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/10/27 11:13Profile





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