Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Porvaznik Perfidy and Matatics Mendacity Documented #4
04/04/2007 - James WhiteHere is Gerry's cross-ex portion, including the 18 seconds of silliness Porvaznik has turned into an "admission of defeat" on my part. To do this, of course, he has to seriously argue that for sola scriptura to be true, it must have been true at all times and in all places and in all situations. Hence, Jesus and the Apostles, though living in a time of enscripturation, would have to have operated on the principle for it to be true. Evidently, I guess everyone who ever lived would have had to have done so. So, Adam, would have to have believed in sola scriptura for it to be true. Of course, there was no scriptura at that point, so that's obviously silly, but, given the presupposition of the Roman Catholic "question" here, doesn't that prove the point? If sola scriptura speaks to today, and both sides agree today is different than the days of the Apostles (revelation was being given then, it is not today), then how can the question even be asked in all honesty? The circularity of the Roman position of self-proclaimed infallibility and outright ownership of "Sacred Tradition," including the "written traditions" of Scripture, blinds their apologists to the emptiness of their claims. As I have pointed out in the past, it is an empty claim to assert that a belief must be believed at all times. There was no Papacy to believe in even from the Roman Catholic position before Peter (and in the historical context, long after). Applying the same circular logic to that concept would lead to self-refutation of the belief. Indeed, the only folks who believed in oral, extra-scriptural divine revelation in the days of Jesus were...his opponents in the Jewish leadership. I'm sure my RC apologist opponents do not wish to embrace that as their paradigm---or do they? All depends, I guess.
In any case, just a few comments: it is so sad to see a former student at Westminster Seminary starting off with a classic Jehovah's Witness style question, "There is no verse that says the Scriptures are the sole infallible rule of faith." When the same man will have to admit there is no verses referring to the Papacy, transubstantiation, Bodily Assumption, purgatory, etc., and that he will then have to attempt to demonstrate these things not from specific texts, but from constituent teachings from different texts brought together, you again wonder how the question can be asked honestly. What is more, this kind of argument likewise could be used in the form, "You would agree there is no text that says specifically that the Book of Mormon is not divine Scripture" or the like. This kind of argument is supposed to be compelling?
You will note that as soon as I finish citing 2 Tim. 3:16 Gerry says he wants me to quote Scripture. I thought that was Scripture. Then note he asks, "does that say every doctrine?" It says doctrine (teaching). It does not say every doctrine, but that would be included in the work of teaching, would it not? Any sober-minded exegete of the Pauline letters to Timothy and Titus would have to say yes. Then he accuses me of "reinterpreting" the term "good work," yet, again, he well knows, or, at least, at one point in his life, knew, that "good work" in Paul's exhortation to Timothy did include the entire list of exhortation, teaching, rebuking, training, etc. This is not even a question in any serious context. His wandering off into the Roman Catholic addition of "good works" to justification is, of course, not only not a question (and hence a violation of the cross-ex rules) but a red herring as well.
The applause of the Roman Catholics in the audience at the grand admission that the word "only" is not in 2 Timothy 3:16 is as gratuitous and empty as the glee of a Jehovah's Witness at the admission the word "Trinity" is not in the Bible, or that of the Mormon when you "admit" the Bible does not say Joseph Smith was not a prophet. The Bible does not speak, by direct verbiage, to the term "Islam" either, but that is hardly relevant, is it?
Next, Gerry's "last year you used Greek to confuse this audience" rhetoric was simply reprehensible and, on any meaningful level, sufficient grounds for his disqualification. He is referring to the discussion of "until" and e[wj ou- "hews hou" in reference to Matthew 1:25. Even raising the topic in this context was an egregious violation of the rules. He spends 45 seconds wandering all over the landscape and then has the temerity to insult the audience by saying "it's a simple yes or no question." This is the standard Matatics methodology of using what can only be called cheap debating tricks. For the person who seeks to follow the issues closely, this kind of thing is maddening. The circularity of Matatic's attack upon the sufficiency of Scripture, all to make room for Rome's dogmas of Papal Infallibility, or the Bodily Assumption, etc., is clear to all with eyes to see and ears to hear.