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I'm posting this due to something that I see as a troubling trend in our discussions here.
It seems that Humpty Dumpty has been spreading his folly around and some have become infected.
In various discussions over the past year I've been told that there is truth ,but that not all truth is factual. Check out a dictionary and see whether or not factual and truthful are synonyms.
We've also been told that the Bible contains contradictions, though the claim is that the person is not talking about errors.
It also came up that authoritative and truthful are seen as being the same.
I know, and some of you know where and from whom these statements come. This isn't about personalities. This is about words and their meanings.
I am troubled by the manner with which words are handled. It is true that the meanings of words shifts with time, but if a word means something at this present time and in our present usage, why do we then turn around and say that we believe in a word's meaning and that it also means the opposite of what it means? For example: How can we have truth that is not factual?
Do words mean anything anymore?
Should we re-write the dictionary, or should we abandon it altogether?
Am I missing something through all of this?
That is one way to attempt to change the word of God on earth. Satan started that right in the garden and he still is trying to perfect it today.
If I did, I'd probably have to define "is".
Providential help is more needful 8-)
Rey Reynoso said:
If I did, I'd probably have to define "is".
This sounds like relativism let loose in a runaway word processor.
There's a level of cowardice that passes for irenic discussion. You have to first sift through all the misunderstandings of what words mean before you can even begin to discuss something. If you are still going to have justify and explain every word every time you discuss something, nothing fruitful will come out.
Jason saith, "Check out a dictionary and see whether or not factual and truthful are synonyms."
So, I looked up "truthful" in WordWeb. Then in Merriam-Webster. Then in American Heritage. Then in Macmillan. Then in Cambridge. So, far, I have not encountered a dictionary that includes "fact" or "factual" among either the definitions or synonyms for "truthful."
At this point, I would be quite inclined to say that "Factual and truthful are synonyms" is a factual statement, but not necessarily a true one. :-D
The search continues.
Why are you troubled? I wish I had the time to research previous threads, but I'm pretty sure someone mentioned here on Theologica how we utilise the word 'person' quite differently when speaking of the Trinity than the 'normative' use (this coming from someone who is pro-Trinity, though I cannot quite remember who it was, and it could have been on P&P). My case is not to argue how we should utilise the word person. I'm simply saying that language has to be flexible. Of course, logical and reasonable conclusions are put together using language. But language is flexible, as history tells us, and even Scripture's use of language, in that varying words are utilised differently in varying contexts.
You seem to think these 3 proposals are wrong:
Feel free to reasonably challenge these?
But I also think that what is being put forth seems to come from a bit of a fear that we might head somewhere wrong. If we allow truth to be non-factual, then we will head towards A. If we ever admit Scripture has tension-contradicting details without them being clarified, then we will end up heading towards B. Etc, etc. This seems a bit too fear-driven, as well as a bit too much in to empirically nailing down all the data. Of course, some will utilise to head in bad paths. But I suppose I can reasonably consider that God is still good and that maybe the person's roots weren't too deep.
Listen, I am very much for being reasonable and producing 'evidence' (factual even) for our faith, Christ, the gospel, Scripture, etc. But somehow I sense that God has given us a lot more of an organic, living and breathing gospel, Scripture and body of Christ than to factually and empirically nail things down to 'prove' all the bits. We believe the gospel because it transformed our lives, not because we were able to answer all the questions. Not even a Josh McDowell or Ravi Zacharias came to Christ because they could intellectually nail it all down.
So let's keep the dictionary, and allow for definitions to change over time, or allow for words to take on varying meanings within a different and varying context. It really is ok. Christ, the gospel and Scripture will not be defeated with such.
Scott said - "We believe the gospel because it transformed our lives,..."
Tony Robbins changes lives. Yoga changes lives. The Marines change lives. Money changes lives.
Yes, and somehow Tony Robbins, yoga, the marines and money has not transformed my life in any way like the resurrected king of the universe.
Again, you said - "We believe the gospel because it transformed our lives,..." Someone else may disagree with you. Other religions, mystical experiences, cleaning up from a drug habit, getting direction in life from military service, etc... can and DOES change peoples lives in deep and profound ways. Therefore I say that personal transformation is not a "reason" to believe the Gospel as true.
I believe (assent to biblical propositions as being true) based on the reliability of the witnesses.