Tuesday, January 01, 2008

I finally made the nice cut on Santa's list. Treo, meet sledgehammer.

My beloved is mine. But what I really can't wait for is the Zunephone.


brody.harper said...

dont' you love it?

Vitamin Z said...

I was at the mac store yesterday checking it out. Here is what I don't get though, if I have a sweet Macbook, and I basically take it everywhere with me, why would I need the iPhone, other than so people would know how cool I am?

Seth Ward said...

Brody, Does the pope poo in a funny hat? Heck yes I do.

Vitamin Z, but can you put your laptop too your ear and call your honey on it? Can you put your laptop in your pocket? Does your laptop vibrate against your leg when your friends try to prank you by calling you during church? Does your laptop take pictures? Can you turn your laptop vertical and make the picture do the same? Can you touch your laptop's screen and call Pizza Hut? Can you plug earphones into your laptop, put it in your coat pocket and listen to Radiohead on the subway? (Really the Barbara Streisand, I just said Radiohed to sound cool.)

Joanna Martens said...

hey can i link to you on my blog?

MamasBoy said...

How many hints did you have to drop this last year to make Santa's good list? It seemed to work, and I'm thinking about trying it out myself next year. :-)

Vitamin Z said...


But I have a sweet cell phone and iPod? I want one, but probably won't happen for awhile.

Unrelated comment...

I saw your comment on Brant's blog about the authority of the scriptures... Maybe I was misunderstanding you, but I think I might feel a bit different:

I think what is implied is that we created the Bible. I would submit that we didn`t create the Bible; Jesus did based on the authority of his teaching. This teaching was then passed on his trusted followers. The canon is authoritative in so far as it corresponds to what Jesus gave to his apostles. The church could not just decide what was authoritative as if they could come up with whatever they wanted and put it in the Bible. The process of canonicity was guided by correspondence to Jesus and what he gave to his direct followers.

Maybe I misunderstood your comment... Just my two cents at the 5 cent stand.

Mer said...

YOU GOT IT?????? Congrats!!!

Seth Ward said...

Hey Vitamin, I'm with the fam, and I WILL get to that question as soon as I get back. Not ignoring it! Most certainly need to clear up that misconception.

Joanna, of course you can link me. I intend on linking you as well if that's okay...

Mamasboy, many many hints... more like beggs.

Joanna Martens said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joanna Martens said...

sounds good seth. you are now o-fishial on my blog roll.

i also sent you a message on your myspace.

w00t hollar peace


Seth Ward said...

Vitamin Z,

As for the blog, I don't know how that was implied, other than you might have been digging deeper into the argument, knowing where I might have been coming from. I don't ever remember implying that Jesus did or didn't "write" the scriptures. (I wouldn't ever imply that he did. He didn't "write" a word. Well documented and widely accepted accross the denominational board.) I think there’s a little more inferring going on there on your part than implying from mine, but to clear things up, what I was actually asking or stating or implying was this:

People are busting Brant's balls for not abiding by the church structure provided by the "scripture" However, it boggles the mind that the people that use the Scripture to support their argument do not support the Church that decided what books went into the canon and what books did not. People don't realize what a huge deal this was. If they did, then they would be forced to say that the Holy Spirit was working just as strongly in the Bishops who voted, as it was when it surged through Paul's arm as he wrote Romans 8.

It was a bit off topic and what was really bugging me was their (yours and others) position of authority over the scritpure.

When Protestants start talking about the authority of the church, heresy, or using scripture, they ultimately end up making their case based upon THEIR OWN interpretation of the scripture. It cracks me up when Mark Driscoll starts spouting about Heresy. Heresy against who??? Mark Driscoll? He knows better than to give a straight answer for that. The best any protestant can do is say something like “main-line Christianity.” Which is sort of like saying “the woman who gave birth to me” instead of “My Mother.”

Oh, Mark may have a few buddies that agree with him, but I guarantee that Rob has just as many buddies that agrees with him as well and that, my friend, is why there are so many denominations. And that's what sola scripture is all about.

Not so for the Catholic. The Catholic says: This is how the Church has interpreted these scriptures since Augustine and Clement before him, and before them the Apostles. When they say someone is heretical, then they’ve actually got something to base it upon.

The protestant cannot say this. The protestant by nature says: "This is how the Holy Spirit interprets the scripture through me. Screw the Catholic Church and their authority. I've got the Holy Spirit!" Well that's all and dandy for us Protestants until your Holy Spirit disagrees with my Holy Spirit. Then what are we to do...? Well, if you are a true protestant you are left with saying, "Well, I guess the Holy Spirit has us at different junctures and what works for you right now isn't necessarily for me." Or you respond how people are responding to Brant, 'Well, that's not the way the Apostles did it, and that's not the way the guys the Apostles entrusted as shepherders did it, or the guys that came after them, and the guys that came later...” which has ventured deep into CATHOLIC territory and authority.

Somehow, protestants think they can dip THROUGH this established authority and apostolic succession of the Catholic Church and INTO the Scripture for authoritative help whenever they really need to drive home a point about tradition and authority, and somehow, all the while, never identifying with the original Shepherders of that authority or the Church who established and protected the traditions, or the men who developed the theology or doctrines - men inspired by the Holy Spirit. This is why Brant nailed Christopher when he asked him why he isn't Catholic and Christopher answered with some statement about how he used to be Catholic but he changed his ways, however, interestingly, Christopher still managed to use his “used-to-be” to support his arguments and give himself a leg-up on authority.

So, Protestants use the authority of the Church fathers to support their own positions, giving them just as much argumentative weight as the Scriptures, but when that Saint disagrees with them down the line, their word is as good as poo.

No courtroom would ever be trusted if it made its judgements based upon this ideology. That's why I used the constitution and the the U.S. as the closest analogy. The Supreme Court is sort of like the Catholic Church, and the Bible is like the Constitution. (All for the sake of argument here.) However, you can't use the Supreme court's judments on the constitutional interpretation to support your arguments unless you recognize the authority of the Supreme Court. Can you?

MamasBoy said...


I must respectfully disagree with you regarding whether something can be considered heretical if there is no authority structure. While I am a Catholic, heresy has several definitions, the most broad of which is incorrect teaching/incorrect theological ideas. This has been around since the days of Adam and Eve, well before a magisterium existed. While I believe that God uses the magisterium today, others don't and often fall back on broader definitions of the word heresy in their usage. I had a blog post where I expanded on this topic several months ago in reply to you, but it never made it onto Brant's blog. Since the topic has come up again, I will post it here.


With all due respect, even a Baptist can legitimately say that Mormonism is a heresy. Perhaps they prefer to use the words "false teaching" or some other synonym, but I would hope they would teach their kids to distinguish between orthodox Christianity and heresy.

From my perspective, the biggest problem with using the word "heretic" is that people have defined it in their mind much more narrowly than Webster does. It is often equated with not being a Christian or being cast out of the fold, both of which are often extrapolations beyond the face value meaning of the word itself.

It is also not the case that heresy needs a group of leaders to set the standards for heresy (again, according to the dictionary). Correct me if I'm wrong, but when you questioned Oswald Chambers universalist tendencies, my interpretation of that is that you were questioning whether his opinion was contrary to the truth or, if not the contrary to the incontrovertible truth, then at least contrary to generally accepted beliefs. That is the dictionary definition of heresy: 2b. Heretical beliefs don't even have to be false, according to the dictionary! They just have to be different than the dominant idea among a particular group of people. It is sometimes no more than a classification scheme (those who follow the dominant viewpoint among a particular group of people and those who don't). Now that is something to take offense at!

I personally doubt that you were questioning O. Chambers salvation or whether My Utmost for His Highest had spiritual benefit, even though you were saying Chambers was a heretic (according to the dictionary definition of the word). I'm assuming here that you will agree with my interpretation of Webster 2b.

Speaking for myself, whether or not Chambers held heretical views, from what I've read My Utmost for His Highest is a pretty rockin' book. I have my own hardbound copy that I'm sure I will introduce my kids to in due time.


Not that I think it is good theology to do this, I just understand why someone who disagrees with me might call praying to the virgin Mary a heresy. While I respectfully disagree (and think they probably do too, once they understand what is meant by the phrase "pray to the Virgin Mary"), I think that their usage of the word heresy is accurate, in the dictionary sense (while remaining untrue). I hope the above makes sense. Let me know what you think and where you think I'm missing the boat.
The purpose of this sentence is to make this a 4-part comment, even more verbose and difficult to understand than before...

Vitamin Z said...


Thanks for the long response. I just remembered that you said you would get back to me and I just recently looked to see if you did. This conversation is long since over probably, but just wanted to respond a bit. These are very important matters thus I appreciate you taking the time to write on it.

I think you may have misunderstood a bit of what I was trying to say. I'll try and write more clearly.

Here is what I am saying...

My understanding of authority of the scriptures is that the means by which it was decided which books were allowed in the canon were as follows (taken from some notes from a seminary class):

*Apostolicity - this was a primary criterion. Can this be traced to apostolic authority? Not just authorship, but as Papias noted it could extend to an associate of the apostle (I.e. John Mark and Luke) so long as they were under the apostle’s teaching.

*Orthodoxy - this goes back to the idea of a rule of faith. How did the general epistles, for example, measure up to the Gospels, Acts and the Pauline letters? For example, note the way that 1 Peter 2:12 reflects Jesus’ words in Matt 5:16 or James 2:12-13 as it reflects Matt 12:7.

*Catholicity - How widespread was the book’s use in the churches? This criterion was the least important.

This was the basic criteria for which books got in and which ones didn't.

Consider the following quote:
"The apostles did not transmit the tradition (paradosis) only after it had been given a fixed form by the faith of the church but because of the authority they had been given from Christ to be the bearers and custodians of this tradition. That such is the proper understanding of Paul’s concept of tradition is clear from 1 Corinthians 15, where he lists in succession the apostolic witnesses who vouch for the content. . . . Their witness, not the belief of the church in some fixed form, determines the idea of tradition in Corinthians." - Herman Ridderbos, Redemptive History and the New Testament Scriptures, 18.

Great book that deals with these issues.

I guess what I was hearing you say (I could be wrong) is that the early church fathers just sort of arbitrarily decided what was to be in the Bible and what was not. Thus the authority is found in the church.

What I am saying is that their authority went only so far as it corresponded to what Jesus said to his apostles. Hence those three criteria above. So did they have authority? Sure, but only to the degree that it was in line with what Jesus actually said.

Does that make more sense? I am not even sure what we are disagreeing about. Might all be misunderstanding.

In terms of protestant understanding of scripture... We don't have authority on the same level as catholics ascribe to the church, but we are not isolation as you seem to imply. It's not just me and Jesus and my Bible. Calvin was a huge proponent of reading the Bible in community for greater understanding.

This is also why protestant churches has creeds and statements of faith such as The Westminster Standards, etc. These are the things that unite us and give definition to the faith beyond just me and Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Westminster gives definition to Presbyterians, etc so we don't have every presbo just off on their own trying to figure things out by themselves.

So again, authority only in so far as it corresponds to what Jesus taught and did.

Important discussion...