response to a comment

Sketchy thoughts on a series of intriguing questions about language and theology left in this comment.

  • 1) Do linguists believe in the confounding of language?

This is really a question for sub-fields of linguistics which I know next to nothing about (I suppose language typology and origins of language). In textbooks it’s normal to see the Genesis account of the counfounding of language at Babel dismissed, if it’s mentioned at all, in a word or two as a myth which needn’t occupy any time or thought in contemporary linguistics. There may be some current understandings which might loosely reflect what you’d expect to be the case on the basis of the Genesis account, but the relevant fields are too far outside of my own areas of specialism for me to really comment from a very informed perspective.

The only time I’ve encountered a respectful treatment of Genesis in contemporary linguistics is in a theoretical volume on the syntax of Mohawk by a professor at Rugters – this too is outside my field, but I don’t get the impression that his views are at all mainstream.

There’s also a less technical book by Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language which discusses the Babel story in some detail, but more as a piece of intellectual history than as a viable contemporary explanation for observable aspects of language.

  • 2) Is multilingualism without asking God for that gift an attempt to reverse the confounding of languages and is it ever successful?

Multilingualism is the normal situation for the majority of people in the world – ie, the ability to speak more than one language isn’t necessarily something that most people have to make a conscious (+/- prayerful) decision to achieve. So multilingualism does in fact successfully mitigate the effects of language diversity, and that’s a good thing, not something to regret (in the same way that any means of making life easier in the post-Fall world is in general a Good Thing).

  • 3) Why and how does God keep human language separated into distinct groups?

On the how – the field of sociolinguistics basically exists to document and account for the ‘how’ of sameness and difference across and between speakers – influential approaches include the idea of social networks and communities of practice which provide ways of thinking about how language is used both within and across groups of people who interact with each other. I doubt that many sociolinguists would see their data as demonstrating how God works, obviously, but that’s the same problem as interpreting any dataset in the context of scientific self-imposed restrictions on using explanations which rely on the doctrine of God or God’s providence.

The why is more speculative, but the purpose of the original Babel to keep a restraint on human ambition presumably still matters.

  • 4) Is the constant changing of language a reaction of human language against the Word of God?

Here I didn’t share the view of language suggested in the original comment – I wouldn’t see language as a living creature, but rather more of a tool, an instrument, a means of communication among humans.

The constant changing of language is just one aspect of the human condition – societies are in constant flux, whether it’s clothes fashions or music styles or interior decoration or anything else. It’s not necessarily a morally significant rebellion against God. The Scriptures themselves freeze particular varieties of language at particular points in their ongoing change too – the Scriptures are now fixed and changeless, but they were written in earlier and later forms of their various languages. Human hearers do react against and flee away from God’s Word, but I’d hesitate to say that you can see that rebellion in things like vowel rounding or unrounding, or the choice of blue rather than green for your sitting room carpet.

  • 5) Where does free will come into it?

I’m not sure!

_________________
Previous language-and-theology type discussion –

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9 thoughts on “response to a comment

  1. thanks for the article. Very informative. It is as I thought: a very common, one might say universal, set of assumptions among linguists and most people.

    1. that free will actually exists
    2. free will is both the default state of all creatures and a mystery ; so why think about its connection to anything
    3. language has to be a tool ..because free will supposedly exists

    circular.. you will probably never encounter a linguistic study that starts with “among a population of people who think they have free will.. syntax is constructed and used thusly..”

    that’s reflected in your answer concerning satanic influence on theological questions: you seem to see a Christian as having at the least free ‘agency’ and thus Satan and sin are disconnected by default other than a generalized evilness of both. As well, as a professional linguist, ( as perhaps distinct from being a Christian ) you seem to see free will as ‘in charge’ of everything.. and God in some mysterious way, in charge of everything at the same time. That way, language gets to be a tool of the free will and “God gets praised.” Nifty.

    I assumed you believe the Genesis account. Now I don’t know. So I’ll ask: how did God confound a ‘tool’ that resulted in a completely new linguistic environment in-an-instant AND in such a way as to make those inside that entire speech that was confounded incredulous after a few generations that any such confounding actually took place so that He had to remember for us in Christ?

    Thanks again for the reply. I have in the past looked for academic linguists that took Genesis literally and sought to look at human language as a potential enemy of the soul without success. Who thinks they should watch out for their own speech? Not the same thing as “watch what you say ..in supposed free will”. Very few Christians, much less Christian linguists, would admit part of being a new creature in Jesus Christ is an exodus from human speech and the common sense of it. New birth in CHRIST/ Word of God.

    Human language is distinct from the Word of God and every instance of a love of one’s native speech in Scripture is automatically accompanied by antagonism toward the Word of God. Every time God reminds men that their speech is insufficient to save them no matter what they say, even if it prays through them, that speech answers through men that God should mind his own business.

    As well, I THINK you see the cross of Christ, not as the cross of the Incarnate Word of God ( Christ ) as that would have no meaning for you, but only as the cross of Jesus who ‘died for our free willed sins’ and that event had nothing to do with anti-Christ ( anti-Word of God as a distinct language from God) hating Jesus Christ through men. I THINK you see the speech of hatred toward the Incarnate Word of God all through the old and new testament by the wicked as just happenstance and yet characteristic usage of a ‘tool’ that God, Lucifer and men all share.

    I make this point a bit obnoxiously to point out that implying the Holy Spirit of God and Lucifer share a common language is the unforgivable sin and when you go the ‘speech is a tool’ route, that’s what you’ve done. I’m pretty sure no one else is going to tell you that. That basically says God and Lucifer have access to a common ‘tool’ and that seems to get out of a one on one comparison.

    When they told you had free will/agency, they never told you that in order for that to be true, that basically mandates one speech in total reality ( which God and Lucifer would have to share ) and that has the characteristic of being non-creating and by implication, non-interfering with the will. The ‘tool’ approach. One side effect of that deception is, for instance, a dehumanizing of the womb. If you have to holy-by-choice, anything that can’t ‘choose’ can’t be holy: the unborn, the retarded, the comatose, etc.

    If you think you’ve got free agency, that forces a outlook on everything else: now you’ve got to define all theology to fit free agency in with everything else: everything has to have a will-neutral quality about it to keep that free agency valid: Sin can’t a living creature. Human language certainly can’t be sin / anti-Christ and no one needs saving out it. Indeed, it is idealized to be the exact mechanism by which people ‘get saved’, as in “without human language, no one could be saved.” etc. No ‘tool’ to use to deliver an idealized non-creating, will-neutral gospel. But that brings hidden baggage like the unforgivable sin as default piety and academic necessity.

    Sorry to dump it on you. But you’ve been helpful, even if I have made some wrong assumptions about your personal beliefs. I don’t expect a reply and I’ll be away myself for awhile. Just something to think about and pray about as God does it through you. You’re a bit of find ..Christian linguist.

    Sorry if I indulged a bit.

    I Corinthians 15: 14 And if Christ ( Word of God ) be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

    timothy

    In the name of Jesus Christ, amen

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  2. a) The question of free will is important, but not supreme.

    b) It shouldn’t be surprising that studies don’t normally start “among a population of people who think they have free will …” in the same way that studies rarely begin “among a population of people with arms and legs …” There is no pressing need to mention a property which is trivially true, and/or which has no bearing on the study being done.

    c) The position that language is something other than a tool for communication remains to be established, either by appeal to Scripture or by appeal to general revelation. I’m really struggling to think of how this position could be defended from Scripture, and I don’t think it can be defended on the basis of extra-scriptural general revelation either.

    d) Human language is not an enemy of the soul – it is a gift from God which allows us to receive and transmit information. Since the Fall, we misuse this gift as we misuse all God’s good gifts – our ability to communicate and our means of communication are flawed in various ways. But this is due to our sin – the sin of those who use language – not to language itself, as though language exists as a thing in itself apart from its users, or is sinful, or is possessed of free will. There are, eg, a couple of the Ten Commandments which directly refer to language – the 3rd and the 9th – but the keeping of these commandments (even by saved sinners whose will has been renewed) doesn’t involve the use of some new language, but rather the more appropriate use of the language that always was available to them.

    e) The references in Scripture to the unforgiveable sin don’t include any mention of language. The connections between God and human language, and the fallen angels and human language, are made complicated for us to understand by the fact that spirits (whether divine or created) don’t need language in order to communicate. Because God is omniscient he knows what humans mean when they use language; and because the angels are intelligent they can work out what humans mean when they use language; but these two points together do not add up to the unforgiveable sin.

    * When God purposed to reveal his mind to human beings, he inspired humans to convey his thoughts in ordinary human language, even though the people he inspired were sinners, and speaking/writing to sinners whose ‘will was in bondage to sin and incapable of willing any spiritual good.’
    * When the Son of God became man, he spoke ordinary human language and remained sinless.
    * When we call on the name of the Lord in prayer, and when we offer the sacrifice of our lips in praise, and when preachers preach the gospel, all of this involves the Lord accepting and/or commissioning the use of ordinary human language, which he wouldn’t do, if language itself was sinful, or evil, or dangerous.

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  3. Are you a Catholic? For some reason I had you pegged as a Calvinist. My mistake. What you are writing is just simple Roman Catholic dogma to the point it could easily have been cut and pasted, though I’m sure those are your words and thus spirits. Possibly your mind has merely been kidnapped for a week or so by them.

    Wake up: There are several ways to prove that ‘language is something other than a means of communication.’ from Scripture.

    If you don’t believe Scripture, that is another matter. But on the premise that you do:

    Explain who did the confounding at the Tower of Babel versus who got confounded. There is no question that pre-Incarnate Christ, the Eternal Word of God, does all the Saying in Scripture, even in portraying a speech that is not Himself. God –Says– “let’s confound THEIR speech” and does so. He does not confound the people. He specifically confounds their speech as something that is separate from them. He Himself as Word is not confounded at all.

    Something was the confoundee and God was the confounder.

    Perhaps you could explain how a people who all spoke one common tongue in an instant no longer did so the next instant. At the same time you could show how they had free will before, during and after that event ..since you apparently think you have free will as the default state of being a human being and think that even new creatures in Jesus Christ have free will ‘too’ as their default state. As you can see, “a people deceived they have free will” is indeed a blind people that any such thing as God confounded their language can happen. That is why pagan linguists deny the Tower of Babel in the exact speech that God confounded.

    Yet another way from Scripture: You say “Son of Man” and that is true that Christ was and is the Son of Man, but he was the pre-Incarnate and is also the Incarnate Word of God. “In the beginning was the Word and the word was with God and the Word was God.” ..”and the Word became flesh”, etc. Exactly how is a “means of communication” Incarnated as flesh –and stay a ‘means of communication’ as an abstract? While you may in many instances prefer a description of Christ as “Son of Man”, you cannot disallow “Word of God” because it wreaks a favored theory of language common among a population of people deceived they have free will.

    In idealizing reality in such a way as squeeze the free will of man into it, you have to deny the fundamental character of God and you have to do that with a very specific speech that is not-God. God cannot lie and cannot deny Himself. The only speech that can deny God is the very speech God as Word confounded at Babel.

    Already you know good and well we’re into spiritual things as living spirits.

    God Says He speaks through us when we are born again and He non-metaphorically lives in us. God also points out that lying spirits –as speech– are controlled by Him. He sent one lying spirit that spoke through all 400 prophets to entice Ahab to go to Ramoth-Gilead. That spirit was the speech of those prophets..as opposed to the speech/Word in Miciah ( which was God/Christ).

    II Chronicles 18: 18-24 Again he said, Therefore hear the word of the LORD; I saw the LORD sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. And the LORD said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth–gilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner. Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the LORD said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so. Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee.Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near, and smote Micaiah upon the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee? And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see on that day when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself.

    If you cannot explain that, perhaps explain why we are born again –by hearing the Word of God– if all speech is just “a means of communication”. Wherein is the power of the Word of God to raise the dead ( Lazurus ..as in the act of speech of saying “Lazurus come forth” ) and to birth us as new creatures specifically by His Word? We are born again by that exact same power and Spirit:

    I Corinthians 4: 15 For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

    IN Christ ( Word of God ) I have begotten you…

    again:

    James 1:18 Of his own will begat he us WITH THE WORD OF TRUTH, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

    again:

    I Peter 1: 23-25 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, BY THE WORD OF GOD, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And THIS IS THE WORD which by the gospel is preached unto you.

    Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

    Again: how can God call for a famine of hearing Him as Word if language is a hapless abstract which cannot stop itself from being heard and men have free will to hear whatever they want whenever they want?

    Amos 8: 11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and for to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

    God doesn’t say He’ll stop speaking, He says he will send a famine of hearing Him. God is so prolific a speaker and creates what he says that he himself remarks plainly that it will be a singular event when there “silence in heaven for a half-hour.”

    Again: If language is just a “means of communication” then why did Israel in the desert decline from hearing God as Word? So plainly did the speech already in them equate the entrance of God as Word into them with death that it spoke out through them in defense of itself as saying that to be without it would be the equal of death for them:

    Exodus 20:19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

    It is understandable for a pagan to be confused over speech and the difference between God as Word and the speech that is not-God. But for a Christian it is not understandable. How can God be dwelling in you and denying Himself?

    I am absolutely certain you can be a linguist and a Christian. But you cannot be a pagan and a Christian. God clearly and unambiguously says His Word is spirit and life:

    John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

    As well, the –written–Word of God is just as powerful and just as holy according to God as Word:

    John 5: 46, 47 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

    Why does God Say that those who hear His Words are made gods:

    John 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;…

    Why is pre-Incarnate Christ personified as the Word of God in the quoted phrase “the Word of the Lord came unto me saying” over fifty times in the Old Testament and when taken just as multiple words in a search text 91 times in the KJV? The Word of the Lord came unto me …saying. How can the Word ‘come’ if He is not a Person or a Spirit but a “means of communication”? Obviously he can’t.

    These are plain truths that have no mystery about them. The Romanists have sought to mysterize them by both denying the truths and saying that they can do that AND serve Christ. But they are just liars who speak only the speech God confounded at Babel and have the common sense of it.

    Again: ask Christ in you, if He truly is there, how the world can understand one speech and we in Christ a completely different Word:

    I John 4: 4-6 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

    Why does God condemn those who cannot hear what God says through us and says they are of the spirit of error if the speech God confounded at Babel were of any use whatsoever to be saved? Very plainly that speech that God confounded at Babel is condemned by God and is therefore a danger to our souls, is sin, is evil and is dangerous. Therefore God Says:

    Matthew 12:37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

    Every totalitarian regime in the world has had the exact outlook on language that your last reply evidences. That is not an accident. They did not have Christ as Word. They had human speech. The Romanist themselves seek day and night to merely quote God as Word in human speech and call that religion. But they lie because they do not have God as Word.

    Matthew 7: 18-21 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    timothy

    In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen

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  4. I follow the Westminster Confession of Faith. What kind of Calvinist are you?

    Your texts demonstrate that language is distinct from human beings, and I have no problem with this. They do not demonstrate that language is a living thing, or that it has any sort of moral responsibility of its own, or that it is anything other than a means of communicating with and among human beings.

    I don’t think anyone can explain how speech was confounded at Babel, any more than anyone can explain how the fountains of the great deep were broken up at the Flood: both were supernatural acts of God and Scripture doesn’t give us much more information than the mere fact that they happened. As to free will at Babel, the problem is no different from whether humans have free will before, during, and after any other event subsequent to the Fall. As John Calvin said, “simply to will is of man; to will ill, of corrupt nature; to will well, of grace” (Institutes, Book 2, Chapter 3, section 5), and it was no different at the time of Babel.

    I haven’t used the term “Son of Man” here at all. Nor do I have any objection to the term “Word of God.” The only thing is though that the term “Word of God” can mean either the Personal Word, which is Christ, or it can mean the inspired Word, which is a revelation from God in human language and which is not Christ. It could be a failure to make this distinction which results in over-emphasising the significance of language in the matters of sin and salvation.

    When we are born again (according to Calvinistic doctrine), the written Word is the means of communicating to us the truths which the Holy Spirit enables the regenerated soul to respond to. Ie it is *both* the case that we are born again by hearing the Word of God *and* that speech (or writing) is a means of communication.

    There is something of an irony in using human language to try and make the case that human language is sinful, evil, and dangerous. Are the Scriptures sinful and evil because they are written in human language?

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  5. True, I mis-read Son of God to be Son of man. Either way, Christ is Word of God and Son of God and Son of Man. You can’t ignore one in favor of the other two.

    I’m not using human language. God is speaking through me because He actually lives in me. Just so we’re clear. Given your replies and your worship of human language as a defacto god that must come between God as Word and the elect, I am sure you will have a problem with thinking that God –as Word of God as distinct from any other language– speaks through anyone. God’s actual presence in us violates the concept of free will. We have a will. But it is not free, before, during or after the new birth.

    God has plainly declared and demonstrated how He confounded human speech at Babel. He Spoke. It’s that simple; exactly as He Said “let there be light” and there was light.

    Psalm 33: 9,10 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.

    Saying you can’t see how God confounded human speech is like saying you can’t see how the Incarnate Word of God calmed the storm. He Spoke to it and you keep looking for some extra step, when even the apostles perfectly understood it was His Word. Will you say God spoke storm-speech and not simply Himself as Word that had created all things? Do you cast out devils? If not why not? Don’t you have the same speech you say God cast out demons with and raised the dead with and even pagans have that same speech? Where are the miracles in human speech?

    There are none. Christ as Word undoes the effects of human speech; He is not at all the prisoner of human speech as Belial lies through many the pagans and claims.

    God creates what He Says as a characteristic of Himself as Word. I can see that you don’t think creation by act of speech is what any words are for at any time. While human speech can’t create anything and thus human beings have a incredulity that God creates by His acts of Speech/Word, you as, at least, a self-avowed Christian ought to know better. How can the Word of God dwell in you and you not know it or know any difference between Belial ( non-creating speech ) and Christ/Word of God/Creating Speech? How can you say that the Scriptures are not the spirit of Christ but instead, are mere human speech? Granted, many heretics have said as much and been very bold to do so to this hour.

    So far, you may or may not be aware, you have repeatedly appealed to Romanist/pagan doctrines of the Scriptures while representing yourself to be a Calvinist; so perfectly so as to easily be mistaken for a Vatican scholar holding forth Romanist doctrine straight out of their catechism:

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a3.htm

    “In order to reveal himself to men, in the condescension of his goodness God speaks to them in human words: “Indeed the words of God, expressed in the words of men, are in every way like human language, just as the Word of the eternal Father, when he took on himself the flesh of human weakness, became like men.”63

    Your notion that Jesus Christ “spoke in human speech” is expressly pagan and is in fact the unforgivable sin as it compares the Word of God with the same speech in which lies are spoken and we know that God cannot lie and that the Incarnate Word of God was without sin. Those who commit the unforgivable sin remain unforgiven forever –as that creature. That is why non-metaphorical new birth is necessary–a non-metaphorical change of being and an exodus from human speech/mind into Christ/Word of God.

    The Scriptures are not human speech. To say that they are becuase they may appear to look the same is to say that if God Says something and Lucifer Says the same thing, the same event just happened –as if they had the same speech. I know that it is very popular to say that the Scriptures are human speech and that those in human speech as a whole can say nothing else; to say so gives the premise of being able to twist the Scriptures here and there and be intelligently ignorant on one topic but not another in the pretense that God has left us bereft of His Spirit and we must stumble through the Scriptures guessing about doctrine.

    I completely understand that you, as all people ever born, grew up in human speech and have the common sense of human speech. In order to say the will of man is free, no matter if you say free will or free agency you need, at the least a language that is both universal and at least appears to be will-neutral and non-living. But those things do not exist. The Scriptures already given to you easily are evidence that human speech is a living spirit and that it is not the word of God.

    And you still have not answered why God can cause a famine of the hearing of the Word of God ..if all He ever speaks to men is human speech? If human speech –the very speech God confounded at Babel– is the very means of God instilling in us His spirit, –as you must say, unless you go the route of baptismal regeneration like the Romanists –why does God call it a famine to not hear Him as Word? Why also does He say we are born again by hearing Him as Word and goes further to say that to be of God is to hear God’s Words but to be sons of Satan is to hear Satan’s words?

    Why did God first confound what you say He needs to tell us holy things? Does that makes sense?

    Why did the centurion know that all the Incarnate Word of God had to do was speak and his son would be healed?

    Matthew 8: 7,8: And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.

    How did the boy, who was not even present, “know how to take human speech and do something with it” so that he could be healed when he did not even know Christ has spoken to heal him until after his father came home?

    The Romanists are willing to burn in the lake of fire to keep their doctrines intact, even though their will has no effect on God’s judgment of them as the reprobate. How far are you going to go with your idealized free will/agency to defend the indefensible?

    Human speech is a living creature that is always speaking against Christ. Eve ate the apple AFTER the speech of the serpent, that is anti-Christ as a spirit entered her and she knew nothing of it –or why her thoughts and speech suddenly changed afterwards. She thought she just suddenly had a great idea in the same speech she had always had.

    If God as Word is the same as human speech/serpent speech, why did God ask Adam, as God as Word, “who told you you were naked?” God is always Himself as Word and knows when and where He speaks. God knew who told Adam and what was in Adam after “he hearkened to the voice his wife”. Now that same speech in you that is not-God is saying “I did nothing. It was the woman.”

    Yeah, right.

    God is not so blind which is very good for you.

    I think you perhaps have not thought and certainly not prayed through these things in Christ.

    timothy

    II Corinthians 6: 15-18 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

    In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen

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  6. I’m not sure how useful this discussion is proving to be.

    The Genesis account doesn’t in fact say that God spoke in order to confound their language, Gen 11:7-8.

    Speech is not *for* creating things. It’s quite true to say that only God can create things by his word, but God doesn’t even need to say the words in order for things to be done. The fact that he is presented to us in Scripture as ‘doing by speaking’ is not a comment on the purpose of language: rather it builds on the common human experience that our ‘saying so doesn’t make it so’ in order to make a point about God’s almighty power.

    I’m not much bothered by the quotation from the Roman Catechism, since the identical idea is conveyed in the Westminster Confession, Chapter 1, Section 1.

    Jesus Christ is recorded in Scripture on multiple occasions as speaking human language. Unless the Scriptures are wrong, it is evidently not “expressly pagan” to say so.
    Matthew 5 – He opened his mouth and taught them, saying, …
    Mark 4 – He taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine, Hearken, …
    Luke 11 – And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, …
    John 7 – Jesus stood and cried, saying, …

    The fact that this is “the same speech in which lies are spoken” is neither here nor there – if lies are spoken, the fault is with the one who speaks lies, not with the language that’s used.

    I started this thread in the hope of an interesting discussion about language study, but it has turned into an opportunity for you to post long screeds of your own novel ideas, which are far removed from the Calvinism of the historic Confessions, and at the same time to make inflammatory accusations about the unforgiveable sin and paganism. I’m afraid that this kind of discussion doesn’t really appeal to me and I’m not sure I’ll be taking the time to pursue it much further.

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  7. That spirit in your flesh is absolutely correct: there is no point in pursuing this with you any further than to alert your readers you are definitely not a Calvinist and in no way even believe what the Westminster Confession says concerning the Word of God.

    The Westminster Confession (http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html?mainframe=http://www.reformed.org/documents/westminster_conf_of_faith.html) Chapter One section one definitely does not in any way conform to the Romanist statements but sets forth the necessity of the Word of God revealed to men. It follows that if the speech of men, that God confounded at Babel were of any benefit whatsoever to men, The Word of God Himself would not need to have been Incarnated as distinct from the speech of men and God would not call the Scriptures the Word of God at all. Section II explicitly Says the Scriptures are “The Word of God written”, setting them apart from human speech and section 3 explicitly denigrates any “human writing” to be added to Scripture and says human works have no authority in the Church.

    “III. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the Canon of Scripture; and therefore are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings.”

    Human writing and human speech is then anathematized by the Westminster Confession as insufficient to know God and as having zero authority. How then could Christ have spoken as and in human language and not as Word of God as you and the rest of the Romanists insists? All Scripture would then be worthless. You would all seek to encapsulate any speaking event in Scripture as human language simply to protect a lie of free will and functionally deify human speech over God.

    Your purpose of speech arguments deny the power of the Word and God and instead of honoring God, seek to make of any ‘text’, no matter where or what a common text in or out of the Holy Scriptures. Basically you are saying if anyone is hearing any speech, no spiritual event can be on-going, and certainly not God as Word simply because someone heard something. You implicitly have a identical purpose of sight argument in which you pretend “if anyone is reading anything, nothing spiritual can be on-going simply because someone saw something.”

    You are in the midst of famine of hearing the Word of God and have sought to merely define away any other being of speech or experience of speech than what human speech can perform to deny any such famine can take place.

    Then, you seek to portray yourself as a Calvinist. It could be that there are many people telling you that you are a Calvinist and you simply believed them. But they lied to you so they could lie through you.

    I won’t be posting here again. Not only are you committing the unforgivable sin by making the Word of God equal with human speech, the very speech He confounded at Babel, you are seeking to institutionalize the unforgivable sin as default religious behavior by calling it an ideal means of analyzing Scripture and approving or disapproving doctrine, exactly as the Arminians and Romanists. A no more perfect display of Romanist lies could be seen than your explanations of the nature of all speech.

    Ii Corinthians 3: 14-18 But their thoughts have been darkened, for unto this day the same veil remains in reading the old covenant, unremoved, which in Christ is annulled. But unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil lies upon their heart. But when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away.) Now the Lord is the Spirit, but where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But *we* all, looking on the glory of the Lord, with unveiled face, are transformed according to the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Lord the Spirit.

    timothy

    In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen

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  8. Well, at least we all now know what the unforgiveable sin is. You should have been here a while back, Timothy, when that was the subject of discussion.

    As for you, young Cath, enough denial. Timothy has brought out into the open what you really knew all along. You’re a Catholic. Time you regularized your position. Get yourself along to your parish priest toot sweet. Can I be your sponsor when you’re received? :D

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