Friday, February 20, 2009

What Turretin REALLY Meant


Ancient Christain Defender relates an exchange that a certain proponent of François Turretin had with a certain poster named Perry. Apparently, the Calvinist position was revealed to be too similar to Tritheism for the Turretin proponent's liking. I examined the Turretin proponent's blog, as well as some of the writings of François Turretin and found out some amazing facts! Apparantly Fabulous François agrees with me more than with his proponent! I'd venture say that François's proponent hasn't read François's prose all that much. Though I admit that Turretin is outside my own Religious Tradition, he seemed to be striving to discover mine, and is possibly a secret adherant. Because John Calvin and Company made examples of dissenters like Michael Servetus and Jacques Gruet, Turretin had to mute his dissent; nevertheless, Turretin's dissent is there, ironically parallelling the issues I have raised in this blog. He left plenty of writings behind to undermine Calvin, Calvinism, and the Calvinists. My suspicions are that his choices were limited as to who he could be for, and chose Calvinism out of convenience rather than conviction. This is not to condemn him, but to rather point out that there were few palatable moral choices open to him consistant with staying alive. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if he had access to Eastern Orthodox literature like John Wesley did, and had the TOTAL FREEDOM to express himself. Here are a few quotes taken from A Puritan's Mind to whet your appetite:
On the Edited - Not Translated Issue:
XXIII. The prophets made no mistakes when they wrote inspired by God and as prophets, not even in matters of little significance, because if they did, faith in the whole of Scripture would be turned into doubt.
and
IV. It is not a question of errors in spelling and punctuation, or of variant readings, which everyone admits are not infrequent, nor whether the copies that we have agree so completely with the original autographs that they do not differ in the least. But the question is whether our manuscripts so differ from the originals that the true meaning has been corrupted, and the original texts can no longer be regarded as the rule of faith and practice.
Although one could argue that he might have excused William Whittington and Theodore de Beza's editing of the Scripture, notably in Deuteronomy 30, 1 Timothy 2:4, and Revelation 22:19 with:
X. It is not to be thought that these marks appear in equal force in all the books of Scripture. Just as one star differs from another in brilliance, so in this heaven of Scripture some books send forth more glorious and plentiful rays, others fewer and more meager ones, depending on whether they are more or less necessary for the church, and contain teachings of greater or less importance. This brilliance shines forth much more in the Gospels and the Epistles of Paul than in the Books of Ruth and Esther, but it is nonetheless certain that those evidences of truth and majesty,

On the Integrity of the Scriptures:
VII. Unless unimpaired integrity is attributed to Scripture, it cannot be regarded as the sole rule of faith and practice, and a wide door is opened to atheists, libertines, enthusiasts, and others of that sort of profane people to undermine its authority and overthrow the foundation of salvation.
I add that our Exponent of Turretin frequently says, hypocrically I might add, "Let Scripture Decide". The Edited-Not Translated posts have proved that the "unbiased referee" that this Worthy refers to, The 1599 Geneva Study Bible, has been discredited. You may come onto this blog and quote Scripture as much as you want, but to keep a level playing field in light of past cheating, I shall insist upon the use of the EOB Bible as the Official Bible for purposes of discussion on this blog, which will be the Coin of this Realm. If you have Confederate Money, you can spend that in Dixieland, but not here.
Afirming the Council of Carthage 397:
VIII. There are four main arguments for the integrity of Scripture, and the purity of the sources. (1) Above all, the providence of God, who, since he wished to provide for our faith, could be expected to keep the Scripture pure and uncontaminated, both by inspiring the sacred authors who wrote it, and by protecting it from the efforts of enemies who left nothing untried to destroy it, that our faith might always have a firm point on which to rest. (2) The religion of the Jews, who were always careful guardians of the accuracy of the sacred codices, even to the point of superstition. (3) The diligence of the Masoretes, who, by their marks, placed, as it were, a fence around the Law. (4) The number and completeness of copies, with the result that even if one codex could have been corrupted, all could not be.
He supports but does not overtly advocate Apostolic Succession with:
VI. Three [needs] in particular support the necessity of Scripture: (1) the preservation of the word; (2) its defense; (3) its proclamation. It was necessary for the written word to be given to the church to be the fixed and changeless rule of faith of the true religion, which could thus more readily be preserved pure and whole in spite of the weakness of memory, the perversity of humanity, and the shortness of life; more surely defended against the frauds and corruptions of Satan, and more readily proclaimed and transmitted not only to people who were scattered and separated from one another, but to future generations as well.
and
XIV. The witness of the prophets and apostles is superior to all objection, and cannot be questioned by reason. For, if it were uncertain and fallible, this would be either because they were deceived or because they wished to deceive others, but neither can be said.
Apparantly criticizing Article XXXI of the Westminster Confession:
V. It is not a question of whether the sacred writers simply as human beings and in private matters would err. We readily concede this.
and
XXIV. The apostles were infallible in faith, not in morals, and the Spirit was their guide in all truth so that they never erred, but not in all godly living (pietas) so that they never sinned, because they were like us in all things.
Following Article XXXI's Argument against Church Councils, Turretine would go further to demonstrate, in Reducto ad Adsurdum fashion that since each Prophet himself was a sinful man, his Scripture is invalid.
At to Proof by Contradiction and the use of Paradoxes, the methods of analysis used by this blog:
XIII. Although faith rests on the authority of testimony, and not on scientific demonstration, it does not follow that it cannot be supported by intellectual arguments at times, especially when faith is first formed, because faith, before it believes, should (debere) . . . have the clearly perceived divine quality of the witness whom it should believe, [known] from sure marks found in [the witness]; otherwise it cannot believe him. For where such grounds for believing anyone are lacking, the testimony of such a witness is not worthy of belief.
Amazingly, he even concedes that because of Total Depravity, no one would be competant to print a Bible, a point made in my very first post:
X. Although we attribute absolute integrity to Scripture, we do not hold that the copyists and printers have been inspired, but only that the providence of God has so watched over the copyists that, although many errors could have entered, they did not, or at least they did not enter the codices in such a manner that they cannot easily be corrected by comparison with other copies (ex collatione aliorum) or with [other parts of] Scripture itself.
This post is getting a bit long and TEDIOUS. From the Calvinist perspective, François Turrentin has given away the store!

2 comments:

Tony-Allen said...

Interesting, that. François Turretin's speaking of the preservation of the faith kind of reminds me of Saint Photios' own defense against the Romans' use of the filioque. In The Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit he essentially asks these two questions: 1) where is the filioque supported in scripture, and 2) which of the Church Fathers supported it?

Constantino della Brazos said...

Good insight, Tony.

Perry has informed me that he used his real name. When I critiqued Turretin, I wanted to allow him the option to distance himself from this discussion. However, if he disagrees with the so-called exponenent of Turretine like I do, he's certainly welcome. I will congratulate Perry for smoking him out.

Perry, I have a question for you. When Turretin wrote [cited in this article]: It is not to be thought that these marks appear in equal force in all the books of Scripture. Just as one star differs from another in brilliance, so in this heaven of Scripture some books send forth more glorious and plentiful rays, others fewer and more meager ones, depending on whether they are more or less necessary for the church, and contain teachings of greater or less importance. This brilliance shines forth much more in the Gospels and the Epistles of Paul than in the Books of Ruth and Esther, but it is nonetheless certain that those evidences of truth and majesty, was he referring to the fact that certain verses [Revelation 22;19, I Timothy 2:4, and Deuteronomy 30:19, all cited and copied by magic of Photoshop int the three Edited-Not Translated articles], were expunged from the 1599 Geneva Study Bible?