Places Where We Agree: The Need For Nuance (Part 2)



1. a subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression or sound.

We don’t live in a world of nuance. We live in a world of extremes. Political punditry on the evening news boils down to “Those conservatives are bigots” or “Those liberals are insane.” You have to either be for Ukraine or against Ukraine, and anyone who tries to offer nuance in the situation is a Putin groupie and is calling for WW3. There is nothing we can learn from our opponents. They have no point. They have no case. They are totally, utterly, and completely wrong. The same goes for many religious discussions.

All people who disagree with the Gospel must be enemies. They can’t be in need of help. They can’t be lost. They can’t be intellectually poor or merely have gaps in their understanding. They must be enemies. And all who try to construe them as anything other than enemies are soft, naïve, and/or ecumenical. Pick your pejorative. The rule of the day is to never give your opposing interlocutor any credit, and if you must, do it more as a slight or in a backhanded way. It’s easier this way and there is no sign that things are going to change in the near future. So what are we to do?

Well, demonize our opponents, of course…

Nah, not for me. If we want to change the world through belief in what the Scripture says about God, Christ, and the word itself, then we are going to have to do some “opening and alleging” just like Paul did in Acts 17. That is going to include a host of nuances and those nuances are going to include places of agreement between us and our opponents.

And what makes our opponents our opponents? It is their arguments, primarily. We find their arguments to oppose ours and so we call those who propound arguments opposed to our own to be our opponents. Of course this is the similar situation in war time as well. It is not so much the man that is our opponent but the fact that that man is trying to kill us. It is his leaden “arguments” which we oppose and thus we return similar and, Lord willing, more accurate leaden arguments.

So just like yesterday’s post, here are some places where we agree with our opposition.

1.) We agree that God the Holy Spirit inspired the word of God via the inspired penmen of the autographic text.

2.) We agree that the Bible should be publicly preached in public worship.

3.) We believe that people of all languages should be able to read the Bible in their own language and that such a reading be profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.

4.) We believe that the word of God in these vernacular languages is powerful enough to engender faith in the human soul and thus lead that soul to salvation in Christ.

5.) Furthermore, given #4, we here at believe in agreement with our opposition that it is possible to be saved out of other versions of the Bible beside the KJV so long as that version contains the substantia doctrinae of the original language.

6.) Given #5, we also agree with our opposition that the Bible has been given to Christ’s bride for more than the work of salvation. It has also been given for all things that pertain to life and godliness [i.e., sanctification].

7.) We are in agreement with our opposition that the revealed word of God has come down to us today in different forms, iterations, and refinements.

8.) We are in agreement with out opponents that the KJV as a form, iteration, and refinement of the revealed word of God in English has served the English-speaking Church and Western society as a whole in unparalleled ways since 1611.

9.) We are in agreement with our opposition that the issue of what counts as the New Testament or what counts as the word of God are interesting questions and are worthy of focused effort aimed at offering solutions to those questions.

With the five common places from yesterday and the nine common places immediately above there seems to be significant common ground between our two positions. But then come the nuances, and it should be those nuances on which we focus our energies. In keeping with this doctrine, the following weeks’ posts will center on illuminating these nuances, these subtle but meaningful differences between the Standard Sacred Text position and the Critical Text/Multiple Versions Only position.

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