On Perversion

Who believes that reality limits what we can say about it? Who believes reality speaks for itself? If the latter is believed, then there is the obvious fact of it being wrong, given all theories of reality are developmental. Who would think appealing to reality as authoritative would make any difference at all in some theory of reality? That would be the equivalent of saying “What I believe about reality is true, is true … because reality exists!”

In fact, this is no different than having “scripture” substituted for “reality” in the above. All things are equal here. Scripture exists but it doesn’t speak for itself.

There is no more sense in saying Einstein was a Newtonian heretic than suggesting Arius was an Athanasian heretic, or Saint Augustine being Antichrist for framing scripture in Manichean and Neoplatonian terms (i.e. imputation of a “totally depraved” nature through “original sin”, “election”, etc.). Or indeed, John and Paul creating Christology in the image of Greek, Stoic and Neoplatonic philosophies.

It is a grand perversion to suggest anything more than that scripture exists, must be studied, limits conversations about it, but does not speak for itself. Ultimately, like reality and scripture, there are authorities. Neither can be authorities on themselves, but are objects of study.

I very much doubt anyone would suggest to Einstein that in the book of Newtonian gravity there’s a comment that says “this book is from God and is therefore authoritative” and therefore, Einstein was a heretic, the Antichrist, or wrong. And yet, some that agree what an odd thing to do will employ the exact absurdity over a book written by men; which of course is not demonstrable except to fiat and desire to believe it.

There is no scriptural authority except those spending their lives studying it.

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57 thoughts on “On Perversion

  1. Steven Hoyt says:

    right! you either BELIEVE it or you don’t. not exactly any epistemological value then in thinking it is or isn’t the case.

    and no! we are NOT talking about logos when quoting from psalms! facepalm! in HEBREW, god’s word is NOT a book either! it is his counsel, his laws.

    and no once again! how one sees exegesis has NO bearing on believing what scripture says!

    you might do well to grab a concordance and perhaps a history book or two, then take all your fundamentalist scriptural dogma, then look up the greek and hebrew and look at what’s actually there.

    listen, a few days ago you gave a reference to total depravity. but you never actually said how you get from “there are none that are good” or “they have all turned away” (which is out of context of original sin entirely), to “total depravity imparted through adam to the nature of all men”.

    clearly you have some beliefs you feel compelled to hold, yet lack any demonstrable reasons for holding them.

    indeed then, yours is relativity … you either believe it or you don’t. folks want a little more objectivity and ethics in their belief systems. i recommend that if you cannot give it to them, then there is no genuine reason one should speak about these things at all.

  2. David says:

    Scripture does speak for itself as it is the living Word of God. Otherwise you are calling God a liar.

    • Steven Hoyt says:

      and there’s the absurdity! newtonian gravity is right or else god’s a liar since in newton’s book thereof, newton wrote that god was telling him what to write.

      if folks in times past would write in another person’s name in order to be taken seriously, why no claim god’s the author? i mean, it leads some people, like you for instance, to treat it differently, likely without consideration.

      listen, scripture exists. what is the test to affirm authorship? there isn’t any. we simply have all religions having scripture claiming the gods authored theirs.

      god’s word has nothing to do with books, by the way. the “word” is the stoic philosophy of “divine mind” and was first taught by cicero in 4 BCE. logos. and, “all scripture is god-breathed” can only mean the OT since the NT is mostly letters to christian communities. too, it’s funny we exclude some jewish “god-breathed” scriptures, and luther dropped seven “god-breated” books of the NT which now forms a protestant version of the full christian cannon … all because he didn’t like what was written in them.

      now, tell me again about this thing you feel certain of; that god writes books?

      • David says:

        All Scripture is God breathed. You either believe that or you don’t.

        And we are talking about Logos when I am talking about the Word of God. Psalms says: Thy Word is a lamp. That is the Word of God, written Word of God.

        It’s not absurd, but it appears you don’t believe Scripture.

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        how do you get from logos to a book, demanding that the two are exchangeable though there is no equating the two at all?

        do you even know what the word means or the philosophy it entails, david? i mean, at this point that’s a rhetorical question.

      • David says:

        Yes, what I am saying is you interjected something into the conversation that I was not even talking about.

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        you are saying the word of god is the bible. i’m saying that as many verses as you find in the NT about the “word”, they refer to the divine mind, divine will. and in the OT, it is god’s counsel (the law), not a book.

        my question is, why on earth do you think the word of god has anything to do with books.

      • David says:

        Right I agree with you. But what is the Bible? The written word of God. You are trying to make things that just aren’t so. And yes, logos in the NT is Christ.

        For the record the Bible is not books, much of it is letters. It is the written word of God. You can try to change definitions, deflect the conversation, and distract all you want, but you are still wrong on this issue.

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        woah! maybe you need to peruse my commentary, actually read it. i said hours ago that the NT can’t be considered scripture, at the the “god-breathed” scripture an NT author is talking about; one reason being again, the NT is largely letters to christian communities.

        my question remains: WHAT gives you the idea the bible is the word of god? you cannot find support for that belief even in scripture!

        what is the bible? a selection of texts formed into one book known as.

        you cannot simply fiat that this book is the work of the gods because that’s just what you believe! anyone can claim that, be they jew, muslim, or hindu.

        i offer no distraction. i keep coming back to this question alone; the one you will not answer.

      • David says:

        The Psalms say it is the Word of god. Yes, it is in Scripture.

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        in psalms, the “word” is god’s counsel, his laws. it is not the greek concept of logos but hebrew, as described.

        of course it’s in scripture! it’s just not in the hebrew or greek … it’s in english translations.

        it’d be rather odd to hear “what’s the word on the street” and then go looking about the streets of the town for a book. but, this is exactly what you’re doing. your interpretation is not in scripture, anywhere.

      • David says:

        Of course it is, you are just dishonest or ignorant.

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        ad hom is no argument and not very respectable; anyone can do that.

      • David says:

        You ignored the argument and tried to deflect and distract….again….

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        you haven’t given an argument, and, what you’re even arguing is unclear. i’m saying you should be clear and also quit it with the insults. no one is preventing you from either, but you’re only doing the one.

      • David says:

        It’s unclear because you keep changing the topic. So what do you believe we are discussing?

      • David says:

        Yeah, N. T. Wright, liberal theologian. No thanks.

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        liberal?! LOL! what critical thinking involves first is hearing an argument and addressing or redressing its warrant, or lack of.

        to me, to be liberal means doing and believing whatever you want because you want. and to be conservative means to only want to believe what is true, what’s most justified to believe, and to act on it.

        you, being in a group of evangelicals, and only listening to evangelicals, is much like believing in bigfoot and only listening to “bigfootologists”.

        if you want to do that, that’s fine. it doesn’t change the facts of the matter; only ignores them.

      • David says:

        Right, you ignoring truth doesn’t change the facts, I agree.

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        listen, david, i’m game. give me all the scriptures you think support the idea that man took dictation from god and list them here. we’ll go through them in context in their original languages. we’ll see where we end up.

        that is, if you can drop being defensive and personally insulting.

      • David says:

        Did I claim dictation from God? No, I did not.

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        whatever it is you’re claiming, state it clearly and give the scriptures leading you to conclude whatever you do.

        no reason to be pedantic.

      • David says:

        You won’t accept the evidence because you clearly throw out the New Testament so why should I bother?

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        who says i won’t! jeez, david, quit being an asshole!

      • David says:

        You’ve dismissed it time and time again, and if you are going to use profanity we are done here.

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        WHAT have i dismissed?

        and profanity to me looks like saying a person is dishonest, ignorant when clearly they are not, and presume they won’t consider anything you bring up.

        the fact that this is what i mean by “asshole” doesn’t entail my use of profanity, it entails yours.

      • David says:

        Apparently you don’t know what profanity is then. We are done as you can’t have a decent conversation. Thank you and I hope you realize the errors of your interpretations. Good day.

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        apparently you don’t know what profanity is.

        no one asked you to comment, david. all i did ask is that you make an argument, which you did not do. arguments consist of more than just baldly asserting a foregone conclusion. when asked to support yourself, you refused.

        i’m not sure then, why you posted at all, other than to say i’m wrong but for literally no reason other than to declare it.

        if this is your general tac, don’t bother commenting.

      • David says:

        I actually did make an argument, which you brushed off. But thanks.

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        your argument seems to have been:

        1) you either believe the bible is god’s word or you don’t.
        2) you believe the bible is god’s word.
        3) therefore, the bible is god’s word.

        you mentioned psalms, however and once again, the hebrew word is “counsel” and in that tradition, it refers to god’s law, not a book.

        if that’s all you’re going to say about things is this, don’t conflate my brevity in evaluating things with me being dismissive. there’s simply the fact that your argument entails that you believe the bible is god’s word. well, ok, glad you do! but, you’ve given no one else any compelling reason to agree with you.


      • David says:

        You realize the Bible itself is not a book right? It is a collection of writings, breathed out by God. So to say I am arguing for a book is a bit ridiculous.

      • Steven Hoyt says:


        don’t want to do that, then move on.

      • David says:

        The Bible is the Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16. Psalm 119 verifies this. The Law is the Word of God as is the Prophets. Jesus affirmed this as well.

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        2 timothy 3:16 (θεόπνευστος strong’s 2315 http://strongsnumbers.com/greek/2315.htm)

        “inspired by god”

        psalms 119 (פִּקּוּדֵי strong’s 6490 http://biblehub.com/hebrew/6490.htm)

        “precept, writ, rule, statute, command”

        great, now, what is it exactly that you are concluding … because it’s wholly unclear given an un-englishized reading.

        what verse exists which says “the bible is the word of god”?

      • David says:

        Steven do you know Greek and Hebrew? 2 Timothy 3:16 theo (God) Pneustos (Breath Out). Your dishonesty is showing as the actual link you provided says just what I have just told you and have said from the beginning. Yes the KJV translated this as inspired by God. But the word literally means God-breathed.

        And yes, a precept. The Law are the precepts of God. They are His words.

        The idea that an un-englishized reading is unclear is absurd. In fact, it makes even MORE CLEAR that what I am saying is correct.

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        dishonesty?! again, “asshole”.

        did you read stong’s? there are several ways to interpret psneustos. funny you choose the least applied variant for “breathed out” … which simply, according to strong, is to be taken as “inspired by”.

        the laws may well BE god’s words, however, the OT is NOT a law book. it is a narrative, and then the rest of it contained in the OT of the bible that is NOT the 613 jewish laws cannot be said to be the “word of god” at all, BY DEFINITION of what psalm 119 means!

        i didn’t say the un-englishized reading is unclear or that the englishized versions are unclear. i am saying the english translations are owing to the meanings of the original languages, the contexts, and the cultures those texts were written in.

      • David says:

        Yes I have read Strong’s as well as a slew of others as I have a degree in Theology. This is my field of expertise and your assertions are ridiculous and you don’t know how to actually apply the original languages to their contexts of the whole.

        I would also recommend you look up the definition of inspired. It might be enlightening to you.

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        oh, i’ve done my homework too … over a quarter of a century. thing is, i disagree with your interpretation. second is this, even if i accept your interpretation, it doesn’t at all demonstrate that the bible is god’s word. you can find the quran, for example as well as other religious texts, littered with the same commentary … and not just this one verse in 2 timothy!

        you’re down to your original argument: “the bible is god’s word because i believe the bible is god’s word” and my response remains the same; good for you.

      • David says:

        Except we have evidence that the Koran is not legitimate. You seem to ignore that fact. We can prove with reasonable legitimacy that the Bible is accurate and can be trusted, if that be the case, then we can also trust what it claims about itself.

        So you either believe the Bible or you don’t, that is your choice. You either believe God or you don’t, that is your choice.

        You want to twist evidence to distort reality. That is fine but it doesn’t make fact. You have poor exegetical work that you try to push as absolute truth.

        You try to distract from arguments and then you call people names using profanity. You lose on this one.

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        scripture makes no claims about itself save that it is useful in a practical way.

        your argument seems to be like “since i believe the bible, the bible is true” and that this is “legitimate” in some way “i believe the quran, and so the quran is true” is not.

        and if you pay attention here, i don’t hold there are any absolutes about scripture. i hold it is interpreted. this is quite the opposite from you, as you seem to think there is no interpretation and your justification of that directly stands upon your forgone conclusion and interpretation the bible is the literal words of god.

        and listen, “asshole” is not the profanity. it is naming the profanity in your behavior, which is and has been, full of insults … i only wish your arguments were so detailed!

        you know, you’re welcome to unfollow me if this is the behavior i can expect from you. and as to your degree in theology … i highly doubt that, given you still have no response on the developmental history of christian beliefs of the early fathers; which you have yet to have any intelligent response to, or any response at all. that is all theology 101, i’m afraid.

      • David says:

        That is not my argument actually. The Bible has been proven to be accurate, never proven to be inaccurate.

        No absolutes in Scripture? So, are there other ways to come to the Father outside of Christ?

        Of course there is interpretation. However, only one interpretation is correct.

        You clearly don’t understand profanity. pro·fan·i·ty
        blasphemous or obscene language.

        As to your question about history, I simply haven’t had time. You highly doubt my degree in theology? That’s fine, wrong, but fine.

      • Steven Hoyt says:


        let me guess … no christian community ever got it right … except yours. am i right?

        any book is interpreted, every book. and given that fact, saying or claiming that scripture is authoritative is merely taking authority from god (the only authority) and not even putting it in the book itself, but your interpretation of it … which you’re obviously going to call the true scotsman.

      • David says:

        No, what I am saying is that if you and I have different interpretations, AT LEAST one of us is wrong.

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        it’s not you and just me, and the fact of the matter is, there’s no proving any book has god as it’s author. and indeed, you are offering a true scotsman.

        there are only interpretations and rather than your post enlightenment turn of foisting scripture as a set of propositions, instead each is either meaningful and useful or it is not. i would say again that this is the “classic” view of exegesis, but you’d once again have all your work ahead of you researching, and i doubt you will or would.

      • David says:

        You still never answered my question about absolutes. Is Jesus the only way to the Father?

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        that’s right, because it’s quite non sequitur. how would you prove it? through deliberation, so no appeal to the word “absolute” means a thing. and, of course, your belief about the matter is based on your interpretation of how the bible is to be read, and, how you take john. you’re already off-set on the matter since you’re obviously ignorant of the stoic and platonic influence on that writer.

        i have no intention on taking your tangent with you. it has nothing to do with scriptural authority.

        it seems you project quite a bit with your accusations of me. 😉

      • David says:

        No, it’s just this, you don’t believe the Bible, I do. That is an irreconcilable difference.

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        that’s like saying i don’t believe reality because i don’t agree with your interpretations of it! do not tell me what i do and do not believe. that’s moving from “asshole” to “utter dick”.

        “it’s just this, you don’t believe what i do about the bible” … indeed. isn’t it just!

      • David says:

        You don’t believe the Bible as written. You have said that time and time again. You try to twist things into your own liking (that don’t even make logical sense) so you can skirt what the Bible actually says. You say it has no absolutes which is just an ignorant statement altogether.

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        “as written” doesn’t mean anything. what’s “as written” in a double entendre, or metaphor. what’s “as written” about “the bible is the word of god”! nothing! inspired? sure. and i’m not twisting a thing.

        and, i didn’t say scripture doesn’t have definitive things to say either.

        you keep avoiding though.

        by now, you’re just trolling anyway.

      • David says:

        You said the Bible doesn’t have absolutes.

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        if you’re going to avoid answering, then avoid commenting.

      • David says:

        I haven’t avoided answering anything. You are lying about what you said. You said the Bible does not have absolutes.

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        no. absolute is not definitive, mate. you can’t argue 2+2 equalling 4, aside from the base. certainly we can argue whether jesus was the son of god according to the bible.

        either answer my questions or quit commenting.

        plain and simple.

        if you can’t, i’ll quit allowing your comments at all.

      • David says:

        Let me try to wrap my head around this the, what question are you claiming I have not answered?

        And you did say the Bible has no absolutes. You can say all day that you didn’t but the record says otherwise unless you deleted it.

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        you have not answered any question i’ve asked about the authority of scripture and you refuse to read any resource i give you that countermands what you believe.

        the whole “absolutes” is the cat you’re trying to fuck. i won’t be holding it’s tail for you no matter how much you try to tangent on the non sequitur!

        yes! the bible has no absolutes. yes! the bible does make definitive statements. yes! try and wrap your head around at least SOMETHING!

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