March 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Least of These

BROKEN LEGS, WINGS FOR FLIGHT

Often times I have wondered why God gave me the blessing of ducks….Strange, yes, but only with the beauty of lingering time have I come to discover why. My most special of ducks, Chippychoo, has proven to be a rarity in that God has shown me so much through her little life. I did not choose her; God sent her to me-as a lesson to be learned. There is nothing innately special nor eternal about one little waterfowl, but there is something special and eternal about a God who uses His own creation to grow us in His ways….

Chippychoo is a simple, White Pekin duck, granted to me by the hand of God in March of 2008. She is the most unique of creatures to me, as she is undoubtedly an instrument of God’s grace and compassion to me. Again, there is nothing wonderful…

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WordPress app for my Motorola Droid.

February 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

I found a WordPress app for my Droid and it is awesome! I am posting this from it now. I also allows me to edit my pages as well.

My Motorola Droid is so cool!

January 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

I posting this from my Droids phone. This is very cool indeed! I have been without a computer for a long while now. But, with this phone it looks like I’m back in buisness….

I am still Alive :)

February 7, 2009 § 2 Comments

I have been without a computer for several months, but hope to remedy this soon. God bless.

Blessings,
Terry

I have finished the move.

August 18, 2008 § Leave a comment

Well, I finally finished moving all my posts from reformedblogs.com to here. I hope to begin updating again on a regular basis. I hope that you who visit will be blessed by the material I put here.

Blessings,
Terry W. West

The Insistent Use of Bad Arguments Part 4

August 21, 2007 § 4 Comments

This is part 4 of a series I started sometime ago under this same heading. Parts 1, 2, and 3 deal with a particular form of argument used by credo-baptist against paedo-baptist. It’s what I would call a “negative inference” fallacy or a categorical fallacy. This fallacy happens when the subject of premise 1 and the subject of premise 2 are in a different category and the conclusion drawn is a “negative” inference from what is “positively” affirmed to be true of the subjects of premises 1 and 2. The following simple syllogism is an illustration of this kind of fallacy:

Premise 1- Squirrels have tails.
Premise 2 – Dogs are not squirrels.
Conclusion 3 – Therefore dogs don’t have tails.

For those interested you can read the previous post by clicking on the following links: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

I recently was part of a discussion that followed after the critique of a portion of the new “FV” statement by Pastor Lane Keister on his blog, Green Baggins. First I want to say that my interest here is not to defend the “FV” statement itself or the “FV” theology. My intention is to simply critique one of Pastor Keister’s arguments itself. I contend that Pastor Keister is using the same fallcious form of argument that I critiqued in parts 1, 2, and 3. The following argument, offered by Pastor Keister, is based on the Westminster Larger Catechism #65. This is the arguement as stated by Pastor Lane:

“What SPECIAL (as in exclusive) benefits do the members of the invisible church enjoy by Christ? A. The members of the **invisible** church by Christ enjoy union and communion with him in grace and glory.

This expressly says that only the elect enjoy union with Christ. The non-elect do not enjoy union with Christ. By saying that the non-elect enjoy union with Christ, the FV fudges the boundary between the elect and the non-elect, such that they have this thing in common.”

First let me say that I agree that the “special” communion/union with Christ that the “invisible” church enjoys is particular to them. That’s not the point of dispute. What I want to dispute is the inference that therefore the other class of church member, i.e. merely visible, has no “sense” of communion/union with Christ. This does not follow from the bare positive affirmation of the “special” communion/union the invisible members enjoy.

Let me illustrate this fallacy with the same example I used in “The Insistent Use of Bad Arguments” parts 1-3. Using the squirrel and the dog. In this example the squirrel is the “elect/invisible” church member, the dog is the “non-elect/merely visible” church member and the tail is “communion/union” . This is what the argument would look like:

Premise 1. Squirrels (i.e the Elect) have long very furry (i.e. special) tails (i.e. communion/union).
Premise 2. Dogs (i.e. the non-elect) are not squirrels (i.e. the elect)
Conclusion. Dogs(i.e. the non-elect) do not have tails(i.e. communion/union).

Now I think we would all agree that the fact that a dog is not a squirrel does not excludes the dog from having a tail. A squirrel has a squirrels tail and a dog has a dogs tail, but both have tails. I can’t exclude the dog from possessing every possible kind of tail simply because I’ve established that squirrels have a certain kind of tail. The same is true for the visible and invisible church member. The fact that the invisible church member enjoys a “special/invisible” kind or sense of communion/union does not exclude the visible church member from possessing a “visible” kind or sense of communion/union. Lets compare the squirrel and dog example again. The most that can be inferred from the fact that a squirrel has a tail and a dog is not a squirrel is that a dog does not have a squirrels tail. I can infer nothing about the dog and it’s having or not having a tail based on my my positive affirmation of a squirrel possessing a tail. So, the fact that WLC #65 teaches me positively that the invisible church members enjoy a “special” communion/union, I cannot infer from this that the merely visible church member is therefore excluded from all possible senses of communion/union, because, just as a dog can have a “dog” kind of tail, though it differs from a “squirrel” kind of tail, so a visible church member can have a differing “kind” or “sense” of communion/union with Christ, but a real sense of communion/union nonetheless.

Lets look at Pastor Lane’s argument again:

“What SPECIAL (as in exclusive) benefits do the members of the invisible church enjoy by Christ? A. The members of the **invisible** church by Christ enjoy union and communion with him in grace and glory.

This expressly says that only the elect enjoy union with Christ. The non-elect do not enjoy union with Christ. By saying that the non-elect enjoy union with Christ, the FV fudges the boundary between the elect and the non-elect, such that they have this thing in common.”

Again, at the risk of being redundant, the conclusion drawn here does not follow and is fallacious. The only possible inference from the explicit statement in WLC #65, is that the non-elect do not enjoy THE “special” union that the elect enjoy with Christ. WLC #65, in no way excludes the non-elect from all possible senses of communion/union altogether.

To end this post I want to offer a defense of the argument I used as an illustration earlier in this post (with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek of course). First the argument again:

Premise 1. Squirrels (i.e the Elect) have long very furry (i.e. special) tails (i.e. communion/union).
Premise 2. Dogs (i.e. the non-elect) are not squirrels (i.e. the elect)
Conclusion. Dogs(i.e. the non-elect) do not have tails(i.e. communion/union) in any sense.

And now my defense:

Now, I am going to attempt to defend this argument. You see, the tail that the squirrel has is “THE” tail by which we define what it is to be a tail. So, a dog, even though he has something that is similar to what a tail should be, yet really has no tail at all in any sense, because even though the appendage that is attach to the dogs rump, (this is also true of a Squirrels tail) is similar in almost every way to the squirrels it cannot be a tail because it is by the squirrel that a tail is defined strictly speaking.

Now after such a defense of my argument I will find it incredible if anyone reading this post is not persuaded by this unassailable argument.

Blessings in Christ,
Terry W. West

Curios Fly

May 17, 2007 § Leave a comment

Curios fly,
Vinegar jug:
Slippery edge,
Pickled bug.

By Clifford E. Sutton

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