Friday, September 26, 2008

Logic and the Bible, Thomas B. Warren

Logic and the Bible, Thomas B. Warren

This book seeks to establish the premise the logic and the Bible are not mutually exclusive. In fact, one must have a good command of correct reasoning; i.e., logic, in order to be able to properly interpret the Bible. Tragically, some bemoan this even though they repeatedly use logic, improperly, to ridicule the use of logic. Thomas Be. Warren points out that logic, or correct reasoning, is critical to hermeneutics or the correct method of interpreting the Scriptures.

Warren draws upon his education with a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University and vast experience to draw a direct correlation between the tools of logic and the Bible. He defines and explains how the laws of logic; e.g., law of rationality, laws of thought, and laws of inference and/or implication must be properly understood in order to properly apply the teachings of the Bible. He convincingly demonstrates that these laws of logic were used throughout the Bible and by Jesus himself.

For example, Jesus used the laws of rationality, implication and inference in a direct confrontation by Jewish religious leaders at the temple in Matthew 21:23-27. Warren points out that Jesus used correct reasoning (or logic) to turn the religious leaders’ offensive into a hasty retreat. Jesus was not the only one to use logic, and in fact, the Bible demands that we use proper reasoning in order that we may know the certainty of the truth, c.f., 1 Thessalonians 5:21 and 1 John 4:1.

Warren deals quite extensively with the principles of implication and inference in the book. One must remember that properly reasoned arguments from the Scriptures are binding. Additionally, one must remember that the authority does not reside in the inferring but in the implication of the matter.

Thomas Warren quotes philosopher David Hume who stated that no one ever turns against reason until reason turns against him. It is important that we recognize that logic or correct reasoning is an ally of the Truth. It is an effective tool that we should utilize in saving the souls of men. Thomas Warren has used the tools of logic to meet the challenges of at least three major opponents: Anthony Flew, Joe Barnhart and Warren Matson. One should read these works and see how Warren uses the tools of Logic, coupled with the word of God, to defeat the atheist and humanist of the day.

One tool of logic that has been of use to myself is the law of contradiction; which basically upholds that two opposing views cannot both be true. One view must be true and the other false…both cannot be true at the same time or they are not really contradictory. An effective use of this tool is baptism—for salvation already obtained or to obtain salvation. Baptism cannot be because of salvation already obtained and for the purpose obtaining salvation at the same time. Both views cannot be true…one must be false. When one reads with an open heart passages such as Mark 16:15-16, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21 and others, there is only one view that is in harmony with the Scriptures—baptism is for the purpose of washing one’s sins away in order to obtain salvation. To argue that baptism is for salvation already obtained is to either disregard the plain teaching of Scripture, the abandonment of reason, or both.

The proper use of logic is a skill that every Christian should seek to add to their arsenal in the Christian warfare. Dr. Warren’s book will assist in sharpening our minds to properly reason the Scriptures for ourselves and for others.

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