Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Criticism of Zanchius on Romans 8:32 in 500 words or less

I know that technical logic can be oppressive. So I'm going to make a brief summary of the objections I posted in my previous blog posts on Zanchius's misuse of logic and his error on Romans 8:32 in particular.

Zanchius made this comment about Romans 8:32:

In the same chapter Paul asks, "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all [i.e., for all us elect persons], how shall He not, with Him, also freely give us all things?" i.e., salvation and all things necessary to it. Now, it is certain that these are not given to every individual, and yet, if Paul says true, they are given to all those for whom Christ was delivered to death; consequently He was not delivered to death for every individual.

In this paragraph, Zanchius makes the following two-step argument:

Argument 1:
Major premise: All elect are regenerated
Minor premise: All elect are died-for (here "died-for" means those atoned-for, those for whom Christ was delivered to death, the redeemed, however you wish to express that concept);
Conclusion: All died-for are regenerated.

Argument 2:
Major premise: All died-for are regenerated (this is the conclusion of argument 1)
Minor premise: Some men are not regenerated;
Conclusion: Therefore some men are not died-for.

(See "Zanchius: Logic gone awry - Part II" to see how I arrived at these statements of Zanchius's argument and a more complete analysis of the logic involved.)

Argument 2 is valid and powerful. But the whole two-step argument (which includes both Argument 1 and Argument 2) is unsound because of a fallacy in Argument 1. The fallacy is called illicit process. Look at argument 1 again. He has said nothing about all "died-for" in the premises, but then, in the conclusion, says something about all "died-for." This violates the laws of categorical syllogisms.

If you do the following exercise, it will help you see Zanchius's error. (Use a pencil and paper.) In Argument 1 above, substitute "bananas" for "elect," "yellow things" for "regenerated," and "sweet things" for "died-for." Funny, isn't it?

Here's another illustration:

Major premise: All snow is cold;
Minor premise: all snow is white
Conclusion: therefore all white things are cold

You can make all manner of similar silly arguments using Zanchius's flawed logic.

I draw two conclusions from this. First, Zanchius's argument on Romans 8:32 does not work to prove that Christ did not die for some men. I do not believe there is another verse in the Bible that can even remotely be used to prove that Christ did not die for some men.

Second, Zanchius has proven himself to be untrustworthy in his use of logic. From now on, whenever I read Zanchius, he will have to prove himself to me. Zanchius's logic is on probation.

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