[b-greek] Re: The Logic of Acts 2:38

From: Clwinbery@aol.com
Date: Mon May 28 2001 - 10:10:17 EDT

In a message dated 5/27/01 10:06:34 PM, glennblank@earthlink.net writes:

>Harry, I think Paul's same logic applies to the "real questions": a
>does not imply its negation in *any of its parts* -- that is [if (A and
>then (C and D)] does not imply [if not(A and B) then not(C and D)] -- but
>since [not(A and B)] is satisfied by [not A or not B], which in turn is
>satisfied by
>[A but not B], [not A but B], or [not A and not B], it follows that it
>also true that [if (A and B) then (C and D)] does *not* imply [if (A but
>B) then not(C or D)].
>In other words, both repentance and baptism are sufficient cause for the
>remission of sins, but that does not mean they are not *both* necessary
>But the difficulty in this analysis is that Acts 2:38 is not written in
>logical syllogism, but rather in ordinary language, which one would expect
>to operate according to principles of communication theory. Specifically,
>in the field of linguistic pragmatics, one of Grice's Maxim's is is the
>Maxim of Economy: that is, in order to intepret a message, a listener
>presumes that his interlocutor will give him all of the information
>necessary and *only* the information necessary. So the question becomes,
>baptism is not a *necessary* condition for the remission of sins, why did
>Peter bother to mention it, especially since the question prompting that
>answer seems a rather urgent plea: "Men, brethren, what shall we do?"
Paul Dixon also wrote:


In the reading of the first part of your post (which I snipped) I was
thrilled to see that someone was tracking with the logical analysis of
the passage. You clearly understand the logic. But, then I was greatly
dismayed to see you and others on this list so flippantly throw logic out
the window because, as you say, in Acts 2:38 we are dealing with
"ordinary language" where apparently logic does not apply.

I find this an incredible statement. There is no evidence that Scripture
ever violates the rules of logic. Yet, to affirm the negation here
(saying if a man does not both repent and be baptized then he can't be
saved and/or will not receive the Holy Spirit) is just such a violation.
I find it amazing that so many assume it as a working hypothesis, then
try to explain it away or make it a dogma.

Besides, how does such an interpretation jive with the vast majority of
verses which teach that belief alone is sufficient for salvation (Acts
16:31, Jn 3:16, etc.)? Scripture does affirm the negation for belief
many times (Jn 8:24, Mk 16:16b, 1 Jn 5:10, etc. ), but it never affirms
the negation for baptism (that is, if a man is not baptized (by water),
then he cannot be saved, nor that he cannot receive the Holy Spirit).

Scripture never affirms the negation of Acts 2:38 and to infer it is to
commit a logical fallacy. Why do we have to go this route?

Paul Dixon<<<<<<<<<<

This is the point where discussions of this verse have generally washed
completely over into theology. Now the stage is set to gore someone's ox. I
think that the "logical" and "illogical" arguments have about run their
course and so I ask that we back away from that and return to talking about
Greek structures not what makes sense in English, biblish, etc.

Any more posts citing theology, concepts of Scripture, etc. will result in
the string being closed.


Carlton Winbery

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