Abductive Columns

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Fallacy of Logic

The Fallacy of Logic

In the churches of Christ the stringent command, approved example, or necessary inference hermeneutics has determined the categorical approach to the authority question. This approach in establishing biblical authority seems noble but…

1. Who decides what is necessarily inferred and what is not?

2. What determines what is necessarily inferred?

3. Should we listen to men who assign themselves unbelievable power and presumption in legislating from necessary inference?

It’s important to understand that there are two kinds of logical inferences. There are necessary and sufficient inferences. A necessary inference is a conclusion drawn from a premise. If the premise is true, then the conclusion is also true. The method used by a logician to analyze this kind of reasoning is known as syllogism.

This type of reasoning guarantees the conclusion to be true—if it is demonstrated that the major and minor premises are true. So, it is possible to have a misleading necessary inference.

All people are rational beings (major premise)
All Americans are rational people. (minor premise)
Therefore all Americans are rational people. (conclusion)

All dogs have four legs (major premise)
Fido is a dog (minor premise)
Therefore, Fido has four legs (conclusion)

The major premise is not true; therefore, the inference is not true.

The Church of Christ says communion is eaten every first day of the week. Biblical command? Or inferrence based on human logic?


Acts 20:7 says they “came together to eat bread.” It doesn’t say they “ate the bread.” They ate the bread in verse 11. Is it possible that these disciples took communion after midnight?

Most likely these disciples were following Roman time, where the day began and ended at midnight. If not, why would Luke, a Gentile, describe an event in a Gentile town using Jewish time?

Another problem:
Does the phrase “breaking bread” refer to communion? Maybe. But maybe it doesn’t. The phrase “breaking bread was a Hebrew idiom meaning, “eating a meal.” Granting that context may have the final say…yet this phrase “breaking bread” is not an idiom meaning “to eat the Lord’s Supper.”

Necessary inference? Or sufficient inference?

Sufficient inference (conclusion based upon reasoning known as inductive reasoning--humanism) is more likely.

A man sits on the street corner of a large city observing the color of automobiles as they pass by. He sees a one hundred black cars and no others. His reasoning does not guarantee his conclusion is correct.

This is the last post on doctrines of the Church of Christ. On to more pressing issues.


At 9:38 PM, Blogger JP said...

Appreciate your review of this. Food for thought....

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Keith Brenton said...

Hey, Fred; you don't have to abandon constructive criticism of doctrine or apologize for it! I just finished a tirade on baptism - more specifically, minimal requirement-ism - on my blog.

I think our Restoration logic is too often parallel to the kind of skip-a-few-steps logic I've privately named after my first wife, who perfected it:

* All apples are red.
* This object is red.
* Therefore I will eat it.

At 2:15 PM, Blogger Big Mike Lewis said...

I am with you on this one all the way. Our CENI hermeneutic limits God's power and mystery and places our brains on a higher level than God's.

At 6:31 PM, Blogger Larry said...

Wish I had said that; your post makes a lot of sense.

Love those syllogisms, but they can turn into monsters that bite back.

Commented about an hour ago and it didn't post. If my logic holds up, it will post twice now.

At 9:53 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Logic is a systematic, disciplined, and rigorous method for achieving an incorrect answer - but with confidence!


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