Circular vs. spiral reasoning

I just got done reading the ‘Proving Inspiration’ tract on the website. Can someone please further explain to me the phrases ‘circular reasoning’ vs. ‘spiral reasoning?’

[quote=junostarlighter]I just got done reading the ‘Proving Inspiration’ tract on the website. Can someone please further explain to me the phrases ‘circular reasoning’ vs. ‘spiral reasoning?’
[/quote]

Let’s take a look at the relevant portion:

We are not basing the inspiration of the Bible on the Church’s infallibility and the Church’s infallibility on the word of an inspired Bible. That indeed would be a circular argument! What we have is really a spiral argument. On the first level we argue to the reliability of the Bible insofar as it is history. From that we conclude that an infallible Church was founded. And then we take the word of that infallible Church that the Bible is inspired. This is not a circular argument because the final conclusion (the Bible is inspired) is not simply a restatement of its initial finding (the Bible is historically reliable), and its initial finding (the Bible is historically reliable) is in no way based on the final conclusion (the Bible is inspired). What we have demonstrated is that without the existence of the Church, we could never know whether the Bible is inspired.

Source

Put another way, the circularity is avoided by relying upon the Bible as a source document for Church infallability, through history alone. From that, (Since the Bible tells us that the Church, not Scripture, is “the pillar and foundation of Truth” (cf 1 Tim 3:15)) we can conclude that the Church can declare what is “truth” and what isn’t, vis a vis “doctrinal truth”. In this case, the Church has declared long ago that the Scriptures are “inspired” (the Word of God) and this is how we know they are so inspired. Not from the circular argument, “The Bible tells us it is inspired.”

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