Called to Communion with a Twist

It is almost twenty years old, but this article gives another reason why Jason and the Callers may have bitten off more than that for which they bargained. This piece (thanks to one evangelical convert to Rome who notices aspects of church life that JATC don’t) places contemporary Roman Catholic biblical scholarship in historical perspective and shows the triumph of Protestant approaches to Scripture for the folks with whom JATC now commune:

A half-century ago, during the darkest days of World War II, on the feast of St. Jerome (Sept. 30, 1943), Pope Pius XII issued his encyclical on “The Most Opportune Way to Promote Biblical Studies,” Divino Afflante Spiritu (literally, “Inspired by the Divine Spirit”), in commemoration of the encyclical Pope Leo XIII had issued on Nov. 18, 1893, Providentissimus Deus (“The God of All Providence”), which itself represented a cautious opening to historical criticism of the Bible. Pius’s encyclical, often called the Magna Carta of Catholic biblical scholarship, offered the first official rays of light after the long, dark winter of anti-modernism.

Modern biblical studies emerged in the late-17th and 18th centuries as the old order crumbled amid religious wars and divisions of the period. Enlightened reason was seen as a liberation from the biblical dogmas that fostered hatred and division. The rise of natural science in the 19th centu­ry further undermined the biblical view of the world, and the discovery of biblical manuscripts and records of other ancient civilizations chal­lenged traditional notions of biblical inspiration and revelation.

Protestant theology, especially in Germany in 19th century, is a his­tory of response to the challenge of Enlightenment rationalism and the new historiography. Names such as Friedrich D. Schleiermacher, David Friedrich Strauss, Ferdinand Christian Baur and Johannes Weiss, to name but a few, are still part of an unofficial “canon” for any course in the history of biblical scholarship. Yet the “battle for the Bible” caused deep divisions within Protestantism. Its contemporary legacy is the spread of fundamentalism that continues to divide major denominations like the Southern Baptist Convention.

Throughout the tumultuous years of the 19th century there were ten­tative attempts by Catholics (like the members of the Catholic Tubingen school) to incorporate emerging biblical scholarship and to dialogue with its proponents. Yet official Catholic theology and teaching remained suspicious and defensive.

That was then, then Vatican II happened:

The immediate history of post-Vatican II Catholic biblical scholarship, in concert with other theological disciplines, presents a dazzling kaleidoscope. One immediate effect was the commitment to biblical and theological studies by a great number of people. More and more talented lay people, especially women scholars, entered the field. . . . Protestants became leading members of the Catholic Biblical Association. The biblical renewal became the soul of bilateral ecumenical dialogues, as groups turned to the scriptural roots of disputed issues only to find that a historical-critical reading of the Scriptures challenged positions once thought to be set in concrete. Redaction criticism helped to uncover the theological creativity and literary achievement of the Evangelists and dis­closed a multicolored pluralism in the New Testament itself. Fresh translations from the original languages such as the Bible of Jerusalem and the New American Bible were produced, and Catholics participated in the production of commentaries no longer divided along confessional lines. Creative theological movements such as feminist and liberation theology wrestled criti­cally with the biblical texts as a source of their insights. Literally thousands of religious and lay people flocked to summer institutes and workshops sustained by joyful discovery of the manner in which the Bible touched their lives. The church was being transformed “from below” as individuals and groups defined their lives and faith in dialogue with the Bible.

The irony is that JATC went from communing with one sort of Protestant to communing with another sort.

Wow indeed.

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283 Comments

  1. sean
    Posted December 28, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    CVD, to whatever degree you load up ‘noetic effect’ such that it doesn’t acknowledge or comprehend prot confessional categories of religious knowledge such as; general revelation, special revelation or further, to contain the doctrine of perspicuity, then you have failed to render an prot understanding of the noetic effects of sin as regards knowledge of God. And we’ve cited numerous scriptural examples that undergird our confessional commitments. Beyond those considerations, the argument revolves around ‘authority’. We acknowledge a lawful, binding but subordinate authority in confessional standards and ecclesial offices that’s subjugated to infallible scripture/inscripturated apostolic tradition. For specifity of that relationship of knowledge of God, see our understanding of perspicuity, which assumes upon the possibility of knowledge and it’s comprehension, but still requires Holy Spirit illumination for salvific effect, i.e. saving knowledge or understanding. Considerations of philosophic certainty as solely being ‘fit’ to religious knowledge or fealty of Imago Dei creatures is an imposed category of reference for this discussion. BTW, Francis isn’t much of a fan of ‘certainty’ as it substitutes religious ideologies for sincere and genuine faith. He and I agree as far as it goes.

    As regards canon, I argue that canonical documents are a necessary and inevitable consequence of covenant initiation and administration, they are NOT a later added or historical circumstance of Jewish or Christian religious expression, but rather an innate manifestation and even condescension of God to Imago Dei creation. As such, their(canonical/covenant documents) authority is not derivative of any particular ecclesial body of infallible claim or otherwise, but derive their divine authority by matter of divine signature and inspiration as manifest through the prophets and apostles. This authority is SO inherent to the ‘word’ itself that even those of apostolic authority,i.e. Paul in Gal 1:8, must subjugate their authority to the content of the message/tradition/word delivered and CAN forfeit their authority by being FOUND to have expressed information/tradition CONTRARY to that which was first delivered. This anathema apparently extends to non imago dei creatures as well. This forfeiture CAN be found out, even by a local body(Galatian members), by an examining of, at the time, new content delivered that is not in accord with what was given prior(Gal. 1:8). And can not be guarded against forfeiture by mere claims to an apostolic succession of persons.

    Hopefully that’s helpful.

  2. Posted December 28, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Clete, same goes for your Holy Father. Just one more person doing God talk, unless you can SHOW ME why the pope has more authority than the Queen of England. (At least she still has soldiers.)

  3. Cletus van Damme
    Posted December 28, 2013 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Sean,

    “We acknowledge a lawful, binding but subordinate authority in confessional standards and ecclesial offices that’s subjugated to infallible scripture/inscripturated apostolic tradition.”

    I do not understand how that does not reduce SS to solo.

    “For specifity of that relationship of knowledge of God, see our understanding of perspicuity, which assumes upon the possibility of knowledge and it’s comprehension, but still requires Holy Spirit illumination for salvific effect, i.e. saving knowledge or understanding.”

    RCism agrees you cannot assent to divine revelation without grace/HS illumination. Hence my earlier replies showing a mean between fideism and stark rationalism. Holding to HS illumination does not necessitate perspicuity.

    “Considerations of philosophic certainty as solely being ‘fit’ to religious knowledge or fealty of Imago Dei creatures is an imposed category of reference for this discussion.”

    Bob earlier mentioned the Imago Dei justifying reasonable faith. I agree. Do you?

    “BTW, Francis isn’t much of a fan of ‘certainty’ as it substitutes religious ideologies for sincere and genuine faith.”

    Certainty is not intrinsically opposed to faith. I’m guessing you’re certain God and Christ exist – are you substituting ideology for faith then? If you are opposed to certainty, then maybe you’re fine with reducing all articles of faith to self-proclaimed provisional reformable opinion instead of divinely revealed doctrines (which would be certain/infallible by definition)? You can bite that bullet if you like, but I don’t know that you want to.

    “As such, their(canonical/covenant documents) authority is not derivative of any particular ecclesial body of infallible claim or otherwise, but derive their divine authority by matter of divine signature and inspiration as manifest through the prophets and apostles.”

    RCism agrees – the Church didn’t confer authority onto it by recognition thereof. But the *recognition* that these writings, and just these writings, are inspired and inerrant is the point.

    “This authority is SO inherent to the ‘word’ itself that even those of apostolic authority,i.e. Paul in Gal 1:8, must subjugate their authority to the content of the message/tradition/word delivered and CAN forfeit their authority by being FOUND to have expressed information/tradition CONTRARY to that which was first delivered.”

    Holding RCism teaching is contrary to that which was first delivered is part of what’s in dispute.

    “This forfeiture CAN be found out, even by a local body(Galatian members), by an examining of, at the time, new content delivered that is not in accord with what was given prior(Gal. 1:8).”

    How does this not reduce SS to solo again? And again, how are you justified in using Scripture to support SS if it wasn’t operative during inscripuration without violating GHM?

  4. Cletus van Damme
    Posted December 28, 2013 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Darryl,

    “Just one more person doing God talk, unless you can SHOW ME why the pope has more authority than the Queen of England.”

    Again you’re jumping the gun. Stage 1 – Evaluate candidates based just on their claims (this entire discussion), and to some degree on consistency with their own stated principles.
    Stage 2 – Evaluate remaining candidates based on their credibility (part of this would not be evaluating stage 2 candidates based on standards of filtered out stage 1 candidates – first that would be question begging, second it makes stage 1 superfluous).

    Btw if we ever got to Stage 2 I don’t know what you mean by “SHOW ME” – I can’t prove it to you like a mathematical theorem – there’s still this thing called faith. But degrees of probability/reasonableness can be shown (e.g. self-consistency, what explains the most with the least, and so on), but then the assent of faith would have to be made.

  5. Kenneth
    Posted December 28, 2013 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Sean,

    As such, their(canonical/covenant documents) authority is not derivative of any particular ecclesial body of infallible claim or otherwise, but derive their divine authority by matter of divine signature and inspiration as manifest through the prophets and apostles

    It seems to me that you are conflating ontology and epistemology here. (a very common error in these conversations) God breathed scriptures would be authoritative by matter of “divine signature” but that has nothing to do with how we would come to know that the documents are divine. If said documents were completely uncontroversial we would not have much of a problem. However, the historical record shows quite a bit of controversy with regard to what was and was not to be a part of this new covenant. CvDs point is that if all subordinate authority is fallible then it ultimately does not warrant the assent of my faith. Each and every Christian man should decide for their self what is and is not inspired.

  6. Daniel Davis
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Kenneth,

    Prots just assume the canon. Maybe in retrospect we think we have decent corroborative argh for it, but it’s not like we sit down and say, hmm, let’s see if I accept Hebrews today.

    In other words, it’s just what you guys do with the man in the triple tiara.

  7. Posted December 29, 2013 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Clete, well, your guy claims to be infallible. I don’t believe it. End of discussion.

    If you want mathematical certainty, you need to spend time with Bryan Cross.

  8. Posted December 29, 2013 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    kenloses, “Each and every Christian man should decide for their self what is and is not inspired.” I thought that was Protestantism’s error.

    BTW, if you really think that divine nature of Scripture can be separated from how we know they are divine, you have no pneumatology. Remember, Calvinists are monergists.

  9. Kenneth
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    DGHART,

    that is the Prot error. It follows necessarily from your teaching on authority

  10. Posted December 29, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Kenloses, the Protestant error stems from following Christ’s teaching about the work of the Holy Spirit (John 16)? Well, I think God has more authority than either you or the pope. If that is wrong, to borrow a phrase, I don’t want to be right.

  11. Cletus van Damme
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Darryl,

    “Clete, well, your guy claims to be infallible. I don’t believe it. End of discussion.”

    Okay. So presumably you also don’t believe any of the other claimants of divine authority to define infallible teaching, not just my guy (although technically it’s not just “my guy” – infallibility does not just apply to only papal statements).
    So then given this preceding discussion, are you cool with your system not being able to tell you whether a teaching/interpretation is a divinely revealed doctrine or not? Are you cool eviscerating any notion of warranted faith and reducing everything (even your assent to the canon of Scripture and that those writings are inerrant and inspired as opposed to just some record of what people thought about God) to just assent of opinion? If not, tell me how you avoid those 2 issues without some type of infallibility or “certainty”. Are you cool with fideism?

  12. sean
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Clete, your category of implicit faith is not one we share. Nor is it a failure or defect in our system that we don’t recognize it in the manner you do. We hold to a primacy of scripture, you, ultimately, of church. So both of us are going to ultimately accuse each other of fideism or circular reasoning. You are going to try and center your objectivity and personal discretion of religious claims at the point of the MOC. Confessional prots are going to center it on sacred text, while recognizing real but subjugated churchly authority, including ecclesial offices. Trying to adjudicate our belief system according to thomistic or even aristotelian categories of metaphysics is to, wait for it, beg the question.

    Ultimately, sacred text favors the prot position, whether considered from a point of christian dogma or from a point of ‘appropriate’ fealty and judgement of religious claims; Rom 2, Gal 1, 2 Tim 3, et al. The catholic argument needs to establish the subsequent valuation of capital ‘T’ tradition and an apostolic succession of persons who render ‘infallible’ interpretation. So, since both traditions value sacred text as a common ground, the burden is on you to provide rationale for non-canonical tradition and infallible magisterium. And we, in keeping with our tradition, will value it according to both our confessional tradition(subjugated) and sacred text(primary). That, for you, judgement of sacred text apart from an infallible magisterium, devolves into solo scriptura is a paradigm bias and NOT a consideration born of sacred text.

  13. Bob S
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Clete, long story short, do everybody a favor and take a look at WCF Chapt. 1 on Holy Scripture.

    Yeah prots don’t claim to be able to infallibly suck a dogma like the ImmacDecept or transubstantiation out of their thumb, but then maybe by your own lights you don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God and rose from the dead like the Bible says. Fine. You’re welcome to your fallible opinion of infallibility and whether the true church is infallible, all sophisticated and sophistical philosophical constructs aside. But the lecturing is getting a little old, while the failure to respond substantively to the biblical argument is telling.

    As regards the noetic effects of sin, well that’s what Thomism denies in asserting that man’s reason did not suffer from the fall. Consequently reason is seen as a equal partner with revelation, just as Tradition and the Magisterium also are partners with Scripture. Because it seems reasonable/Rome said so. And if protestantism says with Christ, that the wind blows where it will, so too the H. Spirit, Rome restricts supernatural grace to the sacraments ex opere operato, i.e walking by sight. IOW the natural man never had it so good. Christianity is all about externals and the pomp and circumstance of a universal bishop lording it over the church like the rulers of the world. But didn’t Jesus say something about that? Nah, Rome says . . . ..

    Further we/re still waiting for your exposition of the principles of protestantism. And has been noted before, most recently by sean, for Rome to appeal to Scripture — protestantism’s principium cognoscendi or justification of knowledge — to get a toehold toward asserting her own authority is a contradiction in terms. She’d be better off just discarding the Bible and going with the Trad/Mag.
    Wait a minute, that’s what she already does . . . .

    Further you are under a real confusion as to the inspiration of Scripture. To appeal to apostolic apples as being on par with the bishops’s bananas is the missing middle term fallacy.
    There’s inspiration and there’s illumination. None of even the early bishops were chosen by Christ and eyewitnesses of his ministry as the apostles were. That distinction is continually glossed over in your narrative, but its not like we haven’t seen it from Bryan either.
    Anyway.

    cheers,

  14. Posted December 29, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Clete, I’m cool without the certainty that you opine to have. Francis isn’t sounding so certain. “Who am I to judge?” It really would help if you had some backup from the real sheriff in town. Otherwise, it’s just Don Quixote.

  15. Bob S
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    None of even the early bishops were chosen by Christ and eyewitnesses of his ministry as the apostles were or the objects of his promise in Jn .16:13  

    Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

    Further that SS or formal/material sufficiency wasn’t operative during the time of the apostles is irrelevant. Worship in spirit and truth minus the temple ceremonial rituals wasn’t operative either. And still isn’t in the Roman communion, but at least the Jews had a command for their religious paraphernalia and practices which were fulfilled in Christ, not added alongside of or in contradiction to (hint co-redemptrix). When God’s revelation is first revealed in the person of Christ and in the preaching of the apostles, the written record is not required as it is with the generations that come after that don’t have the benefit of Christ in the flesh or live apostolic preaching. After all last time I checked, this is the year of our Lord 2013.

  16. Cletus van Damme
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Sean,

    “Clete, your category of implicit faith is not one we share. Nor is it a failure or defect in our system that we don’t recognize it in the manner you do.”

    Let’s boil it down. Are you warranted in giving the assent of faith to self-proclaimed fallible opinions, or are you warranted in giving the assent of faith to claims of infallible divine revelation?

    “So both of us are going to ultimately accuse each other of fideism or circular reasoning.”

    Is the claim that we are warranted in giving the assent of faith to something that claims to be divinely revealed as opposed to opinion fideistic or circular?

    “So, since both traditions value sacred text as a common ground, the burden is on you to provide rationale for non-canonical tradition and infallible magisterium.”

    As I said before, I justify my belief that the text is indeed sacred based on my assent of faith. You still have not tried to justify your belief for holding the text is indeed sacred as something more than simply plausible opinion. That’s why we hold different canons. So no we are not even on common ground in terms of principles.

    “And we, in keeping with our tradition, will value it according to both our confessional tradition(subjugated) and sacred text(primary). That, for you, judgement of sacred text apart from an infallible magisterium, devolves into solo scriptura is a paradigm bias and NOT a consideration born of sacred text.”

    Your confessional tradition is authoritative insofar as it conforms to Scripture correct? And that evaluation of conformity is done differently in sola as opposed to solo paradigm how? I’m not injecting bias – I’m evaluating the position on your own terms.

  17. Cletus van Damme
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    Bob,

    “Further we/re still waiting for your exposition of the principles of protestantism.”

    1. Only Scripture is infallible
    2. Scripture is perspicuous in matters related to man’s salvation, faith and life
    3. No person/institution/council/confession is or can claim to be divinely authorized to define divinely revealed doctrines. Any proposed interpretation of Scripture or divine doctrine is fallible and reformable in principle as it cannot be proposed as divinely revealed per 1.
    4. The recognized/identified extent of the canon is fallible and reformable in principle per 3.
    5. That the writings, and only those writings, of the recognized canon are actually inspired and inerrant is fallible and reformable in principle per 3.
    6. There can be no claims/interpretations offered to be divinely revealed doctrine per 3
    7. Any proposed articles of faith are reformable opinions per 3.
    8. 1 and 2 are reformable opinions.

    No biases being injected – I’m evaluating according to your own claims and principles.

    “Further that SS or formal/material sufficiency wasn’t operative during the time of the apostles is irrelevant.”

    It’s relevant if you’re holding to formal sufficiency and GHM as only valid way to exegete Scripture and discern authorial intent.

  18. Cletus van Damme
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    Darryl,

    You like Vat2 – maybe that will back me up:

    Dei Verbum:
    “Consequently it is not from Sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed.”
    “This teaching office is not above the word of God, but serves it, teaching only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it draws from this one deposit of faith everything which it presents for belief as divinely revealed.”

    Lumen Gentium:
    “This is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church, whose definitions must be adhered to with the submission of faith.”
    “And this infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed His Church to be endowed in defining doctrine of faith and morals, extends as far as the deposit of Revelation extends, which must be religiously guarded and faithfully expounded”
    “To these definitions the assent of the Church can never be wanting, on account of the activity of that same Holy Spirit, by which the whole flock of Christ is preserved and progresses in unity of faith”

    Looks like lots of certainty/defining/assent of faith/divine revelation stuff going on.
    Where has Protestantism said:
    “Consequently it is from Sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed.”

    Semper reformanda. No certainty allowed, even once you buy into it. Not a very enticing deal to buy someone’s faith with.

  19. Posted December 30, 2013 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Clete, what’s the deal with all of this warrant jazz? Are you studying Descartes?

    Where exactly does the Bible say someone needs to find warrant for their faith? Does Paul tell that to the jailer in Phillipi? I mean, it’s an intellectually stimulating debate. But it is remote from how am I right with God.

  20. Posted December 30, 2013 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Clete, that’s a nice list but it makes no sense of the charism that you and Susan find so certain. Boniface VIII was certain about his claims in Unam Sanctam. Later popes like Francis are also convinced of their claims as infallible interpreters and yet they aren’t convinced that Boniface was right in his understanding of papal authority. In other words, the holes in your “system” are far greater than the modest claims of Protestantism.

    But you and Susan don’t seem to be content with modesty. You want the absolute. Have a nice day as a sinful human.

  21. Posted December 30, 2013 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Clete, “who am I to judge”? Francis is doing a bang up job with that Syllabus of Errors.

  22. Robert
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    C’mon Dr. Hart, didn’t you know that the Syllabus of Errors is, rather conveniently, not ex cathedra dogma.

    Neither is everything else that embarasses modern RCs. Of course, that didn’t stop previous Magisteria from hunting down and killing those who went against what wasn’t ex cathedra dogma. But if you’re looking for consistency, Rome ain’t the place to find it.

  23. sean
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Clete, if you’ve stumbled upon a more certain or reliable, historic testimony than apostolic witness, particularly as it regards the birth, life and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I’d like to know specifically what that is. Just from a point of textual criticism, never mind supernatural intercession, apostolic testimony is the most ‘sure’ or certain historical witness I’m aware of. Even beyond the unparalleled document replication, you have the most sure eyewitness veracity(the truthfulness of the witnesses confirmed by their own martyrdom rather than recant) that I’m aware of. Again, trying to make evaluation based on your assumed idea of ‘fitness’ of the evidence or claim to the required fealty is your own bias and not derived from scripture. Scripture calls me to believe on those whom He sent and adhere to the testimony of their authority, even to the point of bettering Thomas, in that I believe what I have not seen.

  24. Posted December 30, 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Robert, it is the place for consistency as long as the layman with the logic charism, Bryan Cross, is our guide.

  25. Cletus van Damme
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Darryl,

    Did Paul claim divine authorization or just offer his teaching as plausible opinion?

  26. Posted December 30, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Clete, oh, so now you’re going to compare the pope’s infallibility to holy writ and then I’m going to raise the flag of Mormonism and continuing revelation and you’re going to deny that that is what you mean. We’ve been here and done that.

    Once you answer Sean’s point about the difference been apostolic authority and (would be) apostolic imitators, then we can talk.

    Scripture is unique — a thing unto itself. I understand a history of canon formation exists. But if you want to go there, then please acknowledge the greater antiquity and supremacy of the Eastern Church to Rome, not to mention the superiority of councils to solo bishops in that narrative.

    You’re reasoning on sinking sand. I’m “cool” with that.

  27. Cletus van Damme
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Sean,

    It sounds like you are now positing revelation as objects of knowledge rather than objects of faith. Does every book in your canon claim inspiration and inerrancy for itself? Do all books in your canon have the same degree of evidentiary backing you use to justify your assent? Textual criticism has caused passages to be disputed (and the field continues to develop) – how do you account for such given how you justify assent?

  28. Robert
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Cletus,

    Yeah, that same text criticism that modern Rome accepts even though Rome in the past would count passages such as Mark 16 and the Comma Johanneum as part of Holy Writ being that they’re in the Vulgate. C’mon man, which is it according to your unchanging dogma?

  29. Cletus van Damme
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Darryl,

    No, RCism claims the same degree of divine authorization as the Apostles did but not the same kind. Divine authorization does not necessitate inspiration. If I am reasoning on sinking sand feel free to demonstrate. You still seem cool with an incoherent system for justifying your faith. Sinking indeed.

  30. sean
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    CVD, textual criticism in the hands of the higher-critics, which is largely where Rome’s BT and exegetical work grounds itself, certainly since 1965 is indeed a crap shoot or better; colored marble hermenuetic-see Jesus Seminar. I was using the term in it’s most basic sense of evaluating works of history/antiquity and document analysis.

    CVD, you appear to be imbibing in Kantian concepts of noumena, which someone like Adler would’ve popularized or made use of in his investigations. Our epistemology doesn’t imbibe or countenance that understanding, while still affirming the need for supernatural illumination-no stark rationalism.

    Canon is intrinsic to covenant, so unless you want to argue covenant administration with canon as not being innate, this is a disagreement as to the nature of canon discovery as either solely historical accident or necessary consequence and manifestation of the covenant dealings of God. We affirm the latter while acknowledging a reception/recognition by a subjugated churchly authority subsequently. The divine word ‘births’ the church in the manner of divine fiat.

  31. Bob S
    Posted December 31, 2013 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Coherence Vee Damned.

    1. Only Scripture is infallible- Yup/distinguish 2+2=4 is inerrant as is the Trinity. Men can make true statements, but they are not infallible, i.e. incapable of error by nature, in principle and on the ground in fact.
    2. Scripture is perspicuous in matters related to man’s salvation, faith and life – yup
    3. No person/institution/council/confession is or can claim to be divinely authorized to define divinely revealed doctrines. Any proposed interpretation of Scripture or divine doctrine is fallible and reformable in principle as it cannot be proposed as divinely revealed per 1.
    Nope/distinguish. Scripture recognizes councils, churches, pastors as being authorized to minister and define the faith. Anything revealed in Scripture is infallible. Rome is neither revealed in Scripture or infallible. QED.
    4. The recognized/identified extent of the canon is fallible and reformable in principle per 3. Nope, the canon was recognized/acknowledged long before Rome showed up as the bully boy in the Western church. Leo was hardly a ECF.
    5. That the writings, and only those writings, of the recognized canon are actually inspired and inerrant is fallible and reformable in principle per 3. Nope, WCF 1:4,5 Scripture is infallible/unreformable.
    6. There can be no claims/interpretations offered to be divinely revealed doctrine per 3 Nope, WCF1 Scripture reveals itself to be infallible, perspicuous, sufficient, capable of translation and providentially preserved in the church.
    7. Any proposed articles of faith are reformable opinions per 3. Nope, belief in God or Scripture is not optional.
    8. 1 and 2 are reformable opinions. Nope, see answer to 7.

    “Further that SS or formal/material sufficiency wasn’t operative during the time of the apostles is irrelevant.”

    It’s relevant if you’re holding to formal sufficiency and GHM as only valid way to exegete Scripture and discern authorial intent.

    Prove/don’t be stupid/make asinine comments. The NT was unnecessary when Christ and the apostles were around to personally answer questions, even as Christ constantly pointed to Scripture, as for instance when he was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. Do I really need to make the immediate inference when it comes to the papal antichrist and his apologists?

    No, RCism claims the same degree of divine authorization as the Apostles did but not the same kind. Divine authorization does not necessitate inspiration. If I am reasoning on sinking sand feel free to demonstrate. You still seem cool with an incoherent system for justifying your faith. Sinking indeed.

    Same degree but not the same kind? Incoherent? Sinking indeed?
    Yup. Res ipsa loquitur.

  32. Cletus van Damme
    Posted January 3, 2014 at 3:03 am | Permalink

    Bob,

    3 remains intact – any council church pastor is authoritative only insofar as they conform to scripture – ie they are fallible. Rome has nothing to do with it – there are other bodies making similar claims.
    4 when was the protestant canon recognized long before Rome showed up? How is your recognized canon not reformable in principle? If its not, was the body that recognized it infallible?
    5/6 Is WCF 1 infallible? If not the point stands. In fact Darryl said in liberalism thread no interpretation is infallible just as I said.
    7 is your definition of Scripture and God infallible then? I dont recall you claiming infallibility.

    The point about SS and inscripuration is pretty simple. If it was not operative when those writings were made, how could the authors intend or mean for them to prove SS which would have to be the case for SS proofs to be deduced from those psgs by ghm exegesis.

    Is it your view that divine authorization necessitates inspiration?

  33. Posted January 3, 2014 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Clete, prove that the magisterium is infallible.

    And please inform us which dogma are infallible. I here there are only 2.

    Some Catholics wrongly believe that only “ex cathedra” Papal Statements are infallible. This would limit infallible dogma to two, the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. Obviously, only 2 infallible dogmas in 2,000 years sounds very sparse. Some theologians incorrectly proliferate a notion that only the Extraordinary Magisterium is infallible. Even Raymond Brown has abandoned this notion. Ergo, propositions like “the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of the B.V.M. is not infallible,” are ridiculous. If in doubt, the best resource is Denziger’s Enchiridion Symbolorum. Next, is Ludwig Ott’s monumental work, The Fundamentals of Dogma. There, one can find the theological distinctions made between divinely revealed truths (De Fide) and those which are only theologically certain.

    Then again, the faithful are confused.

    Because there has been a valid Ex cathedra Papal decree that is clearly now false and which is no longer accepted by the Church we can regrettably no longer assume any Ex cathedra is infallible. The Ex cathedra statement by Pope Eugene the 4th in Cantate Domino 1441 is one such example. It proclaims and teaches for all Christians to believe that: if not subject to the Pope, even if you give your life to be burnt for Christ, you will go to hell: Pagans, Jews and heretics are listed. This proclamation is both valid as by Ex Cathedra definition and clearly false and clearly rejected effectively by current Church teaching especially Vatican Two. As catholics we are required to believe in the Vatical 1 infallible decree on Papal Ex cathedra Infallibility under pain of anathema as in excluded from the sacraments. Our Church also requires us to always follow our consciences once we have done our best to inform them. This means that one can be anathema for sincerely following ones conscience by believing that this Vat. 1 decree must logically be false. For thinking Catholics who love their Church this can be a very painful reality to come to terms with. Clearly the Church must come up with a response about some Ex cathedra statements such as the above or else humbly step down from its current claim regarding Ex Cathedra authority.

    You’d think with all that bling of certainty and charism, the papacy would not need EWTN to instruct the faithful, that maybe a pope himself would do what Denzinger has done. It is really funny that to find infallible dogma you need to go to a guy who was only a priest (Denzinger), an assistant to a bishop. Why doesn’t the Vatican step up?

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