Why Don't Jason and the Callers Ever Quote the First Pope?

(Or, could Francis ever say or write what Peter did?)

Not like I’m meditating on Peter’s epistles but the local dominie is preaching through 2 Peter and we have come to this major rough patch (even before the new heavens and new earth go up like smoke in the cosmic toaster). Peter was apparently very worried about false teachers and he spends what seems to be half the epistle on warnings about such teaching and the punishments that follow:

1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;3 7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.

Given this heightened sense of false teachers, their threat, and warnings to be on the lookout, what has happened to those who consider Peter to be the first pope when it comes to the dangers of erroneous teaching and warning about it. The Council of Trent made clear that at least some Protestant teachers were dangerous. But somehow that old sense of antithesis vanished — I suspect with the introduction of separated brethren at Vatican II.

This is not meant to be a nostalgic plaint for the good old days of Protestants and Roman Catholics anathematizing or scared of each other. But it is a reminder of how considerably times have changed (even if some refuse to acknowledge it).

390 thoughts on “Why Don't Jason and the Callers Ever Quote the First Pope?

  1. Speaking of separated brethren, I have always loved this quote:

    We entreat you, brothers, as earnestly as we are able, to have charity, not only for one another, but also for those who are outside the Church. Of these some are still pagans, who have not yet made an act of faith in Christ. Others are separated, insofar as they are joined with us in professing faith in Christ, our head, but are yet divided from the unity of his body. My friends, we must grieve over these as over our brothers; and they will only cease to be so when they no longer say our Father.

    It comes from that one post-Vatican 2 theologian… what was his name? Oh yeah. St. Augustine.

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  2. JJS, right, the guy who thought you could torture heretics:

    St. Augustine, on the contrary, was still opposed to the use of force, and tried to lead back the erring by means of instruction; at most he admitted the imposition of a moderate fine for refractory persons. Finally, however, he changed his views, whether moved thereto by the incredible excesses of the Circumcellions or by the good results achieved by the use of force, or favoring force through the persuasions of other bishops. Apropos of his apparent inconsistency it is well to note carefully whom he is addressing. He appears to speak in one way to government officials, who wanted the existing laws carried out to their fullest extent, and in another to the Donatists, who denied to the State any right of punishing dissenters. In his correspondence with state officials he dwells on Christian charity and toleration, and represents the heretics as straying lambs, to be sought out and perhaps, if recalcitrant chastised with rods and frightened with threats of severer but not to be driven back to the fold by means of rack and sword . On the other hand, in his writings against the Donatists he upholds the rights of the State: sometimes, he says, a salutary severity would be to the interest of the erring ones themselves and likewise protective of true believers and the community at large (Vacandard, 1. c., pp. 17-26).

    Once again history collides with your cherry picking.

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  3. So some are in the church and some are outside the church. This is news? It isn’t even peculiarly Catholic. Then there’s the rather large leap in identifying the ecclesiastical structure of Augustine’s time with what we see today.

    Are the Callers required to deny using assumptions while claiming that Protestants never get beyond them?

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  4. My point was simple, Darryl: The concept of “separated brethren” was not invented at Vatican 2, but existed at least as early as St. Augustine.

    Do I expect you to concede the point? Of course not. But for a guy who’s constantly banging the history drum, you’d think you’d at least consider changing your tune on this point, no?

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  5. Well, let’s not quibble over translating Augustine into 15th century RC it’s pretty much a straight shot after the Gregorian shortcut and certainly a broad highway of clarity right into 1965. Just ask Kung.

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  6. Jason,

    As someone who (presumably) once held to the regulative principle of worship, how do you deal with things in your church like people wearing Halloween costumes to a worship service.

    How much have you had to sacrifice in your quest for certainty?

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  7. JJS, my point is simple. Augustine was not a pope. Lots of popes before Vatican 2 sounded more like Peter than Francis. Will you ever concede that? You’ve heard of mortal sin? You’ve heard of not submitting to the pope? Now Muslims, Jews, Protestants, and atheists get in if they try?

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  8. At one point there’s a lady dressed like a nun in the communion line. Is she really a nun or is it a costume?

    Then there’s the lady with the pink hair and devil horns — at Mass?!

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  9. And I’m not just trying to provoke Jason on the Halloweeen Mass. At what point is it abusive to demand that people be joined to a church (on peril of their eternal souls), while at the same time allowing things to go on within that church that are offensive the conscience of even the simplest Christian believer? Why should men entrust their souls to other men over Scripture (especially when those in authority say that they derive their authority from Scripture, i.e. Matthew 16.18).

    It seems like you either cast your lot with Scripture or Rome.

    Jason formerly chose the former, now he has chosen the latter. Why is the 2nd choice superior to the 1st?

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  10. As P&R churchmen we also call people to be joined to a true church. At the same time we realize that it is our duty to keep watch over what goes on in that church to ensure that no one’s conscience is abused. This includes listening to and evaluating the sermons of our ministers. Who is evaluating the Roman Catholic priesthood? Who is protecting the consciences of Roman Catholic church members?

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  11. “It seems like you either cast your lot with Scripture or Rome.”

    Of course. Certainly since Trent, and that was Rome’s decision to make the break; The Counter-Reformation.

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  12. Erik, don’t forget the third option.

    Put Rome up as your shield and when the evidence comes in just start thinking:

    “meow meow meow meow
    meow meow meow meow
    meow meow meow meow
    meow meow meow meow”

    until you forget about the evidence

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  13. Philip Cary (an Anglican, but also an “Augustinian”, as was BB Warfield) —-“For Augustine a sacrament is valid ex opere operato but not efficacious ex opere operato. That is, even an unworthy minister can confer valid baptism, but that baptism does not have salvific effect if it is received unworthily, in deceit or unbelief or with no intention of living a Christian life. This distinction between validity and efficacy is crucial to Augustine’s whole approach to the Donatist controversy (as I argue at length in Outward Signs, chapter 7) and is correlated with his sacramental semiotics: the unworthy minister confers the valid external sign, but the inward grace it signifies is received only by the faithful recipient–not ex opere operato.

    Cary: “There is a kind of exception to this rule in the case of infant baptism, but there Augustine makes clear that the efficacy of the sacrament resides not in the external sign but in the “groans of the one dove” i.e. the inner unity of the church, bound together in love and praying for grace.

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  14. The amazing thing about Rome (that perhaps Sean can shed light on) is that those who are outside often look at the church and see a jumbled mess while those within it see an unquestionably divine institution. When you look at sources that are unabashedly friendly to the church you often see reports of miracles, mysticism, etc. It’s like these folks are under a spell and are trying oh so hard to believe. Is their faith in Christ or the church?

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  15. C’mon now, guys, if Jason, Bryan, et al were actually honest about the historical record, there is no way they would have become Roman Catholics.

    But that quest for what God has not provided makes you do all sorts of historical gymnastics. Seems to me that all those popes who were, y’know, wanting to kill heretics—as in non-RCs—evidently did not have an infallible understanding of what Vatican 2 said about separated brethren. Of course, I don’t know how the fact that Vat. 2 apparently got it right does much good for those who lived before it—kinda like how all those poor people who lived during the Avignon papacy could not have known who the right pope was until a council held after their deaths determined it. But why ask for one’s ecclesiology to have any meaning for those currently bound by it, right?

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  16. Erik,

    The faith is clearly in the church. Jason has spoken of converting to the church of Rome. Others who have been Romanists longer are better about not using such language. It’s a bit harder, after all, to get people to convert to a church than it is to get them to convert to Christ.

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  17. My approach as a Reformed Protestant is 180 degrees different. I almost try not to believe, yet the things I encounter in life, in culture, and in my interactions with others point to the truth of the gospel, the wisdom of the Law of God, and the need to worship and to attach oneself to the church. And all of this is informed by relatively simple creeds & confessions (129 questions in the Heidelberg vs. nearly 3,000 in the Catholic Catechism).

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  18. Erik, there is no blanket answer I’m afraid. I grew up with the clergy and lived with them. The aura of the collar wore off pretty early. For many others in Rome it never does. The clergy/laity stratification holds most their entire lives. Of course, this is intended. Sacerdotalism works because the priests manifest a unique charism, through ordination and the laying on of hands, that the pew-sitter is dependent upon for his religious practice and salvation. Rome is a priestly-mediated faith. That dynamic only really works if your willing to maintain a romantic notion of the church. Vat II, has changed much of the theology and inclusive nature of the church but in the end, we all still go to mass and engage the sacraments and our faith is contingent upon the unique charism of the priestly class. Now, if the priestly class is merely a gregorian invention, then you can start cooking with some protestant grease. And if you actually start reading the scriptures………………..well, Katy bar the door. It’s pretty amazing what just reading the scriptures does to one’s belief system.

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  19. Erik, I think protestants have to be careful about how they assess Rome. If you’re a protestant, and you’re idea of Rome is from Chick publications, you might very well get blindsided. Rome has a pretty significant brain trust and though we/I poke holes in it and crack jokes at the CtCers expense, Rome has an apologetic that needs to be answered. Fortunately, there are good answers to their exclusive claims. The early church history isn’t necessarily on anyone’s side but it certainly doesn’t exhibit Tridentine RC and you can even use their own historians to make the point. Then when you engage and exegete the scriptures you should be able to finish off their claims because they don’t ultimately stake their claims to scripture. But, you have to know the scriptures and you have to know your own churchly heritage, and where Rome deviates or you can be susceptible. Case in point; Jason. Jason’s a smart guy, but Jason also acknowledged he didn’t pay much attention to early church history and it’s at least part of what made him vulnerable to Rome’s claims.

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  20. Sean, how does the RC brain trust account for Edgardo Mortara? Not that papal abductions or the Roman Inquisition are smoking guns. But the discontinuity in Rome’s authority and execution of its authority is akin to the difference between Philadelphia under George Washington and Washington D.C. under George Bush. And it is the historical ignorance/disregard that I find annoying from guys who think their church is so old (or in the logic of Walter — “older than yours is”).

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  21. Darryl, I hear ya. I think the group I learned from would tell you significant reform is required and almost to a person they’re pretty disappointed that the vatican has resisted many of the reforms of Vat II and furthermore their resistance is proof positive of the inertia and even corruption that exists in the hierarchy. They’d probably just as eagerly point to Mortara as an example of why Vat II was necessary and why the hierarchy is not the church. They wouldn’t think much of the perspective of the CtC crowd

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  22. I’m still waiting for you to produce an actual argument, Hart. Until then, I have no idea what you are talking about. You talk about a lot of different things, like Unam Sanctum, but without any further explanation and specifics, one struggles to know what your argument is.

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  23. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 2, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Permalink
    Sean, how does the RC brain trust account for Edgardo Mortara?

    The same as Calvinists account for Michael Servetus, I reckon. Ooops.

    BTW, Catholics, when they think about it at all, are very good about the irony that Peter is the biggest jerk in the New Testament. Who else would Christ choose?

    All the papal & ecclesiastical follies that follow thereafter are explainable thus–esp in the light of free will and of human weakness.

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  24. Daniel Davis
    Posted July 2, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Permalink
    Calvinists don’t think Calvin was the vicar of Christ.

    True dat. As Eddie Izzard notes, the Catholics named themselves after the teachings of St. Cathol.

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  25. VD: BTW, Catholics, when they think about it at all, are very good about the irony that Peter is the biggest jerk in the New Testament. Who else would Christ choose?

    Judas Iscariot trumps Peter 24/7as the bigger jerk in the NT.

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  26. VD? Tom, TVD, Mr. Van Dyke, por favor. You don’t need to do me like that, brother.

    And while we’re at it, to Brian Ortiz at comment #26 above: “Hart” is cold, man. Darryl, DGH, Dr. Hart, he answers to all those with equanimity. No need for the dissing.
    ________________
    Kent, I reckon I agree about Judas Iscariot, but ever since Jesus Christ Superstar, I see his point more than Peter’s.

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  27. “The wheat and tares grow together.”

    ALL churches have unbelievers in them. Yes…even in the Catholic Church. Yes, even in my Lutheran church and others.

    Those who believe that there is one, true, visable Church, had better try and understand what Jesus was talking about and get down off their high horses, lest they take a terrible tumble.

    Some people (some Lutherans included) are more in love with their church than they are with Jesus.

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  28. The same as Calvinists account for Michael Servetus, I reckon. Ooops.

    BTW, Catholics, when they think about it at all, are very good about the irony that Peter is the biggest jerk in the New Testament. Who else would Christ choose?

    All the papal & ecclesiastical follies that follow thereafter are explainable thus–esp in the light of free will and of human weakness.

    Note the obvious non sequitur, our papist wants to compare a day and an age where everybody burned heretics with a day and an age when only the pope engages in religious kidnapping.

    And kent nailed Judas.

    So what’s left? Our resident gainsayer objects to being treated in kind, as a kind of spiritual you know what.

    But what else is new?
    Not much.
    Other than JJ (What’s Happening, my man) thinks Augustine is the first pope.
    And Bryan has to change the subject over at Habemus Papemus.
    IOW if you are a true believer it’s all good.
    If you are interested in whether or not what you believe in is the truth, not so much.
    But again ….. .

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  29. Brian, follow the punctuation. I asked a question. Does Francis sound like Peter? Are Protestants false teachers still? Why? Why not?

    Here’s my theory of an answer. Vatican II was to Roman Catholicism what the Auburn Affirmation was to the PCUSA. That is, Roman Catholicism embraced liberalism — as in the church needs to adapt to the culture. At that point, warning against false teachers makes no sense. False teachers become separated brethren.

    This I-don’t-know-what-you’re-talking-about jazz is flat out denial.

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  30. Ding, ding, ding. Vatican II = Auburn Affirmation is a helpful and (I believe) accurate formulation. So what does that make ECT?

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  31. Chortles, ECT was a freebie the evanjellyfish gave the RC’s because they don’t know any different. It’s all culture war, all the time.

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  32. It strikes me that the CtC’ers have something akin to moral certainty. They “know” that these charges of historical inconsistencies that make Rome’s claims so outrageous to outsiders (and not a few insiders!) must be wrong because it contradicts the paradigm. But that’s what paradigms are for (they need to (re-?)read their Kuhn). But as we know with science, data is always underdetermined, and the truth of a theory can never be established – it is always possible to save appearances by tweaking the theory. Eventually a more streamlined theory arises that works better (or people like more), the next generation of scientists adopt it and begin teaching it to their students, and it becomes the gold standard. But it can’t be said to be true, and it isn’t falsifiable.

    So how does one adjudicate the usefulness of a paradigm? First I think it is a horrible way to think about one’s religious stance. But insofar as the CtC’ers insist on adopting an approach used to account for the change of scientific programs, the question is whether the “paradigm” they’ve adopted provides what they think it does. Petulant demands for philosophical rigor are their own sort of fallacy. We lack the “moral certainty” that these claims are true, so the tweaks to the theory (developments) look a lot like post hoc maneuvering and special pleading. Rome’s claims for itself aren’t compelling because of their current behavior, history, and lack of congruence with scripture.

    Highlighting the corruption in the Vatican (why should I support an organization that doesn’t deal honestly with finances), cover up of sex abusers by the Vatican (sex abusers can show up anywhere, but the RCC seems to care more about their image than the safety of my children – vicars of Christ indeed), historic abuse of power (have they really come around or have they just lost the ability to throw their weight around? Their behavior in the sex abuse scandal suggest the latter – see Dolan’s latest lies), incongruence with scripture (holy days of obligation? fast days? I thought we shouldn’t let anyone put those kinds of constraints on us! What happened to the priesthood of all believers? Why are there so many living saints sending their greetings through Paul?), etc… In other words they lack credibility, so I don’t feel any need to interpret their claims for themselves charitably or otherwise give them the benefit of the doubt.

    I don’t doubt that clever people can and do construct responses for each of these and build a structure that holds these responses together. It’s just that all this post hoc maneuvering isn’t look very compelling.

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  33. Sean, I get that, mainly. But aren’t conservative RC’s in a pickle (as opposed to the SSPXers) because they start from the premise that the church does not and cannot err. What is there to reform, then?

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  34. Darryl, which conservative RC’s? The CtC guys are a group all unto themselves. This principled idea that the church does not and cannot err as regards faith and morals is so qualified as to be meaningless. Ratzinger gets up before the CDF and declares continuity and reform without rupture, some 40 years after Vat II, does his parade wave and thanks everyone for coming. It’s all principled I suppose and absolutely vacuous. Really Benedict? How about employing some of that charism to give us a definitive interpretation of, let’s say Gal. 3? Crickets. If there ever was an application of ‘Pie in the sky in the sweet bye and bye’ there he sits in the abbey with his red dossier. As you say, ‘if it makes you sleep better at night….’

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  35. Tom – The same as Calvinists account for Michael Servetus, I reckon. Ooops.

    Erik – Servetus is not a problem for Old Lifers because he was a symptom of Christendom, not 2K (the Catholics were after him, too, he was just caught in Geneva). Those who need to answer for Servetus are the people who would tie church and state together, whether they be Neocalvinists, Theonomists, Unam Sanctam Catholics, Fundamentalists, or whomever.

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  36. Servetus is a slight embarrassment, but easily typical for his day and age.

    And another reason to gladly embrace the changing of Confessions to update a more civilized process of life.

    It’s another red flag to 2K when someone acts like mentioning Servetus is the biggest thrill of that person’s day…

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  37. “Calvinists don’t think Calvin was the vicar of Christ.
    True dat. As Eddie Izzard notes, the Catholics named themselves after the teachings of St. Cathol.”

    Calvinists can simply say Calvin was wrong. Yes, a man of his times to be sure, but we don’t need to come up with some kind of elaborate theory of development to justify that position. But’s its really odd when RC’s hammer this one incident in contrast with their many incidents of like kind. If circumstance permitted they would have killed Luther.

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  38. But’s its really odd when RC’s hammer this one incident in contrast with their many incidents of like kind.

    Well, this started when certain Calvinist hammered an obscure Catholic incident from 100 years ago, I suppose to make his own religion look better. The mention of Servetus in this space was just for perspective–human beings, even popes, have the freedom to do the wrong thing. Further, there’s a whole history of “ecclesiastical courts” and their purview, but that’s an adult conversation.

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  39. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 6:09 am | Permalink
    Tom, only 1 ‘o’ in oops.

    Burning up Servetus warrants the extra “o.”

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  40. C’mon Tom, as an insider I can readily think of 6 obvious problems with P&R that you haven’t even begun to delve into.

    We don’t really give a crap about Servetus….

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  41. kent
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink
    C’mon Tom, as an insider I can readily think of 6 obvious problems with P&R that you haven’t even begun to delve into. We don’t really give a crap about Servetus….

    Neither do I. I’m not a polemicist. Churches are still made of men. If a church were perfect, full of perfect people, we’d all know it’s the true one.

    But that would take all the fun out of it. 😉

    [What it interesting about the Servetus and Edgardo Mortara cases is that each church followed the rules of the time. There is a 2K argument to be made against ecclesiastical courts and their purview here, and you do. It’s quite a valid argument, I get it, I get it—my reservations are more practical: Absent the influence of religion, I anticipate anarchy, or tyranny. We take for granted that the modern Western-style secular polity is stable, but I don’t think history indicates that atall atall–especially 20th century history.]

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  42. Tom – each church followed the rules of the time

    Erik – Kidnapping was the rule of the time? D.G. knows the circumstances better than me, but were Protestants also kidnapping kids who wanted to convert (from Judaism, I assume) in the 1800s?

    I agree that capital punishment for blasphemy was the rule of the time (for all sects) in the 1500s.

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  43. Erik – Kidnapping was the rule of the time? D.G. knows the circumstances better than me, but were Protestants also kidnapping kids who wanted to convert (from Judaism, I assume) in the 1800s?

    Not exactly. That’s the problem with these grenade tosses–the particulars get lost in the spittle. “Kidnapping” in this case is more a sensationalistic term of art than of law.

    Look, I’m agreeing with the 2K position here. But the tactic of taking anomalous incidents and throwing every baby out with the bathwater is a rather brutal to wisdom. Servetus therefore blahblahblah. Salem witch trials therefore blahblahblah.

    No, Servetus, therefore we shouldn’t execute people for heresy. Salem witch trials, therefore we shouldn’t have witch trials, especially since they don’t work.

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  44. Tom: on a podcast that is run by the OPC, there was a congratulations on ordination and a comment come out that during the process a question was asked of the candidate along the lines of:

    Are you in the OPC because:

    1) It is the only perfect system of interpreting the Scriptures and proper worship and discipline; or

    2) It is a system that fits well to me, but there are other systems that would fit also?

    Of course the OPC person gleefully recounted his solemn answer of option 1.

    And I shuddered…

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  45. kent
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Permalink
    Tom: on a podcast that is run by the OPC, there was a congratulations on ordination and a comment come out that during the process a question was asked of the candidate along the lines of:

    Are you in the OPC because:

    1) It is the only perfect system of interpreting the Scriptures and proper worship and discipline; or

    2) It is a system that fits well to me, but there are other systems that would fit also?

    Of course the OPC person gleefully recounted his solemn answer of option 1.

    And I shuddered…

    Which made you shudder, that there might be more than one theologically valid church, or #1’s use of the word “perfect?”

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  46. kent
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink
    The glee and pride he took in stating the perfect option…

    Yikes…

    Heh. I hear that.

    —Pope John XXIII once remarked: “I am only infallible if I speak infallibly but I shall never do that, so I am not infallible”.

    —The limitation on the pope’s infallibility “on other matters” is frequently illustrated by Cardinal James Gibbons’s recounting how the pope mistakenly called him Jibbons.

    &c: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_infallibility

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  47. Tom, the Roman Inquisition in 1860 is the “rule of the time”? Tell that to the French and Austrians who would not stand in the way of Italian unification. You don’t see anyone in Europe condemning Geneva for what it did.

    Oh, I forgot. This is an adult conversation.

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  48. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink
    Tom, the Roman Inquisition in 1860 is the “rule of the time”? Tell that to the French and Austrians who would not stand in the way of Italian unification. You don’t see anyone in Europe condemning Geneva for what it did.

    Oh, I forgot. This is an adult conversation.

    Your point is unclear. If you have one.

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  49. TVD, it’s unclear to you. It’s crystal clear for any number of us. Erik, made the same point to you earlier.

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  50. sean
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink
    TVD, it’s unclear to you. It’s crystal clear for any number of us. Erik, made the same point to you earlier.

    Clear as mud. If we separated you and checked your stories, no two would be the same.
    You really don’t have a point here, just the usual aimless anti-catholic rant. The Edgardo Mortara affair came under civil law.

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  51. TVD: You really don’t have a point here, just the usual aimless anti-catholic rant.

    Me: Sez you. And you float out in atmosphere neither here nor there. Never landing, always above the fray, in your religious Disneyland.

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  52. sean
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink
    TVD: You really don’t have a point here, just the usual aimless anti-catholic rant.

    Me: Sez you. And you float out in atmosphere neither here nor there. Never landing, always above the fray, in your religious Disneyland.

    Oh, I’m quite in the fray. Look at all the abuse I take from you, brother. Rock on, do what you think you must.

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  53. Kent, the details could be important in your quote. #1 makes no sense if the referent is a denomination and makes more sense if it is about the WCF as being the most complete system of doctrine. No one would say what you have quoted unless it was followed by guffaws.

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  54. TVD, again with the victim routine. Someone told you being passive-aggressive and delivering backhands was virtuous. They lied to you. And this isn’t the fray, the fray is where people take vows, submit and commit. This is just the wild wild west of the web.

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  55. mm: that’s what I heard, there was no guffawing, that’s what they think and act like.

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  56. sean
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink
    TVD, again with the victim routine.

    Sean, again with being a butthole. Back off, bro. Darryl can take care of himself.

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  57. TVD, I don’t know. Darryl’s a boomer and boomers will be needing Gen Xers help for the foreseeable future. Plus, I gotta make sure he doesn’t quit. There’s lots of repair work to be done after the boomers wrecked everything.

    Butthole? MM he got us confused again.

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  58. Hart is a unique OPC rep that seems to want to get along with others in a public setting, which allows him to get on to shows of varying denominations and obtain the respect of those of us close to but not quite at the lofty example the OPC sets…

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  59. The cheap shots taken at others on that show are not good.

    The internal shots taken at each other on the show led to an explanation that this wasn’t meant to be serious… yeah right….

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  60. Sean, they hired Butler’s head coach. Huh? I guess I’ll just trust Danny on this one.

    Kent, I’m calling you on it. You can’t just slop mud like that without proof.

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  61. I think Tom is making a fair and important point here. In discussing theology, when is it valid to conclude that a specific event is symptomatic of larger theological problems within a particular faith and when is it valid to conclude that the event is merely an outlier. He cites Servetus and the Salem Witch Trials as examples of outliers (with Calvinism and Puritanism being the particular faiths in question). So the question remains, is Mortara a symptom of Catholicism being theologically defective or an outlier?

    A related question of the last decade plus (at least) is whether or not Jihad and terrorism is a symptom of Islam or an outlier.

    These are critical questions.

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  62. is Mortara a symptom of Catholicism being theologically defective or an outlier?

    Thx, Erik. My opinion is that it was the last gasp of the “ecclesiastical courts” system: marriage, divorce, annulment, adoption, child custody, inheritances, adultery [heresy, drunkenness], many things we think of as purely civil matters were intermixed in a church-state sphere of influence.

    Indeed, marriage could be a church matter whereas heresy was a civil offense! Unfortunately in the 21st century, we judge the past by our own ability to appreciate that they drew the lines between the spheres in different places than we do today.

    Your question about Islam is germane, and the 21st century version of it [since Christian theolcracy anywhere is highly unlikely]—however, I do think the imposition of shari’a*, not jihad, is the relevant analogue.

    *Either strictly, as in Iran and Saudi, or more as the guiding religio-cultural sensibility, like what we might call “biblical principles” or “Judeo-Christian morality.”

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100214861/poll-of-global-muslims-finds-love-of-sharia-mixed-views-on-suicide-bombings-and-fear-of-islamism/

    Like

  63. The second best quote of the year was after vilifying Horton, he agreed to come on to the show and when he asked what Tipton’s problem was with his views got the answer:

    “Once the forensic, elocutionary act of justification is spoken then there is a host of perlocutionary effects. These perlocutionary effects are the sum total of the new creation… Justification is a performative utterance… it is the elocutionary alpha point for the entire redemptive reality applied to believers… I saw ontological source, communicative source… not as infalisative language… as expressing the architectonic structure of his ordo salutus as it depends on justification as an elocutionary speech act that brings all these perlocutionary effects…”

    It’s no mud, they are in love with themselves and dismissive of anyone who disagrees… bully for them…

    Like

  64. Erik,
    as a historian, I’d say Mortara was a symptom of Rome past. But for a church that claims tradition is in its genes, how do you simply say that was yesterday? I mean, they don’t let Protestants play with the past that way. So I don’t think anyone at Vatican II advocated a Roman Inquisition (maybe some). But the question is why not? Pius IX sure thought he was acting in a universal (as opposed to accidental) manner.

    Like

  65. MM, wow. And the draft is over. Sometimes you see assistants brought up from college to give insight into players coming out. Well, why not at this point.

    Like

  66. Erik, you’ll have to translate I suppose. It’s not a straight up tit for tat. We claim councils, may and do err, and we don’t scurry about defending historical events. The conservatives in Rome read tradition and history like you and I read scripture, and argue coherence and continuity ALL the way through.

    Like

  67. So you’re asking me if the Pope sounds like Peter? Um, no? Maybe I’m dumb, but I just don’t see the argument in that or how it’s supposed to be a problem for the Catholics. I am telling you, I really don’t know what you are getting at with this post, with Pius IX, or, erm, with any of the “stuff” you’ve brought up on this site or at CtC.

    Like

  68. Another unsourced & vague quote Kent. Look, the men of the OPC are fallible so it could happen but you oughtn’t trash a denom without giving the source. And if you have an ax to grind, sit back on this couch and we’ll talk about it.

    Like

  69. Brian, let me make it simple. You believe in tradition, right? Peter established a tradition of warning about false teachers. Where did it go?

    Like

  70. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink
    Brian, let me make it simple. You believe in tradition, right? Peter established a tradition of warning about false teachers. Where did it go?

    Gotcha, Mr. Ortiz–more proof that your pitiful church is false.

    NOBODY expects the Calvinist Inquisition!

    Like

  71. Brian,

    The argument is Rome can’t substantiate their claim of continuity and coherence without either glossing over the historical record when it gets ‘uncomfortable’ or so explaining away and qualifying coherence and continuity not to mention infallibility, that it renders the terms devoid of meaning. They effectively engage in noumenalism, which means they qualify the claims as faith claims, or supernaturally aided conclusions that resist empirical evidence after MOC has been embrace by faith. . I.e. the historical evidence/events, or more particularly reconciling Pius IX with Vat II. Now, most modern RC’s acknowledge the futility of such an endeavor and seriously question and even deride the desire to do so. But, you got this group of conservative RC’s, even CtC, who establish their apologetic on this vey premise of continuity and coherence. Consider O.L. Or Darryl’s posts, as bringing such claims before the bar for evaluation. It may not be overly philosophically sophisticated, but it’s much more expedeient and even Aristotelian when considered from the angle of self-evident truths.

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  72. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Permalink
    Tom, it’s “no one.

    Oops.

    ***Late Add***: I thought I was wrong, but I was wrong about being wrong*. Your own linked video clearly says “NOBODY.”
    ______

    *This is also Darryl’s proof against Roman Catholicism.

    Like

  73. Wel since Rome argues at lest part of its religious veracity on its historical record, it’s an entirely appropriate inquiry and point of evaluation of its claims. The inquisition is a problem for Rome

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  74. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Permalink
    Tom, You Tube says “no one.” I guess the folks at Google are Calvinists.

    Garbage in, garbage out.

    Like

  75. Just reading a little history…

    Sporus was a young boy whom the Roman Emperor Nero favored, had castrated, and married

    If Nero was a Democrat then CNN would call this a loving and brave move.

    Like

  76. Sean & D.G, (and Tom),

    What we need is some Catholics to talk about these “bumps” in the “development of doctrine” road with. The problem is none of them seem willing or able to do it. Bryan (Cross) just throws up logic-related smoke screens — i.e. tries to tell us our objections are all wet as if a valid objection to Catholicism is not even possible. It’s maddening. At some point an honest Catholic who is willing to work through these difficult historical questions will come along, but it will likely not be someone from Called to Communion. Admitting uncertainty is very difficult for them, I believe, because the quest for certainty is what led them to Rome in the first place. It’s like we raise an objection and they respond my sticking their fingers in their ears and saying “la, la, la, la, la…….”.

    Like

  77. Erik Charter
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 11:53 pm | Permalink
    Sean & D.G, (and Tom),

    What we need is some Catholics to talk about these “bumps” in the “development of doctrine” road with. The problem is none of them seem willing or able to do it. Bryan (Cross) just throws up logic-related smoke screens — i.e. tries to tell us our objections are all wet as if a valid objection to Catholicism is not even possible. It’s maddening. At some point an honest Catholic who is willing to work through these difficult historical questions will come along, but it will likely not be someone from Called to Communion. Admitting uncertainty is very difficult for them, I believe, because the quest for certainty is what led them to Rome in the first place. It’s like we raise an objection and they respond my sticking their fingers in their ears and saying “la, la, la, la, la…….”.

    I have no idea what would satisfy you, Erik, and of course, Darryl would lose his reason for living.

    I did run across this on Wiki the other day:

    “Pope John Paul II made many apologies. During his long reign as Pope, he apologized to Jews, Galileo, women, people convicted by the Inquisition, Muslims killed by the Crusaders and almost everyone who had allegedly suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church over the years. Even before he became the Pope, he was a prominent editor and supporter of initiatives like the Letter of Reconciliation of the Polish Bishops to the German Bishops from 1965. As Pope, he officially made public apologies for over 100 of these supposed wrongdoings, including:

    –The conquest of Mesoamerica by Spain in the name of the Church

    –The legal process on the Italian scientist and philosopher Galileo Galilei, himself a devout Catholic, around 1633 (31 October 1992)

    –Catholics’ involvement with the African slave trade (9 August 1993)

    –The Church’s role in burnings at the stake and the religious wars that followed the Protestant Reformation (May 1995, in the Czech Republic).

    –The injustices committed against women, the violation of women’s rights and for the historical denigration of women (10 July 1995, in a letter to “every woman”).

    –The inactivity and silence of many Catholics during the Holocaust (16 March 1998)

    –For the execution of Jan Hus in 1415 (18 December 1999 in Prague).

    When John Paul II visited Prague in 1990s, he requested experts in this matter “to define with greater clarity the position held by Jan Hus among the Church’s reformers, and acknowledged that “independently of the theological convictions he defended, Hus cannot be denied integrity in his personal life and commitment to the nation’s moral education.” It was another step in building a bridge between Catholics and Protestants.

    –For the sins of Catholics throughout the ages for violating “the rights of ethnic groups and peoples, and [for showing] contempt for their cultures and religious traditions”. (12 March 2000, during a public Mass of Pardons).

    –For the actions of the Crusader attack on Constantinople in 1204. (4 May 2001, to the Patriarch of Constantinople).

    –On 20 November 2001, from a laptop in the Vatican, Pope John Paul II sent his first e-mail apologising for the Catholic sex abuse cases, the Church-backed “Stolen Generations” of Aboriginal children in Australia, and to China for the behaviour of Catholic missionaries in colonial times.”

    ____

    Your call. La la la.

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  78. Kent, on one level, I hate Darryl Hart! On a more fundamental level, I love Darryl Hart! Yet, he’s the ninny hammer of all ninny hammers! He is an obtuse jack ass, if there ever was one. Even though I am one also. To his credit, he lets me verbally pound and berate and denigrate him as hard as I can, on his own blog! For that; how can I be anything other than grateful?

    And yet, somehow I STILL love him as my brother in Christ, preeminently, even though I want to physically knock him into tomorrow! I feel, torn and conflicted, and believe this MUST be a Godly tension foreordained by God. Darryl have a happy forth my brother in Christ!

    Am I making a bit of sense?

    Happy independence day, one and all!!!

    Like

  79. ‘Wel since Rome argues at lest part of its religious veracity on its historical record, it’s an entirely appropriate inquiry and point of evaluation of its claims. The inquisition is a problem for Rome,

    Me: I have no recollection of writing this. But aside from the spelling errors, I agree with it. I’m good even when I’m asleep.

    Like

  80. Tom, you’re not following the bouncing ball, oh passive-aggressive one. I know the church and certain popes have changed or apologized or admitted problems. But the issue goes much deeper than a few mea culpas. The very claims of the papacy and magisterium require that the Holy Spirit protect the church from error. So if the church made mistakes before, how do you/we know what’s happening now is not a mistake? How do we know that JPII was not mistaken in apologizing? Once Rome admits error, a huge part of its polemic against Protestants (who say churches err) vanishes. And then Rome becomes just one more denomination. Yowza.

    It is like Protestants admitting the Bible is fallible.

    Like

  81. Erik (and Sean, who cares about Tom), Sean should speak to this but I think the convert angle is important. I suspect that lots of cradle RC’s know the church is full of holes and accept it as just the way the family is. It’s the converts who have to deny the past because they have created a romanticized family that where all the women are strong, all the men handsome, and all the children obedient. The same goes for some converts to Protestantism. They can’t handle how wart-riddled our congregations and denominations are. But I still think the stakes of error are higher for RCs. Not to put too fine a point on it — the church is for them what the Bible is for us.

    Like

  82. Darryl and Erik, I think I’ve said this any number of times. Before Madrid, I never heard an RC try to argue for continuity and coherence as an apologetic for the faith. My mom would trot something similar out every once in a while to bash the southern baptists before turning on the english for being english. But, she was just being cantankerous. This never, ever came up in CCD or seminary. We studied Thomism and higher-criticism and church history and were convinced we were smarter than the ‘feel-good religionists’ (protestants) but there was no sense of having to defend all the actions of the past much less ecclesial documents in order to justify our faith. We at least had a past. The across the board attitude after Vat II was a new start, a new RC. A breaking down of the clergy-laity stratification(no more latin mass). Less ‘otherness’ more ‘of the people’ and ‘for the people’. That’s why when you read those cradles who were engaged, you get the constant refrain; ‘the heirarchy is NOT the church’. The CtC try to harmonize the secondary documents and history like protestants read scripture. As cradles we never imagined this was necessary or desirable.

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  83. DG:

    “It is like Protestants admitting the Bible is fallible.”

    From the pages of history:

    “So if it is OK to choose a complementary rather than contradictory interpretation when it comes to Scripture, why is it “circular” for a Catholic to take a similar approach when it comes to Tradition?

    And can this question be answered in a way that does not presuppose Sola Scripura?”

    http://greenbaggins.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/arguments-concerning-the-papacy/#comment-100127


    Jason,

    If I understand what you are saying, you are comparing the Protestant’s high view of Scripture against the Catholics high view of Tradition.

    I think protestants have a pretty clear understanding that we view Scripture as God’s Word because the Holy Spirit convicts us as such.

    I don’t know about Catholics, but would a Catholic hold a high view of Tradition because the Holy Spirit convicts them as such?”

    http://greenbaggins.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/arguments-concerning-the-papacy/#comment-100128

    “Infallible is a word Protestants like, especially in connection with Scripture. It’s probably because that Augustinian monk needed something infallible, since the Pope was no longer.”

    http://greenbaggins.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/arguments-concerning-the-papacy/#comment-100132

    The discussion here just reminded me of the past. That’s all.

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  84. Darryl, CtC strikes me as a protestant. Zrim suggests they’re RC triabloguers, I can see that. I see emergent strains in them, they want something historical and transcendent. I see the fundamentalist impulse in them. The QIRC is definitely in full bloom. I see the FV and patriarchalism in them. Theologically they can’t abide strict justice or the covenant of works and they seem to have had this bias before they crossed over. Again, monocovenantalism and Union rears it’s ugly head. Back to the triabloguer angle, Thomism is obviously very philosophically grounded so it ties in with that predilection. RC mass goers aren’t all that engaged catechetically, so they(CtCers) can be big fish in a big shallow pond. Seems all the RC apologists are converts and they get an audience rather quickly and priests and bishops are only too happy to use them to try to engage their cradle congregants and get them energized. They’re converts, they romanticize their new digs as all converts going both directions tend to do.

    Like

  85. Darryl and Sean, ding on the fundamentalist impulse. The church seems to function for the Reformed converts to Rome in the ecclesiastical realm the way the Bible does for biblicists who become Reformed–it solves the uncertainties of religious and civil life.

    Like

  86. Tom – I have no idea what would satisfy you, Erik

    Erik – What you have done here is on the right track. The Callers don’t do this.

    I am satisfied in any discussion of religion when both parties can acknowledge the shortcomings of their system and get to the point where it is clear what each party is taking on faith. All religions ultimately come down to what is being taken on faith.

    The Callers do not do this. Any game with Bryan (and now Jason) has to end up with the score being Catholics 100, Reformed Protestants 0 or they won’t play. As we’ve often complained, it’s a Borg apologetic.

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  87. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 8:01 am | Permalink
    Tom, you’re not following the bouncing ball, oh passive-aggressive one. I know the church and certain popes have changed or apologized or admitted problems. But the issue goes much deeper than a few mea culpas. The very claims of the papacy and magisterium require that the Holy Spirit protect the church from error. So if the church made mistakes before, how do you/we know what’s happening now is not a mistake? How do we know that JPII was not mistaken in apologizing? Once Rome admits error, a huge part of its polemic against Protestants (who say churches err) vanishes. And then Rome becomes just one more denomination. Yowza.

    It is like Protestants admitting the Bible is fallible.

    Gave Erik what he asked for.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_apologies_made_by_Pope_John_Paul_II

    That you put your fingers in your ears and go la-la-la was predictable.

    You want those you attack to hold to a foolish consistency, or if they don’t you attack them for that too. You get ’em either way–great tactic.

    But every church is full of men–even yours–so imperfection is a duh. Your standard of proof cannot be met–even by the Bible, which doesn’t have the creation story quite right. The flaw of course is not God’s, but in the limits of the men who wrote did not understand the quantum physics the Holy Spirit was trying to tell them about 2500 years ago. So too it is with Church errors, whether Catholic or dissident.

    The very claims of the papacy and magisterium require that the Holy Spirit protect the church from error. So if the church made mistakes before, how do you/we know what’s happening now is not a mistake? How do we know that JPII was not mistaken in apologizing?

    Yes, I said I was wrong about being wrong on your misquotation of Monty Python. When I said that’s your critique of Roman Catholicism, I was dead accurate. Your argument is a sophistry–you nail them either way.

    Like

  88. Erik – What you have done here is on the right track. The Callers don’t do this.

    I am satisfied in any discussion of religion when both parties can acknowledge the shortcomings of their system and get to the point where it is clear what each party is taking on faith. All religions ultimately come down to what is being taken on faith.

    The Callers do not do this. Any game with Bryan (and now Jason) has to end up with the score being Catholics 100, Reformed Protestants 0 or they won’t play. As we’ve often complained, it’s a Borg apologetic.

    Don’t know the Callers, can’t vouch for them. They seem to do very well–and are very nice–responding every time I’ve seen you or Darryl or a couple of the other OLifers darken their comments sections. I think you should take it up with them face-to-face rather them talk about them in the bowels of Darryl’s blog.

    As we’ve often complained, it’s a Borg apologetic.

    BTW, the use of “we” here and then calling other people Borgs is an unintentional irony. Glad you liked the link.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_apologies_made_by_Pope_John_Paul_II

    Like

  89. Tom, “you nail them either way.” Why, thank you.

    But not so fast. The RC convert line has a similar two-fold outcome. Protestants are wrong by 16th c. standards. And we are wrong (or stupid — Brian Ortiz “I have no idea what your argument is) to notice the difference between Trent and Vatican II.

    Still, feel good about yourself. We’ll never nail you (even if you think you complain about being nailed). You are the TVD.

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  90. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink
    Tom, “you nail them either way.” Why, thank you.

    But not so fast. The RC convert line has a similar two-fold outcome. Protestants are wrong by 16th c. standards. And we are wrong (or stupid — Brian Ortiz “I have no idea what your argument is) to notice the difference between Trent and Vatican II.

    Still, feel good about yourself. We’ll never nail you (even if you think you complain about being nailed). You are the TVD.

    Sorry I see through your tactics. You’re good. Eventually I expect you’ll just let and get the mob to do your dirty work. That’s been the way of history. They’re just waiting for your smallest nod or wink. tickticktick

    BTW, I don’t think the 16th century Protestants were “wrong*,” although there’s a question whether Calvin “reformed” anything or just started a new church with a new theology, in which case you have no palpable claim to continuity with the early church. OTOH, TULIPers sit cheek-by-jowl with non-TULIPers in Baptist churches, so mebbe it’s not a deal-breaker either way.

    *Did I read the other day the RCC demanded Luther withdraw only half of his 95 Theses?

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  91. Tom,

    The thing about the Callers is that they have the people in our churches as their target. Look at their list of contributors. That’s their right, but it demands a response on our part. As far as commenting on their site, I don’t want to take the time and they screen comments. I have no interest in commenting on blogs that practice censorship since thy can allow or not allow comments in order to shape the discussion in the way they see fit.

    I also have less of an interest in trying to convert Catholics than I do in trying to protect our own sheep. The way most Catholics come to become Protestants is merely by reading the Bible. They don’t need me to do that.

    Like

  92. Erik Charter
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    The thing about the Callers is that they have the people in our churches as their target. Look at their list of contributors. That’s their right, but it demands a response on our part. As far as commenting on their site, I don’t want to take the time and they screen comments. I have no interest in commenting on blogs that practice censorship since thy can allow or not allow comments in order to shape the discussion in the way they see fit.

    I also have less of an interest in trying to convert Catholics than I do in trying to protect our own sheep. The way most Catholics come to become Protestants is merely by reading the Bible. They don’t need me to do that.

    Yes, I understand you’re fighting to protect your church. But somebody here was accusing the Catlicks of doing just the same thing the other day, believing in their church, not Christ.

    And FTR, it’s a necessary part of RCC theology, the tradition/magisterium thing. For the Reformed “faith,” not so. Defending your church is completely unnecessary except against your own. [The church discipline thing.] It seems to me that you should evangelize your theology and leave the church wars [and the personal wars] at home.

    I’ve read some of the comboxes at “Called,” seen you and Darryl there. Jason Spellman too–they converted him, yes? So I certainly understand your alarm, but I don’t think confrontational tactics are wise, even for Machen’s Warrior Children. “Called” kills ’em with kindness.

    Like

  93. Tom,

    I think I’ve only commented there once (fairly recently), but I may have forgotten some other times.

    Certainly we could be nicer to them at times and they could be more forthcoming with us. I think we probably are guilty of being too snarky and they are guilty of not trying to have a dialogue in good faith. If you can find some of Bryan Cross’s interactions here from the past I think you’ll see what I mean. He doesn’t normally interact here in a substantive way the way he does on his own blog.

    My belief is that Catholics too often try to have their cake and eat it too on multiple theological issues. Reformed theology seems to be way more straightforward. Perhaps this is because all we are attempting to deal with is Scripture and our relatively short Confessions. They have to try to reconcile 2,000 years of tradition, some of which seems to conflict with itself (and with Scripture). It seems like they can say pretty much whatever they want to and find something to justify it in their tradition.

    As Calvinists I don’t think we’re overly “worried” about concerting anyone, just trying to be faithful.

    Like

  94. Erik Charter
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    I think I’ve only commented there once (fairly recently), but I may have forgotten some other times.

    Erik Charter
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Permalink
    Sorry, “converting”, not “concerting”.

    The correction was unnecessary, Erik. I read you charitably, that is, as you would want to be understood. As for your beef with the Catholics and the New Catholics/ex-Calvinists, that seems fair. As for the tone your co-religionists take, as I read somewhere else,

    Overall, the quality of thought displayed in these polemics has not been a credit to the Reformed tradition. Writers have gone to great lengths to read their opponents’ words and motivations in the worst possible sense (often worse than possible) and to present their own ideas as virtually perfect: rightly motivated and leaving no room for doubt. Such presentations are scarcely credible to anybody who looks at the debates with minimal objectivity.

    This is your beef w/the papists, but it might also be a case of projection. They seem more into apologetics than polemics.

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  95. Tom,

    That’s John Frame in “Machen’s Warrior Children”, isn’t it. It sounds familiar and I’ve read the essay twice.

    The trick to using apologetics (or polemics) with a Catholic is that they seem to be dealing with a closed system. They can’t admit that their church is not the one and only true church because the whole shooting match depends on their church being the one and only true church. If they allow that idea to fall everything else falls for them as well. This is doubly-true for guys like Bryan and Jason. Could you imagine the humility they would have to muster to leave Catholicism once they have made such high-profile conversions?

    You may be right about tone, though. The frustrating thing is that the level of engagement that you and I seem to be having is impossible with them (at least the Callers). Once you make a good point that they can not answer (without calling Catholicism into question) they disengage, obfuscate, or claim “well that’s just your Protestant paradigm”. It’s not fighting fair. I know you can’t solve the problem, though.

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  96. All I ask of a Catholic is to admit that their religion is as fideistic as the next. They refuse to do this, though, as the Church has condemned fideism.

    It takes faith to be a Christian and it takes even more faith to accept the particulars of Catholicism as being objectively true in time and space. Just admit it, drop the superiority bit, and we can all be friends.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fideism

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  97. Tom,

    You have asserted (perhaps correctly) the right of the colonists to rebel against the British Crown (because it behaved unacceptably toward the colonists given the nature of their relationship).

    Do you also support the right of the Protestant reformers to rebel against the Roman Catholic hierarchy at the time of the Reformation on similar grounds?

    Why or why not?

    Like

  98. Erik Charter
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    That’s John Frame in “Machen’s Warrior Children”, isn’t it. It sounds familiar and I’ve read the essay twice.

    The trick to using apologetics (or polemics) with a Catholic is that they seem to be dealing with a closed system. They can’t admit that their church is not the one and only true church because the whole shooting match depends on their church being the one and only true church. If they allow that idea to fall everything else falls for them as well. This is doubly-true for guys like Bryan and Jason. Could you imagine the humility they would have to muster to leave Catholicism once they have made such high-profile conversions?

    I try to lay off the armchair psychoanalysis, Erik. I don’t enjoy talking about people instead of ideas. But just at arm’s length, I would say that Prodigal Sons returning to your church with horror stories about the Catholics would ensure them a lifetime of book sales and speaking engagements–at least a lot more than an Erik Charter will ever have.

    [The same is true of Catholics returning to Catholicism. They even have a TV show on the Catholic Channel.]

    You may be right about tone, though. The frustrating thing is that the level of engagement that you and I seem to be having is impossible with them (at least the Callers). Once you make a good point that they can not answer (without calling Catholicism into question) they disengage, obfuscate, or claim “well that’s just your Protestant paradigm”. It’s not fighting fair. I know you can’t solve the problem, though.

    I dunno. They seem to look at Catholicism through Protestant eyes–esp the magisterium and justification stuff. Me, as a student of history, I love it, it’s like going through a time warp to the 1500s–they argue Thomas More, you argue William Tyndale.

    Click to access moretyndale.pdf

    As for the tone of how your fellow churchpersons conduct themselves, that’s your call. Sir/St.Thomas More was pretty ruthless in his debate tactics. He may have won the battle, but in England at least, he and the Romish lost the war.

    Postscript:

    They can’t admit that their church is not the one and only true church because the whole shooting match depends on their church being the one and only true church.

    I’m not an expert on it, but I think the theology is that [since they accept your baptisms as licit] you’re part of the/their catholic and universal church whether you like it or not. Come to Poppa.

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  99. Erik Charter
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    You have asserted (perhaps correctly) the right of the colonists to rebel against the British Crown (because it behaved unacceptably toward the colonists given the nature of their relationship).

    Do you also support the right of the Protestant reformers to rebel against the Roman Catholic hierarchy at the time of the Reformation on similar grounds?

    Why or why not?

    I think you peeled back the onion–if not cut to the bone!–with this question. My compliments, Erik. No matter how this all comes out, my stay here has not been wasted.

    However, I struggle with the premise. The American colonists–like those in the English civil wars of the 1600s–found a theological/Biblical justification for their actions. [Even if it was cheesy.] When J. Gresham Machen was persecuted by his own church, and left to start another, I have assumed that such a principled man operated according to his own church’s by-laws.

    According to the laws of ecclesiastical governance developed ex post facto by the breakaway Protestant sects/churches, you’re of course in the clear, whether in Calvin’s Geneva or Machen’s Philadelphia. But only ex post facto. I don’t see the case for schism under prevailing Catholic canon law.

    Theologically, the answer must remain the same, that a new theology [“every man a minister”] was necessary to justify schism theologically. The Roman [pauline/constantinian, whathaveyou] church had argued “tradition” for at least 1000 years, that the various popes or councils could bind in heaven what they bound on earth.

    This isn’t to say that the pope or a council can just declare that all good Christians [Catholics] must now start wearing clean underwear, and outside their clothes so that the Church can check. Of course it’s possible for the pope to go mad or become a heretic or for the Church to be corrupt.

    But irretrievably corrupt? I dunno. Perhaps J. Gresham Machen should have stayed and fought to reform his church instead of schisming into another one. The rest of ’em too.

    So my reply is a qualified “I don’t know.” I’m sincerely honored that you asked. Peace, bro.

    Like

  100. Tom, do you really think CtoC gets points for being nice?

    I never trust a website that has pictures of happy people.

    Erik, I posted enough out there to figure out what I needed. The reformation forced the justification issue, and Rome lost. Protestantism’s existence is legitimate. I don’t post out there for the same reason I don’t play a bad golf course twice. It’s just dumb.

    Like

  101. One last thing…

    Tom – Theologically, the answer must remain the same, that a new theology [“every man a minister”] was necessary to justify schism theologically.

    Erik – Is “every man a minister” your phrasing of the Reformation notion of “the priesthood of all believers”?

    Do you see any differences between the roles of a Catholic priest and a protestant minister?

    How might “the priesthood of all believers” not be the same thing as “every man a minister”?

    Did the Reformation churches not take the importance of the church, church officers, and an ordained and learned clergy seriously?

    Like

  102. AB
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink
    Tom, do you really think CtoC gets points for being nice?

    I never trust a website that has pictures of happy people.

    AB, does your church have a website? If so, so they just put all the crabby-looking people on it or do they leaven it with the young and handsome, the bold and the beautiful?

    Like

  103. Erik, the problem with Tom’s answer is that Machen didn’t leave the church. He was tried and excommunicated. The Brits were in no position to give up on the colonies that readily.

    Like

  104. D.G.,

    Yeah, I thought of that and was going to go to the P&R dictionary today to refresh my memory on the sequence of events. Another option is finding an old (very good) episode of Reformed Forum where you tell the story.

    As I recall it was his starting the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. At that point the previously tolerant Mainline Presbyterians became very intolerant of his intolerance of their theological liberalism.

    Hart on Reformed Forum: http://reformedforum.org/?s=darryl+hart

    Like

  105. Erik, yes, the legitimacy of the Ind. Bd. has always been the technical issue, but it’s not like the PCUSA cared about other technicalities.

    Like

  106. I am not Jason nor am I a Caller. But I doubt they would have a problem quoting from Peter. Heck, I will do it:

    For Christ also died] for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ

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  107. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 5, 2013 at 6:14 am | Permalink
    Erik, the problem with Tom’s answer is that Machen didn’t leave the church. He was tried and excommunicated. The Brits were in no position to give up on the colonies that readily.

    Machen could have submitted to the discipline of his church. The question is whether he should have.

    Like

  108. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 5, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink
    Tom, you’re not bashful about answering questions. Go ahead. Remember it may implicate your hero, John Calvin.

    I gave my answer, a qualified “I don’t know.” I did hear from a scholar [was it Mark Edwards?] who went through Machen’s papers and found that his trial was fixed, pre-determined. I’m sure no detail about JGM is unknown to you, but mebbe maybe he should have stayed and fought what seems a plain violation of ecclesiastical justice. How do you “stay” when you’re excommunicated, your trap-like brain is asking. But by starting a new church, Machen accepted the sentence, so that doesn’t work either.

    Or Machen simply could have submitted to the discipline of his church either before or after, come crawling back, recanting. People do these things.

    http://www.asa3.org/gray/evolution_trial/

    Your call. I’d be interested to see the Biblical justification for his actions, though. It would be interesting.

    Like

  109. Two miracles ain’t what they used to be:

    “But he played down the fact that Francis had bypassed a second miracle. ‘There are lots of theologians who in fact discuss the principle of the fact that it’s necessary to have two distinct miracles.'”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/06/world/europe/papal-encyclical-gets-2-authors-for-first-time.html?nl=afternoonupdate&emc=edit_au_20130705&_r=0

    I do dig that Pope Francis is living in a Vatican dormitory. If I was Pope I would have a simple room with lots of bookshelves.

    Like

  110. Tom,

    What do you believe to be the highest authority for a Christian – Scripture or visible church authority? Or something else?

    What is your own personal highest authority? To whom or what do you answer? Do you anticipate having to answer to anyone after this life?

    Like

  111. Erik,

    Francis is left of Benedict and right of Kung. CtC is right of Benedict. Benedict quit because he couldn’t negotiate the encroachment of modernity particularly the press and social media. Benedict also couldn’t tame the Curia, which is left of Francis. Vatileaks revealed Benedict’s lack of control and power. Benedict takes a parting blow as he leaves and appoints 3 of his closest allies to get names and goods on everyone in the italian curia, particularly, that opposed him. Then, knowing whoever they(cardinals) elected would be liberal in comparison, set up camp in the Abbey. Benedict kept the title and some of the ornament, this was also done to tamp down on the uprising from CtC styled conservatives, and now is helping Francis to negotiate a middle way. Vat II was always intended to be flexible and as much as possible meet every modern opportunity. They are effectively trying to say everything to everybody. They’re telling sspxers that Vat II is here to stay, and they’re telling the CtCers and conservatives, to stay limber.

    Like

  112. Erik, one more thing, as you’ve noted, they’re going to try to accomplish it trading on the JFK like political clout and popular appeal of JPII

    Like

  113. Erik Charter

    Posted July 5, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    What do you believe to be the highest authority for a Christian – Scripture or visible church authority? Or something else?

    Perhaps another of those false choices. I found Thomas More’s argument persuasive, that for the great mass of men, you’re still at the mercy of your scriptural interpreter or translator.

    http://hil001.blogspot.com/2012/07/romans-chapter-3-verse-28.html

    etc.

    What is your own personal highest authority? To whom or what do you answer? Do you anticipate having to answer to anyone after this life?

    I sure hope so. I don’t like the alternatives. Thx for asking.

    Like

  114. TVD, it’s one thing to remain philosophically relevant, it’s quite another to be a head of state. I credit Ratzinger for recognizing his limitations. Rarely does policy wonk and populist meet up in the same person. Medieval Rome is down to Vatican City and if it survives in that form it will be because the bank is forced into transparency and the city abides an historical quaintness. IOW, it’ll become little more than a tourist spot.

    Like

  115. Sean – and they’re telling the CtCers and conservatives, to stay limber

    Erik – Don’t worry, Bryan stands ready to defend whatever comes down the pike.

    Like

  116. Tom,

    O.K. Who is your Scriptural interpreter or translator?

    What questions do you think you will be asked and what answers do you plan to give?

    Deep questions, I know.

    Like

  117. sean
    Posted July 5, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Permalink
    TVD, it’s one thing to remain philosophically relevant, it’s quite another to be a head of state. I credit Ratzinger for recognizing his limitations. Rarely does policy wonk and populist meet up in the same person. Medieval Rome is down to Vatican City and if it survives in that form it will be because the bank is forced into transparency and the city abides an historical quaintness. IOW, it’ll become little more than a tourist spot.</i.

    No disagreement, Sean. I think the Vatican clergy machine, the Curia, probably defeated him–the RCC needs much reformation here on earth, and Pope Ratzinger had already lent his contribution, theology answering the challenge of modern philosophy. He was tired, and hinted in an interview a year or three ago that a pope might step down.

    I wasn't surprised a non-European was chosen as the next Pope. It was the only way to distance the Church from the stench of the scandals of the past century.

    As for Vatican City, rather like a Jewish homeland, in 100 years at least there'll be one place left on earth where Christians won't be forced by law to recognize gay marriages or provide government-financed abortions. A City on a Hill, as it were.

    Like

  118. Erik Charter
    Posted July 5, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    O.K. Who is your Scriptural interpreter or translator?

    What questions do you think you will be asked and what answers do you plan to give?

    Deep questions, I know.

    I listen to everybody. My favorite lesson was that storefront preacher [in an optical shop] who suggested that “turn the other cheek” doesn’t mean to ignore the insult, that the text reads, “offer him the other cheek as well,” so that means to shame the offender.

    A lot of people take the passage as a command to “suffer in silence,” but it’s far more exquisite than that. Aggressive passiveness, I suppose.

    BTW the irony of the pro-Luther

    http://hil001.blogspot.com/2012/07/romans-chapter-3-verse-28.html

    link I provided was its claim at the end that the Vatican ended up agreeing with Luther, and Aquinas [circa 1250 CE] is also in the zone. All that BS in between for what? Not only that, but the great mass of men is going to defer to Luther, the Vatican or the Pope anyway, since the original Greek is Greek to them anyway.

    And what if they’re all wrong? Who would know, and why would you believe them?

    Like

  119. Tom – at least there’ll be one place left on earth where Christians won’t be forced by law to recognize gay marriages or provide government-financed abortions. A City on a Hill, as it were.

    Erik – A place where everyone lives as (allegedly) celibate priests and nuns is a city on a hill? That’s not a city I would last a week in.

    Like

  120. Tom – I listen to everybody

    Erik – Do you confine that to Christians or do you listen to other religions and the irreligious as well?

    By “listen” do you mean that you merely hear them out put make no personal profession of faith? If you make a profession do you pick and choose what you like from among them (come up with your own personal blend — syncretism, in other words).

    Do you think God judges us based on who or what we have put our faith in when we die?

    I’m not making fun of you, but I was just reminded of Clark W. Griswold’s prayer:

    Like

  121. Erik Charter
    Posted July 5, 2013 at 11:41 pm | Permalink
    Tom – at least there’ll be one place left on earth where Christians won’t be forced by law to recognize gay marriages or provide government-financed abortions. A City on a Hill, as it were.

    Erik – A place where everyone lives as (allegedly) celibate priests and nuns is a city on a hill? That’s not a city I would last a week in.

    Now, now.

    It was a pretty good line, admit it. And I was speaking of 100 years from now—admit further it might be prophetic. I was being glib until the reality of it kind of dawned on me and then it was like, damn.

    Like

  122. Tom – I listen to everybody

    Erik – Do you confine that to Christians or do you listen to other religions and the irreligious as well?

    Is Aristotle irreligious? He is–in that he had neither Torah not Gospel nor Qur’an, that’s for sure.

    The fascinating thing, EC, is that Averroes the Muslim [Ibn Rushd], Maimonides the Jew and Aquinas the Whatever-you-call-him were all over him like white on rice.

    Again, all truth comes from God, and further, truth cannot contradict truth. Paul gets at this with the Romans 2 thing, the law written on the human heart. That law predates scripture!

    By “listen” do you mean that you merely hear them out put make no personal profession of faith? If you make a profession do you pick and choose what you like from among them (come up with your own personal blend — syncretism, in other words).

    I like the caution that says beware a Jesus who is too congenial to you–IOW agrees with what you already think. If there was a need for the gospel, for God to send Jesus to earth to reveal His will, it would be precisely because we don’t quite get it on our own, and need “special revelation.”

    When a beggar asks me for money, I always want to say, FU, get a job. When I remember “Give to whoever asks of you,” and follow it, about a minute later I’m filled with…something, and it’s not a delight in my own goodness, for I have none. My natural inclination was to tell him to get a job. So there’s this weird thing going on where “special revelation”–the Gospel–led me to fulfill a natural law that my unassisted reason could not know even existed. I feel better, and it’s not because of a religious/superstitious* God will reward me in the next life for my gerous expenditure of 1/100,000 of my net worth.

    Do you think God judges us based on who or what we have put our faith in when we die?

    Your premise assumes I have a choice about it, yes? If grace is “irresistible,” the question is moot, no?
    ___________________
    *My problem with “karma” and why eastern religio-cosmological philosophy never appealed to me, that one “earns” his way into cosmic perfection [heaven, nirvana, whathaveyou]. I dig the Dali Llama and all, but David was the man after God’s own heart. And I know we’re not into “works” but Schindler and his List moves me a lot more than the Llama’s bleatings.

    Like

  123. Tom writes, “I wasn’t surprised a non-European was chosen. . .” If only we were all so wise and foreseeing. Thanks for deigning to spend time with us, Tom.

    Like

  124. Tom,

    These things ebb and flow. With China perhaps moving away from its one child policy we could see fewer abortions in the 21st century. It’s perhaps a problem that takes care of itself. More abortions and gay marriage = a society that shrinks. Fewer abortions and less gay marriage = a society that grows.

    I do applaud Rome on the family. minus the celibacy requirement for clergy (and all of the members who ignore her teachings).

    Like

  125. Tom – Again, all truth comes from God.

    Erik – I agree with that, although is there not different kinds of truth and is not some truth more essential than others?

    For instance, I am a huge Steely Dan fan and have learned truth from their music. I don’t expect that knowledge to benefit me on judgment day.

    Do you think that the truth that can learned from the Bible about who Christ is and what one must believe about him in order to be saved is a different, far more important kind of truth?

    If so, do you think that part of understanding that truth involves being joined to a true (albeit not perfect) church that governs itself in the way that the same Bible that one learns about Christ in teaches?

    Do the good deeds that you rightly speak of flow out of that (knowing Christ) or can they be a replacement for knowing him? Can they replace membership in a visible, true church?

    Have you ever been a member of a Christian church where you have had regular, solid teaching from the Bible and taken regular communion?

    More serious questions!

    Like

  126. Tom – Your premise assumes I have a choice about it, yes? If grace is “irresistible,” the question is moot, no?

    Erik – Does it make sense that “the elect” might correspond to those who hear, believe the gospel, and join true churches?

    Does it make sense that true churches in turn preach the gospel taught in the Bible to all who are willing to listen, not knowing who is elect and who is not?

    You could say that you could have fallen in love with many different women, but you’ve been married to only one woman for many years now, no? Why did you not just keep your options open?

    Like

  127. DG,

    Dave H. But Protestants quote all of Peter.

    Maybe (not that I have ever seen that in practice), but we quote him in context.

    The verse I quoted is just one of many that we quote in context while many Protestants (save Lutherans and some Anglicans) twist in a way that would send Reed Richards to the Chiropractor. You guys tend to do that a lot with Pope St. Peter, like with Acts 2:38-39, to un-Catholic them.

    Like

  128. Dave H., we treat Peter as God intended – an apostle who wrote inerrant and infallible words. With you, he needs to compete with all the other guys with charism (not to mention the difficulty of making Peter and Francis cohere — you’ve seen the encyclical, right?).

    Like

  129. DG,

    There is no competition. The servant of all is not in competition with anyone. how does a servant compete with those he serves? His feeding if Christ’s sheep was not limited to being an inspired author. While it is true he was, Jesus did not seem to mention it when he gave him the keys.

    I haven’t read the entire encyclical but what I have seen is awesome. What of it? Is there some silver bullet against the Church that I missed in there? Did Pope Francis dis Pope Peter?

    Like

  130. Erik Charter
    Posted July 6, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink
    Tom – Your premise assumes I have a choice about it, yes? If grace is “irresistible,” the question is moot, no?

    Erik – Does it make sense that “the elect” might correspond to those who hear, believe the gospel, and join true churches?

    Islam, or the Mormons, or anyone could make such a tautological claim. In fact Islam rather does, calling Abraham a Muslim.

    Does it make sense that true churches in turn preach the gospel taught in the Bible to all who are willing to listen, not knowing who is elect and who is not?

    Well, that’s the only way to satisfy the Great Commission, but the logic result of TULIP is that the Elect are going to hear the Gospel anyway because it’s God’s will, so you needn’t overly trouble yourself about evangelizing it. God will somehow get it to those destined to receive it.

    You could say that you could have fallen in love with many different women, but you’ve been married to only one woman for many years now, no? Why did you not just keep your options open?

    She’s a good gal, it wouldn’t have been fair to fire her. So the next question is why the law only lets me have one wife.

    Like

  131. I was a little off my game today. Couldn’t seem to get to the right neighborhoods. My best stop was at the St. Vincent De Paul thrift store on 6th Avenue in Des Moines (aka The Hood):

    “Attacking and Extinguishing Interior Fires” by Lloyd Layman, 1955, National Fire Protection Association International (to sell)

    “Christian Science Hymnal With Seven Hymns Written by The Reverend Mary Baker Eddy”, 1960, The Christian Science Publishing Society (to sell)

    “The Painted Word” by Tom Wolfe, 1980, Bantam, Books (to keep)

    “Sanford Meisner on Acting” by Sanford Meisner & Dennis Longwell with an introduction by Sydney Pollack, 1987, Vintage (to keep)

    “Little League’s Official How-To-Play Baseball Book” by Peter Kreutzer & Ted Kerley, 1990, Broadway Books (to keep)

    “The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid – A Memoir” by Bill Bryson (Des Moines native), 2006, Broadway Books (to keep)

    “The Magic Lantern – An Autobiography” by Ingmar Bergman, 1989, Penguin Books (to keep)

    All for $6.

    Like

  132. Dave,

    Make the case using my Protestant paradigm (sola scriptura) for Peter being all you say he is.

    If all you can offer me is your Catholic paradigm, make the case (biblically, if possible) for the superiority of your paradigm over mine.

    Like

  133. Tom – Islam, or the Mormons, or anyone could make such a tautological claim

    Erik – Do you find these claims to all be equally untrue and/or unpersuasive?

    Tom – so you needn’t overly trouble yourself about evangelizing it. God will somehow get it to those destined to receive it.

    Erik – Why do you think it’s troubling? What better means of evangelism is there than pastors and church officers talking to people about Christ?

    Do you think people can be persuaded purely through logic to become a Christian or is something else required?

    If it’s true that Christ is God and if knowing Him is the most important thing in life, is there something else that could be used to prove that? Wouldn’t that thing then be the most important thing in life? The gospel is indeed either true or false, though.

    If you think it’s false, why do you think that?

    Like

  134. Dave H. it is one big happy face, no sense that narrow is the way, or that faith divides. Nothing like Peter about the dangers of false teaching.

    Because faith is a way, it also has to do with the lives of those men and women who, though not believers, nonetheless desire to believe and continue to seek. To the extent that they are sincerely open to love and set out with whatever light they can find, they are already, even without knowing it, on the path leading to faith. They strive to act as if God existed, at times because they realize how important he is for finding a sure compass for our life in common or because they experience a desire for light amid darkness, but also because in perceiving life’s grandeur and beauty they intuit that the presence of God would make it all the more beautiful. Saint Irenaeus of Lyons tells how Abraham, before hearing God’s voice, had already sought him “in the ardent desire of his heart” and “went throughout the whole world, asking himself where God was to be found”, until “God had pity on him who, all alone, had sought him in silence”.[32] Any-one who sets off on the path of doing good to others is already drawing near to God, is already sustained by his help, for it is characteristic of the divine light to brighten our eyes whenever we walk towards the fullness of love.

    Harry Emerson Fosdick could not have said it better.

    Absorbed and deepened in the family, faith becomes a light capable of illumining all our relationships in society. As an experience of the mercy of God the Father, it sets us on the path of brotherhood. Modernity sought to build a universal brotherhood based on equality, yet we gradually came to realize that this brotherhood, lacking a reference to a common Father as its ultimate foundation, cannot endure. We need to return to the true basis of brotherhood. The history of faith has been from the beginning a history of brotherhood, albeit not without conflict. God calls Abraham to go forth from his land and promises to make of him a great nation, a great people on whom the divine blessing rests (cf. Gen 12:1-3). As salvation history progresses, it becomes evident that God wants to make everyone share as brothers and sisters in that one blessing, which attains its fullness in Jesus, so that all may be one. The boundless love of our Father also comes to us, in Jesus, through our brothers and sisters. Faith teaches us to see that every man and woman represents a blessing for me, that the light of God’s face shines on me through the faces of my brothers and sisters.

    How many benefits has the gaze of Christian faith brought to the city of men for their common life! Thanks to faith we have come to understand the unique dignity of each person, something which was not clearly seen in antiquity. In the second century the pagan Celsus reproached Christians for an idea that he considered foolishness and delusion: namely, that God created the world for man, setting human beings at the pinnacle of the entire cosmos. “Why claim that [grass] grows for the benefit of man, rather than for that of the most savage of the brute beasts?”[46] “If we look down to Earth from the heights of heaven, would there really be any difference between our activities and those of the ants and bees?”[47] At the heart of biblical faith is God’s love, his concrete concern for every person, and his plan of salvation which embraces all of humanity and all creation, culminating in the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without insight into these realities, there is no criterion for discerning what makes human life precious and unique. Man loses his place in the universe, he is cast adrift in nature, either renouncing his proper moral responsibility or else presuming to be a sort of absolute judge, endowed with an unlimited power to manipulate the world around him.

    A neo-Calvinist would be happy. Gee golly, faith affects EV-ERY-THINNNNNGGGGG!

    Sorry if this sounds dismissive. But this may be appealing to those who miss Mr. Rogers. But I’ll take Aquinas or Augustine any day over this. It is all feel good. No chinks, crevices, or tensions.

    Like

  135. Erik Charter
    Posted July 6, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Permalink
    Tom – Islam, or the Mormons, or anyone could make such a tautological claim

    Erik – Do you find these claims to all be equally untrue and/or unpersuasive?

    Tautologies use themselves for proof. The Bible is God’s word because it says it is. You can tell the Elect because they act like the Elect. The Pope is infallible because he says so, and he’s infallible. [Hope you enjoyed that last one.]

    Tom – so you needn’t overly trouble yourself about evangelizing it. God will somehow get it to those destined to receive it.

    Erik – Why do you think it’s troubling? What better means of evangelism is there than pastors and church officers talking to people about Christ?

    Do you think people can be persuaded purely through logic to become a Christian or is something else required?

    Not really interested in being dragged into the tall weeds of the Great Grace Debate. You people have been at it for 500 years and I expect you will in another 500 [if Calvinism survives].

    If it’s true that Christ is God and if knowing Him is the most important thing in life, is there something else that could be used to prove that? Wouldn’t that thing then be the most important thing in life? The gospel is indeed either true or false, though.

    If Christ is also Jehovah, then to love Jehovah with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind should cover it regardless.

    If you think it’s false, why do you think that?

    Can’t really litigate faith claims. You can discuss theology at arm’s length, such as if you take passage X literally, why not passage Y? That sort of thing.

    http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/100-scriptural-arguments-for-the-unitarian-faith

    Speaker- Hello, newcomers, and welcome. Can everybody hear me? [taps the mic a few times] Hello? Can everybuh-? Okay. [the crowd quiets down] Uh, I’m the hell director. Uh, it looks like we have about 8,615 of you newbies today, and for those of you who are a little confused, uh, you are dead, and this is hell, so, abandon all hope and uh yada yada yada. Uh, we are now going to start the orientation process, which will last about-

    Man- Hey, wait a minute, I shouldn’t be here. I wa a totally strict and devout Protestant! I thought we went to heaven!

    Hell director- Yes, well I’m afraid you were wrong.

    Soldier- I was a practicing Jehovah’s Witness.

    Hell director- Uh, you picked the wrong religion as well.

    Another man- Well, who was right? Who gets into heaven?

    Hell director- I’m afraid it was the Mormons. Yes, the Mormons were the correct answer.

    Crowd- [disappointed] Awww.

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  136. Tom – The Bible is God’s word because it says it is.

    Erik – I agree with that.

    Tom – You can tell the Elect because they act like the Elect.

    Erik – I’m not sure about that. Looks can be deceiving. All I can look at is profession of faith and visible church membership. I can point out behavior that is inconsistent with those things without drawing conclusions about election.

    Tom – If Christ is also Jehovah, then to love Jehovah with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind should cover it regardless.

    Erik – Wow, are you able to do that? I think you also have to love your neighbor as yourself.

    I know I fail those tests.

    Who do you think that Christ is? Or was, if you think he died and remained dead.

    Tom – Can’t really litigate faith claims

    Erik – Why not?

    Tom – You can discuss theology at arm’s length, such as if you take passage X literally, why not passage Y? That sort of thing.

    Erik – I agree. With your wife, though, after a period of considering her attributes objectively, didn’t you make vows and enter into a lifelong commitment to her?

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  137. Tom – The Bible is God’s word because it says it is.

    Erik – Do you find any of these ideas related to the Bible credible?:

    (1) apostolic authorship

    (2) reception by the Jews (Old Testament) and the early Christian church (New Testament)

    (3) the uniqueness of the Bible’s claims (what other book compares to it?)

    (4) changed lives

    (5) historical evidence for the resurrection

    (6) the fact that Jesus would have either been crazy or a liar if he was not God

    (7) impact of the Bible on the history of the West

    Do you find the claims of Mormonism (a 19th century American religion) and JW’s similarly credible? i.e. if some religions have credibility problems do all religions necessarily have credibility problems?

    Another question – How do you account for your conscience?

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  138. Tom – If Christ is also Jehovah, then to love Jehovah with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind should cover it regardless.

    Erik – Wow, are you able to do that? I think you also have to love your neighbor as yourself.

    You can do that without the God part, at least theoretically.

    Although I can’t. 😉

    The Jehovah/Christ point isn’t bad either.

    Like

  139. Tom,

    Interesting that you cite Mormons, JW’s, & Unitarians. All three have problems with the Trinity and the deity of Christ. Why do you think they share that in common but are not unified otherwise? Why have the vast majority of Christians throughout history been Trinitarian?

    Like

  140. Tom – The Jehovah/Christ point isn’t bad either.

    Erik – Not sure what you mean.

    If the requirement is perfect, perpetual obedience to loving either Christ, Jehovah, or neighbor would you agree that that is a problem for sinful men (like us)?

    What is a possible solution to that problem? Even if you don’t agree, I am looking for a term that begins with the letter “I” that is critical in both the debates we have with Roman Catholics and Federal Visionists (I think you have some idea what that term means).

    If nothing else I want you to see how elegant and consistent Reformed theology is. I also think it is quite compelling to people with sharp minds like you (if the Holy Spirit is at work).

    Like

  141. It’s also what makes the Reformed expression of the Christian faith the most liberating of all the various expressions of Christianity, I believe.

    Like

  142. Erik – Do you find any of these ideas related to the Bible credible?:

    (1) apostolic authorship

    (2) reception by the Jews (Old Testament) and the early Christian church (New Testament)

    (3) the uniqueness of the Bible’s claims (what other book compares to it?)

    (4) changed lives

    (5) historical evidence for the resurrection

    (6) the fact that Jesus would have either been crazy or a liar if he was not God

    (7) impact of the Bible on the history of the West

    Islam makes most of these truth claims in one way or another, so that discussion could just as easily be between you and a Muslim. And for the record, I’ve heard most of your list before, and I’m not interested in us each reading our parts from this well-rehearsed script. I’m trying to discuss this not as paradigm vs. paradigm, but as our own thoughts. And it’s been good, EC. Cheers.

    As for #6, CS Lewis’ famous argument, the rebuttal rejects his initial premise, that Jesus claimed to be God atall:

    http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/100-scriptural-arguments-for-the-unitarian-faith

    The Founding era’s unitarianism [which is not the same as today’s agnostic successor church, Unitarian Universalism, which was created by a merger of two disparate–and failing–sects in 1961] was quite principled and Biblical, at least until it drifted into its present state. Arianism/unitarianism has been a fad that’s come and gone and come back for 2000 years in Christianity–which subtracts a bit from some Protestant claims that date back to the early church but had lain dormant for centuries. [As we’re mentioning it.]

    Do you find the claims of Mormonism (a 19th century American religion) and JW’s similarly credible? i.e. if some religions have credibility problems do all religions necessarily have credibility problems?

    Probably, certainly some more than others. If there were a BCE religion with quantum physics in it, I suppose we’d know for sure that was the true one. And FTR, I don’t really like going after the Mormons on their truth claims. And although I give you some guff, mebbe you’re the ones who are right.

    Another question – How do you account for your conscience?

    The law written on the human heart, no? I’m not so reserved when it comes to theism and/or natural law. I prefer to start with the basics rather than the completion-backwards method. Not so up on the Great Grace Debate, which makes my eyes glaze over, and which you previously allowed is probably not key to me going to heaven or not. I’ll just watch you battle the Arminians and see who comes out alive.

    Mebbe you’re both wrong. ;-P

    Like

  143. Tom, you said, “can’t really litigate faith claims”? You do it all the time:

    Not only was America won and founded on God’s grace—Divine Providence—but Washington begs for its commencement under the same Divine Hand. That’s the Big Picture. But we must read Washington carefully on this point—

    “a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes…”

    Man—America—is supposed to do something right and proper with God’s grace. Man—America—institutes his government, not God. By all accounts, the American Constitution is the work of man, not God, even if enabled by God’s grace.

    That would still be the God-centric vision of liberty—it’s man, not God, who gets his way in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. God pulls, but man pushes. But I digress into orthodox theology…

    You just don’t want to do theology when it doesn’t serve your purposes (whatever they are).

    Like

  144. Tom,

    I remember being in a used bookstore in Kansas City several years ago and they had public radio on. Someone was introduced as a “lapsed Unitarian” and my dad and I both laughed like crazy. Not exactly falling from the greatest of heights there.

    Islam has no God-man. Jesus is truly either the Cornerstone or a stone of stumbling.

    The “I” word I was looking for was “imputation”. Imputation of our sins to Christ and imputation of his righteousness to us. Without that we remain in our sins before a holy God. I think the Heidelberg is right on when it asks the question about why Christ had to be both God and man. He had to be a man because God could not punish another creature for man’s sins. He had to be God because no mere man could stand up under the wrath of a holy God. This is elegant and beautiful stuff.

    The Arminian/Calvinist debate shouldn’t keep anyone from joining a reasonably sound biblical church. A certain amount of nose-holding might just be required until a better option becomes available in one’s locale. You have some great conservative P&R ministers in Southern California. You should spend a few months listening to the White Horse Inn program to get acquainted with some of them.

    Like

  145. Tom,

    Re. Mormonism. I think the Mormons are an amazing and uniquely American story. There is an absolutely fabulous movie just waiting to be made about the early days of Mormonism. Maybe Paul Thomas Anderson can be granted a do-over on “The Master” and tackle the Mormons instead of Scientology.

    Like

  146. Tom,

    Re. what you call the Great Grace Debate. It’s really not much of a debate Scripturally. Arminians have way more passages to explain away than Calvinists. If ever there was a case of “You Can’t Handle the Truth”, this is it. Being a Calvinist is a lot like being a political conservative. Lots of inconvenient truths, but truths nonetheless.

    Like

  147. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 6, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Permalink
    Tom, you said, “can’t really litigate faith claims”? You do it all the time:

    Not only was America won and founded on God’s grace—Divine Providence—but Washington begs for its commencement under the same Divine Hand. That’s the Big Picture. But we must read Washington carefully on this point—

    “a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes…”

    Man—America—is supposed to do something right and proper with God’s grace. Man—America—institutes his government, not God. By all accounts, the American Constitution is the work of man, not God, even if enabled by God’s grace.

    That would still be the God-centric vision of liberty—it’s man, not God, who gets his way in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. God pulls, but man pushes. But I digress into orthodox theology…

    You just don’t want to do theology when it doesn’t serve your purposes (whatever they are).

    Darryl, once again you misread me. In context, I was explaining Washington’s view, and the view of Founding-era America, just as I’ve done the past few days here at your blog. In my opinion as a student of history, not as a theologian or preacher. My theological opinion is, how can we know that wasn’t God’s will, you humbug you, Darryl Hart?!!

    Y’know it was bad enough when you tried to impeach my credibility by trying to hang David Barton around my neck. Did you really try to slime me with Dodgerness as well?

    Say it ain’t so, DGH.

    Like

  148. Erik,

    I will do my best. Actually it has already been done. Here you go:

    From Dave Armstrong:

    The Catholic doctrine of the papacy is biblically-based, and is derived from the evident primacy of St. Peter among the apostles. Like all Christian doctrines, it has undergone development through the centuries, but it hasn’t departed from the essential components already existing in the leadership and prerogatives of St. Peter. These were given to him by our Lord Jesus Christ, acknowledged by his contemporaries, and accepted by the early Church. The biblical Petrine data is quite strong and convincing, by virtue of its cumulative weight, especially for those who are not hostile to the notion of the papacy from the outset. This is especially made clear with the assistance of biblical commentaries. The evidence of Holy Scripture (RSV) follows:

    1. Matthew 16:18: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.”

    The rock (Greek, petra) referred to here is St. Peter himself, not his faith or Jesus Christ. Christ appears here not as the foundation, but as the architect who “builds.” The Church is built, not on confessions, but on confessors – living men (see, e.g., 1 Pet 2:5). Today, the overwhelming consensus of the great majority of all biblical scholars and commentators is in favor of the traditional Catholic understanding. Here St. Peter is spoken of as the foundation-stone of the Church, making him head and superior of the family of God (i.e., the seed of the doctrine of the papacy). Moreover, Rock embodies a metaphor applied to him by Christ in a sense analogous to the suffering and despised Messiah (1 Pet 2:4-8; cf. Mt 21:42). Without a solid foundation a house falls. St. Peter is the foundation, but not founder of the Church, administrator, but not Lord of the Church. The Good Shepherd (John 10:11) gives us other shepherds as well (Eph 4:11).

    2. Matthew 16:19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . .”

    The “power of the keys” has to do with ecclesiastical discipline and administrative authority with regard to the requirements of the faith, as in Isaiah 22:22 (cf. Is 9:6; Job 12:14; Rev 3:7). From this power flows the use of censures, excommunication, absolution, baptismal discipline, the imposition of penances, and legislative powers. In the Old Testament a steward, or prime minister is a man who is “over a house” (Gen 41:40; 43:19; 44:4; 1 Ki 4:6; 16:9; 18:3; 2 Ki 10:5; 15:5; 18:18; Is 22:15,20-21).

    3. Matthew 16:19 “. . . whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    “Binding” and “loosing” were technical rabbinical terms, which meant to “forbid” and “permit” with reference to the interpretation of the law, and secondarily to “condemn” or “place under the ban” or “acquit.” Thus, St. Peter and the popes are given the authority to determine the rules for doctrine and life, by virtue of revelation and the Spirit’s leading (Jn 16:13), and to demand obedience from the
    Church. “Binding and loosing” represent the legislative and judicial powers of the papacy and the bishops (Mt 18:17-18; Jn 20:23). St. Peter, however, is the only apostle who receives these powers by name and in the singular, making him preeminent.

    4. Peter’s name occurs first in all lists of apostles (Mt 10:2; Mk 3:16; Lk 6:14; Acts 1:13). Matthew even calls him the “first” (10:2). Judas Iscariot is invariably mentioned last.

    5. Peter is almost without exception named first whenever he appears with anyone else. In one (only?) example to the contrary, Galatians 2:9, where he (“Cephas”) is listed after James and before John, he is clearly preeminent in the entire context (e.g., 1:18-19; 2:7-8).

    6. Peter alone among the apostles receives a new name, Rock, solemnly conferred (Jn 1:42; Mt 16:18).

    7. Likewise, Peter is regarded by Jesus as the Chief Shepherd after Himself (Jn 21:15-17), singularly by name, and over the universal Church, even though others have a similar but subordinate role (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet 5:2).

    8. Peter alone among the apostles is mentioned by name as having been prayed for by Jesus Christ in order that his “faith may not fail” (Lk 22:32).

    9. Peter alone among the apostles is exhorted by Jesus to “strengthen your brethren” (Lk 22:32).

    10. Peter first confesses Christ’s divinity (Mt 16:16).

    11. Peter alone is told that he has received divine knowledge by a special revelation (Mt 16:17).

    12. Peter is regarded by the Jews (Acts 4:1-13) as the leader and spokesman of Christianity.

    13. Peter is regarded by the common people in the same way (Acts 2:37-41; 5:15).

    14. Jesus Christ uniquely associates Himself and Peter in the miracle of the tribute-money (Mt 17:24-27).

    15. Christ teaches from Peter’s boat, and the miraculous catch of fish follows (Lk 5:1-11): perhaps a metaphor for the pope as a “fisher of men” (cf. Mt 4:19).

    16. Peter was the first apostle to set out for, and enter the empty tomb (Lk 24:12; Jn 20:6).

    17. Peter is specified by an angel as the leader and representative of the apostles (Mk 16:7).

    18. Peter leads the apostles in fishing (Jn 21:2-3,11). The “bark” (boat) of Peter has been regarded by Catholics as a figure of the Church, with Peter at the helm.

    19. Peter alone casts himself into the sea to come to Jesus (Jn 21:7).

    20. Peter’s words are the first recorded and most important in the upper room before Pentecost (Acts 1:15-22).

    21. Peter takes the lead in calling for a replacement for Judas (Acts 1:22).

    22. Peter is the first person to speak (and only one recorded) after Pentecost, so he was the first Christian to “preach the gospel” in the Church era (Acts 2:14-36).

    23. Peter works the first miracle of the Church Age, healing a lame man (Acts 3:6-12).

    24. Peter utters the first anathema (Ananias and Sapphira) emphatically affirmed by God (Acts 5:2-11)!

    25. Peter’s shadow works miracles (Acts 5:15).

    26. Peter is the first person after Christ to raise the dead (Acts 9:40).

    27. Cornelius is told by an angel to seek out Peter for instruction in Christianity (Acts 10:1-6).

    28. Peter is the first to receive the Gentiles, after a revelation from God (Acts 10:9-48).

    29. Peter instructs the other apostles on the catholicity (universality) of the Church (Acts 11:5-17).

    30. Peter is the object of the first divine interposition on behalf of an individual in the Church Age (an angel delivers him from prison – Acts 12:1-17).

    31. The whole Church (strongly implied) offers “earnest prayer” for Peter when he is imprisoned (Acts 12:5).

    32. Peter presides over and opens the first Council of Christianity, and lays down principles afterwards accepted by it (Acts 15:7-11).

    33. Paul distinguishes the Lord’s post-Resurrection appearances to Peter from those to other apostles (1 Cor 15:4-8). The two disciples on the road to Emmaus make the same distinction (Lk 24:34), in this instance mentioning only Peter (“Simon”), even though they themselves had just seen the risen Jesus within the previous hour (Lk 24:33).

    34. Peter is often spoken of as distinct among apostles (Mk 1:36; Lk 9:28,32; Acts 2:37; 5:29; 1 Cor 9:5).

    35. Peter is often spokesman for the other apostles, especially at climactic moments (Mk 8:29; Mt 18:21; Lk 9:5; 12:41; Jn 6:67 ff.).

    36. Peter’s name is always the first listed of the “inner circle” of the disciples (Peter, James and John – Mt 17:1; 26:37,40; Mk 5:37; 14:37).

    37. Peter is often the central figure relating to Jesus in dramatic gospel scenes such as walking on the water (Mt 14:28-32; Lk 5:1 ff., Mk 10:28; Mt 17:24 ff.).

    38. Peter is the first to recognize and refute heresy, in Simon Magus (Acts 8:14-24).

    39. Peter’s name is mentioned more often than all the other disciples put together: 191 times (162 as Peter or Simon Peter, 23 as Simon, and 6 as Cephas). John is next in frequency with only 48 appearances, and Peter is present 50% of the time we find John in the Bible! Archbishop Fulton Sheen reckoned that all the other disciples combined were mentioned 130 times. If this is correct, Peter is named a remarkable 60% of the time any disciple is referred to!

    40. Peter’s proclamation at Pentecost (Acts 2:14-41) contains a fully authoritative interpretation of Scripture, a doctrinal decision and a disciplinary decree concerning members of the “House of Israel” (2:36) – an example of “binding and loosing.”

    41. Peter was the first “charismatic”, having judged authoritatively the first instance of the gift of tongues as genuine (Acts 2:14-21).

    42. Peter is the first to preach Christian repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38).

    43. Peter (presumably) takes the lead in the first recorded mass baptism (Acts 2:41).

    44. Peter commanded the first Gentile Christians to be baptized (Acts 10:44-48).

    45. Peter was the first traveling missionary, and first exercised what would now be called “visitation of the churches” (Acts 9:32-38,43). Paul preached at Damascus immediately after his conversion (Acts 9:20), but hadn’t traveled there for that purpose (God changed his plans!). His missionary journeys begin in Acts 13:2.

    46. Paul went to Jerusalem specifically to see Peter for fifteen days in the beginning of his ministry (Gal 1:18), and was commissioned by Peter, James and John (Gal 2:9) to preach to the Gentiles.

    47. Peter acts, by strong implication, as the chief bishop/shepherd of the Church (1 Pet 5:1), since he exhorts all the other bishops, or “elders.”

    48. Peter interprets prophecy (2 Pet 1:16-21).

    49. Peter corrects those who misuse Paul’s writings (2 Pet 3:15-16).

    50. Peter wrote his first epistle from Rome, according to most scholars, as its bishop, and as the universal bishop (or, pope) of the early Church. “Babylon” (1 Pet 5:13) is regarded as code for Rome.

    In conclusion, it strains credulity to think that God would present St. Peter with such prominence in the Bible, without some meaning and import for later Christian history; in particular, Church government. The papacy is the most plausible (we believe actual) fulfillment of this.

    Like

  149. Erik,

    As a follow up to the above you may object that this biblical evidence does not demonstrate clearly how the papacy developed and currently looks. However I would ask you to use the same standard (sola scriptura) to show how your paradigm allows for what I am sure you would consider the the orthodox view of the hypostatic union or the Trinity. However scripture offers far less on orthodox Christology or the Trinity.

    Like

  150. Dave H, I tried finding the comment you are answering from Erik. If you are Roman Catholic, can you explain to me how I am to understand the miracles that Pope John Paul II is said to have performed? I’ve been a Baptist and am now Presbyterian. Answer only if you want to, but when I read the news of these types of things, I tend to think the Roman Catholic church is rather silly and something I should be involved in, maybe in only a small way, in helping to reform. But there’s nothing about that Christian denomination that makes me want to be a part of it, since I’m happy with where God has placed me. Thanks for hanging out in a Christian blog of the non-romish kind. Later.

    Like

  151. AB,

    Here it is:

    Dave,

    Make the case using my Protestant paradigm (sola scriptura) for Peter being all you say he is.

    If all you can offer me is your Catholic paradigm, make the case (biblically, if possible) for the superiority of your paradigm over mine.

    I also was a Baptist who went Presbyterian. Obviously my journey did not end there as I am Catholic. I need to read more about the miracle in question to give you a decent (hopefully) answer.

    In general when there is a verified miracle due to one asking a particular Christian (who has passed from this life) to pray for them it is one step in determining if that person is a saint – meaning in heaven. The process is quite rigorous. But as Christians we still believe God can do miracles right? So I do not think it is silly at all. Just read the gospels and Acts – scripture does not say God can no longer heal people. But I do acknowledge that my Catholic (and Protestant) brothers can indeed act wacky. I didn’t even mention my Pentecostal years… I could tell stories.

    Like

  152. Dave H. you’re seeing what you want to see. No one necessarily wants to see the Trinity as in has a vested interested in it (unless you’re living under Constantine in the 4th century). But you do have an interest in seeing Peter’s primacy. And it ignores such difficulties as Peter having the least of writings in the NT, the story of Acts winds up being about Paul, and James is the chief spokesman for the Council of Jerusalem (a place where you’d expect to see Peter leading the way), not mention that little smack down by Paul which raised serious questions among the church fathers about Peter’s primacy.

    Like

  153. D.G.,

    I am not seeimg what I want to see. I was a Protestant when it became obvious? Did you read what I posted above? Because just about every objection you have is answered there.

    Jesus wrote nothing in the NT save something unknown on the ground. So based on the logic you are employing Paul is greater than Jesus. Acts covers Peter then Paul. It did not end up being about Paul that is a very novel reading of Acts. The Holy Spirit saw fit to communicate what He wanted via Luke in Acts. Acts is not about Petrine primacy. But it is certainly on display at Pentecost. Peter is always mentioned first among the Apostles and Peter delivered final ruling at the Council of Jerusalem. What about Jesus singling Peter out? Like I did for years you have to ignore the obvious. Peters primacy among the Apostles is on display over and iver again in the gospels and Acts. The Jerusalem Council does nothing to undo any of that anymore than Peter’s three denials of the Lord.

    How do you account for the doctirine of the Trinity and the two natures un Christ? You don’t you just rest on the authority of the Catholic Church but you either do nit realize it or refuse to acknowledge it because it was not scripture alone that the church used to define these essentials that Protestants take for granted.

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  154. D.G.,

    Re: the encyclical

    I do not understand how one document is supposed to stand alone and above all other teachings of the church. It is quite a reach to suggest that Pope Francis addressing one subject in one context contradicts Peter.

    You are looking for cintriversy where none exists because yiu have a vested interest in undermining the church because it’s very existence makes it hard to justify the ecclesial communions you support.

    Like

  155. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 8:25 am | Permalink
    Tom, you’re the guy who can’t seem to put Barton on the hook — here, here, here, here, and here (for starters). I do agree with you that professional historians going after Barton is like me picking on you. But dude, you need to work out your attraction to Barton and Palin – I guess that makes you an Angels fan (you can’t take the Orange Co. out of the Angels).

    I know Barton chapter & verse. And his critics–who are sometimes a bit sloppy themselves–so anxious to find error they they can’t even manage to trip over the truth.

    Speaking of which, did you just call me an Angels fan? Migod, man. You couldn’t even hit David Barton, and he’s a fish in a barrel.

    Like

  156. Dave H
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink
    D.G.,

    Re: the encyclical

    I do not understand how one document is supposed to stand alone and above all other teachings of the church.

    Heh. Of course it does, here in Hart’s House of Fun. You don’t get it yet. Everything can and will be used against you. Relax and enjoy the crucifixion.

    Like

  157. Dave H., what works in Sunday school won’t work with folks who aren’t in Sunday school. It’s not obvious that Peter is primary in Scripture (any more than that the apostles revered Mary). I understand it’s obvious to you. But what if you’re trying to convince someone who is skeptical? The fifty reasons don’t add up unless you’re already predisposed to see it.

    If you’d admit that this is a matter of faith for you, just like I admit the Trinity or deity of Christ is something that needs faith more than reason, then we might admit we are in the same ball park — limited to the faith claims of our respective communions. But you (apparently with Jason and the Callers) want to say that these truths are obvious.

    BTW, Jesus does get more space in the NT (plus the OT) than Peter or Paul. It is Christ who sent the Holy Spirit and made Scripture the Word inscripturated. It is Christ’s Spirit who breathed every word of Scripture. No, that is not obvious.

    Like

  158. Dave H., you don’t see any difference between Francis who is seemingly welcoming of all people and all their backgrounds and Peter who was on the watch for all erroneous teaching?

    Like

  159. Dave H
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink
    Erik,

    I will do my best. Actually it has already been done. Here you go:

    From Dave Armstrong:

    The Catholic doctrine of the papacy is biblically-based, and is derived from the evident primacy of St. Peter among the apostles. Like all Christian doctrines, it has undergone development through the centuries, but it hasn’t departed from the essential components already existing in the leadership and prerogatives of St. Peter. These were given to him by our Lord Jesus Christ, acknowledged by his contemporaries, and accepted by the early Church. The biblical Petrine data is quite strong and convincing, by virtue of its cumulative weight, especially for those who are not hostile to the notion of the papacy from the outset. This is especially made clear with the assistance of biblical commentaries. The evidence of Holy Scripture (RSV) follows:

    1. Matthew 16:18: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.”

    The rock (Greek, petra) referred to here is St. Peter himself, not his faith or Jesus Christ. Christ appears here not as the foundation, but as the architect who “builds.” The Church is built, not on confessions, but on confessors – living men (see, e.g., 1 Pet 2:5). Today, the overwhelming consensus of the great majority of all biblical scholars and commentators is in favor of the traditional Catholic understanding. Here St. Peter is spoken of as the foundation-stone of the Church, making him head and superior of the family of God (i.e., the seed of the doctrine of the papacy). Moreover, Rock embodies a metaphor applied to him by Christ in a sense analogous to the suffering and despised Messiah (1 Pet 2:4-8; cf. Mt 21:42). Without a solid foundation a house falls. St. Peter is the foundation, but not founder of the Church, administrator, but not Lord of the Church. The Good Shepherd (John 10:11) gives us other shepherds as well (Eph 4:11).

    2. Matthew 16:19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . .”

    The “power of the keys” has to do with ecclesiastical discipline and administrative authority with regard to the requirements of the faith, as in Isaiah 22:22 (cf. Is 9:6; Job 12:14; Rev 3:7). From this power flows the use of censures, excommunication, absolution, baptismal discipline, the imposition of penances, and legislative powers. In the Old Testament a steward, or prime minister is a man who is “over a house” (Gen 41:40; 43:19; 44:4; 1 Ki 4:6; 16:9; 18:3; 2 Ki 10:5; 15:5; 18:18; Is 22:15,20-21).

    3. Matthew 16:19 “. . . whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    “Binding” and “loosing” were technical rabbinical terms, which meant to “forbid” and “permit” with reference to the interpretation of the law, and secondarily to “condemn” or “place under the ban” or “acquit.” Thus, St. Peter and the popes are given the authority to determine the rules for doctrine and life, by virtue of revelation and the Spirit’s leading (Jn 16:13), and to demand obedience from the
    Church. “Binding and loosing” represent the legislative and judicial powers of the papacy and the bishops (Mt 18:17-18; Jn 20:23). St. Peter, however, is the only apostle who receives these powers by name and in the singular, making him preeminent.

    4. Peter’s name occurs first in all lists of apostles (Mt 10:2; Mk 3:16; Lk 6:14; Acts 1:13). Matthew even calls him the “first” (10:2). Judas Iscariot is invariably mentioned last.

    5. Peter is almost without exception named first whenever he appears with anyone else. In one (only?) example to the contrary, Galatians 2:9, where he (“Cephas”) is listed after James and before John, he is clearly preeminent in the entire context (e.g., 1:18-19; 2:7-8).

    6. Peter alone among the apostles receives a new name, Rock, solemnly conferred (Jn 1:42; Mt 16:18).

    7. Likewise, Peter is regarded by Jesus as the Chief Shepherd after Himself (Jn 21:15-17), singularly by name, and over the universal Church, even though others have a similar but subordinate role (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet 5:2).

    8. Peter alone among the apostles is mentioned by name as having been prayed for by Jesus Christ in order that his “faith may not fail” (Lk 22:32).

    9. Peter alone among the apostles is exhorted by Jesus to “strengthen your brethren” (Lk 22:32).

    10. Peter first confesses Christ’s divinity (Mt 16:16).

    11. Peter alone is told that he has received divine knowledge by a special revelation (Mt 16:17).

    12. Peter is regarded by the Jews (Acts 4:1-13) as the leader and spokesman of Christianity.

    13. Peter is regarded by the common people in the same way (Acts 2:37-41; 5:15).

    14. Jesus Christ uniquely associates Himself and Peter in the miracle of the tribute-money (Mt 17:24-27).

    15. Christ teaches from Peter’s boat, and the miraculous catch of fish follows (Lk 5:1-11): perhaps a metaphor for the pope as a “fisher of men” (cf. Mt 4:19).

    16. Peter was the first apostle to set out for, and enter the empty tomb (Lk 24:12; Jn 20:6).

    17. Peter is specified by an angel as the leader and representative of the apostles (Mk 16:7).

    18. Peter leads the apostles in fishing (Jn 21:2-3,11). The “bark” (boat) of Peter has been regarded by Catholics as a figure of the Church, with Peter at the helm.

    19. Peter alone casts himself into the sea to come to Jesus (Jn 21:7).

    20. Peter’s words are the first recorded and most important in the upper room before Pentecost (Acts 1:15-22).

    21. Peter takes the lead in calling for a replacement for Judas (Acts 1:22).

    22. Peter is the first person to speak (and only one recorded) after Pentecost, so he was the first Christian to “preach the gospel” in the Church era (Acts 2:14-36).

    23. Peter works the first miracle of the Church Age, healing a lame man (Acts 3:6-12).

    24. Peter utters the first anathema (Ananias and Sapphira) emphatically affirmed by God (Acts 5:2-11)!

    25. Peter’s shadow works miracles (Acts 5:15).

    26. Peter is the first person after Christ to raise the dead (Acts 9:40).

    27. Cornelius is told by an angel to seek out Peter for instruction in Christianity (Acts 10:1-6).

    28. Peter is the first to receive the Gentiles, after a revelation from God (Acts 10:9-48).

    29. Peter instructs the other apostles on the catholicity (universality) of the Church (Acts 11:5-17).

    30. Peter is the object of the first divine interposition on behalf of an individual in the Church Age (an angel delivers him from prison – Acts 12:1-17).

    31. The whole Church (strongly implied) offers “earnest prayer” for Peter when he is imprisoned (Acts 12:5).

    32. Peter presides over and opens the first Council of Christianity, and lays down principles afterwards accepted by it (Acts 15:7-11).

    33. Paul distinguishes the Lord’s post-Resurrection appearances to Peter from those to other apostles (1 Cor 15:4-8). The two disciples on the road to Emmaus make the same distinction (Lk 24:34), in this instance mentioning only Peter (“Simon”), even though they themselves had just seen the risen Jesus within the previous hour (Lk 24:33).

    34. Peter is often spoken of as distinct among apostles (Mk 1:36; Lk 9:28,32; Acts 2:37; 5:29; 1 Cor 9:5).

    35. Peter is often spokesman for the other apostles, especially at climactic moments (Mk 8:29; Mt 18:21; Lk 9:5; 12:41; Jn 6:67 ff.).

    36. Peter’s name is always the first listed of the “inner circle” of the disciples (Peter, James and John – Mt 17:1; 26:37,40; Mk 5:37; 14:37).

    37. Peter is often the central figure relating to Jesus in dramatic gospel scenes such as walking on the water (Mt 14:28-32; Lk 5:1 ff., Mk 10:28; Mt 17:24 ff.).

    38. Peter is the first to recognize and refute heresy, in Simon Magus (Acts 8:14-24).

    39. Peter’s name is mentioned more often than all the other disciples put together: 191 times (162 as Peter or Simon Peter, 23 as Simon, and 6 as Cephas). John is next in frequency with only 48 appearances, and Peter is present 50% of the time we find John in the Bible! Archbishop Fulton Sheen reckoned that all the other disciples combined were mentioned 130 times. If this is correct, Peter is named a remarkable 60% of the time any disciple is referred to!

    40. Peter’s proclamation at Pentecost (Acts 2:14-41) contains a fully authoritative interpretation of Scripture, a doctrinal decision and a disciplinary decree concerning members of the “House of Israel” (2:36) – an example of “binding and loosing.”

    41. Peter was the first “charismatic”, having judged authoritatively the first instance of the gift of tongues as genuine (Acts 2:14-21).

    42. Peter is the first to preach Christian repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38).

    43. Peter (presumably) takes the lead in the first recorded mass baptism (Acts 2:41).

    44. Peter commanded the first Gentile Christians to be baptized (Acts 10:44-48).

    45. Peter was the first traveling missionary, and first exercised what would now be called “visitation of the churches” (Acts 9:32-38,43). Paul preached at Damascus immediately after his conversion (Acts 9:20), but hadn’t traveled there for that purpose (God changed his plans!). His missionary journeys begin in Acts 13:2.

    46. Paul went to Jerusalem specifically to see Peter for fifteen days in the beginning of his ministry (Gal 1:18), and was commissioned by Peter, James and John (Gal 2:9) to preach to the Gentiles.

    47. Peter acts, by strong implication, as the chief bishop/shepherd of the Church (1 Pet 5:1), since he exhorts all the other bishops, or “elders.”

    48. Peter interprets prophecy (2 Pet 1:16-21).

    49. Peter corrects those who misuse Paul’s writings (2 Pet 3:15-16).

    50. Peter wrote his first epistle from Rome, according to most scholars, as its bishop, and as the universal bishop (or, pope) of the early Church. “Babylon” (1 Pet 5:13) is regarded as code for Rome.

    In conclusion, it strains credulity to think that God would present St. Peter with such prominence in the Bible, without some meaning and import for later Christian history; in particular, Church government. The papacy is the most plausible (we believe actual) fulfillment of this.

    Yeah, sure, but Galatians 2:9. You lose, case closed, and thanks for playing here at the House of Fun. Next!

    Like

  160. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink
    Tom, you say you know Barton chapter and verse. No kidding.

    Via his critics. Who use the same technique of hunting error rather than seeking truth. Polemicists have trouble getting out of their own crabby way.

    BTW, Chico Ruiz steals home, 1964. Your avatar is of Dick Allen 😉

    Like

  161. “How do you account for the doctirine of the Trinity and the two natures un Christ? You don’t you just rest on the authority of the Catholic Church but you either do nit realize it or refuse to acknowledge it because it was not scripture alone that the church used to define these essentials that Protestants take for granted.”

    Dave, you’re talking as if there is no ground between anti-institutional American evangelicalism and the RCC. But we are Presbyterians with a higher view of the church than that. We applaud Acts 15 (and, indeed, see it as a basis for Presbyterianism) and have no problem with synods and councils meeting to resolve controversies.

    Then here we go with the circular reasoning again. You have a lot of work to do to equate the church of the ecumenical creeds with what we know as the RCC. You can’t just say “creed, ergo RCC.”

    Like

  162. Dave, what harm is there in admitting one sees what he wants to see? Sure, that could be a way of suggesting an erroneous autonomy, but it could also be a way of admitting that nobody comes to the text unbiased, that everybody has a pre-determined grid, which makes some things more or less obvious than others.

    The Reformed begin with scriptura, the Catholic with ecclesia. The upshot of the former is that papacy doesn’t jump off the enscripturated page, while in the latter it does. But to behave as if the papacy is scripturally obvious is to do the same thing evangelicals do when it comes to faith itself—just read the Bible and everything will become clear. But this is to leap-frog right in Pollyanna delight over the problem of human sin. I mean, did you really expect to cut and paste Armstrong and hear a collective, “Ohhhh”?

    Like

  163. Heh. Playing chess with pigeons.

    D. G. Hart
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink
    M&M, Tom does seem to be in over his head.

    mikelmann
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink
    DGH, I get the sense he’s spent most of his life there. Humility in moderation, they say.

    As someone said of your church’s heresy trial of Dr. Terry Gray for teaching evolution, it’s

    rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon; it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory.”

    Like

  164. mikelmann
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink
    “craps on the board”

    Scatalogically aggressive.

    Truth stinks, my pigeon friend. But it’s Darryl’s party and he can poop if he wants to.

    Like

  165. Tom, you’re learning the dialect but I’m not just being a turd when I tell you you need to get a better grasp on the theology and how that ties into our confessionalism which then ties into church polity. You’re just not close with some of the pushback.

    MM, ding ding. I’d give some credit if RCC could just go from Augustine to Counter Reformation.

    Like

  166. sean
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink
    Tom, you’re learning the dialect but I’m not just being a turd when I tell you you need to get a better grasp on the theology and how that ties into our confessionalism which then ties into church polity. You’re just not close with some of the pushback.

    MM, ding ding. I’d give some credit if RCC could just go from Augustine to Counter Reformation.

    Sean, generic pushback at me is empty, not quite principled, and the faithful flock hereabouts has all the time in the world to give people the OPC poop. The Catholics don’t mind setting you straight with lengthy info bursts when you get them wrong, and they’re on the whole quite nice about it.

    Dave H
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink
    Erik,

    I will do my best. Actually it has already been done. Here you go:

    From Dave Armstrong:

    The Catholic doctrine of the papacy is biblically-based, and is derived from the evident primacy of St. Peter among the apostles. Like all Christian doctrines, it has undergone development through the centuries, but it hasn’t departed from the essential components already existing in the leadership and prerogatives of St. Peter. These were given to him by our Lord Jesus Christ, acknowledged by his contemporaries, and accepted by the early Church. The biblical Petrine data is quite strong and convincing, by virtue of its cumulative weight, especially for those who are not hostile to the notion of the papacy from the outset. This is especially made clear with the assistance of biblical commentaries. The evidence of Holy Scripture (RSV) follows:

    1. Matthew 16:18: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.”

    The rock (Greek, petra) referred to here is St. Peter himself, not his faith or Jesus Christ. Christ appears here not as the foundation, but as the architect who “builds.” The Church is built, not on confessions, but on confessors – living men (see, e.g., 1 Pet 2:5). Today, the overwhelming consensus of the great majority of all biblical scholars and commentators is in favor of the traditional Catholic understanding. Here St. Peter is spoken of as the foundation-stone of the Church, making him head and superior of the family of God (i.e., the seed of the doctrine of the papacy). Moreover, Rock embodies a metaphor applied to him by Christ in a sense analogous to the suffering and despised Messiah (1 Pet 2:4-8; cf. Mt 21:42). Without a solid foundation a house falls. St. Peter is the foundation, but not founder of the Church, administrator, but not Lord of the Church. The Good Shepherd (John 10:11) gives us other shepherds as well (Eph 4:11).

    2. Matthew 16:19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . .”

    The “power of the keys” has to do with ecclesiastical discipline and administrative authority with regard to the requirements of the faith, as in Isaiah 22:22 (cf. Is 9:6; Job 12:14; Rev 3:7). From this power flows the use of censures, excommunication, absolution, baptismal discipline, the imposition of penances, and legislative powers. In the Old Testament a steward, or prime minister is a man who is “over a house” (Gen 41:40; 43:19; 44:4; 1 Ki 4:6; 16:9; 18:3; 2 Ki 10:5; 15:5; 18:18; Is 22:15,20-21).

    3. Matthew 16:19 “. . . whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    “Binding” and “loosing” were technical rabbinical terms, which meant to “forbid” and “permit” with reference to the interpretation of the law, and secondarily to “condemn” or “place under the ban” or “acquit.” Thus, St. Peter and the popes are given the authority to determine the rules for doctrine and life, by virtue of revelation and the Spirit’s leading (Jn 16:13), and to demand obedience from the
    Church. “Binding and loosing” represent the legislative and judicial powers of the papacy and the bishops (Mt 18:17-18; Jn 20:23). St. Peter, however, is the only apostle who receives these powers by name and in the singular, making him preeminent.

    4. Peter’s name occurs first in all lists of apostles (Mt 10:2; Mk 3:16; Lk 6:14; Acts 1:13). Matthew even calls him the “first” (10:2). Judas Iscariot is invariably mentioned last.

    5. Peter is almost without exception named first whenever he appears with anyone else. In one (only?) example to the contrary, Galatians 2:9, where he (“Cephas”) is listed after James and before John, he is clearly preeminent in the entire context (e.g., 1:18-19; 2:7-8).

    6. Peter alone among the apostles receives a new name, Rock, solemnly conferred (Jn 1:42; Mt 16:18).

    7. Likewise, Peter is regarded by Jesus as the Chief Shepherd after Himself (Jn 21:15-17), singularly by name, and over the universal Church, even though others have a similar but subordinate role (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet 5:2).

    8. Peter alone among the apostles is mentioned by name as having been prayed for by Jesus Christ in order that his “faith may not fail” (Lk 22:32).

    9. Peter alone among the apostles is exhorted by Jesus to “strengthen your brethren” (Lk 22:32).

    10. Peter first confesses Christ’s divinity (Mt 16:16).

    11. Peter alone is told that he has received divine knowledge by a special revelation (Mt 16:17).

    12. Peter is regarded by the Jews (Acts 4:1-13) as the leader and spokesman of Christianity.

    13. Peter is regarded by the common people in the same way (Acts 2:37-41; 5:15).

    14. Jesus Christ uniquely associates Himself and Peter in the miracle of the tribute-money (Mt 17:24-27).

    15. Christ teaches from Peter’s boat, and the miraculous catch of fish follows (Lk 5:1-11): perhaps a metaphor for the pope as a “fisher of men” (cf. Mt 4:19).

    16. Peter was the first apostle to set out for, and enter the empty tomb (Lk 24:12; Jn 20:6).

    17. Peter is specified by an angel as the leader and representative of the apostles (Mk 16:7).

    18. Peter leads the apostles in fishing (Jn 21:2-3,11). The “bark” (boat) of Peter has been regarded by Catholics as a figure of the Church, with Peter at the helm.

    19. Peter alone casts himself into the sea to come to Jesus (Jn 21:7).

    20. Peter’s words are the first recorded and most important in the upper room before Pentecost (Acts 1:15-22).

    21. Peter takes the lead in calling for a replacement for Judas (Acts 1:22).

    22. Peter is the first person to speak (and only one recorded) after Pentecost, so he was the first Christian to “preach the gospel” in the Church era (Acts 2:14-36).

    23. Peter works the first miracle of the Church Age, healing a lame man (Acts 3:6-12).

    24. Peter utters the first anathema (Ananias and Sapphira) emphatically affirmed by God (Acts 5:2-11)!

    25. Peter’s shadow works miracles (Acts 5:15).

    26. Peter is the first person after Christ to raise the dead (Acts 9:40).

    27. Cornelius is told by an angel to seek out Peter for instruction in Christianity (Acts 10:1-6).

    28. Peter is the first to receive the Gentiles, after a revelation from God (Acts 10:9-48).

    29. Peter instructs the other apostles on the catholicity (universality) of the Church (Acts 11:5-17).

    30. Peter is the object of the first divine interposition on behalf of an individual in the Church Age (an angel delivers him from prison – Acts 12:1-17).

    31. The whole Church (strongly implied) offers “earnest prayer” for Peter when he is imprisoned (Acts 12:5).

    32. Peter presides over and opens the first Council of Christianity, and lays down principles afterwards accepted by it (Acts 15:7-11).

    33. Paul distinguishes the Lord’s post-Resurrection appearances to Peter from those to other apostles (1 Cor 15:4-8). The two disciples on the road to Emmaus make the same distinction (Lk 24:34), in this instance mentioning only Peter (“Simon”), even though they themselves had just seen the risen Jesus within the previous hour (Lk 24:33).

    34. Peter is often spoken of as distinct among apostles (Mk 1:36; Lk 9:28,32; Acts 2:37; 5:29; 1 Cor 9:5).

    35. Peter is often spokesman for the other apostles, especially at climactic moments (Mk 8:29; Mt 18:21; Lk 9:5; 12:41; Jn 6:67 ff.).

    36. Peter’s name is always the first listed of the “inner circle” of the disciples (Peter, James and John – Mt 17:1; 26:37,40; Mk 5:37; 14:37).

    37. Peter is often the central figure relating to Jesus in dramatic gospel scenes such as walking on the water (Mt 14:28-32; Lk 5:1 ff., Mk 10:28; Mt 17:24 ff.).

    38. Peter is the first to recognize and refute heresy, in Simon Magus (Acts 8:14-24).

    39. Peter’s name is mentioned more often than all the other disciples put together: 191 times (162 as Peter or Simon Peter, 23 as Simon, and 6 as Cephas). John is next in frequency with only 48 appearances, and Peter is present 50% of the time we find John in the Bible! Archbishop Fulton Sheen reckoned that all the other disciples combined were mentioned 130 times. If this is correct, Peter is named a remarkable 60% of the time any disciple is referred to!

    40. Peter’s proclamation at Pentecost (Acts 2:14-41) contains a fully authoritative interpretation of Scripture, a doctrinal decision and a disciplinary decree concerning members of the “House of Israel” (2:36) – an example of “binding and loosing.”

    41. Peter was the first “charismatic”, having judged authoritatively the first instance of the gift of tongues as genuine (Acts 2:14-21).

    42. Peter is the first to preach Christian repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38).

    43. Peter (presumably) takes the lead in the first recorded mass baptism (Acts 2:41).

    44. Peter commanded the first Gentile Christians to be baptized (Acts 10:44-48).

    45. Peter was the first traveling missionary, and first exercised what would now be called “visitation of the churches” (Acts 9:32-38,43). Paul preached at Damascus immediately after his conversion (Acts 9:20), but hadn’t traveled there for that purpose (God changed his plans!). His missionary journeys begin in Acts 13:2.

    46. Paul went to Jerusalem specifically to see Peter for fifteen days in the beginning of his ministry (Gal 1:18), and was commissioned by Peter, James and John (Gal 2:9) to preach to the Gentiles.

    47. Peter acts, by strong implication, as the chief bishop/shepherd of the Church (1 Pet 5:1), since he exhorts all the other bishops, or “elders.”

    48. Peter interprets prophecy (2 Pet 1:16-21).

    49. Peter corrects those who misuse Paul’s writings (2 Pet 3:15-16).

    50. Peter wrote his first epistle from Rome, according to most scholars, as its bishop, and as the universal bishop (or, pope) of the early Church. “Babylon” (1 Pet 5:13) is regarded as code for Rome.

    In conclusion, it strains credulity to think that God would present St. Peter with such prominence in the Bible, without some meaning and import for later Christian history; in particular, Church government. The papacy is the most plausible (we believe actual) fulfillment of this.

    Your call. Keep ding dinging each other if that’s your thing but it’s not as cute or clever as one might think.

    Like

  167. Wrong time of the month TVD? Copying and pasting assertions doesn’t equate to setting anyone straight. The apologetic bounding has been well established. But, ill give you the cliff note; when Rome substantiates apostolic succession per Gal. 1:8, they can put one on the scoreboard. Until then it’s all debated premise and noumenal claims. Paul argues fidelity to original apostolic tradition for claim of apostolic authority. Otherwise, go fish. Opting out of the lexicon for gnostic unwritten tradition is a poor attempt at sleight of hand and works better on the illiterate.

    Like

  168. sean
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Permalink
    Wrong time of the month TVD? Copying and pasting assertions doesn’t equate to setting anyone straight. The apologetic bounding has been well established. But, ill give you the cliff note; when Rome substantiates apostolic succession per Gal. 1:8, they can put one on the scoreboard. Until then it’s all debated premise and noumenal claims. Paul argues fidelity to original apostolic tradition for claim of apostolic authority. Otherwise, go fish. Opting out of the lexicon for gnostic unwritten tradition is a poor attempt at sleight of hand and works better on the illiterate.

    I’m not taking a side, sean. I’m saying the fellow gave arguments for his position and was quite genial about the whole thing. This time around you gave arguments for your own position, and that was nice, even if you weren’t.

    Like

  169. sean
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Permalink
    TVD, its all that RC training I had as a yute.

    Dunno. Could be dispositional. You seem to have sought out the crabbiest church in Christendom. Then again, mebbe maybe crabbiness is all part of being elect. I will observe further.

    Like

  170. Sean, now Tom is schooling others on niceness. Brass ones.

    Here’s what he means by not taking sides (here’s the link to follow the links):

    I rely here on Paul Harvey’s essay “Jesus and Jefferson: Mark Noll Reviews Dochuk and Williams in The New Republic,” since the full essay is behind TNR’s subscriber-only firewall.]

    Over at his excellent groupblog Religion and American History, Paul Harvey writes

    Here’s a discussion of interest to many: Mark Noll reviews Daniel Williams’ God’s Own Party and Darren Dochuk’s From Bible Belt to Sunbelt in the most recent The New Republic.

    Noll writes:
    “…neither of these writers carries out the moral evaluation, that, especially, in tandem, their volumes make possible…”

    But is it the historian’s job to make such moral evaluations? And by what standard?

    “Yet neither Williams nor Dochuk addresses directly what should be one of the most compelling questions about the political history they describe so well: what exactly is Christian about the Christian right…”

    Who decides “what is Christian?” The historian? The theologian? Which theologian? Ratzinger, Barth? Pat Robertson? Jim Wallis?

    I realize Mark Noll is becoming the go-to gold standard for religion and history, but where is his theological authority in such matters?
    “It would have done much more good, and also drawn nearer to the Christianity by which it is named, if it had manifested comparable wisdom, honesty, self-criticism, and discernment.”

    Oh? Well, this is theology or contemporary partisan politics or both, but are such judgments the province of the historian? May a historian likewise criticize “social gospel” politics as un-Christian? By what authority?

    As to the history of the thing, it seems to me Jesus and “Jefferson” had made peace long before Jefferson was born, in the pre-American Calvinist “resistance theory” that executed one British king and exiled another in the 1600s. [More on that here].

    Is Calvinist resistance theory Christian? A theologian might dare say no [and some do, per Romans 13]; however, the historian must say yes, since the British Christians embraced it, as later did the Americans.

    If “Jesus and ‘Jefferson'” is a theological miscegenation, it was not a uniquely American phenomenon, nor only the province of the 20th century American “right.” Further, the historian’s job is to report what happened in the past and assess its prevailing norms, not substitute his own.

    Much has been made of a certain “pseudo-historian” and the propriety of his mixing of history and partisan politics.

    Mark Noll is no “pseudo-“historian, but an accomplished historian, an award-winning historian, and on the faculty at Notre Dame. Neither is he directly involved in partisan politics, as that other fellow is. And neither are Noll’s words here strictly an attack, although they certainly are a critique of the modern evangelical “Religious Right.”

    [It should be noted Noll’s The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind vaulted him into prominence as a public intellectual, its thesis basically that “there is not much of an evangelical mind.” Coming from an evangelical himself, from a faculty member of an evangelical-minded college [Wheaton] at that, Noll certainly made his splash in the greater public sphere.]

    Which is fine, for a public intellectual, even a theologian. But when one reads an acclaimed historian such as Dr. Mark Noll of Notre Dame reviewing history books in a respected intellectual journal such as TNR, it’s surely proper for the reader to assume he has his historian hat on, not his theologian hat, not his political pundit hat.

    I think Dr. Noll has mixed his hats here, and improperly: this review is neither fish nor fowl, but a miscegenation not unlike mixing Jesus and Jefferson, which he explicitly questions.

    Perhaps Calvinist “resistance theory” was bad theologically; perhaps the American revolutionaries were theologically wrong in embracing it. Perhaps the Religious Right of the 20th century was wrong in picking up that tradition.

    But there’s a difference between those who make history and those who study it. The historian owes his readers the facts about the people of bygone days, not his opinion of them.

    As for Mark Noll’s personal “moral evaluations”; theological evaluations about “what exactly is Christian about the Christian right” or whether “[i]t would have done much more good, and also drawn nearer to the Christianity by which it is named”; or his political evaluation of whether it “manifested comparable wisdom, honesty, self-criticism, and discernment,” frankly, my dear, these things are above his pay grade as an historian: We shall make up our own minds, thank you, sir, and we all wear our own hats on religion and politics with equal authority. That’s the American way.

    Wiki tells us Mark Noll’s scholarly credentials are these:

    Noll is a graduate of Wheaton College, Illinois (B.A, English), the University of Iowa (M.A., English), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.A., Church History and Theology), and Vanderbilt University (Ph.D, History of Christianity)

    If Dr. Mark Noll wants to put on the theologian’s hat, OK, or the political pundit’s hat. But—and this goes for anyone else in his acclaimed and exalted position as an historian—he must make clear what hat he’s wearing. Just let us know.

    In reviewing two scholarly historical works here, albeit in TNR, the gentle reader could not be blamed for assuming Dr. Noll has his professional historian hat on, and not the political pundit’s or theologian’s.

    The last thing the historian should do is mix in his own religion and politics! When Mark Noll is writing as a theologian—or personally as a Christian, or as an evangelical Christian—or as a partisan and/or pundit, all I ask is that he let us know which hat he’s wearing. I hope I’m not being unfair here, asking that certain lines be drawn.

    Tom has standards the likely only our Lord could meet.

    Like

  171. TVD, it’s an allergy to schoolmarm and pretense. The elect characteristic would be unmasking self-righteousness.

    Like

  172. Dave – and is derived from the evident primacy of St. Peter among the apostles

    Erik – If Peter has primacy why would he tolerate Paul’s rebuke over refusing to eat with gentiles?

    If Peter has primacy why are so many more New Testament epistles written by Paul?

    Everything you cite gives evidence for the importance of the apostles as the foundation of the church, but does little to support the notion of the Papacy. You have to use Catholic Tradition to do that.

    Why did Jesus bother with the other disciples, let alone the Apostle Paul, if Peter was the man?

    A good sermon on rightly evaluating Peter:

    [audio src="https://ia601804.us.archive.org/12/items/June232013MorningSermon_201306/June%2023%2C%202013%20-%20Morning%20Sermon.mp3" /]

    Even if I did buy what you say about Peter, how do I get to the notion of him passing his unique position on to non-apostles? It’s seems the more you argue for his uniqueness the more problem you have justifying the idea that he could have successors (especially up until the present day).

    Jesus discusses setting up church officers as the church grows, not setting up continuing apostles.

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  173. Dave – I would ask you to use the same standard (sola scriptura) to show how your paradigm allows for what I am sure you would consider the the orthodox view of the hypostatic union or the Trinity. However scripture offers far less on orthodox Christology or the Trinity.

    Erik – Do we disagree on those doctrines?

    Like

  174. Dave – But as Christians we still believe God can do miracles right? So I do not think it is silly at all. Just read the gospels and Acts – scripture does not say God can no longer heal people. But I do acknowledge that my Catholic (and Protestant) brothers can indeed act wacky. I didn’t even mention my Pentecostal years… I could tell stories.

    Erik – In theory, yes. In practice, however, it seems that the point of miracles were to establish the authority of Jesus and, later, the apostles. If there are no more apostles it is reasonable to conclude that there is no longer any reason for miracles. In a sense you are begging the question as a Roman Catholic (the Pope being a modern-day apostle).

    Like

  175. Dave,

    Re: wanting to compare the Papacy to the Doctrine of the Trinity –

    Can you cite abuses arising from the Doctrine of the Trinity throughout church history?

    Can you cite abuses arising from the Doctrine of the Papacy throughout history?

    I don’t think Luther’s Theses were directed at The Trinity.

    Like

  176. Dave,

    I know I asked you to cite Scripture (and you did). It does seem a bit odd for a Catholic to cite Scripture to justify Catholic doctrine, however, because pretty quickly you are going to run into problems on issues like priestly celibacy, veneration of Mary, seven sacraments, purgatory, etc. As some have mentioned, it seems like you have to just pick a paradigm and stick with it.

    I don’t follow Greenbaggins closely but I think I ran across Jason Stellman trying to argue for the Roman Catholic position on justification from Scripture alone with Lane Keister awhile back. That’s like challenging a guy to a 10K in January in Iowa and offering to do it naked as well. I wonder if Jason will lose some of that cockiness after he’s been converted awhile longer.

    Like

  177. Darryl, everyone is brought before the bar of TVD. But he’s fair and just and right in all he does and says.

    Like

  178. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink
    Sean, now Tom is schooling others on niceness. Brass ones.

    Here’s what he means by not taking sides (here’s the link to follow the links):

    I rely here on Paul Harvey’s essay “Jesus and Jefferson: Mark Noll Reviews Dochuk and Williams in The New Republic,” since the full essay is behind TNR’s subscriber-only firewall.]

    Over at his excellent groupblog Religion and American History, Paul Harvey writes

    Here’s a discussion of interest to many: Mark Noll reviews Daniel Williams’ God’s Own Party and Darren Dochuk’s From Bible Belt to Sunbelt in the most recent The New Republic.

    Noll writes:
    “…neither of these writers carries out the moral evaluation, that, especially, in tandem, their volumes make possible…”

    But is it the historian’s job to make such moral evaluations? And by what standard?

    “Yet neither Williams nor Dochuk addresses directly what should be one of the most compelling questions about the political history they describe so well: what exactly is Christian about the Christian right…”

    Who decides “what is Christian?” The historian? The theologian? Which theologian? Ratzinger, Barth? Pat Robertson? Jim Wallis?

    I realize Mark Noll is becoming the go-to gold standard for religion and history, but where is his theological authority in such matters?
    “It would have done much more good, and also drawn nearer to the Christianity by which it is named, if it had manifested comparable wisdom, honesty, self-criticism, and discernment.”

    Oh? Well, this is theology or contemporary partisan politics or both, but are such judgments the province of the historian? May a historian likewise criticize “social gospel” politics as un-Christian? By what authority?

    As to the history of the thing, it seems to me Jesus and “Jefferson” had made peace long before Jefferson was born, in the pre-American Calvinist “resistance theory” that executed one British king and exiled another in the 1600s. [More on that here].

    Is Calvinist resistance theory Christian? A theologian might dare say no [and some do, per Romans 13]; however, the historian must say yes, since the British Christians embraced it, as later did the Americans.

    If “Jesus and ‘Jefferson’” is a theological miscegenation, it was not a uniquely American phenomenon, nor only the province of the 20th century American “right.” Further, the historian’s job is to report what happened in the past and assess its prevailing norms, not substitute his own.

    Much has been made of a certain “pseudo-historian” and the propriety of his mixing of history and partisan politics.

    Mark Noll is no “pseudo-”historian, but an accomplished historian, an award-winning historian, and on the faculty at Notre Dame. Neither is he directly involved in partisan politics, as that other fellow is. And neither are Noll’s words here strictly an attack, although they certainly are a critique of the modern evangelical “Religious Right.”

    [It should be noted Noll’s The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind vaulted him into prominence as a public intellectual, its thesis basically that “there is not much of an evangelical mind.” Coming from an evangelical himself, from a faculty member of an evangelical-minded college [Wheaton] at that, Noll certainly made his splash in the greater public sphere.]

    Which is fine, for a public intellectual, even a theologian. But when one reads an acclaimed historian such as Dr. Mark Noll of Notre Dame reviewing history books in a respected intellectual journal such as TNR, it’s surely proper for the reader to assume he has his historian hat on, not his theologian hat, not his political pundit hat.

    I think Dr. Noll has mixed his hats here, and improperly: this review is neither fish nor fowl, but a miscegenation not unlike mixing Jesus and Jefferson, which he explicitly questions.

    Perhaps Calvinist “resistance theory” was bad theologically; perhaps the American revolutionaries were theologically wrong in embracing it. Perhaps the Religious Right of the 20th century was wrong in picking up that tradition.

    But there’s a difference between those who make history and those who study it. The historian owes his readers the facts about the people of bygone days, not his opinion of them.

    As for Mark Noll’s personal “moral evaluations”; theological evaluations about “what exactly is Christian about the Christian right” or whether “[i]t would have done much more good, and also drawn nearer to the Christianity by which it is named”; or his political evaluation of whether it “manifested comparable wisdom, honesty, self-criticism, and discernment,” frankly, my dear, these things are above his pay grade as an historian: We shall make up our own minds, thank you, sir, and we all wear our own hats on religion and politics with equal authority. That’s the American way.

    Wiki tells us Mark Noll’s scholarly credentials are these:

    Noll is a graduate of Wheaton College, Illinois (B.A, English), the University of Iowa (M.A., English), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.A., Church History and Theology), and Vanderbilt University (Ph.D, History of Christianity)

    If Dr. Mark Noll wants to put on the theologian’s hat, OK, or the political pundit’s hat. But—and this goes for anyone else in his acclaimed and exalted position as an historian—he must make clear what hat he’s wearing. Just let us know.

    In reviewing two scholarly historical works here, albeit in TNR, the gentle reader could not be blamed for assuming Dr. Noll has his professional historian hat on, and not the political pundit’s or theologian’s.

    The last thing the historian should do is mix in his own religion and politics! When Mark Noll is writing as a theologian—or personally as a Christian, or as an evangelical Christian—or as a partisan and/or pundit, all I ask is that he let us know which hat he’s wearing. I hope I’m not being unfair here, asking that certain lines be drawn.

    Tom has standards the likely only our Lord could meet.

    Excellent essay! “Confessing” historians are taking a bit of fire, and they have it coming. They wear historian hats, but they’re really doing their own religious beliefs.

    One can report that the Founding era believed God was on their side. Or one can say He was. Or say He wasn’t. Me, as a student of history, it’s above my pay grade. I just notice that’s what they thought.

    “Perhaps Calvinist “resistance theory” was bad theologically; perhaps the American revolutionaries were theologically wrong in embracing it. Perhaps the Religious Right of the 20th century was wrong in picking up that tradition.

    But there’s a difference between those who make history and those who study it. The historian owes his readers the facts about the people of bygone days, not his opinion of them.”

    Amazing these distinctions apparently elude you, Darryl. You keep trying to play Gotcha Man but all you do is prove I play it straight. [BTW, This essay from 2011 shows I was already thinking of you. Say hello to yourself.]

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  179. sean
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Permalink
    TVD, it’s an allergy to schoolmarm and pretense. The elect characteristic would be unmasking self-righteousness.

    Roger. I’ll keep all that in mind as I observe y’all.

    Like

  180. While we’re on (lapsed) Catholics:

    Christopher Buckley: By the Book
    Published: July 3, 2013

    The author, most recently, of “They Eat Puppies, Don’t They?” says his favorite writer is Evelyn Waugh, “even though he so despised Americans that, if he were alive to hear this compliment, he would swat it back across the net.”

    By the Book: Archive (May 3, 2012)

    What are you reading at the moment? Are you a one-book-at-a-time person?

    According to the increasingly hazardous-looking ziggurat on my bedside table: Paul Scott’s “The Raj Quartet”; David Nasaw’s biography of William Randolph Hearst, “The Chief”; Christopher Hitchens’s “Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man”; Eric Jaffe’s “The King’s Best Highway”; Frank Langella’s memoir, “Dropped Names”; the “Collected Stories” of Roald Dahl; Ellin Stein’s history of the National Lampoon, “That’s Not Funny, That’s Sick”; Hiram Maxim’s autobiography, “My Life” (he invented the Maxim gun in the 1880s, providing Hilaire Belloc with the couplet “Whatever happens, we have got / The Maxim Gun, and they have not”); Edna O’Brien’s memoir, “Country Girl”; John Keegan’s biography of Churchill, titled, oddly, “Winston Churchill”; Bill Bryson’s biography of Shakespeare, also oddly titled “Shakespeare”; and George H. W. Bush’s collection of letters, “All the Best.”

    Whether this reflects catholicity or A.D.D., I can’t say. Probably A.D.D. What was your question? I can say for certain that since there are 1,926 pages in “The Raj Quartet,” I will still be reading it in the year 2039.

    What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year?

    I’m a Libra, so I claim astrological right of indecision as between Edmund Morris’s “This Living Hand” and Alexandra Fuller’s “Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness.” Both are exquisitely written. Edmund Morris is of course chiefly known for his Theodore Roosevelt trilogy biography; its first volume won the Pulitzer Prize. This collection of essays and articles is a calliope of talent and range. Alexandra Fuller’s memoir of her mother’s growing up in Kenya is breathtakingly tragic, triumphant and lyrical. It only just occurred to me now that both authors grew up in Africa.

    If you had to name a favorite novelist, who would it be?

    Evelyn Waugh, hands down, even though he so despised Americans that, if he were alive to hear this compliment, he would swat it back across the net with serene contempt.

    Runner-up favorite: God, assuming he actually did channel that greatest of all novels, branded under the title the Bible.

    What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you steer clear of?

    Drawn to: Stories that begin with lines like, “Late in October 1914 three brothers rode from Choteau, Montana, to Calgary in Alberta to enlist in the Great War.” (Jim Harrison’s novella, “Legends of the Fall.”)

    Steer clear of: Stories that begin with “riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.” (Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake.” I know, I know. My bad.)

    Which book has had the greatest impact on you? What book made you want to write?

    H. L. Mencken’s “Prejudices.” He wrote these six volumes in the 1920s, but their zest, sinew and cut-and-thrust are undated, fresh and vital nearly a century after their ink dried. No American writer — except perhaps Twain and Bierce — could be so withering and gleeful at the same time. But see Favorite Book on Politics, below.

    What’s the best book on politics you’ve ever read? The worst?

    Filial duty — and genuine admiration — incline me to say “The Unmaking of a Mayor,” by William F. Buckley Jr., his account of running for mayor of New York City in 1965. (Spoiler alert: He didn’t win.) Joe Klein, who wrote, among other marvelous books, “Primary Colors,” told “Unmaking”’s author that it was his favorite book on politics. Coming from Klein, this is high praise.

    But to answer your question: “Parliament of Whores,” by P. J. O’Rourke, his definitive and herniatingly funny account of that menagerie known as the United States Congress and zoo known as Washington, D.C. It makes you thank God that the founding fathers are no longer around to see what we’ve done with the gift they bequeathed us.

    If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

    Title 26 of the United States Code, otherwise known as the Internal Revenue Code. No one seems to know exactly how long it is, which says something in itself. I like President Obama, but if he actually sat down and read this cetacean abomination, he might think twice before adding more pages to it.

    Did you identify with any literary characters growing up? Who were your literary heroes?

    As someone who was sent off to boarding school, I’d have to cop to cliché and say Holden Caulfield. But it would have been a heckuva lot more fun to be Hawkeye, of “The Last of the Mohicans.”

    Disappointing, overrated, just not good: What book did you feel as if you were supposed to like, and didn’t?

    I should come clean and say “Remembrance of Things Past,” but that would brand me as a philistine, and we don’t want that. So instead: much as it pains me to say it, “The Autobiography of Mark Twain.” I continue to revere him, but this omnium-gatherum is truly and monumentally dull and dare I say, pointless. As Garrison Keillor remarked in these pages in his review: it’s the ultimate argument for burning your leftovers before you die.

    If you could meet any writer, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you want to know?

    Meeting one’s heroes in the flesh can be very depressing and disillusioning, but to divide candidates into categories:

    Party Animals: François Villon, Rabelais, Byron, Kenneth Tynan, Casanova, James Dickey. (I met Dickey, but that’s another story.)

    Wow Factor: Shakespeare, but only if he was really as cool as Joseph Fiennes’s in “Shakespeare in Love.”

    Wrestler With God: Melville, but sooo gloomy.

    Wit on Loan From God: Oscar Wilde and Dorothy Parker.

    If you could be any character from literature, who would you be?

    Ian Fleming’s masterpiece creation, so that when asked my name, I could respond with a reasonably straight face: “Bond. James Bond.” I say it all the time, but women do not swoon and men just laugh.

    Of the books you’ve written, which is your favorite?

    The correct answer is “The next one.” But in fact, “Steaming to Bamboola: The World of a Tramp Freighter.” That was 15 books ago now; there’s something about your firstborn.

    What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to? Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?

    “War and Peace.” My standard excuse for this appalling illiteracy is: “I’m saving it for my final illness.” But when the doctors tell me I have six months to live, I wonder: Will I really reach for “War and Peace” instead of P. G. Wodehouse? Fortunately, it’s irrelevant, because even if I’m 94, I’ll still be plowing my way through “The Raj Quartet.”

    What will you read next?

    Marie Arana’s biography “Bolívar.” She is an enchanting and fascinating writer and will make me feel better about not having read “War and Peace.”

    Like

  181. Oh look, I was thinking of Darryl in that 2011 quite explicitly. From the comments section:

    http://americancreation.blogspot.com/2011/05/mark-noll-when-historians-attack.html

    Now, when Noll questions the very Christianity of other people’s politics, that’s a serious charge.

    When Darryl G. Hart takes his swipes at the Religious Right at oldlife-dot-org, it’s clear he’s speaking as a theologian if not a preacher, and representing “Two Kingdoms” theology of the J. Gresham Machen wing of Reformed theology.

    Interesting, but for those of us outside the Reformed tradition, or outside Protestantism or outside Christianity, this is all inside baseball, intramural theology battles. Hart has nothing to say to we “civilians,” esp if it were in a secular forum like The New Republic.

    Further, Dr. Hart in these contexts is implicitly making a theological truth claim, that his is the correct way to interpret the scriptures, Luther, or God’s Will.

    Such claims are way above our pay grade, we who have no dog in the fight. Neither are they fact, and therefore history.

    Now if Mark Noll wishes to write as a public intellectual, he must fly under his true colors, and argue why the Religious Right has been imprudent. If he wishes to write as a theologian, he must make his case why he questions just what is Christian about the Religious Right.

    And if he writes as a theologian, I repeat my previous question, which theologian can speak with authority, and for whom? The Pope can speak for the Roman Church, but once you hit Protestantism, there are few who are authorities on what is and isn’t acceptable normative theology. The very conservative Al Mohler is as much an authority as Mark Noll, and perhaps more so, since he appears to represent the evangelical mainstream more than Noll does.

    Daniel Williams’ God’s Own Party and Darren Dochuk’s From Bible Belt to Sunbelt are, by most accounts, admirable scholarship, and to my mind the ideal for the historian’s approach. Moral evaluations and theological truth claims are for the reader to make. The historian’s job is to provide just the facts, ma’am.

    Keep in mind my protest here is formal—not based on the truth of falsity of Noll’s content. I would make the same objection to an historian who questioned the theological validity, the “Christianness” of “social gospel” politics. If he wants to write an op-ed, fine, we’ll know what hat he’s wearing, but it shouldn’t be under cover of a historical book review.

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  182. Tom, I can’t compete in the gotcha game with you.

    But one place where your “essay” falls well short is that you ding Noll for making theological judgments in The New Republic!!!. TNR is not the American Historical Review (not to say that historians are immune to moral — as opposed to theological — judgments). Have you not ever read Leon Wieseltier? You don’t know how moronic you sounded.

    But yeah, chalk it up to confessional historians who can’t leave behind their faith. And you come up smelling superior.

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  183. Tom, so when you conclude that Thomas Jefferson was not a Unitarian, you’re not doing theology? Any historical judgment about a person or institution regarding Christianity requires some theologizing. By your esteemed historical logic — historians just report, they don’t opinionize — Arlen Specter was simply a Democrat. You expect historians to play dumb about facts they know, like ideas such as Christianity or Republicanism are contested and a historian might have to give some guidance to an audience how to sort through rival claims.

    This dumb logic afflicts your reading of Calvinism and the American Revolution. When someone points out that other Calvinists (like ones in Canada) did not support the Revolution, you respond, well, it was British Calvinists (as if the Canadians aren’t/weren’t Brits). When you see a Calvinist who supports the Revolution, then that’s real Calvinism. Ignore all other Calvinists.

    But a historian tries to figure out to what degree it is Calvinism or Britishness that is driving support for the Revolution.

    I have no idea why you want a Christian nation or Christian founding, other than it gives you something to do when you’re not recruiting lawyers and your wife is on the set. It looks like its an alternative to solitaire.

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  184. “Is Calvinist resistance theory Christian? … the historian must say yes, since the British Christians embraced it, as later did the Americans.”

    This is the problem with your approach in a nutshell. Yours is a methodological problem. The brute fact that most British Christians embraced X does not entail that X is uniquely Christian. Most British Christians may have insisted on afternoon tea. That doesn’t make it a sacrament.

    There is a whole lotta analysis that is required to go from the facts to a coherent causal story. Pulling out quote, after quote, after quote doesn’t establish anything by itself. If you are going to establish something like “Calvinist Resistance Theory” you have to establish certain things first – namely that the resistance theory is properly Calvinist. Calvinism doesn’t simply mean ideas congruent with Calvin’s ideas – I’ll leave it as an exercise to you to come up with trivial examples.

    Calvinism is theological system defined by certain confessions and creeds. What you would need to show is that the Calvinists you quote are acting consistently with what their confessions define as Calvinism, then that those confessions and creeds provide an ideological foundation for a resistance theory not found in say Ausburg, 39 articles, Schleitheim, etc… (to show that it is uniquely Calvinist).

    This requires analysis (theological judgement for example). To eschew this and adopt “The historian’s job is to provide just the facts, ma’am.” is to reduce Historiography to reprinting primary texts. It is like the non-creedal christians who think they are doing theology by compiling proof texts or folks who think science is just data collection. Exegesis isn’t theology and stamp collecting isn’t science. Nor is “just the facts” historical analysis.

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  185. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 8, 2013 at 5:56 am | Permalink
    Tom, I can’t compete in the gotcha game with you.

    But one place where your “essay” falls well short is that you ding Noll for making theological judgments in The New Republic!!!. TNR is not the American Historical Review (not to say that historians are immune to moral — as opposed to theological — judgments). Have you not ever read Leon Wieseltier? You don’t know how moronic you sounded.

    But yeah, chalk it up to confessional historians who can’t leave behind their faith. And you come up smelling superior.

    As long as people understand that “confessing” [confessional] comes first, and the “history” is caveat emptor. As for what sounds moronic, oh never mind. Suffice to say the left is A-OK with religion in politics when it’s used against their enemies.

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  186. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 8, 2013 at 6:06 am | Permalink
    Tom, so when you conclude that Thomas Jefferson was not a Unitarian, you’re not doing theology? Any historical judgment about a person or institution regarding Christianity requires some theologizing. By your esteemed historical logic — historians just report, they don’t opinionize — Arlen Specter was simply a Democrat. You expect historians to play dumb about facts they know, like ideas such as Christianity or Republicanism are contested and a historian might have to give some guidance to an audience how to sort through rival claims.

    This dumb logic afflicts your reading of Calvinism and the American Revolution. When someone points out that other Calvinists (like ones in Canada) did not support the Revolution, you respond, well, it was British Calvinists (as if the Canadians aren’t/weren’t Brits). When you see a Calvinist who supports the Revolution, then that’s real Calvinism. Ignore all other Calvinists.

    But a historian tries to figure out to what degree it is Calvinism or Britishness that is driving support for the Revolution.

    I have no idea why you want a Christian nation or Christian founding, other than it gives you something to do when you’re not recruiting lawyers and your wife is on the set. It looks like its an alternative to solitaire.

    Jefferson was kind of a unitarian, but not one anyone else would recognize. He also wrote he was a sect to himself, as far as he knew, and that’s probably most accurate.

    BTW, the story of the Sheep and the Goats was left in the Jefferson bible. I found that double- checking the sloppy work of a Barton critic.

    As for your attempt to get your hooks into me personally, no thanks. My study of religion and the revolution is actually part of a greater interest in the nature of “rights.” You’re more concerned about your church; I’m more interested in the fact that Calvinist thought was a major driver of what we know as “rights” today, the whole picture and its effect on mankind, not the purity of your own theology. So I see why you get upset, but at this point you represent normative Calvinist theology in America far less than the American revolutionaries did. I think you’re somewhat significant, especially if your [R?]2K ever becomes part of the main trunk of history.

    Calvinist Resistance Theory is VERY significant, not just in America but in the Western World. Historically speaking of course. As a theologian, or ecclesiastical historian, your own mileage may vary.

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  187. Tom – He also wrote he was a sect to himself, as far as he knew, and that’s probably most accurate.

    Erik – Hmmm, sounds like someone else I know…

    Like

  188. Erik Charter
    Posted July 8, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink
    Unless Tom is married to Dick this is going to be tough to figure out…

    http://www.imdb.com/find?q=van dyke&s=nm&ref_=fn_al_nm_mr

    I can be reached at esqtvd at aol, with the understanding that such correspondence is personal and confidential.

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  189. “I can be reached at *****@*** with the understanding that such correspondence is personal and confidential.”

    Erik, it’s a trap. He’ll hook you up to a ‘machine’, have you sign some documents that can only be deciphered with a masonic decoder ring and have your children on a ship for ‘training’, all by the end of the day.

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  190. Erik Charter
    Posted July 8, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink
    Van Drunen has a chapter on Calvinist Resistance Theory in “Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms”, but it’s a pretty fat book.

    Frankly, there seems to be such ambivalence toward VanDrunen in your own church and religion that it hardly seems worth the trouble to learn him in an attempt at a lingua franca, since he ain’t one.

    This looked interesting.

    https://brad-littlejohn.squarespace.com/main-blog/2011/1/21/lo-and-behold-a-dissertation.html

    I’m rather a Richard Hooker fan, a Thomist but also an Anglican who sought a third way betw RCC and Calvin. [Hooker is referred to often by Locke]. The below corresponds well to the prevailing sentiments at the Founding:

    This understanding enabled a second move–to revisit the Protestant doctrine of sola Scriptura and clarify the ambiguities it created. Instead of allowing one sphere to be governed by the rule “nothing contrary to Scripture” and another by the rule “nothing except directly according to Scripture,” Hooker saw the need for one rule to apply to all external human affairs: “all things according to the general guidance of Scripture and nothing contrary to its explicit teaching.” Hooker understood that to be brought to bear on an infinite variety of changing particular circumstances, Scripture was necessarily mediated through reason and tradition. Civil affairs then were governed by the law of reason, but always as illuminated and interpreted by Scripture, while ecclesiastical affairs were governed by the divine law of Scripture, but always as illuminated and interpreted by the law of reason.

    What many don’t quite get about the Founding-era attitude toward the Bible is that although they abandoned the Biblicism of the Puritans, their understanding of natural law never [seldom*] put the civil law explicitly at war with the divine revelation.

    “The law of nature and the law of revelation are both Divine: they flow, though in different channels, from the same adorable source. It is indeed preposterous to separate them from each other.”
    James Wilson, Of the Law of Nature, 1804

    For the Founding era, the modern conundrum of strict separationism/secularism–or R2k’s proposal to deal with it via a theological schizophrenia—didn’t exist.
    __________
    *Such as opening the post office on Sundays, but even that was influenced by the fact that so many people came to town only once a week–for religious services and to get their mail.

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  191. Tom,

    Littlejohn comes out of the postmillennial, Doug Wilson, Peter Leithart, New Saint Andrews, Moscow (Idaho) milieu. Not that that discredits him, but it’s something to be aware of. He’s also a young-un…

    From the New St. Andrews alumni page:

    Brad Littlejohn and his wife Rachel (Benton, 2008) live in beautiful Edinburgh, Scotland with their toddler son Soren. Brad is a Ph.D student in Theological Ethics at the University of Edinburgh, where he is researching the relationship of natural law and Scripture in late Reformation politics. He is also editing a series of critical editions of the works of the “Mercersburg Theology,” and writing compulsively whenever Soren gives him leave to.

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  192. TVD, a helpful theological distinction would be cult/culture or common/holy or sacred/profane. Off the top of my head 1 cor. 5 would be an example along the lines of cult/culture. Paul lays out a prescriptive for how to deal with a brother(cult); banishment. But then prohibits or doesn’t recommend such a treatment for those outside the cult who likewise are guilty of sexual immorality.

    1 Cor 5

    “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—10 not at all meaning lthe sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church2 whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. q“Purge the evil person from among you.”

    So Hooker runs into Paul, and Paul trumps on the grounds of apostolic authority. This doesn’t mean the two realms don’t have overlap; general revelation and special revelation, but it does mean a fair bit of theologizing is required and because something is applicable to the church doesn’t NECESSARILY mean it’s applicable to those outside. Cultic status is privileged status(chosen people) not normative for nations(not chosen-common-good but not holy). Additionally, the need for competency amongst many others, including establishmentarianism, is another plank in what eventually concludes in a confessional revision on the adjudicating capacity of the the civil magistrate over ecclesial affairs(heresy trial, doctrinal fidelity). Furthermore, it’s a competency concern that cuts both ways; wise magistrate-bad christian/no christian, i.e. Jefferson. Or faithful christian, good theologian-bad magistrate. At it’s core, 2k is a distinction between the rule of the state-by coercion, by the sword, in distinction from the rule of the church by the word of God(cultic prescription, ex. 1 cor 5 and the reconciliation of sinners by ministry of the word-non coercive, but persuasive). Lots more to say, but you might want to pick up DVD’s books or Hart’s; Secular Faith, Recovering Mother Kirk, any numerous others.

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  193. Erik Charter
    Posted July 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    Littlejohn comes out of the postmillennial, Doug Wilson, Peter Leithart, New Saint Andrews, Moscow (Idaho) milieu. Not that that discredits him, but it’s something to be aware of. He’s also a young-un…

    From the New St. Andrews alumni page:

    Brad Littlejohn and his wife Rachel (Benton, 2008) live in beautiful Edinburgh, Scotland with their toddler son Soren. Brad is a Ph.D student in Theological Ethics at the University of Edinburgh, where he is researching the relationship of natural law and Scripture in late Reformation politics. He is also editing a series of critical editions of the works of the “Mercersburg Theology,” and writing compulsively whenever Soren gives him leave to.

    I like people who like Hooker. BTW, I also ran across an old review of Leithart’s Defending Constantine, which is accused of [likely rightly] of being more a polemic against Yoder.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2012/08/leitharts-defending-constantine-revisited/

    My own approach would have been something like my prev args here, that religion situated differently into the socio-political structure than it does now. I probably would have ignored Yoder, or if I didn’t, would have made it clear I was writing theology peppered with historical evidence, not wearing both hats and brewing up an undifferentiated stew.

    Yoder, et al., simply have a higher standard for true Christianity than Leithart.

    Whatever. Although who’s to say and what hat is he wearing–and with what team logo on it? Ugh.

    In the end, it looks like Leithart left everyone unhappy with a neither-fish-nor-fowl tome–it’s too theologically contentious to sway your antiConstantinians, too theological a history for those with no stake or interest in the theology to begin with. Write a book on Yoder instead, or a clean one on Constantine for those of us with little interest in Anabaptist pacifism.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2012/08/leitharts-defending-constantine-revisited/

    Leithart accuses Yoder of interpreting historical facts through a preconceived theological lens—the Anabaptist one. I am sure Yoder would accuse Leithart of interpreting historical facts and possibilities through a preconceived theological lens—a postmillennial and qualified Christian Reconstructionist one. (Here I am not using that term pejoratively even though I disagree with all forms of it.)

    Sounds fair. And I say all this as one who might agree with Leithart in the 90th percentile. And as long as he puts this on the Theology shelf and not the one marked History, I’m OK with the whole deal.

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  194. sean
    Posted July 8, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink
    TVD, a helpful theological distinction would be cult/culture or common/holy or sacred/profane. Off the top of my head 1 cor. 5 would be an example along the lines of cult/culture. Paul lays out a prescriptive for how to deal with a brother(cult); banishment. But then prohibits or doesn’t recommend such a treatment for those outside the cult who likewise are guilty of sexual immorality.

    1 Cor 5

    “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—10 not at all meaning lthe sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church2 whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. q“Purge the evil person from among you.”

    So Hooker runs into Paul, and Paul trumps on the grounds of apostolic authority. This doesn’t mean the two realms don’t have overlap; general revelation and special revelation, but it does mean a fair bit of theologizing is required and because something is applicable to the church doesn’t NECESSARILY mean it’s applicable to those outside. Cultic status is privileged status(chosen people) not normative for nations(not chosen-common-good but not holy). Additionally, the need for competency amongst many others, including establishmentarianism, is another plank in what eventually concludes in a confessional revision on the adjudicating capacity of the the civil magistrate over ecclesial affairs(heresy trial, doctrinal fidelity). Furthermore, it’s a competency concern that cuts both ways; wise magistrate-bad christian/no christian, i.e. Jefferson. Or faithful christian, good theologian-bad magistrate. At it’s core, 2k is a distinction between the rule of the state-by coercion, by the sword, in distinction from the rule of the church by the word of God(cultic prescription, ex. 1 cor 5 and the reconciliation of sinners by ministry of the word-non coercive, but persuasive). Lots more to say, but you might want to pick up DVD’s books or Hart’s; Secular Faith, Recovering Mother Kirk, any numerous others.

    Well–form meets function–sola scriptura arguments are not my lingua franca, so I’m the wrong tree to bark up with that. And until your co-religionists get a little less warlike with VanDrunen, there’s absolutely no reason for anyone outside your cult to get closer than with a barge-pole. As for Darryl G. Hart, anyone who thinks he knows what he’s saying is clearly wrong. http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2010/09/easily-dismissed-propaganda-from-hart.html#disqus_thread

    in what eventually concludes in a confessional revision on the adjudicating capacity of the civil magistrate over ecclesial affairs

    Yeah, I noticed Witherspoon’s American Presbyterians in 1789 cut that last “magistrate” bit from Section 20 of your Confessions.

    http://www.opc.org/documents/WCF_orig.html

    From what I gather, what your Confessions [and revisions] even are is tough to get a norm on. It seems to me that

    they who, upon pretense of Christian liberty, shall oppose any lawful power, or the lawful exercise of it, whether it be civil or ecclesiastical, resist the ordinance of God.

    “the ordinance of God” is open to interpretation as either natural law or as sola scriptura, or both, but again, I don’t know if you parse Confessions the way you parse Scripture–the latter undeniably the subject of multiple interpretations [even if only one is divinely correct]. But as Locke notes, all denominations are orthodox to themselves. I might question your “radical”2K at arm’s length, but so do your co-religionists, so I don’t feel I’m stepping on pluralism’s toes. But I don’t argue Kolob against Mormons, although it sounds pretty iffy.

    It seems this TurretinFan fellow speaks your lingua franca just fine, and disagrees while using your own Calvinist vocabulary. I prefer to see y’all discuss it among yrselves, and pull back to the Hooker or Aquinas longer view. I’m still unclear why the magistrate can’t enforce the general revelation half of the 10 Commandments and not the special revelation side, why it must be all or nothing. So apparently, are some of your co-religionists.

    Further, as previously noted, several centuries ago, “ecclesial” affairs included marriage, divorce, child custody, inheritances, drunkenness and blasphemy and a bunch of other stuff we consider purely “civil” today–marriage and family in particular precisely the Ground Zero of your radical 2K vs. the Culture Wars theology. That would be my own take on the issue–Rather than have us recite what are now familiar arguments, I suggest we miss the true picture by using 21st referents instead of appreciating what Calvin and the WCF thought of as “ecclesiastical” and “the ordinances of God.”

    “Calvin made marriage and divorce, children’s welfare, and sexual sin matters of both church and state, and many of the reforms that he and others initiated – new rights and duties for wives in the bedroom, fault-based divorce on grounds of adultery and desertion, protection for impoverished widows, and more have made their way into civil and common law traditions on both sides of the Atlantic.”

    Etc. This was the stuff I’d hoped y’all would be up on, because it’s a way to 2K without standing idly by while the society and civil order self-destructs.

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  195. Tom, so let me get this straight. You don’t want a godless constitution, just godless history. You are the Moore and Kramnick of historiography (except that you’re not trained as a historian).

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  196. <i?D. G. Hart
    Posted July 8, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Permalink
    Tom, so let me get this straight. You don’t want a godless constitution, just godless history. You are the Moore and Kramnick of historiography (except that you’re not trained as a historian).

    Darryl, desperate. You don’t have anything straight, D. At this point it’s all about how low you’ll go.

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  197. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 8, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Permalink
    Tom, “historically speaking”? You can’t say that. You’re an amateur and have no license to do history.

    D. G. Hart
    Posted July 8, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Permalink
    Tom writes, “I like people who like Hooker” — historically speaking of course.

    The librarian confuses shots across his bow for bad aim. Unfortunate. An idiot with credentials is still an idiot.

    As to Drs. Kramnick and Moore, even they acknowledge the fact that religion was left to the states. Those who wish to whitewash the Founding of its religious foundations play the “Godless Constitution” card to the exclusion of all else, ignoring federalism. But although forbidden for the general government, religious tests were the rule for something like 10 of the 13 states–and several are still on the books.

    The Constitution is indeed “godless,” a deal cut between 13 states of varying degrees of religiosity, but the culture war we speak of–of marriage and family–was and is a states’ question, that is if the WashDC Leviathan doesn’t intrude.

    As for Hooker, I like when people give him a place at the theo-political table. Locke did. Wise man.

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  198. Tom, you’re the Leviathan, establishing secular rules for historians and the New Republic’s editors. Isn’t delusion a symptom of paranoia?

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  199. TVD, “I’m still unclear why the magistrate can’t enforce the general revelation half of the 10 Commandments and not the special revelation side, why it must be all or nothing. So apparently, are some of your co-religionists.”

    Sean: Multiple reasons; One, the “10” despite what may be NL or GR overlap, is privileged communication with privileged people-Rom 3: “Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? 2 Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.” God isn’t so much on the egalitarian but rather takes counsel with Himself. Two, the state necessarily does coercion. The Gospel doesn’t go forth on the grounds of coercion, it’s a ministry of reconciliation and God’s favor, not bending the knee to the emperor’s cult. Though, their is coming a day, just not now. Three; Paul treats the Law as a unit, guilty of one part, guilty of all. If you’re going to conform to one aspect, circumcision, you have to undertake it all. No buffet line here. Their is no legitimate Biblical theological way to divorce the first table of the law from the second table of the law. Fourth, the 10 weren’t given for the intent to govern common nations but to norm the cult.(see points 1 and 3). See also Daniel in the Babylonian captivity. Your or anyone else’s pragmatic use of the 10 or even the second table isn’t necessarily God’s wisdom as given in redemptive history. This doesn’t deny the divine imprimatur of NL, but it does deny the lifting of the 10 from it’s RH(redemptive history) context to meet anyone’s non-cultic purpose.

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  200. It looks like Tom uses God the way he wants to and blocks him out when he wants to. God on a leash to help the country. There’s something way backward going on there.

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  201. Muddy, some say wax but I prefer ‘biblical’ language. It helps the distorti…….errr……..truth go down easier.

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  202. D.G.,

    Dave H., you don’t see any difference between Francis who is seemingly welcoming of all people and all their backgrounds and Peter who was on the watch for all erroneous teaching?

    When different people emphasize different things and are making different points of course I see the difference. Do you not see the difference between Paul and James? That was rhetorical.

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  203. Tom writes, “I like people who like Hooker”

    Make that John Lee Hooker and we’re rolling.

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  204. Zrim,

    Dave, what harm is there in admitting one sees what he wants to see? Sure, that could be a way of suggesting an erroneous autonomy, but it could also be a way of admitting that nobody comes to the text unbiased, that everybody has a pre-determined grid, which makes some things more or less obvious than others.

    I agree with you. Fully. I do admit it. But I do want to make the point that I my biases were Protestant and not Catholic when I approached these texts for years. The fact that these texts had very little meaning or seemed odd, from a Protestant perspective, eventually got to me.

    The Reformed begin with scriptura, the Catholic with ecclesia. The upshot of the former is that papacy doesn’t jump off the enscripturated page, while in the latter it does. But to behave as if the papacy is scripturally obvious is to do the same thing evangelicals do when it comes to faith itself—just read the Bible and everything will become clear. But this is to leap-frog right in Pollyanna delight over the problem of human sin. I mean, did you really expect to cut and paste Armstrong and hear a collective, “Ohhhh”?

    The Reformed begin with the Reformation and their particular confessions, TULIP and the Solas. Then sciprture is employed to support this pre-determined grid. But you do have a point, since the ecclesia, predates scripture (the NT) then it makes sense to start with what Christ did, sending the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and establishing the Church. But of course the scriptures are essential and hold primacy as far as revelation goes. But this either/or model doesn’t work. The Catholic both/and does and has for 2,000 years.

    And I do not think the papacy is scripturally obvious. But it is scripturally extremely likely. The Trinity and the hypostatic union are not scripturally obvious either. But you rely on what the church defined those those doctrines? Why reject the same church that gave you the orthodoxy that you take for granted? Of course both are in scripture, but an orthodox understanding of both cannot be derived from scripture alone. It is bias alone that keep that from being obvious to Protestants. I am not judging, I had the same biases for most of my life.

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  205. Dave H; “The Reformed begin with the Reformation and their particular confessions, TULIP and the Solas. Then sciprture is employed to support this pre-determined grid.”

    Sean: You’re projecting the interpretive grid of Rome; magisterium and deposit, upon the protestants. You’re completely glossing over the protestant principles of putting the scriptures into the vernacular and appeal to original sources; sacred text.

    Dave H, Rome as you know it began at the counter-reformation. Reading Tridentine RC back 2000 years is quite a feat. RC doesn’t even compete on sacred text revelation with prots, that’s why they pick the paradigm argument as lens. You have to posit unwritten apostolic tradition before scripture to make any ground. It’s claimed but unproven. It’s a faith claim. You have no AS apart from complying with written apostolic tradition. You deny, we affirm.

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  206. Erik,

    Erik – If Peter has primacy why would he tolerate Paul’s rebuke over refusing to eat with gentiles?

    Because Paul was right and Peter was being hypocrite. Nothing in Catholic teaches says a Pope cannot be a hypocrite or excercise bad judgment. He is still a man.

    If Peter has primacy why are so many more New Testament epistles written by Paul?

    That is what the Holy Spirit saw fit to do. Is bing a more prolific writer than all the other Bishops a requirement of the papacy?

    If Paul had such primacy why was he not one of the original twelve? You see my point I hope.

    Everything you cite gives evidence for the importance of the apostles as the foundation of the church, but does little to support the notion of the Papacy. You have to use Catholic Tradition to do that.

    I have more that tradition. I have the unbroken testimony of Church history from the NT on. More than can be said for amost Protestant ecclesial structures.

    Why did Jesus bother with the other disciples, let alone the Apostle Paul, if Peter was the man?

    Why does Great Britain have a Parliament and local governments if the Prime Minister is the man? Why would Jesus leave a church with a structure without an earthly head? Every government has a head. I know Christ is King – think of the pope as His prime minister.

    Even if I did buy what you say about Peter, how do I get to the notion of him passing his unique position on to non-apostles? It’s seems the more you argue for his uniqueness the more problem you have justifying the idea that he could have successors (especially up until the present day).

    Like all the other Bishops in unbroken succession from the Apostles, by the laying on of hands, by the Apostles and their successors. Think Timothy for just one example.

    Jesus discusses setting up church officers as the church grows, not setting up continuing apostles.

    He set up the apostolic ministry. He gave the apostles power right? They used that power to ordain their successors. That started right in the NT. And Church history is replete with evidence of this from the 1st century on.

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  207. Erik,

    Dave – I would ask you to use the same standard (sola scriptura) to show how your paradigm allows for what I am sure you would consider the the orthodox view of the hypostatic union or the Trinity. However scripture offers far less on orthodox Christology or the Trinity.

    Erik – Do we disagree on those doctrines?

    That is my whole point, Erik. We agree on those doctrines. But why do we agree? Because the magesterial reformers did not throw the baby out with the bathwater. One the one hand they denied the infalliblity of church councils while all the while assuming the infallibility of their definitions and yes, doctrinal development. You rest on this foundation. The doctrines of the Trinity and the Hypostatic Union are certainly in scripture in seed form (just like the papacy) but the doctines as fully understood and defined, that we both agree on, are not found in scripture. It took the Church for that. And that Church was and is the Catholic Church.

    There is no way any Protestant, if the Protestant view of authority is true, should accept these two doctines at face value. Nor should you even accept the canon of scripture as infallible.

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  208. Erik,

    We are becoming as prolific as Pope Paul. 😉

    In theory, yes. In practice, however, it seems that the point of miracles were to establish the authority of Jesus and, later, the apostles. If there are no more apostles it is reasonable to conclude that there is no longer any reason for miracles. In a sense you are begging the question as a Roman Catholic (the Pope being a modern-day apostle).

    You cannot prove that from scripture. But you can prove the authority of the Apostles – so we agree on that. And it was those Apostles, excercising their authority who appointed successors.

    Further, you seem to be bumping up a bit to closely to deism. You do not believe in Providence? You have not believed any account of a miracle since the NT accounts? You have not experienced anything that cannot be explained beyond God’s intervention?

    I certainly agree that what Christ did on earth is not the norm now. But you cannot make a biblical case that God’s does not still break into nature when He sees fit.

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  209. Erik,

    I know I asked you to cite Scripture (and you did). It does seem a bit odd for a Catholic to cite Scripture to justify Catholic doctrine, however, because pretty quickly you are going to run into problems on issues like priestly celibacy, veneration of Mary, seven sacraments, purgatory, etc. As some have mentioned, it seems like you have to just pick a paradigm and stick with it.

    How is it odd? Have you been to a Catholic Mass? We tend to read much more scripture on a given Sunday than any Presbyterian or Baptist Church I have ever been in. We are Christians after all, and we believe in the primacy of scripture. As priestly celibacy, veneration of Mary, seven sacraments, purgatory, etc. I can certainly make a direct biblical case for all of these. Of course, some are more clear than others. But, as you know, we are not bound by scripture alone because God did not bind us to the books of the Bible as our sole authority. Scripture nowhere teaches such a thing.

    I don’t follow Greenbaggins closely but I think I ran across Jason Stellman trying to argue for the Roman Catholic position on justification from Scripture alone with Lane Keister awhile back. That’s like challenging a guy to a 10K in January in Iowa and offering to do it naked as well. I wonder if Jason will lose some of that cockiness after he’s been converted awhile longer.

    As God’s primary public revelation why wouldn’t a Catholic use it? I mean it is also a matter of respect to Protestants. I am certainly not going to quote the Didache or Vatican II, or Trent to you as an authority when making an argument any more than I would quote scripture to an atheist to explain why abortion is wrong. I would start with natural law. You need to meet on neutral ground (ground that both can agree on) for a productive discussion sometimes.

    As for the catholic view of justification I think the catholic has a far greater advantage in scripture alone for our position. But we can discuss that another day.

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  210. Hi Sean,

    Sean: You’re projecting the interpretive grid of Rome; magisterium and deposit, upon the protestants. You’re completely glossing over the protestant principles of putting the scriptures into the vernacular and appeal to original sources; sacred text.

    I really am not. I shared your grid and it really made no sense upon examination. I understand the Protestant principles you mention, but that do not hold up to scrutiny nor do they work in practice. That was a hard, harsh reality for me to face – do not say it lightly. My family and I sacrificed a great deal when we became Catholic.

    Dave H, Rome as you know it began at the counter-reformation. Reading Tridentine RC back 2000 years is quite a feat. RC doesn’t even compete on sacred text revelation with prots, that’s why they pick the paradigm argument as lens. You have to posit unwritten apostolic tradition before scripture to make any ground. It’s claimed but unproven. It’s a faith claim. You have no AS apart from complying with written apostolic tradition. You deny, we affirm.

    The problem you have here, Sean, is that you are simply parroting the Reformed line, with no history to back it up. You can find everything in Trent throughout Church history prior to the 16th century. The Protestant cannot say the same.

    I am sorry but I said the same things you just did many times because I trusted those who told them to me. I said it in good faith but shame on me. When I actually read Trent (which abundantly cites scripture – in context) in it’s entirety and read previous councils and the Fathers, such as Augustine and their commentaries on the scriptures. It was the same church.

    Just as when people use Boettner for their information on the Catholic Church and then actually see what the Catholic Church actually teaches (primary sources, her own documents and councils – in context and in relation to previous ecumenical councils) they see two different religions entirely. Please do not let non-Catholics tell you what we believe about the Catholic Church. Please do not buy the “Rome started at Trent” bologna, because it is bologna and it is verifiable bologna if you simply put as much faith in the Church prior to the Reformation. Why trust Luther and not Ingatius or Antioch? Why trust Calvin and not Clement of Rome? Why Sproul and not Irenaeus? Was there something magic about these men who lives centuries later?

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  211. And that Church was and is the Catholic Church.

    Yep. Just not the Roman Catholic church. Big difference there. (How many time do we have to go over the same ground; that you need to prove what you assert/assume? Does not the the prince of the philosopher exegetes ride herd and mentor the wanna be’s?)
    IOW after your departure when The Church Is Over The NT Canon gambit failed, you’re back again. Woohoo.

    But hey, this just in: 51 Biblical Proofs Of A Pauline Papacy And Ephesian Primacy.

    And yet again in yours, the distinction between apostolic succession of doctrine and succession of persons is perennially ignored.

    As for the papacy is “scripturally extremely likely”, this is emoting/enthusiastic rhetoric/no more than Bryan’s “so called” philosophically reasonable arguments. Which is to say, while stylistically your apologetic may have improved, substantively it is still unpersuasive/ a failure.

    ciao

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  212. Dave, in your responses to me and others you keep saying that the Bible has primacy in the Catholic scheme. But it doesn’t. It certainly has place, but that place isn’t primary, the church is. You also keep suggesting that in the Reformed scheme the church has no place. Yes it does, it just isn’t primary, the Bible is. It would help if you could admit that the church has primacy over the Bible in the Catholic scheme.

    After all, judging from all the Reformed-to-Catholic conversion narratives, all of them to a man (or woman) is “It comes down to this: I came to see that the RCC is the church that Jesus Christ founded.” There is one exception, and that’s Stellman, who says that he came to see that the Bible teaches what the RCC teaches. He uses the Reformed method of sola scriptura to embrace Rome (but hates it being pointed out).

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  213. Bob,

    I could bore you by quoting lengthy quotes from the Fathers and Councils etc. but that makes for as cumbersome discussion.

    It is really pretty simple I can find everything I said all over the first 1500 years of the church by those with legitimate authority and who you even recognize as authoritative based on your adherence to an orthodox Christology etc. But literally everything you just asserted cannot be found. So the burden of proof is very much on you.

    Sure if I want to declare everyone Church Father and everyone who claimed to be a Christian between Luther and the Apostles heretics I could agree with you. I have never had a good explanation for that one. If you are right then Augustine, Ignatius, Athanasius were not Christians.

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  214. Dave H: “Please do not let non-Catholics tell you what we believe about the Catholic Church. Please do not buy the “Rome started at Trent” bologna, because it is bologna and it is verifiable bologna if you simply put as much faith in the Church prior to the Reformation”

    Sean: OK Dave. I won’t let a single protestant village idiot tell me what Rome is about. But, I have to rely on something. Can I rely on my RC seminary training? Can I rely on that knowledge of Church history I learned in seminary that told me RC has much more to do with the Gregorian reforms of the 11th century and the elevation of the priestly class? How about Thomism and the reliance upon aristotelian philosophical categories and platonic metaphysics? Can I use that information? How about Vat II considerations of advancing the Church beyond it’s medieval and Tridentine moorings and the recognition of the charism of the laity and even a deconstructing of the magisterial heirarchy ala Pachence, Kung and now Francis? Can I rely on that? How about when the prot catholics try to refute Gal 1:8 per paradigmatic considerations and a departure from the ‘lexicon’ for the deposit? Is that a reliable reference? Can I use Bultmann like my profs did to distance the unwritten tradition-deposit from the written tradition-scripture so they could reach religious conclusions sans the actual words of sacred text? I mean I gotta have some reference right? No worries about Loraine Boettner! I never take my religious leading from women.

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  215. Zrim, he lost me when he couldn’t pull off the gentile christian in Rom 2. Well, ok, he lost me before that but that was particularly unsatisfying.

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  216. Zrim,

    Dave, in your responses to me and others you keep saying that the Bible has primacy in the Catholic scheme. But it doesn’t. It certainly has place, but that place isn’t primary, the church is.

    I said the Bible has primacy in the church, not in the Catholic scheme. There is big difference there. And if I was inarticulate in expressing that I apologize. As for the place of Scripture in the Church I refer you to Dei Verbum.

    You also keep suggesting that in the Reformed scheme the church has no place. Yes it does, it just isn’t primary, the Bible is. It would help if you could admit that the church has primacy over the Bible in the Catholic scheme.

    I do not think I ever suggested that. I am suggesting the Reformed have a novel and deficient concept of the church. I cannot agree with the way you are framing this as if it is the Bible vs. the Church. The Scriptures live in the context of the Church. The scriptures were given by God to the Church. The Church did not derive from the Scriptures, the scriptures (NT and complete canon) derived from the Church. The Scriptures only have a home and a context within the Church. Remember Jesus promised the Holy Spirit, He did not promise a book. Of course God gave us the scriptures but the entire premise is backwards.

    After all, judging from all the Reformed-to-Catholic conversion narratives, all of them to a man (or woman) is “It comes down to this: I came to see that the RCC is the church that Jesus Christ founded.” There is one exception, and that’s Stellman, who says that he came to see that the Bible teaches what the RCC teaches. He uses the Reformed method of sola scriptura to embrace Rome (but hates it being pointed out).

    I have seen several different stories and they were not all the same. I had the same experience as Stellman but it was not scripture alone but it was scripture still the same. It was as Newman said
    “To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.” Why is this so? Because if you are deep in church history and you read the scriptures as the early church read them you will see a sharp contrast and often glaring discrepancies with those modern teachers who taught me how to interpret the scriptures. All those Romish inventions about Baptism, the Eucharist, hierarchy etc. were all prominent and without controversy in the earliest centuries of the church. So either they all got it wrong right after Saint John died, or maybe those who came along a millennium and a half later got something very wrong?Objectively – what is more likely?

    So then you see all these giants of the Church teach, without controversy and universally, very Catholic sounding things and you go to the scriptures that always seemed tortured in your scheme and read what those giants had to say and those passages make a whole lot more sense. In fact all of scripture has a harmony and coherence that never existed to you before.

    It has always struck me as odd that God did not reduce scripture to the essentials in a clear, concise and systematic form. I mean why do we need James, Jude, Titus and Esther? Why not just a five page pamphlet that explains the Solas and TULIP? For the sole rule of faith and practice there sure is a lot of confusing a seemingly superfluous stuff that you have to wade through to get to the central message.

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  217. Dave H., you are being purposefully dull. Rome does not affirm Unam Sanctam any more. Either there is no salvation outside the church or there is. Rome said one thing once. It no longer says it. You can roll your eyes the way most do when they talk about SSPXers. But there is this thing called modernism that takes contradictory statements and says that basically they affirm the same thing in spirit. You know, at one time Rome even condemned modernism. Not any more. That’s not very conservative or historic.

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  218. Dave H., so what do you have against the Greeks? “That church was and is the Catholic Church” has no room for the Greek language in which Nicea was written. You guys want Rome to be everything and at all times. Christ founded Rome and Rome is still all there is. Well, it took a little while for Rome to emerge as preeminent (1054 helped) and nowadays there are a lot of Christians who are not RC.

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  219. Dave H. another discontinuity in Rome’s historiography. It was wrong for Luther to quote the Bible but now it’s okay for Stellman.

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  220. Dave H., where do you find everything taught at Trent in the church before Trent? You may find a theologian here and there. But if that is the standard then Protestants claim the same. The truth is (as near as I can reckon from the Vatican’s websites), the magisterium did not do a whole lot of teaching prior to the sixteenth century (except to claim its power as God’s vicegerent).
    The Fourth Lateran is about all you get for official proclamations of church teaching about salvation and sacraments. The western church was evolving. Protestantism evolved out of it. Rome reacted by defining itself.

    Bottom line: you don’t find Trent before Trent because magisterium was preoccupied with other matters.

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  221. Three; Paul treats the Law as a unit, guilty of one part, guilty of all. If you’re going to conform to one aspect, circumcision, you have to undertake it all. No buffet line here. Their is no legitimate Biblical theological way to divorce the first table of the law from the second table of the law.

    Not following this, Sean, or if I am, dispute that it’s self-evident. The New Covenant doesn’t make murder OK, or adultery.

    Further the choice of the 10 Commandments is arbitrary. There’s more to the Law than that.

    And Third, I’d think Israel itself [say under Solomon] enforced the 2nd table against resident non-Jews but not the whole thing. The assertion that it’s all or nothing doesn’t add up.

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  222. Sean,

    Forgive my assumptions. On the other hand you have proven that tyou should no better.

    Sounds like you had a post Vatican II bad seminary experience. I am not surpised or shocked but I do feel for you. You know you are not alone. I know former seminarians who are gnostics or atheists, some who are crappy priests and some excellent ones. Seems the more recent ones have had a much better experience.

    Does your bad experience and the confusion you had make the Reformed faith true and the Catholic faith false?

    History shows post council shakeouts are always rough for a few decades. That sucks to be sure. But how does any of that invalidate the church. I mean you can read the catechism, you have access to the hermeneutic of continuity that Pope Benedict the XVI (and JPII) have expounded upon. It is not hard to know what the Church teaches. That is what the Magesterium is for.

    As for Thomism and using philosophy – what’s the problem. Greek philosophy was also used in explaining the hypostatic union and the Trinity. All truth is God’s truth and all that.

    You know better that to toss Francis in with Kung. I assume you know where the Church stands on dissidents like him. You are mashing up many things that do not belong together in order to strengthen your point. But it is deceptive to not give the proper context and who these people are for the benefit of those reading who do not know better.

    2,000 years of history. If you think everything should be neat and tidy and pristine you living on the wrong side of Eden. The Reformed try to have that and what ends up happening is little schism after little schism. Leaving the Church for that is not an answer to your bad experience – it is a reaction and an understandable one… I left for 30 years so I cannot throw stones. But there comes a time when we need to step outside out personal experiences and biases and see things as they are. The church, in spite of all the crap – still stands. No earthly institution could survive that long.

    So at the end of the day, the same Scripture is read and the same sacraments offered whether 2013AD or 913AD or 113AD. Lex Orendi Lex Credendi. Same Church.

    No worries about Loraine Boettner! I never take my religious leading from women.

    Yeah! What’s up with the Reformed and all their women teachers? Loraine Boettner… Meredith Kline…

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  223. TVD, not sure where you’re going. The ‘law’ still applies to the NC community. I also acknowledged there was NL overlap; protection of property and life as examples. There’s more to the law than the 10, ceremonial for one. I included circumcision as obedience to the law, but it’s a covenantal rite, if you will, it’s a cultic norm. Israel was unique in the world, they were a God-sanctioned theocracy. That’s why I pointed out Daniel’s babylonian captivity as more a NT norm. The NC terminated the ethnic israelite reality as promises annexed to the land for obedience, and Paul applied the Israelite titles to the church which is without geographic boundary; a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a chosen people. Hope that helps.

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  224. Dave H,

    When Roman Catholics stop trying to justify that Protestants “separated brethren” is not a meaningful change in doctrine from no salvation outside the church, your claim that the Reformed want a neat and tidy view of history will be more credible.

    Rome wants a neat and tidy history, not us. You’re the one claiming that you can find all of Trent before Trent. It is the Roman apologetic that depends on a tidy succession of bishops back to Peter, not Protestantism.

    Neat and tidy indeed.

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  225. Dave H, I appreciate that you’re sincere it what you believe. Quite frankly Benedict waiting till 2005 to admonish the CDF and insist on a hermenuetic of reform and continuity without rupture, without granting his peculiar charism to the interpretive work of the texts is just so much parade waving. It doesn’t particularly change any of the interpretive work done, other than declaring some particular places out of bounds. Not many mind you, and even less definitively. Following papal interpretation is about as particular as an NFL post game conference with the coach when it actually comes down to interpereting texts. The biggest problem for Rome with someone like me is I can read the scriptures. They’re available to me.

    Francis isn’t Kung, but he’s a rather large shift that direction compared to Ratzinger. He abides a number of the leanings if not the conclusions of Kung as regards the heirarchy, the laity and modernity. He’s a moderate in the popular parlance and he’s a conservative liberation theologian. I don’t blame him for it, he’s a Jesuit from Latin America, what did anyone expect.

    On the historical front, your faith in ‘development’ is a lot bigger than mine. You can’t draw straight lines from even Augustine to Trent. Your have a better shot starting with the Gregorian reforms, roughly 1050. Trent is in fact a response to the reformation, thus the counter-reformation denotation.

    I don’t have any problems with greek philosophy until greek metaphysical language and concepts replace and redefine biblical concepts of the soul, capacity and end. Thomism inadequately accounts for the fall, and it relies heavily on a polemic of the platonic understanding of the soul to the detriment of the scriptures description of those realities.

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  226. Dave, the Reformed agree with you that “the Scriptures live in the context of the church, the Scriptures were given by God to the church” and (especially those of a 2k variety) that “the Scriptures only have a home and a context within the church.”

    But here is where we part fundamental company: “The Church did not derive from the Scriptures, the Scriptures (NT and complete canon) derived from the Church.” The Reformed hold to the Word creating the church (the way it also created the world). So here is where any claim to the primacy of Scripture, whether in the Catholic schema or the church (whatever that distinction means, I am not sure), is completely undermined. By having the church create the Word you give the church primacy over the Word.

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  227. Erik, that was my ode to Doug. Or, it was just prior to my second cup of joe. Wichever casts me in the best lite.

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  228. Robert,

    When Roman Catholics stop trying to justify that Protestants “separated brethren” is not a meaningful change in doctrine from no salvation outside the church, your claim that the Reformed want a neat and tidy view of history will be more credible.

    Really? This is not hard. It is not even confusing. You are not responsible for your grandfather’s sins. How hard is that? Are you validly baptized? Are you separated from the Catholic Church? You are a separated brother.

    Rome wants a neat and tidy history, not us. You’re the one claiming that you can find all of Trent before Trent. It is the Roman apologetic that depends on a tidy succession of bishops back to Peter, not Protestantism.

    The Tridentine fathers were quite aware that this was not the first church council. With the exception of the liturgical changes, yes, the theology of Trent is all over the previous 1500 years. Most notably in Augustine and of course scripture. Read the whole thing for yourself. Don’t take my word for it.

    As for Apostolic succession – yeah the Church, East and West has had it and believed it since the beginning. Presybterianism? Congregationalism? Lutheranism? Find any of those forms of Church government prior to the 16th century. And on what authority are your minister ordained? Why do you ordain at all?

    Neat and tidy indeed.

    I said the Church isn’t neat and tidy. We acknolwedge that.

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  229. Dave – You do not believe in Providence? You have not believed any account of a miracle since the NT accounts?

    Erik – Providence generally takes place through seemingly ordinary means. I can’t think of any miracle accounts that I have believed. I have an atheist friend who would love to spend all day with you refuting purported Roman Catholic & Pentecostal miracles. He grew up as a Pentecostal child evangelist in New Mexico.

    An interesting question for the Catholic is whether you think purported Pentecostal miracles are false while purported Catholic miracles are true.

    The question is why miracles are necessary when we have Word & Sacrament.

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  230. Dave H. what about your grandfather’s sins? What about Unam Sanctam? What about the Inquisition? Was the church wrong about these? Most RC’s today say yes. But at the time, the popes did not think they were wrong in their views about European politics or Jews? And you yourself have to say the church doesn’t err. So how does the church err and not err? A good answer is the modernistic one.

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  231. Sean,

    Sorry for the multiple typos in my last response to you.

    Dave H, I appreciate that you’re sincere it what you believe. Quite frankly Benedict waiting till 2005 to admonish the CDF and insist on a hermenuetic of reform and continuity without rupture, without granting his peculiar charism to the interpretive work of the texts is just so much parade waving. It doesn’t particularly change any of the interpretive work done, other than declaring some particular places out of bounds. Not many mind you, and even less definitively. Following papal interpretation is about as particular as an NFL post game conference with the coach when it actually comes down to interpereting texts. The biggest problem for Rome with someone like me is I can read the scriptures. They’re available to me.

    Rome encourages you to read them. Not every text has or needs an official interpretation. The Church is much more organic than you want it to be. It doesn’t necessarily work according to our personalities or preferences. But there is much more clarity than you can find in Protestantism with a million little Popes.

    Francis isn’t Kung, but he’s a rather large shift that direction compared to Ratzinger. He abides a number of the leanings if not the conclusions of Kung as regards the heirarchy, the laity and modernity. He’s a moderate in the popular parlance and he’s a conservative liberation theologian. I don’t blame him for it, he’s a Jesuit from Latin America, what did anyone expect.

    How long has he held the office? You seem to know more than he has revealed. Yeah, he is not Benedict – take it up with the Holy Spirit. Conservative Liberation Theologian. Umm… He is a staunch opponent of liberation theology. There is no such thing as a Conservative Liberation Theologian.

    On the historical front, your faith in ‘development’ is a lot bigger than mine. You can’t draw straight lines from even Augustine to Trent. Your have a better shot starting with the Gregorian reforms, roughly 1050. Trent is in fact a response to the reformation, thus the counter-reformation denotation.

    Then you need to throw out orthodox Christology if development is not neccesary. I know why Trent happened, all Councils are in response to a particular crisis/heresy.

    I don’t have any problems with greek philosophy until greek metaphysical language and concepts replace and redefine biblical concepts of the soul, capacity and end. Thomism inadequately accounts for the fall, and it relies heavily on a polemic of the platonic understanding of the soul to the detriment of the scriptures description of those realities.

    How does scripture describe the soul and how does Aquinas undermine scripture?

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  232. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 9, 2013 at 6:24 am | Permalink
    Tom, you’re the Leviathan, establishing secular rules for historians and the New Republic’s editors. Isn’t delusion a symptom of paranoia?

    Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not intellectually corrupt. They get away with it because of the incestuous ideology and self-dealing in the academy.

    For religious types, usually we have to accept your theology to accept your history. Few do, although conservative evangelicals who savage conservative evangelicals will always have their uses.

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  233. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 9, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink
    Dave H. what about your grandfather’s sins? What about Unam Sanctam? What about the Inquisition?

    Heh heh. I’ve seen this movie before.

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  234. Erik,

    Providence generally takes place through seemingly ordinary means. I can’t think of any miracle accounts that I have believed. I have an atheist friend who would love to spend all day with you refuting purported Roman Catholic & Pentecostal miracles. He grew up as a Pentecostal child evangelist in New Mexico.

    Regarding providence – just because you do not see the miracle doesn’t mean it did not happen.

    Your friend needs Jesus regardless of whether he canrefute apparent miracles.

    An interesting question for the Catholic is whether you think purported Pentecostal miracles are false while purported Catholic miracles are true.

    I am highly suspect of many “Catholic” miracles I hear about too and I am not one to pursue them. But I am also not one to limit God.

    I would have to see or know what miracles you are referring too. I spent my teens and early 20’s in the Assemblies of God, even went to one of their colleges. I think there is a lot of emotion going on by sincere people. Do I trust guys like Benny Hinn? Heck no. But I am still not going to say “God cannot…”

    Yes we have word and sacrament. How does that preclude the miraculous? I have heard accounts of Muslims, in places the gospel cannot reach have dreams of Christ when they have never heard of Him and they come to the faith as a result. Why not? Biblically I mean. I mean the 12 had word and Sacrament but Jesus still miraculously appeared to Paul.

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  235. Muddy Gravel
    Posted July 9, 2013 at 8:36 am | Permalink
    It looks like Tom uses God the way he wants to and blocks him out when he wants to. God on a leash to help the country. There’s something way backward going on there.

    The difference between general revelation and special revelation. Forward reasoning–which came first? Which applies to all men, and which only to your church? This is a distinction to be made clearer, not one to be blurred.

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  236. Tom, once again you dump on everyone else and think you are alone righteous. Readers at your blog also have to accept your theology to accept your “history.” Or are you saying that you have no religious test for doing history, the way the Constitution does for politics? But then we come up against the illogic of TVD: Calvinism was crucial to the founding AND only non-Calvinists can argue for Calvinism’s centrality (all others are doing theology).

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  237. D.G.,

    Dave H., you are being purposefully dull. Rome does not affirm Unam Sanctam any more. Either there is no salvation outside the church or there is. Rome said one thing once. It no longer says it. You can roll your eyes the way most do when they talk about SSPXers. But there is this thing called modernism that takes contradictory statements and says that basically they affirm the same thing in spirit. You know, at one time Rome even condemned modernism. Not any more. That’s not very conservative or historic.

    I may be dull but it is not on purpose.

    Yeah, of course opponents of the Catholic Church are fully justified in telling her what she really really means. Properly understood we do affirm Unam Sanctam. But I doubt you would consider anything that contradicts your narrative.

    It’s a good thing there are no seeming contradictions in Reformedom. I mean you clearly must agree with Calvin’s views of the State and the status of those with opposing views of the Sacraments (Luther too). When are you going to smash up the idols in the Catholic Churches in your town?

    The Modernism thing gets tired from those whose religious premise is the enlightenment.

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  238. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 9, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Permalink
    Tom, once again you dump on everyone else and think you are alone righteous. Readers at your blog also have to accept your theology to accept your “history.” Or are you saying that you have no religious test for doing history, the way the Constitution does for politics? But then we come up against the illogic of TVD: Calvinism was crucial to the founding AND only non-Calvinists can argue for Calvinism’s centrality (all others are doing theology).

    Darryl, attacking, for he hath no defense or justification.

    Actually, at American Creation, we do religious history. We have Catlicks, Protestants both evangelical and not, a Jew, several agnostics, at least 2 atheists, and even our Mormons don’t make faith-based truth claims. It’s a good bunch.

    And Calvinism WAS key to the Founding, esp because it was key to the English civil wars of the 1600s that executed one king and chased out another. It’s a fascinating story, one few Americans know because we tend to think our history started in 1774 or so.

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  239. D.G.,

    Dave H., so what do you have against the Greeks?

    Nothing. I love my wife and kids!

    “That church was and is the Catholic Church” has no room for the Greek language in which Nicea was written. You guys want Rome to be everything and at all times. Christ founded Rome and Rome is still all there is. Well, it took a little while for Rome to emerge as preeminent (1054 helped) and nowadays there are a lot of Christians who are not RC.

    That is funny. I will be sure to go tell my Greek Catholic wife and all the other Byzantine Catholics I know. I know you are the historian and I am sure you could school me up and down on many subjects, but I am glad to educate on the schism(s) if you would like because your knowledge of it so far seems to be from the first paragraph of a wiki on the subject.

    Chirst founded the Church. Rome is where the Pope happens to have ended up. The Pope is still the pope when he is in Greece, England or anywhere else. I personally could care less as I have never been to Rome. I do not know which guys you are referring too.

    Sounds like Geneva is having a little Rome envy. 😉

    So why don’t you join the Orthodox Church?

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  240. D. G. Hart
    Posted July 9, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink
    Tom, I hope the popcorn isn’t buttered. I worry about your health.

    Nah, this is where I came in. I’ll be out in lobby playing video games. The Inquisition. Migod.

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  241. D.G.,

    Dave H., where do you find everything taught at Trent in the church before Trent? You may find a theologian here and there. But if that is the standard then Protestants claim the same.

    No. A protestant really cannot do that. They can quote mine a father here and there out of context, but they will not find any full length treatises, councils, books, scrolls, iPads etc. to support your foundational doctrines (Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura).

    The truth is (as near as I can reckon from the Vatican’s websites), the magisterium did not do a whole lot of teaching prior to the sixteenth century (except to claim its power as God’s vicegerent).
    The Fourth Lateran is about all you get for official proclamations of church teaching about salvation and sacraments. The western church was evolving. Protestantism evolved out of it. Rome reacted by defining itself.

    Wow. That was a spectacular nugget of revisionist history. You missed 17 councils somehow including Nicea I. Yeah no teaching. You also need to do a study of what the Magesterium is and how it functions.

    Bottom line: you don’t find Trent before Trent because magisterium was preoccupied with other matters.

    Ummm. No. Of course you do not find the Council of Trent before Trent. But you certainly do not find any new theology ala Luther. Have you actually read Trent? The whole thing? There is nothing in Trent that would have appeared strange to say… Athanasius. Now if he read Calvin’s Insitutes on the other hand, if he could stay awake (sorry but it is dry as dirt) he would have been like “Wtf? where did this guys pull this stuff out of?”

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  242. sean
    Posted July 9, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink
    TVD, not sure where you’re going. The ‘law’ still applies to the NC community. I also acknowledged there was NL overlap; protection of property and life as examples.

    Marriage and family was on one side of the line; these days the line has been redrawn. But if Caesar has encroached on what is God’s, well, we’ve a problem here.

    There’s more to the law than the 10, ceremonial for one. I included circumcision as obedience to the law, but it’s a covenantal rite, if you will, it’s a cultic norm. Israel was unique in the world, they were a God-sanctioned theocracy. That’s why I pointed out Daniel’s babylonian captivity as more a NT norm. The NC terminated the ethnic israelite reality as promises annexed to the land for obedience, and Paul applied the Israelite titles to the church which is without geographic boundary; a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a chosen people. Hope that helps.

    There’s a lot of talk on this point–the Gentiles were never under the Mosaic Law; it’s not really accurate to say Christ [in fulfilling the Law] brought Gentiles under it. But was homosexuality an abomination only under Mosaic Law, or are some things just ungood in their own right—the natural law argument re the 2nd tablet of the Commandments, that all men are bound by the 2nd tablet but only some by the first.

    Again, I think it needs delineating, not blurring over.

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  243. Dave H, Francis was/is a liberation theologian. What he’s not is an marxist anarchist. He’ll continue to move center as with anybody who’s tasked with governance but he’s already lobbed off the head of the vatican bank and is pushing hard on the curia. Good for him. Glad to see it. He’s a reformer.

    RC doesn’t get to take credit for orthodoxy and I never said I didn’t believe in development but I can’t pull off the historical gymnastics of 2000 years of Tridentine RC. The RC we have is a medieval construct primarily including dogmatically from Aquinas to the counter reformation, right up until Vat II. We’ll see what the end game looks like in a 100 years. I don’t imagine the sedevacantist’s are gonna be happy. Vat II is here to stay because modernity is here to stay.

    Scripture describes a dichotomy, all well and good. Very very thumbnail on Aquinas; he overemphasized capacity and essence of matter in an attempt to counter platonism. So he’s working with platonic categories of metaphysics. So he’s imbibing scripture and platonism to make a case going forward. All of this fine, but he doesn’t adequately take into account the biblical account of the fall and it’s effect on our nature. He wants to talk about a wounding rather than a death toward God. Scripture says no one is righteous, no not one. All have sinned and fallen short. We are DEAD in our trespasses and sins. IOW, Aquinas doesn’t subscribe to what later is coined; ‘total depravity’. Furthermore his idea of grace and merit engage aristotelian ideas of virtue and capacity or fitness that dovetail into his developments of grace not in forensic categories(Pauline) but the idea of ‘becoming’ being made righteous. So Adam doesn’t transgress a legal covenant but instead loses his ‘capacity’ for virtue because he forfeits super added grace. This ‘super added’ grace is what is being restored through the sacraments.

    There is a TON more that could be said. But this is a combox and I can’t do it justice. So, I’m keeping it narrow.

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  244. D.G.,

    Dave H. what about your grandfather’s sins? What about Unam Sanctam? What about the Inquisition? Was the church wrong about these? Most RC’s today say yes. But at the time, the popes did not think they were wrong in their views about European politics or Jews?

    What about my grandfathers sins? Do you mean the Jewish one or the Baptist one? I addressed Unam Sanctam and you there is plenty from the Church that you can read on it as well. Your bias will not let you even consider the arguments though. What about the Inquisition? Which ones? The ones where the Catholic Church killed more people in Europe than there people in Europe? What about Michael Servetus?

    What about Peter denying Jesus three times! How can you trust the Apostles? They all abandoned him but one!

    How about Luthers view of the Jews or Chrysostom? Trust me… as a Hebrew I am very aware of the monumental failings of Christians in regards to Jews.

    And you yourself have to say the church doesn’t err. So how does the church err and not err? A good answer is the modernistic one.

    On matters of faith and morals. Why ask me questions you already know the answer to?

    You are turning the word “modernist” into the new “Racist” and “Nazi”. It is an automatic fail.

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  245. “It’s a good thing there are no seeming contradictions in Reformedom. I mean you clearly must agree with Calvin’s views of the State and the status of those with opposing views of the Sacraments (Luther too). When are you going to smash up the idols in the Catholic Churches in your town?”

    But surely you understand why this issue isn’t symmetric. We confess that our confessions may have errors (and have had) – indeed they are revised (the Westminster divines screwed up the section the magistrate). We also note that many of the leaders in our tradition have been wrong on all sorts of things. No problemo – like the Bereans, we are to test everything against scripture. That doesn’t imply that it is every man for himself or that we are our own popes – we have a process by which these things are adjudicated (synods, sessions, etc…) and take vows of submission to our elders. Of course there is no one stopping anyone from leaving and forming their own Pentecostal Reformed Catholic Church of St. Edwards or whatever, but that isn’t a protestant problem – that’s a religious freedom problem.

    We don’t believe our confessions or the teachings of our elders are ever infallible. The problem many of us (and not a few in the RCC) have with the claims of an infallible magisterium (much less pope) is the post hoc rationalizations necessary to keep her infallible teaching consistent with the infallible teaching of an earlier era. Sola scripture has all sorts of problems, but they are the same sorts of theoretical problems Jesus would have had establishing the authority of the scriptures of his day. He seemed quite content to simply assume their authority as self-evident and was willing to challenge many aspects of the tradition with them even though this tradition defined the scope of the canon. I see no reason to treat scripture and tradition any different today – it was commended by Paul (to the Bereans) and implied that the Galatians should guard against apostolic (or angelic) error.

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  246. Sean,

    I will get to the rest when I have more time. But for now you need to support your claim that Pope Francis is a Liberation Theologian.

    Does he have a strong emphasis on the poor? Yes, that is his thing and it is a good thing to care about the least of these. Does he draw some political conclusions that I disagree with? Absolutely. Does that make him a liberation theologian? No more than it does his namesake. One can be for helping the poor without being a liberation theologian.

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  247. Aquinas doesn’t subscribe to what later is coined; ‘total depravity’.

    Absolutely not. Neither does Paul in Romans 2 re natural law:

    2:14 6 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
    2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

    That’s the whole point. Gentiles sometimes do the right thing without scripture, and not just by accident but following the law written on their hearts, following their “conscience*.” This is a [the?] scriptural argument against “total” depravity.

    Very very thumbnail on Aquinas; he overemphasized capacity and essence of matter in an attempt to counter platonism. So he’s working with platonic categories of metaphysics. So he’s imbibing scripture and platonism to make a case going forward.

    Aquinas receives a Platonized Christianity but attempts to Aristotelianize it, Aristotle just then being recovered via the Muslim world. Both Aristotle and Aquinas reject Plato’s metaphysics, and in fact are a bit disdainful of it.

    http://tinyurl.com/lpeea2q

    ________
    *Animals, by contrast, have no right and wrong, no law but survival.

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  248. Dave H., you haven’t answered the question. You duck. That’s okay. It’s not your pay grade to answer for the magisterium. But you may actually want to consider the plight of those like me who can’t fathom how a church can say A and then say B and then say that A and B really mean C. If you know the history of modernism, and Pius X did, you would be alarmed by the intellectual dishonesty involved in such logic. The SSPXers see it. They have the right paradigm. But they don’t have the Vatican 2 paradigm.

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  249. TVD, nobody here is arguing against innate knowledge of NL. Paul is putting forth the case against the ethnocentricity of such by arguing the gentile case but even here the language become accusatory(accusing and excusing) brought before that day of when all are judged in Jesus Christ. It’s not an argument against total depravity. You need to keep reading into Rom 3. It’s an argument against the self-righteousness of the Jews because they have the law. It’s the doers not the hearers who are justified and who does?

    9 What then? Are we Jews[a] any better off?[b] No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written:

    “None is righteous, no, not one;
    11 no one understands;
    no one seeks for God.
    12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
    no one does good,
    not even one.”
    13 “Their throat is an open grave;
    they use their tongues to deceive.”
    “The venom of asps is under their lips.”
    14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
    15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
    16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
    17 and the way of peace they have not known.”
    18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
    19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being[c] will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

    Total depravity. It’s not that we are as bad as we could be, it’s that we are unable to keep the law, make restitution for our sin and otherwise be pleasing to God. God is holy and it’s a perfect holiness.

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  250. Dave H., just because you married a Byzantine Catholic doesn’t change that the Eastern Church disputed papal supremacy much earlier than the popes asserted their primacy. But again, you don’t want to acknowledge the history behind your theory.

    I don’t join the Eastern Church because I am not a believer in tradition. I trust Christ.

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  251. TVD, I said Aquinas imbibed too much of Aristotle. That’s why he misses the Pauline nuance and argument.

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  252. We don’t believe our confessions or the teachings of our elders are ever infallible. The problem many of us (and not a few in the RCC) have with the claims of an infallible magisterium (much less pope) is the post hoc rationalizations necessary to keep her infallible teaching consistent with the infallible teaching of an earlier era. Sola scripture has all sorts of problems, but they are the same sorts of theoretical problems Jesus would have had establishing the authority of the scriptures of his day. He seemed quite content to simply assume their authority as self-evident and was willing to challenge many aspects of the tradition with them even though this tradition defined the scope of the canon. I see no reason to treat scripture and tradition any different today – it was commended by Paul (to the Bereans) and implied that the Galatians should guard against apostolic (or angelic) error.

    Your argument always returns to painting them into the infallibilty corner, the all or nothing game [and one that you happily exempt yourselves from]. But even if you succeed, this does not mean you are correct about anything else. The RCC theology could be 99% correct, yours could be 1%.

    This is the structural problem of polemics–detecting error is not synonymous with finding truth. [Neither is being free of contradiction, BTW, although that’s a slightly different issue. A flawed argument can contain greater truth than a perfect but little teeny-weinie one. Einstein’s work at first had some math errors, but the overall theory was sound and the math errors were eventually repaired.]

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  253. Dave H., good you’re anti-Protestantism is coming out (like Thomas is scintilating prose). But where exactly did the church teach what Trent taught? A wave at 17 councils won’t do it. Lateran IV doesn’t come close to Trent.

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  254. sean
    Posted July 9, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink
    TVD, I said Aquinas imbibed too much of Aristotle. That’s why he misses the Pauline nuance and argument.

    Sean, you didn’t mention Aristotle, you wrote

    So he’s imbibing scripture and platonism to make a case going forward.

    My apologies for reading you courteously and carefully.

    And to accuse Aquinas of missing anything, especially “Pauline nuance” is a serious charge. I think it far more likely true of lesser minds than Thomas’s–including those who thought they agreed with him!

    http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=3267

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  255. Dave H., it is a serious question. The hermeneutic of continuity is difficult to pull off between Unam Sanctam and Lumen Gentium. I can cite lots of RC historians (some of whom clergy) who acknowledge this. But for some reason, you (along with Jason and Bryan) won’t. I call that denial or dishonesty.

    I am asking because I don’t know how to do it. I do say Calvin and Geneva were wrong about Servetus. (Have you heard about 2k?) But I never had to confess that Calvin had a charism or that he did not err. I believe the matter is different for you.

    So try and level the playing field, but the Vatican’s claims for itself mean it has a higher bar to overcome.

    So how do you do it? How do you admit the church erred but didn’t err? I am interested in a serious answer (or has the question never occurred to you?).

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  256. TVD, here’s the rest of what I wrote;

    “IOW, Aquinas doesn’t subscribe to what later is coined; ‘total depravity’. Furthermore his idea of grace and merit engage ARISTOTELIAN ideas of virtue and capacity or fitness that dovetail into his developments of grace not in forensic categories(Pauline) but the idea of ‘becoming’ being made righteous. So Adam doesn’t transgress a legal covenant but instead loses his ‘capacity’ for virtue because he forfeits super added grace. This ‘super added’ grace is what is being restored through the sacraments”

    I capped it for you just in case.

    Like

  257. Remember Jesus promised the Holy Spirit, He did not promise a book. Of course God gave us the scriptures but the entire premise is backwards.

    Dave,
    You’re not doing so well for an ex prot, but about on par for the class whether Jason, Bryan or whomever.
    Not only is the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Eph. 6:17 what exactly did the apostles do when they were led into all truth by the same spirit? Why they put down on paper what they were taught and what they taught by the spoken word and those writings remained after they departed the scene. Which is the whole point.

    It has always struck me as odd that God did not reduce scripture to the essentials in a clear, concise and systematic form. I mean why do we need James, Jude, Titus and Esther? Why not just a five page pamphlet that explains the Solas and TULIP? For the sole rule of faith and practice there sure is a lot of confusing a seemingly superfluous stuff that you have to wade through to get to the central message.

    Another riddle for romanists from Isaiah 6:20 copiously appealed to in the NT in the gospels and epistles .

    ” Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.”

    Why? Wouldn’t it be more reasonable that everybody could understand everything on their own without any need for spiritual discernment or being born again? Philosophically wouldn’t that be the way it should work? Rome, if not CtC, evidently thinks so.

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  258. You need to keep reading into Rom 3. It’s an argument against the self-righteousness of the Jews because they have the law. It’s the doers not the hearers who are justified and who does?

    I think most Christians are aware of the point. The story of the Good Samaritan.

    Total depravity. It’s not that we are as bad as we could be, it’s that we are unable to keep the law, make restitution for our sin and otherwise be pleasing to God. God is holy and it’s a perfect holiness.

    That’s not “total” depravity, though–you’re using the term idiosyncratically. And yes, most Christians–Calvinist or not–get the point that man cannot keep the Law–that’s rather the lesson of the Old Testament and why the New Covenant replaces [fulfills] it.

    Your argument does not require total depravity to work–if man were only 50% depraved, the Gospel would still be true.

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  259. Your argument does not require total depravity to work–if man were only 50% depraved, the Gospel would still be true.

    Nope, however the elementary escapes us. Rather the gospel would be unnecessary.

    Like

  260. And in what kind of world Dave, do sons, who affirm the same anathema as their fathers, only become separated brethren?

    This is nothing more than wishful Roman Tooth Fairyitis.

    Like

  261. sean
    Posted July 9, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Permalink
    TVD, here’s the rest of what I wrote;

    “IOW, Aquinas doesn’t subscribe to what later is coined; ‘total depravity’. Furthermore his idea of grace and merit engage ARISTOTELIAN ideas of virtue and capacity or fitness that dovetail into his developments of grace not in forensic categories(Pauline) but the idea of ‘becoming’ being made righteous. So Adam doesn’t transgress a legal covenant but instead loses his ‘capacity’ for virtue because he forfeits super added grace. This ‘super added’ grace is what is being restored through the sacraments”

    I capped it for you just in case.

    Sorry, sean. I admit to my eyes glazing over when you started the grace thing again. “Super added” grace. I really think you should look up what Aquinas really thinks about it instead of taking Protestant critics’ word for what he says. As the last link shows, a lot of the flawed Protestant conceptions of Aquinas actually came from bad Catholic explications of him! The errors snowball–start from scratch.

    So too, your representation of Paul’s theology is YOUR representation of it, and it’s YOUR contention that Aquinas is in conflict or oblivious to it. That’s grenade-toss level, again free of actual specifics and genuine argument that again, I do admit my eyes glaze over at impeachments devoid of specific arguments.

    Mostly I was objecting to your assertion that Aquinas’ metaphysics are Platonic–they are anything but. But if it makes things more civil, I’ll again apologize for saying you didn’t mention Aristotle. You did.

    ____
    http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/2004/03/Faith-Grace-And-Works.aspx?p=1
    St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica:

    Hence man, by his natural endowments, cannot produce meritorious works proportionate to everlasting life; and for this a higher force is needed, viz. the force of grace. And thus without grace man cannot merit everlasting life; yet he can perform works conducing to a good which is natural to man, as “to toil in the fields, to drink, to eat, or to have friends,” and the like, as Augustine says in his third Reply to the Pelagians.

    Reply to Objection 1. Man, by his will, does works meritorious of everlasting life; but as Augustine says, in the same book, for this it is necessary that the will of man should be prepared with grace by God.

    Reply to Objection 2. As the gloss upon Rm. 6:23, “The grace of God is life everlasting,” says, “It is certain that everlasting life is meter to good works; but the works to which it is meted, belong to God’s grace.” And it has been said (4), that to fulfil the commandments of the Law, in their due way, whereby their fulfilment may be meritorious, requires grace.

    Reply to Objection 3. This objection has to do with the natural end of man. Now human nature, since it is nobler, can be raised by the help of grace to a higher end, which lower natures can nowise reach; even as a man who can recover his health by the help of medicines is better disposed to health than one who can nowise recover it, as the Philosopher observes (De Coelo ii, 12).

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  262. Bob S
    Posted July 9, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Permalink
    Your argument does not require total depravity to work–if man were only 50% depraved, the Gospel would still be true.

    Nope, however the elementary escapes us. Rather the gospel would be unnecessary.

    If you’re already “elect” the same is true.

    Like

  263. TVD: Mostly I was objecting to your assertion that Aquinas’ metaphysics are Platonic–they are anything but.

    Sean: “Very very thumbnail on Aquinas; he overemphasized capacity and essence of matter in an attempt to counter platonism.”

    TVD, I don’t imagine to know where to address you in your syncretism, and maybe I didn’t write clearly(you try stuffing Thomism into a combox) but let’s not disagree where it’s unnecessary. I imagine we have enough ground that is real.

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  264. Re: Miracles

    Wills – On September 3, 2000, Pope John Paul II beatified Pope Pius IX. (Beatification is the third and penultimate rung on the ladder to sainthood—it certifies that a genuine miracle was worked through a dead person’s intercession, establishes a liturgical feast day for that person, and authorizes church prayer to him or her.)

    Erik – We can know that a dead person’s intercession has facilitated a miracle? And I though transubstantiation was hard to swallow (no pun intended).

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  265. Is this Gary Wills or D.G. Hart?

    “The Vatican no doubt feels that combining a liberal hero with a conservative hero shows how big a tent its sacred baldacchino is; the holy institution transcends earthly politics. Besides, the modern canonization process is supposed to have inoculated sainthood from politics, basing it on objective evidence, provided by documents, interrogation, medical examinations, scientific certification—all Enlightenment techniques used to sanction a pre-Enlightenment concept. But, after all this lengthy preparation, only the pope can declare that a supernatural miracle happened—and to say who worked it, the particular address in heaven to which prayers for it had been sent. The pope knows the address, and certifies its reception by the right party. That is knowing a whole lot.”

    Like

  266. sean
    Posted July 9, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink
    TVD: Mostly I was objecting to your assertion that Aquinas’ metaphysics are Platonic–they are anything but.

    Sean: “Very very thumbnail on Aquinas; he overemphasized capacity and essence of matter in an attempt to counter platonism.”

    TVD, I don’t imagine to know where to address you in your syncretism, and maybe I didn’t write clearly(you try stuffing Thomism into a combox) but let’s not disagree where it’s unnecessary. I imagine we have enough ground that is real.

    Common ground, I hope you mean. If Fulton Sheen was right that

    “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
    ― Fulton J. Sheen

    that goes in spades for Aquinas. There are some differences with Aquinas for sure—he was only a man—but I find most hostile Reformation types do not know him, and by extension do not know the theology they’re putatively revolting against. If the goal was, as they said at the time, to reform, not start a new religion, it seems to me Aquinas was already in the neighborhood some 250 years before Luther.

    Therefore I propose one start from scratch. There are at the moment very many good Protestant thinkers re-discovering [or discovering for the first time] Aquinas, and I think he’s just the cure for what Mark Noll called “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind” [there isn’t much of one]. It seems to me that most Christians who get to know Aquinas would rather build on him than refudiate him.

    http://solascripturaministriesinternational.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/protestant-scholasticism/

    [Beware Barth!]

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  267. Dave,

    Would you say you came from a theologically robust or theologically anemic branch of Protestantism? I came from a more anemic (albeit conservative) branch and found Reformed churches to be biblical as I matured. I’m not sure how one goes from Protestantism to Rome purely by looking at Scripture.

    It helped that I learned TULIP (from Scripture) from a Methodist minister as a young teen,.

    We don’t start with our Confessions, we start with Scripture. That’s why they can be changed. Can Rome be changed by the laity through appeals to Scripture?

    What if Rome was old, united, and biblical? That would be a wonderful thing, but alas, that is not what we see.

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  268. Erik – If Peter has primacy why are so many more New Testament epistles written by Paul?

    Dave – That is what the Holy Spirit saw fit to do. Is bing a more prolific writer than all the other Bishops a requirement of the papacy?

    Erik – Yes, that is why Darrell is our pope.

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  269. Erik – everything you cite gives evidence for the importance of the apostles as the foundation of the church, but does little to support the notion of the Papacy. You have to use Catholic Tradition to do that.

    Dave – I have more that tradition. I have the unbroken testimony of Church history from the NT on. More than can be said for amost Protestant ecclesial structures.

    Erik – “ecclesial structures”. You tip your hand. The true church can be small at times (a family on an ark, even). God preserves a remnant at times in spite of “ecclesial structures”. You need to walk by faith and not by sight.

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  270. Dave – If Paul had such primacy why was he not one of the original twelve? You see my point I hope

    Erik – I don’t argue for primacy. You do. I argue for “the apostles” (plural).

    This is good, substantive stuff you are bringing up, though. I need to go walk with the wife but will be back. This string is so good I can’t get through it.

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  271. “Total depravity. It’s not that we are as bad as we could be, it’s that we are unable to keep the law, make restitution for our sin and otherwise be pleasing to God. God is holy and it’s a perfect holiness.

    That’s not “total” depravity, though–you’re using the term idiosyncratically. And yes, most Christians–Calvinist or not–get the point that man cannot keep the Law–that’s rather the lesson of the Old Testament and why the New Covenant replaces [fulfills] it.”

    TVD,
    You don’t know what you are talking about. He’s not using it idiosyncratically, this is exactly what the reformers meant. You might find item 3 in the Canons of Dort helpful. TULIP is mnemonic to help people remember the main points of these Canons. Insofar as he is using “total depravity” idiosyncratically, his use is in keeping with how we reformed understand what we mean by the T in tulip.

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  272. “Your argument always returns to painting them into the infallibilty corner, the all or nothing game [and one that you happily exempt yourselves from]. But even if you succeed, this does not mean you are correct about anything else. The RCC theology could be 99% correct, yours could be 1%.”

    Dave H wanted to know what we do about Luther, etc… in response to the challenges to the authority of the church. My point is simply that the issue isn’t symmetric. It doesn’t matter that your people erred unless your authority rests on claims of continuity and infallibility. We agree on a lot more than 1% – that God exists, he is triune, the nature of Christ, etc… are pretty big deals. We don’t need to make the case for these things because we already agree – an option that rejected what we confess about these items isn’t on the table. What we disagree about is the source of authority of the church, the extent to which it is proper to judge what the church confesses against scripture, and how one is made right with God.

    My positive case which you seem to have ignored is that the protestant understanding of the relationship between tradition and scripture is much more similar to the example given to us by Christ in the gospels than what we see by the EO or RCC communions. Tradition is important, but we judge it by the scriptures even though tradition provides the scope of the canon.

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  273. TVD,
    You don’t know what you are talking about. He’s not using it idiosyncratically, this is exactly what the reformers meant.

    “Total” doesn’t mean total? OK, whatever. The problem’s yours, not mine.

    I understand the whole bit, man needs grace even to accept grace, the snake eats its tail. I just don’t think it leads anywhere. Aquinas above on grace goes about as deep as the great mass of Christians will even need, even the great mass of the elect, if there is such a thing.

    As for the continuity and infallibility questions, they don’t have to be one in the same. As good a case as Protestantism can make against Pope Peter>Francis, it has zero claim to continuity itself. [I did look up the catholic list of Popes the other day–you would say Bishops of Rome–and you do have them “ordaining” priests, etc. It’s still a better continuity claim than Protestantism can muster, historically speaking.]

    As for the infallibility thing, I have seldom [never?] heard a Protestant critic actually state the RCC’s claim fairly and accurately. Can a pope be a heretic?

    https://oldlife.org/2013/01/what-you-dont-hear-in-the-call-to-communion/

    Sure, why not? The magisterium isn’t just the pope, it’s the bishops and even the church as a whole. That’s the theology. Just as you admit your Confessions can be in error [Belgic 36, whathaveyou]. Does this equal a false church? Of course not. If a pope is wrong about never being wrong, does that mean he’s never right?

    Maybe he’s just wrong about that. Maybe it’s the only thing he’s wrong about. ;-P

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  274. TVD, the point you’re missing is that total depravity doesn’t mean utter depravity. It means complete depravity, as in depraved in all our faculties but not all the way down, as in “There remains a certain light of nature remaining in man after the fall, by virtue of which he retains some notions about God, natural things, and the difference between what is moral and immoral, and demonstrates a certain eagerness for virtue and for good outward behavior.” Your theonomic cohorts functionally deny total depravity and affirm utter depravity when they reject natural law for civil life in favor of the Bible.

    Like

  275. Zrim
    Posted July 9, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Permalink
    TVD, the point you’re missing is that total depravity doesn’t mean utter depravity. It means complete depravity, as in depraved in all our faculties but not all the way down, as in “There remains a certain light of nature remaining in man after the fall, by virtue of which he retains some notions about God, natural things, and the difference between what is moral and immoral, and demonstrates a certain eagerness for virtue and for good outward behavior.”

    Oh, I see, Mr. Z. I just stipulate that’s “semi-Pelagian” just to have done with it. Call it what you will. Once again principled discussion shows that terms suck, they usually get in the way–shorthand for the small-minded.

    TVD, the point you’re missing is that total depravity doesn’t mean utter depravity.

    Run that sentence by 1000 people and 999 of ’em are going WTF, Z. Turns out we had no disagreement atall. Total ≠ utter. Who knew?

    Your theonomic cohorts functionally deny total depravity and affirm utter depravity when they reject natural law for civil life in favor of the Bible.

    I ain’t got no cohorts. Or every man is my cohort, or at least I am his. Irenic R Us. The materialists, the dictatorship of relativism–there’s our joint problem.

    Men Without Chests.

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  276. Dave – And on what authority are your minister ordained? Why do you ordain at all?

    Erik – Qualifications for Overseers and Deacons

    3 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

    8 In the same way, deacons[b] are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.

    11 In the same way, the women[c] are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.

    12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. 13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.

    Imagine that, church leaders can even be married and have families.

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  277. Paul goes on…

    1 Timothy 4
    New International Version (NIV)
    4 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

    6 If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters,[a] you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.

    11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

    15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

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  278. Dave (to Sean) – Sounds like you had a post Vatican II bad seminary experience.

    Erik – Since Sean is only 40-something how could he have a pre-Vatican II seminary experience?

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  279. Dave – History shows post council shakeouts are always rough for a few decades. That sucks to be sure. But how does any of that invalidate the church.

    Erik – How does this happen with a living apostle (who has the ability to speak infallibly) at the helm?

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  280. Dave,

    You seem to go back-and-forth between a really smooth long-term apologetic for the church (unbroken apostolic continuation for 2,000 years) then readily acknowledge the sins and shortcomings that plague the modern church in its day-to-day life. It’s an odd combination. It’s like taking the car out with a beginning driver. Smooth driving – abrupt stop. Drive again, stop. Could it be that you have rose-colored glasses for a distant past that perhaps never was and realistic assumptions about the present that you experience first hand?

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  281. Dave – No earthly institution could survive that long.

    Erik – Ever been to China? To England?

    Exactly how would the church unwind itself? What do clergy, monks, and nuns who have no wives or kids do instead of being clergy? When you have Christendom for 1,000 plus years you build up some capital to keep the inertia going.

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  282. Dave – Your friend needs Jesus regardless of whether he canrefute apparent miracles.

    Erik – I agree. Toughest nut to crack I’ve ever met. Religion Professor. Harvard Ph.D,, reads Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. Interesting guy.

    Like

  283. Dave – It’s a good thing there are no seeming contradictions in Reformedom. I mean you clearly must agree with Calvin’s views of the State and the status of those with opposing views of the Sacraments (Luther too). When are you going to smash up the idols in the Catholic Churches in your town?

    Erik – You have to defend Popes. We don’t have to defend Calvin. Big difference.

    Like

  284. Erik Charter
    Posted July 9, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Permalink
    Dave – No earthly institution could survive that long.

    Erik – Ever been to China? To England?

    No, but I kinda kind of like the Beatles. Well, I headed for Las Vegas; Erik, but I only made it out to Needles. Can you feel it, Erik? It must be real, Erik, it feels so good. Oh it feels so good.

    Well I never been to heaven either, but I been to Oklahoma. I don’t know where that fits in to Reformed theology, though.

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  285. Erik – Gary Wills actually mentions Mortara.

    This comes as no surprise to those familiar w/Brother Garry. He makes his living dbagging his own, a Catholic for those who hate Catholicism. There’s quite a market in America for that, bigger than for Catholicism itself.

    Always has been. America wasn’t founded as a “Christian” nation as much as a Protestant one.

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  286. But, Tom, how could that language be semi-Pelagian? It comes from the Canons of Dordt, which themselves were a response to the Remonstrants who were putting forth the five heads of Arminian doctrine, which is a synonym for semi-Pelagianism. I know terms are for the small-minded, but to the extent that the language is Calvinist, Arminians deny it.

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  287. @Zrim You didn’t realize the Canons of Dort were Arminian? I guess Trent was a Calvinist Synod.

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  288. Tom,

    As a conservative I think you understand total depravity, aka “The Fall”. It’s the reason that liberal do-gooder schemes always fail or fall way short.

    It’s people being selfish and unable to save themselves from the wrath of a holy God.

    When we look at people, though, are they as bad as they could possibly be? No. That’s why we recognize John Wayne Gacy and Charles Manson as being especially depraved.

    Like

  289. Tom – Your argument always returns to painting them into the infallibilty corner, the all or nothing game [and one that you happily exempt yourselves from]. But even if you succeed, this does not mean you are correct about anything else. The RCC theology could be 99% correct, yours could be 1%

    Erik – The problem arises in that Rome says you must be joined to her (and only her) in order to be saved. Imagine believing that and then having your priest molest you. If you’re a Protestant, you can perhaps understand and move on. As a Catholic it’s much tougher. You have a right to expect much more.

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  290. It’s mind-blowing to me that Rome on the one hand insists upon being able to trace their bishops back in time and space to Peter, while at the same time insisting upon the Pope’s ability to discern that a dead person has facilitated a miracle. Seems like one is QIRC to the extreme and the other throws QIRC completely out the window. How do you live like this?

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  291. Erik – The problem arises in that Rome says you must be joined to her (and only her) in order to be saved. Imagine believing that and then having your priest molest you. If you’re a Protestant, you can perhaps understand and move on. As a Catholic it’s much tougher. You have a right to expect much more.

    Old story–A cowboy camps for the night. Spots an Indian. The cowboy draws a circle in the dirt around himself, the message is quite clear.

    The Indian draws a circle around both of them.

    I believe that’s theology here. Since the RCC largely accepts Protestant sacraments, you may separate from her but she does not separate from you.

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  292. Erik Charter
    Posted July 10, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    As a conservative I think you understand total depravity, aka “The Fall”. It’s the reason that liberal do-gooder schemes always fail or fall way short.

    It’s people being selfish and unable to save themselves from the wrath of a holy God.

    When we look at people, though, are they as bad as they could possibly be? No. That’s why we recognize John Wayne Gacy and Charles Manson as being especially depraved.

    Ah. Not utterly depraved although totally depraved. “Super added” depraved. Roger that, Geneva.

    Like

  293. sdb
    Posted July 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink
    @Zrim You didn’t realize the Canons of Dort were Arminian? I guess Trent was a Calvinist Synod.

    Zrim
    Posted July 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink
    sdb, maybe Tom is with the Calminians. Oh, the wonders modernism works.

    sean
    Posted July 10, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink
    Zrim, the syncretism is stupefying.

    Well, that one way to win a debate–argue with people who agree with you. Well done, fellas. You win again.

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  294. But, Tom, I’m just like you and not trying to win any debates. Talk about not winning for losing.

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  295. Mr. Z–When somebody talks behind my back–or insults me in the third person while I’m standing there–I’m not inclined to pretend it’s not happening. Or resume civil conversation with them after they’re finished. Your call.

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  296. TVD, you still haven’t grasped the breezy medium of blogdom. Nobody is insulting you or being uncivil. (Really, though, this from the guy to snarks left and right and once said he reads everything others write except for me? Chill it.)

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  297. Zrim
    Posted July 10, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink
    TVD, you still haven’t grasped the breezy medium of blogdom. Nobody is insulting you or being uncivil. (Really, though, this from the guy to snarks left and right and once said he reads everything others write except for me? Chill it.)

    Yes, and I said that to you directly, to your face as it were. If you want to return to the status quo ante, that’s fine too. Your call. If you were at my blog and there were 3 people dissing Zrim with you “standing” right there alone, I’d ask them to break it up, too. That’s not breeziness. Peace.

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  298. TVD, yawn. Care to explain how a bit from a Calvinist document is actually semi-Pelagian? Reformed churches are dying to know.

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  299. Zrim
    Posted July 10, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Permalink
    TVD, yawn. Care to explain how a bit from a Calvinist document is actually semi-Pelagian? Reformed churches are dying to know.

    Not interested in playing the “terms” game or proceeding with you any further. Thanks, I learned what I wanted to know.

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  300. Oh, I’m putting this day down in the OLTS drama calendar; “Zrim’s lack of winsomeness repels another fair and open minded seeker of truth.” Full Stop.

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  301. sean
    Posted July 10, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink
    Oh, I’m putting this day down in the OLTS drama calendar; “Zrim’s lack of winsomeness repels another fair and open minded seeker of truth.” Full Stop.

    Sean again accidentally tells the truth.

    This was interesting, an ex-Calvinist apologist. Basically, the thesis is that with “T” the differences are more in degree than in essence, “U” is OK with Aquinas, “L” is scriptural unproven but might rate a half-star, same with “I,” and “P” with a little rearranging of the furniture.

    In view of this, we might propose a Thomist version of TULIP: T=total inability (to please God without special grace); U=unconditional election; L=limited intent (for the atonement’s efficacy); I=intrinsically efficacious grace (for salvation); P=perseverance of the elect (until the end of life).

    There are other ways to construct a Thomist version of TULIP, of course, but the fact there is even one way demonstrates that a Calvinist would not have to repudiate his understanding of predestination and grace to become Catholic. He simply would have to do greater justice to the teaching of Scripture and would have to refine his understanding of perseverance.

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/TULIP.htm

    IrenicRUs

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  302. Tom – I believe that’s theology here. Since the RCC largely accepts Protestant sacraments, you may separate from her but she does not separate from you.

    Erik – I guess that’s o.k. as long as I don’t have to pay any dues.

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  303. Oh don’t I know it TVD, I’m even good in my sleep. You’re right though, all the formerly known as protestant, RC converts keep telling us they’ve got this Thomism figured and we can keep all the best parts of our Calvinism and be papists on top of it. It reminds me of a religious Farrell’s on my birthday. It’s awwwwesome, oink oink. There’s more too TVD, there’s forensic justification(sort of) followed with ontological renovation via the sacraments, leading to ‘further’ justification and ultimately divination. Just on the catechetical scorecard, whether size or philosophical sophistication, but minus the purgation stop over(no fun unless you got you one of those papal indulgences-youth day plug, who says I’m not ecumenical!), Rome can put the cherry on that banana split. The syncretism gets to some, but if we check that skepticism at the door and believe that we might understand and rest finally in what the ‘church’ believes, we can be golden too. It’s a good schtick.

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  304. Erik Charter
    Posted July 10, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    Kind of sounds like a super-annoying ex-wife.

    Well, it used to be more like Fatal Attraction than Animal House, so that’s an improvement.

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  305. Butch up?

    I would have thought “shut up” would have sufficed, but whatever. The guy’s bitching/whining about crabby all the time, but he keeps sticking around and blabbing on.
    Probably thinks he’s clever or something.
    No need to reply TV.
    (Hint. Some of us don’t care what you have to say, even if you are a genius.)

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  306. Bob S
    Posted July 10, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink
    Butch up?

    I would have thought “shut up” would have sufficed, but whatever. The guy’s bitching/whining about crabby all the time, but he keeps sticking around and blabbing on.
    Probably thinks he’s clever or something.
    No need to reply TV.
    (Hint. Some of us don’t care what you have to say, even if you are a genius.)

    The only way to prove you don’t care is to stop writing about me. Which would suit me just fine, brother, believe me.

    Crabby.

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  307. Sean, not lack of winsomeness but small mind. But one-hundred thousand nostalgic points for the Ferrell’s reference.

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  308. Bob S,

    To be fair, we are in the combox of a theological blog. The moment anyone starts caring what any of us says, pull me away from my golf game and I’ll start really showing you all how to write.

    But seriously, Tom is here to observe us. Just observe him, or the next person to happen to graze our halls here at museum old life. He pays lip service to Machen. Now, whether he’ll step foot in an OPC in his life, highly doubtful, but let him talk all he likes. It’s the interweb we’re talking here, after all. We’re all a little silly, no?

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  309. PS My bad, it’s bad form to bring up golf two times in a thread (now three). That’s usually my signature for “I’ve had it – when do we get to the 19th hole?!?” This blog’s limit of 50 for page made me search for where I said posting at CtoC is like playing a bad golf course twice – dumb.

    To be fair, I was able to observe and get responses from the Catlicks out there, and it confirmed what I had been learning. Hey, a bad day on the golf course is better than a good day at work, no?

    Back to my cave. Until 2014,

    AB

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  310. Gentlemen,

    I am not sure I can keep up. I will do my best to get to some or all of these. But feel free to request my email from Darryl of you want to continue some of the dialogue we started or if I left a question unaswered that you really really want my response to. I really do want to answer but I just don’t see how I can keep up. I mean I have two entire loafs of bread I still have to burn in the toaster. Not one of the last five produced an image of Mary.

    Best,

    Dave

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  311. Dave, you need to start wearing your scapular against your skin and stop taking it off. Have you put the exposed heart of Christ in EVERY room?! That and get to confession, I know you aren’t keeping up. That penance schedule is way behind. When was your last rosary? Most importantly, how much have you put in the coffer this week, eh?

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  312. The only way to prove you don’t care is to stop writing about me.

    Only on the innernet. A boorish and stupid ass mistakes a backhanded rebuke for “caring”. Whatever/we gives up.

    And another thing which goes for the wafer worshipers also. Last word in substance? Or just in response?
    duh

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  313. Sean,

    I did go to confession last Saturday and my last Rosary was on the way into work today. I use a cool App for it because I am still pretty new to the Rosary. Great way to meditate on the life on the gospel and life of Christ. It makes it really hard to swear at the guy who cut me off too.

    As for the rest I have failed. As for the coffers – I can’t tell my left hand so I cannot tell you. But I have given nothing by way of the Bavarian abuses. I am centuries removed from that, thankfully.

    Peace out.

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  314. Dave – Not one of the last five produced an image of Mary.

    Erik – If you get one I’m your man to broker it for you on ebay.

    No way! I can make way more setting up a shrine with a gift shop. I will put the Medjugorje visionaries out of business with some mad social media skills – getting all the pilgrims heading my way.

    Like

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