The Limits of Logic and the Benefits of Geography

Jason Stellman continues his brief for Roman Catholic superiority with the twist of posting at his own blog and, making his membership in Jason and the Callers complete, at at Called to Communion. Apparently, Bryan Cross and Sean Patrick will now edit comments on Jason’s posts so that Jason can do more televised interviews. The funny thing about this arrangement is that posting at CTC has not united Bryan’s logic with Jason’s style. In fact, if Jason’s first post is any indication, Bryan’s scholasticism has taken a back seat to Stellman’s intuition. But the oxymoronic ecumenical (call to communion) polemics (we’re better than Protestants) abide.

It turns out — surprise — that Roman Catholicism makes better sense of the incarnation than Protestantism. The simple logic is that since Christ assumed and maintains a physical body that could and can be seen, an ecclesiology that features visibility beats one that invokes invisibility. But the logic of Jason’s argument is almost as confusing as his understanding of geography.

If there is a connection between Christology and Ecclesiology (Umm, hellooo ? The Church is the Body of which Christ is the Head, so I’d label this connection as “uncontroversial”), then the idea that the eternal Son assumed human nature and took on a real, flesh-and-blood body just like ours, is more consistent in a visible-church paradigm than in an invisible-church paradigm. The physical body of Christ was visible; you could point him out in a crowd or identify him with a kiss as Judas did for the Roman soldiers.

The key word here is was. Jesus’ body is no longer on earth and cannot be seen. And by sending his Spirit to be with the church after he left planet earth, Jesus could very well have been teaching that the nature of the church, its bonds of fellowship and its worship, is going to be spiritual, not visible (like Old Testament devotion was with the altar, sacrifice and priests — sound familiar?). In fact, Jesus tells the woman at the well that the new pattern of worship emerging is one where place matters less than spirit and truth. And then Jason has the problem of being so insensitive to believers whose relatives have died and no longer have bodies. Are they visible? Are they excluded from the church because they don’t have bodies? Or is it the case that an ecclesiology that so features physicality is shallow compared to one that recognizes a fellowship among those saints who are both seen and unseen. (Hint: if God the Father is spirit and cannot be seen, fellowship with the unseen is important. Duh!)

Not to be tripped up by such theological or logical subtleties, Jason stumbles on to give two big thumbs up to the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist.

Is Christ present at the Table or not? Like with the question “Is the church visible or not,” the answer here is, “It depends.” If the worshiper is a worthy receiver, then yes, he indeed feeds spiritually and truly upon the body and blood of Christ. But if the worshiper is unworthy and faithless, then what he is eating and drinking is not Christ’s body and blood, but simply ordinary bread and wine. This also smacks of Docetism, as if Jesus of Nazareth could have been truly present with Zaccheus, partially present with Nicodemus, and completely absent with Judas, even though they were all standing right in front of him in the flesh.

First, Jason gets the Protestant position wrong. The unworthy receiver eats and drinks judgment. The last time I had ordinary bread and wine, I was not sinning overtly or deserving judgment. But that inaccuracy notwithstanding, second, the idea that Christ is present in the Lord’s Supper to everyone equally, just like he was to the people with whom Christ lived, walked and talked, commits some sort of Christological error — can’t remember which one — because the nature of a body is being limited in time and space, and if Jesus is not here then he can’t be here in the same way that he was here to Zaccheus. And since Jason doesn’t mention the Spirit, the person of the Trinity that helps Protestants understand Christ’s real presence in an omnipresent way, his bad logic suffers again from poor theology.

Jason’s last point exhibits a Romophilia that makes chopped liver out of the churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople.

Moreover, the Catholic paradigm makes much better sense of the Incarnation by its gospel demonstrating the need for the ongoing and continual humanity of Christ. If salvation consists largely (almost exclusively to hear some Protestants tell it) in the forensic imputation of the active and passive obedience of Christ by which the sinner is legally justified in the divine court, then the need for Jesus’ humanity can be said to have expired after the ascension. But if, as the Catholic Church maintains (echoing the fathers), salvation consists primarily in the deifying participation of humanity in the divine nature, which happens by means of Christ’s glorified humanity and risen flesh, then what happened at the Incarnation was a much bigger deal than some Protestants realize.

The deifying participation of humanity in the divine nature is what the Eastern Churches call theosis. In fact, Jason’s entire post may vindicate his personal decision to leave Presbyterianism but his boosterism apparently blinded him to the substantial difficulties he raised for his own ecclesiology from Eastern Orthodox challenges. After all, Jesus never made it to Rome to found a church — if we take the physicality of the incarnation seriously. He did though found a church in Jerusalem. If Jason wanted to talk about the Jerusalem Catholic Church he might have a point. But since he wants to root, root, root for his new home church, he needs help from Bryan to make his argument coherent.

Meanwhile, Jason may want to pay more attention to what’s going on in his visible church than tilting at Protestant windmills:

I think it is obvious that Wuerl belongs to the more traditional, pilgrim model and always has. In the 1970s and early 1980s, the prophet model was invoked mostly by liberal theologians to justify their positions. In the 1990s and first decade of the 21st century, it was conservatives who claimed the prophetic mantle for themselves. Both groups forgot that in the Hebrew Scriptures, the prophets were reluctant to accept the mantle. Both groups forgot that the dominant Catholic mode of leadership has almost always been the pilgrim model, and when the prophet model dominated, ruin came: Savonarola, Saint- Cloud, Pio Nono. The Church is not at Her best when Her leaders are busy hurling epithets or indulging what Pope Francis has called a “self-absorbed promethean neopelagianism.” Wuerl strikes me as one of those bishops who does not over-inflate his own significance. Yes, he takes his job seriously and expects his collaborators to do so as well. But, like Pope Francis, he leaves room for the Spirit to do its work. Let us have more bishops like this in the coming year. The first test will, of course, be Chicago. No need for extensive previstas from the nuncio on this nomination as all of the candidates will be well known. The rumors of any particular names have dried up, which usually means those who are being consulted are shifting from speculation to decision. I have no idea who it will be but I will venture one prediction: Some jaws will drop. . . .

The divisions within the Church are not going away, but they are likely to change in the coming year. I predicted early on that you would begin to see cleavage within the Catholic Left between those who are thrilled by the Holy Father’s focus on the poor, and for whom that focus is enough, and those who argue for changes where no change is likely to be forthcoming, the ordination of women, same-sex marriage, etc. And, on the Catholic Right, you will see a similar cleavage between those who will allow themselves to be challenged by Pope Francis and those who will shift towards a rejectionist position, either completely gutting the pope’s words of their obvious meaning and import as Morlino did in the article mentioned above or, for the more extreme members, moving towards schismatic groups. The Left, when it gets disaffected, just walks away. The Right causes trouble. In 2014, many bishops will face the prospect of clear, unambiguous dissent on the Right and it will be curious to see how they respond.

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60 thoughts on “The Limits of Logic and the Benefits of Geography

  1. Since Called to Communion is pretty clearly aimed at Reformed Protestants (most of these guys used to be Reformed) it would be helpful for them to get Reformed theology right in their posts and not attack some kind of generic “Protestantism”. How could there even be such a thing if there are 30,000 Protestant churches (by their own dubious count)?

    Out on the rubber chicken circuit Jason has taken to making a recurring joke about Calvinism being a “meaner version of evangelicalism”, or something along those lines. I think Bryan would call that an Ad Hom.

    I’m going to start asking to see his Westminster Seminary California transcript to check his grades if he keeps this sloppy work up.

    Stellman at Steubenville: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVBP12_0EZs#t=44

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  2. “When it Comes to church authority, Calvinists are no better off than just regular evangelicals”.

    Someone sent Jason an article that said that and he couldn’t refute it.

    This was his “Mormons come to Bryan Cross’s door” moment.

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  3. Jason joked that a Catholic who he was corresponding with told him that he knew he was going to become a Catholic. Jason was like, “Whoa, I’m a Presbyterian minister. I can’t even be seen with a guy like you.”

    As if we’re strict fundamentalists who can’t hang out with or talk to Catholics.

    The interesting thing about this is that when he was with Calvary Chapel in Hungary the same thing happened. He had to be secretive about his becoming a Calvinist because Calvary Chapel was way negative on Calvinism. Indeed, they fired him and made him pay his own way home when he “converted” to Calvinism.

    There is a theme here: The “secretive”, “promiscuous” conversion. The thrill of something new. The quickly becoming a minister/conference speaker after the conversion.

    This makes me ask, what happens when the attention fades and Catholicism becomes routine? Where will the thrill come from? What comes next?

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  4. One thing this reveals to me is the glaring need to thoroughly educate our Presbyterian & Reformed ministers on two things: (1) Secularism, (2) Catholicism. And I’m not talking spending a day on them.

    Before we ordain a guy in his late 20s we need to make sure he has reckoned with these “alternatives” maturely.

    Why secularism? Because it is what the world has to offer a man contra the Christian faith. Patrcick Edouard was not content sexually with his wife. He had to live like Hugh Hefner or Don Draper and have (at least) four other women besides her, thus making a shipwreck of his faith and greatly damaging his church. How much reckoning with secularism had he done before entering the ministry?

    Why Catholicism? Because of Jason, Scott Hahn, and all of the Callers. These guys, pretty much to a man, would say that they didn’t have an “accurate” understanding of Catholicism when they were Reformed. Why is that? If a man is at MARS, or Westminster, or RTS, why not make them take a class on Catholicism from a neighboring Catholic college or University early on in their Seminary training? They need to reckon with why they are Reformed and not Catholic early on in their training. If they are sympathetic to Catholicism we need to weed them out early on in the process, not wait until after they are ordained.

    We’re Calvinists. None of this should surprise us. We need to be wise in how we can prevent it, though.

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  5. When I used to comment on Jason’s blog (before he banned me – which is what religionists do, eventually, when pressed with Christian freedom), I had made my mind up that for Jason, the clay was baked. But I thought that maybe a lurker or someone could be reading who still had some life left in him/her…where my comments about the finished, totally completed work on the Cross for the ungodly might lead to their hearing something ‘new’ (the pure gospel).

    I do believe that the clay is baked, out there, for so many like Jason. But every now and then, you receive an e-mail from someone in Maine…or Tennessee…or England, who says “wow!..this Christ alone stuff is truly liberating!”

    It doesn’t happen often…but it does happen.

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  6. Why not Eastern Orthodox?

    http://orthodoxyandheterodoxy.org/2012/06/14/unintentional-schism-a-response-to-peter-leitharts-too-catholic-to-be-catholic/

    “Are you willing to start going to a Eucharistic table where your Protestant friends are no longer welcome?” My response is that there are two dimensions to Eucharistic unity: horizontal unity in which one shares the same faith with others across the world in the present moment and vertical unity in which one shares the same faith with others across time, e.g., fellowship with the church fathers. As I became increasingly aware of the significant differences between Protestantism and the early church fathers I reached the conclusion that Protestants, even the original Reformers, would be barred from receiving Communion in the early Church. This led me to an awkward dilemma. Did I want to be in communion with contemporary Protestantism and out of communion with the early church fathers and the Ecumenical Councils? Or was I willing to give up my Protestant beliefs in order to be in communion with the one holy catholic and apostolic Church?…Advocacy of open communion is inadvertently divisive because it sacrifices vertical unity with the historic Church for horizontal unity with the contemporary Protestant church.

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  7. Sasse — While Reformed doctrine takes great pains to expound the Incarnation of the Son in such a way that time and eternity, finite and infinite, barely touch each other without ever becoming confused, the Lutheran Church teaches that, in the Incarnation, God has really entered humanity and the infinite has actually come down into the finite. Hermann Sasse. Here We Stand: Nature and Character of the Lutheran Faith, 1930. p 153

    Heidelberg Catechism; Questions 47, 48
    Is not, then, Christ with us even unto the end of the world, as He has promised?

    Christ is true man and true God: according to His human nature, He is now not upon earth but according to His Godhead, majesty, grace, and Spirit, He is at no time absent from us.

    But are not, in this way, the two natures in Christ separated from one another, if the Manhood be not wherever the Godhead is?

    By no means; for since the Godhead is incomprehensible and everywhere present, it must follow that it is indeed beyond the bounds of the Manhood which it has assumed, but is yet none the less in the same also, and remains personally united to it.

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  8. A A Hodge: “It does not do to say this presence is only spiritual. If it means that the presence of Christ is not something objective…., then it is false. If it means that Christ is present only by His Spirit, it is not true, because Christ is one person and the Holy Spirit is another person…It is a great mistake to confuse the idea of presence with nearness in space…Presence is not a question of space. Presence is a relation.” (Theology, Banner of Truth, p 356)

    https://www.academia.edu/185285/Why_Luther_is_not_Quite_Protestant_The_Logic_of_Faith_in_a_Sac

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  9. DGH, I’m delighted to see that a Protestant has caught onto this. The “ongoing incarnation” stuff goes back as far as Johan Adam Mohler (as best as I can tell). I got onto his work, but I have always lacked the time and resources to follow up with it. Michael Himes has done a study, “Ongoing Incarnation”. If you want to find true liberalism in the RCC, that’s where it starts. As I say, I have always lacked the time and resources to follow up on that properly. But this is the thread upon which to pull, if you want to find the keys to Vatican II.

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  10. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

    He is always with us. The in’carn(e)’ation..the fleshiness of Him…the meat…the trueness of His body and blood…are with us, truly, in the hearing of His gospel Word, and in Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

    The “ongoing incarnation” stuff goes back to where He said, “If you do not eat my body and drink my blood, then you have no life in you.”

    It’s great when people learn about this ongoing truth.

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  11. Who’s the audience toward which C2C is directed? If the RCC’s position on these matters is so intuitive, then why do you need to proffer pedantic instruction on the matter? I’m beginning to think that these guys are little more than half-rate hacks whose theological competence pales next to their estimation of themselves. Within the smaller conservative Reformed communions, this was recognized early.

    I used to teach organic chemistry at an evangelical liberal arts college. It was always amazed how my laziest students received calls to the ministry right after the fall semester grades showed up in the mailbox at home. I used to wonder, “I bet some evangelical church will really appreciate having a pastor who’s arrived where he is because he discovered a way to spiritualize his laziness and lack of discipline.”

    The bozos at C2C remind me a lot of those students.

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  12. There was a before and after to the incarnation, and also a place there, not here.

    That’s why we speak of good NEWS

    I Peter 3:18 is not about the two parts of a human, but about a before and after:

    18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,

    I Cor 15: 42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

    God becoming also human means becoming visible and material and mortal.
    Becoming also human means having gender.

    And Jesus Christ continues to be incarnate human but is no longer mortal.

    Becoming also human does not mean becoming something to eat.

    One of the best essays against current Romanist and evangelical notions of “continuing incarnation” is by Todd Billings, “Ministry in Union with Christ:A Constructive Critique of Incarnational Ministry’, In Baker, Union with Christ, 2011

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  13. First, Jason gets the Protestant position wrong.

    There is no “Protestant” position on the Eucharist. In fact, Lutherans and Anglicans are closer to the Catholic position than to the Calvinist. “Protestant” is a descriptive term, not a definitive one. [As one who, unlike Susan, has studied philosophy, your more erudite self appreciates the distinction.]

    D. G. Hart
    Posted January 1, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink
    Thanks, John, I’ll an eye out if Tom VD lets me.

    VD? You can be more clever than that. Or perhaps you can’t.

    mark mcculley
    Posted January 1, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Permalink
    Why not Eastern Orthodox?

    http://orthodoxyandheterodoxy.org/2012/06/14/unintentional-schism-a-response-to-peter-leitharts-too-catholic-to-be-catholic/

    Heh heh. Indeed. Makes all this anti-Catholicism rather moot. The implicit proposition has been that because Catholicism is wrong, the Reformation must be right. But what if you’re both wrong?

    Such is the hollowness of polemics. Finding error is not the same as seeking truth.

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  14. The following paragraph from Stellman is a good’un

    ‘…the visible church in the Protestant paradigm can begin to disappear one minute only to reappear the next. If this dynamic of the so-called visible Protestant church were applied to the body of Jesus of Nazareth, we’d have a Christology that is more Docetic than orthodox.’

    Then I recalled one of Christ’s resurrection appearances;

    ‘And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.’ (Luke 24:31).

    It could only mean that the Roman Catholic Church isn’t a resurrection body.

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  15. A person teaching the priority of the incarnation to justification–:Many have assumed that justification is a synthetic declaration that takes into account NO prior relationship of the believer to the person of Christ.

    mark: The “incarnation priority” assumes that justification is a legal fiction (as if) unless it’s an analytic declaration that takes into account an already existing relationship of all humans to Christ because of the incarnation.

    IP—It is because of the incarnation that the believer is justified.

    mark: it is because of God’s imputation that the the elect human is legally united to Christ and to His death.

    IP—The benefits of Christ’s saving work are received only insofar as Christ’s personal presence in the eucharist is regularly eaten.

    mark: Christ Himself is received by the ungodly elect only insofar as these ungodly elect are baptized by God into Christ’s death

    IP: Justification is a legal result of the sacramental reality of the incarnation.

    mark: The personal indwelling of Christ is a benefit of the legal declaration which results from God’s imputation of Christ’s death.

    IP—: Berkhof thinks that justification cannot be the result of any existing condition in the sinner, sacramental eating of the personal indwelling presence of Christ is what FAITH REALLY IS…: A great deal rests on how we conceive of the word substitution. If we understand this to mean that Christ acts outside of us in a merely representative way, so that our sin is somehow mechanically transferred from us to us, then we have a doctrine of penal substitution that flounders in unreality.

    mark: I don’t know any Protestant who is denying that Christ assumed human nature. So this is not the real problem. The problem is that anti-Reformed folks think that the incarnation means that Christ is in someway already “united” to all sinners. And these folks locate “effective union ” either in eucharistic eating and/or in the work of the Spirit creating faith in us.

    What does this say about the “reality” of federal election in Christ? The reality of salvation comes to depend not on what Christ did but instead on our believing and eating.

    IP: It will not do to think of what Christ has done for us only in terms of representation. If Jesus is a substitute in detachment from us, who simply acts in our stead in an external, formal or forensic way, then his response has no ontological bearing upon us but is an empty transaction above our heads.

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  16. Mike Horton, People and Place, p 203– In Christ language throughout Ephesians is unmistakably concerned with participation, but it is the kind of fellowship that obtains between covenant partners… The husband and wife becoming one flesh can hardly mean assimilation. Although Reformed theology also appeals to the totus Christus motif without scruple, it is always connected with the historical economy: sharing in Christ’s death and resurrection… Christ is the representative head in a covenant, not the “corporate personality” in whom his own identity as well as ours is surrendered to the whole.”

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  17. Stellman says:
    ____________
    I have gotten a handful of complaints over the last few months about the free-for-all nature of the comments here — off-topic, everything-thrown-at-the-Catholic-Church-but-the-kitchen-sink, uncharitable, impossible to follow or truly engage, etc. — and my response has always been that I simply don’t have the time to respond to all the comments that come in or babysit the combox.

    So what I will do (either just this once, or often if it goes well) is post here at Creed Code Cult and cross-post at Called to Communion, with the comments closed here. The reason for this change of procedure is that over there there is the benefit of a moderated combox, which will help keep things on track.
    __________________

    The best he can do is say he got a handful of complaints over a few months. Given typical factual creativity when someone’s justifying himself (get it? justifying himself?) that might have been three complaints. And the solution is to put the comboxes under the jurisdiction of heavy-handed CTC.

    I’m starting to wonder what the link is between converting to RC and the impulse for censorship.

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  18. Muddy Gravel
    Posted January 1, 2014 at 7:01 pm | Permalink
    Stellman says:
    ____________
    I have gotten a handful of complaints over the last few months about the free-for-all nature of the comments here — off-topic, everything-thrown-at-the-Catholic-Church-but-the-kitchen-sink, uncharitable, impossible to follow or truly engage, etc. — and my response has always been that I simply don’t have the time to respond to all the comments that come in or babysit the combox.

    So what I will do (either just this once, or often if it goes well) is post here at Creed Code Cult and cross-post at Called to Communion, with the comments closed here. The reason for this change of procedure is that over there there is the benefit of a moderated combox, which will help keep things on track.
    __________________

    The best he can do is say he got a handful of complaints over a few months. Given typical factual creativity when someone’s justifying himself (get it? justifying himself?) that might have been three complaints. And the solution is to put the comboxes under the jurisdiction of heavy-handed CTC.

    I’m starting to wonder what the link is between converting to RC and the impulse for censorship.

    As Ronald Reagan said “I’m paying for this microphone!” He has no obligation to let others hijack his soapbox.

    I occasionally read old posts and the moderation makes the discussion able to be read with profit many years later. Darryl has chosen anarchy, which is fine, but the conversations are impossible to follow what with the bon mots, drivebys, Youtube links and gangups on the visiting commenters. they are for the moment, not for the ages.

    The CtoC archives read quite coherently. I frequently get Jason or Bryan’s side of the controversies here, and its rewarding reading.

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  19. He has no obligation to let others hijack his soapbox.

    Ah, the truth be told now. He’s not interested in a “dialogue” even ecumenical or a reasonable discussion, he wants to let his private personal papist judgement run free without anybody calling him back to the bar of Scripture, the reformed faith, reason or history all of which miraculously morph into ironclad proof of his speculations.
    IOW progressives are bigger phonies and hypocrites than the conservatives or the reformed. Jason wouldn’t know, because of the Vat2 chrism for lay persons, which along with the holywater, works pretty good as long as you don’t venture outside the paradigm and Bryan will see to that in the combox.

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  20. Well, if this blog was moderated like CTC then TVD wouldn’t get through very often. Oh, let me pre-empt your next comment to DGH by saying “you’re welcome” on his behalf.

    You can go with your “making comments a treasure trove of organized information to bless many future generations” argument if you want. Sorry for my muddy vision but I think CTC goes by the Pravda model.

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  21. This is a terrible move by Jason. Good-bye potential ad revenue, endorsements, and invitations to speak on the former-Protestant-now-Papist rubber chicken dinner circuit. A blog you can’t comment on freely is a commercial and people will quickly lose interest. He’ll be one of twenty guys at Called-to-Communion posting and his Mad Men avatar won’t be enough to set him apart from the crowd.

    I give this new policy a week and when he sees his hits are way down it will revert to normal. He has books to sell.

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  22. Jason does like to blather a lot and the strain of maintaining the lie got to be too much so he switched to the CtC site. (Besides the Stupor Bowl Party for 2014 is coming up soon. )
    There we get to read lucid, penetrating and coherent gems like one of the latest:

    Participation in God is not the same as God; otherwise, there would be no Creator-creature distinction. Participation is created; God is uncreated. Hence participation can be lost (through mortal sin) by that which is participating. Hence though the Love by which through grace we love Him is a participation in God’s Love for Himself, we can lose this Love through mortal sin, precisely because this Love in us is a participation.

    Somebody wants to have their communion wafer and eat it too.
    And Christmas is biblical because the birth of Christ is found in the Bible.

    I know, the Doubting Thomas doesn’t like polemical apologetics, but we does because the alternative is pretending Bryan and Jase really know what they are talking about and if we had a clue we would take a hint from them. Like I said, DT’s got the dts and things is kind of shaky. But Rome really is built on the rock, so stop throwing stones and laughing so hard at them. It’s irreverent, disrespectful and polemical hateful.

    Still if DT wants to be taken seriously, he needs to get another avatar from Susan and stop his polemics about prot polemics.

    Oh wait, he’s already been told that a couple of times.

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  23. Bob S
    Posted January 1, 2014 at 7:54 pm | Permalink
    >>>>>>>>He has no obligation to let others hijack his soapbox.

    Ah, the truth be told now. He’s not interested in a “dialogue” even ecumenical or a reasonable discussion, he wants to let his private personal papist judgement run free without anybody calling him back to the bar of Scripture, the reformed faith, reason or history all of which miraculously morph into ironclad proof of his speculations.

    Well, the discussions do read coherently years later without all the chaff. It reads like Aquinas–the objections are acknowledged, then answered. CtoC lets the objections through. The junk and gratuitous ad homs are rightly censored.

    I have found it useful. The discussions here are largely useless for archival purposes. Which is OK too. As for the number of hits, this blog seems to have less diversity.

    I know, the Doubting Thomas doesn’t like polemical apologetics, but we does because the alternative is pretending Bryan and Jase really know what they are talking about and if we had a clue we would take a hint from them. Like I said, DT’s got the dts and things is kind of shaky. But Rome really is built on the rock, so stop throwing stones and laughing so hard at them. It’s irreverent, disrespectful and polemical hateful.

    Still if DT wants to be taken seriously, he needs to get another avatar from Susan and stop his polemics about prot polemics.

    Oh wait, he’s already been told that a couple of times.

    If “Doubting Thomas” is moi, you got it all wrong. I believe EVERYTHING I read. Some of it more than others. Didn’t I link to an essay on Thomistic TULIP? See, he who knows only his own side of an issue knows little of that! When I see Prots get Aquinas or Catholicism wrong, they’re DOA.

    The polemics about polemics line was great. Not sure how to parse it out, but there’s no denying that the snake often eats its tail on these things. Unfortunately, as a formal matter, ex-Calvinist Catholics have more cred on the flaws of their former faith than do those they left behind bagging on Catholicism.

    It’s like my English friends explaining to me why cricket is so much better than baseball. Well mebbe it is and mebbe it isn’t, but my googly is better than their slider.

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  24. strike like this

    To make that, delete the quotation marks in the below.

    strike like this”

    Also Google “html test bed” to test such things to your hearts content. See the recent OLTS post “overreach” for a link I posted to a good html test webpage.

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  25. Erik,

    “Lutherans don’t get to defy laws of physics and chemistry.”

    What is that supposed to mean?

    You don’t believe what thew Lord Jesus told us when he said “This IS my body…this IS my blood.” ?

    __

    The difference between us Lutherans and Catholics is that WE don’t claim to know HOW He is present. Only that He is present. He never commanded us to do anything where He would not be present in it…for us.

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  26. You’re drinking the koolaid, Tommy.
    If man’s reason didn’t fall in the Garden, Thomism at root is rationalism and you are basically a
    rationalist, so of course you would get along over at CtC. (Easily Verifiable, Non Falsifiable right?)

    When Bryan seriously reviews DT King’s 3 volumes on Scripture instead of some obscure philosophical stuff, then we’ll know he’s getting down to brass tacks. Until then, he’s prattling to the choir about straw men when it comes to the reformed faith, which contra his honesty paradigm, he still can’t honestly expound, at the very least regarding its principium cognoscendi or justification of knowledge, Sola Scriptura. And he claims to be a philosopher to boot. That’s incompetence in aces and eights, pal.
    IOW he’s playing a dead man’s hand and doesn’t know it and neither does anybody else.
    Don’t tell him though. You’ll get accused of paradigm mongering question begging and engaging in polemical hatred.

    cheers

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  27. Erik Charter
    Posted January 1, 2014 at 9:08 pm | Permalink
    D.G.,

    It may be time to ban responses to Tom. Thank the Lord I’m returning to work tomorrow.

    It worked with Doug, unless he morphed into Kenneth.

    Yes, you should be banned from responding to me. Probably from responding to everyone except to hi-5 Darryl. You keep junking up the threads with swinishness. Using my wife against me, man? [Things are just fine, thank you for your concern. 27 years.]

    ______

    Bob S
    Posted January 1, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Permalink
    You’re drinking the koolaid, Tommy.

    If man’s reason didn’t fall in the Garden, Thomism at root is rationalism and you are basically a
    rationalist, so of course you would get along over at CtC. (Easily Verifiable, Non Falsifiable right?)

    Anti-Aquinas? Fideism? I dunno if you wanna go there. You know, exc for Luther and perhaps Calvin, their Reformist successors were quite able to hold up their end of a rational discussion.

    http://calvinistinternational.com/2013/08/02/the-reformations-reboot-of-scholasticism/

    What sort of kindergarten are you running here, Dr. Hart?

    Like

  28. Nope, Rome under the auspices of Thomism believes that man’s reason did not fall in the Garden. (Neither is the will bound.) As a rationalistic skeptic (and cheap shot artist?) you ought to find that more amenable to your way of thinking, though you are hardly in full agreement with the magical magisterium.

    Like

  29. Bob S
    Posted January 1, 2014 at 10:44 pm | Permalink
    Nope, Rome under the auspices of Thomism believes that man’s reason did not fall in the Garden. (Neither is the will bound.) As a rationalistic skeptic (and cheap shot artist?) you ought to find that more amenable to your way of thinking, though you are hardly in full agreement with the magical magisterium.

    The Vatican’s flaws and failings are stipulated in advance, then, now and in the future. They are more likely to be the worst of men, not the best. But if you want to punk Thomas, you gotta do better than calling him “koolaid,” me brother. Don’t you dare. Any Protestant worth his salt knows better than to step into the ring with Thomas.

    Or atheist.

    Like

  30. Tom – You keep junking up the threads with swinishness. Using my wife against me, man?

    Erik – This is where you always get sloppy and lose credibility. Normally it’s at 2:00 a.m. after the 4th scotch, though, accompanied by profanity.

    No one feels sorry for you.

    Like

  31. Erik Charter
    Posted January 1, 2014 at 11:01 pm | Permalink
    Tom – You keep junking up the threads with swinishness. Using my wife against me, man?

    Erik – This is where you always get sloppy and lose credibility. Normally it’s at 2:00 a.m. after the 4th scotch, though, accompanied by profanity.

    No one feels sorry for you.

    Ad hom. And don’t speak of my wife again ever please, esp as a weapon. And although I employ profanities ably, aptly and entertainingly [I’m from Philly], you’ve used that as a weapon against what I have to say too, so I’ve deprived you of that cudgel too. Too bad.

    Your perception of me as a threat to your church is unfounded. I adore Jordan Ballor–we know each other a bit via my old groupblog The Reform Club. You should really stop attacking me–after all this time you don’t know anything about me.

    Erik, me brother.

    Like

  32. The Vatican’s flaws and failings are stipulated in advance, then, now and in the future. They are more likely to be the worst of men, not the best. But if you want to punk Thomas, you gotta do better than calling him “koolaid,” me brother. Don’t you dare. Any Protestant worth his salt knows better than to step into the ring with Thomas.

    Or atheist.

    Distinguish o wise one between Thomas and Rome. Till then don’t bother wasting bandwidth.

    cheers

    Like

  33. Bob S
    Posted January 1, 2014 at 11:21 pm | Permalink
    The Vatican’s flaws and failings are stipulated in advance, then, now and in the future. They are more likely to be the worst of men, not the best. But if you want to punk Thomas, you gotta do better than calling him “koolaid,” me brother. Don’t you dare. Any Protestant worth his salt knows better than to step into the ring with Thomas.

    Or atheist.

    Distinguish o wise one between Thomas and Rome. Till then don’t bother wasting bandwidth.

    cheers

    You guys are so lazy. If you want to attack Rome you have to get through Thomas. It’s like attacking Calvin through Geneva. You burned up Servetus, you bastards.

    Cheap.

    Like

  34. Bob S
    Posted January 1, 2014 at 11:42 pm | Permalink
    Keep hand waving, TVD.
    Bryan is listening.
    cheers

    I accept your surrender, your retreat from the battlefield of ideas. Go bind up your wounds, read some Thomas Aquinas or at least some Jordan Ballor, and come back refreshed and informed–tanned, rested and ready.

    Seeya next time, Bob.

    Like

  35. TVD, take a couple of aspirin, say a couple of Hail Mary’s, light a candle to St. Jude and call the doctor’s office in the morning.
    And remember, this too will pass.

    As for those who insist that man’s reasonable faculties were not included “in Adam’s fall, we sinned all” the appeal to an infallible knowledge of an infallible interpreter of the infallible Aristotle obviously trumps all, Roman imprimatur or not withstanding.

    cheers

    Like

  36. Bob S
    Posted January 2, 2014 at 12:19 am | Permalink
    TVD, take a couple of aspirin, say a couple of Hail Mary’s, light a candle to St. Jude and call the doctor’s office in the morning.
    And remember, this too will pass.

    As for those who insist that man’s reasonable faculties were not included “in Adam’s fall, we sinned all” the appeal to an infallible knowledge of an infallible interpreter of the infallible Aristotle obviously trumps all, Roman imprimatur or not withstanding.

    cheers

    I actually understand what you’re talking about, although nobody else does. That’s why I love Darryl’s blog. And why you love me. Cheers, mate.

    Like

  37. I actually understand what you’re talking about, although nobody else does.

    There you go again buddy, denying the noetic effects of sin on your self esteem judgment. Hubris much?

    Like

  38. Tom, “I employ profanities ably, aptly and entertainingly.”

    Don’t play umpire.

    And if you think Erik is a threat, you need to take what Susan is taking.

    Like

  39. Tom, CTC is a blog for “the ages”? Maybe the Vatican is backing it up on those trusty Italian servers. It will make interesting reading when they’ve all moved on to some other mystical or logical experience or the EO.

    Like

  40. D.G.,

    Re: PBS. From my review of James Wolcott’s book, which is almost complete:

    “When the Late Show and Channel 13/PBS co-produced an arts program called Edge, though public television being public television, whatever “edge” there was was soon filed away by the genteel overseers of caution under the Emasculation Proclamation that seemed to be PBS’s primary directive.”

    Like

  41. The antichrist known as john paul had already told us that time and place make no difference for immortal souls.

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/jp2heavn.htm

    “Incorporeal things are not in place after a manner known and familiar to us, in which way we say that bodies are properly in place; but they are in place after a manner befitting spiritual substances, a manner that cannot be fully manifest to us.” [St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Supplement, Q69, a1, reply 1]

    Like

  42. Jason’s experiment in letting the CTC boys moderate his blog comments was apparently short lived. Lots of comments on new posts at Creed, Code, Cult as of the end of January. I knew there was no way that decision would stand. Now will Jason’s conversion last much longer?

    Like

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