Which Call?

The University of Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Religion and Society hosted a conference on polarization in the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. Those who want to see the plenary session round table may go here.

I haven’t watched this yet, but again the message that mainstream Roman Catholic institutions communicate are very different from the ones that folks like Bryan and the Jasons put forward. For instance, the folks at Notre Dame recognize diversity in the church. Bryan and the Jasons only see unity as the “real” condition of their communion. What is troubling is that Bryan and the Jasons never mention to their audience that events like Notre Dame’s exist, or that the communion to which they call people is not exactly what Called to Communion portrays. (Note that Called to Communion has the reforms of Vatican 2 on its list of topics but no links to those subjects. Hmmm.)

Commonweal mentioned the conference and brought up an older proposal for Roman Catholic unity. It was another call, this time Called to be Catholic. Here‘s part of that call:

Will the Catholic Church in the United States enter the new millennium as a church of promise, augmented by the faith of rising generations and able to be a leavening force in our culture? Or will it become a church on the defensive, torn by dissension and weakened in its core structures? The outcome, we believe, depends on whether American Catholicism can confront an array of challenges with honesty and imagination and whether the church can reverse the polarization that inhibits discussion and cripples leadership. American Catholics must reconstitute the conditions for addressing our differences constructively – a common ground centered on faith in Jesus, marked by accountability to the living Catholic tradition, and ruled by a renewed spirit of civility, dialogue, generosity, and broad and serious consultation.

It is widely admitted that the Catholic Church in the United States has entered a time of peril. Many of its leaders, both clerical and lay, feel under siege and increasingly polarized. Many of its faithful, particularly its young people, feel disenfranchised, confused about their beliefs, and increasingly adrift. Many of its institutions feel uncertain of their identity and increasingly fearful about their future.

Those are hard words to pronounce to a church that, despite many obstacles, continues to grow in numbers, continues to welcome and assist the poor and the stranger, and continues to foster extraordinary examples of Christian faith and witness to the Gospel. The landscape of American Catholicism is dotted with vital communities of worship and service, with new initiatives, and with older, deeply rooted endeavors that are kept alive by the hard labor and daily sacrifices of millions of Catholics. In the face of powerful centrifugal forces, many Catholic leaders have worked to build consensus and cooperation.

We hesitate to say anything that might discourage them or add to the fingerpointing and demoralization that, in too many cases, already burden these exemplary efforts. But this discordant and disheartened atmosphere is itself one of the realities which cannot be ignored. For three decades the church has been divided by different responses to the Second Vatican Council and to the tumultuous years that followed it. By no means were these tensions always unfruitful; in many cases they were virtually unavoidable.

But even as conditions have changed, party lines have hardened. A mood of suspicion and acrimony hangs over many of those most active in the church’s life; at moments it even seems to have infiltrated the ranks of the bishops. One consequence is that many of us are refusing to acknowledge disquieting realities, perhaps fearing that they may reflect poorly on our past efforts or arm our critics within the church. Candid discussion is inhibited. Across the whole spectrum of views within the church, proposals are subject to ideological litmus tests. Ideas, journals, and leaders are pressed to align themselves with preexisting camps, and are viewed warily when they depart from those expectations.

There is nothing wrong in itself with the prospect that different visions should contend within American Catholicism. That has long been part of the church’s experience in this nation, and indeed differences of opinion are essential to the process of attaining the truth. But the way that struggle is currently proceeding, the entire church may lose. It is now three decades after Vatican II. Social and cultural circumstances have changed.

The church possesses a wealth of post-conciliar experience to assess and translate into lessons for the future. There is undiminished hunger for authentic faith, spiritual experience, and moral guidance, but many of the traditional supports for distinct religious identities–or for the institutions that convey them–have disappeared.

Meanwhile, positions of leadership in the ministries of the church are passing to those with little exposure, for better or worse, to the sharply defined institutional Catholicism of earlier decades. Still younger Catholics, many with absolutely no experience of that pre-conciliar Catholicism, come to the church with new questions and few of the old answers.

The church’s capacity to respond to these changed conditions may be stymied if constructive debate is supplanted by bickering, disparagement, and stalemate. Rather than forging a consensus that can harness and direct the church’s energies, contending viewpoints are in danger of canceling one another out. Bishops risk being perceived as members of different camps rather than as pastors of the whole church.

Unless we examine our situation with fresh eyes, open minds and changed hearts, within a few decades a vital Catholic legacy may be squandered, to the loss of both the church and the nation.

Not much there about motives of credibility, papal audacity, Thomas Aquinas, or John Henry Newman.

So which is it? Is it Called to Communion or Called to be Catholic? You can only chalk up such questions to Protestant perversity for so long before you finally admit a problem. Or you change your theme to Called to Denial.

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520 thoughts on “Which Call?

  1. So which is it? Is it Called to Communion or Called to be Catholic? You can only chalk up such questions to Protestant perversity for so long before you finally admit a problem. Or you change your theme to Called to Denial.

    First change your own name to Protestant Perversity, Butch. That would be cool, and the first step toward honesty, since you mock the rest of Protestantism too, and your micro-denomination of Christianity can count the number of its schools and universities on one…well, why don’t you count them for everybody here gathered?

    Here, let’s get you started: One…

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  2. Time for me to start finishing up Russell Shaw’s book again on my commute. Thanks as always for your insight, Darryl.

    TVD, you sound angry, man. You don’t go to church, right? I would propose you go to church, and take these concerns to your pastor or priest. It doesn’t sound well with you given your words here.

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  3. Darryl, this fight you bring to Jason and Bryan is a dirty job, but someone had to do it. TKNY certainly won’t stoop to the of level.

    So Godspeed, man. They won’t stop what they do, neither should you. People like TVD on the out side dont understand what those if us with skin in the game are fighting for.

    Now. Who is next?

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  4. All this makes me a little more sympathetic to Lefebvre and his shenanigans with the SSPX. If the Pope is unable to quell heresy or unify the tribes, why should have Marcel trusted the Pope to rightfully consecrate bishops? Surely it’s easier to ask forgiveness than ask permission, especially when you never know who the Pope might appoint instead.

    I think we Confessionals know what needs to happen when there’s something rotten in Denmark. We’ve dealt with it, time and time again. Heads have to roll. Eggs have to break. It’s an unfortunate symptom of this fallen world and this broken Church. The question remains, though, for the Roman Church – when this egg-breaking Pope comes (if ever), what camp will he be coming from?

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  5. D. Hart,

    Do you attribute this diversity in the Roman Church to the reforms of V-2? Or is V-2 just a convenient boogey-man for the Rad-Trads who don’t admit that diversity has always existed in the Roman Church? Or both?

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  6. Can’t resist this 6 week waiting period you are asking me of Darryl, and how another one of my favorite writers puts like matters:

    Such a Reformation we on our part believe to be needed today; only, we believe that it would be brought about, not by a new religion which consists in imitation of the reduced Jesus of modern naturalism, but by the rediscovery of the gospel of Christ. This is not the first time in the history of the world when the gospel has been obscured. It was obscured in the Middle Ages, for example; and how long and how dark, in some respects, was that time! But the gospel burst forth with new power the same gospel that Paul and Augustine had proclaimed. So it may be in our own day; the gospel may come forth again to bring light and liberty to mankind. But this new Reformation for which we long will not be brought about by human persuasions, or by consideration of consequences, or by those who seek to save souls through a skillful use of ecclesiastical influences, or by those who refrain from speaking the truth through a fear of “splitting the Church” or of making a poor showing in columns of Church statistics. How petty, in the great day when the Spirit of God again moves in the Church, all such considerations will seem! No, when the true Reformation comes, it will come through the instrumentality of those upon whom God has laid His hand, to whom the gospel has become a burning fire within them, who speak because they are compelled to speak, who, caring nothing for human influences and conciliation and external Church combinations and the praise or blame of men, speak the word that God has given them and trust for the results to Him alone. In other words, it will be brought about by men of faith.

    Six weeks. I’ll be reading. See you June 10th.

    Grace and peace.

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  7. D. G. Hart
    Posted April 29, 2015 at 10:20 am | Permalink
    vd, t, if you were truly a Phillies’ fan, you wouldn’t act like a Yankees’ jackass.

    We’ll take that ad hom as another surrender on the battlefield of ideas, Butch. O’Sullivan’s Law* is definitely taking over the Catholic universities, but it took over almost your entire Presbyterian Church.

    You keep throwing rocks at Rome, but they keep ending up on your side of the Tiber.

    ________
    *”O’Sullivan’s Law states that any organization or enterprise that is not expressly right wing will become left wing over time.”

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=O%E2%80%99Sullivan%E2%80%99s%20Law

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  8. vd,t, “battlefield of ideas”?

    Difference between rule by one and limited government.

    Bishops who cover up for pedophilic priests.

    Vatican 2.

    Alexander VI.

    Crusades.

    Edgardo Mortara.

    vd, t’s idea: “You keep throwing rocks at Rome, but they keep ending up on your side of the Tiber.”

    Bryan’s hat has more ideas than your mullet. Go write a song about failed love and record it with your Cookies.

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  9. D. G. Hart
    Posted April 29, 2015 at 9:28 pm | Permalink
    vd,t, “battlefield of ideas”?

    Difference between rule by one and limited government.

    Bishops who cover up for pedophilic priests.

    Vatican 2.

    Alexander VI.

    Crusades.

    Edgardo Mortara.

    vd, t’s idea: “You keep throwing rocks at Rome, but they keep ending up on your side of the Tiber.”

    Bryan’s hat has more ideas than your mullet. Go write a song about failed love and record it with your Cookies.

    Attaboy, Butch. Show ’em what you’re made of.

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  10. Jack Miller
    Posted April 30, 2015 at 12:18 am | Permalink
    @ tvd,
    and your micro-denomination of Christianity

    Since when is being in the minority a negative/slur? Today, isn’t it a mark of a righteous cause?

    A micro-denomination is the opposite of what “catholic” means. I believe you subscribe to the Nicene Creed, yes?

    Something’s wrong here.

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  11. D. G. Hart
    Posted April 30, 2015 at 6:26 am | Permalink
    vd, t, by that logic, you’d have been with the Pharisees and chief priest.

    Fail. There was only one Jesus.

    Now if you want to put Calvin up there with Paul, good luck with that.

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  12. @ tvd-

    A micro-denomination is the opposite of what “catholic” means. I believe you subscribe to the Nicene Creed, yes?

    No, micro-denomination is not the opposite of catholic.

    “According to Ignatius, the defining characteristic of catholicity, i.e., of truly universal Christianity is the presence of Christ. There’s little evidence that he conceived the office of overseer (επισκοπος) in monarchical or hierarchical terms. There’s no evidence of the supremacy of the pastor of the Roman congregation….

    “In short, the early Christian conception of catholicity has no more to do with the Roman congregation than it has with any other congregation and there is no evidence that, when these 2nd century authors spoke of catholicity, these authors were thinking of the pastor of the Roman congregation and certainly not of any episcopal supremacy of the Roman pastor…

    “We do not all share the same customs but we believers in the finished work of Christ, confessors of the faith catholic confessed by all believers and summarized by the catholic creeds, all have the same Savior and we are members of the same church universal. Revelation 5:9 testifies “for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation…” That is true catholicity in which we participate now by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.”

    As they say, read the whole thing…
    We Confess A Holy Catholic Church

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  13. TVD, that’s right.

    Jesus > Paul > Augustine > Aquinas</a:

    Compare Calvin to Saint Thomas Aquinas. In his reply to the third objection (I, q. 23, a. 5, ad. 3), Thomas states: “The reason for the predestination of some, and reprobation of others, must be sought for in the goodness of God.” Thomas centers his discussion of predestination on God’s goodness. Appealing back to his discussion on divine providence, Thomas writes: “God allows some evils, lest many good things should never happen, as was said above” (i.e. I, q. 22, a. 2).

    I still find Thomas’ solution somewhat troubling, but it does seem to track with Pauline passages that discuss election and predestination. It is troubling because it seems to indicate that God loves some more than others. The now deceased priest and theologian Rev. William Most recently proposed a modified Thomistic solution. Most suggested the following logical order in the decree of God’s predestination. First, God wills all to be saved (1 Tim 2:4). Next, God foresees only those who will reject grace persistently and finally. Third, he predestinates all those not in this number to final glory. The beauty of this solution is that God does not predestinate the elect for their own foreseen merits and only damns the reprobate for their sins and their rejection of grace. No one is chosen because he would have done anything of merit. The predestinate are still predestined ante proevisa merita. The decree of predestination is negative with respect to the final state of the predestinate. I find this opinion a bit more satisfying, because it protects the Thomistic emphasis on the gratuity of grace. The predestinate are not strictly chosen for anything they have done. Rather, the elect are predestinate because they are not reprobate. God only foresees the demerits of the damned and then makes his decision based on his own standard of justice. We might even say that the predestinate are chosen only because of God’s goodness, as He is under no obligation to save them since they are sinners. Thomas does not entertain this objection, nor does he offer it as a solution. I wonder whether he would have found it compelling.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on Father Most’s position or on the distinctions made by Thomas Aquinas and/or John Calvin.

    None of them are universalist like Tom.

    TVDfails.

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  14. Jack Miller
    Posted April 30, 2015 at 8:51 pm | Permalink
    @ tvd-

    “A micro-denomination is the opposite of what “catholic” means. I believe you subscribe to the Nicene Creed, yes?”

    No, micro-denomination is not the opposite of catholic.

    Uh, yeah it is, by any understanding of the concept. My ex-Reformed friend who recently swam the Tiber delights in reporting [she’s quite the traveler] that the Mass is the same in every corner of the earth! That’s universality. Presbyterianism isn’t even the same thing over on the next block, let alone “Protestantism,” whatever that is.

    “According to Ignatius, the defining characteristic of catholicity, i.e., of truly universal Christianity is the presence of Christ.

    Was Ignatius at Nicea? You’re committing the sophistry of equivocation here. We are discussing only what “catholic” means in the Nicene context. Nicea was anything but about validating “micro-denominations” and theological pluralism.

    As they say, read the whole thing…
    We Confess A Holy Catholic Church

    I’ve read your side. I actually expected the better sophistry of torturing what a “church” even is, [the ekklēsía riff] here, an argument with which I’m also familiar. But I’m not going to cede the definition of terms here, for your case rests on controlling the meaning of the essential terms.

    “Micro-denomination” is the opposite of ‘catholic” by any plain understanding of the concept, regardless of translation.

    Andew Buckingham
    Posted April 30, 2015 at 8:53 pm | Permalink
    Jack, and TVD concedes that the OPC is part of Christ’s church.

    “Andew” can’t even spell his name anymore, poor fellow. But his pestering makes my point all the better: It’s quite right in that the Catholic position–that you’re ‘separated brethren’–is self-evidently more ‘catholic’ than the Reformation’s exponential schism upon schism upon schism.

    Even via Jack’s attempt to detonate ‘catholic’ if not ‘church,’ the best a micro-denomination can get is a draw, that you’re at best part of the larger ‘catholic’ Church.

    He’s playing games. Hello (http://adbuckingham.com/price.html).

    There I go again..

    No. I see through yours. And frankly, I’m not sure you see through these games, these sophistries. You’re repeating sophistries you’ve learned elsewhere, and they do seem reasonable until you hold them up to closer inspection, something you’ve never done. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.

    As for my “universalism,” yes, I pray that all will be saved. I hope all you “Elect” do too. Although i think many of you would be disappointed, ala Mt 20:1-16.

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  15. Jack Miller
    Posted April 30, 2015 at 9:23 pm | Permalink
    Andrew, good catch on tvd’s past opining…

    Jack, I appreciate your substantive replies and courteous tone. But Andrew linked to nothing. When it comes to Old Life, it’s always buyer beware. Squeeze the Charmin. Hiding one’s evidence behind a link is lazy at best, dishonest at worst.

    And even if you did catch me in an inconsistency, that would not affect the current discussion one jog or iota, not would it make anything you’re advancing any more true. Seeking error is not the same thing as seeking truth.

    For one thing, only the latter glorifies God. That’s the visible difference between polemics and apologetics, between Old Life and Called to Communion. Do follow Andrew’s links, if only to see the difference.

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  16. tvd,
    Maybe I’ll respond later. Off to a micro-presbytery of a micro-denomination of the larger Christian family of faith which is the micro-called-out-of-the-world by grace…

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  17. Jack Miller
    Posted May 1, 2015 at 12:07 am | Permalink
    tvd,
    Maybe I’ll respond later. Off to a micro-presbytery of a micro-denomination of the larger Christian family of faith which is the micro-called-out-of-the-world by grace…

    I like the “called by grace” part, Brother Jack, very much. Downright catholic, small “c.”

    Are all men “called to grace?” Some more than others? You see where I’m going with this.

    Your call.

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  18. Tvd, I simply want to learn about Catholicism.

    But if all you do is troll, then yes, kindly find some other blog than mine to visit.

    Take care.

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  19. How could I have left out this Call, a golden oldie from 1990?

    We call for extensive consultation with the Catholic people in developing church teaching on human sexuality, just as the U.S. bishops invited participation in developing their teaching on social justice for the pastoral letters on peace and economic justice.

    We see the pope and the Roman Curia selecting bishops throughout the world without input from local churches. Yet, as stated in the Cologne Declaration of 1989 supported by hundreds of theologians from many nations, “The procedure of nomination is not some private choice of the Pope’s.”

    We claim our responsibility, as committed laity, religious and clergy, to participate in the selection of our local bishops, a time honored tradition in the church. We see groups marginalized in our church because of race and ethnic identity. We call for church leadership to speed up the enculturation of diverse peoples through new forms of liturgy, language and
    leadership drawn from the native culture of the people.

    We see theologians silenced, constructive opposition condemned, loyalty oaths imposed and blind obedience demanded. We call for open dialogue, academic freedom, and due process.

    We see church officials conducting financial dealings in secret without accountability to the people. We call upon the church to become a model of financial openness on all levels, including the Vatican.

    We see stalled progress by our church officials toward the reunification of the Christian church, even though countless believers of all denominations have already shared the experience of an ecumenically open church at the local level. . . .

    We call for a fundamental change so that young people will see and hear God living in and through the church as a participatory community of believers who practice what they preach.

    Twenty-five years ago Vatican II clarified the mission of “The Church in the Modern World:” to be a sign of God’s saving work and a servant to the entire human community. The world is
    wracked by terrible problems–ecological perils, poverty and injustice, conflict and violence. To be a clearer sign and a better servant to God’s global family, our church must reform its own structures. We call on all people within our church, in the spirit of co-discipleship and co-responsibility, to use their imagination and creativity. For the world’s sake, let us make the church more faithful to its mission.

    From Call to Action.

    So which is it Bryan? Call to Action, Called to be Catholic, or Called to Communion? So far, Action and Catholic have a whole lot more standing in the Communion to which Bryan and the Jasons call us than some little website. I mean, Roman Catholics issued calls before Called to Communion started and Bryan and the Jasons have yet to answer the calls of their own communion.

    There must be 33,000 Roman Catholic calls out there.

    #callsunheeded

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  20. Call to Action, Called to be Catholic, or Called to Communion?

    Unlike most of Protestantism, Catholicism is not governed by what amounts to no more than mob rule. It’s part of its charm, especially when that mob rule extends to understanding the Bible.

    You ask, we answer.

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  21. Tom,

    Level with me here.

    Protesantism numbers as much as 800 million, it’s not going anywhere, and it has problems just like Roman Catholicism does.

    Do you realize, that when you make an argument against our system (protestantism), we can pretty much twist the argument exactly 180 degrees against romanism? I mean, come on, it’s a game, my friend. Talk with Darryl, not me. I’ll let you respond if you want to this idea I present (if that’s what it is), but you need to somehow find a peace about the prot/cath divide, and learn how to go forward embracing the tension that will exist until the eschaton. Bryan Cross figured it out somehow, and he has stopped posting. But you are regularly trying to take DGH to task, and it’s just pounding sand. I wish you the best, but here’s a question for you. If you could have one thing, anything at all, in your interactions here at oldlife, what would it be? What is it you are after? Trying to make a name for yourself amongst whomever might lurk? Name me the one thing that would make you happy above all else, in what you are trying to achieve. I’m trying to help man, you don’t see me posting with the drunk ex pastors or the callers, because I found my peace. My hope for you is that you find yours.

    Take care.

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  22. Andew Andrew

    Oops, I did “andew” again, that is ever saved in the “cookies” of my web browser.

    You said, “we answer.” So do you now identify as Roman Catholic? I will say, that is a major development in your interactions here at oldlife. I still have to get the x-wing out of the swamp for you around oldlife, and carry the weight. Keep going and show yourself to be brave and make your convictions public.

    I don’t believe it

    That is why you fail

    🙂

    next.

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  23. For those who want to learn about the Catholic Church, here are some good resources. It is always better to go to the source, rather than to an anti-Catholic blog to find out what the Church teaches. Or, an even more absurd idea is to set up your own anti-Catholic blog as a way to try to figure out what the Church is. Listen to Catholics about what it means to be Catholic. You may not want to be Catholic, but how do you know? Why not attend an RCIA class in your area and find out for yourselves, if you are interested. You will at least gain a greater appreciation for the Church. I mean, Reformed people believe in the concept of catholicity.

    US Conference of Catholic Bishops
    http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/evangelization/index.cfm

    Catholic Answers
    http://www.catholic.com

    One big problem, if not the main problem with the Reformed movement is that it is in many ways the “we are not Catholic” movement – or movements. Then, that “we are not __________” breaks down even farther. “We are not Pentecostal.” “We are not Baptist.” “We are not mystical.” “We are not hipster.” Or even, “we are not PCA” or “we are not PCUSA”, and so forth. You get the idea.

    I grew up in a Baptist Church that considered itself to be Calvinistic – which is a problem for a lot of Reformed people, ‘cuz maybe Baptists can’t really be Reformed and all that. I was a big fan of John MacArthur. Anyway, I have liked Dr. Sproul as well, and Dr. James Boice is one of my favorites. No, I do not have advanced degrees in Reformed theology.

    I thank God for those who taught me the Gospel and the Word of God. I do have one connection with Machen. I memorized his Greek grammar book back in the day. It is a great little book. He had a positive impact on my life because of American fundamentalism, of course. I am grateful for his life, but I am now Catholic.

    Now, small is not bad in and of itself, but how a group got to be so small is at least significant. Of course, one could argue that Protestantism grows by division somehow, rather than multiplication, but maybe there is a better way.

    So, just ignore this post if you wish. I won’t be offended. It’s just that I have been lurking here for awhile and it is kind of painful to see people who want to learn about the Catholic Church seemingly unable to figure out how to go about it. Of course, this is my opinion and nothing more. IOW, don’t shoot! …and, no, I am not the new Susan. She is a sweetheart and y’all kinda’ missed an opportunity to learn from her, it seems to me. Anyway… be whatever you want to be, but if you want to learn about the Catholic Church, ask Catholics. It makes sense, doesn’t it?

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  24. Mrs. Webfoot, so John Allen is not reliable about Roman Catholicism? Richard McBrien wasn’t an important voice propounding Roman Catholicism. The Leadership Conference of Women’s Religious? Everytime you want vanilla Roman Catholicism, I keep finding Rocky Road (and it’s pretty bumpy).

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  25. Mrs Webfoot, you need to post your comment about people not of a religion speaking for that religion at called to communion dot com. Its misrepresenting for people if they wish to speak authoritatiely on a religious position while not of that persuation. The horses mouth is always best, you are right. But note DGH is most concerned with called to communion types, that’s how I read him. His scholarly work is noted by irenicism, for example, in the glowing review of this work by DGh, look into it
    http://yalepress.yale.edu/book.asp?isbn=9780300148794

    Reformed Christians are pro- Gospel full stop.

    We are not marked by being “anti” catholic or anti anything.

    Thanks for the feedback

    Peace.

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  26. AB, this blog is anti-Catholic in the sense of being critical of Catholicism and in opposition to her teachings. She is always cast in an unfavorable light. I am sure that no one here has any kind of personal hatred towards Catholics.

    BTW, my favorite flavor of ice cream is vanilla. Even so, I am finding the Church to be anything but vanilla. She is full of beauty of every kind, and a delight to the senses as well as to the mind.

    Take care

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  27. Mrs. Webfoot, the blogger is somewhat of a controversialist, in my humble opinion. His other blog is entitled, putting the protest in protesant. If that doesn’t give you an idea of his temperment, which happens to make him quite interesting and fun to follow (agree with him or not), I don’t know what will. He doesn’t hold back punches (speaking of which, Floyd Mayweather defeated Manny Pacquiao, not that I am into boxing, I’d like to hear more about just where Spieth landed today in the match in San Francisco, I digress), whether the topic be tranformationalists, romanism, or someone’s poor taste in movies. So buckle your seatbelt, this blog can get interesting at times. I appreciate hearing from you and directing your thoughts at me. Take care.

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  28. Mrs. Webfoot, as I said, I’m trying to get the apologists (who are everywhere in the RC blogosphere except — ahem — at any of the bishops’ websites) to take into account John Allen, Maureen Sullivan, Francis Oakley and Richard McBrien. Whom are Protestants supposed to believe as the authentic voices of Roman Catholicism? Why don’t the bishops give their seal of approval to a particular group of lay representatives?

    Catholic Answers? Why not Vatican Answers?

    Why isn’t this representative (I didn’t make it up — it’s on your side of the Tiber)?

    When will the male monopoly on power in the church end? This investigation was begun by men, conducted by men and ended when the men finally called for a truce. That is a flaw that goes deeper than a single Vatican congregation, because it touches on the very governing structures of the church.

    We could easily make the case that these sisters have a true reading on the beating heart of the church — what the people are doing, feeling, how they’re hurting, how they experience the faith. But the sisters can never do more in governance than to advise a man. That’s absurd. The inclusion of women into the leadership ranks of the church won’t be easy — reform and renewal never are — but it is essential.

    Why should we take Bryan and the Jasons more seriously than National Catholic Reporter? Hint: it’s a complicated question that Catholic Answers isn’t going to answer. Neither is Vatican Answers.

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  29. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 7:57 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, Roman Catholicism is governed?

    Not since the papacy lost its temporal powers (and not to mention its muscle in the Habsburgs).

    Equivocal use of “governed,” sophistic. Old Life never fails to disappoint.

    D. G. Hart
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:37 am | Permalink
    Mrs. Webfoot, as I said, I’m trying to get the apologists (who are everywhere in the RC blogosphere except — ahem — at any of the bishops’ websites) to take into account John Allen, Maureen Sullivan, Francis Oakley and Richard McBrien. Whom are Protestants supposed to believe as the authentic voices of Roman Catholicism?

    Either dense or patently dishonest. She just told you.

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  30. vd, t, so now Mrs. Webfoot is authoritative? Why her and not Michael Sean Winters?

    Help a guy with some of that Delaware Valley brotherly love.

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  31. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 3:40 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, so now Mrs. Webfoot is authoritative? Why her and not Michael Sean Winters?

    Help a guy with some of that Delaware Valley brotherly love.

    I won’t insult your intelligence and believe you sincerely meant a word of what you just wrote, Butch.

    But FTR, she didn’t say she was authoritative. She suggested Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) classes and the council of bishops both of which are. Michael Sean Winters, the “very flamboyant gay” Catholic seminary washout*, no.

    Your perverse choice of “authoritative” sources like Mr. Winters speaks more of you than of Catholicism.

    But I suppose your continued attacks on Catholicism via its chattering-class dissenters like Winters are a defense mechanism. While Winters is but part of a vocal fringe of Catholicism, Presbyterianism’s inmates have largely taken over the asylum. My sympathies, my Philly brother, but attacking Catholicism isn’t the way. Presbyterianism’s descent into theological anarchy is a structural problem.
    ________________________________
    *http://throwthebumsoutin2010.blogspot.com/2010/02/who-is-michael-sean-winters-what-is-his.html

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  32. Tom, did you watch MSW? At the conference? Here’s the link again that DGH was gracious to share:

    Just watch the first five minutes. Your denigrating remarks of MSW are hardly charitable, and as fellow roman Catholics, the discord you have with him sure undercuts your criticism of reformed and our “structural” problems, as you state.

    We’re in the same boat, epistemologically speaking, cats and prots, full stop. You offer no solutions, just ad Homs and cheap polemics against us the reformed. The very criticism you try to level at DGH.

    I dont get why you continue here, is it for the lurkers? Well on, but you just repeat over and over what we the lurkers have been reading you saying already. You make this place look like rabies theologorum. DGH is one of the good guys, come on, even you and him are from the same hood, same baseball team. Figure your way out of the morass of these endless comment box wars and let someone else chime in for a change. You’ve been at it way too long. I say give it a rest, or not, you seem to like it here. Enjoy your Lord’s day, I enjoy seeing your name show up, bro. Have pity on these non-Californians. See, I can repeat my platitudes too!

    Fore,
    Andrew

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  33. D.G.H., no I am not authoritative, but I did provide links where you can find reliable information on what the Catholic Church teaches.

    I suppose I should have led with the Holy See.

    http://w2.vatican.va/content/vatican/en.html

    Then there is Fr. Robert Barron who did the Catholicism series with is used extensively in RCIA classes around the country. Word on Fire is well-accepted in all the Catholic churches I have visited so far.

    http://www.wordonfire.org

    Then there is the Symbolon series put out by Lighthouse Catholic Media.

    http://www.lighthousecatholicmedia.org/symbolon?gclid=CKvX7orApsUCFcZcfgodSrUA4g

    There are many, many more resources out there for someone who wants to gain a better understanding of the Catholic faith. No, you don’t have to convert, but I am trying to help you connect with resources that will give you a better understanding of what is going on if you ever attend Mass or even just step inside a Catholic Church. The choice is yours.

    I will give a little bit of advice, the kind that our grandson’s heart doctor at Texas Children’s told us before he was born. She said to stay away from the blogs, but rather to listen to the doctors who know what they are doing.

    Now, if you want to gain an inadequate understanding of what the Church is about, why not just read the WCF? You don’t even have to visit the blogs.

    BTW, when I wanted to know what Presbyterians were all about, I began to study the WCF. I spent time talking with Presbyterian pastors and apologists. No, I am far from being an expert, but I do have a pretty good understanding of what conservative Presbyterians believe.

    Maybe others use different methods, but I like to get my information from primary, reliable sources.. I was under the impression that you, D.G.H., were a serious academic. I may have been mistaken. If so, I apologize for disrupting your blog.

    BTW, I know some OPC people, but to make sure I had a handle of what y’all believe, I visited the official OPC website. In fact, I found that the book I had been using to study the WCF was written by one of your men, Pastor Williamson. It is very well done. I just converted to the Catholic Church before I finished the whole study.

    I would recommend it to anyone who wants to know what the OPC understanding of the WCF is all about.

    Thank you for your time, and again, I apologize if I annoyed anyone. Not my intention.

    Take care,
    Mrs. Webfoot

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  34. Mrs. Webfoot,

    Thanks but I get all that. I am aware of orthodox Roman Catholicism (which Vatican 2 did not exactly apply even in a pastoral way).

    But what I don’t get is that so many of the people speaking for Rome to would-be converts are not the bishops but are Mark Shea, Jimmy Aikin and Patrick Madrid.

    I also don’t get that so many who hold positions of authority — such as faculty at RC universities and colleges — don’t articulate or defend RC orthodoxy.

    So if someone is calling us to communion with Rome, are we also going to be in communion with Garry Wills and John Allen? In the world of conservative Presbyterianism, someone gets in trouble for departing from the WCF. But no penalties seem to come for wayward RC’s who speak publicly for the faith.

    So the question is where is the discipline? The magisterium and the papacy are supposed to guarantee order and fidelity, and so prevent 33,000 denominations. But it seems at times, with 1.2 billion RC’s, you have way more than 33,000 opinions.

    What do I have wrong about this understanding of incoherence in contemporary Roman Catholicism? It may be a great tradition, though the Renaissance popes would not allow me if I were RC to speak confidently about such a great tradition (for starters). But what about the church today?

    Inquiring and protesting minds want to know.

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  35. Mrs. Webfoot, in addition to the Williamson book on understanding the WCF, RC Sproul’s video series What is Reformed Theology? is a good primer for people looking to learn about us. It’s not charitable to say that we reformed are just “anti-” everything. Your words:

    One big problem, if not the main problem with the Reformed movement is that it is in many ways the “we are not Catholic” movement – or movements. Then, that “we are not __________” breaks down even farther. “We are not Pentecostal.” “We are not Baptist.” “We are not mystical.” “We are not hipster.” Or even, “we are not PCA” or “we are not PCUSA”, and so forth. You get the idea

    That’s patently wrong, and it undercuts your statement that you understand us, the reformed. In short, the reformation was not a revolution, it was a REFORMation. And it has been wildly and exceedingly successful in bringing the truths of the Christian religion to the masses, the english speaking world, and so many more. You should continue your studies of us, don’t stop at the WCF with williamson, go to Carl Trueman’s, “Luther on the Christian Life,” JV Fesko’s “The Theology of the Westminster Standards,” JV Fesko’s “Justification – Understanding the Classic Reformed Doctrine,” or Mike Horton’s “John Calvin on the Christian Life,” or sooooo many other resources. I would encourage you or any inquiring catholic who finds themselves in reformed webernet space to keep on learning about who we are and why we believe what we do. My twitter feed and blog exist to help people whomever would find me to enable them to ask questions as they feel desire to, that’s what DGH is doing. Keep on learning, the more you get to know us, the more you’ll like, I feel confident in saying that. You may not convert to our way of things, that’s OK. Saving faith is acknowledging Jesus as savior, and saying, as Machen says, with that strange indivdiualizing power of faith, “He loved me and gave Himself for me…When a person says that, he/she is a ransomed soul, a child of God forever” (paraphrase from Machen’s What is Faith)

    I really could go on and on..

    grace and peace,
    ab

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  36. Well, Mrs. Webfoot, you did and do continue to annoy some of us.
    One, for all your touting of primary sources you left out the Bible.
    (Of course I was taught in a Jesuit prep school about primary sources also, but as above, the source above all sources was conveniently – and dare I say jesuitically – left out.)
    Two, it should go without saying, but doesn’t obviously, that it is one thing to be a Roman catholic, another to be a reformed catholic. Your remarks would seem to be oblivious to the distinction, but then again, baptists tend to anabaptist separatism rather than protestant catholicism.
    Three, you’re here on a bwog, but decry them. What gives? (A rhetorical question. We all have our excuses.)
    But as someone born and raised in Romanism, i.e. implicit faith and well acquainted with the papist dialectic, I’ll cease and desist other than to note that yeah, Susan is a real sweetheart, but she’s been handled with kid gloves because she’s female imo. She generally doesn’t have a clue about what the reformed faith is and the implications of her own position, but I am already a rude chauvinist for saying so.

    Ditto the rest of those who show up to defend the unholy and unapostolic Roman church.
    Bryan still can’t for the life of him or his credibility, get past caricaturizing sola scriptura as solo scriptura/anabaptist anarchism. That schtick has been ongoing since 2009, but we’re unecumenical and schismatic for noticing and bringing it up? The guy claims to be ex reformed for crying out loud.
    Jason? Like a couple of childhood priests I knew, he’s got a better thing going with a bottle of Jack Daniels and can’t be bothered, contra his promise to what? give us a book on why he left instead of the epheremal maunderings of a bwog, now given over to his understudy Nick last time I checked.
    Negativism? Vide The Veronian Disciple aka TVD hisself. Rome is the true church, but he has yet to darken the door and regularly attend the wicked idolatry of the mass (H.Cat. 80), never mind get baptized and at least nominally join up to our knowledge.

    Oh well. A big tent is a big tent and everybody’s welcome as long as you say the right words.
    (Was that “anathema” or “separated brethren”, I can’t remember? )

    cheers

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  37. ps regarding your comment about the blogs, think of the blogs (called to communion, american creation, oldlife, whichever it is) the way tim keller explains here, start at the 52:30 time stamp if you are interested:

    http://9marks.org/interview/life-ministry-and-books-with-tim-keller-part-2-ministry/

    i am in agreement with this presby pastor Rev. Tim Keller. He basically says that his twitter feed is a billboard, so in a sense, an advertisement for what he is doing. That’s all these things are, they are not good coversational tools. You are welcome to visit my blog (adbuckingham dot com) and find category “blogging”, i have a few articles there that reflect my opinion about these theological webernets. in the main, you are right, there’s very little light being generated in these blogologic theology discussions. it does happen, but more likely than not, these things just lead to more headaches for whichever poor soul happens upon them (sorry readers, we are all kind of part of this sick system). i’m out.

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  38. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 5:45 pm | Permalink
    The magisterium and the papacy are supposed to guarantee order and fidelity, and so prevent 33,000 denominations.

    It did prevent 33,000 denominations. And denominations of only 33,000 like the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

    By contrast, the Reformation spawned them. It’s a structural problem when every man is his own pope.

    As for Garry Wills, he is the exception, not the rule. He who argues the former against the latter seeks not truth, only rhetorical victory.

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  39. It did prevent 33,000 denominations. And denominations of only 33,000 like the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

    33,000

    or

    33,333,333,333,333,333,333,333,333,000

    it doesn’t matter. We confess sola scriptura:

    for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.
    (1 Corinthians 11:19 ESV)

    TVDfails (again..)

    This is getting old.

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  40. Okay, D.G.H., I understand a bit better what you are saying. You do not want to be in communion with those who have obviously strayed from orthodoxy, even orthodox Catholicism. Do I understand you correctly? So, how can such a blanket call be made to come into communion with the Church when parts of it are not spiritually or doctrinally healthy at all? Something like that. I can understand that.

    If that is what you are saying, I would counter with this. Was the Apostle Paul right in trying to get people to believe in Christ and then enter the church of Corinth, for example? The church was a mess, but they were still called saints of God by him. In fact, the same could be said about all of the NT churches, with the exception of Smyrna.

    They were still part of Christ’s Body, the Church, flaws and all. Things needed to be corrected, of course, but he didn’t tell people to stay away until everything was cleaned up. He did not tell anyone in Corinth or in any other local church to take off and start their own brand of Christianity.

    It is the Protestant tendency to divide from one another, and keep dividing and keep separating that is kind of a problem. Nothing is ever really cleaned up that way, IMO. The constant splitting and never really resolving anything among Protestants is one of the things that made me take a closer look at Rome.

    Protestantism, – while I still love it and am grateful for all it has given me – has no real mechanism for resolving conflicts. Sure, there are many conflicts within Catholicism, but there are also ways to resolve them and to bring about reform without resorting to mob rule. The only mechanism is division, which is hard to defend biblically.

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  41. ProtestantismRomanism, – while I still love it and am grateful for all it has given me – has no real mechanism for resolving conflicts. Sure, there are many conflicts within CatholicismProtestantism, but there are also ways to resolve them and to bring about reform without resorting to mobpapal rule. The only mechanism is divisionmonarchism, which is hard to defend biblically.

    non-autobot AB comment: This reminds me of Susan..

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  42. Thanks for the suggestions, AB. Yes, I’ll take a look.

    I have R.C.’s series as well. Thanks. Take care.

    …and I have R.C.’s series as well. He’s a good man.

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  43. vd, t, sure. You always have your finger on the pulse (of your mullet):

    The percentage of U.S. Catholics who consider themselves “strong” members of the Roman Catholic Church has never been lower than it was in 2012, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new data from the General Social Survey (GSS). About a quarter (27%) of American Catholics called themselves “strong” Catholics last year, down more than 15 points since the mid-1980s and among the lowest levels seen in the 38 years since strength of religious identity was first measured in the GSS, a long-running national survey carried out by the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago.

    The decline among U.S. Catholics is even starker when they are compared with Protestants, whose strength of religious identification has been rising in recent years. About half (54%) of American Protestants – double the Catholic share (27%) – described their particular religious identity as strong last year, among the highest levels since the GSS began asking the question in 1974.

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  44. Mrs. Webfoot, that is largely the problem, though I think a lot of the hype about Rome’s strengths is just that — hype. Vatican 2 was a game changer. Lots of RC’s know that and experience it (meat on Friday no longer a mortal sin? for starters). So Rome doesn’t offer the solution that you say it does.

    And Vatican 2 also changes your own reply. I am now according to your bishops a separated brother and Protestants have some of the truth. So going to Protestantism isn’t all that bad.

    Don’t you see how that puts a Rome-is-superior view into a bit of a puzzle?

    Plus, if RC’s really believe what they say they do, why reclassify schismatics as separated brothers. Doctrine didn’t change at Vat 2. But actually it did. You know them by the way they pastor. I’d have far more confidence in bishops who told me I shouldn’t read Calvin. Now, what do they say? “whatever”. Think Kasper and Wuerl. It’s not just Garry Wills.

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  45. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 9:44 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, sure. You always have your finger on the pulse (of your mullet):

    The percentage of U.S. Catholics who consider themselves “strong” members of the Roman Catholic Church has never been lower than it was in 2012, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new data from the General Social Survey (GSS). About a quarter (27%) of American Catholics called themselves “strong” Catholics last year, down more than 15 points since the mid-1980s and among the lowest levels seen in the 38 years since strength of religious identity was first measured in the GSS, a long-running national survey carried out by the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago.

    The decline among U.S. Catholics is even starker when they are compared with Protestants, whose strength of religious identification has been rising in recent years. About half (54%) of American Protestants – double the Catholic share (27%) – described their particular religious identity as strong last year, among the highest levels since the GSS began asking the question in 1974.

    Ecclesiastical apples and oranges, Butch. Unlike Presbyterianism and most of the rest of Protestantism, Catholicism is not subject to mob rule. Your attempts to discredit it via its dissidents actually testifies to its ability to withstand the theological fads of history.

    As for evangelicals, who no doubt account for the lion’s share of Protestant enthusiasm [the Protestant Mainline is circling the bowl], good for them. Although the evangelical mind is said to be a “scandal,” unlike their theological betters in the Protestant chattering class, they seem to appreciate the natural law just fine [google “Evangelicals and Catholics Together”] as well as some of the finer things in Christian life.

    http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2015/04/all-i-really-need-to-know-i-learned-from-evangelicalism

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  46. DGH: The magisterium and the papacy are supposed to guarantee order and fidelity, and so prevent 33,000 denominations.

    TVD: It did prevent 33,000 denominations …By contrast, the Reformation spawned them. It’s a structural problem when every man is his own pope.

    Funny thing, that. I had the interesting experience about 5 years ago attending a Greek cultural festival held in the back yard of a GO church in Columbus OH. The church was open, and I walked in.

    I was greeted with some variant of this chart.

    It clearly lays the blame for denominations at the feet of a Roman Catholic power grab.

    So: Does the RC magisterium prevent schism or cause schism? Freshman essay theme, three paragraphs, forty-five minutes. Go.

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  47. Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 10:06 pm | Permalink
    DGH: The magisterium and the papacy are supposed to guarantee order and fidelity, and so prevent 33,000 denominations.

    TVD: It did prevent 33,000 denominations …By contrast, the Reformation spawned them. It’s a structural problem when every man is his own pope.

    Funny thing, that. I had the interesting experience about 5 years ago attending a Greek cultural festival held in the back yard of a GO church in Columbus OH. The church was open, and I walked in.

    I was greeted with some variant of this chart.

    It clearly lays the blame for denominations at the feet of a Roman Catholic power grab.

    So: Does the RC magisterium prevent schism or cause schism? Freshman essay theme, three paragraphs, forty-five minutes. Go.

    Since it still accounts for half or more than half of Christianity–and is in communion with the Eastern Orthodox–and “Protestantism” has atomized into hundreds or thousands of sects [the 33,000 figure is unfair]

    Catholicism prevents schism

    Protestantism multiplies schism, exponentially.

    It’s a structural thing, once you make every man a pope.

    45 seconds, not 45 minutes. You ask, we answer.

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  48. TVD is just silly, thinks we are The Bearded Spock Universe, we reformed.

    He’s mostly harmless, I’m sure he loves the attention.

    Keep at it, TVD, you’ll get us someday. Until then, enjoy the silly back and forth with Darryl. You’re a goof and we all dig it.

    Yo.

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  49. Why is a guy who breaks away and forms a denomination od several is a schismatic while the recovering RCs forming “spiritual but not religious” denominations of one (the fastest growing religious identity in the US) aren’t. Given the freefall of RCC adherence in Ireland, central/south America, and among US citizens it seems to me that RCs have no room to boast. If unity on paper and admission to the table is all that counts there are more like three or four protestant sects.

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  50. sdb
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 10:21 pm | Permalink
    EO is in communion with Rome?

    Yes, they recognize each other’s sacraments as licit. Including that Eastern Orthodox priests are licitly ordained in “apostolic succession,” meaning that the Eucharist they consecrate is the Real Presence.

    It’s all quite interesting. In fact, in an effort to avoid the usual degradation of principled discourse, I was just C&Ping from Darryl’s original attack

    For instance, the folks at Notre Dame recognize diversity in the church. Bryan and the Jasons only see unity as the “real” condition of their communion.

    I quite agree with the latter. Theologically speaking, it is the sacraments that are important, not Notre Dame and its currying favor with the Catholic chattering class [and its non-Catholic fans like Darryl] such as the aforementioned Messrs. Garry Wills and Michael Sean Winters.

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  51. SDB, the RCs here posting are going through epistemic crises, don’t they know all they need to do is subscribe to @pontifex and stay off reformed webernets?

    Poor TVD, another 20 comments in the next two days here at OL is my guess, Darryl really knows how to get under his skin.

    Again, you RCs: here’s your papi, pay pray and obey, yo:

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  52. D.G. Hart, why do you think Pope Francis did not appoint any US bishops this time around?

    What do you think of this article? How to get around the anathema thing was something I have wondered about, too. I read a few years back something about it being only against the specific way that Luther taught justification by faith alone. The Church has no problem with justification by faith. It was Luther’s attempt to get rid of the book of James altogether that got him into big trouble. That is my understanding, and nothing official.

    http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/939/the_pope_martin_luther_and_our_time.aspx

    Pope Benedict had very kind words to say about Martin Luther. In fact, he seems to like Luther more than I ever did!

    Not sure what level of authority The Catholic World Report has, but Benedict had a lot at the time of the writing of this article. He still does. Ignatius Press is big in the New Evangelization. I think the article is legit. See what you think.

    The fact that the Church considered Protestants to already be a part of the Church was a strong selling point for me.

    Well, I have exceeded my limit for the day, so I thank you for your kind attention. Maybe we’ll talk again. Take care.

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  53. sdb
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 10:33 pm | Permalink
    Why is a guy who breaks away and forms a denomination od several is a schismatic while the recovering RCs forming “spiritual but not religious” denominations of one (the fastest growing religious identity in the US) aren’t. Given the freefall of RCC adherence in Ireland, central/south America, and among US citizens it seems to me that RCs have no room to boast. If unity on paper and admission to the table is all that counts there are more like three or four protestant sects.

    SDB, you’re not acknowledging the necessary theological distinction between magisterium and mob rule. It’s the structural difference.

    TVD: It did prevent 33,000 denominations …By contrast, the Reformation spawned them. It’s a structural problem when every man is his own pope.

    What is the truth?

    Catholicism’s approach to theological truth is like Jeopardy!, Protestantism’s is Family Feud. Survey says…!

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/pcusa-church-ordains-first-married-lesbian-couple-as-ministers-days-after-denominations-marriage-amendment-136111/

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  54. Tom, I’m also proud of you. You’re learning to put your neck out and publicly stand by your religious convictions. On the whole, this thread has been good from you. Learn from this and build.I had to learn how to converse with Catholics, CTC was where I cut my teeth in 2012. I mean it, good job here. I’m always here to help. Have a good week. Grace and peace, from the BSU 😉

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  55. From the Catholic World Report article (third to last para.):

    Here faith is the key—a theme, no doubt, intended to stir an audience of pastors who affirm “justification by faith alone”, though Pope Benedict certainly does not endorse that expression in his exhortation to faith.

    Note bene as clearly mentioned.
    B does not endorse justification by faith alone.
    IOW B does not believe the Reformation gospel.
    End of story/pretended ecumenicism/make nice with protestants.

    Yes, Rome does believe in justification by faith. . . working in love i.e. a semi pelagian works righteousness kind of justification.

    For the newbs and the rubes that may be close enough for everybody to join hands and sing Kumbaya heartily, but Trinity Review still has the best exposé of the difference imo.
    Justification by Faith: Romanism and Protestantism


    Q. What is justification?
    A. It is a grace which makes us friends of God.

    Q. Can a sinner merit this justifying grace?
    A. No, he cannot; because all the good works which the sinner performs whilst he is in a state of mortal sin, are dead works, which have no merit sufficient to justify.

    Q. Is it an article of the Catholic faith, that the sinner cannot merit the grace of justification?
    A. Yes, it is decreed in the seventh chap. of the sixth sess. of the Council of Trent, that neither faith, nor good works, preceding justification, can merit the grace of justification.

    Q. How then is the sinner justified?
    A. He is justified gratuitously by the pure mercy of God, not on account of his own or any human merit, but purely through the merits of Jesus Christ; for Jesus Christ is our only mediator of redemption, who alone, by his passion and death, has reconciled us to his Father.

    Q. Why then do Protestants charge us with believing, that the sinner can merit the redemption of his sins?
    A. Their ignorance of the Catholic doctrine is the cause of this, as well as many other false charges (Rev. Stephen Keenan, Doctrinal Catechism, 138, 139).

    Many Protestants are awakening to the fact that the Roman Catholic Church does teach a doctrine of justification by faith. With surprise they are saying, “I always thought that Catholics taught that a sinner could be justified by his own works of merit. But they do not teach this. I have been subjected to some uncharitable Protestant propaganda about Catholic doctrine. Why, they believe in the saving grace of God the same as we do!” There is no question but that Catholic doctrine has always taught that a sinner is justified by a grace that comes from God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Then what was the doctrinal bone of contention between the Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformation?

    The more things change, the more they remain the same.
    Rome disingenuously always remains the same in idolizing human merit.

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  56. The Romanist Concept of Justification
    The Roman State-Church does not teach that a sinner can be justified by his own works of merit done before he is regenerated. Briefly, its position on justification is this: Christ’s work for us has made the gift of the Holy Spirit available to believers. Men must receive an infusion of righteousness by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit must work repentance and charity (love) in the believer. God then pronounces the believer just because of the work that the Holy Spirit has done in him. If the believer continues in his belief and good works, then his justification is increased.

    Or to express it another way: The Roman State-Church teaches that a man is justified before God because the Holy Spirit has given that man a just nature. God the Father merely recognizes the work which the Holy Spirit has done in the heart of the believer. Justification means to make just or righteous, according to Roman theology.

    <a href="http://www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=29"<Justification by Faith: Romanism and Protestantism

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  57. Mrs. Webfoot
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    The fact that the Church considered Protestants to already be a part of the Church was a strong selling point for me.

    Quite a good argument for its being the catholic church per the Nicene Creed, small “c,” esp when compared to “Reformed” or “Lutheran” or “Presbyterian,” “Methodist” or etc., etc., etc., none of which appear in the Nicene Creed.

    Catholic Church is a good name. In fact, when capital “C” is used, either for “Catholic” or “the Church,” it invariably refers to the Catholic Church.

    Today, perhaps embarrassed by its hundreds or thousands of sects, the Reformation makes no effort to arrogate “catholic” for itself anymore, although they once tried.

    Jeez, “Presbyterian” has no real meaning anymore after the recent PCUSA apostasy. Whereas the Catholic Church still encompasses the vast majority of Catholics [real or imagined], “Presbyterianism” is a Babel.

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  58. Bob S
    Posted May 4, 2015 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Yes, Rome does believe in justification by faith. . . working in love i.e. a semi pelagian works righteousness kind of justification.

    For the newbs and the rubes that may be close enough for everybody to join hands and sing Kumbaya heartily, but Trinity Review still has the best exposé of the difference imo.
    Justification by Faith: Romanism and Protestantism

    Many Protestants are awakening to the fact that the Roman Catholic Church does teach a doctrine of justification by faith.

    The more things change, the more they remain the same.
    Rome disingenuously always remains the same in idolizing human merit.

    Bob S
    Posted May 4, 2015 at 12:39 am | Permalink
    The Romanist Concept of Justification

    Etc., etc.

    Bob, you guys bore the piss out of God and man with this same slander, over and over again. Catholicism doesn’t teach that, and I defy you to find one pope or Garry Wills dissident who believes one can overcome his sins or rejection of God by being “a good person.”

    How could you waste so much time ginning this up in an attempt to insert yourself into this thread? I don’t get it. Andrew’s attempts to insert himself I understand, but this is out of left field. Nobody said it, nobody believes it.

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  59. Mrs, Webfoot, if it was just Luther, then why the Spanish Inquisition in the Calvinist Netherlands? I don’t ask to throw up an unpleasant part of European history — though the apologists for Rome never seem to acknowledge the dark along with the “true, good, and beautiful.” But the Inquisition makes sense if you take Trent seriously. If the bishops in Rome during the 1960s took Trent seriously, then why separated brethren.

    Sorry, but my read of Benedict is that he’s a neo-conservative RC, sort of the way Barth was neo-orthodox. Benedict is trying to have one foot in critical scholarship, and one on the traditional Roman Catholic world. Pius X didn’t think that was possible.

    Face it, Rome lost its resolve. Between Trent and 1960 Rome was contra mundum. Now Rome walks “alongside” the world with a Mr. Rogers sense of kindness and gentleness. Not my cup of tea.

    Like

  60. @TVD
    Regarding communion… that doesn’t sound right. My understanding is that RCs and EOs are barred from one another’s tables because they are not in full communion. We (prots, EOs, and RCs) recognize one another’s baptisms as valid, thus we are in a sort of “partial communion”, but not in full communion.

    Like

  61. TVD: 45 seconds, not 45 minutes. You ask, we answer.

    Answering quickly and rashly is so … freshman-like, ya know?

    The EO charge is that Rome’s demand for papal supremacy led directly to schism. Your response?

    TVD: Since it still accounts for half or more than half of Christianity–and is in communion with the Eastern Orthodox–and “Protestantism” has atomized into hundreds or thousands of sects … Catholicism prevents schism Protestantism multiplies schism, exponentially.

    This answer is non-responsive to the issue. Catholicism was unable to prevent schism within her own ranks. The EO looks at that situation and concludes that it is the RC that set the stage for schism.

    Further, your one control (what part of “three paragraphs” was unclear?) contradicts your own theology. Rome does not hold that the church is found where the majority of Christians are, but where the pope is. So “accounting for half or more than half of Christianity” is no evidence that Catholicism prevents schism.

    So you get “F: Resubmit for improved credit.”

    Like

  62. SDB, you’re not acknowledging the necessary theological distinction between magisterium and mob rule. It’s the structural difference.

    TVD: It did prevent 33,000 denominations …By contrast, the Reformation spawned them. It’s a structural problem when every man is his own pope.

    What is the truth?

    Catholicism’s approach to theological truth is like Jeopardy!, Protestantism’s is Family Feud. Survey says…!

    Yet it (unlike the EO communion) didn’t prevent England from breaking away and forming the Anglican church, the Scots from forming the Presbyterian church, the Germans the Lutheran church, etc… now it is unable to stem the flow of Irish, C/S-american, and US RCs from breaking away and forming nano-denominations (spiritual but not religious churches of one).

    What is the difference between 30,000 confessional presbyterians leaving the PCUSA and forming one denomination and 30,000 RCs leaving the RCC and forming 30,000?

    Like

  63. @TVD
    I don’t get your mob-rule/magisterium theological distinction. I’ve pointed to the empirical data showing that RCs are leading the way on the redefinition of marriage, acceptance of divorce and co-habitation (they are worse than mainliners taken a whole). Going from country to country, we see the same trend. What RCs have is unity of paper with no meaningful discipline. There really is mob-rule among RCs – everyone does whatever they want with no consequence. Why breakaway today even if you’ve “moved beyond” Jesus as a certain president of the LCWR seems to have done?

    The things that changed between say ~1500 and ~2000 are that the church lost the power of the sword. They are left with moral suasion and it hasn’t been particularly effective. The Hussites and Huguenots weren’t crushed by the power of the magisterium but at the point of the sword. Now even RC strongholds such as Ireland and SA are in membership freefall. What is unique about America is the combination of wealth, religious freedom, and entrepreneurialism. We have a constellation of religious startups unlike anywhere else in the world. And it isn’t just happening to Christianity. Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism – much smaller groups than Christianity have seen their own bifurcations in the US unparalleled in their respective homelands.

    Like

  64. Sorry, SDB, Darryl’s blocking my replies again. He does this whenever he’s seriously on the ropes.

    Like

  65. Ah, my 4 attempts at a reply were eaten by the Ghost in the Machine, is all. Good. Maybe I can have my picture back.

    Like

  66. Come on, Tom. What do you think this website is, Called To Communion?

    Comments are always open. Lookin’ good there, champ.

    Like

  67. D.G.Hart, thanks for your response. Are you a former Catholic?

    I joined the Catholic Church for a number of reasons. First of all, through my studies I came to realize that the Church fathers were all Catholic. Yes, I know that is kind of obvious, but they really were Catholic. In fact, Augustine, the hero of the Reformed movement, actually prayed to Mary.

    In a way, I have teachers like R.C. Sproul to thank for encouraging people to learn about church history. A lot of us who actually do that end up in the Catholic Church.

    Then, I know that many in the Reformed camp have been very critical of Evangelicalism in general because of its inability to apply any kind of reasonable church discipline, especially on para church organizations. Actually, there is no mechanism in the Reformed churches, either.

    There is no way for Protestantism to coherently address the problems that plague it.

    The WCF helps somewhat, except that no leader is conscience bound to adhere to all of it. Each one is allowed to follow his own conscience, which is fine. Why can a pastor be called up on charges of not being WCF compliant, then? So, if he can lose his job over something that is allegedly not binding on his conscience.

    …and so Presbyterianism goes down on a technicality.

    I’m not telling anyone why he needs to leave Protestantism. I am just sharing some of the things that helped me go for a swim. …with malice towards none, with charity for all.

    Thank you for your time.

    Like

  68. Webfoot,

    In a way, I have teachers like R.C. Sproul to thank for encouraging people to learn about church history.

    RC is great, but try Dr. Bray, especially these I’ve linked you to, Church History II. His church History I is also worth your time.

    I could say a lot more, but you are wrong. Presbyism does not go down on a technicality. If it helps you feel better about your decision to see those words written by you on a computer screen, keep it up. The rest of us are unaffected, and we appreciate hearing your interesting ideas and experience. It helps us learn what goes on with people who reject the teaching that we embrace.

    Take care.

    Like

  69. Mrs. Webfoot, do you know how arbitrary your comment is?

    I joined the Catholic Church Assemblies of God for a number of reasons. First of all, through my studies I came to realize that the Church fathers were all Catholic Eastern Orthodox. Yes, I know that is kind of obvious, but they really were Catholic part of the Eastern church. In fact, Augustine, the hero of the Reformed movement, actually prayed to Mary.

    In a way, I have teachers like R.C. Sproul to thank for encouraging people to learn about church history. A lot of us who actually do that end up in the Catholic Church.

    Then, I know that many in the Reformed camp have been very critical of Evangelicalism Roman Catholicism in general because of its inability to apply any kind of reasonable church discipline, especially on para church organizations religious orders and universities. Actually, there is noa mechanism in the Reformed Roman Catholic churches, either, even though they used to apply lots of discipline.

    There is no way for Protestantism the Vatican to coherently address the problems that plague it.

    The WCF Trent and Vatican 1 help somewhat, except that no leader bishop is conscience bound to adhere to all of it. Each one is allowed to follow his own conscience, which is fine. Why can a pastor be called up on charges of not being WCF Canons of Trent compliant, then? So, if he can lose his job over something that is allegedly not binding on his conscience.

    …and so Presbyterianism Roman Catholicism goes down on a technicality dishonesty because Roman Catholics talk a better game than the bishops practice.

    I’m not telling anyone why he needs to leave Protestantism Americanism. I am just sharing some of the things that helped me go for a swim. …with malice towards none, with charity for all.

    Thank you for your time.

    You know, just because Protestantism has problems doesn’t make Rome — like — all that coherent or disciplined. It looks to me that Rome suffers any number of the problems that have afflicted liberal Protestantism. (See today’s post about Social Gospels.) So if you’re going to convince anyone who isn’t gullible about Rome, you need to make a much better argument, say, like Protestantism gets a D- for its performance on church tests and Rome gets a D.

    No, I was not (and never plan to be) Roman Catholic. Too much delusion. Nicene orthodoxy is hard enough to believe. I don’t need more things that defy credulity.

    Sorry to sound so dismissive, but do you converts ever hear yourselves?

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  70. Darryl, look who one of her favorite bands, is:

    https://www.blogger.com/profile/09688935118585583682

    Favorite Movies Little Miss Sunshine, Raising Arizona, All the Disney princess movies, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Shrek 1 and 2, The Knight’s Tale, Mrs. Brown, Monster’s Inc., Esperando la carroza, All Cantinflas movies, Robin Hood – Disney cartoon version
    Favorite Music classical, Rescue – an a cappella group, Funky – a Christian Reggaeton group, The Cookies-a fine, yet virtually unknown rock group, Mahalia Jackson, Bach’s b minor Mass
    Favorite Books The Bible, Pilgrim’s Progress, Augustine’s Confessions, On marriage and Family Life – St. John Chrysostom, I Heard the Owl Call my Name, Eagle Feather, The Trumpet of the Swan, Waiting for Snow in Havana, Charity and Its Fruits, Faith in a Hard Ground-G.E.M. Anscombe, Summa Theologica- Saint Thomas Aquinas

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  71. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 4, 2015 at 8:49 pm | Permalink
    Mrs. Webfoot, do you know how arbitrary your comment is?

    I joined the Catholic Church Assemblies of God for a number of reasons. First of all, through my studies I came to realize that the Church fathers were all Catholic Eastern Orthodox. Yes, I know that is kind of obvious, but they really were Catholic part of the Eastern church. In fact, Augustine, the hero of the Reformed movement, actually prayed to Mary.

    How arbitrary. The Assemblies of God don’t pray to Mary.

    You know, just because Protestantism has problems doesn’t make Rome — like — all that coherent or disciplined. It looks to me that Rome suffers any number of the problems that have afflicted liberal Protestantism. (See today’s post about Social Gospels.) So if you’re going to convince anyone who isn’t gullible about Rome, you need to make a much better argument, say, like Protestantism gets a D- for its performance on church tests and Rome gets a D.

    Attack, attack attack. A religion based on attack, on what it’s not, isn’t much of one. And unresponsive to her killer point, unable to sustain its own central tenets, even by its own standards.

    The WCF helps somewhat, except that no leader is conscience bound to adhere to all of it. Each one is allowed to follow his own conscience, which is fine. Why can a pastor be called up on charges of not being WCF compliant, then? So, if he can lose his job over something that is allegedly not binding on his conscience.

    …and so Presbyterianism goes down on a technicality.

    Punkt.

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  72. vd, t, still figuring out how to use the internet, huh. That’s the third email address you’ve used today.

    I haven’t yet seen you respond to a single charge. I can’t imagine this works on game shows. But when your mullet goes cowlick, or the drummer for Cookies misses a beat, as you say, mebbe.

    Why are you so hard on contemporary Protestants when you give them so much credit for the American founding? Why not malign David Barton the way you do the OPC?

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  73. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 4, 2015 at 9:47 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, still figuring out how to use the internet, huh. That’s the third email address you’ve used today.

    I haven’t yet seen you respond to a single charge. I can’t imagine this works on game shows. But when your mullet goes cowlick, or the drummer for Cookies misses a beat, as you say, mebbe.

    Why are you so hard on contemporary Protestants when you give them so much credit for the American founding? Why not malign David Barton the way you do the OPC?

    Odd you’re perusing the email addresses I used. Perhaps your other correspondents occasionally find it impossible to post. Perhaps it’s the Ghost in the Machine. But that’s why I used a number of email addresses, to defeat whatever technical problems the Old Life blog was giving me

    😉

    and reply to my polite correspondents such as Mr./Mrs. “SDB.”

    So yes, I formulated my replies earlier this afternoon but was unable to post them. Glad to see you’ve been breathlessly awaiting.

    For the moment, though, I think Mrs. Webfoot has you quite flummoxed on substance, Butch. I’ll post my reply to the “charges” from you and your surrogates later, but I’m not going to help you and Andrew bury her quite elegant argument, which cuts to the root of the ecclesiastical problem of dissent and magisterium, every man his own pope.

    ,i>The WCF helps somewhat, except that no leader is conscience bound to adhere to all of it. Each one is allowed to follow his own conscience, which is fine. Why can a pastor be called up on charges of not being WCF compliant, then? So, if he can lose his job over something that is allegedly not binding on his conscience.

    …and so Presbyterianism goes down on a technicality.

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  74. The WCFmagisterium helps somewhat, except that no leaderchurch member is conscience bound to adhere to all of it as evidenced by Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden. Each one is allowed to follow his own conscience, on an issue like abortion and still receive the eucarist which is not fine. Why can a pastor Luther be called up on charges of not being WCF magisterially compliant, then? So, if he can lose his job over something that is allegedly not binding on his conscience protestants are separated brethren, the vatican doesn’t care about us, and neither should you or webfoot. you post because you need to assuage your conscience and you do so by putting us down. it’s not our fault the yankees suck big time, yo. at this rate, you’ll be posting here in dgh’s spider web for years to come, who’s the loser now, butchy?

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  75. TVD, in seriousness, you don’t see that this is all a game.

    Even if you and webby are right, of the 85 million presbyterian and reformed christians, there are about 15 MAYBE reading your oh so wonderful and truly original (really) points here. You’ve reached 0.0000176% of presbyterians, none of which are going to agree with you anyway.

    You should work on playing bass for the cookies and stop wasting your time. for your sake, alone.

    who’s next?

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  76. @ TVD, Mrs Webfoot (may I call you Puddleglum? Kidding)

    The premise is incorrect. Officers may not follow their own consciences, but must declare exceptions to their Presbyteries, who must approve exceptions. The usual list of allowable exceptions is short.

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  77. AB
    Posted May 4, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Permalink
    TVD, in seriousness, you don’t see that this is all a game.

    For you it’s a game. And I suppose for Darryl, who lets you make a joke of his blog, shouting down every single comment with no wit, reason or rhyme.

    Darryl, you really should give Erik his old job back.

    Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 4, 2015 at 11:11 pm | Permalink
    @ TVD, Mrs Webfoot (may I call you Puddleglum? Kidding)

    The premise is incorrect. Officers may not follow their own consciences, but must declare exceptions to their Presbyteries, who must approve exceptions. The usual list of allowable exceptions is short.

    A principled reply, Jeff. Sorry our previous conversation was disrupted–I must table my reply, as Mrs. Webfoot has cut to the chase quite better, in your own “confessional” language. Even by your own truth claims, the WCF offers itself only as a set of propositions, not truths.

    Yet it puts people on ecclesiastical trial for dissenting from mere propositions that the church itself does not even affirm as truths!

    Mrs. Webfoot, remains unrefuted, and barely rebutted.

    The WCF helps somewhat, except that no leader is conscience bound to adhere to all of it. Each one is allowed to follow his own conscience, which is fine. Why can a pastor be called up on charges of not being WCF compliant, then? So, if he can lose his job over something that is allegedly not binding on his conscience.

    …and so Presbyterianism goes down on a technicality.

    On its own technicalities, by its standards, we must add. No Catholicism in sight.

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  78. TVD, you invoke Erik’s name?

    As Erik says, he’s the mean one. I’m just boring.

    As I said, you are becoming more brave in your beliefs. Kudos. And thanks for this, too.

    Grace and peace.

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  79. @tvd since when don’t confessional presbys affirm their standards as “true”? The second ordination vow contradicts your assertion.

    Contra your score keeping it seems to me that the RC “paradigm ” solves nothing. It simply kicks the epistemolgical can down the road and does nothing to bring unity in practice.

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  80. sdb
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 12:26 am | Permalink
    @tvd since when don’t confessional presbys affirm their standards as “true”? The second ordination vow contradicts your assertion.

    Contra your score keeping it seems to me that the RC “paradigm ” solves nothing. It simply kicks the epistemolgical can down the road and does nothing to bring unity in practice.

    SDB, I have yielded the floor to Mrs. Webfoot [see above]. We’ll pick up our discussion later, perhaps, inshallah. Since you claim to replace the Catholic Church, in the end your [Calvinist] religion’s truth claims have nothing to do with Catholicism. They must stand on their own,

    _________________________
    Mrs. Webfoot, remains unrefuted, and barely rebutted.

    The WCF helps somewhat, except that no leader is conscience bound to adhere to all of it. Each one is allowed to follow his own conscience, which is fine. Why can a pastor be called up on charges of not being WCF compliant, then? So, if he can lose his job over something that is allegedly not binding on his conscience.

    …and so Presbyterianism goes down on a technicality.

    Like

  81. Even by your own truth claims, the WCF offers itself only as a set of propositions, not truths.

    Oh come on. Don’t be stupid. What do you take us for illiterate fools?
    Have you even read the WCF?
    The propositions of the WCF are not tentative, but binding. That is not to say they cannot be in error, but rather than assuming just that, it must be demonstrated from Scripture and by argument that it is in error for your nonsense to hold water.
    Can you show us where the WCF errs? Nope. Can Mrs. W? Nope. Bryan? Come on.

    Birds of a feather flock together. You’d be better off taking your dog and pony red herring troll routine some where the doofuses congregate who can’t tell the difference between an argument and an assertion.

    cheers

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  82. vd, t, except when Protestantism suits your political purposes:

    The most interesting—and liberating—thing about the Protestant Reformation was that each man must read and interpret the Bible for himself. Sola scriptura, the Bible only. The extra words of men have no authority above the Word of God as each man reads it, not the Pope or the “Magisterium” or the “Church” or even fellow Protestants and their churches either.

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  83. And TVD, if you keep growing in maturity in your faith (now that you are taking the first steps in publicly identifying, without the fear of men (again, this thread marks a pivotal moment for you, I perceive, I’m not joking)) you’ll be able to appreciate what other traditions (like reformed protestantism ) have to offer.

    I’ve been following Darryl a long time, you should read Our Debt to Roman Catholicism. All these charges against you and webfoot ar e unfounded and you can’t get past your own insecurities to see what Darryl is doing at the root. He is successful in provoking you to think and getting under your skin.

    I mean it, take this thread as a positive, and build from it. Again, I was learning in 2012 how this works with the callers. I’m not being patronizing, but truly trying to help. You’ll see the good and bad in your system, the good and bad in ours. I am still able to go into Bryan Cross’ playground (posted there a few weeks ago) and come in and out with my beliefs in tact and talking in a away with him that I believe honors Christ. Of course, he doesnt let all my comments through, but thats CTC, this is Oldlife. We repeat:

    Comments. Always. Open.

    I have to run. I’ll be reading. Hello I must be going 😉

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  84. TVD: Even by your own truth claims, the WCF offers itself only as a set of propositions, not truths.

    You obviously have some difference in mind between “proposition” and “truth.” I read the WCF as offering up a summary of what the Bible teaches.

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  85. *I meant “all these charges you and webfoot level against reformed protestantism are unfounded

    You know we have answers for all your supposed silver bullets against our system. As I’ve said, listen to the 5 hours of Sproul.

    Find them here, study other church historians, as I’ve linked to Dr. Bray, and dont stop learning about us now. You may not (in fact you most assuredly won’t) convert to our ways, but thats not what we are after.

    Just like Oldlife, my comments are always open as well.

    Like I said, I gotta run. Take care.

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  86. Since you claim to replace the Catholic Church, in the end your [Calvinist] religion’s truth claims have nothing to do with Catholicism. They must stand on their own,

    I disagree, so I suppose there isn’t much point in continuing this conversation

    Like

  87. Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 8:41 am | Permalink
    TVD: Even by your own truth claims, the WCF offers itself only as a set of propositions, not truths.

    You obviously have some difference in mind between “proposition” and “truth.” I read the WCF as offering up a summary of what the Bible teaches.

    That doesn’t account for its numerous revisions, nor that it does not bind the conscience.
    ___________

    sdb
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 9:24 am | Permalink
    Since you claim to replace the Catholic Church, in the end your [Calvinist] religion’s truth claims have nothing to do with Catholicism. They must stand on their own,

    I disagree, so I suppose there isn’t much point in continuing this conversation

    Your disagreement is not a rebuttal, so you’re right, there’s no point.

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  88. @ TVD: You’re missing one premise to make it all clear:

    The WCF is a subordinate authority, subordinate to Scripture itself.

    Just as a priest intends to speak truth, and (according to the Catholic) should be taken as speaking the truth, he nevertheless may err and be corrected by a higher authority. Hence, even a good Catholic may appeal to a higher authority without rejecting a good conscience.

    So also may a good Protestant appeal to Scripture against the WCF. His argument may fail, but it is not out of order.

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  89. Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 6:01 pm | Permalink
    @ TVD: You’re missing one premise to make it all clear:

    The WCF is a subordinate authority, subordinate to Scripture itself.

    That formulation doesn’t mean anything. It’s a certain interpretation of the Bible, not a “summary,” and it’s authoritative enough to get someone thrown out for disagreeing with it.

    And it used to say the pope is the Anti-Christ. That’s not in the Bible. This is why I correctly called it “propositional.” It’s authoritative up until the time men vote to change it.

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  90. Actually, that formulation does mean something.

    However, it is a difficult formulation for a Catholic to understand because Catholics have a hidden premise that an authority must be a person and not a text. (We get that a lot a this site.)

    When one adds that premise, the formulation becomes difficult, and the conversation devolves into “interpretation” and “whose authority”, which misses the point.

    You won’t, cannot understand the Protestant position if you insist that only persons can be authorities.

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  91. TVD, even if anything you say has merit, you get voted down here at OLTS. You are just some internet stranger, and we here have a church we belong to and have committed ourselves to. So now you know what it must have felt like for M. Luther. If you could, leave us alone because we don’t have the problem here, rather, the RC church is in error in CONDEMNING THE ERRORS OF MARTIN LUTHER.

    Or continue all you want, dont mind me, I just,

    make a joke of his blog, shouting down every single comment with no wit, reason or rhyme.

    Class-ay, TVD! Classy.

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  92. Here is what Charles Hodge said about the three main ways to understand what it means to adopt the WCF and Catechism as containing “the system of doctrine taught in the Sacred Scriptures.” His article shows the achilles heel of Presbyterianism.

    “Every minister at his ordination is required to declare that he adopts the Westminster Confession and Catechism, as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Sacred Scriptures. There are three ways in which these words have been, and still are, interpreted. First, some understand them to mean that every proposition contained in the Confession of Faith is included in the profession made at ordination. Secondly, others say that they mean just what the words import. What is adopted is the “system of doctrine.” The system of the Reformed Churches is a known and admitted scheme of doctrine; and that scheme, nothing more or less, we profess to adopt. The third view of the subject is, that by the system of doctrine contained in the Confession is meant the essential doctrines of Christianity and nothing more.”

    http://www.puritansermons.com/reformed/hodge01.htm

    These are just the 3 main ways of understanding what it means to adopt the WCF as some kind of doctrinal standard. How many ways are there? Lots, it seems. Each denomination that claims some kind of adherence to the WCF would have its own way of looking at “THE system”, and then each pastor has some leeway to follow his or her conscience.

    Now, many are happy Presbyterians. However, is it surprising that many also hear the call to return Home to their Mother, the Catholic Church?

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  93. @ Webfoot:

    Hodge was speaking in a time and situation in which subscription was very different (ultimately leading to the separation of PCUSA from OPC). Neither OPC nor PCA takes the third view.

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  94. MW, it is given to the presbyteries the power to examine a man up for ordination in the church.

    The way that a man may rightly hold to or declare one’s scruples is up to the presbytery to decide whether the man’s views are in accord with what is called the animus imponentis of the church. Keep at it, you’ll get it someday.

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  95. Jeff, in Hodge’s day, things were different. The situation is much worse than what he saw then. Presbyterians were divided then on how to interpret the meaning of the WCF, and they are even more divided now.

    The OPC and the PCA have more in common than either of them have with the PCUSA, but they still do not agree with one another.

    Even conservative Presbyterians are still a long way from reaching the NT standard of one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, not to mention maintaining the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

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  96. However, is it surprising that many some also hear the call to return Home to their Mother, the Catholic Church?

    Sometimes ya got to korrect the propaganda.

    For you it’s a game. And I suppose for Darryl, who lets you make a joke of his blog, shouting down every single comment with no wit, reason or rhyme.

    Comments are open and a troll is upset he’s got competition.
    It’s the price you pay, but then again you can always count on a meltdown sooner or later and the riff raff polices itself.

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  97. So let me get this straight.
    Because the OPC and PCA are not completely identical, but are sister NAPARC churches, that this is a slam dunk argument from Eph. 4. for joining with Rome and partaking of her blasphemous idolatry of the mass in which Christ is re-sacrificed every time the mass is celebrated?
    Thanks. Glad we got that clear.

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  98. Jeff, I just noticed your Puddleglum comment. You know, about my favorite Narnia character is Puddleglum. That’s not why I use Webfoot, though. I may as well tell the story. My husband and I met up in Canada. We are both from the Pacific NW where it rains a lot. So, he asked me what a webfoot like me was doing up on the dry, cold prairies of Canada. Anyway, Puddleglum is okay if you mean it in a friendly way. 🙂 In fact, I think that Puddleglum is a good role model with his common sense approach to life and faith.

    Take care

    Hi, AB

    Like

  99. Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink
    Actually, that formulation does mean something.

    However, it is a difficult formulation for a Catholic to understand because Catholics have a hidden premise that an authority must be a person and not a text. (We get that a lot a this site.)

    When one adds that premise, the formulation becomes difficult, and the conversation devolves into “interpretation” and “whose authority”, which misses the point.

    You won’t, cannot understand the Protestant position if you insist that only persons can be authorities.

    Since according to Acts and Aquinas even a pope can err, that wouldn’t be the Catholic position atall. The magisterium isn’t a person, it’s the Holy Spirit’s living guidance of the Church from Pentecost onward.

    As for a “text” being an authority, “WCF” is not synonymous with the Bible. It is written by men, and revised by men, and lately, ignored by men, even “Presbyterians.”

    http://juicyecumenism.com/2012/07/10/turns-out-70-of-pcusa-general-assembly-commissioners-arent-actually-presbyterian/

    Now if you said the WCF [or the Belgic, whathaveyou] is the work of the Holy Spirit, fine, that’s a truth claim. End of discussion, no different than Joseph Smith and the golden plates.

    But you don’t say that, nor could you believe it, since unlike the Bible, these “confessions” are subject to revision by what still amounts to mob rule.

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  100. @ Webfoot, TVD:

    I don’t understand — no, I understand, but I don’t accept as relevant — the continued references to the PCUSA.

    Given that we’ve no formal ties with them *because they abandoned the gospel*, trying to use them as a club against us makes as much sense as holding you responsible for “Christian Scientists” because they happen to have Christian in the name.

    You’re committing a fallacy of irrelevance.

    Like

  101. vd, t, so is the Roman Catholic Church paying attention to the Canons of the Council of Trent?

    And wishing, as is just, to impose a restraint, in this matter, also on printers, who now without restraint,–thinking, that is, that whatsoever they please is allowed them,–print, without the license of ecclesiastical superiors, the said books of sacred Scripture, and the notes and comments upon them of all persons indifferently, with the press ofttimes unnamed, often even fictitious, and what is more grievous still, without the author’s name; and also keep for indiscriminate sale books of this kind printed elsewhere; (this Synod) ordains and decrees, that, henceforth, the sacred Scripture, and especially the said old and vulgate edition, be printed in the most correct manner possible; and that it shall not be lawful for any one to print, or cause to be printed, any books whatever, on sacred matters, without the name of the author; nor to sell them in future, or even to keep them, unless they shall have been first examined, and approved of, by the Ordinary; under pain of the anathema and fine imposed in a canon of the last Council of Lateran: and, if they be Regulars, besides this examination and approval, they shall be bound to obtain a license also from their own superiors, who shall have examined the books according to the form of their own statutes. As to those who lend, or circulate them in manuscript, without their having been first examined, and approved of, they shall be subjected to the same penalties as printers: and they who shall have them in their possession or shall read them, shall, unless they discover the authors, be themselves regarded as the authors. And the said approbation of books of this kind shall be given in writing; and for this end it shall appear authentically at the beginning of the book, whether the book be written, or printed; and all this, that is, both the approbation and the examination, shall be done gratis, that so what ought to be approved, may be approved, and what ought to be condemned, may be condemned.

    Like

  102. Erik, my CPA brother from another mother, with some good color commentary on TVD, calls Darryl Darryl the Grumpy, for deleting his trackbacks.

    Another fun day at OL awaits. Who’s next?

    Like

  103. Tom,

    It’s difficult to pin down where you’re coming from or if this is just a game for you, but you said,

    The magisterium isn’t a person, it’s the Holy Spirit’s living guidance of the Church from Pentecost onward.

    On the contrary, according to Bryan Cross,

    A person can do what a book cannot; a person can correct global misunderstandings and answer comprehensive interpretive questions. A book by its very nature has a limited intrinsic potency for interpretive self-clarification; a person, on the other hand, by his very nature has, in principle, an unlimited intrinsic potency with respect to interpretive self-clarification. This unlimited potency of persons with respect to interpretive self-clarification ensures that the hermeneutical spiral may reach its goal; we can continue to ask clarification questions, be heard, and receive answers to those very questions, until the questions are answered…So likewise an enduring Magisterium made up of persons remains perpetually capable of clarifying and explaining any of its previous statements.

    In one sense the Magisterium is not a singular person, but the Magisterium is led by one man, the Pope, who speaks *for* or ratifies the speech *of* the Magisterium.

    Finally, your comments presuppose that if an authority is not infallible then it is not an authority. You’ll need to make an exegetical and philosophical argument for that. Good luck trying to explain the philosophical in light of the absence of such structures in God’s operation in the OT.

    Like

  104. Jeff,

    By that logic most of what Mr. Hart posts on his blog is irrelevant as it’s slagging off those in denominations and movements not connected with the OPC. (One could argue it’s all irrelevant, but for different reasons.)

    Why does he attack students in Canada who resist being forced to compromise their faith by atheist teachers; why does he attack teachers who stand up for their faith in the classroom? Are any of these people OPC members? I’m inclined to say “no”- and yet he goes out of his way to mock them.

    One could also, conversely, ask why he attacks hymn-singers when the OPC is a hymn-singing denomination.

    Like

  105. One could also ask how it is a historian (of Protestantism and Calvinism no less) thinks the Savoy Declaration was produced in “Savoy in England”?

    Like

  106. Jeff Cage:
    Given that we’ve no formal ties with them *because they abandoned the gospel*, trying to use them as a club against us makes as much sense as holding you responsible for “Christian Scientists” because they happen to have Christian in the name.>>>>>

    The WCF was ineffective in keeping the largest Presbyterian group in the US from apostasy. Referring to them goes to the point. At the end of the day, making an accommodation for a pastor’s conscience pulls the plug on the WCF and it goes down the drain and Presbyterianism along with it.

    In the case of Christian Science, they never were orthodox.

    Like

  107. Mrs. Webfoot, right back at you. How has the wonder-working powers of the magisterium and papal infallibility prevented most of the Roman Catholic faithful in the U.S. from living in mortal sin?

    You really do need to address that before you keep throwing stones from your glass house.

    Like

  108. Webfoot: The WCF was ineffective in keeping the largest Presbyterian group in the US from apostasy.

    I agree.

    Webfoot: Referring to them goes to the point. At the end of the day, making an accommodation for a pastor’s conscience pulls the plug on the WCF and it goes down the drain and Presbyterianism along with it.

    I don’t agree, on several points. I think you’re drawing the wrong lesson here.

    Take a look at the situation in the Catholic church. A billion members, yet the breadth of defection from church teaching among the teachers in the Catholic church — priests, professors at Catholic universities, even bishops — rivals the PCUSA, and is certainly worse than either the PCA or OPC.

    Despite TVD’s protestations, having a magisterium cannot prevent schism.

    There’s a simple and good reason for that. The church has authority but not the physical power of coercion. Likewise the church, Scripture — any of those lack temporal power of enforcement.

    And there’s our real lesson. The reason that the PCUSA has gotten to this sorry state is not that it didn’t have a proper authority (it did: The Bible). It was rather that it had no will and ability to enforce that authority. If you’ve not already, research the trial of Charles Briggs and its aftermath.

    The Catholic church is in the same state. In theory, you have a nice tidy magisterium with clear lines of authority. In practice, church politics prevent enforcement, the serious kind of enforcement that leads to house-cleaning, from actually happening. You cannot point to a time in the history of the RCC when there was actual unity in doctrine amongst all bishops, let alone priests, let alone members.

    So … what then?

    The “what then” comes down to Ephesians 4, to which you alluded. Unity in doctrine will ultimately be achieved as a work of the Spirit, and not as a work of the magisterium. Whether on this side of the eschaton or the other, I don’t know.

    What I do know is that pointing to a human being and saying, “All will be right when HE is acknowledged as head” is misguided. One church, one Lord, one baptism: Jesus alone is head of His church.

    Like

  109. Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 6, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Permalink
    Webfoot: The WCF was ineffective in keeping the largest Presbyterian group in the US from apostasy.

    I agree.

    Webfoot: Referring to them goes to the point. At the end of the day, making an accommodation for a pastor’s conscience pulls the plug on the WCF and it goes down the drain and Presbyterianism along with it.

    I don’t agree, on several points. I think you’re drawing the wrong lesson here.

    Take a look at the situation in the Catholic church. A billion members, yet the breadth of defection from church teaching among the teachers in the Catholic church — priests, professors at Catholic universities, even bishops — rivals the PCUSA, and is certainly worse than either the PCA or OPC.

    Despite TVD’s protestations, having a magisterium cannot prevent schism.

    Unfactual. 99% of the schisms in the past 500 years have taken place under the Reformation side. It’s a structural thing when every man is his own pope.
    ___________________
    D. G. Hart
    Posted May 6, 2015 at 11:19 am | Permalink
    Mrs. Webfoot, right back at you. How has the wonder-working powers of the magisterium and papal infallibility prevented most of the Roman Catholic faithful in the U.S. from living in mortal sin?
    .

    Not relevant under the Arminian concept of free will. God doesn’t force anyone to obey.

    The real question is how under the Reformed doctrine of the “Elect” how so many of you are nasty Pharisees. Not feeling the love of Jesus here.
    ____________________

    Brandon Addison
    Posted May 6, 2015 at 10:27 am | Permalink
    Tom,

    you said,

    “The magisterium isn’t a person, it’s the Holy Spirit’s living guidance of the Church from Pentecost onward.”

    On the contrary, according to Bryan Cross,

    “A person can do what a book cannot; a person can correct global misunderstandings and answer comprehensive interpretive questions. A book by its very nature has a limited intrinsic potency for interpretive self-clarification; a person, on the other hand, by his very nature has, in principle, an unlimited intrinsic potency with respect to interpretive self-clarification. This unlimited potency of persons with respect to interpretive self-clarification ensures that the hermeneutical spiral may reach its goal; we can continue to ask clarification questions, be heard, and receive answers to those very questions, until the questions are answered…So likewise an enduring Magisterium made up of persons remains perpetually capable of clarifying and explaining any of its previous statements.”

    In one sense the Magisterium is not a singular person, but the Magisterium is led by one man, the Pope, who speaks *for* or ratifies the speech *of* the Magisterium.

    Not very interested in debating excerpts of things Bryan Cross wrote. The magisterium isn’t a person. The Holy Spirit of course works through human beings. The Bible itself was penned by human beings. Your argument is based on a faulty premise.

    Like

  110. TVD continues his vision quest, can someone hand him some peyote or something? Tell him to go visit shaman Peter Leithart’s tent, they can do a chant together. Here we go:

    The magisterium isn’t a person. The Holy Spirit of course works through human beings. The Bible itself was penned by human beings. Your argument is based on a faulty premise.

    TVD, catch up with us, and we can all go golf together. Until then, stay in lurker’s corner, and let the big wigs handle theology. Read:

    D. G. Hart
    Posted December 18, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink
    Andrew, before we get too confident about Protestantism and history, we need to remember that historical consciousness was and still is a great difficulty for biblical authority. Is it the word of God or is it the words of men who lived at a particular time and wrote in a given context? Once you contextualize, you lose the thus sayeth the Lord character of it.

    But for Roman Catholics it is doubly difficult. Not only is Scripture historical, but tradition is so as well. Nothing escapes history or its acids.

    The virtue of Old Princeton (especially Warfield) was to work out a way to affirm that the Bible was both fully divine and fully human — concursus. Doesn’t mean it will pass Cross’s logic meter. But it is smart.

    My sense is that the whole debate among RC’s over hermeneutics of continuity or rupture is a replay of what Protestants like Warfield were wrestling with 125 years ago.

    Peace to you on your journey, TVD.

    Next.

    Like

  111. Webfoot, PS, here’s a money quote from the AI lectures, Dr. Strange is one of the brightest minds we have in our camp, IMHO. Peace to you on your journey (emphasis mine):

    Myth Number One: We interpret the Bible, but not the Westminster standards. Now, sometimes that gets said, and I understand where that is coming from, but let’s think through that together. It’s an understandable error given the nature of the standards, as I argued earlier, as clear statements of doctrine. I agree – the standards are clear statements of doctrine. The Scriptures contain obscurities at points. It tells us that itself. The standards aren’t supposed to contain obscurities of that kind so much. If they do, we should straighten them out, we should make it clear. But, one I think could wrongly assume in saying we interpret the Bible but not the standards that they need no interpretation. Rather, they need only to be received in their teaching. Well, this is similar to the fundamentalist’s error about the Bible – “No book but the Bible, no creed but Christ” – applied to the creeds. Let’s not think that creeds neither warrant nor need interpretation. Of course they need interpretation. The hermeneutical task can’t be escaped. They are going to have to be interpreted. The Word is interpreted in the creeds and confessions and then we are going to together interpret our creeds and confessions and we are going to administer them. You can’t escape that. That’s the hard work of the church. Sometimes we want at some level everything done for us. It’s like, I tell my students this all the time – I teach church polity – and I say you can’t have reformation by tweaking the polity and getting it just perfect because the best polity that we could have from the Word of God if it’s administered by men of ill will will fail. Please don’t be shocked here. I’m not Episcopalian at all. But, then I’ll go on to say episcopacy if the bishop is a good man could have some good things happening. Now, I don’t think that’s the Biblical form of government – I think Presbyterianism is, but I don’t think because we have the form Presbyterian that we’ve got a lock on things. That’s just not the way it works. We have to always be faithful. We have to come before God and in humility look to Him and serve Him together, communing with him and each other as members of His mystical body. There is a real spiritual aspect to this that can’t be gotten around. So, one can’t preserve doctrine by saying, well if we could perfect our confession (I’m not saying we don’t need to – our confession doesn’t need to be as clear as we can make it), but to say, you know, this is how we’re going to have reformation and everything we need by getting it all down. No. We have to continue to serve faithfully and humbly. Interpretation, the hermeneutical task, is at every level inescapable. The question, then, is not whether we interpret the standards – we do. The question is whose interpretation prevails. My possibly idiosyncratic one? Or the one that the imposing body acting in integrity holds? And, of course, as I’ve said, that really refers ultimately to the whole church. One may object that the imposing body might be wrong, and it might – we don’t believe in the infallibility of the church. I don’t. I don’t know about you. I don’t believe the church is infallible. I believe the Word is infallible. One may object that the imposing body might be wrong, or is not acting in integrity, but that’s another matter and remedies for such exist in our Book of Church Order. There are ways that we have to address unfaithfulness, but we need to recognize here that we do interpret our secondary standards. Variations of interpretation on a particular matter in the imposing body could signal on the one hand, it could mean departure from the faith. If you say, there is this interpretation and there is this interpretation, maybe this interpretation means departure from the faith, but it can’t be assumed. What do I mean? Please follow me here. You’ve got a doctrine stated in our confession. You’ve got some various ways of understanding or interpreting the confession. It may be that this party over here is faithless or it may be that this particular doctrine in terms of some of the specifics has about it or there is a proper elasticity. There are certain doctrines that we say- no, we want this in the narrowest way confessed this way. Or, there are other things that we may say, well, there is a permission here. I think John will be talking about the millennial issue. And, I think you can read the standards in certain ways that would have a certain millennial point, but we have not read them that way. Now, maybe you think we should read them that way. But, that isn’t the way we read them. We haven’t read them as clearly excluding certain historic positions. And, so, here’s what I am saying: The fact of different interpretations on a particular matter doesn’t mean that there is a terrible departure from the faith, but it may mean a proper elasticity in enforcing the confession on that particular point is at issue. Think of the issue of exclusive psalmody. Now, I understand that those who may be committed to exclusive psalmody say, well, you’re wrong. But, the fact is that we have an elasticity on it. You may not like that there is an elasticity on it, but there is. That’s just a fact. One has to judge and act accordingly. There is no escaping that hard work. We can’t eliminate the hard work that the church is called to do always by reducing everything to rules – have as many rules as you wish. That’s what I was saying earlier. Governing bodies have to apply and interpret and make hard decisions. You just can’t get around making hard decisions. You just can’t get around it.

    http://www.pncnopc.org/media/2009_Animus_Conference/Lecture%201%20-%20Strange.doc

    Like

  112. TVD says: Unfactual. 99% of the schisms in the past 500 years have taken place under the Reformation side.”
    Tell us about the other 1% please.

    Dr. Hart asks: “… How has the wonder-working powers of the magisterium and papal infallibility prevented most of the Roman Catholic faithful in the U.S. from living in mortal sin? “
    I would rephrase by asking what is preventing their excommunication? After somebody invokes the “defacto anathema” (really? Come on now) please tell us how that comports with the 5th Chapter of the apostle’s 1st epistle to the Corinthians.

    No hate here Tom. I promise. Your church’s grand claims are what is killin her though. You cannot find any reformed protestant equivalent to papal/magisterial authority and therefore any argument you bring along those lines is an automatic straw man. We are not vulnerable to the same attacks because we do make the same claims.

    Like

  113. Greg The Terrible
    Posted May 6, 2015 at 5:35 pm | Permalink
    TVD says: Unfactual. 99% of the schisms in the past 500 years have taken place under the Reformation side.”
    Tell us about the other 1% please.

    Nice try, but arguing the exception against the rule is unhelpful, Mr. Turrible. Address the 99 first, for that is the argument.

    No hate here Tom. I promise…You cannot find any reformed protestant equivalent to papal/magisterial authority and therefore any argument you bring along those lines is an automatic straw man.

    Unfactual. You do put people on ecclesastical trial for disputing the “confessions,” no? Therefore there is magisterium even as you deny its existence!

    As for the Catholic argument, its “grand claim” of the Holy Spirit’s guidance of the magisterium is precisely why there aren’t 100s or 1000s of denominations as there are in the theological Babel that is “Protestantism.” It is why it has survived intact while there is scarcely a sect of Protestantism has not splintered in dozens of subsects.

    No straw man, atall. And thanks for the non-hate. Exemplary!
    ______________
    D. G. Hart
    Posted May 6, 2015 at 4:41 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, love me in an Arminian way.

    But I do, mon cheri, and all your Crabby for Christ henchpersons too. It’s the warrior children whose agape needs work. I’m hardly the first person to notice.

    http://www.frame-poythress.org/machens-warrior-children/

    Like

  114. TVD says: “Nice try, but arguing the exception against the rule is unhelpful, Mr. Turrible. Address the 99 first, for that is the argument.”
    Look friend. ANY exceptions to your kind of rule are fatal. Not so with us.

    Unfactual. You do put people on ecclesastical trial for disputing the “confessions,” no? Therefore there is magisterium even as you deny its existence!
    That is not the same as casting them to the demons and the lake of fire like the church of Trent did until Vat. II when Rome officially castrated herself. Yes, in this case SHE CAN do that. I want the church of Trent back. I can actually respect that. Today’s RCC is a yapping little bark and NO bit at all.

    TVD says: “As for the Catholic argument, its “grand claim” of the Holy Spirit’s guidance of the magisterium is precisely why there aren’t 100s or 1000s of denominations as there are in the theological Babel that is “Protestantism.” It is why it has survived intact while there is scarcely a sect of Protestantism has not splintered in dozens of subsets.”
    INTACT HE SAYS LOL!!!! 😀
    Is that what you call this? The existence of some dusty dogma written somewhere says absolutely nothing about the unity in your ranks Tom. Your church is the very definition of theological anarchy. Every man (and ESPECIALLY women) does whatever is right in their own eyes, middle finger straight at the Vatican. There is NO way you don’t see this.

    There is FAAAAAAR more unity among conservative protestants, even those on the other end of the theological landscape from each other than there is in any diocese in the United States. i KNOW what I am talkin about.

    Please answer my question about the “defacto anathema”. Do you know what that is?

    Like

  115. How bout canon law and canon lawyers? NOT to be confused with the magesterium, but allegedly vital to informing the church how to apply canon law in pastoral practice especially? Name for me 2 times you’ve ever seen that function ANYwhere please. Without looking it up and even that may be tough.

    Like

  116. Greg,

    TVD loves us and believes we are part of Christ’s church:

    Andrew Buckingham
    Posted April 30, 2015 at 9:07 pm | Permalink
    All too easy

    Darryl and the Sneerers are part of Christ’s church too. Not the best part, mind you, but I don’t expect to see them in hell. I hope I’m the only one there.

    He comes here with a message for reformed Christians, that we need to be more loving. It’s hard to argue with that.

    Now he should take back that statement about hoping to be in Hell. I’m not sure why TVD said that back in the day, and whether he still holds it.

    If I were you, since he is talking to you, try to find out if he goes to church, and if he does not, encourage him to. That is, afterall, the point of my Golf and Theology post, you can click on my name if you or anyone wants to read it again.

    Mortification of Spin also had a good podcast today stressing the importance of having a high view of the church.

    Grace and peace.

    Like

  117. Greg:
    The existence of some dusty dogma written somewhere ….>>>>

    You mean the Trinity and the Incarnation? How about the deity of Christ? The canon of Scripture that Jesus, the Apostles, and the early Church used? The Virgin Birth of Christ? Christ’s death for the sins of the world? Christ’s bodily resurrection? The Real Presence in the Eucharist? How about the Summa?

    Move it up to more contemporary setting. Humanae vitae? Then there are concepts almost lost among Protestants, even conservative ones, like truth, beauty, and goodness.

    What about the Beatitudes and forgiving one’s enemies with no strings attached? …and love for all mankind.

    What dusty dogmas are you talking about?

    Like

  118. Greg The Terrible
    Posted May 6, 2015 at 6:53 pm | Permalink
    TVD says: “Nice try, but arguing the exception against the rule is unhelpful, Mr. Turrible. Address the 99 first, for that is the argument.”
    Look friend. ANY exceptions to your kind of rule are fatal. Not so with us.

    Yes, that’s the way you stack the deck, a double standard. But as long as churches are full of men, there will be imperfections. As long as y’all insist on ignoring Catholicism’s explicit acknowledgement of that*, ’tis you who are arguing against a straw man.

    TVD says: “As for the Catholic argument, its “grand claim” of the Holy Spirit’s guidance of the magisterium is precisely why there aren’t 100s or 1000s of denominations as there are in the theological Babel that is “Protestantism.” It is why it has survived intact while there is scarcely a sect of Protestantism has not splintered in dozens of subsets.”

    That’s true.

    INTACT HE SAYS LOL!!!! 😀

    Capital letters and “LOL” is not principled discussion, O Warrior Child. Indeed, it is an admission of incompetence. And yes, by any visible metric, the Catholic Church is intact, for 1500 years even if the Constantine argument is stipulated [which it is not], and 2000 by its own reckoning.

    By contrast, a miniscule church founded in the 1930s cannot even successfully lay claim to Presbyterianism, let alone Christianity itself.

    This is the problem when every man is his own pope. Heresy and schism are structural inevitabilities.
    ____________________
    *”The theologian Juan Cardinal De Torquemada O.P. († 1468) expressly related that Bible passage to the duty to resist a wayward pontiff.”

    “Although it clearly follows from the circumstances that the Pope can err at times, and command things which must not be done, that we are not to be simply obedient to him in all things, that does not show that he must not be obeyed by all when his commands are good. To know in what cases he is to be obeyed and in what not, it is said in the Acts of the Apostles: ‘One ought to obey God rather than man’; therefore, were the Pope to command anything against Holy Scripture, or the articles of faith, or the truth of the Sacraments, or the commands of the natural or divine law, he ought not to be obeyed, but in such commands, to be passed over.” (Summa de Ecclesia)

    &c.

    http://romancatholicism.org/duty-resist.html

    Like

  119. Capital letters and “LOL” is not principled discussion, O Warrior Child.

    TVD, no, Greg is not of us. He is out to change us, the warrior children, just like you and webfoot are. Do keep at it, we’re pretty stubborn and set in our ways. You might be at this whole thing for quite a while, buckle up, in other words.

    By the way, I’m not one to talk, but do try to limit your comments to three per day, per post, please. We can only take so much of the love your bring into our comment boxes 😉

    Now.

    Who
    is
    next?

    Yo.

    Like

  120. a miniscule church founded in the 1930s cannot even successfully lay claim to Presbyterianism, let alone Christianity itself.

    That’s not how wiki describes us:

    The Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) is a confessional Presbyterian denomination located primarily in the United States. It was founded by conservative members of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PCUSA) who strongly objected to the pervasive Modernist theology during the 1930s (see Fundamentalist–Modernist Controversy). It has had an influence on evangelicalism far beyond its size

    And that bolded sentence explains why you, Greg, and so many others can’t get enough of this website.

    And also explains PCA pastor Dr. Ligon Duncan’s comment at our last GA:

    J. Ligon Duncan, chancellor of Reformed Theological Seminary and the fraternal delegate from the PCA, said of the relatively small OPC that she is seen as a church that “punches above its weight.”

    TVD: Love the OPC, yo.

    Like

  121. @ TVD: I’m not impressed by the no-schism argument. To maintain a formal unity while tolerating a host of divergent opinions might technically be “lack of schism”, but it is also “lack of discipline.”

    If your church actually showed the unity of the Sprit in the bond of peace, then that would be something.

    A man and a woman married one another, but quickly grew to dislike each other. Being of the mind that divorce was an unforgiveable sin, they partitioned off the house, and each kept to his or her own half.

    On their tombstones was written, “At least we didn’t divorce.”

    Like

  122. Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 6, 2015 at 9:47 pm | Permalink
    @ TVD: I’m not impressed by the no-schism argument. To maintain a formal unity while tolerating a host of divergent opinions might technically be “lack of schism”, but it is also “lack of discipline.”

    If your church actually showed the unity of the Sprit in the bond of peace, then that would be something.

    God doesn’t even give us definitive proof of His existence, and you demand that the Catholic Church show a theological unity unknown in human history–one certainly not shown in the early church which you hold as your standard of the “true” church!

    Gnosticism
    Donatism
    Manichaeism
    Monophysitism
    Arianism
    &c.
    &c.

    And of course, you have no answer atall for the failure of the Reformation to ‘correct’ the errors of the Church. Rather than reform, it spawned heresies and schisms exponentially, far beyond the imaginations of Luther and Melanchthon, Calvin and Beza: Not one catholic church, but uncounted 1000s of ’em.

    Like

  123. And of course, you have no answer atall for the failure of the Reformation to ‘correct’ the errors of the Church. Rather than reform, it spawned heresies and schisms exponentially, far beyond the imaginations of Luther and Melanchthon, Calvin and Beza: Not one catholic church, but uncounted 1000s of ‘em.

    Blah blah blah

    AB

    Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    every christian has the right and responsibility to read the bible for themselves. and they have the right to interpret it for themselves. now that was heard by rome, as witnessed in the 4th session of trent that the protestants were giving license to the rank and file church member, not only to read the bible for themselves but to distort it at will. and of course the reformers were horrified at that idea. they said every christian has the right to interpret the bible for themselves, but no christian has the right to misinterpret it. or to distort it. according to their own whims or thier own prejudices…

    when luther talked about giving the bible to the laity, the church said, “if you do that, that will open up a floodgate of iniquity. because people will start creating all kinds of horrible distortions. which is exactly what happened. but luther said, “if that is the case, and if a floodgate of iniquity is opened by opening the pages of the bible to people..

    so

    be

    it.

    https://oldlife.org/2015/04/which-call/comment-page-2/#comment-318421

    Next

    Like

  124. TVD says: “God doesn’t even give us definitive proof of His existence,”
    See this Jeff? How is this really any different than what sdb and Sean were saying in the other thread. No need to answer here. I’m just pointing it out.

    You marriage analogy was brilliant btw.

    Like

  125. TVD: God doesn’t even give us definitive proof of His existence, and you demand that the Catholic Church show a theological unity unknown in human history

    I do, because the Catholic church makes a claim unknown in the pages of the Bible: that a man can be the head of Christ’s church. You want to be in charge, you own the broken pottery.

    TVD: one certainly not shown in the early church which you hold as your standard of the “true” church!

    Do I? Cite, please.

    TVD: And of course, you have no answer atall for the failure of the Reformation to ‘correct’ the errors of the Church.

    Already asked and answered.

    You’re swinging wildly again.

    Like

  126. Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 7, 2015 at 12:09 am | Permalink
    TVD: God doesn’t even give us definitive proof of His existence, and you demand that the Catholic Church show a theological unity unknown in human history

    I do, because the Catholic church makes a claim unknown in the pages of the Bible: that a man can be the head of Christ’s church. You want to be in charge, you own the broken pottery.

    You didn’t read the link. Aquinas points out that Peter was wrong and Paul corrected him. You and Darryl’s other surrogates keep saying the same thing over and over but that doesn’t make it true.

    Your religion seems to depend on it, so I suppose I don’t blame you.

    TVD: one certainly not shown in the early church which you hold as your standard of the “true” church!

    Do I? Cite, please.

    Then what is the “true” church? As far as I know, according to the Reformation, the ‘true” church stopped being true circa Constantine. I don’t mind holding up your end of the conversation, but you gotta help me out when I do.

    “Cite, please” is unhelpful. If I stated your position unfairly, just clarify.

    Like

  127. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 6, 2015 at 7:24 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, what next, the OPC and Terry Gray?

    http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/humans-opc.htm

    Oh my, Butch, if your liberal pals who pat you on the head for savaging the Religious Right ever knew that your church put a scientist on trial over evolution in the 21st century, they’d laugh you out of public life.

    I’m surprised you brought it up in an attempt to embarrass me. The embarrassment is not mine.

    Did you agree with what they did to Dr. Terry Gray? If not, did you stand up for him?

    Like

  128. @tvd article 34 of the Belgic conf and chapter 25 of the westminster conf both point out the church is always a mix of truth and error but never ceased (or will cease) to exist.

    Like

  129. vd, t, I sure do hope that all the conservatives with whom you associate don’t find out that your church agrees with the OPC about Terry Gray:

    36. For these reasons the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter – for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. However, this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the dogmas of faith.[11] Some however, rashly transgress this liberty of discussion, when they act as if the origin of the human body from pre-existing and living matter were already completely certain and proved by the facts which have been discovered up to now and by reasoning on those facts, and as if there were nothing in the sources of divine revelation which demands the greatest moderation and caution in this question.

    37. When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.[12]

    Do you agree with your universal bishop? Or are you just another Protestant who can’t be honest about his disloyalty to the pope?

    Terry Gray held this:

    I’m really a progressive creationist when it comes to the origin of man. My position has been that God used a hominid body and then by a miraculous special creative act created a human being, body and soul, from that pre-existing hominid. This is the position that was soundly rejected by the OPC General Assembly. In other words, since I did not adopt a positon of “immediate” creation of the body of Adam from literal dust of the ground (ordinary dirt), my view is contrary to Genesis 2:7 and the Larger Catechism Question 17.

    Pius XII says you don’t have liberty to affirm “the origin of the human body from pre-existing and living matter.”

    Your objection is what?

    Like

  130. How is luther et al. leaving and purportedly spawning 30,000 micro denominations (mostly with orthodox Christology and in communion with one another) worse than the RCC that is spawning millions of nanodenominations today?

    Like

  131. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 7, 2015 at 6:58 am | Permalink
    vd, t, I sure do hope that all the conservatives with whom you associate don’t find out that your church agrees with the OPC about Terry Gray:

    Butch, your liberal pals would laugh you out of the room if they knew your church put a scientist on trial over evolution in the 21st century. Or did you get Terry’s back over this travesty?

    Gray: In other words, since I did not adopt a position of “immediate” creation of the body of Adam from literal dust of the ground (ordinary dirt), my view is contrary to Genesis 2:7 and the Larger Catechism Question 17.

    Like

  132. Butch, your liberal pals would laugh you out of the room if they knew your church put a scientist on trial over evolution in the 21st century. Or did you get Terry’s back over this travesty?

    Complete poppycock and you know it.

    There are competing claims between atheistic evolution (naturalism) and theism.

    http://www.amazon.com/Where-Conflict-Really-Lies-Naturalism/dp/0199812098

    This book is a long-awaited major statement by a pre-eminent analytic philosopher, Alvin Plantinga, on one of our biggest debates — the compatibility of science and religion. The last twenty years has seen a cottage industry of books on this divide, but with little consensus emerging. Plantinga, as a top philosopher but also a proponent of the rationality of religious belief, has a unique contribution to make. His theme in this short book is that the conflict between science and theistic religion is actually superficial, and that at a deeper level they are in concord.

    Plantinga examines where this conflict is supposed to exist — evolution, evolutionary psychology, analysis of scripture, scientific study of religion — as well as claims by Dan Dennett, Richard Dawkins, and Philip Kitcher that evolution and theistic belief cannot co-exist. Plantinga makes a case that their arguments are not only inconclusive but that the supposed conflicts themselves are superficial, due to the methodological naturalism used by science. On the other hand, science can actually offer support to theistic doctrines, and Plantinga uses the notion of biological and cosmological “fine-tuning” in support of this idea. Plantinga argues that we might think about arguments in science and religion in a new way — as different forms of discourse that try to persuade people to look at questions from a perspective such that they can see that something is true. In this way, there is a deep and massive consonance between theism and the scientific enterprise.

    My liberal friends sense the tesniom between science and theism. Of course, there is logical concord, but the first/last adam discussion requires a historical Adam.

    You’re just hoping T.Gray is lurking and chimes in, admit it.

    Keep it up, young padawan. You’ll get it someday. One more comment forthcoming.

    Like

  133. Thank my better half for provoking this response from galactic HQ (read OPC Headquarters)(I’ve been doing this for years, TVD will be asking the same questions in 10 years(thanks DGH for the RCC references on science(what is TVD doing up so early?)))(who’s next?)

    Question and Answer
    Can special revelation contradict general revelation in geology?

    Question:

    Can special revelation contradict general revelation? As a geologist I am struck by God’s majesty seen in the history of the earth. It is impossible for the earth to only be thousands of years old especially in light of the geological revolution of the late seventies. Genesis 1 was written to convey God’s power to all believers throughout time and not for scientific purposes. Would this mean the young earth creationist is in grievous error, as it is a great offense to our Creator when Christians bypass his intricate handiwork clearly seen through geology?

    Answer:

    Thanks so much for your question to Q&A.

    As you may know, the question of the age of the earth is hotly debated in Reformed and Presbyterian circles. Often more heat than light is brought to the subject because of people’s unwillingness to listen to one another. Some young earth creationists paint those who hold the earth is very old as liberals who deny the authority and perspicuity (clarity) of Scripture. Likewise, some who hold that the earth is very old treat young earth creationists as scientific neanderthals (pun intended) who simply need to get with the program and accept the obvious. Both attitudes lack charity and do nothing to further the cause of Christ and his gospel. Dialogue, then, regarding this subject must be done with humility, realizing that we are utterly dependent upon God for any knowledge we have about his creation. Now, to your question.

    You ask if special revelation can contradict general revelation. The short answer is “no.” Since truth is an attribute of God and he is the source of all truth (both in general and special revelation) contradiction in truth is impossible. It is our finiteness and fallibility which often contribute to seeing contradictions when in fact there are none. Sometimes those supposed contradictions are even the cause of sinful presuppositions about the existence (or lack thereof) of God and an unwillingness to interpret the evidence in submission to him.

    With this in mind, you say that “it is impossible for the earth to only be thousands of years old, especially in light of the geological revolution of the late seventies.” I think it helps us to point out that the very existence of a geological revolution at all points to the finiteness and changeability of science. This should, at the least, cause us to hold our views of the age of the earthly very loosely in our hands, noting that science is done by humans who by no means are infallible in their methodologies or observations. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn shattered our preconceived notions that the hard sciences are as hard as we believe them to be. Rather, they regularly undergo paradigm shifts to account for ever-emerging data. With this understood, we need to see the question regarding the age of the earth as a legitimately debatable topic, and young earth scientists should not be so easily dismissed out of hand.

    Finally, though godly men and women might disagree on the age of the earth there are certain tenets to which they should hold. These are, among other things:

    Creation ex nihilo (out of nothing)
    The special creation of Adam
    The sufficiency and clarity of Scripture
    The historicity of the creation account
    The priority of Scripture in the relationship between special and general revelation
    For a further discussion of these things I would simply point you to the Report of the Committee to Study the Views of Creation presented at the 71st General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. You can find this at the following address:
    http://opc.org/qa.html?question_id=460

    Like

  134. Terry, like all of us out here, has a blog:

    Admittedly, these are difficult questions. I have had my own trials with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church prior to my joining the CRC. See this long after-the-fact-reflection on that experience. This is not to say that there are not continued struggles. But the gist of the Dan Harlow and John Schneider controversy at Calvin College and in the church has little to do with science. The CRC has not put up barriers to studying, teaching, researching, accepting science. Harlow and Schneider are theologians (not scientists) and were proposing significant changes in the church’s theological formulations–largely unnecessary given the CRC’s attitude toward the science.

    Dr. Gray is the one guy I can discuss my astrobiology interests with out here, I always enjoy when he shows up. I need to post this to my blog:

    http://www%5Bdot%5Dpbs%5Bdot%5Dorg/wgbh/nova/space/alien-planets-revealed.html

    Erik Charter chimes in well (Hi EC!)

    http://literatecomments%5Bdot%5Dcom/2015/05/07/d-g-hart-throws-terry-gray-back-at-catholic-apologist-tom-van-dyke/

    http://literatecomments%5Bdot%5Dcom/2015/05/07/the-shift-from-annoying-gadfly-to-full-blown-annoying-catholic-apologist-aint-no-picnic/

    There we go, the convos are preserved, DG, you can proceed to delete EC’s trackbacks 😎

    Next.

    [3]

    Like

  135. vd, t, it wasn’t the 21st century but the same one when your pope declared that Adam did not descend from pre-existing creatures. Imagine how funny your pals think it is that you confuse 1996 with this century. Flail away but watch out not to entangle the mullet.

    Like

  136. I’m still waiting for an explanation from Tom as to why, if Rome is the true church with the superior way, he doesn’t go to mass. Is it better than the Presbyterians but not good enough for him? Hubris, anyone?

    Like

  137. The title of this post is Which Call? In it, D.G. Hart shows that there are different competing factions within the Catholic Church, especially here in the US. Progressives have taken over the leadership of many Catholic institutions. Where just 50 years ago conservative Catholics controlled schools like Notre Dame, now the left is in power.

    What is the Church going to do about it? What are they doing about it? What would Protestants do about a similar takeover by the left in their institutions?

    The OPC has given us an answer in part as to what Protestants do about such internal divisions. In many ways, I admire the work of J. Gresham Machen. He stood for the truth of the Gospel while much of Presbyterianism was apostatizing. All of us who grew up in fundamentalist kinds of churches during the last half of the 20th Century were influenced by him, even if we didn’t know his name.

    At one point in my life I memorized his little beginning Greek grammar. It was the standard text for all students of NT Greek at one time. I loved that little book, and still have my copy of it.

    He stood strong for truth in a difficult time. So, I never forget a favor. I never forget someone who has helped me along the way, even though I did not know him personally.

    However, the methodology of Protestantism is flawed it seems to me. It is impossible to defend Biblically the divisiveness of Protestantism. The only thing like it is the division of the tribes of Israel, and that was because of God’s judgment on Israel.

    So, how can the divisions within Protestantism be seen as anything but God’s judgment? I get the anti-Catholicism of Protestantism. I no longer agree with it, but I get it. It is part of what Protestants of all kinds do.

    It is the infighting and constant attacks against other Protestant groups that I don’t get. It is not just the attacks and infighting, since as you know, there are similar things within Catholicism.

    My concern has to do with what Protestants do in relation to the infighting that I see as problematic. Like it or not, it boils down to people choosing sides and going off with one leader, or a group of leaders to form a new church. The leadership of that new local church becomes the teaching authority for that church. People quote him, or her. They follow that person, until that person fails and people head off to other churches, or just stay home and watch TV church.

    The method of growth for Protestants is division. Chaos reigns. In a way that is part of the free market of ideas, even of religious ideas. Yes, in spite of the chaos, there are people who come to Christ somehow, proving that salvation is indeed of the Lord.

    Doesn’t Jesus call us to a different way of doing things, though? Doesn’t Jesus’ High Priestly prayer in John 17 give a different picture of what His Church is supposed to be like? Then there is Ephesians 4 and other NT texts.

    You may disagree, but Catholicism in her dogmas and ideals is much more in line with what Jesus calls us to. Does she live up to them? No. Does she need to give them up? No. One Holy Apostolic Church, the body of Christ, is still the goal. To be like Christ. Is Christ divided?

    Protestantism values division. It is considered to be an honorable thing for a group of Christians to separate from other groups of Christians in order to protect doctrinal purity. I just don’t agree with that methodology anymore. Not sure that multiplication by division is all that Christlike.

    Like

  138. It is impossible to defend Biblically the divisiveness of Protestantism

    I stopped reading there.

    <blockquote cite=""<For there must be factions among you in order tthat those who are genuine among you may be recognized. 1 cor11:19

    Ecumenicity is important, but purity more so.

    See our committee for further info on our ecumenical efforts.
    http://opc.org/icr.html

    Like

  139. Mrs. Webfoot,

    So, how can the divisions within Protestantism be seen as anything but God’s judgment?

    Let’s take a situation like the OPC’s break from the northern Presbyterian church (I’m not OPC, BTW). Maybe that is God’s judgment—on the northern Presbyterian church of the day.

    I’m PCA. The PCA split from the southern church at a different time. Perhaps that judgment is against the southern Pres. church.

    As to why the PCA and OPC haven’t merged into one ecclesiastical structure, maybe that’s judgment, I don’t know. Maybe its more a consequence of adiaphora cultural differences. The PCA and OPC have full fraternal relations. They share a common confession. Is having the same home office THAT important? Why is one big tent church that includes as full communing members Mother Teresa and Nancy Pelosi truer to Jesus’ call for unity than two separate structures where believers in each believe more or less the same things? Maybe it’s a sin for the two churches not to be together. Why isn’t it a sin to embrace people who love abortion and people who hate it?

    And why is it never God’s judgment on Rome that the East broke away? Why isn’t the Reformation God’s judgment on the papacy? Because Rome says so? That seems to be the only answer possible from Rome’s perspective.

    Like

  140. Robert,

    Good points.

    I like how DGH says Christ did not necessarily mean institutional unity in John 17, and we don’t see that in the Bible anyway. The OPC and PCA don’t need to merge, in other words, although we may. Maybe once TKNY is no longer a pastor 😉

    Webfoot is just the latest to claim understanding of the reformed view, only to show she has more learning to do.

    It’s ok. We are here to serve, comments open.

    Like

  141. If you click that Heidelcast, start around the 9:00 time stamp, DGH:

    I’m not sure organizational unity is what Christ had in mind when he talked about and prayed for unity in the church

    What more needs to be said?

    Like

  142. TVD says: “yes, by any visible metric, the Catholic Church is intact, for 1500 years…”
    See, y’all do the same thing with your church that you do with the scriptures. You concoct and contrive utterly forced and untenable non reality and sling it at people as if it were true because that’s what you want to be true. Somebody points out that your church’s theology is wholly incompatible;e with the Christian scriptures and the answer is: “Well you’re not authorized to interpret it, so it says whatever we say it does” (in essence).

    Likewise, when somebody pushes your face into the fact that the pew dwellers in your church yawn dismissively and couldn’t give one flyin fart what your magesterium or pope or canon law and canon lawyers say about ANY freakin thing whatsoever, and the answer is: “by any visible metric, the Catholic Church is intact”. Jeff’s marriage analogy is right on. When someone is willing to believe that it is not raining outside no matter how much water is falling out of the sky, how is a dialog even possible?

    TVD says: “This is the problem when every man is his own pope. Heresy and schism are structural inevitabilities.”
    In your church when every man is his own pope (and woman her own popette) it has no effect on anything whatsoever. Everything goes on the same and folks just smile and say “by any visible metric, the Catholic Church is intact”. I ask again. Tell us about the defacto anathema and it’s relation to 1 Cor. 5 please. That’s how this everybody is in flagrant unrepentant mortal sin, but nobody notices thing has been explained to me.Tell the folks her about the “defacto anathema”. Come on they’ll get a real charge outta hearin you say it. You’re not ashamed of your churches teaching are you?

    Mrs. Webfoot. You’re a nice lady and I’d hoped to continue with you at Erik’s place before he… oh…never mind. You missed my point though. Your church has mountains of moral dogma that serves no more practical purpose than to occupy shelf and disk space. It is brought to bear on Nobody. EVER.

    Like

  143. Mrs. Webfoot, the game is rigged as it is with almost all converts. You only see what’s bad on our side. You fled it. You need to justify yourself.

    But you may be so caught up in justifying your flight that you refuse to see the divisiveness of the contemporary Roman Catholic church. From disputes over the upcoming green encyclical and what the German bishops have just determined about employees of the church, to Archbp Finn in Kansas City still ordaining priests, there is plenty of divine judgment on Rome but you don’t see it that way. Why? Because you deny certain realities about your church. Isn’t honesty a mark of being a Christian?

    As for divisiveness, how unifying was it for you to leave your Protestant church? But do I call your departure from Protestantism an instance of God’s judgment? Do I even presume to know what God intends by certain developments in history?

    Bottom line: it’s hard to take you seriously when you, unlike folks such as Boniface at Unam Sanctum or Ross Douthat or Michael Sean Winters, don’t ever lament the deficiencies in your own communion. Your church claimed to be the perfect society once upon a time. Now it’s just like — oh well, we’re all imperfect. God isn’t finished with me yet. Gee golly whiz.

    Have a brain. Have a brain on reality.

    Like

  144. AB, I accept the idea of unity as not necessarily being organizational unity. In fact, The Catholic Church also accepts that all who belong to Christ are part of the Church no matter what denomination as long as it practices baptism in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Of course, our Mother wants us to come Home. Protestants want us to leave our Mother.

    ——————————
    Greg, I am nice. 🙂 I disagree that the Church’s dogma has never served any practical purpose. It’s not magic. A person has to work at holiness. Besides, you didn’t just say that Mother Teresa was not a godly woman, did you?
    ——————————-
    Jeff, your marriage analogy fails. God hates divorce. There are always other options besides living as enemies under the same roof. Children hate divorce as well.
    ——————————
    Robert, your comment to Tom makes no sense. So, because Tom does not attend Mass, the Catholic Church is what?

    I would not disagree with you that all divisions in the Church are a kind of judgment. Protestants continue to heap judgment on themselves by the constant infighting and divisions. For the sake of argument, I will say that the unity does not have to be organizational. Fine. It’s not even there in spirit or Spirit between most Protestant groups.

    There are some exceptions. Today I will go to an Assemblies of God Church for an interdenominational prayer service. Not sure if other Catholics will go or not. However, my Church does not prohibit me from going.

    How many members of the OPC or even PCA will be there or in other events of the kind? I don’t know. Would you go, Robert, and pray with Pentecostals even if there is no organizational entanglement beyond a prayer service?

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  145. Protestants want us to leave our Mother.

    No, webfoot, that’s not the position of protestants (the majority? some? maybe, but that’s not a position).

    I don’t hold that position. I would prefer you stay and be an agent of reform for your church, so keep learning from us, go back, and teach them about what you learn of us here. We’re not all that bad, right?

    Remember, this is primarily about the website “called to communion.” Now, the main blogger Bryan Cross has changed his tune (maybe to sync up with his pope) that his site is not about converting protestants. But make no mistake – he is a propoganda machine, and will stop and nothing to promote his version of christianity. Therefore, Darryl has no choice but to post here and provide the correcting view. It’s been going on a while, CTC vs. OLTS. Buckle your seatbelt, we’ve got a long way to go.

    Erik, weighs in does well as usual.

    Like

  146. Mrs. Webfoot,

    Robert, your comment to Tom makes no sense. So, because Tom does not attend Mass, the Catholic Church is what?

    You may not know Tom’s history. Tom is a RC who doesn’t go to mass and keeps on extolling the superiority of the Roman Church. My comment is more along the lines as to how convincing his argument for the RC church is if even he doesn’t buy it because you aren’t going to find him there on Sunday. Whether or not Rome is true is a separate issue. That’s all.

    I would not disagree with you that all divisions in the Church are a kind of judgment. Protestants continue to heap judgment on themselves by the constant infighting and divisions. For the sake of argument, I will say that the unity does not have to be organizational. Fine. It’s not even there in spirit or Spirit between most Protestant groups.

    Ah, but here is where I disagree. I’ve spent my whole life in the Protestant church. For the most part and for better or worse, one can move rather easily from being a Baptist to a Presbyterian to a Lutheran. I could go have communion at most Protestant churches. Canon law says I shouldn’t be allowed to the Eucharist. It’s not ever applied, but it’s there.

    In my own hometown, there are various lay renewal movements where Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, etc. come together for weekend retreats. They’re actually modeled on the RC Cursillo movement. I would have some reservations about those retreats today, not because of the retreats themselves but because of the somewhat weak theology that they can inadvertently support. Regardless, they’re evidence of a strong desire on the part of Protestants to be one in the Spirit.

    There are some exceptions. Today I will go to an Assemblies of God Church for an interdenominational prayer service. Not sure if other Catholics will go or not. However, my Church does not prohibit me from going.

    The issue is whether Rome is being true to herself historically in allowing this. Prior to V2, we were anathema and not true churches. On paper, we’re still not true churches, so why is Rome allowing interdenominational prayer. It gets even worse when Pope JPII kisses Qur’ans and Francis prays alongside Muslims as if we all worship the same God.

    How many members of the OPC or even PCA will be there or in other events of the kind? I don’t know.

    I don’t either. I do know that in my presbytery, people would be willing to go to an interdenominational Protestant prayer service.

    Would you go, Robert, and pray with Pentecostals even if there is no organizational entanglement beyond a prayer service?

    Personally, yes, unless they were Jesus-only Pentecostals.

    I appreciate much of your sentiments in what you wrote about unity, Mrs. Webfoot, but you do know that for Rome there is no unity without organizational unity, right?

    Like

  147. Mrs. Webfoot: Jeff, your marriage analogy fails. God hates divorce. There are always other options besides living as enemies under the same roof. Children hate divorce as well.

    You missed the point of the analogy. Of course God hates divorce, and of course there are other options — which should be pursued.

    In the analogy, the couple pursues none of those options, yet is still proud of their formal lack of divorce.

    In our case: Schism is bad, and there are other options. So we can ding the Protestants for schisming. Done. My wrist is slapped.

    But now, why are Catholics so proud of their formal lack of schism, when they have no real unity?

    Why are you (and TVD especially) boastful that the magisterium prevents schism, when having a magisterium does nothing about the root sin behind schism, which is defection from the truth?

    Like

  148. This is my Catholic guy. Plenty of course to disagree with here, but you guys simply must watch this all the way through. I respect this man.

    Like

  149. How many members of the OPC or even PCA will be there or in other events of the kind? I don’t know. Would you go, Robert, and pray with Pentecostals even if there is no organizational entanglement beyond a prayer service?

    Sounds like PromiseKeepers or just about any other parachurch evangelical ministry that more or less accepts all comers. If they serve communion will you partake? The table is open to all who profess Christ and are a baptized member of a church.

    Like

  150. Speaking of triumphalist Catholic converts… Here is a great interview with Damon Linker (a former editor of FirstThings).

    Unlike my friend Rod Dreher, who left Catholicism for Eastern Orthodoxy in aftermath of the sex-abuse scandal, I stayed put. I slowly returned to the church over the next few years, and we eventually resolved to raise our kids in the church as well — though it’s been a challenge at times. Neuhaus liked to say that the Catholic Church is “the Church of Jesus Christ most fully and rightly ordered through time.” That sounds nice, doesn’t it? I can’t even begin to imagine how someone could believe that.

    The whole interview is worth reading…

    Like

  151. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 7, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink
    vd, t, it wasn’t the 21st century but the same one when your pope declared that Adam did not descend from pre-existing creatures. Imagine how funny your pals think it is that you confuse 1996 with this century. Flail away but watch out not to entangle the mullet.

    So I take it you stood by and watch the lynching of Terry Gray over evolution, then. Nice.

    And you seem to be the one with the problem telling this century form the last, Butch.

    Like

  152. Greg The Terrible
    Posted May 7, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink
    TVD says: “yes, by any visible metric, the Catholic Church is intact, for 1500 years…”
    See, y’all do the same thing with your church that you do with the scriptures. You concoct and contrive utterly forced and untenable non reality and sling it at people as if it were true because that’s what you want to be true. Somebody points out that your church’s theology is wholly incompatible;e with the Christian scriptures and the answer is: “Well you’re not authorized to interpret it, so it says whatever we say it does” (in essence).

    Likewise, when somebody pushes your face into the fact that the pew dwellers in your church yawn dismissively and couldn’t give one flyin fart what your magesterium or pope or canon law and canon lawyers say about ANY freakin thing whatsoever, and the answer is: “by any visible metric, the Catholic Church is intact”. Jeff’s marriage analogy is right on. When someone is willing to believe that it is not raining outside no matter how much water is falling out of the sky, how is a dialog even possible?

    TVD says: “This is the problem when every man is his own pope. Heresy and schism are structural inevitabilities.”

    In your church when every man is his own pope (and woman her own popette) it has no effect on anything whatsoever.

    Yes, the Catholic Church is intact, unlike Presbyterianism, which is a bloody mess. And yes, it and the existence of 1000s of Protestant sects is directly attributable to every man being his own pope.

    Unless you have an alternate explanation for the mess.

    Like

  153. Alt explanation? Freedom of religion + leisure time+multiculturalism+entrepreneurialism explains why sects who move here divide. RC isn’t intact…millions have left to form own denomination of “spiritual but not religious”.

    Like

  154. sdb
    Posted May 7, 2015 at 8:42 pm | Permalink
    Alt explanation? Freedom of religion + leisure time+multiculturalism+entrepreneurialism explains why sects who move here divide. RC isn’t intact…millions have left to form own denomination of “spiritual but not religious”.

    That’s not a denomination. Nice try, though. Basically Christianity comes down to the Catholics and the not-Catholics, the latter being a theological Babel.

    We return to the original contention:

    For instance, the folks at Notre Dame recognize diversity in the church. Bryan and the Jasons only see unity as the “real” condition of their communion.

    Quite right. “Diversity” is for Protestants, and Lord, are they.

    Like

  155. sdb, they are no longer Catholic or Christian. The ones you are talking about left Christianity. The Church is still Christian, and that is what bothered them.

    How do Protestants divide? They form factions around one teacher or a group of teachers or a non-essential doctrine and split with their leader who becomes their new spokesperson. Anyone who has been in Evangelicalism and or Protestantism for very long has seen this happen numerous times. Sometimes splits happen over important issues, but most of the time not.

    Tom is right. The Catholic Church is still Catholic. The Pope is still Catholic. She is quite intact if you care to take a closer look at what she is really saying.

    Like

  156. M Web., you’re almost as obtuse as vd, t. Don’t answer a criticism. Just stay on anti-Protestant message. Beware, though. Vd, t is not exactly your best kind of fellow believer. He rarely goes to Mass, likes David Barton, and thinks the American founding was Calvinist. You’re in for a ride with the vd.

    And here is how Roman Catholics divide — they ignore the ones their supposed to obey:

    How do U.S. Catholics view same-sex marriage?

    As of 2012, about half of U.S. Catholics support same-sex marriage. This level of support has increased over the past decade, rising from 40% in favor in 2001.

    How do U.S. Catholics view abortion?

    Half of U.S. Catholics overall (51%) say that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 44% say it should be illegal in all or most cases. Among white Catholics, 54% say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. By contrast, among Hispanic Catholics, 53% say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. In the general public, 54% say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 39% say it should be illegal in all or most cases.

    How do U.S. Catholics view contraception?

    Just 15% of U.S. Catholics say that using contraceptives is morally wrong. Greater percentages say contraception is either morally acceptable (41%) or not a moral issue (36%). Catholics who attend Mass at least once a week are more evenly split. About three-in-ten say using contraceptives is morally wrong (27%). Similar percentages say it is morally acceptable (33%) or not a moral issue (30%).

    Please don’t fall into the trap that Boniface spots and become one of THOSE Roman Catholics:

    Ultimately, the neo-Cath strategy is to insist loudly that certain things can never be changed so long as the current Pontiff does not want to change them; then, when the “policy” changes with another pontiff, suggest just as loudly that such matters were never immune from change to begin with.

    Like

  157. https://oldlife.org/2014/10/dont-stop-believin/comment-page-1/#comments

    Heh. Ibid.

    Bryan Cross
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Permalink
    Darryl,

    I for one cannot understand how Roman Catholicism’s defenders (whether liberal or conservative) can continue to claim superiority.

    That’s because, apparently, your only or primary measure of “superiority” is the percentage of members of an institution who conform fully to an institution’s formal teaching. Who that institution was founded by, or whether that institution is in schism from the institution founded by Christ, are not even on your conceptual radar as measurements of its “superiority.” Throughout Church history, rigorists (e.g. Tertullian-as-Montanist, Donatists, etc.) have measured the Church as you do. If you want at least to *understand* (which you say you presently cannot do) the Catholic position, even while disagreeing with it, you first have to learn how Catholics understand the marks of the Church, which is very different from the way Protestants such as yourself conceive of the marks of the Church.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

    Like

  158. Dr. Hart says: “Ultimately, the neo-Cath strategy is to insist loudly that certain things can never be changed so long as the current Pontiff does not want to change them; then, when the “policy” changes with another pontiff, suggest just as loudly that such matters were never immune from change to begin with.
    THIS is exactly right. Another horribly bad trick is when they try to explain how things didn’t REALLY change anyway.

    The sedevacantists have a real point. The church of Trent is not the same church that emerged from Vat. II. Not by historic RCC standards. Extra ecclesiam nulla salus was radically revised for instance. I don’t wanna hear nuthin. That “defacto anathema” that I can’t get Tom to talk about was unheard of in historic Catholicism. At least in any form even vaguely resembling what it is today.

    Tom, what you and Dear Mrs Webfoot are not getting is that when you set a standard of unity that goes no deeper than a check mark for Catholic on a questionnaire, that definition is utterly void of actually meaningful content.

    Like

  159. AB:
    For there must be factions among you in order tthat those who are genuine among you may be recognized. 1 cor11:19>>>>>>

    Exactly. Factions among you. Paul is saying that such factions are necessary so the genuine can be recognized.

    I was thinking of the parable of the wheat and the tares as well. They grow together and are separated at the end of the age.

    Same with the sheep and the goats.

    This is about maintaining organizational unity as well as spiritual unity.
    ———————
    Jeff:You missed the point of the analogy. Of course God hates divorce, and of course there are other options — which should be pursued.

    In the analogy, the couple pursues none of those options, yet is still proud of their formal lack of divorce.>>>>>

    The Catholic Church does pursue other options rather than divide. That is part of her secret of success. She tries to keep people in the Church and help them resolve their differences. In fact, she wants people to come home if they have left. That includes unhappy Catholics as well as Protestants who wish to enter the Church.

    She is not like the married couple in your analogy.
    ——————————
    Robert, thanks for your comments. Can’t think of too much to wrangle about, but there is the issue of Communion. The meaning of the Eucharist is so different that Catholics are not supposed to take Communion in other churches, nor are Christians from other churches supposed to partake of the body and blood of Christ. You know why, right?

    There are exceptions.

    —————————-
    Then, what’s all y’all’s obsession with TVD? He makes a lot of sense to me. I don’t get that part. Of course, I know Tom and I am Catholic. That must make a difference. In fact, he told me about this blog. I have been reading some off and on for awhile. You seemed very grumpy. I thought that I’d just jump in and see how it goes.
    —————
    Greg, I looked at the Catholic guy’s video. Yes, he has some legit concerns. He is Catholic, though, so he doesn’t think he has to leave the Church, right? If he attends Mass, he will be in there with everyone, receiving the body and blood of Christ. The Eucharist is still the Eucharist and the Real Presence is still real.

    It is the liturgy that unites us. Don’t know if people get that part since there’s so much focus by you guys on the Pope, which is also a unifying factor.
    —————
    D.G. Hart, interesting stats. Reminds me of Americans who don’t know much about what makes America special. People need to be informed and to inform themselves.

    Some of your insults are kinda’ vulgar. Not sure what’s up with that.
    —————–
    Goodnight

    Like

  160. Greg The Terrible
    Posted May 7, 2015 at 11:11 pm | Permalink
    Dr. Hart says: “Ultimately, the neo-Cath strategy is to insist loudly that certain things can never be changed so long as the current Pontiff does not want to change them; then, when the “policy” changes with another pontiff, suggest just as loudly that such matters were never immune from change to begin with.
    THIS is exactly right. Another horribly bad trick is when they try to explain how things didn’t REALLY change anyway.

    The sedevacantists have a real point. The church of Trent is not the same church that emerged from Vat. II. Not by historic RCC standards.

    Vat2 is nothing next to the Protestant Deformation. The sacraments–the important part–remain unchanged. And your agreement with the opinions of its dissenters [such as the “sedevacantists”] as to what’s the “real” Catholicism has no meaning, any more than your opinion of what the “real” Islam is.

    Tom, what you and Dear Mrs Webfoot are not getting is that when you set a standard of unity that goes no deeper than a check mark for Catholic on a questionnaire, that definition is utterly void of actually meaningful content.

    Actually, the Protestant hermeneutic of mob rule is the one that keeps harping on Catholicism’s dissenters. But the difference is, under mob rule, rather than just dissenting, your dissenters take over your churches.

    Like

  161. Robert,

    Robert, thanks for your comments. Can’t think of too much to wrangle about, but there is the issue of Communion. The meaning of the Eucharist is so different that Catholics are not supposed to take Communion in other churches, nor are Christians from other churches supposed to partake of the body and blood of Christ. You know why, right?

    I know that now. The issue is that it is not enforced. I grew up Lutheran and while I never had any interest in becoming RC, I did not think the Roman church was necessarily devoid of the gospel. When I was in college, I had to do a paper on Roman Catholicism that involved attending mass and interviewing a priest. The interview came before the mass. I met with a wonderfully kind priest, Father Sean, who graciously took the time to answer questions about Roman Catholicism that I had and needed answered for my paper. In any case, he was well aware that I was Protestant and in the course of our conversation learned where I would disagree with key RC tenets. At the end of the interview I asked him if I could take the Eucharist because I had heard that non-RCs were not supposed to take the Eucharist, and he said I could freely partake. So I did.

    Nowadays my understanding of Roman Catholicism is much better, so I would never take the Eucharist. But the fact is I could, and I still could. Rome simply doesn’t enforce its own rules anymore. The best reading of that reality is that Rome is a pastoral failure. The worse, and perhaps more accurate reading is that Rome has changed.

    Darryl’s point here is that if you want to be RC, knock yourself out (though he wouldn’t advise becoming RC). Just don’t talk about Rome’s superiority without being fully honest about Rome’s flaws. Bryan Cross and Called to Communion simply aren’t honest about Rome’s flaws. Whether that is intentional or they’re just so enamored of Rome that they can’t see the flaws is up for debate. But they certainly present Rome as this fully united, never-changing-faith church. History simply doesn’t support that.

    Like

  162. …millions have left to form own denomination of “spiritual but not religious”.

    That’s not a denomination. Nice try, though. Basically Christianity comes down to the Catholics and the not-Catholics, the latter being a theological Babel.

    So you hemorrhage adherents who don’t organize all is well. You hemorage members who organize and stay in communion with one another and its “SCHISMATIC!”

    The EOs (who are not in full communion with Rome) would disagree with your RC/~RC suggestion.

    Like

  163. Mrs. Webf., is you first name Susan?

    Here are a few things to consider about your good friend, vd, t. He doesn’t play nice:

    Today, we are announcing that League contributor Tom Van Dyke will no longer be contributing to the site. Without going into great detail, we believe that the fit is simply not a good one, and that too often Tom’s contributions here have led to controversy, mistrust, and bad feelings overall. Many people have played a role in this ongoing issue, but it is apparent to us that the situation as it stands is simply unsustainable and, in the end, unsalvageable.

    And watch out if Francis contradicts Larry Kudlow.

    Like

  164. TVD says: “Vat2 is nothing next to the Protestant Deformation. “
    Meaning what? That because your division isn’t is bad as ours (which isn’t true at all anyway) you must be right? We are not your standard Tom. You have your own and that’s the point. Your church claims things for herself that no protestant church does. Therefore the standards to which she is being held are much stricter. SHE set those standards. Not us. Are we to be faulted for holding her to them?

    Btw, cutesy, snarky plays on words like “deformation” are a sign of defeat.

    TVD says: “Actually, the Protestant hermeneutic of mob rule is the one that keeps harping on Catholicism’s dissenters. But the difference is, under mob rule, rather than just dissenting, your dissenters take over your churches”.
    Actually, the Roman Catholic practice of mob rule is the one that keeps harping on Protestant dissenters. But the difference is, under RCC mob rule, rather than just leaving or being thrown out, your heretics believe and do whatever they want and are welcomed to stay.

    Look man. Pick a different argument .The unity thing doesn’t pass the side splitting, tearful hilarity test.

    Like

  165. Mrs. Webfoot,

    I’m glad we agree on 1 Cor. 11:19.

    As for Tom, he’s been an OLTS feature for over two years. There’s many examples of good convos with him, I found this one. Take a look at the post and who was commenting. It’s not that different back 2 years ago as it is from today. Look at what sean wrote as well:

    sean
    Posted June 27, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink
    TVD, I never got off the field. I merely changed teams via the sanctity of not violating religious conscience per Vat II esteem of same. The fact is we all are engaged in making a choice whether according to MOC or the perspicuity of sacred text. Both sides claim Holy Spirit leading in each enterprise and both ultimately make faith claims. The fight between us is over apostolic teaching. RC ultimately gives up written apostolic ground by introducing unwritten apostolic tradition and oversight of same through magisterial interpretation-maturation of the deposit. Prots call foul and demand adherence to known original apostolic teaching in order to claim apostolic authority; Gal 1:6-10. RC rebuts by claiming such judgement is according to prot paradigm-sola scriptura and as such is question begging. Prots counter with illegitimacy of RC paradigm per noumenal claims of unwritten tradition and magisterial interpretation and subsequent apostolic authority for same. Ecumenical dialogue halts until both sides respect the delineated bounds.

    RC’s ultimately don’t hold themselves to merely sacred text compliance for form-magisterium or content-theology. RC says to hold this against them is question begging. Prots say you’ve fallen into the same pharisaical trap of the Jews in substituting your man made tradition for the commands of God; Mark 7:6-10.

    There’s all sorts of Vat II, Kungian arguments we could introduce but that’s the rough breakdown. I know my birth mother, thank you very much. But if I was discourteous, I apologize.

    I’m done posting on this thread, really nice to “meet” you here at OLTS, it’s great to find people passionate about the Roman church. It helps inspire us to keep on doing what it is that we reformed protestants do.

    Grace and peace.

    Like

  166. D.G.,

    If I can get whoever tattled to Jason to own up I might pay the $1,000 fine I’ve self-imposed and come back. Short of that I need to remain in exile. I can’t work with turncoats on my own side.

    If they are a man they will just admit it publicly and we can all move forward.

    Like

  167. sdb, they are no longer Catholic or Christian. The ones you are talking about left Christianity. The Church is still Christian, and that is what bothered them.

    That’s not what the polling data (or your church) says. While some who leave reject Christianity outright, many of those who leave the RCC do so saying something along the lines of “I believe in Jesus, but not the institution”. It is rather callous to assume that it is the Christianity that bothers them as opposed to the bishop who threatens them with excommunication for reporting their child’s rapist to the police. There is a reason the RCC is in freefall in Boston, NY, and Ireland and it isn’t the rise of nominalism.

    How do Protestants divide? They form factions around one teacher or a group of teachers or a non-essential doctrine and split with their leader who becomes their new spokesperson. Anyone who has been in Evangelicalism and or Protestantism for very long has seen this happen numerous times. Sometimes splits happen over important issues, but most of the time not.

    Like the Dominicans and Jesuits? Or perhaps you have in mind something like church shopping so common among evangelicals – of course when I was in grad school you had those who landed at little flower for the progressive causes, others at St. Pats for the latin mass, and still others to the basilica for the high church service. Then we have Lefebvre, Maciel, and other various factions around. I know, I know not 30,000 right? But of course that number is highly misleading – you get there by counting the various sects in communion with Rome separately and every independent evangelical church as a separate denomination. In reality there are mainly five branches of protestantism: Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Reformed, and Pentecostal. Each of these has a mixture of truth and error (some more of one than the other), but for the most part they are in communion with one another in the sense that they share the table and confess the same Christology. It is hard to see what is fundamentally different about the split between the OPC, ARP, and PCA versus the Jesuits and Dominicans or the progressive congregation and the trad congregation.

    Tom is right. The Catholic Church is still Catholic. The Pope is still Catholic. She is quite intact if you care to take a closer look at what she is really saying.

    I don’t represent anyone here or speak for anyone but myself. My frustration is not with Rome per se. I spent seven years at ND and greatly valued the experience. I have the utmost respect for a number of RC scholars and public intellectuals even if I ultimately disagree with them on a number of important points. To be sure, in many ways it would be easier for me professionally to swim the Tiber. But I remain unconvinced while respecting much of what the RCC stands for.

    However, I have a very big problem with the triumphalism of ex-prot converts turned aggressive apologists. I find CTC particularly grating. Not because they have some amazing knockdown argument that makes me question anything either. It is the intellectual dishonest of their effort. Perhaps I am particularly sensitive to it based on my time at ND where I saw a number of colleagues follow the evangelical->reformed->RC->agnostic/atheist path. When they did, the conversion to RC almost always resulted from falling for a sales pitch that led to the arrogant triumphalism on display at CTC. The rigidly over intellecualized faith appeals to a lot of folks in the reformed camp suffering from a sort of intellectual “small mans disease”. They think they can assuage their doubt by joining the winning team only to find their expectations crumple in the face of reality. I’m not saying every convert at CTC will end up an atheist, but I’ve seen it an awful lot.

    Rod Dreher has written (and is continuing to write) eloquently about how his arrogance and over intellectualized approach to faith nearly destroyed him when he saw what he saw investigating the abuse scandal (not the despicable priests, but the Bishops and Cardinals who continue to crush those under their care in a quest to save their position). I don’t Susan, KW, Jason, or Bryan so I don’t have much emotionally invested, but I worry about the state of their faith based on my experience with others who have followed similar paths.

    My point (and that of several around here I think, though I don’t speak for them) is not and never has been that the RCC is just as messed up as the Prots therefore protestantism is true. Rather my point is that humility is called for as the sales pitch coming from CTC (adorned with trophies) is not the whole story…be careful. A secondary point is that the case for the motives of credibility are much weaker than they let on and there are serious questions about the claims Rome makes for herself, therefore, the protestant project is justifiable. Whether one is ultimately convinced or not is another story and a different conversation from the one that has been going on here by my estimation (though several of us have outlined the basic historic/biblical case for the protestant approach to scripture that never seems to get much attention here).

    Like

  168. D.G.,

    Paranoia may be unbecoming but a website that spends all day blasting someone only to then sneak off and tell him secrets is pathological and phony.

    Like

  169. From: Jason Stellman
    To: erikcharter@yahoo.com
    Sent: Wednesday, March 11, 2015 7:55 PM
    Subject: Your Email

    Hi Erik,

    ******** forwarded your email to me in which you apologized for how you have behaved toward us. Speaking of which, I was told that you have been telling people that * ** ********* ** **** (I won’t ask you if this is true, I know it is). If you wouldn’t mind, please include as part of this attempt on your part to amend your actions a promise not to spread gossip about my personal life and that of my family, but rather to come to me with any rumors you may hear.

    Thank you,

    Jason

    Like

  170. Let’s play Clue. The only guys who could have gone to Jason with the contents of private e-mails are:

    Darryl Hart
    Chortles Weakly
    Amish Ambush
    Sean
    Zrim
    Kent
    Muddy Gravel

    All but Darryl Hart have denied it. Zrim hadn’t denied it until a few weeks ago.

    Which makes either (a) one of those guys a liar, (b) Darryl Hart the turncoat

    Like

  171. ec, I have better things to do than to tell others what you say or write.

    Plus, I haven’t communicated with Stellman since my last comment at his blog which has to be about 18 months ago.

    Give it up.

    Like

  172. ec, if making me the jackarse makes you feel better about leaving Old Life, so be it. But like I say, I haven’t communicated with Stellman in a long time.

    You’re the one who lurks everywhere.

    Like

  173. Darryl,

    Religious people who lie rub me very wrong. You have your hot buttons, that’s one of mine. One of the seven of you is lying. The relevance is that it casts doubt on the validity of your whole project here.

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  174. Erik, could there not be an intermediary(s) between your list of suspects and Jason? I don’t know anything about this, but common sense would say that an email can be shared any number of times between different people before it finally reaches its final destination.

    Like

  175. Robert:
    At the end of the interview I asked him if I could take the Eucharist because I had heard that non-RCs were not supposed to take the Eucharist, and he said I could freely partake. So I did.>>>>

    The priest has a certain amount of discretion. He seems to have exercised it in your case by giving you permission to partake of communion. I know of two cases where the priest gave special permission because of special circumstances.

    It is harsh to say that what he did implies pastoral failing.

    “Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law (canon 844 §4).

    “http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/order-of-mass/liturgy-of-the-eucharist/guidelines-for-the-reception-of-communion.cfm

    Robert:
    Darryl’s point here is that if you want to be RC, knock yourself out (though he wouldn’t advise becoming RC). Just don’t talk about Rome’s superiority without being fully honest about Rome’s flaws.>>>>

    Well, Darryl is an old style anti-Catholic Protestant even thought the WCF has softened some of its anti-Catholic rhetoric. All he sees are flaws it seems.

    What is superior about the Catholic Church?

    1. She recognizes all true Christians as Christians and includes them as part of the Church.
    2. She desires the kind of unity that Jesus spoke of in John 17.
    3. She has lasted for 2,000 years, giving her some basis for claiming that the gates of hell have not prevailed against her.
    4. Her music is superior.
    5. Her art is superior.
    6. Her theology is superior.
    7. Her philosophy is superior.
    8. Her dogmas are superior.
    9. Her traditions are superior.
    10. All that is good in Protestantism can be traced back to the work she did for the 1,500 years before Protestantism came on the scene.
    11. Her methodology for resolving conflicts is superior.
    12. Her good works are superior.

    Sure, there are many areas where she needs greater sanctification.

    Luther was wrong when he said “That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth.” Did he think that the Gospel originated with him and that no one before him defended the truth of Christ?

    Protestants owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Catholic Church, actually.

    I used to see all and only problems in the Catholic Church. I still see problems, but I know what it is like from the Protestant side of things and to see little or no good in her. She needs to be loved and defended.

    Now, defend Protestantism if you will. Yes, there are many, many good and godly people and many of those are Presbyterians. Defend it. Love it. Preach Christ.

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  176. Mrs. Webfoot, you may not be familiar with some of the things I write, but you may also want to speak in an informed way. Since you are new to Roman Catholicism and also new to anti-Catholicism, you may not have a clue about old-style anti-Catholicism. I have written explicitly against it:

    Roman Catholicism and Liberty

    D. G. Hart

    A funny thing happened on the way to the twenty-first century. Roman Catholics went from being the most un-American Christians in the United States to one of the nation’s most supportive religious groups.

    Only four decades ago, John F. Kennedy, while running for President, had to explain to Protestants that he would not put his allegiance to the Pope above his vow to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution. Today, conservative Protestants not only see nothing wrong with, but take encouragement from, Roman Catholics providing the most conservative interpretations of the Constitution as justices on the Supreme Court. The reversal of American Protestant attitudes toward Roman Catholics during the second half of the twentieth century was truly remarkable.

    For most of the nation’s history, Roman Catholics were the religious group most feared by American Protestants. Anti-Catholicism in America rested on a constellation of ideas that linked the Protestant Reformation, the Enlightenment, and American democracy. According to this view, Protestantism was chiefly responsible for the advancement of political liberty and cultural progress. It stood for freedom, open inquiry, learning, and impartiality, while Roman Catholicism symbolized the opposite: tyranny, ignorance, superstition, and bigotry.

    Protestant Attacks and the Catholic Response

    An early example of American Protestant prejudice against Roman Catholicism was Lyman Beecher’s A Plea for the West (1835). When this New England Congregationalist moved to Ohio to preside over Lane Seminary, he became alarmed by the large number of Catholics who were streaming into the American heartland. One of his main objections to Roman Catholicism was the papacy’s refusal to acknowledge the separation of church and state. In his view, Catholicism could not sustain a free and democratic society. He wrote:

    The Sabbath, and the preaching of the gospel, are Heaven’s consecrated instrumentality for the efficacious administration of the government of mind in a happy social state. By these only does the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his beams; and ignorance, and vice, and superstition encamp around evangelical institutions, to run in wherever their light and power is extinct. (pp. 41-42)
    Beecher never spelled out the precise relationship between Protestantism and American politics. For most American Protestants, the connections between Protestant faith and American liberty were so intimate as to be obvious. Consequently, Beecher believed that Roman Catholics, simply by living in the United States, would recognize the authoritarianism of their own faith. Here is the way he put this hope:

    If [Roman Catholics] associated with republicans, the power of caste would wear away. If they mingled in our schools, the republican atmosphere would impregnate their minds. If they scattered, unassociated, the attrition of circumstances would wear off their predilections and aversions. If they could read the Bible, and might and did, their darkened intellect would brighten, and their bowed down mind would rise. If they dared to think for themselves, the contrast of protestant independence with their thraldom, would awaken the desire of equal privileges, and put an end to an arbitrary clerical dominion over trembling superstitious minds. (p. 118)
    Fifty years later, Josiah Strong, another Congregationalist minister, likewise asserted the dependence of American liberty on the right kind of faith in his popular book Our Country: Its Possible Future and Its Present Crisis (1885). In fact, the ties between Protestantism and political liberty informed the most aggressive anti-Catholic books of the twentieth century, such as Paul Blanshard’s American Freedom and Catholic Power (1949).

    Conservative Presbyterians were not immune from this fear of and hostility to Rome. In his popular book, Roman Catholicism (1962), Lorraine Boettner identified Roman Catholicism as one of the two “totalitarian systems” threatening the United States. For Boettner, Rome’s teaching was even more dangerous than Communism because “it covers its real nature with the cloak of religion” (p. 3).

    This form of anti-Catholicism, however, proved to be no match for a Roman Catholic hierarchy that after 1960 signaled a different attitude to American forms of government. The Second Vatican Council, for instance, mandated that the church engage the modern world, dropped Rome’s inveterate hostility to democracy, and recognized the fundamental right of freedom of conscience. Even more noticeably, John Paul II was an ally in the defeat of Communism and the defense of Christianity in a world teaming with immorality and secularism. Consequently, the last fifty years of Roman Catholic history have proved the traditional American Protestant critique of Rome to be woefully off target.

    Protestant Confusion about Liberty

    American Presbyterians should have known better than to identify Protestantism with American political ideals, if only through reading the Westminster Confession of Faith. Chapter 20 on Christian liberty is straightforward in distinguishing liberty in Christ (spiritual) from political freedom (civil):

    The liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the gospel consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, the curse of the moral law; and, in their being delivered from this present evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion of sin; from the evil of afflictions, the sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation; as also, in their free access to God, and their yielding obedience unto him, not out of slavish fear, but a childlike love and willing mind. (20.1)
    Liberty in Christ has nothing to do with the sort of political freedom that the American War for Independence granted to American citizens. The Confession adds:

    And because the powers which God hath ordained, and the liberty which Christ hath purchased, are not intended by God to destroy, but mutually to uphold and preserve one another, 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. (20.4)
    As much as this statement may have raised questions about the propriety of the events of 1776, it was just as strong in declaring that political and religious freedom are distinct matters. The Christian suffering under the greatest form of political tyranny is still the beneficiary of the greatest expression of freedom ever known to the human race.

    The mistake that American Protestants made in opposing Rome was not to worry about Roman Catholic teaching about liberty. The liberties that believers enjoy in Christ are substantial and lead them to appreciate all the benefits of redemption. The problem was to confuse liberty in Christ with political freedom. American Protestants compounded this mistake by attacking Roman Catholicism for resisting the forms of liberal democracy that arose from the revolutions in America (1776) and France (1789). Ultimately, this confusion has led many American Protestants to lessen their opposition to Rome, now that the Vatican appears to be a valuable partner in the defense of the West and its Christian heritage. Why be anti-Catholic when Catholics are defending the social standards and political institutions that American Protestants consider to be under attack from liberal secularists?

    Despite the recent thaw in relations between American Protestants and Roman Catholics, Protestants still need to be anti-Catholic for reasons having very much to do with liberty. The liberty that Protestants should defend, however, has little to do with the United States or its political ideals. Instead, the liberty for which Protestants must fight is the freedom that believers enjoy through the once-for-all redeeming work of Christ. As the Heidelberg Catechism so eloquently puts it, our sole comfort is that Christ has “fully paid for all [our] sins with his precious blood and has set [us] free from the tyranny of the devil” (Q. 1).

    Rome tries to offer a version of Christian liberty, but in its teaching about merit, the Virgin Mary, purgatory, and the accomplishments of saints, it yields a version of freedom that is ultimately spiritual bondage. This is so because Rome’s understanding of salvation still does not acknowledge the complete sufficiency of Christ for freedom from sin, guilt, death, and the devil. Thus, American Protestants should continue to oppose Roman Catholicism, not because of American conceptions of political freedom, but because of the Reformation’s notion of spiritual liberty.

    I’ll be glad to stand with the 16th-century reasons for opposing Rome. Maybe you’ll pony up the courage to ask your bishops the last time they anathematized anyone.

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  177. D.G. Hart:
    Rome tries to offer a version of Christian liberty, but in its teaching about merit, the Virgin Mary, purgatory, and the accomplishments of saints, it yields a version of freedom that is ultimately spiritual bondage. This is so because Rome’s understanding of salvation still does not acknowledge the complete sufficiency of Christ for freedom from sin, guilt, death, and the devil. Thus, American Protestants should continue to oppose Roman Catholicism, not because of American conceptions of political freedom, but because of the Reformation’s notion of spiritual liberty.>>>>>

    The last sentence is telling. I would have expected you to present a Biblical refutation of the dogmas you cite. However, instead of that you refer to your own Reformation traditions.

    You fail the sola scriptura test.

    Otherwise, an interesting historical summary of anti-Catholic sentiments in the US. Thank you for that.

    Like

  178. Darryl,

    Let’s recap why I am where I am currently at.

    After many months of working alongside you I dealt with lies told about me here from a Catholic antagonist.

    I received little to no support from you and my “friends” through that.

    After taking on Greg the Terrible I had a three comment rule invoked upon me.

    After protesting that I had to listen to pious lectures from two guys who rarely even comment here, one of whom has since made a game of speculating on the OPC allowing married gay members.

    In the midst of all this I had the content of private e-mails shared with Jason Stellman. All 7 of the guys who have could have done that have denied it. Someone is lying.

    So call me cynical.

    This isn’t your “whole project”, but you spend a lot of time and effort here, as do several NAPARC officers. Your critique and the critique of these officers isn’t so much that Roman Catholicism is not biblical (although that would be a more relevant critique), it’s that a lot of Catholics behave badly and receive little to no discipline from the Catholic hierarchy.

    So when I deal with not just NAPARC church members, but church officers, and they behave badly, consider me cynical and disheartened.

    Now I can certainly put it out as well as take it. When people tell lies and betray confidences, that’s playing outside the lines. I’m not sure exactly what I did to deserve that, especially from guys who were supposedly on my “team”.

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  179. Jack,

    Possible, but those 7 guys would know who they shared e-mails with and could come clean if they wanted to.

    We have guys among us who get off on playing both sides.

    Like

  180. Erik, I’m not Joe Paterno. I can’t keep up with all the comments here or all the emails that flew through the few and the proud. Now you want me (and others) to act like we’re signing mortgage papers when we communicate with you.

    Get a grip.

    There’s something wrong with thinking a blog is a “whole” project and concluding that a few interlocutors here or on email invalidate NAPARC.

    As Woody Allen said in Annie Hall to Annie’s brother, “I’m do back on planet earth.”

    Like

  181. Your critique and the critique of these officers isn’t so much that Roman Catholicism is not biblical (although that would be a more relevant critique), it’s that a lot of Catholics behave badly and receive little to no discipline from the Catholic hierarchy.

    Forgive me if I am speaking out of turn, but it seems to me an interesting thing happened in this blog around the time Jason Stellman swam the tiber.

    Looking in the archives, I find no Are the CTCers Paying Attention? posts from about Late 2012 and before. The blog seemed to be more about promoting the positives of reformed protestantism.

    However, with the Jason Stellman episode in summer of 2012 through the end of 2012, this blog took a new turn, and that meant a significant amount of writing against Called to Communion.

    It’s not hard to understand why. If you listen to bad christian dot com episode #83 where Jason Stellman is interviewed, he cites CtC as the principal reason for conversion to Roman Catholicism (his words: “i stumbled upon a website that pointed out the problems with sola scriptura and sola fide”)

    But if you look at the about section of this blog, look what it says:

    Its aim has been to point the way back to the health and vigor of historic Reformed Protestantism.

    For sure the health of our system depends on defenses and attacks from perceived threats. However, there doesn’t seem to have been a large concerted or perceived concerted threat before the Stellman episode of summer of 2012.

    Now, this blog plays a pivotal role in providing an opposing voice to the narrative at CtC about what Roman Catholicism is.

    All of this makes for interesting little mini subplots (who would have thought JJS would become the DrunkExPastor? that angry catholic nick would become the stellman stand in? that Kenneth would start carrying his wife Leslie along in his avatar photo? (I haven’t even mentioned Greg the Terrible and his effect on this blog the last year ) and so on and on it goes..)

    I think this all points to Mrs. Webfoot/TVD’s confusion about this blog. Darryl, as I perceive him, is not anti-catholic, He’s not perceived that way in the wider world, either. Some people are (James White comes to mind) but not Darryl. He is anti-called to communion, but on the basis of what he would be against if anyone was promoting their religion in the way they have done (read: triumphalism).

    It’s hard to understand where we are now in the whole CtC/OLTS mismash without understanding the history, and fortunately, some of us have been along for the entire ride, and plan to keep tuning in to see whatever develops next. We need a timeline showing how things developed here and there, something like a Tim Challies chart, but we don’t have his mad skills (CW is the best we have with his Calvin heads, he superimposes on the dos equis man) so yeah, not sure where we go from here, but that’s what I see, fwiw…

    sorry to make you read through all that. hope it helps. regards, ab

    Like

  182. Erik,

    FWIW, my advice is look at the Roman Catholic / Reformed Protestant debate away from these blogs and how each of us, the little interlocutors who aren’t employed in the religious industry and are more just along for the ride, fits in to the puzzle (whatever small part we may play, if any, at all).

    In other words, there is a real debate of the issues (you know, justification, the stuff that’s too boring for TVD to bother himself with, which leaves me with little reason to ever engage him seriously if he basically tells us from the get go he doesn’t care or is interested in what we hold dear) and then there’s the blogs. The blogs have all these personal issues and communication issues. The issues are what matter, and it’s rare when these blogs actually get to the issues, for the purposes of informing the new people that come along and find this ongoing discussion.

    The more we get back to THE ISSUES, and away from the person stuff that just clutters the combox, the better of we and anyone who may possibly stumble up this blog, will be. But I’m not one to talk (calling the kettle black here, in other words, i know i know..)

    who’s next?

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  183. Erik, if we’re going to look at this from a biblically-informed perspective how about the two witnesses thing? If someone wronged you and it cannot be proven what do you do? Keep hammering on it? Keep invoking “the 7”? Keep talking about “they” when it might be one? Keep expressing distrust? It might be best to let it go.

    Like

  184. Sorry, my point in the 3:00pm post:

    More Rome vs. Geneva issues (as far as the debate with CTC or Rome more broadly, is concerned)

    Less personal issues.

    I’m out.

    Like

  185. Darryl,

    That’s “due”, not “do”.

    You see no problem with a guy (not saying you’re that guy) who publicly blasts Jason and then betrays a confidence to go to him privately to reveal private information?

    Does the OPC still deal with ethics and integrity or have they moved on to more ethereal topics?

    Change your integrity-based apologetic against Catholicism and this may not bother me so much. As it is I feel like a lot of phoniness is going on and, like you, I can’t resist pointing out phoniness.

    It’s Old Life as WWF. A Dog-and-Pony show where afterwards the wrestlers are palling around together.

    Like

  186. CW,

    Or you could join me in asking for a confession so your name is not sullied.

    I can likely get the answer from Jason himself — for a price — but it would be better for the offender’s soul to confess.

    Eventually I think I’ll get it one way or another.

    The irony is that Jason is the one who is doing all the laughing because we just can’t resist being Machen’s Warrior Children – with each other.

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  187. Darryl says: “Maybe you’ll pony up the courage to ask your bishops the last time they anathematized anyone.”
    Asking that very question was the occasion for my learning of the to me never before heard of “defacto anathema”.(excommunication) I asked an RCC laymen I’d known very well online for 6 years and who had established himself with me as a sterling source of reliable Romanist information.

    He linked me somewhere, I don’t remember where now, but it was authoritative. The gist is that everyone who SHOULD be excommunicated actually IS. Invisibly. I kid you not, for anybody who’s never heard this. They have excommunicated themSELVES by their unrepentant persistence in mortal sin.

    So. All all those modernist heretics and moral degenerates that we are always asking about actually ARE out of communion with the body and bride of Christ, along with His vicar on earth even as they extend their tongues to receive the divine and full latria worthy eucharist.

    That’s why I keep asking how this comports with 1 Cor 5, where human language is incapable of conveying anything more clearly than the apostle’s command to remove the flagrant and unrepentant from their midst. Citing both the protection of the flock and the retrieval of the wicked from their sin as his motivation.

    I’d love to hear an explanation for this. My friend didn’t have a very good one. Because none is possible. Once the Vatican figured out that they could put “Mary Has a Little Lamb” (no, not THAT Mary) in an encyclical and people would treat it as holy writ, all bets were off.

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  188. @ AB: … but on the basis of what he would be against if anyone was promoting their religion in the way they have done (read: triumphalism).

    Ding, ding.

    Mrs. W, take note here. DGH is not anti-Catholic, so much as anti-triumphalist. That cuts across the board for Catholics, Presbyterians, etc.

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  189. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 7:01 am | Permalink
    Mrs. Webf., is you first name Susan?

    Here are a few things to consider about your good friend, vd, t. He doesn’t play nice:

    Today, we are announcing that League contributor Tom Van Dyke will no longer be contributing to the site. Without going into great detail, we believe that the fit is simply not a good one, and that too often Tom’s contributions here have led to controversy, mistrust, and bad feelings overall. Many people have played a role in this ongoing issue, but it is apparent to us that the situation as it stands is simply unsustainable and, in the end, unsalvageable.

    And watch out if Francis contradicts Larry Kudlow.

    Oh this is the dregs, when Old Life has no more principled reply, so it resorts to the personal, and plays dirty.

    As for my lynching at that blog, the true story is here. They behave a lot like Old Life when they cannot hold their own fair and square.

    http://sonnybunch.com/thoughtcrimes-ca-2012/

    However, a number of the contributors who were not involved with the lynching still follow me on Twitter, and of course Tim Kowal is my blogbrother once again at The New Reform Club.
    Shame, shame, Darryl.

    And yes, Andrew, your endless prattling about “justification” IS boring, almost as boring as Darryl’s prattle about Vatican II. In the end, you don’t know and can’t know if God will choose to save everyone. If he does, I suspect many of “Elect” will be disappointed [Mt 20:1-16].

    Of far more importance is Calvinism’s evisceration of the sacraments–esp the Eucharist–and by what authority it did so. By the time the Deformers were done with Christian faith, all that was left is dry toast. You have the faith, just a constipated version of it.

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  190. @ Erik:

    I’m sorry that something unpleasant seems to have happened to you. I don’t understand the particulars, but I feel at this point as if I’m reading someone else’s mail.

    I would suggest asking Jason directly for the information you’re after.

    And then you have a couple of choices: confront privately and escalate as needed, or else forgive.

    Like

  191. Erik, listen to Jeff. He’s the best.

    Thanks Jeff.

    Tom, Sola Scriptura was the formal cause of the Reformation, justification the material cause (see RC Sproul) Boring or not, if you want to hang with us, get used to our prattle.

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  192. Jeff,

    If they guy would e-mail me privately and confess that would be the end of it. I wouldn’t reveal who it was and would consider the matter closed.

    Jason and I have communicated as, as mentioned, there is a price for him to reveal the name. I’m not willing to pay that price…yet.

    Choice #3 – comments are open so I do what I want. I’m done backing down just because people wet their pants and call me crazy, say they need to get back to planet earth, or tell lies about me. That’s reveals their lack of character, not mine. You were nice, though, so I appreciate that.

    Like

  193. D.G. Hart, you did not even reference the Bible when saying that the Catholic Church is wrong doctrinally. You referenced Reformed tradition. You could have easily stayed within your word count by adding the words “and Scripure” or “based on Scripture and” to the word “Reformation’s”, yet you did not. Maybe this was written to Protestants who would know what you meant by Reformation’s traditions – WCF, 5 solas, etc.- so it was a shorthand way of referring to it?

    What I am grateful to Protestantism for is my strong Biblical background. In fact, I am grateful for many things, including the fact that the Gospel was preached to me from the time I was a small child. I still gladly participate in Protestant events. My Church does not prohibit it, since Protestants are Christians. I would not have joined a church that teaches otherwise.

    Here is Wikipedia’s list of those who have been excommunicated from the Church.

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

    I suppose this is the latest.
    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2013/09/27/pope-francis-excommunicates-australian-priest/

    Do you think it should be done more often? It has not been done very often at all during the history of the Church if Wikkipedia is correct. There are a few that I would like to see kicked out. Who is on your list? 🙂

    I still don’t get what it is you want me to see about Tom. Your attempts to discredit him with me amount to saying “don’t listen to him.” I listen to Tom. You have given me no reason not to. He gives me many reasons to continue to listen to him.

    It’s too bad that he annoys you. Can’t change that.

    I will say it again. Tom is a friend of mine. I like him. He makes me think. Sorry he rubs you the wrong way. I have no power over that.

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  194. @ TVD:

    I think you confuse “has no principled reply” for “is no longer willing to interact.”

    Like

  195. erik, in my world I — as I say — I can’t control what all my interlocutors do or with whom they communicate. You keep escalating and the fall from that horse is going to be a long one.

    Chill.

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  196. vd, t, but didn’t Calvinism give you the American founding? Don’t your “Followers” agree?

    Love the Socrates complex, vd, t:

    This is a good thing. In The Trial of Socrates, he was accused of
    corrupting the youth and of being impious towards the gods of the city.

    I am guilty of both–I have not supported gay marriage. I have laughed at Political Correctness.

    As did Socrates in a similar predicament, as a threat to the prevailing order, I accepted the hemlock. I did not kick, I did not scratch. I swallowed.

    Cheers, you bastards.

    Like

  197. Erik: If they guy would e-mail me privately and confess that would be the end of it.

    Very true, but sadly not under your control.

    Erik: Jason and I have communicated as, as mentioned, there is a price for him to reveal the name. I’m not willing to pay that price…yet.

    That seems weird, but I don’t understand the particulars. If his price is something you ought to do anyways, then pay up regardless. If his price is something you ought not do, then have nothing more to do with it.

    If it’s neutral, well …

    The big lesson from my 20s was this: Conflict is not the end of relationship.

    Blessings,

    Like

  198. I think you confuse “has no principled reply” for “is no longer willing to interact.”

    @Jeff – that’s good. There seems to be a lot of that around the web.

    Like

  199. Jeff,

    This is not complicated. One of the key Reformed guys here betrayed a confidence and went to Jason with things they learned from me in a private e-mail. I want that person to confess.

    Darryl,

    Nothing is being escalated. It’s a 2 month old problem that is the same today as it was then. And it’s simple for the offender to solve. One e-mail to me, it’s forgotten, and we all move on.

    I air it here because it originated here. I wouldn’t know Jason or any of these guys (save one) but for Old Life.

    Like

  200. Darryl – You keep escalating and the fall from that horse is going to be a long one.

    Erik – And what is blogging on Catholic moral failures (and failure to discipline) for years on end? How far will your fall be?

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  201. Erik, Huh!?!

    You’re comparing a month’s worth of emails to 2000 years of European history — to borrow the refrain of Walter Sobchak — from Peter to Knute Rockne.

    Escalation indeed.

    Like

  202. Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 3:40 pm | Permalink
    @ TVD:

    I think you confuse “has no principled reply” for “is no longer willing to interact.”

    Au contraire, mon cheri. When they start flinging poo-poo, it’s still “interacting.” It’s just that they’ve run out of adult ammunition.

    Like

  203. Darryl,

    We’re talking about having standing to criticize. 5 of the 7 guys still spout off here regularly. If I’m a liar or a backstabber, what business do I have criticizing others’ moral failings? It goes to an issue of credibility.

    Am I going to buy a weight loss plan from a guy who weighs 400 lbs?

    Am I going to buy a religion from a guy who can’t get basic morality right?

    Once again, I’m not saying that you’re the guy I’m talking about.

    Join me in asking the guy to confess so we can move on. He’s leaving the rest of you hanging.

    Like

  204. In the Christian religion, being a leader is largely about personal morality. Look at our Consistories — it’s not always the most knowledgeable or intellectual guys — it’s guys we hope we can trust.

    1 Timothy 3 New International Version (NIV)

    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.

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  205. Mrs Webfoot, so you want to play Wikipedia lists? Well, here’s one of all the people executed in the papal states when the pope was a temporal ruler:

    1800-1810[edit]
    Gregorio Silvestri, hanged at Piazza del Popolo, self-confessed conspirator (January 18, 1800).
    Antonio Felici, Gio. Antonio Marinucci and Antonio Russo, hanged at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, convicted of robbery (January 20, 1800).
    Pietro Zanelli, hanged at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, convicted of forgery of money (January 22, 1800).
    Francesco Gropaldi, hanged at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, convicted of robbery (afternoon of January 22, 1800).
    Ottavio Cappello, hanged at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, convicted of attempted armed revolution (January 29, 1800).
    Alessandro d’Andrea, hanged at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, convicted of the theft of a watch (February 1, 1800).
    Gio. Batta Genovesi, hanged, quartered and his corpse burnt at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, convicted of stealing two ciboria; his head was, then, taken to the Arch of the Holy Spirit (February, 27 1800).
    Gioacchino Lucarelli, Luigi de Angelis, Lorenzo Robotti, Giovanni Rocchi and Antonio Mauro, convicted of strangling and killing a Priest, were hanged and their heads and arms were cut off and displayed at Porta Angelica, and two were burnt at the Ponte Sant’Angelo (May 6, 1800).
    Bernardino Bernardi, convicted of the same offence, was hanged and had his head and arms cut off which were, then, displayed at Porta S. Sebastiano (…, 1800).
    Giuseppe Zuccherini, Giuseppe Sfreddi and Giacomo d’Andrea, hanged and quartered at Piazza del Popolo, convicted of killing a messenger from Venice (January 19, 1801).
    Luigi Puerio, Ermenegildo Scani, Gaetano Lideri and Leonardo Ferranti, hanged and quartered in Camerino, convicted of killing a Spanish princess (January 27, 1801).
    Teodoro Cacciona, hanged and quartered at Piazza del Popolo, convicted of stealing a pair of boots and L.60 (February 9, 1801).
    Fabio Valeri, bludgeoned to death[3] and quartered in Albano, convicted of robbing an Ariccia shopkeeper (February 14, 1801).
    Francesco Pretolani, hanged and quartered in Viterbo, convicted of robbing and killing an innkeeper and his wife (February 21, 1801).
    Giovanni Fabrini, hanged at Piazza del Popolo, convicted of murder in time of peace (June 6, 1801).
    Domenico Treca, hanged in Subiaco, convicted of killing his wife, a priest and another person (July 4, 1801).
    Benedetto Nobili, bludgeoned to death at Piazza del Popolo, convicted of killing his wife, a midwife and of his house’s arson (September 1, 1801).
    Antonio Neri, hanged in Ancona, convicted of stealing two thousand golden and silver scudi from a goldsmith, using a false key (September 26, 1801).
    Domenico de Cesare, hanged at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, convicted of robbing a road-sweeper (February 8, 1802).
    Ascenzo Rocchi and Gio. Batta Limiti hanged and quartered at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, convicted of robbing carters (February 20, 1802).
    Gio. Francesco Pace di Venanzio, bludgeoned to death, his throat was then slit and he was quartered at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, convicted of killing a Jew and of robbery (March 15, 1802).
    Domenico Zeri, bludgeoned to death and his throat was then slit in Fermo, convicted of his father’s murder (April 3, 1802).
    Salvatore Bozzi and Giuseppe Flacidi hanged and quartered at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, convicted of robbery (April 28, 1802).
    Agostina Paglialonga, hanged in Orvieto, convicted of three infanticides (May 5, 1802).
    Antonio Nucci, bludgeoned to death and quartered in Perugia, convicted of robbing and killing a friar (May 8, 1802).
    Luigi Fantusati, bludgeoned to death and quartered in Perugia, convicted of robbing and killing his master (May 8, 1802).
    Giovanni Ferri, Fortunato Ferri and Nicola Ferri, German brothers, hanged and quartered in Terracina, convicted of robbing a messenger from Napoli (May 25, 1802).
    Gio. Batta Germani, hanged in Ceccano, convicted of murder (May 29, 1802).
    Cosimo Moronti, hanged in Genazzano, convicted of premeditated murder (June 1, 1802).
    Filippo Cataletti, hanged in Frosinone, convicted of murder (June 18, 1802).
    Felice Rovina, hanged in Collevecchio, convicted of killing a hermit by strangulation (July 7, 1802).
    Bernardino Palamantelli, convicted of murder and robbery; hanged at the Ponte Sant’Angelo (September 13, 1802).
    Stefano Viotti, bludgeoned to death in Subiaco, convicted of his father’s murder (September 13, 1802).
    Francesco Angelo Sorelli, hanged in Ronciglione, convicted of a woman’s murder (December 15, 1802).
    Giacomo Balletti, bludgeoned to death in Ronciglione, convicted of his father’s murder (December 15, 1802).
    Domenico Guidi, hanged in Viterbo, convicted of murder (December 18, 1802).
    Antonio Lavagnini, hanged and quartered in Zagarola, convicted of robbing 27 paoli[4] from a man (February 5, 1803).
    Gio. Domenico Raggi and Giuseppe Cioneo hanged in Viterbo, convicted of robberies and murders (March 5, 1803).
    Antonio Boracocoli, hanged in Ancona, convicted of stabbing a sailor, of throwing his body into the sea, without killing him, and of robbing him 200 scudi (March 15, 1803).
    Francesco Conti, hanged in Città di Castello, convicted of violently deflowering a spinster, in her father’s house, with five comrades and of stealing 30 scudi from her (April 26, 1803).
    Angiolo Rossi, hanged in Gubbio, convicted of bestial and senseless murder (sic) (May 2, 1803).
    Giovanni Tranquilli and Vincenzo Pellicciari hanged and quartered at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, convicted of thefts and a robbery (May 21, 1803).
    Nicola Rossi, bludgeoned to death and quartered in Terracina, convicted of the Terracina registrar’s murder; his head was then displayed at Cisterna (June 7, 1803).
    Giuseppe delle Broccole, hanged in Frosinone (August 8, 1803), convicted of thefts and a murder.
    Vincenzo Bianchi, bludgeoned to death and quartered in Orvieto, convicted of robberies and a murder (December 10, 1803).
    Giuseppe Ceci, hanged in Frosinone, convicted of robberies and a murder (March 8, 1804).
    Crescenzio, also known as Vincenzo Imondi, hanged in Frosinone, convicted of willful murder (July 12, 1804).
    Mattia Ricci, hanged at Piazza del Popolo, convicted of murder and resistance to the Court (September 22, 1804).
    Angiolo son of Pietro di Agostini, hanged and quartered in Cascia, convicted of murder and robbery (October 10, 1804).
    Gregorio Pinto and Paolo Bimbo hanged and quartered in Jesi, convicted of robbery (October 17, 1805).
    Giuseppe Gatti, Mattia Gatti and Valentino Margheri hanged and quartered at Piazza del Popolo, convicted robbers (February 12, 1805).
    Domenico Civitella, hanged, convicted robber (February 12, 1805).
    Luigi Masi, hanged in Fermo (March 30, 1805), convicted of deflowering a spinster, of her battery and her father’s murder.
    Filippo Mazzocchi and Giuseppe Guglia hanged and quartered at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, (June 10, 1805), convicted robbers.
    Sebastiano Spadoni, hanged in Iesi (September 4, 1805), convicted of his brother German’s murder and of hiding his corpse in a well.
    Luigi Giovansanti, convict, hanged in Civitavecchia (September 23, 1805), convicted of the murder of another convict.
    Niccola Alicolis, hanged and quartered at Merluzza (October 1, 1805), convicted of murders.
    Santi Moretti, hanged and quartered at the little bridge out of Porta San Paolo by the executioner’s helper (1805), convicted of robbery.
    Gioacchino, also known as Bernardino Rinaldi, bludgeoned to death and quartered in Campo de’ Fiori (October 9, 1805), convicted of the murders of his wife, who was expecting two babies, and of his apprentice.
    Paolo Salvati, hanged and quartered in Macerata (December 11, 1805), convicted of robbing a papal messenger and a foreigner.
    Bernardo Fortuna, hanged and quartered in Ponte Felice (April 22, 1806), convicted of robbing a French messenger.
    Pasquale Rastelli, hanged and quartered in Amelia (May 20, 1806), convicted of robbery and murder.
    Tommaso Rotiliesi, hanged at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, (June 9, 1806), convicted for slightly wounding a French officer.
    Bernardino Salvati, hanged in Rieti (July 12, 1806), convicted of the murder of one of his companions.
    Giuseppe Pistillo called Fatino, hanged and quartered in Terracina (August 13, 1806), convicted of robberies.
    Giuseppe Agnone, hanged e quartered in Terracina, convicted of robbery (August 13, 1806).
    Giuseppe Chiappa, bludgeoned to death and quartered in Macerata (September 25, 1806), convicted of murder; he was a hired assassin, who had been paid 50 scudi to kill the father of a young man, who was sentenced to life imprisonment.
    Gioacchino Cellini, hanged in Frosinone (January 27, 1807), convicted of murders and robberies.
    Tommaso Grassi, hanged at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, (April 15, 1807), convicted of the murders of his brother-in-law and of another man.
    Luigi Tomeucci, hanged in Frosinone (April 21, 1807), convicted of murders.
    Cesare di Giulio and Bernardino Troiani hanged and quartered in Campo Vaccino (May 2, 1807), convicted of robberies.
    Giuseppe Brunelli and Agostino Paoletti hanged in Gubbio (July 6, 1807), convicted of premeditated murder caused by jealousy.
    Giuseppe Romiti, hanged in Narni (December 12, 1807), convicted of barbaric murder.
    Angiolo Caratelli, his brother Paolo Caratelli, Antonio Scarinei and Rosa Ruggeri hanged in Todi (July 6, 1808), because Rosa had asked the three men to kill her husband.

    1820-1829[edit]
    Elia Sauve, convicted of larceny, beheaded at Piazza del Popolo, (September 16, 1820).
    Leonardo Narducci son of the late Bartolommeo, from Ischia, convicted of murders and robberies, hanged and quartered in Viterbo (October 26, 1820).
    Gio. Batta Clementi son of Giuseppe, from Rotella in the Ascoli[disambiguation needed] papal legation, beheaded at Piazza del Popolo, convicted of murder and aggravated injuries (January 27, 1821).
    Carmine son of Pietro Scaccia from Torrici, diocese of Frosinone, aged 23, convicted of robberies, beheaded at Piazza del Popolo (April 7, 1821).
    Giuseppe Moriconi and Benedetto De Carolis beheaded at Piazza del Popolo, convicted of robberies (June 7, 1821).
    Carlo Samuelli and Salvatore Torricelli, from Tivoli beheaded al Piazza del Popolo, convicted of robberies, (June 14, 1821).
    Francesco Monti, Domenico Taschini and Luigi Onelli beheaded at Piazza del Popolo, convicted of robberies, (July 28, 1821).
    Vincenzo Zaccarelli and Vincenzo Moretti beheaded at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, convicted of senseless murders (August 6, 1821).
    Francesco son of Niccola Ferri, shot at the Bocca della Verità; his head was then taken to Collepiccolo, 46 miles away from Rome (March 23, 1822).
    Giuseppe Bartolini, beheaded in Viterbo, convicted of robberies and barbaric murders (April 30, 1822).
    Angiolo Antonio son of the late Giuseppe Monterubianesi
    Pietro Antonio son of the late Giovanni Profeta
    Angiolo son of the late Giorgio Mannelli beheaded at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, convicted of robberies (June 8, 1822)
    Domenico Piciconi from Caprarola, convicted of murder, assassination and other felonies, beheaded in Viterbo (May 24, 1823).
    Giovanni Binzaglia, beheaded in Perugia, convicted of the murder of a sixteen-year-old girl (August 13, 1823).
    Francesco Venturi in Castel Raimondo, convicted of robberies and other felonies (December 18, 1823).
    Antonio Capriotti, beheaded in Fermo, convicted of willful murder and robberies (July, 10 1824).
    Niccola Sebastianelli, beheaded at the Bocca della Verità, convicted of armed robberies (July 15, 1824).
    Domenico Maggi and Girolamo Candelori beheaded at the Bocca della Verità convicted of robberies and larceny (July 24, 1824).
    Pasquale Ciavarra, beheaded in Frascati, convicted of murder and robberies (October 6, 1824).
    Giuseppe Panecascio, beheaded in Frascati, convicted of murder and robberies (October 6, 1824).
    Michele Farelli and Camillo Pistoia hanged in Pisterzo convicted of adhesion to the murderous brigands (sic) (October 26, 1824).
    Tommaso Transerini, hanged in Propeli, convicted of adhesion to the murderous brigands (October 27, 1824).
    Marco Quattrociocchi, hanged at S. Francesco, convicted of adhesion to the murderous brigands (November 17, 1824).
    Giuseppe Sebastianelli, hanged in Vallecorsa, convicted of adhesion to the murderous brigands (November 20, 1824).
    Francesco Cerquozzi, hanged at S. Lorenzo, convicted of adhesion to the murderous brigands (November 22, 1824).
    Giovanni Pietrantoni, Biagio Cloggi and Vincenzo Bovi hanged in Giuliano di Roma, convicted of adhesion to the murderous brigands (December 1, 1824).
    Cesare Menta, hanged in Supino, convicted of adhesion to the murderous brigands (December 2, 1824).
    Giovanni Montini, hanged in Pratica di Mare, convicted of adhesion to the murderous brigands (January 19, 1825).
    Domenico Avoletti, hanged in Frosinone, convicted of premeditated murders (April 14, 1825).
    Lorenzo Maniconi, hanged in Supino, convicted of brigandish assassination (April 18, 1825).
    Giovanni Gasbarroni and Angiolo Gasbarroni hanged in Supino, convicted of adhesion to the murderous brigands (April 18, 1825).
    Casimirro Rainoni, beheaded in Ancona, convicted of senseless murder irragionevole (July 19, 1825).
    Leonida Montanari and Angiolo Targhini beheaded at Piazza del Popolo on 23 November 1825, convicted of lèse majesté and of dangerous injuries
    Giuseppe son of Vincenzo Franconi, bludgeoned to death at Piazza del Popolo, convicted of murder and larceny against a prelate (January 24, 1826).
    Luigi Ponetti, beheaded at Piazza del Popolo, convicted of aggravated murder (March 1, 1826).
    Pietro Antonio son of Felice Tanucelli, beheaded at Piazza del Popolo, convicted of senseless murder (March 15, 1826).
    Lorenzo Raspante, beheaded in Viterbo, convicted of barbaric and aggravated murder (May 6, 1826).
    Giuseppe son of Biagio Macchia, butcher, convicted of his wife’s murder, beheaded (September 16, 1826).
    Luigi Zanoli, Angiolo Ortolani, Gaetano Montanari and Gaetano Rambelli, convicted of murders and attempted the attempted murder of the Most Excellent Rivarola, hanged in Ravenna (May 13, 1828).
    Abramo Isacco Forti, called Marchino – and poisoning. (sic)
    Luigi Borgia son of the late Camillo from Montoro Romano, convicted of aggravated murder and resistance to authority with dangerous injuries beheaded at the Bocca della Verità (January 17, 1829).
    Filippo di Pietro Cavaterra, beheaded in Genzano convicted of his uncle’s murder (July 13, 1829).
    1830-1839[edit]
    Antonio Vichi, beheaded in Ancona, convicted of killing two babies with assassination (January 5, 1830).
    Angiolo Pasquali and Giuliano, Benedictine, diocese of Rieti, convicted of barbaric, premeditated murder caused by hatred occasioned by a civil litigation, beheaded in Rieti (January 30, 1830).
    Domenico Valeri, beheaded in Tolentino, convicted of his wife’s murder (February 15, 1830).
    Luigi De Simoni, convicted of robberies and other felonies, beheaded in Albano Laziale (May 22, 1830).
    Vincenzo Bagliega from Chiaravalle, convicted of robberies, beheaded in Ancona (June 12, 1830).
    Giacomo Martucci, convicted of barbaric murder, beheaded in Codescipoli (July 28, 1830).
    Francesco son of Tommaso Battistini, Roman, beheaded at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, convicted of aggravated murder to get indirect revenge (August 18, 1830).
    Felice son of Francesco Teatini from Frascati, beheaded at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, convicted of senseless murder (September 11, 1830).
    Mattia Marinelli and Giovanni Canulli, convicted di robberies, beheaded at the Ponte Sant’Angelo (September 25, 1830).
    Antonio Ascolani, convicted of his uncle’s murder beheaded in S. Benedetto, diocese of Fermo (October 23, 1830).
    Massimo Testa del Serrone, convicted of barbaric murder, beheaded in Paliano (July 12, 1831).
    Prospero Ciolli son of Francesco from Olevano[disambiguation needed], convicted of treason and larceny, beheaded at the Ponte Sant’Angelo (September 22, 1832).
    Francesco Pazzaglia di Colmurano from Tolentino, papal legation of Macerata, beheaded in Via dei Cerchi (February 4, 1833)
    Antonio Majani della Granciolla and Francesco Massarini from Falconara, beheaded in Falconara, convicted of night robbery and assassination (March 30, 1833).
    Luigi Gambaccini d’Arcevia, beheaded in Ancona, convicted of robbery with murder (May 7, 1833).
    Giuseppe Balzani della Mendola, papal legation of Rimini, convicted of lèse majesté and
    Giovanni Antonelli, Roman, carter, convicted of his wife’s murder, both beheaded in Via dei Cerchi (May 14, 1833).
    Antonio Urbinati di Paterno, convicted of premeditated murder, beheaded in Ancona (June 19, 1833).
    Benedetto Mazio son of the late Giuseppe, Roman, convicted of hideous premeditated murders, beheaded at the Ponte Sant’Angelo (July 13, 1833).
    Luigi Cesaroni from Monte Giuducci, legation from Urbino and Pesaro, beheaded in Urbino, convicted of Luigi Costantini’s aggravated murder (February 22, 1834).
    Filippo Risi from Albano, convicted of murder on account of despicable reason, beheaded in Albano (June 14, 1834).
    Tommaso Centra from Rocca Gorga, convicted of the hospital cook’s murder in the Civitavecchia basin (June 18, 1834).
    Mariano Caroli from S. Alberto di Ravenna, and Stefano Montanari from Cesena, both convicted of the first hospital attendant’s murder in the Civitavecchia basin.
    Giovanni Amicozzi from Monteleone, convicted of premeditated murder, beheaded in Rieti (June 30, 1834).
    Michele Bianchi from Osimo, convicted of his wife’s murder, beheaded in Osimo (August 19, 1834).
    Domenico Egidi, called Nino, from Ancona, convicted of willful murder, beheaded in Ancona (February 11, 1835).
    Francesco Lucarini a.k.a. Botticelli, convicted of barbaric murder, beheaded in S. Stefano, province of Frosinone (March 24, 1835).
    Giovanni Orioli from Lugo, beheaded in Rome, at the Ponte Sant’Angelo (July 11, 1835).
    Francesco Grossi from S. Severino, there beheaded, convicted of parricide (October 17, 1835).
    Antonio Rongelli from Belvedere, convicted of wilful murder, beheaded in Ancona (February 20, 1836).
    Antonio Sordini from Spoleto, convicted of wilful murder, beheaded in Spoleto (March 26, 1836).
    Antonio Pianesi from Monte Casciano, convicted of murders, beheaded in Macerata (October 27, 1836).
    Luigi Galassi from Pofi, convicted of murder and robbery, beheaded in Civitavecchia (December 21, 1837).
    Paolo Ceccarelli from Poggio Nativo, convicted of premeditated murder, beheaded in Rieti (January 3, 1838).
    Geltrude Pellegrini from Monteguidone, convicted of her husband’s murder, beheaded in Via dei Cerchi (January 9, 1838).
    Giuseppe Venturini from Albano convicted of premeditated murder, beheaded in Via dei Cerchi (January 25, 1838).
    Giuseppe Conti from Mangiano and Santi Moretti from Castello, convicted of premeditated murder caused by jealousy, beheaded in Perugia (February 10, 1838).
    Domenico Bombardieri from Filettino, convicted of his mother’s murder, beheaded in Frosinone (March 8, 1838).
    Ilario Ilari and Pietro Paolo Panci from Corneto, and Domenico Caratelli and Giuseppe Bianchi, from Viterbo, convicted of robberies beheaded in Viterbo (April 17, 1838).
    Antonio Piero from Jesi, convicted of barbaric murder, beheaded in Jesi (April 26, 1838).
    Luigi Martelli and Niccola Guadagnoli, from Manno, beheaded in Manno, convicted of murder and robbery (July 24, 1838)
    Luigi Perugini son of the late Vincenzo, from Montolono, beheaded at Madonna de’ Cerchi, convicted of larceny (September 4, 1838).
    Domenico Antonio Bellini from S. Angelo in Capoccia, beheaded in Tivoli, convicted of aggravated barbaric murder (September 27, 1838).
    Dionisio Prudenzi from Camerino, there beheaded, convicted of uxoricide (October 27, 1838).
    Francesco Ferretti from Anagni, convicted of premeditated murder, beheaded in Anagni (July 3, 1839).
    Pietro Pieroni, convicted of murder and larceny, beheaded at the Ponte Sant’Angelo (October 15, 1839).
    Luigi Quattrociocchi, convicted of willful murder, beheaded in Veroli (November 5, 1839).
    1840-1849[edit]
    Girolamo Mazza son of the late Lorenzo from San Marino, aged 29, convicted of Antonio Celli’s hired parricide, beheaded in Via dei Cerchi (February 19, 1840).
    Anna Tomasi-Celli, aged 40, beheaded (February 19, 1840).
    Pietro Bidei, convicted of murder and robbery, beheaded in Civitacastellana (April 1, 1840).
    Mariano Laura, Roman, aged 30, convicted of willful murder, beheaded in Via dei Cerchi (May 13, 1840).
    Luigi Scopigno from Rieti, beheaded at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, convicted of sacrilegious theft of a sacred container with the dispersal of the sacred hosts (July 21, 1840).
    Bernardo Coticone, convicted of Rosano’s premeditated murder, in Tivoli (July 28, 1840).
    Tommaso Brunori from S. Giovanni Rietino and Pasquale Priori from Segni, convicted of murders in the penal colony of Spoleto, both beheaded, in the Spoleto fortress (August 6, 1840).
    Angelo Crivelli a.k.a. Epifani from Terni, convicted of the murders of deacon Valentino Bevilacqua, of priest Basilio Luciani and of layman Raimondo Trippa , beheaded, in Terni (August 8, 1840).
    Pacifico Maccioni from Cingoli, aged 26, and Filippo Duranti from Golignano, papal legation of Ancona, aged 25, both convicted of robbery and the murder of a Swiss, outside the Porta San Pancrazio, beheaded at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, (August 22, 1840).
    Baldassarre Fortunati and Vincenzo Stefanini from Torri in Salina, aged 29, both convicted of murder with the intention of stealing, beheaded in Rieti in the Market place (September 21, 1840).
    Angelo De Angelis, Antonio De Angelis, his brother, and Giuseppe De Benedetti, the three of them were beheaded in Tivoli, convicted of murder and robbery (January 13, 1841).
    Vincenzo Morbiducci from Albacina, aged 61, beheaded in Macerata, convicted of premeditated murder (March 1, 1841).
    Pacifico Lezzerini from Cingoli, aged 25, convicted of premeditated murder and robbery, beheaded in Cingoli (March 4, 1841).
    Damiano Marconi, son of Nicola, aged 29, from Capranica and Antonio Demassini, son of the late Pietro, from the Fratta neighbourhood, aged 35 and
    Angelo Casini, son of Eugenio, from Carbognano, aged 25; the three of them were incarcerated in the Civitavecchia gaol; they were beheaded, for killing an hospital attendant in the Civitavecchia basin (March 27, 1841).
    Pasquale Carbone, son of the late Saverio, aged 40, from Cresciano in Abruzzo, Kingdom of Naples, convicted of a fellow convict’s murder in the Civitavecchia basin, beheaded – and died unrepentant – (March 27, 1841).
    Lorenzo Jannesi from Arnara, beheaded, convicted of premeditated murder (May 22, 1841).
    Tommaso Olivieri, Roman, aged 24, convicted of premeditated murder, beheaded in Rome in Via dei Cerchi and died unrepentant (June 3, 1841).
    Luigi Lodi, aged 30, convicted of premeditated murder, in the Civitavecchia basin (June 8, 1841).
    Luigi Galletti, aged 28, idem.
    Pietro Firmanti, aged 27, idem.
    Vincenzo Orlei from Collevecchio, aged 47, convicted of murder and other felonies.
    Pietro Antonio Amici, aged circa 33, and Michele Spoliti, aged 38, both from Colle Giove, convicted of willful murder, both beheaded in Rieti (June 19, 1841).
    Bernardino Carosi son of the late Vincenzo, called Scelletta, aged 48: a married man, peasant and sawyer, from Borbone, province of L’Aquila and
    Michelina Cimini daughter of the late Antonio, wife of Giuseppe Carosi, aged 35, spinner from Cagnano, in the said Kingdom (sic),
    Domenico Recchiuti son of Nicola, called Saponaro, a bachelor from Lama, province of Chieti, woolcarder, the three of them were convicted of larceny and the premeditated murder of Caterina Ichizzi, the six-month pregnant wife of Francesco, the clockmaker in the Vicar’s service; beheaded at the Ponte Sant’Angelo, there was extensive popular turmoil and some injured people, because of some thieves and pickpockets, but the three died resignedly (June 28, 1840)
    Pietro Tagliacozzo from Olevano, convicted of his mother’s murder, beheaded, in Via dei Cerchi (January 19, 1842).
    Bernardino Mirabelli from the province of L’Aquila, convicted of the parricide of the miller of Decima (sic), both aged 40; beheaded and then displayed in Via dei Cerchi (January 19, 1842).
    Domenico Fiori son of the late Giuseppe, from Sirolo, aged 30, convicted of murder; beheaded (July 11, 1842).
    Pasquale Grespaidi, aged 24 beheaded in Viterbo, convicted of killing a carbineer who had asked his name (July 30, 1842).
    Gaspare Pierini from Città di Castello, aged 23, convicted of murder and robbery, beheaded (October 15, 1842).
    Luigi Serenga, aged 24, from Fermo, convicted of the murder of a priest; beheaded while infirm (October 24, 1842).
    Giuseppe Ricci from Caprarola, aged 24, convicted of willful murder, beheaded in Ronciglione (January 24, 1843).
    Pasquale Boccolini, aged 34, from Loreto, convicted of premeditated murder, beheaded in Macerata (June 1, 1843).
    Gaetano De Angelis and Luigi De Angelis, from Velletri convicted of murder and robbery, beheaded in Velletri (September 12, 1843).
    Domenico Marcelli from Tivoli, aged 21, convicted of larceny, executed on the Piazza Madonna de’ Cerchi (September 30, 1843).
    Vincenzo Moresi, Roman, aged 22, larceny, executed (September 30, 1843).
    Giuseppe Salvatori from Saracinesco, province of Tivoli, convicted of treacherous murder, executed (September 30, 1843).
    Domenico Abbo, beheaded in the S. Angelo fortress convicted of strangling and sodomizing his blood nephew in addition to other brutal, horrifying acts (sic) (October 4, 1843).
    Pietro Rossi, Roman, aged 24, fishmonger convicted of night robberies and dangerous injuries, with the complicity of
    Luigi Muzi, Roman, aged 23, cobbler, convicted of the same crimes, executed in Via dei Cerchi (January 9, 1844).
    Angelo Cece, aged 21, and Antonio Tintisona, aged 25, both from Monte Fortino, beheaded in Velletri, convicted of robbery, and dangerous injuries (June 1, 1844).
    Gio. Battista Rossi son of Francesco, from S. Vito, aged 22, a peasant convicted of larceny, sentenced to an exemplary death [5] (August 3, 1844).
    Bartolomeo son of Pietro, aged 28, from Roccantica, and Giovanni Girardi aged 25, convicted of the murder of an Observing Friar Minor in Roccantica; beheaded in Poggio Mirteto (October 16, 1844).
    Angelo Cesarini from Canistro in the Kingdom of Naples, aged 26, convicted of murder and robbery against his cousin; beheaded in Paliano (December 21, 1844).
    Giovanni Vagnarelli son of the late Agostino from Gubbio, aged 26, a married peasant convicted of robbery and the murder of Anna Cotton Bavarese; beheaded in Via dei Cerchi (March 8, 1845).
    Raffaele Gammardella from Ancona, a convict, convicted of willful murder; executed in Spoleto (April 2, 1845).
    Giuseppe Micozzi and Antonio Raffaelli, both from Macerata, both convicted of murder and robbery against a road-sweeper; beheaded in Macerata (April 7, 1845).
    Pietro Bartolini from Ancona, convicted of the willful murder of Berneimer, a Swiss Jew; beheaded (April 10, 1845).
    Luigi Percossi, Roman, a convict who was found guilty of the willful murder of Angelo Bruschi, the gaoler; beheaded in Rome in Via dei Cerchi (April 19, 1845).
    Francesco Antonio Bassani from Monte Compatri, aged 23, convicted of the willful murder of a fellow convict in the Spoleto stronghold and there executed; the murder had taken place while the convicts were being administered the Holy Communion (July 3, 1845).
    Niccola Trombetta from Patrica nel Lazio, aged 69, convicted of a shopkeeper’s murder and aggravated theft; executed in Maenza (August 12, 1845).
    Vincenzo Mariani from Macerata, 26-year-old cobbler, convicted of willful murder; beheaded in Via dei Cerchi (August 30, 1845).
    Giuseppe Dragoni from S. Anatolia, papal legation of Macerata, beheaded in Spoleto, convicted of the willful murder of the gaoler of the Spoleto stronghold (October 23, 1845).
    Niccola Ciarrocca from Massignano, aged 27, convicted of willful murder of a spinster he had impregnated before marriage; beheaded in Massignano sud (October 30, 1845).
    Francesco Meloni son of the late Pietro, born in the Scarpa neighbourhood, a 34-year-old goatherd, convicted of his wife’s murder by strangulation; sentenced to an exemplary death[5] (January 15, 1846).
    Fedele Moretta and his brother Benedetto Moretta, convicted of robberies, murders and other felonies; beheaded in Frosinone (March 4, 1846).
    Francesco Sciarra son of the late Francesco, from Ienna diocese of Subiaco, aged 24, convicted of robberies and murders; beheaded in Via dei Cerchi (March 21, 1846).
    Michele Pezzana called Mechelone, from Poggio Renatico, convicted of premeditated premeditato, convict in the Spoleto stronghold and there beheaded (November 26, 1846)
    Pecorari Angel, convicted of homicide in Poland, sent to Rome for execution (January 21, 1847)[2]
    Angelo Pecorari, from Poli, aged 29. A peasant convicted of a woman’s premeditated murder, sentenced to an exemplary death[5] (January 21, 1847).
    Francesco Pesaresi from Osimo, aged 30, convicted of a fellow convict’s murder perpetrated in Ancona penal colony; beheaded (April 24, 1847).
    Giovanni Ciampicolo, Giuseppe Galli, Francesco Pasquali and Mauro Franceschelli, convicts, convicted of three murders committed in the penal colony; sentenced to death, died unrepentant (July 1, 1847).
    1850-1859[edit]
    Romolo Salvatori from Cisterna, aged 40, convicted of having the Archpriest of Giulianello in Anagni shot by the Garibaldini during the Republican period; beheaded in Giulianello di Anagni (September 10, 1851).
    Gaetano Pettinelli son of the late Giovanni, from Monteleone di Fermo, aged 34, bricklayer, convicted of murders ; beheaded in Via dei Cerchi (September 27, 1851).
    Bonaventura Stefanini, Benvenuto Cavalieri and Pietro Ventroni, the three of them were beheaded on the main plaza of Fabriano, convicted of a priest’s attempted premeditated murder (November 15, 1851).
    Pietro Giammaiere called Casciotta, from Terni, domiciled in S. Gemini, district of Terni, papal legation of Spoleto, convicted of murder and robbery and beheaded in the main plaza of Spoleto (September 25, 1852).
    Sabbatino Proietti, convicted of theft, highway robbery, and murder in Rieti , beheaded in Bridge Square, Rieti (August 20, 1853)[2]
    Giacomo Biacetti son of the late Carlo, Roman, aged 26 ;
    Andrea Severi son of Antonio, Roman, a 28-year-old tanner; both convicted of robberies and aggravated thefts and a murder, beheaded at Cerchi (September 10, 1853).
    Vincenzo Iancoli from Ronciglione, convicted of robbery and murder and
    Francesco Valentini from Letera and
    Francesca Levante widow Ferruccini, convicted of murder; the three of them were beheaded in Viterbo (October 8, 1853).
    Francesco Leandri son of Marino, sentenced to death, convicted of murder and premeditated murder (October 12, 1853).
    Gustavo Paolo Epaminonda Rambelli, a 28-year-old from Ravenna, Gustavo Marioni, a 29-year-old from Forlì and Ignazio Mancini, a 30-year-old from Ascoli[disambiguation needed], all former customs officers; the three of them were convicted of the murders of many friars, under the orders of the extremely cruel (sic) Captain[6] Zambianchì ; beheaded at Cerchi, they died unrepentant , scandalizing the onlookers, because they kept on blaspheming until they breathed their last (July 22, 1854).
    Sante Costantini from Fuligno, a 24-year-old bachelor, accomplice in Commendatore Count Pellegrino Rossi’s murder; beheaded in Via dei Cerchi (July 22, 1854).
    Pietro Chiappa, aged 22, Landerio Civitella, aged 30, Paolo Dolci, aged 26, and Filippo Dolci, aged 24, all from Velletri and convicted of robberies and murders; beheaded, in St. Carlo plaza in Velletri (August 9, 1854).
    Angelo Racchetti di Gradoli, convicted of premeditated murder, beheaded in the town of Valentano (September 30, 1854).
    Giovanni Sabbatini, from the Marche region, convicted of murder and attempted robbery; beheaded in Frascati (November 15, 1854).
    Giovacchino Leoni, from Caprarola, convicted of murder and the arson of the victim’s corpse; beheaded in Ronciglione (November 28, 1854).
    Pietro Muzi, from Trevisano convicted for robbing and murdering his godfather, beheaded in the town of Acqua Pendente; he died unrepentant (January 16, 1855).
    Giuseppe De Cesaris, from Monte Leone di Cascia, convicted of robbery and murder; beheaded in Via dei Cerchi (February 6, 1855).
    Luigi Scipioni from Petescia, aged 28, convicted of premeditated murder and beheaded in Rieti (February 10, 1855).
    Domenico Scappoti from Sismano, aged 46, convicted of premeditated murder, sentenced to the ultimate torment in Terni (March 15, 1855).
    Bernardino Valeriani son of the late Giuseppe from Palombara, a 28-year-old ploughman, convicted of premeditated murder; beheaded in Via dei Cerchi (May 2, 1855).
    Filippo Troncarelli from Ronciglione, aged 29, beheaded in Ronciglione, convicted of his brother’s murder (June 23, 1855).
    Crispino Bonifazi from Viterbo, convicted of matricide; sentenced to the ultimate torment (June 25, 1855).
    Francesco Bertarelli from Viterbo, convicted of robbery; sentenced to the ultimate torment (June 25, 1855).
    Antonio Moschini from a hamlet near Viterbo, convicted of robbery; sentenced to the ultimate torment (June 25, 1855).
    Giovanni Cruciani from Rieti, convicted of robbery; beheaded in Viterbo (June 25, 1855).
    Paolo Moretti from Monte Fiascone, beheaded; convicted of the murders of his blood sister and of his opponent (sic) (June 26, 1855).
    Pietro Antonio Barbero from Grotta di Castro, convicted of robbery, sentenced to the ultimate torment (June 27, 1855).
    Arberto Cicoria from Città di Castello, convicted of larceny and murder, sentenced to the ultimate torment (June 26, 1855).
    Giosuè Mattioli from Viterbo, convicted of robberies and sentenced to the ultimate torment in Viterbo.
    Neri Domenico Vetrella, convicted of robbery and sentenced to the ultimate torment (June 30, 1855).
    Benedetto Ferri from Casali di Viterbo, convicted of robbery and sentenced to death in Viterbo (June 30, 1855).
    Salvatore Tarnalli from Casali di Viterbo, convicted of robbery and sentenced to death in Viterbo (June 30, 1855).
    Antonio son of the late Ferdinando De Felici, Roman, a 35-year-old chaplain, convicted of attempt on the life of Cardinal Antonelli, Secretary of State, and sentenced to death Via dei Cerchi (July 11, 1855).
    Pietro Ciprini from Viterbo, aged 19, convicted of robbery and sentenced to death in Monte Rosi (August 7, 1855).
    Giacomo Salvatori from Valle Pietra, diocese of Subiaco, convicted of murder and sentenced to an exemplary death in Subiaco[5] (August 17, 1855).
    Luigi Sarra from S. Angelo, aged 29, and Nicola Arrigoli from Treia, aged 22, beheaded in Civitavecchia (October 13, 1855)
    Alessandro Guenzi from Sinigaglia, aged 31, convicted of murder; executed in Toscanella (October 15, 1855).
    Germano Proietti beheaded in Civita Castellana (October 18, 1855).
    Arcangelo Finestraro from S. Buceto, convicted of his wife’s murder, beheaded in Amelia (October 20, 1855).
    Pietro Pace, Giuseppe Partenzi and Martino Rossi, convicted of the murder of a young lady, beheaded in Spoleto (October 23, 1855).
    Maria Rossetti and Serafino Benfatti, convicted of the murder of Serafino’s wife, beheaded in Perugia (…, 1855).
    Giovanni son of Giuseppe from Faenza, aged 36, convicted of a police inspector’s murder, beheaded (October 29, 1855).
    Raimondo Bregna, Spaniard, convicted of premeditated murder perpetrated in Campagnano; beheaded (November 6, 1855).
    Cesare Barzetto, and Giacomo Mercatelli, both Roman and aged 30, convicted of the murder of the Termini gaoler; beheaded in Roma, they died unrepentant (January 9, 1856).
    Lorenzo Mariani from Terni, convicted of insidious murder, he died in Terni (April 5, 1856).
    Giuseppe Conti from Terni, convicted of insidious murder, he died unrepentant in Terni (April 5, 1856).
    Filippo Lucchetti from La Piaggia, convicted of premeditated murder and executed in Trevi (April 7, 1856)
    Odoardo Baldassarri from Ancona, convicted of Francesco Cinti’s unpremeditated murder; executed in Trevi (April 14, 1856).
    Giuseppe Grilli from Albano, aged 26, convicted of murder and robbery; beheaded in Albano (April 26, 1856).
    Antonio de Marzi from Albano, aged 55, convicted of robbery and murder and sentenced to the ultimate torment in Albano (April 26, 1856).
    Pio Capolei from Marino, aged 22, convicted of the Brigadiere[7] Maccaroni’s premeditated murder; beheaded in Marino (May 8, 1856).
    Giuseppe Terenziani called Fritella aged 59, from Todi, convicted of his mother’s murder; beheaded in Todi (June 18, 1856).
    Antonio Caprara called Ciovettolo, Roman, a 27-year-old carriage-maker, convicted of premeditated murder; beheaded (September 6, 1856).
    Bartolomeo Oli from Lobo in the papal legation of di Macerata, a 36-year-old peasant, convicted of murder and robbery; beheaded in Via dei Cerchi (September 6, 1856).
    Nemesio Pelonzi from Palombara, aged 30, convicted of the Palombara apothecary’s premeditated murder; beheaded (December 13, 1856).
    Francesco Roschini from Marcellina, aged 27, convicted of premeditated murder; beheaded in Palombara (December 13, 1856).
    Nicola De Bonis from Marcellina, aged 27, convicted of premeditated murder; beheaded in Palombara (December 13, 1856).
    Antonio De Angelis from Marcellina, aged 27, convicted of premeditated murder; beheaded in Palombara (December 13, 1856).
    Achille Malaccari from Ancona, aged 30, convicted of his father’s murder; beheaded in Ancona (January 26, 1857).
    Domenico Carloni from S. Valentino, diocese of Perugia, aged 40, convicted of murder and robbery; beheaded in Perugia (March 17, 1857).
    Anacleto Marchetti from Giulianello aged 35, convicted of the murder of a man and of a woman and of the arson of a granary; beheaded in Montefortino (May 5, 1857).
    Domenico Capolei son of the late Ottavio, from Marino convicted of the murder of Luigi Giuliani, the Marino Governor; beheaded in Marino (May 2, 1857).
    Francesco Elisei, from Velletri, aged 23 convicted of willful murder; beheaded in Civita Castellana (December, 22, 1857).
    Serafino Ciucci from Subiaco, aged 34, convicted of murder with the deliberate intent of stealing and committing other felonies; beheaded in Subiaco (January 23, 1858).
    Davidde Foschetti from Bassanello, aged 32, convicted of the murder of a woman and beheaded in Orfe (March 16, 1858).
    Giuseppe Berfarelli from Viterbo, aged 22, convicted of murder and robbery; beheaded in Viterbo (June 23, 1858).
    Carlo Camparini from Viterbo, aged 21, convicted of murder and robbery; he died in Viterbo (June 23, 1858).
    Alpini Giorgio, Sebbastiano Filippo and Rossi Pietro from S. Martino, convicted of robbery, beheaded in Spoleto (August 7, 1858).
    Vincenzo Pagliara from Frosinone, convicted of willful murder; beheaded in Frosinone (October 3, 1858).
    Pietro Masciotti, convicted of murder and robbery; beheaded in Perugia (October 23, 1858).
    Vincenzo Lodovici, aged 33, convicted of willful murder and beheaded in the stronghold of Civita Castellana (January 8, 1859).
    Giovanni Cosinia, aged 26, son of the late Nicola, from Carbognano, convicted of murder and sentenced to an exemplary death[5] (March 2, 1859).
    Gennaro Castellone, aged 28, son of Silvestro, from Cellano, convicted of murder and sentenced to an exemplary death[5] (May 2, 1859).
    Nazareno Caponi, from Monteleone, convicted of fratricide and beheaded in Treia (May 11, 1859).
    Giuseppe Lepri, aged 30, from Civitella di Agliano, a robber who died in Viterbo (September 17, 1859).
    Pietro Pompili, aged 33, from di Civitella di Agliano, a robber who died unrepentant in Viterbo (September 17, 1859).
    Vincenzo Vendetta, Antonio di Giacomo, Luigi Nardini, Valentino Antonio son of Giacomo, and Antonio Vendeta, all from Velletri, convicted of robberies and murders; they died in Velletri (October 29, 1859).
    1860-1870[edit]
    Luigi Bonci, papal legation of Perugia, sentenced to an exemplary death[5] (January 14, 1860).
    Serafino Volpi from Orvieto, sentenced to an exemplary death in Orvieto[5] (January 18, 1860).
    Antonio Simonetti, convicted of willful murder; beheaded in the Civitavecchia basin and died unrepentant (January 21, 1860).
    Giuseppe Alessandrini, from Jesi, aged 24, convicted of murder and sentenced by a Criminal Court to an exemplary death[5] (March 14, 1859).
    Lugi Finochi from Corneto, aged 30, convicted of uxoricide; beheaded in Corneto (July 21, 1860).
    Adamo Mazzanti, from Jesi, convicted of the murders of his mother, father and son; executed (September 12, 1860).
    Luigi Gagliardi, robber convicted of assassination and murder; beheaded in Civitavecchia (January 12, 1861).
    Nazareno Gercorini, convicted of murder and robbery; beheaded in Civitavecchia (January 12, 1861).
    Gaetano Lucarelli, from Marino, aged 29, convicted of murder to get indirect revenge and died unrepentant in Marino (March 30, 1861).
    Cesare Locatelli, Roman, aged 37, convicted of premeditated murder, died in Via dei Cerchi (September 21, 1861).
    Angelo Lisi di Alatri, convicted of highway robbery and murder in Frosinone (April 30, 1862)[2]
    Angelo Isola from Rocca Secca in the Kingdom of Naples, convicted of robbery, died in Subiaco (June 11, 1864).
    Antonio Olietti and Domenico Antonio Demartini of Rome, beheaded for homicide, these were the last executions by Bugatti (August 17, 1864)[2]
    Saturnino Piscitelli in the Civitavecchia basin (May 20, 1865).
    Salvatore Silvestri in Viterbo (February 17, 1866).
    Antonio Ventura, should have been executed in Bracciano, but his execution was not carried out (May 23, 1866).
    Francesco Ruggeri and Pasquale Beraradi in Rome (July 21, 1866).
    Paolo Caprara in Supino (February 11, 1867).
    Ignazio Bubali in Veroli (March 12, 1867).
    Ascenzo Palifermanti in Zagarolo (October 8, 1867).
    Pasquale Dicori in Palestrina (May 23, 1868).
    Giuseppe Monti and Gaetano Tognetti in Rome (November 24, 1868).
    Francesco Martini in Rocca di Papa (July 14, 1869).
    Agatino Bellomo, last person executed by the Papal States, two months before Rome was captured by Italian army (July 9, 1870)[1][2]

    Now the pope throws the previous popes under the bus and says capital punishment is wrong?

    I want consistency. Or does truth for you mean whatever.

    Like

  206. DGH, first you complain that Rome doesn’t discipline then you complain that it does. You Presbyterians are hard to please.

    Like

  207. Muddy, actually, it would be a perfectly plausible explanation to say that Rome no longer disciplines because it once did so Islamically. But because nothing ever changes and the Church is the perfect society . . .

    Like

  208. That list of papal executions is quite illuminating. But I’m sure the paradigm can explain why the w church once thought capital punishment okay and now doesn’t. I doubt, however, that the explanation consists of anything more than CTC sticking its fingers in its ears and saying: “you’re begging the question and not being charitable. You’re begging the question and not being charitable.”

    Like

  209. You’ll have to forgive me.

    I just want my golf clubs showing up with Mr. Allen, MG (she’s trading her MG for a white Chrysler LeBaron), and Robert the indefatigable. Seriously Robert, I’ll be you (and Brandon Addison for sure) a round a nine hole when you are in my neighborhood.

    Good week at Oldlife. Erik is happy, TVD denies the mullet. Webfoot keeps us on our toes.

    Have a great Lord’s day, all.

    Fore.

    Like

  210. D.G. Hart, the underlying issue is whether or not Jesus Christ established a Church here on this earth in which He deposited truth which was to be passed down from generation to generation, from faithful men to faithful men. Is Christ infallible and His Gospel true and unchanging and is He the Head of something or someone?

    If the Head is infallible, then the teaching He deposits in His body must also be infallible. Is that teaching contained in scripture alone, or are there traditions drawn from Scripture that take on the same characteristic of infallibility?

    Is Christ an infallible Head sitting on top of a body that He, through the workings of the Holy Spirit, makes sure keeps the faith once for all deposited in her? That goes to the sufficiency of Christ after all. How do Protestants avoid claiming that true orthodoxy began with them after a 1,500 year hiatus? That would undermine the sufficiency of Christ to purchase and then establish His Church.

    So, the history of the Church is what? Pentecost, then 1,500 years of false religion, then the true church finally gets going with the Reformation? Even Protestants cherry pick Catholic history and dogma, trying to decide what is and what is not orthodox. Thank God they decided on the Trinity and the Incarnation, plus the inspiration of Scripture – even though they left out books that Jesus and the 12 considered to be Scripture and referred to on numerous occasions.

    So, now, back to Francis and capital punishment. Notice that he did not change any dogma. He says that capital punishment may have been needed in times past, but now we have other ways of accomplishing the same purpose – protecting society and punishing lawbreakers.

    It is not unreasonable, – given the Church’s pro life stance which he is appealing to – to ask that countries re think their laws to find better ways. He lays out a case as to why, given the human rights abuses of totalitarian regimes, it is reasonable to abolish the death penalty.

    Like

  211. Mrs. Webfoot,

    “Is Christ infallible and His Gospel true and unchanging and is He the Head of something or someone?”

    Yes, he is the head of the church not the pope. (See what I did there?)

    “If the Head is infallible, then the teaching He deposits in His body must also be infallible. Is that teaching contained in scripture alone, or are there traditions drawn from Scripture that take on the same characteristic of infallibility?”

    Scripture alone. Even Aquinas knew the superiority of Scripture, and that, unlike many gullible repeaters of your question, that it’s a tad in the interest of the magisterium to have an undocumented handed down tradition to which they can resort when they need to. Talk about reasons why reform can’t happen.

    “Is Christ an infallible Head sitting on top of a body that He, through the workings of the Holy Spirit, makes sure keeps the faith once for all deposited in her?”

    Sure, but nothing that Christ did implies a Roman-centric view of Christianity. If anything, the church that comes closest to the one he founded was Jerusalem. Unless you think, the way Mormons believe that Christ visited North America, you think he visited Europe. Gullibility alert.

    “So, the history of the Church is what? Pentecost, then 1,500 years of false religion, then the true church finally gets going with the Reformation?”

    I’ve explained it here.

    In fact, without Protestantism Rome wouldn’t have even ventured the infallible dogma of Trent. Until then, most papal teaching concerned maintaining and defending Rome’s power.

    The thanks we get.

    Of course nothing ever changes except when it does. Is human life still sacred? Then what about the lives of people murdered? That used to be the reason for defending capital punishment. Now the pope knows criminal science? Where’s the unwritten tradition for that?

    Like

  212. Mrs. Webfoot
    Posted May 9, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink
    D.G. Hart, the underlying issue is whether or not Jesus Christ established a Church here on this earth in which He deposited truth which was to be passed down from generation to generation, from faithful men to faithful men. Is Christ infallible and His Gospel true and unchanging and is He the Head of something or someone?

    If the Head is infallible, then the teaching He deposits in His body must also be infallible. Is that teaching contained in scripture alone, or are there traditions drawn from Scripture that take on the same characteristic of infallibility?

    Is Christ an infallible Head sitting on top of a body that He, through the workings of the Holy Spirit, makes sure keeps the faith once for all deposited in her? That goes to the sufficiency of Christ after all. How do Protestants avoid claiming that true orthodoxy began with them after a 1,500 year hiatus? That would undermine the sufficiency of Christ to purchase and then establish His Church.

    So, the history of the Church is what? Pentecost, then 1,500 years of false religion, then the true church finally gets going with the Reformation? Even Protestants cherry pick Catholic history and dogma, trying to decide what is and what is not orthodox. Thank God they decided on the Trinity and the Incarnation, plus the inspiration of Scripture – even though they left out books that Jesus and the 12 considered to be Scripture and referred to on numerous occasions.

    So, now, back to Francis and capital punishment. Notice that he did not change any dogma. He says that capital punishment may have been needed in times past, but now we have other ways of accomplishing the same purpose – protecting society and punishing lawbreakers.

    It is not unreasonable, – given the Church’s pro life stance which he is appealing to – to ask that countries re think their laws to find better ways. He lays out a case as to why, given the human rights abuses of totalitarian regimes, it is reasonable to abolish the death penalty.

    Professor Hart receives another well-earned spanking.

    Like

  213. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 9, 2015 at 9:28 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, I think your boy David Barton needs more help that Webfoot.

    You need the help, Professor. Mrs. Webfoot just took your attack on the Vatican’s position on capital punishment to school.

    For all the time you spend attacking Catholicism, you know little about it, and the little you do know is wrong.

    Like

  214. Your metrosexual allies Jed, Zrim, and the Rev. Doc are not proving very helpful in warding off Tom.

    Switch pudgy, and typically unshowered with metrosexual, and you might be closer. But, I have to say, being the William Wallace of Old Life suits you well. The Lords of OL are cowering in their castles whilst Erik rides for his Revenge in the Night.

    Maybe the alternative is Tom doesn’t need any warding off (new haircut, maybe). OL keeps on truckin as long as the dude is posting. It’s not exactly rocket surgery dude.

    Like

  215. This time, with emphasis:

    sean
    Posted June 27, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink
    TVD, I never got off the field. I merely changed teams via the sanctity of not violating religious conscience per Vat II esteem of same. The fact is we all are engaged in making a choice whether according to MOC or the perspicuity of sacred text. Both sides claim Holy Spirit leading in each enterprise and both ultimately make faith claims. The fight between us is over apostolic teaching. RC ultimately gives up written apostolic ground by introducing unwritten apostolic tradition and oversight of same through magisterial interpretation-maturation of the deposit. Prots call foul and demand adherence to known original apostolic teaching in order to claim apostolic authority; Gal 1:6-10. RC rebuts by claiming such judgement is according to prot paradigm-sola scriptura and as such is question begging. Prots counter with illegitimacy of RC paradigm per noumenal claims of unwritten tradition and magisterial interpretation and subsequent apostolic authority for same. Ecumenical dialogue halts until both sides respect the delineated bounds.

    RC’s ultimately don’t hold themselves to merely sacred text compliance for form-magisterium or content-theology. RC says to hold this against them is question begging. Prots say you’ve fallen into the same pharisaical trap of the Jews in substituting your man made tradition for the commands of God; Mark 7:6-10.

    There’s all sorts of Vat II, Kungian arguments we could introduce but that’s the rough breakdown. I know my birth mother, thank you very much. But if I was discourteous, I apologize.

    Like

  216. Never forget, TVD loves DGH and his henchmen, yo:

    TVD
    Posted May 6, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    D. G. Hart
    Posted May 6, 2015 at 4:41 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, love me in an Arminian way.

    But I do, mon cheri, and all your Crabby for Christ henchpersons too. It’s the warrior children whose agape needs work. I’m hardly the first person to notice.

    Like

  217. Mrs W.: So, now, back to Francis and capital punishment. Notice that he did not change any dogma. He says that capital punishment may have been needed in times past

    I’m sorry, where are you seeing that? I am looking at the encyclical and see nothing about “times past.”

    He actually says this:

    Francis:

    Life, human life above all, belongs to God alone. Not even a murderer loses his personal dignity, and God himself pledges to guarantee this. As St Ambrose taught, God did not want to punish Cain with homicide, for He wants the sinner to repent more than to die (cf. Evangelium Vitae, n. 9).

    In certain circumstances, when hostilities are underway, a measured reaction is necessary in order to prevent the aggressor from causing harm, and the need to neutralize the aggressor may result in his elimination; it is a case of legitimate defence (cf. Evangelium Vitae, n. 55). Nevertheless, the prerequisites of legitimate personal defence are not applicable in the social sphere without the risk of distortion. In fact, when the death penalty is applied, people are killed not for current acts of aggression, but for offences committed in the past. Moreover, it is applied to people whose capacity to cause harm is not current, but has already been neutralized, and who are deprived of their freedom.

    Today capital punishment is unacceptable, however serious the condemned’s crime may have been. It is an offence to the inviolability of life and to the dignity of the human person which contradicts God’s plan for man and for society and his merciful justice, and it fails to conform to any just purpose of punishment. It does not render justice to the victims, but rather foments revenge.

    For a constitutional state the death penalty represents a failure, because it obliges the State to kill in the name of justice. Dostoyevsky wrote: “To kill a murderer is a punishment incomparably worse than the crime itself. Murder by legal sentence is immeasurably more terrible than murder by a criminal”. Justice is never reached by killing a human being.

    The death penalty loses all legitimacy due to the defective selectivity of the criminal justice system and in the face of the possibility of judicial error. Human justice is imperfect, and the failure to recognize its fallibility can transform it into a source of injustice. With the application of capital punishment, the person sentenced is denied the possibility to make amends or to repent of the harm done; the possibility of confession, with which man expresses his inner conversion; and of contrition, the means of repentance and atonement, in order to reach the encounter with the merciful and healing love of God.

    Furthermore, capital punishment is a frequent practice to which totalitarian regimes and fanatical groups resort, for the extermination of political dissidents, minorities, and every individual labelled as “dangerous” or who might be perceived as a threat to their power or to the attainment of their objectives. As in the first centuries and also in the current one, the Church suffers from the application of this penalty to her new martyrs.

    The death penalty is contrary to the meaning of humanitas and to divine mercy, which must be models for human justice. It entails cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, as is the anguish before the moment of execution and the terrible suspense between the issuing of the sentence and the execution of the penalty, a form of “torture” which, in the name of correct procedure, tends to last many years, and which oftentimes leads to illness and insanity on death row.

    — Pope Francis, To The President of the International Commission

    His arguments against the death penalty:

    * Life belongs to God alone
    * The death penalty is not applied to persons who are a current threat, but on the basis of past aggression.
    * It is an offence to the inviolability of life
    * It contradicts God’s plan for man, society, and merciful justice
    * It fails to conform to any just form of punishment
    * It foments revenge…

    etc.

    Not one of the reasons that he asserts against the death penalty are time- or society-dependent. If his argument is correct now, it has always been correct; the death penalty has always been wrong.

    Unless, of course, humans have more dignity and worth now than they did in times past. Perhaps this is so; after all, there were fewer of them then. /irony

    Does he give any exceptions? Only when In certain circumstances, when hostilities are underway, a measured reaction is necessary in order to prevent the aggressor from causing harm, and the need to neutralize the aggressor may result in his elimination; it is a case of legitimate defence (cf. Evangelium Vitae, n. 55). Clearly this intends legitimate self-defense.

    Does this perhaps extend to the death penalty in times past? No. For he says,

    Nevertheless, the prerequisites of legitimate personal defence are not applicable in the social sphere without the risk of distortion.

    So there it is. Contrary to the assertion, Francis lays out an argument against the death penalty that would make it wrong in all times and in all places.

    He would especially repudiate the death penalty for robbery, and he repudiates the notion of “exemplary death” found several times in DGH’s list above.

    Francis again: For a constitutional state the death penalty represents a failure, because it obliges the State to kill in the name of justice. Dostoyevsky wrote: “To kill a murderer is a punishment incomparably worse than the crime itself. Murder by legal sentence is immeasurably more terrible than murder by a criminal”. Justice is never reached by killing a human being. (emph add)

    There seems to be little-to-no wiggle room here to justify the death penalty in times past. Where are you finding that?

    Like

  218. Then-Cardinal Ratzinger on the death penalty:

    Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia. — Ratzinger, Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion, emph add

    It may be permissible … Justice is never reached. Same idea, different words, right?

    Like

  219. “In certain circumstances, when hostilities are underway, a measured reaction is necessary in order to prevent the aggressor from causing harm, and the need to neutralize the aggressor may result in his elimination; it is a case of legitimate defence (cf. Evangelium Vitae, n. 55).”

    Clearly this intends legitimate self-defense.

    —True.

    Does this perhaps extend to the death penalty in times past? No.

    —Irrelevant to times past.

    For he says,

    “Nevertheless, the prerequisites of legitimate personal defence are not applicable in the social sphere without the risk of distortion.”

    So there it is.

    —There it isn’t. His argument is “Today capital punishment is unacceptable, however serious the condemned’s crime may have been.”

    Today.

    Francis’s argument is not that capital punishment is intrinsically wrong, but that there is a better and more Christian way, especially in these modern times. To demand a slavish consistency from him is disingenuous: His argument is a development of the pro-life position, not a repudiation of all human history to date.

    Further, he is not speaking ex cathedra here. It may come as a surprise to those who get their knowledge of Catholicism from this blog that popes do not always offer their exhortations and opinions as infallible.

    In fact, they do so very seldom, and this is not one of those times.

    Like

  220. Jed,

    With your semi-annual comments and the host getting beyond the maturity of a 12-year old, it might work out.

    Someone needs to be the bigger man between Darryl & Tom and I’m hoping it’s the OPC officer.

    Like

  221. Hey, anyone want to see what Jupiter looked like from my backyard last night (emoticon)(yo, guys)? It’s set to Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major, using my Celestron NexStar 4SE with my Nikon D3100. Dr. Terry Gray (remember him, TVD?) and I like this space stuff.

    Like

  222. Someone needs to be the bigger man between Darryl & Tom and I’m hoping it’s the OPC officer.

    Erik, Tom doesn’t like 2k theology, and likes talking with real historians. It’s same stuff, different day. I try to keep my comments desultory or else people will think the axis of the earth has shifted.

    But since you bring up OPC officers, I’ll chime in with what I said before:

    AB
    Posted May 4, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Permalink
    TVD, in seriousness, you don’t see that this is all a game.

    Even if you and webby are right, of the 85 million presbyterian and reformed christians, there are about 15 MAYBE reading your oh so wonderful and truly original (really) points here. You’ve reached 0.0000176% of presbyterians, none of which are going to agree with you anyway.

    You should work on playing bass for the cookies and stop wasting your time. for your sake, alone.

    who’s next?

    Have a nice day at church!

    Like

  223. Darryl,

    That’s too personal. If he seriously has medical issues it’s not funny or kind to poke fun at that. He can’t help it.

    That’s a basic thing most of us learn post-8th grade.

    Like

  224. Andrew,

    If someone comes here and pokes the host day after day and the host responds in kind day after day, how do we get anywhere?

    The Christians here are some of the smarter Christians around, but at the same time some of the more immature Christians around.

    You don’t win an argument with a Tom by sinking to his level — that just feeds his fire. If you approach him in a Cagle-like way, though, eventually the juxtapositon is so stark that everyone sees it and draws their own conclusions.

    As it is you just have a (nominally) Catholic guy being a jerk to a Reformed guy and a Reformed guy being a jerk to a (nominally) Catholic guy. It stopped being entertaining a year ago.

    If Darryl plays it straight with Tom and Tom persists in being an obstinate jerk, than I would just give Tom the boot. Life’s too short.

    For starters, drop the vd, t. It bothers Tom because of the link with venereal disease. Call him Tom. He can’t help his name.

    Like

  225. Erik, most of these blog comment issues (although some you lay out are directed at Darryl – granted) are sorted out by Mark Jones here (particularly the categories he lays out that apply in various measures to all of us commenters), and although Jeff i s not retired by my understanding, he is one of the unique consistently constructive contributors here. Maybe the only, as opposed to Darryl who pours his heart into his blog posts, just to make that clear. Here you go:

    To the retired person, who:

    Has enough time to comment on blogs, has done sufficient reading on the topic to make an intelligent contribution to the discussion, and isn’t on “the Facebook” all the time:

    Go steal computers from the people above.

    I personally think if Tom went to church, he would stop using this blog as his worship service, Darryl the priest who gets in TVD’s nerves, though I dont know TVD personally so that is only conjecture. I admit.

    Take care. Always good to hear from you out here, bro.

    Like

  226. *as opposed to (above)

    wrong word choice

    Darryl and Jeff C contribute, Darryl his thoughtful posts, Jeff by his defending and helping the system prevalent here.

    Like

  227. Guys,

    There are a number of people who put in yeoman’s work on various topics, and several of them are exemplary models of restraint in the face of provocation. No pedestals, no fanboys.

    Like

  228. @ Tom: You have two arguments.

    (1) “Today” means “Today in contrast to times before”, so that Francis is not repudiating what has come before.

    (2) But even if he’s wrong, he’s not speaking infallibly, so there’s no actual problem.

    Both of these arguments are dubious.

    (~1) “Today” could mean that, in a vacuum, but then Francis would be contradicting himself. Because all of his arguments, as mentioned before, are not relative to a certain time and place.

    Again: If you want to say that the death penalty was OK for a previous time, then you would have to argue that humans had less dignity and worth in God’s eyes in a previous time — or else abandon Francis’s argument.

    Do you really want to walk down the road of relativism?

    Given the structure of his argument, it seems clear that “today” means something like “especially today.”

    But if you insist that “today” must mean a clean break between past and present, then there’s a ἕως I’d like you to meet:

    ἐγερθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰωσὴφ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὕπνου ἐποίησεν ὡς προσέταξεν αὐτῷ ὁ ἄγγελος κυρίου καὶ παρέλαβεν τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ· καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν αὐτὴν ἕως οὗ ἔτεκεν [m]υἱόν· καὶ ἐκάλεσεν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν.

    When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. — Matt 1.24-25.

    The problem with your quick punching, TVD, is that you aren’t paying attention to consistency. And that’s bad for lovers of truth, for truth must be fully true, and not merely convenient for deflecting the point of the moment. Your approach is very short-sighted.

    (~2) Yes, I’m fully aware that the pope does not speak ex cathedra often. My questions are, Is he authoritative at other times? And isn’t he supposed to uphold established doctrine at all those other times?

    Like

  229. Jeff, you are right, there’s no “I” in team (there is a “me”..)

    Still, when you bring in Greek, its like watching S. Curry and that high arc. Props bro.

    Have a great Lord’s day.

    Like

  230. Erik, it must be nice being able to set up shop in another man’s living room and tell him how to run his house with total impugnity, I haven’t found a pill that will help me with that yet. And, if I wasn’t up for an occasional friendly ribbing over my medical condition, I certainly wouldn’t have brought it up here. It’s fair game mon frere.

    If TVD really wants a substantive discussion with the Dude, he’s a big boy, I am sure he can make that happen. He seems rather content to exchange barbs – which it done with remarkable efficiency here.

    Like

  231. Jed,

    Too many people forego the good stuff on this site because they’re turned off by all the petty BS.

    Unlike all you fan boys I’ve been freed up to tell Darryl when his s**t stinks. I’m beholden to no one here.

    Like

  232. Jed – If TVD really wants a substantive discussion with the Dude, he’s a big boy, I am sure he can make that happen. He seems rather content to exchange barbs – which it done with remarkable efficiency here.

    Erik – The point is not what Tom does or doesn’t do or wants. That’s irrelevant. The point is how a NAPARC officer, college professor, and noted scholar responds to what Tom does. Tom baits him day after day and he takes the bait. That’s not good.

    Like

  233. I had a magical Saturday with Tom where we actually had a productive back-and-forth. We were both courteous and it was an enjoyable conversation. A week later he was back in his usual mode and the result was that I said “enough” and just gave him the boot. This is where Darryl needs to get to — either be able to rise above how Tom operates or, if he can’t, get rid of him.

    Darryl deleted my trackbacks so I know he’s got some censor in him if he gets fed up. There’s nothing wrong with that – we are not at the mercy of people who irritate us.

    Like

  234. Jeff absolutely has it right above. If you’re patient, Tom will make gaffes because he operates so quickly. He just wants to fire back a pat response without much thought. An example was last week when he accidentally linked Roman Catholics with Mormons.

    Now Tom will just fire back something at Jeff to try to bait him (while ignoring the substantive points and questions that Jeff has raised), but Jeff won’t take the bait, will make another substantive point, and Tom will just look worse.

    Then Darryl will come along with some petty insult or joke about Tom, shifting the focus and letting Tom off the hook.

    Like

  235. Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 10, 2015 at 11:55 am | Permalink
    @ Tom: You have two arguments.

    (1) “Today” means “Today in contrast to times before”, so that Francis is not repudiating what has come before.

    (2) But even if he’s wrong, he’s not speaking infallibly, so there’s no actual problem.

    Both of these arguments are dubious.

    The Church is changing its mind on capital punishment. Therefore what?

    There’s not even a thesis here to debate.

    As for the rest of the peanut gallery, speaking about me in the third person when I’m ‘standing right here’ is unconscionably rude.

    Like

  236. Tom,

    Not meaning to be rude, merely objective.

    Would you agree that you and Darryl don’t have a very healthy dynamic between the two of you? There appears to be a lot of mutual hostility and disrespect. Is that fitting for discussions about the Christian religion?

    Like

  237. Y’all spend more time discussing the discussions than actually discussing. The problem is yours, as you said, junior high. Pass.

    Me, I object when he writes something bogus about other people’s religions or politics. After registering my objection and setting the record straight, I’m happy to leave it there. To return to the topic, Jeff has been courteous and has avoided ad hom. My point is that demanding a slavish consistency of Catholicism is silly.

    The Catholic Church used to burn up heretics, and indeed Calvin and Calvin’s Geneva burned up Michael Servetus. If you’ve noticed, I don’t play the Servetus card on Calvinism, because it’s petty, not probative. So is this particular roundup about the papal states.

    I think not burning heretics is probably a good idea. I also changed my position on the death penalty a few years back, partly because of the Vatican’s [pre-Francis] arguments.

    http://reformclub.blogspot.com/2009/09/on-capital-punishment.html

    Like

  238. Tom,

    How about when you play the “Terry Gray” card, Darryl responds with Papal statements on evolution that are pretty similar to the OPC’s, and you continue to play the Terry Gray card. Is that operating in good faith?

    Like

  239. Tom,

    We hear from the Callers that dogma can not and does not change. When we point out things that appear to have changed, we get either silence or a response that, “well, that’s not dogma”.

    What is your view of what CAN and CANNOT change in the Catholic Church?

    Like

  240. vd, t, “Y’all spend more time discussing the discussions than actually discussing.”

    Puhleeze. When was the last time that in response to a post from a Roman Catholic source about Roman Catholicism you actually responded to the merits of the case? Or has it been your modus operendi to simply yell “foul” and point to Protestantism’s (read PCUSA) problems?

    Like

  241. Erik Charter
    Posted May 10, 2015 at 3:54 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    How about when you play the “Terry Gray” card, Darryl responds with Papal statements on evolution that are pretty similar to the OPC’s, and you continue to play the Terry Gray card. Is that operating in good faith?

    Surely after virtually 100s of good faith arguments, you’re not going to try exploit something I said in passing months ago, when this very thread is an ad hom disgrace. But iirc, the point was about “church discipline,” that the rejection of magisterium made Protestantism structurally oriented toward schism and atomization. Even a micro-denomination like the Orthodox Presbyterian Church [only 30,000 members] puts people on trial over theological chickenspit like evolution in the 21st century. [Ironically enough, an exercise of magisterium!]

    Had they done so even 50 years ago, it would indeed by gotcha-farming the same as these bizarre Edgardo Montara things that have no probative value. Now, if you don’t mind, the only thing I’m interested in is the current live discussion Jeff and I are/were having. At the moment, my argument is that Darryl threw out another red herring on Mrs. Webfoot because she was kicking his ass.

    Look, a squirrel!

    Like

  242. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 10, 2015 at 4:05 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, “Y’all spend more time discussing the discussions than actually discussing.”

    Puhleeze. When was the last time that in response to a post from a Roman Catholic source about Roman Catholicism you actually responded to the merits of the case? Or has it been your modus operendi to simply yell “foul” and point to Protestantism’s (read PCUSA) problems?

    More that Presbyterianism has every one of your Catholic “gotchas” 10 times worse. The rebuttal is always that these failings in either church are the result of men’s freedom to replace God’s will with their own, except in Protestantism’s case, heresy and schism are the rule not the exception, hence the 100s or 1000s of denominations.

    I’m refuting the premise of your attacks, and their probativeness. What Michael Sean Winters or Garry Wills think amounts to nothing. Unlike Protestantism, Catholicism isn’t Family Feud, where whatever the mob thinks equals gospel truth.

    And yes, here you are discussing the discussing instead of saying anything probative again.

    Like

  243. Tom, rude? Us?

    Well, I did share my Jupiter videos, that counts for something?

    John Calvin doesnt want us to be rude, please accept my apology. Here you go:

    Then by a diligent examination of our faults let us keep ourselves humble. Thus while nothing will remain to swell our pride, there will be much to subdue it. Again, we are enjoined, whenever we behold the gifts of God in others, so to reverence and respect the gifts, as also to honour those in whom they reside.

    God having been pleased to bestow honour upon them, it would ill become us to deprive them of it. Then we are told to overlook their faults, not, indeed, to encourage by flattering them, but not because of them to insult those whom we ought to regard with honour and good will.392 In this way, with regard to all with whom we have intercourse, our behaviour will be not only moderate and modest, but courteous and friendly. The only way by which you can ever attain to true meekness, is to have your heart imbued with a humble opinion of yourself and respect for others.
    www[dot]ccel[dot]org/ccel/calvin/institutes.v.viii.html

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  244. Tom,

    I believe you brought up Terry Gray within the last week.

    Is it productive to say that Mrs. Webfoot was “kicking (Darryl’s) ass”? Isn’t that the kind of rhetoric that supposedly turned her off to reformed people and helped lead to her conversion?

    I witnessed that discussion and wondered why you were so impressed. I didn’t see Mrs. Webfoot saying anything innovative or especially impressive. Pretty much just the usual arguments.

    Like

  245. Tom,

    I found it. It was may 6th that you most recently brought up Terry Gray. Darryl responded with a citation of Pius XII’s HUMANI GENERIS from 1950 and you tried to write that off as if it was not relevant to the 21st Century. 1950 is pretty recent by the standards of the Roman Catholic Church, though. I’m not sure what teaching you believe supersedes it.

    Your only response was mocking Darryl over Gray again.

    Like

  246. I was going to discuss your discussion of discussing discussions but I already exceed my limits of comments and tolerance for chickenspit such as combing other threads for gotchas. No good comes of responding to these things except helping bury the actual discussion.

    Catholicism’s evolution of its position on capital punishment is not probative, any more than that Calvinism doesn’t burn heretics anymore. As for the rest of Mrs. Webfoot’s arguments, they must have been effective enough that Darryl was compelled to fire off the non sequitur of capital punishment.

    So, unless Jeff has a principled reply, y’all have succeeded in burying whatever legit discussion there was–as is par for the Old Life course. Junior high.

    Like

  247. Tom,

    It was on page 4 of THIS thread…4 days ago.

    This is where you can start to gain credibility and build some good faith. If you’re not sure how to reconcile HUMANI GENERIS with your critique of the OPC and Terry Gray, just say so. No one has every answer immediately at their fingertips. You can do some reading and revisit it later.

    As far as capital punishment goes, would you agree that the Roman Catholic Church has a higher bar to get over than Protestant churches when it comes to the issue of change because it makes much bolder claims for itself?

    Like

  248. Tom,

    If Catholics of a certain time period were putting their faith in their leaders to get things right and later we discover that their leaders had things wrong, are we right to feel sympathy for those Catholics who were misled by misguided leaders? Is this putting up with errir just a necessary consequence of putting one’s faith in a Church as opposed to putting it in Christ in a more direct, less mediated way?

    Like

  249. Erik, your comment got me to take a stroll down memory lane via WordPress’ Dashboard.

    It seemed to start out okay with vd, t, five years ago. https://oldlife.org/2010/06/if-reformed-needs-to-be-distinguished-from-puritan-why-not-presbyterian/comment-page-1/#comment-8504

    Then it got a little testy when vd, t thought I was harder on Sarah Palin than President Obama: https://oldlife.org/2013/04/at-least-2k-doesnt-produce-carrie-nations/comment-page-2/#comment-81211

    Then along came the touchy subject of Rome and Bryan and the Jasons where vd, t’s upbringing began to surface: https://oldlife.org/2013/04/let-the-interpretation-resume/comment-page-1/#comment-81929

    And then the clincher in my view — vd, t’s unwillingness to read a historical account of Calvinism compared to one prepared for the Heritage Foundation: https://oldlife.org/2013/06/confusing-johns/comment-page-1/#comment-87212

    Ah, good times.

    Like

  250. So, unless Jeff has a principled reply, y’all have succeeded in burying whatever legit discussion there was–as is par for the Old Life course. Junior high.

    Nothing’s buried, You CHOOSE to discuss the discussions. You aren’t above it all, so stop trying. If Darryl looked in his wordpress dashboard stats, you probably are only rivaled by Erik, who has an uncanny ability to post many comments , many of which entertain the 8 or so people who read out here.

    Again, have some of my astronomical objects from last night put to music. Go practice your bass, go jam with The Cookies. Dont be grumpy, it’s the Lord’s day, dude:

    Like

  251. vd, t, how can Protestantism be ten times worse with only 500 years of history. Think historically man, not like an apologist.

    Plus, if Protestantism is so bad, why Calvinism and the American founding?

    Like

  252. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 10, 2015 at 5:41 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, how can Protestantism be ten times worse with only 500 years of history. Think historically man, not like an apologist.

    Plus, if Protestantism is so bad, why Calvinism and the American founding?

    D. G. Hart
    Posted May 10, 2015 at 5:44 pm | Permalink
    Erik, by the way, as part of that memory stroll, vd, t brought up Terry pretty early: https://oldlife.org/2013/06/confusing-johns/comment-page-5/#comment-87752

    Yes, I found the Terry Gray incident astonishingly bizarre in the 21st century. And you stood by and said nothing, yes?

    As for Calvinist resistance theory, I give it its historical due, which you do not, for reasons which apparently have nothing to do with history.
    _____

    Erik Charter
    Posted May 10, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    If Catholics of a certain time period were putting their faith in their leaders to get things right and later we discover that their leaders had things wrong, are we right to feel sympathy for those Catholics who were misled by misguided leaders? Is this putting up with error just a necessary consequence of putting one’s faith in a Church as opposed to putting it in Christ in a more direct, less mediated way?

    That’s an impossibly vague argument. Further, the Catholic Church has admitted many mistakes, just not any doctrinal ones.

    By contrast, the OPC’s schism from the PCUSA in 1936 also resulted in a repudiation of the 1903 revisions to the Westminster Confessions of Faith–which resulted in the immediate schism of the Bible Presbyterian Church!

    http://www.opc.org/GA/constitution.html

    You’re dealing with 2 different ballgames here, and whatever the Old Life blog tries to lay on the Catholic Church, it’s 10 times worse in Presbyterianism, and 1000 times worse once you look at the dizzying panoply of “Protestantism,” which has come to have no meaning atall above and beyond “not-Catholic.”

    Like

  253. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 10, 2015 at 5:41 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, how can Protestantism be ten times worse with only 500 years of history. Think historically man, not like an apologist.

    Plus, if Protestantism is so bad, why Calvinism and the American founding?

    D. G. Hart
    Posted May 10, 2015 at 5:44 pm | Permalink
    Erik, by the way, as part of that memory stroll, vd, t brought up Terry pretty early

    Ah, trolling your files for chickenspit gotchas, eh? Well done.

    Yes, I found the Terry Gray incident astonishingly bizarre in the 21st century. And you stood by and said nothing, yes?

    As for Calvinist resistance theory, I give it its historical due, which you do not, for reasons which apparently have nothing to do with history.
    _____

    Erik Charter
    Posted May 10, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    If Catholics of a certain time period were putting their faith in their leaders to get things right and later we discover that their leaders had things wrong, are we right to feel sympathy for those Catholics who were misled by misguided leaders? Is this putting up with error just a necessary consequence of putting one’s faith in a Church as opposed to putting it in Christ in a more direct, less mediated way?

    That’s an impossibly vague argument, a million miles away from the ex cathedra dynamic. Further, the Catholic Church has admitted many mistakes, just not any doctrinal ones.

    By contrast, the OPC’s schism from the PCUSA in 1936 also resulted in a repudiation of the 1903 revisions to the Westminster Confessions of Faith–which resulted in the immediate schism of the Bible Presbyterian Church!

    http://www.opc.org/GA/constitution.html

    You’re dealing with 2 different ballgames here, and whatever the Old Life blog tries to lay on the Catholic Church, it’s 10 times worse in Presbyterianism, and 1000 times worse once you look at the dizzying panoply of “Protestantism,” which has come to have no meaning atall above and beyond “not-Catholic.”

    Protestantism has PLENTY of “mediation,” Erik. An embarrassment of “mediation,” Erik. A virtual Tower of Babelful!

    Like

  254. Comments are open and time once again, to review the bidding as it were.

    TVD, The Veronian Disciple completely misses the point.
    Again.
    There’s no question that protestantism displays the same kind of inconsistencies that Romanism does, anecdotal or otherwise.
    The salient distinction is the claim that Romanism makes to be the one true perfect indefectible and infallible church, far above all others. IOW these kind of inconsistencies are entirely beneath her. Right.

    Further, it is rich to hear romanists – Mrs. W is only the latest – talk about John 17 and unity and ignore truth, as if there can be any unity apart from in the truth. When the bar is pretty low to begin with, unity is easy. Attend mass on Christmas, Easter, New Years and ? and it’s all good for those who walk by sight.

    But if John 17:17  means anything, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” , when romanism begs the distinctions between Scripture, tradition and the magisterium, then all bets are off and romanism is a slam dunk – if you buy into the suppressed premises . . . contra John 17:17.
    The lost apostolic oral traditions and non existent index ex cathedra papal encyclicals guarantee an answer for all questions in all seasons.

    Neither does Scripture equip the man of God unto “every good work” 2 Tim. 3:17, even determining the true church while Bryan wants to argue from the bones of the apostles rather from Scripture. Who you gonna believe?

    As also noted previously and studiously ignored, Rome does not believe that man’s reason fell in the Fall, i.e. men can be reasoned into Christianity. This is the CTC forte par excellente. “It wouldn’t be reasonable if Christ hadn’t left an infallible interpreter behind when he ascended into heaven”. And that interpreter is the Roman magisterium (filtered of course thru Tom and Called to Confusion), not the Holy Spirit. But again the distinction between the communicable and incommunicable attributes of God is Theol. 101, much more in Adam’s fall, he sinned in all, his reason, will and affections.

    As for the critical distinction between the imputed and infused righteousness of Christ, Tvd’s only answer is to shout it down while at the same time it went completely over Mrs. W’s head. She was taught the gospel at one time and appreciates that, but Rome is still the only one true church. IOW the theological parvenus and newbs can’t help but be amusing/annoying at times. They don’t even know the question, never mind the answers, but like to lecture – and on the part of some, hector – us.

    (Yeah, we know one ad hom deserves another, but never fear we have another officer in the OPC who’s schtick doesn’t stink to save us. But what do I have to pony up to get somebody to retract their confession?)

    Death penalty? We knew that that was discipline, not dogma when the question was asked.
    Of course the magistrate only beareth a wooden spoon, Rom 13 to the contrary. Anything else wouldn’t be reasonable.

    1500 years? Why did Luther say he learned from his teachers? Why did Rome only harden and turn from the gospel at Trent? What happened at the Reformation when not only the text of Scripture, but the early church fathers were discovered and read contra the glosses of the medieval church? If Rome is the true church that is one thing; if it is the whore prophesied of in Scripture, quite another.

    cheers

    Like

  255. Bob S
    Posted May 10, 2015 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    And that interpreter is the Roman magisterium (filtered of course thru Tom and Called to Confusion), not the Holy Spirit.

    This premise is wrong, rendering the rest nonsense.

    And now, I’m going to stop answering my fan mail, fellas, unless Jeff wants a crack. Take Andrew’s advice and listen to The Cookies, esp the studio tracks below the videos. Engineered and produced mostly with these bare hands, with only a modicum of help.

    http://squelchers.net/Cookies/Cookies.htm

    Like

  256. I think Tom’s interests have slowly become more theological and not just historical. As I wrote last week, though, I think he’s in way over his head doing Roman Catholic apologetics. Unlike Bryan, he’ll mix it up as opposed to just bobbing & weaving and when you get tied up with seasoned P&R guys you’re going to get bloodied unless you really know your stuff. He’s nowhere near where he needs to be yet, and I don’t mean that as a slam. There’s a reason few have done it well here — Cletus Van Damme has been the best to date. Kenneth is a less-mature version of Tom and the Callers just won’t stick around.

    If this all inspires Tom to do more outside reading, though, that’s a good thing.

    Like

  257. Tom – That’s an impossibly vague argument, a million miles away from the ex cathedra dynamic. Further, the Catholic Church has admitted many mistakes, just not any doctrinal ones.

    Erik – It wasn’t an argument, just a question. What comfort do you offer to people who put their faith in a church that could turn out to be wrong on important, even life-and-death, matters?

    If the Church had put you to death when it had civil authority to do so but then 200 years later said that capital punishment is wrong, what would you say to that man who was put to death if you could offer him comfort? “Oops”?

    Like

  258. Tom – By contrast, the OPC’s schism from the PCUSA in 1936 also resulted in a repudiation of the 1903 revisions to the Westminster Confessions of Faith–which resulted in the immediate schism of the Bible Presbyterian Church!

    Erik – By seeing “schism” as the ultimate evil you reveal your prejudices, you don’t necessarily establish that it is the ultimate evil. Can you make the case that schism is the worst thing that can happen in the Christian church? In particular, that tolerating error (you’ve conceded that the Roman Catholic church has been in error many times) is preferable to schism?

    Like

  259. Where is the Biblical warrant for schism?

    Except for that slip in talking about me in the third person, do what you must [but for Wales, Richard? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLIsqYKDqY8%5D, I appreciate the principled replies here. But again, you’re avoiding your half of the discussion. Where is the Biblical warrant for schism? And schism upon schism? How does that square with the “catholic” in the Nicene Creed without bending the meaning of “catholic” and “church” to absurdity? You just can’t sit behind the duck blind taking shots, and neither do you need my input to make your case.

    As for the papal states executions, asked and answered. The new teachings are offered as a better way through Christ–in no small part for the living more than the dead–and natural law is subject to empirical proof. In the current age, it appears that capital punishment has little or no deterrent value. But if societal circumstances change, or if it could be proven that capital punishment does indeed save lives, then the “self-defense” argument per natural law is back on.

    If it’s OK, I’m gonna leave the piranha tank now. Lunch is over. Do what you do when i’m not around, feed on each other. Erik’s back! Yum!

    ;-P

    Like

  260. I like to think I had a hand in bringing Erik back, I showed him how this site’s ratings were slipping.

    Erik, maybe we can all pitch in for that $1k payoff. I’ll try and start a petition. Also am glad you are back, for my part.

    At least it wasn’t 2k 😎

    Like

  261. Erik, you scared TVD off. Again, great to have you back 😛

    Where is the Biblical warrant for schism?

    Enough with the rabies theologorum:

    Now what does Luther say against the Roman quantitative, objective, and relative point of view?: The relation to God is personal. It is an ego-thou relationship, not mediated by anybody or anything – only by accepting the message of acceptance, which is the content of the Bible. This is not an objective status in which you are, but this is a personal relationship, which he called “faith”; but not faith in something which one can believe, but acceptance that you are accepted: this is what he meant. It is qualitative, not quantitative. Either you are separated or you are not separated from God. There are no quantities of separation or non-separation. In a person-to-person relationship you can say: there are conflicts, there are tensions, but as long as the relationship is a relationship of confidence and love, it is a quality. And if it is separated, it is something else. But it is not a matter of quantity. And in the same way, it is unconditional and not conditioned, as it is in the Roman system. You are not a little bit nearer to God if you do a little bit more for the church, or against your body, but you are near to God completely, absolutely, if you are united with Him; and you are separated if you are not The one is unconditionally negative; the other is unconditionally positive. The Reformation restates the unconditional categories of the Bible. From this follows that the magic element as well as the legal element in the piety disappear. The forgiveness of sins, or acceptance, is not an act of the past done in baptism, but it is continuously necessary. Repentance is an element in every relationship to God, in every moment. It never can stop. The magic as well as the legal element disappear, for grace is personal communion with the sinner. There is no possibility of any merit; there is only the necessity of accepting. And there is no hidden magic power in our souls which make us acceptable, but we are acceptable in the moment in which we accept acceptance. Therefore the sacramental activities as such are rejected. There are sacraments, but they mean something quite different. And the ascetic activities are eternally rejected because none of them can give certainty. But here again a misunderstanding often prevails. One says: Now isn’t that egocentric:; l think Maritain told me that once – if the Protestants think about their own individual certainty? – Now it is not an abstract certainty, that Luther meant; it is reunion with God – this implies certainty. But everything centers around this being accepted. And this of course is certain; if you have God, you have Him. But if you look at yourself, at your experiences, your asceticism, and your morals, then you can be certain only if you are extremely self-complacent and blind toward yourselves; otherwise you cannot. And these, are absolute categories. The Divine demand is absolute. They are not relative demands, which bring more or less blessedness, but they are the absolute demand: joyfully accept the will of God. And there is only one punishment – not the different degrees between the ecclesiastical satisfactions, between the punishment in purgatory, and its many degrees, and finally Hell. There is nothing like this. There is only one punishment, namely the despair of being separated from God. And consequently there is only one grace, namely, reunion with God. That’s all. And to this, Luther – whom Adolf Harnack, the great historian of the dogma, has called a genius of reduction – to this simplicity, Luther has reduced the Christian religion. This is another religion. Now Luther believed that this was a restatement of the New Testament, especially of Paul. But although his message has the truth of Paul, it’s by no means the full Paul; it is not everything which Paul is. The situation determined what he took from Paul, namely Paul’s conception of defense against legalism – the doctrine of justification by faith. But he did not take in Paul’s doctrine of the Spirit. Of course he did not deny it; there is a lot of it; but that is not decisive. The decisive thing is that a doctrine of the Spirit, of being “in Christ,” of the New Being, is the weak spot in Luther’s doctrine of justification by faith. In Paul the situation is different. Paul has three main centers in his thinking, which make it not a circle but a triangle. The one is his eschatological consciousness, the certainty that in Christ eschatology is fulfilled and a New Reality has started. The second is the doctrine of the Spirit, which means for him that the Kingdom of God has appeared, that it is here, and there; that the New Being, in which we are, is given to us in Christ. The third point in Paul is the critical defense against legalism: justification by faith. Luther took all three, of course. But the eschatological point was not really understood. He, in his weariness of the theological fights – you cannot become more tired of anything in the world than of theological controversies, if you always are living it; and even Melanchthon, when he came to death, one of his last words was: “God save me now from the rabies theologorum – from the wrath of the theologians! This is an expression you will understand if you will read the conflicts of the centuries. I just read with great pain, day and night, the doctor’s dissertation of a former pupil, Mr. Thompson, Dr. McNeill’s former assistant, an excellent work in which he describes in more than 300 narrow and large pages the struggle between Melanchthonism and Lutheranism. And if you read that and then see how simple the fundamental statement of Luther was, and how the rabies theologorum produced an almost unimaginable amount of theological disputations on points of which even half-learned theologians as myself would say that they are intolerable, they don’t mean anything any more – then you can see the difference between the prophetic mind and the fanatical theological mind. –

    Enjoy your cookies Tom. Always a pleasure.

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  262. Some things never change.
    The troll still can’t tell the difference between separation and schism.
    Luther, by the way, was excommunicated and didn’t leave on his own.
    But hey, ‘name it and claim it’ works for Bryan, so why not for our resident skeptic.

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  263. Andrew,

    Thanks, but I’ve got it. It goes to a good cause.

    Tom,

    Paul’s epistles point much more towards what a true church and true Christians look like as opposed to instructing people to remain in any particular institutional manifestation of the church (and he knew nothing of one true church led by the Bishop of Rome). You have to make extrabiblical arguments to establish that.

    So I guess if you want me to provide “biblical warrant for schism” you first have to provide clear biblical warrant from what you tell me I can’t separate from — The Roman Catholic Church.

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  264. Well, no, I was enjoying Mother’s Day.

    Tom, I think there could be no end to discussion, so I will leave off with two questions. Given your sign-off, I won’t feel slighted if you don’t reply. Or if you do, then we can take this up another time.

    I do appreciate that you acknowledge that there is a change from Benedict to Francis. I agree with you that the ground of that change is probably the recognition that deterrence isn’t what we thought it was.

    Questions:

    (1) Given that Francis is your sacramental authority, does it make a difference whether he is speaking ex cathedra or not? In the quoted document, he is speaking authoritatively as the head of the RC church. How do you disagree with him without being your own “personal pope”? Without being a “cafeteria Catholic”?

    This is not a gotcha question, but something I’ve never been able to understand for Catholics who disagree with the current pope on anything.

    I can understand disagreeing with previous popes, if the current pope overturns his non-ex-cathedral pronouncements. One authority trumps another.

    But I cannot understand Tom van D. saying “Francis could be wrong” without placing his own understanding above that of Francis. It would seem to me, given the Catholic view of authority, that the current pope must be taken to be “practically infallible” in that his judgment is authoritative.

    So how do you understand that situation?

    (2) Why do you view schism as a one-sided sin? When two people divorce, they both divorce. When Roman Catholics and Protestants split, the Protestants are in schism? That makes no sense to me.

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  265. @EC – That sounds like a pretty steep re-entry fee. Don’t get any ideas for the fantasy football league next fall.

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  266. vd, t, “As for Calvinist resistance theory, I give it its historical due, which you do not, for reasons which apparently have nothing to do with history.”

    That’s not much gratitude for a theory that gives you life on another blog.

    Plus, you leave out that I give Roman Catholics credit for resistance theory before Protestants ever came along.

    But if you acknowledged that, you wouldn’t be an apologist for David Barton.

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  267. vd, t, “Where is the Biblical warrant for schism?”

    Biblical warrant? For the immaculate conception? For papal infallibility? For the supremacy of Rome?

    At least Protestants try to teach the Bible.

    Like

  268. Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 10, 2015 at 8:30 pm | Permalink
    Well, no, I was enjoying Mother’s Day.

    Tom, I think there could be no end to discussion, so I will leave off with two questions. Given your sign-off, I won’t feel slighted if you don’t reply. Or if you do, then we can take this up another time.

    I do appreciate that you acknowledge that there is a change from Benedict to Francis. I agree with you that the ground of that change is probably the recognition that deterrence isn’t what we thought it was.

    Questions:

    (1) Given that Francis is your sacramental authority, does it make a difference whether he is speaking ex cathedra or not?

    Yes. Because “sacramental authority” lacks a necessary rigor for this discussion: It applies to administering the sacraments. That is not applicable here in a discussion of capital punishment. Unfortunately, these discussions often derail on such rhetorical imprecisions.

    And yes, there seems to be an unbridgeable gap between Protestants using ex cathedra</i infallibility against Catholicism and its actual application in Catholicism. All I can say is that Francis is not speaking infallibly here: Catholicis may differ without being subject to excommunication.

    As for his difference with Benedict, I think it’s more one of degree and of emphasis, as with most of the outside world’s evaluations of Francis’s “radicalism.”

    http://www.philstar.com/world/2015/05/10/1453264/vatican-cardinal-sees-no-change-family-teachings-synod

    In the quoted document, he is speaking authoritatively as the head of the RC church. How do you disagree with him without being your own “personal pope”? Without being a “cafeteria Catholic”?

    This is not a gotcha question, but something I’ve never been able to understand for Catholics who disagree with the current pope on anything.

    I can understand disagreeing with previous popes, if the current pope overturns his non-ex-cathedral pronouncements. One authority trumps another.

    But I cannot understand Tom van D. saying “Francis could be wrong” without placing his own understanding above that of Francis. It would seem to me, given the Catholic view of authority, that the current pope must be taken to be “practically infallible” in that his judgment is authoritative.

    Again, “practically infallible” lacks the necessary rigor. “A little bit pregnant.”

    But I believe the faithful Catholic is urged to take the counsel of the pope and the bishops very seriously, and have good reasons for differing with their normative teachings.

    (2) Why do you view schism as a one-sided sin? When two people divorce, they both divorce. When Roman Catholics and Protestants split, the Protestants are in schism? That makes no sense to me.

    Catholicism also forbids divorce. You sort of walked into that one. 😉

    Again, the Biblical warrant for schism remains wanting–esp for sola scripturists! I did enjoy Andrew’s reference to Philipp Melanchthon, who vainly tried to make the Reformation ‘catholic,’ as in internally universal and coherent. Had he succeeded, it would have been a more valid argument that “Protestantism” is the true Christianity, but as we saw, the rabies took over.

    As always, thx for the courteous reply. Back to the Clippers game. After weathering all that stupid Hack-a-DJ stuff, the Clips just took the lead.

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  269. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 10, 2015 at 9:10 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, “Where is the Biblical warrant for schism?”

    Biblical warrant? For the immaculate conception? For papal infallibility? For the supremacy of Rome?

    At least Protestants try to teach the Bible.

    Catholicism doesn’t do sola scriptura, silly. It’s not even in the Bible, anyway. Luther made it up.

    But since “Protestantism” is sola scriptura [at least in theory, albeit not in practice], it’s not unreasonable to ask the Biblical warrant for your uncountable schisms. Your own standards, and none other.

    Something went wrong.

    D. G. Hart
    Posted May 10, 2015 at 9:12 pm | Permalink
    Jeff, you forgot to ask from the EO side of things, why isn’t Rome schismatic (read 1054)?

    If there is a substantive difference between schism and ‘separation,’ 1054 is it. In 1995, Pope John Paul and Patriarch Bartholomew I “concelebrated” the Eucharist together.

    Now, either you’re ignorant of the theology or pretend to be ignorant of it for the sake of “winning,” I can never tell with you. But the point is that the Pope wouldn’t do that even with a Lutheran or an Anglican. Rome recognizes Constantinople’s “sacramental authority,” its “apostolic succession.”

    The Eastern Orthodox are Catholic and they are catholic. The sacraments, the doctrinal traditions, the priesthood–all licit. The same Eucharist, the same Real Presence. If Rome and Constantinople are good with it, it’s none of Geneva’s business. You signed out of “sacramental authority” long long ago.

    It’s you guys who are hung up on hair-splitting doctrine, since you discarded the Catholic sacraments. But Catholicism, as it understands itself, is about the Eucharist, not the Immaculate Conception. You cannot understand it, let alone judge it, by your own lights. But Rome and Constantinople are the same catholic church in a way that you are not, even with your fellow Presbyterians.

    [I reply to some of your drive-bys for the sake of the lurkers and the chance to set the record straight for them. We’re not having an actual conversation, by your choice. At the moment, the Rockets are doing the Hack-a-Shaq thing again, which means I can be listening in the next room and not miss anything.]

    Clips 60-54 at halftime. Cool.

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  270. Happy Mothers’ Day!

    TVD:
    And yes, there seems to be an unbridgeable gap between Protestants using ex cathedra>>>>

    Well, I missed a lot of discussion. I was gonna’ mention that, and the fact that the catechism has not been changed nor has what John Paul II said in 1995 in his Evangelium Vitae.

    Will Francis make an ex cathedra pronouncement on capital punishment? Not likely.

    So, Catholics are free to be either pro death penalty in the very rare case that it might be the only reasonable option, or to push for the abolishment of the death penalty altogether. There is no prohibition on pushing for its abolishment, nor is it immoral to be for it in very rare cases.

    In either case, Francis has taken a decidedly pro life stance all around. The image of God demonstrated in every human being, even the most vile, is honored.

    I would ask people to keep in mind the fact that Francis is from a country where the death penalty was unjustly applied to thousands of dissidents – many of them high school and college students – in his own country back in the ‘70s.

    Also, numerous Christians have been sentenced to death under blasphemy laws, and some have been executed. I think it would be good to look at the bigger picture of what is happening worldwide.

    Besides, there is ample provision given for self defense as well as for law enforcement officers to use lethal force when and if necessary for the protection of society.

    Even if people think that Francis’ statements prove that the Church does change its mind and therefore her claim to infallibility is the height of arrogance, Francis’ arguments are thoughtful and should cause serious discussion on the subject.

    Remember, too, that there are times God has changed His mind, but no one would think of calling Him fallible or inconsistent. Sometimes there are good reasons to change, even for God.

    I am not sure why we are supposed to conclude that “Francis changed his mind, therefore the call to communion is confusing, invalid and therefore, useless” – which is the message I’m picking up with this little detour into the Church’s teaching on capital punishment.

    TVD:
    Again, the Biblical warrant for schism remains wanting–esp for sola scripturists! >>>>>

    Any takers on this?

    Have a good rest of the evening. I am going to take some allergy medicine and call it a day. Love those flowers I got for Mothers’ Day, butI prefer breathing.

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  271. The party line:

    Question and Answer

    The OPC, PCUSA and Roman Catholic Church

    Question:

    I am a member of the Presbyterian Church/USA; however I was a member of the Episcopal Church and was baptized a Roman Catholic as an infant. My question: Is the OPC less suspicious of the Roman Church and willing to refer to it in less historically pejorative language?

    I cannot hope to live long enough to see a rapprochement between the OPC, Presbyterian, Reformed and the RC; nor, for the Roman Church to rescind its anathematization of John Calvin, and publicly affirm the Reformed as equal churches. For all parties concerned to view each other as legitimate Christian churches, guided the Holy Ghost, would be reassuring to behold; however, life is not like that, and often the good must be sacrificed for the better.

    Answer:

    We are grateful for your submission to the OPC Website. I will try to offer a few thoughts.

    Perhaps you know that the OPC separated from the PCUSA in 1936.

    To provide a short summary of that historical development, here is a quotation from a helpful online publication at the OPC website entitled “What is the Orthodox Presbyterian Church?”. You may want to read it in its entirety.

    During the nineteenth century, the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. was largely a strong and faithful church. But liberalism began to creep in from Europe, and little was done to check its spread. In 1924 about 1,300 (out of 10,000) Presbyterian ministers signed the liberal Auburn Affirmation, which denied that the Bible was without error and declared that belief in such essential doctrines as Christ’s substitutionary atonement and his bodily resurrection should not be made “tests for ordination or for good standing in our church.” Unbelief was taking over the church.

    Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, remained a bastion of Presbyterian orthodoxy. But in 1929 its Board was reorganized with a mandate to put liberal professors on the faculty. Four Princeton professors resigned and (with the support of others) established Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia as an independent institution to continue teaching biblical Christianity.

    The leading opponent of liberalism in those days was J. Gresham Machen, a Presbyterian minister and professor at Princeton (and later Westminster). When he exposed the modernist unbelief that permeated the foreign missions of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., the General Assembly in 1933 refused to do anything about it. Because he and others would only support missionaries who were actually preaching the gospel, they established the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions. The 1934 Assembly condemned their action, and they were soon deposed from office. In response, 34 ministers, 17 ruling elders, and 79 laymen met in Philadelphia on June 11, 1936, to constitute the Presbyterian Church of America. (Because of a lawsuit brought by the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., the name of the new church was changed to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in 1939.)

    Machen and the newly formed OPC were in much the same situation in relation to the PCUSA as John Calvin and Luther and the other Reformers were in relation to Roman Catholicism. The PCUSA defrocked Machen in much the same way that Calvin and Luther were under the anathema of the Roman church. Conversely, the OPC believes the PCUSA has abandoned historic biblical Christianity.

    Since its beginning, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church has been committed with integrity to the Scriptures as the inspired, infallible Word of God. Counting the cost of standing for truth, we are persuaded that the Word of God is without error and that the teaching of Scripture is not bound by cultural limitations. We wholeheartedly subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechism in its entirety. Ministers and elders are required to subscribe to those documents and to uphold their teachings.

    This in itself is a radical difference from the PCUSA where the Westminster Confession and catechisms are more looked upon as historical documents that summarize what the church used to believe. Ministers and elders in the PCUSA are not required to subscribe to those confessional statements. In fact, I myself experienced first-hand in 1979-1981 in what was then the UPCUSA, the courts of the church upholding a minister who openly denied the deity of Christ and who would not affirm either the bodily resurrection of Christ or the blood atonement. That is what led me to join the OPC shortly thereafter. The PCUSA has condoned denials of the Biblical faith and disciplined those men like Dr. Machen and others who have sought to hold her accountable to the Word of God.

    In the OPC we believe that the marks of the true church are the faithful preaching of the Word of God, the faithful administration of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and the faithful administration of church discipline. In all things the Scriptures are the rule of faith and practice. Those who are delinquent in doctrine or life are subject to the discipline of the church.

    In adopting the Westminster Confession of Faith, the OPC has made a part of its constitution a document that was written in the crucible of the separation that occurred between the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of England and the Presbyterian and Reformed churches.

    If you are familiar with the Westminster Confession, you already know what the OPC believes and confesses differently than the Roman Catholic Church. The differences are neither small nor few in number, but I could summarize a few things that we consider to be differences in essentials.

    The OPC does not accept the books known as the Apocrypha as the Word of God.
    The OPC believes that the Word of God in the Scriptures is the supreme authority.
    The OPC believes that church councils and tradition are not on a par with the Scriptures, but are required to submit to the Scriptures.
    The OPC believes that salvation is all of grace, persons being justified by grace through faith alone.
    The OPC believes that good works do not merit salvation but flow out of having been saved.
    The OPC believes that even those who attain to the greatest height which is possible in this life fall short of much which in duty they are bound to do, which is to deny that “Saints” have done works of supererogation (that is, works above and beyond the call of duty).
    The OPC believes that Jesus Christ died once for all for the elect, who were predestined before the foundation of the world.
    The OPC believes that Jesus Christ is the only Head of the Church and that the Pope of Rome cannot, in any sense, be head thereof.
    The OPC believes there are only two sacraments ordained by the Lord Jesus for the church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
    The OPC believes that the bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper remain bread and wine and that the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation is superstition and idolatry.
    The OPC believes that the popish sacrifice of the mass is most abominably injurious to Christ’s one, only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of His elect.
    The OPC believes that heaven and hell are the only two places men go in death, and purgatory is denied as being an interim place.

    We might ask, can God bring reconciliation between the churches? Of course, he can; and we may certainly pray to that end, and we can be sure that there will be one perfectly united church in heaven. But it must be understood, as the Scriptures make plain, that true reconciliation can only be a reconciliation in the truth. Unity at the cost of the purity of God’s word is not real unity. As Jesus himself said, “The truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

    Or as the apostle Paul wrote,

    Do not be bound together with unbelievers, for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord, “and do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me,” says the Lord Almighty (2 Cor. 6:14-18).
    I hope the answer has been helpful, although I suspect it might not be what you were hoping for.

    Like

  272. vd, t, when did you become Catholic Answers? Way back when you told me to keep theology out of history. You don’t think you’re a little biased (or do a really good impersonation of Bryan, except that you don’t go to church)?

    Of course, John Paul II, on your own teaching, could have been wrong (fallible) if he concelebrated the sacrament. Some say they only jointly led the readings but not the celebration of mass.

    But why should I believe you and not this?

    Conclusion

    We have established and documented the follow facts:

    o That the Church has directly and clearly taught the Eastern Schismatics cannot be saved, ever since they went into schism, and indeed warned them that that would be the case centuries before they left;

    o That it is absolutely certain that the Eastern Schismatics, like all others, cannot be saved unless they become Faithful Catholics subject to the Roman pontiff: that has been infallibly defined by Pope Boniface VIII in the papal Bull Unam Sanctam;

    o That the Church has always taught that no one can be saved outside of the obedience of the Roman Pontiff;

    o That the Eastern Schismatics are schismatics and heretics;

    o That the Church has always believed and professed that all who do not submit to the Roman Pontiff are schismatics;

    o That it is absolutely certain that the Eastern Schismatics cannot be saved unless they leave off their schism and submit to the Our Holy Father the Pope: it has been infallibly defined by Pope Eugene IV at the Council of Florence;

    o That the Church has always believed and professed that no schismatics may be saved.

    o That it is absolutely certain that the sacraments cannot profit the Eastern Schismatics unto salvation, or any schismatics, unless they first repent of their schism and submit to the Pope: that has also been infallibly defined by Pope Eugene IV;

    o That the Church has always believe and professed that the sacraments cannot profit any schismatic, or any one outside of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

    All Catholics are obliged to believe and to profess that the Eastern Schismatics, the falsely-called “Orthodox”, are all damned unless they submit to the Roman Pontiff, leave off their schism, and become Faithful Catholics, believing all that the Holy Catholic Church teaches: or else lose their own salvation.

    Athanasian Creed circa A. D. 420, and always professed by the Church: “Whoever wishes to be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith, which unless each one preserves whole and inviolate, without doubt he will perish everlastingly. […] This is the Catholic faith, which unless each one believes faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.”

    Pope Benedict XV, A. D. 1914-1922: “Such is the nature of the Catholic faith that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole, or as a whole rejected: This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.” (Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum)

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  273. TVD – both prots and EOs are in “partial communion” with Rome. Neither are supposed to be allowed to their table. EOs are forbidden from taking RC mass, and vice versa. Note that there has been significant reapproachment talks among Lutherans and Anglicans with Rome. I’m not sure they are all that further from full communion than the EOs. Marriage for all three is a major deal breaker with Rome though. Essentially EOs, Anglicans, and Lutherans allow licit remarriage after divorce at least in certain situations. Not so with Rome.

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  274. I’ve outlined the biblical case for Sola Scriptura here several times. It rests in the example of Jesus’s use of the OT in his interaction with the religious authorities of his day. The “church” could err, but it still demanded obedience. The “church” could be corrected with scripture, and when the “church” tradition deviated from scripture, the tradition was to be judged in light of scripture.

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  275. The justification for separating is not explicitly spelled out in scripture, but a few items worth considering:

    Christ did not condemn the Essenes and Pharisees for their separation from one another (or even other schools). Paul rejoiced over those spreading the gospel even though they did so with the wrong motives. While these guys may have been in a bad place, the validity of what they were doing wasn’t seen as problematic. John, in Revelation, condemned several churches that had fallen away suggesting that one would be justified in separating from such a church. There is a difference between a schism and a separation. Those from whom we are separated are still welcome to our table even if we have distinctives that make organizational separation a good option (why don’t the Dominicans, Jesuits, etc… all unify into one group?). Then there are those groups that cease to be valid churches – this is a much more serious departure from the gospel.

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  276. @webfoot
    You’ve noted something along the lines of, there was no legit church for 1500 years, then boom! the reformation. Note that the reformers have never taught that the church ever ceased to exist on Earth, that there is a perfect church, or that Rome/EOs ever got everything wrong. This is spelled out explicitly in both the Belgic and Westminster confessions.

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  277. Will Francis make an ex cathedra pronouncement on capital punishment? Not likely.
    So, Catholics are free to be either pro death penalty in the very rare case that it might be the only reasonable option, or to push for the abolishment of the death penalty altogether. There is no prohibition on pushing for its abolishment, nor is it immoral to be for it in very rare cases.

    I don’t think that is quite right. Even if no Pope ever makes an ex cathedra pronouncement, or the Bishops and Pope speak in unison on this topic, RCs are required to religious submit their intellect and will to the Pope’s (or other Bishop’s) teaching. While this may be fallible, it is a very high bar. Contradictions (historical and contemporary) here are problematic. If they pile up too much, one might conclude that it is rather cruel to be required to assent to one who is regularly wrong.

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  278. So, the reason that you, D.G. Hart, cannot accept the call to communion are numerous. In fact, the mere invitation sets off your traditional, anti-Catholicism defenses. Nothing will change that.

    1. According to your Reformed tradition, Catholic theology needs to be opposed. It’s what you guys do.

    2. You, brother Hart, are an officer of the OPC and you have taken a vow to uphold these standards.:
    “Officers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church take a vow to “sincerely receive and adopt” these confessional documents “as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures.””

    http://www.opc.org/confessions.html

    Those documents include a fatal flaw I contend. They affirm total depravity. They also respect individual conscience. Now, the OPC and other Reformed groups they are in communion with have not gone down the drain yet. However, they are the exception rather than the rule. Most groups who at one time held to these same standards have now apostatized.

    I sincerely hope for better things for the OPC.

    3. Officially, the OPC does not commune with anyone outside the Reformed tradition. Evangelicals and even Reformed Baptists are also excluded, as are Reformed groups like St Andrews in Moscow, ID I presume. So, it makes sense within that very narrow idealogical framework that you guys want nothing to do with Catholics who, at one time, were part of the OPC. They must be anathema to you.

    So, there is no way that you, D.G. Hart, would even hear a call to communion. Given your background, I understand.

    However, none of that can be justified by sola scriptura or solus christus. It’s all about your traditions, really.

    Like it or not, my tradition teaches me, and my own conscience agrees that you are my brother in Christ. I get why you feel a need to try to take Catholics down a notch or two. I don’t agree, but I get it. It’s what Protestants do.

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  279. Mrs. Webfoot, you need a little logic from Bryan and the Jasons.

    If I am a brother in Christ, then that’s why I don’t accept the call. Why do I need to?

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  280. Remember, too, that there are times God has changed His mind, but no one would think of calling Him fallible or inconsistent. Sometimes there are good reasons to change, even for God.

    This is flippin hilarious in context of the discussion of the death penalty. Are we to suppose that since Rome says the pope is the vicar of Christ that if Francis changes Roman discipline – not doctrine – vis a vis capital punishment that God changes his mind and it is therefore OK?
    Ask Bryan what fallacy of the missing middle term is.

    According to your Reformed tradition, Catholic theology needs to be opposed. It’s what you guys do.

    So what else is new? If Rome is wrong and the reformed are right, we’re supposed to give you a bye just because?

    Most groups who at one time held to these same standards have now apostatized.

    Snicker. That’s what the Reformation was all about, Mrs. W. The medieval uncatholic Roman church apostasized from the historic Christian faith in putting the church’s magisterium and pope over Scripture, the saints and Mary over Jesus by putting them alongside Jesus, the sacrifice of the mass over Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary etc. etc.

    However, none of that can be justified by sola scriptura or solus christus. It’s all about your traditions, really.

    Channel Thomas the troll much? Assertions not arguments? (Like the scandal of prot division is a good enough reason to swallow Roman idolatry and apostasy whole. But you gotta love the prattling about prot nominalism as the bugaboo and root of all evil, while at the same time boast is made of Rome’s nominal unity. Why the T is a papist and he doesn’t even attend any of the five holy day masses he’s supposed to to keep his membership current. IOW being a SeparBrethren is the only way to go to maintain your sanity, credibility and integrity. )

    I know it hurts people’s feelings when they and their nonarguments don’t get the respect they think they deserve as newb members and apologists for the “only true church”, but hey the Mormons, JWs and the SDA feel the same way.
    IOW get used to feeling like what even minority P&R folks feel like.
    Not to be snarky, but really.

    Yeah, it’s a combox, but can we get up to speed?
    If somebody just paid a $1000 buckaroos to reinsinuate themselves into the mix, like it or not, the bar has been raised.

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  281. sdb:
    @webfoot
    You’ve noted something along the lines of, there was no legit church for 1500 years, then boom! the reformation. Note that the reformers have never taught that the church ever ceased to exist on Earth, that there is a perfect church, or that Rome/EOs ever got everything wrong. This is spelled out explicitly in both the Belgic and Westminster confessions.>>>>>

    Hi, sdb,
    Feel free to go back and check on what I said, but here is what I remember saying. 🙂 Thanks for your comments, BTW. Very interesting, and I hope to go back and read yours with greater attention.

    AB, Jeff, Tom, and others, the same goes for you – even you, Brother Hart. I’m getting a feel for where you are coming from and why. Anyway…

    1. I said something about Protestants cherry picking Church history. I would add theology, and traditions. Do you see what I mean? The Reformed movement is the new kid on the block, trying to prove that it is really the guardian of the whole counsel of God.

    2. … and, yes, Francis has set a very high bar on the subject of capital punishment. It is the very highest pro life bar yet as well. It has made me rethink my views on capital punishment.

    Even so, it is not official dogma.

    3.sdb said:
    The justification for separating is not explicitly spelled out in scripture, but a few items worth considering:

    Christ did not condemn the Essenes and Pharisees for their separation from one another (or even other schools). <<<<<

    Neither were part of the Church He later established. Take a look at the division of the 12 tribes to see what a disaster it is for God’s people to separate. In the New Jerusalem, there is no separation. It should be our aim here on this earth as well.

    sdb:
    Paul rejoiced over those spreading the gospel even though they did so with the wrong motives. While these guys may have been in a bad place, the validity of what they were doing wasn’t seen as problematic. <<<<<

    As far as I understand, the Church’s position – esp. with Francis – is that they are happy that people come to Christ, but hope for the healing of old wounds of separation.

    There is nothing in the book of Philippians that would indicate that Paul though division was a good thing. Preaching the Gospel no matter why is good. In fact, why think that the ones preaching the Gospel had formed their own, new denomination?

    sdb:
    John, in Revelation, condemned several churches that had fallen away suggesting that one would be justified in separating from such a church. <<<<

    Could you be more specific? Jesus never said that those in the 7 churches should divide those churches.He meant for them to repent and apply church discipline, not divide.

    sdb:
    There is a difference between a schism and a separation. Those from whom we are separated are still welcome to our table even if we have distinctives that make organizational separation a good option (why don’t the Dominicans, Jesuits, etc… all unify into one group?). Then there are those groups that cease to be valid churches – this is a much more serious departure from the gospel.<<<<

    In Scripture, those who were not really of the body of Christ were the ones who would leave or keep others out, as per the epistles of John.

    As far as the different movements within Catholicism, they are all united in one group. It’s called the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. You know, like the United States. Each state has its own distinctive, but all are united under one constitution of the United States.

    Take care, and follow Jesus.

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  282. @Webfoot
    Here are the lines I was responding to. Perhaps they are TVDs and not yours though. I thought he was quoting you, but I could be wrong.

    As far as I know, according to the Reformation, the ‘true” church stopped being true circa Constantine.

    How do Protestants avoid claiming that true orthodoxy began with them after a 1,500 year hiatus? That would undermine the sufficiency of Christ to purchase and then establish His Church.

    So, the history of the Church is what? Pentecost, then 1,500 years of false religion, then the true church finally gets going with the Reformation?

    Whatever their origin, the sentiment contained in these comments is contradicted by both the Belgic and Westminster confessions. The Reformed view is that the church is always a mixture of truth and error, but has always and will continue to persist. Not everything RCs believe is wrong (even post-reformation), but they are tragically wrong about a number of very important things…

    One more item about an earlier comment about the RCs leaving the church to be spiritual but not religious… you noted that they were leaving Christianity, not just the church like we prots. This is contradicted by the polling. Most of them still considered themselves Christian. For the most part, their problem wasn’t with what they perceived to be Christianity per se, but rather with the behavior of the hierarchy (the oft heard complaint about organized religion). I still don’t see how this is fundamentally different from what has happened to protestants. Whether 1million leave to form 10 micro denominations of 100k each or 1million nano denominations of one seems like an incidental detail in someways (the later perhaps more tragic in practice).

    I’m pressed for time now, so I’ll check back after some deadlines pass after Wednesday and see if this thread is still alive. Fun conversation…

    Like

  283. I understand, D.G. Hart. Still, the call to communion is an option.

    Bob S., I’m sure you have some arguments buried in your comments somewhere, but anything that starts out “This is flipping’ hilarious” makes me laugh. Later I may be in the mood to sift through your comments for something that I find more compelling.

    Meanwhile, take care and God bless us, every one.

    Like

  284. sdb, all kinds of people who reject the Trinity and the Incarnation still call themselves Christians. Those who say they are spiritual, but leave their churches – it happens with Protestants and Evangelicals as well as you pointed out – are generally caught up in New Age practices or Eastern religions.

    How many of them believe in reincarnation, for example? It is the word “spiritual” that is the key. They may talk about the hierarchy, but those who leave and are still practicing some kind of spirituality have other reasons. The bad behavior of those in authority is likely not the main reason if they are “spiritual” but not Catholic – or Baptist, or Methodist, or Presbyterian, etc.

    Yes, people leave churches all the time and for different reasons. Most leave because they no longer believe what the church teaches.

    Why is it important even to talk about the size of a denomination or the size of the Catholic Church? I will beat this drum again, and probably not for the last time, either. 🙂 The Catholic Church has been through numerous crises in her long history. She is still here. Not only here, but in many ways, strong and growing. In many places in the world, she is back on message – the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    In fact, all other churches trace their lineage back to her, even the Eastern Orthodox. She is the only Church that can honestly extend the invitation to other Christian groups to come back Home. If not all the way, at least to lay down arms and all focus on the task of preaching Jesus Christ.

    The fact that she recognizes all baptisms in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as Christian baptism is quite telling. There are no prohibitions, either, for Catholics to participate with non-Catholic Christian groups. The only rule has to do with receiving communion in other churches.

    She is truly catholic. Now, Reformed churches are supposed to accept the Nicene Creed. What do they mean as the catholic church? If it is only those individual believers who are spiritually united in Christ, then why are there Reformed organizations and churches that maintain their own identities and who keep themselves quite separate from groups who are not just like them?

    How do groups like the OPC and the Reformed groups they are in communion with avoid making the claim to being the only true church? I think that such a claim is implicit at the very least.

    Anyway, I’m done for the day. 🙂

    Thanks for the dialogue. Take care.

    Like

  285. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 11, 2015 at 6:44 am | Permalink
    vd, t, when did you become Catholic Answers? Way back when you told me to keep theology out of history. You don’t think you’re a little biased (or do a really good impersonation of Bryan, except that you don’t go to church)?

    Of course, John Paul II, on your own teaching, could have been wrong (fallible) if he concelebrated the sacrament. Some say they only jointly led the readings but not the celebration of mass.

    But why should I believe you and not this?

    Conclusion

    We have established and documented the follow facts:

    o That the Church has directly and clearly taught the Eastern Schismatics cannot be saved, ever since they went into schism, and indeed warned them that that would be the case centuries before they left;

    o That it is absolutely certain that the Eastern Schismatics, like all others, cannot be saved unless they become Faithful Catholics subject to the Roman pontiff: that has been infallibly defined by Pope Boniface VIII in the papal Bull Unam Sanctam;

    o That the Church has always taught that no one can be saved outside of the obedience of the Roman Pontiff;

    o That the Eastern Schismatics are schismatics and heretics;

    o That the Church has always believed and professed that all who do not submit to the Roman Pontiff are schismatics;

    o That it is absolutely certain that the Eastern Schismatics cannot be saved unless they leave off their schism and submit to the Our Holy Father the Pope: it has been infallibly defined by Pope Eugene IV at the Council of Florence;

    o That the Church has always believed and professed that no schismatics may be saved.

    o That it is absolutely certain that the sacraments cannot profit the Eastern Schismatics unto salvation, or any schismatics, unless they first repent of their schism and submit to the Pope: that has also been infallibly defined by Pope Eugene IV;

    o That the Church has always believe and professed that the sacraments cannot profit any schismatic, or any one outside of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

    All Catholics are obliged to believe and to profess that the Eastern Schismatics, the falsely-called “Orthodox”, are all damned unless they submit to the Roman Pontiff, leave off their schism, and become Faithful Catholics, believing all that the Holy Catholic Church teaches: or else lose their own salvation.

    Athanasian Creed circa A. D. 420, and always professed by the Church: “Whoever wishes to be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith, which unless each one preserves whole and inviolate, without doubt he will perish everlastingly. […] This is the Catholic faith, which unless each one believes faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.”

    Pope Benedict XV, A. D. 1914-1922: “Such is the nature of the Catholic faith that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole, or as a whole rejected: This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.” (Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum)

    Shame, shame, Dr. Historian, and very shoddy work offering opinionated secondary sources–and a imprimatur-less website at that–to try to make your case.

    Your search for error is not a search for truth, and you still don’t even have a thesis, unless it’s that if you can find one contradiction in 2000 years of Catholicism, that makes your version of Christianity the true one.

    The EOs ARE schismatics and heretics, though, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad persons. At least they have the Eucharist, a 2000-yr-old tradition which your religion pitched when it reinvented Christianity from scratch. As it stands, despite Melanchthon’s best ecumenical efforts, Lutheranism and Anglicanism still remain closer to Catholicism than they do to Calvinism, which is off in its own alternate Christian universe.

    As for me becoming a sort of “Catholic Answers,” I owe it all to you, and double-checking your painful misrepresentations of Catholic theology. As Fulton Sheen put it,

    There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing.

    “Way back when you told me to keep theology out of history.”

    I doubt you remember what I said, and your paraphrases are unjust. I might have been suggesting that as a historian, shouldn’t give short shrift to Calvinist resistance theory* even if it’s in total opposition to your own “radical” Two Kingdoms theology, in which you have invested much of your career as a “professional” Protestant.

    I still think that.

    _________________________________________________
    *http://www.acton.org/pub/religion-liberty/volume-7-number-4/reformation-roots-social-contract

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  286. Tom,

    .At least they have the Eucharist, a 2000-yr-old tradition which your religion pitched when it reinvented Christianity from scratch.

    Last I checked, the Westminster Confession includes the Eucharist as one of the two sacraments Christ instituted. Sure, we don’t believe we’re offering up Christ again and again and again. We kinda like what the Bible says about the one sacrifice of Christ being enough. Course, we don’t usually call it the Eucharist. Probably because we don’t want to confuse the nominal RCs who might show up and darken our doors instead of staying home while still proclaiming themselves faithful RCs.

    Like

  287. Mrs. W:

    In fact, all other churches trace their lineage back to her, even the Eastern Orthodox. She is the only Church that can honestly extend the invitation to other Christian groups to come back Home. If not all the way, at least to lay down arms and all focus on the task of preaching Jesus Christ.

    That’s a sales pitch too far, I’m afraid.

    For one thing, non-Catholic churches trace their lineage back to Palestine and not Rome, to Jesus or back even to Abraham, but not to Peter.

    For another, when was the last time you heard an EOer say, “We trace our origins back to you”? I’ll bet 20 quatloos that happened … never. The EO is pretty definite that the origination is the other way round: Rome schismed from the true church, they say.

    So it would be accurate to say that Catholics trace the lineage of othet churches back to the RC, but not that other churches trace their own lineage back to the RC.

    Like

  288. Robert
    Posted May 11, 2015 at 9:41 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    .At least they have the Eucharist, a 2000-yr-old tradition which your religion pitched when it reinvented Christianity from scratch.

    Last I checked, the Westminster Confession includes the Eucharist as one of the two sacraments Christ instituted. Sure, we don’t believe we’re offering up Christ again and again and again. We kinda like what the Bible says about the one sacrifice of Christ being enough. Course, we don’t usually call it the Eucharist. Probably because we don’t want to confuse the nominal RCs who might show up and darken our doors instead of staying home while still proclaiming themselves faithful RCs.

    Nice cheap shot at the end there, Robert. But you should know that I decline to discuss my personal religious life at this here “theological society” for precisely that reason. Mt 7:6.

    You know nothing about me.

    As for the rest, about the Eucharist and its theological debasement, and about how the Westminster Confession of Faith came to be, that’s Protestantism’s problem.

    http://www.puritanboard.com/f18/wcf-anglicanism-79658/

    It did not result in ecclesiastical unity, in any semblance of catholicism, small “c.”

    Like

  289. Jeff Cagle:
    For another, when was the last time you heard an EOer say, “We trace our origins back to you”? I’ll bet 20 quatloos that happened … never. The EO is pretty definite that the origination is the other way round: Rome schismed from the true church, they say.<<<<

    Hi, Jeff,
    The Eastern Orthodox church claims to be the one true church. However, it really is the eastern church that split away from the western church. Even now, the Orthodox church accepts the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. For them, it is only a primacy of honor among the bishops of the world, but not of authority. * This is problematic for the Orthodox church because of the special position of authority given to Peter by Jesus Christ Himself.

    Peter was given the keys of the kingdom. From earliest times, this was understood that he had a special place of authority, one that was passed down in apostolic succession to the bishop of Rome.

    Yes, I know you do not believe that part, but the eastern church used to accept this until the 11th century. That is when the split happened, when the eastern church separated from the western. Who moved, then?

    No, that in itself does not prove that either of them have a claim to being the true church.

    I think that Rome has the stronger arguments that it was the eastern church that left, and they stayed where they are. The question now is how that rift can be mended. Anyway, that is why I said what I did. Rome is the one that can extend the invitation to return Home and have that invitation make sense.

    *http://www.catholic.com/tracts/eastern-orthodoxy

    See also:
    http://www.hprweb.com/2012/01/confronting-the-claim-of-eastern-orthodoxy-to-be-the-true-church/

    Jeff:
    For one thing, non-Catholic churches trace their lineage back to Palestine and not Rome, to Jesus or back even to Abraham, but not to Peter.<<<<<

    So, who did Jesus entrust His Church to? The apostles, and then those who would follow after them. They were to teach faithful men who would teach others also. How else would the truth of the Gospel be passed down from generation to generation if not through faithful men?

    He doesn’t do it through direct revelation to each individual. Who are the guardians of the truth of the Gospel? Conservative Reformed groups believe themselves to be those guardians of the faith.

    Now, you will not agree with me or with the arguments presented, but I think that as far as who split from whom, the Catholic Church’s arguments that she is the original are compelling. Orthodox, not so much. Protestant, not very much at all.

    Is it shocking that someone would actually believe this to be true? Heck, I shock myself. It’s just that I can no longer explain let alone justify all the divisions within Protestantism. That really makes no sense put in the context of John 17. Neither would I join a Church that teaches that all Christians outside her care are going to hell because they are not real Christians.

    The Catholic Church’s position makes sense, and the desire to see the Church whole I believe is Christlike. Don’t all Christians believe that the eternal kingdom is not divided? We all pray the Lord’s Prayer after all.

    Anyway, …

    Kind regards,
    Mrs. Webfoot

    Like

  290. Never fear, Tom we got it. Rome is all about walking by sight, not faith. Cool. You and Mrs. W can even hold hands if you like along with all the other papists that show up here.
    But answer the question? Never.

    If Rome apostasized from the gospel, true believers are free to leave. That what results doesn’t resemble the outward lowest common denominator nominal unity of Rome is not necessarily an argument that those who separated from Rome are wrong.

    Yeah, we know you like to assume all kinds of things, just like Bryan, but if you are going to nominally appeal to our private judgement and try to persuade us to join up, we are going to use our PJ just like the Bereans whom Paul commends and Rome condemns.

    Gal. 1:8,9 is clear. Those who preach another gospel are accursed.
    Why we’re supposed to stick around and play footsie then with Rome ain’t in the picture.

    Remember.
    You and Mrs. W can’t distinguish between infusion and imputation.
    Neither can either of you distinguish between schism and separation.
    Yet we are supposed to pretend you are our superiors and we are the weaker separated brethren, whom you are over here to lecture.

    Well thanks, but the Reformation on the basis of Scripture alone (2 Tim. 3:17) was a separation from the deformed church of Rome on doctrine, worship and government. True the Reformation doesn’t look like Rome, but if it did, that would be a problem.
    cheers

    Like

  291. Jeff:
    Sure, we don’t believe we’re offering up Christ again and again and again. We kinda like what the Bible says about the one sacrifice of Christ being enough. <<<<<

    Here is what the catechism says. Read it carefully, since you have been misinformed about what the Church actually teaches.

    Focus on the words “it makes present the ONE sacrifice of Christ."

    "The Holy Sacrifice, because it makes present the one sacrifice of Christ the Savior and includes the Church's offering. The terms holy sacrifice of the Mass, "sacrifice of praise," spiritual sacrifice, pure and holy sacrifice are also used,150 since it completes and surpasses all the sacrifices of the Old Covenant.”

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c1a3.htm

    Like

  292. vd, t, “The EOs ARE schismatics and heretics, though, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad persons.”

    Then why did you bring up JPII concelebrating the Mass with Patriarchate Bartholomew? Should popes really co-officiate at Mass with schismatics and heretics?

    On resistance theory, I was trying to give long shrift to Roman Catholic resistance theory. Who’s the hater?

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  293. mrs. W., that’s not what your church always taught:

    360. Why is the Mass the same sacrifice as the sacrifice of the cross?
    The Mass is the same sacrifice as the sacrifice of the cross because in the Mass the victim is the same, and the principal priest is the same, Jesus Christ.

    Like

  294. @ DGH: The BC and CCC both fail to ask and answer the two most interesting questions:

    365.1 Q: If Jesus said the first mass before He was betrayed, how is it that His body and blood were present in sacrifice before He was sacrificed?

    A: That is great mystery.

    365.2 Q: If Jesus’ body is one of His human attributes, why can its substance be in multiple places at once, since the human attributes do not commingle with the divine according to the creed?

    A: This also is a great mystery.

    Like

  295. Q: What does TVD does do on Sunday morning?

    A: This also is a great mystery.

    Q: What does TVD does really think of Pope Francis?

    A: This also is a great mystery.

    Q: Does TVD have anything more than rhetorical skin in the game?

    A: This also is a great mystery.

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  296. Mrs. Webfoot,

    Heck, I shock myself. It’s just that I can no longer explain let alone justify all the divisions within Protestantism.

    How do you justify all the divisions within Roman Catholicism? Pro-lifers vs. Pro-choicers, with RCs overwhelmingly voting for the latter. Thomists vs. Molinists. Traditionalists vs. liberals. Conciliarists vs. papal authority centrists.

    Neither would I join a Church that teaches that all Christians outside her care are going to hell because they are not real Christians.

    Well the OPC doesn’t teach that, and neither does the PCA. So your problem with the Reformed is what, exactly?

    Like

  297. So, who did Jesus entrust His Church to? The apostles, and then those who would follow after them. They were to teach faithful men who would teach others also. How else would the truth of the Gospel be passed down from generation to generation if not through faithful men?

    She whose feet are webbed, like I always say, you can trace your Catholic lineage from Francis back to Peter and have all the bare apostolic succession you please. But that just isn’t everything. If somewhere along the way the words whispered by Jesus to Peter to Francis got derailed then all you have is the Bible to sort it out. Unless you really believe that’s simply impossible. But haven’t you ever played Chinese Whispers? It’s a simple children’s game that demonstrates human beings are quite fallible and what goes into one ear comes out another’s mouth sounding similar but substantively different. I know, the Holy Spirit guarantees certain men will never get it wrong. Eh. Prots really do believe the Spirit guides his church into all truth, etc. It’s this idea that men have to be infallible to make that happen that is impossible to swallow. The word of God is the only infallible source, and the Spirit uses it to guide fallible men into all truth. Why is this so hard?

    Like

  298. James White and Mitch Pacwa discussed the issue of the Mass constituting a continual resacrifice of Christ in their 2003 debate on the RC priesthood. Pacwa was very clear about what “the Church actually teaches.” Injecting capitals into a quote is generally bad form but if you must, you might consider instead “it MAKES PRESENT the one sacrifice.”

    Like

  299. Steve, ( Yes, I’m back but not to stay)

    Mrs. Webfoot can hold her own, but I would like to interject because I hope to help make clear what infallibility means. If the confessions do spell out what is true about this or that, then the doctrine(teaching) is inerrant, even if the whole of the confessions are not. Now if you speak that inerrant truth, say to your unbelieving neighbor, then the Holy Spirit has used you as a vehicle and what you spoke is infallibly spoken even if the unbelieving neighbor does not believe it.

    Now I have a question for you. When you hear a pastor preach and when you read your confessions, do you ever find fault/error? Given your admission that the confessions and the teaching of men can fail and that no single church is protected by the Spirit who promised to lead into all truth, how can you know that what you read from the confessions are in fact true and necessarily derived from scripture? Further, if you heard error, by what authority can you correct your pastor? Wouldn’t it be biblical authority that you exercised against your pastor who has supposedly received authority per the scriptures to exercise authority over others? The idea of biblical authority breaks down when a confession or pastor errs right? What if every authoritative teaching gets something wrong; where does someone go to church if every church officially teaches error? What I’m really asking you, and anyone reading, is what do you do when there is a church outside of Protestantism who seems to have more truth? Do you ask yourself how do you know it is in fact truth that you have actually been introduced to and risk possibly denying God’s revealing power by digging in your heals just because you happen to have been raised in a faith community that is prejudice against the other? The other option is to believe that God has actually been guiding the church that claims apostolic teaching/tradition, and that it is therefore highly probable that the scriptures you have been taught are ” the RCC’s narrow and twisted interpretation used to support its power grabbing authority” in reality does support what she claims. I mean, if you must for no other reason than “it cannot be true” deny that Matthew 16:18( and other scriptures could plausibly support a Petrine ministry), then that’s fine, but it’s glaringly unprincipled.

    To push a little harder in order to get honest feedback that is scripturally principled and not just anti-Catholic rhetoric, could you( and anyone else) tell me why Protestantism at this late juncture doesn’t include the deutero books as part of the inspired cannon, when Jesus Himself quoted from them? Doesn’t it worry anyone at all that you just might have a deficient authority when, after all, you need the scriptures to be that locus of truth, especially since the church is invisible and the Holy Spirit is with separate individuals. Unless, you believe that only Luther got the cannon correct and that Lutheranism is the rightful inheritor of the Holy Spirit, but that would make the Holy Spirit a liar to the church tradition prior Luther who official taught from the Deuterocanon. Do you really believe in that degree of discontinuity? Please prove from the scriptures that there is no discontinuity.

    Scriptural proof that the deuterocanon is holy scripture:

    http://www.scripturecatholic.com/deuterocanon.html

    ~Susan

    ( Hope you and family are enjoying a beautiful spring. I really envy the place where you live, it is just gorgeous)

    Like

  300. Susan
    Posted May 12, 2015 at 2:16 pm | Permalink
    Steve, ( Yes, I’m back but not to stay)

    That’s what they all say.

    No doubt fighting off Oldlifers feels like this for you (Gandalf-Susan) and Webfoot (the large footed hobbit of the shire).

    Do finish reading the Hobbit when you can, Susan!!

    Like

  301. D.G. Hart:
    mrs. W., that’s not what your church always taught:
    360. Why is the Mass the same sacrifice as the sacrifice of the cross?
    The Mass is the same sacrifice as the sacrifice of the cross because in the Mass the victim is the same, and the principal priest is the same, Jesus Christ.<<<<

    How many sacrifices were there at the cross? How many victims were there? What kind of sacrifice is the Mass?

    I hope that people follow the link you so kindly provided to see the full entry about the sacrifice of the Mass. Here is a bit more.

    "362. Is there any difference between the sacrifice of the cross and the Sacrifice of the Mass?
    The manner in which the sacrifice is offered is different. On the cross Christ physically shed His blood and was physically slain, while in the Mass there is no physical shedding of blood nor physical death, because Christ can die no more; on the cross Christ gained merit and satisfied for us, while in the Mass He applies to us the merits and satisfaction of His death on the cross.

    For we know that Christ, having risen from the dead, dies now no more, death shall no longer have dominion over him. (Romans 6:9)"

    Here is your friend St. Augustine sounding a lot like a Catholic, and not much like the WCF. So, who changed Christian teaching on the sacrifice of the Mass and the Real Presence? The Catholic Church has not. Notice that Augustine learned this from the fathers. So, from at least the 4th Century until now, the Church has not changed her teaching about the sacrifice of the Mass.

    Take a look at this elegant and thorough treatment of the subject as well.
    http://www.thesumma.info/reality/reality41.php

    Yes, I know that truckloads of evidence tracing the Catholic teaching about the sacrifice of the Mass, clearly showing that it is the ancient teaching of the Church will not break through the Protestant anti-Catholic firewall. That takes a work of grace and a heart that wants to understand what the Catholic Church teaches, even if one does not agree. I can’t help that, but I can help some who may be wondering or some whose faith may need to be strengthened.

    …and I don’t mind sounding born again. Augustine himself seems to be pretty excited about sharing the truth of Jesus Christ with those who so needed to hear that Christ is real and His Presence is real in the Eucharist. "What God says, is" – as Fr. Baron says. Jesus’ words alone meet the standard Reformed teaching sets of sola scriptura, even, – "this is my body.”- but your tradition gets in the way of seeing that.

    "That Bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God is the body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ. Through that bread and wine the Lord Christ willed to commend His body and blood, which He poured out for us unto the forgiveness of sins.” (Sermons 227)

    "The Lord Jesus wanted those whose eyes were held lest they should recognize him, to recognize Him in the breaking of the bread [Luke 24:16,30-35]. The faithful know what I am saying. They know Christ in the breaking of the bread. For not all bread, but only that which receives the blessing of Christ, becomes Christ’s body.” (Sermons 234:2)

    "What you see is the bread and the chalice; that is what your own eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the body of Christ and the chalice the blood of Christ." (Sermons 272)
    "How this ['And he was carried in his own hands'] should be understood literally of David, we cannot discover; but we can discover how it is meant of Christ. For Christ was carried in His own hands, when, referring to His own body, He said: ‘this is my body.’ for he carried that body in His hands.” (Psalms 33:1:10)

    "Was not Christ immolated only once in His very Person? In the Sacrament, nevertheless, He is immolated for the people not only on every Easter Solemnity but on every day; and a man would not be lying if, when asked, he were to reply that Christ is being immolated." (Letters 98:9)

    "Christ is both the Priest, offering Himself, and Himself the Victim. He willed that the sacramental sign of this should be the daily Sacrifice of the Church, who, since the Church is His body and He the Head, learns to offer herself through Him." (City of God 10:20)

    "By those sacrifices of the Old Law, this one Sacrifice is signified, in which there is a true remission of sins; but not only is no one forbidden to take as food the Blood of this Sacrifice, rather, all who wish to possess life are exhorted to drink thereof." (Questions on the Heptateuch 3:57)
    "Nor can it be denied that the souls of the dead find relief through the piety of their friends and relatives who are still alive, when the Sacrifice of the Mediator is offered for them, or when alms are given in the church." (Ench Faith, Hope, Love 29:110)

    "But by the prayers of the Holy Church, and by the salvific sacrifice, and by the alms which are given for their spirits, there is no doubt that the dead are aided that the Lord might deal more mercifully with them than their sins would deserve. For the whole church observes this practice which was handed down by the fathers that it prays for those who have died in the communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, when they are commemorated in their own place in the Sacrifice itself; and the Sacrifice is offered also in memory of them, on their behalf. If, the works of mercy are celebrated for the sake of those who are being remembered, who would hesitate to recommend them, on whose behalf prayers to God are not offered in vain? It is not at all to be doubted that such prayers are of profit to the dead; but for such of them as lived before their death in a way that makes it possible for these things to be useful to them after death." (Sermons 172:2)

    "…I turn to Christ, because it is He whom I seek here; and I discover how the earth is adored without impiety, how without impiety the footstool of His feet is adored. For He received earth from earth; because flesh is from the earth, and He took flesh from the flesh of Mary. He walked here in the same flesh, and gave us the same flesh to be eaten unto salvation. But no one eats that flesh unless first he adores it; and thus it is discovered how such a footstool of the Lord's feet is adored; and not only do we not sin by adoring, we do sin by not adoring." (Psalms 98:9)

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  302. Susan, come on, infallibility means always having to say you’re sorry.

    What we must realize is that the Church (like her Lord) is interested in freedom, not tyranny. She has a few things she insists her children agree on so that they may be free to argue their heads off about nearly everything else. Nor does infallibility mean never having to say you’re sorry (which is why all Catholics–including the Pope–do so in every confessional and in every penitential rite at every Mass in the world). The Church is not infallible because everybody in the Church from the Pope to the dog catcher is perfect, but because nobody in the Church, Pope to dog catcher, is perfect (at least here on earth). God holds the Church’s hand every step of the way and makes sure she doesn’t spill the wine of revelation, not because we are dexterous and holy, but because we are all such sinful klutzes that, without him, we’d have lost track of the gospel an hour after Pentecost. That’s all “infallibility” means.

    Didn’t you get the apologists’ memo?

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  303. Susan, I have not spoken infallibly to my neighbor. I have simply spoken correctly. Do you really need to think that I speak infallibly to believe me when when I say the sky is blue? When we say that a source is infallible it means that it is intrinsically infallible, not just correct. But if you’re saying I can speak infallibly then why does anybody need a magisterium? Because you don’t just mean “correct about the sky but not because unable to err” but “unable to err.” But if you really do mean just “correct” (which also means it’s possible to be “incorrect”), then why don’t you just say that?

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  304. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 12, 2015 at 6:30 am | Permalink
    vd, t, “The EOs ARE schismatics and heretics, though, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad persons.”

    Then why did you bring up JPII concelebrating the Mass with Patriarchate Bartholomew? Should popes really co-officiate at Mass with schismatics and heretics?

    On resistance theory, I was trying to give long shrift to Roman Catholic resistance theory. Who’s the hater?

    Well, you are, of course, with your constant attacks on the Catholic Church. As if that makes your religion the true one.

    As for the concelebrating the Eucharist, you don’t seem to understand that the sacraments trump hair-splitting on doctrine. After stripping Christianity of its essence, Calvinism turned its church into a synagogue, talk, talk, talk.

    Here is your friend St. Augustine sounding a lot like a Catholic, and not much like the WCF. So, who changed Christian teaching on the sacrifice of the Mass and the Real Presence? The Catholic Church has not. Notice that Augustine learned this from the fathers. So, from at least the 4th Century until now, the Church has not changed her teaching about the sacrifice of the Mass.

    Take a look at this elegant and thorough treatment of the subject as well.
    http://www.thesumma.info/reality/reality41.php

    &c.

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  305. Propaganda, the essence of which is to leave out the salient and damning details.

    As above from the old Baltimore Catechism (remember boys and girls, only the discipline changes, never the doctrine. Repeat after me . . .).

    361. What are the purposes for which the Mass is offered?

    The purposes for which the Mass is offered are: first, to adore God as our Creator and Lord; second, to thank God for His many favors; third, to ask God to bestow His blessings on all men; fourth, to satisfy the justice of God for the sins committed against Him.

    Yup, Mrs. W. is holding her own when it comes to propaganda.

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  306. Susan, the deuteros were never declared to be canonical until Trent in 1540-60.
    So nobody really knew this until after the Reformation began.
    IOW maybe the One True Wholly Apostasizing Reprobate church added to what the early church confessed.

    Two, you need to cite where Christ or the apostles anywhere in the NT quoted from the DC because last time we went trough this routine at the Green Baggins, the DC quotes ended up being quotes of the OT – which OT quotes were also quoted in the New.
    Another swing and a miss.
    And the list grows longer for the Called to Confusion cadre:

    imputation vs. infusion
    separation vs. schism
    total depravity vs. partial
    physical presence vs. spiritual presence
    deutero vs. canonical

    cheers

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  307. vd, t, well if it’s sacraments not words, then your assertion isn’t worth a damn (unless maybe you have crumbs of the host on your keyboard).

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  308. the sacraments trump hair-splitting on doctrine

    Fine Print/Warning: This is not in any way a dogma or doctrine. There is no doctrine of the sacraments to speak of. Any thing you have heard to the contrary is to be ignored.

    And remember, nothing ever changes, only the discipline (application of the doctrine) never the doctrine itself.
    Remember.
    Roma Semper Eadem
    Though the lies may change, Rome remains ever a liar

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  309. When will Susan/TVD/Webfoot figure out there’s 556 questions and answers on the OPC Q&A website, and they haven’t yet gotten to any original material in their weeks (for TVD/Susan, years) of commenting at OLTS? Oh well, another chance to get a pic of my golf clubs on this site. Blessings to you interlocutors, I would consult the OPC Q&A next time before you ask a question, unless you just like hanging with us Calvinists because of our charm:

    Question and Answer

    Meaning of “Real Presence” in the Lord’s Supper

    Question:

    Could you explain the distinctive Presbyterian/Reformed view of the “Real Presence” in the Lord’s Supper, and what it entails?

    Answer:

    This is an old and interesting question. The reformers Calvin, Luther, and Zwingli took somewhat different positions on this in response to the abuses that were being taught by the Catholic church. The view of the Catholic church, which may be worth stating here as a backdrop, was that when the priest said the blessing the elements of bread and wine were mysteriously transformed into the body and blood of Christ. This was called transubstantiation. They saw Christ as, if you will, overly present in the supper, to the point of being offered up over, and over, and over.

    Christ’s sacrifice was given “once for all,” and that was on the cross (see Hebrews 9 and 10, especially Hebrews 9:24-28.
    The idea that Christ’s “once for all” sacrifice on the cross was repeatedly “re-presented” in the Lord’s Supper was rejected by all the major branches of the Reformation. Zwingli’s view is the closest to the modern evangelical view, though upon close inspection, it could be the case that he is somewhat misunderstood. Nevertheless, Zwingli is understood by many as teaching that the supper is a “memorial” to Christ’s death upon the cross. The issue of presence in the Supper is played down (at least in comparison to other reformers). The analogy of a wedding is used. The Lord’s Supper is a visible reminder of something accomplished in the past, whether the person is present or not.

    Luther had a heightened view of the presence of Christ in the supper, though I find him the hardest to really follow. He said, and Lutheran Catechisms (like “Luther’s Small Catechism”) still say, that Christ is present “in, with, and under” the elements. By this Luther wanted to suggest that Christ was “truly” in some way present in the Supper, even in the elements themselves, yet he did not want to go where the Catholic church had been on the supper. Certainly his sense of Christ’s essential presence could be argued as being stronger than that of Zwingli, but not as problematic as that of the Roman Catholic church. Still, the prepositions “in, with, and under” seem to skirt the issue, and I have not been overly helped by them yet.

    Calvin, and those coming from his direction are the ones I do find to be the most biblical, clear, and helpful. While denying that the elements themselves are in any way changed, he argued strongly that Christ was truly present by his/the Spirit in such a way that we can and should believe that Christ is truly, “really” present. In other words, the “real” presence of Christ, is a uniquely spiritual presence. The Supper, according to Calvin and the Reformed tradition, is truly a unique meeting with the resurrected Christ who promises to nourish the souls of his people as they feed upon him by faith. The language of “feeding upon him” should not be misunderstood. I cannot say it any better than the Westminster Confession, so I’ll quote chapter 29, section 7:

    Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements, in this sacrament, do then also, inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally but spiritually, receive, and feed upon, Christ crucified, and all benefits of his death: the body and blood of Christ being then, not corporally or carnally, in, with, or under the bread and wine; yet, as really, but spiritually, present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses.
    Many books and dissertations have been written on this subject. You may wish to consult Given for You: Reclaiming Calvin’s Doctrine of the Lord’s Supper by Keith Mathison, published by P & R Publishing. It should be helpful.

    Please let me know if I have helped or confused you! It is a tricky, but important question. The Lord’s Supper is a true, spiritual blessing to the people of God, and understanding the way in which Christ is really present in the Supper is important to seeing how our once-for-all sacrificed and resurrected Savior continues to give himself to his people.

    Blessings in him.
    opc[dot]org/qa.html?question_id=332

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  310. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 12, 2015 at 3:49 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, well if it’s sacraments not words, then your assertion isn’t worth a damn (unless maybe you have crumbs of the host on your keyboard).

    Ah, back to the personal attack. This isn’t even a very good synagogue.

    __________________

    The reformers Calvin, Luther, and Zwingli took somewhat different positions on this in response to the abuses that were being taught by the Catholic church.

    Exactly. In other words, the “Reformation” has no internal coherence, and is best understood as a Babel of non-Catholicism. Still, Luther’s conception of the Eucharist is closer to Rome’s than Geneva’s.

    Susan
    Posted May 12, 2015 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    To push a little harder in order to get honest feedback that is scripturally principled and not just anti-Catholic rhetoric, could you (and anyone else) tell me why Protestantism at this late juncture doesn’t include the deutero books as part of the inspired canon, when Jesus Himself quoted from them?

    Because Luther said so. But Protestantism doesn’t have a magisterium. Got it?

    Notice Butch steered right around this one. Not very able when they’re not on the attack. Protestantism is more an anti-religion than a religion in its own right.

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  311. the “Reformation” has no internal coherence, and is best understood as a Babel of non-Catholicism

    Whatever floats your boat, dude, but that statement has absolutely no meaning. Babel? I’m used to correcting protestants here when they call the roman catholic church the whore of Babylon. Is that what you are referring to? Are you calling the church in Geneva of the 16th century, to which the roughly 85million+ presbyterian and reformed people look to as part of our heritage the Whore of Babylon? I’m not getting you. Maybe this will help:

    Etymology and meaning of the name Babel
    The Sumerian name of the city we know as Babel or Babylon was Bab-ilim, and that means Gate Of The Deity. But the Bible demands that our city was named Babel because YHWH did something to the common tongue. That something is conveyed by the somewhat similar Hebrew verb בלל (balal): “On account of this its name is called בבל — Babel — because YHWH balalled the speech of all the earth there” (Genesis 11:9):

    And TVD, remind Webfoot that she should only post 3 comments per day. I haven’t seen the wild 3am/4am posts on this blog since the days you were spouting off your own personal rabies theologorum, and I’m glad to see you’ve calmed down a bit. I like to think DGH has had a hand in your positive development. Grace and peace.

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  312. Sorry, AB, but I wanted to clarify this. See you guys tomorrow, or sometime later in the week, maybe. Thanks for the good discussion. I appreciate the opportunity. Thanks, guys.

    I said:
    Neither would I join a Church that teaches that all Christians outside her care are going to hell because they are not real Christians.<<<<

    Robert said:
    Well the OPC doesn’t teach that, and neither does the PCA. So your problem with the Reformed is what, exactly?<<<<<<

    I meant that the Catholic Church does not teach that those from other churches are going to hell if they do not return to her. Protestants and all who baptize using the trinitarian formula are considered by the Church to be in the category of separated brethren.

    My problem with the Reformed movement? Good question. I came to believe that the separation in the first place was unnecessary. So, if I believe that, why don’t I go home to the Church? I started RCIA with the idea that I wanted to hear from the Church what she really believes, and now here I am.

    There’s more than that, but basically I didn’t have any good reason to remain Protestant and many good reasons to join the Catholic Church. No, not everyone will reach that conclusion, but Protestants have many barriers to even understanding what the Church teaches let alone consider her claims.

    The discussion about the sacrifice of the Mass is a case in point. The Protestant version of it is a distortion of what the Church teaches. So, it is a straw man that has been set up, and Protestants have been beating on it for several hundred years, now.

    Now, if a Protestant understands and can articulate the real Church teaching, and recognize that it goes as far back as at least Augustine – who says he got it from the fathers of the Church – and still reject it, then fine. It’s not even considered or clearly articulated by Protestants. That’s a shame, but the shame is not the Church’s.

    The same goes with the Real Presence.

    Anyway, nice to hear from you, Robert. God bless.

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  313. MW, it’s probably fine, the overriding principle is that you and everyone here, since this is a good calvinist inter-website, exercise restraint. We understand if your passions are what are keeping you going, it happens to all of us:

    Abstemiousness and self-restraint – typically Calvinist antidotes for the tempting excesses offered to the animal passions by a luxurious world – were widely thought to be the essence of moral virtue and therefore crucial qualifications for the model leadership of society.

    Check in the March Archives, just so you see what I mean:

    By D. G. HART | Published: MARCH 9, 2015
    Although the exchange between Greg and Erik has had its moments, I do wonder if Old Life is taking up too much bandwidth with all the comments that sometimes ensue different posts.

    So I am going to add a wrinkle to commenting at OL: anyone who wants to comment should limit him or herself to three comments a day per post. I suggest one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and perhaps a nightcap to round out the day’s activity. Yes, this could result in much longer comments within each thread. But it may also force commenters to distinguish between the substantial and the trivial.

    Comments are still open but those making them are encouraged to show restraint. Call it a good work and Mark Jones will be happy.

    Grace and peace.

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  314. Steve,

    But who can tell us without error what books are canonical? An authority has to know in order to tell others since each book doesn’t say, ” I am inspired and should be collected into your bible”.

    When you tell your neighbor that Christ died for them and then was resurrected the third day, you are correct, the doctrine is inerrant and the truth is infallible( incapable of being wrong hence the reason it is “truth”). You can tell your neighbor that you have a certain number of children and that truth can be attested, but who today is a witness to the resurrection if the apostolic church went into apostasy, and all the others that have supposedly received the tradition instead, could err?

    “I would not have believed the gospel, unless the authority of the Catholic Church had induced me.” (St. Augustine, Contra Ep. Fund., V, 6.)

    Bob,

    Is there a way to clear it up once for all or are we doomed to never know for sure? Did you see the cite I linked? It is of Jesus and the Apostles quoting from the Deuterocanon.
    The canon was infallibly declared because the Reformers rejected those seven books. It doesn’t mean no one knew one way or the other, it was just a way to settle the argument, just like what happened at Nicaea and Constantinople, and later at Ephesus and Chalcedon. If the bishops were wrong on the canon, well it stands to reason that they were wrong on earlier issues.

    Here is a great link. Hopefully you will do your homework:) Read through it; you can even follow the dialogue between Tom B.( the author of the article) and Jason S( of the Callers) starting at comment #12.

    http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2010/01/the-canon-question/

    But, I’m done. At least or a while.

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  315. Here is a great link.

    No. You missed this in the post:

    s it Called to Communion or Called to be Catholic? You can only chalk up such questions to Protestant perversity for so long before you finally admit a problem. Or you change your theme to Called to Denial.

    Oh, and I can find augustine quotes too, Susan:

    For among the things that are plainly laid down in Scripture are to be found all matters that concern faith and the manner of life. – Augustine

    Isn’t this blog commenting business fun? I get my name on a world wide interweb, and all I have to do is put in a false e-mail, a name, and hit “post comment.”

    I do feel a sense of pity for these catholics as they struggle with the truth claims of Geneva, they must come here to a protestant site to help them assuage their doubts. Susan/TVD/MW, I will pray for you that you find your peace.

    Take care. Who’s next?

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  316. Andrew,

    You think this is a fun game? Maybe that’s the whole problem.
    Nope, you can’t use Augustine, he’s ours:) He’s a canonized saint and couldn’t be if he didn’t worship Jesus under the accidents of bread and wine.

    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1701024.htm

    But in a way this is sort of like whack-a- mole( teasing) Or putting out multiple fires! Resist the urge to bombard me, please. Okay, I’m out.

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  317. Susan,

    I made something for you:

    http://adbuckingham.com/esvdailybible.html

    You can send this to anyone you want. Please read your bible every day. Augustine would be happy.

    You think this is a fun game? Maybe that’s the whole problem.
    Nope, you can’t use Augustine, he’s ours:)

    Susan, you don’t understand. You’ve been posting comments in a protestant blog for several (3 or more, I think) years now. I can recall when I first met you on Jason’s creedcodecult blog when you first converted. Again, I will pray for you to find your peace. Theology is no game, but on the internet, when someone uses an emoticon with me, I understand the medium we are in, and I know that I only need to post my thoughts about Theology and Golf (click on my “AB” for that, yet again), and I just get to sit back and watch those who struggle with the truth claims of the reformed faith flail around out here. I do hope for the best for you. Take care, and peace to you on your journey.

    PS don’t say “I’m out.” It doesn’t work, trust me, I used to say that all the time. Dont make restrictions on yourself. This is only a blog, don’t take it so seriously.

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  318. And since I’m a generous calvinist, another tip:

    You can click on any of those days’ links, and note the button in the upper left hand corner. Look what the internet has birthed for us – you don’t even need to read your bible, you can use these links and daily have the nice bible man read the bible to you, for FREE!

    So yeah, no. I’m not going to Called to Communion. I’