No It's Not

Evangelicalism’s greatest problem is its beliefs. So thinks Jake Meador:

Evangelicalism’s biggest problem with regards to those outside evangelicalism isn’t our image, it’s our beliefs. That’s why Louie Giglio was uninvited from President Obama’s second inaugural. That’s why there was a mass freakout about Chick-fil-a despite the fact that even gay rights activists admitted that the leadership at Chick-fil-a was consistently kind and gracious to them. That’s why laws so modest and restrained as the Indiana RFRA illicit such outrage and why the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby ruling met a similar reaction last year. The groups being attacked in these cases are not Fred Phelps clones or even Pat Robertson clones. They are simply ordinary evangelical believers trying to live out their faith.

If the issue actually was that most cultural elites outside of the church simply didn’t understand what we actually believed and had all sorts of wrong ideas from seeing one too many stories about Fred Phelps, then maybe a rebranding campaign could “work” in the way that marketing campaigns work. Trying to convince everyone outside the church that we’re cool and “get it” and care about all the things Portlandia hipsters care about would get us somewhere. I’m not sure it’s a place worth going, mind, but it’d be something.

But the events of the past five years, or at least the past three years, should make it abundantly clear that ours is not a credibility problem. The issues are much greater than that. As Rod Dreher noted several months ago (and David Sessions made much the same point here), what we’re actually talking about are two societies that have beliefs about the basic nature of reality that are fundamentally antagonistic to one another. Note that they aren’t simply fundamentally different, but antagonistic. Set next to a difference of that nature, the attempts at finding superficial similarities look rather silly–which is precisely what they are.

Consider this if you want to make a big deal of Christian belief. Once upon a time the Christian world divided with important cultural implications when the Western Church added filioque to the Nicene Creed. Or remember the 16th century when beliefs really did matter to the differences between Roman Catholic and Protestant churches and the societies that underwrote them. Or remember too a more recent past when differences of beliefs made even liberal Protestants worry about a Roman Catholic president like Josiah Bartlet.

Beliefs have mattered.

They don’t any more. What matters now are divisions over morality, yes. And you can’t have a full-bore ethical system without some kind of theological or philosophical system. And that leads to a host of doctrinal differences that should actually divide Jake Meador from Rod Dreher. But for now those doctrinal convictions don’t divide the two bloggers.

What matters and has always mattered in U.S. history is morality and the degree to which personal moral convictions must be implemented as public policy or law. In the 1970s thanks to Francis Schaeffer channeling neo-Calvinism (in part), evangelicals bought the idea that neutrality didn’t exist, that faith went all the way down (read identity politics), and that secularism was stripping the public square of clothes. It was possible and still is every single day to practice most of one’s Christian convictions — Sabbath observance? — without turning it into law. Heck, you can even voluntarily choose life (even though Christians are right to try to protect the lives of innocents).

So the credibility that evangelicals seek has taken a beating because of the way they have conducted public arguments. Would they have won? Would social life have turned out any better if they didn’t adopt the very logic of gay rights — that one’s political identity cannot be distinguished from one’s personal convictions? I doubt it. News from Ireland today about the referendum on gay marriage suggests that Christians have few tricks up their sleeves in public debates.

But the difference has far less to do with beliefs than with politics and especially the age-old American trope of LIBERTY.

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788 thoughts on “No It's Not

  1. Meador: And as you cultivate that identity, these problems begin to reinforce themselves. Speaking in this way creates a kind of echo chamber as those people who feel aggrieved by the church tend to rally around you. As this happens, it becomes harder to say what needs to be said because your own status as the “cool” Christian who gets it becomes more entrenched. To return to our business metaphor, you’ve begun to develop an audience for your brand, which creates a pressure to keep your brand consistent and not do something to lose your “audience.”

    And that, of course, is the irony of these evangelical accomodationalists who are theologically orthodox but prone to this sort of approach to Christian ministry: They think they are separating themselves from the conventional errors of American evangelicals when in reality they are simply embracing a new generation’s errors to replace those of the previous one.

    Exactly. The problem was and is cowardice. As the moral battle was being lost, the “cool” people stayed silent, leaving the battle to incompetent fools like Falwell and Robertson, or refusing to say a word against the sliming of Dobson and Colson, who were far more reasonable than the media, cultural, and academic elite caricatured them to be.

    Oh well, back to the catacombs. Hide your children.

    http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2013/February/RC-Sproul-Universal-Pre-K-Program-Not-a-Solution/

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  2. TVD, my children?

    Precislely why I won’t join that horrible institution headed by the bishop of rome you seem intent on promoting here at this blog.

    I don’t expect people without children to understand the point I’m making.

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  3. TVD, I’ll take the RCC’s view of schooling over Junior’s (and most of modern Reformed Protestantism, more or less):

    2229 As those first responsible for the education of their children, parents have the right to choose a school for them which corresponds to their own convictions. This right is fundamental. As far as possible parents have the duty of choosing schools that will best help them in their task as Christian educators. Public authorities have the duty of guaranteeing this parental right and of ensuring the concrete conditions for its exercise.

    But Dobson as reasonable? Wow, are you gullible.

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  4. Zrim
    Posted May 23, 2015 at 9:33 pm | Permalink
    TVD, I’ll take the RCC’s view of schooling over Junior’s (and most of modern Reformed Protestantism, more or less):

    2229 As those first responsible for the education of their children, parents have the right to choose a school for them which corresponds to their own convictions. This right is fundamental. As far as possible parents have the duty of choosing schools that will best help them in their task as Christian educators. Public authorities have the duty of guaranteeing this parental right and of ensuring the concrete conditions for its exercise.

    Oh my. Looking up what the Catholic Church actually teaches. That would set a dangerous precedent here at Old Life. Soon there would be nothing to talk about.

    But Dobson as reasonable? Wow, are you gullible.

    I admit I might have missed something, not a follower. But he has actual cred as a clinical psychologist, not a shoot-from-the-hip type such as Jerry Falwell or David Barton. Wikipedia loves to load up on the slime vs. conservatives, but I don’t see much to discredit him here.

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

    On October 23, 2008, Dobson published a “Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America” that proposed that an Obama presidency would lead to: mandated homosexual teachings across all schools; the banning of firearms in entire states; the end of the Boy Scouts, home schooling, Christian school groups, Christian adoption agencies, and talk radio; pornography on prime-time and daytime television; mandatory bonuses for gay soldiers; terrorist attacks across America; the nuclear bombing of Tel Aviv; the conquering of most of Eastern Europe by Russia; the end of health care for Americans over 80; out-of-control gasoline prices; and complete economic disaster in the United States, among other catastrophes

    Not bad, although nuking Tel Aviv will probably have to wait a few years.

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  5. Dobson is big in evangelical circles.

    My old man is a big fan, along with his propensity for Gothard. It was Character Sketches every night before bed for (all about) me. I digress..

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  6. AB, CRC is from what used to be the Back to God Hour, right? I loved the radio program with Dr. Needhour.

    Looks like a good family devotional. Nice, AB.

    I know that Reformed people – and feminists! – don’t especially like Dobson. However, as TVD said, Dobson has some pretty impressive credentials. I could never get people to tell me why they didn’t like Dobson.

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  7. All this gives me shivers, I was raising my kids in the thick of all this crap. If I had only had the Catholic Church’s help, I probably would have faired better as a parent.
    Look at all these groups claiming that they know how to help parents bring up kids “biblically”. Don’t talk to me about parachurch organizations either; churches are the places where their books are sold and their conventions and lectures are held. At least Dobson was a smart voice out there. I loved Focus on the Family.
    These other people are either predators, authoritarian nuts, or opportunists. Glad to be out of all of that, you-know-what!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-ingersoll/doug-phillips-biblical-patriarchy_b_5151442.html

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2014/02/bill-gothard-sexual-predator.html

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  8. I linked two articles in my other comment before this one, so it’s in purgatory, until Mr. It’s All About Me, lets it out.

    Let me also mention “Growing Kids God’s Way” Gary Ezzo. It’s a load of hogwash. Everybody doing what they think is “God’s way”…..give me a break. Oh and then there is this insanity:
    http://theweek.com/articles/480363/train-child-book-thats-leading-parents-kill

    I read all of these methodologies, in hopes that wise and seasoned parents could instruct through the difficult stages so that my kids would “not depart’ from the faith. With parenting advise like this, our kids should bolt at the first opportunity, and they often do.

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  9. To be fair DG, I don’t consider myself an Evangelical. Only because I associate being an evangelical as having a statement of belief more bare than the Apostles’ Creed. >_>

    But yes, a lot of evangelicals have beliefs. I think. Well you wrote a book that said that evangelicals don’t exist, didn’t you?

    Eh. Never thought of subsuming Neo Calvinism under identity politics. Makes sense considering the similarity of language I’ve heard from both “sides”.

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  10. If you throw “Dobson” into opc.org and you get six hits:

    Ordained Servant: Life’s Complications and the Limits of Expertise: A Review Article
    … roots of the United States, James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, …

    Ordained Servant: Courageous Protestantism? Some Reflections on David Wells’s Analysis of the Contemporary Church: A Review Article
    … messages. Empire builders like Robertson, Dobson, and Falwell liked rubbing up against …

    Ordained Servant: The Public Reading of Scripture in Worship: A Biblical Model for the Lord’s Day
    … The Sacred Bridge (London: Dennis Dobson, 1959), 51. [9] Darrell Bock, …

    Ordained Servant: The Myth of Influence
    … the whole movement. Does the popular James Dobson of Focus on the Family, or D. James …

    New Horizons: So, You Want to Have Sharp Kids!
    … Holy Bible. Not Dr. Spock. Not even Dr. Dobson. You must evaluate all human …

    New Horizons: Faith and Child Rearing
    … the founder of Focus on the Family, James Dobson, in which he touted his own system of …

    MW, Back to God hour also appears to be a publication of the Christian Reformed Church. ” Today” is what was always left on my OPC’s book table so we always got the new one that way. We read after dinner each day. Now I find the PdF online since our new church plant isn’t as sophisticated as the churches I used to attend which had subscriptions to “today ” for us the sheep. It works for the five of us.

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  11. Susan, “Don’t talk to me about parachurch organizations either; churches are the places where their books are sold and their conventions and lectures are held. At least Dobson was a smart voice out there. I loved Focus on the Family.”

    Coherence alert.

    And you want me to believe you about Roman Catholicism? (cue vd, t for Susan’s defense)

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  12. Dobson? He is sooooo last millennium. I thought all the cool parents were reading Ted Tripp these days. I found Caplan’s “Selfish Reasons to Have more Kids” pretty compelling and quite liberating (don’t let the title fool you). Essentially, he demonstrates via twin studies (I am a data nerd after all) that parents have very little influence (not zero!) over how their kids turn out.

    So Susan, don’t beat yourself up too much. The stuff you would have done differently as an RC wouldn’t have made much difference.

    The one area where we do have an impact on parents is the environment where our kids are raised and the peer group they end up with. A few threads back, Erik noted the disadvantage of not living hear where you go to church and a while back I seem to recall dgh wondering what the OPC could do to better hold on to its kids. I suspect that the principal variable that influences which sects retain their youth and which do not is the extent to which the peer group of the young people is dominated by other kids committed to the tradition. When RC spilled out of the ghettos and became mainstream, it equilibrated with the surrounding culture and the peer group was no longer principally RC. The advantage of evangelicalism (particularly of the megachurch variety) is that it creates a peer group for youth that reinforces its ideals more than if the peer group were comprised by random members of the community. I’m not sure one needs to have a mega church to provide a thriving peer group for one’s kids that reinforces the faith, but I’m not sure a 50member congregation meeting at the local elementary school is going to be so helpful either.

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  13. SDB,

    A thousand times yes. Stop these wonderful comments, trying to drink my coffee and stop making thumb movements.

    My personal history in Fundy/evanellyfish (http://fair oaks.org) attests to your comment.

    We have figured out in my family how to have our church life ssomewhat bifurcated from children’s activities where they have friends. My kids are 8,6, and 4. They Xcel in sports and school. We attend the Evangelical Covenant Order mega Presby church here in town for their drama and music and summer activities. But they ordain women. So we head down the street to the OP we’ve planted. For Sunday worship. We may never pull in my girls’ soccer coach or the ECO families we know into the OPC. That’s ok, the OPC has been small and can thrive in such a a milieu. But maybe we can encourage these outside parties to aattend to the means if grace in their own setting. We don’t need to make them all OPs is what I mean. The OP supports churches in you neighborhood, we would love people to join us, but know that may not be in the cards. God is building his church. It is sufficient enough for me to get the sense that I am working with Him as he does it. That’s all the satisfaction in the world. The rest is just details. Thanks.

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  14. TVD, “not bad”? That doesn’t strike you as chicken little-ish social commentary? Oh wait, Barton is your historian. Never mind.

    AB, Protestant mainline liberal fathers also admired Dr. D. More reason to doubt.

    Susan, you didn’t get a mild theo vibe from Dr. D.?

    sdb, I’m not convinced. While peer groups (and others) may greatly influence, parents still make, for better or worse.

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  15. fixed link to the church of my youth, which is still alive and kicking

    but Zrim, Gothard never became poop-ular in lib protism.

    That’s a personal card I get to play as only a child of a fundy milieu can. Character Sketches, can you dig it, yo?

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  16. Nice, dear old dad is still writing for their monthly newsletter:

    Global Outreach Team by Dick Buckingham

    globe and mag. glass
    Next GOT Meeting – Tuesday, July 7th at 7:00 p.m., ALC 124

    If you are reading, pops, good plug there! They need to get your bust to go along with your article next time.

    Who’s next ;-P

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  17. So, tell me again why you don’t like Dr. Dobson? I know why feminists don’t like Dobson, and the gay community. Why don’t Reformed people like Dobson? Is it because he is an Arminian, or are you against psychology on principle, or do you really have some substantive objections to his teachings?

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  18. MW,

    Check out SDB:

    I thought all the cool parents were reading Ted Tripp these days.

    It’s not our job to fix everyone else’s (Dr. D’s) problems.

    But we strive to be the best.

    Surely you know of CCEF? Ted Tripp? Ed Welch (When people are big and God is small? anyone?) Timothy Lane, Paul Tripp, How People Change, only $2.99 (bargain!) and over 214 positive reviews on Amazon.

    I would read those 5 articles at opc.org, probably a good bet for what the brains in our operation are thinking, ya know?

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  19. “Andrew, from unity post: Any particular reason you ask? (about daily reading)”

    just that its paramount As a man thinks with himself, so he is Rom 12:2; 1 Cor 2:16

    Hart: Beliefs have mattered. They don’t any more. What matters now are divisions over morality

    Pretty sure you can’t separate them Rom 1:32

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  20. a.,

    Okay.

    Public service announcement:

    I’ll try to make this my last comment for a really long while. Really. I pissed a lot of you off, you know where to find me if you want to come after me.

    Peace.

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  21. anyway, Andrew, hope you’re teaching your kids that also, and demonstrating it for them. Wish I had. Though there are many important things in life, their personal relationship with the Lord is paramount, which only grows by seeking Him in His word, by His Spirit. Your prayers for them are important too.

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  22. a., my kids have these.

    contra sdb’s point, and with zrim, probably the biggest factor in my love of the scriptures the model set down for me by my father, and he daily devotion and religious fervor in seeking out the scriptures. He came to Christ in college, so for him, learning the truths of the Xtian faith came later. He set a standard for us Buckinghams that I believe will be felt many generations over. I’m blessed to have the earthly father that I do.

    I’m out.

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  23. A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father. The father of a righteous child has great joy and rejoices in him. Proverbs

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  24. Darryl,

    What I mean is that the “churches” have some responsibility for what they promote in their bookstores, and if you are part of a community bible church that’s feeling its way in the area of child rearing than your going to get their picks recommended to you because they’re simply trusting the experience of another. As a young mom seeking direction, I always wanted to do things biblically, so when the people you respect and associate with share their wisdom, you listen. I just wish I had had less patriarchalism around me during my evangelical days, but then that is also part of the Reformed circles I was in too. My former church didn’t like the patriarchal Doug Wilson, but at the same time wouldn’t allow women to teach kids older than elementary age; he later changed his mind saying that woman could teach but that they had to be watched. Makes my blood boil.

    It’d be interesting to know if Catholic parents were buying Growing Kids God’s Way books, and listening to family advise from Vision Forum.

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  25. Oh, and I wanted you to know that I was teasing with the purgatory comment and the “it’s all about me”. 🙂

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  26. @MWF I don’t know if I like Dobson or not. I’ve not read much of him. But then he was pretty irrelevant by the time I started having kids (at least in the circles I move in). Not bad per se just not someone I’ve ever given much thought too (it seems the only people who care about him are commenters at HuffPo and Salon looking for a bogey man to lambast.

    One thing I’ve heard about Dobson is that he is pro-masturbation (or at least not necessarily opposed). I think the discussion is in “Bringing up Boys”…something about responsible masturbation (i.e., porn free). I think this has put him on the outs in some circles (presumably RC circles), but this is all second hand, so maybe it is something else about his advice.

    I’m generally skeptical of self-help (parenting) books more generally. Naomi Wolfe’s evisceration of the “What to Expect” genre captures a lot of my misgivings about these kinds of books if you are interested.

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  27. @Zrim “sdb, I’m not convinced. While peer groups (and others) may greatly influence, parents still make, for better or worse.”

    I dunno. Caplan’s summary of the twin studies were pretty compelling. If nurture really were more important than heredity, then I would expect that fraternal twins raised in the same household would share more traits than identical twins raised in different households. The data is consistent with the biggest influence parents have on their kids are their genes and community.

    For example, if you are rock-ribbed republican and most of your friends are republicans, then your kid will likely spend a lot of time around republican leaning kids which makes it more likely your kid will be a republican. But some republican voters are really hardcore about politics and others are “meh…”. While a parent’s political identification is a very good predictor for a child’s political affiliation, it seems that how into it all a kid is hereditable.

    Maybe the studies he based his inferences on are flawed, but assuming the data is valid (and I have no way to independently verify that one way or the other but haven’t heard any criticisms along those lines), it really does seem that we parents have a lot less influence on our kids than we think we do.

    So relax, have more kids, and toss the parenting books in the round file. You aren’t going to mess them up too bad.

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  28. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 24, 2015 at 7:30 am | Permalink
    Susan, “Don’t talk to me about parachurch organizations either; churches are the places where their books are sold and their conventions and lectures are held. At least Dobson was a smart voice out there. I loved Focus on the Family.”

    Coherence alert.

    And you want me to believe you about Roman Catholicism? (cue vd, t for Susan’s defense)

    Quite. You know it’s unfair. You didn’t go near what she was actually saying. That was just a poo-poo fling at Dobson, then the guilt-by-association card.

    Your M.O. is to find the weakest links you can find to attack Catholicism: Some blogger somewhere, a phrase by a commenter, a left-wing “Catholic” newspaper, an uncharitable reading of Called to Communion. Rod Dreher, who joined the Eastern Orthodox and Pat Buchanan’s magazine. The execrable Garry Wills.

    In the case, saying something faintly nice about Dr. James Dobson equals Susan should ignored re Catholicism.

    You’re quite right that such dirty pool sets my teeth on edge. If you have something negative to say about James Dobson–which is tangential to the original comment anyway–you should just say it and leave Susan out of it.

    Instead, you avoided manning up on Dobson and attacked a bystander. Not good, Dr. Hart.

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  29. sdb
    Posted May 24, 2015 at 1:13 pm | Permalink
    @MWF I don’t know if I like Dobson or not. I’ve not read much of him. But then he was pretty irrelevant by the time I started having kids (at least in the circles I move in). Not bad per se just not someone I’ve ever given much thought too (it seems the only people who care about him are commenters at HuffPo and Salon looking for a bogey man to lambast.

    That’s where I was going with this. The “cool” Christians were afraid to speak up and we got stuck with the aforementioned objects of ridicule because nobody else would stand up.

    [You also have a point about the left seeking out bogey men. The inept “historian” David Barton is of great interest to them while competent scholars such as Daniel Dreisbach* are easily ignored. And it doesn’t help when self-proclaimed “conservatives” pile on Barton without offering the Dreisbachs as the credible alternative.]
    _________________________________
    *http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2006/06/the-mythical-wall-of-separation-how-a-misused-metaphor-changed-church-state-law-policy-and-discourse

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  30. “Execrable” Garry Wills? That’s pretty harsh. I found him to be a pretty affable fellow and a first rate scholar…his work on Augustine is quite good.

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  31. Ibid:

    By my count, Wills took positions anathematized by 14 different Canons of the Council of Trent in this brief interview. Wills has become an open and unambiguous advocate of heresy.

    This would not be all that remarkable if Wills were a follower of Huldrych Zwingli, which is how he sounded in this interview. But Wills is a Catholic—or so he says. And it is only because Wills is a Catholic that he can command media attention for his attacks on the Church. Angry Catholics and ex-Catholics are regularly given space in the New York Times and similar publications to bash the Church, but Protestants wishing to engage in similar attacks generally have to make do with Jack Chick tracts or the like.

    Wills’ friends in the media dutifully portray his attacks on the Church as the work of a Catholic, even, bizarrely, a “devout” one, in the words of the Washington Post’s Sally Quinn. My Grandpa Piatak, who tipped his hat whenever he passed a Catholic church out of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, was a devout Catholic. Garry Wills, who writes books trying to destroy the faith of men like my grandfather, is not.

    http://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/the-strange-world-of-garry-wills

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  32. Susan: Let me also mention “Growing Kids God’s Way” Gary Ezzo. It’s a load of hogwash.

    Amen.

    And that actually explains the pushback against Dobson as well. He’s much more of a mixed bag than the Ezzos. As a positive example, the Adventures in Odyssey series is fairly creative and is probably the best part of what FotF produces (much as the best part of Veggie Tales is “Silly Songs with Larry”).

    But “Christian parenting advice” lives in a no-man’s land of jurisdiction. Is Dobson delivering doctrine on how to parent? If not, then why is his advice “Christian?” If so, then does that doctrine carry the force of church teaching? If so, then which church? If not, then what does it mean to deliver doctrine that is not binding doctrine? That’s a structural problem with his approach.

    If he were just content to be a family counselor who delivers parenting advice, some of which is religious in nature, it would be much better than setting up shop as a purveyor of Christian parenting advice.

    The structural problem doesn’t become obvious UNTIL something goes wrong (see: Duggars). So circling back to the Ezzos, the reason they gained such traction was that they attached the label “Christian” to their product. If any sane woman had picked up a book off the shelf that said “Feed the kid on your schedule, not his”, she would have almost certainly rejected it. But now advertise with “This is God’s Way” or “Biblical Ethics for Parenting”, and you get millions of sales in 25 languages.

    Same problem with Tripp. Shepherding a Child’s Heart has some good ideas in it. But when you attach “Christian Parenting” to the marketing, that turns off some peoples’ ability to discern. And the major point that needs extra special discernment is where Tripp claims that any form of discipline other than spanking is just manipulation.

    That’s the structural problem created when you have Christian this-or-that. It creates brand-think and pushes the boundaries of Christian liberty.

    All that said, Dobson’s best piece of advice concerning the teen years is this: “Just get through it.”

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  33. @TVD Sounds like that trad isn’t so fond of Wills. Allen’s coverage seems a bit more nuanced, though Wills does come across more than a little pompous in the interview…

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  34. She whose feet are webbed, Dr. D. is the face of the religious right 90s. And since religious right is Protestant liberalism…

    Susan, what does your blood do when no woman ever comes close to taking up Peter’s chair?

    sdb, if the example is simply emulating the politics of one’s parents, I’m still not convinced. What’s convincing is watching the one homosexual black sheep of the fundamentalist extended family do all he can to disown and distance in ways that only show his fundamentalism-in-reverse.

    Jeff, really? AiO is the Thomas Kinkade of broadcasting–sentimentalist tripe. But otherwise, ding.

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  35. vd, t, “Your M.O. is to find the weakest links you can find to attack Catholicism: Some blogger somewhere, a phrase by a commenter, a left-wing “Catholic” newspaper, an uncharitable reading of Called to Communion. Rod Dreher, who joined the Eastern Orthodox and Pat Buchanan’s magazine. The execrable Garry Wills.”

    If you’d let me see the vd, t view of the universe, I’d know which bloggers and news sites are legit.

    Your fault.

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  36. Jeff,

    “But when you attach “Christian Parenting” to the marketing, that turns off some peoples’ ability to discern.”

    This is so true, but what about godly parenting. I mean if the world the world thinks abortion and contraception is okay. So who do you turn to for godly advice?
    What does it mean that to spare the rod, spoils the child. Does this mean spanking or is it more like a shepherds crook that gently gathers the little straggler to get back on the path?

    ” And the major point that needs extra special discernment is where Tripp claims that any form of discipline other than spanking is just manipulation.”

    I knew of a mom, that flicked her kids hands wen they did something wrong and they were just toddlers. I don’t judge her….. I did plenty of wrong to my kids. I’m sure I have used plenty of form of manipulation. Spanking can tend to get out of hand even and also become a overused form of discipline. If I had it to do over again, I would not spank my kids.

    Steve and Darryl,

    There’s patriarchy authority( which men have to obey too) and then there’s patriarachal power
    ( which is harmful to men and women).
    With much power comes much responsibility. To whom much is given much will be required. The RCC has women doctors of the church and only men can be priests, but women have high honor. Some people believe this is so because of the place of reverence given to Mary. I think this is probably true.

    http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics-more/sexual-symbolism.htm

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  37. @zrim I’m not following…. anecdotes about a single child aren’t very meaningful. The data comes from comparing outcomes for twins raised together versus those raised apart. Life outcomes for identical twins raised apart were more similar than fraternal twins raised together. Are you skeptical of the twin survey data or the conclusions drawn from the comparisons?

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  38. The RCC has women doctors of the church and only men can be priests, but women have high honor. Some people believe this is so because of the place of reverence given to Mary. I think this is probably true.

    Ahh, the practical side to extra-biblical doctrine. Gotcha, now the co-mediatrix is so clear.

    Not.

    I stand by my comment:

    TVD, my children?

    Precislely why I won’t join that horrible institution headed by the bishop of rome you seem intent on promoting here at this blog.

    I don’t expect people without children to understand the point I’m making

    I guess I need to chime in since I feel somewhat responsibile for this rabbit hole of raising kids. It’s a personal topic, and since we have roman catholics who like to comment here, I should have known better how provacative this would be. My apologies RCs, I know you are seeking to parent the best you can just like we protestants are. The comments should probably focus on what Darryl wrote, so my bad, again, and apology. At least, I didn’t see anything in what he wrote pertaining to parenting.

    ab. Out.

    n
    e
    x
    t
    ?

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  39. Susan, “to whom much is given much will be required.”

    Are you telling this to your priest and bishop? Like I said earlier:

    Boniface weighs in on the numbers in Ireland’s referendum:

    Yes, a disappointment to all Catholics, especially those who love the Catholic heritage of Ireland. Yet it is hard to tell what is more disappointing, the referendum results, or the lame excuses offered by the Irish Church’s prelates. Rorate Caeli has documented how the bishops of Dublin and Derry offered the most mediocre, ambiguous, limp-wristed resistance to the vote, basically telling Irish Catholics that it was better to vote ‘Yes’ than to vote ‘No’ for the “wrong reasons.”

    After the vote, Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin placed the blame squarely on the Church, conveniently omitting any mention of the degenerate morals of his flock.

    “I think really that the church needs to do a reality check, a reality check right across the board, to look at the things it’s doing well, to look at the areas where we really have to start and say, ‘Look, have we drifted away completely from young people?’ ”

    This reveals immediately the error in his thinking. If a reality check is needed, it is not because the Church has “drifted away” from young people – indeed, the Church doesn’t drift away from people, people drift away from the Church – rather, the reality check needed is that this wishy-washy affirming dialogue centered nonsense that passes for Catholicism in most of the West is incapable of attracting young people. They’re bored to tears with it. It means nothing to them. It’s a fundamental failure of “modern” Catholicism.

    But does the Archbishop recognize this? Nooooo. Of course not. The problem isn’t that the Church has reformed; it’s that she hasn’t reformed far enough! More dialogue! More new language! More reaching out!

    “It’s very clear that if this referendum is an affirmation of the views of young people, then the church has a huge task in front of it to find the language to be able to talk to and to get its message across to young people, not just on this issue, but in general.”

    Somebody tell the Archbishop that the “language” needed to address this issue does not need to be “found.” It has always been here in the Church’s traditional moral theology, which has always taught that homosexual acts are acts of grave depravity and that even the homosexual tendency is intrinsically disordered.

    Yet, for Archbishop Martin, the problem is not the immorality of homosexual acts but rather hand-wringing concerns that the Catholic Church is becoming a “safe space for the like-minded.” He dislikes the clear moral teaching proposed by the Catholic Tradition. Instead he prefers to lounge about in Satan’s favorite area, the grayscale:

    “We need to find…a new language which is fundamentally ours, that speaks to, is understood and becomes appreciated by others. We tend to think in black and white but most of us live in the area of grey, and if the church has a harsh teaching, it seems to be condemning those who are not in line with it. But all of us live in the grey area. All of us fail. All of us are intolerant. All of us make mistakes. All of us sin and all of us pick ourselves up again with the help of that institution which should be there to do that.”

    Gray area indeed. This sounds like the realm of the lukewarm, and we know what Christ said about that. Is it not obvious that this is the voice of Satan speaking through this man?

    He wraps up his interview with this gem:

    “The church’s teaching, if it isn’t expressed in terms of love – then it’s got it wrong.”

    Of course, truth must always be spoken in love. The problem with these days however is that the truth isn’t spoken at all. The Archbishop made the most equivocating, minimal resistance to the homosexual marriage referendum; and then, when it unsurprisingly passed, blamed the Church for “getting it wrong” and “drifting away” from the young and now calls for “a new language” to rectify the problem he helped create.

    Like

  40. sdb, my point isn’t to disparage the science behind your theory. It’s simply to be skeptical of any theory that parents have relatively little effect upon their children. That just doesn’t comport with common sense.

    Susan, but does rejecting authoritarian patriarchy really require the adoration of a particular woman? Plenty of Prots do the former without the latter. From over here, it often seems that Catholicism toggles between the two. Sure, what you report from your former Reformed days is silly (and I believe it, having seen it), but you understand how it loses some edge when coming from someone who now embraces a system of male authoritarianism? Good patriarchy and bad patriarchy? That sounds like good subjectivism and bad subjectivism, revival and revivalism, etc. Patriarchy is only good when the right guys do it?

    Like

  41. “We need to find…a new language which is fundamentally ours, that speaks to, is understood and becomes appreciated by others. We tend to think in black and white but most of us live in the area of grey, and if the church has a harsh teaching, it seems to be condemning those who are not in line with it. But all of us live in the grey area. All of us fail. All of us are intolerant. All of us make mistakes. All of us sin and all of us pick ourselves up again with the help of that institution which should be there to do that.”

    Is it not obvious that this is the voice of Satan speaking through this man?

    oh no he did not just say that!

    Like

  42. Steve,

    “Susan, but does rejecting authoritarian patriarchy really require the adoration of a particular woman?”

    I think that the patriarchy( of any sort) becomes authoritarian when it rejects “our tainted nature’s solitary boast”. http://maryourmother.net/Wordsworth.html

    “but you understand how it loses some edge when coming from someone who now embraces a system of male authoritarianism”

    What’s changed? Don’t males typically run the churches out there? From my perspective all church leaders are patriarchal, however because I understand that the church is feminine, I don’t buck it….it’s beautiful. I’m not a feminist, I recognize that there is both the masculine and the feminine.
    Why are you confounding the partriarchal church with the patriarchal-ism of some leaders?

    http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2010/09/mary-in-the-old-testament/

    Like

  43. Zrim:
    She whose feet are webbed, Dr. D. is the face of the religious right 90s. And since religious right is Protestant liberalism…<<<<<

    So, that’s it? Is that why the feminists, gays, and Reformed groups all oppose Dr. Dobson, because they all have that in common – opposition to the religious right? Strange bedfellows.

    Like

  44. Zrim:
    Susan, but does rejecting authoritarian patriarchy really require the adoration of a particular woman? >>>>>

    What woman are you talking about, Zrim? Does your form of patriarchy require that you not even say her name, let alone give her the title that the Word of God and the Church has given her since ancient times?

    Like

  45. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 24, 2015 at 3:47 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, “Your M.O. is to find the weakest links you can find to attack Catholicism: Some blogger somewhere, a phrase by a commenter, a left-wing “Catholic” newspaper, an uncharitable reading of Called to Communion. Rod Dreher, who joined the Eastern Orthodox and Pat Buchanan’s magazine. The execrable Garry Wills.”

    If you’d let me see the vd, t view of the universe, I’d know which bloggers and news sites are legit.

    Your fault.

    Not atall. An accredited scholar such as yourself doesn’t get to where he is without being able to tell authoritative primary sources

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM

    from non-legit ones such as Garry Wills. I won’t insult your intelligence to suggest you believe a word you just wrote.

    Like

  46. Mrs. W:

    That title is “theotokos”, which is non-problematic for a Protestant. “Co-redemptrix”, not so much. That would be significant deviation from the faith deposited with the apostles. To quote Irenaeus: “If there had been a secret tradition, the apostles would have told us.”

    Is that why the feminists, gays, and Reformed groups all oppose Dr. Dobson, because they all have that in common – opposition to the religious right?

    Yes, pretty much. The religious right and left agree about this (hello, 2nd Great Awakening) — that the religious should be the political. In the case of the right, it’s 6th, 7th, and 8th commandments (marriage, abortion, property rights). In the case of the left, it’s “love your neighbor.”

    Even though they differ on the particular commandments, they agree on the general principle.

    Like

  47. Susan: but what about godly parenting. I mean if the world the world thinks abortion and contraception is okay. So who do you turn to for godly advice?

    Right, so Christians do in fact need teaching about the meaning of Proverbs and the rest. That teaching should carefully delineate.

    God has said A, B, C. He has not said X, Y, Z. For those latter, you will need to use all the wisdom you have, remembering A, B, C.

    Like

  48. Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 24, 2015 at 6:52 pm | Permalink
    Susan: but what about godly parenting. I mean if the world the world thinks abortion and contraception is okay. So who do you turn to for godly advice?

    Right, so Christians do in fact need teaching about the meaning of Proverbs and the rest. That teaching should carefully delineate.

    God has said A, B, C. He has not said X, Y, Z. For those latter, you will need to use all the wisdom you have, remembering A, B, C.

    Oh, I think he was pretty clear on X.

    3Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” 4And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, 5and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH ‘?…

    Like

  49. TVD: I’m sorry, but ‘X’ did not represent anything about marriage. The topic was parenting, and ‘X’, ‘Y’, and ‘Z’ were general markers for “anything God has not spoken to us about concerning parenting.”

    Like

  50. Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 24, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink
    TVD: I’m sorry, but ‘X’ did not represent anything about marriage. The topic was parenting, and ‘X’, ‘Y’, and ‘Z’ were general markers for “anything God has not spoken to us about concerning parenting.”

    I thought you were speaking more generally, since Susan was [abortion, etc.].

    As for whatever you’re saying about the “co-redemptrix” bit, as it’s not official Catholic doctrine, I think Protestants shoving it in Catholics’ faces sheds far more heat and light.

    Like

  51. Hi, Jeff,

    Jeff Cagle:
    That title is “theotokos”, which is non-problematic for a Protestant. “Co-redemptrix”, not so much. That would be significant deviation from the faith deposited with the apostles. To quote Irenaeus: “If there had been a secret tradition, the apostles would have told us.”>>>>>

    Who are you talking about, Jeff? Yes, this is a test. 😉 Besides, I am sure that you know “she” does not have the title of Co-redemptrix. The concept is not Church dogma.

    Actually, the English version of theotokos- “Mother of God” – is a problem for many Protestants.

    Mrs. Webfoot asked:
    Is that why the feminists, gays, and Reformed groups all oppose Dr. Dobson, because they all have that in common – opposition to the religious right?>>>

    Jeff Cagle:
    Yes, pretty much. The religious right and left agree about this (hello, 2nd Great Awakening) — that the religious should be the political. In the case of the right, it’s 6th, 7th, and 8th commandments (marriage, abortion, property rights). In the case of the left, it’s “love your neighbor.”

    Even though they differ on the particular commandments, they agree on the general principle.>>>>

    Wasn’t Francis Schaffer the founder of the religious right? He pointed out that 19th Century pietism made Christians more concerned with the next life and not so concerned with this. Here is a bit of his essay The Abolition of Truth and Morality. Note especially this sentence.

    “True spirituality covers all of reality.”

    I don’t think that Christ means for His Church to have to hide in the Catacombs again. It’s one thing to be forced there. It’s another thing for her to prefer the Catacombs.

    “Christianity and spirituality were shut up to a small, isolated part of life. The totality of reality was ignored by the pietistic thinking. Let me quickly say that in one sense Christians should be pietists in that Christianity is not just a set of doctrines, even the right doctrines. Every doctrine is in some way to have an effect upon our lives. But the poor side of Pietism and its resulting platonic outlook has really been a tragedy not only in many people’s individual lives, but in our total culture.

    True spirituality covers all of reality. There are things the Bible tells us as absolutes which are sinful — which do not conform to the character of God. But aside from these the Lordship of Christ covers all of life and all of life equally. It is not only that true spirituality covers all of life, but it covers all parts of the spectrum of life equally. In this sense there is nothing concerning reality that is not spiritual.”

    http://www.the-highway.com/articleOct01.html

    Thanks, Jeff, and take care,
    Mrs. Webfoot

    Like

  52. @WF which protestant sects rejects Mary’s title of theotokos? I realize most prots haven’t heard of it, but then most Christians think Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife.

    While co-redemptrix hasn’t been made official doctrine, it hasn’t been condemned either. Consider the popular ex-evangelical RC apologist Dwight Longnecker’s perspective. Alternatively JP2 and Benedict were not in favor. At any rate it plays a non-negligible role in RC spirituality in many places, so I do not think it is a total red herring.

    Like

  53. Mrs. Double You, but the fems and gays don’t oppose the Prot libs. Still, nobody moralizes politics and politicizes faith like the RCC, Thee Original Protestant Liberalism.

    The blessed virgin Mary, that’s who. Not a problem. I can even refer to the church as mother, as in if one is to have God as Father, etc.

    Like

  54. sdb
    Posted May 24, 2015 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    While co-redemptrix hasn’t been made official doctrine, it hasn’t been condemned either. Consider the popular ex-evangelical RC apologist Dwight Longnecker’s perspective. Alternatively JP2 and Benedict were not in favor. At any rate it plays a non-negligible role in RC spirituality in many places, so I do not think it is a total red herring.

    Catholicism is either too doctrinally tyrannical or not tyrannical enough. You nail them either way. Well done. As for the locution

    it plays a non-negligible role in RC spirituality in many places

    that’s so vague as to be meaningless. Neither, from what I see, does the term “co-redemptrix” even mean what it could uncharitably mean to a Protestant polemicist, that somehow Mary is seen as an equal to Jesus Christ, the second person of the Holy Trinity. That’s patently false, indeed idiotic once you see it written out.

    I do not know who Dwight Longnecker is. I doubt one Catholic in 1000 knows who he is, or ever heard the term “co-redemptrix” either. Of course this is a red herring, dude.

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  55. MW: Who are you talking about, Jeff?

    Any non-Nestorian Christians. Who are you talking about, my dear Web?

    MW: Wasn’t Francis Schaffer the founder of the religious right?

    Arguably, yes. The point is that the religious political right is in fact theologically liberal (read: Not Confessional) inasmuch as it adds various social and political teachings to the word of God.

    Like

  56. sdb, I am trying to take you seriously, but seriously? Give it a Google and see what you come up with about the title Mother of God and what Protestants think.

    …and read the context of my question to Jeff. You gave the wrong answer. What is the name of the Mother of God?

    So, who is your pope, sdb? I mean, who told you that anyone who is not confessional is liberal theologically? Your whole religion is based on a rhema that Martin Luther had.

    Like

  57. Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 24, 2015 at 10:05 pm | Permalink
    MW: Who are you talking about, Jeff?

    Any non-Nestorian Christians. Who are you talking about, my dear Web?

    MW: Wasn’t Francis Schaffer the founder of the religious right?

    Arguably, yes. The point is that the religious political right is in fact theologically liberal (read: Not Confessional) inasmuch as it adds various social and political teachings to the word of God.

    Francis Schaeffer was a theological liberal? If only.

    http://billmuehlenberg.com/2012/06/30/8405/

    Like

  58. vd, t, “An accredited scholar such as yourself doesn’t get to where he is without being able to tell authoritative primary sources”

    Okay, if that’s how you want it.

    Like

  59. TVD: Francis Schaeffer was a theological liberal? If only.

    Yes, I would imagine that it’s hard to understand subtle points if one’s entire conversational mode is

    YOU”RE WRONG!

    Like

  60. Aw, Jeff, don’t get grumpy. Get a good night’s sleep, and we’ll talk later, okay? Don’t mean to annoy you or confuse you. Not my intention at all.

    Like

  61. Question and Answer

    Mary: Mother of God?

    Question:

    Is “Theotokos” (God-bearer, translated by Roman Catholics as “Mater Dei”, or Mother of God) an adequate title for Mary? Can she be called Mother of the Lord, as Elizabeth called her?

    Answer:

    Two very big questions in one short paragraph. You have a gift.

    Let’s take them in reverse order.

    It seems clear to me that the Spirit-inspired gospel writer (Luke) reported Elizabeth’s confession (1:43) as a truth we should all confess. There is no hint of disapproval (for an example of which, see Rev. 22:8, 9). It is recorded in Scripture not only because it is true that Elizabeth spoke these words to Mary, but because her words are true: Jesus, even as a pre-born infant, was truly Elizabeth’s Lord and our Lord. We may certainly say that Mary was the mother of our Lord.

    What about theotokos? This word is not used in the Bible and did not come into use until the Christological debates in the early centuries of the church. What does it mean? Just what you state: God-bearer or mother of God. We cannot say that Mary was the mother of God in any sense that makes her the originator of the deity of her son or implies any superiority over Him. Before Mary ever conceived Jesus (before she ever was born), the second person of the Triune God, the Son, was in existence – even from all eternity, uncreated God of God, very God of very God (John 1:1-3, Hebrews 1:10, etc.). But in the unity of His one person, the man-child in her womb was at the same time the fully divine eternal Son. Deity and humanity united in one person, even from the instant of conception in Mary, so that she truly bore God (the second person of the Godhead) in her womb and the One to whom she gave birth was both man and God (in the one person of Jesus). God did not owe his existence to her, but God was pleased to be borne within her.

    These statements are true, but in the history of the church they have often been used in the interests of exalting Mary beyond Scriptural warrant as an object of devotion, worship, and prayer. The problem is not with the truths stated above. The problem lies elsewhere. Mary was a humble servant of the Lord (by His grace) who was given the unique and amazing privilege of bringing the promised Messiah into the world. He is the Redeemer, He is the Lord, He is the One we must worship (John 5:23, 17:3, 16:13, 14, Colossians 1:16-20, etc.). He is the only Mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5). There is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12, see John 14:6). Mary, a fallen daughter of Eve, was as much in need of His saving work as we all. By God’s grace she played a key role, but she with us bows to worship her Son and give thanks to Him for her salvation.

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  62. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 24, 2015 at 11:14 pm | Permalink
    Jeff, from the man who wants authoritative sources, we get Bill Muehlenberg.

    Actually I grabbed it just for the direct Francis Schaeffer quotes, which actually have something to do with the discussion. I was aiming at primary sources, and the direct quotes qualify.

    I’m as unfamiliar with the Protestant fever swamp as I am with the Catholic one. Sorry about this Muehlenberg mook. I was not quoting him authoritatively, but for information only, not to attack your religion, as you use the Catholic mooks you dig up, as weapons.

    Now then, Darryl, are you saying that Francis Schaeffer was a theological liberal or are you just trolling your own blog again?

    Like

  63. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 24, 2015 at 11:08 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, “An accredited scholar such as yourself doesn’t get to where he is without being able to tell authoritative primary sources”

    Okay, if that’s how you want it.

    Tough love. Genetic fallacies [Muehlenberg said x, so it can’t be true] or arguments from authority [Garry Wills said it, and he’s a “respected” Catholic so it must be true] are both no-go.

    Like

  64. @WF

    sdb, I am trying to take you seriously, but seriously? Give it a Google and see what you come up with about the title Mother of God and what Protestants think.

    Well in the Southern Baptist sunday school I attended while I was in college in TX, we were studying the creeds and learned why Mary was properly referred to as Theotokos. Leaving TX and moving north I attended a CRC church and learned that they see the Nicene Creed as a true summary of the Christian faith. I’ve been in the PCA since and they think the same thing. In fact just a few weeks ago in our Sunday School class we were discussing why it proper to refer to Mary as “God-bearer”. So of course, this isn’t a rigorous statistical analysis of protestant views on the proper title of Mary. My suspicion is that most protestants have never heard of Nestorians or even know that there was a third ecumenical council. But then surveys indicate that folks don’t know Abraham from Moses.

    …and read the context of my question to Jeff. You gave the wrong answer. What is the name of the Mother of God?

    I didn’t realize this was a quiz. I was just curious which protestant sects officially reject Mary’s title of theotokos (God-bearer or Mother of God)?

    So, who is your pope, sdb? I mean, who told you that anyone who is not confessional is liberal theologically?

    I’m afraid I’m not following you here. I don’t think I’ve ever indicated that anyone who is not confession is liberal. However, it is true that in the 19th century, liberal was originally taken on as those who were “liberated” by confessionalism. That’s kind of an antiquated definition of course. I understand liberal (in a theological context) to mean accepting of higher criticism, suspicion (if not outright rejection of) the supernatural. I’m not sure why I need a pope to define words. Pretty sure your pope has left that to you as well unless I missed the ex cathedra announcement on the definition of liberal.

    Your whole religion is based on a rhema that Martin Luther had.

    I had to look up rhema… that was a new one for me. I’m not sure that Luther should get all the credit. Hus (the goose who was cooked) and Wycliffe, were pretty important too. Of course, they and their followers lacked the state protection enjoyed by Luther. I suspect that Prince Fred deserves more credit than he gets.

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  65. @Tom

    I do not know who Dwight Longnecker is. I doubt one Catholic in 1000 knows who he is, or ever heard the term “co-redemptrix” either. Of course this is a red herring, dude.

    You might enjoy reading him. He has a pretty popular blog over at Patheos and is pretty affable apologist for the RCC. I don’t mean to imply that he has any special authority, but I think he is reasonably representative of conservative RC apologetics. Don’t get me wrong, I think he is wrong about a lot of stuff, but I find him worth reading nonetheless.

    Like

  66. @Tom Regarding the co-redemptrix bit. I was mostly going by memory of an annual conference at ND that highlighted Mary as co-redemptrix and was heavily Latin American. Here is a bit from that always authoritative source, wikipedia:

    In the early 1990s Professor Mark Miravalle of the Franciscan University of Steubenville and author of the book Mary: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate launched a popular petition to urge Pope John Paul II to use Papal infallibility to declare Mary as Co-Redemptrix. More than six million signatures were gathered from 148 countries, including those of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Cardinal John O’Connor of New York, and other cardinals and bishops.

    As I said, non-negligible support. But there are serious concerns about this belief expressed by the previous two popes (not speaking ex cathedra of course):

    Pope John Paul II cautioned against “all false exaggeration”,[23] his teaching and devotion to Mary has strictly been “exalting Mary as the first among believers but concentrating all faith on the Triune God and giving primacy to Christ.”[22] When asked in an interview in 2000 whether the Church would go along with the desire to solemnly define Mary as Co-redemptrix, (the then) Cardinal Ratzinger responded that,

    “the formula “Co-redemptrix” departs to too great an extent from the language of Scripture and of the Fathers and therefore gives rise to misunderstandings…Everything comes from Him [Christ], as the Letter to the Ephesians and the Letter to the Colossians, in particular, tell us; Mary, too, is everything she is through Him. The word “Co-redemptrix” would obscure this origin. A correct intention being expressed in the wrong way.”

    So they did worry that this naming could cause the sort of confusion that you evidently find absurd.

    Like

  67. So….. the Church of Rome’s only allowable talking points are those that are already in the skull of the Three Musketeers on here?

    That isn’t getting too much in to the depths and crannies of that faith.

    No… not at all…

    Like

  68. Kent, I say again.

    Great to have you back.

    Who will post next at Oldlife, yo? Let’s all watch and wait.

    Like

  69. Women are heard at the OPC GA coming up June 3:

    Reformed Women Speak: A Call to Attend the OPC General Assembly
    An appeal related to the outcome of the ecclesiastical trial will be heard at this year’s OPC General Assembly at Dordt College scheduled for June 3-9, 2015.

    Written by Valerie Hobbs | Thursday, May 14, 2015

    23
    The upcoming appeal to the trial decision, which will be heard at OPC General Assembly in June, is a opportunity to show to the OPC community and beyond that women’s bodies matter, that women themselves matter, that a man who protects his chronically ill and disabled wife, acting towards her in accordance with his conscience before God will be supported and embraced, not condemned.

    In January, 2015, I was asked to attend the last stage of the ecclesiastical trial of a minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) Presbytery of the Southeast, held in Raleigh, North Carolina. I am a Reformed Christian, a former member of the OPC, and an academic, now living and working as a linguist at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom.

    For several years, I have been conducting research related to how women in the Reformed Church are written and spoken about. My name was given to a member of the OPC Southeast Presbytery as someone who might be interested in documenting what I observed there as an expansion of my research and sharing it with the wider Reformed community. After attending the last stage of the trial, The Aquila Report published my report entitled ‘Women on Trial: One Observer’s View’.

    The response from the Reformed community was immediate and polarized. In online, public forums, some individuals speculated about and challenged my moral character and motivations for attending the trial. At times, the public attacks have been vicious. Some labeled me a liar, a slanderer, and compared me to Satan. Quite a few stated that I had no business attending the trial and was not welcome there.

    However, this negative response (which occurred almost exclusively in public forums) has been overwhelmingly outnumbered by the supportive, encouraging, and positive public comments and personal e-mails, phone calls, Skype conversations, and face to face conversations with Reformed Christians, some of whom attended the trial, from across the United States, and beyond. Perhaps the most visible expression came via Christopher Jones’ follow-up piece on The Aquila Report entitled Ministering to All of Us: A Response to Valerie Hobbs’ ‘Women on Trial’, which highlights the importance of Christ’s ministry to those ‘on the outside edge of normal.’

    As many of you have no doubt heard, an appeal related to the outcome of the ecclesiastical trial will be heard at this year’s OPC General Assembly at Dordt College scheduled for June 3-9, 2015. Whether or not you see the wife of the defendant as central to this trial, I encourage you to consider that she was mentioned throughout the stage I witnessed and that the defense repeatedly highlighted her importance in the proceedings. That in mind, I write this article for two reasons: to share with you the stories and comments I have received from Reformed Christians and to urge Reformed Christian women, differently abled Reformed Christians, and those who care about them from within the OPC and beyond to attend General Assembly.

    Since The Aquila Report published my account of the last stage of the trial, I have received personal communication from over 200 Reformed Christians (OPC, PCA, RPCUS, RPCNA, ARPC, URC, PCUSA, Reformed Baptist, and Reformed Congregational). Approximately half of the communications came from either pastors or lay members of OPC congregations. Around 130 of the total are women, ranging in age from early 20s to late 60s. The men I heard from are almost exclusively church officers (teaching elders and ruling elders).

    I have been greatly blessed and encouraged by many in the Reformed church who are deeply concerned about the decision of the OPC Presbytery of the Southeast and the way women are viewed, spoken about, treated, and ministered to in the wider Reformed church. But the e-mails, phone calls, etc., that have stuck in my mind are those from women across the United States, many of whom attend OPC congregations, who have shared their stories of dismissive attitudes towards illness and suffering, women who feel marginalized and ignored, and women who have had their presence at presbytery meetings questioned.

    Women wrote for themselves and on behalf of others. One woman wrote that she is frequently unable to attend church due to chronic illness (like the trial defendant’s wife) and has been rebuked by members of her congregation and her pastor for her irregular attendance.

    Another woman contacted me to say she was in tears reading about the trial, that as a disabled woman, she felt that it was as if she herself were on trial, a sentiment expressed almost identically by 13 other women.

    Women in physically abusive marriages told me how they have been told to stay for the sake of ‘unity’ and ‘spiritual reconciliation.’ Others expressed what one described as countless experiences of feeling ‘shut up and discounted.’

    One OPC pastor’s wife e-mailed me to say that she had been treated ‘rudely’ when she attended presbytery meetings; her attendance met with incredulity.

    Many other women recounted feelings of being an outsider due to being single, divorced, or otherwise not ‘fitting the mold.’

    These are just some of the stories that have been shared with me, all of which indicate how deeply this trial and the events surrounding it have resonated with many Reformed women.

    Sisters and brothers in Christ, the upcoming appeal to the trial decision, which will be heard at General Assembly in June, is a opportunity to show to the OPC community and beyond that women’s bodies matter, that women themselves matter, that a man who protects his chronically ill and disabled wife, acting towards her in accordance with his conscience before God will be supported and embraced, not condemned.

    On behalf of these 130 women and countless others, I humbly urge the godly leaders in the OPC to act with boldness and love for their brother and his wife and daughter. I also ask as many as are able to attend GA this year to witness the outcome of the appeal of the trial decision and to show support for women, for all those who are outsiders, who are weak, who are afflicted, for all whose lives are profoundly affected by these kinds of decisions.

    Whatever your view on these matters, please pray with conviction for all those who are in the unenviable position of passing judgment on the appeal, that they would listen to the evidence with wise ears and make a prayerful and God honoring decision. Let us follow the example of our Lord who ministered to both the spiritual and physical needs of those who are the most marginalized and stand with them in love.

    May God’s name be glorified.

    Valerie Hobbs is a Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at the University of Sheffield, Associate Director of the Lydia Center for Women and Family, and Fellow in Language and Christianity at Greystone Theological Institute. She and her husband and two children attend an independent Reformed church (a member of the EFCC) in Sheffield, United Kingdom.

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  70. sdb and Jeff,

    I find you two to be very fair interlocutors, and because I find you fair and as open as you can possibly be, I don’t begrudge you your skepticism about Catholic belief. What really put me outside the framework of Protestant belief, as I have said before, was that I honestly couldn’t see sola scriptura functioning like it was supposed to, so( again), I was de facto not Protestant anymore and I could find no way back into the tent. Protestantism as a thing had neglected to account for someone like me. If there wasn’t a category for my situation, then to my thinking, something was amiss in the system itself. Could that be possible? Yes, if it was not a system that God made. Man is the one who builds systems from the data, and he can make mistakes, even if he is a very logical systemizer( lawyer); but even this admitted truth doesn’t shed light on whether or not he can and should be systemizing outside the ontological nature of what is the church. To reform “church” you have to stay within “church”, otherwise you start a new one, defining its perimeters and so forth… And if the first church wasn’t the true church, then there is no church for man will forever try to systemize from biblical data, but there’s no way to safeguard each and every system. If though there was a first church then there must be continuity with her that is more than biblical, as in, addition to. The bible gemmated inside the church after all.
    Sola scriptura collapses into solo scriptura, not matter how you try to stack it. I don’t say this glibly; it can be a terrifying discovery. Remember though that when we as Catholics spell something out for you, we are simply telling you a reality that you might not have known about in the same way that you know first principles, they are matters of revealed faith. Teachings concerning Mary don’t have to be dogmatized to be truth. IOW, the nature of whether something is so, doesn’t draw its life from dogmatization. Of course all religious truth can be made dogma when the church says so, because she is the New Jerusalem, the mother of us all( Gal. 4:26) and has the same third person of the Holy Trinity who guided Abraham and his descendants.

    Now, if you don’t want to have just the historical-critical method to go by( and I know you don’t) then you will be open to a more mystical/spiritual understanding of the texts. When you can do that without a Protestant presupposition( not that its bad to have the presupposition, but that it might keep you from seeing the whole picture). For instance yesterday was Pentecost Sunday, and so we learned more about the forgotten person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit, who was given to the church when Jesus ascended into Heaven. Did you know that the Holy Spirit is called the spouse of Mary. You can see from St. Luke’s account of the Annunciation how theologians have arrived at this idea?
    Anyways, so my point is that if you can see how that the scriptures themselves are fluid enough to open up this kind of interpretation, then you can only do four things:

    1) Take it, remain Protestant and amaze( or shock depending on who you talk to) your Protestant friends with your scriptural keenness 😉

    2) Find a Protestant church that is more Catholic than you “were”.

    3) Become Catholic because now you are aware of a spiritual truth, that I doubt you will find in Protestant circles;so possessing this wisdom you won’t be housed in any Protestant tents. You will be outside like I was when sola scriptura fell apart. You are actually slowly becoming more Catholic anyways, so might as well swim the Tiber real quick. Come on in, the water’s just fine:)

    4) Ignore it altogether, but remember your reason will be unprincipled because you can’t disprove it and your traditions can’t either.

    SDB, was I shortsighted in my possible outcomes? Seriously guys, it’s fun chatting like this. I really enjoy thoughtful back and forth.

    Have a wonderful rest of your Memorial Day!

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  71. I noticed that the title “Theotokos” is not capitalized in all the Reformed comments and documents. Why is that? It is a title, like Son of God or even Dr., for heaven’s sake. Then, what I was driving at was that it is it seems hard for you good folks to write her name. Her name is Mary. She is Mary, the Mother of God.

    Do you have a problem with that title being capitalized? I am trying to get a feel for what you good people really think about her.

    Now, sdb, you are correct in saying that your experience is limited. Check out this article from Got Questions. Now, maybe you guys are saying that Evangelicals are not Protestants, or some such. In fact, I am not even sure what you mean when you throw the term Reformed around. Anyway, take a look. This understanding – or misunderstanding – is pretty common among Protestants. I could give you more links, but you could do some research. …or ask what I was taught. Mary the Mother of God is going too far, since God does cannot have a mother – pretty much what the guy at God Questions said.

    Besides, are you comfortable with the title, : Mary, Mother of God? That is what I am talking about, which is the English equivalent of the term Theotokos. …and I commend you for capitalizing the Greek, transliterated to English, title.

    http://www.gotquestions.org/Mary-mother-God-theotokos.html

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  72. You know, Francis Schaeffer was a fundy by most people’s definition of fundy. Are you sure you want to claim that he was a liberal? In what sense?

    Is there a little historical revisionism going on, here?

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  73. Susan, I got lost somewhere between the ontological nature of what is church, the hypothetical of the first church not being the true church, and somehow the first church being the RC church post Gregorian reforms and the counter reformation. However, it got back on track for me when I thought of those leaps and the need for the mystical/spiritual ‘meaning’. That all worked in an Alice down the rabbit hole kind of way.

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  74. MW: I noticed that the title “Theotokos” is not capitalized in all the Reformed comments and documents. Why is that?

    Because it’s a transliteration from Greek. “theos” will likewise often be uncapitalized, by way of contrast to “Ihsous” or “Nikodemos”

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  75. AB, I know that women want their voices to be heard, and it should not be surprising that women want to be heard in the OPC. I have left Protestantism, so I hope that y’all can straighten this out.

    My contention is that there is no coherent theology or philosophy of male and female anywhere within Protestantism. Not sure that there ever will be. IMO, until Protestantism turns to natural law, there never will be.

    This is a sad case it looks like. Thanks for the comment, AB, and the info.

    BTW, were you in ATI?

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  76. @ Susan: What really put me outside the framework of Protestant belief, as I have said before, was that I honestly couldn’t see sola scriptura functioning like it was supposed to

    I can appreciate that. Those of us who shepherd would love to explicate Scripture and *poof* see the people under our care light up with the wonder of it all, with all problems cleared away and ready for obedience to the Lord and discipleship. I’m speaking of my own dream-world, not yours.

    In the real world, I’m not even like that.

    I came at your problem from a different place, having traded Protestant horses in my 20s. What clinched it for me at that time was a study of the issues of predestination and church government, both of which pointed me away from my then-current Southern Baptist home.

    But I also had to think deeply through issues like “How do I know what the text says?” And here’s where you and I part ways. You seem to have come to a conclusion along the lines of “Without a guiding authority, I cannot in a meaningful way know what the text says” (feel free to amend that if I’m misreading you). I came to more Hodgian conclusion: “Using careful exegesis, we can reasonably know what the text says, as long as we don’t expect perfection in this life.”

    And as I studied church history, I discovered several things. The first is that there are not (contra Catholic apologists) 30,000 denominations all divided over sola scriptura. Rather, there are only three.

    Those three are the Lutherans, the Reformed (including Scottish and Anglican), and the historic Baptists.

    All of the others, with the possible exception of historic Anabaptists keeping the flame alive at Dallas Seminary, divided from Protestant branches using non-sola-scriptura methods. The Methodists use the quadrivium; the Pentacostals and charismatics use religious experience; the Southern Baptists use Arminian and Grotian non-Scriptural postulates, etc.

    What I also found was that as particular denominations and institutions (e.g., Dallas, or the Southern Baptists) began to emphasize sola scriptura over their particular distinctives (dispensationalism and Calminianism, respectively), they moved back towards the Reformed camp.

    Put in that light, I don’t think sola scriptura does poorly. It certainly is not responsible for the plethora of Protestant denominations.

    There’s a whole lot more to be said about this topic, but here’s a final thought. If Scripture is hard to read, then how much more the Church Fathers? And if they are all subject, theoretically, to error, then how do you know that the set of ones in error do not include the ones reading Matthew 16.19 in a Rome-centric way? The whole frame rests on patristic interpretation of … well, one verse.

    I would think that you have traded a hard problem of exegesis in for a harder problem of genuine certainty. Circularity looms large.

    Blessings,

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  77. Sean,

    “However, it got back on track for me when I thought of those leaps and the need for the mystical/spiritual ‘meaning’. That all worked in an Alice down the rabbit hole kind of way.”

    So says “you”. What do you deny, a spiritual interpretation? Fine, it’s all a historical record of miraculous events that we are not to draw any conclusions from. Cease from formulating doctrines, and don’t even try to expound in preaching then, the scriptures are static. It’s merely a series of propositions is all.
    There you go again…..defining the perimeters, but you alone are not the church, Sean, and neither am I.

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  78. Jeff,

    I’m 49 and have run the gamut of “churches” too. I was baptized in a Southern Baptist church in Alabama in April of ’85 and have seen everything in between since then.

    The Lutheran are the head stream in your river, the other two branched out from there. Unless you can show where the Holy Spirit sidestepped and made the Lutheran the new church, then you can’t begrudge the latter Reformed, nor the Anabaptists. They are simply following Luther’s lead.

    “Unless I am convicted by scripture and plain reason – I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other – my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.”

    I’ll let you ponder what I said about Mary.

    Blessings to you too,

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  79. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 9:39 am | Permalink
    b, sd, so vd, t knows Bill Muhlenberg but not Dwight Longnecker.

    Nice try, Butch, but I obviously didn’t know Bill Muhlenberg either. I grabbed the article for the Francis Schaeffer quotes, but you already knew that.
    ___________
    sdb
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 8:06 am | Permalink
    @Tom

    I do not know who Dwight Longnecker is. I doubt one Catholic in 1000 knows who he is, or ever heard the term “co-redemptrix” either. Of course this is a red herring, dude.

    You might enjoy reading him. He has a pretty popular blog over at Patheos and is pretty affable apologist for the RCC. I don’t mean to imply that he has any special authority, but I think he is reasonably representative of conservative RC apologetics. Don’t get me wrong, I think he is wrong about a lot of stuff, but I find him worth reading nonetheless.

    Thx. I’m not too interested in the Mary stuff. But there was enough devotion to her in the early church that it’s bogus to try to make a dealbreaker out of it. But thx for the reco.

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  80. Hey now, Susan, I’m not the ‘series of propositions’ syllogisms guy. That’s flat cap and the neos. But I am a supernaturalist, yet, that’s distinct from the mystics. Bultmann disbelieved the historicity of Jesus but was all for the ‘spiritual’ reality. I deny a ‘spiritual’ interpretation detached from the historic reality and a non apostolic tradition (oral or otherwise). When ‘your'(RC) doesn’t line up with the original apostolic authority, we got problems that no ‘spiritualization'(magic-charism) can overcome.

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  81. I would be interested why Jeff calls Schaeffer a liberal. I am not a fan of Schaeffer (At all, yes I know he was a student of Van Til’s), I hadn’t thought of him as liberal.

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  82. @MW I was just asking what sects reject the title of mary as theotokos. GotQuestions looks like a fundamentalist independent baptist operation. That isn’t so helpful in answering my question, but I guess that isn’t your problem. Given my experience in SBC, CRC, and PCA churches I found the charge surprising.

    According to this paper, the fundamentalist objectors to referring to the the blessed virgin as theotokos are an anomaly historically. Like I said, I strongly doubt that if you were to poll 1000 christians of any stripe more than 1 would have any idea what the difference between an orthodox christology and nestorian christology would be. Most are happy to sing Hark the herald and O come all ye faithful at Christmas though, so I suspect objections to nicea aren’t too strong.

    I believe along with the reformed churches that Mary is theotokos, and as far as I know all reformed churches have historically recognized the validity of nicea. I’ll associate my own views about Mary with those of Drelincourt (who I discovered from the paper cited above):

    We do not simply believe that God has favored the holy and blessed Virgin more than all the Patriarchs and the Prophets, but also that he has exalted her above all Seraphim …. The holy Virgin is not only the servant and the creature, but also the Mother of this great and living God.

    Evidently Norman Geisler (the guy who wrote the evangelical statement on biblical inerrancy) writes,

    The Bible speaks of the Virgin Mary as ‘the mother [of] my Lord’ (Luke 1:43), and orthodox Christian creeds speak of Mary as the ‘Mother of God.’ Indeed she was the mother of the one person who is both God and man, the Lord Jesus Christ.

    And Kenneth Kantzer (past president of Evangelical Theological Society, dean of Trinity Evangelical Seminary, and editor of Christianity Today) writes

    While the phrase [Mother of God] may be awkward, Protestants generally have agreed that it is faithful to the real sense of Scripture, and that to deny it is to suggest that we really do not believe in the full deity of Him who was born of Mary.

    Interesting enough, it seems that a significant source for the author (an RC apologist and Dominican i think) is Tim Perry’s, Mary for Evangelicals published by Intervarsity Press…about as mainstream evangelical as it gets. He writes,

    To put it in the starkest of terms, if Mary did not bear God in her womb – if she is not Theotokos – human beings are not saved.

    If God the Son entered human timeand space as a human being and he did so by taking on the humanity givento him by his mother; then Mary is the Mother of God. No less a title will
    do.

    So from the article I linked, Jimmy Swaggart, Dave Hunt, and the independent baptist at GotQuestions all reject Mary’s title of “Mother of God”. On the other hand Evangelical luminaries such as Norman Geisler and Kenneth Kantzer as well as the editorial board at Intervarsity press (not to mention Luther and Calvin) recognize the necessity of understanding Mary to be the mother of God. I’ve conceded that most protestants (or catholics) probably have no idea what theotokos, Nestorianism, or Nicea is all about. I was just curious which sects you were referring to that reject the title of theotokos for mary. From what I gathered there aren’t many and they aren’t exactly luminaries of the protestant world.

    As far as what it means to be a reformed church, it is simply that the church subscribe to either the Westminster Confession and catechisms (longer and shorter) or the three forms of unity (Canons of Dordt, Belgic confession, and heidelberg catechism), or I suppose both sets. I’ve never been all that clear on what divides these groups other than geography, but I guess some suggest that the Scots were a bit more strict on the sabbath. I’m no theologian though and as far as I can tell, while my PCA church formally adheres to Westminster, we reference the 3forms of unity at least as often. My children are memorizing heidelberg and that doesn’t seem to be too controversial in our congregation. All reformed churches I’ve been a part of recognize the Apostle’s Creed, Athanasian Creed, Chalcedonian, and Nicene Creed as valid summaries of the Christian faith (n.b. the similarities between the Chalcedonian Creed and language in the WCF by the way).

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  83. “I deny a ‘spiritual’ interpretation detached from the historic reality and a non apostolic tradition (oral or otherwise)”

    Me too.

    “When ‘your'(RC) doesn’t line up with the original apostolic authority, we got problems that no ‘spiritualization'(magic-charism) can overcome.”

    Completely agree. That’s what I was looking for- “original”, “the”, and it had to be apostolic for without that part it was be no means an authority that I was bound to.

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  84. Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    But I also had to think deeply through issues like “How do I know what the text says?” And here’s where you and I part ways. You seem to have come to a conclusion along the lines of “Without a guiding authority, I cannot in a meaningful way know what the text says” (feel free to amend that if I’m misreading you). I came to more Hodgian conclusion: “Using careful exegesis, we can reasonably know what the text says, as long as we don’t expect perfection in this life.”

    And as I studied church history, I discovered several things. The first is that there are not (contra Catholic apologists) 30,000 denominations all divided over sola scriptura. Rather, there are only three.

    Those three are the Lutherans, the Reformed (including Scottish and Anglican), and the historic Baptists.

    Put in that light, I don’t think sola scriptura does poorly. It certainly is not responsible for the plethora of Protestant denominations.

    Blessings,

    Google:

    One Hundred Scriptural Arguments for the Unitarian Faith

    100 Scriptural Proofs That Jesus Christ Will Save All Mankind

    &c.

    You may disagree with these things, but they have their scriptural arguments and you have yours.

    There is also the complication of translation. For instance, Luther didn’t deny that he added “alone” to “faith.”

    “I know very well that in Romans 3 the word solum is not in the Greek or Latin text — the papists did not have to teach me that. It is fact that the letters s-o-l-a are not there. And these blockheads stare at them like cows at a new gate, while at the same time they do not recognize that it conveys the sense of the text — if the translation is to be clear and vigorous [klar und gewaltiglich], it belongs there. I wanted to speak German, not Latin or Greek, since it was German I had set about to speak in the translation.”

    http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2008/07/debate-did-martin-luther-mistranslate.html

    Now perhaps he was justified–although it would have been better if he claimed it was the will of the Holy Spirit instead of his own reason. Y’all built a whole religion around his reason.

    And by what authority did he cut books from the Bible that were in regular use–and are still in use by the Eastern Orthodox?

    And where is “sola scriptura” itself in the Bible? Where is “perspicuity” in the Bible? That’s a Protestant theology, not sola scriptura, and you yourself are obliged to admit that even if we allow that there are only 3 branches, the facts on the ground are that scripture isn’t self-evidently perspicacious.

    For the record, the 30,000 figure is unfair. But it’s also disingenuous to maintain that say, “Presbyterianism” even exists as a discussable entity: The differences between the PCUSA and the OPC are dealbreakers, as are 100s of other such schisms, and they are justified by each faction’s “consciences” disagreeing as to what scripture says. It certainly is responsible for the plethora of Protestant denominations, by their own lights.

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  85. Sean,

    Something just occurred to me. Is the recognition and hence, doctrinal decision about Mary being the Mother of God, a spiritual interpretation or a historical interpretation? “The Holy Spirit as the Spouse of the Blessed Virgin—— spiritual interpretation or historical? What hermeneutic delineated the first and what if anything changes the interpretation of the second?
    I feel like Colombo:)

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  86. sdb, you have your experience to fall back on. We all haver our experience of what we have been taught. I was taught by an Evangelical Free prof. that the term Mother of God is going too far. Mother of Our Lord, like Elizabeth said – Mother of My Lord, actually – is fine and does not go beyond Scripture. Mother of God goes too far, since God cannot have a mother.

    It was almost the identical argument that the Got Answers guy used. I don’t know what his background is, but do you know anything about the E. Free? Have you ever heard of Dr. Don Carson? Have you ever heard of him? He is Reformed Baptist, and Canadian. Here is what he says.

    “Catholics have added titles such as “Mother of God” and “Queen of Heaven” to Mary, neither of which is found in the Bible. “

    http://www.life.biblechurch.org/index.php/73-process-faithfulness-during-the-ongoing-journey/process-publications/3615-for-the-love-of-god-don-carson-february-15

    Actually, Dr. Carson has always been one of my favorites. My interest in how Protestants view Mary may be different from what you think, but I won’t even try to explain.

    At least Carson gets it that Mary is “wholly admirable, a model of many virtues”.

    I want to ask again. Do Reformed people have trouble with the English version of Theotokos – Mother of God? How can Mary bear God without being His mother? The one who bore you, sdb, is your mother, after all. Did God Incarnate have a mother or not?

    Why is this important?

    Think of this. Eve is The Mother of All Living. Mary is the Mother of God. Looks like motherhood is pretty important to God’s plans. That is what is missing in Protestant theology, IMO. Motherhood. It is not missing in Catholic theology or Orthodox for that matter. Why is motherhood missing in Protestantism?

    I don’t mean that Protestants don’t have mothers. I mean where is the theology and philosophy of motherhood that comes from Protestant theologians and philosophers? Maybe I missed it. So, please enlighten me.

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  87. @Greg My understanding is that “liberal” as a theological category in the US started in the 19th century and meant that one was “liberated” from the creeds and confessions (I seem to recall a line from Rauschenbusch or Briggs advocating for a return to the Bible unimpeded by creeds and confessions). This was more about method than the doctrines one arrived at, so that the “conservative” baptists who rejected the use of say the “London Confession” are “liberal” in that sense.

    Schaeffer and others who down play the confessions may not be politically or theologically liberal per se, but they open the door to theological modernism. When the faith is added to or squeezed by social policy, the end result has historically been that true doctrine is lost (e.g., the evolution of the YMCA). Schaefer was a Kuiper acolyte in many ways and sort of the antithesis of the 2k represented by Hodge and Machen. If one looks at the legacy of Kuyper and those who followed that path, it isn’t so hot (and as I recall, though I could certainly be wrong, Kuiper himself ended his life not being particularly active in the church).

    While evangelicalism (1970-2010) is generally thought of as conservative (and it certainly has had tight connections with right of center politics with a few notable exceptions…e.g., Ron Sider), it is in keeping with the tenets of 19th century liberalism (rejection of creeds and confessions, boiling down of doctrine to a short list of “essentials”, and an emphasis on social activism) in ways that suggests that the current alliance with “conservative” theology is temporary. Already we are seeing cracks on the issue of ssm. I suspect that within a generation evangelicalism will return to its liberal roots.

    It seems like a stretch to me to think of Schaefer as “liberal”, but this is the context where such a charge at least makes some sense.

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  88. Jeff,

    “And if they are all subject, theoretically, to error, then how do you know that the set of ones in error do not include the ones reading Matthew 16.19 in a Rome-centric way? The whole frame rests on patristic interpretation of … well, one verse.”

    Good question. The events in Matthew happened even if there were no onlookers or anyone to record it. I’m happy that Matthew did, but the church isn’t dependent on the words being written, but only on Jesus doing or giving or teaching such-and -such. The RCC isn’t deriving its authority from those word penned in Matthew. The Church, to be the Church, must get her existence from Jesus.
    But it is very interesting that the scriptures would work so hard to demonstrate a Petrine headship given by Christ. I think it the Protestants who have had to twist scripture in order to escape the clear meaning. But here we are at our original problem, and that is how does scripture help us mutually come to know what the truth is?http://saintjoachims.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Other-Scriptural-Evidence-for-Petrine-Primacy.pdf

    Done for today!

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  89. @WF Maybe I was too longwinded above (wouldn’t be the first time!)? In response to what I wrote, you asked:

    I want to ask again. Do Reformed people have trouble with the English version of Theotokos – Mother of God?

    Here is what I wrote above:

    I believe along with the reformed churches that Mary is theotokos, and as far as I know all reformed churches have historically recognized the validity of nicea. I’ll associate my own views about Mary with those of Drelincourt (who I discovered from the paper cited above):

    We do not simply believe that God has favored the holy and blessed Virgin more than all the Patriarchs and the Prophets, but also that he has exalted her above all Seraphim …. The holy Virgin is not only the servant and the creature, but also the Mother of this great and living God.

    I went on to point out that I also agree with Norman Geisler (the guy who wrote the evangelical statement on biblical inerrancy) who wrote,

    The Bible speaks of the Virgin Mary as ‘the mother [of] my Lord’ (Luke 1:43), and orthodox Christian creeds speak of Mary as the ‘Mother of God.’ Indeed she was the mother of the one person who is both God and man, the Lord Jesus Christ.

    I also noted that I agree with Kenneth Kantzer (past president of Evangelical Theological Society, dean of Trinity Evangelical Seminary, and editor of Christianity Today) who wrote,

    While the phrase [Mother of God] may be awkward, Protestants generally have agreed that it is faithful to the real sense of Scripture, and that to deny it is to suggest that we really do not believe in the full deity of Him who was born of Mary.

    This entire exchange started because I was curious what protestant sects rejected the orthodox belief that Mary is the mother of God. I wonder if Carson would qualify his remarks if someone pointed out to him that theotokos = mother of God? I’ve heard of the evangelical free church (I have Grudem’s systematic theology, but I don’t recall if he addressed Mary in it).

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  90. Susan, it all depends on what we mean by mother of God. If I invest Mary with all the sinless, ark of the covenant, inventiveness of Rome, then we aren’t talking about the historic Mary. The same goes for the Holy Spirit as spouse when the holy writ tells us Joseph was her spouse by whom she bore additional children. IOW, it’s all the adding to, that Rome engages in under auspice of apostolic charism that begins to eclipse the original apostolic tradition.

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  91. sdb, do you have trouble with the title Mary, the Mother of God?

    I did find this article from First Things. It was written in 2007, showing the change in attitude towards the concept of Mary being the Mother of God. So, both Carson and God Answers – which if I remember right, is pretty mainstream conservative Evangelical – may reflect an older view.

    http://www.firstthings.com/article/2007/02/evangelicals-and-the-mother-of-god

    I know that many Protestants have a huge problem with Marian theology. However, certainly seeing in here the prototype of Christian motherhood and of Christian submission to the will of God does not violate even the strictest doctrine of sola scriptura.

    The Holy Family has been the prototype of the Christian family for a long time, now. It may be something that Protestants should look into. The knee jerk reaction of, “but that’s Catholic!” is not necessary. After all, the Trinity is also Catholic and Orthodox, as is the Nicene Creed and so many other important Christian teachings.

    Anyway, this is pretty important… and the CBMW needs some tweaking, IMO. I haven’t looked in awhile, but I never found any articles about motherhood there.

    …and, well, there’s more… Anyway… Thanks for the exchange.

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  92. Mermaid, “My contention is that there is no coherent theology or philosophy of male and female anywhere within Protestantism.”

    Why oh why pick on Protestants when now is not exactly a good time for male priestly celibacy or gay marriage among Irish Roman Catholics.

    But if it makes you feel you bought the right car.

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  93. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 8:30 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid, “My contention is that there is no coherent theology or philosophy of male and female anywhere within Protestantism.”

    Why oh why pick on Protestants when now is not exactly a good time for male priestly celibacy or gay marriage among Irish Roman Catholics.

    But if it makes you feel you bought the right car.

    Actually she’s talking theology. You keep talking about people and politics. Interesting.

    Especially in a self-proclaimed “theological society.”

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  94. @mwf for the third time, I believe that Mary is the Mother of God. I reject co-redemptrix, co-mediatrix, queen of heaven, her perpetual virginity , or sinlessness.

    My favorite line about our lady is from Lou Holtz. Asked if God really cares who wins when the fighting Irish play, he responded “God may not care, but His mother does.”

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  95. Gotcha’ sdb. 🙂 I understand. Cute line about the fighting Irish. You said our lady. Hmmm. That’s not Protestant. 🙂 I thought you were Protestant. No?

    Thanks

    Like

  96. Sean,

    “If I invest Mary with all the sinless, ark of the covenant, inventiveness of Rome, then we aren’t talking about the historic Mary”

    Okay, buuut I don’t know how you reach that conclusion. Jesus is the New Adam, the Bread of Life, etc… and He was a historical person. Elijah was taken out in a chariot of fire, and Enoch was translated out and didn’t see death( Heb. 11:5), and Simeon was righteous and devout and the Holy Spirit was upon him. You don’t think God could keep Mary from the stain of sin, but that he could make us gradually less sinful( sanctification)?
    Mary is the Ark, her womb contained the bread of life, the logos.

    This is literal and spiritual:

    Ark Contained the Commandments, Manna, & Aaron’s Rod
    New Ark Contained Christ Our Lord: Logos, Bread of Life, King/Priest

    I don’t believe that it’s antithetical to a supernatural schema. Do you? Inventiveness of Rome? How do you know which is the right way to see it?

    http://www.stpeterslist.com/2022/4-biblical-reasons-mary-is-the-new-ark-of-the-covenant/

    Like

  97. case in point – ^^ susan says ^^

    Done for today!

    Susan, you are a hoot
    TVD, you are a hoot
    Footlady, you are a hoot.

    which one of these musketeers is next to post? hoot hoot hoot!

    Like

  98. How do you know which is the right way to see it?

    The same way as the bereans:
    <blockquote cite="")
    Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
    (Acts 17:11 ESV)

    Roman Catholic Marian doctrine proper is tradition of men, rightly rejected. We call it Sola Scriptura, Susan.

    Like

  99. Susan
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Mary is the Ark, her womb contained the bread of life, the logos.

    This is literal and spiritual:

    Ark Contained the Commandments, Manna, & Aaron’s Rod
    New Ark Contained Christ Our Lord: Logos, Bread of Life, King/Priest

    Frankly, Susan, this is all more poetic and abstract than literal. Since Marian devotion is optional in Catholicism, and largely condemned by Protestants, the line of argument, even if true, is romantic, and like Mr. 50 Shades of Grey, Geneva does not do romance.

    The most important quote in the Old Life context is prominent in your link

    “We never give more honour to Jesus than when we honour his Mother, and we honour her simply and solely to honour him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son.”–Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, #94

    You’ll still get a fight about not going directly to Jesus, but at least you can beat the “idolatry” rap.
    ____________________________
    BTW, The Ark is in Ethiopia. 😉

    “We’ve had 1,000 years of Judaism, followed by 2,000 years of Christianity, and that’s why our religion is rooted in the Old Testament,” he told me. “We follow the same dietary laws as Judaism, as set out in Leviticus,” meaning that his followers keep kosher, even though they are Christians. “Parents circumcise their baby boys as a religious duty, we often give Old Testament names to our boys and many villagers in the countryside still hold Saturday sacred as the Sabbath.”

    Is this tradition linked to the church’s claim to hold the ark, which Ethiopians call Tabota Seyen, or the Ark of Zion? “It’s no claim, it’s the truth,” Paulos answered. “Queen Sheba visited King Solomon in Jerusalem three thousand years ago, and the son she bore him, Menelik, at age 20 visited Jerusalem, from where he brought the ark of the covenant back to Aksum. It’s been in Ethiopia ever since.”

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/keepers-of-the-lost-ark-179998820/?no-ist=&+c+=y&page=6

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  100. tom, that reminds me of the quote from tim whatley to seinfeld,

    tim:”jerry, it’s out sense of humor that has sustained us as a people for over 3000 years”

    jerry: “5000”

    tim: “5000! even better!”

    Good stuff, thx for the link.

    Here, this is what the moon looks like from my house tonight. Enjoy.

    Like

  101. Hi Tom,

    Well, Mary is not literally the ark of the covenant that Moses built, that’s impossible, and besides it’s in Hanger 18. 🙂 Typologically though, she is the Ark of the New Covenant, and the New Eve.

    “You’ll still get a fight about not going directly to Jesus, but at least you can beat the “idolatry” rap”

    True, but if they don’t believe the scriptures and the church fathers( without cherry picking), then what can you do about the charge of idolatry?

    “The Fathers of the Church also teach that Mary was without sin. I’m not going to comment on all the passage below, as it would stretch this post into an article length treatment. Nevertheless, here they are. You’ll see that the Immaculate Virgin has always been revered as uniquely holy – as they say in the Eastern Church – she is the Panagia, or “All-Holy.”

    “He was the ark formed of incorruptible wood. For by this is signified that His tabernacle was exempt from putridity and corruption.” Hippolytus, Orations Inillud, Dominus pascit me {ante A.D. 235).

    “This Virgin Mother of the Only-begotten of God, is called Mary, worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, one of the one.” Origen, Homily 1{A.D. 244).

    “Let woman praise Her, the pure Mary.” Ephraim, Hymns on the Nativity 15:23 {A.D. 370).

    “Thou alone and thy Mother are in all things fair, there is no flaw in thee and no stain in thy Mother.” Ephraem, Nisibene Hymns 27:8 {A.D. 370).

    “O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all O Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the Ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides.” Athanasius, Homily of the Papyrus of Turin 71:216 {ante AD 373}.

    “Mary, a Virgin not only undefiled but a Virgin whom grace has made inviolate, free of every stain of sin.” Ambrose, Sermon 22, 30 {A.D. 388}.

    “We must except the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin.” Augustine, Nature and Grace 4, 36 {A.D.415}.

    “As he formed her without my stain of her own, so He proceeded from her contracting no stain.” Proclus of Constantinople, Homily 1 {ante A.D. 446}.

    “A virgin, innocent, spotless, free of all defect, untouched, unsullied, holy in soul and body, like a lily sprouting among thorns.” Theodotus of Ancrya, Homily 6, 11{ante A.D. 446}.

    “The angel took not the Virgin from Joseph, but gave her to Christ, to whom she was pledged from Joseph, but gave her to Christ, to whom she was pledged in the womb, when she was made.” Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 140 {A.D. 449}.

    “The very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier than Mary, if any stain had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary.” Jacob of Sarug {ante A.D. 521}.

    “She is born like the cherubim, she who is of a pure, immaculate clay.” Theotokos of Livias, Panegyric for the feast of the Assumption 5:6 {ante A.D. 650}.

    “Today humanity, in all the radiance of her immaculate nobility, receives its ancient beauty. The shame of sin had darkened the splendour and attraction of human nature; but when the Mother of the Fair One par excellence is born, this nature regains in her person its ancient privileges and is fashioned according to a perfect model truly worthy of God…. The reform of our nature begins today and the aged world, subjected to a wholly divine transformation, receives the first fruits of the second creation.” Andrew of Crete, Sermon 1 On the Birth of Mary {A.D. 733}.

    “Truly elect, and superior to all, not by the altitude of lofty structures, but as excelling all in the greatness and purity of sublime and divine virtues, and having no affinity with sin whatever.” Germanus of Constantinople, Marracci in S. Germani Mariali {ante A.D. 733}.

    “O most blessed loins of Joachim from which came forth a spotless seed! Oh glorious womb of Anne in which a most holy offspring grew.” John of Damascus, Homily 1 {ante A.D. 749}.

    I’ll close by saying that if you “Get Mary” you “Get Catholicism.” Mary represents everything that Catholicism is: sacraments, incarnation, sanctity, matrimony, celibacy, prayer, silence, love, charity, faith and works, and even the synergy of the divine work within human vessels.”

    http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2010/12/mary-without-sin-scripture-and-tradition/

    Like

  102. Andrew,

    That was really cool! Did you lasso it for the Mrs? 🙂 What kind of telescope can get that close of a shot?

    Like

  103. Susan
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 3:18 am | Permalink
    Hi Tom,

    Well, Mary is not literally the ark of the covenant that Moses built, that’s impossible, and besides it’s in Hanger 18. 🙂 Typologically though, she is the Ark of the New Covenant, and the New Eve.

    “You’ll still get a fight about not going directly to Jesus, but at least you can beat the “idolatry” rap”

    True, but if they don’t believe the scriptures and the church fathers (without cherry picking), then what can you do about the charge of idolatry?

    Aw, lay off the Mary. Protestantism doesn’t really do the female question. Name 5 Famous Protestant Females and that’s 5 more than anybody else can name. I saw a pro-Old Life female around here once. She was a Lutheran, as I recall.

    Like

  104. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Mermaid,.

    Darryl, You Ignorant Slut:

    Denigrating “Mrs. Webfoot” as “Mermaid,” based on “opposition research” conducted by your fan “Andrew Buckingham” [her web profile showed a quite harmless affinity for Disney heroines] is perhaps your lowest yet.

    I’m so inured to your dirty pool that I didn’t even notice this latest stunt until now. Not feeling the love of Jesus here. Your mockery makes you more Mencken than Machen, and even Mencken spared the rod on the sincere.

    Like

  105. Celestrom Nextsar 4se, coupled with my Nikon D3100. Ibgot it for $450, getting ready for our trip this summer to great basin national park, the stars are supposed to be good there. I googled “best telescopes” and followed this article

    http://www.telescopes.com/telescopes/telescopeawardsarticle.cfm

    Susan, since you love talking theology, ever thought of seminary? There’s a great one, wscal dot edu, I would givebyou a recommendation if you need one. You have a good heart and a passion for your denomination and for the Lord. Props, yo.

    Grace and peace.

    Like

  106. “Andrew Buckingham”

    “Erik Charter” and I want to know what Tom Van Dyke (read: no scare quotes) means with all these scare quotes around our names.

    Tom: thoughts?

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  107. I rather like my new OLTS handle. Thanks, Tom.

    As for googling “Mrs webfoot,” did I do something wrong doing the research on our newest RC interlocutor?

    ,”Mermaid” doesn’t make Dgh a slut, not to me anyway.

    Later.

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  108. Susan, there is what God could’ve done and there is what the apostolic record records what He did do. This is where I bring up what the RCs have tacked on to the original tradition. I do agree with you that Mary is more a locus within RC than Jesus. As a Christian that is a problem not an aide. 1 cor 15

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  109. “O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? “

    wow, don’t think I’ve even ever seen praise like this to the LORD here @ OL.
    Greatness in His word is essentially always attributed to the Lord; Ascribe greatness to our GOD! Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised and HIS greatness is unsearchable.

    Like

  110. TVD:
    Denigrating “Mrs. Webfoot” as “Mermaid,” based on “opposition research” conducted by your fan “Andrew Buckingham” [her web profile showed a quite harmless affinity for Disney heroines] is perhaps your lowest yet.>>>>>

    I appreciate your comment, Tom. See, Disney heroines go to what it means to be female and not male. They are strong feminine characters. So, my putting them as part of my profile is a kind of statement, a kind of rebellion against our gender neutral culture.

    Their stories keep the feminine alive, until our culture does all it can to degrade that image. The Princesses are evidence that girls are made female in the image of God.

    I won’t tell what the Webfoot is really a reference to. Imagine what D. G. Hart would do with that! At least mermaids are beautiful.

    The fact that D.G. Hart idolizes H.L. Mencken is, sadly, a little window into his soul. Would that he idolized Machen.

    AB did nothing wrong, on a technicality.

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  111. The fact that D.G. Hart idolizes H.L. Mencken

    Darryl, you are once again charged with idolatry. Not of the OPC , but of HLM.

    You said or did something to get these RC interlocutors upset. Whatever you are doing here, it appears to be working. They lost their cool long ago.

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  112. AB, actually your faith – Calvinism – teaches that the human heart is an idol factory. So, I am saying that D.G. Hart is an idolator, but no worse than all other idolators. This is according to your system of theology where human beings are, by nature, idolators. That does not change with regeneration and a new heart for some reason. The factory is still in operation, according to Calvin and Calvinists.

    ——————————–

    Susan:
    Well, Mary is not literally the ark of the covenant that Moses built, that’s impossible, and besides it’s in Hanger 18. 🙂 Typologically though, she is the Ark of the New Covenant, and the New Eve.>>>>

    Well, this is how I understand it. The intention of calling Mary the Ark of the New Covenant is not to turn her into a goddess. It is Who she bore that is the focus – her Son, Jesus Christ. Protestants tend to misunderstand this. It is Christ who is the Mediator of the New Covenant. Remember, co-redemptrix is a title that she is not given, and will not be given. That is a title that has been debated for centuries, now, and it is on the losing side.

    Just as Moses is the Lawgiver, Abraham is the Father of Faith, Joseph in the book of Genesis is a type of Christ, David is honored as the father of Jesus, Eve is the Mother of all Living, Rahab is the example of justification not by faith alone, and so forth, Mary is seen as being the Ark of the New Covenant.

    Put her in that context. Her honor is because of Christ. We honor all those I mentioned because of their place in redemptive history. In that way we give the most blessed of all women honor. Along with Mary, all mothers are honored and we are saved by childbirth. The womb is a sacred place because it was a human womb who carried the Son of God. No, not all mothers are therefore arks of the covenant, since not all mothers have born our Savior. Mary has that special place of honor in God’s plan of salvation.

    Why was I trying to get you guys to say that name Mary? Well, besides frustrating dear brother sdb? Didn’t mean to do that! It is because God prepared a specific woman for the role she played. It was not just any old virgin with a womb. She has a name, Mary. She has a title, Theotokos, Mother of God. She bore the One who made the New Covenant in His blood, Jesus Christ.

    In fact, this is the kind of thing that Mary understood when she prophesied, “From now on all generations will call me blessed,…” It was because she is the Theotokos, the Mother of God, the one who gave birth to our Savior that she is honored, and has been honored all throughout the history of the Church, including in the NT.

    …except Calvinists… 😉

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  113. Mr. Hart,

    You’re wrong. There is a fundamental difference between those who think homsesuality is an inherently positive lifestyle and those who think it is sinful. These are not two positions on a scale; they do not occupy a “neutral” space. They are diametrically opposed. And they are not abstract notions but have very real-life application. And I do find it strange that a libertarian such as yourself would argue that business owners should be coerced into providing services which directly contradict their faith. This isn’t about allowing people to refuse to serve someone because they are gay; but rather requiring people to actively support homosexual causes.

    You will also need to explain to me how someone’s faith does not go “all the way down”. How can regeneration and re-birth not affect the whole person? How is being born again; being adopted into the family of God; becoming a disciple of Christ not affect someone’s “identity”?

    And since you brought up the Sabbath: actually, the laws and behaviours of our neighbours directly impact on our keeping of the Sabbath. The noise caused by people breaking the Sabbath affects our ability to rest on that day; post being delivered on Sabbath; bins being collected on Sabbath; Christians being pressured into working on the Sabbath because they works in shops or businesses open on the Sabbath. There is no neutrality in these things: they all directly affect one’s ability to keep the Sabbath.

    This is why your talk of a neutral space does not hold water. I may be able to walk down the street without having to make a decision one way or another concerning my faith; I may even be able to go and buy a paper in a “neutral” way. However, if when buying that paper I’m confront with pornographic magazines on the shelf above; or if the shop assistant decides to offer their political opinions (as happens) or, if one is a shop assistant and is forced to listen to a customer’s rant, then one is no longer in a “neutral” environment.

    What is truly ironic is that the secular paradise you so desire is only possible by the very laws you are condemning. Only by allowing Christians the right to live and work according to their faith can we actually have a society where regenerate and unregenerate can live together.

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  114. @MWF
    “You said our lady. Hmmm. That’s not Protestant. 🙂 I thought you were Protestant. No?”
    Just a lowly Notre Dame (Our Lady) grad. One of the sermons by the pastor at the CRC church I attended 20 years ago was “She’s Our Lady too”. I guess you didn’t take the time to read the paper I linked for you. That’s unfortunate as it lays the waxing and waning of the protestant understanding of Mary. As Luther wrote,

    God is born … the child who drinks his Mother’s milk is eternal; heexisted before the world’s beginning and he created heaven and earth. … these two natures are so united that there is only one God and Lord, thatMary suckles God with her breasts, bathes God, rocks him, and carries him….She is rightly called not only the mother of the man, but also the Mother of God. … It is certain that Mary is the Mother of the real and true God….

    Similarly, Calvin writes,

    It cannot be denied that God in choosing and destining Mary to bethe Mother of his Son, granted her the highest honor. … Elizabeth called Mary Mother of the Lord, because the unity of the person in the two natures of Christ was such that she could have said that the mortal man engendered in the womb of Mary was at the same time the eternal God.

    Thanks for the link to Timothy George’s (the dean of a Baptist seminary) essay on Mary. So now you have the editors from the main publishing are of evangelicalism, deans of two evangelical seminaries, and perhaps the most influential evangelical of the 1980’s-1990’s as it regards inerrancy of scripture and apologetics all concur that Mary is properly noted to be the mother of God. Similarly, virtually all reformed churches recognize the first four ecumenical councils as producing true summaries of the Christian faith (though obviously not infallible authorities). Perhaps your knowledge of protestantism generally (and reformed Christianity in particular) is not as complete as you think? The magisterial reformation was not a knee-jerk rejection of all things Catholic – it was a taking of the good and dispensing with the bad.

    That isn’t to say that recognition of Mary hasn’t been under-appreciated in many protestant circles or that anti-RC reactionaries of a certain fundamentalist bent (particularly restorationist influenced types) have gone too far in rejecting articles of the faith with a whiff of Catholicism attached, but that is not the whole of protestantism.

    On the other hand, there is no question that veneration of mary has shifted into idolatry and talk of her as co-redemtrix/mediatrix is quite unhelpful as noted by both of the previous two popes in rejecting a strong push to elevate the status of Mary beyond what is biblically warranted (to use Ratzinger’s phrase). So while this unwise formulation has not been made dogma, neither has it been officially condemned which is unfortunate.

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  115. @MWF
    “AB, actually your faith – Calvinism – teaches that the human heart is an idol factory. ” I’m pretty sure our faith is Christianity, not Calvinism. If you want to be more specific, it is Presbyterianism. Our denominational standard is “The Westminster Confession” not “Institutes of the Christian Religion”. Calvin’s warning that our heart is prone to idolatry (which is what he meant in the institutes about idol factory) is an observation in keeping with the biblical witness and at the core of John’s closing of his first epistle…little children keep yourselves from idols. It is quite foolish to dismiss such warnings, and indeed both Ratzinger as a Cardinal and JP2 were quite concerned with syncretism and idolatry in much of popular RC spirituality. I’m surprised you understand this as a distinctly “Calvinist” teaching.

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  116. SDB,

    Thanks for cleaning up Mrs. Webfoot’s misconstrual of our beleifs. And that was a neat quote, appeared to be by Niels Bohr.

    It’s fun having a roman catholic tell me, a calvinist what I believe. I feel like I’m in the comments section of Called To Communion with MST (MW,Suze,TVD) hanging around. I guess they feel the need to let all their emotions out since Bryan Cross is too grumpy to allow open comments.

    The best way we can help Darryl is by engaging these constant interlocutions. Now Alexander even appears to be making some comments about the sabbath on this thread (thanks for the help on Lee Irons stuff on the other thread, Alex!).

    Oldlife=comments always open.

    Who’s next?

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  117. Alexander, I have not argued that business owners should be coerced. Please do not attribute to me ideas that allow you to condemn.

    I haven’t called secular society a paradise.

    I have argued that Christians make distinctions all the time between what they personally believe to be the duty before God and what they tolerate from others. Husbands and wives do this all the time. Parents and children. Elders and church members.

    If Christians do this with each other and families, they can also do this with neighbors. If they can’t do the former, then they live alone.

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  118. @AB,
    I’m pretty sure that Darryl doesn’t need my help…if I was that good, I’d start my own blog. I do enjoy engaging with folks here on various topics if for no other reason to sharpen my own thinking and learn something new (I just learned a new word from webfoot: rhema!). Unfortunately, I drop in pretty sporadically (a month of regular commenting before going dark for a while… wash, rinse, repeat), so I’m not always up on what is going on and sometimes drop into discussions late. Oh well… As long as our host is OK with it, I’ll continue as is. I do find the constant refereeing and metaconversations about what is and isn’t acceptable on a blog by the guests here more than a bit strange…

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  119. I do find the constant refereeing and metaconversations about what is and isn’t acceptable on a blog by the guests here more than a bit strange…

    That’s not the only thing to find that’s strange out here.

    What do we have? A suggestion box where all you need is a false email address, and direct line to Darryl Hart himself. Nice of DGH to run this box, I’d say. Here’s what wiki says:

    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

    The number of comments attest to this fact – people have been wanting to change the OPC since as long as I can remember. I never could understand why I was so attacked from 2004-2009 in my OPC over my views on science, well, that’s because there were people in our congregation who wanted to change the OPC.

    So anyway, I haven’t seen anything out here that rivals what I see on the front lines of when I live out my life as an orthodox presbyterian. It’s just same stuff, different day.

    There, I’ve written too much. My belief is TVD does not go to church, because the way he acts out here would probably get him kicked out of church pretty quick. His language is a dead give away (Hi Tom). But admittedly, I know nothing of the man outside of how he conducts himself online here and on american creation.

    Grace and peace, SDB.

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  120. sdb:
    That isn’t to say that recognition of Mary hasn’t been under-appreciated in many protestant circles or that anti-RC reactionaries of a certain fundamentalist bent (particularly restorationist influenced types) have gone too far in rejecting articles of the faith with a whiff of Catholicism attached, but that is not the whole of protestantism.>>>>>

    Remember, I am the one who linked you to the article by the Baptist, and I said that it looks like the attitude is changing in Evangelicalism. Remember ? 🙂 Now, since I am an ignorant Catholic, I may have missed the point of the article, but it sure seemed like the author was saying that the attitude was changing. IOW, it used to be more like Dr. Don Carson – member of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals – explained. So, according to your def., he is not a liberal.

    http://www.alliancenet.org/events/holiness-and-honor

    BTW, have you ever read Loraine Boettner’s book called Roman Catholicism? Check it out, and check out what denomination he was from.

    You probably can figure out why I think it is important to honor Mary as Christians always have.

    It’s funny to see Calvinists deny that they are Calvinists, but whatever makes you happy. You honor the man, even venerate him, and a number of other Reformers. We all need heroes. Y’all are in denial. 😉 Remember, I do not believe it is wrong to honor those who we look up to. Honor is a synonym of venerate. Remember, we are told to honor our father and our mother. If it is sin to honor a fellow human being, why would God command us to honor those who gave us life?

    Hey, even Luther accepted the Immaculate Conception and the perpetual virginity of Mary. There are Biblical arguments in favor of both. Of course, as he got older, he got more and more anti-Semitic and his views on Mary seemed to have changed somewhat as well. All in all, he was pretty respectful of Mary. He was more Catholic than Protestant. The division was unnecessary and tragic. Both sides could have listened to one another more, but what’s done is done, I suppose.

    Do you know why I said that Luther got a rhema?

    …and you have nothing against Tom. Your belief about him is, well, your belief and nothing more.

    “We are not to reflect on the wickedness of men but to look to the image of God in them, an image which, covering and obliterating their faults, an image which, by its beauty and dignity, should allure us to love and embrace them.”
    ― John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2 Vols

    Where are you learning to “reflect on the wickedness of men”, or to call them wicked when they are not?

    Indeed, grace and peace, to you as well.

    I am glad you are happy in your church.

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  121. The type of language Tom uses here is not in keeping with Calvin

    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.

    Don’t forget, Tom calls Darryl an ignorant slut about 20 comments up.

    It’s comments like that that have me conclude he is a troll looking to make reformed protestantism look bad. Anyone coming to this site has no idea who any of us are, and yet, his language is now associated with reformed protestantism.

    He is gross and should apologize many times over.

    Queue Tom’s ad-hom attack on me.

    Next?

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  122. @MWF You are really confusing to interact with… I think I am totally missing your point or something. Maybe I’m just incredibly unclear? For example, you just asked,

    Remember, I am the one who linked you to the article by the Baptist, and I said that it looks like the attitude is changing in Evangelicalism. Remember ?

    In response to what I wrote above,

    Thanks for the link to Timothy George’s (the dean of a Baptist seminary) essay on Mary.

    I have no idea what the relevance of Carson and Boettner are to my response to your assertion that “You said our lady. Hmmm. That’s not Protestant. 🙂 I thought you were Protestant. No?”. Do you think I mean that there are no protestants ever that questioned the propriety of referring to Mary as theotokos? I’m just trying to figure out what your point is here. Just to be clear, my point is that the majority of protestant denominations accept the ecumenical councils as proper summaries of the Christian faith (along with the Apostle’s Creed and Athanasian Creed) though not infallible or equal in weight to scripture. Further there is nothing inconsistent with being protestant and recognizing Mary as Theotokos. I’m still not aware of any protestant denominations that reject this (and proof texts from this person and that don’t really establish this). My references to the early reformers and modern day prots who affirm this about mary is merely to illustrate that the concept is not foreign to protestants, though from the beginning I’ve conceded that most don’t have an opinion one way or the other…alas. What exactly do you disagree with?

    It’s funny to see Calvinists deny that they are Calvinists, but whatever makes you happy. You honor the man, even venerate him, and a number of other Reformers. We all need heroes. Y’all are in denial. 😉

    Calvin was great and did a lot of great things. The Institutes was incredibly important for the development of reformation theology. I don’t dispute that we are heavily influenced by his work. But his work doesn’t have any special authority and it doesn’t define our beliefs. We have creeds and confessions for that. Not every opinion uttered by Calvin (or Beza, or Zwingli, or Luther, etc..) made it into the confession of faith.

    Remember, I do not believe it is wrong to honor those who we look up to. Honor is a synonym of venerate. Remember, we are told to honor our father and our mother. If it is sin to honor a fellow human being, why would God command us to honor those who gave us life?

    And worship “just” means to ascribe worth to something. But of course, while that may be true of the root, the word has taken on its own connotations and clearly means something different now. Similarly with venerate – it does not mean the same thing as honoring someone. This is really quite disingenuous. Is the honor you show to your mom and dad the same thing as your veneration of Mary? If so, why use loaded language that creates division among Christians. Why not simply drop “veneration” of the saints and simply say that you honor the Christians that came before us?

    Hey, even Luther accepted the Immaculate Conception and the perpetual virginity of Mary.

    Uh… ok? I change my mind. I accept the immaculate conception and perpetual virginity of Mary (not really). Good thing I’m not a Lutheran!

    …and you have nothing against Tom. Your belief about him is, well, your belief and nothing more.

    Is this like a Jedi mind trick? Why would I have anything against Tom? I don’t think I’ve said anything about him one way or the other…am i missing something? Probably, but you’ll need to clue me in if it is important.

    Where are you learning to “reflect on the wickedness of men”, or to call them wicked when they are not?

    Dr. Evil school? I honestly have no idea what you are talking about. Sorry… Not saying I didn’t do this somewhere along the line, but I’m drawing a blank. It seems that I’ve offended you (and Tom?) somehow, but I’m not sure how. I’m just too dense I guess.

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  123. We have creeds and confessions for that. Not every opinion uttered by Calvin (or Beza, or Zwingli, or Luther, etc..) made it into the confession of faith.

    Well said. Check this out, from JV Fesko’s Theology of the Westminster Standards to see who’s names were cited the most in the minutes to the Westminster assembly. Calvin holds the #2 spot, but there’s a lot of names on that list (even Aquinas, imagine that..)

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  124. sdb, Oh, no! No, you didn’t say anything about Tom. That was AB! Sorry about that. Anyway…

    So, AB! What I said to sdb about Tom is for you! 🙂 I was happy to find that quote, and I agree completely!

    Time for a snack… a brain snack…

    Okay, you presented a case with quotes and all about how Protestantism does honor Mary as the Mother of God, so therefore I was wrong to say what I did about Protestant’s view. I say that I was not wrong, and I quoted Dr. Don Carson of the Alliance for Confessing Evangelicals. I also gave you the link to the First Things article showing that the attitude among Evangelicals has indeed changed – showing that it was something else before.

    Your definition of liberal had to do with not confessing. I said that Carson is not a liberal according to your def., and he is not some guy who just fell off a turnip truck.

    Look up the definition of venerate. In the range of meaning you have the word “honor.” It is disingenuous on the part of many to venerate – highly honor and constantly quote – their favorite theologians without recognizing that is what they are doing.

    I am just pointing out that you do the same things you accuse others of going. I am also saying that it is not sin, necessarily. It can be, but not always. Idolatry is a heart matter, and Calvin actually got that – and a lot of other things – right.

    I am trying to get y’all to face up to your own idolatrous tendencies. It is absurd to think that Catholics are not also warned about the dangers of idolatry. That is why we are told often that it is okay to venerate saints – as in highly honor them, but really highly honor the grace of God in Christ that is demonstrated in their lives – but not worship them. We are to worship God alone.

    All Catholics know this. It seems that Protestants are ignorant of that fact. Before I was a Catholic, my many Catholic friends would tell me that. Now I understand it by personal experience. I do not worship the saints or Mary any more than you worship Calvin or Machen, or John Knox or any of your heroes of the faith.

    Do you understand? …and you do not even know the Biblical arguments behind the dogma of the perpetual virginity of Mary or the Immaculate Conception.

    You and I need grace, right? It is said of Mary, and of no one else, that she was full of grace before Jesus was conceived in her womb by the Holy Spirit. Do you ever wonder about what that means? Noah was said to have found grace, but Mary was full of grace. When did she become full of grace?

    Now, you may not agree, but do not say that the dogma has no Scriptural support.

    Anyway, you seem to be having trouble thinking outside the box Protestantism has put you in.

    No, you may never want to be Catholic or Orthodox, but you are far from being able to accurately represent Catholic theology.

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  125. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 11:37 am | Permalink
    Mermaid, according to your teaching, then, you worship the wafer and the wine since they are the body and blood of Christ. Just sayin’.

    That’s disingenuous even for you, Darryl.

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  126. Mrs. Webfoot,

    What does it matter if your church’s teaching has scriptural support or not? Your church can declare doctrine which is equal to what scripture teaches (scripture and tradition on the same level) so there’s an impasse between catholics and protestants. And it’s ok, 1 cor 11:19 tells us that division must exist to see who is genuine. We do not have to have organizational unity to fulfill John 17. We are just going around in circles. It’s a poor showing when roman catholics come to protestant blogs for answers to their questions – it only shows your system is failing you, you go outside your own God given means (your own church) and seek answers among us. It’s better for you if you stop, we are up to almost 20,000 comments in the are CTCers paying attention and every comment you make only helps a cause which you do not support. So by all means, continue.

    All you have to do is just wait for sean to chime in. He’s the expert, everyone here knows. This comment is the antidote to many of these polemics out here, unless you all just like playing these games, but there’s really little else to be said than this:

    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.

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  127. Wait … I have a picture here of Don Carson falling off a turnip truck!

    Kidding.

    I have a basic logic puzzle that I’ve successfully employing with my students recently. It’s related to the notion of “Scriptural support.” Here goes:

    You have four cards in front of you. One says 3, the next says 8. The third shows a solid green back, the fourth a solid blue back. It is given that each card has a counting number on the front and a solid color on the back.

    Now your puzzler presents a hypothesis: “All cards with even numbers on the front have blue backs.”

    Now the question: Which cards do you have to turn over to test the hypothesis?

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  128. AB, my dear friend and brother, be happy! 🙂

    Jeff Cagle, my other dear friend, and brother – : – ) Glad you liked the turnip truck ref. I like Carson. He’s a good Christian man, and plenty smart. I do not agree with him that the title of Mary, the Mother of God is going too far in honoring her. Not many Protestants and Evangelicals do, evidently.

    Remember. Justification by faith alone is not even in the Bible, yet you base your religion on it.

    “Hail, Mary, full of grace” is in the Bible. What does it mean?

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  129. The 8 card and the green card need to be flipped.

    Still thinking how it applies to scripture support.

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  130. @JC Let me see if I have this right. There is a three card, an 8 card, a blue card and a green card. The hypothesis is that all even cards are blue. To test that hypothesis you would need to see the 8 card and the green card. The three is irrelevant because the hypothesis doesn’t make any claims for odd cards. They could be any color. The blue is irrelevant because they could be odd or even and the hypothesis would be true. However, if the green card were even, the hypothesis would be falsified. So you need to see the 8 and the green card. Right?

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  131. And Mrs. Webfoot holding to scriptural doctrines only is irrelevant, the same way the three and the blue are irrelevant. Since Rome is Scripture and Tradition, if we turn over the Marian theology card, it can show supported by either source. Geneva on the other hand can only have scripture on the other side of her card.

    Good stuff.

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  132. Said better, if Webfoot is right, that Justification by faith is unscriptural, we reformed prots are toast. However, if a so less Mary is not found in Scripture, no problem for mermaid. Her church fills that gap for her.

    Fortunately,/justification by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone is scriotural, and Geneva’s system remains consistent with herself. Of course, TVD wont be satisfied and Mermaid is still siding with the guy calling Darryl a slut.

    Good times indeed.

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  133. @ AB, sdb: Exactly so.

    Turning over 8 and green allow us to eliminate the alternative hypothesis that some even # cards have non-blue backs.

    Now consider the statement “Mary was full of grace.”

    Does it support the hypothesis that Mary was born “full of grace”?

    No, for at least two other hypotheses are equally compatible with that phrase.

    (1) Mary became “full of grace” sometime between birth and Jesus’ conception.
    (1a) “Full of grace” is a synonym for “highly favored”, which would remove entirely the notion of grace as a substance that one could be full of.

    The phrase “full of grace” does not allow us to eliminate competing hypotheses, and therefore is not support.

    @ Web: I happen to think that (1a) is the correct read.

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  134. Not that this is an area of interest to me, but I hate to see discussions do collateral damage to the truth.

    Regardless of your beliefs on Mary, the author below makes his case with scripture, speaking the language of Protestants. That Joe Protestant disagrees with Scriptural Argument X is fine; he also disagrees with Jack Protestant on Y, and Joan Protestant actually agrees with the Catholics on Z. So it goes.

    Karl Keating
    The Marian doctrines are, for fundamentalists, among the most annoying of the doctrines most people identify as peculiarly Catholic. Fundamentalists disapprove of any talk about Mary as the Mother of God, as the Mediatrix, as the Mother of the Church. In this tract we’ll examine briefly two Marian doctrines that fundamentalist writers frequently complain about, the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption.
    Catholic exegetes, in discussing the Immaculate Conception, first look at the Annunciation. Gabriel greeted Mary by saying, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). The phrase “full of grace” is a translation of the Greek kecharitomene. This word actually represents the proper name of the person being addressed by the angel, and it must on that account express a characteristic quality of Mary. What’s more, the traditional translation, “full of grace,” is more accurate than the one found in many recent versions of the New Testament, which give something along the lines of “highly favored daughter.” True, Mary was a highly favored daughter of God, but the Greek implies more than that.

    https://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/CAIMCON.HTM

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  135. Tom, for your “slut” comment, you get to defend yourself again. Enjoy. I’ll go listen to the cookies if it means we can still be friends.

    This move makes me both happy and sad.
    Tom was a gifted writer, and could, when he’s not trying to tweak others’ sensibilities, could write some cogent and well-executed prose. I’ll miss that Tom.

    Then, there was the other Tom. The one who delighted in stirring up shit, and in probing the tender spots of his ideological adversaries. The one who would never acknowledge when he caused offense, and never, ever back down or apologize. The one who would write with purposeful obtuseness, and then complain that no one understood him. That guy I won’t miss so much.the

    Farewell, Tom, and fare thee well. I hope you keep writing, and are able to find a congenial home for your missives

    http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/blog/2012/12/05/parting-ways#comment-427915

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  136. Here’s why (1a) is probably best. There is a way to say, in Greek, that someone is “full of grace.” That phrase is used by John to describe Jesus.

    Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν, καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός, πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας·

    “And the word became flesh and dwelt with (in) us, and we beheld his glory, a glory as of the only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1.14)

    [Aside: Let’s not go into “only-begotten” v. “one-and-only”]

    If a Greek-speaker needs to say “full of grace”, he literally says that.

    The same phrase is used by Luke in the description of Stephen in Acts.

    Στέφανος δὲ πλήρης χάριτος καὶ δυνάμεως …

    “And Stephen, full of grace and power…” (Acts 6.8)

    Now, by contrast, when Mary is greeted it is with

    καὶ εἰσελθὼν πρὸς αὐτὴν εἶπεν· Χαῖρε, κεχαριτωμένη, ὁ κύριος μετὰ σοῦ.

    “And entering to her he said, Hail, she-who-has-been-graced, the Lord is with you.” (Luke 1.28)

    As you can see, the Greek κεχαριτωμένη is not smoothly rendered in a single word. It is a participle used as a noun, hence the “she-who.” And it is in the perfect aspect, hence the “has-been-graced.”

    But there is no sense of fullness present in the word κεχαριτωμένη (contrary to some Catholic bloggers, who misunderstand the perfect aspect, e.g. here).

    Why then is it translated that way? Well, because when Jerome translated into Latin, he rendered Luke 1.28 κεχαριτωμένη as gratia plena, full of grace. He added the word “full.”

    Now my dear Web: What was your complaint about Luther’s Romans translation again?

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  137. @MWF
    “I am trying to get y’all to face up to your own idolatrous tendencies.”
    It is much appreciated, I’m sure.

    Re: idolatry “All Catholics know this. It seems that Protestants are ignorant of that fact.” I’m pretty sure that just about any statement about “all Catholics” or “all Protestants” is going to be false. As I noted, both previous popes raised concerns about co-redemptrix, etc… because of the confusion it raises. There is great concern in their remarks about misunderstandings over subtle differences between what they consider proper veneration and idolatry among the pew sitters. Evidently not “all Catholics” know this. The RCs I knew at ND treated lighting candles at the Grotto as a good luck charm (particularly when playing Michigan or USC). I’m not so sure they got these differences. Perhaps they should know the difference, perhaps the church officially teaches that. But I think your suggestion that “all catholics know this” is likely false.

    “Do you understand? …and you do not even know the Biblical arguments behind the dogma of the perpetual virginity of Mary or the Immaculate Conception.”
    Are you sure? Could it be that I’ve looked into the biblical arguments and found them wanting?

    “No, you may never want to be Catholic or Orthodox, but you are far from being able to accurately represent Catholic theology.”
    How did I misrepresent catholic theology? I don’t recall making any positive statements about catholic belief to misrepresent. Or is pointing out that “venerating” connotes more than merely “thinking highly of” or “showing respect for” (do you venerate our president? I don’t, but I do respect him) a misrepresentation of catholic theology? If I have made a mistake in something I said, I’ll happily stand corrected. I’m not owning up to any of AB’s mistakes though. I make enough of my own!

    “Now, you may not agree, but do not say that the dogma has no Scriptural support.” I don’t think I’ve said anything about it one way or the other.

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  138. @Tom
    “Regardless of your beliefs on Mary, the author below makes his case with scripture, speaking the language of Protestants. That Joe Protestant disagrees with Scriptural Argument X is fine; he also disagrees with Jack Protestant on Y, and Joan Protestant actually agrees with the Catholics on Z. ”
    Quite so. This is why I asked MWF which sects disapprove of this formulation. The creeds and confessions define our faith, but its a free country so anyone can go full Garry Wills and call hirself whatever ze wants. It’s a mixed up muddled up, shook up world… getting into quote contests isn’t so helpful I think unless one just wants to establish an exception to a claim (like no prots accept theotokos or all prots accept theotokos).

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  139. Excepting her minor meltdown on the Brad Gregory, Rod Dreher, Carl Trueman charity thread, Mrs. Webfoot, you have done very well for yourself. Kudos. Don’t tell Greg the Terrible, but I let my daughters watch Frozen, and I still think Tom needs to learn to Let it goo, can’t hold back anymoooorrre, meaning, he (read: you, Tom) should open up about his (read: your, Tom) faith. If he (read: you, Tom) is afraid of what some goofy 33 year old duffer says in response to his (read: your, Tom) opening up, then I don’t know how to help him (read, you Tom).

    Next.

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  140. I wanted to let that snark hang in the air for a moment, mainly so that TVD could ponder what Keating might have missed.

    Continuing, we have reasonably falsified the notion that the angel declares Mary (in being or in title) to be “full of grace.” She is rather “the one who has been graced.”

    So the next question is, “In what way?” Is the grace bestowed upon her a quality or substance or supernatural endowment received from God? Or does it refer to God’s acts of kindness towards her, acts which do not give her additional qualities?

    In fact, the verses immediately following supply the answer cleanly.

    καὶ εἶπεν ὁ ἄγγελος αὐτῇ· Μὴ φοβοῦ, Μαριάμ, εὗρες γὰρ χάριν παρὰ τῷ θεῷ· καὶ ἰδοὺ συλλήμψῃ ἐν γαστρὶ καὶ τέξῃ υἱόν, καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν. οὗτος ἔσται μέγας καὶ υἱὸς Ὑψίστου κληθήσεται, καὶ δώσει αὐτῷ κύριος ὁ θεὸς τὸν θρόνον Δαυὶδ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ, 33 καὶ βασιλεύσει ἐπὶ τὸν οἶκον Ἰακὼβ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, καὶ τῆς βασιλείας αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἔσται τέλος.

    and the angel said to her, Do not fear, Mary, for you have found favor (“grace”) with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and you will call his name Jesus (“Joshua”). This one will be great and will be called son of the most high, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end of his kingdom — Luke 1.30 – 33.

    There it is, neat and simple. The grace (χάριν) consists of favor with God

    Warrant: The verb and preposition are significant. She does not receive grace from God, but finds favor with God.

    That favor in turn consists of bearing a son who will rule over the house of David and of whose kingdom there will be no end.

    This favor is parallel to the good news received by Elizabeth and Zachariah in the earlier part of 1.

    In short: The text supports, as in rules out alternatives, the hypothesis that Mary is “highly favored” in that she will bear such a Son.

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  141. Not allowing my 7 and 5 year old to be Anna and Elsa for Halloween (along with 97% of all other girls last year), I had concluded, would have been cruel and unusual. See if you can spot my mother in law in that picture.

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  142. Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 11:05 pm | Permalink
    I wanted to let that snark hang in the air for a moment, mainly so that TVD could ponder what Keating might have missed.

    Continuing, we have reasonably falsified the notion that the angel declares Mary (in being or in title) to be “full of grace.” She is rather “the one who has been graced.”

    His argument is that the term is used as a name, not as a description. Therefore he’s arguing that as a name, it’s an essential quality of Mary, not a temporary attribute. “He with the Birthmark on His Forehead,” that sort of thing.

    This is going nowhere: You didn’t understand his argument and trolling the internet for dueling experts on 1st-century Greek proves Thomas More’s argument that “sola scriptura” is impossible for anyone not a master of Hebrew and Greek. In the end, you’re taking somebody’s word for it, be it a scholar or a magisterium.

    Or worse, your own fallen reason. To take one’s chances instead that Jesus left behind a church guided by the Holy Spirit to bridge all confusions is not an unreasonable bet.

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  143. To take one’s chances instead that Jesus left behind a church guided by the Holy Spirit to bridge all confusions is not an unreasonable bet.

    Just remember Tom, our biggest gripe is with Called to Communion. The fact remains, Vatican 2 religious freedom (see sean) means we prots have no reason to convert if we feel the truth claims of Rome may demand it. We’re (separated) brothers per the pope. You need to apologize for calling DGH a slut.

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  144. AB
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 11:25 pm | Permalink
    To take one’s chances instead that Jesus left behind a church guided by the Holy Spirit to bridge all confusions is not an unreasonable bet.

    Just remember Tom, our biggest gripe is with Called to Communion. The fact remains, Vatican 2 religious freedom (see sean) means we prots have no reason to convert if we feel the truth claims of Rome may demand it. We’re (separated) brothers per the pope. You need to apologize for calling DGH a slut.

    It’s an old joke from Saturday Night Live and was intended lightly, not literally. As for your problem with Called to Communion, that’s your problem. As for your behavior, it still stinks.

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  145. As for your behavior, it still stinks.

    Why, because I brought up your Ordinary League?

    Unless you care to explain, you just attack me for no reason. I’m used to it, so no worries.

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  146. No It’s Not
    By D. G. HART | Published: MAY 23, 2015
    Evangelicalism’s greatest problem is its beliefs. So thinks Jake Meador:

    Evangelicalism’s biggest problem with regards to those outside evangelicalism isn’t our image, it’s our beliefs. That’s why Louie Giglio was uninvited from President Obama’s second inaugural. That’s why there was a mass freakout about Chick-fil-a despite the fact that even gay rights activists admitted that the leadership at Chick-fil-a was consistently kind and gracious to them. That’s why laws so modest and restrained as the Indiana RFRA illicit such outrage and why the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby ruling met a similar reaction last year. The groups being attacked in these cases are not Fred Phelps clones or even Pat Robertson clones. They are simply ordinary evangelical believers trying to live out their faith.

    If the issue actually was that most cultural elites outside of the church simply didn’t understand what we actually believed and had all sorts of wrong ideas from seeing one too many stories about Fred Phelps, then maybe a rebranding campaign could “work” in the way that marketing campaigns work. Trying to convince everyone outside the church that we’re cool and “get it” and care about all the things Portlandia hipsters care about would get us somewhere. I’m not sure it’s a place worth going, mind, but it’d be something.

    But the events of the past five years, or at least the past three years, should make it abundantly clear that ours is not a credibility problem. The issues are much greater than that. As Rod Dreher noted several months ago (and David Sessions made much the same point here), what we’re actually talking about are two societies that have beliefs about the basic nature of reality that are fundamentally antagonistic to one another. Note that they aren’t simply fundamentally different, but antagonistic. Set next to a difference of that nature, the attempts at finding superficial similarities look rather silly–which is precisely what they are.

    Consider this if you want to make a big deal of Christian belief. Once upon a time the Christian world divided with important cultural implications when the Western Church added filioque to the Nicene Creed. Or remember the 16th century when beliefs really did matter to the differences between Roman Catholic and Protestant churches and the societies that underwrote them. Or remember too a more recent past when differences of beliefs made even liberal Protestants worry about a Roman Catholic president like Josiah Bartlet.

    Beliefs have mattered.

    They don’t any more. What matters now are divisions over morality, yes. And you can’t have a full-bore ethical system without some kind of theological or philosophical system. And that leads to a host of doctrinal differences that should actually divide Jake Meador from Rod Dreher. But for now those doctrinal convictions don’t divide the two bloggers.

    What matters and has always mattered in U.S. history is morality and the degree to which personal moral convictions must be implemented as public policy or law. In the 1970s thanks to Francis Schaeffer channeling neo-Calvinism (in part), evangelicals bought the idea that neutrality didn’t exist, that faith went all the way down (read identity politics), and that secularism was stripping the public square of clothes. It was possible and still is every single day to practice most of one’s Christian convictions — Sabbath observance? — without turning it into law. Heck, you can even voluntarily choose life (even though Christians are right to try to protect the lives of innocents).

    So the credibility that evangelicals seek has taken a beating because of the way they have conducted public arguments. Would they have won? Would social life have turned out any better if they didn’t adopt the very logic of gay rights — that one’s political identity cannot be distinguished from one’s personal convictions? I doubt it. News from Ireland today about the referendum on gay marriage suggests that Christians have few tricks up their sleeves in public debates.

    But the difference has far less to do with beliefs than with politics and especially the age-old American trope of LIBERTY.

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    « The Basis for UnityWhen People Believe in God . . . »
    163 Comments
    AB
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 10:39 pm | Permalink
    Tom, for your “slut” comment, you get to defend yourself again. Enjoy. I’ll go listen to the cookies if it means we can still be friends.

    This move makes me both happy and sad.
    Tom was a gifted writer, and could, when he’s not trying to tweak others’ sensibilities, could write some cogent and well-executed prose. I’ll miss that Tom.

    Then, there was the other Tom. The one who delighted in stirring up shit, and in probing the tender spots of his ideological adversaries. The one who would never acknowledge when he caused offense, and never, ever back down or apologize. The one who would write with purposeful obtuseness, and then complain that no one understood him. That guy I won’t miss so much.the

    Farewell, Tom, and fare thee well. I hope you keep writing, and are able to find a congenial home for your missives

    http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/blog/2012/12/05/parting-ways#comment-427915

    Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 10:48 pm | Permalink
    Here’s why (1a) is probably best. There is a way to say, in Greek, that someone is “full of grace.” That phrase is used by John to describe Jesus.

    Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν, καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός, πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας·

    “And the word became flesh and dwelt with (in) us, and we beheld his glory, a glory as of the only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1.14)

    [Aside: Let’s not go into “only-begotten” v. “one-and-only”]

    If a Greek-speaker needs to say “full of grace”, he literally says that.

    The same phrase is used by Luke in the description of Stephen in Acts.

    Στέφανος δὲ πλήρης χάριτος καὶ δυνάμεως …

    “And Stephen, full of grace and power…” (Acts 6.8)

    Now, by contrast, when Mary is greeted it is with

    καὶ εἰσελθὼν πρὸς αὐτὴν εἶπεν· Χαῖρε, κεχαριτωμένη, ὁ κύριος μετὰ σοῦ.

    “And entering to her he said, Hail, she-who-has-been-graced, the Lord is with you.” (Luke 1.28)

    As you can see, the Greek κεχαριτωμένη is not smoothly rendered in a single word. It is a participle used as a noun, hence the “she-who.” And it is in the perfect aspect, hence the “has-been-graced.”

    But there is no sense of fullness present in the word κεχαριτωμένη (contrary to some Catholic bloggers, who misunderstand the perfect aspect, e.g. here).

    Why then is it translated that way? Well, because when Jerome translated into Latin, he rendered Luke 1.28 κεχαριτωμένη as gratia plena, full of grace. He added the word “full.”

    Now my dear Web: What was your complaint about Luther’s Romans translation again?

    sdb
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 10:54 pm | Permalink
    @MWF
    “I am trying to get y’all to face up to your own idolatrous tendencies.”
    It is much appreciated, I’m sure.

    Re: idolatry “All Catholics know this. It seems that Protestants are ignorant of that fact.” I’m pretty sure that just about any statement about “all Catholics” or “all Protestants” is going to be false. As I noted, both previous popes raised concerns about co-redemptrix, etc… because of the confusion it raises. There is great concern in their remarks about misunderstandings over subtle differences between what they consider proper veneration and idolatry among the pew sitters. Evidently not “all Catholics” know this. The RCs I knew at ND treated lighting candles at the Grotto as a good luck charm (particularly when playing Michigan or USC). I’m not so sure they got these differences. Perhaps they should know the difference, perhaps the church officially teaches that. But I think your suggestion that “all catholics know this” is likely false.

    “Do you understand? …and you do not even know the Biblical arguments behind the dogma of the perpetual virginity of Mary or the Immaculate Conception.”
    Are you sure? Could it be that I’ve looked into the biblical arguments and found them wanting?

    “No, you may never want to be Catholic or Orthodox, but you are far from being able to accurately represent Catholic theology.”
    How did I misrepresent catholic theology? I don’t recall making any positive statements about catholic belief to misrepresent. Or is pointing out that “venerating” connotes more than merely “thinking highly of” or “showing respect for” (do you venerate our president? I don’t, but I do respect him) a misrepresentation of catholic theology? If I have made a mistake in something I said, I’ll happily stand corrected. I’m not owning up to any of AB’s mistakes though. I make enough of my own!

    “Now, you may not agree, but do not say that the dogma has no Scriptural support.” I don’t think I’ve said anything about it one way or the other.

    sdb
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Permalink
    @Tom
    “Regardless of your beliefs on Mary, the author below makes his case with scripture, speaking the language of Protestants. That Joe Protestant disagrees with Scriptural Argument X is fine; he also disagrees with Jack Protestant on Y, and Joan Protestant actually agrees with the Catholics on Z. ”
    Quite so. This is why I asked MWF which sects disapprove of this formulation. The creeds and confessions define our faith, but its a free country so anyone can go full Garry Wills and call hirself whatever ze wants. It’s a mixed up muddled up, shook up world… getting into quote contests isn’t so helpful I think unless one just wants to establish an exception to a claim (like no prots accept theotokos or all prots accept theotokos).

    AB
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Permalink
    Excepting her minor meltdown on the Brad Gregory, Rod Dreher, Carl Trueman charity thread, Mrs. Webfoot, you have done very well for yourself. Kudos. Don’t tell Greg the Terrible, but I let my daughters watch Frozen, and I still think Tom needs to learn to Let it goo, can’t hold back anymoooorrre, meaning, he (read: you, Tom) should open up about his (read: your, Tom) faith. If he (read: you, Tom) is afraid of what some goofy 33 year old duffer says in response to his (read: your, Tom) opening up, then I don’t know how to help him (read, you Tom).

    Next.

    Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 11:05 pm | Permalink
    I wanted to let that snark hang in the air for a moment, mainly so that TVD could ponder what Keating might have missed.

    Continuing, we have reasonably falsified the notion that the angel declares Mary (in being or in title) to be “full of grace.” She is rather “the one who has been graced.”

    So the next question is, “In what way?” Is the grace bestowed upon her a quality or substance or supernatural endowment received from God? Or does it refer to God’s acts of kindness towards her, acts which do not give her additional qualities?

    In fact, the verses immediately following supply the answer cleanly.

    καὶ εἶπεν ὁ ἄγγελος αὐτῇ· Μὴ φοβοῦ, Μαριάμ, εὗρες γὰρ χάριν παρὰ τῷ θεῷ· καὶ ἰδοὺ συλλήμψῃ ἐν γαστρὶ καὶ τέξῃ υἱόν, καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν. οὗτος ἔσται μέγας καὶ υἱὸς Ὑψίστου κληθήσεται, καὶ δώσει αὐτῷ κύριος ὁ θεὸς τὸν θρόνον Δαυὶδ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ, 33 καὶ βασιλεύσει ἐπὶ τὸν οἶκον Ἰακὼβ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, καὶ τῆς βασιλείας αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἔσται τέλος.

    and the angel said to her, Do not fear, Mary, for you have found favor (“grace”) with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and you will call his name Jesus (“Joshua”). This one will be great and will be called son of the most high, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end of his kingdom — Luke 1.30 – 33.

    There it is, neat and simple. The grace (χάριν) consists of favor with God

    Warrant: The verb and preposition are significant. She does not receive grace from God, but finds favor with God.

    That favor in turn consists of bearing a son who will rule over the house of David and of whose kingdom there will be no end.

    This favor is parallel to the good news received by Elizabeth and Zachariah in the earlier part of 1.

    In short: The text supports, as in rules out alternatives, the hypothesis that Mary is “highly favored” in that she will bear such a Son.

    Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 11:07 pm | Permalink
    @ AB: Two years ago, I had a classroom rule.

    Absolutely positively NO FROZEN

    AB
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 11:15 pm | Permalink
    Not allowing my 7 and 5 year old to be Anna and Elsa for Halloween (along with 97% of all other girls last year), I had concluded, would have been cruel and unusual. See if you can spot my mother in law in that picture.

    TVD
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 11:19 pm | Permalink
    Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 11:05 pm | Permalink
    I wanted to let that snark hang in the air for a moment, mainly so that TVD could ponder what Keating might have missed.

    Continuing, we have reasonably falsified the notion that the angel declares Mary (in being or in title) to be “full of grace.” She is rather “the one who has been graced.”

    His argument is that the term is used as a name, not as a description. Therefore he’s arguing that as a name, it’s an essential quality of Mary, not a temporary attribute. “He with the Birthmark on His Forehead,” that sort of thing.

    This is going nowhere: You didn’t understand his argument and trolling the internet for dueling experts on 1st-century Greek proves Thomas More’s argument that “sola scriptura” is impossible for anyone not a master of Hebrew and Greek. In the end, you’re taking somebody’s word for it, be it a scholar or a magisterium.

    Or worse, your own fallen reason. To take one’s chances instead that Jesus left behind a church guided by the Holy Spirit to bridge all confusions is not an unreasonable bet.

    Erik Charter
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 11:20 pm | Permalink
    Jeff,

    Very helpful. Thank you.

    AB
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 11:25 pm | Permalink
    To take one’s chances instead that Jesus left behind a church guided by the Holy Spirit to bridge all confusions is not an unreasonable bet.

    Just remember Tom, our biggest gripe is with Called to Communion. The fact remains, Vatican 2 religious freedom (see sean) means we prots have no reason to convert if we feel the truth claims of Rome may demand it. We’re (separated) brothers per the pope. You need to apologize for calling DGH a slut.

    TVD
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 11:35 pm | Permalink
    AB
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 11:25 pm | Permalink
    To take one’s chances instead that Jesus left behind a church guided by the Holy Spirit to bridge all confusions is not an unreasonable bet.

    Just remember Tom, our biggest gripe is with Called to Communion. The fact remains, Vatican 2 religious freedom (see sean) means we prots have no reason to convert if we feel the truth claims of Rome may demand it. We’re (separated) brothers per the pope. You need to apologize for calling DGH a slut.

    It’s an old joke from Saturday Night Live and was intended lightly, not literally. As for your problem with Called to Communion, that’s your problem. As for your behavior, it still stinks.

    AB
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 11:42 pm | Permalink
    As for your behavior, it still stinks.

    Why, because I brought up your Ordinary League?

    Unless you care to explain, you just attack me for no reason. I’m used to it, so no worries.

    Your behavior stinks whether I explain it or not. Besides, the guilty accuse themselves. You don’t need anybody to tell you your behavior stinks.

    Darryl allows you to harass his interlocutors for his own reasons. But it makes you both look bad.

    Like

  147. Darryl allows you to harass his interlocutors for his own reasons.

    In case you haven’t noticed, Mrs. Webfoot has defending my actions, all the while you call me names, “scare quote” my name (what the h**l is that?) and decry what I do.

    I like your contributions, and Darryl does too. But that comment seems like it has something to it. But I don’t know you. I didn’t know that line was SNL.

    Peace.

    Like

  148. @ TVD: I’ve been doing translation work (for sermons, study, and grad school) for over 20 years. I don’t need to “troll the internet.” Except to hunt down the origin of “full of grace.” I did not know that the interpolation was due to Jerome.

    So yes: I understood the argument; and no, you didn’t.

    Making wild swings again…

    Like

  149. Ah, my dear friend, and brother, AB, I didn’t say that justification by faith alone is not scriptural, just that the phrase itself is not in scripture. You get there by adding to scripture traditions and interpretations that have developed over time. You say that the traditions are subordinate to scripture. I disagree at least in the case of justification by faith alone.

    BTW, justification by faith alone is not rejected by the Church in all of its interpretations. It is the way that Martin Luther taught it that got him into trouble.

    You have to go to the traditions of your Reformed teachers to arrive at your particular doctrine of justification by faith alone.

    My point is that maybe you need to be a little more careful with claiming that your tradition trumps the traditions of the Church. Your assumption is that Catholics do not know their Bibles, and that Catholic dogma does not have any support in Scripture.

    You may wish to rethink those presuppositions or not. It is up to you, of course. You are free.

    Then, Jeff, your arguments are not airtight. For one thing, you left out the most important hypothesis that tends to support the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Before the angel appeared to Mary, she was already full of grace. IOW, he addressed her as “Mary, full of grace”. Not, Mary, you will be full of grace when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.

    Besides, who is talking about a substance that one can be full of? Grace is not a substance, it is a spiritual favor that God gives freely. It is invisible. At some point before the angel addressed Mary, her cup of grace had been filled up. When did that happen?

    Think of it this way. There were nations in the OT whose cup of iniquity had been filled up. Iniquity is not a substance. It is invisible, but it reveals its presence through one’s actions. That is, they had reached the maximum point of sin that God was willing to tolerate.

    Why not put “full of grace” in a similar context? Mary had been given the maximum amount of grace that a human being needs, and that grace enabled her to live a sinless life. Why not?

    No, this does not prove the Immaculate Conception. I am not talking solo scriptura, here – which is bad Latin grammar anyway – or even sola scriptura. There are other proofs.

    However, on what basis, or on what authority do you reject the Immaculate Conception? It cannot be on the basis of scripture. It must be on the basis of your tradition that teaches you it is impossible for her to have been born without original sin. It is impossible for a human being who is not the sinless Son of God to live a sinless life. Is it that God cannot, or that God would not do such a thing?

    Now, the Orthodox churches reject the Immaculate Conception because they reject Augustine’s theory of original sin inherited from Adam. They do teach that she lived a sinless life, though.

    You may not have thought about this before, and I am sure that this will not change your mind. However, the idea that the Catholic Church is idolatrous and pagan is based on flimsy evidence. The Reformed claim that they base what they believe on scripture alone and then tradition as subordinate to scripture is not exactly sustainable in the case of the Immaculate Conception.

    Your tradition leads, and scripture follows you in this case, but scripture may or may not even follow you. I don’t think it does.

    Like Tom pointed out, every Protestant has his or her own interoperation of Scripture. I am just doing here what Protestants do. However, what I believe about the Immaculate Conception is based on what the Church has always taught down though the centuries. I am saying that the teaching magisterium has always contemplated scriptural passages as well as logic and the testimony of the church Fathers and other saints when deciding on an official teaching. It is the Holy Spirit who leads the Church into all truth, just as Jesus said He would, though, that is the determining factor. How has the Holy Spirit been leading through the apostolic succession?

    I trust that in this area, the Holy Spirit has led infallibly, and am at peace.

    Protestants will argue this dogma and others for hundreds of years, and never be at peace about anything. So, have at it.

    Anyway, AB, I am way over my limit for the day. Nice to visit with you guys. Take care.

    Like

  150. Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 27, 2015 at 12:33 am | Permalink
    @ TVD: I’ve been doing translation work (for sermons, study, and grad school) for over 20 years. I don’t need to “troll the internet.” Except to hunt down the origin of “full of grace.” I did not know that the interpolation was due to Jerome.

    So yes: I understood the argument; and no, you didn’t.

    Making wild swings again…

    If you understood his argument, you ignored it. Same difference. In fact, you ignored my restatement of his argument: Using “full of grace” as a name and not merely as a description implies an essential, not an accidental quality.

    You didn’t swing and miss; you didn’t take the bat off your shoulder.

    Like

  151. You’ve failed to grasp the central point. The issue of name is irrelevant because the Greek word doesn’t mean “full of grace”

    If you want to find title-significance in the name, knock yourself out. You just have to get your sources and language straight. Luke doesn’t say “full of” anything; Jerome does.

    Like

  152. Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 27, 2015 at 2:20 am | Permalink
    You’ve failed to grasp the central point. The issue of name is irrelevant because the Greek word doesn’t mean “full of grace”

    If you want to find title-significance in the name, knock yourself out. You just have to get your sources and language straight. Luke doesn’t say “full of” anything; Jerome does.

    And Luther added “alone” to “faith” because that’s how he read the sense of the text. You follow Luther when it suits your purpose and reject Jerome when it suits your purpose.

    I’m not even entering into how kecharitomene should be translated. I’m pointing out that according to your own religion, it’s a matter of taste, and one’s mileage may vary (and invariably does).

    Indeed, my larger point is that subjectivity is going to enter into translation, which makes “sola scriptura” problematic. You’re at the mercy of the translator’s opinions and biases. In this case, your interest [and vociferousness] is clearly linked to your religion and your antipathy for Catholicism.

    Even most Catholics are like, so what?, when it comes to this Mariology stuff. It makes zero difference in the larger scheme of things.

    The phrase “full of grace” is a translation of the Greek kecharitomene. This word actually represents the proper name of the person being addressed by the angel, and it must on that account express a characteristic quality of Mary. What’s more, the traditional translation, “full of grace,” is more accurate than the one found in many recent versions of the New Testament, which give something along the lines of “highly favored daughter.” True, Mary was a highly favored daughter of God, but the Greek implies more than that.

    The newer translations leave out something the Greek conveys, something the older English versions convey, which is that this grace (and the core of the word kecharitomene is charis, after all) is at once permanent and of a singular kind. The Greek indicates a perfection of grace. A perfection must be perfect not only intensively, but extensively. The grace Mary enjoyed must not only have been as “full” or strong or complete as possible at any given time, but it must have extended over the whole of her life, from conception.

    That is, she must have been in a state of sanctifying grace from the first moment of her existence to have been called “full of grace.” If she was merely “highly favored,” in the normal connotation of those words, her status would have been indistinguishable from that of some other women in the Bible, such as Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, or Sarah, the wife of Abraham, or Anna, the mother of Samuel—all of whom, by the way, were long childless and were “highly favored” because God acceded to their pleas to bear children.

    https://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/CAIMCON.HTM

    Like

  153. Mermaid, “every Protestant has his or her own interoperation of Scripture.”

    And Roman Catholics don’t have their own interpretations of the magisterium (while not even knowing the Bible)?

    Bottom line about Mary: whatever.

    So says vd,t: “Even most Catholics are like, so what?, when it comes to this Mariology stuff. It makes zero difference in the larger scheme of things.”

    Like

  154. TVD: You follow Luther when it suits your purpose and reject Jerome when it suits your purpose.

    Yet another wild swing and miss.

    I’m happy to keep flagging these all day long until it occurs to you to ask before assuming. Didn’t you have some snarky teacher tell you about the dangers of assumption?

    Like

  155. My point is that maybe you need to be a little more careful with claiming that your tradition trumps the traditions of the Church

    Sure. Right back atchya. We disagree on what the “church” is. With the council of Trent, Rome anathematized the Gospel, profs didn’t leave, Rome left, you know the drill.

    Much more to say. Of course Luther was scandalous if what he was fighting for wasn’t the very core of what the church stands for. Talk to Darryl, he knows his stuff. I’m out. This documentary (parts 1 and 2) is worth your time. My station in life doesn’t afford me time for these convos. I bow out.

    Next.

    Like

  156. But for your real argument, contained in the citation of Keating, is that the Greek indicates that Mary’s grace was perfect.

    I’ll be blunt: He’s wrong. The “perfect aspect” of a Greek verb has nothing to do with perfection. You can study up a little bit, or listen to Susan (or is it Web?) who studied Machen’s Greek, but please don’t fall for that kind of basic language error.

    (Oddly, Mrs. W, Don Carson is the guy who has described these kinds of exegetical mistakes in his book on exegeticall fallacies.)

    Tom, if you want to make a theological argument that Jerome was correct, you may do so. In that case, the theology supports the reading of the text — so that the text is no longer a support for the theology.

    Like

  157. Curious that the doctrine of the immaculate receptionconception that is so foundation to the RCC (as Susan suggests) is not shared by the Orthodox. Of course it doesn’t make much sense if one denies the doctrine of Original Sin. Maybe the Orthodox and Catholics aren’t basically the same thing after all?

    Like

  158. Rod has more to say about the controversy brewing over the Synod on the Family as reported in NCR. I’m not sure how realistic these concerns are as an outsider, but it seems fair to say we should recall the indicative to “not put your faith in princes [of the church]”. My own translation… I did find this line in the story kinda funny,

    there was a “reflection on biblical hermeneutics” … and the need for a “reflection on a theology of love.” This, too, is seen as undermining Church teaching.

    And they say we presbyterians are cold…

    Like

  159. “Even most Catholics are like, so what?, when it comes to this Mariology stuff. ”

    Which is why 3 out of 2 women at Notre Dame were named Mary. I mean the Hail Mary is totally incidental to RC devotion right? After all, who makes a football play into an act of worship?

    Like

  160. Footlady, for you (emphasis mine):

    Arminian vs Reformed on Justification
    POSTED BY MARK JONES
    ShareThis Facebook Tweet LinkedIn Pinterest Email
    WCF 11.1 … nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness …

    Part 1: Justification by Precision Alone?
    Part 2: Act and Habit of Faith
    Part 3: Justification is an act that cannot be revoked
    Part 4: Arminian vs. Reformed on justification (see below)

    Introduction

    Recent scholarship on Arminius has pointed out that he was a theologian of grace. Of course, I am yet to read of a Christian theologian who would not wish to be described that way. Some scholars have also tried to narrow the gap between Arminius and the Reformed tradition, with some suggesting that Arminius was correct to view himself as Reformed.

    Historically speaking, according to the judgment of many Reformed divines, Arminius, and his Remonstrant successors, deviated from the Reformed doctrine of justification by faith alone in a significant way. Arminius thought his difference was only minor.

    In fact, as in other doctrines, Reformed theologians argued that Arminius and his successors seemed to hold to a view that is more Socinian and Roman Catholic than Reformed. This was a recurring polemic from the Reformed against the Arminians, who believed that Arminian theology had certain nominalistic tendencies and veered towards Socinianism on several important doctrines, especially on the matter of justification.

    Franciscus Gomarus, the famous opponent of Arminius, said that it was “not the doctrine of predestination but that of justification” which was the “cardinal point on which Arminius deviated from Reformed doctrine.” Fascinating. I do not think Gomarus fought with Arminius over this doctrine because of irrelevant differences. True, Arminius claimed to agree with Calvin on justification in book 3 of the Institutes, but Arminius also claimed to agree with the Heidelberg Catechism and Belgic Confession based on what, according to Richard Muller, can at best be described as a highly defensive and tendentious reading of those documents.

    The usually irenic Herman Witsius also drew attention to this deviation by Arminius: “Arminius, by his subtlety, frames vain empty quibbles, when he contends that the righteousness of Christ cannot be imputed to us for righteousness…” He adds: “It is well known that the reformed churches condemned Arminius and his followers, for saying that faith comes to be considered in the matter of justification as a work or act of ours.”

    Besides Witsius, we could add the critiques of De Moor, Vitringa, Lubbertus, Voetius, Burgess (see The True Doctrine of Justification Asserted and Vindicated from the Errours of Papists, Arminians, Socinians…), Hoornbeek, Featley, Eyre, Buchanan, Roberts, Walker and many others.

    But what is this unorthodox view?

    Arminianism Explained

    Arminius distinguishes between legal theology and evangelical theology. Regarding, the latter, as sinners, because of the gracious estimation of God, faith is our righteousness. The righteousness of Christ is not imputed to believers, according to Arminius. He did not seem to believe Christ’s righteousness could be imputed.

    Arminius made us of a concept, known as acceptilatio. Imperfect faith is accepted (by God’s gracious estimation) as righteousness. Or, to put it another way, the human act of faith is by grace counted as evangelical righteousness, as if it were the complete fulfillment of the whole law. This genuine human act comes forth from the ability to choose (liberum arbitrium). God has a “new law” in the evangelical covenant, whereby faith answers to the demands of the covenant.

    Arminius clearly struggled in coming to a settled view. Yet, as Aza Goudriaan says in his excellent essay on this topic, “While it is difficult to pin Arminius down on one particular view, it is obvious that he suggested in certain texts a justification because of the act of faith” (Scholasticism Reformed, 163; cf. McCall and Stanglin, Jacob Arminius: Theologian of Grace, 166-169).*

    What is the problem? Because the act of faith constitutes righteousness, the manner in which a sinner is justified is not because of the righteousness of Christ imputed to us through the instrument of faith, but because of the act of believing which answers to the demands of the evangelical covenant.

    If you read Petrus Bertius (an Arminian) you might come to the conclusion that the Reformed and the Remonstrants seemed to agree on the formal cause of justification, i.e., imputation. But they differed on the material cause. What is imputed to the believer, our act of faith or Christ’s righteousness apprehended by faith? The Reformed held to the latter, whereas, as noted above, the Arminians typically held to the former. But even on the so-called “formal cause” there was an important difference between the two camps. Based on what I have said above, for the Arminians, imputation is an aestimatio – God considers our righteousness (i.e., act of faith) as something that it is not (i.e., perfect). The Reformed, however, view imputation as secundum veritatem – God considers Christ’s righteousness as our righteousness, precisely because it is, through union with Christ. The verdict that God passes on his Son is precisely the same verdict he passes on those who belong to Christ – but only through imputation.

    In other words, technically we can stand before the tribunal of God with as much assurance of our righteousness as Christ can before the Father. Not because God accepts imperfection, but because God demands perfection from all who would enter life, and we possess a perfect righteousness, by imputation. This is why justification cannot be revoked (i.e., we cannot lose our salvation). Justification by faith (in the Reformed schema) has important implications for our doctrine of perseverance.

    The act of faith in both the Papist and Arminian schemes seem to reveal similarity between the two positions. But for the Papists, faith is only the beginning of justification, whereas for someone like Bertius, faith is the perfect righteousness of the law. The act of faith answers to the demands of the gracious covenant. (Here Arminians and Reformed affirmed faith as a condition, but understood this condition in different senses).

    Sibrandus Lubbertus, a Reformed opponent of Bertius and the Arminians, makes the following point in terms of connecting Arminian views with Socinianism:

    “For although the Papists teach that we are justified by faith taken in the literal sense, yet they do not teach that faith is our whole righteousness: they just teach that faith is the beginning of our justification…Servetus, however, and Socinus teach that faith is our whole righteousness, as has been shown before, and they reject [Christ’s] merit. So because you [i.e., Arminians] say that we are justified by faith, taken in the literal sense, and in contrast deny, against the Papists, that faith is only the beginning of our justification, and [because you] add from Servetus and Socinus that it is the perfect fulfillment of the law, that is, it is the whole and perfect righteousness by which we are justified before God; because you finally deny against the Papists the merit of faith, and assert, with Servetus and Socinus, that it justifies because of God’s valuation, [therefore] everybody sees that you come closer to Servetus and Socinus than to the Papists and for that reason it can be more correctly said that you are disciples of Servetus and Socinus than those of the Papists” (Goudriaan, Scholasticism Reformed, 172).

    In Socinus’s view, faith itself is graciously considered righteousness by God. Christ’s active and “passive” obedience is not imputed to the believer. So, as many Reformed theologians pointed out, there are similarities between Arminius and Socinus on justification by faith.

    Daniel Featley, at the Westminster Assembly, highlights the errors of the Papists, Arminians, and Socinians, and mentions Socinus immediately after Arminius:

    2. By the papists: if Christ’s righteousness, then either whole or part. If the whole, then one hath all, another none. Or then everyone as righteous as Christ. … 3. By Arminius: if by the act of faith, then not by the Imputed righteousness of Christ. Socinus neither active nor passive…

    This, in part, explains the words quoted above from WCF 11.1, “… nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness …” The Assembly seems clearly to have in view the views of the Arminians.

    Conclusion

    William Perkins highlights the importance of the Reformed view on imputation: “For as his righteousness is made ours, so are his merits depending thereon: but his righteousness is made ours by imputation … Hence arises another point, namely, that as Christ’s righteousness is made ours really [secundum veritatem] by imputation to make us righteous: so we by the merit of his righteousness imputed to merit and deserve life everlasting. And this is our doctrine.”

    Indeed. This is our (i.e., Reformed) doctrine. Justification by faith alone: whereby the gift of faith is the instrument that receives, through imputation, the merits of Christ.

    But, make no mistake, the Papists and Arminians were zealous to say their view revealed the grace of God. Arminius also felt that his view did most justice to the biblical data (Rom. 4:5). Yet when you bridge the act of faith in justification according to the Remonstrant scheme with their Molinism, you’ll find that one doctrine seems to affect another. And there is a type of synergism in Remonstrant theology that isn’t found among the Reformed. As Goudriaan says, “it could be argued that Arminian positions on both predestination and justification reveal a common focus: human activity is formative in both Arminian doctrines” (SR, 178; cf. McCall & Stanglin,168).

    That said, I’m glad that we’re not justified by believing in the precise doctrine of justification by faith alone. The Arminian view is not as bad, in my view, as the Papist error. Remember, too, that Rome hasn’t officially revoked her anathema towards those who believe in justification through faith alone. But, where do we, in the Reformed world, begin to anathematize others for a view of justification that is in error? Now that’s an interesting question!

    ——————

    * As an aside, Stanglin and McCall are very fine scholars. I would be interested to see what other conclusions they might reach with a bit more historical context and theological analysis. I think Gomarus, who studied Arminius’s works carefully on this topic, shows contrasting approaches by Arminius to his understanding of justification, thus disproving a fully consistent Arminius! The Lubbertus/Bertius debate is also crucial. Bertius was too close to Arminius to be ignored in a historical reading of Arminius on justification. That was one of the key strengths of Goudriaan’s essay. One would need to disprove a lot of historical and primary source work by Goudriaan to establish the case that the Remonstrant view of justification was very close to the Reformed view. Indeed, to their credit, McCall and Stanglin admit it was different (Rom. 4:5 being a key text).

    John Fesko has a very good discussion of this debate in his book on the Westminster Assembly. Unfortunately, I only saw it just, but we seem to be in agreement on the Reformed vs. Arminian views of justification.
    – See more at: http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2015/05/arminian-versus-reformed-views.php#sthash.4WdW6j6w.dpuf

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  161. AB, have you read this? Now, I don’t know who the Lutherans were who signed on to this, but take a look.

    I’ll read all the responses later, probably. I do have an inbox to attend to, as I am sure all of you do. …and I’m writing that Mass for solo oboe d’Amore as well.

    Your comments all seem to be serious and substantive, mostly. I thank you.

    Anyway, the joint declaration that I include here in the link is interesting. Maybe it’s a conversation that is a few hundred years too late, but better late than never I suppose. Unfortunately, as well, so many Lutheran churches have caved on orthodoxy. Maybe it was not the wisest move in the beginning to make justification the “”ruler and judge over all other Christian doctrines.”

    JOINT DECLARATION
    ON THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION

    by the Lutheran World Federation
    and the Catholic Church

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_31101999_cath-luth-joint-declaration_en.html

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  162. Susan, I met a guy named Michael TX (he still has a blog) at a blog called turretinfan[dot]blogspot.com, back in 2012, we e-mailed a bit, and he pushed on me the joint declaration. I’ve never read through it all. I’m more about JV Fesko’s Justification: Understanding the classic reformed doctrine.

    greenbaggins[dot]wordpress.com/2008/10/29/john-fesko-on-justification/

    i’ve been doing this for a long time. welcome to the discussion. grace and peace, i have many other things to attend to as well. the blogs will always be here when you are, and if not this one, some other one. take care, whatever your real name is.

    regards,
    andrew buckingham

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  163. Hey AB,
    I don’t remember pushing, but I can understand how it could feel that way. I definitely remember giving the link and telling you that you should read it. Just trying to spread what I came to understand as the truth. Things been going good?

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  164. See, the problem with putting justification at the center of one’s theology, as Luther did, is that it also puts man at the center. Now, each man and woman decides what is true for them, with no real apostolic authority, not even from the original apostles.

    The Catholic Church has Christ at the center and focus of her faith. Why do I say that?

    The Eucharist is the heart of Christian communion.
    ——————————————————-
    How important is the Eucharist for the Church?
    The celebration of the Eucharist is the heart of the Christian communion. In it the Church becomes Church.
    We are not Church because we get along well, or because we happen to end up in the same parish community, but rather because in the Eucharist we receive the Body of Christ and are increasingly being transformed into the Body of Christ.

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  165. Michael, my last golf outing may not speak as well of me as I do here, but I’m fine. I want to help the RC interlocutors here in their convert cage phase learn to stop posting and asking so many questions, we could use your help around here. Susan, Mrs. Webfoot, and Tom Van Dyke could use someone as yourself who appears more settled and at peace that these three musketeers. Good to hear from you, I’d enjoy hearing how you are faring, and hoping you are escaping any flooding that may be around those parts. Things ok over there amigo?

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  166. Mrs. W.,

    See, the problem with putting justification at the center of one’s theology, as Luther did, is that it also puts man at the center. Now, each man and woman decides what is true for them, with no real apostolic authority, not even from the original apostles.

    I’m not trying to be rude, but that is just about the biggest misreading of Luther that I’ve encountered on these inter webs. The point of JBFA is to take the focus off of the pope, off of the priest, off of Mary, off of the saints, off of the scapular, off of the rosary, off of every other accoutrement and to put it on Christ.

    The Catholic Church has Christ at the center and focus of her faith. Why do I say that?

    The Eucharist is central to Protestants as well. In fact Christ is even clearer because we actually bar the table to impenitent people and don’t pretend that they’re in Christ when they are plainly not.

    Meanwhile, every RC who voted against the church in Ireland on Saturday could easily get the mass on Sunday. Explain that if the Eucharist is ex opere operato conforming them to Christ.

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  167. Rain rain rain, but no flooding at my house. Can’t say the same for the Houstonites South of me. Lord be with them and may God rest the souls of those who have pasted.

    I haven’t been following what has been going on in the chattin here so I wouldn’t know how I could help. I tell all to love God and be faithful to the truth as they understand it, yet test all blind assumptions. I did and I am a grateful Catholic. I still do the same. Some aren’t there yet. Some aren’t even searching. Some hate me and the Church. It is what it is.

    “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.” Eccl 12:13

    Be grateful if I can help. What is the problem?

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  168. Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 27, 2015 at 7:31 am | Permalink
    TVD: You follow Luther when it suits your purpose and reject Jerome when it suits your purpose.

    Yet another wild swing and miss.

    I’m happy to keep flagging these all day long until it occurs to you to ask before assuming. Didn’t you have some snarky teacher tell you about the dangers of assumption?

    An amusing Old Life affectation: Abandon the field and then do a victory dance.

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  169. I could catch you up to speed as I know it. Susan converted to RCism around 2012 (I first met her at creedcode, unless this is a diff susan)

    SUSAN August 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm
    Does look like an interesting book. I was at ‘The Grove” in L.A. yesterday feeling authentically odd, The existential angst is sometimes unbearable, but it beats the hell out of waiting for godot.
    Pax,
    Susan

    ANDREW BUCKINGHAM August 17, 2012 at 4:03 pm
    Susan, I am sorry to hear you have unbearable angst. I hope you don’t find me trite. I find reading the Bible, prayong,and going to church once a week, as helpful. It’s how I have learned to have union and communion with God. It’s a constant battle, you are right. Peace to you.

    ANDREW BUCKINGHAM August 17, 2012 at 4:05 pm
    *praying PS what I just described are what are called, the ordinary means of grace, by those of us who are called, ‘reformed.’. Starting to feel a little odd here…:-)

    My main problem is somehow you figured out how to stop posting in protestant blogs, I can only assume because you have a more healthy church situation. Now maybe Susan feels commissioned to be an ambassador to help promulgate converts to the RC church, but that’s going against what Pope Francis said when he said proselytyzing is pious nonsense (www[dot]ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/did-pope-francis-just-say-that-evangelization-is-nonsense-8-things-to-know)

    You don’t really need to help, I just found it fun that Mrs. Webfoot (not her real name, but is her online handle, she explained here earlier why that is her name, but is too shy to reveal it again, so lets leave it at that) was telling me to read the joint statement, and it reminded me of our e-mails,. YOu are right, you didn’t push per se, but again, somehow you seem to have found peace that I don’t see happening with the three musketeers i mentioned. it’s the same stuff, different day out here Michael, only get involved if you feel like it. glad you aren’t having flooding. I need to work…

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  170. Sorry to jump in Robert, but “ex opere operato conforming them to Christ” doesn’t not mean that it happens without faith in that truth reality or that it happens apart from the will of the person acting in union with God’s fully active work. “the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” Faith is require, but it is faith in what God alone is doing ex opere operato to be efficacious. This is Catholic teaching.

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  171. Mary did need a Savior, and God is her savior, according to her own words. Now, I know that most of you will never accept the Catholic Church’s teaching on this, but at least it is good to be informed about what she actually teaches. Straw men arguments abound among Protestants about what the Church actually teaches.

    In fact, I contend that the OPC has a particular problem coming to terms with what the Church teaches because of one of your own theologians who got it so wrong in his book Roman Catholicism. You know who I am talking about, right? You might want to toss that book and start reading the CCC.

    No, you will probably not be convinced, but at least you will know what your are disagreeing with.

    Besides, the Immaculate Conception is not all about Mary, as you seem to think. It’s all about her Savior and ours.

    “We pronounce and define that the doctrine which states that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary was in the first instant of her conception, by the singular grace and privilege of God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin. (Pope Pius IX, 1854)”

    “Christ, as the Church teaches, “conquered the enemy of the human race alone (solus)” (D711); In the same way, He alone acquired the grace of Redemption for the whole human race, including Mary…” (Dr. Ludwigg Otto, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma 212-13)”

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  172. In fact, I contend that the OPC has a particular problem coming to terms with what the Church teaches because of one of your own theologians who got it so wrong in his book Roman Catholicism. You know who I am talking about, right? You might want to toss that book and start reading the CCC.

    I haven’t the foggiest. By the way, by your logic, if one of your RC clergymen doesn’t understand the OPC, then you guys are toast. So come on, let’s not be coy.

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  173. AB,
    I don’t think I will ever be at peace with people being visibly separated from the Church while having a fervent love of Christ, because I know the great good God has given His people in the Church. I do know people have their conviction though and I respect that and leave much work to the Holy Spirit in doing the work only God can do. I am more of a person who helps people with difficulties and inquiries than one who presses the Catholic understanding of the faith on others now, but God calls each to His own work for them. I am not to judge only to encourage goodness. Being a watchmen on the wall is to be encouraged not discouraged. About you and me, AB. I felt I have spoken what needed to be spoken and I am free of that call to you now. My door is always open for inquiry and probing as I am sure you know. I am sure you know I wish to sit at the same fellowship table with you and partake of the Body of out common Lord together. That day is in the Lord’s hand though.

    Susan,
    What day did you come into the Church on in 2012? That was my families year too. Kids Were on Easter Vigil me and my wife were on Divine Mercy Sunday.

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  174. Can’t wait until vd, t learns about international Calvinists:

    anyone who converts from an informed and self-aware Reformed church to Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy needs to make strong and exclusive claims and why they had better really believe them. The act of joining a church which makes such claims is itself a profession of a kind of faith, and it bears direct and sober implications about the status of churches outside of their institutional jurisdiction. The various nice-guy converts who try to downplay all of this and say that it’s not that big a deal, or that nobody has to take a big criticism in all of this, are actually the least loving and least responsible of all. Let me explain.

    To join the Roman Catholic Church, you must believe that Jesus ordained Peter as a singular bishop with full jurisdiction over the entire church. Further, you must believe that this Peter set up his jurisdiction in Rome and conferred that jurisdiction, in an institutional form, to all succeeding bishops of Rome. They were given, by Jesus Christ Himself, plenary authority over all other Christian churches. Beyond this, one must also believe that the substance of bread and wine are wholly removed from the eucharistic elements when the words of institution are spoken (Council of Trent, 13th Session, Declaration Concerning the Eucharist, Canon 2) and that anyone who denies this is anathema. An anathema is the placing of someone under a divine curse:

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  175. Michael, well said. Psalm 133 would rightly have us pray for further unity between cats and prots, to that I’m committed.

    It’s just great to hear from you man. Like I said, I gotta run. You know where to find me (my name is linked above).

    Grace and peace.

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  176. D.G. Hart, the same reason you and I need a Savior, and that some day because of His grace, we will be perfected – like Him because we will see Him as He is. Mary was perfected, completely sanctified, at the moment of her conception, before she became the Mother of God.

    Now, you reject this teaching, but now you at least know what the Church actually teaches instead of what Protestants – not even to early Reformers, BTW – teach about the Church. Throw away your Boettner, and read the CCC and early Church fathers.

    You might be interested in a native speaker of the Greek language’s take on the word “Kecharitomene”, which is actually a title he assigns to Mary. I present St. John Chrysostomos poem as evidence.

    Guys, a good rule to follow when trying to understand the meaning of any word or phrase in a foreign language that you do not speak is to go to the native speaker to get a feel for it. In fact, even those of us who are bilingual always consult with the native speaker when we are unsure of how a word is used, even the same word in a different country. Notice that Chrysostom calls the Kecharaitomene “faultless.”

    Hail, Kecharitomene, unreaped land of heavenly grain.
    Hail, Kecharitomene, virgin mother, true and unfailing vine.
    Hail, Kecharitomene, faultless one carrying the immutable divinity.
    Hail, Kecharitomene, spacious room for the uncontainable nature.
    Hail, Kecharitomene, new bride of a widowed world and incorrupt offspring.
    Hail, Kecharitomene, weaving as creature a crown not made by hands.
    Hail, Kecharitomene, habitation of holy fire.
    Hail, Kecharitomene, return of the fugitive world.
    Hail, Kecharitomene, lavish nourisher for the hungry creation.
    Hail, Kecharitomene, interminable grace of the holy virgin.
    Hail, Kecharitomene, lampstand adorned with all virtue and with inextinguishable
    light brighter than even the sun.
    Hail, Kecharitomene, challenger of spirits.
    Hail, Kecharitomene, wise bearer of spiritual glory.
    Hail, Kecharitomene, golden urn, contaning heavenly manna.
    Hail, Kecharitomene, dispensing sweet drink ever flowing to fill those who are thirsty.
    Hail, Kecharitomene, spiritual sea who holds Christ, the heavenly pearl.
    Hail, Kecharitomene, splendor of heaven, having the one uncontained by the heavens in herself,
    God confined and unconfined.
    Hail, Kecharitomene, pillar of cloud containing God, and guiding Israel in the wilderness.”

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  177. Hart,
    Perfect is not the same as sinless. The saints in heaven are no longer sinners that doesn’t make them God who is the only perfect one. The angel have never sinned and are in no need of a redeemer they still will consider Christ the savior of all creation, including themselves. DG don’t just nitpick. Liberals do that to all people who believe the Bible is inerrant and God’s Word, Catholic and Protestant alike.

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  178. Mrs. W–“Remember. Justification by faith alone is not even in the Bible, yet you base your religion on it. ”
    Here’s just a FEW verses:
    Romans 5:1, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 3:28, Galatians 2:16, Galatians 5:6, Galatians 2:21, Romans 4:1-25, Romans 3:20, Ephesians 2:8, Romans 11:6…I could keep going???? But you’d have to believe in Sola Scriptura too, and yet you cannot, because your church does not. Aaannnnd the circle continues….

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  179. @MWF Did you read Boettner or did you happen to first hear of him from the paper I linked? I had never heard of him before, though I gather he wrote a a fairly popular anti-RC polemic back in the 60’s…crazy times. While he had a master’s in theology, his day job seems to have been working for the IRS. I can imagine how that would drive just about anyone over the edge. I doubt that he is especially influential, but I could be wrong. Was he influential to your views pre-conversion?

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  180. @Susan and Webfoot
    I’m curious. Does the Orthodox rejection of the Immaculate conception give you any pause? If the patristic and biblical case is so clear to those without protestant blinders, why didn’t they sign-on back in the day? I’m not saying this “proves” anything. I’m just curious about how you make sense of the history.

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  181. sdb, the Orthodox church rejects the Augustinian doctrine of original sin inherited through Adam. They do not reject her sinlessness. You see it clearly in Chrysostom’s poem.

    The Catholic dogma is that Mary was kept from original sin at the moment of her conception, thus the Immaculate Conception. She did not inherit the sin of Adam. This was an act of grace on God’s part, since God is her Savior just as He is the Savior of all mankind, including Mary. The Savior that she bore is also her Savior.

    I am curious how you do not make sense of the history, sdb. In fact, history is not on the side of Protestants at all, at least in how Mary’s holiness has always been viewed by the Church, both East and West with that one caveat about the inheritance of original sin through Adam.

    Not even the history of early Protestantism or the early Reformers is on the side of Boettnerism.

    What it does prove is that the present-day Protestant view of Mary is a very new kid on the block.
    ————————————

    Salvation not by faith alone actually is in the Bible, s. Salvation by faith alone is not in the Bible.

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  182. Mermaid, “D.G. Hart, the same reason you and I need a Savior, and that some day because of His grace, we will be perfected – like Him because we will see Him as He is. Mary was perfected, completely sanctified, at the moment of her conception, before she became the Mother of God.”

    Makes no sense. She’s not a sinner. Never was. She needs a savior.

    Oh, that’s right. The pope teaches it.

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  183. D.G. Hart, you must reject the Incarnation altogether, then, since that makes no sense. …or the Trinity…or original sin at all, for that matter.

    Besides, the greatest minds in the whole history of the Church have believed that Mary was sinless. I thought you liked history.

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  184. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 27, 2015 at 2:09 pm | Permalink
    Can’t wait until vd, t learns about international Calvinists:

    anyone who converts from an informed and self-aware Reformed church to Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy needs to make strong and exclusive claims and why they had better really believe them. The act of joining a church which makes such claims is itself a profession of a kind of faith, and it bears direct and sober implications about the status of churches outside of their institutional jurisdiction. The various nice-guy converts who try to downplay all of this and say that it’s not that big a deal, or that nobody has to take a big criticism in all of this, are actually the least loving and least responsible of all. Let me explain.

    To join the Roman Catholic Church, you must believe that Jesus ordained Peter as a singular bishop with full jurisdiction over the entire church. Further, you must believe that this Peter set up his jurisdiction in Rome and conferred that jurisdiction, in an institutional form, to all succeeding bishops of Rome. They were given, by Jesus Christ Himself, plenary authority over all other Christian churches. Beyond this, one must also believe that the substance of bread and wine are wholly removed from the eucharistic elements when the words of institution are spoken (Council of Trent, 13th Session, Declaration Concerning the Eucharist, Canon 2) and that anyone who denies this is anathema. An anathema is the placing of someone under a divine curse:

    Do you have a point, Dr. Hart?

    No, I didn’t think so.

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  185. you must reject the Incarnation altogether, then, since that makes no sense. …or the Trinity…or original sin at all, for that matter.

    If that were true, we’d have a rogue RE of the OPC, his confessional vows were valid last I heard, so no, you are wrong.

    Here, try some Cyril of Alexandra, on these incarnation questions you raise. If I was concerned about apostolic succession, I’d become Eastern Orthodox, just me tho. I’m not, so I’m a happily placed Protestant. I’ve never studied Boetnner, so thanks for educating me, nor did I know he was OP, I had only heard his name before. Grace and peace.

    One of my favorite quotes from this book is this, mentioning how paradox and logic fit within Cyril’s Christology:

    He has often been accused, largely by those who have not read him in context sufficiently, of trivializing the sense of incarnate reality in Christ by meaningless conundrums-as if impassible suffering meant nothing other than ‘impassibility’. This is certainly not the case for Cyril. To say that he suffered impassibly’ deliberately states both sides of the paradox with equal force and absolute seriousness of intent, refusing to minimize either reality. The point he wishes to make is that of the intimacy of the connection between two realities in Christ: one a reality of the glorious power of the godhead, and the other the tragic reality of the suffering human condition. In the incarnation of the Logos, Cyril posits the intimate union of the two realities as a salvific act or life-giving transaction. The power of the one heals and transforms the fallibility of the other. The fragile passivity of the other makes possible a revelation of the incomprehensible power of the one in a suitably ‘fragile’ and approachable medium for other fallible and fragile human beings. Both aspects were crucial for the very possibility of this revelation, and both contributed fully their respective characteristics; but by their mutual union they created the new possibilities and conditions of this revelation of the eternal within history.

    This mutual sharing of the capacities, power and fragility, is seen in the case of the incarnate Lord, whose human nature is depicted as powerful in its life-giving abilities. Cyril, for example, points regularly to the biblical texts depicting Christ’s physical healings and resurrection miracles in the historical ministry (and not least his own death and resurrection). Here was a human nature that was at once fallibly fragile (for it suffered and died) and yet powerful beyond the capacity of a human nature, for it healed by its touch, raised the dead with its spoken words, and reanimated itself after its physical destruction.

    For Cyril, this was paradoxical, or better ‘mysterious’, but not illogical, because Christ’s human nature did not exceed the limits of its own capacities (or ‘proprieties’) on its own terms-something that would indeed have been nonsensical-but precisely because it was being used as an instrument within an infinite design. The human nature is, therefore, not conceived as an independently acting dynamic (a distinct human person who self-activates) but as the manner of action of an independent and omnipotent power-that of the Logos; and to the Logos alone can be attributed the authorship of, and responsibility for, all its actions. This last principle is the flagship of Cyril’s whole argument. There can only be one creative subject, one personal reality, in the incarnate Lord; and that subject is the divine Logos who has made a human nature his own. Equally, however, the incarnated Logos cannot be sensibly understood purely in terms of his own ‘proper’ divine characteristics (as he would be before the incarnation) since he is only the Logos-acting-in-the-flesh, and in accordance with the conditions of the flesh which he willingly assumed, precisely to make use of those capabilities directly. In other words, for Cyril the Logos did not simply assume a body, as Apollinaris imagined, he assumed a human life and all the relativized conditions that are applicable to that. Cyril constantly reminds his readers that in Christology one must not speak of the Logos as ‘Gymnos’ (ie. naked, in his divine characteristics) but as ‘sesarkomene’ (enfleshed). The subject is unchanged, the divine Logos, but that subject now expresses the characteristics of his divinely powerful condition in and through the medium of a passible and fragile condition. Cyril, by preference calls this economy a Kenosis or self-emptying, following the terms of Philippians 2:6-ll, a central text in the debate.
    source

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  186. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 27, 2015 at 4:13 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid, “D.G. Hart, the same reason you and I need a Savior, and that some day because of His grace, we will be perfected – like Him because we will see Him as He is. Mary was perfected, completely sanctified, at the moment of her conception, before she became the Mother of God.”

    Makes no sense. She’s not a sinner. Never was. She needs a savior.

    Even if there is no original sin, man needs a savior: he cannot save himself from death.

    Oh, that’s right. The pope teaches it.

    Such gracious hostility, Butch. Jesus must be proud.

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  187. sdb
    Posted May 27, 2015 at 7:50 pm | Permalink
    @tvd no sin, no death.

    No, death. God doesn’t have to save anybody if He doesn’t want to. You die, you’re dead.

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  188. Jeff, nice try, but there is a huge difference between Mary being “the fully graced one” – a compound word in the Greek – and Stephen, a Christian man who was given dying grace as he was being martyred.

    Grasping at Greek straws. You must know how the language works There are only some 400 basic words. Greek works like Sanskrit. All other words are made up of compounds of these basic words. Every time you add a prefix or a suffix, you change the meaning of the word. Kecharitomene is a compound word and has its own meaning.

    If you already know that, then there is no excuse for what you did with the Greek, trying to force the same meaning onto different contexts and trying to force the same meaning onto two different words.

    Notice that Chrysostom, the GREEK father, used Kecharitomene as a title for Mary, and he included in his understanding the idea of being “faultless”. You may wish to contemplate the mystery of the Kecharitomene, or not. It’s up to you. Notice that he addresses himself to Mary, the Kecharitomene as well.

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  189. “sdb, the Orthodox church rejects the Augustinian doctrine of original sin inherited through Adam. They do not reject her sinlessness. You see it clearly in Chrysostom’s poem.

    The Catholic dogma is that Mary was kept from original sin at the moment of her conception, thus the Immaculate Conception. She did not inherit the sin of Adam. This was an act of grace on God’s part, since God is her Savior just as He is the Savior of all mankind, including Mary. The Savior that she bore is also her Savior.

    I am curious how you do not make sense of the history, sdb. In fact, history is not on the side of Protestants at all, at least in how Mary’s holiness has always been viewed by the Church, both East and West with that one caveat about the inheritance of original sin through Adam.”

    I’m not arguing with you, I am simply curious about how you make sense of the “obviousness” of the biblical and patristic case for a doctrine not accepted by the orthodox. I know original sin was pricipally promulgated by Augustine who isn’t all that favored in the east. I also know lots of Christians who think Mary was sinless. I disagree…a perk of being protestant I guess. If you don’t know, don’t want ro explain in a commbox, orjust haven’t thought about it yet. That’s fine. You don’t have to answer for everything.

    As far as history goes, it is an important teacher and carries a lot of weight, but it is never dispositive…only scripture gets that. The example of Israel and erroneous traditions called out in NT is my basis.

    I don’t reject tradition per se, but it cannot contradict scripture. Jeff has described Jerome’s error. There is also the fact that Mary’s exceptional status gets no mention in scripture. I believe God chose her befor the foundation of the world to be the God bearer. I also believe she needed a savior because she was sinful. Christ pleaded with the Father to spare him if there was anyway to take away the sins of the world. Evidently there was not. If Mary was fully human (and she must have been), then she must have inherited Adam’s guilt. If there was any other way to spare the elect, then Christ’s death was superfluous… a conclusion I cannot accept. I believe that the belief (held by the great luther…good thing I’m not Lutheran) that Mary was sinless or perpetually virgin does not do justice to the gospel witness. So now you know where I stand.

    Regarding the point I made originally, there is nothing inconsistent with a prot recognizing Mary as the Mother of God. None of the magisterial sects reject this formulation. I’m not aware of other sects that do either (no surprise as I don’t know much about most groups). Your dismissal of my original question was unfortunate…I’m still curious to know if there are any sects that do explicitly reject this (besides assyrian christians of course).

    As for Boettnerism…how did a layman working for the IRS get so upgraded by writing a sloppy polemic? I’ll make a deal with you. If you don’t make me answer for him, I won’t ask you to account for these members of your church.

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  190. Mrs. W: If you already know that, then there is no excuse for what you did with the Greek, trying to force the same meaning onto different contexts and trying to force the same meaning onto two different words.

    Quite by contrast, I pointed out two different phrases and observed that they have different meanings. That was abundantly clear above.

    Mrs. W: Every time you add a prefix or a suffix, you change the meaning of the word. Kecharitomene is a compound word and has its own meaning.

    Yes. And I carefully explained each part.

    Again: As well you know, “full” is not any part of that word.

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  191. We all need to be crystal clear on what’s under discussion.

    (1) Is κεχαριτωμένη a title or merely a substantive participle?

    It doesn’t matter. Clearly, if used as a title (plausible), then the meaning is intensified. But what is under discussion is the meaning of the word.

    So while Tom’s post of Keating and Web’s post of Chrysostom are interesting, and certainly reveal that Chr. thought Mary was sinless, they do not shed light on the meaning of the word.

    (2) What are the parts of κεχαριτωμένη?

    κε- indicating perfect tense. (here for basic info)
    χαριτω- the stem meaning “to favor or give grace to”
    μένη- passive participle, nominative (vocative) singular feminine.

    (3) Where does the notion of “full” come from?

    It is an interpolation from Jerome. It is not present in the meaning of the Greek word itself. This is objective fact.

    (4) On what ground do Tom and Web continue to insist on “full”?

    Tom is relying on Keating, who confuses perfect tense with “perfection.” Web is making a more complex argument, that the use as a title (which is clear with Chrysostom, but not in Luke) somehow adds “fullness” to the meaning. But the logic here is unclear. Perhaps she could lay it out plainly?

    (5) Why does it matter?

    Good question. The topic began with the proposition that Luke 1.28 lends support to Marian doctrines. In order for this to be true, it is necessary that

    * Luke 1.28 mean “full of grace”
    * That “full of grace” mean “God’s grace given to prevent stain of original sin, since birth”

    I hold that the first is dubious, but even if Web and Tom were to win that hill, they have to climb the mountainous second proposition.

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  192. sdb, there is nothing in Reformed Protestantism per se that would make your religion reject the Immaculate Conception or the perpetual virginity of Mary. There is nothing in the Greek language. There is nothing in Church history that would make Protestants reject the fact that Mary was sinless. In fact, neither Luther nor Calvin rejected those doctrines, at least early on. So, why do you reject them now? Even more than that, why are you so dogmatic about rejecting these doctrines that have been the norm in the Church for millennia?

    In fact, as you clearly point out, the sinlessness of Mary has been the norm in the Orthodox Church as well.

    So, what is your problem, again?

    The Protestant, especially the Reformed, position about Mary makes no sense. Can you explain it? You do accept the doctrine of original sin.

    So, you cherry pick Augustine and you cherry pick Church history. Then, you pretend that your religion is the real church that has been reformed.

    It’s nice to try to distance yourself from Boettner, and I can’t blame you, but he is yours. How much of his influence is still in what D.G. Hart writes here on his blog day by day?

    …and now we’re on to Galileo? What specific problem do you have? Does refuting Galileo do harm to anyone? Boettner’s book is actually harmful because of the lies it promulgates in an attempt to tear down Catholicism.

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  193. Webfoot, wrong.

    Mistakenly thinking the great Presbyterian theologian J. Gresham Machen had written a book on Catholicism and wanting to give it as an example of Protestant apologetics in yesterday’s item , I googled the subject and found that he didn’t, but he did say this in his book Christianity and Liberalism :
    Far more serious still is the division between the Church of Rome and evangelical Protestantism in all its forms. Yet how great is the common heritage which unites the Roman Catholic Church, with its maintenance of the authority of Holy Scripture and with its acceptance of the great early creeds, to devout Protestants today!
    We would not indeed obscure the difference which divides us from Rome. The gulf is indeed profound. But profound as it is, it seems almost trifling compared to the abyss which stands between us and many ministers of our own Church. The Church of Rome may represent a perversion of the Christian religion; but naturalistic liberalism is not Christianity at all.

    He had some thoughts on how such divided Christians could face their division, noted by our friend Darryl Hart . Machen’s thoughts appear in a discussion of pernicious laws against Christian schooling — which he called the clearest “attack upon tolerance in America” — being proposed in the mid-twenties:
    Against such tyranny, I do cherish some hope that Jews and Christians, Roman Catholics and Protestants, if they are lovers of liberty, may present a united front. I am for my part an inveterate propagandist; but the same right of propaganda which I desire for myself I want to see also in the possession of others.
    What absurdities are uttered in the name of a pseudo-Americanism today! People object to the Roman Catholics, for example, because they engage in “propaganda.” But why should they not engage in propaganda? And how should we have any respect for them if, holding the view which they hold — that outside the Roman church there is no salvation — they did not engage in propaganda first, last, and all the time? Clearly they have a right to do so, and clearly we have a right to do the same . . . .

    Does this mean, then, that we must eternally bite and devour one another, that acrimonious debate must never for a moment be allowed to cease? . . . . There is a common solution of the problem which we think ought to be taken to heart. It is the solution provided by family life.

    In countless families, there is a Christian parent who with untold agony of soul has seen the barrier of religious difference set up between himself or herself and a beloved child. Salvation, it is believed with all the heart, comes only through Christ, and the child, it is believed, unless it has really trusted in Christ, is lost. These, I tell you, are the real tragedies of life. And how trifling, in comparison, is the experience of bereavement of the like!

    But what do these sorrowing parents do? Do they make themselves uselessly a nuissance to their child? In countless cases they do not; in countless cases there is hardly a mention of the subject of religion; in countless cases there is nothing but prayer, and an agony of soul bravely covered by helpfulness and cheer.

    And there’s this from a weblog dedicated to Machen , about Machen’s time working with the YMCA in the trenches in WWI:
    Spiritually, he had to make do too — reading his English Bible rather than in Greek, which brought home some things with a freshness; worshipping with Roman Catholics. Of one sermon he says “It was far, far better than what we got from the Protestant liberals”.
    In conversation afterwards, he could not agree with the priest on the mass but responded to a complaint that the phrase “descended into hell” was missing from versions issued to American soldiers “I could assure him that I disapproved as much as he did of the mutilation of the creed”.
    http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2013/05/gresham-machen-friend-to-catholics

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  194. Mermaid, if she was sinless why did Christ need to die for her?

    I mean, in your system Jesus needs to die for Mary and for me.

    Something wrong with that picture.

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  195. Jeff, “So while Tom’s post of Keating and Web’s post of Chrysostom are interesting, and certainly reveal that Chr. thought Mary was sinless, they do not shed light on the meaning of the word.”

    Now you know how Erasmus felt.

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  196. “So, what is your problem, again?”
    I don’t have *any* problems…well I have lots of problems (you wouldn’t know how to get the gfortran compiler to work with Yosemite would you?) but none that are relevant here. I am just curious (it’s a curse). I had a couple of questions for you:

    First, which sects reject theotokos as the proper title of Mary. Perhaps you still can’t take that question seriously as it is too absurd to even consider? I’m pretty sure that’s not the case, but if there are protestant sects that do explicitly reject “theotokos”, I’d be very interested to know.

    Second, how do you square the “obviousness” of the doctrine of the immaculate conception with Orthodox rejection of this doctrine? I’m not trying to make a point or prove anything. I’m just wondering what you think about these things. That’s all.

    I did lay out my beliefs on the matter and why I don’t accept the sinlessness of Mary. I don’t understand why you are asking me why I reject them? I told you why. I might be wrong, but it is where I am on the matter. I do apologize for coming across as dogmatic on this, but I really don’t see where you are coming from with that criticism. And here I thought I was offering you an olive branch by noting that the recognition of Mary as “theotokos” is fully compatible with reformation theology.

    Why is Boettner mine? The crackpots working on geocentric theories in order to “save” the Catholic church are quite an embarrassment to the church (and particularly Fr. McMullin)… it was a joke. I don’t think you have any responsibility to answer for those loons any more than I need to answer for a rabid anti-RC’er who died before I could drive. I’ve never heard of him before, so I suspect his influence is really quite exaggerated. I’m not sure all anti-RC polemics came from him even if he is a particular fun target for apologists. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Loraine (who names their son Loraine anyway?) is a lot more influential than I suspect. But I seem to recall that more than a few of us on here were cradle RCs (sean was a seminarian if I remember correctly), I picked up my knowledge of the RCC from my grad student days at ND (most of the guys I interacted with were either trads or cultural RCs…I didn’t spend a lot of time around the SJW types). I also watched the Father Brown mysteries on PBS, so there is that.

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  197. Jeff Cagle:
    We all need to be crystal clear on what’s under discussion.>>>>

    Absolutely, and you have made it as clear as mud. You do know that you are out of step with all of Church history, the early Reformers, and Scripture itself, right? I wish I knew why.

    Jeff Cagle:
    (1) Is κεχαριτωμένη a title or merely a substantive participle?>>>>

    Let’s go to the native Greek speaker and Father of the Church for the answer, shall we? In his prayer to the Virgin Mary, he uses κεχαριτωμένη as a title. I kindly posted his prayer here in the comments section.

    Jeff Cagle:
    It doesn’t matter. Clearly, if used as a title (plausible), then the meaning is intensified. But what is under discussion is the meaning of the word.>>>>

    Now you are sounding like Hillary Clinton. What does it matter? It does matter, and it mattered to Chrysostom.

    Jeff Cagle:
    So while Tom’s post of Keating and Web’s post of Chrysostom are interesting, and certainly reveal that Chr. thought Mary was sinless, they do not shed light on the meaning of the word.>>>>

    Bingo! Chrysostom thought Mary was sinless, and that κεχαριτωμένη was a title.

    Jeff Cagle:
    (2) What are the parts of κεχαριτωμένη?

    κε- indicating perfect tense. (here for basic info)
    χαριτω- the stem meaning “to favor or give grace to”
    μένη- passive participle, nominative (vocative) singular>>>>

    You sound like the Dad on My Big Fat Greek Wedding. 😉 Basic question When was Mary graced? Explain what the significance of the perfect tense is in Greek. One might ask at what point in the past did the gracing happen, and until what future point does it continue?

    Remember, Jesus had not yet been conceived by the Holy Spirit when the angel addressed her by the title Kecharitomene. So, she was graced in the past, and that gracing continues into the future.

    Now, that does not prove that the gracing went back to her own sinless conception, but you do see that the angel showed her great respect. He title has something to do with something that happened in the past. Besides, the word “favored” does not really convey the meaning of the word charis, right?

    Jeff Cagle:
    (3) Where does the notion of “full” come from?

    It is an interpolation from Jerome. It is not present in the meaning of the Greek word itself. This is objective fact.>>>>

    Objective fact. Favored does not convey the meaning of the Greek word itself. We are working with translations, here.

    Jeff Cagle:
    (4) On what ground do Tom and Web continue to insist on “full”?>>>>

    On what grounds do you continue to insist on “favored”? O, favored one does not carry the strength of the original Greek word, Kecharitomene.

    Jeff Cagle:
    Tom is relying on Keating, who confuses perfect tense with “perfection.” Web is making a more complex argument, that the use as a title (which is clear with Chrysostom, but not in Luke) somehow adds “fullness” to the meaning. But the logic here is unclear. Perhaps she could lay it out plainly?>>>

    We are dealing with translations. Your translation does not do justice to the original language. I contend that Chrysostom understood the full weight of the greeting – that the angel addressed Mary by a kind of official title. That the gracing happened before the angel appeared to her. That the gracing could not have been about the conception of Jesus, since He had not yet been conceived by the Holy Spirit.

    No, that does not put the time of her gracing by itself back to the time of her own conception, but it does show that the gracing happened at some point before the angel appeared.

    That is a problem for your tradition, but not for mine.

    Jeff Cagle:
    (5) Why does it matter?

    Good question. The topic began with the proposition that Luke 1.28 lends support to Marian doctrines. In order for this to be true, it is necessary that

    * Luke 1.28 mean “full of grace”
    * That “full of grace” mean “God’s grace given to prevent stain of original sin, since birth”

    I hold that the first is dubious, but even if Web and Tom were to win that hill, they have to climb the mountainous second proposition.>>>>

    Remember, thought, that I am not arguing from sola scriptura. That is your tradition, not mind. I am saying that the dogma of the Immaculate Conception is not without biblical support. It is not a dogma that the Catholic Church cut out of whole cloth in order to deify Mary, as Protestants seem to think.

    Great theologians of the Church have contemplated this mystery. It is about the Incarnation and the miracles surrounding it. So, add the whole testimony of the Church, both East and the West, and even the Reformers early on – as well as some random Protestants even now – and you get the picture.

    What I don’t get is why Protestants reject this doctrine outright. That makes no sense to me.

    At the very least, Protestants should be able to say that the Church has always believed that Mary was sinless, and present both sides of the issue. Why was I never taught that? Were you ever taught that, Jeff? Were you ever taught the history of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and how many great men and women of God have believed this without problem?

    Anyway… There are so many things like this in Protestantism. Why so dogmatic about something that Christians of all kinds have believed for millennia, now?

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  198. @Tom,
    “No, death. God doesn’t have to save anybody if He doesn’t want to. You die, you’re dead.”

    This is not a place where reformed protestants and roman catholics are divided. Death entered the world and we taste death because of sin. If we were sinless we would not face death (indeed, some Christians may not). As Paul points out in the 1Cor15,

    For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive….So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    The reason Christ died was because he took on our sin otherwise he would have never perished. A person without sin would not die.

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  199. sdb
    Posted May 27, 2015 at 10:16 pm | Permalink
    @Tom,
    “No, death. God doesn’t have to save anybody if He doesn’t want to. You die, you’re dead.”

    This is not a place where reformed protestants and roman catholics are divided. Death entered the world and we taste death because of sin. If we were sinless we would not face death (indeed, some Christians may not). As Paul points out in the 1Cor15,

    For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive….So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    The reason Christ died was because he took on our sin otherwise he would have never perished. A person without sin would not die.

    D. G. Hart
    Posted May 27, 2015 at 9:58 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, maybe you haven’t heard, but death is the wage for sin. No sin, no death.
    That’s right. You’re the product of RC catechesis.

    No, I’m the product of freshman logic class, which apparently you skipped. All squirrels are animals, but all animals are not squirrels.

    Sorry for not speaking like a fundamentalist, that there was no death until Adam sinned. I forgot you’re the church who tried Dr. Terry Gray over evolution. I forgot what I’m dealing with here.

    But once again y’all don’t even have a point. Mary is something to bash Catholics with, is all.

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  200. Jeff Cagle, I didn’t even thank you for taking the time to engage in discussion of this subject. My bad.
    🙂 Thank you for your work on this, and your gracious responses.

    It kind of bothered me that you would call me Web. I call everyone here by the name they use in their avatar. Why does my avatar name get corrupted? I get it going from D.G. Hart, and I expect it from him.

    It surprised me that you would do it, since you are a gentleman. Still, I should not have accused you of making this subject as clear as mud. Your post was helpful and thoughtful. I was unkind, so I apologize.

    So, anyway…

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  201. Dear Mrs. Webfoot,

    I came to post with the intention of apologizing for being haughty, and I found that you were moving in the same direction, so thank you.

    The “Web” was intended kindly, but I will revert to standard practice of full name or initials MW when quoting. Does that work?

    Let’s assess points of agreement.

    (A1) We agree that Chrysostom uses κεχαριτωμένη as a title, and that he views her as sinless. And we agree that Chr. carries weight.

    (A2) We agree that “she was graced in the past, and that gracing continues into the future. ”

    This is the standard understanding of the perfect. It is been challenged somewhat (google for recent SBL articles on perfect), but I’m content to stay with the standard.

    (A3) We agree that “that does not put the time of her gracing by itself back to the time of her own conception, but it does show that the gracing happened at some point before the angel appeared. ”

    So those are our points of agreement. (A3) is significant, and I appreciate the candor.

    Now you asked some questions:

    MW: On what grounds do you continue to insist on “favored”? O, favored one does not carry the strength of the original Greek word, Kecharitomene.

    Actually, the word “charis” carries the range of both grace and favor. And that is in some measure because it is used in the LXX to translate “hen”, which is Hebrew for both grace and for favor.

    But here is another way to answer your question. It is not dispositive, but it does indicate what the serious translation scholars think. Using our friend Biblegateway, let’s take a look at what translators have done with Luke 1.28. We will ignore paraphrase translations (eg NLT), and divide the translations into “generally used by Catholics” and “Generally used by both or by Protestants.”

    Catholic
    κεχαριτωμένη => “full of grace”
    Douay-Rheims 1899
    RSV, Catholic Edition

    κεχαριτωμένη => “favored” or “highly favored”
    NAB, Revised Ed
    NAB, 2002 (text found on the Vatican website)
    NRSV, Catholic Edition

    Protestant or both
    κεχαριτωμένη => “full of grace”
    Wyclif

    κεχαριτωμένη => “favored” or “highly favored”
    ASV
    ESV
    Geneva 1599
    KJV
    NKJV
    NRSV
    RSV
    NASB
    NIV

    I think you see the point immediately. Overwhelmingly, translation scholars of both Protestant and Catholic persuasions think the word means “favored” or “highly favored”, especially as one moves into the 20th century and beyond. This includes the translations approved by the RC for use by the faithful.

    Those scholars could be wrong. I can see “one who has been graced” as an awkward-yet-accurate translation. But my money is on “favored.”

    Here’s the thing, though. Even if you get “grace”, you still have a slog to get to “the kind of grace that the Catholic church teaches” (i.e., a supernatural bestowment) as opposed to its more literal meaning of “good-will, lovingkindness, favor.”

    So you’d have to fight that hill.

    Then there’s the whole question of what the content of that (hypothetical) supernatural endowment was.

    And all of that has to be established before you can claim that Luke 1.28 provides support for your position.

    This isn’t a sola scriptura thing. It is a “what does it mean for evidence to support a position” thing. To do that, the evidence has to knock out competing hypotheses.

    And my competing hypothesis is that God has indeed previously bestowed favor or grace upon her, continuing into the present, in that He has chosen her to be the mother of the Lord. It is, after all, what the angel says that the Lord will do for her…

    MW: You do know that you are out of step with all of Church history, the early Reformers, and Scripture itself, right? I wish I knew why.

    In what specific way? Not to be coy, but as I think through the various points of my position, I can’t see one that is in conflict with early Reformers or Scripture. I can see that I don’t agree with Chrysostom or Augustine on sinlessness.

    So what specific out-of-stepness do you have in mind?

    Thanks,

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  202. TVD:
    But once again y’all don’t even have a point. Mary is something to bash Catholics with, is all.<<<<<

    That is the great mystery. Why do Protestants do that, use Mary that way? She was never disrespected until the time of the Reformation, except by unbelievers.

    She was never disrespected in Scripture. The angel who greeted her knew he was not talking to just any woman. She herself was special. What made her special?

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  203. Mrs. Webfoot
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 12:06 am | Permalink
    TVD:
    But once again y’all don’t even have a point. Mary is something to bash Catholics with, is all.<<<<<

    That is the great mystery. Why do Protestants do that, use Mary that way? She was never disrespected until the time of the Reformation, except by unbelievers.

    Some people are men of violence. The only thing they can do with a lantern is try to beat somebody over the head with it.

    Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 27, 2015 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    I can’t see one that is in conflict with early Reformers or Scripture. I can see that I don’t agree with Chrysostom or Augustine on sinlessness.

    Honest of you. Why not leave it there? It doesn’t need to be a dealbreaker in Christian unity unless some people make it so. [Actually, the question of Chrysostom or Augustine is far more interesting on many levels, including why we would listen to the Reformers instead of them.]

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  204. tom, we listen to scripture.

    not the fathers

    not the church

    The Word of God is the seed from which the church grows; the seed is older than its progeny. From the earliest days of the Reformation, this was a key principle for the Protestant understanding of the relationship between God’s revelation and the church. As Luther writes, “Scripture is the womb from which arises divine truth and the Church.”

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  205. Mermaid, “Why so dogmatic about something that Christians of all kinds have believed for millennia, now?”

    You mean, like the Donation of Constantine?

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  206. Mermaid, remember, vd, t was the one who said, “Even most Catholics are like, so what?, when it comes to this Mariology stuff. It makes zero difference in the larger scheme of things.”

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  207. Tom,
    How have I bashed Catholics with Mary. I have had two questions for mwf & susan…. which prot sects reject theotokos? And how they square their belief that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is obvious given how the EOs reject it. Your belief that we would need a savior even if we were sinless is contradicted by RC dogma and protestant consensus. It is not mere fundamentalism to believe humans were created to be immortal and death is a curse (C. S. Lewis has compelling things to say on that).

    I only brought up my rejection of Mary’s sinlessness to avoid being disingenuous. My claim was that protestant theology is cocompatible with theotokos, not that our belief about Mary is fully congruent. Mwf asked why and I sketched out a few reasons. I am not trying to prove anything….just being responsive to a question asked. What am I missing?

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  208. Final footnote for the OCD in me. Douay-Rheims is an English translation of the Vulgate, so its translation of Luke 1.28 reflects Jerome’s opinion of the Greek and not the translator’s.

    Like

  209. D.G. Hart:
    Mermaid, remember, vd, t was the one who said, “Even most Catholics are like, so what?, when it comes to this Mariology stuff. It makes zero difference in the larger scheme of things.”>>>>

    Oh, but it does, D.G. Hart. It does make a difference. You see, in Protestantism, who are the female role models? Who are the great female Protestants? What Biblical characters are Protestant women supposed to emulate?

    Mary has inspired women, and men to expect great things from God, and to do great things for God.
    Mary is the Favored Lady. The Graced Lady, if you will. Protestants have forgotten that. Why?

    Mary is The Woman, the one promised in Genesis 3:15. She is not a nobody.

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  210. D.G. Hart:
    Mary needs a savior.

    DGH needs a savior.

    Mary was sinless.

    DGH is perfect.>>>>

    Well, you and I are in the process of progressive justification which will result in the Beatific Vision if we persevere in the faith – and Christ has sent His Holy Spirit to us to make sure that the process reaches its perfection as we submit to Him. So, yes, someday – as hard as it is to imagine 😉 – you will be like Christ because you will see Him as He is.

    In the case of Mary, as part of her preparation to be the Mother of the sinless Son of God, she was protected from inheriting sin from her father and ours, Adam. She was also given the grace necessary not to fall into sin during her earthly life.

    You ask how that can be? Remember, another miracle related to the Incarnation is the fact that an unborn child was filled with the Holy Spirit inside his mother’s womb when he was in the presence of His unborn Savior.

    Contemplate the mystery, D.G. Hart.

    And if this doctrine doesn’t matter, then why does it matter to you? Is it your underlying Boettnerism that is getting the best of you, so you, as TVD said, are using Mary, the Mother of God, to beat up nice Catholic ladies?

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  211. sdb, I have answered you on the question of which – well, you call them sects, Protestants tend to call agrupaciones of Protestants “denominations” – Protestants deny that Mary is the Mother of God. Dr. Carson is Evangelical Free, you know, so I thought you’d connect the dots.

    Here is something from your own Calvin. Look it up if you like. This is your guy, not mine.

    “I cannot think such language either right, or becoming, or suitable. … To call the Virgin Mary the mother of God can only serve to confirm the ignorant in their superstitions.”
    – Calvin

    …and I answered the other one as well. You have a problem with the answer, and that is your problem, not mine. I am Catholic, not Orthodox. Please note that the Orthodox Church has always believed that Mary was sinless, but they have different reasons for believing that.

    That Chrysostom poem is pretty powerful evidence, don’t you agree?

    “We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.”
    -Ineffabilis Deus

    Notice that Mary’s Immaculate Conception was not because of any intrinsic merit in her, but is solely because of the merits of Jesus Christ. That is the way all are saved. Protestants are confused, thinking that the Immaculate Conception is all about Mary when it is and always has been all about Jesus.

    …and you guys think you do not venerate anyone, but just because you do not call it that, doesn’t mean that you do not practice the veneration of your heroes of the faith, including the Apostle Paul, not to mention Calvin and Luther.

    Didn’t D.G. Hart say recently that Presbyterians got their form of church government from Calvin? Did he really mean that?

    Lotsa’ honor given to a mere man.

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  212. Wait a minute! Well, first, I want to thank you guys for helping me think this through. It’s not that your arguments are completely without merit, they are just incomplete about the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and Graced Lady.

    Okay, I realized a bit more of why Mary is called the Second Eve. She did by the grace of God what Eve failed at doing. Eve did not have original sin. She sinned freely and fell along with Adam. Eve was protected from the taint of original sin. She also, by the grace of God, always chose obedience to God throughout her earthly life. She did what Eve should have done. In that way, Mary too was perfected through obedience. She entered the presence of God without any further purification necessary. I’m sure I will grow in my understanding as time goes on. This is thrilling to me, and so what? to you guys. :- ) No problem.

    It might be fun for some of you to look up the Marian teaching of both Luther and Calvin. It might surprise you. Calvin seemed to have mixed ideas about her. Luther seems to have held onto a more strict Catholic understanding his whole life.

    Thanks, Jeff Cagle, for your comments. It looks like the translators in English followed the lead of the KJV. You know that happens in translations. They are not strictly free of interpretation and the influence of older traditions. I would think that rendering κεχαριτωμένη as Favored Lady or Graced Lady might be better, given Chrysostom’s understanding of that term – as a title of honor given to Our Lady.

    The tense doesn’t really matter, and I have thought myself for quite awhile now that the traditional way of understanding the perfect tense in Koine didn’t make a lot of sense in all cases. However, that is kind of standard, so I went with it. What is interesting to me is the timing of the angel’s announcement. He addressed her as the Favored Lady before Jesus was conceived.

    It is not outlandish to ask what grace she had been given pre the conception of our Lord, and why.

    So, thank you for helping me be a better Catholic. :- )

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  213. Mrs. Webfoot: That is the great mystery. Why do Protestants do that, use Mary that way? She was never disrespected until the time of the Reformation, except by unbelievers.

    Actually, the position we’re advocating is “Respect, not Veneration.”

    Somebody above opined, “If you get Mary, you get Catholicism.” And that’s very true. If you “get Mary”, then you accept

    * The Catholic view of grace
    * The Catholic view of veneration
    * The Catholic view of saints
    * The Catholic view of prayer

    There’s a whole lot packaged in there.

    If on the other hand you “get Respect, not Veneration”, then you “get Protestantism.” Specifically, you get

    * The regulative principle
    * The proper understanding of sola (not solo) scriptura
    * The principle of exalting God and not man

    For my part, I think if people in heaven could be sad, Mary would be quite sad to see how people have exalted her in such a way that it obscures the glory of her Son. John the Baptist had it right: He must increase, I must decrease.

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  214. Mermaid, if Mary could be made sinless that way, why does Jesus die the death that sinners deserve?

    And if Mary could be saved that way, why not Cain? Abel?

    Forget mystery, I want answers and that’s what Roman Catholicism is supposed to give.

    But when the going gets tough, say “mystery.”

    Like

  215. Is the pope human?

    Let me try to help Mrs. Webfoot Catholic Lady.

    Yes, and he likes pizza, and wants catholics to stop acting like bunnies, if memory serves.

    Who’s next?

    Like

  216. TVD
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 2:22 am | Permalink
    Whose scripture? Whose translation? You’re not reading the discussion.

    So? You’re not going to church. That’s much worse, and you are leading nice catholic ladies astray with your bloviating.

    Repent and live.

    Like

  217. @MWF – I didn’t know Don Carson was evangelical free. It is curious that you conclude that the denomination condemns this view (which was what my question was) given that their statement of faith has nothing about Mary in it and the head of their denominational seminary actually advocates for this position as I noted earlier. I’m not really interested in digging up quotes of this person or that. I was curious whether you knew of any denominations that formally rejected “theotokos”. It isn’t a test or anything, I’m just curious. I take it that you don’t know of any denominations that reject “theotokos”… no biggie. I’m sure they are out there, I just find it surprising.

    Regarding explicit rejection of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception by the Orthodox, you keep changing the subject to Mary’s sinlessness. Pointing out that Chrysostom believed that Mary was sinless is not evidence that the Orthodox really believed that she was conceived immaculately. We seem to be talking past one another here. The teaching on the Immaculate Conception is not simply that Mary was sinless… it entails more than that. I’m curious how you square the obviousness of this teaching with Orthodoxy’s rejection of it (and original sin for that matter). Maybe your answer is that you don’t worry about what those schismatic Orthodox heretics teach? Fair enough… Again, I don’t have a point to prove here. It isn’t a test. I’m just curious how you square the conflicting interpretations of history here.

    Notice that Mary’s Immaculate Conception was not because of any intrinsic merit in her, but is solely because of the merits of Jesus Christ. That is the way all are saved. Protestants are confused, thinking that the Immaculate Conception is all about Mary when it is and always has been all about Jesus.

    My concern is not that the teaching is “all about mary”. If humanity could be shielded from the consequence of the fall apart from the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, then the Father’s refusal to take away the Son’s cup as he pleaded to the father in the garden is cruel. I can’t accept that. No one can be saved apart from the Son’s sacrifice because all have inherited Adam’s sin, all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory…even Mary, as blessed as she was, needed a savior. No sin, no need for a savior. I understand you disagree and perhaps I am wrong, but I can’t escape this conclusion.

    you guys think you do not venerate anyone, but just because you do not call it that, doesn’t mean that you do not practice the veneration of your heroes of the faith, including the Apostle Paul, not to mention Calvin and Luther.

    I don’t doubt the temptation of idolatry is very real and I’m as prone to anyone to sin in this way…I’m a natural. That’s why veneration is explicitly condemned…not because we never do it or are never tempted to do so, but because we are. Not all disagreements are just ignorance.

    Didn’t D.G. Hart say recently that Presbyterians got their form of church government from Calvin? Did he really mean that?

    I didn’t see it if he did. It doesn’t sound like something dgh would say particularly since prebys claim that we take our form of church government from the NT example. I suspect that if pushed, he would conceded that we did not get our ecclesiology from Calvin, though he may have been the clearest expositor of what the scripture teaches here. But dgh is right here, so you could ask him instead of me to clarify if you are interested.

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  218. AB
    Posted May 27, 2015 at 9:51 pm | Permalink
    So, you cherry pick Augustine and you cherry pick Church history. Then, you pretend that your religion is the real church that has been reformed.

    Like

  219. Mrs. Webfoot,

    Before you started posting comments here, Tom Van Dyke maybe mentioned you 50 times, about how this blog was a key catalyst in your leaving evangelicalism. Is that true? If so, it’s ironic since you have now become one of the most volumnious contributors to this site in the last couple weeks, with no signs of your slowing down. Does your experience actually getting to know us by talking with us instead of taking Tom’s second hand attacks against us still make you think that because we are so base and awful in how we talk to one another here, that you would point people to this site in order to help them get out of the protestant way of things which you view as so heinous and against what you believe to be true? Just curious for you to relate and reflect on your experience here, I have now waded through a lot of your prose and have a sense of how you like to promote your religion, so I am curious for your response to any of this as you see fit. Grace and peace.

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  220. If you get Mary, you get Jesus, Jeff Cagle. 🙂 Just had to add that. Think about it. Jesus wasn’t teleported from heaven to earth, you know. That is part of the mystery of the Incarnation. The Son of God because vulnerable and in that way, dependent on a woman for His very human life. No man enters the world any other way.

    1 Corinthians 11
    11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.

    Now if you say that God could have used any women, and that it didn’t have to be Mary, you are in heap big trouble with your own religion. I doubt that you would say that.

    Jeff Cagle:
    So what specific out-of-stepness do you have in mind?>>>>>

    …and to answer your question, I will give you an assignment if you are willing to accept it. Study the Marian theology of both Calvin and Luther. Then study Marian theology in the history of Protestantism, with special emphasis on Lutheranism and even Methodism. Then give me a full report. 😉

    Hey, I might do that myself. Then we could compare notes.

    I agree with what Tom said, though. This is not something that we should divide over. In fact, Marian theology per se was not one of the points of division from the Church for the early reformers. They basically accepted the Church’s teaching on the Immaculate Conception and the perpetual virginity of Mary.

    There seems to have been some change in Calvin’s thinking, but not so much with Luther.

    Take care, Jeff Cagle, and thank you for the thoughtful exchange.

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  221. And the only other thing, Webfoot, is that emoticons are somewhat frowned upon around here. Not a big deal, just try to show restraint, and it helps keep our host from getting grumpy.

    Are you retired such that you have all this time to devote to your online endeavors? Just curious, that’s how I reasoned someone named Curt Day is able to keep going and going without stopping. This blogger happens to think only retired people should be commenting in blogs, take a read if you are interested. I’m out.

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  222. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 6:32 am | Permalink
    Mary needs a savior.

    DGH needs a savior.

    Mary was sinless.

    DGH is perfect.

    Another Logic 101 fail. This explains a lot.

    sdb
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 6:43 am | Permalink
    Tom,
    How have I bashed Catholics with Mary. I have had two questions for mwf & susan…. which prot sects reject theotokos? And how they square their belief that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is obvious given how the EOs reject it. Your belief that we would need a savior even if we were sinless is contradicted by RC dogma and protestant consensus. It is not mere fundamentalism to believe humans were created to be immortal and death is a curse (C. S. Lewis has compelling things to say on that).

    I only brought up my rejection of Mary’s sinlessness to avoid being disingenuous. My claim was that protestant theology is cocompatible with theotokos, not that our belief about Mary is fully congruent. Mwf asked why and I sketched out a few reasons. I am not trying to prove anything….just being responsive to a question asked. What am I missing?

    Your rejection of Mary’s sinlessness is more interesting than the off-topic deviation on Mary itself, since Augustine is a first call authority to justify Reformation theology against 1500 years of tradition.

    My other observation is that Protestants seem to know Mariology as much as Catholics, but as a truncheon, not a lantern.

    As for the discussion of Adam and sin = death, that requires a fundamentalism and rejection of natural theology I’m not prepared to deal with. If there is no God, when we’re dead we’re dead, no metaphysics required. Sin need not even exist either.

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  223. TVD:
    My other observation is that Protestants seem to know Mariology as much as Catholics, but as a truncheon, not a lantern.>>>>>

    Yes! That’s it!

    Peter is not used as a truncheon. Why pick on Mary?

    Like

  224. TVD, I have to make a small comment here about this, “Sorry for not speaking like a fundamentalist, that there was no death until Adam sinned. I forgot you’re the church who tried Dr. Terry Gray over evolution. I forgot what I’m dealing with here.”

    Just because the Catholic Church has not put anybody on trial over certain doctrinal issues about evolution does not mean there is not some clear teaching about the issue that lots of people in the Church ignore and believe different from Church teaching and the Tradition of the Church. Anyway, my point is putting death before Adam’s sin is quite against Church teaching. Might want to look that one up in actual Church documents. Special creation is still what the Church teaches. One Adam. One Eve. One type of each animal in the beginning. Ex nihilo. Then the fall from grace at some point. What is not dogmatic at this time is in what way all this happened and when this happened.

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  225. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 1:25 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, so why are my observations about Roman Catholicism anti-Catholic and yet when you question Notre Dame’s religious identity it’s truth?
    ?

    You question Notre Dame’s religious identity, Dr. Hart. So do others.

    http://www.projectsycamore.com/

    But you revel in it, as it feeds your anti-Catholic animus. I only question your use of that fact against the Catholic Church itself.

    You’re not being logical.
    ___________________

    D. G. Hart
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 1:21 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid, “I agree with what Tom said, though. This is not something that we should divide over.”

    The Holy Father wants you to be coherent.

    So does the Apostle Paul.

    Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

    But Protestantism’s not coherent, not even with itself. Why your obsession with Catholicism?

    Like

  226. MichaelTX,

    Thanks for chiming in. TVD over the years brings up terry gray when he’s up against the ropes. Your posts are most apropros. I woulnd’t expect TVD to respond to you, he’s more about just making reformed protestantism look bad, he’s here to denigrate Darryl and the system Darryl and I support. TVD has never actually read any books, he really likes to bring up the same topics over and over and over and over and just google and find quick links. He’s sometimes funny, but more often, just a troll. We’re used to him.

    But Protestantism’s not coherent, not even with itself. Why your obsession with Catholicism?

    Uhm, 1.3 billion members, Bryan Cross and his trophy case of converts, really Tom? What’s your obsession with DG Hart. Man crush much, yo?

    Like

  227. MichaelTX
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 1:53 pm | Permalink
    TVD,
    humani-generis.html
    Peace,
    Michael

    Easy there, fella. Without getting into the tall weeds of the creation story, encyclicals are not necessarily presented as infallible. Nor does the creation story have to be taken literally.

    Augustine offers this advice:

    In matters that are so obscure and far beyond our vision, we find in Holy Scripture passages which can be interpreted in very different ways without prejudice to the faith we have received. In such cases, we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in the search of truth justly undermines this position, we too fall with it. That would be to battle not for the teaching of Holy Scripture but for our own, wishing its teaching to conform to ours, whereas we ought to wish ours to conform to that of Sacred Scripture.

    http://biologos.org/questions/early-interpretations-of-genesis

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  228. Nor does tom represent any point of view, except his own.

    Imagine an atheist coming into a religious blog and taking pot shots left and right because he gets off on feeling smart.

    zrim posted this, it seems appropriate.

    TVD has a history of being run off other blogs, this is what he does. Anyway, who’s next?

    Like

  229. As you see, Michael, I have a lamprey that attaches itself to my every comment. Darryl apologizes to you for that.

    Special creation is still what the Church teaches. One Adam. One Eve. One type of each animal in the beginning. Ex nihilo.

    Um, I don’t think so. The Catholic Church is OK with evolution.

    http://www.newsweek.com/pope-franciss-remarks-evolution-are-not-controversial-among-roman-catholics-281115

    Pope Francis told an audience from the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Vatican City on Monday that theories of evolution and the Big Bang are not inconsistent with creationism and biblical teaching. “The evolution in nature is not opposed to the notion of Creation, because evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve,” Pope Francis said, according to a Vatican newswire transcript of the event.

    Like

  230. AB:
    Mrs. Webfoot,

    Before you started posting comments here, Tom Van Dyke maybe mentioned you 50 times, about how this blog was a key catalyst in your leaving evangelicalism. Is that true? >>>>>>

    Yes, but not just you, and not any of you personally, exactly. Your group was a kind of confirmation.

    A few of the guys are great. Others I don’t get at all. Guys like to fight and insult one another? Maybe that’s it. Don’t want to change you, just want to not be you. I’m sure you don’t want to be me, either.

    AB:
    Does your experience actually getting to know us by talking with us instead of taking Tom’s second hand attacks against us still make you think that because we are so base and awful in how we talk to one another here, that you would point people to this site in order to help them get out of the protestant way of things which you view as so heinous and against what you believe to be true?>>>>

    Are you asking me if I like you, AB? Yes, you are kind of like a cute kid. A little annoying, but not a bad kid. Underneath I see a sincere brother who really wants to follow the Lord and raise his family to love God.

    AB:
    Just curious for you to relate and reflect on your experience here, I have now waded through a lot of your prose and have a sense of how you like to promote your religion, so I am curious for your response to any of this as you see fit. Grace and peace.>>>>

    I like to put out Catholic arguments as best I understand them and see what you guys have to say. Sometimes it is very worthwhile. I am not trying to convert you guys. As I interact with your arguments, I understand the Church better, and like her more all the time.

    If you are happy where you are, then be happy and be blessed. I have said a number of times that I accept the Church’s teaching that we are all one Church, like it or not. You are my brothers in Christ if you know Him as I assume you do. You are not in full communion with your Mother, the Church, though, and don’t you feel her attraction? She is Christ’s body and Christ’s bride. I think you do feel her call to come home.

    If you are convinced, as I was, that the Catholic Church is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, then you need to come Home. It’s nice over here. It really is. Have you even asked God’s will in the matter?

    Thank you for wading through my prose. I appreciate that, AB. Not sure how long I’ll be around. It depends. If and when I disappear, it won’t be because I am angry or upset – just done here. Maybe I’ll stick around, even. You must have a song about that. And, here’s a smiley face just for you, AB.
    🙂

    Blessings and love to you and yours

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  231. …and maybe I am trying to convert you, AB!

    TVD, you are right about the Church and evolution.

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  232. Mrs. Webfoot,

    Thanks for the kind reply. Know that I have no desire to convert you or any other RC here, so your desire is only one way. Would I be flattered if there were more OPCers? Sure. But you in my mind are exhibiting lay agressive evanglism:

    One searches in vain the passages in which Paul deals with the Christian’s “walk” for mention of, let alone endorsement of, the modern notion of aggressive lay evangelists.

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  233. TVD,
    I didn’t say the encyclical was infallible. Nor did I say the Church was against all forms of understanding “evolution”. Nor did I say Genesis does not use figurative language. I put forward specific statements. One Adam. One Eve. One type of each animal in the beginning. Ex nihilo. One specific fall before which there was no death. I have no problem with Pope Francis saying both can be reconciled. The problem I have is when someone says by reconcile they mean throwing out Church Dogma and the Biblical witness. Sorry that is not reconciling. That is ignoring the Author of life and history and making up your own story. Don’t mean to be harsh, TVD. Just wanting to be clear. BTW, I am quite aware of St Augustine’s idea on this. I just don’t think he would have put death before sin either. Look at Pope Francis’s words again, “evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve.” Key word…”beings”. Plural. Not from one single celled organism to everything that is, through eons of death before the fall. Don’t put words in Francis’s mouth. He is not a Darwinist. I believe in evolution too. Just not the type we are taught in school.

    TVD, Sorry I come on this so strong. This just can’t be ignored. It is a cancer in Christ’s body.

    PS email me if you want to chat some more. Don’t want to take over Harts blog with a Catholic to Catholic internal debate.

    Like

  234. From Humani Generis, “…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.”

    When the then pope says, “the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty,” and, “the faithful cannot embrace,” he is teaching with the full force of the papal office. If they could not hold it then we can not hold it.

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  235. @MichaelTX It was my understanding that while the RCC accepts evolution as a fact (as do I), it is dogma that there was a historical Adam specially created and his death (and thus that of all people) is a consequence of sin (a curse that will be reversed in the resurrection). Am I mistaken? I thought this played a pretty important role in “theology of the body”.

    Like

  236. Your rejection of Mary’s sinlessness is more interesting than the off-topic deviation on Mary itself, since Augustine is a first call authority to justify Reformation theology against 1500 years of tradition.

    My other observation is that Protestants seem to know Mariology as much as Catholics, but as a truncheon, not a lantern.

    Glad I haven’t completely bored you. Augustine is great about many things, but he isn’t infallible. In my experience, most prots are utterly clueless about Mary and just don’t care. I do think her role as the bearer of God is important, but I think the trepidation expressed by both JPII and B16 about over-elevating her is a real concern. While not consistent with official dogma, in much folk practice, Mary is worshiped and syncretism is a concern for the RCC. I don’t think that is a controversial statement. I think we prots share that concern, but go a step further (and perhaps incorrectly) conclude that it isn’t just co-redemtrix that is problematic, but the ascension and immaculate conception that buttresses these problems. Not as big a problem as Roman ecclesiology, sacramentalism, and soteriology (in increasing order), and I suspect the attention prots pay to RCC – it is the arguments over justification, transubstantiation, and primacy of the pope that get far more attention than Mary.

    Regarding Adam… the death was human (bearers of the image of God) death that is the issue. No conflict with animal evolution, naturalistic account for the origin of life, big bang, etc…

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  237. sdb,
    From what I read in your post I do not see anything against a Catholic understanding. The problem that is usually run into is the meaning of the word evolution has different meaning in peoples understanding. Basic tenets of natural selection is proven fact and accepted by near all Catholics, but when tenets of natural selection is extrapolated into origin of all species and origin of life is when the Catholic can and should jump ship.

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  238. Mrs. Webfoot,

    I’ll be happy to put in a couple of hours on it, but it will have to be sometime between now and August.

    Like

  239. sdb,
    BTW, there are many in the Catholic camp which agree with your primis about it only being human death which began to occur after the fall. I am nondogmatic on the subject. I think the Scriptures point away from that view, but I am uncertain. I’m still in the process of discernment on that issue.

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  240. sdb, I appreciate your comments. They are substantive and sincere. I don’t want to ignore you, but I feel like I have answered all your questions to the best of my ability. Don’t mean to dodge questions, ignore you, or leave you wondering about anything I said.

    I’m just repeating myself at this point, and if I keep answering you, AB might take that as lay aggression, or worse. I’d do the smiley face, but I don’t want AB to feel threatened.

    Just kidding, AB!

    Like

  241. MichaelTX,

    By the way, I’ve missed you, man. Hope you and your family are holding up. You really were a great help to me back in 2013 as I was first encountering Roman Cathollicism. You gave me a voice that I wasn’t hearing from Bryan Cross and his team, although I know would be closely aligned with him, and his solo/sola argument. Your thoughts here are a breath of fresh air, and for that, you have my most sincere thanks.

    Grace and peace.

    Like

  242. Mrs. Webfoot,

    I grew up in a tradition where we were required quite regularly to apply the tenets of lay aggressive evangelism constantly and with regular zeal. I found Calvinism my first year in college, I am in great debt to the 5 or so OPC ministers who have helped me along since I found the reformed tradition. Your comments about wanting to convert me, again, are taken in the light that you mean them, in a spirit of jest. However, I’ve experienced people desiring me to become roman catholic now for over 3 years. So get in line, so far Bryan Cross already has a corner on that market. I would propose you go combox with him for a while, but since comments are open here, I understand if you prefer here than there.

    Gotta run,
    Andrew

    Like

  243. Thanks for your heart felt and generous words, AB. I am grateful to have you in the faith, though we lack a degree of sorrowful separation. May our separation decrease evermore as we approach glory.
    In the peace of Christ,
    Michael

    Like

  244. sdb
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 3:35 pm | Permalink
    “Your rejection of Mary’s sinlessness is more interesting than the off-topic deviation on Mary itself, since Augustine is a first call authority to justify Reformation theology against 1500 years of tradition.

    My other observation is that Protestants seem to know Mariology as much as Catholics, but as a truncheon, not a lantern.”

    Glad I haven’t completely bored you. Augustine is great about many things, but he isn’t infallible. In my experience, most prots are utterly clueless about Mary and just don’t care. I do think her role as the bearer of God is important, but I think the trepidation expressed by both JPII and B16 about over-elevating her is a real concern.

    I think it may be overblown. I agree devotion to Mary could take the place of devotion to God, but I’m not sure that’s the case. As Ken [?] pointed out, look at the Rosary. It’s about Christ.

    While not consistent with official dogma, in much folk practice, Mary is worshiped and syncretism is a concern for the RCC. I don’t think that is a controversial statement. I think we prots share that concern, but go a step further (and perhaps incorrectly) conclude that it isn’t just co-redemtrix that is problematic, but the ascension and immaculate conception that buttresses these problems. Not as big a problem as Roman ecclesiology, sacramentalism, and soteriology (in increasing order), and I suspect the attention prots pay to RCC – it is the arguments over justification, transubstantiation, and primacy of the pope that get far more attention than Mary.

    FTR, Jesus Ascended; Mary’s is the Assumption. I’m afraid I’m not up on the theology, but it goes to the “sinless” bit. I see now problem with Catholics accepting it and the Immaculate Conception provisionally, based on their faith that the Holy Spirit guides the magisterium.

    One need not give it much assent or dissent either way. As you allow, it’s not key to salvation, so that’s why I say it need not become a battlefield for Christians.

    Regarding Adam… the death was human (bearers of the image of God) death that is the issue. No conflict with animal evolution, naturalistic account for the origin of life, big bang, etc…

    That pre-humans didn’t have souls seems theologically workable. Gen 2:7, “Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

    The breath of life would be “ensoulment.” That this “Adam,” The First Man, was immortal until The First Sin is a little too literalist for me to spend much concern over. Again, it’s tangential to the question of salvation.

    Thx for the thoughtful and courteous reply.

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  245. TVD,
    “That this “Adam,” The First Man, was immortal until The First Sin is a little too literalist for me to spend much concern over. Again, it’s tangential to the question of salvation.”

    St Paul in Romans 5 would not agree with you. “Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned—sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.”

    You are chipping at the theological foundation to salvation, TVD. Just one servant of Christ to another… just think through it and pray about it a bit before you say it’s all a bit to literal of a way to read the Scriptures.
    Peace,
    Michael

    Like

  246. MichaelTX
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink
    TVD,
    “That this “Adam,” The First Man, was immortal until The First Sin is a little too literalist for me to spend much concern over. Again, it’s tangential to the question of salvation.”

    St Paul in Romans 5 would not agree with you. “Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned—sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.”

    You are chipping at the theological foundation to salvation, TVD. Just one servant of Christ to another… just think through it and pray about it a bit before you say it’s all a bit to literal of a way to read the Scriptures.
    Peace,
    Michael

    Not going to play dueling Biblical quote-mining. Is this “death” literal? If you’re going to argue as a Catholic, stop arguing like a Protestant! ;-D

    Like

  247. MichaelTX
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 4:45 pm | Permalink
    TVD,
    You have created a false dichotomy of argument. Like I said, If you wish to continue. Email me.

    I don’t think it’s false, and no, I don’t wish to continue. You commented @ me; I replied. I’m with Augustine on this one, not as a matter of doctrine, but as a matter of prudence–don’t paint yourself into a corner on something that science may prove to be untrue.

    MichaelTX
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 4:46 pm | Permalink
    Being a consistent Protestant is what caused me to become a Catholic.

    Now THAT’S interesting. As Peter Kreeft wrote:

    The first independent idea about religion I ever remember thinking was a question I asked my father, an elder in the church, a good and wise and holy man. I was amazed that he couldn’t answer it. “Why do we Calvinists have the whole truth and no one else? We’re so few. How could God leave the rest of the world in error? Especially the rest of the Christian churches?”

    and

    If the Catholic Church teaches “another gospel” of salvation by works, then it teaches fundamental heresy. I found here however another case of misunderstanding. I read Aquinas’ Summa on grace, and the decrees of the Council of Trent, and found them just as strong on grace as Luther or Calvin. I was overjoyed to find that the Catholic Church had read the Bible too! At Heaven’s gate our entrance ticket, according to Scripture and Church dogma, is not our good works or our sincerity, but our faith, which glues us to Jesus. He saves us; we do not save ourselves.

    Good luck. Yes, Catholicism reads the Bible too.

    http://chnetwork.org/2011/10/hauled-aboard-the-ark-conversion-story-of-peter-kreeft/

    Like

  248. Tom, I’m a little bit of the reason Michael showed up. I knew when he gets a hit on his blog, he tends to notice.

    I e-mailed back and forth with Michael several years ago, for a good while, several months, we have even talked over the phone a few times. I haven’t gotten him golfing yet, but I just may someday. Call it lay aggressive evangelism, golf style (hi Webfoot).

    Like

  249. TVD, I apreaciate the prudence. Just beware if ignoring dogma. We are a dogmatic faith that descends from above through Tradition and the Word.
    Peace
    Michael

    Like

  250. Andrew Buckingham
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 5:07 pm | Permalink
    Tom, I’m a little bit of the reason Michael showed up. I knew when he gets a hit on his blog, he tends to notice.

    I e-mailed back and forth with Michael several years ago, for a good while, several months, we have even talked over the phone a few times. I haven’t gotten him golfing yet, but I just may someday. Call it lay aggressive evangelism, golf style (hi Webfoot).

    MichaelTX
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 5:18 pm | Permalink
    TVD, I apreaciate the prudence. Just beware if ignoring dogma. We are a dogmatic faith that descends from above through Tradition and the Word.
    Peace
    Michael

    I hope you do appreciate the prudence. Insisting on a literal immortality until The First Sin is in my view not prudent [even if true].

    As is a Catholic using the word “dogma” in front of strangers. Except in rare ex cathedra cases, it is prudent to stick with “doctrine.”

    http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/what-is-the-difference-between-doctrine-and-dogma

    Like

  251. Insisting on a literal immortality until The First Sin is in my view not prudent [even if true].

    just stick to the classic reformed four fold state of man, and we’ll be fine:

    Augustine’s Four-fold State of Humanity

    Question
    Would we have been better off if humanity had never fallen into sin?
    Answer
    Would we have been better off if man had never fallen into sin? We have to answer in some way, yes, because man would not be subject to the depravity that now marks his very nature. Man would not have lost communion with God. Man would not have been subject to guilt and shame as a result of his sin, and man would not have been subject to physical, as well as the spiritual death, that he inherited as the result of his sin. Man passed from a state of posse non mori, “possible not to die,” to a state of non posse non mori, “not possible not to die,” as the result of his sin. But when we consider the states of man, I think that we need to look at Augustine and his four states, that he said that man passes through from pre-Fall to glorification. Augustine said that man before the Fall existed in a state of posse non peccare, it was “possible” for man “not to sin”. After the Fall, he passes into a state of non posse non peccare, “not possible not to sin”. It may be bad grammar but good theology. And at redemption, man passes into a state of posse peccare, posse non peccare, it is “possible to sin, possible not to sin”. He is a new creation but, as Paul says, has that old man who does all the things that we do not want to do and doesn’t do all the things that we desire to do. But at glorification, man passes into yet another state where it is non posse peccare, “not possible to sin”. So in that sense, you can say that man after redemption, after glorification, is even in a better state than he was pre-Fall, because is it not possible for him to sin in his glorified state. I think though, when we come to these “what if” questions, I think we should always look at these and say that God is holy, just and good, and that whatever he brings to pass is good. As Romans 8:28 says, it is “for the good of those who have been called according to his purpose.” So we have to say, in the final analysis, that whatever our state is now, it is good because a good and gracious and loving God decreed that it be so.

    Answer by Rev. Jim Maples

    Jim Maples is pastor at Pleasant Grove Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Pleasant Grove, Alabama and also serves on the faculty at Birmingham Theological Seminary in Birmingham, Alabama.

    We continue to chase down rabbit trails, Mary, Evolution, what’s next now? Republication? Oh, that’s right, that’s a reformed in house issue, sorry you cool cats, that topic doesn’t concern you. Short and long though, read Meredith Kline, and get back to me. He’s rad.

    Like

  252. Jeff Cagle:
    Mrs. Webfoot,

    I’ll be happy to put in a couple of hours on it, but it will have to be sometime between now and August.>>>

    Wonderful! Thank you. I didn’t think you’d really go for it. I had just assumed that the Immaculate Conception and the perpetual virginity of Mary were doctrines that were automatically tossed by both Luther and Calvin. I had also assumed that all Protestants rejected both doctrines. It is much more interesting than that.

    No, it doesn’t prove either doctrine either way, but the history of Protestantism and Marian theology is not what I had expected. …and like I’m probably one of the very few on either side who even cares!

    Take care,
    Mrs. Webfoot

    Like

  253. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 6:05 pm | Permalink
    #seevd,t,theologize

    AB
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 6:08 pm | Permalink
    #samestuffdifferentday#who’snext

    What a cute couple.

    Like

  254. TVD:
    I hope you do appreciate the prudence. Insisting on a literal immortality until The First Sin is in my view not prudent [even if true].>>>>

    I had no idea that even in the early church there was a variety of views about the early chapters of Genesis. This article from Catholic Answers gives a number of quotes from Church fathers on this subject.

    It is still a matter open for discussion, as far as I understand. I like that word “at liberty to believe.” There are certain parameters at the same time.

    “Catholics are at liberty to believe that creation took a few days or a much longer period, according to how they see the evidence, and subject to any future judgment of the Church (Pius XII’s 1950 encyclical Humani Generis 36–37). They need not be hostile to modern cosmology. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “[M]any scientific studies . . . have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life forms, and the appearance of man. These studies invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator” (CCC 283). Still, science has its limits (CCC 284, 2293–4). The following quotations from the Fathers show how widely divergent early Christian views were. “

    http://www.catholic.com/tracts/creation-and-genesis

    Like

  255. Mrs. Webfoot
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 6:12 pm | Permalink
    TVD:
    I hope you do appreciate the prudence. Insisting on a literal immortality until The First Sin is in my view not prudent [even if true].>>>>

    I had no idea that even in the early church there was a variety of views about the early chapters of Genesis. This article from Catholic Answers gives a number of quotes from Church fathers on this subject.

    It is still a matter open for discussion, as far as I understand. I like that word “at liberty to believe.” There are certain parameters at the same time.

    “Catholics are at liberty to believe that creation took a few days or a much longer period, according to how they see the evidence, and subject to any future judgment of the Church (Pius XII’s 1950 encyclical Humani Generis 36–37). They need not be hostile to modern cosmology. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “[M]any scientific studies . . . have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life forms, and the appearance of man. These studies invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator” (CCC 283). Still, science has its limits (CCC 284, 2293–4). The following quotations from the Fathers show how widely divergent early Christian views were. “

    What’s also fascinating is contrary to “Inherit the Wind” making William Jennings Bryan into a complete fundamentalist dolt, here’s the REAL transcript of his cross-examination by Clarence Darrow:

    Q–Then, when the Bible said, for instance, “and God called the firmament heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day,” that does not necessarily mean twenty-four hours?
    A–I do not think it necessarily does.
    Q–Do you think it does or does not?
    A–I know a great many think so.
    Q–What do you think?
    A–I do not think it does.
    Q–You think those were not literal days?
    A–I do not think they were twenty-four-hour days.
    Q–What do you think about it?
    A–That is my opinion–I do not know that my opinion is better on that subject than those who think it does.
    Q–You do not think that ?
    A–No. But I think it would be just as easy for the kind of God we believe in to make the earth in six days as in six years or in 6,000,000 years or in 600,000,000 years. I do not think it important whether we believe one or the other.

    Now that’s not just prudent, it’s wise.

    http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/scopes/day7.htm

    Like

  256. TVD,
    The reason I began to address this topic is because you, in my view, imprudently attacked the view that you can stand against evolution and not be “fundamentalist”. In this crowd I think you will get more respect when you side with Catholic teaching that stands in line with a dogma like there being a historic Adam who before the fall was lacking the consequence of death( physical or spiritual). Just be careful attacking a “fundamentalist” for holding to Catholic teaching. Just bad practice in my view.

    Like

  257. MichaelTX
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 6:42 pm | Permalink
    TVD,
    The reason I began to address this topic is because you, in my view, imprudently attacked the view that you can stand against evolution and not be “fundamentalist”. In this crowd I think you will get more respect when you side with Catholic teaching that stands in line with a dogma like there being a historic Adam who before the fall was lacking the consequence of death( physical or spiritual). Just be careful attacking a “fundamentalist” for holding to Catholic teaching. Just bad practice in my view.

    I’m not sure a literal guy named Adam is Catholic dogma–even less that he was physically immortal until The First Sin–even if it might be normative doctrine. In either case, I think you should be sure before telling a bunch of hostile Protestants anything about “dogma” as they don’t dig the concept, especially of the Catholic variety.

    If you’re going to give advice on how to be received as a Catholic, take some: Ix-nay on the ogma-day. As for myself, I don’t speak on behalf of the Catholic Church: Mostly I look up the attacks made on it to see if they’re accurate and they’ve very often not. I report the results. I hope everyone double-checks for themselves, Catholic or Protestant, and report back themselves. I decline to discuss my own affiliations in fora such as this, for they are quickly weaponized.

    Like

  258. a bunch of hostile Protestants

    Michael,

    See what we are dealing with?

    I’ll shoot you an e-mail to fill you in on more of what’s going on here, my opinions of these interlocutors, etc. Again, it’s great to have you here!!

    Like

  259. Any Prots want to say whether a Catholic should admit be dogmatic about simple things like a real Adam? I’d be glad to hear the opinion.

    Like

  260. Michael, I’ll pass. I wouldn’t listen to TVD if I were you, he has no eclessiastical moorings, yet feels qualified to speak and present the catholic case on things. If I were you, I would keep an eye on him, he is doing harm to your faith here, so I would focus on him instead of us prots, just sayin.

    Like

  261. AB
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 6:59 pm | Permalink
    a bunch of hostile Protestants

    Michael,

    See what we are dealing with?

    I’ll shoot you an e-mail to fill you in on more of what’s going on here, my opinions of these interlocutors, etc. Again, it’s great to have you here!!

    MichaelTX
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 7:23 pm | Permalink
    Any Prots want to say whether a Catholic should admit be dogmatic about simple things like a real Adam? I’d be glad to hear the opinion.

    Good. I can go now. Good luck with that. You two have a nice chat talking about me behind my back. But do check the difference between doctrine and dogma, Michael. No use dying on a hill that’s not worth it.

    Like

  262. I have found Tom to be reliable in what he reports. I do check everything. See, the Cathilic Church is not a matter of private interpretation. She does allow certain latitude on some doctrines.

    Now if we talk Trinity or Incarnation or the canon of Scripture or the Virgin Birth or the Niceness Creed or the Real Presence, etc. that’s a different matter.

    If she gives latitude in this area, we are wrong to be dogmatic.

    Like

  263. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 10:26 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, and in Roman Catholic Ireland B, A and I could get married.

    Do you have a point, Dr. Hart? You can save the plane fare and get married in the Presbyterian Church, USA [membership 1.8 million, more or less, less lately]!

    D. G. Hart
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 10:27 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid, “I had no idea . . .”

    Hey now.

    Dr. Darryl G. Hart, Ph.D, reduced to monosyllables by a nice Catholic lady. Calvinism: A History.

    Like

  264. You can save the plane fare and get married in the Presbyterian Church, USA

    Not sure Michigan allows this. Certainly not every state in the union.

    #TVDFailsAgain

    Like

  265. D. G. Hart
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 10:27 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid, “I had no idea . . .”

    Hey now.

    Dr. Darryl G. Hart, Ph.D, reduced to monosyllables by a nice Catholic lady. Calvinism: A History.

    D. G. Hart
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 10:42 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, but they are Larry Sanders monosyllables.

    Dr. Darryl G. Hart, Ph.D, reduced to monosyllables he learned on TV by a nice Catholic lady. Calvinism: A History.

    Like

  266. http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2015/05/28/liverpool-to-see-biggest-marian-procession-in-decades/

    The biggest Marian procession for decades will take place in Liverpool on Saturday.

    Archbishop Malcolm McMahon of Liverpool and Sisters from the Missionaries of Charity, the congregation founded by Mother Teresa, will lead children who have made their First Holy Communion on a procession from St Peter’s Square to Queen’s Square.

    The procession will stop several times to sing a hymn and say the rosary. The statue will be placed on the ground, and the children, in their First Communion dresses and suits, will scatter rose petals around it.

    At the end a benediction will be said, and Archbishop McMahon will give each child a remembrance card and a set of rosary beads.

    Such processions were common in the past, organiser Jim Ross told the Catholic Herald, but they died out in the 1960s and 1970s. When it was revived five years ago, about 50 people took part; last year there were 200, and many more are expected this year.

    “It’s what we used to do as children, honouring Our Lady in May. It gives something to the children for their memory,” said Mr Ross, a semi-retired builder.
    ————–

    Where is Christ?

    Like

  267. Tom,

    If you read the Pope’s twitter posts, there’s a lot of antagonism against him. and Christianity in general.

    The fact that you play the role of antagonist in DGH’s comment box just means that DGH is influential and popular, that you feel the need to try to denigrate him to people who don’t already know better.

    I don’t know why you feel the need to tear him down, other than you feel there’s something to what DGH has to say, even if you know not what. Again, I hope you find your peace, I fear this commenting is not healthy for you, and there’s really not much we can do to help you. I hope you are going to church, is all.

    Who’s next?

    Like

  268. @mwf how do you square the “latitude on some doctrines” with the requirement to submit ones intellect and will to the teaching (not infallible ) of ones bishop. I understand this isn’t “full assent of faith” as in ex cathedra pronouncements or results from councils. If there is latitude doesn’t that suggest it isn’t a doctrine? Or am I mistaken? I was under the impression the historicity of adam was doctrine. I don’t think Augustine discounted that in his commentary on Genesis. I don’t see evolution, a natualistic account of life, or pre-human hominids problematic myself (I am an astrobiologist afterall), but I do have trouble with Adam…the historicity of the fall and entrance of human death seems pretty important to western Christianity and the NT witness.

    Like

  269. sdb, one of my favorite comments from you, i’ll never forget (just like “cargo cult science”):

    sdb
    Posted January 21, 2015 at 3:56 pm | Permalink
    The DI says that like it is a criticism. It sounds like a cool opportunity to me. Here are a few others…

    But if it turns out we never solve the pre-biotic/biology boundary, what should we conclude?

    Oh, and anyone else, reading along, go to that link, and read the convo.

    We’ve discussed everything out here at this blog one time or another, just like Bryan Cross of CtC, we need only keep a record of when and where, and link when the topic comes up again for new comers. Im trying to systematize how they have done,in other words, not that DGH needs help in his endeavor.

    Like

  270. Andrew
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 12:37 pm | Permalink
    Terry, if you are lurking, here’s some astrobiology news from NASA:

    NASA: We’ll find alien life in 10 to 20 years

    Are we alone in the universe? Top NASA scientists say the answer is almost certainly “no.”

    “I believe we are going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth in the next decade and definitive evidence in the next 10 to 20 years,” Ellen Stofan, chief scientist for NASA, said at a public panel Tuesday in Washington.

    “We know where to look, we know how to look, and in most cases we have the technology,” she said.

    Jeffery Newmark, interim director of heliophysics at the agency put it this way: “It’s definitely not an if, it’s a when.”

    However, if visions of alien invasions are dancing in your head, you can let those go.

    “We are not talking about little green men,” Stofan said. “We are talking about little microbes.”

    Over the course of an hourlong presentation, NASA leaders described a flurry of recent discoveries that suggest we are closer than ever to figuring out where we might find life in the solar system and beyond.

    Like

  271. Muddy Gravel, you may not know this, but the Rosary is all about Christ. Yes, I understand that it is like a holy obligation in the Protestant religion, especially in its confessional forms to mock Mary and the devotional traditions related to her,but I will take a risk, here. I am sure you guys will not disappoint. I’d put the smiley face, but you guys even have something against that! No matter, Protestants protest, so protest away.

    See, I look at a group like this and ask “Where is Christ?”, so I understand your question. I am glad to provide some answers about the faith and practice of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, MuddyGravel.

    The Sign of the Cross is made first. You probably do not know the meaning behind that sign, but it is a way to preach the Gospel. The Father sent the Son all the way down to death on the cross and the Holy Spirit unites us in that sacrifice with one another and the Holy Trinity.

    Online you can find the prayers associated with the Rosary, and the Christian virtues that those who pray are supposed to ask God for. Scripture is also read for each mystery. Praying the Rosary is not an obligation for Catholics. It is a kind of devotional.

    I am glad to see that there is a bit of a of revival of Catholic practice, including this procession, in England.

    Mysteries of the Rosary
    The Church has used three sets of mysteries for many centuries. In 2002 Pope John Paul II proposed a fourth set of mysteries—the Mysteries of Light, or Luminous Mysteries. According to his suggestion, the four sets of mysteries might be prayed on the following days: the Joyful Mysteries on Monday and Saturday, the Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesday and Friday, the Glorious Mysteries on Wednesday and Sunday, and the Luminous Mysteries on Thursday.

    The Joyful Mysteries
    The Annunciation
    Mary learns that she has been chosen to be the mother of Jesus.
    The Visitation
    Mary visits Elizabeth, who tells her that she will always be remembered.
    The Nativity
    Jesus is born in a stable in Bethlehem.
    The Presentation
    Mary and Joseph take the infant Jesus to the Temple to present him to God.
    The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
    Jesus is found in the Temple discussing his faith with the teachers.

    The Mysteries of Light
    The Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan
    God proclaims that Jesus is his beloved Son.
    The Wedding Feast at Cana
    At Mary’s request, Jesus performs his first miracle.
    The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
    Jesus calls all to conversion and service to the Kingdom.
    The Transfiguration of Jesus
    Jesus is revealed in glory to Peter, James, and John.
    The Institution of the Eucharist
    Jesus offers his Body and Blood at the Last Supper.

    The Sorrowful Mysteries
    The Agony in the Garden
    Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before he dies.
    The Scourging at the Pillar
    Jesus is lashed with whips.
    The Crowning With Thorns
    Jesus is mocked and crowned with thorns.
    The Carrying of the Cross
    Jesus carries the cross that will be used to crucify him.
    The Crucifixion
    Jesus is nailed to the cross and dies.

    The Glorious Mysteries
    The Resurrection
    God the Father raises Jesus from the dead.
    The Ascension
    Jesus returns to his Father in heaven.
    The Coming of the Holy Spirit
    The Holy Spirit comes to bring new life to the disciples.
    The Assumption of Mary
    At the end of her life on earth, Mary is taken body and soul into heaven.
    The Coronation of Mary
    Mary is crowned as Queen of Heaven and Earth.

    Like

  272. Tom is reeling back to his corner after another round of uppercuts and haymakers by AB.

    Will he quit on his stool?

    Like

  273. Thanks kent.

    I uploaded a new avatar, should appear soon. I hope it brighten’s dgh’s day.

    Off to golf at 1pm, yo.

    Like

  274. Webbster, adding the rosary and an hand signal is not adding Christ to the Mary celebration, it’s adding superstition and ritual to the Mary celebration. Get real: do you think the abiding memory of those children will be Jesus? In the big picture, my problem with RCC is not that Jesus is entirely absent – it’s that he gets lost in the crowd.

    Like

  275. BTW, MuddyGravel, I don’t blame you or even resent you for posting the article. Not long ago I would have agreed with you. Besides, you do not need to agree with this tradition or with praying the Rosary.

    Your concerns are legitimate, but not really informed. Christ should not get lost or buried in our traditions. They should be a help towards greater devotion to God and more consistent Christian practice in our lives. If not, then the focus is wrong or the tradition is wrong.

    What concerns me a bit is that Protestants don’t always see the dangers of their own traditions. So, we are here to point one another towards a greater devotion to God Himself. Even your honored 5 solas can cloud the face of Christ and the glory of the Holy Trinity.

    BTW, I am sure that MichaelTX is a wonderful Christian Catholic guy, but what he was saying yesterday about the Church’s views on the first chapters of Genesis is his own, not the Church’s. The Church has supported a form of Theistic Evolution for a long time, now.

    Even so, she has not taken a dogmatic stand, contrary to what Micahel was alleging here yesterday. Again, the truth about it is easy to find. It’s not like the Church and her beliefs are hidden in some dark corner.

    Y’all have a wonderful day, brothers. May Christ be exalted and glorified in all we do and say today!

    Like

  276. Mermaid, “BTW, I am sure that MichaelTX is a wonderful Christian Catholic guy, but what he was saying yesterday about the Church’s views on the first chapters of Genesis is his own, not the Church’s. The Church has supported a form of Theistic Evolution for a long time, now.”

    All that papal authority, so little agreement.

    Like

  277. Sdb, you are quite correct. A historic Adam is a required belief in the Catholic faith. I appreciate the comment above from Mrs Webfoot and have appreciated TVDs comments before and we have emailed a bit. He need not fear me talking badly behind his back. There is latitude in Catholic belief on many subjects one of which is the age of the earth, but whether there was a historic Individual couple Adam and Eve and an actual temptation and fall into sin(probably alligorical in Scripture) is not one of them.

    Like

  278. Hart, I really understand your point. “…if you want to be a Modernist…” Someday the harvest will occur and the weeds will get burned and the wheat will go happily into the barn. Until that day I will keep growing the the Masters field.

    Like

  279. MWF: “ to mock Mary and the devotional traditions related to her”

    I don’t think there has been mocking here has there? I think the statements here have been 1) Mary was not sinless; 2) Mary is not to be idolized nor worshipped (nor prayed to) 3) Christ is the only One we proclaim

    as you say: “Christ should not get lost or buried in our traditions.”

    Like

  280. @AB I think the odds of finding life via remote sensing of other planets is unlikely to be accomplished in the next decade. I do think it will happen eventually though. First we need to get TPF funded. I suspect a more likely place to go to look for life is Europa. It will be very interesting to learn how life there compares to what we have here (assuming there is any). I suspect there are thermophiles below the surface, but if there aren’t it will significantly contain pathways for the origin of life.

    Detection of intelligent (communicable) life outside of Earth I put very close to 0. I find Fermi’s paradox dispositive. We have the technology to completely colonize the galaxy robotically (with craft flying at the speed of voyager with nano-robots programed to build new craft and relaunch to two planet bearing stars, etc… would be capable of colonizing the entire galaxy in just a few million years. Obviously that hasn’t happened. About 3000 generations of intelligent life among about 1E11 stars in a galaxy have given no indication of technology. This strongly suggests we are it – whether the great filter is behind us and we just got lucky to get through it or is a head of us and we are all doomed is an open question. It could be the great filter is behind us and is the Imago Dei, and we are the only ones. Fermi’s paradox isn’t proof, but it is strongly suggestive.

    Like

  281. I’ll post this to twitter.

    Its fun.
    Thanks SDB. If my name we Sandrew, we’d have the same initials. Just sayin’

    Like

  282. Christ should not get lost or buried in our traditions. They should be a help towards greater devotion to God and more consistent Christian practice in our lives. If not, then the focus is wrong or the tradition is wrong.

    Now THAT is something protestants can agree with.

    Like

  283. Pope Francis 2014 “I have therefore decided to reflect with you, this year, precisely on the family, on this great gift that the Lord has made to the world from the very beginning, when he entrusted Adam and Eve with the mission to multiply and fill the earth (cf. Gen 1:28); that gift that Jesus confirmed and sealed in his Gospel.” Sounds like a historic link to the past from our current reality of family life.

    Synod on the Family 2014
    “In the beginning, there is the original family, when God the Creator instituted the first marriage between Adam and Eve as the solid foundation of the family. God not only created human beings male and female (Gen 1:27), but he also blessed them so they might be fruitful and multiply ”

    World Day of Peace 2015 “In the Book of Genesis (cf. 1:27-28), we read that God made man male and female, and blessed them so that they could increase and multiply. He made Adam and Eve parents who, in response to God’s command to be fruitful and multiply, brought about the first fraternity, that of Cain and Abel. Cain and Abel were brothers because they came forth from the same womb. Consequently they had the same origin, nature and dignity as their parents, who were created in the image and likeness of God.”

    Pope Francis to German altar servers “Our ancestors, Adam and Eve, moving away from the divine will fell into sin, that is, into the misuse of freedom.”

    I could continue but it is clear where these phrases put the idea of a historic Adam and Eve who are our actual parents who fell into sin “in the beginning”.

    I am sorry Mrs Webfoot and TVD, you both need to read more Church teachings on this matter if you wish to say there were no historical individual Adam and Eve who fell into sin in the beginning. ask any near any Catholic apologist on this. They may vary on how long ago this may have been, but that it was the actual history case of our belief and history is quite agreed on and attested to by Church teaching.

    Like

  284. Muddy Gravel:
    Webbster, adding the rosary and an hand signal is not adding Christ to the Mary celebration, it’s adding superstition and ritual to the Mary celebration. Get real: do you think the abiding memory of those children will be Jesus? In the big picture, my problem with RCC is not that Jesus is entirely absent – it’s that he gets lost in the crowd.>>>>

    Well, Muddy Gravel, Jesus is Really Present. However, I do note that you, a Reformed Christian is concerned about the salvation of children who are not part of a covenant family. Well, I assume you are Reformed and I assumed that you hold to covenant theology. I commend you for that.

    In general, I have not seen your religion reaching out to lost children.

    Yes, superstitious religion is a problem of the human heart, and you are also human. No, the hand signal and the Rosary do not add to Christ, they show Christ and teach us who Christ is and what God requires of us.

    Do you not teach your children to fold their hands and bow their heads in prayer? That is, if you have children. Can they not pray with eyes wide open, looking all around them? What purpose do the hand and head motions serve, then, since God is everywhere?

    Like

  285. Michael, our stance is that VatII modernized your denomination.

    The OPC rejected modernism by becoming the spiritual successor of presbyterianism in America by pulling out of the PC(USA) in 1936.

    That’s all Darryl meant, playful jab mostly. Our church is better than your church kind of thing, ya feel me?

    Peace.

    Like

  286. “In general, I have not seen your religion reaching out to lost children.”

    Alas, we lose many on account of what we don’t or can’t do. You lose many on account of what you do.

    “Do you not teach your children to fold their hands and bow their heads in prayer? That is, if you have children. Can they not pray with eyes wide open, looking all around them? What purpose do the hand and head motions serve, then, since God is everywhere?”

    Whatever such practical advice we give, it is intended to eliminate clutter between the one praying and God. Your practices *are* clutter between the one praying and God.

    Like

  287. Michael, a big demand for irony and the willingness to enter jousts with self-deprecating humour is essential to get the balance right on here.

    But it is fun to spark up the Jiffy Pop and sit back and watch people act like its Thunderdome once in awhile….

    Like

  288. AB, I took it as a playful jab and jabbed a parable back. All is fare in love and war.

    BTW, here is that blasted new modernist Catholics Church’s catechism statement on this topic. “The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents” (CCC 390).

    I do hope the quote will settle this.

    Like

  289. @MWF You wrote that, “In general, I have not seen your religion reaching out to lost children.” That’s too bad. Here are a few examples of reformed presbyterian churches (PCA) involved with Operation Christmas. Here is a PCA church involved with Child Evangelism Fellowship.
    So now you have seen our religion reaching out to lost children.

    Like

  290. MichaelTX:
    I am sorry Mrs Webfoot and TVD, you both need to read more Church teachings on this matter if you wish to say there were no historical individual Adam and Eve who fell into sin in the beginning. ask any near any Catholic apologist on this. They may vary on how long ago this may have been, but that it was the actual history case of our belief and history is quite agreed on and attested to by Church teaching.>>>>

    Well, MichaelTX, I do believe that both Adam and Eve were historical persons. No, I do not nor ever have said that Adam and Eve were not real individuals. I see what you mean. I understood you to be promoting a kind of fundamentalist creationist view and calling it the Church’s absolute teaching.

    Thank you for clarifying your position. I see that you are not trying to force your own, private interpretation on Catholics, pretending that it is the one, true, view of the Church. You are trying to communicate Church teaching.

    Please look at the link I provided and you will see what I was arguing.

    You and Tom can discuss whatever point of disagreement you may have. If you are here to side with the anti-Catholics who hold to the traditions of Boettnerism, then maybe you need to take a look at your own motives for being here.

    Like

  291. Kent, hope all has been good. Glad you are enjoying the show. I did not intend on being hog wild but I keep getting a push back from my own brothers and sisters and Mommy always said solve your problems with words and I you can’t come talk to me or daddy. Daddy Scripture sakes clear enough to me but maybe momma Church will clear their mind.

    TVD and Webfoot, my intent is to be a charitable correction. Please don’t bash people who believe not only what the Church teaches but also what she allows to be believed.

    Like

  292. Michael, you are doing awesome out here. I wish I could talk with you more or give you a call, I have to attend to my day job.

    Grace and peace.

    Like

  293. Mrs Webfoot, thank you for your words. I was defending a fellow human being who was being belittle for holding a view allowed by the Holy Church of Christ from an attack by TVD and you jumped on me too. I thank you for your correction. I will continue to defend the freedom the Church allows from anyone, Reformed or Catholic.

    Thank you again. God bless. I am glad we are at the Euchristic table together.
    Michael

    Like

  294. BTW Mrs Webfoot, I do lean more towards acknowledging a “fundamentalist” understanding of the Genesis account and time table lain out in the genealogies, but I am not in a definitive position on the matter. But not is the Church so I am still in the study period on this matter. Currently I am reading this book on the topic if any one is interested. Used ones are pretty cheap. Couple cents plus shipping. http://www.amazon.com/Creation-Rediscovered-Evolution-Importance-Origins/dp/0895556073

    Like

  295. Thank, MTX. Again, I did not mean to bash you. In fact, I have nothing against AB, except that he needs to tone it down on his obsession with Tom. That gets kinda’ outta’ control. Tom is a sweetheart.

    I had a great conversation with some of the guys here on Marilogy. Of course, that interests me more than it does the guys, so I appreciate their taking the time to let me bounce ideas off them. Jeff and I tabled it while we look for quotes from the early Reformers about both the Immaculate Conception and the perpetual virginity of Mary. Luther was downright Catholic his whole life on that, it seems, and even Calvin was more Catholic than most Protestants are in our day. Even some Protestants now, especially in the Lutheran churches, still hold to those dogmas, but for them they are doctrines. What does it matter? It’s interesting history.

    The Church did not divide over Mariology. I guess that’s the interesting historical point.

    I’m not real interested in most of what’s discussed here. I do wish the guys would at least try to understand the Catholic teachings, even if they do not agree. I was more on the Reformed side of Protestantism, and there are still some Reformed teachers that I love. To my delight, I recently found out that 2 of my favorites, Jonathan Edwards and R.C. Sproul were or are both Thomists of sorts. R.C gives him high praise, even. Sproul thinks that Thomas really supported the Reformed view of justification by faith, and I can see his point somewhat. Reformed teaching substitutes progressive sanctification where Thomas had progressive justification. I think that Thomas was consistent in the way that the word is used in Scripture, and Trent followed him on that. Anyway, I love Thomas Aquinas and am glad to see that he was influencing me even before I knew much about him. So, what I think or don’t think is just that – what I think or don’t think – and D.G. Hart is likely to pick up on the “don’t think” part. Hi, DGH. 🙂

    Anyway, the more I look at this, the more I come to believe that the split was not necessary. Jesus really meant it when He said He died to make us one like He and His Father are one. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all. One body of Christ. One Nicene Creed – One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. So, if I believed that, I needed to go Home. I am so happy!

    …and all y’all here are part of her whether you like it or not. 🙂 That is, those who believe in Christ and are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. That’s why Protestants can enter full communion. They are already partially in communion with their Mother who loves them, even thought they are separated brethren.

    Anyway, I hear ya’ on the Genesis stuff. Shhh. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m probably more on the fundy side myself. However, many Reformed people accept the idea of an old earth and some kind of evolutionary model, so I had already accepted the idea that there is more going on. I have been a fan of the ID movement for awhile, now, but I guess there are problems with that as well as far as Catholic theology goes.

    I don’t feel a need to nail it down, though, but I am working on understanding Thomism. I was and still am caught in wonder at the first way. Maybe I’ll get to the other 4, but the 1st is breathtaking. I read a few parts of the Summa and I knew I was in the presence of a Saint.

    Anyway, nice visiting with you. Again, not my intention to bash anyone. Not at all, or anyone’s sincerely held religious beliefs. Good to be reminded of that from time to time. Thanks, brother.

    BTW, I am a Texas A&M Aggie mom. Gotta’ tone down the “Gig em’!” 😉 Don’t tell me you’re a Longhorn!

    Like

  296. Mrs Webfoot,
    I don’t hold a bull in the Aggie Horns fight. I appreciate both schools. Got folks living in both towns and both city have a strong Catholic presence. Though Bryan is supposedly stamping out the priests here in Texas. I like that. We need more Texas priests around the world.
    I dig St Thomas too. I fall in the Dominican camp regarding the ever so slightly held differences in Catholic though on freewill and predestination stuff. There is a difference in Calvin and Thomas, but I think more Calvinist should read more Thomas to get a clearer picture of Catholic thought. Just my thoughts and recommendations though.
    Pax Christi,
    Michael

    Like

  297. In fact, I have nothing against AB, except that he needs to tone it down on his obsession with Tom. That gets kinda’ outta’ control. Tom is a sweetheart.

    10-4

    Like

  298. MichaelTX, thanks.

    See, Tom is the one who posts things about Thomism. I have followed him on Twitter and on his American Creation blog. Very fascinating stuff. So, I had assumed that all Thomists are Catholic, but now I see that even some Reformed people are, as far as they way they reason and present truth, could also be classified Thomists. So, I had assumed that Tom is Catholic, but Thomism covers a lot of territory.

    I think that Thomas should not be feared by Protestants.

    AB, I see that hand. Love to you and yours, all y’all.

    Like

  299. kent
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 10:02 am | Permalink
    Tom is reeling back to his corner after another round of uppercuts and haymakers by AB.

    Will he quit on his stool?

    Um, no. I was sleeping and working. Nor is Andrew even in the ring, unless you count holding Darryl’s spitbucket. ;-P
    _____________________

    MichaelTX

    I am sorry Mrs Webfoot and TVD, you both need to read more Church teachings on this matter if you wish to say there were no historical individual Adam and Eve who fell into sin in the beginning. ask any near any Catholic apologist on this. They may vary on how long ago this may have been, but that it was the actual history case of our belief and history is quite agreed on and attested to by Church teaching.

    I’m not sure you’re recognizing the distinction in Catholicism between doctrine and dogma. Only the latter is non-negotiable, and the list is not all that long.

    Like

  300. “the distinction in Catholicism between doctrine and dogma. Only the latter is non-negotiable, and the list is not all that long.”

    Exactly what the Irish say.

    Like

  301. TVD, I am quite aware there is a difference between doctrine and De fide dogma. I also realize I can be incorrect. Professional theologians can be to, but here is one that is quite respected.

    Dogmas and teachings on Creation and the Fall from Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludwig Ott (TAN Books, 1974), pages 79-122 on “The Divine Act of Creation” and “The Divine Work of Creation” :

    God was moved by His Goodness to create the world. (De Fide)
    The world was created for the Glorification of God. (De Fide)
    The Three Divine Persons are one single, common Principle of the Creation. (De Fide)
    God created the world free from exterior compulsion and inner necessity. (De Fide)
    God has created a good world. (De Fide)
    The world had a beginning in time. (De Fide)
    God alone created the world. (De Fide)
    God keeps all created things in existence. (De Fide)
    God, through His Providence, protects and guides all that He has created. (De Fide)
    The first man was created by God. (De Fide)
    Man consists of two essential parts — a material body and a spiritual soul. (De Fide)
    Every human being possesses an individual soul. (De Fide)
    Our first parents, before the Fall, were endowed with sanctifying grace. (De Fide)
    The donum immortalitatis, i.e. the divine gift of bodily immortality of our first parents. (De Fide)
    Our first parents in paradise sinned grievously through transgression of the Divine probationary commandment. (De Fide)
    Through the original sin our first parents lost sanctifying grace and provoked the anger and the indignation of God. (De Fide)
    Our first parents became subject to death and to the dominion of the Devil. (De Fide)

    Please observe those last four.
    Thanks,
    Michael

    Like

  302. Michael,

    If Tom agrees with you he’s going to have to apologize to Darryl and the OPC for chiding them over how they handled Terry Gray.

    In other words, don’t hold your breath.

    Like

  303. Erik, I’m unfimiliar with the details of the Terry Gray ordeal, so I don’t know that I can comment or assume what TVD might need to do. But he should acknowledge that it is de fide dogma that Catholics are to believe in a historic parentage to the entire human race that was previously immortal until the fall into sin.

    Like

  304. Erik Charter
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 4:05 pm | Permalink
    Michael,

    If Tom agrees with you he’s going to have to apologize to Darryl and the OPC for chiding them over how they handled Terry Gray.

    In other words, don’t hold your breath.

    And now you owe me an apology, smart guy, for sliming me in advance. What’s with you people? Can’t you just discuss ideas?
    ____________________________

    MichaelTX
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Permalink
    TVD, I am quite aware there is a difference between doctrine and De fide dogma. I also realize I can be incorrect. Professional theologians can be to, but here is one that is quite respected.

    Dogmas and teachings on Creation and the Fall from Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludwig Ott (TAN Books, 1974), pages 79-122 on “The Divine Act of Creation” and “The Divine Work of Creation” :

    Thanks,
    Michael

    Thx, but I don’t think you’re trolling the internet deep enough. You need to look to disprove your argument instead of just find “proof” for it if you’re honestly seeking the truth.

    Recently, on a Q & A Forum, Fr. Joe Horn, O.Praem.[2] requested of an enquirer the source of a particular statement; the reply was from Fundamentals Of Catholic Dogma, by Dr. Ludwig Ott. As the particular matter appeared to be questionable, Fr. Horn’s response was: “Good book. But it’s not an official document of the Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, on the other hand, is an official document. It is my duty in this forum (and as a priest) to clarify the official doctrines of the Church, not the opinions of Father X, Theologian Y, or Book Z.”

    The wisdom of such a statement may be supported by the following article, which was written in 1960:

    Etc.

    http://jloughnan.tripod.com/critott.htm

    Now if you go to the Catechism

    375 The Church, interpreting the symbolism of biblical language in an authentic way, in the light of the New Testament and Tradition, teaches that our first parents, Adam and Eve, were constituted in an original “state of holiness and justice”. This grace of original holiness was “to share in. . .divine life”

    Does this demand a literal belief in a literal guy named Adam? The use of “symbolism of Biblical language” here suggests otherwise.

    Like

  305. Tom,

    If you can convince Michael that his Church (and yours?) is theologically liberal, you’re off the hook.

    The liberals that Machen battled also wanted to wiggle their way out of having to deal with a literal Adam and Eve.

    Like

  306. Erik Charter
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 4:32 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    If you can convince Michael that his Church (and yours?) is theologically liberal, you’re off the hook.

    The liberals that Machen battled also wanted to wiggle their way out of having to deal with a literal Adam and Eve.

    Interesting can of worms.

    Accommodation, Fundamentalists argued, came with too high a price. As J. Gresham Mechan, a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, wrote in Christianity and Liberalism (1923):

    . . . the liberal attempt at reconciling Christianity with modern science has really relinquished everything distinctive of Christianity, so that what remains is in essentials only that same indefinite type of religious aspiration which was in the world before Christianity came upon the scene.

    In trying to remove from Christianity everything that could possibly be objected to in the name of science, in trying to bribe off the enemy by those concessions which the enemy most desires, the apologist has really abandoned what he started out to defend.

    To which I would note that a slavish literalism and insistence on scientific absurdity serves only to bring the Gospel into disrepute. I’m not the first to think this.

    In matters that are so obscure and far beyond our vision, we find in Holy Scripture passages which can be interpreted in very different ways without prejudice to the faith we have received. In such cases, we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in the search of truth justly undermines this position, we too fall with it. That would be to battle not for the teaching of Holy Scripture but for our own, wishing its teaching to conform to ours, whereas we ought to wish ours to conform to that of Sacred Scripture.

    Augustine, of course.

    Your can of worms is completely interesting: Machen, Mencken, Adam & Eve, the Scopes Monkey Trial. It’s all here.

    http://www1.assumption.edu/ahc/scopes/

    Like

  307. Tom,

    You run into some serious soteriological problems without a literal Adam. If Christ is the second Adam and Adam was just made up, where does that leave Christ? Similarly, what becomes of the doctrine of original sin?

    What did Aquinas say?

    Like

  308. TVD,
    You will have to explain how we can have non-literal “constituted” “first parents” without completely making void the meaning of words from the CCC. “…New Testament and Tradition, teaches that our first parents, Adam and Eve, were constituted…”
    You are actual wrong in seeking truth. I don’t have to doubt and try and prove it wrong to believe it. The “serpent” in the garden attempted the same argument. “Did God really say?” Sorrow no bits here TVD. Don’t make us enemies because you will not hear the simple teaching of the Church. It is easy to hear and be believed without doubt. The Biblical witness is clear… the Tradition of the Fathers is clear… the Magisterium is clear. Christ’s Church has been clear enough for any Catholic to assent. NonCatholics are free to do anything they wish, but not the Catholic. I have presented enough quotes to be believed.

    Like

  309. Tom learning that Catholicism, while useful as a club against Reformed Protestants, may not be as appealing when he’s faced with the task of dealing with actual Roman Catholics:

    Like

  310. Tom,

    Obviously no one’s explained to you that, if you’re going to be a Roman Catholic, you’re going to have to believe a lot of stuff that, if explained to the average 21st century American man-on-the-street, is going to sound like a lot of freaky sounding s**t.

    Welcome to Christian theism with a ton of other baggage added on.

    Like

  311. MichaelTX
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 5:14 pm | Permalink
    TVD,
    You will have to explain how we can have non-literal “constituted” “first parents” without completely making void the meaning of words from the CCC. “…New Testament and Tradition, teaches that our first parents, Adam and Eve, were constituted…”
    You are actual wrong in seeking truth. I don’t have to doubt and try and prove it wrong to believe it. The “serpent” in the garden attempted the same argument. “Did God really say?” Sorrow no bits here TVD. Don’t make us enemies because you will not hear the simple teaching of the Church. It is easy to hear and be believed without doubt. The Biblical witness is clear… the Tradition of the Fathers is clear… the Magisterium is clear. Christ’s Church has been clear enough for any Catholic to assent. NonCatholics are free to do anything they wish, but not the Catholic. I have presented enough quotes to be believed.

    You haven’t satisfied me–or even yourself–that a literal Adam and Eve is a non-negotiable dogma in Catholicism, perhaps because it’s not. I don’t see why you need me as an interlocutor for this: You can do it all on your own.

    Erik Charter
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 5:09 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    You run into some serious soteriological problems without a literal Adam. If Christ is the second Adam and Adam was just made up, where does that leave Christ? Similarly, what becomes of the doctrine of original sin?

    What did Aquinas say?

    Ed Feser is my go-to guy on Aquinas. Frankly, I haven’t researched the topic, and frankly my interest in it is not that deep. I would read a discussion between, say, you and Michael with great interest, although I suppose you’re both locked into roughly the same [literalist] position. Still, I trust y’d both benefit reading Feser on the subject [and I will too]. He addresses Pope Pius XII’s Humani Generis.

    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/09/modern-biology-and-original-sin-part-i.html

    Basically, he reasonably gets to where I went, “ensoulment.” In that respect, there can be a pair of “first parents” without getting into scientific absurdity.

    I find the Mencken/Machen/Scopes nexus more interesting, meself, but thx for asking.

    Like

  312. Tom,

    You’re going to have a hard time watching me and Michael when he is taking you to task, not me.

    Show some respect for your Catholic brother. Learn from your betters.

    Like

  313. Yeah Erik, there was a bit of key fumbling in there. This: “Sorrow no bits here TVD” was suppose to be this: “Sorry no bites here TVD” as in go tempt someone else to ignore or seek to disprove clear teaching.

    Like

  314. Erik Charter
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 5:42 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    You’re going to have a hard time watching me and Michael when he is taking you to task, not me.

    Show some respect for your Catholic brother. Learn from your betters.

    MichaelTX
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Permalink
    Yeah Erik, there was a bit of key fumbling in there. This: “Sorrow no bits here TVD” was suppose to be this: “Sorry no bites here TVD” as in go tempt someone else to ignore or seek to disprove clear teaching.

    Have a good time, you two.

    But your source was crap, Michael, and you do owe me an apology, Erik. This tactic of shooting your mouths off and going on to the next bleat after you get busted is tiresome and dishonest. There’s no end with you.

    TVD
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 4:20 pm | Permalink
    Erik Charter
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 4:05 pm | Permalink
    Michael,

    If Tom agrees with you he’s going to have to apologize to Darryl and the OPC for chiding them over how they handled Terry Gray.

    In other words, don’t hold your breath.

    And now you owe me an apology, smart guy, for sliming me in advance. What’s with you people? Can’t you just discuss ideas?
    ____________________________

    MichaelTX
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Permalink
    TVD, I am quite aware there is a difference between doctrine and De fide dogma. I also realize I can be incorrect. Professional theologians can be to, but here is one that is quite respected.

    Dogmas and teachings on Creation and the Fall from Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludwig Ott (TAN Books, 1974), pages 79-122 on “The Divine Act of Creation” and “The Divine Work of Creation” :

    Thanks,
    Michael

    Thx, but I don’t think you’re trolling the internet deep enough. You need to look to disprove your argument instead of just find “proof” for it if you’re honestly seeking the truth.

    Recently, on a Q & A Forum, Fr. Joe Horn, O.Praem.[2] requested of an enquirer the source of a particular statement; the reply was from Fundamentals Of Catholic Dogma, by Dr. Ludwig Ott. As the particular matter appeared to be questionable, Fr. Horn’s response was: “Good book. But it’s not an official document of the Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, on the other hand, is an official document. It is my duty in this forum (and as a priest) to clarify the official doctrines of the Church, not the opinions of Father X, Theologian Y, or Book Z.”

    The wisdom of such a statement may be supported by the following article, which was written in 1960:

    Etc.

    http://jloughnan.tripod.com/critott.htm

    Now if you go to the Catechism

    375 The Church, interpreting the symbolism of biblical language in an authentic way, in the light of the New Testament and Tradition, teaches that our first parents, Adam and Eve, were constituted in an original “state of holiness and justice”. This grace of original holiness was “to share in. . .divine life”

    Does this demand a literal belief in a literal guy named Adam? The use of “symbolism of Biblical language” here suggests otherwise.

    Like

  315. TVD,
    I don’t think it is a matter of my sources. You clearly have a predetermined reason for not allowing the possibility of a physical father in your line of descendants that goes to the beginning which was complete human one day and before that he was not and this was a father whom sinned against God and original sin to us all.

    Like

  316. MichaelTX
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 6:05 pm | Permalink
    TVD,
    I don’t think it is a matter of my sources. You clearly have a predetermined reason for not allowing the possibility of a physical father in your line of descendants that goes to the beginning which was complete human one day and before that he was not and this was a father whom sinned against God and original sin to us all.

    Actually the Feser article I linked–and you apparently didn’t read–gives an elegant reconciliation of a Biblical Adam and biological reality. I have no “predetermined” anything, and I get enough ad homs from the Calvinists around here, so please, mercy. Here’s Part II so you can not read that as well. ;-P That faith is opposed to science and logic is what I do strenuously reject.

    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/09/modern-biology-and-original-sin-part-ii.html

    [Feser speaks of Catholicism here, but not all Thomists need be Catholic.]

    Faith in the religious context — or at least in the Catholic theological context — is like that. To cite a representative definition, “faith is adhesion of the intellect, under the influence of grace, to a truth revealed by God, not on account of its intrinsic evidence but on account of the authority of Him who has revealed it” (Parente, Piolanti, and Garofalo, Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology, p. 101). That is to say, faith involves believing some proposition we could not have discovered on our own and perhaps cannot even fully understand, but which we know must be true because God, who is omniscient and cannot lie, has revealed it. But this faith is grounded in reason insofar as the claim that the proposition in question has in fact been revealed by God is something that can and should be independently rationally justified. In short, reason tells us that there is a God and that he has revealed such-and-such a truth; faith is then a matter of believing what reason has shown God to have revealed. In that sense faith is not only not at odds with reason but is grounded in reason.

    Like

  317. Tom,

    What’s with this “you owe me an apology” crap the last few days? Have you taken up watching The Hallmark Channel or something? Did you get some lilac scented bath salts for your birthday?

    Like

  318. Tom,

    You could converse faster if you would just converse as opposed to having to compile an annotated bibliography with every response. It’s a tic that actually gets in the way of reading you. People who care can follow the conversation and pick up context without you quoting, italicizing, forgetting to italicize, etc. ad nauseam.

    Like

  319. Erik Charter
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 6:25 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    What’s with this “you owe me an apology” crap the last few days? Have you taken up watching The Hallmark Channel or something? Did you get some lilac scented bath salts for your birthday?

    Erik Charter
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 6:28 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    O.K. If we’re talking faith & science, explain transubstantiation to me in scientific terms.

    You are neither serious nor sincere. Nor is this the place. Mt 7:6. And you do owe me an apology.

    Now, I give you the last word. Good day, sir.

    Erik Charter
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink
    Greg,

    Your fundamental mistake is thinking that sincerity and sound logic work here. Have you not noticed that the mean emotional age of the male commenters on this site (including the host) is roughly 14 and the female contributors, with the exception of Lutheran Katy, are channeling some spaced out chick from “Serial”.

    What the site is good for is screwing around and having a few laughs to break up the work day (unless you’re a government employee, in which case you need to stop screwing around cuz I’m paying your salary).

    If you have some kind of serious religious objective this is the last place in the world that you should be pursuing it.

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  320. Tom,
    I will read the article. I did not. I have kids that keep me from just reading everything tossed this way. If you feel it is quite important though I will read it and get back to you.

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  321. Tom,

    How’s certainty working out for you in the last 24?

    Turns out you need an infallible interpreter for your infallible interpretations.

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  322. Tom,

    When you’re serious, I’m willing to be serious, too. You’ve seen that in private conversation. You’re only serious in fits & starts, though.

    I think you have a problem reconciling the church’s stance on transubstantiation with not wanting church dogma to offend science. I want to hear how you get around that.

    You do make some good contributions here. If other Catholics won’t show up to debate, you are to be lauded for doing so. I just don’t think you quite have it all together yet, which is o.k.

    I would take you and Greg into a foxhole with me before several of the reformed dilettantes that hang around here, and I’ve said as much in the past.

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  323. TVD,
    Read article 1… no substantial argument from him against my premises. He just presents speculative theology which is possibly, though borderline in my opinion, within allowable Catholic opinion. I’m not his Bishop or the Church so let them sort that out. Moving on to article 2…

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  324. TVD,
    Finished reading article 2. Enjoyed reading it more than the first, at least he was explaining in a positive manner the doctrine of original sin, but I still do not see why you have suggested it to me being it lacks any positive case against an original parentage for the human family which is clear Catholic teaching.

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  325. MichaelTX
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 8:03 pm | Permalink
    TVD,
    Finished reading article 2. Enjoyed reading it more than the first, at least he was explaining in a positive manner the doctrine of original sin, but I still do not see why you have suggested it to me being it lacks any positive case against an original parentage for the human family which is clear Catholic teaching.

    Sure he did, elegantly. What makes you think I’m fighting? I’m helping you out here. You need not be scientifically absurd to hang on to your fundamentalism. But neither do you have to insist on some actual guy named Adam who never died until he sinned. The “death” can be metaphysical, it need not be physical and hence defy the laws of nature. It’s an unnecessary insistence.

    The origin of man

    What has been said so far is along the lines of the sort of views you’ll find in Scholastic writers of the period of Pope Pius XII’s Humani Generis, and it reflects the pope’s teaching in that encyclical that:

    [T]he 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, the pope goes on to say:

    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.

    This is the passage John highlights as problematic. Perhaps he thinks that what the pope is saying is that enquiry into an evolutionary explanation of human origins is permissible only to the extent that it might confirm, or at least be compatible with, the claim that evolution somehow generated exactly two human beings, one male and one female, from pre-human ancestors. And since such a claim has been falsified (so John’s argument continues), Pius’s concession can be seen to have been too modest. Given that the earliest human population could not have numbered less than 10,000 or so, a much more radical rethinking of human origins is now necessary.

    But in fact no such rethinking is necessary, and Pius XII was making no such claim. Notice that what the pope opens the door to is the possibility in principle of an evolutionary explanation of the human body, specifically, not of human beings full stop. Nor does the pope say that exactly two such bodies will have to have been generated by evolution for an evolutionary explanation to be reconcilable with Catholic doctrine. He also insists that the human soul can only have come from God.

    The implications of all of this should be obvious. There is nothing at all contrary to what Pius says in Humani Generis in the view that 10,000 (or for that matter 10,000,000) creatures genetically and physiologically like us arose via purely evolutionary processes. For such creatures — even if there had been only two of them — would not be “human” in the metaphysical sense in the first place. They would be human in the metaphysical sense (and thus in the theologically relevant sense) only if the matter that made up their bodies were informed by a human soul — that is, by a subsistent form imparting intellectual and volitional powers as well as the lower animal powers that a Planet of the Apes-style “human” would have. And only direct divine action can make that happen, just as (for A-T) direct divine action has to make it happen whenever one of us contemporary human beings comes into existence.

    Supposing, then, that the smallest human-like population of animals evolution could have initially produced numbered around 10,000, we have a scenario that is fully compatible with Catholic doctrine if we suppose that only two of these creatures had human souls infused into them by God at their conception, and that He infused further human souls only into those creatures who were descended from this initial pair. And there is no evidence against this supposition.

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  326. Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 6:50 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    How’s certainty working out for you in the last 24?

    Turns out you need an infallible interpreter for your infallible interpretations.

    I don’t know what you mean, Jeff. I don’t think you’re reading me with care.

    Why do y’all devote so much time to backbiting?

    Like

  327. Tom,

    Transubstantiation is dogma so the church is backed into a corner. They have to deal with science by punting and declaring it a “mystery”, as if that solves anything.

    Meanwhile, Adam & Eve are apparently not dogma so the Church is free to bob & weave and do gymnastics to accommodate evolution.

    Why not just get around evolution by declaring Adam & Eve to be a mystery in light of evolution?

    Does this really all ring true to you?

    Like

  328. TVD,
    Don’t worry about me and my freedom. I am doing just fine. I fear that you consider yourself theologically free where the Church would not have you believe what is taught. But that is for you to discern. Maybe you should ask a priest in the confessional? Just a thought.

    I’ll continue doing what the Pope said in Humani Generis and not ” spurn the teaching office of the Church, which has been instituted by Christ, Our Lord, to preserve and interpret divine revelation. This attitude is not only plainly at variance with Holy Scripture, but is shown to be false by experience also. For often those who disagree with the true Church complain openly of their disagreement in matters of dogma and thus unwillingly bear witness to the necessity of a living Teaching Authority.”

    I will also continue to study this matter as recommended by the Pope as he continues saying that “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.”

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  329. Fesser! This has gotten good.

    I don’t get the backbiting, either. I wonder if it because so many in the Reformed religion have identified an allegorical or non-literal interpretation of the first chapters of Genesis with unbelief and Modernism.

    On the other hand, the Apocalypse is taken figuratively, and they have no problem with that. They understand that there are different genres in the library that is called the Bible. Does taking the last book of the Bible figuratively lead to Modernism? If not, then why should taking the first chapters of the Bible figuratively in a similar way lead to Modernism?

    So, it is a kind of knee-jerk reaction to what they have seen in mainline Protestantism. Modernism leads to apostasy, or Modernism is apostasy. Modernists take the first chapters of Genesis figuratively. Therefore anyone who takes them figuratively must be a Modernist.

    A man like Fesser is anything but a Modernist. C.S. Lewis was not a Modernist, but he did not take the early chapters of Genesis literally. G.K. Chesterton was not a Modernist, but he did not take the early chapters of Genesis literally. Fr. Robert Baron of the Catholicism series fame does not take the early chapters of Genesis literally, and he is not a Modernist.

    All of them hold to or held to a form of theistic evolution, which is indeed compatible with Church teaching.

    It does not add up in the minds of many in the Reformed religion, since they believe that Modernism has gutted their religion.

    Take a closer look, though. Modernism is a problem for all of us, not just Protestants, but Protestants in a way are their own downfall. You can’t be constantly protesting everything and everyone and expect your religion to survive. Eventually, it will collapse in on itself.

    Now, those here on this blog claim that Catholicism is collapsing, but that is a misunderstanding of what the Church actually is. The constant protests make it almost impossible for a Protestant to even be able to articulate what One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, the 4 marks of the Church, even mean.

    Protestants think that their way of dividing constantly is somehow biblical. So, there are many barriers that have been erected over the years. So, the OPC has had to take the sad position that the few of them that are left that have not caved to modernism in their beloved Presbyterian religion are the chosen remnant. Now, that is approaching a cult like mentality. I hate to say that, but think about it.

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  330. I will add one more quote. It is from Vatican II.

    “Although the mystery of death utterly beggars the imagination, the Church has been taught by divine revelation and firmly teaches that man has been created by God for a blissful purpose beyond the reach of earthly misery. In addition, that bodily death from which man would have been immune had he not sinned(14) will be vanquished, according to the Christian faith, when man who was ruined by his own doing is restored to wholeness by an almighty and merciful Saviour.

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  331. @MWF The problem is not the “literalness” of the first two chapters of Genesis (or even the role of allegory in Genesis 3). The question is whether human beings created in the image of God would die had they not sinned. Tom said yes. I say no. The problem doesn’t rest with an allegorical interpretation of Genesis. The problem is with the NT and the hope of the bodily resurrection of whom Christ is the first fruit. To be sure there is mystery here, but the great hope for Christians is that even though we die now as a consequence of the sin we have inherited from Adam, we look forward to a new body that will never perish because it will be free from the curse of sin and death (This is threaded throughout Paul’s eschatological writing and of course in John’s work, but I think the clearest statements are of course Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15). This is at the heart of Christian hope…we will have new bodies that will never die.

    @MTX Here is a reader’s digest version of how we got started on this tangent while talking about Mary: I asked MWF which protestant sects rejected her proper title of “Theotokos” and pointed out most reformed denominations formally adhere to this even if many balk at other aspects of Mariology (I full embrace Mary as the mother of God, but I reject her status as sinless, co-mediatrix/redemptrix, etc…). Part of the barriers I have to accepting a sinless Mary is that if there were a way for Adam’s descendants to be shielded from the curse of original sin apart from Christ’s atoning work, it is rather cruel of the Father not to take away his Son’s cup when the Son pled for that in the garden…I know, not a very original objection, but there you go…anyway somewhere in there I said something about death coming from Adam (no sin, no death) which Tom apparently objects to on the basis of science (is that about right Tom?).

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  332. Looks like standard stuff went on here today while I was golfing. I am going to the A’s / Yankees game tomorrow.

    Since RCatholics are just like Yankee fans, just sayin’

    MichaelTX, if you want to stay and chat for an extended period of time, anytime here, I got your back. You are to me the most level headed and thoughtful Roman Catholic interlocutor here. Congrads. You do Darryl and this blog a great service by your presence, don’t take this as flattery only. Grace and peace.

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  333. Mermaid, so you think all of Rome’s 1.2 billion are solidly saved?

    Have you not been reading the news?

    Anyway, what’s wrong with being a remnant? Poor church for the poor, remember? But then that Yankee triumpalism and we have more pennants than anyone rears its head.

    Say five hail Mary’s and get back to us in the morning.

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  334. TVD: Why do y’all devote so much time to backbiting?

    Oxford: Backbiting (n): malicious talk about someone who is not present.

    Nope. You are certainly present, and my comment, while snarky, had no considered malice.

    It did certainly have a point. And that point, if it must be spelled out, is that a large part of the Catholic apologetic (including yours) is that Protestants lack certainty because they cannot point to an infallible interpretation of the infallible text.

    “We have such an infallible interpretation!” is the message.

    But it turns out that, even provided an infallible interpretation of Scripture within the dogma of the Church, you now have trouble interpreting that interpretation. Hence, you and Michael are engaged in (a healthy) discussion of what the church dogma of creation entails and doesn’t entail. And in so doing, you are sounding just like Protestants discussing the Bible. “Here’s an expert opinion.” “That one doesn’t address my argument.” “Here are the non-negotiables.”

    The only difference is that you are Catholics discussing the Magisterial teaching in the same manner in which Protestants discuss the Bible.

    This is not actually surprising. The OT Jews produced a set of commentary designed to elucidate the difficulties in the Torah. This was the Talmud. Yet the Talmud itself had its own difficulties, leading to various schools of interpretation and eventually into picayune commentary on the Talmud called pilpul. And that led…

    The point behind the snark was not to bite you in the back while you face forward, but to alert you to the fact that the Catholic method simply pushes the discussion back one level. Instead of having evidence-based discussions of Scripture, you now have to have evidence-based discussions of the Catechism.

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  335. MichaelTX
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 9:35 pm | Permalink
    I will add one more quote. It is from Vatican II.

    “Although the mystery of death utterly beggars the imagination, the Church has been taught by divine revelation and firmly teaches that man has been created by God for a blissful purpose beyond the reach of earthly misery. In addition, that bodily death from which man would have been immune had he not sinned(14) will be vanquished, according to the Christian faith, when man who was ruined by his own doing is restored to wholeness by an almighty and merciful Saviour.

    Yeah, but that’s quote-grabbing now, and even if it’s normative doctrine [which I’m not litigating here], it’s not dogma. Come up with an explicit ex cathedra anathema that if you don’t believe there was some guy named Adam you’re excommunicated and going to hell and you win your point. Winning seems important to you.

    Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn, so if the fate of my eternal soul rests on believing there was a literal immortal human being named Adam who ate some fruit he shouldn’t’ve, then OK, fine, I believe, I believe. Mercy.

    You’re getting this Catholic thing down, good, dude. Submit or be damned. You just done saved my soul.

    Next!

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  336. @Tom
    I’m not following your distinction between dogma and doctrine. I mean, I know the difference, but I don’t see why that difference is relevant here. While dogma demands the full assent of faith, all doctrine requires submission of the intellect and will. What am I missing?

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  337. Come on Tom. If the only thing you’re willing to consider dogma are ex-cathedra statements, you ain’t got much dogma. You need to better than that. That’s a recipe for cafeteria Catholicism if there ever was one.

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  338. TVD, Ok for clarity, this is a canon from the Council of Carthage(419-18) which received general imprimatur by the Seventh Ecumenical Council at Nicea.

    Canon 109.

    That Adam was not created by God subject to death

    That whosoever says that Adam, the first man, was created mortal, so that whether he had sinned or not, he would have died in body— that is, he would have gone forth of the body, not because his sin merited this, but by natural necessity, let him be anathema.

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  339. Jeff,
    If I may comment on the need for an interpreter of the interpreter idea… At first blush it has a valid point to it. I would say on a deeper look though there are at least three principle ideas I think that would help clarify the trouble.

    1) The Church is a living interpreter which progressively clarifies doctrine and dogma as time moves forward from age to age as problems face earlier dilemmas in different ways and with different arguments. This makes for a more limited latitude in unclear areas as time progresses and theological discernment continues to unfold the truth relayed in the beginning.

    2)Requires a initial discernment of the motives of credibility of the Church being the Body of Christ in which the Holy Spirit “leads into all Truth.” This of course is a premise the Catholic accepts while the non-Catholic has to discern. Once excepted though, this creates the atmosphere in which the boundaries of dogma create a playground of thought freeing the inquirer to dig deeper into the mine of Truth for greater treasures.

    3) Lastly, the Catholic in no wise abandons Scripture in his endeavor for the search of truth. This make it where he has the added tool of Holy Spirit inspired and protected dogma to clarify faulty interpretations of Scripture and move to understand the truth which he seeks in the discernment process and leads him to be at peace in the quiet contemplative Christian devotion life with the Lord, whom we meet in and through the Scriptures.

    Just some thoughts. Peace,
    Michael

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  340. Jeff,

    “The point behind the snark was not to bite you in the back while you face forward, but to alert you to the fact that the Catholic method simply pushes the discussion back one level. Instead of having evidence-based discussions of Scripture, you now have to have evidence-based discussions of the Catechism.”

    I don’t know any RCs who claim there is no interpretation going on or must be alerted to that fact – that’s silly – no interpretation or refinement would mean there could never be any theological development whatsoever but obviously Rome affirms and practices that, so perhaps that’s a clue that the fact everyone must interpret doesn’t actually interact with the substance of her claims in contrast to Protestant claims. If the Catholic method always merely pushed the discussion back one level to the level of Protestant disputes, there could never be any infallible dogma. But there are infallible dogmas per Rome’s claims, and only one such example of infallible dogma is needed to illuminate the difference in what the two system’s claims/principles can yield.

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  341. Michael and Tom,

    I don’t think I’ve read everything that you have said to each other over the last couple of days, so I could have missed something important, but isn’t it the case that all we have to recognize is an individual “adam” and an individual “eve” as being the one’s to whom God gave spiritual bodies ( The first man, Adam, was made into a living soul… 1Cor 15:45), and who represent the human race, even if their forefathers were hominids and not yet evolved enough to be made Image bearers? Correct me if I’m wrong.

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  342. Jeff Cagle
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 10:10 pm | Permalink
    TVD: Why do y’all devote so much time to backbiting?

    Oxford: Backbiting (n): malicious talk about someone who is not present.

    Nope. You are certainly present, and my comment, while snarky, had no considered malice.

    Oh, there’s plenty of big talk behind my back, Jeff. And talking about me in the 3rd person qualifies too. Let’s stay real.

    It did certainly have a point. And that point, if it must be spelled out, is that a large part of the Catholic apologetic (including yours) is that Protestants lack certainty because they cannot point to an infallible interpretation of the infallible text.

    “We have such an infallible interpretation!” is the message.

    Not my understanding of “infallible interpretation,” Jeff, because I’m discussing the difference between doctrine [proposed, propositional] and dogma [infallible].

    This is a productive discussion between you and me, you being a manifestly reasonable man.

    But it turns out that, even provided an infallible interpretation of Scripture within the dogma of the Church, you now have trouble interpreting that interpretation.

    Well no, that’s not what happened, see above. Michael is insisting that a literal Adam is Catholic dogma; my studies of Catholicism suggest that it’s OK to believe Adam is figurative.

    Hence, you and Michael are engaged in (a healthy) discussion of what the church dogma of creation entails and doesn’t entail. And in so doing, you are sounding just like Protestants discussing the Bible. “Here’s an expert opinion.” “That one doesn’t address my argument.” “Here are the non-negotiables.”

    Well, thanks for your interlocution between Brother Michael and me, Brother Cagle, but that’s not what’s up here atall, atall. We are discussing only what the Catholic Church holds as dogma or as doctrine.

    The only difference is that you are Catholics discussing the Magisterial teaching in the same manner in which Protestants discuss the Bible.

    This is a discussion anyone could have, Catholic or not. In fact they should have, if they are honest seekers. This particular discussion has nothing to do with the