White Smoke over Synod of Dordt

Commissioners to the 82nd General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church have unanimously elected Archibald Alison as its moderator. We did not even vote. Only one nomination and then silence.

For information on Archie, go here.

In point of fact, Presbyterians, who do things decently and orderly, don’t blow smoke when we elect a moderator. And being moderator is not a matter of privilege. You are virtually on your feet for 10 hours a day and have to keep score of motions, seconds, substitute motions, Robert’s Rules, and privileges of the floor.

Gray smoke will be evident once commissioners retire for the evening.

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1,260 thoughts on “White Smoke over Synod of Dordt

  1. Don’t screw it up. We’re all gonna hold you accou…err….counting on you. Be brave but don’t be wrong.

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  2. Commissioners to the 82nd General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church have unanimously elected Archibald Alison as its moderator. We did not even vote. Only one nomination and then silence.

    Awesome, Elder Hart. It”s one and it’s catholic. In this day, two out of 4 ain’t bad atall, atall. 30,000 down, 7.0006 billion to go.

    The World Factbook gives the population as 7,095,217,980 (July 2013 est.) and the distribution of religions as Christian 31.50% (of which Roman Catholic 16.85%, Protestant 6.15%, Orthodox 3.96%, Anglican 1.26%), Muslim 23.20% (of which Sunni 75-90%, Shia 10-20%, Ahmadi 1%), Hindu 13.8%, Buddhist 6.77%, Sikh 0.35%, …

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  3. TVD,

    As a longtime lurker and occasional commenter here, I am curious. What would you have presbyterians do? Should they just get really discouraged by the fact that they are not the biggest game in town? Become Catholic based solely on the numbers, despite some pretty valid criticisms of RC practice, doctrine, etc.? You have some sharp criticisms of the “Establishment” here, but I’m wondering what you want them to do. Genuine question.

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  4. Stephen, welcome.

    To perhaps coax an answer, TVD is here only to learn about roman Catholicism, the tradition he identifies with. On his better days, he says he’s here to learn about us presbys so as to defend even us in his online pursuits elsewhere.

    I think he likes the attention, and really, the way he talks makes me think he doesn’t go to church.

    Let’s see him answer. He may something now, had I not chimed in, he would have left out hanging, methinks.

    Grace and peace.
    [2]

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  5. For consider your calling, brothers: mnot many of you were wise according to worldly standards,3 not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But nGod chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; oGod chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even pthings that are not, to qbring to nothing things that are, 29 so rthat no human being4 might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him5 you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us swisdom from God, trighteousness and usanctification and vredemption, 31 so that, as it is written, w“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

    I don’t claim this is as accurate as my PCA Venn diagram (see my profile). Have fun OPers! (google it) #OPCGA #OPC pic.twitter.com/mEvXYSE3sH (https://twitter.com/ChortlesWeakly/status/606447132740952064?s=17)

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  6. Andrew,

    Call your commissioner and see if he can push for some kind of resolution on the sublimity of Dafne Schippers.

    Who could say “no” to that while meeting in Sioux Center?

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  7. Stephen
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 8:21 am | Permalink
    TVD,

    As a longtime lurker and occasional commenter here, I am curious. What would you have presbyterians do? Should they just get really discouraged by the fact that they are not the biggest game in town? Become Catholic based solely on the numbers, despite some pretty valid criticisms of RC practice, doctrine, etc.? You have some sharp criticisms of the “Establishment” here, but I’m wondering what you want them to do. Genuine question.

    Management seems to spend an inordinate amount of time enjoying the Catholic Church’s divisions, and of course the reference to “white smoke” here

    In point of fact, Presbyterians, who do things decently and orderly, don’t blow smoke when we elect a moderator.

    is more of the same type of snark. Which is fine, but I suppose my point is that it’s easy to keep a denomination in line when its dissidents just pack up and start a new sub-denomination down the street.

    Or perhaps this was a rare not-snarky sideways reference to the Catholic Church, in which case I withdraw the observation. 😉

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  8. I sat in the midst of some Sioux Center High kids at the state track meet. Best argument I heard:

    Girl 1: Give me some of your popcorn.

    Girl 2: It’s Kettle Corn.

    Girl 1: Well it’s still popped.

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  9. Erik,

    Naw, my commissioner Mr. Don Jamieson, one in the forefront, looks busy. I don’t want to upset the work of the GA the OPC. That’s a burden none of us wish to bear if we don’t have to.

    #keepingmyfingersfromtypinganymore

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  10. Tom,

    So you admit to division in the Roman Catholic Church?

    You don’t wish Nancy Pelosi would leave and start a new sub-denomination?

    You’ve never really made a compelling case for why unity is the supreme value in Christianity.

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  11. TVD, we coaxed you into a response.

    All one has to do is misrepresent a position, that’s how we got Christian Kingery to come in, and even jason:

    Christian
    Posted June 3, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink
    Hi Andrew,

    I just didn’t want to be misrepresented. 😉

    That’s precisely why creedcode and calledtocommunion grates on us presbys, because we are misrepresented. this is not rocket science.

    so if you want someone’s opinon, just speak for them. wow, how easy, and breaking of the moral law, is that, yo?

    #samestuffdifferentday
    #doesTomgotochurch?

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  12. Christian
    Posted June 3, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink
    Hi Andrew,

    I just didn’t want to be misrepresented. 😉
    That’s precisely why creedcode and calledtocommunion grates on us presbys, because we are misrepresented. this is not rocket science.

    so if you want someone’s opinon, just speak for them. wow, how easy, and breaking of the moral law, is that, yo?

    #samestuffdifferentday
    #doesTomgotochurch?
    #threecommentperthreadperdaypeepsorelsedarrylwillneverfinishhisbookonmenckenyo

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  13. Erik:
    You’ve never really made a compelling case for why unity is the supreme value in Christianity.>>>>

    Well, this is a statement made to Tom, but I guess from my point of view, Protestantism has never made a compelling case justifying its tendency to divide at the drop of a hat. I understand it better when the division is over something substantive doctrinally. I don’t get it when, say, Matt Chandler excommunicates 14 churches from “his” denomination because Mark Driscoll messed up big time.

    That is just a very public division from very public churches. However, that kind of thing happens quietly all the time in Protestantism. Now, you can claim special status as the remnant of the true system that Calvin invented, but that is not the same as making a compelling case for the way that Protestantism has behaved from the beginning.

    On the other hand, if you want a compelling case for unity, read John 17. No, it does not prove that the Catholic Church is the true church, but it does prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Trinity values unity. Heck, it’s in the doctrine of the Trinity – unity, not division.

    Now you will say that Jesus did not necessarily mean organizational unity. However, the OPC seems to have denied even the Nicene Creed and small “c” catholic. We can be friends, according to Machen, but not brothers in Christ.

    …and then you say that you are not OPC, and off we go into Protestant nothingness. Maybe there is no white smoke because there is no Holy Spirit to be consulted in matters of such importance and no outward sign of His presence.

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  14. Mrs. W,

    You also can’t have it both ways.

    You can’t on the one hand tout your visible unity and on the other hand cry “foul” when we chide you over the rogues that you tolerate in your midst.

    Embrace your sister in the faith, Nancy Pelosi. Her bishop does.

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  15. Erik Charter
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 1:05 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    So you admit to division in the Roman Catholic Church?

    You don’t wish Nancy Pelosi would leave and start a new sub-denomination?

    Embrace your sister in the faith, Nancy Pelosi. Her bishop does.

    Actually, her bishop did rebuke her.

    http://www.lifenews.com/2015/01/26/catholic-bishop-rebukes-nancy-pelosi-human-life-begins-at-conception-its-scientific-fact/

    But if a church is a hospital for sinners, you don’t boot people out on the street. Your riff about “unity” is a false premise.

    You’ve never really made a compelling case for why unity is the supreme value in Christianity.

    Mrs. Webfoot just set you straight on that, that it’s Protestantism that needs to justify its constant schisms.

    To which I’ll append my standing challenge: Protestantism needs to justify its differences with the Christian religion as of 1054 and leave Rome’s sins post-1054 out of it. You also divided from the Eastern Orthodox too, and invented a new religion.

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  16. Mrs. W,

    One could also make the case that you are ignoring Christian unity in splitting from the group that you were a member of. What of those Christians you are leaving behind? Aren’t you personally guilty of schism? You weren’t born into Roman Catholicism. Why are only those who separate from Roman Catholicism schismatics? Same thing for Jason, Bryan, Susan, etc.

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  17. Tom – But if a church is a hospital for sinners, you don’t boot people out on the street. Your riff about “unity” is a false premise.

    Erik – Is there a difference for a “hospital” for repentant sinners and one for outright rebels? You’re incapable of making any moral distinction?

    Tom – Mrs. Webfoot just set you straight on that

    Erik – Ad hom and like, your opinion, man.

    Tom – Protestantism needs to justify its differences with the Christian religion as of 1054

    Erik – Make your biblical case for the truth of EO and we can discuss. You start with the wrong premises for discerning truth in religion.

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  18. If TVD, MWF, and EC wish to engage in the same old 500+ year prot/cath polemics, there are other threads. The one posted yesterday called “Reality wins” is a great one for that. Remember, DGH’s blog wasn’t really a polemic against RCism until Jason became roman catholic and decided to blog against his former tradition (reformed protism) for the last three years, although his tone if you listen to his podcast is now more tame and he seems to have settled in to his drunk ex pastor mode/role.

    Again, if you read DGH’s published works, he’s irenic and shows freindship towards roman catholics. I quote:

    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”.

    www[dot]firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2013/05/gresham-machen-friend-to-catholics

    Find another thread, this one is about the general assembly. Or not, whatev.

    Grace and peace.

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  19. Tom,

    Have Pelosi’s bishops in San Francisco or Washington denied her the sacrament or applied any form of church discipline toward her?

    If not, their alleged disapproval is toothless and is merely grandstanding for the press in order to build up credibility with the wing of Roman Catholicism from which they draw their power.

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  20. Darryl,

    But man those institutions come in handy when you want to wet your whistle. A paper sack in a dorm room just ain’t the same thing.

    When I went to Northwestern a classmate told me about how he would clean the dorms after RCA synod met on campus. Lots of liquor bottles to clean up.

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  21. Speaking of Synod, I think the URCNA Synod met in a mirage in the middle of the Mojave Desert last year. No word on whether peyote was instrumental to the deliberations.

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  22. MW: But if a church is a hospital for sinners …

    And if it’s not?

    Are we dead in our sins or merely sick?

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  23. Erik Charter
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 8:42 am | Permalink
    Tom,

    16.85% of 31.5% ain’t that impressive.

    It’s the majority, in’t it? Meanwhile the minority splits and schisms and schisms and splits. You keep eliding that, but any Martian or Muslim would find that probative. What’s wrong with those Protestant dudes? They hate everyone, including each other.

    Erik Charter
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 2:10 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    Have Pelosi’s bishops in San Francisco or Washington denied her the sacrament or applied any form of church discipline toward her?

    If not, their alleged disapproval is toothless and is merely grandstanding for the press in order to build up credibility with the wing of Roman Catholicism from which they draw their power.

    Not atall. Catholicism isn’t a democracy or even a republic. The bishops are part of the magisterium, Nancy Pelosi is like a drunk and disobedient child. Leviticus says she should be stoned, but the Hebrews didn’t actually do that.

    I don’t know what wisdom and prudence dictate here. Totalitarian terror doesn’t work either. You rail about the Inquisition, then rail about the lack of one. Pure sophistic genius, well done. 😉

    Pelosi is a wayward child; you are “separated brethren” from the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. Now, that riff is real genius.

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  24. Erik Charter
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Tom – Protestantism needs to justify its differences with the Christian religion as of 1054

    Erik – Make your biblical case for the truth of EO and we can discuss. You start with the wrong premises for discerning truth in religion.

    No, that’s the right premise. You’re the insurgents, the rebels, the “reformers.” The Catholic Church and the EOs already have their justifications in place, their 2000 year histories. Where was Luther’s authority to invent a new theology [the “solas”]? To chop up the Bible? To alter the Eucharist?

    Attacking the Christian religion up to 1054 isn’t gonna get it done. [And certainly not post-1054.] At some point you need to stand on your own two feet.

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  25. Tom,

    I think I did the math wrong. It’s 31.5% Christian and the 16.85% Catholics are part of the 31.5%. Anyway…

    You still offer no proof that size means anything. Make an argument that size relates to truth.

    If Catholicism is not a democracy, why do you think it’s important how many members it has?

    ” What’s wrong with those Protestant dudes? They hate everyone, including each other.”

    Are you saying that Mrs. W hates her husband? That Susan does? They left their husbands’ churches. Since when does religious disagreement entail “hate”?

    Are you suggesting that Muslims have no schisms or splits?

    There’s no middle ground between an Inquisition and tolerating Nancy Pelosi?

    This is not proving to be your best day…

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  26. EC: 17
    AB: 12 (including this one)
    TVD: 5
    Jack: 2
    DGH: 6
    JC: 1
    CT: 1
    Brandon: 1
    MWF: 1
    sean: 1
    Matt H: 1
    Stephen: 1
    kent: 1
    cw l’u: 1

    round two – go! 🙂

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  27. Tom – The Catholic Church and the EOs already have their justifications in place

    Erik – Exactly – “their justifications” – Not Scriptural justifications.

    Tom – their 2000 year histories

    Erik – 1200-1500 of which are thanks to civil magistrates…and they are checkered histories at that.

    Tom – Where was Luther’s authority to invent a new theology [the “solas”]? To chop up the Bible? To alter the Eucharist?

    Erik – If I give you the Apocrypha back you still don’t get Biblical justification for Catholic & EO doctrine.

    And you can’t make an ironclad Biblical case that either gets The Lord’s Supper right.

    Tom – Attacking the Christian religion up to 1054 isn’t gonna get it done. [And certainly not post-1054.] At some point you need to stand on your own two feet.

    Erik – We stand on our own two feet…on Scripture.

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  28. Tom,

    And if you like your religion old, why are you a fan of the Apocrypha if they were not considered to be part of the Hebrew Bible?

    The Jews predate the Roman Catholics by thousands of years.

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

    “The Apocrypha were initially long rejected by the Catholic church as inspired writings, however, after controversy were officially canonized following the Protestant Reformation during the Council of Trent in 1546 AD.”

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  29. The Jews predate the Roman Catholics by thousands of years.

    DING

    We think of the Reformation. This was a moment in the history of the Church in which the question of authority was once more in the center of events. Luther, and consequently the whole Protestant world, broke away from the Roman Church and from 1500 years of Christian tradition when no agreement about the authority of the pope and the councils could be reached. Here, again, someone had arisen who spoke and acted with an authority the sources of which could not be determined by legal means. And here also we must ask, “Are the Catholic authorities who rejected him in the name of their established authority to be blamed for it?” But if we do not blame them, we can ask them, “Why do you blame the Jewish authorities who did exactly the same as you did when the people said of the Reformers that they spoke with authority and not like the priests and monks?” Is the same thing so different if it is done by the Jewish high priest and if it is done by the Roman high priest? And one may ask the present-day Protestant authorities in Europe and in this country, “Are you certain that the insistence on your authority, on your tradition, and on your experience does not suppress the kind of authority which Jesus had in mind?” source

    Next comment please.

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  30. I like how the nominal RC layman gets to tell us who’s a real RC and who isn’t. If that’s his job, what is the Magisterium for?

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  31. MW: But if a church is a hospital for sinners …

    And if it’s not?

    Are we dead in our sins or merely sick?>>>>

    Well, actually, TVD said that, Jeff, but I think MW would be yours truly, right?

    Good questions. I will try to answer them as best I can. Here goes.

    We are born dead in our trespasses and sins because of the effects of original sin inherited from Adam. In Augustinian theology, which the Church followed, baptism is the point where a person is regenerated. Later, one’s personal faith must be confirmed in the sacrament of confirmation.

    If you are asking whether or not sinners are able to come to the Church, then the answer is yes. They can and should come to the Church. There they should find help and healing in Christ. In order to be accepted into communion – or full communion in the case of Protestants converting, – there are certain rites that one goes through.

    There is a similar process in Protestant churches, but they are not generally called rites and only baptism would be called a sacrament in some churches. In others, it is an ordinance, but not a sacrament.

    In the Baptist church I grew up in, baptism and church membership were tied together if a person requested membership at the time of baptism. We were encouraged to be baptized and join the church at around age 12. Baptism was and still is an ordinance in the church of my birth. I am grateful for the faith that I was taught then, and have nothing but love for those people who cared about my soul.

    You might say church instead of Church, and you might not like Baptists or Catholics, but otherwise what would be your objection? You don’t want sinners around messing up the sanctuary? I doubt that is what you are saying. Sin sick human beings should be able to come to a church or Church and find help and healing in Christ, right? Otherwise, why not just close the doors and everyone stay home on Sunday?

    In fact, a sin sick human being should find that the Church or a church welcomes them with open arms as the father in the story of the Prodigal Son did. One of my favorite sermons on the Prodigal Son is Spurgeon’s Prodigal Love for the Prodigal Son. We should do no less in our churches or Church.

    To add a little touch of Catholicism, I will add this. Check out Pope Francis’ cross. It has special meaning to me.

    BTW, nice to see you, Jeff. I hope that all is well with you and your loved ones. We’re doing well, here.

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  32. I ask again the rome/geneva fight be taken to another thread, but I don’t really care that much.

    What’s ironic is the more CTC/DXP/MWF/TVD try to cut down reformed protestantism, the more it only encourages us to continue doing what we are doing. I wonder if Bryan Cross considered that when he was dreaming up the idea for called to communion. That all he was doing is encouraging the next generation of committed reformed protestants to do their homework and learn about their heritage.

    Again, the roman interlocutors here are playing a valuable service. This is the training ground for the initiates – I hope MWF, TVD and others continue here long and hard. I would encourage those more senior in the circuit who have fought this battle before, try posting less, because there are younger reformed protestants taht need the experience of dialoging these truths, and who better to combat than a nominal layman or a recent convert. It’s good for everyone around, it makes our orthodoxy as Christians more robust, no matter if we are in the roman church, the genevan/philadelphian (read: OPC), or otherwise.

    Good work everyone. Keep those post comment counts high!!

    Who’s next?

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  33. Erik,

    The Jews weren’t unified on a canon.

    “The Jews predate the Roman Catholics by thousands of years.”

    Yup. And when Christ and the Apostles came on the scene, they worked miracles. As Carl Trueman said, Rome is the default position for the West – so you better have a slam-dunk knock-down case against it in order to not give it the benefit of the doubt – saying “And you can’t make an ironclad Biblical case that either gets The Lord’s Supper right” doesn’t justify schism or separation – the burden would be upon you to show your ironclad case.

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  34. Cletus,

    Rome lost any right to the benefit of the doubt when it had three popes at once and couldn’t figure out who was who until a binding council (that was subsequently ignored) was called to sort it out. Just saying.

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  35. …and yes, once a part of the Church or a church, a sinner should be expected to grow in his or her progressive justification by faith working through love. Faith working through love is the only thing that matters, and that of course includes a growing hatred of all things sinful.

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  36. Erik Charter
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    I think I did the math wrong. It’s 31.5% Christian and the 16.85% Catholics are part of the 31.5%. Anyway…

    You still offer no proof that size means anything. Make an argument that size relates to truth.

    You serve ’em up, I hit ’em out.

    Really, Erik, I don’t mind rebutting your challenges, but the pattern is that once I do, you just go to another one, ignoring the fact that you just wasted my time on a point you don’t even believe yourself.

    Tom – Where was Luther’s authority to invent a new theology [the “solas”]? To chop up the Bible? To alter the Eucharist?

    Erik – If I give you the Apocrypha back you still don’t get Biblical justification for Catholic & EO doctrine.

    That’s unresponsive. You don’t know Catholic doctrine well enough to know one way or the other. Where was Luther’s authority to reinvent the Christian religion? And Calvin’s to reinvent Luther’s? And so on and so on.

    Are you suggesting that Muslims have no schisms or splits?

    They have one major one, but neither Sunni nor Shia have anything like the fractionalization of the Reformation. Something’s up with a theology that creates denominations by the sackful.

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  37. Robert
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 4:57 pm | Permalink
    Cletus,

    Rome lost any right to the benefit of the doubt when it had three popes at once and couldn’t figure out who was who until a binding council (that was subsequently ignored) was called to sort it out. Just saying.

    Now there’s one pope. It got sorted out. Now if it had split into 3 churches like Protestantism routinely does, you’d have a point here. 😉

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  38. Mrs. Webfoot
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 4:57 pm | Permalink
    …and yes, once a part of the Church or a church, a sinner should be expected to grow in his or her progressive justification by faith working through love. Faith working through love is the only thing that matters, and that of course includes a growing hatred of all things sinful.

    I think the dynamic is “sanctification.” Justification at baptism, sanctification over a lifetime. Not a theological hill I want to die on, but it sounds nice.

    http://www.gotquestions.org/progressive-sanctification.html

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  39. Clete – Rome is the default position for the West – so you better have a slam-dunk knock-down case against it in order to not give it the benefit of the doubt

    Erik – Two responses:

    (1) the “default” is due to the Magistrate upholding Rome’s position. No more upholding, no default.

    (2) I’ll concede Rome is one expression of the Christian faith among many, but if the Callers are to be believed, Rome claims to be THE One, superior expression. That shifts the burden to Rome.

    If I’m a man and you’re a man we are on equal footing. If you claim to be an alpha male, you need to prove it to me.

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  40. Tom – Really, Erik, I don’t mind rebutting your challenges, but the pattern is that once I do, you just go to another one, ignoring the fact that you just wasted my time on a point you don’t even believe yourself.

    Erik – I don’t believe size matters. If I did, would I be a Reformed Protestant?

    I’ve seen you tout Rome’s size probably 100 times. Not once have I seen you prove that it means anything.

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  41. Tom

    Don’t tell me even you want to get yourself dirty and start talking justification? Wow, Jason Stellman shows up yesterday, and TVD starts talking justification. What’s next, the rapture?

    Boy do I have the comments ready to start rapid firing start here:

    Andrew B
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink
    Gee, guys, heady stuff. Making me pull out my Fesko as soon as I get home from work. In it, he writes: Namely, it is imperative that we hold together imputation and union with Christ, the priority of the legal-forensic over the transformative, all of which are relational. One might fight that same line here, and more:

    From here, we can identify three concepts that we must understand to have a proper understanding of the relationship between union with Christ and justification: (1) that the legal aspects of our redemption are relational; (2) justification is the legal aspect of our union with Christ; and (3) that justification is the ground of our sanctification.

    Here also is a good read.

    Pointing out stuff you guys already know,
    Andrew

    Go to that link, read the 3 or 4 underlying links, and report back by posting a comment here. I have a bunch of homework questions for you, and we can give you some essay assignments, and then we’ll grade your paper. No joke.

    Unless this is still to boring, and you’d rather play with daffodils, or watch some show that GtT would beat you up if he found out you watch?

    Up to you.

    Like

  42. Tom – Where was Luther’s authority to reinvent the Christian religion? And Calvin’s to reinvent Luther’s? And so on and so on.

    Erik – Their authority is as good and compelling as their Scriptural case is.

    Why does Harold Bloom have authority to interpret Shakespeare and Pee Wee Herman doesn’t?

    Great men and great minds shape history. You recognize this when you cite Augustine & Aquinas. Many Popes have had mediocre minds — that’s your problem, not mine.

    Like

  43. I would honestly welcome a debate/discussion with a Roman Catholic who can get beyond the “It’s true because the Magisterium says it’s true” mindset. I don’t accept that. Prove to me that something is true based on reason and Scripture.

    I add Scripture to reason because Rome supposedly is in submission to Scripture.

    The only guy I’ve ever see even try this is Jason Stellman early on at greenbaggins, and he’s to be commended for that.

    Reason with me, don’t just try to play your trump card that I don’t accept.

    Like


  44. Erik Charter
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 5:19 pm | Permalink
    Tom – Where was Luther’s authority to reinvent the Christian religion? And Calvin’s to reinvent Luther’s? And so on and so on.

    Erik – Their authority is as good and compelling as their Scriptural case is.

    Where is sola scriptura in the Bible? Further, since they don’t even agree, sola scriptura becomes a tool of schism. It is not self-evidently the Will of God.

    Why does Harold Bloom have authority to interpret Shakespeare and Pee Wee Herman doesn’t?

    Great men and great minds shape history. You recognize this when you cite Augustine & Aquinas. Many Popes have had mediocre minds — that’s your problem, not mine.

    It occurs to me that unlike virtually every Protestant denomination, the Catholic Church doesn’t depend on a handful of great leaders. That’s a feature, not a flaw. John Calvin was for all purposes the creator and head of a religion, whether you admit it or not, more like Mohammed than a pope.

    Erik – I don’t believe size matters. If I did, would I be a Reformed Protestant?

    I’ve seen you tout Rome’s size probably 100 times. Not once have I seen you prove that it means anything.

    Well, you’re not going to admit it, or admit that the Reformation left its half of Christianity in tatters. But often, I’m using its size in answer to the gleeful trumpeting of liberal Catholic dissidents as proof of something.

    In Protestantism, dissidents just start their own churches down the street. If hypocrisy is the compliment vice pays to virtue, that these dissident Catholics don’t leave the Church indicates they still believe it’s the true Church.

    Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.

    Pelosi’s the slave girl. Even demons know the truth.

    Like

  45. Erik, Jason’s clearly no dummy, and has known what he is doing from day one. After all, he was trained at one of the finest academies Christendom has to offer. Even Aimee Byrd quotes the man in her Housewife Theologian book, and she didn’t take it out after he poped.

    Now, I have no idea how he expects to monetize his 1929 facebook likes or hundreds/thousands of individual people who click on DXP dot com everyday, but we wish him well. I think Robert also agrees that JJS sees much of what it seems BC doesn’t, or at least B.Cross is unwilling to admit.

    I digress..

    Like

  46. Where is sola scriptura in the Bible?

    I stopped reading right there. He doesn’t get it!!

    all too easy:

    [1] ROM 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another; 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. PSA 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. ROM 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

    [2] 1CO 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    [3] HEB 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.

    [4] PRO 22:19 That thy trust may be in the Lord, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee. 20 Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, 21 That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee? LUK 1:3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed. ROM 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. MAT 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. ISA 8:19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? 20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

    [5] 2TI 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 2PE 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.

    [6] HEB 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.

    [7] LUK 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. EPH 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. REV 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. 2TI 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

    [8] LUK 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. 44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. ROM 3:2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. 2PE 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

    [9] 2PE 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2TI 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 1JO 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. 1 TH 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

    [10] 1TI 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

    [11] 1JO 2:20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. JOH 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 1CO 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. ISA 59:21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.

    [12] 2TI 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. GAL 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 2TH 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

    [13] JOH 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 1CO 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

    [14] 1CO 11:13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? 14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. 40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

    [15] 2PE 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things: in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

    [16] PSA 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. 130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

    [17] MAT 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

    [18] ISA 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. ACT 15:15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written. JOH 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.

    [19] JOH 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

    [20] 1CO 14:6 Now, brethren, if I come undo you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, of by prophesying, or by doctrine? 9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. 11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. 12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. 24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: 27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

    [21] COL 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

    [22] ROM 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning; that we, through patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope.

    [23] 2PE 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. ACT 15:15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up. [24] MATT. 22:29,31. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying. EPH. 2:20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone. With ACTS 28:25. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Isaiah the prophet unto our fathers.

    Like

  47. Erik Charter
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 5:39 pm | Permalink
    I would honestly welcome a debate/discussion with a Roman Catholic who can get beyond the “It’s true because the Magisterium says it’s true” mindset. I don’t accept that. Prove to me that something is true based on reason and Scripture.

    I add Scripture to reason because Rome supposedly is in submission to Scripture.

    The only guy I’ve ever see even try this is Jason Stellman early on at greenbaggins, and he’s to be commended for that.

    Reason with me, don’t just try to play your trump card that I don’t accept.

    You’re demanding everything be argued sola scriptura. That’s your religion, not Catholicism. Now if you want to argue on your terms only, you’re the one who has to prove Catholic tenets are contrary to scripture.

    And frankly, I don’t think you’ve read enough Catholic teaching: the encyclicals, the catechism. They’re chock full of Scripture references and proofs.

    Further–and Mrs. Webfoot has noticed–there are a lot of normative Catholic teachings and doctrines rejected by modern Protestantism that if not dogma, were normative with the early church fathers and even the early Reformers.

    THE PROTESTANT REFORMERS ON MARY
    http://www.catholicapologetics.info/apologetics/general/mary.htm

    And of course there was the Eucharist. Martin Luther was far closer to Catholicism than Calvinism on it. Stuff like that. You turn every discussion into an attack against the Catholic Church but seem unable to justify your own religion even against itself.

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  48. Back to bread and wine, instead of how man is right before God.

    Oh, and the co-redemptrix again, Tom?

    #TerryGrayIsNext
    #samestuffdifferentday

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  49. Tom, we’re Augustinian:

    For among the things that are plainly laid down in Scripture are to be found all matters that concern faith & the manner of life – Augustine

    I’ll take it you have rejected the idea of the homework assignment on justification. How do you like continuing to flail out here for the entire reformed prot community to watch? I’m only trying to help.

    Next comment please.

    Like

  50. Re: hospital for sinners
    The apostle Paul instructs the church thusly,

    In my previous letter I said, “Don’t mix with the immoral.” I didn’t mean, of course, that you were to have no contact at all with the immoral of this world, nor with any cheats or thieves or idolaters—for that would mean going out of the world altogether! But in this letter I tell you not to associate with any professing Christian who is known to be an impure man or a swindler, an idolater, a man with a foul tongue, a drunkard or a thief. My instruction is: “Don’t even eat with such a man.” Those outside the church it is not my business to judge. but surely it is your business to judge those who are inside the church—God alone can judge those who are outside. It is your plain duty to ‘put away from yourselves that wicked person’.

    Like

  51. Re: putative unimportance of getting justification, sanctification, etc… right, consider Paul again:

    Yet I say that if I, or an angel from Heaven, were to preach to you any other Gospel than the one you have heard, may he be damned! You have heard me say it before and now I put it down in black and white—may anybody who preaches any other Gospel than the one you have already heard be a damned soul!

    Like

  52. sdb
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 6:03 pm | Permalink
    Re: hospital for sinners
    The apostle Paul instructs the church thusly,

    In my previous letter I said, “Don’t mix with the immoral.” I didn’t mean, of course, that you were to have no contact at all with the immoral of this world, nor with any cheats or thieves or idolaters—for that would mean going out of the world altogether! But in this letter I tell you not to associate with any professing Christian who is known to be an impure man or a swindler, an idolater, a man with a foul tongue, a drunkard or a thief. My instruction is: “Don’t even eat with such a man.” Those outside the church it is not my business to judge. but surely it is your business to judge those who are inside the church—God alone can judge those who are outside. It is your plain duty to ‘put away from yourselves that wicked person’.

    How I hate this theology-by-verse slinging thing.

    The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

    Like

  53. Re: who gave Luther the right to protest Rome’s abandoment of the gospel? The apostolic witness. The Church is all those who are in Christ, and he alone is its head. Popes have taught heretical doctrine and councils have erred. The only infallible rule is the scriptures.

    Like

  54. How I hate this theology-by-verse slinging thing.

    TVD, of course. You don’t believe in the infallible scriptures as the only source of faith and life. You are an Unam Sanctum kinda guy:

    Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.

    At least I think so. Do you go to church? You’ve never told us you do, so you’re an outsider looking to learn about those of us who do.

    In otherwords, you’re ponyboy. Yo?

    Like

  55. …baptism is the point where a person is regenerated. Later, one’s personal faith must be confirmed in the sacrament of confirmation…There is a similar process in Protestant churches, but they are not generally called rites and only baptism would be called a sacrament in some churches. In others, it is an ordinance, but not a sacrament.

    Mrs. DoubleYou, in Reformed churches there are two sacraments, baptism and the Supper. Baptism is the sign and seal of God’s initiative work (i.e. a child of believers is marked by the Spirit as belonging to God), which sets into motion a period of covenantal nurture with an eye toward a credible profession of faith at which time said child is welcomed at the table. I only point that out because in reaching to your Baptist experience, what you describe of Protestant churches seems pretty under-informed and helps to make the case that Baptists are more a product of modernity than the Reformation.

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  56. vd, t, be careful. The Bible’s a two-edged sword:

    Then you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved on the day the Lord returns. (1 Cor 5:5)

    So who are you going to believe?

    “Bishop” is the right answer.

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  57. vd, t, and you keep denying that your church used to reign in folks like Pelosi — before Vatican 2. I bring up the Index of Books and Inquisition, not to throw dirt, but to indicate that once upon a time your church took disicipline seriously.

    What happened?

    Simply shrugging your shoulders and saying Roman Catholicism is a victim of wayward Roman Catholics is not all that impressive an argument for signing up.

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  58. @tvd That’s sad.

    “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

    Those who refuse to repent and are on the way inside (the Pharisees in the passage you cite) are to be put out.

    Dismissal of God’s word as mere proof texting is lazy. You should do better.

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  59. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 6:21 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, be careful. The Bible’s a two-edged sword:

    Then you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved on the day the Lord returns. (1 Cor 5:5)

    So who are you going to believe? “Bishop” is the right answer.

    Machen, silly. He was a bishop or something, right?

    sdb
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink
    Re: who gave Luther the right to protest Rome’s abandoment of the gospel? The apostolic witness. The Church is all those who are in Christ, and he alone is its head. Popes have taught heretical doctrine and councils have erred. The only infallible rule is the scriptures.

    Here’s 100 scriptural arguments against the Trinity. As a mercy, instead of C&Ping the whole thing like Rain Man doing Who’s on First, I’ll just give you the link. 😉

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

    Anyway, you do have a point of course, that no theology is valid if it conflicts with the scriptures, but Protestantism just made a hash of it. For every uniquely Protestant theology, one Reformer can argue one side and another another. Protestantism can’t even answer itself.

    So as an example here, the Trinity simply isn’t definitively in the Bible. It’s tradition, indeed Tradition with a capital “T.” If the Christian religion starts over every time some “apostolic witness” thumbs open his King James, well, actually it does in the sola scriptura regime–that’s why you create denominations by the sackful.

    You can’t get around Tradition. There is much of your religion that rests on it, whether you realize or admit it yourself. The Protestant justification for itself is that it’s all or nothing with Tradition, but that’s a false choice: sola scriptura can’t even prove the Trinity.

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  60. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 6:21 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, be careful. The Bible’s a two-edged sword:

    Then you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved on the day the Lord returns. (1 Cor 5:5)

    So who are you going to believe?

    “Bishop” is the right answer.

    D. G. Hart
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 6:26 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, and you keep denying that your church used to reign in folks like Pelosi — before Vatican 2. I bring up the Index of Books and Inquisition, not to throw dirt, but to indicate that once upon a time your church took disicipline seriously.

    What happened?

    Simply shrugging your shoulders and saying Roman Catholicism is a victim of wayward Roman Catholics is not all that impressive an argument for signing up.

    D. G. Hart
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 6:28 pm | Permalink
    “You don’t know Catholic doctrine well enough”

    vd, t does?

    Not what the exchange with MichaelTX indicates.

    D. G. Hart
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink
    vd, t is a victim of the Reformation. If not for that, he’d being going to confession weekly and mass everyday.

    D. G. Hart
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink
    b, sd, doesn’t vd, t sound like mainline Protestants? We feel your pain. We welcome everyone. All love all the time.

    5 comments in a row has to break some kind of rule, Butch.

    Next.

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  61. As a mercy, instead of C&Ping the whole thing like Rain Man

    tvd = lovable troll who does what he tells others not to. Props, ponyboy.

    #thanksforhelpingpromoteRefProtism
    #nextcommentplease

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  62. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 8:01 pm | Permalink
    Edgardo Mortara.

    He became a Catholic priest. The capper to the story.

    But isn’t Andrew’s constant troll-like harassment of me enough, Darryl? That you felt you had to add a half-dozen drive-bys of your own must mean you realize this is going really bad for your religion. 😉

    Indeed, it has brought out that even Protestantism isn’t immune from being attacked via the Protestant hermeneutic. Rabies theologorum.* Your blog is Protestantism incarnate. Interesting.
    ____________________________

    *”Rabies theologorum – literally the rage or fury of theologians – refers to the tradition of theologians being quite mercilessly abusive in their attacks on opponents, often ad hominem. Martin Luther was the master.”

    Read more: http://theconnexion.net/wp/?p=3132#ixzz3c96EkSwi

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  63. vd, t, why don’t you step up to the plate and follow Elizabeth Scalia’s challenge:

    But, in the meantime, I had another idea, which was probably inspired by this event. How about if we take this little project outside of Patheos? How about if Catholic writers from all over the internet — bloggers, reporters, poets, aggregators, newshounds, journal editors, politicians, new-media-storming priests and nuns, Catholics in secular positions — what if they all were to take a few minutes to jot down “Why I Remain A Catholic” and post it where they can, on websites or social media?

    How great would that be — a cloud of witnesses in the ether, another kind of Communion of Saints?

    Like

  64. Erik Charter
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 9:37 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    You love it here and you know it.

    You haven’t had this much attention since you wore your meat suit to the Beverly Hills Kennel Club.

    Mostly glad you joined the ranks of the very few worth having a discussion with, Erik. 98% of the attention hereabouts I can do without. Good onya, mate.

    As for Darryl’s endorsement of Elizabeth Scalia, I follow her on Twitter, as I do Tommy Kidd and actually a passel of evangelicals. “Why I Remain a Catholic” is good because Catholics do apologetics, positive affirmations of their faith. Still the question already admits defeat, “I remain a Catholic despite A,B,C,D,E,F and G. Plus X,Y and Zee, and half the stuff in between.”

    “Why I Remain a Protestant” [Lutheran, Calvinist, whathaveyou] of course would run toward the polemical, the anti-Catholic–although if you notice I meself don’t bag on the evangelicals. “I’m a Protestant because the Catholic Church sucks” is what I get out of whatever’s left of the Reformation like yourselves.

    The good part of The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, besides the occasional old school anti-Catholic such as John Hagee–the evangelicals are out there evangelizing, spreading the Gospel, helping the poor and sick, even.

    They’re far more motivated by the truth of the Gospel than finding errors in other Christians’ theologizing. If you know anything about me by now, I can’t help but love those who seek truth rather than error. To love truth is to love God and to give glory to Him, for all truth comes from God.

    Error? That’s common as dirt.

    So, I think I could write “Why I’m Not a Protestant” pretty easily, as easily as Darryl could type “Edgardo Montara” with his nose, but I’m not sure any of it gets anywhere.

    As for The Anchoress’s idea

    jot down “Why I Remain A Catholic” and post it where they can, on websites or social media?

    to touch back on our earlier discussion, I bet many guys would answer

    “For the same reason I remain married. She hasn’t thrown me out yet.”

    Thx for asking, Erik and Darryl, each in your own way. You love me here and you know it. 😉

    Like

  65. Mrs. DoubleYou, which is a Catholic construal of justification, in which case all that matters is that one embraces the Roman church. But isn’t prioritizing justification sort of Protestant-y? Still, other Cats say the incarnation is prior to justification. What’s a Prot to believe?

    Like

  66. Zrim, didn’t you know that I am Catholic?

    Galatians 5:6
    6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

    The “faith” part of “justification by faith” is “faith working through love.” You see that, right?

    You also know that the phrase “justification by faith alone” is in the Bible. Where?

    What’s a Protestant to believe? You are free to believe whatever you wish.

    Your understanding of the Church is inaccurate. Why don’t you read something from Catholic sources if for no other reason than to inform yourself. Just a suggestion.

    Take care, Zrim It’s a perfect day, here. I hope all is well with you and your loved ones.

    Like

  67. @erik charter, it’s predominately cow manure, particularly potent when the trucks go by on the way to market.

    BTW, Valerie Hobbs is in the house.

    Like

  68. Wow, back to what this thread was about, the OPC and the general assembly.

    Well done Betty, thank you, and welcome to Oldlife. We had roman catholics who are working through their convert cage phase, can’t get enough of this blog. Grace and peace.

    Like

  69. Mrs. DoubleYou, but the Catholic take on “faith working through love” is “faith formed by love,” which is a formula that imports works back into justification, i.e. a denial of sola fide. You know that, right? If not, maybe you should take your own suggestion. If so, what’s your point?

    Like

  70. TVD
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 9:12 pm | Permalink
    D. G. Hart
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 8:01 pm | Permalink
    Edgardo Mortara.

    He became a Catholic priest. The capper to the story.

    But isn’t Andrew’s constant troll-like harassment of me enough, Darryl?

    Gotta start hashing these suckers.

    Started reading about Edgaro this morning. It’s really sad.

    #edgaromortara
    #tvd-adhoms-me
    #beardedspockuniverse
    #nextcomment

    Like

  71. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 12:10 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, you see your wife that infrequently?

    Butch, it’s bad enough that you hide behind Andrew’s clown act. Now you’re becoming part of it. Bad. Very bad.

    Like

  72. Erik,

    “Their authority is as good and compelling as their Scriptural case is.”

    Well, that’s a nice apologetic non-believing Jews could use in NT times against Christ and the Apostles to justify rejection of their authority.

    “Erik – Two responses:
    (1) the “default” is due to the Magistrate upholding Rome’s position. No more upholding, no default.”

    If the intertwining of the Magistrate and the Church nullifies the church’s authority or validity by virtue of that fact, then so goes Protestantism. Perhaps you’d like to go Amish now.

    “(2) I’ll concede Rome is one expression of the Christian faith among many, but if the Callers are to be believed, Rome claims to be THE One, superior expression. That shifts the burden to Rome.”

    And you don’t claim that sola scriptura and sola fide are the “one, superior expression” of Christianity? The point again, following Trueman’s remark on the default position, is that it shouldn’t even be a close call between Rome and you if your position is right in order to justify the initial separation at the Reformation along with the ongoing separation the past 500 years. You should have an air-tight “ironclad” case against Rome – if you don’t, your active separation was and remains unjustified.

    “If I’m a man and you’re a man we are on equal footing. If you claim to be an alpha male, you need to prove it to me.”

    And if the Reformers claimed to be authorized by God, they needed to prove it to justify their separation and schism. No miracles were forthcoming from them.

    Andrew,

    “I stopped reading right there. He doesn’t get it!!”

    The problem is adducing passages affirming Scriptural authority does not entail they are teaching SS. Rome affirms Scriptural authority, not SS.

    sdb,

    “who gave Luther the right to protest Rome’s abandoment of the gospel? The apostolic witness. ”

    Which of course could be said by any and every person/group you view as a heretic in history to justify their separation.

    Zrim,

    “but the Catholic take on “faith working through love” is “faith formed by love,” which is a formula that imports works back into justification, i.e. a denial of sola fide. You know that, right?”

    but the reforrmed take on “faith alone” is a “faith that is never alone” which is a formula that imports works back into salvation.

    If your characterization was true, baptized infants and deathbed conversions who have no works could not be justified. But Rome teaches they can be justified, and they aren’t special cases – they are justified via the infusion of faith, hope, and charity just as believers who live long lives are.

    Like

  73. The problem is adducing passages affirming Scriptural authority does not entail they are teaching SS. Rome affirms Scriptural authority, not SS.

    Sola Scriptura (us), prima scriptura (Methodists / anglicans), scripture and sacred tradition (you guys).

    We’ve all been down this road before, Mr. Young. Read any good books lately, watch any good shows? Never could get into that Better call saul but seeing as I fall asleep with just about any show I watch, whatever comes on the telly each night makes little difference. You’re our TV guy as always with that goofy moniker. Keep it real.

    Who’s next?

    Like

  74. Erik and Clete, we are doing well in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, check out some stats, read DGH’s Calvinism: A History.

    Reformed churches – 55-85 million[13][34][35]
    Presbyterianism – 40-50 million
    Presbyterian Church of East Africa – 4.0 million[36]
    Presbyterian Church of Nigeria – 3.8 million[37]
    Presbyterian Church of Africa – 3.4 million[38]
    Presbyterian Church in Korea (HapDong) – 3.0 million[39]
    The Presbyterian Church of Korea (TongHap) – 2.9 million[40]
    United Church of Canada – 2.8 million[41]
    Church of Christ in Congo–Presbyterian Community of Congo – 2.5 million[42]
    Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – 1.8 million[43]
    Presbyterian Church of Cameroon – 1.8 million[44]
    Presbyterian Church of India – 1.3 million[45]
    Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian – 1.3 million[46]
    Church of Scotland – 1.1 million[47]
    Presbyterian Church of Brazil – 1.0 million[48]
    Presbyterian Church in Sudan – 1.0 million[49]
    Presbyterian Church in Cameroon – 0.7 million[50]
    Presbyterian Church in Korea (HapDongBoSu II.) – 0.7 million[51]
    Presbyterian Church in Korea (HapDongChunTong) – 0.6 million[52]
    Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana – 0.6 million[53]
    United Church of Christ in the Philippines – 0.5 million[54]

    Like

  75. …but the reforrmed take on “faith alone” is a “faith that is never alone” which is a formula that imports works back into salvation.

    CvD, but you just demonstrate that you don’t really understand the Reformed doctrine. HC 86:

    86. Q. Since, then, we are delivered from our misery by grace alone, through Christ, without any merit of ours, why must we yet do good works?

    A. Because Christ, having redeemed us by his blood, also renews us by his Holy Spirit after his own image, that with our whole life we may show ourselves thankful to God for his benefits, and that he may be praised by us; then, also, that each of us may be assured in himself of his faith by the fruits thereof, and that by our godly walk our neighbors also may be won for Christ.

    Trent does though (because it understood the Reformation).

    CANON 9: “If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.”

    CANON 12: “If any one shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is that confidence alone by which we are justified . . . let him be accursed”

    Canon 14: “If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because that he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema.”

    Like

  76. Yes, the faith that is never alone is talking about the results of having been justified by faith alone. If a person has been justified – declared righteous by the Righteous Judge based only on the merits of the finished work of Christ on the cross and by no merit of his own, but rather being a forensic righteousness, an imputed but not imparted righteousness – in that way, then there will be fruit, there will be evidence in the person’s life. That is what Paul meant when he said that we are created in Christ Jesus to do good works.

    If there are no good works following justification, then there was no justification by faith alone in the first place. This stage of our salvation is what is called sanctification, whereby a believer grows in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is the stage of our salvation where one practices true religion, thus showing Christ’s righteousness in our lives. We become more like Him until we see Him as He is.

    It is always about Christ’s righteousness operating in and through us. Yes, there is a personal righteousness involved as well, but it is never enough to gain God’s approval. We are always cast on the mercy of God and the imputed righteousness of Christ such that God looks at us and sees Christ and His wrath is satisfied. It is always by grace through faith. It is never because of something inherent in us, but rather even our sanctification is all about Christ’s work in us by the enabling of the Holy Spirit. We are clothed in His righteousness alone. He alone is glorified.

    Did I get it right? Is that what Calvinism teaches? Is there anything missing? I mean besides the Scripture references, but I expect that you guys know what texts I am quoting from.

    Like

  77. Well, of course regeneration happens before justification. Without being born from above by the miraculous inner work of the Holy Spirit we are unable to see and enter the Kingdom of God.(John 3)
    We are born dead in our trespasses and sins. We are by nature children of wrath, even as others are. We are made alive, quickened together with Christ. At some point after that quickening, after having been born from above, we will be brought to salvation by grace through faith, and all of that is a gift of God. We can offer no works of our own to God. It is all of grace, all a gift. Then we are enabled by the same Holy Spirit who birthed us, who gave us life in Christ, to walk in the works that were foreordained for us. (Ephesians 2:1-11)

    Is anything missing from what I said here? Well, you can run the whole 9 points of the ordo, but the focus is justification by faith, and you add “ alone, not alone.”

    I say there’s something missing. The Church says there’s something missing. What is the missing element that got Luther into trouble? Hint: it is what Paul says is the only thing that matters. What did Paul “add” to faith that makes it effective?

    Like

  78. @cvd
    ““who gave Luther the right to protest Rome’s abandoment of the gospel? The apostolic witness. ”

    Which of course could be said by any and every person/group you view as a heretic in history to justify their separation.”

    Of course. The right to protest is not a guarantee that one is right when she does. God will judge. Didn’t rome abandon the whole “error has no rights” business?

    Like

  79. Mrs. DoubleYou, love, which evidently is enough to at once anathematize those who leave it out and call them (separated) brethren. So which is it, accursed or in fellowship?

    Like

  80. Scholar of religion says we’re all Josh Duggar (but note who he says is losing members):

    http://amestrib.com/opinion/hector-avalos-politics-duggar-family-values

    Hector Avalos: The politics of Duggar family values

    Josh Duggar, a 27-year-old married father of three, recently admitted that he sexually molested young girls when he was a teen. His parents delayed informing authorities after they found out. We are now told that Josh’s victims included his own sisters. Josh Duggar is part of a family of 19 siblings that gained fame in a popular TLC reality show called “19 Kids and Counting,” which has chronicled the expanding family of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar since 2008. An Arkansas clan that previously did not attract much attention outside of their state became a model of family values for many Christians. Prominent political figures used the Duggars as paradigms of the way a Christian life should be lived. Fans include Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, a current presidential hopeful. On social media, scholars of religion are debating whether this scandal is simply inciting our voyeurism or whether the Duggars reflect something more important about the state of American religion. Those who think the Duggars reflect something deeper about American religion might point to the recent Pew Research Center study, which found that “between 2007 and 2014, the Christian share of the population fell from 78.4 percent to 70.6 percent, driven mainly by declines among mainline Protestants and Catholics.” The causes of these trends are debated, but The Wartburg Watch, a Christian blog, concludes “(W)e believe Christianity is in decline because of the serious problems we discuss here — arrogant church leadership, refusal to deal with child sex abuse in the church, patriarchal attitudes, marginalization of over half of church attendees (women)…”Abandoning Christianity is particularly noticeable among the so-called Millennials (young people between the ages of 18 and 24). According to the Millennials Values Survey of 2012, “58 percent agree that ‘hypocritical’ (saying one thing, doing another) describes present-day Christianity very well. ”Hypocrisy is as old as human existence. However, hypocrisy can be magnified by reality television, which is never as real as it seems.The Duggars have campaigned against gay marriage, and they have mentioned child molestation as one of the potential consequences of expanding gay rights. In defending Josh Duggar, Mike Huckabee remarked on his Facebook page that Josh’s actions were “‘inexcusable,’ but that doesn’t mean ‘unforgivable.’”That statement contradicts the biblical values of Leviticus 20:17 (Revised Standard Version): “If a man takes his sister, a daughter of his father or a daughter of his mother, and sees her nakedness, and she sees his nakedness, it is a shameful thing, and they shall be cut off in the sight of the children of their people; he has uncovered his sister’s nakedness, he shall bear his iniquity.” There is no statute of limitations to absolve you of responsibility. There is no age difference used to excuse you, and forgiveness is not mentioned. You do the crime, you pay the penalty. The very belief that such offenses are forgivable by God may become an incentive to commit more such offenses. And why not let victims decide what is forgivable instead of a presidential candidate? Sarah Palin’s defense consists of comparing Josh’s actions to those of Lena Dunham, the creator of Girls on HBO. Dunham wrote that, when she was 7, she offered her 1-year-old sister candy in return for kisses and a peek at her private parts. But Dunham, whom Palin mockingly called a “pedophile,” does not claim to be a model of biblical family values. Besides, Leviticus 20:17 speaks only of brother-sister interactions.Huckabee and Palin overlook why Millennials could reject their defenses. It is not that people make mistakes. The larger lesson is about the promise that living a Christian lifestyle will somehow save our nation from the social problems that secular morality would bring. Millennials leaving Christianity, therefore, already may have concluded that this promise is a myth. Following “Christian” or “biblical values” does not produce more families free from divorce, addiction to pornography, non-marital pregnancy, domestic violence, or even the sexual abuse of children. Ample statistics show that In this context, the Duggars are not just the creation of reality television; they may truly represent the hypocritical reality of American Christian lifestyles that many Millennials are fleeing.

    Hector Avalos is a professor of religious studies at Iowa State University

    Like

  81. In case you missed it:

    “Those who think the Duggars reflect something deeper about American religion might point to the recent Pew Research Center study, which found that “between 2007 and 2014, the Christian share of the population fell from 78.4 percent to 70.6 percent, driven mainly by declines among mainline Protestants and Catholics.”

    Tom,

    If bigness says something about truth, is losing bigness also a mark of losing truthiness?

    Like

  82. Erik Charter
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink
    In case you missed it:

    “Those who think the Duggars reflect something deeper about American religion might point to the recent Pew Research Center study, which found that “between 2007 and 2014, the Christian share of the population fell from 78.4 percent to 70.6 percent, driven mainly by declines among mainline Protestants and Catholics.”

    Tom,

    If bigness says something about truth, is losing bigness also a mark of losing truthiness?

    You’re not thinking. If Catholicism continues to be the majority of Christianity, and Protestantism remains not only a minority, but so completely fractured within itself that no sect is even a majority of the minority, then there’s an argument to be made that Protestantism is an incoherent mess.

    Again, you justify your religion by attacking Catholicism, but it holds up far better than your version of Christianity. But you can’t justify your religion on what it’s not.

    As for losing “market share” in America via the Pew poll, that’s completely irrelevant to anything. Christianity itself is not the majority religion worldwide. That doesn’t make Christianity as a whole false. By your own logic, if “the Christian share of the population falls” that means Christianity’s losing its “truthiness.”

    This attack fails, by your own lights.

    Like

  83. Zrim, my Mother calls you one of my separated brothers, so I accept you as such.

    Whether you come Home or stay where you are, you cannot avoid the words of the Apostle Paul. You dare not run from them.

    Galatians 5:6 1 Corinthians 13:13

    Why would love be left out of justification by faith when love is the greatest of the theological virtues? That is what Luther removed for the sake of his “alone.” In his rage he ran roughshod over love and trampled it underfoot.

    Paul clarifies what kind of faith he is talking about. It is always faith working through love. From the beginning of faith, it is infused with love, never faith alone without love.

    Luther wanted to have the Summa burned, but the townspeople, wiser than him, would not turn their books over to the madman.

    Like

  84. Mrs. W – Why would love be left out of justification by faith when love is the greatest of the theological virtues?

    Erik – It’s not. Jesus showed his love for His people when he died on the cross for them.

    Like

  85. Tom – then there’s an argument to be made that Protestantism is an incoherent mess.

    Erik – When I join the First Church of Protestantism, let’s talk.

    You’re the one who’s always touting your church’s size relative to mine.

    Remind me not to go to the locker room with you.

    Like

  86. Erik Charter
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 4:39 pm | Permalink
    Tom – then there’s an argument to be made that Protestantism is an incoherent mess.

    Erik – When I join the First Church of Protestantism, let’s talk.

    You’re the one who’s always touting your church’s size relative to mine.

    Remind me not to go to the locker room with you.

    You don’t comprehend the argument, or if you do, you’re pretending not to. Whether you’re unintelligent or dishonest here at Old Life, it doesn’t really matter. Over & out on this one.

    Like

  87. Tom,

    This is a complex argument, so I’m going to make it slowly so I can make sure you get it:

    Ready?

    Some Protestants could be right about things and other Protestants could be wrong about things.

    I know, hard to grasp, but true.

    There may not be any man behind the curtain who has a monopoly on all the right answers.

    Like

  88. Tom realizing that everybody doesn’t immediately bow down in front of his obviously superior arguments is like the guy who buys the muscle building course from the back of the comic book and is astounded that people keep kicking sand in his face…

    Like

  89. Mrs. DoubleYou, the row over justification has already been done. Some still hold to sola fide, others condemn it. The question is why do you accept those who affirm it as brethren when your church condemns them?

    Like

  90. Erik Charter
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 6:12 pm | Permalink
    Tom realizing that everybody doesn’t immediately bow down in front of his obviously superior arguments is like the guy who buys the muscle building course from the back of the comic book and is astounded that people keep kicking sand in his face…

    Puffing yourself up and declaring victory when you’re not even in the game.

    Erik Charter
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink
    In case you missed it:

    “Those who think the Duggars reflect something deeper about American religion might point to the recent Pew Research Center study, which found that “between 2007 and 2014, the Christian share of the population fell from 78.4 percent to 70.6 percent, driven mainly by declines among mainline Protestants and Catholics.”

    Tom,

    If bigness says something about truth, is losing bigness also a mark of losing truthiness?

    TVD
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 3:04 pm | Permalink
    Erik Charter
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink
    In case you missed it:

    “Those who think the Duggars reflect something deeper about American religion might point to the recent Pew Research Center study, which found that “between 2007 and 2014, the Christian share of the population fell from 78.4 percent to 70.6 percent, driven mainly by declines among mainline Protestants and Catholics.”

    Tom,

    If bigness says something about truth, is losing bigness also a mark of losing truthiness?

    You’re not thinking. If Catholicism continues to be the majority of Christianity, and Protestantism remains not only a minority, but so completely fractured within itself that no sect is even a majority of the minority, then there’s an argument to be made that Protestantism is an incoherent mess.

    Again, you justify your religion by attacking Catholicism, but it holds up far better than your version of Christianity. But you can’t justify your religion on what it’s not.

    As for losing “market share” in America via the Pew poll, that’s completely irrelevant to anything. Christianity itself is not the majority religion worldwide. That doesn’t make Christianity as a whole false. By your own logic, if “the Christian share of the population falls” that means Christianity’s losing its “truthiness.”

    This attack fails, by your own lights.

    Like

  91. Actually, Zrim, Luther denied the doctrine of faith formed by love. Are you sure you know what was condemned and what Luther threw out?

    The Church also rejects justification by works of the law. In that way, faith is alone, but it is a faith infused by love. No, it is not love that justifies, it is faith working through love that justifies.

    You ask me how. I give you clues.

    D.G. Hart mocks, but I love him as a brother.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=4BY6GDGR0k4C&pg=PA282&lpg=PA282&dq=aquinas+and+faith+working+through+love&source=bl&ots=mqifZCb4WT&sig=qFo-9f3TjMmn4HA30r06WIWVSPE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=NxByVe-5DYnfoATuioDADQ&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=aquinas%20and%20faith%20working%20through%20love&f=false

    Like

  92. Tom – You’re not thinking. If Catholicism continues to be the majority of Christianity, and Protestantism remains not only a minority, but so completely fractured within itself that no sect is even a majority of the minority, then there’s an argument to be made that Protestantism is an incoherent mess.

    Erik – You’re mistake is in thinking I want to somehow defend “Protestantism” against Catholicism. I don’t. The West’s view of human sexuality is also currently an incoherent mess. That doesn’t mean I’m leaving the West or giving up sex.

    Tom – Again, you justify your religion by attacking Catholicism, but it holds up far better than your version of Christianity. But you can’t justify your religion on what it’s not.

    Erik – I don’t pick the topics. If there were no Catholics here arguing, I doubt I would think about Catholicism that much.

    If you’re interested in (American) religion, it seems to come up a lot, though. The Pope appears to have a good press agent.

    Tom – As for losing “market share” in America via the Pew poll, that’s completely irrelevant to anything. Christianity itself is not the majority religion worldwide. That doesn’t make Christianity as a whole false.

    Erik – O.K. I guess we agree that the truth of a religion has nothing to do with its number of adherents. Good to hear you won’t be bringing up how many members the OPC has any more.

    Like

  93. TVD
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 4:41 pm | Permalink
    Erik Charter
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 4:39 pm | Permalink
    Tom – then there’s an argument to be made that Protestantism is an incoherent mess.

    Tom – As for losing “market share” in America via the Pew poll, that’s completely irrelevant to anything. Christianity itself is not the majority religion worldwide. That doesn’t make Christianity as a whole false.

    Erik – O.K. I guess we agree that the truth of a religion has nothing to do with its number of adherents. Good to hear you won’t be bringing up how many members the OPC has any more.

    You don’t comprehend the argument, or if you do, you’re pretending not to. Whether you’re unintelligent or dishonest here at Old Life, it doesn’t really matter. Over & out on this one.

    Like

  94. Mrs. W.,

    No, it is not love that justifies, it is faith working through love that justifies.

    If that were true, there would be no growth in justification via good deeds of love done in cooperation with grace. But that’s what Rome teaches.

    Like

  95. “justify your religion by attacking Catholicism”

    Who started justifying their conversion by attacking Protestantism?

    Your brothers in the pope.

    Oh, that’s right. You don’t go to church.

    Like

  96. If Tom believed in the superiority of Rome, he’d spend more time at mass then hanging out here complaining that Darryl is just looking for a little honesty from the self-appointed ex-Protetant apologists for the Vatican.

    Like

  97. Erik Charter
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 8:56 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    Or maybe your argument sucks.

    Until you’re able to state the argument fairly, you’re either insulting your intelligence or everyone else’s. Beating your chest doesn’t help.

    Robert
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 8:59 pm | Permalink
    If Tom believed in the superiority of Rome, he’d spend more time at mass then hanging out here complaining that Darryl is just looking for a little honesty from the self-appointed ex-Protetant apologists for the Vatican.

    You know nothing about me sir, and I’ll thank you to not pretend you do. And if you had a counterargument you would make it, instead of adding your little dagger here.

    Try again. In trying to use the recent polls to attack Catholicism, Erik’s own argument attacks Christianity as a whole. He blows himself up with his own grenade.

    Those who think the Duggars reflect something deeper about American religion might point to the recent Pew Research Center study, which found that “between 2007 and 2014, the Christian share of the population fell from 78.4 percent to 70.6 percent, driven mainly by declines among mainline Protestants and Catholics.”

    Tom,

    If bigness says something about truth, is losing bigness also a mark of losing truthiness?

    You’re not thinking. If Catholicism continues to be the majority of Christianity, and Protestantism remains not only a minority, but so completely fractured within itself that no sect is even a majority of the minority, then there’s an argument to be made that Protestantism is an incoherent mess.

    Again, you justify your religion by attacking Catholicism, but it holds up far better than your version of Christianity. But you can’t justify your religion on what it’s not.

    As for losing “market share” in America via the Pew poll, that’s completely irrelevant to anything. Christianity itself is not the majority religion worldwide. That doesn’t make Christianity as a whole false. By your own logic, if “the Christian share of the population falls” that means Christianity’s losing its “truthiness.”

    Like

  98. Tom,

    Have you considered that Mainline Protestantism and Catholicism declining and other groups which contain fewer nominal members staying steady or increasing might be a good thing? Maybe fewer Christians overall, but more serious ones.

    Sounds pretty good, actually.

    Like

  99. Think of different Christian groups like the 50 states. “Living laboratories” seeking out the best way to worship God and help Christians grow. Why does it have to be one size fits all? Over time we should be able to judge these groups by their fruit. Do they maintain biblical fidelity? Do their children stay in the faith? Do they avoid social pathologies? Do they become enamored of wealth and forget about God?

    Rome had a 1200 year monopoly, backed by the Magistrate, yet fumbled the ball. Nothing wrong with giving someone else a shot.

    Like

  100. Erik Charter
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 10:23 pm | Permalink
    Think of different Christian groups like the 50 states. “Living laboratories” seeking out the best way to worship God and help Christians grow. Why does it have to be one size fits all? Over time we should be able to judge these groups by their fruit. Do they maintain biblical fidelity? Do their children stay in the faith? Do they avoid social pathologies? Do they become enamored of wealth and forget about God?

    Rome had a 1200 year monopoly, backed by the Magistrate, yet fumbled the ball. Nothing wrong with giving someone else a shot.

    The Reformation had its shot. The cure was worse than the disease. Instead of rectifying error, it multiplied it. Even if Calvin had it right, it splintered and splintered and splintered from there.

    Erik Charter
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 10:18 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    Have you considered that Mainline Protestantism and Catholicism declining and other groups which contain fewer nominal members staying steady or increasing might be a good thing? Maybe fewer Christians overall, but more serious ones.

    Sounds pretty good, actually.

    You may have landed on the truth of this matter. I heard someone say [IOW, not my original idea] that in the not too distant past, you were either Christian or you weren’t. What has decreased is the number of nominal Christians who call themselves Christian, because it’s OK to say so now. So the faith levels are more or less the same.

    Probably not the whole story but certainly part of it. You may be right about the rest, also, affluence and modernity, challenges to any religion that demands more than an affable hedonism from its adherents. Add in the corrosive effects of unbridled sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, and you see the fundamentalist cementheads of the 60s and 70s were onto something afterall–not just the end of Christendom, but of the entirety of Western Civilization itself.

    But again, relativism is the problem, not the cure. Brad Gregory was onto something: the Reformation brought about not just a rejection of theological authority, but a rejection of classical philosophy as well. The Reformation may never die, but it could be there’s no sustainable middle ground between the nondenominational evangelicals–the fundies who reinvent Christianity every Sunday from the bottom up–and Catholicism, the top-down establishment.

    I’ve always laughed at Mexico’s PRI, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, was pretty funny. Once you’re the institution, you’re no longer revolutionary. “Mainline Protestant” may be an oxymoron too: Once it’s mainline, it’s no longer Protestant. Semper reformanda. If you’re not in schism, you’re not doing it right.

    Like

  101. D.G. Hart:
    Mermaid, but I don’t have invincible ignorance (I know that’s not what some think). That makes me culpable and a heretic.

    Love me now?>>>>>

    Well, I don’t know if you really want an answer, or just want to be nasty to nice Catholic ladies. It’s not that difficult to answer, and you probably already know the answer. However, I will inform you, hoping that you do not suffer from deliberate, invincible ignorance on this matter.

    Think about it. How can you be ex-communicated from a Church you never belonged to? The anathema had to do with ex-communication.

    For ex-Catholics who left the Church of their own volition, the door is open for their return.

    See. That wasn’t hard was it?

    Besides, your treatment of me here would not make me love you any more or any less, though it is meant to annoy and belittle. Luke 6:27-36 still applies.

    35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.

    So, no matter how you look at it, the answer is yes.

    Like

  102. vd, t, here’s why your argument sucks and you need to embrace the suck.

    Protestantism is the majority religion where you live. http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/

    Evangelicals are growing and Roman Catholics are losing members as fast as the mainline. http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/

    Roman Catholics are invariably the same in their views as Americans. They don’t think like Christians. They think like you. http://www.pewforum.org/2013/03/13/strong-catholic-identity-at-a-four-decade-low-in-us/

    And you say EC doesn’t get it?

    Why do you sound like a cage phase convert? At least Mermaid goes to church and believes in Mary.

    Like

  103. vd, t, “The Reformation had its shot. The cure was worse than the disease.”

    Say so long to the American Creation, Locke, and Beza. vd, t wants the Inquisition and Franco’s Spain.

    Like

  104. Mermaid, you didn’t even address the topic. Invincible ignorance covers anyone outside the church who have never been in the church. That would apply to me if I did not know Roman Catholic teaching and then reject them.

    I know Roman Catholic claims and I reject them.

    Love me now?

    Like

  105. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 7, 2015 at 1:29 am | Permalink
    Mermaid, you didn’t even address the topic. Invincible ignorance covers anyone outside the church who have never been in the church. That would apply to me if I did not know Roman Catholic teaching and then reject them.

    I know Roman Catholic claims and I reject them.

    Love me now?

    She answered you, Butch. Luke 6:27-36. That’s what Christianity looks like. Your ignorance on this is vincible.

    I know Roman Catholic claims and I reject them.

    If you do know them, you’re a liar, for you continually misrepresent them.

    As for your arguments to me, they suck. The United States is not all the world, which is a lucky thing for Presbyterianism.

    Like

  106. Tom,

    You know nothing about me sir, and I’ll thank you to not pretend you do. And if you had a counterargument you would make it, instead of adding your little dagger here.

    Just tell us you are going to mass and confession regularly, and we’ll stop assuming that what you once said of yourself is still true.

    Try again. In trying to use the recent polls to attack Catholicism, Erik’s own argument attacks Christianity as a whole. He blows himself up with his own grenade.

    He’s not using recent polls to “attack Catholicism.” He’s using recent polls to point out the folly of thinking Rome is all that because its so big. Which appears to be your argument, or at least a big plank of it.

    I’d also like to know how, if Rome is so “coherent,” Nancy Pelosi and Mother Teresa both faithfully represent Roman Catholic theology. Both have claimed in various ways to speak for the tradition, and yet both are full members in good standing. Talk about confusing.

    Like

  107. The bleeding of the RC church is even worse down here in Latin America. Been doing some teaching here in Lima, Peru. Regular Mass attendance down to 10% of population and only 1% give financially to the church. They say here that electing a Latin pope was attempt to stop bleeding here because Europe a lost cause. Didn’t seem to work. Unfortunately the radical Pentecostals are filling the gap and doing a lot of damage.

    Like

  108. AB, he doesn’t begin to pray, he pretends to pray in the lyrics.

    And Barry McGuire put the original vocal on the song and they erased it, but you can hear him on the first two lines if you are wearing headphones.

    Like

  109. From that link, if nothing else, read the baptist and Pentecostal jokes at the end

    are Evangelicals Winning the World?
    PETER BERGER
    Why are parts of Germany formerly under the enforced secularism of the Communist party rediscovering charismatic religion?

    In its story of May 16, 2015, the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel carried a story tiled (on its cover at least) “Are Evangelicals Winning the World?” [That is my translation. The German wording is “Are Evangelicals conquering…” I substituted the less martial-sounding English “winning”. To the best of my knowledge, there is a remarkable scarcity of Evangelical suicide bombers.] The story states that Evangelical congregations are generally growing in Germany. But it concentrates on two congregations: one in Stuttgart, in western Germany, the other in a suburb of Dresden, in the former DDR (the defunct Communist German Democratic Republic.) The second location is particularly startling.

    The Stuttgart congregation is described as the first American-style mega-church. It is also clearly Pentecostal or charismatic. On Sunday morning some 2,000 people attend services, close their eyes and raise their hands in ecstatic prayer, “speak in tongues” (meaningless babble to outsiders), and watch their preacher perform miracles of healing. The Dresden congregation is located in a suburban area that has been called the Saxon “Bible belt”, in yet another echo of America. Both regions have a long history of Pietism, the German phenomenon closest to American Evangelicalism (but without the miracles). Whether this Pietist heritage (going back some three-hundred years) provides some links with what is happening now is an open question. But the Dresden case raises a more proximate question: how relevant is its more recent history under Communism? The Austrian sociologist Paul Zulehner has called the former DDR one of three European countries in which atheism has become a sort of state religion (the other two are the Czech Republic and Estonia). Is this wild eruption of supernaturalism a delayed reaction to the period when the Communist regime made propaganda for “scientific atheism”? Immediately after the fall of that regime there was a popular revival of the much more sedate form of Protestantism of the Landeskirchen, the old post-Reformation state churches; that revival did not last very long after these churches lost their appeal as one of the few institutions at least relatively free from the control of the party.
    According to some data, there are now about 1.3 million members of congregations united in something called the German Evangelical Alliance (the German word is “evangelisch”). To add to the confusion of any reader of this blog not familiar with the esoterica of German religion, in ordinary parlance, “evangelisch” just means “Protestant”; to distinguish ordinary Lutherans from the aforementioned devotees of the supernatural, the German term “evangelikal” has been invented. Unfortunately, some Lutheran and Scandinavian churches implanted in America have retained the European meaning of “Evangelical”, as in the biggest Lutheran denomination in the U.S.—Evangelical Lutheran Church in America/ELCA (also known in its precincts as “Aunt Elka”). Too bad, dear readers: I didn’t create the confusion, I’m trying to dispel it. (In any case, if a devout Southern Baptist stranded in the Upper Midwest goes to an ELCA service expecting to answer the call from the altar, to accept Jesus as his personal lord and savior, he will be disappointed.)
    Please take it from me, one solidly steeped in in German religious esoterica: The Alliance with 1.3 members should rightly be called “Evangelical” in the American sense of that word! Like their American cousins, these German Evangelicals insist that the Bible, Old and New Testament, should be taken literally as the highest authority in all matters of faith and morality. Oddly enough, Evangelicals on both sides of the Atlantic have an affinity with right-wing and anti-immigrant politics. Dresden in particular has seen its Evangelicals very visible in the ongoing anti-Muslim demonstrations. At the other end of Germany, in Bremen, an Evangelical pastor has attracted media attention by warning against the notion that Christians have anything in common with Islam or Buddhism—they should purify themselves from all this “Muslim nonsense”, and not put up statues of the Buddha, that “fat old gentleman”.
    Why is this happening in Germany now? I don’t know. Is this a singular event, or is it part of a larger process of desecularization in western Europe, a region more secular than any other part of the world? Possibly. The British sociologist Grace Davie has been warning us against over-estimating the degree of “eurosecularity”—as she put it, many things are happening “under the radar”. Eastern Europe, especially Russia, has undergone some dramatic returns of religion in the wake of the enforced secularism of the Communist party. But even if I must honestly say that I don’t fully understand the present situation of religion in western Europe, there is one fact that we can be reasonably sure of: Evangelical Protestantism (especially but not exclusively in its Pentecostalist/charismatic form) is going through a period of rapid growth in Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia (notably in China). Why is this? David Martin, another British sociologist who has been a kind of dean of Pentecostalism studies, has shown in great detail how this astounding development can be understood as yet another incarnation of the Protestant ethic, which was a crucial factor in the genesis of modern capitalism.
    I think he is right. But I think there is another important factor, which has been generally overlooked. Allow me to regale you with the Berger hypothesis on why Evangelical Protestantism is doing so well in much of the contemporary world: Because it is the most modern of any large religion on offer today. I am well aware of the fact that this contradicts the prevailing view of Evangelicals in academia and the media—so brilliantly expressed in President Obama’s priceless characterization of a demographic not voting for him in the 2008 election as economically challenged people “clinging to their guns and their God”. In other words, seen from the perspective of Harvard Yard these are the great unwashed out of step with modernity. But curiously this is also how diehard Evangelical fundamentalists see themselves—as defenders of the true faith against the intellectual and moral aberrations of modernity. They are both wrong.
    Evangelicals believe that one cannot be born a Christian, one must be “born again” by a personal decision to accept Jesus. What can be more modern than this? This view of the Christian faith provides a unique combination of individualism with a strong community of fellow believers supporting the individual in his decision. It allows individuals to be both religious and modern. That is a pretty powerful package. Is my hypothesis just an expression of my own faith? Definitely not. I am not Pentecostal nor any other sort of Evangelical. But if (instead of being an incurable evangelisch Lutheran), I were Evangelical but also an objective sociologist, I would look at the empirical evidence and find the hypothesis plausible, and worthy of exploration. Am I sure of this interpretation? Of course not; science, including social science, does not lead to certainties, only probabilities. This is not the place to develop my hypothesis in greater detail. Let me just suggest that to be a Saxon Evangelical is not as much of a contradiction as it may seem, and that such an individual can find congenial places of worship from Sao Paulo, to Lagos, to Seoul (not to mention Dallas).
    There is one obvious objection I should deal with: My hypothesis (a man-bites-dog story if there ever was one) seems to fly in the face of the fact that Evangelicals have great problems with many aspects of a modern, science-based worldview. How can one be a modern person who also believes that the world is only six-thousand years old, or that prayer can divert the course of a hurricane to hit my neighbor rather than myself? Or, for that matter, that the first five books of the Old Testament were written by Moses? Come with me to Dallas and you can easily meet people who manage this feat: successful petroleum engineers, heart surgeons or computer specialists. It is good to keep in mind that most people are not philosophers who want to have a logically coherent worldview. But all of us, including philosophers, operate in different “relevance structures” (to use the very useful concept coined by Alfred Schutz), and we constantly switch from one to the other. For example, I earnestly discuss sociology with a woman colleague at a scholarly conference, and find her increasingly attractive: I am switching from a professional to an erotic relevance. Alternatively, I discover that she is an ardent supporter of a politician I find very objectionable: She loses her attractiveness, as I switch from an erotic to a political or moral relevance. Probably this ability to switch relevances already belonged to our Neolithic ancestors, but it becomes specially important if one is to operate in a complicated modern society.
    Back in Dallas, our petroleum engineer does drilling in the morning, plays chess in the evening—and goes to a conservative Baptist church on Sunday morning, listening to a sermon repudiating the theory of evolution. As long as these different relevances don’t collide on the level of actual behavior (say, some Evangelical Old Testament scholar claims that a hitherto overlooked passage in the Book of Leviticus condemns chess), one can happily go on switching relevances. Perhaps the following joke is (indeed) relevant to this discussion: Why are Baptists opposed to premarital sex? Because it may lead to dancing!
    Finally, let me tell a Pentecostal joke (perhaps the only existing one): At a meeting of Pentecostals, how do you find out how many people want to stay for lunch after the meeting? You go in and say: Those who want to stay for lunch after the meeting, please lower your hands!

    Like

  110. Erik, while me and kent are being precise, no “e” in Anne:

    Ann Hart’s journey to Hillsdale
    by Casey Harper April 11, 2013

    Ann Hart, professor in English, began teaching at Hillsdale College this Spring.

    She is currently teaching Great Books II while working part time as an editor for Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs, a quarterly journal on foreign policy.

    Hart’s love for the written word has taken her all over the country, from city to city.

    Fresh out of college, she and her best friend, an artist, headed to Philadelphia to become famous. Hart wanted to write the next great American novel.

    “We were driven by youthful enthusiasm,” Hart remarked. “And we were mugged by reality.”

    Needing cash in her pocket, Hart ended up as a procedures writer at Reliance Insurance Company – not exactly her ideal job.

    “You can focus on your vocation,” Hart said. “But you may have to make a living unless you marry well.”

    It was during her time in Philadelphia when she met Darryl Hart, professor in history, at church. He was a high school senior dating the two-years-older Hart.

    “Best thing that has happened,” Hart added. “If you are looking for a spouse, go to church.”

    Darryl Hart sensed his wife’s dissat­is­faction with her insurance job and suggested she pursue literature instead. Hart said she had always considered her older siblings the “smart” ones, but went to jour­nalism school at night, worked during the day, and wrote during her lunch breaks.

    Even­tually, she quit her day job to waitress which she said was rather risky.

    “I was a woman trying to make it in the business world, and I quit my full time job,” Hart explained.

    Nonetheless, she did earn her master’s degree at Temple University.

    “I’m really glad I did that,” Hart added.

    Hart explained she has spent the last 31 years lovingly following her husband’s lead. From Philadelphia to Boston to Baltimore to Chicago, back to Philadelphia, and even­tually to Hillsdale.

    She worked at State Street Bank, John Hopkins as a copy-editor and creative manager, she tutored for writing skills, worked at another insurance agency, wrote for a community newspaper with an editor she described as “left over from the 60s,” free­lanced, was a teacher’s assistant, became the editor for Orbis, and even­tually found herself here in Hillsdale.

    “It is like a different country,” Hart commented.

    Hart explained she had never aspired to be an editor, and, although she is not complaining, would love to simply write for a living.

    “Editing is pulling weeds,” Hart said. “Writing is landscape design.”

    During her free time, Hart has been writing a novel addressing the cultural wars throughout the last 30 to 40 years.

    Her time teaching Great Books has taught her to be careful with “all over the place” writing.

    “You have to have good char­acters that make sense, not ideas with legs,” Hart said.

    Hart said she has loved teaching the course.

    “It is like a directed book club,” Hart said.

    Freshman Claire Benz who is in Hart’s class said she has loved her teaching style.

    “She is easy to have discussion with,” Benz said. “Class is lively, and she keeps things interesting.”

    Annie Toohey, another freshman in the class said that the discussion aids her learning.

    “I never get bored in that class,” Toohey said. “It is a different style of teaching. Instead of just lecture, we share our ideas, and I am learning with the whole class.”

    Hart explained she teaches in a discussion-based style because she finds it important to continue the great conver­sations of the past in the present.

    “I was a TA at Temple and kids just weren’t that interested,” Hart said. “It is wonderful to have dialogue with the students.”

    Hart wants to do even more with the college students.

    After 9/11, Hart said she realized just how small the world is. She is currently working on forming a closer link between Hillsdale’s students and the Foreign Policy Institute, hoping for students to work as interns, help at the summer academy, and develop connection with the Foreign Policy Journal.

    She noted that the internet’s birth in 1994 and has made 2013 a wonderful time to be a budding writer.

    With the internet age, you do not have to hand deliver stories. Hart herself telecommutes with an editor in Connecticut, a publisher in Dublin, and a president in Philadelphia for Orbis.

    “A literary back­ground is great,” Hart said.

    Hart also went to the Turkey honors trip last summer and made a lasting impact on the students who went with her.

    “I loved it,” Hart said. “For most of them it was their first time out of the country, and they were already working on theses. Such energy.”

    Elizabeth Anne Odell attended the trip and said she enjoyed Hart’s conver­sations over breakfast.

    “She is very well educated,” Odell said. “She had her notebook out, sketching and taking notes, being a good example of a traveler.”

    Odell said she also attends Hart’s church and has observed her outside of an educa­tional setting.
    “I admire her success,” Odell said. “She has a wonderful rela­tionship with her husband. She is dedicated to whatever she does, whether it be church or her job or her marriage.”
    http://www.hillsdalecollegian.com/2013/04/ann-harts-journey-to-hillsdale/

    Like

  111. Is this what Mermaid, Susan, vd, t, vd, c, and MichaelTX want (loser Ken is free to weigh in)?

    The Mass that most Catholics are familiar with today draws its rituals from the Ordinary Form, or Novus Ordo, which dates back to 1969, at the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council. This is the rubric that ushered out Latin in favor of the vernacular and turned the priest around to face the people.

    This supplanted the Mass of 1962, with its more formal, Latin liturgy, that was suppressed after Vatican II.

    In 1984, Pope John Paul II decided it could be celebrated with special permission from Rome.

    But that older Mass, now called the Extraordinary Form, enjoyed something of a renaissance under Pope Benedict XVI. In 2007, the now-retired pope issued instructions to bishops and priests to make the rite more available for Catholics who wished to worship in that style.

    Whereas Vatican II-era liturgists made “efforts to try to switch out smells and bells for strums and drums,” as Patrick J. Reilly of the Cardinal Newman Society put it during a lunch panel with Burke, Pope Benedict’s decree was an opportunity to reverse course.

    There aren’t numbers available on how many dioceses or parishes offer the Latin Mass, but its fans comprise a vocal minority in the Church who believe most Catholics would be on their side if they only knew of its beauty. Groups of young Catholics host the Latin Mass in dioceses from DC to Los Angeles.

    Those gathered here applaud speakers who seek to bring the Latin Mass to Catholic campus ministry centers, promote the use of Gregorian chant in parishes, and restore all-male altar server programs. They laugh at the mere mention of Vatican II hymns. They audibly gasp at projected images of Catholic churches lacking icons and statues.

    Many insist that a renewed emphasis on the liturgy — a very particular form of liturgy — will lead to the Church’s renewal and may even transform the world along the way.

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  112. You know, it’s good the OPC had a peaceful GA. I remember I went to Presbytery for the PCA South Florida Presbytery. I liked it. The worship was terrible though: cheesy 80s worship coming out of a CD player. There were paintings of Jesus.

    I mean, I like El Greco, but 2nd commandment ya know? I can enjoy Renaissance and Baroque art. I can’t enjoy American Christian art. Then again, it’s all middlebrow.

    I considered reconverting to Roman-ism. I stopped because I found out that I wanted to convert for the following reasons:

    1) I valued Scriptural authority and seriousness. The Reformed churches have both.
    2) I valued good Gospel preaching. The local bishop doesn’t have that. Most priests in my diocese don’t have that. If I go to a Reformed church, I usually hear Law and Gospel preaching.
    3) I valued the historicity of the Catholic church. Calvin and Co. cite Patristics up the wazoo. His Institutes are heavily influence by Peter Lombard (at least according to some guy out of RTS) and my study of worship sees that Calvin and Luther still retained the basics of historic Christian worship.
    4) I valued grace. I wanted to be part of a Church that would tell me that Jesus loved me. I don’t see assurance of faith in Roman doctrine. I see it in Reformed doctrine. I struggle with enough anxiety as it is.

    Though the most important reason was that I wanted to feel like something bigger than myself. I wanted emotional stability. I wanted a religion to fix all my feelings so I could become unthinking. I don’t think that’s every Catholic convert, but I’ve already been through that once before.

    I still the value the first four. And I need to be okay with being “broken” with the fifth.

    Oy! Anyway, I spoke too much. I’ll just leave now. I just wanted to write this to see if I could add something of value. If it wasn’t valuable, meh.

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  113. @_@_@_@_@_@_@

    Though in all seriousness, keep me in your prayers. I’m looking for work so I don’t go to debt pursuing an MA in Theology. I wanna write a thesis on St. Athanasius’ Contra Gentiles and On the Incarnation but I don’t wanna go poor doing it. I’m also gonna propose to girlfriend in a month, unemployment be damned. Scary stuff, manhood.

    I will say this. DG Hart’s blog has more comments than his Patheos blog. That blog seems to confuse its readership. It amuses me.

    o/ (This is a handwave)

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  114. The Church also rejects justification by works of the law. In that way, faith is alone, but it is a faith infused by love. No, it is not love that justifies, it is faith working through love that justifies.

    Mrs. DoubleYou, the works of the law are manifestations of love, i.e. these are synonymous terms, so to say the church rejects justification by works of the law on the one hand but that love is required in addition to faith is duplicitous because it’s just another way of saying that justification is by faith and works (which is to say love). This is what your church teaches. It doesn’t deny that, as some misinformed Prots might suggest, justification is by faith. It denies that it is by faith alone.

    But the question still remains as to how the RCC can both anathematize those who hold to sola fide (and reject faith and love) and declare them separated brethren. But perhaps the same dizzying mechanism that allows it to say that justification is not by faith and love except that it is is the same one that allows a simultaneous anathema and embrace, and it’s only the bumbling and schismatic who can’t compute it.

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  115. Hart,
    I can’t speak for anybody else, but I would like to see more parishes have a regular 1962 Latin Mass with Gregorian chant as an option. We are going I start traveling about an hour and a half once a month to participate in one. BTW, in my understanding the Tridentine Mass was never official abbrogated. Mainly just locally abondoned. But that didn’t happen universally. You have priest like st Padre Pio and others who continued to practice it in full communion with the Church. Here is a quote from a ministry to educating about it:

    4. Does the Latin Mass fulfill my Sunday obligation?
    Catholics of any rite can fulfill their obligation for Mass on Sundays and Holy Days at the Roman Mass in the Extraordinary Form. The traditional Latin Mass, of course, was the norm for centuries and as Pope Benedict XVI has stated, it has never been outlawed (i.e. abrogated).

    In light of the proper understanding of the documents of the Second Vatican Counsel, and the clear teaching of Pope Benedict XVI in Summorum Ponficum, who today would dare question the validity, excellence, or spiritual benefits of the Mass that for centuries nourished the souls of the great saints and martyrs!

    Mass in the Extraordinary Form (1962 Missale Romanum) fulfills the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days, and there is no reason to doubt the authenticity or legality of the Mass that is our proud heritage.

    http://Www.santamissa.org

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  116. Zrim:
    It denies that it is by faith alone.>>>>>

    Faith without love is nothing. It counts for nothing.
    Galatians 5:6 (ESV)

    6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

    Paul uses a work of the Law – circumcision- to contrast it with another kind of work. Does that start to sound like James 2:24?

    Circumcision is what binds a Jewish male to the law of Moses, yet Paul says it counts for nothing.

    There is no such thing as faith that does not work through love. It is a figment of Luther’s imagination.

    Zrim:
    Mrs. DoubleYou, the works of the law are manifestations of love, i.e. these are synonymous terms…>>>

    Evidently circumcision was not considered to be an act of faith working through love. Do you see how you contradicted the Apostle Paul? I would imagine that you fancy yourself a believer in sola scriptura. Are you really?

    Circumcision = nothing. Faith working through love = everything.

    Take care, Zrim

    …and it’s Mrs. Webfoot

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  117. Zrim
    Posted June 7, 2015 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    But the question still remains as to how the RCC can both anathematize those who hold to sola fide (and reject faith and love) and declare them separated brethren.

    Good question, Mr. Z. Why don’t you do some homework instead of hassling nice Catholic ladies who don’t give a spit about this legalistic hairsplitting about something 500 years ago that you may or may not understand correctly?

    If your heart is right, you’re “a separated brethren” and not an “anathema.” Let your heart not be troubled.

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  118. The problem with Mrs. Webfoot’s exegesis of Galatians 5 is that Paul has just spent Galatians 1-4 contrasting faith & works. If our love becomes something that we think goes hand in hand with Christ’s justifying work, we’ve missed the point. The love in Galatians 5 fits in with the Fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 6. It’s an effect of justification by faith, not a cause of justification.

    If you’re counting on your love to save you, you had better be keeping the whole Law perfectly as well. That is Paul’s message.

    Who really loves anyone but themselves consistently anyway?

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  119. At its root I fear that the Catholic scheme of “cooperation” is nothing more than an attempt to feel like we really are good people. Jesus is the only good person, though, which is why we look to Him, not to ourselves.

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  120. Tom,

    As protestants, our head is right, and we damn straight are anathema?

    Stop appealing to people’s emotions. You’re smarter than this. How much did you drink at that tony awards party 😉

    You are fun, but a non-religionist. Enjoy life as pony boy, amigo.

    Next. I’ve got more.

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  121. Mrs. DoubleYou, the point isn’t to rehash the sola fide debate. It’s been quite done. All that remains is to take sides. The Reformation and Trent understood one another, but one subsequent tactic since has been to suggest they didn’t, which TVD helpfully demonstrates.

    TVD, do whole Councils convene and pronounce eternal matters over legalistic hair-splitting? Maybe as a divested cultural religionist you think so. But invested doctrinal religionists beg to differ.

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  122. Zrim, my point is that Luther was wrong, Paul was right. Do you want to go with Luther or the Apostle Paul? That is clearly my point.

    Luther stripped faith of the only thing that matters, and you are talking nonsense.

    I will leave it there, since you have no real argument against Paul. If you take Luther’s side, you are on the wrong side.

    Now, you don’t have to agree, but this is important to me. You have no argument against Paul. The Reformation has no argument against Paul. It is a red herring to try to argue James against Paul on the matter of charity. There is complete harmony without having to add “justification by faith alone, but faith is not alone” as if that explains some paradox. The paradox is a figment of Luther’s imagination.

    If you understand faith properly, you will see that it is “faith-working-through-love” faith – always, from the very beginning.

    You, my dear brother, are arguing your tradition, and ignoring Scripture. Read Galatians 5:6. There is no problem with my exegesis. Reread all of Paul with this definition of “faith” in mind – if your tradition will allow it.

    Anyway, take care, Zrim. Have a wonderful day. It is beautiful, here. Thanks for the interaction.

    The Catholic Church was defending the Gospel when she convened the Council of Trent.

    BTW, the Church is “she” not “it”. She is the Bride of Christ, therefore she is feminine.

    Like

  123. If you take Luther’s side, you are on the wrong side.

    There we go. But how can you call me brother if I oppose Paul?

    Like

  124. Luther also reckoned with Galatians 5.6:

    http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mlg/view.cgi?book=ga&chapter=005

    Verse 6

    For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love.

    Faith must of course be sincere. It must be a faith that performs good works through love. If faith lacks love it is not true faith. Thus the Apostle bars the way of hypocrites to the kingdom of Christ on all sides. He declares on the one hand, “In Christ Jesus circumcision availeth nothing,” i.e., works avail nothing, but faith alone, and that without any merit whatever, avails before God. On the other hand, the Apostle declares that without fruits faith serves no purpose. To think, “If faith justifies without works, let us work nothing,” is to despise the grace of God. Idle faith is not justifying faith. In this terse manner Paul presents the whole life of a Christian. Inwardly it consists in faith towards God, outwardly in love towards our fellow-men.”

    Like

  125. Hart,
    BTW, I do like Cardinal Burke. It is mainly for his doctrinal and moral clarity of speech and not nessicarily for his possistion of liturgical renewal, though that is good too. Interesting article thanks from sharing the link.

    Like

  126. There’s a dissertation waiting to be written on the subject of an economic interpretation of the Council of Trent.

    If the Council has agreed with Luther, wouldn’t that have potentially deprived a lot of people of their livelihoods and cost the Roman Catholic Church a lot of money? How could they afford to agree with Luther? So much of what so many clerics did in helping people work the steps would have become unnecessary.

    You can shepherd a lot of people with a gospel preacher and able elders and deacons. The need to support an expensive church hierarchy goes away. The Federational headquarters of the URCNA is a p.o. box. Roxanne Conlin discovered this when she tried to sue the Federation. No assets besides a checking account with a small balance.

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  127. Dg, the Catholic news/commentary site was unfimiliar to me. The article writer definitely had a position on what they were “covering”. It was not nutral.

    Like

  128. I’ve mentioned this before, but W.F. Buckley had a priest come to his place to perform the Latin mass for him & his staff each week — before Benedict declared it Kosher. Money plus a stubborn streak still gets a lot done inside the superior paradigm.

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  129. EC – “You can shepherd a lot of people with a gospel preacher and able elders and deacons. The need to support an expensive church hierarchy goes away. The Federational headquarters of the URCNA is a p.o. box. Roxanne Conlin discovered this when she tried to sue the Federation. No assets besides a checking account with a small balance.”

    I admit, I laughed.

    Like

  130. Hey AB, I’m trying to get off the hook. I only was able to read about 2/3s of it so far. I appreciate his point of view from what I have read. I thing he may be expecting the writer to have done more than they were intending to do though. Seems to me they were only intending to find the language and positions they could speak in union on not resolve the things that still differ in language or position. It is obvious there is still a disunity. The writers were only seeking progress not perfection. I will finish reading and get back to you directly.
    Peace

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  131. Zrim,

    “86. Q. Since, then, we are delivered from our misery by grace alone, through Christ, without any merit of ours, why must we yet do good works?”

    Must? Stop earning your way to heaven.

    “Trent does though (because it understood the Reformation).”

    Well this is refreshing considering some of your cohorts assert Trent traded in nothing but caricatures and distortions in its responses.

    “CANON 9: “If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.”

    Yep – notice it condemns faith alone “in such wise as to mean” – that’s why Benedict and other RC theologians affirm faith alone, properly understood – that is a faith formed by and not opposed to love. Further if the notion of cooperation somehow nullifies sola fide, I hope you’ll treat all those Arminians professing sola fide as gospel deniers as well.

    “CANON 12: “If any one shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is that confidence alone by which we are justified; let him be accursed”
    “Canon 14: “If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because that he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema.”

    Well this is odd you take issue with these. Okay, so antinominians are justified according to you since they assuredly believe themselves absolved and justified by their faith alone and have confidence in mercy correct? And a regenerate in a period of spiritual crisis who has doubt and thinks he might be unjustified is actually not justified according to you as well right?

    “so to say the church rejects justification by works of the law on the one hand but that love is required in addition to faith is duplicitous because it’s just another way of saying that justification is by faith and works (which is to say love). This is what your church teaches. It doesn’t deny that, as some misinformed Prots might suggest, justification is by faith. It denies that it is by faith alone.”

    It denies that it is by a faith separate from or devoid of charity. You affirm it is by a faith that is never alone – why does HC say we “must yet do good works”? And again, if your characterization of what RC church teaches was correct, why does it teach baptized infants and deathbed conversions can be saved – they have no works.

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  132. CvD, …in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification… which is to say, something in addition to faith is required to co-operate in order to obtain the grace of justification, which is to say that justification is faith plus works.

    So if Benedict and the others agree, then great, can we get a pardon? But they don’t, they still hold that sola fide means faith plus works, which is why the anathema still stands.

    We must we still do good works? “Because Christ, having redeemed and delivered us by his blood, also renews us by his Holy Spirit, after his own image; that so we may testify, by the whole of our conduct, our gratitude to God for his blessings, and that he may be praised by us; also, that every one may be assured in himself of his faith, by the fruits thereof; and that, by our godly conversation others may be gained to Christ.” Duh.

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  133. Zrim:
    If you take Luther’s side, you are on the wrong side.

    There we go. But how can you call me brother if I oppose Paul?>>>>>>

    Well, brother Zrim, I, like our Mother the Church, take pity on you. I know how hard the Protestants have worked to make it all add up. I know how you beat up your brains, trying to come up with an ordo or something that includes all the parts of salvation in the right proportion and in the proper order.

    …and where love fits in – and law and grace. In the years since the Council of Trent convened, lotsa’ little and big changes have been made to Protestant thinking and theology on the subject of justification such that it bears little resemblance to what Luther created.

    Anyway, I feel sorry for ya’. There is a better way, a way that eases the mind and lets your brains rest. You can come Home, after all.

    But if you prefer, go ahead and knock yourselves out. Keep trying to make it add up and make sense. How can the will be useless, yet we much choose Christ?

    …or… Why not just throw Bondage of the Will out and pick up a little Summa? Your mind will thank you.

    I wish you all the best.

    Like

  134. Mermaid, “There is a better way, a way that eases the mind and lets your brains rest.”

    Is that Purgatory Way?

    Are you in mortal sin now? Venial sin? How do you know? Should you be worried? Or are you exhibiting the cheap grace that Roman Catholics condemned in the Reformation?

    If I were in you shoes, I wouldn’t be so confident.

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  135. Mrs. DoubleYou, odd how your pity sounds so condescending. But I’m not sure your point about the ordo–confessional Prots don’t get too tied up over it. Even more unsure your point about working so hard–justification sola fide seems to be the plain reading of holy writ. The straining and tortured work comes from making it say something other than the Protestant interpretation.

    Still, there is no salvation outside the church (and where is SHE? She’s where the three marks are evident, the first being she who affirms sola fide). Instead of feigning fellowship with those outside her, Prots implore those outside to join her and have eternal life.

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  136. Zrim,

    “justification sola fide seems to be the plain reading of holy writ. The straining and tortured work comes from making it say something other than the Protestant interpretation.”

    From this blog’s favorite site – http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2009/09/does-the-bible-teach-sola-fide/

    “When we unpack the distinction between the Protestant and Catholic positions on this subject, we find that this question rests on a deeper question, namely, whether there is any Biblical evidence that persons are justified prior to or apart from, love for God. My survey of the relevant passages in the New Testament has shown that there is no evidence that persons are justified prior to or apart from, love for God. Not only can all the passages teaching justification by faith be understood as referring to faith conjoined with agape, but as I have shown, there is a good evidence from Scripture that justifying faith should be understood as necessarily conjoined with agape in order to be justifying.

    Even if the evidence were a 50-50 toss-up, not favoring one position over the other, the Catholic position would have the benefit of the doubt. That is because a schism cannot justifiably be created or maintained, on the basis of a hermeneutical coin-flip. The hermeneutical evidence would have to be strongly tilted in favor of the Protestant position, before one could (hypothetically) even begin to make a case for causing a schism from the Church or remaining in schism from the Church.”

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  137. Zrim,

    “justification sola fide seems to be the plain reading of holy writ. The straining and tortured work comes from making it say something other than the Protestant interpretation.”

    From this blog’s favorite site – www[dot]calledtocommunion.com

    The exact moment I stopped reading.

    Next comment please.

    Like

  138. MWF, that’s interesting.

    Didn’t click, but next time you feel the need to let it out, you can use this thread, it’s kind of a dumping ground for random links and just when you want to broadcast something to a few protestants who may read. Just a suggestion.

    Grace and peace.

    Next comment please.

    Like

  139. Mrs. – …and where love fits in – and law and grace. In the years since the Council of Trent convened, lotsa’ little and big changes have been made to Protestant thinking and theology on the subject of justification such that it bears little resemblance to what Luther created.

    Erik – Meanwhile I study the close to 500 year old Heidelberg each night…

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  140. Mrs. & Tom’s biggest weakness: persisting in arguing against a straw man of “Protestantism” when 90% of guys here hold to Reformed theology that falls within very narrow boundaries that are summarized in the Three Forms and the Westminster Standards.

    It’s like debating with someone about the NFL and they keep on talking about Australian Rules Football and who won the Grey Cup last year…

    Like

  141. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 8, 2015 at 5:03 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid, “There is a better way, a way that eases the mind and lets your brains rest.”

    Is that Purgatory Way?

    Are you in mortal sin now? Venial sin? How do you know? Should you be worried? Or are you exhibiting the cheap grace that Roman Catholics condemned in the Reformation?

    If I were in you shoes, I wouldn’t be so confident.

    You’re sounding pretty desperate there, tough guy. Your confidence in your own fallen reason is what’s shaky here.

    Like

  142. Note how the “nice Catholic lady” who Tom wants us to feel pity for bears little resemblance to the snarky person we continually encounter here.

    Not buying.

    Nice manners, babe.

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  143. Erik,

    Rudolf Clausius’ second law of thermodynamics seems to indicate a direction from order to disorder.

    The interlocutors usually start out strong, and they unravel over time. Exhibit A. : Mermaid. Exhibit B: Cletus.

    It seems to be a universal constant, perhaps even provable within the confines of a laboratory (i.e. olts).

    next.

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  144. Tom,

    Adding on to Erik’s question, if you believe in purgatory (assuming you do), how much should christians pay the pope in order for their dead relatives to receive time off from purgatory? Is there a schedule somewhere, what did Tetzel charge again? My favorite theses is #86, they are all winners tho:

    Again: since the pope’s income to-day is larger than that of the wealthiest of wealthy men, why does he not build this one church of St. Peter with his own money, rather than with the money of indigent believers?

    #samestuffdifferentday

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  145. Mrs.,

    I know you’re not a fan of Luther, but what do you think of Thesis #86 that Andrew cites?

    A fair point or did the Pope have a right to that money?

    How about you, Tom?

    Like

  146. great postL

    Presbyterian Revival 2015
    June 6, 2015 by D. G. Hart 1 Comment
    Revivalism and Presbyterianism have a long and complicated history. Presbyterians in the United States split twice over revivals, the first time (when they weren’t yet Americans) in 1741 after (Boy) George Whitefield invaded the North American British colonies. They split again in 1837 when Charles Finney’s preaching and methods became objectionable.
    Calvinism more generally is the faith said to produce God’s “frozen chosen.” A common complaint about Presbyterians is that they put the Holy Spirit in a box whose confines are decorum, rules, and predestination.
    So when was the last time you went to the annual business meeting of an organization where you prayed on average 15 times per day (and these are edifying prayers, not the “Lord,Ijustwanna” kind), sang 5 hymns or psalms, heard a devotional each day, and listened to reports that included regular readings from Scripture? Probably not very often. Psshaw, I doubt if you’d pray or sing that much or hear that much Bible at a week-long Billy Graham crusade set of meetings.
    But this is the pace I am on even as I write from the General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. The assembly is the highest judicatory of a Presbyterian communion where elders and pastors review the work of denominational committees, set budgets, hear judicial complaints, elect representatives, and welcome ambassadors from international churches. It is, pure and simple, a business meeting. Our agenda was over 200 pages this year. We meet for close to 10 hours a day for the better part of a business week (5 days). It can be long and grueling.
    But these meetings are also amazingly revitalizing. Because of the prominence of Scripture, prayer, and singing, commissioners to assemblies likely engage in more times of worship than they do even on Sundays when they meet for morning and evening services.
    I used to be skeptical about the phrase, “bathed in prayer.” In 1992, when the Christian Reformed Church, in which I was then an elder, decided to ordain women as elders and ministers, the denominational magazine announced that the decision was “bathed in prayer.” As someone who follows Paul’s instructions to Titus and Timothy, I wasn’t so sure that these prayers were quite so cleansing.
    But after participating in another General Assembly, I have a better feeling about that phrase.

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  147. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 8, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid, great. Too bad it can’t be used liturgically by Roman Catholics.

    D. G. Hart
    Posted June 8, 2015 at 5:59 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, why do you care? Or do you not care about sin?

    What you’re doing qualifies, Butch. Jerks for Jesus. Repent.

    Like

  148. Erik,

    Ok, understood.

    I’ll be sure to keep my disqus up so I can post random comments with the drunks. It’s fun getting a pic of my cat on their site (winky emoticon).

    AB out.

    Like

  149. Tom, I’ll be really impressed when I see your avatar show up on Darryl’s patheos blog.

    Will you grace that blog with your bearded spock avatar as well, hmm?

    Sorry for giving him the idea DGH (wink).

    Like

  150. vd, t, why do you defend jerks like David Barton, who loves Jesus and isn’t in fellowship with the Bishop of Rome?

    Why do you care?

    Do you care if your soul is in eternal peril?

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  151. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 8, 2015 at 8:47 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, why do you defend jerks like David Barton, who loves Jesus and isn’t in fellowship with the Bishop of Rome?

    Why do you care?

    Do you care if your soul is in eternal peril?

    Why do you keep changing the subject? The subject is Christian love, and why you don’t have any, or if you do, show exactly the opposite. If you have faith, it is dead.

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  152. Tom,

    What’s with the love obsession of late?

    Flashbacks to your time in the Haight back in ’67?

    You seem awfully crabby to be a self-ordained apostle of love.

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  153. Tom, with comments like that, we may start clamoring for sowers treatment against you, indefinitely.

    Fortunately, no one listens to you.

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  154. Erik Charter
    Posted June 8, 2015 at 9:08 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    What’s with the love obsession of late?

    Flashbacks to your time in the Haight back in ’67?

    You seem awfully crabby to be a self-ordained apostle of love.

    Mrs. Web peeled back the curtain on this whole smelly enterprise. Without love, all this theologizing is empty. In fact, all this theologizing is devoid of love, and this whole discussion has taken place under Darryl’s nose without him able to join it in any meaningful way. Instead, he mocks a nice lady in defense of his empty theology.

    I’m not the crabby one atall, Erik. Your aim is way off. Me, I remain fascinated by a “Christianity” that so obviously ignores the 2nd Great Commandment. I wonder what makes people like that tick.

    As for purgatory, I don’t know. Catholicism claims Biblical warrant for it*; even the EOs disagree. I shrug my shoulders. In eternity, 1000 years of purgatory would last 1 second. I’m not gonna start a theological war over it.

    *http://www.catholic.com/blog/tim-staples/is-purgatory-in-the-bible

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  155. ec, does vd, t stay on topic?

    me: Rome has problems.

    vd, t: the OPC is small.

    me: the apologists are triumphalistic.

    vd, t: PCUSA

    me: Edgardo Mortara

    vd, t: your faith is dead.

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  156. Tom,
    You called our religion a joke yesterday.
    I’ll link and quote if you make me.
    You are way off and only make yourself look worse with each post.
    Continue.

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  157. But Tom, I don’t feel like you and Mrs. Webfoot are really loving Darryl.

    How about if we settle for some minimal level of civility and just talk about ideas.

    If we can get Andrew settled down that will pretty much just leave you & Darryl’s sniping to deal with.

    Thanks for the thoughts on Purgatory.

    Like

  158. Man have you guys been going at it today. God bless and keep you guys. If anybody wishes to hear any of this good old Texas boys ideas email me. My email is on my blog. Not much of anything else over ther though. Just some links to learn the Catholic faith from some people who really know. Me… I’m just enjoying a glass of cheap wine. God is good.

    Like

  159. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 8, 2015 at 9:21 pm | Permalink
    ec, does vd, t stay on topic?

    me: Rome has problems.

    vd, t: the OPC is small.

    me: the apologists are triumphalistic.

    vd, t: PCUSA

    me: Edgardo Mortara

    vd, t: your faith is dead.

    There’s more to it than that. I’m just showing how your attacks on Catholicism amount to little more than ankle-biting. Edgardo Mortara indeed.

    Actually, the love question goes directly to justification, directly to “faith without good works is in vain,” directly to sola fide and to why being Crabby for Christ is unBiblical.

    Love [agape] is rather a key that unlocks and rebuts a lot of the Old Life rabies theologorum.

    It’s also a window into what Pope Francis is up to, in fact, he’s featured that quote from Galatians and I think it’s the theme of his papacy–indeed why he took the name of Francis.

    APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
    EVANGELII GAUDIUM
    OF THE HOLY FATHER
    FRANCIS
    TO THE BISHOPS, CLERGY,
    CONSECRATED PERSONS
    AND THE LAY FAITHFUL
    ON THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL
    IN TODAY’S WORLD

    37. Saint Thomas Aquinas taught that the Church’s moral teaching has its own “hierarchy”, in the virtues and in the acts which proceed from them.[39] What counts above all else is “faith working through love” (Gal 5:6). Works of love directed to one’s neighbour are the most perfect external manifestation of the interior grace of the Spirit: “The foundation of the New Law is in the grace of the Holy Spirit, who is manifested in the faith which works through love”.[40] Thomas thus explains that, as far as external works are concerned, mercy is the greatest of all the virtues: “In itself mercy is the greatest of the virtues, since all the others revolve around it and, more than this, it makes up for their deficiencies. This is particular to the superior virtue, and as such it is proper to God to have mercy, through which his omnipotence is manifested to the greatest degree”.

    Pope Francis: The only thing that counts for Jesus is ‘faith working through love

    Ireland is a very good example of the failure of “Crabbiness for Christ,” and why more crabbiness over the gay marriage vote would have been the dumbest thing the Church could possibly do. In fact, it rather plays to what’s correct about your “Two Kingdoms” stuff, which is not all wrong by any means. The Church–in fact Christianity as a whole–had lost the ability to make its case for right or wrong without resorting to “Because the Bible says so” or “Because the Church says so.”

    Christianity lost the language of love, and indeed, in the gay marriage issue in particular, its proponents won by couching the issue in terms not of who has sex in whose poopenshaft, but as Mrs. Obama put it, “to love whomever we choose.”

    Liberty and love, what’s to be against?

    So yes, Darryl, I hear you. But glee at the new Pew poll or Nancy Pelosi’s twisting of theology is arguing the exception against the rule, and is not honest argument, and most of all, it’s nothing that doesn’t infect Presbyterianism even worse. There is no cause for glee on any level for Christians of any flavor at any of this.

    So that’s where I’m going with all this, Erik. Not “love” in the Haight-Ashbury sense, but that Christianity has ceded the definition of “love” to modernity so fully that sodomy is more the working definition of “love” than agape is.

    Meanwhile, Christians treat each other like dogspit over theological microdistinctions that not 1 in 100 even understand. Francis is onto something here.

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  160. Tom,

    Have you gone completely softheaded partying with Hollywood types while watching the Tony’s?

    So when Francis says he loves homosexuals but still says that gay sex is a sin, is the left going to give him a pass?

    No way. They’re going to call him and his Church full of hate.

    The loving thing is to tell someone who is living in sin is that they’re going to hell if they don’t repent. To the world, that’s hate speech. To Christians, that’s love.

    You have been sold a complete bill of goods.

    Like

  161. Erik, I’m agreed with your 10:30 post. I would like you to search this “pope francis against homosexual marriage” in google and tell me he says nothing against homosexual union.

    Like

  162. Erik, I’m flattered you ask, but at some point I really hope you respond to what I write. The below completely misses everything I just said.

    Erik Charter
    Posted June 8, 2015 at 10:29 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    Have you gone completely softheaded partying with Hollywood types while watching the Tony’s?

    So when Francis says he loves homosexuals but still says that gay sex is a sin, is the left going to give him a pass?

    No way. They’re going to call him and his Church full of hate.

    The loving thing is to tell someone who is living in sin is that they’re going to hell if they don’t repent. To the world, that’s hate speech. To Christians, that’s love.

    You have been sold a complete bill of goods.

    Your knowledge of what Francis is up to comes from what Darryl pulls out of the New York Times. that’s not just one but 2 layers of distortion.

    There’s not a single person in the Western World [or probably in the whole world] practicing the homosexual lifestyle who’s not fully aware that the Catholic Church considers it to be sin, and argues that the Bible says so too. if you know any gay people, no matter how well-adjusted they appear to be, they are filled with self-loathing. They do not choose to have these sexual attractions, and most or all would be glad to be rid of them if such a magic wand existed.

    But it doesn’t and so the challenge–through Christian love and per the dignity of the human person–is to not just “love the sinner and hate the sin” but to separate the sinner from the sin, from his sin. this is what Francis meant by “not judging.” You don’t judge an alcoholic for loving booze, you try to help him not destroy his life with it.

    This still goes back to the love thing. The Catholic Church in particular with the molestation scandals, but Christianity as a whole with its cementheaded Biblical legalism and ignorance about human nature [same-sex attraction in this case] has painted itself into a corner where it speaks only to saints, not sinners–but there are no saints, no perfect humans.

    Instead of inspiring people, lifting people to pursue the ideal of godliness, Christianity resorted to threatening people with hell. And c’mon, if you have same-sex attraction, where Justin Timberlake’s butt has a bigger “Hey Now Factor” [!] than J-Lo’s, no amount of prayer is gonna get you going on the J-Lo booty.

    So if Christianity sez that makes you a bad person, you just say, the hell with it. Then you spiral down into a whirlpool of self-destructive behavior. I’m damned anyway, so let the good times roll.

    Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale? 😉

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  163. <i.Erik Charter
    Posted June 8, 2015 at 10:30 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    Likewise, if Darryl thinks that Catholics teach a false gospel, he is loving them by trying to persuade them that they are believing a lie.

    Mockery is not persuasion. And it’s the opposite of love, of agape. Surely you see that.

    Mrs. Web has set this blog on its ear.

    Like

  164. AB
    Posted June 8, 2015 at 10:40 pm | Permalink
    Pope tells parents not to let children use computers in their bedrooms because of the ‘dirty content’ on the internet

    Such as TVD’s The Cookies music videos on YouTube. Lots of dirty language.

    Tom, pay, pray and obey.

    Next.

    Actually I used one dirty word only once. For artistic effect, and not sexually

    The world is flat
    the world is round
    the world is f—ed
    and I know it’s not your fault

    and actually it was a song about a “community organizer” type who was neglecting his family. “Mama Wants to Know When You’ll Be Home.” “Two Kingdom” types would probably approve.

    You just bore false witness against me, Andrew. Maybe one of your fellow churchpersons will give you a talking to. You’re out of control, brother, doing dirty things for Christ, or for your church or ‘helping” Darryl, as you put it once. But that’s not how this is supposed to work. You don’t dig up dirt, you don’t hurt people for Jesus.

    This is your doing, Darryl, and I know everybody can see it. These are not stupid people here. Andrew’s just following your lead. One word from Elder Hart and this madness stops.

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  165. Erik,

    “Likewise, if Darryl thinks that Catholics teach a false gospel, he is loving them by trying to persuade them that they are believing a lie.”

    AB from other thread – “We are not seeking to convert anyone to Calvinism.”

    Called to Confusion indeed.

    Like

  166. Cletus van Damme
    Posted June 8, 2015 at 11:29 pm | Permalink
    Erik,

    “Likewise, if Darryl thinks that Catholics teach a false gospel, he is loving them by trying to persuade them that they are believing a lie.”

    AB from other thread – “We are not seeking to convert anyone to Calvinism.”

    Called to Confusion indeed.

    Actually, I believe Darryl’s mission is to stop the hemorrhaging of Reformed Protestants to Catholicism, especially the Called to Communion types who left cushy jobs in Protestantism at great cost to themselves.

    On September 23rd, 2012 (two years ago today), I was received into full communion with the Catholic Church. Humanly speaking, it was one of the worst decisions I have ever made.
    The last two years have brought me almost nothing but loss. Most of my fellow alumni and former professors at Westminster Seminary no longer speak to me, I am denied entrance into the church I planted (where my family still attends on Sundays) — I wasn’t even allowed to attend the Christmas Eve service last year and just sit and sing the hymns. To most of my old Calvinistic friends I am simply a traitor to the gospel.

    Each job I have gotten since resigning from the ministry has paid less than half of the one before it. I now have the earning potential on the open market to make one tenth of what I earned as a pastor (in fact, my latest job pays me less than half of what I was getting from unemployment, which benefits were due to dry up soon). There’s no other way to say it: I am officially poor.

    Old Life is not about converting anyone to the Reformed faith–if it were, it wouldn’t be so crabby. Nobody says, wow, Christianity is so combative and hair-splitting on theological nuances it would take me years to understand. That’s the religion for me!

    Besides, Darryl, you had the temerity to ask whether I care about my immortal soul? According to your religion I’m already saved for all eternity or already screwed for all eternity, regardless. Your Calvinism predestination “Elect” bit. Then you ask me if I go to church?

    Plus, since you’re clearly “Elect,” you get to act like a total butthole to Ms. Webfoot since you’re already on a free pass to Heaven. That’s the best part.

    Works for you. God bless you and save you, Butch.

    Like

  167. Tom,

    I think you’ve more than met your quota on butt-related comments in the last 12 hours.

    Clete,

    If Andrew is the official spokesman for Old Life, are you the official spokesman for the Vatican?

    Like

  168. Tom,

    Your 11:06 comment is good and is fodder for a lot more conversation.

    Jesus threatened people with hell. If the Pope is Jesus’ Vicar on earth, isn’t it his duty to do likewise?

    In Romans does Paul give the same diagnosis of same sex sexual relations as you do?

    Can you reconcile your positions with Scripture and the last 2000 years of Church teaching?

    Like

  169. Tom,

    I like women. The Bible says that I need to limit myself to one woman and that limitation stands for life, even when she gets old and I might prefer a younger woman. The Bible also says that fornicatiors and adulterers are in danger of hell.

    Oh, and Jesus makes it worse and extends the definition of adultery to lustful looking (goodbye Internet porn).

    Do you feel sorry for me? Why is Jesus being so difficult?

    Like

  170. Erik Charter
    Posted June 9, 2015 at 5:27 am | Permalink
    Tom,

    Your 11:06 comment is good and is fodder for a lot more conversation.

    Jesus threatened people with hell. If the Pope is Jesus’ Vicar on earth, isn’t it his duty to do likewise?

    This part of your speech needs work. The Pericope Adulterae is far more relevant here. Jesus didn’t threaten her atall.

    Like

  171. Tom,

    You sound like a liberal again. That passage has more to do with the fitness of those particular people to act as judge, jury, and executioner. Jesus is fit to act as all three and he will someday.

    Being who the Pope claims to be, I would think he is also in a position to warn people about the dangers of sin. He used to.

    You bitch about Mainline Protestants. Guess what? They no longer offend the world by talking about sin. The UCC minister in Ames is gay. You think that there is some kind of happy medium the RCC can arrive at that honors Scripture & tradition and at the same time satisfies the world. They can’t. Something has to give.

    Chris says his followers will be hated as he was. He never sinned yet was put to death. Why do we expect a different outcome for ourselves in this life?

    Like

  172. Tom,

    Honest question. What is the extent of your exposure to Scripture throughout your life? Can you give me a brief religious bio? No need to tell me where you stand right now.

    Like

  173. My point about Christ’s fate on earth is the #1 reason I critique Keller. He tries oh so hard not to offend people with the Law of God. Eventually he’ll come around to answering the question, but there is a fear of man there that is not healthy for a gospel preacher, especially a Reformed gospel preacher. New York and Los Angeles are the pinnacle of cities that are in love with the world. Keller may have rubbed of on the city a bit, but I think that the City has also rubbed off on him. He desires to be loved.

    Like

  174. vd, t, “glee at the new Pew poll or Nancy Pelosi’s twisting of theology is arguing the exception against the rule, and is not honest argument. . .”

    But neither is it dishonest to point out the lack of honesty on the other side. Old Life turned anti-Catholic once converts like Bryan and the Jasons began asserting their glee about the superiority of Roman Catholicism. Turns out, it’s not all that. That’s honest.

    But I appreciate the comment.

    Like

  175. Erik,

    Sounds good.

    Insanity is doing the same thing expecting different results.

    I fear for our antagonists. Roman and otherwise. They keep commenting in hopes that we reformed will change from our positions or show weakness.
    We may show weakness, but we ain’t changing.

    #Luther

    Like

  176. vd, t, “Your knowledge of what Francis is up to comes from what Darryl pulls out of the New York Times. that’s not just one but 2 layers of distortion.”

    False. You know that. Where do you think I’m reading Michael Sean Winters, or Mark Shea, or Boniface, or Pertinacious Papist?

    Like

  177. The biggest spiritual danger we face as 21st century American Christians is how wealthy we are. We love Jesus, but we also love the security and comfort that our money brings. I think this issue of homosexuality is really going to test us in the decades to come. I think people who hate the Church believe they have found a winning issue and they are going to push it as far as they can. I would predict that within two decades churches that won’t agree that homosexuality is a positive good will be paying corporate income tax & property taxes. Contributions to these churches will not be tax deductible. People that admit membership in these churches will face social stigma and will suffer professionally because of that. Church membership will be akin to KKK membership. I could be off on my timetable, but I have no doubt it’s headed this way. It’s a perfect storm for those who hate Christmas and the Bible to make hay and they will do it. Our Constitution can be amended.

    This is why liberal Catholics are a real problem. They vote and they’re on the other side of this issue than conservative P&R people.

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  178. vd, t, as I say, I want honesty about Roman Catholicism the way you want honesty about David Barton. In case you haven’t noticed, though if you’re just reading the NYTimes you wouldn’t, the Roman Catholic world is filled with chest thumpers who proclaim Roman Catholicism’s superiority to Protestantism. Why enable chest thumping when you’re on the side of the little guy?

    Like

  179. Andrew,

    Also note that I say nothing about direct physical persecution.

    The power to tax and social stigma do have physical consequences, though.

    These things can move quickly. How many legally married gay people did you know 10 years ago? It could be legal nationwide by the end of the summer.

    Like

  180. As with most things as I age, I fear less for myself than I do for my children and grandchildren. Will they be able to withstand? Does a Keller or Keller disciple ministry give them what it takes to withstand? They have another 70-120 years to live through. I maybe have 40.

    Like

  181. Keller’s sermons have been very helpful for the last few months for this believer in a big city.

    And everyone has flaws, except Jesus.

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  182. If the Supremes give the go-ahead, test cases will start shortly therafter. This is why I thought the Rev Doc was being naive with his hypothetical. It’s upon us — it’s not hypothetical.

    We’ll have activists asking to use churches for weddings, seeking to become members, seeking to take communion, and seeking baptism for children — as test cases, not out of a sincere desire for those things.

    They’ll lose in court in every instance. The media will cover these stories heavily, however, and public opinions will shift. Churches will be the oppressors, homosexuals will be the oppressed. Eventually the first amendment will get worn down until what I am predicting comes to pass.

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  183. Kent,

    I would contend he’s solid on 90% of what he teaches, but the 10% he’s not solid on could end up doing a lot of damage to the church.

    One can gain a lot from listening to Charles Stanley, too, but he misses some key stuff. Stanley doesn’t subscribe to the Westminster, though, so we see it coming.

    Like

  184. ec and kent, how much does TKNY minister the word. When you look at his review of books on gay marriage, he knows Noll, Taylor, and other important books. But he doesn’t interpret the Bible. Isn’t that his call as a minister of the word?

    Like

  185. Andrew,

    No need to debate, but you need to do a self-assessment and figure out why you’re incapable of serious discussion and debate. It’s not lack of smarts. It’s lack of focus. I want you to figure it out, because it’s what separates a young deacon from a seasoned elder and you should be aspiring to the latter.

    Like

  186. I live in a major urban situation, I’m not on Main Street or living in a village so that I can take pride in not having to take more than 60 steps from my door to Church on a Sunday.

    The issues that I personally face are not addressed remotely by my church which is mainly Dutch and married with children and living an upright and sensible life and apparently with no temporal concerns at all for the upper 2/3 present.

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  187. Erik, if that’s true I’m being groomed like Daniels for commish, I’ve read ahead and know what happens in season 5.

    I’ll just try to stay off and start with that. I appreciate the pointers, brother.

    Grace and Peace.

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  188. One thing I become more and more convinced of is that those who claim to be trying to engage the culture as Jesus engaged the culture are not always doing a good job at looking at how Jesus engaged the culture. Sometimes Jesus comes across gentle but firm. At other times He seems more like a hellfire-and-brimstone preacher. Seems like a lot of what he does is person-specific.

    That would seem to call into question any programmatic way of reaching “the city” or reaching “the culture.” Yeah, there are commonalities between people, but not everybody responds in the same way, and we can’t really make assumptions about how some people are based on where they live. There’s always the oddball.

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  189. @Erik
    I suspect the first thing you will see is that Christian colleges that prohibit interracial same-sex marriage among faculty/staff or interracial same-sex dating among students will be treated like Bob Jones was and will lose their tax-exempt status. Secondly, those schools will find it very hard to get accreditation in many fields (counseling, medicine, teaching, etc…). Such schools will either go the Hillsdale route and give up on federal funds, close, or change their positions. Parachurch groups on college campuses will also be denied recognized status. Parachurch groups that refuse to hire non-celibate gay men or women will also lose their tax-exempt status.

    Churches will be fine for awhile, but they will face intense scrutiny. For example, a denomination that condemns ssm and marriage for divorcees will be held up for scorn if (when?) they find a divorce couple married in a church that refused to marry a same-sex couple. Given that World Church of the Creator and Westboro Baptist were able to procure tax-exempt status as churches, I suspect that churches that teach that gay sex is sinful will not lose their status. On the other hand, as we continue to secularize (rise of the nones), political support for tax exemption of churches of all sorts will go away. I suspect that we will see this tax exemption go away…the fact that “anti-gay” churches benefit from the exemption will push things along.

    While it isn’t exactly getting fed to lions, but it is likely the first time in recent memory that being associated with a conservative church like the PCA will come with significant social and professional cost.

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  190. We’ll have activists asking to use churches for weddings, seeking to become members, seeking to take communion, and seeking baptism for children — as test cases, not out of a sincere desire for those things.

    They’ll lose in court in every instance.

    Erik, I am not confident the test cases will lose in every instance. If ensconced as a constitutional right, the homosexual lobby will have a trump card to gut First Amendment protection for churches (and other religious entities). Canadian Christians have been warning us that they are already experiencing something similar, as they come under scrutiny of “hate crime” commissions for simply holding to the Word of God on the issue.

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  191. Yes, DGH, that helps a lot with what i call the transcendent portion of life. Excellent at that.

    The immanent portion is not dealt with at all though when you go home and then go to work and dealing with life.

    Like

  192. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 9, 2015 at 10:01 am | Permalink
    vd, t, “glee at the new Pew poll or Nancy Pelosi’s twisting of theology is arguing the exception against the rule, and is not honest argument. . .”

    But neither is it dishonest to point out the lack of honesty on the other side. Old Life turned anti-Catholic once converts like Bryan and the Jasons began asserting their glee about the superiority of Roman Catholicism. Turns out, it’s not all that. That’s honest.

    But I appreciate the comment.

    Good. At least you admit your anti-Catholicism. That’s progress.

    As for superiority, if their claim is a theological argument, you’re doing a very poor job of rebutting them by trolling the dregs of liberal Catholicism such as Sean Michael Winters, or by crowing about Pew polls. Whatever you have to say about Catholicism’s troubles with liberalism and modernity goes double for Presbyterianism.

    Like

  193. Tom, if you haven’t, listen to this interview between RSC and DGH on the heidelcast. It’s not long, and it’ll give you insight into what DGH’s focus is here at OLTS. the called to communion boys are just one of many of the targets in his sights, check out his patheos blog, he takes aim at everyone.

    www[dot]patheos.com/blogs/protestprotest/

    it’s what he does, RCism maybe has been in his sights given stellman’s having poped. RCs are somewhat low hanging fruit too, I think it’s good we give them a break once in a while, however, the heat should always be on. It’s part of that justification thang, you know?

    Grace and peace.

    Like

  194. Tom – As for superiority, if their claim is a theological argument, you’re doing a very poor job of rebutting them by trolling the dregs of liberal Catholicism such as Sean Michael Winters, or by crowing about Pew polls. Whatever you have to say about Catholicism’s troubles with liberalism and modernity goes double for Presbyterianism.

    Erik – This is a decent point.

    The fundamental disagreement I have is that these people reveal an utter lack of church discipline in the Roman Catholic Church, which is actually a forceful apologetic against the church.

    My offer stands for you or anyone at Called to Communion to provide similar figures in NAPARC churches (not the PCUSA) to the liberal Roman Catholics in apparently good standing that we cite here.

    Winters just appeared on a panel at Notre Dame. Last time I checked, Notre Dame, like the Pope, was Catholic.

    I do agree that we need to grapple with the theology of “more faithful” Catholics, however, as well. We do that. When we do so you often claim boredom.

    Like

  195. Tom,

    And Pew polls are aimed at your crowing about the relative size of the RCC vs. the OPC.

    Jeremy Tate of CTC has cited the size of the RCC vs. the OPC as evidence of the truth of Catholic theology.

    If you guys choose to cite “big”, it’s fair game for us to cite “shrinking”.

    Like

  196. Eric,
    Actually Notre Dame lost its ecclesial backing years ago to my knowledge. It is not officially a Catholic university anymore.

    Like

  197. Michael,

    Has Fr. John Jenkins been defrocked or is he a priest in good standing?

    “Elected in 2005 as the University of Notre Dame’s 17th president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., has devoted himself to fostering the University’s unique place in academia, the Church, our nation and the world. A philosopher trained in theology and a member of Notre Dame’s Department of Philosophy since 1990, Fr. Jenkins earned undergraduate and advanced degrees from Notre Dame, a doctorate of philosophy from Oxford University, and a master of divinity and licentiate in sacred theology from the Jesuit School of Theology.

    As president, Fr. Jenkins has been committed to combining teaching and research excellence with a cultivation of the deeper purposes of Catholic higher education. While pursuing academic distinction, he has brought renewed emphasis to Notre Dame’s distinctive mission, rooted in the tradition of the Congregation of Holy Cross, the University’s founding community, to educate the whole person – mind, body and spirit – to do good in the world.”

    Like

  198. Erik Charter
    Posted June 9, 2015 at 3:08 pm | Permalink
    Tom – As for superiority, if their claim is a theological argument, you’re doing a very poor job of rebutting them by trolling the dregs of liberal Catholicism such as Sean Michael Winters, or by crowing about Pew polls. Whatever you have to say about Catholicism’s troubles with liberalism and modernity goes double for Presbyterianism.

    Erik – This is a decent point.

    The fundamental disagreement I have is that these people reveal an utter lack of church discipline in the Roman Catholic Church, which is actually a forceful apologetic against the church.

    My offer stands for you or anyone at Called to Communion to provide similar figures in NAPARC churches (not the PCUSA) to the liberal Roman Catholics in apparently good standing that we cite here.

    Winters just appeared on a panel at Notre Dame. Last time I checked, Notre Dame, like the Pope, was Catholic.

    I do agree that we need to grapple with the theology of “more faithful” Catholics, however, as well. We do that. When we do so you often claim boredom.

    Actually, the Catholic contingent won the “love” argument if only by default, the Old Life inability to engage it.

    As for “church discipline” in Catholicism, I would argue only that–especially in this moment of history–tearing apart the Church with loyalty tests is a very very very bad idea. what the Church–and Christianity as a whole–needs to do is learn how to argue normative doctrine without resorting to “Because the Bible says so,” or “Because the Church says so.” That doesn’t work.

    In fact, as more of Protestantism goes gay, you can’t even argue the Bible, since they’ve twisted it so far as to say that gay relationships and gay marriage aren’t even contrary to the Bible. In this way, you have to say that despite its dissidents, Catholicism has not fallen off that cliff. [Yet.] ;-P

    What a pickle for Protestantism, though–gay marriage is fine because the Church says so! [This is what I’ve been saying about a structural problem inherent in anti-magisterium theology.]

    Like

  199. No idea Erik. Just pointing out that to my knowledge Notre Dame has a catholic heritage but not a official place as a Catholic school any more.

    AB, will look into it.

    Like

  200. Michael, notre dame is still catholic:

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

    Latin: Universitas Dominae Nostrae a Lacu
    Motto “Vita Dulcedo Spes”
    Motto in English
    Life, Sweetness, Hope (in reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary)
    Established 1842
    Type Private, coeducational
    Affiliation Roman Catholic Church (Congregation of the Holy Cross)

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  201. Tom – Actually, the Catholic contingent won the “love” argument if only by default, the Old Life inability to engage it.

    Erik – Actually, no. You don’t get to be a partisan and the judge.

    Tom – As for “church discipline” in Catholicism, I would argue only that–especially in this moment of history–tearing apart the Church with loyalty tests is a very very very bad idea. what the Church–and Christianity as a whole–needs to do is learn how to argue normative doctrine without resorting to “Because the Bible says so,” or “Because the Church says so.” That doesn’t work.

    Erik – What if “Because the Bible says so” is the truth? I could commit heinous sins that no one knows about and that do not impact anyone I love directly. Looking at porn, for instance. God sees, though, and I risk his judgment. Utilitarian arguments are not always useful, especially when people will resort to about anything to keep disobeying the Law of God.

    Once again, you run into problems here because you are not a professing Christian. You like the usefulness of Christianity for your purposes (conservatism) but are unconcerned with the particulars.

    Tom – In fact, as more of Protestantism goes gay, you can’t even argue the Bible, since they’ve twisted it so far as to say that gay relationships and gay marriage aren’t even contrary to the Bible. In this way, you have to say that despite its dissidents, Catholicism has not fallen off that cliff. [Yet.] ;-P

    What a pickle for Protestantism, though–gay marriage is fine because the Church says so! [This is what I’ve been saying about a structural problem inherent in anti-magisterium theology.]

    Erik – Some people make poor biblical arguments to do what they want to do. No way to prevent than when the Magistrate is not supporting anyone’s particular church.

    I’m no more a member of the PCUSA or the UCC than I am a member of the RCC, though, so I don’t particularly concern myself with what they’re doing.

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  202. Will look into it more when I can. Got the mower in the yard right now. “Type private” seems to point away from that though.

    Like

  203. Tom,

    Biggest thing I would encourage you to do is get a dog in the fight – for your sake and for the sake of your lovely wife (and kids, if you have them). You need to sincerely know Jesus if you don’t and teach your loved ones to do the same. If it’s Roman Catholic for now, so be it. We can continue to debate the particulars.

    Conservatism and American society are passing away. You have a soul, though, that is eternal and Judgment Day is coming. You need to prepare yourself and Jesus is the only answer.

    Like

  204. Michael,

    Of course it’s private – it’s not a public institution, like UC Santa Barbara, where I went. That’s a public school, under the auspices of the University of California Board of Regents. There are only two classificaitons, private (norte dame, harvard, yale, stanford) and public (UCSB, Berkeley, UCLA)

    Read this post for info on the notre dame conference:
    https://oldlife.org/2015/04/which-call/

    And then watch the video. Also, read the 500 or so comments (haha) at the blog post by DGH. After you finish mowing of course.

    Like

  205. The question of a “catholic” university would be what bishop does it answer to. If none then it’s not officially catholic.

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  206. The University of Notre Dame du Lac (or simply Notre Dame /ˌnoʊtərˈdeɪm/ noh-tər-daym) is a Catholic research university
    From wiki

    And this
    Notre Dame is located in Northern Indiana near the boundary lines of Michigan and Illinois. It is owned and directed by the Congregation of Holy Cross, whose motherhouse in the United States is located at Notre Dame, the name by which the university is most commonly known

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11132a.htm

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  207. That would be major news that I missed if ND has dropped any hold to its Catholic backing…

    Sure seems like it when they put on promos during football and hoops season….

    Like

  208. plot thickens, who is the “congregation of holy cross”?

    Congregation of Holy Cross
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Congregation of Holy Cross
    Congregatio a Sancta Cruce
    Congregation of Holy Cross.svg
    Abbreviation C.S.C.
    Motto Spes unica (Latin)
    Formation 1 March 1837
    Founder Blessed Basile Moreau
    Type Clerical Religious Congregation (Institute of Consecrated Life)
    Purpose To make God known, loved, and served, and thus save souls
    Headquarters Via Framura, 85, 00168 Roma, Italia
    Membership (2013)
    1478 (of whom 741 are priests)
    Superior General
    Fr. Richard V. Warner
    Website holycrosscongregation.org
    The Congregation of Holy Cross or Congregatio a Sancta Cruce (C.S.C.) is a Catholic congregation of priests and brothers founded in 1837 by Blessed Father Basil Anthony-Marie Moreau, CSC, in Le Mans, France.

    Father Moreau also founded the Marianites of Holy Cross, now divided into three independent congregations of sisters. The Congregations of women who trace their origins to Father Moreau are the Marianites of Holy Cross (Le Mans, France), the Sisters of the Holy Cross, (Notre Dame, Indiana), and the Sisters of Holy Cross, (Montreal, Canada).

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

    Like

  209. Kent, yeah, I think Michael in Texas in confused. He should finish mowing before issuing his judgment 🙂

    Like

  210. Erik Charter
    Posted June 9, 2015 at 3:11 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    And Pew polls are aimed at your crowing about the relative size of the RCC vs. the OPC.

    Jeremy Tate of CTC has cited the size of the RCC vs. the OPC as evidence of the truth of Catholic theology.

    If you guys choose to cite “big”, it’s fair game for us to cite “shrinking”.

    You keep eliding the argument:

    In Christianity the Catholic Church is the majority of the majority. The OPC [and all the others] are a minority of the minority. Which has a more credible claim to being the “true” church?

    It’s a non-theological argument. Historically speaking the inarguable fact is that the Catholic Church remains the trunk, the rest of the sects are splinters.

    Like

  211. I have not seen anywhere where ND is accountable to any bishop and it is also not in the list of universities approved by Rome. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontifical_university

    There these in the US:
    The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC
    International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton, Dayton, OH
    John Paul II Institute, Washington, DC
    Mundelein Seminary at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, IL
    Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, OH
    Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception (PFIC), Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC
    St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore, MD
    Boston College School of Theology, Boston, MA
    Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, MA

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  212. I bet if I wasn’t a reformed chrisitan, it would be a lot of fun arguing against roman catholicism at called to communion as though I were one. I’d also have to have really very else of value to do with my time, if I were doing such a thing.

    Who might I be thinking of right now?

    Like

  213. *I’d also clearly have very little else of value that I should be doing with my time

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  214. Michael, it’s your religion, your holy congregation or whatever. Not a major issue for me, i don’t care.

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  215. Tom – You keep eliding the argument:

    In Christianity the Catholic Church is the majority of the majority. The OPC [and all the others] are a minority of the minority. Which has a more credible claim to being the “true” church?

    Erik – It completely depends on your criteria. When Scriptural fidelity is most important to you, you have firm grounds for saying the OPC.

    Is Verizon less of a phone company than AT&T?

    Is Netflix less of a media company than CBS?

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  216. Just wanting to make sure I wasn’t speaking hog wash, AB. That is why I started by saying “in my understanding”. I am not saying ND doesn’t seek to be some sort of Catholic school. Just saying they aren’t official run or recognized by the Catholic Church as Catholic.

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  217. Tom,

    In essence, the arguments you make for Catholicism against Protestant churches are the same argument a Jew could have made against the early Christian church. A Mesopotamian could have made it against Abraham. The age of a religion is not the most important criteria in determining its truth or falsehood. You need to examine more evidence than that.

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  218. Michael,

    The point is less about what is official or unofficial as it is about how little the Church does against dissenters — be they academic institutions or Catholic journalists or intellectuals. The Church controls the sacraments, yet denies them to very, very few.

    Like

  219. Erik Charter
    Posted June 9, 2015 at 5:05 pm | Permalink
    Tom – You keep eliding the argument:

    In Christianity the Catholic Church is the majority of the majority. The OPC [and all the others] are a minority of the minority. Which has a more credible claim to being the “true” church?

    Erik – It completely depends on your criteria. When Scriptural fidelity is most important to you, you have firm grounds for saying the OPC.

    Is Verizon less of a phone company than AT&T?

    Is Netflix less of a media company than CBS?

    I’m not arguing theological truth claims. Every sect and cult claims it holds the theological truth.

    I’m showing why the numerical analysis is valid, whether you like it or not, and that the recent Pew polls in America don’t affect the larger argument. And since Presbyterianism is down to a blip on America’s landscape, your analogies don’t work either. If Catholicism is Verizon, the OPC is 2 soup cans and some string. 😉

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  220. Erik Charter
    Posted June 9, 2015 at 5:10 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    In essence, the arguments you make for Catholicism against Protestant churches are the same argument a Jew could have made against the early Christian church. A Mesopotamian could have made it against Abraham. The age of a religion is not the most important criteria in determining its truth or falsehood. You need to examine more evidence than that.

    Christ started his church. Luther started his.

    One of these things is not like the other. Your analogy doesn’t hold.

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  221. If Catholicism is Verizon, the OPC is 2 soup cans and some string.

    Let’s go with that.

    Your religion, for all we know, is Jediism, so don’t expect anyone to take you seriously.

    You can’t tell us why you care, it’s easy why none of us care what you say, but you are silly and fun to have around all the same. Keep on jamming, dude who literally has nothing better to do with his time 😉

    Next

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  222. Tom – I’m not arguing theological truth claims. Every sect and cult claims it holds the theological truth.

    Erik – I know, and my point is that you should and need to, both for your own sake and the sake of interesting conversation.

    No one disputes the Catholic Church is bigger. The question is what that proves.

    Tom – Christ started his church. Luther started his.

    Erik – Of course, this doesn’t prove that the Roman Catholic Church is the church that Christ founded.

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  223. Erik,
    The Church controls the sacraments, yet denies them to very, very few.

    Agreed. In modern society this is in “deed” the case, but not in “word”. If one believes the word of the Church many more confessionals would be full before the altar would be full.

    Like

  224. Erik Charter
    Posted June 9, 2015 at 5:42 pm | Permalink
    Tom – I’m not arguing theological truth claims. Every sect and cult claims it holds the theological truth.

    Erik – I know, and my point is that you should and need to, both for your own sake and the sake of interesting conversation.

    No one disputes the Catholic Church is bigger. The question is what that proves.

    That the Catholic Church is the trunk and all others are splinters. I can’t keep saying it and have you pretend I didn’t.

    Tom – Christ started his church. Luther started his.

    Erik – Of course, this doesn’t prove that the Roman Catholic Church is the church that Christ founded.

    I’m familiar with the contours of the argument, something about Constantine, and the “true” Church was floating out there in the ether until Jan Hus and Marty Luther and Jean Calvin came to make it real again, but I’ve never heard the thesis put forth solidly enough to be examined and questioned.

    And even if true, it does zip, nada, doodah in proving that Hus and Luther and Calvin were correct about anything, or that their work was the work of The Holy Spirit.

    Like

  225. Tom – I’m not arguing theological truth claims. Every sect and cult claims it holds the theological truth.

    Some people say you should gargle with turpentine. Some say you shouldn’t.

    Who can possibly figure out a truth claim there?

    Like

  226. kent
    Posted June 9, 2015 at 6:02 pm | Permalink
    Tom – I’m not arguing theological truth claims. Every sect and cult claims it holds the theological truth.

    Some people say you should gargle with turpentine. Some say you shouldn’t.

    Who can possibly figure out a truth claim there?

    Only one way to tell. Go test it for yourself and report back to me–if you’re able. 😉

    Like

  227. Tom,

    O.K. Say I would concede that the Roman Catholic Church is a valid expression of the Christian faith.

    What would the implications of that be for you personally?

    And say I were to remain a Protestant. Would we not have more in common than we do now with me inside a Christian church (even as a separated brother) and you outside?

    Do we have any communion at all at this point?

    Like

  228. Tom – I’m familiar with the contours of the argument

    Erik – I think the argument is that there have always been people looking to Christ in true faith and there have always been pretenders who have been in the church for personal gain and wrong motives. It’s been the case as far back as the 12 disciples. Think the wheat and the tares growing up together until they are separated at the last day.

    Like

  229. Erik, isn’t it fun, having TVD around?

    I hope he has several more years in him, at least.

    TVD and the cage phasers have made this blog quite active as of late.

    Who’s next?

    Like

  230. I do think Christians will struggle to make their way in the white collar world so there’ll have to be a lot of Christians like Nicodemus in the new age.

    Persecution by forces that hate us will become farce before flame, IMO. As in the Canadian couple who bought a ring from a jeweler, recommended the jeweler to their friends, said friends discovered a sign hanging in the jeweler’s shop that stated something along the lines of “let’s protect the meaning of marriage” and now the couple that bought the ring want their money back because “it hurts to look at it now” or something like that.

    The freak factor emerging confidently is more likely than not and that will influence a situation that will remain fluid for a long time to come.

    I went to a party last July (given by a bourgeois couple whose kid has/had a garage band that was the opening act for another set of seasoned musicians. All of the kids in the garage band are bourgeois
    too and in their 2nd year of college now but the opening song was the gentle mock “D-d-da Rainbow.” Many kids will still continue to think for themselves while not perturbing the ideological orbit of the world in which a living is earned. No status quo can control provoked under-currents.

    Education in areas like carpentry, plumbing, etc is probably going to become necessary but I’m not sure that might not become the better part of the contrived agreement.

    Chest-thumping means you’re DOA. It justly provokes hostility because history and language have eclipsed the possibility that it’s anything other than antics of people with monkeys on their backs. That’s true inside the Church too.

    Do you really think that Pope Francis can talk about EENS? I don’t think so.

    I remember asking a teacher the question “but who would say, ‘yes I know the Roman Catholic Church is the one and only True Church but I’m not going to join it’?” The response was “don’t be disputatious.” The non-response was fitting because the spirit behind the question was understood but if a Vatican I kid reading the language in her now very old Baltimore Catechism (and no, I’m not getting an updated one) could ask that question, where do you think that leaves Pope Francis 50 years on?

    Lastly, if I’m wrong, aren’t we supposed to take up our Cross? If we become targets, if overall we have become barren through disunity and discord -how, through us, can the world know, as Jesus wanted it to know, that God had sent Him?- could taking up our Cross lead to the re-seeding of the Church? If so, we should pray for the courage not to shrink from trials.

    Like

  231. Erik Charter
    Posted June 9, 2015 at 6:26 pm | Permalink
    Tom – I’m familiar with the contours of the argument

    Erik – I think the argument is that there have always been people looking to Christ in true faith and there have always been pretenders who have been in the church for personal gain and wrong motives. It’s been the case as far back as the 12 disciples. Think the wheat and the tares growing up together until they are separated at the last day.

    Yeah, but Catholicism has a better historical claim to being the wheat than the johnny-come-lately churches. The Biblical warrant for semper schismata seems weak. There is also the argument that most of Protestantism as it exists today never existed at any time in the history of the Church.

    There was no “restoration” of the true Church. A new one was invented.

    Further, with the “separated brethren” riff, Catholicism isn’t condemning Protestants to tare-hood. This is a lot more “one” and “catholic” than the Protestant version of Christianity. And no, the 12 apostles didn’t each go out and start their own church either.

    The question isn’t dissent, but what the church does with it. Where there are human beings, there will be dissent.

    http://www.uscatholic.org/church/2008/07/catholic-dissent-when-wrong-turns-out-be-right

    Like

  232. Yeah, but Catholicism has a better historical claim to being the wheat than the johnny-come-lately churches.

    Roman Catholicism started in 1540’s with Trent, come on, you know the drill.

    We’re the true continuation, Rome broke from us.

    Just like the OPC is the true presbyterianism in America, PCUSA broke away from us.

    Erik and I like you, and want you to stick around and want the best for you.

    How else can we help you? Keep asking, you’ll get it eventually, we pray.

    Like

  233. Tom, read this again, please, it should help you sort these things out, if not, ask away:

    More Doctrinal Evolution
    By D. G. HART | Published: JUNE 4, 2015
    If it’s wrong for Protestants to think that Calvin and Luther were simply reiterating what Paul and Peter taught, isn’t it also wrong for Roman Catholics to think that Trent was a doctrinal glimmer in the eye of the early church fathers? Merely waving the wand of doctrinal development won’t help you think historically, or understand that history is always moving, never static. And if history is fluid — which it is, as I, a licensed historian, can assure you — then what happened in the sixteenth century was not inevitable.

    The way to look at it is that Luther and Calvin were in the mix of theological reflection that was going on for well over five hundred years and the Council of Trent decided to go one way and not the other. And if that is true, then Roman Catholicism as we know it (minus — ahem — Vatican I and Vatican II) started in the 1540s as much as Lutheranism started in the 1530s and Reformed Protestantism in the 1540s.

    For support I appeal to Richard Muller:

    The understanding of “catholic” and “schismatic” thought in the sixteenth century must be revised away from the modern denominational approach that, on the side of historians of the Roman Church, has all too willingly denied patristic and medieval roots to the Reformation and that, on the other side of older generations of Protestant historians, has tended to view the Middle Ages as harboring but few forerunners of the Reformation. The Reformers did not view themselves as schismatic; rather, they understood themselves as representative thinkers of the Catholic church. Nor can they be seen as radicals who allowed only the Bible as their foundation to the exclusion of tradition: their approach, as easily documented from their citations, was to use scripture as their ultimate norm and tradition as a subordinate, albeit fallible, support. This approach to the relation of scripture and tradition is, of course, contrary to the views of the Council of Trent, but it is surprisingly like the position of Thomas Aquinas and a great number of other major medieval thinkers. The Protestant use of patristic and medieval sources, moreover, became more explicit in the later generations of the Reformation; the nature of that reception should be a significant element of a revised historiography. (from Seeing Things Their Way)

    Historians may not save us, but they can help.

    What’s hard to understand about this, Tom?

    Like

  234. Andrew Buckingham
    Posted June 9, 2015 at 6:56 pm | Permalink
    Yeah, but Catholicism has a better historical claim to being the wheat than the johnny-come-lately churches.

    Roman Catholicism started in 1540’s with Trent, come on, you know the drill.

    We’re the true continuation, Rome broke from us.

    If that were true, you’d still have apostolic succession and the 7 sacraments. Eastern Orthodoxy does, and so can make the claim you just did, but you can’t.

    See what I mean, Erik? The narrative doesn’t exist in a cohesive and coherent form, even among the crypto-clergy of the OPC.

    Like

  235. The theory behind apostolic succession is that God’s authority, to be meaningful and effective, must be embodied in men today who have the same kind of authority. But if you will read carefully the following passage, you will see that this is not true at all.

    In 1 Corinthians 5 Paul—who was not physically present in Corinth—wrote to them to tell them what to do with respect to a discipline case. He said (in 5:4-5): “In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” So you see, Paul did not pass on his authority to another man so that he could be there in Corinth. No, Paul said, in effect, if you will do what I as an apostle now instruct you to do then I will be with you in spirit, and you will also have the power of our Lord Jesus with you, to deliver that man to Satan, etc.

    So, to put it simply, the Reformers realized that there was no need for apostolic successors. No, the need was simply to have the apostles themselves with us through their inspired and inerrant teaching. And that is what we have in the New Testament.

    The apostles never wrote anything that ever has needed or ever will need correction because they were inspired by God. Surely a person of average intelligence should be able to see that this has never been true of other men in history, no matter how strongly they may have believed themselves to be apostolic successors!

    I hope this gets you to study this further. The more church history you get to know the more obvious the conclusion of the Reformers will appear.

    #nextcommentplease

    Like

  236. Tom,

    Let’s go with your story.

    Why should I join the RCC instead of EO?

    All I’ve ever gotten from anyone is this.

    So yeah, staying protestant.

    #nextcommentporfavor

    Like

  237. Just read an article by Michael Sean Winters on NCR written about the conference. I won’t be able to watch it til later sometime. I found this statement by him interesting: “On the other hand, there has been precious little effort on the part of the leaders of the Church, be they bishops or theologians, to carve out a space in the center where the important conversations capable of transcending divisions can take place. Indeed, some bishops, mostly on the right, and some theologians, mostly on the left, have contributed to the climate of polarization in unhealthy ways.”

    Interesting… This right and left talk from a Catholic. Why not just come out and say faithful bishops and descending theologians. Seems to be an agenda. Will still try and watch the conference soon.

    Like

  238. Here is your daily dose of love and pity from me to my separated brothers.

    How are all you guys since last time we talked? It’s a beautiful day here, and I am doing all I can to avoid anything that looks like real work. So, I thought I’d stop by to say howdy.

    You know, it wasn’t very long ago that I was pretty anit-Catholic. Well, not really against any Catholic individuals, but kinda’ like D.G. Hart in wanting people to not just look at the good things in her, but also the really bad stuff. I thought that people would be better off in Protestant churches, though I didn’t go so far as to say that there are no Christians in the Catholic Church. So, D.G.H., if I told you some of my personal experiences with the dark side of the Church, that might give you more ammunition.

    But here I am on the other side of the Tiber, now, wondering how that happened. Well, it was a definite choice, but I just couldn’t resist.

    What led me here? I felt sorry for myself, I guess. I guess my condescension caught up with me, and I took pity on myself. I just love her. The Church, I mean. Not that I have anything personal against anyone here, but it is clearer to me every day that I made the right choice. Since, as I think Zrim said, the whole justification thing is old. You guys think the die is cast. You don’t even want to go back.

    Did AB really say that Protestantism is the real church and the Catholic Church is the one that veered off into, what, apostasy? The only thing is that if you read the Church fathers, they sound very Catholic. Besides, St. Thomas Aquinas was quite a few years before the Council of Trent. You guys stripped justification of its inherent, infused love and rejected the whole infusion theory of justification, and Luther wanted to burn Thomas’ books. So, you are in trouble with the Apostle Paul, as I clearly demonstrated and Zrim knows I did. Well, not I, but Thomas.

    So, who got Thomas in the divorce? Luther didn’t want him. I guess the Protestant Scholastics did, but did they want his Marian theology, too? Did Rome get Mary and the Protestants get what?

    Well, it’s too nice a day to respond to all the comments directed at me, but I do wish you all the best. I’m not kidding when I say that I am praying for you, or that I consider you brothers and sisters in Christ. Why not?

    BTW, that’s a rhetorical ?

    So, be happy. Be well. Listen to some good music. Sing along, especially if it is in Latin.

    Best comment? It has to be this one about how lame the phone company analogy was – sorry Erik though the video dedicated to me was very cute. Sure, I can be snarky, but you guys are actually pretty entertaining and I know you are serious about your faith. I know that part isn’t a joke.

    “If Catholicism is Verizon, the OPC is 2 soup cans and some string. ”

    I used to try to compare the different denominations to a zoo. Trouble is that Jesus calls the Church His Body. How many bodies does He have? Then we could go to the invisible church, but some of you guys seem to have a problem with the Nicene Creed, so that argument disappears. In fact, Machen didn’t seem to accept any Catholics as real Christians.

    Then there is the free market business model to help explain why there are so many competing denominations, but same problem as phone companies and zoos. Jesus has one body, not many companies – small and large -, many media outlets, many phone companies, or many animals in a zoo.

    …and so have a wonderful evening. Maybe I’ll check in again tomorrow.

    Like

  239. Andrew Buckingham
    Posted June 9, 2015 at 7:06 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    Let’s go with your story.

    Why should I join the RCC instead of EO?

    All I’ve ever gotten from anyone is this.

    Never said you should. In fact, I’ve said that logically, Darryl’s attacks on the Catholic Church don’t amount to anything except reasons to join the EOs. They do not justify Protestantism dumping apostolic succession and the 7 sacraments and inventing a new version of Christianity.

    Now you’re starting to catch on. Well, almost.

    Like

  240. @mtx

    ” Just wanting to make sure I wasn’t speaking hog wash, AB. That is why I started by saying “in my understanding”. I am not saying ND doesn’t seek to be some sort of Catholic school. Just saying they aren’t official run or recognized by the Catholic Church as Catholic.”

    They are officially run by the Congregation of the Holy Cross. You can learn of their governance structure here:
    http://www.nd.edu/about/leadership/fellows/

    I don’t think the congregation falls under the authority of the bishop of ft. Wayne/south bend, but I could be mistaken here. That being said, the university is ultimately accountable to the congregation, and the congregation exerts influence at all levels (from serving as rectors on dorm floors where mass is celebrated daily) to faculty, administrators, and board members. Further the president must be a member of csc. So they are not just formally a ministry of csc with neglected historic ties, but maintain active oversight and influence on the university.

    Like

  241. AB,

    “Roman Catholicism started in 1540’s with Trent, come on, you know the drill.
    We’re the true continuation, Rome broke from us.”

    This is too triumphalistic for my tastes. Where’s Darryl to reign in this chest-thumping?

    Odd that you’re the true continuation and yet both the EO and RC agree with each other far more on the nature of Scripture and justification – you know those 2 pillars of the Reformation – than either does with the Presbyterian view of either doctrine. I mean, at least the Arians and their beliefs have some historical existence and following we can document.

    Like

  242. Roman Catholics:

    Watch this at the 26:05 minute mark (it should go straight there). Only 30 seconds. It’s how I feel whenever I respond to your many and unending comments.

    Wink.

    Next.

    Like

  243. Cletus van Damme
    Posted June 9, 2015 at 8:38 pm | Permalink
    AB,

    “Roman Catholicism started in 1540’s with Trent, come on, you know the drill.
    We’re the true continuation, Rome broke from us.”

    This is too triumphalistic for my tastes. Where’s Darryl to reign in this chest-thumping?

    Odd that you’re the true continuation and yet both the EO and RC agree with each other far more on the nature of Scripture and justification – you know those 2 pillars of the Reformation – than either does with the Presbyterian view of either doctrine. I mean, at least the Arians and their beliefs have some historical existence and following we can document.

    Yes, the Eastern Orthodox add a perfect alternate overview to the Prot-Cath BS. The difference between the EOs and the Reformation tells us the theological story of Christianity without even needing to drag the Vatican into it.

    Good point about Arianism, too. In fact, it made a comeback in both Michael Servetus* and the Anglo-American Unitarian movement. Sola scriptura, baby:

    http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/100-scriptural-arguments-for-the-unitarian-faith
    ___________
    *I seem to remember a quote from the very sensible Philipp Melanchthon that the return of the Arian heresy [hence Servetus] was inevitable once the Reformation rejected the Catholic magisterium. If anybody knows the quote, I’d appreciate a pointer.

    Like

  244. Thanks, sdb. That is about what I was thinking after AB pointed out the ties to Congregation of the Holy Cross. I am unfamiar with them. There are lots of organizations of Catholics that work on different things.

    Like

  245. Tom & Mrs.,

    How do you go from history to normativity?

    For example, human beings have owned slaves for more of human history than not. Does this mean that men are meant to own slaves? How could the more recent norm of not owning slaves be correct?

    Why assume what “was” is what “ought” to be?

    And you missed the point on the phone company. It had to do with old vs. new, not big vs. small.

    Like

  246. Erik Charter
    Posted June 9, 2015 at 10:14 pm | Permalink
    Tom & Mrs.,

    How do you go from history to normativity?

    I’d like to understand the nature of your question, Erik. Was it related to this fascinating article

    http://www.uscatholic.org/church/2008/07/catholic-dissent-when-wrong-turns-out-be-right

    or are you pulling an Andrew G. Hart, changing the subject to bury a discussion that has not been going your way? 😉

    I ask because Old Life always seems to be asking for ammo for its gun, not actual knowledge and understanding, and so when denied the gotcha, ignores my a reply I spent 20 minues on and starts setting up the next ambush.

    Like

  247. Tom,

    I don’t mean to be rude, but I almost never read links. I would rather you read it if you are interested, put the salient points in your own words, and make it part of the conversation.

    If we were sitting in a bar you wouldn’t hand me an article to read. That’s just my personal preference on how I engage. I use what’s between my ears. Occasionally I’ll include a link or a video, but I never demand anyone reads or watches.

    Like

  248. vd, t, If you were to make a case for the superiority of the Phillies and only pointed to the 1950, 1980, and 2008 teams, someone could well question your argument by bringing up Chico Ruiz and 1964.

    It’s not that complicated seeing what I do here. But Bryan and the Jasons keep saying that 1964 doesn’t disprove anything they say about the superiority of the Phillies.

    Like

  249. I have several thousand books and boxes of newspaper clippings and magazine articles already that I’ll likely never get to.

    Sowers’ gift of “Theonomy & Christian Ethics” is boxed up somewhere…

    Like

  250. vd, t, so if the church argued for normative doctrine without resorting to “because the church is one and hasn’t divided” — for favorite apologetic — would you go to church then and confess your mortal sins?

    Like

  251. MichaelTX, sorry to be repetitive but I can’t believe you are a such a firm convert and don’t know the workings of Roman Catholicism. The various orders — of which the Congregation of the Holy Cross is an example — report to THE bishop, the pope. In fact, back in the 13th c. or so, it was the religious orders that backed papal supremacy in a big way. Why? Because local bishops were not pleased about priests in their dioceses not under the bishop’s watch.

    Like

  252. vd, t, Jesus was never in Rome. Jerusalem is the trunk for anyone with an ounce of historical sense. Plus, Jesus commissioned Paul to go to Rome. Acts 23. But you don’t like the Bible.

    Like

  253. A great movie on making arguments, poking holes in arguments, and evaluating evidence that I would highly recommend to everyone here is “My Cousin Vinny”. Try to see it on a TV channel that censors the language, because the language is bad. It’s really a fabulous movie, though.

    Like

  254. vd, t, how can the numerical analysis be valid when you’re aren’t making a numerical claim. Rome is the trunk is a historical assertion and one that Eastern Orthodox dispute.

    Like

  255. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 9, 2015 at 11:12 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, how can the numerical analysis be valid when you’re aren’t making a numerical claim. Rome is the trunk is a historical assertion and one that Eastern Orthodox dispute.

    Not exactly, Dr. Calvinism: A History. The EOs don’t dispute there was only one Christianity up to 1053.

    By contrast, Protestantism claims there was some “true” church out there in the ether between Constantine and Luther. Or at least that’s how your assistant Andrew Buckingham sees it. Why don’t you two OPC officers get your story straight first and then clue in the rest of us?

    I’ll wait.

    Like

  256. Tom,

    But thanks for leaving a voicemail at OPC headquarters. My, you have a beautiful voice, and has it ever changed since your The Cookies days.

    Like

  257. Erik Charter
    Posted June 9, 2015 at 10:45 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    I don’t mean to be rude, but I almost never read links. I would rather you read it if you are interested, put the salient points in your own words, and make it part of the conversation.

    If we were sitting in a bar you wouldn’t hand me an article to read. That’s just my personal preference on how I engage. I use what’s between my ears. Occasionally I’ll include a link or a video, but I never demand anyone reads or watches.

    Erik, quite right, and I also strenuously object to anyone saying, I can’t answer you in my own words, but click this link and my argument’s hiding behind it.

    Couldn’t agree more. I use links only as footnotes, to give necessary background to the reader coming in late. In this case–reciprocating your respect and honesty–I linked to an article that spoke of how certain Catholic dissidents [John Courtney Murray, John Henry Newman] came to win the day of what Catholicism holds as normative doctrine–ironically in the “Two Kingdoms” and “religious freedom” areas.

    Anti-Catholics such as Darryl G. Hart argue such developments–nay, changes–in normative doctrine are proof that the Church’s claim to guidance by the Holy Spirit is false. But this misunderstands [or misrepresents!] Catholicism’s own distinction between “normative” doctrine and “infallible” dogma.

    Darryl, you tend to elide that necessary distinction, and indeed, many or most of your attacks on the Catholic Church depend on ignoring that distinction.

    And Erik, that’s the reason I asked you to qualify your absolutely probative question,

    How do you go from history to normativity?

    In the hands of anti-Catholics, this is an ambush question, a rhetorical weapon and not a tool for understanding. I just want to know which one you’re wielding. It’s a Lucy and the football thing. 😉

    Like

  258. By contrast, Protestantism claims there was some “true” church out there in the ether between Constantine and Luther. Or at least that’s how your assistant Andrew Buckingham sees it. Why don’t you two OPC officers get your story straight first and then clue in the rest of us?

    I’ll wait.

    No need to wait.

    At Trent, that was the first time the institutional church anathematized the Gospel.

    It happened on other time in 1920’s and 30’s.

    I don’t believe the church is infallible. Rather, the Word of God is infallible.

    See the westminster confession of faith for further details.

    Next comment please.

    Like

  259. Put another way, in my traditional heritage, I was catholic until 1517, presbyterian mainline until 1936, and orthodox presbyterian up until today. And nothing you have said in your several years has changed what I believe one iota. I get you like Aquinas, I’ll look further into him, he’s on my list to read.

    Make sense?

    Like

  260. Andrew Buckingham
    Posted June 10, 2015 at 12:00 am | Permalink
    By contrast, Protestantism claims there was some “true” church out there in the ether between Constantine and Luther. Or at least that’s how your assistant Andrew Buckingham sees it. Why don’t you two OPC officers get your story straight first and then clue in the rest of us?

    I’ll wait…

    >>>>>>>>No need to wait.

    At Trent, that was the first time the institutional church anathematized the Gospel.

    It happened on other time in 1920’s and 30’s.

    I don’t believe the church is infallible. Rather, the Word of God is infallible.

    See the westminster confession of faith for further details.

    Next comment please.

    Andrew Buckingham
    Posted June 10, 2015 at 12:04 am | Permalink
    Put another way, in my traditional heritage, I was catholic until 1517, presbyterian mainline until 1936, and orthodox presbyterian up until today. And nothing you have said in your several years has changed what I believe one iota. I get you like Aquinas, I’ll look further into him, he’s on my list to read.

    Make sense?

    To you, perhaps. I don’t think that’s the author of Calvinism: A History Orthodox Presbyterian Church Elder Dr. Darryl G. Hart PhD’s argument, though.

    Darryl, since you “reign” here as putative blog ‘moderator,’ as a point of order perhaps you should promulgate the Old Life Theological Society’s position on this.

    If it’s OK with you, Andrew. It’s OK with me. I’ll wait.

    Like

  261. Tom,

    For sake of argument, let’s assume you are a catholic.

    You share a heritage with a Jewish person.

    I too share a heritage with a Jewish person.

    But I share a heritage with Presbyterian mainlners, that you do not.

    And I share a heritage with this blog’s moderator, that you do not.

    It’s religion. Nothing new under the sun. People have been discussion and fighting over it since the dawn of man (Cain and Abel). Now, we just do it on our smart phones before we go to bed.

    Nothing new Ecclesiastes 1:9
    Grace and peace (Gal 1:3).

    Like

  262. Hart,
    Let me see if I can recover from the pistol whipping…
    It amazes me that you think I do not know that official orders are accountable to the Bishop of Rome. Rome grants them the status of an Apostolic congregation. This does not make them “The Church”. Which is the point I was making with all that I have said. Notre Dame is not run by “The Church.” It is run by members of “The Church” which are also members of the Congregation of the Holy Cross” This is easy to think about. I am answerable to the Church, but I am not answerable to the Congregation for the Holy Cross. They hold no authority over any Catholic that does not make vows to them. The granting that Rome gives them approves their rule of life(vows) and existence, not everything they do. Rome can rescind that if it wishes, but Notre Dame is not the only thing they do. The apparently do work all over the globe. They do not do this at the direction of Rome or any bishop. Rome has rescinded many orders that got out of control before, even the Pope’s own order(Jesuits). This is not done lightly though.

    “a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, “

    Like

  263. MichaelTX, for you to think that only pontifical universities qualify as Roman Catholic is to go really really all all in on the papacy.

    Wow. That’s borderline Lefevrist.

    Like

  264. Bearded Spock (TVD),

    You have to admit – Dr. Gray chiming in on #opcga was pretty cool. I was glad to see you avatar out there. I love it how Darryl deletes yours out here, you sure are a character.

    Listen to Erik, and Darryl, they are trying to help you.

    Grace and peace.

    Like

  265. They hold no authority over any Catholic that does not make vows to them.

    But Catholics make vows by nature of joining the RCC, right?

    I mean, if a notre Dame professor of theology started promoting satanism, are you saying the church couldn’t stop them, if the university wouldn’t do it? I call shenanigans. At UCSB, we had some whack classes. Never would be allowed at a catholic university like UND. But they were the cheapest option for me, duh.

    Next

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  266. @AB Notre Dame respects academic freedom…including in the academic study of theology. When I was there the chair was Episcopalian (practically a satanist amirite?) As well as jewish and muslim theologians. On campus there is also a separate seminary…no satanists allowed there. There has been ongoing friction between the university and Rome over Ex Corde Ecclesiae.

    You might find this story of interest:
    http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/pope-francis-notre-dame

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  267. SDB,

    Thanks. I think its ridiculous for Michael to argue Notre Same isn’t a Catholic Univeristy.

    He equivocates on “catholic” of course, as do I.

    After all, I’m catholic. I just so happen to be a reformed catholic.

    http://reformedforum.org/ctc374/

    Thanks again. Fwiw, you make many good comments at Olts!!

    Like

  268. Hart,
    You may have missed it in my earlier comments, I talked about schools that answer to a local bishop would be a school “run” by the Church.

    Like

  269. Catholic in its historical meaning means universal.

    I am a member of the universal church.

    MichaelTX, you sound confused.

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  270. AB,
    I don’t think anybody here is confused about what Church I am talking about when I say Catholic. They in no way think I am talking about the invisible communion of all those who follow Christ with a sincere heart. There is validity to the invisible communion of Christ and yes it is universal(catholic). What is not nessicarily is part of the visible hierarchical communion of bishops sent by bishops sent by apostles sent by Christ sent by the Father. This is the Church Augustine spoke about. Please don’t take us down rabbit holes, Andrew.

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  271. Erik:
    Mrs.,

    Do you have other passages other than the one on faith working through love to support your view on infusion vs. Imputation?>>>>

    James 2:26
    For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

    James used 2 examples of how faith and good works are bound together. Rahab the harlot as an example of true faith that justifies. He was not talking about an imputed righteousness. In James, where is the imputed righteousness?

    Remember, Luther wanted to remove the book of James from the canon of the NT. He called it an epistle of straw. He saw that James contradicted his version of justification by faith alone. He was guilty of preaching a different Gospel.

    Now, Lutherans did not follow him in his madness, particularly the madness of wanting to remove the book of James from the canon or to burn Thomas Aquinas’ books. Not all Lutherans even dumped the Apocrypha. Most Reformers held to the Immaculate Conception, even. (I love to throw that in there, since that is one thing Protestants can’t even conceive of – no pun intended.)

    Calvin followed Luther even less. Calvinists do understand that the kind of faith that Paul was talking about had to agree with James’ statement that we are justified not by faith alone. I have pointed out several times that justification by faith alone, that phrase, is in the Bible. It’s just not in the Pauline writings. You see that, right? It is in James where he says that justification by faith is NOT alone. He adds that faith without works is dead.

    How can a dead faith justify anyone? It can’t, of course. When did faith come alive such that it is able to justify? It had to be at the point of justification by faith, otherwise what good is it?

    Do Calvinists really think that a person is justified by a dead faith and then somehow it suddenly comes alive after a person has been justified? That makes no sense at all, and Luther for all his bellowing, made no sense at all.

    Anyway, where did I get the idea of faith infused with love and an infusion of righteousness rather than an imputation of righteousness? You know, right? I didn’t make that up. You can easily find whose argumentation that is. It is not original with me.

    Even if we were to go with the idea of an imputation of righteousness, the definitions remain constant. Righteousness in the NT is never divorced from the most important thing – faith working through love.

    Protestants set up a false dichotomy when they say that justification has to be either by grace through faith or by works. It can’t be both. However, the NT clearly teaches that it is both, and Paul and James are in agreement. What kind of works is the NT talking about, though?

    If you wish, go back and read my summary of Reformed teaching on this. I know what y’all believe, ‘cuz it was not that long ago that I believed it myself. Then I started reading … you know who.

    I hesitate to wish you well, since that is taken as some kind of offense by some here at Old Life. However, I really do hope you have a wonderful day, Erik. …and I have no trouble calling you guys my brothers and sisters in Christ. Even thought the OPC allows for it, you guys seem to have trouble accepting Catholics as true believers.

    No, of course not all are, any more than all members of the OPC are. All Catholics are not like Nancy Pelosi after all – though it is not mine to judge her soul. I at least entertain the thought that all might be saved, since God is not willing that any should perish, but that all come to repentance. I hope that for everyone, even Nancy.

    Anyway, let’s see how many insults this comment provokes. 😉

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  272. Michael,

    The rabbit hole is where UND is Catholic. Even your definition of Catholic.

    You cant possibly disagree with DGH on this point, you just feel like arguing.

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  273. AB, I actually hate arguing. This all began from Erik saying ND was just as Catholic as Pope Francis. I think I have proved it is not if no one thinks the same, I am sorry. It is not recognized by the Vatican. It is not in submission to the Pope, local bishop, or even a local parish. This is the ordinary teaching magisterium of the Church. This is what we as Catholic are in submission to as long as it is not binding us to believe or do what is unCatholic. Which can be determined by looking at what is ecumenical or in union with the Pope’s definative teaching.

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  274. I have been reading the Q&A section at the website of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. In no way does the OPC say that it is impossible for a Catholic to be a real Christian. I had wondered about that, given the reaction of the majority here to the idea that I would consider you my brothers and sisters in Christ.

    After all, Loraine Boettner was a member of the OPC, and he is notorious for his misrepresentation of Church teachings. Fundamentalists are still using him, and Chick tracts, as their basis for understanding Catholicism. The, AB likes to quote Mechan as saying that he could be the friend of a Catholic, but not consider the Catholic a brother in Christ.

    So, I thought that maybe that was official OPC policy or something – being anti-Catholic even on a personal level as in rejecting all Catholics outright as Christians.

    I am glad to find out that is not the case. In all my years as a Protestant, I had never heard such an extreme position, so I am glad that at least in theory, the OPC accepts that there are real Christians within the Catholic Church.

    I accept that there are real Christians within the OPC. Just FWIW.

    Here is an answer to the question “Can Roman Catholics be Christians?” Notice that the man who gave the answer, when given the opportunity, shared Christ in a Catholic Church. He wanted people he loved to come to know Christ.

    I was glad to see that there are some in the OPC who are concerned for the souls of those they believe to be lost. Now, I would not make the same assumption he did, but if by some strange circumstance – like a funeral where people are allowed to eulogize the one who has passed away – I would also make sure that I shared my faith in Christ, especially how Real He is.

    Yes, this is a gentle rebuke of sorts. If the Reformed brethren here really believe that the Catholic Church is not preaching the Gospel, or is preaching a different Gospel, then why not at least try to evangelize us poor, lost Catholics interacting with your challenges put to Catholics?

    So, maybe that’s a challenge for you?

    http://www.opc.org/qa.html?question_id=174

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  275. Mrs. DoubleYou, the thing about converts like yourself is that you know what it is that you have rejected and affirmed. Why spend efforts on those who know what’s what and have made it clear where they stand? Maybe you’re tempted to twist that into something unloving or yet another example of how Calvinists are twerps, but have you ever heard of shaking the dust from your sandals (I’d include pearls to pigs but I don’t want TVD to accuse me of harassing ladies again)?

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  276. I don’t think that Calvinists are twerps, Zrim. Show me where I have said that. In fact, I have said very kind things about the OPC right here on this blog, and I don’t take them back. I have said even kinder things on my blogs about Protestants and Calvinists.

    I am not crazy about Martin Luther, and have not been crazy about him for awhile, now. Call me a confused Catholic, but for awhile now – even before I became a convert like me – that the anathemas of Trent were about the person, Martin Luther. He seems to be about the only one who held firmly to his errors. …and I’ve thought that for years, now.

    I do think that this particular group has very little reason to exist if its sole purpose is to trash Catholics and Catholicism. If there is no zeal for preaching the Gospel anymore, then how can you even call yourselves Calvinists?

    You don’t even preach the Gospel with the hope that someone might read your comment and want what you have. You could ask yourselves why that is.

    The thing about Calvinists like yourself is that you think you have the correct Gospel, that you are clever in showing how everyone else is in error, that you can demonstrate how everyone else is anathema based on a misreading of the book of Galatians, but you do not feel motivated to actually share the Gospel with those you believe to be lost and on their way to Hell.

    Now, the OPC does have a zeal for the lost, even though it is a small denomination. I see that at their website, not here on this blog. No, I do not accept all their theology, but they do want people to come to Christ, I am happy to see.

    Never would have guessed it from what I read here – with the exception of Terrible.

    Who will provoke you to love and good works if I call you swine and shake the dust off my sandals? I have called you brothers. I am concerned for you.

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  277. very kind things about the OPC right here on this blog

    Like when you said that we the OPC are dying? Don’t make me go find it. I know the thread and location.

    Just sayin, DoubleYou..

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  278. Mrs. DoubleYou,

    You expect too much of OLTS. You need to read this, and the follow up oldlife 201 (go to the trackback section of the link here to read oldlife 201):

    Oldlife.org 101
    By D. G. HART | Published: MAY 30, 2011
    Regular readers of Oldlife likely don’t need any explanation about the nature of this site but those unfamiliar with the medium or genre of blogging may need some guidance on how to read the posts published here. Genre may sound like a high-faluttin’ word to affix to a blog, suggesting some kind of artifice or even art to the mode of communication. But genre is fitting if only because a blog is a different kind of communication from older forms of publishing and readers who look at a post as if it were another kind of publication may hurt themselves as well as the author (I’m thinking here of the lack of charity or benefit of the doubt that some readers of blogs display, thus raising questions not only about the virtue of the author but also about the motives of the reader).

    A blog – at least as I read them and participate in several – is somewhere between a Facebook page and an editorial in a magazine. Blogging is almost entirely personal since the author is his own editor in most cases; no editorial staff or marketing department oversees the writing. A blog is also a forum for thinking out loud – “here is something I read or observed, and I thought I’d write about it and see what readers think.” Magazines are in themselves ephemeral. I used to save old copies of magazines but soon gave up after several moves not only owing to sloth (or declining strength as aging happens) but also because highlighted articles were not as pertinent at the time of the move as they were when saved. If magazines lack permanency, blogs do so even more.

    In which case readers, readers should not take a blog too seriously. It is not only an ephemeral medium but often times the author’s thoughts are highly transitional – again, this is a way of thinking out loud. James K. A. Smith recently explained the tension between a blog author’s intentions and readers’ expectations during some flack he took for thoughts he wrote in passing about a review of Rob Bell:

    Um, it’s a blog post people. I wrote it in 20 minutes one morning after reading another piece of dreck by Lauren Winner. If it’s stupid, why comment on it? (There is a huge laughable irony about charges of ressentiment in the ballpark here–you can work that out for yourself.) . . . .

    I must have missed the memo about the requirements for writing a blog post. Apparently, according to the self-appointed police force of the theological blogosphere, one is not allowed to comment on a topic unless one has first completed a dissertation in the field. Who decided only specialists could speak? Is there a reading list everyone’s supposed to have mastered before they can comment on an issue?

    In other words, if readers don’t want to see what an author is thinking about, they don’t need to read the blog. But if they do, they shouldn’t expect the thoughts posted to be ready for prime time.

    A blog is like Facebook (such as I imagine since I am not networked) in that it invites comments and an informal exchange of views. For this blogger, the responses are an important facet of the medium because it functions as a built-in letters to the editor. And just as a post can go up immediately in response to a recent event or development, so readers may respond immediately. The immediacy and the responsiveness of blogging is what makes it valuable in my judgment, and unlike most other forms of publication. It is also what makes it ephemeral. Who will read a post about the Phillies’ 2008 championship three years from now and think it poignant. Of course, some blogs do not allow comments, and I do not understand the point since part of the nature of thinking out loud is to start a conversation and see what others think as well.

    At the same time, a blog is not like a magazine in that it does not reproduce well articles or material requiring hard or sustained thought. Some magazines, of course, have on-line content. But this is simply a way of reading a magazine article on-line. But a blog is more like the op-ed portion of a magazine – actually more like a newspaper because a magazine takes at least a week to be published; the newspaper comes out daily (most often) and the blog may occur semi-daily. But when bloggers are tempted to post papers or talks given at conferences, they become almost unreadable. Such material needs to be printed out, read with pen or pencil in hand, and given sustained attention – not read for three minutes before checking email or stock quotes.

    Truth be told that the Nicotine Theological Journal has been delayed considerably by the distraction of blogging. And the reason has to do with the nature and immediacy of the blog; an article that I might write for the NTJ is generally too long for a blog, and the immediacy of a blog makes it a more tempting medium than a journal to make one’s thoughts public. Why wait three months to print my latest critique of Keller when I can publish it TODAY!!! at Oldlife.org.

    In other words, readers of blogs need to lighten up. And readers of Oldlife, the on-line version of the NTJ, would best be advised to light up when reading the blog. Here at a blog, the most fitting form of smoke, as ephemeral as the medium, is a cigarette. For the journal, best to light up a pipe or cigar.

    Thanks for reading the OPC Q&A, I read those every week from about 2007 through 2014 or so, my wife and I would await the next week’s question on the website (they published one every saturday night, even hers about science in 2011, I can go find her question) so that it would give her and me something to talk about around the dinner table. Lately, it’s been all about The Wire, carcetti, daniels, and why oh why is McNulty doing what he is doing in season 5? Oh dear, that poor lost soul. You know what I mean? Anyway, we used to read the Q&A, I found theology blogs (first green baggins) in May 2012, now this is clearly where the conversation is, meaning, where reformed theology is challenged for all the world to see. So keep reading the Q&A, I’ve probably read all 570 of them or close to it. Grace and peace.

    Who’s next?

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  279. Mermaid, “How can a dead faith justify anyone?”

    How can an alive faith cooperate sufficiently with grace and know a mortal sin hasn’t been committed?

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  280. MichaelTX, by that definition no religious order is Roman Catholic. I think the Jesuit pope would be surprised. Who created and who dissolved the Jesuits? It wasn’t Mary.

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  281. Hart,
    I have not said holy orders aren’t Roman Catholic. I have contended that no holy order is “the Church”, but only members of it. Holy orders may come and go the a Church remains. No Holy order can speak with the authority of the universal Church.

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  282. Mrs. DoubleYou, I don’t think you’ve shaken off all the eeeevangelicalism. But some make a distinction between common and sacred activity. Blogs are common and evangelizing is left largely to those called and ordained to do so. Why hold common folk to ordained work?

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  283. Mrs. Webfeet,

    Respectfully, I suggest you read about Dr. Luther’s relationship to the Canon, the Apocrypha, and the Epistle of James before you start making claims that sound like they came out of whatever SparkNotes version of Church “history” Fr. Dwight Longenecker has on his night-stand.

    Dr. Luther called into question the validity and authorship of a few books, including the Epistle of James. You’ll notice, however, that James is in the Luther Bible, as is the Apochrypha, and all the other books that gave Dr. Luther the sweats. Do some homework, look it up. Dr. Luther didn’t go into the Canon and start chopping. That’s an absurd, ignorant claim. Moreover, Luther was, for the millionth time, infallible. Look to our Confessions.

    Also, the anathemas of Trent were decidedly not just directed at Luther, but mainly at the tenants of the Augsburg Confession, and at Evangelical Catholic theology. To suggest Trent was simply an attack on Luther is reductionist and cartoonish. The Council of Trent was a reactionary attempt by the Papacy to create a consistency of theology among it’s subjects to counter-act the solid confessions of the Reformers.

    You don’t have to be a big fan of Luther. Honestly, most Confessional Lutherans find at least some of his writings annoying or embarrassing, just as they find “Lutheran” a detestable term (created by your Holy Father, no less).

    But hey, why give Luther a fair shake? He’s anathema. Or are you one of those Romanists that don’t think the anathemas really are anathemas?

    Trying to feel the love.

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  284. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 10, 2015 at 7:53 am | Permalink
    vd, t, but do you, an anti-Protestant, know what dogma is? You seem to struggle with Adam.

    Yeah, I figured you’d dodge this one, Dr. Calvinism: A History.

    _______________

    TVD
    Posted June 9, 2015 at 11:25 pm | Permalink
    D. G. Hart
    Posted June 9, 2015 at 11:12 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, how can the numerical analysis be valid when you’re aren’t making a numerical claim. Rome is the trunk is a historical assertion and one that Eastern Orthodox dispute.

    Not exactly, Dr. Calvinism: A History. The EOs don’t dispute there was only one Christianity up to 1053.

    By contrast, Protestantism claims there was some “true” church out there in the ether between Constantine and Luther. Or at least that’s how your assistant Andrew Buckingham sees it. Why don’t you two OPC officers get your story straight first and then clue in the rest of us?

    I’ll wait.

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  285. TVD,

    You want answers?

    Go here:

    http://adbuckingham.com/category/church-history/

    Go to the Part II, and listen to Dr. Bray’s lectures on Church History, the ones on the reformation. I recommend all four of these, but you can focus on the last two, from the biblical training dot org website:

    A Background of the Reformation
    In this course a view of the Mediterranean church to the expansion of the Roman Empire will be studied. Also, the evangelistic attempts of the Roman Empire, its challenges and what it meant for the reformation will be covered.
    2 Background of the Reformation II
    The crusades, and John Wycliffe’s challenge of the church’s authority happened before the Reformation.
    3 The 15th Century and Martin Luther
    This lesson covers the Renaissance period and the life and beliefs of Martin Luther.
    4 Reformation and Theology of Martin Luther
    The Reformation and Luther’s emphasis on salv

    Or watch the luther documentary on my twitter feed.

    As Greg knows on the bible thread from April, I could go on. I have about 100 comments ready to fire off. You really think you found something and know what 800 million protesatnts don’t?

    Keep learning, young padawan. I’ll wait for you to bring something of actual substance to these comment boxes :mrgreen: see anyone can type for the sake of typing.

    where will you stand in that great day, tvd? where?

    grace and peace.

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  286. Go here for the luther documentary. But Dr. Bray’s lectures are better than Liam Neeson.

    You just copy and paste over and over. Guess what, I have 100 comments lined up to copy and paste. You’re spinning your wheels, rolling that rock, sisyphus. Enjoy it, we’ve seen it all before. I saw most of this in high school philosophy class, learned some more in my first few years at the OPC. Really haven’t progessed much since about 2003, but I have read a few more authors and such. I am happy to keep control c control v, this is like a video game, truly.

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  287. MichaelTX
    Posted June 10, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink
    AB, I actually hate arguing. This all began from Erik saying ND was just as Catholic as Pope Francis. I think I have proved it is not if no one thinks the same, I am sorry. It is not recognized by the Vatican. It is not in submission to the Pope, local bishop, or even a local parish.

    You did prove it, but don’t expect anyone to acknowledge that truth. In fact, within a week, somebody will be repeating that lie about Notre Dame all over again.

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  288. Has the Pope considered suing Notre Dame for impersonating a Catholic University? Seems like he would have a good case. Maybe the Irish could sue them, too, for impersonating “Fighting Irish”.

    Good grief. Notre Dame is not Catholic…

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  289. “This all began from Erik saying ND was just as Catholic as Pope Francis.”
    Pope Francis is Catholic?!?!? I thought he was a Jesuit!

    “I think I have proved it is not if no one thinks the same, I am sorry. It is not recognized by the Vatican. It is not in submission to the Pope, local bishop, or even a local parish. This is the ordinary teaching magisterium of the Church. This is what we as Catholic are in submission to as long as it is not binding us to believe or do what is unCatholic. Which can be determined by looking at what is ecumenical or in union with the Pope’s definative teaching.”

    @mtx I’m certainly no expert on canon law, so if I am mistaken, I will happily stand corrected. My understanding is that the Congregation of the Holy Cross has its charter from the Vatican, and that charter can be rescinded. They answer directly to the pope rather than the local bishop. Their ministries are thus “Catholic” and in submission to the pope. One of their ministries is the University of Notre Dame.

    Is everything that happens at Notre Dame congruent with church teaching? Obviously not – but then that could say about a lot of dioceses as well (San Jose?). Of course the university has no more authority over you than some crazy priest in the bay area, but that doesn’t make either less catholic. What the university does have is a significant number of theologians who I understand to be part of the magisterium even though they are neither authoritative nor infallible (important to listen to and not dismiss lightly).

    The ecclesiastical status of the university has never changed…it has always been a ministry of the Congregation of the Holy Cross. Working their way west, the missionaries stopped in South Bend with the goal of moving on when the weather improved….they are still waiting!

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  290. You make Darryl, his blog, and your church all look like idiots. Keep doing the Lord’s work.

    Man, where’s the love?

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  291. vd, t, and you dodged my Phillies’ apologist analogy. Dodgers all.

    My point about a church before Protestantism is the one that Trent hadn’t condemned Protestants before Trent. Trent’s definitions didn’t exist. The Western Church included Protestants before they were Protestants.

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  292. Darryl,

    “vd, c, when do I reign in AB? Who could?”

    Well you haven’t successfully reined in Bryan or Jason. So why should that stop you now?

    “If EO and RC are so united, what happened in 1054.”

    Which is why I qualified on the nature of Scripture and justification which is what ostensibly justified the Reformation by your lights. Read Trent on those subjects. Then read Synod of Jerusalem, Confession of Dositheus, and Patriarch Jeremias’ responses to the Lutherans on those subjects. Then read Dordt and WCF. One of these is not like the others. As Schaff wrote in his work on the creeds, “In all these important points the Synod of Jerusalem again essentially agrees with the Church of Rome, and radically dissents from Protestantism.”

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  293. AB,

    “At Trent, that was the first time the institutional church anathematized the Gospel.”

    Excellent. So I can hold to Orange and the 18 ecumenical councils before Trent and be right as rain correct?

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  294. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 10, 2015 at 3:30 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, and you dodged my Phillies’ apologist analogy. Dodgers all.

    My point about a church before Protestantism is the one that Trent hadn’t condemned Protestants before Trent. Trent’s definitions didn’t exist. The Western Church included Protestants before they were Protestants.

    Trent is irrelevant at this point. 1053 first, then 1517. You do not and cannot justify having a different religion than the Eastern Orthodox.

    D. G. Hart
    Posted June 10, 2015 at 3:30 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, maybe idiots, you’re fascinated, right?

    You want to let Andrew make your blog look stupid, that’s your lookout.

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  295. Yes I was a grad student and post-doc there for nearly eight years in total. It is true that the university does not answer to D’Arcy (or whoever the current bishop is now), but that does not make it non-Catholic. The chain of command is Pope->CSC->ND rather than Pope ->bishop->ND. I guess it is an interesting question what would happen if the Pope decided to disband the congregation. Can the Pope put the university under the jurisdiction of the local bishop or directly under rome? I have no idea…I’m way out of my depth there.

    Of course, Notre Dame is not just the seminary, so not everything published by faculty at ND is consistent with (or really relevant to) church teaching. Like I noted to AB – the theology department includes several non-Catholic members and a few non-Christians. I think the direction from the Board is that they want keep the university faculty over 50% RC (at least that was what they claimed back in the early 00’s). My impression is that this is about right.

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  296. Sdb, thanks. My total point is to say nothing more than the actions of ND or A holy order can’t be considered the actions of “the Church”. I can start an order it will not make my actions the actions of “the Church”.

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  297. @mtx I think I see what you are getting at here…ND doesn’t establish RC doctrine. But, if we adopt the metaphor of the church as the body (obviously, ND would be the ego), then the actions of ND are actions of the body (“I” didn’t punch my brother in the backseat, my fist did). This gets at what I see as the fatal flaw in Bryan Cross’s “Catholics are Divided Too” essay. On the one hand he wants to claim numerical superiority as support for the RC church being the true descendent, but the fact that 95% of Catholic women of child bearing age dissent on church teaching doesn’t count as disunity because they have a unity of doctrine (to be a communicant RC is to believe all the church teaches).

    On the one hand, protestants can claim that kind of unity too – are statements of faith (the thing you have to believe to join) are the same…the non-essential distinctive that divide us are more a kin to what divide dominicans and jesuits. But we don’t have a common authority structure. Well OK. RCs have a common authority structure that can supposedly settle disputes. However, no one follows it (OK, 95% don’t follow) and there is no consequence. So how has the dispute been settled? Of course, this doesn’t prove that protestants are right, but it does show that Cross’s claim doesn’t have the force he claims it does.

    It seems to me that the real challenge we face isn’t coming from theology, it is coming from affluence and modernity. Neither Protestantism nor Catholicism has found a way to thrive amid plenty…I think this is the challenge being answered by the Benedict Option. 20th century protestantism in America was the counter example, but that doesn’t seem to be holding any more. The demise of the RC church in South/Latin America the past 40yrs (a loss of 1/3 of adherents) suggests that future in developing countries is going to be Pentecostalism and Islam. What happens as these countries get richer and more open? I have a hard time seeing reformed christianity or roman catholicism making significant inroads. More like Creflo -v- the Ayatollah.

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  298. One of the criticisms that the Reformed Confessionalists around here have is of all the freelancing that goes on in Protestant circles (see the “Trending: Counter-Cultural, TKNY” thread).

    What this discussion here shows is that freelancing is by no means a Protestant-only problem.

    If Catholics have unity (led by the all time greatest unificator — sorry Chortles — the Pope), why the need for all of these freelance ministries that no one can quite figure out if they are Catholic or not and no one can quite figure out who they are or are not accountable to?

    Makes one scratch one’s head…

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  299. vd, c, the Synod of Jerusalem? Acts 15? Compare that to the Fourth Lateran on the Jews.

    Actually, I think I have gotten through to Bryan and the Jasons. CTC is about as active as a 68-year old man.

    But why do you care about AB?

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  300. Cletus,

    You can do whatever you want, you are a tv character.

    But claim anything other than the Word of God as infallible, and you’ll get me and any card carrying protestant worthy of the name asking for what is and is not infallible, and all you can tell us it’s whatever your church says is.

    So yeah, I’m not cool with co-remeptrix, but whatevs if you are.

    Someone here tell TVD it’s #Justablog

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  301. vd, t, in a free country, look what happens to Bruce Jenner. I could close comments but that would have cut you off about 2 years ago.

    I don’t know what you’re claiming about 1054. I agree that Protestantism emerged from the Western Church. You seem to be doing to Protestants what the old-bad historiography did for Protestants — turn us all into Waldensians or something.

    It was all fluid in the late middle ages, except everyone sent their money to Rome where they used it not to teach but to build, carve, and paint.

    Ireland?

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  302. MichaelTX, you can’t start an order without the pope’s approval. Once he approves, it’s the church — under the oversight of A VERY IMPORTANT bishop.

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  303. Seth, I wouldn’t worry about Tom. He’s a fan of #DrTerryGray, who is a fan of the OPC, who we all know, the greatest church here on God’s green earth.

    #samestuffdifferentday

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  304. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 10, 2015 at 4:22 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, in a free country, look what happens to Bruce Jenner. I could close comments but that would have cut you off about 2 years ago.

    I don’t know what you’re claiming about 1054. I agree that Protestantism emerged from the Western Church. You seem to be doing to Protestants what the old-bad historiography did for Protestants — turn us all into Waldensians or something.

    It was all fluid in the late middle ages, except everyone sent their money to Rome where they used it not to teach but to build, carve, and paint.

    Ireland?

    Bruce Jenner? Ireland? Look a squirrel!

    This has been good, we’ve got to the truth. Take away all your anti-pope railing, and your claim to the Christian religion goes up in white smoke.

    You don’t know what I’m claiming about how your version of Christianity is so different from the Eastern Orthodox whereas the Roman rite is not?

    C’mon, now, Dr. History. You’re a clever man. More clever than most, and they understand just fine.

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  305. Erik: Good grief. Notre Dame is not Catholic…

    As I’ve said 100 times, those in that faith, when pinned down, just fly away in a dimension known only to their happy place (MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW)

    They go there when they know they are totally defeated, it might mean otherwise they’d honestly take a look…. a real deep look…. in honesty and faith

    And then they return without thinking about it at all and continue thinking they have all the truth wrapped up in their little skulls.

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  306. Tom,

    What have the Eastern Orthodox produced except for serfs, the Balkans, decades of Communism, and Putin? Nothing much to emulate, there.

    What have Catholics produced except for Spain, Italy, France, Ireland, and the Kennedy’s?

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  307. ec, how can Rome take credit for a convert?

    Wait. I’ll give them Bryan, the Jasons, Mermaid, and vd,c.

    Since vd, t doesn’t commune, we can keep him.

    Oh the love.

    Like

  308. Hart, an order is not a diocese though. This is how you are describing them. They have no apostolic succesion. The pope can rescind their ability to exist, but that does not mean what they so is at the direction of the Pope. Please tell me you understand the difference in what I am talking about. We are going round and round.

    Sdb, let me read your post again and get back with you when I can later today/night.

    Like

  309. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 10, 2015 at 4:39 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, Luther and Calvin grew up on the Western rite. Refusing it wasn’t what got Luther in trouble.

    You keep see-sawing. The fact is, Luther & Calvin chose “none of the above” and invented a new religion that had no historical antecedent except some imaginary continuity with, well I don’t know what with. You don’t say. “The early church,” whatever and whenever that means.

    The fact is, if Trent is the problem, then why does your religion look so little like the Church 500 years before Trent? No, there’s something else wrong here.

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  310. I was quite surprised by how Catholic the place was. I mean it wasn’t like a Bible College where the professor started each class with a devotion and prayer, but almost all the UGs were going to Mass, talking about religion, etc…

    I was in the Boxing Club (Bengal Bouts), though I didn’t get to fight in the tournament. There were a bit over a 100 guys in it raising money for a mission in Bangladesh (and getting a chance to pummel their buddies in front of a few thousand people…good times!). I was surprised how many of them talked about discerning a vocation…most didn’t go onto seminary, but it really was something they at least acted like they took seriously.

    Of course there was partying and lots of alcohol on campus (Saturday morning jogs meant dodging puddles of vomit when running past dorms). The biggest protest on campus was when they banned hard liquor in dorms. In the student section of football games, there were plenty of F-bombs (it was the Davie years, so perhaps that can be excused), so it wasn’t exactly Wheaton. But it wasn’t U of AZ either (where I also spent some time).

    There was a definite Christian presence on campus, and there are a lot of serious Christian intellectuals around. I miss that part the most. I was part of a pretty significant community of guys who liked to talk and think about these things (usually over scotch and cigars). These were philosophy, history, english, theology, science, sociology, psychology and law graduate students. The pastor of the PCA church in South Bend was a Ph.D. student with Marsden whose thesis was on 19th century presbyterian history. There were also stimulating speakers who came through – Rorty, Polkinghorne, van Fraassen, Pannenberg, among others who provided great fodder for discussion.

    At the land-grant where I teach now, there are a lot of bright people around, but the caliber of the humanities isn’t any where near what it was there. While I love the guys in my church, the level of interaction just isn’t the same (Francis Schaefer and Tim Keller are thought to be deep thinkers). I miss the cross-disciplinary interaction with fellow intellectual-believers.

    Like

  311. sdb
    Posted June 10, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink
    I was quite surprised by how Catholic the place was. I mean it wasn’t like a Bible College where the professor started each class with a devotion and prayer, but almost all the UGs were going to Mass, talking about religion, etc…

    I was in the Boxing Club (Bengal Bouts), though I didn’t get to fight in the tournament. There were a bit over a 100 guys in it raising money for a mission in Bangladesh (and getting a chance to pummel their buddies in front of a few thousand people…good times!). I was surprised how many of them talked about discerning a vocation…most didn’t go onto seminary, but it really was something they at least acted like they took seriously.

    Of course there was partying and lots of alcohol on campus (Saturday morning jogs meant dodging puddles of vomit when running past dorms). The biggest protest on campus was when they banned hard liquor in dorms. In the student section of football games, there were plenty of F-bombs (it was the Davie years, so perhaps that can be excused), so it wasn’t exactly Wheaton. But it wasn’t U of AZ either (where I also spent some time).

    There was a definite Christian presence on campus, and there are a lot of serious Christian intellectuals around. I miss that part the most. I was part of a pretty significant community of guys who liked to talk and think about these things (usually over scotch and cigars). These were philosophy, history, english, theology, science, sociology, psychology and law graduate students. The pastor of the PCA church in South Bend was a Ph.D. student with Marsden whose thesis was on 19th century presbyterian history. There were also stimulating speakers who came through – Rorty, Polkinghorne, van Fraassen, Pannenberg, among others who provided great fodder for discussion.

    At the land-grant where I teach now, there are a lot of bright people around, but the caliber of the humanities isn’t any where near what it was there. While I love the guys in my church, the level of interaction just isn’t the same (Francis Schaefer and Tim Keller are thought to be deep thinkers). I miss the cross-disciplinary interaction with fellow intellectual-believers.

    Clearly the Catholic Church is willing to tolerate a certain amount of theological diversity [anarchy?]. This makes sense if the Catholic Church is going to spread the word to more people than just the ones who are already in the fold. And in the intellectual milieu, iron sharpens iron.

    Still, I’d say the pope is concerned that the pendulum may have swung too far.* But like Ireland, and like the Nuns on a Bus, there’s a limit to how hard the Church can come down on dissidents before the whole thing just blows up.

    There’s no question there’s been a ton of “drift” in Catholic institutions; no less protestant ones. modernity has left orthodoxy flat-footed, asking what went wrong/ Afterall, in the 1990s they were telling us that “gay marriage” was a bogus slippery slope argument, that it would never happen. in 20 years polls show majority support. What happened???

    How to fix it? There’s the conundrum: Enforce orthodoxy so hard that Notre Dame has no more intellectual credibility than Moody Bible College, or turn over the hospital to the patients.

    [To follow the Catholic lay effort to bring ND to account, google “Sycamore Trust.”]

    ________
    *Pope Francis Makes First Major Statements on Catholic Education – See more at: http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/2722/Pope-Francis-Makes-First-Major-Statements-on-Catholic-Education.aspx#sthash.InUqkrPA.dpuf

    Calling for schools and universities committed to catechesis and evangelization, Pope Francis makes his first significant statements as Pope regarding Catholic education in Evangelii Gaudium, his apostolic exhortation released Sunday.

    With significance for the work of The Cardinal Newman Society to promote and defend faithful Catholic schools and colleges, Pope Francis identifies education as a solution to secularization:

    The process of secularization tends to re­duce the faith and the Church to the sphere of the private and personal. Furthermore, by com­pletely rejecting the transcendent, it has produced a growing deterioration of ethics, a weakening of the sense of personal and collective sin, and a steady increase in relativism.These have led to a general sense of disorientation, especially in the periods of adolescence and young adulthood which are so vulnerable to change. …We are living in an information-driven society which bombards us indiscriminately with data—all treated as being of equal importance—and which leads to remarkable superficiality in the area of moral discernment. In response, we need to provide an education which teaches crit­ical thinking and encourages the development of mature moral values.

    Like

  312. Erik Charter
    Posted June 10, 2015 at 5:05 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    Why doesn’t the Roman Catholic Church look more like the Roman Catholic Church 500 years before Trent?

    The Old Life tactic: Dodge a question by asking another one. How ’bout you go first for a change? let’s see how you do when you’re not on the attack.

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  313. TVD,

    The fact is, if Trent is the problem, then why does your religion look so little like the Church 500 years before Trent? No, there’s something else wrong here.

    Why does the church pre and post Vat2 look so different?

    And by the way, how would you know what the church looks like? Have you ever even been in one? You give us nothing to go on, so we can only assume you know nothing of what you speak, in real life, I mean. That’s all we have on you, sorry.

    Next comment please.

    Like

  314. Tom, we may be getting somewhere with you seeing as you seem so agitated and keep posting so many comments, more today than it seems in the past.

    But really, you should not post so much. Again, you only make yourself look worse. Those of us with something to defend don’t appreciate your wildness.

    http://adbuckingham.com/grace-and-peace/

    Like

  315. Andrew Buckingham
    Posted June 10, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink
    TVD,

    The fact is, if Trent is the problem, then why does your religion look so little like the Church 500 years before Trent? No, there’s something else wrong here.

    Why does the church pre and post Vat2 look so different?

    Not different atall. The Order of the Mass, the Eucharist, the sacraments, all the same.

    Your turn. You Old Lifers are really helpless when you’re not attacking.

    The fact is, if Trent is the problem, then why does your religion look so little like the Church 500 years before Trent? No, there’s something else wrong here.

    Like

  316. TVD,

    Not different atall. Have you ever been in OPC church? Didn’t think so. Our church most definately feels like the church of the last 2000 years. Once you go, you’ll know.

    That was easy.

    Your turn:

    Why do you care?

    Like

  317. Andrew Buckingham
    Posted June 10, 2015 at 5:21 pm | Permalink
    TVD,

    Not different atall. Have you ever been in OPC church? Didn’t think so. Our church most definately feels like the church of the last 2000 years.

    I won’t insult your intelligence to suggest you believe what you just wrote.

    Darryl, I don’t think Andrew’s doing a very good job at explaining your church. Unless you want to give this the Calvinism: A History Seal of Approval here. I’ll wait.

    Like

  318. Tom,

    No one cares what you say.

    Why not let others chime in? You really are obsessed with this blog and Darryl to an unhealthy degree. Everyone here sees that, why don’t you?

    Like

  319. Why does the church pre and post Vat2 look so different?

    Not different atall. The Order of the Mass, the Eucharist, the sacraments, all the same.

    I won’t insult your intelligence to suggest you believe what you just wrote.

    easypeasy

    next comment please

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  320. vd, t, you gotta get over American creation rhetoric. Affirming the Nicene Creed is not an invention. What did Rome teach between 325 and 1543 that Protestants didn’t affirm?

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  321. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 10, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, you gotta get over American creation rhetoric. Affirming the Nicene Creed is not an invention. What did Rome teach between 325 and 1543 that Protestants didn’t affirm?

    The Eucharist. The 7 sacraments. Are you really going to try to bluff your way through with this hand? You kill me. 😉

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  322. Darryl,

    “What did Rome teach between 325 and 1543 that Protestants didn’t affirm?”

    This cannot be real. There were many regional and ecumenical councils in that period that were held or ratified and taught/practiced by Rome. So you’re saying all the teachings from those intervening councils are all affirmed and not actively rejected within Protestantism? Come on now.

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  323. sdb,
    per your June 10, 2015 at 4:17 pm post asking about the “body of Christ” and modernism,
    I don’t think I have read the Cross article you are talking about. If I have it has been several years.
    If you are up to it, why don’t you shoot that post to me in my email box so we can discuss some of my thoughts on the topic. I think we could keep it at a more reasonable pace for me. I will keep it here if you wish. Let me know what you think. Email is on my blog site. http:/livingwordoflife.wordpress.com

    Like

  324. Cletus,

    What’s not real is that you are so chicken and can’t use your real name.

    It’s simple – the church became corrupt, Luther and others made proposals to fix, and were thrown out of the church, so they started a new church. Why is this so hard to accept? They did this to Machen as well.

    Do you think Luther would have been better off accepting excommunication and just leaving Christianity? No, of course not.

    In God’s providence, Luther ushered in a religion, protestantism, with over 800 million adherents, and countless lives are changed by the Gospel. Is it ideal that the church is split like it is? No, and we can look forward to heaven when these divisions will be finally healed.

    Come on, try using your real name, James. No one is goi