When Is Orthodoxy Dead?

If someone believes in the virgin birth of Christ, what’s the chance she (see what I did there?) will promote same-sex marriage? Or if someone insists on singing psalms only in worship, will he support women’s ordination? Or what if a pastor believes the Bible to be the infallible word of God, do you think he would be inclined to overlook divorce as a disqualification for holding church office?

The reason for asking isn’t to argue that orthodox doctrine produces good morals or holiness. But it is to suggest that certain doctrinal convictions become self-selecting mechanisms for affirming and defending Christian morality. For instance, it would be hard to imagine that as the PCUSA legalized women’s ordination, waffled on adultery among clergy, or ordained homosexual persons, presbyters were also examining ministerial candidates about the virgin birth of Christ, the vicarious atonement, or biblical inerrancy and rejecting candidates who would not affirm those beliefs.

So why is it that some are worried about the next archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels on the following grounds?

Since Belgium gained its independence (1830), the Archbishopric of Mechelen-Brussels has alternated between Francophone and Flemish holders. This has placed the spotlight on Belgium’s four Flemish Ordinaries: Bishops Jozef De Kesel of Brugge / Bruges (68 years old this June), Lucas Van Looy SDB of Ghent (74 years old in September), Patrick Hoogmartens of Hasselt (63 years old), and the man now said to be the front-runner for the Primatial See of Belgium: Johan Jozef Bonny of Antwerp (60 years old in July). Van Looy is too old, so this narrows down the “choice” to three: De Kesel, Hoogmartens and Bonny. Unfortunately, all three are unambiguously liberal. All three have publicly come out in favor of abolishing mandatory celibacy for priests of the Latin Rite, De Kesel is known to be open to women’s ordination, and Bonny, most infamously, advocates that the Church bless “gay relationships” and “gay couples” among other radical reforms that he would like to see.

Some might claim that all the bishops are orthodox. Nothing changes. The magisterium defends the truth. Everything is still intact. The bishops, accordingly, believe all the doctrines taught by the church. But if they do believe in the bodily assumption of Mary, justification by baptism, the condemnation that attends mortal sin, papal infallibility, or transubstantiation, would these bishops have trouble maintaining church teaching about marriage, homosexuality, and divorce? You would think they would affirm Roman Catholic morality if they also maintained and defended Roman Catholic theology.

So why don’t Roman Catholic conservatives ask questions about the theological views of bishops, or use doctrine to evaluate the health of the church? You would think that Protestants who used to be in doctrinally conservative churches would use theology to urge for the appointment of orthodox Roman Catholic bishops.

95 thoughts on “When Is Orthodoxy Dead?

  1. When Is Orthodoxy Dead?
    By D. G. HART | Published: JUNE 5, 2015

    If Orthodoxy could talk:

    the report of my death was an exaggeration

    It’s been nice to see Jason show up in these comments. How do we help him and Bryan and all these former reformed out, going forward? Not to help them convert more reformed prots to RCism (little chance of that happening anymore) but rather to help make them the best Xtians they can be? They were, after all, trained among us hyenas, the reformed protestants. Lets get them looking the best they can, yo. Who’s next?


  2. Good ideas, Hart. Though, what makes you feel that conservative(personally not a real good term in the Catholic world) Catholics do not urge and support the raising of orthodox bishops?


  3. DG,
    Maybe an example of a lay media organization such as this can help. Check it out if you wish.
    Maybe not all Catholics agree with the exact tactics of them but I think what they do, including confronting Bishop’s actions and beliefs, is what I am saying you may not realizing happens in the Church.


  4. Hi Michael,

    I for one see the kinds of statements Pope Francis makes, and it helps me affirm that the Roman Catholic church is not the bastion of conservative christianity that I would want to be a part of. For a while it seemed like the pope would say something, it would confuse a lot of people, only for the vatican to have to explain what the pope really meant. It led to youtube videos like this from Lutheran Satire.

    I think Darryl more than anything is trying to combat what appears to be the over-emphasis on portraying the good, and avoiding the bad, as they do at CalledToCommunion.

    A common error of roman catholics that post here is that Darryl is necessarily out to criticize the vatican. For sure he is, but there’s a reason when he applies the tag, are the CTCers paying attention? if you catch my meaning. Thanks for those links, I’ll have to take a look at what you are getting at. Grace and peace.


  5. DG,

    A few questions:

    1. What basis would “Roman Catholic conservatives” have not to support liberal bishops? On their own terms they don’t have standing to object. Certainly they wouldn’t tell us that they have scriptural objections to a decision coming from the Bishop in Rome. The magisterium interpret and the laity obey, take their sacraments, and move on. Nothing to see here. That’s what sacerdotalism gets you. If you ignore Scripture and substitute an earthly priest for our Great High Priest you have already abandoned orthodoxy. Everything else will fall eventually.

    2. What do the political machinations of the Romanists have to do with us anyway? I don’t see that I have a dog in that fight. I would prefer bishops that at least uphold the Biblical morality, but it’s not my call – or that of anyone than Francis.


  6. Michael, sounds like they draw lines on cultural issues more than theological ones. And it begs the question(see what I did there) of who actually inhabits the moral high ground, much less the theological ground after Vat II. Pastoral application is a matter of interpretation as you’re finding out.


  7. Publius,
    We have not met. Hello. I’m not here to make you Catholic and I don’t mean to be rude, but this is ridiculous: “substitute an earthly priest for our Great High Priest” Was Christ Jesus our Lord a substitute for God the Father to the Jews? Was Peter or Paul a substitute for Christ to the rest of the disciples, such as Cornelius or Timothy? In your shoes, is your pastor teaching Biblical truths to the best of your understanding a substitute to you? Of course not. I think you are missing something at the heart of Catholicism. Christ alone is the one teacher! Please understand that is at the heart of every faithful Catholic. Please.
    Blessings in Christ,


  8. sean,
    Cultural issues are just the fruit of theological application followed to its everyday vision of humanity’s love of itself over God and each other. Yes of course bishops do some applying as they see fit. Doesn’t mean ever application is a right one.


  9. AB,
    The media does wonders with Pope Francis. It is amazing to watch them work. It is quite certain where they get their marching orders from. If you are wondering, yes, I do believe in an actual Devil.


  10. Michael, I’m reminded of those hundreds of comments threads between you and sean. Those were good times.

    Sean, star trek was the unificateur’s contri to hashtag opcga today. He has a venn diagram saying that some OPCers secretly envy the PCA, other than that, his venn is quite accurate(emoticon).



  11. MichaelTX,

    Me too.

    Not to be a pill, but we try to limit to 3 comments per thread per day at oldlife now, or more broadly, show restraint. It’s no biggee, and I’m over too, just note the number of comments you post on a thread, and you’ll be fine. That’s why I like twitter, so I can be all Andrew Buckingham on my own page and not post links that other people might not read. I say again, it’s great your back, but the prot/cath divide of 800M / 1.2B christians is still around, so we forge ahead together, organizationally divided, but unified in the Gospel when and if we can. No compromises on purity of the gospel, full stop.

    Grace and peace, I’ll stop posting now, say whatever you like, floor’s yours.


  12. Hi Michael,

    Glad to meet you. I was being a bit polemical. No hard feelings, I hope. I was raised in the RC church for many years – Catholic School, altar boy, etc. I understand the RC point of view. (My family and I are in the OPC now.) But the points Calvin made in the Institutes 2.15.6 remain true.

    That said, I would be interested to know to what authority “Roman Catholic conservatives” appeal against the elevation and teachings of liberal Bishops?

    And my second question for DGH, why do we Reformed care? I don’t mean that to be offensive, but it seems like an internal matter. We might think it’s unfortunate, but to some extent we should be busy tending our own gardens.


  13. MichaelTX, because I see more discussion from “conservative” RCs about sex and gender than about the deity of Christ. And do you really think that most RC’s affirm transubstantiation?


  14. MichaelTx, not sure how churchmilitant disproves my point. Here are the trending topic there. Polls & Surveys satanism Spiritual Warfare Homosexuality Cardinal Burke Anglicanism Satan


  15. Publius,
    I would hate to try and assume Hart’s reasons for his RC interaction. I would most likely be way off. I do understand you point though.

    I’ll look at the 2.15.6 when I get a chance.

    ” I would be interested to know to what authority “Roman Catholic conservatives” appeal against the elevation and teachings of liberal Bishops?

    Pretty easy. Scripture, Tradition, dogmas of the universal Church(ecumenical council anathemas and ex cathedra, discongruinty with the official magisterial teachings of the Bishop of Rome, Canon Law, General Instruction of the Roman Missal. Heck, just do a search on the Vatican website. Encyclical are good to look at. It is easy to find what a Bishop is suppose to be teaching. He is limited by 2000 years of teachings.

    Hope that help.


  16. Hart,
    If a Catholic lacks the truth that Christ is God in flesh, his or her parents ought to be ashamed. Though all a Catholic need do is pick up a catechism. Yes, belief in the Real Presence or Transubstantiation has plummeted in the last 30 years. It was taught to me in both parishes I when though initiation classes at though. Therefore, I’d say parents aren’t teaching their children, which every parent and God parent promise at the children’s baptism to do. The Church never promises it will teach to children the faith, but parents and God parents do. They will be accountable before God for their failures.


  17. Hart,
    Let’s not do this.
    First page of the Catechism:
    “I. The life of man – to know and love God

    1 God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Saviour. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life.

    2 So that this call should resound throughout the world, Christ sent forth the apostles he had chosen, commissioning them to proclaim the gospel: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”4 Strengthened by this mission, the apostles “went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it.”5

    3 Those who with God’s help have welcomed Christ’s call and freely responded to it are urged on by love of Christ to proclaim the Good News everywhere in the world. This treasure, received from the apostles, has been faithfully guarded by their successors. All Christ’s faithful are called to hand it on from generation to generation, by professing the faith, by living it in fraternal sharing, and by celebrating it in liturgy and prayer.6


  18. Every day in the Mass the faithful and the priest confess the Nicean creed:

    I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
    And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
    Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
    And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
    And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.


  19. Sorry, I did not see that that was not the currect translation:
    “I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth,
    of all things visible and invisible.
    I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God,
    born of the Father before all ages.
    God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
    begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
    Through him all things were made.
    For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
    and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.

    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
    he suffered death and was buried,
    and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
    He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead
    and his kingdom will have no end.
    I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
    who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
    who has spoken through the prophets.
    I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.
    I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins
    and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
    and the life of the world to come.


  20. Hart,
    You can reach me from my page if you wish to continue. I have an email link there. I could explain it better, but I am not sure that that is what you are wishing me to do. If you are, please email me.
    Blessing and peace to everybody here. Nice to meet you, Publius


  21. @MTX I think the problem is the discontinuity between the stated preference and revealed preference (to borrow the language of economists – most everyone *says* they will pay more for better service, but most everyone then goes and trades away good service for the cheapest option). Dreher has a thoughtful post that I linked in a different thread that I think you’ll find worth pondering:

    Catholic priest once told me something an older priest said to him at a party for his archdiocese’s seminarians headed off to study at the North American College in Rome: “Those poor boys. They leave here in love with Jesus, and come home in love with the Church.”

    The post then goes on to reflect on the poor job EO parishes do evangelizing. This is interesting to read in light of his subsequent post about why social conservatives keep losing battles in the culture wars. The short version is that they adopt the premise of neoliberalism,

    Yesterday I overheard Rick Perry making his presidential announcement, and blathering on about how we need to “return freedom to the individual” and so forth, and I thought man, it’s no wonder these Republicans have nothing to say when confronted by things like same-sex marriage. They already accept the rhetoric and cast of mind that leads to it.

    My guess is that the relative strengths and weaknesses of confessional protestantism, evangelicalism, catholicism, orthodoxy, etc… are best found not in the stated preferences of these groups, but rather in the actual working out of what they do. This is why have linked to so many polls documenting the actual beliefs of protestants vs catholics, etc…

    If you read a catholic like Pascal-Emmanuel Gorby or and orthodox christian like Rod Dreher, they will tell you that the eucharist is everything (I exaggerate…slightly). For them, the fact that their respective churches are offering the same mass each sunday and (in Rod’s case) using 1500year old liturgies is aligned with what the church proclaims for itself. If this is what you understand to be unity, they stated and revealed preference are aligned.

    For an evangelical for whom the getting right with God and “growing in your walk” is everything and the Bible is the way you find out how to do those things, you’ll find that for adherents, they really are more knowledgeable of the scriptures, better husbands (less abusive anyway), and generally more moral.

    Where there comes a problem it seems to me is when we see a discontinuity between the docs and the lived behavior of the adherents (the mainline is good example of this – they have the creeds on paper but reject them in practice).

    Of course, evangelicals aren’t just about getting saved and living better and catholics aren’t just about the eucharist. But it seems to me that our respective emphases that create strengths for our priorities also engender weaknesses. In practice, while it doesn’t have to be this way, Sola Scriptura has led to the fracturing of denominations (on the other hand I think exogenous factors such as entrepreneurialism, religious freedom, nationalism, etc… were at least as significant and the reality is that RCs are leaving their church in drove, only not to form new denominations, but to form nano-denominations of 1 spiritual but not religious). But all that aside, there is no question that prots have different doctrines of the Lord’s Supper, Baptism, etc… However, also in practice, Catholicism does not engender holiness among her adherents and the church obscures Christ. Where I part from Rod Dreher is that rather than a flaw in modern man, this is a flaw in the sacramental system that developed under Christendom. In other words, Christendom obscures Christ in practice. Perhaps it doesn’t have to be this way (anymore than Sola Scriptura logically entails divisions), but the revealed preference (as it were) suggests otherwise.

    Now this isn’t an argument to invalidate Roman Catholicism, nor do I mean to suggest that every evangelical leads a holy, scripture saturated life, nor that every catholic idolizes the church. My point is that the strengths and weaknesses of each tradition are largely reinforced by their structures, and the system you are most likely to accept as true is the one that conforms to your priority. That’s fine, but it does come at a cost that shouldn’t be denied or glossed over. As Dreher might say, “I think it’s an immature convert thing.”


  22. Michael,

    Don’t stress out – Darryl couldnt fathom how the mass or rosary focused on Christ even after I showed the prayers and form of each. So catholicism for dummies flummoxing him is par for the course.


  23. Can we just start talking birth control yet, priestly celebacy, and Edgaro Mortara? Pretty please with a cherry?




  24. Roman Catholics,

    When reformed protism is finally proved the best, what do we do with all your priests?

    Oh that’s right, that’s you guys after us. I keep getting my Yankees and my Pirates fans mixed up.



  25. Erik, I was going to post my favorite sean quote, I’ll go with Robert this time instead:

    I think the point is that Bryan Cross and the whole Called to Communion project is almost entirely out of step with modern Roman Catholicism post-V2. … It’s why you don’t see very many cradle RCs calling us to communion. They understand that the Vatican now sees us as true Christians, having in practice renounced the anathemas of Trent even while still nominally claiming them. The religion that Bryan and CtC promote is very heady and not at all in touch with the average RC in the pew. …[T]he church basically renounced its earlier doctrines and practices at V2… Bryan et al don’t see it at all, which is why we get 10,000 word tomes trying to make the square peg of Tridentine Romanism fit the round hole of post-V2 RCism. The blindness of CtC is seen in their refusal to admit that if Francis and any nineteenth century pope sat down together, neither one of them would recognize each other as a true RC.

    Who’s Next? Who’s Hungry?


  26. Michael, I would think theological application would have primary application to ecclesial issues not necessarily cultural ones. And if so, it leaves churchmilitant in the very uncatholic position, allegedly, of overcoming the interpretation of those with the charism gained through the laying on of hands. And how does that exactly square with lay charism ‘thinking’ along with the church(magisterium) in matters of faith and morals(son of the church)? IOW, how very protestant of churchmilitant. And it still fails to answer who has the interpretation of Vat II? And how would you know? I can rattle off any number of those with the charism who would say that churchmilitant(and it’s ilk) don’t have the spirit of Vat II. Makes perspicuity and interpreting original apostolic tradition, a much easier and plausible opportunity.


  27. sean,
    Those problems don’t really apply to me. I believe in Church dogma. It is not my problem if some “Catholic” chooses not to; bishop, priest or lay. We are very “protestant” against anyone who is against the Catholic faith. Disregard what teaching they may. As long as there is one bishop in the world who remains faithful the Church lives. “Upon this rock I will build My Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” One Bishop will always remain and to him we cling.


  28. Michael, ok, but how do you know you have the spirit of Vat 2? Most of the priests I know, in fact all of them, would say you(church militant) don’t have it.


  29. Sean, I’m to judge myself. It is not like the Holy Spirit became someone new in the 60s. Dogma just doesn’t change. I know you don’t agree Sean. That is ok.


  30. Michael, I’m just trying to figure out how you parse it all and why that’s a better opportunity much less a more faithfully christian one than the protestant route. And as much as trad RC’s of different stripes want to condition, ignore, reinterpret or pick and choose interpretations, Vat II happened. It’s not going away. So, it’s not so much whether I agree, it’s do you agree and think along with your roman mother?

    Cw, it’s Fat Tuesday.


  31. Sean,
    It not a choosing type of thing for me(reformed/catholic). It is a faithful to the tutu I have come to understand or rebellious. Logic and faithfulness to his Word will not allow me to be a Sola Scriptura Christian anymore. It is what is it. Once you understand it your Reformed castle tumbles down off the foundation of sand. So it is then between Rome and the orthodox. I respect the Orthodox. I went with Peter’s house and pray the for the unity of the east to be cleared with patience and humility. I look forward to see what happens with the eastern synod of all the churches next year. May God bless it.


  32. Someone call CRC & PCUSA headquarters and ask them if their dogma has changed.

    No one admits their dogma has changed since that would take humility.

    When churches turn liberal, dogma becomes secondary. Who needs change when you have irrelevance?


  33. BTW, one thing your “spirit of VII” folks lack is the ” Letter of VII”. Letter and Spirit belong together. Then you will know if you are talking to the right Spirit. If not who knows the “spirits” one would be listening to. You might read a little book called The Binding Force of Tradition by fr. Ripperger. Good little book.


  34. If the first marriages don’t work out, Michael and Mrs. Webfoot could make beautiful music together.

    Throw in Susan if the Synod on the Family affirms plural marriage.


  35. I don’t know, Michael. I lived where you are and understand the ‘logic’ of the positions. Not sure how you came to the determination that Rome is solid ground. It’d be like me determining that Hagee is sincere. There’s beer goggles but then there’s always the morning after.


  36. Erik,

    The question is why laypeople should have to worry about bad bisjops. I thought that was the point of having bishops?

    As you often do, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Cletus is complaining in other places round here that we’re talking about “mindless robotic obedience” but that’s really what the paradigm supporters want, at least when it comes to whatever they think the church has infallibly defined.Course we never get a list of what that is from any of them.

    Trent is proof that they want robotic obedience. Which would be fine, I suppose, if the church were infallible. But if we’re worrying about bishops, that betrays a lot about what RCs who haven’t wholly given up their minds to the Vatican know.

    Oh, I know, it’s not individual bishops that are infallible, but only the collective whole. But what happens when the liberals get the collective power. Answers:

    1. That can’t happen.
    2. When it does happen, the church has always been that liberal, don’t you know.

    Reminds me of what Dreher has said about the gay rights movement and the attempt to silence opposition: “It’ll never happen but when it does, it will be the opposition’s fault.”

    Roman version: “Apostate liberals will never take control, but when they do, it’ll always have been that way.”


  37. When churches turn liberal, dogma becomes secondary. Who needs change when you have irrelevance?

    Denominations go bad over time, its just sin, you see that replayed over and over. The biggest Xtian denom is our oldest, and boy is it bad. Let’s hope the OPC doesn’t go liberal someday, only by the grace of God.

    When chuches let in women elders, when they open that door, there’s no going back, because obviously a female cleric would never vote to take away their status, just a digression.
    mortification of spin was good, Carl, Todd, and Aimee discuss Todd and Carl’s meeting a woman pastor at a Yale conference, and how everyone got along. We can get along with RCs too, whodathunk (Jason Stellman even!)?


  38. Erik,
    Think I would probably join a monastery after my kids were grown if my wife left me. I will never leave my wife though. I love my wife and married life, but I would always wait for her to return instead of marrying again. I had that view before becoming Catholic. Not the Monastery part. Just the waiting part.


  39. Michael, I’d read it but then why should I need to? I’ve been surrounded by those with charism from birth. I’m pretty sure some were scoundrels but the interpretation of Vat II has been pretty consistent all the way through. As Susan likes to remind, it’s people not texts. I have to tell you, that’s a really shaky plank. I mean, I can make it cohere on the board but don’t make me take it out of the room.


  40. Sean,
    My solid ground is Christ not any priest. Hard to understand I know. It is what it is though. Hope you come to understand one day.


  41. Sean, seems like you view charisma as some sort of magic interpretive oil spread on each priest like they don’t need to read their bibles or church teaching to know what it says. Just not the way it is. God works in the humble means of the Word.


  42. Sean,
    God always leaves us room to choose, but one choice is to be with the Truth or against it. We can make our conscience more quiet if we just keep it gagged long enough. But that is a choice.


  43. Michael TX: Christ alone is the one teacher! Please understand that is at the heart of every faithful Catholic. Please.

    and alone is the great high priest?

    “Jesus because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens”


  44. Michael, I’m not sure where you got that notion. I got both barrels of the scholarly interpretive hermenuetic coming out of Vat II. From that, I recognize Francis and Kasper and even Dolan. in the game of what thing is not like the others, it’s the trads who I can’t place. And is that my misread or is it because they are this blend of former reformed prot turned trad, latin rite RC? I have an opinion on it.


  45. I think Francis is often just misunderstood through the media spin, but do you feel Benedict XVI is a “reformed ex prot trad” or do you have some other opinion?


  46. Ratzinger is any interesting study. He’s a committed higher critic, but with aristocratic sensibilities. He didn’t like the disorder of Vat II, it unnerved him. He didn”t break with Kung on approach just conclusions. And when Kung went all in on the conciliar while he was pope, well, that just wasn’t going to do. Now he’s ensconced in the abbey. The German bishops always like to secure their landing.


  47. I could be totally wrong but it looks like the German bishops are about to try and do a WWII on the historic teachings of morality in the Church. Guess we will see how that works out for them. Don’t think it is going to work out to well if they keep on this path. Just my opinion though.


  48. Morning AB,
    Hope the west coast is treating you well. Me and Sean just been having a good chat this morning. Good stuff. I feel we might be taking over though. Maybe our life blood flows well this morning. Kids are starting to take me over. Enjoy the Word AB.

    Catch up with you guys later.


  49. MichaelTX,

    Don’t worry about it. It’s Darryl’s blog, if something makes him grumpy, he’ll chime in. I’m sure he’s glad to have a roman catholic talking with a protestant about religious matters, it’s good for his stats, people like to read that stuff.

    Enjoy those Fesko pages when you can re: justification.

    Grace and peace.


  50. MichaelTX, you are using Protestant techniques — quoting doctrinal statements. You can’t do that because the superiority of Rome is episcopacy, not doctrine. The bishops make the doctrine tick and stick. And if you’re bishops aren’t teaching or requiring the teachers to teach, your knowledge of the catechism — sorry — doesn’t matter when it comes to discerning what Roman Catholicism is.


  51. Morning Andrew. Beautiful day huh (meaning for starters the Lord let us wake with breathe for another day!) Have a good one.

    from today’s reading: the LORD has been my stronghold and my God the rock of my refuge. Psalm 94:22


  52. a.,

    Should I go on DrunkExPastors and just read the scripture footnotes to the westminster confession of faith, starting with chapter 1?

    Jason: So, Andrew, explain this idea of Alien Righteousness..


    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

    Jason: I see, and do you believe righteousness is imputed, and what does that mean TO YOU?


    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.

    Jason: Are you really just going to keep reciting scripture with no correlation to the questions?

    Andrew: Beg pardon? I’m a little drunk, can’t handle my liquor like you pro’s.

    Jason: Ok, that’s a rap, 2 minute podcast is over (hi Brandon Addison)

    Decisions decisions..



  53. Michael TX: ” @a. Amen!”

    amen Michael.
    there is one God and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus 1 Tim 2:5


  54. MichaelTX, “God works in the humble means of the Word.” If I were you, I’d be worried that Pope Francis doesn’t say that (much if at all) nor does he embody that.


  55. Hart,
    I brought up Church Militant as an example of how Catholics do press for doctrinal and moral accountability of Church leaders. Your post was implying this does not happen. Don’t have to agree with every jot and tiddle of Church Militant to see that is what they try to do.

    Enjoying a day with the family from here on out. If I don’t respond please don’t be offended. I’ll check back in sometime.


  56. Everyone catch your lateat general assembly news here at hash opcga, and exciting little hash that Machen would be proud of.


  57. Just saw on ebay that G.K. Chesterton wrote a book in 1933 called “Christendom in Dublin”. He was eyewitness to a million people celebrating Mass together. 82 years later, the country becomes the first to approve of gay marriage by popular vote. Modernity trumps the superior paradigm.


  58. I’ve been thinking, on and off, about the Scalia quote since you posted it.

    I don’t think we’re (RCC) in good shape. But as far as Orthodoxy is concerned it does decay from the head down. The members are mainly taking cues from how the faith is actually lived in the parish. And every Sunday I’m reminded of Lewis’s lament of bad hymns and bad singing and finally the realization that the farmer standing next him who sang the bad hymns so badly was a man whose boots he said he wasn’t fit to clean.

    I belong to the Parish of my first communion but that’s about 50 miles from where I live and work. So I go to Mass at the church closest to me. It’s what I’m supposed to do but I want to too because the reasoning behind it is solid.

    But back to the Scalia quote, it got me thinking that when a cultural/political iteration of the life of the Church and under which believers were formed must be treated as something temporary and politely spoken of that’s a shadowland that can no longer be called a pasture and the believer is left to masterly forget and move towards “who knows what?”

    And again, DGH, your quote from Barrett Wendell seems to capture the thing for me: “to dissect [was] too often to kill.”

    I’m happy to be back at Mass. It was this blog and the postings of people like il Unificatorio and others who made me realize that public worship of Our Lord is essential for a faith filled life.

    Viva La Teologica Vita Vecchia!

    And speaking of grammar and it possibly being off, I never imagined that an intense study of grammar could be a necessity for understanding art, ancient texts maybe, but I’m assuming that Gildersleeve meant all art. Just sayin’


  59. I’m happy to be back at Mass. It was this blog and the postings of people like il Unificatorio and others who made me realize that public worship of Our Lord is essential for a faith filled life.

    Praise God.


  60. AB,
    I want to finish reading it before I try and say anything more. I will probably get back with you in email form. I probably won’t have the ability to interact in blog format too much from here on out. Wife is out of school and we are trying to get the house ready to remodel.


  61. “we are trying to get the house ready to remodel”
    Sounds like a GREAT reason to spend a lot of time commenting on blogs!


  62. The first sentence under the critique section on page 365 is apt and enough for our purposes:

    The Declaration suffers from the same maladies as other similar ecumenical documents – a lack of theological precision.

    I do realize, by the way, I am not expressing or forumulating my own arguments, but merely citing a source. But Mrs. Webfoot started telling us protestants to study the declaration, and it reminded me of you, I hadn’t heard from you in about 18-24 months. Hearing your position again has been refreshing. Thanks for your contributions Michael in Texas, if you ever want to talk to protestants of our stripe, you know where to find us. Grace and peace. -Andrew Buckingham


  63. Sdb,

    I did read that quote and to some degree that is reasonable, but only if it as a document that was used to say “yeah! Now we have no differences and are in complete communion. You can all join us at the Eucharistic table.” That is not what the doc says though. It is just part of a process.


  64. Michael in Texas,

    As you requested above, let’s take this to e-mail if we wish to pursue it farther with me. I thank you for reading 2/3 of the six pages I took special care to scan and copy as you specifically requested. Maybe if you show up again in 3 years, I’ll send you a scan of Turretin, and we’ll be back here at square one 😎

    Have a nice remodel. Grace and peace. AB out.


  65. I still think it is a valuable document that we should read. Did you ever end up reading it all the way through?


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