Today's Theme is Breadth

After hearing from Pastor Sauls on the valuable contributions from those who disagree, we read Mark Jones who has his own objections to the narrow road. Maybe Pastor Sauls qualifies as one of Jones’ Reformed irenics since the former is not beholden to Reformed orthodoxy. But I suspect Sauls would fall short because he doesn’t know enough historical theology. Those who do know the breadth of the Reformed tradition as Jones does are different from and less appealing than the Truly Reformed who read the Reformed confessions in a wooden manner (unlike someone trained in historical theology):

Among this group, I sometimes worry that their zeal for Confessional fidelity – a noble zeal, in and of itself – can sometimes reflect an overly restricted reading of the diversity of the Reformed tradition and our Reformed confessional history. They can read our confessions in a somewhat a-historical manner. Thus they tend to draw the lines of orthodoxy quite narrowly, excluding views from the tradition that have quite a bit of historical precedent. We must admit: our tradition has lots of diversity. Lots. And this diversity is present in the way our Confessions were formed, if one reads them carefully (e.g., the nature of Adam’s reward is ambiguous).

A recognition of diversity leads to an awareness of how narrow our conservative Presbyterian world in North America is:

When we consider the Christian world, and just how broad it is, it doesn’t make much sense for us in the Reformed Confessional tradition to be too narrow. We are, after all, a tiny minority. We should, as far as we are able, and without compromising our confessional heritage, embrace or respect other Christian traditions, viewpoints, and values. It is actually a firm confidence in our Reformed Confessional heritage that allows us to do this.

If I may be allowed a minute at the historical microphone, let me assert that historical theology is not church history. And church history teaches a couple of lessons that Dr. Jones’ historical theology apparently leaves out.

First, a confession is not a work of historical theology. It is a legal standard for a Christian communion. Does it mean that it doesn’t have a history or that context isn’t important for understanding the words and arguments of the Confession? No. But it does mean that a confession for a specific denomination functions in a very different way from a theologian highly regarded by people in a theological tradition. The Confession of Faith is a secondary standard for the PCA and the OPC. John Calvin and John Owen are not such legal standards. And the reason churches have confessions is very different from the aim that animates historical theologians; churches need criteria and consensus for ordination and discipline while historical theologians, like Dr. Jones at least, can marvel at the diversity.

Second, church history also teaches why some Presbyterian communions are narrow. The reason is that some Presbyterian communions became broad — as in Leffert Loetscher’s Broadening Church, the history of the PCUSA. In addition, one of the reasons mainline Presbyterians celebrated breadth owed in part to the discovery of Christians in other parts of the world and a concomitant recognition of how seemingly foreign the West’s creeds and confessions were to non-Westerners.

Dr. Jones may not be celebrating breadth and diversity in the same way, but when he lectures us about history, I wish he would take more history into account.

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357 thoughts on “Today's Theme is Breadth

  1. I was a bit shocked reading this, considering that he seems to have an issue with the “Grace Boys”.

    I wonder what he thinks of the Federal Vision if he’s okay with voting someone in who has a weak view of the Covenant of Works 😐

    I mean, if I ever (God forbid?) become an ordained minister, I’m going to vote against somebody who doesn’t hold to the Westminster’s view on baptism.

    Also, doesn’t being Reformed mean that you’re catholic? I can affirm the ecumenical creeds in good faith, and as far as I’m aware, much of Calvin’s theology proper was a re-statement of Peter Lombard. I mean, I like Nevin and I own multiple Wright books. One of my favorite books on Christology is Roman, not because I agree with everything in it, I just thought it was well written. I use Calvin, Kretzmann, Charles Simeon, and Augustine when I’m studying the Psalms to teach Sunday school.

    Heck, I even lead a study on Mark using Keller’s material.

    I don’t think TRs would deny that there are good Christians in other traditions. We just wouldn’t want them ministering in our Classis and Presbytery. Thus the need for the Standards/Three Forms, no? TRs like Hodge and BB Warfield, no?

    Who is Dr. Jones’ target? O_o

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  2. Y’all may be nicer than moi. I don’t see him trying to make room for anyone but himself. Reformed catholicity reads like cover for my now and future abberent views, back off.

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  3. Sean, I’d consider myself a Reformed catholic if it just means being a TR that smiles. Three of my groomsmen are dispensationalists and one of them is Arminian. Doesn’t mean I’d work with them.

    But ya, I think Dr. Jones is using TGC-esque language so that he feels safe being “edgy”. I like Mortification of Spin, but I wonder what Dr. Trueman thinks of Dr. Jones >_>

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  4. SJG, I got pagan, RC, atheist and evangelical friends( I see what I did there) and like you, I don’t work with them on things churchly either. Who am I kidding?! I’m in the PCA, all I work with are baptists and burgeoning evangelicals. I must be a nice guy.

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  5. Sean, I’m part of ECO through a series of strange events. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a ruling elder seem uncomfortable when talking about election.

    (Or maybe you have, I was PCA beforehand, so I get that)

    We’re both very open minded people, now that I think about it.

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  6. Mark Jones reads much like John Frame–a warrior against the warrior children of Machen

    Mark Jones—“Some in North America act like if you don’t affirm that particular doctrine your soul is in danger….

    mcmark—If you fellows had only travelled internationally (South Africa, China, Brazil, Holland) like Mark Jones has, you would not have your narrow American problem.

    Mark Jones–Nonetheless, I find some comfort in John Owen’s words: “Men may be really saved by that grace which doctrinally they do deny; and they may be justified by the imputation of that righteousness which in opinion they deny to be imputed.” We need to remember that justification is not by precision alone.

    mcmark: Why not quote also NT Wright explain to us that the doctrine of justification is not about soteriology but about ecclesiology for those who are already “water baptized into Christendom” ?

    Therefore we can have a gospel in common with the Roman Catholics which says that Jesus is Lord, and therefore there is no salvation apart from works and then “go for the jugular” by saying that “antinomians” are headed for destruction.

    And why quote John Owen who is kinda unique, “novel” really, an one-off, not somebody in the mainstream? Why not talk about the common piety and experience of folks like Schleirmacher? Oh wait, Mark Jones does that later in his Charles Hodge reference….

    Robert Reymond, Systematic Theology, p 754—-The Protestant doctrine calls into question the salvation of millions of Christians throughout history. This group would include, we are informed, such church fathers as Athanasius, Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas who as sacerdotalists believed in baptismal regeneration and, because they confused justification and sanctification, believed also in the necessity of deeds of penance for salvation.

    Robert Reymond—This argument however is aimed not so much at Protestantism’s “rigidity” as it is against Paul’s insistence that there is only one gospel, and that any other “gospel” is not the gospel, that those who teach any other “gospel” stand under God’s anathema (Galatians 1:8-9), and that those who rely to any degree on their works for salvation nullify the grace of God (Romans 11:5-6), make void the cross work of Christ (Galatians 2:21, 5:2), and become debtors to keep the entire law and are under the curse of the law.

    Robert Reymond– It is neither my nor their defenders’ place to assure the Christian world that surely God justified them by faith alone even though they themselves did not hold to a faith alone view of justification. I will not speculate but I will say that our attitude should, with Paul, ever be: “Let God’s truth be inviolate, though EVERY man becomes thereby a liar. ” (Romans 3:4) The clear teaching of the Word should be upheld and we should not look for reasons to avoid it, even if the alternative would force us to conclude that these fathers–and all others like them—were not saved.

    http://www.ligonier.org/blog/charles-hodge-vs-john-williamson-nevin-on-the-lords-supper/

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  7. Mark Jones—Most of those in Christendom have never heard of ….

    mcmark: If they never heard of the gospel, we can do one of two things, like what they did in Texas with low test scores. We can define the gospel differently, in a way that allows Jesus to die for those He does not save. Or the second alternative is to say that God sovereignly saves without any gospel. The approach of Mark Jones is to comfort the ordinary folk in their ignorance of the gospel, and save the “precision” for those who are elder, or who have PHDs.

    Mark Jones–“The problem with a lot of polemical theology done by those who might be called Truly Reformed is their penchant for going for the jugular too easily and quickly. … to call someone a moralist is to say they are going to hell. It is the most serious of all heresies, and not a charge to be taken lightly.

    mcmark: Those who teach that faith in the gospel promise is not enough because final salvation is based on our predestined works have a different gospel and ARE headed for destruction.

    When Mark Jones accuses people left and right to being “antinomian”, is that not “going for the jugular”? Doesn’t he think that antinomians are headed for destruction? if not, why did he make such a “diverse” noise against Barbara Duiguid?

    http://www.reformation21.org/shelf-life/housewife-theologian-and-extravagant-grace.php

    Mark Jones—-“Duguid critiques the idea that sanctification is 100% God and 100% us. She calls this “poor math” and “poor theology” (p. 124). Why? Because God always does his 100% perfectly, which means the reason we are failing is entirely our fault! She may be right about the poor math, but her critique of the theological truth is less than compelling…. Not only Gaffin but also many Reformed luminaries from the past, such as Jonathan Edwards (“But God does all, and we do all”) and Charles Spurgeon (“paradoxes are not strange things in Scripture, but are rather the rule than the exception”), note the “mysterious math” of sanctification.”

    Mark Jones– “Duguid’s suggestion that God cannot be disappointed in you (p. 48) or your level of sanctification is not only unfaithful to the Bible and the Westminster Confession….Her point that God cannot be angry with us (p. 210) is an idea gaining popularity in some Reformed circles. Duguid contends that the Father does not punish us for our sin, “nor is he angry with us” (211). True, God is not angry with us in the sense that he is always angry with us, or to the point of condemnation (Rom. 8:1); but that does not mean that he is never angry with his children or that he never punishes them for their sins….John Calvin speaks of God being “wondrously angry” towards his children, not because he is disposed to hate them, but because by “frightening” them he humbles his people and brings them to repentance…..The idea running throughout the book that God is not disappointed in our sanctification rings hollow. This contention emanates from the “hyper-decretalism” mentioned above – a sort of fatalism. Indeed, God is not disappointed in our justification. And God is never frustrated in his purposes for us. But God may be disappointed in our holiness…”

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  8. Mark Jones is a lot more open to “hypothetical universalism” than he is to “Lutheran antinomians” and/or the novelties of John Owen. Why spend so much time fighting Daniel Fuller and Norman Shepherd and the federal visionists when at the end of the day we all agree that faith alone is never alone?

    Jones— Up to a quarter of the Reformed tradition, including the early Reformers, were hypothetical universalists. Indeed, if a hypothetical universalist came to the Western Canada Presbytery to be examined – l I would not view his position as striking at the vitals of the Confession. It is a close one, but the better versions of hypothetical universalism – which differ from the views of Amyraut or Cameron – are practically indistinguishable from certain versions (yes, versions!) of particular redemption.

    mcmark—i agree with that, but this is a reason to expose those version of particular redemption. It is not a reason to follow Alan Clifford and the Torrances in dismissing “Owenism”

    http://paulhelmsdeep.blogspot.com/2015/04/amyraut-one-more-time.html

    Helm, Calvin: A Guide for the Perplexed, p 71—“It is important to grasp that for Calvin this union with Christ does not depend on anything we do or have, not even on our faith. Union with Christ is God’s immediate, gracious donation. Faith (another gift of God) is our response. Faith is not what procures the union in the first place.”….p 77. ”A person’s union with Christ begins in eternity and is realized in real time. We do not receive this union by faith.”

    Alec Motyer, p 251, From Heaven He Came—Isaiah’s “Behold, my servant shall succeed” matches the great cry, “It is finished (John 19:30) and forces us to ask what “finished” means in John and what “succeed” means in Isaiah. On any “open-ended” view of the atonement–that is, that the work of Christ only made salvation possible rather than actually secured salvation–“finished” only means “started” and “succeed” only means “maybe, contingent on God contributing something else “in” the sinner

    Jonathan Gibson, “The Glorious, Indivisible, Trinitarian Work of Christ”, From Heaven He Came
    p 352—”Some conclude that the efficacy of Christ’s work occurs only at the point of faith, and not before. This ignores the fact that union with Christ precedes any reception of Christ’s work by faith. It is union with Christ that leads to the efficacy of Christ’s work to those who belong to Him.”

    Gibson, p 358 –“Election and the Atonement do not operate on separate theological tracks. What God has joined together, let no theologian separate. Affirming union with Christ before the moment of redemption accomplished counters any disjunction between the effect of Christ’s death and the effect of His resurrection. (Those who put union later) sound as if Christ’s death might lead to the death of some sinners, but not also to their resurrection. This is not only analogy—- if one, then the other. if death with, then resurrection with.”

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  9. I thinks it ironic, even funny, when people who know that they stand “balanced” in the mainstream are so busy trying to push other people to the margins when they say that these people are already on the margins.

    http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2014/10/reformed-theological-diversity.php

    In his introduction to the second edition of Gaffin’s By Faith Not by Sight, Mark Jones suggests that anybody who has a different order of salvation than he does is antinomian.

    Mark Jones– “The position that faith followed imputation was not typical of Reformed thought in his day but rather was associated with antinomianism….Any view that posits faith as a consequence of imputation (John Cotton) is not the typical Reformed position….The Lutheran view that justification precedes sanctification..ends up attributing to justification a renovative transformative element.”

    Janice Knight — “Orthodoxies in Massachusetts: Rereading American Puritanism–The first group, familiar to readers of The New England Mind, is composed of Perry Miller’s “orthodoxy” : Thomas Hooker, Thomas Shepard, Peter Bulkeley, John Winthrop, and most of the ministers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony…. They identified power as God’s essential attribute and described his covenant with human beings as a CONDITIONAL promise. They preached the necessity of human cooperation in preparing the heart for that promised redemption…”

    Janice Knight—”The second body closely embodies that Augustinian strain. Originally centered at the Cambridge colleges and wielding great power in the Caroline court, this group was led in America by JOHN COTTON John Davenport, and Henry Vane. Neither a sectarian variation of what we now call “orthodoxy” in New England nor a residual mode of an older piety, this party presented AN ALTERNATIVE WITHIN THE MAINSTREAM of Puritan religious culture.

    Janice Knight–“In a series of contests over political and social dominance in the first American decades, this group lost their claim to status as an “official” or “orthodox” religion in New England. Thereafter, whiggish histories (including Cotton Mather’s own) tell the winner’s version, demoting central figures of this group to the cultural sidelines by portraying their religious ideology as idiosyncratic and their marginalization as inevitable. “

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  10. hey, you even used to be on the west coast offense

    Apparently, you came back from Turkey still a warrior child. But if you are still on the margins, that’s on you. You should be part of the “we”—don’t be a lone ranger.

    mark jones–WE must admit: our tradition has lots of diversity. Lots. And this diversity is present in the way OUR Confessions were formed, IF ONE reads them carefully…

    http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2015/10/defending-piper-again-ironing.php

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  11. Ten Myths About Calvinism: Recovering the Breadth of the Reformed Tradition , Kenneth J. Stewart, IVP, 2011

    Mr. Stewart aims to promote conformity to his own notion of tolerance. In the process, he seeks to exclude those he refers to as “thoroughly reformed” (p 15) as extremists. Even though they don’t call themselves that, Stewart will label them that and then blame their “primitivism” (back to the 16th century).

    On p 93, Stewart concludes that “TULIP cannot be allowed to function as a creed”. This dogmatism about what cannot be allowed follows a caricature of those who use the acronym “tulip” for Dordt’s response to the five points of Arminius. Stewart writes as if “conservative Calvinists” were more concerned about the acronym than about the specific doctrines. He does this, even though on pages 94-95, he lists various five-point books which use different acronyms.

    I notice that Stewart has no reference to the book written by McGregor Wright, No Place for Sovereignty, even though it was published also by IVP. Perhaps Stewart has already dismissed Mr Wright to the margins. And the best way to do that is to ignore a person, or if not, to refer to your caricature of them without naming their name.

    Stewart accuses SOMEBODY with having a “Procrustean formula” (p 84) and also with being “uncritical”. His criticism is itself an uncritical accusation (a formula) which seeks to be self-fulfilling. If you don’t join him in rejecting the idea of “limited atonement”, then you become guilty of defending the acronym.

    The purpose of Stewart’s book is to either re-educate us (the assumption is that we just don’t know the past) or, if we cannot become kinder and gentler (like he is), to put us in our place–outside the bounds of what is catholic.

    If those who care about antithesis with universal and governmental notions of the atonement are merely “strident” (AW Pink, p 280) and “contentious” (Nettleton, p 87) and “belligerent” (p 85) malcontents, why does Stewart think he needs to “blow the whistle on” them? (p 12) The answer is that Stewart thinks the five points are only “one form of Christianity”. To him, the five debates are not about the gospel, but at the most, only about finding out later how you came to believe (p 16) the “gospel” that all evangelicals have in common.

    http://thechristiancurmudgeonmo.blogspot.com/2011/07/kinder-gentler-calvinism.html

    William Smith—“As one of a small minority who have some criticisms of “experimental Calvinism” and revivalism, but who could hold of convention of likeminded folks in a phone booth (if he could find one), I ask why Dr. Stewart thinks that we Calvinists hold to the myth that “Calvinists take a dim view of revival and awakening.” … What historians and theologians look favorably upon revivals and awakenings? Iain Murray, Lloyd-Jones, Packer. Those such as Nevin of an earlier age and Clark and Hart of the present day seem to be assigned to the cranky edge of Reformed faith and practice.”

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  12. DGH asks Stewart— “How can the Dutch-American contrast between Reformed and evangelical be “out of character”? If the point of your book is to recognize the diversity of views among Reformed Protestants — so that Calvin is not the benchmark — then why is the Dutch-American view out of line? It seems like your understanding of diversity is theoretical, leaving your interpretation of Reformed Protestantism, not Calvin’s, as the only one standing. If you’re really interested in diversity, why not let Reformed confessionalists into the club?”

    William H Smith– It appears to me that on Dr. Stewart’s view Arminius is a Calvinist – that is, Arminius held a view within the Calvinistic tradition that, while a minority view, is nevertheless a legitimate aspect of the tradition.

    Kenneth Stewart—It is my contention that the TULIP terminology frequently makes ABRASIVE what the WCF states in a more measured way. The best example would be ‘L’ which neither Dordt nor Westminster uses. Dordt, in particular, uses language which is CAPACIOUS to describe the value of Christ’s death. So, as much as you care to wrap yourself in the flag of Calvinism, it is apparent that the Calvinism you prefer is the abrasive Calvinism of the twentieth century…. I have not found your blog a place for inquiry or for discussion, but for hectoring.

    mcmark—and it was Smith’s fault for allowing comments. To really have unity, some need to be the noses, and the PHDs get to be the hands and feet and the mouth…

    http://www.reformation21.org/articles/baptist-foundations.php

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  13. Mark Jones is preparing the way for Pope Francis perhaps:

    In a 49-minute speech to a decennial national conference of the Italian church — which is bringing together some 2,200 people from 220 dioceses to this historic renaissance city for five days — Francis said Catholics must realize: “We are not living an era of change but a change of era.”

    “Before the problems of the church it is not useful to search for solutions in conservatism or fundamentalism, in the restoration of obsolete conduct and forms that no longer have the capacity of being significant culturally,” the pontiff said at one point during his remarks.

    “Christian doctrine is not a closed system incapable of generating questions, doubts, interrogatives — but is alive, knows being unsettled, enlivened,” said the pope. “It has a face that is not rigid, it has a body that moves and grows, it has a soft flesh: it is called Jesus Christ.”

    “The reform of the church then, and the church is semper reformanda … does not end in the umpteenth plan to change structures,” he continued. “It means instead grafting yourself to and rooting yourself in Christ, leaving yourself to be guided by the Spirit — so that all will be possible with genius and creativity.”

    Forget TR’s and TRC’s. Say hello to broad.

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  14. Broad is catchy:

    We Calvinists have taken a special vow to protect at all costs the idea of God’s sovereignty, whereas Wesleyans have taken a special vow to protect the idea of human free will. This means that we Calvinists would rather run the risk of limiting human freedom than to give the impression that we are detracting from God’s sovereign control over all things, whereas Arminians would rather risk challenging God’s sovereignty than to deny our responsibility for our basic choices in life. These respective vows work best when each side knows when it goes too far, acknowledging that we have to live with some mystery on the subject. (She liked my answer, and asked me to pray that her Calvinist religion teacher would like it as well when he read her paper!)

    My experience in engaging the diversity of spiritualities and theologies of the evangelical world has been greatly enriched by seeing things in these terms. Lutherans are an “order” organized around a strong commitment to the idea of justification by faith alone. Pentecostals have taken a vow to honor the power of the Holy Spirit in a special way. Nazarenes want to remind all of us of the biblical call to “holiness unto the Lord.” Mennonites model for all of us what it means to walk “the Way of the Cross.” And so on.

    None of this is meant, of course, to deny that there are some very bad theological ideas at work in the world—and certainly within evangelicalism! But when I encounter a teaching that I find strange, and even offensive, I remind myself to ask what specialization might be at work in the other person’s way of viewing things, and how I might learn from it. To be sure, many of my fellow Christians will see that as too messy a way of dealing with theological disagreements. But I have also take a vow to live with a certain degree of messiness in my theology!

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  15. The goal it to be regular livers, and good supporters of OUR country and OUR culture. Don’t be so narrow that you can’t be a member of the one body catholic…

    broad

    John Witherspoon–Whoever is an avowed enemy to God, I scruple not to call him an enemy to his country. Do not suppose, my brethren, that I mean to recommend a furious and angry zeal for the circumstantials of religion, or the contentions of one sect with another about their peculiar distinctions. I do not wish you to oppose any body’s religion… Perhaps there are few surer marks of the reality of religion, than when a man feels himself more joined in spirit to a true holy person of a different denomination, than to an irregular liver of his own. It is therefore your duty in this important and critical season to exert yourselves, to stem the tide of prevailing vice, to promote the knowledge of God, and obedience to his laws
    https://oldlife.org/2015/08/what-if-historical-inquiry-isnt-comforting/

    broader

    Eishenhower–Our form of government has no sense unless it is founded in a deeply felt religious faith, and I don’t care what it is

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  16. DGH: “First, a confession is not a work of historical theology. It is a legal standard for a Christian communion.”

    Somebody needs to write a book that makes this point. Oh, wait…

    Since most reviewers seem to have missed the message, perhaps my light hearted suggestion in an earlier thread that an illustrated version is needed, particularly for us Baptists, should be taken seriously.

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  17. thanks for the link to the ref21 article – I appreciated its appeal for consideration of the Lord’s command for the unity in the way He does (and doesn’t) call for; for we know, if we love Jesus, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15); just as even Jesus obeyed saying “so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me.” (John 14:31)

    and I think surely, we must all agree, if we have His same indwelling Spirit, we must pursue the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph 4:3); being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.(Phil 2:2); until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.(Eph 4:13)

    I’m pretty sure He’ll be asking us about this.

    love, the humorless shrew

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  18. D.G. Hart:
    First, a confession is not a work of historical theology. It is a legal standard for a Christian communion.>>>>

    I would be interested to hear any comments or opinions about the wife of an OPC pastor who was, in effect, put on trial for being handicapped. Her husband was found guilty of not getting her to church often enough.

    Is that the kind of legal standard you are talking about? Are you in agreement with what was done to this family?

    ————————————————–

    …the accused explained that when he is asked about his wife’s spiritual condition, he always begins with details of her physical condition because he sees them as inextricably linked. At one point, he noted, ‘I cannot talk about one without the other’. There were therefore many occasions when the defendant spoke about his wife’s chronic conditions and disability, many of which were deeply personal.

    As one Presbyter pointed out in a speech toward the end of the weekend, it was appalling that this case had come to the point where the sometimes intimate details of a woman’s suffering had to be paraded before a room of strangers. And yet, I noted several occasions when at least two men in the room, hearing the accused list these illnesses, surgeries, and hospitalizations and refer to his wife’s ‘physical and emotional trauma’, rolled their eyes. At one point, again when the accused was explaining his wife’s illnesses, a young pastor circled his forefinger around in the air, a motion widely recognized as meaning ‘get on with it.’

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2015/02/20/women-and-the-disabled-on-trial-in-the-orthodox-presbyterian-church-no-they-dont-get-it/

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  19. cw, the explanation about the pedophile priests was the tested and true:

    1) deny deny deny

    2) when it’s proven fact, say it is exaggerated

    3) when the truth is even worse than could be exaggerated, say it’s old news and time to look to the wonderful future

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  20. DGH,

    We Calvinists have taken a special vow to protect at all costs the idea of God’s sovereignty

    I’m not sure if Mouw is considered Reformed, but it isn’t helping anyone when self-proclaimed Calvinists perpetuate the cliche that the founding presupposition of Calvinism is God’s sovereignty while Lutheranism’s is justification by faith alone.

    Also, that cliche is very helpful in saying denominations (the good ones at least) are just preferences. Again, or worse, equally valid worldviews.

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  21. how to not answer a question, aka dodging a question:

    options:
    answer the question with another question; challenge the right to ask the question; answer a completely different or a similar question or change the question; change the subject; treat the question as if it were a joke and just laugh it off; act as if you don’t understand the question; lie; bend the truth; be economical with the truth; walk away

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  22. That’s it, Mermaid? The best you can do as a member of the most scandal-plagued denomination in the world is to cite a trial that was reversed at the General Assembly? You lose.

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  23. Mud,

    Francis’ program —

    “It means instead grafting yourself to and rooting yourself in Christ, leaving yourself to be guided by the Spirit — so that all will be possible with genius and creativity.”

    — sounds a lot like Ali’s. #selfgrafting

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  24. cw – Now explain to us the mechanism that allowed pedophile priests to run amok for decades. Thanks.

    Allowed? I think you mean encouraged. The policy was (is?) to move the known molesters from congregation to congregation and to ignore the rest.

    And by the way, I don’t think it’s decades either. More like centuries. Pope Julius III anyone?

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  25. @Mermaid – your style is curious, to be sure. You said you were a nice lady, but then you inquired when I stopped beating my wife (as a way to dodge addressing my questions to you on the other thread). So, let me ask you another question. You and other prots-turned-Cats are really big on preserving the “unity” of the church. Unity can be wonderful, to be sure.

    Yesterday, it was published that the RCC archdiocese in Milwaukee settled on its bankruptcy plan and is going to pay $21m to victims of priestly abuse. Isn’t it fair to question the ‘unity’ of the RCC when it sets up disparate legal entities for each of its various archdioceses? Why does the ‘unified’ RCC at large not step up to pay the unsettled debts of the Milwaukee archdiocese, rather than let the Milwaukee archdiocese hang out to dry?

    Along with Mermaid’s take, I’d sincerely like to hear CVD’s and TVD’s comments on these kinds of legal maneuverings of the RCC, and how that’s reconciled with the “unity” of the RCC. Thanks.

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  26. LoserStar: Ali,Can you also provide a manual on how to be a humorless shrew? Pretty please?

    sure, let me get back to you; but re: shrew, are you female though?

    Would it be ok to also include some info on Jesus too – did you know that ever since the fall of humanity, women had been regarded as second class cititzens and worse, but when Jesus walked the earth He displayed a revolutionary new attitude toward women by the radical nature of His actions and we in Jesus, we find God’s view of women.

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  27. The evidence points towards at least a century of abuse and hiding it. You forgot the “we were just following the psychologists advice” defense of not removing the priests. V2 and then discovery of this scandal emptied more dioceses than anything since Luther.

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  28. Good find, Petros. And remember that whenever there is a bankruptcy there are people and businesses rightfully owed money that are being stiffed. You think the Vatican could tap into its billions to do justice and pay debts? Nope. They’ll more likely start talking like Donald Trump does about his bankruptcies.

    So the Catholic church is one unless it can avoid its debts by becoming many.

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  29. Jetstar – You forgot the “we were just following the psychologists advice” defense of not removing the priests.

    Rome’s version of the Nurnberg Defense. (I was just following orders.) It didn’t work then, it doesn’t work now.

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  30. “A reorganization plan for Milwaukee’s Roman Catholic archdiocese that will distribute $21 million to hundreds of clergy sex abuse victims was approved Monday by a federal bankruptcy judge, bringing to a close a long-running and emotional case. The plan confirmed by Judge Susan Kelley splits most of the money among 355 people. An additional 104 victims will get about $2,000 each.” – New York Times

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  31. Peter Isely, a spokesman for SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, deplored the fact that despite the lengthy bankruptcy proceeding, the victims’ written claims remain under seal. He questioned whether 100 offenders newly named in those claims have been investigated, removed from ministry or referred to law enforcement.

    Bankruptcy judge confirms Milwaukee Archdiocese reorganization plan

    100 new offenders is a staggering number. Can you imagine if they found 100 offenders total in one, large, Protestant, denomination? This is only one Archdiocese.

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  32. CW :sounds a lot like Ali’s. #selfgrafting

    What is your accusation, that I’m an unbeliever cw?
    sheesh…the accusations.. day and night

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  33. Petros, that’s a really good question and one lay catholics have been asking for a loooooooooooooong time. In fact, all of Ireland was just recently demanding answers about the vatican’s dissociative disorder.

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  34. Guys,

    You’re forgetting that dogma (though we really never know what it is) is infallible, not discipline (which is the inevitable fruit of dogma).

    Who cares that dogma can’t be separated from discipline unless you’re a gnostic?

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  35. @sean – yes, ding about “dissociative disorder”. The fallen world is a messy place. Yet, the CTC apologetic posits a theoretical ideal that is mythical. Virtually all lay Cats, to their credit, freely acknowledge the intrinsic legal/ethical/moral disunity within the RCC. Meanwhile, the PHD philosopher/logic experts at CTC only express hue/cry about schismatic prots. Curious.

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  36. So, the decision was reversed. What has the OPC done to try to make it up to the pastor and his wife? If a woman from the outside had not gone to observe the proceedings would the decision have been reversed?

    Since you brought up the subject of the priest scandal, let me ask you something? What procedures are in place in your denominations to ensure that things like the sex scandals involving priests don’t happen in your denominations? Things like that have happened in Reformed churches. If you add up all the scandals of all the Protestants, it would be pretty much the equivalent of what happened in the Catholic Church.

    Do you train your people to recognize the signs of sexual or physical abuse? Do you have policies in place? Do you train your childrens’ workers? Do you require background checks? Do you even know what I am talking about?

    Do you see the priest scandals as just another opportunity to trash the Catholic Church, or do you take it as a warning for yourselves?

    It looks like the civil authorities have made their decision in Milwaukee. What the priests did was horrible. They should be drawn and quartered, but that isn’t done anymore. It is appropriate that they were exposed to public humiliation and made to pay. The will need to face God in the final judgment and explain to Him in person why they did what they did. If they do not repent, they will burn in hell. Judgment always begins at the house of God.

    I hope the victims can find some peace.

    I will still be accused of dodging and lying. It is just a form of OL hazing. I think that this is an important subject for you guys to think about for yourselves, but it is more comfortable for you to cast stones at others. Some self examination might just be in order on occasion. Feel free to disagree.

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  37. Merm, my church does all of those things — training, security procedures, background checks, re-certification, stated policy to cooperate with and report to law enforcement. We even took child protection into account when designing our building. Next.

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  38. Because, Mermaid, we realize we are made up entirely of dirty sinnners who are capable of practically anything. This is also why we don’t have a monarchial, unaccountable form of goverment.

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  39. @Mermaid – I’ll answer your questions, even if you choose to not answer mine. The answers are “yes” (in my anecdotal experience) to all your queries as regards to the considerable safeguard procedures that have been implemented in the eeee-churches I’ve been blessed to be a part of.

    But realize, the line of questioning here is not to establish whether the RCC abuses are worse (or not) than those in Prot-land. The line of questioning has to do with how do you reconcile your fervent quest for “unity”, when your own communion resorts to considerable legal maneuvering to splinter itself to avoid monetary liability. Can you comment on that?

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  40. Mermaid, where’s the unity expressed in dollars and recompense? They’ll take diocesan money but cut them loose when it comes to financial redress for lay catholics for whom they have ultimate pastoral responsibility-papal supremacy/audacity/infallibility/vicar of Christ. The entire country of Ireland is on the line and would like answers as well. Unity in the sky and on the chalkboard are meaningless. Here’s a chance for Francis and the Vatican to show it’s commitment to it’s people and they triage them instead. Nice.

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  41. “Who cares that dogma can’t be separated from discipline unless you’re a gnostic?”

    That’s interesting. So the OPC/PCA are enforcing head coverings for women, men to keep hair short, women to be silent and ask theological questions only of their husbands, women not to wear jewelry or expensive clothes, and no one eating blood or meat of strangled animals correct?

    Augsburg: “The Apostles commanded Acts 15:20 to abstain from blood. Who does now observe it? And yet they that do it not sin not; for not even the Apostles themselves wanted to burden consciences with such bondage; but they forbade it for a time, to avoid offense. For in this decree we must perpetually consider what the aim of the Gospel is.
    Scarcely any Canons are kept with exactness, and from day to day many go out of use even among those who are the most zealous advocates of traditions. Neither can due regard be paid to consciences unless this mitigation be observed, that we know that the Canons are kept without holding them to be necessary, and that no harm is done consciences, even though traditions go out of use.”

    I guess Lutherans are gnostic along with Paul.

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  42. Cletus,

    If you don’t discipline heretics consistently, then heresy is de facto dogma. That’s something you and the CTC guys can’t seem to wrap your heads around.

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  43. Mermaid,

    It’s also a dodge to say something like “add up all the Protestants, and the problem is just as bad.”

    First of all, that’s quite unlikely. The size of the professing RC Church is much larger than all Protestant denominations combined.

    Second, our criticism isn’t “you guys bad on this, we’re perfect.” It’s “You know, maybe that whole having to keep portraying yourself as infallible thing might have something to do with the proclivity to hide anything that could tarnish the name of the church.”

    Third, it’s a bit hypocritical to stress how great you all are on unified faith and morals when the highest leaders of your church clearly haven’t cared all that much about the morals of your clergy.

    And I could go on.

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  44. Robert,

    Were Paul’s commands dogma? Since you claim it is impossible to distinguish dogma from discipline, I presume you think they were. So why are you and your congregations perpetually sinning against them?

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  45. Cletus,

    Depends on the context. All of them reflect dogma, though dogma/doctrine may apply differently. But you can’t neatly separate dogma and discipline like you all have to do in order to pretend that Rome hasn’t changed dogma like the necessity of belief in the Trinity, whether abortion is actually a mortal sin or not, etc. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that the discipline has changed, and that is fueling eventual dogma change. It’s slow, but it gets there. Hence freak shows like the synod on the family when you throw out trial balloons about homosexuality and admitting divorced persons to communion sans annulment.

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  46. Mermaid, there are many good Reformed discussions here about abuse in the Reformed church and dealing with it.

    http://www.mortificationofspin.org/mos/podcast

    Particularly the following episodes (tacking these numbers on to the end of that link will access them):
    /22135
    /23344
    /36792
    /38028 (Valerie Hobbs)
    Unrelated, they even poke at DG on a few of them: /36697

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  47. Robert,

    “All of them reflect dogma, though dogma/doctrine may apply differently.”

    Yup, so there’s a distinction between dogma/principles and discipline/contingent application of those principles. We now agree and your argument can be retired.

    “But you can’t neatly separate dogma and discipline like you all have to do in order to pretend that Rome hasn’t changed dogma”

    The Reformed can’t neatly separate dogma and discipline like you all have to do in order to pretend that the Reformed hasn’t changed dogma on things like female head coverings and dietary observances.

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  48. If you add up all the scandals of all the Protestants, it would be pretty much the equivalent of what happened in the Catholic Church.

    Please provide your evidence.

    While you are digging that up consider that it is impossible for a sex scandal to play out in Protestant churches across the board due to the… lack of unity. A Methodist Bishop can’t hide a Baptist sex fiend in a Presbyterian church.

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  49. Isn’t “Reformed Catholic” one of the preferred ways that the Federal Visionists refer to themselves? Is Jones more openly allying himself with the FV crowd?

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  50. JetStar, you have Google. You have the newspaper. Do your own homework. It is something I have been very concerned about for years, now. You need to get up to speed, and I cannot help you do that. If you are interested, start out with the Wartburg Watch. Now, I would not endorse everything there, of course, but it is a place to get started for beginners like you.

    Besides, it seems you gave a partial answer already to your own questions.

    Walton, bring it in here. I am not Reformed. These guys are, and they seem to have their heads in the sand.

    Why am I the one who has to point out to you your need? The fact that this dear pastor was convicted in some OPC kangaroo court may be a sign of a deeper problem. I mean, how could these good men, servants of God all, even think that the trial was justified in the first place?

    Physician, heal thyself. [I had to throw that in to see if anyone directs me to the proper biblical context. ]

    …and Robert did not disappoint. Accuse me of dodging so you can dodge.

    Where’s Jeff in all this? I will accuse myself of lying so he doesn’t have to.

    Petros gave me a yes, but… Ask the victims of Protestant abuse if theirs is less than that of Catholics? I think they might disagree with you. Did you ever acknowledge my response to you? If you did, I missed it.

    Do any of you talk with abuse victims?

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  51. Merm, at the risk of stirring the ire of your protector knight-errant Sir Tom let me point out that you just stepped on a rake here. Your strategy should be to just appear so pious, forlorn, and spooky that no one knows what to do with you. That’s how RCs did in it the old days.

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  52. McMark: mcmark: If they never heard of the gospel, we can do one of two things, like what they did in Texas with low test scores. We can define the gospel differently, in a way that allows Jesus to die for those He does not save. Or the second alternative is to say that God sovereignly saves without any gospel.

    “Gospel re-centering”

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  53. Mermaid, “Since you brought up the subject of the priest scandal, let me ask you something? What procedures are in place in your denominations to ensure that things like the sex scandals involving priests don’t happen in your denominations?”

    You do a really good impersonation of a cricket.

    The answer to your question is that we have presbyters, not bishops. In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a real weakness in the episcopal system, sex scandals aside.

    But it’s always Sunny in Rome.

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  54. Mermaid,

    That’s one way to do it: Make a bold assertion without supplying evidence, then when questioned shriek at the other about doing their own homework, and certainly don’t be concerned when you bring it up in the first place.

    I heard Mermaid was fat. Google it.

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  55. Mermaid, “Since you brought up the subject of the priest scandal, let me ask you something? What procedures are in place in your denominations to ensure that things like the sex scandals involving priests don’t happen in your denominations?”

    Our Priest is Jesus Christ….

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  56. LoserStar: Ali,Can you also provide a manual on how to be a humorless shrew?
    Ali:sure, let me get back to you;

    ‘asked the Lord’ about this, Loserstar, and ‘He said’ to refer you to the Bible

    No really, cw, what did you mean by Ali #selfgrafting ? (pls see above: how to dodge a question above). I don’t know, I don’t mean to be mean or anything, but sometimes it just seems like maybe you aren’t really interested in being l’unificateur and I thought names changes were meant to signify destiny to a new mission in life.

    anyway continuing with thoughts of this post’s link – there were some good nuggets there weren’t there, like:

    -We need to remember that justification is not by precision alone. (have to chuckle, huh 🙂 )

    -The problem with a lot of polemical theology done by those who might be called Truly Reformed is their penchant for going for the jugular too easily and quickly. One can get in the habit of reading the worst into someone’s view and calling them a moralist. First, to call someone a moralist is to say they are going to hell. It is the most serious of all heresies, and not a charge to be taken lightly.

    -So much theology online today reflects a party-spirit: if my friend says certain things it is okay, but if someone I don’t like says the same things he is creating confusion and we need to send emails warning people about their heterodoxy.

    -Echo chambers can be dangerous places.

    -In the end, I think that we need to take more seriously these words from John Owen: “And a good work it is, no doubt, to pare off all unnecessary occasions of debate and differences in religion, provided we go not so near the quick as to let out any of its vital spirits.”

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  57. You guys are a hoot. Yes, I’m fat. I lie. I am being hypocritical. I stepped on a rake. The list is growing!

    Please make sure your kids are safe. Please don’t put the handicapped on trial.

    Y’all have a wonderday day, okay? I hope that doesn’t sound forlorn, pious, or spooky. 🙂 Protect those who need protection.

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  58. I see, Ali- when you talk to God, you hear voices in your head. Got it, that actually explains a lot.

    Since you’re so fond of quoting the Bible, can you tell me which parts are instructive for being a humorless shrew?

    Thanks!

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  59. DGH: First, a confession is not a work of historical theology. It is a legal standard for a Christian communion.

    This is important. Individual theologians — Calvin, even — provide valuable resources for understanding how the Standards got to be the way they are. So one point for Jones.

    But then you get to the Assembly, and consensus is forged. Hence the wording of the WCF reflects

    * Open boundaries on matters of liberty,
    * Closed boundaries on matters of excluded views, and
    * A requirement of positive affirmation on matters of affirmed views.

    All three of these are in play at once, and each must be kept in view.

    Individual theologians may not do that very well in all areas. Charles Hodge was fantastic BUT his view on communion was thin. Thornwell is great on SOTC, but his anthropology is deficient when it comes to blacks and slavery.

    So if you take the target drawn by all of the individual theologians, say in 1647, then you get a much wider cross-section than that drawn by the Confession.

    That said, it is also worth noting that ministers participating in the Assembly were not, in general, defrocked for their dissents. So I guess there was a certain latitude given to views that in modern terms “did not strike at the vitals of religion.” Thus Warfield:

    Doctrinally they were in complete fundamental harmony, and in giving expression to their common faith needed only to concern themselves to state it truly, purely, and with its polemic edges well-turned out towards the chief assailants of Reformed doctrine, in order to satisfy the minds of all. There were indeed differences among them in doctrine, too; but these lay for the most part within the recognized limits of the Reformed system, and there was little disposition to press them to extremes or to narrow their Creed to a party document. To the Amyraldians, of whom there was a small but very active and well-esteemed party in the Assembly (Calamy, Seaman, Marshall, Vines), there was denied, to be sure, the right to modify the statement of the ordo decretorum so as to make room for their “hypothetical universalism” in the saving work of Christ (cf. the Confession, iii. 6, viii. 5, 8). But the wise plan was adopted with respect to the points of difference between the Supralapsarians, who were represented by a number of the ablest thinkers in the Assembly (Twisse, Rutherford), and the Infralapsarians, to which party the great mass of the members adhered, to set down in the Confession only what was common ground to both, leaving the whole region which was in dispute between them entirely untouched. This procedure gives to the Confession a peculiar comprehensiveness, while yet it permits to its statements of the generic doctrine of the Reformed Churches a directness, a definiteness, a crisp precision, and an unambiguous clarity which are attained by few Confessional documents of any age or creed. In its third chapter, for example, in which the thorny subject of “God’s Eternal Decree” falls for treatment, the Westminster Confession has attained, by this simple method, the culmination of the Confessional statement of this high mystery. Everything merely individual and as well everything upon which parties in the Reformed Churches are divided with respect to this deep doctrine, is carefully avoided, while the whole ground common to all recognized Reformed parties is given, if prudent, yet full and uncompromising statement.

    — BB Warfield “The Westminster Assembly and its Work”, 2nd Art.

    Bottom line: “Vines said it, so I can say it” is not a safe line; but “The Confession forbids it, so dissenters must be excommunicated” is not either. The 1789 revision happened *somehow*, which means that somehow a majority dissent developed.

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  60. Ummm Mermaid, you want my Nawlin’s story first or just my overall observations from Jr. Seminary and growing up RC? I’ve now spent an equal number of years on both sides of the fence and your dodge on this issue is pretty egregious. The offense on this issue doesn’t even begin to compare. The abdication at EVERY level of rome’s magisterium is indefensible, even particularly Ratzinger while he chaired the CDF(he officiially oversaw every single abuse case during his term) and it’s documented throughout the world by the dioceses no less. We were openly acknowledging the ordination of practicing homosexuals and children were learning or unfortunately not learning to cast a jaundiced eye toward certain clergy as part of your ‘catechetical’ instruction. This isn’t even close or a secret.

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  61. @mermaid – I don’t think abuse of anyone – whether they’re Cat, Prot, or secular/atheist – is any less or any more than any other. It’s all horrific. On that, I think, we agree. And further, it wouldn’t surprise me one way or the other if there has been equal abuse within Prot-land, or not. For purposes of this dialog, I’ll concede that abuse by clergy is equal in Cat and Prot-land.

    My question is sincere, to wit, how do you, who celebrates the presumed ‘unity’ of the RCC, process the fact that the RCC has gone to considerable effort/expense to legally splinter ITSELF? And, given an opportunity to demonstrate the ‘unity’ of the RCC, the global RCC left the Milwaukee archdiocese – together with other creditors – hang out to dry as its own distinct entity. Your thoughts?

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  62. Do you train your people to recognize the signs of sexual or physical abuse? Do you have policies in place? Do you train your childrens’ workers? Do you require background checks? Do you even know what I am talking about? Do you see the priest scandals as just another opportunity to trash the Catholic Church, or do you take it as a warning for yourselves?

    Wow. The kid from the house down the street whose family has been all over the news for scandal is on our doorstep thumping her finger in our chests about whether we’ve learned anything (well, have we, jerks?).

    I need an ice pack for my sternum.

    Ariel, I find shots at the RCC about her current troubles to be often cheap–the problem isn’t that your communion is just as prone to human depravity as any other but that its authoritarian structure is one that doesn’t do much to help sort it out. But this screed in our direction is just as cheap, maybe even impoverished.

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  63. Darryl,

    “and where oh where is the Roman pontiff advocating and acting like the first shall be last? Humility, remember.”

    Did Peter lack humility when leading and teaching authoritatively and normatively?

    “what is the dogma that hasn’t changed behind a discipline that made Jews wear gold stars in 13th century Europe?”

    The dogma that Jews aren’t Christians and are separate and distinct and that Matt 27:25 is inspired. The understanding of what exactly that perspective entailed developed. Which is why we see varied and fluctuating types of treatment towards Jews both before and after 13th century – some actions and decrees offered protections to them, others were more restrictive unfortunately – a cycle we would expect given such disciplines and actions were matters of prudential judgment, something that cannot be irreformable or part of the deposit of faith by definition, given they are prudential and inextricably tied to temporal and contingent circumstances and context, and are based on knowledge of pertinent facts – knowledge which may be defective or incomplete.

    Was there a dogma that Calvin’s Geneva reflected? Does WCF’s view on the magistrate – both the original and the revision – reflect a shared dogma that the 2 versions differ on in terms of discipline and application?

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  64. Clete, this is the benefit of acknowledging that councils may and do err. We aren’t left trying to exegete history with a hermenuetic of continuity.

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  65. Sean,

    Right, but the distinction between discipline and dogma is shared on both sides as we’ve already seen. And the distinction in RC councils between irreformable dogma and reformable disciplinary canons has been apparent since the beginning – no one at Lateran IV thought “We forbid all clerics to hunt or to fowl, so let them not presume to have dogs or birds for fowling” or “Their outer garments should be closed and neither too short nor too long. Let them not indulge in red or green cloths, long sleeves or shoes with embroidery or pointed toes” or “Churches are to be without a prelate for no more than 3 months” was part of the deposit of faith.

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  66. Clete, “has been apparent since the beginning”? Do you have a canon law degree? Would you like to gather, lets say, five canon lawyers in a room and get them to agree on the jot and tittle of the deposit? Never mind the deposit, let’s just break out a papal bull and see how the infallibllty parsing works out. You can’t whitewash the history or the deposit with a blunt tool like dogma and discipline and then say ‘it’s been apparent since the beginning’. Nobody in the RC universe outside a portion of a piece of a slice of the trads even tries to sell this stuff and only on the internet.

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  67. Sean, “they” have declared themselves perfect and infallible and their believers back it up 100%, kind of strange when they have a putative IQ higher than 80 and are confronted with lethal proof of error and they still go “happy place happy place meow meow meow meow, all is still 100% perfect and infallible…”

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  68. Jeff, isn’t the point that in the end the presbytery or assembly approves a man for ministry. They approve on the basis not of their expertise as historical theologians.

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  69. James Young, Peter as pope? Are you serious? No Roman Catholic historian of the early church buys that.

    Jews weren’t Christians, right. Not so any more after Vatican 2 when they have light and can be saved on their own light. Is that dogma, discipline, or incoherence?

    Servetus was Jewish.

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  70. Sean, “You can’t whitewash the history or the deposit with a blunt tool like dogma and discipline and then say ‘it’s been apparent since the beginning’.”

    Sure James Young can. His other blankie.

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  71. Sean,

    So you think those at Lateran IV thought “Their outer garments should be closed and neither too short nor too long. Let them not indulge in red or green cloths, long sleeves or shoes with embroidery or pointed toes”
    or anyone at Trent thought “If any [clergy], by whatsoever dignity, degree, and pre-eminence distinguished, shall, by remaining six months together out of his own diocese, all lawful impediment, or just and reasonable causes ceasing, be absent from a patriarchal, primatial, metropolitan, or cathedral church, under what title soever, cause, name, or right committed to him, he shall ipso jure incur the penalty of the forfeiture of a fourth part of one year’s fruits, to be applied, by an ecclesiastical superior, to the fabric of the church and to the poor of the place. And if he continue absent in this way during six other months, he shall thereupon forfeit another fourth part of the fruits to be applied in like manner” and
    “Faculties granted for not being promoted (to orders) shall avail for a year only, except in the cases by law provided.”
    were part of divine revelation and eternal moral precepts?

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  72. Cletus,

    And the distinction in RC councils between irreformable dogma and reformable disciplinary canons has been apparent since the beginning – no one at Lateran IV thought “We forbid all clerics to hunt or to fowl, so let them not presume to have dogs or birds for fowling” or “Their outer garments should be closed and neither too short nor too long. Let them not indulge in red or green cloths, long sleeves or shoes with embroidery or pointed toes” or “Churches are to be without a prelate for no more than 3 months” was part of the deposit of faith.

    Actually, the burden of proof is on you to prove that none of those at the council believed any of that was permanent, irreformable dogma. Later decisions don’t count. Interpret the text in context according to the declared intent of the actual people who were there.

    Maybe there’s loads of evidence that nobody thought those things weren’t permanent dogma. I doubt it, but I could be wrong. I’d actually welcome the correction.

    Prove that no one at the council thought any of that was dogma.

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  73. Darryl,

    You were whining popes lack humility. Did Peter or Paul lack humility when they taught authoritatively and normatively? Or perhaps you think popes lack humility because of some other aspect of their role. But then of course if a pope does act humble or speak humbly and it’s caught on video or photo, well then it’s shameless pr plugging.

    “Jews weren’t Christians, right. Not so any more after Vatican 2 when they have light and can be saved on their own light. Is that dogma, discipline, or incoherence?”

    Jews still aren’t Christians. And no dogma before Vat2 taught formal membership in RCC was an absolute requirement for salvation.

    “Servetus was Jewish.”

    That’s nice. So was Calvin’s Geneva and the WCF’s conflicting views on the magistrate “dogma” (qualified quotes given the other thread but permitted here for argument’s sake)? Or did they reflect prudential application of dogmatic principles? Or neither?

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  74. LoserStar:I see, Ali- when you talk to God, you hear voices in your head. Got it, that actually explains a lot. Since you’re so fond of quoting the Bible, can you tell me which parts are instructive for being a humorless shrew? Thanks!

    well, at least you said thanks!

    What does it explain, Loserstar?

    And the name ‘Loserstar’, what is that?; sure there are various glories of stars – but ‘loser’ as one? Don’t think so.

    Anyway 1, not sure what to say, ‘cause I’m kindof getting chocked up (women are very emotional) thinking you might not ‘speak to’ and ‘hear from’ the Lord’ as you walk thru this life …very depressing thought…
    speaking of hearing from the Lord – were you serious about which parts of the’ manual’ apply –that might, as you say, explain some things too, if you’re thinking only some parts apply.

    Anyway 2,not sure the Lord appreciates it, but the thought was if one is a Bible quoter who is termed a humorless shrew; then isn’t the implication: Bible-humorless

    Anyway 3, what’s with people who keep saying around here “since you’re so fond of quoting the Bible” as if one wouldn’t be fond of that, especially at a ‘reformed faith and practice’ blog.

    sheesh

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  75. Ali

    Anyway 3, what’s with people who keep saying around here “since you’re so fond of quoting the Bible” as if one wouldn’t be fond of that, especially at a ‘reformed faith and practice’ blog.

    sheesh

    You don’t get it yet. The Bible is only used as a weapon, not a lantern. You can go weeks around here without seeing the Bible quoted, exc mebbe by the Catholics, and seldom if ever by the blog author in any case.

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  76. “Do any of you talk with abuse victims?”

    One of my fiancee’s bridesmaid is a rape victim, she had the “honour” of being raped by her father AND one of her boyfriends. My fiancee grew up in an alcoholic home. Another one had a mother who was a drug addict. I myself am the victim of eeeeevangelical church/spiritual abuse.

    I don’t talk about the pedophile scandals as a matter of principle. But you don’t need to imply that there are no Presbyterians that understand abuse. Some of us because Presbyterian BECAUSE of church abuse (me).

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  77. Hello Petros,

    You asked, “how do you, who celebrates the presumed ‘unity’ of the RCC, process the fact that the RCC has gone to considerable effort/expense to legally splinter ITSELF? And, given an opportunity to demonstrate the ‘unity’ of the RCC, the global RCC left the Milwaukee archdiocese – together with other creditors – hang out to dry as its own distinct entity. Your thoughts?”

    I read about the bankruptcy and the cover-up by some of the diocese hierarchal clergy. The while thing makes me sick to my stomach. I see the pain and anger on the faces of those men, and I can relate to it since I was abused myself growing up by three different perpetrators.
    I dont know how to answer to abuse in the first place and when it is done by a priest, I can’t fathom the heartbreak and feeling of betrayal.
    As far as money support for the parishes in that diocese after the bankruptcy, I dont really know. They may not have any money in an account any longer and so any support of parish priests and untilities and so forth may be just month to month out of gifts and tithes.
    But the Catholic Church is still one communion under the magesterium still.
    I met some lovely excatholics who began coming to the Reformed community of which I was a part before I converted and they told me that they left the RCC because of the abuse. Being a victim myself, I understood their heart about the matter, but I also realized that as horrible as the abuse was and is, it doesn’t tell me that Catholicism is wrong. I could run out of fellowships, and denominations if I contiued to exist institutions based on human sin. Another way to look at it is that abuse and fraud and scandal by Catholic priest and cardinals doesn’t mean that protestant doctrinal theology is trustworthy. I could just as well get wrong theology and sexual abuse thrown in in a protestant church.

    Susan

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  78. Clete, who knows, which is the point. This is a group who weigh legitimate vs illegitimate visions of Mary and make relics of popes bones and hope on the merits of saints and pray for St. Anthony to help them find things they lost( if I remeber correctly). And that’s all before Vat II really cleared things up. Furthermore, it’s all above your paygrade, which is also the point.

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  79. Jeff Cagle : Susan, So very sorry that happened to you.

    Ditto, so sorry, Susan, also SJG, also sean I think, and who knows whoever else.
    We probably can’t conceive of all the pain represented just here from all the sin inflicted upon one another in our lives; God knows all, yet still chose to die for them all, for those who believe. How just, too, will be the wrath on those who do not repent, rejecting His gift, choosing to pay for their own sins.

    Don’t mean to be unkind in any way, Susan, and although Heb 13:7 instruction is probably meant to mean to consider the good conduct – “Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. ” – in the negative -to have had such pervasive failure of accountability and harm -should be cause for very great reflection of that ‘faith’.

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  80. d j cimino—“the word fundy in confessional circles is meant to be the equivalent of the F word in the secular world.”

    Exclude those who exclude

    Separate from those who separate

    Judge those who judge

    we staying, you going

    the last to leave still a Machen warrior child….

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  81. James Young, “no dogma before Vat2 taught formal membership in RCC was an absolute requirement for salvation.”

    Yet another loop hole. What’s up with all the discipline based on “no salvation outside the church”?

    Paul and Peter did not assert their authority the way popes have and do. Did they claim to be Christ’s vice regent? Did Peter claim to be primary and supreme? How many thousands of years did popes argue for their authority when they might have taught the church the way of salvation?

    I get it. Believing in infallibility is salvation. Yup.

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  82. Dear Ali,

    Thank you for your kindness. To your question at the end I have to say,no.
    We dont have separated faiths in Christianity. Like I said, I could eventually run out of organized communities if I measured our Christian faith by the impeccability of it’s members. That said, I do expect to find those who hear the word of God and keep it too in every fellowship where there hangs a cross( or a dove or a book 28th Calvin or Luther on it’s cover) I’m joking around.
    Years ago when I was an eeeeevangelical( that’s for Steve) the asst pastor was arrested for molesting boys who were baseball teammates of his precious son. Within two years the church was able to distance itself from that scandalous history by changing it’s name and moving around 10 miles away. Not that that community should have to pay for it’s association forever( there was porn this pastor’s church office computer too), but it is a good illustration on how a lone ranger church can escape huge scandal and monetary depletion. If a Reformed Sunday school teacher was molesting girls for years and finally got caught and that local church got sued by the parents, would that mean that everyone should leave the Reformed “faith”?

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  83. Hey Ali,

    I appreciate what you’ve written. Yerrite, and I should also be careful of thinking that other folk haven’t seen suffering.

    And Susan,

    Thanks for what you’ve written. For what’s it’s worth, I don’t the sexual abuse reasons are a good reason to leave the Roman communion, and I write as a Presbyterian. I respect the Roman communion because at least you can go to your bishops. I appreciate Presbyterianism because we have courts. I know that if abuse happened in a Reformed setting, it wouldn’t be enough for me to want to leave, because at least I know the structure works. There is no accountability in low church evangelicalism.

    My objections to Roman theology is theological first. But I can only speak for myself. I hope you do well.

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  84. Dear SJG,
    You are very fair minded. If you dont mind answering, are you a man or woman? With just intials it’s impossible to tell.

    God bless!
    Susan

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  85. I’m a Cuban, male. I grew up a nominal Catholic but I came of faith in a Pentecostal environment. I served in a Baptist megachurch for a while but became Reformed because it is both Protestant and Catholic. As much as I respect Ratzinger and the book on Christology I own, I am not a Roman because I think Sola Scriptura is a thing and because I value the Law/Gospel distinction. I also think the classic Protestant reading of Paul is correct, but I don’t want to turn this into a debate.

    Plus I do think history is not that strong of an apologetic for the Roman communion, personally.

    But eh, fair minded? I mean I’ll listen to anybody if they like the Bible. I’ve met great Romans that know the Bible. I just disagree with them. 😛

    Besides, even Calvin and Luther acknowledged there were Christians in Rome. But eh, maybe I’m a Reformed catholic and not TR (even though I *do* take the WCF to be the best restatement of Biblical doctrine, but eh).

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  86. SJG,

    Hey well it is truly a pleasure to make your acquaintance! Maybe we can discourse as regards the theology down the road:)

    Take Care!,
    Susan

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  87. SJG
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 6:35 pm | Permalink
    “Do any of you talk with abuse victims?”

    One of my fiancee’s bridesmaid is a rape victim, she had the “honour” of being raped by her father AND one of her boyfriends. My fiancee grew up in an alcoholic home. Another one had a mother who was a drug addict. I myself am the victim of eeeeevangelical church/spiritual abuse.

    I don’t talk about the pedophile scandals as a matter of principle. But you don’t need to imply that there are no Presbyterians that understand abuse. Some of us because Presbyterian BECAUSE of church abuse (me).>>>>>

    Nice to meet you, SJG. Glad you found a church where you feel at home and safe. Take good care of your fiancé. I am sure you do.

    Hmmm. You don’t need to imply that I am not an abuse survivor. 😉

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  88. I didn’t imply that. I meant what I said, which is, there are Presbyterians that know abuse survivors. In fact I also said that I should be careful in assuming that folk haven’t gone through hardship.

    Saying that, I’d rather not continue this part of the discussion. I have Tumblr blocked for a reason. Talking about feelings over the Internet never goes well, especially with a topic as charged as this.

    And word. I reply here and there. Not in the discussions bout the Roman church. Meaningful discourse over the Internet is impossible to me. I’d rather read a book and talk to people face to face. I come to Old Life because DG Hart is a good writer and the regulars amuse me. That’s probably why you haven’t noticed me. I guess what I mean is, hi.

    And I’d like to hope I take care of my fiancee. She would have left me by then I’m sure 😐

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  89. SJG,
    “And word. I reply here and there. Not in the discussions bout the Roman church. Meaningful discourse over the Internet is impossible to me. I’d rather read a book and talk to people face to face. I come to Old Life because DG Hart is a good writer and the regulars amuse me. That’s probably why you haven’t noticed me. I guess what I mean is, hi.”

    Boo! okay, well it was still nice to meet you:)
    I’ve lingered long enough.

    Need to skadattle.

    Take Care!
    Susan

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  90. SJG:
    I didn’t imply that. I meant what I said, which is, there are Presbyterians that know abuse survivors. In fact I also said that I should be careful in assuming that folk haven’t gone through hardship.>>>>>

    No problem, SJG. Again, nice to meet you. Congratulations on your engagement.

    Do not enjoy the clever comments here too much. They are spiritually toxic, my dear brother.

    My question was not meant for all Presbyterians.

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  91. SJG

    Plus I do think history is not that strong of an apologetic for the Roman communion, personally.</i

    Or one could wonder that after all the assaults upon it by Luther, Calvin, Julian the Apostate and Darryl G. Hart, the catholic church still remains the “Catholic Church”

    Catholic Church–1.2 billion
    Eastern Orthodox–300 million

    whereas “Protestantism” claims 800 million, but they’re all fighting and dividing from each other into dozen or 100s of sects.

    Historically speaking, that after 2000 years, a recognizable Catholic Church still stands as the longest-standing “institution” in human history is a quantifiable miracle.

    Miracles sit before our eyes, unnoticed. History is a very strong apologetic for the “Roman” communion: Thomas More argued precisely that historical fact, biblically, and 500 years later, his argument stands:

    And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

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  92. TVD,

    I’ve seen the information. I’m not convinced. I think things are bit more complicated than stated, but I don’t want this conversation. Neither of us are going to be convinced. But thank you for your response.

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  93. Ewww, who’s been serving the O’Douls spiked with Xanax? Somebody lock the barkeep in the toilet? Never mind the single malt this thread requires tequila. I mean, I ain’t Chorts. I don’t luv urrrbody. You’re ugly and your momma dresses you funny. And yes, I can empathize with all the tragedy and am familiar, but i’ll take a shot and a side of anger to cure what ails. Thought I was on Facebook for a moment.

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  94. SJG
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 12:24 am | Permalink
    TVD,

    I’ve seen the information. I’m not convinced. I think things are bit more complicated than stated, but I don’t want this conversation. Neither of us are going to be convinced. But thank you for your response.

    With all due respect, I wasn’t actually writing to you. Of course you’re “not convinced.”

    It’s called a “colloquy,” SJG. You write, I write, everybody else reads, and thinks on it. “I’m not convinced” is not a reply, only a negation. We’re talking about miracles here.

    Or one could wonder that after all the assaults upon it by Luther, Calvin, Julian the Apostate and Darryl G. Hart, the catholic church still remains the “Catholic Church”

    Catholic Church–1.2 billion
    Eastern Orthodox–300 million

    whereas “Protestantism” claims 800 million, but they’re all fighting and dividing from each other into dozen or 100s of sects.

    Historically speaking, that after 2000 years, a recognizable Catholic Church still stands as the longest-standing “institution” in human history is a quantifiable miracle.

    Miracles sit before our eyes, unnoticed. History is a very strong apologetic for the “Roman” communion: Thomas More argued precisely that historical fact, biblically, and 500 years later, his argument stands:

    “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

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  95. Need to skadattle.

    Take Care!
    Susan>>>>

    Always nice to see you, Susan. Thank you for sharing some of your experiences. God’s grace is evident in your life.

    I’ll do the Nixon exit for the moment – and will probably be back as he was. Wait for it…

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  96. sjg, “at least you can go to your bishops”

    Wasn’t it bishops who moved around the wayward priests? Everyone has potentially a pastor, teacher, senator, or lawyer who can screw up morally. It’s the people responsible for oversight and cover for screw ups that is a huge problem. And episcopacy breeds cover ups.

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  97. SJG: I respect the Roman communion because at least you can go to your bishops. I appreciate Presbyterianism because we have courts. I know that if abuse happened in a Reformed setting, it wouldn’t be enough for me to want to leave, because at least I know the structure works. There is no accountability in low church evangelicalism.

    not sure what you mean about no accountability ; you think the Bible prescribes the structures you mention? ; doesn’t lack of accountability comes when the Lord word is not obeyed in this: Acts 20:28, Titus 1:5-9; 1 Tim 3:1-7

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  98. With which presumption will we start?

    –will we exclude from the new covenant those who were in the Abrahamic covenant, or only “include more” ( now females and unmarried males)

    –will we include the spouse and the slaves and the teenage children of a father, or even the grandchildren of those with parents who were cut off from the covenant?

    All or nothing–if we want to include instead of exclude, why not let’s water everybody (not only infants from some families) , including all the adults who come our way–then we can begin to teach them the commands of the covenant (how could we teach anybody God’s law until after they were in the covenant?) and thus we can teach these included disciples that God has promised all of them them saving faith….less narrow, more generous and capacious

    And all we need for that is a common enemy scapegoat—those who refuse to be magistrates, we can accuse them all of wanting to take over as magistrates—and thus find unity between ourselves by excluding fanatics loyal only to one kingdom.

    every inclusion is also an exclusion

    https://chantrynotes.wordpress.com/2015/11/11/godfrey-and-the-baptists/#more-2500

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  99. @Susan – thanks for your post. We certainly share heartburn over the circumstances of abuse, whether perpetrated by Cats or Prots. (A close family member of mine is a mental health therapist, who works with victims to help them piece their life back together.) I agree that the existence of abuse is not an argument on the rightness/wrongness of Catholicism. I understand that CTC appeals to Prots to ‘return’ to the mother church in the interest of ‘unity’. But, if ‘unity’ is so important, I remain curious why there doesn’t seem to be a similar appeal to the RCC at-large to demonstrate its ‘unity’ and rally to financially support a bankrupt archdiocese. Per se, I don’t expect any Cat commentators here to have ‘the’ answer to that, but I was just curious how Cats (esp Mermaid) personally internalize the reality that the RCC has gone to great lengths to legally splinter itself, all on its own.

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  100. Per se, I don’t expect any Cat commentators here to have ‘the’ answer to that, but I was just curious how Cats (esp Mermaid) personally internalize the reality that the RCC has gone to great lengths to legally splinter itself, all on its own.

    This is a critical point, and in my mind one of the more powerful practical examples of why the CTC apologetic can’t be taken very seriously at the end of the day. It’s also strong evidence against Rome being the true church.

    There are plenty of business and non-profit entities that structure themselves in the same way. They require a charter or something from the larger company or organization to operate, but they structure themselves in such a way that the larger host group is not liable in any way for what its charter members do. In fact, I’ve known people who work for large non-profits that subdivide themselves into smaller chartered organizations. The smaller organizations cannot exist without the charter, which they end up paying for, but at the first sign of trouble on the part of a smaller group, such as a lawsuit, everybody on the local level knows that the larger organization can be counted on only to wash its hands of any affiliation with the smaller organization.

    That’s not unity. And when we see it operating on an ecclesiastical level, it’s preposterous. What happened to “bear one another’s burdens”?

    And we’re supposed to believe Rome is the best contender for the Apostolic faith?

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  101. I don’t like the ecumenical feel of commiseration over abuse that keeps getting re-introduced. I get that sex abuse, even child sex abuse, happens on both sides but this isn’t a draw. It’s not even close. Rome has the problem in spades with it’s clergy. It’s so extensive that it’s an institutional opportunity and it’s directly tied to desperation for vocations, money and the ‘discipline’ of celibate male clergy. There is an shared opportunity, in that, just like any position that provides status, cover, respectability and access it’s going to attract predators. But the comparisons end there. Rome has fostered and perpetuated and exacerbated those opportunities. This isn’t an ‘us too’ thing.

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  102. sean: the ‘discipline’ of celibate male clergy.

    and not discount potential for contributing consequence of any disobedience -1 Tim 4:3 men who forbid marriage

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  103. “Wasn’t it bishops who moved around the wayward priests? Everyone has potentially a pastor, teacher, senator, or lawyer who can screw up morally. It’s the people responsible for oversight and cover for screw ups that is a huge problem. And episcopacy breeds cover ups.”

    Well, ya. But don’t some PCA Presbyteries have oversight issues as well, what with them being okay with the Federal Vision?

    Genuine question, what’s the difference?

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  104. Petros, I will give you one clue as to why I believe the Catholic Church is right about emphasizing unity. Now, that may be totally apart from whether or not she is the best example of unity. As far as I know, she is the only one who is even promoting unity in a broad sense. She is the only one who openly and actively seeks to restore the unity of all Christians. She knows it is an almost impossible task, but she tries.

    You have to look at Scripture to see what priority Christ put on unity. You have to look at Scripture to see what priority the apostles put on unity. You have to look at the history of the Church until 1,500 to see what priority Christians put on unity.

    Now, was the ideal ever achieved like it should have been? Of course not. However, is that what Jesus wants – the unity of His body? Read Ephesians 4:1-6 and exegete it. See what it means. Ask the Holy Spirit what He means. Read John 17 and see the priority Jesus put on unity.

    That won’t automatically make you a Catholic. However, it should tell you something about something, I would think.

    Besides, the line of argumentation that goes “Sure Protestants are splintered, but so are Catholics” may be revealing. I say that’s a dodge. I say that’s the kind of argumentation that is a challenge to those who claim Scripture as the only infallible rule of faith and practice. I say that is why there really is no such thing as sola scriptura. No one submits to Scripture alone. This is an example, IMO. Is it Scripture being the only rule of faith and practice except when the infallible rule contradicts my practice?

    If you are willing to look at Scripture, then I am willing to look with you as well. I have raised this question before and asked that those who know how to exegete Scripture would do so. No one does it, at least here. What does Ephesians 4:1-6 mean?

    Besides, in claiming that when the priests in one parish or diocese or school or wherever sin, then the whole Church is responsible, you are saying that if one sins, then everyone is guilty of that sin and should pay. If you are willing to do that with Protestantantism, then do it. When a guy like Mark Driscoll crashes and burns, then all Protestants should be willing to foot the bill for Mars Hill.

    How about that? If one sins, you all sin and you all should have to pay up or shut up. Rather, isn’t it Biblical to say that those who sinned are the ones who should pay the consequences? Once again, are you really following Scripture as the only rule of faith and practice, except when you wish to score points against Catholicism – the Great Whore of Babylon, loved by those awful papists, and with the antichrist as Pope?

    Sorry to be a bit strong in the way I am saying this, but I find it very frustrating that Protestants seem to be unwilling to examine themselves to make sure that the vulnerable among them are really protected.

    Remember, the Catholic Church is a huge target. She is hard to miss.

    Now, I am not endorsing or promoting the ministry of Boz T. However, you might be interested in reading this article by him. Notice that the PCA adopted this policy in 2014. Notice, too, that most of the policies that have been adopted by Protestant groups were adopted after the Catholic sex scandal broke a number of years ago, now.

    Notice that Protestants have been slow to recognize the dangers within their own denominations. Notice that if the Catholics had not been forced to face this issue, Protestants likely never would have even though about the subject.

    So, before Protestants go boasting about how it can’t happen in your churches, think again. If you guys have more questions, ask yourselves and do your homework. I can’t do it for you.

    http://boz.religionnews.com/2014/06/20/denomination-confronts-child-sexual-abuse-positive-step-forward/

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  105. Hello Petros,

    Hope my friends here got Veterans Day off from work. I’m sitting here studying for a astronomy test, so I should make my comment quick.

    You asked: “But, if ‘unity’ is so important, I remain curious why there doesn’t seem to be a similar appeal to the RCC at-large to demonstrate its ‘unity’ and rally to financially support a bankrupt archdiocese. Per se, I don’t expect any Cat commentators here to have ‘the’ answer to that, but I was just curious how Cats (esp Mermaid) personally internalize the reality that the RCC has gone to great lengths to legally splinter itself, all on its own.”

    For one thing the local areas in the diocese doesn’t lack people, so they unify with one another and support their local parishes. If a diocese appealed for help from another diocese they do get help. And neighboring dioceses do help. To what degree($) I have no n idea.
    They aren’t splintered in any kind of way.

    I dont know what people think should happen to the Catholic Church as a result of the abuse. Do you want me and other Catholics to disappear from the face of the earth? What measures and how much money could make up for the pain and the lawbreaking and the immoral behavior?

    If my son had been abused I would have wanted to see that the priest was castrated and everyone who his abuse, jailed. I would want everyone involved to lose all financial support. I would want the same thing of my son were abused by a coach. I would want the same thing of one of my children were abducted, taped and murdered. I would want justice for sure. But my faith teaches that I must desire the good for the other. I can tell you that would be as hard as hell to do. What do I do with the painful emotions since nothing can be reversed and no amount of money will make everything okay again?
    Sin is a global problem and we have to live here.Somehow. Ask yourself what you would do if you could never get earthly justice for a murdered child. We all have to believe that God will one day make all things well.

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  106. Merm, no one is saying it can’t happen or doesn’t happen elsewhere, but the scale and institutional nature of the abuse in RCC is unprecedented. It’s a problem with the theological commitment/discipline to a celibate male priesthood and the occompanying pressures to accomodate deviants because we needed the money and rome needs the vocations. It’s a huge cluster(insert favorite curse word). They know it, you know it, every cradle knows it and everybody has been complicit in tolerating it and it finds traction all the way up to the pope and the guy in the abbey( and that’s just in a modern context, the abuses are hundreds of years old). It’s a practice and vocation that needs a complete overhaul. Maybe a willingness to follow biblical prescriptions for church officers and do away with all the well-intentioned but disastrous religious add-ons(married to the church) that perpetuate such practices.

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  107. Sean,

    I dont think the celibate nature of the priesthood is the problem. I presented an instance of a married pastor who molested young boys. Its a perversion not a desire for conjugal union. The priests could just as well gone to a prostitute, which n is also wrong but doesn’t harm the psyche of children.
    1 Corinthians 7 has Paul saying that it is better not to be married, but if you know you can’t remain celibate then the priesthood isn’t the call.
    I dislike the excuse for perversion and power plays to be that if they were married they wouldn’t violate innocent children. Widows and widowers who don’t want to remarry or can’t remarry dont molest children because they are forced to be celibate. If I were a priest I would leave the priesthood before ever entertaining the idea of molesting a child. Its a sickness not a natural desire. No I won’t let them off with that lame excuse.

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  108. Susan, it’s a yes and no. I don’t know what the exact percentage is, but it’s well over 50% and my anecdotal evidence is 100%, of priests violate the vows of celibacy. As far as the all male celibate structure goes, particularly before homosexuality gained broader acceptance in the culture at large, the very setup of adult men living together in a communal setup where such an arrangement wasn’t viewed as abberant was a big draw to homosexual men looking for a place in the culture where they could live without the inordinate scrutiny AND they could practice their religious observance with not only acceptance but reverence for their commitment. You combine that with the dearth of vocations that has plagued RC since I was a child, and you have wide acceptance of practicing homosexuals within the priesthood. This was an open secret that is no longer secret. As far as deviants go, well, you have all these sexually compromised folks already thrown together, and they tended to cover for each other, and often times didn’t want to know what the other guy was doing. The burden was thrown squarely onto the laity to police these guys and gals and watch out for their children. And of course the incestuous nature of the religious orders and their cover ups are well known at this point. So, yes, it could and does happen in every sort of arrangement, but it has thrived in the RC setup. And this is before we begin to discuss the money guys like Maciel who not only fathered children and turned out vocations but brought money into the church. He had an audience with the pope. Ratzinger knew.

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  109. sjg, if you argue the two are similar, are you suggesting Peter Leithart’s views are as bad as the actions of a pedophile priest? Or are you saying that the inability to convict a man whose language is often ambiguous (as if that’s a new development in church history) is the same as not even trying to discipline a wayward priest?

    Why do you analogize the two?

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  110. Sean,
    If they are adult men with homosexual tendencies( perversions) living together then why do they need to perpetrate abuse on the young? From what I understand the Wisconsin situation was mainly one make priest who ovesaw a school for the deaf.
    No doubt that abuse happens and homosexual attraction has been around since the beginning, but I dont accept that the reason it happens is because priest need to be unmarried. There are rites that have married priests, so they can to that way if they want. I know a married priest with 3 kids and he honestly cannot put in the time that unmarried priests do. I reject the idea that celibacy and close confines breeds perversion. If I were locked up with women I would not be a lesbian and I would not molest children.
    What do you do with men who are faithful to their bows and are also very Godly? Was st. Paul tempted to molest boys? I know he wasn’t.

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  111. Susan, I think you’re mixing a few things. One, just because someone is homosexual doesn’t mean they have pedophile tendencies. These are two seperate opportunities. Two, I’m not saying the environment created the homosexual or pedophile procilivity, I’m saying it provided opportunity and/or acceptance/tolerance/cover for the behavior. Three, as regarded heterosexual men, most broke their vows at some point in their vocation. Four, I know/knew priests who are/were sincere in their vocation, broken vows or not.

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  112. And I dont buy that everyone knew about the abuse but not one of those people put a stop to it. I’m sure the abuser made the boys fearful to tell anyone.
    The pope didn’t know about it and also let it continue to happen. When he did find out I’m sure the investigations began. Youd have to be a real you know what to cover it up and not grieve
    I dont buy conspiracy theories. And besides, I ask again is the pope supposed say ” well folks the while church is rotten to the core. It was nice while it lasted, but I’m closing up shop. Everyone go home and dont come back to any parishes.”
    I’m serious, what is the while Roman Catholic Church responsible for and what is it supposed to do?
    What can it do now?

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  113. LoserStar
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 1:12 pm | Permalink
    Another dodge from she-who-has-lied…>>>>

    LoserStar, I see your comments. I see your pain, even. I see your need. Maybe you are an abuse victim. If so, I am sorry about what was done to you.

    I will pray for you, as I pray for those here on Old Life. If you don’t believe me, maybe you believe Jesus. I hope so.

    Matthew 11:28-29English Standard Version (ESV)

    28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

    God bless you, dear LoserStar.

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  114. cw l’unificateur
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Permalink
    Susan, you’re telling us a lot about what Susan thinks Susan would or would not do. Sean is telling us what real people really do based on real experience. Two different things.>>>>>

    I don’t want to derail the respectful conversation taking place between sean and Susan, but notice, cw, that sean admits he doesn’t really know.

    In fact, we don’t really know how factual what sean thinks he knows actually is.

    So, anyway, sean does not know. He said so.

    Besides, I am not sure what Brother Hart mean awhile back, but he indicated that if Protestants cannot go to Heaven with mortal sin on their conscience, then no Protestant can go to Heaven if Catholicism is correct. Therefore I was wrong and the Church is wrong to call Protestants separated brethren. Wasn’t he therefore admitting that all Protestant males have broken their vows as well and are all guilty of some kind of adultery?

    Now, I don’t think he was distinguishing between temptation and actual sin, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. However, at least in his mind, all Protestant males are adulterers since to even fantasize about another woman is adultery.

    Of course, some no longer take the story of the woman caught in adultery as Scripture, but her story may be applicable here.

    Now I will do the Nixon thing. You won’t have me to kick around anymore – until I come back and you do.

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  115. On one hand, “I know/knew priests who are/were sincere in their vocation, broken vows or not … as regarded heterosexual men, most broke their vows at some point”

    On the other,
    “my anecdotal evidence is 100%, of priests violate the vows of celibacy”

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  116. @Mermaid – my question was very simple, straightforward, and sincere. I’m unclear why you chose not to answer it, even if your answer were to be a simple “I don’t know”. To that end, your (lack of) response, is, well, frustrating. Perhaps telling, too.

    You obfuscated my direct question by conflating all kinds of other tangential issues. If you’d re-read my query, it was only a query, and I was not making any arguments in favor of ecclesial disunity, nor in favor of Prots not examining themselves, nor how abuse couldn’t happen in a Prot church (yes, regrettably, it can happen in our world, too), nor in favor of sola scriptura, nor on any of the other related topics you included in your response. In another time/place, I may choose to make an argument on those topics, but I didn’t here.

    You may be well served to get a rudimentary understanding of what bankruptcy and legal liability is. I’m sure our resident attorney Muddy can educate you (if you ask him nicely). The fact remains that the RCC has exercised considerable legal maneuverings – legally splintering itself — in order to limit its legal (if not biblical, ethical, and moral) financial obligations.

    I was honestly just curious if those legal maneuverings were at all a concern to you, or not, either out of a concern for ‘unity’, or out of a concern for ‘justice’ for the victims, who would have received more $, had the bankruptcy law not been invoked by the archdiocese.
    —-
    @Susan – sorry, I am unclear where you’re getting that anyone wants you to “disappear from the face of the earth”. I agree that finding justice on this earth is uncertain. For better or worse, there is a court system in our country that determines what ‘justice’ on this earth is to look like. Just curious if it bothers you at all that the RCC-at-large has specifically implemented certain legal structures that obstruct justice being meted out on this earth.

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  117. And the abuse and whatever cover-up doesn’t tell me that Protestantism has the fullness of the truth. The RCC is just ginormous and so there’s more hands, faces, ideas…politics and sin in the mix. Leaving the Catholic Church would also mean ignoring all the great good, the holiness of many of it’s people, the beauty, the truth for a local protesting communion that is just as full of sinners and politics and celebrity preachers, scandals…proportional to it’s size.

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  118. Susan, “I’m sure the investigations began…”

    Don’t be so sure.

    Very much more serious is the role of Joseph Ratzinger, before the church decided to make him supreme leader, in obstructing justice on a global scale. After his promotion to cardinal, he was put in charge of the so-called “Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith” (formerly known as the Inquisition). In 2001, Pope John Paul II placed this department in charge of the investigation of child rape and torture by Catholic priests. In May of that year, Ratzinger issued a confidential letter to every bishop. In it, he reminded them of the extreme gravity of a certain crime. But that crime was the reporting of the rape and torture. The accusations, intoned Ratzinger, were only treatable within the church’s own exclusive jurisdiction. Any sharing of the evidence with legal authorities or the press was utterly forbidden. Charges were to be investigated “in the most secretive way … restrained by a perpetual silence … and everyone … is to observe the strictest secret which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office … under the penalty of excommunication.” (My italics). Nobody has yet been excommunicated for the rape and torture of children, but exposing the offense could get you into serious trouble. And this is the church that warns us against moral relativism! (See, for more on this appalling document, two reports in the London Observer of April 24, 2005, by Jamie Doward.)

    Not content with shielding its own priests from the law, Ratzinger’s office even wrote its own private statute of limitations. The church’s jurisdiction, claimed Ratzinger, “begins to run from the day when the minor has completed the 18th year of age” and then lasts for 10 more years. Daniel Shea, the attorney for two victims who sued Ratzinger and a church in Texas, correctly describes that latter stipulation as an obstruction of justice. “You can’t investigate a case if you never find out about it. If you can manage to keep it secret for 18 years plus 10, the priest will get away with it.”

    The next item on this grisly docket will be the revival of the long-standing allegations against the Rev. Marcial Maciel, founder of the ultra-reactionary Legion of Christ, in which sexual assault seems to have been almost part of the liturgy. Senior ex-members of this secretive order found their complaints ignored and overridden by Ratzinger during the 1990s, if only because Father Maciel had been praised by the then-Pope John Paul II as an “efficacious guide to youth.” And now behold the harvest of this long campaign of obfuscation. The Roman Catholic Church is headed by a mediocre Bavarian bureaucrat once tasked with the concealment of the foulest iniquity, whose ineptitude in that job now shows him to us as a man personally and professionally responsible for enabling a filthy wave of crime. Ratzinger himself may be banal, but his whole career has the stench of evil—a clinging and systematic evil that is beyond the power of exorcism to dispel. What is needed is not medieval incantation but the application of justice—and speedily at that.

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  119. James Young, so you read carefully enough to catch Sean, but you have no response to your bishops, the ones to whom you are subject somewhere down there in Texas, are cozy with Lutherans who ordain lesbians.

    What’s up with that?

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  120. Clete, correct, everyone I knew personally, broke their vows at some point. I don’t have handy the worldwide statistical figures but I do remember that they exceeded 50%, to the degree such things are discovered or admitted to. I’m sure such surveys are reliant upon third party discovery and/or admission, which generally means it’s underreported. When you’re supposed to be preparing for the priesthood( Jr. Seminary) and you live with these guys, for four years and more, you get the inside scoop including personal admissions, if for no other reason than they want to let you know they’re human too. Sometimes it was for creepier reasons, but I’m being charitable about my experience.

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  121. Sean,

    I’m confused. You said “I know/knew priests who are/were sincere in their vocation, broken vows or not” implying you knew sincere priests without broken vows.
    You also said, “as regarded heterosexual men, most broke their vows at some point” implying most, not all, broke their vows.
    Then you say, 100% broke their vows.

    Darryl,

    What’s up with what? Some bishops doing the ecumenical dance? Not new.

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  122. Petros,
    Just curious if it bothers you at all that the RCC-at-large has specifically implemented certain legal structures that obstruct justice being meted out on this earth.”

    I’ll see if I can speak to your question. Would you please tell me what laws the diocese broke and how they obtructed justice.

    I’m not familiar with all of it. People try to skirt justice all the time And still remain within the limits of the law. I’m thinking of bankruptcy and tax loopholes mainly. The whole notion of earthly justice isn’t possible because it can’t really be fixed. Did the diocese pay the victims something( that wouldn’t bring justice) or did it declare bankruptcy to avoid paying at all( that’s difficult, because the entire diocese isn’t guilty), or did it pay out a whole lot and then try to save itself from everyone who would possibly seek monetary” justice”? How much is fair and just and what about the needs of those in the parishes who are guilty of nothing? What about justice for all?

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  123. Clete, sorry, if I misspoke. My intent was to affirm the priests in their religious sincerity, intentions even though they had sexual failures. 100% of the priests, I knew(had personal knowledge of and relationship with) had broken their vows at one point in their priestly life and some were actively engaged in doing so and even arguing for it’s normativiity(homosexual priests). One of the heterosexual priests I knew had impregnated the sister of a Jr. seminarian who was a classmate of mine. He resigned, they married and last I saw him he was attending mass but prohibited from receiving the eucharist. I think she could receive still.

    As regarded heterosexual men, I was citing the over 50% number, and actually it was well over 50% but I don’t have the figures at hand.

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  124. Susan, Mermaid, et al,

    The question posed is simple: How do you feel about the fact that the Roman Church, which is supposed to be one, structures itself legally as not one in order for the Vatican to escape legal and financial liability?

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  125. @Susan – the archdiocese declared bankruptcy. Bankruptcy, per se, is legal. Bankruptcy was only possible because the RCC legally organized itself into splinter groups of dioceses (which raises my question about ‘unity’). The further point is that the victims received LESS $ as a result of that bankruptcy than the victims would have otherwise received, if the courts (the earthly determinants of justice) had their way (which raises my question about the ‘justice’ of it all). If the bankruptcy-maneuverings are not bothersome to Cats, that’s okay – I was just curious.

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  126. Susan – I think Petros’ point is this: The RCC talks a big game about unity until it might cost them money. As soon as money is on the line then every diocese is just an independent franchisee. So which is it?

    Instead, Rome washed their hands of the Wisconsin franchise which in turn had no problem expending significant money on legal counsel and using the law to deprive its victims of the restitution to which they are morally and legally entitled.

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  127. Robert,

    What am I missing? I don’t feel I’m responsible for pedophile priests and I wouldn’t want a survivor and his attorney to take what I have. Secular judges deciding what’s fair to victims…..no way.

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  128. Susan: if you know you can’t remain celibate then the priesthood isn’t the call.

    Susan, the most important thing is, that’s just not what the Lord says in His word.

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  129. Susan, the entire country of Ireland, you know, RC Ireland, decided that ‘secular’ authorities were more reliable and trustworthy on the issue than the Vatican.

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  130. There’s an equivocation on “unity” going on here. Rome affirms the principle of subsidiarity – part of that includes keeping your house in order and bishops exercising responsibility and not having the Vatican borg do mind control from the mother ship – it’s not like all dioceses ship all their money off to the Vatican every month and then ask for handouts from a shared pool as needed to support their parishes – there’s a large degree of autonomy. It also affirms the principle of doctrinal unity and common faith. Does that mean because every church around the world doesn’t celebrate the liturgy in exactly the same way, or doesn’t distribute funds to and support the exact same causes or programs that there’s no unity? Of course not.

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  131. Susan: if you know you can’t remain celibate then the priesthood isn’t the call.

    Who believes for one second that more than a small fraction can accept a call to celibacy?

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  132. Publius,

    The unity is the Eucharist, the one apostolic succession and the doctrine and the creeds. Sure we give of our resources to help each other as well as to those outside of our communion, but the Vatican doesn’t have to exhaust itself because of the demands of the world. The diocese will still function and so will the parishes.

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  133. Clete,

    Sure, but where’s the “bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ”?

    Not a matter of mind control in this instance, but why is the church if it is so unified leaving individual dioceses to suffer on their own?

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  134. Hello Ali,

    I used 1Corinthians chapter 7 as a scriptural precedent for celibate ministers. There were surely many godly unmarried men and women in the bible who served God.
    I know that deaconesses were in the early church but they never received laying on of hands like priests and deacons did and still do. They were the prototype for nuns. So celibate makes and females and married makes and females all have many biblical examples.

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  135. Susan – I appreciate the fact that you answered directly. But the answer is basically what I expected – we’re unified until it’s inconvenient or costs something. The dioceses were plenty unified when it came to the illegal conspiracy to ship HUNDREDS of molesters around the country to avoid detection and prosecution. But when it comes time to make some sort of tangible amends with the victims then every diocese is an independent owner/operator. Everyone can see that the actual practice of the RCC belies the constant hectoring about unity.

    Phil 4:16? Galations 6:2?

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  136. Susan, how about if they just meet the demands of their laity? Or maybe just the demands of the laity they sexually violate and then provide cover for the predator? How about just those?

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  137. Susan,

    What am I missing? I don’t feel I’m responsible for pedophile priests and I wouldn’t want a survivor and his attorney to take what I have. Secular judges deciding what’s fair to victims…..no way.

    You’re not responsible. The question is why is unity not operative on the organizational level in these matters. And that’s beyond the question of why all the legal maneuvering on the part of the diocese and the larger church to make sure the victims get the least amount possible. Is that the Christian way?

    But let’s address the broader Vatican. The Vatican systematically covered up these crimes. You as an individual parishioner aren’t responsible, but the hierarchy is. But the only hierarchy that pays is in Wisconsin, and then with the monies collected from laypeople who weren’t involved.

    Something about the whole thing just seems, I don’t know, off.

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  138. Hi Kent,

    Well God can and does help. Just like he can help a person break a porn addiction or masturbation. Do you think all single people who are single by fate can’t be chaste?

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  139. Fwiw…what’s fascinating is that the Prot-turned-Cat folks are (seemingly) not bothered by the legal splintering machinations of the RCC hierarchy, and its ramifications. Yet, all cradle-Cats I know are disgusted by it. It would just seem more honest to admit that some of the stuff is bothersome (if that’s even a strong enough word). Yikes, I’m in the eeeee-world, and I’ll readily admit there’s plenty of bothersome stuff crawling around in there.

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  140. Robert,

    Who is the Vatican? There are somewhere around 850 people in the Vatican state. Do you think there was a mass cover-up that every single soul knew about?

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  141. Petros,

    I’m very disgusted by abuse and any kind of cover-up.
    But I won’t leave the church because it’s still the mystical bride of Christ with the tares among her until judgment day.

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  142. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02254a.htm

    Bankruptcy must be considered not only from the legal but also from the moral point of view; for sound morality prescribes that debts must be paid. But a man who becomes bankrupt proclaims his inability to pay his debts in full as they become due. Such an acknowledgement does not now entail the penalty of slavery or of imprisonment as of old; the law takes possession of his property and divides it among his creditors. If it suffices after all to pay his creditors in full, there is an end of the matter, justice and conscience are satisfied. If, however, as is usually the case, the creditors only receive a portion of what is due to them, they have suffered loss through the action of the bankrupt, and if he is the voluntary cause of that loss, he is morally to blame as the cause of injustice to his neighbour. There is no moral blame attributable to a man who through misfortune and by no fault of his own has become bankrupt and unable to pay his debts. But if bankruptcy has been brought about by the debtor’s own fault, he must be condemned in the court of morals, even if he escape without punishment in the court of law. Bankruptcy may be the result of one’s own fault in a great variety of ways. Living beyond one’s means, negligence or imprudence in the conduct of business, spending in betting and gambling money which is due to creditors are frequent causes of debtors appearing in the bankruptcy court. All such causes are accompanied with more or less of moral guilt, in proportion to the bankrupt’s advertence to their probable consequences, and the voluntariness of his action.

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  143. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/bankruptcy.htm

    Twelve U.S. Catholic dioceses have filed for bankruptcy protection during the ongoing sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic church. The Oregon Province of the Jesuits and the Congregation of the Christian Brothers have also filed.

    On August 4, 2015, after a protracted and contentious process, a proposed settlement in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee was announced totaling $21 million and compensating 330 of the original 579 claimants.

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  144. Susan, though it extends wider than these two, how about if we say the Vatican is JPII and Ratzinger. I’ll settle for that.

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  145. Susan :I used 1Corinthians chapter 7 as a scriptural precedent for celibate ministers.

    The Bible: celibacy is a gift of God ; celibacy is not required

    1 Cor 7:7 Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that.
    btw, Peter had a wife: Matt 8:14 When Jesus came into Peter’s home, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever.

    Cletus van Damme: There’s an equivocation on “unity” going on here.

    the equivocation is that unity in God’s word = the unity of the gift of being united to Christ and of the Spirit -and that we are kept and perfected in unity by God, as prayed by Jesus, and we are being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit

    John 1711 I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. 20 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.22 The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.

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  146. Petros,

    The Vatican is far from perfect – the scandals were horrific and its rightly taken a toll in many ways (and the standby RC media mouthpieces who keep protesting the media is blowing things out of proportion, as if that makes a lick of difference even if true, is disgusting). But if the modern-day Vatican making shrewd economic decisions and policies and having people in power with less than noble motives gives people a crisis of faith, they haven’t read much history of the church.
    Given the 2k love here, I fail to see why there’s a shock many faithful RCs admit there are many problems (when has there not?), but aren’t going to lose their faith over it or think it strikes at the heart of RC claims (and no, that’s not a “shrug” – it’s just accepting the reality of a fallen world and its reflection in the history of Christianity).

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  147. Susan –

    Do you think there was a mass cover-up that every single soul knew about?

    Every single soul? Maybe. It has certainly been common knowledge and the subject of dark humor in most (all?) parishes not to leave the boys alone too long with the priests. And there was (is?) a proven conspiracy among the laity, many hundreds if not thousands of priest, many bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and at least 2 popes.

    So there was plenty of unity when it came to the conspiracy, not so much when it comes to paying the penalty.

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  148. “Every good thing God made. He made for us.How stupid to come along and deny marriage and deny certain foods and think you’re holy when what you’re really doing is you’re denying God the right to be glorified for the beauty of what He gave us. You should be better to be married and eat everything He provided and praise Him than think you’re holy by abstaining from those things.” http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/54-29

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  149. Dear Sean,
    Are you saying that these two popes didn’t protect people enough because they allowed confusing doctrines that weren’t clear that homosexual sex is sinful or that molesting children is morally appalling, or so you think that these two popes actually knew that these atrocities were occuring and looked the other way? Or are you saying that when they found out they didnt do enough punishing?
    I heard people say that abusive priests we taken out of their parishes and “hid”. Hid? If I was a good bishop I would get those SOB’s( if guilty of course and of they are I pray they repent) out of there for the sake of the kids, and for the sake of the accused priests. Innocent until proven and all that. The whole thing can be spun any way we favor, and maybe we will never know the whole truth. But like in said, there is still only one church.

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  150. Ali,

    Unless God has also prescribed celibacy. But I’m not going to get into anymore debates.

    I wish you all the best!
    Susan

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  151. Susan – But like in said, there is still only one church.

    Agreed. It just isn’t based in Rome and doesn’t have a Pope.

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  152. “it’s just accepting the reality of a fallen world and its reflection in the history of Christianity”

    No – this is directly tied to your church’s extra- and contra-biblical prohibition on marriage for priests. No other church has this problem to the extent that yours does, and it is rooted in your doctrine, not human weakness.

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  153. @Susan – I don’t at all doubt your – or anyone else’s – disgust at the acts of abuse or coverups. My personal query and comment was focused only on why there does not appear to be similar disgust at the unity/justice/moral issues that get raised (at least to me) by the use of bankruptcy laws to minimize the payouts.

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  154. Susan, you can’t be uber-smart and godly and saintly?(JPII) and wonderful and infallible and the supreme pontiff and then claim, ‘I ddin’t ever, ever, ever, ever know it was going on. NOBODY(Ratzinger) ever tolla me. And then somehow Ratzinger escapes scrutiny until he does something about it twenty years later( lifetime of penitence on a terminal guy) but he didn’t know either unitl he did. Of course, he did get played by his butler, so, maybe he wasn’t all that. Would you prefer gross incompetence as a charge? How about they both fall on their sword for being lame.

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  155. Susan, my serious answer is they both knew and they both looked the either way because of the money and vocations and following Maciel had. You know about the three monkeys, right? See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Yea, that, but with money and god in play as well. Inexcusable.

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  156. Sean,
    I guess I can’t answer you. I realize though that there have been bad popes and bad priest too All through the churches history. Judas’ are called and then the devil gets into them.We have free wills.
    The church still has 11 faithful. That’s what I keep my eyes on. If I stopped being Catholic I dont get a promise of escape from this world’s troubles. It exists wherever I go.

    You know I wish you well.

    Susan

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  157. RCs,

    At the end of the day, the broader issue is why all the whining about Protestant disunity when Rome is united only when it’s convenient? I’d also add a question as to how the holiness of the church can be taken seriously as a motive of credibility when cover-ups of crimes of this magnitude go all the way to the top? Yeah, there are sinners in the hierarchy. We get that. But there are sinners and then there are sinners who pull out all the stops to cover up heinous acts and then at the first whiff of financial trouble turn on each other or say, “We didn’t know how bad it was.”

    Maybe holiness should be dropped from the list of the motives of credibility.

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  158. James Young, well if it’s that easy to dispense with, then so is the audacity.

    This goes to the very heart of the Petrine ministry — you know, the one that’s responsible for keeping the church from error. If you put all your apples in that trust basket, what happens when you find out the ministry wasn’t so trustworthy?

    You act like a wife wouldn’t lose faith in her husband if he cheated. That is audacious.

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  159. Robert,

    Because Protestant disunity is the inevitable consequence of the system. Grab a confession or catechism from each of a PCA, PCUSA, LCMS, ELCA, Arminian, Anglican, Unitarian, Pentecostal, Joel Osteen, TD Jakes, Creflo Dollar, Arian, KJV-onlyist, Marcionite, gnostic, reconstructionist, kinist, biblicist, seeker-sensitive, liberal, emergent, church of christ, and so on churches. Compare. Then grab an RC catechism. Compare.

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  160. Darryl,

    What would go to the heart of the Petrine ministry that protects the church from error would be showing a cointradiction in those teachings guaranteed to be protected from error, that is, holding Rome to the standard for protection from error she has set for herself. Pointing out scoundrels in the church and sinful coverups in the hierarchy doesnt meet the threshold. Not that such deserves only a shrug and thats it – reform has occurred in the past within the church while not challenging its claims and official teachings. Sometimes such reform is inexcusably slow though. Again, not new so such events should not cause a crisis of faith any more than other gross sins and actions of the past should have.

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  161. James Young, and what exactly would constitute a contradiction of faithfulness?

    Popes don’t have to be faithful but the faithful have to be faithful to the popes? Infallibility isn’t helping. It’s only giving a green light to abuse.

    Cool.

    And now Roman Catholicism is really about “doctrines”? How Protestant.

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  162. Cletus,

    There’s a basic thing in statistics called “controlling for variables.” Your list of denominations includes many that DO NOT subscribe to sola scriptura. So they cannot be used as evidence for the results of sola scriptura.

    Now, if you limited yourself to LCMS, OPC, the Southern Baptists, and so on, then you could have a meaningful (and stronger) point. As it is, your methodology undermines your argument.

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  163. Darryl,

    Infallibility isnt giving the green light to abuse. Its sinful men and cowards who value themselves or temporal goods over others giving the green light. Coverups and delayed or suppressed whistleblowing isnt unique to Rome, so infallibility doesnt make much sense to offer as the reason for it, rather the reason is much more mundane and endemic to humanity. Plus didnt you say no one on the ground gives a rip about infallibility anyways? So why would that exert any influence?

    I didnt say a contradiction to faithfulness, just a contradiction to supposed infallible teachings offered as such on Romes own terms, thus showing they couldnt have been infallible. Just as you wouldnt accept a charge of Scriptural errancy unless it was demonstrated such a contradiction was shown based on the standard you have set for inerrancy.

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  164. Jeff,

    Robert said Protestantism. Thats the system. It makes claims. SS churches are compatible with those claims. So are churches that reject SS. So are churches that slice and dice the canon or throw in other religious texts in the mix. Thats the point.
    Of course even if we arbitrarily limit it to SS churches the point on disunity of confessions/catechisms still remains – many liberal churches subscribe to SS.

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  165. Petros
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Permalink
    Fwiw…what’s fascinating is that the Prot-turned-Cat folks are (seemingly) not bothered by the legal splintering machinations of the RCC hierarchy, and its ramifications. Yet, all cradle-Cats I know are disgusted by it. It would just seem more honest to admit that some of the stuff is bothersome (if that’s even a strong enough word). Yikes, I’m in the eeeee-world, and I’ll readily admit there’s plenty of bothersome stuff crawling around in there.>>>>>

    Okay, so my saying that I wish the perpetrators could be drawn and quartered and burn in hell if they do not repent is not enough of an answer for you.

    You want me to also say that the whole legal stuff was not upright. It’s all corrupt. Yes, it is.

    It doesn’t make me lose my faith any more than all the corruption and abuse in Protestantism made me lose my faith.

    You know what worries me about your churches? Read the Boz T. article. I am not trying to sell his program, but he has an excellent training program for churches.

    If you are unable or unwilling to face your own demons, the depths of your own depravity, then I understand. Take a look at Wartburg watch which tracks all the abuse in Protestantism, especially Evangelicalism. Get a clue. The Protestants here are not bothered at all by abuse among them. At least there is no evidence to the contrary.

    I would be more impressed with the alleged honesty of this group if I saw more of it. Good, honest self examination and good honest outrage at what happens in the name of the Gospel even in Reformed groups.

    The “it can’t happen here” attitude is deadly. Let’s see a little honest outrage. Not holding my breath.

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  166. D. G. Hart
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 9:00 pm | Permalink
    Susan, in your system, the knowledge of one person matters. His official name begins with B.

    Dr. Hart continues to be so vague that not even one of his followers will get his back on this. They have no idea what you’re talking about.

    “Old Life.” Ships passing in the dark, unless and until they collide.

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  167. Cletus van Damme
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 9:20 pm | Permalink
    Robert,

    Because Protestant disunity is the inevitable consequence of the system. Grab a confession or catechism from each of a PCA, PCUSA, LCMS, ELCA, Arminian, Anglican, Unitarian, Pentecostal, Joel Osteen, TD Jakes, Creflo Dollar, Arian, KJV-onlyist, Marcionite, gnostic, reconstructionist, kinist, biblicist, seeker-sensitive, liberal, emergent, church of christ, and so on churches. Compare. Then grab an RC catechism. Compare.

    Until Dr. Hart or his epigones have the guts to go here, they go nowhere.

    “Protestantism” has become theological anarchy, precisely what the “reformers” Luther and Calvin despised most.

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  168. The Little Mermaid
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 10:51 pm | Permalink
    Petros
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Permalink
    Fwiw…what’s fascinating is that the Prot-turned-Cat folks are (seemingly) not bothered by the legal splintering machinations of the RCC hierarchy, and its ramifications. Yet, all cradle-Cats I know are disgusted by it. It would just seem more honest to admit that some of the stuff is bothersome (if that’s even a strong enough word). Yikes, I’m in the eeeee-world, and I’ll readily admit there’s plenty of bothersome stuff crawling around in there.>>>>>

    Okay, so my saying that I wish the perpetrators could be drawn and quartered and burn in hell if they do not repent is not enough of an answer for you.

    You want me to also say that the whole legal stuff was not upright. It’s all corrupt. Yes, it is.

    It doesn’t make me lose my faith any more than all the corruption and abuse in Protestantism made me lose my faith.

    The little mermaid’s faith in Christ was and is not diminished by the sins in Christ’s Church either Catholic or Protestant. She has been both.

    As even Brother Publius has allowed, the sins of men infect and afflict both because what they have in common is that they are populated by men, sinners all. To harp on the Catholic Church’s sins and crimes as some sort of proof that Protestant theology or ecclesiology is true is a false premise, Darryl.

    Ask your resident logicians.

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  169. Clete,

    Then grab an RC catechism. Compare.

    1. The RC Catechism is an official statement of doctrine only in theory. You can be a good RC and reject the whole thing. Just look at Nancy Pelosi. You want me to believe she’s less orthodox than Francis or you? You can’t throw all your faith in the Magisterium and then turn the other way when the Magisterium cares not one whit about enforcing the dogma.

    2. The RC Catechism isn’t infallible the last time I checked.

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  170. Tom,

    “Protestantism” has become theological anarchy, precisely what the “reformers” Luther and Calvin despised most.

    Wait, you’re the one stressing the infallibility of the laity. And you’re the one throwing up your hands and saying, “Who knows and who cares,” about the Assumption, which has a better chance of being infallible than just about anything else Rome has said.

    And Protestantism has anarchy?

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  171. RCs,

    You continue to miss the point of the question. The cover-up doesn’t in itself prove that Romanism is false, though it raises significant questions about your ecclesiology.

    The question is how you deal with the inconsistency at best and the hypocrisy at worst of Rome doubling down on Jesus’ founding of one visible church when the one visible church is intentionally using legal means to make it many independent churches?

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  172. James Young, you have nothing other than your own gullibility belief to have faith that the same pope who covers up a sex scandal is also giving you infallible dogma.

    And if you don’t think that claims of papal supremacy and infallibility contribute to an unhealthy situation where the popes are above criticism, you don’t live on planet earth.

    Good for you that you believe all this. Don’t expect the papacy to be all that appealing to folks who are suspicious of power. (And you don’t think the papal given dogma of papal infallibility is a tad self-serving?)

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  173. Mermaid, “It doesn’t make me lose my faith any more than all the corruption and abuse in Protestantism made me lose my faith.”

    But you switched teams because the Protestant one was so bad. Now you’re telling me that Rome is just as bad as Protestantism.

    That’s not much of a reason to switch sides.

    Do you actually think before your fins type?

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  174. D. G. Hart
    Posted November 12, 2015 at 6:32 am | Permalink
    Mermaid, “It doesn’t make me lose my faith any more than all the corruption and abuse in Protestantism made me lose my faith.”

    But you switched teams because the Protestant one was so bad. Now you’re telling me that Rome is just as bad as Protestantism.

    That’s not much of a reason to switch sides.

    Do you actually think before your fins type?>>>>

    Well, you haven’t read much of what I have written, have you. The “Protestant” “team” doesn’t even try to play the same game on the same field.

    That was my main problem with Protestantism. I could not justify the divisions in Protestantism based on John 17 and Ephesians 4:1-6. Your “team” here doesn’t even address the main issue.

    In fact, there isn’t really an “in Protestantism”. There is no “team.” There is no “in.”

    It wasn’t because I think that Protestant Christians are bad Christians. You are my brothers and sisters in Christ. I have said that over and over again. I love you guys. I pray for you guys. I don’t judge your whole lives by some of the careless and even cruel comments made here to others or about others. It’s a blog on the Internet. I put the comments in that context.

    I have also said – I think more than once – that my favorite theologians are Catholics. So, why was I not Catholic as well? If they were the ones I trusted the most in their handling of the Word of God, connection with Church history, and understanding of Christian spirituality, then what was I doing outside the Church?

    Besides, I have said several times as well that nowhere in non Catholic Christianity did I find a coherent philosophy and theology of what it means to be male and female created in the image of God.

    No offense mean, Brother Hart, but let’s just say that I have not seen anything here that would make me want to join your church or leave mine. I know that what is said here on this blog does not represent the best of Reformed faith and practice, so again, I put your words in context. This is a blog, not real life.

    At times there is some good, respectful discussion – like yesterday between Susan and sean. Well done.

    Like

  175. Robert
    Posted November 12, 2015 at 5:59 am | Permalink
    RCs,

    You continue to miss the point of the question. The cover-up doesn’t in itself prove that Romanism is false, though it raises significant questions about your ecclesiology.

    The question is how you deal with the inconsistency at best and the hypocrisy at worst of Rome doubling down on Jesus’ founding of one visible church when the one visible church is intentionally using legal means to make it many independent churches?>>>>>

    Robert, I like you. I have nothing against you. I am sure you are a good and faithful Christian in your own way.

    However, I find your line of argumentation – which I think Petros introduced – to be absurd. If you think it can help you score points against your Catholic brothers and sisters, then by all means, use it.

    I think it makes sense to have the dioceses be able to control their own offerings. When I give, I give to my parish. Also, each year there is an offering taken for the diocese, and I give to that. There are other special offerings taken for missions, domestic and foreign..

    To me your argument is like saying that because each city has control over its own funds that means they are not part of their counties, states, or even the USA itself.

    It is a ridiculous argument to say that because each dioceses is responsible for its own funds, that means that the Church has divided herself.

    Now, should the Vatican or other dioceses have kicked in to pay what was lacking? You say they should have. You may be right. However, the greater argument you are trying to make is flawed.

    Besides, to me it is sad that you guys would use this example of horrific abuse to promote a broader anti Catholic agenda. I think you are better than that.

    Again, I make an appeal to my brothers and sisters who are non Catholic. Make sure your congregations are safe for your children, young people, and the handicapped. There are good resources out there. I mentioned one – that of Boz T., and I never remember how to spell his name. His is not the only one, but it seems that Reformed people trust him. Many non Catholic groups have realized that it could happen in their churches, too, and have taken appropriate measures to protect others.

    It is a matter of church discipline, even, and should be included in your faith and practice.

    Make it part of what Dr. Hart said.:

    “First, a confession is not a work of historical theology. It is a legal standard for a Christian communion”

    Don’t put the handicapped on trial. Protect your children and young people from sexual predators. Why is that so hard?

    Pretty please.

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  176. I said:
    No offense mean, Brother Hart, >>>>

    I meant “meant”, not “mean.” 😉

    Oh, and I forgot to mention the beauty aspect of Catholicism. The liturgy. The Mass. The artwork. The music. The architecture. Have you ever been inside a Catholic cathedral or basilica, not to mention your local parish? The buildings themselves preach the Gospel.

    I forgot to mention the most important aspect – the Eucharist, sources and summit of our faith. It’s all about Jesus.

    The Nicene Creed as well, and the prayers. The saints. The good works.

    Sure, Protestantism has some of that, but it is like a shadow of her. You know, I think Peter Kreft summed it up well with his little statement, “I fell in love with the Great Whore of Babylon.”

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  177. Mermaid,

    I appreciate your kind words, but the point still stands. And further, the example of the U.S. doesn’t work well.

    Are California and South Carolina part of the same country. Organizationally, sure. But the cultures and beliefs of the residents of those states are quite different. There’s also a large contingent of South Carolinians that, right or wrong, would be happy to have the state disaffiliate entirely. There’s unity on paper, but in practice things are radically different.

    Just as we see in the Roman Church.

    But the issue at hand isn’t whether dioceses should have control over their own funds. We’re Protestants so that isn’t the problem. The problem is proclaiming that you are one in doctrine and fellowship and then intentionally and legally separating entities so that there is no legal requirement to bear one another’s burdens. Just seems inconsistent with “one visible church.” Am I attending the worldwide Roman Catholic Church or an independent disaffiliated entity in location X. You want to say A, while the legal maneuvering says B.

    Seems like it should be one or the other is all I’m saying.

    It’s also strange that there is no sense of corporate responsibility for the abuse that took place. Yeah, the individual lay RC may not be guilty of abuse, and good for him or her. But aren’t you one church? Aren’t the priests and bishops vicars of Christ? Is not the name of all sullied because of the supposedly closer union and communion you all have? Should it not be that all of you help pay for the damage done to fellow members by the church?

    I don’t know, just seems a bit of “we’re one body except when it might really cost some of us something.” I’ve seen that first hand with secular non-profits. But this is the church of Christ.

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  178. Mermaid, so you know about Benedict and the cover up of Opus Dei leader when you joined the Roman church?

    You were also aware that most of your fellow church members in the U.S. don’t believe what the church teaches?

    And you also knew that the bishops don’t do a whole lot to teach members what they should believe?

    And some of your favorite theologians were those like Katie Grimes at Villanova?

    Please do remember that this all started when certain Presbyterians converted to Rome and then made a big deal of telling us how inferior Protestantism is. If it turns out Rome is in the same inferior boat, fine. We’re all pilgrims here.

    But then again, I see a whole lot more RC chest-thumping than Protestant. Protestants act like they’ve been to a fallen world. What’s your excuse?

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  179. Sorry Mermaid, Church of England will always beat Rome for beauty. Did any national church produce better congregational song or chant psalms better?

    And you forgot the polka mass.

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  180. I’m not responsible, nor is my denomination for people who gave a lot of money to Ernest Angley or bought the Apostle’s prayer shawl and got upset because their cancer riddled cat still had to be put down.
    And then they swam across the Tiber and found perfect peace without using their wits or brains.

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  181. Robert,

    I read yesterday and old article( I forgot from where) that Pope Benedict responded to a letter from an atheist mathmatican stating that he did not know about the abuse. I dont know how he could possibly have missed it, but I will not call him a liar. I read his writings, his meditations, reflections, and this man is a true theologian and loves God.We are caught up in the world in one way being pulled along in a stream and things happen to us and around us and the whole thing makes our heads spin. At the same time the whirlwind is going on there is deep call in each of our heart’s where the spirit is working, and we have to listen to this. So I’m going to believe the pope that he somehow missed was was happening around him. If I choose not to trust what he says, I’m the one who sits in judgement. Of course God knows the truth and He is the one each of us has to take seriously. I believe that Benedict XVI takes the judgement of God very seriously.
    You said, “The question is how you deal with the inconsistency at best and the hypocrisy at worst of Rome doubling down on Jesus’ founding of one visible church when the one visible church is intentionally using legal means to make it many independent churches?”

    My answer is that the Church universal can never make one area or person not of itself. I had a priest tell me once when I was confessing my difficulty with some doctrines that I don’t willfully want to doubt an of my worry that I imbibe in too much wine, that God is the one who has called me into His church and only I can choose to leave His church, but that it will never leave me. Only I can take myself out of it. Does that mean that I can send the pope my mortgage and utility bills, no, it doesn’t. Does it mean that the Vatican will send a representive to my funeral or that the pope will stand vigil by my hospital her when I lay dying? No each of us must walk through that veil alone.But can I be sure that when I take the Eucharistic host into my mouth even from the hands of a clandestine pedophile priest, that I am receiving Jesus. There’s the kindgom of God and there’s the kingdom of this world and then there’s the kingdom of God in the midst of this world.

    Hope that helps because that’s the only claim being made by any RC

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  182. Robert,

    “The RC Catechism is an official statement of doctrine only in theory.”

    It’s an official statement of doctrine is the point. You said that RCs shouldn’t whine about Protestant disunity because Rome lets dioceses fall into bankruptcy. I replied saying the problem of doctrinal disunity in Protestantism is simple to see – take confessions/catechisms or official statements of faith/doctrine from a wide spectrum of Protestant bodies and compare them to each other. Then take an RC catechism and compare it to itself.

    “The RC Catechism isn’t infallible the last time I checked.”

    Nope, but that’s irrelevant to showing doctrinal disunity symptomatic of Protestant claims or that there’s some double standard going on just because Rome lets dioceses go bankrupt.

    “The question is how you deal with the inconsistency at best and the hypocrisy at worst of Rome doubling down on Jesus’ founding of one visible church when the one visible church is intentionally using legal means to make it many independent churches?”

    It’s not inconsistent or hypocritical unless you keep equivocating on “unity”. Is it hypocritical and inconsistent to RC claims of unity that people of different nationalities and ethnicities and classes attend RC churches? That churches around the world do not celebrate the exact same liturgy? That churches in different communities support different causes relevant to their communities? That churches around the world are responsible for stewardship of their resources and not sending all their money to Rome every week? Obviously not. Compare the catechism and faith of the one visible church to the catechisms and faiths of the many splintered clubs of Protestantism – that’s the type of unity relevant to your question.

    Darryl,

    ” you have nothing other than your own gullibility belief to have faith that the same pope who covers up a sex scandal is also giving you infallible dogma. ”

    Popes and council participants have had less than noble motives and often sinful actions throughout the entire church’s history. Why would this situation give a crisis of faith whereas the others before didn’t? That’s what I mean by not new.

    “And if you don’t think that claims of papal supremacy and infallibility contribute to an unhealthy situation where the popes are above criticism, you don’t live on planet earth.”

    Wait – I thought I didn’t live on planet earth because I argued for infallibility and no one on the ground be they laity or bishops gives a rip? So which is it?

    “Don’t expect the papacy to be all that appealing to folks who are suspicious of power”

    Would Jews in NT times be justified in rejecting Christ or the Apostles or others sent with divine authority because they were suspicious of power?

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  183. Not to be offensive or anything, but you guys sound desperate. If your religion makes you happy, then I am happy. If it makes you grumpy, and you like being grumpy, then I am happy for you.

    Besides, Brother Hart, you do know that the greatest Church of England examples of architecture were at one time Catholic Churches, right?

    The Great Space in the Cathedral in Liverpool is pretty spectacular I will grant you that.

    Glad to see cw just come out and admit that he is misogynistic and doesn’t really like women mucking around in his theology. No women saints and doctors of the Church allowed in Reformed churches, and that is a problem for you. Some of your women aren’t staying on the reservation. I keep telling you that the Whitby Forum is your future. Your women love it. I can’t really blame them.

    Carolyn Custis James knows the grammatical-historical method of interpretation better than you do, as well as Greek and Hebrew. She is expert in philology, and quite brilliant. She is right down the line on Calvinistic soteriology as well. I think she made a huge mistake in trying to define women as “ezer”, but your women love her. I respect the hard work she has done to master theology as well as any of your men have.

    Susan, your comments are beautiful, intelligent, and inspiring. Keep up the good work.

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  184. Clete,

    It’s an official statement of doctrine is the point.

    And I said in theory because the official statement isn’t enforced. Hence Nancy Pelosi and Mother Teresa are both fully orthodox.

    You said that RCs shouldn’t whine about Protestant disunity because Rome lets dioceses fall into bankruptcy. I replied saying the problem of doctrinal disunity in Protestantism is simple to see – take confessions/catechisms or official statements of faith/doctrine from a wide spectrum of Protestant bodies and compare them to each other. Then take an RC catechism and compare it to itself.

    I can compare confessions and catechism from different Protestant denominations and see differences mainly on baptism and forms of ecclesiology. But confessional Protestants are going to agree on salvation by Christ alone, justification by faith alone, and on and on. If I get several RC bishops in a room, as the recent synod shows, a lot of them aren’t going to agree that homosexuality is against nature/should be condemned, and I’m definitely going to get a wide variety of beliefs on whether salvation is only in Christ.

    Unity ain’t unity if it exists only on paper. That is the point.

    Nope, but that’s irrelevant to showing doctrinal disunity symptomatic of Protestant claims or that there’s some double standard going on just because Rome lets dioceses go bankrupt.

    The double standard is “one visible church, you bad, bad Protestants” plus “What, diocese of Wisconsin? I live in Rome, I’ve got nothing to do with it (even though I sanctioned cover ups).”

    It’s not inconsistent or hypocritical unless you keep equivocating on “unity”. Is it hypocritical and inconsistent to RC claims of unity that people of different nationalities and ethnicities and classes attend RC churches? That churches around the world do not celebrate the exact same liturgy? That churches in different communities support different causes relevant to their communities? That churches around the world are responsible for stewardship of their resources and not sending all their money to Rome every week?

    Not if everyone believes the same things. Your synod of bishops clearly shows that there is widespread disagreement on fundamental doctrinal and moral issues.

    Obviously not. Compare the catechism and faith of the one visible church to the catechisms and faiths of the many splintered clubs of Protestantism – that’s the type of unity relevant to your question.

    Translation: RC unity is theoretical and exists only on paper.

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  185. Susan, it’s just not credible. Go read your own diocesan reports. Go read the John Jay reports. Go read the sex abuse scandals in Ireland and the Vatican correspondence. Go read on the Bernard Law case. Go read on the Philadelphia diocese. Go read on Maciel. Go read La Repubblica reports. Go read AP and Reuters. Go read the US Catholic College of Bishops. Go read the Dallas Charter. Go read a conservative RC pub like NC register. Nobody and I mean nobody denies it anymore. The theories as to why may vary, but the corruption was pervasive and particularly acute in the seminaries from the 60’s – 90’s, right in the wheelhouse of JPII and Ratzinger’s governance. Everyone knew. I knew, my parents knew, my classmates parent’s knew. Rome absolutely knew and couldn’t even deal with it in the Roman Curia, much less worldwide. It was so overwhelming they essentially stuck their head in the sand and hoped it would just go away. Rome doesn’t work without money and vocations and they couldn’t afford to burn it all to the ground. So, they didn’t. But don’t sell, ‘they didn’t know’. We all knew.

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  186. Thank you for the kind words Mrs web foot. I appreciate all the comments that you make too:) especially that the theology was drew you in. That was the same for me.
    I read that walker Percy was asked why he converted and he remarked something like, ” what else was there to do?”

    Sean,
    All I can say is that I agree that it happened on their watch.Has everyone who you know who knew left the RCC? Does it cancel out the the Eucharist, does it nullify the priesthood, and did Jesus leave us orphans?
    I guarantee that it’s always gone on. Hopefully not in huge clusters as is reported in Wisconsin and Ireland. It will happen again, and when it does we will grieve and keep going. Where do you propose all those who have faith and love God go?

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  187. Susan, it trainwrecks the MOC. Exceptional holiness? Most of us were pretty savy and if you didn’t have a predisposition for the activity, you could push it/them away. Who suffered were the boys on scholarship, poor, from Mexico or out of state, away from their families. They were vulnerable.

    Does it nullify the priesthood? Sure it does. Does Jesus leave us orphans? Of course not.
    Where do I propose they go? As far away from Rome as they can get. Fortunately scripture provides a very different looking structure for churchly authority and they can have their faith restored.

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  188. sean:
    Fortunately scripture provides a very different looking structure for churchly authority and they can have their faith restored.>>>>>

    If that happened for you, then I thank God that He picked you up.

    Bless you, Brother sean.

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  189. James Young, because the appeal of some RC apologists is that the papacy fixes everything Protestantism shows to be wrong. Now we know — as we have since at least Alexander VI — that the papacy really can’t be trusted. Too much skin in the game so to speak.

    So that argument for Rome is finished and those who make it foolish.

    You don’t live on earth. You live in Texas.

    Christ and the apostles did not do what the bishops and popes have done. You always think that the popes are the equivalent of Christ and the apostles and so to question the former is to question the latter. But the popes and bishops have departed from Christ and the apostles. It’s in the infallible Bible.

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  190. Mermaid, “Not to be offensive or anything, but you guys sound desperate.”

    “Susan, your comments are beautiful, intelligent, and inspiring. Keep up the good work.”

    There’s the Prot-turned-RC discernment that is oblivious to the pain of abuse victims, the wickedness of priests, and the deceit of bishops who covered it up.

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  191. There’s the Prot-turned-RC discernment that is oblivious to the pain of abuse victims, the wickedness of priests, and the deceit of bishops who covered it up.

    Memorize this.

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  192. DGH,

    I was thinking more

    “Not to be offensive or anything, but you guys sound desperate…Glad to see cw just come out and admit that he is misogynistic.”

    Because that’s not offensive at all.

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  193. Darryl,

    Never have I thought abuse was something to take lighty. I assure you that you are not more appalled than I am.

    Sean,
    I read encyclicals and they are amazing. I read Aquinas and that is amazing. The Catholic Church produced these theologians and insights.
    I didnt ask where the young men should go, I asked where do I go since you are boarding up parishes and cathedrals and an cartholic theology and the Eucharist and confession? I’m telling you, the trade-off doesn’t compare.
    Enough from me though;)

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  194. CW:Susan’s discernment is right up(down) there with Ali’s of celebrity pastors and…ahem, celebrities.Sorry to sound misogynistic, but you sisters are why Paul said you couldn’t teach or have authority. Pietistic evangelicalism and RCism are custom designed for the base of any religion: wimmin. It works. Boy, does it work.

    cw, I think it is possible that you completely misunderstand God. We are not called and assigned based on our abilities. It is God who enables. Do you think Jesus submitted to His Father’s authority because he was not able.

    Speaking of a lack of discernment about erring celebrity pastors, it was no problem at all to pray for years that one of your own be removed for the sake of His sheep. God is always faithful, even when we are not.

    I don’t mean to be mean, but it may sound like you a misogynist because you ARE one. Sometime, when you have a chance, you ought research how Jesus thought of and treated women

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  195. I like the way Scott Clark gets so “narrow” in his post today. it’s almost as if he thinks that the gospel is at the center of everything, so that instead of balance he only has mere justification by mere grace though mere faith.

    “Baxter’s soteriology was as damaging as Arminius’ and Amyraut’s. Yet Reformed folk continue to write about Baxter in a way they would never write about Arminius. How does this lead get buried? Judging by past experience, when readers new to the HB find this post many of them will be shocked to read that Baxter denied the Protestant doctrine of justification. How could they not know it?”

    “That fact has been known since the 17th century, when John Owen refuted him. The first part of the answer is that Baxter was never condemned by an international Reformed synod as Arminius was. In this respect we have roughly the same problem with Baxter that we have with Moises Amyraut (1596–1664). Amyraut’s fairly radical revisions to the doctrines of election and the atonement (as well as his rationalism) were never formally condemned. J. H. Heidegger (1633–98) and Francis Turretin (1623–87) condemned Amyraut’s revisions and the Swiss Reformed Churches confessed in the Helvetic Consensus Formula (1675) against Amyraut until the broad, non-confessional evangelicals rejected the confession in the early 18th century in Geneva. .

    “This leads us to the second part of the problem. Not all of us who identify as Reformed either understand or agree that the doctrine of justification is, as Calvin wrote, the “axis” around which the Christian faith spins nor do we agree with Luther and Alsted that it is the article of the standing or falling of the church. Today’s remembrance of Baxter is a perfect example of the marginalization of the doctrine of justification. Its corruption is not presented as fatal to the church but as a source of irritation. An ill-fitting shirt is irritating but arsenic is fatal. Baxter’s doctrine of justification was theological arsenic.”

    “The third part of the problem is the adjective puritan. Baxter is always labelled a puritan. There are too many discrepancies between the residents in this house. They are not really a family. The adjective puritan is about as useful as the adjective evangelical is today. Do self-described evangelicals (e.g., those who attend the Evangelical Theological Society) agree about much? No. There is no common doctrine of Scripture, God, man, Christ, salvation, church, or last things. The only thing about which self-described evangelicals agree is that they love Jesus (even though they vary wildly about who and what he was and what he did). Roughly the same sorts of discrepancies are true of the adjective puritan.”

    “When we lead with piety we unintentionally give the impression that so long as a fellow as pious the rest of what he did and said is less important. That is false. Arius was pious. Pelagius was famous for his ascetic piety. Arminius was pious but they were all condemned for gross theological errors that ultimately overshadowed their piety. It’s past time that we stopped giving Richard Baxter a pass because of his piety.

    It was rationalism that drove Baxter’s revision of evangelical Protestant soteriology. That rationalism first manifested itself in his soteriology but rationalism, like water, always seeks its lowest level. The Remonstrants, with whom Baxter shared so much, were also rationalists and they became Unitarians even more quickly than Kidderminster did. The same rationalism that has us accepted with God because of our sanctity cannot tolerate a God who is mysteriously one in three persons nor a Christ who is one person with two natures.

    “I understand that there is great concern today about the rise of a new antinomianism but Richard Baxter is not our model any more than Jacob Arminius is our model. The lead of any story about Richard Baxter must be that he compromised the article of the standing or falling of the church. Everything else we say about him must follow that lead.”

    http://heidelblog.net/2015/11/burying-the-lead-and-baxter/

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  196. Susan, I think you should leave RC. What you think is there only exists on chalkboards, poems, incense and Latin transcendence that you don’t understand. Btw, nobody understands the thomism in an 800 plus page catechism and then you stack Vat II Rhanerianism on top of it?! Give me a break. I don’t care if they board the whole thing up. They sure as hell earned it. I mean, I care, I still follow Notre Dame football and have fond memories of certain times, priests and even a nun or two. We’re all conflicted people. But, superiority? They don’t even have credibility and you guys are trying to sell infalliblity and exceptional holiness and superiority? Talk about a pleasant fiction.

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  197. @ CW: For what it’s worth, I don’t agree that Paul thinks that women are more easily deceived. Rather, I think his point in Timothy is headship.

    A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

    “It was Eve, not Adam, who was deceived…” he says. And then he leaves it hanging. Where is he going with this?

    “Since Eve was deceived, therefore all women are easily deceived?” That’s not logical, nor is it true.

    “Eve was deceived and became a sinner, but Adam didn’t become a sinner?” Again, not true. Adam, who was “with her” says Genesis, was either deceived himself OR sinned with knowledge.

    Rather, the point is set up by the headship argument:

    Adam was formed first.

    And Eve ate and became a sinner FIRST, but it was Adam who ate (presumably knowing!) SECOND, yet became the sinner through whom we all become sinners. Even though she sinned, it was not through her that we all became sinners. He was the head.

    And women will then be saved through childbirth — not by their acts of giving birth, but by the birth of the second Adam through Mary. (See, Mermaid? Credit where due)

    Hence, men speaking in church is an image of the federal headship. It has nothing to do with relative ability. If it did, I would refrain from preaching and let the capable women in my church do the job.

    Calvin gets the first and last of these points, but then he misses the middle one about being deceived.

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  198. Sean,

    I get it, but seriously there in no place else to go
    Judas hung himself, but I believe what the church believes about itself and will stick with Peter whose office was given.
    The exchange is very nice men in suits preaching from a lecturn, but I dont see that scripture gives every seminary student a license to substitute for apostic succession. Office holders outside of a herditary office, are club members. One can’t go to a seminary that was begun by folks who held to a theolgy that broke away from the ontological nature of church and set up shop and then lay hands on “officers”. I hope you can see the circulatory and vapid nature of churches begun by men. When I reconized this is made me shiver to my core.

    Sean, I wish I could meet you in person. I like you very much and I understand why you left the church. Honetly though there is no place else to go. When the Catholic Church closes shop, is when the whole universe will go dark. Besides if there isn’t a Catholic Church there are no protestant either. Think how harem the world would be without the Catholic faith.

    Take care. I do pray for you.

    Susan

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  199. Jeff, sorry man. I’ve been busy leaving the toilet seat up, etc. I meant that leading with the emotions (which I take the easily-led-astray “silly women” of 2 Timothy to mean) is typified by some of our fairer sex types here, both evangelical and RC. But, hey — I’m a hate sponge, pour it on.

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  200. That’s easy — two modern P&R writers and bloggers, who I will not name since I’m such a baddie and who wants to be associated with me anyway…but I will say that I communicate and/or correspond with both of them from time to time. Both have written powerfully and insightfully on a number of issues.

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  201. Jeff, ding on it being a matter of authorization rather than ability. (C-dubs, plenty of men are emotionalistic, though. Think the breathless Kevin Swanson.)

    But this: “And women will then be saved through childbirth — not by their acts of giving birth, but by the birth of the second Adam through Mary.” But men will also be so saved. So what’s the point here?

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  202. My grandma used to dip snuff and brown spittle dripped down her chin. She had to pluck it.
    Her chin, I mean. She was a sweet woman though.

    Do you guys watch Call the Midwife? How about Gilmore Girls?

    Walking Dead type huh?

    Hey I’ve never done friendly chat here before
    Maybe I could become a regular?

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  203. @ Zrim: Disclaimer: Paul is often a dense writer.

    Furthermore, I don’t have an infallible charism. So I don’t know anything at all, right?

    But seriously, I think his thought is directed towards women, so he contrasts Eve with Mary by implication.

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  204. Darryl, I enjoy lots of RC folks and even religious, I just prefer to keep my eyes open. Well, and then there’s Jesus.

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  205. CW – I thought maybe you were going to say, “I need the glorious weakness of Joni Eareckson Tada, the spirituality of Marva Dawn, the trusting perseverance of Elisabeth Elliott, the longsuffering of Amy Carmichael, the honesty of Rebekah Lyons, the thankfulness of Anne Voskamp, the theological precision of Kathy Keller, and the integrity of Patti Sauls, though their gender is different than mine.”

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  206. That’s all good Pub, but don’t be expecting precision from Dr. Jones. But puritans is not about precision, rather it’s a synthesis of Piper twitter poems, forewords and reading Latin. And I want credit for bringing this all the way back to the original post. I wonder if we can tie breadth into just one wafer thin chocoolate? Then we can have, rome, latin, puritans, anticipating the inevitable, popes whether in moscow or rome, the eucharist and rassling. It might be too soon to mix in rasslin’ right on the heels of sex scandal, though.

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  207. Jeff, but you have ordination which beats both infallible charism and pious opinion (seriously).

    Still, it is an odd way of making the case against her ordination, and by odd I mean not something moderns would do. Would that they tried though, as in not appealing to dispositional stereotypes (sorry, dubs, it must be said). or cultural superiority, i.e. Paul was captive to his time and place so let’s ignore that leftover Philistinism.

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  208. Robert
    Posted November 12, 2015 at 5:56 am | Permalink
    Tom,

    ‘“Protestantism” has become theological anarchy, precisely what the “reformers” Luther and Calvin despised most.’

    Wait, you’re the one stressing the infallibility of the laity. And you’re the one throwing up your hands and saying, “Who knows and who cares,” about the Assumption, which has a better chance of being infallible than just about anything else Rome has said.

    And Protestantism has anarchy?

    Dude, even Protestants can’t even count how many variations there are, “churches” and theologies there are. Let’s define “anarchy” before we pretend that it applies to Catholicism. Catholicism–and that includes Rome and the Eastern Orthodox plus the various Armenian and Syriac, whathaveyou –are still the same religion: same sacraments, same apostolic succession. Disagreements on Mary or even Purgatory do not affect the question of Heaven or Hell, salvation or damnation. They are the disputes of scholars and rabbis. Normal people are not affected.

    There is no theological anarchy in Catholicism. To say so is a lie. So don’t.

    As for “Protestantism,” that would be a separate discussion. There are more irreconcilable theological/apostolic differences in “Presbyterianism” alone

    http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Lesbian-Couple-Ordained-Jointly-in-Presbyterian-Church-Delaware-297184461.html

    than there are in the entire Catholic Church, even including the Eastern Orthodox split 1000 years ago.

    Wait, you’re the one stressing the infallibility of the laity.

    You need to do more work on the “sensus fidei.” In Protestantism, the majority rules–the mob rules–and the minority schisms/is cast out and starts a new “orthodox” church. Look up the history of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

    In Catholicism, the “sensus fidei” actual means only the hardcore “faithful,” who stand with the magisterium, the pope and bishops, the hierarchy which Catholics believe is “apostolic succession”–that Christ put his Church in the hands of his 12 apostles–and their successors–not in the hands of the mob.

    “Protestantism” is in the hands of the mob. Mob after mob after mob, fracturing forever.

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  209. vd, t, “In Catholicism, the “sensus fidei” actual means only the hardcore “faithful,” who stand with the magisterium, the pope and bishops, the hierarchy which Catholics believe is “apostolic succession”–that Christ put his Church in the hands of his 12 apostles–and their successors–not in the hands of the mob.”

    Would that include the German bishops?

    But concerning pastoral practice, he said the German Church “cannot wait” for synodal statements, as marriage and family ministry has to be undertaken now, according to an article in Die Tagespost, translated by the blog Catholic Conclave.

    Cardinal Marx, the archbishop of Munich and Freising, said as far as doctrine is concerned, the German episcopate remains in communion with the Church, but on individual issues of pastoral care, “the synod cannot prescribe in detail what we have to do in Germany.”

    The German bishops want to publish their own pastoral letter on marriage and family after the synod, the article says.

    “We are not just a subsidiary of Rome,” Cardinal Marx said. “Each episcopal conference is responsible for the pastoral care in their culture and has to proclaim the Gospel in its own unique way. We cannot wait until a synod states something, as we have to carry out marriage and family ministry here.”

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  210. Tom,

    Disagreements on Mary or even Purgatory do not affect the question of Heaven or Hell, salvation or damnation. They are the disputes of scholars and rabbis. Normal people are not affected.

    And yet to deny the Assumption is a mortal sin if it is infallibly defined dogma. So yes, normal people are affected.

    There is no theological anarchy in Catholicism. To say so is a lie. So don’t.

    You are proof positive of theological anarchy in Roman Catholicism:

    1. You think defined dogmas such as the Assumption are optional.
    2. You don’t go to mass but defend the church.
    3. But nonetheless you haven’t been excommunicated (as far as I know), so you are by default orthodox.

    So you, Nancy Pelosi, Bryan Cross, etc. are all representatives of orthodox Romanism even though your theologies don’t line up. Anarchy.

    Nice with the Lesbian story. I’ll just note that the one’s whom Rome thinks are kosher for ecumenical relations are those denominations ordaining and marrying lesbians, not us conservative Prots.

    So apparently homosexuality is no bar to reconciliation. But I though Rome, in theory at least, condemns homosexual behavior. Theological anarchy.

    In Catholicism, the “sensus fidei” actual means only the hardcore “faithful,” who stand with the magisterium, the pope and bishops, the hierarchy which Catholics believe is “apostolic succession”–that Christ put his Church in the hands of his 12 apostles–and their successors–not in the hands of the mob.

    Well, so we’re back to the infallibility being located only in the Magisterium. Thanks for proving the point we made pages ago. The faithful are infallible as long as they agree with the popes and bishops.

    Of course, one in seven bishops at the recent synod of the family is fine with liberalizing the church’s stands on homosexuality. And parishes that go more liberal or are headed by liberal priests are still a part of Rome.

    But no theological anarchy in Rome. Ha!

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  211. Robert,

    The continued attempts at creating some type of equivalence between Rome and Protestantism regarding doctrinal unity is strained. You already conceded Rome has unity on paper. Protestantism can’t even get that far – you attempted something with “I can compare confessions and catechism from different Protestant denominations and see differences mainly on baptism and forms of ecclesiology. But confessional Protestants are going to agree on salvation by Christ alone, justification by faith alone, and on and on.” which evades the point and is simply special pleading – there’s no justification to arbitrarily sub-select for “confessional Protestants” or assert that conservative churches are the only true Protestant ones that count – the spectrum of bodies I delineated differ far more than just baptism and ecclesiology in their catechisms/confessions/statements of faith.

    Maybe you think that’s no big deal. Let’s assume for argument’s sake there’s no anarchy in Protestantism and its principles don’t inevitably result in such, as you posit. What would be different in what we see if there was anarchy? (Hint: saying, “confessional Protestants I like would disagree on jbfa” isn’t adequate, per above).

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  212. Robert:
    But no theological anarchy in Rome. Ha!>>>>>

    Robert, I understand that you are anti Catholic, at least theologically. I don’t think it is personal, but I am an easily deceived female. ;-). So, everything said in defense of Catholicism is shot down immediately. I get that. I still like you. 🙂 I don’t take any of it personally, because I don’t think it is meant personally, as in you don’t like Catholic people. In fact, I don’t think you dislike all Catholic teachers and theologians. Seems I remember you saying something like that along the way.

    However, you may be missing the point. It is easy to criticize others’ beliefs, especially those of Catholicism. It is harder to examine yourselves. Then, is your purpose only to tear down, and not also to build up? I think that in your case, it is more than just tearing down. I’m not sure about others.

    Did you know that the Assumption of Mary was a doctrine that even some of the famous reformers believed was or at least could be true. There is nothing unbiblical or anti biblical in the account.

    As far as I understand, the Reformers did not have a problem with this story about what happened to Mary’s body after she died. They did not reject it outright as Protestants now do. In fact, the Marian doctrines were not particularly part of what the major Reformers objected to. They were Catholics after all.

    I did not know the history of this doctrine. I thought it was something the Church just made up. However, when I read more about it, I found out that the story had been around for a long, long time. Then, when I found out that even many Reformers didn’t reject it outright, I realized that it’s okay to accept it. It is not a major doctrine. It is not part of the Nicene Creed.

    We know that Enoch was taken directly to Heaven without dying. Same with Elijah. God took the body of Moses after he died and buried him somewhere.

    So, there is Biblical precedence for God intervening in the natural order of things when it comes to the bodies of some of His holy ones. 2 did not die. 1 died and God took his body somewhere.

    You can look this up, but here is a Bullinger quote in support of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary to Heaven.

    “Elijah was transported body and soul in a chariot of fire; he was not buried in any Church bearing his name, but mounted up to heaven, so that . . . we might know what immortality and recompense God prepares for his faithful prophets and for his most outstanding and incomparable creatures. . . . It is for this reason, we believe, that the pure and immaculate embodiment of the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, the Temple of the Holy Spirit, that is to say her saintly body, was carried up to heaven by the angels.”

    It is well know that Martin Luther accepted this doctrine. It is also tradition in the Church of England to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin as well.

    Now, I am not sure that Tom rejects the doctrine. Are you sure? Has he said that? Besides, you are assuming he is Catholic. What if he is Presbyterian and thinks you guys’ arguments are weak? What if he is Baptist, or Anglican? What if he is trying to decide for himself who has the truth? You don’t know.

    So, I will go on record that as a Catholic, I have no trouble accepting this dogma. I am not sure that the average Catholic sitting in the pews has trouble with this dogma. It is standard teaching. Catholics tend to be Marian, don’t you know? Those who have serious doubts about the Church’s Marian doctrines generally leave the Church. By that I mean a rejection of her perpetual virginity or sinless life. Not all the Marian doctrines are dogma, though, as you must also know.

    You do know that neither the Rosary nor the Litany of Mary are required, right? I don’t know if Brother Hart has figure out yet what the Rosary is. 😉

    It has been interesting for me to learn the true history of Marian doctrine and even the true history of Protestantism’s changing views of Mary. At least you still hold on to the teaching that Mary was virgin when Jesus was born. Protestant ideas about Mary seem to be more reactionary than anything else. You don’t have to reject her perpetual virginity or the Immaculate Conception or the Assumption of Mary even. It has become a matter of dogma for Protestants, though, and most have not even thought about it.

    Too bad. I think that a misunderstanding of the importance of Mary can lead to the kind of attitude that cw expressed yesterday, if you get my meaning. I don’t think all Reformed men have that attitude, especially ones I know in real life. My nephew is decidedly Reformed and he shows great love and concern for his wife and 5 kids. He is big, strong guy, and is better as a mother and home maker than most women. Other Reformed men I know in real life are some of the best Christians I have ever had the privilege of meeting.

    See, Christianity gives women a place of honor in spite of whatever weaknesses we may have. Some seem to forget that.

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  213. This eeeee-guy here isn’t clear on why ‘theological anarchy’ is a bone of contention between RCC and Prot-land. As a practical matter, it seems to me that theological anarchy and doctrinal disunity is wildly rampant in both. Sounds like a problem that only CW-the-Unificator can solve.

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  214. That’s right, cats. My ill-conceived way of saying I CAN SORTA SEE WHY PAUL WAS INSPIRED TO WRITE WHAT HE WROTE trumps your pedophile-enabling, made-up church structure and all the harm it has done. Happy to be of assistance. SQUIRREL!

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  215. Cletus,

    .The continued attempts at creating some type of equivalence between Rome and Protestantism regarding doctrinal unity is strained.

    Not to an outsider. And not to any of the insider RCs I have known personally. The liberal RCs and conservative RCs that I have known personally in real life as friends and colleagues know that each teach a different religion, they don’t much like each other, and so on. The only thing they have in common is ritual. They don’t have dogma in common.

    We see theological anarchy here on the boards. Both you and Tom are good RCs. Neither of you have been excommunicated. He thinks belief in the Assumption is optional. I’ve yet to see any other RC here agree.

    You already conceded Rome has unity on paper. Protestantism can’t even get that far – you attempted something with “I can compare confessions and catechism from different Protestant denominations and see differences mainly on baptism and forms of ecclesiology. But confessional Protestants are going to agree on salvation by Christ alone, justification by faith alone, and on and on.” which evades the point and is simply special pleading – there’s no justification to arbitrarily sub-select for “confessional Protestants” or assert that conservative churches are the only true Protestant ones that count – the spectrum of bodies I delineated differ far more than just baptism and ecclesiology in their catechisms/confessions/statements of faith.

    It’s not arbitrary to insist that Protestantism has a historical context and that Luther, Calvin, et al wouldn’t recognize as Christians the homosexual-ordaining Lutherans that Rome wants to make nice with.

    It’s not arbitrary to insist that JWs, Mormons, et al don’t practice sola Scriptura and are not Protestants. Both Rome and secular religious scholars don’t recommend them as such.

    It’s not arbitrary to compare the historic Protestant confessions—Augsburg, Westminster, 39 Articles and note that main differences are:

    1. What baptism achieves, but not its recipients (all agree on baptizing infants and adults)
    2. The mode of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist (which according to Tom is completely indifferent and that you can be Roman Catholic and deny transubstantiation—you want to defend him on that?)
    3. Ecclesiology—Erastianism vs. Presbyterianism vs. Congregationalism.

    These differences are significant, but they are no more significant than the differences between the Thomists and Jesuits on the nature of grace. The only difference is that we don’t have nominal visible unity. But nominal visible unity doesn’t count for much when one in seven bishops can’t figure out that homosexuality is a sin.

    Maybe you think that’s no big deal. Let’s assume for argument’s sake there’s no anarchy in Protestantism and its principles don’t inevitably result in such, as you posit. What would be different in what we see if there was anarchy? (Hint: saying, “confessional Protestants I like would disagree on jbfa” isn’t adequate, per above).

    If there was anarchy, there would be no making of common cause theologically. But Protestantism, for good or ill, is full of organizations and fraternal relations in which different church bodies recognize each other as legitimate churches and will work together on mission, education, etc.

    If there was anarchy, I could not easily commune at the local Missouri Synod Lutheran Church as I can at my own Independent Reformed Church and at the local SBC Church and at the local confessing Anglican church…

    I guarantee you that I, Albert Mohler, and Gene Veith have far more dogmatic agreement than you, Nancy Pelosi, and Lefebre have. If that’s theological anarchy, then bring it on.

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  216. Mermaid: See, Christianity gives women a place of honor

    And Mermaid, shouldn’t we more specifically say, that it is Jesus who began and gives the honor

    First of all, true, what an honor given for Mary to be chosen as His earthly mother, yet, too, how good He clearly calibrates that honor for us in Luke 11:28, so we can unequivocally understand it’s place.

    How kind that He first entrusted Mary Magdalene with the ministry of the most crucial message- the fact of His resurrection. (not the least, because women’s witness was worthless according to some)

    And how He loved to talk ‘theology ‘ with women, revealing His identity as Messiah to the Samaritan woman, having the profound discourses with her about true worship and how it is one never thirsts with living water (not the least because just speaking in public with women and then too soliciting responses was frowned upon )

    And telling Martha first, ““I am” the resurrection and the life”

    And telling Mary first, she “chose the good part/the one necessary thing”

    And we could go about His recording of ‘the women’ disciples who followed Him around,who did not leave Him fleeing in fear; the women financial supporters, women honored in His parables, etc.

    And how the church was a place for women to pray and prophecy out loud. (when in the synagogue, women had no place in worship, and in pagan temples, women served as prostitutes)

    And then how He taught His apostles: to encourage women to see themselves as valuable because God sees them as valuable and to aspire to inner beauty; to call men to elevate their wives with respect, understanding, and love them in Christ’s self-sacrificing way; to view husbands and wives as equal partners submitting to each other… all eroding ancient oppressive practices

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  217. Re: theological anarchy and doctrinal disunity. It’s rampant everywhere, and a problem only CW the Unificator can solve.

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  218. Did you know that the Assumption of Mary was a doctrine that even some of the famous reformers believed was or at least could be true. There is nothing unbiblical or anti biblical in the account.

    But the $50k question is, What is the biblical case for it?

    I thought it was something the Church just made up. However, when I read more about it, I found out that the story had been around for a long, long time. Then, when I found out that even many Reformers didn’t reject it outright, I realized that it’s okay to accept it.

    What, simply because the Reformers accepted it? So you were ascribing implicit faith to the doctors of the church before going to Rome. Why so much bluster from your side about “Protestant popery” when we esteem them (even if not ascribing infallibility)? Letting the Reformers confirm a teaching works when it’s a Catholic dogma but not a Prot dogma? But the Reformers also didn’t reject theocracy. Why do you get to exercise private judgment but when we do it’s autonomy?

    See, Christianity gives women a place of honor in spite of whatever weaknesses we may have.

    No, not women in general but Mary in particular. Even then, though, the kind of honor that stops well short of adoration.

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  219. I’m sorry, was their an invitation in there somewhere to list off all the weaknesses of women?

    Well, alright. One, they’re women. Two, they have an inadequate amount of testosterone to be much more than women(see one) unless their name is Olga and they were trained by East German physios. Three, they talk a lot, about anything, and they share stuff I never intended to be shared. Four, they require to know my wherabouts and with whom I’m whereabouting. Five, have you ever shared a bathroom with sisters? Yea, not good. Six, they don’t want to solve the problem they just wanna talk about it, a lot(see three). Seven, they don’t always anticipate my needs and wants, how long does this take!. Eight, they just absolutely ruin Facebook and dogs. Nine, particularly the one’s who wear veils to mass, they’re a full second late on the responsorial( I already took note of you cuz of the veil, do you really intend to dominate the entire proceedings?) Finally, Ten, they want to be treated as equals until they don’t.

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  220. D. G. Hart
    Posted November 13, 2015 at 6:20 am | Permalink
    vd, t, “In Catholicism, the “sensus fidei” actual means only the hardcore “faithful,” who stand with the magisterium, the pope and bishops, the hierarchy which Catholics believe is “apostolic succession”–that Christ put his Church in the hands of his 12 apostles–and their successors–not in the hands of the mob.”

    Would that include the German bishops?

    No. But disagreement is not fatal. The Protestant solution, schism, is. Catholicism still exists in an easily recognizable form. “Presbyterianism” no longer does.

    Like

  221. Robert
    Posted November 13, 2015 at 7:04 am | Permalink
    Tom,

    Disagreements on Mary or even Purgatory do not affect the question of Heaven or Hell, salvation or damnation. They are the disputes of scholars and rabbis. Normal people are not affected.

    And yet to deny the Assumption is a mortal sin if it is infallibly defined dogma. So yes, normal people are affected.

    There is no theological anarchy in Catholicism. To say so is a lie. So don’t.

    You are proof positive of theological anarchy in Roman Catholicism:

    1. You think defined dogmas such as the Assumption are optional.

    You’re not listening. I have no reason to deny it. I wasn’t there.

    Until you start listening to what I actually say, further conversation is pointless. Good day, sir.

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  222. You guys are a hoot. cw, keep digging yourself in deeper, but if you are looking for daylight, maybe you need to dig yourself out, not in.

    …and sean, who licked the red off your candy? 🙂

    Ali, I appreciate your comments, but remember. I am not part of your particular Protestant “we.” I’ve never been a fan of the royal “we.” Good comments otherwise.

    Zrim, if you want to say that you are Reformed, then take a close look at what that meant to the Reformers. Remember, these were not easily deceived females writing about the Assumption of Mary. Notice, too, that they did not have the same view of sola scriptura that you have developed. A lot of them did not cut themselves off the traditions of the Church just because of those horrid Papists.

    See, it is dangerous for people to read too much in Church history, even the history of the Reformers and what they really believed and taught. Some of us swim away from Protestantism and back Home to our Mother, the Church.

    It happens, and not all are silly, weak willed women weighed down with sin. Some of us trust the gifted men that God gave to the Church throughout her history.

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  223. CW:Why so much bluster from your side

    that’s all they have when they try to communicate with someone who doesn’t agree with them

    if they had a decent argument, who know’…. maybe we’d join up immediately.

    heh….

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  224. sorry, I quoted Zrim, I think they are two distinct brothers…

    too much wine at the office today, a lot of toasting for retirements and new hirings….

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  225. kent
    Posted November 13, 2015 at 3:55 pm | Permalink
    CW:Why so much bluster from your side

    that’s all they have when they try to communicate with someone who doesn’t agree with them

    if they had a decent argument, who know’…. maybe we’d join up immediately.

    heh….

    Now there’s a substantive and devastating rebuttal. You win.

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  226. Tom said,

    Catholicism still exists in an easily recognizable form.

    Just not the form of pre-V2 or Trent. But nothing has changed.

    You’re not listening. I have no reason to deny it. I wasn’t there.

    Any other RC want to agree with Tom that you can be a good RC and in a state of grace W/O affirming the Assumption? Anyone? Is this thing on?

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  227. Sean, that is not fair. You can have 1. or 2-10 not both, if u want a total of 10 u need to add another which u will have no problem doing but it must be a good one.

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  228. Now, I am not sure that Tom rejects the doctrine. Are you sure? Has he said that? Besides, you are assuming he is Catholic. What if he is Presbyterian and thinks you guys’ arguments are weak? What if he is Baptist, or Anglican? What if he is trying to decide for himself who has the truth? You don’t know.

    Ariel, you sure talk a lot but do you read? On top of all the anti-Protestantism he flings, this doesn’t sound like a Prot: “But disagreement is not fatal. The Protestant solution, schism, is. Catholicism still exists in an easily recognizable form. “Presbyterianism” no longer does.”

    Tom may have the gall to abuse but lack the chutzpah to reveal his religious non/commitments, but seems a pretty safe bet Protestantism ain’t it.

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  229. Ariel, you zigged from my zag again.

    But do you miss all the suggestions of latent Catholicism from eeeevangelicals toward confessional Prots? But neither have the descendants of confessional Prot’ism cut themselves off the traditions of the church. Why is exercising discernment, though, and affirming what is biblical and casting away what isn’t to “cut ourselves off”?

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  230. Mermaid, “However, you may be missing the point. It is easy to criticize others’ beliefs, especially those of Catholicism. It is harder to examine yourselves.”

    You’d have made a terrible nun. These platitudes do nothing like a good whack with a ruler to the knuckles.

    But for the record, where exactly have you examined yourself and your deficiencies by belonging to a church that covered up the sex scandal?

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  231. You guys make me laugh! Thanks! This blog is a pretty harmless form of entertainment I have to grant you that.

    What do I think about you guys – and gal? I think you all love your families. I think you all help with the housework and probably the cooking. I think you are hard working. This blog is a harmless distraction from the mundane activities of life.

    I just think you are wrong on many, many things. No problem. It doesn’t mean I do not love you and even respect you.

    Sorry, Zrim, Tom is my friend. You guys know how to dish it out, so don’t whine if someone pushes back. It’s unmanly. Tom never hits a woman.

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  232. Alright Ariel, now I’ve had enough. I won’t have anyone claiming that I help with the housework! C-Dubs does, but he’s il unificator and it comes with the territory.

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  233. Publius
    Posted November 13, 2015 at 5:03 pm | Permalink
    Alright Ariel, now I’ve had enough. I won’t have anyone claiming that I help with the housework! C-Dubs does, but he’s il unificator and it comes with the territory.>>>>

    Oh, the truth will always come out, Publius! I know you guys better than you know yourselves.
    😉

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  234. D. G. Hart
    Posted November 13, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid, “However, you may be missing the point. It is easy to criticize others’ beliefs, especially those of Catholicism. It is harder to examine yourselves.”

    You’d have made a terrible nun. These platitudes do nothing like a good whack with a ruler to the knuckles.

    But for the record, where exactly have you examined yourself and your deficiencies by belonging to a church that covered up the sex scandal?>>>>>

    Said the follower of a celibate Presbyterian, and we know what that leads to.

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  235. Oh, come on, Zrim! Smile. It’s good for you. It doesn’t have to be all bickering all the time. I am teasing you guys right now. You tease me, so why can’t I tease you?

    You have a good afternoon, Mr. Zrim.

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  236. Twelve, crazy. Thirteen, passive-aggressive unless bi-polar then aggressive-aggressive(theyr’re all actually bi-polar and thus, aggressive-aggressive but some are medicated).

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  237. Sean:Eleven, regardless of your brilliance and acumen, they feel a need to correct you.
    [Mermaid: Christianity gives women a place of honor] Zrim:No, not women in general

    WRONG Zrim.

    Yes women in general: The Bible: all women, all mothers; gracious women, widows, women body members (especially those deemed less honorable); women who honor, fear, serve the Lord; women who are humble; women who regard reproof; women pursue righteousness and loyalty

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  238. I think that Zrim is trying to make the point that a woman is not honored just because she is a woman. Same goes for a man. If that is what he meant, then I see his point and agree.

    Christianity honors the ideal of womanhood or the ideal of manhood. God created man, male and female He created them in His image. He made fatherhood. He made motherhood. He made the first husband, Adam. He made the first wife, Eve. He made the first father and mother. Then came children, brothers and sisters. Being female is part of the image of God, just as being male is. Does that make God gendered? Oh, now that is an interesting can of worms to open…He is not a man or a woman, but He is always He.

    It is all good.

    I also see your point, Ali, and don’t know that you two are really disagreeing. Not sure.

    Not sure what set sean off, but peace, Brother sean.

    Brother Hart is, well, Brother Hart. Fish gotta’ swim. Birds gotta’ fly. Brother Hart gotta’ insult the Mermaid.

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  239. Merm, did you just try to reprove jest with solemnity and then finish/cover(passive-aggreessive) with jest in a third person reference to your avatar self? I think you did.

    Fourteen, always presuming upon the moral high ground in a discussion with men. Manshaming.

    Like

  240. sean, I have nothing against men. I have nothing against any of you. I don’t even disagree with everything you say. I am just responding to what you guys say. See, I kind of believe in equality, but not in an egalitarian way exactly. I really think that we are all sinners in need of a Savior.

    I know all about Protestantism. I know all about Catholicism. I know all about you. I know all about me.

    The story of Noah tells us if nothing else. Read the description of the human condition.

    Nothing surprises me anymore. People’s behavior does not influence my faith. I am not Catholic because you guys are bad or that Catholics are good. I am Catholic because that is what I am supposed to be. You guys get uncomfortable with that kind of talk. But hey, I’m a female and Catholicism is for me. I’m comfortable with that.

    Why do I care about unity? Jesus cares about it. Paul cared about it. Protestants don’t care about unity all that much. It is optional. Even the accusations that Catholicism is divided is not a scriptural argument at all. It has nothing to do with scripture.

    Let’s say that Catholicism is not one as she claims to be.

    That leaves us where as far as John 17 and Ephesians 4 go? Nowhere. Jesus failed in His mission and Paul was wrong. See where all this focus on division leads?

    Like I said, if God put you where you are, then I am happy He rescued you. Our Mother still loves you, and she loves me. The Church is our mother, and we have only one. Like it or not, we are all in this together.

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  241. D. G. Hart
    Posted November 13, 2015 at 9:10 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid, Eastern Orthodoxy is united. Rome split from the Eastern Orthodox.

    Your narrative is incoherent except that it is all about you.

    They’re still the same religion–same priesthood and sacraments, apostolic succession. It’s your version of Christianity that’s the outlier. It doesn’t even agree with other Protestants, let alone the 2000-year old Catholic Church.

    It’s you who are incoherent, Dr. History.

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  242. sean
    Posted November 13, 2015 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Fourteen, always presuming upon the moral high ground in a discussion with men. Manshaming.

    You have it coming. Unfortunately some of you are shameless, though letting you flaunt it serves a purpose as well.

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  243. Merm, It’s all in fun. It’s less fun when you have to always check in and use emoticons. I like to keep the string taut, it works better.

    Well come on then, CaitlynVD. All that hormone replacement got you feeling chivalrous, thin-skinned and froggy all at once? Wha’s it like?

    Like

  244. Why not Mary speak for herself.

    And Mary said,

    “My soul magnifies the Lord,
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
    for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
    For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
    for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
    And his mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
    He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
    he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
    and exalted those of humble estate;
    he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent away empty.
    He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
    as he spoke to our fathers,
    to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

    Ali, I don’t read a lick of feminism in that. I hear a woman humbled by her unique lot in life. More than that, a theocentric outlook that transcends any worldly attempt to bend the Bible to fit temporal causes. Nor do I discern a woman who would that God’s people adore and venerate her as some kind of co-mediatrix. Her place in redemptive history is certainly unique, but how that translates into something about her species is as mysterious as how it translates into something about her spiritual powers. Out of the three of you, Mary seems like the only that grasps her role in redemptive history.

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  245. I want to clarify. I think that Ali spoke well. It was quite beautiful, even. Thank you, dear sister. I made it sound like I didn’t agree! My bad.

    Sadly, some of these guys have been hurt by women or by feminism. I get that. Then, a lot of women have been hurt by men. Not ’sposed to be that way, but for now, that is part of this sin sick world. I haven’t spent my whole life under water, you know. At one time I was human. 😉 Oops, sorry for the emoticon, sean. I like to emote. Sorry for reinforcing negative female stereotypes, but I don’t seem to be able to help it.

    BTW, I would love to make all y’all sammiches. It would be an honor to serve my brothers and sisters.

    I have to say, though, that my nephew is a much better cook and so is my brother. I do the best I can, but I have to recognize their superiority in the kitchen.

    Zrim, glad you see what a wonderful example of faith Mary is for all believers. What impressed me even when I was a Protestant was the fact that Mary had not formal education. She knew the secret of knowledge and wisdom – the fear of the Lord. I love the Magnificat.

    Okay, so y’all have a restful night, and maybe we’ll visit in the morning. God bless

    P.S.
    Brother Hart, I thought about EO, but the icons kind of freak me out. I have learned to appreciate their beauty, though. Like I keep saying, I fell in love with the Great Whore of Babylon. Catholicism is for women, and, well, I am a woman. Love is funny like that.

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  246. Ali:And Mermaid, shouldn’t we more specifically say, that it is Jesus who began and gives the honor
    Mermaid:Ali remember. I am not part of your particular Protestant “we.” I’ve never been a fan of the royal “we.”

    Mermaid, I thought you were big on unity, but you can’t say ‘we’ here wjere just stating Jesus is preeminent? No unity then. It is revealing that you can’t seem say ‘we’ here because of the next statement on Mary (which is just Bible-quoting.) Appeal, as zrim was also. Please stop worshipping Mary. Mary would also say Rev 19:10: “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God” I think the Lord probably will be asking you about it (Luke 11:28)

    “Revelation 5 1: I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. 4 Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; 5 and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”6 And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. 7 And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. 8 When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they *sang a new song, saying,“Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.10 “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying,“To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”14 And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.”

    Mermaid: the icons kind of freak me out.

    “It is not necessarily wrong for the Catholic Church to combine the first and second commandments and split the tenth commandment into two commandments. After all, the numerals 1—10 do not appear in any ancient Hebrew manuscripts that contain the Ten Commandments to officially settle how the commandments should be divided. Technically, the second commandment contains two commandments: “you shall not make for yourself a carved image” and “you shall not bow down to them or serve them.” Further, the tenth commandment contains seven different, but related, prohibitions.It is suspect, though, that the Catholic Church would summarize the second commandment as “you shall not have other gods beside me” and leave out “you shall not make for yourself a carved image” and “you shall not bow down to them or serve them,” considering that the Catholic Church has long been accused of idolatry for its use of images and iconography in worship.
    Due to the importance of the first two commandments, and in light of the fact that the ancient Israelites greatly struggled with idolatry, maintaining the clear and explicit condemnation of graven images seems to be the biblically prudent choice. The Catholic Church leaves out part of the second commandment, apparently trying to hide the fact that their own images and icons are violations of that very command.” http://www.gotquestions.org/Catholic-Ten-Commandments.html

    Mermaid: The Church is our mother, and we have only one.

    The church is the body of Christ and His bride 1 Cor 12:27, Rev 19:7

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  247. Zrim Ali, I don’t read a lick of feminism in that.

    Just a Bible quoter Zrim and maybe, according to sean, a‘passive-aggressive’ responder to cw l’misogynist

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  248. Ali, Ethel Mermaid, et al — I also routinely leave the toilet seat up, park in the expectant mother spaces at Target, and notice when some of your sex ought not to be wearing form-fitting garments.

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  249. WELL! I’m put out I’ve never seen a Target with expectant/new mother/big family parking spaces. These exist?

    I think the dormitory of Mary, even assumption, could be a lovely pious tradition. I do believe she had original sin–no shame on her for it, since she is covered with the blood of her Lamb and now sits before the throne with the other saints, and Christ present hearing the prayers and petitions of the Church (militant and triumphant) and presenting, purified, them to His Father, our Father. Perhaps Mary’s sin was the first Christ bore as she physically bore him, and absorbed into His body, carried, even as that was yet to begin to be shed to fulfill the 8th day law. But we Lutherans are sad our Roman friends miss appreciating these pious beliefs by binding them to consciences as salvo doc dogma then associating them with Cooperation instead Justification. We do get and appreciate the Christ/Adam Mary/Eve parallels, it just only works in a Christo Solo frame.

    (These are Lutheran thoughts; I don’t represent Reformed theology.)

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  250. Nice to see you, Ali. Thank you for your response. Remember that I said I don’t like the Royal “we”? I am not Protestant. Now, if you meant “we” as in “we Christians”, then that is a different matter. Notice, too, that I said I did not disagree with what you said and I thought you spoke beautifully.

    cw, I am sure you actually clean the bathroom. You probably make sammichs for your family and cook and clean better than most women.

    Katy, thank you for sharing some of what your faith teaches you. Have a blessed day!

    Brother Hart, maybe you should join an Orthodox Church then. You do know that Mary belongs to the whole Church, though, right? Besides, Catholic and EO are the same religion and both sides venerate Mary. Since you study history, you know that, though.

    Now, if any of you respond to me in this thread, I will probably just let it pass. It has been good visiting with y’all. I would love to serve all of you sammichs and tea in my home. I don’t really live underwater and I’m not really a Mermaid.

    Have a wonderful day, all y’all, and maybe we’ll talk later. If I don’t answer, it’s not because I don’t love you.

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  251. PS
    Katy, I don’t really want to discuss this in detail, since we have already covered this ground and I get called names. 🙂

    You do know that the Catholic Church teaches that Mary needed a Savior from sin as much as any other human being besides our Lord in His humanity. The Immaculate Conception teaches that she was saved and protected from the effects of original sin from the moment of her conception.

    The One conceived in her was also her own Savior and Lord. She did not save herself in any way. It is all of grace.

    The Eastern Church also understands Mary to have been sinless. They have a little different way of arriving at that conclusion, but the also believe that Mary never sinned.

    Now, you guys go ahead and lodge your protests. 😉

    Just wanted to add that. Katy you probably already knew all that, but of course you submit to your church’s teachings.

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  252. Hey there Ali and Katy,

    First of all I want to say that it’s great having more woman chiming in here on this site. You two have maybe been hanging around longer than I have, I dont know, but anyways your presence makes me feel more at ease even if we have some doctrinal differences.

    Its pretty cool that there are(right now anyways) four women representing three different theological traditions and that we can talk to each other about our differences(as well as our commonality) maybe more respectively than the men here do. That’s not true of all the men here and it’s not true of some of the men some of the time, but generally they either they aren’t interested in truly commuicating,as if they assume that the stance they are currently taking isn’t suffering from inherent inconsistencies and so doesn’t deserve real attention, or that they refuse to accept the Catholic Church’s as a viable lifeboat because they are hung up on doctrines, that though not the protestant way of viewing are, frankly not difficult considering Christians have to bind their consciences with many hard sayings. So while I can appreciate male input and male genius( it’s really a thing that is tapped into)but I think that when it lacks all femininity, it breaks down and stops caring about preserving unity and relationships. So I am happy to see more women contributing their thoughts. I think OL needs the balance.

    Can I speak to two things that you all were discussing? First of all, keep in mind that the Catholic Church isnt pulling it’s Mariology out of thin air. Its comes about like streams emptying into the ocean. There are old testament references and new testment references too. You can find those out by studying. St. Paul Center has good resources and Scott Hahn is a convert who writes for the pay person. I would recommend his book on the subject.
    The reason that it is binding on our consciences is because truth is binding on our consciences. Imagine the doctine of the assumption being perpetually bounced around with an absolute answer never forthcoming. Unless somebody can stand behind a teaching and can definatively speak to a phenomenon( Mary’s body is missing) then it’s going to always remain a toggling question. And remember it is a question, but it only exists as a question in Protestantism because it is definative in Catholicism. I mean if nobody claimed to own it than nobody would begin arguing it.

    Please take a look at the doctrine of sola scriptura and the inclusion of books into the Canon if a book is inherently self authenticating.

    This is our an answer from Dr. David Anders who responded to our friend Robert.
    Article of faith is not an ambiguous concept. An article of faith is simply an article that Christians are bound to believe by divine authority. Christ taught that there are articles of faith. “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved,” he said. He enjoins belief upon the Christian faithful. Likewise, Christ commanded the apostles to teach “everything I have commanded you.” (Which teaching was oral and not written, by the way.) We are enjoined by divine authority to believe everything belonging to the deposit of faith. Christ entrusted the transmission of that deposit to the teachers of the Church, not to the Scriptures of the Protestant Bible.

    The passage you cite out of context references the books Timothy new from childhood – namely, the LXX. These books are, indeed, sufficient for every “good work,” (Ergon agathon.) The phrase in Scripture does not apply to establishing doctrine, but to morally good deeds, like almsgiving. In any event, if the LXX were sufficient, it would prove too much.

    Regarding the doctrine of self-authentication – if the canonicity of 2 Timothy is established by self-authentication, then the doctrine of sola scripture is false. Consider the following:

    1) Christians are to believe that Timothy is inspired Scripture.
    2) Christians know thesis one by the testimony of the spirit, or self-authentication, not by any explicit teaching of Scriptural revelation.
    3) Therefore, some article of faith ( 1) is known by self-authentication/spirit witness and not from the teaching of Scripture.
    4) Therefore, not all articles of faith are known from the teaching of Scripture.
    5) Therefore, Sola Scriptura is false.

    Alternatives:

    1) The canonicity of Timothy is not an article of faith, enjoined by divine authority.
    2) We expand the doctrine of sola scripture to include propositions that occur to the illumined intellect even if such doctrines are not taught by Scripture itself.

    Dilemma – if the contents of Sacred Scripture is an article of faith, then sola Scriptura is false.
    IF the contents of Sacred Scripture is not an article of faith (taught by divine authority), we cannot have the certainty of faith concerning the contents of revelation. Therefore, we cannot know if Paul’s letter to Timothy is divine revelation.”

    Would anyone like to talk more about this?

    Hope you are all having an easy Saturday!

    God Bless,
    Susan

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  253. Mermaid, “Brother Hart, maybe you should join an Orthodox Church then. You do know that Mary belongs to the whole Church, though, right? Besides, Catholic and EO are the same religion and both sides venerate Mary. Since you study history, you know that, though.”

    Always deflecting, never self-examining.

    I want a church that proclaims God’s word. Christianity is a revealed religion, you know.

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  254. Dr. Hart,

    Yeah, you’re right.

    I always hope I can help facilitate unity.Maybe this site isn’t the best forum for that. I hope that it will be.

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  255. Yes, Susan, what you are saying about Paul and Timothy impressed me in a new way the other day. The Scripture that Paul said was profitable for doctrine, for reproof, and for instruction in righteousness was the Septuagint. In no way are the 7 Deuterocanonical books said to be left out.

    Of course, Dr. Anders is making a much more elegant and complex point, but the reference to Paul and Timothy resonated with something I have been thinking about of late.

    Now, mine may just be an argument from silence were it not for the fact that the Apostle Paul made numerous references to those books. I have been discovering that through the daily Mass readings.

    So, for someone simple like me, it’s an easy shift. The Scripture that Jesus, the apostles, and all the NT writers used was the Septuagint. It contained the Deuterocanonical books. The NT writers freely quoted from those books. The Jewish people entrusted with the oracles of God used those books along with the rest of Scripture. Therefore they are Scripture as much as the rest of the OT.

    Many argue that the Jewish canon is what must be followed, and they decided against the Septuagint. Yes, the Jewish canon was defined in the 2nd Century. So it does not explain NT usage nor should the Jewish decision define Christianity. Though I am grateful to the many Jewish scribes and men of God throughout Jewish history who preserved the OT, including the Septuagint.

    So, that’s a pretty simple way of looking at it, but us Mermaids like simple. It’s a settled matter in my mind. Take into account the fact that I have spent years underwater in a wonderful world of naiveté
    making sammiches and serving tea – which I actually love to do. 😉 We do spend a lot of time in schools. Oh, there’t that annoying emoticon again! 😉 Can’t help myself.

    I don’t see that the Catholic Church demands that I believe things without explaining them to me. She teaches me and leads me. She invites me in. She welcomes me home. I don’t see that as being oppressive at all. The Catechism makes sense and is beautifully written. The daily readings and daily video reflections at the USCB website are grounded in Scripture. I have been discovering that Catholic Christians are Bible Christians. Sure, some of the reflections are better than others. Some are so so. Some are excellent.

    See, I come here for a kind of Protestant detox. I am learning that Protestants are not as sola scriptura as they say. I am learning to love my non Catholic brothers and sisters in a different way. It is a kind of purgatory for me as well. See, I get the anti Catholic statements. I used to believe most of them myself and was not all that bad at anti Catholic rhetoric.
    😉 It is good to see how weak the arguments against Catholicism really are, and how little they have to do with actual Scripture. Just my observation, and I know y’all will disagree.

    I hope that some of the guys pick up your thoughts, Susan, and those of Dr. Anders. Looks interesting.

    Yeah, I know I promised to quit commenting on this thread, and then Susan dropped in with this great comment and good food for thought and discussion.

    cw, I love your Seinfeld reference. Festivus for the rest of us. A show about nothing.

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  256. Mrs Webfoot,

    You’re one smart duck. (( wink)) (My emoticons don’t translate at OLTS) Notice I didnt use cookie? None of us ladies is a cookie.

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  257. Yes, I know all Romanists are saved by grace. I was just explaining I’m quite comfortable with the traditions of dormition/assumption and (although I didn’t say so), perpetual virginity. But I’m not bound to those non essential “facts” (or fictions they may be). I have no confidence in them, just as my confidence is not in Enoch’s walking with the Lord or Elijah’s taking up into heaven. Mary’s fiat is not a cooperation, but complete passivity to the Word of God. “Let it be according to your Word.” Sublime.

    I encourage Susan and Mermaid to read (a Roman Catholic book) The Eternal Woman by Gertrude Von let Fort. Great philosophical treatise on womanhood, and ultimately the hiddenness and suffering of the God-Man. Then, for ecumenical lite reading, try “LadyLike,” by Adle and Curtis–a serious of essays on the vocation of the Christian woman.

    I’m not sure the more females on here the better. We always kind of put a damper on the fun of rougher dialogue. I think this site does fine without us (and we probably have better things to do, like all the Reformed ladies seem to already get) I always get jittery for “ruining” it after leaving a bunch of comments, then lurk for 6 months.

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  258. Katy,

    I appreciate the men here who hoestly try to deal 28th our differences.I also appreciate any women who enjoy reading theology. There are good ladies and men in both camp’s who make better use of their time than hanging out here. My being here so much is my own personal shame and I will own it

    At the end of the day I want to know what is true and what is true that must be held as essential as well. If we can’t believe in that Enoch was taken into heaven by the clear words of a scriptura then everything that Protestantism teaches hangs in the balance. In fact, your ad hoc delineation is exactly why I left Protestantism as a viable way to know truth from opinion.
    As for the recommended reading, I will check it out.
    Edith Stein is my utmost favorite on feminine genius.

    Know that all my words were good will gestures.

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  259. Tom huh? I quoted and then reflected. No puppeteering. But note all Ariel does is emote and Ali does her obscurity thing again.

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  260. D. G. Hart
    Posted November 14, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid, “Brother Hart, maybe you should join an Orthodox Church then. You do know that Mary belongs to the whole Church, though, right? Besides, Catholic and EO are the same religion and both sides venerate Mary. Since you study history, you know that, though.”

    Always deflecting, never self-examining.

    Ad hom on the nice Catholic lady. Shame on you, tough guy. Actually you’re the one deflecting here. You have no rebuttal, so you lash out.

    I want a church that proclaims God’s word. Christianity is a revealed religion, you know.

    It’s also a sacramental religion, you know. Well, until John Calvin got ahold of it.

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  261. Katy
    Posted November 14, 2015 at 3:00 pm | Permalink
    Yes, I know all Romanists are saved by grace. I was just explaining I’m quite comfortable with the traditions of dormition/assumption and (although I didn’t say so), perpetual virginity. But I’m not bound to those non essential “facts” (or fictions they may be). I have no confidence in them

    You do realize that Luther and Calvin* did, right?

    http://aleteia.org/2013/10/10/a-protestant-defense-of-marys-perpetual-virginity/

    Not that you need to trust them either but at some point “Protestantism” becomes a do-it-yourself religion, where everyone’s their own pope. Not much of an improvement over Rome, and a lot more fractious.

    I’m not sure the more females on here the better. We always kind of put a damper on the fun of rougher dialogue.

    Oh, I think using the pejorative “Romanists” instead of “Catholics” is rough enough. You fit right in. As for the nice Catholic ladies, the contrast between them and their interlocutors is probative testimony. By their fruits, warrior child, by their fruits.

    _________

    *”For full disclosure, Calvin seems to indicate in a sentence following the second quote that, while he doesn’t think there is Scriptural warrant for denying the perpetual virginity of Mary, he doesn’t think the question is of much importance either:

    “Certainly, no man will ever raise a question on this subject, except from curiosity; and no man will obstinately keep up the argument, except from an extreme fondness for disputation.”

    Word up, Old Life. Junky riff.

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  262. You can address me directly, CW.
    CW,
    You must have not read back a little because I was talking to Ali and Katy.
    Katy referred to Catholics as “Romanists”, so I take that as a bit of dislike even though I have never talked to her before.That wasn’t very ecumenical or nice.
    Let me say it for all to hear; I am sure I have offended people here, and I want to apologize if I did. I ask for your forgiveness.
    I think I can safely say farewell for good this time.

    Susan

    Like

  263. Susan
    Posted November 14, 2015 at 4:10 pm | Permalink
    You can address me directly, CW.
    CW,
    You must have not read back a little because I was talking to Ali and Katy.
    Katy referred to Catholics as “Romanists”, so I take that as a bit of dislike even though I have never talked to her before.That wasn’t very ecumenical or nice.
    Let me say it for all to hear; I am sure I have offended people here, and I want to apologize if I did. I ask for your forgiveness.
    I think I can safely say farewell for good this time.

    Susan>>>>>

    I am breaking my promise not to comment anymore on this thread, but I really hope you do come back at times. You are a good influence and knowledgable.

    You have offended no one, Susan. You are a dear, dear sister.

    Good catch on the “Romanists,” TVD. Kind of sad.

    “Offensive One who professes Roman Catholicism.”

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  264. “Is it not an unworthy concept of God to imagine for oneself a God who demands the slaughter of his son to pacify his wrath? Such a concept of God has nothing to do with the idea of God to be found in the New Testament and it is an unworthy concept of God…”

    Pope Benedict 16th, Introduction to Christianity, p.222, 2nd edition paperback.

    Here’s the difference.

    “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!”

    “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us– for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.”

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  265. No one of note
    Posted November 14, 2015 at 6:16 pm | Permalink
    “Is it not an unworthy concept of God to imagine for oneself a God who demands the slaughter of his son to pacify his wrath? Such a concept of God has nothing to do with the idea of God to be found in the New Testament and it is an unworthy concept of God…”

    Pope Benedict 16th, Introduction to Christianity, p.222, 2nd edition paperback.

    Page 291, Benedict is disagreeing with that familiar [atheist?] objection that the Christian God is senselessly cruel, and continues,

    “To such a question on can only reply, indeed, God must not be thought of in this way. But in any case, this concept of God has nothing to do with the idea of God to be found in the New Testament.

    The New Testament is the story of a God by his own accord–in Christ, The Omega–become the last letter in the alphabet of creation.

    The Cross is revelation…”

    http://is.gd/3UPj5B

    He goes on to quote Plato in an eerily prophetic passage:

    The Cross is revelation. It reveals, not any particular thing, but God and man. It reveals who God is and in what way man is. There is a curious presentiment of this situation in Greek philosophy: Plato’s image of the crucified ‘just man.’ In Republic the great philosopher asks what is likely to be the position of a completely just man in this world. He comes to the conclusion that a man’s righteousness is only complete and guaranteed when he takes on the appearance of unrighteousness, for only then is it clear that he does not follow the opinion of men but pursues justice only for its own sake. So according to Plato the truly just man must be misunderstood and persecuted in this world; indeed Plato goes so far as to write: “They will say that our just man will be scourged, racked, fettered, will have his eyes burned out, and at last, after all manner of suffering, will be crucified.” This passage, written four hundred years before Christ, is always bound to move a Christian deeply. (Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity p. 292; cf. Plato, Republic, II.362a)

    Not sure you’re giving Benedict a fair shake here.

    Like

  266. http://www.rcda.org/Offices/deacons/PDF/Dwyer/4-6-15.pdf

    “Because Benedict’s break with long-standing tradition touches the
    center of the Gospel it seems certain that it is in turning to his critique of
    that tradition that we will discover those “new and engaging ways of
    awakening a thirst for the fulfillment which only Christ can bring.”

    His criticism of the traditional theology of the cross and his break
    with the past is clearest in a book which Benedict wrote over forty years
    ago when he was still Prof. Dr. Joseph Ratzinger. The English translation
    of the book is entitled Introduction to Christianity, and it is a
    commentary on the Nicene Creed — the profession of faith recited at
    many Sunday liturgies, Catholic and Protestant. The part of his
    commentary where his break with the past is most striking deals with the
    words “suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was
    buried,” and the excerpts here are taken from pages 231 to 301 of his
    book.

    The nine-hundred-year-long tradition under discussion here is the
    so-called “satisfaction theology” which was developed by Anselm of
    Canterbury on the threshold of the Middle Ages, and which found
    expression in his book of 1104 :Cur Deus Homo (Why God Became
    Man). The word satisfaction here is understood in a way derived from
    civil law, where it refers to compensation made to one whose rights have
    been violated. It is an appropriate term to use in describing Anselm’s
    theology, because central to his view is the notion that God was offended
    and the divine order disturbed by the sin of Adam and by the sins of all
    the heirs of Adam down through the ages. Equally central is the
    conviction that restitution must be made, satisfaction offered, to God to
    make up for this offense, and that this satisfaction takes the form of
    punishment inflicted by God and then offered to him as a propitiatory
    sacrifice. According to Anselm, it was precisely this compensation which
    Christ offered by dying on the cross.

    …Benedict’s break with this tradition is of fundamental importance because
    nothing less than the question of the identity of God is at stake — the
    question of who God is in himself and the question of what kind of picture
    we have of him. And it would be hard to imagine a more fundamental
    criticism than that proposed by Benedict.

    “The infinite expiation on which God seems to insist moves into a
    doubly sinister light. Many devotional texts actually force one to
    think that Christian faith in the cross imagines a God whose
    unrelenting righteousness demanded a human sacrifice — the
    sacrifice of his own son. And one turns away in horror from a
    righteousness whose sinister wrath makes the message of love
    incredible.”

    Like

  267. No hard feelings on the Romanist label. None of my RC friends mind, since they believe Rome holds the keys and true confession. Someone (everyone?) misunderstood me. I do think the holy couple did not consummate their marriage (I know all the arguments on both sides), but I don’t think it matters. I do think Enoch and Elijah most definitely were assumed, as scripture speaks. Perhaps Mary also was, but there is no shock and shame if it turns out she died (why I prefer the older term, dormition), since she was still covered by her Son’s robe of righteousness. I love her fiat, but it didn’t “allow” anything, only received, as all sinners do. I accept there will be some sort of hierarchy of saints, but not by their merits (their crowns will show the good works done in faith)

    I like you ladies; I’m sorry to offend. The label is a habit, since of course I don’t see the RC church as Catholic, but very sectarian. Except when some true things remain, such will happen with an erring church that stil confesses Christ is the Son of the living God. We hate being called Lutheran, and even worse Protestant, but Evangelical was stolen. So Lutheran it is. I call my husband’s extended family of the Greek church, etc. No offense, just using words carefully.

    And our host doesn’t seem to mind all the ladies, so it’s none of my business.

    Like

  268. D. G. Hart
    Posted November 14, 2015 at 10:35 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, what hath Jerusalem to do with Athens? And that’s a Latin father asking.

    I think you meant to post this on the other thread about general and special revelation and th goats and all. But what do you mean by “Latin father,” Dr. Calvinism? An authority you accept? An authority I am to accept?

    Your premises remain too slippery to step onto. Tell your followers who you’re speaking of, tell them what your point is, if any.

    Like

  269. No one of note
    Posted November 14, 2015 at 7:45 pm | Permalink
    http://www.rcda.org/Offices/deacons/PDF/Dwyer/4-6-15.pdf

    “Because Benedict’s break with long-standing tradition touches the
    center of the Gospel it seems certain that it is in turning to his critique of
    that tradition that we will discover those “new and engaging ways of
    awakening a thirst for the fulfillment which only Christ can bring.”

    His criticism of the traditional theology of the cross and his break
    with the past is clearest in a book which Benedict wrote over forty years
    ago when he was still Prof. Dr. Joseph Ratzinger. The English translation
    of the book is entitled Introduction to Christianity, and it is a
    commentary on the Nicene Creed — the profession of faith recited at
    many Sunday liturgies, Catholic and Protestant. The part of his
    commentary where his break with the past is most striking deals with the
    words “suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was
    buried,” and the excerpts here are taken from pages 231 to 301 of his
    book.

    The nine-hundred-year-long tradition under discussion here is the
    so-called “satisfaction theology” which was developed by Anselm of
    Canterbury on the threshold of the Middle Ages, and which found
    expression in his book of 1104 :Cur Deus Homo (Why God Became
    Man). The word satisfaction here is understood in a way derived from
    civil law, where it refers to compensation made to one whose rights have
    been violated. It is an appropriate term to use in describing Anselm’s
    theology, because central to his view is the notion that God was offended
    and the divine order disturbed by the sin of Adam and by the sins of all
    the heirs of Adam down through the ages. Equally central is the
    conviction that restitution must be made, satisfaction offered, to God to
    make up for this offense, and that this satisfaction takes the form of
    punishment inflicted by God and then offered to him as a propitiatory
    sacrifice. According to Anselm, it was precisely this compensation which
    Christ offered by dying on the cross.

    …Benedict’s break with this tradition is of fundamental importance because
    nothing less than the question of the identity of God is at stake — the
    question of who God is in himself and the question of what kind of picture
    we have of him. And it would be hard to imagine a more fundamental
    criticism than that proposed by Benedict.

    “The infinite expiation on which God seems to insist moves into a
    doubly sinister light. Many devotional texts actually force one to
    think that Christian faith in the cross imagines a God whose
    unrelenting righteousness demanded a human sacrifice — the
    sacrifice of his own son. And one turns away in horror from a
    righteousness whose sinister wrath makes the message of love
    incredible.”

    Mr. Note, this seems to be some sort of attack on the Catholic Church via Pope Benedict, based on

    a book which Benedict wrote over forty years
    ago when he was still Prof. Dr. Joseph Ratzinger. The English translation
    of the book is entitled Introduction to Christianity

    The Catholic Church makes no claim on infallibility for anyone 40 years before they are elected Pope.

    Like

  270. cw l’misogyne: I also routinely leave the toilet seat up

    ok, now we get some understanding, l’grincheux misogyne

    “I’ve been browbeaten by various women for the past 60 years about proper seat etiquette, starting with my mother. If I forget to put the seat down even once, my wife reminds me for hours about this life-threatening situation.” https://www.msu.edu/~choijay/etiquette.pdf

    btw, ‘curmudgeon’ seems to be a male-only term,which makes sense

    Like

  271. Sorry, what promise did I break? Or were you talking to someone else? I do all my online jabber by phone now, since I spilled water on my laptop (my poor, suffering husband), so it comes across as very jumbled and hasty, but not the charming, pointed way Sean can pull that off. He has the best comments.

    I understand Roman Catholicism. I read her writers and philosophers. I have worked for both the successor to Karl Keating and the about.com writer. I am a fan of Ratzinger. In high school I babysat for a huge extended RC family clan heavily involved in a local chapter of People of Praise (charismatic laity), my home school group had a large percentage of Latin Mass attendants who have their children memorize the Baltimore. Almost all go to daily mass and weekly confession. A very good friend was just married and planned her wedding around being able to be at the annual (?) audience for newly married during the honeymoon. I like Simcha Fisher and all we confessional Lutheranhomeschool mamas steal from Catholic Icing, Feast and Feria, Catholic Cuisine, Fisheaters,etc and If saying Brideshead Revisited is my favorite novel doesn’t give me cred, I don’t know what else will.

    Arthur Just’s “Heaven on Earth” (after you’re done with The Eternal Woman you can read that one, too) is profoundly above Hahn’s “Lamb’s Supper.” It’s just more Catholic, which is hard for a Roman Catholic to hear someone say (and you would probably disagree with me, but do read it). I became Lutheran because or confessions are more Catholic. (And now maybe you understand more why I say “Romanist,” but not necessary pejoratively, just “of the Roman confession”)

    Time for this female to go back to lurking! Blessed end of the church year to you, Mermaid! The current events certainly remind us of all creation groaning toward the Parasouia. Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

    Our family is praying the Litany each day this winter.
    http://steadfastlutherans.org/pdf/TheLitany-pamphlet.pdf

    Like

  272. Consistency is very narrow. And one man’s heresy is another man’s diversity.

    Mark Jones—-First, I wonder if the reader could be forgiven for thinking that Crisp views Arminians as a branch within the Reformed tradition, as many Remonstrants today wish to argue. Crisp states on page 27 that “most Reformed theologians (though perhaps not all) are said to affirm monergism.” In the footnote he then claims: “Reformed theologians are typically theological determinists, but some have advocated theological libertarianism, like the Arminians.”

    Mark Jones—Does Crisp think the Arminians are, in some sense, Reformed? Or are those Reformed who have advocated theological libertarianism doing so in the same way the Arminians did? I am also left wondering who these Reformed theologians are who were not monergists? I can’t think of anyone.

    Mark Jones—Crisp states on the next page (28) that it is not clear to him that “Arminians are synergists.” He also raises the question over how the human will may “contribute” to salvation. So if there are (hypothetically?) Reformed theologians who are not monergistic, but it is also not clear to Crisp that Arminians are synergistic, then what categories does he have in mind to sort this problem out? Are Arminians monergistic but some Reformed are not?

    Mark Jones–As we study the historical context of debate between the Arminians (Remonstrants) and Reformed, we note that they had strong disagreements on almost every major point of theology (e.g., providence, Christology, trinity, covenant, doctrine of God), especially justification. For the Arminians, it is the (human!) act of faith that is (by grace!) counted as (evangelical) righteousness, as if it were the complete fulfillment of the whole law. It is a genuine human act, coming forth from the liberum arbitrium. So that is synergistic, in my mind.

    Mark Jones—In addition, we should also add that Arminius’s vigorous commitment to scientia media meant that God responded to hypothetical human willing prior to God’s providential concursus…. Historically speaking, the term Reformed has reference to a particular confessional tradition. Arminius, for example, came into conflict with this confessional tradition. He tried to claim he held to the Heidelberg Catechism and Belgic Confession, but this was deceptive on Arminius’s part. I wonder if Crisp thinks that Karl Barth is part of this Reformed confessional tradition, as well?

    http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2015/05/reflections-on-deviant-calvini.php

    Mark Jones on “when calling someone a heretic”—–” I would argue that Pelagianism is a heresy, but Arminianism is not. Pelagianism overthrows several fundamental articles. I would argue that Arminianism is a serious error, but it is not a heresy…..you should be very careful, indeed – when you hurl around the word “moralist”… on matters that do not rise to the level of soul-damning doctrine. ….We do not need to shrink back from lively, vigorous theological debate. Amyraldianism and closed communion and episcopacy are all errors, in my view. But, these errors are not heresies. A wall exists between my brothers who hold to any one of these views, but the wall is not so high that we cannot “shake hands” as brothers.”

    mcmark– in the meanwhile, it can never hurt to use the word “antinomian” when talking to your congregation, because in this day and age those in the covenant need to be reminded that sinners who actually practice sin are “antinomian” and it’s very well possible that many in your congregation will not do the works necessary to stay in covenant and attain final justification.

    I am reminded of the Ian Murray defense of Wesley—it’s not his fault that he was Arminian because it was the fault of the “truly reformed” Antinomians….

    Like

  273. DG Hart–“When will the critics of 2k acknowledge that the teachings of Calvin or Richard Hooker cannot be applied coherently to our world either, or that 2k looks a whole lot more coherent after the revolutions of the late eighteenth century than do Constantinian politics applied to a mixed body of citizens.”

    Consistency is the Hobgoblin of Mystery-Averse Minds

    https://oldlife.org/2012/05/consistency-is-the-hobgoblin-of-mystery-averse-minds/

    Christianity is not consistent with persons who are liberal about what the gospel is, but that does not mean that Christians who are anti-war are liberal or inconsistent or even “neutral”

    Like

  274. So excluding “hypothetical universalism” from the OPC would be too narrow? If it used to be “Reformed”, then maybe need to allow it in order to remain “catholic” enough?

    Waddington—“Dr. Fesko offers a fascinating discussion of hypothetical universalism . It is a fact that there were members present in the assembly who held this view, and the author notes the complexity of the matter and the various views that fall under the label of hypothetical universalism. My concern is not with the details of the discussion. Muller has brought this issue to our attention as well so we are familiar with it. My concern is theological more than historical. As I have already noted, it is a fact that members of the assembly held to a variety of views that can be classified as forms of hypothetical universalism.”

    Waddington—However, beyond doing us the favor of reminding us that at the time of the assembly hypothetical universalism was a live option, one gets the sense that there is also at work here a theological agenda. The contemporary view is too narrow perhaps. Church history hopefully involves an increasingly more precise and improved understanding of the Scriptures and theology.

    Waddington– In other words, should we try to turn back the clock and broaden our confessional views on this? Maybe so. Maybe not. That is a matter for exegetical, biblical, and systematic theology. Historical theology has done us the service of reminding us that at one point hypothetical universalism, at least in some of its variations, was acceptable. We recognize that there is development in theology and that we need to be historically sensitive to this.

    Waddington–Would it be right to judge earlier formulations by later standards? Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that if a later development actually is an improvement and refinement and correction to earlier views, we would not want to revert to the earlier formulations. No, in the sense that we will recognize earlier formulations as defective but not necessarily erroneous or heretical.

    http://www.opc.org/os.html?article_id=529&cur_iss=Y

    Like

  275. Mark Jones—-I know Boston and his friends did not think the Marrow taught hypothetical universalism. And many scholars try with all their might to avoid the implications of this thought, but I simply cannot see how we can deny that the Marrow teaches hypothetical universalism….Culverwell, whom Fisher quotes in the Marrow in relation to the Fee Offer, held to Hypothetical Universalism (Ussher convinced him).

    Mark Jones—-No particularist at that point in Reformed history) would be comfortable with the language used by Fisher. That later particularists in Scotland aren’t uncomfortable with Fisher’s language is a very interesting historical point.

    http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2016/01/the-marrow-part-1.php

    Like

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