Douthat Channels Machen

On modernism in the Roman Catholic church:

I am not saying that you can’t be a Christian if you believe that Jesus got important things wrong, that his human nature exposed him to errors and mistakes and misapprehensions that found their way into his teaching. I have a certain respect, indeed, for contemporary writers who are willing to grasp that nettle: I didn’t write on it when it came out, but I admired this piece by Brandon Ambrosino last year for the forthright way it dealt with the “what would Jesus think about homosexuality” question by simply arguing that not only Paul but Jesus himself had a contingent and limited-by-his-times view of sexual ethics, and that contemporary believers need to transcend the limitations imposed by Jesus’s human side — because Jesus’s divine side would want us to.

But can you be an orthodox Christian if you believe that Jesus’s teaching was shaped and stamped by all-too-human limitations? Can you be a Roman Catholic Christian?

However they answer the first question, clearly a number of Catholic theologians think the answer to the second question should be “yes.” But then it’s hard not to see the “Roman Catholicism” being envisioned as something that’s basically Anglican except more so, in which you have your semi-Arian or Deist wing over here and your high-Christology wing over there and everybody just assumes that unity matters more than orthodoxy and agrees to muddle through.

Except, again, that Anglicanism isn’t muddling through anymore, and except that a great many Catholics, living as well as dead, would look at the above description and say “that ain’t no Catholicism, bruv.”

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342 thoughts on “Douthat Channels Machen

  1. The RCC today, post-Vat 2 and now with Francis the hippie pope at the wheel, is a confused muddle of moral relativism, doctrinal indifference/latitudinarianism and basic universalism (with only the really, really, really evil people going to hell, along with perhaps a few stubborn anti-Catholic Protestants).

    It used to be believed that outside the communion of the RCC there was no possibility of salvation, period (though allowances were made for salvation via a “baptism of desire” in the case of catechumens who died before baptism). Infants dying without baptism were consigned to an eternity in limbo, divorced and remarried individuals were living in a permanent state of mortal sin (and thus headed for damnation unless they repented and ended their adulterous marriages), and the faithful were kept in constant dependence upon Rome’s sacerdotal priesthood out of mortal dread of falling out of a state of grace.

    Now the supposed “Vicar of Christ” tells us that good Buddhists, and even atheists, can be saved by their good works, and without any direct connection to the RCC; and he has made statements friendly to homosexuals. (Plus, the RCC today seems to be rather generous in their granting of annulments, which seems to undermine their rigorous stance on divorce and remarriage.)

    Since anyone (even atheists) can be saved without the RCC simply by being “good people,” why does anyone need to be Catholic anymore? The RCC’s current doctrinal latitudinarianism has rendered it irrelevant.

    To the RCC faithful who (like certain Trumpkins) are undeterred by inconvenient facts, the RCC continues today to be unchangeable and irreformable due to the alleged infallibility of its established dogmas.

    But to the rest of us, it seems clear: This is not your grandfather’s Catholicism.

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  2. Good work, Geoff.

    And this is why the call to communion will continue to fall on deaf ears to anyone who actually wants to find the truth more than they want some kind of absolute certainty. What we have in the modern RCC is not “development of understanding the deposit of faith.” You actually see that in confessional Protestantism. What you have in modern RCC is a fundamental reshaping of the faith.

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  3. “I am not saying that you can’t be a Christian if you believe that Jesus got important things wrong”

    for the record, morning topper-ism:
    no unblemished spotless lamb, who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf ?(1 Pet 1:18-19; 2 Cor 5: 21
    )
    then let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die 1 Cor 15:32

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  4. Robert: “And this is why the call to communion will continue to fall on deaf ears to anyone who actually wants to find the truth more than they want some kind of absolute certainty.”

    GW: Thanks, Robert. I believe you are correct, and that the draw for many Prots who end up crossing the Tiber is what R. Scott Clark called QIRC (the “Quest for Illegitimate Religious Certainty”; see ch. 2 in his book “Recovering the Reformed Confession”). They long for an expression of the Faith freed from all the pesky questions and doubts that arise from living in a fallen, sin-cursed world where we see as in a mirror dimly now (1 Cor. 13:12), and they think they have found it in the supposedly infallible teaching magisterium of Rome. But, of course, Rome doesn’t live up to its claims, for even their “infallible” pronouncements are subject to fallible interpretations. In short, Romanist QIRC involves an over-realized eschatology and is beholden to a theology of glory.

    Of course, we Prot believers can enjoy an “absolute certainty” of sorts; namely, “the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts” to the infallible truth and Divine authority of Scripture (WCF 1.5), and the infallible assurance of salvation that true believers may come to enjoy by virtue of “the divine truth of the promises of salvation” and “the testimony of the Spirit of adoption witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God” (WCF 18.2). But this is not the same as QIRC.

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  5. Geoff,

    “Romanist QIRC involves an over-realized eschatology and is beholden to a theology of glory. ”

    No it involves the rejection of an under-realized ecclesiology beholden to relativizing the faith and subjectivism.

    “They long for an expression of the Faith freed from all the pesky questions and doubts that arise from living in a fallen, sin-cursed world where we see as in a mirror dimly now”

    Living by faith, not by sight and faith seeking understanding are affirmed by RCism. Perpetual doubt, tentativeness, and ignorance is not something the biblical or patristic witnesses praise or affirm as reflective of faith.

    “for even their “infallible” pronouncements are subject to fallible interpretations”

    As were the pronouncements of Christ and the Apostles. I suppose that meant Christ and the Apostles couldn’t live up to their claims to have the divine authority and ability to offer irreformable teachings or definitive normative judgments binding upon all.

    “Of course, we Prot believers can enjoy an “absolute certainty” of sorts”

    Irreformable dogmas are offered by no Protestant churches, consistent with their disclaimers to any such authority/ability to do so.
    Infallible assurance of salvation is assurance for only as long as you don’t sin gravely enough or for long enough or apostasize – if that happens, then it just indicates you were never regenerated in the first place and were self-deceived and a poor patsy who got hoodwinked by God’s “evanescent grace” and “inferior operations of the Holy Spirit” as Calvin put it.
    And you just conveniently defined “Prot believers” as “only Calvinists”.

    “It used to be believed that outside the communion of the RCC there was no possibility of salvation period (though allowances were made for salvation via a “baptism of desire” in the case of catechumens who died before baptism). ”

    EENS is still true, just as Lumen Gentium and Dominus Iesus affirm. And your “allowances” qualifier already shows the strict interpretation you offer of EENS was not held by the church. Which is why Feeney’s rigorist interpretation of EENS (that anyone who is not a formal member of the RCC is unsaved) was condemned long before Vat2 which supposedly overturned everything. Which is why teachings on invincible ignorance were already well entrenched in RCism, thus the Holy Office’s condemnation of Feeney’s view (1949):
    “It is not always required that one be actually incorporated as a member of the Church, but this at least is required: that one adhere to it in wish and desire. It is not always necessary that this be explicit… but when a man labors under invincible ignorance, God accepts even an implicit will, called by that name because it is contained in the good disposition of soul in which a man wills to
    conform his will to the will of God.”
    and
    “With these prudent words [of Pius XII], the Pope censures those who exclude from eternal salvation all men who adhere to the Church only with an implicit desire; and he also censures those who falsely maintain that men can be saved equally well in all religions”

    and as Pius X, that modernist liberal, affirmed in his catechism (1908):
    “Q. But if a man through no fault of his own is outside the Church, can he be saved?
    A. If he is outside the Church through no fault of his, that is, if he is in good faith, and if he has received Baptism, or at least has the implicit desire of Baptism; and if, moreover, he sincerely seeks the truth and does God’s will as best he can such a man is indeed separated from the body of the Church, but is united to the soul of the Church and consequently is on the way of salvation”

    And Pius IX, the liberal pope of Vat1, said:
    (1854): “We must hold as of the faith, that out of the Apostolic Roman Church there is no salvation; that she is the only ark of safety, and whosoever is not in her perishes in the deluge; we must also, on the other hand, recognize with certainty that those who are invincible in ignorance of the true religion are not guilty for this in the eyes of the Lord. And who would presume to mark out the limits of this ignorance according to the character and diversity of peoples, countries, minds and the rest?”

    (1863): “It is known to us and to you that those who are in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion, but who observe carefully the natural law, and the precepts graven by God upon the hearts of all men, and who being disposed to obey God lead an honest and upright life, may, aided by the light of divine grace, attain to eternal life; for God who sees clearly, searches and knows the heart, the disposition, the thoughts and intentions of each, in His supreme mercy and goodness by no means permits that anyone suffer eternal punishment, who has not of his own free will fallen into sin.”

    Piux XII in Mystici Corpus (1943): “We have committed to the protection and guidance of heaven those who do not belong to the visible Body of the Catholic Church… We ask each and every one of them to correspond to the interior movements of grace, and to seek to withdraw from that state in which they cannot be sure of their salvation. For even though by an unconscious desire and longing they have a certain relationship with the Mystical Body of the Redeemer, they still remain deprived of those many heavenly gifts and helps which can only be enjoyed in the Catholic Church.”

    Clement XI in 1713 condemned the proposition that “Outside of the Church, no grace is granted.”

    Pope Gregory VII’s letter to the Muslim Sultan of Mauritania in 1076:
    “…He who enlightens all men coming into this world has enlightened your mind for this purpose. Almighty God, who wishes that all should be saved and none lost, approves nothing in so much as that after loving Him one should love his fellow man, and that one should not do to others, what one does not want done to oneself. This affection we and you owe to each other in a more peculiar way than to people of other races because we worship and confess the same God though in diverse forms and daily praise and adore Him as the creator and ruler of this world. For, in the words of the Apostle, ‘He is our peace who hath made both one.’ This good action was inspired in your heart by God….This grace granted to you by God is admired and praised by many of the Roman nobility who have learned from us of your benevolence and high qualities … For God knows that we love you purely for His honour and that we desire your salvation and glory, both in this life and in the life to come. And we pray in our hearts and with our lips that God may lead you to the abode of happiness, to the bosom of the holy patriarch Abraham, after long years of life here on earth…”

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  6. Clete,

    Perpetual doubt, tentativeness, and ignorance is not something the biblical or patristic witnesses praise or affirm as reflective of faith.

    Of course they don’t. But Roman Catholicism approves the ignorance of implicit faith. Believe without knowing what the church teaches. Nominal assent to unknown propositions isn’t the Apostolic model.

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  7. James Young, “No it involves the rejection of an under-realized ecclesiology beholden to relativizing the faith and subjectivism.”

    No its an ecclesiology that actually defers to word and Spirit and has a healthy estimate of fallible men. Rome gets word wrong, invokes Spirit when it needs to, and doesn’t have a clue about human nature.

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  8. Robert, don’t forget that for all those seals around Rome that show the keys of the kingdom, Rome loves to play ignorant about people outside the church going to hell even as they are confident of knowledge of miracles performed by deceased Christians that allow popes to know who is a saint.

    hmmm.

    cool.

    nope.

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  9. CVD: “As were the pronouncements of Christ and the Apostles. I suppose that meant Christ and the Apostles couldn’t live up to their claims to have the divine authority and ability to offer irreformable teachings or definitive normative judgments binding upon all.”

    GW: The issue here is Rome’s assertion that infallible Divine revelation, given through Scripture and Tradition, requires an infallible human Interpreter in order for that revelation to be clear and accessible to the faithful, and thus in order for the faithful to have a stable faith grounded in absolute truth. If there is no infallible human Interpreter, then supposedly believers are left helpless to be tossed about by the waves of uncertainty and subjectivism. But the problem with this perspective is that even Rome’s supposedly infallible interpretations must be interpreted by fallible men. Thus an infallible Interpreter is no “silver bullet” to this epistemological challenge to certainty, and in the end the Catholic faithful are left in the same position as their separated brethren — having to rely upon their fallible interpretations of that which is believed to be infallible.

    Of course we Protestants (at least the orthodox among us) affirm the infallibility of Christ and His apostles. Historic Protestantism also affirms that the visible church is a genuinely authoritative, though fallible, interpreter of Holy Scripture. That’s why we have creeds, confessions of faith and catechisms. What makes our positions different is that we Protestants believe God has communicated to His people so clearly in His infallible Word that even fallible men (indeed, even the unlearned), provided they be willing and teachable, and by the dilgent use of ordinary means, are able to attain to a sufficient understanding of the way of salvation revealed in the infallible Word. And all without an infallible Interpreter!

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  10. Geoff,

    Thus an infallible Interpreter is no “silver bullet” to this epistemological challenge to certainty, and in the end the Catholic faithful are left in the same position as their separated brethren — having to rely upon their fallible interpretations of that which is believed to be infallible.

    Ding, ding.

    At the end of the day, all Rome offers that Protestantism doesn’t is more infallible stuff to be interpreted and believed by the fallible individual. It remains unconvincing to me what advantage that supposedly offers.

    And the double standards of Roman apologists are appalling. Inculcate doubt in the individual about his ability to recognize and interpret divine revelation but then pretend as if imputing infallibility to the church means that the individual no longer has any issue recognizing and interpreting divine revelation. As if.

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  11. Robert and Geoff, not to mention that papal infallibility is a tad pope self-serving. “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Not exactly what comes to mind with the papacy, its defenders, or the apologists celebrating championships.

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  12. Robert: “And the double standards of Roman apologists are appalling. Inculcate doubt in the individual about his ability to recognize and interpret divine revelation but then pretend as if imputing infallibility to the church means that the individual no longer has any issue recognizing and interpreting divine revelation. As if.”

    GW: Good point. I think one of the big draws of Rome (besides the pageantry of its liturgy, its pretentious historical claims, and its massiveness) is the promise that “The Church” will do your thinking for you on the big questions. Just receive the “deposit of faith” with an implicit faith, and all will be well in the bosom of Mother Church. It can seem so neat and tidy and easy. But that’s just window dressing which hides a mess that rivals (if not surpasses) the messy-ness of Protestantism.

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  13. Geoff,

    Good point. I think one of the big draws of Rome (besides the pageantry of its liturgy, its pretentious historical claims, and its massiveness) is the promise that “The Church” will do your thinking for you on the big questions. Just receive the “deposit of faith” with an implicit faith, and all will be well in the bosom of Mother Church. But that’s just window dressing which hides a mess that rivals (if not surpasses) the messy-ness of Protestantism.

    There does seem to be an excessive immaturity on the part of the RC apologetic, at least from the conservatives. The idea of the church as our mother is certainly in keeping with Scripture, but of course honoring our parents only goes so far. Scripture exorts us to grow up, and part of that is recognizing that our parents, even if they are godly, are not infallible.

    The “all will be well in the bosom of Mother Church” mentality betrays a desire to return to childhood. I wish I was a kid again, as I grew up in a good home and was sheltered from much. Life was easier then. It’s the same vibe you get from converts to Rome especially. Rome lets you be like a child, literally. Rome will keep you safe. Rome has all the answers. It’s the same kind of view you have of your parents until you grow up and realize your parents really don’t have all the answers. That for better or for worse, life is hard and perplexing and not everything can be wrapped up in a neat little package. You don’t get the sense on the part of RC converts that they realize that the same thing applies to the church. It’s all rainbows and sunshine.

    It’s delusion. When you are young, your parents don’t change in your eyes all that much. They’re Mom and Dad, and they seem to be the same age for years. Then you grow up, and you see how much they really have changed and that you can’t pretend otherwise. Same with the Roman Church. This illusion of no dogmatic change betrays the reality. Those within the Roman dysfunctional family can’t seem to see it (the conservatives anyway, most everyone else knows what is up and they stay RC for other reasons than that it is ever the same). Those outside do see it. As with earthly families, it is hard to see and admit the dysfunction in your own family. So I get it to a point with RCs.

    The RC apologetic would be more compelling if it were simply “Rome appears to be the best choice out there according to my interpretation of history and Scripture. And since, for better or worse she is the church Jesus founded, I need to go along with the changes unless they become so grossly immoral that I can’t do it anymore.” This “Rome guards the deposit infallibly so shut up and just believe or you are a rationalistic Pelagian” doesn’t work unless you are really looking for something other than truth.

    I don’t mean to knock RCs. Most people reach points in their lives or find themselves in situations where they really want something other than truth, and so they can deceive themselves. It’s part of the human condition. Rome’s big problem is that it institutionalizes it and makes self-deception a virtue.

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  14. Geoff,

    “But the problem with this perspective is that even Rome’s supposedly infallible interpretations must be interpreted by fallible men”

    As were the pronouncements and interpretations of Christ and the Apostles to their followers in the NT. I suppose that meant Christ and the Apostles couldn’t live up to their claims to have the divine authority and ability to offer irreformable teachings or definitive normative judgments binding upon all.

    “Thus an infallible Interpreter is no “silver bullet” to this epistemological challenge to certainty”

    So Christ and the Apostles with their authority/ability gave no more certainty or surer grounding to their followers than random rabbis lacking and rejecting such authority/ability.

    “having to rely upon their fallible interpretations of that which is believed to be infallible.”

    As did followers of Christ and the Apostles. No one in RCism denies we interpret. That’s part of being human. That fact hardly means no one can gain further clarity of surety from an interpreter or authoritative teacher. If Jack and Jill are reading Finnegan’s Wake, and Jack has James Joyce sitting next to him for unlimited time offering iterative feedback, commentary, clarification to that reader while Jill sits alone, does that mean Jack has no advantage over Jill in his understanding of FW because he must interpret what Joyce says to him? Of course not.

    “Historic Protestantism also affirms that the visible church is a genuinely authoritative, though fallible, interpreter of Holy Scripture.”

    Right, and the “visible church” is only authoritative insofar as it conforms to the individuals current provisional interpretation and judgment of Scripture. Otherwise that particular church is no longer (or never was) part of the “visible church”. And the judgment of the “church” as to what constitutes Scripture or its role and nature in the first place is only authoritative insofar as it conforms to the individuals judgment of what constitutes Scripture and its role and nature. Thus, ecclesial deism and consumerism and perpetual private judgment and making concepts such as schism meaningless.

    “That’s why we have creeds, confessions of faith and catechisms.”

    Which are authoritative only insofar as they conform to the individuals interpretation of Scripture. Otherwise, they can be revised or rejected. Thus your church freely rejects Augsburg or Arminian or Word of Faith or Oneness Pentecostal or KJV-only confessions and catechisms, while affirming a revised version of WCF and rejecting earlier ones, while also holding pastors and theologians who seek to revise or omit sections of the Nicene or Apostles creeds in good standing. Thus sola scriptura reducing to solo scriptura and biblicism.

    “What makes our positions different is that we Protestants believe God has communicated to His people so clearly in His infallible Word that even fallible men (indeed, even the unlearned), provided they be willing and teachable, and by the dilgent use of ordinary means, are able to attain to a sufficient understanding of the way of salvation revealed in the infallible Word.”

    So those who disagree with you on what the “essentials” consist of and/or the interpretation of those essentials are simply unwilling and unteachable or not diligent, whereas your church is. And any Protestant church that disagrees with you will return the same charge in kind. Stalemate and indifference.
    Further, given the disunity and lack of clarity when comparing the catechisms/confessions/statements of faith amongst the wide spectrum of all Protestant churches, what would be a hypothetical scenario which would demonstrate Scripture was not perspicuous and not intended to function within the context of a church and tradition with the authority/ability to offer irreformable teachings and definitive normative judgments? If Scripture is so clear, why do all Protestant churches refuse the authority/ability to offer any identification, teaching, interpretation, or judgment of Scripture as irreformable and binding upon all?

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  15. Cletus,

    That fact hardly means no one can gain further clarity of surety from an interpreter or authoritative teacher.

    And no Protestant that I knows denies that one can gain further clarity or surety from an interpreter or authoritative teacher. But the clarity doesn’t come simply by virtue of possessing authority. The clarity comes by virtue of the truth of the words spoken.

    Right, and the “visible church” is only authoritative insofar as it conforms to the individuals current provisional interpretation and judgment of Scripture.

    Well, Rome is only authoritative insofar as you are able to make the pieces fit in a way that conforms to your provisional interpretation of the evidence or your current understanding. If you can’t make the pieces fit any longer, they find the body of Christ, or some other such thing, you assumedly won’t view Rome as authoritative any longer. Unless of course you have given up your mind to Rome.

    while also holding pastors and theologians who seek to revise or omit sections of the Nicene or Apostles creeds in good standing. Thus sola scriptura reducing to solo scriptura and biblicism.

    This would have more merit if Francis wasn’t joining with Lutherans to celebrate the Reformation in the fall or making friends with Kasper or allowing theologians who reject any semblance of Christian orthodoxy to retain their posts at RC institutions. All of that actually reduces the 3-legged stool to sola ecclesia. Whatever the church permits is a-ok.

    So those who disagree with you on what the “essentials” consist of and/or the interpretation of those essentials are simply unwilling and unteachable or not diligent, whereas your church is.

    But that’s Rome’s position as well, is it not?

    And any Protestant church that disagrees with you will return the same charge in kind. Stalemate and indifference.

    Kind of like how Rome’s disagreements with other denominations pan out. Stalemate with the East. Semi-stalemate with liberal Lutherans. Actually, Rome goes a step further and thinks stalemate with Buddhists in which Buddha’s followers are assured of a place in heaven is just dandy.

    If Scripture is so clear, why do all Protestant churches refuse the authority/ability to offer any identification, teaching, interpretation, or judgment of Scripture as irreformable and binding upon all?

    Maybe because we don’t believe Scripture needs our help that way? Maybe because God can verify Himself just fine, like He did with Abraham, David, Moses, the Apostles, etc? I mean, there are many reasons other than “Scripture isn’t clear.”

    Besides, the argument backfires. If Rome is so clear, how come nobody can identify the scope of tradition, every dogma Rome has pronounced, etc., etc.

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  16. “That fact hardly means no one can gain further clarity of surety from an interpreter or authoritative teacher.”

    And no Protestant that I knows denies that one can gain further clarity or surety from an interpreter or authoritative teacher. But the clarity doesn’t come simply by virtue of possessing authority. The clarity comes by virtue of the truth of the words spoken.

    I might quibble just a bit here Robert – clarity comes from having “ears that can hear”. The authority and infallibility of Jesus didn’t help Judas. In fact it didn’t do the apostles all that much good in the days following the Christ’s death and resurrection. They didn’t get it even though they had all of that face time with the Savior. Something else had to happen… And thus we turn to the book of Acts. This is a glaring hole in CVD’s case against protestantism.

    “Right, and the “visible church” is only authoritative insofar as it conforms to the individuals current provisional interpretation and judgment of Scripture.”

    Well, Rome is only authoritative insofar as you are able to make the pieces fit in a way that conforms to your provisional interpretation of the evidence or your current understanding. If you can’t make the pieces fit any longer, they find the body of Christ, or some other such thing, you assumedly won’t view Rome as authoritative any longer. Unless of course you have given up your mind to Rome.

    I wouldn’t give this away quite like this. It seems to me that their authority only extends insofar as they are consonant with God’s Word. Their power is something else. If I decide that the Flying Spaghetti monster is the creator of the universe, my session can call me to repentance and bar me from the table. But that’s about it. If I were Catholic, I don’t see how anything changes (though the priest probably wouldn’t bother getting involved – at least in my admittedly limited experience). The local church is legitimately authoritative or not whatever I may think about it, but nothing is to stop me or anyother “recovering catholic” from moving to Clearwater, FL and inventing my new religion…it’s a free country!

    “while also holding pastors and theologians who seek to revise or omit sections of the Nicene or Apostles creeds in good standing. Thus sola scriptura reducing to solo scriptura and biblicism.”

    This would have more merit if Francis wasn’t joining with Lutherans to celebrate the Reformation in the fall or making friends with Kasper or allowing theologians who reject any semblance of Christian orthodoxy to retain their posts at RC institutions. All of that actually reduces the 3-legged stool to sola ecclesia. Whatever the church permits is a-ok.

    I’m not sure how errant churches or lax sessions reduce to solo scriptura. I agree, Robert, if lax or sloppy discipline is an epistemological problem, then the RCC is in super trouble.

    “So those who disagree with you on what the “essentials” consist of and/or the interpretation of those essentials are simply unwilling and unteachable or not diligent, whereas your church is.”

    But that’s Rome’s position as well, is it not?

    I’m pretty sure the WCF answers this for us, but I agree it pretty well characterizes the RCC..

    “And any Protestant church that disagrees with you will return the same charge in kind. Stalemate and indifference.”

    Kind of like how Rome’s disagreements with other denominations pan out. Stalemate with the East. Semi-stalemate with liberal Lutherans. Actually, Rome goes a step further and thinks stalemate with Buddhists in which Buddha’s followers are assured of a place in heaven is just dandy.

    Yes! But going even further, the imbroglio with Douthat and the liberal RCs seems to high light that stalemate and indifference is the rule in the RCC. This is what happens when you don’t test and silence (remove) false teachers. This is every member’s responsibility as we see throughout the NT.

    “If Scripture is so clear, why do all Protestant churches refuse the authority/ability to offer any identification, teaching, interpretation, or judgment of Scripture as irreformable and binding upon all?”

    Maybe because we don’t believe Scripture needs our help that way? Maybe because God can verify Himself just fine, like He did with Abraham, David, Moses, the Apostles, etc? I mean, there are many reasons other than “Scripture isn’t clear.”

    Besides, the argument backfires. If Rome is so clear, how come nobody can identify the scope of tradition, every dogma Rome has pronounced, etc., etc.
    </blockquote
    Yep!

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  17. Robert,

    “And no Protestant that I knows denies that one can gain further clarity or surety from an interpreter or authoritative teacher. ”

    So much for Geoff’s argument.

    “But the clarity doesn’t come simply by virtue of possessing authority. The clarity comes by virtue of the truth of the words spoken.”

    So when you tell me and clarify what you mean by this sentence, given your authority as the writer, I am justified and within my rights to reject your asserted meaning and interpretation of your own words.

    So Christ and the Apostles did not actually need to possess any divine authority – that was all unnecessary and superfluous. Further, even if they did, that authority is incidental and immaterial to someone’s acceptance of their teaching, so Jewish sects were justified in rejecting that teaching since they estimated Christ and the Apostles teaching did not conform to their interpretation of the OT.

    So the church is authoritative only insofar as it conforms to my current provisional judgment and interpretation of divine revelation and my estimation of the “truth”. Welcome to solo scriptura and liberalism and Sheen’s quote: “…each individual [is] his own supreme authority, allowing him either to interpret the Scriptures privately or else interpret his own religious experiences without any dictation from without. Religion on this theory is a purely individual affair: each one casts his own vote as to what he will believe, rejects all creeds, beliefs, and dogmas which run counter to his moods and prejudices, determines for himself the kind of a God he will adore, the kind of an altar before which he will kneel – in a word, he worships at the shrines his own hands have made.”

    “Unless of course you have given up your mind to Rome.”

    Rome is not the borg collective. The followers of Christ and the Apostles did not become mindless zombies to Christ and the Apostles, but they did submit to their divine authority and defer to their irreformable and binding judgments and teachings based on that authority.

    “This would have more merit”

    Instead of denying the statement, you concede it. Glad that’s clear.

    “But that’s Rome’s position as well, is it not? ”

    Rome doesn’t claim Scripture is perspicuous.

    “Kind of like how Rome’s disagreements with other denominations pan out.”

    Rome isn’t just another Protestant denomination. That’s why she makes different claims to authority/ability than Protestant churches. That’s why Protestant churches have no mechanism to resolve or definitively settle disputes, thus stalemates and splintering.

    “Maybe because we don’t believe Scripture needs our help that way?”

    You just demonstrated you affirm solo scriptura and biblicism and do-it-yourself christianity again with this statement.

    Regardless, so “God has communicated to His people so clearly in His infallible Word” – when divorced from the context of tradition and the church – all the teachings the OPC affirms, and yet the OPC is afraid and refuses to actually assert that any of those teachings are irreformable or binding upon all? It’s so clear, why not just declare those teachings as irreformable – you’ve had 500 years – why still so tentative? If it actually wasn’t so clear, would your church behave any differently in how it affirms and teaches its doctrine?

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  18. Dr. Hart,

    I agree with the part about the RCC invoking spirit in a self serving manner, and perhaps you are right that the RCC also gets scripture wrong, although it still seems to me that Luther and Calvin are wrong on justification, and the RCC/EOC at least a little more right. But I am confused about the RCC getting human nature all screwed up. Are you referring to post vat 2, or does that mean that Augustine, Aquinas, etc. are also clueless?

    Also, do I misunderstand the bible if I pray for my grandmother who just had a stroke and was found motionless on the floor this morning? Is that man centered religion. I realize I sound sarcastic, but I am honestly ignorant and confused. I no longer trust the RCC but I am not so sure your team is led by hall of famers either.

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  19. SDB,

    I might quibble just a bit here Robert – clarity comes from having “ears that can hear”. The authority and infallibility of Jesus didn’t help Judas. In fact it didn’t do the apostles all that much good in the days following the Christ’s death and resurrection. They didn’t get it even though they had all of that face time with the Savior. Something else had to happen… And thus we turn to the book of Acts. This is a glaring hole in CVD’s case against protestantism.

    Of course, I agree. I was just responding the CVD’s painting with a big brush as if Protestants don’t think teachers can’t help clarify. But you are correct, and it’s a point I think I’ve made as well, even having Jesus present in the flesh gives no automatic advantage to the individual. If the individual is hard in heart, Jesus doesn’t do much good for him. Best example: Judas.

    I wouldn’t give this away quite like this. It seems to me that their authority only extends insofar as they are consonant with God’s Word. Their power is something else. If I decide that the Flying Spaghetti monster is the creator of the universe, my session can call me to repentance and bar me from the table. But that’s about it. If I were Catholic, I don’t see how anything changes (though the priest probably wouldn’t bother getting involved – at least in my admittedly limited experience). The local church is legitimately authoritative or not whatever I may think about it, but nothing is to stop me or anyother “recovering catholic” from moving to Clearwater, FL and inventing my new religion…it’s a free country!

    Of course, I agree again. My point was only that the idea that a Protestant church is authoritative subjectively only insofar as we agree with it is exactly the same for Roman Catholicism, or at least for thinking RCs. RCs continue to be RCs because they agree with the church. Indeed, there is no provision for submitting to the church that looks anything like disagreeing with it. In that respect, Presbyterianism offers truer submission. We submit even where we disagree.

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  20. Cletus,

    So much for Geoff’s argument.

    I’m pretty sure that Geoff was saying that the presence of a teacher gives no necessary or automatic advantage. Your argument rests on having an inherent advantage to the teacher.

    So when you tell me and clarify what you mean by this sentence, given your authority as the writer, I am justified and within my rights to reject your asserted meaning and interpretation of your own words.

    If I tell you that the meaning of those words is that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is coming again, then yes.

    So Christ and the Apostles did not actually need to possess any divine authority – that was all unnecessary and superfluous.

    No one has said that. That is your erroneous conclusion that does not logically follow from our position.

    Further, even if they did, that authority is incidental and immaterial to someone’s acceptance of their teaching, so Jewish sects were justified in rejecting that teaching since they estimated Christ and the Apostles teaching did not conform to their interpretation of the OT.

    Not incidental, just not sufficient. The High Priest had divine authority, and he had Christ crucified. The parallels don’t work as you want them to because Christ isn’t the church and the church isn’t Christ.

    So the church is authoritative only insofar as it conforms to my current provisional judgment and interpretation of divine revelation and my estimation of the “truth”.

    The church is authoritative over you subjectively only insofar as it conforms to your current provisional judgment and interpretation of divine revelation and my estimation of the truth. If you were to change your interpretation and become Protestant, Rome would no longer have authority over you. You paint yourself as a thinking person, and you seem to be one, so there is no way out of this for you.

    Welcome to solo scriptura and liberalism and Sheen’s quote: “…each individual [is] his own supreme authority, allowing him either to interpret the Scriptures privately or else interpret his own religious experiences without any dictation from without. Religion on this theory is a purely individual affair: each one casts his own vote as to what he will believe, rejects all creeds, beliefs, and dogmas which run counter to his moods and prejudices, determines for himself the kind of a God he will adore, the kind of an altar before which he will kneel – in a word, he worships at the shrines his own hands have made.”

    Sheen overstates things in this quote but what he says applies equally well to you apart from the Borg collective mind meld.

    Rome is not the borg collective. The followers of Christ and the Apostles did not become mindless zombies to Christ and the Apostles

    Agreed.

    but they did submit to their divine authority and defer to their irreformable and binding judgments and teachings based on that authority.

    After being convinced by Scripture in the case of the Bereans, of course. After evaluating the claims of one professed Apostle by the claims of another, of course. And on and on and on. Where do we find someone saying, “He claims authority, I must submit.”

    Rome doesn’t claim Scripture is perspicuous.

    But Rome claims that Rome is perspicuous, so therefore anyone who disagrees with Rome is dull, ignorant, not being touched by the Spirit, willfully obstinate, etc. Hard to see how faulting Protestants for applying anything like that to those who differ with them is bad for us but not for you.

    Rome isn’t just another Protestant denomination. That’s why she makes different claims to authority/ability than Protestant churches.

    Rome isn’t another Protestant denomination, but she is just another denomination. She’s one of many options to consider, and gets no special deference out of the gate simply because you like her.

    That’s why Protestant churches have no mechanism to resolve or definitively settle disputes, thus stalemates and splintering.

    Wrong. PCA and the OPC both have mechanisms to definitively settle disputes. If people don’t like it, they can leave. It’s a free country. Same exact thing with Rome. A council says something you don’t like, and you are free to leave. And it happens again and again and again. As SDB has noted, millions of former RCs have formed denominations of one. Again, you one day must reckon with the fact that Rome, specifically papal claims, is the primary cause of all church splintering.

    In fact, splintering can only really happen when something has been settled. When did Rome splinter between Old Catholics and the Roman Magisterium? When Rome “settled” the question of papal infallibility. Taking a stand inevitably causes splintering, especially when Rome or anyone else doesn’t have the sword.

    You just demonstrated you affirm solo scriptura and biblicism and do-it-yourself christianity again with this statement.

    No. I just said Scripture doesn’t need the help of, “Alright guys, let’s turn on the red light so that the peons in the pews can know what is correct and what isn’t.”

    Regardless, so “God has communicated to His people so clearly in His infallible Word” – when divorced from the context of tradition and the church – all the teachings the OPC affirms, and yet the OPC is afraid and refuses to actually assert that any of those teachings are irreformable or binding upon all?

    OPC says that Scripture is irreformable or binding on all, and in so doing is just restating what Scripture says.

    It’s so clear, why not just declare those teachings as irreformable – you’ve had 500 years – why still so tentative?

    “So tentative?” Yeah, about as tentative as the belief that the sun will rise again tomorrow. You don’t have infallible knowledge of that, but you believe with good reason it will happen. The additional claim of infallibility is unnecessary and without precedent in the actual Apostolic documents that we have.

    If it actually wasn’t so clear, would your church behave any differently in how it affirms and teaches its doctrine?

    If it wasn’t so clear, the difference would be that the OPC would say that the JWs and Mormons are legitimate Christians, to give one example. It’s pretty easy to recognize a legitimate church, unless you make Scripture into a dead document.

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  21. Josh, do you want to trust Jesus and know that he has saved you — and know that based on the testimony of the 66 books of the bible? Or would you rather have to avail yourself of an elaborate system of several (at least temporarily) efficacious sacraments, priestly intercession (don’t mind what they do after hours), confession to said priests, a catechism with many hundreds of points, a supposedly infallible spiritual CEO, and a corrupt church to interpret the 66 books plus apocrypha for you and tell you how those books mesh (or not) with tradition? Sorry, add to the above a mediatrix and a pantheon of saints. Did you do chemistry? It’s much worse than the periodic table.

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  22. No hall of famers, Josh. But, there is the apostolic witness, inscripturated, to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Go high priest over hall of famer, though Hebrews has a list of those too.

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  23. cw,

    Much of what you say is sensible, since I like clarity and simplicity. However, you say that I can know Jesus saved me when, I assume, you also believe in a predestined elect. If that is the case, how does anyone really know if they are saved? Catholic church corrupt? Ok, I can buy that. Have you found an incorruptible church?

    Just because you are right in much of your critique of Catholicism does not convince me that you are right on everything, especially that thing that the Reformation is said to stand or fall. If everybody is wrong, to whom shall I go?

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  24. Robert: The idea of the church as our mother is certainly in keeping with Scripture, but of course honoring our parents only goes so far. Scripture exorts us to grow up, and part of that is recognizing that our parents, even if they are godly, are not infallible… Rome lets you be like a child, literally… Rome has all the answers.

    Don’t think honoring our parents only goes so far as His command to honor is unconditional, as I understand it; but isn’t it more like –but what are the purposes of the Lord. What He is up to with His sons (& daughters) is growing us, each and together, in respect to salvation in all aspects into Him and that we,each and together, abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, being led by the Spirit of God.

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  25. Josh, by all means pray for God to heal your Grandmother. James 5:16 ” Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. “. Doesn’t seem like a hard question to me, but I’m just a dumb Baptist.

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  26. Ali,

    His command to honor is unconditional,

    Not according to the whole of Scripture. You don’t follow anyone, even your parents, if they tell you to sin.

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  27. cw l’unificateur
    Posted January 27, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink
    Josh, do you want to trust Jesus and know that he has saved you — and know that based on the testimony of the 66 books of the bible? Or would you rather have to avail yourself of an elaborate system of several (at least temporarily) efficacious sacraments, priestly intercession (don’t mind what they do after hours), confession to said priests, a catechism with many hundreds of points, a supposedly infallible spiritual CEO, and a corrupt church to interpret the 66 books plus apocrypha for you and tell you how those books mesh (or not) with tradition? Sorry, add to the above a mediatrix and a pantheon of saints. Did you do chemistry? It’s much worse than the periodic table.>>>>>

    Oh, come on, cw. How can you say you are sure Jesus has saved you when you aren’t even sure He rose from the dead according to your epistemology of provisional knowledge. His body could be found, after all. Yet you claim to know that He has saved you.

    Even in your religion, your salvation is contingent on your persevering to the end. How do you know you are among the elect who will persevere? You don’t.

    You are not sure of anything. Besides, the Protestant canon of Scripture is not even closed.

    Otherwise you would not be advocating for the removal of the last part of the 16 chapter of Mark and the pericope adulterae from the Bible, as your side does.

    When there is new textual “scholarship” to prove that the Apostle Paul did not write the book of Ephesians, what will you say?

    Remember that Luther did not accept the inspiration of the books of Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation.

    Besides, others have argued in here that the word “infallible” should not have been used in the Westminster Confession of Faith. The WCF uses the term “infallible” in reference to Scripture alone. It is the only infallible rule of faith and practice in your system, yet some think that the use of the word “infallible” in the WCF is unfortunate. Why would that be?

    I didn’t see you object to that. Why not if you are such a sola scriptura defender?

    Why don’t you guys ever explain yourselves when you make heretical statements? You don’t even challenge one another. Why is that?

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  28. Robert,

    “I’m pretty sure that Geoff was saying that the presence of a teacher gives no necessary or automatic advantage.”

    No, he was repeating the same old mindmeld argument. No infallible mindmeld, no advantage. Period. So no authoritative teacher or interpreter can ever give any advantage. Period.

    “If I tell you that the meaning of those words is that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is coming again, then yes.”

    So when you tell me and clarify what you mean by this sentence, given your authority as the writer, I am justified and within my rights to reject your asserted meaning and interpretation of your own words. If you want to assert all writers cannot and don’t actually intend anything by the words they choose, and thus they cannot clarify the intended meaning of what they wrote or that the veracity of such clarification is held hostage to the hearer’s agreement, enjoy living in that world.

    “So Christ and the Apostles did not actually need to possess any divine authority – that was all unnecessary and superfluous.
    – No one has said that. That is your erroneous conclusion that does not logically follow from our position.”

    Here’s what you said: “But the clarity doesn’t come simply by virtue of possessing authority. The clarity comes by virtue of the truth of the words spoken.”

    So Christ and the Apostles did not actually need to possess any divine authority. They just needed to speak true words, as evaluated by their hearers.

    “The High Priest had divine authority, and he had Christ crucified. ”

    So do governments and parents. The High Priest wasn’t Christ or the Apostles, nor did he make the same claims to the type of authority and ability Christ and the Apostles made.

    “The parallels don’t work as you want them to because Christ isn’t the church and the church isn’t Christ. ”

    The parallels work just fine as long as you keep saying infallible authorities can give no advantage because their followers must fallibly interpret them.

    “If you were to change your interpretation and become Protestant, Rome would no longer have authority over you.”

    If I was to reject Rome’s authority and become Protestant, I would be in schism according to her. If I was to reject OPC’s authority and become a Oneness Pentecostal or KJV-onlyist or Arminian or Word of Faither, I would not be in schism, because the OPC and all Protestant churches refuse to make the necessary claims to authority that would cause me to be in schism.

    “he says applies equally well to you apart from the Borg collective mind meld.”

    If I’ve assented to Rome, I’m not free to accept her creeds and ecumenical councils and dogmas I like and reject or revise those I don’t. In Protestantism, I always am.

    “After evaluating the claims of one professed Apostle by the claims of another”

    Yep they evaluated the credibility of Christ and the Apostles claims to authority/ability. In Protestantism, there are no claims made by churches to authority/ability that I need to evaluate the credibility of in the first place.

    “Where do we find someone saying, “He claims authority, I must submit.””

    So we see again:
    “So Christ and the Apostles did not actually need to possess any divine authority – that was all unnecessary and superfluous.
    – No one has said that. That is your erroneous conclusion that does not logically follow from our position.”

    There are many places in Scripture where Christ and the Apostles claim an authority/ability unlike that of Jewish rabbis, parents, civil governments, or Protestant churches.

    “Hard to see how faulting Protestants for applying anything like that to those who differ with them is bad for us but not for you.”

    One can be in error concerning Rome’s teachings without being stupid or a slave of Satan. The “faulting” is due to the lack of a mechanism for resolving disputes in Protestantism – all disagreeements boil down to subjective “I have the Holy Spirit and you don’t” stalemates.

    “PCA and the OPC both have mechanisms to definitively settle disputes. If people don’t like it, they can leave.”

    Bingo.

    “you one day must reckon with the fact that Rome, specifically papal claims, is the primary cause of all church splintering.”

    No, sin and dissent and manmade doctrines are the primary cause. Heresies and their followers split the church. If Rome’s type of claims cause the splintering, then there is no principled way to distinguish splintering from non-splintering. Which is the point, as schism is meaningless in Protestantism. Thus we get the endless splintering that 500 years has failed to put any dent in and only exacerbated. This is like Obama still blaming Bush – it’s been 500 years, time to own Protestantism and stop blaming Rome.

    “In fact, splintering can only really happen when something has been settled.”

    Right, which can never happen in Protestantism due to its disclaimers to any authority/abiliy to do so. So schism is meaningless.

    “I just said Scripture doesn’t need the help of, “Alright guys, let’s turn on the red light so that the peons in the pews can know what is correct and what isn’t.””

    Right. Solo scriptura.

    “The additional claim of infallibility is unnecessary and without precedent in the actual Apostolic documents that we have.”

    So we see again:
    “So Christ and the Apostles did not actually need to possess any divine authority – that was all unnecessary and superfluous.
    – No one has said that. That is your erroneous conclusion that does not logically follow from our position.”

    “If it wasn’t so clear, the difference would be that the OPC would say that the JWs and Mormons are legitimate Christians, to give one example. ”

    Is the teaching that JWs and Mormons are not legitimate Christians taught as irreformable and infallible by the OPC?

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  29. Josh:
    Just because you are right in much of your critique of Catholicism does not convince me that you are right on everything, especially that thing that the Reformation is said to stand or fall. If everybody is wrong, to whom shall I go?>>>>>>>

    You’re fine where you are. Sure. If you focus on the human beings in the Church, you will fall.

    Reformed Christians are especially adept at getting others to question their own beliefs. They are good at accusing everyone else of having a man centered religion. However, take a close look at Dr. Hart’s posts. Are they not all man centered? How many posts are there about God?

    They are all about the failings of men. What about God? Does He fail? When He has chosen to work through fallen humanity – even joining humanity since the Son of God was born of the Virgin Mary – did He make a mistake in choosing to work that way?

    Look at the saints that cw is mocking. St. Thomas Aquinas. St. Augustine. San Juan de la Cruz. Sta. Teresa de Avila. St. Mary, the Mother of God. St. Anselm. St. Jerome. St. Chrysostom. St. Olympias. St. Irenaeus. and so forth.

    I would encourage you to do something. Answer this. What does Ephesians 4:1-6 mean? How many bodies does Christ have? How many bodies are there in Protestantism?

    Now, someone objected to my calling Protestantism a harem instead of a bride, but is the Bridegroom purifying a Bride or a harem?

    As for justification, take a look at this article.

    Was Aquinas a Proto-Protestant?

    Justification is about the grace of God operating in the life of the believer.

    http://www.thecatholicthing.org/2010/12/09/was-aquinas-a-proto-protestant/

    “God does not justify us without ourselves, because whilst we are being justified we consent to God’s justification [justitiae] by a movement of our free-will. Nevertheless this movement is not the cause of grace, but the effect; hence the whole operation pertains to grace.”
    —————————————————————–
    For St. Thomas, justification refers not only to entrance into the family of God at Baptism – administered for the remission of sins – but to the infusion of sanctifying grace at Baptism and all the subsequent graces that work to transform the Christian from the inside out. Consider, for instance, Aquinas’s explanation of sanctifying grace as habitual grace: “a double effect of grace, even as of every other form; the first of which is ‘being,’ and the second, ‘operation.’” For example, “the work of heat is to make its subject hot, and to give heat outwardly. And thus habitual grace, inasmuch as it heals and justifies the soul, or makes it pleasing to God, is called operating grace; but inasmuch as it is the principle of meritorious works, which spring from the free-will, it is called cooperating grace.”

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  30. Robert: Ali,His command to honor is unconditional,Not according to the whole of Scripture. You don’t follow anyone, even your parents, if they tell you to sin.

    timely new post of DG’s, Robert. Jesus always honored his parents, that is a given, for He never sinned and fulfilled all righteousness, otherwise, again, we are toast; help – how do we describe it ?

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  31. Robert,

    No, he was repeating the same old mindmeld argument. No infallible mindmeld, no advantage. Period. So no authoritative teacher or interpreter can ever give any advantage. Period.

    Sorry, that’s not what anyone has argued. All that has been argued is that no authoritative teacher gives an inherent advantage to the hearer unless the authoritative teacher is telling the truth and the receiver has ears to hear it. Judas didn’t have any advantage being around Jesus. In fact, it would have been better for him if he never met Jesus.

    So when you tell me and clarify what you mean by this sentence, given your authority as the writer, I am justified and within my rights to reject your asserted meaning and interpretation of your own words.

    If I’m clearly off my rocker when I’m explaining it, yes. You guys do it all the time with past popes

    If you want to assert all writers cannot and don’t actually intend anything by the words they choose, and thus they cannot clarify the intended meaning of what they wrote or that the veracity of such clarification is held hostage to the hearer’s agreement, enjoy living in that world.

    Not my argument. But in any case, The Church of Rome can’t clarify the meaning of the Bible like the Apostles can because the Church of Rome isn’t the Apostles.

    Here’s what you said: “But the clarity doesn’t come simply by virtue of possessing authority. The clarity comes by virtue of the truth of the words spoken.”

    Note the word simply. If authority guaranteed clarity, Rome would never have to explain itself once it has spoken.

    So Christ and the Apostles did not actually need to possess any divine authority. They just needed to speak true words, as evaluated by their hearers.

    They needed divine infallible authority conveyed by inspiration to deliver divine revelation. They did not need such inspiration to teach the truth.

    So do governments and parents. The High Priest wasn’t Christ or the Apostles, nor did he make the same claims to the type of authority and ability Christ and the Apostles made.

    The church of Rome isn’t Christ or the Apostles either, and formally doesn’t claim the same type of authority or ability. If it did, there would be no distinction between the Apostles and their successors, but Rome embraces a distinction.

    The parallels work just fine as long as you keep saying infallible authorities can give no advantage because their followers must fallibly interpret them.

    Depends on what you mean by advantage. An infallible authority gives no inherent advantage unless the receiver can correctly interpret and believe what he says. Judas had no advantage over me. In fact, Judas was at a distinct disadvantage compared to any who rejected Christ after him.

    If I was to reject Rome’s authority and become Protestant, I would be in schism according to her.

    Not according to the current Pope. You’d be a brother bishop if you were ordained..

    If I was to reject OPC’s authority and become a Oneness Pentecostal or KJV-onlyist or Arminian or Word of Faither, I would not be in schism, because the OPC and all Protestant churches refuse to make the necessary claims to authority that would cause me to be in schism.

    A claim to infallible authority isn’t required in Protestantism to determine when another church is in schism. We don’t assume Rome here.

    If I’ve assented to Rome, I’m not free to accept her creeds and ecumenical councils and dogmas I like and reject or revise those I don’t. In Protestantism, I always am.

    You are not free to reject the truth in Protestantism any more than you are free to do so in Roman Catholicism.

    Yep they evaluated the credibility of Christ and the Apostles claims to authority/ability. In Protestantism, there are no claims made by churches to authority/ability that I need to evaluate the credibility of in the first place.

    Protestants claim declarative authority and to offer true interpretations of God’s Word.

    There are many places in Scripture where Christ and the Apostles claim an authority/ability unlike that of Jewish rabbis, parents, civil governments, or Protestant churches.

    Not my point. Where do they say, “You must submit BECAUSE I claim authority and you are free to reject truth whenever the teacher does not claim to be infallible”?

    But more to the point, it is irrelevant because the Church of Rome isn’t Christ or the Apostles.

    One can be in error concerning Rome’s teachings without being stupid or a slave of Satan. The “faulting” is due to the lack of a mechanism for resolving disputes in Protestantism – all disagreeements boil down to subjective “I have the Holy Spirit and you don’t” stalemates.

    In Roman Catholicism that’s exactly what it boils down to. The Magisterium has the Spirit/ability, the laity doesn’t, so there.

    No, sin and dissent and manmade doctrines are the primary cause. Heresies and their followers split the church.

    Exactly. Like the heresy of the papacy.

    If Rome’s type of claims cause the splintering, then there is no principled way to distinguish splintering from non-splintering.

    The principled way is the Word of God.

    Which is the point, as schism is meaningless in Protestantism.

    It’s hardly a criticism to say that according to Roman definitions of schism, schism is meaningless in Protestantism.

    Thus we get the endless splintering that 500 years has failed to put any dent in and only exacerbated.

    Rome continues to splinter. Line up 500 RCs in a room, ask them what Romanism is, and you get 500 different answers. The only agreement you might get is that you need to go to mass at least once in your life. You think there is no splintering just because nominal RCs don’t leave the church, but the fact that they don’t go to mass isn’t a point in Rome’s favor.

    This is like Obama still blaming Bush – it’s been 500 years, time to own Protestantism and stop blaming Rome.

    Yeah, there’s lots of division in Protestantism. What you haven’t proven is that the division is caused by Protestant principles.

    Right, which can never happen in Protestantism due to its disclaimers to any authority/abiliy to do so. So schism is meaningless.

    It’s hardly a criticism to say that according to Roman definitions of schism, schism is meaningless in Protestantism.

    Right. Solo scriptura.

    I’m still trying to figure out why Scripture is such a dead letter to you RCs. It’s infinitely clearer than the gyrations you have to make to turn “all men must be subject to the Roman pontiff for salvation” into “separated brethren.” And it’s complicated by the fact that at least one RC has told me that it’s irrelevant what the pope is thinking about his infallibility when he’s making a statement. Talk about reader-response criticism.

    Is the teaching that JWs and Mormons are not legitimate Christians taught as irreformable and infallible by the OPC?

    As irreformable and infallible as the idea that the sun will rise tomorrow and bats won’t spontaneously fly out of your nose.

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  32. Ali,

    timely new post of DG’s, Robert. Jesus always honored his parents, that is a given, for He never sinned and fulfilled all righteousness, otherwise, again, we are toast; help – how do we describe it ?

    I suppose it depends on what one means by honor. One could make the argument that it would be dishonoring to one’s parents to obey them when they command you to sin. In which case, there are times when honoring one’s parents requires disobedience. We’d have to get clarity on what honor means.

    Jesus did always honor his parents, but he didn’t necessarily always obey them. In fact, when they try to seize him because they thought he was crazy, He left them. If honor=obedience to the word of the parents in every case, he never should have left.

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  33. James Young, “As did followers of Christ and the Apostles. No one in RCism denies we interpret. That’s part of being human.”

    That’s odd. I thought you’re church was the body of Christ, you know, divine.

    But the problem is that the popes don’t interpret the Bible (and don’t do so infallibly, by the way). If they stuck to the Bible that would be one thing. But as it stands, the interpreters interpret every last word of the popes and no one ever pays attention to what God’s word says. It’s just there, part of the furniture.

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  34. CvD gives one of the great all-time responses at OL:

    GW: “Romanist QIRC involves an over-realized eschatology and is beholden to a theology of glory.”

    CvD: No it involves the rejection of an under-realized ecclesiology beholden to relativizing the faith and subjectivism.

    I’m sorry, but that’s too good and too quick a response not to acknowledge its brilliance. Worthy of OL. CvD, that was fly.

    Josh, pray for Grandma, for that honors both God and your need for faith in a good God who is merciful and gracious to Grandmas.

    And notice who here tells you to look to their church, and who directs you to Christ. The latter is true, the former is false.

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  35. James Young, “If Scripture is so clear, why do all Protestant churches refuse the authority/ability to offer any identification, teaching, interpretation, or judgment of Scripture as irreformable and binding upon all?”

    maybe because Scripture doesn’t reveal that God is dependent on an infallible interpreter. If you read the Bible, instead of Denzinger, you’d know that Christ promised the Holy Spirit, not the Bishop of Rome.

    So you have made up a standard that God didn’t. Wasn’t that the problem that got the human race into the estate of sin and misery?

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  36. James Young, “So the church is authoritative only insofar as it conforms to my current provisional judgment and interpretation of divine revelation and my estimation of the “truth””

    That’s how Susan understands Roman Catholicism (and you’ve been known to lapse into this too). If the pope errs, you can correct him. So you know truth that stands independent of the one who tells you what the truth is.

    Doh!

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  37. Josh, not sure the claims here are that we are fans of the Yankees.

    Augustine seems to get fallen human nature right.

    Aquinas mixes Aristotle so that Adam needed grace to keep the law.

    I’m not sure why a prayer for a grandmother would be objectionable. Praying to a grandmother (or mother of Jesus) would.

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  38. James Young, “If I was to reject Rome’s authority and become Protestant, I would be in schism according to her.”

    That’s the Pius X playbook.

    You live on the side of John XXIII’s advent.

    You’d be a brother — like a step brother.

    Or are you really Archbp Lefevbre?

    Like

  39. Mermaid, how do you know they are saints? Doesn’t that knowledge depend on men who covered up for wicked priests? Are the saint-makers trustworthy? Are you gullible?

    Like

  40. “If I tell you that the meaning of those words is that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is coming again, then yes.”

    So when you tell me and clarify what you mean by this sentence, given your authority as the writer, I am justified and within my rights to reject your asserted meaning and interpretation of your own words. If you want to assert all writers cannot and don’t actually intend anything by the words they choose, and thus they cannot clarify the intended meaning of what they wrote or that the veracity of such clarification is held hostage to the hearer’s agreement, enjoy living in that world.

    Robert is not infallible. His phrasing may imply something he does not in fact believe (or shouldn’t) and even though he is the author, he could be corrected. Author’s don’t always understand the implication of their words. That’s not to say they never do, but they aren’t infallible.

    “So Christ and the Apostles did not actually need to possess any divine authority – that was all unnecessary and superfluous.
    – No one has said that. That is your erroneous conclusion that does not logically follow from our position.”

    Here’s what you said: “But the clarity doesn’t come simply by virtue of possessing authority. The clarity comes by virtue of the truth of the words spoken.”

    So Christ and the Apostles did not actually need to possess any divine authority. They just needed to speak true words, as evaluated by their hearers.

    You keep in lumping Christ & the Apostles. There is a major difference…you know one being divine and and all that. The infallible words the apostle’s spoke were only infallible insofar as their words did not arise from their own will, but from the movement of the Holy Spirit – further not all infallible words in the NT have an apostolic origin, but they all arose from the Holy Spirit. The Apostles themselves were not infallible – indeed they did fail many times. Jesus was different – being very God of very God, he fits into a different category.

    Secondly, the infallibility of the speaker is not what made the difference – the women who testified to the risen Christ, the blind man who was healed, Stephen as he was stoned, the preachers preaching for their own gain should have all been believed even though they were not infallible. The words they spoke and the event they testified to had its own authority.

    This is not to say Christ did not need to possess divine authority – only that the possession of that authority is not basis of our epistemic warrant.

    “The High Priest had divine authority, and he had Christ crucified. ”
    So do governments and parents. The High Priest wasn’t Christ or the Apostles, nor did he make the same claims to the type of authority and ability Christ and the Apostles made.

    No, but Christ said that the people should submit to everything he taught (clearly insofar as it conformed to scripture).

    “The parallels don’t work as you want them to because Christ isn’t the church and the church isn’t Christ. ”

    The parallels work just fine as long as you keep saying infallible authorities can give no advantage because their followers must fallibly interpret them.

    Only if you think the only point of authority is to establish epistemic certitude. You keep dropping epistemic and overdraw the claim. Stay focused.

    “If you were to change your interpretation and become Protestant, Rome would no longer have authority over you.”

    If I was to reject Rome’s authority and become Protestant, I would be in schism according to her. If I was to reject OPC’s authority and become a Oneness Pentecostal or KJV-onlyist or Arminian or Word of Faither, I would not be in schism, because the OPC and all Protestant churches refuse to make the necessary claims to authority that would cause me to be in schism.

    Funny, that’s not what they say…see wcf. More importantly, the problem with going to a church that rejects the gospel is not “schism”. The problem is that by doing so, you reject the gospel and can have no assurance of your salvation – you are imperiling your soul. That’s the point of being cut off from the Lord’s table. As far as the OPC never doing that, you might ask a certain ex-RP pastor who swam the tiber and launched a new career in drunk blogging for the pope (even was a trophy at CTC for a time – maybe still is). I seem to recall his griping that the church he separated from barred him from Christmas worship with his family (being under discipline and all). See schism is possible, he did, and he suffered the consequences (and cared enough to go public about it). That doesn’t happen so much in the RC church – I can pretty much say, do, or join what ever church I want and I can still come back for mass whenev. That’s how they roll in practice. Now the session may not judge a KJV-onlyist church (do such denoms even exist anymore?) worthy of the kind of discipline that swimming the Tiber may deserve and some sessions may be as lax as the RC in enforcing discipline, but they certainly claim the authority. Of course, they recognize they could be wrong, and if challenged, there is a process by which their error can be challenged. But if you lose in the process, it is time to get onboard and submit to their authority or face the consequences. You don’t get to just ignore them and stay part of the body.

    “After evaluating the claims of one professed Apostle by the claims of another”
    Yep they evaluated the credibility of Christ and the Apostles claims to authority/ability. In Protestantism, there are no claims made by churches to authority/ability that I need to evaluate the credibility of in the first place.

    That is false. It is clearly stated in the WCF.

    There are many places in Scripture where Christ and the Apostles claim an authority/ability unlike that of Jewish rabbis, parents, civil governments, or Protestant churches.

    We agree that God (father, son, and holy spirit) have a non-contingent, infallible authority. It is absolute. The apostles did not have that kind of authority. Their’s was like the prophets of the OT – only authoritative insofar as it arose from the Holy Spirit (i.e., divine revelation). The teachers that followed did not deliver special revelation – the authority of teachers, bishops, preachers, etc… is not of the same kind at all insofar as there is not revelation being delivered. I’m surprised you claim otherwise.

    “Hard to see how faulting Protestants for applying anything like that to those who differ with them is bad for us but not for you.”

    One can be in error concerning Rome’s teachings without being stupid or a slave of Satan. The “faulting” is due to the lack of a mechanism for resolving disputes in Protestantism – all disagreeements boil down to subjective “I have the Holy Spirit and you don’t” stalemates.

    All the stalemates between the EOs and RCs boil down to subjective, “I have the charism and you don’t” stalemates. I suppose I could throw in the Copts and Nestorians as well.

    “you one day must reckon with the fact that Rome, specifically papal claims, is the primary cause of all church splintering.”

    No, sin and dissent and manmade doctrines are the primary cause.

    Like he said, papal claims.

    “In fact, splintering can only really happen when something has been settled.”
    Right, which can never happen in Protestantism due to its disclaimers to any authority/abiliy to do so. So schism is meaningless.

    I’m confused, so now we aren’t splintering?

    “I just said Scripture doesn’t need the help of, “Alright guys, let’s turn on the red light so that the peons in the pews can know what is correct and what isn’t.””
    Right. Solo scriptura.

    Nonsense.

    Is the teaching that JWs and Mormons are not legitimate Christians taught as irreformable and infallible by the OPC?

    Of course they could have been wrong, so it is not infallible. That doesn’t mean it isn’t true and won’t be changed.

    Like

  41. Darryl,

    “That’s how Susan understands Roman Catholicism (and you’ve been known to lapse into this too). If the pope errs, you can correct him. So you know truth that stands independent of the one who tells you what the truth is.”

    Once again, the church and STM triad is not reduced to the pope. Its not sola papa. Secondly, I was optimistic when I saw your mercy mercy post – you were getting PI right finally. Then I see this “popes cannot ever be corrected given RC claims” schtick again. Color me disappointed.

    As to Pius X, I already cited him above, “a man is indeed separated from the body of the Church, but is united to the soul of the Church and consequently is on the way of salvation”. A separated brother or one in imperfect communion is still separated.

    Noon,

    Well, you know, when in Rome and all that – no pun intended.
    And your division of Christ from the church is a false dichotomy; Paul certainly didnt think that way.

    Like

  42. Also, do I misunderstand the bible if I pray for my grandmother who just had a stroke and was found motionless on the floor this morning? Is that man centered religion. I realize I sound sarcastic, but I am honestly ignorant and confused. I no longer trust the RCC but I am not so sure your team is led by hall of famers either.

    I will second our resident baptist…praying is always a good thing – we can do so with confidence because we have an intercessor (Jesus) who always knows what/how to say even when we are confused.

    Much of what you say is sensible, since I like clarity and simplicity. However, you say that I can know Jesus saved me when, I assume, you also believe in a predestined elect. If that is the case, how does anyone really know if they are saved?

    Look to Christ – he will never let you down. It is not the strength of our faith that saves us, but the strength of the object of our faith. While I find the doctrines of grace (all that stuff about election and so forth) a source of great comfort in my own devotional life, I am grateful that my salvation does not hinge on my theological acumen (or pithiness which I obviously lack).

    Just because you are right in much of your critique of Catholicism does not convince me that you are right on everything, especially that thing that the Reformation is said to stand or fall. If everybody is wrong, to whom shall I go?

    To varying degrees, I think we are wrong about most things. Flee to Christ by reflecting on his Word, because it can never fail.

    Like

  43. Darryl,

    “If you read the Bible, instead of Denzinger, you’d know that Christ promised the Holy Spirit, not the Bishop of Rome.”

    Okay so you and the OPC have the holy spirit and the other churches you disagree with dont?

    “So you have made up a standard that God didn’t. ”

    The standard you got from the church’s and tradition’s judgment and identification in the first place right? Not surprisingly and concordant with that, we see in Scripture God affirming the type of ability and authority for the church that you and your system rejects.

    Like

  44. James Young, nice sleight of hand but papal infallibility does reduce to the pope. That’s what the epistemology seminar (and Vatican I) was all about.

    Now you back off? Just like, “the church has the keys but no one goes to hell.”

    Chicken. Pius X would be ashamed.

    Like

  45. James Young, who said that other churches don’t have the Spirit?

    You keep trying to paint us in the corner in which you’ve painted yourself. I tried to warn you. You papa warns you. I’m a brother, not a schismatic. The pope says so.

    If any church gave us the Bible it was the Eastern Church. Rome’s taking credit for the first four hundred years is pathetic (and typically exceptionalist — the Sarah Palin of Christianity).

    Like

  46. Dr. Hart,

    Praying for anybody doesn’t seem to make sense if all things are predetermined. Perhaps I misunderstand the meaning of predestination and the lack of free will. Do I pray simply because God says so, or is their also some hope that my prayer may be efficacious? If the latter is mixed in, then it seems Calvinists get ready to pounce.

    I know doing what God says because God says so should be good enough, but it’s a bit Islamic, don’t you think? When the Bible clashes with Calvinist logic, what do I do. Or am I misunderstanding the logic?

    If you are a Phillies fan, I guess you are ok with me. For your sake, I hope you don’t watch the sixers, though.

    To “A different Dan,”

    Thanks, that was helpful. Baptists are moving up in the rankings.

    Like

  47. Morning Darryl,

    “If any church gave us the Bible it was the Eastern Church. Rome’s taking credit for the first four hundred years is pathetic (and typically exceptionalist — the Sarah Palin of Christianity).”

    Why are you trying to pit Eastern and Western Christianity against each other? I have friends who are EO and they also left Calvinism. Anyways, the differences are mainly cultural. We don’t have different bibles, or believe differently concerning the sacrifice of the Mass, etc..
    We both have apostolic succession too.

    St. Peter went to Rome and planted the same apostolic church there as was begin in Jerusalem. Apostolicity is a mark of the Church. “First among equals” is needed for unity.
    The EO and Western Catholicism still is more alike than Protestantism. But yes, you are Christians by virtue of your baptism and your belief in the Holy Trinity.

    Like

  48. mermaid: You are not sure of anything. Besides, the Protestant canon of Scripture is not even closed.

    You could keep saying that mermaid, but you should stop ‘cause you know it isn’t true and it could be misleading some.
    “We have seen that the canon was closed in the first century, and that since then God has not revealed anything on the level with Holy Scripture….” “The Westminster Confession,” a seventeenth-century statement of faith, says concerning the Bible, The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men (“Westminster Confession,” 1:6)… “According to this statement, which sums up the Protestant view of Scripture, nothing is to be added or subtracted from the Bible. The revelation from God to man has been completed.” https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/canon.cfm

    Mermaid: What does Ephesians 4:1-6 mean?
    that reminds, please tell the pope there is One True God- Father, Son, Spirit: Eph 4 4 one Spirit, 5 one Lord 6 one God and Father

    mermaid: “God does not justify us without ourselves, because whilst we are being justified we consent to God’s justification by a movement of our free-will…but inasmuch as it is the principle of meritorious works, which spring from the free-will, it is called cooperating grace.”

    Salvation has nothing to do with merits. Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. Rom 4:4

    Josh: Do I pray simply because God says so, or is their also some hope that my prayer may be efficacious?
    yes., according to the Lord-whole bible-God cannot lie

    Like

  49. Josh,

    Hello. I just want to weigh in on a couple of things.

    Praying for anybody doesn’t seem to make sense if all things are predetermined.

    I assume you believe God knows the future, so this critique applies as well. If God knows that he’s not going to heal my friend who has cancer, how does prayer make sense?

    Perhaps I misunderstand the meaning of predestination and the lack of free will.

    Reformed theology doesn’t deny the existence of free will. It denies the existence of an autonomous will that operates outside of God’s decree.

    Do I pray simply because God says so, or is their also some hope that my prayer may be efficacious?

    Both. Prayer is efficacious as a secondary cause within the overall framework of God’s eternal decree.

    If the latter is mixed in, then it seems Calvinists get ready to pounce.

    You’d have to clarify this. I don’t know any Calvinist that denies the efficacy of prayer. What a Calvinist would object to is that prayer determines final outcomes. But that’s common to all Christian traditions. The only ones who might disagree are Word of Faith heretics.

    Like

  50. Josh, why wouldn’t your pray, “thy will be done”? It worked for Jesus.

    I’m serious. Maybe prayer is more about accepting God’s will and receiving grace to endure.

    Like

  51. Susan, Jerusalem came before Rome. Jesus never went to Rome (unless you are like Mormons who believe Jesus appeared all over the world — come to think of it you’re one of those Christians who believes Mary appears all over the world).

    So on the face of it, the church that Jesus founded is Jerusalem. And Jerusalem and Rome are not in fellowship (as if that means anything any more now that Pope Francis is communing with Lutherans and praying with Hindus.)

    Really, Susan. At some point the embarrassment meter has to kick on.

    Like

  52. CvD,

    You do fly well enough, but you can’t read (the apostles) and run.

    If I was to reject Rome’s authority and become Protestant, I would be in schism according to her. If I was to reject OPC’s authority and become a Oneness Pentecostal or KJV-onlyist or Arminian or Word of Faither, I would not be in schism, because the OPC and all Protestant churches refuse to make the necessary claims to authority that would cause me to be in schism.

    One thing that is super hard for knowledgeable RCs is acknowledging that they are self-serving in their reformulated theological definitions with words like “church” “schism” “apostasy” and “body of Christ.”

    There is no “church” in Scripture even remotely like the RCC. The RCC is hierarchical, geographically dispersed, and requires special administrators to dispense some concoction of mystical, sacramental grace. As if the apostles taught special administrators, or grace through ritual.

    In opposing schism, Paul said, “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel.” That one sentence exposes Roman Catholicism as contra-Paul. And from Corinth he also wrote “for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (1 Cor. 1:17, Rom. 1:15-16).

    In other words, Paul had no hopes or plans to do any water baptizing in Rome, because he would only do what Christ wanted him to do, preach the message of salvation so people might believe and be saved and the Christians there be edified.

    So when water baptism is the entrance into the RCC because it allegedly regenerates, you get not just the saving gospel wrong. You get regeneration wrong. And when you get regeneration wrong, you get “church” wrong. And since your “church” is wrong from the very get-go, all of it’s claims to authority are wrong and schismatic at a minimum. And as they are “developed,” are usually heretical.

    And then schism. “Schism” in the apostolic writings, ecclesiastically speaking, is when the actually regenerate people (those who have savingly believed the gospel, not all those water baptized in the name of the Trinity) who are living in the same locale sinfully divide Christ, that is, the metaphorical body of Christ in that locale, into separate local churches (1 Cor. 1:10-13).

    In the apostolic deposit schism is never defined as Sunday division from a religious hierarchy that exists in some other place, as Tertullian and Cyprian rightly understood, but a visible Sunday disunity of Christ’s body of regenerate ones in a locale.

    Like

  53. NOON,

    One thing that is super hard for knowledgeable RCs is acknowledging that they are self-serving in their reformulated theological definitions with words like “church” “schism” “apostasy” and “body of Christ.”

    And that is the problem of note, is it not?

    Like

  54. Ali:You could keep saying that mermaid, but you should stop ‘cause you know it isn’t true and it could be misleading some.>>>>

    You pay closer attention to what these guys are arguing, Ali. They claim to be sure, but they are not. Read more carefully.

    They are misleading others. Provisional knowledge is not sure knowledge. The epistemology of provisional knowledge that is being promoted here cannot lead to infallible truth, even on the Bible.

    Like

  55. Darryl,

    Peter was martyred in Rome and buried there. That is a historical fact that gives weight to Rome being the main bishopric. So take that along with the scriptural evidence of Peter’s importance and with the list of popes and with the church fathers references to the papacy and you have historical evidence that the claim is nothing like that of Joseph Smith who also arrived on the scene long after the the origin of the first( and only) church, and doesn’t have apostolic succession.
    Historically a lot of things happened in that city. So even if it isn’t a capital bishopric it’s liturgy and doctrines are like those of eastern orthodoxy. In fact the Marionite rite ‘s ( in communion with the pope)liturgy is the oldest and has elements of Judaism.
    So it didn’t take only St. Peter’s Basillica to clue me in that the (intended to be deragotory) “Roman” church and eastern church were more alike than Protestantism.
    Besides, Luther got all his training in the western church( that is like the eastern church), so the father of your tradition was linked to this visible hierarchy that you believe he was trying to reform rather than be excommuncated from; and you want to deny it was unlike the Church founded by Jesus in Jerusalem?

    Here’s some more new advent info for you:

    “The essential fact is that Peter died at Rome: this constitutes the historical foundation of the claim of the Bishops of Rome to the Apostolic Primacy of Peter.

    St. Peter’s residence and death in Rome are established beyond contention as historical facts by a series of distinct testimonies extending from the end of the first to the end of the second centuries, and issuing from several lands.

    That the manner, and therefore the place of his death, must have been known in widely extended Christian circles at the end of the first century is clear from the remark introduced into the Gospel of St. John concerning Christ’s prophecy that Peter was bound to Him and would be led whither he would not — “And this he said, signifying by what death he should glorify God” (John 21:18-19, see above). Such a remark presupposes in the readers of the Fourth Gospel a knowledge of the death of Peter.
    St. Peter’s First Epistle was written almost undoubtedly from Rome, since the salutation at the end reads: “The church that is in Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you: and so doth my son Mark” (5:13). Babylon must here be identified with the Roman capital; since Babylon on the Euphrates, which lay in ruins, or New Babylon (Seleucia) on the Tigris, or the Egyptian Babylon near Memphis, or Jerusalem cannot be meant, the reference must be to Rome, the only city which is called Babylon elsewhere in ancient Christian literature (Revelation 17:5; 18:10; “Oracula Sibyl.”, V, verses 143 and 159, ed. Geffcken, Leipzig, 1902, 111).
    From Bishop Papias of Hierapolis and Clement of Alexandria, who both appeal to the testimony of the old presbyters (i.e., the disciples of the Apostles), we learn that Mark wrote his Gospel in Rome at the request of the Roman Christians, who desired a written memorial of the doctrine preached to them by St. Peter and his disciples (Eusebius, Church History II.15, 3.40, 6.14); this is confirmed by Irenaeus (Against Heresies 3.1). In connection with this information concerning the Gospel of St. Mark, Eusebius, relying perhaps on an earlier source, says that Peter described Rome figuratively as Babylon in his First Epistle.
    Another testimony concerning the martyrdom of Peter and Paul is supplied by Clement of Rome in his Epistle to the Corinthians (written about A.D. 95-97), wherein he says (chapter 5): “Through zeal and cunning the greatest and most righteous supports [of the Church] have suffered persecution and been warred to death. Let us place before our eyes the good Apostles — St. Peter, who in consequence of unjust zeal, suffered not one or two, but numerous miseries, and, having thus given testimony (martyresas), has entered the merited place of glory”. He then mentions Paul and a number of elect, who were assembled with the others and suffered martyrdom “among us” (en hemin, i.e., among the Romans, the meaning that the expression also bears in chapter 4). He is speaking undoubtedly, as the whole passage proves, of the Neronian persecution, and thus refers the martyrdom of Peter and Paul to that epoch.
    In his letter written at the beginning of the second century (before 117), while being brought to Rome for martyrdom, the venerable Bishop Ignatius of Antioch endeavours by every means to restrain the Roman Christians from striving for his pardon, remarking: “I issue you no commands, like Peter and Paul: they were Apostles, while I am but a captive” (Epistle to the Romans 4). The meaning of this remark must be that the two Apostles laboured personally in Rome, and with Apostolic authority preached the Gospel there.
    Bishop Dionysius of Corinth, in his letter to the Roman Church in the time of Pope Soter (165-74), says: “You have therefore by your urgent exhortation bound close together the sowing of Peter and Paul at Rome and Corinth. For both planted the seed of the Gospel also in Corinth, and together instructed us, just as they likewise taught in the same place in Italy and at the same time suffered martyrdom” (in Eusebius, Church History II.25).
    Irenaeus of Lyons, a native of Asia Minor and a disciple of Polycarp of Smyrna (a disciple of St. John), passed a considerable time in Rome shortly after the middle of the second century, and then proceeded to Lyons, where he became bishop in 177; he described the Roman Church as the most prominent and chief preserver of the Apostolic tradition, as “the greatest and most ancient church, known by all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul” (Against Heresies 3.3; cf. 3.1). He thus makes use of the universally known and recognized fact of the Apostolic activity of Peter and Paul in Rome, to find therein a proof from tradition against the heretics.
    In his “Hypotyposes” (Eusebius, Church History IV.14), Clement of Alexandria, teacher in the catechetical school of that city from about 190, says on the strength of the tradition of the presbyters: “After Peter had announced the Word of God in Rome and preached the Gospel in the spirit of God, the multitude of hearers requested Mark, who had long accompanied Peter on all his journeys, to write down what the Apostles had preached to them” (see above).
    Like Irenaeus, Tertullian appeals, in his writings against heretics, to the proof afforded by the Apostolic labours of Peter and Paul in Rome of the truth of ecclesiastical tradition. In De Præscriptione 36, he says: “If thou art near Italy, thou hast Rome where authority is ever within reach. How fortunate is this Church for which the Apostles have poured out their whole teaching with their blood, where Peter has emulated the Passion of the Lord, where Paul was crowned with the death of John”. In Scorpiace 15, he also speaks of Peter’s crucifixion. “The budding faith Nero first made bloody in Rome. There Peter was girded by another, since he was bound to the cross”. As an illustration that it was immaterial with what water baptism is administered, he states in his book (On Baptism 5) that there is “no difference between that with which John baptized in the Jordan and that with which Peter baptized in the Tiber”; and against Marcion he appeals to the testimony of the Roman Christians, “to whom Peter and Paul have bequeathed the Gospel sealed with their blood” (Against Marcion 4.5).
    The Roman, Caius, who lived in Rome in the time of Pope Zephyrinus (198-217), wrote in his “Dialogue with Proclus” (in Eusebius, Church History II.25) directed against the Montanists: “But I can show the trophies of the Apostles. If you care to go to the Vatican or to the road to Ostia, thou shalt find the trophies of those who have founded this Church”. By the trophies (tropaia) Eusebius understands the graves of the Apostles, but his view is opposed by modern investigators who believe that the place of execution is meant. For our purpose it is immaterial which opinion is correct, as the testimony retains its full value in either case. At any rate the place of execution and burial of both were close together; St. Peter, who was executed on the Vatican, received also his burial there. Eusebius also refers to “the inscription of the names of Peter and Paul, which have been preserved to the present day on the burial-places there” (i.e. at Rome).
    There thus existed in Rome an ancient epigraphic memorial commemorating the death of the Apostles. The obscure notice in the Muratorian Fragment (“Lucas optime theofile conprindit quia sub praesentia eius singula gerebantur sicuti et semote passionem petri evidenter declarat”, ed. Preuschen, Tübingen, 1910, p. 29) also presupposes an ancient definite tradition concerning Peter’s death in Rome.
    The apocryphal Acts of St. Peter and the Acts of Sts. Peter and Paul likewise belong to the series of testimonies of the death of the two Apostles in Rome.”

    Concerning Marian appartions, yes I believe in miracles that God produces.

    http://fisheaters.com/apparitions.html

    Like

  56. “and you want to deny it was unlike the Church founded by Jesus in Jerusalem?”

    Correction for the record: you want to deny it was any like the Church.founded by Jesus in Jerusalem”

    But, I have no idea how to talk to you since you don’t use the evidence of history not the church’s tradtion (which is historical).
    You aren’t really interested in discussing, so I should stop chiming in.

    In the peace of Christ,
    Susan

    Like

  57. Darryl,

    “nice sleight of hand but papal infallibility does reduce to the pope.”

    Speaking of sleight of hand. Ecclesical infallibility and the indefectibility of the church does not reduce to papal infallibility. PI is a subset of that, not the whole of it as you persist in your characterization of it despite repeated corrections.

    “Chicken. Pius X would be ashamed.”

    He would probably also be ashamed of you ignoring the definition of PI in Vat1 in order to try to score irrelevant points against RCism.

    “who said that other churches don’t have the Spirit? ”

    Okay, so God promised the Holy Spirit over and above a church as you implied above, rather than a church guided and protected by the Spirit. So Word of Faithers, ELCA, PCA, Arminian, KJV-Onlyists, Oneness Pentecostals, Pelagian churches have the spirit and you should submit to their doctrine.

    “I’m a brother, not a schismatic.”

    A separated brother is still … separated. Dominus Iesus and Lumen Gentium still affirm Rome is the one true church.

    “If any church gave us the Bible”

    Appreciate the concession. If you want to continue with self-defeating arguments, it’s a free country.

    Like

  58. Susan
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink
    “and you want to deny it was unlike the Church founded by Jesus in Jerusalem?”

    Correction for the record: you want to deny it was any like the Church.founded by Jesus in Jerusalem”

    But, I have no idea how to talk to you since you don’t use the evidence of history not the church’s tradtion (which is historical).
    You aren’t really interested in discussing, so I should stop chiming in.

    In the peace of Christ,
    Susan>>>>>>>

    Exactly. Rewriting history is generally what modernists do, not those who claim to be conservative.

    I am wondering if some Catholic families pay big bucks to send them to Hillsdale only to have their Catholic faith undermined by this kind of anti Catholic bigotry – which is what we see on full display here on this blog.

    Like

  59. Cletus,

    Quit making the error of having the Spirit=perfection in doctrine. The Apostles had the Spirit and they had doctrinal issues at times. Just see Peter in Galatia.

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  60. Susan, I don’t like that flavor koolaid.

    The claim, “this is the church Jesus founded” still stands. If we’re talking Jesus, we’re talking Jerusalem. Heck, Mary didn’t even make it to Rome.

    Like

  61. Noon,

    “There is no “church” in Scripture even remotely like the RCC.”

    Sure there is – there’s a church that has the authority and ability to judge orthodoxy from heresy, to deem persons in schism, to definitively settle disputes, is the pillar of truth, is indefectible and guided and protected by the Spirit, and so forth.

    “As if the apostles taught special administrators, or grace through ritual.”

    So ordination is meaningless in Protestantism.

    “In opposing schism, Paul said, “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel.” That one sentence exposes Roman Catholicism as contra-Paul.”

    So baptism is a non-essential for you presumably. What about Protestants who disagree with you? Do they not have the Spirit and are contra-Paul?

    “And from Corinth he also wrote “for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (1 Cor. 1:17, Rom. 1:15-16).”

    The “message of salvation” that is not irreformably taught, defined, or identified by Protestantism, as no teaching or doctrine in Protestantism ever is. Paul wasn’t telling his hearers that “This message might be wrong, but probably isn’t though I might change it in the future, so feel free to take it or leave it based on whether you think it lines up with your current provisional interpretation of the OT”.

    And this message of salvation you got based on the Church’s authority and ability to recognize and identify the canon in the first place and its judgment of that identification as binding upon all. So you already undermined your own anti-biblical and anti-patristic position on the church and your affirmation of DIY Christianity.

    “So when water baptism is the entrance into the RCC because it allegedly regenerates, you get not just the saving gospel wrong.”

    Ah, so baptism is an essential after all. And the interpretation of this essential – namely the rejection of baptismal regeneration is an essential as well, since it denies the gospel. So Protestants who disagree with you on this don’t have the Spirit?

    “You get regeneration wrong. And when you get regeneration wrong, you get “church” wrong. And since your “church” is wrong from the very get-go, all of it’s claims to authority are wrong and schismatic at a minimum.”

    Maybe you should consider whether your interpretation and private judgment is “wrong from the very get-go” before jumping to conclusions and rewriting the “church” as just dressed up solo scriptura/biblicism. But perhaps everyone in the patristic era blew it on regeneration just as much as those Protestants you disagree with now blew it.

    “And then schism. “Schism” in the apostolic writings, ecclesiastically speaking, is when the actually regenerate people (those who have savingly believed the gospel, not all those water baptized in the name of the Trinity) who are living in the same locale sinfully divide Christ, that is, the metaphorical body of Christ in that locale, into separate local churches (1 Cor. 1:10-13).”

    Right, so you have to define what the church is that is being divided in the first place consists of – splinters are splintering *from* something by definition. Rome has an answer for that. Protestantism doesn’t, thus perpetual stalemates and ongoing splintering within its framework.

    Like

  62. James Young, so you mean Mark Powell was really off the mark in his critique of papal infallibility? He’s just cleared one hurdle but the more important one is ecclesial infallibility?

    Yeah, right.

    You really bring up the ELCA, the communion in which your bishops are planning a Reformation Day bash?

    You and Susan really should be ashamed. And if Pius X is ashamed of me, imagine your surprise at his grief over Pope Francis. Shame goes both ways. Yup.

    If you look in the thesaurus, brother is not a synonym of schismatic.

    You’re losing, James. You need a time machine. Cool.

    Like

  63. Mermaid, please explain how you tell the history of a church that for four hundred years said “error has no rights” and then declared “error has rights”?

    Have a seat, the modernist slipper might just fit that fin of yours.

    Like

  64. Robert,

    If I equated Spirit with perfection in doctrine, Rome wouldn’t have the Spirit either. If I equated practice or application with dogma, as was the case with Paul’s rebuke of Peter, Rome wouldn’t have the Spirit either. So perhaps you should rethink your evaluation.

    And now comments are being lost. Oh well.

    Like

  65. Clete,

    Of course you are equating perfection in doctrine with possessing the Spirit, otherwise you could believe that we actually think you don’t have to be Reformed to have the Holy Spirit.

    Like

  66. Robert,

    Rome affirms development of doctrine. That’s not perfection in doctrine.

    Do heretical Protestant churches have the Spirit? If so, can and should their doctrine should be affirmed by the Reformed? If a church denies the identification of the essentials and/or the interpretation of those essentials as practiced by Reformed churches, do they have the Spirit? If so, what is the difference between a church with the Spirit and a church without the Spirit?

    Like

  67. Cletus,

    Do heretical Protestant churches have the Spirit?

    No such thing as a heretical Protestant church. If it is heretical, it’s not Protestant.

    If so, can and should their doctrine should be affirmed by the Reformed?

    The answer would be yes.

    If a church denies the identification of the essentials and/or the interpretation of those essentials as practiced by Reformed churches, do they have the Spirit?

    A church can have the Spirit and yet be wrong on certain matters. Again, we don’t tout perfection of doctrine as the sign of the Spirit like Rome does. For you it would seem that if a church has any wrong dogma, it is a sign the Spirit isn’t there, or at least not as much there as he is in Rome.

    If so, what is the difference between a church with the Spirit and a church without the Spirit?

    A church with the Spirit has the right preaching of the gospel, right sacraments, and church discipline. This isn’t hard.

    Like

  68. Darryl,

    Think of it this way. Does the Catholic church in Italy, under the bishops there have reciprocality with those on other continents and other countries? Since the answer is yes, what is it that gives that reciprocality and continuity?
    I identify as Catholic and not something else, therefore my identification is with The Church in Canada, the US, South America, Europe, Asia, the UK, Africa, Greece, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and the Vatican City State.
    Plus, again, all of those western apostolic churches( that are city cathedrals or rural parishes) still have apostolic succession……something that the Eastern Orthodox Church has and so they resemble Rome in liturgy and sacraments. If it isnt the seat of all of western Christianity it is still in unity with the practice and doctrine of all those other Catholic Churches who are in unity with one another.

    Think about it:
    If Jesus did give primacy to Peter, what would it look like?

    If Rome isn’t the capitol see of western Christianity how did it develop itself as such and why didn’t anyone challenge it? How did it develop under the noses of your invisible church scenario?

    Like

  69. Susan, THINK.

    You say you identify with all those churches in all those nations. But it all comes back to Rome — as in Roman Catholic Church.

    Jesus wasn’t there. Peter founded the church in Jerusalem. He died in Rome. Rome is accidental to Peter’s ministry. (He actually founded more churches in Turkey than in Italy.)

    But you keep drinking the cherry-picked koolaid.

    Like

  70. Susan,

    If Rome isn’t the capitol see of western Christianity how did it develop itself as such and why didn’t anyone challenge it? How did it develop under the noses of your invisible church scenario?

    It’s called politics. Rome was the capital of the empire. Rome was the most prestigious city in the West. It’s like the American Evangelical Church thinking that as American Evangelicalism goes, so goes Christianity.

    Further, you have the fact that when the Roman Empire fell, the papacy filled the imperial void. The bishop of Rome helped prevent the Barbarians from utterly destroying the city. The papacy took on a lot of the former tasks of the empire.

    Add to that the human tendency to idolize famous people plus the fact that both Peter and Paul were almost certainly martyred there, and it’s quite easy to see how the Roman bishopric became so important. But note that its importance really takes off only after it replaces the Western emperor as the de facto leader of what was left.

    You can view all that as an accident of history. You can view it as providential development for the good of the church and Western society. You can view it as the biggest blunder in the history of the church. You can view it as God working through a sinful institution for the ultimate good of HIs glory. What you can’t view it is as something that Jesus personally instituted with Peter. It’s just not there. It’s why RC historians don’t take that line anymore. It’s not tenable historically.

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  71. And the Church that taught theology to Luther was not the correct institution to be doing theology? So everything he learned and passed on was bogus?
    And when he was attempting to reform that institution he really meant to say that it was not a church worth saving as being founded on the apostles and prophets and it looks just like the eastern church?
    No church at all was founded in Rome huh…..where Paul and Peter were martyred?
    Its a self fulfilling prophey and it’s scripuraly supported to boot. If not a primacy the church thought thought it was supposed to have one and even achieved it. And no ” invisible church”proponents were calling foul at any time
    Those are remarkable odds, and historically speaking the opposite of this is untenable because a primacy exists.

    I should.have been a historian.:)

    Take care, Darryl

    Susan

    Like

  72. Mermaid insists on the absolute certainty of knowledge, while Susan maintains she is unsure of her salvation. How to harmonize these 2 Cat positions?

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  73. Petros,

    The certainty is that the things that happened in the bible are all true and that Jesus gave us his church that will not err in matters of faith and morals.

    I am still here on earth and have a free will and can choose grace sin. I pray that I don’t fall into anything that would remove God’s grace from me, but I know that even after my baptism I have commuted mortal sin. I’m thankful for the mercy of God and that hi difnt die in that state, but I would have deserved hell if I had died in that state.

    Here’s an article that might help.

    http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2009/10/a-reply-from-a-romery-person/

    Like

  74. Susan,

    And the Church that taught theology to Luther was not the correct institution to be doing theology? So everything he learned and passed on was bogus?

    From whence does that conclusion come?

    And when he was attempting to reform that institution he really meant to say that it was not a church worth saving as being founded on the apostles and prophets and it looks just like the eastern church?

    Who says being found on the Apostles and the Prophets means the church cannot end up with sinful institutions like the papacy?

    No church at all was founded in Rome huh…..where Paul and Peter were martyred?

    Who is saying that? Of course a church was founded in Rome. Not by Paul or Peter and not on Peter. It was a church plant resulting from Jews who were from Rome coming back there after Pentecost.

    Its a self fulfilling prophey and it’s scripuraly supported to boot. If not a primacy the church thought thought it was supposed to have one and even achieved it. And no ” invisible church”proponents were calling foul at any time

    There are all sorts of people raising concerns about the papacy historically, and much silence on Rome having anything like the authority it has now.

    Those are remarkable odds, and historically speaking the opposite of this is untenable because a primacy exists.

    What’s so remarkable about corrupt men taking an institution and using it to advance their own power. It happens all the time in history.

    Like

  75. Petros
    Posted January 28, 2016 at 4:50 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid insists on the absolute certainty of knowledge, while Susan maintains she is unsure of her salvation. How to harmonize these 2 Cat positions?>>>>>

    Yes, Petros, I continue to insist that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and there is no doubt, no uncertainty, no question about it. Do you agree?

    That event is true whether I believe it or not. It is true whether I am going to hell or to heaven. That truth is not dependent on my belief at all. My faith did not nor does not make it so.

    It is not provisional knowledge. It is infallible knowledge. It is infallible knowledge in the WCF and infallible knowledge in the Catholic Church.

    Yes, there are those who claim to be Catholic who reject the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I am sure. There are those who claim to be Reformed or Protestant of different kinds who reject the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    So what? Their unbelief or ignorance does not change the fact of the resurrection one iota.

    Susan has explained many times what she means, but you do not seem to be willing or able to understand. Why is that?

    It is not because she doubts the truth of the Gospel. It is not because she doubts the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    What is going on with you guys? Have you really given up on the doctrine of the Bible being your only infallible rule of faith and practice? What gives? Can your Bibles now fail you? Is God now in error? Is the Bible no longer clear to you?

    The resurrection of Jesus Christ is as clear as clear can be in the Word of God. Read it sometime and see for yourselves.

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  76. Susan, of course a church was founded in Rome. Did Jesus do it — that’s the question.

    And if you think Rome taught Luther theology, then don’t blame the Reformation for all the bad that Protestantism has done. You know, like Mary is the mother of Jesus, Rome is the mother of Luther.

    THINK EVEN MORE!

    Like

  77. Mermaid, “I continue to insist that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and there is no doubt”

    Then why don’t more people believe in Jesus? How many people don’t believe in gravity?

    Like

  78. Robert,

    I don’t undesrstand why you would choose to deny the magisterium. Its backwards to say that the church fell into error at some point in history( that you can’t pinpoint) but those so called errors are the private interpretation of men. Did the EO have the same errors? One sure fire way to know that western Catholicism is correct is to compare it to the doctrine and practice of the east. And I reiterate, it never has looked protestant.
    Then there’s the explicit mention of the papacy by the early church fathers where they identify the church as being founded on Peter( and they do not mean on his testimony).
    What do you do with that? This is not being objective, this is denying history and disobeying the authority that God gave.
    If the apostolic church doesn’t have authority no religious system does,; certainly not any protestant group.

    http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2013/01/studies-on-the-early-papacy-a-must-read-for-church-history-geeks/

    Like

  79. Darryl,

    “so you mean Mark Powell was really off the mark in his critique of papal infallibility? He’s just cleared one hurdle but the more important one is ecclesial infallibility?”

    No, his point applied to all purported infallible authorities. Which is why he undermined Scriptural inerrancy based on the same arguments he utilizes to undermine PI, which you failed to note in your post and had to be pointed out. Funny, that.
    He didn’t give Rome a pass, he wouldn’t give the East a pass either even though they reject PI but affirm EI, and he wouldn’t give conservative Protestants affirming inerrancy a pass either even though they reject PI and EI.

    “You really bring up the ELCA, the communion in which your bishops are planning a Reformation Day bash?”

    Rome isn’t affirming ELCA doctrines or holding them as adiaphora. As that document on ecumenical outreach with them you posted about earlier also stated. Which also had to be pointed out. Funny, that.

    “If you look in the thesaurus, brother is not a synonym of schismatic.”

    Separated brother is still …. separated. Imperfect communion is still …. imperfect. That’s why all those popes you consider golden age defenders of RC orthodoxy against modernism could still affirm such while also affirming Rome is the one true church and schism exists, just as modern day RCism does.

    “You need a time machine.”

    The viewpoint that I need a time machine was already corrected earlier in this thread when I pointed out the mistake in attempting to paint Vat2 as some liberal revolution regarding invincible ignorance and separated brethren or in the understanding that Rome is the one true church. Both doctrines were affirmed before and after Vat2 and now.

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  80. “How many people don’t believe in gravity?”

    Great question. How many people believe its possible bats might one day fly out of our noses and cows jump over the moon? I know of at least 3.

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  81. @Robert:

    NOON, One thing that is super hard for knowledgeable RCs is acknowledging that they are self-serving in their reformulated theological definitions with words like “church” “schism” “apostasy” and “body of Christ.”

    Robert the valiant: And that is the problem of note, is it not?

    Me: I agree, and think that assuming one’s theological definitions are in line with sacred scripture is one of the great sources of schism among the genuinely regenerated.

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  82. CvD, this is killer good: “Appreciate the concession. If you want to continue with self-defeating arguments, it’s a free country.”

    You’re flyin’ again. Brilliant. Wish I had half your skills.

    Noon “There is no “church” in Scripture even remotely like the RCC.”

    CvD in response: “Sure there is – there’s a church that has the authority and ability to judge orthodoxy from heresy, to deem persons in schism, to definitively settle disputes, is the pillar of truth, is indefectible and guided and protected by the Spirit, and so forth.

    Me: James, even a robot can make claims. But you have a soul that is accountable to what God has said in his word. Name the specific geographic church you are referring to in the apostolic deposit AND how that church did what you claim, namely,

    1) has the authority and ability to judge orthodoxy from heresy (which one did?: name it),
    2) to deem persons in schism (which one did?: name it),
    3) to definitively settle disputes (which one did?: name it),
    4) is the pillar of truth,
    5) is indefectible and guided and protected by the Spirit? (which one was indefectible?: name it and prove it from Scripture)

    Now if you can’t (and you can’t), what will you answer to God on the day you are held to account?

    Noon: “As if the apostles taught special administrators, or grace through ritual.”

    CvD: So ordination is meaningless in Protestantism.

    Me: I’m ordained, but know from the apostles no special sauce comes along. Keep your eyes on the apostles. Prots are not your problem. Please, for your soul’s sake.

    Noon: “In opposing schism, Paul said, “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel.” That one sentence exposes Roman Catholicism as contra-Paul.”

    CvD responds: So baptism is a non-essential for you presumably. What about Protestants who disagree with you? Do they not have the Spirit and are contra-Paul?

    Me: Water baptism was non-essential for not just Paul, but for the Christ who sent him (1 Cor. 1:17). Don’t worry about the Prots, follow the apostles, who alone are your sure connection to Christ, for your soul is costly.

    Noon: “And from Corinth he also wrote “for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (1 Cor. 1:17, Rom. 1:15-16).”

    CvD responds: The “message of salvation” that is not irreformably taught, defined, or identified by Protestantism, as no teaching or doctrine in Protestantism ever is. Paul wasn’t telling his hearers that “This message might be wrong, but probably isn’t though I might change it in the future, so feel free to take it or leave it based on whether you think it lines up with your current provisional interpretation of the OT”.

    Me: Eyes on the apostles, James. They actually knew Christ and were given promises no one else who came later received. For your soul’s sake, forget those who come after. Get your doctrine from the apostles and be set free from men.

    CvD: And this message of salvation you got based on the Church’s authority and ability to recognize and identify the canon in the first place and its judgment of that identification as binding upon all. So you already undermined your own anti-biblical and anti-patristic position on the church and your affirmation of DIY Christianity.

    Me: Paul’s message of salvation taught the churches what the message of salvation was, not vice-versa. Keep your eyes on Paul, and please, flee the RCC.

    CvD: So you have to define what the church is that is being divided in the first place consists of – splinters are splintering *from* something by definition. Rome has an answer for that. Protestantism doesn’t, thus perpetual stalemates and ongoing splintering within its framework.

    Me: Your ecclesial institution’s answers are self-serving and contrary to the apostle Paul’s. Go back and read my words again, because you missed them.

    James, the issue for you isn’t beating Prots up, but fleeing the lies and believing God’s message from God’s chosen apostles. I genuinely hope you will see how perfect Jesus is for sinners, then flee to him for forgiveness as a little child, and live the rest of your days in justified peace with God, through humble faith alone, in our Lord Jesus Christ.

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  83. Susan, I reject that the church fathers spoke or Rome in any way remotely like you do. I’ve read Roman Catholic historians on the early church. All the modern ones, even priests, know that the papacy was a later development.

    wooosh!

    Was that the sound of Susan’s faith flying away or her chugging on another glass of koolaid.

    Why would I reject the magisterium? Why did Susan reject the magisterium for most of her adult life?

    Like

  84. James Young, where did Pius X ever affirm Protestants as separated brothers. Sorry, I can’t take your word for that.

    Please explain why Pope Francis communes women bishops.

    Sorry, but everyone knows that infallibility is a matter that applies to popes. That’s why Powell wrote about the papacy. You painted yourself in that corner. Now stay there.

    Like

  85. James Young, don’t you think more people believe in gravity than the resurrection? Why exactly might that be?

    I get it. Your one of those believers who believes women taking pills that include pieces of prayers which have the text of a certain priest are healed. And you also believe that the Vatican’s methods for canonizing saints is “rational” and “godly.”

    Like

  86. Susan,

    I don’t undesrstand why you would choose to deny the magisterium.

    But I don’t deny the teaching authority of the church. I’m denying the specific claim of infallibility.

    Its backwards to say that the church fell into error at some point in history( that you can’t pinpoint) but those so called errors are the private interpretation of men.

    I don’t really follow you here. Errors are the private interpretation of men? Every single defined dogma in Roman Catholicism is the result of the private interpretation of men, you know, the men that make up the Magisterium.

    But it’s not necessary to pinpoint when the church fell into error. From day one the church has been a mixed body, purer in some places than in others. The Apostles had to deal with error even while they were still around.

    Did the EO have the same errors? One sure fire way to know that western Catholicism is correct is to compare it to the doctrine and practice of the east.

    Not if the EO are wrong, too. Even if the doctrine and practice of the two churches were identical, and they are not (Hello filioque and papacy), that doesn’t prove they are correct.

    And I reiterate, it never has looked protestant.

    What do mean by “never looked Protestant”? We don’t claim the early church looked Protestant any more than we claim it looked RC or EO. History is far more complicated than that.

    Then there’s the explicit mention of the papacy by the early church fathers where they identify the church as being founded on Peter( and they do not mean on his testimony).
    What do you do with that?

    I note that it is quite possible to believe that the church was founded on Peter, even the person of Peter, and not believe that Jesus established a perpetual primacy, ongoing charism, etc. You can’t jump from a reference in an early church father to the church being founded on Peter to the papacy. Read the fathers in context, and its clear that the earliest fathers didn’t do that. It is so clear that even Roman Catholic historians don’t buy the traditional claims anymore. At best for them the papacy was a providential development, not something instituted directly by Christ.

    This is not being objective, this is denying history and disobeying the authority that God gave.

    But Susan, Roman Catholic church historians at Roman Catholic universities don’t talk about the Magisterium the way you guys do. In fact, Rome was one of the later cities to adopt the mono episcopate. The evidence just isn’t there.

    If the apostolic church doesn’t have authority no religious system does,; certainly not any protestant group.

    Who’s denying the authority of the Apostolic church? I’m certainly not, nor is Darryl or any of the other Protestants here. We’re denying the infallible authority of the post-Apostolic church. Things changed when the Apostles died. Even Rome understands this to some degree.

    Like

  87. Robert,

    “But Susan, Roman Catholic church historians at Roman Catholic universities don’t talk about the Magisterium the way you guys do. In fact, Rome was one of the later cities to adopt the mono episcopate. The evidence just isn’t there.”

    Did you attend a Catholic university?
    If there are Catholics who dont believe in the office of St. Peter then they need to get informed.

    “Who’s denying the authority of the Apostolic church? I’m certainly not, nor is Darryl or any of the other Protestants here. We’re denying the infallible authority of the post-Apostolic church. Things changed when the Apostles died. Even Rome understands this to some degree.”

    If there is a rupture between the first church visibly begun by Jesus, and the visible one after the death of the last apostle then you don’t have a post Apostolic church. You have no church unless it was the passed on through sucession. If there is a rupture there is no succession.
    Your vague “degree” of change is not helpful. What changed?

    But you are wrong. Augustine and others did refer to their being a papal office.

    As a thought experiment: if there was no papal office, both the eastern church and the western church can have doctrines that don’t have to be written in the scriptures and so it still wouldn’t make protestant groups the heir of the orthodoxy just because they has copies of the scriptures.

    Wow you’re resistant to what should be easy to see.

    Again, if apostolic succession were true( and it is) what would it look like?

    Like

  88. Susan, THINK.

    “If there is a rupture between the first church visibly begun by Jesus, and the visible one after the death of the last apostle then you don’t have a post Apostolic church. You have no church unless it was the passed on through sucession. If there is a rupture there is no succession.”

    Paul told Timothy to preach the word. The word doesn’t teach the bodily assumption of Mary. The apostolic church did not believe in the bodily assumption of Mary. Rome says its infallible dogma.

    You do the math. Wait for the koolaid to wear off.

    Like

  89. Speaking of the embarrassment meter, does yours kick on when your theology forces you to say that God willed the extermination of millions of European Jews?

    Oh, but it so much worse to allow for the possibility that saints occasionally appear in visions.

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  90. @Josh,

    Speaking of the embarrassment meter, does yours kick on when your theology forces you to say that God willed the extermination of millions of European Jews?

    Oh, you mean the embarrassment meter the apostles and Jesus called the sin of unbelief?

    “God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment, and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly” (2 Pet. 2:4-5)

    “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” – Jesus

    You see Josh, God’s thoughts and ways are higher than yours. He is holy, you are a sinner.

    Flee the fig leaves of your self-righteousness and humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. Instead of condemning Him, confess your malice against Him. And because He is merciful and has made promises concerning the crucifixion and resurrection of His Son that are to be trusted as true, He will forgive you and bless you.

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  91. No one of note,

    Thank you for illustrating my point. Dr. Hart, the respectable academic part of him at least, is blushing, though he won’t admit it.

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  92. Josh,

    Speaking of the embarrassment meter, does yours kick on when your theology forces you to say that God willed the extermination of millions of European Jews?

    But Roman Catholicism says that God willed this as well. There are various senses of God’s will. You don’t solve the problem by attributing this to God’s consequent will, permissive will, or any other such thing.

    If something happens in the world, God willed it in some sense. You can say He willed to permit it, which is actually a Calvinistic way of saying it with respect to evil, but it’s also a Roman Catholic and even Arminian way of saying it.

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  93. Robert,

    Fair enough. Nobody has, or ever will, solve the problem of evil. Perhaps Calvinists are just more shameless in denying the obvious.

    If I ask the question why God “in secret counsel” should decide to have a 10 year old girl raped on camera with the video sold to the internet, a Calvinist will give me the absurd response like the one from “No one of note.”

    A Catholic, Orthodox, or liberal Protestant will at least try to find a way to blame sinful human beings and, like Augustine, attempt to avoid the impious claim that God caused the heinous, purposeless, evil. But, oh yea, that is the self-righteous way. Ok, carry on.

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  94. FWIW, I was attempting to point out that beating up on Catholics for a certain amount of gullibility on matters like Marian apparitions or whether we know St. Francis is in heaven, seems absurd when all forms of Christianity, including Calvinism, make claims that are not easily explained and neatly defended, which could be subjected to similar ridicule.

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  95. Josh,

    Who willed to destroy all living flesh on the earth in the flood except 8 persons, and carried it out? His name is Jesus.

    Your problem isn’t with man, but God.

    Like

  96. Robert: A church with the Spirit has the right preaching of the gospel, right sacraments, and church discipline. This isn’t hard.

    and look like this, in degrees…
    1 Thess 1: 5 for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction…6 You also became imitators of us and of the Lord

    1 Thess 1:2 making mention of you in our prayers; 3 constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father ….2 Thess 1:11 also that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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  97. Josh,

    Fair enough. Nobody has, or ever will, solve the problem of evil. Perhaps Calvinists are just more shameless in denying the obvious.

    Shameless in denying the obvious? What is so obvious about God being somehow to blame for evil if He decrees it but not blameworthy if He creates the offender, gives Him freewill that He knows will be misused, and then just stands back and watches it happen?

    I would say the fundamental non-Calvinistic error is that God is somehow more guilty in Calvinism than he is in any other system. Of course, to speak of God’s being guilty is absurd.

    If I ask the question why God “in secret counsel” should decide to have a 10 year old girl raped on camera with the video sold to the internet, a Calvinist will give me the absurd response like the one from “No one of note.”

    A Catholic, Orthodox, or liberal Protestant will at least try to find a way to blame sinful human beings and, like Augustine, attempt to avoid the impious claim that God caused the heinous, purposeless, evil. But, oh yea, that is the self-righteous way. Ok, carry on.

    Um, Calvinism blames sinful human beings for evil. The fact that God has evil in His decree doesn’t make Him guilty for evil. If it does, then God is no less guilty for having evil in His permissive will.

    And speaking of Augustine, Calvinism follows Him on this right here:

    101. Sometimes, however, a man of good will wills something that God doth not will, even though God’s will is much more, and much more certainly, good–for under no circumstances can it ever be evil. For example, it is a good son’s will that his father live, whereas it is God’s good will that he should die. Or, again, it can happen that a man of evil will can will something that God also willeth with a good will–as, for example, a bad son wills that his father die and this is also God’s will. Of course, the former wills what God doth not will, whereas the latter does will what God willeth. Yet the piety of the one, though he wills not what God willeth, is more consonant with God’s will than is the impiety of the other, who wills the same thing that God willeth. There is a very great difference between what is fitting for man to will and what is fitting for God–and also between the ends to which a man directs his will–and this difference determines whether an act of will is to be approved or disapproved. Actually, God achieveth some of his purposes–which are, of course, all good–through the evil wills of bad men. For example, it was through the ill will of the Jews that, by the good will of the Father, Christ was slain for us–a deed so good that when the apostle Peter would have nullified it he was called “Satan” by him who had come in order to be slain. How good seemed the purposes of the pious faithful who were unwilling that the apostle Paul should go to Jerusalem, lest there he should suffer the things that the prophet Agabus had predicted! And yet God had willed that he should suffer these things for the sake of the preaching of Christ, and for the training of a martyr for Christ. And this good purpose of his he achieved, not through the good will of the Christians, but through the ill will of the Jews. Yet they were more fully his who did not will what he willed than were those who were willing instruments of his purpose–for while he and the latter did the very same thing, he worked through them with a good will, whereas they did his good will with their ill will.

    The bad son and God both will the death of the father. The bad son wills it in an evil way (he hates his father, wants his inheritance, whatever); God wills it in a good way (for his own glory, to bring the father to heaven, etc.) Why can this not apply to all evil?

    We’re just following Augustine here. Admittedly, it doesn’t answer every question. But at some point you have to trust that God has shown us enough to know that He is good, hates evil, and yet uses it for a greater good. If we can’t do that, we can’t call ourselves Christians of any stripe.

    Calvinism is just a good bit more honest about what the Bible says with respect to God and evil. For instance, 1 Samuel 2 is quite clear that God in at least some sense wanted the sons of Eli to do evil: ” But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the Lord to put them to death.” (v. 25b). God in at least some sense wanted Christ crucified: “Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” (Acts 2:23).

    The examples are just too numerous to overlook. If you are going to believe the Bible, you have to make it all fit together, and Augustine’s solution is the best. It’s exactly what Calvinists believe, though we typically frame it in terms of secret and revealed will. And it’s not all that far off from what other Christians are talking about in terms of perfect vs. permissive will, consequent vs. antecedent will, etc. It’s just that other Christian traditions tend to talk in ways that make it sound as if God first knew and then decreed evil. The Calvinist says God knows because He decreed. It’s a important difference in terms of divine sovereignty, but the non-Calvinist way doesn’t make God less guilty. In fact, one could argue that it makes Him kind of clueless or at least something like a mad scientist: “Let me give these guys free will, see what will happen, and then do my best to make something good come out of it.”

    FWIW, I was attempting to point out that beating up on Catholics for a certain amount of gullibility on matters like Marian apparitions or whether we know St. Francis is in heaven, seems absurd when all forms of Christianity, including Calvinism, make claims that are not easily explained and neatly defended, which could be subjected to similar ridicule.

    And that is a fair point to a degree. The reason for “beating up” on RCs actually has very little to do with the absurdity of their claims. It’s more that their claims have almost no exegetical warrant. The miracles of the Bible are things such as resurrecting the dead, restoring the paralyzed, etc. It’s not apparitions in toast, reflections in the sides of building, etc. If you read the actual Apostolic documents we have, there’s nothing in there to suggest that we should be looking for visions of Mary or to be naming some deceased Christians as saints and not others. That’s the problem, not the purported “ridiculousness” of the claim.

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  98. Josh, you mean you are a Roman Catholic Open Theist? The last I checked, Thomas, a church father no less, was a predestinarian.

    Have you also thrown out the Bible? You’re a Marcion Christian.

    Please re-THINK this comment.

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  99. Josh, perhaps Calvinists look the problem of evil straight in the teeth and exalt in a God who sent his son to death.

    Do the pope and the priest performing the sacrifice allow you to divert your eyes?

    Heck, you’re the guys who went batty over the Passion of Christ.

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  100. Josh, so because Rome has better aesthetics than Kentucky, Rome’s pilgrims are less gullible? But think of the way that the holy bishops bilk those pilgrims.

    Now tell me who’s gullible.

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  101. Joining in with noon’s exhortation to you above ,Josh

    Then the LORD answered Josh out of the whirlwind and said ..Job 38:1 -42:41 ….
    42:1 Then Josh answered the LORD and said 2 “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”4 ‘Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me.’5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You;6 Therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.”

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  102. Uh, Dr. Hart, is it possible that both houses are plagued with gullibility?

    Do you ever historicize the cultural influences on the Bible the way you do the growth of the Papacy? If you did, would you be more modest in advancing a literal interpretation of every jot and tittle of scripture?

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  103. Josh, well, sure. But why is it that when you hear someone advancing the Bible you think creation museum. I know about pre- and post- Vat 2 RC’sm. Do you know about Protestantism other than cliches — fundamentalism or predestination? And btw, pre-Vat 2 RC’s were comfortable with literalism and predestination. Whah hahhppened?

    But if you think the Bible is not the word of God, then what do you do with Christianity as a revealed religion? Does the pope become an oracle like the chief apostle of the Mormons?

    And if you are so comfortable with historicizing Scripture, are you willing to historicize your “saints”?

    I really don’t think you want to go down this road unless you’re willing to walk with Garry Wills.

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  104. Can you smooth out the Bible any better than Catholic apologists do Olympic level acrobatics in order to claim that teaching doesn’t change but only “develops”?

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  105. I want to know if the Bible is the Word of God. I do not know one way or the other. My knowledge of Protestantism is limited, but I’ve read one of your books and am currently reading another with much profit. No expert, I admit, but I want to find out if there is any truth in any of it.

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  106. As far as clichés, and lack of understanding goes, do I misunderstand Calvin here?

    “If one falls among robbers, or ravenous beasts; if a sudden gust of wind at sea causes shipwreck; if one is struck down by the fall of a house or a tree; if another, when wandering through desert paths, meets with deliverance; or, after being tossed by the waves, arrives in port, and makes some wondrous hair—breadth escape from death — all these occurrences, prosperous as well as adverse, carnal sense will attribute to fortune. But those who have learned from the mouth of Christ that all the hairs of his head are numbered (Matthew 10:30), will look farther for the cause, and hold that all events whatsoever are governed by the secret counsel of God.”

    Was I out of line to attribute gassing Jews and raping little girls to God’s design before the world began?

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  107. Josh, have you considered that “easy explanations neatly defended” are also pretty suspect? I mean, isn’t that a good formula for shysterism? Do you really want a religious expression like that, or is there a lot to be said for not having easy explanations and neat defenses? The Bryan has plenty, as do many Calvinist Gadlfies, but how convincing are they really to actual human beings who know that human existence and reality aren’t so easily captured?

    “…liberal Protestant[s] will at least try to find a way to blame sinful human beings…” Really? Part of the essence of liberal Prot’ism is that human beings aren’t essentially sinful but good. My liberals don’t look for ways to blame sinful human beings but rather find ways to make make naughty people good and good people better.

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  108. Josh, Jesus says “My sheep hear my voice.” Also, 1 Thessalonians 2:13 “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.” When God gives faith, he gives faith to believe the Bible as well.

    Also if you have a moral objection to God killing everybody except for 8 people, then you’re gonna have a bad time with Calvinism.

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  109. “But Susan, Roman Catholic church historians at Roman Catholic universities don’t talk about the Magisterium the way you guys do. In fact, Rome was one of the later cities to adopt the mono episcopate. The evidence just isn’t there.”

    Did you attend a Catholic university? If there are Catholics who dont believe in the office of St. Peter then they need to get informed.

    I did. That’s one possibility – perhaps you know much better than the church scholars and religious who have excoriated conservative RCs for suggesting as much. Another possibility is that they have different epistemic priorities and approach the magisterium from a different hermeneutical starting point. Perhaps your time would be spent more productively engaging Prof. Grimes in dialog (she even has a blog). Somehow though, I doubt her problem is that she isn’t informed about websites that publish 19th century apologetic talking points.

    “Who’s denying the authority of the Apostolic church? I’m certainly not, nor is Darryl or any of the other Protestants here. We’re denying the infallible authority of the post-Apostolic church. Things changed when the Apostles died. Even Rome understands this to some degree.”

    If there is a rupture between the first church visibly begun by Jesus, and the visible one after the death of the last apostle then you don’t have a post Apostolic church. You have no church unless it was the passed on through sucession. If there is a rupture there is no succession. Your vague “degree” of change is not helpful. What changed?

    I’m curious – how do you understand the conclusion you would draw if you interpreted the OT church the same way – if there is no physical seed, there is no continuity with the covenant made with Abraham – of course Paul understood that continuity to be a spiritual continuity. Now, you’ve gone full circle and said what really matters is the physical continuity of the laying on of hands. But of course, we know that’s not true… the church will not be overcome by the gates of hell not because a physical succession will never be broken but because even if it is, the rocks will cry out (and if you’ve been to an OPC worship service, you know that isn’t just figurative!).

    As far as what changed when the John died – the last of the eye witnesses were gone. This is a profound change. There was no more revelation – the apostles provided something (moved by the Holy Spirit, not their own will) that one one since then has. They delivered God’s Word.

    As a thought experiment: if there was no papal office, both the eastern church and the western church can have doctrines that don’t have to be written in the scriptures and so it still wouldn’t make protestant groups the heir of the orthodoxy just because they has copies of the scriptures.

    I think there is a typo in here. I don’t understand what you are trying to say. What I’m reading is:
    1) If no papal office, then E&W can have doctrines not in scripture.
    2) Therefore, protestants are not heirs of orthodoxy because they have copies of the scriptures.

    I’m not seeing the connection here at all. Of course, Orthodox Catholic Christians (as they refer to themselves more formally) are not more similar to protestants than roman catholic christians. That has never, ever been suggested. The point is that Orthodox Catholic Christians and Roman Catholic Christians (and Copts, Nestorians, etc…) are divided and your all’s purported ecclesial/epistemic superiority hasn’t fixed anything for 1000 years. But it gets worse! Even when you were unified, it didn’t stop a semi-Christian desert sect from rising up and conquering almost all of Christendom. Talk about heretical schismatics! When you guys take the blame for Islam and the dozens of other local flavors of monotheistic movements that litter the middle east, you can make us account for mainline protestants.

    Again, if apostolic succession were true( and it is) what would it look like?

    I believe it is – and it looks like the preservation of God’s word and faithful spread of their teaching in the form of spreading and believing the gospel.

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  110. Walton,

    I don’t fully understand some of the more violent acts attributed to God in the OT. I know they can’t be whitewashed, but it is rather obvious that there were human influences in the composition of scripture. Not sure that means I have to go all the way to Bart Ehrman territory.

    Moral objection to Dr. Mengele: guilty.

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  111. Do you have a moral objection to anything? I guess so, if God decides to give you a moral objection, but if he doesn’t, then you don’t.

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  112. Sure I have moral objections. But I am called to put them in subjection to God’s standard. Why would I think my natural morals and feelings are right?

    Human influence on Scripture? Only to the extent that I deny dictation theory. But how do you get from human influence to “parts of the Bible are lies that don’t give us accurate information about God” without passing through Bart Ehrman territory?

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  113. Josh, doesn’t a moral objection to God(sovereignty) assume a superior moral compass? Is it possible that you flinch inappropriately or accuse(God) with less than a complete understanding? But at least, you’re addressing the primary hurdle, is God good? It’s one that needs to be grappled with, but ultimately, Jesus says if you want to know the Father, see me. So, eventually the journey has to square up with the historical figure of Christ and His resurrection. These are historical claims. Is it true?

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  114. Walton,

    Is it plausible that you can get accurate knowledge of God, while giving allowance to the nature of flesh and blood human beings living in real history? I think so, but I can understand your objection to it.

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  115. Sean,

    I hope you are right. The historical figure of Jesus in the NT is what keeps me from falling over the edge into the abyss of atheism. My moral objection is not to God. As you say, I have less than a complete understanding, which is why I can’t assent to saying that God, before time, thought and willed any number of heinous acts committed by human beings. It’s not clear to me that that is the case. Is that illogical if we begin with Luke 12:7? Yes, I suppose it is. But are you sure that starting with a passage or two and applying a human invented form of logic, that you haven’t slipped into the God of the Philosophers, instead of remaining with the God of the Bible right through end?

    Of course, God may well have willed things that I do find objectionable on the surface, below which there are mysterious reasons that such acts are good.

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  116. Good morning Josh,

    I went searchiring the archives at Called to Communion( are you familiar with the site and their intentions?) for an article by Bryan Cross where he discusses evil, death and suffering after the death of his infant son. I could not find that article and am sad because I though it would be helpful. It was very helpful for me.

    I did find this though: https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_letters/1984/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_11021984_salvifici-doloris.html

    Appreciate your comments here.

    God bless you,
    Susan

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  117. Josh, there seems to be an innate creatureliness to our investigations, which would be appropriate, if there is a true creator-creature chasm. If there’s an ultimatte being and we aren’t it, we’d expect to find limitations to our searching. The bible seems to confirm just those limitations, “my ways aren’t your ways” God’s secret ways are presented as inscrutable to our pursuits, thus God’s condescension to our limitations-the incarnation. In scripture God has agreed to meet us where we are in Jesus Christ and it’s on the basis of that mediation that we are invited to encounter the Father and know Him. Scripture actually portrays God as a frightening figure particularly outside that mediatorial work of Jesus Christ. So, the uncomfortability with the ‘naked God’ we should actually expect if scripture is true. So, He’s terrifying and awesome, but is He good? For that answer Jesus commends Himself to us. That certainly bypasses the philosopher’s pursuits and makes you encounter a histoirical figure who claimed to be God incarnate was killed and rose from the dead. Tough to philosophize your way to that conclusion.

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  118. Hi sdb,

    Hope you are well.
    of
    I can’t stay today so I will leave you with a couple of things.
    One is an explanation of what Judaism is and how it hung together. Your questions are good. I wondered why Christians needed a magesterium if Jews who worshipped correctly and knew God correctly( had spoken truly of him, as in, He revealed himself).
    What I rather is that God really did reveal himself t

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  119. Robert,

    “that’s not what anyone has argued.”

    That is what’s argued – “You’re fallible and must fallibly interpret!” ad nauseum.

    “Judas didn’t have any advantage being around Jesus.”

    Sure he did. That’s what added to his culpability. You keep reducing the effectiveness or utility of an infallible authority to the agreement and acceptance by the follower/hearer. Did Adam not have an advantage in the Garden just because he rejected God? One can know truth – based on the authority of the truth-giver – and still reject it.

    “and formally doesn’t claim the same type of authority or ability.”

    Rome claims divine and apostolic authority – the apostles passed on their authority through succession, and Christ promised protection and guidance to the church. Rome claims the ability and authority to infallibly interpret, identify, teach, and define irreformable doctrines, to definitively settle disputes binding upon all, to judge orthodoxy from heresy and schism, to distinguish divine revelation from opinion. All of which Christ and the Apostles also had and claimed. Protestantism lacks and rejects such authority/ability.

    “An infallible authority gives no inherent advantage unless the receiver can correctly interpret and believe what he says.”

    No, the receiver can know what is being said and still refuse to believe it.

    “A claim to infallible authority isn’t required in Protestantism to determine when another church is in schism.”

    Right. So no Protestant church deemed in schism by you has any reason to care of your church’s judgment, and vice versa.

    “Where do they say, “You must submit BECAUSE I claim authority and you are free to reject truth whenever the teacher does not claim to be infallible”?”

    Right, so the claims to authority were unnecessary and superfluous. Christ and the Apostles were no different and offered no advantage over just another group of random rabbis amongst others.

    “The principled way is the Word of God.”

    Right, so a Protestant church who disagrees with your identification and/or interpretation of the Word of God and judges you in error says you are the one who has splintered. You return the favor. So there is no principled way to distinguish splintering from non-splintering. Because any church is authoritative only insofar as it conforms to the individuals interpretation and judgment of Scripture; no Protestant church claims the type of authority that would cause the stalemate to advance.

    “What you haven’t proven is that the division is caused by Protestant principles.”

    What in the world would it take to prove it then?

    “It’s hardly a criticism to say that according to Roman definitions of schism, schism is meaningless in Protestantism.”

    I’m defining schism the way the bible, tradition, and the dictionary does.

    “No such thing as a heretical Protestant church. If it is heretical, it’s not Protestant.”

    Church A claims to be Protestant and claims church B is heretical. Church B claims to Protestant and claims church A is heretical. What to do?

    “The answer would be yes.”

    So you affirm Lutheranism and Arminianism and reject inerrancy (since Darryl said inerrancy is no big deal)? How does that work – do you have 4 different sermons and suppers every service?

    “A church can have the Spirit and yet be wrong on certain matters.”

    And on those matters it cannot be wrong on – which church authoritatively decides and judges that?

    “A church with the Spirit has the right preaching of the gospel, right sacraments, and church discipline. This isn’t hard.”

    And who gets to decide who has the right gospel and the right sacraments and the right discipline? Lutherans, Arminians, liberals, Oneness Pentecostals, Pelagians, Word of Faithers, and Anabaptists all think they have the right gospel, sacraments, and church discipline whereas you are in error and not in conformity with Scripture.

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  120. sdb,

    “His phrasing may imply something he does not in fact believe ”

    Yes, and he can clarify that for the misunderstanding reader. So the misunderstanding reader then has greater clarity and understanding than he had before – even though the reader amazingly had to fallibly interpret both times.

    “There is a major difference…you know one being divine and and all that. ”

    There is no major difference in the fact that followers of both were fallible.

    “This is not to say Christ did not need to possess divine authority – only that the possession of that authority is not basis of our epistemic warrant. ”

    Right, so Christ’s divine authority gave no more surety or greater grounding of belief to his followers than if he had no divine authority. So he and the apostles were no different than random rabbis who had no such authority/ability and rejected claims to any such authority/ability.

    “but Christ said that the people should submit to everything he taught (clearly insofar as it conformed to scripture).”

    So an NT listener was justified in rejecting Christ’s teachings if he judged them to not conform to his interpretation of the OT. Solo Scriptura was the rule of faith even as Scripture was still being written and generated.

    “You don’t get to just ignore them and stay part of the body. ”

    You get to ignore them if you judge them not to be part of the body in the first place. That’s the point – the definition of the “church” and the “body” is exactly what’s in dispute. In Protestantism, a person who deems WCF in error has no reason to consider it authoritative and is perfectly within his rights to do so based on WCF’s own disclaimers. As it is with every Protestant church and confession. So one church deems WCF churches as outside the body because it doesn’t conform to their interpretation of Scripture. Your church deems that church out of the body because it doesn’t conform to your church’s interpretation of Scripture. That’s the best you can get.

    “It is clearly stated in the WCF. ”

    The WCF that claims it and its churches are authoritative only insofar as they conform to the individual’s judgment and interpretation of Scripture. So “In Protestantism, there are no claims made by churches to authority/ability that I need to evaluate the credibility of in the first place.”

    “The apostles did not have that kind of authority. ”

    The Council of Jerusalem was binding and definitive for the church. The Apostles invoked their authority when teaching and preached their teachings were not provisional tentative opinions to be accepted as such, but from God. Apostolic authority was not rabbinic or government or parental authority.

    “All the stalemates between the EOs and RCs boil down to subjective”

    One evalutes the credibility and evidence of the claims. Just like the credibility and evidence of false messiahs and false prophets had to be evaluated against that of the true messiah and true prophets. Claims to authority/ability were being made by both false and true groups. No such claims to authority/ability are being made by Protestant groups.

    “Nonsense”

    CtC: “Confessional Protestants want to distinguish themselves from “solo scriptura” biblicists by claiming that tradition has authority. But when what gets to count as tradition is only either what is explicitly stated in Scripture or entailed by one’s interpretation of Scripture, then ‘tradition’ has no authority; it does not govern one’s interpretation of Scripture. Rather, when it does not conform to one’s interpretation of Scripture, it is excised from ‘tradition.’ As a result, what is referred to as ‘tradition’ is only either Scripture itself or a restatement of one’s own interpretation of Scripture. And that is equivalent to “solo scriptura” biblicism hidden under the appearance of adherence to the creeds.”

    “Of course they could have been wrong, so it is not infallible.”

    Right, so no teaching is ever offered as infallible in Protestantism, just as tentative and subject to revision.

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  121. That went before I was ready. Ugh.

    Now I have to rush this so that it makes some kind of sense.

    We must trust the scriptural accounts of people having real contact with God. In the beginning with Adam and Eve and the significance of that story for understanding the gospels. Pretty darn amazing since Moses didn’t witness all of it. The oral tradition was amazing.
    When we get to Abraham it’s more unveiling and it continues to point us forward but at the same time people along the way are a people of the true God even though they don’t have a priesthood or a kingdom yet. Along the way they were kept from false ideas without having a book yet. Since that doesn’t happen.until.Moses yes, they were connected by the correct identification of God who revealed himself but without a book.
    Before I converted ,I lost my faith because of this period of history. How was I to know that the scriptures were telling me the truth about monotheism and God’s calling Abram?
    True religion at that time was down to one man and his son and his wife and his servants.

    What if it pre Judaism was just a different tribe that was more moral than it’s neighbor’s and what if judasism as a thing later on was the fulfilling of an expectation motiff as told around a campfire to keep.this tribe from calling into.extinction? A kind of temporal hope from.an invented self aggrandizing narrative?
    This thought was being perpetuated in me because when we arrive to the MY period.we now have a church, but it is no longer in contuiity with it’s predecessors; at least it isnt in Protestantism.
    We no longer.have a single.church but churchea( according to Protestantism) who.all interpret the bible that they say is perspicuous.
    When I found that there was a.way to.remain in continuity with the God of Abraham.then I climbed aboard that.ark( a typology that.doesn’t.exist in Protestantism except in an invisible.sense but with competing.ecclesiologies and respective doctrines there isn’t an ark to board).
    Do you follow me? I’m writing from my cell so it’s tough to make it clear.
    http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2009/09/why-protestantism-has-no-visible-catholic-church/

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  122. sdb, ( I moved to a laptop 🙂 )

    Since you keep critiquing the Catholic Church for its supposedly loss of “the gospel”, here is another article for you to chew on: http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2009/09/does-the-bible-teach-sola-fide/

    If you want to discuss the contents of that article directly, I am open to that, although I am busy and it will take me some time because I can only do so in the late evenings or on the weekends.

    I do hope you read both. You are a smart fella and I appreciate your thoughts even though we disagree.

    God bless you,
    Susan

    Sean,

    I appreciate all that you said above to Josh.

    God bless you for the way you glorified Christ and for encouraging your brother.

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  123. Jesus IS the ark, he’s the fulfillment of all the biblical types and shadows. The church is not, and especially not the creaky junk, H.P.S. RCC.

    Josh, Look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, please, I beg you.

    Ignore these shameless papal sirens. They’re calling you into hell.

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  124. Susan, Thank you. You seem like a very kind lady.

    Bruce, Why beg me to come to Jesus? If he’s called me or damned me there is nothing you or I can do about it.

    I admit I am being unfair to you. You seem sincere, and whatever else you Old Lifers do that discomfits me, I have no doubts that y’all believe in Jesus Christ.

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  125. “Jesus IS the ark, he’s the fulfillment of all the biblical types and shadows. The church is not, and especially not the creaky junk, H.P.S. RCC.”

    Hmm.
    Augustine: “the one ark of Noah was a type of the one Church. If, then, in that baptism of the world thus expiated and purified, he who was not in the ark of Noah could be saved by water, he who is not in the Church to which alone baptism is granted, can also now be quickened by baptism.”

    Cyprian: “He can no longer have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother. If any one could escape who was outside the ark of Noah, then he also may escape who shall be outside of the Church… He who does not hold this unity does not hold God’s law, does not hold the faith of the Father and the Son, does not hold life and salvation.”

    Epiphanius: “Such as these have no power against the ark; for holy Noah received a commission, according to the word of the Lord, to secure it; as the Lord said unto him, ‘Thou shalt pitch it within and without’; that he might thereby point out the semblance of the holy church of God, which has that efficacy of pitchm which repells pernicious and destructive and serpent-like doctrines. For where is the smell of pitch, there the snake is unable to remain.”

    Jerome: “My words are spoken to the successor of the fisherman, to the disciple of the cross. As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built! This is the house where alone the paschal lamb can be rightly eaten. This is the ark of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails.”

    Aquinas: “there is no entering into salvation outside the Church, just as in the time of the deluge there was none outside the Ark, which denotes the Church, according to I Peter 3:20, 21.”

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  126. “His phrasing may imply something he does not in fact believe ”
    Yes

    Glad you agree with me…progress.

    “There is a major difference…you know one being divine and and all that. ”
    There is no major difference

    So you are saying that Jesus’s divinity doesn’t matter. Maybe not progress after all.

    “This is not to say Christ did not need to possess divine authority – only that the possession of that authority is not basis of our epistemic warrant. ”
    he and the apostles were no different than random rabbis

    You words not mine.

    Doesn’t help move the conversation forward to have bits of your response wretched out of context does it. If you want to continue, that’s great. I’m game – though I will be out of commission tomorrow through Thursday.

    There are two key bits in our conversation that we probably need to come into an agreement on in order to move the conversation forward. You still misconstrue the nature of what you call the WCF’s “disclaimers”. They claim authority, “It belongs to synods and councils, ministerially to determine controversies of faith…authoritatively to determine the same”. They don’t define rules of faith – that belongs to God alone who has revealed it in his word. Of course, they are to teach and explain, though they do so fallibly. If one disagrees, there are church courts through which one may appeal or you leave. Of course, the same is true for Rome. Of course, authority in Rome isn’t the same as it is RP-SS. But to say it does not exist in RP-SS is a step too far.

    Second, you continue to misconstrue what fallible means and throw in illegitimate, inflammatory descriptors – the articles of the faith contained in our confessions are not provisional or tentative even if they are fallible. You insist on setting up a false dichotomy here. Your understanding of the law of gravity was fallible, but you were certain about it until I pointed out how it is wrong. People are certain about a lot of things they are wrong about and right and certain about a lot of things they could have been wrong about. This is of course true of RC doctrines as well – not all of your doctrines are offered infallibility (there is an ordinary magisterium to which you owe your intellectual assent), but to say that these are only offered tentatively because they could in principle (though probably will not be) revised or reformed in some way is of course silly. The scope of the OT had not been infallibly established prior to Trent. That didn’t mean that reference to 2Kings was merely tentative or provisional. It was offered authoritatively. There is a gradient in certainty as you agreed with Fr. Martin: The gospels are the highest, then the Nicene Creed, and on down the line to what some priest says in his homily. This gradient you said you agreed with entails that the Nicene Creed is less certain than the Gospels… this entails a certain form of fallibility, no? I’m not seeing the difference on the epistemology front.

    Finally, as a sort of aside… I will maintain that it does not make sense to blame SS-RPs for those who reject SS-RPism. Groups reject SS and its a free country, we can’t do much about it. It is akin to EOs blaming papal primacy on protestantism. Of course that isn’t fair, because we reject papal primacy. In the interest of clarity, we should focus a bit I think.

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  127. Josh,
    I’m assuming you’re really looking for light in the dark, the sure prophetic word, Peter calls it, 2Pet.1:19. So, tolle lege, take up and read. The Lord said, “My sheep hear my voice.” Tune in.

    Why beg? Because that is apparently the ordained means to the ordained end, 2Cor.5:20, 2Cor.5:20, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” Sure seems to me Paul was thoroughly predestinarian, and a great evangelist.

    H.P.S. was a papal pun, instead of H.M.S. (the old British Empire ship-of-the-line designation).

    Clete,
    Thanks for the quotes. Here’s another: “indignor quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus.”

    Augustin allegorized the ark into a body, then into Christ’s (physical) body, then latched onto the church as the body of Christ, 1Cor.12:27, etc., and saw the church as embodied in the ark. Does baptism put us into the church, or into Christ? What saith the Scripture? Gal.3:27, Rom.6:3.

    Do you want to play “dueling quotes?” If so, I’m going with Scripture (even if I can quote mine church history with the best of them).

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  128. Bruce,

    “Does baptism put us into the church, or into Christ? ”

    Both. The church is the mystical body of Christ, as “saith the Scripture” as well as tradition. There’s a penchant for false dichotomies in these parts.

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  129. @Susan

    We must trust the scriptural accounts of people having real contact with God. In the beginning with Adam and Eve and the significance of that story for understanding the gospels. Pretty darn amazing since Moses didn’t witness all of it. The oral tradition was amazing.

    I doubt that Moses relied just on oral tradition. For starters, there are references to writings he drew from. But more importantly, he did not speak from his will, but as he was moved by the Holy Spirit. Now I don’t believe, that Peter has in mind word-for-word dictation. But I am convinced of a supernatural source of what he wrote.

    When we get to Abraham it’s more unveiling and it continues to point us forward but at the same time people along the way are a people of the true God even though they don’t have a priesthood or a kingdom yet. Along the way they were kept from false ideas without having a book yet. Since that doesn’t happen.until.Moses yes, they were connected by the correct identification of God who revealed himself but without a book.

    Again, consider Genesis 5:1. It does appear that Moses drew from previously existing books. I don’t understand it all and the text isn’t very specific, but there are several such references scattered through Genesis and the other OT histories. I don’t know how much of Genesis 1-11 is history as we understand history, and it is clear that God interacted with his prophets in ways that he does not normally interact with us.

    Before I converted ,I lost my faith because of this period of history. How was I to know that the scriptures were telling me the truth about monotheism and God’s calling Abram?
    True religion at that time was down to one man and his son and his wife and his servants.

    Sorry to hear about your faith crisis. I’ve never heard anyone having that particular problem with the text.

    What if it pre Judaism was just a different tribe that was more moral than it’s neighbor’s and what if judasism as a thing later on was the fulfilling of an expectation motiff as told around a campfire to keep.this tribe from calling into.extinction? A kind of temporal hope from.an invented self aggrandizing narrative?

    Of course, the text is not exactly self-aggrandizing right? The heros are villains and manage to make a thorough hash of things. On the other hand, if one insists on a sort of naturalism as applied to history, then one could make a pretty compelling argument along these lines. The data is underdetermined as they say.

    This thought was being perpetuated in me because when we arrive to the MY period.we now have a church, but it is no longer in contuiity with it’s predecessors; at least it isnt in Protestantism.

    is MY = NT? I disagree that the church is not in continuity with its predecessor. While the epistle to the Hebrews draws on a number of important distinctions, there are clear lines of continuity as well. Paul makes these very explicit – particularly in Romans. We have been grafted in (but don’t think for a minute that we can be cut out if we aren’t faithful to the gospel), but it is into a pre-existing trunk. Yes the temple worship is gone and now our hearts are the “tabernacle”, circumcision is baptism and passover is the Lord’s Supper, etc…

    We no longer.have a single.church but churchea( according to Protestantism) who.all interpret the bible that they say is perspicuous.

    Well, I don’t think that is a fair rendering of what RP-SS believe (and I don’t want to speak for those who reject SS any more than you should be expected to answer for those who reject Papal primacy). I would say that following Paul’s observation that not all of those descended from Abraham are of Abraham…rather those who had true faith. Now we see from Christ’s interaction with the Samaritan woman that what would matter in the kingdom is that we worship in spirit and truth – not the place (or by extension, the organization). Of course, this isn’t a rigorous sketch, but you can see where one would come to the conclusion that organizational unity was not what was so essential. When I considered swimming the Tiber many years ago, I found too many thing that I simply could not accept. I can not honestly say that I believe all that the RCC teaches. I would have to lie. Further, I found too many of the disciplines not only extra-biblical, but poorly justified and actually contrary to the constraints placed on church leaders by Paul. These extra burdens – which really were burdens that I saw turn many away obscured the gospel (this is without getting into any kind of exegetical argument over the way justification works – though I read the article at CTC a while back and found it entirely unconvincing – the writer (was it Bryan?) was desperate to be able to think highly of himself, a theme with much of his writing…a sort of brittleness that makes any sort of self deprecation impossible, but I digress).

    When I found that there was a.way to.remain in continuity with the God of Abraham.then I climbed aboard that.ark( a typology that.doesn’t.exist in Protestantism except in an invisible.sense but with competing.ecclesiologies and respective doctrines there isn’t an ark to board).

    You are mistaken here and it is very unfortunately. We ss-RPs do understand a continuity with Abraham and believe the ark is Christ who alone saves us from our sins…trust him alone. The church matters and there is only one body called out in eternity past to bring praise and honor and glory to him. But that body has many parts – not all always working in unison. That body has not *yet* been perfected. The local manifestations of that body are a mixed bag, though it is clear that some are better than others and some that may have once been filled with believers have been utterly overtaken by wolves. It is said to see to be sure.

    What I see in scripture is that God works in ways we could scarcely have ever expected. Who would have thought that a bunch of Scots would evangelize so much of the world?

    I’m not sure where, if anywhere this is going, but I will be offline for several days. Who knows whether these comments will still exist or if I will even remember which thread this was?

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  130. As you already know, Josh, people can reject their Creator for any reason they want – including the one you are pursuing – that He doesn’t measure up to His creatures standards… but rejection results in.death.
    It is not for naught that the Lord says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge. When you are able to say that you dwell in unapproachable light and are a consuming fire, then you could start with that God is maybe not good; but I would suggest you consider starting with that God says He is only good and study how this is so from His word ( though we don’t know many things).
    You said you were ‘honestly ignorant and confused’, – so maybe hold off on accusation and unfold His word for light (Ps 119:130)…since you said:” I want to know if the Bible is the Word of God.” I do not know one way or the other”

    Your ploy seems obvious – I may be wrong and in which case I am being harsh- but don’t think so, considering your various musings here……about whether you should pray for your ill grandmother; about not being convinced of God’s justifying work; about being embarrassed for God about historical events He has allowed; about equating Marian apparitions or whether we know St. Francis is in heaven with other faith claims -ie that all ‘forms of Christianity’ make claims not easily explained; about something (ridiculing?) about creationism? about all houses being ‘plagued with gullibility’; about the hidden things belonging to God being ‘cliche’; and about why Bruce would beg you to come Jesus

    Your mind seems pretty made up. Who, who is thirsty, says “Bruce, Why beg me to come to Jesus? If he’s called me or damned me there is nothing you or I can do about it. “;
    don’t they say ““Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty”

    re: the Ark. Cletus, please. quit diminishing Jesus; the ark, the mercy seat, symbolically foreshadowed Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice for all sin—His blood shed on the cross for the remission of sins – Jesus Himself alone is our Lord and Savior having made propitiation and atonement for our sins.

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  131. James Young, “there is no entering into salvation outside the Church”

    There you go again, sounding all Pius Xthed up.

    Give us some of that old-time Vatican 2 religion.

    Salvation out here. I’m your brother.

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  132. Robert,

    Sure he did. That’s what added to his culpability. You keep reducing the effectiveness or utility of an infallible authority to the agreement and acceptance by the follower/hearer. Did Adam not have an advantage in the Garden just because he rejected God? One can know truth – based on the authority of the truth-giver – and still reject it.

    But that’s what Rome does with the whole idea of invincible ignorance, does it not? I mean, what good is the church to the person who remains invincibly ignorant.

    And the second point is how does Judas have a greater advantage of having Jesus present when He finally rejects Christ over the Protestant who only has His Bible and a fallible church and yet accepts Christ? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Rome claims divine and apostolic authority – the apostles passed on their authority through succession, and Christ promised protection and guidance to the church.

    So the authority of Francis is equivalent to the authority of Paul. I mean, if Paul and Francis were in the same room and were to disagree, I could potentially be better off going with Francis? Are you really arguing that? Because the successors only have equivalent authority if you are arguing that. And yet somehow, I don’t think Francis or the typical RC would argue that Francis has the authority to correct Paul.

    Rome claims the ability and authority to infallibly interpret, identify, teach, and define irreformable doctrines, to definitively settle disputes binding upon all, to judge orthodoxy from heresy and schism, to distinguish divine revelation from opinion. All of which Christ and the Apostles also had and claimed. Protestantism lacks and rejects such authority/ability.

    The only thing that Protestants reject out of that is “infallibly” and “irreformably.” But that’s mostly because we don’t worship the church as if the church were Christ.

    No, the receiver can know what is being said and still refuse to believe it.

    So the fallible church can know what God has said and still refuse to believe it or believe it and teach it. There goes the advantage.

    Right. So no Protestant church deemed in schism by you has any reason to care of your church’s judgment, and vice versa.

    Why is infallibly necessary to care? God gives parents authority over their children, but they are certainly not infallible. Are children therefore allowed not to care about their parents’ judgment. Of course not.

    Right, so the claims to authority were unnecessary and superfluous. Christ and the Apostles were no different and offered no advantage over just another group of random rabbis amongst others.

    The claims aren’t absolutely necessary. Genesis 12. God spoke to Abraham and told Him to go, but there is no indication in the text that God said “This is infallible” or even “Abraham, Creator of the universe speaking here.”

    Further, many people heard only isolated teachings of Jesus and the Apostles wherein they never specifically heard Jesus or the Apostles making a specific claim to infalliblity. Were they then justified to reject the parable or the sermon? Only if you can answer yes to that question will your argument hold together.

    Right, so a Protestant church who disagrees with your identification and/or interpretation of the Word of God and judges you in error says you are the one who has splintered. You return the favor. So there is no principled way to distinguish splintering from non-splintering. Because any church is authoritative only insofar as it conforms to the individuals interpretation and judgment of Scripture; no Protestant church claims the type of authority that would cause the stalemate to advance.

    Rome’s claim to authority hasn’t caused the stalemate with the East or with Protestantism to advance, so clearly you don’t have the mechanism either. All you have is the private interpretation of bishops that you have chosen to agree with. And the East returns the favor. And the Lutherans return the favor. And the Presbyterians return the favor. And the Baptists.

    You might not like my answer and the advocacy of the perspicuity of Scripture, but the Magisterium very clearly isn’t the answer. You’ve had 500 years with the Protestants and 1,000 years with the East, and the Western Magisterium under the papacy hasn’t advanced anything. Well, I guess you do have ecumenical relations and discussions with people that, you know, do good Magisterial things like ordaining lesbians and promoting abortion.

    I said: “What you haven’t proven is that the division is caused by Protestant principles.”
    You replied: What in the world would it take to prove it then?

    Am I supposed to do your job now? You could start by pointing to divisions between two bodies that believe the Bible is infallible and for which divisions clearly aren’t politically motivated. I can think of very few. Lutherans and Presbyterians aren’t in schism from each other. At best they are both in schism from Rome. The PCA leaving the PCUSA doesn’t count because the PCUSA denies that the Bible is the Word of God. North-South Protestant divisions in the US were politically driven, not primarily exegetical.

    I suppose you could identify a few. But then for the criticism to work, you’d have to explain how Roman Catholics are so divided theologically since you have the mechanism.

    “It’s hardly a criticism to say that according to Roman definitions of schism, schism is meaningless in Protestantism.”

    I’m defining schism the way the bible, tradition, and the dictionary does.

    The Bible doesn’t define schism as separating from the papacy. The Christian tradition doesn’t define it that way either unless you isolate Christian tradition to whatever Rome says is tradition. And the only dictionary that defines it that way is the RC dictionary. Try again.

    Church A claims to be Protestant and claims church B is heretical. Church B claims to Protestant and claims church A is heretical. What to do?

    Read the Bible. Why do you believe the Magisterium is clearer than the papacy. Mother Teresa and Nancy Pelosi are both good, faithful RCs who get (or did get) the Eucharist regularly. Who is right on abortion?

    So you affirm Lutheranism and Arminianism and reject inerrancy (since Darryl said inerrancy is no big deal)? How does that work – do you have 4 different sermons and suppers every service?

    I affirm that the Holy Spirit is at work in those communions but that those communions don’t listen as well to the Spirit as the Reformed do. That’s no more arrogant than the Roman Catholic claim post V2, which is exactly equivalent.

    And on those matters it cannot be wrong on – which church authoritatively decides and judges that?

    The church that accurately interprets the Word of God.

    And who gets to decide who has the right gospel and the right sacraments and the right discipline?

    Scripture.

    Lutherans, Arminians, liberals, Oneness Pentecostals, Pelagians, Word of Faithers, and Anabaptists all think they have the right gospel, sacraments, and church discipline whereas you are in error and not in conformity with Scripture.

    Yeah, and having an infallible church solves that how? Nancy Pelosi thinks that she has the right gospel and that conservatives like you are in error and not in conformity with tradition. But you and her both get the Eucharist every week. Who is going to settle things?

    Give us a way to resolve the stalemate and we can talk. Simply stating that Rome has the mechanism to do it doesn’t work when no stalemate has clearly been solved. I can equally claim that the Spirit speaking through the Word can resolve the stalemate because thus far in history, the visible, bureaucratic results have been the same.

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  133. Darryl,

    “there is no entering into salvation outside the Church”
    There you go again, sounding all Pius Xthed up.
    Give us some of that old-time Vatican 2 religion.”

    Happy to oblige.

    Vat2 documents:
    UR:
    Even in the beginnings of this one and only Church of God there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly condemned. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions made their appearance and quite large communities came to be separated from full communion with the Catholic Church – for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame… For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect. The differences that exist in varying degrees between them and the Catholic Church – whether in doctrine and sometimes in discipline, or concerning the structure of the Church – do indeed create many obstacles, sometimes serious ones, to full ecclesiastical communion.

    Moreover, some and even very many of the significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church: the written word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, and visible elements too. All of these, which come from Christ and lead back to Christ, belong by right to the one Church of Christ.

    It follows that the separated Churches and Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church.

    Nevertheless, our separated brethren, whether considered as individuals or as Communities and Churches, are not blessed with that unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those who through Him were born again into one body, and with Him quickened to newness of life – that unity which the Holy Scriptures and the ancient Tradition of the Church proclaim. For it is only through Christ’s Catholic Church, which is “the all-embracing means of salvation,” that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation. We believe that Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, in order to establish the one Body of Christ on earth to which all should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God.

    Nevertheless, the divisions among Christians prevent the Church from attaining the fullness of catholicity proper to her, in those of her sons who, though attached to her by Baptism, are yet separated from full communion with her.

    Whenever the Sacrament of Baptism is duly administered as Our Lord instituted it, and is received with the right dispositions, a person is truly incorporated into the crucified and glorified Christ, and reborn to a sharing of the divine life, as the Apostle says: “You were buried together with Him in Baptism, and in Him also rose again – through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead”.

    LG:
    Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.

    This is the one Church of Christ which in the Creed is professed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic, which our Saviour, after His Resurrection, commissioned Peter to shepherd, and him and the other apostles to extend and direct with authority, which He erected for all ages as “the pillar and mainstay of the truth”. This Church constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him, although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure. These elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward catholic unity.

    Post Vat2:
    Dominus Iesus:
    Above all else, it must be firmly believed that “the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3:5), and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door”. This doctrine must not be set against the universal salvific will of God (cf. 1 Tim 2:4); “it is necessary to keep these two truths together, namely, the real possibility of salvation in Christ for all mankind and the necessity of the Church for this salvation”

    The Church is the “universal sacrament of salvation”, since, united always in a mysterious way to the Saviour Jesus Christ, her Head, and subordinated to him, she has, in God’s plan, an indispensable relationship with the salvation of every human being. For those who are not formally and visibly members of the Church, “salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church, but enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation. This grace comes from Christ; it is the result of his sacrifice and is communicated by the Holy Spirit”; it has a relationship with the Church, which “according to the plan of the Father, has her origin in the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit”.

    With respect to the way in which the salvific grace of God — which is always given by means of Christ in the Spirit and has a mysterious relationship to the Church — comes to individual non-Christians, the Second Vatican Council limited itself to the statement that God bestows it “in ways known to himself”. Theologians are seeking to understand this question more fully. Their work is to be encouraged, since it is certainly useful for understanding better God’s salvific plan and the ways in which it is accomplished. However, from what has been stated above about the mediation of Jesus Christ and the “unique and special relationship” which the Church has with the kingdom of God among men — which in substance is the universal kingdom of Christ the Saviour — it is clear that it would be contrary to the faith to consider the Church as one way of salvation alongside those constituted by the other religions, seen as complementary to the Church or substantially equivalent to her, even if these are said to be converging with the Church toward the eschatological kingdom of God.

    With the coming of the Saviour Jesus Christ, God has willed that the Church founded by him be the instrument for the salvation of all humanity (cf. Acts 17:30-31). This truth of faith does not lessen the sincere respect which the Church has for the religions of the world, but at the same time, it rules out, in a radical way, that mentality of indifferentism “characterized by a religious relativism which leads to the belief that ‘one religion is as good as another’”.

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  134. sdb,

    “They claim authority”

    And they claim they are authoritative only insofar as they conform to the individual’s judgment and interpretation of Scripture. That’s the disclaimer. It’s authoritative until it’s not, just like any creed, confession, church, or tradition is. Solo scriptura.

    “They don’t define rules of faith – that belongs to God alone who has revealed it in his word.”

    Right, solo scriptura again. Perpetual private judgment and provisionality.

    “Second, you continue to misconstrue what fallible means and throw in illegitimate, inflammatory descriptors – the articles of the faith contained in our confessions are not provisional or tentative even if they are fallible.”

    Provisional means subject to revision. You agreed with that description of your doctrines earlier, as did others of your tribe.

    “Your understanding of the law of gravity was fallible, but you were certain about it until I pointed out how it is wrong.”

    No, this is impossible because I fallibly interpreted your clarification. Therefore I was no better off before your clarification than I was before.

    “Finally, as a sort of aside… I will maintain that it does not make sense to blame SS-RPs for those who reject SS-RPism.”

    I don’t blame SS-RPs for those who reject SS-RPism, just like I don’t blame Word of Faithers for those who reject Word of Faith or KJV-onlyists for those who reject KJV-onlyism or Open Theists for those who reject Open Theism or Lutherans for those who reject Lutheranism. My contention is all such bodies fall under the banner of Protestantism because they are being true to and consistent with Protestant principles. However, even if we let that slide and just assume “true” Protestants are only those who follow SS, the point stills stands – there are many SS groups past and present you would consider heretical or unorthodox.

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  135. @Robert the Valiant

    At some point it will dawn on you that all CvD wants to show you is that you are in principle no different than a Joel Osteen devotee b/c to him, you are both casualties to SS, and that you need to flee the sufficiency of Scripture for the sufficiency of the RC, you mindless boobie.

    I just give him Scripture, show him how he is disobedient to the apostles, and call him to save his soul by fleeing to the Christ revealed by the apostles in the canon.

    Hey. It works, he’s no longer communicating with me.

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  136. NOON:
    I just give him Scripture, show him how he is disobedient to the apostles, and call him to save his soul by fleeing to the Christ revealed by the apostles in the canon.>>>>>>

    Yeah, like that’s not arrogant and condescending or anything.

    NOON, some of your guys don’t even know for sure that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, so what are you talking about? Why not quote this to some on your side who seem to think that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is provisional knowledge. We believe it until and unless the body of Jesus is found.

    Yet the Apostle Paul concludes otherwise. Not even a hint of your famous provisional knowledge.

    A little more humility from your side might be called for.

    1 Corinthians 15:20
    But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

    Flee to the Christ of the Bible, the one Who is risen from the dead. Flee to the One whom the Apostles and Church testify to.

    Not the one who provisionally came alive again, but whose body might be out there somewhere.

    You guys are not sure of anything if you accept the false teaching of provisional knowledge applied to absolute, irreformable, infallible truth.

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  137. Noon,

    I didnt stop communicating with you; it seemed to me the convo ran its course since you ignored or missed many of my points and didnt seem to offer anything new in your latest reply. But its all good – if you would like me to reply to something or feel I overlooked something, post it.

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  138. James Young, so your next assignment is to square any of this with Pope Francis celebrating Luther and his praying with Hindus. Yup.

    If only you were pope (then you’d know how it feels to be Protestant — looks like you already do). Cool.

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  139. Mermaid, “You guys are not sure of anything if you accept the false teaching of provisional knowledge applied to absolute, irreformable, infallible truth.”

    Yeah, like that’s not arrogant and condescending or anything.

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  140. Mermaid: some of your guys don’t even know for sure that Jesus Christ rose from the dead

    As I asked Cletus (to no avail): Who, exactly, are you speaking of?

    I would certainly say that I know for sure that Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

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  141. “They claim authority”
    And they claim they are authoritative only insofar as they conform to the individual’s judgment and interpretation of Scripture. That’s the disclaimer.

    “individual’s judgement” is not in the disclaimer. If you want to see how this works out in practice, check out the various trials and excommunications that have taken place within reformed churches. You are adding your inference into the text of the WCF and confusing knowing and being (as someone once insisted). If the council’s judgement is consonant with scripture, then it is sinful to disobey. If it is not consonant with scripture, then you have a duty to resist. If your criticism were valid, then that would mean that you never submit to the governing authorities (Peter and Paul tell us to obey the laws of the land, but there is the obvious implication that we should resist if they order us to sin). If you were to conclude that you should engage in civil disobedience because the state requires you to , you aren’t just submitting to your interpretatoin

    It’s authoritative until it’s not, just like any creed, confession, church, or tradition is. Solo scriptura.

    Not at all. That a creed, confession, or tradition is not dispositive does not entail that they do not matter or that they are an impediment (as some our restorationist friends might assert).

    “They don’t define rules of faith – that belongs to God alone who has revealed it in his word.”
    Right, solo scriptura again. Perpetual private judgment and provisionality.

    Teaching what scripture means is different from defining an extra biblical article of faith. Nothing provisional about it…it isn’t tentative at all.

    “Second, you continue to misconstrue what fallible means and throw in illegitimate, inflammatory descriptors – the articles of the faith contained in our confessions are not provisional or tentative even if they are fallible.”

    Provisional means subject to revision. You agreed with that description of your doctrines earlier, as did others of your tribe.

    No I didn’t. I challenged you on this point several times and I still reject it. The MW definition is given as:
    “existing or accepted for the present time but likely to be changed”. The fact that a teaching could in principle need to be clarified, amended, or otherwise reformed in some way does not entail that it is “likely to be changed”.

    “Your understanding of the law of gravity was fallible, but you were certain about it until I pointed out how it is wrong.”
    No, this is impossible because I fallibly interpreted your clarification. Therefore I was no better off before your clarification than I was before.

    Sounds pretty silly doesn’t it. The point isn’t that receiving clarification is not helpful, but rather that an infallible middle man automatically confers an advantage over fallible middlemen.

    “Finally, as a sort of aside… I will maintain that it does not make sense to blame SS-RPs for those who reject SS-RPism.”

    I don’t blame SS-RPs for those who reject SS-RPism, just like I don’t blame Word of Faithers for those who reject Word of Faith or KJV-onlyists for those who reject KJV-onlyism or Open Theists for those who reject Open Theism or Lutherans for those who reject Lutheranism. My contention is all such bodies fall under the banner of Protestantism because they are being true to and consistent with Protestant principles. However, even if we let that slide and just assume “true” Protestants are only those who follow SS, the point stills stands – there are many SS groups past and present you would consider heretical or unorthodox.

    Many? I doubt that… the quakers, unitarians, other various non-conformers, Anglicans (and their descendants – methodists, holiness, pentecostals), 7th day adventists, etc… virtually all of the mainline now – uniformly reject the principle of SS. I don’t doubt that one could hold to SS and be wrong about this or that. I am very suspicious that a group committed to the Bible as the sole final authority over them would get the gospel thoroughly wrong. Not saying the answer is 0, but I suspect that many is an exaggeration (but then I am ecumenical enough to count non-SS as potentially legit Christians).

    More to the point though, the principle of protestantism that you claim all these groups hold in common is Sola Scriptura (which is the basis of the so-called disclaimer you think you found in the WCF). But these groups reject the bible as the sole final authority on matters of faith and practice. It doesn’t make much sense to ascribe the splintering of protestantism to a principle they reject.

    Perhaps the problem is that the political freedom that enabled Luther and Calvin to thrive also enabled all kinds of other religious groups (with various relationships to Christianity) to thrive. Rome hasn’t been spared this…how many “recovering Catholics” were their in the 15th Century? The splintering is about the loss of power, not obscure theological points that no one outside of a few blog commenters on OL and CTC care about.

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  142. @Jeff & Robert – that goes for me as well. No idea who she could be talking about here. I think the problem again is accepting the charge of provisionality: “existing or accepted for the present time but likely to be changed”. Our doctrines in the WCF/TFU are not provisional. Fallible and subject to correction by scripture…sure (though most of that has been quite well established as being consonant with scripture, so the fallibility is one of principle, not practice). But their truth is not subject to the personal interpretation of the bible by the individual.

    “Certainty” is a psychological state. As we see, one can be quite certain and totally wrong. Welcome back Jeff… this is getting good. I’m sorry to have to bow out for a few days.

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  143. CvD,

    Good to hear from you!

    CvD: I didnt stop communicating with you; it seemed to me the convo ran its course since you ignored or missed many of my points and didnt seem to offer anything new in your latest reply.

    Uh huh. Here’s the thread:

    Me to you: “There is no “church” in Scripture even remotely like the RCC.”

    You in response: “Sure there is – there’s a church that has the authority and ability to judge orthodoxy from heresy, to deem persons in schism, to definitively settle disputes, is the pillar of truth, is indefectible and guided and protected by the Spirit, and so forth.

    Me back to you: Name the specific geographic church you are referring to in the apostolic deposit AND how that church did what you claim

    You in response: ______________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________________________

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  144. And so you see, TLM, truth deals with Jesus and His truth revealed through His apostles, and showing that He made no such promise to the churches.

    Now if you want arrogance, imagine telling Buddhists and Muslims they will go to heaven without repenting of their Trinity-rejecting beliefs and pagan practices.

    And as we’ve gone back and forth before, all you have is your superior epistemology to evangelize with. And yet, no one here accepts it as superior but rather naive, and then this one little problem.

    The WCF teaches that it is the normal course for those given the grace of the New Covenant to have the blessing of assurance, even as is taught in Eph. 1:3ff.

    So, how do all these people through the centuries (and like me) only have provisional faith based on partial knowledge, but assurance of salvation? And then, somehow, you have certainty of faith but no assurance of salvation?

    Here’s the point. You are trusting the wrong Christ, the RC Christ who is comes you apart from faith but by human priest. Please, reject that Christ and trust John’s Christ:

    “And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1Jo 5:11-13)

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  145. James Young, “My contention is all such bodies fall under the banner of Protestantism because they are being true to and consistent with Protestant principles.”

    Get this. When Protestants try to be faithful to the teaching of the apostles they are blamed for being true to Protestant principles. If they err, that’s Protestantism.

    But Roman Catholics only have to have an infallible interpreter and they are being true to Roman Catholic principles. Doesn’t matter whether Roman Catholics use contraceptives or go to Mass. The pope, the blankie, makes it okay.

    And notice too, no more reference to the apostles. Rome has its own apostle, just like Mormonism.

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  146. DGHart: the blankie

    the true blankie: Psalm 91 Security of the One Who Trusts in the LORD. (NASB) 1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!

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  147. sdb:@Jeff & Robert – that goes for me as well. No idea who she could be talking about here. I think the problem again is accepting the charge of provisionality: “existing or accepted for the present time but likely to be changed”. Our doctrines in the WCF/TFU are not provisional. Fallible and subject to correction by scripture…sure (though most of that has been quite well established as being consonant with scripture, so the fallibility is one of principle, not practice). But their truth is not subject to the personal interpretation of the bible by the individual.>>>>>

    This is gobbledygook.

    Of course your doctrines are provisional. If the resurrection is based on provisional knowledge, then it is all provisional as in reformable. You need to be consistent, here.

    If you guys are going to go the epistemology of provisional knowledge route, then go all the way. It makes all knowledge provisional.

    Here is an example of some Christians who are trying to be consistent in their application of the epistemology of provisional knowledge to their theology. It definitely leads to relativism. It is designed to lead to skepticism, yet you are using it to try to establish truth with an almost certain certainty.

    I can’t help but notice no matter how much you guys protest.

    http://homepages.which.net/~radical.faith/subjects/epistemology.htm

    “The modern perception that all knowledge is provisional replaces the medieval contention that some knowledge – revelation in particular – is absolute. Uncertainty about what is known and what is illusion has recently led some to what’s generally known as “relativism”,

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  148. D. G. Hart
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 9:43 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid, “You guys are not sure of anything if you accept the false teaching of provisional knowledge applied to absolute, irreformable, infallible truth.”

    Yeah, like that’s not arrogant and condescending or anything.>>>>>

    So, to you is it an arrogant and condescending claim to say that the truth of the Gospel has to depend on something more sure than the epistemology of provisional knowledge?

    I seriously doubt that the original Reformers like Calvin held to such a weak and beggarly principle as the epistemology of provisional knowledge.

    I’m not sure whether to defend the Catholic Church or defend your own infallible rule of faith and practice along with your fallible standards.

    What I wonder at is your lack of interest in the subject. Is the constant attack leveled against Catholicism just a way of trying to cover up your own uncertainties and those of your Reformed brothers and sisters, Brother Hart? Do you see them slipping into relativism but want to deny it is happening? Sometimes I wonder.

    I am beginning to wonder. It seems that you are protesting way, too much.

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  149. Mermaid,

    Of course your doctrines are provisional. If the resurrection is based on provisional knowledge, then it is all provisional as in reformable. You need to be consistent, here.

    All human knowledge is provisional.Human beings fallible. Your understanding that Rome teaches that she is the only church Jesus founded is fallible because you are fallible. It’s provisional and reformable. You could possibly be wrong and have misread Romanism. It’s not likely on this point, but it’s not logically impossible.

    “The modern perception that all knowledge is provisional replaces the medieval contention that some knowledge – revelation in particular – is absolute. Uncertainty about what is known and what is illusion has recently led some to what’s generally known as “relativism”,

    This is a confused statement. Revelation isn’t human knowledge. It can be the subject of human knowledge. It is something to which we apply our understanding. But strictly speaking revelation is divine knowledge/divine communication.

    Revelation itself is absolute. Our knowledge of revelation is provisional or falsifiable. It doesn’t mean “likely to change” necessarily. How many times do we have to go through this.

    And for the umpteenth time, even if the Magisterium is infallible, you are not. You are not the Magisterium. So the infallible Magisterium can speak as much as it wants, but you will never have non-provisional apprehension of what the Magisterium says. Welcome to the human condition.

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  150. Mermaid, “If you guys are going to go the epistemology of provisional knowledge route, then go all the way. It makes all knowledge provisional.”

    Wait, the Bible says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

    Mermaid makes faith the substance of calculator results.

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  151. Robert:
    Revelation itself is absolute. Our knowledge of revelation is provisional or falsifiable. It doesn’t mean “likely to change” necessarily. How many times do we have to go through this.>>>>>

    I’m not buyin’ it. Yes, of course revelation is absolute, but how do you know what is and what is not revelation?

    The epistemology of provisional knowledge cannot get you there. How many times do we have to go through this? You need something stronger, and you don’t have it.

    You are not even sure about your own canon of Scripture. You have no mechanism for closing the canon and keeping it closed. Proof of that? The pericope adulterae.

    You have no way of keeping it in Scripture or of removing it.

    Same goes for the ending of the book of Mark.

    Luther chose his own canon which did not include the books of Hebrews, James, Jude, or Revelation – besides his decision that the Deuterocanonical books were not inspired.

    Who gave him that authority?

    He gave it to himself. The same authority that gave him permission to add the word “alone” to justification by faith. You know that the only place in the Bible that actually uses alone in reference to justification is in the book of James, as in we are not saved by faith alone. That is divine revelation, but not good enough for Luther. So, can I say it was self-serving of him to want to add the word “alone” to Paul and remove the book of James from the canon of Scripture?

    If not, why not? He wanted it that way. That is his reason.
    ———————————————————–

    “But I will return to the subject at hand. If your papist wishes to make a great fuss about the word sola (alone), say this to him: “Dr. Martin Luther will have it so, and he says that a papist and a donkey are the same thing.”
    – Dr. Martin Luther

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  152. D. G. Hart
    Posted January 30, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid, no, I think you are arrogant and condescending and worse, you are so while thinking you are loving and kind — the nice Roman Catholic fish.>>>>

    Brother Hart, I do not take your personal attacks, well, personally. I think that the epistemology of provisional knowledge is a threat to your Reformed faith. It does not help at all to establish revealed truth.

    Using the epistemology of provisional knowledge to establish infallible truth is like using a sledge hammer to build a house. It is not the right tool.

    Well, if that is your tool of choice, feel free to continue to use it. See what can be built with it.

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  153. Robert,

    “All human knowledge is provisional.”

    Including that statement right? So youre already undermining your position.
    Also including all the statements and teachings in WCF right? (Sdb missed the memo)
    Humans wrote Scripture, so all of Scripture is provisional right?

    “but it’s not logically impossible.”

    If this is the standard, then the answer is yes to all the above. Secondly this would seem to entail the laws of logic are not provisional. But since all knowledge is provisional according to you, that would seem to entail they are provisional.

    “Revelation itself is absolute”

    This is a provisional statement and belief according to you.

    “It doesn’t mean “likely to change” necessarily”

    Doesnt matter how likely it is. All Protestant teachings are subject and open to revision. Thats all that matters.

    “if the Magisterium is infallible, you are not. ”

    If Christ is infallible, you are not. If the Apostles are infallible, you are not. So their followers suffering under the human condition had no greater surety or grounds for certainty than followers of random rabbis. When a biologist and astrophysicist tells and rxplains to you it is impossible for a cow to jump over the moon of its own power, you have no greater understanding than before that clarification since youre fallible.

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  154. Mermaid,

    I’m not buyin’ it. Yes, of course revelation is absolute, but how do you know what is and what is not revelation?

    How do you know? Because you applied your fallible reason to something. Therefore, the only knowledge you have is fallible knowledge.

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  155. Clete,

    Robert,

    Including that statement right? So youre already undermining your position.

    So your knowledge of what the Magisterium isn’t provisional? Are you infallible?

    Yeah, its logically possible that I’m wrong. It’s logically possible that we’re all living in a giant computer program. Lots of things are logically possible. Ergo, all human apprehension is provisional.

    Also including all the statements and teachings in WCF right? (Sdb missed the memo)
    Humans wrote Scripture, so all of Scripture is provisional right?

    If the WCF is correct, then no, the substance of its teaching isn’t revisable.

    If this is the standard, then the answer is yes to all the above. Secondly this would seem to entail the laws of logic are not provisional. But since all knowledge is provisional according to you, that would seem to entail they are provisional.

    Until you attain to infallibility and omniscience, you do not escape provisionality. Someone could come along with a better formulation of the laws of logic than Aristotle. It’s logically possible that you are the only person that exists and the rest of us are just figments of your imagination.

    This is a provisional statement and belief according to you.

    Name one thing you believe that isn’t provisional in some sense.

    Doesnt matter how likely it is. All Protestant teachings are subject and open to revision. Thats all that matters.

    All Roman Catholic teachings are subject and open to revision. You call it development.

    If Christ is infallible, you are not. If the Apostles are infallible, you are not. So their followers suffering under the human condition had no greater surety or grounds for certainty than followers of random rabbis.

    In an objective sense, sure. Subjectively not necessarily. If they don’t believe, they aren’t more certain than before.

    But this gets to the original point: “Assuming the truth of both systems (RC and Prot), are RCs better off.” Here’s the thing, you can’t assume the truth of both systems at the same time because they are mutually exclusive. So at the end of the day, if Roman Catholicism is true, then you are better off under Roman Catholicism. If Protestantism is true, you are better off as a Protestant. So the argument is rather pointless. The question shouldn’t be “under which system are we better off?” The question should be, “What system did God actually give us?”

    When a biologist and astrophysicist tells and rxplains to you it is impossible for a cow to jump over the moon of its own power, you have no greater understanding than before that clarification since youre fallible.

    A biologist and astrophysicist who deny the existence of God and tell me that based on their inductive science that a cow can’t jump over the moon can only give me probability. Inductive evidence isn’t enough to provide certainty. There are certain non-inductive assumptions that must be made and that cannot be proven inductively for me to be able to take their word with any degree of certainty.

    This is why the motives of credibility don’t work unless you assume certain principles of Roman Catholicism that can’t be proved inductively.

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  156. Mermaid, “Yes, of course revelation is absolute, but how do you know what is and what is not revelation?”

    Just because you believe in an infallible pope does not mean that you are infallible. THINK A LOT!

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  157. James Young, “Including that statement right? So youre already undermining your position.”

    The Roman Catholic suck up is back as village atheist. Meanwhile, none of James Young’s statements are reliable given his understanding of infallibility.

    Provisionality rules provisionally. Which may be certain because the statement was provisional. This game could go on forever.

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  158. No one of note: Topper strikes again.

    ! You are welcome noon. Everyone has his job -someone has to Bible-quote while you guys debate what word to use for your certainty about those words.
    since you love my topperism (!) – here you go for today -some great certainty…

    -those in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are CERTAINLY God’s Son!” Matt 14:33
    -when the centurion saw what had happened, he praised God, saying, “CERTAINLY this man was innocent.” Luke 23:47
    -let all the house of Israel know for CERTAIN that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” Acts 2:36

    -be SURE, those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. Gal 3:7
    -Peter::I most CERTAINLY understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. Acts 10:34-35
    -All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will CERTAINLY not cast out. John 6:37
    -if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, CERTAINLY we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection Rom 6:5
    -we have an anchor of the soul, a hope both SURE and steadfast Heb 6:19

    – we have the prophetic word made more SURE (by the apostles eyewitness),
    to which you do well to pay attention 2 Pet 1:19
    -believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets; having a hope in God, these men cherish, that there shall CERTAINLY be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. Acts 24:14-15

    -this you know with CERTAINLY, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.Eph 5:5
    -be all the more diligent to make CERTAIN about His calling and choosing you 2 Pet 1:10-11

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  159. D. G. Hart
    Posted January 31, 2016 at 8:09 am | Permalink
    Mermaid, the epistemology of provisional knowledge is not Reformed only the club that your fin can hold to beat Protestants.

    I suggest you pound sand instead.>>>>>

    Well, are you saying that the epistemology of provisional knowledge is not Reformed? If not, then why are Robert and Jeff – and maybe sdb, but I’m not so sure – defending it as though it were? All the Reformed guys here seem to think it’s great stuff.

    What I have noticed is that anything truly good in Reformed teaching has been around in the Catholic Church for a couple thousand years, actually. When I started reading the Church fathers – and mothers – as well as all the great theologians as Catholics, then Christianity took on a whole new dimension for me.

    Yes, I know you think that’s a bad thing, but the Reformers took out too much and added a whole lotta’ confusion to Christianity. Like it or not, you are dependent on the teaching magisterium of the Catholic Church and sacred tradition as much as you are on Scripture. You can’t escape it. You would not even have a Bible otherwise. Most non Catholic Christians are able to recognize that fact.

    Hey, you have a wonderful Lord’s Day, Brother Hart. I don’t take offense at your insults. You are my brother, like it or not.

    Does that mean you have a fin and like to pound sand? 😉 You do put a smile on my face, Brother Hart, and I think you for that.

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  160. No one of note
    Posted January 30, 2016 at 7:17 am | Permalink
    And so you see, TLM, truth deals with Jesus and His truth revealed through His apostles, and showing that He made no such promise to the churches.

    Now if you want arrogance, imagine telling Buddhists and Muslims they will go to heaven without repenting of their Trinity-rejecting beliefs and pagan practices.

    And as we’ve gone back and forth before, all you have is your superior epistemology to evangelize with. And yet, no one here accepts it as superior but rather naive, and then this one little problem.

    The WCF teaches that it is the normal course for those given the grace of the New Covenant to have the blessing of assurance, even as is taught in Eph. 1:3ff.

    So, how do all these people through the centuries (and like me) only have provisional faith based on partial knowledge, but assurance of salvation? And then, somehow, you have certainty of faith but no assurance of salvation?>>>>

    Oh, I have assurance of salvation in Christ as long as I continue in the faith. Salvation in Christ involves perseverance of the saints. His grace is available all the time. If I turn my back on Him, I turn my back on grace and put my soul in grave danger if I do not repent.

    I am sure that He is my Savior, my only One. I am sure that He died on the cross, taking my sin upon Himself. I am sure that He was buried and rose again the 3rd day according to the Scripture. I am sure that He appeared to witnesses and then ascended into Heaven, sending the Holy Spirit on His Church. Call me crazy, but I have no doubt, – provisionally or otherwise – about those facts. You shouldn’t, either.

    You would say that a person who turns away from Christ was never really saved in the first place. That position cannot be supported by Scripture. A person can taste of the Holy Spirit, and then turn away.

    You know that, though, if you have read the book of Hebrews. There are strong warnings to those who would turn back and strong exhortations for one to stay in the race with his or her eyes fixed on Jesus. Do you believe that?

    Don’t be presumptuous, but fear God. See also Hebrews 12.

    Hebrews 6New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

    The Peril of Falling Away
    6 Therefore let us go on toward perfection,[a] leaving behind the basic teaching about Christ, and not laying again the foundation: repentance from dead works and faith toward God, 2 instruction about baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And we will do[b] this, if God permits. 4 For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, since on their own they are crucifying again the Son of God and are holding him up to contempt. 7 Ground that drinks up the rain falling on it repeatedly, and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and on the verge of being cursed; its end is to be burned over.

    9 Even though we speak in this way, beloved, we are confident of better things in your case, things that belong to salvation. 10 For God is not unjust; he will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake[c] in serving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end, 12 so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

    NOON:
    Here’s the point. You are trusting the wrong Christ, the RC Christ who is comes you apart from faith but by human priest. Please, reject that Christ and trust John’s Christ:>>>>>

    Look, NOON, I am not trusting the “wrong” Christ. I don’t believe that you are trusting the wrong Christ. I forgive you for saying that, since your anti-Catholic training has taught you that. May I suggest that you take a real course in Catholicism before you make such claims? Just a friendly suggestion from a concerned sister in Christ.

    A priest is not Jesus Christ, though he represents Christ and is His instrument. He is not to be confused with Jesus Christ, though. In and of himself, a priest does not have the power to forgive sins. In fact, he pronounces absolution if a person gives a good confession. That requires a rather extensive examination of conscience. If you are interested in knowing more, read the Catechism. If you really want to engage Catholics instead of misrepresenting what they believe, then attend an RCIA course in your area. In this day and age there is no excuse for such ignorance.

    Also, it may surprise you to find out that Catholics are encouraged to make an examination of conscience each day before going to bed, at least. That is the same as I had always been taught in Protestantism. A Catholic’s confession of sins is not limited to the sacrament of reconciliation.

    I know you are not an ignorant person. I don’t mean that. You are concerned for people’s souls in a way that hardly any of the Protestants here at this blog show. Just be better informed. I am not really sure what the guys are arguing, here. It doesn’t make a whole lotta’ sense to be arguing provisional knowledge in relation to infallible truth.

    I am pretty sure you are not really arrogant and condescending. You are concerned about the truth and you want people to know Christ. I appreciate that about you, even though we got off to a bad start. 🙂 Anyway… thank you for your efforts to save my soul.

    NOON:
    “And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1Jo 5:11-13)>>>>>

    Yes, and…your friends are arguing here that we can’t really know anything for sure. How do you explain that?

    What has John written in his epistle? Is it easy believism? Of course not, and you don’t preach easy believism. You preach the perseverance of the saints.

    The emphasis throughout the first epistle of John is that of continual faith, continual abiding in Christ, continual love for one another. That is the kind of faith that John is talking about. That is the kind that gives assurance. It is the faith working through love that Paul spoke of in Galatians. It is the justification by works and not by faith alone that James talked about. That is the kind of continual, abiding faith that saves.

    It is all of grace, all the time, from beginning to end. A person can turn his or her back on that grace, as I said and as Scripture clearly teaches.

    You know that John is talking about a present tense, continual faith and a present tense continual avoidance of sin. Read the rest of the chapter so that you do not fall into the error of presumption.

    Mortal sin kills the soul, as the Apostle John explains.

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  161. Mermaid, they are defending it because you interpret them that way. And here I thought interpretation was what the papacy was for. Know your paygrade.

    “What I have noticed is that anything truly good in Reformed teaching has been around in the Catholic Church for a couple thousand years, actually.”

    There goes that Yankee-fan Christlike humility.

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  162. Mermaid, “If I turn my back on Him, I turn my back on grace and put my soul in grave danger if I do not repent.”

    Way too easy. How do you know you’ve repented of everything, even lying about Jeff?

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  163. Mermaid,

    Well, are you saying that the epistemology of provisional knowledge is not Reformed? If not, then why are Robert and Jeff – and maybe sdb, but I’m not so sure – defending it as though it were? All the Reformed guys here seem to think it’s great stuff.

    It’s because you are using the Merriam-Webster definition of provisional but the rest of us aren’t. SDB’s definition I like—falsifiable. Your belief that Rome is the church Christ founded is falsifiable. You have not and cannot examine every piece of evidence for Rome. You do not know how that claim fits with every aspect of knowledge. Thus, your knowledge is in principle revisable. It’s the human condition.

    If human knowledge weren’t provisional/revisable/falsifiable, there would be no development of doctrine. But Rome affirms development of doctrine. Rome’s knowledge of what the Trinity is and what it means and how to articulate it remains ever provisional. Just ask Karl Rahner.

    And for the umpteenth time, you guys keep lauding the non-provisional, non-changing claims of the Magisterium. But at best, that only applies to the knowledge the Magisterium possesses. Once the Magisterium starts communicating, fallible people have to interpret it, and there is no consensus in Romanism on how to interpret the Magisterium. Thus we get Catholics for Choice pointing to the tradition to affirm birth control and abortion and Catholics for Life doing otherwise. Both are welcome at the Eucharistic table. Solve that without applying your fallible knowledge to the Magisterium to selectively apply what you agree with. Good luck.

    Yeah, and CVD will say that “Jesus and the Apostles made infallible claims that people had to fallibly interpret.” Yup. And they didn’t need anyone standing between them and their hearers in order to have confidence that their hearers—or at least their elect hearers—would do a good enough job of understanding and applying their teaching fallibly to attain salvation. Rome isn’t Jesus or the Apostles, doesn’t claim to be Jesus or the Apostles even though it tries at times to act like Jesus and the Apostles.

    No infallible mediator was needed between Herschel the first-century Jew and Paul, Peter, or Jesus. Thus, there is absolutely no reason to believe we need one now. That’s the crux of the epistemological issue.

    The glory of the new covenant isn’t that now we have an infallible arbiter of doctrine in the institutional church. The Apostles don’t teach that. The glory of the new covenant is redemption accomplished. Just read the book of Hebrews. You guys miss Christ by exalting the church in place of Him. That’s NOON’s point, and it is patently obvious to the rest of us.”

    Like

  164. D. G. Hart
    Posted January 31, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid, they are defending it because you interpret them that way. And here I thought interpretation was what the papacy was for. Know your paygrade.>>>>

    Oh, that is very funny, Brother Hart. If they are not defending it, then why don’t they quit defending it? They are free to clarify at any time.

    D. G. Hart
    Posted January 31, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid, “If I turn my back on Him, I turn my back on grace and put my soul in grave danger if I do not repent.”

    Way too easy. How do you know you’ve repented of everything, even lying about Jeff?>>>>

    Oh, Brother Hart, if Jeff has something against me, he knows what to do – come to me privately.

    We agreed to be frenemies, if I remember correctly.

    Man, I’m glad I’m not Reformed. It’s all sin all the time, evidently! Gotta’ love those Puritans. Total depravity 24 X 7.

    You do make me smile, Brother Hart.

    Like

  165. Robert
    Posted January 31, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid,

    Well, are you saying that the epistemology of provisional knowledge is not Reformed? If not, then why are Robert and Jeff – and maybe sdb, but I’m not so sure – defending it as though it were? All the Reformed guys here seem to think it’s great stuff.

    It’s because you are using the Merriam-Webster definition of provisional but the rest of us aren’t. SDB’s definition I like—falsifiable. Your belief that Rome is the church Christ founded is falsifiable. You have not and cannot examine every piece of evidence for Rome. You do not know how that claim fits with every aspect of knowledge. Thus, your knowledge is in principle revisable. It’s the human condition.>>>>>

    So, you are defending the epistemology of provisional knowledge. Would you tell Brother Hart, because he seems to be confused.

    Look, Robert, I appreciate your taking time to clarify that you are defending provisional knowledge.

    sdb’s definition is a distinction without a difference. Provisional knowledge has its own application and usage. It is part of the philosophy of science. You can make all the claims you want, but if you are going to submit yourselves to that epistemology, you have to recognize what it leads to.

    It is designed to lead to doubt about what you think and what you believe. In a way it is necessary in the scientific method, but it is not compatible with infallible, revealed truth.

    Read a bit about the epistemology of provisional knowledge and see how it is used in the real world. It is not compatible with the truth claims of Christianity. It is not even compatible with the WCF form of Christianity.

    Yes, it may have an application to things like the scientific method – though most scientific investigation can be done without even considering the epistemology of provisional knowledge.

    The only ones who are using the epistemology of provisional knowledge in relation to revealed truth are considered by their churches to be heretics. I provided a link to a group of bloggers who blog at Radical Faith.

    I think you are treading on thin ice even with your own Reformed truth claims. Be careful, dear Brother Robert. In your zeal to refute Catholicism, you are, in effect, refuting everything. I told you guys that before, and I hope that this time you will pay attention. Look out for what it does to your own faith if you are not careful.

    I do care about you guys.

    Well, I appreciate your time, Robert. You worry me.

    http://homepages.which.net/~radical.faith/subjects/epistemology.htm

    Like

  166. Mermaid:Catholics are encouraged to make an examination of conscience each day before going to bed, at least.

    a few possible suggestions for tonight mermaid?:

    boasting?
    Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

    poor in spirit?
    Mermaid: Not Total depravity 24 X 7 (in the flesh)?
    Romans 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.

    arrogance?
    Mermaid: You would say that a person who turns away from Christ was never really saved in the first place. That position cannot be supported by Scripture. A person can taste of the Holy Spirit, and then turn away

    many Biblical scholars understand the passage differently

    Like

  167. D. G. Hart
    Posted January 31, 2016 at 3:46 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid, “You do make me smile, Brother Hart.”

    Until you bring out the club. You’d make a great nun.>>>>

    Well, I hope I at least make you smile, Brother Hart. Did you notice that Robert is defending the epistemology of provisional knowledge?

    It is borrowed from the philosophy of science where if God exists, He is irrelevant to their investigations. PK cannot identify or define infallible, revealed truth – such as your only infallible rule of faith and practice. The Bible, IOW.

    It is not sdb’s definition. He is a research scientist and knows his subject matter well. He is trying to apply his science to his theology, and it kind of doesn’t work for matters of infallible faith and practice.

    It is the wrong application of the tool. You know that, though, right? You are just playing dumb. You really aren’t dumb. I mean, if I noticed, surely you did as well.

    Hey. Nice chatting with you, Brother Hart. Watch out for those bats flying out your nose without your knowledge.

    Oh, there I go again, but that’s a pretty funny image, actually.

    Like

  168. Ali
    Posted January 31, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid:Catholics are encouraged to make an examination of conscience each day before going to bed, at least.

    a few possible suggestions for tonight mermaid?:>>>>

    Ali, the idea of an examination of conscience is that you examine your own conscience, not someone else’s.

    So, maybe you are projecting? I don’t know, but maybe those verses are really ones that the Holy Spirit gave to you. You never know.

    Well, this has been another fun day at Old Life, and I hope I have given someone a cause for a smile at the very least. I love all of you wild and wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ.

    Like

  169. Mermaid,

    So, you are defending the epistemology of provisional knowledge.

    All I’m defending is the Creator-creature distinction. Human beings are not omniscient. Therefore we are always subject to correction. There’s no way around it.

    The error you are making is thinking “always subject to correction” = “no certainty, everything is perpetually doubted, can’t put your feet in any firm place.” In that you have bought into postmodernism hook, line, and sinker.

    I’m really not trying to be rude, but it gets old to see RC apologists tell Protestants that they can’t have certainty because they lack an infallible person between them and Jesus/Apostles and then pretend that you are doing anything other than adding another infallible person to Jesus/Apostles.

    Who is standing between you and Jesus/Apostles/Church? Answer: Your fallible mind full of provisional apprehension that is ever open to correction.

    Who is standing between Me/Church and Jesus/Apostles? Answer: Our fallible collective mind full of provisional apprehension that is ever open to correction.

    IOW, you got nothing that we don’t have. Just some more infallible content to figure out. Your list of infallible content is longer; you’re knowledge of it is no less provisional/falsifiable/open to correction.

    The RC apologetic boils down to this: “You Protestants are in bad shape because you don’t have as much infallible stuff to figure out.” Wow. Compelling.

    Like

  170. In these remarks on the meaning of the word Mystery, some of the chief doctrines of the Gospel Revelation have been already enumerated; before entering, however, into the discussion which I have proposed to myself, it may be right briefly to enumerate the revealed doctrines in order, according to the Catholic, that is, the anti-rationalistic, notion of them. They are these: the Holy Trinity; the Incarnation of the Eternal Son; His atonement and merits; the Church as His medium and instrument through which He is converting and teaching mankind; the Sacraments, and Sacramentals (as Bishop Taylor calls them), as the definite channels through which His merits are applied to individuals; Regeneration, the Communion of Saints, the Resurrection of the body, consequent upon the administration of them; and lastly, our faith and works, as a condition of the availableness and efficacy of these divine appointments. Each of these doctrines is a Mystery; that is, each stands in a certain degree isolated from the rest, unsystematic, connected with the rest by unknown intermediate truths, and bearing upon subjects unknown. Thus the Atonement:—why it was necessary, how it operates, is a Mystery; that is, the heavenly truth which is revealed, extends on each side of it into an unknown world. We see but the skirts of God’s glory in it. The virtue of the Holy Communion; how it conveys {46} to us the body and blood of the Incarnate Son crucified, and how by partaking it body and soul are made spiritual. The Communion of Saints; in what sense they are knit together into one body, of which Christ is the head. Good works; how they, and how prayers again, influence our eternal destiny. In like manner what our relation is to the “innumerable company of Angels,” some of whom, as we are told, minister to us; what to the dead in Christ, to the “spirits of the just perfected,” who are ever joined to us in a heavenly communion; what bearing the Church has upon the fortunes of the world, or, it may be, of the universe.
    That there are some such mysterious bearings, not only the incomplete character of the Revelation, but even its documents assure us. For instance. The Christian dispensation was ordained, “to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God” (Eph. iii. 10). Such is its relation to the Angels. Again to lost spirits; “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness in this world, against spiritual wickedness in heavenly places” (Eph. vi. 12). In like manner our Lord says, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against” the Church (Matt. xvi. 18); implying thereby a contest. Again, in writing the following passage, had not St. Paul thoughts in his mind, suggested by the unutterable sights of the third heaven, but to us unrevealed and unintelligible? “I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor Angels, nor principalities, nor powers, not things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us” (that is, the Church,) “from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. viii. 38, 39). {47}
    The practical inference to be drawn from this view is, first, that we should be very reverent in dealing with Revealed Truth; next, that we should avoid all rash theorizing and systematizing as relates to it, which is pretty much what looking into the Ark was under the Law: further, that we should be solicitous to hold it safely and entirely; moreover, that we should be zealous and pertinacious in guarding it; and lastly, which is implied in all these, that we should religiously adhere to the form of words and the ordinances under which it comes to us, through which it is revealed to us, and apart from which the Revelation does not exist, there being nothing else given us by which to ascertain or enter into it.
    Striking indeed is the contrast presented to this view of the Gospel by the popular theology of the day! That theology is as follows: that the Atonement is the chief doctrine of the Gospel; again, that it is chiefly to be regarded, not as a wonder in heaven, and in its relation to the attributes of God and to the unseen world, but in its experienced effects on our minds, in the change it effects when it is believed. To this, as if to the point of sight in a picture, all the portions of the Gospel system are directed and made to converge; as if this doctrine were so fully understood, that it might fearlessly be used to regulate, adjust, correct, complete, everything else. Thus, the doctrine of the Incarnation is viewed as necessary and important to the Gospel, because it gives virtue to the Atonement; of the Trinity, because it includes the revelation, not only of the Redeemer, but also of the Sanctifier, by whose aid and influence the Gospel message is to be blessed to us. It follows that faith is nearly the whole of religious service, for through it the message or Manifestation is received; on the other hand, the scientific language of Catholicism, concerning the Trinity {48} and Incarnation, is disparaged, as having no tendency to enforce the effect upon our minds of the doctrine of the Atonement, while the Sacraments are limited to the office of representing, and promising, and impressing on us the promise of divine influences, in no measure of conveying them. Thus the Dispensation, in its length, depth, and height, is practically identified with its Revelation, or rather its necessarily superficial Manifestation. Not that the reality of the Atonement, in itself, is formally denied, but it is cast in the background, except so far as it can be discovered to be influential, viz., to show God’s hatred of sin, the love of Christ, and the like; and there is an evident tendency to consider it as a mere Manifestation of the love of Christ, to the denial of all real virtue in it as an expiation for sin; as if His death took place merely to show His love for us as a sign of God’s infinite mercy, to calm and assure us, without any real connexion existing between it and God’s forgiveness of our sins. And the Dispensation thus being hewn and chiselled into an intelligible human system, is represented, when thus mutilated, as affording a remarkable evidence of the truth of the Bible, an evidence level to the reason, and superseding the testimony of the Apostles. That is, according to the above observations, that Rationalism, or want of faith, which has in the first place invented a spurious gospel, next looks complacently on its own off-spring, and pronounces it to be the very image of that notion of the Divine Providence, according to which it was originally modelled; a procedure, which, besides more serious objections, incurs the logical absurdity of arguing in a circle.

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  171. Robert:
    IOW, you got nothing that we don’t have. Just some more infallible content to figure out. Your list of infallible content is longer; you’re knowledge of it is no less provisional/falsifiable/open to correction.

    The RC apologetic boils down to this: “You Protestants are in bad shape because you don’t have as much infallible stuff to figure out.” Wow. Compelling.>>>>>

    How can you say that, Robert, when we have holy relics? All you got are imaginary bats flying out my nose – you wish. Sorry. I just couldn’t resist one more time to mention the bats.

    What fun is figuring stuff out, anyway? It ruins the mystery. After all, the Church is feminine, and you know what a mystery we ladies are. The mystery is what it’s all about. We are Christ’s bride and He is our Bridegroom. You’re part of that, you know, though our common baptism. Remember St. Augustine and the Donatists? Our faith is all about being in a love relationship with the God of the universe through His Son, Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit.

    ““The infinite conjunction of Three Infinite Ones, Each God when considered in Himself. “

    AND, Catholics have more fun, and better music, art, and architecture. Then there are the sacraments, the Mass, and you know who.

    I can see Brother Hart and Sister Ali taking aim at me as I write, so I will sign off by wishing you a very good week, Brother Robert. Thank you for taking the time to clarify your position. That is quite helpful, actually.
    ———————————–

    XLI. Besides all this and before all, keep I pray you the good deposit, by which I live and work, and which I desire to have as the companion of my departure; with which I endure all that is so distressful, and despise all delights; the confession of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. This I commit unto you today; with this I will baptize you and make you grow. This I give you to share, and to defend all your life, the One Godhead and Power, found in the Three in Unity, and comprising the Three separately, not unequal, in substances or natures, neither increased nor diminished by superiorities or inferiorities; in every respect equal, in every respect the same; just as the beauty and the greatness of the heavens is one; the infinite conjunction of Three Infinite Ones, Each God when considered in Himself; as the Father so the Son, as the Son so the Holy Ghost; the Three One God when contemplated together; Each Godbecause Consubstantial; One God because of the Monarchia. No sooner do I conceive of the One than I am illumined by the Splendour of the Three; no sooner do I distinguish Them than I am carried back to the One. When I think of any One of the Three I think of Him as the Whole, and my eyes are filled, and the greater part of what I am thinking of escapes me. I cannot grasp the greatness of That One so as to attribute a greater greatness to the Rest. When I contemplate the Three together, I see but one torch, and cannot divide or measure out the Undivided Light.

    The Oration on Holy Baptism.
    Preached at Constantinople Jan. 6, 381, being the day following the delivery of that on the Holy Lights.

    Like

  172. Mermaid, “Did you notice that Robert is defending the epistemology of provisional knowledge?”

    Have you noticed your infallible interpreter is going to celebrate the Reformation next year in Sweden with Lutherans (who have female bishops and ordain gays)? You have more to fear than I.

    Like

  173. Mermaid,

    You do know that quote from Gregory was one of John Calvin’s favorite teachings from the church fathers, right?

    Like

  174. @TLM

    Look, NOON, I am not trusting the “wrong” Christ.

    Yes, you are.

    If your priest doesn’t recrucify your Jesus and bring Him down from heaven by a special incantation which is only powerful when he says it, iow, which God only hears from him, and which supernatural power he alone has by an invisible RC charism he got by a ceremonial laying on of hands from an archbishop, who got it in by the same by his archbishop before him, etc., and unless this priest can put this Jesus in a wafer even though its atomic elements don’t change, you don’t get your Jesus.

    So, if your priest doesn’t incant and sacrifice and by this transfer your Jesus into a bunch o’ wafers, you don’t get your Jesus (with apologies to EOs for non-inclusion).

    None of that is true for me. My Christ is given to me entirely in the apostolic gospel (1 Cor. 15:3-4). Thus, your Christ is not my Christ. Nor is your Christ the Christ of the apostles.

    For in all the apostles teachings there is never any importance to who administrates the Lord’s Supper. The reason why is because, in part, it isn’t a sacrifice in the apostolic writings. It is a fellowship meal (1 Cor. 10:16-17).

    Which gets to our difference. The sacrifice of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world happened once, and only once, and thus when God forgives, He forgives once for all. How dare you and your priest believe otherwise!

    Instead, your priest, his oblation, and your receiving of it as a recrucifixion of Him and ingestion of Him is high blasphemy to the real Christ who sits at the right hand of God and who is ready to judge the living and the dead when He actually does return to earth.

    Your belief in the Christ who is continually sacrificed is why you can’t have assurance based on what God says about what Christ did once for all, and as testified to by the apostles, but based only on your hoped for your own future goodness. Which is to say, self-righteousness.

    TLM: I don’t believe that you are trusting the wrong Christ. I forgive you for saying that, since your anti-Catholic training has taught you that. May I suggest that you take a real course in Catholicism before you make such claims? Just a friendly suggestion from a concerned sister in Christ.

    I’m not asking for forgiveness. Nor are you correct in assuming I have not received training from RC priests and apologists. I have. But I am asking you stop relying on RC teaching and in its place rely on the teaching of the apostles who knew Jesus Christ and were guided by the 3rd member of the Trinity to write what they did about Him, and the churches.

    Then you’ll be my sister in Christ… you’ll leave RC teaching, including on the Mass, and come to honor and and serve the Christ by faith the apostles knew and taught in the word of God.

    Like

  175. The glory of the new covenant isn’t that now we have an infallible arbiter of doctrine in the institutional church. The Apostles don’t teach that. The glory of the new covenant is redemption accomplished. Just read the book of Hebrews. You guys miss Christ by exalting the church in place of Him. That’s NOON’s point, and it is patently obvious to the rest of us.”

    Love it. The priesthood of the Old Economy was succeeded not by a new priesthood, but by a New High Priest who fulfilled and accomplished the goal of the old priesthood. You are Robert the Valiant.

    Like

  176. Darryl,

    And would you like to tell me how I should think?

    I was running off at the time and should have cited. That was from John Henry Newman and was mostly meant for Robert.
    I do hope that you will also read it. The author does have an intended audience after all.I benefited from it greatly of course, but I am not the author’s main audience.
    I am having difficulty providing links with my cell, so perhaps you can do a copy and paste to get a link.

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  177. NOON, you really are mistaken, and yes, I do forgive you. No, not because you ask for it. Certainly not because you deserve it.

    I forgive you because that is what Jesus demands of me. I willingly, and joyfully forgive you as I have been forgiven for Christ’s sake.

    My forgiveness of you has little or nothing to do with you, actually. It has everything to do with the Christ that you say I do not know or worship properly.

    I pray that God will grant you the grace to let go of the anger you have towards Catholics. It really does not suit you if you claim to be a preacher of the Word. Let go of the bitterness. It will destroy you.

    Your anger towards me has nothing to do with me and everything to do with you.
    —————————-

    Susan, don’t let them bully you. The quote is excellent. I am going to save it and read it carefully. Thank you, dear sister.

    Like

  178. Susan
    Posted January 31, 2016 at 11:52 pm | Permalink
    Darryl,

    And would you like to tell me how I should think?>>>>>

    Susan, your thinking is just fine.

    You are a thoughtful person. You are well read and present well reasoned arguments. You are always kind to others. You encourage me in the faith.

    Unfortunately, Brother Hart just snipes at you for no reason. Why does he do that? It makes no sense.

    ’Tis a puzzlement.

    You have a wonderful week, Susan.

    Like

  179. Mermaid, “You are a thoughtful person. You are well read and present well reasoned arguments. You are always kind to others. You encourage me in the faith.”

    Wow. How can the bar be that low?

    Like

  180. topperism for today: THINK…

    not more highly of myself than I ought to think, but think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. Romans 12:3

    Like

  181. Susan,

    The issue with Newman’s quote is that it makes false contrasts. All those things he lists at the top are revealed in and through the atonement, so focusing on the atonement is actually a way to get to all revealed truth. Now I’m not sure that someone should pick any one loci of theology to focus on as THE entry point to all divine truth, but if you are going to focus on something, the cross is not a bad choice. The Apostles make much of it, and they give it priority over the church. The problem as I see it with Roman Catholicism is primarily one of misplaced priorities. The church is exalted and given the place of Christ. The confusion of body and head leads to all the other idolatry that I would say is endemic to Roman Catholicism.

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  182. Hello Mrs. Webfoot,

    You’re welcome for the quote from Blessed John Henry Newman. He is greatly responsible for my conversion to the Catholic Church and for helping my faith after I could no longer see Calvinism as a workable system and theory.

    The Catholic encylopedia says this about him, “English Catholic literature also gained a persuasive voice and a classic dignity of which hitherto there had been no example.”

    You know, I don’t feel that Darryl is actually bullying me. I mean, he might be trying but I don’t feel the blows. When you know that you are in the side of truth, you don’t feel that is your own fight.
    Plus, when he tries to denigrade the obvious genius of John Henry Newman, I know his superficial barbs to mean that his arsenal is empty.
    Plus, I don’t really take his meanness seriously. When he says that the bar is low, I know he is talking about me and that’s okay because while I know that I’m not thoroughly learned, I also don’t need to be a theologian to be a Christian.
    I know that it was the Holy Spirit who brought me to His church. That there is a church to enter is the doing of God and I couldn’t have found that church by myself without the help of luminaries like BJHN. So the insults don’t sting at all.
    I honestly wish him well.

    Look up the works of John Henry Newman. They are all available online.

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  183. “That’s so evangelical. Too tacky.

    Where’s True, Good, Beauty?”

    Haven’t you heard? It’s ” both and” ….not “either or”.

    Yup. Transcendence and mystery, martyres, saints. Poor and rich, handsome and uncomely. Feasts and fasts. Sublime art and plenty of kitsch. Sorrow for individual and collective sins too.
    Truth.

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  184. Susan,

    The reformed understanding is not only a late comer but it also must be denied because it pits the persons of the Holy Trinity against each other.

    Wrong on both counts. And a quote from CTC isn’t a good prooftext for the argument. Bryan has been taken to task by several for his failure to actually understand the Reformed doctrine.

    As far as pitting the persons of the Trinity against each other, that’s a RC and Arminian problem:

    1. Jesus dies for the whole world but the Father doesn’t elect the whole world (as in Thomism; notions of election based on divine foreknowledge).
    2. Jesus intercedes for people who God will not preserve in grace (Ie, lots of justified people for whom Jesus prays fall away)
    3. Jesus promises to send the Spirit on His people but the Spirit comes to rest only on the Magisterium and only when they say so.

    And on and on and on.

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  185. Hello Robert,
    “Bryan has been taken to task by several for his failure to actually understand the Reformed doctrine.”

    Hmmm, really? Okay, If you say so, but I won’t ask by whom. Do any Catholic theologians correctly understand the reformed view? Where and how is Bryan wrong?
    Anyways, what is most important to understand is which view is correct.
    Has the church had longstanding view?
    Is the reformed view correct or not? I can discover the reformed view and the the Catholic view by reading from sources other than CTC. How do I pick the right one. Am I supposed to decide for myself?
    If I pick the Catholic, in your estimation that won’t do. You’ll say I used my fallible judgement. Of you’ll say I let others with fallible judgement decide for me.
    How don you avoid this cul-de-sac?

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  186. Susan:You know, I don’t feel that Darryl is actually bullying me. I mean, he might be trying but I don’t feel the blows. When you know that you are in the side of truth, you don’t feel that is your own fight.>>>>

    I understand what you are saying.

    Now, he could say something like, “Susan, have you thought about this? You might want to consider it.” Or he could say, “What specifically would you like to talk about from the article you posted”?

    But to shout at you, all caps, THINK! is not okay. It is a bully tactic.

    Like

  187. Come to THINK! of it, though, Brother Hart really does prefer reading what Catholics have to say. Is he protesting too much? Could it be?

    Hmmm. I had not really thought of that. Interesting. I have thought that there is way, too much protesting going on here, but why?

    Could it be that our Brother Hart is himself conflicted? Naw. Couldn’t be.

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  188. Hey MWF

    I agree that his behavior is rough and it is predictably so.
    He isn’t interested in dialog…..at least not now, that is why I direct conversation toward other people 63rd.
    Since he could block us or enforce the Doug Sower’s law, I guess we should consider ourselves somewhat invited: 🙂

    Like

  189. Susan
    Posted February 1, 2016 at 2:01 pm | Permalink
    Hey MWF

    I agree that his behavior is rough and it is predictably so.
    He isn’t interested in dialog…..at least not now, that is why I direct conversation toward other people 63rd.
    Since he could block us or enforce the Doug Sower’s law, I guess we should consider ourselves somewhat invited: :)>>>>>

    I like my new theory. He finds Catholics and Catholicism more interesting than Reformed “stuff.”

    He wants our attention. 🙂

    The Holy Spirit led me Home as well. So, that will give our brothers something to react to. I hope that they are where they are, serving God as best they know how, because they find peace, love, joy, and all that grace affords them in their service.

    Until we really are one as Jesus taught and the Holy Spirit confirms to the glory of God that Father.

    I noticed that Robert was referencing St. Thomas Aquinas in a positive way. I also noticed that NOON called all that stuff we do – like the Mass – idolatrous and a false Jesus.

    Hmmm. Does Robert know that Aquinas’ hymn Pange Lingua is the poetic definition of transubstantiation? He is as Catholic as anyone can be. Don’t they know that?

    How can he be an idolator? Now who needs to THINK! ? Take Aquinas as he is, or don’t take him at all is what I would say. At least realize that Catholics are not idolators if Aquinas is not an idolator. Most Christians of all kinds think that he has much good to say to all Christians. Well, how is that possible?

    R.C. Sproul calls him the greatest of all theologians. How would Sproul be promoting an idolator?

    Sure. We all have idolatrous tendencies. No one disputes that. Let each one examine himself or herself and fear God.

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  190. Susan, you left out trad and neo-. Why do I have a sense these RC’s would eat you alive?

    A provocative response to those rejecting a favorable comparison of Benedict with Pope Francis. By traditionalist journalist, Michael Matt, “Benedict & Francis: Two Peas in a Papal Pod?” (Remnant, January 26, 2016). Matt offers an educated guess as to why Benedict abdicated, or had to abdicate, suggesting that packs of liberal wolves hounded him out of office. (What pressures they brought to bear, God only knows.) He compares Benedict, whose Summorum Pontificum and lifting of the SSPX excommunications outraged many, with the direction Francis has taken things, asking: “What would life be like right now without the powerful spiritual bulwarks (and human consolation!) provided by hundreds of traditional Mass centers around the world, established as a direct result of [Summorum Pontificum]?” Could anyone in his right mind contend that the escalating crisis in the Church today would not have been exponentially worse, he asks, were it not for those bulwarks thrown up by Benedict? “They got rid of [Benedict] for a reason, which the St. Gallen Group now brazenly admits,” writes Matt. “Of all the post-conciliar popes, Benedict was the one who finally blinked. And history may well reveal that the reign of Pope Benedict helped undermine the very Modernist revolution which, ironically enough, Benedict himself had had a hand in a half century earlier,” he adds. (Remember, back when Fr. Joseph Ratzinger worked along side Karl Rahner, and was a peritus at Vatican II under Cardinal Frings?) There’s much more to it than this bit here, but check it out. Food for thought.

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  191. Mermaid, “Could it be that our Brother Hart is himself conflicted? Naw. Couldn’t be.”

    Nah. Your presence alone would put me off no matter how much koolaid I drank.

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  192. Susan, I’ve tried to engage you and others a number of times. But the response is always passive aggressive. Bishops with questionable judgment? Protestants have 30k denominations. Roman Catholics believe in fairy land stuff with dead people performing miracles? Protestants are skeptics.

    Don’t give yourself so much credit (though giving lots of credit seems to go with the RC exceptionalist territory).

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  193. Robert,

    “And the second point is how does Judas have a greater advantage of having Jesus present when He finally rejects Christ over the Protestant who only has His Bible and a fallible church and yet accepts Christ?”

    I already replied, You keep reducing the effectiveness or utility of an infallible authority to the agreement and acceptance by the follower/hearer. Did Adam not have an advantage in the Garden just because he rejected God? One can know truth – based on the authority of the truth-giver – and still reject it.
    You’re equivocating on advantage by indexing it only to whether someone is saved or not. A wealthy student under private tutelage of the greatest minds has an advantage over someone with no teachers at all, even if the privileged student neglects that advantage to his detriment while the impoverished Will Hunting dude reads diligently and self-teaches and surpasses the privileged student. In that second context, the poor student has the advantage.

    “I mean, if Paul and Francis were in the same room and were to disagree, I could potentially be better off going with Francis? ”

    So if Paul was in a room with you as you read Scripture giving feedback and clarification, you would have an advantage over someone who doesn’t have Paul in the room when reading Scripture, even though you would fallibly interpret him. Which you and your tribe keep denying. Glad we agree. Vaya con Dios 500 comments disagreeing with the obvious.
    What if Paul wasn’t inspired when in the room with you? Would his apostolic authority cease in that case and you would have justification for arguing with him when he offered a teaching or interpretation as definitive and binding? Were those under Timothy or Titus or Silas or Barnabas justified in ignoring them or viewing them as authoritative only insofar as their teachings conformed to the individual’s interpretation and judgment of Scripture?

    “Francis has the authority to correct Paul.”

    Why would Francis or the church’s bishops have to correct Paul in order to have apostolic authority? Did the other apostles correct Paul’s teaching? Peter corrected by Paul concerned discipline, to short-circuit that predictable reply.

    “The only thing that Protestants reject out of that is “infallibly” and “irreformably.””

    Bingo. So all “authority” is provisional, as are all offered teachings and doctrines. Welcome to solo scriptura, liberalism, and perpetual schism and private judgment.

    “So the fallible church can know what God has said and still refuse to believe it or believe it and teach it. ”

    The church isn’t fallible in RCism. It is in Protestantism.

    “Of course not. ”

    Right, so your church’s authority is no different in kind than your parent’s or city government. That’s not the biblical or patristic model. Christ and the Apostles authority aren’t likened to that of rabbis, parents, and governments. Do you feel bad or care when you move cities or states because you don’t agree with your current area’s policies?

    “The claims aren’t absolutely necessary”

    Yep, Christ and the Apostles were no different and offered no advantage over just another group of random rabbis amongst others. Glad we have that confirmed.

    “All you have is the private interpretation of bishops that you have chosen to agree with”

    That would be Protestantism, not RCism. RCism isn’t another Protestant denomination.

    “You might not like my answer and the advocacy of the perspicuity of Scripture,”

    Because it’s not an answer, it’s just tablepounding.

    “You could start by pointing to divisions between two bodies that believe the Bible is infallible and for which divisions clearly aren’t politically motivated. I can think of very few.”

    So the following are divided only because of clear political motivations: ELCA, PCUSA, LCMS, PCA, OPC, Arminian, Socinian, Arian, KJV-onlyist, Pelagian, emergent, Christadelphian, theonomist/Reconstructionist, Oneness Pentecostal, Assemblies of God, Anabaptist, Church of Christ, Word of Faith, NPP, prosperity, Pelagian, antinominian, Adventist, Westboro, Open Theist, fundamentalist/biblicist, and not because those groups think they have the correct identification and interpretation of the clear Scripture in determining essentials and non-essentials as opposed to all the other groups holding the same.

    “Lutherans and Presbyterians aren’t in schism from each other.”

    So Calvinists never barred Lutherans from the table and Lutherans never barred Calvinists from the table? Are those Lutherans who bar you from the table divisive sinful sectarians and should care about how you judge them to be so? Are Lutherans and Presbyterians the only true Protestants now? Are ELCA, LCMS, OPC, PCUSA, PCA all in communion with each other?

    “The PCA leaving the PCUSA doesn’t count because the PCUSA denies that the Bible is the Word of God”

    I see. “They don’t count, they count”. You’re making the point. Where does PCUSA share your judgment that it denies the Bible is the Word of God? Remember, Darryl said inerrancy is not an essential for the church and is adiaphora.

    “North-South Protestant divisions in the US were politically driven, not primarily exegetical. ”

    I forget where I read Scripture or the fathers said politically driven division and sectarianism is a-okay. Talk about shrugging.

    “The Bible doesn’t define schism as separating from the papacy. The Christian tradition doesn’t define it that way ”

    Both define it as separating from the church, not a church. So you better be able to identify the church meeting that definition and having the ability and authority to distinguish schism and heresy from orthodoxy.

    “Read the Bible.”

    Brilliant. How come no one ever thought of that? Oh, wait every Protestant body you deem heretical or unorthodox, or that deems your church heretical and unorthodox, has and does for the past 500 years.

    “The church that accurately interprets the Word of God.”

    AKA solo scriptura (again). This is not an answer to, “And on those matters it cannot be wrong on – which church authoritatively decides and judges that?”

    “And who gets to decide who has the right gospel and the right sacraments and the right discipline?
    – Scripture.”

    Whose interpretation of Scripture? The Protestant churches you deem heretical and unorthodox right? Wait, no, not them of course, since they don’t agree to your interpretation of Scripture. So you’re the judge. Welcome to solo scriptura. Who gets to decide who has the right books and verses of Scripture? Scripture?

    “Give us a way to resolve the stalemate and we can talk. ”

    The way is the one seen in Scripture and patristic tradition. Not the one seen in Protestant tradition, which is no way at all.

    “So your knowledge of what the Magisterium isn’t provisional? Are you infallible?”

    I don’t have to be infallible to have non-provisional or inerrant knowledge. That’s your presuppositional skepticism at work again.

    “Yeah, its logically possible that I’m wrong”

    Right, so your position is incoherent. “All knowledge is provisional! … including that knowledge statement!” “We can know nothing absolutely! … including that statement!” “Trust nothing! … including that statement!” “All reason is non-neutral! … Including the reason I used in reasoning to that conclusion!” “It’s logically possible I’m wrong! … including that statement!” “All truth is relative! … including that truth!” “It is impossible for one worldview to be right! … including that worldview!” “No one can make universal truth claims! … including that universal claim!” “It’s wrong to impose your belief upon me! … including that belief!”

    “If the WCF is correct, then no, the substance of its teaching isn’t revisable.”

    And we can never know if something is correct according to you. Since all beliefs and knowledge is subject to revision. Was the first edition of the WCF correct? The American revisions? The PCUSA revisions?

    “Until you attain to infallibility and omniscience, you do not escape provisionality.”

    You mean I do. Since apparently the law of non-contradiction is open to revision and might be in error.

    “Someone could come along with a better formulation of the laws of logic than Aristotle.”

    So the standard for provisionality is not “logical possiblity”. Incoherent again.

    “It’s logically possible”

    Oops. I guess it’s back to this standard again.

    “Name one thing you believe that isn’t provisional in some sense.”

    Excellent. Everything you believe is provisional. So your statement and knowledge that revelation is absolute are provisional and open to revision.

    “All Roman Catholic teachings are subject and open to revision. You call it development.”

    No, development doesn’t contradict what came before. The NT did not contradict the OT, though it developed it. In Protestantism, no such guarantee obtains – there are no non-negotiables or irreformable doctrines to be found.

    “In an objective sense, sure.”

    Great. So we have a clear agreement that “If Christ is infallible, you are not. If the Apostles are infallible, you are not. So their followers suffering under the human condition had no greater surety or grounds for certainty than followers of random rabbis.” Enough said.

    “Here’s the thing, you can’t assume the truth of both systems at the same time because they are mutually exclusive. ”

    You have a brain. You can do thought experiments.

    “The question shouldn’t be “under which system are we better off?””

    Apparently this question can’t even be answered in principle. It’s beyond our mental abilities. Of course we evaluate questions like that every day. So this is just evasion.

    “The question should be, “What system did God actually give us?””

    You can’t even tell us what God actually gave us. It’s all provisional and subject to revision. Revelation may or may not be absolute. The Protestant canon may or may not be Scripture. This verse of the Protestant canon may or may not be inspired. This church, confession, creed, tradition may or may not be authoritative.

    “A biologist and astrophysicist who deny the existence of God and tell me that based on their inductive science that a cow can’t jump over the moon can only give me probability. ”

    So an atheist biologist and an atheist astrophysicist can only explain to you that a cow can’t jump over the moon as a probability, but a Muslim biologist and Jewish astrophysicist can explain to you that it won’t absolutely? Are you hearing yourself? This is where presuppositionalism gets you. Apparently you buy that nonsense Zrim cited from CVT in the other thread.

    Regardless, even if we get mega Christian biologist and physicist to explain it to you, it doesn’t matter – because you fallibly interpret, you are no better off than you were before the clarification.

    “Inductive evidence isn’t enough to provide certainty. There are certain non-inductive assumptions that must be made and that cannot be proven inductively for me to be able to take their word with any degree of certainty.”

    Uh oh. Better let Jeff and sdb get the memo. And give yourself the memo since you said above “Problem is this confusion on the RCs parts between provisionality and uncertainty.” You just confirmed you don’t have certainty. The confusion is all one-sided I’m afraid.

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  194. “Where and how is Bryan wrong?”

    He wears a hat. That’s about the depth of the substantiation to the vague and perennial charges of misunderstanding. Just trust their word, he doesn’t understand Reformed theology at all. No one at CtC does. It’s beyond Cross’, Liccione’s, Stamper’s, Chalk’s, Feingold’s, Anders’, Preslar’s minds. Anyone who leaves or rejects Reformed theology is obviously an idiot or slave to Satan.

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  195. James Young, is the pope or former pope in the room with you as you comment? If not, what possible advantage does having a pope give you? Maybe, you’re just like a Protestant imagining what the Roman Catholic position is, even as you claim to be better than the Protestant.

    That’s the dilemma on you.

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  196. Noon,

    “Sure there is – there’s a church that has the authority and ability to judge orthodoxy from heresy, to deem persons in schism, to definitively settle disputes, is the pillar of truth, is indefectible and guided and protected by the Spirit, and so forth.
    – Me back to you: Name the specific geographic church you are referring to in the apostolic deposit AND how that church did what you claim”

    Here’s your original statement: “There is no “church” in Scripture even remotely like the RCC.”

    So, do you still hold that no “church” in Scripture even “remotely” had the following attributes or characteristics:
    has the authority and ability to judge orthodoxy from heresy, to deem persons in schism, to definitively settle disputes, is the pillar of truth, is indefectible and guided and protected by the Spirit, and so forth.

    What’s the criteria for “remotely”? What if only 1 of the 5 attributes is met by the church in Scripture. Is that still “remotely” and not good enough?

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  197. Darryl,

    So I can and would have an advantage even though I’m fallible and not mindmelding. Thanks for the concession.

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  198. “Susan, I’ve tried to engage you and others a number of times. But the response is always passive aggressive.”

    If I come off a passive aggressive I don’t mean too. Can we back up and start over? I’m sorry Darryl.

    “Bishops with questionable judgment? Protestants have 30k denominations.”

    I agree that there are bishops with questionable judgement, but they can be corrected by what Catholic church’s orthodox teaching.
    I don’t know exactly how many protestant denominations there are, but there are very many. It is foisted up in order to illustrate that there is formal disunity that can’t be rectified. Sometimes wild numbers are thrown about among Catholic converts to express among themselves this siituation that they were oblivious to before but which suddenly becomes a dilemma.

    “Roman Catholics believe in fairy land stuff with dead people performing miracles? Protestants are skeptics.”

    This hurts the most, but not personally. I understand the terrible skepticism, my friend. We have been marinating in it for a long time. I hope you will read John Henry Newman’s essay on rationalism.
    Also, I would recommend the video that CTC linked on Our Lady of Guadalupe.

    I began to be more suspicious of Protestantism’s lack of miracles, lack of attention given to the supernatural realm of principalities and powers. Why was this the so when early Christianity clearly had mystics? St. Augustine was a mystic so what brought about this change. I’m not saying that the semblance of a face in a tortilla is a miracle so please don’t suggest that I am. There is healthy skepticism but then there is also the dismissal of all miracles.

    “Don’t give yourself so much credit (though giving lots of credit seems to go with the RC exceptionalist territory).”

    I’m not sure what you mean. I am standing on the shoulders of giants.
    All that I have has been bequethed. You were baptised, so it belongs also to you.

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  199. Susan, that’s way too easy to slough off the bishops that way. I don’t think you are serious about reflecting on it. I don’t think you even consider the rad-trad vs. neo-RC debates. I sense no awareness of the American church. You do know how to get to New Advent and Called to Communion. I call that parochial.

    In other words, you show none of the willingness to entertain dilemmas that Ross Douthat does. All you seem to do is think you have Roman Catholicism in your heart along with Jesus.

    As for miracles, if you want to affirm this then I’m due back on planet earth:

    SAO PAULO (AFP) – Day after day, cloistered Catholic nuns at a Sao Paulo monastery roll up thousands of tiny prayer scrolls credited with the miraculous powers of an 18th-century monk the pope will elevate to sainthood in this Brazilian city on Friday.

    Outside the Monastery of Light, supplicants line up under a scorching sun convinced the “Galvao pills” will cure them of disease, infertility or abject poverty.

    “My six-year-old girl suffers from leukemia, but I’m sure the pills of Friar Galvao, our saint, will cure her,” said Conceicao Antunes.

    Like many others, Antunes, a 35-year-old domestic worker, has spent hours waiting for her turn to receive her snippet of printed rice paper.

    Next in line, is Henrique da Silva, a seemingly well-off 18-year-old, who is confident the long-deceased monk will ensure he passes his university admission exams.

    Thousands of Brazilians believe they have been cured of diseases doctors often thought incurable, thanks to the intervention of Antonio de Sant’Ana Galvao.

    When he is canonized by Pope Benedict XVI at a mass in Sao Paulo this week, Galvao will become first native-born saint in Brazil, the world’s largest Roman Catholic country.

    The Church hopes the move will help reverse major inroads that evangelical faiths have made not only in Brazil, but also across Latin America, which is home to almost half the world’s population of 1.1 billion Catholics.

    That really is a different religion.

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  200. D.G. Hart:
    “Don’t give yourself so much credit (though giving lots of credit seems to go with the RC exceptionalist territory).”>>>>

    Susan:
    I’m not sure what you mean. I am standing on the shoulders of giants.
    All that I have has been bequethed. You were baptised, so it belongs also to you.>>>>>>>

    Great answers, and not unlike the answers that have already been given many times to Brother Hart. You make a great point. The wonderful gifts that God has given to the Church are for the whole Church, not just for a select few.

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  201. Darryl,

    What you (and others) are worried about is the Catholic Church declaring that something some of us call “liberal” is going to become the new orthodoxy. That isn’t going to happen, but it isn’t not going to happen because of the Catholic church’s employment of Aristotle but rather instead the Catholic Church as being guided by the Holy Spirit who’s natural law Aristotle understood.
    Look, I’m getting my understanding about what is and what isn’t traditional Catholic theology from somewhere. I’m not tempted towards liberalism, why is that? Its because I read the catechism and I dimly glimpse the theology of Aquinas.

    Weren’t people being healed by the shadow of St. Peter? What about St.Paul’s handkerchiefs and aprons?( Acts 19:12). This was 30 years after the resurrection.
    What about St. Anthony battling demons in the desert?
    St. Augustine read him. Why do you think that he believed the sing song “take up and read” to be God’s direction to him and caused his conversion? Was he superstitious?
    What about Lourdes and the healings there? What about the story of Juan Diego and the image of Our Lady of Guadeloupe?

    What is legend and myth and what really happened and how do you know?
    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2012/06/st-augustine-the-trinity-and-the-boy-2/

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  202. CVD,

    As far as PS and how to know…. All I could do was except what was orthodox. The Reformed that I knew espoused the same unorthodox view as RC Sproul.
    Whatever the diferences held about this doctrine in the Catholic Church, no one was orthodox who believed that The Father cursed The Son.

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  203. D. G. Hart
    Posted February 1, 2016 at 5:47 pm | Permalink
    Susan, that’s way too easy to slough off the bishops that way. I don’t think you are serious about reflecting on it. I don’t think you even consider the rad-trad vs. neo-RC debates. I sense no awareness of the American church. You do know how to get to New Advent and Called to Communion. I call that parochial.

    In other words, you show none of the willingness to entertain dilemmas that Ross Douthat does. All you seem to do is think you have Roman Catholicism in your heart along with Jesus.>>>>>

    Even if Susan or any other Catholic were to think exactly like you do on every issue you have brought up, you would once again move the goal posts as you have done here.

    Just pointing that out. Yet you evade the very serious issue of Protestant skepticism. You are a skeptic, as you said.

    D.G. Hart:
    “Roman Catholics believe in fairy land stuff with dead people performing miracles? Protestants are skeptics.”>>>>>

    There is plenty of fairy land stuff in the Bible – both Testaments. If you want to be a skeptic, go all the way. God even claims to be the God of the living, not of the dead.

    Saints who have fallen asleep in the Lord are alive, not dead. Here is the testimony of St. Augustine about miracles. He deals with the argument that miracles have now ceased because they are no longer necessary to confirm the Gospel. Notice that he records miracles that happened when people with illness came in contact with holy relics.

    Now, if you Reformed guys want to claim Augustine, then claim him as the Catholic he is, not as the skeptic you wish he were. The Church believes that such miracles indeed do still happen.

    ———————————————–
    https://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/source/augustine-cityofgod-22-9-10.aspAugustine: City of God: Book 22:8-10. On Miracles
    When the bishop Projectus was bringing the relics of the most glorious martyr Stephen to the waters of Tibilis, a great concourse of people came to meet him at the shrine. There a blind woman entreated that she might be led to the bishop who was carrying the relics. He gave her the flowers he was carrying. She took them, applied them to her eyes, and forthwith saw. Those who were present were astounded, while she, with every expression of joy, preceded them, pursuing her way without further need of a guide.

    Lucillus bishop of Sinita, in the neighborhood of the colonial town of Hippo, was carrying in procession some relics of the same martyr, which had been deposited in the castle of Sinita. A fistula under which he had long labored, and which his private physician was watching an opportunity to cut, was suddenly cured by the mere carrying of that sacred fardel,21 -at least, afterwards there was no trace of it in his body.

    Eucharius, a Spanish priest, residing at Calama, was for a long time a sufferer from stone. By the relics of the same martyr, which the bishop Possidius brought him, he was cured. Afterwards the same priest, sinking under another disease, was lying dead, and already they were binding his hands. By the succor of the same martyr he was raised to life, the priest’s cloak having been brought from the oratory and laid upon the corpse.

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  204. CvD,

    You’re the master of the partial quote:

    You quoted only this: There is no “church” in Scripture even remotely like the RCC.

    What I actually wrote: There is no “church” in Scripture even remotely like the RCC. The RCC is hierarchical, geographically dispersed, and requires special administrators to dispense some concoction of mystical, sacramental grace.

    Why, you’ve partial quoted me on this twice in this thread already. Was that original explanation of “remotely” a little too hard for you to understand?:

    <blockquoteYou: What’s the criteria for “remotely”? What if only 1 of the 5 attributes is met by the church in Scripture. Is that still “remotely” and not good enough?

    Or was it too biblical?

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  205. I already replied, You keep reducing the effectiveness or utility of an infallible authority to the agreement and acceptance by the follower/hearer.

    But ultimately that is what we are talking about, salvation. And we’re not talking about God or Jesus/Apostles directly. I’m happy to concede that if Paul was here we could have an advantage at least in theory. But Paul isn’t here. The Roman Magisterium isn’t Paul. I can’t go to the Magisterium and ask what Paul means by “baptism for the dead” or some other such thing. I mean I could, but I won’t get Paul’s answer. I’ll get the Magisterium’s answer. And the Magisterium has notoriously not clarified hardly anything in Scripture. There is no infallible commentary. The best estimates I’ve heard is that Rome has infallibly defined about 7 verses. Wow.

    What if Paul wasn’t inspired when in the room with you? Would his apostolic authority cease in that case and you would have justification for arguing with him when he offered a teaching or interpretation as definitive and binding? Were those under Timothy or Titus or Silas or Barnabas justified in ignoring them or viewing them as authoritative only insofar as their teachings conformed to the individual’s interpretation and judgment of Scripture?

    Paul himself said that if he were to preach another gospel, not to accept it. Which means that Paul accepted at least the theoretical possibility that even he could teach heresy. Funny how Rome claims that’s impossible.

    But again, those under any of the figures mentioned are justified in rejecting any erroneous teaching. You think the Bible is hopelessly obscure and that ordinary people cannot tell when Timothy might be wrong. And yet the Magisterium isn’t plagued by that. Hmmm.

    Why would Francis or the church’s bishops have to correct Paul in order to have apostolic authority? Did the other apostles correct Paul’s teaching? Peter corrected by Paul concerned discipline, to short-circuit that predictable reply.

    If Francis cannot correct Paul, then Paul has greater authority. Which means that Francis and the Magisterium in fact do not have the Apostolic authority that Paul did.

    Bingo. So all “authority” is provisional, as are all offered teachings and doctrines. Welcome to solo scriptura, liberalism, and perpetual schism and private judgment.
    The only person without provisional authority is God Himself. The church isn’t God.

    Right, so your church’s authority is no different in kind than your parent’s or city government. That’s not the biblical or patristic model. Christ and the Apostles authority aren’t likened to that of rabbis, parents, and governments. Do you feel bad or care when you move cities or states because you don’t agree with your current area’s policies?

    The church, my parents, and the government are all divinely-instituted authorities, so the kind of deference I owe them is always qualified by the parameters God gives them. And remember, Christ and the Apostles aren’t the church, and even Rome formally admits that there is a difference between the Apostles and the Magisterium. So continually citing the authority of Christ and the Apostles only bolsters the Protestant case.

    Yep, Christ and the Apostles were no different and offered no advantage over just another group of random rabbis amongst others. Glad we have that confirmed.

    The claims of Christ and the Apostles give them no inherent advantage. What matters is that their claims are true. But in any case, the Magisterium isn’t Christ or the Apostles, so keep citing them, but it doesn’t prove the conservative RC case.

    I said: “All you have is the private interpretation of bishops that you have chosen to agree with”
    You replied: That would be Protestantism, not RCism. RCism isn’t another Protestant denomination.

    No, that is exactly modern Romanism. If a divorced person doesn’t like Burke’s teaching, he can move to Germany and sit under Kasper, whom he agrees with.

    Because it’s not an answer, it’s just tablepounding.

    Sure it’s an answer, you just don’t like it. It’s no more tablepounding than to assert the church solves your conundrum when anyone who looks at Rome can see that well over 90 percent of the church doesn’t believe what you says Rome believes. It’s not even clear that the Magisterium believes it.

    So the following are divided only because of clear political motivations: ELCA, PCUSA, LCMS, PCA, OPC, Arminian, Socinian, Arian, KJV-onlyist, Pelagian, emergent, Christadelphian, theonomist/Reconstructionist, Oneness Pentecostal, Assemblies of God, Anabaptist, Church of Christ, Word of Faith, NPP, prosperity, Pelagian, antinominian, Adventist, Westboro, Open Theist, fundamentalist/biblicist, and not because those groups think they have the correct identification and interpretation of the clear Scripture in determining essentials and non-essentials as opposed to all the other groups holding the same.

    That’s a huge list of denominations and heretical sects, almost none of which believe in the authority of Scripture over all other authorities. When you can actually give us a SS denominational list, then we can talk.

    So Calvinists never barred Lutherans from the table and Lutherans never barred Calvinists from the table?

    Calvinists and Lutherans did not separate from one another. Their particularization as churches arose under different circumstances. It doesn’t make any sense to say they are in schism.

    Are those Lutherans who bar you from the table divisive sinful sectarians and should care about how you judge them to be so?

    Yes and yes, but not because of any inherent authority that I have.

    Are Lutherans and Presbyterians the only true Protestants now?

    No.

    Are ELCA, LCMS, OPC, PCUSA, PCA all in communion with each other?

    No. The ELCA isn’t even meaningfully Christian anymore. Interesting how Rome is all buddy-buddy with it. Deny the Trinity, get ecumenical relations with Rome. Affirm it as a Protestant, and you get bupkus.

    You’re making the point. Where does PCUSA share your judgment that it denies the Bible is the Word of God? Remember, Darryl said inerrancy is not an essential for the church and is adiaphora.

    The PCUSA has been Barthian long before it was outright heretical. At best, the majority of the PCUSA believes that the Bible contains the Word of God. This is evident from any of their denominational statements.

    I forget where I read Scripture or the fathers said politically driven division and sectarianism is a-okay. Talk about shrugging.

    I didn’t say it was okay. I said that if SS is to blame, you need to find actual SS disagreements.

    Both define it as separating from the church, not a church. So you better be able to identify the church meeting that definition and having the ability and authority to distinguish schism and heresy from orthodoxy.

    I agree. Where I disagree is that identifying that church means we limit it to one bureaucracy. Your view of Christian unity and orthodoxy is hopelessly sectarian and schismatic.

    Brilliant. How come no one ever thought of that? Oh, wait every Protestant body you deem heretical or unorthodox, or that deems your church heretical and unorthodox, has and does for the past 500 years.

    Yeah, and every RC reads the tradition and comes up with a different conclusion. Problem not solved on your side.

    “The church that accurately interprets the Word of God.”
    AKA solo scriptura (again). This is not an answer to, “And on those matters it cannot be wrong on – which church authoritatively decides and judges that?”
    “And who gets to decide who has the right gospel and the right sacraments and the right discipline?
    – Scripture.”

    Sure it’s an answer. It’s the answer God has given us. Don’t blame me if you hate God for this.

    Whose interpretation of Scripture? The Protestant churches you deem heretical and unorthodox right? Wait, no, not them of course, since they don’t agree to your interpretation of Scripture. So you’re the judge. Welcome to solo scriptura.

    Whether or not a church agrees with my interpretation is irrelevant. The church either teaches the truth or it doesn’t. If by my interpretation it doesn’t, then I don’t join it. Same with you. You are the judge. You are RC because you agree with it. You’ve admitted you disagree with it at no point. You’ve also admitted that if they found the body of Jesus, you would stop being RC. So you are RC because you agree with Rome’s interpretation of the evidence that Jesus rose again. If evidence ever arises to the contrary, you will no longer agree, and so you will leave.

    Who gets to decide who has the right books and verses of Scripture? Scripture?

    The Holy Spirit.

    The way is the one seen in Scripture and patristic tradition. Not the one seen in Protestant tradition, which is no way at all.

    But the stalemate hasn’t been resolved. 1,000 years later and East and West are still divided. So you don’t have the answer.

    I don’t have to be infallible to have non-provisional or inerrant knowledge. That’s your presuppositional skepticism at work again.

    You have to be infallible and omniscient in order to have knowledge that has no logical possibility of being subject to correction. You don’t have to be either to have inerrant knowledge.

    Right, so your position is incoherent. “All knowledge is provisional! … including that knowledge statement!” “We can know nothing absolutely! … including that statement!” “Trust nothing! … including that statement!” “All reason is non-neutral! … Including the reason I used in reasoning to that conclusion!” “It’s logically possible I’m wrong! … including that statement!” “All truth is relative! … including that truth!” “It is impossible for one worldview to be right! … including that worldview!” “No one can make universal truth claims! … including that universal claim!” “It’s wrong to impose your belief upon me! … including that belief!”

    Sorry, I’m not the one that says provisional = uncertainty. That is you and your Cartesian epistemology.

    And we can never know if something is correct according to you.

    Not my position.

    Since all beliefs and knowledge is subject to revision.

    Until I see God face to face it is. I’m fallible. So are you. This isn’t hard. You are the one that leaps from fallible knowledge to “how can you know?” Quit reading Descartes.

    You mean I do. Since apparently the law of non-contradiction is open to revision and might be in error.

    It’s logically possible that you are a character in a video game played by two aliens from the edge of the uncharted galaxy. You’ve said as much in other ways. So yes, every belief is subject at least in theory to possible correction.

    Excellent. Everything you believe is provisional. So your statement and knowledge that revelation is absolute are provisional and open to revision.

    In theory, because I am not infallible. This isn’t hard. You can’t have fallibility and non-provisional knowledge. Unless you are the source of the knowledge and know how every fact relates to every other fact, correction always remains a theoretical possibility.

    No, development doesn’t contradict what came before.

    That’s the Koolaid talking. Meanwhile, I know the difference between my belief as either a material or formal heretic condemning me to hell under God’s curse and my belief as either a material or formal heretic making me a separated brother who God loves.

    The NT did not contradict the OT, though it developed it.

    Agreed.

    In Protestantism, no such guarantee obtains – there are no non-negotiables or irreformable doctrines to be found.

    Same is true of Romanism. Just ask Karl Rahner about the Trinity and Kasper about marriage.

    I said: “Here’s the thing, you can’t assume the truth of both systems at the same time because they are mutually exclusive. ”
    You replied: You have a brain. You can do thought experiments.

    It’s logically impossible for there to be a infallible church and a fallible church at the same time. If Rome is true, Protestantism is false by definition and vice versa.

    Yes, I can do thought experiments. Here’s a thought experiment for you: Is it logically possible that you are the figment of my imagination? Sure. So your knowledge is provisional.

    Apparently this question can’t even be answered in principle. It’s beyond our mental abilities. Of course we evaluate questions like that every day. So this is just evasion.

    I didn’t say that was beyond our mental abilities. I’m not the one who claims infalliblity is necessary to know stuff. That’s you, Descartes.

    You can’t even tell us what God actually gave us. It’s all provisional and subject to revision. Revelation may or may not be absolute. The Protestant canon may or may not be Scripture. This verse of the Protestant canon may or may not be inspired. This church, confession, creed, tradition may or may not be authoritative.

    I can sufficiently but not infallibly identify all of that. Just as you believe that you can sufficiently but not infallibly determine that Rome is the true church.

    So an atheist biologist and an atheist astrophysicist can only explain to you that a cow can’t jump over the moon as a probability, but a Muslim biologist and Jewish astrophysicist can explain to you that it won’t absolutely?

    Ultimately, no. Apart from Christianity, one has no grounding for knowing any truth and any non-Christian who knows truth is ultimately stealing from the triune God. This shouldn’t be objectionable if you are a true theist and believe you are dependent upon divine revelation.

    Are you hearing yourself? This is where presuppositionalism gets you. Apparently you buy that nonsense Zrim cited from CVT in the other thread.

    I don’t know what you are citing. Meanwhile, the atheist rightly notices that the motives of credibility aren’t self-attesting.

    Regardless, even if we get mega Christian biologist and physicist to explain it to you, it doesn’t matter – because you fallibly interpret, you are no better off than you were before the clarification.

    I’m better off if they speak the truth.

    Uh oh. Better let Jeff and sdb get the memo.

    Jeff and SDB have both noted that inductive reasoning can’t give you certainty. That doesn’t mean it is useless.

    And give yourself the memo since you said above “Problem is this confusion on the RCs parts between provisionality and uncertainty.” You just confirmed you don’t have certainty. The confusion is all one-sided I’m afraid.

    I don’t have infallible certainty because I’m not infallible. You and Mermaid keep thinking provisional = uncertain, no ground for belief, etc. etc. Don’t impute your beliefs to us. We’re not Cartesians.

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  206. Robert:
    I don’t have infallible certainty because I’m not infallible. You and Mermaid keep thinking provisional = uncertain, no ground for belief, etc. etc. Don’t impute your beliefs to us. We’re not Cartesians.>>>>

    Just a quick note. I hope all is well with you and yours. We’re fine, here. A bit under the weather, but okay.

    I keep saying that provisional knowledge is not sufficient to establish infallible truth.

    My specific example is the one that you used some time ago – the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Sure, an individual’s acceptance of the fact of the resurrection may be provisional in a way.

    Peter and John did not really believe it until they saw the empty tomb. Sure, they ran off to see, but I suppose you could say they acted on provisional knowledge. After that and seeing our risen Lord with their own eyes, they had no doubt.

    Thomas did not believe it until he saw our risen Lord for himself.

    The two on the road to Emmaus might fit the category of provisional knowledge, until they spoke with Jesus Himself.

    Paul wasn’t sure at first who knocked him off his horse. Later he clearly laid out the case for the resurrection, including a refutation of those who would be skeptical.

    You said earlier – and maybe you have retracted that – that there exists a slight possibility that the body of Jesus could be found someday.

    If you want to argue that the dead body of Jesus might be out there somewhere waiting to be found, you cannot then turn around and say that the Bible is your only infallible rule of faith and practice. It has to be one or the other. Either the resurrection is infallible knowledge or it is provisional knowledge.

    It cannot be both. In fact, to say that the body of Jesus might be found is actually heresy. It is not faith. It is especially not what you would call justifying faith.

    You yourself introduced the element of uncertainty.

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  207. Susan, there you go again elevating the magisterium into the status of apostles and prophets. Miracles in the Bible are one thing. They are attested by Scripture. Your miracles are attested by bishops (who have been lobbied and bought, mind you).

    So many problems there. Don’t think the wave of the hand of Aristotle turns this into sense. DRINK LESS KOOLAID.

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  208. Mermaid, I avoid skepticism because that is your construction of the Protestant position which Protestants deny. As far as I can tell, both Protestants and Roman Catholics (except for you and Susan) agree that priest molested kids and that bishops covered for them. What you and Susan do is not reasonable. It’s gullible.

    And as I’ve said many times, the Bible is hard enough to believe (which I do more than vd, t, your great fan, ever did — he doesn’t buy the bodily assumption of Mary either). But the Bible is not a green light for nonsense, for make believe, for believing whatever some guy wearing a funny hat tells you.

    Aristotle’s natural law? Are you guys serious?

    BTW, picking and choosing goes both ways. Do you like to quote Pope Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors? Didn’t think so.

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  209. Mermaid, “Sure, an individual’s acceptance of the fact of the resurrection may be provisional in a way.”

    You just gave away your epistemological high ground.

    “It cannot be both.”

    Not according to Ignatius of Loyola:

    We should always be disposed to believe that that which appears white is really black, if the hierarchy of the Church so decides.

    Of course, this won’t embarrass you. It’s a wonderful sign of Roman Catholicism’s unending profundity.

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  210. Mermaid, it’s not only Protestants who consider you, Susan, and James kooky:

    In any case, the “missionaries of mercy” concept sounds extremely dubious. Some would even say kooky.

    But not nearly as kooky and outright weird as the second Holy Year “event” that Fisichella unveiled last week.

    Here it is: the Vatican will be displaying the bodies of two dead Capuchin saints for an entire week for its Holy Year pilgrims to venerate. They are shipping them in from their normal resting places on either ends of the Italian peninsula.

    It’s more than a little ironic that Fisichella, who is considered to be one of Italy’s most intelligent theologians, is being asked to promote this medieval, pietistic practice. He’s the same theologian who, along with then-Cardinal Ratzinger, help ghostwrite John Paul II’s 1998 encyclical, Fides et Ratio (Faith and Reason).

    He did his best to make a kooky idea sound as reasonable and normal as possible by emphasizing that “urns containing the relics of Saint Leopold Mandić and Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina” were being brought to Rome.

    But they are not urns. They are glass coffins.

    And under each of them is showcased the embalmed corpse of a bearded friar dressed in a new brown Capuchin habit.

    These life-sized “urns”, as the jubilee organizer calls them, will be displayed in two different churches in Rome for public veneration on Feb. 3 and 4. Then on the evening of Feb. 5 the two transparent caskets will be carried in a long, solemn procession from the opposite side of the Tiber River all the way up and into St Peter’s Basilica.

    The dressed-up corpses (let’s call them what they are) will then be placed in front of the main papal altar for veneration for the next several days until Ash Wednesday.

    Fisichella said people would be able to view them in the same way folks paid their respects to John Paul II in 2005 as he lay in state several days prior to his funeral.

    But this is not a wake and the two Capuchin saints did not give up the ghost only yesterday. Padre Pio died in 1968; and Leopoldo Mandić in 1942.

    But, beyond all that, this is the 21st century. Not the Middle Ages.

    Do the men in the Vatican — including our dear Pope Francis — really think that dressing up dead bodies, even of the holiest of saints, is really going to help people “understand the ways in which God’s great love manifests itself in their daily lives”?

    Most reasonable Catholics — Italians included — disagree with the need for such props and gimmicks the jubilee committee is using to promote the Holy Year.

    Let’s see you chest thump this.

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  211. CvD,

    Noon, Are the 5 characteristics descriptive (not exhaustively so) of the church in Scripture or not?

    You force all conversations here to go your way only, partial-quoter.

    As I’ve asserted above, what you mean by “the church” is completely at odds with what the apostles meant by “church”.

    Your response? Like a robot, ignore what I wrote and go back to your own proprietary convo.

    Robo-converser.

    Here’s what you are dodging (given here again):

    Me to you:
    “There is no “church” in Scripture even remotely like the RCC. The RCC is hierarchical, geographically dispersed, and requires special administrators to dispense some concoction of mystical, sacramental grace.”

    You in response:
    “Sure there is – there’s a church that has the authority and ability to judge orthodoxy from heresy, to deem persons in schism, to definitively settle disputes, is the pillar of truth, is indefectible and guided and protected by the Spirit, and so forth.

    Me back to you:
    Name the specific geographic church you are referring to in the apostolic deposit AND how that church did what you claim

    You in response:
    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Then go back to robo-questions.

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  212. Darryl,

    Veneration of the relics of saints isn’t going away. It has always, always been part of Catholicism. The author of this article has chimed in and given us his option. But, so what? I’m not moved by his opinion nor am I embarrassed. This is a part of Christianity.
    How do I navigate what to allow in and what to reject? This one’s easy. I can read the tradition that is seen in the biblical record and in the tradition after that.
    And I’m not being snide.

    “Mr. Trueman heads off what he perceives to be one way intelligent Catholics deal with the phenomenon of relics, which is to disavow relics as antiquated superstition and not really a part of the Catholic religion, Mr. Trueman says:

    . . . it will not do simply to say that the practices of such [“superstitious” Catholics] are not significant; they are significant, at least for anyone who takes seriously their Catholicism.

    Indeed they are. Just not in a negative way. I used to cringe at the site of a reliquary. In fact, my parish has a relic of St. Ambrose, my eldest son’s namesake, which I ignored for a long time. I had trouble believing that it was really a piece of St. Ambrose or that it could really do any good.

    But time, experience and the Biblical and theological evidence have all played a role in helping me embrace what the Church teaches about relics. That relic in particular has since become a real touchstone in my interaction with the saints in heaven and my son’s patron.

    “I invite our Protestant brothers to truly consider the nature of the world we live in, the implications of the incarnation and the weight of the words of Scripture on the subject before tossing relics into the dustbin with all the other perceived superstitions and Romish aberrations.”
    http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2010/04/relics/

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  213. Mermaid:There is plenty of fairy land stuff in the Bible – both Testaments. If you want to be a skeptic, go all the way. God even claims to be the God of the living, not of the dead.

    But He doesn’t say for men to determine who is in heaven; to determine more worthy ‘saints’, or to determine which dead person is ‘responsible’ for a miracle, etc mermaid. Talk about God-topperism.

    “In the Catholic religion, saints are people who are in heaven with God. But determining who is in heaven is a tricky proposition. That’s where miracles come in. According to the church, miracles or divine events that have no natural or scientific explanation, serve as proof that the person is in heaven and can intercede with God to change the ordinary course of events.Toward that end, a Vatican-appointed Miracle Commission sifts through hundreds or even thousands of miraculous claims. Typically, the commissions are composed of theologians and scientific experts.Miracles can be confirmed only if the healed person prayed solely to one person, such as John Paul II, during their ordeal. That way, there can be no mix-up when determining which person in heaven interceded on their behalf, O’Neill said.”

    “The process of using miracles to determine saints has a relatively short history in the Catholic Church. Prior to 1531, when a Spanish peasant reportedly saw an image of the Virgin Mary in the slopes surrounding Mexico City, miracles weren’t required and saints were agreed upon mostly through tradition or martyrdom, O’Neill told LiveScience.The rules regarding miracles and sainthood changed as recently as John Paul II’s tenure. He reduced the required number of miracles to two, from three.” http://www.livescience.com/38033-how-vatican-identifies-miracles.html

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  214. Ali,

    What do you mean by ” he doesn’t say”? The miracle itself is testimony that that person is with God who is in heaven. You ask for the intercession of those that you have good reason to believe are in heaven not those who you have reason to believe are not.
    Many miracles to unreported I am sure, others are investigated thoroughly and confirmed.
    Here is a miracle. Do you believe?

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  215. Susan,

    Hmmm, really? Okay, If you say so, but I won’t ask by whom. Do any Catholic theologians correctly understand the reformed view?

    I’m sure some do, but I can’t think of any offhand. Seems to me that I’ve read stuff by Thomas Weinandy that correctly defines the Reformed view or at least advocates a view that is almost identical to it. It’s been a while since I’ve read him though.

    Where and how is Bryan wrong?

    The idea that Christ bearing the curse of God against sin somehow opposes the Father and the Son. Scripture says very clearly that Christ became a curse for us, and the one who does the cursing is God. See Galatians 3.

    Anyways, what is most important to understand is which view is correct.

    Agreed.

    Has the church had longstanding view?

    The church has had several longstanding views: Penal substitution, Christus Victor, Anselm’s satisfaction view (penal substitution is merely a development of this one), the ransom view (paid to God). All of those are orthodox.

    The church has also held unorthodox views such as the moral influence theory, which as a whole is untenable. Many RC theologians hold to this view or something similar to it. See liberation theologians, for example.

    Is the reformed view correct or not?

    It is correct.

    I can discover the reformed view and the the Catholic view by reading from sources other than CTC. How do I pick the right one. Am I supposed to decide for myself?

    You pick the right one by comparing it to Scripture. As for deciding for yourself, you are the only one who can decide for yourself. You had to decide for yourself that Rome was the church Christ founded. You have to decide today whether or not you are going to continue agreeing with Rome or at least giving Rome the benefit of any doubt you had. In the end it is all you, all the time, deciding for yourself.

    If I pick the Catholic, in your estimation that won’t do. You’ll say I used my fallible judgement. Of you’ll say I let others with fallible judgement decide for me.

    The fact that you used your fallible judgment doesn’t make you wrong. You could well be right. The Apostles will decide. You can find what they teach in Scripture.

    The mistake you make is several:

    1. Assuming that there is one RC view of the atonement. There isn’t.
    2. Assuming that CTC is a reliable presentation of RC views. Bryan Cross has no Magisterial authority, is not recognized even as a RC theologian by anyone in the church, and ignores tons and tons of evidence. He isn’t a reliable source. There are plenty of good RC theologians who would say Calvinism is a heresy. Cross isn’t one of them (the good theologian part).
    3. That saying the church is infallible gives you some certainty that I don’t have as to which view is correct. At the end of the day, both of us are fallibly interpreting evidence and making the decision for ourselves.

    How don you avoid this cul-de-sac?

    By recognizing our inherent limits as creatures and that ecclesiastical infallibility is unnecessary for the kind of certainty God wants us to have. By not claiming for the church stuff Christ doesn’t claim for it and then pretending that such claims solve all your problems. By recognizing that we walk by faith and not by sight. By not pretending that RC theology is united and monolithic. By not pretending that anyone in the Magisterium except the guys getting demoted even care about the questions you and CVD and Mermaid are so important.

    But most of all, trusting the Holy Spirit to speak clearly through His word to even the smallest child.

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  216. Susan: Ali, What do you mean by ” he doesn’t say”?

    probably the best way to sum that: not scriptural; don’t think the Lord appreciates others taking on the things reserved exclusively for Him

    Here is a miracle. Do you believe?
    Believe what? I believe in the miracle of God’s grace and mercy to save a sinner such as me throught our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ .What other signs are you looking for/needing?

    Matthew 12(NASB)The Desire for Signs 38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” 39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet;
    1 Corinthians 1: 22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,

    BTW- be alert and on guard –we’ve been warned– in the last time, many ‘signs’ will be performed by the enemy.
    Revelation 13: 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.

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  217. Susan, “How do I navigate what to allow in and what to reject? This one’s easy.”

    That’s why you’re a bad spokesperson for either Rome or Protestantism. Nothing NO-THING is easy in a world of sin and misery. And the problem with the converts is that they think their new affiliation just made their lives easy.

    Don’t just THINK but act your AGE.

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  218. sdb,

    ““individual’s judgement” is not in the disclaimer”

    Disclaimers: “It belongeth to synods and councils, ministerially to determine controversies of faith, and cases of conscience; to set down rules and directions for the better ordering of the public worship of God, and government of his church; to receive complaints in cases of maladministration, and authoritatively to determine the same: which decrees and determinations, if consonant to the Word of God, are to be received with reverence and submission; not only for their agreement with the Word, but also for the power whereby they are made, as being an ordinance of God appointed thereunto in his Word.”

    “All synods or councils, since the Apostles’ times, whether general or particular, may err; and many have erred. Therefore they are not to be made the rule of faith, or practice; but to be used as a help in both.”

    “The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.”

    “God alone is Lord of the conscience, and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are, in anything, contrary to his Word; or beside it, if matters of faith, or worship. So that, to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commands, out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience: and the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also.”

    “[God] may not be worshiped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture.”

    Can you tell me how an individual judges whether a church or confession’s particular teaching or decision is in conformity with Scripture or instead a doctrine of men – the disclaimers above – without using their judgment?

    “If you want to see how this works out in practice, check out the various trials and excommunications that have taken place within reformed churches.”

    Those excommunications and trials are authoritative only insofar as they conform to an individual’s judgment and interpretation of Scripture. If one judges the church or trial doesn’t conform to Scripture, that trial is deemed as in error and not authoritative – the excommunicated member happily goes to another church and is perfectly within his rights by his previous church in doing so, since his previous church teaches their church is authoritative only insofar as it conforms to Scripture – that is, the former member has no reason to care about his past or new church’s decisions concerning him if he deems them as not conforming to Scripture.
    Protestantism isn’t limited to reformed churches – Lutherans don’t care what your church judges about them, nor do Word of Faithers or Pentecostals or any other Protestant body your church judges as in error, because your church is deemed not authoritative in those matters due to not conforming to their interpretation of Scripture.

    Did everyone shut up and submit after Leithart’s trial, or were Reformed churches and pastors like Lane Keister and others at greenbaggins and elsewhere rejecting the session’s decision as in error? And they were perfectly within their rights to do so, based on all Protestant churches’ and confessions’ disclaimers. Did Machen and the OPC shut up and submit when the General Assembly issued its judgment, or did they feel justified in their break and did not view it as schismatic because they felt the church no longer conformed to their interpretation of Scripture and lost its authority over them?

    “If the council’s judgement is consonant with scripture”

    Right and you evaluate this based on your current and provisional individual judgment of scripture. Solo scriptura.

    “It’s authoritative until it’s not, just like any creed, confession, church, or tradition is. Solo scriptura.
    – Not at all. ”

    CtC: “Confessional Protestants want to distinguish themselves from “solo scriptura” biblicists by claiming that tradition has authority. But when what gets to count as tradition is only either what is explicitly stated in Scripture or entailed by one’s interpretation of Scripture, then ‘tradition’ has no authority; it does not govern one’s interpretation of Scripture. Rather, when it does not conform to one’s interpretation of Scripture, it is excised from ‘tradition.’ As a result, what is referred to as ‘tradition’ is only either Scripture itself or a restatement of one’s own interpretation of Scripture. And that is equivalent to “solo scriptura” biblicism hidden under the appearance of adherence to the creeds.”

    “Teaching what scripture means is different from defining an extra biblical article of faith. Nothing provisional about it…it isn’t tentative at all.”

    So can you identify an irreformable teaching not subject to revision offered by Protestantism? Semper reformanda.

    “Provisional means subject to revision. You agreed with that description of your doctrines earlier, as did others of your tribe.
    – No I didn’t. I challenged you on this point several times and I still reject it. The MW definition is given as:
    “existing or accepted for the present time but likely to be changed”. The fact that a teaching could in principle need to be clarified, amended, or otherwise reformed in some way does not entail that it is “likely to be changed”.”

    Yep, and I defined above “provisional” in the sense you agree with – that is subject to revision. So you agree all Protestant teachings are provisional, that is they “could in principle need to be clarified, amended, or otherwise reformed in some way”. Or as you also said, “Our doctrines in the WCF/TFU are not provisional. Fallible and subject to correction by scripture…sure”.

    “Sounds pretty silly doesn’t it.”

    Yup. Those 500 comments disputing it were pretty silly.

    “The point isn’t that receiving clarification is not helpful”

    No mindmelding is happening during the clarification. So it can’t be helpful or advantageous according to your tribe.

    “ather that an infallible middle man automatically confers an advantage over fallible middlemen.”

    So an infallible authority that could give a clarification guaranteed to be without error confers no advantage over a fallible authority that has no guarantee his clarification will be without error. Christ speaking to NT followers did not confer an advantage to them over random rabbis speaking to them.

    “virtually all of the mainline now”

    I see. So the only true Protestants are who? OPC, PCA, and LCMS? Where are all these groups you exclude as non-SS followers affirming they are not “committed to the Bible as the sole final authority”?

    “Not saying the answer is 0,”

    So the point remains.

    “But these groups reject the bible as the sole final authority on matters of faith and practice. ”

    No they reject you and your church’s judgment and interpretation of the bible as authoritative, because they don’t deem it conforms to Scripture.

    “It doesn’t make much sense to ascribe the splintering of protestantism to a principle they reject. ”

    You have yet to demonstrate all the Protestant bodies you reject as “true” Protestants actually reject the principle you affirm and assert doesn’t lead to splintering.

    “Perhaps the problem is that the political freedom that enabled Luther and Calvin to thrive”

    The Reformation wasn’t the first instance of solo scriptura and private judgment being endorsed as a principle, resulting in schism and rejection of church authority.

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  219. Noon,

    “how that church did what you claim”

    So your answer is no then, the church in the “apostolic deposit” did not exhibit any of the 5 characteristics I listed.

    Like

  220. Ali
    Posted February 2, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink
    Mermaid:There is plenty of fairy land stuff in the Bible – both Testaments. If you want to be a skeptic, go all the way. God even claims to be the God of the living, not of the dead.

    But He doesn’t say for men to determine who is in heaven; to determine more worthy ‘saints’, or to determine which dead person is ‘responsible’ for a miracle, etc mermaid. Talk about God-topperism.>>>>

    Hi, Ali,
    I am going to take a risk and ask you how you are. So, how are you? I hope all is well with you. We’re fine, here, but a little under the weather.

    Ali, do you understand that the Church was and never has been sola scriptura? That was an invention of the Reformers.

    Trace the history of sola scriptura.

    I do not hold to the doctrine of sola scriptura. It is a doctrine made up by skeptics – as Brother Hart has stated so clearly. Protestants are skeptics.

    I have rejected the doctrine of cessationism for a long time now.

    Then, take a close look at the Biblical “fairy tales.” What do you see in the Biblical accounts of miracles? They are not fairy tales, but they are all unusual. That is what makes them miraculous.

    Why would God act one way in the Bible, and then suddenly quit acting that way after the canon of Scripture was closed? BTW, you do realize that the Protestant canon is not closed. Protestants continue to revise it.

    Luther decided on his own authority that the books of Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation were not canonical. He also decided on his own authority that the Deuterocanonical books were not inspirited Scripture. He decided on his own authority that the word “alone” should be added to the Apostle Paul’s words – as in “justification by faith alone.”

    Other Protestants have had to protest Luther’s views of the New Testament! Many are still trying to explain and justify it. What was he thinking?

    The only place that idea of justification by faith alone is found in Scripture is in the book of James. If you want to know the truth, you will check it out for yourself.

    How did he decide all that? The same way he decided everything. How do Protestants decide what is and what is not Scripture? You tell me.
    ——————————————————————

    “But I will return to the subject at hand. If your papist wishes to make a great fuss about the word sola (alone), say this to him: “Dr. Martin Luther will have it so, and he says that a papist and a donkey are the same thing.” Sic volo, sic iubeo, sit pro ratione voluntas. (2) For we are not going to be students and disciples of the papists. Rather, we will become their teachers and judges. ”

    – The Great in His Own Eyes, Dr. Martin Luther

    Like

  221. Clete,

    Can you tell me how an individual judges whether a church or confession’s particular teaching or decision is in conformity with Scripture or instead a doctrine of men – the disclaimers above – without using their judgment?

    Can you tell me how an individual judges whether the Magisterium is correct or not without using their judgment? Remember, when I asked how one might know when a pope has erred, you have pointed to the other two legs of your stool.

    Like

  222. Robert,

    So sdb is wrong when he says “““individual’s judgement” is not in the disclaimer”” correct?
    If so, he shouldn’t take issue with my statement that “And they claim they are authoritative only insofar as they conform to the individual’s judgment and interpretation of Scripture. That’s the disclaimer. It’s authoritative until it’s not, just like any creed, confession, church, or tradition is. Solo scriptura.”

    “when I asked how one might know when a pope has erred, you have pointed to the other two legs of your stool.”

    The pope isn’t the extent of the magisterium. All 3 legs are used.

    Like

  223. James Young, “The Reformation wasn’t the first instance of solo scriptura and private judgment being endorsed as a principle, resulting in schism and rejection of church authority.”

    Puhleeze. 1054? Western Schism? Three popes?

    Overreach much?

    Like

  224. Mermaid, “Why would God act one way in the Bible, and then suddenly quit acting that way after the canon of Scripture was closed?”

    So you leave out the Old Testament as part of God’s redemptive plan? That’s a macroaggression.

    Like

  225. Darryl,

    Antipopes aren’t popes.
    And the Magisterium still exists even when the chair is vacant – it’s not like the Magisterium vanished temporarily in the time between JP2’s death and Benedict’s start of office, or when Benedict left and the election of Francis.

    And I never denied, nor did my statement preclude, that other things besides solo scriptura can result in schism. You’re overreaching.

    Like

  226. D. G. Hart
    Posted February 2, 2016 at 3:20 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid, “Why would God act one way in the Bible, and then suddenly quit acting that way after the canon of Scripture was closed?”

    So you leave out the Old Testament as part of God’s redemptive plan? That’s a macroaggression.>>>>

    Hey, I’m not the macroaggressor. You guys have a non standard view on miracles – one that even your friend, St. Augustine did not have. One that the Church never has had. One that the Bible never taught.

    As you said, Protestants are skeptics.

    Like

  227. Mermaid: Hi, Ali,I am going to take a risk and ask you how you are.

    risk, in what way mermaid? I’m doing well. Very sunny and beautiful over here today

    We have the same New Testament right? I do get that you agree with your church about Martin Luther. On October 21, 1517 being excommunicated and his name was blotted out of the church books; his soul was consigned to everlasting hell and damnation. All I can say about that is, some people will have some ‘splaining to do to the Author of the Book of Life.

    I didn’t say I didn’t believe that God is not still perform miracles. I did, though, comment on my belief that the Lord likely doesn’t appreciate others taking on the things reserved exclusively for Him -determining who is in heaven; determining who are more worthy ‘saints’, determining which dead person is ‘responsible’ for a miracle. Do you have some proof texts about those things?

    Anyway, being simple, I need to keep things simple, and I need to concentrate: understanding that the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses whereby we are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ… I’m just having to concentrate on the full armor of God – the faith, righteousness, and salvation I’ve been given and His word (alone and period) –He calls it the double-edged sword -and He says there are many flaming arrows to extinguish, and many false fortresses, speculations, lofty things to demolish 2 Cor 10:4-5;Eph 6:10-18

    Like

  228. “That’s why you’re a bad spokesperson for either Rome or Protestantism. Nothing NO-THING is easy in a world of sin and misery. And the problem with the converts is that they think their new affiliation just made their lives easy.

    Don’t just THINK but act your AGE.”

    You know that I wasn’t referring to life. And you have no idea what I’ve suffered in mine. Remember you’re that one who accused me of being passive aggressive. What do you call your treatment of me?

    Note to self : There is a good reason why Jason and Bryan don’t comment here.

    Like

  229. Susan
    Posted February 2, 2016 at 4:30 pm | Permalink
    “That’s why you’re a bad spokesperson for either Rome or Protestantism. Nothing NO-THING is easy in a world of sin and misery. And the problem with the converts is that they think their new affiliation just made their lives easy.

    Don’t just THINK but act your AGE.”

    You know that I wasn’t referring to life. And you have no idea what I’ve suffered in mine. Remember you’re that one who accused me of being passive aggressive. What do you call your treatment of me?

    Note to self : There is a good reason why Jason and Bryan don’t comment here.>>>>>

    🙂 Did he accuse you of being passive aggressive as well? I am glad to be in your good company, sweet Sister Susan.

    Has your life gotten easier since you joined the Catholic Church?

    Mine is easy in many ways because I live in America. My life is and has been hard in ways that I won’t go into. Joining the Catholic Church did not change my circumstances.

    Maybe Brother Hart’s life is hard. I don’t know. I pray for the people who post here because I know life is not really easy for anyone. We all have our joys and our sorrows.

    Sunday’s readings were about prophets. Maybe in his own way, Brother Hart is a prophet warning people of the dangers of a simplistic kind of faith – or faith in the wrong things – that eventually will lead to disaster.

    Hmmm. Could it be? It is not a bad thing at all to warn people about dangers they see. I have tried to do that with the guys here who have been arguing provisional knowledge. It may have its place, but not in determining and defining irreformable doctrine like the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    There are some things we dare not change our minds about except in the sense of gaining a greater understanding. Never in the sense of rejecting infallible truth. Many who have gone the provisional knowledge route have lost their faith altogether.

    So, maybe we are all here to warn one another of the possible pitfalls? Could it be?

    Maybe I am THINKING! too much. 😉

    Like

  230. Ali
    Posted February 2, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid: Hi, Ali,I am going to take a risk and ask you how you are.

    risk, in what way mermaid? I’m doing well. Very sunny and beautiful over here today>>>>

    Cuz I’m not sure how you will react, Ali. You seem to think I have a bullseye on my back. Remember the Larson cartoon? Bummer of a birth mark, Hal.

    Anyway, yes it is a nice day.

    Ali:
    We have the same New Testament right? I do get that you agree with your church about Martin Luther. On October 21, 1517 being excommunicated and his name was blotted out of the church books; his soul was consigned to everlasting hell and damnation. All I can say about that is, some people will have some ‘splaining to do to the Author of the Book of Life.>>>>

    You are wrong about that because you have swallowed the Old Life version of what anathema means, but you have come under their spell. 😉 Luther really was not a very nice man. You know that, right? Is he in Hell? I hope not.

    Ali:
    I didn’t say I didn’t believe that God is not still perform miracles. I did, though, comment on my belief that the Lord likely doesn’t appreciate others taking on the things reserved exclusively for Him -determining who is in heaven; determining who are more worthy ‘saints’, determining which dead person is ‘responsible’ for a miracle. Do you have some proof texts about those things?>>>>

    Ali, without going to the Deuterocanonical books which you reject because Luther decided they didn’t belong, I will try to help you see a couple of NT concepts and then give you a link to an article which I hope you will read.

    1. ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.”
    – Matthew 22:32

    IOW, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are not dead, but alive. Where are they if not in God’s presence?
    So, can we agree that we know that at least 3 people are alive in God’s presence?

    2. Matthew 17
    2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. 3 Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.

    So, can we make that at least 5 people alive and in God’s presence?

    3. Hebrews 12
    Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,[a] and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,

    If God is the God of the living, not of the dead, then how many more are there in His presence? Read Heb. 11 as well. As an aside, notice that some of the examples of people of faith are not found in your Old Testament. Hmmm. I wonder where the writer of the Hebrews got some of those stories. Maybe you can guess. I’m just teasing you, but really. Check it out.

    4. Revelation 8:3New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

    3 Another angel with a golden censer came and stood at the altar; he was given a great quantity of incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar that is before the throne.

    Hmmm. Here we are in Heaven. Here we have all the prayers of all the saints coming up to God like incense. If God is not the God of the dead, but of the living, then isn’t it safe to assume that all saints means all saints – those still on earth, and those in heaven?

    It is a safe assumption to make given the fact that God is not the God of the dead but of the living.

    I will leave it there with you to contemplate.

    If you would like to, please read this article which will explain things even more. Basically, Catholics are not praying to dead people. We ask all the saints, all believers on earth, all those in Heaven, all those in the great cloud of witnesses to pray for us. It is much like I would ask you to pray for me, or you would ask me to pray for you.

    They are not gods, but people who have entered God’s presence after their earthly lives are done. They still serve God. Some of them have the gift of healing. It is all of God and all of grace. They do not have that enabling in and of themselves.

    How is that determined? Well, as Susan shared, there is a huge, big deal process that must be followed and miracles have to be proven by evidence. It’s not that simple.

    I know it all sounds weird to a non Catholic Christian. Thank you for asking.

    http://www.catholic.com/tracts/praying-to-the-saints

    Like

  231. Hello Mrs. Webfoot( wish I knew your real name, I feel weird calling your Webfoot or mermaid),

    My circumstances aren’t better. Still struggle financially since I stayed home to homeschool my kids.
    I have had difficulties in the past; the way I was raised and other things. No life isn’t easy but in him we live and move and have our being. Existence is amazing. I can’t get over how incredible each person is. To think that we didn’t have to come into existence at all but God wanted us to and then He calls us very good.

    Regarding Sunday’s readings, I had forgotten that they stoned Jeremiah. He loved his people and they didn’t like his warnings. The priest’s homily was great. Isnt it cool that we all read the same scriptures every day? I thought that was an awesome thing.

    I’m gonna link something that I think both Ali and Darryl will find interesting( I think. I thought of them both while I was listening to it)
    And I just love this guy’s accent. I used to live in Tennessee and Alabama and I since I have been in California for more years than an yplace else, I really miss the way southerners talk.
    The whole lecture is informative and interestering, but when he starts talking about Constantine, I wondered how Darryl could believe that “dark ages” conspiracy.
    Anyways you’ll have to listen to see what I mean.

    I’m really hoping Darryl will listen and give me a report. I would read that.

    Like

  232. Susan:
    The whole lecture is informative and interestering, but when he starts talking about Constantine, I wondered how Darryl could believe that “dark ages” conspiracy.
    Anyways you’ll have to listen to see what I mean.

    I’m really hoping Darryl will listen and give me a report. I would read that.

    Yes. The whole “dark ages” thing has been debunked. Our daughter even studied that in a secular university where it was debunked.

    Yet the myth persists.

    I think I understand better where Dr. Hart is coming from. I was reading about the First Great Awakening. One of the leaders kind of went off the deep end by following mystical impressions. Well, Luther kind of did, too, but that’s another story.

    He was a Presbyterian minister. What finally stopped him in his madness was when he was trying to get people to burn their fancy clothes. He took off his pants to throw them into the fire. A woman grabbed them out of the fire and told him to put his pants back on!

    That kind of broke his spell and he was able to go back to the pastorate eventually. They thought he had been demon possessed.

    I’m afraid of what he might say if I mention it, but why not? Maybe he’s afraid we’ll do something like that.

    Not gonna’ happen.

    You home school? I work a lot with home schooled kids. Great bunch. Good for you!

    Like

  233. Sorry MWF,

    I should have said, “Great Apostasy” not “dark ages”.

    Here is a synoposis from Rod Bennett’s book.

    “The theory goes like this: Just a few centuries after Christ’s death, around the time the Roman Empire converted to Christianity, the true Faith suffered a catastrophic falling-away. The simple truths of the gospel became so obscured by worldliness and pagan idolatry—kicking off the Dark Ages of Catholicism—that Christianity required a complete reboot. This idea of a “Great Apostasy” is one of the cornerstones of American Protestantism, along with Mormonism, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and even Islam. Countless millions today profess a faith built on the assumption that the early Church quickly became broken beyond repair, requiring some new prophet or reformer to restore the “pure” teaching of Jesus and the apostles. This theory is popular… but it’s also fiction. In The Apostasy that Wasn’t, Rod Bennett follows up his bestseller Four Witnesses with an account of the historical events that led him out of his own belief in apostasy theory and into the Catholic Church. With the touch of a master storyteller, he narrates the drama of the early Church’s fight to preserve Christian orthodoxy intact even as powerful forces try to smash it to pieces. Amid imperial intrigue, military menace, and bitter theological debate, a hero arises in the form of a homely little monk named Athanasius, who stands against the world to prove that there could never be a Great Apostasy—because Jesus promised his Church would never be broken.”

    Yup. I began homeschooling in 1994 with my oldest who is 28. She went to a secular university, so did my second daughter. One was a classical studies major and the other, philosophy.
    My son is studing nursing and so I have one child left at home.

    You teach oboe? Beautiful instrument. 🙂

    Like

  234. Susan & Mermaid – you guys wanna go to a Tupperware party with me and learn about the latest in food storage safety? ’cause I don’t think we’re ever going to agree on some faith basics.
    If the sword is to slash all falsehood that is not in agreement with the very word of God, how can there be other equal valid word used in that process but which does not agree with the word of God.

    Like

  235. Ali,

    No not tupperware! 🙂 Purple Easel would be fun though.

    Okay 🙂 But I was hoping you’d listen to that talk I linked
    Just keep in mind though that it is the Catholic Church( but what church?) who compiled, copied, and guarded sacred scripture, so every time you quote it, I just nod my head, ” yep, that is God’s holy word and I believe all that’s been written”.

    Take care!
    Susan

    Like

  236. James Young, but if you were alive in 1415 and you wanted an infallible interpreter in the room with you, you’d have had three. To whom would you have listened?

    Does mud wrestling settle this?

    Like

  237. Susan, 59 minutes? I see he has a book. It’s about the early church. That would exclude the Western Schism, the Avignon papacy, Alexander VI, the Syllabus of Errors, and Vatican 2.

    Give me a break not more koolaid.

    Like

  238. CvD,

    The Bible. Boo!

    Response:

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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  239. “Susan, 59 minutes? I see he has a book. It’s about the early church. That would exclude the Western Schism, the Avignon papacy, Alexander VI, the Syllabus of Errors, and Vatican 2.

    Give me a break not more koola”

    He’s good. Watch him. You’ll either like it or have a good 1 min. blurb here at OL about it. 🙂

    Isn’t it the case that you believe that the church went south in the first 300 years? If that it so, then everything after that IS the dark ages anyways, right?

    Like

  240. Ali
    Posted February 2, 2016 at 8:20 pm | Permalink
    Susan & Mermaid – you guys wanna go to a Tupperware party with me and learn about the latest in food storage safety? ’cause I don’t think we’re ever going to agree on some faith basics.
    If the sword is to slash all falsehood that is not in agreement with the very word of God, how can there be other equal valid word used in that process but which does not agree with the word of God.>>>>

    No, I’m good. Thanks.

    Like

  241. Susan:
    Isn’t it the case that you believe that the church went south in the first 300 years? If that it so, then everything after that IS the dark ages anyways, right?>>>>>>

    ….and they say we drink Kool-Aid… So, Jesus left His Bride to fend for herself for over 1,000 years? Not likely.

    Then Luther and Calvin saved Christianity? Even less likely.

    Like

  242. Darryl,

    I was very much hoping that you’d watch that lecture. I really wanted to hear what you had to say.
    Since I don’t know much about the papacy during the middle ages, I won’t comment about it. This is a time period I would like to investigate more.However, I assume that the magisterium.was still a thing as was the liturgy and sacraments.

    Like

  243. Susan, if you read Galatians and Corinthians, the church was going south in 50 AD.

    Now you tell us the church never went south?

    Now I get it. You have the Mr. Rogers view of church history.

    Like

  244. Mermaid, “So, Jesus left His Bride to fend for herself for over 1,000 years? Not likely.”

    No wonder you don’t read the Bible. Did God leave the church in Corinth as part of his bride?

    Like

  245. Susan, “Since I don’t know much about the papacy during the middle ages, I won’t comment about it. This is a time period I would like to investigate more.However, I assume that the magisterium.was still a thing”

    You parade your conversion and all the certainty and comfort it yields but you haven’t read any of the fine print. You even have the gall to claim Rome’s historic superiority to Protestantism’s recentness and yet you don’t know the history of your church.

    Stunning.

    Like

  246. Susan, any podcast whose title begins with blessed is a no-go. Blessed Meredith Kline? Not gonna listen.

    Here’s the other stunning aspect of your responses. All of your knowledge of RC’sm comes from apologists who do not have the slightest critical perspective. And this comes at a time in the history of your church when priests who are historians, theologians and biblical scholars — PRIESTS — register a very different understanding of Christianity, Rome’s history, papal authority than these apologists. PRIESTS with doctorates teaching at mainstream Roman Catholic universities are the mainstream of your communion — not guys doing podcasts.

    You really do need to get out more.

    Like

  247. “All of your knowledge of RC’sm comes from apologists who do not have the slightest critical perspective”

    Stunning use of selective hearing. I realize that the church has always been full of problems, but I also know that there was no great apostosy that caused it to cease being the church..That’s your narrative not mine. And If you’d listen to that 59 min. lecture you’d see what I mean. If that narrative were true, there never has been a church at any time and still isn’t. There is no such thing as an invisible church, and the visible church never lost the gospel.
    Mine is in agreement with Rod Bennett and the rest of the Catholics, who for better or worse( from your perspective), believe there really is only one church that is also home of the blessed. You may not like it or agree with it, but it still exists, warts and all.

    Like

  248. listened to the first 10 minutes of your link Susan (an hour is too much for me, for him to get to his point)

    Susan: I realize that the church has always been full of problems,

    and the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands. Rev 2-3, reproves and disciplines those He loves. It will be this way until ‘that day.’ He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

    Susan:but I also know that there was no great apostosy that caused it to cease being the church.

    but speaking of those with an ear for hearing – the Spirit does explicitly says, though, that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, (1 Tim 4:1)

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  249. Susan,

    I realize that the church has always been full of problems, but I also know that there was no great apostosy that caused it to cease being the church..That’s your narrative not mine.

    No, that’s the narrative of fundamentalist Baptists. You are talking to Reformed Christians, not historically ignorant, KJV-only evangelicals. No one on our side believes THE church ever ceased to be THE church. Localized expressions of it, such as Roman Catholicism, can become thoroughly corrupt and even cease to be true churches, but Rome isn’t THE church. As Bryan Cross might say at this point, you are begging the question by assuming Rome.

    There is no such thing as an invisible church, and the visible church never lost the gospel.

    Augustine disagrees. So does Scripture. And if there is no such thing as an invisible church, then everyone who goes to mass is saved, there is no such thing as a false profession of faith.

    Mine is in agreement with Rod Bennett and the rest of the Catholics, who for better or worse( from your perspective), believe there really is only one church that is also home of the blessed. You may not like it or agree with it, but it still exists, warts and all.

    Susan, I don’t mean to be rude, but THINK. Who is Rod Bennett? A bishop? A priest? From what I can tell he is neither. You’ve gone all in on the Magisterium, but you can’t do that and ignore the fact that the Magisterium is propounding a far different view of history these days than you are and that Rod Bennett is. That is Darryl’s point. Quit hiding your head in the sand and reconcile how the Magisterium is going to save your epistemology when the Magisterium doesn’t tell your story anymore.

    Like

  250. Clete,

    So sdb is wrong when he says “““individual’s judgement” is not in the disclaimer”” correct?
    If so, he shouldn’t take issue with my statement that “And they claim they are authoritative only insofar as they conform to the individual’s judgment and interpretation of Scripture. That’s the disclaimer. It’s authoritative until it’s not, just like any creed, confession, church, or tradition is. Solo scriptura.”

    Rome is authoritative over you only insofar as you agree with its judgment and interpretation of Scripture. If you ever come to a point where you believe Rome is wrong, you would leave, right? You’ve admitted as much.

    There’s a difference between objective and subjective relationships to authority. What SDB is saying, and what we all agree with, is that the church can have objective authority regardless of the individual’s agreement. But at the end of the day, the degree to which that authority makes sense subjectively is the degree to which one agrees with it, or at least agrees with it enough to give it the benefit of the doubt.

    You remain RC because you agree with its reading of history and Scripture. That’s what thinking people do.

    The pope isn’t the extent of the magisterium. All 3 legs are used.

    We know the claim. But since the individual cannot use the 3 legs himself to figure out who is the true pope, the claim is meaningless. If you live during the era of three popes, how do you know which pope is the right one? Answer: You can’t.

    So much for your superior certainty.

    Like

  251. A Different Dan,

    But Robert, those of us who believe that the Church was corrupted by its worshipful alliance with Constantine don’t have to go full Landmarker/fundamentalist.

    Agreed, that’s why I added the qualifiers. I also think that most modern Reformed people, aside from a couple of hardline theonomists, would agree that the alliance of the church with the Empire brought with it some amount of corruption. The disagreement I think would be regarding the degree of the corruption that came. I don’t think it is deniable that the alliance of church and state Constantinian style institutionalized a whole lot of nominalism as far as belief.

    Like

  252. Susan,

    I realize that the church has always been full of problems, but I also know that there was no great apostosy that caused it to cease being the church..That’s your narrative not mine.

    This is a great example of you needing to pause for a moment and reflect, my friend. Why do you believe that Daryl (or anyone else here) believes “there was a great apostasy?” Instead of asking for clarity, you make accusations and use loaded rhetoric (“great apostasy”).

    I would truly recommend pulling back and trying to get some perspective. In my interaction with you I’ve rarely seen you represent the breadth of *either* the Roman or Reformed position on topics. I really think before you continue commenting a time of prayer, reflection, and study would be beneficial. I’m not saying you need to abandon your current convictions, but I do think you need more time to internalize your theological shift.

    Anecdotally, I thought that when I found Calvinism that I had finally discovered the Gospel for the first time. I tried to “catch” my non-Calvinistic friends in biblical and theological traps to show them the folly of their ways. It wasn’t totally selfish; I wanted them to see the truth I had discovered. The problem was that I was so busy pushing my existential crisis on to others that I didn’t realize all of the complex issues (emotional, theological, exegetical) I hadn’t explored. Gaining perspective was/is an important part of my spiritual maturity, and I think it could benefit you too.

    Like

  253. Robert,

    “No one on our side believes THE church ever ceased to be THE church. Localized expressions of it, such as Roman Catholicism, can become thoroughly corrupt and even cease to be true churches, but Rome isn’t THE church.”

    See, you’re begging the question by assuming such a thing as “true church”. There is no such thing as plural churches. If there were then there would be no such thing as sects.

    Did you listen to the lecture?

    Ali,

    I guantee that you have spent longer on here making no advances in communication( as have I) ,that giving the man another 40 mins. to get to end wouldn’t be anymore a waste or your time.
    “The point” is made well before the end. Of course, we all know the point of arguments from both sides, but not everyone can convey the truth in the point ,so winsomely.
    Oh well.

    But I am sure that, this time, I am finally done here at OL.

    Take care and God bless!
    Susan

    Like

  254. “I would truly recommend pulling back and trying to get some perspective. In my interaction with you I’ve rarely seen you represent the breadth of *either* the Roman or Reformed position on topics. I really think before you continue commenting a time of prayer, reflection, and study would be beneficial. I’m not saying you need to abandon your current convictions, but I do think you need more time to internalize your theological shift.”

    I bought Calvinism easily,. It appealed to my recognition of God’s sovereignty and man’s sinfulness. It’s systematic theology also appealed to me. I thought it was the true church. I came to Catholicism differently and while there were aspects that were very easy to allow in, others were very hard for me. I spent hours of reading, praying and reflecting. And when I found something that I didnt like( as in the truth that I could lose sanctifying) I was gripped by.fear and wanted another way out very badly. But I was convinced by reason and the testimony of the church, that she is what she claims and so I put myself at her doors with fear and trembling. I realize that truth isn’t always easy. But I would rather be mature and learn to be more responsible knowing that I really will answer for my life before a judge. My dear friend. Josh Lim, who sponsored me when I was received( my godfather) called it living the grittiness.

    So, I have it lots of thought and really counted the cost, Brandon.
    So why I appreciate your pastoral way( and it is very kind) I do believe that Luther thought that the.church lost it’s ontological nature of being the one mystical body of Christ. That is a declaration that she aposticized from the truth who the person of Jesus Christ. What would apostocy be otherwise?

    Rod Bennett, did an excellent job showing what looked like in the 16th century by illustrating what it looked like at other periods.

    Might I suggest that you ponder over the last part about that “church” there in the mountains of North Carolina who once considered itself the true church, now wants to be accepted among the mainstream?
    That scenario sounds very familiar.

    Okay, I saw your comment and broke my promise. But now, I’m done.

    I do like you all very much and wish you well.

    Like

  255. Susan,

    There is no such thing as plural churches. If there were then there would be no such thing as sects.

    That’s just a bare assertion. Why can there not be many visible churches and sects? Why does every theological question have to rise to the level of “If we get no unity on this, we’re toast.” There’s all sorts of theological variety in your own communion that is tolerated. People believe very different things about grace. All you’ve got are nods to Rome.

    Why is variety a-ok in Romanism but not in Protestantism? Because the pope says so?

    Like

  256. Robert,

    “I’m happy to concede that if Paul was here we could have an advantage at least in theory.”

    Goodbye to your, Jeff’s, and sdb’s argument. Paul isn’t mindmelding with you and yet you would have an advantage. Thank you.

    “And the Magisterium has notoriously not clarified hardly anything in Scripture”

    Every dogma clarifies Scripture. Protestantism offers no dogmas. Are you seriously going to contend Rome is less clear in its teachings on baptism and the eucharist than the conflicting teachings across Protestantism? And that’s just 2 obvious ones.

    “Paul himself said that if he were to preach another gospel, not to accept it.”

    Right. So are you free to ignore this command if you don’t feel it conforms to your interpretation of Scripture?
    Paul himself also said to accept the gospel he originally preached, the one he then demands you use in comparison. But according to you that original message was provisional and might have been heretical.

    “You think the Bible is hopelessly obscure”

    Nope. The Bible doesn’t talk about Mickey Mouse. Because Scripture is not hopelessly obscure does not entail it is perspicuous in the “essentials” or “non-essentials”, as we see exemplified in the development and endless fracturing of Protestantism.

    “and that ordinary people cannot tell when Timothy might be wrong.”

    Okay so people were free to ignore Timothy if they deemed his teaching did not conform to their provisional interpretation of Scripture.

    “If Francis cannot correct Paul, then Paul has greater authority.”

    So Paul had greater authority than the other apostles, and the other apostles had greater authority than Paul right? You’re presupposing Paul’s authority is in conflict with the authority of his successors.

    “The only person without provisional authority is God Himself. The church isn’t God.”

    So the apostles were authoritative only insofar as they conformed to people’s interpretations of the OT. So the Jews were justified and warranted in rejecting them based on that.

    “And remember, Christ and the Apostles aren’t the church”

    According to you, the Apostles only have provisional authority so they had no different type of authority than your church, parents, or government do.
    So your contention is that the church in Scripture and the patristic tradition has an authority no different than that described of parents, governments, and rabbis. Can you tell me where rabbis, parents, and governments are given the type of promises Christ gives to the church, or where the descriptions and exercises of its authority are likened to that of parents, governments, and rabbis? Or where rabbis, parents, and governments are equated with the body of Christ? Or where leaving the church is treated as no different than leaving a city or state?

    “The claims of Christ and the Apostles give them no inherent advantage. What matters is that their claims are true. ”

    Yep, the claims of Christ and the Apostles weren’t necessary. They were just another random group of rabbis.

    “That’s a huge list of denominations and heretical sects, almost none of which believe in the authority of Scripture over all other authorities”

    Really? None of those denominations believe in SS? The only churches who actually believe in SS are the OPC and PCA?

    “No. The ELCA isn’t even meaningfully Christian anymore….Deny the Trinity”

    Do they not follow SS? https://www.elca.org/Faith/ELCA-Teaching – “The ELCA’s official Confession of Faith identifies the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments (commonly called the Bible); the Apostles’, Nicene and Athanasian Creeds; and the Lutheran confessional writings in the Book of Concord as the basis for our teaching. ELCA congregations make the same affirmation in their governing documents, and ELCA pastors promise to preach and teach in accordance with these teaching sources. This Confession of Faith is more than just words in an official document. Every Sunday in worship ELCA congregations hear God’s word from the Scriptures, pray as Jesus taught and come to the Lord’s Table expecting to receive the mercies that the Triune God promises.”
    “The ELCA confesses the Triune God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In our preaching and teaching the ELCA trusts the Gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe”

    “The PCUSA has been Barthian long before it was outright heretical.”

    So where does PCUSA share your judgment that it denies the Bible is the Word of God? Remember, Darryl said inerrancy is not an essential for the church and is adiaphora. Was Barth not a Protestant?

    “Your view of Christian unity and orthodoxy is hopelessly sectarian and schismatic.”

    No it’s the view that makes concepts such as schism and sectarianism coherent and possible in the first place.

    “It’s the answer God has given us. Don’t blame me if you hate God for this.”

    Now I hate God. Lovely. The answer God gave us is one that is coherent and reasonable. Not one that gives easy ammo to opponents of Christianity. At least you didn’t deny the charge that your position is solo scriptura though – progress.

    “Who gets to decide who has the right books and verses of Scripture? Scripture?
    – The Holy Spirit.”

    So when I said all disputes in Protestantism boil down to “I have the HS and you don’t”, I was actually right. Progress.

    “But the stalemate hasn’t been resolved”

    This is like saying, “Christ and the Apostles couldn’t resolve stalemates because people remained pagans and Jews in NT times”.

    “You don’t have to be either to have inerrant knowledge.”

    So inerrant knowledge is subject to revision and correction? What’s the difference between inerrant and errant knowledge?

    “Quit reading Descartes.”

    I’m not the presuppositionalist. That’s you.

    “So yes, every belief is subject at least in theory to possible correction. ”

    You mean it’s not, since the law of non-contradiction might be false.

    “You can’t have fallibility and non-provisional knowledge. ”

    Yes you can. Just as I do with that statement of yours. You keep littering your post with self-defeating statements.

    “No, development doesn’t contradict what came before.
    – That’s the Koolaid talking.
    The NT did not contradict the OT, though it developed it.
    – Agreed.”

    Jew or non-Christian: That’s the Koolaid talking.

    “In Protestantism, no such guarantee obtains – there are no non-negotiables or irreformable doctrines to be found.
    – Same is true of Romanism”

    So you concede the point. More progress. No, the same is not true of Romanism – Rome offers irreformable doctrines, consistent with her authority she has and claims (if she didn’t, there wouldn’t have been a Reformation in the first place denouncing that authority). Protestantism does not, consistent with the authority it lacks and rejects.

    “Is it logically possible”

    Laws of logic are now the standard again for determining provisionality. But laws of logic are provisional according to you.

    “I’m not the one who claims infalliblity is necessary to know stuff. That’s you, Descartes.”

    I’m not infallible, nor did the church tell me, to know that 2+2=4 or that I exist. I’m not the one who thinks it’s possible cows can jump over the moon because we haven’t examined every cow in existence past and present, or that it’s possible they will develop a gene that allows them to do so, that’s you.

    “Apart from Christianity, one has no grounding for knowing any truth ”

    So OT Jews and pagans had no grounding for knowing any truth? And originally you were excluding atheists. Now you’re excluding non-Christian theists as well. So a Jewish biologist and Muslim astrophysicist and atheist zoologist can only explain to you that a cow can’t jump over the moon as a probability, but a Christian one can explain to you that it won’t absolutely. What if he’s RC? Does he count? How about an Arminian? What if he’s a Calvinist, but unregenerate and not elect but thinks he is?

    “ultimately stealing from the triune God. This shouldn’t be objectionable if you are a true theist and believe you are dependent upon divine revelation.”

    Please stop listening to Sye Ten Bruggencate and Bahnsen. Natural and general revelation is not identical to divine and special revelation. An atheist astrophysicist can explain to you that cows jumping over moons is not just a probability just as well or even better than a mega Christian astrophysicist can.

    “I’m better off if they speak the truth.”

    No, you can’t have any advantage because you fallibly interpret remember. You must have the mindmeld.

    “Jeff and SDB have both noted that inductive reasoning can’t give you certainty.”

    JRC: “I would certainly say that I know for sure that Jesus Christ rose from the dead.”
    You: “And ditto for me, Jeff. Problem is this confusion on the RCs parts between provisionality and uncertainty.”

    “You and Mermaid keep thinking provisional = uncertain”

    You: “Inductive evidence isn’t enough to provide certainty. There are certain non-inductive assumptions that must be made and that cannot be proven inductively for me to be able to take their word with any degree of certainty.”

    Like

  257. Robert,

    “Rome is authoritative over you only insofar as you agree with its judgment and interpretation of Scripture.”

    No, I defer to the church’s authority to correct my errant interpretations and judgments, just as I would have deferred to the Apostles and Christ’s judgments. A court doesn’t have authority over me only insofar as I agree with the verdict.

    “What SDB is saying, and what we all agree with, is that the church can have objective authority regardless of the individual’s agreement.”

    Does the ELCA, LCMS, and Creflo Dollar’s church have objective authority over you?

    “at least agrees with it enough to give it the benefit of the doubt.”

    Right – it’s only authoritative insofar as it agrees and conforms with your interpretation and judgment of Scripture. That’s consistent with WCF. That’s the disclaimer. Thus, solo scriptura.

    Like

  258. Ali:
    and the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands. Rev 2-3, reproves and disciplines those He loves. It will be this way until ‘that day.’ He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.>>>>

    Just a thought. Well, first, how are you doing today? I have now developed the full-blown crud, but hey! Tis the season.

    The One who walks among the lamp stands has not snuffed Rome’s out. I just want to point that out. She’s still here.

    One other thought. I shared Scriptures with you that prove God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Do you accept that or not?

    Sure, you are not ready to check out the whole process that the Church goes through for the canonization of saints, but you don’t have to fear offending God by recognizing that those who have died in Christ are actually alive.

    How can that be? So, at the very least, you should be able to see that Catholics do not “pray to dead people.”

    Hey, have a good day, Sister Ali.

    Like

  259. Goodbye to your, Jeff’s, and sdb’s argument. Paul isn’t mindmelding with you and yet you would have an advantage. Thank you.

    It’s a theoretical advantage that doesn’t obtain for my salvation unless I’m convinced of it. And in any case, Rome isn’t the Apostles. The presence of Paul gives me an advantage the presence of Frances does not.

    Every dogma clarifies Scripture.

    Yes, the Assumption of Mary clarifies which Scripture again?

    Protestantism offers no dogmas.

    Wrong.

    Are you seriously going to contend Rome is less clear in its teachings on baptism and the eucharist than the conflicting teachings across Protestantism?

    On those two, perhaps. Its decidedly less clear on the necessity of Christ for salvation.

    Right. So are you free to ignore this command if you don’t feel it conforms to your interpretation of Scripture?

    I’m free to reject anything from Paul that contradicts divine revelation.

    Paul himself also said to accept the gospel he originally preached, the one he then demands you use in comparison.

    You mean the same one he defines from old covenant revelation and then commends the Bereans for making sure he was correct, right?

    But according to you that original message was provisional and might have been heretical.

    Wrong. Paul was divinely inspired, as evidenced by many lines of evidence that Rome doesn’t have. And Rome doesn’t claim divine inspiration.

    Nope. The Bible doesn’t talk about Mickey Mouse. Because Scripture is not hopelessly obscure does not entail it is perspicuous in the “essentials” or “non-essentials”, as we see exemplified in the development and endless fracturing of Protestantism.

    Millions have left Roman Catholicism and the East still thinks you guys are wrong. So the fact that the Magisterium is not hopelessly obscure does not entail it is perspicuous in the essentials. Fracturing is endemic to your system. That, or orthodoxy can’t be recognized, since you can evidently be an abortion lover and in good standing.

    Okay so people were free to ignore Timothy if they deemed his teaching did not conform to their provisional interpretation of Scripture.

    People were free to ignore Timothy if his teaching did not conform to Scripture.

    So Paul had greater authority than the other apostles, and the other apostles had greater authority than Paul right?

    Wrong. The fact that Paul could correct other Apostles and that the other Apostles could correct Paul proves they had equivalent authority.

    You’re presupposing Paul’s authority is in conflict with the authority of his successors.

    No, I’m pointing out that you still haven’t answered the question. Apparently you believe Francis could correct Paul, and if so, why not just say it?

    So the apostles were authoritative only insofar as they conformed to people’s interpretations of the OT. So the Jews were justified and warranted in rejecting them based on that.

    The Apostles were authoritative in the way you want them to be only insofar as they were inspired to reveal the truth. Whether or not anyone agreed says nothing about their objective authority, and the same is true of Roman Catholicism, Presbyterianism, etc.

    According to you, the Apostles only have provisional authority so they had no different type of authority than your church, parents, or government do.

    The Apostles have infallible authority when they are inspired.

    So your contention is that the church in Scripture and the patristic tradition has an authority no different than that described of parents, governments, and rabbis.

    My contention is that the church in Scripture and in the patristic tradition has no authority to overturn divine revelation or to command things that God has in fact not commanded. On that the fathers would clearly agree with me. The issue is whether they believed that the church had infallible authority simply by virtue of saying it had infallible authority whenever it spoke. That’s your position. There may be some anticipations of it in certain fathers, but certainly not all. Athanasius certainly didn’t believe it, otherwise Arianism after Nicea would have been no big deal.

    Can you tell me where rabbis, parents, and governments are given the type of promises Christ gives to the church, or where the descriptions and exercises of its authority are likened to that of parents, governments, and rabbis? Or where rabbis, parents, and governments are equated with the body of Christ? Or where leaving the church is treated as no different than leaving a city or state?

    Every single place where Paul and Peter and others warn about false teachers and commend people to hold to the doctrine they taught demonstrates that any church has only authority insofar as it teaches the truth. It has no authority to require faith for anything else. Further, its authority is limited to the church. The authority of the government is limited to the government. The authority of the parents is limited to the family.

    Christ promises to lead the church; he doesn’t promise that it cannot err. God promised to lead the Israelites also; he didn’t promise that it could not err.

    Yep, the claims of Christ and the Apostles weren’t necessary. They were just another random group of rabbis.

    They are not absolutely necessary. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to say this. God didn’t have to tell Abraham, “Abraham, this is God speaking.” The person who heard one parable of Jesus didn’t have to hear Jesus claim authority in order to be accountable to the teaching of the parable.

    Really? None of those denominations believe in SS? The only churches who actually believe in SS are the OPC and PCA?

    “No. The ELCA isn’t even meaningfully Christian anymore….Deny the Trinity”
    Do they not follow SS?

    I know that for you having a statement that no one believes is enough to determine what a church believes, but we’ve actually dealt with liberalism over here and haven’t pretended that it doesn’t exist like you do in your communion.

    No it’s the view that makes concepts such as schism and sectarianism coherent and possible in the first place.

    If you assume Roman Catholicism, sure.

    The answer God gave us is one that is coherent and reasonable. Not one that gives easy ammo to opponents of Christianity.

    You can take the high ground about easy ammo when you can get rid of all the homosexual priests and even more, actually get rid of all the promoted pedophiles instead. Protestant division is far less of a problem for pagans then the fact that your bishops think pedophiles are great youth group leaders.

    At least you didn’t deny the charge that your position is solo scriptura though – progress.

    IF my position is solo Scriptura, yours is solo-Cletus-interpretation of Ecclesia

    So when I said all disputes in Protestantism boil down to “I have the HS and you don’t”, I was actually right. Progress.

    All disputes in Romanism boil down to this. The vast majority of laity want birth control. Magisterium says no because the Magisterium has right understanding of the Spirit’s leading. Rome disagrees with the East. Why is Rome right? Because Rome is following the Spirit in maintaining the unity of the faith or some other such thing.

    This is like saying, “Christ and the Apostles couldn’t resolve stalemates because people remained pagans and Jews in NT times”.

    Wrong. One, even Rome does not say that to be a faithful Lutheran is to be like a pagan was in NT times. More importantly, The church isn’t Christ.

    So inerrant knowledge is subject to revision and correction? What’s the difference between inerrant and errant knowledge?

    The difference between truth and falsehood.

    I’m not the presuppositionalist. That’s you.

    Descartes wasn’t a presuppositionalist, and neither am I. Recognizing those points where the presups are right doesn’t make me anymore of a presup than recognizing those points where Rome is right makes me RC.

    You mean it’s not, since the law of non-contradiction might be false.

    Not my position. My position is that the law of non-contradiction is useful as far as it goes but is still formulated by fallible human beings and does not necessarily fully capture the contours of what contradiction entails.

    Yes you can. Just as I do with that statement of yours. You keep littering your post with self-defeating statements.

    Wrong. I don’t equate provisional knowledge with false knowledge. That is you, Descartes. Fallible people can have true knowledge and make true statements, but because they are fallible, that knowledge will always be fallible and subject to correction, refinement, and improvement. At least in theory.

    So you concede the point. More progress.

    The non-negotiable in Protestantism is that God’s revelation is truth.

    No, the same is not true of Romanism – Rome offers irreformable doctrines, consistent with her authority she has and claims (if she didn’t, there wouldn’t have been a Reformation in the first place denouncing that authority). Protestantism does not, consistent with the authority it lacks and rejects.

    Some Roman Catholics say that Rome offers irreformable doctrines. They’re being most faithful to the original intent of the Pre-V2 church. What Rome claims and what Rome does are very different things. According to Trent, both formal heretics and material heretics were cursed by God. According to V2, no. So Rome can say she offers irreformable dogmas; in practice it does not. Ask Karl Rahner about the Trinity.

    Again, you’re “see no liberalism” card is showing. The fact that the dogma is written down on paper and sealed away in the Vatican safe only to be trotted out every couple of councils or so means nothing, as Francis continues to show us.

    Laws of logic are now the standard again for determining provisionality. But laws of logic are provisional according to you.

    Sure they are provisional. They can be refined and improved, or have we arrived at the perfect system of logic?

    I’m not infallible, nor did the church tell me, to know that 2+2=4 or that I exist. I’m not the one who thinks it’s possible cows can jump over the moon because we haven’t examined every cow in existence past and present, or that it’s possible they will develop a gene that allows them to do so, that’s you.

    And your knowledge of all those things is subject to correction and therefore provisional. My point is that inductive observation cannot give absolute certainty. You all act like it can.

    So OT Jews and pagans had no grounding for knowing any truth? And originally you were excluding atheists. Now you’re excluding non-Christian theists as well. So a Jewish biologist and Muslim astrophysicist and atheist zoologist can only explain to you that a cow can’t jump over the moon as a probability, but a Christian one can explain to you that it won’t absolutely. What if he’s RC? Does he count? How about an Arminian? What if he’s a Calvinist, but unregenerate and not elect but thinks he is?

    A Non-Christian has no grounding in his worldview for any of that. That doesn’t mean he can’t tell me the truth or I can’t learn from Him.

    Please stop listening to Sye Ten Bruggencate

    Who?

    Natural and general revelation is not identical to divine and special revelation.

    Not in content, sure. But both are from God. And both require divine illumination for understanding. That’s what John 1 asserts, and it is what Augustine believed.

    An atheist astrophysicist can explain to you that cows jumping over moons is not just a probability just as well or even better than a mega Christian astrophysicist can.

    The atheist astrophysicist ceases to be a consistent atheist when he makes such an assertion.

    No, you can’t have any advantage because you fallibly interpret remember. You must have the mindmeld.

    “Jeff and SDB have both noted that inductive reasoning can’t give you certainty.”
    JRC: “I would certainly say that I know for sure that Jesus Christ rose from the dead.”
    You: “And ditto for me, Jeff. Problem is this confusion on the RCs parts between provisionality and uncertainty.”
    “You and Mermaid keep thinking provisional = uncertain”
    You: “Inductive evidence isn’t enough to provide certainty. There are certain non-inductive assumptions that must be made and that cannot be proven inductively for me to be able to take their word with any degree of certainty.”

    I’ll venture to say for Jeff and SDB that their beliefs are not based on inductive reasoning alone because in fact, the Reformed position is that our beliefs are not rendered certain by inductive reasoning. We have a robust doctrine of the Spirit. The reason we finally believe in the resurrection is not simply because we found an empty tomb. The empty tomb is strong evidence, but at best it gives only probability and it is not self-interpreting. We believe the resurrection because we believe the Apostles and their interpretation of the meaning of the empty tomb, and we do so because of the Spirit’s confirmation.

    The same is true of the motives of credibility. You believe them because the church is self-attesting. You have to first grant that Rome has the authority, understanding, and infallibility to explain what one should look for to corroborate its claims. Rome came up with them and gave them to you. They weren’t developed independently by some pagan or atheist who was trying to reason His way to God.

    Inductive reasoning cannot give absolute certainty. It can only give a high degree of probability.

    Like

  260. Clete,

    No, I defer to the church’s authority to correct my errant interpretations and judgments, just as I would have deferred to the Apostles and Christ’s judgments.

    Well if that’s all, I defer to the church as well. I’ve been corrected many times by the church. And there are plenty of things I believe on the authority of my local church more than because I’ve received an airtight case based on Scripture.

    But I’d still like to know if Francis could correct Paul or Peter if they were all hanging out. Your position will hold together regarding the post-Apostolic church’s authority if the answer is yes.

    A court doesn’t have authority over me only insofar as I agree with the verdict.

    Well there goes the whole appeals system, then. If court authority is parallel to what Rome’s authority is according to your minority view, then if the court says you are guilty of murder, you are guilty of murder regardless of the actual fact of your innocence.

    Does the ELCA, LCMS, and Creflo Dollar’s church have objective authority over you?

    The ELCA and Dollar’s Church as a whole aren’t Christian churches. Individual ELCA congregations may or may not be. The LCMS has objective authority wherever it is correct. Same with the PCA (my denomination). The PCA doesn’t have any authority to define a matter of faith that is contrary to God’s Word. That’s different than Rome’s authority. For your claims, it’s “Rome has spoken, shut up.” That is until Rome dogmatically says its okay to murder your mom, or something like that. Oh wait, Rome can’t do that. Why? Because Cletus suays.

    Right – it’s only authoritative insofar as it agrees and conforms with your interpretation and judgment of Scripture. That’s consistent with WCF. That’s the disclaimer. Thus, solo scriptura.

    Sorry, but Rome is authoritative for you only insofar as it agrees and conforms with your interpretation. I’m assuming that if Rome told you to murder your mother, you’d not do it, right?

    You continue to be RC, if you are a thinking person, because you can agree enough with Rome to give it the benefit of the doubt. You’re no different than a Protestant in that regard. Not. At. All.

    The only way your submission to Rome would not be contingent on your agreement with its interpretation would be if you could honestly tell me that there is no conceivable circumstance under which you would cease being RC. But you have already admitted that there are. Thus, you are RC because Rome agrees with your interpretation of the evidence. Welcome to adulthood.

    Like

  261. Susan,

    There is no such thing as plural churches. If there were then there would be no such thing as sects.

    Would you mind expanding on this point a bit, for me?

    Like

  262. Mermaid: Well, first, how are you doing today? I have now developed the full-blown crud, but hey! Tis the season.

    Doing well. Hope you are feeling better soon. Lots of illness going around, especially in a lot of the kids it seems.

    Mermaid: I just want to point that out. She’s still here.

    Yes,never in question, for sure because Jesus is building His church and He says the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

    Mermaid: you don’t have to fear offending God by recognizing that those who have died in Christ are actually alive. So, at the very least, you should be able to see that Catholics do not “pray to dead people.”

    Actually, to clarify your above statement, I believe all ‘dead’ people, both those in Christ, and those not, are alive. I’m thinking it’s ok to say ‘dead’ people because the Lord says: the ‘dead’ in Christ will rise first 1 Thess 4: 16.
    we in Christ, know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. 2 Cor 5:1-4

    To Susan: I am hoping you will come back at least to explain this a little further : Susan said: “as in the truth that I could lose sanctifying.” I would really like to know what you mean by this.

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  263. Susan, “I also know that there was no great apostosy that caused it to cease being the church”

    But there’s nothing that could convince you RC’sm ceased to be the church. That’s why dialogue with you is impossible. Your mind is frozen. And you think that’s reasonable.

    Another glass of koolaid.

    Like

  264. Mermaid: you don’t have to fear offending God by recognizing that those who have died in Christ are actually alive. So, at the very least, you should be able to see that Catholics do not “pray to dead people.”

    Actually, to clarify your above statement, I believe all ‘dead’ people, both those in Christ, and those not, are alive. I’m thinking it’s ok to say ‘dead’ people because the Lord says: the ‘dead’ in Christ will rise first 1 Thess 4: 16.
    we in Christ, know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. 2 Cor 5:1-4>>>>>

    Here’s something to think about. Those who have died in Christ are dead in one way but alive in another. Their bodies are dead, just like everyone who dies. However, they are alive and in God’s presence. They are alive spiritually. Some say they are more alive now than when they were on earth.

    Those who have died outside of Christ are dead two ways. They are dead physically, and spiritually. They are not in God’s presence. However, they are not annihilated or asleep as in soul sleep.

    All will rise from the dead, some to eternal life, and others to eternal damnation.

    So, what is the whole canonization “thing”? It deals with special cases. I’ll leave it there.

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  265. Susan, “I bought Calvinism easily,. It appealed to my recognition of God’s sovereignty and man’s sinfulness. It’s systematic theology also appealed to me. I thought it was the true church. I came to Catholicism differently …”

    And where will you be in 10 years?

    Why should we take your testimony as stable?

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  266. James Young, “Rome offers irreformable doctrines, consistent with her authority she has and claims”

    You left out that those irreformable doctrines “deveolop.”

    Odd that the doctrines can develop, except for the ones that claim her infallible authority. Coincidence? Nope.

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  267. CVD,

    Just a though based on what Darryl just said: A truly irreformable doctrine cannot develop. Reformable doesn’t mean “throw it out and restart it.” If you do that, you haven’t reformed. You’ve started over from scratch.

    So your understanding of what we mean by reformable is off. That has significance for your silly belief that development is different from reform. It’s not.

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  268. Mermaid: So, what is the whole canonization “thing”? It deals with special cases. I’ll leave it there.

    Mermaid , “it deals with special cases, I’ll leave it there”?? I have to agree with what DG says -you don’t usually specifically answer questions asked of you about doubtful things. See below asked previously. Us agreeing that the ‘dead’ are ‘alive’ was easy.

    Ali: I did, though, comment on my belief that the Lord likely doesn’t appreciate others taking on the things reserved exclusively for Him -determining who is in heaven; determining who are more worthy ‘saints’, determining which dead person is ‘responsible’ for a miracle. Do you have some proof texts about those things?

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  269. Ali: I did, though, comment on my belief that the Lord likely doesn’t appreciate others taking on the things reserved exclusively for Him -determining who is in heaven; determining who are more worthy ‘saints’, determining which dead person is ‘responsible’ for a miracle. Do you have some proof texts about those things?>>>>>

    Ali, those are your beliefs. They have nothing to do with Catholicism.

    I tried to correct your error in thinking about “dead people.” God is NOT the God of the dead.

    No “dead person” is responsible for a miracle.

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  270. mermaid :Ali: I did, though, comment on my belief that the Lord likely doesn’t appreciate others taking on the things reserved exclusively for Him -determining who is in heaven; determining who are more worthy ‘saints’, determining which dead person is ‘responsible’ for a miracle. Do you have some proof texts about those things?
    Ali, those are your beliefs. They have nothing to do with Catholicism. I tried to correct your error in thinking about “dead people.” God is NOT the God of the dead. No “dead person” is responsible for a miracle.

    Morning mermaid. like I said mermaid, I have to agree with DG about not honestly engaging with specific answers to questions asked; also then having to agree with DG: “mermaid-afraid of the Bible?” I appreciate your relentless pursuit of the confirmation of the infallibility of God’s word with the brothers, but now, why not engage that infallible word with any man idea?

    Also, then thinking about your quest for ‘unity’ in the Spirit, the Spirit of truth, and your imbalanced portrayal of Martin Luther as a dis-unifier. I appreciate this: “We must be able to say clearly (as Luther, Machen, and Hill did) that we left because we had to obey God rather than man- a serious decision indeed!”
    http://www.opc.org/new_horizons/NH00/0002d.html

    and re Luther: as you know, though he wanted to renew Catholicism, had to split when a pope (who needed money), authorized an archbishop (who needed money) to sell special indulgences- ie time off in purgatory for a financial contribution. [Sheesh!Talk about some people who needed the fear of the Lord]; Luther (and many Catholics) were horrified and feared his parishioners would put their own salvation at risk by relying on this deal. It was debated; the pope, the final arbiter; Luther was excommunicated and condemned as a criminal.
    Bottomline-1:the challenge to papal authority was Luther’s real offense Bottomline- 2: Luther’s conscience would not allow him to place the authority of the pope over the authority of scripture. (from patheos article, Beginnings).

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  271. mermaid: I tried to correct your error in thinking about “dead people.” No “dead person” is responsible for a miracle.

    and just one more thing – a correction – about this mermaid before I have to go this am-
    I think we see in Scripture that the ‘dead’ may be granted this in a limited way for a limited time , so again – be on guard –we are warned. Pharaoh’s wise men, sorcerers, magicians did some secret-art-stuff and of course the fatal- wound-healed beast performs great signs (Ex 7-8; Rev 13) – and these performers are ‘dead’.

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  272. Robert,

    Looking through the comments after a bit of hiatus, I saw this…

    Mermaid: “Of course your doctrines are provisional. If the resurrection is based on provisional knowledge, then it is all provisional as in reformable. You need to be consistent, here.”

    Robert: All human knowledge is provisional.Human beings fallible. Your understanding that Rome teaches that she is the only church Jesus founded is fallible because you are fallible. It’s provisional and reformable. You could possibly be wrong and have misread Romanism. It’s not likely on this point, but it’s not logically impossible.”

    I think this is mistaken on two fronts. First, provisional =/= reformable. I think adopting cvd’s characterization here clouds the issue. Provisional implies “temporary” and “likely to change”. Fallible beliefs are just beliefs that are not impossible to be wrong. Falsifiable beliefs are beliefs for which there is evidence that could in principle contradict the belief. Provisional beliefs are temporary placeholders. Falsifiable does not mean true or false. For example, Mohammed’s claim or Joseph Smith’s claim to have received a private, direct message from an angel is not falsifiable. Similarly, marxism and freudianism is not falsifiable – there is always something else you can assert to buttress the argument. The belief that Jesus rose from the dead is in principle falsifiable because you could disprove it by presenting the body (for example).

    Fallible simply means that it is not impossible that I am mistaken. Since I am not guarded from error, anything I say could be wrong. That does not entail that it is, that may my words have no value, or that the things the students learn from my lectures are just temporary placeholder ideas (i.e., provisional).

    Mermaid: “The modern perception that all knowledge is provisional replaces the medieval contention that some knowledge – revelation in particular – is absolute. Uncertainty about what is known and what is illusion has recently led some to what’s generally known as “relativism”,

    Robert: This is a confused statement. Revelation isn’t human knowledge. It can be the subject of human knowledge. It is something to which we apply our understanding. But strictly speaking revelation is divine knowledge/divine communication.

    Revelation itself is absolute. Our knowledge of revelation is provisional or falsifiable. It doesn’t mean “likely to change” necessarily. How many times do we have to go through this.

    Again, I wouldn’t say provisional – I would say fallible. The idea that recognition of fallibility leads to “relativism” is a category mistake.

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  273. Me: “ather that an infallible middle man automatically confers an advantage over fallible middlemen.”

    CVD: So an infallible authority that could give a clarification guaranteed to be without error confers no advantage over a fallible authority that has no guarantee his clarification will be without error. Christ speaking to NT followers did not confer an advantage to them over random rabbis speaking to them.

    Why do you conclude from the fact that the infallibility of the speaker does not automatically and always confirm an advantage that all speakers are equally valuable? You make this class of error frequently.

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  274. “Teaching what scripture means is different from defining an extra biblical article of faith. Nothing provisional about it…it isn’t tentative at all.”
    So can you identify an irreformable teaching not subject to revision offered by Protestantism? Semper reformanda.

    Everything is subject to development is it not?

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  275. “I’m pretty sure that Geoff was saying that the presence of a teacher gives no necessary or automatic advantage.”

    No, he was repeating the same old mindmeld argument. No infallible mindmeld, no advantage. Period. So no authoritative teacher or interpreter can ever give any advantage. Period.

    I didn’t catch that. Certainly not my view. I would say that infallibility is neither a necessary or sufficient condition for arriving at justified true beliefs. I do not think that there are no conditions under which an infallible speaker would be advantageous over a fallible speaker.

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  276. “But these groups reject the bible as the sole final authority on matters of faith and practice. ”
    No they reject you and your church’s judgment and interpretation of the bible as authoritative, because they don’t deem it conforms to Scripture.

    No. Many of these groups explicitly reject sola scriptura. It isn’t a question of interpretation – indeed, many agree on the interpretation, they just think that Paul was a homophobic misogynist (for example).

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  277. Yep, and I defined above “provisional” in the sense you agree with – that is subject to revision.

    Who are you, Humpty Dumpty?

    CtC: “Confessional Protestants want to distinguish themselves from “solo scriptura” biblicists by claiming that tradition has authority. But when what gets to count as tradition is only either what is explicitly stated in Scripture or entailed by one’s interpretation of Scripture, then ‘tradition’ has no authority; it does not govern one’s interpretation of Scripture. Rather, when it does not conform to one’s interpretation of Scripture, it is excised from ‘tradition.’ As a result, what is referred to as ‘tradition’ is only either Scripture itself or a restatement of one’s own interpretation of Scripture. And that is equivalent to “solo scriptura” biblicism hidden under the appearance of adherence to the creeds.”

    This is false. It is a historical claim about what has been done which is contradicted by evidence. Everything Augustine said is tradition and has authority – even when it is wrong. To say that something is authoritative is not to say that it is dispositive. Augustine may be wrong. But not all errors are equal. If I come along and say that the NT should be read as a prophecy of Mohammad, folks in my church would chuckle and then politely ask me to pipe down. But if numerous church fathers had made such a claim, they would take their teaching seriously and engage it even if they ultimately conclude that thread was wrong. This of course is not the same as what Rome does, but it isn’t the same as what the Restorationsists do either. To suggest that there is not fundamental difference between a wholesale rejection of commentary of scripture, giving no weight to what Christians believed in the past, and ignoring large swaths of the Christian tradition and the practice say of the westminster divines is dishonest. As I noted before, an authority can be authoritative even if that authority is contingent. The CtC argument is akin to saying that there is no difference between between an anarchist and MLKJr. Both only submit to themselves as the only state authority.

    In other words, recognition that condition X may arise that gives one justification to resist an authority does not entail that one is only ever submitting to his own judgment.

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  278. SDB,

    I think this is mistaken on two fronts. First, provisional =/= reformable. I think adopting cvd’s characterization here clouds the issue. Provisional implies “temporary” and “likely to change”. Fallible beliefs are just beliefs that are not impossible to be wrong. Falsifiable beliefs are beliefs for which there is evidence that could in principle contradict the belief. Provisional beliefs are temporary placeholders. Falsifiable does not mean true or false. For example, Mohammed’s claim or Joseph Smith’s claim to have received a private, direct message from an angel is not falsifiable. Similarly, marxism and freudianism is not falsifiable – there is always something else you can assert to buttress the argument. The belief that Jesus rose from the dead is in principle falsifiable because you could disprove it by presenting the body (for example).

    Fallible simply means that it is not impossible that I am mistaken. Since I am not guarded from error, anything I say could be wrong. That does not entail that it is, that may my words have no value, or that the things the students learn from my lectures are just temporary placeholder ideas (i.e., provisional).

    I more or less agree with everything you say here, except for some minor quibbles that aren’t worth mentioning. A significant problem here is that both sides are using the word “provisional” in different senses. CVD and the RCs use it to mean “temporary placeholder, likely to change,” but that is not how I’m using it. I’m not sure falsifiable or fallible are necessarily better words because they also imply that change is at least logically possible. The problem is that the RCs here, some of them anyway, want a situation in which change is not at all logically possible. That’s certainly what Mermaid is after. CVD is less so, but at the end of the day, I think that is what he is searching for unconsciously.

    My use of “provisional” simply means “possibly subject to change/refinement/better understanding.” In the sense of “subject to better understanding,” all of us have provisional beliefs.

    Maybe its my fault for using the word their using, but I can’t think of a term that means “theoretically possible for evidence to arise that might prove the belief wrong or in need of significant alteration/refinement but negligibly so; thus, the belief can provide the kind of certainty that is appropriate to non-omniscient beings” that will communicate with them.

    They read fallible as “almost certainly wrong and unable to provide any real certainty appropriate to non-omniscient beings in the realm of faith but in the realm of knowledge it can provide rock-hard, indubitable certainty,” or at least that is the way CVD seems to read it. Of course, one has to first accept Thomistic distinctions between realms of faith and reason that aren’t finally tenable in my view, and in any case arise very late in the Christian tradition (which beggars belief that RCs think the distinction is so hot since they’re supposed to have always believed this from the get go).”

    The idea that recognition of fallibility leads to “relativism” is a category mistake.

    Exactly, which is what the RCs aren’t getting. And the proof is clear in the empirical evidence you have presented regarding beliefs on human sexuality. Conservative, SS Protestants are far more likely to believe that human sexuality is not relativistic than mass-going RCs.

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  279. SDB,

    In other words, recognition that condition X may arise that gives one justification to resist an authority does not entail that one is only ever submitting to his own judgment.

    Bingo. The CTC guys believe they are formerly Reformed and know the tradition, but they’ve apparently never been to an ordination exam in which a prospective minister agrees to submit to the judgment of his church and teach something for which he is personally uncertain or unconvinced.

    In fact, Rome doesn’t give you any room to submit to anything other than your own judgment. Submission for Rome = you agree with the church’s judgment. For most, this is the nominal assent of faith. People say they agree not knowing what Rome teaches. For the conservatives, it is weighing the motives of credibility, judging personally that they point to Rome, and then putting that personal judgment into action by joining the church. Every single act of submission thereafter flows from the fact that they could originally find the church that agreed with their weighing of the evidence. They submit because they agree. It invalidates Bryan’s argument. Bryan discovered the church alright, he discovered the church that agrees with his narrow view of what is necessary for knowing what divine revelation is. What’s laughable is that these guys with PhDs in philosophy think that they have proved otherwise simply by writing 10,000 word tomes. Sometimes their epistemological blindness astounds me.

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  280. Robert,

    “It’s a theoretical advantage ”

    Thank you very much. So we’re back full circle. If Rome’s claims regarding authority/ability are true, she offers an epistemological advantage over Protestantism, granting Protestantism’s claims regarding authority/ability are true. This despite no mindmelding with Rome or Paul.

    “Protestantism offers no dogmas.
    – Wrong.”

    So either dogma is not irreformable (only it is by definition), or you can’t offer it, since you already asserted above, “The only thing that Protestants reject out of that is “infallibly” and “irreformably.””

    “On those two, perhaps”

    So much for “And the Magisterium has notoriously not clarified hardly anything in Scripture” or that Romanism offers less clarity than Protestantism.

    “I’m free to reject anything from Paul that contradicts divine revelation.”

    Wow. So any and all of Paul’s letters can be rejected if you feel they don’t conform to your interpretation of the OT or other NT texts and judgment of divine revelation. Welcome to Judaism or liberalism.

    “You mean the same one he defines”

    Yep, Paul defined it. He didn’t offer it as up-for-grabs as you contend every teaching of his must be.

    “Paul was divinely inspired”

    And yet, “I’m free to reject anything from Paul that contradicts divine revelation.”

    “People were free to ignore Timothy if his teaching did not conform to Scripture.”

    Yep, perpetual private judgment and solo scriptura. That’s not the model we see in Scripture.

    “Apparently you believe Francis could correct Paul, and if so, why not just say it?”

    What in the world drove you that conclusion? No, Francis or the bishops would not correct Paul, nor would Titus or Timothy. Yes, they have apostolic authority via succession. No, they are not in conflict, just as the authority amongst the apostles, as well as their successors, were not in conflict.

    “The Apostles have infallible authority when they are inspired. ”

    And you determine they are inspired, and thus have infallible authority, when? If you can determine when they are inspired, why doesn’t Protestantism irreformably identify the scope and contents of the canon? Would Paul sitting next to you with infallible authority could not offer an advantage to you unless he was also inspired?

    “My contention is that the church in Scripture and in the patristic tradition has no authority to overturn divine revelation or to command things that God has in fact not commanded. ”

    Which Rome agrees with.

    “The issue is whether they believed that the church had infallible authority simply by virtue of saying it had infallible authority whenever it spoke. That’s your position.”

    My position is that the church has authority to correct errant interpretations and judgments and issue normative judgments binding upon all. And that’s the position we see in both Scripture and reactions to every heresy in the patristic tradition.

    “Athanasius certainly didn’t believe it, otherwise Arianism after Nicea would have been no big deal.”

    I already cited Athanasius (and Augustine) at length in the other thread disabusing you of that notion. He held to to a view of church authority and tradition Protestantism rejects – the Arians were the ones advancing your ‘perpetual private jugment/solo scriptura/church only authoritative insofar as it conforms to my interpretation of Scripture’ position.

    “Every single place where Paul and Peter and others warn about false teachers ”

    Like the Arians, or the Nestorians, or the Marcionites, or the Gnostics, or the Pelagians, or the Reformers.

    “any church has only authority insofar as it teaches the truth.”

    Solo scriptura.

    “They are not absolutely necessary”

    Great. Welcome to Judaism. Further, you said “The claims of Christ and the Apostles give them no inherent advantage. What matters is that their claims are true.” So if their claims are granted as true, they would offer an epistemological advantage over granting random rabbi’s claims granted as true. Which is exactly what the original argument has always been in comparing Rome with Protestantism. So tie this into your acknowledgement with Paul sitting next to you giving you an advantage, and my point’s been made. And we can move on from silly mindmeld and omniscience arguments.

    “I know that for you having a statement that no one believes is enough to determine what a church believes,”

    Okay, so you would be persuaded when a church condemns you for not following SS even though it is affirmed in your confession because they deem your doctrines demonstrate you are not following it. That is *exactly* the point. You exclude churches as counting because you hold they don’t affirm SS, because you judge them as not actually practicing it based on your interpretation of Scripture. Those churches affirming SS think their interpretation conforms to Scripture whereas your church doesn’t. Perpetual stalemate and splintering.

    “All disputes in Romanism boil down to this.”

    If that was true, we would see a thousand conflicting and mutually exclusive confessions/catechisms/statements of faith from Rome like we do across Protestant denominations. But we don’t.

    “This is like saying, “Christ and the Apostles couldn’t resolve stalemates because people remained pagans and Jews in NT times”.
    – Wrong.”

    No, it’s exactly like that – you said “But the stalemate hasn’t been resolved. 1,000 years later and East and West are still divided. So you don’t have the answer.” So apparently Christ and the Apostles don’t have an answer and can’t resolve stalemates in NT times. Further, the Apostles weren’t Christ. The Council of Jerusalem wasn’t Christ.

    “So inerrant knowledge is subject to revision and correction? What’s the difference between inerrant and errant knowledge?
    – The difference between truth and falsehood.”

    So truth is subject to revision and correction?

    “Descartes wasn’t a presuppositionalist, and neither am I.”
    http://principiumunitatis.blogspot.com/2008/01/presuppositionalism-fideism-built-on.html
    When you say things like “atheists inconsistently steal from the Christian worldview” and “reason is non-neutral”, you’re arguing like a presuppositionalist. I’ll make it easy – tell me some points you disagree with presupps on.

    “My position is that the law of non-contradiction is useful as far as it goes but is still formulated by fallible human beings and does not necessarily fully capture the contours of what contradiction entails. ”

    You mean it does necessarily fully capture the contours. Since it might be true or false.

    “Fallible people can have true knowledge and make true statements, but because they are fallible, that knowledge will always be fallible and subject to correction, refinement, and improvement.”

    So true knowledge and true statements are subject to correction and revision. And is that statement of yours subject to revision as well?

    “Ask Karl Rahner about the Trinity.”

    Distinctions and investigations on the exact nature of the Trinity is part of development. You think all development and scholarship on the Trinity ceased because of Nicaea? Boundaries and parameters are set by dogmas (no such parameters can be set in Protestantism). Development works within those boundaries and may lead to future clarification and focus of those parameters.
    Btw, Carl Trueman says, “[M]uch of the best work on classical theism and Trinitarianism of the last thirty years has been done by Roman Catholic theologians. One thinks, for example, of the work of Brian Davies, Khaled Anatolios, Lewis Ayres, Gilles Emery, Thomas Weinandy and Matthew Levering. Evangelical work in the same field has tended to be less rigorous or, worse still, to deviate from classical orthodox notions of God and Trinity. Immutability, impassibility, and doctrines such as the eternal generation of the Son have been abandoned or reduced in importance by large sections of the evangelical world.”

    “The fact that the dogma is written down on paper and sealed away in the Vatican safe”

    Dogma is affirmed at every mass.

    “They can be refined and improved, or have we arrived at the perfect system of logic?”

    You mean they can’t be refined and improved, since the law of non-contradiction might be false. Further, provisionality is not limited to refinement – it encapsulates revision and correction and abrogation. Is it now your contention that Protestantism teaches RC development? No, any teaching can potentially be corrected or abandoned. That’s not RC development, in which dogmas cannot contradict what came before.

    “And both require divine illumination for understanding.”

    So both natural knowledge and supernatural knowledge require divine illumination. Atheist physicists are filled with the holy spirit now? Natural knowledge does not require divine illumination, it requires reason, which is given to all humanity, elect and non-elect, by God.

    “You have to first grant that Rome has the authority, understanding, and infallibility to explain what one should look for to corroborate its claims. ”

    No I don’t. Stamper, Joshua, Cross already went over this with you in painstaking detail at CtC which I linked to in the other thread multiple times. You just keep tablepounding.

    “I defer to the church as well.”

    Unless or until it judges or teaches contrary to your interpretation of Scripture. As you said, “The PCA doesn’t have any authority to define a matter of faith that is contrary to God’s Word.” which translates to “The PCA doesn’t have any authority to define a matter of faith that is contrary to my interpretation and judgment of God’s Word.”

    “I’ve been corrected many times by the church.”

    Have you been corrected many times by the ELCA, PCUSA, KJV-onlyist, LCMS, or Word of Faith church?

    “then if the court says you are guilty of murder, you are guilty of murder regardless of the actual fact of your innocence.”

    No, it means I can’t just walk out the door and say, “I disagree”. Your whole point was “Rome is authoritative over you only insofar as you agree with its judgment and interpretation of Scripture.” That’s false. Just as it’s false a court loses authority over me when I disagree with its verdict. Ask a guy on death row if the court is authortiative only insofar as he agrees with the verdict, or a murder victim’s family when the murderer got off and is walking free in society.

    “The ELCA and Dollar’s Church as a whole aren’t Christian churches.”

    Why? Don’t they affirm SS? Or are they not Christian churches because you judge them not to conforming to your current interpretation of Scripture?

    “Reformable doesn’t mean “throw it out and restart it.” If you do that, you haven’t reformed. You’ve started over from scratch.”

    Welcome to Protestantism.

    “So your understanding of what we mean by reformable is off. That has significance for your silly belief that development is different from reform. It’s not.”

    There is no guarantee any teaching offered within Protestantism is protected from error. That’s why every teaching is offered as provisional and subject to correction and revision. Development in RCism is not the same – if it was, Rome would be making the same claims to authority/ability as Protestantism does, and vice versa. The condemnation of Jansenism developed from the Tridentine dogma of soteriology which developed the dogmatic condemnation of Semi-Pelagianism which developed the condemnation of Pelagianism. The dogmatic condemnations of various Christological heresies over the centuries developed the irreformable doctrine that Christ is divine and human. Transubstantiation developed from the dogma of the Real Presence. The affirmation of invincible ignorance and separated brethren developed from the dogma of EENS. The Immaculate Conception developed from the dogma of Original Sin. And so on. No such guarantee obtains in Protestantism, due to its disclaimers.

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  281. James Young, “Btw, Carl Trueman says, “[M]uch of the best work on classical theism and Trinitarianism of the last thirty years has been done by Roman Catholic theologians. One thinks, for example, of the work of Brian Davies, Khaled Anatolios, Lewis Ayres, Gilles Emery, Thomas Weinandy and Matthew Levering.”

    While you’re clucking, have you noticed that that list of RC theologians doesn’t study the theologians who advised the bishops at Vatican II but goes back to the early church or Aquinas. And yet, Balthasar and company updated the church.

    Sorry, you can’t have it both ways. Actually, with development of doctrine you can. We call that equivocation. Yup.

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  282. Darryl,

    You left out that development precludes contradiction a la modernism; it affirms growth and progress, not nullification. So it’s not “Odd that the doctrines can develop, except for the ones that claim her infallible authority” – infallible doctrines develop – Christ was truly man is dogma. So is the hypostatic union which is a development that doesn’t contradict that. So is the Trinity which is a development that doesn’t contradict that. You were still you when you were a kid, and you’ll still be you on your deathbed. The OT is infallible even though the NT developed it.

    Ratzinger: “Christ’s promise to bestow the Holy Spirit Who guide you into all truth, constantly sustains the Church on her way. Thus, in the course of her history certain truths have been defined as having been acquired through the Holy Spirit’s assistance, and are therefore, perceptible stages in the realization of the original promise. Other truths, however, have to be understood still more deeply before full possession can be obtained of what God, in His mystery of love wished to reveal to men for their salvation.” and “In the course of the centuries, from the unchangeable nucleus testifying to Jesus as the Son of God and as Lord, symbols witnessing to the unity of the faith and to the communion of the churches came to be developed… The Fathers of the Church, too, coming together at Councils to respond to historical challenges that required a more complete presentation of the truths of the faith or a defence of the orthodoxy of these truths formulated new creeds which occupy a special place in the Church’s life up to the present day. The diversity of these symbols expresses the richness of the one, true faith, and none of them is superseded or nullified by subsequent professions of faith formulated in response to later historical circumstances.”

    Francis: “In the third and fourth centuries the revealed truths of faith were theologically formulated and transmitted as our nonnegotiable inheritance. That does not mean that throughout history, through study and investigation, other insights were not discovered about these truths: such as what Christ is like, or how to configure the Church, or how and what should be true Christian conduct, or what are the commandments. All of these are enriched by these new explanations. There are things that are debatable, but—I repeat—this inheritance is not negotiable. The content of a religious faith is capable of being deepened through human thought, but when that deepening is at odds with the inheritance, it is a heresy.”

    Dei Verbum: “This tradition which comes from the Apostles develop in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. For there is a growth in the understanding of the realities and the words which have been handed down. This happens through the contemplation and study made by believers, who treasure these things in their hearts through a penetrating understanding of the spiritual realities which they experience, and through the preaching of those who have received through Episcopal succession the sure gift of truth. For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her.”

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  283. sdb,

    “Why do you conclude from the fact that the infallibility of the speaker does not automatically and always confirm an advantage that all speakers are equally valuable? You make this class of error frequently.”

    Your tribe’s argument is that the infallibility of the speaker cannot and does not confirm an advantage. Period. Why? Because all hearers … dun dun dunnnn … fallibly interpret.

    “Everything is subject to development is it not?”

    Development in RCism precludes contradiction. That follows from the type of authority/ability Rome ostensibly has and claims. Nothing is offered as irreformable or infallible in Protestantism. That follows from the type of authority/ability Protestantism ostensibly has and claims.

    “I do not think that there are no conditions under which an infallible speaker would be advantageous over a fallible speaker.”

    So you’ve given up your argument that Rome offers no advantage even if its claims are granted as true.

    “No. Many of these groups explicitly reject sola scriptura.”

    And so there are ones that don’t. So the point stands. The point stands unless you want to say the only churches that affirm and follow SS are the OPC and PCA.

    “Yep, and I defined above “provisional” in the sense you agree with – that is subject to revision.
    – Who are you, Humpty Dumpty?”

    I see. So earlier you and Jeff and Robert all agree your doctrines are provisional. Then you start saying “Well, actually I don’t like the word provisional, since it can imply likely to change whereas I only hold that doctrines are subject to correction and revision”. So then to keep things clear, practically every time I characterize Protestant doctrines, I add in “subject to revision” to keep everyone happy. Now apparently that isn’t enough, even though that’s the definition you agree with.
    Here’s the oxford definition for “provisional”: “Arranged or existing for the present, possibly to be changed later”. No likely there.
    Here’s MW of “tentative” which you also don’t like: “not definite : still able to be changed” Still no good?

    “Everything Augustine said is tradition and has authority”

    What about everything Arius and Pelagius said?

    “As I noted before, an authority can be authoritative even if that authority is contingent.”

    So Scripture can be authoritative without being inerrant. Welcome to liberalism.

    “In other words, recognition that condition X may arise that gives one justification to resist an authority does not entail that one is only ever submitting to his own judgment.”

    If an NT Jew resisted Christ or the Apostle’s claimed authority, was the Jew submitting to his own judgment, or Christ and the Apostle’s judgment?

    Like

  284. Robert,

    “CVD and the RCs use it to mean “temporary placeholder, likely to change,””

    No, I mean it exactly *as I’ve always qualified it* – subject to revision and correction.

    “My use of “provisional” simply means “possibly subject to change/refinement/better understanding.”

    Protestantism affirms its doctrines and teachings may be in error and thus can be contradicted or nullified if shown to be so in error. If you were actually affirming something like RC development, there would be a different conversation. But you don’t, consistent with your churches and confessions disclaimers.

    “They read fallible as “almost certainly wrong””

    Nope. I’m fallible. My statement that I exist and 2+2=4 is not almost certainly wrong.

    “prospective minister agrees to submit to the judgment of his church and teach something for which he is personally uncertain or unconvinced.”

    Unless the minister judges his church is erring on an essential. Why didn’t Machen submit to the General Assembly?

    “Submission for Rome = you agree with the church’s judgment.”

    No it means you agree the church has the authority to compel your assent and correct your interpretations. Just as followers of Christ agreed He had the authority to compel their assent and correct their misunderstandings. That’s consistent with the assent of faith they gave in the first place based on those claims to authority and ability.

    Your perspective would entail no one can or would submit to an authority’s judgment that they disagree with or view as unjust. That’s obviously false.

    Like

  285. ““Why do you conclude from the fact that the infallibility of the speaker does not automatically and always confirm an advantage that all speakers are equally valuable? You make this class of error frequently.”

    Your tribe’s argument is that the infallibility of the speaker cannot and does not confirm an advantage. Period. Why? Because all hearers … dun dun dunnnn … fallibly interpret.”

    Don’t know about my “tribe”, but that is not what I say. You are adding modifiers that I disagree with (and if I used them I apologize for the obfuscation). I do not believe that an infallible speaker cannot confer an advantage, only that it doesn’t necessarily do so. Data and revelation (a form of data I suppose) are necessarily infallible in the sense that reality exists. I don’t see that adding an additional layer of infallibility helps anything. Your philosophical arguments are not convincing and the empirical evidence is lacking.

    ““Everything is subject to development is it not?”
    Development in RCism precludes contradiction. That follows from the type of authority/ability Rome ostensibly has and claims. Nothing is offered as irreformable or infallible in Protestantism. That follows from the type of authority/ability Protestantism ostensibly has and claims.”
    Except God’s Word….a biggie.

    ““I do not think that there are no conditions under which an infallible speaker would be advantageous over a fallible speaker.”

    So you’ve given up your argument that Rome offers no advantage even if its claims are granted as true.”
    Nope. Only that Rome doesn’t meet those conditions…even if her claims are true.

    “”No. Many of these groups explicitly reject sola scriptura.”

    And so there are ones that don’t. So the point stands. The point stands unless you want to say the only churches that affirm and follow SS are the OPC and PCA.”
    You’re reaching. Is there a church that rejects ss who the pca wouldn’t request a letter from?

    ““Yep, and I defined above “provisional” in the sense you agree with – that is subject to revision.
    – Who are you, Humpty Dumpty?”

    I see. So earlier you and Jeff and Robert all agree your doctrines are provisional. ”
    I have disputed this construal over three threads.

    “Then you start saying “Well, actually I don’t like the word provisional, since it can imply likely to change whereas I only hold that doctrines are subject to correction and revision”. So then to keep things clear, practically every time I characterize Protestant doctrines, I add in “subject to revision” to keep everyone happy. Now apparently that isn’t enough, even though that’s the definition you agree with.
    Here’s the oxford definition for “provisional”: “Arranged or existing for the present, possibly to be changed later”. No likely there.
    Here’s MW of “tentative” which you also don’t like: “not definite : still able to be changed” Still no good?”
    In the ordinary use of the word “provisional” (agreeing with the mw def) is the sense that the view is a placeholder. That is different from the stance that it is not impossible to need to revise. Of course as you agreed with Fr. Martin – there is heirarchy of certainty (though we disagree on what that is). He places the Gospels highest, then creeds, etc…. I would say all of scripture is certain and cannot be revised (unlike our modernist friends who wish to excise Paul as a benighted misogynist). Of course our interpretation can be in error, but the bar for interpretations that have wide consensus is higher for revision than those for which there is widespread debate.

    ““Everything Augustine said is tradition and has authority”
    What about everything Arius and Pelagius said?”
    Nope. Of course in the context you clipped, not all that Augustine said is right (e.g. his teaching that women were not created in the image of God.) And while there was widespread agreement with the sentiment, it doesn’t survive exegetical scrutiny.

    ““As I noted before, an authority can be authoritative even if that authority is contingent.”
    So Scripture can be authoritative without being inerrant. Welcome to liberalism.”
    You are very confused. Scripture is not inerrant because we think it is authoritative. It is infallible because it is God’s word. And yes legitimate authorities can be fallible. Reread Paul’s epistle to the Romans.

    ” “In other words, recognition that condition X may arise that gives one justification to resist an authority does not entail that one is only ever submitting to his own judgment.”

    If an NT Jew resisted Christ or the Apostle’s claimed authority, was the Jew submitting to his own judgment, or Christ and the Apostle’s judgment?”
    How about if a jew tested the teaching of a certain apostle against scripture, would they be submitting to their judgment or God’s word?

    Like

  286. James,

    No it means you agree the church has the authority to compel your assent and correct your interpretations.

    I agree that the church has the authority to compel my assent and correct my interpretations when my interpretations are wrong.

    Just as followers of Christ agreed He had the authority to compel their assent and correct their misunderstandings.

    Christ was God incarnate. The church isn’t.

    That’s consistent with the assent of faith they gave in the first place based on those claims to authority and ability.

    Christ doesn’t call us to give the same assent to the church that we give to Him. If He did, there would be no need to warn us about false shepherds.

    Your perspective would entail no one can or would submit to an authority’s judgment that they disagree with or view as unjust. That’s obviously false.

    But you’ve just said that submission means affirming the authority’s judgment and I’m part of a system where you can submit without agreeing. Your submission is entirely based on you agreeing with Rome. At every single point. There’s no “you can be ordained and believe the WCF is wrong on the Sabbath as long as you don’t teach that” or any other such thing.

    Like

  287. Ali
    Posted February 4, 2016 at 9:52 am | Permalink
    mermaid: I tried to correct your error in thinking about “dead people.” No “dead person” is responsible for a miracle.>>>>

    Exactly. God is not the God of the dead. In fact, no person is ultimately responsible for a miracle. All miracles are God’s doing. He often uses human beings as His instruments, but the gracious enabling is all of Him.

    Ali:
    and just one more thing – a correction – about this mermaid before I have to go this am-
    I think we see in Scripture that the ‘dead’ may be granted this in a limited way for a limited time , so again – be on guard –we are warned. Pharaoh’s wise men, sorcerers, magicians did some secret-art-stuff and of course the fatal- wound-healed beast performs great signs (Ex 7-8; Rev 13) – and these performers are ‘dead’.>>>>>

    Mark 12:27
    New King James Version (NKJV)

    27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken.”

    Like

  288. Ali:
    and just one more thing – a correction – about this mermaid before I have to go this am-
    I think we see in Scripture that the ‘dead’ may be granted this in a limited way for a limited time , so again – be on guard –we are warned. Pharaoh’s wise men, sorcerers, magicians did some secret-art-stuff and of course the fatal- wound-healed beast performs great signs (Ex 7-8; Rev 13) – and these performers are ‘dead’.>>>>>

    Besides missing the point that God is the God of the living, you just credited all signs, wonders, and miracles to the devil.

    You may want to recalibrate your understanding of Scripture.

    Like

  289. mermaid: Besides missing the point that God is the God of the living, you just credited all signs, wonders, and miracles to the devil. You may want to recalibrate your understanding of Scripture.

    oh mermaid, I think you are just going to keep trying diversion and are never going to going to answer my questions, ie: Ali: I did, though, comment on my belief that the Lord likely doesn’t appreciate others taking on the things reserved exclusively for Him -determining who is in heaven; determining who are more worthy ‘saints’, determining which dead person (ie person who has died) is ‘responsible’ for a miracle. Do you have some proof texts about those things?

    I appreciate your reference to Mark 12:18-17. It reminds of a conversation awhile back with some mormons about their deciding marriage was forever, wondering to which spouse in eternity in the case of divorce/ remarriage.Not dissimilar to deciding to pray to those who have died, though no Biblical warrant for it – ’cause then come questions -having to determine who is in heaven; who are more worthy saints to enlist (I remember Susan saying about Mary’s intercession being more valuable?), which person is ‘responsible’ for a miracle, etc. –seems tangled webs that must be weaved around the path of man’s ideas.

    ps – please show where I have “credited all signs, wonders, and miracles to the devil”.
    Otherwise, please would you please apologize.

    Like

  290. sdb,

    On one hand, “I don’t see that adding an additional layer of infallibility helps anything”
    On the other, “I do not believe that an infallible speaker cannot confer an advantage”

    “Except God’s Word….a biggie.”

    Which no Protestant church offers as more than provisional opinion, consistent with the type of authority/ability Protestantism ostensibly has and claims. Thus the teachings of the identified canon and contents remains provisional, inerrancy remains provisional, perspicuity remains provisional, SS remains provisional, etc.

    “Only that Rome doesn’t meet those conditions…even if her claims are true. ”

    Okay. So what’s the condition that needs to meet if her claims are true in order to confer an advantage? It can’t be mindmelding or overcoming fallible interpretation since you already said you don’t say that.

    “You’re reaching. Is there a church that rejects ss who the pca wouldn’t request a letter from?”

    I’m reaching? So none of the following churches affirm SS? ELCA, PCUSA, LCMS, Arminian, Socinian, Arian, KJV-onlyist, Pelagian, emergent, Christadelphian, theonomist/Reconstructionist, Oneness Pentecostal, Assemblies of God, Anabaptist, Church of Christ, Word of Faith, NPP, prosperity, Pelagian, antinominian, Adventist, Westboro, Open Theist, fundamentalist/biblicist?

    “I would say all of scripture is certain and cannot be revised ”

    Which Protestant church offers the teaching that “all of Scripture is certain and cannot be revised” as a non-provisional irreformable teaching? Which Protestant church offers its identification of Scripture as non-provisional and irreformable?

    “unlike our modernist friends who wish to excise Paul as a benighted misogynist”

    Darryl says inerrancy is adiaphora. Why are those particular passages of Paul to be taken as irreformable and non-provisional under Protestant claims?

    “Of course our interpretation can be in error,”

    Which are the disclaimers all Protestant churches and confessions make for all their teachings.

    “Nope.”

    Why is Augustine authoritative but not Arius and Pelagius? Because you reject Arius and Pelagius’ interpretations as conforming to your intepretation and judgment of Scripture?

    “And while there was widespread agreement with the sentiment, it doesn’t survive exegetical scrutiny. ”

    Exegetical scrutiny as practiced by whom? What about Protestant churches who dismiss your church’s essentials as dying under exegetical scrutiny?

    “You are very confused. Scripture is not inerrant because we think it is authoritative.”

    I agree.

    “And yes legitimate authorities can be fallible”

    So Scripture can be a legitimate authority without being inerrant. Welcome to liberalism.

    “How about if a jew tested the teaching of a certain apostle against scripture, would they be submitting to their judgment or God’s word?”

    Nope. Scriptural testimony is used as a MoC in identifying Rome’s authority. So, if an NT Jew resisted Christ or the Apostle’s claimed authority, was the Jew submitting to his own judgment, or Christ and the Apostle’s judgment?

    Like

  291. Robert,

    “I agree that the church has the authority to compel my assent and correct my interpretations when my interpretations are wrong.”

    And so we need to define “church” that can perform such a function given its authority/ability. Which is my point. You only think that a particular church is authoritative insofar as it conforms to your interpretation of Scripture. So this reply is just a mask for solo scriptura. Which is why you reject and don’t care about the “corrections” every Protestant church you reject offers you and your church, nor should you, given Protestant disclaimers.

    “Christ was God incarnate. The church isn’t. ”

    Irrelevant. The parallel is to counter your “Submission for Rome = you agree with the church’s judgment” or that “all authority is authoritative only insofar as you agree with that authority”. That would preclude my errant interpretations and misunderstandings from being corrected by that authority. As we see below.

    “Your submission is entirely based on you agreeing with Rome. At every single point.”

    No. Nor were the submission of NT followers entirely based on them agreeing with Christ and the Apostles at every single point. You have the relationship precisely inverted. RC adherents conform their interpretation and judgments to the church’s, just as NT followers did with Christ and the Apostles and the NT church (thus councils, excommunication/schism, heresies and false teachers, etc). They didn’t come up with their interpretations, then judge the authority of the church or Christ and the Apostles based on those interpretations (those who did so were condemned and never assented in faith to the claims of authority in the first place).

    As I said above, No, it means I can’t just walk out the door [of the court] and say, “I disagree”. Your whole point was “Rome is authoritative over you only insofar as you agree with its judgment and interpretation of Scripture.” That’s false. Just as it’s false a court loses authority over me when I disagree with its verdict. Ask a guy on death row if the court is authortiative only insofar as he agrees with the verdict, or a murder victim’s family when the murderer got off and is walking free in society.

    Like

  292. Ali
    Posted February 8, 2016 at 12:43 am | Permalink
    mermaid: Besides missing the point that God is the God of the living, you just credited all signs, wonders, and miracles to the devil. You may want to recalibrate your understanding of Scripture.

    oh mermaid, I think you are just going to keep trying diversion and are never going to going to answer my questions, ie: Ali: I did, though, comment on my belief that the Lord likely doesn’t appreciate others taking on the things reserved exclusively for Him -determining who is in heaven; determining who are more worthy ‘saints’, determining which dead person (ie person who has died) is ‘responsible’ for a miracle. Do you have some proof texts about those things?>>>>>

    Ali, you are the one dodging the issue. You are the one arguing with the words of Jesus. You are the one rejecting the fact that God uses people as His instruments to perform miracles even in our day.

    You are ignoring the Scriptures I have provided and yet you ask for more.

    All you quoted was about evil magicians using their magic arts to perform miracles in the days of Moses.

    You seem to think that they are responsible for all miracles now. If not, then you need to do some explaining.

    Don’t apologize to me, though I could demand it. Search the Scriptures. Have miraculous signs and wonders ceased? If so, provide the proof texts.

    This is not rocket science, Ali. Pay close attention this time.

    1. God is NOT the God of the dead, but of the living. Those are Jesus’ words.

    2. God has always used miracles, signs, and wonders as a way of confirming His message.

    3. God has always given gifts of healing, using human instruments to do so.

    4. We can ask one another to pray for us if we need healing. In fact, we all do that kind of thing, and God often answers in the affirmative.

    5. We can ask Saints to pray for us as well, since they are not dead.

    6. How do we know that they are in God’s presence and that He is using them as His instruments? How do we know they are in heaven? Their prayers of intercession avail much – to put it in NKJV language.)

    The Church gathers evidence of real miracles performed through the intercessory prayers of saints. After a long process, a decision is made.

    James 5:16New King James Version (NKJV)

    16 Confess your trespasses[a] to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

    Now, you may not agree with this, but at least know what you are disagreeing with. Study it out for yourself. See the evidence. Don’t call all miracles performed in our day “lying signs and wonders.”

    Yes, the Egyptian magicians had a certain amount of power. God’s power kind of drowned that out, it you know what I mean.

    How can you believe that false miracles still happen, but that somehow the Holy Spirit is no longer active in performing miracles and even using human instruments and the prayers of human beings as means?

    Like

  293. On one hand, “I don’t see that adding an additional layer of infallibility helps anything”
    On the other, “I do not believe that an infallible speaker cannot confer an advantage”

    That is true. I don’t see how adding an additional layer of infallibility helps an infallible source. I do not believe that an infallible speaker can never confer an advantage. If one did not have God’s infallible Word already, then an infallible speaker would be an advantage over a fallible speaker (for example).

    “Except God’s Word….a biggie.”
    Which no Protestant church offers as more than provisional opinion, consistent with the type of authority/ability Protestantism ostensibly has and claims. Thus the teachings of the identified canon and contents remains provisional, inerrancy remains provisional, perspicuity remains provisional, SS remains provisional, etc.

    This is false. The “conditional” is insofar as it is consonant with God’s Word. And nothing in the WCF is “provisional” nor is it “opinion” even if it is all fallible and its truth contingent on something else (namely that it accurately reflect what is taught God’s Word). You have a very bad habit of wrenching lines out of context. It is something you should work on. Article 1 of the WCF is the context through which the rest of the confession should be read. The bit on Synods and Councils makes clear that the Bible is the only rule of faith and their authority is dependent on being consonant with that Word.

    “Only that Rome doesn’t meet those conditions…even if her claims are true. ”
    Okay. So what’s the condition that needs to meet if her claims are true in order to confer an advantage? It can’t be mindmelding or overcoming fallible interpretation since you already said you don’t say that.

    Well one condition could be that we not have God’s infallible word.

    “You’re reaching. Is there a church that rejects ss who the pca wouldn’t request a letter from?”
    I’m reaching? So none of the following churches affirm SS?

    ELCA, PCUSA – no both of these denominations have explicitly rejected SS in their modernists battles.

    LCMS – My understand is that we would require a letter from a transfer from the LCMS. If a member were under discipline from that denomination, we would honor that.

    Arminian, Socinian, Arian, KJV-onlyist, Pelagian, emergent, Christadelphian, theonomist/Reconstructionist, Oneness Pentecostal, Assemblies of God, Anabaptist, Church of Christ, Word of Faith, NPP, prosperity, Pelagian, antinominian, Adventist, Westboro, Open Theist, fundamentalist/biblicist?

    Many of these groups are not denominations… I’m sure you can find KJV-onlyists scattered in a number of denominations (or so I’ve heard and seen on the internet) though I’m not aware of any denomination that fits the bill so to speak…, same with arminian, fundamentalist (note the OPC invented it right? I jest…sort of), NPP, Open Theist, etc… Pentecostal, prosperity, Word of Faith, and Assemblies of God all derived from the 19th century Holiness movements (part of Wesleyanism) which explicitly rejected SS for their quadrilateral… My understanding is that these groups are going to be were you find self characterized arminians and open theists as well.

    So yeah, find a protestant denomination that could sign onto the London confession (baptist) or Westminster confession (presby), or TFU statements on scripture (or for modern low church types – the Chicago declaration) that we wouldn’t request a letter from, and we can talk.

    “I would say all of scripture is certain and cannot be revised ”
    Which Protestant church offers the teaching that “all of Scripture is certain and cannot be revised” as a non-provisional irreformable teaching? Which Protestant church offers its identification of Scripture as non-provisional and irreformable?

    WCF… and before you get too hot to trot, remember the context of the document and ask yourself how the condition has actually operated.

    “unlike our modernist friends who wish to excise Paul as a benighted misogynist”
    Darryl says inerrancy is adiaphora. Why are those particular passages of Paul to be taken as irreformable and non-provisional under Protestant claims?

    Are you confusing inerrancy with infallibility? They aren’t synonyms after all. No, SS (particularly the WCF teaching on scripture) does not allow us to conclude that God’s Word is fallible because someone like Paul was a purported misogynist.

    “Of course our interpretation can be in error,”
    Which are the disclaimers all Protestant churches and confessions make for all their teachings.

    Not exactly, and this is the mistake you have made by taking the purported disclaimers out of context. For the reformers, the Word of God – the Bible – was the unquestionable, irreformable, infallible, source of everything we know about God. Everything else, however, helpful, fruitful, etc… is a potentially fallible explanation of that revelation. The “disclaimers” (as you call them) exist because of the recognition of that irreformable belief (as it were).

    “Nope.”
    Why is Augustine authoritative but not Arius and Pelagius? Because you reject Arius and Pelagius’ interpretations as conforming to your intepretation and judgment of Scripture?

    You make it sound all so subjective. Texts can mean whatever we interpret them to mean…written words are just useless because they are evidently infinitely malleable. If that is true (and I don’t for an instant think it is), then of course communication is impossible. Another possibility is that Augustine is authoritative because his views have held sway and so we take them seriously (the sociological perspective). Yet another possibility is that Augustine is authoritative (or at least a subset of what he wrote is – I suppose we can agree that this teaching that women weren’t created in God’s Image isn’t authoritative?) because his writings are consonant with God’s Word. I guess it all hinges on what one means by authoritative – dispositive or worth engaging and considering? I take it as the latter…

    “And while there was widespread agreement with the sentiment, it doesn’t survive exegetical scrutiny. ”
    Exegetical scrutiny as practiced by whom? What about Protestant churches who dismiss your church’s essentials as dying under exegetical scrutiny?

    Well they are either right or wrong. I guess we’ll find out someday?

    “And yes legitimate authorities can be fallible”
    So Scripture can be a legitimate authority without being inerrant. Welcome to liberalism.

    Curious reasoning. Liberalism is not the view that a text can be fallible and still authoritative. Rather it is the view that there are authorities over God’s word (namely science and human experience). So a writing can be authoritative without being infallible (DGH’s Calvinism is an authoritative history of Calvinism), but it can’t be God’s Word without being infallible (by definition).

    “How about if a jew tested the teaching of a certain apostle against scripture, would they be submitting to their judgment or God’s word?”
    Nope.

    Interesting answer to an either or question.

    Scriptural testimony is used as a MoC in identifying Rome’s authority. So, if an NT Jew resisted Christ or the Apostle’s claimed authority, was the Jew submitting to his own judgment, or Christ and the Apostle’s judgment?

    As I’ve noted before, you keep lumping in Christ and the Apostles. This is a mistake – one of these is not like the others. I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure who and how.

    Like

  294. Mermaid:This is not rocket science, Ali. Pay close attention this time.

    Oh mermaid, I can see you are not going to deal honestly in this exchange. Oh well.
    So I’ll just say that I am glad you have God’ s awesome rocket science figured out. Don’t forget though, even with all that mystery figured out and all your knowledge, it’s possible it may profit you nothing. 1 Cor 13:1-3

    Like

  295. Ali
    Posted February 8, 2016 at 5:47 pm | Permalink
    Mermaid:This is not rocket science, Ali. Pay close attention this time.

    Oh mermaid, I can see you are not going to deal honestly in this exchange. Oh well.
    So I’ll just say that I am glad you have God’ s awesome rocket science figured out. Don’t forget though, even with all that mystery figured out and all your knowledge, it’s possible it may profit you nothing. 1 Cor 13:1-3>>>>>>

    Ali, I tried. You don’t like my answers. It sounds too strange to you.

    That doesn’t make me dishonest. I don’t demand an apology.

    Hey, you enjoy the rest of your day!

    Like

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