Where’s the Fall?

Rod Dreher hearkens back to his crunchy con days for this piece of conservative logic:

A conservatism that does not practice restraint, humility, and good stewardship—especially of the natural world—is not fundamentally conservative.

Might we then expect Rod to show some theological restraint when commenting on the murder of a Scottish Muslim?

Asad Shah is with our Creator today. I am confident of that. Please, Christians, wherever you are this Easter weekend, pray for the soul of a righteous man, murdered for his compassion and love of mankind.

Remember, too, that if you condemn all Muslims over the bloodthirsty killers of ISIS, you also condemn this good man Asad Shah, may his memory be eternal.

Sure, Rod doesn’t need to use the timing of this man’s tragic death to point out the differences between Muslims and Christians over sin, salvation, and the redemption secured by Christ (though at Easter he might have the meaning of Christ’s death on his mind). But if conservatives are going to ask the rest of society to take religious seriously, shouldn’t they show the way?

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144 thoughts on “Where’s the Fall?

  1. Just more Hawkins stuff. Do we have to say all Muslims are our brothers in order to say all Muslims are not ISIS?

    Also this is one my beefs with modern conservatism. They try to hijack the Left’s language, but in doing so, they admit that the sorts of oppression and justice that the left loves are legitimate concepts. As terrible as the alt-right is, they have this pegged about the modern conservatives.

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  2. Dreher: “Please, Christians, wherever you are this Easter weekend, pray for the soul of a righteous man, murdered for his compassion and love of mankind

    sheesh

    DG: But if conservatives are going to ask the rest of society to take religious seriously, shouldn’t they show the way?

    and amen

    Salvation is found in no one else (but JESUS), for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4: 12 ..behold, now is the day of salvation- ie. this very day, today, while still alive (John 1:12); for inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment (Heb 9: 27 )

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  3. Just want to point out that Islam is a Christian heresy.
    Mohamed’s wife and his uncle were Christians but has come into contact with a heretical view about the nature of Jesus( forgot which one), much in the way that Joseph Smith did.

    So while it’s true that there is no other name under heaven by which men will be saved, all men do not know this truth or they choose not I to accept it. It remains true ,regardless, that the savior died for all men.

    Do they need to know it in order to be fully sanctified and reach heaven? Only God ,who has a universal salvific will, knows. What I do know is that missionary work is important if men have a better hope in the knowledge of this truth and if they are to baptised and incorporated into the mystical body and receive grace through the sacraments.

    We should pray and hope for all men.

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  4. Susan, did Christ die for Esau?

    11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

    14What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16So then it depends not on human will or exertion,b but on God, who has mercy. (Romans 9)

    Read the Bible and THINK!

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  5. So if you don’t regard the deceased as a Christian, you do regard Asad Shah as a vindication of Christian exceptionalism:

    We mourn and grieve at the loss of any life, but especially when it is someone killed for expressing their faith that human beings should live together in harmony. We are not like some atheistic secularists, or the warped fascist anti-Christianity of people like the EDL and BNP, who believe that the problem is the religion of Islam and have some sick and confused notion of a white ‘Christian’ Britain. This is blasphemy from people who do not understand what Christianity is and who Jesus Christ is. We don’t want to build a wall to keep Muslims out of Scotland – indeed we want to welcome them. And Mr Shah’s message indicates why – We were his ‘beloved Christian nation’. A nation that practiced the Christian values and virtues of tolerance, equality and welcoming the strangers.

    Christian Scotland does not want to exclude Muslims; we want to welcome them in the name of Jesus. There are of course caveats. Not least that, as Mr Shah did, they recognise that this is a Christian nation and not an Islamic one. We are secular, in that there is a separation of Church and State, so that no religion runs the State. But our secular society is one that is based upon Christian values. One of these is that people of different views and opinions are genuinely tolerated. Most importantly there is freedom of religion – freedom to practice, change, preach and live your own religion (or indeed non-religion). So those who support separate ‘Sharia’ laws, or support terrorism, or advocate the killing of other human beings because of their religion, or punishment for apostasy, are not welcome. We welcome the poor, the refugee and those seeking a better life, whatever their religion or background. But we would commit suicide as a society if we welcomed those who in the name of freedom use that freedom in order to destroy it.

    Spinners all.

    Did John Knox and Samuel Rutherford welcome Muslims? Heck, they didn’t even welcome Anglicans.

    So where, pray tell, did this Christian tolerance come from? 2k? Enlightenment? And would a Christian nation permit a Muslim to hold office?

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  6. Thanks, Susan. You’ve just told us all we need to know about the nature of squishy modern Roman Catholicism, the quality of her members, and the ability of her members to reason and handle the scripture. Well played.

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  7. All religions as separated brethren. Nifty. Couldn’t someone argue that all belief systems are Christian heresies? ECT: Everyone and Catholics Together. Talk about unity.

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  8. Lesbian pastor Megan at the local UU coven and Rob Bell are happy with your comment, sister. #lovewins

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  9. Chortles,

    You can it squishy, I call it putting one’s finger on the heart of God.
    Did you read me to say that Islam and Christianity hold all things in common? No you didn’t. But you did read me to say that God willls all men to be saved.

    Dr. Hart,

    “So where, pray tell, did this Christian tolerance come from? 2k? Enlightenment? And would a Christian nation permit a Muslim to hold office?”

    A nation is Christian in so far as its precepts are Christian. There are no theocracies.
    The tolerance comes from Jewish and Christian doctrine in the dignity of man and his free will. Some Muslims apparently don’t have this doctrine, but its still true and they should be told so.
    Sometimes it’s shown in the nonviolence of Christians and the nonresistance to being martyred. Do the Muslims get this? I don’t know that all will but some must since martyred blood is the seed of the Church.

    The law is good, right? The gospel of grace enables us to keep the good law. Maybe understanding this will help your and Greg’s dialog.

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  10. Chortles,

    I didn’t say all will be saved only that God has a universal salvific will.

    So no, I don’t think Rob Bell and Lesbian ideology is akin to the truth of Christianity.

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  11. I wrote again but didn’t see it post sin of there is a dupilicate I apologize.

    Chortles,

    So you think The Catholic Church is too progressive do you?
    The only place where homosexual marriage and women’s ordination isn’t happening is the Roman Catholic Church. For a place that’s so liberal and universal, what’s up with that?

    According to your understanding of scripture, is this a correct handling of scripture?

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  12. Chortles,

    I always feel like you and I are talking at each other rather than to each other, so let’s back up and start over okay please.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought Reformed theology believes that the proverbial soul that lives in the deepest jungles of the Rainforests can be saved.
    If they are saved its because of grace and we can agree on that, I hope.

    Judas was with Jesus, he was baptised and he still betrayed Jesus and then he despaired of the mercy and forgiveness of God so therefore he wasn’t elect because he didn’t persevere.
    We should all take heed.

    Best to you,
    Susan

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  13. Susan, come, let us REASON together.

    Can you really take comfort from not homosexuality or women’s ordination in the RC communion when the bishops have been covering up for sexual abuse of all kinds?

    HUMBLE up.

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  14. “Can you really take comfort from not homosexuality or women’s ordination in the RC communion when the bishops have been covering up for sexual abuse of all kinds?”

    Hey, I’m just glad that my conservatism isn’t an opinion among opinions and all in my head.
    Violations are acts contrary to natural law and therefore contrary to God but Christian doctrines regarding ecclesiology(if true) had better be taught as true even though there are violations.
    Two unlike things that you are trying to make the same. Why?

    “Susan, THINK more. Human will is not free. Ask Aquinas and Augustine. So much for human dignity.”

    No. Catholicism clearly teaches that man has a free will.
    We have concupiscence but we can resist. If I don’t do such and such an act or entertain such and such a thought, I am not sinning.
    I don’t sin every minute of every day.

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  15. Susan, If God wills for all men to be saved they will be saved. The context says that the “all” means all kinds of people, not every person. Your finger-on-the-heart-of-God sentimentality seems to make you want to dabble with universalism. That sentiment mixed with scriptures that are no more authoritative than your fallible-infallible pope leads to goofy statements like yours…and they’re being plenty of room in the RCC for your views and dozens more to the left and to the right.

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  16. All types of men or all those who he has chosen — that’s the Reformed take on “all” — good luck getting an answer any clearer than your from Pope Whom-Am-I-To-Judge.

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  17. Susan, “Hey, I’m just glad that my conservatism isn’t an opinion among opinions and all in my head.”

    You know that’s what evangelicals in churches that ordain women and bless homosexuals say to themselves, right?

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  18. Susan,

    “I don’t sin every minute of every day.”

    Every single moment of your day is tied up with thoughts of how much you love God, hate sin? Every time you do something you are absolutely sure that said thing is the very best use of your time at the moment and that there is nothing better you could be doing within your power to serve God and love your neighbor?

    Be perfect as God is perfect is a pretty high bar to reach.

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  19. Asad Shah is with our Creator today. I am confident of that.

    I am confident of that too. Rev 14:9-11

    A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”

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  20. “Catholicism clearly teaches” …. I wish I could still believe that. But outside of being hot on who[m]ever the current Pope is, and that being nice is important and abortion is very, very bad — and Republicans probably are as well — I can’t say it really clearly teaches much of anything anymore.

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  21. “The only place where homosexual marriage and women’s ordination isn’t happening is the Roman Catholic Church.” True that. At least among the heavy hitters. The policy holds. But the enthusiasm for it isn’t too encouraging. Still, u score a point.

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  22. Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought Reformed theology believes that the proverbial soul that lives in the deepest jungles of the Rainforests can be saved.

    I don’t want to pile on, but the answer is No there. Westminster Larger Catechism Q&A#60 answer most directly and succinctly, but there are other confessional statements that address the issue as well:

    Q. 60. Can they who have never heard the gospel, and so know not Jesus Christ, nor believe in him, be saved by their living according to the light of nature?

    A. They who, having never heard the gospel, know not Jesus Christ, and believe not in him, cannot be saved, be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, or the laws of that religion which they profess; neither is there salvation in any other, but in Christ alone, who is the Savior only of his body the church.

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  23. Ruberade,

    “They who, having never heard the gospel, know not Jesus Christ, and believe not in him, cannot be saved, be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, or the laws of that religion which they profess; neither is there salvation in any other, but in Christ alone, who is the Savior only of his body the church.”

    Yes, I remember now. Although I’m pretty sure that I heard some personal opinions about this as well as what happens to babies who die in the womb or as infants. I wondered what happened to babies who died but whose parents were of the covenant. I knew that all children who were in the covenant community were not going to be saved, so I knew that some of the babies of covenental parents who died in the womb or as infants( before their baptism) were children of perdition too.

    Anyways, Westminster and the other confessions are not infallible and could be wrong. I’m sure that in this case, the scriptures were interpreted incorrectly.
    Yes, Jesus is the only Savior but if men conform themselves according to the light they’re given they can be saved. Why would they have light otherwise?

    Westminster is inconsistent and twists scripture.

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  24. Hi Susan, re: the dead Asad Shah -as you probably already know, most of us here believe (I think) that there is no Biblical warrant for 1) praying for the dead or 2) for any hope of a ‘second chance’ after death

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  25. Robert,

    “Be perfect as God is perfect is a pretty high bar to reach.”

    But nevertheless, it is a command.

    The command isn’t to be God, no one can do that. We are always creatures.We are not expected to just obey like mindless robots or mules pulling a plow; we are to have a filial relationship with God.
    We are to cooperate with the grace God gives so as to be conformed to His image. What kind of perfect behavior pleases a living God? What kind of behavior displeases a living God?
    Partipating in the divine life means loving others and loving God. Fulfilling the law.

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  26. Hi Ali,

    “Hi Susan, re: the dead Asad Shah -as you probably already know, most of us here believe (I think) that there is no Biblical warrant for 1) praying for the dead or 2) for any hope of a ‘second chance’ after death”

    Yes, I know. Protestants are wrong on this.
    Scripture and tradition say otherwise.

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  27. Hi Robert,

    I’m sure you figured it out, but autocorrect did it again.

    I meant to say” loving” not “living” when I asked, “What kind of perfect behavior pleases a loving God?”

    I’m not saved by circumcision, nor doing a laundry list of activities. If I have less than love for God when I could have, with my freewill, opened my heart more to His grace, why should I hope to be saved?

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  28. Susan: Westminster is inconsistent and twists scripture.

    Hm. For my part, I found it to be the opposite. Trained to be an exegete, I found that Westminster stuck very closely to the Scripture and even straightened my thinking at points.

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  29. Hi Jeff,

    Westminster surely gets close. It has to, it didn’t come into being without a parent.
    But you can tell how it supports a Lutheran and Calvinist view of scripture.
    Does scripture lend itself to differing interpretations? If it does, yours might be right.

    It’s safer to be on the side of both scripture and tradition.

    Just look at this page, and tell me without pulling out proof texts for the Reforemed reading, on what basis you disagree with it.

    http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s1c1.htm#28

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  30. I wondered what happened to babies who died but whose parents were of the covenant.

    I don’t feel like arguing today, so I won’t rise to your bait of “Westminster is inconsistent and twists scripture”, but what Westminster has to say about babies is in WCF 10.3: “Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit, who works when, and where, and how He pleases: so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.” WCF does not say anything about which infants are elect, or how many elect infants there are (presumably because the authors did not find those questions answered in the bible)

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  31. Susan, here: “Our holy mother, the Church, holds and teaches that God, the first principle and last end of all things, can be known with certainty from the created world by the natural light of human reason.”

    Reason being fallen together with the rest of our faculties, we cannot know God through the natural light of human reason. Romans 1.21ff; Eph 2.1-3.

    We don’t need revelation to give us additional facts; we need the work of the Spirit to make us able to believe.

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  32. Yes, Jesus is the only Savior but if men conform themselves according to the light they’re given they can be saved. Why would they have light otherwise?

    “The light of nature” is everything man can figure out on his own, without the bible. That includes lots of useful things, like what is good to eat, how to make babies, how to form governments, how to make automobiles, etc, and even that there is a God, that he is perfect, and that we are sinful.

    But the light of nature (aka general revelation) does not include any information about the remedy for that sin. That requires the light of scripture (special revelation).

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  33. Jeff,

    John 1:9 and Romans 9:1 shed light on what it means that man’s natural reason informs him about the existence of God as well as the law that is written on every human heart.
    Does man seek salvation? Not without grace he doesn’t.

    Ruberad,

    I wasn’t trying to bait you and I don’t want to argue either.
    All I meant about Westminster being wrong is that it isn’t sticking to the tradition that preceded it. If tradition is something Christians are to adhere to, then we shouldn’t veer away when something new comes along even if we like it better. Truth doesn’t change. If Westminster was right it should have been in the tradition that preceded it.
    It isnt, so it’s a novelty.

    As for me, I was face to face with two traditions. Both used scripture for support. One was the older tradtion that was still believed, it is believed also by the EO, it harmonizes with the Old and New Testaments and it doesn’t do harm to my natural reason or lead to antinomianism.

    While, it’s not my job to convince you maybe you can understand ( by reading the link I gave.)how it makes sense to me and other converts.
    I don’t want to argue either.

    I hope for unity and wish you peace.

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  34. Susan: “Our holy mother, the Church, holds and teaches that God, the first principle and last end of all things, can be known with certainty from the created world by the natural light of human reason.”

    Jeff: “We don’t need revelation to give us additional facts; we need the work of the Spirit to make us able to believe.”

    On the contrary, we absolutely need special revelation to give us the additional historical facts of the incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection (i.e. the gospel).

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  35. Susan,

    I hope you are well.

    The command isn’t to be God, no one can do that. We are always creatures.

    Agreed. The command is to be perfect as God is perfect as is befitting for creatures. And the command is to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. So, are you loving God with your entire heart right now? As in, you never, ever put anything before Him in importance? Do you know for certain that you are not right now in mortal sin? Have you confessed very mortal sin you’ve ever committed? If you forget a mortal sin, do you get a free pass or are you just out of luck?

    The questions go on and on. The fact is that you have lots of things on your laundry list to fulfill. If you didn’t, there’d be no need for purgatory. Not trying to be cruel.

    As an aside, I would say that Roman Catholicism denies that we are always creatures. At least some saints get to hear millions of prayers at once. Still waiting for some one to explain how that doesn’t require omniscience.

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  36. Susan, “Yes, I know. Protestants are wrong on this.”

    And you were wrong on this five years ago.

    In five years, you may be wrong again.

    Maybe when you’re fresh out of the box, you speak and thump chest less?

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  37. Hi Jeff,

    I don’t mind the questions and I know that you aren’t cruel.
    These are good questions and there are reasonable answers.

    “So, are you loving God with your entire heart right now? ”

    God looks on the heart and knows whether or not I am. I pray that I am.

    “As in, you never, ever put anything before Him in importance? ”

    No, I do all the time but I am becoming more detached from earthly things all the time.
    I trust that he knows what I need to let go off and he will help me during the rest of my years, or days, hours, or minutes.
    He who began a good work will be faithful to complete it.

    “Do you know for certain that you are not right now in mortal sin?”

    Yes.

    ” Have you confessed very mortal sin you’ve ever committed? ”

    Yes. The confession is a matter of the heart. If I overlook my intention is what matters. God is a person not a slot machine:)

    “If you forget a mortal sin, do you get a free pass or are you just out of luck?”

    I understand your view of God. I was there. God is our father and he loves us, Jeff. We love him because He first loved us. Love keeps no record of wrongs. If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrigjteousness. Love never fails.

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  38. Darryl,

    “Maybe when you’re fresh out of the box, you speak and thump chest less?”

    Does it really appear that I am doing this?
    If so, I sincerely don’t feel that 21st
    Chest thumping, I mean.

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  39. @ Susan: That was Robert, not me. However, I resonate with his remarks. No time for a lengthy tome, but if Jesus said that the entire Law rests on loving God and loving neighbor, why does the RCC say that the OT Law (by which we are not justified) is different from the law of love (by which, they say, we are justified)?

    If the summary of the Law is to love, then when Paul says we are not justified by the Law, that entails that we are not justified by love.

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  40. classicaled says:
    March 28, 2016 at 9:52 pm
    Darryl,

    “Maybe when you’re fresh out of the box, you speak and thump chest less?”

    Does it really appear that I am doing this?
    If so, I sincerely don’t feel that 21st
    Chest thumping, I mean.>>>>>>>>

    Hi, Susan,
    No, you are not chest thumping. You are answering questions put to you, and doing a good job of it. I admire your patience. Don’t let them draw you in too deeply. The guys have their minds made up, so why so many questions?

    Have a great week, Susan.

    Kind regards,
    Mrs. Webfoot

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  41. @susan
    Your take on islamic history is unusual. Do you have a source? Which wife was the Christian. Certainly not his first.

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  42. Susan,

    I understand your view of God. I was there. God is our father and he loves us, Jeff. We love him because He first loved us. Love keeps no record of wrongs. If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrigjteousness. Love never fails.

    That’s not what I asked. Have you confessed every single mortal sin you have ever committed since believing in Christ? Are you certain that there is not one mortal sin that you have forgotten? Maybe you never forget anything, but I’m sure that in the course of my life I have committed at least one “mortal” sin that I just don’t remember now. Life often gets in the way—work, kids, etc. take our attention away, and we forget. Thus, it is unconfessed. That’s why I’m sure that there is probably at least one unconfessed mortal sin in your life.

    So, given that you in all likelihood have at least one mortal sin in your life that you have forgotten, do you get a pass because you’ve forgotten it? Does a “mortal” sin that you’ve forgotten cease to be a mortal sin? I mean yes, love keeps no record of wrongs. But RC theology says God certainly does keep a record of unconfessed mortal sin. So where does that put you in relation to God?

    God looks on the heart and knows whether or not I am. I pray that I am.

    Okay, that’s honest. But if you don’t know whether you are loving God with your whole heart, how can you be sure you are presently free from mortal sin? If loving God with your whole heart is the greatest commandment and you don’t know whether or not you’ve kept it, you simply can’t know if you are not in mortal sin. So, you may in fact and probably are cut off from the grace of justification, and apart from recalling every sin, I don’t see how you have any hope in your system of ever getting that grace back, unless of course God gives us a pass for the sins we don’t remember. But I don’t recall where Scripture says our forgetting a sin means we are not guilty of sin.

    I would suggest you need to think harder about the Roman Catholic doctrine of sin and whether you can ever know that you are free from mortal sin. Ludwig Ott said that no one apart from special revelation can ever know whether they have attained all they need for justification. So I don’t see where you can ever be sure that your life is currently free from mortal sin.

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  43. D. G. Hart says:
    March 29, 2016 at 6:20 am
    Mermaid, “The guys have their minds made up.”

    You’re surprised? You thought your naivete was going to flip Protestants? Go read New Advent and feel superior.>>>>>

    No, I am not surprised at all. No, I am not naive. No, I do not feel superior.

    Susan is a sweet, good, Catholic Christian woman, and I hate to see her submit to the interrogation she undergoes here. She answers well, defends her faith with kindness and love, yet is told by you especially that she needs to THINK more.

    She thinks very deeply and very sincerely about her faith. Her love for God and neighbor is evident in every comment she writes. Her answers show both depth of understanding and wisdom, yet she is treated like a silly woman. Why is that?

    What does surprise me is the naiveté of some of the Old Life readers and regulars. This blog is not an entirely accurate picture of Reformed faith and practice, as Greg the not so Terrible has clearly demonstrated. I hate to think that some of your young men are getting their faith formation from this blog.

    You are definitely soft pedaling the nature of the soft porn that is depicted in many of our movies and even television programs in our day. Why are you doing that? Do Reformed men have no problems with porn addiction? Why so little concern for those under your care who may very well be your weaker brothers? Sure, maybe you are strong, but you are a leader. What gives, here?

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  44. Robert,

    The short answer is that I don’t have unconfessed mortal sin.
    If I had two abortions, I would confess to two murders.
    If I got drink 20 times in my life but didn’t know the exact number, I would confess to being drunk at least more than a dozen times.
    The contrition is what matters. If it’s not perfect, I pray it will be. I don’t get freaked out about it. I know God loved me.

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  45. “The contrition is what matters”….so feeling bad (contrition) is just like obeying the law perfectly?? When a priest molests a child, but feels real bad about it –its all good?? But us protestants have scripture twisted and confused and are heading towards antinomianism…. huh… And btw you mentioned scripture addresses a second chance after death? where exactly? Not a poster here, more of a lurker, but your reasoning gets more and more confusing to me as I read it.

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  46. Susan,

    The short answer is that I don’t have unconfessed mortal sin.

    Okay, but again that’s not really what I’m asking. In order to confess a mortal sin from the past or present, you have to remember that you committed it. So what happens to all the mortal sins you’ve committed that you’ve just plain forgotten about? Is there an escape clause: “God, I’m sure there’s a bunch of mortal sins I can’t remember but I’m sorry for them all.”

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  47. Susan,

    And then, what about those sins of yours that you might think are venial but are really mortal. After all, there is no list of mortal sins anywhere. I believe that lack of knowledge that a sin is mortal doesn’t automatically make it non-mortal in the RC view if you are not invincibly ignorant. Have you gotten the Roman doctrine of sin down enough that you can be sure you can always spot a mortal sin when one happens? If not, how do you know God isn’t holding one against you?

    This isn’t an issue for Protestants. We’re covered with the perfect righteousness of Christ even for those things we do not yet recognize as sins or for sins we can’t remember. I don’t see how it isn’t an issue for RCs, at least for the really scrupulous ones. The vibe I’m getting from your answers is “Just confess what you know and don’t worry about it.” But that’s little comfort if you can only be assured of forgiveness of mortal sin via the sacrament of penance.

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  48. D. G. Hart says:
    March 29, 2016 at 12:25 pm
    Mermaid, Susan is so very very superior. I get it.>>>>>

    My point about Susan is that she is not inferior, as you like to portray her.

    D.G. Hart:
    Blogs aren’t for faith formation.>>>>>

    Then don’t advertise your bog as Old Life – Reformed Faith and Practice. Tell your readers to go to their own pastors, their own elders, their own standards, and the Bible, of course in order to learn what Reformed faith and practice really is.

    Don’t slander yourself or mislead others since this blog is really just a bunch of random people talking about things that interest them. Nothing more. It is not about Reformed Faith and Practice, though most of those who participate and lurk are Reformed.

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  49. Mermaid, you’re not keeping up. 2kers differentiate the sacred and the secular. So a Calvinist blogging about life in this world is still Calvinist even if using secular categories. And a confessional Presbyterian doesn’t have to gum everything up with piety since the Bible doesn’t address all of life. I am a Reformed Protestant talking out loud here.

    And you keep coming baaaaaaaaack. That’s on you.

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  50. D. G. Hart says:
    March 29, 2016 at 3:52 pm
    Mermaid, you’re not keeping up. 2kers differentiate the sacred and the secular. So a Calvinist blogging about life in this world is still Calvinist even if using secular categories. And a confessional Presbyterian doesn’t have to gum everything up with piety since the Bible doesn’t address all of life. I am a Reformed Protestant talking out loud here.

    And you keep coming baaaaaaaaack. That’s on you.>>>>>>

    Oh, I like to come back as long as you are talking about Catholicism. It interests me, and I like to enter into the discussion. I do thank you for allowing that kind of free conversation.

    I don’t think Paul can be accused of being pietistic when he says this.:

    Galatians 5:13
    You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

    …or this.:
    Romans 14:21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.

    …or this.:
    1 Corinthians 8:13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

    Like

  51. Hello Sem,

    Since I have confused you or appear confused to you, I’m glad you addressed me and I’m happy to clarify.

    You said,

    “The contrition is what matters”….so feeling bad (contrition) is just like obeying the law perfectly?? When a priest molests a child, but feels real bad about it –its all good?? ”

    Contrition matters but it isn’t the same as fulfilling the law. Contrition is sorrow for sin.
    If a priest ( or anyone)feels bad while about to molest or while molesting a child they should stop since they know it is sinful. However, they didn’t wake up one day and walk into this kind of grave sin; they had been ignoring the Spirit for a long while to even begin to take small steps toward something so serious.
    But, if anyone asks for forgiveness, no matter how grace the sin, their sins are forgiven. They will have to have contrition. But contrition comes from being sorry for offending God who is Holy.

    “But us protestants have scripture twisted and confused and are heading towards antinomianism…. huh… ”

    First of all, Protestants are considered separated brothers. So there is more that we share than that which we disagree. The scriptures themselves are a grouping of books that the one Catholic Church decreed to be inspired and inerrant, and therefore a whole and complete canon of God’s revelation. If that same church knows what is and isn’t canonical it also knows what the scriptures teach.

    “And btw you mentioned scripture addresses a second chance after death? where exactly? ”

    Purgatory is where we are further purified of our sins if we had any remaining venial sins when we die( most of us). If we die in a state of mortal sin, we go to hell.

    Here is one place in the NT where the idea occurs. I realize that Protestants are not quickley convinced by verses that seem abstruse, but maybe you can, at the very least, see that if there is some biblical precedent it stands to reason that it has always been part of Jewish and early Christian Tradition.

    “If the work which any man has built on the foundation [which is Christ] survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire” (1 Cor 3: 14-15).

    Here’s a helpful article:

    https://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

    “Not a poster here, more of a lurker, but your reasoning gets more and more confusing to me as I read .”

    It’s nice to meet you, Sem. I apologize for confusing you.

    God bless you,
    Susan

    Like

  52. Susan, “First of all, Protestants are considered separated brothers.”

    Protestants were heretics.

    Infallible magisterium gets it wrong again. Development of detecting wind a’blowing to the rescue.

    Like

  53. Susan, as you know, most of us here (I think) greatly appreciate the way of the Lord’s exhortations that we enjoy full assurance of salvation by evidence of His work in us – never forgetting what God has done for us- never forgetting His great sacrifice to completely purify us from sin; because He wants us to rejoice in HIM, about it all. We can have complete assurance, no doubt.
    How incredible too, that not only do we have complete assurance of salvation, because of Jesus, and though all credit for everything goes to HIM, He is so abundantly generous to bless us additionally with some way of reward, which appeasrs to be proportionate to faithfulness in this life.

    Like

  54. Ali says:
    March 30, 2016 at 9:46 am
    Susan, as you know, most of us here (I think) greatly appreciate the way of the Lord’s exhortations that we enjoy full assurance of salvation by evidence of His work in us – never forgetting what God has done for us- never forgetting His great sacrifice to completely purify us from sin; because He wants us to rejoice in HIM, about it all. We can have complete assurance, no doubt.
    How incredible too, that not only do we have complete assurance of salvation, because of Jesus, and though all credit for everything goes to HIM, He is so abundantly generous to bless us additionally with some way of reward, which appeasrs to be proportionate to faithfulness in this life.>>>>>

    Hi, Ali,
    What I see is that the Protestants participating here claim full assurance, assurance that they are part of the elect.

    I also see the Protestants here arguing that one cannot be 100% sure of anything. So, what do you mean by full assurance? Some have clearly argued that we cannot know infallibly that Protestants have the correct canon of Scriptures. Some have clearly argued that we cannot know with 100% certainty that Christ rose from the dead.

    So, how can you then claim 100% assurance – full assurance – of your own, personal salvation?

    The recognition that one cannot have full assurance about the canon of Scripture or the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a problem for your side if you want to then claim full assurance of salvation.

    Now, I understand that your side is not denying Scripture. I understand that your side is saying that one can be quite certain that the Protestant canon is correct. I understand that your side is saying that one can be quite certain that Jesus Christ rose from the dead based on the evidence presented in Scripture.

    Why, then don’t you talk about your salvation in the same way? You might say that you are quite certain that Christ has saved you and that you will go to Heaven, but to claim full assurance does not add up if your side is going to claim some uncertainty about key doctrines of your faith.

    Do you see what I mean?

    Notice that the full assurance of hope spoken of in Hebrews 6 is contingent on our not becoming sluggish spiritually. We are to imitate those who have inherited the promises through faith and patience.

    I believe that is what Susan is talking about, but she will explain – and she has explained over and over again.

    It is all of grace in Christ, of course, by the Holy Spirit, to the glory of God.

    If you care to, read this section from the Catechism of the Catholic Church to get a better understanding of what the Church teaches. It will help you not set up straw man arguments.
    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c3a2.htm

    Hebrews 6
    6 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 and of instruction about washings,[a] the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits. 4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who 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, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. 7 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.

    9 Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. 10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

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  55. Mrs W. The Bible does not teach the doctrine of purgatory; the Apocrypha is not scripture; tradition is not scripture; saints- that is, all believers – are not punished for sins, because Jesus took the punishment,though there are always consequences of sin, and the Lord is into redemptive discipline of His children;
    and the following is a dishonor to what the Lord has done for us:
    “Suffrages operate in such a matter that the satisfactory value of the good works is offered to God in substitution for the temporal punishment of sins which the poor souls still have to render, It operates by why of remission of temporal punishment due to sin.” Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Ludwig Ott

    Re: the post topic : There is no Biblical warrant for the idea of praying for the dead and one should not encourage or give false hope about this.

    I can’t speak to some others certainty argument; but I have full assurance, of which I cannot boast, for it is a gift of God.

    Like

  56. Ali says:
    March 30, 2016 at 4:24 pm
    Mrs W. The Bible does not teach the doctrine of purgatory;>>>>>

    Your tradition tells you that. You cannot enter God’s Heaven as you are, which is something that Protestants also believe. The work of sanctification will not be completed during the lifetime of a believer. So, one must go through a purification before being able to enter into Heaven. Read 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 if you will. Notice that the wood, hay, and stubble of a believer’s life will be burned up. In Catholic theology, that is called “purgatory.” You ask for proof texts…

    10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

    Ali:
    the Apocrypha is not scripture;>>>>>

    According to your tradition, the Deuterocanonical books are not inspired Scripture. Remember, though, that Protestants do not claim that the canon is closed. Most follow Luther’s OT canon, but he also wanted to get rid of Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation.

    Ali:
    tradition is not scripture;>>>>>

    Scripture is Scripture.

    Ali:
    saints- that is, all believers – are not punished for sins, because Jesus took the punishment,though there are always consequences of sin, and the Lord is into redemptive discipline of His children;
    and the following is a dishonor to what the Lord has done for us:>>>>>

    Purgatory is a purification. Paul would not talk about a final purification – a judgment by fire – if it were dishonoring to the Lord.

    Ali:
    “Suffrages operate in such a matter that the satisfactory value of the good works is offered to God in substitution for the temporal punishment of sins which the poor souls still have to render, It operates by why of remission of temporal punishment due to sin.” Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Ludwig Ott>>>>>>

    Context, please, or a link to the quote.

    Ali:
    Re: the post topic : There is no Biblical warrant for the idea of praying for the dead and one should not encourage or give false hope about this.>>>>>>

    Remember that God is not the God of the dead. You have had trouble with this before. One does not pray for those in Hell.

    You reject the Deuterocanonical books as Scripture. I am guessing that you have never looked into the evidence for the canonicity of those books except from a Protestant point of view. If you wish, check out the evidence to support the thesis that the Scriptures that Jesus, the Disciples, the writers of the NT used was the Septuagint.

    There are abundant references to the Deuterocanonical books in the NT, even in the Gospels. This is stong evidence to support the idea that whenever a NT writer – especially Paul – spoke of the Scriptures, they meant the Septuagint as well as the Hebrew OT.

    http://jimmyakin.com/deuterocanonical-references-in-the-new-testament

    Ali:
    I can’t speak to some others certainty argument; but I have full assurance, of which I cannot boast, for it is a gift of God.>>>>>

    Well, what Scripture do you use to support what you say? The Hebrews 6 passage that actually speaks of full assurance of hope makes it dependent on a believer’s not becoming sluggish. You assume that you will persevere by the grace of God – that He will give you persevering grace. May it be so.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. Mrs. W: Well, what Scripture do you use to support what you say?

    quickly, don’t want to get into it too much with you, because you are disrespectful, but will answer 1) the above- Could include several, but I love: The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God and
    2) 1Cor 2:10-17 is about God’s testing believer’s earthly works to determine reward. (bema)

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  58. Look, Ali, I think you are a good Christian. I don’t have any reason to doubt your faith and your love for the Lord – none at all. I don’t expect you to agree with me, even. I admire your love of Scripture. I’m just trying to give you as clear and as good an answer as I know how. Others are much better than I am.

    Not sure when I accused you of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, but if I did that, I was wrong. Not denying it or justifying it, just saying I honestly do not remember.

    Like

  59. PS
    I do not mean to be disrespectful to you or to anyone, but if I am, I am truly sorry. I am just trying to give you straight answers.

    All the best to you and your loved ones.

    Like

  60. Mermaid, “Ali, I think you are a good Christian. I don’t have any reason to doubt your faith and your love for the Lord.”

    You mean the mortal sin of denying the supremacy of the pope and not submitting to the holy father makes you a good Christian?

    Like

  61. It’s always tough to see Susan get pummeled. The pummeling makes sense but I kinda feel sorry for her. Her Rome doesn’t have the gospel.

    Like

  62. mrswebfoot says: Remember that God is not the God of the dead. You have had trouble with this before.

    mrswebfoot says: PS I do not mean to be disrespectful to you or to anyone, but if I am, I am truly sorry.

    oh ok, really?, then please also stop continuing the mocking of ‘trouble with understanding that the dead are alive’.
    If the Lord uses the word dead for people who have died, I think its ok to do the same, as I previously said; of course, I understand your desire to divert and confound the real argument, since we know from scripture that believers absent from the body are at home with the Lord( 2 Cor 5:7), making the idea of purgatory a challenge.

    anyway, re; true ‘dead’-ness – to this, I hope we can agree to say AMEN:

    But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were DEAD in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 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. Eph 2:4-9

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  63. Good Morning Ali, (excuse me while I dust off rock debris…..:)

    “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were DEAD in our transgression….”

    This is speaking of us being spiritually dead. Without God’s grace through the power of the Holy Spirit to animate us, we are dead.

    When Mrs. Webfoot is speaking about God being the God of the living she is pointing out that when our bodies die we become disembodied spirits until the resurrection, but though are bodies are dead and decaying our spirits( our form…”us”) are alive with God. So in that way we are not dead we just pass into eternity where there is continued fellowship with God and other holy people( sanctified ones).

    We don’t know where heaven is but the spirits of those who died can hear us.

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  64. Susan, “I don’t accept that the gospel is a forensic arrangement, that’s all.”

    Well, then, how do you ever get out of purgatory? The stain of sin doesn’t go away.

    I get it, though, Roman Catholics don’t really think the fall is all that bad. Adam needed grace before the fall. After the fall, a little Aristotle will get you on your way to human flourishing.

    Does Christian humanism actually make sense when it apes secular humanism with a little pick me up of grace when things get really bad?

    Like

  65. “I get it, though, Roman Catholics don’t really think the fall is all that bad.”

    CCC:
    “In that sin man preferred himself to God and by that very act scorned him. He chose himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status and therefore against his own good. Constituted in a state of holiness, man was destined to be fully “divinized” by God in glory. Seduced by the devil, he wanted to “be like God”, but “without God, before God, and not in accordance with God”.

    Scripture portrays the tragic consequences of this first disobedience. Adam and Eve immediately lose the grace of original holiness. They become afraid of the God of whom they have conceived a distorted image – that of a God jealous of his prerogatives.

    The harmony in which they had found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now destroyed: the control of the soul’s spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions, their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination. Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man. Because of man, creation is now subject “to its bondage to decay”. Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come true: man will “return to the ground”, for out of it he was taken. Death makes its entrance into human history.

    After that first sin, the world is virtually inundated by sin There is Cain’s murder of his brother Abel and the universal corruption which follows in the wake of sin. Likewise, sin frequently manifests itself in the history of Israel, especially as infidelity to the God of the Covenant and as transgression of the Law of Moses. And even after Christ’s atonement, sin raises its head in countless ways among Christians.Scripture and the Church’s Tradition continually recall the presence and universality of sin in man’s history:
    What Revelation makes known to us is confirmed by our own experience. For when man looks into his own heart he finds that he is drawn towards what is wrong and sunk in many evils which cannot come from his good creator. Often refusing to acknowledge God as his source, man has also upset the relationship which should link him to his last end, and at the same time he has broken the right order that should reign within himself as well as between himself and other men and all creatures.”

    “Following St. Paul, the Church has always taught that the overwhelming misery which oppresses men and their inclination towards evil and death cannot be understood apart from their connection with Adam’s sin and the fact that he has transmitted to us a sin with which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the “death of the soul”. Because of this certainty of faith, the Church baptizes for the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not committed personal sin.”

    Sounds bad to me.

    “Adam needed grace before the fall.”

    RCism condemned Pelagianism, it’s true.

    Wilson,

    What is the gospel that Rome doesn’t have?

    Like

  66. Jean Claude Cletus Van Dang It: A finished sacrifice. You don’t have assurance with your bogus dichotomy of types of sins. But you already know this. By the way, have you been participating in the thronging of the Mother Angelica tributes? Will you be requesting some of her extra merit for you or your family? Papa Frank says she’s in Heaven – no purgation for that saint. Oh how sweet.

    Like

  67. WIlson,

    Can you tell me where RCism teaches Christ didn’t complete His sacrifice?

    So Reformed assurance and perseverance is the gospel. So do you kinda feel sorry for Lutherans and Arminians as well? Are you assured you aren’t a reprobate currently subject to God’s evanescent grace and inferior operations of the Holy Spirit as Calvin put it that would cause self-deception?

    Like

  68. James Young, that’s odd since Roman Catholic theologians at Roman Catholic universities don’t teach the catechism:

    Are people inherently evil? Do we inevitably choose to sin? Or are we essentially good and, with God’s help, capable of free choice? The Catholic position tilts well in favor of humanity’s essential goodness. Though its pastoral practice may often reflect otherwise, Catholic Christianity does not take sinfulness as defining people. In fact, we are good to the core and, with God’s help augmented in Jesus, we have the free will capacity to choose accordingly. . . . At the Council of Trent Catholic Christianity officially rejected the notion of human depravity. It reiterated that though we have a “fallen” nature and are ever in need of God’s grace, we are essentially good, not inherently corrupt. Although “original sin” is pervasive in our lives and world, even more so is “original grace. The divine spark in us is never extinguished, the imago Dei never lost. As the Catechism states, though “human nature bears the wound of original sin,” we still “desire the good” and “remain an image of our Creator.” (Thomas H. Groome, What Makes us Catholic, 36-37)

    So whom am I to believe? A lay schlub who quotes the catechism or the principle author of the Coming to Faith series used in Roman Catholic schools and parishes? If only vd, t were here to tell us who the real Roman Catholic is.

    Like

  69. Clete,

    Or perhaps one can be a sound RC thinker if one teaches the catechism and one can be a sound RC thinker if one doesn’t. If you go all in on the Magisterium and the Magisterium is okay with it, why should we care?

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  70. James Young, believe it or not, I know about RC trads and conservatives. I post their stuff too and you don’t express much agreement, maybe because they say what you like to deny.

    So good for you, you have a school teacher who writes a long critical review at an RC website (not sure vd, t would recognize it). Go have yourself an adult beverage.

    But it doesn’t change the fact that the keepers of the flame are hardly doing this heavy lifting — that is, the bishops, the ones with all the infallible mojo. And meanwhile, good RC kids go off to BC and think they are hearing the truth from Dr. Groome.

    Roman Catholicism has more liberalism than liberal Protestants have liberal Protestantism. I know, blame it on the Reformation.

    Like

  71. Darryl,

    “I post their stuff too”

    Is there a “Is Boston College paying attention?” tag I missed?

    “you have a school teacher”

    Would you be swayed or alter your stance if he was a professor instead? Somehow I’m doubtful. Also, I have a catechism which was overseen by bishops and the pope. The thing you acknowledge Groome “doesn’t teach”.

    “good RC kids go off to BC and think they are hearing the truth from Dr. Groome. ”

    Good RC kids should probably be familiar with the catechism. You’re not a good RC kid and you were able to recognize he doesn’t teach the catechism, so I think you might be able to give good RC kids a bit more credit for their intelligence and discernment.

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  72. Ali:
    oh ok, really?, then please also stop continuing the mocking of ‘trouble with understanding that the dead are alive.’ >>>>>

    I am not mocking you. You seem to still be having trouble with the concept and you still accuse Catholics of praying to the dead. We do not pray to the dead.

    Ali, who said this and where is it recorded?

    “He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.”

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  73. Cletus: Can you tell me where RCism teaches Christ didn’t complete His sacrifice?

    Yes, Purgatory. And that’s just one place! A damnable heresy it is. You should get together with Dispys and re-build that temple and Hebrews 10:29 yourselves. I’m joking, please don’t do that.

    So Reformed assurance and perseverance is the gospel. So do you kinda feel sorry for Lutherans and Arminians as well? Are you assured you aren’t a reprobate currently subject to God’s evanescent grace and inferior operations of the Holy Spirit as Calvin put it that would cause self-deception?

    Nope.

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  74. Wilson,

    If Christ’s sacrifice wasn’t completed, no one could or would enter Heaven. So there would not be a Purgatory.

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  75. Why do a particular strand of conservative RCs find it comforting that the bishops produced a catechism but then don’t care that nobody follows it? Why do particular conservative RCs find it comforting that the pope signed off on the catechism but then kept getting identified as man of the year by homosexual publications? Why do particular conservative RCs find it comforting that the documents from the councils exist but that church theologians at RC universities don’t teach them?

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  76. Clete,

    Is there a “Is Boston College paying attention?” tag I missed?

    I think its not there because Boston College professors aren’t typically telling a story about actual lived-out Roman Catholicism that is a lie or at best ignores the facts. It’s also probably because Boston College is representative of RCism in a way that CTC and similar outfits just aren’t.

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  77. Robert, but give James Young credit. He scours the parts of Old Life the way he studies his Catechism. Too bad he’s still a Pollyanna about Roman Catholicism.

    Like

  78. Robert,

    Why don’t you acknowledge that there is a Catholic catechism that speaks dogmatically even though there are liberal pastors( awaiting correction) who twist it?

    When I was Reformed , I knew more about the Reformed confessions than many of those who attended church with me( I read more). They and I professed belief that those confessions were true even though we hadn’t been instructed completely in them. That would take effort and interest and not everyone was so inclined to learn, but they still believed and trusted in those confessions.
    Our being in the “covenant community” wasn’t contingent on our professing the Reformed belief exhaustively, but We still gave our allegiance to them as if they were the absolutely correct and true.

    You trust in your standards as if they were the gospel and hold yourself and others to a correct adherence to them both in behavior and in correct profession, so why can’t Catholics trust in our theology but still unfortunately have people who twist it or don’t understand it? Do errorneous teaching make the truth erroneous too?

    What’s worse a group who has incorrect and competing doctrines but people who teach it consistently, or a group who has correct doctrine but erring teachers?

    Why don’t you worry about what Catholicism teaches rather than whether or not there are wrong teachers?

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  79. Susan, “Why don’t you acknowledge that there is a Catholic catechism that speaks dogmatically even though there are liberal pastors( awaiting correction) who twist it?”

    Welcome to still being a Protestant. Your judgment of Rome’s truth depends on its doctrinal statements. That’s a very Protestant way of judging a church. And it departs significantly from all the charism and infallibility that supposedly makes Rome superior to all other communions. If you concede liberalism in your church, how is Rome really better than the URC where liberalism is anathema?

    Shrug’s yours.

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  80. Susan,

    Why don’t you acknowledge that there is a Catholic catechism that speaks dogmatically even though there are liberal pastors( awaiting correction) who twist it?

    Well I’m not sure that the RC Catechism “speaks dogmatically.” It hasn’t been offered as infallible that I’m aware of, though I could be wrong about that.

    I do acknowledge that the RCC is offered by the Magisterium as an official presentation of the RCC faith, but that isn’t that impressive when you consider that the Episcopal Church USA presents the Book of Common Prayer as an official presentation of the ECUSA faith. What would be impressive is if anyone in either communion would actually be held to the teaching in those documents. They simply aren’t.

    The liberals have had decades to be corrected. Rome’s overwhelming response has been to go on as if all is okay. Either the Magisterium is blind, lacks courage, or doesn’t think the liberals are wrong. Either one of those explanations is reason enough not to trust Magisterial claims of infallibility.

    You trust in your standards as if they were the gospel and hold yourself and others to a correct adherence to them both in behavior and in correct profession, so why can’t Catholics trust in our theology but still unfortunately have people who twist it or don’t understand it? Do errorneous teaching make the truth erroneous too?

    Of course erroneous teaching doesn’t make the truth erroneous. But I’m not sure RCs are supposed to trust in their theology. They are supposed to trust in the church, but I’ve already given at least three reasons above why the RCC can’t be trusted. You can default to trusting your doctrine, but as Darryl said, that is a Protestant move, not a true RC one.

    What’s worse a group who has incorrect and competing doctrines but people who teach it consistently, or a group who has correct doctrine but erring teachers?

    The latter, but again, if you are supposed to trust the church with implicit faith and it has the charism, how can you identify the erring churches if Rome won’t? This is the thing about going all in on the church and papacy. You can’t have it both ways. You all want to tell us that you were hopefully confused about the truth and lacked a principled means to discern the truth before Rome gave you one, then you want to tell me that at least some church teachers—even the pope can err, then you want to tell me that if that happens you can correct them. But if the teachers can err, you should certainly be no less confused about the truth now than you were then. And, in fact, you then act as if the teachers can’t err, turning every change of doctrine into development. The whole thing doesn’t really hold together apart from credulity and blind implicit faith. It certainly doesn’t hold together a system that is any better or does a better job than Protestantism. But the triumphalism about Rome continues.

    Why don’t you worry about what Catholicism teaches rather than whether or not there are wrong teachers?

    Well, the teaching is bad enough. The problem is that it’s really hard to identify what RCism teaches today if you go all in on the Magisterium and then look at what is taught in the name of RCism. The Catechism, various members of the Magisterium, Boston College, etc. all say radically different things on issues that in theory should be settled. This would be less of a problem if the official dogma had priority over the church. At least prior to V2, you could look at council statements and so forth to get an idea of what the dogma is. But the church has supreme authority in your system, and it’s supposedly infallible. So going all in on the Magisterium means I simply can’t identify erroneous teachers unless and until Rome does. Remember, that was Rome’s response to Luther and the other Reformers—how do you dare identify true and false teaching and true and false teachers apart from the Magisterium making that decision.

    All of this would be less objectionable if conservative RC apologists would stop with the “Rome is better because it solves the confusion and gives us a way to know what is true” schtick. If indeed Rome is better, it isn’t for those reasons.

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  81. Darryl,

    I thought you had friends who are RC?
    If you do, do you speak to them the way you speak to myself and other Catholics?
    Any of us could resort to the kind of snarky rudeness that you and your other Catholic bashers do, but we try not to because it offends our Lord.
    It’s not that I don’t have your aserbic wit, I just know that it isn’t kind to use it and it won’t help us towards unity.
    The best kind of humor in dialog where there is disagreement, doesn’t tear down the other. I cannot imagine any Catholic gentlemen playing fast and loose like you do, or foaming at the mouth like some of the men who comment here who trip over themselves just to “pile on” and “pummel” a few incoherent insults to us “Cat-lics”.
    I really don’t know why I engage at all. This isn’t the blog of a genteman. A smoking jacket and a tumbler of scotch doesn’t a literary man make.

    “Welcome to still being a Protestant. Your judgment of Rome’s truth depends on its doctrinal statements.”

    But I’m not sitting in judgment of her doctrine. I accept it. And yes, I know what it consists of. I’m not on the lookout for what agrees with me, but for agreement with what is church teaching itself.

    ” That’s a very Protestant way of judging a church. “ed

    Protestants judge church by what they think scripture teaches, and that’s not what I’m doing. If the Church Is true her teachings will be true, Mr. Skeptic.

    “And it departs significantly from all the charism and infallibility that supposedly makes Rome superior to all other communions.”

    Catholicism (says) it can give a definitive answer about those doctrines which protestants themselves disagree; like what is the Eucharist and is there a priesthood and holy orders, seven sacraments, communion of saints….
    From, your point of view Rome is wrong on all of those accounts,(so you and I are proceeding nowhere), however smart men should be able to see that it differs very much from Protestantism.( and they do, hence the basis of their attacks).
    Does Catholicism really really know the answer to all those differing doctrines? I believe that she does. But (from your point of view), please don’t shoot me, for not using my ever so humble and stealthy charism to protest so well as you do; I was taken by the reasonableness of the doctrine—– I mean, the incense and shimm’a

    ” If you concede liberalism in your church, how is Rome really better than the URC where liberalism is anathema?”

    It helps to be able to appeal to Aristotle for some parts of the liberal vs. conservative argument. Having liberal’s in both our camp’s doesn’t solve your tradition’s and my tradition’s doctrinal differences.

    “Shrug’s yours.”
    No, because I don’t shrug. I look for answers, and I don’t presuppose they aint in Rome because,–well because–Rome.

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  82. Susan says: If the Church Is true her teachings will be true, Mr. Skeptic.

    Jesus says: be warned, on guard, and alert

    -2 Pet 2:12 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves
    -1 John 4:1[ Testing the Spirits ] Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
    -2 Cor 11:13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.
    -Gal 2:4 But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.
    -Matt 24:11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. (and ps:12 Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.)
    -Matt 24:24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.

    who cannot be ultimately misled?…… the elect

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  83. Susan, you do shrug. You turn a blind eye to the liberalism that is all over the Roman Catholic church. It would be one thing if Rome had never opposed liberalism. But Piux X happened. And now your church acts as if it can’t turn liberal because Rome CAN (but does it?) give a definitive answer. Rome used to fear the modern world. It could lead you astray. Now Rome comes alongside the world and the numbers of nominal Roman Catholics who don’t practice the faith show what happens when you come alongside the world.

    It happened to mainline Protestantism but somehow we’re supposed to think that it can’t happen to Roman Catholicism because some evangelicals say it can’t?

    That’s why I get upset, Susan. You’re really not honest about Roman Catholicism. If you turned SSPXer because of evangelicalism’s problems, fine. But you go to the Roman Catholic version of the PCUSA and act like you’ve entered the world of neo-Scholasticism and Tridentine orthodoxy. You haven’t. And it’s only Protestants who are telling you the truth.

    The snark comes from trying to get through that thick pious skull of yours (and Mermaid and James Young and vd, t and Mark Shea and Jimmy Akin etc.). Be honest about Rome’s problems and you’ll get more empathy, but the hard questions will come even faster and harder. What on earth were you thinking?

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  84. Ali,

    Yep, there are false teachers. That’s why RCs don’t check their brains at the door, or are hopelessly paralyzed when they run into … dun dun dunnn … Dr. Groome.

    Darryl,

    This constant refrain of any RC being “conservative” entails they are “dishonest” or “turning blind eyes” or “shrugging” is rather silly. RCs can acknowledge the church has problems (it always has, why would today be any different) – you’ve posted them saying exactly that before – https://oldlife.org/2015/11/17/shrugged-and-always-shrugging/ where apparently RC sentiments like “Does that mean you shouldn’t be upset or worried? No. Does that mean one should be complacent about heresy, corruption within and persecution from without? No. Be worried. That’s okay if it leads you to pray more.” equates to a “shrug”. Agreeing the church has problems does not entail Trent and the catechism and the RCC claims goes out the window and orthodoxy is up in the air and liberalism is the faith.

    You shouldn’t be upset – you’re making this far more difficult than it needs to be. Is the RCC officiating SSMs? Is the RCC telling its congregants abortion or euthanasia is no big deal, or denying Christ is raised? Are infant baptisms not being performed in the name of the Trinity? Are confessions no longer being heard? Is Dr Seuss being read as the Word of God at liturgies or the Creed excised from it or tweaked at the pastor’s whim? Dogma is reflected in the tradition and worship of the church.

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  85. Susan,

    But I’m not sitting in judgment of her doctrine. I accept it. And yes, I know what it consists of. I’m not on the lookout for what agrees with me, but for agreement with what is church teaching itself.

    But don’t you see that you are using your own fallible judgment to apply infallible teaching and point out errors. But that is precisely the very right, privilege, duty, and ability that your system denies to Protestants. Honestly, it’s why it is hard to take particular RC apologists very seriously. You aren’t the Magisterium and don’t have the charism. What right do any of you have to tell us what a true RC is and what isn’t, particularly when your current pope isn’t concerned about such matters?

    Like Darryl said, if you went SSPX or something like that, it would make more sense.

    Protestants judge church by what they think scripture teaches, and that’s not what I’m doing.

    Yes you are. You are judging Rome by what you fallibly believe Scripture, tradition, and the Magisterium teach. The whole “liberals are present” is a judgment. The whole “Rome can never teach error” is a judgment. The whole “The true church must look a certain way, have this kind of continuity with the church fathers, have this kind of authority, have this kind of principled means” are all judgments. And moreover, not one of you RCs here has ever given me something that Rome teaches that you don’t believe and that you agree simply to keep your view to yourself. Your submission from top to bottom is based entirely on your agreement with what Rome teaches.

    Catholicism (says) it can give a definitive answer about those doctrines which protestants themselves disagree; like what is the Eucharist and is there a priesthood and holy orders, seven sacraments, communion of saints….
    From, your point of view Rome is wrong on all of those accounts,(so you and I are proceeding nowhere), however smart men should be able to see that it differs very much from Protestantism.( and they do, hence the basis of their attacks).

    It can give a definitive answer, but Protestantism believes it can give a definitive answer as well. This idea that infallibility must be pronounced in order to be definitive is ridiculous. You can definitively but fallibly tell me that your name is Susan.

    The point of being able to give an answer isn’t that great when the answer isn’t being given. And I’m sorry, it’s not enough to go on about the glories of Rome and point to documents and catechisms when the Magisterium could care less if anyone follows those things. I can point to the ECUSA or the PCUSA for the same thing. From all indicators, you left a conservative, confessional Reformed church that despite its problems cares about what people believe and disciplines those who deny the doctrine in faith or practice. And where did you go? A church that despite its problems doesn’t care what people believe and doesn’t discipline high-profile theologians and other figures who openly flaunt its teachings. And that’s better how?

    The history of the church is full of accounts where the lack of discipline eventually leads to a change in theology. It happened during the Arian controversy. You all even believe there can be Antipopes. At such times, the number of the faithful can be incredibly small. And you all want us to believe that the Magisterium as a whole cannot err, that the “consensus of the fathers” will necessarily stand? It beggars belief.

    I’m not trying to be cruel but there is a whole lot of credulity that I see on the part of you, Stellman, Bryan Cross, etc. It shows that what deep down you are looking for isn’t really doctrinal purity but some kind of epistemological safety net that will take the pressure off of you to deal with the changes of life and the messiness of the church past and present. That’s the main issue that various people here keep trying to call your attention to. We can have a legitimate discussion over which system is right, but that’s impossible when one side can’t recognize its own problems but says to us Protestants who actually affirm the deity of Christ and the sanctity of life that we’ll be better off joining a church that pays lip service to both but is also willing to embrace those who deny those ideas and many others. Again, it beggars belief.

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  86. Clete,

    Is the RCC officiating SSMs? Is the RCC telling its congregants abortion or euthanasia is no big deal, or denying Christ is raised? Are infant baptisms not being performed in the name of the Trinity? Are confessions no longer being heard? Is Dr Seuss being read as the Word of God at liturgies or the Creed excised from it or tweaked at the pastor’s whim?

    1. It would depend on the parish. I know that some priests advocate that their members practice birth control, at least privately.
    2. With the exception of the first point, I don’t know of any church with a historic Protestant connect that does any of that. The ECUSA still has the Book of Common Prayer. The mainliners, even if they approve of abortion in some cases, always say it is a big deal and not something to be taken lightly.
    3. Have you heard of the Clown Mass?

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  87. Darryl,

    I acknowledge that there’s liberalism. There you go. So we agree that there are social liberal’s all over the place.
    Is your gripe that the hierarchy isn’t dealing with them well enough and so they run amuck deceiving Catholics? If so, that is very beautiful of you.
    But if everyone is going to liberal hell in a hand basket anyway,then what’s it matter if the only self- autheticating bastion gives way to progress too?

    I mean, if liberalism is a threat not only to the civil realm( Kingdom II), then your worry is warranted, but if Christian truth is unchangable, it’s not.

    Now what about our( yours and my) doctrinal differences?

    “The snark comes from trying to get through that thick pious skull of yours (and Mermaid and James Young and vd, t and Mark Shea and Jimmy Akin etc.). B

    And Chesterton, and Tolkein,and Belloc, and Waugh, and O’Conner, and Kreeft, and Bottum, and Pearce….

    Let us enjoy our blissful ignorance then.

    Like

  88. “Is the RCC telling its congregants abortion or euthanasia is no big deal?”
    Cardinal Danneels is .

    It was also revealed this week that he once wrote a letter to the Belgium government favoring same-sex “marriage” legislation because it ended discrimination against LGBT groups. The cardinal is already known for having once advised the king of Belgium to sign an abortion law in 1990, for telling a victim of clerical sex abuse to keep quiet, and for refusing to forbid pornographic, “educational” materials being used in Belgian Catholic schools.

    But I suppose you and the other lay apologist know better than he (and the large number of clergy and RC scholars writing to condemn trads like Douthat). The evidence that your ecclesiastical model bring greater clarity is wanting.

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  89. One would think you should be celebrating with glee that the RCC will self- destruct completely, instead you hate to see us converts enjoy the life raft that is offered, at least, for the time being.

    I have not an ounce of buyer’s remorse:)

    Wish you well, Darryl

    Like

  90. sdb,

    Liberal professors at BC exist. Liberal priests and cardinals exist to. Not news. “The RCC” is not “a letter once written by Cardinal Danneels”. Nor would abortion being legalized in Belgium or SSM legislation going forward in Belgium entail RC priests would now all be officiating SSM marriages in church ceremonies or would tell someone in the confessional confessing an abortion that they should not be confessing it. What happened to all the 2k?

    “The evidence that your ecclesiastical model bring greater clarity is wanting.”

    Compare the RC catechism with itself. Then compare all Protestant churches’ confessions, catechism, statements of faith with each other. Which exercise shows greater clarity?

    Like

  91. classicaled says: I have not an ounce of buyer’s remorse:)

    Amen Susan, and so it is for all who believe and trust in Christ alone for their deliverance and salvation! Maybe we could agree the point of all of our discussions is for sharpening and exhortion to that end in every way…..

    re: what we ‘buy’, I do hope that we are talking about the same thing

    Isaiah 55 “Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.2 “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance.3 “Incline your ear and come to Me.Listen, that you may live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
    According to the faithful mercies shown to David….
    6 Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the LORD, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

    from the Alpha and the Omega: I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. Rev 21:6

    from the Spirit and the bride: “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. Rev 22:17

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  92. Clete,

    Compare the RC catechism with itself. Then compare all Protestant churches’ confessions, catechism, statements of faith with each other. Which exercise shows greater clarity?

    This is a meaningless exercise. An apples-to-apples would be compare the WCF to itself and compare the RCC to itself. Protestantism per se isn’t a church. And neither is RCism ultimately.

    Protestantism is a broad tradition depending on who is doing the counting. So is Catholicism. You’ve got the RCC, Catholics for Choice, the Old Catholic Churches, the Most Holy Family Monastery, etc.

    Nor would abortion being legalized in Belgium or SSM legislation going forward in Belgium entail RC priests would now all be officiating SSM marriages in church ceremonies or would tell someone in the confessional confessing an abortion that they should not be confessing it.

    Well if that’s the case, then the PCUSA is a picture of orthodoxy as well. You’ve got plenty of pastors who well tell people to confess the sin of abortion. The best analogue in your liberal church is that some priests want you to confess contraception in your confessionals, and some encourage confessors to partake of it. But everything is a-ok, we got it.

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  93. Susan,

    But if everyone is going to liberal hell in a hand basket anyway,then what’s it matter if the only self- autheticating bastion gives way to progress too?

    Whoa nellie! You are admitting what I’ve been saying for months, and that is that for Roman Catholics the church is self-authenticating in the same way Scripture is for Protestants. And we’re the ones who are fideists. Hmmm…

    I mean, if liberalism is a threat not only to the civil realm( Kingdom II), then your worry is warranted, but if Christian truth is unchangable, it’s not.

    Our worry isn’t that liberalism will destroy Christian truth, whatever gave you that idea? Could it be that you equate the visible church as Christian truth? Liberalism is a threat to particular visible churches. It isn’t a threat to the invisible church or to Christian truth. Christ will always have a church. The error is thinking that Christ’s promises necessitates one-home-office-same-nominal bureaucracy of what is effectively a medieval institution gone all postmodern on us. The church catholic is bigger than that.

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  94. The snark comes from trying to get through that thick pious skull of yours (and Mermaid and James Young and vd, t and Mark Shea and Jimmy Akin etc.). Be honest about Rome’s problems and you’ll get more empathy, but the hard questions will come even faster and harder. What on earth were you thinking?>>>>>>

    Piety is still valued among most conservative Protestants, even among those of the OPC. It was valued highly among those who wrote your standards, Brother Hart.

    Notice that your own OPC website says, “Consequently, piety depends upon the understanding and reception of the system of truth taught in the Scriptures.”[1]

    Also note what true Reformed faith and practice means. “The Spirit and the Word produce life. Truth begets practice.”

    I am not saying you do not practice Reformed piety in your own life. I have no way of knowing that. I assume you live by the standards you profess.

    Part of those standards include piety.

    Notice, too, St. Augustine’s concern for Christian piety. He draws a distinction between virtue and piety. True virtue and piety can come only through faith in the true God. [2]

    I could go on to present evidence to you that all of Christianity – even in the most conservative of Reformed traditions – has a great interest in personal piety. You know that, though.

    What I fear, Brother Hart, is that in rejecting what you view as hypocritical Catholic piety you reject the idea of piety altogether. Piety is a key Christian teaching, so to rail against it seems a bit misguided.

    ————————————————-
    1. Presbyterian Piety

    It is this understanding of the Spirit working by and with the Word that has produced a proper appreciation of doctrine in Presbyterianism. Consequently, piety depends upon the understanding and reception of the system of truth taught in the Scriptures. Of the churches arising from the Reformation, the Presbyterian church has produced the fullest and most precise doctrinal standards: the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms. This appreciation of the role of doctrine in producing life was reflected in the old Form of Government [FG] of the OPC (chap. I, par. 4): “That truth is in order to goodness; and the great touchstone of truth, its tendency to promote holiness; according to our Savior’s rule, ‘by their fruits ye shall know them.’ And that no opinion can be either more pernicious or more absurd, than that which brings truth and falsehood upon a level, and represents it as of no consequence what a man’s opinions are. On the contrary, they are persuaded that there is an inseparable connection between faith and practice, truth and duty. Otherwise it would be of no consequence either to discover truth, or to embrace it.” This paragraph was part of the introduction drawn up by the Synod of New York and Philadelphia and prefixed to the Form of Government adopted in 1788. It demonstrates the official commitment of the Presbyterian church to the proposition that doctrine and living are not to be seen as contradictory or mutually exclusive but as necessary to each other. The Spirit and the Word produce life. Truth begets practice.
    http://www.opc.org/feature.html?feature_id=188

    2. St. Augustine, writing in City of God, V, 13, draws a distinction between piety and virtue:

    in another place it is most unambiguously said of God, that He “maketh the man who is an hypocrite to reign on account of the perversity of the people.” [Job xxxiv. 30.] Wherefore, though I have, according to my ability, shown for what reason God, who alone is true and just, helped forward the Romans, who were good according to a certain standard of an earthly state, to the acquirement of the glory of so great an empire, there may be, nevertheless, a more hidden cause, known better to God than to us, depending on the diversity of the merits of the human race. Among all who are truly pious, it is at all events agreed that no one without true piety—that is, true worship of the true God—can have true virtue; and that it is not true virtue which is the slave of human praise. Though, nevertheless, they who are not citizens of the eternal city, which is called the city of God in the sacred Scriptures, are more useful to the earthly city when they possess even that virtue than if they had not even that. But there could be nothing more fortunate for human affairs than that, by the mercy of God, they who are endowed with true piety of life, it they have the skill for ruling people, should also have the power. But such men, however great virtues they possess in this life, attribute it solely to the grace of God that He has bestowed it on them—willing, believing, seeking. And, at the same time, they understand how far they are short of that perfection of righteousness which exists in the society of those holy angels for which they are striving to fit themselves. But however much that virtue may be praised and cried up, which without true piety is the slave of human glory, it is not at all to be compared even to the feeble beginnings of the virtue of the saints, whose hope is placed in the grace and mercy of the true God.

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  95. Robert,

    “Whoa nellie! You are admitting what I’ve been saying for months, and that is that for Roman Catholics the church is self-authenticating in the same way Scripture is for Protestants. And we’re the ones who are fideists. Hmmm…”

    Whoa nellie, yourself! That’s not an admission,my friend.
    But, I’m tired of explaining how myself and the other converts and Catholic scientists, philosophers, theologians and writers are part of the same church.

    Have a good weekend.

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  96. Robert,

    It’s apples to apples since it’s applying the same standard in comparing the same type of documents from one rule of faith to another. If we limit “true” Protestantism to only those bodies that affirm SS (a debatable proposition, but let’s grant it) – then it’s perfectly reasonable to compare the catechisms/confessions/statements of faith from those bodies to each other. Just isolating it to WCF is ad hoc and unjustified. RCism’s rule of faith includes being in union with the bishop of Rome. That church has produced a catechism. So compare that catechism with itself. Then compare all the Protestant catechisms with themselves. It should be obvious which “ecclesiastical model” yields greater clarity.

    “Well if that’s the case, then the PCUSA is a picture of orthodoxy as well. ”

    That doesn’t follow. I’m merely pointing out your own 2k sensibilities affirm an isolation and differentiation of orthodoxy within and role of the church from its interactions with society, politics, and the secular. If the PCUSA started officiating SSM marriages, ordaining married SSM spouses, preaching abortion and euthanasia as a matter of indifference, that’s different from them denying those things in their church while also functioning within a larger culture that has legalized such. Unless you’re now an eeeevil transformationalist.

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  97. James Young, “Liberal priests and cardinals exist to. Not news. “The RCC” is not “a letter once written by Cardinal Danneels”.”

    So all one, catholic and apostolic but not holy. Cafeteria Nicenes.

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  98. Mermaid, exactly. I conceded that Susan is pious. What I questioned was her intellectual honesty. And now you defend piety. I conceded the point. I question all the more your intellectual honesty.

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  99. Cletus,

    It’s apples to apples since it’s applying the same standard in comparing the same type of documents from one rule of faith to another. If we limit “true” Protestantism to only those bodies that affirm SS (a debatable proposition, but let’s grant it) – then it’s perfectly reasonable to compare the catechisms/confessions/statements of faith from those bodies to each other. Just isolating it to WCF is ad hoc and unjustified. RCism’s rule of faith includes being in union with the bishop of Rome. That church has produced a catechism. So compare that catechism with itself. Then compare all the Protestant catechisms with themselves. It should be obvious which “ecclesiastical model” yields greater clarity.

    1. If we’re comparing the rule of faith of both groups, then you have to compare the Bible with itself on the Protestant side and the Magisterium with itself on the RC side.

    2. Limiting true Catholicism to only the current largest iteration of the Catholic church is ad hoc and unjustified. Since there are many churches that claim some kind of unity with the bishop of Rome or to be the true possessor of the , however he is defined, it’s perfectly fair then to demand that you compare the same type of documents from every group that claims to have the true successor of Peter as its head.

    I’m merely pointing out your own 2k sensibilities affirm an isolation and differentiation of orthodoxy within and role of the church from its interactions with society, politics, and the secular. If the PCUSA started officiating SSM marriages, ordaining married SSM spouses, preaching abortion and euthanasia as a matter of indifference, that’s different from them denying those things in their church while also functioning within a larger culture that has legalized such. Unless you’re now an eeeevil transformationalist.

    Sure, but the PCUSA and Rome are different animals. Traditionally, there is not really a 2K option for Rome. And besides, it’s a little odd that a Bishop would be signing off on legislation that at least many other bishops have said is contrary to the church’s tradition as well as other aspects of natural law.

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  100. James Young, you left out the Roman Catechism of Trent and the Baltimore Catechism (for starters). Did you know that the Baltimore Catechism was a departure from Trent?

    What is it about the TRENT CATECHISM that caused the only two canonized Saints in the Chair of Peter in 400 years to hold it in such high esteem? First, we must realize that in 1545, when the Council of Trent was conven­ed, the heretics, Luther, Calvin, and others, had spread their er­rors far and wide. In previous history, most heresies attacked one or a few dogmas of the faith and ecumenical councils were call­ed to re-establish and clarify God’s revealed Truth on these few matters. This time, the Pro­testants were openly questioning all the dogmas of the Faith. The Council of Trent had to address itself to the entirety of Catholic dogma. And the Council Fathers did so with such holy thoroughness that their dogmatic decrees were infallibly declared by Pope Pius IV, and pro­mulgated by Pope Saint Pius V. It is for this reason the Council of Trent is universally regarded as the greatest of the general coun­cils of the Church and is often referred to as “the infallible Coun­cil of Trent.”

    It is from these dogmatic decrees that the Tridentine Catechism was formed and all through these four centuries since, it has been held in highest authority by theologians and popes. As an example, in his Bull of 1761, Pope Clement XIII wrote that “The Catechism contains a clear explanation of all that is necessary for salvation” and that “no other catechism can be compared with it.”

    The Catechism is divided into four parts: The Apostle’s Creed, The Sacraments, The Ten Com­mandments, and The Lord’s Prayer. Each of these parts is ex­plained in much detail and with indepth references to Holy Scrip­ture, thus it includes all the basics that a Christian should learn.

    The question that must be ask­ed in our day is: “If the Church has given us such a superior teaching guide, why are we using anything else?” To answer this we need to realize the extent of in­fluence of anti-Catholic and liberal tendencies within the Church the last 200 years. Ever since the Masonic Revolution in 1789, the subtle heresy that says that one can be saved in any religion has penetrated Catholic thinking to the point that many today believe this error as if it were part of Catholic dogma.

    Father Michael Muller, C.S.S.R., was a highly respected theologian in America in the 19th Century, and he warned, in 1877, of the in­fluence of Liberal Catholics. He said Liberal Catholics falsely assert “that we must be generous in our religious feelings toward non-Catholics; that a Catechism, therefore, in which every truth taught by the Church is set forth in its full bearing, is not fit to be put in the hands of our Children…” The Liberal Catholic also believes “that the world has entered a new phase, and consequently the Church should accommodate her­self to the spirit of the age.” So now we see as a small seed of er­ror many years ago this seed has grown up with the wheat, until to­day the Liberals have nearly total influence over the prevailing thought within the Church.

    The Liberal Catholics are not true Catholics and through their influence we have received cate­chisms that are less than, and inferior to, the CATECHISM OF TRENT. The so-called BALTI­MORE CATECHISM is one ex­ample of how subtle this liber­alism can be. Following we have a comparison of THE TRENT CATECHISM with the BALTI­MORE CATECHISM on two dogmatic points. THE BALTI­MORE CATECHISM: “No one can be saved except by being united to the Catholic Church. It is like Noah’s Ark, which saved men from the flood. Only through Christ and his Mystical Body can men be saved. They must be either in the ark of the church or at least hanging onto the ropes which trail from its sides.” Also in this Catechism: “But he who finds himself outside the Church without fault of his own, and who lives a good life, can be saved by the love called charity, which unites unto God, and in a spiritual way also to the Church…” THE TRENT CATECHISM: “Infidels are outside the Church because they never belonged to, or never knew the Church and were never made partakers of any of her Sacraments.” “She (the church) is also called universal, because all who desire eternal salvation must cling to and embrace her, like those who entered the ark to escape perishing in the flood.” “… the ark of Noah … was a sym­bol of the Church, which God has so constituted that all who enter herein through Baptism may be safe from danger or eternal death, while such as are outside the Church, like those who were not in the ark are overwhelmed by their own crimes.”

    In other words, according to TRENT, one must have ENTERED the Ark, not hang onto the ropes on the outside as THE BALTIMORE CATE­CHISM presumes, because once this assumption is made, it opens doors that might allow anyone to be a part of the Church when in fact he is not. Also, can ignorance be an excuse, as is claimed in THE BALTIMORE CATE­CHISM? THE TRENT CATE­CHISM quotes from Optatus of Mileve: “You cannot be excused on the score of ignorance, know­ing as you do that in the city of Rome the episcopal chair was first conferred on Peter, …” Also, Pope Saint Pius X quotes from his predecessor, Benedict XIV, the following: “We declare that a great number of those who are condemned to eternal punishment suffer that everlasting calamity because of ignorance of those mysteries of faith which must be known and believed in order to be numbered among the elect.” It is easily seen from this, that there would be no need for the Church and all its missionary work if ignorance can get you into Heaven. It has been said that if ignorance of civil tax law doesn’t excuse you from paying those taxes, then ignorance of God’s Law, which is the highest authori­ty, doesn’t excuse you from know­ing and obeying His Law to reach salvation.

    The Church has very clearly pronounced three explicit and in­fallibly declared statements on the question of salvation, which each and every Catholic in the world must accept totally in his mind or face the danger of losing his soul. The third and latest ex cathedra proclamation of this dogma from Pope Eugene IV, 1441, the Bull Cantate Domino reads as follows: “The most Holy Roman Catholic Church firmly believes, professes, and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews, and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great at it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remains within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.”

    And so it is that THE BALTI­MORE CATECHISM, which otherwise contains many good teaching aids, is used today by some loyal Catholics as the bot­tom line for Catholic Truth. Naturally it seems orthodox com­pared to the obviously heretical books that pass for “Catechisms” in official use in most dioceses today. But does not reason tell us, in these very troubled times, when in doubt go back to the solid rock of Catholic Truth? What better recommendation could we have than Pope Saint Pius V pro­mulgating the Tridentine Catechism and Pope Saint Pius X, after nearly 400 years, extend­ing and reinforcing his order?

    The Catholic Church is built up by its saints and it proclaims its dogmas infallibly, having been entrusted by Christ with the sacred deposit of Faith. The primary reason for the Church canonizing its saints is for us to follow their example and defend the Church just as they did.

    I’m sure you did. You and Mark Shea always see an unholy glass full.

    Like

  101. D.G. Hart:
    What on earth were you thinking?>>>>>

    Brother Hart, what was I thinking? I was thinking the following.:

    1. St. Augustine is Catholic.
    2. St. Anselm is Catholic.
    3. St. Thomas Aquinas is Catholic.

    4. All of the good theology and pietism comes from the Catholic Tradition. Much of it was brought into Protestantism. There was not a complete break with the Church – obviously. However, one glaring difference is the approach to disagreements and divisions. They are even welcomed in Protestantism for all kinds of reasons – not all of them noble or godly. Splitting and splintering is just what Protestants do. As I have said, I could no longer justify all the divisions. Eph. 4:1-6 and John 17. Others disagree.

    5. All of the great thinkers in Christianity were Catholic. – see the above list. I would add Chrysostom and others of the Eastern Church as well.

    6. The bulk of all the great art, architecture, music, and literature in Western civilization is Catholic.

    7. The Catholic Church excels in and often leads the way in good works. Protestants also do a good job, of course. Not denying that. Presbyterians have been good at building schools, hospitals, and universities. So have Baptists, Anglicans, Methodists, and all the major branches of Protestantism, continuing the tradition that was started in the Catholic Church.

    8. There is little or no place for mystics and mysticism in Reformed Protestantism – though all of the men I mentioned were mystics as well as saints and doctors of the Church. Other Protestant groups who allow for mysticism are not always well grounded in theology and the Bible. Some are. Some aren’t.

    9. The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist – body and blood, soul and divinity – is maybe the most important teaching that drew me to the Catholic Church.

    10. The fact that the full canon of the OT includes the Deuterocanonical books was something I thought about. I began to notice that the NT writers made many references to those books in their writings leading me to the obvious conclusion that the Septuagint was included as part of the Scriptures that were being used. When Paul spoke of the Scriptures, he included the Septuagint, not just the Hebrew OT.

    11. Many conservative Reformed Protestant teachers have done a good job of defining and explaining the complementary nature of male and female relationships, but there are gaps. The Catholic Church has a more coherent and complete theology and philosophy of male and female made in the image of God. It has to do with fatherhood and motherhood, not just male headship and female submission.

    12. Some Protestants are starting to notice and talk about this, but in Protestantism there is a very weak theology and philosophy of suffering.

    13. Now, you won’t like this one at all, and it may make your head explode if it hasn’t already with what I said above. However, my joining the Catholic Church had to do with God’s call on my life. It was and is a matter of obedience.

    14. Beauty. Overwhelming, jaw dropping beauty. The Mass in b minor. Catholic cathedrals. Stained glass. The saints.

    15. The beauty of St. Thomas Aquinas. Not smart enough to understand him, but the beauty is breath-taking. Angelic.

    16. It’s just fun to be Catholic. I love it. Some look at what we do and think we are under some burden or obligation – and I am sure there are those Catholics who feel it is a burden. I look at it and think man. Look at all we get to do!

    Does a baseball player feel burdened because he or she has to use a ball and a bat, run the bases, and aim for home? Sure, the sun may beat down at times, and there is effort involved, but players play because they like it and it is fun for them.

    That’s kind of how I see my faith. It is love. It is fun. It is life-giving. I hope you see your faith that way as well, Brother Hart.

    There’s a lot more, but I will leave it there. Your thinking does not allow for the reasons I gave you. Double down all you want. It’s what you do. Not sure why or what you are thinking.

    Anyway, kind regards, Brother Hart. Sorry we’re such a difficult bunch for you to understand. That’s okay. We still love you and our Protestant, separated brothers and sisters.
    ——————————————————
    Was Aquinas a Proto-Protestant?
    What then accounts for this misreading of the Angelic Doctor? Love. No serious Christian can read St. Thomas without being impressed by his intellect and philosophical acumen, but also his encyclopedic knowledge of Scripture. This no doubt has enkindled in even in the coolest of Protestant hearts a warm affection for Aquinas. These smitten scholars unconsciously find creative ways to make it seem as if a thirteenth-century Dominican Friar was a lonely beacon in a papist fog destined to be vindicated by a sixteenth-century Augustinian Monk. Unfortunately, or fortunately, it is not so.

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

    Liked by 1 person

  102. Darryl,

    Really – we’re now scraping a Feeneyite “de facto private association” for ammo? EENS is dogma, as affirmed in all 3 catechisms. If you noticed, I didn’t include past versions and editions of Protestant catechisms or confessions in the exercise (which revision of WCF is the standard now?). Please do try to keep it apples to apples, per Robert’s request.

    Like

  103. Mermaid, not hard to understand. All theology of glory. No theology of the cross.

    Look at all those Yankees pennants.

    But where’s Jesus? Smart guys and pretty cathedrals (you left out really really bad liturgical music) won’t save you.

    Plus, you’re very selective. Intellectually dishonest.

    Like

  104. Liberal professors at BC exist. Liberal priests and cardinals exist to. Not news. “The RCC” is not “a letter once written by Cardinal Danneels”. Nor would abortion being legalized in Belgium or SSM legislation going forward in Belgium entail RC priests would now all be officiating SSM marriages in church ceremonies or would tell someone in the confessional confessing an abortion that they should not be confessing it. What happened to all the 2k?

    Huh? Cardinal Danneels was the one advocating for abortion rights, gay rights, and euthanasia in Belgium…not very 2k at all. The silence from three popes (since at least 1990 no?) on this very public “scandal” is deafening and a sign of tacit approval. Of course it is unfair to expect the laity of any religion to stay on top of everything their leaders do, nor should we expect that the hierarchy of a faith to air all of their dirty laundry for all to see. But the RCC seems to shrug when their own princes go off in directions that aren’t aligned with what some of the trad apologists claim for their church. Maybe the liberal critics are right and theirs is a fundamentalist reading of the catechism, and the church has changed…maybe there is a hierarchy of truths and the catechism is pretty low in the hierarchy – who’s to say? The Cardinals? Of course if that is the case your apologetic falls flat – you’re then basically the mainline with better art. If the princes and doctors of the church are wrong (and I’m not sure how one settles these kind of methodological questions by appeals to the tradition and so forth when the question is how to “read” tradition), then that seems to be a pretty harsh indictment of purported epistemic advantage that comes with your paradigm.

    “The evidence that your ecclesiastical model bring greater clarity is wanting.”
    Compare the RC catechism with itself. Then compare all Protestant churches’ confessions, catechism, statements of faith with each other. Which exercise shows greater clarity?

    But of course yours is not a religion of the “book” – the bible or the catechism. They have to be read in context of the tradition and the magisterium – both of which are not self evident and have to be interpreted…ideally by your bishops – which include Daneels, Law, etc… Why exclude their readings in favor of your “fundamentalist” approach to these texts?

    Like

  105. Sdb, I don’t know who you’re quoting, but almost 900 pages and Thomism does not for clarity make. So, ding.

    Like

  106. D.G. Hart:
    Mermaid, not hard to understand. All theology of glory. No theology of the cross.>>>>>

    Catholicism, more than any Protestant sect I know of, focuses on the cross. Remember how Protestants criticize Catholics for portraying Christ on the cross, suffering, bleeding, and dying for us? We are called to take up our cross and follow Him.

    Nice try, but you still don’t get it.

    9. The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist – body and blood, soul and divinity – is maybe the most important teaching that drew me to the Catholic Church.
    12. Some Protestants are starting to notice and talk about this, but in Protestantism there is a very weak theology and philosophy of suffering.

    D.G. Hart:Plus, you’re very selective. Intellectually dishonest.>>>>

    No, I was not. No, I am not.

    Like

  107. D. G. Hart says:
    April 1, 2016 at 3:47 pm
    Mermaid, exactly. I conceded that Susan is pious. What I questioned was her intellectual honesty. And now you defend piety. I conceded the point. I question all the more your intellectual honesty.>>>>>

    I don’t think you know what you are defending or arguing most of the time. Well, then, that’s that. Thank you for your time and interest.

    Like

  108. D. G. Hart says:
    April 1, 2016 at 3:47 pm
    Mermaid, exactly. I conceded that Susan is pious. What I questioned was her intellectual honesty. And now you defend piety. I conceded the point. I question all the more your intellectual honesty.>>>>>

    Here is what you actually said about Susan’s piety. Saying she – and a whole list of others – has a thick, pious skull is hardly an example of conceding a point. It was unkind and unnecessary, but I hope for better things in your future. You are dodging the teaching of your own OPC on what it means to live a pious life. I gave you some links that might help you remember what Presbyterian piety is supposed to look like.

    D.G. Hart:
    The snark comes from trying to get through that thick pious skull of yours (and Mermaid and James Young and vd, t and Mark Shea and Jimmy Akin etc.).

    Like

  109. Mermaid, yes, you are. What’s the difference between #9 and #1?

    And why not make it all about Christ?

    As I say, so much clutter in your world to get to the savior.

    Like

  110. SDB hits it right on the head:

    Maybe the liberal critics are right and theirs is a fundamentalist reading of the catechism, and the church has changed…maybe there is a hierarchy of truths and the catechism is pretty low in the hierarchy – who’s to say? The Cardinals? Of course if that is the case your apologetic falls flat – you’re then basically the mainline with better art. If the princes and doctors of the church are wrong (and I’m not sure how one settles these kind of methodological questions by appeals to the tradition and so forth when the question is how to “read” tradition), then that seems to be a pretty harsh indictment of purported epistemic advantage that comes with your paradigm.

    You can’t go all in on the Magisterium as the exclusive guardian of orthodoxy—which is what you have when the Magisterium alone can discern and promulgate doctrine infallibly—and then pretend that their failure to guard what is supposed to be orthodoxy says nothing about what the infallible Magisterium actually regards as orthodoxy.

    If the laity plays a key role in holding the Magisterium accountable to the deposit, then you effectively have Protestantism. All these trads want us to believe that they can discern the liberals among those who possess infallibility. But that’s a Protestant move. Maybe the trads should thank us for providing a paradigm—ad fontes—that actually allows them to put dogma above and prior to the church where it belongs.

    Like

  111. D. G. Hart says:
    April 2, 2016 at 8:48 am
    Mermaid, yes, you are. >>>>>

    No. I’m. Not.

    See. You are my brother, and we are picking at one another like good siblings do. That’s proof you cannot deny.

    Liked by 1 person

  112. You know, Brother Hart, I recognize your methodology. It is what professors in secular universities use on their Freshman year students.

    I have an advantage that many of your followers have not had. I grew up among atheists and anarchists in a rough timber town. Good, hard working people, but not religious at all. Not interested in religion, either, for the most part. I also attended secular university on the Left Coast.

    Now, you are a Christian, but using the tactics that skeptical university profs. used on us kids, and continue to use in order to break down a Christian worldview and faith in order to introduce a secularist mindset.

    You make it so obvious. You have mastered all the petty little bully tactics that all secularists use on kids in a university classroom. I found it to be a challenge to me back in the day, but not in the way it was intended by my professors.

    As they did, you are doing. They made me a stronger Christian. You are making me a stronger Catholic.

    So, I thank them, and I thank you. What concerns me is that not all the kids in your classes have caught on yet.

    Some are actually buying the crap you are pushing. They think that they are learning to think, but are they really?

    I love it when you use terms like “thick skull” or the all caps. “THINK” on those who dare to resist what you consider to be overwhelming evidence about something or other. Seriously?

    Hey, I could take your young students to places that would make them THINK, but it would not be a comfortable, middle class, small town like Hillsdale. Lovely place, and great school. It is not the real world, man.

    Like

  113. Mermaid, you don’t know me and you don’t know the college.

    But you are a know it all (as your comment suggests) thanks to your conversion to the church with the most championship rings. Thank the Lord I don’t have students who have been brainwashed the way you have. I don’t blame Rome for this. It’s a long way from Jim Jones. But the Protestant converts are amazingly dishonest and its the koolaid that prevents you from seeing yourself in Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

    You’re not my spiritual sibling. You’re like an old girlfriend who still thinks she’s special.

    Like

  114. “You never see any fault with Roman Catholicism. Every time you comment, you look even more biased.”

    No, I saw her fault, and I disagree with her.
    I just feel for her because she has tried to befriend you and you don’t care to meet her half way.
    The whole thing is unfortunate.

    Like

  115. Susan, please understand that the friendship you and Mermaid extend comes across as patronizing. It is so because you think you have entered into the fullest truth imaginable and you condescend to mingle with separated brothers. Can you IMAGINE?

    Like

  116. classicaled says:
    April 2, 2016 at 8:43 pm
    Darryl,

    Bad form.

    Mrs. Webfoot,

    You’re a kind person who doesn’t deserve that degree of meanness.
    I’m sorry.>>>>>>

    I am trying to explain to Brother Hart why his attempts to smear the Catholic Church do not work on me in the least.

    Of course, he has closed his mind to anything I say, so I guess that makes us even. Ya’ gotta’ be tough in this world I guess. 🙂

    I don’t really take offense, but I do notice the tactics employed here on this blog. So, when I am called names or accused of one thing or another, I don’t take it seriously. Water off a duck’s back. I take it as part of Internet culture and a price to pay for what is sometimes profitable discussion.

    Anyway, thank you for your kind words, Susan. I’m pretty nice. You are really nice all the time. What’s not to love?

    Hey, nice to visit with you. Today is a day to focus on mercy.

    Lamentations 3:22-23King James Version (KJV)

    22 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

    23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

    Like

  117. D. G. Hart says:
    April 3, 2016 at 2:02 pm
    Mermaid, what do you make of the tactics at America or Commonweal?>>>>>

    Well, since you asked. I think that the modernism Machen battled is still a problem in all Christian groups. It may have different names, now, but it is still with us in some form today. Chesterton wrote about it. The great Popes of the 20 Century wrote about it. It’s still a big deal.

    The OPC is infected, like it or not. Hillsdale, too. Sure. Maybe those two fine institutions have a lot less modernistic – or progressive, or whatever term you wish to use – influence, but it is there. You can’t escape its influence. You see it in Catholicism, and of course it is there. That is not the only force within the Church, though. It is not the whole story of the Catholic Church, but you refuse to see anything else.

    That’s fine for you.

    You accuse me of thinking I am better than others.

    Hey, I think that you guys believe yourselves to be too good and too smart for the rest of us slobs.

    Looking forward to what you might say to me. It’s always interesting, that’s for sure.

    Hey, you have a wonderful beginning to your week. You live in a privileged and beautiful part of the world.

    All the best to you.

    Like

  118. Mermaid, if Rome is bigger and older and true, it has much more responsibility to oppose the error of modernism. You prate on about how exceptional Roman Catholicism is and then you let it off the hook like your average evangelical apologizes for Billy Graham hanging with Richard Nixon.

    You didn’t even come close to commenting on America or Commonweal. You just turn it around on Hillsdale and the OPC. That is denial (dishonest).

    Like

  119. Mermaid,

    It is not the whole story of the Catholic Church, but you refuse to see anything else.

    Of course Darryl sees that there is more to RCC than modernism. Why else would he cite traditionalist RC blogs that are none too happy with Rome’s modernistic drift? The problem is twofold:

    1. Outfits like CTC pretend that there is no modernism in your church and that it hasn’t infected the highest levels of the Magisterium.
    2. When Darryl points out the modernism, certain conservative RC apologists—like you—shrug it off: “The church will prevail.” Protestants actually agree with that sentiment, but somehow we don’t get to believe it because we don’t have a pope or the same home office. Conservative Prots, however, don’t shrug. When a particular church goes apostate, we do something about it. Rome at the Magisterial level tends to ignore it or to change its dogma in the name of pastoral practice to accommodate it.

    Like

  120. D.G. Hart:You didn’t even come close to commenting on America or Commonweal. You just turn it around on Hillsdale and the OPC. That is denial (dishonest).>>>>>

    So, when you turn your Protestant problems around on the Catholic Church, you are being dishonest.

    Robert:
    Of course Darryl sees that there is more to RCC than modernism. Why else would he cite traditionalist RC blogs that are none too happy with Rome’s modernistic drift? The problem is twofold:>>>>>

    You need to examine yourselves a bit more. You know. Take a closer look at the logs in your own eyes. Until you do that, there can be no real conversation about the problems that plague us all.

    You can retreat farther and farther into a catacomb of your own making, but the problems follow you there. You shrug off your own problems and hide deeper in your Radical 2K bunkers.

    We have common enemies, if you will. Those enemies have pretty much destroyed Presbyterianism. Maybe in God’s gracious providence He will raise up strong voices within the PCUSA to turn things around – and in the Scottish Presbyterian Church – but at least for now, it has lost its way.

    Why don’t you fight the battle where it is raging in your own tradition? Why work so hard at tearing down others? I don’t get that.

    If it were just Catholicism, I would understand better. Calvinism has always been strongly anti Catholic. It’s what you guys do. You don’t just oppose modernism within the Catholic Church. You call the veneration of saints idolatry. You call Eucharistic adoration idolatry. You call the Mass idolatry. Then there’s Mary. I mean “you” as in “you Calvinists.” You guys have a deep loathing of all things distinctly Catholic. It’s not just the modernism within the Catholic Church that is opposed.

    You guys also oppose Evangelicalism and neo Calvinism. It seems that you define yourselves more in terms of what you oppose than in terms of what you affirm as true. I still can’t believe you said the body of Jesus could be found someday. What was up with that? I am pretty sure you meant theoretically, but still. That’s just wrong.

    I really don’t get you guys. Well, you are who you are. It seems we could focus more on what we have in common – the great Creeds of Christianity for example, and our common concerns about modernism and other heresies that plague us.

    What do you guys have? You oppose neo Calvinism, which is actually a reform movement within the Reformed tradition. Their focus is evangelism. What is Old Life’s focus? You need to ask yourselves that it seems to me.

    Why do I care anyway? I guess I think we are all in this together, like it or not. Seems like we could make common cause on what are our common concerns. I thought that was what Hillsdale was about anyway, and I thought that Catholics were welcome there. Now I wonder.

    Like

  121. Mermaid,

    I’m personally not a rabid 2Ker, nor do I have as many concerns about evangelicalism as some of the others here. Maybe I should, and I visit to read Darryl’s views because he is often insightful on some of the problems that plague Protestantism as a whole and neo-Calvinism in particular. The point is that he is honest. He doesn’t say, “Man evangelicalism was so bad but the OPC saved me because it doesn’t have any of the problems of evangelicalism.” But that is EXACTLY what we get from CTC and other converts with respect to Romanism. It wouldn’t be so annoying if CTC wasn’t established as a sophisticated sheep-stealing enterprise, but that’s exactly what it is. They’re just not honest about it. It’s been years now, and they’ve had their chance. If somebody isn’t going to warn potential converts about the problems of Rome—the very same problems that face Protestants—then Darryl is going to do it.

    There’s much false teaching to dislike in Roman Catholicism. There are even some areas where Rome may do a better job than Protestantism. But I’ve yet to see a conservative RC actually identify those. The whole “I was so confused because there are so many Protestant interpretations but now I know the truth because Magisterium” rings absolutely hollow and smacks of either willful blindness or credulity when lifelong RCs see that the jig is up and that the Magisterium at least since V2 has been as helpful as Donald Trump is consistent in his political views. Honesty is such a lonely word.

    I still can’t believe you said the body of Jesus could be found someday. What was up with that? I am pretty sure you meant theoretically, but still. That’s just wrong.

    All I said is that it was logically possible. It’s logically possible that you are the only person in existence and that everything here is in your mind. It’s logically possible that Donald Trump is an alien. It’s logically possible that I’ll become president of the United States. Not one of those things is in the remotest sense likely.

    It’s logically possible that you are wrong about Roman Catholicism, which makes CTC’s vaunted claims to epistemological superiority based on an infallible Magisterium (that you can only be interpreted fallibly by the individual) entirely worthless. That’s my ultimate point.

    Like

  122. Mermaid, please notice your incoherence.

    You came on here with 16 things that made Rome so great, including all those intellectuals.

    I brought up America and Commonweal.

    You respond, “we’re no worse that Protestants.”

    That’s not much of a reason to convert.

    Like

  123. D. G. Hart says:
    April 4, 2016 at 12:27 pm
    Mermaid, please notice your incoherence.>>>>>>

    I am not a Mermaid, but I have used the name The Little Mermaid. Her story is one of the triumph of grace, self sacrificial love, and forgiveness. All Christian themes.
    I am not incoherent.

    D.G. Hart:
    You came on here with 16 things that made Rome so great, including all those intellectuals.
    I brought up America and Commonweal.

    You respond, “we’re no worse that Protestants.” >>>>>>

    Actually, that is not true. I did not say that. I was talking about saints and doctors of the Church, many of whom are quoted and followed by your own theologians.

    Think of this – Catholic Reform vs. Protestant Reform. The Catholic way is Biblical and therefore better.

    For example, both Catholic and Reformed have problems with what Machen called modernism. How are those problems handled?

    John 15:1,2
    1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

    The Church doesn’t split into thousands of separate and sometimes warring tribes just because some parts of her need to be pruned. The pruning is painful, but reformers come along and do the hard work. “I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church” is taken seriously, though we are far from what we should be. Ever reforming, right?

    What do Protestants do when they see a need for pruning in their organizations? Those who see the problems cut themselves off and start another group. I don’t see that as the kind of pruning Jesus was talking about. It is a kind of reform, I guess, but you have to ignore the Nicene Creed in order to operate that way. You have to ignore or reinterpret Ephesians 4:1-3 as well as Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer in John 17. Magical Greek will not help you in either passage.

    I am sure you disagree.

    D.G. Hart:
    That’s not much of a reason to convert.>>>>>

    Actually, I think of it more as returning home. If you are happy where you are, then be happy and I will be happy for you.

    Hey, thanks for your time and comments. I wish you all the best.

    Like

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