Item #1 Michuta on Luther
Catholic apologist Gary Michuta has started a new website. I saw Gary a few years ago when he debated James White on the apocrypha. He’s taken up the theme of the validity of the apocrypha on his new site.
When you click on the link for his material on the apocrypha, one of the first things you’ll find is a big picture of Martin Luther and this Luther quote: “ "...[Maccabees] has weight with the faithful, but it avails nothing with the obstinate." Now, what is Gary trying to prove? Does he really think Luther held a lifelong commitment to the canonicity of Maccabees? It’s fairly sad when one of the first items on webpage purporting to provide "truth" is a misuse of a Luther quote.
Gary Michuta gives the reference for this quote as "Martin Luther, Second Liepzig Disputation, July 8, 1519." Now, i'm not the best speller, but it's "Leipzig", not "Liepzig". Also, I don't think you will find this quote in the English edition of Luther's Works. I did a quick check, and couldn't find anything.
The topic of debate on July 8, 1519 was purgatory. Catholic apologetic references point out that Luther challenged the canonicty of Maccabees during this debate. The Luther quote Michuta uses implies Luther accepted the canonicity of the book during the Disputation. I would challenge Gary to produce a context, produce a reference, correct his spelling, or delete the Luther quote entirely from his website. If Gary wants Protestants to take his work seriously, he should at least quote Luther correctly. If he's simply putting out "shock" apologetics and using Luther as a pawn, then I will treat his work accordingly. Perhaps one of my Catholic readers can mention this to Gary. I think it's embarrassing.
Item #2 St Basil on Tradition
I came across this quote in a book I’ve been reading:
“Gratian cites an important text from St. Basil’s On The Holy Spirit that claims a mystical and secret tradition coming down from the fathers. Toward the end of the thirteenth century, St. Thomas recognized the existence of such a tradition but did not define its nature. He asserted that the apostles had believed certain things that must be preserved which were not left in scriptures but in the care of the Church through the succession of the faithful.” (John Headley, Luther’s View of Church History, 76).
Sounds Gnostic doesn't it? Secret tradition? Mystical? Yeah, that sounds like the Bible (I mean that with heavy sarcasm). For those of you with the King/Webster Holy Scripture 3 volume set, refer to pages 143-146 in volume 2 for some excellent research on this subject. Webster shows the misuse of Basil by Catholic apologetics, provides context, and clarifies the text. Also check out Colossians 2:8. When I get back, i'm going to write something up on this.
Item #3 Apolonio on the Fairness of God.
It’s been nice having Apolonio Latar around the last few days. He mentioned this:
“…[A] certain religious man in the Americas in the first century who does not know Christ but follows truth the best he can. Does this mean that his ignorance saves him? No. It just means that he is not held accountable for his ignorance. The judgment of this man is God's. *Can* he be saved? Of course, that is certainly a possibility. He may very well have implicit faith (Aquinas).”
Question: Is this part of the plan of salvation put forth in Holy Scripture? It sounds really good doesn't it? It's part of the theology of glory, not the cross. The cross is foolishness. "Glory"theology always tries to work stuff like this out. I mean, it's foolish to think that God would only allow the preached Gospel to reach certain ears throughout history. Certainly, God must offer salvation without the preached Gospel. God is fair guy! Well, i'm Reformed, so I don't have to work out solutions like that put forth by Mr. Latar.