Friday, January 11, 2008

The Place of Christ


"How thankful, then, should not sinners be to God for having bestowed such ample power on the priests of His Church! Unlike the priests of the Old Law who merely declared the leper cleansed from his leprosy, the power now given to the priests of the New Law is not limited to declaring the sinner absolved from his sins, but, as a minister of God, he truly absolves from sin. This is an effect of which God Himself, the author and source of grace and justice, is the principal cause.

...The sinner, then, who repents, casts himself humbly and sorrowfully at the feet of the priest, in order that by there humbling himself he may the more easily be led to see that he must tear up the roots of pride whence spring and flourish all the sins he now deplores. In the priest, who is his legitimate judge, he venerates the person and the power of Christ our Lord; for in the administration of the Sacrament of Penance, as in that of the other Sacraments, the priest holds the place of Christ. Next the penitent enumerates his sins, acknowledging, at the same time, that he deserves the greatest and severest chastisements; and finally, suppliantly asks pardon for his faults."

-Catechism Of Trent

17 comments:

Pontificator said...

What wonderful good news! The risen Christ himself makes himself sacramentally present to his people in the persons of his ordained priests, and through their ministries he not only declares forgiveness but effectively liberates the sinner from his sins and restores them to the divine life of the Holy Trinity.

Discipled by Him said...

Only good news if it were actually true. So on a side note, what presence does the risen Christ provide on Divine Mercy Sunday? I know this is a much more special day in the confessional, so I would like for you to explain the difference between this day and any other ordinary day in the confessional.

Captain Kangaroo said...

"Only good news if it were actually true."

Is it utterly unreasonable for one to believe that mere humans might stand to represent the risen Christ?

"He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me."


It is good news, indeed!

Discipled by Him said...

No, I'd say that your insinuation that Protestants don't believe men represent Christ on earth would be unreasonable and lacking common sense. The problem is with the unbiblical office of a NT sacramental priesthood, especially the prescribed role in the sacrament of Penance, as Carrie's post boldy points out.

"He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me."


"It is good news, indeed!"

We commonly reserve the words "good news" to describe the gospel - the power of a Holy God to save sinful man - not that men can and must come to the Father through an unbiblical office of a NT sacramental priesthood.


I don't see good news in either of your posts but a layer of religious instruction that actually drives a bigger wedge between man and God rather than reconciling the two.

Captain Kangaroo said...

"I don't see good news in either of your posts..."

As I see it, we have in Calvin good news that must be watered down from "Jesus died for you" to "Jesus died for some sinners." I do not see any good news in the Calvinistic "gospel" of "For God so hated almost all of us that He damned us from all time to be signs of his wrath for His glory and joy and He happened to send His Son as a sort of exercise in futility because no sign, work or Gospel in heaven or on earth could save the pre-damned."

Salvation by grace to all of good will who repent, or salvation to a handful of lottery winners, chosen for as fiat and for whimsy.

May Jesus heal blindness with His beatific vision.

Jason said...

The "scandal" of the full implications of the Incarnation continues...

Carrie said...

The "scandal" of the full implications of the Incarnation continues...

You aren't a Franciscan, are you?

Carrie said...

“For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. (Hebrews 9:24-26)… Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:19-22)

“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” 1 Tim 2:5

Captain Kangaroo said...

Everyone who wants to stay out of the "proof text war," say, "Not it!"

Not it!

Jason said...

You aren't a Franciscan, are you?

No, ma'am. Not even a Third Order one (being that I'm a married guy.)

St. Francis is my wife's patron Saint and there are a lot of things I like about the Franciscan point of view. I'm more of a Benedictine bent, myself.

I am, however, as a Apostolic Christian, highly incarnational.

Jugulum said...

Everyone who wants to stay out of the "proof text war," say, "Not it!"

Not it!


That so easily becomes, "Everyone who wants to avoid dealing with the word of God..."

When some people say, "I won't take part in proof-texting," they take the opportunity to cling to their beliefs in spite of what the Scriptures say. They use an excuse to avoid the text. "Let's stop quoting Scripture."

When some people say, "I won't take part in proof-texting," they're asking for more Scripture. They want the conversation to go into in-depth exegesis. They want to slow down and deal carefully, thoroughly. They're decrying a shot-gun approach to Bible study.

The latter is an attitude that takes seriously what Jesus said in Matt. 22:31, "have you not read what was said to you by God"? It takes seriously the idea that we are accountable to know what God has said to us; it is a desire to truly know God's word, and to conform your heart, mind, and life to it.

What's going on in your heart? Avoidance, or seeking the truth?

Hidden One said...

Be charitable and assume the latter.

Jugulum said...

I'm not going to assume either one. I have neither the information to evaluate, nor any reason in this context to try. (Nor the right to judge any man's heart--except to the extent that we are to hold one another accountable.)

I wanted to be charitable, so I didn't just accuse him of fleeing from the text. I laid out a couple possibilities in a way that would hopefully have to potential to convict, and I suggested he examine his own heart.

Two more thoughts.

1.) Everyone should examine their own hearts in these terms. Generally. It's really, really easy to get caught up in these controversies and become closed-mindedly argumentative. It's easy to become dismissive. And if we genuinely value the word of God, we must approach it humbly, with fresh eyes, taking seriously anyone who presents a serious Biblical argument.

2.) More specifically. Did any of you looked at the verses Carrie posted and then glance away with a sigh and a thought, "Not another proof-text war"? If so, have you already taken the time to go deep into those texts and understand them? Or do you not know the first thing about them? Are you rolling your eyes because you're very very familiar with those texts, or do you really have no answers? Or nothing more than pat answer, a simple answer, an answer divorced from the context of the passages?

Pontificator said...

All Christians engage in biblical proof-texting, because all Christian are concerned to ground their beliefs in Scripture, to one degree or the other. But we should be clear proof-texting is the weakest kind of argument; indeed, it hardly qualifies as an argument at all.

Proof-texters often fall into the logical fallacy of contextomy. Any ignoramus or ideologue can quote Scripture, without regard for linguistic, historical, and canonical context. It was D. A. Carson's father who memorably stated: "A text without a context is a pretext for a proof text."

It may be that the blogging medium itself makes serious argument impossible--hence the popularity of proof-texting. But ultimately proof-texting is grounded in ignorance and laziness. The proof-texter doesn't know what he is talking about and is too lazy to engage in the serious study that would move him from a condition of ignorance to knowledge. As Henry Neufeld has written:

"I suggest that the use of proof-texts is a manifestation of laziness and the desire to get something for nothing. People do not wish to spend the time firmly grounding their understanding in what various Bible writers actually teach. They would much rather have a short list of texts that support precisely what they have decided to believe anyhow. Thus, the use of proof-texts tends toward hypocrisy. To the uninformed, the purveyor of proof-texts can appear to be wonderfully informed and a deep scholar of the Bible. In fact, the result of reliance on proof-texts is a moral certainty and overbearing arrogance that is not supported by one's study or learning."

Carrie said...

But ultimately proof-texting is grounded in ignorance and laziness. The proof-texter doesn't know what he is talking about and is too lazy to engage in the serious study that would move him from a condition of ignorance to knowledge.

I'm sure that is what Satan was thinking to himself when Jesus quoted Scripture to him.

Carrie said...

Just so there is no confusion, I was not trying to imply in my last comment that anyone here is Satan.

But I think the opposition to "proof-texting" is ridiculous and that Pontificator's comment was foolish. As I tried to point out above, Jesus quoted scripture as an answer to Satan - is that prooftexting? There is a power in scripture "for the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart".

To equate any quoting of scripture to prooftexting is a weak objection. If you need the context for the verses, go get your bible. If you don't have one, you can go to biblegateway.com. If my use of the verses is incorrect based on context, then it should be rather easy to refute.

Carrie said...

If Carrie wishes to be taken seriously, she needs to provide exegesis and reasons in support of her arguments. She needs to stop the proof-texting.

That would be nice if I had the time, but I don't. I don't have a problem letting God's Word stand on it's own.