Sunday, September 23, 2007

Cutting-Edge Catholic Interpretation


A discussion in the combox of this post veered into the topic of RC versus Protestant justification. In accusing me of “inaccuracies” and “caricatures” in my presentation of RC soteriology, David made some confusing assertions with regard to RC authority and interpretation:

The basic tenor of your above posts is that the issues between Catholics and Protestants on the all important teaching of “the Biblical gospel” are ‘black and white’ (i.e. clear –cut). I believe that just the opposite is true: the issues are very complex…There have been numerous works, recently published, that identify and discuss the complexities involved; and though great strides have been, and are being made, much more work is needed. Important for OUR discussion at hand is the need to be conversant with this literature, for if one is not ‘up-to-date’, one will be at a significant disadvantage.

To which I asked:

Are the Councils of Trent not up to date?

David’s response:

As up to date as the Bible; but the interpretation of Trent, like the ongoing process of interpreting the Bible, is not static; if you have not read what Catholic and Protestant scholars have written on Trent over the last couple of decades you are bound to misunderstand how Catholics are currently interpreting Trent.

I then responded:

Sorry, I thought Trent was infallible - I don't understand how that leaves room for future interpretation. If infallible councils are now a matter of interpretation for Catholic theologians (magesterium members or just random theologians?) then we are back to Rhology's argument that "infallibility" has gained you nothing in certainty and clarity.

David’s response:

There are degrees of clarity. Some defined doctrines are crystal clear, but others have room for further development….And BTW, what you so affectionately term “Protestantized form”, is simply cutting-edge, up to date, Catholic thought—that you have little interest in such scholarly discourse has painfully come to my attention.

I’ll admit, I haven’t kept up with “cutting-edge Catholic thought” as I wasn’t aware such a thing existed in an infallibly-led institution that claims almost 2000 years of consistency in teachings. Of course, this idea flies in the face of the certainty that an infallible authority is suppose to provide since 400+ years post-Trent it appears Catholics are still trying to figure out what the infallible Trent decrees actually mean. And in the context of justification, does this mean that Catholics are still not certain exactly how they are made right with God?

As supporters of this “cutting-edge Catholic thought”, David listed Augustine, Aquinas, Rahner, Yves Congar, Joseph Fitzmyer, Cardinal Dulles. It seems odd that the proper interpretation of Catholic truths should be coming from mostly Catholic theologians and not from the magesterium. If I were a lay Catholic, how would I know whose interpretation to trust? Would I know whether or not Hans Kung’s interpretation of Trent and justification is accurate (while ignoring his opposition to papal infalliblility)?

This is just another example of how the claims of Roman Catholic authority just don’t add up.

101 comments:

kmerian said...

Carrie, you are actually hurting yourself with this argument, allow me to paraphrase:

Sorry, I thought (The Bible)was infallible - I don't understand how that leaves room for future interpretation. If infallible (Scriptures)are now a matter of interpretation for (Protestant)theologians ([indiviuals] or just random theologians?) then we are back to Rhology's argument that "infallibility" has gained you nothing in certainty and clarity.

So Carrie, do you consider the scriptures to be infallible? And if so, how do you explain the differences in interpretation?

Anonymous said...

Or...

So Carrie, do you consider the scriptures to be infallible? And if so, how do you explain the differences in
"Scripture" itself?

Howard Fisher said...

"So Carrie, do you consider the scriptures to be infallible? And if so, how do you explain the differences in interpretation?"

How often does it have to be repeated? Protestants are not looking for an infallible interpreter at all. It is the RC making that argument, not Protestants. It is the RC making the claim that Trent infallibly explains the Bible and is able to give us infallible certainty. Yet as Carrie argued, RCs still have no more certainty than they had the day before they converted to Rome.

What is really troubling for me as I read these kinds of RC responses is that RCs assume Protestants are able to read and understand them. Yet, why is God simply not able to speak clearly enough for a man to understand Him?

It might be argued that the Bible is ancient and too far in the past to be able to speak to modern man. Yet how many RCs claim to have read the church fathers as part of their reason for conversion. So apparently an ancient father is able to speak clearly to modern man but God isn't. The whole thing just seems blasphemous to me.

As for the differences of interpertation of Scripture if the Bible is so plain has been answered over and over again.

Anonymous wants to know how a Protestant explains the differences in Scripture. Is this person still in the RC category of infallible interpretations? What differences is being spoken of?

Anonymous said...

"How often does it have to be repeated? Protestants are not looking for an infallible interpreter at all. It is the RC making that argument, not Protestants" ... "Anonymous wants to know how a Protestant explains the differences in Scripture"

If sola scriptura is true, then you must infallibly know what is and what isn't the very WOrd of God. If you do not, then anything: the book of Mormon, The Communist Manefesto, The NYC Yellow Pages, is just as much "Scripture" as whatever you claim to be the bible. If you do not infallibly know what is scripture, then sola scriptura is total and utter hogwash. And it is.

Don't complain to observers because they easily see that your "teaching" plainly contradicts itself.

Anonymous said...

"How often does it have to be repeated? Protestants are not looking for an infallible interpreter at all."

How often does it have to be repeated? If you you absolutely do know what is and what is not the Word of God, you proclaim yourself infallible, and do so apart from scripture, as Scripture does not tell you.

Kepha said...

kmerian,

Seriously, it's obvious that the issue Protestants have is with the Catholic claim that there must be an infallible interpter. I have to ask: Are you deliberately ignoring this?

As to Trent, the Tridentine Fathers gave infallible interpretations of aspects of the Faith. Now, it seems, these were/are not sufficient. I guess if we have a "living Magisterium," we must also have "living interpretations"? If so, does this mean that infallible interpretations are historically conditioned? More importantly, why should "cutting-edge Catholic thought" (i.e., Catholic theologians) be embraced if it is not infallibly taught by the infallible Magisterium?

Carrie said...

If you do not infallibly know what is scripture, then sola scriptura is total and utter hogwash. And it is.

How do you know "cutting-edge Roman Catholic thought" won't re-interpret the canon some time in the future?

Michuta has already stated that Trent passed over the book of 1 Esdras in silence leaving the RCC with uncertainty over whether that book is in the canon or not.

It's funny how about 95% of Catholic arguments come back to the infallible determination of the canon when in reality you are just providing yourself with a false solution to a perceived problem. The solution does not hold water - you still do not have the certainty you are looking for, you just have blind faith in a man-made institution.

Anonymous said...

How do you know "cutting-edge Roman Catholic thought" won't re-interpret the canon some time in the future?


Assume that Catholic doctrine never existed. It's irrelevant to the sola scruiptura argument. If you do not infallibly know what is scripture, then sola scriptura is total and utter hogwash. And it is. Saying, "Catholics are wrong," does not make sola scriptura any less a contradiction than it is. It remains utter and total logical nonsense.

kmerian said...

The very notion of Sola Scriptura teaches that each person can be an infallible interpreter. If you deny that, then the Bible truly becomes a dead letter, because then God left us his word, with no way to possibly understand it with any certainty.

Carrie, The church won't change its position, it hasn't for 2000 years, so I am confident that in 500 years it still will be the same.

Carrie said...

Saying, "Catholics are wrong," does not make sola scriptura any less a contradiction than it is.

That’s funny, your argument against the fallacy of an infallible interpreter seems to be pretty much “sola scriptura is wrong”. I have said in this post that infallible decrees are still subject to fallible and revisionist interpretation to which you r answer is “sola scriptura is hogwash”. You have proven nothing.

If you do not infallibly know what is scripture, then sola scriptura is total and utter hogwash.

And since you yourself are not infallible, then you have no way of knowing for sure that the RCC is an infallible institution on whose authority you can accept the canon of scripture. Prove infallibly that the RCC is infallible or admit you are no better off.

Why is this so difficult to understand? You are on no better grounds of certainty than the sola scripturist.

BTW, I really hate interacting with “anonymous”, can you chosse “other” when commenting and give yourself some sort of name, please. Thanks.

Carrie said...

Saying, "Catholics are wrong," does not make sola scriptura any less a contradiction than it is.

That’s funny, your argument against the fallacy of an infallible interpreter seems to be pretty much “sola scriptura is wrong”. I have said in this post that infallible decrees are still subject to fallible and revisionist interpretation to which you r answer is “sola scriptura is hogwash”. You have proven nothing.

If you do not infallibly know what is scripture, then sola scriptura is total and utter hogwash.

And since you yourself are not infallible, then you have no way of knowing for sure that the RCC is an infallible institution on whose authority you can accept the canon of scripture. Prove infallibly that the RCC is infallible or admit you are no better off.

Why is this so difficult to understand? You are on no better grounds of certainty than the sola scripturist.

BTW, I really hate interacting with “anonymous”, can you chosse “other” when commenting and give yourself some sort of name, please. Thanks.

A said...

" have said in this post that infallible decrees are still subject to fallible and revisionist interpretation to which you r answer is “sola scriptura is hogwash”. You have proven nothing."

No:
I obseved correctly that sola scriptura contradicts itself whether Catholic doctrine is false or true. It's irrelevant to Catholic doctrine.

A said...

Apparently you think God is not able to communicate with us effectively without the help of men. I disagree.

What? No men wrote the Bible? Are you Mormoms with golden plates or do you claim automatic writing was involved? No? Apparently you think God is not able to communicate with us effectively without the help of men.


Why not let God directly reveal Himself to every person? Is he so weak that he cant' do so? Or did He choose for His own reasons to use fallible men as his means of infallible expression?

Carrie said...

The very notion of Sola Scriptura teaches that each person can be an infallible interpreter. If you deny that, then the Bible truly becomes a dead letter, because then God left us his word, with no way to possibly understand it with any certainty.

No, that isn’t what SS teaches. No one is claiming personal infallibility except maybe RCs in their judgment that their church is infallible.

Apparently you think God is not able to communicate with us effectively without the help of men. I disagree.

But as usual, I am not sure how we have veered off into a discussion of the legitimacy of SS. Why can you not see that you are no better off than I am in regards to certainty? How can you be certain that you are interpreting Trent correctly when David asserts that the interpretation of Trent by non-infallible Catholic theologians is on-going and necessary to understand “up to date Catholic thought”?

A said...

Carrie:
"Apparently you think God is not able to communicate with us effectively without the help of men. I disagree."

A:
What? No men wrote the Bible? Are you Mormoms with golden plates or do you claim automatic writing was involved? No? Apparently you think God is not able to communicate with us effectively without the help of men.

It's funny that the same arguments Carrie uses to "support" sola scriptura actually attack it.

Carrie said...

What? No men wrote the Bible?

Ugh.

Let me revise that statement: Apparently you think God is not able to communicate with us effectively through his Word without the help of men. I disagree.

Now, can you actually rebut the content of the post or is your only answer "well, sola scriptura is hogwash"?

Kepha said...

The notion that one must have infallible certainty or no certainty at all, is false. The Church indeed played a key role in the gathering of the Scriptures, but, as is the case with all witnesses, even though “we believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified,” it is “no longer because of what [she] said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world” (Jn 4:39, 42).

Such is the nature of witness. Much like John the Baptist, a witness witnesses to something, but once one comes to that which is witnessed to, then the witness steps aside. “He must increase, but I must decrease,” said John (Jn 3:30). Here’s another way to look at it: John led Andrew to “‘the Lamb of God’” (Jn 1:36; cf. Jn 1:35-37), but once Andrew encountered Jesus he no longer followed Jesus because of John’s testimony. He followed Jesus because Jesus beckoned him to “Come” and “see” (Jn 1:39). Likewise, Andrew found his brother Simon and exclaimed: “‘We have found the Messiah!’” (Jn 1:41) But it was not because of Andrew’s testimony that Peter himself would later profess Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:16)! Again, I’m speaking of the nature of testimony; in this case, human testimony to the things of God.

Biblical examples are not necessary to make my point. Just take an exmaple from everyday life. If someone you know, say, your mom, tells you about something that happened, you believe her (assuming your mother is not a pathological liar or something). You believe her, however, not because she is infallible but because she is trustworthy.

A said...

"Ugh. Let me revise that statement: Apparently you think God is not able to communicate with us effectively through his Word without the help of me"n


Who told you that the Bible is His Word? Munchkins?

a said...

"The notion that one must have infallible certainty or no certainty at all, is false."

Not id your claim is that you must absolutely follow one and only one set of verses, that these vereses are infallible, and failure to follow them means damnation. Given the doctrines of sola scriptura you MUST INFALLIBLY know what is and is not Scripture or your entire doctrine is utter nonsense. Simply claiming otherwise does not make the contradiction go away.

a said...

"Now, can you actually rebut the content of the post or is your only answer "well, sola scriptura is hogwash"?"

Sola scriptura still contradicts itself. Don't blame me that hogwash, nonsense, absurdity, foolishness or many other appropriate comparisons with "things that do not make any logical sense" apply.

Saint and Sinner said...

After reading the RC comments on this post, it still remains the case that I have never seen a RC accurately represent sola Scriptura.

"If you do not infallibly know what is scripture, then sola scriptura is total and utter hogwash."

This assumes that one must have infallible knowledge in order to have any knowledge at all. This is an argument that is impossible to sustain since the only One that has that kind of knowledge is God. If God created both Scripture as well as the Church, in all possible worlds, isn't it possible for God to create a Scripture that wasn't dependant upon another authority?

To use the Indian cosmogony example which made the infinite regress falacy so popular, if one turtle which holds up the earth has to stand on top of another turtle, then doesn't that turtle have to stand on top of yet another turtle or instead float on its own? But if something can stand on its own, then why can't the earth stand on its own?

Similarly, if Scripture must stand on top of the Church, then what does the Church stand on top of? If it is a self-verifying authority (i.e. it stands on nothing else), then why can't Scripture do the same (in a possible world)?

"The very notion of Sola Scriptura teaches that each person can be an infallible interpreter."

Straw-man.

"Carrie, The church won't change its position, it hasn't for 2000 years, so I am confident that in 500 years it still will be the same."

This is flat out false. I think that the sedevacantist, Leo, who frequently posts here can prove that.

Saint and Sinner said...

"Who told you that the Bible is His Word? Munchkins?"

Who told you that the RCC is His Church? Muchkins?

A said...

Who told you that the RCC is His Church? Muchkins?


No, PEOPLE told me and I believed them. Your turn: "Who told you that the Bible is His Word? Munchkins?"

a said...

"This assumes that one must have infallible knowledge in order to have any knowledge at all."

No it simply points out that SOLA SCRIPTURA cannot be true if you do not infallibly know what is and is not Scripture. You can't hold someone to Romans ( when you can't be sure Romans ( is even in the bible.

This is not rocket science.

Anonymous said...

GOD told Saint and Sinner that the Bible is His Word.

Saint and Sinner said...

"This is not rocket science."

No, you're right! Your infinitely regressive argument is still a FALLACY!

How did the Jewish people know what was Scripture without an infallible authority? Did the tooth-fairy tell them?

"No, PEOPLE told me and I believed them. Your turn: "Who told you that the Bible is His Word? Munchkins?"

No, PEOPLE told me and I believed them.

Saint and Sinner said...

Doesn't anyone see that the regress has to stop somewhere?

Why can't it stop with Scripture?

Joe said...

"Doesn't anyone see that the regress has to stop somewhere?"
What "A" wrote was not a regression. He plainly stated that he relied on the witness of men.


The best discussion I've ever seen between Catholics and Protestants was over on a blog called "The return of the Prodigal Blogger. The people in the discussion seem to cover the same ground you're on here, but in a more civil and reasonable manner.

If you want to see it, copy and paste this URL:
http://with-fear.blogspot.com/2007/08/response-to-theo.html

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it matters, but that URL Joe posted is not "The Return of the Prodigal Blogger". The site is called "The Wittenberg Catholic," Whatever that is supposed to mean.

a said...

"How did the Jewish people know what was Scripture without an infallible authority? Did the tooth-fairy tell them?"

They did not infallibly know. Who told you that they did? The Tooth Fairy?

They did not practice Sola Scriptura. Remember it is SOLA SCRIPTURA that actually REQUIRES an infallible cannon.

No infallible cannon = no sola scriptura.

a said...

Who told you that the Bible is His Word? Munchkins?"

No, PEOPLE told me and I believed them.

AH! Now we're getting some where! So it is people, not Scripture that told you what is and what is not scripture. Why didn't Scripture tell you this itself?

Howard said...

Anonymous said:

"If sola scriptura is true, then you must infallibly know what is and what isn't the very WOrd of God. If you do not, then anything: the book of Mormon, The Communist Manefesto, The NYC Yellow Pages, is just as much "Scripture" as whatever you claim to be the bible."

Although Carrie answered this, I must stress this again, Protestants do not claim infallible knowledge of the Canon. To say that we must have infllible knowledge is bizarre thinking.

Anonymous, please demonstrate that I need infallible knowledge to know with certainty. You and all other RCs keep claiming this, but you NEVER demonstrate this form of argumentation.

I am reading your words. Do I need an infallible interpreter to understand them with any certainty?

When God speaks, do we really need infallibility to know that God is speaking and infallibility to interpret what He says? Is God not able to speak to His creature? Or when God speaks to us in person on judgment day, are you going to say, "Hold on, I am not sure who you are. Let me go find the Bishop of Rome and ask Him if you are really God. Then I will ask him to interpret what you are saying."

If you believe Rome infallibly is able to tell us, why not believe Utah? They claim infallibility exactly like Rome. Why not believe the Book of Mormon. Sola Ecclesia leads to anarchy simply because of the Infallible Fuzzies assumption that Protestants don't have.

a said...

Carrie wrote:
"Apparently you think God is not able to communicate with us effectively through his Word without the help of men."

Saint and sinner wrote:
"PEOPLE told me [what is and is not the Word of God] and I believed them"

Carrie, are you guys on the same page? Why couldn't Scripture tell Saint and Sinner this? Apparently he thinks God is not able to communicate with us effectively through his Word.

a said...

"Protestants do not claim infallible knowledge of the Canon"

Then they cannot hold anyone to sola scriptura. "But Romans 9 says...." Sorry. Romans 9 might not be the word of God. You say you do not claim infallible knowledge of the cannon but your doctrine absolutely requires it.

a said...

"Why not believe the Book of Mormon?"

Exactly! Since you do not know what the word of God is, why not? Why believe Luther but not Aquinas? Why believe Joseph Smith and not Luther?

a said...

"please demonstrate that I need infallible knowledge to know with certainty"

Please demonstrate that you can know what is and is not scripture with certainty without knowing what it is "infallibly."

a said...

"When God speaks, do we really need infallibility to know that God is speaking and infallibility to interpret what He says? Is God not able to speak to His creature? "

Thank you, Joseph Smith. That really made it clear for everyone.

GeneMBridges said...

"How did the Jewish people know what was Scripture without an infallible authority? Did the tooth-fairy tell them?"

They did not infallibly know. Who told you that they did? The Tooth Fairy?


Rome claims that they are using the canon of the Jews, so part of Rome's own argument is based upon reception of the Jewish canon.

To say that this canon was "infallibly" known @ Trent and after is a classic case of begging the question. How do you know Rome is infallible?

Remember Rome claims that its authority derives from Scripture, but Scripture is a mediate authority, so if you deny this, you're proving too much.

The difference between Rome and Protestantism on Scripture is that the former says Scripture has mediate authority, mediated by the Church of Rome; Protestants say the authority of Scripture is immediate.

And here is where Rome's argument goes off the tracks. Is it's authority immediate? If so, where the supporting argument? Is that argument based on Scripture? Well, how did Rome function without an infallibly defined canon in order to know its authority mediated that of Scripture? That's a vicious regress.

They did not practice Sola Scriptura.

Of course, that is not the argument, since the Christian rule of faith, Sola Scriptura, is only applicable after, not during the time of enscripturation.

Remember it is SOLA SCRIPTURA that actually REQUIRES an infallible cannon.

Says who? The argument for the canon's identity (epistemological) and the argument for the authority of Scripture (ontological) are two separate questions. You've committed a category error.

In addition, even if Sola Scriptura is not correct, that does not select for the Roman Catholic rule of faith. Where's A's supporting argument for Rome's infallible authority and for that rule of faith as a whole?

kmerian said...

Carrie, could I recommend that you, James or Rhology do a post given the acceptable definition of Sola Scriptura. That appears to be the point of contention here.

Howard said...

a said, "Please demonstrate that you can know what is and is not scripture with certainty without knowing what it is "infallibly.""

Sir, the burden of proof is on you. It is not possible for me to know anything infallibly. You are positively asserting the claim that we not only do have the ability to know things infallibly, but that we must do so.

Sir, only God has infallible knowledge. It is simply not possible. Therefore your entire argument is erroneous. As for your Joseph Smith arguments as opposed to Rome, we keep asking and getting nothing. Why should we accept Rome's infallibility over Utah's? Both claim it.

Is Rome true because you feel it in your belly? I have watched a RC and a Mormon argue. It came down to this. My infallible authority is right. Both appealed to history and other things, but ultimately it came down to that. One belly full of indigestion verses one of Infallible Fuzzies.

I have this many times. Would the RCs please give me what they demand from me, an infallible list of Traditions that I too may worship with fuller knowledge of God.

I have also asked (in another place) that if you were actually at the Mount of Olives while Jesus was teaching, would you have recognized Jesus' teaching as Canonical, or would you have to wait for Rome to tell you 1800 years later?

I am serious. I have been waiting for an answer to this last question for quite some time now and none seems to be forthcoming.

Therefore Sola Ecclesia is a contradiction. The double standard demanded by RCs is glaringly bright. Why do you not see that?

BTW, Gene, that last post was very funny.

God Bless

Howard said...

It has been repeated by many RCs that since there is no infallible list of what books are canonical therefore we need Rome. I would like to offer a counter-argument. I truly think this argument given by RCs is simply deceptive for 2 reasons.

First, let's say there was an infallible list within Scripture, what would that solve? The RC would simply respond by saying we do not know that list is a part of Scripture until that book is determined by Rome to be Scripture. So the "infallible list" argument is nothing more than smoke and mirrors to steer away the prospective convert from keeping his eye on the ball.

2) To demonstrate that number one is true, let's look at what Paul says about his own letters.

In 1 Cor Paul writes:

"1Co 1:1 Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
1Co 1:2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:"

Apostles of Jesus Christ speak legally for Jesus Christ. They are appointed by him in much the same way Rome thinks of herself being appointed by Jesus to be infallible.

Yet here Paul is writing a letter to a church. If Paul is writing a letter as an Apostle, then by definition, he is speaking through the pen as an Apostle. Therefore what he says via this epistle is authoritative just as if Paul gave an infallible list of other books that are inspired.

Therefore we have at least one book that claims for itself Apostolic authority. It is the very part of an infallible list RCs beg from Protestants. Therefore, it is canonical and binding. It fulfills the RC request from us.

Does this change the RC's argument? Nope! Simply because RCs ask for an infallible list doesn't mean that is really what is being asked for. We must go to the Presuppositional level and see what truly lies beneath their arguments.

God Bless

Kepha said...

"a,"

If you would just patiently think this issue out, it is not that hard to understand. When the Apostle Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, I hate to be the one to inform you of this, but the Corinthians didn't need what you need in order to know that the Apostle Paul's letter was Scripture. Nor did the Corinthians need to submit Paul's letter to Peter or his successors for canonization before they handed it on to their suceeding generation of Christians!

On the contrary, when the second-century Christians received Paul's writings, they did so not because they believed first-century Christians to be infallible, but because they were trustworthy, men and women who had given their lives for the gospel. If you had eyes to see then you would know that when Paul said he was sending Timothy to the Philippians it was not because he was infallible or because they had to have infallible certainty, but because they knew "of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father" (Phil 2:22). As I said before, this is the nature of witness.

Likewies, when Paul sent out all of his disciples they were received not because they were infallible, but because they were trustworthy. As generations of Christians came and went in the Pauline congregations, the Faith was handed on in trustworthiness and was accepted because of this same trustworthiness, all along Paul's writings being the only infallible inscripturated Tradition.

L P Cruz said...

Right.amen. Very good points. They were trustworthy men, that is the thing that sola ecclesialists seem to miss.

Trustworthy men are not necessarily infallible, they just need to be credible. People can witness to something infallible without them being infallible.

Mathematicians are doing this everyday, they are attesting to something infallible like 3+2 = 5, you would be crazy to say it is not so, yet the one asserting that need not be infallible.

Moreover, (like in number theory) mathematicians can prove what they assert ie give you a proof that 3+2=5.

Now if we follow this analogy, if we apply sola ecclesia principle, to a mathematician who witnesses to infallible mathematical statements, then we would have to conclude that the mathematician must be infallible. Infallibility is the property of divinity, hence, a mathematician is divine - a god who should be given homage.

Of course, this is absurd.

LPC

David Waltz said...

WOW…this poor beachbum takes a two day hiatus from cyberspace and logs on to find an explosion of activity! But, the Sunday Sabbath, and my run on the beach today was worth it. Now, back to ‘work’…

Carrie posted:

>> The basic tenor of your above posts is that the issues between Catholics and Protestants on the all important teaching of “the Biblical gospel” are ‘black and white’ (i.e. clear –cut). I believe that just the opposite is true: the issues are very complex…There have been numerous works, recently published, that identify and discuss the complexities involved; and though great strides have been, and are being made, much more work is needed. Important for OUR discussion at hand is the need to be conversant with this literature, for if one is not ‘up-to-date’, one will be at a significant disadvantage.

To which I asked:
Are the Councils of Trent not up to date?>>


Me: I do not wish to imply in any sense that I can read minds, but Carrie seems to be suggesting that my invocation of complexity is either duplicitous or ill-informed. In my defense I shall bring into the fray a Protestant scholar I have great respect for: D. A. Carson. In his endorsement of one of the most important works on justification that has ever been written (IMHO) he said:

"Debates between the Roman Catholic Church and various wings of the Evangelical movement are notoriously complex, and are rooted in theological divisions no longer well understood. This volume is essential reading for those interested in the ongoing dialogue…Lang’s handling of the voluminous primary literature is exemplary, a necessary precursor to all informed comment." (Back cover of: Justification By Faith in Catholic-Protestant Dialogue – An Evangelical Assessment.)

In addition to Lang’s important contribution, one cannot dismiss Justification by Faith – Lutherans and Catholics in Dialogue VII; this work, and Lang’s, unequivocally affirms in one harmonious voice that my assertion of complexity is a truism; and one if denied, inevitably leads to “inaccuracies” and “caricatures”.

More later, the Lord willing…

Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Back as promised…

Carrie also wrote:

>>I’ll admit, I haven’t kept up with “cutting-edge Catholic thought” as I wasn’t aware such a thing existed in an infallibly-led institution that claims almost 2000 years of consistency in teachings. Of course, this idea flies in the face of the certainty that an infallible authority is suppose to provide since 400+ years post-Trent it appears Catholics are still trying to figure out what the infallible Trent decrees actually mean. And in the context of justification, does this mean that Catholics are still not certain exactly how they are made right with God?>>

Me: Carrie’s comments suggest to me (forgive me in advance Carrie if I have offended you) that she has woefully misunderstood the development of Christian doctrine over the last 2,000 years. Between the Council of Jerusalem and that of Nicea there was “cutting-edge Catholic thought”; between Nicea (325) and Constantinople (381) there was “cutting-edge Catholic thought”, and so on up to Vatican II. Carrie must understand that Councils have two great functions: the elimination of error, and a greater development of dogma. The first function is usually the more clear of the two—a Christian who embraces the historic faith no longer should second-guess Arianism, Pelagianism, or numerous other “isms”. The positive function of the Councils however, quite often leaves room for further development; and as such, room for scholarly diversity and speculation.

I suppose many expect/wish that ALL doctrinal issues should have already been resolved in complete clarity; though many have been, some have not—this is a fact of history. So, though Trent made great strides in the formulation of correct dogma, there still is work to be done. And it is my belief that the Holy Sprit will give us greater clarity as God’s Church continues to advance through history towards our Lord’s second coming.


Grace and peace,

David

Carrie said...

but Carrie seems to be suggesting that my invocation of complexity is either duplicitous or ill-informed.

No, whether the differences are complex or not is not really the point of this post. Despite a quote from the back cover of a book, I somehow doubt Carson would think RCs and Protestants believe the dame gospel.

That is where I see the black and white. We either both believe the one true gospel or we don't. We can quibble over how close we may or may not be in our beliefs, but in the end the important question is who has the correct gospel.

Carrie said...

Carrie’s comments suggest to me (forgive me in advance Carrie if I have offended you) that she has woefully misunderstood the development of Christian doctrine over the last 2,000 years.

Yeah, I knew that was coming.

I am aware of the "development of doctrine", I just don't buy it. The RC e-pologist argument is that you have some advantage with your system b/c your infallible authority provides certainty and clarity, but yet that doesn't appear to be the case. Even infallible decrees need ongoing interpretation.

Now, in the context of justification, that tells me that Catholics are still not quite sure how they are justified. How can you be sure where you will spend eternity if you are not even sure how you are justified before God?Shouldn't you have figured that out by now considering you have an infallible authority to provide certainty in beliefs?

Between the Council of Jerusalem and that of Nicea there was “cutting-edge Catholic thought”; between Nicea (325) and Constantinople (381) there was “cutting-edge Catholic thought”, and so on up to Vatican II.

Cutting-edge thought on doctrines which have already been infallibly defined? We are not talking about allowable debate on areas that have not been infallibly defined, you are talking about interpretation of infallible decrees already made.

a said...

"Rome claims that they are using the canon of the Jews."

Odd. Where do they proclaim that? The Jews did not have an official cannon until circa 80 AD, and then it excluded many books heavily cited by Christians of that era.

a said...

"They did not practice Sola Scriptura."

Of course, that is not the argument, since the Christian rule of faith, Sola Scriptura, is only applicable after, not during the time of enscripturation.



enscripturation? Please tell me:

A) Who told you "the time of enscripturation (TM)" is over?
B) What is "enscripturation?"

C) Where do we find this word "enscripturation" in Scripture?

D) Where do we find this process of "enscripturation" in Scripture?

E) Who told you "Sola Scriptura is only applicable after, not during the time of enscripturation?"

I KNOW that Scripture did not tell you any of the above. According to you, "Sola Scriptura" drops the "sola" the more it is explained. The very teaching you are trying to foist on the world requires you to contimually violate it in order to "prove" it! It is a patently, self-contradictory, false doctrine.

Rhology said...

a,

Let's not be silly here.
Enscripturation is when the Scriptura of Sola Scriptura was being written.
The time of enscripturation is over, as everyone agrees, as canonical books are no longer being written. You're not an atheist, are you? Don't argue like one. Let's stick to relevant issues.

We don't find the word "enscripturation" in Scr. Nor do we find "indulgences", "relics", "Theotokos", or "Pope". Wow - you've constructed a killer argument. Now you sound like a JW.

The process of enscripturation is seen by those writing the words of the Lord, and such books being cited as such, and such books being recognised as being Scripture.

How could Sola Scriptura be operable before there was a Scriptura? Nobody "told" me that - it's just common sense.
Would Sola Ecclesia (the RC position) be operable without a church in place to be the Ecclesia? No.

Peace,
Rhology

a said...

"How could Sola Scriptura be operable before there was a Scriptura?"

So there was NO scripture until when? But don;t you folks say that the Jews had scripture?

So sola scrioptura was what--susoended while the NT was being "enscripturated?"
Who told you whatever the whoop it is that you imagine, happened? Not Scripture.

a said...

"The time of enscripturation is over, as everyone agrees,"

Really? Tell the Mormons. Tell the new-agers.

Besides, where there is agreement, what is this agreement based upon? Not Scripture.

a said...

"Enscripturation is when the Scriptura of Sola Scriptura was being written."

Yes and to "bloog" is to perform an action that "bloogs." Defining a word by itself is meaningless.


What does it mean to "Enscripturalize?" How is it different from writing a letter or composing a poem? Is it automatic writing? Does an angel give it to you on golden platters? Does a witch doctor sacrifice a goat and read its entrails? Then who decides that the process is inspired, genuine and complete?

when is it complete? The moment the last word is written, or when the ink dries or when others read it or when some others aknowledge it or when all others aknowledge it or is it simply when you say so?

"The process of enscripturation is seen by those writing the words of the Lord, and such books being cited as such, and such books being recognised as being Scripture."

Recognized by whom? The gospels of Peter and Thomas were recognized by some. The book of Revelation was recognized by some. The book of Wisdom, the Epistles of Barnibas, the Assumption of Enoch wer all recognized by some as Scripture. Did the gospels of Peter and other books "de-enscripturate?" Is Revelation still awaiting "enscripturation?"

The more you defend "sola scriptura" the more you must go outside sola scriptura to do it. It's amazing really. All any critic needs to do is keep you talking and you perform the demonstration that it is a false doctrine.

a said...

"We don't find the word "enscripturation" in Scr. Nor do we find "indulgences", "relics", "Theotokos", or "Pope". "


Ummm, I don't claim the words or concepts have to be supported by a direct scripture reference. You're a "pro sola scriptura" dude, or did you forget which side of the debate you've taken?

"Killer" argument there! You might consider actually arguing in favor of your position for a change of pace, but I admit being tickled that instead you undermine sola scriptura more with every statement you make to defend it.

a said...

Rhobology: "Let's not be silly here."

Too late. You require the world to embrace a teaching that plainly contradicts itself. It's a "silly" discussion from its start.

a said...

OK

So far we have these lessons taught us by Rhobology:

A) The early church did not believe or practice "sola scriptura."

B) "Enscripturation" is not scriptural.

C) He knows that "The time of enscripturation is over" not because it is scriptural to believe so, but apparently because "everyone agrees."

So far, he's doing a good job of showing that sola scriptura is not Scriptural.

Kepha said...

"a,"

Do you think when Paul wrote to the Galatians and stated things like, "But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned" (Gal 2:11), that they first had to submit this letter to Peter or his successor before accepting it? Or do you think that the Corinthians submitted Paul's letters to Peter or his successor before they decided to accept it? Likewise, the Philippians or the Thessalonians? If they didn't, then why do we?

When Paul commands the Colossians saying, "When this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodicea" (Col 4:16), did they first have to submit both of these letters to Peter or his successor for approval?

Paul told Timothy, and through Timothy us all, from Whom the Scriptures originate. You know what verse I'm talking about. It was/is in that oft-quoted verse that the Holy Spirit said something about what He was doing. "Scripture," He said, "is God-breathed." When God does something, you know it. You don't need an infallible interpreter to tell you, "Hey, that's God!" (BTW, do you infallibly understand the infallible interpreter?) The Scripture says that "No one can confess Jesus as Lord without the infallible Church!" Oh, wait, that's not what God's Word says at all. It says, "without the Spirit." Likewise, what God has decreed to be inscripturated is testified to by the Adovcate, the Spirit, promised and sent by our Intercessor before the Father, Jesus.

Take to heart these words by your Church:

"These [books] the Church holds to be sacred and canonical, not because, having been composed by simple human industry, they were later approved by her own authority, nor merely because they contain revelation without error, but because, having been written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God for their author and were delivered as such to the Church." (Vatican I, Dei Filius, ch II. On Revelation).

a said...

"When Paul commands the Colossians saying, "When this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodicea" (Col 4:16), did they first have to submit both of these letters to Peter or his successor for approval?"

So you're saying that at that time the letters were Scripture? Oddly enough, the only Scriptural reference you can cite that any of Paul's writings WERE indeed scripture (and not merely usefull letters for edification )comes from Peter. The irony meter is pegged. Tell me, are PAul's missing letter(s) also scripture? If they are found, must they be added to the cannon? Who will decide?

Kepha said...

"a,"

First and foremost, if you believe, as you Church requires you to believe, that the Holy Spirit is the author of the Scriptures, then their mere existence factuates inscripturation (or "enscripturation"). By way of analogy, you, "a," exist because God the Author of Life, wants you to exist. It would be plain stupid for me to demand of you to "Prove that God wants your body to be ensouled (i.e., alive)"! Again, the fact of your existence proves it.

If you were dead, "a," and someone demanded that I prove that the your period of ensoulment was over, one of the things I would say is, "He's dead, isn't he?" Likewise, the period of inscripturation is over because the Apostles are dead. I know you believe in a "living Magisterium," but do you also believe in "living Apostles"? I believe your Church prevents you from such a belief, which is why Catholics don't believe that the Popes can write Scripture.

a said...

"These [books] the Church holds to be sacred and canonical, not because, having been composed by simple human industry, they were later approved by her own authority, nor merely because they contain revelation without error, but because, having been written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God for their author and were delivered as such to the Church." (Vatican I, Dei Filius, ch II. On Revelation).


INDEED!
These the Church holds to be sacred and canonical...

Thank you for actually posting a cogent explanation! Of course it is NOT made via sola scriptura, but then how could it be? It makes sense.

a said...

Kepha, nobody's asking WHETHER the scriptures became scriptures. It's the HOW that matters.

Kepha said...

"a,"

I never cited the passage from 2 Peter as proof of the Advocate's work of inspiration and inscripturation via Paul. I don't understand why you wrote, "Oddly enough, the only Scriptural reference you can cite that any of Paul's writings WERE indeed scripture (and not merely usefull letters for edification )comes from Peter." Can you explain this please, because it seems to me that you inserted this into the conversation in order to create the irony for rhetorical and apologetical purposes.

Since you've created this irony, however, I have to ask, are you presenting this irony as a suggestion that Peter did in fact have to first give papal approval to Paul's writings?

As for your question about Paul's missing letters, yes, I believe them to be lost Scripture in the same way I believe "the many other things Jesus did" (Jn 21:25a) are really lost information of the Incarnate Word. I guess these many other traditions of Jesus were not quality ones?

Finally, why are you just picking and choosing what you want to respond to? I notice that you don't respond to everything. Are you a new convert to Catholicism?

Kepha said...

On a final note before I tend to my children, you wrote, "B) 'Enscripturation' is not scriptural." My response was the very existence of the Scriptures themselves. Then you responded, "nobody's asking WHETHER the scriptures became scriptures. It's the HOW that matters." You need to be more accurate and precise, because the simple answer to this is the Adovate used human instruments. Paul is one that has been repeatedly mentioned. So, now two axioms have been established: 1.) the fact of inscripturation; 2.) the human instruments of the Adovate's work.

a said...

"the simple answer to this is the Adovate used human instruments"

Good start. Now, how do you know that what they wrote is scripture? Hint: This is not a trick question.

a said...

"I never cited the passage from 2 Peter as proof of the Advocate's work of inspiration and inscripturation via Paul. I don't understand why you wrote, "Oddly enough, the only Scriptural reference you can cite that any of Paul's writings WERE indeed scripture (and not merely usefull letters for edification."

That's because I never said you cited it either. I said that the only scripture you CAN cite is that one. Glad to clarify that for you.

a said...

"As for your question about Paul's missing letters, yes, I believe them to be lost Scripture in the same way I believe "the many other things Jesus did" (Jn 21:25a) are really lost information of the Incarnate Word."

Excellent answer! Now, who would make it "official?" Who would authenticate the letters and also certify that they should now be considered scripture? You? Would EVERYONE be responsible to obey it or only those who accepted it?

"Finally, why are you just picking and choosing what you want to respond to? I notice that you don't respond to everything."

What do these questions have in common (other than that I'm asking them and likely misspelled something in them):
A What is your favorite color?
B How do you answer the charge that Luther played BINGO with the Devil?
C If a carrot is orange what is the difference between a watermellon?
D Have the orskert gawalling-yump gorp playpen yet?

"Are you a new convert to Catholicism?"

What IS your favorite color?

Kepha said...

"a,"

If you seriously want me to answer, then I'm simply going to re-post everything I've already written about the nature of witness. You utter ignoring of these previous posts is why I asked why you were picking and choosing what you would respond to.

As for the question about you being a new convert, I was wondering if you were because you are exemplifying the characteristic over-zealousness which clouds one's ability to reason objectively. Glad to clarify that for you.

a said...

"You utter ignoring of these previous posts is why I asked why you were picking and choosing what you would respond to. "

Odd. I answered it perfectly. you must have missed it.

a said...

"As for the question about you being a new convert, I was wondering if you were because you are exemplifying the characteristic over-zealousness which clouds one's ability to reason objectively. Glad to clarify that for you."

Clarify what? That you have difficulty following logical progression of thought that leads to sola scriptura's obvious self-contradiction and therefore revert to ad hominem questions of newbieism? Already clear.


Tell me, are you a "new Protestant?" You you are exemplifying the characteristic mind-numbed abandonment of logic lack of clarity that clouds one's ability to reason objectively that is typical of newbie sola scriptura zealots.

And now that you've displayed yourself so winningly, let's not forget your obligitory "ad-hominems are bad if you respond with them but not if I use them" response.

a said...

Kepha:
Why are you just picking and choosing what you want to respond to? I notice that you don't respond to everything.

a said...

I almosed missed thisI I'm so sorry:
Kepha wrote:
"...what God has decreed to be inscripturated is testified to by the Adovcate..."

Wow! The question IS answered. So GOD decreed what is the cannon and the Holy Spirit testified to it! GREAT! Please point me to it. I Can't wait to see the verses I missed where this happened and correct all those other Catholics who by GOD's OWN DECREE are proven that what they think the cannon to be is wrong!

Sorry to have caused alll this ruccus, y'all. (How about that, it was in the Scriptures all along!)




oh..

wait... What's that?


It's NOT?....



Oh





nvermind.

Howard said...

" a said...

"The time of enscripturation is over, as everyone agrees,"

Really? Tell the Mormons. Tell the new-agers.

Besides, where there is agreement, what is this agreement based upon? Not Scripture."

"A", you are simply not listening to yourself and you certainly have no idea what Sola Scriptura is. First, Quit pretending you do. You should realize you are embarrassing yourself.

Second, the idea that Scripture could be written today in mormonism is to accept mormons are Christian. They are not by definition...the definition given by Moses and the rest of Scripture.

Third, you may not consider the Assumption of Mary Scripture, but if you consider it a part of the Gospel De Fide Dogma, then in essence, Rome has done exactly what you accuse mormons of doing. You have added to Scripture without calling it Scripture.

Please try to figure out what the Doctrine of Sola Scriptura is.

Most importantly, we should all agree that the Apostles are able to write Scripture since they are able to represent Christ Himself. You seem to deny Paul's epistles as being authoritative as Scripture simply because Rome isn't around during his day.

I am offended that someone could question Paul's authority yet be so willing to submit to some guy in a strange hat who is bowed down to as if he were Christ Himself.

I have to ask again, are you writing Mr A? Are you able to communicate clearly? Are you able to speak but God is not. To give yourself ability that God doesn't have is nothing short of arrogance.

Howard said...

Again, A said,

""...what God has decreed to be inscripturated is testified to by the Adovcate..."

Wow! The question IS answered. So GOD decreed what is the cannon and the Holy Spirit testified to it! GREAT! Please point me to it. I Can't wait to see the verses I missed where this happened and correct all those other Catholics who by GOD's OWN DECREE are proven that what they think the cannon to be is wrong!"

Let me put this in another way.

Wow! The question IS answered. So GOD decreed what is the infallible church and the Holy Spirit testified to it! GREAT! Please point me to it. I Can't wait to see the decrees, councils, ex-cathedra papal encyclicals I missed where this happened and correct all those other Infallible Authorities such a Utah who by GOD's OWN DECREE are proven that what they think Rome's authority to be is wrong!"


The double standard is glaring. Holding Protestants to a standard that they would never hold themselves to. We keep pointing this out over and over and yet there is NEVER an answer. I wonder why?????

the mirror ...dias || said...

"So GOD decreed what is the infallible church and the Holy Spirit testified to it! GREAT! Please point me to it."

First time dogmatically:
Council of Trent 16th century

First time, period:
Council of Rome: 4th century.

What double standard? The Catholic church claims it has the authority to say what is and is not inspired. Sola Scriptura deneys that anyone can do so except by scripture. Of course you don't hold yourselves to that standard! Your own double standard is showing! You want others to have to live by sola scriptura when you must deny it to affirm it.

(Obviously I'm "a." I was just seeing how the mirror thing would work.)

a said...

Howard whines...
"The double standard is glaring. Holding Protestants to a standard that they would never hold themselves to. We keep pointing this out over and over and yet there is NEVER an answer. I wonder why?????
"

That's sola scriptura for sure: a "standard that they (protestnats) would never hold themselves to! But they hold everyone else to it, except to defend sola scriptura itself. Then it's a "double standard"
We keep pointing this out over and over and yet there is NEVER an answer. I wonder why?????////
(Oh! I've run out of question marks.... anybody have some spares/)

a said...

I am offended that someone could falsely claim I question Paul's authority yet am willing to submit to some guy in a strange hat who is bowed down to as if he were Christ Himself. Try to understand Catholic Teaching about the papacy and authority. Don't you realize you're just embarrasing yourself?

Howard said...

"That's sola scriptura for sure: a "standard that they (protestnats) would never hold themselves to!"

Got ya again. Protestants do not believe we have infallible knowledge nor is it possible. The ENTIRE premise that has been challenged over and over and over and over and over again is the infalliblity issue.

Since RCs have an entirely different basis for their view of Scripture and revelation, then the double standard by Prots disappears.

In other words, listen to what we are saying and not what you think we are saying.

Rhology said...

Oh, I get it, "A", "Vicar of Christ" means sthg other than what it transparently means. We all know what a "vicar" is. And we know from RC teaching what the Vicar of Christ is. Who gives you the right to morph RC teaching to fit the argument you're having that day?

Howard said...

"I am offended that someone could falsely claim I question Paul's authority yet am willing to submit to some guy in a strange hat who is bowed down to as if he were Christ Himself. Try to understand Catholic Teaching about the papacy and authority. Don't you realize you're just embarrasing yourself?"

I have to believe a doesn't read what is said. You don't answer the questions asked of you. You just assume Rome is infallible and everything is ok. You just assume Prots use the same view of knowledge for their certainty of the Canon. You just assume Protestants look at Scripture in the same way RCs look at Rome. You just assume Rome speaks clearly and infallibly yet God can't nor Paul nor Moses.

You ask for an infallible list from Scripture. I more than demonstrated that even if there were an infallible list, the argument of Sola Scriptura would be dismissed. I was proven right.

I more than demonstrated Paul claimed his letter to be authoritative as an Apostle and representative of Christ, yet you dismiss Paul's own words. Thereby proving I am right.

Are there no RCs who will listen?

Howard said...

"We keep pointing this out over and over and yet there is NEVER an answer. I wonder why?????////
(Oh! I've run out of question marks.... anybody have some spares/)"

Maybe we should try another tactic. I admit I am wrong. God is not able to speak clearly. Neither Paul nor Moses were able to write down as Scripture their teachings without Rome's authority.

Since RCs hold Prots to a standard they won't hold themselves to, I will ask. Why should I believe Rome over Utah or The Watch Tower? (Be careful, you just might use reasoning that a Prot would use.) :-)

Kepha said...

"a,"

Wow! Do you have to be so sarcastic? No, I'm not a new convert to Protestantism. I'm actually a Protestant convert to Catholicism, and have been for eight years now. I'm also working on a BA in Catholic theology.

Anyway, sorry I wasted my time on you. I thought you were capable of serious dialogue.

a said...

"Maybe we should try another tactic. I admit I am wrong. God is not able to speak clearly. Neither Paul nor Moses were able to write down as Scripture their teachings without Rome's authority."

Then you make a strange admission that no Catholic would make. Suit yourself, as it seems you're able to make up your own doctrine to do so. But then this isn't new for Protestantism.

a said...

"You ask for an infallible list from Scripture. I more than demonstrated that even if there were an infallible list, the argument of Sola Scriptura would be dismissed."

Actually, "sola scriptura" would be upgraded from "self-contradictory" to "circular." We could then move on to testing Scripture itself to see whether sola scriptura is actually scriptual. But, you've not gotten that far. That it contradicts itself id proof enough that it is a patently false doctrine.

Howard said...

A wrote,

"Actually, "sola scriptura" would be upgraded from "self-contradictory" to "circular." "

Ta Da! w00t! Now we are getting somewhere. All ultimate authorities are by nature circular. Could God swear by any Name higher than Himself? Yet what your saying is that He must.


"We could then move on to testing Scripture itself to see whether sola scriptura is actually scriptual. But, you've not gotten that far."

Exactly! Perhaps I have been saying this poorly all along. But to do this one must actually use the mind and not just assuming the need for infallible knowledge. You however assume one must have infallible knowledge. So you have just moved into a Protestant understanding.

Also, I agree that Protestants don't prove the Bible is God's Word. We may only demonstrate it and recognize its internal consistency. What else could it be? How could God prove anything by a higher authority.

There is a problem with what you said though. You need to understand that when God speaks, it is not necessarily going to be tested by prior Scripture if no prior Scripture exists.

Another thing is that Moses didn't say that such and such book will be written soon in order for it to be Scripture. This seems to be something you're saying. Moses did however explain how we would recognize future prophets as opposed to false ones.

This last point is something you must really understand. Read Deuteronomy especially 13 and 18. You are expecting some kind of infallible knowledge yet Moses never requires that. God expected the people to know Jeremiah was a true prophet verses the false prophets of his day. God expected this, yet where was Rome?!

"That it contradicts itself id proof enough that it is a patently false doctrine."

This is where your wheels come off. For it to contradict itself would be like saying Rome's ultimate authority claim contradicts itself (which it does all the time), yet you don't hold the same standard for your own position as has been proven elsewhere.

I demonstrated already that Moses wrote and the people recognized God's Word without Rome. They knew it was God's Word thousands of years before Rome said so.

I demonstrated that Paul wrote his epistle to the Corinthians and they recognized his authority over time and recognized his epistle as Scripture.

I only need to demonstrate one example to show this may be true. Therefore your position for Sola Ecclesia fails and you have actually taken a step to understand Sola Scriptura.

God Bless

a said...

Actually, "sola scriptura" would be upgraded from "self-contradictory" to "circular." "

"Ta Da! w00t! Now we are getting somewhere..."


Nope, because sola scriptura remains self-contradictory. Until sola scriptura can be "proven" without actually denying sola scriptura itself, then the rest is useless. In order to say what does and does not belong in the "scriptura," you flatly and patently deny the "sola." Dance, sing, make excuses, blame Catholic doctrines, call the pope a funny-hat-wearing-Christ impersonator.... it does not change the absolute fact that sola scriptura proves itself to be a false teaching.

Howard said...

A said,

"In order to say what does and does not belong in the "scriptura," you flatly and patently deny the "sola." Dance, sing, make excuses, blame Catholic doctrines, call the pope a funny-hat-wearing-Christ impersonator.... it does not change the absolute fact that sola scriptura proves itself to be a false teaching."

You keep saying this, but demonstrating it to be so is another. How do I fail to use Sola Scriptura to prove what should be in Scripture? In other words, (as I stated above) you want Moses to tell us prior to Jeremiah that Jeremiah's book is Scripture. This is not the doctrine. So who is dancing? You are holding me to what you believe about Sola Scriptura, not what it actually is.

You are also denying anyone could have known what Moses wrote to have been Scripture since no one could know it to be Scripture until the 1500s. Just think what you are cornering the Protestant into. An Israelite could not know if the Book of Genesis in Moses' day was Scripture according to your view! That is absurd.

You never answer this charge. You can't answer it, and you won't.

Just keep spouting contradiction (Moses was a living contradiction in your view). Just keep saying anarchy is caused by Sola Scriptura (while using examples that only prove Sola Ecclesia is the true cause). Just keep saying Rome is true without demonstrating it to be so. Just keep moving the question back one step without answering the real question of infallibility and certainty.

I guess I am done trying to explain Protestants do not share the Infallible Fuzzies, which you have refused to explain to us why it is necessary to have and is the basis for our differences.

Good Day

a said...

In order to say what does and does not belong in the "scriptura," you flatly and patently deny the "sola." Dance, sing, make excuses, blame Catholic doctrines, call the pope a funny-hat-wearing-Christ impersonator.... it does not change the absolute fact that "sola scriptura proves itself to be a false teaching."

Howard said:
"You keep saying this, but demonstrating it to be so is another."

I also keep demonstrating it. Let’s demonstrate--yet again...

Given that both A is a collection of books and B is the list of those books and that both exist:

-- ONLY that which is in A is certain.
(Scripture is the only inerrant source of revelation—an absolute requirement for the “sola” of s"ola scriptura")

-- A is TRUE if and only if B is certain.
(If you aren’t certain without ant possible chance of error, then A cannot be defined.)

-- Therefore: B MUST be in A

However, B is absolutely NOT in A. A absolutely cannot be TRUE of B exists. Q.E.D.

Howard also wrote:
"You are also denying anyone could have known what Moses wrote to have been Scripture since no one could know it to be Scripture until the 1500s. Just think what you are cornering the Protestant into. An Israelite could not know if the Book of Genesis in Moses' day was Scripture according to your view! That is absurd.
You never answer this charge. You can't answer it, and you won't."

For pity's sake, read and understand this, as I've truly despaired of trying to explain to you something that is revealed by basic syllogism. An Israelite could not know if the Book of Genesis in Moses' day was Scripture according to YOUR VIEW, not mine! If sola scriptura is true, then he could not have known, because by Sola Scriptura itself he would not been able to say so!

If, however, sola scriptura is the hogwash it is, and he trusted the sacred tradition of his day and the authority of Moses, he would---and DID know. Please burn your straw man and be done with it. Seriously.

a said...

The last line of the syllogism in my previous post contained an errant sentence left over from my initial typing. For clarity, here it is with a few typos corrected and the stray sentence removed:

Given that both A is a collection of books and B is the list of those books and that both exist:

-- ONLY that which is in A is certain.
(Scripture is the only inerrant source of revelation—an absolute requirement for the “sola” of "sola scriptura")

-- A is TRUE if and only if B is certain.
(If you aren’t certain without any possible chance of error, then A cannot be defined.)

-- Therefore: B MUST be in A

However, B is absolutely NOT in A.

Rhology said...

A,

Why would it matter to a SS-ist that an Israelite during the time of enscripturation (of Genesis, during Moses' time) "wouldn't know" that Genesis was Scr? Why is that important?

SS is, as we have freely said here and elsewhere, not in operation during times of enscripturation.

Howard said...

"Given that both A is a collection of books and B is the list of those books and that both exist:"

1) SS is not claiming that B needs to exist. That has been what I am saying all along. I do not believe one needs to know infallibly anything. How many times does it need to be said?

2) Appealing to Rome doesn't solve this problem even from your point of view in any way shape or form. How many times does this have to be said?

3) If Paul writes a letter, by definition that letter is authoritative as if Christ Himself were speaking. RCs are always citing 2 Thess as evidence we are to believe oral tradition. Then the same would by their own standards be true of the written tradition even before Trent.

"An Israelite could not know if the Book of Genesis in Moses' day was Scripture according to YOUR VIEW, not mine! If sola scriptura is true, then he could not have known, because by Sola Scriptura itself he would not been able to say so!"

1) I simply need your pity to explain this one.

2) Your position is that you do not have any certainty until Trent, therefore how does your view solve anything?

3) It is exactly the SS position that we can know because of how WE define SS, not how you define it.

4) From a SS point of view, Moses' books would have been recognized as Scripture from the beginning, because God testified to it by testifying that Moses was to be listened to. The Pentateuch was binding and absolutely authoritative for the people of God as Scripture. I have never heard a RC argue that a person in Moses' day would be able to know those books to be canonical. Perhaps you are the first?

5) It would have been the authority by which all new revelation would be judged.

For example, when Jeremiah began to speak to the people in the Name of the Lord, what he said was canonical and binding from the SS position even though what he spoke had not been written down. The authority was the same as Scripture. Later, when what was written down by the Prophet, (those words being from God) were Scripture because they are binding on the people of God coming from God through the prophet.

No need for Rome, no need for an infallible guide, no need for an infallible external authority. The prophet was already authorized by God as he demonstrates that through his teaching and miracles and prophecies (as Moses required).

Finally catch on here please, when God speaks through His prophets, it is canonical. If Rome is a prophet, then what she says is canonical.

Here is a little satire for you in return to use your method for knowledge:

Given that both A is a collection of true churches and B is the list of those churches and that both exist:

-- ONLY that which is in A is certain.
(Rome is the only inerrant source of revelation—an absolute requirement for the “sola” of "sola Ecclesia")

-- A is TRUE if and only if B is certain.
(If you aren’t certain without any possible chance of error, then A cannot be defined.)

-- Therefore: B MUST be in A



Since B doesn't exist (a list of infallible churches), therfore Rome is a self contradiction.

Now of course you would think that absurd precisely because you are not truly using the syllogism above. Well, neither am I.

Rhology said...

That's a good point about the B and A, Howard. I'd add that "A" missed the post where no RC stepped up to the plate to answer his own question.

This is an example of how RCs can't answer their own questions for SS-ists. Interestingly, in the case of "A" and Orthodox, neither have proven themselves capable so far of following whose argument is whose.

Finally, "A"'s ideas are wrong. A is the collection of books and B is the list, OK. But only God knows B infallibly. He decides to reveal B to His people, gradually, passively. An infallible church was not necessary for God's people to come to know B sufficiently, though they don't know it infallibly. "Infallibility" of a human institution is not supportable by Scr, so we have to deal with life that way. Even if one could make the case that it is supportable by Scr, it's just a fallible opinion, a private individual interp. And on and on it goes.

Peace,
Rhology

Howard said...

Rhology, you said it better than I could. Maybe that's the problem with me.

:-)

a said...

Howard: This is absolutly the last time I explain it to you.

You write:
"Your position is that you do not have any certainty until Trent, therefore how does your view solve anything?"

My position does NOT REQUIRE certainty about the cannon because I do NOT hold sola scriptura; and neither did the early church, nor Moses nor St. Paul, nor Jesus Himself and neither does the Bible itself. YOU (and all who claim sola scriptura is true) are the ones who require the certainty! Not me--YOU. And since you claim by your own doctrine that you CAN'T know the cannon for certain, it is YOU, not me, but YOU who deny sola scriptura.

Please stop complaining to me that your own dogmatic teaching absolutely contradicts itself. I merely point it out to you.

a said...

PS:

Howard, you obviously have no idea how to construct a syllogism. you're embarrasing yourself.

a said...

"... He (God) decides to reveal B (what is and is not own His Holy Word) to His people, gradually, passively."

Astounding!
You blatantly deny sola scriptura in saying this! Where in Scripture did GOD reveal the cannon to His people, "gradually, and passively?"

What is this "gradual" and "passive" revelation of God's own direct instruction that does not come by Scripture? Might you decide by this same process that God wills us all to aknowledge the Jim Jones Kool-aid recepie book as Scripture? How can you hold anyone to this "gradual" revelation of yours when it is not even hinted at in Scripture? Where in the bible did God command you to compile a new testament?

------
"An infallible church was not necessary for God's people to come to know B sufficiently, though they don't know it infallibly."

EXCELLENT!

Now here's the problem: YOU, not me, but YOU require the cannon to be understood infallibly, because you require that Scripture Alone is able to authoritatively reveal God's revelation to us all.

As usual, all one needs to do is allow you to talk, and you further deny sola scriptura.

Thanks guys. You're the ones who keep this thread informative and entertaining--though not for the reasons you would like, I'm sure.


----
By the way, Howard, Rhobology does say it better than you do, but it's still the same nonsense; and so you two are on par. I suppose you could get to play, "Look at me, I'm a sub-atomweight apologist" now. How thrilling. Perhaps James will put you on the blog staff.

Howard said...

A, you are correct. I didn't take the time to do that right. I was just pointing out that you would never apply to yourself the standard you hold me to when I do not accept your viewpoint at all.

I don't believe in the whole idea of an "infallible list". I have tried time and again to offer examples that you never interact with.

For example again, if I were sitting where Paul was preaching in Galatia, would his words be Canonical and binding? Of course! They are on the same level as Christ's words for he speaks in behalf of Christ as a legal representative (the meaning of Apostle in Jesus' day by the way).

Now the guy next to me may have rejected Paul's words as Canonical, but that doesn't change the fact that (even though I may have recognized them as Canonical) they were Canonical. Paul by his Christ given authority told us his words are to be believed.

There is also something that is interesting about Paul. He also said it was good to "test" to see if what he said was Cannonical when he was dealing with the Bereans. Now how did Paul commend the Bereans? Did he say, "Rome says...." or did he say that their searching the Scriptures to test Paul's words was good? Oviously we all know the answer.

Paul would never have dreamed of appealing to an external authority to validate his teachings. He saw His teachings coming from God and with the same autority as the Old Testament.

I have explained your infallible list argument is a farce. You never refuted that clear point. I assume from the silence the point stands.

I offered an example that Paul said his words are from Christ therefore there is at least a partial list. Therefore I showed that your argument is truly irrelevant to your position.

Utah says the Canon contains the Book of mormon. Rome says the Canon includes the Apocrypha. Who should I believe? Remember, if you use Protestant style arguments you will be refuting your arguments. Therefore you are left with the fact that you believe what you believe because Rome says so no matter what evidence may be put forth to show otherwise.

This is where Sola Ecclesia leads to.

a said...

"Utah says the Canon contains the Book of mormon. Rome says the Canon includes the Apocrypha. Who should I believe?"

DUH! That's the point! You don't find the answer in Scripture and God did not tell you personally! Who DO you believe?

Seriously Howard, God must have given you a brain for more purpose than keeping your skull from imploding.

a said...

"I have explained your infallible list argument is a farce. You never refuted that clear point. I assume from the silence the point stand."

Howard, do you know how to follow a syllogism?

Stupid question.

Howard, I answered and refuted your point over and over. Enough already.

a said...

"Why would it matter to a SS-ist that an Israelite during the time of enscripturation (of Genesis, during Moses' time) "wouldn't know" that Genesis was Scr? Why is that important?"

Ask Howard. He's the one who thought it proves something.

Howard said...

a

"DUH! That's the point! You don't find the answer in Scripture and God did not tell you personally! Who DO you believe?"

Again, is that an answer? Why believe Rome? You refuse to answer because then you know you will have to leave the infallible fuzzies behind and enter the arena that the rest of us live.

So why not utah or Eastern Orthodox or some of the other Catholic churches? Why? Because Rome says so. Isn't that wonderful?

"You don't find the answer in Scripture and God did not tell you personally!"

This I find simply arrogant. What you are saying is that when God speaks, He is not able to speak clearly or in your view, He can't speak at all.

Sir, May I remind you that whenever the Scriptures are read, that IS God speaking. Jesus said so. There are plenty of reasons for believing this to be true. But you can't even begin to understand what the Protestant arguments are because you are stuck in the world of Infallible Fuzzies and can't get out of that mind set.


"Howard, do you know how to follow a syllogism?"

As was demonstrated by Rhology, the syllogism is false. Premise b was false and not accepted. You have to demonstrate why I should. You didn't. We keep repeating it over and over. You actually took a step in the right dirctection earlier, but then you must have saw your error of siding with us and stepped back.


""Why would it matter to a SS-ist that an Israelite during the time of enscripturation (of Genesis, during Moses' time) "wouldn't know" that Genesis was Scr? Why is that important?"

Ask Howard. He's the one who thought it proves something."

Because if anyone knew just one book of the bible to be Scripture prior to Rome's so called judgment at Trent, then Rome's premise falls. I only need to demonstrate one book for my position to work.

So how many times does it take to get you to acknowledge Paul's authority.

Let me ask this last question, if you were in Corinth in 48 (I think that's right?) and Paul preached in your hearing, would his words be authoritative for you as God's Word, or would you have to wait 1500 years before you could really know?

God Bless

Carrie said...

Howard - Thank you for your great comments.

I am shutting down the comments on this post b/c "A" has resorted to insulting other commenters.