Monday, September 10, 2007

A very quick comment in regard to David Waltz and Phil Porvaznik....

David can't seem to reconcile why in an earlier blog entry I affirmed Joseph Ratzinger affirmed the Scriptures are materially sufficient with a recent entry I posted over on aomin. David says, "With James’ 09/02/07 AOMIN post fresh on my mind, I can truly say that I am at a complete loss for words…".

Phil Porvaznik states, "Goes to show that Swan is pretty good at finding contradictions in Pope Benedict's teaching. On Tues and Thurs he rejects material sufficiency, on Mon Wed Fri he affirms, and other days he's just not sure."

I'm really the one at a loss for words, because in that recent aomin entry I stated, "The real problem as I see it, is that Ratzinger speaks in ambiguous language. At times he appears to affirm material sufficiency, and then other times, he clearly denies it." And then further, I stated, "...whatever form of material sufficiency men like Ratzinger or Congar attempt to embrace, they will never be able to be consistent to an exclusive source of revelation without radical redefinition of terms. In some way, partim-partim will have to be redefined to mean "totem in sacra scriptura- totem in traditione."

C'mon guys, stop being silly.


Kepha said...

I wonder if their is an infallible teaching on Material Sufficiency? If not, then Catholics are free to hold whatever form they think best explains and defends the Catholic Faith.

David Waltz said...

Hi James,

Didn’t mean to appear “silly”. It just seems to me that just a few months ago you thought Benedict XVI clearly taught material sufficiency (MS), but recently changed your mind on this without solid evidence to do so. Practically speaking, I have no problem with changes; fact is I change my views when I believe new evidence/studies indicate that I need to do so. However, my difficulty with your change on Benedict XVI lies with your reading of the material he has produced on MS. In a somewhat lengthy blog entry ( )I provide lengthy quotes from this material, and sincerely believe that when objectively examined, one must go back to your original conclusion: Benedict XVI/Ratizinger taught/believes in MS. IMHO, any apparent ambiguity lies with a misunderstanding between material and formal sufficiency. When you get a chance, check out my blog entry, and if I have been in error, I am certainly willing to reexamine the evidence and make the necessary changes if needed.

Grace and peace,


James Swan said...


You refer to a point I made in passing months ago, as if I launched into a detailed explanation of Ratzinger.

Even in my aomin entry, I do not flat out deny Ratzinger's adherence to material sufficiency. Rather, I interacted with a particular quote in which he attempts to prove Protestants really don't believe in a TRUE material sufficiency. In other words, redefinition (on his part) is going on.

Your comment on the CA forums was thus:

With James’ 09/02/07 AOMIN post fresh on my mind, I can truly say that I am at a complete loss for words…

Why are you at a loss for words? Rather, I'm at a loss for words with both you and Porvaznik, because I never denied Ratzinger's MS. What I believe is going on is the term (MS)is being used with a different meaning by Ratzinger. I think I made this clear.

James Swan said...


You Hans Kung Society membership card is probably in the mail, on the way from Rome.

Great point, thanks.